Sunday, April 29, 2007

Oregon Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Measure to Ban the Confining of Pigs in Metal Gestation Crates

An excellent move. We’ll see what happens when it enters the House.

For more on why gestation crates are wrong, see

http://www.farmsanctuary.org/newsletter/gestationcrates.htm



Article:

Oregon Pigs Finally Get The Respect They Deserve

http://www.newwest.net/index.php/city/article/oregon_pigs_
finally_get_the_respect_they_deserve/C509/L509/

By Joseph Friedrichs, 4-27-07

Caption: Photo courtesy of FreeFarmAnimals.org.

The Oregon State Senate approved a measure Thursday prohibiting the cruel confinement of breeding pigs in metal gestation crates so small the animals can’t turn around for months at a time.

Essentially a gestation crate is a place where pregnant sows spend their lives standing in their own filth and shooting out piglet after piglet. The animals are allowed no straw bedding and often go insane from the caged-in lifestyle. Typically the adult pigs become inflicted with oozing sores and other body welts as a result of constantly leaning against the metal cages.

“Mushy pig flesh” isn’t the right phrase, but it’s the first one that comes to mind.

Senate Bill 694 passed in an overwhelming vote Thursday of 20-9, according to Salem-News.com. The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization with more than 10 million supporters, praised the Oregon Senate for approving the important measure, at a time when food industry giants like Burger King, Wolfgang Puck, and Smithfield Foods are all taking steps to end this cruel confinement of farm animals, Salem-News reported.

“Gestation crates are among the most cruel and inhumane confinement systems used in today’s factory farms,” said Kelly Peterson, Oregon state coordinator for The HSUS, according to Salem- News. “Today, Oregon lawmakers have sent a clear message: the state should be no refuge for abusive agribusiness practices that deny these highly intelligent and social creatures the basic ability to turn around and stretch their limbs.”

Senate Bill 694 prohibits confining pigs during pregnancy in a manner that prevents them from lying down, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely. In other words, it allows them a chance to live a mildly decent life, for a pig anyhow.

The Humane Society says gestation crates are two-foot-wide metal cages that confine millions of breeding pigs for nearly their entire lives, Salem-News reported. Advocates say the animals suffer both leg and joint problems along with psychosis from this extreme treatment.

When it’s a good week for the pigs of Oregon, it’s a good week for us too. Enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Duke University Stops Using Live Pigs in Third Year Surgery Course: Five Other Medical Schools Continue to Use Live Animals in Surgery Courses

This was passed onto me. As you will read, a large majority of medical schools do not use live animal labs. You will also see below a list of those who do in their surgery courses. Contact information is posted with them for you to contact.

Article:

We have wonderful news from North Carolina: I am happy to report that Duke University School of Medicine recently confirmed that it has stopped using live pigs in its third-year surgery course. This means that only 13 medical schools (of 125) continue to use live animals in medical student courses. PCRM physicians worked hard to explain the educational and ethical advantages of non-animal alternatives to the school, and Duke deserves praise for this wise and compassionate decision.

But we still need your help. Five medical schools continue to use live animals in surgery courses. Please send a polite e-mail to these schools and ask them to follow Duke's lead and stop using live animals to teach surgery. You can send an e-mail or write to the five medical schools that use live animals for surgery courses at the addresses below:

TAKE ACTION: http://support.pcrm.org/site/R?i=9XhW1ZZgPEBRUYmjzuNPHQ..

Stony Brook University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine
Richard Fine, M.D., Dean
The Health Sciences Level 4
Stony Brook, NY 11794-8430
T: 631-444-1785
Richard.Fine@stonybrook.edu

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Edward D. Miller, M.D., Dean School of Medicine
733 North Broadway
Baltimore, MD, 21205
T: 410-955-3180
emiller@jhmi.edu

University of Tennessee College of Medicine
Steve J. Schwab, M.D., Executive Dean
62 South Dunlap St., Room 405
Memphis, TN 38163
T: 901-448-5529
sschwab@utmem.edu

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Pamela B. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., Interim Dean
10900 Euclid Ave, BRB 113
Cleveland, OH 44106
T: 216-368-2825
pbd@case.edu

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine
Larry Laughlin, M.D., Ph.D., Dean
4301 Jones Bridge Rd.
Bethesda, MD 20814
T: 301-295-3016
llaughlin@usuhs.mil

Please forward the e-mail to your friends and family and ask them to contact the schools as well.

Tell a friend: http://support.pcrm.org/site/R?i=zabpJXjt2PsEuJAHLzeN2w..

Medical faculty and practicing physicians know that students do not need to train on live animals to become successful physicians or surgeons. In fact, last year the American College of Surgeons (ACS) stopped using live animals in any of its own surgery educational and training programs. It also established a new certification program, the Accredited Education Institutes, which does not include live animal use in its surgery training guidelines. In addition, the American Medical Student Association recently took a major step toward modernizing medical education by passing a resolution strongly encouraging the replacement of live animal laboratories with non-animal alternatives in undergraduate medical education.

Learn more about the use of animals in medical education. Thank you so much for your support and for your compassion for animals. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at rmerkley@pcrm.org.

Best regards,

Ryan Merkley
Research Program Coordinator

Bill in Connecticut that Attempts to Stop Abuse to Elephants Moves Forward: Bills Makes it a Crime to Use Any Device on an Elephant that Lead to Harm

Incredible legislation. We will keep you up to date on it’s progression. As mentioned below, the bill “makes it a crime to use any device on an elephant that may be expected to harm it, such as electric prods or long hooked devices called bullhooks. It also creates a crime for people to possess such an implement or device.”

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


Article:

Elephant protection bill moves forward

http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=6415341&nav=3YeX

Posted Apr. 23, 2007
8:20 PM

(Hartford-AP) _ A bill aimed at protecting circus elephants from abuse is continuing to lumber through the legislature.

The Judiciary Committee Monday approved legislation that makes it a crime to use any device on an elephant that may be expected to harm it, such as electric prods or long hooked devices called bullhooks. It also creates a crime for people to possess such an implement or device.

But opponents said Connecticut already has strong animal cruelty laws on the books, and argued that the bill is written too vaguely.

Also on Monday, the committee unanimously passed a bill against Internet hunting. The measure bans anyone from operating, providing, selling or using any computer software or service in the state that allows someone to hunt a live animal or bird by remote control.

Heart Felt Reminder from Daughter to Mother Shows Courage of Standing Up to Horror of Canada’s Annual Baby Seal 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:

It's Time to Thank My Mother (The Baby Seals Would Agree)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jannette-patterson-/
its-time-to-thank-my-mot_b_46692.html

Last week, I attended Arianna's talk at the "NYC Ladies Who Launch" event, where I heard Arianna's life story and the lessons that empowered her to become fearless and effective. I learned that she was motivated to write her latest book on becoming fearless for her daughters. After listening to her insights about how overcoming our fears can help us fulfill our dreams, I realized that my mother had given me these lessons when I was a young girl.

