These are the victories that have been won with a little help from a lot of caring folks. These victories are only possible when you vote or sign petitions. See what accomplishments have been made possible to help our precious animals and resources. Thank you for all your determination and commitments.
You’re amazing! You helped us save endangered species, protect essential habitats and address global threats. Thanks to you, we have many conservation victories to celebrate as the year draws to a close.
2014 CONSERVATION SUCCESSES
Here are just a few of our recent successes:
Thanks to your support, we are helping species thrive. This year in Nepal, where we have been supporting rangers and protected areas for decades, we saw the tiger population increase; and, in February, we celebrated 365 days without a single case of rhino, elephant or tiger poaching.
We have also been busy conserving spectacular places. After more than 750,000 people signed our petition, SOCO International plc pledged to stop oil exploration in Virunga National Park, which is Africa’s oldest national park and home to rare wildlife such as critically endangered mountain gorillas.
In what became the largest forest conservation project in history, we worked with the Brazilian government and other partners to ensure the permanent protection of 150 million acres of the Brazilian Amazon rain forest. The project will protect a place that provides a home for 30 million people and one in 10 known species.
Victory for Sharks
Thanks to a Guardians' win in court, porbeagle sharks are getting a second chance at survival. Once widespread, the shark has declined extensively, with some populations dropping by 90 percent because of overfishing. Like many sharks, the porbeagle has also been needlessly and cruelly killed for its fins. After the National Marine Fisheries Service rejected protecting this “wolf of the sea” under the Endangered Species Act, Guardians filed suit—and won. The agency must now reassess its decision and release a new finding, one that we hope will ensure the porbeagle has the protections it needs to escape extinction.www.wildearthguardians.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=10914&news_iv_ctrl=1194#.VKBF-v8wV
The Giant Antique Car That Might Replace the Central Park Horses Is Already Cruising Around the City
Around noon last Friday, a small crowd clumps together on a corner outside Bryant Park. The object of interest isn't easy to miss: a hulking, antique-looking green automobile the size of an SUV, with big bench seats, brass trim, and a steering wheel the size of a pizza pie. “Every place you stop, you get swarmed,” says Jason Wenig, the vehicle's designer and builder.
Wenig is about to take the battery-powered, cruelty-free creation — dubbed the eCarriage out for a test run, joined by Daily Intelligencer and members of NYCLASS, the local animal-rights group leading the campaign to ban Central Park's horse-drawn carriages on the grounds that they are "cruel and inhumane." The eCarriage is NYCLASS's proposed replacement for all that animal-powered transportation capacity for tourists.
The idea of a horse-carriage ban gained traction after then-candidate Bill de Blasio endorsed the idea during last year's mayoral campaign. While de Blasio hasn't proposed any legislation, Chelsie Schadt, lead organizer for NYCLASS, claims he will do so soon, though she declined to offer any further details. And has the mayor ridden in the eCarriage yet? Not yet, she says.
Wenig, a former New Yorker who now works out of the Florida-based the Creative Workshop, began local road-testing of the eCarriage about three weeks ago, after months of trials in Florida and a grand unveiling last April. He’s put nearly 100 miles on the odometer here.
The small crowd is staring and photographing and waving as Wenig slides into the driver's seat which, like the passenger seats, is a long way from the ground. He pumps the horn — “awoogah! awoogah!” — and pulls away from the curb as if we’re a ship leaving port on a maiden voyage.
“If you notice, it’s kind of bumpy,” Wenig says. "We did that on purpose because I want people to be really immersed in the idea of driving in an antique car.” Though everything inside the eCarriage is gleaming and new, Wenig mimicked period detail as much as possible, with a dashboard full of clocklike meters, hands shivering as the vehicle accelerates near to a top speed of a whopping 30 miles per hour.
We head down Fifth Avenue toward 34th Street. The parasol top is off, and the engine sounds like a toy car's. Riding shotgun, it's hard to hear the passengers in the back. “If we were tourists, and we were in New York City 100 years ago, this is how we’d be doing it,” Wenig says, as we meet very 21st-century jams. Sandwiched between taxis and cars, drivers glance up, some smile, a few shout questions across the lanes, and the rest just ignore us — this is New York, after all. Despite being open — no doors, no roof, just a flat, front windshield — the 7,000-pound eCarriage feels like it would flatten any yellow cab that gets in its way. "You'd kind of think we'd win," says Wenig.To read the rest: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/09/ecarriage-meant-to-replace-horses-is-on-the-road.html
A Victory for Virunga Africa!
Breaking News:SOCO International plc announced it will abandon its controversial oil exploration in Africa's Virunga National Park, a key part of the home range for more than half of the world's endangered mountain gorillas and a vital natural resource to hundreds of thousands of people.
Not only did the London-listed oil company commit to pulling out of Virunga, but it went one step further: It has committed to staying out of all other World Heritage sites.
It's with great pride and relief for the people and wildlife of Virunga National Park that I'm writing to you directly from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa to say: we did it!
You helped us make this happen, and we cannot be more grateful. From petitioning SOCO to encouraging leaders in the US Congress to stand up and protect Virunga National Park, you've continued to speak out for what's right.
This victory is being celebrated around the world. And it is being met with well-deserved joy and hope by many of the people I am with in Africa. We are grateful for your continued activism and the leadership and efforts of the US State Department and members of Congress on this issue.
Please remember this victory when obstacles seem insurmountable and know we will keep on fighting together to protect our planet.
