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News of Note

i Dec 13th No Comments by

Egg farmer seeks court ruling on animal cruelty act
Exactly how much space is a chicken legally entitled to have in a California henhouse?  A Modesto farmer sued the state and the Humane Society of the United States on Wednesday seeking to answer that question, as egg producers begin overhauling their operations to meet an anti-cruelty measure that was approved by state voters in 2008.  The lawsuit, filed in Fresno County Superior Court by egg farmer J.S. West, is asking for a judge to interpret and clarify California’s Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, known as Proposition 2.

Unhealthy living stays despite disease fear-study
People across the world continue to smoke, drink and avoid exercise even though they also fear their unhealthy lifestyles will lead to long-term chronic disease, an international study found on Tuesday.   When asked to name their biggest barrier to making healthier lifestyle choices, 24 percent of those surveyed cited lack of time, almost a fifth cited motivation and 14 percent blamed the expense.

State wildlife officials support delisting of gray wolf
Wisconsin wildlife officials say they support a third effort to remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species’ list. The U.S. Fish-and-Wildlife Service said last week it would try again to de-list the wolf, after lawsuits from animal rights groups rejected the action twice before.

Pit bull laws have teeth, need braces
The study, published in the October edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, was written by Gary Patronek, Margaret Slater and Amy Marder. The conclusion is that breed-specific legislation does nothing to prevent dog bites.  Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Colorado and smaller jurisdictions, Patronek and his colleagues estimate that a community would have to ban more than 100,000 dogs of a targeted breed to prevent a single serious dog bite.

Some want state to ban exotic pets
A rescued lion living in an Albion animal sanctuary died this week of kidney failure, but his caretakers say his death could’ve been prevented if Indiana prohibited the ownership of exotic pets.  According to his caretakers, Kovu was at least 10 years old, and recovering from a number of health problems.  ” Lots of people own exotic animals like Kovu and many neglect them.” said Lori Gagen, director of the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary where Kovu was staying.

Proposal seeks to ban animal sales in Fort Collins pet shops
The sale of dogs, cats and other small animals at pet stores would be banned in Fort Collins under a proposal that might be headed to the April 2011 municipal ballot.  In addition to cats and dogs, the sale ban would apply to birds, reptiles, amphibians and animals such as mice, hamsters and ferrets.  The goal of the ban is to disrupt the business of puppy mills and kitten factories that breed large numbers of animals in inhumane conditions.

Breeders dump dogs before new laws begin in 2011
Strict new regulations for breeders are about to take effect in Oklahoma. That has many breeders handing their dogs over to rescue groups…many commercial breeders don’t believe they will be able comply with the regulations that have been proposed at part of the Commercial Breeders Act.

Domestic violence law should include pet abuse
Sixty-eight percent of battered women report violence toward their pets, and up to 40 percent say they feel they cannot flee their abuser out of fear for the safety of their animals.  “It’s one of the strongest manipulative tools of intimidation and anger,” said Jane Occhiolini, a retired victim advocate and friend of Cornwell’s who urged Fasano to file the bill. “This is the kind of thing we’re trying to fight.”

Sanctuary animals to get human pacemakers
An animal sanctuary about 20 miles east of Brighton could be making veterinary medical history.  The shelter will soon begin receiving donated pacemakers from humans to be implanted in animals.  The shelter’s now working with Johns Hopkins to receive donated, slightly used human pacemakers for animals.  The first arriving next week, from a family who just lost an elderly loved one with a new pacemaker.

Caged and bound for Britain: Factory-farmed monkeys are being shipped in their thousands to UK laboratories
Although experimenting on monkeys caught in the wild was banned in Britain in 1997, laboratories across the UK have begun exploiting a ‘loophole’ in the law that allows them to use the offspring of wild-caught primates

Scientists to study animals’ feelings
Australian scientists have set themselves the challenge of understanding the minds of animals and what they are feeling.  A team based at the CSIRO aims to use the study to reduce stress and pain in livestock.  “Ultimately, the outcomes of this research will expand on our understanding of emotional and cognitive functions of livestock and the impacts of farming practices on animal welfare.”

Revised Veterinarian Oath Recognizes Animal Welfare
The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) last week announced the addition of the words “animal welfare” in the oath taken by new veterinarian graduates.  The concept of animal welfare is not new, but recognition by an organization that represents U.S. veterinarians is a huge step forward for animals.

Basel Declaration defends animal research
Now, in a bid to reverse that trend, more than 50 top scientists working in Germany and Switzerland have launched an education offensive. Meeting in Basel on 29 November, they drafted and signed a declaration pledging to be more open about their research, and to engage in more public dialogue.

D
og dummy simulates crisis situations in safe environment for v
et students

To teach veterinary students how to handle emergencies without endangering a critical patient’s well-being, a Cornell veterinarian has designed a sophisticated “rescue dog” mannequin and software program — the first of its kind in veterinary medicine.

Program Provides Food For Pets Of Meals On Wheels Clients
Once a month, Sumbler stops by Independent Living’s kibble closet, loads up her truc, and makes one of the most important deliveries for the animal loving clients of the organization.  “Independent Living has started Kibble on Wheels in 2006 because we were noticing that some of our Meals on Wheels clients were feeding part of their meals to their pet,” said Independent Living’s Julie Christensen. “And that’s not good for the pet or for the senior.”

Action Alerts

i Dec 7th No Comments by

Help Save The Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale From Extinction
the California Gray Whale Coalition (CGWC) request your help to have the gray whale designated as “depleted” under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.  A marine mammal population must be listed as “depleted” if it is below its Optimum Sustainable Population. The CGWC submitted a petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to facilitate a long overdue status review of the population. Once this is completed, a Conservation Plan would be prepared and implemented to restore the population back to optimal levels.
Please support the efforts to save the Eastern North Pacific gray whale from extinction. Your comments in favor of the petition must be received by NMFS by the close of business day on December 8, 2010.

1.  Click this link. This will take you to the form the government set up for comments on this issue.

for more information, check out the IDA Action Alert

Tell the EPA It’s Time to Regulate Factory Farms
Factory farms are regulated under a patchwork system that leaves communities vulnerable to often indifferent and underfunded state environmental enforcement. Factory farm permitting rules released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2008 only require permits for facilities that declare their intention to release manure directly into waterways. Common manure management practices — like cesspool lagoons and applying manure to cropland — don’t require any permit at all.
Communities across the country are suffering from water contaminated by manure lagoon failures, waste seeping into aquifers, runoff from oversprayed fields and air pollution from overcrowded livestock operations.

Contact:

Lisa P. Jackson
Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
EPA general number (202) 272-0167
email:  jackson.lisap@epa.gov

Link of the Week

i Dec 7th No Comments by

T Colin Campbell

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.