My mother was 20 when I was born, and two years later my sister was born. When I was 7 years old, she found the strength to leave her husband, her high school sweetheart who had begun having affairs and failed to support his family. She worked hard to provide a safe and loving home for my sister, me, and a variety of animals who wound up as part of our family: a couple of rescued dogs, a cat or two, even some bunnies, mice, and hamsters. My mother raised me to treat animals with the same consideration that I would want for myself.

When I was 12 years old, my life changed forever when one of my teachers showed our class a film about baby harp seals who were being skinned on the ice in Canada. (Thirty years later, it's even more sickening to know that this barbaric slaughter continues, even at this very moment as I write this.) I was traumatized by what I'd learned and knew that I had to do something to help stop it.

With encouragement from my mother, I immediately got to work. I tracked down an international petition, collected signatures, and put up a display in my school library. The following year, I started an animal rights club at school, and I went door-to-door in my neighborhood with information about animals. When I was required to create a newspaper for a class project, I made one that was only about animal issues. At that young age, with my mother as my role model, I found the strength to use my voice for those who have no voice: animals. It was an event that would define the rest of my life.

I went on to volunteer and work for humane societies and animal protection groups. For the past 10 years, I've worked for the world's largest animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Part of my job is to speak up for animals in ways that require me to step outside my comfort zone, and I've learned how effective we can be when we let go of silly fears. I am proud to be part of an innovative, tireless group of caring people who are making a more compassionate world for all.

I often say that I feel lucky because I have a career doing what I love―helping to stop animal suffering. During Arianna's talk, I realized that it really has nothing to do with luck: I have a strong mother who taught me to be fearless in doing whatever I believe in. She showed me that I have the ability to make a difference for others. This Mother's Day, I will honor her by making a donation to PETA to help stop the slaughtering of seals.

I Apologize for Not Posting for Almost a Week: A New Job Has Added Extra Demand: I am hoping to Now Get back on Regular Posting Schedule

Thanks to my regular readers again for keeping with me in this time of transition. Let’s get back at it now!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Natural Balance Newest Product to be Added to Dog and Cat Food Recall List

Another unfortunate addition.

As of now, this page serves as the best source of a listing of all recalled pet foods:

http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html#recall

You can also visit these lists for a quick scan of product names:

http://www.nationalpetfoundation.com/dog-food-recall-list.html - dogs

http://www.nationalpetfoundation.com/cat-food-recall-list.html - cats



Article:


Pet food recall expands, with revelations that some Natural Balance products contain melamine

http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2007/04/
pet_food_recall_expands_with_r.html

Posted by The Oregonian April 18, 2007 08:43AM
Categories: Breaking News

The pet food recall, which began more than a month ago, expanded again today, with Menu Foods adding another variety of food and Natural Balance Pet Foods revealing that some of its products contain melamine.

Natural Balance is recalling all of its Venison dog food, both wet and dry, along with its dry Venison cat food. And Menu Foods has added Natural Life's Vegetarian wet dog food to the list.

A few days ago Natural Balance recalled its dry Venison dog and cat food, warning that some animals had developed kidney problems after eating the products. The Food and Drug Administration said that those products did not appear to be linked to the massive pet food recall linked to melamine, which was found in the wheat gluten of some Menu Foods and other companies' products.

But today the FDA said that melamine had been detected in Natural Balance's Venison dog food and dry cat food, which do not contain wheat gluten. The agency said it appeared that the source of the melamine is a rice protein concentrate.

Today's revelation marks a startling new development in the pet food recall, which the agency has said was limited to tainted wheat gluten from a Chinese supplier.

Since mid-March, Menu Foods, Nestle Purina PetCare Co., Del Monte Pet Products, Hills Pet Nutrition, Sunshine Mills Inc. and now Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc. have recalled products because they contained melamine. The substance, which is used to make plastics in the United States but is also used as a fertilizer in Asia, should not be in pet food at all.

For more information on the Natural Balance pet food recall, visit the company's Web site or call 800-829-4493. The FDA has complete information on the recall. Another good source of information is the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Italian Anti-Vivisection League Asks Pope to Stop Wearing Fur

Unfortunately, the Pope’s respect for life stops at humans.

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:

Animal rights group to pope: Stop wearing fur

http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=29&ContentID=26059

15th April 2007, 6:45 WST

An Italian animal rights group today asked Pope Benedict XVI to stop wearing fur out of "respect for the sacredness" of animals' lives.

The Italian Anti-Vivisection League said the Pope should not wear a fur hat the Vatican has ordered from a manufacturer in the northern city of Pavia ahead of his visit to a university there on April 22.

"Out of respect for the sacredness of the lives of all living species, we invite the Holy Father to arrive at a choice of high religious and ethical value by giving up fur clothing for that occasion and for the future," the group's vice president, Roberto Bennati, said in a statement.

Benedict XVI, who will celebrate his 80th birthday on Monday, regularly wears clothing with fur, particularly during outdoor ceremonies in the winter.

The animal rights group argued that he should do without fur because "valid alternatives exist that do not call for the murder of animals".

Meanwhile, Vatican officials said today that attendance for events at Saint Peter's Square had declined compared to the first year after the Pope's election.

Since April last year, about 3.4 million people have attended events at Saint Peter's Square, compared to about four million for the previous year since his election.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope on April 19, 2005.

Friday, April 13, 2007

H.R. 137 – Bill to Limit Transport and Sale of Animals For the Purpose of Dog Fighting and Cockfighting Heads to Bush: Will He Sign It?

My guess is that because the bill is just a watered down step to end cockfighting and dog fighting that he will sign it. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for ANY bill that leads to the ending of cockfighting and dog fighting. But, this is a very early and limited step. Limiting transport and selling is great, but going for a full ban on fighting would seal the deal to end this unnecessary cruelty.

As stated below, “The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., calls for penalties of up to three years in prison for anyone who knowingly buys, sells or transports animals for the purpose of fighting. It also would make it a felony to knowingly sponsor or exhibit an animal fight.”

Louisiana is now the only state that allows cockfighting. New Mexico ended its legal sanction of the blood sport recently by making cockfighting illegal by law. You can read about that here - http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/03/
victory-measure-is-passed-that-outlaws.html

Will Louisiana be next?

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




Article:


Congress sends President Bush anti-animal fighting bill

http://www.ksby.com/Global/story.asp?S=6358891

Apr 11, 1:46 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress has passed legislation cracking down on animal fighting, sending President Bush a measure that would make it a felony to transport an animal across state lines for fighting.

Approval of the bill marked the culmination of a nearly six-year effort to limit dogfighting and cockfighting, centuries-old traditions that most lawmakers and animal rights advocates now label brutal.

The Senate passed the measure by voice vote Tuesday night, following House passage by a lopsided margin on March 26, clearing it for Bush's signature.

