Archive | January 2014

Syrian refugees need our help

While Australia is in the midst of a hot summer, tens of thousands of Syrians forced to flee their homes are struggling through a long, bitterly cold winter – the worst to hit the Middle East in decades. Oxfam is there providing support to over half a million refugees.

The refugees

Lebanon is home to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. In fact, Syrians now account for one-quarter of Lebanon’s entire population. Nearly 80 percent of these refugees live in overcrowded apartments, abandoned buildings, informal settlements, and sprawling tent communities that are jammed into any vacant lot.

The storm

Winter has hit hard and widespread hunger, malnutrition, and disease are feared inside Syria as well as in refugee communities. Flimsy tents are prone to flooding and are likely to collapse under the weight of snow. Syria’s refugees are facing the very worst that winter can bring without the ability to keep themselves warm, well-fed or healthy.

Oxfam’s efforts

Oxfam has distributed blankets, sheets of plastic to protect shelters, and vouchers for heating stoves, fuel, and food, helping families get what they will need to get through these harsh months. Overall, they’re helping a half-million people affected by the Syria crisis across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, with plans to reach more than 650,000 people in the next 3 months. But they must prepare for the long haul to ensure that ordinary Syrians are able to face these immense hardships until a time when they can return home to rebuild their lives.

Supporting Oxfam

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Oxfam as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 How you can help

Your support will help save lives in Syria through the bitterly cold winter. Donate now and lend your support to the Syrian refugees:

https://www.oxfam.org.au/my/donate/syria-crisis/?utm_source=winterblog

Help free battery hens

All animals deserve a life free from abuse. Whether a beloved family pet, or a nameless farm animal — all cherish joy, and fear violence. Animals Australia’s major campaigns target the most prolific offenders of animal cruelty. One of these issues is the battery or cage hen.

The life of a battery hen

One of a hen’s most fundamental desires is to build a nest and lay her eggs in private. But in factory farms, they are forced to eat, sleep and lay their eggs in a crowded cage. It takes a hen up to 30 long hours in a battery cage to produce just one egg. This is the true cost of cage eggs. She cannot stretch her wings. She cannot go outside, or feel the sun on her back.

At hatcheries, most chicks destined for factory farms have part of their beaks cut off. Birds’ beaks are filled with nerves. Yet this is done without pain relief.

Male chicks cannot produce eggs and do not grow fast or large enough to be raised for meat. So on their first day of life they are gassed or dropped into grinders, whilst still alive. Every year, millions of male chicks meet this fate across the entire egg industry.

Ultimately, their sisters’ lives are cut short too. Chickens can live up to 12 years. But from as young as 18 months of age, when their egg production wanes, hens across the egg industry are gathered up and sent to slaughter.

“Chickens exist in stable social groups. They can recognise each other by their facial features. They have 24 distinct cries that communicate a wealth of information to one other, including separate alarm calls depending on whether a predator is travelling by land or sea. They are good at solving problems. As a trick at conferences I sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens, and people think I’m talking about monkeys. Perhaps most persuasive is the chicken’s intriguing ability to understand that an object, when taken away and hidden, nevertheless continues to exist. This is beyond the capacity of small children.” – Dr. Chris Evans, Professor of Psychology at Macquarie University, Australia.

Supporting Animals Australia

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Animals Australia as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

How you can help

Cage eggs have become symbolic of the suffering caused by factory farms.

It’s within our power to free them.

If you believe in a world without factory farming, then by spreading the word and making kind choices when you shop, you can free hens from factory farms. Together we can make it possible.

http://www.makeitpossible.com/take_action/

Newcastle University (UK) commits to end experiments on wild-caught baboons in Kenya

Humane Research Australia reports that the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) investigation has uncovered the cruel capture and use of wild baboons in Kenya. There was also involvement of researchers from Newcastle University travelling to the country to conduct invasive research using these baboons, and this has resulted in a statement from Newcastle University that it will end its involvement in the controversial research.

The investigation

The investigation uncovered disturbing evidence of the poor conditions in which wild-caught olive baboons (Papio anubis) are being held at the Institute of Primate Research (IPR), and the terrible fate which awaits them. Legislation in Kenya relating to animal experiments is outdated and hopelessly inadequate. Yet wild baboons, and other primates such as African green monkeys, are captured and held in conditions which compromise their welfare and breach international guidelines, before being subjected to disturbing research.

The baboons were held under conditions which seriously compromised their welfare and breached international guidelines, including those of the European Directive and the International Primatological Society. Some of the baboons were housed on their own in barren metal cages with no enrichment.

The experiments carried out at the IPR by researchers from Newcastle University include invasive brain surgery on baboons in which the individual’s head was placed into a stereotaxic frame and held in place whilst the skull was drilled open and parts of the brain removed. The animals were kept alive under anaesthetic for many hours while tests were carried out before being killed.

The University’s involvement

In the UK, using wild-caught primates in research was effectively banned in 1995, yet researchers from Newcastle University are bypassing UK law and are travelling to Kenya to use wild-caught baboons in disturbing and highly invasive experiments. This is also in blatant breach of recent guidance by UK funding bodies which requires UK researchers to maintain UK welfare standards when carrying out experiments abroad.

While Newcastle University has committed to ending the experiments in Kenya and has stated it is ‘reviewing all our overseas research involving animals’, the BUAV will seek clarification on when the baboon research will end.

‘We welcome this move by Newcastle University to stop this controversial research in Kenya. The BUAV investigation has caused a public outcry; people have been shocked and repulsed by our findings and it is only right that the University should respond in this way. It makes a mockery of UK law if researchers can use public funds to go overseas to carry out horrific research on wild-caught primates that would not be allowed in the UK.’ –BUAV Director of Special Projects, Sarah Kite

Supporting Humane Research Australia

 The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Humane Research Australia as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 How can you help?

You can support Humane Research Australia’s campaign to end all animal-based experiments by donating to their cause:

http://www.humaneresearch.org.au/membership-donations