Friday, March 30, 2007

Despite Acknowledging the Dwindling Numbers and Massive Deaths of Seal Pups Due to Global Warming, Canada OKs Annual Bloody Baby Seal Slaughter

It’s amazing to me that Canada actually admits that the seal pup deaths this year have been astronomical, but they still will allow the killing of 270,000!

Just look at this quote from that actual Fisheries Department spokesperson and you’ll see this twisted logic: “Fisheries Department spokesmen Kevin Stringer and Mike Hammill told reporters that pup mortality in the southern Gulf could be as high as 90 to 100 per cent this year.”

So that would mean that only a small percent lived this year, but they’ll still allow the bludgeoning of that small population? Only callous, twisted thinking could provide such a rationalization of such a distorted decision.

For more on cruel Canada’s annual baby seal slaughter including photos and video that show the reality of grown men putting clubs or hakapik or picks through the heads of baby seals who cannot move see: http://www.seashepherd.org/seals/

And

http://www.stopthesealhunt.ca/site/pp.asp?c=dhKPI1PFIqE&b=437193

Here is some great information on how you can attempt to stop the annual baby seal slaughter: http://www.stopthesealhunt.ca/site/pp.asp?c=dhKPI1PFIqE&b=1477703



Article:

Quota for seal hunt reduced sharply

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/story/3927328p-4538990c.html
Updated at 1:30 PM

OTTAWA (CP) — Canada’s decision to allow a reduced seal hunt despite the deaths of many pups this year is being condemned by animal rights groups as a recipe for the eradication of the East Coast harp seal.

Federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn announced Thursday that this year’s quota for the seal hunt is 270,000 animals — a reduction from last year’s catch of 335,000 seals.

Fisheries officials said during a telephone briefing from Ottawa that hunters will be able to kill seals in all traditional hunting areas, including the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, where thin and broken ice has led to the deaths of many newborns.

Fisheries Department spokesmen Kevin Stringer and Mike Hammill told reporters that pup mortality in the southern Gulf could be as high as 90 to 100 per cent this year.

Nevertheless, Stringer said the southern Gulf is open to hunters who want to look for seals amid the thin ice and already decimated population.

“It’s an appropriate number,” Stringer said of this year’s quota. “It’s consistent with our precautionary approach.”Fisheries officials insisted the harp seal herd is healthy and abundant at about 5.5 million animals.

However, the department is accelerating a population survey of the herd, which will be carried out next year instead of 2009.

“This is an important resource for Canadians and we take the sustainable management of it very seriously,” Stringer said.

The 2007 quota and management plan was greeted with howls of protest by animal rights groups who have made the annual East Coast seal hunt the focus of international condemnation.
Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society of the United States said in an interview that seals are being subjected to the same kind of political mismanagement that led to the collapse of the cod fishery.

Aldworth said Hearn, who is from Newfoundland and Labrador, has it in for harp seals.
She said Hearn and the Fisheries Department appear determined to eliminate the seal, a marine mammal despised by many Atlantic fishermen as a competitor for dwindling fish stocks.

“I don’t believe the harp seal population can withstand this kind of mismanagement much longer,” Aldworth said.Sheryl Fink of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said she’s shocked Ottawa is allowing a commercial hunt in the southern Gulf despite the fact that officials acknowledge the high pup mortality.

“We could be looking at wiping out what is left of the Gulf herd this year,” Fink said.

Newborn seal pups can’t swim and need solid ice on which to survive.

Although Canadian hunters no longer kill the newborn whitecoats, the vast majority of seals killed in the hunt are between three and 12 weeks of age.

Fink said figures provided by the Canadian government’s own scientists show that any catch limit set above 165,000 will see the harp seal population continue to decline.

“With harp seals facing a growing threat from global warming and poor ice conditions, continuing the hunt at the unsustainable level announced today is nothing short of irresponsible,” Fink said.
Stringer said the reduction of the quota by 65,000 animals is substantial.

The vast majority of the hunt this year, as in past years, will take place off the northeastern coast of Newfoundland in an area called the Front.

Seventy per cent of the quota will be taken on the Front. The remaining 30 per cent will come from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, mostly the northern Gulf where ice conditions are better than they are in the south.The one-year quota includes allocations of 2,000 seals for personal use and 4,860 seals for aboriginal initiatives.

Stringer said there will be no change this year in the rules for observers who want to watch and report on the hunt.

However, it is much more difficult to observe the hunt off Newfoundland because of the greater distances involved.

Traditionally, animal rights groups and news reporters observe the hunt in the southern Gulf, between Iles de la Madeleine and Cape Breton Island.

Stringer said the department has had fewer applications this year for observer permits, which are designed to keep observers and hunters at safe distances from each other.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

21st Annual Genesis Awards Bring Out and Reward Celebrities and Companies Who Support Animal Rights and Shed Light on Animal Abuse and Exploitation

An amazing and well-established event that rewards those who do good, but also sheds light on the issues of concern. It is put on annually by The Hollywood Office of The Humane Society of the United States. Here is a description of the event from their website at http://www.hsus.org/about_us/offices_and_affiliates/hsus_hollywood_office/

“Based on the philosophy of Hollywood Office founder Gretchen Wyler that "Cruelty Can't Stand the Spotlight," The Genesis Awards has been paying tribute to the news and entertainment media for the past 20 years for shining that spotlight into the darkest corners of animal abuse and exploitation. Recognized as the nation's premier consciousness-raiser of animal issues, The Genesis Awards is a star-studded ceremony attracting representatives from the media, entertainment, social, business and humane communities. The event is taped and edited for broadcast. For the past several years is has aired nationwide on Animal Planet, exposing millions of viewers to animal wrongs and animal rights. And here's how our members can play a part: if you've seen any animal-friendly storylines, no matter how small, in a television show or film, contact us at contact@hsushollywood.org.”

Article:

Animal-lovin' stars come out for Genesis Awards

http://www.dailynews.com/spywitness/ci_5531409

By Jenny Peters and Joel Stratte-McClure
Article Last Updated: 03/27/2007 04:43:11 PM PDT

There was definitely no fois gras, and certainly no fur-bedecked females, at the 21st annual Genesis Awards. The Saturday night fete at the Beverly Hilton was all about protecting animal rights, and the Hollywood office of the Humane Society of the United States presented awards to the media for "raising awareness of animal protection issues."

Emcee James Cromwell, guests Amy Smart, Steve Valentine, J.K. Simmons, Wendie Malick, Constance Marie, Sara Rue, Olivia Hussey, Bill Maher, Tippi Hedren and others chowed down on a tasteless vegan meal. Wolfgang Puck got a standing ovation for his recent decision to ban fatty goose liver in all of his restaurants.

The evening, which Cromwell said was "dedicated to fighting cruelty toward animals," underlined triumphant media moments that championed animal rights.

Sir Paul McCartney received the newly inaugurated Wyler Award for his longtime
defense of animals, while other winners included "Larry King Live," "CBS News" and the feature film "Happy Feet."

Burt Young showed up with Rusty, his canine co-star in "Rocky Balboa," who posed eagerly with every woman on the red carpet. And Catherine Oxenberg and Esai Morales ripped up the dance floor at the after party. Want more? The Genesis Awards will air on Animal Planet next month.

Many guests rode to and from the politically correct event in eco-limos that used hybrid engines and bio-fuel. No word as to how many directed their drivers to the closest In-N-Out Burger on the way home for a square meal before calling it a night.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Shirley Manson, Formerly of Band Garbage, Joins Campaign to Educate Where Fur Really Comes From

The image that will be used.

I have to say that this form of campaign in which reality is clearly shown is very much needed. Images to not lie and you cannot contest a real image of a skinned fox. People see the final product of the coat or other article lined with fur and do not see how it got that way. This type of blind ignorance may be comfortable, but it’s not the truth. Seeing where fur really comes from and that yes, it came from a living being is necessary to making informed decisions. I applaud any celebrities that use their power for educating people.


Of course, the fur comes from China where they love to torture dogs. You can read more about that at -


and


For photos on the horrors of fur see http://www.atourhands.com/furfarm.html

For additional photos and to learn why fur is so wrong see http://www.furkills.org/furfarming.shtml




Article:


Garbage singer is latest recruit for Peta's anti-fur ad campaign



By Andrew JohnsonPublished: 26 March 2007


The cult Scottish rock singer Shirley Manson has become the latest celebrity recruit in the rear-guard action against the re-emergence of fur on the catwalk and on the backs of the world's wealthiest and most famous women.


Manson, who fronted the band Garbage before embarking on a solo career, will be pictured in a hard-hitting ad campaign launched today by the animal rights organisation Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Wearing a Stella McCartney evening gown, Manson holds up a skinned fox over the caption "Here's the rest of your fur coat".


It is a campaign which last month saw the R&B singer Jamelia pictured naked with a white rabbit on her back and which promises many more celebrity shock adverts. Anita Singh of Peta said: "For every celebrity who wears a fur coat, we have 100 lining up who want to use their fame to raise people's awareness."


In December, Madonna was pictured in a £35,000 coat made from the skins of 40 chinchillas and, in February, Naomi Campbell, who once appeared in a Peta advert claiming she would rather go naked than wear fur, took to the catwalk in a fur-trimmed parka.


Designers including Julien Macdonald, Dior and Gucci are also using fur. Harrods and the high street store Joseph are selling fur again. All have contributed to making fur more acceptable than it was when controversy raged a decade ago.


