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2014-2015 Updates, Progress, and Headlines

The following includes updates, progress, and headlines related to animal rights, animal welfare and animal abuse.  To search our news page using a PC (not a Mac), hit "CTRL+F" and enter the name of the issue (i.e. whales) then hit "enter key" or "return key".  If using a Mac (not a PC),  hit "Command+F" and enter the name of the issue (i.e. dogs) then hit "enter".  The Command key on a Mac is also known as the Apple Key or Clover Key.

View: Don't ignore animal cruelty Kiley Blackman 12:06 a.m. EDT May 31, 2014 The worst animal cruelty disaster in Westchester's history was discovered in April. Studies link animal cruelty and violence against humans. Please speak up if you see animal abuse. In this April 24 photo, bags with dead cats inside are seen hanging from trees in Yonkers.(Photo: Submitted) 134 CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE Re "Investigator: Cats found hanging from tree were beaten to death," April 26 article: We are still reeling from the worst animal cruelty disaster in Westchester's history, when 25 bludgeoned cats were found hanging from trees in Yonkers in April. Our hearts broke to think of the suffering these innocents went through, some just tiny kittens, only seeking shelter and a bit of food. They did not deserve such a miserable, cruel fate. There is a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest. We urge anyone who has information about this atrocity to come forward; those who feel free to hurt helpless victims must be brought to justice. Several studies have found a clear link between animal cruelty and violence against humans. Please speak up — you might be saving someone's child from a terrible fate: Ten years after the animal abuser tortured and burned the cat for whom Buster's Law was named, he was arrested for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. Numerous other violent criminals had a history of abusing animals, including the Columbine school shooters, the Boston Strangler, Jeffrey Dahmer and one of the Jonesboro school shooters. Seven of the school shootings that took place between 1997 and 2001 in the United States involved boys who had previously committed acts of animal cruelty. Changing perceptions It has been mandatory in New York state since 1976 that humane education be taught in grade school, but it is not being done. Humane education promotes environmental conservation and the development of empathy toward all living beings. Teaching kindness and compassion to children might go a long way in stopping the current bullying epidemic in the schools, as well as helping animals — why are schools allowed to ignore this mandate? Bags of dead cats found hanging from trees off of Overlook Terrace in Yonkers on April 24, 2014. (Video by Hoa Nguyen/The Journal News) Law enforcement, too, must be sensitized. A recent case of horrific animal abuse in Chicago was not reported by the responding officer, who stated, "It's just an animal." Seminars are being conducted all over the country to educate police departments on the handling of animal abuse cases; there are laws on the books deeming deliberate or negligent harming of an animal to be a criminal act. A crime is a crime, against a human or non-human animal, and must be treated as such. Perceptions are changing: People now realize we have no inherent right to harm animals. Indeed, when it comes to the most vulnerable members of society — children, the elderly, animals — we must speak up for them. All deserve kindness, respect and compassion. If you see them in trouble, don't turn away. The writer is founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester. SEEKING INFORMATION If you have information about the Yonkers cat torture case, call: • SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Hotline, 914-941-7797. • Yonkers Police Department, 914-377-7724 or 914-377-7725. TNR expands The Westchester County Executive's office has been working with Animal Defenders of Westchester to create a county-assisted Trap/Neuter/Release program. This program helps reduce the size of resident cat colonies, while providing medical care and vaccinations to these vulnerable members of our community. Alley Cat Allies, a national cat advocacy organization, has been kind enough to contribute funding to this new program as well. Animal Defenders of Westchester has also been working with Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano about implementing a formal, city-assisted TNR program, as has been done successfully in Putnam, Yorktown and Dobbs Ferry, as well as in other areas around the country.  Source: http://www.lohud.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/05/31/westchester-yonkers-cats-bludgeoned-trees/9785747/
Police: Animal abuse case ‘one of worst’ in Lorain County Posted 6:59 pm, May 31, 2014, by Maria Scali Facebook666 Twitter26 Google Pinterest LinkedIn Email GRAFTON TWP., Ohio — Two men stand accused in what is being described as one of the worst animal abuse cases in Lorain County. An anonymous tip about neglect of a horse led authorities to a barn on Route 303 in Grafton Township Friday. Lorain County Humane Officer Denise Willis said they were sickened by what they found. “We got back by the barn, and the smell and the flies were deplorable. We went to look at the horse, two looked OK, and two looked real good. One was very emaciated — hair loss, skinny, bony, flies all over it,” said Willis. Two men there claimed to be the caretakers of the property and the animals. “They said the horse had got sick in the winter and they had not taken it to a vet. So, this horse has been like this for a while. This didn’t happen in a few weeks or a month,” said Willis. On another part of the property, authorities found animal carcasses piled on top of each other. “And, when he went into this fenced-in area, he started moving bags, and in the bags were bones and decaying animals, lots of them, lots of them. I couldn’t even tell you how many,” she said. While it is not clear who actually owns the farm animals, Greg Willey, Executive Director of the Friendship APL said the law is clear when it comes to the person responsible for their care. “If an owner falls out of the picture, you don’t get to just stop feeding the animals. That’s not a choice. You have to continue to care for them,” Willis said. Mahmoud Abukhalil, 41, and Richard Newton, 49, have both been charged with animal cruelty and obstructing official business. They are to be arraigned Monday. The five horses found are being fostered through the Friendship Animal Protective League of Lorain County. Depending on what happens with the court case, they could go up for adoption. For extended coverage on this story, click here. Filed in: News Topics: grafton farm arrests, grafton news   Source: http://fox8.com/2014/05/31/police-animal-abuse-case-one-of-worst-in-lorain-county/
In Puppy Doe's name: Race to curb animal abuse PAWS Act would create registry 092113kiya04.jpg Photo by:  Unknown UP AGAINST THE CLOCK: State Sen. Bruce Tarr proposed a bill that would set up a registry listing the most heinous animal abusers, such as that of ‘Puppy Doe,’ a pit bull found starved, beaten and tortured in Quincy last August. 1 Sunday, June 1, 2014 Print Email Comments By: Bob McGovern Inspired by the heartbreaking Puppy Doe story, scores of Bay State law­makers are racing to pass a bipartisan bill that would set up a registry listing the most heinous animal abusers, as a Herald review found an outbreak of new cases, including a cat left to die while tied to a radiator and a bulldog intentionally starved. “I think the biggest threat to the bill is the passage of time more than it is any organized opposition,” said state Sen. Bruce Tarr, who proposed the bill last Oct­ober. “If we move forward with an animal abuse registry, we’ll be one of the first to do that.” The PAWS Act would create a statewide registry of those convicted of animal abuse and require shelters and stores to check it. It also would increase fines and jail time, and set up an anonymous abuse hotline. The Joint Committee on the Judiciary Committee must decide whether to report out the bill by June 30. If the committee balks, the bill likely will fall by the wayside during the current legislative session. “Time is of the essence,” Tarr said. The bill was prompted by the heartbreaking story of Puppy Doe, a pit bull who was found starved, beaten and tortured last August in Quincy and euthanized hours later. Radoslaw Czerkawski, an illegal Polish immigrant, faces charges that could keep him locked up for decades. While the bill has the support of more than 70 lawmakers, several concerns have arisen, according to state Rep. Chris Markey, House vice chairman of the Joint Judiciary Committee. “Almost every section has pros and cons to it, but a lot of it is the nuances of the languages,” he said. “They’re trying to do everything in the confines of what’s constitutionally valid. ... We want to do it right the first time.” Some veterinarians are concerned about being forced to report animal abuse or face substantial financial penalties, Markey said. Tarr, however, said veterinarians asked for that part of the bill. The back-and-forth on the bill is unfolding as more heinous animal abuse takes place, including: • Korina Ferreira of Taunton last week was sentenced to 18 months in prison for slowly starving her bulldog Pebbles. • John Dugan of Gloucester was sentenced last week to 18 months in prison for animal cruelty for punching two pit bulls and letting one choke on its leash until it was unconscious. He allegedly cut open the stomach of a dead dog to get illegal narcotics it had eaten. • The owner of 11 pit bulls was charged with animal cruelty last week after they were found in deplorable conditions in Lawrence. • The owner of a Ludlow farm was charged with 36 counts of animal cruelty in February after 35 emaciated animals, including donkeys, ponies and pigs, were rescued. • An animal control officer in January rescued a 7-month-old cat who was tied by his neck to a radiator in a Lawrence home. The Massachusetts Soc­iety for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it received more than 2,500 complaints of animal cruelty during 2013, according to spokesman Rob Halpin. A small percentage have resulted in convictions. Mandatory reporting and a state registry could lead to more animal abuse convictions, according to Tarr and Halpin. Right now, a lot of animal violence happens in secret. Said Halpin: “This is so underground and hidden from public view that it’s so hard to size and frame the problem accurately.”  Source: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2014/05/in_puppy_does_name_race_to_curb_animal_abuse
Animal Rights Advocate Holds Demonstration in Hot Vehicle By: Alana LaFlore 05/31/2014 05:55 PM ShareThis Facebook Tweet Email Text size: + - CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Animal Rights Advocate Holds Demonstration in Hot Vehicle Play now Time Warner Cable video customers: Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips. Sign in Get my TWC ID Get TWC service Read the FAQ   To view our videos, you need to enable JavaScript. Learn how. install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now. Then come back here and refresh the page. WHITESBORO, N.Y. -- While temperatures were in the mid 70's Saturday, one woman endured 124 degree heat. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. animal rights advocate Kim Strong sat in a truck to demonstrate the dangers of leaving dogs locked in cars. Kim Strong is the founder of Lainey's Army, an animal rights group that holds educational sessions and lobbies for stricter animal abuse laws. There was a doctor on hand who took Strong's temperature throughout the day. Strong got out a few times and at one point her body reached 102 degrees. She says many people don't realize how hot cars can get. "Today is the day where an average person would leave their dog in the car and not think anything of it," said Strong. "And in 20 minutes, even with the window open, it's still 108 degrees in here." Strong urges people who see dogs locked in cars without A/C to call animal control officers and stay by the vehicle until they arrive. - See more at: http://centralny.twcnews.com/content/news/742692/animal-rights-advocate-holds-demonstration-in-hot-vehicle/#sthash.FY44maYX.dpuf 
23-year-old Ashley Richards of Houston, Texas was sentenced to 10 years in prison after producing videos of herself torturing animals.  According to ABC13, she was sentenced after pleading guilty to three counts of animal cruelty.  Court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas claim that the abuse took place between 2010 and 2012. Richards apparently recorded herself torturing cats and dogs with meat cleavers, high heeled shoes, and knives.  Using the footage, she created "animal crush videos." Crush videos allegedly show women torturing live animals--they are typically then viewed by individuals who are sexually aroused by them. A criminal complaint defined crush videos as depicting "actual contact with one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians [being] intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury."  A spokesman from the Houston Police Department told Breitbart Texas, "We have a unit that investigates these crimes--specifically, crimes relating to animal cruelty. Officers are made aware of such crimes by a variety of ways." In this particular case, Richards was ultimately caught after PETA discovered the videos 2012. The activist group immediately reached out to Texas law enforcement, according to reports.  ABC13 reported that 52-year-old Brent Justice, Richards' co-defendant, has not yet been sentenced. He will allegedly appear in court on July 17.  Source: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/06/01/PETA-Helps-Put-Texan-In-Prison
Activists up in arms over animal abuse by tee lin dee Malnourished: Jeyashree Sivalingam, one of the rescuers, is seen standing with the Rottweiler. Email Facebook 39 PETALING JAYA: An investigation paper has been opened into a pet shop owner for animal cruelty following police reports lodged by animal welfare activists. Since March, over 25 police reports have been lodged by members of the public against the owner, whose alleged treatment of the animals under the shop’s care had gone viral on Facebook with over 7,000 shares. It is understood that the DPP had ordered the Department of Veterinary Services to investigate the owner for neglect of the animals. There were also allegations that neighbours at the owner’s house in Kota Kemuning had recently complained about a terrible smell emitting from there, only to find badly neglected dogs. advertisement However, the owner has denied the allegations. Kemuning Residence property manager Chuntheren Ponnusamy, who helped rescue a dog from the owner’s premises, said he had received a call from a committee member that a dog was let loose in the neighbourhood on March 8. I promptly instructed one of our neighbourhood guards to catch the dog and send it back to its owner’s house. “But I was puzzled that the dog apparently belonged to a house that was up for auction. “Just a week ago, an auctioneer came to take pictures of the property, which was empty. “The house owner had defaulted on maintenance fees for several months and no one had been living there.” When Chunteren went to check on the dog, he was shocked by its condition. “It was so thin and weak that I couldn’t even tell it was a Rottweiler,” he said, adding that he then called the owner, who said she was not in town at that time. He then called several animal shelters before Malaysian Inde­pendent Animal Rescue (MIAR) founder Puspa Rani responded and rescued the Rottweiler. She took it to a vet who reported that the 10-month-old dog was severely malnourished, anaemic, and suffering from tick fever. Puspa urged the public to lodge reports against the owner if it was true that she neglected the animals under the care. Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/06/03/Activists-up-in-arms-over-animal-abuse-Pet-shop-owner-under-investigation-for-neglecting-dogs/
Ft. Worth vet faces 2nd lawsuit over animal abuse allegations Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on gmail Share on email Share on print More Sharing Services 10 Posted: Jun 02, 2014 3:27 PM PDT Updated: Jun 02, 2014 3:27 PM PDT By: myfoxdfw.com Staff - email   A Fort Worth veterinarian accused of animal cruelty now faces a second lawsuit for keeping an animal alive that he was supposed to euthanize. The $1 million lawsuit was filed by a pet owner who said Dr. Lou Tierce kept her pet Chihuahua Hercules alive and suffering for four-and-a-half months. Kimberly Davis' lawsuit alleges Tierce performed medical experiments on Hercules and kept him "under a heat lamp so long his eyeballs had dried up." Davis also said that when they went to visit Hercules they found the dog “lying in a small cage, unresponsive, his eyes were rolled back in his head, and he was covered with feces and urine.” Tierce's license to practice was suspended by the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners after the allegations against him surfaced in April. He faces a hearing about his status in July. At least one other family has also filed suit against Tierce.  Source: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/25673729/ft-worth-vet-faces-2nd-lawsuit-over-animal-abuse-allegations
'Ag-Gag' Laws Backed To Hide Animal Cruelty By Ben Latham Keywords:  animal cruelty emma davies australian pork limited chris back clare atkinson wally's piggery A push for new legislation that will force animal rights activists to hand over footage to police rather than media is aimed at keeping the public in the dark, writes Ben Latham. Out of sight and out of mind, the Australian meat industry benefits from keeping consumers in the dark about what happens behind the closed doors of factory farms and slaughterhouses. It is unsurprising then that agricultural lobby groups, including Australian Pork Limited, are currently advocating the introduction of a new set of legislation, termed ‘ag-gag’ laws, that will essentially sensor investigations that expose animal welfare abuses in Australian agriculture. It is worrying, however, that several politicians are now adding the laws to their agenda on Capital Hill. The laws are inspired by legislation already enacted in several states of the US that, under the guise of protecting the welfare of livestock, primarily seek to prohibit evidence of animal cruelty and malpractice being brought to the attention of the media and the general public. In Australia, undercover footage of animal abuse in factory farms is the main modus operandi of activists, such as Animal Liberation, who have exposed the horrific conditions of 15 piggeries and led to the closure of two, including the controversial Wally’s Piggery that sparked public outrage in 2012.  Source: https://newmatilda.com/2014/06/03/ag-gag-laws-keep-consumers-blind-animal-cruelty
APL seeking help to treat injured horses rescued from farm Posted 7:04 pm, June 2, 2014, by Brittany Harris, Updated at 10:58pm, June 2, 2014 Facebook241 Twitter5 Google Pinterest LinkedIn Email LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio — Animal advocates say they’re not surprised that two men accused of animal cruelty pleaded not guilty. “I was kind of expecting it,” said Friendship APL Humane Officer Denise Willis. Mahmoud Abukhalil, 41, and Richard Newton, 49, were both arraigned in Elyria Municipal Court on Monday. The men were arrested and charged with animal cruelty and obstructing official business after police made a gruesome discovery at a farm in Grafton Township of Lorain County. “I’ve seen a lot of animal abuse, and this is one of the worst, one of the most horrific conditions of the property I have ever seen,” said Willis. She said the stalls were filled with feces and in one of them, there was a sheep that had to be euthanized due to its poor health. On another part of the property, she said they discovered a pile of animal carcasses. A group of horses and chickens were rescued from the farm. Willis said one horse seemed to be worse shape than the rest. His name is Big Red. “Big Red`s condition is so bad, it`s going to take at least a year to really get this horse back into shape, to rebuild all the muscle mass, and to get the weight back on it,” said Executive Director Greg Willey of Friendship APL. “It`s such a slow and gradual process. Everyone thinks you can just feed them all at once and you can`t do that.” And while the animals are slowly being nursed back to health, there’s still more work to do. Willey said they need to find a farrier who can help repair the horses’ hooves. “Big Red’s hoof is completely collapsed and needs to be cut away to start rebuilding that hoof, because for right now it`s uncomfortable for him to put pressure on it. He almost waddles a bit when he walks because of the discomfort from that,” he said. Two of the other horses have abscesses in their hooves that need to be fixed as well. The Friendship APL is seeking donations to help with these animals. To learn how you can help, click here. For extended coverage of this story, click here.  Source: http://fox8.com/2014/06/02/apl-seeking-help-to-treat-injured-horses-rescued-from-farm/
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 Animal welfare group says "Ag-Gag" bill could be back Posted by Jane Porter on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 1:25 PM Video footage released by the animal welfare group Mercy for Animals this morning shows more horrific cruelty to birds at a Butterball turkey facility in Raeford, N.C. And although much of the ag-gag language was pulled from S648 in an amendment, including a provision where whistleblowers could be punished for exposing animal abuse and their documentation rendered inadmissible in court, MFA’s director of investigations says the group “has it on good authority” that the bill’s sponsor is trying to incorporate that language in another bill that could be rushed through this session. Butterball is responsible for 20 percent of the 252 million turkeys killed in the United States each year. The hatchery in Raeford processes more than 300,000 turkeys per week, according to Mercy for Animals. The video footage shows baby birds being mutilated without painkillers, ground up alive in macerating machines and thrown, dropped and mishandled by factory workers. MFA turned over the footage to local law enforcement, which has launched an animal cruelty investigation and is considering pressing charges. A statement from Butterball said the company launched its own investigation into animal abuse at the facility and concluded that the video showed “no willful acts of neglect and malice” and that the alleged abuse was “industry standard.” In 2011, a MFA undercover investigation caught workers kicking and stomping turkeys and bashing birds’ heads with metal pipes. Five workers were convicted of felony and misdemeanor animal abuse. The group is lobbying to improve factory conditions for turkeys. They want video cameras in factories, live streaming to the Internet so workers are constantly monitored and held accountable. “This investigation graphically illustrates that a culture of cruelty and abuse continues to run rampant at Butterball facilities,” said MFA’s executive director Nathan Runkle. “Lawmakers should be focusing on strengthening the state’s animal protection laws and cracking down on repeat offenders like Butterball, not making animal abuse harder to expose.” Sen. Brent Jackson, R-Duplin, sponsored the ag-gag language in the Commerce Protection Act. He said he was disappointed it was removed from S648 and would try to get it through in another bill. You can view MFA’s new undercover video here. The content is disturbing.  Source: http://www.indyweek.com/triangulator/archives/2014/06/04/animal-welfare-group-says-ag-gag-bill-could-be-back
Close to 100 animals now allegedly abused Alan and Sheree Napier listen to discussion during a case management hearing Wednesday at the Manatee County Courthouse. Pool photo / Grant Jefferies By Elizabeth Johnson Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:02 p.m. Last Modified: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:02 p.m. MANATEE COUNTY - Two shelter owners originally accused of cruelty against a dozen animals now face allegations of abusing nearly 100 animals. A prosecutor filed amended information this week alleging that Alan and Sheree Napier improperly cared for 84 dogs, one cat and 10 horses. Those accusations are compiled into the original 15 and 14 animal cruelty counts facing Alan and Sheree Napier, respectively. The couple, who operate Napier Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary in East Manatee, were arrested Monday on new fraud charges for allegedly soliciting donations despite a lapse in their nonprofit status at Napier Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary in East Manatee. More animals or charges could be added as the investigation continues, Assistant State Attorney Lisa Chittaro said Wednesday during a case management hearing. "I added more animals and grouped them together," Chittaro explained. That has decreased paperwork by not requiring a separate charge for each animal. Prosecutors could decide to separate those allegations at a later date. Because of the pending investigation, Circuit Judge Charles Roberts chose not to set a trial date during Wednesday's hearing. Roberts will likely schedule the trial during the next case management on July 9. The couple was initially arrested in April after a multi-agency raid in February of Napier Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary. There, investigators found about 300 animals living in filthy conditions. The animal cruelty charges include animals confiscated during the raid and others that were under care by the Napiers, but were adopted.  Source: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140604/article/140609838
3 dogs die after being left in Oregon truck; woman cited for animal abuse THE ASSOCIATED PRESS   First Posted: June 05, 2014 - 12:45 pm Last Updated: June 05, 2014 - 12:47 pm AAA We also have more stories about: (click the phrases to see a list) Subjects: Animal cruelty (70) Dogs (71) Mammals (401) Animals (717) Places: Oregon (411)   CHILOQUIN, Oregon — Three dogs died after an Oregon woman left them in her truck for four hours on a warm day, the authorities said. Gale McMahon, assistant animal control officer for Klamath County, responded Monday afternoon to a restaurant on Highway 97 in Chiloquin after receiving an emergency call that three Rottweilers — a 5-year-old male, a 1-year-old male and a 1-year-old female — had died from the heat. She said someone tried to get them out of the vehicle and cool them, to no avail. "This actually was a tragedy that did not need to happen," McMahon told the Mail Tribune newspaper (http://is.gd/kFpq3z ). McMahon cited the 65-year-old Eagle Point woman on three counts of first-degree animal abuse. The Klamath County District Attorney's Office said it's reviewing the case and won't release the woman's name unless she's officially charged. McMahon said the woman went inside the restaurant at about 9:15 a.m. and claimed she had been making phone calls. Monday's high temperature was 81 degrees, but it was likely more than 100 degrees inside the car, McMahon said. McMahon noted that a local dog died last year after being left inside a vehicle for just 90 minutes. "They're like small children," McMahon said. "They have no capable way of taking care of themselves." If charged and convicted, the woman could spend up to 90 days in jail and pay up to $18,750 in fines, McMahon said. She could also lose the right to own dogs for up to five years.  Source: http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/34e8eb4e2f16465dbd596216829536f5/OR--Dogs-Left-In-Truck/#.U5zlH-kg-1s
Cherishing the lives of animals Last updated: Wednesday, June 04, 2014 7:03 PM Nawar Fakhry Ezzi Many Saudis are bombarded with images of war and devastation in the news to the extent that some of them have underestimated other forms of violence, especially against animals. For example, many of us are unaware, or worse, indifferent to the killing of tens of thousands of elephants annually for their ivory and some people continue to buy ivory even though they know about the slaughter of elephants. Greed and selfishness have blinded some of us to such an extent that lizards are now on the verge of extinction in Saudi deserts as a result of excessive hunting. This apathy toward animals has also contributed to producing people who do not only find pleasure in abusing, torturing and killing animals, but also find amusement in sharing gruesome videos and horrific pictures of their actions in social media. This disregard for animal life is not as trivial as some people might think because it indicates deeper psychological and social problems in a society. The humanitarian Albert Schweitzer said: “Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives.” There are a plethora of studies which confirm that cruelty to animals is associated with high levels of aggression in general in addition to being a characteristic associated with sexual homicide offenders and serial killers. Another sad indication is that it could be the result of a violent cycle in which children are mirroring their parents’ behavior and the only weak creature that the child can find is the family pet or a stray animal in the street. As a matter of fact, some states in the US require animal control officers and domestic violence investigators to exchange information when a case is reported to either entity because it is most likely that when there is animal abuse there is domestic abuse and vice versa. Another possible problem could be that many Saudis distance themselves from nature and animals and do not have much interaction with them, which makes some people fear them, resulting in the failure to realize that we all share this planet and that disruption to the life of one species could lead to the disruption to the entire ecosystem. Some people even make it their mission to discourage others from taking care of animals and keeping them as pets. At the other extreme, other people illegally keep exotic animals as pets by smuggling them into the country. This is also wrong because this exploitative transaction can endanger the life of the people themselves and the survival or quality of life of the animal. The common factor among these people is a lack of awareness and ignorance about animal rights and their way of life. However, increasing people’s awareness of animal rights should include encounters with actual animals in order for people to truly sympathize with them. Animals are not created merely for our amusement and consumption; we should believe in the worthiness of their lives in their own right. A wonderful thing some children’s clubs are doing in Jeddah is giving “pet shop” classes, where children can see different animals and learn about them. In this way, children can handle animals and build a personal relationship with them while learning about the proper way to handle them. This method has been successfully applied in South Africa, where cheetahs are endangered. The “Cheetah Outreach” program organizes safe and personal encounters with cheetahs including arranging school field trips to increase awareness and educate people about the significance of taking care of these animals. According to those involved in the program, personal encounters with animals increase people’s sympathy and encourage them to become more involved with their cause. After videos of tortured animals surfaced in social media, laws were enacted against animal abuse in Saudi Arabia in which penalties range from SR50,000 to SR400,000. The Saudi Ministry of Agriculture established a committee to study cases of abuse and enforce penalties as well as to create units for animal rights. This can be considered the birth of animal rights officially in Saudi Arabia and, obviously, we still have a long way to go including finding effective procedures for implementing these laws. Treating animals humanely is not a novel idea for Muslims because Islamic teachings contain specific guidelines for treating animals humanely, even including specific guidelines for slaughtering to protect the animal from as much anguish as possible. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked if there is a reward for doing good to beasts, he replied: “For (doing good) to every creature with wet liver there is a reward”. We should believe in our hearts that every creature is worth living and saving and we cannot recognize that unless we cherish the lives of animals and believe in their worthiness. – The writer can be reached at nawar81@hotmail.com  Source: http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140605207465
Local News Horses seized: Police say it’s animal cruelty by owners 06/05/14 by Steve Kiggins Q13 FOX News Reporter 1063121 Commenthttp%3A%2F%2Fq13fox.com%2F2014%2F06%2F05%2Fhorses-seized-police-say-its-animal-cruelty-by-couple-with-prior-accusations%2FHorses+seized%3A+Police+say+it%27s+animal+cruelty+by+owners+2014-06-05+23%3A38%3A16skiggins78http%3A%2F%2Fq13fox.com%2F%3Fp%3D106312 Share Update Share Update: 7 69 Share Update: 7 69 OLYMPIA — Two horses and a mule were seized from a rural farm, part a shocking case of animal cruelty in Thurston County. One horse was in such bad shape veterinarians had to put him down on the spot. The case is being investigated by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and investigators say it’s not the first time the animal’s owners have been accused of abuse. “This is Diamond,” said Kathy Bailey, president of the Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County. “We’re calling him the old guy or the old one.” Diamond is just one of three animals taken away as evidence from a rural farm on Dempsey Lane. “You can see his neck is really skinny, you can see his shoulder blades here,” said Bailey. “You can see his ribs. His hips should be nice and rounded.” The animals were seized back in March after a tipster sounded the alarm. Bailey estimates that Diamond is 250 pounds underweight. She says the animal’s owners are no strangers to police. “Unfortunately they just continue to get into bad shape,” said Bailey. “For some reason people do not see what we’re seeing. They don’t look at a skinny horse and see a skinny horse.” The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office says the owners faced similar accusations. Five animals were taken in back 2002 — and another horse was euthanized in 2012. This most recent case is especially frustrating for Bailey. “One of the pictures taken at the scene was a pile of horse manure with a broke jar in it,” said Bailey. “I mean who does that?” The owners have signed over the animals to police so they won’t be getting them back. But there are questions about why the couple was allowed to have animals after the prior complaints. Thurston County Prosecutors never couldn’t say why the couple still has animals under their care, but authorities are reviewing possible animal cruelty charges against the couple in this current case.  Source: http://q13fox.com/2014/06/05/horses-seized-police-say-its-animal-cruelty-by-couple-with-prior-accusations/
LETTER: Restoring legacy as animal welfare leaders  0 Cambridge Chronicle & Tab Writer Posted Jun. 7, 2014 @ 12:30 pm Posted Jun. 7, 2014 @ 12:30 pm »  Social News Crowdynews Posted Jun. 7, 2014 @ 12:30 pm To the editor: Massachusetts has led the way for decades on animal welfare issues. However, there are currently 3,000 egg-laying hens that are confined to cages so small they cannot even spread their wings. But this cruelty does not end here. Veal crates and gestation crates, contraptions that limit movement so severely that baby calves and mama pigs do not even have the ability to turn around, are not illegal in the commonwealth. Already 10 other states have banned such cages as well as the entire European Union. Even giant food companies such as Burger King are phasing them out of their supply chain. A bill (H.1456/S.741) is currently pending approval to reduce such suffering. Luckily, our legislators — Rep. Hecht and Sen. Jehlen — both support this cause and are leading the way to restoring the Massachusetts legacy of leading the way for animal welfare. Passing such legislation will be a victory for us all and protect the humane brand of agriculture in Massachusetts. I appreciate all of the work that they have done to move this bill forward and I am thankful to have such heroic individuals representing us in the state Legislature. — Kendra Asmar, Concord Street, MPP Candidate, 2015, Harvard Kennedy School   Source: http://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/article/20140607/NEWS/140607874
Abuse at cattle farm by Wayne Moore | Story: 116884 - Jun 10, 2014 / 10:45 am 71 Photo: Contributed - CTV Vancouver The BC SPCA is recommending charges of animal cruelty against eight employees of Canada’s largest dairy farm, following a BC SPCA investigation in Chilliwack. “On June 2, the BC SPCA received an undercover video from the non-profit group Mercy for Animals Canada that showed the employees using chains, canes, rakes, their booted feet and their fists to viciously whip, punch, kick and beat the dairy cows, including downed and trapped cows who could not escape the abuse,” said Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer. “We immediately launched an investigation into the case and have recommended Criminal Code charges against the eight employees identified in the video for willfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering and injury to animals.”  Moriarty said BC SPCA constables attended the property last week along with one of North America’s most respected dairy cattle experts, veterinarian Dr. James Reynolds, as part of an on-going investigation into the animal management practices of the Chilliwack company. The company is currently cooperating with the investigation. “The images in the undercover video are extremely disturbing and highlight an urgent need for better standards to protect farm animals in BC from abuse and neglect,” said Moriarty. While a Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle was published in 2009, she said its requirements have yet to be verified on farms through third-party inspections or adopted into B.C. law. The BC SPCA recommends that the Canadian Codes of Practice, which set out minimum standards of care for various farm animal species, be incorporated into the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act so that the standards can be enforced. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have already taken the step of enshrining farm animal care standards into their provincial legislation. Moriarty said the BC SPCA is committed to working with the BC government, the BC Dairy Association and other industry associations on measures that would ensure the safe, humane treatment of farm animals while supporting the viability of BC producers. “It is important that producers have clear expectations around standards of care for farm animals and that there is a system in place to monitor and enforce these standards.” She said the humane treatment of farm animals is an issue that resonates strongly with the public. “The images in the video we received were distressing and clearly unacceptable,” said Moriarty. “British Columbians, including the society’s 80,000 supporters, are increasingly concerned about the treatment of farm animals. We look forward to working with government and industry on solutions to prevent further neglect and abuse among the 100 million farm animals raised in BC each year.” Dave Taylor, chairman of the BC Dairy Association said the association is “deeply concerned and saddened” by the alleged incidents at the Chilliwack farm. “We have been working in close co-operation with the BC SPCA as this investigation has developed and outright condemn any mistreatment of animals in our industry. The BC SPCA has done an excellent job in this investigation thus far and we intend to fully assist in any way necessary.” According to CTV Vancouver, the Chilliwack Cattle Company has fired all eight people seen in the video. WARNING: THE VIDEO BELOW IS GRAPHIC IN NATURE AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL VIEWERS.  (Source: http://www.castanet.net/news/BC/116884/Abuse-at-cattle-farm)
Animal abuse is abundant Written by Bob Rakow  Torturing animals mostly goes unreported Two recent cases of animal cruelty in Worth Township resultedChristopher Krentkowski in arrests, but far too often dogs and other animals are abused and the occurrences go unreported, animal advocates say.  Animal abuse occurs routinely, but typically goes unreported because few people call the police. “A lot of people don’t want to get involved,” said Linda Estrada, director and president of the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge. Estrada has worked at the Animal Welfare League for 18 years and has seen every kind of animal abuse imaginable, she said. In fact, approximately 20 percent of dogs housed at the Animal Welfare League are victims of abuse, she said. Since Jan. 1, 2013, Cook County Sheriff officers have made approximately 25 arrests for violations ranging from pet owners’ negligence to aggravated animal cruelty. The Animal Welfare League has eight veterinarians and 14 technicians to treat the 1,400 dogs and cats housed at the facility. Estrada has seen many dogs that were beaten, starved or left outside in extreme temperatures treated and brought back to health at the Animal Welfare League clinic. That was not case for the two dogs that were abused in late May in separate incidents at a Worth Township trailer park. The first incident occurred May 26 when Andrew Plecki,Andrew Plecki 48, of the 11700 block of Ridgeland Avenue, allegedly shot his girlfriend’s 12-year-old chocolate Labrador in the head with an air rifle for unknown reasons, according to a Cook County Sheriff’s Police spokesman. The dog, which was sick, was taken to Crestwood Animal Clinic, 5443 W. 135th St., where it was put down, according to the sheriff’s spokesman. Plecki appeared in court the following day where bond was set at $40,000. He is expected to appear at Bridgeview Court on June 17. Meanwhile, Christopher Krentkowski, 35, also of the 11700 block of Ridgeland Avenue, was charged with two counts of aggravated domestic battery and one count of aggravated animal cruelty after allegedly injuring his mother and killing her dog on May 31, sheriff’s police said. Krentkowski allegedly dragged his mother’s 15-year-old dog out of a bedroom at 8:30 p.m. and began to kick it. When his 53-year-old mother told him to stop, he tried to strangle her and struck her head with a bookcase, injuring her, according to a sheriff’s investigation. Krentkowski continued to physically assault the dog, causing its death, police said. Krentkowski received a $125,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 26 at the Bridgeview Courthouse. The circumstances surrounding Krentkowski’s case are not isolated, Estrada said. Individuals who abuse animals often do so to extract revenge on someone, such as a family member. “People get back at people by abusing the animal,” she said, adding that breakups, divorces and custody cases can involve the mistreatment of pets. She added that those who abuse animals are likely to exploit humans as well. “If they abuse animals, they are likely to abuse a family member, a girlfriend or a child,” she said. “It’s sad.” Estrada added that people can easily report abuse without getting involved. She said that the existence of camera phones makes reporting abuse easier than ever. “Use your cameras,” said Estrada, who added that photographic evidence of animal abuse is critical when building a case against an animal abuser. She advises calling the police, who will rescue the animal and bring it to her facility. That’s happening in Oak Lawn, where concerned residents have called the village’s animal control officer to report cases of mistreated dogs, said Oak Lawn Police Division Chief Roger Pawlowski. “What we see is reports from concerned citizens,” Pawlowski said. “You get a call the neighbor or a passerby.” Calls are followed up by the animal control officer, who talks with the dog owner about proper care for their pet, Pawlowski said. He added that village has experienced only a handful of cases of animal cruelty or circumstances that led police to remove the dog from a home. “It’s not all that common,” he said. Animal cruelty is nothing new, but the number of abandonments has risen in recent years, especially as the down economy has forced people to move, Estrada said. Animal owners who no longer can afford a pet will leave them behind or desert them in alleys or dumpsters, she said. People need to be aware of the signs of animal cruelty or abandonment, Estrada said. “People need to open their eyes,” she said. Specifically, they should be aware of dogs that appear malnourished or exhibit signs of mistreatment. Additionally, they should inform police of dogs that are left outside for long periods of time in extremely hot or cold weather or deprived food or water. A dog barking from inside a garage or an empty house or apartment also can be a sign of mistreatment or abandonment, she said. The Animal Welfare League, 10305 Southwest Highway, serves 53 towns in and is open for adoptions from noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The clinic is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The facility can be reached at 708-636-8586.  Source: http://www.thereporteronline.net/newsx/local-news/66651-animal-abuse-is-abundant
Bill makes animal abusers financially responsible Posted: Jun 11, 2014 8:26 PM PDT Updated: Jun 12, 2014 3:34 AM PDT By Brian Crandall - email   PROVIDENCE - When you hear about local animal abuse cases, the animals often end up at the Rhode Island SPCA shelter. The animal welfare agency takes custody of animals that it claims are victims of neglect or abuse. Caring for that animal comes with a price tag. The Rhode Island Senate has now passed a measure aimed at easing the financial burden. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston), tells NBC10, “The person who's actually been cruel to the animal should pay for it.” Archambault is proposing a measure to make animal owners who are convicted or plea to abuse charges pay for the cost to house the animal after it's been confiscated. “This bill would address an area that is lacking in the law, which is the cost of care for the animals that are in the custody of the DEM or Rhode Island SPCA,” he said. Dr. E.J. Finocchio, head of the Rhode Island SPCA, tells NBC10 it costs about $375 a month to take care of a dog it takes in, and about $800 a month for a horse. And those costs are just the basics. It's more if the animal is hurt or has medical problems. And the dollars can add up, well into the thousands. Finocchio says in abuse cases, the SPCA often has the animal for quite a while - 6, 8, 10 months - as the case goes to court. The proposal is now in the hands of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.  Source: http://www.turnto10.com/story/25756432/animal-abuse-costs-bill
Fremont County Humane Society investigated after volunteers claim animal abuse Posted 9:37 pm, June 11, 2014, by Tak Landrock, Updated at 09:05am, June 12, 2014 Facebook2K+ Twitter39 Google LinkedIn Pinterest Email DENVER — When you think of the Humane Society, you picture a place where animals up for adoption are given a second chance at life. But a FOX31 Denver investigation found one Colorado shelter has been cited for 11 critical violations within two months by state inspectors. The Colorado Department of Agriculture, the state agency in charge of regulating animal shelters, cited the Humane Society in Fremont County in June and July 2013 for poor record keeping, animals being euthanized incorrectly and lost pets being put down before their owners were given a chance to reclaim them. “I think we should call it the house of horrors,” said former volunteer Laura Ornelas. She spent a year at the shelter located in Canon City, southwest of Colorado Springs. “It was different than anywhere I have seen,” Ornelas recalled. The certified animal trainer was in charge of taking pictures of dogs and cats up for adoption, but she says her snap shots quickly turned into documenting the poor treatment of animals. “I saw animals that needed medical care that didn’t get medical care,” she said. Her photos are being used in an investigation by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, the department that licenses veterinarians. DORA is looking into whether the staff veterinarian, Dr. Michael Gangel, provided inadequate care for dogs and cats at the Humane Society. “I saw neuters not done properly,” said Ornelas. She provided FOX31 Denver several pictures of dogs that had neuter procedures by Gangel.  She claimed those photos, which show dogs bruised and bleeding days after surgery, are a result of botched operations. “They had to know that was not standard for dogs to bleed out after surgery,” she said. “I personally saw at least five dogs that had horrible complications from their neuter surgery.” Ornelas claimed at least one terrier mix, named ‘Yoda’, died after complications for the basic neuter surgery. “I try to do my job. I wish some of those had been better, I do,” Gangel said. He insists the claims by former volunteers are “trumped up,” but he admitted two of the dogs had problems after the surgery. “They took them to a vet when I was away. I had other things to take care of. Next week they were fine,” he said. Volunteers said the only reason those two dogs survived is because they begged the Humane Society staff to allow them to get outside veterinarian care for the wounded animals. Gangel sent his response to the Colorado Veterinarian Board last year when they began investigating the claims against him. His response and the board’s investigation remain sealed until a decision is made at the next board meeting. That happens Thursday. The board could vote to revoke Gangel’s license, suspend him or do nothing and allow him to continue to practice veterinary medicine in the state. Gangel said he expects the board to allow him to keep his license. The allegations against Gangel’s surgeries are only one issue the Humane Society of Fremont County is facing. An unscheduled inspection by the Colorado Department of Agriculture found he was absent many times when animals were euthanized. Inspection reports from July 2013 found an employee “was allowed to perform the procedure unattended despite her lack of training.”  The unannounced inspection also found injured animals were not always given medical care in a timely manner. Another volunteer, Veda Overy, told FOX31 Denver she saw workers spraying down kennels with high pressured water while dogs were still inside their cages. “A lot of times the dog’s paws got red and irritated from that because they weren’t removed,” Overy said. State inspectors backed her story.  The July inspection reported an employee admitted the shelter didn’t remove dogs to clean kennels. Overy, who volunteered at the shelter for two years, said it was especially bad for puppies who didn’t know to get out of the way. She said the wet dogs would be left in their kennels, shivering until they dried off. After being scrutinized by the media, the Humane Society board hired an outside spokeswoman to handle public relations for the Fremont County shelter. Deb Muehleisen told FOX31 Denver that all issues have been addressed and corrected, but when we pressed for more specifics, she had a hard time answering many of our questions. “Certainly we are devastated by the charges there’s no if’s and buts about that. We immediately put a plan in place with significant changes to turn our shelter around,” Muehleisen said.   Source: http://kdvr.com/2014/06/11/fremont-county-humane-society-investigated-after-volunteers-claim-animal-abuse/
Letter: Help stop animal abuse today Eureka Times-Standard Posted:   06/12/2014 05:26:14 PM PDT0 Comments Updated:   06/12/2014 09:45:50 PM PDT Help stop animal abuse today There are so many ways animals are abused. From factory farms, to puppy mills, to dog fighting, also Chinese fur farms, and abusive animal shelters. First, there are factory farms. Animals are crammed into cages and can't even turn around. They never see sunlight, yet wait to be slaughtered. For no good reason. Then there are puppy mills. The dogs have no room to play. No room to exercise. Some people say "Ooh, it's OK, most dogs just go to the shelters." There was no reason to keep the dogs in a place like that in the first place! Then there is dog fighting. When dogs are hit and beaten and trained to fight, mostly pit bulls. The dogs fight every day getting hurt, and people watch them for fun. Most of them just die. Then Chinese fur farms animals mostly (cats and dogs). They are skinned alive to make fur items. Finally, there are abusive animal shelters when they kill animals, maybe 3-4 million a year. There are ways to help: Eat only free-range meat or no meat. Don't buy puppies from a puppy mill; they will run out of business. Report a dogfight if you hear one. Don't buy or wear fur items. Finally, see if the shelter near your home is no-kill. If not, make it so they won't kill the animals. I hope you do something to help. Go online for more ways to help! Madilyn Andersen, Eureka   Source: http://www.times-standard.com/opinion/ci_25952879/letter
Opinion: Animal cruelty the norm on factory farms Opinion: Animal cruelty the norm on factory farms   Consumers have the power to stop suffering by buying products from producers practicing tradition husbandry   By Peter Fricker, Special to the Vancouver Sun June 11, 2014   Tweet Comment 21   Story Photos ( 2 )     If animal cruelty on industrialized farms amounts to just a few isolated incidents, why is it being uncovered so easily and so often, and why does the industry want to use legislation to hide its operations? Photograph by: JONATHAN HAYWARD , THE CANADIAN PRESS The shocking animal cruelty revealed this week at a Fraser Valley dairy farm is another example of the morally bankrupt system of industrialized animal agriculture that should shame our so-called civilized society. The dairy industry will claim the horrific scenes of animal torture revealed by the undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals Canada are isolated incidents perpetrated by a few bad apples. But modern intensive farming appears to be one big barrel of bad apples. MFA Canada has conducted investigations over the last 19 months into the production of Canadian pork, eggs, turkeys, chicken and veal, with each case exposing unconscionable abuse of animals. All this has been duly reported by national media and shown in graphic detail across Canada’s television screens. In the United States, similar undercover investigations by animal-rights groups have been taking place for years, all revealing the horrors of factory farming. Finding examples of such cruelty was relatively easy, as the investigators simply foundf jobs on randomly selected farms and started videoing what they found. The broadcast of the material on U.S. news networks has been widespread and so damaging to the industry that it lobbied state legislators to pass anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” laws that criminalize the recording of undercover videos on factory farms. Five states have passed such laws, with several more introducing similar bills. Now, some politicians in Australia, faced with their industry lobbying, are calling for ag-gag laws there. It is probably only a matter of time before such calls emerge in Canada. If animal cruelty on industrialized farms amounts to just a few isolated incidents, why is it being uncovered so easily and so often, and why does the industry want to use legislation to hide its operations? If cruelty rarely happens then what is there to hide? Farm animal cruelty revelations are not new or surprising to animal advocates who have campaigned against factory farming for years. An exposé of an Ontario egg farm by the Vancouver Humane Society in 2005 revealed appalling conditions for laying hens, which were found crammed into cages, virtually featherless and covered in their own excrement. Even when the cruelty on factory farms is not systematic (i.e. the denial of natural behaviours from confinement in cages or crates) and is due to the action of individuals, the industry is still responsible. Recruitment, training, and oversight of factory farm workers are industry responsibilities that must be taken seriously, although even this may not address the inhumanity at the core of factory farming. This is dehumanizing work, in which low-paid staff are often surrounded by animal suffering and death for long periods. Perhaps it is impossible to remain compassionate, sensitive or civilized under such conditions. As government is unlikely to address the moral shortcomings of factory farming (animal welfare has never been an election issue), it is only consumers who can force change in animal agriculture. Put starkly, their choices in the supermarket dictate how many animals will suffer and die on factory farms. Many people say they could never become vegetarian or vegan (although it has never been easier, thanks to the many alternatives to animal-based protein), but everyone can cut down on meat, eggs and dairy products. Lower demand means less need for intensive systems. Every meatless meal makes a difference. Every veggie burger counts. For those who continue to purchase animal products, there are less inhumane choices, such as meat, dairy and eggs from producers using traditional husbandry that at least allows animals some natural behaviours and a better life. Paying a few pennies more for these products is not much of a sacrifice to help save millions of animals from unnecessary suffering. If more consumers took these simple actions we might not need to look into the frightened eyes of innocent animals when they stare out at us from our television screens in another revelation of the hell of factory farms. Peter Fricker is projects and communications director at the Vancouver Humane Society   Source: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Opinion+Animal+cruelty+norm+factory+farms/9929593/story.html
Pamela Anderson Speaks Out Against Cruel Animal Shows June 16, 2014 Pamela Anderson has written to PETA supporters asking them to join her in refusing to attend marine parks such as SeaWorld. “As someone who cares deeply about animals, I know that they truly do not belong in the entertainment industry,” she wrote. "So when I hear about the abuse at places such as SeaWorld where captive marine animals are forced to perform tricks that go against their nature, it breaks my heart. And when orcas rebel and kill their trainers, as Tilikum did at SeaWorld Orlando, their captivity becomes tragic for people, too. “Marine mammals are some of the most intelligent, social creatures on the planet. They are meant to roam the open oceans, not be forced to interact with people in an area that, to them, is the size of a large tub.” “Orcas held captive at SeaWorld spend decades trapped in tiny tanks, swimming in endless circles and forced to perform meaningless tricks for gawking spectators,” added PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk. "At circuses such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, terrified baby elephants are torn away from their mothers and struck with sharp bullhooks until they submit to workers. “Animal abusers are trying to draw visitors in by offering deeply discounted tickets in partnership with Groupon. But if we join together and speak up now, we can convince Groupon to sever ties with the likes of SeaWorld and Ringling Bros. — and cut off one of the last tools that these companies have to prop up their abusive businesses. “Speak up now for orcas, elephants, and other animals trapped and tormented by the entertainment industry! Tell Groupon to stop promoting cruel animal shows and cancel these deals today. “Many major companies, including MasterCard, Visa, Ford, and Travelzoo, already have a ban on Ringling Bros. promotions. And thanks to the success of documentary films such as Blackfish — and the public outcry from people like you — the backlash against companies such as SeaWorld is in full swing, and it’s only growing stronger. Musical acts such as Willie Nelson and the Barenaked Ladies have canceled appearances at the park in recent months, and New York hot spot Bagatelle canceled SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary party after hearing from PETA." Click here to help PETA stop cruel animal shows.  Source: https://www.looktothestars.org/news/12167-pamela-anderson-speaks-out-against-cruel-animal-shows
SeaWorld Exaggerated Its Research Record 6.7k 1.2k 29 By David Shiffman   Larry King interviews Shamu at SeaWorld in 2001. Photo By Getty Images SeaWorld’s practice of keeping large marine mammals in captivity has always been controversial among scientists and animal rights activists, but the recent anti-captivity documentary Blackfish has brought this issue into the public eye. As one of its justifications for keeping captive orcas, SeaWorld argues that easy access to these animals is an enormous benefit for scientific research that will lead to greater understanding of all orcas, including wild populations. According to Chris Dold, vice-president of SeaWorld veterinary services, “there are limitations to studying these animals in the wild, but controlled environments help us to overcome them. The value of animals in zoological parks is that they are available for controlled science to be conducted with them on their behalf.” To support the claim, SeaWorld keeps an official list of research findings from captive orcas, a list of 52 studies starting in 1976. While some of these papers, particularly those related to anatomy, physiology, and development, are broadly applicable to wild animals, many are relevant only for captive orcas. Studies on vitamin supplements or new technology and techniques for artificial insemination are unlikely to be useful to wild populations. However, Dold says of these studies: “We’re just scratching the surface. Understanding the animal helps us to conserve them. Science isn’t always big leaps, and small contributions can lead to additional questions. Even this basic stuff enhances our understanding of killer whales.” Advertisement A new investigation of these papers by Ingrid Visser, a marine biologist with New Zealand’s Orca Research Trust, shows that SeaWorld may have systematically misrepresented the research resulting from work with captive orcas. Visser’s investigation of the list, which is part of a larger analysis, stems from “a concern that SeaWorld often misrepresents their claims of science and the justification of keeping orca in captivity,” she told me, and as a scientist herself, she “wanted the public to have a better grasp of just how duplicitous SeaWorld was being about their ‘research.’” According to Visser, of the 52 articles on SeaWorld’s list, three are duplicates, the exact same paper listed twice. Another of the papers on the list is a review by a SeaWorld employee of a book written by someone who claimed to be able to communicate with orcas. Others involved SeaWorld staff, but the research was performed entirely on wild populations. A few could not be tracked down with the citation information provided; SeaWorld’s director of research didn’t have access to them when Visser inquired. Several are not peer reviewed, and at least one had the title changed to imply that captive orcas played a more important role in the research (which was a statistical model) than they actually did.   “After holding orcas in captivity for almost 50 years, this is, quite frankly, a pathetic research output in that time period, even for an individual researcher, let alone an institution with multiple researchers,” says Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute. (Disclosure: Rose is an acquaintance and I am a co-author of a paper on an unrelated topic with her husband, Chris Parsons.) For two papers, the order of authors is different on SeaWorld’s bibliography than on the actual papers. One of SeaWorld’s own employees is listed as first author when he was not, implying that the employee was the lead researcher. “This is tantamount to plagiarism in the scientific world,” Visser says. “You don’t just claim someone else’s work by changing the first author of a publication, that’s the same as intellectual theft.” Rose says she isn’t surprised by this apparent manipulation. In a recent online poll about orca captivity, she points out, 54 percent of responses came from a SeaWorld IP address, leading to accusations of digital ballot stuffing. Top Comment I saw Blackfish, and was, of course, appalled by SeaWorld's actions towards both the orcas in its care and the trainers that they allow around dangerous marine mammals to perform tricks with very little training or warning.  More... -awesomesauce 29 CommentsJoin In When I reached SeaWorld, Dold was apologetic about the errors in the research record. “That’s concerning to me. It would be untenable for us to manipulate the scientific record like this. We wouldn’t do something like that. Our scientific integrity is something we take deep pride in. On behalf of our scientists, that’s not something that we would do. I want to apologize to you and thank you for bringing this to our attention. That’s an error on our part and we’re going to go ahead and correct it.” And it has been revised. A more accurate list of research won’t resolve the longstanding debate over whether holding orcas in captivity is necessary or appropriate, but at least it will help keep one side in that debate honest.  Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/wild_things/2014/06/17/seaworld_orca_research_importance_of_captive_killer_whale_studies_was_exaggerated.html?wpisrc=burger_bar
Saputo won't accept milk from B.C. farm where abuse caught on video CTV Vancouver: Milk to be destroyed   Milk produced at a B.C. farm under investigation for "horrific" animal abuse will be destroyed until further notice. CTV News Channel: 'There needs to be reform'   CEO of Saputo Inc. Lino A. Saputo Jr. says the decision to not buy milk from the Chilliwack farm is a message to the dairy industry. CTV News Channel: Saputo takes a stand   Geoffrey Rowan of Ketchum Public Relations Canada says surveys show that consumers stop buying products from a company that lacks leadership 12 Share: Text:         The Canadian Press Published Monday, June 16, 2014 7:46PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, June 17, 2014 2:01PM EDT MONTREAL -- Dairy food giant Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP) is no longer accepting milk from Chilliwack Cattle Sales, a British Columbia farm where a number of employees were captured on video beating cattle, and says it is leading the charge for reform in animal treatment. "Since Saputo learned of the animal abuse at the farm in British Columbia from which horrific images of cattle mistreatment were captured, the company has used its position as Canada's largest milk processor to ensure the situation is being addressed and that such reprehensible behaviour . . . does not occur in the future," Saputo said in a statement Monday. The Montreal-based company said it has reached out to the province's minister of agriculture as well as the B.C. Dairy Association, the B.C. Dairy Council and the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board. Related Stories Consumers threaten dairy boycott after abuse at B.C. dairy farm caught on video Workers fired after abuse caught on tape at B.C. dairy farm 'Horrific' abuse of cows at B.C. dairy farm caught on video Photos One of Canada's largest dairy farms faces serious allegations of animal abuse. "Saputo has taken the lead in bringing industry stakeholders together behind a common goal: to ensure immediate consequences for those involved and enforceable legal measures to prevent future animal abuse," it said. It said it also supports the recommendation of the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle, published in 2009, be adopted into B.C. law. In announcing its action, Saputo noted that it does not own or operate any dairy farms in British Columbia or anywhere else in Canada and, like all dairy processors in Canada, is required by law to purchase milk from provincial milk marketing boards. "While we do not own the farms, we care deeply about the way the milk we sell is produced. We will not accept milk from the B.C. Milk Marketing Board supplied by this farm until we are fully satisfied that strict animal welfare practices are in place," it said. Chilliwack Cattle fired eight employees after the group Mercy for Animals Canada took the video to authorities. The SPCA has recommended criminal charges against them but to date no charges have been laid and nothing has been proven in court. The farm's owner, Jeff Kooyman, has described the video as "horrifying to watch" and said he didn't know what got into the young men seen kicking, punching and beating the animals with pipes. Kooyman has said the dairy operation -- the country's largest, with more then 3,500 animals -- will put in security cameras that will be monitored and would work with the SPCA on better training for staff. Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/saputo-won-t-accept-milk-from-b-c-farm-where-abuse-caught-on-video-1.1871977#ixzz35Jxds65S
After high-profile cases, a new approach to animal control? Alan and Sheree Napier were arrested after a multi-agency raid in February of Napier Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary, where 300 animals were reportedly living in filthy conditions. HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES By Dale White Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 3:41 p.m. Last Modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 3:41 p.m. MANATEE COUNTY - In the wake of a highly publicized animal cruelty case, Manatee County is considering restructuring its approach to animal control. The suggested approach is drawing some support from animal advocates as well as opposition from residents critical of how the county handles its animal protection duties now. It calls for the county's keeping its enforcement role but partnering with an existing or new nonprofit to be in charge of adoptions at a separate facility to be built with private donations. Currently, Animal Services performs both functions — enforcement and adoptions. The goal is to become a national model as a “no kill” community, Len O'Hara, a former college president with degrees in animal science, told the commissioners on Tuesday. O'Hara recently volunteered to conduct a study that led to the partnership idea. He believes turning over adoption center responsibilities will better enable the county to achieve its goal of no longer euthanizing healthy dogs and cats because of shelter overcrowding. The next step is for the county to request proposals from agencies interested in running an adoption center, County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said. Residents upset with Animal Services think it could have the opposite effect of increasing euthanasia cases. Nathan Levinson appeared before the commission wearing a T-shirt with the message “In Memory of Buck and Bill.” Levinson said he is a friend of Karen Erskine.  Source: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140617/ARTICLE/140619693/-1/shop35599642.taobao.com?Title=After-high-profile-cases-a-new-approach-to-animal-control-
Session teaches officers how to investigate animal fighting Posted: Jun 19, 2014 4:30 PM PDT Updated: Jun 19, 2014 4:38 PM PDT Reported by Patrick McMurtry - email NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Animal abuse is becoming a huge problem in the state of Tennessee. There have already been several high-profile cases this year, but those cases aren't always easy to spot. MOREAdditional Links Officers and prosecutors got some hands-on training Thursday to help them combat animal abuse and put the people responsible behind bars. "Dog-fighting rings are notoriously insular. They are very protective," said Assistant District Attorney Shannon Poindexter. "Outsiders are not going to get the information about where these fights are taking place." So the secretive nature of the rings is the first hurdle for investigators to clear while trying to get information so they can build their cases. And people who handle these cases say people of all races - rich and poor - take part in animal fighting rings. "It's across-the-board with economics, et cetera. It's not just one race or culture of people we're seeing that in," said animal fighting investigator Janette Reever. In one recent high-profile dog-fighting investigation, Metro police seized dozens of dogs and nearly a quarter-million dollars off Pewitt Road. Most cases aren't nearly that big, though, and Reever says as dog fighting declines another kind of animal fighting is growing in Middle Tennessee: cock fighting. Prosecutors say animal fighting rings are often hard to crack, so they're usually only caught in connection with another criminal investigation. And she says there's a pretty simple reason why she's seeing more of this illegal activity here. "This is one of the handful of states where the penalties are very weak. Therefore, it's a magnet for people to come to this jurisdiction," Reever said. Reever and a couple other instructors gave a daylong training session to police officers, prosecutors and humane officers, showing them ways to make their cases easier to prosecute. Still, she says the best line of defense is a watchful public. Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.  Source: http://www.wsmv.com/story/25824381/session-teaches-officers-how-to-investigate-animal-fighting
Dogs rescued from McDonald, Tenn., puppy mill operation being assessed share email print font size by Paul Leach view bio » Troy Snell, a field responder for the Humane Society of America, left, assists Dr. John Mullins of the Animal Care Center of Ooltewah, in examining small-breed dogs recently seized from a puppy mill in McDonald, Tenn. Photo by Paul Leach. CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Just over 100 small-breed dogs seized from a McDonald, Tenn., puppy mill operation may be on their way to adoption organizations in another week or so, representatives of the Humane Society of the United States say. In a recent meeting, animal welfare officials reviewed the situation -- which involved 247 dogs found at a dog-breeding facility in rural southern Bradley County -- with county leaders. Puppy mill operations are a "very, very common" problem, said Leighann Lassiter, Tennessee state director for the Humane Society. "There are a lot of people who are simply in this for profit. It's greed-based, it's not about the animals." Lassiter said the Humane Society opened a temporary shelter last weekend in vacant retail space in Charleston, Tenn., to do health assessments on 101 of the dogs and provide them with vaccinations and other medical care, Lassiter said. At the emergency shelter, the work with $5,000 in funding and supplies donated by PetSmart Charities and two dozen volunteers -- both local and from out of state -- resembles a Red Cross mobilization to help the dogs begin new lives. Lassiter said a number of the animals suffer from infections and skin problems, and all were neglected. She said the dogs were treated "like livestock, live production units," and they will need time and socialization to overcome their former life of filthy, cramped quarters -- the only life they've known. "It will be a slow process to turn these animals into pets," Lassiter said. The site does not serve as an adoption center, but valid animal adoption organizations across the county have been contacted about the animals' futures, she said. The SPCA of Bradley County, which provides animal sheltering services to county residents under an $80,000 annual agreement with Bradley County, will be eligible to take some of the animals, Lassiter said. Right now, the SPCA shelter's biggest concern is getting its current population of animals adopted, director Bobbi Anderson said. It is not accepting any more animals now, she said, citing the capacity of the Johnson Boulevard facility. "We have not actually put a capacity into place," Anderson said. "I did put a stop to all intakes at this time, until we can come up with a sufficient number for the well-being of the animals. So, that is something that really needs to be addressed." Before the Humane Society field operation launched, more than 140 of the dogs were taken by a handful of local rescue/adoption groups from the residence on Candies Creek Road SW, Lassiter said. She said the Humane Society has reached out to those groups to offer supplies and support for their efforts, Lassiter said. Rebecca Vanmeter, owner of the puppy business, was charged late last week with one count of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor. Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Contact him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.  Source: http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/jun/19/rescued-dogs-being-assessed/?breakingnews
Santa Monica Animal Cruelty Disguised As Entertainment Posted Jun. 21, 2014, 6:56 am Special To The Mirror By Marcy Winograd Former Congressional Candidate The much-revered Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I shudder to think what this peaceful warrior would say if he passed by the Santa Monica farmers market on Main Street. There, every Sunday, six ponies – some of them dragging their feet, having trouble walking – are tethered to a metal bar and forced to plod for hours in tiny circles on hard hot cement, while bands, often loud, blare next to the ponies’ sensitive ears. The California Penal Code prohibits animal cruelty and imposes fines and imprisonment on those who cause animals needless suffering, yet the city – my city – continues this animal amusement with much fanfare and celebration, even advertising these sad pony rides on its website. Next to the pony ride sits a penned in petting zoo, where an alpaca – a member of the camel family known for wanting to stay close to family – is sequestered in a tiny cement area, where gawkers can enjoy the sideshow. Baby goats and chickens, bred for the zoo, sometimes seek refuge in corners. I wonder where their mothers are and how we might feel if, as infants, we were separated from our mothers. I wonder about the emotional lives of animals. For years, I looked the other way, mindful there were other urgent struggles to embrace: stopping the drones; ending needless government surveillance; teaching our children to read and write. One day, however, out of town guests asked me, “What’s wrong with Santa Monica? Why do the people here tolerate this abuse?” Speechless, I felt ashamed, not only for my city, but for myself, for my silence. I am no longer silent in the face of animal cruelty disguised as benign children’s entertainment. I launched a Move On petition (petitions.moveon.org/sign/shut-down-pony-rides) to shut down the current pony ride and petting zoo and have collected nearly 600 signatures, including those of Santa Monica School Board President Ben Allen, City Council candidates Sue Himmelrich and Richard Mckinnon, and Residocracy organizer and Hines project challenger Armen Melkonians. I also started a Facebook page called Free the Pony. Since then, I have urged the city to adopt a more humane approach – move the ponies to Virginia Park and walk them on gentle leads and grassy areas. Do not normalize the tethering of ponies, for enslavement is not what we should teach our children. Some argue the ponies are only tethered several hours a week and must work for their keep; others say it’s better to work than be slaughtered. Is it acceptable to inflict cruel treatment on voiceless creatures for any amount of time? Particularly when there is a more humane way to sustain them? As for the threat of slaughter, The Gentle Barn, a nearby animal rescue sanctuary, has offered lifetime refuge to two of the ponies who seem to have the most trouble walking in circles for hours. Additionally, I ask the city of Santa Monica to pay redress to these defenseless animals and to offer their “guardian” – the pony operator – the money needed to take care of them while they are still standing.  Source: http://www.smmirror.com/articles/Opinion/Santa-Monica-Animal-Cruelty-Disguised-As-Entertainment/40476
Saturday, June 21, 2014 Diana Culp: Best way to help those sad, needy animals is to give locally By By Diana Culp Many people have seen the ads on TV full of abandoned and abused cats and dogs in need of a forever home. They’re hard to watch, and it’s hard to believe that animal neglect exists. For those of us who can bear to watch them to the end, the group running them promises to save animals for just $19 a month. With 70 million households in America having pets, who could say no?But the money is largely not going to provide shelter for cats and dogs. More often, the money is diverted to pay massive overhead costs. And lately, it’s been going to pay the settlement of a federal bribery lawsuit fingering several national animal groups.Last month, several organizations including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) — the purveyor of those tear-jerking ads — settled a lawsuit alleging bribery, illegal payments to a witness, fraud, obstruction of justice and other wrongdoings. The settlement, totaling nearly $16 million, comes after the ASPCA — another national group with strikingly similar TV ads — paid $9.3 million in 2012 to settle similar litigation.All in all, that’s $25 million to settle bribery and fraud claims. That’s a kennel-full of dollars. But when people consider what went on, their fur should really stand on end.National animal activists sued the owner of the Ringling Bros. Circus over a decade ago, alleging animal abuse. Their lawsuit dragged through the court for years and was eventually dismissed by a federal judge. The judge ruled that the activists’ key witness was essentially a “paid plaintiff.”Not only had this witness lied to the court, but the activists had covertly paid him almost $200,000, including a check signed by HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle. For its involvement in this settlement, last week the third-party charity rating service Charity Navigator issued a donor advisory about HSUS.All that money could have gone to help needy pets, but didn’t. But the bigger waste than even $25 million in settlement money is the amount that groups regularly spend on salaries, pension plans and overhead.According to CharityWatch, another third-party charity watchdog, the ASPCA spends up to 35 percent of its budget on overhead. HSUS spends up to 45 percent, which translates to about $50 million a year.I’m a 30-year veteran of the animal welfare community, and have worked most of my time with animal control and local humane groups. I also worked for three years at HSUS. The difference is stark.At HSUS, the emphasis was on fundraising and publicity. At local groups, the emphasis is on getting things done and hands-on care.Despite its name, HSUS is not affiliated with local humane societies, and the ASPCA is separate from local SPCAs — facts that most of the public isn’t aware of, according to public polling.National advocacy groups aren’t all bad. But too often far-flung “education” campaigns are merely cover for an organization to run another direct mail campaign to raise even more money. It quickly becomes a cycle of factory fundraising that can corrupt the focus of the group and mainly benefits the fundraisers.What’s a person who’s concerned about animals to do? If you want to best help care for pets, give to a local shelter directly. That’s something those TV ads ought to make clear, though they never will. But it’s a message that any person can spread to their friends and community members.Diana Culp is a former director of education for the Humane Society of the United States. - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140621/ARTICLE/140629918/1103#sthash.uI9ZnDUV.dpuf
