Category Archives: News of Note

News of Note

December 27th, 2009

Landmark Investigation Announced: “The Blueprint”
After five months of research and investigation, I am announcing the release of a landmark document: The Blueprint – the largest update of fur farm addresses in nearly 15 years.

Foie gras given away
“French producers have given away 14 tonnes of foie gras to charity after hugely overestimating the demand for the delicacy this Christmas.  After a decade of growth, sales of foie gras stagnated last year but production levels rose, leading to a surplus, according to Les Marches, a French food trade magazine.

Animal welfare victories force farmers to use PR
The suffering cow covertly taped by the Humane Society of the U.S. prompted the biggest beef recall in U.S. history and contributed to sweeping legislation over the past 13 months designed to improve the lives of farm animals. But more important for farmers, it awakened the masses to the stark reality for many animals raised for food.

Bow hunters shoot elk in Wash. pasture
The herd would run from one end of the pasture to the other, led by the ranking elk cow. A few of the animals had arrows embedded in their hides and were bleeding but were still upright and running…The state wildlife agency declared an elk hunting season in an area roughly bounded by Highways 9 and 20, east to the intersection of 20 and Cape Horn Road.

Controversial roundup of wild horses underway
Mustangs are herded into corrals as Bureau of Land Management begins a two-month operation to capture 2,500 of Nevada’s wild horses. Equine activists say the action is unnecessary.  A controversial roundup of 2,500 wild horses from public and private lands in Nevada began on Monday amid protests from activists who call it needless and inhumane.

Racehorse’s plight shines light on illegal slaughter farms
Freedom’s Flight’s racing career ended before it had even started…That “worst” farm in America turned out to be an illegal slaughter farm in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Couto, working for the South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, participated in a raid on the farm and rescued Freedom’s Flight.

News of Note

Dec 22nd, 2009

Eco-prisoner Jeff “Free” Luers Released from Prison
“Jeff Free Luers, political prisoner and environmental activist, was released from the Columbia River Correctional Institution this morning after serving nine and a half years. Luers was originally sentenced in 2001 to twenty two years and eight months for the politically motivated arson of three SUVs at a car dealership in Eugene, OR.”

Dog sanctuary houses the worst of the worst
“The Olympic Animal Sanctuary caters to the worst of the worst: dogs that would be euthanized or turned away at any other shelter, dogs with records so bad no humane society would consider adopting them out…The sanctuary’s most famous inmate is Snaps, a mixed breed who made headlines south of Seattle in September when he attacked two women on the command of his owner, a 15-year-old girl.”

Catalan Parliament passes landmark vote to ban bullfighting
“Catalonia voted yesterday to ban bullfighting, a move that campaigners claim could mark the beginning of the end of Spain’s most controversial sport…Though the ban will put an end to bullfights, it will not prohibit street fiestas in which bulls are tormented, sometimes with balls of fire attached to their horns. “

Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too
“But before we cede the entire moral penthouse to “committed vegetarians” and “strong ethical vegans,” we might consider that plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being peppercorn-studded in my Christmas clay pot. This is not meant as a trite argument or a chuckled aside. Plants are lively and seek to keep it that way.”

PETA, Ringling Bros. at odds over the treatment of baby circus elephants
“Sammy Haddock started working with elephants when he joined the circus at 20, in 1976, a young man’s dream. He walked them, groomed them, cleaned up after them. More than once, he later confessed, he beat them.  Over time, his feelings about elephants grew more tender, especially toward the babies.”

Animals Get Legal Status
“Europe has legally recognized animals as sentient beings according to the Lisbon Treaty, which went into effect December 1.”

News of Note

New Mexico Dairy Pollution Sparks ‘Manure War’
http://tinyurl.com/ye95v3j (npr)
“The picture on many milk cartons shows cows grazing on a pasture next to a country barn and a silo — but the reality is very different.  More and more milk comes from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where large herds live in feedlots, awaiting their thrice-daily trip to the milking barn. A factory farm with 2,000 cows produces as much sewage as a small city, yet there’s no treatment plant.”

77 percent of European pigs are castrated without anesthetic
http://tinyurl.com/ybggwzk (eurekalert)
“The castration of pigs prevents the “boar taint” smell in the meat and allows them to contain more fat. However in practice this can be very different. Now, for the first time, a scientific team has collected information on the conditions of castration on European pigs. The main conclusion of the study, that forms part of the PIGCAS project, is that these animals are castrated directly by the livestock farmers, without anaesthetic and in some cases, without respecting the European legislation.”

Mice holding back muscular dystrophy research
http://tinyurl.com/ycwt5s7 (press release)
“Humans and mice have previously unknown and potentially critical differences in one of the genes responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology have found that two major features of a key DMD gene are present in most mammals, including humans, but are specifically absent in mice and rats, calling into question the use of the mouse as the principal model animal for studying DMD.”

In Birthplace of Local Food, Fish Imports Take Over the Menu
http://tinyurl.com/y8kwl88 (nyt)
“San Francisco’s situation is part of a national phenomenon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported last year that more than three-fourths of the fish Americans eat comes from other countries, mostly China. Yet the trend has special resonance around San Francisco. Robert E. Ross, executive director of the California Fisheries and Seafood Institute, a trade group, estimated that Bay Area residents eat, on average, about double the amount of fish consumed annually by most other Americans.”

Greyhounds chasing rabbit for last time in Mass
http://tinyurl.com/yctfmap (ap)
“Greyhound racing has been a form of entertainment in Massachusetts for 75 years, but not for much longer. The last card at Raynham Park is expected to be Dec. 26, and the state’s other dog track, Wonderland in Revere, stopped racing earlier in the fall.  It may, in fact, be the last time greyhounds run anywhere in New England.”