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 ‘Cruel’ cat lady given bond, ban

June 27, 2014,

A FORMER Taralga district woman has been banned from owning cats for five years following her conviction for animal cruelty.

Brenda Joy Meredith, 58, formerly of Laggan Rd and now of Wagga Wagga, pleaded guilty in Goulburn Local Court last Wednesday to the charges. She was charged with one count of animal
cruelty, eight of failing to provide medical treatment to the animals and one of failing to provide sufficient food.

RSPCA inspectors described the scene as “nauseating” and “cruel” when, acting on a complaint, they visited the property in February, 2013.

They arrived to find no one home but 10 long haired cats in a small cage in an open garage.

“They were matted and filthy, sneezing and snuffing, their eyes weeping and eyes fused shut with pus,” court facts stated.

The Persian and Himalayan cats had been forced to stand in “months’ worth of faeces, kitty litter trays were overflowing and water containers were green, slimy and contaminated with urine.

A further seven cats were found in cages at the back of the property, also kept in “disgusting, cruel conditions,” according to inspectors.

Dirt floors were covered in cardboard placed on top of stinking, wet faeces, which in turn was buried in a deep layer of animal waste.

“There was no area the cats could stand to avoid the squalor,” facts stated.

Inspectors said the animals couldn’t scratch themselves because large areas of their coats were heavily matted.

The cats were also suffering conjunctivitis, flea infestation, ear and eye infections, dental disease, ring worm, dermatitis and severe malnutrition. One had died.

Officers left contact details but returned the next day to find them in the same place.

They seized the animals, which were being used for breeding purposes, and treated them at the RSPCA’s Yagoona animal shelter. One was so matted it could hardly move, court facts stated.

Ms Meredith surrendered the cats to the RSPCA, after saying she didn’t see a problem with the way they had been housed. The animals were separated into breeding groups, with most of the
females pregnant. Ms Meredith admitted she didn’t know what she’d do with the kittens.

She had been working as a shearer’s cook and said her brother-in-law had been giving them food and water during the week but he wouldn’t touch litter trays. She told the RSPCA she had returned on weekends over the three-week period.

But inspectors believed faeces had accumulated over months.

Ms Meredith said they were valuable stud cats and did not belong to her.

The only micro-chipped animal was returned to the owner who was “horrified” by its condition, the RSPCA said.

The accused declined interview.

Last Wednesday she pleaded guilty to all eight charges. She was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond, ordered not to own or care for cats in the next five years and to continue taking medication and undergo counselling.

The RSPCA is seeking $3535 in mostly veterinary costs.

The organisation’s chief inspector, David O’Shanassy told the Post it was among the worst cases of the 15,000 reports the RSPCA received every year.

“It’s deeply concerning that these things are happening and we’d encourage anyone with information or suspicions of animal cruelty to report them because obviously, as in this case, there were significant animal welfare issues,” he said.

“This was someone looking to breed animals and with that goes an obligation to provide treatment when it is needed.”
New animal rights group attempts to expose pig cruelty in Bacon Week 

ABC Rural  Lucy Barbour 

Updated 4 hours 9 minutes ago

    Animal activists launch new pig cruelty campaign height=227 Photo: A new animal rights group is publishing videos of alleged animal cruelty filmed secretly on farms across Australia. (Australian Pork Limited)     

A new animal rights group called Aussie Farms will publish video footage every night this week of what it describes as animal cruelty in Australian piggeries.

It coincides with the pork industry's celebration of National Bacon Week and comes amid calls from the farming sector for the introduction of laws that make it illegal for activists to secretly film on farm.

The Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has described animal activists who break into farms to gather footage as 'vigilantes'.

He's also concerned about the potential biosecurity risk posed by intruders given the strict quarantine arrangements required in intensive farming operations.

Controversial 'ag-gag laws' have already been introduced in some parts of the United States.

Aussie Farms operations manager, Chris Delforce says the recent debate hasn't deterred animal activists.

"I don't think it's made much of an impact," he said.

"I think it's just kind of hardened their resolve that the industry is getting more and more desperate and people are starting to wake up. It's obviously an issue for the industry that they must be losing customers, that people are starting to find out about what they're doing to animals."

