This video is about a goose driving away a pony in Gouderak, the Netherlands.
Hans Pols made the video.
This video is about a goose driving away a pony in Gouderak, the Netherlands.
Hans Pols made the video.
This video is called Inside Story – Horsemeat scandal: Who is to be blamed?
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Sausages 46 per cent horse meat
Saturday 4th october 2014
The Bulgarian-manufactured salami product had been imported by Expo Foods Limited, based in Enfield, north London.
A KCC trading standards spokesman said the firm did not test the sample, despite widespread media coverage about undeclared horse meat in various food products.
The company pleaded guilty to a charge under the Food Safety Act at Dartford magistrates’ court, the spokesman added.
As well as being fined £5,000 the firm was ordered to pay £2,500 towards the council’s costs, plus a £120 surcharge.
This video says about itself:
‘Hundreds in jail for exercising their human rights in Bahrain’
1 September 2014
A prominent human rights activist, Maryam Al-Khawaja, was arrested shortly after arriving in Bahrain to check on her father, who is hunger striking in prison along with thousands of sentenced activists, a key opposition figure, Nabeel Rajab, told RT.
From Arabian Business:
Horse racing body slammed over lenient treatment of Bahrain Sheikh
By Courtney Trenwith
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 10:55 AM
Horse racing’s world governing body has been lambasted by its own tribunal for failing to adequately punish a wealthy Arab Sheikh whose horse was repeatedly beaten during two international endurance races.
According to International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rules, Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s royal family, should have been automatically disqualified from winning the King’s Cup in Bahrain in February after his groom ran onto the race track and struck his tiring horse several times in the closing stages of the 80-mile race, The Telegraph reported.
The incident was not reviewed by the federation until video footage was unwittingly posted by the event’s own broadcaster, attracting international condemnation.
Sheikh Mohammed was given a yellow warning card, fined 500 Swiss francs ($534) and suspended for the few remaining weeks of the Middle East winter horse racing season.
During his first race back on May 23, Sheikh Mohammed’s horse was again beaten while racing and suspended for two months.
Two British journalists – The Telegraph‘s Pippa Cuckson and Lucy Higginson, former editor of Horse & Hound – formally protested against what they said were lenient sentences, pointing to the FEI’s rules that state non-negotiable disqualification as the minimum penalty for horse abuse.
The FEI claimed that under double jeopardy an earlier punishment against the rider could not be reassessed.
Sheikh Mohammed argued that he had not solicited the intervention of the groom, whom he said was an over-excitable fan. The FEI also argued that the beating, while a breach of the rules, constituted only a “lesser kind of abuse”.
However, the tribunal found FEI endurance committee chairman Dr Brian Sheahan, acting as an expert veterinary witness, had observed that Sheikh Mohammed had hit the horse, establishing that the offence “had indeed occurred”. Therefore, the correct penalty was not applied.
“The tribunal holds that the ground jury had therefore acted arbitrarily in not imposing any disqualification,” the tribunal’s ruling says, according to The Telegraph.
“The tribunal does therefore not accept the double jeopardy claim by the FEI and the rider, and follows the protesters’ argument of applying the correct penalty for the offence in hindsight.”
The tribunal also said the original sanctions were not sufficient to deter the wealthy Sheikh, evidenced by his repeat offence.
“In support of their argument that the penalties imposed on the rider had not had sufficient deterrent effect, the protesters highlighted that the Sheikh had received another yellow card for horse abuse on May 23, the first FEI event he had competed in since the event,” the tribunal said.
It is the first time a sanction has been corrected in hindsight and that a protest not witnessed in person has relied on video evidence.
The Telegraph said the ground breaking ruling could impact the future enforcement of horse racing rules.
This video from India says about itself:
Lack of veterinarians helps quacks
25 July 2014
It is being estimated that there are about 3.5 lakhs of cattle in the district of Cuddalore. There are about 89 dispensaries for the cattle. But unfortunately they are not put to good use since there seems to be a shortage of staff. The dispensaries are reported to be open for just a few hours in the morning. Hence people are forced to take the services of quacks who pose as doctors.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
Horses victims of quacks
Saturday Sep 13 2014, 16:27 (Update: 13-09-14, 16:54)
Hundreds of quacks and alternative healers do misdiagnosis in the treatment of horses. That means that for example, horses remain crippled or keep having back pain.
Julius Peters of the Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Medicine (KNMvD) will tell this tonight in Nieuwsuur TV show. Owners go to such alternative practitioners because it is much cheaper than a vet.
According to Peters, president of the horse section of the KNMvD, alternative healers treat thousands of sick horses.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recognizes the problems. “It is penny wise pound foolish,” says director Frank Dales. “Instead of the horse getting better after treatment, it often gets worse. And then finally the recovery process becomes only more prolonged and more costly.”
