Thursday, May 31, 2007

Egomaniac David Beckham's And Los Angeles Galaxy Push To Legalise The Importation And Sale Of Kangaroo Skins In California

I guess vanity and too much money just isn’t enough for glam boy Beckham and his new glam team the Los Angeles Galaxy.


Beckham in push for roo skin boots


June 01, 2007 02:15am

DAVID Beckham's new U.S. soccer team is behind a bid to legalise the importation and sale of kangaroo skins in California - so soccer players can wear boots made from the marsupials' leather.

After years of lobbying by sportswear giant adidas, the California Senate voted this week to end California's 37-year import ban on kangaroo products.

The Senate kangaroo Bill has pitted the Los Angeles Galaxy and CD Chivas USA soccer teams against animal rights activists.

The Bill passed in the Senate - after four years of failed efforts - would allow a kangaroo product to be imported and sold in California if the species were not otherwise protected by laws in the U.S. and abroad.

The Bill must still be approved by the Assembly and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to come into force.

Of the 55 species of kangaroos in Australia, six are commercially harvested and exported, including red kangaroos and eastern and western gray kangaroos.

Animal activists are fighting the proposal, which they say will lead to the deaths of endangered roos because hunting is done at night so it is hard to identify the exact species.

Lauren Ornelas, spokeswoman for animal rights organisation Viva USA, said Adidas had been relentless in spending about $530,000 to promote the Bill.

"Kangaroos are wildlife, not shoes," she said.

"Adidas needs to get in step with the times and use synthetic materials."

LA Galaxy president Alexi Lalas said California's law deprived his team.

"It is unfair to have these products freely available for commercial purchase in all of the other 49 states and not here," he said.

“…[Meat] Generates More Greenhouse Gases than All the Cars, Trucks, And [Planes] In the World Combined,” Group Calls For Tax Breaks for Vegetarians

Citing the Fact That “…Raising Animals for Food Generates More Greenhouse Gases than All the Cars, Trucks, And [Planes] In the World Combined,” Group Calls For Tax Breaks for Vegetarians

It only makes sense. It’s pure logic.


PETA seeks tax breaks for vegetarians

By Ilan Wurman
May 31, 2007
Citing the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on congressional leaders to give vegetarians a tax break.

In a letter sent Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), PETA President Ingrid Newkirk stated, “[V]egetarians are responsible for far fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and other kinds of environmental degradation than meat-eaters.”

The letter added that vegetarians should receive a tax break “just as people who purchase a hybrid vehicle enjoy a tax break.”

Asked how the government would certify that taxpayers are vegetarian, PETA spokesman Matt Prescott said, “I imagine that a system could be adopted whereby taxpayers could show receipts for food purchases and/or sign an affidavit attesting … that they are vegetarian. If Congress is seriously interested about rewarding people for reducing their carbon emissions, then it could develop a system to verify that people are vegetarian.”

Congressional leaders, however, have not shown any indication of pursuing such a tax break.

The PETA letter draws on research conducted at the University of Chicago and a U.N. report. According to the letter, anyone switching to a hybrid car will lessen the emissions of carbon dioxide by only one ton per year, while anyone forgoing their love of meat will spare the environment one and a half tons per year.

Citing the U.N. report, Newkirk wrote, “[S]cientists determined that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, and [planes] in the world combined.”

“Although most Americans can’t afford to pay upward of $20,000 for a new hybrid car,” the letter continues, “everyone can go vegetarian.”

Newkirk added, “Anyone who buys a hybrid in order to cut down on their contribution to global warming and uses it to drive to the supermarket to buy chicken, steaks, and milk should face up to the fact that there’s no such thing as a meat-eating environmentalist.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Air Canada Continues Trans-Atlantic Shipments of Dogs to Europe to Be Tortured In Animal Experimentation

What’s shocking here is the callousness by Air Canada, but also the stress that passengers witnessed and then displayed when learning where these dogs were going. Sad too is that they were wagging their tails, unknowingly heading to torture.

“Passengers on the flight found the sound of the dogs very distressing.

"All we could hear during the boarding and before the takeoff was barking, crying and whimpering," said one passenger in business class on Flight 870 who did not want to be identified.”


Beagles flown to labs for testing

Air Canada confirms shipments to Europe

MAX HARROLD, The Gazette
Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Speeding down the runway in Dorval May 21, Air Canada passengers bound for Paris heard a lot more than just the jet's engines wailing.

Dogs were yelping in the cargo hold beneath them.