Animal rights group alleges mistreatment at 2 Mississippi livestock auction arenas By JACK ELLIOTT JR.  Associated Press June 23, 2014 - 2:17 pm EDT JACKSON, Mississippi — An animal rights group said that it is filing complaints in courts in Forrest and Pontotoc counties against two livestock auctions sites where it alleges cows, sheep and other animals are being mistreated. A complaint was filed early Monday in Forrest County court against Southeast Mississippi Livestock in Hattiesburg, local officials confirmed. Matt Rice, director of investigations for Los Angeles-based Mercy For Animals, said the complaint against Pontotoc Stockyard in Pontotoc will be filed later in the day. The group has hidden-camera video footage of animal abuse and neglect, Rice said. Details of the investigation will be announced at a news conference Tuesday in Jackson, he said. Joe Johnson, manager of the Hattiesburg stockyards, told The Associated Press he was aware of the allegations. "We do not condone any kind of activity that shows cruelty or mistreatment of our livestock nor do we tolerate it. Our people have been trained and we will do more training. We've got new supervision in place that will monitor and watch what is going on," Johnson said. Dr. Ron Herndon, a chiropractor who owns the Pontotoc Stockyard, said he talked to officials from Mercy For Animals before the complaint was to be filed. "I told them we'd check on it and do whatever we need to do to fix it. We try to do what we do within guidelines. If there is anything more to be done we will do it," Herndon said. Rice told the AP that one of the group's investigators got hired as an employee at both livestock arenas. "He simply went to work, wired with a hidden camera and documented the activities there," Rice said. Rice said video, which will be released Tuesday, shows the animals "being kicked, shocked, beaten and dragged by their ears and tails. It also shows management acknowledging that animals are deprived of food and water. " Rice said the group is seeking the filing of a total of 28 animal abuse counts against five workers at Pontotoc Stockyard and 21 counts against five workers at the Hattiesburg business. Rice said the group is calling on law enforcement agencies to "hold these animal abusers accountable for their crimes against livestock." "We're also asking the Livestock Marketing Association — of which both of these auctions are members — to crackdown on animal abuse at their member facilities," he said. Rice said Mercy for Animals calls for more oversight and training for workers at livestock barns, camera monitoring with live streaming and zero tolerance for abuse. Source: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/b6760cfe798747a7a005b6c38ebee953/MS--Animal-Rights-Livestock-Arenas
 The economics of animal welfare Posted on June 22, 2014 by AgriDigest Online By Sylvain Charlebois, Associate Dean – College of Business and Economics, University of Guelph A recent video exposing the abuse of cows is not sitting well with consumers. Animal welfare and other ethical issues in agriculture are an ongoing concern for consumers. And in light of a recent incident on a dairy farm in B.C., they will likely be so for the long term. A viral video exposing the abuse of cows by several employees of what seems to be Canada’s largest dairy farm, one of many that have surfaced in recent years, is not sitting well with anyone. Staged or not, these incidences are affecting both ends of the food continuum; both consumers and restaurant owners are now asking difficult questions of food retailers, and many of them are struggling to provide satisfactory answers. For years, many in the food industry believed that the issue of animal welfare was a short-lived issue, connected primarily to an urban-driven anxiety juxtaposed with the principles of pet ownership. It was assumed that consumers’ desire for convenience and affordability would trump this concern. Consumers continue to express this desire, but the issue is clearly retaining traction in ongoing conversations about agriculture. For years, the industrialization of agriculture has successfully produced a large supply of meat, eggs and dairy products for urban centres, but some argue that this supply comes at significant costs to ethical treatment of animals on farms. Chicken, hogs, cattle, foie gras, and now, the dairy industry have been, at one point or another, the centre of controversy over the last five years in Canada. Many animal rights advocates are using this momentum to promote the fact that agriculture, as we know it, may have lost its moral bearings. Feeling the pressure, some jurisdictions adopted improved legislation in order to safeguard the health of animals on farms; however, the proper resources to support these laws were not forthcoming. The industry, on the other hand, is not waiting: for example, agribusiness giant Cargill will shift to group housing by the end of 2015, moving away from gestation crates that animal welfare groups have opposed, and more companies are starting to fund university research to better understand the societal and financial implications of tracing and tracking manifests displaying farm practices on food products. Some Canadian universities have even launched programs focusing on animal welfare. The agricultural industry is also beginning to use a very powerful tool: Transparency. An increasing number of facilities are now installing closed-circuit cameras to monitor employees and animals around the clock, which is exactly what the B.C.-based dairy producer promised to do hours after the video surfaced. A commitment to transparency goes a long way in the age of instant information, especially when the intent is to reduce concerns about the practices of an industry that is remotely located from 98 per cent of the population. With the price of animal protein currently reaching record levels in food stores, videos revealing irresponsible behaviour with livestock provide another reason for consumers to stop purchasing steak and chicken. Indeed, some consumers are opting to stop eating meat entirely in protest, resulting in the opening of Canada’s first meat-less butcher shop in Toronto. But make no mistake; farmers are true stewards of the land, and displays of such cruel behaviour towards any farm animal are rare. While the root causes of these incidences are far more complicated than what is being suggested in media analysis, they are clearly unacceptable, and the industry will need to get its act together, quickly. With trade deals looming between Korea and Europe, countries where the rights of farm animals are perceived differently, industry pundits need to demonstrate to the Canadian public that current farming practices are still worthy of their trust, and the trust of potential trading partners. Article provided by Troy Media, http://www.troymedia.com  Source: http://agridigest.com/2014/06/22/the-economics-of-animal-welfare/
Two Miss. stockyards center of animal abuse allegations Lauren Purdy  |  Updated: 06/23/2014 ShareThis  Resize text         2 Comments With the recent Canadian case at Chilliwack, animal rights groups all-over are on edge. One group in particular is filing complaints in two Mississippi counties against two separate livestock auction sites. Mercy For Animals alleges mistreatment of cows, sheep and other livestock within the two locations after one of their own employees was hired at both of the stockyards. According to the Associated Press, the group has hidden camera footage of animal abuse and neglect. Photo courtesy of Google Maps The allegations fall on the shoulders of Pontotoc Stockyard and Southeast Mississppi Livestock in Hattiesburg. Joe Johnson, manager of Hattiesburg is aware of the allegations. Johnson told the Associated Press, “Our attorney was notified by the district attorney's office that it is under investigation by local authorities. We have been advised by our attorney not to say anything more while the investigation is going on and it goes through the court system.” Photo courtesy of Google Maps Matt Rice is the director of investigations for the L.A. based Mercy For Animals, he wants the animal abusers held accountable for their actions. According to Rice, video of the alleged abuse will be released Tuesday. Source: Associated Press, The Clarion-Ledger  Source: http://www.cattlenetwork.com/cattle-news/264282431.html
Video: Undercover investigation exposes animal cruelty Posted: Jun 24, 2014 6:18 AM PDT Updated: Jun 24, 2014 6:49 AM PDT By Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer - email By Betsy Webster, News Reporter - bio | email   Video: Undercover investigation exposes animal crueltyMore > KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Shocking video of animals being abused while awaiting auction was shot in an undercover operation. MOREAdditional Links Mercy for Animals Mercy for Animals Animal rights groups are demanding action from a Kansas City organization to put a stop to it. Kansas City's Livestock Marketing Association isn't accused of the abuse, but they could play a big role in protecting the animals. The animal rights group that shot that undercover video has called on the Livestock Marketing Association, based in the Northland, to send a strong message opposing what they've uncovered. The organization says it is taking action to stop some of those practices. Warning: The video contains graphic content. "This is absolutely inhumane. That is a downed animal, can't move," said Rick Miller, an agricultural and community development agent with the Johnson County Extension office. Miller says some of what he saw disturbed him. "It is clear that animal either can't or won't get up and continuing to hit it won't change anything," he said. The undercover video was shot by an investigator with Mercy for Animals, who took a job working at the two markets both in Mississippi. Both markets are members of the Livestock Marketing Association, which released the following statement Monday. "The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) is aware of unacceptable treatment of animals that occurred at two livestock auction markets in Mississippi. The events depicted in a video, as part of an undercover investigation, should not be taken as reflection of the entire livestock marketing industry. Animal abuse and neglect is inappropriate and not routine behavior at livestock auction markets in the United States. Furthermore, the LMA has created and maintained an animal handling program that provides educational resources, including training and assessment, to member markets. Should a member market not adhere to the standards of the LMA animal handling program, and refuse to make correctional changes, expulsion from the Association will occur. The LMA is working with the specific Mississippi livestock auction markets regarding animal welfare. We, as an Association, are committed to proper animal handling at livestock auction facilities." The trade group says it has had an "animal handling program" for "training and assessment" since 2008. It says the video is not a fair reflection of the industry. Miller said falls are often caused by animals taking a turn too quickly and too wide to pen them in. That is something the Livestock Marketing Association says it has talked to this facility about, suggesting improvements to limit slipping. But some things that are highlighted are things Miller calls common and perfectly acceptable - things that might disturb those not involved with cattle and hogs, like grabbing the animals by their tails and the squeals. "When you're trying to process animals in some way, you're going to grab the first part of the animal you can get a hold of and then eventually get a better grip," Miller said. The Livestock Marketing Association says if member markets don't adhere to standards and refuse to make changes, they will be expelled. It says both markets have already made adjustments with the facilities and the staff. The animal rights group has submitted documentation suggesting animal cruelty charges against 10 employees at those two Mississippi livestock markets. Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.  Source: http://www.kctv5.com/story/25854906/video-undercover-investigation-exposes-animal-cruelty
Dogs left in cars during summer’s heat can get you a citation for animal cruelty By Sophia Miraglio Published: Jun 24, 2014 at 9:42 AM PDT Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014 at 9:42 AM PDT Share this story 0 comments print email »Play Video It can get to 101 degrees inside a car when the outside temperature is 73 degrees. LEWISTON, ID - Saturday marked the first day of summer, which means triple digit days are no longer a thing of the past. However for pet owners it's not only important for you to stay cool but also for your four-legged friends. We all know the feeling, climbing into a hot car that has been parked underneath the sun on a sticky June day. And for animals that feeling is a whole lot worse. "Dogs really can't control their temperature at all beside panting," said Lewiston Animal Control Officer Doug Willey. "When they get too warm they can get brain damage and possibly die." Which is why even just a quick trip could mean trouble for you and your pet. "If there's no wind to cycle the heat through the car, it can heat the cars up petty fast," said Willey. "Even with the windows down six to eight inches. It's 73 degrees outside right now and this truck is partially parked in the shade. However when I aim, it's reading at 101 degrees. "Windows down about two inches and inside the car right now is 139," said Willey. And because of just how hot a car can get, citations for animal abuse are common during summertime. "Especially when it starts getting warmer in the day, we start getting complaints about people leaving their dogs in vehicles," said Willey. "We will investigate it and if the result of our investigation thinks that somebody should be cited for it, it is under the animal cruelty code and it is a misdemeanor." A dog can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 for a very short time before suffering brain damage or even death. Animal control advises you to call the police if you see an animal that is ever being abused.  Source: http://www.klewtv.com/news/local/Dogs-in-car-264416421.html
Exposing animal cruelty is not a crime By Will Potter updated 11:59 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014 Chickens raised in a battery cage farm are crammed together. Animal rights groups say factory farming of animals is cruel. STORY HIGHLIGHTS "Ag-gag" laws make it illegal to photograph or videotape animal cruelty on factory farms Will Potter: These videos have exposed horrific animal cruelty and resulted in convictions Potter: The laws turn news gathering and whistle-blowing into crimes Potter: Ag gag is industry's attempt to keep consumers from knowing what they're buying Editor's note: Will Potter is a journalist and TED Fellow based in Washington. He is the author of "Green Is the New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege." The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. (CNN) -- If "The Jungle" were published today, muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair would probably release photos from his undercover investigation of Chicago meatpacking plants on Flickr and upload video to YouTube. His work would be shared thousands of times on Facebook by outraged consumers. And all of this could land him in court, and even prison, under new laws being passed across the country today. "Ag-gag" legislation -- so-called because it gags animal abuse whistle-blowers -- makes it illegal to photograph or videotape animal cruelty on factory farms and slaughterhouses. In the last few years, these laws have passed in Iowa, Utah, Missouri, and Idaho, and more may be on the way. Will Potter The legislation is the agriculture industry's response to undercover video investigations that exposed horrific animal cruelty. In Idaho, for instance, a group called Mercy for Animals filmed workers at Bettencourt Dairies punching and kicking cows in the face. The investigation resulted in criminal convictions for animal cruelty. But the dairy industry's response was not to clean up its act -- it was to outlaw the footage. The Idaho Dairymen's Association drafted Idaho's new "ag-gag" law in response to the Bettencourt investigation; undercover video, the group says, results in "media persecution" and "potential financial ruin." One ag-gag supporter, industry group Protect the Harvest, has a website devoted to fighting "extremists like the Humane Society." In Idaho, lawmakers called undercover investigators terrorists and vigilantes. The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Jim Patrick, said the whistle-blowers are like "marauding invaders." In Utah, Sen. David Hinkins said ag-gag was needed to stop "the vegetarian people" who are "trying to kill the animal industry." The co-owner of Iowa's MowMar Farms -- where workers were recorded beating pigs with metal pipe -- called the video "the 9/11 event of animal care in our industry." Rhetoric like this is meant to make people afraid of nonviolent undercover investigators and to distract us from the real issue. The truth is that it doesn't matter if you are a meat eater or one of "the vegetarian people," ag-gag laws affect all of us. These laws are an attempt to keep consumers in the dark about what they are buying, and they do that by turning whistle-blowers and journalists into criminals. I am a plaintiff in two lawsuits, in Utah and Idaho, challenging ag-gag laws as unconstitutional. I joined these lawsuits, as a journalist, because ag-gag directly puts both my sources and me at risk. Sixteen professional journalism organizations have written an amicus brief to the court about concerns. The Society of Professional Journalists, NPR, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and others noted that ag-gag "poses a substantial risk of criminalizing lawful -- and constitutionally protected -- news gathering activity." Ag-gag laws put journalists in the cross hairs in three ways: The fight to end factory farming They criminalize news gathering. Journalists have long gone undercover to get the story, dating back to Nellie Bly getting herself committed to the Women's Lunatic Asylum in New York around 1887 so she could expose neglect and abuse for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World. Today, Utah's ag-gag law targets anyone who accesses a farm under "false pretenses," and also anyone who "applies for employment at an agricultural operation with the intent to record an image of, or sound from, the agricultural operation." Idaho's law has similar restrictions against photography and also says it's a crime if someone "obtains records of an agricultural production facility." Ag-gag laws create harsher penalties for critics. In his best-selling book "Eating Animals," Jonathan Safran Foer admits entering a farm illegally to see conditions there after his requests to visit were repeatedly denied. He says undercover investigations "are one of the only meaningful windows the public has into the imperfect day-to-day running of factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses." Trespassing is against the law, and journalists aren't exempt from that. Under ag-gag, though, trespassing with the intent to expose wrongdoing results in stiffer penalties. Ag-gag turns sources into criminals. Factory farm investigations have been reported by the top media outlets in the country, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN, but the journalists didn't do the investigations themselves -- nonprofit groups did. Undercover animal abuse videos could soon be outlawed As ag-gag becomes law, more and more investigators say they are afraid to talk to journalists about their work. Some ag-gag bills even require investigators to turn over all footage to police and make it illegal to give it to the press. These stories need to be told, but by telling them journalists put both themselves and their sources at risk. Jane Velez-Mitchell: Factory meat, cruel and bad for us If the industry has its way, the only insight into the agriculture industry will come from the industry itself. This industry needs more windows and more sunlight exposing its abuses. It's time to overturn ag-gag laws so we can have an informed and vibrant national discussion about modern industrial agriculture, one that, were Upton Sinclair around today, would make him proud.  Source: http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/26/opinion/potter-ag-gag-laws-animals/
State investigating alleged animal cruelty at Harnett chicken farm Posted 4:58 p.m. Thursday 15 4 18  Find News Near Me Fuquay-Varina, N.C. — The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations of animal cruelty at a Harnett County chicken farm, authorities said Thursday. Animal-rights group Compassion Over Killing collected undercover footage at Prince Poultry, off Cokesbury Road southwest of Fuquay-Varina, of chickens being buried alive, thrown at walls and suffering from ammonia burns. The group turned the video over to Harnett County authorities, who asked the SBI to investigate. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also might be investigating the case, authorities said. "“Day in and day out, these animals endure absolute misery. If dogs or cats were subjected to the same abuses as chickens, it would lead to criminal prosecution,” Erica Meier, executive director of Compassion over Killing, said in a statement. Read more at http://www.wral.com/state-investigating-alleged-animal-cruelty-at-harnett-chicken-farm/13768708/#EHFFCA4RuVeX72Kp.99 
Connecticut Should Bar Animal Circuses Comments 6 Email Share Letter to the editor 7:13 p.m. EDT, June 28, 2014 My heart sank when I drove past Long Meadow Elementary School in Middlebury this week. The Cole Bros. Circus, which has been cited for Animal Welfare Act violations, was set up on the school's grounds. Here, at a place where we hope our children will become considerate, enlightened members of our community, instead they are encouraged to witness the archaic, barbaric and ghastly practice of forcing wild animals to perform in circus acts. These wild animals are not able to participate in the natural activities of their species, but instead travel constantly from place to place in small vehicles, housed in cages, and forced to do tricks so their handlers can make a buck. That is no life for an animal. Middlebury was not the only Connecticut town that hosted this heartbreaking activity. Days earlier, the Cole Bros. Circus set up shop in Willimantic. Connecticut can and should prevent animal circuses from doing business in this state. There are many countries in the world and cities in the U.S., including our very own Stamford, that have already banned animal circuses. Next time an animal circus comes to your town, please consider using your hard-earned money elsewhere. We should not allow our dollars to support animal abuse in this state. Kate Sheely, Naugatuck Copyright © 2014,
The Hartford Courant   Source: http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/letters/hcrs-20842--20140626,0,5663593.story
“Ag-Gag” Laws Shutting Out Farm Abuse Whistleblowers The proliferation of laws that effectively label agriculture whistleblowers “terrorists” are stifling today’s would-be Upton Sinclairs and disrupting the public’s right to know. By Frederick Reese @FrederickReese | June 30, 2014 Share this article! Dairy cows riding a rotating milking machine at Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Ind. (AP/M.L. Johnson) In 2012, advocacy group Mercy For Animals released hidden camera footage of recorded episodes of severe animal cruelty at a livestock auction outside of Los Angeles. The footage revealed “downed” animals — sick or injured animals being left without veterinary care, food or water — sick or compromised animals being manhandled onto transport trucks to be sold and slaughtered for human consumption, unethical overcrowding, animals being stomped, kicked or beaten, and other examples revealing a general disregard for the animals’ safety or treatment in their handling. Subsequent investigations by law enforcement led to 21 counts of animal cruelty being tallied against the auction’s owner and seven employees. A large part of the U.S. meat industry’s food safety compliance is a voluntary process. And as regulatory action is typically reactive — not proactive — activists’ use of hidden cameras has helped to raise awareness of the state of the nation’s meat supply. Investigations, such as Kenneth Kendrick’s hidden camera footage of Peanut Corporation of America, have exposed problems and helped to mitigate the spread of foodborne diseases. However, such whistleblowing has proven to be a nuisance for the agriculture industry. For example, a 2007 Humane Society hidden video revealed that the Hallmark/Westland slaughterhouse in Chino, California, which supplemented the National School Lunch Program, would drag “downed” cows — bovines sick or injured to the point that they cannot move on their own — to the killing floor by forklift. Exposure of this practice led to the largest meat recall in American history. Similarly, in 2011, Mercy For Animals found that Sparboe Farms — then a supplier of eggs to McDonald’s, Target and Sam’s Club — overcrowded hen cages, left dead hens in pens with live hens still laying eggs for human consumption, de-beaked the hens without the use of painkillers, and regularly suffocated live birds in plastic bags. The international media attention forced McDonald’s and the hatchery’s other major customers to disassociate themselves from the company. As agriculture represents a major — if not the largest — industrial lobby in many states, the agricultural lobby has found it easier to stop the whistleblowers than to improve operations. The American Legislative Exchange Council drafted the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act based on existing legislation from Kansas, Montana and North Dakota, that explicitly bans interference with the operations of agricultural and plant and animal research facilities — including the theft of animals or the uninvited recording or photographing of the facility. The act would effectively label anyone a terrorist who attempts to covertly videotape or record anything in an animal research of production facility. That person would then be included on a state-based “terrorist registry” and face criminal penalties. So far, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah have passed the model legislation into law, and another 16 have considered the proposal. Missouri’s law requires that the whistleblower share recorded observations with law enforcement within 24 hours, while Iowa’s does not explicitly ban videotaping. These so-called “ag-gag” laws threaten to create a level of safety ambiguity with the nation’s meat supply not seen since the publication of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.” “When it comes to bringing horrific truths to the public eye, undercover footage and images are often an effective outlet for whistleblowers who otherwise risk retaliation when speaking up,” wrote the Food Integrity Campaign. “Going through ‘proper channels’ to report abuse often results in supervisors intimidating those employees who have made complaints to keep quiet.” In an undercover investigation of Prince Poultry for Compassion Over Killing, a Compassion Over Killing staffer posing as a college intern was privy to chickens being buried alive, among other atrocities. In a video scene obtained and reported by CNN, the staffer asked a farmhand if a bird should be killed before being placed in a burial pit. “No, we’re going to drop them in the pit just like they are,” the worker responded. “You dump them in there and then Mother Nature takes care of the rest. You go in there in the summertime, and it smells real nice over there. If you look down in there, it’s like a gravy that’s simmering and squirming.” The people conducting these investigations argue that the safety and hygiene violations they uncover represent conscious choices on the part of the facilities’ operators that should be made known to the public. “What we documented is how he is operating his facility, and it’s unfortunate that what we documented is so egregious that we hope that state authorities will get involved and prosecute this case for burying birds alive,” said Erica Meier, executive director of Compassion Over Killing. “That was his choice in terms of how to operate his facility.” Ultimately, this situation reflects questions of public health and whether the public has the right to know everything about what it eats. “When you look at this kind of footage, what you are really seeing is a cauldron that is just producing bacteria that get into the food that ultimately makes its way into your home,” said Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “As a doctor, I would advise any parent who has ever had a sick kid to realize that these illnesses come from somewhere. “Very often they come from the fact that animals are abused and are sick on farms, and we didn’t realize that we were bringing that disease into our homes, threatening our own family.” Source: http://www.mintpressnews.com/ag-gag-laws-shutting-farm-abuse-whistleblowers/193177/
Law designed to crack down on puppy mills set to expire Posted: Jun 30, 2014 7:20 PM PDT Updated: Jun 30, 2014 7:30 PM PDT Reported by Anne McCloy - email   NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A state program designed to crack down on puppy mills will be no more as of midnight.  By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A law limiting the purchase of cold and allergy medicines used to make illegal methamphetamine is among those taking effect on July 1. The anti-meth law requires a prescription to obtain more than 28.8 grams of pseudoephedrine per year, which is the equivalent of about five months' worth of the maximum dosage of medicines like Sudafed. According to the governor's office, 268 children were removed from their homes last year because of meth-related incidents and nearly 1,700 meth labs were seized. Also taking effect on Tuesday is a measure that requires more disclosure from the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, as well as a statute that allows the state to use the electric chair to execute death row inmates. Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Commercial Breeder Act will expire after lawmakers chose not to extend the program in the last legislative session, and animal rights groups believe that without the program, animal welfare will be at stake. "There are many wonderful breeders that take care of those animals impeccably. Unfortunately, there is a population that use them simply as a way of making money," said Joy Beach, executive director of the Nashville Humane Society. When the act was enacted four years ago, so was the state's Office of Animal Welfare. Five full-time inspectors were responsible for checking on licensed commercial dog breeders to make sure they weren't running puppy mills. "We really need those inspections to eliminate the unscrupulous breeders," Beach said. In its four-year existence, the state health department says there were as many as 22 registered breeders and inspectors shut down one facility, but the act was passed with an expiration date of June 30, 2014. In March, state Sen. Ferrell Haile tried to get the act extended, but his bill failed in Senate committee. And with that, the Commercial Breeder Act was doomed. The five full-time inspectors will lose their jobs, and the office will be eliminated. "We saw a decline in puppy mill raids over the last few years, and unfortunately, I predict that we will now see an increase in them," Beach said. The Nashville Humane Association says they expect to make more animal rescues without the program and they are hoping for stronger laws on breeders next year. Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.  Source: http://www.wsmv.com/story/25910445/law-designed-to-crack-down-on-puppy-mills-set-to-expire
GOP Leader In Mass. Senate: Animal Cruelty Legislation Will Pass This Month by: New England Public Radio NewsJuly 7, 2014 The top Republican in the Massachusetts Senate says he thinks animal cruelty legislation will pass before the session ends on July 31st. Gloucester Sen. Bruce Tarr says the state’s current laws are woefully inadequate and outdated. “People understand that the bill that is currently moving increases the monetary penalty from $2,500 to $5,000 and increases the term of imprisonment from five years to seven years,” Tarr said last week. “And so that represents a significant increase.” The act also requires veterinarians to report suspected acts of abuse to law enforcement. Tarr says the proposal, called the PAWS Act, has support from both political parties in both legislative chambers. The bill follows public outrage surrounding the case of “Puppy Doe,” a two-year-old pit bull badly beaten and left in a Quincy park. The State House News Service contributed to this report.  Source: http://nepr.net/news/2014/07/07/gop-leader-in-mass-senate-animal-cruelty-legislation-will-pass-this-month/
Poorly Drafted Drone Laws May Shield Crimes From View What are factory farms hiding with so-called “ag-gag” laws?   That’s the question independent journalist Will Potter posed in a Kickstarter campaign aimed at combining drone photography with investigative reporting to find out what corporations are trying to keep hidden from activists. The campaign was fully funded in just five days, and justifiably so.  Potter’s goals are illustrative of the enormous benefits of drone technology.  Potter focuses much of his pitch on ag-gag laws, noting how statutes in some states make it illegal to photograph animal cruelty on factory farms.  While his Kickstarter campaign undoubtedly raises issues about ag-gag laws, it also raises serious issues about anti-drone laws which are oftentimes as broadly worded and poorly conceived as ag-gag laws. Utah’s Ag-Gag Law One example of an ag-gag law is Utah’s, which criminalizes “interference” with an agricultural operation.  The law specifically states (in relevant part): (1) As used in this section, “agricultural operation” means private property used for the production of livestock, poultry, livestock products, or poultry products. (2) A person is guilty of agricultural operation interference if the person: (a) without consent from the owner of the agricultural operation, or the owner’s agent, knowingly or intentionally records an image of, or sound from, the agricultural operation by leaving a recording device on the agricultural operation; This ag-gag law is similar to that which appears in other states, it does not require a trespass, it merely requires a non-consensual recording of the operation.  Not surprisingly, progressive groups are up in arms about such legislation which is clearly designed to protect corporate farming interests.  But, activists have found the gap in the Utah law that allows them to use drones — it’s the clause that criminalizes “leaving a recording device on the agricultural operation.”  Drones aren’t left behind to record, they merely fly over property and record. Bans On Private Use of Drones While the door may be open for a drone overflight to document abuses at farms (or pollution from factories and other industrial plants)  many states are quickly closing that door.  Consider Idaho’s law which the ACLU rightly criticized for restricting the private use of drones, they wrote: “the bill prohibits anyone from using a drone to take photographs or make recordings of private property absent the property owner’s written permission. It further restricts drone photography or recording of any individual for the purpose of publishing or disseminating the image or data.” That law would prevent private citizens from using a drone to document the type of activity that Potter is hoping to expose. A similar bill in North Carolina is so poorly worded that it bans both private persons and government agencies from conducting surveillance of: a.  An individual or a dwelling owned by an individual and that dwelling’s curtilage without the individual’s written consent. b.  A farm, dairy, ranch, or other agricultural industry without the written consent of the owner of the farm, dairy, ranch, or other agricultural industry. If it became law, activists who decided they were willing to ignore the law and use a drone to document the abuse on a farm or ranch would, per the terms of the North Carolina bill, be subject to a lawsuit.  Of course, some truly dedicated activists might be willing to accept that consequence in service of the greater good.  But their efforts would not result in the prosecution of the abusive farmer because, per the terms of the North Carolina bill, “evidence obtained or collected in violation of this section is not admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution in any court of law in this State.” A map from the National Conference of State Legislatures showing the status of drone legislation in state legislatures. Idaho and North Carolina are just two examples, other states like Texas have passed similar anti-drone legislation that would prevent activists from exposing criminal wrongdoing.  But, it’s not just activists who have been prevented from identifying criminal wrongdoing, law enforcement is also getting caught up in the anti-drone fervor. Ag-Gag Laws Look A Lot Like Anti-Drone Laws In many ways Utah’s ag-gag law reflects the type of poorly worded bills that are floating around in state legislatures, where anti-drone activists also seek to ban “drone surveillance” conducted by law enforcement.  Sadly, the ACLU is backing such bills in every state legislature, arguing that drones should not be used for the gathering of evidence unless the police first get a warrant.  At first blush, that sounds like a reasonable request, but it’s not required by the Constitution. Requiring the police to get a warrant before flying a drone restricts government’s ability to see what is being exposed to public view.  Such a restriction may mean that the police will never be able to develop the probable cause necessary to get a warrant to stop the animal abuse.  Now maybe that’s where activists come in, but as we’ve seen, some of them have been grounded.  Regardless, should enforcement of laws against animal abusers and polluters hinge solely on the ability of activists to get drones?   Don’t we want law enforcement to also keep their eyes open for criminal wrongdoing? The Fourth Amendment And Aerial Observations Now before someone starts copying and pasting the Fourth Amendment into the comments below this post, it is important to note that the Fourth Amendment does not require the police to get a warrant before making aerial observations.   The U.S. Supreme Court addressed that issue in a series of cases in the late 80′s (cases where the ACLU filed amicus briefs with the losing side): In California v. Ciraolo the Supreme Court held: The Fourth Amendment was not violated by the naked-eye aerial observation of respondent’s backyard. In Dow Chemical Co. v. United States the Supreme Court held: that the use of an aerial mapping camera to photograph an industrial manufacturing complex from navigable airspace similarly does not require a warrant under the Fourth Amendment. The New York Times writing about the two cases at the time described them in this way: The Court ruled in each case that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures did not apply to government investigators who use airplanes to observe or photograph places over which any private pilot might legally fly. The dissenters contended that the decisions would pave the way for unjustified use of modern technology by governments to intrude into the privacy of homes and businesses. But the majority said the marijuana defendant and Dow Chemical had no ”reasonable expectation of privacy” from aerial photography in the observed areas, even though the photography of the Dow plant was done with a highly advanced $22,000 camera. ”Any member of the public flying in this airspace who glanced down could have seen everything that these officers observed,” Chief Justice Warren E. Burger wrote for the majority in the case involving the marijuana patch, which he said could be identified ”with the naked eye from an altitude of 1,000 feet.” Shortly after Ciraolo and Dow Chemical Co. the Supreme Court analyzed the use of helicopters for aerial surveillance: In Florida v. Riley, the Supreme Court held: that the Fourth Amendment does not require the police traveling in the public airways at an altitude of 400 feet to obtain a warrant in order to observe what is visible to the naked eye. Thus, the law for at least the last 25 years has allowed the police to fly a helicopter over a factory farm or industrial plant, spot abuse or pollution, then use that information to get a warrant to go in on foot and investigate further.  They’ve never been required to turn a blind eye to evidence of criminality.  With advances in drone technology, law enforcement now has a tool that can prevent industrial scale animal abuse.  Why would we want to ban that technology when it comports with the Constitution? Legislators Need To Slow Down And Carefully Draft Drone Legislation With anti-drone laws pending in dozens of state legislatures, drones are poised to be taken off the table as a tool for preventing the horrible abuses Will Potter describes in his Kickstarter campaign.  Why?  Much of the anti-drone activists efforts, and the ACLU’s in particular, are aimed at the threat of persistent and pervasive surveillance of the population by the government — that’s an understandable and well grounded fear.  But what is an unreasonable fear, and should not work its way into legislation, is a ban on ordinary aerial observations that are only controversial because they take place with a remote controlled helicopter rather than a manned one.  If anybody in a Cessna can see the blood filled lake next to a ranch, shouldn’t the police or citizens be able to see the same thing with a drone? The unjustifiable fear of drones threatens to capture legislators who want to prove they’ve acted to address new technology.   As drones become more prominent we will begin to see many more poorly drafted, but well intentioned efforts to regulate their use.  The costs of such legislation may be very high.  As we’ve seen, some new laws may already prevent law enforcement and citizens from documenting evidence of crimes.  With new technology, a rush to regulate is rarely the best answer, especially when existing laws already provide adequate protections.   It’s time to slow down the anti-drone legislation so we can be sure we get it right. Gregory S. McNeal is a professor specializing in law and public policy. Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2014/07/08/anti-drone-legislation-protects-animal-abuses-and-other-crimes/
Miami Dade announces ordinance to eliminate unregulated animal breeding Vice Chair Lynda Bell tells public 'Don’t shop, Adopt' when looking for pets Small Text Medium Text Large Text Print Email Miami announcing ordinance to stop animal abuse Show Transcript  MIAMI DADE, Fla. - On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County commissioners voted unanimously for an ordinance that will eliminate unregulated animal breeding. "Let me be clear," Miami Dade County Commission Vice Chair Lynda Bell states, "We’re not making it illegal to breed animals. We are establishing new standards of care. We are protecting female dogs and cats by allowing them to be bred no more than once every 12 months." In Miami, breeding animals for sale has been an unregulated industry. Quick Clicks Tortoise torture suspect appears in court Vigil held for motorcyclist struck by I-95 wrong-way driver Spa ignored sexual abuse complaint against massage therapist Congressman's major faux pas is 'intensely awkward' BSO deputy shoots, kills dog in Tamarac Often times, abandoned cats and dogs are forced to live in inhumane and unsanitary conditions in breeding facilities. Many of those animals are sold to pet shops and eventually develop health problems. It becomes a never-ending cycle triggered by roadside breeders that only increases the pet population. Under this new ordinance, anyone who sells a dog or a cat, regardless the number, will be considered a pet dealer and will have to register with the county. Many pet organizations have expressed approval of this ordinance. However, the American Kennel Club believes that these new provisions alienates breeders and limits choices of potential pet owners. The ordinance will become final in September if it receives one additional commission vote.  Source: http://www.local10.com/news/miami-dade-announces-ordinance-to-eliminate-unregulated-animal-breeding/26866238
Be aware: Animal cruelty and domestic violence are connected : Dunn County News Be aware: Animal cruelty and domestic violence are connected 4 Saved Save Article My Saved Items Print Email « » Naomi Cummings Naomi Cummings 2014-07-09T11:12:00Z Be aware: Animal cruelty and domestic violence are connectedNAOMI COLVIN For THE NEWS Chippewa Herald July 09, 2014 11:12 am  •  NAOMI COLVIN For THE NEWS (0) Comments I will always remember S. She came to a support group when I first started working at The Bridge to Hope five years ago. She had just been released from the hospital, but had bruises and stitches all over her face. She had been reluctant to leave her abuser because she was worried about their animals. Her sad and beaten face will always be etched in my mind and heart. In Wisconsin, 76 percent of battered women revealed that abusive partners had also been violent towards pets or livestock. More than three-quarter of these cases occurred in the presence of the women and/or children to intimidate and control them. Pets are frequent targets by abusers who are bent on instilling fear in all family members in the home. Abusers batter animals to: Demonstrate power and control over the family. Perpetuate an environment of fear. Enforce submission. Punish the victim for leaving or showing independence. Prevent the victim from leaving or coerce her to return. A batterer’s first target is often an animal living in the home. The second target is a spouse or child. We can only imagine the pain and trauma a child must go through when they witness their beloved pet hurt or killed in front of them by a person who claims to love that child. Parents with early histories of animal abuse were 3.6 times more likely to be violent intimate partner perpetrators than were parents without animal abuse histories. This finding lends support to the “graduation hypothesis,” in which animal abuse serves as an introduction to increasingly escalating forms of interpersonal violence. States such as South Carolina and Ohio have introduced bills that would require a child who is convicted of animal mistreatment to undergo psychological evaluation or counseling. The torturing and killing of animals by children is not something we should just shake our heads about. Society needs to take it very seriously and make every effort to intervene and stop the cycle of violence. What can you do? First, report cases of animal abuse by calling 911. You may also be saving the life of a person. Second, encourage our legislators to support legislation that makes it a crime to kill a family pet or torture it in front of family members with the intent to cause mental suffering or to exert control over another person. The Bridge to Hope is working with families to find ways to keep their pets safe and with them in shelter. We are hoping to install an outdoor kennel, obtain pet crates, and find other solutions. Please join with us in keeping everyone safe, including well-loved family pets. Naomi Colvin is the executive director of The Bridge to Hope, a domestic abuse shelter in Menomonie. She can be reached at 715-235-9074.  Source: http://chippewa.com/dunnconnect/news/opinion/columnists/be-aware-animal-cruelty-and-domestic-violence-are-connected/article_40b57b51-bab3-553f-a1bb-7b1b8e6351e6.html
End bullfighting and all forms of heinous animal abuse Maps Spain Pamplona, Chartered Community of Navarre, Spain 3:50 p.m. CDT, July 9, 2014 It's unfortunate that a Chicago native was injured while running with bulls in Spai, but the event is atrociously inhumane to the bulls. They are tormented, abused and traumatized animals that are ultimately and savagely bludgeoned to death in a bullfight. It's high time to finally end bullfighting, dogfighting, cockfighting, trophy hunting and all forms of heinous animal abuse. -- Brien Comerford, Glenview   Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/letters/chi-end-bullfighting-and-all-forms-of-heinous-animal-abuse-20140709,0,2559265.story
Dogs taken from BAARC shelter will remain in sheriff's office custody as animal cruelty case proceeds 1 / 12 Police remove animals from B.A.A.R.C. Deputies from the Jefferson Count Sheriff's Office removed over a dozen animals from the Head to Tail Animal Care and B.A.A.R.C. pet rescue and grooming business. The animals included at least four cats and at least ten dogs, which were mostly bully breeds. (Photo by Alexandra Scoville) Alexandra Scoville | ascoville@al.com Print By Kelsey Stein | kstein@al.com The Birmingham News Email the author | Follow on Twitter on July 09, 2014 at 10:35 AM, updated July 09, 2014 at 10:40 AM Reddit Email Birmingham's Animal Adoption and Rescue Center Dogs taken from BAARC shelter will remain in sheriff's office custody as animal cruelty case proceeds BAARC's Scott Kirkland charged with animal cruelty Lawmen remove over a dozen animals from Birmingham pet shelter and grooming business Jack and Sam went through Scott Kirkland's BAARC before being truly rescued All Stories | BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A dozen dogs and four cats that Jefferson County sheriff's deputies removed from a Birmingham pet grooming and boarding business will remain in the hands of law enforcement, a judge ruled Wednesday. Scott Alan Kirkland, 45, is charged with five counts of animal cruelty after his business, The Head to Tail Animal Care and Birmingham's Animal Adoption and Rescue Center (B.A.A.R.C.), was raided in June. Mark Pratt, who represents Kirkland, appeared for a disposition hearing Wednesday morning before Jefferson County District Judge Katrina Ross. Law enforcement officials are trying to find the people who surrendered the animals, a representative from the sheriff's office said in court. Kirkland is not fighting to get the animals back, but he wants to make sure anyone who regains ownership of them can prove that the pets were once theirs, Pratt said. Nancy Porter, an animal advocate, lauded the judge's decision. "We don't like to see one of our own in this position," she said. "But these animals were taken from this man and this group for a reason." She and representatives of other animal rights groups attended the hearing on behalf of the animals and to demonstrate support for the sheriff's department. Kirkland would have had a difficult time convincing anyone he should get the animals back because they weren't receiving veterinary treatment under his care, Porter said. "I don't see how he could have contested it," she said. "I don't see how in the world he could have made an argument that 'Well, I wasn't taking care of them then but I'll take care of them now.'" Deputies on June 12 raided Kirkland's business at 4915 5th Ave. South. They removed more than a dozen animals that were boarded at The Head to Tail Animal Care and Birmingham's Animal Adoption and Rescue Center (B.A.A.R.C.). The office had been investigating the business since May, when they received information indicating animal cruelty and other illegal practices there, Christian said. The business, authorities said, was operating as an animal shelter and adoption service. Investigators found the business had no license from Birmingham, Jefferson County or Alabama. The investigation also found they boarded animals in "unacceptable conditions," Christian said. Deputies removed two cats and 13 dogs, which were mostly bully breeds. At the time of the raid, another dog rescue advocate was on the scene. Paula Boschung, the owner of her own dog rescue K9 ResQ, told AL.com she had adopted her dog, Roxie, four years ago after B.A.A.R.C. owner Kirkland gave the dog to BJC Animal Control. Roxie was then rescued from BJC Animal Control by Bama Bully, where Boschung found and adopted her. When she adopted Roxie, Boschung said the dog was covered in urine burns and underweight. Roxie had also become pregnant while with B.A.A.R.C., but all eight of her puppies had died. B.A.A.R.C. and Kirkland have a history of animal abuse charges. Kirkland was found guilty in May in Leeds on two counts of animal abuse, including selling sick animals and dumping or allowing two dogs to escape. The two charges were misdemeanors. B.A.A.R.C and Kirkland have been the subject of media attention in recent months. Ronda Robinson of Fox 6 reported that B.A.A.R.C has been adopting out sick puppies. AL.com also reported on two Australian shepherd mixes that went through Kirkland's center, but either were dumped or escaped confinement in the Crestwood neighborhood.  Source: http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2014/07/dogs_taken_from_baarc_shelter.html
New Process for Appealing Animal Welfare Act Inspection Reports USAgNet - 07/10/2014 USDA Animal Care has established a new process for licensees/registrants regulated under the Animal Welfare Act who wish to appeal something that has been cited on their USDA inspection report. The agency says its goal is threefold: to bring about quicker appeals resolutions; to ensure consistency in the appeals process; and to ensure that subject matter experts are involved in reviewing each appeal. "All facilities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act undergo routine, unannounced inspections. During each inspection, our inspectors cite on the inspection report anything that is not in compliance with the standards set forth in the Animal Welfare Act regulations," the USDA said. "These inspection reports are made available on our website as public information. Sometimes, however, a regulated facility will disagree with one or more of the noncompliant items that were cited on a particular report, and they will file an appeal with us." The revised appeals process, effective immediately, is as follows: 1. If, during an inspection, a facility operator has questions or concerns about any of the noncompliant items cited by the inspector, the facility operator should bring the issue up during the inspection and/or exit briefing. If the matter is resolved at that time, the inspector will modify the citation, remove it altogether or leave it as originally written. 2. If the facility operator and the inspector are unable to resolve the matter, or if the facility later decides to question the report, the facility operator should send a detailed, written appeal to the regional director in the appropriate Animal Care regional office. We must receive this appeal within 21 days of the facility receiving the finalized inspection report. If the appeal is received after the 21-day period, it will be rejected. 3. If no appeal is filed, we will make the inspection report publicly available on our website 21 days from the date it is finalized. If the inspection report is appealed, the inspection report will not be publicly available until a final decision on the appeal is made. 4. An Animal Care appeals team will review each appeal. Each team consists of a director from one region and an assistant director from the other region – plus an Animal Care field or staff veterinarian who serves as a subject matter expert, based on the specifics of the appeal. Within three weeks of receiving an appeal, the assigned team will either make a final decision or request more information. All decisions made by the appeals teams are final and represent USDA’s final determination of compliance. If the inspection report is amended, only the amended report will be made available online.  Source: http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-national.php?Id=1510&yr=2014
City beefs up animal welfare ordinances Story Comments Image (1) Print Create a hardcopy of this page Font Size: Default font size Larger font size 2 Previous Next City beefs up animal welfare ordinances Graphic of proper tethering Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 7:00 pm | Updated: 12:30 am, Thu Jul 10, 2014. City beefs up animal welfare ordinances The New Mexican SantaFeNewMexican.com | 0 comments New animal ordinances that became effective this spring ban fixed chains for dogs in Santa Fe yards and require proper shelter if the dogs live outside a home. The ordinance allows tethering only under a trolley system, said Johnny Martinez, Santa Fe Animal Services Division supervisor. The ordinances also require weatherproof, structurally sound shelter for pets and require animals to be restrained either to the owner’s property or under physical control. Voice command is not acceptable. Subscription Required An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety. The new laws may come as a surprise to some of the newly annexed areas of the city, including residents on the south side of Airport Road. Residents in neighborhoods such as Vista Primera subdivision, Country Club Estates subdivision, Buffalo Grass Road, Casitas de Santa Fe Mobile Home Park, Vereda de Valencia and Mutt Nelson Road were annexed to the city on July 1. City Animal Services officers have been patrolling the annexed areas in an effort to spread the word about the ordinances. In addition to the anti-tethering ordinance, city councilors also strengthened spay and neuter laws and require breeding permits for those residents who do not spay or neuter their animals. The ordinance reads: No one shall own a dog or cat over six months of age that has not been spayed or neutered unless proper permits and licenses have been purchased from the city’s Animal Services Division. Pet owners who want to breed their pets or operate as an animal business must apply for permits at the Animal Services office, on the Santa Fe animal shelter campus, 100 Caja del Rio Road, 955-2701. The Santa Fe animal shelter offers various programs to help residents get their pets in compliance with city code, including low- or no-cost spay or neuter, rabies vaccination and licensing. For more information, call the shelter’s south-side clinic at 474-6422. Those animals not in compliance with ordinances can accrue penalties for the owner up to $325 per pet, Martinez said. A listing of Animal Services ordinances is available at http://clerkshq.com/default.ashx?clientsite=Santafe-nm.  Source: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/life/scoop/city-beefs-up-animal-welfare-ordinances/article_22d8fa47-6aec-5e48-9488-ce7ae6038b66.html
Ag industry seeks to create right to farm for legal protection against animal-welfare groups Agriculture industry seeks to create right to farm By DAVID A. LIEB | Associated Press | Jul 10, 2014 1:11 PM CDT in Money, Politics, Science, Technology               JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — In the nation's agricultural heartland, farming is more than a multibillion-dollar industry that feeds the world. It could be on track to become a right, written into law alongside the freedom of speech and religion. Article continues below A field of soybeans on the Alma, Mo., farm of Neal Bredehoeft in Lafayette County, Thursday afternoon, July 3, 2014. Farming could be on track to become a right, written into law alongside the freedom...   (Associated Press) Neal Bredehoeft of Alma, Mo., in Lafayette County, walks through a field of soybeans checking it for signs of threatening insects or disease. Farming could be on track to become a right, written into...   (Associated Press) Neal Bredehoeft of Alma, Mo., in Lafayette County, stands next to his corn field Thursday afternoon, July 3, 2014. Farming could be on track to become a right, written into law alongside the freedom of...   (Associated Press) Neal Bredehoeft of Alma, Mo., in Lafayette County, examines his corn for any evidence of Japanese beetles, which he said are a serious concern for corn farmers, Thursday afternoon, July 3, 2014. Farming...   (Associated Press) Neal Bredehoeft of Alma, Mo., in Lafayette County, stands on part of his farm where he grows soybeans Thursday, July 3, 2014. Farming could be on track to become a right, written into law alongside the...   (Associated Press) ADVERTISEMENT (Click Prev or Next to continue viewing images.) (1 of 5) « Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow Some powerful agriculture interests want to declare farming a right at the state level as part of a wider campaign to fortify the ag industry against crusades by animal-welfare activists and opponents of genetically modified crops. The emerging battle could have lasting repercussions for the nation's food supply and for the millions of people worldwide who depend on U.S. agricultural exports. It's also possible that the right-to-farm idea could sputter as a merely symbolic gesture that carries little practical effect beyond driving up voter turnout in local elections. "A couple of years from now, we might say this was the beginning of the trend," said Rusty Rumley, a senior staff attorney at the National Agricultural Law Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. But "we really don't even know what they're going to mean." Animal advocates and other groups are increasingly urging consumers, grocers and restaurants to pay as much attention to how their food is raised as to how it tastes. Their goals include trying to curtail what they consider cruel methods of raising livestock and unsafe ways of growing food. Those efforts are helping to fuel the right-to-farm movement in the Midwest, where the right has already won approval in North Dakota and Indiana. It goes next to Missouri voters in an Aug. 5 election. Similar measures passed both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature earlier this year before dying in a conference committee. And they could soon spread elsewhere. The uncertainty surrounding the proposals stems from the vague wording of the measures, which have yet to be tested in court. Missouri's proposed constitutional amendment asks voters whether the right "to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed." Indiana's new measure — which was written into state law but not enshrined in the constitution— protects the rights of farmers to use "generally accepted" practices, including "the use of ever-changing technology." The North Dakota measure prohibits any law that "abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices." Supporters hope the wording provides a legal shield against initiatives that would restrict particular farming methods, such as those modeled after a California law setting minimum cage space for hens or policies in Florida and Ohio that bar tight pens for pregnant pigs. Others hope to pre-empt any proposals to ban genetically modified crops similar to ones recently passed in southern Oregon. "Agriculture's had a lot folks that's been trying to come down on our farms and tell us what we can and cannot do," said Neal Bredehoeft, a corn and soybean farmer who supports the Missouri measure. He added: "This gives us a little bit of protection." Bredehoeft gave $100 to the political group backing Missouri's ballot measure. His money is being mixed with five-figure checks from the state corn and pork associations, the Farm Bureau and businesses with strong financial stakes in rural America, such as electric cooperatives and a farm-credit organization. They're preparing for an advertising blitz against a coalition that includes the Humane Society of the United States, the Sierra Club and rural groups that have battled for decades against corporate hog and poultry operations. Opponents fear the right-to-farm measures could be cited by corporate farms to escape unwanted regulations against pollution and unsanitary conditions. "This is a fight in each state," said Joe Maxwell, a former Missouri lieutenant governor who is the Humane Society's vice president of outreach and engagement. Stopping the proposals at the ballot box "sends a message: Don't waste your money," he added. North Dakota voters approved their right-to-farm measure by a two-thirds vote in 2012 after a relatively low-profile campaign in which the North Dakota Farm Bureau spent $158,000 promoting the measure. Opponents spent little. The state Farm Bureau pursued the initiative after the Humane Society of the United States unsuccessfully pushed a measure two years earlier to abolish fenced hunting preserves in North Dakota. Soon, agriculture leaders from Iowa to Idaho and numerous other places were inquiring about how to do something similar, said Jeffrey Missling, executive vice president of the North Dakota Farm Bureau. A year ago, the North Dakota measure was a topic for discussion as legislative agriculture chairmen from across the U.S. gathered for a conference in Vancouver, Canada. The event by the State Agriculture and Rural Leaders Association was financed by dozens of agriculture businesses, including Archer Daniels Midland Co., Cargill, DuPont Pioneer, Deere & Co. and Tyson Foods. Among those present was Missouri Rep. Bill Reiboldt, a farmer who sponsored the right-to-farm amendment referred to this year's ballot by the Republican-led state Legislature. The outcome of Missouri's vote could influence what happens next in the right-to-farm movement. "There's a lot of rural people who would like to see it be a trend," said Carolyn Orr, executive secretary of the State Agriculture and Rural Leaders Association. If it passes here, she added, "other state legislators will look at it more seriously."  Source: http://www.newser.com/article/17f9576afcb243ba895643f7c4d45cb9/ag-industry-seeks-to-create-right-to-farm-for-legal-protection-against-animal-welfare-groups.html
The Oscar Mayer Brand Partners with UW-River Falls to Improve Animal Welfare in the Meat Industry >PRWEB.COM Newswire > PRWEB.COM NewswireMadison, WI (PRWEB) July 10, 2014 The Oscar Mayer brand today announced a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) to focus on animal welfare issues. The program will train the next generation of animal welfare leaders, including farmers, scientists, processors and veterinarians. The goal is to find solutions that are right for the environment and animals and sustainable for our suppliers and their farm families. "From the beginning, Oscar Mayer has been committed to finding better ways," said Tricia White, Oscar Mayer Vice President of Research, Development & Quality and leader of the Oscar Mayer Animal Welfare Team. "Investing in the future of our industry through this partnership is one way we continue to create food that consumers feel good about." "We are extremely grateful for the support of Oscar Mayer to enable an increased focus on training the next generation of food animal producers, scientists, processors, veterinarians, and consumers equipped to address and implement animal welfare solutions," said Dale Gallenberg, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at UWRF. The three-year partnership names Kurt Vogel, Ph.D., assistant professor of animal science at UWRF, the Kraft Foods/Oscar Mayer faculty scholar. In addition to establishing the faculty scholar, the partnership will help further develop animal welfare education at UWRF and provide research in the area of food animal welfare. It will also create a public, online resource that addresses relevant animal welfare issues. Led in part by Vogel, an animal welfare expert, the program will give students hands-on experience in assessing animal welfare practices. "Through this partnership, we are teaching the next generation of animal welfare professionals how to properly treat and evaluate livestock," said Vogel. "The commitment Oscar Mayer is making to our students really shows that they understand the role they can play in improving animal welfare." Thanks to funding from the Oscar Mayer brand, two new animal welfare courses will be added to the UWRF animal science program that focus on complex animal welfare issues and procedures. Outside the lectures and laboratories, a team of students will be competing in the national Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest for collegiate animal science students on an ongoing basis. Part of Kraft Foods Group, Inc., the Oscar Mayer brand will also help identify relevant research topics for the students and will provide undergraduate internship opportunities specifically focused on animal welfare. Meanwhile, UWRF will develop an online resource that organizes relevant animal welfare resources and information in a way that's easily accessible by the public. About Kraft Foods Group Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: KRFT) is one of North America's largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies, with annual revenues of more than $18 billion. The company's iconic brands include Kraft, Oscar Mayer, Velveeta, Planters, Philadelphia, Maxwell House, Lunchables, Capri Sun, Kool-Aid and Jell-O. Kraft's 22,500 employees in the U.S. and Canada have a passion for making the foods and beverages people love. Kraft is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 and the NASDAQ-100 indices. For more information, visit http://www.kraftfoodsgroup.com and http://www.facebook.com/Kraft. About the University of Wisconsin-River Falls The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (http://www.uwrf.edu/cafes) enrolls 1,300 undergraduate students across 12 different majors. Two laboratory farms, a greenhouse complex, food processing plants, specialized laboratory facilities, intercollegiate competitive teams, and a very successful industry internship program, contribute to the College's active learning environment which emphasizes hands-on experiences in real world settings. UW-River Falls is located on 226 acres 30 miles from downtown St. Paul, Minn., and is a leader in exemplary teaching, undergraduate research and sustainability efforts. Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/OscarMayer/UWRFPartnership/prweb12004591.htm Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2045374#ixzz38iwJUchm
­ We need to be more conscious about animal welfare Pete Dixon Pete Dixon is a town councillor for Moor ward in North Hykeham, a member of the Green Party and Chair of the local branch. He works for the NHS at Lincoln County Hospital. Father of a young daughter, he's also a keen biker and enjoys watching Moto GP or a glass of Islay malt. Published July 10, 2014 (updated 2 weeks ago) 101 Shares Comments Twitter 4 Shares 39 Likes 57 Google+ 1 Linkedin 0 Email 0 × Share by email Recipient email Your email Subject Your message Your email has been successfully sent, continue reading → CC myself To a mixed response, I served up a meal with vegetarian sausages recently. My daughter has never much liked meat anyway and I’m becoming increasingly averse to being party to the cruelty suffered by factory farmed animals. Joining the Green Party had nothing to do with animal welfare at the time, though it’s an issue that increasingly concerns me. I’ve always eaten meat, ask my wife. I cook a good Sunday roast, don’t burn the BBQ, and have never refused the opportunity of a good fry up! Learning to provide meals without that portion of animal flesh isn’t easy, but I’m determined to keep trying so long as we’re achieving a healthy diet. There’s a compromise in place in that we’ll continue to consume meat produced from genuinely well looked after, locally bred animals. By that I mean respect for the creature’s welfare and natural instincts. The tide for me has turned and it’s time to make changes. I’m no expert but I accept now that every time I buy a cheap pack of bacon, minced beef or chicken breasts I’m contributing to animal cruelty. Cruelty that, until recently, as long I couldn’t see it, has been acceptable. Manipulative marketing boffins call it wilful ignorance and, hands up, I’m guilty as charged. Given the choice of firing a bolt into an animal’s brain or letting it go, I’d choose the latter and I’m pretty sure most people would too. Truth be told, much of the meat we consume is produced from animals so intensely farmed, their flesh isn’t worth the bone it’s stripped from. Bred indoors or in cages or spaces with artificial light and no opportunity for exercise. Fed and drugged up with God knows what in order to promote rapid weight gain. Furthermore, the final leg of the wretched lives of many of these animals takes places crammed into crates and cages in lorry trailers and driven dozens if not hundreds of miles overland to a distressing slaughter they must realise awaits them. We proclaim ourselves a nation of animal lovers apparently insisting on minimum welfare standards. Yet our supermarket shelves are stacked high with meat imported from countries where producers, eager for contracts to supply, operate with scant regard for the animals they farm. And why does this happen? Profit margins! Supermarkets are forced to compete for market share and have to satisfy investors who demand profitable returns. Importing meat is generally cheaper, animal welfare adds to production costs and abroad, producers are not subject to the same standards we demand of our own farmers. Granted, British meat costs more but it’s worth it and we, the consumer, must create the demand for it to dominate our shelves in place of imported meat. Buying meat bred in this country brings many benefits in terms of animal welfare economic and environmental issues. For a start it means employment. For those employed, it means a disposable income and spending power which brings more jobs and more money creating real wealth in our local economy. British meat isn’t the cheapest but it’s far better than most. The animals it’s produced from are bred in far better environments than their foreign farmed cousins. Using a local butcher may not be 100% risk free in terms of animal welfare, but we can feel much more confident about how the animal has been farmed. The best thing we can do to improve things for ourselves, our families and these animals is to use the power that exists in our pockets to buy British. Better still, buy local and actively support change without actually doing anything different at all.  Source: http://thelincolnite.co.uk/2014/07/need-conscious-animal-welfare/
Imperial College registrar quits animal welfare post after university broke rules John Neilson resigns role after staff 'fell short' of guidelines to make sure animals did not endure more pain in experiments Share inShare0 Email Ian Sample, Science editor The Guardian, Friday 11 July 2014 14.26 EDT Imperial College London, where registrar John Neilson has resigned from his role in animal research. Photograph: David Pearson /Alamy The registrar of Imperial College London has resigned from his role in animal research after a report from government advisers found the university broke rules and put animal welfare at risk. John Neilson, who continues as the university's secretary and registrar, was responsible for making sure that staff complied with laws around animal research, but was asked to step down after a discussion between the university and Norman Baker, the Home Office minister responsible for animals in research. The move follows a report by the Animals in Science Committee which found the college "clearly fell short" of standards set out in the legislation that governs use of animals in experiments. The report found there was evidence for infringements that "occurred on an unacceptable scale for an unknown, but extended, period". It went on to say there was "an unacceptable risk that some might involve appreciable welfare costs to the animals". The committee, led by John Landers, former principal of Hertford College, Oxford, drew on two other reports into the running of an animal facility at Imperial's Hammersmith campus. Both were commissioned after the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection published a series of allegations from an undercover investigation last year. The group claimed that some experiments at Hammersmith caused more pain to animals than Home Office licences allowed. They also criticised staffing levels, surgical practices, use of painkillers and approaches to killing animals used in studies. Imperial said: "The college recognises past shortcomings in its governance and organisation of animal research. It has committed to and made a substantial investment in addressing the issues identified in the independent review that it commissioned into animal research at the college. Imperial has revised its governance structure, improved its ethical review process, strengthened support for operational management and put in place better systems for training and sharing good practice." • This article was amended on 14 July 2014. The original stated that John Landers is the current principal of Hertford College, Oxford. This has been corrected.  Source: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jul/11/john-neilson-resigns-animal-research-imperial-college-london
Sign The Petition Against Exotic Animal Abuse In New York Circuses Posted on July 10, 2014 by David Nadya Hall (x post from  ePolicy) The cruelty-free show must go on. Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION), an animal advocacy non-profit, has initiated a petition through Change.org in support of the Traveling Wild and Exotic Animal Protection Act. (See memorandum in support by the the New York City Bar Association). SIGN THE PETITION In summary, the act — A.5407 in the New York State Assembly and S.5971 in the Senate — would add Section 352 to the New York Agriculture and Markets Law to prohibit any: …traveling circuses or show from including the participation of an exotic or wild animal, including a non-human primate, in an animal act if during the thirty day period preceding such participation, such animal was traveling in a mobile housing facility.  The Traveling Wild and Exotic Animal Protection Act is based on the research and initial drafting by Michelle Land, director of Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, home of the Environmental Policy Clinic. The circus animals protected by the act are scared into submission by beating, shocking, and whipping, the only methods that work against wild animals. 20 Countries and 40 United States municipalities, including the towns of Southampton and Greenburgh, NY, have already set an example by restricting or banning the use of wild animals in entertainment. SIGN THE PETITION   It is time for all New Yorkers to take action and sign the petition to support theTraveling Wild and Exotic Animal Protection Act.  Guarantee New York State will no longer allow animal torture as entertainment.  Source: http://animalblawg.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/sign-the-petition-against-exotic-animal-abuse-in-new-york-circuses/
Animal advocates petition legislature for new committee WBIR Staff, WBIR 5:19 p.m. EDT July 11, 2014 Session has come to a close in Nashville.(Photo: John Henry) 70 CONNECT 4 TWEETLINKEDIN 2 COMMENTEMAILMORE Animal rights advocates are taking a new strategy at getting bills passed in the Tennessee Legislature. According to WSMV-TV in Nashville, bills involving animal rights are currently sent to agriculture committees, and those looking to protect pets say more often than not, their ideas are killed by influential farmers. So now they're looking for a change of venue. Thursday morning, pet protection groups delivered petitions with 4,000 signatures to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell, asking to put the bills in front of judiciary instead of agriculture. WSMV says some of the animal rights bills that have been defeated in the agriculture committee include: The Commercial Breeder Act that forced breeders to get licenses and face suspensions failed in the Senate agriculture committee. The bill to put animal abusers on a registry was killed in the House agriculture committee. The bill to raise fines for attending a cockfight was killed in House agriculture. The bill to limit chaining dogs was killed in House agriculture subcommittee. The bill to raise fines for animal fighting never got to House agriculture. Speaker Harwell told WSMV she is open to working with the petitioners on the issue. "Keep in mind, this is a very rural state. We have a lot of farmers in this state and we want to be protective of their farms and their rights for their animals. But we've come a long way in how we see animals, and there are, I think, a distinction between companion and service animals, as opposed to ones that are in the farms," she told Channel 4. "We're trying to weigh that all out, but I'm certainly open to working with them on the issue."  Source: http://www.wbir.com/story/news/politics/2014/07/11/animal-advocates-petition-legislature-for-new-committee/12544371/
