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Trafficked pets released back into the wild
“It is such a joy to see these animals go back to the wild where they belong."

Turtles and tortoises were illegally kept and sold as pets 

A new initiative to return trafficked exotic animals to the wild has begun with the release of 79 turtles and 10 tortoise in the Peruvian Amazon.

Most of the yellow-spotted river turtles, which are classed as ‘vulnerable’, were seized from traders who kept them illegally in tubs, buckets or fish tanks. They were sold as pets to members of the public who were wrongly advised that the species is easy to care for.

All 89 animals were rehabilitated at establishments in Lima over a period of months, before being released at the Taricaya Ecological Reserve near Puerto Maldonado.

The successful release was organised by Animal Defenders International (ADI), government authorities ATFFS Lima, the regional government of Madres de Dios and organisations IRUPA, UPA and Animal Voice. It is expected to be the first of many, helping to ensure the future survival of the species.

ADI president Jan Creamer said: “It is such a joy to see these animals go back to the wild where they belong. A life of captivity is no life for a wild animal, and we look forward to returning many more to the habitats from which they were torn.”

IRUPA coordinator and vet Milagros Ramos, who helped to care for the turtles, added: “This is a new beginning and it is immensely satisfying to know that we can rehabilitate more turtles and tortoises, giving these neglected species the attention they deserve.”

Image © ADI

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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
British sheep meat to be exported to India in new agreement

The UK government has secured a new export deal of sheep meat to India.

In 2017, UK sheep meat exports were worth £386 million. This new agreement is predicted to increase this value by £6 million over the next five years.

With a range of meat cuts due to be exported, the deal is seen by international trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, as “another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink”.