In November, The Independent on Sunday revealed sales of fur clothing hit £500m for the first time, up 30 per cent on the previous two years, with £40m of new fur products imported every year.


Figures from HM Customs and Revenue showed almost one million tons of fur were imported each year - and the global market for fur has hit almost £7bn. But the backlash has been equally fierce, and effective. During British fashion week anti-fur campaigners pelted Julien Macdonald with flour on the opening night.


The designer Tommy Hilfiger announced at the weekend he was joining Calvin Klein in refusing to use fur. Prada is also said to be "bored"with fur and has not used any in this year's collection.

Sinclair Research Center Recent Animal Testing Facility to Be Found Guilty Of Committing Nearly 40 Violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act

It’s interesting to note here that this was a lab that carried out animal testing for Iams (Proctor & Gamble) and for Menu Foods – the recall company. So, this should give you a hint on just how bad this place is. This includes the Iams product – Eukanuba. For more information on Iams and Eukanuba and animal testing this see http://www.iamscruelty.com/introduction.asp


Here is a brief description of what was found inside this torture chamber:


“Among the alleged violations found by Agriculture Department inspectors: failing to provide sheep with appropriate pain relief during surgery; inadequate training of employees for animal handling and care; failure to vaccinate research dogs and cats; and keeping animals in cages smaller than the legal limits.”


"The gravity of the violations alleged in this complaint is great," the report concluded.”


Also interesting to note is that “…Bouchard purchased Sinclair Research, formerly known as Reproductive and Toxicology Consultation Services, from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1994. Bouchard was a university employee before he started Sinclair Research.”

And…


“Sinclair Research, which has a site in Windham, Maine, is also a licensed dealer of research animals. According to the Agriculture Department, the company sold more than 6,500 animals for a combined revenue of at least $4.5 million from 2001 to 2004.”
So all in all, they were making a lot of money off of animal torture.


Article:


Mo. Animal Research Lab Agrees to Settle


http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/4656593.html


By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER Associated Press writer© 2007 The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, Mo. — A Callaway County animal research lab has agreed to pay a $33,000 civil penalty after investigators alleged the company committed nearly 40 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture filed the complaint against Sinclair Research Center in October 2006, more than three years after animal rights activists targeted the lab in an undercover sting.


Among the alleged violations found by Agriculture Department inspectors: failing to provide sheep with appropriate pain relief during surgery; inadequate training of employees for animal handling and care; failure to vaccinate research dogs and cats; and keeping animals in cages smaller than the legal limits.


"The gravity of the violations alleged in this complaint is great," the report concluded.
The Agriculture Department also accused Sinclair Research of a "lack of good faith" for conducting research at a location not known to the federal agency.


The company had no previous animal welfare violations but had been issued a written warning for failing to submit an annual report.


In a Feb. 28 settlement, Sinclair Research agreed to pay the fine and to "cease and desist" from further violations of federal law.


"It was a business decision," said company owner Guy Bouchard. "We had to resolve it promptly."


The federal inspections that triggered the complaint came several months after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a series of video recordings showing animals it said had been mistreated. The secret recordings were made by a PETA employee who had also been hired by the research lab.


The PETA investigation prompted two of the research lab's biggest customers to sever ties: pet-food-maker Iams and pet-food-supplier Menu Foods. Iams is owned by Procter & Gamble.
Menu Foods recently recalled more than 60 million cans and pouches of pet food nationwide after the deaths of at least 16 household pets due to suspected rat poison found in food.

Bouchard purchased Sinclair Research, formerly known as Reproductive and Toxicology Consultation Services, from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1994. Bouchard was a university employee before he started Sinclair Research.


The company was previously located in Columbia on university property. It has since moved to the town of Hatton, near Auxvasse in western Callaway County.


Sinclair Research, which has a site in Windham, Maine, is also a licensed dealer of research animals. According to the Agriculture Department, the company sold more than 6,500 animals for a combined revenue of at least $4.5 million from 2001 to 2004.

Bill Proposed In Arkansas to Make the Cruel Treatment of Dogs and Cats a Felony Defeated In a House Committee

Not a good ending. Nuff said.

Article:

Animal cruelty bill defeated in committee
http://www.arkansasnews.com/archive/2007/03/27/News/341455.html

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2007

By John LyonArkansas News Bureau LITTLE ROCK - A bill to make cruel treatment of dogs and cats a felony was defeated in a House committee Monday.
Senate Bill 777 by Sen. Sue Madison, D-Fayetteville, failed in a 5-8 vote in the House Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development. Under the bill, aggravated cruelty to dogs and cats would be a Class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The bill originally included cruelty to horses, but it was amended Monday to remove any reference to horses. Rep. Pam Adcock, D-Little Rock, who presented the bill to the committee, said the amendment resulted from a compromise with the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association.
The measure passed last week in the Senate in a 21-5 vote, after receiving the endorsement of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the House, however, the bill was referred to the Agriculture Committee, which some supporters believed sealed its fate.
Adcock said she was "extremely disappointed" by the vote but was not surprised by the opposition the bill faced in the committee.
"I thought that ... whenever they actually heard the truth, that it would change their minds, and it didn't," she said.
Adcock said she did not plan to present the bill again.
During the presentation of the bill, committee members viewed several photos showing the results of animal abuse, including aerial photos of the property of a Baxter County couple found guilty of 20 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty after authorities found more than 500 neglected dogs in their possession. Several of the animals had been displaced from their homes in other states by Hurricane Katrina.
Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery said the couple absconded after being sentenced and are still at large.
"If they're found outside the state, I can't go get them" because the offense is only a misdemeanor, Montgomery said.
Adcock said the bill includes a provision to require a psychiatric or psychological evaluation and, if appropriate, counseling for any person convicted of the offense. People who are cruel to animals often are abusive to people as well, she said.
Rodney Baker of the Arkansas Farm Bureau testified that the Farm Bureau opposes SB 777 but supports House Bill 2788 by Rep. Rick Saunders, D-Hot Springs. Saunders' bill would make aggravated cruelty to a dog, cat or horse a Class A misdemeanor on first offense and a Class D felony on any subsequent offense occurring within five years of a previous aggravated cruelty offense.
Baker said the Senate bill is too broadly worded. As an example, he said that under the bill a person who loses his temper while training a dog and hits the animal could be charged with aggravated cruelty if a juvenile is present at the time.
Several committee members gave other hypothetical examples of actions they feared might be prohibited under the bill, such as the branding of hunting dogs or the shooting of feral cats.
Fayetteville lawyer Eva Madison said the bill applies to people who knowingly hurt or kill cats or dogs "in an especially depraved manner" and would not apply to any of the actions the committee members described.
Voting for the bill were Reps. Sandra Prater, D-Jacksonville; Gregg Reep, D-Warren; Lindsley Smith, D-Fayetteville; Robbie Wills, D-Conway; and John Lowery, D-El Dorado.
Voting against the bill were Reps. James Norton, R-Harrison; Stan Berry, R-Dover; Lenville Evans, D-Lonoke; Scott Sullivan, D-De Queen; Roy Ragland, R-Marshall; Eddie Cooper, D-Melbourne; Monty Davenport, D-Yelleville; and Bill Sample, R-Hot Springs.
Saunders' animal cruelty bill passed in the House last week in a 57-26 vote. It has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Global Warming and Related Thin Ice in Northwest Atlantic Slowing Start of Canada’s Annual Baby Seal Slaughter

Unfortunately the government still hasn’t simply ended this barbaric practice of literally bludgeoning the heads of baby seals. We will see how this plays out and will keep you all informed should the government again sanction this baby slaughter.

For more on cruel Canada’s annual baby seal slaughter including photos and video that show the reality of grown men putting clubs or hakapik or picks through the heads of baby seals who cannot move see: http://www.seashepherd.org/seals/

And

http://www.stopthesealhunt.ca/site/pp.asp?c
=dhKPI1PFIqE&b=437193

Here is some great information on how you can attempt to stop the annual baby seal slaughter: http://www.stopthesealhunt.ca/site/pp.asp?c
=dhKPI1PFIqE&b=1477703



Article:


Global warming puts Canada's hunted seals on thin ice

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070323/sc_afp/
canadaanimalsealhunt_070322230218

by Michel Comte Thu Mar 22, 8:38 PM ET

OTTAWA (AFP) - Global warming threatens Canada's harp seals, protesters warned Thursday, calling for this year's annual cull to be cancelled to spare sea mammals already in peril from retreating ice used as breeding grounds.

"A large percentage of the seal pups born in the northwest Atlantic this year are dying as their habitat is destroyed," said Rebecca Alderworth, director of Canadian wildlife issues for the US Humane Society.

"We cannot allow the survivors of this ecological disaster to be slaughtered to produce fashion items," she said, estimating that more than 260,000 seal pups had perished due to climate change.

The government acknowledged the plight of the sea mammals, but would not commit to a hunt hiatus.

"Usually, we would have announced a hunt quota by now, but because ice conditions are poor, we're taking our time (to review data)," government fisheries spokesman Phil Jenkins told AFP.

"We've noticed that the ice over the past four or five years has been deteriorating and this year it's giving us some concern."

"We're seeing poor ice conditions (for breeding). So, we can expect a higher than average mortality of seal pups," he said, adding the quota is likely to be reduced from 335,000 harvested last year, if the hunt proceeds.

