Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Laws to Start in California

From Hometown Station AM 1220.....
New legislation in California increases the misdemeanor penalty for animal neglect and makes it a crime to sell a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, or carnival. California SB 917

Two new laws in Oregon and California prohibit the possession, sale, trade or distribution of shark fins. The California law specifies that a person must hold a license in order to possess shark fins for scientific purposes. In addition, restaurants may possess and sell shark fins purchased before Jan. 1, 2012, until Jan. 1, 2013. California AB 376.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Undercover Video Sparks Calls for Canadian Ban on Horse Meat

Excerpted from CTV.CA....
Animal rights groups are calling for a ban on the sale of horse meat after disturbing video at a slaughterhouse in west Quebec was sent to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition.

The footage was shot with a hidden camera inside Les Viandes de la Petite Nation near Montebello. It shows a parade of horses being stunned with what's called a captive bolt pistol.

At one point, a worker can be seen stunning a horse and waving goodbye. Under Canadian laws, one shot is supposed to render the horse unconscious but it often doesn't happen. Captured on video, is one horse being stunned 11 times.

"What we do here is legal and supervised by the Canadian government," said the company's general manager.

The video was sent by a source inside the slaughterhouse. For the coalition, it was added evidence there needs to be a ban on horse meat for more than just health reasons. They call the process unethical.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Russia Bans Canadian Seal Imports!

Great news! But I'm not exactly sure why RUSSIA would ban them. (The other two neighbors that banned them are Kazakhstan and Belarus). Apparently, some claim about 90 percent of Canadian sales are to Russia. Russia does have its own seal hunt, but apparently they banned killings of animals under one year old. Weird. I don't see what they get out of it, unless they want to impress Europe, which has already banned seal products.

Excerpted from the Globe and Mail....
Russia and two of its neighbours have informed the World Trade Organization that they are banning the import and export of harp seal pelts – a move that animal-rights activists are celebrating as the death knell of Canada’s commercial seal industry.

Russia has been the biggest market for the Canadian seal fur industry. And harp seals are the prime source of that fur.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bob Barker Offers to Pay to Move Canadian Elephants to Sanctuary

I hope, when I reach their age, I'm as active and effective as Bob Barker and Betty White are in the animal rights movement.

Excerpted from CBC News....
Legendary game show host Bob Barker says it will cost $200,000 to move three elephants from the Toronto Zoo to a California sanctuary, and he doesn't mind paying for it himself.

Toronto city council voted in October to move the elephants to a facility run by PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) near Galt, Calif., called ARK 2000.

The former host of The Price is Right, interviewed on CBC News Network on Monday, said the three female African elephants — Toka, Thika and Iringa — would be better off in a warmer climate.

"I don't think there should be elephants in Canada," said Barker, 88, during a live interview with CBC’s Carole MacNeil. "I love Canada and I love Canadians, but it's not the place for elephants and I think it's becoming obvious to the people up there.

"I grew up in South Dakota and I know a little bit about cold, and it's just not the place for an elephant."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Huge Ivory Seizure in Malaysia

Possibly the largest ever....full story here in Wildlife Extra News.
December 2011. Malaysian authorities have seized a staggering 15 tonnes of elephant ivory in Port Klang, just west of Kuala Lumpur; the sixth and by far the largest major seizure involving Malaysia in recent months, quite possibly the largest ever.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lawsuit to Challenge Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

Read the full article in the Washington Post....
A group of animal rights activists sued the U.S. government Thursday to challenge the constitutionality of a rarely used law they say treats them like terrorists if they cause a loss in profits for businesses that use or sell animal products.

Five activists represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights filed the lawsuit in federal court in Boston, asking that the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act be struck down as unconstitutional because it has a chilling effect on lawful protest activities

I wish them luck!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Canada Leaves Kyoto Protocol

PAH!

Read the whole article at thestar.com.
The Conservative government is facing a barrage of criticism at home and abroad for its decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, including assertions the move could be breaking federal law.

On Tuesday, Canada’s Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan said he has a legal mandate to continue to inform Parliament of the government’s progress when it comes to meeting its targets under the binding climate accord.

Under the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, Vaughan is obliged to provide yearly reports to MPs on the country’s efforts to meet its targets — even if the government pulls out of the agreement. Vaughan said he is working with a team of lawyers to determine what the implications of the government’s decision will be.

“If the act remains, then we will inform Parliament, and the question will be: How will we do this?” Vaughan said. “If the act remains an act of Parliament, then we will abide by the law.”

Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May accused the Conservatives of breaking domestic law by withdrawing from the international climate-change accord — a move she says has made Canada a “pariah on the world stage.”

Monday, December 12, 2011

BLM Admits Horse Roundups Have Involved Mistreatment

An internal review by the US Bureau of Land Management admits that the roundup of wild horses has involved some mistreatment, but they refuse to admit the treatment was inhumane.

Excerpted from USA Today....
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's internal review of a wild horse roundup in Nevada found some mustangs were whipped in the face, kicked in the head, dragged by a rope around the neck, and repeatedly shocked with electrical prods, but the agency concluded none of the mistreatment rose to the level of being inhumane.

The Bureau of Land Management's internal review of a wild horse roundup in Nevada in Sept., found some mustangs were kicked in the head, dragged by a rope around the neck and repeatedly shocked with electrical prods, but the agency concluded none of the mistreatment rose to the level of inhumane.

BLM Director Bob Abbey did, however, determine additional training is needed for the workers and contractors involved. Abbey, the former BLM state director for Nevada, said the roundup this summer near the Utah line was done correctly for the most part. But he said the review cited some incidents of inappropriate practices, including helicopters jeopardizing the health and safety of horses by following too closely or chasing small bands or individual animals for too long.

"Aggressive and rough handling of wild horses is not acceptable, and we are actively taking steps to ensure that such behavior is not repeated," Abbey said in a statement announcing a number of procedures intended to improve and further review the BLM's standard operating procedures for roundups.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ugh! North Sea Birds with Plastic in Them

Pretty gross and sad. Read the full story here.
Data from studies monitoring the amount of consumer plastic eaten by sea birds suggest that levels in the North Sea are well above targets... and the figures are rising.

For the most recent monitoring period, the target amount was exceeded in well over half the birds studied, with the English Channel being the worst affected region with 74% of birds over the threshold.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

California Exotic Animal Laws Criticized by Some

Here's an interesting article. Ohio's governor just signed an executive order modeled on California's exotic animal laws, actually spurring criticism of the effectiveness of those laws.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Horse Slaughter Could Start Up Again in One Month

Bad news for horses in the US. Of course, right now, they're just being shipped to Canada and Mexico anyway, where health and welfare standards are much, much lower.

Read the complete article at pantagraph.com.....
Horses could soon be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month.

Slaughter opponents pushed a measure cutting off funding for horse meat inspections through Congress in 2006 after other efforts to pass outright bans on horse slaughter failed in previous years. Congress lifted the ban in a spending bill President Barack Obama signed into law Nov. 18 to keep the government afloat until mid-December.

It did not, however, allocate any new money to pay for horse meat inspections, which opponents claim could cost taxpayers $3 million to $5 million a year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to find the money in its existing budget, which is expected to see more cuts this year as Congress and the White House aim to trim federal spending.