"We've waited six years to see this legislation signed into law," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the bill's chief Senate sponsor. "Our nation should have a zero tolerance policy for this cruelty, and I hope the president will sign this bill immediately."

The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., calls for penalties of up to three years in prison for anyone who knowingly buys, sells or transports animals for the purpose of fighting. It also would make it a felony to knowingly sponsor or exhibit an animal fight.

"Animal fighting is cruel," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the Judiciary Committee chairman. "Those engaged in animal fighting ventures must know that this crime is serious and will be punished as a felony."

Critics say animal fighting - popular in rural areas and Latin American communities - can also spawn other criminal activity, such as illegal gambling, narcotics trafficking, public corruption, and gang activity.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, called the measure "a powerful law that will go a long way toward eradicating these sickening forms of animal cruelty."

The measure also outlaws commerce in cockfighting weapons - knifelike instruments that are attached to roosters' legs during fights. Transporting animals across state lines for fighting would be boosted from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Dogfighting is illegal in every state, and New Mexico last month became the 49th state to ban cockfighting, making Louisiana the only state where it's legal.

---

On the Net:

Information on the bill, H.R. 137, can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/

True World Foods Inc To Distribute Polar Seas Frozen Sushi From Japan's Kyokuyo Co. Ltd: Company That Has Profited From Sale Of Whale Meat Despite Ban

For more on Japan and killing whales see
http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/02/
japanese-whaling-ship-on-fire-in.html

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:

Sushi deal rubs U.S. animal rights groups raw

http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/
idUSN1042663520070410


Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:40PM EDT

By Brad Dorfman

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A large U.S. seafood distributor is drawing pressure from anti-whaling activists after an agreement to distribute frozen sushi from Japan's Kyokuyo Co. Ltd.

During a telephone press conference on Tuesday, the Humane Society International, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Environmental Investigation Agency called on New Jersey-based True World Foods Inc. to pressure Kyokuyo into getting out of the business of selling whale meat.

The groups targeted True World because it plans to distribute frozen Polar Seas Frozen sushi, manufactured by Kyokuyo. The agreement is on the company's Web site, www.trueworldfoods.com.

The groups say Kyokuyo has profited from the sale of whale meat despite a global ban on commercial whaling that went into effect in 1986. Japan, which says whaling is a cultural tradition, began what it calls "scientific research whaling" in 1987. The meat from the whales caught under Japan's whaling ends up on supermarket shelves.

The 1986 ban was instituted by the International Whaling Commission, of which Japan is a member. But the Commission is now divided between countries that assert that all whales need protection and others, including Japan, that say some species are abundant enough for limited hunting.

The animal rights groups declined to say what steps they would take if True World does not persuade Kyokuyo to stop selling whale products, but hinted at the possibility of calling for a boycott of the sushi.

A poll conducted for the International Fund for Animal Welfare showed that 69 percent of Americans said they were willing to boycott a restaurant carrying products from a Japanese company involved in whaling, said Patrick Ramage, global whale campaign manager for the organization.

"A strong majority of Americans are saying they are willing to put down their chopsticks until their sushi company puts down their harpoons," Ramage said.

Yasuaki Nyuya, a spokesman for Kyokuyo in Japan reached before the press conference, declined to comment because he said the company was not aware of the news conference. He also declined to provide figures relating to the company's whale business, such as annual sales or the number of whales it catches.

A person who answered the telephone at Kyokuyo's office in Seattle, Washington after the news conference, said that office does not speak to the press.

True World Foods did not return a call for comment. The company's Web site says it delivers sushi-quality seafood to more than 6,000 U.S. restaurants.

(Additional reporting by Sachi Izumi in Tokyo)

Stars from India’s Hollywood – Bollywood – Join to Speak Out Against Animal Cruelty

Regardless of what most think, animal cruelty is alive and active in India. Thankfully some celebrities from India’s Hollywood are stepping up.

Article:

Bollywood Stars Want Animal Cruelty to Stop

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/211542/
bollywood_stars_want_animal_cruelty.html


By Jonathon Knight

Takeaways

PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Bollywood stars are lending their time and energy to highlight cruelty faced by India's animals. From being chained and caged, they want this to stop.

Rahul Khanna, An Actor Joined the lost list of stars, including Aishwarya Rai, Shilpa Shetty and Madhuri Dixit, to publize the unfair treatment of animals.

Dressed up in a torn T-shirt and shackled in chains with bruises painted all over his body, he posed with the tagline "Beaten, shackled, abused - elephants do not belong in zoos" for PETA.

"It's a simple fact. When a celebrity speaks, people listen," said Anuradha Sawhney, chief functionary for PETA India.

"Every time a celebrity speaks out for a cause, be it for animal abuse in circuses, or their conditions in zoos, or the suffering in factory farms, a lot of compassionate people come forward to find out how they can help."

Sawhney said that PETA offices are often flooded with calls, letters and emails from people asking questions or asking for help.

On the behalf of PETA, Aishwarya Rai wrote a letter to save an endangered black rhinoceros in South Africa. Shilpa Shetty donned a body hugging, tiger stripped bodysuit and was urging people to boycott circuses. Madhuri Dixit wrote to the government in the support of Elephants.

John Abraham and dancer Rakhi Swant are the other stars helping out. Abraham was seen posing in an open cage, saying "Let birds fly free". Swant stood for 5 hours to have her body painted with tiger stripes for an anti-circus ad.

In their latest campaign, PETA, with Khanna, is promoting awareness of treatment of elephants in cities and zoos.

Elephants are often ill-treated in cities, in which they are used by their ownes to beg and are poorly fed and are forced to walk on tarmac roads day and night, says Animal Rights Activists.

Activists say, In the zoos, the animals are separated from their families and sentenced to a lifetime of boredom, loneliness and abuse. Adding that elephants are intelligent, sensitive and social creatures which live in closely knit family groups.

"These majestic animals belong in the wild, but instead they are locked up like criminals -- even though they've committed no crime," said Khanna.

Protected and considered an endangered species in India, Over 3,500 Elephants remain in captivity.

Sources-Yahoo, JK news

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

With New Mexico Recently Making Cockfighting Illegal, Many Now Asking When Louisiana (the last state where it’s legal) Will Also Make it Illegal

I’m not really impressed by this article, but it gives me a chance to once again remind people that Louisiana is now the only state that allows cockfighting. New Mexico ended its legal sanction of the blood sport recently by making cockfighting illegal by law. You can read about that here - http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/03/victory-
measure-is-passed-that-outlaws.html

Will Louisiana be next?

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



Article:

Cockfighting in Louisiana may be banned

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070409/
ap_on_re_us/louisiana_cockfighting_2

By DOUG SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer Mon Apr 9, 7:21 PM ET

BREAUX BRIDGE, La. - Spectators shake their fists, scream out wagers and cheer on their roosters, the air swirling with cigarette smoke and chicken feathers.

