I have just come home from the 16th meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, where most of the 178 member nations to CITES had once again gathered. The mood could hardly have been more different. During the meeting, parties to CITES afforded increased protection for a wide range of species in international commercial trade, mostly by consensus.
From today, following 20 years of delays to implementation, the European Union finally is enforcing its ban on the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetic products and ingredients. In doing so, the EU becomes the largest cruelty-free cosmetics market, making its shops a no-go area for cosmetics tested on animals anywhere in the world.
The tiger is one of the most iconic of wild animals. Sleek, magnificent and instantly recognisable, the tiger has become immortalised in the legends, values and lore of many human cultures. Works of William Blake, A.A. Milne and Walt Disney have established the tiger as an object of fascination and endearment.
Reports of "mad March hares", chasing each other and boxing, is always a welcome sign that spring is not far away. But don't let the sight of these animals cavorting in fields fool you, the hare population has decreased by 80% over the last century and it's about time that they were afforded the protection they truly deserve.
If harp seal populations are lost, the Canadian people will lose more than just a beautiful, iconic mammal. They will also lose any hope of benefiting economically from sustainable eco-tourism. For while the seal slaughter makes no economic sense, eco-tourism is a highly profitable and humane alternative.