Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Another Ex Worker Exposes Cruelty Behind Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Tells of Daily Abuse to All Animals

I’ve written so much on this that it’s almost monthly that more comes out. Why they continue their abusive ways and why people support them I’ll never know.

Of course, Ringling Brothers tries to down her credibility. But as I wrote about last week, even Steve-O from Jackass has come out about the cruelty he witnessed while learning to be a clown there! So, it has nothing to do with any motives other than telling the truth. You can read about Steve - O and the cruelty he witnessed behind the scenes at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at:
http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/01/
jackass-star-steve-o-breaks-his.html

Here is an excerpt from the article below which exposes what she witnessed behind the scenes:

"The abuse was not once in a while, it occurred every day," Archele Hundley told lawmakers. "The elephants, horses and camels were hit, punched, beaten and whipped by everyone from the head of animal care down to inexperienced animal handlers hired out of homeless shelters."

For more about the cruelty behind the circus including VIDEO PROOF see http://www.circuses.com/

Article:

Cruelty alleged in the big top

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20070131/1049808.asp

Ex-circus worker seeks ban on animal acts; Ringling official calls conern 'unjustified'

By BRIAN MEYER
News Staff Reporter
1/31/2007

Click to view larger picture
John Hickey/Buffalo News
Former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus worker Archele Hundley shows the Common Council a bull hook used on elephants to dramatize how handlers are taught to keep the animals afraid.

A former employee of the nation's largest traveling circus Tuesday claimed she witnessed vicious acts of animal cruelty and urged the Common Council to ban events in Buffalo that include exotic animal acts.

"The abuse was not once in a while, it occurred every day," Archele Hundley told lawmakers. "The elephants, horses and camels were hit, punched, beaten and whipped by everyone from the head of animal care down to inexperienced animal handlers hired out of homeless shelters."

The West Virginia woman claimed handlers are taught to keep the animals afraid.

But an executive with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus denied the allegations and submitted written testimony calling a ban "unnecessary and unjustified."

"We feel very strongly that our animal-care practices are second to none," Thomas L. Albert, the circus' vice president of government relations and animal policy, told The Buffalo News in a telephone interview.

Albert challenged Hundley's credibility, saying she only worked for Ringling Bros. for about two months last year. He also said that circus officials never heard Hundley's claims until animal advocates started "trotting" her around the country.

Hundley called that claim a lie.

"When I voiced concerns to Ringling management about the animal abuse, I was either ignored or told, "If you don't like it, pack your bags,' " she insisted.

The Council's Legislation Committee held the hearing after advocates lobbied for a law that would make Buffalo off-limits to circuses that use lions, elephants and other exotic animals. More than 20 municipalities across the nation already have imposed such bans, including Hollywood, Fla.

North Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr. will likely sponsor legislation proposing such a ban in Buffalo, and Majority Leader Dominic J. Bonifacio Jr. of the Niagara District said he might co-sponsor the bill.

Albert said animals remain the top attraction for a traveling circus, adding that Ringling Bros. is committed to making them feel "safe and secure." He said the circus has been coming to Buffalo since 1919, when Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey combined their operations. He said he hopes Buffalo follows the lead of other municipalities that have rejected bans, including Denver.

Circuses help to reinforce the role that people play as caretakers of animals, Albert said.

The education argument was dismissed by Jennifer Radecki of Animal Advocates of Western New York. She said exhibiting elephants "dressed up and performing silly tricks" contributes nothing to people's appreciation for animals.

Supporters of the ban claim animals in traveling circuses spend a lot of time in feces-filled boxcars or chained in arenas. They also downplayed the drawing power of animal acts.

"Banning exotic-animal acts would bring an end to the mistreatment that I witnessed on a daily basis but was powerless to stop," Hundley said.

European Union Governments Unanimously Put Their Support Behind a Proposal to Ban the Sale, Import And Production Of Dog And Cat Fur

A hugely important move. We hope it moves forward. Notice this quote about the nature of the situation:

“HSI estimates about 2 million cats and dogs are killed for fur each year, mostly in China.”

Surprise, surprise. China is by far the main cause of this suffering. If you have the guts to see the truth, visit these links to see proof of the nature of dog and cat killing in china: http://www.furisdead.com/feat/ChineseFurFarms/

And


http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/03/crash-course-in-
unbelievable-cruelty.html

Article:

EU governments back ban of cat, dog fur

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/01/30/ap3376264.html

BRUSSELS, Belgium

European Union governments on Monday unanimously supported a proposal to ban the sale, import and production of dog and cat fur in the 27-nation bloc, responding to public calls to outlaw a practice many consider unethical.

The European Commission, the EU's executive body, has said cat and dog fur can be found in some clothing, personal accessories and soft toys for children being sold in Europe, either falsely labeled as another kind of fur or hidden within the product.

"We responded to hundreds of thousands of European citizens who demanded action in this area," EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said. "This product is being used without the consumers being informed. It goes against the wishes and morals of the European citizens. For them, cats and dogs are pets."

Kyprianou said he hoped the ban could be adopted by the end of June after the European Parliament also gives its consent to the measure. Fifteen EU nations already have bans in place, but an EU-wide ban is expected to bring clear guidelines for all member nations.

The Commission said that because of the trade's secretive nature, it was hard to estimate how much dog and cat fur finds its way onto the market or pinpoint the source.

A December 2005 investigation by Australian animal rights group Humane Society International showed dog and cat fur was produced within the Czech Republic and other Eastern European states.

HSI estimates about 2 million cats and dogs are killed for fur each year, mostly in China.

Killing of Barbaro Brings Out Excellent Editorial that Brings Out Truth of Horses

I couldn’t agree more.

Article:

One Horse Dies

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/30/opinion/30tue4.html

Published: January 30, 2007

Why should we feel so much grief at the loss of one horse? After all, this is a world in which horses are sacrificed again and again for the sport of humans. Barbaro was euthanized yesterday, eight months after he shattered his right hind leg at the start of the Preakness Stakes. After an injury like that, most racehorses would have been put down minutes later. But every race is a complex equation — a balance of economics, athleticism, equine grace and conscience. Conscience often comes in last, but not in this case. Barbaro’s owners gave that horse exactly what he had given them, which is everything. It was the very least they could do, and yet it seemed truly exceptional in a sport that is as often barbarous as it is beautiful.

Barbaro was exceptional because he won the Kentucky Derby and looked as if he might have a chance at the Triple Crown. But nearly everyone who met him also talked of the life he displayed, a vivid presence that was so much more visible to us because it happened to belong to a winner.

Humans are not especially good at noticing horses, but Barbaro was easy to notice. And if his life caused us to pay attention to the possibilities of all horses, his death should cause us to pay attention to the tragedy inherent in the end of so many horses. Barbaro’s death was tragic not because it was measured against the races he might have won or even against the effort to save his life. It was tragic because of what every horse is.

You would have to look a long, long time to find a dishonest or cruel horse. And the odds are that if you did find one, it was made cruel or dishonest by the company it kept with humans. It is no exaggeration to say that nearly every horse — Barbaro included — is pure of heart. Some are faster, some slower. Some wind up in the winner’s circle. But they should all evoke in us the generosity of conscience — a human quality, after all — that was expended in the effort to save this one horse.

Henry’s Law Would Make Some Cases of Cruelty a Felony in Utah: How You Can Add Your Support to it

Good to see another state moving towards making these crimes felonies. Of course, Henry is an actual dog who suffered horrible cruelty. I’m glad to see a state like Utah taking this seriously.

You can add your support by visiting: www.helpushelpthem.org

Article:


'Henry's Law' against animal cruelty moves closer to passage in legislature

http://www.abc4.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id
=c2854653-699e-4980-bfb9-58f6fd0c153a


Story by:
Reed Cowan
reed@abc4.com

A Utah woman whose pet chihuahua was burned in an oven by her ex-husband is looking to turn pain in to protection for Utah animals.

In May Rhonda Kamper’s dog Henry was put in an oven, sustaining severe injuries. Investigators point to Mark Vincent for injuring the dog. Just a month before the burning incident, Vincent is accused of putting out the dog’s eye with a leaf blower.

For his crimes, Vincent is behind bars, but Kampers tells ABC 4 News Vincent should have received a stiffer sentence and that she is working with law makers to see that "Henry's law" is passed.

The bill would make cases of animal abuse felony cases. Currently, Utah only imposes misdemeanor charges for animal abusers. Animal activists say the fact that Utah is one of nine states left to pass animal cruelty legislation shows we are lagging behind in protecting animals.

Previous legislation has met opposition from cattle ranchers, but this bill provides an exemption for ranchers, rodeo workers, hunters and farmers. Henry the dog will make an appearance before law makers in a hearing this week. In the interim, supporters of the bill can visit the following web site to sign a petition of support: www.helpushelpthem.org.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Prince Harry the Cruel and the Royal Cruel Family at it Again: Girlfriend Exposed as Advocate for African Animal Killing

Man, these royals really have shown their cruel side in the last month - http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/12/
prince-william-shallow-and-cruel.html.

Guess it’s just part of being born to do nothing but look a certain way. Guess boredom leads to killing and hanging out with killers.

Article:

Animal Rights Leaders Attack Prince Harry's Girlfriend For Advocating African Hunting

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006290783


January 29, 2007 9:52 a.m. EST

Maira Oliveira - All Headline News Reporter

Reno, Nevada (BANG) - The girlfriend of Britain's Prince Harry has come under fire from animal rights campaigners for attending a U.S. convention promoting big game hunting in Africa.

