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News of Note

i Dec 7th No Comments by

N.J. judge rejects attempt by bear hunt opponents to expand protests
A New Jersey appeals court judge has rejected arguments by animal rights activists asserting that limits on their ability to protest New Jersey’s bear hunt, which began today, violate their Constitutional rights of assembly and free speech.

Perdue Farms Sued for `Humanely Raised’ Poultry Label
The Humane Society of the U.S. said one of its members sued Perdue Farms Inc. in New Jersey state court and accused the poultry producer of falsely advertising that chickens were raised humanely.  Perdue described its fresh and frozen chicken as having been raised humanely in order to profit from rising consumer awareness of the treatment of animals reared for meat production, Hemy said in the complaint filed yesterday in state court in Freehold, New Jersey.

Salmonella-hit egg company gets FDA OK for sales
The company at the center of the salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 1,820 people during the summer and led to the recall of 550 million eggs has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration to begin selling eggs for the table again.

Concerns Grow Over Shortage Of Large Animal Vets
Farmers and ranchers across the country are complaining that there are fewer and fewer large animal veterinarians to care for their livestock. Many are retiring and new veterinary students are choosing to work with pets during office-hours rather than sick cow at three in the morning.

City officials back away from pit bull ban
Facing a mobilized and well-organized opposition, city officials announced Thursday that a plan to ban pit bull terriers is off the table.  Instead, current dog control codes will be overhauled to a two-tier system that will have more teeth and come with tougher enforcement.

Oregon to end exotic pet permits in 2011
Exotic pet permits are about to go extinct in Oregon.  The Oregon Department of Agriculture says that, beginning in January, the state will not issue any new permits while it phases out the old ones.  The agency is acting at the direction of the 2009 Legislature

State Making Sure Pet Dealers are Reputable
For the next five weeks, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will be conducting a sweep of pet stores throughout the state.  It will be checking for compliance of regulations that protect purchasers.

Solving the Roadkill Problem With Wildlife Bridges
Gaining popularity over the past few years, wildlife bridges are now being reimagined by professional design and landscape architecture firms to be both pleasing to the eyes of passersby and to provide a safe method of passage for animals whose habitats have been disrupted by highways.

7-Eleven Adds Vegan Items to its Menu
Eight 7-Eleven stores in the New York area have begun a test run on selling vegan food items, the New York Daily News reported.  On the menu are vegan items that include artichoke spinach noodles, vegetable lo mein and two types of dumplings. All items are vegan which means no meat, egg or dairy; and each item is retailing for $6.

Action Alerts

i Nov 30th No Comments by


Video Monitoring at Slaughterhouses Should be Required
Urge FSIS (The Food Safety Inspection Service) to make video monitoring at slaughterhouses not merely a recommendation, but a requirement.

Go here and find Submit a Comment to FSIS. The public is invited to comment before December 14.

For more information and talking points, check out the Farm Sanctuary Action Alerts here

Tell Alaska’s Governor to Keep Whale Protections
There are only a little more than 300 Cook Inlet beluga whales in the entire world. These wondrous whales are found in just one place: the Cook Inlet near Anchorage, Alaska.
Cook Inlet beluga whales have been protected under the Endangered Species Act for just less than two years. But the State of Alaska has filed to overturn these vital protections, siding with polluters and developers who have put Cook Inlet belugas on a fast-track to extinction.
Tell Alaska Governor Sean Parnell to drop his legal efforts to eliminate vitally needed protections for the 300 remaining Cook Inlet beluga whales.

Contact:
Governor Sean Parnell
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
phone (907) 269-7450
fax (907) 269-7461
online email form


Tell Congress to Support the Global Conservation Act
Wild tigers are on a path toward extinction, unless we act fast. Write to your lawmakers and ask them to co-sponsor the Global Conservation Act of 2010 to help combat wildlife trafficking and habitat destruction.