Thank you for remaining a loyal activist,
Allard Blom Managing Director, Congo Basin World Wildlife Fund
There is good news for restoring wild bison to their historic range on western tribal lands. Just last week, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission agreed to transfer 146 wild bison to 25,000 acres of rolling prairie on Assiniboine and Sioux tribal lands on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana.
The 146 bison, from the last wild, free-ranging herd at Yellowstone National Park, have been in quarantine and tested for five years to ensure they are free of disease. Other wild bison on the reservations, all disease-free, continue to be tested. Fear of disease transmittal from bison to domestic livestock has blocked the restoration of wild bison to larger landscapes in the West for the past two decades—a significant challenge the National Wildlife Federation and our partners have worked tirelessly to overcome. With the decision to relocate the bison to the Assiniboine and Sioux tribal lands, we have taken yet another positive step forward in bringing wild bison back to roam the western grassland prairie.
Thank you for all you do to protect wildlife and help restore iconic species like wild bison to their native habitat.
Interim Executive Director, NWF Action Fund
Please take a moment to thank Montana Governor Steve Bullock for agreeing to transfer wild bison to tribal lands.
It's about time !!! Big News: FBI to Start Tracking Animal Cruelty Cases
Cruelty to animals will get its own category in federal crime reports for the first time. I got that word yesterday from John Thompson, my friend at the National Sheriffs’ Association, who told me that Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey has signed off on including animal cruelty offenses in the Uniform Crime Report. Local agencies will also track them to report to the FBI.
No longer will extremely violent cases be included in the “other offense” category simply because the victims were animals. Just as the FBI tracks hate crimes and other important categories, we will now have critical data on animal cruelty. The HSUS has been pushing for this change in policy for years, along with our affiliates, the Humane Society Legislative Fund and Doris Day Animal League.
Before this expansion of the FBI’s focus, there was no process for capturing animal cruelty data on the statewide or national level. Capturing such data is especially difficult because animal cruelty laws are enforced by a very large number of local police, sheriffs, and humane society agents and animal control officers.
But now that animal cruelty, including animal neglect, is included in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, there is a real incentive for law enforcement agencies to pay closer attention to such incidents. With accurate data, law enforcement agencies will also be better able to allocate officers and financial resources to handle these cases, track trends and deploy accordingly.
The decision by the FBI is especially good news for The HSUS, because we are on the front lines of the battle against animal cruelty in so many ways. We are upgrading state and federal laws, and just this year South Dakota became the 50th state to enact felony penalties for malicious cruelty, and Congress banned attendance at animal fights. Besides the thousands of cases on which we work with law enforcement agencies every year to rescue animals from animal cruelty and fighting, we also travel across the country to train law enforcement officials on how to investigate these crimes.
So far this year, we have provided training to more than 1,200 officers, representing 300 agencies, and in areas of the country where it is needed most. It is a new training program designed by experts from across the United States (including our own) and we look forward to expanding it in 2015.
Victory! Wyoming’s Wolves Just Got Federal Protection Back
Care2 Success! Live Pony Carousels Banned in Spanish City, Spain
At the beginning of this year, I published an article here at Care2 about the horrific treatment of ponies used for carousel rides.
Shackled to the carousel all day and forced to walk endlessly in monotonous circles, these poor helpless ponies are denied access to food and water and are subjected to continuous bright lights and fairground music.
Caught on camera by members of the public, ponies from these carousel rides have been found lying motionless on the floor, severely exhausted, dehydrated and sometimes even dead.
A 65,000 Signature Strong Petition
Along with my article, I also published a petition for you to sign to help put an end to this cruelty. Over the following months the petition was shared more than 10,000 times, and signed by more than 65,000 people from all over the world.
After garnering such incredible support, the petition caught the attention of long term animal rights activist Michael Owens who had witnessed this cruelty first hand in and around his home town in Mijas, Spain.
Owens, who previously worked with Born Free Foundation, had already been campaigning his local council for more than 20 years to ban circuses, pony carousels and donkey taxis, and wanted to present the petition to the people who had the power to put a stop to live pony carousels once and for all.
Live pony carousels have already been banned in many parts of Spain, with Mijas being one of the only remaining communities to still allow this tradition to go ahead.
Once we knew exactly who to target for the petition to gain the most traction, we added the name of Mijas major Angel Nozas, and specifically called him out so he would have to take notice and hear what people all over the world were asking him to do.
Believing that this petition would give the major of Mijas the push needed for him to finally take action, we attached a letter and downloaded the signatures and Owens presented everything to the town hall and informed the press to help add extra pressure.
After much anticipation, we recently heard in August the amazing news that the Mijas town hall had issued a complete ban on live pony carousels, stating that they will no longer allow horses or ponies to be used in any fairground rides.
A Victory We Should All Celebrate
To confirm the official ban, The Olive Press, an English newspaper in Spain, reported on the story after speaking directly with the government officials in charge of ensuring this unethical practice never happens again.
United States Moves to End Puppy Mill Imports
As a result of an announcement today from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, other nations will no longer be able to raise tens of thousands of dogs in puppy mills and flood the U.S. market with them. After delaying final action for years, the USDA today made final a federal rule prohibiting the import of puppies into the United States for resale. Together with our supporters, we’ve won a profound and major victory for animals.