Chelsy Davy, 21 - whose father is a millionaire safari operator in her home country of Zimbabwe - was among guests at the Safari Club International event in Reno, Nevada.

Tim Phillips, of Animal Defenders International, has blasted Chelsy - who has been staying at the Circus Circus Hotel + Casino complex with brother Shaun, and parents Charles and Beverly - for being an advocate of the organization.

He told Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper, "Safari Club is a group who are happy to hunt and kill pretty much any animal that moves. For Chelsy to put her name - and the mark of the royal family - to that is disgraceful. The British public will be disgusted."

The Safari Club, a non-profit organization "dedicated to the conservation of wildlife, education of the people and the protection of hunter' rights," was founded in 1971 and boasts 40,000 members.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Israeli Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation Puts Forth Bill That Would Ban Animal Testing For Cosmetics

I don’t need to state how big this would be. We will hope for such a gigantic move. This would simply verify that animal testing of cosmetics is simply unnecessary and wasteful.

Article:

Ministerial committee approves bill banning animal testing for cosmetics

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/818673.html

By Tamara Traubmann, Haaretz Correspondent

A bill banning animal testing for cosmetics and cleaning products was approved Sunday in the Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

Following the decision, the bill will be brought Wednesday to the Knesset plenum for a preliminary reading.

The current law allows the Council on Animal Experimentation to issue permits to cosmetics and detergent industries for conducting experiments which serve no medical purpose.

The bill indicates that 2,000-3,000 animals are currently used in such experiments annually.

Animal rights activists demonstrated opposite the Knesset building Sunday morning calling for committee members to approve the bill, as well as another bill prohibiting the importation of cosmetic or detergent products developed through animal testing.

The second bill was rejected by a margin of one vote.

The activists distributed lists to passersby of companies that do not employ animal testing and urged them to boycott companies that do.

The bill, introduced by MK Gideon Sa'ar (Likud), is intended to bring Israel in line with states in the European Union, which three years ago passed a law banning all animal testing for cosmetic purposes by 2009.

The wording of the bill indicates that the experiments "cause enormous suffering to animals and are conducted without painkillers," despite the option of alternative methods for determining the effectiveness and poison levels of cosmetics that do not cause pain to animals.

A document released by the state comptroller in 2004 indicated a lack of supervision by the Council on Animal Experimentation.

In recent years, it said, the council has hardly advanced the use of alternative testing techniques.

The experiments of more than 20 industrial companies are currently conducted using permits issued by various internal committees.

In many instances, the members of such committees are the same people conducting the experiments, and are in effect authorizing their own experiments or those of colleagues.

The bill stipulates a reversal of the council's power of authorization on experiments to develop cosmetic and detergent products.

The Los Angeles Animal Cruelty Task Force and the Dog Whisperer: Forces of Change in Addressing Animal Cruelty

What a great program. Very progressive and very needed. We can only hope that other cities will follow suit. In summary, the program consists of four Los Angeles Police Department officers and five investigators from the city's animal services agency.

“The task force has scored nine felony convictions since fall 2005, and several defendants have been sent to prison for their crimes.”

Now that’s a good record.

The task force can be reached at (213) 847-1417. Officials ask that callers please be judicious about reporting problems.

Article:

The Dog Whisperer sheds tears at City Hall

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/
la-me-localgovtqa29jan29,1,3989959.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

By Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
January 29, 2007

The Dog Whisperer was in the house. And he was weeping.

Cesar Millan was in City Hall a couple of weeks ago to be honored by Councilman Tony Cardenas for his work in helping people get along better with problem pets.

In case you've been living under a rock, Millan has his own television show on the National Geographic Channel, a best-selling book and was recently profiled in the New Yorker. His Dog Psychology Center in South L.A. has become so popular that Millan needs more land.

Before the main event in front of the full City Council, Cardenas introduced Millan at a private ceremony atop City Hall and Millan quickly choked up in epic fashion.

Why? Despite all of his success, what really got to Millan — a Mexican immigrant — was the notion that he had performed a public service.

Cardenas is hoping to work with Millan on a program to teach students to treat animals with respect.

And before rolling your eyeballs….

*

How big of a problem is animal cruelty in Los Angeles?

It is difficult to say, because for years no one kept track.

Shortly after taking office in 2003, Cardenas learned that major cruelty cases were often not being pursued as felony crimes. So he introduced legislation that ultimately led to the creation of the city's Animal Cruelty Task Force, consisting of four Los Angeles Police Department officers and five investigators from the city's animal services agency.

"We were a city about protecting people from animals but not animals from people," Cardenas said.

The task force has scored nine felony convictions since fall 2005, and several defendants have been sent to prison for their crimes.

Among those convicted was a gang member sentenced to three years for using a Taser gun on and scalding his girlfriend's dog during an argument with her (the dog survived); and a heroin addict who beat his roommate's dog to death. Police caught him taking the dog's body to a trash container. He got a 16-month sentence.

A woman is also awaiting trial for allegedly killing a kitten as a way to teach her sons to listen to her.

"One of the reasons I wanted to come on here is because people could commit crimes against animals in the city, and by and large it wasn't considered a very big deal," said Det. Sue Brumagin, a member of the unit. "What I tell people now is that if you do this, you're going to state prison."

Not everyone believes the task force is living up to its potential. Marie Atake, an animal services commissioner, said she wants the unit to respond more to everyday abuses of animals, such as illegally tethering dogs in yards or leaving them out in the hot sun. Brumagin agrees, but said the unit must first deal with the most egregious cases.

The task force can be reached at (213) 847-1417. Officials ask that callers please be judicious about reporting problems.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Reward Offered for Information Leading to an Arrest in Case of Bull Mastiff Buried Alive in West Pensacola, Florida

If you know anything, please call the number listed below:

If you have information on the case, call the Sheriff's Office at 436-9620.


Article:

Reward offered in burial of dog

http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/
20070126/NEWS01/701260348/1006

Thyrie Bland
tbland@pnj.com

The Humane Society of the United States announced Thursday a reward of as much as $2,500 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case of a dog found buried alive in West Pensacola.

"This is an unusual case of animal cruelty -- being buried alive," said Jen Hobgood, program coordinator at the society's Tallahassee office. "We wanted to do everything we could to assist in the case."

The bull-mastiff mix was found Jan. 14 in the backyard of a home in the 7700 block of West Jackson Street.

"We are at a standstill with the case," said Sgt. Mike Ward, spokesman for the Escambia County Sheriff's Office. "We are still investigating."

The dog is improving and remains at the Safe Harbor Animal Hospital in Pensacola, said Bruce Rova, director of Escambia County Animal Regulation and Control.

If you have information on the case, call the Sheriff's Office at 436-9620.

Bill Would Make Bestiality a Crime in Indiana: Comes After Man Convicted of Raping Chicken and then Killing It

No, unfortunately I didn’t make this story up. Let’s hope they decide to make this a felony. We’ll hope it proceeds.

Article:

Bill would make bestiality a crime

http://nwitimes.com/articles/2007/01/24/news/porter_county/
517f3d703d3f0d7f8625726d00075d03.txt

ANIMAL CRUELTY -- Parole of local animal abuser spurs legislation

From Wednesday, January 24, 2007 12:41 AM CST

BY PATRICK GUINANE
pguinane@nwitimes.com
317.637.9078

INDIANAPOLIS | The recent parole of a man convicted of sexually assaulting and killing a chicken in a Valparaiso motel room has sparked a move to make bestiality a distinct crime in Indiana.

Michael Bessigano, 36, received a 10 1/2 year prison sentence after admitting to stealing a farm chicken in October 2001 and taking it to U.S. 30 motel where he killed the animal while having sex with it. He was found competent to stand trial, and previous arrests involving alleged abuse or theft of dogs, geese and a rooster helped Porter County prosecutors secure a maximum sentence for animal cruelty.

With Bessigano's release approaching, a detective with the Lake County Sheriff's Department asked state Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, to introduce legislation that sets specific penalties for sexual acts with animals.

House Bill 1387 would make bestiality a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year behind bars and a fine of up to $5,000. The crime would become a Class D felony punishable by up to three years in prison if the animal "suffers extreme pain or death."

The state granted Bessigano his mandatory release Jan. 8, but he was transferred to Cass County Jail to serve 315 days remaining on a previous probation violation, said Yvette Salinas, Gary Parole District supervisor for the Indiana Department of Correction.

Bessigano plans to move to an assisted living center in Gary once released, authorities said. Until his parole is complete in November 2008, he will only be allowed to leave the facility for treatment sessions.

Lawson's legislation also would create standard definitions for animal neglect and torture, which she said would assist law enforcement in prosecuting cases of animal cruelty. The effort stems from the high-profile case involving a Gary firefighter charged with conducting dogfights in Calumet Township.

The legislation also would make it crime to harm or kill a family pet in furtherance of domestic violence.

"Often the abuser will hold a cat or a dog -- a companion animal -- hostage or strangle it or kill it," Lawson said. "It happens very, very often in domestic violence situations."

Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act, H.R. 661 Introduced Into House: Would End Slaughter for Food of Sick, Diseased, or Injured Livestock

This legislation is beyond necessary. Downed animals have suffered enough in their trip to the slaughter house. To then put them through the hell of the slaughter facility is just beyond cruel. In addition, sick animals put those who eat them at risk.

