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All Creatures, All Creations - An Online Nature Photography Book

posted on December 23, 2008

All Creatures, All Creations - An Online Nature Photography BookHappy Holidays:

As a special thank you for your support I am sending you the link to my new on line nature photography book entitled "All Creatures, All Creations". I am fortunate to see many marvels of nature during my investigations. The books include a diversity of wildlife, from insects to whales, who can be seen living freely without imprisoning them in aquariums and zoos. I would like to share these happier moments with you.

I will be adding to the photography collection as time goes by. I also want to include, in addition to the sights, the sounds of the animals and nature. I will send you the revisions if you keep me informed of your current email. I hope this presentation will bring you a quiet, peaceful moment for at least the 10 ½ slide show minutes.

However, I would be amiss if I didn't remind you of those animals that Lifeforce is continuously trying to protect. This includes those who are suffering as you read this – those victims suffering in the factory farms, those in pain in research laboratories and those caged and beaten by people in the entertainment industry.

I am pleased to let you know that I have completed a very long investigation of factory farming abuses in Canada. The meat and dairy industry is subsidized and heavily promoted by governments hiding the true suffering to animals, threats to public health and degradation of ecosystems. In a future Eco News I will take you on "Reality Farm Tours". As part of this project Lifeforce has released a new set of holiday themed posters that we will use in our campaign to stop this suffering. We have also included a poster about Fur Farm Prisons. Please VIEW AND SHARE OUR NEW POSTERS! Their meek existence and looking into their eyes may haunt you as it has been inescapable for me. However, together we must face those hidden faces so we can help them and, in so doing, bring Peace on Earth for All Life.



In Respect for All Life,

Peter Hamilton
Founding Director
Lifeforce Foundation
Phone: 604.649.5258
Email: peter.hamilton@lifeforcefoundation.org

Dfo Duty Is To Save The Narwhals

posted on November 28, 2008

November 27, 2008

News Release

Re: DFO Duty is to Save the Narwhals

Lifeforce, a Vancouver-based ecology organization, is urging people to write to DFO Minister Gail Shea in order to save the remaining narwhals trapped near Pond’s Inlet. (Shea.G@parl.gc.ca)

“There is still time to save maybe a hundred narwhals so get the ice breakers in there,” stated Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Founder, “It is absolutely a disgrace for Canada when DFO has failed to protect marine wildlife. It is DFO’s duty to save the narwhals. We should remind DFO that in 1988 there was a joint US and Russia successful rescue that freed two gray whales trapped in ice off Alaska. There is even a greater need to save these narwhals because the loss of this many individuals would impact their genetic diversity and threaten their survival.”


This is yet another example of DFO's lack of emergency preparedness. The many examples include that it took a firefighter on holidays to setup his equipment to save a stranded gray whale in Boundary Bay, BC and it took DFO 3 days to get to the Robson Bight diesel spill when their office is located only 3 hours away. Lifeforce has been urging DFO to create an effective marine mammal response team. Recently DFO asked Lifeforce if they could call upon us respond to seal cases in our area. Heck we've been doing this for over a decade. We've been gathering equipment too – it was a first in Canada when we bought the first set of pontoons to refloat cetaceans many years ago.

In addition, Inuits and others shouldn't be eating the highly contaminated narwhals. This issue is similar to the Japanese slaughter of contaminated dolphins. When Lifeforce took action against the Vancouver Aquarium's beluga hunt in 1990 we advised Northern Communities of findings of high levels of mercury and other pollutants in wildlife such as belugas. Industrial pollution has hit the High North too.

In future DFO must have a zero quota for narwhals since the quota of 130 animals was greatly exceeded and any further hunts will jeopardize their survival.

For further information:
Peter Hamilton at lifeforcesociety@hotmail.com

Icord Means More Animals And People Will Suffer

posted on November 25, 2008

Icord Means More Animals And People Will Suffer

November 18, 2008
NEWS RELEASE
Re: ICORD means more animals and people will suffer
One of the “Themes” of the researchers in the new ICORD building will be to create new animal models of spinal cord injuries (see Theme 3 below). This will mean more suffering to animals that are intentionally inflicted with spinal cord injuries. The often misleading results from animal models could actually harm people. The use of such animal models is a waste of scarce health care funds.

Please read the UBC ICORD Group Research Themes

Please watch the Lifeforce Broken Promises video. Popular species are rats and cats.

For further information: Peter Hamilton, lifeforcesociety@hotmail.com

These spinal cord experiments continue today.

Fur Council Of Canada Duped By Comedy Attack

posted on November 25, 2008

OPEN LETTER
November 20, 2008
To: Alan Herscovici, Fur Council of Canada
From: Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Foundation
Re: Fur Council of Canada Duped by Comedy Attack

The Fur Council of Canada’s has unwittingly put a video on your web site that mocks the callous attitude of the fur industry towards sentient wildlife, companion animals and children. The video is under “Gavin Critch Style File and the new Fur is Green Campaign”. It was originally on CBC’s This Hour has 22 minutes. http://www.furcouncil.com/Afficher.aspx?page=311&langue=en
The comedian was mocking your “Fur Is Green” campaign ---not supporting it!
The joke about turning racoon visitors in your backyard into racoon fur hats actually attacks the Fur Council’s insensitivity towards harming animals. And this includes domestic animals too. When referring to Green House Warming the comedian shows a photo of a chain white dog and states “What’s Dion going to do that little puppy? Might I suggest a nice pair of mukluks? Also referring to the Chinese slaughter of dogs and cats.

“Critch” mocks your “Fur is Green” falsehoods by telling people “If you want to do something good for the environment kill a small animal and slap it on your noggin” as what the sinister Fur Council claims.
In addition to your flagrant disregard to animal rights the Fur Council appears to be ambivalent to human rights too. The video puts you in the same category as those who would exploit child labour in Third World Countries by saying that those children shouldn’t make fake fur but “to do what they do best – make running shoes”.

The Fur Council of Canada continues to try to desensitize caring people by trying to not address the violence towards dogs, cats and wildlife that are brutally killed for fur fashion. This is at a time when society is attempting to developed stronger anti-cruelty laws. From trap lines to fur farm prisons, killing animals for their fur is part of a barbaric past that must be stopped.
In 2007, the Vancouver-based ecology organization, Lifeforce, sent a challenge to the Fur Council of Canada. We requested that you allow our representative to film the November/ December "pelting" of mink and foxes on fur farms. Nearly two million animals are killed every year. You did not permit this to happen. If fur is “green” then why not show the public the life and death struggle of mink and foxes in “farm” cages and their “euthanasia”?
I will let politicians know that I do not want my tax dollars given to the Fur Council of Canada and supporting this flagrant disregard for animal and human rights. The message will be loud and clear “Don’t Buy Fur – Fur is Bloody Death”.

See the Lifeforce video “Furgotten?” about fur farms in British Columbia.

For further information: lifeforcesociety@hotmail.com

All Point Bulletin - Getting Off Orcas’ Tails

posted on September 3, 2008

Lifeforce has been featured once again in the All Point Bulletin newspaper of Point Roberts.

