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Instagram takes steps to address wildlife selfies
Now, when Instagram users search for hashtags such as #slothselfie, they will be presented with a warning message.
Content advisory warning aims to educate users 

Instagram users who search for animal selfies will now be taken to a content advisory screen, warning them they are searching for content that is associated with harmful behaviour to animals.

The social media site, which has 800 million users, has worked with the animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection, to tackle wildlife selfies.

Many of the animals tourists take photos with are taken from the wild and kept in cramped conditions, passed from tourist to tourist, causing extreme stress.

Now, when Instagram users search for hashtags such as #koalaselfie or #slothselfie, they will be presented with a warning message that reads: ‘Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram. You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behaviour to animals or the environment.’

There has been a 292 per cent increase in the number of wildlife selfies posted on Instagram since 2014, according to a recent report by World Animal Protection. Over a quarter were ‘bad’ selfies, showing tourists hugging, holding or interacting inappropriately with wild animals.

The charity’s
research, carried out in Latin America, found evidence of cruelty such as sloths captured from the wild and tied to trees, surviving no longer than six months; caiman crocodiles with rubber bands around their jaws; wounded and dehydrated green anacondas; and birds with severe abscesses on their feet.

Following the research, the charity launched its Wildlife Selfie Code to help tourists learn how to take a photo with a wild animal without causing harm or fuelling the cruel entertainment industry. A quarter of a million people have since signed up.

Instagram said in a statement: ‘The protection and safety of the natural world are important to us and our global community. We encourage everyone to be thoughtful about interactions with wild animals and the environment to help avoid exploitation and to report any photos and videos you may see that may violate our community guidelines.’

World Animal Protection said it was ‘delighted’ the social media platform recognised that animal abuse happens ‘both in front and behind the camera’.

Image courtesy of World Animal Protection

 

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.