Saturday night in Breaux Bridge means rooster fights at the Atchafalaya Game Club, one of dozens of cockfighting venues in Louisiana — soon to be the last state where the practice is legal. Fans from around the country pay $10 and settle into padded seats overlooking the pit, where two roosters peck and claw each other, often to the death.

"I still go to the rooster fights on a regular basis because it's something I enjoy," said Billy Duplechein, 37, of St. Martinville. "And I'm trying to get my sons involved. It keeps our kids out of trouble."

But this Louisiana tradition — long decried by animal rights activists as cruel and barbaric — may be coming to an end.

Worried about the state's long-standing image as a corrupt backwater at a time when hurricane-stricken New Orleans desperately needs money from Capitol Hill, Gov. Kathleen Blanco and other politicians want cockfighting banned.

That is an unpopular idea at the Atchafalaya club, where enthusiasts consider it harmless fun. They say Louisiana has plenty of other problems to solve, including the stagnant recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"I just don't see how it's going to help the state to get rid of cockfighting," said Dale Barras, owner of the Atchafalaya club.

The Atchafalaya Game Club — home to the Christmas Derby, the Mardi Gras Cup and other cockfighting tournaments — is an unmarked warehouse in Breaux Bridge, a small Cajun town about 120 miles west of New Orleans.

Hundreds came to the fights on a recent Saturday night, and they were not unlike the typical high school football crowd: teenagers on dates, kids with their parents. They ate burgers and chili dogs and drank sodas and beer.

"We don't make no one come to the fights," Barras said. "And we don't make the chickens fight," he added, echoing the cockfighters' oft-repeated argument that roosters battle instinctively.

The birds are fitted with sharp metal blades or curved spikes on their legs, and tear into each other. Blood soaks the animals' feathers and their handlers' clothing. A match can end in minutes or an hour, when one bird is dead or refuses to fight.

Men tidy up the pit between fights, like groundskeepers on a baseball diamond. One dampens the dirt with a watering can, another rakes up feathers. Gamblers settle their bets, and another fight begins. By the end of the night, a trash can in a back room is full of dead roosters — the losers.

"The bottom line is, we have standards in society on how animals should be treated, and this activity violates those standards," said Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the United States. "It's just not morally sensible to stage fights between animals for the purpose of gambling and entertainment."

That argument succeeded in Oklahoma, where voters approved a ban in 2002. A cockfighting ban takes effect in June in New Mexico, the only other state where the blood sport is legal. Gov. Bill Richardson signed the ban earlier this year, with some residents speculating that the Democratic candidate for president turned against the sport for fear of looking as if he comes from a backward state.

In Louisiana, pro-cockfighting politicians have blocked the animal rights movement for years. Some lawmakers say it should be a local matter: Towns and parishes can outlaw cockfighting if they choose.

State Sen. Donald Cravins Jr. said he will oppose a ban. "In my district, cockfighting has been a part of life forever," said Cravins, a Democrat whose largely Cajun area has several pits.

While cockfighting itself is legal in Louisiana, running a cockfighting operation that makes money off gambling is not. And in a measure of how political opinion has turned against the sport, state police have begun raiding cockfighting pits.

A husband and wife were arrested last month. That same night elsewhere in Louisiana, a Texas man was arrested on similar charges.

The governor and House speaker once tacitly approved of cockfighting but have come out against it more recently.

Because of the hurricanes, Louisiana relies on money from Washington to rebuild New Orleans and other areas. State leaders say they believe Congress will not want to send billions to a state where bloody animal fights are legal.

"It's not a positive perception about out state," House Speaker Joe Salter said.

On Capitol Hill, some lawmakers are trying to toughen the penalties for transporting fighting cocks across state lines.

Barras and others said the state should keep cockfighting legal but make money off it by licensing the owners of fighting roosters, or by taking a cut of the winnings in tournaments like the Christmas Derby.

Actor Tobey Maguire Continues on the Cruelty Free Path: Removes Leather from his Wardrobe

I post information on celebrities doing positive things because it’s important to reward and give credit to those who are not just living for themselves. I salute Tobey for living based not only on himself, but for a larger cause.

Article:

Tobey Maguire's leather ban

http://www.lse.co.uk/ShowbizNews.asp?Code=
LH108196C&headline=tobey_maguires_leather_ban

Apr 10, 2007, 7:00 GMT

Tobey Maguire has imposed a leather ban on himself.

The 'Spider-Man' star, who has been a vegetarian for fourteen years, is determined to become more animal friendly, starting with all leather goods.

Tobey recently ordered a non-leather interior for his new car, and has even started wearing shoes "made from canvas and stuff like that".

The 31-year-old actor describes himself as "close to becoming a vegan", and as well as not eating meat he also abstains from eggs, cheese and milk.

He said in an interview with Parade magazine: "It's never really been that hard for me. I've never had any desire to eat meat. In fact, when I was a kid I would have a really difficult time eating meat at all. It had to be the perfect bite, with no fat or gristle or bone or anything like that.

"I don't judge people who eat meat, that's not for me to say, but the whole thing just sort of bums me out."

Tobey has also revealed he is considering moving out of Los Angeles for the sake of his five-month-old daughter Ruby - his child with fiancée Jennifer Meyer.

He said: "I'm at that stage where I have to start thinking about where I want Ruby to grow up and go to school. And even though Los Angeles is pretty laid back, maybe, it would be a good idea to try a different, less ambitious kind of atmosphere."

The hotly anticipated third 'Spider-Man' film hits cinema screens next month.

Friday, April 06, 2007

What Pet Foods Have Been Recalled?: A Link to Updated Lists and Iams and Eukanuba Animal Testing Reminder

Well, the first list is produced by the FDA, so I can’t say it will always be correct, but as of now, this page serves as the best source of a listing of all recalled pet foods.

http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html#recall

You can also visit these lists for a quick scan of product names:

http://www.nationalpetfoundation.com/dog-food-recall-list.html - dogs

http://www.nationalpetfoundation.com/cat-food-recall-list.html - cats

IAMS AND EUKANUBA ANIMAL TESTING REMINDER:

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.”

A better option is to buy from cruelty free dog and cat food companies, or those dog and cat food companies that do not engage in animal testing.


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

22 Brands of Dog Biscuits Now Recalled - Include Nurture Chicken and Rice Biscuit, Ol’ Roy Peanut Butter Biscuit and Pet Life Large Biscuit

Also, it appears from this article that the Chinese company involved is denying it’s role. Not a good situation all around.


Article:

22 Brands of Dog Biscuits Are Added to Pet Food Recall

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/06/us/06petfood.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Article Tools Sponsored ByBy KATIE ZEZIMAPublished: April 6, 2007

A recall of pet food tainted with melamine, a chemical used to make plastic products, has been widened to include 22 types of dog biscuits, the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday.
The biscuits, made by Sunshine Mills Inc., contain wheat gluten imported from China that contained melamine, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the F.D.A.