The USDA issued a statement Tuesday saying there are no slaughterhouses in the U.S. that butcher horses for human consumption now, but if one were to open, it would conduct inspections to make sure federal laws were being followed. USDA spokesman Neil Gaffney declined to answer questions beyond what was in the statement.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Efforts to Rescue Lolita the Orca from Miami

Read the rest of the article in the Courthouse News Service....
Animal-rights activists claim an orca is being held in an "inadequate tank" in the Miami Seaquarium. They sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for excluding captive killer whales from listing under the Endangered Species Act.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Individuals and three individuals challenge the NMFS decision "to exclude from the listing of the Southern Resident killer whale population all captive members of that population and their progeny."

The federal complaint focuses on a whale named Lolita, who was captured more than 40 years ago, and has been held at the Miami Seaquarium. The activists claim Lolita is being "kept in an inadequate tank, without companions of her own species or adequate protection from the sun."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Attempted Delay in Toronto Elephants Transfer to Sanctuary

The zoo keepers at the Toronto are desperately trying to get the City Council to reconsider its decision to move three aging elephants to a sanctuary. They presented the Council with a petition with 1,100 signatures.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Controversial Elephant Death at San Diego Zoo

Here's the full article from the Los Angeles Times.....
An animal rights group has called for a federal investigation into the death of an elephant at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Umoya, a 21-year-old African elephant, died Thursday, possibly due to injuries suffered during an attack by another elephant.

The Northern California-based In Defense of Animals called for the Department of Agriculture, which does inspections of zoos, to investigate Umoya's death.

"This elephant's shocking death is another tragic example of how elephants suffer in inadequate and artificial zoo exhibits," said Catherine Doyle, elephant campaign director for the group.

As part of standard procedure, Umoya's death has already been reported to federal officials by the zoo.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also criticized the zoo in the wake of the death. "Umoya should never have been removed from her home to begin with," said PETA spokesman David Perle.

Umoya was one of seven elephants brought to the Safari Park -- then known as the Wild Animal Park -- in 2003 from the African nation of Swaziland. The Safari Park has 18 elephants, including Umoya's two offspring.

PETA and In Defense of Animals oppose keeping elephants in zoos.
iego Zoo over death of elephant
November 19, 2011 | 8:28 am 6116

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mexico and US Go at it Again Over Dolphin-Labeling and Tuna

From the Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest....
The long-running dispute between the US and Mexico over Washington’s ‘dolphin safe’ labelling practice for tuna products is likely to see a WTO appeal, after the two parties together asked for an extension of the appeals deadline. Meanwhile, animal welfare and consumer advocacy groups in Washington are urging the US to look into options outside the global trade body for resolving the trade row.

WTO appeals deadline extended to January

At its last meeting on 11 November, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) decided to extend the deadline for submitting an appeal on the latest Tuna-Dolphin (DS381) ruling issued in September (see Bridges Weekly, 21 September 2011).

.....Washington had partially lost its claim in this high-stakes dispute over the US “dolphin safe” label for tuna products when a panel ruled the US practice unnecessarily trade restrictive (for further analysis on the tuna-dolphin case, see Bridges Trade BioRes Review, November 2011).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Animal Welfare in the State of California

California really is at the forefront of animal welfare and this is an excellent article detailing what's going on in the State and the challenges animal welfare faces. It also does a great job at profiling Jennifer Fearing who led the victory of Proposition 2. She sounds amazing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Followup: Some Zoo Keepers Fighting to Stop Elephant Transfer to Sanctuary

Excepted from the Toronto News....
War has erupted between Toronto Zoo elephant keepers and the animal rights group helping to co-ordinate a move of three aging elephants to a California sanctuary.

Zoocheck Canada’s Julie Woodyer told the Star she has rescinded an offer to pay for one of the dozen keepers to fly to the PAWS sanctuary this weekend with her and two councillors, Michelle Berardinetti and Raymond Cho.

She is also considering shutting the keepers out of training the pachyderms for the risky trip — a move the keepers say would be foolish and potentially dangerous for the animals they know better than anyone.

Woodyer said last week a trainer would be welcome on the trip, which follows council’s vote to override a zoo board decision to first look for an accredited zoo as a new home for Iringa, 42; Toka, 41; and Thika, 31.

That changed, she said, last Friday when one of the keepers started calling councillors directly, urging them to hold another vote and reverse the decision to send the animals to the 80-acre PAWS sanctuary in San Andreas.

“That’s insubordination — city staff can’t go above their managers’ head and do those kinds of things,” Woodyer said. “They were trying to sabotage the process. We’re happy to work with them but need them to be straight up and upfront with us.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Followup: Witherspoon Will Stop Carrying Python Purse

I don't know what she's going to do with it, but at least she'll stop carrying it. She's supposedly a vegetarian and is friends with Walk the Line co-star Joaquin Phoenix who is a huge animal rights activist and vegan.

I still don't understand what she was doing. She knew it was an animal skin....and she spent $4,000 on it? CRAZY!

PETA is very happy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Witherspoon in Trouble for Python Purse

For some bizarre reason (hopefully just ignorance), Reese Witherspoon has pissed off animal rights activists by purchasing and carrying around a purse made out of python skin. Python skinning is horrible, brutal and repulsive. And it's illegal for her to have it at least in the State of California.

And she paid $4,000 for it. Sorry, but that's stupid enough on its own. $4,000 for a frigging purse?!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Toronto Zoo's Remaining Elephants to Go to Sanctuary

This is excellent news. Not only is Toronto closing its elephant exhibit, but the City Council voted to send the remaining elderly elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary instead of another zoo.

Yay!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sad Story about Exotic Animals in Ohio

The owner released them and killed himself. Now, 48 of the 56 animals have been put down. Tragic. These animals include endangered species.

What was he thinking?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Foie Gras to Be Banned in California

Apparently, this will happen in 8 months. I had no idea!

Excerpted from The New York Times.....
In eight months, the sale of foie gras will be banned in California. But for seven hours on Friday night, at a restaurant appropriately known as Animal, three chefs presented an eight-course meal that was nothing short of a glorification of this soon-to-be-outlawed delicacy. There was smoked foie gras, roasted foie gras, steamed foie gras and liquefied foie gras, injected into agnolotti. It was served with veal tongue, yogurt, prosciutto, mustard ice cream and truffles. There was even a foie gras dessert: a brownie sundae with foie gras Chantilly.

With all its gluttonous excess, and with the backdrop of the animal rights protesters, the sold-out dinner became the fattiest of food as political protest, offering a clash of competing passions in a battle that has reverberated across the nation but finally settled here, the first state in the nation to criminalize the sale of foie gras, the fattened liver of a goose or a duck.

It was also a perhaps belated realization by these chefs and their fans that a law signed eight years ago is truly taking effect and is about to change the way they do business drastically, putting California on the front lines of the battle about force-feeding ducks and geese to produce the silky liver delicacy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dutch Whale Denied Freedom; Must Go to Spanish Amusement Park

Unfortunate, but the court decided she would not survive being returned to the wild.

Here's an excerpt from the online Boston Globe...
Morgan, a 4-year-old killer whale, has lost her bid for freedom

Agriculture Secretary Henk Bleker ruled Wednesday that the orca, rescued last year ailing and emaciated from the Wadden Sea off the northern Dutch coast, should be transferred to an amusement park on the Spanish island of Tenerife.

A Dutch court had suspended the government's export permit after an animal rights coalition presented a plan to release her to the wild in stages. A judge ordered the coalition, the Agriculture Ministry and the Harderwijk Dolphinarium, which put her ondisplay after nursing her back to health, to review the scientific evidence and work out a solution.

Bleker said after hearing arguments from both sides that Morgan's chances of survival were too slim if she were freed.