In the Netherlands there are about 400,000 horses. They are at large riding stables and breeding farms or in small stables at the owner’s home. When buying, new owners are often not aware of the high cost. And keeping a horse gets more expensive if it gets an injury and the vet should be called.
That’s why owners go the alternative medical system. With practitioners who don’t know what they’re talking about, according to Peters.
“What I hear about, is a twisted spleen, a clamped sciatica or ‘something’ about the ovaries. Sometimes in a male animal, so that does not quite fit. And even kidney problems. Well, that I have in my career as a veterinarian, which has spanned 32 years, not seen often.”
The sector council for horses, the umbrella body for horse businesses, rejects these practices. “I think that’s a worrisome situation,” says Ruud Timmermans Pruijsten of the sector council. “The welfare of the horse benefits if it gets the necessary care.”
No disciplinary tribunal
According to the law medical procedures should only be performed by veterinarians. But there is little people can do in practice about misdiagnosis by a quack, says Peters. “We veterinarians, but also animals physiotherapists are included in the so-called BIG register. They are not registered anywhere. We have a disciplinary committee, so if you are not satisfied with my actions, you can sue me. This is certainly not the case in the alternative scene.”
The Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Medicine and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals want a mandatory biannual inspection of horses. Owners should thereby allow horses to be checked medically by a veterinarian.
Research from Wageningen University indicates that, in general, over 30 percent of the horses in riding schools and breeding farms have back problems, sometimes mild, sometimes severe. 20 percent is crippled or has difficulty walking. The researchers studied 3,000 horses at 150 businesses.
The sick animals should benefit from the best possible treatment, says Pruijsten Timmermans of the sectoral council for horses. “Any horse that is in pain, is one too many. What we can do about it, is to reach owners and advise them to really deal with it that way.”
Parliament will talk in November with Minister Dijksma about horse welfare.
This video from Britain is called The Horse Meat Scandal Explained in 2 Minutes.
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Horsemeat scandal: food safety expert warns issues have not been addressed
Chris Elliott led an inquiry into last year’s saga and says problems remain with proper control of UK food supply chain
Zoe Wood and Felicity Lawrence
Thursday 4 September 2014 19.54 BST
The battle to offer lower prices to shoppers is putting the squeeze on food manufacturers and risking a repeat of last year’s food scandal, in which beef burgers and ready meals on supermarket shelves around the country were found to be laced with horsemeat.
The warning was sounded by Professor Chris Elliott, who led the independent inquiry into the largest food fraud in decades. His report demands the creation of a new food crime unit, with full police powers to fight criminals cashing in on supermarkets’ determination to minimise the prices they pay to suppliers.
Elliott, a food safety academic from Belfast’s Queen’s University, told the Guardian he had kept in close contact with meat processors since the horsemeat scandal and that while some believed industry practices had improved, others had reported a return to the aggressive buying negotiations that drove producers to breach specifications before.
“If it goes back to the bad old days of very short contracts and buying at or below cost, that will inevitably cause processors to cut corners,” he said.
The country’s supermarket industry is in turmoil at present as the growth of German discounters Aldi and Lidl, coupled with the prolonged squeeze on consumer spending, puts pressure on established chains such as Tesco, Asda and Morrisons to make big price cuts.
But the global food supply chain is vast and complex, with ingredients for simple ready meals sourced from multiple countries. The scale of the business means that supermarkets cannot monitor every step of the chain, which could allow rogue operators to strike.
Within the meat industry, the review highlighted several weak spots that could be preyed on by fraudsters, including the cold stores where meat is stored, transportation to the UK, and the frozen blocks of meat that are used in production. Offal, such as the heart or lungs, from cheaper species can be mixed into these blocks to make it look like higher-quality lean meat, it warned. Researchers had also received information about meat suitable only for pet food being reclassified as fit for human consumption.
Elliott said the drive to cut prices on supermarket shelves was increasing the level of risk within the food chain. “Recent reports in the media show the emergence of a new price war between some major retailers, and suppliers are already under pressure to further reduce prices.”
Goods being bought for less than the recognised “reasonable” price was a key concern, he said. “This is neither good for the sustainability of UK farming nor the integrity of the food industry, and ultimately impacts negatively on consumers,” he said. “The food industry needs to realise the extent of their exposure should adulteration or substitution occur, both in terms of the potential for the endangerment of customers, and brand damage and loss of revenue.”