For more on downed animals see http://www.nodowners.org/

I think this quote taken from thee article below really sums up the issue:

"I can't believe that in the 21st Century there is anyone who thinks it's appropriate to allow sick, diseased, or injured livestock incapable of supporting their own body weight to be part of our food supply," he said. "Congress must do something to prevent the contamination of our food supply and also insist that these downed animals be dealt with humanely."

Article:

LaTourette co-introduces legislation to ban slaughter of downed animals

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17767710&BRD=
1698&PAG=461&dept_id=21849&rfi=6

By: John Arthur Hutchison

JHutchison@News-Herald.com
01/26/2007

U.S. Reps. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Concord Township, and Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., introduced legislation they say is intended to help safeguard the country's food supply by banning the slaughter of downed animals like cattle that are too sick or injured to stand or walk.

The Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act, H.R. 661, has 75 original co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. A companion bill is being introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

The measures are supported by the Humane Society of the United States.
"We hope the new Congress will act quickly to settle this issue and protect animals and consumers by permanently banning downed animals from the food supply," Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.

The House and Senate previously approved downed animal legislation, but it has been blocked from final passage by some former members of the House Agriculture Committee and Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, LaTourette said.

"I can't believe that in the 21st Century there is anyone who thinks it's appropriate to allow sick, diseased, or injured livestock incapable of supporting their own body weight to be part of our food supply," he said. "Congress must do something to prevent the contamination of our food supply and also insist that these downed animals be dealt with humanely."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture banned the slaughter of downed cattle in 2004 following the discovery of mad cow disease in the United States, but the policy was never finalized or fully enforced, LaTourette said.

Fur Trapping Season in Oregon Creates Danger for Humans and their Pets

Yes, unfortunately fur trapping is still going on. Along with this then comes numerous injuries and deaths to humans and companion animals.

More on trapping and it’s dangers can be found at http://www.api4animals.org/articles?p=520&more=1

Article:

Fur-Trapping Season Could Endanger Pets

http://www.koin.com/Global/story.asp?S=5988992

LA GRANDE, Ore. - Eastern Oregonians planning to take their dogs to the woods are advised to keep them on a leash or at least on the beaten path.

Traps are set for bobcats and other fur-bearers. The season ends March 15.

State wildlife officials say because of a mild snowpack, more people are venturing off of the trails where snares and leg traps may be placed.

Several dogs have been caught in recent weeks in traps and snares in Eastern Oregon and at least one in Union County died.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Horse Slaughter Plants in Texas Must Follow Ruling and Be Closed

Excellent to see that this is progressing. We’ll see though if it continues. We wrote initially about this issue earlier. To read about this monumental decision see: http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/01/
monumental-ruling-for-horses-federal.html

Article:

Judges: Plants must be closed

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/16512985.htm


By MIKE LEE
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Two North Texas horse-slaughtering plants, which annually process thousands of pounds of horsemeat for human consumption overseas, are violating a 1949 state law and must shut down, a federal appeals court panel has ruled.

Fort Worth-based Beltex and Kaufman-based Dallas Crown could face criminal charges if they don't cease operations, according to the ruling handed down Friday by three judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The two plants handle about half of the 91,000 horses slaughtered in the United States annually.

"The lone cowboy riding his horse on a Texas trail is a cinematic icon," Judge Fortunato Benavides wrote. "Not once in memory did the cowboy eat his horse, but film is an imperfect mirror for reality."

The companies will appeal, their lawyer, David Broiles of Fort Worth, said Saturday.

Broiles called the suit "an attempt to impose some people's dislikes on a commercial activity."

The Humane Society of the United States, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief, praised the ruling.

"This is the most important court action ever on the issue of horse slaughter," Wayne Pacelle, the society's president and chief executive, said in a statement. "When this ruling is enforced, a single plant in Illinois will stand alone in conducting this grisly business."

The background

The stage was set for the case in 2002 when then-Attorney General John Cornyn ruled that the horse-slaughtering plants were violating a 1949 state law that makes it illegal to sell horses for human consumption.

Tarrant County District Attorney Tim Curry's office contacted Beltex officials. About the same time, the Kaufman County District Attorney's office announced it was investigating Dallas Crown.

At the time, the two companies operated the only horse slaughterhouses in the United States; a third plant has since opened in Illinois, Broiles said.

Beltex and Dallas Crown went to federal court, seeking an injunction protecting them from prosecution by the district attorneys.

Their position is that Texas law doesn't apply to them because the horse meat for human consumption is sold exclusively overseas. They also argued that, under the U.S. Constitution, only the federal government regulates interstate and foreign commerce.

U.S. District Judge Terry Means in Fort Worth ruled in the companies' favor. Friday's ruling overturns Means' decision.

The economic impact

Beltex, with 90 employees, earned $30 million from horse-meat sales in 2001, the company said in its suit.

In addition to selling horse meat, the company sells the hides, which are made into such things as baseball covers and material used in heart surgery and violin bows. It also provides horse meat to zoos, including in Fort Worth and Dallas, and to circuses and to entertainers Siegfried & Roy.

The opposition

In a friend of the court brief filed in the 5th Circuit appeal, the Humane Society of the United States claimed that many of the animals slaughtered in the plants were still useful.

Also, the Humane Society said, the companies put to death about 2,500 wild horses collected on federal land between 1999 and 2005. The government is supposed to put the horses up for adoption, but many of the adopters sold to middlemen who then sold them to the plants, the Humane Society said.

The society also claimed that some horses were transported in low-roofed trucks designed for pigs and cattle, which caused the horses to bow their heads. Also, the horses sometimes panicked during shipping, trampling each other and arriving at the plant with broken bones.

One the legislative front

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which would make it a federal crime to slaughter horses for human consumption, is making its way through Congress. Separate versions of the bill were introduced in the House and Senate this month.

The House passed similar legislation in September, but the Senate never voted on it. Time ran out before the end of the 2006 legislative session.

What's next

Broiles said the companies can ask the three-judge panel to reconsider the decision or he can ask for a hearing before the full circuit court. The companies can also appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"We'll go to one or all of them," he said.

This story contains material from The Associated Press and Bloomberg News Service.

Online Hunting Operations Continue to be Challenged: Anti-Hunters and Hunters Agree that Online Hunting is Questionable

What could be weaker than some lazy jack behind a mouse blasting away at an unsuspecting being? Let’s hope this cowardly and questionable practice goes away real soon.

Article:

Online hunts targeted

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/
stcharles/story/9EC95446E41C10348625726B000E61E0?
OpenDocument

By Kevin McDermott
POST-DISPATCH SPRINGFIELD BUREAU
01/22/2007

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — You peer at the image of the antelope wandering across your computer screen. Your hand is on the computer mouse, guiding the onscreen rifle. You wait for the animal to hold still. Then you line it up in your sights, your finger ready on the mouse button.

It could all be part of some unusually realistic computer game, except for what happens next: You click the mouse — and hundreds, even thousands of miles away, an actual rifle fires a bullet at the antelope.

It's called "remote-controlled hunting," the brainchild of a Texas ranch owner whose startling new venture had barely begun before the Texas Legislature shut it down two years ago. Nonetheless, concern that the concept could still become the next new thing in virtual entertainment has set off a volley of pre-emptive prohibitions in more than 20 states around the country, including Missouri. Illinois could be next.

Opposition has come from an unusual alliance of animal-rights activists — one of whom last week called it "pay-per-view slaughter" — and hunters, who view it as the ultimate in unsportsmanlike conduct.


"That's not hunting. It's just not hunting," said Bill Heatherly, wildlife programs supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation, which banned remote-controlled hunting last year.

In Illinois, a bill was filed this month to outlaw the practice, and it could be debated starting next month.

"It really is in poor taste," says Illinois state Rep. Dan Reitz, D-Steeleville. "It gives all sportsmen a black eye."

He said he was unaware of any such businesses coming online in Illinois, but he's sponsoring legislation to ban it, just in case.

"It definitely takes the sport out of it," he said. "If they want to do that, just play a video game."

Virtual hunting party

The issue first arose a few years ago, when Texas entrepreneur John Lockwood began publicizing a (now-defunct) website called "Live-Shot.com." The concept was to allow subscribers from all over the country to use their computers to operate a remote-controlled rifle on Lockwood's 220-acre ranch in Boerne, Texas, near San Antonio, hunting blackbuck antelope, wild hogs, Barberry sheep and other animals stocked on the property.

The mechanics of it were relatively straightforward: A hunting rifle was outfitted with a webcam in the gun scope and an actuator connected to the trigger, all of it mounted on a wooden platform attached to a small motor and set outdoors on Lockwood's ranch. An Internet user could, from any computer, remotely swivel the gun's position and fire the weapon at animals lured to the firing area with food.

As part of the venture, Lockwood offered to send the heads of the animals to the subscribers who shot them. Live hunts were priced at $300 for two hours, plus the price of taxidermy.

Lockwood couldn't be reached for comment last week. But in an interview with National Public Radio in November 2004, prior to Texas' move to outlaw his business, he defended it.

"There are a lot of people who would like to get into hunting who have never had the opportunity ... (or) have been injured, disabled, who may never be able to ... get out in a field and sit for any length of time," Lockwood said in the interview.

"I know there's a segment of the population that absolutely abhors what I do, and there's a segment of the population that's loving what I'm doing because I'm able to help them," Lockwood said. "As long as it's legal and I can do some good, it's going to continue."

It didn't continue for long. Texas outlawed the practice in 2005. Lockwood replaced the live animals with inanimate targets and silhouettes of Osama bin Laden at which subscribers could shoot via the Internet. The website later was taken down.