You can read the original feature HERE, or as quoted below:


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Getting Off Orcas’ Tails

Lifeforce, a non-profit ecology organization, has been actively photographing both pleasure and commercial boaters that are harassing orcas in local waters off Point Roberts. Numerous violations of whale watching guideline and legislation were reported to U.S. and Canadian agencies in our campaign to prove that more enforcement and a Point Roberts No Boat Zone is needed to protect endangered orcas.

Our petition to governor Gregoire has helped increased awareness of the problems and resulted in some WDFW enforcement off Point Roberts.

During the B.C. Day Art and Music Festival in Point Roberts over 100 people signed the petition that is also available on line at: www.lifeforcefoundation.org.

Please sign it – we need more signatures.

The new “Get Off My Tail” card and poster was published by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement. Lifeforce has distributed it around Point Roberts to advise boaters of the new Washington state legislation. A boat is not allowed to remain within 100 yards of an orca. Boaters must get out of their way. In other words, get off their tails.

A disturbance is when a person interferes with an animal’s ability to hunt, feed, communicate, socialize, rest, breed, or care for their young. It is important that everyone report violators in the U.S. to 800/853-1964 and in Canada to 800/465-4336. If you can take a photo or video that will help prove the violations.

Resident Orcas

On August 12 a less than 24-hour-old L pod orca baby was seen in Haro Strait. The southern resident community is now numbered at 86 with this new birth, one birth in K pod, two probable deaths in L pod and the passing of the oldest K pod orca, Lummi, born in estimated 1910. J pod’s Granny, who was born in estimated 1911, is still alive and still very active. Survival of newborns and deaths are not considered final until the baby survives the first year and any missing orca has not been seen for one year.

Populations are considered to be at a high risk of extinction if there are less than 1000 members. So these and other orca populations are certainly in need of some very special stewardship to protect their habitats that is shared by all.

In the evening of August 7 there was lots of orca breaches as J pod and some Ls spent a couple of hours off Point Roberts doing some foraging for those tasty salmon.

Transients

There have been lots of transient orcas in the Georgia Strait. A group of seven transients were travelling in Washington waters from Rosario Strait to Point Roberts on July 28. The waters were beautifully calm while they exhibited several behaviors such as breaches.

Transients will eat other marine mammals unlike Residents who are believed to eat only fish. Transients’ diets include fish, porpoises and seals. They have even been seen attacking Gray whales and Minke whales. These are the ones who garnered the reputation as “sea wolves.”

Based on Lifeforce photographs orca expert Graeme Ellis, Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans, identified the orcas as T020 (male estimated birth 1963), T021 (female estimated birth 1968), T090 (a female born 1980), T090B (sex unknown, born 2006), T124 (female estimated birth 1967), T124D (sex unknown, born 1996), and T124E (sex unknown, born 1999).

For approximately 30 minutes the transients stayed in the area of a cluster of approximately 10 whale watch boats and a few pleasure craft. It is thought that these clever hunters of the sea may use boats as part of their herding strategy or may find seals and fish hiding by the boats. Lifeforce did see a harbour seal on the rostrum of an orca.

One of these orcas has a “hole” wound just behind the saddle patch. It may well be a healed gunshot wound.

On August 17 transients spent several days around the east side of Active Pass. These transients were continuously pursued and harassed by commercial whale watch boats and some pleasure craft. Several Canadian operators repeatedly approached within 100 yards and blocked their pathways.

Lifeforce will be preparing a report “In Pursuit of Orcas” to lobby government to provide more funding for enforcement by the responsible government agencies. Most whale watch companies harass orcas when they are not monitored. Pleasure boats mimic their illegal operating methods. If approached they say they were just doing what the companies were doing.

Non-government organizations, such as Lifeforce’s Lifewatch Boater Awareness Program and Soundwatch, have tried to raise awareness of responsible boating but have not been able to convince the tour companies to always follow the rules.

There has been some successes in the San Juan Islands with volunteer No Boat Zones and better enforcement. It is time for major improvements in the whale watching industry. Fines and other penalties are needed so people will get off the orcas’ tails.

For further information contact Lifeforce at lifeforcesociety@hotmail.com or 604-649-5258. You can view the photos of orcas and other wildlife in our Wildlife Reports section at www.lifeforcefoundation.org .

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Native Seal Kills On The Fraser Raise Questions

posted on August 11, 2008

Native Seal Kills On The Fraser Raise Questions

A Sto:lo advisor says it’s time to request permits from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to shoot seals that raid First Nations fish catches.

Quoted from the Straight.com news article by Carlito Pablo:

-----------------------
The fishing grounds of the Sto:lo Nation stretch from the waters below the Port Mann Bridge all the way up the Fraser Canyon, to a stream called Sawmill Creek. Native fishers like Ken Malloway will be harvesting sockeye, a highly prized salmon species, until the end of August. Then it will be chum-salmon season, before the fishery closes until next spring, when the chinook will come. Harbour seals are also out on the river, competing with the fishers for salmon.

“They rip the fish off our nets,” Malloway told the Georgia Straight. “I’ve been encountering seals in my nets since I started fishing over 40 years ago. It’s getting worse every year now. There’s more and more seals, and they’re getting more
and more bold.”

Last year, Malloway recalled, one seal got caught in his net. He disposed of the marine mammal with a shotgun. “Our people are going to protect their fish and their gear from seals like we always have,” he said.

In a notice released last month, the Chilliwack office of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans advised fishers that under the Fisheries Act it is unlawful to shoot or destroy seals without a special permit.

Glen Kostiuk, DFO’s conservation and protection supervisor for the Fraser Valley, explained that officials are not investigating anyone for shooting seals, nor are they aware of any recent incidents. The notice, according to Kostiuk, was issued to remind people about the safe handling of firearms, after fisheries officers and the RCMP ran into people on the river with guns.

“If it’s a nuisance seal, the department can issue a licence,” Kostiuk told the Straight. “But that’s mainly if seals are in fishways and killing a lot of fish that are heading back to, like, a hatchery, that sort of thing, or if it’s a fish farm that they’re attacking and ripping the nets up, or getting in and destroying a whole bunch of fish.”

Malloway couldn’t recall whether First Nations fishers have ever asked for permits to kill seals. But, according to Ernie Crey, a fisheries advisor to the Sto:lo Tribal Council, it is time to do so. Malloway and Crey were among those present when an RCMP officer met with Native fishers at the Cheam Indian Band community hall, east of Chilliwack, on July 31 to discuss the DFO seal notice.

“They [RCMP] said they would consider each instance or each case by itself,” Crey told the Straight by phone on August 1. “In other words, the police are not out there on the river trying to seize every gun, and they’re not trying to prevent each instance where a fisherman might have to shoot a seal. That’s how it was put it to us.”

Crey added, “We’re going to take this issue a bit further and ask the DFO to start issuing us permits.” He said he was authorized by Native participants at the July 31 meeting to start discussions with the department on this matter.

According to Crey, DFO regularly issues such permits to fish-farm operators. “In other words, they get a permit to protect their fish, their profit, because they’re selling the fish,” Crey said. “We’re out there, we’re trying to feed ourselves and our families, but DFO is not giving us permits to protect our fish from seals.”

Crey acknowledged that shooting seals “does happen from time to time”, and that it’s done by both aboriginal and non-Native sport fishers.