A commercial harvest is usually set now.

But Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn has delayed announcing a quota as government scientists explore the impact of thin ice in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence in eastern Canada on harp seal breeding.

Up to 20 percent of the herd usually nests on thick ice floes in the region in February or March. But this year authorities and animal rights groups found only slush and ice fragments too small to support a newborn pup.

Animal rights groups have been out in force, stripping naked in front of Canada's parliament in freezing temperatures, dousing themselves in red paint to protest the seal hunt and holding news conferences.

"We're calling on the (government) to take a precautionary approach and stop this year's hunt," said Toni Vernelli of Greenpeace Canada.

"Continuation of the commercial seal hunt cannot be reconciled with the long-term conservation of the harp seal -- an ice-dependent species which is already suffering critical habitat loss due to global warming."

Jenkins countered that animals tormented by warmer temperatures in the southern Gulf represent only 20 percent of the entire Atlantic herd.

Ice floes in the northern Gulf and around Newfoundland province where most of the seal hunting occurs is "fine," he said, rejecting speculation the fisheries minister might cancel the hunt this year.

In the past three years, one million seals have been killed as part of the commercial hunt in eastern Canada, which animal rights groups call "the largest marine mammal massacre in the world."

Demonstrators in Europe and Canada in recent weeks denounced the "cruelty" of seal hunting.

But Ottawa maintains the hunt poses no threat to the seal population.

Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn said in a statement last week that opponents of seal hunting were presenting a "biased" view of a practice that he called "sustainable, economically viable and culturally significant."

Fisheries officials meanwhile said the Atlantic seal population has ballooned over the past three decades to 5.4 million in 2004.

Wolfgang Puck Agrees to Using Meat and Eggs from More Humane Suppliers and Refuses to Serve Foie Gras: Stops Short of True Changes Such as No Veal

I applaud his changes. They are small steps, but move toward a larger goal. However, continuing to serve such ridiculously cruel items such as veal sends the wrong message. Veal is perhaps the cruelest form of meat. Literally, it’s an abused, underfed, motherless baby cow. I hope that in the future he too adds the removal of veal from his menu in order to begin to move towards a more humane menu.

For more on the horrors and abuse behind veal and veal calves including photos and video proof of such abuse see http://www.noveal.org/


Article:

Celebrity Chef Announces Strict Animal-Welfare Policy

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/dining/22puck.html

Article Tools Sponsored By
By KIM SEVERSON
Published: March 22, 2007

Wolfgang Puck, the Los Angeles chef whose culinary empire ranges from celebrity dinners at Spago to a line of canned soups, said yesterday that he would use eggs and meat only from animals raised under strict humane standards.

Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

Some chefs refuse to serve foie gras because of force feeding of ducks.

With the announcement, Mr. Puck has joined a small group of top chefs around the country who refuse to serve foie gras, the fattened liver of ducks and geese. But Mr. Puck, working with the Humane Society of the United States, has taken his interest in animal welfare beyond ducks.

He has directed his three companies, which together fed more than 10 million people in 2006, to buy eggs only from chickens not confined to small cages. Veal and pork will come from farms where animals are not confined in crates, and poultry meat will be bought from farmers using animal welfare standards higher than those put forth by the nation’s largest chicken and turkey producers. Mr. Puck has also vowed to use only seafood whose harvest does not endanger the environment or deplete stocks.

“We decided about three months ago to be really much more socially responsible,” he said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “We feel the quality of the food is better, and our conscience feels better.”

Many chefs at high-end restaurants, some smaller food-service chains and grocery chains like Whole Foods have refused to buy meat and eggs unless animals are raised under certain conditions. In 2000, McDonald’s became the first American food company to impose minimum animal-welfare standards, like increasing cage size, on its egg producers. But Mr. Puck’s program goes much further than most corporate animal-welfare policies, and he is the flashiest culinary name yet to join with animal rights groups in the movement to change farming practices.

Mr. Puck’s ventures include 14 fine-dining restaurants mostly on the West Coast. The flagship is Spago in Los Angeles, which helped him become the nation’s first celebrity chef. He also runs more than 80 Gourmet Express restaurants, many of which are in airports, and sells frozen pizza, soups, kitchen cookware and cookbooks. Mr. Puck estimated his companies’ value at $360 million.

Since 2002, at least one animal-rights activist group has tried to persuade Mr. Puck to stop using foie gras from ducks that are force fed extra amounts of grain to fatten their livers and veal from calves chained to small crates and fed a liquid diet to keep their flesh white and tender.

The group, Farm Sanctuary, protested in front of Spago and started a Web site called wolfgangpuckcruelty.org, which has since been taken down. Mr. Puck dismissed those efforts and said he decided to make the change as a result of a few trips to large-scale farms, discussions with the Humane Society and a desire to mark his 25 years in the business with something more significant than the kinds of big parties he is used to holding for the Oscars.

“I have been telling people we have to stand for something for the next 25 years,” he said. “It’s time for us to make a statement and a time for us to see how we treat what we eat.”

Mr. Puck said prices would increase only a few percentage points on some items.

As many as 98 percent of eggs come from chickens kept in banks of small cages to facilitate mass production, said Diane Storey, a spokeswoman for United Egg, which represents most major egg producers. She and Richard Lobb, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council, which represents major producers of chickens for meat, said their groups had science-based animal welfare certification programs that used humane and ethical guidelines.

“We applaud the fact that he sells a whole lot of chickens,” Mr. Lobb said. “But we think our program is very progressive and he should look at ours before he goes off with the Humane Society.”

Group to Launch First All Vegan Elite Cycling Team: OrganicAthlete Announces Launch of Team Vegan

I’ll let the quote below speak for the weight of such a decision and why this is such a monumental move:

“We want to show people a healthy, plant-based diet is possible for active, sporting people of any level. The bottom line is that reducing one's consumption of animal products and increasing one's consumption of whole, plant foods is better for one's health and the environment."

You can find out more at:

http://www.teamvegan.org or http://www.organicathlete.org.


Article:

OrganicAthlete to Launch All Vegan Cycling Team

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/3/prweb513172.htm

Official Team Vegan presentation takes place at Clif Bar Headquarters in Berkeley, CA on March 29th, 2007.

Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) March 22, 2007 -- On March 29th, 2007 at the Clif Bar Headquarters, 1610 5th Street in Berkeley, CA, OrganicAthlete will introduce the first group of elite bicycle racers aiming to bust the myth that animal products are needed for strength and stamina. The Team Vegan Presentation is being held from 6-9pm next Thursday to celebrate the team's official launch.

OrganicAthlete, a nonprofit that educates people about health and environmental stewardship, started the vegan cycling team to lead by example. OrganicAthlete founder and team captain Bradley Saul explains, "We want to show people a healthy, plant-based diet is possible for active, sporting people of any level. The bottom line is that reducing one's consumption of animal products and increasing one's consumption of whole, plant foods is better for one's health and the environment."

Saul, a former pro with the Jittery Joe's Cycling Team, founded OrganicAthlete in 2003 to educate people about the benefits of an organic, plant-based diet and lifestyle. "I saw that most people were fearful of a vegan lifestyle as if it was somehow lacking or difficult," Saul says, "But unless health, ecological footprint, and compassion for animals are things to be afraid of, these fears are unfounded."

While OrganicAthlete has over 500 members worldwide, the young cycling team consists of over 20 riders from all over the country, from category 5 riders to category 1 racers. In conjunction with their racing schedule, which includes races from California to New York City, the team's elite riders are scheduling speaking engagements to talk about plant-based nutrition.

The team launch event includes food, a silent auction, a screening of "Raw Wheels," and a Q&A session with the team. Raw Wheels is a short movie about a vegan cyclist from the city who falls in love with a meat-eating waitress in a small town. The event is a $20 donation, and RSVPs are requested.

"We're excited to have the support of Clif Bar for this project," adds Saul. "They've been committed to organics for several years, and they already support our series of Tour d'Organics bike rides." The OrganicAthlete Cycling Team is sponsored by VegNews Magazine, Organic Spa Magazine, Clif Bar, Mill Valley Cycleworks, New Harvest Organics, Melissa's, PDS Sports Medicine, Earl's Organics, Bio-Lube, Speedplay, Specialized, Beljum Budder, and Living Nutrition Magazine.

For more information about the OrganicAthlete Cycling Team, visit or http://www.teamvegan.orghttp://www.organicathlete.org. To RSVP for the team launch, email info(at)organicathlete.org or call 707-360-8511.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

On Heals of Pet Food Recall, Here are Some Symptoms to Look for from Sick Cats or Dogs: Signs of Food Toxicity in Cats and Dogs

Last count put the deaths in very high numbers due to the recent recall. We provide a list of the recalled foods produced by Menu Foods at http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/03/
menu-foods-recalled-dog-and-cat-food.html

Pets in Peril: Recognize the Signs of Poisoning

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=2964521

March 19, 2007 — Since a number of cases of kidney damage among cats and dogs prompted a voluntary recall of numerous popular brands of pet food, including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba, many pet owners have begun to worry that their pets, too, may be affected. However, veterinary experts say there are steps that owners can take to ensure their pets' health.