Other states, realizing there was nothing on their books to prevent Lockwood or others from bringing the virtual hunting party across their borders, began pre-empting the practice. As of this year, at least 23 states have banned it, from California to Wisconsin to Maine, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Generally, the prohibitions, including Missouri's, have specifically banned the remote-controlled killing of animals within the state's borders. But Reitz's bill seeks to prohibit Illinoisans from using any software that would allow them to kill animals that are in other states.

It's unclear whether such a far-reaching prohibition would stand up in court — a recurring question with many attempts at limiting Internet activities these days. That's part of the reason that some have argued for a national ban, including U.S. Rep Tom Davis, R-Va., who introduced in 2005 the Computer-Assisted Remote Hunting Act. The measure didn't advance in the last session, but a spokesman for Davis said Tuesday that he was considering re-introducing it this year.

Reitz, one of the Illinois Legislature's leading advocates for hunters, has found himself in unusual agreement with animal rights activists over the issue, a partnership that has played out repeatedly around the country ever since the first virtual shot was fired in Texas.

"It's been an interesting alliance," said Heidi Prescott, a Washington-based official for the Humane Society of the United States, which has been working with national hunting interests to ban remote-controlled hunting. "It speaks to the fact this is an extremely unethical practice."

The Missouri regulation is part of the state's Wildlife Code, listed at 3 CSR 10-7.410 (1)(q).

Reitz's Illinois bill is HB201.

Ski Trails: Fun for Skiers Trouble for Some Species

Unfortunately skiing also affects habitat.

Article:

A Bird's-Eye View of Ski Trails' Perils

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/23/
science/23observ.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Article Tools Sponsored By
By HENRY FOUNTAIN
Published: January 23, 2007

While a ski trail can provide plenty of enjoyment (at least when there is enough snow to cover it), from an environmental standpoint it is a scar on the landscape. This is especially true for trails constructed below the tree line, where large patches of forest must be clear-cut to make way for skiers.

But such trails are more than just eyesores. They also chop up habitat for birds and other animals. Studies have shown, for instance, that there is less bird diversity in forested areas along ski runs.

What about trails above the tree line, like those at high-altitude resorts in the Alps? They may not seem so damaging, because no trees are harmed in their creation. But slopes are smoothed, rocks are removed, and the original vegetation — low shrubs and grasses — is eliminated.

A new study by Antonio Rolando and colleagues at the University of Turin in Italy shows that even these more open trails can affect birds that spend summers at high elevation. Dr. Rolando and his team studied populations of water pipits, black redstarts and other birds in and around high-altitude ski trails in northern Italy, including some built for the 2006 Turin Olympics. They counted birds in three types of plots: within a trail, adjacent to it and far away.

The plots within ski trails had relatively few birds over all and low species diversity — a measure of both the number of species and the number of individuals in each species. Adjacent and far-off plots had higher diversity, but adjacent plots had low bird density as well. The findings were reported in The Journal of Applied Ecology.

"Habitat loss is surely very important," Dr. Rolando wrote in an e-mail message, "because most species during summer forage in grass, and some also make nests on the ground." The researchers found that the habitat loss also affected arthropod populations; there were fewer insects in the trail plots, so there was less food for the birds.

Dr. Rolando said that while there were still many undeveloped areas in the high Alps, further construction of trails could affect certain birds considered under threat. Resort operators, he said, could help by modifying their construction methods, grading slopes less and removing less vegetation, though not to the point of making trails unsafe for skiers.

"The best thing," he wrote, "is to preserve as much soil and natural vegetation as possible."

Senator Introduces Animal Cruelty Bill for Hawaiian Islands: Bill Would Implement Felony Penalties for Cruelty

Excellent first step. Sounds like Hawaii is more than ready to start getting tough on sick animal abusers

Article:

Hawaii Senator Introduces Animal Cruelty Bill

http://www.khnl.com/Global/story.asp?S=5980830

Jan 23, 2007 09:44 PM

Proposed Animal Cruelty Laws
Senator Clayton Hee

By Leland Kim

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A Hawaii senator introduces a bill calling for tougher animal cruelty laws. It's in response to a number of high profile cases in our islands where animals were brutally killed.

Senator Clayton Hee (D - Kahuku, Laie, Kaaawa, and Kaneohe) proposed the bill Tuesday afternoon. It calls for felony penalties for cruelty to pet animals. It is one of five animal cruelty bills that may come up this legislative session.

Last October, Porky the Pig was stabbed to death in Mililani. It is one of four brutal animal killings on our islands in less than three months. Just over a week ago, three sheep were beaten and killed on Kauai. Some worry this type of behavior could signal bigger problems.

"People who are cruel to animals, it often escalates to human violence," said Pamela Burns, president and CEO of the Hawaiian Humane Society.

Tuesday, Senator Hee introduced a bill, calling for felony penalties for cruelty to pet animals.

"I don't think anyone disagrees that that kind of random killing cannot be condoned and should be punished," said Senator Hee. "The tricky part is trying to figure out how to make the punishment fit the crime."

The bill covers torture, torment, beating or starving of any pet animal.

"We're absolutely delighted that Senator Hee has introduced this bill," said Burns. "It's very important here that we get into the law here felony levels of cruelty to animals."

The bill defines "pet animal" as a dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, domestic rodent, or caged bird. It doesn't cover sheep like those killed last week on Kauai, pet pigs like Porky, horses, or other livestock.

"The difficulty in a bill like this is distinguishing between pet and livestock," said Senator Hee. "And that's going to be a sticky part of the debate."

The bill can still be amended, and discussions on the issue will continue in committee. The Hawaiian Humane Society said a strong message needs to be sent to those thinking about hurting animals.

Daryl Kaneshiro, whose sheep were killed in Kauai, said this is a great start and applauds Senator Hee. Kaneshiro hopes this is the first of many steps in strengthening animal protection laws here in Hawaii.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Renowned Neuroscientist and Oxford Graduate Exposes the Fallacious Arguments of Oxford University in Pushing for a New Animal Testing Facility

This is nothing less than groundbreaking. To finally have an actual graduate of the prestigious Oxford actually expose the hypocrisy and one sidedness of Oxford in their insane march towards an additional animal testing facility is a monumental step. And then to say that there is simply a small group within Oxford that is pushing for the unnecessary facility and that many inside are opposed to it will push this conversation to a rational degree. And, as you’ll see in the following quote, to actually say that those opposed to animal testing are actually right and have a legitimate argument and will literally be judged with respect in the future will lead to a profound change in the tone of the debate. You will see more below. Here is the quote just referred to:

Dr Maxwell said vivisectionists were "swimming against the tide of international medical and ethical opinion. I fear that history will judge their animal rights opponents as less extreme than the very scientists who persist in non-human primate research in the face of an increasing body of consistent and compelling evidence that the resulting data has and will continue to endanger countless human lives."

Article:

US neuroscientist rails against Oxford lab

http://education.guardian.co.uk/businessofresearch/

story/0,,1996135,00.html

Alexandra Smith
Monday January 22, 2007
EducationGuardian.co.uk

A leading neuroscientist and Oxford graduate has stepped into the debate over animal testing in a highly critical paper that condemns the university's controversial laboratory.

Writing for Animal Aid, the UK's largest animal rights group, Marius Maxwell, a neurosurgeon at a specialist spine centre in the US, said the minority of Oxford animal researchers were "tirelessly promoting their claimed achievements before the media".

He said: "Many of my Oxford colleagues in world-class scientific laboratories, and in the humanities, are privately aghast at the ability of a small group of media-savvy vivisectionists to hold the debate hostage and thereby besmirch the international reputation of their university."

Dr Maxwell's comments come just days after Pro-Test, the Oxford-based group backing animal testing, said three letter bombs had been sent to research companies in Oxfordshire and Birmingham.

Pro-Test said the first bomb was sent to Cellmark, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, last Thursday. It failed to detonate properly and resulted in minor injuries. The other two letter bombs were understood to have been sent to companies in Culham, Oxfordshire, and Chelmsey Wood, in Birmingham, but were discovered before detonation, according to Pro-Test.

Iain Simpson, spokesman for the group, said: "Following a series of attacks in which a woman could easily have been very seriously injured, Speak and Peta [animal rights groups] need to come out and condemn these attacks if they are to have any credibility. Both claim to be legitimate organisations interested only in peaceful campaigning. If this is the case surely they will join us in condemning these barbaric attacks."

The construction of the £20m animal research laboratory at the University of Oxford has been dogged with controversy.

In July 2004, the construction firm Montpellier pulled out after threatening letters were sent to its shareholders and its share price dropped. Work on the lab was suspended because of continuing threats of violence.

In the same month, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) admitted to an arson attack on the Hertford College boathouse and joined another animal rights group, Speak, in a campaign to target any organisations linked to the university.

In his opinion piece, Dr Maxwell, who studied at Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard universities and is now based in the US, refuted the findings of the recent Weatherall report on primate vivisection, which advocated the use of animals for research, as "profoundly flawed".

Dr Maxwell has thrown his weight behind groups, such as Europeans For Medical Progress, campaigning for safer, humane alternatives to animal testing, according to Animal Aid. He has also joined the call by Voice for Ethical Research at Oxford (Vero) - a growing group of dons and graduates, including Ann Widdecombe and Tony Benn - for the university's new animal lab site to be turned into a "world-class medical imaging and research centre".

