Wildlife agencies’ claims about need to kill cougars to control populations, increase deer supply, also not supported by peer-reviewed science
EUGENE, OR – Since the 1970s, when cougars (aka pumas or mountain lions) were declared a game species, state wildlife agencies in 10 western states have allowed tens of thousands to be killed by sport hunters. Kill numbers have increased over time, with currently over 3,200 cougars slaughtered each year. Wildlife managers have long argued that sport hunting is necessary to control cougars’ numbers, reduce the risk of attacks on humans, protect livestock, and augment deer herds for hunters. But a newly released, peer-reviewed study that tested the effectiveness of this practice shows the opposite to be true.
Published this month in PLOS ONE, the study is titled “The elephant in the room: What can…
Singapore tightens rules for entry from China03:54
Washington (CNN)Over the weekend, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton came under fire for a series of comments and tweets on the coronavirus. On Fox News Sunday morning, Cotton suggested the virus did not originate in an animal market as the Chinese government has claimed, but perhaps from another source, such as an infectious disease research lab nearby. While acknowledging there’s no evidence the disease originated there, Cotton questioned the validity of China’s statements, saying “China was lying from the beginning, and they’re still lying today.”
Cotton’s theory is one of many that have been floating around as China and other countries aim to get a handle on the outbreak. Here’s what we know about the coronavirus.
This image from video provided by the Humane Society of the United States shows taxidermy at the Safari Club International’s 2020 annual convention, that was held Feb. 5-8, 2020, in Reno, Nevada. An undercover video recorded by animal welfare activists shows vendors at a recent trophy-hunting convention promoting trips to shoot captive-bred lions in Africa, despite past public assurances by the event’s organizers that so-called canned hunts wouldn’t be sold. (Humane Society of the United States via AP)
A trophy-hunting group says it has launched an ethics investigation following the release of undercover video showing vendors at its recent convention promoting trips to shoot captive-bred lions in Africa.
Safari Club International CEO W. Laird Hamberlin vowed swift action Friday to ensure exhibitors at the group’s annual convention “operate in full compliance with SCI’s policies.” The group had previously issued public assurances that…
73 per cent of Appendix I and 48 per cent of Appendix II species of the Convention on Migratory Species are diminishing, it says, with many being traded
NEXT NEWS ❯
By Ishan Kukreti
Last Updated: Monday 17 February 2020
The vicuna, the Andean camelid species whose parts have been traded by India according to the report. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The population of many species protected under the United Nation Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals’ (CMS) was on the decline despite being on the appendices of the Convention, a document has said.
Titled Review of the conservation status of migratory species, the document read:
The analysis of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List Category for CMS-listed species shows that the conservation status of 87 per cent of species listed on Appendix I and
China is the world’s second-largest poultry producer and has been ramping up output to fill a huge meat shortage after an African swine fever epidemic decimated its pig herd. Photo: AFP
China’s supply of poultry and egg products may be hurt in the second and third quarter of 2020 as the country tackles the coronavirus outbreak, agriculture ministry official Yang Zhenhai said at a State Council briefing on Tuesday.
China is the world’s second-largest poultry producer and has been ramping up output to fill a huge meat shortage after an
Poultry prices have plunged in recent weeks and restrictions on moving livestock and extended holidays in many areas have paralysed the supply chain, leaving farmers stuck with large inventories of birds and eggs even as demand plunged as restaurants and canteens stay shut.
Yang said that since the coronavirus outbreak, which has led to more than 1,800 deaths, live poultry markets have been closed, transport of baby and live poultry has been curtailed and slaughterhouses have been shut down.
The loss of the entire poultry industry would be very seriousYang Zhenhai
He said one company had reported losses of more than 100 million yuan (US$14.3 million), but did not give further details.
“The loss of the entire poultry industry would be very serious,” Yang said.
China’s agriculture and transport ministries have told local authorities to allow companies involved in feed-production and poultry-slaughtering to resume work as soon as possible and overcome disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
The state planner has also sold 1.32 million tonnes of corn to feed-processing firms in southern provinces to ensure their raw material supply.
China scrambles to deliver food to coronavirus epicentre Wuhan amid lockdown
around the country, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorised to speak publicly.
Ports are also starting to run out of electricity points to freeze the containers and some ships have been told to divert to other destinations in mainland China and Hong Kong, the people said.
China is a massive importer of meat from South America, Europe and also the United States, and has been boosting purchases to help ease shortages caused by African swine fever. The country increased imports of meat and offal by almost 50 per cent in 2019 to a record of about 6.2 million tonnes, customs data showed.
It remains unclear when port operations will return to normal as truck drivers returning from other cities are quarantined for 14 days and other transport restrictions on trucks remain in place, the people said.
The government encouraged factories to ramp up production this week after extended New Year holidays. Outbreaks of the virus have infected more than 70,000 and killed over 1,800 in China.
More than 220 million migrant workers have also not returned on time and may travel in late February or March, Liu Xiaoming, the transport minister, said on Saturday.
The office of the spokesman for the General Administration of Customs in Beijing did not answer phone calls seeking comment from Bloomberg.
On Sunday, China also announced that it would remove the import ban on all
brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.
China’s delayed reaction to the coronavirus outbreak appears to be “sowing real concerns among the Chinese people,” Raymond James said in a note to clients Monday.
The firm said the lack of a swift governmental response is stoking comparisons to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
“If this virus becomes a true global pandemic, the actions by the Chinese leadership will come under great fire as they no doubt contributed to the spread,” the firm said.