Mr Delforce says Aussie Farms uploaded the footage, which was shot in November 2013.

"The ultimate end game is to have Australians being able to choose whether they do or don't [know where their pork comes from] with the most evidence available to them. If someone wants to find out how their food is raised, it's very difficult for them to find current and extensive evidence of that," Mr Delforce said.

He maintains the video footage was sent to Aussie Farms anonymously, and that uploading it rather than informing authorities like the Department of Primary Industries or RSPCA, was the most effective way to draw attention to any possible animal wel breaches.

"If we do find things that are illegal then we do forward them onto the relevant authorities but it's proved to be a pretty useless exercise, to be honest," he said.

"We've tried to get the RSPCA involved and they're generally very reluctant to move on intensive farms...perhaps because they're not seeing enough of a demand from people for them to take action."

The pork industry has already committed to phasing out sow stalls and about 60 per cent of producers are now sow-stall free.

Chief executive of Australian Pork Limited, Andrew Spencer says the recent Aussie Farms footage doesn't reflect what goes on in the wider pig industry.

"The people who take the footage have no interest in objectively representing what goes on on pig farms," he said.

"What they are doing is raiding people's homes and properties, misrepresenting what they do, lying about them and defaming them on the internet and that's just absolutely nothing to do with transparency.

The footage in the first video published by Aussie Farms shows one sow with bleeding teats. Mr Spencer says the bleeding would've been caused by piglets, whose teeth hadn't been clipped.

In some operations, piglets have their teeth clipped to prevent them damaging the teats while drinking milk. Removal of the teeth can also prevent the young pigs injuring themselves while fighting or playing.

Andrew Spencer says the issue is just one example of why the industry can't please animal activists.

"Here we are being criticised for having bloody teats and on the other hand we're criticised by activists for clipping piglet's teeth, so that's a classic example of the trade-offs involved in managing animal welfare on a pig farm," he said.

"We know that the mortalities of piglets on free range farms, for example, are much higher. What you see often doesn't necessarily reflect intensive production, it just might reflect animal agriculture."

Australian Pork Limited recently launched an education program that teaches primary school children about where pork comes from and how it's produced.

Andrew Spencer hopes it will encourage more people to question the integrity of footage published by animal welfare activists.

They need to question those grotesque images and say, 'is that real or is it something that has been set up and doctored and selectively edited."
Man fined $5,000 for repeatedly kicking dog amid relationship problems

Andrea Mayes  Posted 1 hour 24 minutes ago

    Rottweiler Herpes was kicked repeatedly by his owner and left with fractured ribs and bruising. height=227 Photo: Rottweiler Herpes, who was kicked repeatedly and left with fractured ribs and bruising. (Supplied: RSPCA)     

A man who repeatedly kicked his dog, leaving it with broken ribs and foaming at the mouth, because he was having relationship problems has been fined $5,000.

Clayton Richard Lawrence, 40, was reported to the RSPCA by a passerby after he was seen abusing his dog Herpes on a street in the southern Perth suburb of Parmelia in August last year.

The passerby approached Lawrence after he saw him repeatedly kick the seven-year-old male rottweiler, but Lawrence then began to shout profanities at the dog and dragged it along the ground.

He then walked off, leaving the dog behind, and the witness drove Herpes to a local vet for treatment.

The dog had suffered fractured ribs, breathing difficulties and bruised and swollen hocks and elbows, making it hard for him to walk.

Lawrence admitted in an interview with an RSPCA inspector that he was annoyed with his girlfriend at the time of the incident. 

Fremantle Magistrates Court also ordered Lawrence to pay $1,000 in costs and banned him from being in charge of any animal for five years.

The dog is now being looked after by Lawrence's mother.

RSCPA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said there was no excuse for Lawrence's behaviour.

"You simply cannot beat an animal because you are having a hard time in your personal life," she said.

"There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of deliberate cruelty and those who we catch committing these deliberate acts of cruelty will find themselves at the wrong end of the law and can end up with a criminal conviction."

She said the RSPCA had seen an increase of 105 per cent in deliberate animal cruelty cases this year.