"This feels like a defeat because an animal like this really belongs in the sea and not a zoo," Bleker said in a statement. "Morgan belongs in the wild, but not at all costs."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Canada's Military Goes Back to Fur Hats

I think this is just stubbornness.

Excerpted from UPI.....
Canada's military is reverting to issuing real fur winter hats to soldiers, replacing synthetic tuques for winter use, the Department of Defense announced.

An initial order for 1,000 of the new "Yukon" hats with muskrat fur has been placed at a cost of $65,000, the Globe and Mail reported.

As late as the 1990s, female soldiers were issued winter hats made from mink and the ceremonial guard in Ottawa still wear the tall bearskin hats known as a "busby" by their British counterparts in London.

Defense spokeswoman Josee Hunter told the newspaper "the uniforms worn by the Canadian Forces are a reflection of Canada's proud heritage," although animal rights activists had a different take on heritage.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Group Seeks to Ban Chinese Fur Trade with Australia

GRUESOME!

Excerpted from the International Business Times....
Humane Society International (HSI) called on Wednesday for a ban on the fur trade to Australia. The call was issued after the animal rights group discovered that the fur were sourced from the raccoon dog in China, ABC Radio Australia reports.

About 10 million dogs in China are killed for their fur, prompting an animal rights group to seek a ban on fur trade to Australia. The dog fur are used are inside lining for ugg boots.

What angered the society were reports that Chinese workers skinned the dogs while still alive. The dog's fur is used to make Ugg boots, a popular fashion brand in Australia, to line the inside of the shoe. However, the fur is passed off as sheep skin.

Besides raccoon dogs, other types of domestic dogs are also suffering because of the high demand for their fur. Verna Simpson, director for Asia Pacific of HIS, estimated about 10 million domestic dogs in China are killed yearly for their fur.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lucy the Elephant's Case to be Heard by Canadian Supreme Court?

Could be.

Excerpted from CTV News....
The Supreme Court of Canada could be getting involved in the battle over the fate of an ailing elephant in an Edmonton zoo.

Animal rights groups are seeking leave to appeal to the high court in their ongoing fight to have Lucy the elephant moved to a warm-weather U.S. wildlife sanctuary.

PETA and Zoocheck have applied to challenge an Alberta Court of Appeal split decision last month that ruled against their plan to sue the City of Edmonton over Lucy.

One of the appeal court justices wrote a dissenting opinion, saying the groups should have public standing in the case and it should go to trial.

In their Supreme Court application, the groups say private citizens have a right to seek legal remedies to ensure that governments enforce animal protection laws.

"Every day that Lucy spends at the Valley Zoo, her condition continues to deteriorate," Jeffrey Kerr, a lawyer for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said Wednesday

Friday, September 30, 2011

First-Ever Conference to End Factory Farming

This sounds wonderful. It will be in Arlington, VA at the end of October. Someday, if it becomes an annual event, I hope I can go.

http://www.factoryfarmingconference.org/

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Activists Set Fire to Idaho Fur Store

I just don't support these tactics. I hate fur....it's disgusting. But burning a store just 1) makes us into terrorists, 2) does nothing to stop the trade, 3) probably won't even stop the store because they'll get insurance money and reopen and 4) only feeds into sympathy for the industry and the business owners.

JMHO.

Excerpted from Reuters....
Animal rights activists claimed responsibility on Monday for a fire that caused $100,000 in damage to a Boise-area store that sells fur coats and fireworks, authorities said.

No one was injured in the early morning blaze at Rocky Mountain Fur & Fireworks, a retailer in Caldwell, Idaho, about 30 miles northwest of the state capital.

The North American Animal Liberation Press Office, which says it conveys messages for unnamed animal advocates, distributed a statement from a group calling itself the "arson unit" that said it set fire to a store stocked with "chemically treated skins of thousands of tortured animals".

"By oppressing innocent life, you've lost your rights. We've come to take you down a notch. Stay in business and we'll be back," the unit said.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Suit Filed Over Cows Killed to Drive Up Milk Prices

If the dairy companies were doing this, well, that's cold!

Excerpted from the Seattle P-I....
A Seattle law firm is taking on dairies, claiming that a price-fixing scheme has consumers paying too much for milk.

The class-action lawsuit accuses companies of slaughtering thousands of cows just to decrease supply.

Animal rights group Compassion Over Killing was the first to uncover the alleged systematic slaughter of healthy dairy cows in California. The group turned to Seattle attorney Steve Berman, who filed the suit claiming more than half a million U.S. dairy cows were slaughtered over seven years to artificially reduce the supply of milk and drive up prices.

"The cooperatives got together and instituted what we'll call a killing program; they retired cows," he said. Berman said the milk producers called it "dairy herd retirement", but he insists it was a way to cheat consumers and line their own pockets.

"Using their own numbers, we calculated conservatively that (they) raised the price of milk over a seven-year period by $10 billion," Berman said.

Berman said all milk products - everything from cheese to butter - got more expensive. His firm sued Cooperatives Working Together, its members are dairy companies and trade groups.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quebec to Review Puppy Mill Laws

The fallout from the huge puppy mill seizure is fueling calls for a review of Quebec's animal rights laws, which are abysmal even for Canada. It's unbelievable that the maximum penalty would be $1,200 if convicted.

Exerpted from CTV News...
Animal welfare workers are calling for stricter laws on breeding facilities after more than 500 allegedly malnourished dogs were seized from a Quebec puppy farm last week.

The dogs were confiscated from Paws "R" Us Kennel in Clarendon Township, about 90 minutes northwest of Ottawa. The raid might represent the largest puppy seizure in Canada.

Under Quebec law, the kennel owners could face a maximum penalty of only $1,200 if convicted of animal cruelty — a penalty that some animal rights advocates say is too lenient.

"You need to reopen the law to change the fines," said a representative from an animal welfare group.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Huge Dog Seizure at Quebec Kennel

This is huge.

Excerpt from the Vancouver Sun....
One of the largest animal rescue operations in Canadian history just got a lot bigger: about 90 puppies have been born since hundreds of dogs were seized northwest of Ottawa.

"We have a lot of puppies here and a lot more puppies coming," said Rebecca Aldworth, the executive director of Humane Society International Canada.

More than 500 dogs were removed from the Paws 'R' Us kennel in Clarendon Township, Que., about 90 kilometres northwest of Ottawa, during the weekend seizure, which was carried out by Humane Society International Canada, Quebec's agriculture and fisheries ministry and area police. The dogs were taken to an emergency shelter in Lachute, about 115 kilometres east of Ottawa.

The dogs will remain there until a custody hearing determines whether they will be returned to the owner of the kennel or placed under the care of the province.

If custody goes to the province, Aldworth said, the humane society will put the dogs up for adoption, regardless of whether the owner is charged or not.

The owner of the kennel has maintained she was targeted by animal rights activists and that inspectors found only trivial violations.

Aldworth said about 100 dogs received critical veterinary care, but could not say how many were expected to survive or suffer long-term health problems. She said the humane society has already received calls from people wanting to adopt from all over Canada.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bull Gets Gored to Death in Spanish Festival

I've read some pretty disgusting stuff in writing this blog, but this just pisses me off. As a Portuguese-American, I hate bullfights...and they even have the stupid things in California.

Townspeople in Tordesillas spear a bull to death in some festival tradition dating back to medieval times. It's a "cultural asset." Disgusting.

Excerpted from the Montreal Gazette....
Lance-wielding Spanish townspeople speared a huge fighting bull to the death Tuesday, defying a lone protester who sprayed some of them with an irritant.