Dr Maxwell said vivisectionists were "swimming against the tide of international medical and ethical opinion. I fear that history will judge their animal rights opponents as less extreme than the very scientists who persist in non-human primate research in the face of an increasing body of consistent and compelling evidence that the resulting data has and will continue to endanger countless human lives."

The Royal Cruel Family at it Again: Prince Philip Leads Group that Shots Fox, Leaves to Writher in Agony, then Clubs in Head and Stomps on it

Yep, here we go again. The royal cruel family showing how they’re superior to all of life. As I said in the story about Prince William the Shallow and Cruel - http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/12/
prince-william-shallow-and-cruel.html
it’s amazing that these guys can’t just admit that they’re beyond the luckiest in the world, and lead blessed lives. Why they can’t just see that and leave the rest of life alone is confusing. Here is a quote that sums up the event:

“[they[ shot the animal twice, leaving it writhing in agony for a few minutes, before clubbing it over the head and stomping on it to "finish it off."

Article:

Prince Philip Involved In Animal Cruelty Incident; Animal Rights Groups Investigate

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/
articles/7006213035

January 22, 2007 10:03 a.m. EST

Maira Oliveira - All Headline News Reporter

London, England (BANG) - Britain's Prince Philip is embroiled in an animal cruelty scandal after an injured fox was left to die in agony during a hunt lead by the royal.

Animal rights groups have called on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to investigating the incident which occurred at Sandringham estate, Queen Elizabeth's Norfolk retreat, on Saturday.

Witnesses claim members of the eight-men pheasant hunting party shot the animal twice, leaving it writhing in agony for a few minutes, before clubbing it over the head and stomping on it to "finish it off."

An onlooker, who saw the incident told Britain's The Sun newspaper, "A cry of, 'Fox! Fox!' went up and almost instantly three or four shots rang out. The fox was twitching on the ground, indicating it was still alive. A minute later a beater walked over and clubbed it with his stick. After all the birds had come over and the shooting stopped, he went back and stamped on its midriff."

Campaigners are now hoping to investigate the "unnecessary suffering" caused to the fox.

An RSPCA spokesman said, "Our prosecutions department will be studying the photographs for any evidence of cruelty."

The RSPCA - whose patron is the queen - could bring charges under the 1996 Wild Mammals Protection Act, since it is against the law to cause unnecessary suffering to any animals.

It is not clear whether Philip had seen the incident. Buckingham Palace has so far refused to comment, insisting it was a "private shoot."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monumental Ruling for Horses: Federal Appeals Court Rules that Slaughtering Horses for Meat is Illegal in Texas: Could End Texas Slaughter Operations

Incredible. We’ll see how this comes out. I think this sends a clear message to the foreign slaughter companies who are allowed to slaughter in our country that their time is coming to an end. It also sends a message to the congress that this issue should be dealt with.

Here’s a quote that sums up the ruling very well: "This is the most important court action ever on the issue of horse slaughter," Wayne Pacelle, the society's president and chief executive, said in a statement. "When this ruling is enforced, a single plant in Illinois will stand alone in conducting this grisly business."

Article:

Court: No horse slaughtering in Texas

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070120/ap_on_re_us/
horse_slaughter_1


By RASHA MADKOUR, Associated Press Writer Sat Jan 20, 4:15 PM ET

HOUSTON - A federal appeals court says slaughtering horses for meat is illegal in Texas, where the animals symbolize the Old West and where two of the nation's three processing plants are located.

The decision, issued Friday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, overturns a lower court's ruling last year on a 1949 Texas law that banned horse slaughter for the purpose of selling the meat for food.

The lower court said the Texas law was invalid because it had been repealed by another statute and was pre-empted by federal law.

However, a panel of three judges on the 5th Circuit disagreed, saying the law still stood and was still enforceable.

The 5th Circuit decision also cited more than the law.

"The lone cowboy riding his horse on a Texas trail is a cinematic icon. Not once in memory did the cowboy eat his horse," wrote Judge Fortunato Benavides.

The ruling involves the Dallas Crown Inc. slaughter mill in Kaufman and Beltex Corp. in nearby Forth Worth. The nation's third plant is in Illinois, run by Cavel International Inc. at DeKalb. All three operations are foreign-owned.

A bill pending before Congress would shutter all three operations.

The plants ship the meat overseas, since it is considered a delicacy in parts of Europe and Asia.

About 88,000 horses, mules and other equines were slaughtered in 2005, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

While proponents such as the American Veterinary Medical Association say slaughter is a kind way to deal with old horses and a better alternative to abandonment, opponents including Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens and country music star Willie Nelson have argued that the killing of equines is un-American — and that many young horses are killed as well.

The Humane Society of the United States, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, applauded the 5th Circuit decision.

"This is the most important court action ever on the issue of horse slaughter," Wayne Pacelle, the society's president and chief executive, said in a statement. "When this ruling is enforced, a single plant in Illinois will stand alone in conducting this grisly business."

There was no immediate response to calls seeking comment Saturday from representatives of Dallas Crown and Beltex.

Report Exposes Horrible Animal Welfare Practices at the Government Slaughter House of Island Nation of Malta: National Farm Also Focus of Cruelty

This is a truly disturbing story. Any sort of anti cruelty measures are not followed at all. And all done and backed by the government of Malta.

As you’ll see, the report is very graphic and very sure. There is no doubt of the truth of the disturbing practices in the national slaughterhouse of Malta.

Article:

World's largest animal rights group blasts Pullicino

PETA calls for closing of national abattoir and independent inspections

http://www.maltastar.com/pages/msfullart.asp?an=9276


Kurt Farrugia 19 January 2007
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA), the world's largest animal rights group called on government to close the national abattoir "until problems are rectified", while demanding inspections by independent animal welfare organisations.

PETA, a US-based animal welfare group, represents more than 1.6 million members worldwide and has affiliates in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, India and Hong Kong.

"PETA is demanding that the national abattoir and farm be opened to inspections by independent animal welfare organisations and that the results of such audits be made public."


On 2 January 2007, maltastar.com revealed a report penned by Austrian Veterinary experts and which the environment ministry kept hidden since September. The expert's report exposed appalling animal welfare practices at the government slaughter house and the shabby state of the national farm at Ghammieri.

Fear of public pressure

PETA's Factory Farms Campaigns Manager Matt Prescott on Friday 19 January "fired off a letter" to environment minister George Pullicino and the director general of the veterinary division Simon Sammut.

"Both before and after the report by Austrian veterinary experts, these abuses continued uncorrected while authorities chose to keep the report top secret, allowing these facilities to continue abusing animals without fear of public pressure. Such behaviour is indefensible and must be addressed immediately," Mr Prescott said in his letter.

The worldwide organisation told Pullicino that: "Recent assertions that the government is beginning to implement improvements are wholly inadequate."

PETA demanded that the ministry implements "with the greatest possible urgency" the problems stressed in the report.

Click here to read PETA's letter to the environment minister

'Government tried to hide this ugly secret'

The animal welfare group's Vice-President Bruce Friedrich said: "The government has not only stood by and allowed thousands of pigs to suffer and die in terror, but it has also tried to hide this ugly secret." The largest animal rights group has also blasted government for trying to hide this "ugly secret."

"The report was submitted by a team of Austrian veterinary experts in September 2006 by but not made public until maltastar.com ran an exposé series earlier this month."

The animal rights group quotes the report by the Austrian experts saying that according to documents and photographs, pigs were crammed onto lorries and unloaded by letting the large animals drop nearly 80 centimetres to the ground, causing them severe trauma.

The PETA statement also described how animals were shocked with electricity but still conscious as they bled to death and suffered heart attacks. These practices violate both the Animal Transport Regulations 2003 and the Animal Killing Regulations 2003, said the animal rights group.

Cruelty Suit Brought Against California Pork Company

Very interesting and possibly monumental suit. We will see how this proceeds.

Article:

Large pork producers accused of pig cruelty

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/

20070119-1848-ca-pigsuit.html

SANTA ROSA – Animal rights activists claim one of the state's largest pig farmers violates state anti-cruelty laws by crating pregnant pigs and limiting their movement, in a suit filed Thursday in Sonoma County Superior Court.

The lawsuit, filed against Corcoran-based CorcPork Inc. by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, East Bay Animal Advocates and three San Francisco Bay area residents, says the company is violating a section of the California penal code that requires farm animals to be given an "adequate exercise area."

CorcPork, an industrial hog processor based in Kings County, and Clougherty Packing Co., a Los Angeles-based subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp. that buys meat from CorcPork, are named as defendants.

Clougherty's Farmer John branded links and sausages are carried by many supermarket chains. The individual plaintiffs, who claim to have bought and eaten Farmer John products, accuse the brand of fraudulent business practices by allegedly misleading consumers.

CorcPork advertises that its sows have been raised in "a family tradition since 1931."

About 9,000 of CorcPork's pregnant sows live in stalls so small they can't take a step, according to the complaint. The sows endure cycles of pregnancy, nursing and further impregnation there, living amid their feces until they die, the suit states.

"The practice is hidden from the public eye, so that the purchasers of products from these pigs are unaware of the illegal manner in which the animals who provide meat have been treated," the complaint reads. "Consumers are not informed."

Corcoran farm is owned by four siblings and employs animal husbandry practices that are "scientifically proven to be effective and humane," said Steve Duchesne, a spokesman for Clougherty Packing.

The small gestation stalls keep pregnant sows from harming one other, and the small farrowing stalls deter sows from crushing their nursing piglets, he said.

"This is the continuation of the seemingly endless attacks by these extreme animal rights organizations against responsible livestock farmers," Duchesne said.