Getting permits to shoot seals is different from a harbour-seal cull, Crey maintained, although government-sanctioned culls have happened before, and seals have been harvested for their pelts.

According to notes prepared by UBC researchers Marcelo Vasconcellos and Tony Pitcher for a 2002 UBC Fisheries Centre report titled “Information Supporting Past and Present Ecosystem Models of Northern British Columbia and the Newfoundland Shelf”, more than 200,000 seals were killed in B.C. between 1913 and 1969.

Harbour seals have been protected in both B.C. and U.S. waters since in the early 1970s. Vasconcellos and Pitcher cite estimates that the population of this species has increased by about 12.5 percent every year thereafter.

Vancouver-based DFO spokesperson Diane Lake told the Straight that, according to a department assessment made in 2000, there are about 1,600 seals in the Fraser River. Lake said that until applications have been made the department can’t comment on the Native fishers’ plan to ask for permits to kill seals.

Conservationist Peter Hamilton doesn’t need to wait to see these applications, arguing it doesn’t matter whether it’s First Nations fishers who are involved.

“It’s humans that created the imbalance in the fishery, and if people start to try to control wildlife, it leads to other imbalances in the ecosystem,” Hamilton, founding director of the Vancouver-based Lifeforce Foundation, told the Straight.

He says there are nonlethal ways to deal with seals, like seal bombs, firecrackerlike explosives that scare away the animals.

“There are many predators that the salmon are confronted with, and you can’t just start killing all the predators,” he said. “Are you going to shoot the orcas too, because they’re eating the salmon? I’ve seen orcas go up to gill nets and pick the salmon off just like the seals.”

Crey is aware that some conservationists will be upset by the fishers’ plans. “Here’s how I put it to people: we have a responsibility and a right to feed our children and elders,” Crey said. “DFO shouldn’t be managing the fishery to feed the seals and let us go hungry. I understand that [conservation], but we have other priorities.”
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Would Jesus Kick An Animal?

posted on August 6, 2008

Would Jesus Kick An Animal?

Lifeforce sent the following letter in February 2008 to Chilliwack Mayor and Council in hope that they would view the information/video and consider a ban on rodeos. We also showed them cruelty to children who are force to perform in Little Britches Rodeos in Chilliwack. We asked them several times for a response and did not receive one. The Chilliwack Rodeo is scheduled for August 8 – 10 this year.

To: Mayor and Council
Subject: Rodeo 101

Dear Mayor and Council:

I would like to provide additional information about the abuses to animals at the Chilliwack Rodeo. In our letter of August 13, 2007 we provided you with information about an animal that was repeatedly kicked in the face and now I would like to show you more inhumane treatment of animals in our video entitled Rodeo 101 - Lessons About Rodeo Lessons.


Most of the photos were taken in 2007 at the Chilliwack Rodeo and shows a callous disregard towards animal welfare. For example, you will see one operator concealing a shock device that delivers a 5000 volt shock. Shocking and pulling the bucking strap makes them react to the pain - they aren't born to buck. Even "bucking dummies" are use to "train" them to buck.

The public is unaware of the behind the scenes abuses. The bucking straps are cinched tight to make the animals buck they stop bucking when the straps are released , they are shocked with electric prods, their hair is twisted and sometimes pulled out, they are jabbed with spurs and more. The frighten animals leap out of the chutes to try to avoid the torment. During steer wrestling they can suffer from painful strains, pulled muscles, broken bones, dislocated joints etc.. This also applies to team steer roping in which the animal stretched out by the ropes around the head and hind legs. Calf roping has been renamed “Tie-Down” roping to take the focus off the young calf victims who are lassoed while running fast, flipped high in the air and legs tied. This also causes serious painful injuries. Numerous animals have died from these rodeo practises.

In addition to the adult games I was saddened to see how the very young kids were treated in Little Britches Rodeos. Some of the children looked as young as 6 or 7 years old. Some were crying and some were injured. They were not having fun. This also takes place in Chilliwack. Parents have to sign a waiver for "injury or death". I would not subject any child to this trauma. Further information/video "Bless the Beasts and the Children" is also available upon request.

I hope that this time you will advise us if you will take action to stop promoting violence in our society. Violence begets violence. What are we teaching children when animals are brutally mistreated to beat the clock for rodeo prize money? Why are kids being conditioned to accept it and be part of it? Violence towards animals leads to violence against people. We urge you to ban the rodeos and to replace it with family fun activities such as the Cirque Du Soleil.


For further information please Contact Us.

All Point Bulletin - Wild Again At The Point

posted on July 30, 2008

Lifeforce work has been featured once again in the All Point Bulletin.

The original All Point Bulletin version can be viewed HERE.

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From tiny, almost invisible Dungeness crabs to the very large, very visible Humpback whales, Point Roberts is alive with an incredible diversity of wildlife.

While fishers (and orcas too) are looking for those depleted salmon stocks to return; a look into the marina waters could reveal hundreds of thumb size creatures that are actually Dungeness crabs who begin their first five molts as active swimmers prior to their more familiar crab look and bottom walking behavior.

The bird species seen recently include the Northern Harrier flying in the park and west side marina fields, Osprey and a Turkey Vulture looking for food around the marina, eagles and herons almost everywhere especially during low tides off the west and east sides, barn swallows swooping to catch flies in the park and marina, and finches, sparrows, and numerous others in the bushes and trees around the Point. The Mallard Ducks are growing up but still under mom’s watchful eye.

The lone offspring of the marina eagles has be doing an “eagle dance” flapping wings and jumping and will most likely be flying by the time you read this article. The four Barn Swallows have left the nest at the park restrooms but are still being fed by the parents while sitting on their “picnic” log (also see Lifeforce Nature Moments – Barn Swallows and other nature videos).

A Fawn
Recently, a doe and her fawn stopped traffic on Tyee Drive on their way to the field behind the Texaco. One local man was concerned that “coyotes got the baby” but was relieved to hear that mom and baby are doing well.

Orca
The orcas spent a lot time off Vancouver Island in July, but June 22 was one of the best orca days with J, K and L pods passing Lighthouse Marine Park in Point Roberts. I had hoped that the orcas would be in this area because a school of large salmon passed earlier heading north towards the orcas. The first group starting passing at 11:15 and the second group were following about one hour later. The second group was the most active. In fact, I have not seen these orcas being so active and so close to shore. Multiple breaches, head views (aka “spy hop” but they don’t hop and are not FBI spies), tail fluke slaps and other social behaviors. The land-based adventure lasted two hours and park visitors left with special memories.

Gaining momentum is the Lifeforce online petition to Governor Gregoire to get more enforcement and a half-mile No Boat Zone off Point Roberts. The orcas need the protection that they get off the San Juan Islands. There are laws with strong penalties for those who intentionally harass or injure wildlife. On July 19 the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was in the Point Roberts area monitoring boat traffic and talked to a whale watch boat from Vancouver. Whale watch boats certainly do not follow guidelines, regulations and recent new legislation when they are not monitored by the police. All boaters must not be within 100 yards of orcas - you must get out of their way or you could be fined. A Vancouver Island operator was ticketed in July. A petition display will be at the August Art and Music Festival.