ANIMAL WELFARE: Global nod that sentient creatures matter 14 July 2014 @ 8:08 AM THERE is growing interest in animal welfare by the media, governmental and non-governmental organisations worldwide of late. Many countries, especially Europe and the United States, are redrafting their animal welfare legislation according to science-base evidence and cultural views. There is ample scientific evidence to show that animals have feelings and can express various emotions (sentient). After several years of discussions with animal welfare organisations and other stakeholders, the government finally drafted a new Animal Welfare bill, which is expected to be tabled in Dewan Rakyat by the end of this year. There is a global campaign to seek the support of the public and governments to introduce a new animal welfare declaration in the United Nations. The Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare, which was originally conceived by the World Society For The Protection Of Animals (WSPA), if adopted and endorsed by the UN, will acknowledge the importance of the sentience of animals and human responsibilities towards them. The principles were designed to encourage and enable governments to introduce and improve animal protection legislation and initiatives. The future of animal welfare, according to WSPA, lies in achieving international recognition that animals matter. So far, according to the WSPA website news, about two million people have already added their voice and 330 animal groups and 46 governments have indicated their support. According to WSPA, a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) would be an agreement among people and nations that: ANIMALS are sentient and can suffer. ANIMALS’ welfare needs must be respected. ANIMAL cruelty must end for good. If the proposed drafted UDAW is adopted, it would: ESTABLISH animal welfare as an international issue. ENCOURAGE governments to improve and enforce national animal welfare legislation by providing a benchmark. RECOGNISE that animal welfare is a key factor in humanitarian and environmental policymaking. ENCOURAGE industries which use animals to keep welfare at the forefront. ACKNOWLEDGE the risks to animals caused by environmental factors such as climate change, habitat loss and pollution. CREATE a more compassionate global attitude to animal welfare, including their needs and habitats. S.P., Ipoh, Perak   Source: http://www.nst.com.my/node/12817
Deer Forest owners, community react to USDA complaint Small Text Medium Text Large Text Print Email Deer Forest investigation COLOMA - More problems for a controversial petting zoo in Southwest Michigan. A federal investigation into Deer Forest in Coloma is now an official complaint from the United States Department of Agriculture. More from WSBT.com Mom and baby Indian Wild Asses at Deer Forest in Coloma, Mich. (Photo courtesy of Deer Forest Exotic Animal Sanctuary) UPDATE: No decision on Deer Forest zoning controversy FACT FINDER: What happened to Deer Forest? New ass born at Coloma's Deer Forest That complaint accuses Deer Forest Amusements of violating the Animal Welfare Act. It’s an update to an investigation and special report WSBT’s Kelli Stopczynski did on the animal park in May. The husband and wife that run the park say they knew there was an investigation, and say they found out about the complaint last month. They also say they had nothing to do with it and they are not responsible for any of the allegations in that complaint. It dates back to May 2011, when the park was under different ownership. Some of the complaints say the park failed “to maintain a program of adequate veterinary care,” had improper disposal of dead animal and did not give the deer proper shelter. The complaint lists the park’s most recent violation as July 2013. Even though Jon Stolarz and Amy Gadberry were working at the park then, they say they worked for a Chicago man – named Jon Modica. Stolarz and Gadberry say they didn’t take over the park until four months ago. Modica still owns the land, but Stolarz and Gadberry lease it. That’s when they changed the name to Deer Forest Exotic Animal Sanctuary and made the park a non-profit organization. Stolarz admits, though, they're violating USDA requirements. Right now, Deer Forest does not have a USDA license to exhibit certain animals --including donkeys, bobcats and deer. But those animals are out in the park. Stolarz says it's technically a violation, but they haven't been shut down. They did not want to go on camera today, but said a 17-year-old employee could talk about the complaint, ongoing protests and overall resistance against the park and the couple running it. "I would prefer to do this and have my face out there rather than theirs because they’ve gone through enough,” says Brittany Schroeder, a gift shop manager at the park. “They’re just such good people because it’s hard to watch them be harassed when they’ve got more things in their family going on.  I would rather take it for them and try and take some of it off of them.” Sheila Lopresti lives in Coloma. She says the conditions at Deer Forest are unacceptable. "I'm here as an animal advocate. I have visited Deer Forest myself and have seen the atrocious conditions of the inside, let alone the conditions of the animals. They're unacceptable," Lopresti says. Stolarz and Gaberry continue to meet resistance on Facebook and in the community after news broke about the USDA complaint. Two cars drove around the park with anti-Deer Forest signs. "They don't see the other side of the story and there's always two sides to it," Schroeder says. "Yeah, the past is the past but it's time to let go and help the park." But others in the community disagree. "It's not the past," says Kimberly Peters from St. Joseph County. "It's still here. It's still a problem." It’s now up to a judge to decide what happens to the federal complaint filed by the USDA. And there could be more on the way. A USDA spokeswoman confirms the agency is continuing a second, ongoing investigation into the park. But we don't know why or what it's about. As for that USDA permit to exhibit certain animals, Modica allowed it to lapse last September and Gadberry applied for it earlier this year. WSBT reached out to John Modica and am still waiting to hear back. It’s not clear yet what all this means for people who visit the park or live nearby.  Source: http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/usda-turns-one-deer-forest-investigation-over-to-judge-continues-another-into-animal-park/26981726
2 Ag-Gag Laws Facing Federal Court Challenges DES MOINES, Iowa — Jul 19, 2014, 1:37 PM ET By DAVID PITT Associated Press Share 0 5 Comments The years-long fight between farm organizations and animal rights activists over laws prohibiting secretly filmed documentation of animal abuse is moving from state legislatures to federal courts as laws in Utah and Idaho face constitutional challenges. Half of U.S. states have attempted to pass so-called ag-gag laws, but only seven have been successful. Among them are Idaho, where this year's law says unauthorized recording is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine, and Utah, whose 2012 law makes it a crime to provide false information to gain access to a farm. Both states now face separate but similarly worded lawsuits that say the measures violate federal statutes offering whistleblower protections and free-speech guarantees. Farm organizations and livestock producers say ag-gag laws are aimed at protecting their homes and businesses from intruders, and some plan to use social media to assure the public they have nothing to hide. But animal rights groups, free-speech activists and investigative journalists want to throw out the laws because they say the secrecy puts consumers at higher risk of food safety problems and animals at higher risk of abuse. Numerous investigations have taken place on farms in the past decade, leading to "food safety recalls, citations for environmental and labor violations, evidence of health code violations, plant closures, criminal convictions, and civil litigation," the Idaho lawsuit says. One such investigation was conducted by the Humane Society of the United States in Chino, California, in 2007, and led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history. Undercover video at a slaughterhouse showed cows too weak or sick to walk dragged by chains, rammed by forklifts and sprayed with high-pressure hoses. It was released after three attempts to get the facility's USDA inspectors to do something, and the government ended up recalling 143 million pounds of meat, including 37 million pounds intended for the school lunch program. "These ag-gag laws are putting the public at risk and they further erode what trust there is among Americans for the meat industry," said Paul Shapiro, the society's vice president of farm animal production. Well aware of the image and trust problems that the investigations and subsequent laws have created, some farm groups have decided to change their strategy — forgoing the usual political channels and instead communicating to the public the scope and use of animal care standards. "We're going to step up now and figure out how to address the issue within our own community rather than relying on legislation to block information," said Ryan Goodman, spokesman for the Montana Stockgrowers Association. "We do want to be open and transparent with the public and not come across as if we're trying to hide something because we're not. We're just trying to protect our own families and businesses." The livestock group has various social media accounts, including on Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. He also writes a blog. "That comes across communicating the message a lot better than saying we went to the Legislature and lobbied on this issue," Goodman said. Another concern about some undercover investigations is that video is edited down to short clips and narrated to distort the truth, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said. Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/ag-gag-laws-facing-federal-court-challenges-24632661
KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend 
Ebro answers animal rights complaints By John Henderson // The News Herald Published: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 17:34 PM. EBRO — Animal rights groups continue to push for legislation that they believe will spell the end for dog racing in Florida. In other states, such as Massachusetts, they helped abolish the industry. And they said they are making headway in the Sunshine State. It rubs Rick Hess, whose family owns the track and whose grandfather started it, the wrong way. He said greyhounds are born to run. “If greyhound racing was ever to be abolished, people will still continue to breed and race them,” he said. “The difference is it will encourage illegal racing, gambling and unregulated breeding activity.” He added if that happened the state would lose thousands of job opportunities and many other indirect services related to the industry. “It would cost the state to prosecute and police the illegal activities,” he said. It is unfair to stereotype anything, especially making a blanket statement that greyhound racing is “inhumane,” Hess said. “There are bad people in all forms of business, and all it takes is a few of those bad guys to really hurt an industry’s image,” he said. “There are many wonderful people in this business taking excellent care of these animals. Greyhounds love to run, they are bred for this purpose. It’s how people treat them during and after their racing career is what we should focus on.”      Even though the greyhounds and kennels are not owned by the racetrack, the track’s presiding judge, along with state officials, perform weekly kennel inspections to ensure the safety and well being of the greyhounds, Hess said. “We also have veterinarians on-site to ensure the greyhounds are fit to race and assist with any health-related issues that may come up during the races,” he said. “Their diet and nutrition is better than the average house pet, and they have plenty of companionship during their racing career.” He said some may argue that the greyhounds are confined to small kennel quarters and compare their lifestyle to the average house pet. “The fact is, these greyhounds do not know any difference for them to compare a day at the beach or park, so they are happy with what they are used to,” he said. “If someone really wanted to label and compare, they could think about the reality of what goes into making a steak or burger the next time they order one of those.” Certain “extremists” have painted ugly pictures against greyhound racing over the years, he said. “The truth is, it is a very unique and beautiful sport where the many people involved are honored and privileged to be a part of,” he said. “Over 95 percent of the greyhounds are adopted into loving homes. Nearly 1,000 greyhounds were placed into adoption programs last year here at Ebro. Many greyhounds that race throughout the country start and finish their career at Ebro. We are considered a gateway to the racing world.” Were the state to allow slots at the track, a proposal that Washington County voters approved, it could have the revenue to upgrade the kennel facilities, and perhaps provide larger kennels and therapeutic amenities like those offered to thoroughbreds, he said. “I would like to add a therapeutic pool and ultrasound muscle therapy, along with many others on my wish list,” he said. Carey Theil, the executive director of Grey2K USA Worldwide that led the effort to get rid of racing in Massachusetts and is leading the lobbying effort in Florida, said greyhound racing is animal abuse on many fronts. He said state records show that between Aug. 10, 2013 and May 31, 2014, 10 greyhounds died at the Ebro track. One of the dogs was “Emily Sharp, a one-year-old brindle greyhound who died at Ebro on May 22, he said. “Emily died after she fell during a training race and suffered a broken right front leg,” he said. “When she died, she was preparing to officially race for the first time.” He said greyhound racing dogs are kept in small kennel cages for 22 hours a day, with four, 30-minute bathroom breaks. He said they are fed meat from downed animals that has been declared unfit for human consumption, and the female dogs are given steroids so they don’t go into heat. Many dogs die from injuries sustained during racing, Theil said. Starting on May 21, 2013, the state began requiring that all greyhound deaths be publicly reported for the first time. In total, between May 31, 2013 and May 31, 2014, a total of 141 greyhound deaths have been reported. “This averages out to a racing greyhound death every three days,” Theil said. Theil said Hess was correct in one of his comments. “Greyhounds do love to run. We certainly agree with that that,” he said. “That’s why it is so cruel to keep them in a cage for 20 hours a day.” Theil also said greyhound racing is costing the state money. He said the state spent between $4.1 million and $6.4 million in 2012 regulating dog racing. During the same year, state revenue from greyhound racing amounted to only $3.1 million. Theil said his organization has been pushing for the passage of a bill that would allow tracks to have poker rooms and not force tracks to offer live dog racing. He said the votes are in the Legislature to have this pass, and it will eventually. He expects bills calling for decoupling to be introduced again this year. “We have the votes in both chambers and both parties,” he said. “The challenge with decoupling is twofold: Number one, it gets caught up in a bigger debate about casino gambling and slots and tribal casinos, and the politics become complicated; and number two, track owners fight with each other. Some track owners want to use decoupling as an opportunity to get something else every year.”   Source: http://www.newsherald.com/news/government/ebro-answers-animal-rights-complaints-1.348449
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal writes dozens of animal rights bills, wins gratitude of activists The 56-year-old Democrat has written laws that limit the testing of cosmetics on animals, outlaw the tattooing and piercing of pets and more. Some say Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal can take her animal agenda too far, but she argues it dovetails with her other priorities, such as boosting consumer rights and protecting tenants. BY Glenn Blain DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU Sunday, July 20, 2014, 2:30 AM A A A 8 Share this URL Richard Harbus/for New York Daily NewsAssemblywoman Linda Rosenthal is still waiting for passage of at least a dozen more animal-related bills she’s sponsored. If the state Legislature is indeed a zoo, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has a special place among the creatures. She has written laws giving judges the power to issue orders of protection to pets, limiting the testing of cosmetics on animals, and giving cities special powers to shut puppy mills. Last month, lawmakers approved one Rosenthal bill to outlaw the tattooing and piercing of pets, and another to ban fairs and circuses from allowing people to take photos with lions, tigers and other big cats. "I have (authored) bills about practically every animal there is," Rosenthal said. The 56-year-old Democrat has become a one-woman animal rights league - the Legislature’s most prolific writer of bills protecting all sorts of furry and feathered New Yorkers. Rosenthal has written nearly a dozen animal protection bills that have become law, winning the gratitude of animal rights activists. The Humane Society of New York considers her its "go to person" in Albany. "While some legislators feel strongly about animals, she certainly has shown to me that this is her mission," said Elinor Molbegott, the organization’s legal counsel. Richard Harbus/for New York Daily NewsAssemblywoman Linda Rosenthal's passion for animals took hold as a college student when she discovered an abandoned pregnant cat in a vacant apartment next to hers. "We feel very comfortable that when we go to her to sponsor legislation that she is going to give it her all." Not everyone is enamored with Rosenthal’s animal advocacy. Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-Oneida County), who has co-sponsored some of Rosenthal's pet-related bills, said Rosenthal can push her animal agenda too far. "She's has a lot of bills," Tenney said. "I know of some of them are kind of common sense and some of them are not so common sense." Rosenthal is unapologetic, arguing her animal activism dovetails with her other legislative priorities, such as boosting consumer rights and protecting tenants. "One of the reasons I am in elected office is to be an advocate for those who don't have their own voice, or who are overshadowed by interests that are more powerful than they are," she said. Rosenthal’s agenda might seem surprising given where and how she grew up. She was born in the city, and raised in a Manhattan apartment building. As a child, her only pets were turtles and goldfish. Her passion for animals took hold as a student at the University of Rochester when she discovered an abandoned pregnant cat in a vacant apartment next to hers. "I saw her give birth to her kittens and then I got somebody to take care of the kittens," Rosenthal explained. Her concern for animals has grown so much, she's adopted two cats from a shelter and become a vegetarian. I have (authored) bills about practically every animal there is. "Here I am trying to protect them in law but in my life I am eating them - it didn't sit right with me," she said. Rosenthal, who is not married, was a staffer for U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) for 14 years before her 2006 election to the seat he once held on the upper West Side. Rosenthal’s city roots are a sore point with upstate farmers who’ve clashed with her on animal rights legislation. "It is fair to say that there are lot misunderstandings based on lawmakers from the city who don't understand proper farm animal practices," said the Farm Bureau's Steve Ammerman He said the Farm Bureau has invited Rosenthal more than once to visit farms so she can better understand rural issues, and she has yet to take them up on the offer. Her animal advocacy shows no signs of easing. Still waiting for passage are at least a dozen more animal-related bills she’s sponsored. They include measures to boost penalties for animal cruelty, grant protections to the Monk parakeet, make the "rescue cat" New York's official cat and require more humane cages for chickens, pigs and other livestock. "She feels for the underdog," said Molbegott. The underdogs - and cats. Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/assemblywoman-linda-rosenthal-writes-dozens-animal-rights-bills-article-1.1873491#ixzz38p878SJM
Steven Tyler Supports State Ban On Pig Gestation Crates | Global Animal Steven Tyler Screams Against Farm Animal Abuse By Rebecca Hartt on July 22, 2014 174   24     0   197   (CELEBRITY NEWS/FACTORY FARMING) MASSACHUSETTS — Steven Tyler, lead singer of the band Aerosmith, is calling for a ban on the inhumane confinement of farm animals in gestation crates. Many farm animals used for food purposes, such as pigs and veal calves, are forced to live in these tiny and debilitating crates until they are slaughtered. But according to Bill S.2232, animals used for food will no longer be held captive in extreme confinement. Some pigs spend their entire lives in restricting gestation crates which prohibit them from turning around. Photo credit: Humane Society of United States Tyler is urging Massachusetts lawmakers to pass Bill S.2232, and create a healthier environment for abused farm animals. As a public figure, Tyler helps bring awareness to this pressing issue, stating: “Massachusetts holds a very special place in my heart. Not only is it known for being ahead of the curve on important progressive issues, but it’s also the birthplace of my band Aerosmith. That’s why I was thrilled to learn from my friends at The Humane Society of the United States about S.2232, a critical bill that would ban the extreme confinement of animals used for food.” “Veal crates and gestation crates cause unspeakable suffering and with the success of crate-free environments, they are proven unnecessary. I hope to see the passage of S.2232 without delay.” Massachusetts is the birthplace of Tyler’s band Aerosmith. Photo credit: Veggie Fans Because animals cannot move in gestation crates, they tend to develop open wounds, pressure sores, and psychological disorders, such as depression. Bill S.2232 is not only supported by the legendary Steven Tyler, but also a wide range of individuals including farmers, vets, and public health experts. According to Alexis Fox, the Massachusetts state director for the Humane Society of the United States: “Massachusetts has a significant historical, cultural and commercial role in American history and that includes being home of one of the greatest rock icons of all time.” “S. 2232 is supported by a broad coalition of farmers, veterinarians, public health experts, chefs, environmental protection organizations, animal lovers and Steven Tyler. All of us simply want to ensure that these cruel crates do not have a place in the Commonwealth.” Animals live healthier and happier lives in crate-free environments. Photo Credit: Humane Society Aside from Massachusetts, 10 other states have already passed farm animal protection laws. Massachusetts legislature has just two more weeks to pass Bill S.2232, and animal rights activists are hopeful that justice for farm animals will prevail. TAKE ACTION: Send a letter to your state representative requesting that Bill S.2232 passes. — Rebecca Hartt, exclusive to Global Animal   Source: http://www.globalanimal.org/2014/07/22/steven-tyler-screams-against-farm-animal-abuse/
Opinion: Pet stores invite animal abuse | Naperville Sun Animals often show amazing understanding of the world around them By Bill Mego For Sun-Times Media July 24 10:01 a.m. related articles Pets of the Week: Dogs and Cats available for adoption July 29 11:44 a.m. Naperville off-leash dog area to close for trail repairs July 24 4:28 p.m. Pets of the Week: Area shelters offer dogs and cats for adoption July 22 11:19 a.m. Canine classes offered by Forest Preserve District July 15 3:28 p.m. Pets of the Week: Dogs and cats ready for adoption July 14 3:22 p.m. Pets of the Week: Dogs and cats ready for adoption July 1 2:02 p.m. Sponsored Articles Sponsored One day in late spring my parents surprised me with a Keeshond puppy. The Dutch breed used to be called Wolfspitz but was renamed because “Kees,” the leader of a rebellion against the House of Orange, owned one. They were barge dogs, totally at home on boats and used primarily for looking after young children. The pet store had kept him in a cage by himself because, as we soon found out, he had distemper. However, our vet told us that not only were Kees exceptionally bright and sweet tempered, but one of the few breeds that had a chance of surviving the disease if we were willing to go through the trouble. And trouble it was. The medicine temporarily paralyzed his hindquarters and we had many weeks of carrying him around and cleaning up after him. The strain on the family was enormous, but the puppy survived, lived out a normal life, and showed me over the years what complex and intelligent creatures dogs are. We’ve had other Keeshonden since then, including a pair of brothers who played incredibly elaborate tricks and pranks on each other, tricks that involved planning and predicting how the other would react. Our last Kees understood hundreds of words and could figure out almost anything, even if we’d rather he didn’t. Anyone who wonders whether dogs experience all the complex feelings we do has either never had a dog or never paid one sufficient attention. We always bought our dogs from individuals whom we visited and got to know. Inevitably, it was they who were the most interested in judging who we were and what kind of a home we would be providing. I’ve known a great many people who loved and raised dogs, yet I’ve never met a single one who would ever entrust a puppy to a pet store. In my experience, folks who really care about dogs simply won’t do that. Animals are far more intelligent and sensitive than we want to admit because if we ever did we’d be compelled to treat them much better. We had a cat who would hop up on my monitor and hang her tail down the middle of the screen. Every now and then she’d look back at me with an impish look on her face. She apparently thought it was hilarious. And we had a large goldfish who took a great interest in anyone he hadn’t seen before. He seemed bored, so we put several large marbles in his tank. He herded them around the bottom, stored them in different spots, and clicked them against the glass when he thought it was time to eat. Gorillas who learn sign language tell their keepers about the day many years ago when they saw their mother killed. Elephants cry for joy after being rescued from years of painful abuse, and wave bye-bye with their trunks. Turtles happily play with balls, pushing them around with their heads, and sea turtles thank divers who rescue them from nets. A cat riding on a boat suddenly makes friends with a passing bottlenose dolphin, who rubs its chin against the cat’s head while she nuzzles it, proving that animals apparently understand a whole lot more about the world and each other than we’re currently able to. The conclusion is unavoidable. Animals may be bought and sold, but they’re clearly not the same kind of property as inanimate objects. Chairs have no inherent rights; dogs do, and they come before the commercial interests of those who want to make money selling them. It’s simply not enough that someone has the money to buy a puppy. When breeders sell directly to individuals, they serve as the puppy’s advocate. Inserting a pet store middleman into this transaction not only invites the worst kinds of abuse, but practically guarantees they will happen. Source: http://napervillesun.suntimes.com/2014/07/24/puppy-mills-pet-stores-cause-animal-abuse/
Inspector says he was pressured to not do his job FREMONT COUNTY - A third party inspector hired by the City of Cañon City to look into accusations of animal abuse and mismanagement at The Fremont County Humane Society said he felt political pressure to not do his job. Bill Lester, a retired inspector US Department of Agriculture, was picked by the council in December to make unannounced inspections at the shelter and look into the accusations against it. In his latest report Lester blasts the shelter's board of directors for changing governing documents so as to protect board members' salaries and ensure nepotism among its ranks at the expense of animal care. "This (Board of Directors) has set up a money train for themselves and for their relatives in the future that has amounted to millions in their pockets and the needles slaughter of tens of thousands of animals," Lest writes. He says in the five years between 2005 and 2009 that 10,587 animals were killed, an average of 5.8 animals a day. As an agriculture inspector, Lester said he watched over a slaughterhouse in Fremont County to ensure the animals were killed humanely. "We would have had to kill livestock there over for 3 years to kill as many animals as the humane society killed in one single year," he wrote. His report describes how the Humane Society was first organized in 1950 by businessman and benefactor Ralph J. Wann. A separate trust was created by Wann is the primary funding source for the shelter. Initial governing documents prohibited payments to board members, but in 1970 those bylaws were changed. Lester also discovered that in 2010 the documents were changed again to limit board membership to "individuals who are either spouses or descendants of Walter F. Jenks, Ruth V. Stimack and J.A. Carmack." Stimack, Carmack and Jenks' son Christopher are the three board members who recently received payment. Lester said the report was not well received by the city. "I think everybody expected me to write everything is hunky-dory and all good so all the problems would go away and business could go on as usual," Lester said. He says the city attorney sent a letter and email trying to steer him away some of the negative findings, noting the number of euthanized animals has declined since 2009. It also asserts that the make up of the board of directors reflects the wishes of Wann's widow Hazel. "He's always pushing me to say nice things, don't say bad things," Lester said. Cañon City Mayor Tony Greer says no one is trying to influence Lester, but that his investigation went beyond the City's interest in safe treatment animals. "His opinion seems to have swayed a little bit, the more he has dug into the internal workings of the Humane Society, but as far as the treatment of animals, I think he's pretty objective," Greer said when asked if he still views Lester as a disinterested third party. Greer believes Lester's conclusions about the shelter board have an important role in the public discussion over the shelter, but don't affect the City's current contract with them for animal control services. "We wanted to make sure they were doing the job that we hired them to do properly and that they weren't mistreating animals," Greer said. When the City renewed its $30,000 annual contract with the Humane Society, it required that Lester would be given complete access to the facility and report his findings to council. The agreement also lets the City to backout at any time if it finds that animal abuse is occurring. Lester says he was asked to investigate all accusations against the shelter and that the broken public trust can't be restored under the current board. "This isn't going away until all of the allegations are address," Lester said. The Humane Society announced in June that the board stopped paying themselves and instead will spend the money on the animals. We reached out to the spokesperson Deborah Muehleisen for comment on Lester's report. She said a prepared statement would be provided Wednesday.  Source: http://www.koaa.com/news/inspector-says-he-was-pressured-to-not-do-his-job/
Animal Welfare Fundamental to Corporate Social Responsibility July 24th, 2014 Posted by an giosuser Corporate social responsibility as a mainstream business concept has been around for just over a decade. In that brief time, businesses have risen to the task of being accountable not just for profit margins, but also for the greater good of their brands. While environmental and social metrics have been the primary focus so far, animal welfare is an equally critical part of operating a responsible business. Seventy-three billion land animals are farmed for food each year. With a growing world population and the expected growth of middle-class economies over the next decades, demand for animal products is sure to increase. Demand for humane food is already on the rise. Sixty-seven percent of shoppers consider animal welfare when making food purchasing decisions, and 42% consider it more today than they did five years ago . Purchasing is also on the rise. By 2013, dollar market share for varying items making animal welfare-related claims rose between one percent and nine percent from nearly zero in 2009 . But despite these trends, farm animal welfare as a CSR issue is relatively new, and businesses lack understanding and consensus on how to integrate it into their management and reporting frameworks. Beyond simply advocating for animal welfare, World Animal Protection provides tools and research to produce tangible change. By partnering with companies to increase the welfare of the billions of animals involved in food production around the world, World Animal Protection influences decision makers to put animals on the global agenda. This is precisely why World Animal Protection has recently joined The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), whose mission is to develop and promote science and integrated tools that improve informed decision-making for product sustainability. TSC Product Sustainability Toolkits highlight scientifically based issues across the life cycle of products, as well as provide key performance indicators that can be used to assess progress on those issues. Animal welfare is an issue identified for product categories produced with animal products. TSC also provides research services that build on the work of the toolkits. TSC was recently approached by retailers and restaurant chains who needed additional guidance in deciding what programs and practices to encourage within their supply chains. They indicated that they have recently experienced consumer criticism over animal welfare issues upstream in their supply chain. However, retailers are often unsure of the proper policies and practices to implement. They frequently lack in-depth knowledge and resources to assist them in their policy and sourcing choices, and thus retailers often look to certifications or standards to help guide them. But these searches can be encumbered by the overwhelming number of options, and therefore, businesses need guidance on navigating different animal welfare standardization programs. By working with retailers, academics, and welfare groups, The Sustainability Consortium is in a unique position to assist the consumer goods industry by developing credible and practical guidance to facilitate decision-making in this area. As a result of this need, TSC has produced a program map that diagrams the animal welfare issues identified within TSC Product Sustainability Toolkits to programs in use around the world. Additionally, TSC is working with academics and experts to develop an animal welfare advisory services program. This program will develop further guidance on issues that are important to TSC’s members. The animal welfare advisory services program is intended to convene stakeholders and experts to facilitate an understanding of animal welfare practices and available science, and to develop consensus and actionable recommendations for scientifically based indicators that demonstrate progress and improvement in animal welfare practices. The program endeavors to create practical strategies that can be implemented by practitioners around the world. We hope that stakeholders can leverage the expertise of academic, civil society, and industry organizations to determine best practices to use to achieve their animal welfare goals. This is a dynamic time for supply chains and animal welfare. Emerging science and increasing consumer transparency are allowing retailers and manufacturers to adopt best practices more quickly, more effectively, and with greater stakeholder engagement. By developing and communicating tools that supply chain actors can use, we can enhance the well-being of animals, while also contributing to sustainability and profitability by delivering high-quality food that consumers can feel great about buying. It feels wonderful to collaborate with so many stakeholders to strike the right balance for all. TSC and World Animal Protection are excited to be leading the way. About the Authors Kara Mergl US Manager, Corporate Engagement World Animal Protection Kara A. Mergl is the US Manager for Corporate Engagement at World Animal Protection. With a mission of increasing the availability of humane food, Kara focuses on collaborating with both consumers and businesses. Her work with businesses emphasizes partnership and innovative problem solving to address challenges in sourcing humane and sustainable products. During her career she has developed multiple successful programs, researched best practice and cost savings models, trained 800+ individuals worldwide on change strategies, convened stakeholder coalitions, and provided consultation to policy-makers and business communities. Kara has also presented at multiple conferences and community events worldwide. She holds a MS in Social Policy and a MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sarah Lewis Managing Director of Research and Integration The Sustainability Consortium Dr. Sarah E. Lewis is the Managing Director of Research and Integration with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC). In this role, she oversees sector working group and research integration strategy across TSC sectors. Her work with TSC focuses on directing research projects and managing member relationships in order to develop the Sustainability Measurement and Reporting System (SMRS). She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Dynamics and a Master of Arts in French from the University of Arkansas. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and French Secondary Education from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Sarah is passionate about identifying and working through challenges at the interface of humans and the environment. An award-winning educator, Sarah is an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Sociology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and she is the Founder and President of EcoExplique, a consultancy focused on educating communities about the economic value of environmental systems. Sarah is an active member of her community, having served as an elected official on the Fayetteville, Arkansas City Council, and currently serving as a board member of the Illinois River Watershed Partnership. Matt Lyon Social Sustainability Researcher The Sustainability Consortium Matt serves as a Social Sustainability Researcher, in which he performs worker, community, and consumer-based research throughout global product supply chains. Matt graduated from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, where he majored in Philosophy. After graduation, he taught English in the Czech Republic for two years. While in Europe he managed and performed in a traveling children’s theatre troupe, aimed at teaching English through interactive performances. Matthew has also worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducting research to understand the social impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. He has worked with the Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation in northern India, where he created triple bottom line assessment tools to support the efforts of its female producer-owned cooperative. He is also currently working to finish his Capstone work for a Master of Business Administration as well as a Master of Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service. - See more at: http://www.sustainabilityconsortium.org/tsc-news/animal-welfare-fundamental-to-corporate-social-responsibility/#sthash.4kiCx1Bm.dpuf 
Animal rights group warns Missouri ballot measure would protect puppy farming - The Washington Post Animal rights group warns Missouri ballot measure would protect puppy farming 30 More By Sarah Ferris July 26 A cow on Kevin Heiserman’s Rowley farm feeds on hay near Rowley, Iowa. Farm groups across the Midwest have pushed for stronger protections under law. (Liz Martin/Associated Press/The Gazette) Agriculture is under attack – or at least that’s what proponents of an upcoming Missouri ballot measure are telling voters. Voters will decide next month on a “right to farm” amendment, which dozens of supporters such as the Missouri Farm Bureau describe as a defense against undue restrictions for family farmers. For one thing, farmers say they wouldn’t have to worry about so-called nuisance lawsuits over the bad odor that comes with the business. But the right-to-farm campaign has also caught the attention of national animal welfare groups, who argue that the effort would protect giant factory farms like the ones operating the 22 large-scale dog-breeding businesses in Missouri. The Humane Society of the United States – which recently gave $375,000 to the effort – called for more regulation and described Missouri as the “puppy mill capital of America.” It warned that foreign companies would be given “absolute authority” over the state’s land and animals. “By forbidding any state rules to regulate agriculture, Measure 1 allows big agribusiness to write its own rules with no oversight,” a statement from the Humane Society reads. Before the Humane Society’s contribution, the opposition campaign had raised just $46,000 compared to the half-million dollars raised by supporters of the right-to-farm measure, according to the Kansas City Star. The right-to-farm is written into every state constitution across the country. But agriculture groups across the Midwest have sought more protections in recent years as they face pressure from opponents of genetically modified crops and other large-scale farming practices. North Dakota passed a right-to-farm ballot measure in 2012 by a two-thirds vote. That law protects a farmer’s right “to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices.” Indiana lawmakers have added the right to “agricultural or commercial production of meat, fish, poultry or dairy products.” If the campaign is successful in Missouri, the state constitution would be amended to read that a person’s right to “engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed.” (An earlier version included the word “modern” but was ultimately scrapped to help rally support among smaller farmers.) Allan Rowland, who farms 2,300 acres in southeast Missouri, said the amendment will ensure that he can continue using certain kinds of fertilizer. “[It would] protect me from the environmental groups that seem to think the way we farm today is not correct,”  Rowland told KFVS News. “This is a good way of life out here. It’s tough a lot of times, but I don’t know of any better way of life.” Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/07/26/animal-rights-group-warns-missouri-ballot-measure-would-protect-puppy-farming/
California Livestock Auction Owner Faces Animal Cruelty Charges Permalink     Posted Wednesday, July 30th 2014 @ 10am  by KFBK News The owner of a Southern California livestock auction house is facing probation and fines after pleading no contest Monday to animal cruelty charges under California's "downer" law.  Charges were brought against Horacio Santorsola after an animal rights group secretly videotaped workers at the auction house beating, throwing and neglecting injured, lame or sick animals.  "This conviction should serve as a warning to auctions across the state, and the country, that animal abuse will not be tolerated," Matt Rice with Mercy for Animals said.  Rice says this case graphically illustrates the cruel, inhumane and often illegal abuses of farm animals.  Santorsola had argued the state law didn't apply to his facility because federal regulations allow injured or sick livestock to be sold and slaughtered if they pass an extra inspection. Read more: http://www.kfbk.com/articles/kfbk-news-461777/california-livestock-auction-owner-faces-animal-cruelty-charges-12618854/#ixzz39JRCSfr5
New animal welfare laws in Delaware - The Washington Post New animal welfare laws in Delaware 0 More By Associated Press July 31 WILMINGTON, Del. — New laws aimed at strengthening animal welfare in Delaware are set to take effect. One of four bills to be signed by Gov. Jack Markell on Thursday gives the Department of Health and Social Services oversight over animal shelters, including investigating complaints, and requires shelter inspections at least once a year. Another bill ensures that animal control officers and animal cruelty investigators are adequately trained and certified. A third piece of legislation protects animals seized in animal fighting cases from automatic euthanasia, instead allowing for their evaluation for possible adoption. The fourth bill clarifies when animal control officials can impound a dog suspected of being dangerous or potentially dangerous.  Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/new-animal-welfare-laws-in-delaware/2014/07/31/7d528166-188b-11e4-88f7-96ed767bb747_story.html
NYPD Breaks Up Pitbull Fighting Ring in Queens Send to friend Comments (0) Add to Favorites Share on email Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on stumbleupon Share on digg Share on linkedin Share on blogger Get Local News Alerts 2 Aug 2014 10:18 AM EST -by Samantha Wilson, Assistant Editor; Image: A healthy, beautiful pitbull (Image Source: ARD/Wikimedia Commons) The New York Police Department arrested two people on Thursday, July 31, connected to a dog fighting ring in Queens. The officers uncovered almost two dozen “emaciated and scarred” pitbulls at the residence, which was also the site of the fighting operation.   On Thursday at approximately 3:00pm members of the NYPD Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad, which is newly formed, along with officers from the 113th Precinct Anti-Crime Unit, put out a search warrant for 117-30 196th Street in Jamaica, Queens to look into dog fighting at the residence. Inside the unit they found 20 malnourished and maltreated pitbulls inside crates and cages at the back of the home. The dogs were immediately taken away to the ASPCA for medical evaluation and treatment.   With the help of the ASPCA Forensic Investigation Team, the police officers were able to arrest the two suspects at the scene and charge them for the abuse of the dogs. Addison Holder, 44, and Keisha Hall, 33, were charged by the authorities with multiple counts of Animal Cruelty, Animal Fighting and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. Officers found methampetamine on the premise. it was not clear at the time of their arrests if Holder and Hall had attorneys.  “Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” said Matthew Bershaker, President and CEO of the ASPCA to PIX11. “Through our partnership, the ASPCA and the NYPD are determined to protect New York City’s animals from this form of cruelty and bring their abusers to justice.”  Those who are interested in adopting one the abused pitbulls or providing them and the many animals at the ASPCA, can call (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120.  Source: http://www.allmediany.com/news/28825-nypd-breaks-up-pitbull-fighting-ring-in-queens
Illinois' animal welfare law toughened - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News- Illinois' animal welfare law toughened Posted: Aug 02, 2014 9:34 AM PDT Updated: Aug 02, 2014 9:35 AM PDT CHICAGO (AP) - Legislation proposed by three suburban Chicago third graders to better protect pets is now Illinois law. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a measure Saturday increasing fines for mistreating or abusing animals. Supporters say it targets unethical operators of puppy mills. It was sponsored by Arlington Heights Republican Rep. David Harris and Sen. Pamela Although, a McHenry Republican. It doubles or more than doubles the fines for one or more instances of animal mistreatment. But the idea came to Harris from Claire Hackmann, Brooke Martin and Maddie O'Dell. They are third grade students at Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights. The children read a book about students who rescued a dog from a puppy mill. They researched the issue further and contacted Harris. The bill is HB4410. Online: http://www.ilga.gov  Source: http://www.wandtv.com/story/26180804/illinois-animal-welfare-law-toughened
Why animal welfare is a “green” issue August 2, 2014 Where bacon begins Environmentalists love animals, the more exotic, the better. You can find environmental organizations dedicated to the protection of pandas, polar bears, sea turtles and birds. Elephants and whales, too. Pigs, chickens and cows? Not so much. But the way we treat animals in agriculture has profound environmental implications. And the group doing the most to change that is not a green group at all but the Humane Society of the United States. I recently interviewed Wayne Pacelle, the HSUS’s president and CEO, about the environmental impact of the animal welfare movement for the website Yale Environment 360. In the interview, Pacelle makes the point that crowding pigs, chickens and cows into so-called factory farms inevitably creates environmental problems, particularly around waste disposal. So, of course, does the sheer number of animals we raise for meat–about 9 billion in the US alone–and the enormous amount of grain that most be raised to feed them. Pacelle told me: We cannot humanely and sustainably raised nine billion animals in the United States. And we’re asking consumers, if they care about animals and the environment, to eat a smaller amount of animal products.  As regular readers of this blog know (see this or this), I agree with Pacelle that all of us should, at minimum, think about how we consume meat and, to a lesser degree, fish. There’s debate about the environmental impact of animal products but  a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that quantifies the land, water and greenhouse gas burdens of meat, eggs and dairy production points to “the uniquely high resource demands of beef.” So there are compelling environmental reasons to avoid steak and hamburgers from factory-farmed cows. Of course, there are health reasons as well to eat less meat, as well as strong moral reasons to avoid meat from factory farms or, for that matter, all animal products. HSUS has had a big impact on how animals, especially pigs, are raised in the US. The organization’s savvy campaign against gestation crates has helped persuaded big brands like Costco and McDonald’s to eliminate the crates from its supply chains, bringing pressure of major pork producers like Smithfield and Cargill. Pacelle, as it happens, is a vegan. But HSUS is not trying to abolish animal agriculture. In our interview, he said We are an organization that embraces humane and sustainable farmers. The vast percentage of our members eat meat, drink milk and consume eggs. Others see that as a betrayal of animals. I saw this tweet the other day from Mark Tercek of The Nature Conservancy, himself a vegan, which led me to an interview with Phillip Wollen, a former Citibank executive who became a hard-line animal rights activist after visiting one of his bank’s client’s slaughterhouses. An Australian, Wollen has this to say about the so-called humane slaughter of animals: Anyone who tells me there is such a thing as “humane” slaughter should contact me. I see a wonderful business opportunity to sell them the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I seriously wonder how they define the word “humane”. It is a saccharine, feel-good word designed to provide convenient cover for an atrocious act of barbarism. And it gives consumers a smug sense of satisfaction that eating animals is ethical, after all. A ghastly con – a betrayal of the worst kind. Fascinating, no? You can read more here from Wollen. I’m not yet persuaded, as Wollen is, that eating animals is being complicit in murder. But I don’t feel good about continuing to eat chicken and fish.  Source: http://www.marcgunther.com/why-animal-welfare-is-a-green-issue/
Action Still Sought On Animal Abuse Bill By The Associated Press August 3, 2014 BOSTON — The sponsor of legislation that would stiffen penalties for animal cruelty in Massachusetts is still hoping the measure will become law even though it fell short of final passage as the Legislature ended formal sessions for the year. The so-called PAWS bill – short for Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety – was approved in the House and Senate but needs enactment votes in both chambers before it can be sent to Gov. Deval Patrick. A spokesman for Sen. Bruce Tarr, the Senate Republican leader from Gloucester, says that could be done during informal sessions if other lawmakers raise no objections. Tarr and other animal rights supporters have cited the case of “Puppy Doe,” a dog that was euthanized after being found – allegedly beaten and tortured – in Quincy last year. Source: http://www.wbur.org/2014/08/03/animal-abuse-bill
Rottweiler Rescue Organization Investigated for Alleged Animal Abuse Permalink     Posted Monday, August 4th 2014 @ 11am  by KFBK News - James Rojas A Rottweiler rescue organization in Davis is being investigated after accusations of animal abuse. The investigation comes after three dogs were found dead at the Second Chance Rottweiler Rescue on County Road 96. Also found on the property: 11 dogs that were still alive, but had no access to food or water, with temperatures reaching triple-digits.  The surviving dogs were confiscated last week by the Yolo County Sheriff's Department when they learned the property owner could not take care of them.  Another local Rottweiler animal rescue operation has taken over the care of the remaining dogs, and sheriff's officials say so far no charges have been filed.  Read more: http://www.kfbk.com/articles/kfbk-news-461777/rottweiler-rescue-organization-investigated-for-alleged-animal-abuse-12633242/#ixzz3A1uzrkEF
Kids Get Governor To Increase Penalties For Animal Abuse. This Is How Government Should Work The Huffington Post  | By Arin Greenwood Posted: 08/05/2014 10:07 am EDT Updated: 08/05/2014 11:59 am EDT Print Article Share 3760 Tweet 200 Email 21 Comment 21 tumblr stumble reddit The youth of today! They're pretty great for animals, if what just happened in Illinois is any indication. Three third-graders from the Chicago suburbs were the force behind a new law that increases penalties for animal abuse. The Chicago Tribune reports that Brooke Martin, Claire Hackmann and Maddie O'Dell became animal welfare activists after reading a book about two kids who rescued a puppy from a puppy mill. The three almost immediately got political: they contacted their state representative, gave a school presentation, collected signatures from other students and community members, then -- as could happen with any bunch of grade-schoolers, really -- testified before the Illinois House Agriculture and Conservation Committee. House Bill 4410 passed both houses in May, and Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed the bill on Saturday at the no-kill shelter PAWS Chicago. The law raises the fine for a first violation of the Animal Welfare Act from $200 to $500 and a second violation from $500 to $1,000. A third violation now results in a $2,500 fine plus probationary status, all effective immediately. You can see the effective young politicos flanking Quinn in this video from the event: “Our pets are a part of the family, and we must always treat them with care and respect,” Quinn said in a news release. “Three students from Arlington Heights created this new law because they wanted to make a difference and protect animals across Illinois.” Paula Fasseas, founder and chairman of PAWS Chicago, is also thrilled that the students have taken up animal welfare as their cause. “Animals are defenseless living beings," he said in a statement, "and we must be their voice and protectors."  Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/05/illinois-animal-welfare-act_n_5648337.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics
New Illinois law cracks down on animal abuse Posted: Aug 04, 2014 8:16 AM PDT Updated: Aug 04, 2014 6:42 PM PDT By Jenny Dreasler, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email   QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - A new Illinois law aims to better protect pets. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure over the weekend which significantly increases fines for mistreating or abusing animals. Local officials with the Quincy Humane Society say the new law will will hold animal abusers to a much higher standard and make it easier to enforce. "This is something that has been a long time coming," Celeste Hillen with the Quincy Humane Society said. "Over the past year, we've definitely had a lot more stories, a lot more noticing of this happening in our community." Under the new law first time violators face a fine of $500 (rather than $200); a fine of $1,000 (rather than $500) shall be imposed for a second violation that occurs within 3 years after the first violation; and that mandatory probationary status and a fine of $2,500 (rather than mandatory probationary status and a fine of $1,000) shall be imposed for a third violation that occurs within 3 years after the first violation. The stricter punishment is not only welcome news for those at the Quincy Humane Society, but also to Quincy resident Cecelia Hill, who has six dogs of her own.     "I think it's fair. I think they should be fined because the animals can't stick up for themselves and on top of that they have unconditional love no matter what you do to them," Hill said.    The new law will not only crack down on those caught abusing animals, but Hillen says more importantly, it will give police more leverage to get abused animals out of the home.     "Especially the first time that somebody is caught they might be surprised by what their first violation is going to make them have to pay," Hillen said. "You know, what they'd have to go through further on if they continue, I think it would probably scare them into not doing it anymore." The legislation was proposed by three Chicago third graders after they read a book about rescuing a dog from a puppy mill.     The new law goes into effect immediately.  Source: http://www.wgem.com/story/26190291/illinois-animal-welfare-law-toughened
Hudson considering strict animal abuse laws Posted on 8/6/2014 4:54:00 PM by Patrick Lejtenyi Photo Wikipedia Hudson is looking to pass some of the strictest animal protection laws in the province. They include restrictions on the selling and breeding of animals and steep fines for animal abusers. If passed, the law would prohibit the sale of all animals, and only let pet stores advertise animals that are up for adoption. It's hoped the move will discourage animal mill owners, who often breed cats and dogs with little regard for their well being. Animal rights activist Ewa Demianowicz supports the law. "It stops the problem at its source," she says. "The puppy mill owners have less places to sell their stock, so they're breeding less." But the law will affect all breeders, not just illicit ones - something Demianowicz considers a positive. "People looking to breed dogs will need a permit, so there's another level of protection and restriction," she says. "It covers the whole spectrum of reproduction and breeding and sales." Anyone caught abusing an animal can face a fine beginning at $2,500 for a first offence and ranging up to $7,500 for a third, as well as civil and criminal charges.  Source: http://www.cjad.com/cjad-news/2014/08/06/hudson-considering-strict-animal-abuse-laws
Indictments include kidnapping, child abuse, animal cruelty Wednesday, August 6, 2014 By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer Kidnapping, child abuse and animal cruelty charges were among the indictments returned Monday by a Franklin County grand jury. An indictment is not a finding of guilt. It is a determination by jurors that enough evidence exists to warrant a trial. Indictments returned by the grand jury: •Bradley Leon Arrington, did by force, intimidation and without legal justification, take, seize and detain another person, May 11; as a parent guardian or person responsible for a child under the age of 18, did commit a willful act or omission in the care of such child as was so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life, May 11; unlawfully torture, ill-treat, willfully inflict inhuman injury or pain, cruelly and unnecessarily beat, and deprived of emergency veterinarian care to a canine, May 11; assault and batter a family or household member, May 11; and assault and batter a family or household member under the age of 13. •Lorrie Reynolds Arrington, fail to provide veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering by her companion animal, May 16; and ill-treat or deprive an animal of emergency veterinary treatment, May 16. •Thomas Calvin Ballard II, while having custody of a child under the age of 13, did cause or permit the health to be injured, beat and/or cruelly treat said child., Nov. 8, 2013. •Steven Beckett, evade the payment of the Franklin County meals tax for April, May 20. •Sabrina Dawn Blankenship, take, steal and carry away goods and chattels having a value in excess of $200, July 14; and with the intent to commit larceny, break and enter a dwelling house, July 14. •Dale Eric Chisom Jr., possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, Dec. 11, 2013; possess Methamphetamine, Dec. 11, 2013; possess a firearm while simultaneously possessing Methamphetamine, Dec. 11, 2013; and possess a firearm after having been previously convicted of a violent felony, Dec. 11, 2013. •Gary Thomas Davis Jr., possess a firearm after having been convicted of a felony more than 10 years ago, May 31; and point, hold or brandish a firearm in such a manner so as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another, May 31. •Edwin Javier Diaz-Hernandez, operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other self administered intoxicants having been convicted previously on two or more occasions within the last 10 years, July 4. •Jonathan Donovant, evade the payment of the Franklin County meals tax for March, April and May 2014, June 20. •Constance Lynnette Ellis, forge a Virginia Uniform Summons, June 20; drive on the highway after having her privilege to drive suspended or revoked, June 20; and use the identifying information of another person to avoid summons, arrest, prosecution or to impede a criminal investigation, June 20. •Bradley Keith Evans, after having a visible or audible signal from a law enforcement officer to stop his vehicle, did drive the said motor vehicle in a willful and wanton disregard for such signal so as to endanger a person, Feb. 23; and possess Methamphetamine, Feb. 23. •Charlotte Louise Fisher, distribute oxycodone, Feb. 26; two counts of illegally possess oxycodone, April 26 and May 9; and three counts of by forgery or alteration of a prescription or written order, obtain oxycodone, Feb. 26, April 26 and May 9. •Karen June Ghaul, take, steal and carry away an EBT card issued by the Franklin County Department of Social Services to another person, Aug. 1, 2013; two counts of use for the purpose of obtaining money, goods or services a credit card obtained or retained illegally and by representing herself to be the cardholder without the consent of the actual cardholder, Aug. 1, and Sept. 1, 2013; two counts of receive goods and services obtained illegally with said goods and services having a value in excess of $200 during a period of six months or less, Aug. 1 and Sept. 1, 2013; and three counts of use an EBT card in a manner not authorized by law to obtain goods or chattels having a value of less than $200, Aug. 1, Sept. 2 and Oct. 1, 2013. •Coleman Lewis Hale, possess a firearm after having been convicted of a violent felony, July 25. •Dakota James Hogan, obstruct a law enforcement officer in the performance of his duties or fail to refuse without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so, Aug. 1; and trespass on the property of another person after having been forbidden to do so, Aug. 1. •Ryan David Johnson, swear falsely to a material matter in the case of Commonwealth v. Ryan David Johnson, before the Franklin County District Court, July 10. •Shatori Micole Jones, with the intent to maim, disable,disfigure or kill, wound or by any means cause bodily injury to another person, Dec. 20,2013; and contribute to, encourage or cause an act, omission or condition that rendered a minor child delinquent, in need of services, supervision or abused or neglected, Dec. 20, 2013. •Terah Hall LaPrade, make a false affidavit or swore or affirmed falsely to any matter or thing required by Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia or the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles incidental to the administration of this Title 46.2, to be swore to or affirmed, May 2; obtain a Virginia driver's license issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles having not satisfied all legal and procedural requirements for the issuance thereof or is otherwise not legally entitled thereto, May 2; and make a false statement on an application for a Virginia driver's license. May 2. •Carolyn Ann Mays, fail to appear in Franklin County Circuit Court while charged with a felony, June 6. •Priscilla McKinney, take, steal and carry away goods and chattels having a value in excess of $200, March 21. •Electra Alejandra Piunti, make a material false statement or representation to a law enforcement officer who was investigating a crime by another, March 14. •William Floyd Powell, three counts of draw, utter, or deliver a check having a value of less than $200 knowing there was insufficient funds in the account to pay, Dec. 29 and Dec. 31, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014. •Susan Smith, evade the payment of the Franklin County meals tax for March, April and May, June 20. •Marquis Townes, impede the blood circulation or respiration of another person by applying pressure to the neck of such person resulting in the wounding or bodily injury of such person, May 28; with the intent to deprive them of their personal liberty, did by force, intimidation and without legal justification, take, seize and detain another person with the intent to defile such person, May 28; make an obscene display of his person in a public place in the presence of a minor, May 28; and assault and batter another person, May 28. •Travis Trout, intentionally destroy property having a value less than $1,000 and belonging to Franklin County, June 16.   Source: http://www.thefranklinnewspost.com/article.cfm?ID=27921
WaNPRC accused of violating the Animal Welfare Act News Primate Lab Protest - Tanya Oshatz from Northwest Animal Rights Network protests outside the UW Primate Lab across from the Olympic Sculpture Park downtown.  Photo by Anastasia Stepankowsky Primate Lab Press Conference Share on twitter Share on reddit Share on email More Sharing Services August 6, 2014 at 12:01 AM | Sasha Glenn The Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC), commonly known as the UW Primate Center, has regularly been the subject of protest, but after the deaths of four primates, animal rights groups have decided to take action.  Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) filed an official complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging that the WaNPRC violated the Animal Welfare Act, resulting in the deaths of the four primates.  At a press conference July 30, Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN, released internal documents regarding the deaths of the primates used in research at the WaNPRC, which occurred between November 2012 and June 2013. He also released the official complaint SAEN filed with the USDA, resulting in an inspection of the research centers.  The documents, obtained through a public records request, show that one of the primates had been euthanized after exhibiting signs of self-mutilation. SAEN claims this behavior is evidence of psychological distress and suffering. The complaint notes this may be evidence of violations of section 3.81 of the Animal Welfare Act, Environmental enhancement to promote psychological well-being. The internal documentation released by Budkie showed the monkey had ripped off parts of its left hand. Budkie said he feels this was due to the monkey being psychologically disturbed by the hardware attached to its body. According to Budkie, this was one of the worst cases of suffering he had found in his 28-year career. “After a month of self-abuse, the University of Washington finally got around to euthanizing this monkey,” Budkie said. “We feel like that’s something that should’ve happened much, much sooner.” SAEN claims three other non-primate deaths may be evidence of violations of section 2.33, Attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care.  Two of the primates developed infections and were euthanized, along with another primate that developed diabetes, unrelated to the research it was being used for. “We’ve uncovered information that clearly demonstrates that the University of Washington continues to violate federal law in what is federally funded experimentation,” Budkie said.  Budkie said SAEN is primarily focused on monitoring the use of animals in research and pays particular attention to the WaNPRC. The organization hopes that the UW will close the primate research center, just as Harvard University plans to close its primate research center in 2015.  In an official statement regarding animal care at the UW, the UW Office of Animal Welfare claimed a high level of transparency and compliance with regulations, and said the deaths of the animals were the result of humane euthanasia.  According to Tanya Espinosa, a spokesperson from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, SAEN’s complaint at the UW Seattle facilities resulted in an investigation. Inspection reports have not yet been finalized. Once the reports have been finalized, the UW has 21 days to appeal the findings. If violations are found, the USDA will then move forward by launching an investigation at that time.  Adding to the pressure on the center, two protests were held at the Primate Center on Western Avenue in the latter half of July. Protesters who gathered at the primate center on July 28 made it clear that they feel that research on non-human primates is unethical and should be stopped.  Rachel Bjork, Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN) board president, was a primary organizer of the protests. She said monitoring is not enough to ensure that negligent practices don’t occur and NARN wants the UW to end the research completely.  “We need to speak up,” Bjork said. “We need to tell our legislators that we don’t want the National Institutes of Health paying for it. We can tell the University of Washington that we don’t want this kind of thing going on on campus. The students, this is their university. I really hope they would care enough to speak up and say something about it.” UW undergraduate Sarah Olson attended the protest on behalf of Campus Animal Rights Educators, a UW student group affiliated with NARN. Its main goal on campus is to raise awareness about the research being done at the primate center. The group feels that the UW should invest in alternatives and should not use funding to support further animal experimentation.  “A lot of students don’t know that it’s happening on their very own campus,” Olson said. “They have a voice and regardless of whether administration is listening now, enough student voices is what will get them to listen.”  Source: http://dailyuw.com/archive/2014/08/06/news/wanprc-accused-violating-animal-welfare-act#.U-f1JOl0y1s
Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Threatens First Amendment Rights, According to Supreme Court Petition 0 Comments Print E-mail By Rebecca S. Myles (r.myles@latinpost.com) First Posted: Aug 06, 2014 04:09 PM EDT Share This Tweet This Center for Constitutional Rights takes Animal Rights "Terrorism" Law to Supreme Court (Photo : Flickr/TheAnimalDay.org) Share This Tweet This The Center for Constitutional Rights petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to review its case challenge to the federal Animal Enterprise Act, claiming it is a violation of the First Amendment. CCR attorneys argue in their petition the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. Under the law, anyone found to cause the loss of property or profits to business or other institution that uses or sells animals or animal products, or to a "person or entity having a connection to, relationship with, or transactions with an animal enterprise" can be punished.  Under the law, non-violent violators face up to 20 years in prison, depending on the amount of profit loss.  CCR said in a statement sent to Latin Post, "The law punishes lost profits to an animal enterprise, but makes no distinction between loss caused by criminal acts and loss caused by boycotts and other constitutionally-protected activity. CCR's petition to the U.S. Supreme Court concerns Blum v. Holder, a suit filed by five animal rights activists who have limited or ceased their lawful advocacy out of fear of being prosecuted as terrorists. In 2009 AETA was used to indict and arrest four activists in California for protesting, writing on sidewalks with chalk, changing, leafleting and using the internet to find information on animal researchers. One of the plaintiffs, Lauren Gazzola, was convicted and served 40 months in federal prison. The appellate courts ruled that activist were not permitted to sue because they did not reach the unprecedented threshold that their prosecution under the law was "certainly impending." "Courts have never required that a prosecution be imminent before a plaintiff can bring a pre-enforcement challenge to a criminal statute," said CCR senior attorney, Shayana Kadidal.  "And for good reason -- the chilling effect of laws like the AETA causes people to silence themselves out of fear of prosecution. Yet, the First Circuit's ruling requires that these individuals risk being charged as terrorists for speaking out before they can demonstration the law is unconstitutional." Although the law, lobbied for by the Fur Commission USA, the National Cattleman's Beef Association, and pharmaceutical companies, was created to target animal rights activists. The definition is so broad, attorneys argue, it could be used to argue that labor protestors at Wal-Mart are committing acts of domestic terrorism. The bill was passed in 2006 during the Bush Administration in response to the ongoing prosecution of the animal rights group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, that was working to close animal testing laboratories. Six members of the group were charged for their campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences, but there was no proof the defendents were convicted under the conspiracy provision. Four people were indicted for peacefully protesting outside the homes of professors conducting research involve animal testing. The charges were eventually dismissed, but they were under house arrest for almost a year.  Source: http://www.latinpost.com/articles/18670/20140806/animal-enterprise-terrorism-act-threatens-first-amendment-rights-according-supreme.htm
PAWS Act Deal Would Require Vets To Report Suspected Animal Abuse By Andy Metzger August 11, 2014 BOSTON — The House and Senate have come to agreement on legislation stiffening penalties for animal abuse and requiring veterinarians to report suspected mistreatment. In October 2013 in response to reports of “Puppy Doe,” an abused 2-year-old pitbull, Senate Republicans filed legislation dubbed Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety, or PAWS Act. In the final days of formal sessions, the two branches exchanged different versions of the bill, before the House passed the version that both chambers agree with, according to Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. “It had been significantly narrowed by the House,” Tarr said after a session Monday where the Senate agreed to the House bill. He said in the new version “we’ve agreed on everything.” The bill would require veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse to police, which is not currently a requirement, according to a Tarr aide. Under the bill, vets who don’t report abuse would be reported to the Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine. State statute currently protects vets who report abuse from facing liabilities for making the report. The bill also would up the penalties for malicious killing, injury or cruelty to animals, increasing the maximum prison sentence from five years to seven years for a first offense, and up to 10 years for a subsequent offense. In addition offenders could face fines, which have been increased to $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for a subsequent offense. The bill does not include provisions sought by Senate Republicans calling for an animal abuse hotline, and creating an animal abuse registry. Tarr’s original bill would have also increased the penalty for a hit-and-run against a dog or cat from a $50 fine to a $2,000 fine and up to 60 days imprisonment. The PAWS legislation, which now requires only procedural votes before reaching the governor’s desk, would also form a task force to investigate current animal abuse laws.  Source: http://www.wbur.org/2014/08/11/animal-cruelty-legislation
