We begin with Ben Williamson, Programs Director at World Animal Protection. Huge numbers of live wild animals are traded as pets and much of this trade is illegal and involves endangered and protected species. Undercover investigations have shown Turkish Airlines and its cargo carrier Turkish Cargo as major transporters of animals, especially African Grey Parrots, from African countries to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Williamson explains the nature of the cruelty and the damage to animal populations resulting from this industry, as well as World Animal Protection’s efforts to counter it.
We continue with Matt Ellerbeck, frog advocate and conservationist at Save All Frogs. Frog populations are in decline, with over 30% of the approximately 5000 frog species considered endangered. Matt describes the causes of the shrinking populations, as well as the cruelty frogs face in live food markets, as fishing bait, and for dissections. Matt loves to visit classrooms to teach children about treating animals with compassion and respect.
Lori then welcomes Diane Balkin, senior staff attorney for Animal Legal Defense Fund’s criminal justice program. ALDF’s 2018 report on state rankings for animal cruelty laws has just been published. Diane describes what’s new in this year’s methodology, and which states ranked best and worst for having comprehensive and strong laws. View the full interactive report here.
To conclude, Learn About Butterflies Day is coming up, so Lori takes the opportunity to teach us a bit about these colorful insects, including a few fun quiz questions along the way. The main food of adult butterflies is nectar, and they have taste receptors on their feet!