Action Alerts

 

Tell APHIS to Extend AWA to Internet Sales of Companion Animals
At long last, USDA is finally taking steps to regulate dealers who sell companion animals via Internet, phone, or mail order. It is essential that USDA hear from animal advocates like you so that the Department does not weaken the final rule.
Individuals who profit from the sale of companion animals should be required to ensure that the animals are treated humanely. If the public cannot visit the property and view the animals, then these dealers must be required to abide by the minimum standards of care under the AWA and open their premises to USDA inspectors. However, there is opposition from commercial dealers who object to any effort to improve the health and welfare of these animals and to ensure that consumers are not being defrauded.

Please visit http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0003-0001 to view the proposed rule in full and to submit comments. You can cut and paste the text below into the comment box or use it to write your own. Submissions must be received by July 16.

 

Tell Namibian Officials it’s time to end the Seal Hunt
In the Southern Hemisphere lies the site of the Cape fur seal massacre that takes place in the summer.
This sickening massacre could start as early as July 1st. Only about 20 or 30 people participate in this ghastly affair.
This massacre takes place in a seal rookery on a beach in Namibia, where sealers corral the seal pups and their mothers and then club and stab the pups to death in front of their mothers.
Tell Namibian officials this atrocious slaughter of baby seals MUST STOP.

contact the Embassy of the Republic of Namibia in the U.S.:
1605 New Hampshire Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20009
phone (202) 986-0540
fax (202) 986-0443
info@namibianembassyusa.org

 

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News of Note

 

Justin Solondz Torches a Movement
While being transferred into U.S. custody may have come as a relief, it also came at the cost of being held accountable for one of the most notorious crimes in Pacific Northwest history. In 2001, Solondz and four other environmental activists set fire to the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture as a protest against genetic engineering.
The targeting of an esteemed academic institution—carried out on the same day as a related arson at an Oregon tree farm—made national news. It propelled a major law-enforcement effort to catch the saboteurs, dubbed “Operation Backfire,” and a fierce debate about the meaning of terrorism. Authorities labeled the arsonists terrorists, a term the press turned into the catchier “eco-terrorists,” while activists warned of a “green scare” and argued that property crimes did not constitute terrorism—an argument that had particular resonance after 9/11.

 

Can Athletes Perform Well on a Vegan Diet?
With the publication this month of “Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness,” by the vegan distance runner Scott Jurek, vegan diets have become a wildly popular topic on running-related Web sites. But is going totally meatless and, as in Mr. Jurek’s case, dairy-free advisable for other serious athletes, or for the rest of us who just want to be healthy and fit?

 

Flooding rips up Duluth, drowns zoo animals
Dozens of people commented on the zoo’s Facebook page, most expressing sadness but some anger over what they felt was inadequate precautions by the zoo, which is next to a creek that has flooded before.  A 2010 flood was the worst in memory, the zoo said at the time. But in that event no animals died or were hurt and only one had to be moved.

 

Stack of Farm Proposals Is Coming Up for Votes
The Senate began voting Tuesday on a slimmed-down list of amendments to a farm bill that would set the nation’s food and agriculture policy for the next five years.

 

New egg lobby heats debate over hen-house legislation
Last summer, the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States agreed on legislation that would set national standards for the treatment of laying hens, setting aside years of enmity over the issue.  But the development did not sit well with Amon Baer, an egg farmer and pork producer in Minnesota who says he decided to set up his own Washington lobbying group in response.

 

Did California learn anything from Chicago’s foie gras ban?
Before Charlie Trotter revealed he had quit serving foie gras and suggested eating the liver of fellow Chicago chef Rick Tramonto, before Ald. Joe Moore proposed that the city ban the sale of the fat livers of force-fed ducks, before the City Council enacted the ban and prompted Mayor Richard M. Daley to declare it “the silliest law that they’ve ever passed,” before two years of foie gras prohibition followed as some Chicago restaurants continued serving the forbidden dish by giving it away or offering it under other names, and before the City Council repealed the ban with almost as little discussion as it had passed it in the first place, there was California.

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Action Alerts

 

Tell Congress to STOP the Rotten Egg Bill…H.R. 3798, S.B. 3239
Tell your Senator to OPPOSE Egg Products Inspection Act of 2012 (H.R. 3798 and S.B. 3239). This Rotten Egg Bill is also known as the Egg Products Inspection Act of 2012 (H.R. 3798) that would seal the fate of millions of laying hens, keeping them locked in factory farm cages forever.  This outrageous legislation must be stopped because it would decriminalize animal cruelty and establish egg factory cages as a national standard that could never be challenged or changed by state law or public vote. We need you to please contact your Senators and Representative TODAY in order to stop this dangerous bill.