If your dog or cat is exhibiting the following signs, you should seek the opinion of a veterinarian immediately:

Uncharacteristic lethargy

Severe loss of appetite

Vomiting

Profound changes in eating and drinking

Increased urination

If you have been feeding your dog or cat one or more of the products that have been recalled, you should contact your veterinarian and arrange for tests to see if your pet's health has been affected. Here again is a link to the list of recalled foods http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/03/
menu-foods-recalled-dog-and-cat-food.html

Pets will not always exhibit signs of kidney damage, so it is best to have them screened for potential problems.

Meat and Milk from Cloned Animals Moves Closer to Reality as FDA Moves to Clear it for Sale

It looks like if the government and industry have their way that meat from cloned animals will not be far off. We’ll wait to see some more reaction from all sides.


Article:

Group blasts FDA plan to allow food from clones

http://www.reuters.com/article/health-SP-A/
idUSN2129512620070321

By Christopher Doering
ReutersReuters

Mar 21, 2007 — WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Findings of a U.S. government study that would help pave the way for the sale of milk and meat from cloned animals was "flawed" and failed to adequately check for possible side-effects, a consumer group said on Wednesday.

The Center for Food Safety's report said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's risk assessment of food from cloned animals used data that was "selectively reported to fit predetermined conclusions" and relied heavily on unpublished data from two cloning companies.

The consumer group urged FDA to ban food or feed from cloned animals until the government conducts more safety testing on possible side-effects and addresses concerns over animal cruelty and ethical issues tied to the technology.

"I think the process was heavily influenced by industry … and it was unnecessarily rushed," said Charles Margulis, who wrote the report. FDA "needs to go back to the drawing board and bring a lot more stakeholders in the process."

The December draft ruling by FDA would allow the sale, for the first time, of food made from cloned cattle, pigs and goats. Cloning animals involves taking the nuclei of cells from adults and fusing them into egg cells that are implanted into a surrogate mother.

At present, these products cannot be sold, and the ban remains in place until a final ruling is issued. FDA's proposed draft is currently open to public comment.

An FDA spokeswoman said the agency has received the Center for Food Safety's document and is reviewing it, but that she can not comment any further.

Advocates of livestock cloning say it will improve the quality of steaks and dairy products by propagating disease-resistant animals who can produce lean and tender meat or make more milk.

Barb Glenn, a spokeswoman for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, said additional studies released on cloning since December support the conclusion that milk and meat products from these animals are safe. She added that FDA's risk assessment was subjected to peer review by outside experts and an editorial board of a scientific journal.

FDA's report "is a very exhaustive and intensive analysis of all the world's available data, hundreds of scientific studies independently analyzed by the agency and all available transparently to the public," said Glenn.

The Center for Food Safety said in its report that FDA was unable to find the necessary studies needed to look at the safety of meat and milk produced from clones. It said FDA omitted or downplayed findings that contradicted its assumption from other studies it reviewed, including whether defective clones can be identified and removed from the food supply.

"FDA's review finds so little data, and so many inconsistencies in the studies cited, that any safety conclusions are based more on faith than science," the report from the Center for Food Safety said.

Dean Foods Co., the largest U.S. dairy processor and distributor, said last month it will not sell milk from animals that have been cloned even if it were allowed, because of ongoing consumer concerns .

Monday, March 19, 2007

Two-Time Runner-Up Ramy Brooks Disqualified From Iditarod for Abusing Dogs: Hits Each of 10 Dogs with A Lathe: One Dog Dies Next Day

Just last week we did a posting on the truth behind the Iditarod - http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/03/why-is-iditarod-cruel-and-what.html

As stated, these dogs are forced to run through abuse. Many end up dead or very sick. Well, telling proof has arrived in this story. Keep in mind that this isn’t some amateur here; this was a t two-time runner-up who was disqualified for abusing the dogs. So, it falls to conclude that is he is doing it, then it’s common place. And, as you’ll see, just after the abuse, one of the dogs actually died on the trail. So, not only abused, but then forced this dog to run sick and literally killed it. I can imagine the pain suffered as she ran sick and bruised from the musher’s abuse. Even more, the article claims the abuse came because the dogs were literally exhausted and couldn’t move. Just read these paragraphs from the article below. They really paint the true picture of what is actually behind the Iditarod:

The 38-year-old Brooks hit each of his 10 dogs with a trail marking lathe, similar to a surveyor’s stake, after two refused to get up and continue running on an ice field, race marshal Mark Nordman told The Associated Press from Nome on Sunday.

Witnesses reported the incident to race officials. It happened Tuesday near Golovin, about 90 miles from the end of the 1,100-mile sled dog race in Nome.

“He lost his temper,” Nordman said. “He spanked each dog on the team, just a real frustrating moment for him.”

One of Brooks’ dogs died the next day on the trail, between White Mountain and Safety, the last checkpoint before Nome.”

For additional facts on why the Iditarod is cruel see
http://www.helpsleddogs.org/faq.htm



Article:


Iditarod officials disqualify musher for hitting dogs

http://www.napavalleyregister.com/articles/2007/03/19/
news/national/doc45fe8953ed06b757796574.txt

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two-time runner-up Ramy Brooks was disqualified from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race for abusing his dogs.

The 38-year-old Brooks hit each of his 10 dogs with a trail marking lathe, similar to a surveyor’s stake, after two refused to get up and continue running on an ice field, race marshal Mark Nordman told The Associated Press from Nome on Sunday.

“He felt it was a discipline he needed to get his team off the ice,” Nordman said.

Witnesses reported the incident to race officials. It happened Tuesday near Golovin, about 90 miles from the end of the 1,100-mile sled dog race in Nome.

“He lost his temper,” Nordman said. “He spanked each dog on the team, just a real frustrating moment for him.”

One of Brooks’ dogs died the next day on the trail, between White Mountain and Safety, the last checkpoint before Nome.

Nordman said based on inconclusive necropsy results on Kate, a 3-year-old female, he has no reason to believe the two incidents were related. Further tests were being conducted.

An animal rights group was upset about the incident because it came when the dogs did not want to run.

“I’m sure they’re exhausted and sick of the whole thing,” said Lisa Wathne, a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Menu Foods Recalled Dog and Cat Food: List of Products Affected By the Recall to Remove From Your Home: And Iams Animal Testing Reminder

As you’ve all heard, deaths are occurring from the brands produced by Menu Foods. You will see the lists of both cat and dog foods below. If you have any of these brands, remove them and find alternatives for both cats and dogs.

By the way, if you’re opposed to animal testing then you shouldn’t be using Iams anyway. This includes the Iams product – Eukanuba. Why? Well, they support and engage in animal testing. For more information on this see http://www.iamscruelty.com/introduction.asp

Here is just a brief snippet of what Iams has been found guilty of doing in terms of animal testing:
“For nearly 10 months in 2002 and early 2003, a PETA investigator went undercover at an Iams contract testing laboratory and discovered a dark and sordid secret beneath the wholesome image of the dog- and cat-food manufacturer: dogs gone crazy from intense confinement to barren steel cages and cement cells, dogs left piled on a filthy paint-chipped floor after having chunks of muscle hacked from their thighs; dogs surgically debarked; horribly sick dogs and cats languishing in their cages, neglected and left to suffer with no veterinary care.”

For a list of dog and cat food companies that do not test on animals or fund animal tests of their products please visit http://www.iamscruelty.com/notTested.asp



Dog and Cat Food Recall Lists

Recalled Dog Product Information
http://www.menufoods.com/recall/product_dog.html
Recall Information 1-866-895-2708

1. Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
2. Authority
3. Award
4. Best Choice
5. Big Bet
6. Big Red
7. Bloom
8. Bruiser
9. Cadillac
10. Companion
11. Demoulas Market Basket
12. Eukanuba
13. Food Lion
14. Giant Companion
15. Great Choice
16. Hannaford
17. Hill Country Fare
18. Hy-Vee
19. Iams
20. Laura Lynn
21. Loving Meals
22. Meijers Main Choice
23. Mighty Dog Pouch
24. Mixables
25. Nutriplan
26. Nutro Max
27. Nutro Natural Choice
28. Nutro Ultra
29. Nutro
30. Ol'Roy Canada
31. Ol'Roy US
32. Paws
33. Pet Essentials
34. Pet Pride - Good n Meaty
35. Presidents Choice
36. Price Chopper
37. Priority
38. Publix
39. Roche Bros
40. Save-A-Lot
41. Schnucks
42. Shep Dog
43. Springsfield Prize
44. Sprout
45. Stater Bros
46. Total Pet
47. Western Family
48. White Rose
49. Winn Dixie
50. Your Pet

Recalled Cat Product Information
http://www.menufoods.com/recall/product_cat.html
Recall Information 1-866-895-2708

1. Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
2. Authority
3. Best Choice
4. Companion
5. Compliments
6. Demoulas Market Basket
7. Eukanuba
8. Fine Feline Cat
9. Food Lion
10. Foodtown
11. Giant Companion
12. Hannaford
13. Hill Country Fare
14. Hy-Vee
15. Iams
16. Laura Lynn
17. Li'l Red
18. Loving Meals
19. Meijer's Main Choice
20. Nutriplan
21. Nutro Max Gourmet Classics
22. Nutro Natural Choice
23. Paws
24. Pet Pride
25. Presidents Choice
26. Price Chopper
27. Priority
28. Save-A-Lot
29. Schnucks
30. Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Cans
31. Sophistacat
32. Special Kitty Canada
33. Special Kitty US
34. Springfield Prize
35. Sprout
36. Total Pet
37. Wegmans
38. Western Family
39. White Rose
40. Winn Dixie

Friday, March 16, 2007

St. Louis Zoo Kills Oldest Elephant: Clara Euthanized After Suffering Severe Health Problems Caused By Life in Captivity

The deteriorating health of Clara and others at the St. Louis Zoo was written about by IDA at http://www.helpelephants.com/st_louis_zoo.html

The zoos lack of concern has been proven now, as they did nothing to attend to these issues and alleviate the suffering caused by life in captivity.