Why business needs to view farm animal rights as a green issue By Marc Gunther Published August 11, 2014 Email | Print | Single Page View Tags: Food & Agriculture, Supply Chain This story originally appeared at Yale Environment 360 and is reprinted with permission. Conservation organizations long have sought to protect pandas, polar bears and pelicans, but the welfare of farm animals largely has been left to activist animal-welfare groups such as the Humane Society of the United States, which calls itself “the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization.” For the past 10 years, the organization has been headed by politically savvy Wayne Pacelle, who greatly has increased its visibility and influence. Under his leadership, the society successfully has lobbied to curb what it calls the worst excesses of “factory farms,” notably the use of gestation grates to confine pigs. Wayne Pacelle Credit: HSUSIn an interview with Yale Environment 360 contributor Marc Gunther, Pacelle talked about how treatment of farm animals is linked to greenhouse gas emissions, why his group is promoting “meatless Mondays” and why consumers should be willing to pay more for products from animals that are sustainably raised. “Opposition to animal cruelty has become a universal value,” he said. “If that opposition has any meaning, it must be applied to animals in agriculture.” Yale Environment 360: Just what is the Humane Society of the United States trying to accomplish? Wayne Pacelle: Our mission statement is, “Celebrating animals, confronting cruelty.” We are the No. 1 direct care organization in the United States for animals, but we’re also the biggest advocate for animals. And that leads us into many different domains of human interactions with animals, whether agriculture or wildlife, animal testing and research, equine protection and companion animals. e360: Let’s focus on animal agriculture and its environmental impact. How do the goals of the animal welfare movement align with environmentalism? Pacelle: Animal agriculture has an enormous global impact. There are about 70 billion terrestrial animals raised for food every year, and many of those animals are fed crops as a way of growing the animals. That means that a tremendous percentage of the corn and soybeans that we grow are fed to animals to inefficiently convert that plant matter to animal protein. We are using an enormous amount of land to raise feed crops for animals, and we have all the problems associated with that — pesticides and herbicide applications, erosion of topsoil. We have other issues related to grazing of cattle on our Western lands and the destruction of riparian areas; massive predator control in order to make public lands safe for grazing cattle and sheep. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says that animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, including some of the most powerful greenhouse gases such as methane. That’s a concern of the Humane Society along with the animal cruelty issues associated with industrial confinement of animals on factory farms. e360: You’ve had your biggest success around the issue of pigs and gestation crates. Your organization reports that has helped pass nine state laws banning gestation crates and have moved more than 60 of the world’s largest food companies — including McDonald’s, Costco and Oscar Mayer — to announce plans to eliminate these crates from their supply chains. How did you become involved in this issue? Pacelle: Opposition to animal cruelty has become a universal value. And if that opposition has any meaning, it must be applied to the use of animals in agriculture. Yet in the last 50 years we’ve seen this radical transformation in animal agriculture, where animals who were once almost exclusively out on pasture, and could act and behave like animals, have been moved into large windowless buildings, and within those buildings, they’re often times confined in cages or crates barely larger than their bodies. That is a moral problem, when animals are so severely confined that they are effectively immobilized. If we’re talking about animal welfare, a basic tenet is to allow animals built to move to, in fact, move. We have convinced almost every major retailer in the United States that this is an unacceptable way of raising animals, and theyThe Humane Society has campaigned to reform the way pigs are housed on factory farms. Credit: Igor Stramyk are shifting their procurement strategies to reflect their new policies. And when it comes to the big producers — Smithfield, Cargill, Tyson — we’ve made similar arguments. Fortunately, these companies are now changing for the better, and we’re excited about this new attitude by consumers of connecting their food choices to on-the-ground agricultural practices. e360: This is a pretty radical change in the way pigs are raised. What will the environmental impact be? Pacelle: Two things. No. 1, when you concentrate so many animals on these factory farms, you accentuate the problem. You concentrate their waste, which becomes toxic at this concentration and in this volume. So by having other methods of production, you can mitigate some of the adverse effects of the manure that flows from the farms. Second, we cannot humanely and sustainably raised 9 billion animals in the United States. And we’re asking consumers, if they care about animals and the environment, to eat a smaller amount of animal products. Even participating in meatless Mondays, where you abstain from eating meat one day a week, is a great contribution to animal welfare and environmental protection. If we can prevent 2 billion animals from being raised for food, we would save enormous amounts of energy, we would not need to raise as many crops for feed, and we would meaningfully reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from animal agriculture. So, a small dietary modification that hardly requires any sacrifice can do more than everyone switching to hybrid vehicles in the United States. e360: Now you’re working on what are called battery cages for hens. What are the implications there? Pacelle: A big concern of ours has been these extreme confinement systems: veal crates for veal cows, gestation crates for breeding sows and battery cages for laying hens. Arguably, the worst of these practices are the extreme confinement situations are these cages for the laying hens, where six or eight or 10 birds are jammed into a cage and they’re basically living shoulder to shoulder for a year and a half. So we’re essentially asking consumers to purchase cage-free eggs as a means of shifting the market, and supporting farmers who are raising the animals in more extensive systems. You pay a little bit more for meat that comes from animals who are raised well and sustainably. That’s a much better outcome for our society — it helps rural communities, it helps the environment and it helps animals. e360: So you’re not trying to end animal agriculture. Pacelle: Absolutely not. We are an organization that embraces humane and sustainable farmers. The vast percentage of our members eat meat, drink milk and consume eggs. But most of them want to see that done more humanely. e360: You’ve also invested in some plant-based protein alternatives, including the start-up company Beyond Meat. Pacelle: Yes. We have investments, and more and more we’re putting some of those dollars into companies that are a part of the emerging humane economy. We think corporations have a big role to play in solving problems related to animal cruelty. There’s been great innovation in this field of plant-based proteins, where you have food products that have equivalent or superior protein value to animal products, but they don’t have the animal welfare or environmental costs that come from those animal products. Because they’re plant-based products, you’re using the plants directly rather than feeding animals who indirectly use that plant matter to create protein. We think this is a critical step for human health, and for responsible stewardship of our planet’s resources. Consumers get good, healthy, protein-rich products that taste and look very similar to the animal proteins that they once consumed. e360: Any others besides Beyond Meat? Pacelle: We’ve also invested in an entirely plant-based cuisine at Veggie Grill, which is a fast-food company that only offers vegan products. In the future we could be supporting humane and sustainable agriculture to provide an alternative to this industrial model of production that is so harmful to animals and our environment. e360: What about wildlife and habitat protection? Pacelle: Well, the biggest use of animals is, No. 1, animal agriculture. The other big impact is our human interaction with wildlife. Billions of animals are killed with habitat destruction, wildlife trade, trophy killing, trapping, the effects of road building, bush meat killing, etc. So we have programs in all of these areas. Species loss is a tremendously important global concern, and we’re fighting it on a number of fronts, whether it is the ivory trade, the rhino horn trade or the trade in turtle shells, or trying to protect open space and wilderness areas. e360: Can you be a bit more specific? Pacelle: We work in four areas: public policy and enforcement, with corporations to incorporate animal protection as a element of a broader corporate social responsibility agenda, education and awareness, and direct care and response. We’ve got a wildlife response unit — so, for instance, in Florida when there’s a development project, we often go in, in advance, with the cooperation of the commercial developer, and dig out threatened gopher tortoises. Last year we dug out thousands of them and relocated them to safe habitat, so they’re not entombed under these developments. We have wildlife protection efforts to help prairie dogs in the West. We do fertility control for African elephants in South Africa, so you don’t have surplus animals that get funneled into these exotic animal trades. e360: How did you decide to devote your career to animal welfare or to that cause? Pacelle: I had a deep and close connection with animals throughout my childhood. As I got older, I began to probe what the consequences of some human acts were towards animals. I realized that there was another side to human dealings with animals, and it wasn’t all just about this close connection that we have, but we were misusing our immense power and causing tremendous harm, whether it was factory farming or habitat destruction or the killing of seals or whales for their parts or for their products. I decided that with human beings exhibiting so much mistreatment and cruelty toward animals, I didn’t want to be a bystander. I wanted to do something about it. Source: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/08/11/why-business-needs-view-farm-animal-rights-green-issue?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenerBuildings+(GreenBiz.com+%7C+Buildings)
Harris Teeter denies PETA allegations about abuse at dairy By Ely Portillo elyportillo@charlotteobserver.com By Ely Portillo The Charlotte Observer Posted: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 Harris Teeter denied Tuesday that it uses milk from a small farm that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals accused of animal cruelty, though PETA insisted its investigation shows the milk goes to Harris Teeter. The animal rights group released a video of what it says are cows forced to live in filthy, manure-soaked pools of their own waste. But Harris Teeter, a subsidiary of the Kroger Co., said it double-checked with its dairy supplier and doesn’t receive any milk from the farm in question. “Harris Teeter has verified with its supplier Piedmont Milk Producers that we do not receive milk from Osborne Dairy Farm. We will be asking PETA to issue a retraction immediately,” said Harris Teeter spokeswoman Catherine Becker. Osborne Dairy Farm, the farm PETA filmed, could not be reached for comment. Piedmont Milk’s president did not return a message. The dairy operation is located in Haywood County, in Western North Carolina, the animal rights group said. The dairy milks about 30 cows. “PETA received a tip from a confidential source who was rightfully alarmed by the manure and the pain and lameness it appeared to be causing these cows,” said Dan Paden, of PETA. He said the group visited the dairy and found cows living in more than a foot of their own manure and urine, which was corroding their skin. Paden said PETA’s investigation had verified that the farm’s milk is sold to a processor that exclusively supplies Harris Teeter. In response to Becker’s denial, he showed the Observer a state government inspection form that appeared to designate Piedmont Milk as the destination for the dairy’s product. A Piedmont Milk sales representative told PETA that the plant supplies milk exclusively to Harris Teeter, Paden said. PETA said it contacted the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which would oversee the waste issues. A DENR spokeswoman didn’t respond Tuesday to an Observer inquiry. A spokesman for the N.C. Department of Agriculture confirmed the agency had received PETA’s complaint and inspected the facility last week. Brian Long said inspectors found some violations in the milking parlor, such as loose ceiling tiles and rusted metal. He said inspectors found nothing that would constitute a public health hazard, and found no problems in the milk storage tanks. “That area was not similar to what was depicted in some parts of that video,” Long said of the milking parlor. Inspectors are going to return to the dairy this week to follow up. Harris Teeter was acquired by Cincinnati-based Kroger in January. The company is the latest to find itself in PETA’s crosshairs. PETA, which opposes using animals for food, clothing, experimentation or entertainment, has recently released videos showing what it says is animal cruelty among wool suppliers in Australia, hog breeders and SeaWorld. Copyright 2014 The Charlotte Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/08/12/5101607/peta-accuses-harris-teeter-of.html#.U_AQvOl0y1s#storylink=cpy 
Animal rights activists file suit against Pennsylvania over state regulation 2014-08-14 20:43:56 (GMT) (JusticeNewsFlash.com - Justice News Flash) 08/12/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release) Harrisburg – Animal rights activists are challenging a Pennsylvania regulation that makes it permissible for commercial dog breeders to keep puppies and mothers that are nursing in mesh floor cages, as reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer. A lawsuit filed by the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund asserts that such an allowance is both illegal and harmful to the animals. As noted in the report, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of three dog owners in Dauphin County who assert that the dog law, which was put in place to improve care standards for large kennels that pet stores make purchases from, or “puppy mills,” violate regulations giving dogs unrestricted exercise outdoors. Carter Dillard, director of litigation for the group that brought forth the suit, is quoted in the report as stating, “The Department of Agriculture gutted the dog law when it essentially rewrote the standards to allow wire mesh flooring… Writing regulations that didn’t improve conditions was a blatant giveaway to breeders.” This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Pennsylvania Legal News   Source: http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2014/08/14/animal-rights-activists-file-suit-against-pennsylvania-over-state-regulation_20140814132621.html
Research institute accused of violating Animal Welfare Act  By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer PUBLISHED: Friday, August 15, 2014 at 12:05 am .. Inspectors said Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute violated the federal Animal Welfare Act six times from August 2012 to March, according to a recent report that cited the deaths of five monkeys and four rabbits. Robert W. Rubin, president and CEO of the institute, responded that the use of animals for research is “heavily regulated” by a variety of federal agencies. “We are diligent about following all regulations to the letter and self-report any incidents to appropriate agencies,” Rubin said Thursday in a written statement. The nonprofit research institute, located on Kirtland Air Force Base, uses monkeys, dogs, rabbits and other animals to study causes and treatments for respiratory illnesses and studies required for federal approval of new drugs. LRRI has government and private clients ranging from pharmaceutical companies to the Department of Defense. The U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report also cited an undated incident in which a primate involved in biosafety level 3 research escaped its primary enclosure and had to be recaptured. Biosafety level 3 research at LRRI investigates potentially deadly illnesses and toxins transmitted by inhalation, such as avian flu virus, bacillus anthracis and ricin. “The animal remained contained in the room and was recaptured but illustrates the type of risk posed by not having enough adequately trained personnel to prevent such errors,” a USDA inspector wrote in the July 16 report. The report did not identify the type of primate that escaped. Inspectors said the incident shows the importance of properly tracking and training personnel involved in animal studies. The report said LRRI’s methods for tracking research staff, particularly those working in biosafety level 3 projects, violates a section of federal law. In response to questions about specific findings in the report, Rubin said the USDA findings “are not final and are still very much in dispute. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on them at this time.” The report followed a routine inspection in June. The USDA is required to inspect institutions that use species covered by the Animal Welfare Act. The findings could result in fines against LRRI following an appeals process. In 2011, LRRI was required to pay a $21,750 fine as a result of six violations of the law between 2007 and 2009. Violations included failure to consider alternatives to procedures that caused pain or distress to animals, and failure to ensure qualified employees were performing procedures. Other incidents cited in the July report involved the deaths of animals at LRRI, including: Four rabbits involved in an inhalation exposure study that died or were euthanized in August 2012. No exposure studies involving rabbits have been done at LRRI since 2012, the report said. A rhesus monkey was euthanized in August 2013 after it was mistakenly given a double dose of radiation as part of a study. The report said the animal received the second dose because a worker misread the animal’s identification number. LRRI responded by adding color coding to animal identification records, it said.  Source: http://www.abqjournal.com/446359/news/research-institute-accused-of-violations.html
Authorities investigate animal sanctuary in McClain County Animal rights activist claims dogs at sanctuary had oozing wounds MCCLAIN COUNTY, Okla. —Authorities are investigating a McClain County animal sanctuary following allegations of animal abuse and neglect. Related Cleveland County DA to file... MWC police: Teens say 13-year-old... Sheriff's Office adds new vehicle to... Police: Charges in Norman assault... Edmond man arrested in connection... The Forgotten Angels Animal Sanctuary is located in Washington, Oklahoma, and is home to several dogs, cats, horses and a goat. The sanctuary was reported to the McClain County Sheriff's Office after a volunteer became concerned about the amount of food, water and medical care provided to the animals and alerted a fellow animal rights activist. Video: Animal sanctuary owner fighting against cruelty allegations "Those allegations, I don't know where they came from," said Neil Chaves, who owns the facility. Chaves gave KOCO 5 News a tour of the property Thursday. He said he has around 14 dogs on the property; however, the animal rights activist who reported the sanctuary to authorities, Lauren Lackey, claimed she saw several more dogs on the property last week. Also read: Thousands expected at medical marijuana rally at Capitol "Every dog that I saw had runny green eyes and noses," Lackey said. "They all had open, oozing wounds that had not been treated or tended to. They all were flea- and tick-infested." Sgt. Brandon McDonald said some of the dogs he saw when he went to investigate last week "looked like they had diseases, mange." Lackey said one of the volunteers on the property has paid out of their own pocket to care for some of the animals. Chaves said he does not typically take donations since the sanctuary is a nonprofit and is funded through his real estate ventures. Chaves said people need a better understanding of the dogs he adopts and the sanctuary's mission. "All these animals that come into our shelter come in in a fairly poor condition or they're elderly animals," Chaves said. "What we focus on here right now as a sanctuary is a place where they come in and spend the rest of their lives in comfort." Chaves said many of the animals come from metro-area shelters and claimed many of the shelters reach out to him for help. He invites anyone who wants to see the sanctuary for themselves to make an appointment. The McClain County Sheriff's Office asked state investigators for assistance in the investigation. State investigators are expected to arrive at the sanctuary sometime next week. Read more: http://www.koco.com/news/authorities-investigate-animal-sanctuary-in-mcclain-county/27489142#ixzz3Ac9lkMP4
USDA raises standards for puppy mill imports Share By John Marshall SFBay PUBLISHED August 16, 2014 10:41 pm Dog lovers and animal welfare workers are celebrating new federal rules intended to bring an end to what the head of the Humane Society of the United States calls the “appalling abuse” of sick and very young puppies imported into the U.S. from overseas puppy mills. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has finalized changes to the Animal Welfare Act to include regulations that require foreign breeders to meet stronger health and safety standards for their pups. Under the new rules, the pooches must be at least six months old, vaccinated and in good health. The rules were approved Friday, just before a flood of young and possibly sick, malnourished and mistreated puppies were expected to hit the U.S. market, according to the Humane Society of the United States. After the new rules were finalized, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the society, said in a statement: “With the advent of global commerce — and what we’ve seen in the form of trade with exotic animals, ivory and rhino horn and factory farming — this ban comes just in time to prevent a massive influx of puppy mill dogs from China, eastern Europe and Mexico.” According to Pacelle, every year thousands of puppies suffer “appalling abuse” when they’re crowded into filthy tubs with little or no food and water, put into the cargo holds of airliners and flown on multi-hour flights to the U.S. It’s a terrifying and exhausting ordeal for the little dogs. And, according to the society, a large number of those puppies get sick and die. Pacelle said the new rules are a long-awaited victory for the society and dog lovers: “It took six years for the USDA to finalize the rule implementing the ban, but today we have a strong outcome on the issue and will finally stem the tide of sick puppies coming into U.S. airports.” The new rules take effect in 90 days.  They follow another set of restrictions put in place nearly a year ago, which were also intended to protect puppies. Last September, the USDA set new rules that said organizations that sell puppies over the Internet must adhere to the requirements set forth in the federal  Animal Welfare Act. The act — signed into law nearly 50 years ago — regulates the treatment of animals, mandates federal licensing and inspection requirements,  establishes standards for transporting animals and sets other rules.  Source: http://sfbay.ca/2014/08/16/usda-raises-standards-for-puppy-mill-imports/
Like pet, like partner: links between animal abuse and domestic violence NSW Date August 17, 2014 (0) Nicky Phillips Science Editor  ''Vets are often the first to see evidence of abuse in a family, when they treat injured pets'': Lydia Tong. Photo: Peter Rae Animals can’t talk, but evidence that pets are being abused by their owners can be a sign that women and children are also victims of domestic violence.  In her time as a vet, Lydia Tong has seen several cases of abused animals that left her wondering whether the women and children in the family were also experiencing violence.  In collaboration with Domestic Violence NSW, Dr Tong, from the University of Sydney, is now embarking on a study to examine the link between pets being harmed by their owners and domestic violence. She hopes the study's findings will be used to improve services for both human and animals victims.  Dr Tong said anecdotal evidence from women escaping violent homes suggested that pets were often also mistreated. Advertisement ''So vets are often the first to see evidence of abuse in a family, when they treat injured pets,'' she said. As part of the study, people who contact domestic violence help lines will be asked whether their abuser also harms family pets, whether they have access to vet services and if they would feel comfortable speaking with a vet about their situation. In overseas research, about a quarter of domestic violence victims asked non-threatening questions or offered support were willing to talk about their abuse. ''It’s my hope we can produce some data that will inform people who make decisions about where abuse resources should go in future,’’ Dr Tong said. Moo Baulch, interim chief executive of Domestic Violence NSW, said domestic violence help lines had found victims of abuse were sometimes scared or reluctant to leave an abusive relationship if they had to leave a pet behind. Abusers also used threats of violence towards animals as a way of manipulating partners to stay in an abusive relationship, Ms Baulch said.  ''We know anecdotally that people will stay in a relationship for a long time because they are afraid of leaving the dog or cat behind,’’ she said. ‘‘I think it’s a really important area that needs more research.’’  Data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found one in three women above the age of 15 will experience some form of domestic violence, either physical, sexual or emotional, in their lifetime.  Previous work by Dr Tong has identified characteristics that vets can use to assess when an animal has been abused rather than injured in an accident.  Source: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nsw/like-pet-like-partner-links-between-animal-abuse-and-domestic-violence-20140817-10546p.html
Patrick signs Puppy Doe law By Donna Boynton TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF donna.boynton@telegram.com Add a comment BOSTON — Gov. Deval L. Patrick Wednesday signed a law increasing the penalties for animal cruelty, creating a mandatory reporting requirement for veterinarians and establishing a task force to review animal welfare laws. The bill, filed by Rep. Bruce J. Ayers, D-Quincy, has become known as the "Puppy Doe Law," in the wake of the high-profile case of an abandoned pit bull that was tortured and abused so severely it had to be euthanized. The dog was allegedly purchased from a Worcester couple. The penalties are increased for animal cruelty convictions, from 5 to 7 years in prison, and the maximum fine is increased from $2,500 to $5,000. The law also has a penalty of up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for repeat convictions. In addition, veterinarians are required to report suspected animal abuse, and a task force of law enforcement, animal protection organizations, veterinarians and legal experts has been created to evaluate the state's animal cruelty laws. "My intention in filing the original version of this legislation in January of 2013 was because Massachusetts maintained some of the most lenient fines in the nation," Mr. Ayers said. "It is my hope that the passage of this bill will send a clear message that animal abuse will not be tolerated and that violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." The law will take effect in 90 days.  Source: http://www.telegram.com/article/20140821/NEWS/308219725/1116
Oregon Animals Now Have Some Basic Rights Formerly Reserved for Humans Crimes against animals can't be lumped all together—each animal victim has to be recognized individually By Marissa Fessenden smithsonian.com August 25, 2014 This month, two rulings by the Oregon Supreme Court granted animals some rights formerly reserved for humans. Now, people in Oregon guilty of animal abuse or neglect may receive harsher sentences. Also, police can save animals in danger without getting a warrant.  In the first case, Arnold Nix was convicted of 20 counts of second-degree animal neglect after police found dozens of emaciated horses and goats as well as several carcasses on his farm. Oregon has a law that prevents lumping multiple counts of crime together, to ensure that each victim is recognized. But during sentencing at his earlier trial, the lower court merged all of Nix’s convictions into one, after his lawyer argued that animals are not victims. The Oregon Supreme Court disagreed. Challenging Nix, the state had argued before the court that people do commonly refer to animals suffering from cruelty as victims. After considering its own precedents and the legislature's intention in creating the animal abuse law, the court agreed: individual animals—as victims—should not have been lumped together. The court's ruling quotes John Stuart Mill’s Principles of Political Economy: “The reasons for legal intervention in favor of children, apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves and victims of the most brutal part of mankind, the lower animals.”  The second case involved a sheriff’s deputy who entered a privately owned field to take a starving horse owned by Linda Fessenden and Teresa Dicke to a veterinarian. In this ruling, the court determined that a warrant wasn’t needed. They cited "exigent circumstance" — that quick action was necessary to prevent harm to people or property.  The two cases are small steps in the greater movement to extend legal rights to non-human persons.  Source: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/oregon-animals-now-have-some-basic-rights-formerly-reserved-humans-180952475/?no-ist
Humane Society discusses ways to improve animal welfare laws in NC Posted 6:31 pm, August 28, 2014, by Stephanie Ando Facebook67 Twitter9 Google Pinterest Reddit Email GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – The Humane Society of the United States held a public meeting at Guilford Technical Community College on Thursday night. Animal advocates from across the Piedmont Triad discussed ways to improve animal welfare laws in North Carolina. Two big issues include banning gas chambers across the state, and imposing new regulations when it comes to puppy mills with ten or more breeding females. “What we’re asking for is moral ethical behavior. We’re looking for water, food, shelter, medical care, and preventative medical care,” said Summer Connor, county leader for the Humane Society of the United States. “I feel like grassroots campaigns are just as effective as all the TV ads, the big campaigns, and the politicians hammering each other. We’re not about that. We’re about educating the public so they can make the proper choices come Election Day.” The group also discussed the 2014 Legislative Session, North Carolina’s animal sheltering system, and ways to protect animals on a day to day basis.  Source: http://myfox8.com/2014/08/28/humane-society-discusses-ways-to-improve-animal-welfare-laws-in-nc/
Animal rights campaigners SHAC disband group against Huntingdon Life Sciences Huntingdon Life Science demonstrations, High Street, Huntingdon 24/03/2000 Hywel Barrett Friday, August 29, 2014 5:52 PM An animal rights group looks to have ended a 15-year fight against Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). Comments Email Print Huntingdon Life Science demonstrations, employees cars burnt out, in Godmanchester. 2000 Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) was started by Greg Avery, his wife Natasha Avery and former wife Heather Nicholson in 1999 after a Channel 4 documentary highlighted animal abuse at HLS’s base in Woolley Road, Alconbury. Its aim was to force the closure of HLS – Europe’s largest animal testing laboratory for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries – but, despite a temporary resettlement of the company to America, SHAC failed to achieve its main task. A statement on SHAC’s website said: “After more than 10 years of organising the SHAC campaign and having sent shock waves throughout the entire vivisection industry, our opposition has evolved. “The global animal abuse and legal landscapes have changed and so it’s time for us too, to change our tactics. Although we’re announcing the closure of the SHAC campaign, it will always be an important part of our history and a reminder of the ingenuity and power of the animal rights movement.” SHAC campaigners carried out a series of peaceful protests but will be more synonymous with violent attacks and death threats to staff at HLS and other companies involved with the lab. In 2001, HLS managing director Brian Cass was ambushed near his home in St Ives by three people armed with pickaxe handles. And Andrew Gay, marketing director for HLS, was temporarily blinded when he was sprayed in the face with a chemical. Campaigners were also linked to attacking a businessman, who had connections to HLS, and leaving his unconscious body next to his barn, which they set alight. Hoax bombs were planted and letters were sent to HLS employees’ neighbours claiming they were living next to paedophiles. The group also claims to have sunk a boat belonging to an executive at a bank which was funding HLS. Seven SHAC members were jailed in 2009, including leader Greg Avery, who was sentenced to nine years after admitting conspiracy to blackmail. A further five were imprisoned the following year. A statement from HLS said: “The decision by SHAC to end the campaign is welcomed by Huntingdon Life Sciences and all those associated with the company. “Even during the early years when extremism was at its height HLS still managed to successfully grow its research business. “The UK environment for the use of animals in biomedical research has improved greatly in recent years, and this is the result of action taken by law enforcement agencies to control animal rights extremism.” The unlawful action against HLS – and the work to prevent it – continued as recently as earlier this year when Debbie Vincent, of St Marks Road, Easton, Bristol, was jailed for six years after being found guilty of conspiracy to blackmail in relation to her 10-year association with SHAC.   Source: http://www.huntspost.co.uk/news/latest-news/animal_rights_campaigners_shac_disband_group_against_huntingdon_life_sciences_1_3750361
County Attorney: Livestock breeder convicted of animal cruelty reports to jail County Attorney: Livestock breeder convicted of animal cruelty reports to jail 2 Saved Save Article My Saved Items Print Email « Buy Now » Buy Now James Leachman CASEY PAGE/Gazette Staff James Leachman testifies at his trial in December 2012. Leachman turned himself in Friday at the county jail to begin serving a 120-day sentence. 2014-08-29T18:44:00Z 2014-08-29T23:53:17Z County Attorney: Livestock breeder convicted of animal cruelty reports to jailBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette August 29, 2014 6:44 pm  •  By Eddie Gregg Eddie Gregg EGREGG@BILLINGSGAZETTE.COM 3 Related Galleries Gallery: Abandoned horses An embattled former livestock breeder convicted of animal cruelty in 2012 turned himself in Friday and will begin serving a 120-day jail sentence, according to County Attorney Scott Twito. The county attorney said that 72-year-old James Henry Leachman, as ordered, reported to the Yellowstone County Detention Facility by 5 p.m. Friday to start serving the sentence. Leachman had remained free from jail while appealing his conviction, which was recently upheld by the Montana Supreme Court. After a weeklong trial in December 2012, a Yellowstone County Justice Court jury convicted Leachman of five misdemeanor animal cruelty charges for abusing five of the hundreds horses he kept mostly on a ranch 16 miles east of Billings. Investigators discovered five horses, some of them malnourished, with tight plastic bands that had caused severe leg injuries. Two died at pasture, and two were euthanized, court records say. Leachman operated a horse breeding business before the U.S. Farm Services Administration foreclosed on his property in 2010. Leachman continued to keep more than 400 horses on the property after it was sold. He was sentenced to five years in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility with all but 120 days suspended and a $5,000 fine. On Tuesday, Leachman filed a Petition for Order for Home Arrest, in which he cites health problems and other reasons why he believes he should be allowed to serve his sentence at home. He concludes the petition by stating, “I regret the actions that led me to this place and wish to move past this unfortunate stage of my life. I have no other history in my 72-year life of animal abuse, flight or harm to anything. I intend to fully cooperate with any supervising authority. I accept your judgment of me.” Twito said late Friday this petition will be treated as petition for re-sentencing or sentence modification and that there could be a hearing on the matter. Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/county-attorney-livestock-breeder-convicted-of-animal-cruelty-reports-to/article_249d7205-8432-507d-b96f-64454899c6cf.html#ixzz3CggdjII3
Animal welfare groups raise concerns over laboratory animals Tim Sandle. Like this article By Tim Sandle     Aug 30, 2014 in Science A strongly worded report from an animal rights group states that many accredited laboratories violate animal welfare rules, and that the mistreatment cases are generally more often than with non-accredited facilities. The study was presented at the 9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. The primary finding was that organizations accredited for abiding by certain standards of care for their laboratory animals had more violations than institutions that did not have such accreditation. Accredited means that research facilities pay the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) to accredit them for complying with the Animal Welfare Act. For their study, the researchers analyzed inspection reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including more than 800 facilities visited by the federal agency between 2010 and 2011. Accredited organizations were more likely to end up with a violation than non-accredited organizations. Justin Goodman, a director at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and an adjunct instructor of sociology at Marymount University, who was involved with the study, told Science that: "Accreditation has become more of a PR [public relations] tool than a meaningful oversight mechanism. You certainly can’t say that animals are better off in these facilities." In response, AAALAC’s Executive Director Christian Newcomer told The Scientist that the data were inappropriate because accredited facilities are often larger and perform more complex work than non-accredited ones. Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/science/animal-welfare-groups-raise-concerns-over-laboratory-animals/article/400346#ixzz3CghB9rrf
Local animal shelters are running out of space Happily Ever After's Ashwaubenon adoption center features cats and dogs. All animals are looking for a permanent home. Rachel Minske/Press-Gazette Media Rachel Minske, Press-Gazette Media 9:20 p.m. CDT August 29, 2014 Amanda Reitz, owner of no-kill animal shelter Happily Ever After, plays with a cat at the shelter’s adoption center in Ashwaubenon. (Photo: Rachel Minske/Press-Gazette Media ) Story Highlights Centers are setting record adoption levels but say the public needs to step up Green Bay clinic may be forced to euthanize animals Spaying and neutering advised to combat the problem 269 CONNECT 8 TWEET 1 LINKEDIN 23 COMMENTEMAILMORE More than one year after a contract was signed between Green Bay's animal control unit and Packerland Veterinary Clinic to address the city's stray population, local animal shelters are struggling to find space for the animals. The contract between animal control — a subdivision of the Green Bay Police Department — and Bay Area Humane Society was in place for a number of years, said Lt. John Rousseau, supervisor of the animal control unit. In June 2013, Packerland beat out the humane society in a competitive bid process. "At that time, Bay Area (Humane Society) had, in our opinion, some bad leadership," said Chanda Holschbach, owner of Packerland Veterinary Center, 121 Packerland Drive. "We weren't convinced the public and their animals and their best interests were being addressed. Their leadership has changed and we're working on mending that relationship." Packerland became responsible for taking in all stray animals in the city of Green Bay, Rousseau said. Animals picked up by police officers or the public are first brought to Packerland where they remain for a seven-day holding period before moving to a number of shelters, Holschbach said. The contract will expire in May 2016, Rousseau said. Regardless of who holds the contract, Holschbach said a persistent problem for her facility — and the entire animal welfare community in Wisconsin — is a lack of space for animals picked up on the streets. "Because the local area is so saturated with animals, we've been searching all over the state," said Holschbach. "Currently everybody is full. We are holding animals until the last second, until we are forced to make room for incoming animals." If the problem is not resolved, Holschbach said the clinic will be forced to euthanize animals. "We need the public's help," Holschbach said. "What's frustrating is a lot of these animals, they have owners, we know who the owners are and they just don't want them." Olivia Webster, director of operations at Bay Area Humane Society, said the center can support up to 60 dogs and 100 cats and is at capacity for the latter. Webster said the shelter has completed more than 2,000 adoptions since January. Amanda Reitz is the owner and founder of Happily Ever After, a no-kill shelter located in the Marion countryside that can hold up to 200 cats and up to 90 dogs. Since it opened in 2006, the shelter has been at or near capacity and is constantly renovating available space to make room for incoming animals, Reitz said. "The animal welfare world in general has been at capacity for years and years and years," she said. "It's not a new problem. I think people are just starting to become more aware of it now." When Packerland took over the animal control contract last summer, the Marion shelter stepped in to help care for the city's strays. The vet clinic had long provided veterinary services to the no-kill shelter, Reitz said. At the time, no estimates were available for the number of strays that would be accumulated over the course of the year. The shelter has taken in approximately 500 strays since June 2013, Reitz said. In order to accommodate the influx, the shelter has built animal housing in a former shed and other existing buildings on the property. The shelter has successfully completed 265 adoptions this year and looks to surpass the 2013 total of 448. Happily Ever After — which in addition to the Marion shelter, includes an adoption center in Ashwaubenon — is setting record adoption numbers while still operating at full capacity. The shelter has a one-year waiting list for pet owners wishing to surrender animals, Reitz said. "People are seeing strays out in the yard and trying to be proactive and trying to make a difference," Reitz said. "They end up in the shelter system and that's good, but the shelter system has to work harder." A solution to help combat the problem is for pet owners to have their animals spayed and neutered, Reitz said. She added Happily Ever After offers procedures at reduced rates. —rminske@gannet.com or follow her on Twitter at @rachelfminske.  Source:  http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/2014/08/29/local-animal-shelters-running-space/14832363/
Court Allows Ag-Gag Lawsuit to Proceed, Rights Attorneys Call Law Unconstitutional 04 Sep 2014 05:53 Written by Press Release Category: Latest National News Boise—(ENEWSPF)—September 4, 2014. Today, a federal judge denied Idaho’s motion to dismiss Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Otter, a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s “ag-gag” law, which punishes undercover investigations and whistleblowing inside of animal agricultural facilities.  The Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed an amicus brief arguing that the statute violates the First Amendment, issued the following statement: The court has correctly recognized that Idaho’s ag-gag law is constitutionally suspect. Lawmakers could not have been clearer that the purpose of the law is to silence animal rights activists, explicitly stating that it was drafted to protect the economic interests of animal agriculture, that releasing undercover footage from a dairy farm and calling for a boycott of dairy products “crossed the…line,” and that the dairy industry aimed to protect itself from being “persecuted in the court of public opinion.”  In fact, the only line that has been crossed is the constitutional line that protects speech from being criminalized. That line is the First Amendment, and it not only allows, it insists, that important questions – such as what rights animals are entitled to – be debated in the court of public opinion.  The Constitution does not permit special laws to protect the animal agriculture industry from public scrutiny simply because it is not winning that debate. In the past decade, animal rights activists have conducted more than 80 undercover investigations inside of animal agricultural facilities. In response, industry groups have begun an aggressive effort to pass state-level ag-gag laws. Idaho’s law was enacted in February, despite strong opposition, following an undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals inside of an Idaho dairy farm, which uncovered, among other horrific footage, cows who were too sick or injured to walk, cows being beaten and dragged by their necks, and cows bellowing in pain. Over 20 ag-gag bills in more than a dozen states have failed in the past year.  A coalition of animal activists, journalists, workers’ rights organizations, environmental groups, and civil liberties defenders are plaintiffs in the case. The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Source: http://ccrjustice.org   Source: http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/latest-national/latest-national-news/55200-court-allows-ag-gag-lawsuit-to-proceed-rights-attorneys-call-law-unconstitutional.html
Idaho's request to dismiss dairy lawsuit denied By KIMBERLEE KRUESI, Associated Press Published: Sep 4, 2014 at 3:15 PM MDT Last Updated: Sep 4, 2014 at 7:48 PM MDT Share this story 71 comments print email Story Photos Photos » 121008_dairy_abuse4 121008_dairy_abuse5 121008_dairy_abuse6 121008_dairy_abuse2 BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has denied Idaho's request to dismiss a lawsuit arguing that the recently passed law criminalizing surreptitious recording at agriculture facilities is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said in a ruling issued Thursday that the case raises First Amendment concerns because it restricts protected speech. Idaho had argued the law does not implicate any constitutional concerns under the First or 14th Amendments. "The ultimate question of whether (the new law) is unconstitutional remains for another day," Winmill wrote in his 33-page ruling. However, Winmill added that he is dismissing Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter as a defendant from the case because Otter does not directly oversee enforcing the law. A coalition of animal rights, civil liberties and environmental groups are suing the state to overturn what they call an "ag-gag" law. The law, which lawmakers passed in February, was backed by Idaho's $2.5 billion annual dairy industry after videos showing cows being abused at a southern Idaho dairy were released in 2012. The Los Angeles-based animal rights group Mercy for Animals released the videos that showed workers at Bettencourt Dairy —one of the state's largest dairies— beating and dragging cows. The group contends that the law curtails freedom of speech and makes gathering proof of animal abuse a crime with a harsher punishment than the penalty for animal cruelty itself. Winmill wrote that any laws criminalizing false speech — such as lying on employment application like the new law criminalizes— deserve extra scrutiny because most false statements are still protected. "False statements that do not constitute defamation, fraud, or perjury are fully protected speech," Winmill wrote. "False speech is still speech — period." Because only those who release undercover video or audio recordings on agriculture facilities would be punished, Winmill noted the law can be seen as a restriction of free speech. Consequently, this not only restricts video and audio recording but also restricts publishing those recordings.  Source: http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/Idahos-request-to-dismiss-dairy-lawsuit-denied--274010641.html
October 4, 2014 in Opinion Guest opinion: Industry hides animal cruelty instead of ending it Erik Nicholson and Paul Shapiro Print Email Close [X] Sorry, but you need to be logged in to share stories via e-mail. This helps us prevent abuse of our e-mail system. Don't have a Spokesman.com account? Create one here for free.   You have viewed free articles or blogs allowed within a 30-day period. Receive FREE access by logging in to or creating your Spokesman.com account. Log In to your Spokesman.com account for unlimited viewing and commenting access. Don't have a Spokesman.com account? Create a Spokesman.com profile and register for FREE access. S-R Media, The Spokesman-Review and Spokesman.com are happy to assist you. Contact Customer Service by email or call 800-338-8801 Earlier this year at a factory farm that is a member of the Darigold Cooperative in Washington, workers were informed of a new employment policy: If any worker is caught taking photos or video footage at the facility, he or she will be “subject to immediate dismissal.” We have been hearing from many Darigold farmworkers about poor treatment of both cows and workers. Too often, workers are forced to milk sick and injured cows instead of helping the cows get treated. Too often, workers bring their own drinking water to work because of filthy conditions at the dairy.  The animal … You have viewed 20 free articles or blogs allowed within a 30-day period. FREE registration is now required for uninterrupted access. Registration Required log in to your Spokesman.com account for unlimited viewing and commenting access. Don't have a Spokesman.com account? Create a Spokesman.com profile and register for FREE access. S-R Media, The Spokesman-Review and Spokesman.com are happy to assist you. Contact Customer Service by email or call 800-338-8801 Earlier this year at a factory farm that is a member of the Darigold Cooperative in Washington, workers were informed of a new employment policy: If any worker is caught taking photos or video footage at the facility, he or she will be “subject to immediate dismissal.” We have been hearing from many Darigold farmworkers about poor treatment of both cows and workers. Too often, workers are forced to milk sick and injured cows instead of helping the cows get treated. Too often, workers bring their own drinking water to work because of filthy conditions at the dairy.  The animal agriculture industry’s desire to prohibit documentation of abusive conditions isn’t new, unfortunately. Numerous whistleblowing exposés inside our nation’s factory farms and slaughter plants in recent years have shown terrible conditions for animals and workers alike, leading to meat recalls, plant shutdowns, criminal convictions and more.  Yet the meat industry’s response hasn’t been to try to prevent these abuses. Instead, it’s simply been to prevent Americans from finding out about the abuses (by prohibiting employee video- and photo-taking, for example). Sometimes it’s a corporate policy such as in this case, but in others, the meat and dairy industries have tried to pass “ag-gag” laws aimed at criminalizing whistleblowing. These state bills – defeated in nearly all instances but often reintroduced the following legislative session – illustrate just how desperate animal agribusinesses are to keep Americans in the dark about how their food is produced. In fact, just this year, in the wake of a damning cruelty exposé at a major Idaho dairy facility, state lawmakers there passed a law to criminalize unauthorized videotaping at agribusinesses.  These ag-gag efforts have brought the industry overwhelmingly bad press, making some insiders hesitant about pursuing such a strategy each legislative session. For example, renowned animal scientist Temple Grandin states that ag-gag bills are “the stupidest thing that ag ever did.” And an analyst for the National Pork Producers Council lamented, “We did a study of coverage of ‘ag-gag’ laws that found that 99 percent of the stories about it were negative.”  So in addition to trying to pass laws to criminalize whistleblowers, some factory farms are making it explicit to their staff that whistleblowers who seek to document abuses should start looking for work elsewhere. It’s clear what they’re trying to hide: They know that the more Americans learn about cruel conditions on meat and dairy factory farms, the greater the outrage will be.  Cesar Chavez, the legendary founder of the United Farm Workers, recognized there’s a deep connection between the plight of farmworkers – on whose behalf he campaigned – and farm animals. In one speech, Chavez noted, “We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to make all people understand that animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves. And that’s the basis for peace. The basis for peace is respecting all creatures.”  So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that groups like the United Farm Workers and the Humane Society of the United States often lock arms in common cause to give a voice to both abused farmworkers and abused farm animals. The two organizations have proudly worked together on a number of successful legislative campaigns of importance to each.  In this particular case, it’s quite clear that transparency in our food system is critical both for worker protection and for animal protection. Farmworkers shouldn’t be forced to cause animal suffering or to turn a blind eye to it, and they certainly shouldn’t be fired for documenting inhumane conditions. If the meat and dairy industries are so concerned about people taking photos of their practices, perhaps the answer is to start improving those practices rather than trying to silence potential whistleblowers with threats to fire them.   Erik Nicholson is the national vice president of the United Farm Workers. Paul Shapiro is the vice president of farm animal protection at the Humane Society of the United States.  Source: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/oct/04/guest-opinion-industry-hides-animal-cruelty/
Animal cruelty case investigated in Seminole County By KYLE HINCHEY NewsOK.com | Posted: Saturday, October 4, 2014 12:00 am MAUD — The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an animal cruelty case after a deputy discovered severely malnourished horses, dogs and other animals at a property south of Maud, along Oklahoma 9. Deputy Mike Bruner responded to a call regarding possible animal abandonment Sept. 23 and found several animals without food or water. The animals, which included six horses, dogs, turkeys and pot-bellied pigs, were very skinny, he said. One dog was tied to a tree and looked barely alive when Bruner arrived, he said. The dog’s leash was too short to reach a nearby bucket filled with dirty, algae-covered water. The dog died while Bruner was at the property, he said. Another dog, also tied to a tree, either died shortly before he arrived or while he was there. Bruner also found a horse that was too weak to stand up.  Source: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/state/animal-cruelty-case-investigated-in-seminole-county/article_74f6b4b7-e708-5509-8aff-a753718ae9ab.html
Nearly 60 Animals Rescued from "Inhumane" Conditions Updated: Monday, October 6 2014, 07:41 AM EDT More Sharing Services 124 RUTHEFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Nearly 60 animals were rescued Friday afternoon after authorities received a tip of multiple dogs and cats living in "inhumane" conditions in Rutherford County. A search warrant was executed for property on Doc Wiseman Road owned by Laura Jackson Lancaster, 76. Lancaster surrendered all animals on her property, according to Leon Godlock, Rutherford County Animal Control Director. Lancaster was arrested for animal abuse in 2002. A district judge ordered her to never breed or sell animals again after sheriff's deputies removed about 100 animals from her home. Godlock says charges are pending against Lancaster until a medical report is completed by a veterinarian, so authorities understand the full extent of the animals' medical condition. Rutherford County Animal Control received a tip earlier in the week in reference to an animal owner with a large number of dogs and several cats, which were badly matted, not being provided medical care, and living in inhumane conditions. Animal Control officers went to the residence and discovered over 50 dogs and 6 cats on the property. Many of the small breed dogs and puppies were living in deplorable conditions and suffering from a multitude of untreated medical conditions, such as matted fur, skin, eye and ear infections and were living in feces and filth. Volunteers and veterinarians began the task of processing the dogs and cats to be relocated to rescue facilities for medical treatment and examinations. Anyone interested in adopting any of the rescued animals which were Yorkies, Shitzu, Daschund, Maltese and Persian cats, are advised to contact the Humane Society of Charlotte, Brother Wolf in Asheville, Cashiers Highlands Human Society and Iredell County Animal Shelter. The HSUS has established a reward program to offer up to $5,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for animal cruelty. Persons wishing to report a valid tip are encouraged to call 1-877-MILL-TIP or submit a tip form. These persons will remain anonymous. The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Division, with the assistance of the Humane Society of the United States, Human Society of Charlotte, Brother Wolf, Cashiers Highlands Human Society and Iredell County Animal Shelter helped with the rescue.  Source: http://www.wlos.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/nearly-60-animals-rescued-inhumane-conditions-17991.shtml#.VDsPFul0y1s
California duck farm investigated for animal cruelty The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department raided a Petaluma duck farm to investigate complaints of animal abuse and neglect. By Dan Noyes Thursday, October 23, 2014 03:34PM PETALUMA, CA -- The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department raided a Petaluma duck farm Friday morning to investigate complaints of animal abuse and neglect. The case began after an activist got a job there this summer and brought a hidden camera. She turned over the video to the authorities and to the I-Team. If you've ordered duck at a local restaurant or seen them hanging in a Chinatown storefront, there's a good chance they came from this farm since it is the biggest in the state. WARNING: The images in this story may be disturbing for some viewers. Sonoma County Sheriff's investigators served a search warrant at Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma. They toured the buildings with a crime scene photographer, animal control officers, and veterinarians to answer several questions. "Are they being harmed and not being taken care of, euthanized unlawfully, stuff like that," Lt. Steve Brown said. The farm has 200,000 to 300,000 ducks at any given time. The complaints of abuse and neglect come from this undercover activist who worked there for five weeks this summer, power-washing the barns. "The things I saw were absolutely horrifying, they still haunt me to this day," a Mercy for Animals investigator said. She tells me the rough treatment starts from the moment the ducklings hatch. Workers toss them by the handfuls and sear off part of their bills. Otherwise, the ducks would cannibalize each other because of the overcrowding. "And it actually melts the tip of their bills, and they just start squirming around, thrashing, kicking their feet trying desperately to get away from the pain," a Mercy for Animals investigator said. As they grow, the ducks have difficulty walking on the uneven, wire mesh flooring. They're meant to spend most of their lives on water. The activist estimates she found thousands of injured ducks a day, with malformed feet, others with legs, wings or beaks stuck in the wire mesh, left to starve and slowly die. Some got below the mesh, trapped on the manure pile, without food or water. She says she pointed out the injured and trapped ducks to the farm managers. "'Oh, it's OK. Don't worry about it.' They told me that repeatedly," Mercy for Animals investigator said. When workers did take action, they grabbed injured ducks by their necks and spun them, which is not the industry-standard form of a more humane euthanasia. The ducks never have access to water to swim or bathe themselves; they can only drink from a small tube. The first time they dip their heads in water is while they're hung upside down during an electrified bath that paralyzes them before workers slit their throats. The I-Team spoke with Matt Rice, director of investigations at Mercy for Animals, at their West Hollywood office. He said, "And often times these animals are dumped into scalding hot de-feathering tanks when they're still alive and conscious and able to feel pain, if these types of ways of killing animals were done to cow or pigs or other animals it would be a violation of federal law." Rice explains that ducks and chickens are not covered by the Federal Humane Slaughter Act. However, the complaint filed by Mercy for Animals argues that state animal cruelty laws should apply. It contains letters from four veterinarians who, based on the video, characterize the conditions at Reichardt Farms as "clearly inhumane", "severe neglect" and "despicable cruelty". "Even in a factory farm, it is a clear violation of California law to deny animals access to food and water and proper veterinary care and that's what's done to tens of thousands of animals at this facility, and they should be held criminally accountable for it," Rice said. One veterinarian from Mercy for Animals who was allowed to participate in the raid says it was too short, that they didn't see all the buildings. She also wanted to take four injured ducks who could be helped and re-homed, but she tells me owner John Reichardt refused, ordering his workers to kill the ducks. Reichardt declined to speak with the I-Team and the state's major poultry trade group did not return our phone calls. The case is now headed to the District Attorney's Office.  Source: http://abc13.com/news/california-duck-farm-investigated-for-animal-cruelty/363182/
Official: Idaho’s Animal Cruelty Laws Fall Short Official: Idaho’s Animal Cruelty Laws Fall Short Saved Save Article 2014-11-08T02:00:00Z 2014-11-09T08:02:05Z Official: Idaho’s Animal Cruelty Laws Fall ShortLAURIE WELCH lwelch@magicvalley.com Twin Falls Times-News November 08, 2014 2:00 am  •  LAURIE WELCH lwelch@magicvalley.com (6) Comments Related Galleries Gallery: Animal Cruelty Training for Law Enforcement Related Documents Idaho Laws 1 Idaho Laws 2 Idaho Laws 3 Idaho Laws 4 RUPERT • The images of animal cruelty are shocking. Emaciated dogs with bones jutting from their flesh lay suffering from unattended wounds. Images of dozens of cats hoarded in homes not fit for habitation and of big-eyed pit bull dogs that have been so mangled in dog fights they are on the verge of death. If the dogs win a fight and survive, they are returned to a life on a heavy chain, but if they lose and bruise their owner’s ego, often their fate is much worse. Sometimes they are drowned, electrocuted or, as one image depicted, doused in an accelerant and set on fire. Animal cruelty is a reality in the Magic Valley. Some cases are reported, but because police officers and county prosecutors receive little training on animal cruelty laws, like how to collect evidence at a scene or present a convictable case, many perpetrators never see a courtroom. On Thursday, law enforcement officers from across southern Idaho, along with county prosecutors, animal control officers and rescue workers, gathered at the Wilson Theatre in Rupert for animal cruelty training, presented by Eric Sakach, senior law enforcement specialist with The Humane Society of the United States. Sakach said many cops and prosecutors shy away from these types of cases because of a lack of training on the subject or they may have botched a previous case. Lisa Kauffman, Idaho state director for The Humane Society of the United States said Idaho has a poor track record of protecting animals through its laws. In fact, it rates 49th out of the 50 states. “When I moved here, I was appalled at Idaho’s animal rights,” said Jeana Allred, director of Paws4Hope, rescue group that works in Mini-Cassia. Sakach said federal animal cruelty laws are in place in the state and some of Idaho’s laws do work well. In 2012, the Idaho Legislature approved a law that allows a felony conviction for third time animal cruelty offenders. The passage of the law took Idaho off a short list of states that did not have that provision. Other laws need to be rewritten, including the cock and dog fighting laws, so they include prosecution for the presence of children at those events, Sakach said. Courts should also have the right to say that people who abuse animals cannot keep them. Another recent Idaho law that set back the protection of animals was the “Ag Gag” law passed in February that prevents unauthorized filming at an agricultural operation without permission, Kauffman said. “We really fought against that one.” The officers that attended the free workshop received Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training credits. “Animal cruelty is going on everywhere in the state and, in the past, law enforcement didn’t act on it unless they were sure they had a rock-solid case,” said Kauffman. Sakach said police that investigate animal abuse cases often find the cases also involve other types of crime like illegal gambling, money laundering, human and drug trafficking and prostitution. Kauffman said there are reports across southern Idaho of pit bull and cock fighting, including in the rural areas. The blood sports are held for gambling and for entertainment. In cockfighting, the gamecock’s legs are fitted with razor-sharp blades that resemble three-inch long curved ice picks. They are designed to puncture and mutilate. The birds cannot escape a fight that may last up to a half hour, regardless of how exhausted or injured they become. The dog fights are equally brutal and have been known to last more than five hours. Sakach said, nationwide, about half of the dogs in animal shelters are pit bulls or a pit-bull cross. Allred said about one-fourth to one-third of the dogs that come into the Burley pound are pit bulls and some of them look like they have been used as fighting dogs. Dog fights fall into three categories, professional, hobbyists and street level. The professional level involves a breeding club with indirect ties to dog fighting, periodical magazines that print the recent fight statistics and even plastic play sets for children with fighting pits and competitors. The fights that occur at the street level are often hard to investigate because the informal fights disperse at the hint of police scrutiny. Kauffman said the public needs to know they can call law enforcement if they suspect any type of animal cruelty and that police will respond and take the case seriously. “The laws that have passed are a reflection of the community and people want them upheld,” she said. Kauffman said the Legislature seems to be shy about passing stronger animal cruelty laws because they fear they may bleed over to the livestock industry. “There are a lot of checks and balances in place and that’s not going to happen,” she said.  Source: http://magicvalley.com/news/local/mini-cassia/official-idaho-s-animal-cruelty-laws-fall-short/article_8b8b93bf-f454-55a6-9ac3-37496e54241e.html
Dead animals, others barely alive, found at Getzville boarding kennel Deceased animals stashed away in bags in freezers A dog is brought out by officers at the Dodge Boarding Kennels in Getzville, where 77 living animals were rescued and dozens of other deceased animals were found in freezers on Friday. John Hickey/Buffalo News By Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich | News Staff Reporter , T.J. Pignataro | News Staff Reporter | @TJPignataro | Google+ on November 7, 2014 - 9:47 PM , updated November 7, 2014 at 11:39 PM ADVERTISEMENT Almost 150 animals – about half of them deceased and stashed away in freezers as long as three years ago – were seized from a Getzville boarding kennel Friday morning by law enforcement officials. The sight at Dodge Boarding Kennels on Dodge Road was as horrifying as it was bizarre. Dogs locked away in crates were living in around-the-clock darkness. Doves with no feathers on their necks were packed into a tiny cage. The teeth of a chinchilla had grown so long the animal starved to the brink of death. And, there were 72 dead animals. They had been bagged, tagged and stored in a kennel freezer. “This is textbook hoarder behavior,” said Gina Browning, spokeswoman for the SPCA Serving Erie County. “In some cases, the dead animals were better cared for than the live animals. “The people in this establishment were working to care for these carcasses.” Browning said charges are expected in the case but are pending a thorough investigation by both SPCA officials and the state Department of Environmental Conservation Police. Officials declined to release the names of the operators until charges are filed. Browning said officials were still trying to sort out the business owners, property owner and owners of the animals. Public records show the property is owned by Maria L. Faricellie. It remained unclear late Friday what, if any, role Faricellie had in the operation of the kennel, however. Neither Faricellie nor anyone at the kennel responded to repeated telephone calls Friday. The kennel’s website advertises that it offers a place “where your pet becomes a part of our family” and accommodates “traditional and non-traditional pets” for day care and overnight boarding, walks, bathing and grooming, around-the-clock supervision and other services. As horrific as the scene was, Browning said it is unlikely felony charges will be filed in the case. “This isn’t like setting a dog on fire,” Browning said. “I know it’s perverse. For them, this is a form of love. This is a person who believes they are caring for and providing for these animals. “Are you going for a case like where someone put an arrow through a cat? No, it’s different.” But, Browning said, by state law, it is still defined as animal cruelty. In total, rescuers took away 77 live animals. The DEC took a half-dozen of them. Those were different turtles, tortoises and frogs that were illegally possessed under state law. The other animals – which included dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, at least one chicken and the chinchilla – went to the SPCA’s Town of Tonawanda facility. Officials later decided to retrieve the freezers kept at the kennel with the dead animals, which also included a dead raccoon. Those animals were taken to the SPCA. SPCA investigators needed a search warrant from Amherst Town Court to get onto the site Friday and conducted the raid with DEC officials and assistance from Amherst Police. “We were out there twice last week and were denied entry to the premises,” Browning said. The rescue was based in part on information received from anonymous sources, Browning said, possibly former customers. Online reviews of the kennel varied. Some, including testimonials on the kennel’s website, praised the facility. “The girls that work there go out of their way for all the animals and you can tell that they love each and every one of the animals as if they were the only ones there,” wrote Donna of Ransomville last December on the website Yelp. However, Macie of Massachusetts, who said she dropped off her beagles only to pick them up a short time later, cautioned: “When you go to the facility, you can immediately see signs that the place is dirty and not well kept. The outside is bad, the inside is worse. As soon as you walk through the doors, you are hit over the head with the stench of dirty animals.” Browning said the animals seized Friday appeared to be suffering from myriad ailments due to maltreatment, neglect or squalor at the kennel. Cats were sick with upper respiratory infections. The nails on the chicken grew so long, they began to “corkscrew,” Browning said. The doves were packed so tightly in a cage, they began pecking each other’s necks until the feathers fell off. The chinchilla was fighting for its life late Friday at the SPCA, but officials weren’t optimistic it would survive. The animal was grossly dehydrated and malnourished and, although SPCA officials were administering fluids late Friday, may already have been into organ failure. Other animals were malnourished, had pressure sores or severe matting or were existing in unsanitary conditions, Browning said. “They were suffering in means consistent with their species,” she said. Most of the animals seemed to be owned by the operators of the kennel, according to SPCA officials. In at least one case, however, Browning said the SPCA was contacted Friday by a dog owner who dropped a pet off there Thursday and was seeking to recover it. The animal was in the SPCA’s custody. Officials could not say exactly how long the abuse was occurring, but one clue suggested it may have been at least three years. A tag on one of the frozen carcasses dated from early 2011. Browning said the bagged and tagged animals were found in three separate freezers. “Mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs and a raccoon were in the freezers,” Browning said. “We also found a turtle shell and skull.” Hoarders often have a need for control over the animal in life and in death, she said. “When an animal is dead, they are carefully bagged and tagged,” Browning said of the Getzville situation. “The variety of the deceased animals is surprising. That’s unusual. I’ve seen dogs and cats and some rabbits, but there’s quite a variety here.” Initial attempts to survey kennel conditions by SPCA Officers Jessica Coughlin and Christina Vitello were rebuffed Oct. 27 and 28, Browning confirmed. At that time, Coughlin and Vitello reported an overwhelming odor of urine and a littered yard and hearing dogs and cats from inside the kennel. “On Tuesday, they invited us back, and it was clear they were making an attempt clean the premises, but things were too far along,” Browning said. “The floor was still soaked from just being washed, and the water bowls contained feces to the extent it had the consistency of mud.” email: tpignataro@buffnews.com and jkwiatkowski@buffnews.com  Source: http://www.buffalonews.com/feed/dead-animals-others-barely-alive-found-at-getzville-boarding-kennel-20141107
Animal abuse a multi-faceted problem, says Sullivan official Gerow:  "... along with animal neglect there is also child neglect" MONTICELLO – A correlation between animal abuse, especially in early years, and violence against people later on, is well established.  Town of Liberty Animal Control Officer Joanne Gerow, who performs similar work under contract for Sullivan County, made the point, graphically, at the County Legislature’s Public Safety Committee Thursday.  She distributed a 16-page flyer with images, some too graphic to show here, of some of the more serious animal abuse cases in recent year, and injuries violent animals kept as pets have caused to people. Gerow noted the broader impact.  “Many times when I respond to an animal cruelty case, I have to call out child protective services because along with the animal neglect, there is also child neglect.” Gerow said in Sullivan, there are organizational problems that make it difficult to deal with abused or unwanted animals. “Currently in Sullivan, we have communication, cooperation, organization between the municipalities, the county officials and law enforcement.  The lack of communication results in poor services, duplication, waste, inefficiency and threats to public safety.” Recent cases in Sullivan include cats hoarded in a filthy house, and a 24-pound pit bull that should weigh over 60 pounds. The dog had to be euthanized. She cited an experience with a small county in Mississippi, several years ago.  The county lacked resources, but had a modest but efficient central facility and unified codes at the county and municipal level. “There is no question, based on current town budgets, that a new facility built to function efficiently while providing modern and humane housing for our animals, and improved municipal dog control services, would be sustainable." Gerow said she is in the process of developing grant proposals to seek funding. She also said she has presented the idea to several municipalities, and was “well received.”  Source: http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2014/November/17/SC_animal_abuse-17Nov14.html
Animal Rights Group Claims Abuse By Koch Foods, Chick-Fil-A « CBS Chicago Animal Rights Group Claims Abuse By Koch Foods, Chick-Fil-A November 19, 2014 1:36 PM Share on email 2 View Comments Related Tags: animal cruelty, animal rights, Chick-Fil-A, Jim Williams, Koch Foods, Mercy for Animals, Mike Krauser, VIDEO Mike Krauser Mike Krauser has been a reporter, anchor, producer, writer, managing... Read More Featured & Trending: Latest News Headlines: Nine Candidates File To Challenge Mayor Emanuel Off-Duty CPD Officer Suspected Of Being Drunk, Firing At Suburban Cop Near Police Station FAA Report Outlines Changes Needed To Prevent Disruptions Like Aurora Facility Fire CHICAGO (CBS) – Backed by undercover video recorded at chicken processing facilities owned by Chicago-based Koch Foods, an animal rights group was calling out the company and Chick-Fil-A to adopt more humane practices. WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Mercy for Animals screened the videos for reporters in Chicago on Thursday, claiming live chickens were slammed into crates, dumped in scalding hot water to remove their feathers, and killed by having their chests and throats cut open. “This is sickening animal abuse that no company with morals should support,” said Nick Cooney, director of education at Mercy for Animals. The videos were recorded at a Koch Foods slaughterhouse in Tennessee and a Koch Foods farm Mississippi. “Chickens are literally tortured to death,” Cooney said. WBBM 780’s Mike Krauser WBBM 780/105.9FM playpause He noted chickens are excluded from the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. “If Koch Foods executives tortured even one dog or cat the way its suppliers do millions of chickens, they would be thrown in jail,” Cooney said. Koch Foods has not returned calls for comment. Chick-Fil-A said it wholly supports the humane treatment of animals, and when the videos were filmed earlier this year, Koch Foods was no longer a supplier for its restaurants. “As a values-based organization, we strictly partner with suppliers who share in our goal of responsible environmental stewardship, and maintain our values throughout all animal welfare and management practices. We wholly support the humane treatment of all animals and do not condone their mistreatment at any point along the supply chain,” Chick-Fil-A officials said in an email. According to Chick-Fil-A, Koch has not been a supplier since April 2013. Cooney disputed that, and said he can prove otherwise. “We have audio recordings, and video recordings documenting that these facilities did supply – and we believe do supply – Chick-Fil-A,” he said. “We think it’s unfortunate that Chick-Fil-A is trying to distance itself from the abuse.” Mercy for Animals has a vegan agenda, but Cooney said they are trying to get companies that supply meat products to be more humane to the animals they use for food products.  Source: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/11/19/animal-rights-group-claims-abuse-by-koch-foods-chick-fil-a/
More “Ag-Gag” Bills Could Be Decided Before Courts Rule on Challenge By Dan Flynn | November 21, 2014 It’s unlikely that the constitutionality of the new “ag-gag” laws of Idaho and Utah will be known until after those states hold legislative sessions in 2015, and maybe even until after another round of lawmaking in 2016. The controversial “ag-gag” statutes, which prevent undercover investigations at animal agriculture facilities, were adopted in Utah in 2013 and in Idaho this year. San Francisco-based Animal Legal Defense Fund along with other activist groups and some individuals challenged both in federal courts this year. In each case, federal judges have dismissed some plaintiffs and defendants from the litigation, and in one the judge dismissed one of the claims against the state. B. Lynn Winmill, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for Idaho, tossed a challenge to a section of Idaho law that makes causing the intentional damage or injury to livestock or property a crime. Winmill also released Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter from the Animal Legal Fund’s lawsuit, leaving Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to defend the law. In Utah, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby dropped several plaintiffs from further involvement. Shelby sent web/print publication Counterpunch, journalists Will Potter and Jesse Fruhwith and history professor James McWilliams all packing. The only individual plaintiffs remaining are Amy Meyer, who was originally arrested under the law, and Daniel Hauff, an experienced undercover animal abuse investigator. The judge also dismissed federal preemption as a potential cause of action in the Utah lawsuit. This means the animal defense attorneys cannot argue that the Utah “ag-gag” is unconstitutional on grounds it might interfere with something like a whistleblower’s investigation into a federally regulated establishment. Still, foundations for both lawsuits remain largely intact, and likely to go to federal jury trials. Both lawsuits advance claims based on basic rights under the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. “In short, the Utah law infringes the rights of Plaintiffs and give the animal agriculture industry a virtual monopoly on the most relevant and probative speech on a top that is of vital important to the public,” the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s original complaint filed in Salt Lake City says, “thereby allowing the industry to provide a misleading account of activities in animal operations and hide violations of animal cruelty, labor, environment, and food safety laws.” Court documents indicate that lawyers for both sides do not see much chance they will reach a settlement. Trial dates have not been set, but neither is likely to find their way on to a court calendar very soon. In Idaho, which was filed about four months ahead of the Utah case, the deadline for dispositive motions is March 9, 2015. Such motions are those seeking a trial court order to settle all claims in favor of the moving party without the need for any further court proceedings. A motion for a summary judgment is one such dispositive motion. All the plaintiffs in the Idaho case, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho (ACLU) and Center for Food Safety (CFS) recently filed a motion for summary judgment. In the motion they argue that they are entitled to judgment in their favor because the statute—Idaho Code sec. 18-7042—violates their right to free speech and other rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. They say as a matter of law, this statute cannot withstand legal scrutiny. The Idaho “ag gag” statute makes it a crime to conduct an undercover investigation at an Idaho agricultural facility, making it possible for anyone convicted of videotaping animal cruelty or other violations to go to face prosecution. In his 31-page decision, Judge Winmill said the issues he was allowing to go to trial were “ripe for review.” In Utah, the deadline for dispositive motions is Nov. 16, 2015. If the dispute continues, court documents indicate a trial date will likely be set for the third quarter of 2016. Agriculture protection has been a hot legislative topic since 2010, with four states: Iowa, Missouri, Utah and Idaho adopting statutes that critics have labeled “ag-gag” laws. The current court schedules mean there will be at least one and maybe two more rounds of legislative sessions in most states before any federal court decision on the practice becomes available. © Food Safety News  Source: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/11/more-ag-gag-bills-could-get-decided-before-courts-rule-on-challenge/#.VHQEoul0y1s
Animal welfare: Let's pass bill with specific wording Animal welfare: Let's pass bill with specific wording Saved Save Article My Saved Items Print Email 2014-11-30T07:15:00Z Animal welfare: Let's pass bill with specific wording missoulian.com November 30, 2014 7:15 am (7) Comments Addressing the letter regarding pet care and weather. After spending several hours on the phone with different animal advocate agencies, including Animal Control, I was told that the law would need to be changed to give Animal Control officers more authority to do their job. The law is very vague stating the animal only needs “minimal shelter.” What is considered minimal? I would think that minimal would mean protection from the cold-providing some source of warmth. The law, and I question who is interpreting the law, states that a dog house is considered minimal. Changing the law means citizens need to find a legislator sympathetic to the cause who would be willing to take the bill to Congress to revise the wording to be more specific. Everyone knows how Congress loves to pass and revise bills. If the owner were cited, then the county attorney decides if it is to be prosecuted and chances are it won’t be. If it makes it past the county attorney, there’s always the chance the judge will throw it out. So who is failing the animals? Does this mean the owner shouldn't be cited and we shouldn't try? Animal Control advocates for all the animals and have confiscated and helped many recover from abuse and neglect. We are grateful to them for these lucky animals. Personally, we do not agree that minimal shelter does not include the protection from heat and cold, and feel it could and should be acted on. All that being said, anyone interested in getting a bill sent to Congress? Roann Schott, Paddy Horne, Clinton   Source: http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/mailbag/animal-welfare-let-s-pass-bill-with-specific-wording/article_4c324af0-655c-55ef-a23f-521a64d1bded.html