Contact your U.S. Senators
http://www.senate.gov/

Contact your U.S. Representative
http://www.house.gov/

 

 

Tell United Airlines to say NO to transporting animals for research
Over 21,000 primates were imported into the U.S. in 2010, with the the number of imported monkeys born to wild-caught parents quadrupling from 1998-2008. The animal research industry is pressuring United to resume transporting animals for research, reversing a policy that has been in place for years. They are using scare tactics, asserting that further restrictions on the importation of nonhuman primates for “experimentation could lead to a lost supply of animals needed in life-saving in research.”

We need your help in encouraging United Airlines to say NO to transporting animals for research!

contact:

Jeffrey A. Smisek
President and CEO
United Airlines
PO Box 66100
Chicago, IL 60666

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/Contact/default.aspx

or check out AAVS’s Action Alert
Sign an online petition:
http://www.aavs.org/c.bkLTKfOSLhK6E/b.8123157/k.F26C/Urge_United_Airlines_to_Say_No_to_Animal_Research/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx

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News of Note

 

Animal Rights Groups Argue Against Egg Bill
On top of the infighting among animal agriculture groups over a proposed bill to set national welfare standards for egg production — which has pitted the egg industry against pork, beef, and poultry — there is some conflict among animal rights groups as well. The Humane Farming Association, a California based anti-factory farming group, is trying to convince lawmakers to vote against what it calls the “rotten egg bill,” which has been proposed in both chambers, most recently as an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill in the Senate.

 
Investigator: horses being slaughtered on Hillsborough County farms
Horses and other animals are being brutally slaughtered in Hillsborough County, according to a long-time investigator known for uncovering similar operations in south Florida.  Animal Recovery Mission investigator and activist Richard Couto says it’s happening right under our noses, in a semi-rural area behind tidy subdivisions in the Citrus Park area.

 

Questions remain over animal rights activists’ case
An undercover operation 25 years ago that led to the jailing of two animal rights activists now appears shrouded in mystery..A long-standing investigation by the Guardian has brought to light various aspects of Lambert’s clandestine surveillance unit, set up in 1968 to gather intelligence about anti-Vietnam war protesters. Police continue to maintain an army of spies living long-term in activist groups – the most infamous example being Mark Kennedy, who was last year exposed as a police officer after a seven-year deployment among green activists.

 

Cruelty Free International Connects With The Body Shop Customers in the U.S. to Call for a Ban on Cosmetics Testing on Animals Worldwide
A global pledge to ban animal testing for cosmetics will be launched today at 264 The Body Shop stores across the U.S. as part of a campaign by Cruelty Free International, the first global organisation dedicated to ending the use of animals to test cosmetics products throughout the world.

 

Animals are increasingly left in abandoned homes
In a disturbing and growing trend, animals are being left in abandoned homes, often without food and water and living in their own urine and excrement, said Jamie McAloon Lampman, a county animal control officer in Michigan. “I think the economy is playing a role in it for sure,” said McAloon Lampman.

 

Government forced to take abandoned cartel horses
Federal agents were forced to seize a dozen horses in New Mexico that are part of a racing operation allegedly laundering money for one of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels, after their trainers refused to continue caring for them, prosecutors said in court documents filed Friday.  Prosecutors had hoped a previous protective order would force companies used to front the alleged operation to pay for the continued care of more than 400 horses. But the government has had to take custody of 12 abandoned this week.


Zoo Officials Saddened By Third Seal’s Death
Cri Cri, the third harbor seal on her way to the St. Louis Zoo has died. The 19-year-old was being cared for at Indianapolis Zoo after she developed problems while in transit from Storybook Gardens, a theme park in Canada.  Her death follows that of two other harbor seals Nunavut (12) and Atlantis (11­) who died on Friday.

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Action Alerts

 

Tell Congress to STOP the Rotten Egg Bill…H.R. 3798, S.B. 3239

Tell your Senator to OPPOSE Egg Products Inspection Act of 2012 (H.R. 3798 and S.B. 3239). This outrageous legislation must be stopped because it would decriminalize animal cruelty and establish egg factory cages as a national standard that could never be challenged or changed by state law or public vote. We need you to please contact your Senators and Representative TODAY in order to stop this dangerous bill.

Contact your U.S. Senators
http://www.senate.gov/

Contact your U.S. Representative
http://www.house.gov/

 

 

Why is the ASPCA in the slaughter business?
From the ASPCA Press Release: The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced a $151,100 grant to Farm Forward that will be used to promote humane poultry welfare at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch in Lindsborg, Kan. Good Shepherd, which is run by farmer Frank Reese, raises pasture-based, vegetarian-fed heritage breed chickens and turkeys free of unnecessary antibiotics in spacious, welfare-friendly conditions.”
If you think it is wrong for the ASPCA to be in the business of funding and promoting animal slaughter and pretending that a factory farm is NOT a factory farm and doing nothing to promote truly compassionate animal care and compassionate eating, let them know, and while you’re at it, ask them where and how the birds are being slaughtered, since they forgot to mention that part in the press release.

