Solutions for People, Animals and Environment
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  WellBeing News: Volume 1, Issue 6                                                                                            July 2019
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT, ANDREW ROWAN, July 2019
Plastic Waste and Environmental Healthy
In May of this year, the EU adopted new rules on single-use plastic items and plastic fishing gear to reduce marine plastic waste. According to the press release, there is a growing sense of urgency among EU citizens about the need to stop plastic pollution in the oceans. This has led to the EU placing a ban on single-use plastics that will become effective in 2021. In the UK, Boots, a health and beauty chain with 2,485 outlets, will stop offering plastic bags at check-outs by early next year. In addition, the seven largest supermarket chains have reduced the sale of single-use plastic bags by 86% in just four years (from 7.6 billion bags in 2014 to 1 billion in 2017-2018). But the ocean plastics issue is not just an issue for European citizens. It is a worldwide problem and a movement that has exploded into the public consciousness in just the last few years.

Plastics by the Numbers

July 10, 2019

By Andrew Rowan

At the end of 2018, Great Britain’s Royal Statistical Society selected a “plastic fact” – that 90.5% of all plastics ever made have never been recycled – as its Statistic of the Year.
This statistic is taken from a paper Roland Geyer and colleagues published in Science Advances in 2017 on plastic waste. They report that an estimated 6.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic have been thrown away and now persist in landfills, oceans and the environment! About 12% of the 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic produced since World War II has been incinerated and 9% has been recycled.Plastic waste is now so widespread that it has been proposed as an indicator of the beginning of the Anthropocene era when humans began to alter the world’s ecosystem significantly (other suggested dates for the beginning of the Anthropocene include the beginning of agriculture 12-15,000 years ago and the beginning of the nuclear age about 75 years ago).

Photo by Masahiro Iijima

Rhino Mortality Spike in Chitwan: A Natural Process or Cause for Concern

July 10, 2019

by Hemanta Mishra, PhD.

 
Chitwan houses the world’s second largest population of the species. The largest population (2,400 individuals) is in India’s Kaziranga National Park (430 Sq. Km.) in the state of Assam in North-East India. The major threat to rhino populations in India is poaching. By contrast, the World Wildlife Fund reports that Nepal has achieved an unprecedented five year-long (365 consecutive days) periods when no rhinos in Nepal were poached from 2011 through April 2018.
 

Dog Demographics

The 2019 conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) was held in Orlando at the beginning of July. One of the talks on dog demographics, prepared by Drs. Harold Herzog and Andrew Rowan, was given by Dr. Harold Herzog and produced a lot of reaction (tweets ranged from “thought provoking” to “remarkable differences in rates
of dog ownership”) and questions. (The charts are taken from the slides Dr. Herzog used for his talk, "Geography, Demography, and Patterns of Pet-Keeping: The Case of Dogs.")

Over the years, it has always been something of a surprise that so little attention has been given to a better understanding of dog (and cat) demographics in human society. As the Herzog talk illustrates, there is a large variation in the results from different surveys with the reported percentage of households with dogs ranging from 49% to 68%. Typically, whenever a survey publishes its results, people simply quote the numbers uncritically without any understanding of or apparent interest in determining the accurate number of dogs and cats or why the survey results differ so much.

FORTHCOMING MEETINGS/EVENTS
August 16-28, 2019
The "Rescheduled" CITES meetings will be held in Geneva, Switzerland.
September 2-4, 2019
3rd African Animal Welfare Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: African Network for Animal Welfare
September 18-20, 2019
3rd International Dog Population Management Conference, Mombasa, Kenya: International Coalition for Companion Animal Management
October 14-16, 2019 
University of Sydney, One Welfare Conference II – A follow-up to the first International One Welfare Conference, held in Winnipeg Manitoba in 2016.
October 20-23, 2019
Animal Grantmakers Annual Conference, Minneapolis. Participation in this conference is limited to invited speakers, members of Animal Grantmakers and those grantmakers interested in becoming members. Please contact Animal Grantmakers Communications - [email protected].org for more information.
April 1-3, 2020 
WildCRU, University of Oxford, International Conference on Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence
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