Salt Lake City bans horse-drawn carriages By CHRISTOPHER SMART | The Salt Lake Tribune First Published Nov 29 2014 12:00PM    •    Last Updated Dec 01 2014 11:44 am (Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) People hold signs during a vigil for Jerry the horse put on by Utah Animal Rights Coalition outside of the Salt Lake City and County Building Tuesday August 27, 2013. (Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) People hold signs during a vigil for Jerry the horse put on by Utah Animal Rights Coalition outside of the Salt Lake City and County Building Tuesday August 27, 2013. ARTICLE PHOTO GALLERY (2) Share This Article There will be no clip-clopping of horse hooves around downtown Salt Lake City’s Temple Square and its festive lights this holiday season. The City Council has banned horse-drawn carriages. There will be no direct effect on a horse business. Carriage for Hire, the only such operation in Utah’s capital, shuttered its stables earlier this year in the wake of the August 2013 death of a carriage horse named Jerry. The horse’s collapse was captured on video and went viral. The council’s unanimous vote Tuesday came about 15 months after the public uproar over Jerry’s demise. He went down on the pavement near the intersection of South Temple and State Street as afternoon temperatures soared.  Several days later, Carriage for Hire released a photo of a different horse and said Jerry had recovered. The charade was quickly unmasked by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). PETA, the Utah Animal Rights Coalition and dozens of unaffiliated residents called for a ban on horse-drawn carriages downtown at an August 2013 rally outside City Hall. The Humane Society of Utah also called for an end to the tradition. Owners Blaine and Annette Overson eventually said that Jerry had died of colic, but by then the horse had been destroyed and there could be no evaluation by Salt Lake County Animal Services. The company owned 17 horses and operated in Salt Lake City for about three decades. Council members had wrestled with horse-drawn carriage regulations after Jerry’s death. They reviewed ordinances from 19 other cities that permit the practice. The controversy over Jerry’s death never did completely subside. In the end, the ban was made easier for the council, said its chairman, Charlie Luke, because the new law does not impact any existing business. Horse-drawn carriages will continue to be allowed during special events, such as the Days of ’47 Parade. csmart@sltrib.com   Source: http://www.sltrib.com/home/1886489-155/salt-lake-city-bans-horse-drawn-carriages
Complaint filed against UL Lafayette animal facility Updated: Dec 02, 2014 12:05 PM PST  By: Brheanna Berry The group Stop Animal Exploitation Now!  says the UL Lafayette incidents are part of a pattern of negligence and abuse in U.S. research facilities. The group filed an official complaint with the USDA. They are calling for a major penalty to be brought down on the university. “There was a very significant electrical problem with this enclosure. The current was so strong that the monkey was killed and the situation was not alleviated before staff went in to retrieve the animals body and they were electrically shocked as well."" Said SAEN Co-founder and Executive Director Michael Budkie The second incident occurred in November 2013. A lab technician was attempting to capture a 2-year old female pigtail macaque for a routine check-up. During the attempt the tech grabbed the animals hind leg which resulted in a fracture. Due to the age and severity of the injury vet staff had to amputate the young monkeys limb. “Obviously we want to see the USDA take an appropriate enforcement action, because when a facility breaks the law they deserve to be punished." Said Budkie This isn't the first time the university has been charged with similar acts. On two separate occasion dating back to 2010 UL-Lafayette paid a fine for violating the Animal Welfare Act. Budkie says the public should be concerned for the fact that animals are being abused and that our tax dollars and are paying for it. “We want the general public to know all is not well with animal laboratories within the United States. When laboratories are incapable of even following the minimum regulations of the animal welfare act the concept that they could be providing any kind of information which would be useful for science is simply ludacris." Said Budkie UL- Lafayette did release a written statement earlier today on their home page. It reads “Federal officials will take no action in response to the accidents” The university says both incidents were self-reported in an appropriate time and the issues were addressed and corrected. They reassured readers that they re-trained after each incident and that new standard operating procedures were created.   Source: http://www.klfy.com/story/27520421/ul-lafayette-facility-accused-of-animal-abuse
Feds file 110-count complaint against Catawba animal park By Joe Marusak jmarusak@charlotteobserver.com By Joe Marusak The Charlotte Observer Posted: Friday, Dec. 05, 2014 Modified: Friday, Dec. 05, 2014 In a 110-count complaint, federal investigators say Buffalo Beals Animal Park in Maiden has “willfully violated” the Animal Welfare Act since at least 2009 by failing to clean animal living quarters, to provide adequate veterinary care and to keep the public away from water buffalo, elk, giraffes and monkeys. In May, a rhesus macaque monkey escaped its enclosure and bit a 3-year-old child, according to the complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The park had no attending veterinarian, nor a written program for veterinary care of its animals, federal inspectors said they found that month. Since 2009, inspectors have discovered numerous untreated conditions on animals, including a llama with a swollen mass on the side of its face, according to the complaint. Federal investigators also made these allegations in the complaint: •  A goat with visible skin problems, a thin goat and multiple goats with overgrown hooves were discovered during a 2010 federal inspection, along with four babydoll sheep that needed shearing and a dwarf rabbit with multiple scabs in both ears. •  In 2013, a goat was found dead. It had swelling in its jaw area but hadn’t been seen by a veterinarian. •  In 2010, inspectors found that the public was permitted direct contact with 100 animals without an adequate number of attendants or employees present. •  Park workers failed to clean numerous animal enclosures over the years, allowing excessive amounts of feces to build up and a strong smell of ammonia to linger, the complaint says. Terry and Kim Beal, owners of the 40-acre park on Water Plant Road, didn’t reply to requests for comment from the Observer on Friday. The complaint says the park has continued to fail to develop, document and follow an appropriate plan for “environmental enhancement to promote the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates.” Without proper conditions, a rhesus macaque in 2009 “had begun to self-mutilate,” the complaint says. Housing facilities for macaques, lemurs, monkeys and baboons weren’t cleaned or sanitized, and shelter from the weather was inadequate, inspectors said. The park also failed to sanitize rabbit enclosures, and the sides of the enclosures had a thick buildup of crystallized urine, according to the complaint. Inspectors said they found rotting food stored with food intended to be fed to the animals. They also found dirty refrigerators, rodent feces and flies in the food preparation area. The federal government will await the Beals’ answer to its complaint before it takes any action against the park. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals first complained to the federal government about the park in 2010. “With these charges, Buffalo Beals’ days of flagrantly violating the laws designed to protect animals are numbered,” PETA Foundation lawyer Delcianna Winders said in a statement. Copyright 2014 The Charlotte Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Marusak: 704-358-5067; Twitter: @jmarusak Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/05/5364765/feds-file-110-count-complaint.html#.VI4-celui1s#storylink=cpy 
NC bans gas chambers at animal shelters By Colin Campbell ccampbell@newsobserver.com By Colin Campbell The News and Observer Posted: Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 Modified: Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 RALEIGH A state directive issued this month will largely end the use of gas chambers to euthanize animals at shelters throughout North Carolina. Animal welfare organizations say the practice is inhumane. A memo from the N.C. Department of Agriculture’s veterinary division gives shelters until Feb. 15 to switch to lethal injections. Gas chambers, which kill animals in a box that fills with carbon monoxide, will only be permitted for “unusual and rare circumstances, such as natural disasters and large-scale disease outbreaks.” The Humane Society of the United States hailed the change as part of a positive trend in the state’s shelters. “It’s going to lift that stigma that was associated with North Carolina animal shelters,” said Kim Alboum, the group’s state director. “The pound is gone, and I think that’s something to celebrate.” Patricia Norris, the Agriculture Department’s new animal welfare director, said only four of North Carolina’s 194 approved shelters still use gas chambers. The state is one of only five using gas, but many shelters have voluntarily made the switch in recent years. ‘Whack the chamber’ Wake County removed its gas chamber in 2008. Earlier this year, Johnston County turned its gassing equipment into a work of art, designed to look like the tree of life. Cleveland County ended the practice this year too, and held a fundraiser that allowed donors to “whack the chamber” with a sledgehammer. Wilkes County is among the shelters that will have to close gas chambers by February. Junior Simmons, the shelter director, said 75 percent of euthanized animals receive lethal injection, with gas reserved for “wilder or feral animals.” “It’s going to be a little more lengthy, but it can be managed,” Simmons said of the shift toward lethal injection. “We just feel like it was more humane if you had more methods available.” Granville County is also on the list of remaining gas chambers, but shelter director Matt Katz said it hasn’t been used in months because injections are “far easier to use … they just go to sleep.” The change has proved costly for some shelters. In Johnston, annual expenses grew from $460,000 with the gas chamber to $700,000 with lethal injection. “It takes a lot more time, and a lot more paperwork,” Simmons said. Advocates shifting focus Alboum says the method makes a big difference for animals as they die. “To put an animal inside a gas chamber, their final moments are alone in a dark box,” she said. “Sometimes they don’t die right away. If we have to euthanize animals, at least the animal is touched, at least the animal has some dignity and some human contact.” The Animal Legal Defense Fund issued a news release this week saying its recent petition against gas chambers helped lead to the change. But Norris stressed that her directive was based on guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association, which changed in 2013 to say that gas chambers aren’t recommended for “routine euthanasia.” AVMA was the last of three national groups to change its guidelines, and North Carolina policy simply implements recommendations from those groups, Norris said. “When I came on, it was just a matter of here’s how we’re going to clarify the policy,” she said. With gas chambers soon to be history, Alboum said animal welfare groups can now focus more on spay and neuter efforts and supply drives for shelters. Already, North Carolina is seeing decreases in the number of unwanted pets sent to shelters and fewer animals euthanized each year. “We want to stop euthanizing adoptable animals,” she said. Copyright 2014 The News and Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Campbell: 919-829-4698; Twitter: @RaleighReporter Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/11/5378836/nc-bans-gas-chambers-at-animal.html#storylink=cpy 
Campaign to Ban the Sale of Puppy Mill Dogs A State Representative is drafting a bill that will ban the sale of puppy mill dogs and protect innocent animals against cruelty and abuse. By Paige McAtee (Patch Staff)December 12, 2014 at 3:40pm Animal advocates in Massachusetts are campaigning to ban the sale of dogs that come from puppy mills. These advocates have set up a petition to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in Massachusetts. The petition is only a few hundred signatures away from reaching its goal of 10,000 signatures. Puppy mills are large-scale, commercial dog breeding operations where making money is more important than the health and treatment of the dogs, according to ASPCA. These dogs do not get to go on walks, play at the dog park, chew on toys or sleep in a warm bed. Some of them may not even get the chance to see the outdoors. Puppy mill dogs live in overcrowded, and unsanitary conditions without proper veterinary care, food, water or socialization. The dogs used for breeding are bred as frequently as possible and are often killed once they can no longer reproduce. Animal abuse needs to be taken more seriously in the state of Massachusetts, according to State Representative Bruce Ayers of Quincy. “The fact of the matter is the current laws in Massachusetts aren’t strong enough to protect our animals,” he said. “More needs to be done to protect cruelty and abuse against these innocent animals.” Banning puppy mills will ensure that the animal sold at Massachusetts pet stores are healthy and have not been abused. Sign the petition to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in Massachusetts here. Ayers, co-sponsor of the PAWS Act, is drafting a bill that will ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in MA stores. “This legislation would establish a registry of animal abusers that animal shelters and pet stores could use as a resource,” Ayers said. The bill would allow animal shelters and pet stores to use this animal registry to find out who the animal abusers are. For more information or to get involved in supporting the bill, contact Ayers at brucej.ayers@yahoo.com  Source: http://patch.com/massachusetts/stoneham/campaign-ban-sale-puppy-mill-dogs-0
Price Of Eggs Is Going Up: Animal Rights Activists Abolish Cramped Chicken Cages, Cause Egg Price Increase Dec 29, 2014 05:20 PM By Samantha Olson The price Californians pay to provide humane living spaces for hens just increased. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock Comment 232 25 email print more California is making more room for less chickens. Over the last six months, San Diego County has reduced its amount of egg-laying hens by half, in order to give each hen more living space. A simple supply and demand can predict the price of eggs will likely go up if there are less chickens to produce them. The price increase could appear in supermarkets as early as next week, so it’ll be as if consumers are paying more for their egg mother’s upgraded living quarters. Animal advocates believe in abolishing confined cramped cages and crates because, not only does it cause suffering to another living being, but it also increases the chance of Salmonella contamination. The unprecedented animal welfare law will take effect on New Year’s Day, which is why California farmers are rushing to fall into compliance. "Egg producers have had six years to come into compliance with Prop. 2, and instead of using that time to convert to cage-free systems, they've simply sued and sued and lost every suit they filed while sitting on their hands," Paul Shapiro, vice president for farm animal protection at the Humane Society of the United States, a leading proponent of California's new animal welfare regulations, told the Los Angeles Times. "The interstate commerce challenge is going to be a bigger problem unless we have national standards," Chad Gregory, president of the Georgia-based United Egg Producers, which represents over 90 percent of the nation's egg farmers, told the LA Times. Oregon, Washington, Michigan, and Ohio have all followed California’s lead and introduced similar fair-farming laws. Gregory hopes the federal government will step in and set uniform guidelines for improving farm animals’ lives before each state has to spend time grappling with their own new laws. By the time the average full plate of food makes it to an American’s dinnert able, it has traveled 1,500 miles, according to the Natural Society. Food has been transformed with preservatives and additives to survive the journey to your fork, and by the time it reaches your mouth it hardly looks like its original form. It’s easy for the consumer to forget his chicken nuggets were once a chicken or our omelette came from eggs, which is why advocates are necessary to remind us a living animal made the meal possible. “The sad reality is consumers don't really know where their food comes from. What they think farming should look like is not a realistic picture if you want to provide a good and affordable source of food to 315 million people,” Gregory said. Consumers are already increasingly buying cage-free or pasture-raised chickens even though they cost two to three times more than a regular carton from the bosoms of cage-confined chickens. Maybe the price increase won’t bother consumers if they remember what their extra couple of quarters are buying them.  Source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/price-eggs-going-animal-rights-activists-abolish-cramped-chicken-cages-cause-egg-315718
Top 10 Legislative Victories for Animals in 2014 Use your key for the next article Next: Therapy dog in kill shelter, MO city refuses to return him to crying owner December 31, 2014 7:20 AM MST Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Google Plus Comment The ASPCA recaps the top victories for animals in 2014. ASPCA Originally published at ASPCA.org Felony Cruelty in All 50 States Earlier this year, more than two centuries after Massachusetts became the first state to punish animal cruelty as a felony offense, South Dakota became the 50th state to enact felony penalties for cruelty to animals. While reaching the 50-state mark is an exciting milestone, there is still much work to be done to strengthen these laws so they give law enforcement the tools they need to protect all animals from cruelty. In response to the horrific “Puppy Doe” case, Massachusetts upgraded its anti-cruelty laws as well. Animals in Disasters Protected by Congress When a hurricane hits or a large-scale dog fighting bust occurs, animals need vital veterinary care without delay. Congress passed the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which protects animals during crises by enabling veterinarians to perform life-saving services in the field. The law enables rapid response by allowing veterinarians to carry life-saving and pain-reducing drugs without fear of reprisal. Of the 8,359 pieces of legislation introduced in the 113th Congress in the past two years, this was one of just 296 bills signed into law. U.S. Horse Slaughter Stopped in Its Tracks The 2014 and 2015 omnibus federal spending bills now include a provision that prohibits the use of tax dollars for horse slaughter, effectively preventing butchering of horses on U.S. soil for FY2015. This victory builds momentum for our ultimate goal of banning the slaughter of American horses entirely and enables us to move forward with plans to stop the flow of our horses to other countries for this grisly purpose. Puppy Mills Thwarted The majority of states—most recently Minnesota—now have laws on the books to protect dogs in puppy mills. But until this year, there were no laws to stop pet stores from doing business with law-breaking puppy mills, particularly those located in other states. In May, Connecticut passed a groundbreaking law that prohibits pet stores from selling animals from breeders with certain violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act on their records. Similar legislation is currently on the desk of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The New York City Council just took it a step further by also prohibiting pet stores from doing business with USDA Class B dealers, puppy brokers who are notorious for obtaining animals from disreputable, difficult-to-trace sources. In response to increasing online puppy sales, California established import requirements for puppies from other states. Federally, the United States Department of Agriculture issued its final regulation to ensure that the United States is not importing puppies for resale from puppy mills overseas. Animal Fighting Takedown The federal Farm Bill, signed into law in February, made it a federal crime to attend an animal fight and includes extra penalties for bringing children to an animal fight. And seven years after becoming the last state to make cockfighting a crime, Louisiana increased penalties and closed loopholes in its anti-cockfighting statute. Domestic Violence Threat Addressed Recognizing the link between violence toward humans and violence toward animals, lawmakers in Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia all passed laws allowing judges to include pets in orders of protection for victims of domestic violence. Twenty-eight states now have these laws. Breed Discrimination Is No More at State Level In order to reverse a 2012 court ruling that created a statewide policy of breed discrimination in Maryland, the Legislature passed a new dog-bite liability law that does not single out pit bull-type dogs. There are now no statewide breed-discriminatory laws, and 18 states—most recently South Dakota and Utah—actually prohibit localities from enacting breed-specific legislation. Greyhound Racing On Its Way Out This year, legislation banning this cruel enterprise passed in Colorado, and Iowa passed legislation that shut down one of its two remaining dog racing tracks. Arizona also enacted a law requiring reporting of Greyhound racing injuries. Greyhound racing is now illegal in 39 states, with tracks still operating in only seven states. Wildlife Gain Greater Protections Virginia lawmakers approved legislation that will phase out the cruel blood sport of fox penning; Michigan voters repealed two pro-wolf hunting measures at the ballot box; Illinois enacted protections for wolves, bears and cougars; and New York and New Jersey became the first states to ban the sale of ivory from rhinos and elephants. Dangerous “Ag-Gag” Bills Defeated Overwhelmingly Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming all attempted to shut the barn doors to any potential scrutiny of farming practices by introducing “ag-gag” legislation. These unpopular bills, designed to thwart animal cruelty investigations in agricultural settings, were stopped. (But Idaho did pass an ag-gag law in 2014 that is now under fire.) Congress and most state legislatures will reconvene in January, launching another year of opportunities to strengthen protections for animals. Please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade below to stay informed of pending animal-protection legislation in your area as we head into 2015.  Source: http://www.examiner.com/article/top-10-legislative-victories-for-animals-2014
Congressional Bid to Stop Taxpayer-Funded Animal Abuse, Safeguard Farm Animal Welfare Launched by Congressman Cohen and 42 Representatives Feb 12, 2015 Issues: Agriculture, Animal Rights [WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a Humane Society “Humane Champion,” is leading a delegation of 43 members of Congress in an effort to stop taxpayer-funded animal abuse and inhumane testing at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Nebraska. According to a recent New York Times exposé, MARC’s profit-motivated research programs have caused great suffering to its animals, which have been subjected to illness, pain, and premature death for decades. Congressman Cohen is also a cosponsor of Representative Earl Blumenauer’s AWARE Act, which would close the loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that exempts MARC from adhering to federal animal welfare standards. “The Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska has been operated at taxpayer expense for the purpose of increasing production and profits for the meat industry, benefits that have been questionable at best, even by many within the meat industry,” said Congressman Cohen.  “Taxpayer dollars have been used in ways most taxpayers would abhor.  Animals have needlessly suffered and died in ways that are unspeakable.  We cannot as a government, as a nation, stand idly by and allow this to continue.  Our humanity is diminished when we not only allow but actively sanction and financially support such abuse.”  The Animal Welfare Act of 1966 was aimed at preventing animal abuse, but exempted farm animals researched for the benefit of the agriculture industry. This loophole has allowed the MARC to continue and expand its research programs, which have virtually no oversight and incredibly lax welfare standards that have already led to the easily preventable starvation of more than 6,500 animals and unnecessary disease and injury to other animals. “People are becoming more aware and concerned each day about where their food comes from and that meat and other animal products be obtained in a humane manner.”  Congressman Cohen continued, “42 other members of Congress have joined me in asking Secretary Vilsack to immediately stop the research done at the MARC facility.  It is my hope that Secretary will take immediate action.” To address these and other problems, in a letter sent this week Congressman Cohen and 42 other Members of Congress have urged Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to halt research at MARC, review their procedures, and implement new animal welfare procedures that voluntarily comply with the Animal Welfare Act. Joining Congressman Cohen’s call to immediately halt MARC research until the implementation of new animal welfare protocols are: Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Madeleine Bordallo (Guam-AL), Michael Capuano (MA-07), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), David Cicilline (RI-01), Katherine Clark (MA-05), John Conyers (MI-13), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Ted Deutch (FL-21), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Jim Himes (CT-04), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Eddie Bernince Johnson (TX-30), Jim Langevin (RI-02), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Nita Lowey (NY-17), Stephen Lynch (MA-18), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Jim McNerney (CA-09), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Charlie Rangel (NY-13), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Mark Takano (CA-41), Dina Titus (NV-01), Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and John Yarmuth (KY-03). The text of Congressman Cohen’s letter follows, while a pdf copy is available here: Dear Secretary Vilsack, As you are aware, on January 19, 2015, the New York Times published the article, “U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit.” The article highlights the experimentation done on farm animals at taxpayer expense at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. Cows, sheep and pigs have undergone torturous experimentation and have suffered painful, often fatal, neglect including starvation. The research in question has been done to maximize profits for agribusiness but at a terrible cost and with no real benefit. The experimentation has been for naught and the animals have suffered and died needlessly. The taxpayers have paid nearly $200 million between 2006 and 2015 for research at the MARC facility, research done for the benefit of private entities but which has not even produced meaningful and useful results. While we appreciate that you have directed USDA staff to create and deliver an updated Animal Welfare Strategy plan within 60 days, we urge you not to wait to stop the research at MARC. The American public is increasingly aware of where its food comes from and is concerned about animal treatment, especially in the production of food.  The call for more humanely produced food becomes louder each day. We are writing to urge the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to immediately stop animal testing at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Nebraska until a full review is completed and new animal welfare protocols are implemented. Further, we are asking the USDA to voluntarily comply with Animal Welfare Act standards as has been done by many other U.S. Government departments and agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Health and Human Services, which includes the Centers for Disease Control and The National Institutes of Health. We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response. Sincerely,   Source: https://cohen.house.gov/press-release/congressional-bid-stop-taxpayer-funded-animal-abuse-safeguard-farm-animal-welfare
Herring Conference on Connecting Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse By: News Staff Posted: Tue 4:36 PM, May 12, 2015 By: News Staff Home / Headlines List / Article RICHMOND, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is holding a training conference Thursday on the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence. He is partnering with the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance for the conference called Making the Connection: Pet Abuse and Domestic Violence. The conference is designed to give animal control specialists, law enforcement and advocates training on how to detect both domestic violence and pet abuse when responding to calls.  "We know that abuse of pets and animals can be a signifier of abuse against spouses, parents, siblings and other family members," said Herring. "If we can help more Virginia law enforcement and animal control specialists recognize the connection between animal abuse and acts of domestic violence, they can intervene in a dangerous situation before it escalates." According to a survey by the Animal Welfare Institute, 85 percent of domestic violence shelters indicate that survivors in their facilities also witnessed incidents of animal abuse in the home. The institute adds up to 71 percent of survivors have pets that have also been abused.  Source: http://www.newsplex.com/home/headlines/Herring-Conference-on-Connecting-Domestic-Violence-and-Animal-Abuse-303499141.html
Judge: Animals to Remain in Custody of the State Posted: May 12, 2015 9:27 AM PDT Updated: May 15, 2015 9:36 AM PDT By D.K. Wright, Digital Journalist Email Connect dwright@wtrf.com     Also on the Web EMT Proposes to Girlfriend During Tampa Bay Rays Game Patriot Coal Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection SPECIAL REPORT: Addictions to Cell Phones and Social Media and How to Break Them MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. - "They were the walking dead." That's how one official described the horses and cows on Leslie Midcap's farm. Dr. Jim Radcliffe, testified there is a veterinary assessment scale of body condition, of one to ten, ten being the best. He said most of Midcap's animals would have scored a zero. He said the very best of them....would have only scored a two. This came out in a civil hearing this morning in magistrate court. When the humane officer seizes someone's animals, the owner has the right to a hearing-- and Midcap opted to have the hearing. But it didn't go his way. In the end, Magistrate Mark Kerwood ruled that the animals will remain in custody of the state. There are now 23 horses, with all the mares in various stages of pregnancy. An unknown number of cows are still on the property, but they are being fed by the county on-site. While deputies were executing the search warrant on the Midcap farm, they discovered three children living in deplorable conditions-- without water or electricity. Those children, ages 2, 8 and 14, were removed from their parents. Their father, Brandon Midcap, was scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on three counts of child neglect. That hearing was continued.  Source:  http://www.wtrf.com/story/29043174/hearings-on-animal-abuse-and-child-neglect-on-midcap-property-happening-in-marshall-county-wv
Monkey business in Florida draws scrutiny from community and animal rights activists | May 12th, 2015--Fox News Monkey business in Florida draws scrutiny from community and animal rights activists Monkey business in Florida draws scrutiny from community and animal rights activists | Fox News LABELLE, Fla. –  With three monkey-breeding facilities and a fourth in development, rural Hendry County has become one of the country's biggest suppliers of research primates. This has some neighbors and many animal rights activists howling. ADVERTISEMENT The Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed suit against the county, saying that officials didn't follow the state's Sunshine Law when it approved one of the facilities under an agricultural zoning designation. Hendry County officials have launched an investigation into two of the facilities. Officials want the companies to explain what they do with the "nonhuman primates" on the property, and whether they perform research, tests or experiments on the animals. Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/05/12/monkey-business-in-florida-draws-scrutiny-from-community-and-animal-rights/
Richmond City Council approves ban on elephant bullhooks Story Comments Print Create a hardcopy of this page Font Size: Default font size Larger font size 40 Previous Next Bullhooks Animal-welfare groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Richmond SPCA have supported the ban, characterizing bullhooks, rods tipped with a metal hook, as tools used to intimidate and inflict pain on elephants. Posted: Monday, May 11, 2015 9:47 pm Richmond City Council approves ban on elephant bullhooks BY GRAHAM MOOMAW Richmond Times-Dispatch Richmond.com Starting in 2018, traveling circuses will have to leave elephant bullhooks behind in order to perform in Richmond. On Monday, the Richmond City Council voted 8-1 to ban tools used to train and control elephants, a move that adds Richmond to a growing list of localities that have passed local legislation aimed at elephant treatment. SThe decision comes roughly two months after the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus announced it would voluntarily phase out elephants from its performances, partly in response to efforts in dozens of cities, including Los Angeles, to pass legislation banning bullhooks. The Richmond ban has been under consideration since October. The circus announced in March that it would phase out elephant acts. The local ban was originally scheduled to take effect in 2017, but the council amended the ordinance to align with the circus’s plans to phase out elephants in 2018. Councilwoman Kathy C. Graziano, 4th District, was the lone council opponent of the ban, saying the purpose of the legislation was to end elephant acts and “that has been accomplished.” Monday’s meeting drew several dozen supporters of the bullhook ban, and a few who spoke against it. Animal-welfare groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Richmond SPCA have supported the ban, characterizing bullhooks, rods tipped with a metal hook, as tools used to intimidate and inflict pain on elephants. “People are no longer willing to allow the harsh treatment of elephants to continue just so that people can have a few moments of pleasure that will be forgotten as soon as the popcorn has been digested,” said Robin Starr, chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. Representatives from Ringling Bros. and other groups that work closely with elephants have said bullhooks are a necessary component of working with the animals, including for veterinary and research purposes. They also disputed the notion that the tool’s primary purpose is to cause pain. Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros., said Richmond’s ban is “unnecessary,” but added that it won’t impact the circus’s ability to perform in Richmond because of the planned phaseout. “We are disappointed that the Richmond City Council today effectively banned elephants from ever visiting the city,” Stephen Payne, vice president of communications for Feld Entertainment, said in a written statement. “Despite the testimony of numerous experts on elephant husbandry and veterinary medicine, council was persuaded by the inflammatory and distorted opinions of a small yet vocal group of animal rights extremists.” April Yoder, speaking on behalf of the Elephant Managers Association, said bullhooks are a “humane tool” if used correctly. “Just because you have a dog doesn’t mean that you abuse it,” Yoder said. “You cannot paint everyone with the same paintbrush and say that just because we use an elephant hook we abuse our animals.” Speakers who supported the bullhook ban characterized the tool as a cruel weapon that belongs in the past. “The citizens of Richmond are ready to go into being a more compassionate and a more humane city,” said Todd Woodson, an Oregon Hill resident who has advocated for the ban. The PETA Foundation praised the council vote in a statement released Monday night, saying the group “looks forward to seeing more cities across the country follow Richmond’s lead by banning bullhooks.” Though Ringling Bros. moved to end its elephant acts since the Richmond legislation was introduced, 5th District Councilman Parker C. Agelasto, a patron of the measure, said Monday’s vote was “putting a bookend” on the issue. Ringling Bros. has been performing in Richmond since 1911, with annual shows drawing tens of thousands of spectators to the Richmond Coliseum.  Source: http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/article_a9cf93b5-077a-581b-9ce9-e9b967262cfc.html
Somerset greyhound trainer appears in court on animal welfare charges Updated 11 May 2015, 7:51pmMon 11 May 2015, 7:51pm Photo: A greyhound with a large tumour was allegedly found on this Somerset property. (ABC News) A north-west Tasmanian greyhound trainer has appeared in court on animal welfare charges. Ricki Wayne Donaldson did not enter a plea to one count of animal cruelty and one count of using a management method likely to cause unreasonable suffering. The Somerset trainer was charged after a retired greyhound with a large tumour on its stomach was allegedly found during an inspection of his property in March. The dog had to be euthanased. The Burnie Magistrates Court heard that one of the charges related to a greyhound with a flea infestation. Donaldson has been banned from racing for seven years by Racing Services Tasmania. Donaldson is due to reappear in court on the June 25.  Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-12/greyhound-trainer-appears-in-court-on-animal-cruelty-charges/6463472
Local Animal Researcher/Breeder Cited For Animal Welfare Violations Hayden Ristevski 10 05/12/2015 06:14 PM 05/12/2015 06:23 PM Local Animal Researcher/Breeder Cited For Animal Welfare Violations By Associated Press 05/12/2015 06:23 PM Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on email Share on print Share on gmail Share on pinterest_share Share on favorites Share on reddit More Sharing Services WAVERLY, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - An activism group is trying to have a local animal research and breeding facility fined for failing to comply with the Animal Welfare Act. Liberty Research Inc. in Waverly was investigated by the USDA and cited for violations. WAVERLY, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - An activism group is trying to have a local animal research and breeding facility fined for failing to comply with the Animal Welfare Act. Liberty Research Inc. in Waverly was investigated by the USDA and cited for violations. 18 News contacted Liberty Research, who sent us this statement during our 5 p.m. newscast Tuesday: "We constantly work to provide the highest level of care to all animals. All issues that we have experienced in the inspection process are immediately addressed by our staff and our veterinary services department." - William Waring, Liberty Research Inc. According to a USDA report, there are thousands of animals held in the breeding portion of this operation, and over the last year four inspections have resulted in 11 citations for not being in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN) has filed an official complaint with the USDA. The group says the citations prove improper animal handling and veterinary care as well as inadequate enclosures and sanitation, using an example where two dogs died of suffocation as a result of improper transport. "They have a through their own negligence killed several animals and allowed others to go without necessary veterinary care, we hope that the USDA will revoke Liberty Research's license as an animal breeder," Michael Budkie, SAEN Executive Director, said via a phone interview. The Tioga County Humane Investigator, Cindy Webster, says there has only been one complaint against the facility in december of 2014. "The complaint came from a worker of the facility who had came into Stray Haven," Webster said. "The complaint was that dogs were being left outside and froze to death, I went there and tried to inspect." Webster could not get into the facility and passed the case to the Tioga County Sheriff. No charges were filed as a result of the complaint. She says the USDA's findings are disturbing. "Doesn't matter if it's a research facility or not, animals should be well cared for regardless," Webster said. When Liberty Research sent 18 News the statement, reporter Hayden Ristevski was invited to come see the condition of the animals in its care. However, she was asked to come without a camera or crew.  Source: http://www.mytwintiers.com/story/d/story/local-animal-researcherbreeder-cited-for-animal-we/34818/V419ifX-NEWRt7jFAg4S5A
Bob Barker to feds: Stop experimenting on baby monkeys   By Lydia Wheeler - 05/11/15 12:23 PM EDT Bob Barker, former host of CBS's “The Price is Right,” is calling on the National Institute of Health to end its experiments depriving baby monkeys of their mothers. “I want to let you know about a National Institute of Health laboratory that is spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars each year to terrorize baby monkeys in outrageously cruel and archaic experiments,” he said in a new video for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA. “At this government facility in Maryland, hundreds of baby monkeys are torn from their mothers to be caused a life of depression, stress and psychological trauma.” Barker’s video is PETA’s latest bid to stop the NIH from experimenting on baby monkeys as Congress determines the institute’s budget for next year. ADVERTISEMENT In the video, Barker said these monkeys are locked alone in small cages and subjected to years of experiments that cause fear, social withdrawal, deep depression and severe anxiety. He contends that NIH has spent $30 million in taxpayer money, even though the experiments have never led to the development of treatments for human mental illness. “This project is approved to continue until 2017, but it needs to stop right now,” Barker said. “Please be a champion for animals, taxpayers and public health by acting now to help end the NIH’s abusive and wasteful experiments on monkeys.” In a statement on its website, NIH said research with non-human primates and other animal species is key to understanding and improving human health. The research in question, NIH said is focused on examining the behavioral and biological development of non-human primates, specifically aimed at trying to understand how genetic and environmental factors interact to affect cognitive development. “These studies cannot be carried out in humans and require the use of animal studies to carefully separate experience, genetic, and environmental factors,” the statement said. “Ultimately, these findings assist researchers in identifying humans most likely to suffer negative effects in at-risk situations and develop behavioral and drug therapies to improve negative outcomes early in life.” After allegations were raised that animals were being mistreated at the Poolesville, Md. facility, NIH said it undertook an internal investigation and has taken steps to improve protocols to protect animal welfare.   “NIH takes animal welfare concerns seriously, and has numerous policies and protocols in place to assure the ethical treatment and use of these invaluable resources,” NIH said. “All NIH-funded research with animals is reviewed to ensure that the science is highly meritorious and the welfare of the animals is protected." Last month, more than 15,000 animal welfare activists signed a petition calling for federal regulators to ban experiments on monkeys.   The activists said then that more than 70,000 monkeys are subjected to “brutal” experiments at U.S. laboratories each year.  Source: http://thehill.com/regulation/241611-bob-barker-calls-on-nih-to-stop-experimenting-on-baby-monkeys
Animal rights activists blasting top-ranked Oklahoma charter school for dead cat dance video www.huffingtonpost.com Published: May 13, 2015 WARNING: This video may be upsetting to some viewers. The video, says the Huffington Post, originally posted on Facebook but uploaded to YouTube Tuesday by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was filmed last year in a classroom at the Harding Charter Preparatory High School in Oklahoma City. In the clip, students wearing white jackets hold up the feline corpses and move them in a synchronized routine to the music, while a student in front with another dead cat acts as conductor. No teacher is seen in the video, and it's not clear whether a teacher played any role in producing it.  Source: http://newsok.com/animal-rights-activists-blasting-top-ranked-oklahoma-charter-school-for-dead-cat-dance-video/article/5418689
Charlotte VegFest vendor Lee Rathers talks animal agriculture, more  Be meatless in Midwood on May 16 By Kimberly Lawson @kimlawson22 Share and Earn Points Sign Up Share and Earn Points. Access premium content with your points 0 Share 0 Share 0 Share click to enlarge Kimberly Lawson Lee Rathers Tools del.icio.us Facebook Twitter Email Print Add to favorites Saving… Add to Custom List Loading… Comments Charlotte's got a handful of amazing women in Charlotte who own vegan businesses: Juliana Luna of Luna's Living Kitchen, Kiersten Tristman of Novel Sweets and Julia Simon of Nourish are just a few. Their mission? Help nourish (pun intended) folks who choose not to consume animal products. They are also vendors at the fourth annual Charlotte VegFest, an all-afternoon celebration of compassion and respect for animals, happening in Plaza Midwood. The pro-vegetarian event is thanks to the work of Marley Claridge, owner of Eco-Licous, another vegan, eco-friendly business. In 2014, an estimated 3,000 people came out, and organizers hope more will this year to check out the speakers (like The Humane League's Andrea Gunn), cooking demonstrations (such as that of the Vegan Black Metal Chef) and other exhibits. So far, more than 40 vendors are slated to showcase their vegan foods and goods. Lee Rathers, owner of The Greener Apple (a vegan, eco-friendly shop inside Book Buyers on The Plaza) is a volunteer coordinator for the May 16 event and another vendor on Saturday's roster. We chatted with her about her journey to becoming a vegan, animal agriculture and more. On why she went vegetarian and then vegan. For me, it all started with animal rights. I think that's what's really kept it going for me. Because it's an emotional level. There's an emotional component to it. Do I think I could kill this animal and eat it? No, I couldn't. So why should I rely on somebody else to do it for me? On the importance of knowing where your food comes from. I'm hoping people are becoming more aware of the animal agriculture and how it's really devastating for our environment and for the animals. We've become disconnected from what we eat. Everything's all packaged and ready to go and you don't really realize what it is because you didn't see where it came from. You didn't pick the corn, you didn't grow it yourself. You didn't kill the hog or the chicken yourself. There are so many layers to this whole agri-business. On why Charlotte has seemingly become more receptive to vegan/vegetarian lifestyles. I guess because we have a lot of people that are from other places, especially up north. I think maybe this influx of people from all over is sort of influencing [the shift]. When you think of Southern cooking, you don't think of vegan. You don't even think of vegetarians, really. I'm from Alabama. I went to the University of Alabama, and I had just became a vegetarian; it was really rough. I really just lived off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I had a dining card, [but] even the green beans had ham in them. I thought, "Oh my god, what have I done. Is it too late to come back?" I think people are just becoming more aware of eating healthy. On how she tries to educate people about veganism. I think if you're eating a lot of the processed and animal-based foods, you're probably consuming all of that suffering they went through. When you think about it, it's rough. From a business standpoint, I'm not really pushing the animal rights. I have it sitting out for people to see, the flyers from Humane League, Mercy for Animals or PETA. The information is there and I have it, but I'm more like, "Oh, try this coconut bacon. It's coconut that tastes like bacon." I'm just trying to break down the walls a little bit.  Source: http://clclt.com/charlotte/charlotte-vegfest-vendor-lee-rathers-talks-animal-agriculture-more/Content?oid=3608902
Arpaio: Wittmann 'puppy mill' largest his office has seen Posted: May 13, 2015 10:53 AM PDT Updated: May 13, 2015 5:54 PM PDT By Steve Stout Email Connect stephen.stout@cbs5az.com   Two puppies are carried away from what Sheriff Joe Arpaio called a puppy mill in Wittmann on Wednesday morning. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)   Maricopa County sheriff's Animal Crimes Investigations Unit try to capture some of the estimated 40 dogs found at a house in Wittmann on Wednesday morning. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)   Three of five desert tortoises found on the property are loaded into the MCSO trailer for animals. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) WITTMANN, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) - A Wittmann woman is accused of operating a puppy mill after the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office rescued nearly 100 animals from her property Wednesday morning. MOREAdditional LinksPoll Report animal cruelty Arizona Animal Welfare League Arizona Humane Society MCSO Animal Crimes Investigation Unit Pinal County Animal Care & Control Continue reading >> Sheriff Joe Arpaio said it was the largest puppy mill his office had ever come across and many of the animals were living in the feces-laden house on West Laura Street. Arpaio said a 3-year-old child living at the house was placed in the custody of the Arizona Department of Child Safety. The property owner and dog breeder, Colleen Jolley, 59, is facing child neglect charges and several animal cruelty charges. Arpaio said other charges may be filed after the veterinarian's office gets lab results back. Arpaio said the situation was not to be confused with animal hoarding. "She's in this to make money," he said, adding that many of the dogs were not properly cared for and could possibly be diseased. He said Jolley was arrested on an animal cruelty conviction in Oregon in 1994. Arpaio said that most of the dogs were puppies and were housed in crates and crude wooden boxes in the back yard. The boxes were screwed together with just a small opening at the top for air, MCSO said, and inside each box were multiple dogs living in their feces and without water or food. Inside the home, some dogs lived with animal feces and urine covering the floor, Arpaio said. The house had surveillance cameras and that the woman would always come out of the house to complete sales of the puppies. Dogs in the property included English bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Maltese and Labradoodles, according to Arpaio. Two horses, a bird and five desert tortoises were also on the property. Several dogs were seen attacking at least two other dogs before they were stopped. A deputy had to carry away a dog that was badly mauled by the others and multiple dogs were severely wounded, MCSO said. Arpaio said all the animals would be taken to the MCSO's M*A*S*H unit. Arpaio said rescuers stepped in a "violent situation." In addition to the dog fights, a veterinarian was kicked in the chest by one of the horses being seized. He said his office was aware of the puppy mill, but had to build a case against the owner before a search warrant could be obtained. Read more: http://www.kpho.com/story/29055273/arpaio-wittmann-puppy-mill-largest-his-office-has-seen#ixzz3bfumBmQx
Protecting minors from witnessing animal abuse Jessica Kunz 5 05/12/2015 04:20 PM 05/12/2015 07:02 PM Protecting minors from witnessing animal abuse By Associated Press 05/12/2015 07:02 PM Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on email Share on print Share on gmail Share on pinterest_share Share on favorites Share on reddit More Sharing Services (WCIA/Nexstar Broadcasting) ILLINOIS -- The Humane Society says there are thousands of animal abuse cases around the country every year. ILLINOIS -- The Humane Society says there are thousands of animal abuse cases around the country every year. Of those, hundreds are in Central Illinois. Officials say most of that abuse happens at home. It's something lawmakers don't want children to have to see. A new bill is designed to not only protect kids from seeing animal abuse, but hopefully stopping it so it doesn't happen again in the next generation. Meet Arnold; a 10-year old lab mix. Arnold is a victim of animal abuse. He recently had a six pound tumor removed. "It hung down to the ground and the owners were forced to give them up because they weren't giving him proper medical care." Sarah Moore works at the Animal Protective League. The group gets hundreds of animal abuse calls every year. "Most of the abuse that we see is neglect. We do certainly see cases where an animal has been beaten or intentionally harmed." Moore says animal abuse is sometimes linked to domestic violence. "Abusers may harm animals for the people in the household, especially children, as a way of harming or controlling them." She says children will mimic what they see, sometimes starting a cycle of abuse. "Abusing animals in front of children may teach them that it's okay." Now, a new bill would punish people for knowingly abusing or neglecting their pets in front of minors. "Things as simple as not making sure you dog has got water when it's outside." If convicted, they could face hundreds of dollars in fines, hundreds of hours of community service and be forced to pay for counseling. "Not only is it cruel to the animal, but imagine the child that may be scarred for life after witnessing what they may witness." Moore says having punishments in place could help break that cycle and protect other animals like Arnold from neglect. The courts would be responsible for deciding if an abuser needs to pay for counseling. The bill passed unanimously out of the House. The Senate is now considering it.  Source: http://www.illinoishomepage.net/story/d/story/protecting-minors-from-witnessing-animal-abuse/38942/gFK_1IkdsES0795xWDsm0g
Breaking News: Key Lawmakers Propose Federal Anti-Cruelty Measure By Wayne Pacelle on May 13, 2015 with 19 Comments Share A group of senior Republicans and Democrats, including key members of the House Judiciary Committee, have introduced the nation’s first-ever general federal animal cruelty bill – the Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture Act. The PACT Act (H.R. 2293) would empower the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Attorneys to prosecute animal abuse cases that cross state lines. For example, it would empower federal prosecutors to pursue the intentional abuse of an animal in a car traveling on an interstate highway, in a federal facility, or in a business selling pets across state lines. Former House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and senior Judiciary Committee member Ted Deutch (D-FL), along with committee member and former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino (R-PA) and Congressional Animal Protection Caucus leader Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), are leading the bill. They were joined today by staunch conservatives and senior committee members Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Steve Chabot (R-OH); another former U.S. Attorney, Patrick Meehan (R-PA); and animal protection leaders and senior committee members Jerold Nadler (D-NY) and Steve Cohen (D-TN). Last year, the FBI began its work with local law enforcement to track animal abuse incidents in its Uniform Crime Report for the first time ever, in recognition of the severity of these crimes. The information collected on the animal abuse incidents will help law enforcement prioritize resources for combatting these crimes. While there is no federal anti-cruelty statute, the federal government has already put a stake in the ground on animal cruelty issues, and worked to complement state law forbidding animal cruelty with federal statutes. There is a federal law that prohibits the trade in obscene “crush” videos, but there’s no penalty for the underlying acts of abuse if no video is ever created. The PACT Act would patch that gap by allowing for the criminal prosecution of puppy mill operators and others who intentionally drown, suffocate, or otherwise heinously abuse their animals. Over the last three decades, we’ve gone state-by-state to make malicious animal cruelty a felony in every state (just four states treated animal cruelty as a felony when we began in the mid-1980s). This Act is necessary to fortify that legal framework – equipping federal prosecutors to intervene when animal cruelty extends beyond the reach, ability, or will of state prosecutors to stop it. This is similar to the legal framework on animal fighting. Every state has laws against animal fighting, but the federal government has a strong statute as well that allows it to intervene in cases where warranted, especially when people involved in an enterprise are involved from multiple states or across state lines. The FBI enforces over 90 federal crimes – from bank robbery and kidnapping to credit card fraud and sports bribery – but currently lacks the authority to pursue extreme cases of animal abuse. It’s long past time that Congress lets the FBI and U.S. Attorneys pursue animal abusers – especially given the well-documented link between animal abuse and other violent crimes. Please take action today to urge your representative to cosponsor the PACT Act. This tightening of our legal framework makes good sense, and it is good policy. People who engage in malicious acts of cruelty to animals are a threat to us all in society, and when their crimes are brought to light, they must be brought to justice. Source: http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2015/05/congress-introduces-pact-act.html
Animal rights group: Princeton University's monkey handling 'deserves a serious penalty' File photo of marmoset at the Newark Museum's mini zoo. (John O'Boyle | The Star-Ledger) Print Email By Nicole Mulvaney | For NJ.com The Times, Trenton Email the author | Follow on Twitter on May 14, 2015 at 5:50 PM, updated May 15, 2015 at 8:38 AM More Princeton University news The final days of John Nash: the untold story of his 'dream week' What's next for John 'Johnny' Nash, Jr.? 'It has been extremely stressful for him' John Nash: a legacy of gamesmanship, numbers and mental health advocacy Despite 'A Beautiful Mind' fame, Subway was John Nash's favorite place to eat tuna subs John Nash, a 'legend,' remembered by Princeton students, faculty All Stories | PRINCETON — An animal rights group said Thursday they are responsible for the federal citation issued to Princeton University regarding the handling of monkeys in its animal research program. The group also said the incident "deserves a serious penalty." The university said it reported an incident in December during which two marmosets — a species of monkey — living in a family unit escaped their cage and were found inside the room they were housed. One monkey was captured without incident, but the second fought with a marmoset in another cage, and both sustained injuries, the university said. The animals received medical attention and recovered without complications. Members of Stop Animal Exploitation Now — a national research watchdog group — said Thursday that they filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in April and called for an investigation after learning of the incident. USDA inspectors conducted a routine inspection of Princeton University's laboratory animal program earlier this month and issued a citation for failure to secure a primary enclosure, the university said Wednesday. "After an internal investigation, the university revised procedures to facilitate observation of secure cages, performed additional training of staff and research personnel and committed funds to purchase caging with a more secure design," the university has said in a statement. "The USDA noted that these items had already been corrected at the time the inspection was performed." The inspection did not reveal any additional non-compliant items, and the USDA is expected to release a report later this month, the university said. The animal rights group, which also monitors research laboratories across the country, says it "blew the whistle" on the university's federal law violations and urged the USDA to fine Princeton $20,000 — $10,000 per escaped monkey. Michael Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, says the school is minimizing a series incident. University spokeswoman Min Pullan said Thursday the school had no further comment. "Despite Princeton's efforts to falsely minimize the marmoset escape, it is clearly a serious incident and this negligent lab deserves a serious penalty," Budkie said. "Princeton's negligence is part of a growing scandal of laboratory carelessness across the U.S." The group also takes credit for USDA citations at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania. "Negligence at Princeton has allowed monkeys to escape and be injured. Princeton only has 42 primates, and the university can't even keep them in their cages?" Budkie said. "If they can't even keep the monkeys in the cages, why should we believe they can do science?" In a separate case, the animal rights group known as PETA filed complaints against Princeton University in July, alleging lab employees tormented at least one young monkey by placing it in a plastic exercise ball and rolling it down the halls "for their own amusement." An investigation by the university found no evidence to support the group's allegations.   Source: http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2015/05/animal_rights_group_princeton_universitys_monkey_h.html
­ Animal cruelty is a reliable predictor of criminality — which is why the FBI is taking it more seriously Martha Rosenberg and Robert Wilbur 13 May 2015 at 18:53 ET                    FacebookTwitterMore Don't miss stories. Follow Raw Story! What do Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer and a host of other serial killers have in common, besides killing enough people to merit their own mortuaries? The answer, according to published reports, is that as children they tortured animals. Dahmer tortured frogs, cats, and dogs, decapitated them and mounted the heads on sticks. His own puppy suffered this fate. Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, kept pet rats and tortured them according to the recent book One of Us. It is the escalation from animal abuse to human abuse seen in the cases of Dahmer, Breivik and other criminals that have helped put a bigger legal spotlight on animal cruelty. Last fall, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it was elevating animal cruelty to a Group A felony, a charge as serious as homicide, arson, and assault. It was an acknowledgment that the agency understood the well documented links between cruelty to animals and criminal behavior, whether dog fighting rings run by organized crime, domestic abusers who begin with family pets or psychopaths. ADVERTISEMENT Earlier this year, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) feted FBI director James Comey for giving final approval to including animal cruelty offenses in the Uniform Crime Report. The National Sheriff’s Association hailed the upgrade and Deputy Executive Director John Thompson says he is pledged to raise educate law enforcement personnel about how strongly animal cruelty is “connected to interpersonal violence.” The FBI’s tougher position on animal cruelty will improve data collection by providing a road map of criminality in a given area, say law enforcement personnel; a raid on a dog fight, for example, often nets men and women who are wanted for other offenses and usually a cache of guns and drugs. The FBI reclassification also establishes animal cruelty as a more serious charge in the eyes of the public and legislators than it has been, and could lead to tougher laws. Recently Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehitnen (R-FL) introduced the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act of 2015 which addresses “the estimated one-third of domestic violence victims who delayed leaving their abusive relationships out of concern for the well being of their pets.” “No one should have to make the choice between leaving an abusive situation and ensuring their pet’s safety,” says Congresswoman Clark. “I am grateful for the partnerships we’ve formed across the aisle and between organizations working to end both domestic violence and animal abuse. Together, we crafted a bill that will help save lives.” A literature search of crime reports involving “domestic violence” and “animal cruelty” reveals chilling examples of how often the abuse allegations are linked. And a study of women in one domestic violence center found that 71 percent of women with pets reported their partner threatened, hurt, or even killed their pet. Surveys indicate that between 18 percent and 48 percent of battered women have delayed their decision to leave their batterer or have returned to the batterer out of fear for the welfare of their pets or livestock. Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.” She might have added that, if the child is a psychopath, he will find a way to get away with it. Criminals may be divided into three rough categories: non-psychopathic, psychotic, and psychopathic. Non-psychopathic criminals may choose a life of crime for a variety of reasons: Because they belong to a juvenile gang, because it’s an easy way to make a living, because it’s exciting to beat the authorities. Psychotic criminals may commit horrendous offenses because they hear voices of command (paranoid schizophrenia) or because they have a hair-trigger temper (bipolar disorder). An example of someone who was likely a psychotic criminal was David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” serial killer who reportedly received orders to kill from his neighbor’s dog. Studies have shown that non-psychopathic criminals do not commit acts of animal cruelty more than the non-criminal population; however, most animal cruelty is committed by the psychopaths. Our modern concept of psychopathy goes back to 1941, when psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley published his classic monograph, The Mask of Sanity. Cleckley compiled telling case histories from his patients during his tenure at the University of Georgia medical school. Some of the cases detailed in the book are shocking, some sad, some funny. Dr. Cleckley concluded that psychopathy begins at an early age — six or seven — and it is almost impervious to remediation. Cleckley’s subjects, whom he saw in a state mental hospital, follow a characteristic trajectory. They are arrested, convicted, sentenced to prison, display such bizarre behavior that they are remanded to the state hospital, whereupon they suddenly become “normal” and achieve a discharge, only to repeat the cycle of criminality. Almost to a man or woman, the psychopaths Dr. Cleckley describes are experts at manipulating the system to their advantage. Not all — not even the majority — of psychopaths are criminals (or else they’re getting away with it). Our contemporary knowledge of psychopathy is deftly summed up by Martha Stout, a psychologist at Harvard, in The Sociopath Next Door. Stout identifies two hallmarks of the psychopath/sociopath: Lack of conscience and lack of empathy. Quoting Cleckley, she writes in her book: “Beauty and ugliness, except in a very superficial sense, goodness, evil, love, horror, and humor have no actual meaning, no power to ‘move’ the psychopath. According to Stout, about one person in 25 is a sociopath, which means that you are likely to cross paths with such a person at some point in your lifetime, maybe more than once. Robert O. Hare in his classic book Without Conscience has also noted the ability of psychopaths to charm the leaves off the trees, and if they happen to be in jail to use their charm and glib façade to deceive the parole board into thinking they are reformed people, gaining early parole. But the truth is, he says, psychopaths are actually poor candidates for rehabilitation. The states have invested large sums of money in rehabilitation programs for imprisoned psychopaths, but the long-term success of these programs remains to be seen. There is reason to be dubious about the value of these programs, because mounting evidence indicates that psychopaths have abnormal brain structure and/or function. Psychopaths often have abnormal fMRI scans in brain regions that mediate empathy, prosocial behavior, and moral reasoning. Brain scans of psychopaths have exhibited abnormalities in regions that mediate reward and punishment. Psychopaths apparently do not learn from punishment, as Hare found in electroencephalogram studies of subjects performing a punitive task. It seems, judging from their deviant behavior, psychopaths are hard-wired for psychopathy from as early as the age of five or six. This means that, if any treatment could encourage development away from psychopathy it must be deployed at the age of three or so. Even then, the relentless growth of nerve fibers in the developing child might nullify even the most ingenious program of rehabilitation. People who work in animal shelters come across the handiwork of psychopaths every day. To find out what they do, we exchanged emails with Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, Director of Well-Being Studies at the Utah-based Best Friends Animals Shelter in Utah, the largest of its kind in the country. Here are some of the things that shelter workers see. “Physical” Signs of Abuse: – emaciation from intentional starvation – bruising and hemorrhage – burns (from open flame, cigarettes, chemicals) – scars from old injuries, including but not confined to gunshot wounds – broken bones – injury to the ano-genital region from zoophilia or firecrackers – missing limbs, tail, ears, eyes from wounds or such causes as frostbite “Mental” Symptoms of Abuse – increased fear of humans – increased fear of other animals – increased aggression toward humans or other animals – increase in attention-seeking behavior – excessive barking and excitability – odd or repetitive behaviors Sanctuaries differ in their approach to rehabilitation. For example, Dr. McMillan’s facility uses prescription antidepressants of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs like Prozac or Zoloft) and tricyclic antidepressants (Elavil, Anafranil) for aggression, anxiety, and panic. The facility also has skilled animal behaviorists who use behavioristic techniques derived from the work of Pavlov, Skinner, and Wolpe to help the animal to overcome its fears and phobias — not the least of which is its fear of human beings. Primarily Primates is a shelter operated by Friends of Animals that harbors mostly primates obtained from laboratories when the scientists are finished with them, and some of them are in very poor emotional condition. Many are understandably terrified of humans, even their new-found benefactors at Primarily Primates. We asked the director, Brooke Chavez, what she and her colleagues do to rehabilitate these damaged creatures. Chavez, who has formidable experience in animal rehabilitation, told us that she and her staff rely mainly on positive reward therapy; the sanctuary rarely uses drugs, but when they do so, their drug of choice is gabapentin (Neurontin). Chavez said, “Love and trust are the best medicine.” Our concept of cruelty has evolved over the years. Public hangings, bull-and-bear baiting, bull fighting, whaling, cock fighting and dog fighting are no longer legal in the United States. Today, only a select few have the privilege of witnessing a condemned person die, sometimes agonizingly slowly, while strapped to a gurney. We interviewed Madeline Bernstein, President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Los Angeles. Bernstein is a career law enforcement professional, whose experience includes a stint as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx at a time when it was a very dangerous place indeed. As she told us, she prosecuted “a little bit of everything,” except for homicide, sex crimes and animal cruelty. We told Bernstein that we were puzzled that Americans spend literally billions of dollar on their pets, yet tolerate feeble laws that let a perpetrator of animal cruelty walk out of court with a slap-on-the-wrist fine. Bernstein explained to us that well-meaning Americans may not realize that, under the law animals are considered property. The “property” status of animals exists because we claim “that animals have certain ‘defects,’ such as the inability to use language or a supposedly inferior intelligence, that permit us to treat them instrumentally, as means to our ends,” writes animal legal scholar Gary L. Francione. To “disqualify nonhumans from any significant moral concern is a form of discrimination known as speciesism” — the “use of species to determine membership in the moral community” — and is “really no different from using other criteria, such as race, sex, sexual orientation, or age,” writes Francione. Still, says Bernstein even with the property constraint, the skilled prosecutor will argue that animals are “sentient beings” — somewhere between human and non-human beings. To support his argument the prosecutor has a good deal of precedent to draw from, namely a body of case law, i.e., jury verdicts and judges’ rulings. Another reason most states have tepid, inadequately prosecuted laws is that pretty much “anything goes” when it comes to treatment of animals that are not pets whether government-sponsored pest control to support ranchers, the meat industry, or in scientific laboratories. Our selective attitude toward animal cruelty is seen very clearly in our attitude toward laboratory animals. We were surprised to learn from Bernstein that there is scant legal protection for them from cruelty so long as the experiment is being conducted in accordance with a protocol, that is, a proposal for an experiment that has been approved by an Institutional Review Board. The seldom-enforced Animal Welfare Act sets out minimal requirements for experimenters: use of anesthesia in painful procedures and this only for dogs, cats, and primates, but not to the rest of the animal kingdom. This is not a good time to be a rat or a guinea pig. Finally, we asked Bernstein about psychopathy and animal cruelty. Certainly, the legal professional recognizes animal cruelty in the early childhood years — as early as four years old or preschool — as a predictor of psychopathy along with setting fires and bedwetting, she told us. Psychopaths may be hard-wired for antisocial behavior, but Bernstein thinks there is some hope for a person if he or she is caught early. A climate of selective indifference to animals may unveil psychopathy, but the evidence that psychopathy is caused by environmental factors is outweighed by biological data. Bernstein thinks that if a child performs acts of animal cruelty by the age of eight, he will become a psychopath, but not necessarily a criminal. Punishment does not apparently deter this progression and remediation must start at an early age and may not be effective. Still, says Bernstein, a perpetrator of acts of cruelty must be gotten off the street with long jail terms. And children, whatever their fate, must learn that, as prosecutor Bernstein put it, “Any kind of gratuitous animal cruelty is wrong.” Psychiatrist and neurologist Frank A. Kulik of Scottsdale, Arizona who we interviewed for this article agrees. “Once children have got into this ‘killing business'” it is “very hard to break. I have had patients who have killed neighbors’ dogs and cats and I was a failure with these kinds of kids.” The cruelty can include “sexual connotations” he added. But, like Bernstein, Dr. Kulik agrees that childhood compassion education can deter psychopathic behavior in later years. Upbringing must include “early teaching of children to have respect for other human beings and animals.”     Robert Wilbur is a psychopharmacologist who also writes semi-popular articles on capital punishment, prison reform and animal rights. Martha Rosenberg is an investigative reporter and author of the food and drug expose Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp the Public Health.  Source: http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/animal-cruelty-is-a-reliable-predictor-of-criminality-which-is-why-the-fbi-is-taking-it-more-seriously/
Newly formed group starts campaign to strengthen SC animal welfare laws Jon Peret, an adoption coordinator and volunteer at All 4 Paws, speaks to those in attendance Wednesday night at the Animal Voice Alliance meeting in Carolina Forest. The group organized after a Conway puppy mill case and plan to work on strengthening animal welfare laws. | Tonya Root By Tonya Root troot@thesunnews.com LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest Reddit Print Order Reprint of this Story Stopping puppy mills and animal abuse in Horry and Georgetown counties was the topic of discussion Wednesday night during a meeting of Animal Voice Alliance at the Carolina Forest Recreation Center. The newly formed group is taking a grassroots approach to changing animal welfare laws along the Grand Strand and in the state, said Jen Seay, AVA director. “Our goal is to change legislation and we will be working as a group,” Seay said. “We want to strengthen animal welfare laws in South Carolina specifically in Horry and Georgetown counties.” About 30 people attended the meeting where AVA organizers asked that people interested in joining the group do so. Group members will introduce themselves Tuesday night to Horry County Council at its 6 p.m. meeting in Conway. They also plan to hold monthly meetings, peaceful protests and animal welfare rallies in the future. “If we are talking to and educating the public it makes a difference and it starts with one person,” Seay said. She also urged anyone who sees animal abuse to report it to authorities. The group formed after Horry County authorities took 146 dogs in what police called a puppy mill case from Conway area resident Renee James, Seay said. James relinquished custody of the dogs to county officials and they have been adopted by area residents. James’ case was one of three in a month where authorities seized animals and fined their owners. On March 5, Horry County police seized 37 dogs, including some show dogs and one that was recognized at the Westminster Kennel Club, from a Conway area couple. Eduardo and Amber Chaviano were ordered to pay $3,160 in restitution to the Horry County Animal Care Center and clean up their home within 30 days. A day before the Chaviano seizure, officers took James’ 146 dogs. Jon Peret, an adoption coordinator and volunteer at All 4 Paws, said Wednesday night that his group took in 74 dogs from the puppy mill seizure and all were adopted. Some needed baths and haircuts while others had open sores, broken bones and more serious health issues, he said. “To see that up close and personal and to put your hands on that will shake your faith in humanity,” Peret said and noted the group also took in 17 dogs seized in the Chaviano case. The organization spent $28,100 in veterinary care for the seized dogs before they were adopted, he said. The costs were paid for through donations to the organization. “It was all paid for by people with hearts like yours,” Peret said. If you want to join the group with they will also be holding a meeting at 6:30 p.m. June 17 at the Santee Cooper building on Elm Street in Conway. An animal rights rally is planned for May 30 in Columbia on the state capital grounds. For more information about Animal Voice Alliance go to www.avasc.org, their facebook page called Animal Voice Alliance or on twitter @AVASC. Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/living/pets/article20962380.html#storylink=cpy 