The estimated 70 to 100 healthy beagles were among many regular - and perfectly legal - trans-Atlantic shipments by Air Canada of dogs destined for medical experiments.

Passengers on the flight found the sound of the dogs very distressing.

"All we could hear during the boarding and before the takeoff was barking, crying and whimpering," said one passenger in business class on Flight 870 who did not want to be identified.

After landing in Paris, passengers saw three pallets with cages of two dogs each being unloaded from the Airbus 330 aircraft.

"Their tails were wagging through the cages," said one passenger, who also asked not to be identified.

"We were shocked to hear some flight attendants say this goes on regularly - dogs get shipped to Paris for experiments." Because Quebec's animalprotection law is vague and weakly enforced, the province provides a steady source of dogs for laboratories both here and abroad, animal rights activists said.

"Fifty per cent of all dogs used for medical research in Canada are used in Quebec," said Liz White, a director of the Animal Alliance of Canada, a national animal rights group.

Figures found on the website the Canadian Council on Animal Care, a government-funded organization that monitors animal research, show 5,610 dogs were "used" in Quebec in 2005.

That same year, 5,127 dogs were used in all the other provinces combined.

Despite a tough new provincial animal-welfare law enacted 2004, "Quebec is a frontier province for animal abusers," White said.

"There are very few bylaws, there is a high euthanasia rate by pet owners), and the claim rate for lost pets is very low." The Quebec atmosphere helps medical researchers trade in animals, she said.

Only four inspectors enforce Quebec's animal-welfare law, which allows for fines of $200 to $15,000 for repeat offenders. In Ontario, more than 200 inspectors enforce animal-welfare regulations.

Suzanne Lecomte, chief inspector with Anima-Quebec, a not-for-profit agency that applies the new law, said the "law is vague. It says simply you cannot compromise the safety and welfare of the animal." Linda Robertson, director of the Monteregie SPCA, said beagles are often used in research because they are particularly docile.

"You can do with a beagle whatever you want," she said.

"It's not going to bite you." The breed can be tailor-made to develop certain cancers, she added.

Pierre Barnoti, executive director of the SPCA in Montreal, said his group has been aware of the air shipments for years.

"Our investigators have checked out the dogs' health and they're fine," Barnoti said.

"These are not puppy mill dogs," he said.

Claude Morin, president of Air Canada Cargo, confirmed the existence of animal shipments for medical research.

"It's completely legal," Morin said. "The animals are treated perfectly (en route).We don't really ask too many questions about where they're going.

Clients don't have to tell us anything." Air Canada spokesperson Isabelle Arthur said a 1998 ruling by the Canadian Transportation Agency forbids the airline from refusing to ship animals simply because of their purpose. The ruling was made after Air Canada refused to carry monkeys intended for vivisection.

But Jadrino Huot, a spokesperson for the CTA, said the ruling was made to force Air Canada to apply its own policies and that the airline was entirely within its rights to change its policies.

"Air travel is a deregulated industry," he said. "They set their own policies." One Air Canada flight attendant, who asked not to be identi- fied, said the dog shipments have been kept "hush, hush." "It's a business," she said.

"They shouldn't be doing this."

Mice Hung by Their Tails with Tape, Subjected To Electrical Shocks And Forced To Swim Until Nearly Drowning at University of New Mexico

Need I say more?? Well, one thing – it’s obvious the ridiculous cruelty here, but to then see the school say this was to study depression is just insane. To me this is a study in torture. Let’s put it this way – if you did this in your home, you’d be arrested for animal torture and everyone who found about what you were doing would say you are crazy. Instead, because this was at a university, they somehow are able to rationalize it.


UNM criticized over use of mice in study

Mon May 21, 4:28 PM ET

ALBUQUERQUE - Mice were hung by their tails with adhesive tape, subjected to electrical shocks and forced to swim until nearly drowning during experiments done at the University of New Mexico.

University officials say there was nothing wrong with the research that helped a high school student study hopelessness and depression for a science fair project. But the former lab veterinarian at the university called the research "torture," and an animal protection group said it was a perversion of science, the Albuquerque Journal reported in a story published Sunday.

"To me, it suggests inadequacy of faculty guidance," said Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "This has been against the rules for science fairs for a quarter-century."

Then-La Cueva High School student Sarah Founds conducted the research in 2003 and 2004 for a science fair project, which was disqualified after national science-fair officials said it violated standards on the ethical use of animals. The research also led to the resignation of the lab's research veterinarian, who said he didn't know about the experiments until after the fact.

