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UK Charity Wants to Outlaw Tethering Birds of Prey

An animal rights organization based in the U.K. wants to ban tethering birds of prey, a common practice in zoos around the world.

Anti-captivity charity Freedom for Animals made the public call after conducting an undercover investigation that found that large birds like eagles and owls were being tied down for most the day. According to the report, the birds were only allowed to fly for an average of 11 minutes per day.

“Historically, there has been very little scrutiny of this industry and we feel that with the rising awareness around animal captivity, the time has come for this to be taken seriously,” said Freedom for Animals Campaigns Officer Maddy Taylor.

Acclaimed veterinarian Emma Milne joined the call for a total ban, adding that denying birds flight is “unacceptable on welfare grounds.”

“Simply put, birds do not belong in cages and this practice should be stopped.”

And she’s not the only one. A representative for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) also spoke out against the practice.

“Birds should have the opportunity to fly when they choose and they should always have access to water and shelter, both from the weather and the public.”

Footage from the investigation shows the birds attempting to break free of their restraints through use of their beaks. The investigation also uncovered that a third of all zoos did not meet cage size requirements. Many of the birds were living in cramped spaces that prevented them from stretching out their wings.

A representative for the U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food, & Rural Affairs encouraged members of the public to report suspected violations.

“Where there is evidence that a bird of prey is being kept inappropriately in a zoo, it should be reported to the local authority which can investigate and, if necessary, initiate enforcement action.”

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Donation Organizations

For Animal Lovers: A List of Organizations Worth Giving To

There’s an animal lover in all of us. And yet, there are simply too many organizations, too many causes, and too many scams to make a person feel hesitant about giving to one. That’s why we did the research for you. Each charity listed has been given a 4-star rating (the highest rating possible) by industry watchdog Charity Navigator.

WildAid

“When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.” WildAid’s famous conservation slogan has captured the attention of celebrity supporters, including Jackie Chan, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kate Hudson. The organization tops the charts with an unbeatable 99.15 out of 100 score.

Animal Welfare Association

With an overall rating of 96.66 out of 100, the Animal Welfare Association’s (AWA) total revenue for 2015 was $3,073,759. 81% of the total revenue ($2,672,676) was spent on program-related expenses including spay and neuter programs, no-kill housing, and onsite veterinary care.

St. Hubert’s Animal Center

Located in New Jersey, this animal shelter received an overall rating of 96.25 out of 100 for their outstanding accountability and transparency efforts. St. Hubert’s has received national recognition for their 24/7 animal care services that are available 363 days a year.

Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals

With 86.7% of all money going towards program-related expenses, there’s no doubt that this organization is dedicated to the services it provides. The organization’s number one goal is to prevent the euthanasia of animals by providing free spay/neuter services to low and middle-income families.

Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever concentrates their efforts on habitat restoration, wetland preservation, and the protection of prairies. Instead of working against hunters, Pheasants Forever works alongside hunters, farmers, and ranchers to conserve natural habitats.

Detroit Zoological Society

This dedicated team of zookeepers, veterinarians, and ambassadors travel around the world to rescue endangered species. For every dollar donated, 86 cents will go towards animal care. With a total revenue of $44 million, there’s no doubt this organization has, and will continue, to make a huge impact.