In this era of globalization – with a robust trade in wildlife and their parts, pork and other animal products from factory farms, and the sale of fur pelts all over the world – this is a major moment in our global effort to make trade more humane and to prevent a handful of nations from watering down animal welfare standards in the name of free trade. In this case, it’s our goal to choke off the trade in dogs from puppy mills, no matter where they originate.
Each year, thousands of puppies – all just a few weeks old and barely weaned – endure appalling abuse as they are transported to the United States. They are packed into crowded, filthy plastic tubs with little or no food or water, and often exposed to extreme temperatures during transcontinental plane journeys that would be taxing for even an adult, healthy dog. A large number of the puppies get sick, and then perish. The puppies are too young to have received a full series of vaccinations, so they could carry diseases that infect other dogs or even humans, making their import a significant public health concern as well as an animal welfare issue.
This is a long-awaited victory for us at The HSUS and for our affiliated political arm, the Humane Society Legislative Fund. The decisive moment in this battle came six years ago when we succeeded in persuading Congress to add a provision to stop puppies bred in foreign puppy mills from being imported into the United States, as an amendment to the 2008 Farm Bill. Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chaired the Senate Agriculture Committee, championed the language in the bill. The USDA did not issue a proposed rule until September 2011, and then it took three more years for today’s announcement.
Despite our frustration with the delays, we acknowledge the USDA’s action today and celebrate it. We salute our supporters who kept pressing the case: more than 53,000 of you wrote to the USDA to encourage them to finalize the rule as quickly as possible. We are also grateful to other lawmakers who urged the USDA, time and again, to adopt the rule, including Senators Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Sam Farr, D-Calif., Jim Gerlach, R-Penn. and Dina Titus, D-Nev.
This is the second major announcement within the last year from the USDA to protect puppies. Last September, the department adopted a long-awaited rule that requires breeders who sell puppies and kittens sight-unseen, mainly over the Internet, to be federally licensed and inspected. That rule went into effect last November, and it is expected to potentially double the number of puppy mills nationwide that are regulated. Now, with this latest decision from the USDA, we know that sick puppies from foreign puppy mills will not be coming into the United States to take their place.
Dogs and their puppies are not breeding machines, nor cash crops. Our laws should reflect that sensibility, and with today’s announcement, we’ve taken a major step as a nation to protect dogs from cruelty at home and abroad.
In our summer Alley Cat Action newsletter we told you about our Future Five Partner Lee County Domestic Animal Services’ lifesaving policy change to protect cats with FIV and FeLV.
Just this week, Lee County announced that their save rates have skyrocketed thanks to their expanding Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program and other lifesaving policies that have been instituted as part of our Future Five: Shelter Partners to Save Cats' Lives program. In 2007 they were only saving 15 percent of cats who entered their facility—now, in 2014, they are saving nearly 70 percent of cats entering the shelter—the highest amount in 10 years! And the number keeps rising!https://secure3.convio.net/alley/site/Donation2?df_id=2800&2800.donation=form1&autologin=true
VICTORY! Ketchum City Council in Idaho is to ban wild animals in circuses !!! So does New York.
VICTORY! Ketchum City Council in Idaho is to ban wild animals in circuses in their community. The unanimous vote follows a presentation given last month by students from Sage School and ADI evidence shared by ADI supporter and student facilitator Maya Burrell documenting the inherent suffering and public safety issues concerning wild animal acts. Ms. Burrell and students attended the meeting ahead of the vote to encourage councilmembers to pass the ban – which we are delighted they did!
Inspired by the Sage School students? Why not campaign for a circus ban where you live? To find out how contact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-935-2234. Read more about the Ketchum ban http://bit.ly/1jAr58U
Victory! New York Bans Ivory on World Elephant Day
While animal advocates around the globe were going grey for World Elephant Day, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law banning ivory in the state in an effort to help ensure the future survival of these iconic animals in our world.
While the sale of new ivory has been banned across the country for years, conservationists believe the market for pre-ban ivory has offered a cover for illegal sales and that the laws and punishments were too weak to be deterrents.
The new law, known as Fitzpatrick’s Law in honor Lt. John Fitzpatrick – an Environmental Conservation Officer for the State Department of Environmental Conservation who fought to protect elephants from the trade – makes it illegal to sell elephant and mammoth ivory or rhino horns within the state, with exceptions for “antiques demonstrated to be at least 100 years old and containing only a small amount of ivory,” which could include certain instruments made before 1975, and transfers for educational and scientific purposes or for family heirlooms.
It also increases fines exponentially for anyone who violates the
state’s wildlife trafficking laws and makes it a Class D felony for
articles exceeding $25,000, which will mean fines and jail time.
Victory! Big News! Canada has enacted a national ban on the lifelong confinement of pigs in cruel gestation crates!
We are thrilled to announce that PETA India's tireless efforts to release an elephant named Sunder to a sanctuary have been a success!
We still have more work to do.
we celebrate Sunder's upcoming release into a sanctuary, we must
remember that there is more to do. Nosey the elephant has long been
neglected and chained by the infamous Hugo "Tommy" Liebel,
and PETA is working hard to urge the U.S. Department of Labor to revoke
Liebel's exhibitor's license. Nosey deserves to be transferred to a
sanctuary to live out her days in peace. You did it once for Sunder. Now
let's keep the momentum going by rallying together once more to ensure
that Nosey has her happy ending, too!
Thank you for all that you do. Together, we're making a difference!
