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RITA MILJO, REMEMBERING THE FEARLESS HEROINE OF BABOONS IN SOUTH AFRICA

“Why wait until a species is on the brink of extinction before we try to help”.

27th July 2020

Rita Miljo was the founder of The Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education C.A.R.E.

Rita Miljo was born in Litunaia, she moved to South Africa in the the 1950’s where she became a renowned conservation and animals rights pioneer.  

On the 27th July 2012 Rita Miljo tragically died in a fire which swept through her home and the sanctuary which is located on the banks of the Olifants River. 

The first baboon she rescued was called Bobby, they
were inseparable, he died in the fire with her; they were buried together according to her wishes.

 Her first group of rescued baboons were released back into the wild in 1994 confounding many skeptical professional primatologists.  

All in all, more than dozen troops totalling some 250 baboons were released back into wild during the last twenty years of Rita Miljo’s life. 

Incredibly, Rita Miljo had no formal scientific training, she was motivated to help animals for humanitarian reasons.

In 2002 Nelson Mandela was with her for a release of troop of baboons at Shambala Wildlife Reserve in Limpopo in South Africa. The image above is from that special time, with grateful thanks to the management of C.A.R.E.

Baboons are regarded as vermin in South Africa despite their high intelligence and social skils.  Baboons have long been shot and killed because people find them to be a nuisance.  At one time monetary rewards were offered for handing in a scalp and tail of baboons, it is still legal to shoot baboons in some instances.

Rita Miljo was repeatedly charged with transporting and keeping baboons without the correct permits. Her devotion to rescue, to rehabilitate and release baboons into the wild was much greater than her fear of the law. When provoked her answer was always the same: “Who are you to tell God that he should not have created baboons?”

The C.A.R.E Sanctuary was formally established in
1989 for primate conservation and rehabilitation and since then C.A.R.E.  has become a pioneer in the field of Chacma Baboons.

Stephen Munro, (BSc Animal Welfare) is the managing Director of C.A.R.E. and together with Samantha Dewhirst (MSc Primate Conservationist), they have formed a perfect partnership. Their combined a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge and their dedication to primate rehabilitation and release the C.A.R.E. sanctuary is continuing to fulfil every one of Rita Miljo visions.

C.A.R.E. is also committed to educating local communities and tourists about the positive aspects of the co-existence of humans and wildlife.  They have partnered with many schools in the area and they provide field trips to the centre.

The EMS Foundation is a proud financial supporter of the C.A.R.E. sanctuary where they have four semi-wild enclosures, an environmental educational centre, outdoor classroom, offices quarantine facilities, a quarantine orphan nursery, bonding and integration enclosures, accommodation for students and volunteers, a veterinary clinic and an animal food prep kitchen. 

IMAGE CREDIT: C.A.R.E

https://www.primatecare.org

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved.

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EMS FOUNDATION CELEBRATES MANDELA DAY 2020

18TH JULY 2020

WHERE RAINBOWS MEET

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela spent sixty-seven years of his life fighting for human rights. Mandela Day is an opportunity to remember him and to carry his legacy forward.

In honour of Nelson Mandela, the founder of the EMS Foundation, Elizabeth Steyn has delighted the smallest children in the care of the Non-Government Organisation called Where Rainbows Meet with warm jackets, hoodies and shoes.

Where Rainbows Meet is situated in Muizenberg in Cape Town, South Africa.  Their mission is to economically and socially empower the women, men and youth of informal settlement communities.   Their activities provide the different groups of the community of Vryground with information, education and support.  Their programs are designed so that the people are encouraged to take responsibility of their own lives, their families and the situation in the community.  

The community is offered the opportunity of learning new skills in order to decrease unemployment, which in turn will lower drug abuse, domestic violence, child neglect and other social skills. 

Founded in 2008 in the oldest informal settlement in the Western Cape, almost sixty percent of this community are victims of crime.  Where Rainbows Meet is empowering this community and the surrounding communities so that the members can live in dignity and security. 

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats it’s children” Nelson Mandela

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved.

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PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE MEAT SAFETY ACT

30TH JUNE 2020

A JOINT SUBMISSION BY THE EMS FOUNDATION AND ANIMAL LAW REFORM SOUTH AFRICA

ADDRESSED TO:

Dr M. Molefe

Director: Veterinary Public Heath

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development 

AND

 Minister of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

We, Animal Law Reform South Africa (“ALRSA”) and the EMS Foundation (“EMS Foundation”), welcome the opportunity to provide our comments and hereby do so in relation to the Proposed Amendments to the Meat Safety Act gazetted for public consultation on the 28th February 2020[1] (“Proposed Amendments”), as read with the: 

  1. Meat Safety Act 2000 Act;[2] (hereinafter the “Act”, the “MSA” or “Meat Safety Act”)
  2. Extension of the Commenting Period and Clarification of the Purpose of the Amendment to Schedule 1 of the Meat Safety Act, 2000 issued by National Executive Officer: Meat Safety Act on 30 April 2020[3] (hereinafter the “Clarificatory Notice”)
  3. and various other documents / information included in this Submission.