Humpback Whales
Some Humpback Whales excited everyone visiting Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts on June 28th. From Saturday to Monday the Humpbacks spent a lot of time on the eastern side of Georgia Straight. One great experience was watching one of the two repeatedly slap the massive tail flukes. Photos were taken as part of Lifeforce’s Orca Trails Program promoting land base whale watching.

Respect and Enjoy Wildlife
Point Roberts is a bit of paradise. While all should marvel at the wonders of wildlife please don’t approach, feed or try to touch. They may look cute but can cause severe injuries. So treat them as you would want to be treated – respect and enjoy from a distance.

Note: This is the second story about wildlife on and around the Point. The first article “Wild at the Point” was in the All Point Bulletin, June issue www.allpoint bulletin.com/archives/2008
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Vancouver Aquarium Failed To Meet Deadline For Development Permit Conditions

posted on July 15, 2008

The Vancouver Aquarium Development Permit for an expansion that could exceed $80 million is subject to a very long list of revisions and conditions that were due by July 17, 2008. No permit will be issued if the Aquarium fails to meet all conditions. However, failing to fulfill these conditions, the Aquarium has requested and received an extension to October 17.

These delays could jeopardize the Aquarium’s fund raising attempts and completion by the 2010 Olympics.

While some issues are minor, many of the conditions are significant changes and could require a new Development Application. This could include:

1. Section 2.1 – The height of the proposed expansion building expansion exceeds the RS-1 Zoning Regulations and the Aquarium must apply to the Board of Variance for any allowance to keep these excessive heights.
2. Section 4.3 – The Aquarium must obtain approvals from all government agencies to build in Stanley Park (a National Historic Site) and to remove any present Aquarium buildings (also designated as a National Historic Site).
3. Several serious non-conforming Building Bylaw issues.

And even if the Aquarium gets a Development Permit the actual Building Permit must be requested by the property owner (the Federal government). The six-page letter outlining the conditions to be met is available from Lifeforce, the Aquarium or the City of Vancouver.

“Also, at issue is that the proposed Aquarium expansion should have gone through the full Development Permit Board Panel process in order to allow full public input and to City Council for their consideration.” stated Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Founding Director, “Throughout the Aquarium’s application review Lifeforce provided historic Council meeting minutes and City reports that clearly opposed further aquarium expansions and the requirement for City Council’s participation.”

For further information please see our Let Stanley Park Be page.

Lifeforce Responds To Negative Suggestions In The Province

posted on July 2, 2008

Lifeforce explains some negative suggestions in the Province story related to the Lifeforce investigation Lives for Sale:

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From: Lifeforce
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 6:21 PM
To: provletters@png.canwest.com
Subject: Animals Faced Appalling Conditions

Dear Editor:

Re: Animals Faced Appalling Conditions

I just wanted to clarify that our report “Lives for Sale” depicting present, ongoing animal abuses and threats to human food safety at the Fraser Valley Auction was based on some of the 1500 photos taken between May 2007 to May 2008. The current shocking findings were not based on “old photographs” as claimed by the auction owner. A section of the report was clearly marked as “History” showing similar appalling conditions that we found 20 years ago. That investigation resulted in the Vancouver Parks Board stopping sending petting zoo animals to this auction because the animals were abused.

In addition, the information about the four-horned sheep was not “unfounded”. Although Jacob’s sheep may normally have two to four horns, one pair usually grow upright and the lower pair usually are spiral. This sheep, referred to as a “freak” by some auction buyers, had all four horns spiral and that impeded the mouth and eyes. It was in our section with photos of other animals with overgrown hooves and we suggested that both should have trimmed as basic animal husbandry care.

The Lifeforce investigation proved that Federal and Provincial regulations were consistently violated and there was gross, inhumane mistreatment of animals. These are inherent practices in the auction and food slaughter system. If the responsible agencies cannot end the suffering , then they must put an end to this auction.

Peter Hamilton

604-649-5258

Box 3117, Vancouver, BC
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Sick Vancouver Aquarium Steller Sea Lion Dies

posted on July 1, 2008

Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, July 01, 2008

VANCOUVER - One of the Vancouver Aquarium's most popular animals, a 15-year-old male Steller sea lion named Tag, died early today during an operation for oral cancer.

"We've shed quite a few tears," Dr. Martin Haulena, Vancouver Aquarium staff veterinarian said in an interview. "He's one of our most famous animals, incredibly special, very close to a lot of us."

The 900-kilogram sea lion is known for splashing visitors with his flippers and blowing bubbles for children, he said.
"This guy was the nicest male Steller sea lion anyone's ever dealt with. He was a real gentle soul."

Tag had a 10-year history of oral and dental problems, including several procedures to remove diseased teeth.

A procedure last February allowed a biopsy to be performed which indicated cancer.

During the spring, Tag began chemotherapy and laser surgery. In addition, he was treated with new anti-inflammatory and gastric medications intended to make him more comfortable.

Aquarium staff anaesthetized Tag Monday evening in response to bleeding at the mouth.

The surgery revealed major problems caused by a "highly invasive and progressive carcinoma," the aquarium said.

Tag failed to fully recover from the procedure and passed away shortly before 2 a.m.

Haulena suggested that the cancer had weakened the animal to the point it couldn't handle the procedure.

Tag was removed from the wild in 1993, when he was only two weeks old, part of a group of Steller sea lions participating in studies by the University of B.C. Marine Mammal Research Unit. Lifeforce founding director Peter Hamilton said Tag and the others should have been released back to the wild long ago.

"Life is hell in captivity. The social and behavioural needs cannot be provided for in captivity."

Posted by:

Peter Hamilton

www.lifeforcefoundation.org

Lives For Sale Featured In The Province

posted on June 30, 2008

Lives For Sale Featured In The ProvinceThe Lifeforce investigation Lives for Sale has been featured in the June 29th province newspaper.

Lifeforce explains some negative suggestions in the Province story, in an official letter to the Province.

Animals faced 'appalling' conditions
Sick, injured livestock crammed into boxes, tied up and thrown
Glenda Luymes, The Province
Published: Sunday, June 29, 2008

An undercover investigation at a Fraser Valley livestock auction has an activist group calling on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to increase inspections.

Peter Hamilton, founding director of the Lifeforce Foundation, took video and photos of sick and suffering animals at the Fraser Valley Auctions in Langley between May 2007 and May 2008.

The footage shows buyers stuffing chickens into tiny cardboard boxes and sheep with their legs tied together being tossed into the backs of vehicles. Other animals appear to have broken legs and open sores.

"There were appalling violations of federal and provincial laws," Hamilton said yesterday. "Sick animals may be unknowingly eaten by people."

The Lifeforce report, called Lives For Sale, was sent to both provincial and federal agriculture ministries, in addition to the CFIA and BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The groups involved have discussed the report and will take action to combat the issues that "periodically come up in auctions across B.C.," said SPCA chief animal protection officer Shawn Eccles.

While some of the allegations made in the Lifeforce report are unfounded, such as the suggestion that a goat with four horns represents some sort of abnormality when certain breeds are naturally born that way, the SPCA was concerned to see emaciated horses and cows being sold, in addition to flagrant animal transportation violations.