Hundreds of people, many on horseback, turned out for the combat with a 608-kilogram (1,338-pound) black bull named Afligido — Spanish for Sorrowful — in the centuries-old "Toro de la Vega" festival.

The massive beast charged through the fortified town of Tordesillas, central Spain, crossing a bridge over the River Duero and into a plain in a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages.

Before the lancing began, a female protester sprayed an irritant at some of those taking part before being taken away by police, a witness to the event said.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Seal Industry Tries to Capitalize on Medical Researchers Conjectures

While I'm not a fan of using animal hearts for transplants, I'm far more sympathetic to that than to simply using their parts for human vanity consumption. But the seal industry doesn't care. They'll exploit anything to try to save their barbaric trade and, if they can use guilt, even better.

Excerpted from the Chronicle-Herald...
Dr. Philippe Pibarot has been studying seal heart valves to see if they might be a better transplant option for humans than those from cows or pigs, believing they may be more durable than the other animal tissue.

The research at Laval University is still in the earliest stages. Pibarot has yet to begin collecting data through testing rodents and he says that a clinical trial in humans is hypothetical at this point - at least a decade of positive results and funding would have to be established first.

Despite that, a Quebec-based seal fur company has begun championing Pibarot's hypothesis, seeing the research as a buoy for Canada's beleaguered seal harvest.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Commissioned Study Shows Namibian Seals Worth More Alive than Dead

Seal tourism brings in more revenue for the African country than the seal hunt. These are the results of a study commissioned by Bont voor Dieren (BvD), Humane Society International (HSI), Respect for Animals (RFA) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), and produced by the Australia-based independent economics consultancy Economists at Large.

Excerpted from PR Newswire...
"Each year, up to 85,000 seals are killed in Namibia to make just a few dollars from their furs, when they would be worth so much more to the Namibian economy alive," said Claire Bass, WSPA International Oceans Campaign Leader. "Eco-tourism is a growing part of Namibia's identity, but tourists will be shocked to learn that a seal they photograph one day may be clubbed to death the next morning. There is a clear economic case for the government to protect these animals."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mexican Border Town Offers Tax Exemption for Euthanizing Dogs

There's a stray dog problem in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. The solution? If you bring in the dog for euthanization, you get a tax exemption...hooray!

Sarcasm there of course. Clearly, there's no spay/neuter program in this place. But there are animal rights activists in Mexico that will hopefully take notice and try to establish some kind of long-term and humane solution.

From Latino Fox News...
Mexican border town has a big dog problem, and it’s not sure what to do about it.

There are about 70,000 stray dogs roaming San Luis Rio Colorado in northern Mexico. That’s one dog for every two inhabitants, according to the BBC.

The town has become so overrun with dogs, that the government began offering a tax exemption of $17 per stray that was offered for euthanasia.

That move prompted an uproar in northern Mexico after animal rights groups argued the government was barking up the wrong tree, and they demanded the town stop what they called unnecessary “dog killings.” Activists said what the government was doing qualified as “animal torture,” and they called for legislative reform.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Group to Protest Ringling Brothers

Ringling Brothers is coming to Kent, WA, and I'm happy to know the Northwest Animal Rights Network will be protesting (we live in nearby Seattle by the way.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Janet Jackson Continues as Spokesperson for Mink Fur Company

What is the attraction of fur? I just don't get it. Wear your own damn skin! I'm disappointed in Janet Jackson and am totally taking her stuff off Rhapsody. No way will I add Jennifer Lopez either.

Excerpted from Popcrush...
Janet Jackson will reprise her role as the spokesmodel for Blackglama’s ‘What Becomes a Legend Most’ ad campaign. Jackson was named a ‘Legend’ in last year’s campaign, as well, so this is familiar territory for her....

The new ads will begin running this fall, with the debut image landing the September issue of W. The black and white image to the left shows Jackson in a catsuit, looking fierce as ever.

In case you were not aware of what exactly Blackglama is, we’ll tell you. The Seattle-based company supplies “the finest, most luxurious and exclusive ranch-raised natural black mink.” Given the fact that Jackson is representing a company that traffics in the fur trade, animal rights activists might get their feathers ruffled by Jackson’s continued associations with a luxe fur brand. Jennifer Lopez has dealt with the same criticisms for her repeated wearing of fur products

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why Humans Are the Only Ones with Rights

Someone posted a question about why humans have human rights and whether they should considering that others do not. I responded. I'm reposting what I wrote as I rarely do any original writing for this blog anymore. It's not profound, but an opinion.
Please note the vast generalizations here, but, in the areas of religion, at least orthodox religion and there are varying levels of how fundamental you want to go, there is only one species with a soul and that is the human. We are made in God's image. Therefore, we are the only ones who matter and the only ones who should have rights. In the matter of science, and there are varying levels of this viewpoint, the human is the most advanced of creatures. we are at the top of the food and evolutionary ladder. We are the ones with the thumb, logical thinking, future planning abilities, the ability to self-analyze, worry, etc. Therefore, we are the only ones who should have rights.

Of course, there are also religious and science types that would argue that it is those very qualities that do not make us superior, but rather stewards. That it gives us more responsibility than simple dominion. However, then you get into the argument of whether creatures only deserve stewardship at the species level or the individual level. Do you care about the stray dog or the almost extinct tiger? What laws should be in effect, blah, blah (I could go on and on. )

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PETA to Start Using Porn in its Advocacy

Well, uh, I really don't know WHAT to say. Weird.

Excerpted from the Toronto Sun...
The fur is flying over plans by the People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals to run a porn site in the group’s fight against animal abuse.

Peta.xxx will have sexually explicit content and address animal rights issues.

Combining porn and images of abused animals is “repulsive,” insisted Gwen Landolt with Real Women of Canada.

“This exploits women and is an abuse of people. They have lost all sense of balance. Their extremism has goes beyond common sense. They are worried about animals but they don’t care about the value of women,” Landolt said.

“Combining pornography and animal abuse together is disturbing.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cambodian Blood Sport: Crocodiles Tearing Live Animals Apart

Disgusting.

It's happening at the Siem Reap Crocodile Farm in Cambodia.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Air Canada Feeling Pressure to Stop Shipping Lab Monkeys

I don't think it's likely that Air Canada is going to budge on this. Excerpted from the Montreal Gazette....
Animal-rights activists are urging Air Canada to stop shipping live monkeys and other animals destined for experimentation, saying the airline can change its tariff rules if it wants.

But the airline says it is legally obligated to accept the contentious cargo.

According to a legal opinion solicited by the Humane Society International Canada, Air Canada can set and amend the terms of its tariffs.

"In our opinion, Air Canada is not legally obligated to accept monkeys as cargo," said the opinion written by Lawyers for Animal Welfare.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weird Factoid about Cockfighting in Oklahoma

Cockfighting was illegal in Oklahoma until 1963, when a judge ruled that chickens are not animals and therefore unprotected by anticruelty laws.

~U.S. News & World Report, 6 December 1999

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Age of Mass Extinction

Sorry to be a downer, but here's an article that appeared in the Huffington Post. It's basically an interview with University of Washington Professor Peter Ward, whose book the End of Evolution I read over a decade ago. It discussed the mass extinction going on at the time. Unfortunately, nothing has changed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Legal Issues Arise Surrounding Dogs in Court Cases

Now this is an interesting legal issue! Can dogs be allowed into court rooms as comfort animals for traumatized witnesses or would they be swaying the jury?