Sunshine Mills, of Red Bay, Ala., manufactures branded and private label dry pet food and biscuits. The recalled biscuits include Nurture Chicken and Rice Biscuit, Ol’ Roy Peanut Butter Biscuit and Pet Life Large Biscuit.

Conrad Pitts, a lawyer for Sunshine Mills, said 80 percent of the tainted biscuits were sold by Wal-Mart, under the Ol’ Roy brand. Mr. Pitts said that the company had produced about 24 truckloads of biscuits with the contaminated gluten, and that the majority of the product was large biscuits. He said wheat gluten accounted for less than 1 percent of the total weight of the biscuits.

Until last week, when moist cat treats, dog jerky and a type of dry cat food were added to the recall, it had been limited to wet pet food sold under a variety of brand names.
Menu Foods, which last month recalled more than 90 brands of its “cuts and gravy” pet food, said yesterday that it had extended the period of time covered by its recall to include food made after Nov. 8, 2006. The company, based in Ontario, initially recalled only food made from Dec. 3, 2006, to March 6, 2007.

The company also added 20 additional varieties of those brands to the recall list yesterday. Information about the recalled pet food can be found at www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html.

Menu Foods said it acted after a supplier, ChemNutra of Las Vegas, recalled all wheat gluten it had imported from the Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Company of Wangdien, China. ChemNutra said Wednesday that the F.D.A. had found melamine in the gluten. The agency said it was now testing all wheat gluten from China.

The Chinese government said yesterday that no wheat gluten had been exported to the United States or Canada. Xuzhou Anying denied it had ever shipped wheat gluten to either country.
“We are a trading company and don’t manufacture the product,” added Mao Lijun, the company’s general manager. Michael Rogers, director of the Division of Field Investigations for the F.D.A., said records showed that the tainted gluten came from China.
“We fully expect the Chinese government’s cooperation and assistance in our further investigation,” Mr. Rogers said.

Mr. Rogers and Dr. Sundlof said the gluten did not enter the human food supply. The agency said that it was still investigating how the melamine got into the gluten, and that it had notified all companies that had received it.

Though melamine has been found in the food and in the urine and kidneys of pets that have eaten the food, officials and scientists are not sure whether the chemical actually caused pets to get sick.

Melamine, which is also used as a slow-release fertilizer, is generally not known to be toxic. Some theories are that it might act as a marker for another unknown toxin that causes renal failure in pets, Dr. Sundlof said, or that cats and dogs are extremely sensitive to melamine.
“We still have a lot of work to do to understand why melamine is involved, as it is a relatively nontoxic substance,” Dr. Sundlof said. “We are relatively certain that there is a connection here someplace.”

The F.D.A. said it had received more than 12,000 complaints about pet food since the recall, as many as it usually gets in a two-year period on all topics combined. It has confirmed 16 deaths.
“We have no good information what that final number might be,” Dr. Sundlof said. “It will take a while for us to get there.”

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University is investigating 43 suspected cases of pets that died from eating tainted food; the deaths of 18 are consistent with ingestion of a toxin, said Patrick Halbur, executive director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Iowa State.
Dr. Halbur and Grant Maxie of the University of Guelph in Ontario, which is also investigating the cause of the illnesses and deaths, said it would probably take months to determine what made the pets sick.

In Chicago, Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, called for a hearing to question F.D.A. officials. He also called for standardized federal regulations and inspection requirements for pet food.

As Pet Food Recalls Continue, People Begin To Find Out Truth About What’s Actually In These Foods And That Iams And Eukanuba Engage In Animal Testing

Before the recall everyone just took a companies word that a product was different from others. Now, with the recall, most have come to find tout hat really the same one or two companies make the same foods for marketing under different names. So, no difference at all. AS you’ll see below, many are now making their own.

Even worse, many found out that Menu foods made Iams and Eukanuba – both from Proctor and Gamble and both guilty of animal testing.

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.”
A better option is to buy from cruelty free dog and cat food companies, or those dog and cat food companies that do not engage in animal testing.


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


Article:

So Just What's in Fido's Food, Anyway?


http://www.wboc.com/Global/story.asp?S=6332368&nav=MXEFM7m3

By Daniel B. WoodThe Christian Science Monitor


LOS ANGELES -- Wheat gluten? The contaminated ingredient that was traced to the massive pet food recall is prompting a new wave of scrutiny of the industry. The big question pet owners, consumer groups, animal rights activists, legislators, and others want to know is: "What's in this stuff, anyway?"


Other questions on their minds run the gamut from who polices the pet-food chain, to who writes the standards for pet-food labeling, to which companies are making which brands with what ingredients.


To the relief of pet food companies, at least, that last question has been answered in the case of the recalled 60 million pet food containers. The US Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that a Chinese company was the source of contaminated wheat gluten that made its way into the dog and cat food sold under nearly 100 labels across North America.
Spurred by reports of pet sicknesses and deaths, thousands of pet owners are now joining calls for increased industry self-regulation and government oversight.
"The pet food industry has been unquestioned for a long time. But now in light of what's happened people are finding out what is actually in the pet food they buy and becoming really concerned," says Kate Morris, publisher of bowzer.biz, an online magazine for dog owners. "Consumers are beginning to raise ... questions about whether companies and the government do enough testing to ensure the safety of products."


Others are taking matters into their own hands, seeking alternative methods of pet feeding such as home cooking, or buying more elite, more expensive, and better-trusted brands.
"One of the positive fallouts from this is that pet owners are becoming more educated about where their pet foods are made, what's in them and what to look for," says Alan Kerzner, CEO of Halo, a holistic natural pet-care line. "More and more pet owners are demanding quality, finding out they are willing to pay extra prices for premium foods. In a kind of perverse way, the opportunities for these companies have grown over the past month."
Veterinarians and animal hospitals across the nation report high anxiety among pet owners, with calls and walk-ins on the rise, often over inconsequential or nonexistent health problems. Many have initiated or joined lawsuits to seek damages or reparations from several companies whose tainted food has led to at least 15 animal deaths - but which, many observers say, could be thousands more.


The FDA announced April 3 that more pet foods could be recalled in coming days as investigators track worldwide distribution of the contaminated wheat gluten used in pet food. Wheat gluten is a source of protein. Officials said they had discovered melamine - a chemical used in plastics, glue, and fertilizers - in test samples of the recalled wet food and some dry treats. Groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) say more information is needed about other possible contaminants.


"There are lots of unanswered questions that need to be answered more frankly," says Andrew Rowan, HSUS executive vice president for operations. "We would certainly like to know what has actually happened." PETA has asked FDA head Andrew von Eschenbach to resign for allegedly refusing to name the maker of a dry pet food believed to include a contaminant.
US lawmakers are also questioning the FDA about its handling of the current case, as well as its oversight in general.