Eccles said it's very easy for government to "pass the buck" because there's no single body looking after animal welfare.

The CFIA inspects slaughterhouses and ensure the safety of all meat sold to Canadians, so while bringing sick animals to auction may be cruel, it is not a major food safety concern at the auction level. The CFIA must also ensure the safe transport of all animals under federal legislation, something that the Lifeforce video showed being overlooked.

Contacted by The Province yesterday, the CFIA said it was investigating the validity of the allegations and could not comment further.

The provincial Ministry of Health also oversees food safety in B.C., while the Ministry of Agriculture becomes involved in enforcing provincial legislation surrounding animal disease protection.

B.C. Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Ron Lewis said any allegations of cruelty are "concerning" to the ministry, which works to "educate producers on how their animals need to be treated."

That leaves the SPCA to ensure animal cruelty laws are not being broken. Eccles said the SPCA will be conducting checks at the auction in the future to identify the people who are bringing mistreated animals to the sale and to ensure buyers are following the law.

Auctioneer and owner Ken Pearson said he works in partnership with the SPCA and CFIA to ensure rules are followed, but he can't stop buyers and sellers he doesn't see.

"We don't allow abuse to animals on the property," he said, accusing Lifeforce of using old photos in its report. "I've been doing this for 29 years. Why would I let abuse go on? We can't keep track of every person [buying and selling at the auction], but we do the best we can."

Legislation stipulates that the safety and treatment of animals while at auction is the responsibility of auction staff.

gluymes@png.canwest.com

Source:
The Province Article Feature

Petition To Protect Endangered Orcas

posted on June 27, 2008

Petition To Protect Endangered OrcasPlease join Lifeforce in our petition campaign to protect endangered orcas in Waters off Point Roberts, WA, by sending a polite email to Governor Gregoire.

Although June was designated Orca Awareness Month by Governor Gregoire the orcas are still not getting much respect and the protection needed for their survival.

Photo: Orcas passing Lighthouse Marine Park. There should be a voluntary No Boat Zone when orcas are present. (Lifeforce/Peter Hamilton Copyright)

At least for this month people may look at their impact on marine environments that have contributed to the decline of orca populations. From aquarium captures to using hazardous chemicals to overfishing these are some of the practises that individuals can help stop.

But what about the endless boat traffic and noise from the commercial whale watch fleet? We know that such heavy traffic causes stress that affects the immune system and interrupts lifestyles. A Lifeforce investigation has found that the problems are as rampant as ever.

Since April, Lifeforce has been investigating the activities of Whale Watch companies operating in waters off Point Roberts. After a two year absence, we wanted to see if boats are following guidelines and legislation created to protect the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. Unfortunately, members of the Whale Watch Operators Association Northwest (WWOAN) continue to block the orcas pathways, position within 100 yards and position between the orcas and shore.

Many Whale Watch Companies do not follow the guidelines when they are not being monitored by a few non-profit organizations or government agencies. The Whale Watch Industry’s self-policing and the system itself are not working. It is time for No Boat Zones, regulations, stiff fines and more enforcement.

We can start by urging Governor Gregoire to continue her efforts to protect orcas by increasing enforcement and implementing a 1/2 mile voluntary No Boat Zone at Point Roberts. The No Boat Zone will not affect pleasure boating activities and fishing. If boaters happen to be in the zone when orcas approach they would just turn off their engines and drift until the orcas pass.

Photo: On May 30th, a whale watch company put their boat between the Point Robert’s shore and several orcas blocking their pathway within 100 yard in violation of new legislation. (Lifeforce/Peter Hamilton Copyright)







How You Can Help Orcas
If you can not identify a Whale Watch Company that is harassing orcas, please email a photo or send a description to Lifeforce and we will provide you with the ID. Also do the same with private boats and try to get their vessel “license” number. After getting the ID from Lifeforce, please call the National Marine Fisheries Service 1-800-853-1964.

Every report of harassment and every signature on the petition to the Governor are important. THE ORCAS NEED YOUR HELP!

Join us in our petition and send this message to Governor Gregoire:

TAKE ACTION

Inspecting The Food Inspection Agency

posted on June 24, 2008

“The Federal Canadian Food Inspection Agency that is supposed to be inspecting the transport and slaughter of animals for human consumption should be inspected,” stated Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Founder, “Animals are suffering and sick animals may be unknowingly eaten by people.”

Lifeforce has sent our report entitled “Lives for Sale” to responsible Federal and Provincial agencies. Our one-year investigation of Fraser Valley Auction, Langley, BC found numerous violations of regulations that are supposed to protect people and animals. We have not received any response to our letter of June 4th that was sent to Federal Health Minister Tony Clements, BC Provincial Health Minister George Abbott; Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz; BC Minister of Agriculture and Lands Pat Bell; Shawn Eccles of the BCSPCA ; and Dr. Gordon Doonan of the CFIA.

It is vital for both the protection of people and animals that all auctions implement our recommended Animal Welfare Policy and Health Awareness Program (re: kids petting sick animals that we also reported to the Fraser Health Authority).

The violations of Canada's food inspection act includes the transportation of sick, injured and emaciated animals (including pigs with large open wounds, “tumors” and rupture stomachs; animals with broken legs and animals with eye problems). There was the transportation of dead and /or dying calves, pigs and sheep. And many animals are not being provided food or water in densely packed pens.

For the entire year the Lifeforce investigator did not see any CFIA inspectors and veterinarians. Auction staff told customers to just cut out the infected areas.

The investigation of a horse slaughter plant in Saskatchewan exposed further problems with CFIA inspections in Canada. Lawyer Clayton Ruby called the slaughter of horses in Canada "shockingly inhumane" and said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency does not properly police such slaughter for human consumption.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency should shut down the Fraser Valley until they conduct a full investigation and can guarantee that they can be in full compliance of regulations. The cruel, inhumane auction system must end.

Contact Lifeforce for the report and/or watch the related Lifeforce video.

Lives For Sale – Fraser Valley Auction

posted on June 12, 2008

Lives For Sale – Fraser Valley AuctionThe enclosed letter was sent to responsible agencies regarding the violations of Provincial and Federal regulations at the Fraser Valley Auction. Owner, Ken Pearson, has received the Lifeforce report “Lives for Sale”. Our recommendations include that he implements an Animal Welfare Policy and Health Awareness Program (re: children petting sick animals etc.).

Lifeforce has also released our Lives for Sale investigation video depicting violations of Federal and Provincial Regulations at Fraser Valley Auctions, Langley, BC. This is another investigation as part of Lifeforce's campaign to protect people, animals and the environment.

The "Lives for Sale" report is available upon request.