Thursday, August 4, 2011

Animals Managing to Survive in Afghanistan

Apparently, wildlife in Afghanistan is managing to survive despite the horrors of war and violence. The stupid video won't embed, so here's the link to the web page. It's from Time Magazine.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Indian Government to Protect Bulls from Entertainment Use

The Indian government has decided to add bulls to the list of animals protected from entertainment uses. This prevents them from being exploited in Goa, an Indian state that had considered reviving the tradition. (Goa was once part of the Portuguese empire which is where the bullfighting ridiculousness comes from....as a Portuguese-American, I can say that.) There are still illegal events though.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Walk for Farm Animals Scheduled for this Fall

From the Farm Sanctuary....

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Meredith Turner, Farm Sanctuary, 646-369-6212, mturner@farmsanctuary.org

2011 Walk for Farm Animals Aims to Raise $1 Million for Abused and Neglected Farm Animals

Thousands of People in More Than 35 Cities Across North America to Gather for Family-Friendly Event That Promotes Compassion for ALL Animals

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – July 28, 2011 – This fall, thousands of people in more than 35 cities across North America will gather for the 2011 Walk for Farm Animals, a series of fun, community-focused events that promote kindness to animals and raise vital funds to support the lifesaving work of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. For more information on the Walk and how to register, please visit walkforfarmanimals.org.

For 25 years, Farm Sanctuary has relied on the Walk to support its mission to protect farm animals from cruelty and inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals. These family-friendly events are an opportunity for those concerned with the cruel and horrific practices of factory farming to take a stand in support of compassion for animals and raise awareness about the mistreatment of animals raised for food. Each event will offer its own unique schedule, including such attractions as speakers, live music, delicious food, raffle prizes, face painting, and costume contests. “When you walk, you give hope to billions of farm animals who suffer appalling cruelty and confinement each year on factory farms,” says Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur, who TIME magazine recently called “the conscience of the food movement.”

“The Walk for Farm Animals is a positive way to speak out on behalf of animals who cannot speak for themselves and to make a real difference in their lives.” About Farm Sanctuary Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, promotes legislative, policy, and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals. For more information, please visit farmsanctuary.org.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Awful Horse and Carriage Crash in NYC

Can crashes into carriage. Just so inhumane and dangerous. They have them here in Seattle. I just hate them, although it sounds like NYC is particularly bad.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Second Bear Killed On Trans-Canada Highway

Interestingly, we just went on a tour of the Canadian Rockies where the wildlife corridors and fences were lauded by the tour guide as a way for wildlife to avoid the roads. Apparently, there's room for improvement.

From the Calgary Herald....
The second bear to meet its end this year on the Trans-Canada Highway has prompted an animal rights group to call for immediate repairs to a fence line intended to protect wildlife in Banff National Park.

Park staff had been monitoring the bear in the hopes the adult female would avoid the busy roadway.

At one point, they had parked vehicles on the side of the road and flashed their lights, slowing down traffic.

The efforts were to no avail.

The bear was struck last week and found dead two days later.

The southern Alberta chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has reacted to the death by calling on Parks Canada to reduce the speed limit in areas where the wildlife fence is under construction.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dutch May Ban Kosher Slaughter of Livestock

It could have a snowball effect for other countries in Europe, although probably it certainly won't be seen as politically correct.

Excerpted from the Irish Times....
THE DUTCH parliament has voted overwhelmingly to ban the ritual slaughter of livestock. This could halt production of kosher and halal meat in the Netherlands – and lead to similar campaigns in other European countries.

However, Jewish and Islamic groups which can prove animals do not suffer more during ritual killing than in an ordinary slaughterhouse will be able to apply for permits.

In a move aimed at further defusing the controversy over the proposed ban, deputy prime minister Maxime Verhagen gave an undertaking no new legislation would be signed into law until approved by the senate. Dutch law requires animals to be stunned before slaughter, but has long allowed an exemption for Muslims and orthodox Jews, who can legally butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mercy for Animals Exposes Cruelty at Iowa Select Farms

Safeway and Kroger have announced they're halting all purchases of the farm's pork. Mercy for Animals is trying to convince Costco to do the same.

News story is from the end of June. D'oh! Almost let that one slip by!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Woodland Park Zoo and its Controversial Elephant Breeding Efforts

An article in today's Seattle Times about Woodland Park Zoo's attempts over the last 20 years to breed elephants. Very controversial with organizations such as In Defense of Animals, PETA and the Northwest Animal Rights Network. They say it's cruel. The zoo claims it's to preserve the species....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hope for Hen Welfare

A press release I received from the Farm Sanctuary....


Animal Welfare Groups Win Industry Backing for First-Ever Federal Regulation of Hen Welfare

Groundswell of Public Support Results in Full Court Press for Nationwide Law Protecting Chickens to Replace State-by-State Initiatives

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – July 8, 2011 – In a groundbreaking move that should result in the greatest advancement for farmed animals in U.S. history, the United Egg Producers (UEP) has agreed to support national legislation that will, upon enactment, improve the welfare of all laying hens in the nation. Enactment of the bill will bring about the first federal law relating to the treatment of chickens used for food, the first federal law relating to the treatment of animals while on factory farms, and the first farmed animal protection legislation in more than 30 years.

Today’s deal is the apex of a 25 year-long struggle that Farm Sanctuary (www.farmsanctuary.org) and other animal protection organizations have had with the egg industry, in which Farm Sanctuary has investigated and produced undercover video of battery farms, produced and disseminated scientific reports on caged hen welfare, initiated statewide ballot initiatives, and constantly mobilized its hundreds of thousands of supporters to write letters, sign petitions, and work on behalf of hens in cages in myriad ways.

Because of the work of Farm Sanctuary supporters and other animal protection advocates across the nation, the UEP now understands the overwhelming opposition to battery cages, which were subject to a ballot initiative in California in 2008, in which California citizens voted overwhelmingly to ban the cages; the initiative received more “yes” votes than any other ballot measure in California history. Similar legislation, on hold as a result of today’s agreement, was planned in Washington State and Oregon. Specifically, if it becomes law the legislation will:

• require the nationwide elimination of battery cages—tiny cages that nearly immobilize hundreds of millions of laying hens today;

• require environmental enrichments so that birds can engage in important natural behaviors currently denied to them in barren cages, such as perches, nesting boxes, and scratching areas;

• mandate labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs, such as “eggs from caged hens” or “eggs from cage-free hens;”

• prohibit forced molting through starvation—an inhumane practice which is inflicted on tens of millions of hens each year and which involves withholding all food from birds for up to two weeks in order to shock their bodies into another laying cycle;

• prohibit excessive ammonia levels in henhouses—a common problem in the industry that is harmful to both hens and egg industry workers;

• require standards for euthanasia practices; and

• prohibit the sale of all eggs and egg products nationwide that don’t meet these requirements.

Some of the provisions will be implemented almost immediately after enactment, such as those relating to starvation, ammonia levels, and euthanasia, and others after just a few years, including labeling and the requirement that all birds will have to have at least 67 square inches of space per bird. Currently, approximately 50 million laying hens are confined at only 48 square inches per bird. Further improvements in mandated minimum space for hens occur later in the agreement.

“This deal represents a major victory for farmed animals,” explains Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary. “For too long, animals on factory farms have had no federal protection from even the most heinous abuse. We are proud of our significant part in making this legislation a reality, and we salute the hard work of animal protection advocates nationwide who worked so hard on behalf of our nation’s hens.”

