Monday, March 2, 2009

The continuing Ebola-pig saga, more beached aquatic mammals, and a tarsier display ban

Photo from the Wall Street Journal

Poor pigs :( -- a continuation of my earlier post
Great. Not only did the piggery farmers in Bulacan rear their pigs in such disgusting conditions that their pigs tested positive for the Ebola-Reston virus (typically known to infect monkeys, but that’s a whole other vivisection story; researchers think that bats may have been the carriers) but now all 6,000 pigs are going to be massacred. FYI, 6,000 pigs = 0.05% of the total hog population of 13 million (of the country? Of Bulacan?), according to this news article from the 24th of February. Now the method of genocide is a little fuzzy. According to this article from the 27th, the pigs will be burned (whether alive or unconscious, I have no idea). According to this article from the 1st of March, the pigs will be stun-gunned (more humane than electric prods & co.) and then burned. The government actually considered the captive bolt pistol and electric prods before burning, but we all know how pigs can wake up from unconsciousness after being improperly stunned by those methods. WTF indeed. They call this catastrophe “a depopulation of the hogs”. They are targeting a slaughter of 1,000 pigs A DAY, "humanely".

And OMG, a brilliant quote from the secretary of the mayor of Pandi, Bulacan: “When WHO (World Health Organization) went here, they told us that for as long as the meat is cooked, no problem. But of course, sales in the market in the village where the farm is located has dropped.” By meat, we’re talking about the Ebola-infected meat of course.

According to the same article, “Workers affected by the depopulation will be assisted by the Department of Labor and Employment while financial support will be extended by the Department of Agriculture and the municipality of Pandi.” Great. Not only do our taxes pay for the cruel treatment of the pigs, these pigs got infected by these farmers, and we’re still paying for the massacre AND compensation for the workers.

Bulacan’s not the only province to be monitored for the Ebola-pigs. Other provinces in Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Pangasinan – watch out.

By the way don't expect any photos on the actual massacre... Media wasn't allowed in during the act. Of course not. The pork industry doesn't want to lose any more sales.

Photo from the Philippine Star

More whale / dolphin drama.
In other news, remember that weird dolphin phenomenon reported on the 11th of February where 200 to 400 melon-headed dolphins beached themselves on the coast of Bataan province? Luckily a hundred or so fishermen with BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources), the police and Coast Guard tried to lead them back to deeper waters. Village councilor Rodolfo Joson says, “It looked like they never wanted to leave. They looked sad.” Four dolphins were found dead, including 2 female adults of which 1 had a fetus – all from drowning.

The last time a large aquatic mammal strayed into shallow waters was in 1956 when a big whale beached and died 3 days later.

According to the article, “The dolphins could have strayed in the area due to an undersea quake that might have damaged their eardrums, or they might be following a sick or injured leader.” Another article said other causes could be dynamite fishing and large boat activities.

Reported earlier today, 194 pilot whales and several dolphins beached themselves on an island off southern Australia called King Island. About 144 of the whales have died while a race is ongoing to save the other 50. This latest beaching takes the total number of whales stranded around Tasmania in the past four months to nearly 400.

Photo from this German website

Let’s all hope for the best for the tarsiers.

Bohol province is usually known for its tarsiers, an endangered primate species known for their humongous eyes and elongated ankle bone. Unfortunately the tarsiers have been exploited by being displayed for tourism purposes. According to this article, the local government has placed a ban on the tarsiers’ commercialization. Let’s just hope the ordinance is properly enforced – local businessmen are lobbying for the scrapping of the ban.

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