Big cats in Britain


This 2014 video is called Lions Documentary: BIG CATS Deepest Secrets – Lions, Tigers & Ligers | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – SPECIAL.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Do we need big cats to roam our countryside?

Friday 3rd July 2015

PETER FROST asks whether it’s time to bring the wild lynx back to Britain

BIG cat sighting are a staple of local papers and TV reports. Remember the Essex lion? Most are hoaxes or misidentifications, usually of domestic cats or domestic cats turned feral.

Substantiated reports refer to feral domestic cats, bigger, fitter and stronger than their home-loving cousins, leaping a five-bar gate with a full-grown rabbit in their jaws.

Some big cat sightings are undoubtedly genuine but in a nation where most people now carry a phone with a good camera, it is surprising how few sightings are backed up with good photos or video. Actual captures or dead animals are even rarer.

Many of these big cats are certainly escaped pets or captive animals released when they get too big or to troublesome to keep.

Many big cats are available on the pet black market and exotic leopard cubs and similar are often bought by people with more money than sense. The cubs grow fast and the next thing you know they are in the boot of the Jaguar — what else — and being dumped in the nearest woodland.

Let’s look at the suspects: the leopard (Panthera pardus) is widespread and adaptable. This sleek, athletic big cat can range from greyish yellow to a rich buff or chestnut, with black spots and rosettes. Black panthers — a type of leopard — are very common. Leopards can grow up to six feet and weigh 200lb.

The puma (Felis concolor) has many different names including cougar and mountain lion. Its fur is buff or sandy brown to reddish brown, sometimes light silver and slate grey or black, usually with no markings. This big cat is nocturnal. Pumas can be as big and heavy as leopards.

The jungle cat (Felis chaus) is misnamed. It lives in moist reedy areas and among agricultural crops. It is sandy or yellowish-grey to a greyish brown or tawny red, cream underparts and striped legs, 33” and 30lb.

Caracal (Felis caracal) — sometimes mistakenly classified as a desert lynx — has large pointed black ear tufts of black hair. Its coat is tawny brown to brick red. Nocturnal, it hunts birds, rodents and reptiles. It can jump several feet into the air to catch birds. It is three feet long plus tail and weighs up to 40lb.

The British wildcat looks like a larger and heavier version of the domestic tabby cat but is a distinct species. It has a broad face, very obvious body stripes and a thick, striped, blunt tail. Mainly nocturnal, the wildcat is secretive and very rarely seen. It often interbreeds with feral domestic cats.

Britain once had its own native big cat, a species of lynx, but it was hunted to extinction centuries ago. Now some naturalists are suggesting we bring back wild lynx to our countryside. There are a number of lynx species that might qualify. Lynx look like domestic tabby cats on steroids and all have distinctive ear tufts.

Largest is the Eurasian lynx, with males averaging 45lb and females a little less. Iberian lynx are smaller, with males weighing in at 26lb and females slightly smaller. The Canadian lynx is the smallest, with males averaging just 22lb and females even less.

Bringing back the lynx is, as you would expect, a controversial idea. Sorry Ukip, but under the European Habitats Directive we have a legal obligation to study the desirability of reintroducing species that have become extinct from our countryside.

Some people, me included, would love to see these elegant tiny tigers wandering our woods and hills and controlling the plagues of escaped ornamental deer that are destroying our woodlands. It would boost wildlife tourism in many areas too.

Others fear that these carnivores would kill our sheep and lambs, threaten the livelihoods of farmers, endanger other native British species and terrorise both pet owners and parents.

One favourite for any re-introduction is the Iberian lynx, which is the most threatened species of wildcat on Earth — down to just 300 animals in the wild. If this animal becomes extinct it will be the first lost feline since prehistoric times.

The Iberian lynx is the closest surviving relative of the original British lynx. Its main diet is rabbits and Britain has often had a problem controlling populations of rabbit — a non-native species. Sadly the Iberian lynx is not really big enough to have much effect on our plague of small muntjac deer.

An alternative is the bigger Eurasian lynx. This would make the British food chain more natural, boost tourism and control muntjac deer. European studies have found little risk to domestic livestock from lynx. They sometimes eat grouse and pheasants, which will bring them into conflict with landowners and our Tory government.

We are all concerned when we read of world problems threatening the continued existence of the tiger all around the world. Should we not encourage our own miniature tigers in this green and pleasant land?

British government imprisons raped refugee women, causing self-harm


This video from England says about itself:

Yarl’s Wood: Undercover in the secretive immigration detention centre | Channel 4 News

2 March 2015

The treatment of detainees inside the notorious Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre is revealed in exclusive footage obtained by a Channel 4 News investigation.

Warning: this film contains offensive language from the start.

[Quote from Serco mercenary guard at Yarl’s Wood prison]: ‘They’re all animals. Caged animals. Right? Take a stick in with you and beat them up.’

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Yarl’s Wood medics out weekly to treat self-harm

Saturday 4th July 2015

Attended cases feared to be ‘tip of the iceberg’ for imprisoned immigrant victims of torture and rape

SELF-HARM has become so prevalent at the infamous Yarl’s Wood immigrant removal facility that medics have to be called in at least once a week, the Home Office revealed yesterday.