Circus animals pay ultimate price Your Feedback Submit a letter to the Editor Submit your Toast or Roast Poll Do you agree with New Brunswick’s move to ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products that are attractive to youth? Yes No View Results  Loading ... @LethHerald Latest Tweet Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on pinterest_share More Sharing Services 2 By Letter to the Editor on May 17, 2015. 000000 The Royal Canadian circus is coming to Lethbridge, along with its elephants and other animal acts. From 1994 to 2005, 31 circus elephants have died. Elephants and other animals are also injured and maimed while being trained to perform circus acts. Two elephants have been shot and killed. One of these elephants was named Tyke and I am dedicating this letter to her. Tyke performed with Circus International. On Aug. 20 1994, Tyke was performing in Honolulu. She had been abused for years and on this day she had had enough. In front of an audience, she killed her trainer and injured the assistant trainer. Tyke managed to get away and was consequently shot 86 times on a street in Honolulu. The picture of this can be seen on her website. It is a sad, disturbing picture of a blood-soaked elephant still alive and in shock. She was eventually euthanized. Tyke became the poster elephant for all the others that are forced to perform as circus acts. Tyke wanted her freedom and paid for that by being killed in a horrific way. If a circus animal is deemed to be unmanageable, or turns on its trainer, it is killed. Circuses get away with routinely abusing these animals due to the fact that there are no government agencies that monitor training sessions. Parents taking their children to the circus are unaware of all the documented cruelty and abuse these animals endure in order to ride a bike or jump through hoops. Circus animals don’t perform these tricks because they want to. They have no choice! Undercover footage of this abuse is evident, thankfully, via social media. Some training tools include bull hooks, electric prods, chains, poles and riding crops. Most of these animals have their spirits broken. Consider that some elephants are chained for up to 24 hours. Tigers live in cages that they can hardly turn around in. These animals rebel, and rightfully so, however in some cases, like Tyke, they pay the ultimate price for wanting to live in the wild where they belong. Wild animals are not here to amuse or entertain us. The way circuses use and exploit these animals is not only wrong, it’s inhumane. Many circuses have shut down due to public pressure, cruelty charges and lack of interest. The circus is coming to town and my hope is that Lethbridge residents will send a message by not attending. Kerry King Lethbridge  Source: http://lethbridgeherald.com/commentary/letters-to-the-editor/2015/05/17/circus-animals-pay-ultimate-price/
Animals are now legally recognised as 'sentient' beings in New Zealand 1 / 1 Dogs are now recognised as sentient beings REX The legislation included a ban on the use of animals for cosmetic testing Sophie McIntyre Sunday 17 May 2015 26K Print Note: We do not store your email address(es) but your IP address will be logged to prevent abuse of this feature. Please read our Legal Terms & Policies A A A Email The New Zealand Government has formally recognised animals as 'sentient' beings by amending animal welfare legislation. The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill  was passed on Tuesday. The Act stipulates that it is now necessary to 'recognise animals as sentient' and that owners must ‘attend properly to the welfare of those animals'. "To say that animals are sentient is to state explicitly that they can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress," said Chair of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee, Dr Virginia Williams, according to animalequality.net "The explicitness is what is new and marks another step along the animal welfare journey," she added. (Getty Images) In addition, new material has been added to the section of the Act pertaining to animal testing for other research purposes. Read more: Hunting ban ‘set to be repealed within 12 months’ with early Commons vote expected The Island with Bear Grylls: More than 600 complaints are made about animal killings The Government now demands that checks be made as to whether there has been 'assessment of the suitability of using non-sentient or non-living alternatives in the project' and 'replacement of animals as subjects with suitable non-sentient or non-living alternatives'. Loading gallery The animals rescued in the Nepal earthquake 1 of 12 Prev Next "Expectations on animal welfare have been rapidly changing. The bill brings legislation in line with our nation's changing attitude on the status of animals in society, " according to the President of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, Dr Steve Merchant. Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/animals-are-now-legally-recognised-as-sentient-beings-in-new-zealand-10256006.html
KFC tastes good, but ... 2015-05-17 15:00 Grethe Koen, City Press Because of the high demand for chicken in SA, producers often raise their birds in cramped conditions and fatten them up as quickly as possible to spend less money on feed Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories Video WATCH: KFC staff hosing down chicken 2015-05-11 10:32 KFC Braamfontein has come under scrutiny after it was caught on camera how staff hosed down chicken meant to be discarded. This video was given to SABC Journalist Chriselda Lewis.WATCH Related Links Being KFC’d on social media KFC chicken scandal: Braamfontein owner under fire WATCH: KFC staff hosing down chickenwatch Footage of chicken being cleaned on a floor riled the nation, but Grethe Koen asks whether we should rather be worried about what goes into raising the hens before they are fried for us to eat Oh dear. KFC’s branch in Braamfontein, which also happens to be one of the fast-food chains’ most popular branches, was under fire this week when footage of two employees hosing down raw chicken on a concrete floor outside the shop surfaced on the internet. The national outcry burnt hotter than a KFC chip fryer. Sorry to play devil’s advocate, but if you’re so absolutely appalled at the thought of chicken being rinsed on the floor, shouldn’t the fact that chickens are raised in cramped, often cruel, conditions be more of a problem? And forget about a little dirt getting into your chicken, doesn’t the fact that you’re eating something deep fried in oil and dusted with MSG and salt not worry you more? Although the story that KFC grows “mutant” chickens – horribly deformed due to genetic modification – turned out to be a hoax, most battery hens are pumped full of antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones. Although KFC might say “we make it our responsibility to ensure the chickens we source are treated humanely and within the animal rights legislation of the country”, the truth is that commercial chicken farming is a profit-first enterprise, where the lives of animals come second. South Africa has an incredible taste for fried chicken. According to statistics from four retailers collected by City Press in June last year, we consume an average of 13 million kilograms of takeaway chicken a month. With demand that high, ever more pressure is put on producers to increase output. This often leads to cramped conditions and the need to fatten up birds as quickly as possible to shave the overall cost of feeding them. According to animal rights activists, commercially farmed chickens are often shoved into tiny, excrement-filled cages that reek of ammonia and the birds’ legs and wings often break because they are bred to be too top-heavy and because workers carelessly shove them into transport crates. If only people would get as worked up about their own health – and cruelty against animals – as they do about a video like this. Nicola Harding, from a not-for-profit organisation called Rescue Battery Hens Cape Town, which “facilitates the rehoming of caged battery hens when they are due for cull at the end of their commercially viable use at the age of only 72 weeks”, feels the discussion should move away from “should we eat meat?” to “is it ethical to eat commercially farmed meat?” Eating meat in and of itself is not the problem – the problem is the way commercially farmed animals are raised. But KFC tastes so good, I hear you protest. Yes, sure, have your KFC and eat it too. But don’t pretend you’re surprised or even outraged by dodgy takeaway practices when there are much bigger fish (or should I say chicken) to fry. Source: http://www.news24.com/Opinions/KFC-tastes-good-but-20150515
Confronting footage sparks fresh claims into animal welfare handling at rodeos Published: 6:47PM Monday May 18, 2015 Source: ONE News Email this article Print this article Text size +- Rodeos are back in the spotlight after animal rights activists say they uncovered fresh evidence that organisers are breaching animal welfare standards. Lyn Charlton, who is responsible for having the Huntly Rodeo closed down last year, is on a crusade to have animal welfare regulations adhered to in New Zealand. She says bull handlers are being too ruthless with the animals and they are being held in chutes terrified and distressed. "They're being forced to do something that they don't want to be doing and one of the requirements is that they release terrified animals that are showing distress in the shutes and they don't," Ms Charlton says. Footage released to ONE News shows bull handlers twisting tails and electronically prodding the bulls - practice that is legal, but not recommended. Looking at the footage, Ms Charlton says the animals are very afraid. "They are shaking in the chutes, they are panicking, they are going down in the chutes, that's one of the signs of an animal that is very very afraid." In March her investigators filmed several horses exhibiting what they say is acute distress. Advertisement But the Rodeo Cowboys Association viewed all of this material and said they "have no concerns at all about what we have viewed" and that they're confident "minimum standards in the Rodeo Welfare Code have been upheld". People can be prosecuted for a failure to meet a minimum standard in the Rodeo Code of Welfare. However the recommendations for Best Practice have no legal basis and are included to encourage higher standards of animal welfare. The Ministry of Primary Industries best practice says calves should not be used in Rodeo events. But many still include the controversial event and again organisers say that this slapping and punching of a calf is within the rules. Andrea Midgen from the SPCA says Rodeo is inhumane and should be banned. "People are sitting out in the stands and they're hearing all the music and the hype and they don't realise that the animals are caged and prodded and frightened and made to do things they don't want to be doing". The Ministry of Primary Industries is now conducting an extensive review of this material - looking for breaches of the Rodeo Welfare Code. Source: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/confronting-footage-sparks-fresh-claims-into-animal-welfare-handling-rodeos-6315117
Ogden woman studying animal law hopes to present ordinances that protect pets Posted 10:19 pm, May 18, 2015, by Robert Boyd, Updated at 10:22pm, May 18, 2015 Facebook164 Twitter22 Pinterest LinkedIn Google Email OGDEN, Utah — A woman from Ogden, who left the state to pursue her dream of studying Animal Law, is now returning home to save animals in the community where she grew up. Samantha Macbeth is in the process of writing and introducing new ordinances to the city that would protect animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. “It just meant a lot to me to be able to focus on my hometown and to help see what I can do with the skills that I’m now learning,” MacBeth said. MacBeth just wrapped up her second year studying Animal Law at Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon. “It’s still kind of not a field that many people really know about or really think to pursue a job in,” MacBeth said. “I mean they can’t advocate for themselves so they have to have someone do that for them.” Ogden Animal Services said when Macbeth reached out to them, asking to voluntarily help, they were eager to accept her offer. “I mean I wouldn’t be able to touch these ordinances at least for another six months to even start with the verbiage and then I have to go back and forth with lawyers and different people, and she is wording them exactly how they need to be,” said Stephanie Butte, Animal Services Supervisor. The laws MacBeth has been writing strictly focus on domestic pets. Two of those proposals include cracking down on inhumane breeding and repeat animal abusers. “There was a case I did where a man kicked his six-month-old Pit Bull so hard that it flew off the porch and broke it’s shoulder and dislocated it,” Butte said. “The dog went to the shelter and got adopted by somebody else but it took nine months to a year and now the guy has four dogs at his residence so even though the courts saved one dog he just went out and got four more dogs.” Ogden Animal Services says these laws could be the stepping stone to a major animal rights movement. “Once I get things passed through Ogden City I can get contact with people who help to get it passed through the state as well,” Butte said. Butte said the best way to stop abuse is for people to report it when they see it. For a complete list of the new ordinances being proposed and what they aim to do, go to https://facebook.com/friendsofogdensanimals MacBeth said she is looking forward to a lasting relationship with Ogden Animal Services, and hopes it’s the first of many cities where she can make a difference in the lives of these defenseless creatures. “They are not just property but more so they are part of our families and they need to be treated with that kind of respect and compassion and the law comes in a really good way to shape how that happens,” MacBeth said. These new ordinances that have been written by MacBeth are expected to go before Ogden City Council for a vote at some point later this summer.  Source: http://fox13now.com/2015/05/18/ogden-woman-studying-animal-law-hopes-to-write-ordinances-to-protect-pets/
North Carolina law could stymie undercover videos of animal abuse By Kate Trafecante   @CNNMoney Replay Gross factory farm footage could be made illegal Many people want to know that Wilbur the pig or Nellie the cow have had a decent life before ending up on a plate. But that's not always the case and it's getting increasingly difficult to know if the animals are being abused in farms. North Carolina this week became the latest state to pass a law that will make it illegal for anyone to get a job and then secretly make video or audio recordings of what goes on in the workplace. Experts say that could stymie investigations into food facilities that have unearthed disturbing video footage of cows, pigs, chickens and other animals being raised in cruel conditions in large factory farms. Some of the investigations have sparked change at several large companies. Most of these videos are made by undercover activists who get access to the factories by getting jobs. North Carolina's new "ag-gag" law gives businesses the right to sue employees who secretly shoot such videos. Related: Tyson to phase out antibiotics in chicken Iowa passed similar legislation in 2012. And North Carolina became the 9th state to pass the law, joining Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Utah, Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. There have been a number of high-profile investigations into food facilities in recent years. Last year, the nation's largest meat producer, Tyson (TSN), overhauled its pig care guidelines after an activist group showed video of a supplier slamming piglets onto the ground. And at the nation's largest turkey producer, Butterball, several workers were charged and later convicted with animal cruelty after a raid in 2011 by local officials following a video that showed workers stomping on the birds. Related: You won't believe the $%#! you've been eating "The conditions in those facilities are sometimes quite problematic," said Susan Kraham, a senior staff attorney for Columbia University's Environmental Law Clinic. "The response by the industry and state governments to efforts to uncover abuses has been to criminalize the behavior of the undercover investigators," Kraham said. But the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, whose members include agriculture giants like Tyson, Smithfield Foods and Cargill, say that ag-gag laws protect against corporate espionage and internal data breaches. The bills make it illegal to lie on a job application or film on site. That is certain to deter activists from trying to get a job at these facilities and recording factory farm exposes. Related: McDonald's to cut back on chicken raised on antibiotics Some fear the law could have a broader reach beyond animal welfare. Erica Meier, executive director of Compassion Over Killing, says the law threatens to deter not just activists against animal abuse. It could even punish people who expose wrongdoing that could extend to food safety, labor issues and environmental violations, she said. "Basically, this law blows the whistle on the whistleblower," Meier said.  Source: http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/05/news/animal-abuse-law-north-carolina/
Animal abuse registry signed into law in Orange County Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus on Friday signed Rocky's Law, which aggressively protects animals and ensures that convicted abusers cannot own them while placed on a public registry. Comment 4 By Hema Easley Follow @@EasleyH845 Posted Jun. 5, 2015 at 10:46 am Updated Jun 5, 2015 at 6:59 PM WARWICK - Flanked by animal lovers and law-enforcement officials, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus on Friday signed Rocky’s Law, which aggressively protects animals and creates a registry designed to prevent convicted abusers from owning animals. The signing took place at the Warwick Valley Humane Society, an animal shelter that has worked with law-enforcement agencies in investigating animal cruelty cases. District Attorney David Hoovler, Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, County Clerk Annie Rabbitt, and Suzyn Barron, president of the Humane Society, were present to show their support. “I think this law is going to have a real ripple effect,” said Neuhaus, who described the law as one of the toughest in the country. “If you are abusing animals, there are going to be strong consequences in Orange County." Related images Mindy, an American Staffordshire terrier who lives at the Warwick Valley Humane Society, affixes her paw print to the official document on Friday. — Hannah Maxwell/For the Times Herald-Record Buy Photo County lawmaker Mike Anagnostakis, R-Town of Newburgh, introduced the proposal earlier this year, and it passed in the Legislature last month. It is named after a Staffordshire terrier that had to be euthanized this year after being left outside in freezing temperatures and snow for five weeks in the City of Newburgh while its owner went on vacation. Under the law, anyone convicted of animal abuse in Orange County must register with the Sheriff's Office within five days of being convicted or released from incarceration, or be subject to a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000. The registry will include names and photos of abusers, who will stay on the registry for 15 years, but will be reinstated for life if convicted a second time of abusing an animal. Abusers cannot own an animal while on the registry. Anyone selling or giving an animal to an individual on the registry will face a maximum fine of $5,000. Anagnostakis, who wasn’t at the signing ceremony, said he authored the law and pushed to have it passed because he was sickened by continuing instances of animal abuse. “It was high time someone did something for the well-being of animals in our county,” Anagnostakis said. “Now these people can’t do this anymore.” The formal ceremony included Mindy, an American Staffordshire terrier, who affixed her paw print to the official document as attendees applauded. Mindy, a stray found abandoned in a shopping mall parking lot, has been a resident of the Humane Society since last year. “Animal cruelty is horrific," Hoovler said. "It goes unreported. It’s under-prosecuted. It’s difficult to prosecute because the primary witness is the animal, and he can’t talk. We’ll do everything we can to seek justice for animals in Orange County that are victims of animal cruelty.” heasley@th-record.com Login with: Facebook Google Twitter LinkedIn   Source: http://www.recordonline.com/article/20150605/NEWS/150609619
A closer look at South Carolina's animal cruelty laws Posted: Jun 04, 2015 2:50 PM PDT Updated: Jun 04, 2015 3:05 PM PDT By Mayci McLeod Email Connect mmcleod@wcbd.com   The Charleston Animal Society says right now they are focusing on treating Caitlyn and say they will not begin looking for adopters until she is completely healed in about a month.   The Charleston Animal Society says right now they are focusing on treating Caitlyn and say they will not begin looking for adopters until she is completely healed in about a month. CHARLESTON, SC - Caitlyn the dog has gained worldwide attention, and for all the wrong reasons. She was found with her muzzle taped shut. William Dodson was arrested earlier this week and given a $50,000 bond. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition on change.org which demands Solicitor Scarlett Wilson holds William Dodson accountable to the fullest extent of the law. In South Carolina, animal cruelty is a misdemeanor with first offenses punished with up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Animal torture, which is one of the charges William Dodson is facing, is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. Related: Police arrest suspect in animal cruelty case Director of Anti-Cruelty with the Charleston Animal Society, Aldwin Roman, says, "Five years is a long time in jail, but after you see Caitlyn five years doesn't seem nearly enough." On the Humane Society's ranking of animal cruelty laws, South Carolina hovers near the bottom of the list, ranking 46th in the nation. Related: Arrest made and #caitlyn continues to be shared worldwide Roman says, "After five years, he can still own an animal again. There's nothing in our laws that would prevent him from getting another dog. And that's probably the part that scares me the most." The Humane Society says more can be done to protect animals in the Palmetto State. For example, Florida requires counseling for convicted animal cruelty offenders. Roman says, "It's not just about the fines and the prison time, but a lot of other states will have mandatory no animal orders built in for people who are charged with felonies or mandatory psychiatric counseling… having a little bit more in place to stop in from happening again as opposed to just being a deterrent." And Tennessee requires the person charged with animal cruelty to post a bond which is used to cover the costs of caring for the abused animal. Caitlyn's medical costs are expected to be between $3,000-5,000 and the Charleston Animal Society says they plan to ask for that money back when the case goes to trial. The Charleston Animal Society says it's a scary thought that so many more animals are out there in abused situations. Roman says, "If you look at Caitlyn, the only reason she was found is that she got loose. So what would have happened to her if she did not get loose? What would the suspect have done to her?  So she's probably not the only one out there. " The Charleston Animal Society encourages anyone who suspects animal abuse to report it to the police immediately. We have had many inquiries from viewers about how to go about adopting Caitlyn. The Charleston Animal Society says right now they are focusing on treating Caitlyn and say they will not begin looking for adopters until she is completely healed in about a month.  Source: http://www.counton2.com/story/29243606/a-closer-look-at-south-carolinas-animal-cruelty-laws
--> Koalas, cats and wombats among animals used for testing in Victoria by: Alex White From: Herald Sun June 06, 2015 12:12AM 24 Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Print Email Share Add to Digg Add to del.icio.us Add to Facebook Add to Kwoff Add to Myspace Add to Newsvine What are these? Share × Share this story Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Email 24 24 Koalas were among the 548,296 animals that died during testing in Victoria. Source: News Corp Australia EVERY day more than 415 animals­ die in the name of science­ in Victoria. Monkeys, dogs, domestic cats, koalas, wombats and mice are among the 548,296 which died during testing or were killed after research in 2013. The number has dropped from 611,631 in 2012, however more than one million animals are still being used yearly in Victorian research trials for physiological procedures, invasive­ medical testing, drug experimentation and breeding programs. Animal activist group PETA Australia has called for testing on animals to stop. Domestic cats are among the animals used for testing in Victoria. Source: AP All tests are approved by the Bureau of Animal Welfare, overseen by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries­. A department spokesman said the number of animals used fluctuates year by year and ethical procedures were followed. “Prior to an animal being used for research or teaching, an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) must be convinced that the animal use is justified, weighing the predicted scientific or educational value of the projects against the potential effects on the welfare of the animals,” the spokesman said.  Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/koalas-cats-and-wombats-among-animals-used-for-testing-in-victoria/story-fni0fit3-1227385490183
 EU votes not to abolish animal testing despite rising advocate pressure By Nicole Gray | June 5, 2015 print share tweet post email Dive Brief: In a major setback to the Stop Vivisection animal rights group, the European Commission has voted not to abolish animal testing, saying that it's not the right time to adopt such a measure. The commission voted to not stop animal testing in response to ongoing advocacy, including a Stop Vivisection petition signed by 1.2 million people. The goal was to repeal a directive that was designed to "replace, reduce, and refine the use of animals used for scientific purposes." Some animal rights advocates have asserted that the directive is counter-productive to protecing animals, because it does not allow EU members to pass national laws raising animal-welfare standards. Dive Insight: The overall message from the European Commission to animal rights activists is, "slow down." One major concern voiced by the commission is that if animal testing in the EU is banned, testing may go off-shore to countries in which there is less regard for animal welfare, and the situation could get out of control. In addition, popular opinion in places like the U.K. shows a certain pragmatism on the part of the population. For example, according to Speaking of Research, which supports responsible animal testing, the number of animals used in research in the U.K. is decreasing—a total of 0.4% since 2012. Although Stop Vivisection did not make a statement regarding the outcome of the vote, a spokesperson from the U.S.-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) weighed in and chastised the commission for its decision, the WSJ reports.  Source: http://www.biopharmadive.com/news/eu-votes-not-to-abolish-animal-testing-despite-rising-advocate-pressure/400316/
Residents protest against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus By Christina Dawidowicz Published: June 4, 2015, 7:38 pm Updated: June 6, 2015, 12:43 pm 3Click to share on Twitter Click to share on Google+ 649Share on Facebook Click to share on Pinterest Asian elephants with the Ringling Circus/Christina Dawidowicz FOX21 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has a herd of 42 Asian elephants between their three traveling circuses and their Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. They say it’s the largest sustainable herd of captive elephants in the Western Hemisphere. Officials say the reason for phasing out the elephants is due to the challenges of the care needed for the animals when traveling city to city. They add they would rather spend millions of dollars on their Center for Elephant Conservation instead of fighting legal battles. Elephants are known as the icon of the circus. But animal rights activists want them and all other circus animals out. “It’s undeniable how these baby elephants are thrown and kept in chains for up to 23 hours a day just to break their spirit. And I just said, I don’t want to support that industry at all,” said Tinya Duffey, co-founder of Pikes Peak Animal Rights and volunteer for PETA. Duffey said she wants to raise awareness about the treatment of circus animals after watching videos online that show how these animals are treated. “If you watch really closely, you can see how the bullhooks are used around the elephants as an intimidation tool,” Duffey said. But animal specialists with the circus said a lot that information is either false, from a different circus, or outdated. “The fence line is very transparent. They can come out here and watch how we care for the animals throughout the day,” said Ryan Henning, animal care specialist for the circus. He said the circus encourages people to come out, see the treatment of their animals and ask questions. But the question of why it will take years to phase out the elephants still lingers. “Why can’t we do it now and get these elephants out into sanctuaries so they can start enjoying their life,” Duffey said. According to circus officials, it’s a transition that can’t happen overnight. The elephants will be moved to the circus’ conservation center in Florida, and it needs to be properly equipped to house their herd of elephants. “It’s a 200-acre preserve. It’s dedicated to the reproduction, research and retirement to the endangered animal species,” Henning said. Protesters tell us they will continue to protest well after 2018 when the elephants have retired, and won’t stop until all circus animals retired as well.  Source: http://fox21news.com/2015/06/04/residents-protest-against-ringling-bros-and-barnum-bailey-circus/
Senate OKs Cordelia's Law to give horses animal-cruelty protection Written by Jim Hook, Public Opinion Online | Jun 5, 2015 1:00 PM Comments : 0 10 Photo by Courtesy to Public Opinion Online Cordelia, an abused 22-year-old mare that died in Bedford County, was the inspiration for including horses in Pennsylvania's humane law that currently protects only dogs and cats. (Harrisburg) -- A bill placing horses on par with dogs and cats under Pennsylvania's animal cruelty law has passed the Senate. Cordelia's Law (Senate Bill 294) was one of four anti-cruelty measures that the Senate passed Wednesday by overwhelming majorities. Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Hollidaysburg, sponsored Cordelia's Law. "This bill was named after a horse that was kept in a junkyard in Bedford County and was rescued by a former staffer of mine," Eichelberger said. "The horse was slowly starved to near death before the owner agreed to allow someone to take her. Sadly, even with all of the medical attention and efforts of the new owner, Cordelia died within a matter of days. "The bill adds equine to the animal protection law and adds starvation to the list of abuses. This will provide the legal basis for criminal charges when appropriate. Now we have to get this legislation through the House." Humane officers say that cruelty to horses currently is covered by a vague agricultural law and not the state's anti-cruelty statute, which is specific about adequate food and shelter for dogs and cats. They say increasingly people are getting horses as pets. "People want a pet horse and think they can raise it like a dog," said Cindy Byers, humane society police officer at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, Chambersburg. Horses require veterinary care, expensive feed, plenty of space, even dental care when they get older. "It's mostly people who don't get how much responsibility there is to owning horses," said Lori Copley, treasurer of the Bedford County Humane Society. "Someone having an animal doesn't mean they know how to properly care for the animal," said Andrea Haugh, a humane society police officer and executive director of the Antietam Humane Society Inc., Waynesboro. "We have seen a horse living in the basement of a house. Depending on the municipality, it may or may not be legal." One horse lawfully resides in a basement in Quincy Township, she said. Miniature horses kept in a garage in Washington Township had to be relocated because of a local ordinance. Cordelia, a 22-year-old mare in Alum Bank, Bedford County, died in 2012. "Cordelia probably was the worst case we'd ever seen," Copley said. "We went to take her from the man. She looked like the walking dead. He had no clue. The hay was moldy. He just didn't care." WATCH: "Ten Days with Cordelia" on YouTube Soon afterwards three more horses came to the attention of the Bedford humane society. "There are no cruelty laws dealing with horses," Copley said. "By the time we went though all the red tape, one of the horses died." The other two are doing OK, she said. The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau helped draft Cordelia's Law, according to Eichelberger. A provision creating a committee to set guidelines for the seizure of animals by law officers was part of the original draft, but not in the final bill. The bill however defines torture as breaking bones, inflicting prolonged and severe pain or allowing the loss of more than one-third of the animal's normal body mass through starvation. "Any clarification of the cruelty laws is an improvement," Haugh said. "Ambiguity makes it hard to prosecute." Haugh said she investigates about one horse cruelty case a month in southern Franklin County. Rarely has she gone to court. Seeing an animal's living conditions improve is the aim of humane officers, not seizing animals. It's often an issue of education. The three other anti-cruelty bills passed Wednesday cover tethered dogs, kennel operators and animals injured in domestic violence: Senate Bill 373 would prevent dogs from being tethered in unsafe conditions, such as weather emergencies or in situations that deprive them of food, water and shelter. Sen. Richard Alloway II, R-Chambersburg, sponsored the bill. Senate Bill 78, also sponsored by Alloway, would prevent serious Dog Law violators from continuing to operate a kennel under a family member's name. Senate Bill 594 would levy enhanced penalties for those who injure or kill an animal in a domestic violence situation. Sen. Andy Dinniman, D- West Chester, sponsored the bill. The three bills are part of a pet protection package that Alloway and Dinniman unveiled in April. "Our pets deserve a safe, comfortable environment both before and after they are adopted by loving families," Alloway said. "Although the vast majority of people would never dream of harming a pet, stiff punishments are still necessary for those few bad apples who abuse defenseless animals. These bills will go a long way toward realizing that goal." "When legislators work in a bipartisan manner, we can create effective legislation," Dinniman said. "I want to thank Senator Alloway for his leadership in this effort. Senator Alloway, Senator Eichelberger, and myself realize that if we treat animals in a humane way, we are more likely to treat each other in a humane way." Jim Hook can be reached at 717-262-4759.  Source: http://www.witf.org/news/2015/06/senate-oks-cordelias-law-to-give-horses-animal-cruelty-protection.php
Cat declawing ban sent to Senate floor with tighter exceptions – / 4 Print Email By Jacy Marmaduke | The Oregonian/OregonLive The Oregonian on June 04, 2015 at 4:25 PM, updated June 04, 2015 at 5:03 PM Reddit Email 2015 Oregon Legislature 100 miles of highway barriers and Facebook freedom: This week in new Oregon laws Jackson County's GMO ban taking effect: What happens next? Oregon may honor concealed handgun licenses from other states as gun politics shift in Legislature Oregon business lobbyists hopeful of avoiding most new employer mandates First of Kate Brown's ethics bills makes it back to her desk All Stories | All Photos | All Videos A Senate committee on Thursday sent a bill to ban cat declawing in Oregon to the Senate floor – but not before amending it to tighten exceptions. Animal-rights groups fiercely opposed the original bill, saying that its wide allowances made it worse than nothing. Oregon currently does not regulate declawing. The amended House Bill 3494 would ban declawing of cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, iguanas and birds with three exceptions: when the surgery is medically necessary for the animal, when a doctor's note verifies that the animal's clawing worsens a severe medical condition of a person in the household, or when a veterinarian has verified that efforts to prevent the animal from destructive use of its claws have failed. The bill would still allow owners to remove a dog's dewclaws, a functionless claw above the others that can snag on objects. It also would require the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association to report data on declawing procedures and outlaw devocalizing of dogs and cats unless the procedure is medically necessary for the animal. It stops short of the all-out ban some animal groups have called for.  The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association remains neutral on the bill, and the Oregon Humane Society supports it. OVMA President Chuck Meyer has said the organization would oppose a total ban on declawing. The original bill passed in the House. If the amended version passes in the Senate, legislators will probably have to confer on changes and send the bill back through the House. If it's signed into law, Oregon would be the first state with a ban on cat declawing. "This legislation is hopefully a reminder to all of us that becoming a pet owner is a serious responsibility," said Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis and chairwoman of the Senate committee that moved the bill. "Cats and dogs are living creatures; they aren't objects, and they bring with them habits and behaviors that we need to consider carefully before we bring them into our homes and accept them as they are." – Jacy Marmaduke jmarmaduke@oregonian.com  Source: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/cat_declawing_ban_sent_to_sena.html
VIDEO: ‘Empty the Tanks’ protesters at Mystic Aquarium oppose holding whales, dolphins A coalition of animal rights groups gathers to demonstrate along Coogan Blvd. outside of the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic Saturday, June 6, 2015, to raise awareness to the treatment of animals and marine mammals at aquariums as part of the worldwide "Empty the Tanks" event. (Tim Cook/The Day) Published June 06. 2015 2:27PM Updated June 06. 2015 7:17PM By Kimberly Drelich 168 4 4 Mystic — About 50 protesters, bearing signs that said "Empty the Tanks" and "In the Ocean, Not in a Tank" demonstrated near Mystic Aquarium on Saturday. The group, part of the "Empty the Tanks" movement with protests in 20 countries, opposes the holding of whales and dolphins in captivity. The movement began three years ago, but Saturday was the first time the demonstration was held in Mystic. Cars drove by, some honking, as the protesters stood in two locations on Coogan Boulevard near the aquarium and a green by Olde Mistick Village. The aquarium parking lot was full Saturday with visitors, as the aquarium also held exhibits as part of a World Oceans Day event. Some protesters praised the aquarium for its rehabilitation of other marine animals and its research on wild beluga whales in Alaska. But they said they opposed holding the whales in captivity. "What we are concerned about is those intelligent, smart and emotional animals being held in tiny tanks," said organizer Olga Pristin of the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians. Pristin said the campaign is to raise awareness about captive cetaceans, so people can then research the issues and come to their own conclusions.  She said the protestors aren't demanding the immediate release of captive cetaceans into the ocean. She said some animals can be successfully rehabilitated and released, while some cannot. For those mammals unable to be released into the wild, they propose "sea pens" so the animals can live in more natural and spacious settings than aquarium tanks. Pristin also stressed that the movement wants to stop any attempts to import wild, captured animals. Nancy Burnett of Norwich, who, along with her sister, Sally Martin of Hartford, held signs along Coogan Boulevard, said she joined the protest because she finds it inhumane to hold whales in tanks. "They take these wonderful mammals and force them into tiny enclosures where they can't do what they were born to do — which is to dive deep in the depths of the ocean — and have to instead live this horribly frustrating and cruel existence in a little glass enclosure," she said. William Rossiter, the executive director for advocacy, science and grants for the Cetacean Society International, was among the protesters. He said the public is growing more and more aware of the challenges cetaceans face in captivity, with information available on the internet and in documentaries. "Society is changing," he said. "Mystic Aquarium has time to change and adapt to the new business model society is demanding." Anne Flaherty, 16, of Wayland, Mass., had approached an Empty the Tanks organizer to hold a demonstration in Mystic. "I've been against cetacean captivity for a long time, and I really wanted to actively do something about it," she said. She said her concern began after watching the documentary "Blackfish," which is about killer whales at Seaworld, and researching the issue. Mystic Aquarium issued an official statement earlier this week in response to the planned protest: "Our staff dedicates themselves tirelessly to the care and well-being of the beluga whales and all the animals at Mystic Aquarium. We understand and appreciate that there are different views on animals in human care. While we respect those opinions, we stand by the efforts of our staff and researchers, who work for the betterment and sustainability of the entire ocean planet including its inhabitants. At Mystic Aquarium we have a team of biologists and veterinarians engaged in pure and applied research. A team whose work is republished and cited. With differing views, we are thankful that the best interest of whales is central to both sides." A coalition of animal rights groups gathers to demonstrate along Coogan Blvd. outside of the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic Saturday, June 6, 2015, to raise awareness to the treatment of animals and marine mammals at aquariums as part of the worldwide "Empty the Tanks" event. (Tim Cook/The Day) As visitors walked around the aquarium on Saturday, Paul Anderson, a research scientist at Mystic Aquarium, said the mission of aquariums is to educate visitors about marine environments, so they can then become advocates for ocean conservation. “One of the best ways to do that is to connect their hearts with the animals in the ocean that they might not otherwise ever have the opportunity to experience in their lives,” he said. He said it’s very important for the aquarium to maintain not only the optimal physical health of its three beluga whales through proper nutrition and exemplary veterinary care, but also their behavioral health by engaging them in behavior-enrichment training exercises several times a day. The beluga whales' exhibit at the aquarium consists of three connected pools with a capacity of more than 750,000 gallons of water, according to the aquarium's website. Dale Wolbrink, the aquarium's director of public relations, said the aquarium is accredited and follows high standards for cetacean care. Anderson said the whales are important for the aquarium’s research, both physiological and behavioral. He said the whales at the aquarium are used as a healthy baseline to compare against whales threatened by manmade impacts, such as oil and gas drilling in the Cook Inlet in Alaska, or ocean noise from shipping. k.drelich@theday.com Twitter: @KimberlyDrelich  Source: http://www.theday.com/article/20150606/NWS01/150609479
Opponents to UTMC testing on pigs protest outside facility BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS BLADE STAFF WRITER Share20 Tweet13 Share0 Reddit0 Email0 Opponents of the University of Toledo Medical Center’s use of live pigs to train doctors in emergency medicine continued their campaign Thursday, demonstrating outside the hospital and delivering to UTMC staff a petition calling for the practice to end. About 20 protesters stationed themselves along Arlington Avenue, holding signs that called for UT to “End animal labs.” The event was organized by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington-based physicians group that focuses on animal rights. The group has tried for the last six months to convince the former Medical College of Ohio to end its use of Yorkshire pigs to practice needle chest compression, incisions in the throat or chest, and needle insertions in the bone, among other techniques. Dr. Marjorie Cramer, a retired New York City plastic surgeon who now lives in Connecticut, traveled to Toledo to join the protest because she said there are alternatives to using live pigs for the same training. “It seems so wrong that they should continue to do this,” she said. Dr. Cramer, who was trained as a general surgeon, said a pig’s anatomy and skin are different from a human’s, limiting the effectiveness of using the pigs for training. The protesters delivered a petition with more than 1,000 signatures from Ohio residents calling for the university to switch to “simulators and other human-based methods.” In a statement, UT spokesman Jon Strunk said that the university reviewed alternatives to animals, but believes that the practice produces better outcomes. “If a simulation model is developed that is equal to or superior to our current emergency medicine residency best practices, we would be happy to adopt it. We don’t believe such a model currently exists today,” Mr. Strunk said. Sharie Dulski of Toledo said she believed that the use of animals is unnecessary, and pointed to other universities that don’t use animals for the same training. “If we’ve got better ways to do this, why not?” she said. The Physicians Committee has repeatedly argued that the vast majority of teaching hospitals don’t use live animals to train doctors and that the practice is unnecessary. They placed billboards around UTMC in January highlighting that other Ohio medical schools don’t use animals. It had filed a complaint last year with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over UT’s practice, though the agency reviewed the complaint and found that the allegations are unsubstantiated. The animals are under general anesthesia, and the university said they feel no pain. They are killed after they are used in the training. UT provided a study showing that testing the procedures on animals improves student performance, while the Physicians Committee presented studies that showed the benefits of simulation training/ Neither had academic studies that compared animal training to simulation training. Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans. Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2015/06/05/Opponents-to-UTMC-testing-on-pigs-protest-outside-facility.html#lt1aHLS0y3ZPkppw.99 
A legislative recap on animal welfare Trish Hernández Jun 8, 2015 1 Share Tweet Email New Mexico’s latest legislative session was a frenzy two months when years of work on policies — both helpful and harmful to our state — received a public debate. This year, the Animal Protection Voters group (APV) was at the Roundhouse daily, working with legislators to ensure animal-friendly legislation was passed and to stop the bills that would negatively impact animals and their welfare. In 2015, APV was deeply involved in a number of legislative successes for critters, including: Passage of the state income tax checkoff/donation program to support spay/neuter programs statewide. Securing funding for the Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) Network program that provides safe havens to the animals of domestic violence victims needing to escape a violent home. Legislation to ban appalling coyote-killing contests, approved by the Senate on a bipartisan vote — the first time a state legislative chamber has passed such a bill. (The bill was killed in its first House committee.) Defeat of a number of harmful agriculture industry bills, including sweeping “Ag-Gag” and “Right To Farm” legislations that would enable farm animal abuse and violate citizens’ constitutional rights to complain about farmed animal abuse and other factory farm nuisances. Defeat of an extreme and egregious bill to strip all state protections from New Mexico’s vital cougar population. We have many people to thank for our Roundhouse successes this year (including our awesome legislative interns Alex and Ann), but the biggest credit goes to our members and supporters including you. Without your help in contacting legislators on behalf of animals, including as part of the wildly successful Animal Lobby Day, no good legislation can ever become law. We urge your continued vigilance in the future on behalf of pro-animal legislation and against the bills to weaken New Mexico’s humane infrastructure. All these bills are the result of years of work behind the scenes, so please consider the following ways to help spotlight the needs of animals in the political arena and to the public servants working toward that end: Encourage your friends to sign up for APV email updates and social media. Review our APV scorecards to find out how your state representative and senator voted. Become a member of APV this year and beyond. Volunteer with APV. From Elisabeth Jennings, APNM/APV executive director This past session was a short but very productive one with respect to animal legislation. We were fortunate to have three pro-animal protection appropriations bills funded, three bills passed, and four other bills introduced. Looking ahead, we need to make sure that wildlife-killing contests are banned statewide. With your help and support, we have been successful in exposing this barbaric activity to New Mexicans who have overwhelmingly expressed their disgust with this senseless killing of wild animals. Our elected policy makers have heard the strong outcry against these contests, and we intend to continue our efforts to get legislation passed that makes these contests against the law. Although Roswell’s Valley Meat Company decided not to continue pursuing a horse slaughterhouse in our state, we will still work hard to ensure no legislation is passed that paves the way for this vile enterprise. More and more New Mexicans understand the relationship between violence to animals and domestic violence in families. We will continue to work with our partners active in domestic violence prevention to pass legislation that protects and shelters the many helpless animal companions caught in the middle of domestic disputes and in need of a safe haven. APV just issued its candidate endorsements exclusively to APV members, as required by law, and has been financially supporting select candidates through the APV Political Action Committee. We will be closely monitoring the statewide elections Nov. 4 in anticipation of seeing voters choose officials who understand the importance of passing strong laws to protect animals in the Land of Enchantment. Thank you for your crucial role in this lifesaving work! +1  Taos Bark Contact Trish Hernandez at taosbark@gmail.com or (575) 741-5149.  Source: http://www.taosnews.com/opinion/article_f40f9376-0ace-11e5-b955-dbde6770d272.html
Franklin Co. lawmaker's animal-welfare bills advance in Harrisburg Story Comments Print Create a hardcopy of this page Font Size: Default font size Larger font size Posted: Sunday, June 7, 2015 7:14 pm Franklin Co. lawmaker's animal-welfare bills advance in Harrisburg Posted on Jun 7, 2015 by Jennifer Fitch CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A pair of bills related to animal welfare sailed through the Pennsylvania Senate last week, giving their sponsor, state Sen. Richard Alloway II, more confidence about getting them signed into law this year. Senate Bill 373 would prohibit tying dogs outside without shelter in severe weather and Senate Bill 78 would crack down on kennel licenses being transferred within families in which someone already has had a license revoked for a dog-law violation. Senate Bill 373 passed on a 45-4 vote and Senate Bill 78 passed unanimously. Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/Cumberland/York, introduced similar bills last year, but they died in committee. He held events in Gettysburg, Pa., and the state capital in Harrisburg, Pa., to drum up support this session. “I hope the House takes a good, hard look at it,” he said. The bills are part of a package that also includes legislation about abuse of horses and enhanced penalties for animals killed during domestic-violence events. State Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Franklin/Fulton/Cumberland/Blair, introduced Senate Bill 294 to include equines for the first time in Pennsylvania’s animal-cruelty law, and the bill also adds starvation to the list of abuses, according to a news release. ADVERTISEMENT Eichelberger calls Senate Bill 294 "Cordelia's Law," for a horse discovered in a Bedford County, Pa., auto-salvage yard. The horse did not have shelter and was seriously underweight. "The horse was rescued by a former staff member of mine," Eichelberger said in the release. "She and veterinarians worked tirelessly for days, trying to nurse Cordelia back to health. Sadly, the horse had been deprived of food for such a long period that they couldn’t save her.” Alloway said a misconception of his anti-tethering bill is that people won't ever be able to tie their dogs outside. Instead, he said the bill restricts tying dogs outside without shelter during severe weather. The bill prohibits tethering dogs if the National Weather Service has issued a severe-weather warning. It also prohibits tethering for more than 30 minutes if the temperature is less than 32 degrees or more than 90 degrees. Domestic dogs' fur coats are not protection in extreme temperatures, Alloway said. "The purpose of this bill is as much education as it is enforcement," he said. Alloway said he has received criticism on the bill from hound and beagle associations. He said he would be OK with the House making some changes to the proposal. "If you take care of your dogs and take proper care of them, this should not be a concern for you," he said.  Source: http://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/tri_state/pennsylvania/franklin-co-lawmaker-s-animal-welfare-bills-advance-in-harrisburg/article_f6158e5c-0d6a-11e5-9a5f-ff77b682c32c.html
Activists fight for stronger animal cruelty laws Web staff Published: June 9, 2015, 7:57 am Updated: June 9, 2015, 5:59 pm  ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Animal rights activists gathered in Albany to call for more training for law enforcement when it comes to animal cruelty laws. The New York Farm Bureau and New York State Humane Society Association held a press conference at the Legislative Office Building Tuesday morning. They were joined by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple calling for the passage of a bill already introduced at the Capitol. It would provide training and educational materials to help prepare law enforcement and those who prosecute animal abuse cases. “It all boils down to we know there are laws out there that we can utilize based on culpability, but how do you apply those laws?” Apple said. “When do they come into play? So the resources are I can’t stress enough how important it is.” The bill has moved out of the Assembly Government Operations Committee and is now in Ways and Means. If it makes it to the floor and is signed into law, the information would be available in both written and electronic form, which officers said would help them when it comes to talking with pet owners.  Source: http://news10.com/2015/06/09/activists-fight-for-stronger-animal-cruelty-laws/
Israel shutters slaughterhouse following animal-cruelty allegations - Israel - - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News Israel shutters slaughterhouse following animal-cruelty allegations Agriculture Ministry closes country’s largest abattoir after Channel 2 report showed systematic abuse of lambs, sheep and calves. By Ilan Lior 21:10 09.06.15 2 Text size Comments (2) related tags Israel agriculture The Ministry of Agriculture has ordered the shutdown of the Dabbah slaughterhouse in Deir al-Assad near Carmiel, following allegations of violations of the law against cruelty to animals. On Sunday night, TV Channel 2 screened an investigative report documenting systematic mistreatment of animals at the slaughterhouse. Dabbah is the largest such facility...   Source: http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/.premium-1.660403
Let My Simians Go: Should Chimps Have The Same Rights We Do? Tue, Jun 09, 2015 by Rich Barlow 4 PRINT Share on emailEMAIL 14 Lawyers for two chimpanzees are arguing that the animals have "personhood" rights and should be freed from the Long Island university where they are kept. (Pat Sullivan/AP) Today’s most tantalizing civil liberties case doesn’t involve government snooping into Americans’ online communications. Important as that is, recent weeks have shone a light on a lesser-known group of rights-deprived victims whose plight demands attention. Chimpanzees. A New York lawsuit seeking to free two lab chimps on the grounds that they are “autonomous and self-determining beings” didn’t seem so crazy in light of just-announced research that these apes are not too shabby as chefs. Skeptics properly worry about potential shackles on medical research. But the group bringing the suit deserves thanks for getting us to ponder a broader point: From entertainment to farming to some research, it’s past time to rein in mindless mistreatment of animals. from entertainment to farming to some research, it’s past time to rein in mindless mistreatment of animals. Two weeks ago, lawyer Steven Wise, president of the Florida-based Nonhuman Rights Project, argued in New York County Supreme Court that Stony Brook University should spring Hercules and Leo, chimpanzees used to study locomotion. “They’re essentially in solitary confinement,” Wise said, asking the judge to issue a writ of habeas corpus transferring the animals to a Florida sanctuary. “This is what we do to the worst human criminal.” There’s no denying the intelligence and sensitivity of this species, or that its usefulness in researching illness has dwindled, as scientists have genetically altered mice and other animals to give them immune systems similar to humans’. Last year, the National Institutes of Health ended federal funding for research using chimpanzees and announced that the government would retire all but 50 of its 360 lab chimps to the ape equivalent of Happy Acres. (True, they won’t get their own kitchens there. But in another nod to their cognition, Harvard and Yale research has showed that chimpanzees, in The New York Times’ words, “have the patience and foresight to resist eating raw food and to place it in a device meant to appear, at least to the chimps, to cook it.”) Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Foundation, and Assistant Attorney General Christopher Coulston, standing left and right, appear in Manhattan State Supreme Court, in New York, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (Richard Drew/AP) The New York attorney general’s office, representing Stony Brook, argued that granting chimps the legal personhood Wise seeks would be unprecedented and could unleash a slew of rights for a slew of other animals. The first objection is easily dismissed. As Wise pointed out, the never-been-done-before rationale would have denied human rights to humans who originally weren’t deemed such — blacks and Native Americans. As for granting human rights to non-humans, that’s been done for corporations and even ships. The Boston Globe noted that, since the country’s early years, courts have considered ships as people to facilitate accident cases in which a vessel’s owner isn’t present. Would freedom for Hercules and Leo force open the lab cages for other animals that are essential for research? After all, people come first in the drive for cures, as even philosopher Peter Singer, godfather of the animal rights movement, agrees. At least for now, monkeys, to cite an example, might be needed to test drugs against Ebola, which has killed more than 11,000 Africans in the last year-plus. Wise brushed off the slippery slope argument, saying the science behind chimps’ autonomy puts only a limited number of animals in the same league: great apes, elephants, some types of whales and dolphins, and African gray parrots. (This would be a relief to veterinarians, some of whom worry that, in our litigious society, Rover could get personhood rights, potentially exposing his doctors to malpractice suits.) Wise probably is right that courts would be gun-shy about crimping necessary research, given how slow humanity has been to surrender unnecessary exploitation of creation. Witness this video of our continued, subsidized support of animal cruelty in industrialized food production, though I’d advise not witnessing it while you eat. Wise says that winning his case wouldn’t imperil factory farming of animals. That’s sad. in contemplating the new idea of animal autonomy, an old cliché is in order: we shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I’ll show my hand: I’m vegetarian, though I don’t expect carnivores to change their diets; I’d just favor smaller-scale farms on which animals were raised and slaughtered as humanely as possible. I’d be delighted, of course, by the demise of meat-eating predicted by one pundit. I cheer Ringling Bros.’s plans to eliminate elephant acts and customer boycotts of SeaWorld over allegations of mistreatment of its orcas. Meanwhile, animal welfare is an area that demands we all show some humility. Wise himself has written that in modern life, it’s impossible to avoid animal-derived products; they’re used in tires, plastic, contraceptive cream, ink, soap and paper. We can’t be perfect. Yet in contemplating the new idea of animal autonomy, an old cliché is in order: We shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Related: On Point: On the Differences Between Chimps and Humans Here & Now: Are Chimpanzees Bilingual?   Source: http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2015/06/09/animal-rights-lawsuit-rich-barlow
Morgan County Dairy On Probation After Abuse Allegations By Luke Runyon & Harvest Public Media An image grab from a video allegedly captured at Cactus Acres Holsteins in Morgan County, Colorado shows a worker prodding a cow's udder. Credit Mercy For Animals A Morgan County, Colorado dairy farm is at the center of an animal abuse investigation following the release of a video showing workers punching and stabbing dairy cattle. Morgan County Sheriff Jim Crone has yet to press criminal charges against workers shown in the video, but says he’s working with the farm’s owners Jim and Marie Goedert to locate current and former employees. In a statement, the Goederts say they’ve taken disciplinary action against the employees involved. Update, 06.11.2015 3:51 p.m.: A spokesperson for Denver-based Leprino Foods, which sources milk from Dairy Farmers of America farms in Colorado for its cheese manufacturing plants in Fort Morgan and Greeley, says the company has stopped accepting milk from Cactus Acres Holsteins. The company says it has launched its own investigation into the animal abuse allegations. Our original story continues below. -- The video, recorded by an undercover investigator with Los Angeles-based group Mercy for Animals, show employees at Cactus Acres Holsteins kicking the animals in their heads and udders, stabbing cows with screw drivers and violently pulling their tails. Law enforcement are currently combing through the more than 300 hours of video recorded at the farm, which Mercy For Animals handed over in May, Crone says. But the actions may not yield any criminal charges. “It may look inhumane and it may look like bad business practice, but it might not cross a line into criminal activity,” Crone says. Mercy For Animals wants more than just criminal charges against the workers. The group, which previously released videos documenting abuse at a Colorado hog farm, said in a release they expect Dairy Farmers of America to tighten rules for its member farms. Cactus Acres is a member of the Kansas City-based cooperative. “We are also calling on Dairy Farmers of America to immediately adopt meaningful animal welfare guidelines and oversight for all of its member farms,” the group’s statement reads. “As a national milk marketing cooperative with nearly 15,000 member farms, Dairy Farmers of America has not only the power, but also the responsibility to end many of the worst forms of animal abuse in the dairy industry.” For its part, Dairy Farmers of America tried to get out in front of the video release from Mercy for Animals, sending out a release days before the animal rights group made its recordings public. Following an audit, the cooperative placed Cactus Acres on probation while the farm works on its policies regarding animal treatment and personnel. The conversation about farm animal abuse has shifted. There seems to be little disagreement that, yes, animals are sometimes harmed on farms, but massive rifts remain in how quickly the people who witness it should report it to law enforcement. Those rifts have led to state laws colloquially known as “ag-gag laws” which criminalize video or photographic documentation of farms with the intent to cause harm to the operation. Other ag-gag laws force workers to report animal cruelty within a specific time frame, 24 or 48 hours, which puts a hamper on the edited, produced video released from organizations like Mercy For Animals. “We couldn’t believe that someone who we hired as a milker and trusted to do the right thing and care for our cows would act so contrary to our values,” said farm owner Marie Goedert of the Mercy For Animals undercover investigator, Jessica Buck. “Why not bring these concerns to our attention immediately?” Mercy For Animals says it quickly turned over videos at Cactus Acres to law enforcement once it had enough evidence to show criminal activity. A bill in Colorado’s 2015 state legislative session would’ve created a reporting mandate for animal cruelty. State senator Jerry Sonnenberg, a Republican from Sterling, introduced Senate Bill 42 [.pdf] to require any animal cruelty to be reported within a 48 hour period.  Source: http://www.kunc.org/post/morgan-county-dairy-probation-after-abuse-allegations
DFA urges activist groups to report abuse immediately Story Comments Print Create a hardcopy of this page Font Size: Default font size Larger font size Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 12:00 am | Updated: 3:02 pm, Tue Jun 16, 2015. DFA urges activist groups to report abuse immediately By The Dairy Farmers of America hpj.com | 0 comments Dairy Farmers of America announced recently the completion of a third-party audit of one of its member farms, Cactus-Acre Holsteins. This announcement comes two days after the Cooperative proactively released an undercover video, shot by animal rights extremist group, Mercy For Animals, depicting animal abuse on the farm owned by Jim and Marie Goedert in Fort Morgan, Colorado. The video can be viewed at www.dfamilk.com/animal-abuse-the-dairy-industry-not-tolerated. The audit, conducted by Validus, is part of the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management Program’s Willful Animal Mistreatment Protocol. The protocol, which sets forth a process of investigation, probation, if warranted, and corrective action, is founded on the principles of continuous improvement. Based on the results of the investigative audit, Cactus-Acres Holsteins has been placed on probationary status pending the successful completion of a corrective action plan. DFA utilizes the FARM Program as part of the Gold Standard Dairy Program, its on-farm evaluation program. These programs, as well as DFA’s decision to publicly release the undercover video ahead of MFA, demonstrate the Cooperative and industry’s ongoing commitment to the care and wellness of the nation’s dairy herd. The Goederts, who milk approximately 2,500 cows and employ more than 30 employees, were shocked to learn of the allegations levied against them, particularly because they utilize a video monitoring system on their dairy and had already terminated several employees over concerns about poor performance and animal mistreatment in the preceding weeks. “We couldn’t believe that someone who we hired as a milker and trusted to do the right thing and care for our cows would act so contrary to our values,” said Marie Goedert of the undercover activist, Jessica Buck. “Why not bring these concerns to our attention immediately?” It is an ongoing tactic for animal rights extremist groups like Mercy For Animals to secretly record footage on farms throughout the country for weeks, even months at a time before reporting any allegations of abuse or mistreatment. In some states, this is a crime. DFA is planning to work with the Goederts to press charges. “It is extremely frustrating and ineffective to simply record activities that go against industry and farm practices and protocols, rather than report it immediately,” said Monica Massey, DFA’s senior vice president of corporate affairs. “For groups that claim to have animal care and welfare as their sole mission, they seem to spend a lot of time simply observing what they think is the inhumane treatment of animals instead of stopping it. Abuse should be reported, not recorded.” Over the course of the two-month period Buck was employed at the Goederts’ dairy, she secretly recorded incidents of abuse instead of reporting them to farm management. The Cooperative is encouraging anyone who witnesses animal abuse to report it immediately and has begun a social media campaign utilizing #ReportNotRecord. “We take great pride in running a quality operation, and abuse is never tolerated,” Marie said. “We are devastated that these acts were committed by employees on our dairy. We acknowledge that there were mistakes made and take full responsibility for those. We appreciate the feedback from the audit and will work to correct those areas that need improvement immediately in order to be taken off probation.” The Goederts, however, said they also question the role that Buck played in eliciting or inciting other employees to commit abuse and intend to work with the local sheriff to ensure that all those seen abusing animals are brought to justice for their crimes. DFA acted proactively by not waiting for MFA to release the video, instead releasing it themselves and taking full responsibility for its member farm. “We denounce the actions of MFA and their deceptive and manipulative tactics,” Massey said. “Animal abuse is never tolerated, and should be reported immediately, not recorded.”  Source: http://www.hpj.com/livestock__general/dfa-urges-activist-groups-to-report-abuse-immediately/article_c8a52c9b-2d1e-5998-bcc3-f39c27e6e800.html
Dairy on Probation after Abuse Allegations By Luke Runyon • Jun 15, 2015 ShareTwitter Facebook Google+ Email  An image grab from a video allegedly captured at Cactus Acres Holsteins in Morgan County, Colorado shows a worker prodding a cow's udder. Courtesy of Mercy for Animals A Morgan County, Colorado, dairy farm is at the center of an animal abuse investigation following the release of a video showing workers punching and stabbing dairy cattle. Morgan County Sheriff Jim Crone has yet to press criminal charges against workers shown in the videos, but says he’s working with the farm’s owners Jim and Marie Goedert to locate current and former employees. In a statement, the Goederts say they’ve taken disciplinary action against the employees involved. The videos, recorded by an undercover investigator with Los Angeles-based group Mercy for Animals, allegedly shows employees at Cactus Acres Holsteins kicking the animals in their heads and udders, stabbing cows with screw drivers and violently pulling their tails.  Law enforcement are currently combing through the more than 300 hours of video recorded at the farm, which Mercy For Animals handed over in May, Crone says. But the actions may not yield any criminal charges. “It may look inhumane and it may look like bad business practice, but it might not cross a line into criminal activity,” Crone says. Mercy For Animals wants more than just criminal charges against the workers. The group, which previously released videos documenting abuse at a Colorado hog farm, said in a release they expect Dairy Farmers of America to tighten rules for its member farms. Cactus Acres is a member of the Kansas City-based cooperative. “We are also calling on Dairy Farmers of America to immediately adopt meaningful animal welfare guidelines and oversight for all of its member farms,” the group’s statement reads. “As a national milk marketing cooperative with nearly 15,000 member farms, Dairy Farmers of America has not only the power, but also the responsibility to end many of the worst forms of animal abuse in the dairy industry.” For its part, Dairy Farmers of America tried to get out in front of the video release from Mercy for Animals, sending out a release days before the animal rights group made its recordings public, in which the group says “animal abuse in the dairy industry is not tolerated.” Following an audit, the cooperative placed Cactus Acres on probation while the farm works on its policies regarding animal treatment and personnel. The conversation about farm animal abuse has shifted. There seems to be little disagreement that, yes, animals are sometimes harmed on farms, but massive rifts remain in how quickly the people who witness it should report it to law enforcement. Those rifts have led to state laws colloquially known as “ag-gag laws” which criminalize video or photographic documentation of farms with the intent to cause harm to the operation. Other ag-gag laws force workers to report animal cruelty within a specific time frame, 24 or 48 hours, which puts a hamper on the edited, produced video released from organizations like Mercy For Animals. “We couldn’t believe that someone who we hired as a milker and trusted to do the right thing and care for our cows would act so contrary to our values,” said farm owner Marie Goedert of the Mercy For Animals undercover investigator, Jessica Buck. “Why not bring these concerns to our attention immediately?” Mercy For Animals says it quickly turned over videos at Cactus Acres to law enforcement once it had enough evidence to show criminal activity. Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, Iowa and Utah are among that states that limit reporting on agricultural operations. A bill in Colorado’s 2015 state legislative session would have created a reporting mandate for animal cruelty, requiring any animal cruelty to be reported within a 48 hour period. But it was tabled. Ag-gag laws in Idaho and Utah are currently the subject of federal lawsuits.  Source: http://iowapublicradio.org/post/dairy-probation-after-abuse-allegations
Animal-rights group accuses Foster Farms of abusing chickens Foster Farms suspends 5 workers in wake of allegations Mercy For Animals releases undercover video Group calls abuses some of the worst it has seen Foster Farms chicken for sale | BEA AHBECK CASSON Merced Sun-Star Entrance to the Foster Farms processing plant on Cherry Avenue in southwest Fresno, one of two Foster Farms plants in the city. | CRAIG KOHLRUSS ckohlruss@fresnobee.com By Robert Rodriguez brodriguez@fresnobee.com LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest Reddit Print Order Reprint of this Story Foster Farms, one of the largest poultry processors in the West, has suspended five employees in the wake of an undercover video by an animal rights group showing workers allegedly mistreating animals at one of the company’s two processing plants in Fresno and several ranches in the area. The group, Mercy For Animals, released a video Wednesday that shows workers “beating and throwing chickens and ripping out their feathers for fun,” representatives said. The video, narrated by former television game show host and animal rights advocate Bob Barker, was secretly taped by two Mercy For Animals investigators who worked for the poultry company over the last several months. Much of the video footage is taken during the shackle line where workers must hang the chickens, upside down, on a moving line. One worker appears to be throwing the poultry onto the moving line. Another worker is shown pulling the chickens’ feathers off. In a statement released Wednesday, Foster Farms responded to the allegations. “It is Foster Farms’ policy to take disciplinary action against animal welfare violations up to and including termination of employees who do not follow animal welfare policies,” the statement says. “Foster Farms is reinforcing animal welfare training company wide on its ranches and in its plants.” Matt Rice, Mercy For Animals’ director of investigations, called the abuses some of the worst he has seen. “The workers appear to be taking pleasure in torturing the animals,” Rice said. Veterinarian Armaiti May said Mercy for Animals’ findings were “some of the more horrifying, egregious abuse and neglect I have ever witnessed in my 10-year career.” May, who practices in Los Angeles, called the shackle line “inherently cruel and inhumane,” as it can lead to extreme pain and distress, dislocations, broken bones, bruises and internal injuries for the birds. She attended a late-morning press conference on behalf of Mercy For Animals. Birds that were not properly attached on the line often missed the kill step and are still alive when immersed in scalding hot water to remove feathers. “It shouldn’t have to take a veterinarian to point out that scalding animals alive is cruel,” she said. The intentionally cruel acts that workers engaged in, such as punching and throwing chickens and ripping out their feathers, are not only inhumane but illegal under California law, she said. “I have no doubt, as a doctor of veterinary medicine, that these birds experienced an extreme amount of pain, suffering and misery during their short lives,” she said. place_quote1 Foster Farms officials said that the company is cooperating with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office while conducting its own investigation. Foster Farms says it suspended the employees because they were either directly involved in abusive behavior or witnessed the incidents without reporting the violations to management. Rice, however, said the investigator reported the acts of cruelty to a supervisor on May 20 and to a company hotline on May 21, but nothing was done. That’s when the organization filed a complaint with the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said the department is investigating the complaint. “The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the allegations Mercy For Animals is making against Foster Farms and we are looking into the matter,” Botti said in a statement. “The investigation is ongoing and detectives do not have any specific details to release at this time.” Rice said video was taken at Foster Farms’ plant at 900 W. Belgravia Ave. in southwest Fresno. The company operates a second plant on South Cherry Avenue in west Fresno. Its main facility is in Livingston. Mercy For Animals says it focused on Foster Farms, in part, because of its relationship with the American Humane Association, the nation’s oldest humane organization, protecting children, pets and farm animals against cruelty, abuse and neglect. Foster Farms earned the organization’s certification in 2013 for adhering to strict animal welfare practices. Rice said the organization wanted to make sure those standards were being followed at Foster Farms. “People have a right to know where their food comes from,” Rice said. Mark Stubis, spokesman for the American Humane Association, said the organization was surprised at what was on the video. “We know that Foster Farms has worked hard to create a culture of humane treatment and they have not failed an audit of their certification in the three years we have been working with them,” Stubis said. “We are working with the producer to find out what happened and to make sure corrective actions are taken.” Staff writer Sarah Anderson contributed to this report. Robert Rodriguez: (559) 441-6327, @FresnoBeeBob Foster Farms in the news March 2013 Foster Farms becomes the first major poultry company in the West to be certified by American Human Association for raising its chickens humanely. March 2013 The first cases of salmonella linked to Foster Farms chicken are reported. The number of cases continues to rise more than a year later, with at least 634 people affected. Oct. 11, 2013 The U.S. Department of Agriculture clears Foster Farms as fit to operate after giving company four days to show it had corrected the problems that led to the outbreak. Oct. 2013 Foster Farms places full-page ads in major Western newspapers and improves its food safety handling practices. Jan. 8, 2014 Federal inspectors suspend processing at the Livingston plant when cockroaches are found. The plant is closed for three days before reopening for a day. June 16, 2014 Foster Farms celebrates its 75th anniversary. Sept. 9, 2014 President and CEO Ron Foster steps down, remaining an owner and board member. June 1, 2014 - Foster Farms launches its first lines of organic and antibiotic-free chicken. June 17, 2015 Foster Farms accused by Mercy For Animals of inhumane treatment of chickens during processing. Five workers suspended by the company. Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/business/agriculture/article24753604.html#storylink=cpy 