Kindly confirm receipt of this Submission (“Submission”) and address further correspondence to the email addresses: michele@emsfoundation.org.za and amywilson@animallawreform.org.

We look forward to receiving a response to the requests made herein and are available to engage on any queries, comments, concerns which you may have in respect of the Submission.


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SUBMISSION IN RESPECT OF DEFF HIGH LEVEL PANEL THE EMS FOUNDATION AND ANIMAL LAW REFORM SOUTH AFRICA

15TH JUNE 2020

MANAGEMENT, BREEDING, HUNTING, TRADE, HANDLING AND RELATED MATTERS: ELEPHANT, LION, LEOPARD AND RHINOCEROS

“IF WE DO NOT DO SOMETHING TO PREVENT IT, AFRICA’S ANIMALS AND THE PLACES IN WHICH THEY LIVE, WILL BE LOST TO OUR WORLD AND HER CHILDREN FOREVER” NELSON MANDELA

Disclaimers

Please note that this Submission is non-exhaustive and does not represent all the responses to the issues and matters raised herein. We reserve the right to provide any further or additional information on aspects raised herein.

We are submitting so as to be able to record our initial high-level views and resources; however, our Submission is by no means a complete one in relation to the topics, objections or matters that may be raised.

We wish to note upfront that we believe there are various issues with the contents, processes, and related matters in respect of the Panel generally, as well as the Call for Submission. Consequently, our Submission does not constitute a waiver of any rights we may have, including but not limited to challenging the Department, the High-Level Panel/ Advisory Committee or otherwise, or take any other action we deem fit in respect thereof.

Specifically, we believe that insufficient time and notice has been provided for us to provide complete comments. The entire process on this Call for Submissions has been done during a declared National State of Disaster and lockdown of the country. During this time, particularly as NGOs, we have experienced major strain on our resources and capacity to deal with matters.

The views expressed herein are those of the two organisations and do not necessarily represent those of every individual director, member, employee, representative, volunteer, affiliate or others of either EMS and/or ALRSA.

We have attempted to be as comprehensive as possible, given the time, resources and other relevant factors and constraints, however we may not have responded or included each and every relevant consideration. Accordingly, it should be noted that different persons have provided input and we have tried within these constraints to collate this input as effectively, consistently, and practicably as possible.

We have further attempted to reference as footnotes or hyperlink the resources relied upon for this submission. Should you require any further information in respect of these or the Submission more generally, we are happy to provide these.

We reserve any and all rights, remedies and actions available to us.

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved.

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THE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE FULFILLING IT’S ROLE AS A CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE RULING GOVERNMENT

EMS FOUNDATION

OPEN LETTER

DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE LEADER’S OFFICE

Marks Building (2nd and 3rd Floor) Parliament
Plein Street
Cape Town 8001
Via email: leader@da.org.za

Monday 1st June 2020

Dear Mr John Steenhuisen,

THE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE FULFILLING IT’S ROLE AS A CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE RULING GOVERNMENT

The EMS Foundation hereby officially acknowledges the press release issued by Ms Hannah Shameema Winkler and we refer to the news article published in the foreign media on the weekend.

It is refreshing to note that the Democratic Alliance, the official opposition political party in South Africa, has finally, publicly questioned decisions taken by the Department of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.

The EMS Foundation published a report called the Extinction Business in 2018. The report highlighted a two year investigation into South Africa’s Big Cat Captive Breeding Industry which included the concise details of South Africa’s controversial Lion Bone Export business. The publication of this report led to a two-day colloquium held in Parliament in 2018. The Parliamentary Committee recommended that this industry be shut down immediately. Minister Creecy has ignored this recommendation. Judge Kollapen rule in August 2019, in the Gauteng High Court, that the lion bone export quota is unlawful and constitutionally invalid.

In May 2019 the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries made an amendment to the Animal Improvement Act, 1998 to include thirty-three wild mammal species under Table 7 of the regulations. The thirty-three species include Black and White rhino, cheetah, giraffe, lion and twenty-eight indigenous and non- indigenous game species, are now treated in the same manner, as livestock in so far as the recognition of breeders rights is concerned. These decisions taken without any public consultation. In November 2019 a coalition of twenty-one South African animal protection organisations responded to the AIA.

The world has been negatively affected by the zoonotic disease known as COVID-19, this zoonotic disease highlights the dangers of the trade and consumption of wild animals.

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EMS Foundation

PO Box 3018, Honeydew 2040
South Africa
168-304 NPO

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info@emsfoundation.org.za

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