About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, promotes legislative, policy, and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for rescued farm animals.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Polar Bears Keep "Threatened" Status

This is good news. For the full story, here's the link to the Environmental News Network.
A federal judge on Thursday upheld a 2008 decision to protect polar bears throughout their range as a “threatened” species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The listing was the result of a 2005 petition and litigation filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace. The polar bear was the first species added to the Endangered Species List due solely to the threat from global warming.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Swiss Activists Try to Ban Seal Products

I had no idea that Switzerland is NOT part of the EU. Therefore, the EU's ban on seal products does not apply to them. But activists are trying to change that.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

PETA to Run Billboards Against the University of Washington's Animal Research

I live in Seattle and, while I don't always agree with PETA, I hate the UW's animal research practices. I don't believe these animals get the quality of care they deserve for the suffering they undergo. If you "humanize" the animal and grow attached, how can you conduct experiments on it? You have to objectify them and they suffer for it.

I'm glad PETA is drawing attention to this issue. On the other hand, I hope that the association of PETA with this issue doesn't backfire. They are so polarizing....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Support Farm Sanctuary!

Love this group!

Here's a book that you can buy about rescued farm animals and their stories. It should be inspiring and it's a great way to support an extraordinary organization.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Henry Rollins to Host Weird New Show on National Geographic

This sounds to me like it's glorifying the use and misuse of exotic animals. I'm not particularly thrilled about it, even though they are claiming that they are not into encouraging the activities.

Anything for ratings I guess...

Excerpted from Reuters...
Rollins will host "Animal Underworld," which features people who own exotic animals as well as those who eat them. He visits Arizona's Road Kill Cafe, where the menu features not-so-exotic fare. And he meets people who consume things you would not find on the menu even at the Road Kill, like frog smoothies and tarantulas -- the former because it supposedly increases virility and the latter for medicinal purposes.

If "Animal Underworld" sounds a little edgy for the august National Geographic brand -- which has a standards and practices department that vets everything for accuracy -- senior vp Geoff Daniels assures it is in keeping with Nat Geo's mission of exploration and investigation.

"It's really an investigation into our relationship with animals," he says. "It's covering the full range from the off-beat and quirky to the potentially illicit. And our approach to (the latter) is to make sure that we're obviously not encouraging that behavior."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Royal Decree Issued in Spain Over Animal Welfare

Interesting! Effective? Who knows?

Here's an excerpt from Farmers Weekly Interactive....
The Spanish government has taken the unusual step of issuing a royal decree to compel farmers to report on what action they are taking to comply with the 2012 conventional cage-ban and if they require any government assistance.

In the decree the Spanish Government outlines a training and publicity initiatives to promote new methods of production to farmers and the public as well as a timeline to receive and investigate plans for conversion as well as committing €300m in loans for farmers to convert to enriched facilities.

But some industry experts doubt Spain, a nation which has an unemployment rate above 20% and a stagnant economy, can afford to pay out €300m to farmers. Others have suggested that the amount of money allocated would only be enough to assist half the Spanish egg industry to convert.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Apparent Welfare Improvement at British Horse Fair

This excerpt is from Smallholder....
Welfare officers from international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary have reported an improvement in the welfare of donkeys and other equines at this year’s Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria, which finished earlier this week.

Staff from The Donkey Sanctuary worked closely with the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, Redwings Horse Sanctuary and The Blue Cross to promote donkey welfare at Britain’s largest horse fair. The team of three welfare officers, a vet and the charity’s head of welfare checked on the condition of donkeys at the fair and made sure that they had adequate access to food and water. They also spoke with donkey owners, sellers and members of the public, offering information and advice about donkey welfare.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s Head of Welfare, Michael Crane, says: “We are pleased to report an improvement in animal welfare at this year’s Appleby Horse Fair. Our welfare officers checked a number of donkeys at the fair and found all of them to be in a reasonable condition with access to hay and water. This is a real step forward from last year when four donkeys in an extremely poor condition were relinquished to The Donkey Sanctuary after being formally signed over to the RSPCA.

Scandal at Los Angeles Animal Shelter

LA Animal Services is the subject of an internal investigation surrounding missing animals. At first, it sounds like employees may have been taking them, but volunteers had access too....

Excerpt from CityWatch...
Brenda Barnette, General Manager of the Animal Services Department, said 64 animals have disappeared from six shelters in roughly a year,” Zanhiser reports. “Of that total, 39 were housed at the city's North Central shelter on Lacy Street — a missing rate considered unusually high.”

“They were the young ones, the cute ones,” Barnette said. "They were ones that would have been likely to have been sold or be a nice gift for someone." The majority of the unaccounted-for animals were dogs, Barnette said.”

At a recent Encino Neighborhood Council meeting Ms. Barnette announced that her LA Animal Services staff has a “few bad apples”—not exactly the public description you expect from a City manager. This week she disclosed that she went to Mayor Villaraigosa and LAPD, plus Human Resources to ask them to help sniff out what happened to 64 animals—mostly dogs—missing from over 68,000 impounded this year at six city shelters.

Ms. Barnette apparently failed to mention that early this year she personally ordered that volunteers are to have keys to the kennels to remove animals at any time. The type of key she made available is reportedly the universal key that provides access to all city facilities and is not marked “Do Not Duplicate.” She also reportedly did not set up a standard procedure for monitoring the issuance and use of the keys.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pale Male Has New Chicks

I've been following Pale Male (the red-tailed hawk that lives in Central Park) since over 5 years ago when his nest was destroyed by ritzy apartment dwellers and it created a major international outcry. The nest was rebuilt, but Pale Male and his mate Lola never had another successful nesting.

Sadly, Lola disappeared a while ago, but Pale Male has a new mate named Lima. And they have had a successful nesting.

Here is his website with photos updated daily.

Here's a video of the chicks' feeding. Cute!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Vegan Diets Becoming More High Profile

According to this article in the CBC News, they are growing in popularity.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Woman Leads Fight Against Circuses in Portugal

I like this story because I can only imagine the conditions of circus animals in Portugal. When I was in the Azores, there was a circus called Atlas I think and there were horrible, gaudy posters. I just had a sick feeling about the possible treatment of those animals. Being of Azorean heritage, and, therefore, Portuguese, I know personally that animal welfare is not a cultural value.

Anyway, here's a German woman who lives in the Algarve and is appalled at a particular circus' treatment of its animals. The EU apparently wants to "regulate" instead of banning circuses. Are they that much of an economic powerhouse?!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sea Shepherd Busts Whale Meat Importer

From examiner.com....
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is just about ready to chalk up a win against a California seafood dealer who imported endangered whale meat from Tokyo and sold it to Califorian restaurants. Today, according to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Ginichi Y Ohira was charged in Los Angeles federal court with selling whale meat in violation of the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society had run a sting operation to collect evidence related to the serving of whale meat.

Sea Shepherd activists Zoli Teglas and Crystal Galbraith and Charles Hambleton (producer of The Cove) visited The Hump resaurant in Santa Monica and pocketed pieces of suspect meat for formal testing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quebec is the Best Province to be an Animal Abuser

Wow. That sucks. From the Montreal Gazette...
An animal rights group based in the United States has ranked Quebec “the best province to be an animal abuser” in a report on Canada’s animal welfare record.

The Animal Legal Defence Fund says in its fourth annual report ranking Canada’s 13 provinces and territories on their animal protection laws that only Nunavut ranks worse than Quebec.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Alabama Greyhound Track to End Races

Excellent news!

From Forbes.com....
The financially troubled VictoryLand in Shorter is ending live dog racing, officials said Tuesday.