It is commonly held now that it was captivity that led to her death as she was forced to stand on concrete and hard surfaces. Over time, an animal this size will suffer from this type of treatment. Eventfully, her legs gave out and then poisoning occurred due to circulation issues. I’m sure she was in severe pain when it occurred.

For more on the health issues caused by putting large animals like elephants in zoos see http://www.helpelephants.com/



Article:

TEXT: Clara Euthanized

Zoo's Oldest Elephant Euthanized

http://www.myfoxstl.com/myfox/pages/News/
Detail?contentId=2666147&version=1&locale=EN-
US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI-myFOXstl.com) --

The oldest elephant at the St. Louis Zoo was put to sleep after midnight. Clara, 54, was the matriarch of the zoo's herd. She had been suffering from arthritis and foot problems. Clara is receiving a necropsy Wednesday, which is an autopsy for animals, and she will be buried at an undisclosed location. The zoo calls Clara's death "a sad part of the circle of life."

Zookeepers say she was humanely euthanized. Clara was 54 years old, which zookeepers say is pretty old for Asian elephants. The average life expectancy is 44 years, either in zoos or in the wild.

Clara had arthritis and her painkillers were no longer working.

Clara was born in Thailand and brought to St. Louis in 1955 with seven other elephants to perform in the elephant show, which has since been phased out. In five decades at the zoo, Clara danced in elephant shows and also was there for the construction of two elephant facilities.

Clara was a "great aunt" to Raja, the first Asian elephant born at the zoo in 1992. Clara was also there for the birth of Mahlia, who was born seven months ago, and Jade, who was born three weeks ago.

25 Penguins Die of Toxin at Sea World on the Gold Coast in Australia: Proof Again that Zoos and Captive Situations Unnatural and Deadly

The killing of Clara at the St. Louis Zoo that was just motioned in the prior article (see http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/03/
st-louis-zoo-kills-oldest-elephant.html)

just adds weight to the argument that captivity WILL lead to premature and painful death for captive animals. Essentially, this toxin was related only to captive situations. As stated, “The toxin, which has yet to be properly identified, attacks the brain, kidneys and liver of penguins.” In other words, an extremely painful death.

This also follow the incident this month of the killing of a Jaguar and zoo worker. You can read about that at
http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/03/
killing-of-zookeeper-and-subsequent.html

For more on the health issues caused by putting large animals like elephants in zoos see http://www.helpelephants.com/


Article:

Penguin deaths put zoos in spotlight


http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/
Penguin-deaths-put-zoos-in-spotlight/2007/
03/16/1173722719363.html

March 16, 2007 - 2:00PM

The death of 25 penguins at Sea World on the Gold Coast has reignited debate over the treatment of animals in Australia's zoos and parks.

The popular Gold Coast theme park is planning to rebuild its population of fairy penguins after a mystery toxin killed 25 of them in the past week.

The toxin, which has yet to be properly identified, attacks the brain, kidneys and liver of penguins.

The birds became ill on Thursday last week and by last weekend, 25 of the 37 penguins at the park were dead.

Trevor Long, marine sciences director at Sea World, described the deaths of the fairy, or little, penguins at the popular theme park as a "sad day for all".

"This is a very unfortunate event and there's a lot of lessons to be learnt from many zoos and aquariums all around Australia.

"We think it's a freak occurrence but until we get more information and identify what the toxin is, we won't really know."

But the incident has raised questions about the safety and treatment of animals in captivity.

Wildlife Queensland policy and campaigns manager Des Boyland says the death of the penguins was a "very unfortunate accident".

Mr Boyland, who worked closely with Sea World when he worked for Queensland's Environmental Protection Agency, said the park had some of the best procedures for handling animals in the world.

But he said like players in any other industry, there were "good ones and bad ones".

"I would prefer to see animals in the wild, but there is a case for zoos and zoos can play a role, provided they are not driven by commercial gain and that they do positive things for the environment," Mr Boyland said.

He says parks such as Sea World and the late Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, on the Sunshine Coast, were world-class operations.

"Steve's major contribution would be his extremely generous contribution to wildlife protection in the wild," Mr Boyland said.

"Sea World has an international reputation for animal rescue."

But there are concerns government environmental agencies and the RSPCA do not have the resources to regularly monitor zoos and animal parks

"The EPA barely have enough resources to satisfy their statutory obligations," Mr Boyland said.

"The RSPCA are very good but they are under a lot of financial stress and strain."

Zoos hit the headlines last year when Sydney's Taronga faced a battle with animal rights activists over four Asian elephants brought in from Thailand.

Campaigners launched a series of protests and legal challenges in a bid to stop the endangered elephants - part of an Australian-first breeding program - coming into the country, arguing it was cruel to keep them in zoos.

At the time, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), RSPCA Australia and Humane Society International (HSI) called on the public to monitor the zoo.

Australian Democrats deputy leader Andrew Bartlett, a long-time animal rights campaigner, says the federal government should stop issuing permits for the export and import of animals that are not suited to the zoos they are bound for.

"This includes Australian native animals like kangaroos and koalas being exported to unsuitable zoos in Asia, or the import of Asian elephants into Australia," Senator Bartlett says.

"Governments can also implement comprehensive legislation that covers the welfare of the animal in zoo and park settings and they can make sure that the law is enforced."

Senator Bartlett says it is unfortunate that zoos had "historically poor standards".

"I believe that we need to work on reinventing zoos - ensuring that they all operate at a high standard that replicates natural habitats and circumstances as closely as possible," he says.

In response to public concerns, the quality of zoos and parks is about to get a boost with the peak body for operators set to launch a new accreditation system.

Australasian Zoos and Aquariums Association executive director Jonathan Wilcken said the new standards, to be launched in New Zealand next week, would include periodic audits of the organisation's 74 members.

"It's helpful to have a process which specifically aims at setting up best practice targets, and moving towards making them minimum," Mr Wilcken said.

In any case, zoo operators argue Australia has some of the toughest regulation in the world, with both state and federal governments setting standards.

"We are regarded in the international zoo community as one of the most regulated in the world," Mr Wilcken said.

As Sea World examines its specific problem, Senator Bartlett says questions should be raised about why penguins are allowed in a park in a subtropical environment like southern Queensland.

"It's hard to see how the way they are kept and displayed encourages a greater appreciation of these animals or their natural habitats," Senator Bartlett says.

"There is no environmental need for these animals to be kept in captivity.

"The purpose for doing so is little more than entertainment.

"We could and should be doing better than this in the 21st century."

Japanese Insistence on Killing Whales Due To Ignorant Politicians and Also To Early United States Intervention Post World War II

There are a couple good things to point out about this article:

One, it shows that really there is very little interest by the Japanese people (not politicians) to eat whale meat. It literally has to be forced on them

Two: It was the United States who originally pushed them to resume whaling, but now, thankfully, the US is opposed to the unnecessary practice.

But, unfortunately, as they typically do, the Japanese continue to engage in unnecessary and cruel practices such as killing whales and dolphins.

For more on the truth behind whaling in general see
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/10/iceland-resume-whaling-excellent.html

For more on Japan and it’s other deranged practice of killing of dolphins - http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/11/coalition-of-marine-scientists-has.html


Article:


Whaling: A Japanese Obsession With American Roots

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/
world/asia/14whaling.html?pagewanted=2

Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

By NORIMITSU ONISHI
Published: March 14, 2007

AYUKAWA, Japan — Why does Japan insist on whaling?

The Japanese suffered a major embarrassment recently when they had to cut short their annual whale-hunting season in the Antarctic after a fire crippled their main ship and killed a crewman. The vessel sat idle for 10 days, loaded with 343,000 gallons of fuel that New Zealand said threatened to leak into the pristine waters, creating a potential public relations nightmare.

A few weeks earlier, more than half the members of the International Whaling Commission, led by antiwhaling nations like the United States, Britain and Australia, boycotted a conference that Japan had called in Tokyo to discuss the resumption of commercial whaling.

Why does Japan go through the annual clashes with antiwhaling ships from Western environmental groups? Why does it subject itself to the opprobrium its so-called scientific whaling elicits in the very same countries with which Tokyo proclaims to have shared values? Out of all possible issues, why defy the United States on this one?

After all, current demand for whale meat in Japan is abysmally low. Even in a town like Ayukawa — a small northern community at the tip of a peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean, home to a century-old whaling tradition — officials are struggling to preserve the tradition of eating whale meat by serving it in classroom lunches. Whale nuggets stewed in ketchup was on the menu on a recent Friday.

“I believe this is our traditional culture,” said Natsumi Saito, 15, a junior in high school. “It’s whaling that made this town famous.”

For Japan as a whole, whaling is a far more complex issue. It is intricately tied to Japan’s relations with the West, especially the United States.