Animal rights groups seek a court order to change the way the sows are treated.

Friday, January 19, 2007

After Exposure by Groups, Juice Maker POM Wonderful States That Will End Animal Testing: PR or Truth?

For those unfamiliar with this issue, here is a synopsis that we posted at http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/01/
restaurant-in-california-pulls-pom.html

"POM has funded experiments in which mother mice were fed POM juice and their week-old babies were locked in a chamber with no oxygen for 45 minutes, causing severe brain damage. The organization says another experiment involved the severing of rabbits' arteries in order to cause impotence, with the rabbits then being fed POM juice to test impotence."

Time will tell if POM is sincere or if it’s just a way to get the pressure off for a while until they later engage in animal testing. We will see.

Article:

Juice maker ends animal testing

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-
juice18jan18,1,4203417.story?coll=la-headlines-business

From Reuters
January 18, 2007

Pomegranate juice maker Pom Wonderful, which became a target of animal rights activists because of research the company did into its juice's medical benefits, said Wednesday that it had stopped testing on animals.

"Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice has ceased all animal testing, and we have no plans to do so in the future," Lynda and Stewart Resnick wrote to all Pom retailers by e-mail or post Wednesday.

The Resnicks own Los Angeles-based Roll International Corp., a holding company that operates Pom and other businesses. A copy of their letter was obtained by Reuters.

Last month, an animal rights group claimed that it had tampered with 487 bottles of Pom juice, prompting Wild Oats Markets Inc., the No. 2 U.S. natural and organic grocer, to pull the product from shelves in some of its East Coast stores.

Pom called the tampering claim "a cruel hoax" Wednesday, and a Wild Oats spokeswoman said the grocery chain had returned Pom drinks to the shelves after testing showed that the products had not been tampered with.

"In our quest to discover how pomegranate juice can help treat human diseases and conditions such as arteriolosclerosis, prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction and birth defects, it was sometimes necessary to fund animal testing," Pom said in the letter.

Pom's decision came as Whole Foods Market Inc. told Reuters that it had decided to stop selling the company's juice and associated tea blends by April 1 if Pom continued to fund studies that might include animal testing.

Ken Wiles and Joe Wiles of Wiles Farm in Ohio Charged With Animal Cruelty: Baby Pigs Thrown Into Bins, Larger Pigs Kicked, Beaten and Hanged

You can read about this horrific case and see the footage at
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/12/
shocking-undercover-footage-at-wiles.html

Essentially, this family farm was nothing but a sadistic abuse facility run by Ken Wiles and Joe Wiles. Please visit the link to learn more.

Unfortunately, the charges still only amount to misdemeanors. I’m happy the prosecutor sees this as a case worth pursuing. However, weak animal cruelty laws will not be deterrents.

Article:

Ohio pig farmer charged with animal cruelty

http://www.examiner.com/a-513375~
Ohio_pig_farmer_charged_with_animal_cruelty.html

Associated Press

WOOSTER, Ohio - Charges of animal cruelty have been filed against the owner of a pig farm, where prosecutors say the animals were hanged before being slaughtered.

Ken Wiles was charged Tuesday with two counts of animal cruelty in Municipal Court in Wooster. The farm's general manager Joe Wiles was charged with six counts and employee Dusty Stroud was charged with two counts.

The men were scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 30. If convicted, each faces up to 90 days in jail on each misdemeanor charge.

The farm's attorney, Russell Buzzelli of Wadsworth, said Wednesday that it was too soon to comment in detail but that he would have something to say later. He also represents Ken Wiles.

"My client is innocent," Buzzelli said.

Ken Wiles said he had no comment. There were no public telephone listings for Joe Wiles or Stroud.

Canton Prosecutor Frank Forchione, a special prosecutor, said the charges were filed after he viewed video taped by farm employees and after interviewing witnesses. He did not visit the farm in Creston in Wayne County, about 45 miles southwest of Cleveland.

The video, which aired on local television news, showed baby pigs being thrown into bins and larger pigs being kicked and beaten.

"It didn't matter whether or not I was able to set foot on the farm. Obviously, what was going on was disturbing. I just decided at that point that somebody has to speak up for the voiceless," Forchione said.

California-based Humane Farming Association bought full-page advertisements in area newspapers against the farm.

"We believe there finally should be jail time for animal abuse and cruelty of suffering in Ohio. Right now it is just a misdemeanor, but in many states, it would warrant a felony charge," said Bradley Miller, the association's director.

Wars in Africa – Like that in Congo – Also Take the Lives of Many Endangered Animals: Gorillas One of Many Species

This story tells of the horrific eating of the endangered Silverback Mountain Gorillas in Congo. Yet, the consequences touch many additional species.

Article:

African wars have deadly consequences for endangered animals

http://www.kare11.com/news/national/

national_article.aspx?storyid=148134

Rebels in eastern Congo have killed and eaten two silverback mountain gorillas, conservationists said Wednesday, warning they fear more of the endangered animals may have been slaughtered in the lawless region.

Only about 700 mountain gorillas, like the one to the left, remain in the world, 380 of them spread across a range of volcanic mountains straddling the borders of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda in Central Africa.

One dismembered gorilla corpse was found Tuesday in a pit latrine in Congo's Virunga National Park, a few hundred yards from a park patrol post that was abandoned because of rebel attacks, according to the London-based Africa Conservation Fund. Another was killed in the same area on Jan. 5, said the group, which based its report on conservationists in the field.

The group blamed rebels loyal to a local warlord, Laurent Nkunda, for the latest killing. Nkunda is a renegade soldier who commands thousands of fighters in the vast country's east who have in recent years assaulted cities and clashed sporadically with government forces.

Silverbacks are older adult males and usually group leaders, though some are loners.

Paulin Ngobobo, a senior park warden, wrote an Internet blog about finding the latest remains.

"We've learned a lot: the gorilla had in fact been eaten for meat. His name was Karema, another solitary silverback that had been born into a habituated group -- meaning that he had grown to trust humans enough to let them come to within touching distance," Ngobobo wrote.

"We learned that the remaining gorillas are extremely vulnerable -- the rebels are after the meat, and it's not difficult for them to find and kill the few gorillas that remain."

Ngobobo said the first gorilla reported killed had been shot by rebels and eaten.

"A local farmer was ordered to help the rebels collect the meat of the gorilla," Ngobobo said. "He told them that the meat was dangerous to eat, and immediately informed us."

Robert Muir of the Frankfurt Zoological Society, who accompanied Ngobobo, said: "We need to impress on Nkunda and his men that it is inexcusable to destroy national and world heritage of such critical importance. ... Now that we know that the slaughtered gorilla was eaten, the gorillas habituated for tourism are at extreme risk -- and we are worried that more have been killed already."

The last remaining hippo populations in Congo are in Virunga and are also on the verge of being wiped out. Conservationists have blamed rebels and militias for slaughtering them, and say more than 400 were killed last year, mostly for food. Only 900 hippos remain, a huge drop from the 22,000 reported there in 1998.

Virunga park has been ravaged by poachers and deforestation for more than a decade. The 1994 Rwandan genocide saw millions of refugees spill into Congo, marking the beginning of an era of unrest, lawlessness and clashes between militias and rebel groups.

Mineral-rich Congo, which held its first democratic elections in more than four decades last year, is struggling to recover from a 1998-2002 war that drew in the armies of more than half a dozen African nations.

The job of protecting the country's parks falls on local rangers, and the risks are high. In Virunga alone, some 97 rangers have died on duty since 1996, the Africa Conservation Fund said.

On his blog, Ngobobo also described being shot at and beaten by the military, who he and other rangers were trying to persuade to stop cutting down the forest.

Richard Leakey, a conservationist credited with helping end the slaughter of elephants in Kenya during the 1980s, said: "The survival of these last remaining mountain gorillas should be one of humanity's greatest priorities. Their future lies with a small number of very brave rangers risking their lives with very little support from the outside world."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Whole Foods May Pull POM Wonderful Juice off Their Shelves by April Unless Company Stops Testing on Animals

I’m hoping this will be verified by Whole Foods soon. If so, a great move and it will help.

Here's a quick summary of what kind of animal testing POM Wonderful has engaged in. As you'll see, these tests are beyond cruel and totally unnecessary:

"POM has funded experiments in which mother mice were fed POM juice and their week-old babies were locked in a chamber with no oxygen for 45 minutes, causing severe brain damage. The organization says another experiment involved the severing of rabbits' arteries in order to cause impotence, with the rabbits then being fed POM juice to test impotence."
http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/01/
restaurant-in-california-pulls-pom.html

Article:

Whole Foods Market to Pull POM Wonderful Products Off Shelves

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/01/16/18347665.php

Tuesday Jan 16th, 2007 7:00 PM

Unnecessary Animal Cruelty Cited as Reason for Compassionate Decision

LOS ANGELES - In correspondence with a local animal activist yesterday, Whole Foods Market Customer Communications Specialist Jessie Walker said that Whole Foods would pull POM Wonderful products off their shelves nationwide April first unless the company stopped testing on animals. Animal rights activists applauded the move by the progressive grocer.

After being exposed last year as funding cruel and unnecessary animal experiments, in which baby mice were deprived of oxygen and rabbits had their penile arteries severed, POM has seen legal demonstrations at the homes of its executives in Los Angeles as well as a recent claim alleging product tampering on the East Coast, where an anonymous communique stated that 487 bottles of POM juice had been tainted with a gastrointestinal irritant.