"I have defended animal research, stating that we do not abuse animals. Then, this slapped me in the face," said Daniel Theele, who had been in charge of the welfare of lab animals at UNM.

Theele complained about the project and now is suing UNM over the treatment he says he received after being forced to resign in October 2005. An internal investigation at UNM concluded that the experiments violated federal guidelines and had not been properly approved.

A report on the investigation also expressed great concern about exposing a high school student to experiments inflicting pain on animals.

Theele said the experiments were inappropriate even for medical students to conduct.

"I can provide no justification for a high school student being exposed to those kinds of experiments," he said.

However, UNM continues to defend what happened.

"No illegal, abusive or inappropriate conduct or research occurred," an attorney for the UNM board of regents, wrote in a response to Theele's lawsuit.

Terry Yates, vice president for research at UNM, and other university officials could not be reached for comment.

Founds, who did the research in conjunction with a graduate student in 2003 and a medical student in 2004, said the project at UNM was worthwhile and did no harm.

"I thought it was awesome. I had a lot of fun working on it," said Founds, who now is studying nutrition at the University of Idaho.

She said the project "wasn't overly painful."

"I'd encourage other students to do that kind of research," she said.

UNM has between 7,000 and 8,000 animals for use in teaching or research. Most of the animals are mice or rats, but there are other creatures such as hamsters, frogs, fish, rabbits and snakes, said Susan McKinsey, communications director for the university.

Elizabeth Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection of New Mexico, said the experiments on mice raise questions about "what the thousands of other animals on campus are being subjected to, and if anyone is paying attention."

Ray Powell, a veterinarian serving as the regional director of the Jane Goodall Institute, said greater openness about research "would set our university apart and be a beacon for the rest of the country."

"I would hope the state's premier research facility — the University of New Mexico — would see this as an opportunity to set a new standard for openness and humane treatment of animals," Powell said.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cruel China at it Again: Zoos in China Described as "Insane Asylums for Animals" and a National Disgrace: Live Domestic Animals Fed To Lions

Cruel china is back again. This time it’s exposing the horrors of zoos in the country. Turns out that they love to see live animals mauled and torn apart for sheer enjoyment. Very cruel country indeed but very much China.


China's Zoos: 'Asylums for Animals',,30200-1266775,00.html

By Peter Sharp,
China Correspondent

Updated: 17:57, Tuesday May 22, 2007
China's zoos have been described as "insane asylums for animals" and a national disgrace, where live domestic pets are fed to lions and tigers for the entertainment of visitors.
Animals are trained to perform tricks
Animals are trained to perform tricks

Animal rights activists have told Sky News that in 10 years of monitoring animals' living conditions there has been "no improvement".

Campaigner Dr John Wederburn said: "I come back to the same zoo four or five years later and the same animals are still trapped in the same tiny cage.

"It's called zoo-chosis. The animals are simply driven out of their minds by the boredom."

Stage shows, in which bears are trained to twirl sticks of fire and ride motorcycles, came in for particular criticism.

At one zoo, a three-year-old bear was put in a dress and a harness to pull a car twice a day in front of the holiday crowds.

Meanwhile, a trip round the Harbin Wildlife Park in Northern China ends with a gruesome spectacle.

The world's biggest breeding centre for Siberian tigers encourages visitors to buy domestic animals that will be fed live to the tigers.

Special vending flaps are fitted on the tourist buses to allow visitors to feed chickens to the waiting tigers.

A live chicken can be purchased for £2.60, while a cow costs £100.

The authorities at the park say the tigers are being trained to be released back into the wild and argue that the fees charged for the live animals are used to support the park.

But Dr Wederburn has described the practice as "medieval", while the World Society for the Protection of Animals also condemned it.

Virginia McKenna, of the wildlife charity Born Free, said: "With the Olympic Games just a year away, China has a short window of opportunity to tackle these issues.

"(It) faces the very real possibility that many of the millions of sports enthusiasts will return not with memories of the Olympic spectacle, nor of China's undoubted ancient civilisation and culture... but of the animal welfare horrors that still go on, causing such suffering, and offending us all."

Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins Loves Dog Fighting: Supports Dog Fighting Supporter and Atlanta Falcon Dog Fighter Michael Vick


Redskins apologize for Portis' remarks

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 05/22/2007 05:56:43 PM PDT

ASHBURN, Va.- The Washington Redskins apologized Tuesday for comments running back Clinton Portis made during a television interview ridiculing authorities for pursuing possible dog fighting charges against Michael Vick.