It comes as little surprise that foreign opposition to whaling has fueled nationalist sentiments in Japan. What is far less known is how the United States instigated, at least partly, Japan’s nationalist obsession with whaling by first encouraging the Japanese in the postwar years to hunt and eat whale meat, and then urging them to stop.

Tokyo is currently leading a worldwide campaign, arguing that it has the right to manage natural resources and that whale meat is part of its traditional culture.

The clash over whaling emerged with the United States-led environmental movement, which emphasized the belief that endangered animals should be protected and that certain highly evolved ones, like whales, should not be killed at all. Under a 1986 ban on commercial whaling by the International Whaling Commission, Japan was allowed to engage in limited, scientific whaling of certain species — for things like gauging populations and tracking movements — and to sell the meat for consumption.

Japan has maintained ever since that human beings should be allowed to consume any animal as long as the fishing or hunting is sustainable. To establish this point, Japan sends whalers all the way to the Antarctic’s international waters, said Tetsu Sato, a professor of environmental science at Nagano University. In a world of diminishing marine resources, establishing this principle is critical to Japan’s long-term food security and natural resource management, he said.

“Precisely because whaling attracts so much worldwide attention, Japan can’t afford to lose,” said Mr. Sato, who supports whaling.

Last year, Japan killed 1,073 minke whales, which ended up in restaurants, supermarkets, school cafeterias or unsold. Most biologists agree that certain species of whales, including the minke, have not only recovered but are now thriving. Disagreement remains, however, about whether they can be harvested in a sustainable way or whether they are now so numerous that, as Japan asserts, they are threatening other marine animals.

But arguments about resource management do not resonate as much as those about culture.

“I was afraid that our food culture was going to die, so that’s why we began serving whale meat in school cafeterias,” said Shigehiko Azumi, 80, who served as mayor here when the ban went into effect.

Few deny that whaling is part of Ayukawa’s culture. But opinions divide over whether it is part of Japan’s.

Historically, fishermen in coastal towns, like Taiji in southwestern Japan, hunted whales in nearby waters. But things changed after the Commodore Perry’s so-called Black Ships forced an isolationist Japan to open up in the 1850s. Back then, the United States used whale oil lamps, and part of Perry’s mission to Japan was to secure the rights of American whalers in the Pacific.
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Multimedia
AyukawaMap
Ayukawa
Slide Show: Whaling in Japan (iht.com)

As whaling became knotted with Japan’s traumatic opening to the world and its subsequent drive to modernize, the Japanese adopted American and Norwegian whaling vessels and techniques. Some coastal towns were transformed into whaling stations, including Ayukawa, when the Toyo Whaling Company started operating here in 1906.

More Japanese, in turn, began eating whale, especially in western Japan. But it was after World War II, when a devastated Japan had few resources, that the American occupation authorities urged that whale meat be offered in classroom lunches nationwide as a cheap source of protein. For the first time, under America’s influence, whale meat became part of Japanese everyday life.

Japan’s whale consumption peaked in 1962 at 226,000 tons, then declined steadily until it fell to 15,000 tons in 1985, the year before the commercial ban took place. Whaling advocates argue that consumption fell because increasingly strict quotas by the Whaling Commission, followed by the ban, reduced supply.

“The demand didn’t die,” said Joji Morishita, an official at Japan’s fisheries agency and its negotiator at the Whaling Commission. “The supply was cut off. The Japanese didn’t have a say in the matter.”

Whaling opponents say that Japanese mostly stopped eating whale as the country became richer and alternatives became widely available.

“In the midst of Japan’s postwar food shortage, whale meat was used in classroom lunches, but it wasn’t very popular,” said Shuichi Kitoh, professor of environmental studies at the University of Tokyo. “The reaction was, ‘How can you eat that stuff?’.”

Nevertheless, to unify public sentiment behind whaling, the government promoted the argument that whaling was part of Japan’s cultural heritage and that it was being threatened by the West, Mr. Kitoh said. The argument resonated in a country where many feel that traditional culture has been lost in Japan’s confrontation with and then embrace of America; it was also in keeping with a modern Japanese tradition to construct a unified culture to face the West.

Ayako Okubo, a researcher at the private Ocean Policy Research Foundation, said that the cultural argument first emerged in the late 1970s, and was then enthusiastically and effectively used by politicians. Nowadays, most Japanese favor whaling.

“It’s not because Japanese want to eat whale meat,” Ms. Okubo said. “It’s because they don’t like being told not to eat it by foreigners.”

Japan’s unyielding stance on whaling also scratched a nationalist itch.

“Japan, in fact, can’t say no to America on many issues,” Ms. Okubo said, adding, however, that whaling was one issue where disagreement was implicitly tolerated. “It’s become like a form of stress release.”

Mr. Morishita, Japan’s negotiator to the Whaling Commission, chuckled at the term “stress release.”

“And we’re constantly saying no,” he said about pressure on Japan to stop whaling. “That makes some people feel good, no doubt about it.”

“But,” he added, “policy, of course, shouldn’t be decided based on that.”

Around Ayukawa, people are also struggling over the meaning of culture. Like other communities trying to maintain whale-meat eating, Ayukawa has tried to make the strong-smelling meat more palatable to youthful tastes by stewing it in ketchup or serving it sweet-and-sour style.

Yoichi Nishimura, 55, a city agricultural official who grew up eating whale meat, said ketchup and other nontraditional ways of preparing whale meat were just facts of modern life.

“But it definitely is a little strange,” he said.

Arkansas Looks To Make the Cruel Treatment of Dogs, Cats and Horses A Felony

Very positive to see this occurring in Arkansas. We’ll keep you all up to date on this bill.

Article:

Animal Cruelty Legislation Clears Senate Committee

http://www.swtimes.com/articles/2007/03/15/
week_in_review/news/thursday/news03.txt

Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:31 AM CDT
By Doug Thompson

Arkansas News Bureau

dthompson@arkansasnews.com

LITTLE ROCK — Cruel treatment of dogs, cats and horses would become a felony under a bill recommended by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

The committee also recommended a much-debated bill on expanding drug courts that retained a provision for an oversight committee that judges oppose.

Senate Bill 777 by Sen. Sue Madison, D-Fayetteville, “very, very narrowly focuses on only the most extreme forms of cruelty to animals and only on dogs, cats and horses,” Madison told the committee.
Previous animal cruelty bills

have floundered because of concerns they could be misused by activists to disrupt livestock, poultry and other animal agriculture.

“We don’t want anything limiting agriculture in the bill,” Madison said. “It is restricted to torture, to purposely prolonging pain, to killing for pleasure and for neglect. It also prohibits cruelty in front of a child. Often abusers will tell a child, ‘If you tell, this is what will happen’” and commit cruelties on an animal, she said.

Exemptions are also included to allow veterinary practices.

Violation of the provisions of the bill would be a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, the largest voluntary association of rural residents in the state, would support the bill if the felony charge only applied to the second and subsequent offenses, spokesman Rodney Baker said.

The qualified support is a major change from the organization’s previous opposition to any law restricting owners’ use of their animals, he told the committee.

He said the penalty provision could be misused to harass animal owners or punish a one-time fit of anger with up to six years in prison, he said.

Madison said that she considered the change but rejected it.

“We’re not convinced that somebody needs a second chance to skin a cat,” she told the committee.

Tubby Smith, director of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association, said the organization opposes the bill because it includes horses, setting a precedent for treating horses differently from other livestock.

Juveniles would be charged as juveniles and not be subject to sentences that would last beyond the offender’s 18th birthday, Madison told the committee.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery testified for the bill, saying that authorities in his county made arrests at a kennel with 500 dogs that were kept “in the most unbelievably deplorable conditions imaginable, and all we could charge the owners with was a Class A misdemeanor.”

SB 777 was recommended in a voice vote.

In the drug court bill, Senate Bill 18 by Sen. Bill Pritchard, R-Elkins, was recommended in a 5-2 vote of the eight-member committee. The bill retained a provision that would create an oversight committee including lawmakers, which raised concerns among judges over constitutional separation of powers.

Judges also object to language that could allow juvenile drug courts to get money under the bill. The bill would expand the drug court system and set standard drug court procedures.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Canada Prepares to Begin it’s Annual Baby Seal Slaughter: Group Urges Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Call off First Leg of East Coast Kill

I have no hope that Harper will call it off. He seems to love seeing baby seals have clubs or hakapik or picks put through the heads. However, given the lack of seals on the east coast, perhaps he will call it off for that reason.

For more on cruel Canada’s annual baby seal slaughter including photos and video that show the reality of grown men putting clubs or hakapik or picks through the heads of baby seals who cannot move see: http://www.seashepherd.org/seals/

And

http://www.stopthesealhunt.ca/site/pp.asp?c=dhKPI1PFIqE&b=437193


Here is some great information on how you can attempt to stop the annual baby seal slaughter: http://www.stopthesealhunt.ca/site/pp.asp?c=dhKPI1PFIqE&b=1477703



Article:


Animal rights group urges Ottawa to call off East Coast seal hunt

http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.
html?id=7d92000a-dba5-4376-86e6-f22c032c0ec4&k=92964

Canadian Press
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2007

HALIFAX — An animal rights group is urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to call off the annual East Coast seal hunt because of a lack of seals.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare says ice conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are among the worst on record.

Harp seals normally give birth and nurse their pups on pack ice, but a lack of ice means few animals have been seen.

Sheryl Fink, a researcher for the group, says surveillance flights are reporting that there is not a single harp seal to be found in the southern Gulf.

