In this one-off special episode we focus exclusively on the inside story of ‘Operation Ark’, the campaign set up by Afghanistan-based animal rescue charity Nowzad to evacuate its staff and animals from Kabul as the city fell to the Taliban. In a remarkable two week period social media lit up as people everywhere demanded action to get Nowzad staff and their animals out of danger; British media first embraced former marine and Nowzad founder Pen Farthing then turned against him as a government minister and his special advisor spun what had always been a humanitarian rescue mission into a false argument about putting ‘pets before people’; and with an aircraft ready to fly into Kabul Airport the story became a race against time to land as air corridors shifted and the few remaining troops that controlled access to entrance gates and landing strips were pulled out.Continue reading
Shortcast from author and field naturalist Joe Gray. Joe talks about the importance of ethics in conservation and reads a short extract from his just-published novel, ‘The Gardens of Greenspring Road’. Author royalties from this and Joe’s previous book, ‘Thirteen Paces by Four’, are being donated to the World Land Trust.Continue reading
A shortcast with animal advocates actor Peter Egan and broadcaster Jan Leeming, recorded at an event in London which was raising funds for Animal SOS Sri Lanka, a charity founded by Kim Cooling, of which they are both patrons. The shortcast starts with Jan explaining how she became a patron of Animal SOS Sri LankaContinue reading
We’re building a free audio platform for campaigners and activists called Off the Leash Podcasts. And we thought that a short series to explain just what Off the Leash Podcasts is all about might be helpful. So, let’s have a quick word about what we call shortcasts…Continue reading
Charlie Moores talks with Dr Alex Lees, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University about perceived clashes or differences in opinion between conservationists and animal rights activists.
The conversation was triggered by a thoughtful and well-expressed Twitter thread in which Alex wrote that “there are several tropes of animal rights activism which clash with conservation goals“, going on to list, for example, trophy hunting, invasive species, and zoos. Charlie’s response to that thread was that you could equally say that there were conservation tropes that clashed with animal rights goals, There is of course more overlap between conservationists and animal advocates than those sentences might suggest, and in the following conversation Charlie and Alex discuss issues that both divide and unite them – including a shared passion for wildlife and a desire for more nuanced conversations to take place in what has become a rather fraught area of discussion.Continue reading
Last week was notable for three things: an alpaca named Geronimo, a report that led the UN secretary-general António Guterres, to call it a “code red for humanity”, and the unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan. We discuss all three. We also have a shortcast from veterinary scientist Iain McGill (who has done so much work exposing the government’s failed ‘test and slaughter’ BovineTB policy), and raw audio from Dominic on the ‘Rescue the Animal Rescuers’ campaign. Charlie has a close look at a petition which it turns out wants ‘animal rights protestors’ kept off farms. In Heroes and Villains we praise the animal welfare teams working in Kabul, and slate the politicians that made such a mess of last week. In our ‘Shoutout’ we give the link to donate to Nowzad, Pen Farthing’s animal rescue centre in Afghanistan.Continue reading