News of Note

 

E.U. Bans Cosmetics With Animal-Tested Ingredients
European Union regulators announced a ban Monday on the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals and to pledge more efforts to push other parts of the world, like China, to accept alternatives. The ban, which will take effect immediately, “gives an important signal on the value that Europe attaches to animal welfare,” Tonio Borg, the E.U. commissioner for health and consumer policy, said in a statement.

 

Five shark species win protection against finning trade
The millions of sharks killed every year to feed the vast appetite for shark-fin soup in Asia now have greater protection, after the 178 nations at the world’s biggest wildlife summit voted to crack down on the trade.  Those fishing for oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and three species of hammerhead shark will now require strictly controlled permits to export the fins. The move is a landmark moment for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) because many previous attempts to protect marine species – including these sharks – have failed.

 

Colo. House committee delays vote on cow tail bill
The backside of Colorado’s dairy cows was the focus of a contentious debate Thursday in a state House committee, which ultimately postponed a vote on a bill that would prevent farmers from cutting cattle tails for sanitary reasons…The milk producers federation, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and others have come out against tail docking because research has found it doesn’t make milk or workers safer. The groups also argue tail docking robs cows of their built-in fly swatters and causes pain.  California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have banned tail docking. Ohio will stop the practice in 2018.

 

If it’s Monday, the L.A. Unified school cafeteria is meatless
Los Angeles public schools have just gone meatless on Mondays. But unlike the Los Angeles City Council’s resolution in November that simply urges people to observe a Monday without meat, the school system really has issued an edict. It stopped serving meat on Mondays last month. Of course, students could pack turkey sandwiches from home. But the school cafeterias won’t be selling them, and that’s a good thing.


States Consider So-Called ‘Ag-Gag’ Bills
Since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle over a century ago, going undercover has been one of the only ways to expose malpractice in agricultural and meat processing facilities. But legislation, so-called ‘ag-gag’ bills, has either passed or is being considered in about a dozen states and would explicitly outlaw undercover reporting as well as the publication of material gathered by undercover reporting.

 

Animal-rights advocates speak out against horse slaughterhouses in Oklahoma
About 100 animal-rights advocates spent Thursday at the state Capitol trying to persuade legislators that authorizing horse slaughterhouses would be a bad deal for Oklahoma.


Amid Suffering, Animal Welfare Legislation Still Far Off in China
About animals, “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor, ‘Can they talk?’ but, ‘Can they suffer?’” So wrote Jeremy Bentham, the English philosopher, more than 200 years ago.  It seems anomalous that China, the world’s second-biggest economy, lacks animal welfare legislation (other places do too, though in Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines have been praised for their protection laws.)