In addition, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau has recommended POM Wonderful discontinue its "puffery" and hyperbolic health claims regarding its pomegranate juice. NAD Director Andrea Levine reported that the claims were the strongest she'd ever seen for a food product, yet POM continues to make outrageous claims that its juice benefits cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

As detailed in a company press release last month, POM vice-president Fiona Possell resigned her position as company spokesperson, acknowledging animal rights activists as the reason for her resignation.

On Heals of Sean Diddy Combs’ Sean John Fur Problem, Jay-Z Line Rocawear Now Accused of Using Real Dog Fur

Well, we’ll see how this one goes. Again, they claim they didn’t know, but we’ll see how they react.

Even Sean Diddy Combs pulled items from his Sean John line that contained fur from this dog species:

http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/01/
sean-diddy-combs-admits-dog-fur-used.html


Unfortunately, JC Penny will not. JC Penny refusing to do so puts them into the category of dog killers and dog fur supporters. -
http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/01/
retail-company-jc-penny-knowingly.html

China is notorious for abusing and killing dogs and cats for fur.

I wrote a while back on fur and China, the likely source of the fur. Please see that post at:
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/02/
cruel-china-keeps-up-its-status-as.html

Article:

Jay-Z Accused of "Faux Fur" Fraud

http://fr.tmz.com/2007/01/16/jay-z-accused-of-faux-fur-fraud/


Posted Jan 16th 2007 3:50PM by TMZ Staff
Filed under: The Biz
Jay-Z and his dog fur. He had 99 problems, now Jay-Z has one more.

A jacket from Jigga's clothing line, Rocawear, allegedly has dog fur in its collar, even though it's advertised as having fake fur. According to an investigation by The Humane Society of the United States, the Hunter jacket on Rocawear.com contains real fur from a raccoon dog, a dog indigenous to Asia that The Humane Society claims are skinned alive for the coats, hence the uproar.

As of today, the $265 coat was still a "featured" item on the Rocawear website. Late last year, a similar investigation found that raccoon dog fur was being used in a coat in rap mogul P. Diddy's "Sean John" collection; that item was removed from stores within a few days.

Reps for Jay-Z and Rocawear could not immediately be reached for comment. The Humane Society said that it informed the company of the issue a week ago, but that they've taken no action.

UPDATE: In a statement to TMZ, a spokesperson from Rocawear says, "We were not aware that our product included raccoon dog materials. We have immediately instructed all manufacturers and licensees that no product can be produced using this fur. In addition, we have removed those items from our website."

Monday, January 15, 2007

Retail Company JC Penny Knowingly Sells Items with Dog Fur: Refuses to Pull Items from the Shelves

As you can see by the following paragraphs that I pulled and pasted below, JC Penny knowingly sells items with real fur, and is also aware that it is selling items with fur from a species in the dog family. Even Sean Diddy Combs pulled items from his Sean John line that contained fur from this dog species -
http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/01/
sean-diddy-combs-admits-dog-fur-used.html

JC Penny refusing to do so puts them into the category of dog killers and dog fur supporters.

China is notorious for abusing and killing dogs and cats for fur.

I wrote a while back on fur and China. Please see that post at:
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/02/
cruel-china-keeps-up-its-status-as.html

Here are a few quotes from the story below:

Animal-rights advocates counter that although it looks like an oversized, fluffy raccoon and isn’t kept as a pet, it is a canine breed — something Penney doesn’t dispute while noting that foxes are canines, too.

“They are definitely a member of the dog family,” said Kristin Leppert, manager of the anti-fur campaign at The Humane Society of the United States. “What’s equally important is that they’re getting killed by the millions in the most atrocious way.”

Activists from Swiss Animal Protection posing as a documentary film crew say they went to China and photographed raccoon dogs and foxes being killed at large fur-harvesting operations.

The crew’s disturbing video — posted on the Internet — shows animals clubbed or slammed on the ground. Some continue writhing, gasping and blinking as they are skinned alive.

“We do sell a few fur-trim items. We will continue to do so,” said Darcie Brossart, a spokeswoman for the Plano-based company.

Article:

Animal-rights groups target Penney over canine four

http://www.heralddemocrat.com/articles/2007/
01/14/texas_news/state03.txt

By DAVID KOENIG
AP Business Writer

DALLAS — J.C. Penney Co. removed some fur-trimmed coats from its racks around Christmas after animal-rights activists objected that the fur came from wild dogs in China.

Last week, the department-store company put the coats back on the racks — but only after directing employees to use marker pens to blot out the line on the label that identified the trim as raccoon fur.

The fur-collared leather coats were sold under the house brands St. John’s Bay and a.n.a., and by this week they were marked down at a Penney’s in Dallas from the original $349.99 to $74.99. About two dozen remained.

“We sold a lot of them during Christmas,” said a saleswoman at a Penney store in North Carolina who spoke on condition of anonymity because she feared losing her job. “I hope people who bought those coats aren’t animal lovers. But I guess if they’re wearing fur, they’re not.”

By putting the coats back on the racks, Penney is charting a different course than rival Macy’s, which last month pulled Sean John jackets after they turned out to contain the same fur. Macy’s said it has a policy against selling products with dog fur.

Animal-rights groups are using the incident to pressure Penney to drop sales of all real fur, including fox. A few clothiers such as Polo Ralph Lauren and J. Crew have stopped using fur, and designers Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein have promised to follow suit.
*



But Penney, with more than 1,000 stores catering to middle-income shoppers, says it has no plans to alter its fashion selections.

“We do sell a few fur-trim items. We will continue to do so,” said Darcie Brossart, a spokeswoman for the Plano-based company.

Penney also downplays any link between Lassie and the animal whose fur is used on some of its garments. That animal is often called a raccoon dog because of its full coat and dark patches around the eyes.

“Asiatic raccoon is the species name,” Brossart said. “It’s on the Federal Trade Commission’s list of fur that is legal to sell in the United States. It’s not a dog.”

Animal-rights advocates counter that although it looks like an oversized, fluffy raccoon and isn’t kept as a pet, it is a canine breed — something Penney doesn’t dispute while noting that foxes are canines, too.

“They are definitely a member of the dog family,” said Kristin Leppert, manager of the anti-fur campaign at The Humane Society of the United States. “What’s equally important is that they’re getting killed by the millions in the most atrocious way.”

Activists from Swiss Animal Protection posing as a documentary film crew say they went to China and photographed raccoon dogs and foxes being killed at large fur-harvesting operations.

The crew’s disturbing video — posted on the Internet — shows animals clubbed or slammed on the ground. Some continue writhing, gasping and blinking as they are skinned alive.

Clothing made with raccoon dog fur has turned up at several retailers, according to Leppert of the Humane Society. She said she bought a St. John’s Bay coat in Maryland and sent it for analysis at a German laboratory, which said the fur was raccoon dog instead of raccoon.

Penney sent samples to a lab near Dallas, which also confirmed the fur was raccoon dog, Brossart said. The coats were pulled off racks two days before Christmas.

Brossart said company lawyers determined it was legal to sell the coats as long as they didn’t claim that the fur came from a particular species. A new order went to stores last week, and the word “raccoon” was blotted out from the labels.

“We always knew we were selling real fur,” she said, “but we didn’t want any customers to think they were wearing raccoon.”

Callous Act by Neurosurgeon at the Cleveland Clinic Evan Causes Docile USDA to Investigate: Acts to Impress Salespeople by Inducing Aneurysm in a Dog

It says something about an act and an institution if the normally apathetic and blind USDA decides to go public with a probe. Unfortunately, these arrogant institutions usually do such acts. How this came public is not known. What is known is that this act was not sanctioned by the institution, even one which kills hundreds of dogs per year.

Article:


USDA to probe dog's death during demo

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070113/ap_on_he_me/dog_aneurysm_6


By M.R. KROPKO, Associated Press Writer Fri Jan 12, 8:02 PM ET

CLEVELAND - The U.S.
Department of Agriculture will send an inspector to the Cleveland Clinic to probe the killing of a dog that was used in a sales training session, the agency said Friday.

The clinic, known for its heart center and for treating high-profile patients such as royalty, had reported itself to the USDA, which regulates animal testing.

A neurosurgeon had induced a brain aneurysm in a dog to demonstrate a medical device Wednesday to a group of 20 to 25 salespeople.

The clinic says the procedure wasn't authorized and the hospital bans such use of animals. The USDA says its not illegal to use dogs or other animals while demonstrating medical devices.

The large, mixed-breed dog was anesthetized during the demonstration and had to be euthanized afterward because of the damage caused by the aneurysm, the clinic said.

Darby Holladay, spokesman for the USDA, would not comment on whether the clinic may have violated the Animal Welfare Act or what penalties it could face.

"We're just trying to determine what occurred here," he said.

The demonstration occurred at the clinic's Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland and involved one dog, the clinic told the USDA in a letter dated Wednesday. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter through the Freedom of Information Act.

The clinic said the surgeon had requested permission from the hospital's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee but the committee had not yet reviewed the application. The hospital said the request would have been rejected because of the clinic's policy.

"As an academic medical center, Cleveland Clinic does not allow procedures with animals for the sole purpose of sales training. The situation that occurred yesterday was unauthorized and not in compliance with our policy," the clinic said in a statement Thursday.

In the USDA letter, the clinic said the committee had OK'd the aneurysm being induced in the dog but did not approve the use of the device, which helps stop bleeding, on the dog. The clinic said the committee also did not approve use of the dog in the workshop.