Also, tackle Chris Samuels said he was wrong for joking about dog fighting during the interview he and Portis did Monday with WAVY-TV in Norfolk.

In the segment, Portis said that Vick would be put "behind bars for no reason" if the Atlanta Falcons quarterback were charged and convicted for dog fighting. Samuels laughed during much of the interview.

"The Washington Redskins, as an organization, obviously would never condone anything related to animal cruelty," the team's statement said. "The team takes the recent comments of Clinton Portis very seriously and apologizes to everyone that was offended."

It was the second statement in two days from the Redskins over the dog fighting flap. Late Monday, the team released a statement on behalf of Portis in which the running back said: "I want to make it clear I do not take part in dog fighting or condone dog fighting in any manner."

Portis and Samuels giggled and laughed frequently during the interview as they defended Vick, who has been under investigation since a police raid at one of his houses discovered dozens of dogs and items associated with dog fighting. No charges have been filed.

"I don't know if he was fighting dogs or not," Portis said in the interview. "But
it's his property; it's his dogs. If that's what he wants to do, do it."

Portis, a native of Laurel, Miss., added: "I know a lot of back roads that got a dog fight if you want to go see it. But they're not bothering those people because those people are not big names. I'm sure there's some police got some dogs that are fighting them, some judges got dogs and everything else."

When Portis suggested that Vick would be "cheated" if charged and convicted, Samuels giggled and said: "Haven't you seen Animal Planet?"

On Tuesday, Samuels apologized for his behavior.

"We were wrong for joking about the situation," Samuels said. "It's very serious. We don't agree with dog fighting."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

eBay Leads to Elephant Extinction: Supports and Sells Ivory over Online Auction Site

Disgusting and disgraceful. How they can allow this is beyond reason. Seems the money too rules eBay.


Animal rights group condemns 'rampant' eBay ivory trade

6:23AM, Tuesday 15th May 2007
The elephant, the world's largest land mammal, is being threatened with global extinction by a 'rampant trade' in ivory on the eBay online auction site, animal welfare campaigners said on Tuesday.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said it had conducted a survey in the UK, Australia, China, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Canada and the US and tracked more than 2,200 elephant ivory items listed on eBay websites.

It found more than 90 per cent of the listings breached even eBay's own wildlife policies.

International wildlife trade laws differ from country to country and are often complex, but according to the IFAW in general it is illegal to sell carved or uncarved ivory unless it is antique and accompanied by a proof of age certificate.

The Fund says the only way to protect elephants from poachers is to shut down
the markets where illegal ivory can easily be passed off as antique.

'As the world's largest online shop window, eBay has a special responsibility to lead the way by banning ivory from their sites,' said Robbie Marsland, IFAW's British director.

'Only a global ban on all ivory sales will remove the cover under which this criminal activity currently operates and as a result, seriously help to decrease illegal trade and the cruel and unnecessary slaughter of elephants.'

Gareth Streeter, a spokesman for eBay in London, said in a statement the website operated policies to 'restrict the sale of ivory in accordance with existing UK and international law.

'We have had a number of positive and fruitful discussions with the IFAW about how we can work together to ensure that our policies are effectively enforced, and we are committed to working with them to tackle the problem of illegal ivory sales,' he said.

Marsland urged eBay to ban all trade in ivory.

'Elephants are facing extinction, in part because of Internet ivory trade. It is time for action,' he said.

Masterfoods Turns Back on Vegans: Adds Animal Products to Mars, Twix and Snickers: No Regard for Vegetarian Customers

I’m not sure why they even need to add a product like rennet or whey. It comes down to just simply not caring about vegans and their issues.


Mars starts using animal products

Mars, Snickers and Twix chocolate bars
Masterfoods' brands are household names
Some of the UK's best-selling chocolate bars, such as Mars and Twix, will no longer be suitable for vegetarians.

Also affecting brands such as Snickers and Maltesers, owner Masterfoods said it had started to use animal product rennet to make its chocolate products.

Masterfoods said the change was due to it switching the sourcing of its ingredients and the admission was a "principled decision" on its part.

The Vegetarian Society said the company's move was "incomprehensible".

'Extremely disappointed'

Masterfoods said it had started using rennet from 1 May and non-affected products had a "best before date" up to 1 October.

Masterfoods' decision to use non-vegetarian whey is a backward step
Vegetarian Society

Rennet, a chemical sourced from calves' stomachs, is used in the production of whey.