Australian horse meat exports in doubt following standards complaint

By  Guy Stayner    Updated Sat 21 Jun 2014, 10:51pm AEST

    Horses bought at the Echuca horse sales are sold without Horse Vendor Declarations. height=627 
Horse in Echuca saleyard Horses bought at the Echuca horse sales are sold without Horse Vendor Declarations.        
  The future of Australia's horse meat exports is in doubt after the Department of Agriculture launched an investigation into a complaint that meat for human consumption fails to meet strict European standards.

The formal complaint was forwarded to the European Commission and came two years after the EU sought assurances from the department that problems in the industry would be rectified.

The complaint specifically relates to horses bought at the Echuca saleyards in northern Victoria, but has broader implications for the industry.

Horses slaughtered for export meat to Europe need to be accompanied by Horse Vendor Declarations (HVDs) that verify a horse's treatment.

HVDs help ensure Australian horsemeat bound for France, Belgium and Switzerland is not contaminated with prohibited substances.

EU guidelines stipulate "the consignor must have in their possession statements confirming the treatment history of the horses for the last six months".

But horses bought at the Echuca horse sales are sold without HVDs and it has been alleged many of those horses are then sent to Australian horse abattoirs.

Echuca auctioneer John Moyle said vendor declarations were not yet required for a horse sale.

"We just get the vendor's details and the horse information when we book them in and keep records of them that way," he said.

 "These abattoirs are a dumping ground for ex-racehorses and as most racehorses are routinely injected with drugs it's highly probable the horsemeat exported overseas is contaminated"
 Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses spokesman Elio Celotto
Mr Moyle confirmed horses sold at Echuca on Wednesday would be sent to the Samex abattoir at Peterborough, South Australia.

"[An] estimated six to eight horses from Echuca would be bound for Peterborough at this week's sale," he said.

Samex, and Meramist at Caboolture in Queensland, are Australia's only licensed horse abattoirs and export horse meat to European Union countries.

Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses spokesman Elio Celotto said he would be surprised if Australian horse meat passed European standards.

"These abattoirs are a dumping ground for ex-racehorses and as most racehorses are routinely injected with drugs it's highly probable the horse meat exported overseas is contaminated," Mr Celotto said.

The European Commission said it was aware of the allegations and was awaiting the outcome of the Australian investigation before deciding if action is necessary.EU previously found deficiencies in horse identificationThis is not the first time this issue has reared its head.

A 2012 audit by the European Commission found deficiencies in the controls of horse identification and sought assurances from the Department of Agriculture that the problems would be rectified.

A department spokesperson said Australia's systems had been strengthened and approved by the EU since 2012.

But the European Commission said it was yet to confirm the implementation of the strengthened processes with another audit.

Samex and Meramist said all horses processed at the abattoirs came with Horse Vendor Declarations.

The Australian horse meat export industry has been valued at up to $10 million a year in the past decade, but according to the Department of Agriculture only 117 tonnes of horse meat at a value of $830,000 has been exported to the EU in the past 12 months.
You can’t keep hiding the ugly truth.

 IT was a spur-of-the-moment invite made on a muddy 42,000ha cattle property half an hour by helicopter out of Darwin – come on a live export ship to Indonesia, the locals asked, see for yourself.

I was up for it.

However, four months later in a nondescript garden of a Brisbane hotel, I sat opposite industry chiefs to listen to their litany of excuses as to why I couldn’t, after all, witness first-hand the live animal export trade.

Turned out I’d been left on dry land.

The industry would now only offer a visit to a loading dock in Australia, and held out a vague possibility of something better in the future, but only so long as I didn’t cause any trouble.

      08/06/2011 WIRE: Indonesian workers unload Australian cattle from a ship in Jakarta on June 8, 2011. Australia on June 8 sus... height=421   Indonesian workers unload Australian cattle from a ship in Jakarta. Picture: AFP
This is an industry with a lot of things to hide.

For a start, it’s systemically cruel. And we’re not talking the exception here, but rather the norm, going by the frequent revelations of cruelty to Australian livestock in a remarkably broad range of countries.

No wonder New Zealand shut down its live animal export trade years ago.

Indeed, a glance around the globe shows Australia’s live export practices and regulations are a farce.