The horsemeat scandal erupted in January 2013 and went on to engulf a swath of the British food industry. Retailers including Tesco, Asda, Aldi, and manufacturers such as Findus were forced to withdraw millions of beef burgers, ready meals and packs of mince as the extent of the fraud became apparent. Tests revealed that some Findus beef lasagnes were made completely out of horsemeat while Tesco pulled one of its “Value” burger lines, made by an Irish supplier, which was found to contain 29% horsemeat.
Companies right across Europe were caught up in the adulteration but the complexity of the supply chain and the difficulty of tracking ownership of the meat across borders has made it hard to pin down where the actual crime of mislabelling horsemeat as beef took place.
Elliott’s review offers a devastating critique of the inadequacies of the system that is supposed to protect the country’s food chain, revealing:
• The public laboratory service, which tests whether foods are safe and what they claim to be, is in crisis because of deep cuts in local authority budgets and needs urgent restructuring. Testing food cannot be left to the private sector which has different priorities, it concludes.
• Local authority enforcement services have been “cut to the bone”. Trading Standards departments will have suffered an average 40% cut in England and Wales over the lifetime of this parliament. Any further cuts here would leave local authorities “unable to effectively protect consumers” from fraudsters.
• The original investigation in to the horsemeat crime was conducted by regulators “at least in part with insufficient experience or expertise in the investigation of serious food crime and none at all in tackling complex organised crime”.
• None of the bodies that might be expected to investigate serious organised crime in the food sector – from the Metropolitan police and other police forces to the Serious Fraud Office, and the National Crime Agency — see it as their role.
• Supermarket and industry audits manage to be both enormously burdensome and futile in detecting fraud. Audits should be unannounced inspections, whereas the majority are currently pre-announced. They need to be radically changed to include forensic auditing.
The review was commissioned in February 2013 and originally due in the spring of this year. Sources told the Guardian that Elliott came under sustained pressure to water down some of his findings, leading to a delay in its publication. Nonetheless the academic stood by the substance of interim findings published at the end of last year.
At the height of the scare, which triggered a slump in sales of red meat including frozen burgers and readymeals, Tesco took out full-page advertisements in national newspapers to reassure customers it was a brand they could trust. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) defended food retailers, arguing that they would not “be that stupid or short-termist” in their dealings with suppliers. “I don’t think any major retailer would take that kind of risk with a product that could then compromise their brand,” said Andrew Opie, its food and sustainability director. …
One of the most contentious issues in the horsemeat scandal has been whether the coalition government’s decision to strip the Food Standards Authority of responsibility for food authenticity contributed to the crisis. The final report ducks apportioning blame and finds that the FSA’s programme to check the authenticity of food was already being wound down before the election. But it notes that greater clarity is needed about where the boundaries lie between the Department for the Environment, the Department of Health and the FSA “to ensure there is no repeat of the confusion which occurred at the beginning of the horsemeat incident”.
There is still no proper coordination across Whitehall – with no regular high level meetings between the chair of the FSA and the health and environment secretaries, the report says – and a new national food safety and food crime committee which could report to the crisis Cobra committee in the event of another scandal is needed.
This February 2013 video from Britain is called Horsemeat scandal: how safe is your food?
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Official report into horsemeat scandal ‘blocked’ amid new food safety fears
Publication of inquiry into 2013 food fraud delayed after national salmonella outbreak and reports of contaminated chicken
Friday 15 August 2014 19.47 BST
The official report into the causes of the horsemeat scandal has been shelved until at least the autumn, prompting criticism that the government is not doing enough on food safety.
The inquiry by Chris Elliott, professor of food safety at Queen’s University Belfast, was announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 16 months ago and was to have been completed by the spring. It is expected to highlight the impact of spending cuts on frontline enforcement and inspection in the food industry.
But sources have told the Guardian that its publication has been blocked amid government concerns that the public would be frightened by the idea that criminals were still able to interfere with their food.
Elliott said in December that the food sector had become a “soft touch” for criminals who knew there was little risk of detection or serious penalty and that the response of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) was insufficiently robust. He has also called for a new police force to combat food crime, saying the risks were so great that a dedicated unit staffed by senior police detectives was needed .
The horsemeat scandal was the largest food fraud of recent times. Millions of beef burgers, ready meals and packs of mince were withdrawn from supermarkets and fast food restaurants across the UK and Europe in 2013 when it was revealed that they had been adulterated on an industrial scale with undeclared horsemeat.
Elliott was asked to lead the UK inquiry, and is understood to have delivered his final conclusions to the government several weeks ago. Publication was scheduled for July 22, sources say, but the new environment secretary, Liz Truss, blocked it after the Cabinet reshuffle.
