News of Note

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.)

Over 900 Dogs Saved From the Slaughterhouse

March 6th, 2012: A truck carrying more than 900 dogs destined to be killed in a slaughterhouse was stopped by animal activists in Chongqing, China. They demanded to be allowed to inspect the dogs, but the truck driver refused. The police, called to the scene, backed up the activists on a technicality: the number of dogs indicated on the quarantine permit (which was 926) was not the same as the number of dogs actually on the transport (907, plus some sheep). Many of the dogs found on board, both purebreds and mixed breeds, still had collars and tags on, meaning that they were likely stolen. Many were also very ill, and others had already died in their cages. As the news spread, people who had lost their dogs traveled to the scene in the hope of being reunited. Some were, but most of the dogs are now being cared for by Chinese welfare groups. Read more about it.

This made me cry. I imagined being one of those people who had lost their dog, searched, put up flyers, made calls, knocked on doors. I imagined hearing that a transport of dogs had been hijacked on the road, and tearing out there with my heart in my mouth, desperate to see if my lost child was among them.  And OMG, I imagined walking among them, maybe finding my child unharmed, or maybe among the dead. And I wondered, confronted with nine hundred  lost dogs in all that mattered no different from mine…how could I leave without one? Two, three? Ten?

I wonder also…if they saved the sheep.



VICTORY!!! The Slovenian government has just passed changes to their animal protection laws that ban all hunting & breeding animals for their fur, feathers or skin, AND bans animals in circuses & similar shows. This is a result of intensive campaigning, petitioning & educating. Truly an achievement to be proud of, Slovenia — Congratulations!

Tell Century 21 Department Store To Drop Animal Fur

Century 21 Department Store, a leading New York-area retailer, was recently discovered in an HSUS undercover investigation violating state and federal law by selling real raccoon dog and rabbit fur garments marked “faux fur,” including several by well-known designer, Marc Jacobs. Millions of animals are killed every year for their fur,  many of them skinned alive.  (I could post a video here, but it is one of the most terrible things I have ever seen.) There are so many warm and fashionable alternatives to fur nowadays, there is NO REASON to wear fur and none for Century 21 to sell it.  Please either call them at 1-877-350-2121 and ask them to say no to the fur trade, or email them and tell them.  THESE ACTIONS BY CONSUMERS WORK!!

Urge Feds to Cut Funding for Cruel Experiments at UCSF

The University of California-San Francisco (UCSF)—which receives half a BILLION dollars a year in taxpayer funds for research—has a 15-year history of violating animal welfare laws and abusing mice, monkeys, and other animals in its labs. This resulted in a $92,500 fine– one of the largest ever — for the university in 2005.  Newly obtained documents prove that the abusive and neglectful conditions have not changed. National Institutes of Health (NIH) policies require facilities receiving taxpayer money to abide by animal welfare laws and guidelines as a condition of their receiving grants, but UCSF continues to receive taxpayer money for animal experimentation in spite of violating these provisions. Contact the NIH and demand that they stop taxpayer funding for animal experimentation at UCSF.

Action Alerts

Ask your Senator to Support Help the Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill (SSB 5202)
This bill was amended by the Senate Agriculture committee last week before it was voted out of committee. Unfortunately, the committee stripped the bill of its pet-food fee funding source that would have generated millions of dollars per year, and replaced it with another funding source that shows very little promise of generating any funds to support this statewide program. The new funding source allows (does not require) animal control agencies to contribute up to $1 per pet licensed in their jurisdictions to the statewide spay/neuter fund. The Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation will work with state senators to identify other funding options for the bill that provide fair and adequate revenues.  However, we do want the bill to pass so that it provides a framework for the program. That’s where you come in.

We ask that you urge your state senator today to support this bill’s passage.  Here’s what to do:

Go to the legislature’s website page for commenting on SSB 5202.

Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The first time you submit comments you will asked to quickly set up an account.
Type in your message to your senator being concise and respectful. You can say something like “Please do everything you can to help pass SSB 5202, the companion animal spay/neuter assistance bill through the Senate Rules Committee and pass on the Senate floor.”  Tell your senator why this bill is important to you and the people in your community.


Ask your Senator to Help the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Bill  HB 1202

This bill would strengthen our state’s animal fighting and animal cruelty laws. It would also authorize animal control officers and police to remove animals confined in vehicles when the animals’ lives or health are threatened by extreme temperatures, and create penalties that can be applied in those circumstances. This bill is currently in the House Rules Committee.

Please urge your state representatives today to support this bill’s passage. Here’s what to do:

Go to the legislature’s website page for commenting on SHB 1202.

Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The first time you submit comments you will asked to quickly set up an account.
Type in your message, being concise and respectful.  You can say something like “Please do all you can to help SHB 1202, a bill to help prevent animal cruelty, pass through the House Rules Committee and pass on the House floor.” Tell your representatives why this bill is important to you and the people in your community.

Note: If you already know your representatives’ email addresses you can skip the first two steps above.


Stand Up for Goats Who Can’t
Since 2007 Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT), one of the world’s largest suppliers of goat antibodies, has been cited for several egregious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), increasing the suffering of animals who are already put through physical and mental anguish.

USDA should revoke the license of any facility that defies the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). There is little doubt that Santa Cruz Biotechnology (SCBT) is a prime example of a company that meets that criteria.

Contact the Director of the USDA’s Western Regional Office to insist that immediate serious action be taken against Santa Cruz Biotech.

Dr. Robert Gibbens Director, Western Region USDA/APHIS/A
2150 Center Avenue
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
(970) 494-7478


Contact Secretary of Agriculture and tell him to enforce the AWA immediately.

Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
phone (202) 720-3631
fax (202) 720-2166

Link of the Week

American Anti Vivisection Society

News of Note

Environmental footprint of vegan and vegetarian diets 30% lower than non-vegetarian diets, say researchers: ‘We have to drastically cut consumption of meat and dairy’
If the evidence that plant-based diets are better for human health is compelling, the evidence that they are better for the planet is indisputable, delegates at the 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition were told.


Rise of Factory Farm ‘Gag Laws’ Show Why Food Safety Cuts Are Troubling
As a result of reports like the one from the Humane Society, ag-gag bills have been introduced in at least five states this year. The Indiana Senate this week debated a proposal to criminalize taking photos or videos inside an agricultural or industrial operation without permission, according to local media reports. Similar measures are currently up for consideration in New Hampshire, Nebraska, Wyoming and Arkansas.  Because trespassing is already illegal, opponents of the legislation charge it can only have one motive – to punish whistleblowers, investigative reporters and food safety advocates who attempt to speak out about the appalling conditions in which a majority of American meat is produced.


Going Vegan: Betty Crocker gets a plant-based makeover
On their Meet The Shannons blog they began sharing recipes for vegan creations inspired by the Betty Crocker style of cooking. Before too long, thanks to a short online mention by The New York Times, thousands of people were taking notice. That led to a cookbook deal and the recent release of “Betty Goes Vegan,” a massive collection of 500 recipes, many inspired by actual Betty Crocker dishes. It all came together in less than two years, the blink of an eye in the cookbook world.


Finding ‘meatless’ meat for a world of cities
Today, though, there’s a new rationale — keyed to the world’s future — for finding substitutes for meat.  Fact No. 1: The immense demand on resources to deliver a single quarter-pound hamburger — 6.7 pounds of grain, 600 gallons of water, 75 square feet of land, 1,036 BTUs of energy.
Modest enough? Not when you note the average American consumes 224 pounds of meat a year — 1,000 times the single hamburger.
Fact No. 2: Globally, meat for today’s 7 billion people requires 60 billion land animals, all grazing, drinking water and expelling wastes. “Cattle Nation” would be the world’s third-largest greenhouse-gas emitter, trailing only China and the United States. By 2050, with 9 billion people on Earth, it will take at least 100 billion land animals to feed us all.


African lions – the killer kings in mortal danger from man and sham medicine
The king of the beasts is on his deathbed. The great cats are vanishing across Africa. In fact, a study last year in Biodiversity Conservation estimated that lion populations have fallen by 68% in just 50 years: from 100,000 in 1960 to 35,000 today. Another report by the NGO LionAid, however, estimated even fewer: 15,000.  The story of the lion’s decline is similar to that of many big predators. Ever-expanding human populations have gobbled up lion habitat for agriculture, livestock, and cities, while numbers lion prey – from antelope to zebra – have fallen dramatically. And like many top predators, lions face an unceasing conflict with humans: they are killed as pests, for trophies, and even for sham medicine.


Alicia Silverstone’s ‘The Kind Diet’ Helps Tia Mowry Go Vegan
Actress Tia Mowry is embracing the vegan lifestyle, and sends many thanks to vegan pro Alicia Silverstone for helping her create delicious recipes.  Mowry and her hubby, actor Cory Hardrict, just switched to plant-based diets at the beginning of the New Year. The actress also recently started blogging on Silverstone’s The Kind Life blog, where she is sharing tips about her vegan journey and some yummy recipes.