Newly published figures show that in 2014 there were 61 incidents of self-harm which required medical treatment, while in 2013 there were 74.

However, the figures only cover those incidents in which medical attention was given, leading to concerns that they may only be the tip of the iceberg.

The revelation prompted warnings that immigration detention can cause mental illness and could lead to instances of self-harm among vulnerable inmates, many of whom have suffered torture or rape.

“What you have heard is true,” Ugandan detainee Juliette Akao told the Star by phone from Yarl’s Wood.

“The women here are very depressed and have many problems. Things like this happen every day. There is no proper healthcare or concern about what’s happening. The ladies have to help each other. The situation is very bad.”

Ms Akao, herself a victim of torture, rape and sexual abuse, said that a culture of disbelief that permeates the immigration system was a major problem.

“No-one believes you,” she said. “If you have gone through torture in your own life you think you are coming to a country that respects human rights. But this is an inhuman culture and people need to know what is happening.

“It is very sad that a country like this, which says it respects human rights and criticises others for abusing them, is doing exactly the same thing here.”

The removal centre, near Bedford, is run by profiteer Serco and houses nearly 400 people awaiting deportation, most of whom are women.

In March, Serco suspended two members of staff after a Channel 4 News investigation raised questions about standards of care at the centre, with one officer recorded saying: “Let them slash their wrists” and several others referring to detainees as “animals.”

Medical Justice sends volunteer doctors to see detainees and claims to have seen hundreds of cases of seriously inadequate healthcare.

“In many cases immigration detention exacerbates existing medical conditions and in some cases has been the cause of mental illness,” said co-ordinator Emma Ginn.

“There have been a number of fatalities including self-inflicted deaths and we fear that, with no improvement in conditions, there could be more.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said that women who had been sexually abused, tortured or were pregnant should not be detained and called for an “urgent review” of Yarl’s Wood.

“The government is overseeing the worst of all worlds in the asylum system — more people detained, and for longer, with fewer deportations,” she said.

“Too many women are left in a hellish limbo in detention centres.”

British bombs on Syria will help ISIS


This video from #SyrianGirl says about itself:

The only way to defeat ISIS is to stop US support of ISIS by proxies Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia. Not by bombing the country more.

The British Cameron government wanted to start a war on the Syrian government in 2013. A war in which they would have been allies of ISIS and Al-Qaeda. The peace movement managed to stop that plan then.

Now, they have again plans to bomb Syria. Officially, against ISIS this time. But as part of a coalition which includes countries serving as ideological inspiration for ISIS cruelty; and from which money is still flowing to ISIS. And a coalition which in practice still includes Al-Qaeda.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

New bid to bomb Syria

Friday 3rd July 2015

As Defence Secretary Fallon pushes for more air strikes, campaigners warn of untold misery for people in the Middle East

ANTI-WAR campaigners challenged Defence Secretary Michael Fallon yesterday following his call for more air strikes in Syria and warned that the action could fuel potential Isis recruits.

Mr Fallon argued it was “illogical” that British planes were able to hit extremists in Iraq but not bases across the border and suggested any evidence that last week’s massacre in Tunisia was planned in Syria would show that the Islamic State leadership in the country represented a direct threat to the British people.

No Mr Fallon, that horrible massacre in Tunisia was not planned in Syria. It was planned in Libya. It was planned in the ‘new’ ‘free ‘Libya; created by David Cameron and his pals Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi with their ‘humanitarian’ war for oil.

When the PM obtained Commons approval for the bombing of militant positions last year, he made it clear that this was limited to Iraq.

However Mr Fallon quoted David Cameron who said in September during the debate on taking action in Iraq that there was a “strong case” for Britain to do more in Syria.

He confirmed the government would seek Commons approval before conducting air strikes there. But he added: “The exception, as the house knows, is if there was a critical British national interest at stake or the need to act to prevent humanitarian catastrophe.”

Labour strongly indicated that it would back the government’s proposal with shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker saying that Labour stood “ready to work with the government to defeat Isis” and would “carefully consider” any proposals that the government decides to bring forward.

“We all need to be clear about what difference any action would make to our objective of defeating Isis, about the nature of any action, its objectives and indeed its legal basis.

“Any potential action must command the support of other nations in the region, including Iraq and the coalition already taking action in Syria.”

Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman also appeared to imply the party could support the proposal saying that the situation was different to that in 2013.

But a Stop the War spokesman warned against military action as it’s action that has led to more people joining Isis. He said: “The US is already bombing Syria as well as Iraq, with little success. Many argue that this bombing has helped Isis recruit. “The proposal is in response to the terrible attack in Tunisia last week, but will do nothing to stop further attacks. Support for Isis in Tunisia has grown in the past two years, largely as a result of the growth of terrorism in neighbouring Libya. That in turn dates from the British and French-led bombing of Libya in 2011 which has created a state of civil war, terrorism and misery for its people.”

Campaign Against Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson said that US and British military action in the Middle East and North Africa had been “ill-conceived, leading to death and destruction for innocent civilians, and shattered states — both of which were abandoned by their attackers — where terrorists including Isis have since been able to organise.

We bombed Isis into existence. We can’t bomb them out of existence.”