We are urging people to help Lifeforce protect animals and people by writing to:

BC Health Minister George Abbott – HLTH.Health@gov.bc.ca
BC Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell – Pat.Bell.MLA@leg.bc.ca
Federal Health Minister Tony Clement – Clement.T@parl.gc.ca
Federal Minister Agriculture and Agric-Food Gerry Ritz – Ritz.G@parl.gc.ca

The letter:
--------------------------
June 4, 2008

To: Federal Health Minister Tony Clements, BC Provincial Health Minister George Abbott; Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz; BC Minister of Agriculture and Lands Pat Bell; Dr. Gordon Doonan – CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency); Shawn Eccles - BCSPCA

From: Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Foundation

Re: Selling Lives – Violations of Federal and Provincial Regulations/Guidelines and Humane Treatment of Animals at Fraser Valley Auctions

Following a one year investigation of the Fraser Valley Auctions in Langley, BC, Lifeforce is submitting our report “ Lives for Sale” for your review and action. The report and the video clearly depict ongoing violations of Federal and Provincial Regulations/Guidelines (that are supposed to protect human health and animals) and inhumane treatment of animals. These inherent, callous conditions must be stopped.

I have met with representatives of the BCSPCA and they are considering appropriate actions under their jurisdiction.

We urge you support the Lifeforce recommendations to government and to Fraser Valley Auctions as outlined in the report. It is vital for both the protection of people and animals that all auctions implement the Animal Welfare Policy and Health Awareness Program as stated in the report.

I can be contacted at: Lifeforce 604.649.5258 and lifeforcesociety@hotmail.com
--------------------------

Other related reads:
The Province Article Feature

Lifeforce Releases Belugas: Far From Home Video

posted on June 11, 2008

Lifeforce Releases Belugas: Far From Home VideoThe Vancouver based ecology organization, Lifeforce, has launched a new video entitled "Belugas: Far From Home" in order to raise public awareness of the plight of belugas in captivity.

"Lifeforce hopes to counteract the pro-captivity propaganda by a multi-million dollar entertainment industry that will seek to capitalize on the recent birth of a beluga at the Vancouver Aquarium." stated Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Founder, "The video shows the natural lives and freedoms of belugas that cannot be provided for in captivity. Being born in captivity is a life sentence and is tantamount to locking a child in a room for their entire life."

The video is a reminder of the suffering and why the planned $80 million Vancouver Aquarium expansion will result in the imprisonment of more dolphin slaves and wildlife. Although Lifeforce was successful in stopping any further imports of dolphins captured after 1996, the Vancouver Aquarium’s promotion of dolphin tourist attractions is part of the reason why captures continue worldwide.

Lifeforce is urging people to write to the Vancouver Council and Parks Board to stop the expansion and to boycott aquariums.

The video is dedicated to the 33 dolphins whom have died as a result of the Vancouver Aquarium pro-captivity policies since 1964. In addition, the Vancouver Aquarium started the orca slave trade that led to the decimation of local orca populations that are now designated as endangered.

For further information please Contact Lifeforce.

Other related reads:
The Straight Article Feature
Vancouver Aquarium Failed To Meet Deadline For Development Permit Conditions

Orca Awareness Month

posted on June 3, 2008

Orca Awareness Month

In the US June is Orca Awareness Month.

The Southern Community of Resident J, K & L pods were designated as Endangered in November 2005 under the US Endangered Species Act and also in Canada. All three pods are found in Southern BC and WA waters from June to October/November. The major factors in the decline of their population include aquarium captures, depleted food stocks, toxic pollution, noise and increasing boat traffic.

Contact Lifeforce to learn how you can help!

Download our Orca Month Poster to put up in your US neighbourhood.

Pony Ride Businesses Sells Horses To Auction

posted on June 3, 2008

Lifeforce has been informed by the District of North Vancouver Bylaw Manager that they will allow pony rides and the Cinamazoo exotic animals (claims that it is "educational" and no petting) at a Blueridge Good Neighbours Days.

Please read the letter below and email the Mayor and Council to stop this exploitation and cycle of abuse:

Email: dnvcouncil@dnv.org

Peter Hamilton
Lifeforce
www.lifeforcefoundation.org


-----------------------
From: Lifeforce Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 9:16 AM
To: dnvcouncil@dnv.org
Subject: Fw: Pony Ride Businesses Sells Horses for Slaughter

Open Letter
To: Mayor and Council
From: Peter Hamilton
Re: Blueridge Good Neighbour Days, June 8

Lifeforce was instrumental in helping to implement the ban on Petting Zoos and other businesses that exploit animals. I provided the following the history to your Bylaw Manager in hope that the Pony Rides will not be permitted at the Blueridge Good Neighbours Days, June 8. It had also come to our attention that the travelling petting zoo called CinamaZoo with a variety of exotic animals is also planning to be there.

The Laughing Stock Ranch that operates the pony rental rides sells their excess horses to the Fraser Valley Auction. This ia horrible place where the animals are sold for slaughter. Permitting this business promotes this cycle of abuse.
Surely the pony ride business/slaughter and the traveling petting is in violation of the Animal Performance Bylaw. Please advise us if you will stop this animal exploitation.

From: Lifeforce
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2008 3:16 PM
To: Lifeforce ; walkerc@dnv.org
Subject: Re: Pony Ride Businesses
To: Carol Walker, Bylaw Manager
From: Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Foundation
Re: Pony Ride Businesess/Blueridge Good Neighbour Day

Further to our telephone conversation, Lifeforce was instrumental in helping to implement an Animal Performance Bylaw in the District of North Vancouver. As the person who presented information to the Council I would like to provide some history of the intent of Council. It was generally agreed:

1. To stop the cycle of cruelty to animals perpetuated by businesses that profit and/or exploit animals. In general, the business comes first and if there are cutbacks the animals will suffer (such as food, shelter and vet care). Their wellbeing is not the top priority – making $$$ is. Animals are treated as replaceable commodities.

2. Promoting such businesses leads to possible increases of those wanting to make a buck and the resulting increase in animal suffering especially if all the business don’t profit.

3. It was accepted that it would be morally wrong to support such businesses in which animals could suffer directly or indirectly. At the end of the usefulness of the animals most are taken to auction and sold for food slaughter. This happens with the Petting Zoo businesses and with Pony/Horse Ride businesses.

4. The issues raised at the time included both exotic and domestic animals. Concerns were raised about pony rides and abuses found during Lifeforce inspections. This included using pregnant ponies, kids kicking the animals, transport stresses (most animals don’t like being transported), wounds, training methods, improper concrete flooring and withholding food/water during the events (don’t want the ponies going to the bathroom).
Concerns of horses in circuses were also discussed because Lifeforce found horses being trained by being pulled to the ground and repeatedly kicked and whipped.
Animals are stressed by the continuous work, going around and around in a noisy environment and the constant human contact.

5. Public Safety issues must be addressed. Sometimes the ponies can escape and can injured people and themselves.

6. Pony Ride operators will acquire other animal attractions to beat the competition. This could include exotic animals such as monkeys.

7. Time and resources for organizations to have to monitor/inspect living conditions and transport methods of these businesses is not available. Out of sight and out of mind once the ponies leave. And it is not possible for council to have staff monitor/inspect the premises.

As with Petting Zoos the Fraser Health Authority/BCCDC Guidelines re: proper Public Hygiene must be provided and adhered to. There are numerous pathogens that can be transmitted. People have become seriously ill and some have died. This includes proper signage notifying kids who are touching animals to not put their hands near their mouths and to have access to running water for hand washing.

Lifeforce believes that it was a the intent of Council to have pony rides considered to be included in the traveling petting zoo designation in the bylaw and thus prohibited. Pony rides were often part of traveling petting zoos operations.