Zoo owner charged with mistreating animals (DOCUMENT) File photo By KELLY HUMPHREY | Daily News Published: Friday, June 19, 2015 at 04:40 PM. GULF BREEZE — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed a complaint against Eric Mogensen, the owner and operator of the Gulf Breeze Zoo.  The complaint charges Mogensen and his daughter, Meghan, with multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act at the Gulf Breeze facility, as well as two other facilities that Mogensen owns in Virginia.  The Humane Society of the United States, which monitors reports of animal cruelty, contacted the Daily News regarding the complaint. Read the report. "We think it's important that people understand what goes on at these roadside zoos," said Lisa Wathne, a captive wildlife specialist with the animal welfare organization. "The charges in the complaint are pretty heinous." Among the charges included in the report are allegations that the zoo failed to establish an adequate veterinary program, failed to handle animals as carefully as possible to prevent harm to the animals and the public, failed to separate incompatible animals, and failed to provide adequate ventilation for the animals. Efforts to contact the Mogensens were unsuccessful. Valerie Samu, a marketing specialist at the Gulf Breeze Zoo, was not aware of the charges. "This is the first I've heard of it," Samu said on Friday afternoon. The complaint included several examples. In one incident, an attendant was not present when the public, including children, had contact with camels, goats, and llamas, resulting in a child being bitten by a camel. In another case, a tiger enclosure was found to have rusted, jagged and sharp edges, while a lion enclosure had exposed nails. According to the Humane Society, Meghan Mogensen pleaded guilty to animal cruelty while working at the Reston Zoo in Virginia, and was barred from making decisions about animal care and euthanasia. She later transferred to the Gulf Breeze Zoo. The complaint also contained several charges related to activities at the Reston Zoo and the Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Those charges include euthanizing an animal by drowning, and mishandling of a spider monkey that resulted in its death due to hypothermia. According to Wathne, the Mogensens will have an opportunity to respond to the charges. "Ultimately, they may have to appear at a hearing," she said. "The outcomes could be many, from fines to having their licenses suspended or revoked. If that happens, they will not be able to operate the facility." USDA: Zoo violations were extensive The USDA has charged the owner/operator of the Gulf Breeze Zoo with the following violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act: - Failure to establish an adequate program of veterinary care. Used expired medications to treat and vaccinate animals and identified and employed gunshot as a means of euthanasia (without adequate training and documentation). - Repeated failure to handle animals as carefully as possible to prevent harm to the animals and the public. An attendant was not present when the public, including children, had contact with camels, goats and llamas, resulting in a child being bitten by a camel, and a short-tail opossum escaped from an enclosure that was not covered and was found dead the next day. - Repeated failure to safely handle and house primates. There was not sufficient distance and/or barriers to restrict the public from having contact with squirrel monkeys, tamarins, and/or marmosets. - Repeated failure to maintain animal enclosures. An enclosure housing golden-headed lion tamarins had protruding nails, an enclosure housing a Patagonian cavy had buried wire mesh with sharp ends that protruded into the enclosure, a door in an enclosure housing tigers had rusted, jagged, and sharp edges, and an enclosure housing raccoons had very rusted and corroded wire as well as wood that was splintered and warped. - Failure to separate incompatible animals. Rabbits were housed in incompatible groups, resulting in newborn rabbits “being eaten, chewed upon, or otherwise injured by the other rabbits in the enclosure,” and causing the newborns to die or be euthanized due to their injuries. - Failure to provide shelter from sunlight or inclement weather to goats and sheep. - Failure to ensure that food was clean and wholesome when food for marmosets was prepared at a sink that was dirty and had dead insects and mouse droppings around the sink’s perimeter. - Failure to provide adequate ventilation in facilities used to house tigers at night. - Failure to clean food receptacles for lions and tigers. - Failure to maintain records of acquisition and disposition for a white rhinoceros, a short-tailed possum, goats and a Virginia opossum.   Contact Daily News Staff Writer Kelly Humphrey at 850-315-4443 or khumphrey@nwfdailynews.com. Follow her on Twitter @kellyhnwfdn.  Source: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/local/zoo-owner-charged-with-mistreating-animals-document-1.492957
Proposed legislation would crack down on puppy mills, abuse 12:06 a.m. EDT June 21, 2015 Greig CONNECT 1 TWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE State Reps. Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) and Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) introduced two pieces of legislation that would crack down on inhumane puppy mills and protect dogs against animal abuse in Michigan. “Pets have become such an important part of many families, and the joy of bringing home a new puppy is a moment to be treasured,” said Greig. “I want to make sure, however, that they are bred in a safe and humane environment. A small handful of unscrupulous breeders are trying to maximize their profits by breeding large numbers of puppies in unhealthy conditions. This legislation will ensure that dogs aren’t abused in large-scale puppy mills and will hold abusers accountable if they harm dogs.” Far too often, large numbers of breeding dogs — usually purebreds —face years of confinement in cramped breeding facilities without human interaction, exercise or adequate veterinary care. They are commonly kept in dirty cages that are stacked on top of each other, with nothing to stand or lay on but wire and metal. Their puppies are sold for profit, either in pet stores or on the Internet. The bill introduced by Greig, House Bill 4761, requires large-scale commercial breeding kennels to provide adequate housing, sanitary conditions, veterinary care, shelter, food and water. Large-scale commercial breeding kennels are defined as facilities having 15 or more intact female dogs housed for breeding purposes. Roberts’ bill, HB 4760, would require large-scale commercial breeding kennels to be licensed and inspected by the Department of Agriculture. “I believe that all animals should be treated with basic dignity and raised in decent living conditions. These dogs should receive proper veterinary care and have access to food and water as well as regular exercise and enough space to move around in. Licensing and inspections will help ensure this happens,” Roberts said. “These common-sense measures will protect breeding dogs from abuse and neglect, and help ensure that the puppies people bring home are healthy and happy.”  Source: http://www.hometownlife.com/story/news/local/farmington-hills/2015/06/21/proposed-legislation-crack-puppy-mills-abuse/28940881/
Exposing Cruel Research Investigative reporting prompts widespread outrage By Beth Jojack A taxpayer-funded facility subjected farm animals to horrific experiments. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA/Newscom Micheal Moss happened upon a bleating, newborn lamb left all alone on a Nebraska pasture. With a hailstorm approaching, the animal—abandoned by her mother, starving, without shelter—faced certain death. Moss would later describe this scene as haunting. "I think for that moment, I felt what ranchers and farmers feel when they see their animals suffer and die," Moss says. "In this case, the difference was that it was part of the program to allow that death to happen by design as the scientists labored to create stronger, more profitable sheep." The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter traveled to Clay Center, Nebraska, last year to report on the treatment of sheep, cows and pigs at the taxpayer-funded U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. Along with the visit, Moss combed through a pile of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the center. The resulting exposé, which ran on the front page of The New York Times in January, painted a horrific picture of scientists doing experiments such as leaving lambs to fend for themselves as part of an attempt to breed so-called "easy care" sheep. Another test forced pigs into steam chambers to study their appetites. And the center failed at even the most basic aspects of animal care: Moss reported thousands of animals were allowed to starve to death. Urge your legislators to close the animal research loophole by supporting the AWARE Act » The article, and an accompanying photo of a pile of dead lambs, generated immediate outrage and alarm. Sen. Cory Booker posted a reaction on Twitter the day the story ran, writing that Moss’ article "speaks to a level of cruelty to animals that is unacceptable." By early February, the New Jersey Democrat, along with a bipartisan slate of lawmakers, had introduced the Research Endeavors (AWARE) Act in the House and Senate. The bill would eliminate a loophole that exempts farm animals used in agricultural experiments from Animal Welfare Act protections. The HSUS mobilized advocates to encourage their legislators to support the act. Kathleen Conlee, HSUS vice president of animal research issues, says her office also has requested thousands of pages of documents and is researching the facility. Following the uproar over Moss’ reporting, the USDA published its own report, prepared after a three-day, preannounced visit to the facility in February. The authors found the center provided inadequate oversight of animal care and research projects and that employees need a clearly defined training program in animal handling. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the center will not be allowed to begin any new experiments until the situation improves. I think for that moment, I felt what ranchers and farmers feel when they see their animals suffer and die." - Michael Moss Moss began looking into the facility after receiving a tip in late 2013 from veterinarian and epidemiologist James Keen, who had worked there for more than 20 years. Attempts to reach Keen at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he now works, were not successful, but Moss reported that Keen said he’s been forbidden to return to the facility after allowing in a reporter. Moss believes the whistleblower faced other ramifications as well. "I think he has felt some criticism from peers for speaking out,” Moss says, "but he’s also been receiving an incredible amount of support from colleagues who for one reason or another weren’t able to speak out like he was but are expressing gratitude that he did." Beyond the gruesome animal abuse, Moss' article also touched on the trend of consumers demanding more humanely raised meat. "What the story did," he says, "was reflect this growing concern among people about what they put in their bodies, where their food comes from, both from a health standpoint and an animal welfare standpoint." During his reporting, Moss located several meat producers who objected to the experiments. One rancher Moss interviewed came close to tears when talking about the responsibility he felt toward his animals. "That emotion that they feel and the dedication they have to doing right by their animals above and beyond the financial gains was really moving to me," Moss says. "There are many producers who feel strongly that we have an obligation to treat farm animals as well as we possibly can because we’re raising them and growing them to eat them, especially for that reason."  Source: http://www.humanesociety.org/news/magazines/2015/07-08/exposing-cruel-farm-animal-research-investigative-reporting-prompts-outrage.html
This tiny chip could end animal testing Harvard scientists have developed microchips that mimic human organs. By: Laura Moss June 26, 2015, 2:54 p.m. 8.4K 151 0 1 0 A small chip like this can mimic an entire human organ. (Photo: Wyss Institute at Harvard University) A plastic chip about the size of a thumb drive could be the end of animal testing. The technology, which was recently named “Design of the Year" by London’s Design Museum, is called organs-on-chips and was developed by researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Each chip is embedded with microfluidic tubes lined with human cells, through which air, blood and bacteria can be pumped, mimicking a human organ, and the chips’ clear polymer allows scientists to watch the small-scale biological processes in real time. “The organs-on-chips allow us to see biological mechanisms and behaviors that no one knew existed before,” Don Ingber, founding director of the Wyss Institute, told The Guardian. “We now have a window on the molecular-scale activities going on in human organs, including things that happen in human cells that don’t occur in animals,” Ingber said. Lung-on-a-chip is the first “organ” to be developed, but eventually chips that emulate hearts, intestines, kidneys and other organs could all be linked together to form full-body networks, enabling researchers to test drugs and cosmetics without using animals. The organs-on-chips “stand to significantly reduce the need for animal testing by providing a faster, less expensive, less controversial and accurate means to predict whether new drug compounds will be successful in human clinical trials,” the university said in a news release. More than 115 million animals worldwide are used in lab experiments annually, according to the Humane Society International, and animal-welfare advocates have long maintained that such testing is not only cruel but also unreliable as humans aren’t biologically the same as other animals. “One of the things that the pharmaceutical industry is finding is that they're having very high failure rates, and often it’s because the animal models being used to develop these drugs are not predictive of the human situation,” Geraldine Hamilton, a senior staff scientist at the Wyss Institute said. Although organs-on-chips are still years away from replacing animal trials on a large scale, the technology is already in line with public opinion. A 2014 Gallup poll found that 41 percent of Americans find medical testing on animals to be morally wrong, while a Humane Society poll revealed that 67 percent of Americans are opposed to cosmetic testing on animals. Read more: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/stories/tiny-chip-could-end-animal-testing#ixzz3eJDzRxiQ
USA: Ben & Jerry's commits to improve working conditions in Vermont dairy supply chain Author: Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) & Milk With Dignity, Published on: 26 June 2015 "Ben & Jerry’s commits to work with Vermont dairy workers toward agreement to adopt Milk with Dignity Program in company’s Northeast dairy supply chain!", 22 Jun 2015 Ben & Jerry’s...reached out to Migrant Justice, committing to negotiate an agreement to implement the Milk with Dignity Program on farms that provide dairy products to Ben & Jerry’s across the Northeast!... The preliminary agreement specifically sets out the key elements of the Milk with Dignity Program, including: Farmworker defined standards under a Code of Conduct that covers the human right to work with dignity and fair housing for all farm labor; Farmworker and farmer education about workers’ rights under the defined Code of Conduct; Third-party monitoring that provides insurance that the program is being implemented and enforced; Economic relief in the form of premiums that benefit both farmworkers and farmers; Legally-binding Agreement that defines the program. The Milk with Dignity Program is a Worker-Driven Social Responsibility (WSR) program created by Migrant Justice in Ben & Jerry’s home state of Vermont, designed to ensure dignified working and living conditions on dairy farms and based on the success of the Fair Food Program.  Source: http://business-humanrights.org/en/usa-ben-jerrys-commits-to-improve-working-conditions-in-vermont-dairy-supply-chain
Animal lab a step backward SHARE: |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS By The Herald Editorial Board Published: Monday, June 29, 2015, 12:01 a.m. advertisement | your ad here It's an exciting time in medicine and technology, and the combination of the two. New advances and discoveries are seemingly made every day. Every given new understanding in science replaces an old theory, method and/or practice. With the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, medical understanding entered a new frontier. One major area of agreement to emerge: The certainty of what we know now in terms of medicine, treatment and research will be crude and outdated in no time at all. It's against this backdrop of major change in medicine that the University of Washington Board of Regents in November 2013 approved spending over $123 million to build a new underground animal research facility on campus, (now under construction) a decision protested at the time and ever since. The approval completely ignores one of the major shifts in science today: Animal research designed to help solve human problems — whether to cure cancer or create make-up — is on its way out. For scientists, the main impetus is that animal studies don't readily translate into successful therapies for humans; and for animal rights activists, that keeping captive animals for experimentation is cruel, and that their care is usually substandard. The UW does not have a good track record when it comes to the care of animals used in their research. The USDA cited the university in 1995, 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2009. The school was cited for negligence in an incident in which a macaque starved to death; and in another case, for unauthorized neurological surgeries on monkeys to study the relationship between the brain and eye movement. The research involved putting a metal cylinder — sometimes two — into holes drilled in the monkey's skull and implanting wire coils in their eyes. The list of complaints, and citations goes on and on. It's against this ugly backdrop of failure that the UW regents approved the new lab, even when other leading research institutions, such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins, are closing such labs, and/or moving away from using animals, primarily primates, in research. Just this month, The Washington Post reported, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced new rules that put captive chimpanzees under the umbrella of greater federal protection, like wild ones. Additionally and belatedly, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is considering forcing research facilities to include information about how animals are being used for research and experiments in their annual reports. This week, Harvard researchers announced the creation of “organs-on-chips,” which mimic on the microscale the functions of human organs, The Christian Science Monitor reported, which would allow scientists to test drugs and cosmetics without the use of animals. And at less cost and time. Who knows what will be discovered tomorrow, as the UW's already out-of-date animal lab continues to be built. And protested.  Source: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150629/OPINION01/150629255
Animal rights group files complaint against California poultry firm By Daniel Desrochers @ddesrochers@mcclatchydc.comJuly 2, 2015  2015-07-03T22:01:50Z By Daniel Desrochers McClatchy_Newspapers Facebook Twitter Google Plus More Linkedin Reddit YouTube E-mail Print Order a reprint of this story Most Popular Stories Puyallup man shoots girlfriend while about to clean gun Detectives investigate car-to-car shooting in University Place Tavern’s patriotic banner causes flap in Yelm Lakewood police nab 19-time felon for drug trafficking Senate Democrats had reason for acting as they did What’s open, what’s closed Fourth of July weekend Today's Deal 50% Off Commemorative U.S. Open Posters (3 Options!) $11.00 Buy Now! WASHINGTON — Just as the chickens were about to go to slaughter, employees at a Foster Farms poultry company in Fresno County, Calif., began hitting them and pulling out their feathers. That video footage, obtained in an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group based in Los Angeles, led it to file a complaint Thursday with the Federal Trade Commission against the American Humane Association and Foster Farms for falsely advertising that the slaughterhouse treats its animals humanely. “The abuse that we documented stands in stark contrast to the labeling on these Foster Farms chicken products,” said Vandhana Bala, the general counsel for Mercy for Animals. The animal anti-cruelty group is hoping to prevent Foster Farms from using the American Humane Association’s certified logo on its products. The logo, a yellow circle with a cartoon picture of a farm and a sun inside, certifies that the company meets its standards for the humane treatment of its animals. “Customers are willing to pay a higher price for products that are considered humane,” Bala said. In response to the FTC complaint, Foster Farms said in a statement that it had recently fired five employees “who were directly involved in abusive behavior or witnessed incidents without reporting the violations to management.” The California-based company employs 10,500 people and made $2.2 billion in sales in 2013, according to Forbes. It has been certified by the American Humane Association since 2013 and has not failed an audit. “They don’t want to see them abused,” Mark Stubis, a spokesman for the association, said of the animals handled by Foster Farms. “It’s not in (the company’s) interest. We’re going to work with them to make sure corrective action is taken.” But Mercy for Animals also wants to prevent the American Humane Association from certifying farms and issuing a logo. The association certifies 100 farms across the country. “Their standards are inferior to every other standard in the country,” Bala alleged, referring to the measurements the American Humane Association sets to determine whether or not it will certify a farm. The American Humane Association has been working on protecting animal for 138 years, the same cause of Mercy for Animals. However, the two groups have different approaches. “Our perspective is that, as long as people are choosing to eat these things,” said Stubis, “we need to make sure that we can take a system that’s already efficient, safe and affordable and we need to add a humane element.” Upon seeing the Mercy for Animals video from Foster Farms, the humane association started investigating the poultry company to see if the farms still met its standards. The association performed a surprise audit with an independent investigator, which Foster Farms passed. “We tolerate no abuse of animals,” Stubis said. “But I think the public should understand that no certification program can stop a few rogue employees willfully breaking the rules.” While every state has laws against animal cruelty, the laws become more vague in regards to the treatment of farm animals. “What happens is that factory farmers are able to determine what’s legal and what’s going to be standard practice in terms of their treatment of animals,” Bala said. “And they’re generally more concerned about profits than animal welfare.” The audits are a part of the association’s certification standards, which look at things like air quality, adequate space, lighting, temperature, food and humane treatment. “We have farms where you have chickens and turkeys on pasture,” Stubis said. “But we also took the responsibility of certifying larger production farms because that’s where most of the animals are.” Daniel Desrochers: @drdesrochers Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2015/07/02/3898867_animal-rights-group-files-complaint.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy 
'Monkeygate' scandal hits Florida as breeding farms face abuse investigation Video by Peta animal rights activists allegedly showing abuse of primates prompts report on ‘trauma, pain, injuries and stress’ among monkeys Macaques bred in south Florida are the subject of federal and district scrutiny. Photograph: ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images Richard Luscombe in Miami @richlusc Monday 6 July 2015 08.00 EDT Last modified on Monday 6 July 2015 09.18 EDT Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Share on WhatsApp Shares 1,046 1046 Comments 42 In a quiet, rural tract of southern Florida, where income from the land far surpasses that from tourists’ pockets, one industry has gone almost unnoticed despite raking in some big dollars over the last 15 years. But now, just like a noisy squabble among an excitable troop of monkeys, there is suddenly trouble in a once-happy camp. In a scandal that has become known locally as Monkeygate, federal and district authorities are looking into the monkey breeding farms of Hendry County. They don’t like what they see. Until now, monkey farming has been a lucrative yet low-key business in a region better known for its plentiful citrus groves. County officials welcomed with open arms the companies that breed and sell the long-tailed macaques for research. With three large farms in operation and approval pending for a fourth, Hendry is a world leader in the specialist trade. But the recent emergence of an undercover video shot by animal rights activists at one of the farms – which purported to show workers physically abusing monkeys and other primates with injuries including exposed tailbones – is only the latest in a series of developments since late last year that have threatened that expansion. The video, filmed by an activist for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), prompted an inspection last month of one farm, Primate Products Inc, by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). A damning report highlighted the “trauma, pain, injuries and stress” suffered by the monkeys. That followed a lawsuit against Hendry by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which alleges that facilities were approved without the required public hearings; an ongoing inquiry by the county into alleged code violations by the companies, including that they conducted prohibited experiments on the monkeys; and a growing public backlash as previously unaware residents learned the scale of the industry on their doorstep. “There are people two miles from the farms that had no idea what was going on there,” said Madeleine Doran, one of the leaders of an increasingly vocal opposition movement whose members have staged several protests and harnessed social media to get their message out. “Now, with the lawsuits and the inspections, everyone is aware of it. We want an immediate halt to importing of monkeys to Hendry County and ultimately we would like to see all of the facilities shut down.” Doran believes the inquiry launched by Hendry County is merely “a smokescreen” to give the impression that it is taking complaints seriously. “What’s disturbing is the secrecy surrounding all of it,” she said. “The county have stonewalled us and won’t answer any questions about it.” In a statement to the Guardian, a Hendry County spokeswoman confirmed it was looking into alleged land-use violations and that it was waiting for documents requested from the Florida fish and wildlife conservation committee and the USDA. “We do not currently have any indication of a timeframe for the requested documents. Once Hendry County is in receipt of said documents a full review will be done and a determination will be issued,” the statement said. Asked if the inquiry meant that Hendry was not as welcoming to the industry as it once was, the spokeswoman said: “Hendry County has been consistent in our message: we stand behind the rights of our property owners afforded to them by right.” To Doran, the thousands who have signed a petition protesting the industry’s expansion, and the animal rights groups also fighting for an end to what they see as a barbaric trade, the county is dragging its heels. Justin Goodman, director of Peta’s laboratory investigations department, pointed out that USDA inspectors moved in quickly to demand action by Primate Products to correct violations of the animal welfare act. One particularly harrowing scene in the group’s video shows a worker holding a monkey upside down by its tail as he uses a finger to shove the animal’s prolapsed rectum back in, while other shots show employees forcefully pulling monkeys from fences by their tails and other primates cowering in the corner of filthy cages. “Hendry citizens and leadership are being exploited by companies bringing a cruel trade and health risks to their area,” Goodman said. “These companies prey on communities in need of an increasing tax base, or ones that are quite rural and don’t know what they’re getting themselves into. “Here we have the greatest concentration of monkey farms in the world. They have no place in Hendry County and no place in the 21st century, and we want to see them all shut down.” A lawsuit against the county is ongoing. In November, the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a complaint in Florida’s circuit court claiming that Hendry approved a primate breeding facility operated by a company called SoFlo Ag at a closed-door meeting, in contravention of the state’s so-called sunshine law. In May the group amended the suit to add the name of the Mauritius-registered company Bioculture, which it alleged was also the beneficiary of secret approval to expand on to land owned by a company called Panther Tracts that already houses Primate Products and more than 3,000 monkeys. The ALDF, which wants both permits revoked, says the farms pose a significant health risk to the local community because monkeys can carry the Ebola virus, tuberculosis and herpes B. “Escaped exotic monkeys and the waste produced by thousands more animals on the Panther Tracts property could also damage the fragile ecosystem of the Big Cypress National Preserve, which is already struggling with an invasion of non-native Burmese pythons,” said ALDF spokeswoman Megan Backus. Peta’s video investigation of Primate Products in Hendry County, Florida. Some viewers may find this content disturbing. Jeff Rowell, the president of Primate Products, said he expected a fine following the USDA inspection and that his company was taking measures to fix the violations. “I can’t just sit on my hands,” he said in an interview with the News-Press. “I’m accountable to clients, I’m accountable to the county and I’m accountable to the public. “The biggest consequence is losing public trust. This is much harder to recover, but we are determined to try.” Rowell admitted he was “shocked” by the treatment of some of the monkeys in the Peta video but claimed some of the other scenes were unfair. “They film at 7.30 in the morning, then they claim the animals are living in filthy conditions,” he said. “Of course the cage looks its worst at 7.30 in the morning. Trust me, those cages are cleaned every day. It’s all about the context.” To Doran, though, the video captured exactly the kind of issues the protesters are complaining about. “It’s telling that he didn’t deny any of it,” she said. “We wish the USDA would come and confiscate all the monkeys. What’s going on here is obscene.” Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/06/monkeys-animal-abuse-macaques-breeding-florida
Tyson Chicken Factory Farm Caught On Hidden Camera Torturing And Neglecting Animals By Published: July 9, 2015 8:15 a.m. ET Shares 1,729 Mercy For Animals Calls on World's Largest Meat Producer to Implement Chicken Welfare Standards After Video Exposes Workers Kicking, Clubbing, and Throwing Animals WILMINGTON, Del., July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Disturbing undercover video footage of shocking animal abuse at a Tyson Foods contract farm in Delaware was released this morning at www.TysonTorturesAnimals.com. The video shows thousands of baby birds bred to grow so fast they became crippled under their own weight, workers carelessly kicking, clubbing, and throwing chickens, and thousands of severely sick and injured animals left to suffer without proper veterinary care or access to food and water. Mercy For Animals is calling on Tyson to swiftly adopt meaningful animal welfare policies to end many of the worst forms of animal abuse and neglect in its supply chain. Tyson Foods is the largest meat producer in the world. MFA is hosting a tele-press conference at 11 a.m. Eastern time at 323-452-6920. The video was shot at McGinnis Farms in Dagsboro, Delaware—a contract farm for Tyson Foods—and reveals widespread animal abuse and suffering, including the following: Workers violently clubbing animals to death, breaking their necks, and leaving severely sick and injured animals to die without food or water Baby birds carelessly thrown to the ground from transport crates suffering broken bones and other severe injuries Chickens bred to grow so fast they became crippled under their own weight and frequently died from heart attacks and organ failure Hundreds of thousands of birds crammed into filthy, windowless sheds forced to live for weeks in their own waste and toxic ammonia fumes MFA is now calling on Tyson Foods to implement meaningful animal welfare requirements for all of its company-owned and contract farms and slaughterhouses, including ending selective breeding for rapid growth and shifting to slower-growing breeds to prevent health problems related to accelerated growth, providing birds with more space, clean litter, access to natural light, and environmental enrichments, and replacing live-shackle slaughter methods with less cruel systems that eliminate the horrific suffering caused by dumping, shackling, shocking, and slitting the throats of conscious animals. "Tyson Foods is literally torturing chickens to death," said MFA's president, Nathan Runkle. "They are crammed into filthy, windowless sheds, thrown, kicked, and brutalized by careless workers, and bred to grow so fast they suffer from painful leg deformities and heart attacks. This is sickening animal abuse no company with morals should support. Tyson Foods has not only the power, but also the ethical responsibility to end the worst forms of cruelty to animals in its supply chain." To view the undercover video, visit www.TysonTorturesAnimals.com.   To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tyson-chicken-factory-farm-caught-on-hidden-camera-torturing-and-neglecting-animals-300110781.html SOURCE Mercy For Animals  Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tyson-chicken-factory-farm-caught-on-hidden-camera-torturing-and-neglecting-animals-2015-07-09
Opinion: Method-of-production labelling should be mandatory for animal products Sayara Thurston, Special to Montreal Gazette More from Sayara Thurston, Special to Montreal Gazette Sophie Gaillard, Special to Montreal Gazette More from Sophie Gaillard, Special to Montreal Gazette Published on: July 9, 2015 | Last Updated: July 9, 2015 1:59 PM EDT In this Nov. 16, 2009 file photo, chickens stand in their cages at a farm near Stuart, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall / AP ShareAdjustCommentPrint When it comes to consumer habits, labels matter — not because they change what consumers value, but because they change what they know. When cigarette packets started bearing graphic reminders of the health problems they cause, smoking rates dropped dramatically. And we’ve started expecting health warning labels on allergens and alcohol — such labels are even now being proposed for soft drinks. Now, as people become more interested in purchasing products in line with their values, labels bearing information on the sustainability and ethics of sourcing practices are becoming more prominent, too. These labels carry enormous potential to drive reform throughout supply chains. Perhaps the greatest potential lies in the food industry. Canadians are rapidly becoming more interested in knowing where our food comes from, and demands for product provenance labelling grow louder by the day. In 2013, polling showed, for example, that more than 80 per cent of Canadians want more information about how animals were treated to appear on packaging of meat, dairy and eggs. The Montreal SPCA recently delivered more than 10,000 signatures to the federal government, calling on it to make method-of-production labelling mandatory for animal products. These labels provide information about how animals were treated during their lives — terms like “free-run” or “free-range” for eggs, or “pasture-raised” for cattle. But those labels highlight positive attributes that producers want front-and-centre. What Canadian shoppers aren’t used to seeing are labels like “cage eggs,” which clearly tell customers when animals have been kept in cages for their entire lives — as the vast majority of laying hens in Canada are. Such labels are required in the European Union and parts of Australia, and have been hugely successful in helping egg industries understand the true demand for products from higher welfare systems — something that simply can’t come across when consumers are kept in the dark. These labels have led to significant increases in cage-free egg production in both regions. And, because cage-free eggs tend to come with less food safety risks, consumers benefit, as well. Governments are keenly aware that entire industries can be transformed by a well-placed “Made in Canada” label. That’s why they’ve been fighting the U.S. government over meat product labels since 2009, after the United States implemented “COOL,” or country-of-origin labelling. Astonishingly, Canada has threatened to impose $2.4 billion in trade sanctions against the United States if it fails to remove the labels. That Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was clearly given the nod from the prime minister to make such strongly worded and economically serious threats against our closest ally and largest trading partner is significant. Animal welfare labelling isn’t rocket science — it’s good policy for animals, for the public and for producers. We know these labels work. The federal government is currently updating its labelling laws and has the perfect opportunity to put common sense regulations in place to give Canadians the information they want and need when buying animal products, an action it should and must take. Canadians can influence this process by taking part in an online consultation being conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Every individual can also make his or her views known at the grocery store. By seeking out products that already have higher-welfare labels, we send the message that these labels work, and that animals deserve better welfare on Canadian farms. The countless animals trapped in cages or in dark, dank barns need us to ask for better products, for better information and for a better future for all farmed animals. Sayara Thurston is the Protect Farm Animals campaign manager with Humane Society International/Canada. Sophie Gaillard is a lawyer and campaigns manager with the Animal Advocacy Department of the Montreal SPCA.  Source: http://montrealgazette.com/news/national/opinion-method-of-production-labelling-should-be-mandatory-for-animal-products
Trainer sentenced for beating horse in Snohomish County KING 5's Eric Wilkinson reports. KING Eric Wilkinson, KING 5 News 8:47 p.m. PDT July 9, 2015 Nola Butler was sentenced to 364 days in jail on July 9, 2015, which will be suspended as long as she pays a $1000 fine, completes 40 hours of community service, and takes additional training.(Photo: KING) 6880 CONNECT 55 TWEETLINKEDIN 74 COMMENTEMAILMORE Animal right activists demonstrated outside the Snohomish County Courthouse Thursday, demanding jail time for a trainer who beat a client's horse so badly it collapsed. "For someone to bring a 1,000-pound animal to its knees, leaving blood and two witnesses in tears, this was not an off day. It was abuse," said Laura Henderson of Pasado's Safe Haven. The incident occurred two years ago at Carleton Farm in Lake Stevens, Washington. Nola Butler was working with a horse and and got thrown off twice. Witnesses testified she beat the horse in the face with the handle of a whip and kicked it when it was down. But friends who gathered outside the courthouse said Butler loves animals.They called her a well respected fixture in the local horse community, a 4-H volunteer and trusted trainer. "I trust her with my animals. She watches my farm when I go away. She takes care of my dogs. I trust her with my children," said supporter Zarabeth Wilkins. Last month, Butler pleaded guilty to first degree attempted animal cruelty. On Thursday she learned her fate. "My horse could not tell me she was being abused," testified a tearful Madeline Smith, who owns Megan, the horse in question. "One witness told the defendant to stop hitting Megan. The defendant's response was that if the witness didn't like it she could leave." Facing a year in jail Butler laughed out loud at times when confronted by her accusers in court, who glared in response. Butler told the judge she regrets losing her temper, but then appeared to blame the horse. "She did make me angry because I have never experienced a mare that so disregarded a human's safety," said Butler. Butler was sentenced to 364 days in jail, which will be suspended as long as she pays a $1,000 fine, completes 40 hours of community service, and takes additional training. Animal rights advocates had hoped Judge Marybeth Dingledy would keep Butler from training or even being around horses for two years, but the judge declined because Butler has no prior criminal history. Source: http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2015/07/09/horse-abuse-pasados-safe-haven-nola-butler/29936519/
Animal Rights Activist Work with Local Lawmakers on New Animal Abuse Legislation Small Text Medium Text Large Text Print Animal Rights Activist Work with Local Lawmakers on New Anim SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Animal rights activists and local lawmakers came together on Thursday night with the goal to creating stricter penalties for animal abuse, neglect and torture. The public outcry for new animal abuse legislation sparked after a 5-month-old puppy was tortured to death in Santa Barbara. "Davey" was mutilated by Duanying Chen who pleaded guilty to felony charges.  Some people were outraged when Judge Brian Hill sentenced Chen to one year in county jail, a much lighter sentence than the seven years for which the prosecutors had asked. "He absolutely didn't get enough of a sentence.  He did the most heinous thing to a little puppy that a local veterinarian has ever seen.  It was unspeakable.  It is hard to be in the world knowing that type of stuff is capable of happening, the only thing you can do is fight the evil and that is what we are trying to do," said animal activist Gretchen Lieff. Local animal rights groups have now started a group supporting "Davey's law."  They are now pushing for harsher penalties and creating a database for animal abusers. A website has been created in Davey's honor to raise awareness about animal cruelty and to urge legislators to create more effective laws. Source: http://www.keyt.com/news/animal-rights-activist-work-with-local-lawmakers-on-new-animal-abuse-legislation/34326322
Jail employee convicted of dog-fighting, animal cruelty Story Comments Print Create a hardcopy of this page Font Size: Default font size Larger font size Posted: Friday, July 24, 2015 3:05 am | Updated: 6:00 am, Fri Jul 24, 2015. Jail employee convicted of dog-fighting, animal cruelty Associated Press | 0 comments BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A city jail cell block attendant in Buffalo has been convicted of dog-fighting and animal cruelty after a two-week jury trial in state supreme court. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita says 35-year-old Shanon Richardson was found guilty Wednesday of four felony counts of animal fighting and two counts of animal cruelty. Richardson has been on suspension from his job with Buffalo police since his arrest in December 2013. That's when police found four pit bulls, one gruesomely scarred, in his home. They also found treadmills, harnesses and other fight-training equipment. Richardson claimed the dog's injuries were accidental, self-inflicted or caused by a neighborhood cat. Richardson faces up to eight years in state prison when he's sentenced on August 25.  Source: http://www.morning-times.com/state_news/article_5d25d876-3019-5599-9d15-2b215585f577.html
Calgary Zoo’s connection to hunting organization questioned by animal rights group The Canadian Press First posted: Friday, July 31, 2015 07:56 AM EDT | Updated: Friday, July 31, 2015 08:04 AM EDT Walter James Palmer (left) poses with animals killed while on safari in this undated handout photo. Palmer, an avid hunter, is accused of illegally killing a well-known and protected lion, named Cecil, during a big game hunt in Zimbabwe. The killing has outraged animal conservationists and others worldwide. CALGARY -- An animal rights group is questioning the Calgary Zoo's connection to a hunting organization that has in the past included Walter Palmer, the American dentist who killed a protected lion while on a guided hunt in Zimbabwe. Safari Club International has suspended the memberships of Palmer and his hunting guide pending the result of an investigation, calling for the prosecution of anyone who hunts illegally. The Calgary chapter of Safari Club International is set to host a fundraiser at the zoo next April, which will include auctions for several hunting trips including a 10-day safari in Africa with the chance to hunt 23 different species including impalas, gazelles and leopards. Michael Alvarez-Toye of the Calgary Animal Rights Coalition says the zoo shouldn't be renting its property to groups that promote the killing of wildlife. Calgary Zoo representatives say the money from rentals provides a large portion of its annual revenue. David Little of Safari Club International says conservation is a goal of many hunters. "They're not incompatible," said Little. "I think more dialogue would help make that clear." Little condemns Palmer's killing of a lion named Cecil, calling him "a tame animal that was poached." Little, who describes himself as an animal lover, is himself a trophy hunter who has killed a lion while bow-hunting a leopard in Africa. He said the money made from legal hunts helps save the species. "The lion hunt that I took in Mozambique effectively conserved a million acres of Mozambique from animal poachers and log poachers for two months," he told CTV Calgary. The zoo said it does not meddle in the affairs of those who book venues. "Our message is we want people to go out and appreciate nature in the way that we communicate and bring people down here and learn about the conservation the way we do it," said Calgary Zoo spokeswoman Trish Exton-Parder.  Source: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/07/31/calgary-zoos-connection-to-hunting-organization-questioned-by-animal-rights-group
Lawmakers Ask Obama To Update Animal Welfare Act Friday, July 31, 2015 By City News Service Photo by Rojer via Compfight Ulises, a killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego, is seen in his tank on July 19, 2010. A group of federal lawmakers Friday called on President Barack Obama's administration to update 20-year-old rules governing the treatment of captive marine mammals, such as killer whales at SeaWorld San Diego. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were among those signing a letter to Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, to make public draft regulations regarding the animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service — which regulates animal captivity and exhibition — proposed a revision to Animal Welfare Act regulations in February 2012, but the revisions were never made public, Patrick Boland, an advisor to Rep. Adam Schiff, D- Burbank, wrote in an email to City News Service. Schiff was among almost 30 members of the House of Representatives who also signed the letter. "Due to delayed federal action, we are deeply concerned that some captive marine mammals, including orcas, may not be adequately protected under Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Marine Mammal Program, regulations, and policies," the letter states. "We believe the regulatory process to revise the outdated marine mammal regulations should move forward without further delay." Feinstein's office couldn't be more specific on what they wanted. Other California representatives who signed the letter were Democrats Sam Farr, Alan Lowenthal, Mark Takano and Ted Lieu. No members of San Diego's congressional delegation signed the document. SeaWorld San Diego is planning to expand its orca tanks. The California Coastal Commission, which has authority over shoreline development, recently postponed a vote a vote on the project after receiving tens of thousands of letters, most of which expressed opposition to the idea. The commission vote is now scheduled for October.  Source: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/jul/31/lawmakers-ask-obama-update-animal-welfare-act/
Do Not Pit Animal Welfare Against Starving Children (Op-Ed) Chetana Mirle, Humane Society International   |   July 30, 2015 10:54pm ET 149   13   1 Submit 0 Reddit Credit: Dreamstime View full size image Chetana Mirle is the director of Farm Animal Welfare at Humane Society International. She contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Simply producing more food doesn't always mean that the people who need the food get it. Who, where and how food is produced make all the difference.  I learned this well before I began my career protecting chickens, pigs and the other billions of animals raised and killed for food each year. At Tufts University, I studied nutrition and international development, and my dissertation examined the links between food security and agricultural programs in South Asia. My research led me to an important conclusion: It matters who holds the power.  Food security is not just about food Food security is more than just adequate food production. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food security requires equitable social and economic systems; healthy communities, including proper health care, child care and sanitation; and ecological sustainability. [What 11 Billion People Mean for Food Security ] Programs and policies that seek only to increase the quantity of food, or even reduce food prices in the near term, solely by industrializing agriculture — often at the expense of other conditions — may not reduce hunger or malnutrition. Studies in the journal Food Security and other publications have shown that having sufficient calories available nationally (or globally) does not ensure the equitable distribution of those calories, nor does it ensure that they are nutritionally appropriate.  In fact, nations with adequate grain reserves — domestic or imported — often have significant populations suffering from food insecurity or malnutrition. This correlation has been highlighted repeatedly in India, where grain surpluses have been reported to rot away while people go hungry.  Therefore, an overall increase in meat or egg production is not necessarily an effective food security strategy and may instead contribute to the growing epidemic of diseases relating to obesity, particularly in urban areas of developing nations. Ironically, many of those countries bear the double burden of obesity and hunger. "People vs. animals" is a false dichotomy Much work remains to fix the global food system, and experts on different aspects of food production and nutrition need to work together to resolve many complex issues.  Artificially opposed categories that pit people who care about animals against those who care about people (as if the two were mutually exclusive) — is not just counterproductive but also destructive to efforts to create healthier, more humane, sustainable and equitable food systems.  And yet, such a narrative has recently gained momentum in India, and is spreading globally with articles like the recent New York Times piece "Saving the Cows, Starving the Children," by Sonia Faleiro, which highlights a recent ban on beef in the state of Maharashtra.  It is an unfortunate headline to be faced with when one is actually trying to save cows. In reality, those who care about saving cows or other animals for the sake of animal welfare are rarely at the forefront of efforts to ban certain types of meats, as highlighted in another recent article by Indian animal protection advocate N. Surabhi, "I'm vegan, I work for animal rights and I oppose Maharashtra's beef ban."  In India, such bans on beef or other animal products are linked to the politics of caste and religion. In fact, Indian state bans on beef (a byproduct of the country's massive dairy industry) may actually shift the burden of milk and meat production from the holy cow to the unlucky buffalo, which lacks the same religious protections but harbors an equal capacity to suffer.  Either way, as there is no corresponding ban on milk consumption and no realistic provisions to guarantee the lifelong welfare of the cows used for milk (or their male offspring), the net benefit to animals is doubtful. However, efforts by legitimate animal protection advocates to improve the welfare of farm animals are repeatedly linked to these politically driven bans. It is an unfair association.  I have had the privilege of working with animal protection advocates across the world who are equally passionate about human rights, and increasing food security and economic opportunity for marginalized populations. Our circle of compassion also happens to include animals.  The narrative that pits animal protection advocates against child health advocates emerged prominently this year when the chief minister of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh resisted the procurement of eggs for a government-run school-feeding program, despite the high incidence of malnutrition among the target population.  Over the past few months, I have had this story recounted to me repeatedly as I have reached out to governments, civil society groups and industry stakeholders about the need to improve the welfare of egg-laying hens in India. The story has created a distraction from the very real suffering endured by hundreds of millions of birds in India, and fails to mention some unsavory truths about the nation's egg industry. According to statistics published by the FAO, India is the world's third-largest egg producer, and the poultry sector is largely industrialized. According to an article in the World Poultry Review, a few companies already controlled at least 40 percent of the industry by 2006. Egg factories with tens of thousands of birds packed into a single shed are increasingly the norm. Will animal welfare conditions improve? The vast majority of egg-laying hens in India suffer extraordinarily, spending virtually their entire lives confined in small, wire, battery cages that are so restrictive that the animals can't freely spread their wings or walk.  There are higher-welfare, cage-free options for producing eggs. Empowering and procuring from small farmers, who are more likely to practice more animal-welfare-friendly, cage-free egg and meat production could improve outcomes for both animals and people. Indian agribusiness giants have balked at calls to move to higher-welfare, cage-free housing systems, insisting that such modest improvements in animal welfare would further jeopardize the nutritional well-being of the poor. However, there is no evidence that simply moving from battery-cage egg production to cage-free systems would have any negative impact on the egg or meat intake of malnourished children. If you're a topical expert — researcher, business leader, author or innovator — and would like to contribute an op-ed piece, email us here. View full size image While some have hypothesized that tougher animal welfare standards would increase the cost of meat, thereby making it less accessible to low-income populations, no studies have explored the impact of modest animal welfare improvements on costs in developing countries, especially for the production costs and incomes of small farmers. In fact, a large body of research suggests that industrial animal agriculture may actually jeopardize food security by degrading the environment, threatening human health and diminishing income-earning opportunities in rural areas.  And, like many other emerging economies, India is struggling with the double burden of undernutrition and a burgeoning obesity problem. It is a country marked by huge economic and nutritional disparities, with some in the middle and upper classes consuming too many calories, while the poor are not consuming enough. A greater emphasis on more animal-welfare-friendly and ecologically sustainable egg and meat production — led by small farmers and accompanied by reduced consumption of animal products like meat and eggs by higher-income populations — could result in a more sensible and equitable distribution of food, while better safeguarding animal welfare.  Given the environmental costs of farm animal production, particularly industrialized farm animal production, and the threats it poses to long-term food security, nations need to focus more resources on improving access to nutritious, plant-based foods as part of a balanced diet.  The task of improving the global food system is enormously challenging, and will require commitment from governments, financial institutions, research institutes, advocates in the private sector and a variety of other stakeholders. But success first demands that society rid itself of these injurious false dichotomies about caring for animals versus caring for children.  Interested parties need to work together to better study and understand the nuances of animal agriculture globally so we can create food systems where both human and animal welfare are valued and protected. Caring for animals does not require us to sacrifice our concern for humans. Indeed, it is simply about widening our circle of compassion, which can only result in a better society for all.  Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Live Science.  Source: http://www.livescience.com/51707-do-not-pit-animal-welfare-against-starving-children.html
White Privilege in the Animal Rights Movement by via Animal Liberation Press Office Thursday Aug 20th, 2015 4:50 PM If animal liberation is to succeed, the movement must address the concerns of oppressed humans as well as non-humans. Human oppression cannot be co-opted or ignored, and it certainly cannot be pushed aside within a movement that is supposed to be based on compassion and care for all animals. White Privilege in the Animal Rights Movement Disclaimer: I am writing this piece from the perspective of a white female settler within the animal rights movement. When I refer to the settler population, I am also including myself in those critiques. These ramblings are not an attack on the white settler population, but on the system which allows the continued dominance of one race over all others and how that dominance can be portrayed in invisible and seemingly insignificant ways. Race is a real world phenomenon with real life effects and failing to perceive or acknowledge it allows for its continuance with little to no interference. *In this article, the term “settler” is used to refer to predominately white Europeans who were a part of the first contact made with indigenous groups. “Colonialism” is used to refer to the continued expanding of the European settler empire and its oppression and exploitation of indigenous populations. Racism and colonialism are becoming a greater topic of discussion – which is a positive sign for the activist community – however these topics are often depicted as overt, in-your-face forms of oppression. We think of slavery, segregation, or residential schools. Referring to the more obvious forms of oppression while not including the more discrete forms (such as lack of access to resources, poor education systems, or higher rates of unemployment) has allowed two things to happen within the white population. First; it allows us to believe that racism is over and that we are living in a post-colonial time period and second; it allows us to believe that as long as we don’t advocate for slavery or segregation – we aren’t perpetuating an oppressive ideology. Lately, I have been unable to ignore the presence of this ideology within the animal rights community where other forms of oppression are deemed as being “over” and that our attention should solely focus on non-human populations. Racism and colonialism are both far from over – they have simply become more embedded into the system and attempt to be more discrete. Instead of physical segregation, we see ghettoes or reserves which are denied the same access to resources. Instead of slavery, we see poor educational systems, unequal access to basic necessities such as food and clean water, a higher rate of unemployment, higher rates of incarceration, and higher rates of mental illness. White settlers have the privilege of ignoring these systemic methods of oppression as we do not often experience them ourselves. Subsequently, we also have the privilege to believe that racism and colonialism are issues that affect others and not ourselves. In fact, as a white person even acknowledging that one has a race at all is uncommon. We do not think of ourselves as “white people”, we think of ourselves as “people” – thereby normalizing the white race and only racializing those who do not fall within those guidelines. This is a dangerous ideology and more often than not leads to continued oppression of non-white individuals – intentional or not. As a mentor once told me – “we are all treaty people”. After first contact, both settlers and indigenous peoples partook in treaty signing and although we have a long history of not sticking to those treaties or even making fair treaties to begin with, we cannot disinclude ourselves from those actions or deny the privileges we have gained because of them. Even if a person was to shun racist actions – that does not change the fact that systemically, the settler government benefits from a power imbalance. It runs deeper than racist taunts or slurs and is represented in the fact that white settlers are hardly – if ever – removed from their homes so corporations can conduct more logging or resource extraction. We do not often think of our privileges as white people due to the fact that European settler ideology has been both normalized and portrayed as the dominant viewpoint (aka eurocentrism or white supremacy). White supremacy is a loaded term which often triggers mental images of the KKK or other violent white pride groups but modern white supremacy is a lot more discrete. It can be seen in marketing (where white individuals are more commonly represented in movies, commercials and other forms of pop culture), in economics where Europeans are predominately in control of the world’s banking systems and pharmaceutical companies, and politics where we control the world’s most powerful militaries and hold the vast majority of the positions of power on Turtle Island (aka “North America). The perspective that these situations are all normal are taught to us from the time we are born – usually through mass media, biased news reports, and stereotypical cultural aspects (western movies where indigenous peoples are depicted as savage and dangerous is a prime example of this). This is not to say that modern European settlers are malicious or do harm simply for the sake of it – but we do have a stake in the continued dominance. Colonization continues because it is still of economic benefit to settler governments and corporations. Our main stream media ignores land struggles as well as the damage done to indigenous communities and land due to natural resource extraction, logging, fracking, and development. These actions continue because they bring in money and (pretty successful) attempts are made to normalize settler dominance so we can continue receiving those benefits. Imprinted on the consciousness of every white child at birth, reinforced by the culture, white supremacist thinking tends to function unconsciously. That is the primary reason it is so difficulty to challenge and change – bell hooks Whether we are aware of it or not (and as bell hooks mentions, most times we are not since it is normalized at such as young age) race plays a large role in our daily lives. And yes, we are viewed differently and given more opportunities because of our white skin. For example, having a white sounding name on a resume can determine a higher chance of a call back for a job in comparison to traditionally black, Latino, indigenous, Asian, or middle eastern sounding names. It can mean not being subjected to random searches or stops by police, not being followed when walking into stores, not intimidating individuals when you walk past them on the street, not facing extensive aggression at the hands of the police and judicial systems, and not being forced out of our communities so the economic system can continue to thrive. Personally, I acknowledge that I am a very privileged individual. I have young, white, and able-bodied. I grew up near the poverty line – but I have enough food, can afford my rent each month, and have the privilege of attending university. I have also been lucky enough to be born on Turtle Island. Not that it is without its issues – especially under the reign of Stephen Harper, but being a gay female I am aware that my life could be much harder in other parts of the world. I recognize my privilege, but I do not claim to fully understand the consequences of it or what to do about it. That, however, is exactly why conversations around this topic are so vital. Especially when working in an activist field that is predominantly white and often comes off as oppressive towards already exploited individuals. The Animal “Whites” Movement Since my introduction to activism – I have predominantly organized within the animal rights (AR) community. Through my experience I could not help but notice that the oppression of non-human animals is often placed ahead of the oppression of human animals. This is troublesome since the vast majority of individuals within the AR movement are white European settlers. A common ideology is that if we can grow the AR community (and specifically the vegan community) that there will eventually be a vegan revolution and animal captivity and abuse will no longer be an issue. However, the problem is that both the AR community and a vegan diet are inherently exclusionary and do little to counteract the barriers that many communities face or to acknowledge the oppression and exploitation of human animals (such as migrant workers in the factory farming and slaughterhouse industries). As settlers, many of us have access to healthy food within walking distance. Much of which caters (to some extent) to a vegan diet. Of course this isn’t true for everyone – but speaking generally, the settler population has much better access to affordable food and live in areas where there are healthy options. However this is not the experience for many indigenous, black and Latino communities across Turtle Island. Due to the fact that it is not part of our experience, we are able to ignore the situations of others. Taking for granted that healthy food is always accessible. We then mirror our experience on the whole of society – thinking that how we experience the world is how everyone else experiences the world. This perpetuates oppression further as not only does it not address the systemic issues many individuals face, but it also ignores the fact that it was settlers and white dominance that caused the lack of resources for other communities in the first place. In a local context, this can be seen with the protests of the indigenous Short Hills Deer hunts in Southern Ontario. Protestors of the hunts portray themselves as peaceful and non-violent although aggressive tactics have been used. Settler hunters have also been known to hunt in the area and leave the carcasses of the slaughtered deer strewn about in protest. These images have been used by protestors to argue against the traditional hunts – despite the fact that they were committed by settler hunters. As an animal liberationist, I am also saddened by the death of the deer – but there are some highly complex issues with taking a position of aggressively protesting a small scale indigenous hunt. The Right to Autonomy An important thing to remember is that through a long history of colonization, of pushing indigenous peoples off their land and attempted assimilation, European settlers have destroyed indigenous abilities to have food sovereignty. The localized community of the Haudenosaunee of the Grand River have an extended history of growing the Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash). Through the loss of their land, they can no longer grow these plants to the same extent that they used to. This is why adding hunting rights into treaties was important, because communities were already is a state of crisis when it came to being able to provide food for themselves. Settlers created the scarcity and then have come back to target communities which still depend on animal use after we have already cleared out their other options. The common solution here is often to combat with the argument of grocery stores, but this is problematic as well. Food resources on reserves can be limited, of poor quality, priced higher or may not include traditional foods of the community. Also – modern settler methods of food production and consumption (industrial methods supplying large chain stores) does nothing to secure a peoples sovereignty. Which should be the aim as this is what indigenous peoples have been asking for since first contact on Turtle Island. Methods which perpetuate assimilation by forcing our European traditions of food distribution on already struggling communities does nothing but strengthen current power structures. If we simply focus on the deer hunts and view them as the issue – we are missing an entire history of colonization and oppression. The deer hunts are a method to maintain sovereignty and autonomy and are a side effect of the issue – not the issue itself. Industrial Agriculture Another concept to consider is the European tradition of animal agriculture. Cows, pigs and chickens (which are currently the largest farmed animal populations) are not native to Turtle Island and did not exist here until Europeans introduced them 300-400 years ago. Their introduction played a huge role in the oppression of indigenous populations and still does to this day. The expansion of the animal farming industry created a situation where Europeans needed even more land to satisfy the need for increasing amounts of animal products. In the “United States” – 11 times more land is given to grazing farm animals than is recognized reservation land. In “Canada” – 7.5 million acres is recognized as reservation land and 50 million acres is used for animal grazing. This does not even account for the amount of land used to house, feed, water and process the mass amount of animals slaughtered each and every day. The animal agriculture system is built on the clearing of traditional indigenous lands – and continues to do so as the industrial farming method took over after WW2 (introducing factory style farms and larger slaughterhouses). The harsh reality is we as white settlers have no right to go into indigenous communities and act as if animal liberation is an issue that regards everyone when a single slaughterhouse can kill up to 2-3 thousands animals a day. Hardly comparable to the 3-5 deer who die annually during the Short Hills hunts. When we ignore our own mess, we have no legitimacy to point out animal use in indigenous communities. The same ideology can be seen during the Makah Whale hunt of the mid 90s – a similar conflict that resulted in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (an activist group focusing on marine animals) losing some of its prominent indigenous supporters . The group targeted the Makah community located on the coast of Alaska – using aggressive tactics and racist taunts during their protests (all accessible within the “Confessions of an Eco Terrorist” documentary following the groups actions). Just because certain communities continue to eat meat does not make them the enemy. Indigenous communities were pushed into an increased use of animal products due to being forced onto reserves and experiencing the loss of their land as highways, factory farms, and developments ate up much of the prime farmland. We argue that other cultures should be more like us and eat out of conventional grocery stores, even though this would mean a higher amount of environmental destruction and the death of even more animal species. Although it may be difficult to accept – the animal liberation movement should focus on the systems and structures which make animal use profitable (and to focus specifically on those who stand to make a profit) – not on the small scale hunts which result in the death of half a dozen animals. A simple repackaging of colonization by demanding all cultures to live as we do and eat a particular diet – even if a vegan diet is not available to them due to our own oppression of their people and land – is nothing short of fascism. In the case of Short Hills – if advocates wish to see an end to the deer hunts –the most productive way would be to shift the focus on standing in solidarity with the Haudenosaunee. To call for a return of their lands which would provide them with the resources, capacity and autonomy needed to return and rebuild their agricultural industry. We can no longer support the inability to cede autonomy back to those resisting oppression and food insecurity. As white people, we will never fully be able to understand the experience of other races. We cannot pretend to know what is best or claim that we have a simple “one size fits all” approach to animal liberation. But we can stand in solidarity and recognize that sometimes different forms of oppression are more closely related than we previously thought. So what can be done? On an individual level, reflecting on the fact that we benefit from having white settler ancestry is the first step. This opens up the pathway to things such as noticing when you receive those benefits and when others don’t (for example; how a person’s race is left unsaid if they are white but mentioned otherwise). Then, as activists, we should work to dispel myths about the root cause of animal oppression and who benefit from it the most. We also need to recognize when it is our time to step back and take leadership from those who are most impacted. Just as it is problematic for an entirely white activist group to protest a local indigenous hunt, it is also problematic to show up at a Black Lives Matter protest with a “one race one struggle” sign. This turns the conversation back to whiteness – no longer keeping the attention on the root issue. As white people we cannot understand the black struggle. We never will. And that is fundamentally part of the problem. So we cannot claim that we are a part of that struggle or argue that “white lives matter too”. Doing so distracts from the issue. Sometimes the most appropriate form of activism is to step back and lower our voices so that those who have had theirs silenced for too long can finally be heard. In conclusion We cannot get rid of our privilege. It is not something we ask for but instead something that is given to us from birth. We can, however, acknowledge it and attempt to use it to the benefit of the less privileged around us. For example; police are less likely to harass and arrest white individuals during rallys and protests. We can act as allys by putting ourselves between vulnerable populations and police lines. We can also point out issues in the behaviour of other white individuals when we see it take place. Other privileged individuals are more likely to take constructive criticism from someone in their own position than from individuals in different positions. As friends and comrades, we have to be prepared to both face our privilege and to draw attention to the privilege of others. Animal rights is dominated by white settler individuals – but we do not have to be exclusive, intimidating or oppressive. We must recognize the systemic exploitation of indigenous populations as well as other populations such as migrant workers on factory farms and slaughterhouses who are threatened with deportation if they leave their jobs. If animal liberation is to succeed, the movement must address the concerns of oppressed humans as well as non-humans. Human oppression cannot be co-opted or ignored, and it certainly cannot be pushed aside within a movement that is supposed to be based on compassion and care for all animals. Humans are part of the animal kingdom as well – and when we do not extend the same amount of care and passion for people as we do for non-human animals our cause is incomplete. We are not talking about individual forms of racism here, but systemic methods of exploitation and oppression which have been in place for generations and have become so normalized it can be difficult to even recognize their existence unless one is part of an oppressed group. The ultimate goal of liberation cannot be reached unless an intersectional and diverse method of understanding is applied – taking into consideration all other areas of oppression and how they overlap. Any oppressed voice, vegan or non-vegan, must be heard and respected. In Solidarity, **The use of Turtle Island (as opposed to “North America”) is a sign of respect and honour for the territory I am on. I recognize it is not my own term and do not claim to have a shared experience with the indigenous peoples of this land. Sources Animal Whites Movement – http://funcrunch.org/blog/2015/07/14/white-vegans-need-to-check-their-privileges/ Dylan Powell: animal advocacy or assimilation – http://dylanxpowell.com/2013/11/26/animal-advocacy-or-assimilation/ Undoing Privilege – Bob Pease Discussion on Short Hills hunts and Settler Colonialism (Dylan Powell and Amanda Lickers) – https://vimeo.com/132293327 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOSo_LHZeTw (confessions of an eco terrorist) Writing Beyond Race – bell hooks https://animalliberationpressoffice.org/NAALPO/2015/08/08/white-privilege-in-the-animal-rights-movement/ Animal Liberation Press Office https://animalliberationpressoffice.org/NAALPO/2015/08/08/white-privilege-in-the-animal-rights-movement/  Source: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/08/20/18776435.php
Animal activists facing charges for protesting without permit outside Lagoon facilities Posted 8:29 pm, August 20, 2015, by Matt McDonald, Updated at 09:25pm, August 20, 2015 Facebook1K+ Twitter24 Pinterest LinkedIn Google Email FARMINGTON, Utah –The cost of free speech? It’s $50 according to a pair of animal rights activists facing charges after failing to get a permit for a series of protests outside Lagoon amusement park and its headquarters in Farmington. “This country was founded on the notion that we should have the right to speak our minds when we want,” said Jeremy Beckham, one of the protesters cited. “There’s no such thing as an opinion tax in this country. I think it’s absolutely outrageous that Farmington City is requiring people to pay $50 and get a liability insurance policy just to express their opinion on a public sidewalk.” Court documents show it’s a Class B Misdemeanor to, “…participate in any advanced, planned free speech expression activity without first obtaining a permit for the event.” “That is very scary to me, to think of spending six months in jail, however: The animals at Lagoon are basically spending a life sentence without parole,” said Lexie Levitt, the other protester facing charges. She and Beckham said the animals inside Lagoon are kept behind chain link fences and live on concrete floors. “I can say with great confidence the animals at Lagoon are very well treated, very well cared for, and are content and happy,” said Adam Leishman, a Lagoon Spokesman. As to the charges for the protesters, Leisman said, “As far as we’re concerned, this is between those individuals and the city of Farmington.” Farmington Police Chief Wayne Hansen acknowledges the protest group was originally told the $50 fee for the permit would not be waived. After that, he said he reached out via email, certified letter and calls to try to convince the group to come into the city to talk about the protest. “The ordinance is there just to balance people’s rights to protest and do what they want to do against needs to manage public safety and public thoroughfares,” Hansen said. Hansen said his police officers do not actively search out protests, but do respond to complaints. “Like anything else, if it’s brought to our attention we’re duty-bound to follow through and investigate and enforce the laws that are on the books,” he said. On July 18, Hansen said his department got a call about a protest outside the amusement park. “We were called by Lagoon,” he said. Levitt was identified at that protest among many others and eventually cited. Beckham’s charges come from a protest two days prior, outside of Lagoon’s corporate headquarters. “We only notify police when they are on Lagoon property,” said Adam Leishman, Lagoon’s spokesman. But he admitted the park’s director of safety and security may have called even if the protesters were on public property if there was a concern over their interference with traffic. “It’s our guess that this ordinance is also being applied in a discriminatory manner,” Beckham said. “It’s no secret that Lagoon is one of the largest employers in Farmington, I’m sure they have some political pull.” The ACLU of Utah calls blanket policies by a city that create a set fee for a protest permit a challenge to First Amendment rights, but they said merely requiring notice does not necessarily violate freedom of speech.  Source: http://fox13now.com/2015/08/20/animal-activists-facing-charges-for-protesting-without-permit-outside-lagoon-facilities/



Saving Animals and People:  BEGINNING ON page 84 of this issue, scientists Alan M. Goldberg and Thomas Hartung describe recent advances in reducing, refining, and gradually replacing the use of animals in toxicology testing. Improvements in cell and tissue culture technologies, for example, allow a growing number of tests to be performed on human cells alone. Computer models, too, are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and many could one day become more accurate than trials in living animals as well as easier and less expensive.  For complete story, click here.