The federal government has yet to announce this year’s hunt quota.

Fink says Harper has an opportunity to give Canada’s wildlife a fighting chance in the face of global warming.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Victory! Measure is Passed That Outlaws Cockfighting in New Mexico: Louisiana Now Only State Which Allows Cockfighting

One more down and one more to go. This was an incredible move and will hopefully lead to the end of cockfighting in the US. This has literally taken 18 years but gives hope to ending it in Louisiana as well. Luckily, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has stated that she will support making cockfighting illegal.

For more on why cockfighting is wrong, see -
http://www.hsus.org/hsus_field/animal_fighting_
the_final_round/cockfighting_fact_sheet


Article:

Cockfighting Ban Approved in New Mexico

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=
/n/a/2007/03/12/national/a143219D98.DTL

By TIM KORTE, Associated Press Writer

Monday, March 12, 2007

(03-12) 17:11 PDT Albuquerque, N.M. (AP) --

Gov. Bill Richardson signed a measure Monday that outlaws cockfighting in New Mexico, leaving Louisiana as the only state where the centuries-old bloodsport remains legal.

State Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, who has introduced legislation to ban cockfighting over the past 18 years, thanked Richardson, who until this legislative session had declined to take a stance on the issue. The prohibition takes effect June 15.

"Today, New Mexico joins 48 other states in affirming that the deliberate killing of animals for entertainment and profit is no longer acceptable," said Garcia, D-Dona Ana.

Richardson signed the bill at a ceremony at the state Capitol in Santa Fe.

Cockfighting fans have accused Richardson of taking a sudden interest in cockfighting now that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president. They also defend cockfighting as a family activity and said opponents were meddling.

"I'm so upset that it's damn near ruining my life," said Ronald Barron, president of the New Mexico Game Fowl Association. "I've got 38 years doing this. I don't know if I should hatch off some baby chicks right now. This isn't a business. It's my pleasure. It's my right, or rather it was my right."

Barron said the association planned a legal challenge.

During a cockfight, two roosters fitted with blades or gaffs on their legs are placed into a pit and fight until one is dead or badly wounded. Although gambling on the fights is illegal, spectators openly wager on the outcome.

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, called the law's passage "a major moment in the effort to rid our nation of this barbaric and reprehensible practice."

"New Mexico removed an ugly blemish today, and it is a proud moment for the state," Pacelle said.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who took no position on a cockfighting ban last year, said Monday she now supports making the practice illegal.

"I support banning cockfighting," Blanco said in a one-sentence e-mail from her press office.

In 2006 a state senator's bill to criminalize rooster fights failed in Louisiana Legislature.

One More Elephant Retired to Sanctuary: Unfortunately though, Los Angeles Zoo Doesn’t Learn Lesson: Has Plans for Large Elephant Captivity Development

We wrote last year about the premature and unnatural death of the 48-year-old Asian elephant named Gita at Los Angeles zoo - http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/06/
another-premature-and-unnatural.html

Of course, much is still to be determined about the cause of death, but those who truly understand elephants know that captivity literally killed her. Fortunately, the same fate may not await Ruby, another elephant at the Los Angeles zoo. By a sheer miracle, she will go to the Performing Animal Welfare Society's Ark 2000 elephant sanctuary in San Andreas, southeast of Sacramento - http://www.pawsweb.org/site/media/index.htm

It is surprising beyond belief that the Los Angeles Zoo allowed this. It looks like it was a political move as they likely didn’t’ want to face bad press again. Unfortunately though, one elephant remains behind and the zoo - Billy, a 22-year-old Asian bull. And, the zoo in its arrogance plans on huge future developments for elephant captivity. As stated below, “In fact, the zoo has embarked on an ambitious, $39-million capital project to build a new pachyderm habitat that is expected to be devoted to keeping and breeding Asian elephants.”

I guess they didn’t really learn.

One key fact to remember –

The average life span of Asian elephants in captivity is 42-years. In the wild, Asian elephants live about 70 years. Unless you’re an idiot, you can see the obvious difference.


Whatever happens it’s clear that the lives of elephants in zoos are unnaturally short and painful.

For more on the Los Angeles zoo and it’s questionable practices as well as additional facts about elephants in captivity see http://www.lcanimal.org/cmpgn/cmpgn_elephant_zoo.htm

Article:

L.A. Zoo to retire elephant to animal sanctuary

Animal rights activists praise decision on Ruby, which ends months of speculation on her fate.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ruby
12mar12,0,4279339.story?coll=la-home-headlines

By Carla Hall, Times Staff Writer
March 12, 2007
The Los Angeles Zoo is expected to announce today that it is retiring its female African elephant, Ruby, to an animal sanctuary in Central California.

The decision ends months of speculation over whether the pachyderm would go to another zoo or a sanctuary, and was praised by animal rights activists who lobbied for several years for her retirement to a preserve.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has expressed concern about the conditions for elephants at the L.A. Zoo, plans to discuss the decision to relocate Ruby at a news conference today.

"I am very pleased that the city and the zoo recognize that it's best to send Ruby to a sanctuary, which unlike a zoo can provide the vast space and natural conditions that elephants need," Catherine Doyle, elephant campaign director for In Defense of Animals, said Sunday night.

Activists have made the zoo's elephant habitat a rallying cry, long arguing that the giant land animals, which roam miles in the wild and form social bonds, simply do not have enough space at the L.A. Zoo.

State Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), who has tried to mandate space minimums for elephants in captivity, has said that L.A. Zoo elephants simply don't have enough space to be content. Levine is also expected to appear at today's news conference at the zoo.

But zookeepers and L.A. Zoo director John Lewis have insisted that space alone is not the issue in caring for captive elephants. Zoo officials had no comment Sunday.

Currently, Ruby is off-exhibit and solitary, having lost the closest thing she had to a companion in the female Asian elephant Gita, who died last summer.

After Gita's death, Lewis said he would consider either transferring Ruby — at 46, her breeding years behind her — to another zoo or sending her to a sanctuary.

The advisory L.A. Zoo Commission voted at a meeting earlier this year to urge that Ruby go to a sanctuary. Ruby's departure will leave the zoo with only one elephant, Billy, a 22-year-old Asian bull, in residence and on exhibit.

Ruby will go to the Performing Animal Welfare Society's Ark 2000 elephant sanctuary in San Andreas, southeast of Sacramento.

Like a kind of Leisure World for elephants, PAWS offers some 75 acres of rolling hills to wander, plus a 3-acre lake and mud holes.

"Here, she'll be able to bathe when she chooses to bathe, mud when she choose to mud, and graze," said Pat Derby, co-founder and co-director of PAWS.

"We're really happy the zoo has made this decision," Derby said Sunday night.

Like any other relocation for an elephant, Derby said, this one will take some adjustment.

"There's the popular misconception that you put them in the truck, drive to the sanctuary, let them out and they all live happily ever after," said Derby, who has been caring for elephants at a sanctuary for 21 years.

"Every move is traumatic and stressful for an elephant. They're grounded in routine. They don't adapt well to a change. It will be a real experience for her…. I will say she's healthy and she doesn't have any major medical problems, and she has a really lovely personality. I feel she will move more quickly."

The L.A. Zoo joins a small but significant list of institutions that have decided, for the good of the animals, to retire elephants.

Eight zoos accredited by the Assn. of Zoos and Aquariums — including San Francisco and Detroit — have placed a total of 11 elephants in sanctuaries, Doyle said.

The L.A. Zoo, however, is in the interesting position of retiring one elephant to a sanctuary but not getting out of the elephant-keeping business. In fact, the zoo has embarked on an ambitious, $39-million capital project to build a new pachyderm habitat that is expected to be devoted to keeping and breeding Asian elephants.

Ruby came to the L.A. Zoo from Circus Vargas in 1987, but was sent off to Tennessee's Knoxville Zoo in 2003 to serve as a maternal example to other elephants. In her wake, she left outraged animal rights activists who said the zoo was breaking the bond between Ruby and Gita, and even filed a lawsuit to get her returned. She did come back to L.A. in 2004 after her introduction to the herd in Knoxville proved unsuccessful. But she has been off-exhibit ever since, a result of construction on the zoo grounds.

The zookeepers and the director have always staunchly defended their management of and devotion to the elephants. Principal elephant keeper Jeff Briscoe has spent years caring for the zoo's elephants and travels to see them in the wild.

Animals in captivity are well-cared for, Briscoe said, and not subject to "incredible humanelephant conflict issues" that plague pachyderms in the wild, Briscoe said last year.

"There are space issues and poaching. It's important to keep them in people's eyes so they pay attention…. These guys are safer here than out there."

India Joins Rank of Cruel China: Orders Massive Dog Cull

Though by numbers this cull pales in comparison to China’s cruel and unnecessary continuing dog cull – read about China’s dog cull here –
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/08/
cruel-china-plans-another-large-dog.html - the numbers don’t matter. One dog matters and the means of these actions are inexcusable. The descriptions in the writing below are graphic enough to give you an idea of what really is taking place. Essentially, dogs are literally grabbed from wherever they are seen and taken to cages by any means. Of course, the politicians are no different there, and they attempt to sugar coat the situation. In this case they mention the presence of veterinarians. Is it not possible to have a sadistic veterinarian? Of course.