Raymond James said that following conversations with government officials and academics, it believes the “worst is yet to come” and that the “market is underappreciating the potential dangers…”
As the coronavirus outbreak rages on, Raymond James said China’s delayed response is inciting comparisons to the Soviet Union’s response to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and that things could get worse in terms of economic and market impact.
As of Feb. 17, the Chinese government said a total of 72,436 people are confirmed to have had the disease while 1,868 people have died.
Singapore Airlines temporarily ceased some service on major flight routes around the world, including New York and London, citing weak demand.
The time needed for nucleic acid testing for the new coronavirus has been cut down drastically — from two days to just four to six hours, according to a press release from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Japan’s health ministry said 454 people on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, off the coast of Yokohama, have tested positive.
This photo taken on February 17, 2020 shows medical staff members working at an exhibition centre converted into a hospital in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province.
A top health official at the National Institutes of Health acknowledged that the quarantine aboard the coronavirus-infected Diamond Princess Cruises ship failed while discussing the decision to evacuate hundreds of American passengers – 14 of whom tested positive for the virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said the original idea to keep people safely quarantined on the ship wasn’t unreasonable. But even with the quarantine process on the ship, virus transmission still occurred.
The Japanese health ministry said Monday that the number of cases confirmed aboard the Diamond Princess had reached 454.
Wall Street is convincing itself that China will bounce back relatively quickly around the end of the first quarter, when it expects the coronavirus’ spread to be contained.
This is banker delusion. China’s economy is growing much more slowly than it was in 2003, when the SARS outbreak hit.
Plus, the financial sector is in much worse shape. It’s loaded with debt, and credit conditions are still deteriorating from bailouts last year. This will all make it much harder to fund struggling businesses and local governments.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
The coronavirus is still spreading throughout China, but all over Wall Street, a consensus about the virus’ economic influence is already solidifying.
The thinking goes like this: China will slowly get back to work by the end of the first quarter. Investors will stay fairly steady throughout this period knowing that coronavirus will result only in a temporary knock on corporate profits and general economic activity. Ultimately, like in 2003 when SARS gripped the nation, China will rally to a V-shaped recovery — that is, a quick fall in economy activity followed by a sharp return to normalcy soon after. Markets are overreacting.
This consensus is wrong. And it’s wrong not just because we don’t know if the consensus timeline is even remotely accurate — but also because the Chinese economy, and especially its banking system, is completely different now than it was in 2003.
The country’s economy is growing much more slowly now (GDP growth has recently been about 6%, according to the government, compared with 10% in 2003), and the banking system is far more fragile and laden with debt.
“There’s no reference point at all for what it feels like when China is truly in a recession across the board because they’ve been on a 30-year growth binge,” Charlene Chu, a senior analyst at Autonomous Research, said. “The world is underplaying what’s going on in China.”
Chu described the coronavirus’ influence on the economy as a “much deeper shock with a much different context.” And in the middle of it all, local governments will still be under intense pressure to meet economic targets, and businesses will be under intense pressure not to fire anyone.
Who will think of the banks?
To understand the economic predicament the country finds itself in, you have to remember what was happening in China about a year ago completely aside from the trade conflict with the US. Last winter, you may recall, it seemed the Chinese economy might come apart at the seams, as credit had dried up for the private sector — which is where most of the country’s growth comes from — and consumers dramatically slowed spending.
It is no surprise, then, that the creditworthiness of the Chinese banking system has been trending downward, especially at the lower end.
Because of the coronavirus, this weakened banking system — less than one year out from being on a bit of a brink — will now have to forgive loans for companies large and small and continue financing local governments dealing with the fallout from stagnating economies and the effort to fight the coronavirus. S&P research estimated that if this crisis is prolonged, bad debt in the banking system could increase from 2% at the end of last year to over 6%.
In this environment, some kind of liquidity event could be even more disruptive than it was in the summer.
And then, of course, even if the banks could forgive loans and ease credit conditions, that would only do so much. Some businesses simply may not be creditworthy after this economic shock.
“Much of the talk right now is about forcing banks to cut rates, but lower rates won’t solve the problem if firms are insolvent,” Leland Miller, the founder of the business surveyor China Beige Book, said. “So the issue isn’t cost of capital, it’s whether the underlying firms are ultimately creditworthy. Depending on how long it takes the economy to get back chugging, that number now may be substantially lower than what it was before the outbreak.”
Then there’s the private sector
China’s other financial-system struggle over the past year was ensuring that private-sector companies, mostly small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), were getting adequate funding. A lot of these companies used to get financing from China’s shadow-banking system, so when authorities cracked down on that in 2017 and 2018, they got squeezed.
Authorities spent last year setting up funding mechanisms for them, but the system still isn’t working to perfection. This is incredibly important. Chinese state media reported that in 2018, the private sector accounted for 50% of tax revenue, 60% of GDP, and 90% of new jobs and new firms.
“I think they know they’re still going to have an issue getting funding to these guys,” Chu said of the SMEs. “They are looking at the bond market … but they had issues with SMEs and bank problems last summer so that isn’t straightforward.”
Of course, if you’re an SME that has no relationship with a bank, credit relief might not help you much, McMahon told Business Insider.
That is why China announced last week measures to support SMEs that have nothing to do with the banks, including asking local governments to waive taxes and administrative fees.
“This isn’t something the banks can necessarily fix, which is new,” McMahon said. “You’ve got a big part of the economy that’s sort of out there on its own.”
In January, Chinese state media declared China’s victory over all of these issues, saying that it defused “the bomb” by taking leverage ratios down at banks. The coronavirus could reverse all of that progress, according to S&P Global ratings, and take leverage ratios up to levels unseen in decades. In these circumstances, the government will need to be very careful about how it manages this situation. This is why China’s recovery is going to be a slog, not a snapback.