Contact your U.S. Representative
Contact your U.S. Senators

Information / Talking Points:

Wild tigers are now on the brink of extinction. It is estimated that fewer than 3,200 now remain and, of these, only 1,000 are breeding females.
I’m writing to urge you to support S.3508/H.R. 4959, the Global Conservation Act of 2010, which would require the six federal agencies that conduct conservation programs around the world to pursue a unified strategy to stop illegal poaching, to combat wildlife trafficking operations and to reverse environmental destruction endangering the tiger population. This important legislation was introduced by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) in the Senate and Representatives Russ Carnahan (D-MO) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) in the House.
This fall, world leaders will gather in St. Petersburg for the Global Tiger Initiative Summit, where they will negotiate a plan to prevent the wild tiger’s extinction. The United States’ leadership on this issue is also much needed.
I strongly urge you to co-sponsor the Global Conservation Act of 2010 and make sure the United States is doing its part to help wild tigers. We don’t have much time before this crisis turns into tragedy.

Link of the Week

i Nov 29th No Comments by

Vegan.com

News of Note

i Nov 29th No Comments by

Dog owner can’t forgive Michael Vick
Vick’s success is raising one of the most potentially costly and difficult perceptual questions in the history of American sports.  If he continues playing this well, he could end up as the league’s most valuable player.
And yet a large percentage of the population will still think Michael Vick is a sociopath. Many people will never get over Vick’s own admissions of unthinkable cruelty to his pit bulls — the strangling, the drowning, the electrocutions, the removal of all the teeth of female dogs who would fight back during mating.

Off with her head? Decapitation not always best, say researchers
A study published this month in the JAVMA suggests that decapitation, a method often employed in euthanizing or killing animals used in experimental and agriculture settings, might not be as painless as previously thought. According to the study, decapitated animals seem to exhibit conscious awareness that can persist for about 8 to 29 seconds.

Foie gras removed from upcoming Cambridge food benefit after activists protest
Foie gras items will be scrapped from the menu of a food benefit in Cambridge on Wednesday after an animal rights group protested on grounds of animal cruelty.

D.C. restricts masked protesters
Wearing a mask while protesting outside a residence without telling D.C. police first could now get you arrested.   The D.C. Council has unanimously passed a strongly worded bill to deal with an animal rights group that has been known to wear masks and appear unannounced outside District residents’ homes

Animal CSI: Vets Learn How To Investigate Crimes
Demand for forensic veterinarians has been growing as many states have toughened their animal cruelty laws. And law enforcement agencies nationwide have increasingly recognized that those who abuse animals are likely to eventually commit crimes against people.

Wildlife belongs in wild: Arizona monkey bites owner, reinforces primates make bad pets
A pet rhesus monkey – on its way to be euthanized – bit its Phoenix owner on the hand last week, stirring up a renewed brouhaha about monkeys and other primates making bad pets.  It doesn’t take a zoological scientist to figure that one out.

Action Alerts

i Nov 23rd No Comments by

Stop All Animal Testing at Johnson & Johnson

Urge Johnson & Johnson to do away entirely with animal testing and become a leader in cruelty-free production. Besides their other many products, one of the best known to animal advocates is Splenda, the testing of which caused the torture and deaths of thousands of dogs, monkeys, rabbits and rodents.

Make direct contact:

Susan L. Lindquist
Mary Sue Coleman
Johnson & Johnson Board of Directors
One Johnson & Johnson Plaza
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08933
(732) 524-0400
online web form

Information/Talking Points:
Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries represent a vast corporation with billions in annual revenue. As one of the largest and most important companies in the US, Johnson & Johnson is uniquely situated to lead the way in cruelty-free production methods. Unfortunately, Johnson & Johnson refuses to ban its use of animal testing and asserts that it only tests on animals “when necessary.”  When testing Sucralose, better known as the sugar substitute Splenda, Johnson & Johnson found it “necessary” to contract an organization to poison dogs, monkeys, rabbits, and rodents with its product. Over 12,000 animals were killed in the process, all so Johnson & Johnson could market a low-calorie sweetener. The Splenda horror is hardly an isolated incident.

NEW ACTION ALERTS from Power to the Chickens:
– Urge President Obama to protect Polar Bears
– Help NY make attending animal fight illegal

Link of the Week

i Nov 23rd No Comments by

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

News of Note

i Nov 23rd No Comments by

Animal welfare concerns Britons more than food safety
Britons seem more worried about the welfare of farm animals than health risks from food, an EU-wide survey revealed today. While concerns in the UK over pesticides, pollution, bird flu, BSE, GM foods, food additives and salmonella have all fallen significantly in the last five years, those over the treatment of livestock have risen.

New Ohio ag director will review animal care deal
Ohio’s next agriculture director plans to take a closer a look at a deal arranged by the outgoing governor and animal rights activists that would bring tougher laws governing farm animals.