Finally! Some Good News for Pit Bulls and Their Guardians
You don’t need to tell pit bulls (also affectionately known as pits, pitties or bullies) and their guardians that it’s a dog eat dog world. Pitties went from being America’s darling dog to vilified quasi-assault weapon status. Thankfully, there is some great news to report: laws targeting pit bulls are softening around the country. However, pit bulls and their guardians still face many other battles. Despite countless stories of heroic pit bulls, many pit loving families have to make difficult choices.
Pittie Good News First
As reported in The Huffington Post, Lisa Peters, an American Kennel Club spokesperson, explained, “Lawmakers are realizing that targeting dogs based on their breed or what they look like is not a solution to dealing with dangerous dogs.”
Here are some ways the pit bull bias is changing:
– In the U.S., eighteen states do not allow breed-specific bans in their communities
– Six more states could soon follow
– Certain cities are reconsidering labeling pit bulls as “dangerous animals”
Emotions run deep. Pit bull lovers insist that their dogs are loving members of their families. Pit bull adversaries insist that “they are a volatile breed whose genetics drive them to kill more than two dozen people in the U.S. each year, many of them young children.”
Still a Battle for Pit Bulls
While public and legal perceptions of pit bulls may be softening, it’s still a fight. As reported in The Press-Enterprise, in Lake Elsinore, pit bulls and pit bull mixes will be required to be spayed and neutered. Households with pits will have to sterilize their pet by the age of 4 months; the first violation could cost guardians a $100 fine.
Battle for Pittie Guardians, Too
While it’s hard to be a pittie, it isn’t easy for pit bull guardians either. It’s not uncommon for pit bull owners to have to choose between a home and a family member. According to Mother Nature Network, “Landlords and property management companies are allowed to ban breeds they consider dangerous or aggressive. For them, it’s all about liability and making other renters feel safe.” Some residents like Carol Devia choose their dog. Devia and her family, including her teenage son, sleep in the family’s auto, and “[t]hey drive back and forth between wooded areas and parking lots where they can get Wi-Fi and cook.”
Housing issues mean that most pit bull owners will have to resort to obtaining an extra insurance policy for their dog so that liability is on the owner, not the landlord. Yet, as reported in The Huffington Post, getting insurance is a whole other battle. While there are some bully-friendly insurers, this is far from the norm. Bob Hartwig, Insurance Information Institute’s president, boiled it down to numbers. The average cost of a dog bite “‘is about 25 times what the average person pays for their annual premium.’” In 2012, insurers coughed up a whopping $500 million in dog bite related insurance claims.Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/finally-some-good-news-for-pit-bulls-and-their-guardians.html#ixzz2wbZkIOF8
Victory! Sordid Slaughterhouse to Shut Its Doors
Soon, no more pigs will be repeatedly electro-shocked, jabbed, and beaten with chains at the Southern Quality Meats, Inc. (SQM), plant in Pontotoc, Mississippi: The sordid slaughterhouse will be closing its doors in June.
Last year, a whistleblower provided us with video footage captured inside the facility showing a worker who jabbed pigs with electric prongs normally used to stun the pigs immediately prior to slaughter. The worker even put the prongs on one apparently stunned mother pig’s lower abdomen and/or genitals for no apparent reason—acts that were captured on video during a single shift.
The whistleblower also reported that workers beat downed pigs on the face and head with chains, dragged them to the kill floor―where other sows were being skinned and gutted just feet away―and electro-shocked and jabbed the injured animals for up to 30 minutes at a time.
After an investigation in July 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found that the slaughterhouse was breaking federal law. FSIS records released to PETA revealed that during a January 2013 inspection, 100 percent of the pigs observed by an FSIS official moved around in the facility’s “knock box,” which made stunning them difficult. Although FSIS addressed this issue, the slaughterhouse apparently did nothing to remedy the situation until it was caught and exposed months later.
PETA previously alerted Mississippi and Alabama school officials to the mistreatment of pigs recorded at SQM and asked them to stop using taxpayer dollars to purchase meat from the slaughterhouse since it was caught ineffectively stunning pigs in their final, terrifying moments, in violation of federal law.
What You Can Do
With SQM closing, please urge school officials to pledge, on behalf of their departments, to refrain from contracting with any slaughterhouse found to have violated the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act or broken any other animal-protection laws.
Read more: http://www.peta.org/blog/sqm-slaughterhouse-shut-doors/#ixzz3006uZsRf
Update: Chick Giveaway Canceled in Stillwater, Oklahoma!
As you know, Stillwater Milling Company, a feed store located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, reportedly planned to give away two free chicks to each of its first 50 customers on Friday, April 11. PETA just learned that the company has canceled this promotion! Thank you to all who spoke out against the live-animal giveaway and to the Stillwater Milling Company for making this compassionate decision!
Read more: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/update-chick-giveaway-canceled-stillwater-oklahoma/#ixzz2yxkxXcY2
es, Animals Can Be Individual Victims of Crime, Says Oregon Supreme Court
Thank you for taking action to help animals. Because of you, we have some very exciting victories to report from last month!
- Nosey the elephant's scheduled performance at International Market World in Florida was canceled! To help Nosey further, please urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revoke the license of the cruel exhibitor who is carting her around the country and forcing her to perform.
- Brunswick Recreation Center in Ohio was scheduled to host a cruel "donkey basketball" game. The event was canceled!
- Colby College in Maine is working to end the practice of "goldfish swallowing" at its annual St. Patrick's Day party.