"Reports that kept food manufacturing facilities are not being inspected by the FDA are very disconcerting," states a letter from Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D) of Connecticut and Sen. Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois to Mr. Eschenbach. The letter asks how many FDA inspections take place at pet-food processing facilities and asks what changes in current laws and funding would spur better performance. "Many cats dogs and other pets are considered members of the household, and it is unfortunate that not even the family pet is immune from the food safety problems that are plaguing our nation."


For its part, the FDA says the recall event "is in its final stages" but that it is still too early to say what lessons have been learned and what exactly needs to be addressed to keep such events from happening again.


"We are just tying up investigations now ... we don't see where the system didn't work ... it doesn't appear from what we've seen that anyone can be blamed in this country," says Julie Zawisza, spokeswoman for the FDA. She says the agency does not see where more regulation would help. "The difference in this situation compared to the contaminants recently found on spinach is that something [tainted] came in from abroad," she says. "I'm not sure there is a system that will pick up every single thing."


The overall concern goes beyond calls for formal reform, lawsuits, and fear, several observers say. Government is already overstretched and underfunded in policing the human food chain let alone food for pets, many say.


"I'm not sure that realistically there will be much change after this. Government agencies are generally understaffed already with much to oversee in the human food chain," says Sonia Waisman, adjunct professor in animal law at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Real Issues Resulting From Problems with the Drugs Vioxx, Galvus, Lunesta and TGN1412 Point To the Limitations of Animal Testing

Difficult To Precisely Translate From Animal to Human Results

The fact that the Wall Street Journal produced this piece signifies that this is a problem that is real. For years, campaigners against animal testing and the waste of resources and lives it results in have exposed the same truth – that literally, the physiological differences between species are different enough that animal testing is never a clear indicator of how a drug or chemical will react in the human body.

Hence, moving to more reliable non-animal tests such as Synthetic skin called Corrositex, Computer modeling, Improved statistical design, The Murine Local Lymph Node Assay (LLNA) and genetic arrays -- chips that can give a snapshot of the genetic effects of a drug (as mentioned below) or microarray chips, is not only more humane, but economical.

For more on the alternatives to the use of animals in drug testing, chemical testing, vivisection, etc. see http://www.geari.org/alternatives-to-animal-testing.html and The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at http://caat.jhsph.edu/.

To sum it up further, take a look at these quotes form the article below. You will clearly see real examples of drugs that passed animal tests, but that failed when tried on humans:

“Scientists agree, there's no way to precisely and consistently translate from animal to human results. After the withdrawals of the painkiller Vioxx and other medicines with side effects that didn't fully reveal themselves during years of testing, the need for such a translation looms particularly large.”

“In the case of the new Novartis drug Galvus, James Shannon, the company's global head of pharmaceutical development, told investors that Novartis researchers "do not understand -- do not know -- the mechanism of the skin findings" in monkeys. They do know that "humans appear to react to Galvus in a very different way."

“Another example of the confusing disparities that can arise in testing is the case of the popular sleep drug Lunesta. It won FDA approval despite the fact that tumors appeared when rats and mice took huge doses of a closely related chemical cousin of the medication. Some FDA reviewers were concerned enough initially to recommend rejection of Lunesta. After further analyses, however, agency officials concluded the data from human testing didn't suggest a signal for cancer in people. But you won't see the issue highlighted in the company's ubiquitous green-moth commercials for the drug.”

“It can happen that a product doesn't hurt animals, but turns out to be poisonous to patients. That occurred with the catastrophic British trial of an experimental biotech drug called TGN1412, meant to treat leukemia and other diseases. It didn't cause problems when given to monkeys and other species. Then six people took it in a small initial study and had life-threatening convulsions and organ failure. British regulators blamed an "unpredicted biological action of the drug in humans" that wasn't foretold by the "apparently adequate" preclinical studies.”


Article:

Recent Cases Point To the Limitations Of Animal Drug Tests

http://online.wsj.com/preview_login.html?url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB117519602221153510.html%3Fmod%3Dyahoo_hs%26ru%3Dyahoo

By ANNA WILDE MATHEWS

March 30, 2007; Page B1

The promising diabetes drug Galvus recently got turned back by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

About 5,500 patients had taken the medicine in clinical trials at that point, but the problem apparently wasn't with them. The agency was worried because some monkeys who were given high doses of Galvus developed skin lesions. Humans who took normal amounts of the drug for as long as two years didn't get the sores, but the FDA refused to approve the drug until it saw more testing in people who might be at higher risk.

The decision spotlighted an important unresolved scientific question: What do the results of animal studies really tell us about humans? That question still puzzles researchers even though guinea pigs, lab rats and their brethren have long been part of experiments.

The FDA encourages work that could lead to a better understanding of human and animal genetics, and someday reduce the need for animal studies. Already, genetic arrays -- chips that can give a snapshot of the genetic effects of a drug -- allow researchers a broad, early-stage picture of what a drug does to an animal by illustrating which of its genes are "expressing," or activated, as a result of the medicine. Such signs typically show up well before the actual physical damage.

These genetic road maps can give a better idea of what's causing a safety worry in animal tests, and whether it is likely to affect people the same way. Still, the question remains: "Does that guarantee it won't have a toxic impact in humans?" asks Maneesh Jain, an executive at Affymetrix, a company that makes the microarray chips. "No."

In the pharmaceutical world, animal tests provide vital clues about experimental drugs and help prevent humans from being exposed to serious dangers. The animals are given far bigger doses than a person could likely tolerate, and are tested under circumstances that would be impossible with a human volunteer -- such as during pregnancy. That's why animal trials are still done, despite the concerns of animal-rights activists and others about the distastefulness and expense of sacrificing so many blameless critters.

Currently, the FDA is looking at results showing some anesthetic drugs led to neurological damage in young primates.

Before regulators approve a drug, it typically has been tested on hundreds of animals. The FDA requires initial testing in at least two species: one rodent, one nonrodent. By the end of the process, mice, pigs, rabbits, dogs, monkeys and other animals may have been used.

Animal tests at least give a broad sense of the effects of a drug. In one famous early example, a pancreatic extract successfully tested in diabetic dogs in 1921 helped to illuminate how insulin would help people with the disease. And many experimental medications are eliminated after very serious side effects show up.

Many times, however, subtle results in animals are unclear and scientists just don't know what to make of them.

In the case of the new Novartis drug Galvus, James Shannon, the company's global head of pharmaceutical development, told investors that Novartis researchers "do not understand -- do not know -- the mechanism of the skin findings" in monkeys. They do know that "humans appear to react to Galvus in a very different way."

Another example of the confusing disparities that can arise in testing is the case of the popular sleep drug Lunesta. It won FDA approval despite the fact that tumors appeared when rats and mice took huge doses of a closely related chemical cousin of the medication. Some FDA reviewers were concerned enough initially to recommend rejection of Lunesta. After further analyses, however, agency officials concluded the data from human testing didn't suggest a signal for cancer in people. But you won't see the issue highlighted in the company's ubiquitous green-moth commercials for the drug.

