Cheetah Extinction?

cheetah

Scientists are predicting the extinction of the worlds fastest land animal the Cheetah due to rapid decimation of numbers of the animal living in the wild over recent years with numbers of cheetahs declining by up to 85% in Africa and less than 50 cheetahs remaining in Iran.

Cheetahs are of course not the only species facing an unsure future and CCA plans to do more work in the area of species depletion and extinction threat in the coming years to lend our voice and support to all animals, however great or small threatened in such a way and the threats to other species are often the direct result of human activity.

One of the things we will be discussing in 2017 is the good or negative effect of zoos in such matters as conservation and we will be very interested in hearing the views of CCA members and supporters on the issue of zoos generally.

 

Catholic Concern for Animals AGM 2016

Pope-Francis

 

The CCA Annual General Meeting takes place at St Joseph’s Hall, Brompton Oratory on Saturday 12th November 2016 at 2pm and begins with a talk on Laudato Si’ by academic and journalist Carmody Grey.

The AGM is the first one to be held after a full year of CCA activity following the publication of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment which was published in the summer of 2015 and reports from Officers including the Chair of Trustees and the Chief Executive will explain to the assembled CCA membership what progress the Charity has made in the last 12 months in promulgating to the Catholic world the Pontiff’s wonderful words on both Animals and Creation contained in the Encyclical.

The AGM also contains innovations this year and in particular the announcement of the winner of the inaugural St Francis Award given to an individual in recognition of outstanding work in the field of Animal Welfare and also a new major Agenda Item which is a Member Forum and Debate entitled -How does CCA measure success?

 

India for Animals Conf 2016

ifa-2016

The 2016 India for Animals Conference has recently taken place in Mumbai organised by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO).

I was delighted to attend and represent CCA and was very pleased to find that the Dogs Trust were co-hosting the Conference. This is no doubt because “street/stray dogs” are a very big Animal Welfare issue in India and it is estimated by the Indian Government and the Animal Welfare Board of India that thee are around 30 Million Stray/Street dogs in India.

I was also very pleased to see other representatives from the UK including both the RSPCA and CIWF who were very prominent at the Conference and who gave excellent presentations on various subject matters.

There are over 20 Million Catholics in India with a very prominent population in Goa and India has the second highest number of Catholics of any country in Asia after the Philippines. I am sure that CCA can play its part in helping Animal Welfare and Animal Rights in India as well as supporting the positive actions being taken in the Sub-Continent to end the many horrible examples of outright Animal abuse and even Animal torture that I have heard about-of course such horrors are not by any means exclusive to India!!

The Conference was very informative and stimulating and although the issue of dogs is a major animal welfare issue in the country it is by no means the only one and there are numerous issues to be dealt with and  not least in regards to the often poor treatment of Elephants and of course the ongoing risks to the magnificent Tiger itself.

 

St Francis Day 2016

st-francis-of-assisi

Happy St Francis Day 2016

Today is St Francis day and we commemorate the life and death of St Francis of Assisi who died on 4th October 1226 at Portiuncula in Italy and was then declared a Saint by Pope Gregory 1x in 1228.

It is well know that St Francis is of course the Patron Saint of Animals but it is often less well known that St Francis is also the Patron Saint of the Environment and we again celebrate in his name today the Encyclical Letter on the Environment by Pope Francis entitled Laudato Si’ and which was published last year and which we in Catholic Concern for Animals often now refer to as our “policy document” and upon which we frame a lot of our activity and ongoing educational work .

I believe that if St Francis was here with us today he would give Laudato Si’ his full blessing and support and there is very little that could be seen as higher praise than that.

 

 

National Feral Cat Day 2016-16th October 2016

feral-cat

CCA strongly agrees with the viewpoint that all animals deserve support, care and consideration and we have for many years been long time advocates and supporters of Feral cats and indeed we fully support charities across the globe who take direct action in supporting these animals.

I am delighted to therefore lend our full support and to give publicity to National Feral Cat Day which is the brainchild of Alley Cat Allies in the United States who founded National Feral Cat Day in 2001 and the theme for this year is “All Cats All Communities”.

I am in Malta in the days leading up to National Feral Cat Day this year on CCA business and will be meeting with CCA Members and supporters including visiting local Maltese Cat projects which CCA is supporting which include feral cat programmes.

 

Animal Welfare and Individual Responsibility

business man shrug
Who is responsible?

 

I am often asked what can be done to stop this or what can be done to end that?

What is the Catholic Church doing about X or what is the Pope saying about Y.

All of these are valid questions and deserve answers which I try to give as best I can in any given situation.

However we can all do our bit great or small for Animal Welfare every day by our personal behaviour and actions, whether it is our diet, our wider consumer choices or just be giving an example to others by our care for the animal kingdom and all God’s creation.

All of this can, should and must  be done as well as more obvious actions like protesting against the cruelty of other humans and their bad actions against animals-although of course there is plenty of human neglect and cruelty to animals around the world about which we need to educate,complain and protest against.

Therefore I leave with a question of my own for a change:

What have YOU done for animals today?

 

 

Saints who love Animals Feast Days St Ciaran-9th September

St Ciaran and the Animals

St Ciaran of Ireland (516 AD – 544AD) was converted to the Christian faith by St Patrick and began to preach to the Irish people, who were then mostly pagans. One day, feeling the need for a period of quiet, Ciaran went to a lonely woodland district and started to build himself a cell.  Sitting down by a tree, he noticed a fierce looking boar.  Ciaran spoke gently to the boar calling him ‘Brother Boar’, as he treated all animals as his brother and sister.  The boar realised that Ciaran was a friend and not a foe and so he helped Ciaran to build his cell, tearing down strong branches with his teeth and bringing them to Ciaran.  When the cell was finished the boar stayed with Ciaran and soon many other animals joined them, including a wolf, a fox, a badger, a deer and many birds. Ciaran called them all the first brother monks of his little monastery.  Later, as people joined them and Ciaran started a larger monastery, he never forgot his animal friends who continued to live with him.