- F.H. Furr, a plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning company in Virginia, aired an ad featuring a chimpanzee. Within hours, 15,000 of you took action and the company pulled the ad!
- We launched an action alert targeting a California refinery that was using poison as a means to control the bird population. The refinery made the compassionate decision to remove the poison.
Victory! South Dakota Ends Breed Discrimination
In a victory for dogs and their advocates, South Dakota officially became the eighteenth state to pass a law against breed discrimination when the Governor Dennis Daugaard signed a bill that will make all breeds equal in the eyes of the law.
Thankfully attitudes are catching up with reality when it comes to the effectiveness of targeting specific breeds – namely pit bulls – to improve safety in communities. Laws that discriminate against dogs based solely on their looks, otherwise known as breed discriminatory legislation (BDL) or breed specific legislation (BSL), are nothing but a costly and ineffective waste of time and money that punish responsible owners and kill innocent dogs.
A broad range of organizations have formally opposed BDL and were joined by the White House last year when it came out with an official statement in opposition to breed discrimination. The National Canine Research Council also points out that numerous studies have shown that BDL has not accomplished its goal of reducing dog bites in places where it has been enacted.
While opponents continue to fight against myths and stereotypes surrounding pit bulls that are perpetuated by the media, lawmakers are also recognizing that any dog can bite and are taking a common sense approach to dealing with dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners equally.
South Dakota’s bill, SB 75, will stop local governments from “enacting, maintaining, or enforcing regulations on certain dog breeds.” Not only will this prevent local governments from targeting certain breeds in the future, but it will also overturn existing bans.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/victory-south-dakota-ends-breed-discrimination.html#ixzz2wbOsXpCr
Thanks to 37,000 Care2 members taking action, the more than one million pregnant pigs on Canadian farms will not have to spend their lives confined in a space so small they can’t even turn around. A Care2 petition demanded an urgent response to help mother pigs — and Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council and the Canadian Pork Council have created new regulations that ban the continuous confinement of sows in newly built and rebuilt facilities.
A new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs has just been released. Significantly, the new Code of Practice includes a long-overdue ban on continuously confining pregnant sows in gestation crates which, in an age of industrial-scale farming, have become a standard practice in North America. Facilities that are built or renovated after July 1, 2014 must now have group housing systems for pregnant sows, instead of keeping them in crates barely bigger than their own bodies.
Pig producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, processors, veterinarians and government representatives all worked in close consultation with a Scientific Committee (with specific expertise in pig behavior, health and welfare) to create Canada’s new regulations. In addition to calling for a ban on gestation crates, the new Code of Practice requires mandatory pain relief for pigs during castration and tail docking.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/success-canada-bans-gestation-crates-for-pigs.html#ixzz2wVhNVCr1
It’s been an incredible week for the animals! I’m excited to announce the passage of our bill in South Dakota that will prohibit discrimination against dogs of all kinds. And also the news from Chicago, where Best Friends played a key role in the passage of an ordinance to ban pet stores from selling dogs from puppy mills.
First, we turn to the Great Plains. South Dakota is known as the Mount Rushmore State. Well, move over Teddy and George! We’ve got a suggestion for a new face to chisel into the rock face … our own Ledy VanKavage, who, along with the crack legislative team at Best Friends, deserves the credit for the passage of this bill. Ledy spent quite a bit of time in South Dakota this year working with lawmakers, providing compelling testimony, and doing what she does best – protecting dogs from unjust and ineffective laws. We think she’d look good in granite! Of course, thank you to every South Dakotan who supported this and every lawmaker who voted yes.
Senate Bill 75 will prohibit any city or town in the state from enacting breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL). We know that BDL does nothing to make communities safer, and it costs too much money and far too many innocent lives. South Dakota joins a growing list of states that are working to ensure safe communities using a levelheaded approach.
If you’re in South Dakota, we still need your help. This is not a done deal until the governor has signed his name. He has five days to decide, so please click this link to take action right away!
Other states are considering this law right now. If you’re in Utah or Missouri, please take a minute to make sure you’ve told your lawmakers how you feel. We’ve made it very easy to do so; just a few clicks will make it happen.
Now to the Windy City. Chicago has become one of the largest cities in the country to ban the sale of mill-bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores, following the lead of Los Angeles (the nation’s second-largest city saw their ordinance go into effect last year).
2013 has been a tremendous year for animals, thanks to the dedication of PETA's more than 3 million members and supporters. Through the groundbreaking efforts of PETA and our international affiliates during recent weeks alone, countless rabbits, pigs, mice, goats, and other animals will be spared horrific suffering and abuse this holiday season.
The angora used to make sweaters, hats, and other clothing items comes from the fur of long-haired angora rabbits, and 90 percent of angora wool is produced in China, where PETA Asia's recent shocking investigation revealed that workers ripped the fur from rabbits' skin in handfuls while they were conscious and screaming.
More than 3 million people have viewed the disturbing video footage from this exposé, and thousands have pledged through PETA's website never to buy angora. This new investigation has not only shaken our supporters but also made waves throughout the fashion world. Some of the world's largest fashion retailers, including H&M, Esprit, and New Look have temporarily suspended angora production over animal-welfare concerns, and we're hopeful that growing pressure from caring people around the globe will inspire these and other companies to enact a full and permanent ban on angora products very soon.