It speaks volumes that although operators may publicly claim that the animals are part of their family behind the scenes will sell them to despicable auctions.

DNV didn’t want to support an animal industry in which the priorities of the animals are not paramount. DNV didn’t want to condone businesses that perpetuate animal abuses. At the end of the day the majority of them are not retired to live a peaceful life - they are taken to abusive auctions and will continue to reluctantly serve humans by being served as horse meat. Our ethical treatment of animals must include stopping the inherent cruelties resulting from these Pony Ride businesses.

I look forward to your response.
-----------------------

All Point Bulletin - Wild At The Point

posted on June 3, 2008

Point Roberts provides homes for wildlife who live here year round or those who just take a rest from their trips to exotic places. From birds to marine and terrestrial animals the Point is welcoming in the late spring with the diverse sights and sounds of a variety of species.

In addition to the numerous questions “When are the orcas coming?” Lifeforce personnel is also asked about other wildlife. We provide the Natural History of Harbour Seals, Steller and California Sea Lions, Harbour Porpoises, Gray Whales, River Otters, Blacktail Deer, Coyotes and many more. We also educate folks about the winged-creatures such as Turkey Vultures, Bald Eagles, Double-crested Cormorants, Great Blue Herons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Black Oystercatchers, Common Goldeneye, Harlequin and Mallard ducks, Common Loons, Brant and Canada Geese and the clever Killdeer who feigns a broken wing to lead people away from their four black-spotted eggs.

Read the full All Point News Bulletin featuring Lifeforce recommended best places to view wildlife!

Chicken Farm Pollution Poses Health Threat To School Children

posted on May 28, 2008

Chicken Farm Pollution Poses Health Threat To School Children

A ground-breaking Lifeforce investigation has found that school children are being exposed to toxic pollution from a poultry operation.

Lifeforce's Peter Hamilton has talked to Fraser Health and was encouraged that they have met with BC government reps. They will try to assess the pollution risk level and what action is necessary. They may look at an epidemiological study/reviewing health records re: any increase in asthma and other illnesses. Fraser Health representative said this was a first, there is a "vacuum" of info and industry is reluctant to release data (probably because of any economic impacts).

I am glad that the Lifeforce investigation is a first for Canada and may lead to reducing the harmful pollution from the intensive confinement of animals. This will be a major health and animal welfare issue over the coming years. It will be as important as other health issues such as harmful chemicals, asbestos and tobacco. It is like trying to close the barn doors after the pollution has left and harmed people but we will work to stop further health risks.

Here is a story that Lifeforce sent to the Vancouver Province. They did a great job getting quotes from BC Center for Disease Control regarding health hazards. It wasn't clarified that poultry actually emit both large and small particulate matter that can lodge in the lungs:
Next-door farm really getting up family's noses

Other related reads:
Read the detailed Lifeforce report
Read Manure Causing White Haze Article
Read Related News Story in the Province
Read Related News Story in the Abotsford Times

Vancouver Aquarium Development Permit May Not Get Issued

posted on May 23, 2008

Any lawyers that could provide some free advice please contact Lifeforce. I need feedback on interpretation of past Council minutes/reports and process. It would be greatly appreciated.

April 21, 2008

NEWS RELEASE

Re: Vancouver Aquarium Development Permit May Not Get Issued

The Vancouver Aquarium Development Permit for an expansion that could exceed $80 million is subject to a very long list of revisions and conditions that are due by July 17, 2008. No permit will be issued if the Aquarium fails to meet all conditions.

Many of the condition are significant changes and could require a new Development Application. This could include:

1. Section 2.1 – The height of the proposed expansion building expansion exceeds the RS-1 Zoning Regulations and the Aquarium must apply to the Board of Variance for any allowance to keep these excessive heights.
2. Section 4.3 – The Aquarium must obtain approvals from all government agencies to build in Stanley Park (a National Historic Site) and to remove any present Aquarium buildings (also designated as a National Historic Site).
3. Several serious non-conforming of Building Bylaw issues.

The six-page letter is available from Lifeforce, the Aquarium or the City of Vancouver.

Also, at issue is that the proposed Aquarium expansion should have gone through the full Development Permit Board Panel process for full public input and to City Council for their consideration. Throughout the application review Lifeforce provided historic Council meeting minutes and City reports that clearly opposed further aquarium expansions and the requirement for City Council’s participation.

For further information:

Peter Hamilton
lifeforcesociety@hotmail.com
604.649.5258

Know The Marine Mammal Rules!

posted on May 23, 2008

INSIDE

All Point Bulletin, May Issue

Know the marine mammal rules!

By Peter Hamilton

All Canadians and Americans preparing their boats for the 2008 boating season should also be up to date on U.S. marine mammal protection regulations and other new rules.

Orcas
Both the U.S. and Canadian governments have designated orcas as endangered species and have implemented orca recovery plans. Orcas, also known as killer whales, are the largest members of the dolphin family. All family members live together for their entire lives in “pods.” The Southern Resid-ent Killer Whales (SRKW) are the J, K and L pods. While Js spend most of their lives in B.C. and Washington waters the Ks and Ls usually return in June and will stay until the winter. J pod has been traveling through local waters off Point Roberts. There are less than 90 orcas in total. Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law on March 28, 2008 legislation that further bolsters efforts to protect resident orcas. The new law establishes a 300-foot zone around orca whales that vessels must avoid. The law provides the department of fish and wildlife with enforcement tools. Blocking the pathways is strictly prohibited
A new San Juan Island ordinance regulates the operation of vessels in proximity to SRKWs and established fines of $750 for violations such as failing to yield to orcas in San Juan County waters.

Seals
It is illegal to pickup, touch or feed any wildlife. This includes both live and dead seals.
Moms will drop off their babies on shore and go off to feed. They are often mistaken as injured or abandoned. Unless the pup is obviously injured and/or entangled with nets the pup must be monitored for 24 to 48 hours.
People and animals must be kept away from the pup because the mom considers them a threat and will not come back to feed her baby. If a human touches the pup it will not stop the mom from reuniting with her baby if the pup is left alone.
For orcas, seals and other marine wildlife the penalties and fines are strictly enforced in the U.S. Under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act penalties include a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each offense or criminal prosecution with a fine of up to $20,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

Lifeforce Marine Life Programs
Lifeforce is a non-profit ecology organization and will be returning to Point Roberts on a regular basis in 2008. Lifeforce will be conducting the following programs:

1. Whale and Dolphin Hotline. Lifeforce provides a telephone hotline for the public to be able to report marine wildlife stranding, harassment and/or sightings.

2. Orca Research. Lifeforce is presently in the final development stages of employing sound technology to attract orcas away from harm in the event of oil spills and other environmental hazards.

3. Orca Trails. This land-based whale watch program alerts park managers and the public when orcas and other cetaceans will pass their marine parks.

4. Lifewatch Boater Awareness Program. Lifeforce distributes whale watch guidelines and orca field guides to boaters on the water and to the general public.

5. Marine Wildlife Rescue. Lifeforce provides a 24-hour service to respond to marine wildlife injury, sickness, abandonment, stranding and other emergencies.