It can happen that a product doesn't hurt animals, but turns out to be poisonous to patients. That occurred with the catastrophic British trial of an experimental biotech drug called TGN1412, meant to treat leukemia and other diseases. It didn't cause problems when given to monkeys and other species. Then six people took it in a small initial study and had life-threatening convulsions and organ failure. British regulators blamed an "unpredicted biological action of the drug in humans" that wasn't foretold by the "apparently adequate" preclinical studies.

It isn't clear how to avoid such fiascos. For now, regulators aren't likely to dial back preclinical study requirements. "At the moment, we don't have a better way of doing it," says David Jacobson-Kram, associate director of pharmacology and toxicology in the FDA's drug center. Neither has the agency increased its focus on animal studies, despite drug-industry concerns sparked by the Galvus decision.

Scientists agree, there's no way to precisely and consistently translate from animal to human results. After the withdrawals of the painkiller Vioxx and other medicines with side effects that didn't fully reveal themselves during years of testing, the need for such a translation looms particularly large.

Chimpanzee Center of Court Case to Determine Legal Rights of Non-Human Primates

This case is extremely monumental. The decision here will affect many related issue. At concern is the question of intelligence equaling rights.

There is no debate here that Hiasl, a 26-year-old chimpanzee is extremely intelligent.

It’s just amazing to me that anyone would be callous enough to justify moving him from a sanctuary to a vivisection torture laboratory.

His story is typical: stolen from the jungle and destined for torture. Luckily his story was slightly different in that he was seized and moved to a sanctuary. Baxter, in it’s infinite cruel look at the work will not look to gain control of his destiny.

Some interesting points:

“Chimpanzee's DNA is 96 percent to 98.4 percent similar to that of humans -- closer than the relationship between donkeys and horses.”

“In New Zealand, apes -- gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos -- were granted special rights as "non-human hominids" in 1999 to ensure protection from maltreatment, slavery, torture, death and extinction.”


Article:

Austrian court to rule if chimpanzee has human rights

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2007/04/02/2003354887

THE OBSERVER, BERLIN
Monday, Apr 02, 2007, Page 1

He recognizes himself in the mirror, plays hide-and-seek and breaks into fits of giggles when tickled. He is also our closest evolutionary cousin.

A group of international leading primatologists argues that this is proof enough that Hiasl, a 26-year-old chimpanzeein Austria, deserves to be treated like a human.

In a test case, campaigners were seeking to ditch the "species barrier" and took Hiasl's case to court. If Hiasl is granted human status -- and the rights that go with it -- it will signal a victory for other primate species and unleash a wave of similar cases.

Hiasl's story began in 1982 when, as a baby, he was taken from Sierra Leone and smuggled into Austria in a crate with seven other chimps destined for a vivisection laboratory east of Vienna. But customs officers seized the crate and Hiasl was sent to an animal sanctuary.

Now the sanctuary faces bankruptcy and Hiasl could be sent to the Baxter vivisection laboratory after all.S

eeking to save Hiasl, who likes painting, kissing visitors and watching wildlife programs, an Austrian businessman has donated ?3,400 (US6,700) toward his upkeep.

However, unless Hiasl has a legal guardian who can manage the money, it will go to the receivers. As only humans have a right to legal guardians, his campaigners said it was necessary for Hiasl's survival to prove that he is one of us.

Primatologists and experts -- from the world's most famous primate campaigner, Jane Goodall, to Volker Sommer, a renowned wild chimp expert at University College London -- will give evidence in the case, which is due to come to court in Vienna within the next few months.

One of their central arguments will be that a chimpanzee's DNA is 96 percent to 98.4 percent similar to that of humans -- closer than the relationship between donkeys and horses. They will cite recent findings that apes hunt with home-made spears and can fight battles and make peace.

In New Zealand, apes -- gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos -- were granted special rights as "non-human hominids" in 1999 to ensure protection from maltreatment, slavery, torture, death and extinction."It's untenable to talk of dividing humans and humanoid apes because there are no clear-cut criteria -- neither biological, nor mental, nor social," said Sommer, an evolutionary anthropologist.

Paula Stibbe, a British woman, has applied to be named Hiasl's legal guardian."He is a colorful character with lots of energy. The least we can do for him is give him ... a future in society," Stibbe said.

Barbara Bartl, the judge and an animal rights campaigner, has stalled proceedings until documents are provided proving Hiasl has, as his friends say, the status of an asylum-seeker, having been abducted illegally from Sierra Leone.I

f Hiasl is granted human status, Martin Balluch, of the Association against Animal Factories, who has worked to bring the case, wants the chimp to sue the vivisection laboratory."We argue that he's a person and he's capable of owning something himself, as opposed to being owned and that he can manage his money. This means he can start a court case against Baxter, which at the very least should mean his old age pension is secure," Balluch said.

Despite Historically Low Births and the Dwindling Numbers and Massive Deaths of Seal Pups Due to Global Warming, Canada Begins Bloody Seal Slaughter

Amazing that even with the number of deaths of seal pups at an all time high and the low number of births, cruel Canada allowed the baby seal slaughter to begin. Even given the facts, they still will allow the killing of 270,000!

This is even after Canadian officials admitted that seal pup deaths this year have been astronomical – see http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/03/despite-acknowledging-dwindling-numbers.html for quotes.

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:

Canada's controversial seal hunt starts

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070402/ap_on_re_ca/canada_seal_hunt

By ROB GILLIES, Associated Press Writer Mon Apr 2, 7:18 PM ET

TORONTO - Canada's controversial annual seal hunt opened Monday in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, where the worst ice conditions in more than two decades have nearly wiped out the herd there.

Fisheries officials said the scarcity of seals in the area led to only two of 40 eligible boats participating in the start of the traditional spring hunt that is important to the livelihood of Canadian seal hunters and aboriginal peoples.

"The bad ice contributed to a high rate of drowning" of baby seals, Fisheries Department spokesman Phil Jenkins said. "The mortality from bad ice is going to be fairly high."

The ice is broken and deteriorated and Jenkins said it is part of a trend seen over the past four or five years. Newborn seals cannot swim in the first weeks of life and need solid ice to survive.

The total quota for this year's seal hunt is 270,000 animals. That is 65,000 fewer than last year, a change made mainly because of the toll from the ice conditions. The seal population in Canada now stands at about 5.5 million.

Simon said the largest concentration of seals was in the more northerly Strait of Belle Isle, between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Ice conditions there are better and the area will be open to hunters beginning Wednesday.

About 70 percent of the seals sought in Canadian waters will be taken in the third stage of the hunt — off northern Newfoundland. An opening date has yet to be announced.

Animal welfare groups condemned the government's decision to allow a hunt in the southern region.

"I've witnessed the hunt for nine years, and I've never seen ice conditions this bad," said Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society of the United States.

The United States has banned Canadian seal products since 1972 and theEuropean Union banned the white pelts of baby seals in 1983.