Another terrific victory for animals comes on the heels of this summer's exciting announcement that India—one of the world's largest consumer markets—has ended animal tests for cosmetics and their ingredients, following PETA's and PETA India's campaigning and lobbying efforts, which were supported by government officials. In the months since that first announcement, PETA India has been working with Indian officials and others to push the government to expand these new regulations to ban the importation of cosmetics that have been tested on animals in other countries as well. We're happy to share the news that India's Drugs Technical Advisory Board has recommended that government officials do just that, a move that we hope means that India will soon be joining the EU and Israel in banning both the testing of cosmetics on animals and the sale of cosmetics that were tested on animals abroad.
Finally this month, after more than two years of discussions—and intense campaigns by PETA and our international affiliates during which nearly 30,000 people around the world took action—the Polish armed forces have told PETA that they have replaced trauma training exercises, during which animals were stabbed, injured, and killed, with medical simulators. They cited the information that PETA gave them about the benefits of modern human-simulation technology and the concerned letters that they received from supporters of PETA and its international affiliates as inspiring their decision. With this announcement, the Polish military joins 22 other NATO countries (out of 28) that don't harm or kill animals in military drills.
For a critically wounded soldier, having access to a well-trained medical-care provider can mean the difference between life and death. Yet despite numerous civilian and military studies documenting how modern human-patient simulators better prepare soldiers to perform lifesaving procedures than does cutting up animals, the U.S. military continues to shoot, stab, and mutilate pigs and goats in cruel training exercises. If you haven't already done so, please contact Pentagon officials and urge them to follow the lead of Poland and halt these terrible training drills.
Your support is what makes every one of PETA's many victories for animals possible. Thank you for everything that you do for animals both during this holiday season and throughout the year.
Ingrid E. Newkirk
Victory! Washington University Ends Cruel Cat Lab
- by Alicia Graef June 4, 2013
Following some heavy campaigning against the practice, Washington University has announced that it will no longer be using cats to teach students in its Pediatrics Advanced Life Support (PALS) course how to perform tracheal intubation.
The procedure, which is intended to teach students how to place a tube down a newborn’s windpipe, involves placing a hard plastic tube down cats’ throats, which can cause them to suffer from a number of issues from bruising, bleeding, swelling and scarring to broken teeth, collapsed lungs, chronic pain and death.
Washington University was believed to be the last school that still used live animals in its PALS course and had continued to justify the practice by saying the cats weren’t harmed and were adopted out after three years of “service,” although no one can verify that claim.
While animal advocates have been campaigning to get the school to stop using cats for years, a recent surge in pressure from different fronts including an undercover investigation by PETA, a letter from Bob Barker criticizing the practice and offering $75,000 to buy state-of-the-art infant simulators, local activists holding weekly protests at the school and almost 18,000 signatures on a petition asking the school to stop using cats may have finally pushed the school make the decision.
According to Alexandria Faye of the St. Louis Alliance for Medical Progress, local animal advocates were mid-protest when students informed them that cats would no longer be used for the course. A spokesman for the St. Louis Children’s hospital, which works in conjunction with Washington University, later confirmed to the Riverfront Times that the PALS course “does not include live-animal training” and that this “is a permanent change to the course.”
Washington University now joins a host of other schools that have given up the cruel and unnecessary practice of using live animals to teach students medical procedures, and will instead use infant simulators that are anatomically correct, can be used repeatedly and do not cause harm to any living being – which are also recommended by the American Heart Association, the organization that sponsors and creates the curriculum for PALS training programs.
As for the fate of the nine cats who were being used in the PALS course, the school is aware of offers from Five Acres Animal Shelter, Sacred Ground Sanctuary and Bob Barker to re-home them, but there has been no official word on what their futures hold yet. For updates, keep an eye on the St. Louis Alliance for Medical Progress’ Facebook page.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/victory-washington-university-ends-cruel-cat-lab.html#ixzz2WPSOmh3h
I’m pleased to share a historic victory Mercy For Animals has just won on behalf of factory-farmed birds!
Yesterday, Brian Douglas, a worker at a factory farm owned by Butterball – the nation’s largest turkey meat producer - pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty after being caught on hidden camera by a Mercy For Animals investigator torturing animals.
This marks the first-ever felony conviction on behalf of factory-farmed birds in US history—a major legal milestone in our work to protect farmed animals.
MFA’s investigation into a Butterball factory farm in North Carolina revealed workers violently kicking and stomping on birds, workers bashing in the heads of live birds with metal bars, and severely injured birds denied any form of veterinary care.
For his crimes, Douglas will serve a sentence of 30 days imprisonment, followed by 6 months intensive probation and 36 months supervised probation. In addition, he will pay $550 in fees and fines, provide a DNA sample to the state, and will be subject to warrantless searches.
We await the outcome of the cases of four other Butterball employees also charged with cruelty to animals.
This conviction sends a loud and clear message to Butterball, and factory farmers nationwide, that animal cruelty will not be tolerated!
Please donate today to help us continue our vital work to expose, and end, the atrocities committed against animals on factory farms across the nation.
Without our investigations, the suffering and cries of farmed animals will continue to go unnoticed, unchecked, and unpunished.
Your generous contributions allow MFA to send our brave undercover investigators into America's factory farms—capturing on hidden camera the ugly truths that animal abuse industries work so diligently to hide. We are oftentimes the only watchdog and voice farmed animals have.