Chief Operating Officer Lewis Benefield said electronic bingo games subsidized live greyhound racing for many years, and live races are no longer feasible now that bingo is shut down.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mexican Senators Look at Banning Bullfights

I'm very, very surprised. And not very optimistic. Mexico is notorious for its bullfights and lack of animal rights. But, still, I can't dismiss it.

From Fox News (blech)...

Senators from the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, are working on legislation to ban bullfights and guarantee animal rights in Mexico, a lawmaker said.

The legislation, which will be introduced in the next session, would impose fines and jail time on violators, Sen. Maria de los Angeles Moreno, who is sponsoring the bill, said.

"Bullfights seem really thoughtless and savage to me," the senator said in a press conference on Monday.

Several groups, including Spain's Plataforma Prou, the Mexican Association for Animal Rights, or Amedea, and the Proyecto Proteccion Animal, have been consulted on the bill, Moreno said.

The legislation provides for the punishment of those who abuse animals, including pets, and it would create incentives for people to adopt pets instead of purchasing them.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Animal Research Scientists Sponsor Billboards

Well, you know how they are....going for the emotion and oversimplifying the issue. Certainly not showing what they do, how they are funded and how the licensing of their "altruistic" work nets them a tidy sum.

This billboard poses the issue as an either/or...save the child or the rat. Bullshit. It's not that simple. How many of these experiments are even necessary? How many of them are of the quality of checking to see whether junk food makes someone fat?

Please.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Japan Set for Whale Hunt Despite Earthquake and Tsunami

Nothing stops the Japanese whalers!

From Radio New Zealand....
The ABC reports five crews from the town of Ayukawa have joined the hunt, even though the tsunami destroyed Ayukawa Whaing's storage facility and carried its fleet of three whaling vessels hundreds of metres inland, where they remain.

The disaster came shortly after Japan recalled its Antarctic whaling fleet a month early, citing the threat posed by the environmentalist group Sea Shepherd.

A fisheries officials says two whaling vessels have left Kushiro on the east coast of the northern island of Hokkaido and are expected to catch up to 60 minke whales until June.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Action Alert to Help Louisiana Tiger

This is an awful story of a tiger kept captive at a horrible truck stop in Louisiana. The Animal Legal Defense League is trying to save it. Please visit this link and respond.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Missouri Lawmakers Repealing Puppy Mill Measure Approved by Voters

This is infuriating. Here's a link to the full story...
Months after Missouri voters approved a measure that cracks down on what animal advocates say are some of the nation’s most notorious puppy mills, lawmakers are poised to repeal much of the law, saying the rules are too costly and punish legitimate dog-breeders who generate an estimated $1 billion annually in the state.

Animal advocates complain that elected officials essentially have overruled the will of the people, and they are prepared to put the issue on the ballot again next year.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ohio to Phase Out Veal Crates

Good news....although there had to be pressure exerted from advocates.

From the Farm Sanctuary...
Despite last year’s agreement with agribusiness interests in Ohio to ban and phase out certain cruel factory farming practices, the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) voted in favor of veal crate confinement. The board was supposed to end this inhumane practice in Ohio for good; however, during a March 1 meeting, they voted to remove the provision requiring that calves have enough room to move, proposing to allow their confinement in tiny crates for the first 10 weeks of their lives and violating the agreement.

But while the OLCSB tried to go back on their word, animal advocates across the state banded together to say, “no way!” United against cruelty, we joined together to let the OLCSB know that all calves, regardless of their age, deserve the right to turn around and lie down comfortably. With more than 4,000 public comments decrying the board’s decision, and more than 100 advocates showing up at the next meeting, the board was compelled to reconsider.

Today, we are happy to report that, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Farm Sanctuary members like you, on April 5, the OLCSB voted unanimously to reverse their decision, and to phase out the use of veal crates in Ohio. This couldn’t have been done without you. Together, we are making a difference!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Petition to Urge Japanese Government to Require Registration of Zoo Animal Handlers

From the Petition Site....please visit and sign.
The Ministry of the Environment is in the process of amending the Japanese animal protection law. The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) has proposed that the Ministry exempt JAZA's members from the current requirement to register as animal handlers with local authorities.

If JAZA member zoos and aquariums (89 zoos and 67 aquariums) are not registered as animal handlers under the Act, there is no other Japanese law that would oversee the operation of JAZA member institutions .The regulation of zoos would be the responsibility of JAZA itself. JAZA does not have the resources necessary to properly monitor their member institutions and they do not have the authority to ensure member compliance with their own guidelines and standards.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Time.com Article on the Morals of Eating Meat

Gene Bauer from Farm Sanctuary appears in this article. Pretty intense, but I hope people read it. There is a disturbing hedonism to eating. I went to a restaurant for a work lunch and everyone ate meat but me, even the animal lovers. We just don't think about where that flesh came from....and most of us don't care.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Excellent Group for Animal Rights in Asia

I love this organization and have supported them for a few years now. Please consider Animals Asia for your future donations. They do important work.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do Chickens Feel Empathy?

Here's an article from the Telegraph regarding chickens feeling empathy. The research is from the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol.

I used to hate chickens as a child and thought they were irritating. Now, I think they're wonderful and we sponsor Camilla the Chicken through Farm Sanctuary's animal sponsorship program.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Please Continue to Donate for Japanese Relief Effort

We donated to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support.

From their web site....HEART-Tokushima, Animal Friends Niigata and Japan Cat Network have combined forces to focus information, rescue and support for animals in crisis due to the March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami in northern Japan.

They were mentioned on CNN, they have a Facebook page to which they consistently post, and they are three Japanese groups already on the ground.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Monitoring Japanese Earthquake

Waiting to see when animal rescue efforts start. I'm sure they're waiting until conditions are a little more under control, but I hope it starts soon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chimpanzees Laugh Even When Something's NOT Funny

Apparently, they laugh to encourage social bonding. It's particularly poignant considering the earlier article we posted about how their meat is showing up in Britain.

Humans eating chimpanzees is akin to cannibalism, as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chimpanzee Meat Sold In British Black Market

Disgusting. Sometimes it's hard to read these stories. It makes one feel so helpless.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pam Anderson Urges End to India's Animal Testing

I don't always know how I personally feel about Pamela Anderson, but I can't argue with her (non-acting) work.

Her letter to the Indian research facility is pretty distressing. Sounds like she watched a harsh video. For the full story, go here to the Vancouver Sun.

Former Baywatch star and model Pamela Anderson has accused one of India's most prestigious research centres of animal cruelty, urging it to retire decades-old test monkeys and adopt humane practices.

Anderson, famous for slow-motion beach running scenes in the hit 1990s lifeguard TV show, wrote to R.C. Deka, director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after watching a video allegedly exposing animal cruelty at the New Delhi centre.

"It broke my heart to see the suffering that is documented in the enclosed video", wrote Anderson, in a letter sent on behalf of People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

"But the animals suffering behind closed doors at AIIMS must endure this nightmare every day."

In the letter, Anderson said dozens of monkeys are kept in "cramped, barren, and rusty cages for years on end," and appealed for the release of one monkey she said had been suffering at the research facility for nearly 20 years.

The former Playboy model says she cried while viewing the video, and described workers "slamming" animals against their wire cages and "taunting" the monkeys by pretending to kick them.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Animals as Inputs in Accounting

I'm studying for the CPA exam and am working through Becker's online course review for the business section. Here's an example of "joint costs" that says all you need to know about animals as nothing more than inputs in a manufacturing process.