ASPCA
424 E. 92nd St
New York, NY 10128-6804

Bret Hopman (646) 291-4574
bret.hopman@aspca.org

Farm Forward
Ben Goldsmith
(347) 987-1942
bensgoldsmith@gmail.com

ASPCA’s farm animal welfare campaign director
Suzanne McMillan
(212) 876-7700
suzanne.mcmillan@aspca.org

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News of Note

 

Citizens rally for Mumbai’s tired horses
A group of citizens and animal rights NGOs have come together to collect 10,000 signatures in order to stop cruelty towards horses in the city and bring about a ban on Victoria horse carriages. The commencement of the monsoon in the city adds to the distress of over 250 horses, which are left illegally tied up in the open on city beaches, without proper stables, and hence ruthlessly exposed to the elements.

 

Two more sea lions shot to death along Oregon coast, bringing number to about 20
For the second time in as many days, researchers were called Monday to the coast to necropsy a sea lion. And like the first, this one had also been shot.  That brings to about 20 the number of dead sea lions found in Northern Oregon and Southern Washington in just two months. Almost all bore clear evidence of gunshot wounds, others showed obvious trauma also likely caused by gunshots, said Dalin D’Alessandro, a Portland State University research assistant with the Northern Oregon-Southern Washington Marine Mammal Stranding Network.


Proposed Horse Slaughterhouse Polarizes Industry

One New Mexico businessman’s bid to convert his now-defunct cattle slaughterhouse into a horse slaughter plant is dividing his community. Proponents of horse slaughter in the U.S. agree that it should be strictly regulated to ensure the humane handling of the animals during the slaughter process, but opponents say population control, not slaughterhouses, is the solution to the growing horse abandonment problem.

 

Scott Jurek on running ultramarathons, being a vegan
Jurek is not only the North American record holder for most ground covered running in a day, but he completed more than 110 miles in 24 hours (four marathons back to back), each with under a four-hour average. He’s also one of the few elite athletes in the world who follows a vegan diet

 

Vegan column stirs distasteful reactions
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about my attempt to become a vegan — that is to say, one who partakes neither of meat nor fish nor dairy.  It’s not an easy life, I said. It seemed like a fairly non-controversial thing to say, although I was sure that meat-eaters would respond with scorn and vitriol.  As it turned out, I was wrong. Everybody responded with scorn and vitriol — meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, and organic farmers, as well as people who think of Big Macs as health food.

 

U.S. author aims to bring vegan life to Main Street
When Victoria Moran was growing up in Kansas City, then home of the second largest stockyards in the United States, the concept of eating anything but meat was so unheard of that even the first salad bars were revolutionary.  Moran, who was a vegetarian before swearing off animal products such as milk and eggs.
Getting there took many years and detours, an evolution she has tried to make easier for others with “Main Street Vegan,” a book written with her daughter, who has been a vegan from birth, that aims to help people make a change that she admits can still be a challenge.

 

Michelle Pfeiffer: Why I became a vegan
Michelle Pfeiffer admits in a new interview that vanity played a part in her decision to adopt a vegan lifestyle, but she adds that more than anything it was because of a desire to live a healthier life.  The 54-year-old actress tells Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Monday’s edition of “Piers Morgan Tonight” that watching his documentary, “The Last Heart Attack,” gave her plenty of food for thought.

 

Bradley goes vegan before fights
“It’s been four years since I’ve been doing it this way. Every fight I get prepared for, I go vegan for about 3½ months.”Bradley said he likes how it makes him feel.  “I just feel so much better. Cleaner, mental clarity,” he said. “You see the physique. I don’t lose any muscle. I’m a lean, mean, fighting machine.”
Bradley first began following a vegan diet in training when he challenged Junior Witter for a junior welterweight title in England in 2008. Bradley scored a knockdown in the sixth round and went on to win a split decision and his first world title.

 

Vegetarian diet provides good nutrition, health benefits, study finds
A vegetarian diet provides adequate nutrition to adults and children and can also reduce health problems, an Australian study has found.  The scientific research review, “Is a vegetarian diet adequate?” published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday, puts to rest the long-held belief a vegetarian diet lacks sufficient protein and iron, The Advertiser reported.