MFA believes, as do you, that no animal should have to live a life filled with fear, violence, and prolonged suffering.
Victory! New York and Iowa Ag Gag Bills Die
Following failure in Florida and Minnesota, the New York and Iowa state legislative sessions have come to a close without the passage of their Ag Gag bills. which would have criminalized undercover investigations of farms. These bills, which were openly promoted by agribusiness, would have silenced whistle blowers and made it illegal for anyone to take or possess photos or video on farms, while agribusinesses would have been left unaccountable. Iowa’s bill died, ironically, right on the heels of yet another undercover investigation released by Mercy for Animals of Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa, the fourth largest pork producer in the U.S.
Those who can stomach going undercover to document the cruelty that
Big Ag would happily keep contained behind closed doors have exposed
cruel treatment, which has lead to criminal charges being filed, in
addition to new regulations being put in place. These investigations
also provide an opportunity for the public to make informed choices
about what they consume, along with providing people with the ability to
make decisions about acceptable standard industry practices and reform
of animal cruelty laws. While it’s a victory for animals and the First Amendment now, there is a chance they could be brought back next year.
Victory! Cincinnati Repeals Breed Ban
Victory! Cincinnati Repeals Breed Ban
Dog lovers and animal advocates finally saw a victory yesterday when the Cincinnati City Council in Ohio voted 8-1 to repeal language in the city’s vicious dog ordinance that made owning a pit bull within city limits illegal.
“It’s fantastic. It’s been a long effort, but we’ve had some great supporters from all across the country … that’s had an overwhelming affect on Council. Dog owners, of pit bulls or not, have flooded Council with requests to change the law,” said Jim Tomaszewski, SPCA Cincinnati trustee and lobbyist for the removal of the city’s BSL.
The ban had been in effect since 2003 under the guise of public safety and was kept despite an amendment to state laws last February that changed the definition of vicious dogs so that they would no no longer be defined solely based on looks.
Fortunately, advocates kept fighting for the repeal arguing that it was wasting law enforcement’s time, along with a lot of taxpayer money spent on supporting confiscated dogs while their cases were pending and prosecuting the few people who kept pit bulls, in addition to the fact that it adversely affects good dogs and responsible owners.
A Task Force for the Humane Treatment of Animals will also be created to crack down on animal abusers and promote humane care.
by Alicia Graef
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/victory-cincinnati-repeals-breed-ban.html#ixzz1vrkDMd00
Success! Three University Medical Centers End the Use of Animals in Training Courses
We can all agree that every doctor needs to be trained in the latest and most effective life-saving techniques, but animals shouldn't be harmed in the process. Now three new universities have to come to that same conclusion.
While many medical training centers use Simulab's TraumaMan System simulator, a life-like dummy that can more realistically mimic real human symptoms and complications during Advanced Trauma Life Support courses, a few still use animals as training tools, mostly dogs, goats and pigs.
Thanks to the hard work of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and over 29,000 wonderful Care2 members who signed this petition, three new universities have ended their use of animals as medical training tools!
Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have promised to end the cruelty against animals and invest in more ethical ways of training doctors to save lives.
On behalf of the animals that will go on to live long and full lives instead of being a teaching aid, thank you, Care2 animal lovers! http://www.care2.com/causes/animal-welfare/blog/success-three-university-medical-centers-end-the-use-of-animals-in-training-courses/
Care2 Success! No More Tiny Battery Cages For Hens In UK
Victory! The UK is finally free of cruel barren battery cages.
Last year the European Union (EU) banned the use of these tiny battery cages for hens, with EU member countries required to use “enriched” cages instead. The UK was one of 14 EU countries not to comply with this ban – until this week.
We want to say a big “Thank You” to the more than 4,500 Care2 activists who signed our petition asking British egg producers to stop using these cages.
From The Daily Mail:
More than 24 million egg-laying birds are kept in battery cages in the UK at any one time, producing 72 per cent of the country’s supplies.
Each wire cage allows 450sq cm – less space than an A4 sheet of paper – per bird. From 18 weeks of age she will remain for a year and will produce around 300 eggs.
The birds are routinely given medicated food to curtail the spread of disease in the cramped and hot conditions. There will routinely be four or five birds to a cage, but the conditions prevent normal behaviour, such as nest building, flapping wings, dust-bathing and perching.
At the end of their lives, the often emaciated birds are only fit only to be used in food processing.
Hens Will Now Live In “Enriched” Cages
The ban on these cages means that egg producers will replace them with so-called “enriched” cages; a bigger space, plus a nest box, a higher roof, some litter in a scratching area and a perch, about three inches from the bottom of the cage. That still sounds excruciatingly small, but this is one step forward.
The European Commission has begun proceedings against the other 13 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain.
Of course, you can also make sure the eggs and the products with eggs in them that you buy are from non-cage systems. Why not buy eggs from organic, free-range hens?
Ireland Bans Puppy Mills
Ireland is called the Puppy Farm of Europe, but lawmakers hope that infamous reputation has come to an end as new legislation restricts commercial puppy mills throughout the country.
On New Year’s Day the Irish government got serious about protecting dogs with two new laws. They implemented the Dogs Breeding Establishments Act and the Welfare of Greyhounds Act.
The Dogs Breeding Establishments Act controls dog breeders and forces them to provide humane care under strict standards and regulations. Some of the regulations include: keeping dogs in clean housing that is not overcrowded, providing bedding, fresh food and water and exercising the dogs.