Jordan and Gaza are out of control.

In Vietnam cattle have been hit with sledgehammers and had their spines severed.

In Kuwait, Australian sheep are being sold in cruel and unapproved markets.

In Mauritius there is horrendous slaughter of Australian bulls.

Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Egypt and Indonesia are all subject to Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme investigations.

The treatment of Australian sheep in Pakistan is the stuff of nightmares.

The trade is also not in Australia’s economic self-interest because those cattle, sheep and other livestock should be processed in Australia. Instead there’s now not a single abattoir licensed for export north of a line running from Perth in the west to Townsville in the north.

In other words, the live trade has cannibalised the processed meat trade, and thousands of Australian workers have lost their jobs.

Any argument that the live trade is a win for farmers is simply untrue because numerous properties in the north of Australia are financially distressed with no relief in sight.

And the beef producers can’t keep blaming the temporary suspension of the trade to Indonesia in 2011 for their continuing troubles.

Truth is, the main culprits are Woolworths and Coles, who are paying farmers no more now than they did a decade ago.

The prompt for the suspension of trade in 2011 was the ABC’s Four Corners TV program’s searing expose of the mistreatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia.

The nation reeled at the senseless brutality on their TV screens, and the intensity of the outcry shoved the Gillard government out of its complacency.

The trade was briefly suspended, then reopened with new welfare regulations designed to protect animals shipped overseas for slaughter.

Yet three years on and Australia has a new federal government and things have got worse, not better, with the Abbott Government excitedly talking about opening up new markets.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has given the green light to live export to Iran after a 40-year boycott.

This while regulations are routinely ignored and any effective oversight of the industry is left to noble welfare organisation such as Animals Australia.

This is a government content to treat animal cruelty as a growth industry even though the economics of the industry simply don’t add up.

The export of livestock represents just 0.4 per cent of Australia’s total exports, while the domestic processing of sheep and cattle for local consumption and export is worth at least 16 times more to the economy than live export.

Opening up new abattoirs to slaughter the animals in Australia would actually create jobs and increase farmers’ incomes.

I remain a staunch critic of the live export trade, and in February I introduced a Bill to ban live exports from 2017, my fourth legislative attempt to end the cruelty.

I’ll continue to fight for improved animal welfare practices more broadly, for instance for chickens, sows and puppies.

I agreed to go on a vessel to Indonesia, not because I’m about to end my opposition to the live trade, but because it’s important to look for ways to improve animal welfare practices with the system we’ve got.

In January, when the live animal exporters invited me to bunk down on a cattle ship and visit feedlots and abattoirs in Indonesia, they must have assumed I’d say no.

They must have assumed I wouldn’t have the stomach for it.

But they were wrong and this sent the hardheads in the industry into a tizz.

Well, my offer to go on a ship stands, but I’m not holding my breath because this is an industry with much to hide and, they think, too much to lose.

  •   Mercury 
  • June 21, 2014 12:00AM
      Andrew Wilkie.ABOUT THE AUTHOR:FORMERLY an army officer and intelligence analyst, Andrew height=237   Andrew Wilkie.
FORMERLY an army officer and intelligence analyst, Andrew Wilkie is the independent Federal Member for Denison.
He has been an outspoken critic of the live export trade.
WA breeder guilty of cruelty for leaving dog in car 

Date June 20, 2014 - 3:33PM

A West Australian dog breeder is believed to be the first person in the state to be found guilty of animal cruelty for leaving a dog in a hot car.

The dog was left in a car parked at a suburban Perth shopping centre on a 38-degree summer’s day.

Adele Culverwell, 65, of Muckenburra, was found guilty in Perth Magistrates Court on Friday of one count of animal cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

The RSPCA stated the case was believed to be the first of its kind in WA and it sent a warning to all dog owners about leaving animals in hot cars during the warmer months.

“This message has been out there in the public domain for many years and some people are still putting their dogs at risk of serious long-term health problems and even death by cooking them in hot cars," RSPCA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said.

The dog, a two-and-a-half-year-old borzoi, or Russian wolfhound, named Roxy has been cared for by the RSPCA since the offence.

