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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 30 July 2007

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Stockpiles of Dead Tigers Should be Destroyed,

DISTURBING new images of tiger carcasses piled up in cold storage at one of China’s largest tiger farmsraise questions about enforcement of tiger trade bans in effect in China and internationally.  The photos were taken by participants invited to a government-sponsored workshop and tour of China’s 2 largest tiger farmsearlier this month for international observers and scientists. The tour was held on the heels of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreeing in June that captive breeding of tigers should be restrictedonly to conserving wild tigers.”

“What is the point of these stockpiles when tiger trade is banned inside and outside China?” asked Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, who participated in the State Forestry Administration’s tiger farm tour and tiger trade workshop. “The 171 member nations of CITES made it clear last month that ‘tigers should not be bred for their parts and derivatives.’”

Among the carcasses piled in a refrigerated building at the tiger farm in Guilin, China, was a tiger that had been skinned and another that had been gutted. CITES officials formally asked China in June to investigate illegal sales of tiger meat at the Guilin farm.  Tiger “farms” in China house nearly 5,000 live tigers, and farm investors are pressuring the government to lift a ban on tiger trade so that they can profit from the sale of skins, bones and other body parts of tigers after they die. The Guilin farm’s owner submitted a report to CITES saying he was saving the tigers in cold storage for the day when trade is legalized in China.

“Given that these bodies are commercially valuable and their sale is prohibited by law, they amount to contraband,” said Adam Roberts of Born Free Foundation. “Why not burn them the way other illegal wildlife products are burned in China?”

The 35 organizations of the International Tiger Coalition stand ready to offer guidance and technical support to China on shutting down its tiger farms and stepping up law enforcement efforts to stamp out illegal trade of tiger parts.

The Coalition encourages China to invest more resources is increasing it wild tiger population, which could rebound quickly with proper protection.

GOOD HOME WANTED FOR HUGE WALL PAINTING

JUST Learning, which has 2 nurseries in Liverpool , is looking for a home for an amazing and extremely large piece of artwork.  Nursery managers from across the country contributed to the big picture as part of a team building exercise at the company’s annual conference.

Measuring 4.6m x 2.1m, the colourful mural is in 15 individual panels, which fit together to depict lively scenes from nursery life. 

The company is offering the picture to an organisation, which is looking to brighten up its environment and has the room to display the artwork in its full grandeur.

Managing director Jonathan Bell said:- “This is a wonderful, bright and vivid piece of art, which would look fantastic on the wall of a children’s hospital, hospice or somewhere similar.   It would be a real shame if this vibrant piece of art was not enjoyed by many people.   We’d love to exhibit it in our nurseries, but it is just too big.  If there is anyone out there who can give it a good home we’d be more than happy to talk to them.”   Anyone interested should contact Lindsay Reece on 07736 057687.

NEW "TRAFFIC RADIO" SERVICE LAUNCHED

THE Transport Minister Tom Harris has launched a new "Traffic Radio" service to help drivers plan their journeys.  Available on digital radio and the internet at www.trafficradio.org.uk, "Traffic Radio" lets drivers hear the latest:-

* Traffic conditions on motorways and major A roads in England

* Emergency incidents

* Roadworks

Traffic Radio is 1 of 3 new services to help people plan their journeys that are being rolled out by the Highways Agency this year. Other services include displaying real time journey and delay times on electronic roadside signs and making CCTV images available to the public via our website and the media.

Speaking at the Highways Agency's National Traffic Control Centre in Birmingham today, Tom Harris said:- "Traffic Radio will provide helpful information to enable people to make choices about their journey, whether they're driving for work, visiting relatives or going on holiday. The radio format allows people to check traffic conditions easily before they leave the house or office.  Those with DAB radios in their cars will also be able to make informed decisions about alternative routes, should conditions change when they are en route. And people with mobile internet access will
be able to check the latest conditions when they take a break from their journeys.

The Government is committed to investing in reliable and helpful information to help people plan their journeys. We have provided £160 million for the National Traffic Control Centre to co-ordinate information and make services like Traffic Radio possible.  We know that people like to receive information in a number of different ways. The new services we are launching this summer give customers a choice of easy-to-use channels so they can make well-informed decisions when deciding how and when to use our network."


Traffic Radio is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year and is updated every 10 minutes at busy times.  It offers regional traffic news, depending on which part of the country people are listening, as well as national headlines. There will also be short infomercials, for example explaining our Traffic Officer service, safety advice and tips about planning your journey.

The Highways Agency trialled Traffic Radio through the internet and a number of short term licences around major events like roadworks over the past year. The Agency also carried out a trial on the M5 and M6 in the Midlands and South West to display real-time journey and delay times.  Feedback from drivers was very positive during both trials, with people reporting that the information had influenced their journeys as a result.

Initially the service will be produced by traffic news broadcasters Trafficlink, compiling information from the National Traffic Control Centre - including real-time information from 3,750 road sensors and 1,000 CCTV cameras as well as reports from traffic officers, Highways Agency regional control centres, the police, local highway authorities, contractors, leisure and entertainment venues and weather centres.  The service will initially be available on DAB digital radio to an area covering potentially 80% of the population of England. The service will become more widely available over the next two years as more space becomes available on regional multiplex transmitters, which provide broadcast space to radio stations. It is also available on the internet at www.trafficradio.org.uk.

The service has been developed by the Highways Agency which manages motorways and trunk roads in England. However, the Agency is also speaking to partners at Transport for London, Traffic Scotland, Traffic Wales and DRDNI (Northern Ireland) about joining the service in the future. The aim is to provide a joined-up service across the country.

To tune in to the DAB service, simply press the "scan" button on your radio. The radio will tune into all available channels and you can select the new service by scrolling through the channels until you reach "Traffic Radio".

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