The European Commission said earlier this month that it would launch a study to see whether seal hunting in Canada is carried out in a humane way, though it has so far rejected calls for an EU-wide ban on the import of adult seal pelts and other products.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Burger King Joins Ranks of Companies Who Will Begin to Demand that Suppliers Adhere to Higher Animal Welfare Standards: Cage and Crate Free

I hesitated about posting this story as I in no way wish to support Burger King. However, this is a big move and will certainly push other companies to look in the same direction. Any move to increase standards of care and welfare is a giant move and should be acknowledged.

I’m a little disappointed that the policy isn’t more wide reaching and larger. For example, now it seems mostly to apply to buying eggs and pork from suppliers that did not confine their animals in cages and crates.

Also mentioned is to “favor suppliers of chickens that use gas, or “controlled-atmospheric stunning,” rather than electric shocks to knock birds unconscious before slaughter. It is considered a more humane method, though only a handful of slaughterhouses use it.” The term favor isn’t necessarily strong.

In terms of numbers, “The goal for the next few months, Burger King said is for 2 percent of its eggs to be “cage free,” and for 10 percent of its pork to come from farms that allow sows to move around inside pens, rather than being confined to crates. The company said those percentages would rise as more farmers shift to these methods and more competitively priced supplies become available.”

2% is a sad number, but better than 0. So, we’ll see what occurs from this.

Article:

Burger King Shifts Policy on Animals
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/28/business/28burger.html

Article Tools Sponsored ByBy ANDREW MARTIN
Published: March 28, 2007

In what animal welfare advocates are describing as a “historic advance,” Burger King, the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, said yesterday that it would begin buying eggs and pork from suppliers that did not confine their animals in cages and crates.

The company said that it would also favor suppliers of chickens that use gas, or “controlled-atmospheric stunning,” rather than electric shocks to knock birds unconscious before slaughter. It is considered a more humane method, though only a handful of slaughterhouses use it.

The goal for the next few months, Burger King said is for 2 percent of its eggs to be “cage free,” and for 10 percent of its pork to come from farms that allow sows to move around inside pens, rather than being confined to crates. The company said those percentages would rise as more farmers shift to these methods and more competitively priced supplies become available.

The cage-free eggs and crate-free pork will cost more, although it is not clear how much because Burger King is still negotiating prices, Steven Grover, vice president for food safety, quality assurance and regulatory compliance, said. Prices of food at the chain’s restaurants will not be increased as a result.

While Burger King’s initial goals may be modest, food marketing experts and animal welfare advocates said yesterday that the shift would put pressure on other restaurant and food companies to adopt similar practices.

“I think the whole area of social responsibility, social consciousness, is becoming much more important to the consumer,” said Bob Goldin, executive vice president of Technomic, a food industry research and consulting firm. “I think that the industry is going to see that it’s an increasing imperative to get on that bandwagon.”

Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said Burger King’s initiatives put it ahead of its competitors in terms of animal welfare.

“That’s an important trigger for reform throughout the entire industry,” Mr. Pacelle said.
Burger King’s announcement is the latest success for animal welfare advocates, who were once dismissed as fringe groups, but are increasingly gaining mainstream victories.

Last week, the celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck announced that the meat and eggs he used would come from animals raised under strict animal welfare codes.

And in January, the world’s largest pork processor, Smithfield Foods, said it would phase out confinement of pigs in metal crates over the next decade.

Some city and state governments have banned restaurants from serving foie gras and have prohibited farmers from confining veal calves and pigs in crates.

Temple Grandin, an animal science professor at Colorado State University, said Smithfield’s decision to abandon crates for pregnant sows had roiled the pork industry. That decision was brought about in part by questions from big customers like McDonald’s, the world’s largest hamburger chain, about its confinement practices.

“When the big boys move, it makes the entire industry move,” said Ms. Grandin, who serves on the animal welfare task forces for several food companies, including McDonald’s and Burger King.

Burger King’s decision is somewhat at odds with the rebellious, politically incorrect image it has cultivated in recent years.

Its commercials deride “chick food” and encourage a more-is-more approach to eating with its turbo-strength coffee, its enormous omelet sandwich, and a triple Whopper with cheese.

Burger King executives said the move was driven by their desire to stay ahead of consumer trends and to encourage farmers to move into more humane egg and meat production.

“We want to be doing things long before they become a concern for consumers,” Mr. Grover said. “Like a hockey player, we want to be there before the puck gets there.”

He said the company would not use the animal welfare initiatives in its marketing. “I don’t think it’s something that goes to our core business,” Mr. Grover said.

Beef cows were not included in the new animal welfare guidelines because, unlike most laying hens and pigs, they continue to be raised outdoors. Burger King already has animal welfare standards for cow slaughter, he said.

The changes were made after discussions with the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, known as PETA.

PETA, in particular, has started a series of high-profile campaigns to pressure fast-food companies to change their animal welfare practices, including a “Murder King” campaign that ended in 2001 when Burger King agreed to improve its animal welfare standards to include, among other things, periodic animal welfare audits.

Since that time, PETA officials said they had met periodically with Burger King officials to encourage them to adopt tougher standards. About a year ago, the Humane Society began its own efforts to encourage Burger King to improve its farm animal standards.

Mr. Grover said his company listened to suggestions from both groups, but ultimately relied on the advice of its animal welfare advisory board, which was created about six years ago and includes academics, an animal welfare advocate, an executive of Tyson Foods and Burger King officials.

“Where we think we can support what our animal advisers think is right, we do it,” Mr. Grover said.

The changes apply to Burger King suppliers in America and Canada, where the chain purchases more than 40 million pounds of eggs a year and 35 million pounds of pork, he said.

A reason that such a small percentage of purchases will meet the new guidelines is a lack of supply, Mr. Grover said.

Burger King plans to more than double its cage-free purchases by the end of this year, to 5 percent of the total, and will also double its purchases of pork from producers who do not use crates, to 20 percent.

Most laying hens in the United States are raised in “battery cages,” which are usually stacked on top of each other three to four cages high. Sows, during their pregnancies, are often kept in gestation crates, which are 24 inches across and 7 feet long.

Matt Prescott, PETA’s manager for factory farm campaigns, argued that both confinement systems were filthy and cruel because the animals could barely move and were prone to injury and psychological stress.

Under Burger King’s initiative, laying hens would be raised in buildings where they would be able to wander around. Similarly, sows would be raised indoors, most likely in pens where they would be able to move freely.

“This is not free range, but simply having some room to move around inside a controlled environment,” Mr. Grover said.

While converting barns for crate-free sows is relatively simple, Ms. Grandin said it was much more difficult and expensive to raise cage-free hens because not nearly as many birds fit in one building.

Burger King officials say they hope that by promoting controlled-atmosphere stunning, more slaughterhouses will adopt the technology. Currently, there are only a few in the United States using the technique, and most of them process turkeys.

Search for More Content

Custom Search
Bookmark and Share

Past Articles