Ms Swift said the majority of West Australians were now well aware of the safety message and people who left their dogs in hot cars were likely to be reported to the RSPCA, the police or to local council rangers.
 “Last summer, the RSPCA received almost 600 calls about dogs in hot cars and in the vast majority of cases, the people concerned have been horrified to learn that they could have seriously harmed or even caused the death of their dog and they have vowed never to do so again,” she said.

She said Culverwell was charged after she refused to accept that her actions had caused Roxy considerable suffering and harm.

“We received complaints about a dog locked in a car at the Carousel Shopping Centre in Cannington in December 2012 and the RSPCA inspector found Roxy panting inside a Ford panel van in the car park at approximately 4.30pm,” Ms Swift said.

“The inspector took the dog to a veterinary clinic where it was diagnosed with heat stroke and had to be treated with cooling techniques and given fluid intravenously before being discharged into the care of the RSPCA."

Sentencing is due to be handed down on August 8 2014.

Read more:
No excuse to keep cases of animal cruelty secret says animals rights group Voiceless   
  •   The Weekly Times 
  • June 18, 2014 12:00AM
  . height=366   .
VICTORIAN Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh last week confirmed to The Weekly Times that tough new legislation targeting animal activists will be introduced before the next Victorian state election to better “protect” farmers.

Clearly, the Minister would prefer to conceal the truth about the lives of factory-farmed animals rather than improve them.

Swathes of footage collected by activists in sow-stall piggeries, battery-cage henneries and intensive duck sheds have been broadcast across Australia.

It has resulted in the forced closure of commercial operators and producers being fined heavily for misleading and deceptive conduct.

Most importantly, the footage has fuelled a growing movement of ethical consumers. The fact is, once consumers see the suffering inflicted by battery cages, most tend not to want to buy cage eggs.

Surely the progression towards greater consumer awareness and producer transparency within Australia’s food chain is something that should be encouraged, not criminalised.

Incidents of illegal cruelty seem to be a matter of routine within factory farms, but often these crimes would not be exposed without the use of surveillance.

While the Government is supposed to safeguard animal welfare, inadequate enforcement means much of the work is left to employees, whistleblowers and activists.

With tough laws against trespass already in place, it’s clear that calls to stamp out animal activism aren’t designed to close a gap in Australian law but rather to preserve the veil of secrecy that shrouds factory farms.

These laws clearly suppress the public’s right to question the status quo, and in so doing pose serious implications, not only for animal activists and consumers, but for free communication and the ability of all civil groups to engage in legitimate public debate.

The fact is, if we let factory farms gag their critics, who will be targeted next?

Elise Burgess is communications head of animal rights group Voiceless
Fish can feel pain, have memories and use tools, biologist says         
  • 1 day ago June 19, 2014 4:43AM
       No dummy ... Fish have memories, feel pain and work together in social communities. Pictu height=366   No dummy ... Fish have memories, feel pain and work together in social communities. Picture: Thinkstock Source: Supplied
FISH have feelings and intelligence on a par with other animals and deserve better consideration of their welfare, according to a behavioural biologist at Australia’s Macquarie University.

Dr Culum Brown came to that conclusion after reviewing the scientific evidence on fish capabilities.

He found that fish have good memories, lived in social communities, co-operated, and learned from one another.

They displayed behaviours normally seen in primates and were even able to build complex structures and use tools.

His findings contradict earlier studies which found that fish do not feel pain when struggling on the end of a line.

     School ... Fish live in social communities and are able to lean from one another. height=488   School ... Fish live in social communities and are able to lean from one another. Source: News Limited
While their brains differed from those of other vertebrates, they contained structures that performed similar functions seen in other animals.

There was also mounting evidence that they felt pain in the same way humans do.

Dr Brown believes fish are just as likely to be sentient as other animals.

He wrote in the journal Animal Cognition: “Although scientists cannot provide a definitive answer on the level of consciousness for any nonhuman vertebrate, the extensive evidence of fish behavioural and cognitive sophistication and pain perception suggests that best practice would be to lend fish the same level of protection as any other vertebrate.

     Not happy ... Fish can feel pain and are just as sentient as other animals, Dr Brown says height=488   Not happy ... Fish can feel pain and are just as sentient as other animals, Dr Brown says. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images
“We should therefore include fish in our ‘moral circle’ and afford them the protection they deserve.”