2 Monkeys Die In UConn Research:  Two of three monkeys being used in research projects at the University of Connecticut Health Center have died.  A report to UConn President Philip E. Austin said that one of the monkeys was euthanized at the end of a neuroscience study as part of the experiment protocol. The other died during the research "although it received proper veterinary attention and treatment," the report said.  A graduate student who has been protesting using the monkeys in research was upset to learn of the deaths when Austin forwarded him the report. Austin was responding to student Justin Goodman's request to stop experimenting and transfer the monkeys to an animal sanctuary. Austin had requested more information about the research. For complete story, click here.
Chicago Considers Banning Mistreated Elephants:  Winifred Kiiru cried the first time she saw an elephant in a zoo.  In her native Kenya, she says, children rarely saw elephants but grew up revering them. When Kiiru visited zoos in the United States as part of her work as a wildlife ecologist, she was shocked to see the huge animals confined to small areas and suffering physical and psychological problems.  "Visiting the Los Angeles Zoo was the most miserable experience of my life, seeing these majestic animals bobbing and swaying in [typical] expressions of stress," Kiiru recently told members of the Chicago City Council. The aldermen are considering an  ordinance that would essentially ban elephants from Chicago zoos and circuses.  Referring to the reeling elephant on display in Los Angeles, Kiiru said, "Imagine my horror  when the tour guide told a child who asked what the elephant was doing that it was 'jamming to the music in its head.'"  As Kiiru and others who work closely with elephants  testified at the February 23 Chicago City Council hearing, elephants in captivity suffer severe foot infections, arthritis, psychological problems and stress disorders at  inordinately high rates because they are almost always denied the range of movement, mental stimulation and social interaction they enjoy in the wild.  A growing number  of zoos around the country have closed their elephant exhibits and turned their elephants over to sanctuaries, where they can roam more freely in conditions similar to their  native African or Asian habitats.  These moves are a response to growing awareness of illnesses afflicting captive elephants as well as an alarming number of elephant deaths in US zoos over the past few years. At least 46 elephants have died at institutions accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) since 2000;  more than half of them were younger than 40, while normal life expectancy is about 70 years. According to the AZA's website, about 300 elephants live in AZA-accredited  zoos. For complete story, click here.
Knut Health Scare Over, He Was Only Teething 17 Apr 2007 Berlin Zoo has given the world-famous bear cub a clean bill of health and said he only had teething trouble on Sunday and Monday when he worried visitors by lying on the ground with his paws over his eyes.  For complete story, click here.
Dolphin species declared extinct--August 8th, 2007--A Chinese freshwater dolphin has been declared extinct after desperate efforts to rescue it came too late.  One British zoologist described the loss of the Yangtze River dolphin as a "shocking tragedy".  It is the first official extinction of a large vertebrate for more than 50 years.  Experts say human activity killed off the white long-beaked dolphin, which grew to 8ft weighed up to 500lb.  The animal is the first cetacean, the group of mammals that includes dolphins, whales and porpoises, to vanish from Earth as a direct result of human influence.  For complete story, click here.
Animal Research: Make the grade--August 25th, 2007-The University of Washington still has a considerable distance to go in clearing up questions about its animal research. The university's top leadership, including the president and regents, must show sustained resolve to meet the highest standards.  It shouldn't have taken this much attention from a national accreditation review group, animal rights activists like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and federal officials to bring more institutional interest in supporting high-quality programs, and especially proper facilities. The university is consistently a leader among higher education institutions in research funding, receiving $1 billion in grants during the last fiscal year.  Some degree of animal experimentation figures into grants involving $250 million or more. It was institutionally neglectful or worse to let some facilities become so derelict as to prompt replacement demands from the national accrediting organization. Without accreditation, the UW couldn't receive any grants for animal research.  The university has responded seriously to the various questions. It is reviewing records for possible re-payments of some National Institutes of Health grant money where surgeries were performed on a number of monkeys without approval. More staffers are being hired to help with oversight of scattered research activities. Money is flowing to upgrade facilities, some 60 years old.  On the most significant front, the university continues to work with the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care to satisfy its concerns about facilities, oversight and "a lack of institutional support." In an Aug. 1 letter, the association applauded the UW's "robust response." But Nona Phillips, the UW Animal Welfare Office director, said a probationary period for the university will likely continue into next year.  President Mark Emmert and regents should recruit an ethicist, from the faculty or the community, to join the key UW oversight committee. We hope the UW and other schools will vigorously use scientific advances to reduce or end the need for animal tests. And don't sanctuaries offer an increasing option for avoiding many euthanizations?  The UW's record of research leadership demands more than just getting on top of its problems. It can help us all look for larger improvements that will make it and society proud.  For complete story, click here.
Update on Michael Vick Case: ASPCA to Lead Evaluation of Pit Bulls Seized from Vick’s Property--After providing forensics assistance in the investigation of Michael Vick, the ASPCA has a new challenge to face—leading a team of behaviorists to determine the disposition of the pit bulls rescued from Vick’s property.  For complete story, click here.
Ringling Bros. Will Stand Trial for Elephant Abuse--A federal district court issued a major ruling rejecting the last-ditch attempt of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to avoid trial.  For complete story, click here.
Whales get blown off: Federal court says Navy can do sonar testing--http://tinyurl.com/2v4uay (San Francisco Chronicle)  "A federal appeals court allowed the Navy on Friday to resume using underwater sonar blasts in anti-submarine warfare tests off Southern California despite possible harm to endangered whales, saying the nation's military needs come first. "The safety of the whales must be weighed, and so must the safety of our warriors. And of our country," said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco."  For complete story, click here.
EU confirms 2012 date for ban on raising hens in small battery cages--http://tinyurl.com/2fax8w (International Herald Tribune)--“A European Union-wide ban on keeping laying hens in small battery cages will come into force as planned in 2012, the European Commission said Tuesday. The commission pointed to a new report showing the ban will benefit animal welfare benefits without significantly harming farmers' incomes. "There is scientific and economic support for the ban on conventional battery cages," said EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou. "We are maintaining the deadline of 2012."" (see the press release for entire statement: http://tinyurl.com/3dxfbp)  For complete story, click here.
Turning up the Heat on Transport Requirements--http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/feb08/x080107.asp  “The Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed amending Animal Welfare Act regulations regarding transportation of live animals other than marine mammals by removing ambient temperature requirements for various stages in the transportation of those animals. Marine mammals are not addressed because of their unique requirements for care and handling.  If approved, the amendment would make acclimation certificates for live animals other than marine mammals unnecessary. The USDA-APHIS wants to adopt a single performance standard under which a carrier would consider all climatic and environmental conditions—alone and in combination—to eliminate unnecessary discomfort and stress. Among the conditions that would be considered are temperature, humidity, exposure, ventilation, pressurization, and travel and holding times."  For complete story, click here.
Animal Abuse Uncovered at SNBL in Everett--February 2nd, 2008--SNBL USA is one of the largest a contract testing organizations in the country. They are in the business of animal cruelty - conducting animal experiments for businesses such as Pfizer, Inc and Eli Lilly. On January 31, 2008 KIRO 7 broke an investigation that revealed horrible animal suffering at the Everett facility (They also have a facility in Alice TX). In one case, a female monkey was scalded to death during a 20 minute wash cycle inside of a searing hot 180 degree cage washer. Whistle blowers have also alleged that monkeys are sprayed with acid, dropped on their heads and that when monkeys are not fed or cared for as required by law, employees are required to fake entries in official records. To read these stories see: http://www.kirotv.com/news/15189249/detail.html http://www.kirotv.com/investigations/15216083/detail.html http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20080201/BIZ/963536411/1005 http://tinyurl.com/2b5b3b  (Seattle Times) Or, click here.
Video Shows Employees Torturing Cows on Way to Slaughterhouse--(NaturalNews) An article posted by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on their Web site on Jan. 30, 2008 revealed the disturbing results of a six-week undercover investigation into Hallmark Meat Packing Co., of Chino, located in southern California. Video evidence showed employees of the plant, which supplies beef to the National Lunch Program, kicking, electrocuting, and downright torturing sick or injured animals, forcing them to walk on their own ability into the slaughterhouse and into our food chain.  A link to the video can be found here:(https://community.hsus.org/campaign/CA_2008_investigation) . Be aware that this is very disturbing footage.  The practice of forcing sick or injured animals into the slaughterhouse presents a danger because of the established link between "downer" cattle and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. A downer cow is one that is sick or injured and unable to stand on its own. According to the HSUS, of the 15 known cases of BSE-infected animals discovered in North America, at least 12 involved downed animals. Mad cow disease is a progressive fatal neurological disorder of cattle which can be transmitted to other species, including humans. In humans, it is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.  Hallmark's Chino, Calif., slaughter plant supplies the Westland Meat Co., which processes the carcasses. The facility is the second-largest supplier of beef to USDA's Commodity Procurement Branch, which distributes the beef to needy families, the elderly and also to schools through the National School Lunch Program, which served more than 30 million children daily in 2006. Westland was named a USDA "supplier of the year" for 2004-2005 and has delivered beef to schools in 36 states.  The Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act (H.R. 1726) would set modest animal welfare standards, including humane euthanasia of any downed animals, for producers who sell food to federal government programs, and the Downed Animal Protection Act (S. 394 and H.R. 661) would ban any slaughtering of downed animals for human consumption.  For complete story, click here.
UW may have to pay back some monkey-study funds--http://tinyurl.com/2vhafk  (Seattle Times)  As we previously reported, the University of Washington was caught performing excessive and unauthorized surgeries on several monkeys. This information was only uncovered due to activists getting the information through Freedom of Information Act requests. The UW tried to bury this information. Instead, several papers reported the incidents, the one mentioned above just being the latest one. A review of the UW's records revealed two additional researchers' labs had performed unauthorized surgeries — a total of 39 unapproved surgeries on 16 monkeys over four years. The UW called it a "clerical error"  For complete story, click here.
Oprah takes aim at Pa. puppy mills--April 3rd, 2008-- When Bill Smith puts up a billboard, people notice.   His biting ads lambasting the puppy mills of Lancaster County - one features a beagle in a dishwasher to show how small the legal cage size is - have been fixtures on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for three years. Frustrated that conditions for thousands of breeding dogs in the state's commercial kennels had not improved despite Gov. Rendell's 2006 pledge to clean up substandard kennels, Smith, the Chester Springs animal welfare advocate, brought his campaign to Chicago, to the doorstep of Oprah Winfrey.   "I thought, 'Who could reach more people than any other person on the planet?' " said Smith, founder of Main Line Animal Rescue. His shelter takes in about 500 puppy-mill castoffs a year: the breeding dogs, often riddled with health and behavioral problems, and the puppies that are too old or too sick to sell.   In February the billboard, with a plaintive puppy face and a polite request to Winfrey to do a show on puppy mills, was posted on bustling Kennedy Boulevard, four blocks from Winfrey's Harpo Studios. Main Line board member Marsha Perelman donated $10,000 to rent the billboard space for a month.   They didn't need a month to convince the nation's number-one talk show host and a dog lover herself. A week later, Smith said, producers called and told him they were planning to devote a show to abuses in puppy mills.   "I was grateful," said Smith after receiving the call. "I knew if she did a show on this it would help a lot of animals."   The show, which airs tomorrow (4 p.m., 6ABC), includes graphic undercover footage of Lancaster County kennels, along with related segments on dog auctions and the high rates of euthanasia in shelters. Smith is the featured guest.   Smith spent two days last month with Oprah correspondent Lisa Ling traveling to kennels and pet shops in Southeastern Pennsylvania to show the relationship between the puppies sold in pet stores and, as Ling said, "the horrific conditions" in many large kennels.   "People will see the connection between pet stores and they will meet the puppies' mothers in their rabbit hutches," said Smith. "It's really upsetting."   They toured a number of mills and saw cages stacked to the ceiling in sheds. They saw 15 or 20 small dogs stuffed in rabbit hutches. They watched kennel operators dragging dogs by their front legs. They left with 19 dogs, suffering from severe dental disease, and a very sick puppy, which later died in a veterinary hospital.   Rendell, who has adopted puppy-mill dogs, beefed up inspections in the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and hired additional dog wardens, but his effort to toughen regulations stalled last year over opposition from breeders, farmers and sportsmen.   Rendell's spokesman, Chuck Ardo, said the governor would introduce a revamped legislative package in the next few weeks. "The governor's affection toward dogs is well-known," said Ardo. "He will be visible in promoting this legislation."   Smith said the show has the potential to have greater impact than any legislative or regulatory changes.   "It still comes down to consumers buying puppies from pet stores," he said.   Meanwhile, Smith already has one new convert.  "I would never, ever adopt another pet now without going to a shelter to do it," Winfrey said in a statement released yesterday. "I am a changed woman after seeing this show."     She is dedicating the show to her cocker spaniel Sophie, who died last month.  (Unable to locate story at time of archiving.  Source: www.philly.com  Date:  April 3, 2008)
AP: Companies get OK to harm, annoy polar bears 14 Jun 2008 Less than a month after declaring polar bears a threatened species because of global warming, the Bush regime is giving oil companies permission to annoy and potentially harm them in the pursuit of oil and natural gas. The Fish and Wildlife Service issued regulations this week providing legal protection to seven oil companies planning to search for oil and gas in the Chukchi Sea off the northwestern coast of Alaska if "small numbers" of polar bears or Pacific walruses are incidentally harmed [!?!] by their activities over the next five years. Environmentalists said the new regulations give oil companies a blank check to harass the polar bear.  For complete story, click here.
Breaking: AP: Bush to relax protected species rules 11 Aug 2008 Parts of the Endangered Species Act may soon be extinct. The Bush dictatorship wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants. New regulations, which don't require the approval of Congress, would reduce the mandatory, independent reviews government scientists have been performing for 35 years, according to a draft obtained by The Associated Press. The draft rules also would bar federal agencies from assessing the emissions from projects that contribute to global warming and its effect on species and habitats.  For complete story, click here.
32 research monkeys die in accident at Nevada lab--http://tinyurl.com/5rfc92 (AP)  “Thirty-two research monkeys at a Nevada laboratory died because human errors made the room too hot, officials for the drug company that runs the lab said Thursday. Animal rights activists complain the company took too long to report the deaths. Charles River Laboratories Inc. issued a statement saying the monkeys died in Sparks on May 28. The company, based in Wilmington, Mass., attributed the deaths to incorrect climate-control operation. PETA's Guillermo said the USDA cited Charles River for 22 violations of the Animal Welfare Act in 2005 alone. Another animal rights group, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, this year publicized 20 violations Charles River reported to federal officials in 2006 and early 2007."  For complete story, click here.
Elephant abuse? Ringling Bros. circus faces trial--http://tinyurl.com/ahj44e (seattle times) "One of the most iconic images of American life, that of circus elephants joined trunk-to-tail as they lumber along to delight "children of all ages," as the old saying goes, is about to be debated in a courtroom. Are the beasts docile because they are highly intelligent and respond well to training, reinforced with the promise of apples, carrots, water and kindness at day's end? Or do they obey because their spirits have been broken and they fear being hit by their trainers. These are among the questions that will be asked when a lawsuit by a coalition of animal-rights groups against the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and its parent company opens in federal court on Wednesday."  For complete story, click here.
Monsanto in Illinois: Homeland Security and USDA Plan Attacks Against Animals By Linn Cohen-Cole 13 Feb 2009 Below is a letter to livestock producers in Illinois asking them and others to contact the Governor’s office to ask to be allowed to be present at a meeting between Homeland Security and the USDA which involves NAIS and "surge capacity" under Homeland Security to attack and seize and destroy - "depopulate" an area of - animals. This meeting is about what will be done TO THEM but they are shut out. Many of you already know about Monsanto’s "rural cleansing" in southern Illinois of 200 - 400 farmers for using Steve Hixon as their seed cleaner. One is being sued for $400,000. In 2006, Monsanto made $160,000,000 in this Mafia-like extortion. For complete story, click here.
Farmers Lean to Truce on Animals’ Close Quarters--August 11th, 2010--WEST MANSFIELD, Ohio — Concessions by farmers in this state to sharply restrict the close confinement of hens, hogs and veal calves are the latest sign that so-called factory farming — a staple of modern agriculture that is seen by critics as inhumane and a threat to the environment and health — is on the verge of significant change.  For complete story, click here.
SPECIAL NOTE:  HEAL was backlogged from 2012-2013 and had technical difficulties.  We did not update the animal welfare/rights news section during that time.  If you have news or action alerts from that time that you would like posted on our site, please contact us at news@heal-online.org with the information and request.
Animal abuse in Yilan County sparks outrage By Yang Yi-min, Wang Yang-yu and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer A kitten pierced by blow darts in Yilan County is seen on May 17. Photo courtesy of the Yilan County Animal and Plant Disease Control Center A string of attacks on cats and dogs in Yilan County has outraged animal protection groups, who urged authorities to find the culprits and bring them to justice. Officials at Yilan County’s Animal and Plant Disease Control Center on Friday last week said that a resident of Nanao Township (南澳) on May 17 found a two-month old kitten pierced by blow darts at an eatery in front of Penglai Elementary School. The female kitten was clinging to life when found, with one dart through the left ear and two others sticking to her body. Officials at the center said it was lucky that the darts did not puncture major organs and there was no major bleeding. After emergency treatment by a veterinarian, the kitten was recovering well, the center said, adding that an animal welfare group has helped to place the kitten with a new owner. Chen Wen-chin (陳文進), head of the center, said the steel darts can cause serious injuries, but can be bought easily. “This type of dart should be restricted. We will discuss such measures with other agencies to coordinate the effort,” he said. Meanwhile, four stray dogs were poisoned at a hill area in Yuanshan Township (員山). Residents said they noticed the dogs had gone missing a while ago from their usual haunts and where they were being fed. The bodies of three were found recently with white froth at their mouths. The fourth dog has not been found, but residents do not hold out much hope. A local animal welfare activist surnamed Lin (林), who was upset over the death of the dogs, said he was sure that someone had deliberately poisoned them. Yilan County Stray Dog Care Association secretary-general Chin Hui-ling (秦慧玲) called the person who perpetrated the crime “a deranged murderer.” “How can anyone hurt these animals who are unable to defend themselves? If this person is caught, he must receive counseling. Society must not ignore this issue and should think of ways to solve the stray dog problem,” Chin said. She urged government agencies to mount an awareness campaign to educate the public — including parents and schools — about the issue. Liu Pi-yang (劉必楊), a section chief at Yilan County’s Animal and Plant Disease Control Center, said the county currently has about 4,000 stray dogs, citing figures from the Council of Agriculture. “We have dog-catcher units that will do their job at different intervals. The public should not try to catch the strays, as they can be fined between NT$15,000 and NT$75,000 under the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法),” he said. Seriously injuring or killing animals is a criminal act that carries a jail term of up to a year, Liu said, adding that the public can report incidents to the center by calling 0396-02350. Additional reporting by Wang Chih-hsiung This story has been viewed 1290 times.   Source: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2014/05/27/2003591357
BC SPCA will recommend animal cruelty charges against dog walker A memorial to the six dogs has been installed at the off-leash dog park in Brookswood. — image credit: Dan Ferguson/Langley Times 6                                  by  Frank Bucholtz - Langley Times posted May 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM— updated May 26, 2014 at 5:06 PM The BC SPCA announced Monday it will be recommending charges of animal cruelty against a dog walker, after six dogs died in her care on May 13. Dubbed the “Brookswood Six” by many media outlets, the dogs were initially reported stolen from the Brookswood dog walking park by dog walker Emma Paulsen. After a massive search effort and fundraising to assist in the search, on Sunday, May 18, she admitted that the dogs had died after being left in her vehicle on a hot day. At that time, she said that the dogs had died in Richmond. Their bodies were found in an Abbotsford ditch, before being reclaimed for the necropsies. The BC SPCA is still completing its report, which will be submitted to Crown counsel within the next few weeks. Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA, said enough evidence has been obtained in the investigation so far to warrant a recommendation for separate charges of animal cruelty for each of the six dogs under the Criminal Code of Canada. “Obviously the ultimate decision about whether or not charges will be laid rests with Crown counsel, but the preliminary necropsy results and other evidence gathered in our investigation so far supports our recommendation,” said Moriarty. She said that the SPCA could not discuss further details of the case at this point, but would be submitting its full report to Crown counsel as quickly as possible. The BC SPCA investigates nearly 8,000 complaints of animal abuse and neglect each year, under provincial legislation that gives it the power to do so.  Source: http://www.richmondreview.com/news/260688421.html
Substance abuse treatment ordered for Connecticut woman accused of fatally beating puppy THE ASSOCIATED PRESS   First Posted: May 26, 2014 - 10:03 am Last Updated: May 26, 2014 - 10:05 am AAA We also have more stories about: (click the phrases to see a list) Subjects: Animal cruelty (70) Dogs (71) Mammals (401) Human welfare (639) Animals (717) Social issues (2696) Social affairs (4589) Places: Bridgeport (18) Connecticut (333)   BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut — A Bridgeport woman accused of fatally beating a poodle, assaulting her mother and testing positive for drugs has been ordered into inpatient substance-abuse treatment. The Connecticut Post reports (http://bit.ly/1mfjycV ) that Rommy Rodriguez lost her bond and was ordered detained for violating conditions of her release by repeatedly testing positive for drugs. Animal rights demonstrators who have been appearing in growing numbers at Rodriguez's court appearances say she should go to jail, not substance abuse treatment. Rodriguez was arrested last November, accused of fatally beating her 8-month-old puppy because it barked too much. She's accused of burying the dog's body in her backyard. She was arrested in March for allegedly assaulting her mother in a dispute over a misplaced iPad charger. It wasn't known Monday who her lawyer is.  Source: http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/7593b78055bc4c668a224ded55a374a1/CT--Animal-Cruelty/#.U4uiL-kU-1s
Circus Renz elephants mistreated: Party for Animals Posted by Maxime Zech on 11:31 CEST, Monday, 26, May, 2014 in Netherlands | 2 comments According to the Party for Animals(PvdD), elephants at Circus Renz International, currently in Rotterdam, are being mistreated, the Algemeen Dagblad reports. “They have holes next to their eyes”, says fraction frontrunner Jeroen van der Lee. “That comes from the use of the so-called bull hook. That is animal abuse.” The PvdD want circuses that do not use animals for their performances to be first in line in the Maasstad for shows. This is in a party deal between Leefbaar, D66 and CDA. According to Van der Lee, more speed must be put behind enforcing this. An old-fashioned Elephant Goad from South India used in the training of pachyderms. Source: Walters Art Museum “Especially the training method for these animals is pure abuse”, the fraction president states. “An elephant will really not stand on its hind legs by itself, to do that he becomes acquainted with such an elephant hook.” Van der Lee is also against the concept of a traveling circus, as the long distances traveled, “500 to 1000 kilometers”, cause the animals a lot of stress. The party will pose questions to the city governing board about the blocking of circuses using wild animals. Questions about Circus Renz International are no longer on the table, as they are breaking up today, the AD reports. [an earlier version of this story included a photo from Circus Herman Renz, which is not connected to Circus Renz. Thanks to reader MrTjips for pointing this out -ed.]   Source: http://www.nltimes.nl/2014/05/26/circus-renz-elephants-mistreated-party-animals/
Cruelty, for fun and profit Of the 52 people who were busted in a cockfighting raid in Fulton County this month, just nine are Ohio residents; the rest are from Michigan and Indiana. That isn’t a coincidence: Ohio is the sole Great Lakes state — and one of only nine in the nation — that still treats cockfighting as a misdemeanor, rather than the felony it is. Becoming a haven for cockfights likely isn’t part of Ohio’s economic development strategy. Unless state lawmakers approve of extreme cruelty to animals in the name of entertainment, they will finally align the punishment of this barbaric practice with the seriousness of the crime. Click here to read more Blade editorials About three-fourths of the defendants in the Royalton Township bust pleaded guilty last week to aiding and abetting animal fighting. They were assessed a $250 fine — the legal maximum in Ohio — and court costs. They don’t face jail time unless they commit a similar offense within three years; if they do, the stiffest sentence would be 30 days. The fine is less than the potential winnings from betting illegally on cockfights, or from the $5,000 to $6,000 an Ohio operator can collect in a weekend from staging them, or from the tens of thousands of dollars a fighting bird can win for its owner. It’s hardly a deterrent. Police seized 72 roosters from the site of the raid. That fact, animal welfare advocates say, signals the presence of an organized cockfighting ring. In the uplifting spectacle of cockfighting, roosters bred for aggression are fitted with razor-sharp knives or instruments similar to ice picks, called gaffs, that are strapped to their heels. They often are given drugs to boost their adrenaline. Birds are thrown in a pit and forced to fight to the death. Before that outcome, the so-called gamecocks routinely endure pierced eyes, punctured lungs, and broken bones. Illegal gambling is part and parcel of cockfighting. Drug dealing and organized crime often accompany the activity as well, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says. The Humane Society of the United States says only Mississippi and Alabama have weaker anti-cockfighting laws than Ohio. The General Assembly has killed efforts in recent years to toughen penalties against cockfighting. Whose interests are lawmakers protecting? The tired excuse that cockfighting is an authentic cultural expression shouldn’t fool anyone anymore. Proposed legislation would make cockfighting in Ohio a felony, subject to a penalty of as much as $10,000. The felony charge would apply only if there are aggravating circumstances, such as the presence of children at cockfights. It isn’t enough, but it’s a start. Dogfighting has been a felony in Ohio since 1980, and properly so. Yet the state continues, inexplicably, to treat cockfighting as a lesser offense. Cockfighting not only is cruel to the animals it sacrifices; its violence also diminishes and desensitizes the humans who watch it. Ohio’s wrist-slap penalties do more to validate the brutal activity than to proscribe it. That has to change.  Source: http://www.toledoblade.com/Opinion/2014/05/26/Cruelty-for-fun-and-profit.html
Animal abuse educational forum to be hosted for police officers Police officers will have the opportunity to attend a forum on handling animal abuse and neglect incidents. Uticaod Writer Posted May. 26, 2014 @ 8:33 pm Posted May. 26, 2014 @ 8:33 pm NEW HARTFORD »  Social News Posted May. 26, 2014 @ 8:33 pm NEW HARTFORD Police officers will have the opportunity to attend a forum on handling animal abuse and neglect incidents. The education forum — hosted by state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome — will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services in New Hartford. All police personnel in Oneida County are invited to attend the event that is being held in cooperation with the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office and the state Humane Association. The forum will discuss ways of identifying animal abuse and neglect, how to approach abused animals and how to remove them from abusive households, among other topics. The recent series of animal cruelty cases has prompted this event.  Anyone who suspects an animal is being abused is encouraged to call 454-3469, or visit cnyspca.org. Strays should be reported to local municipal offices or to animal control.  Source: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140526/NEWS/140529532
DA, SUNY hold animal abuse investigation training May 27, 2014 admin Leave a comment The Oswego County District Attorney’s Office, along with the SUNY Oswego University Police, will be co-hosting a training session regarding animal abuse investigations tonight.  The training will take place in the Hewitt-Union auditorium from 6 to 8 p.m. The training is open to members of law enforcement and animal control officers who work in the county, as well as non-profit organizations such as the Humane Society and Paws Across Oswego County.   To RSVP, call Gregory Oakes, Oswego County DA, at 349-3239.   Source: http://valleynewsonline.com/blog/2014/05/27/da-suny-hold-animal-abuse-investigation-training/
Griffo Holds Forum To Assist Officers With Animal Abuse Cases By Luke Tubia May 27, 2014 4:05 PM Share on Facebook Share on Twitter John Moore, Getty Images A forum to benefit police officers in Oneida County who handle animal abuse cases was held Tuesday morning. Senator Joe Griffo hosted the forum which talked about ways to identify animal abuse and neglect, how to approach abused animals and remove them from an abusive household. Griffo says the forum featured District Attorney Scott McNamara and a retired State Police investigator who specialized in animal abuse. The forum also discussed how to ensure successful prosecution of animal abusers. Read More: Griffo Holds Forum To Assist Officers With Animal Abuse Cases | http://wibx950.com/griffo-holds-forum-to-assist-officers-with-animal-abuse-cases/?trackback=tsmclip 
Arrests could be immenent in animal abuse case by Dan Claxton Posted: 05.28.2014 at 1:19 PM Dan Claxton read more » Become a Fan Follow Us Subscribe Dan 's feed Read more:  Local, State, Crime, News, Animal Abuse, Barnhart, Morgan County, Nienhuis, Sheriff, Horses, Dogs, Cats, Neglected, Abused, Adopted Share on favoritessave send print 3 31924 Investigators are seeking arrest warrants for the owner of a Barnhart property on which over 150 abused and neglected animals were rescued. VERSAILLES -- Investigators in Morgan County are seeking arrest warrants against the owner of a house near Barnett from which 152 neglected and abused animals were rescued on May 6. Officials with the Humane Society and the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, acting on a tip, discovered over 150 animals, including horses, dogs, and cats, in various states of neglect. The animals were underfed, and many had skin legions, matted hair, and respiratory diseases. Lt. Mike Nienhuis says the Sheriff's department fully expects more arrests to follow. He says reports have been received from the Humane Society of Missouri regarding the dispostition of the animals. Now, Nienhuis says investigators have to find out "who knew what, and when." Nienhuis says if it is determined that if owners who kept animals at the Barnett property knew they were being abused or neglected, or if they saw evidence of other animals being abused and did not report it, they are subject to possible arrest. He says more arrest warrants are likely. According to Jeane Jae of the Humane Society of Missouri, most of the rescued animals are improving, and many have been adopted.  Source: http://www.connectmidmissouri.com/news/story.aspx?id=1050389#.U4ujs-kU-1s
City of Amarillo proposes updated animal cruelty ordinances Posted: May 27, 2014 9:03 PM PDT Updated: May 27, 2014 9:10 PM PDT By Madison Alewel, Reporter - email     Get More Amarillo Animal Control - Lost, Found & Impounded Search Tool Amarillo, TX - The City of Amarillo is trying to beef up Animal Control's ability to protect pets from abuse in our area. The City Council proposed two amended ordinances to the Amarillo Municipal Code at Tuesday's City Council meeting. The amended ordinances clarify what's considered animal cruelty and would give animal control officers and police authority to issue citations on those types of offenses. The city's current animal cruelty ordinance follows state law, and city officials say it needs to be more comprehensive to protect animal welfare in our area The updated ordinance prohibits amateur ear cropping and tail docking. "The ordinance allows it to occur, but only by a licensed veterinarian in a clinical setting," said City Attorney Marcus Norris. "It makes it an offense for any other person to do ear cropping or tail docking, and it makes it an offense for an animal owner who submits their animal to an unauthorized procedure." The ordinance clarifies what is considered an adequate amount of food, water and shelter provided to a pet. It also outlaws the use of chains as a collar or leash to tether an animal outside. Resident Shea White has been advocating for this ordinance for months and said chain tethering is a public safety concern, especially for children walking by. "What normally would have been an otherwise friendly dog, turned aggressive because she was out there on a chain with no food, no water, and couldn't get to her shelter," said White. "Every time I opened my front door, every time I went to my car, every time I would look out my window, she would charge that chain and choke herself." The second ordinance proposed would give animal control officers and police authority to issue citations for the new offenses. "We hope that will make for a more robust enforcement program," said Norris. White said she thinks the changes could help with animal cruelty enforcement. "I know a lot of officers personally who felt they had their hands tied because they weren't allowed to enforce the laws up until now, but now with the new management and new considerations, I think they're going to be able to do a much better job." There will be a second reading at the next City Council meeting to vote on adopting the amended ordinances.  Source: http://www.newschannel10.com/story/25625738/city-of-amarillo-proposes-updated-animal-cruelty-ordinances
Celina Jaitly files police complaint against MLA for animal abuse By Bollywood Hungama News Network, May 28, 2014 - 18:48 hrs IST Actress Celina Jaitley has always been active when it comes to social causes and the actress filed a police complaint against MLA Vinay Kore on behalf of PETA for cruelty and abuse of a young elephant named 'Sunder'. According to a health examination report, PETA became aware of the condition of Sunder as it stated that the elephant had deep wounds and was chained for a long time. Hence, when Celina joined hands with PETA she decided to present this in the court of law. Talking about the incident Celina says, "I just could not take the constant flow of merciless evidence of Sunder's state pouring in from our brave undercover investigators of PETA India. Sunder's plight is heart rending, we are such Hippocrates. On one hand we worship the elephant and on another we rip our Gods creation piece by piece so mercilessly and brutally. The irony in Sunders case being, he is tortured to be trained to work for God's own house. I am sure Gods are angry too. We had to do something and we did it. This is my way of devotion to Lord Ganpati." Also, the police has received a complaint stating the Section 11(1)(a) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act and also Section 42 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act which states that the animals must be provided hygiene and safe environment for a living has been violated. The Bombay High Court has asked the Forest officials to relocate Sunder from Kolhapur to a rehabilitation centre in Karnataka before monsoons. SHARE THIS Add to Favourites Rate this : Title :  Celina Jaitly files police complaint against MLA for animal abuse Tags : Celina Jaitly, animal abuse, Vinay Kore, PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Views :     61590    Comments :     0    Favorite of :     0   Source: http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/news/2512609/Celina-Jaitly-files-police-complaint-against-MLA-for-animal-abuse
A safer place to own pets Online registry will log individuals guilty of animal abuse By David Weingrad The Nassau County Legislature approved legislation last week to prevent residents found guilty of animal cruelty from becoming repeat pet owners. A law, passed unanimously by the Legislature on May 21 requires Nassau County residents convicted of animal abuse crimes to register their name and residence to an online registry that will be maintained by the Nassau County Police and the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Once registered, they will be forbidden from purchasing or adopting animals in Nassau County for at least five years. As of 2013, animal abuse registries exist in four counties statewide: Suffolk, Albany, Westchester and Rockland, according to the legislation. A similar registry was also passed by New York City in February. From now on, anybody who purchases an animal from a public or private pet shelters, pet stores or pet breeders in Nassau County must submit their photo ID. The name and residence will then be crosschecked with the registry. “Animal abuse will not be tolerated in Nassau County,” said County Executive Ed Mangano in a written statement. “Statistically, there is a high rate of recidivism among people who are convicted of an animal abuse crime,” added Presiding Officer Gonsalves. “By creating this registry, we can better protect those helpless animals from being abused.” The law applies to county residents 18 or older who are convicted of animal abuse crimes on or after the law’s adoption on May 21. Those who are found guilty of such a crime — which includes animal fighting, torture, failure to provide proper sustenance, abandonment and poisoning — must register within five days of their conviction, or they will be charged with a class A misdemeanor, and can be punished up to a year in jail or fined up to $1,000. A repeat offender will be put on the list for 10 years following their most recent conviction. Animals included in the law are mammals, birds or reptiles, but not feeder animals, such as mice and fish. The registry will be updated four times a year. Any person who is required to register must pay an annual fee of $100. The funds will be used to pay the administrative costs of maintaining the registry. Animal shelters or pet dealers who violate the law will be fined $500 for a first offense, and $1,000 for a second offense. A third offense results in a maximum $1,500 fine. The registry will be made available to any state, regional or national government-operated registry of animal abusers so information can be shared and disseminated. Concerned members of the public will also be allowed to sign up for email notifications for updates and additions to the registry.  Source: http://www.liherald.com/stories/A-safer-place-to-own-pets,55350?content_source=&category_id=5&search_filter=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=
Georgia Animal Abuse Seminar By: Charlene Cristobal - Email Posted: Wed 6:28 PM, May 28, 2014 By: Charlene Cristobal - Email Home / Headlines List / Article By: Charlene Cristobal May 28, 2014 Georgia law enforcement received training in preventing animal cruelty and fighting on Wednesday. The training was held in Thomasville by the Humane Society of the United States. In a video shown during the seminar, an older woman was selling puppies at a flea market. While the "puppy in the window" looked happy, behind the scenes that puppy and others were staying in inhumane conditions including living in cages with piles of feces and roaches in their food and water. Thomasville and Thomas County Humane Society Executive Director, Ed Williams says, "Animal cruelty is not something that typical law enforcement agencies might deal with. You know, they're dealing with drug dealers and criminals, and that sort of thing. But they're not routinely going out and investigating animal cruelty cases. So, it's important that they get this training." The training went through various scenarios of what police and other enforcement agencies should look for when investigating an animal cruelty case. Situations like puppy mills, finding a dog in a car with the windows rolled up, seeing a downed horse and even how to stop a dog fighting operation. Derrick Lawrence of Cherokee County Animal Enforcement says, "There's an increase in animal cruelty. A lot of puppy mills and things of that nature. They're supplementing their income. The economy hasn't been that great, so they're trying to figure out some way to generate some type of income." According to the Humane Society, there are around 15,000 puppy mills and over 40,000 people participating in dog fighting in the United States. Investigator Eric Hill of Moultrie says, "Because we're seeing more of it, more stuff going on in our cities and we're trying to get more information out there and possibly know more information about how to prosecute those types of incidences that we see out there."   Source: http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Georgia-Animal-Abuse-Seminar-261001261.html?ref=261
Ridgefield Park Animal Hospital worker to face 71 charges of animal cruelty May 29, 2014    Last updated: Thursday, May 29, 2014, 9:26 AM By Stacey Rosenfeld Staff Writer Ridgefield Park Patriot RIDGEFIELD PARK - A worker at the Ridgefield Park Animal Hospital will appear in court June 3 to answer 71 charges of animal cruelty. Edison Davalos, a dog breeder who had been associated with the Ridgefield Park Animal Hospital, was issued 71 summonses related to the alleged abuse of more than 40 German Shepherds seized from the Village facility on May 4 and 5. A raid of the hospital yielded the release or rescue of approximately 40 pure-bred dogs from the Main Street facility by the Bergen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). According to Maureen Parenta, a spokeswoman for the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, the charges follow the SPCA's observation of nearly 40 dogs in cramped and unprotected cages. It is alleged that the dogs were under the care and responsibility of Davalos, a dog breeder. On May 5 Davalos surrendered approximately 25 dogs to the SPCA. The SPCA placed them at the Bergen County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center in Teterboro for examination, and now confirms that the young adult and adult German Shepherds have been spayed and neutered and are ready for adoption. The puppies that were seized are not yet ready for adoption, according to the SPCA. Animal control was first alerted to a potential problem at the property May 4 by a neighbor who observed some of the dogs running loose and unattended in the back of the animal hospital. Initially, the SPCA was unable to gain entry to the animal hospital. But, after reaching the veterinarian, Paul K. Kim DVM, they were able to enter the property where they found a total of 40 German Shepherds, most in tiny crates, ranging from puppies to adults, according to Bergen County SPCA Lt. Roni Wildoner. Many of the dogs were found crated in the facility's basement. Kim said he did not know anything about the dogs, which he asserted belonged to the building's owner. Kim has not been charged with anything to date. As previously reported by the Ridgefield Park Patriot, Village Health Inspector Frank DiBenedetto said that the licensure of the animal hospital falls under the purview of the state not the Village, and to his knowledge the facility is only licensed as a veterinary hospital, not for boarding, breeding, as a kennel or as a shelter. DeBenedetto said that the Village health department has issued a license for the limited purpose of allowing the facility to sell dog food, as this permission falls under the local food code. He added that during his 25-year tenure with the Village, there has never been any complaints about the facility. "If we had received complaints for odor or barking for instance, perhaps we could have done something. But we never received any such complaints. Unfortunately what has now been discovered falls to animal control," DeBenedetto said. Calls to the Ridgefield Park Animal Hospital were not returned by press time. Email: rosenfeld@northjersey.com   Source: http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/pets/hospital-worker-to-face-71-charges-of-animal-cruelty-1.1025706
No Charges Against Officer Who Left Dog To Die In SUV For Seven Hours  4746  7 By Will Hagle, Thu, May 29, 2014 Maricopa County in Arizona has a reputation for being harsh towards its inmates. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is infamous for using questionable tactics in his jails, like cutting meals and forcing inmates to wear pink underwear.  Sheriff Arpaio, however, has little to do with the most recent incident to take place at a Maricopa County jail, in which a service dog died after being left in a vehicle for seven hours.  According to AZ Family, prosecutors have declined to file animal cruelty charges against Officer Jesse Dorantes, the Arizona Department of Corrections dog handler who left the animal in the back of his SUV after leaving work early. Dorantes claims he forgot about the dog — named Ike — because he had left work in his personal car in order to attend to his sick child. According to KTAR, the SUV was parked at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis in Buckeye. Temperatures reportedly reached 98 degrees throughout the duration of the dog’s time in the vehicle.  “This was a tragic accident that was preventable and, perhaps to many people, unforgivable. But based on our review of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the incident, the available evidence does not provide a reasonable likelihood of conviction,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.  Montgomery also cited a similar 2007 case, in which police officer Thomas Lovejoy was acquitted in an animal cruelty case after leaving a police dog named Bandit in a car for over 13 hours.  “We have even less favorable evidence now than what was presented in that previous manner,” Montgomery said, comparing the two incidents. - See more at: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/animal-rights/no-charges-against-officer-who-left-dog-die-suv-seven-hours#sthash.2gEdZBaT.dpuf 
Dog Fighting: 26 Arrested In Apopka, FL; Pit Bulls, Children Rescued from ‘Deplorable Conditions’  40  6 By Phyllis M Daugherty, Thu, May 29, 2014 Twenty-six people are facing felony charges following a large dog fighting ring bust in Orange County, Florida. Police said they discovered a sophisticated operation which spanned Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties. Police Chief Robert Manley said the fights were a big moneymaker. He said the man who lived in the home, Adelle Dawson, was going to make between $7,200 and $8,000 that night until police made the bust, according to BayNews 9. Officers took a total of 24 men and two women to the Orange County Jail. Some were charged with being spectators at the fight or baiting animals, among other charges, Police Capt. Randy Fernandez said. Apopka police received an anonymous tip Tuesday from someone who reported dogs fighting in the backyard of a home and several vehicles parked across the street from the residence, police Capt. Randy Fernandez said in a release. Officers heard the dogs fighting upon arrival, and many of the human participants tried to run when they spotted police. After separating the fighting dogs, officers found cages containing chickens, a rabbit and a raccoon, animals known to be used in baiting and/or fighting animals, Steroids and other drugs used in dog fighting were also found, Fernandez said. Orange County Animal Control rescued the bait animals as well as the Pit Bulls used in fights — all of which were emaciated with multiple injuries, old and new. They also removed a mother Pit Bull and her newborn puppies. One of the dogs was taken out on a stretcher. Police believe that dog was involved in the first of four fights at the home. DOG FIGHTING RING BIGGER THAN EXPECTED Police said it was a mobile dog-fighting operation that was conducting a dog fight when officers arrived. A confidential informant told police the dog-fighting ring would travel throughout central Florida and the group would allegedly coordinate fights through social media, Channel 9 reported. When investigators arrived and broke up the ring, the dogs' owners abandoned them in cars and crates or let them loose in the neighborhood. Puppies were found in cages as well. Apopka Police said the dog-fighting ring was much bigger than they expected. Between 25 and 40 people ran into the neighborhood on 7th Street. Many of them were caught but didn't answer questions as they were hauled off to jail. Seven people who were arrested were injured. "We've had seven transported tonight, four of them with Taser deployments, one of them was apprehended by an Apopka K-9, and then several others were for other illnesses related to their attempts to flee," said Sgt. Kim Walsh of the Apopka Police Department. Apopka police said they've been investigating the dog-fighting ring for over two months. "I do not understand and will never understand who can get pleasure out of the cruelty of that," said Sgt. Walsh. CONDITIONS FOR BOTH CHILDREN AND DOGS “DEPLORABLE” Apopka police allowed WFTV to see the conditions that the animals were forced to live in before the 24 dogs were rescued. Pit Bulls were chained and were friendly to humans but not to each other. There were large collars found nearby and at least two dozen pot plants growing. The smell was overwhelming with so many dogs and cages, Channel 9 reporter Steve Barrett said. One dog that was rescued had a broken leg and was walking on its knuckles. A raccoon used to train the dogs to fight was also rescued. Authorities found the carcass of another raccoon that had been killed. The actual dog-fighting ring was walled off but that wall was knocked over as dozens fled during the raid, authorities said. In one room, there was a punching bag used to train the dogs to attack and treadmills used to exercise the dogs. Delvaughn Dawson who lives in the home, told Channel 9, it was not part of a dog-fighting ring and his dad, one of the arrestees, loves dogs and likes to take them in. “Pops always been taking in dogs whenever someone has a hurt dog,” Dawson said He said the treadmill was used to keep the dogs in shape and the punching bag was his. Authorities said dogs weren’t the only ones living in the deplorable conditions, but children were as well. Two children, 5 and 6 years of age, were removed and are being looked after by their grandparents under supervision of the Department of Children and Families, according to Channel 6 News. Officials said the dogs will remain in the hands of Orange County Animal Services to be evaluated. The animals will be in isolation because they are too aggressive with each other to be together. Officials cannot yet determine how many of the dogs will be adoptable Police said dogs used in previous fights are believed to be buried in the yard. The city has condemned the house, according to BayNews 9. Suspects charged with dog fighting and animal cruelty could face up to a $10,000 fine or three years in prison, Many were released on bail and are facing only 3rd degree felony charges, which could mean only fines or probation, Channel News 6 reported. The people arrested are as follows, according to BayNews: John Henry Anderson Jr., 32 Renaldo J. Bell, 26 Carlos S. Blue, 37 Ted V. Bouler, 26 Jesse J. Combs, 43 Mona M. Cumberland, 32 Adell Dawson, 39 Markeith Duncan, 24 Sidney H. Garrett Jr., 37 Chante A. Goffe, 25 Terrance Haynes, 31 Deleon Hendley, 30 Je Reme Fritzroy Herbert, 22 Devon J. Jackson, 32 Dale Jones, 48 Kevin Latroy Jones, 30 Martin Kerney, 25 Jeriel Mincey, 33 Derrick L. Morss, 41 Benjamin Ponder, 26 Latoya L. Rockmore, 28 Vernon C. Scott, 33 Jarrod Davon Swinton, 23 Antonio White, 30 Markeith Williams, 24 Jonathon T. Wright, 21 - See more at: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/animal-rights/dog-fighting-26-arrested-apopka-fl-pit-bulls-children-rescued-deplorable#sthash.6Fckv18I.dpuf
City yanks license of carriage driver who forced injured horse to work | New York Post City yanks license of carriage driver who forced injured horse to work By Yoav Gonen View author archive email the author follow on twitter Get author RSS feed Name(required) Email(required) Comment(required) May 29, 2014 | 3:21am Modal Trigger Central Park's horse-drawn carriages have come under scrutiny from Bill de Blasio and animal-rights activists. Photo: AP MORE ON: Horse Carriages Carriage drivers want OK for horses as city eyes ferret ban's end De Blasio donors aren't getting what they paid for City council members fined over money from anti-horse carriage group Bill pays his bills: To satisfy political debts, that is He’s been reined in for good. A horse-carriage driver who was busted after allegedly forcing an injured horse to pull passengers in Central Park this winter has been booted from his rig, city documents show. The Department of Consumer Affairs last month yanked the ­license of Saverio Colarusso, who was arrested in December after cops noticed that his horse was pulling a carriage despite a painful injury to its hind leg. A veterinarian later diagnosed the horse, which is named Blondie, with a bacterial infection known as thrush. Colarusso, who had prior brushes with DCA enforcement that included a 2010 fine for drinking beer on the job, was also hit with a $3,000 fine. The administrative judge said Colarusso told cops that Blondie had been walking “like that” for four days but later backtracked and said the horse was injured after stumbling because of a loud garbage truck just 15 minutes prior. A woman who answered the telephone at an address listed for Colarusso said that he no longer lived there. His next court appearance is set for June 16.  Source: http://nypost.com/2014/05/29/city-yanks-license-of-carriage-driver-who-forced-injured-horse-to-work/
Idaho gag law hides horrors of ag industry State violates free speech rights by selectively banning documentation of animal cruelty at factory farms May 30, 2014 12:00AM ET by Lauren Carasik @ajam Last week the New York–based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a friend of the court brief in a lawsuit opposing an Idaho law that prohibits investigations and whistleblowing in the agricultural industry. The “ag-gag” bill, which was signed into law on Feb. 28, prohibits video and audio recording of farm conditions and criminalizes undercover news gathering at agricultural production facilities. Critics contend that the law will insulate industrialized farming practices from scrutiny. On March 17 a coalition of advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho and environmental, animal rights and workers rights organizations, filed a constitutional challenge to the law. As noted in the CCR brief, the law violates the First Amendment by impermissibly restraining speech based on its content — factory farming — and viewpoint, which targets those critical of the practice, evincing political animus. In addition, the prohibition against misrepresentation is selective. An investigator who misrepresents past employment while applying for a job with the intent of documenting unlawful animal abuse is breaking the law, but an applicant who fabricates past employment in order to get a job for other reasons is not. Someone who falsifies credentials with the objective of exonerating rather than excoriating the industry does not violate the law. The impetus for the Idaho bill was the release in 2012 of graphic and disturbing footage by a national animal rights organization, Mercy for Animals, that depicted workers at a Bettencourt Dairies facility, the largest dairy operation in the state, abusing cows. The agribusiness industry has close ties to Idaho’s elected officials. One-third of the state senators, one fifth of representatives and the governor have received donations from agribusiness. But Idaho is not alone in gagging speech related to agricultural production. While none have been signed into law, at least 15 ag-gag laws were introduced in 11 states last year. The proliferation of ag-gag bills is linked to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative pro-business powerhouse that first proposed model legislation in 2003 to shield agribusiness from scrutiny. But these laws have been met with popular resistance in several states. Opponents argue that the ag-gag bills are part of a more expansive legislative effort to suppress the activities of animal rights advocates; one example is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a federal law that criminalizes interference with an animal enterprise. The act also faces ongoing legal challenges by CCR and other advocates. In addition to criminalizing investigations, in some states such as Nebraska and Missouri the proposed statutes contain provisions requiring investigators to turn over evidence of abuse to law enforcement within 24 or 48 hours. This requirement ostensibly protects animal welfare by requiring prompt disclosure and intervention. But the intent seems to preclude reporters from gathering long-term surveillance and documentation to expose inhumane practices and undercut the defense that abusive practices are aberrational.   Industrialized farming More than 9 billion animals are slaughtered for food each year in the United States. Despite the staggering number, there is little regulatory oversight for the dairy industry. The 1966 U.S. Animal Welfare Act, which regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition and transport, does not apply to animals raised for food. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act requires that the animal be rendered insensible to pain before slaughter, but covers only the brief period when animals are in the slaughterhouse, and excludes various religious practices. A law governing the transportation of animals mandates a break every 28 hours, but contains several loopholes. Both federal statutes exempt poultry, which constitutes up to 95 percent of the animals slaughtered in the U.S. In addition, most states’ cruelty laws exempt customary farming practices regardless of the amount of suffering they cause to farm animals. The law’s advocates say small, bucolic family farms and hard-working farmers, who are committed to the welfare of their animals, are being unfairly maligned by animal rights activists. But the antiquated wholesome image of stoic rural farmers belies the harsh reality ushered in by industrialized farming. According to the nonprofit American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 99 percent of animals raised for food live on factory farms, defined as large industrial operations rearing large numbers of animals for consumption. Critics argue that the ag-gag bills are intended to hide illegal industry abuses and shield the brutality of standard industry practices such as mutilations, throwing male chicks in egg-laying factories alive into grinders and dispatching undersize piglets by swinging them or smashing their skulls against a hard surface. Undercover investigations have prompted outcry and reforms. In 2012, McDonald’s succumbed to public pressure and agreed to phase out cramped gestation crates for pigs in its supply chain. Other companies have followed suit, supplementing complete bans in nine states.  Ag-gag law supporters say the disclosures, which are often based on manipulated footage, are intended to inflame public outrage, and are not aimed at reform but at completely ending the practice of industrial farming. Some activists would certainly support that outcome. But even dedicated carnivores can be concerned about minimizing the suffering of sentient creatures that experience distress, terror and pain. Laws that protect abusive industrial practices deprive citizens of the right to know about, debate and influence the treatment of the animals in their food supply chain. Many of the practices exposed by investigations also reveal the health hazards of squalid industrial practices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that foodborne illness sickens 48 million people in the U.S. each year, killing at least 3,000 people. In 2008, investigators caught a major school lunchmeat supplier in California abusing “downer” cows that were too sick to even walk, resulting in the largest meat recall in U.S. history.   The whistleblower prohibitions apply to those exposing dangerous working conditions. In addition to occupational hazards, mechanized slaughtering practices can lead to both traumatic and repetitive strain injuries in workers. The dairy industry often employs both documented and undocumented immigrants in low-wage positions, making them even more vulnerable to retaliation for reporting abuses.  Agribusiness has reason to fear transparency and public discourse. According to a study sponsored by the ASPCA in 2012, 94 percent of Americans believe food should be safe for consumption and that farms should be treated in a way that minimizes suffering from birth to slaughter. Some 71 percent of Americans support undercover investigations into industrial practices that undermine these goals. The ag-gag laws impede full information and debate necessary for market corrections and are therefore bad for business. As the sweeping Idaho law makes clear, agribusiness would prefer not to defend against haunting videos of cruelty and suffering, but to prevent their production and dissemination. Laws that protect industrial practices by chilling investigations and discourse about gruesome practices that affect animals, workers and the nation’s health are unconstitutional. They deprive citizens of the right to know about, debate and influence the treatment of the animals in their food supply chain.  Source: http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/5/idaho-ag-gag-lawagribusinessfreespeech.html
Animal Welfare At Issue in Fight Over NYC Horse Carriage Rides (Video)  Posted: 4:33 pm, May 30, 2014 by Posted by Habitat for Horses Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on pinterest_shareMore Sharing Services3 The issue of NYC horse drawn carriages is a complex one to many people. Are horses being inhumanely treated? The Humane Society states that according to an independent audit of the stables of the carriage horses that indeed they are mistreated. The working conditions include: Dehydration, very hot asphalt, and standing in their own waste for hours – that sounds like abuse. ~ HfH From: Voice of America By Carolyn Weaver NEW YORK — A campaign by animal-rights activists to abolish horse-drawn carriage rides in New York gained a powerful supporter with the election of Mayor Bill De Blasio last fall, or so it seemed at first. Even before he was inaugurated, the new mayor said he planned to move “quickly and aggressively” to ban the horse-drawn carriages, which take passengers on rides through Central Park and, at certain hours, along some Manhattan streets. “They’re not humane; they’re not appropriate to the year 2014. It’s over,” De Blasio told a crowd last December. Those in agreement include the Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is responsible for policing the treatment of the carriage horses. Yet polls show that most New Yorkers want to keep the horses. “We’re an iconic part of New York City,” said driver Christina Hansen. “Even people who don’t necessarily take a carriage ride, just being near the horses on Central Park West gives people the opportunity to interact with them, to see how horses work in partnership with people.” The industry, which employs about 300 people and 200 draft horses, is regulated by a myriad of animal-welfare rules. Horses may not be worked long hours or in very hot or cold weather, and must have regular veterinary check-ups. Each horse must also be sent for a five-week annual “vacation” in a Pennsylvania pasture. Driver Conor McHugh helps manage one of the stables in the city. He said every horse has ample room, good feed, and contact with other horses in the next stall. “All we want a horse to do is just give a nice walk through the park. It’s relatively easy for the horses, and it’s a good life for what I would call a working-class horse,” he said, adding that draft horses bred to work would not do well if they spent their lives in pastures. “Their work is their exercise, and it gives them a purpose, and earns their keep,” he said. Allie Feldman, executive director of New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS), the main group fighting to abolish the horse carriages, scoffed at that. “Anybody who knows horses knows that horses don’t need five consecutive weeks of vacation,” she said. “They need daily turn-out. There’s no pasture in Manhattan for these horses to go to. They live their lives between the shafts of the carriage and the shafts of their stalls. They don’t have time to roll, to socialize, to graze.” Feldman said that horses inevitably suffer from the noise and unpredictability of congested city streets. She and other opponents also point to occasional accidents when carriage horses have bolted and to incidents of abusive treatment or neglect by owners. However, her group does not object to mounted police horses, although their conditions are similar. It also has not campaigned against the Aqueduct Race Track in the city, where at least ten horses have died in the last five years.  Source: http://www.habitatforhorses.org/animal-welfare-at-issue-in-fight-over-nyc-horse-carriage-rides-video/