Pregnancy complications not cut by omega-3s: study
Data from 2005 to 2008 on 2,400 pregnant women who took omega-3 supplements found they did not have a statistically significant lower risk of gestational diabetes or preeclampsia compared with women who took vegetable oil pills, suggesting that omega-3 intake may not prevent the onset of such conditions. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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Tell Congress to Stop the Rotten Egg Bill

[UPDATE: On June 18, 2012, this bill was struck down in the Senate, so for now, it is off the table]

On January 23rd, a bill was introduced to the 112th Congress that aims to establish a national standard of welfare for egg-laying hens. The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 attempts for the first time to codify housing and treatment standards for chickens raised for egg production on a federal level. This bill was written collaboratively by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP), an industry trade group representing farmers and companies involved with egg production, marketing, and selling.

After careful consideration of this bill, we at NARN had in the beginning of February taken the official position in opposition to it. We had found the bill as it is currently written very troubling. It codifies the use of cages, and would deny state legislatures the ability to enact laws to outlaw cages or otherwise regulate egg factory conditions, deprive voters of the right and ability to pass ballot measures banning cages, and nullify existing state laws that ban or restrict battery cages (including California’s Proposition 2).

In this bill, the egg industry merely agrees to slowly – at the glacial pace of 15 to 18 years – continue the meager changes in battery cage conditions that are already occurring due to state laws and public pressure. This bill will establish egg factory cages as a national standard that could never be challenged or changed by state law or public vote. Rather than being “a step in the right direction,” this bill is a dead-end for the future of hens kept for egg-production. This bill would keep hens forever suffering in small cages, where they could never engage in the many natural behaviors essential for their most basic health and well being.

Hens in so-called "colony cages"

While many animal advocacy groups are in support of this bill, we are among growing number of other groups and activists who see as problematic the collaboration with an industry that views living sentient beings as mere commodities to be used and abused for economic gain. We do not agree that industry should be allowed to write their own rules and regulations.

Please contact your members of Congress to stop industry from writing their own rules and circumventing the progress being made to ban the use of cages. Our state laws and voting rights must not be given away.

If you live in Washington State, contact your Representative in your district to oppose H.R. 3798 and contact your Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to oppose S.B. 3239 (Those outside of Washington state can use the following links to find their Senators and House Representatives).

“Colony cages", that this bill would codify, allows around 8 hens to be crowded into a cage the size of a file cabinet drawer.

Statement from United Poultry Concerns (UPC):

It is incorrect to say that the proposed federal legislation would eliminate battery cages. Batteries consist of rows and tiers of identical units; in this case the units are cages. The proposed legislation will enshrine battery cages, not eliminate them. Egg-laying hens will be locked inside windowless buildings, crammed in cages stacked from the floor and lined up in long rows, just as they are now. Tiny furnishings, including plastic strips, falsely called “nests,” are being prettified as “colonies” and “enrichments.” This vocabulary makes people feel good, but it is bad for birds whose legs and wings are designed to run, walk, perch and be physically active, not rot in cages.

After decades of humane efforts in the US and Europe to get hens out of cages, a law that ensures they’ll never get out is being hailed as a victory for hens and “animal rights.” But it isn’t. If people knew the truth of the egg industry and how hens are actually treated behind the scenes, they would be sickened. We do not need to eat their eggs to be healthy.

Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns

A Veterinarian’s Perspective on The Rotten Egg Bill

Battery cages are the most unhealthful and distressing means of keeping hens for egg production. Disease conditions such as “cage layer fatigue” and bone fractures due to lack of exercise are major medical issues and are associated with physical pain and suffering.

These are due largely to a lack of meaningful exercise such as flying and running. Depriving hens of important behaviors such as dust bathing or perching well above floor level, a quiet place to lay eggs, proper and adequate exercise, and the opportunity to form social groups of their choosing all have a major negative impact on their quality of life.

The increase in cage size dictated by the proposed legislation, unfortunately, will have no meaningful positive impact on these issues. Hens will still not be able to get proper exercise, they still will be too crowded to even properly stretch their wings, perches will be at an ineffectual height, and nest boxes will not be conducive to the needs for laying eggs.

What the proposed legislation will do, however, is keep the confinement of hens in cages legal, something that no humane-minded individual should accept.

The cages defined by the legislation will in no meaningful way reduce the unimaginable suffering endured by the hens but will be used by the industry as a means of defending this indefensible practice.

Even if this legislation passes without amendments, the situation would be worse for the hens because it would be setting a disastrous precedent; battery cages would be codified in federal law.

I urge people not to support this legislation: it is intolerable for the hens and will be obstructive to getting any meaningful reform in the future. The only tolerable “step in the right direction” is to insist on getting rid of the cages entirely.

Nedim C. Buyukmihci, V.M.D.
Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine, University of California

Further information about the bill can be found here.

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