The findings are likely to embarrass ministers. The Guardian understands they are similar to conclusions in the interim report submitted last year highlighting the impact of deep spending cuts on frontline enforcement and inspection in the food industry. It said confusion reigned when the horsemeat scandal broke because the coalition had stripped the FSA of overall responsibility for the integrity of food.
The report concluded that the industry’s own audits were inadequate to protect the public and that unless audits were unannounced, they were of little value. He also told a conference of food experts in May he had been warned by a senior civil servant that his report into the horsemeat scandal was so hard-hitting the government might want to bury it. This week, he declined to comment other than to say he was still awaiting notification of the publication date.
Sources have said, however, that the No 10 communications team was concerned the public would be frightened by the idea that criminals were still able to interfere with their food. Fears of provoking “an Edwina Currie” moment – the then Tory minister created a scare about salmonella in eggs in 1988 – were raised over the FSA’s recent proposal to name and shame supermarkets and chicken processors for their levels of contamination with another food poisoning bug, campylobacter. The agency climbed down from the proposal to name the firms after pressure from other government departments.
Concerns that the food safety report could be buried or delayed came as health officials said on Friday that an investigation had been launched into a national outbreak of salmonella enteritidis after cases affecting 156 people were being looked into in Hampshire, London, the West Midlands, Cheshire and Merseyside.
It is understood that eggs imported in liquid form from continental Europe are the focus of investigations as the suspected source of the outbreak. Genetic typing tests have shown the UK outbreak involves a strain closely related to the salmonella that caused cases in Austria and France this year.
Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University, London, said it was scandalous that the horsemeat report had not been published. “The government is nervous about it coming out because it reminds the European public of a disaster in our meat trade. It’s also embarrassing for the Conservatives because Elliott wants to toughen up regulation, which is against the current tide,” he said.
Taken together with the FSA board decision last week to keep the names of supermarkets and meat processors secret, “it marks a sad return to the old style of government that puts food industry ahead of protecting consumers,” he added.
The shadow environment secretary, Maria Eagle, condemned the failure to publish the report. “The horsemeat scandal and the recent Guardian investigation into the poultry industry exposed clear failings in the food supply chain and a lack of consumer protection. That’s why the government’s continued delay in publishing the Elliott review is bad for consumers and bad for the industry.”
“Consumers rightly deserve to know what they are eating, where it has been produced and that there is a robust response mechanism when serious incidents occur so that the regulator and the industry can deal with it effectively.
“The Government must show leadership to restore confidence in food industry and act on this review urgently before we face another food scandal,” she said.
The confusion over different department’s responsibilities when food scandals erupt was drawn into focus again by a Guardian investigation into alleged hygiene failings in the chicken industry last month. The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, demanded the FSA inspect the abattoirs at the heart of our investigation just hours after the FSA said it was “content” that it had handled incidents correctly.
Public Health England said there have been 55 cases of salmonella enteritidis in Hampshire, 25 in London, 33 in Cheshire and 43 in the West Midlands. In the case of Hampshire, 32 of the cases were linked to The Real China restaurant in Eastleigh, which voluntarily closed last month. It has since reopened.
In Cheshire and Merseyside, 31 cases were connected with an outbreak at a Chinese takeaway. Of the 43 cases in the West Midlands, 34 were connected with the Birmingham Heartlands hospital outbreak, which led to the closure of eight wards.
The cases occurred as isolated clusters over several months and were dealt with locally. They are now being reassessed under a national investigation as being potentially linked, said PHE.
This video from France says about itself:
Ethology – The study of Animal Behavior
A woman lives out her dream by working with horses and studying their behavior in a natural environment in order to become more connected to these majestic animals.
From Current Biology:
4 August 2014
The eyes and ears are visual indicators of attention in domestic horses
Jennifer Wathan, Karen McCombe
Mammal Vocal Communication and Cognition Research, School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9QH, UK
Sensitivity to the attentional states of others has adaptive advantages, and in social animals, attending to others is important for predator detection, as well as a pre-requisite for normal social functioning and more complex socio-cognitive abilities. Despite widespread interest in how social species perceive attention in others, studies of non-human animals have been inconclusive about the detailed cues involved.
Previous work has focused on head and eye direction, overlooking the fact that many mammals have obvious and mobile ears that could act as a visual cue to attention. Here we report that horses use the head orientation of a conspecific to locate food, but that this ability is disrupted when parts of the face (the eyes and ears) are covered up with naturalistic masks. The ability to correctly judge attention also interacted with the identity of the model horse, suggesting that individual differences in facial features may influence the salience of cues. Our results indicate that a combination of head orientation with facial expression, specifically involving both the eyes and ears, is necessary for communicating social attention. These findings emphasise that in order to understand how attention is communicated in non-human animals, it is essential to consider a broad range of cues.