Article:

200 dogs killed in India campaign

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070313/
ap_on_re_as/india_dogs_1

By GAVIN RABINOWITZ, Associated Press Writer Tue Mar 13, 12:12 PM ET

NEW DELHI - Authorities in the southern city of Bangalore have killed more than 200 strays in a bid to rid the city of dangerous packs of dogs, officials said Tuesday.
ADVERTISEMENT

The killings of the animals in India's high-tech hub have sparked protests and allegations of animal cruelty.

Officials launched a drive to round up strays last week after a young child was mauled to death by a pack of street dogs, the second such deadly incident in three months, Municipal Commissioner K. Jairaj told The Associated Press.

More than 1,300 dogs were captured in five days and more than 200 that were identified by veterinarians as diseased, rabid or aggressive were euthanized, Jairaj said.

The drive, however, has been suspended until more animal shelters can be built.

Animal activists also have protested, saying dogs were being indiscriminately killed and cruelly treated.

Millions of strays live on the streets of India. Some, particularly in areas near garbage dumps or butcher shops, form dangerous feral packs that have attacked people. Rabies is also rampant.

Animal activists, who claim to support the plan in principle, say it has gone horribly wrong, as overzealous laborers failed to differentiate between dangerous dogs and "community pets" — somewhat tame animals that are cared for by residents. These dogs, activists say, help keep wild dogs away from the neighborhood.

"The commissioner has given orders that only sick, ferocious and dangerous dogs should be taken, but on the ground level, even innocent dogs were picked up," said Sanober Bharucha of Compassion Unlimited Plus Action, which runs one of Bangalore's largest animal shelters.

The shelter is already full of strays rounded up by authorities and has had to suspend its regular operations, which include sterilizing and vaccinating city dogs, while they deal with the newcomers, she said.

They have also had to turn away hundreds more dogs because they do not have the space. "It is absolutely tragic," she said.

Jairaj said the drive was suspended until three new shelters were built.

Bangalore residents allege that the wrong animals were captured and abused.

"I saw one white dog being dragged on the ground by a chord around her neck while one of the catchers beat her with a plank that had nails embedded in it," said Jeremy D'souza, 42, who took part in a protest Monday night along with about 500 other people.

"When I tried to get them to stop, they said, 'Why do you care how it's being treated? It's going to be killed anyway,'" said D'souza, adding that the dogs caught in his neighborhood had clipped ears — a common sign used by animal groups to show they have been vaccinated and sterilized.

Pictures taken by D'souza showed one dog being hauled into a cage on a truck upside-down by a wire cord around its hind legs.

Jairaj denied animals were mistreated and said all dog-catching teams were accompanied by veterinarians. However, he said some dogs may have been left in vans overnight once the shelters overflowed.

"People should look at this in some perspective. Public safety is first and foremost, that is the issue here," he said.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Arrogant and Greedy Nike at it Again: This Time Releases Shoe Made out of Crocodile Skin

My question is why use crocodile? It seems that none of the bad press they receive has any affect on them. Perhaps this is why they do it – they simply don’t care and just look to the bottom line. Obviously if they’re now moving to using crocodile, they have absolutely no concern for anything other than money.

If after reading this article you’re disgusted at Nike and want to let them know (not that they’ll care I’m sure) here is the information to do so:

Tell Nike to Stop with Crocodile Shoes! Phone, Email, Write Now!!
by contact info
Monday Mar 12th, 2007 9:55 AM
Nike USA Consumer Services
• 1-800-344-6453 (7am - 3:50pm PST, Monday - Friday)
• E-mail Us - https://nike-store.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/nike_store.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php and hear back from us within 1-2 business days
• Corporate mailing address:

Nike USA, Inc.
Consumer Services
P.O. Box 4027
Beaverton, OR 97076-4027


Article:

Animal rights groups fuming after Nike unveils new crocodile shoe
by Sun (repost)

Monday Mar 12th, 2007 9:49 AM

ANIMAL rights groups were fuming last night after Nike unveiled £1,400 trainers made from CROCODILE skin.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007110630,00.html


The sports shoes — with 18-carat gold lace tags — went on display at the company’s flagship store in London’s Oxford Circus at the weekend.

The trainers were made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Nike’s iconic Air Force 1 line.

Shoes are also being made from the skin of the world’s largest snake — the anaconda.

Stores around the world are exhibiting the croc shoe in a glass case while stocking only one pair in each size.

But Nick Rudge, of the National Animal Welfare Society, said last night: “What a horrific and objectionable way of making money — they are croccy horrors.

“It is fashion gone mad and no different to wearing fur.”

Clifford Warwick, a reptile biologist with the Animal Protection Agency, said: “Wild crocodiles are hacked up alive for their skins, while farmed animals are treated equally barbarically.

“If people knew, it would put a lot of them off buying these shoes.

“It is distasteful consumer excess.

“Nike has crossed the line.”

Poorva Joshipura, of ethical animal treatment group Peta, said: “Anyone buying them is supporting cruelty.”

Andrew Tyler, director of campaign group Animal Aid, dismissed the shoes as “the height of decadence”.

No one from Nike was available to comment last night.

HSUS Take Dog Fur Issue to New Level: Asks FTC to Fine the High-End Retailers and Designers Who Mislabeled Jackets That Contain Fur from Dogs, Wolves

We wrote about this investigation recently. You can read the disturbing details at http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/02/
humane-society-of-united-states-found.html

Essentially, the Humane Society of the United States found that 24 of 25 fur-lined or trimmed coats contained dog fur. The coats were labeled as containing fake fur. So, an issue of mislabeling and lying to consumers.

Cited in this issue are the following companies and designers:

Designers Andrew Marc and Michael Kors; major department stores, including Barneys New York, Macy’s, Dillard’s, J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, I. Spiewak and Sons Inc. Macy’s parent - Federated Department Stores Inc.

“The petition stems from a Humane Society investigation that turned up products that were made with fur from dogs, wolves or raccoon dogs, a species found mainly in China, that were sold as either fake fur or other types of fur in violation of the Federal Fur Products Labeling Act.”

Of course, the fur comes from China where they love to torture dogs. You can read more about that at -
http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/01/
sean-diddy-combs-admits-dog-fur-used.html

and

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

For photos on the horrors of fur see
http://www.atourhands.com/furfarm.html

For additional photos and to learn why fur is so wrong see http://www.furkills.org/furfarming.shtml

AND PLEASE VIEW THE VIDEO IN THE STORY BELOW. TO VIEW IT, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE LINK TO THE STORY AND THE VIDEO OPTION WILL BE THERE.

Article:

Humane Society urges crackdown on dog fur
Animal rights organization wants FTC to fine retailers, grab inventories

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17584385/

NBC VIDEO
• Retailers accused on using dog fur

March 13: The Humane Society will file a petition against retailers who altered origin of fur. TODAY's Janice Lieberman reports.

WASHINGTON - A national animal rights group wants to put a group of fur retailers and manufacturers in the dog house.

The Humane Society of the United States will ask the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday to fine high-end retailers and designers of clothing that contains mislabeled fur from dogs, wolves and raccoon dogs. The group also would like inventories seized and perhaps charges filed.

“Consumers have a right to know what they are purchasing,” said Michael Markarian, the executive vice president of the Humane Society. “If they are truly getting a type of dog fur, they should be outraged.”
Story continues below ↓ advertisement

The documents filed with the FTC name designers Andrew Marc and Michael Kors, among others. Many major department stores, including Barneys New York, Macy’s, Dillard’s, J.C. Penney, and Neiman Marcus also were cited.

The petition stems from a Humane Society investigation that turned up products that were made with fur from dogs, wolves or raccoon dogs, a species found mainly in China, that were sold as either fake fur or other types of fur in violation of the Federal Fur Products Labeling Act.

Raccoon dogs look like oversize, fluffy raccoons and aren’t kept as pets. Importing their fur is not illegal, but activists argue they are still a type of dog.

Mislabeling fur is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $5,000 fine or a year in prison. Fur valued at less than $150 doesn’t have to be labeled.

Jim Sluzewski, a spokesman for Macy’s parent, Federated Department Stores Inc., said his company opposes selling dog fur but takes its vendors on faith that they comply with company policy.

“It is our vendors that label product, and we expect them to do so accurately,” he said in an e-mail. “We take immediate action whenever we find a violation of policy.”

Late last year, Macy’s immediately pulled from its shelves coats with raccoon dog fur but labeled as raccoon after the Humane Society raised the issue with the chain.

“Macy’s hasn’t done enough as far as we’re concerned,” Markarian said Monday, claiming that it is still selling other products with raccoon dog fur.

The Humane Society said in its petition that Barneys sold fur-trimmed jackets marketed as coyote fur when it was really fur from wolves. Barneys did not return a call for comment.

Josh Chapman, a spokesman for the manufacturer of the jacket, I. Spiewak and Sons Inc., said his company inspects the facilities where they purchase coyote fur. “We certainly know that everything is coyote, nothing could be anything else,” Chapman insisted.

Design company Michael Kors (USA) Inc. said it is conducting its own internal investigation on the sources of fur products it sold through Dillard’s stores.

“We certainly expect the companies to be discussing these issues internally, but they’ve had plenty of time to do that,” Markarian said.

Dillard’s did not respond to a requests for comment. J.C. Penney said it had no comment.

Neiman Marcus Group Inc. spokeswoman Ginger Reeder said her company removed all products with fur trim from their Web sites after the Humane Society investigation.

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