"The meat packing industry takes a single input, a steer, and produces many different final products. Each product must be assigned a cost including the different cuts of meat for human consumption, different food products for animal consumption (pet food) and basic ingredients for glue."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sled Dog Massacre Continues to Horrify

This is the story of the sled dogs that were cruelly executed because a Whistler company wanted to downsize. Apparently, the manager of Howling Dog Tours applied for workers comp for PTSD and this is how the whole story was revealed.

It's created quite an international uproar and the murdered dogs are knows as the Whistler 100.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Physicians Committee Accuses University of Washington of Cruelty to Ferrets

I live in Seattle and I am always skeptical of how the UW treats its lab animals. I had never heard of the use of ferrets in medical research though. News to me.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine claims these are unnecessary procedures, even though the ferrets are apparently anesthesized during the process.

Full story in the Seattle Times.
A national physicians group has filed a federal complaint against the University of Washington, saying its use of ferrets to train medical residents in emergency procedures on babies and children violates a federal animal-welfare law.

The residents, who are learning to insert breathing tubes in premature infants, practice on anesthetized ferrets, confirmed Dr. Dennis Mayock, a professor of pediatrics and medical director of the UW's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The complaining group, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, based in Washington, D.C., says only about 13 percent of the pediatric-residency programs in the United States use animals for such training.

The UW is "using an educational method that, in our view, is not justifiable," said Dr. John Pippin, a Dallas cardiologist who helped write the complaint....

The UW has been cited in the past for deficiencies in animal research, including allowing a monkey to starve in 2009. In 2008, it had to return $20,000 in federal research grant money after a finding that it had allowed unauthorized surgeries on primates. Inspectors found serious deficiencies in animal-care facilities in 2006 and put the UW on probation.

Since then, however, the UW has spent millions to upgrade animal-care facilities and is now fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, hospital spokeswoman Tina Mankowski said.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Australian Animal Rights Campaign to Help Calves

Here's the full article from the Weekly Times Now...
ANIMAL rights groups have begun a campaign against the dairy industry's treatment of bobby calves.

Australian Dairy Farmers says calves can be left unfed for 30 hours before slaughter but the RSPCA says the practice is "cruel".

Animals Australia has a video on its website showing calves being roughly dragged off utes and thrown to the ground.

RSPCA scientific officer (farm animals) Melina Tensen said there had been no independently funded research into the effects of leaving calves unfed for 30 hours. Dairy Australia commissioned a blood-test study which showed that calves deteriorated after 24 hours off feed, she said.

The study showed a limit of 24 hours without food "would be better", she said.

Australian Dairy Farmers animal health and welfare chairman David Basham, said studies had shown "no adverse affects on welfare up to 30 hours".

However, he said some practices shown in the Animals Australia video were not condoned by the industry, "dragging them off trucks and things like that".

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants

This list was issued by In Defense of Animals last month.

Here they are...

San Antonio Zoo (Texas)
Edmonton Valley Zoo (Canada),
Buttonwood Park Zoo (Mass.),
Central Florida Zoo (Fla.),
Niabi Zoo (Ill.), Topeka Zoo (Kan.),
Honolulu Zoo (Hawaii),
Wildlife Safari (Ore.),
York's Wild Kingdom Zoo (Maine) tied with Southwick's Zoo (Mass.),
Pittsburgh Zoo's ICC (Penn.).

San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Calif.) earned a dishonorable mention.

I'm surprised that Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle didn't make it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mysterious Sled Dog Deaths

Bad allegations connected to Whistler. Full article at the BBC News...
Canadian police are investigating the reported killing of 100 huskies which had been used to pull tourist sleds in the ski resort of Whistler.

An animal rights group claims the dogs were killed inhumanely by an outdoor adventure company and thrown into a mass grave.

Local media reports say business slumped after the 2010 Winter Olympics and the dogs were no longer needed.

The company could not be reached for comment.

"We've opened a police file and assigned an investigator," Police Sergeant Steve LeClair told AFP.
'Throats slit'

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in British Columbia, alleged that an Outdoor Adventures employee was told to cull the dogs in April last year.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Air Canada Criticized for Transporting Research Monkeys

Awful. For the full Toronto Star story, go here.
The arrival of 48 monkeys on a flight from China this weekend has brought Air Canada under fire for shipping primates destined for research laboratories, but the airline says it is obliged by federal law to accept monkeys as cargo.

A Pearson International Airport employee tipped off the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection that a shipment of monkeys destined for Montreal was being held at the Toronto airport after arriving from China on Saturday.

Sarah Kite, director of communications and special projects for the BUAV, said monkeys destined for research facilities are usually transported in cramped wooden crates in the plane’s cargo hold, where they can be subject to fluctuations in temperature, stopovers and in some cases long delays....

Air Canada is one of a small number of airlines that continues to transport these primates, Kite said. Under pressure from animal rights groups and the public, many airlines have banned the practice. British Airways, for example, has a policy of “not carrying live animals that are for use in any laboratory, or for experimentation or exploitation,” according to media liaison manager Sophie Greenyer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Proposed Nebraska Legislation Angers Horse Activists

From the Lexington Clipper-Herald....click here for the full article.
Two bills introduced in the Nebraska Legislature are drawing fire from the largest animal advocacy organization in the world. Newcomer to the Legislature Sen. Tyson Larson introduced LB 305 on Wednesday, which would create a state meat inspection program, which would in turn allow horse meat to be transported across state lines. He also introduced LB 306, otherwise known as the Livestock Animal Welfare Act.

"Basically, it would mandate that humane societies and horse rescue operations would have to accept a horse if one was presented to them, or they would face a class four misdemeanor," said Larson. "I'm giving them an alternative. If they don't want us to process horses, what are we supposed to do?"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Spanish Tradition Under Threat by Activists

This sounds awful. Go to AFP for the full story....
Every year on the night of January 16, the eve of Saint Anthony's day, the patron saint of animals, the paved streets of the small town of 600 people are transformed into a sort of racetrack in which the fences are burning logs.

"It's a festival in which the horses are sanctified by the flames, they are liberated from all their ills," said Quique, 30, who takes part in the festival every year.

Tree branches for the fires are collected for weeks ahead of the festival. The flames are regularly doused with water to produce columns of smoke intended to purify the animals.

The tradition is under threat from animal rights groups, who say the horses suffer as they leap over the flames.

But the residents of San Bartolome de Pinares fiercely defend the festival, arguing that if the horses were really suffering they would not go near the flames.

"We don't force them," Quique said.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Canada Reaches Seal Product Deal with China

In order to offset the loss of the seal product market in Europe, Canada has made a deal with China. I'm not surprised. China as a whole still doesn't have a national conscience about these issues. Although 40 Chinese animal rights groups have protested, they don't really have any political or financial clout to change anything.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

University of Texas May Receive Surprise USDA Inspection

PETA has complained to the USDA that the University of Texas has been severely mistreating its lab animals. There may be a surprise inspection, but I don't really understand how effective a "surprise" inspection is when the facility is notified in advance!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Best & Worst States for Animal Protection

According to this Technorati article, the Humane Society rated the states on their animal protection laws.

BEST STATES
California (best-yay!)
New Jersey
Illinois
Massachusetts
Colorado
Maine

WORST STATES
Ohio
Hawaii
Alabama
North Dakota
Mississippi
Idaho
South Dakota (worst)


According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the states fell this way...

BEST
Illinois (best)
Maine
Michigan
Oregon
California

WORST
Mississippi
Idaho
Hawaii
North Dakota
Kentucky

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Grey2K Video Exposes Cruelty at Tucson Greyhound Park

Grey2K is a greyhound advocacy group. Here is the link to the video showing kennel conditions. They had professional investigators there last summer.