Oregon Zoo and others across North America plan a three-year elephant-welfare study
Questions about zoo elephants loom larger than the beasts themselves: Are they healthy? Happy or depressed? Mellow or stressed? Do they get enough exercise? If they lived in larger groups, would they reproduce more reliably? If they were free to choose how they spend their days, and with whom, would it be better for them?

Fighting for animal rights in Lebanon
“There are so many Lebanese living in Africa that Lebanon has ended up being a hub for the smuggling of wildlife,” he explains. In the Middle East many individuals, especially in the Gulf states have private collections and want to own exotic animals, and that demand tends to be met illegally.  Lebanon is among a fraction of countries that are not signatories to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), making it an easy transit point for wildlife smugglers.

Do Ex-Vegans’ Stories Make the Case Against Vegan Diets?
Do some people need to work a little bit harder to get adequate nutrition from a vegan diet? Sure.  But are there healthy people whose needs absolutely cannot be met on a vegan diet? Maybe; I certainly can’t say that this is 100% impossible. What I can say is that Tasha’s post doesn’t make the case for this. It’s too vague, filled with too many questionable observations about nutrition, and is too clearly indebted toThe Vegetarian Myth. I think there is a very good chance that she could return to a vegan diet and do well on it if she had appropriate nutrition advice.

Are Some People Not Fit to Be Vegans?
What to eat? It’s still a touchy subject, and posts about food choices here at TreeHugger tend to draw (at best) sprited debate and at worst, heated ire. So here’s more fuel for the fire – dedicated vegan food blogger Tasha at the Voracious Vegan has turned her back on 3.5 years of veganism, drawing support but also ire from her readers. Some people say veganism doesn’t meet the nutritional needs (especially for B-12) of its practitioners. Others, including medical expert Dean Ornish, swear that a low-fat plant-based diet is better for the body and for the planet.

Chicken abuse alleged at largest egg producer
The group said it had placed an undercover activist as a worker at an egg farm owned by Cal-Maine, which sells eight billion eggs a year and is based in Jackson, Miss. Cal-Maine was also one of the companies to voluntarily recall hundreds of thousands of eggs in recent weeks because of salmonella concerns.

Congress passes bill to stop ‘crush videos’
The Senate has followed the House in passing legislation to ban the selling of videos that depict the abuse and killing of animals.  The voice vote in the Senate sends the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Puerto Rico debates 12-year term for animal abuse
A 12-year prison sentence for a man who dragged a horse behind his truck has touched off a debate over whether a new animal cruelty law goes too far, when even homicide can result in lighter penalties.

Activist Relies on Islam to Fight for Animal Rights
It is never easy to be an animal rights activist in the Arab world. But on Id al-Adha, the annual Muslim religious holiday when the streets run red with the blood of slaughtered sheep, cows and camels, it is a nightmare.

New animal welfare rating system to roll out at Whole Foods
If the six-step, color-coded labeling system works as planned, it could allow American consumers at many supermarket chains unprecedented levels of specificity when it comes to choosing meat to match their principles. Developed by the Global Animal Partnership, a nonprofit group made up of farmers, scientists, retailers, sustainability experts and animal welfare advocates, the rating system aims to address growing consumer concerns over the way animals are raised for food.

Activist admits setting fire to Colorado sheepskin store
A self-described animal-rights activist known on the Internet as “Lone Wolf” pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to arson in a fire that destroyed a local sheepskin business.  Walter Edmund Bond, 34, admitted in U.S. District Court to setting the fire that burned the Sheepskin Factory to the ground on April 30, 2010. The store sold sheepskin blankets, rugs and related products.

Action Alerts

i Nov 15th No Comments by

Tell the USDA To Enforce Animal Welfare Act Against Cole Brothers Circus

Urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to act against the Cole Brothers Circus, for its apparent role in an elaborate scheme to evade federal law by helping an animal handler exhibit animals even though his license was revoked by the agency.  Since losing his license in 2009 for horrific violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including animal deaths, a cast of shady characters has been playing a complicated shell game to keep Lance Ramos Kollman illegally in business.  The USDA is seeking to revoke the licenses of the exhibitors who have been helping Kollman, but so far the Cole Brothers Circus (which does not have its own license) has escaped any accountability or responsibility. In fact, this circus has a history of AWA violations and of working with abusive animals handler.