It will now also be found in Bounty, Minstrels and Milky Way products, and the ice cream versions of all Masterfoods' bars.

"If the customer is an extremely strict vegetarian, then we are sorry the products are no longer suitable, but a less strict vegetarian should enjoy our chocolate," said Paul Goalby, corporate affairs manager for Masterfoods.

The Vegetarian Society said it was "extremely disappointed".

"At a time when more and more consumers are concerned about the provenance of their food, Masterfoods' decision to use non-vegetarian whey is a backward step," it said in a statement.

"Mars products are very popular with young people and many will be shocked to discover that their manufacture now relies on the extraction of rennet from the stomach lining of young calves," it added.

Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick Is Involved In Dog Fighting: Trouble Continues For Troubled and Cruel Quarterback and NFL

So now it’s dog fighting. I guess Vick isn’t happy with his millions. He really needs to feed his cruel side as well.


Dog Fighting Is Cruel, and Vick Has Questions to Answer

Posted May 15th 2007 9:41AM by Michael David Smith
Filed under: Falcons, NFL Gossip, NFL Rumors, Atlanta, NFL Police Blotter

The evidence is mounting that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is involved in dog fighting. The extent to which he's involved isn't quite clear, but at this point he would have to be willfully ignorant if he didn't have at least some inclination that the property he owned was being used to raise dogs that were used for fighting. It's time for Vick to stop dodging questions and start answering them.

We'll have much more to say about this as details unfold, but I have a feeling that a lot of people don't really know what dog fighting is. The Humane Society's dog fighting fact sheet is a good place to start. I was surprised to learn there that a dog fight typically lasts an hour -- I was envisioning something that lasts a few seconds or a few minutes. Roger Goodell is probably more concerned about the fact that illegal gambling is a major part of the dog fighting culture than he is about cruelty to animals. If Vick is involved with gamblers, he's going to face a very long suspension.

But the animal cruelty aspect is the one that's going to do more damage to Vick's reputation. Animal advocacy groups aren't going to let this issue go, and every company that has an endorsement deal with Vick is going to be hearing about it. I think this is going to cost him millions.

The picture shows a dog fight in Afghanistan last year.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

House Committee in Louisiana Recommends Making Cockfighting Illegal in 2008

Well, a little late, but better then than never. We’ll see.


La. House panel OKs ban on cockfighting in 2008

By DOUG SIMPSON | Associated Press
May 3, 2007

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ Louisiana, the last state where cockfighting is legal, should ban the practice _ but not until 2008, a state House committee has decided.

New Mexico banned cockfighting earlier this year, increasing pressure on Louisiana lawmakers to do the same after years of resistance. Members of the House Agriculture Committee tried and failed to agree on a bill last year, but on Thursday unanimously approved a compromise measure to criminalize staged rooster fights beginning in December 2008.

"We shouldn't be the last state," said Rep. Harold Ritchie, D-Bogalusa, a sponsor. "We should have beat New Mexico last year."

The panel's main point of dispute was whether to ban cockfighting this year or give people involved in the industry time to sell their roosters and find new careers. Rep. Jack Smith argued it would be unfair to immediately impose a ban and make cockfighters criminals.

"I want to be humane not only to the chickens, but to the people who own the chickens," said Smith, D-Franklin.

Animal rights advocates opposed delaying the ban, arguing that cockfighting is animal abuse that should be criminalized immediately.

Michael Markarian, an executive vice president with the Humane Society of the United States, said people who raise the roosters and stage the fights have had warning that cockfighting is on its last legs.

"There has been plenty of advanced notice," he said.

Cockfighting enthusiasts said they need more time. Richard Apshire, owner of a cockfighting arena in Calcasieu Parish, said he has 50 employees who will need to find new jobs.

Animal rights groups also said penalties for those convicted of staging cockfights should be tougher. The measure makes cockfighting a misdemeanor with penalties of up to six months in prison and $1,000 in fines.

Cockfighting is a felony in 33 states, according to the U.S. Humane Society, which argued for tougher penalties in Louisiana.

The measure, by Ritchie and Rep. Mike Strain, R-Covington, goes to the full House for debate. House Speaker Joe Salter, D-Florien, and Gov. Kathleen Blanco have said they'll support some form of cockfighting ban.

A competing bill that would ban cockfighting this year is awaiting debate in a Senate committee. That measure, by Sen. Art Lentini, has the support of animal rights groups.

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