The law calls for local veterinarians to inspect all of the kennels and gives them the authority to shut down a facility where dogs are not being properly cared for. Vets will also monitor that females have only one litter of puppies in a year.
All puppies must be micro-chipped so they can be traced back to a specific breeder in case of a problem and all breeders must be registered.
Harsh penalties will be imposed for anyone who doesn’t comply with the new laws. Animal activists are pleased with the regulations and think it will stop unethical breeders in the country.
The Welfare of Greyhounds Act mandates higher welfare standards for the humane treatment of working greyhounds, breeding greyhounds and their offspring.
Both of these laws should make a happy difference in the lives of thousands of Ireland’s dogs.
Good news for Doggies in New York
to the hard work of petition signers and concerned animal activists,
New York City Council has passed two great legislations to provide more
protection for dogs in the city. The first legislation limits the number of hours a dog can be chained
up outside to three. This legislation also puts strict regulations on
how heavy the chain can be and completely forbids the use of choke
collars. The fine for breaking any of these is up to $500. The second legislation passed increases the unaltered dog license fee
from $11.50 to $34. This fee increase will hopefully encourage dog
owners to spay or neuter their pets. The extra money will go towards
programs in New York that help control dog overpopulation. For the full article: Care2
Posted: 22 Jul 2010 07:37 AM PDT
The big news in Congress this week is that the House overwhelmingly passed the Prevention of Interstate Commerce in Animal Crush Videos Act, introduced by Representatives Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., by a sweeping vote of 416 to 3. The bill now goes to the Senate, where Senators Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., have vowed to lead the fight for this legislation.
We are making progress on other priorities, too, in the 111th Congress. With a tough budget climate and competing national priorities for federal spending, HSUS and HSLF continue to make the case on Capitol Hill that adequate federal funding is necessary to enforce the nation’s animal welfare laws. And it’s money well spent since improved enforcement for animal protection means improvements in food safety, public health, consumer protection, disaster planning, anti-crime initiatives, and other related issues.
Once again this year, we rallied the support of a strong bipartisan group of 40 senators and 131 representatives—led by Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La., and Representatives Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Chris Smith, R-N.J.—to request funds needed to improve enforcement of animal welfare programs. Thanks to the outstanding leadership of the chairs of the agriculture appropriations subcommittees—Senator Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Representative Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.—the signs look promising for animal welfare programs in fiscal year 2011.
The House and Senate bills to fund the budget of the U.S. Department of Agriculture aren’t yet finished, but both have cleared significant intermediate hurdles (the House bill was approved at the subcommittee level and the Senate bill was approved by the full committee). Both bills maintain strong levels of funding for the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and the federal law to combat dogfighting and cockfighting, as well as programs for veterinary student loan forgiveness and disaster planning for animals. Importantly, both bills recommend increased funding for investigations and enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, which should bring added might to combat abusive puppy mills, and nearly double the amount allocated for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act, a much-needed upgrade to crack down on rampant “soring” abuse involving deliberate infliction of severe pain on show horses’ legs and hooves, so it will hurt them to step and their exaggerated gait will win prizes.
This is just the latest installment in a multiyear effort. The HSUS and HSLF have been steadily building the enforcement budgets for these laws, recognizing that laws on the books won’t do animals much good if they’re not enforced. Over the past eleven years, for example, we’ve succeeded in boosting the annual funding for enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act by 139.5% (a cumulative total of more than $84 million in new dollars to the program). Today, there are 115 USDA inspectors, compared to about 60 inspectors during the 1990s, to help ensure basic humane treatment at thousands of puppy mills, research laboratories, zoos, circuses, and other facilities. We are hopeful that the fiscal year 2011 bill, once it’s finalized, will boost these numbers even further.
Thanks to your work, Congress can help sustain our efforts to protect
animals from cruelty and abuse. It’s an investment in the animals’
future—and our own.
If you'd like to read more: http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2010/07/crush_video_bill_passes_house_072110.html
Huge Victory: Georgia Gas Chamber Ban Passes House!
Update March 16, 2010: The Georgia House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly, 132-49, to pass H.B. 788 which would ban use of the remaining CO gas chambers to kill shelter animals in Georgia and also make heartstick illegal by statute.
The sponsor, Georgia state Rep. Tom Knox, showed his fellow representatives photos of dogs killed in a CO gas chamber. It was obvious they had suffered, attacking each other as they died.
Rep. Knox said a CO gas chambers is more like "a contraption. It is not humane.... What happens is that when several dogs and several cats are put into the container, like a dark closet and gas is turned on...they don't go to sleep real quick....For those of you who have dogs, you understand...if one gets excited ....they might all get excited and start fighting...They attack each other in there....It's pretty frightening to hear it."
Reps. Gene Maddox and Sean Jerguson spoke most vehemently in opposition to the bill, claiming, contrary to cost studies, that lethal injection will be more costly. Rep. Maddox asked his colleagues, "Am I not a veterinarian?" He said, "This is a bad bill...The carbon monoxide chamber is the most humane method [of killing shelter animals]." Even the American Veterinary Medical Association doesn't agree, citing lethal injection, done properly, as the preferred method of euthanasia.
The bill now goes to the state Senate.
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
Anyone who lives in any of the counties or cities where CO gassing is still used to kill shelter animals (see list) should call their state senator found here and urge him or her to vote yes on H.B. 788! Also send your state senator the important documents HERE!