People rarely thought about fish other than as food or pets, said Dr Brown.

He pointed out that fish were second only to mice in terms of the numbers used in scientific experiments.

With more than 32,000 known species, fish far outweighed the diversity of all other vertebrates combined, he added.
Animal cruelty activists targeted by tough new biosecurity measures 

Date June 15, 2014    Nicole Hasham

Activists who break into farms to secretly film suspected animal cruelty are being targeted by tough new biosecurity measures, triggering fears severe abuse will remain hidden.

It follows a series of incidents where animal welfare advocates trespassed onto piggeries and abattoirs to obtain undercover footage – in some cases, recording horrific treatment which led to operations being closed down.

Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce told the NSW Nationals annual conference in Queanbeyan at the weekend that state and federal governments were acting jointly to protect farmers from camera-wielding “vigilantes”.

It comes after calls by farmers and the pork industry for harsher penalties for activists who illegally enter farms.

Mr Joyce is working with his state counterparts to crack down on “people putting cameras in piggeries, in dairies, coming in at night, stirring up the animals … using illegally obtained footage then putting it on the internet”.

He will help states coordinate a response to farm trespassing and review the charity status of animal activist organisations.

“Not only are they associated with a crime, they also have the hide to [say] ‘donate here and its tax deductible’,” Mr Joyce said.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson instigated the joint crackdown.She cited concern over incidents at piggeries near Young, which she described as “agri-terrorism”.

The state government last month released a proposed new legal biosecurity framework, which is open for public comment until June 27. Ms Hodgkinson said it involved “much heavier penalties when it comes to trespass”.

“Intensive farming is not only a legal activity it is also a necessary activity,” she said.

“If you’ve got people coming onto your farm, you don’t know where their shoes have been. A virus could infect poultry and pigs - that could have a really big implication.”

Suspected cases of animal cruelty should be reported to the police or RSPCA, she said.

Last year, a worker at the Blantyre Farms piggery, near Young, found video equipment hidden in the ceiling vents of a shed. Owner Edwina Beveridge reportedly said her family’s privacy and business had been violated, and the invasion caused pigs to trample their young.

Activist groups rely heavily on secretly obtained footage to detect and publicise cases of animal abuse, arguing that regulation is not doing enough to protect animals.

Wally’s Piggery, near Yass, was forced to close after footage obtained by Animal Liberation NSW in 2012 caused a public outcry. It appeared to show pigs being bludgeoned and kept in filthy, cramped conditions. The owners have pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty and other charges.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said NSW was moving towards so-called “ag-gag laws” in the United States,where it is illegal in some states to photograph or film factory farms and abattoirs, even from public property.

Emmanuel Giuffre of animal rights group Voiceless said the crackdown was a bid to gag industry critics.

“Virtually all we know about the incredible animal cruelty that occurs in factory farming …. has come from undercover video surveillance,” he said.
Pig leaps from moving truck in South America, avoiding the slaughterhouse         
  • 13 hours ago June 13, 2014 9:46PM
THIS pig was on the way to a slaughterhouse, before he made a death-defying jump from a moving truck to save his bacon.

The pig was in a transportation truck in South America, and managed to climb on the top of the truck’s back roof.

A driver behind the truck filmed the pig making his way up to the top of the truck, before he suddenly jumped out.

     Amazing leap ... the pig jumps from the moving truck. height=366  Amazing leap ... the pig jumps from the moving truck. Source: Supplied
    He is seen falling on to the road, where he rolls to the side and onto the grass

The pig then slowly stands up and starts hobbling away with what appeared to be a broken back leg.

     Shocking fall ... the pig rolls to the side of the road. height=366   Shocking fall ... the pig rolls to the side of the road. Source: Supplied
The footage has made its way onto YouTube, after another pig recently leapt off another truck in China.

A witness said the Chinese sow, now referred to as ‘Babe’, climbed over the backs of other pigs before leaping out of the slaughterhouse van, Metro UK reports.

Images of this pig have gone around the world, after police who responded to the incident in the Guangxi region took her in and have adopted her.

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