The clinic allows testing on dogs and other animals for medical education and research. According USDA documents, the hospital used 340 dogs for research in 2005 and 541 other animals.

Nationwide, 49,898 dogs were used for research last year, according to the USDA.

The hospital would not identify the surgeon or whether he has been suspended, but said neither he or the clinic had any financial interest in the device. The USDA documents do not identify the doctor or the device manufacturer, and the agency blacked out who sent the letter, citing privacy laws.

An aneurysm is when arteries or blood vessels bulge and eventually burst, which can cause severe damage or death. The medical device that was demonstrated fills a brain aneurysm with a coil to restrict blood flow to it.

The clinic noted that it is a national leader in researching brain aneurysms, which affect about 100,000 Americans each year, killing between 30,000 and 40,000 of them.

The Cleveland Clinic boasts 1,500 physicians, the No. 1 heart center in U.S. News & World Report's rankings and Top 10 national rankings by the magazine in 10 other specialties. World leaders and sports stars are often among its high-profile patients.

The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Friday that it had been tipped about Wednesday's procedure by a neurosurgeon. PETA said it agreed to keep the tipster's name confidential.

Shalin Gala, a research associate with PETA, said the organization had sent letters to the device company and the clinic and its animal research oversight committee to try to halt the procedure. Gala said PETA will push to have the doctor's medical license and board certification revoked. She said the group sent letters Friday to Ohio's State Medical Board and the American Board of Neurological Surgeons expressing concerns.

PETA had suggested using a silicone model as an alternative to using a dog. Gala said it was appalling that any animal — mouse, rat or dog — might be used when an alternative was available.

The dog incident is the latest blow to the clinic, which has fought accusations that it has ethics problems.

Last August, the clinic fired a noted cardiologist for failing to disclose royalties from a stroke-preventing device that he invented and promoted to fellow physicians. In December 2005, a Wall Street Journal story detailed clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove's relationship with a medical-device company and the clinic's role in a venture capital firm that invested in it.

Singer Pink Calls Out World Governments for Refusing To Help Fund Her Incredible Idea of Mobile Veterinary Units to Attend To Stray Dogs

I’ll admit, I can’t tell you even one of her songs, but I’m fully aware of her activism. This is an incredible idea – to put forth mobile veterinary units to attend to the issue of stray dogs. All she has asked for from the rich world governments is to help with the costs. Here’s one woman who’s willing to put up her own money, and these large rich governments don’t care at all.

I say thank you Pink and I hope at least one selfish govt. changes their minds.

Article:

Pink Slams Governments' Animal Attitude

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/entertainment/
tittletattle/article_21259012.shtml

Published: 1/14/07 at 3:59 PM ET
Written By: andPOP Staff

(WENN) - Animal lover PINK has blasted world governments that are refusing to contribute to her project for mobile veterinary units.

The WHO KNEW hitmaker is appalled at how little the authorities seem to care about their animals' welfare.

She says, "I'm trying to put together a mobile vet service to go to places where there is a problem with stray dogs.

"The initial idea was the split the cost with whatever country we were going to, but governments don't seem to care about their animal problems."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Jackass Star Steve-O Breaks His Silence and Speaks of Witnessing Elephant Abuse by the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Undeniable Proof

Now Ringling Brothers can’t say a thing.

This is actual proof from one who witnessed it behind the scenes. We have video evidence from undercover, but Steve-O holds credibility in that he has no animal rights ties and yet he found what he viewed with his own eyes so disturbing that he had to say something.

This is ground breaking and I hope it leads to the mainstream finally believing the truth. And the truth is that elephants are abused by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus beyond any imaginable level. Quite simply, elephants will not so such unnatural tricks and be kept in captivity unless they are abused and tortured.

As Steve-O states, "You read about a lot of elephants going berserk in the circus, and it's obvious why they go berserk," he said. "It's because they're fricking tortured every day. I saw it myself."

“He particularly remembers how he squirmed as he watched trainers routinely strike performing elephants with steel-tipped bullhooks.”

To this he adds, "The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been abusing animals since the 1800s, and I'm sick of it," he said.

For video proof of the torture of elephants by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus see
http://www.circuses.com/

For a fact sheet which describes and documents the torture by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to elephants see:
http://www.circuses.com/pdfs/RinglingFactsheet.pdf



Article:

Jackass star accuses circus of animal cruelty

http://www.irishexaminer.com/breaking/story.asp?j
=169964940&p=y699655zx&n=169965549&x=

TV stuntman Steve-O has launched a one-man campaign against circus giants the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey after deciding to reveal all about the animal abuse he witnessed while training to be a clown.

During a recent internet interview with animal activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Jackass wildman, real name Stephen Glover, called the circus bosses "a bunch of d**ks".

"The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been abusing animals since the 1800s, and I'm sick of it," he said.


Steve-O graduated from Ringling's Clown College several years ago, but the horrors he saw when he started his career under the big top have tormented him ever since.

He particularly remembers how he squirmed as he watched trainers routinely strike performing elephants with steel-tipped bullhooks.

"You read about a lot of elephants going berserk in the circus, and it's obvious why they go berserk," he said. "It's because they're fricking tortured every day. I saw it myself."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Restaurant in California Pulls POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice From Menu Due To POM"S Continued Use of Cruel and Unnecessary Animal Testing

Here’s a quick summary of what kind of animal testing POM Wonderful has engaged in. As you’ll see, these tests are beyond cruel and totally unnecessary:

“POM has funded experiments in which mother mice were fed POM juice and their week-old babies were locked in a chamber with no oxygen for 45 minutes, causing severe brain damage. The organization says another experiment involved the severing of rabbits' arteries in order to cause impotence, with the rabbits then being fed POM juice to test impotence.”

Article:

Eatery bans juice over animal testing

http://www.malibutimes.com/articles/

2007/01/10/news/news3.txt

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
A local eatery, at the urging of animal rights group PETA, has banned a pomegranate juice maker from its shelves. Local celebrity Pamela Anderson joins in the cause.

By Jonathan Friedman / Assistant Editor

A popular local eatery refuses to sell the trendy health drink, POM Wonderful, which came on the market in 2002, after learning the juice may be used in torturous tests on animals.

John's Garden says it stopped carrying the drink at the urging of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which claims the Los Angeles company that produces the drink uses it while conducting unethical tests on rabbits and mice.

"We're very conscious about these things, animal rights and all kinds of rights," said store manager Svetlin Dimov.

PETA says POM has funded experiments in which mother mice were fed POM juice and their week-old babies were locked in a chamber with no oxygen for 45 minutes, causing severe brain damage. The organization says another experiment involved the severing of rabbits' arteries in order to cause impotence, with the rabbits then being fed POM juice to test impotence.

"These are conscious, sentient beings and we don't have a right to do research on them," said Shalin Gala, a spokesperson for PETA.

Seth Faison of the public relations firm Sitrick and Co, who was hired by POM last month shortly after a company executive quit due to harassment from radical animal rights activists, would not address the specific allegations about the kind of experiments done with POM juice. But he did say the company funds animal experimentation.

"POM is concerned about the human health benefit of pomegranate juice, and it has funded research at top academic institutions," Faison said. "And to do top-notch research sometimes requires research on animals first. So our position is that we are funding science to learn about cancer and heart disease in human beings and the benefits of POM juice. The testing that we fund does include a very small amount of animal testing."

Faison continued, "We're interested in science and human health, and not in political correctness."

Faison specified that POM funds the research, but does not actually conduct it. He said the institutions doing the experiments include UCLA and Johns Hopkins University. UCLA spokesperson Phil Hampton said the university has done animal testing that involves pomegranate juice, but he could not confirm if it has specifically included POM's product. Hampton said animal research at the university is done humanely.

"All research at UCLA involving animals undergoes a rigorous review by a panel that reviews it for scientific necessity and all state, federal and local laws to ensure humane treatment of animals," Hampton said.

Gala said PETA turned its attention to POM last summer following successful campaigns against Ocean Spray, Welch's and other juice makers that led to those companies vowing to stop testing on animals. PETA sent a request to POM asking that it also cease animal testing. A reply arrived shortly after from company President Matt Tupper saying that some animal testing is necessary. Gala said there has been no communication since then, but Faison said in recent days Tupper had made "renewed communication last week."

However, Faison said POM would not be bullied by PETA. He accused the animal rights group of being affiliated with radical organizations that have taken less than diplomatic measures to express their displeasure with POM. A group calling itself the Animal Rights Militia posted a message on the Internet last month claiming it had contaminated 487 bottles of POM in several retail chains on the East Coast. The claim was never proven, and POM denounced it as a cruel hoax. Last fall, POM won a court injunction against animal rights activists who were harassing its employees at their homes. Fiona Posell, POM's vice president for corporate communications, quit the company last month after what she said were months of harassment toward her and her family from animal rights activists.

"POM holds PETA responsible for the fringe groups that take extremist actions," Faison said. "When they say 'we're just doing our campaign and this has nothing to do with us,' we don't believe that. We think they're affiliated."

Gala denied PETA had any association with the militant groups, and said he had never heard of the Animal Rights Militia until finding out about last month's contamination scare.

PETA has found a friend in Malibu celebrity Pamela Anderson in its campaign. Anderson, who has been associated with the organization for several years, has posted a message on her Web site urging people to boycott POM. It also contains a link to a video on PETA's Web site that shows footage of animal experiments. There is no way to tell if those experiments are ones funded by POM.

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