By Jessica Corbett
"We applaud Italy and urge countries like the U.K. and the U.S. to follow this example and end this cruelty," said Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International, which supported the launch of the bill.
"Traveling from place to place, week after week, using temporary collapsible cages and pens, circuses simply cannot provide for the needs of the animals," Creamer said in an Animal Defenders International statement that also featured declarations from the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe and the British Veterinary Association that there are no means by which the physiological, mental and social needs of these animals can be adequately met within a traveling circus.
Creamer traveled to Italy to advocate for the bill's passage. Following a screening of her group's film Lion Ark which is about rescuing animals from illegal circuses in Bolivia, she addressed Italian lawmakers at a workshop to further explain how Animal Defenders International's undercover investigations "have shown the violence and abuse that is used to force these animals to obey and perform tricks."
"Italy has an estimated 100 circuses with some 2,000 animals making this one of the biggest victories in the campaign to stop circus suffering," according to Animal Defenders International's Stop Circus Suffering campaign. The European nation joins 40 other countries and several more municipalities that have outlawed the use of animals in circuses and traveling shows.
The news from Italy comes on the heels of a similar move by the Indian government, and just days before Animal Defenders International plans to host a week of action, beginning Nov. 13, to support the Traveling Exotic Animal & Public Safety Protection Act (also called TEAPSPA or H.R.1759), a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit traveling wild and exotic animal acts.
Animal rights advocates celebrated the new law on Twitter, and called on other countries to follow suit:
ITALY! We're seeing a wave of bans on the use of animals in circuses, and not a minute too soon! Thank you, #Italy… https://t.co/Ocws7TIfRw— We Animals Media (@We Animals Media)1510165356.0
BREAKING: ITALY Just Voted to BAN All Animal CIRCUS ACTS! The exciting news comes on the heels of India recently ba… https://t.co/09Lt8toHp5— Global Elephants (@Global Elephants)1510164619.0
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>