6. Marine Educational Materials and Displays. Lifeforce publishes educational materials and we also create educational displays for the orca center in Point Roberts.

7. Orca Recovery Plans. Over the years Lifeforce has contributed to the development of orca recovery plans and to improve marine mammal protection regulations. Whale watch businesses and research operations must be change. This would include giving orcas a day off from the continuous harassment of boats from sunrise to sunset.

8. Orca Awareness Month - June 2008. Some orca populations are transboundary species sharing both Canadian and US waters. In recognition for the need to protect these endangered species Lifeforce will participate in joint BC and Washington activities.

If anyone is concerned about orcas, seals or any wildlife call Lifeforce and we will investigate, monitor and contact appropriate agencies. The phone number is 604/649-5258.

The enforcement agencies are: In U.S. – National Marine Fisheries Service – 800/853-1964; In Canada – Department of Fisheries and Oceans – 800/465-4336

(Any wildlife found in the U.S. cannot be legally transported to Canada without authorization.)

(Peter Hamilton is executive director of Lifeforce)

Published in All Point Bulletin, May Issue

Download this Article

2008 Marine Life Programs & Reports

posted on May 21, 2008

2008 Marine Life Programs & ReportsThe LIFEFORCE FOUNDATION is a Vancouver-based ecology organization that was formed in 1981 to provide a public service to help people, animals and the environment.

This year Lifeforce will be conducting several Marine Life Programs, including regular reports and photos of our work on the water.

For details please visit the Lifeforce Marine Life Programs and Reports page.

Pettings Zoos: A Silent Epidemic?

posted on May 20, 2008

 Pettings Zoos: A Silent Epidemic?The Growing Petting Zoo Business May Well Be A Growing Silent Epidemic. People Are Usually Not Properly Informed About The Health Risks And Preventative Measures. Then The Children’s Complaints Of Upset Tummies, Nausea Or Diarrhea May Not Be Reported.

Lifeforce Will Be Urging The Government To Ban Petting Zoos Because Health Risks And Animal Welfare Abuses Cannot Be Prevented.”stated Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Director, “if Governments Fails To Ban Petting Zoos Then All Such Activities Must Be Regulated And Enforced. This Is The Very Least That Must Be Done In Order To Try To Reduce The Health Hazards And Animal Abuses.

Lifeforce Will Be Sending Our 55-page Report “petting Zoos: A Silent Epidemic?” To Politicians And Responsible Agencies

Read Full Press Release

*UPDATES*:
Download OPENLETTERPETTINGZOOS.pdf
Read Lifeforce Letter re: Victoria Petting Zoo
Read Lifeforce Letter re: Stanley Park Problems
Read Related CKNW News Story

World Week Against Vivisection

posted on April 20, 2008

World Week Against VivisectionLifeforce has created an Anti-Vivisection poster that we hope people will pass on and post in strategic locations.

Additional information about experiments on animals is available in our Better Living, Image Library, and Posters sections of the website.

Thank you,
Peter Hamilton
Lifeforce Founding Director
lifeforcesociety@hotmail.com
604.649.5258

Download the World Week Against Vivisection Poster from our posters page.

Animal-rights Group Urges Cull Alternative

posted on April 13, 2008

DFO looks for solution to fish-nabbing seals

Animal-rights group urges cull alternative

Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist

Published: Saturday, April 12, 2008

Some seals on the Puntledge River in Courtenay have found the ultimate answer to catching salmon, but they're in for a lethal surprise.

Several animals have taken up position by the fish ladder at the Puntledge River Hatchery, said Gary Taccogna, Department of Fisheries and Oceans area operations manager.

"They're taking the salmon and steelhead right off the fish ladder," he said. "There are about four of them, but we're not sure if it's the same four seals or if they are taking turns.

"Salmon runs on the Puntledge are already being battered by seals which lie in the shadows of the Fifth Street Bridge in Courtenay and DFO has issued a licence to kill nuisance seals.

In an effort to get rid of the animals by the fish ladder, a prototype trap has been constructed, which will allow salmon through, but the hinged gate will close behind seals.

Once trapped, the seals will be shot, as shooting and clubbing are the only approved methods of killing them, Taccogna said.

Meanwhile, in an effort to limit the number of seals which have to be killed, an underwater electric deterrent, which puts a low-level pulse into the water, will be installed in the river April 27.

During a brief trial last year it did appear to deter the seals and the Pacific Salmon Commission has now approved an extended trial, Taccogna said.

The idea of shooting seals is not sitting well with Peter Hamilton of Lifeforce, a Vancouver based animal rights group, who wants to try out his "playback" method of discouraging seals.

The sounds of predators, played through an underwater speaker, often deters them, he said.

"I am waiting for a response from DFO," said Hamilton, who would also like the baby salmon from the hatchery released into the ocean, not the river.

"Shooting seals is not only inhumane, but it won't work," he said.

jlavoie@tc.canwest.com

Easter 2008

posted on March 20, 2008

Easter 2008Many species have died because of the many human sins.

Download the 'Aquarium Sins' poster and many other Lifeforce posters from our growing collection!

Petting Zoo Investigation

posted on March 20, 2008

Petting Zoo InvestigationDuring a recent Lifeforce investigation of the Stanley Park Farmyard we were shocked to see seven bunnies treated like props in an approximate 20” x 40” window display. It is not only cruel to keep them in such a small space with kids banging on the windows but it also promotes the purchase of such animals at Easter. After Easter when the novelty wears off they are often disposed of by such practises as illegal dumping in public parks.

Read the Lifeforce Open Letter to the Vancouver Parks Board, Mayor and Councilors and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Meatout 2008

posted on March 6, 2008

Meatout 2008Under our new campaign called Save Our Species (SOS): Global Warning the Lifeforce Foundation has released seven new Vegan Flyers/Info Sheets to commemorate the worldwide Meatout on the first day of spring.

The factory farming of animals is a major cause of Global Warming. In addition to the obvious animal abuses, it produces gases and wastes that are major contributors to climate changes and health hazards.

Check out our Meatout 2008 Canada video and our Meatout 2008 info sheet.

Save Our Species (SOS): Global Warning

posted on February 6, 2008

Save Our Species (SOS): Global WarningDuring the next several months, the Lifeforce Foundation will be releasing several reports under our new campaign called Save Our Species (SOS): Global Warning.

In 1981, Lifeforce was formed as an ecology organization to help raise public awareness of the interrelationship of human, animal and environmental problems. We must take into account the long-term effects on all life when developing policies. Over 25 years ago Lifeforce campaigned for all to live ecologically friendly lifestyles by taking into account one's cruelty "footprint" on people, animals and the environment. The way we eat, entertain and experiment is actually a kick in the face for animals and people.

The SOS reports will look at how the industrialized use of animals is a major cause of Global Warming. For example, the conventional factory farming system produces gases and wastes that are major contributors to climate changes and health hazards. Organizations and people like Al Gore are ignoring this top contributor to Global Warming.

Read the full Lifeforce SOS #1 Report

In relation to this first report, Lifeforce has launched a campaign to raise awareness and protest again the use of Animal based Biofuel:

NO BODIES IN MY TANK! - Poster
NO BODIES IN MY TANK! - Sticker