Contact:

Dr. Chester Gipson
Deputy Administrator, Animal Care
USDA
4700 River Road, Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234
phone (301) 734-7833
fax (301) 734-4978

Take Action for 1,000 Pigs Starved to Death

Please call on the Fulton County District Attorney to prosecute the owner to the fullest extent of the law for the egregious crime of shutting 1,000 pigs in a barn and allowing them to starve to death. These animals suffered terribly before they finally died.

Contact the realtor and let her know that starving animals to death is not “very normal,” that it is animal cruelty that must be prosecuted.

Make direct contact:

Fulton County District Attorney Travis L. Kendall
126 North 2nd Street
McConnellsburg, PA 17233
phone (717) 485-5419
email: districtattorney@co.fulton.pa.us

Realtor Rebecca A. Glesner
fax  (301) 416-8452
Office Number 1 (301) 797-2300 X 8318
Office Number 2 (301) 992-2481
website email form

Link of the Week

i Nov 15th No Comments by

This Dish Is Veg

News of Note

i Nov 15th No Comments by

State plans to tighten oversight of big livestock farms
State regulators have proposed tightening oversight of large livestock facilities, a move environmentalists worry doesn’t go far enough while some farmers fear it goes too far.  The changes could affect every livestock farmer in Illinois, but aren’t likely to have an impact on a controversial proposal for the largest dairy farm in the state, near Galena.

Vegan Universe
A conglomeration of like-minded businesses has created a small universe of high-functioning idealism, where those who abstain from animal products can feast with abandon and all creatures of the world can live without fear of being milked, filleted, or made into wallets.

Pet euthanasia: A political debate on methods of animal control
Every year thousands of animals come through the doors of animal shelters – and, because of the out-of-control pet population, many end up with a death sentence.  But there is a political debate going on in Michigan and around the country concerning the most humane way to euthanize.

Petitioners pushing to ban Ohio dog auctions
Ulyssa Kunze is among those people who hopes animal lovers get enough voter-signed petitions to get an issue on the statewide ballot next year to ban all “puppy mills” and auctions in Ohio.  The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions hopes to get the required 120,600 such signatures by Dec. 1 in the group’s first round of petition circulating to meet the final Dec. 31 deadline for such filings.

Scientists: Beak deformities increase in Northwest
Scientists have observed the highest rate of beak abnormalities ever recorded in wild bird populations in Alaska and the Northwest, a study by two federal scientists said.  The U.S. Geological Survey study on beak deformities in northwestern crows in Alaska, Washington and British Columbia follows a trend found earlier in Alaska’s black-capped chickadees.  “The prevalence of these strange deformities is more than 10 times what is normally expected in a wild bird population,”

Researchers find that beached dolphins are often deaf
New research into the cause of dolphin “strandings” – incidents in which weakened or dead dolphins are found near shore – has shown that in some species, many stranded creatures share the same problem.  Researchers are unsure what is causing the hearing loss: It might be old age, birth defects or a cacophony of man-made noise in the ocean, including Navy sonar, which has been associated with some marine mammal strandings in recent years.

Biggest egg seller recalls eggs after salmonella found
Cal-Maine Foods (CALM), the nation’s biggest egg seller and distributor, said it is recalling 288,000 eggs the company had purchased from supplier Ohio Fresh Eggs after a test showed salmonella at the Ohio farm.

Study on companion-animal welfare under way
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is gathering public input for a study of companion-animal welfare.  The General Assembly authorized the study during the 2010 legislative session. The study will focus on current laws and regulations pertaining to the welfare of dogs and cats; the oversight of public and private animal shelters; the state’s spay/neuter program; the scope of commercial breeding operations; and the protection of consumers who purchase companion animals.

Does New Jersey do enough to protect your pet? Lawmakers, advocates struggle to prevent cruelty
Ten years ago, the State Commission of Investigation reported the state’s animal-welfare laws were completely inadequate, and the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is tasked with enforcing those laws, was running unchecked.  Since then, laws have been changed and the SPCA has been reorganized.

Outcry after loss of measures to protect animals is revealed
Campaigners pledged to step up the fight for animal welfare yesterday aftter The Independent highlighted the way in which the Coalition has scrapped or stalled a series of initiatives since taking power.

50 Years of Chimpanzees
A conversation with Jane Goodall