Blogging About Critters Since 2007

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.