The House added a number of environmental measures to the budget Friday, voting to block the Trump administration from drilling in the arctic or rejecting grants for projects and studies tied to climate change.
Lawmakers voted on a series of amendments to the budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Interior on Thursday and Friday, seeking to block funding from being used to implement a number of Trump administration rollbacks.
The language includes measures to block a new policy allowing hunting tactics that make it easier to kill bear cubs and wolf pups in Alaska.
Another measure would block the administration from implementing its changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, a bedrock environmental law that green groups have said President Trump is gutting. Trump rolled back the law last week, calling the act, which requires a thorough environmental review of major projects, the “single biggest obstacle” to construction.
The legislation passed by Democrats also blocks drilling in both the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA).
The Trump administration has sought to open more than 80 percent of the NPRA to drilling, while the wildlife refuge was opened for drilling through the 2017 tax cut legislation.
House Democrats have repeatedly worked to block drilling in the ANWR, passing legislation in September that was never taken up by the Senate.
The legislation includes other measures with a more bipartisan agenda, including an increase in funding to replace lead pipes and language to ensure the EPA will continue with its plans to regulate cancer-linked PFAS chemicals in drinking water.
Lawmakers also voted down a Republican effort to allow importation of elephant or lion hunting trophies taken in Tanzania, Zimbabwe or Zambia.
The city council in Martelle, IA is trying to force me to remove my “vicious breed” dog from the city limits. The city has an ordinance banning any “vicious breed.” Please help me by getting the city council to realize that not all of the dogs in these breeds are vicious.
My dog has been raised right and grown up around kids her whole life. My dog is a 3 1/2 year old American Bully, she will be 4 in October. Between my husband and I we have five boys 7 years old and younger. She is a registered emotional support animal to me. Please help myself and my kids keep our dog. They all love her so much… my almost two year old will not go to bed at night without giving her kisses and telling her goodnight. She has never done anything wrong to anyone in this town. I have submitted my emotional support paperwork and my letter prescribing her to me, and they have hired a lawyer & are giving me a week to remove her from within the city limits.
Please help myself and my family by signing this so I can show up with as much help as possible during the next city council meeting to get them to change this ordinance in our city!!!
Rebecca Shepherd in NewsLast updated 6:53 PM, Monday July 20 2020 GMT+1 3-4 minutes
An animal rights charity has shared shocking pictures of caged puppies in Korea as they urge people not take part in the tradition of eating the dog soup to cool them down during the hottest days of summer.
The charity, NoToDogMeat, says that some Koreans still maintain their tradition of eating boshintang, a Korean soup that includes dog meat as its primary ingredient.
Credit: Jam Press
The dogs used in the soup are typically found from dog farms, stray dogs or are people’s own pets that end up being brutally tortured.
NoToDogMeat is calling on all Koreans to boycott this practice and urge anyone taking part to think again.
Days of Bok (伏)/ Boknals, which mark the beginning, peak and the end of the dog-eating season according to the Chinese calendar, are traditionally in the summer when temperatures are at their hottest. This year the Boknals began on Sunday (19 July) and will end on 8 August.
Credit: Jam Press
NoToDogMeat CEO Julia de Cadenet said: “In previous years, our activists witnessed the horrors of Koreans feasting on dogs at the notorious Moran market.
“Dogs often with collars on staring out with pleading eyes and revellers selected them for slaughter. In 2012 we launched a UK Government petition to close this vile market, and in 2017 the mayor of Seoul ordered the dismantling of cages in this market and several others followed suit.
“For us, it signalled a true beginning of change as soon other markets started to close. Of course, dogs are still sold, and gruesome farms and abuse continue, but we saw progress.”
Credit: Jam Press
Protests containing their distinctive NoToDogMeat banners were also featured in Australian filmmakers movie The Dog Meat Professionals: South Korea.
In the film we see rows of dogs in cages at a dog farm. An interviewer asks an employee if the dogs are being kept for pets. He replies: “All these dogs are for dog meat soup. They are all raised to be eaten.”
Julia added: “Although Korea has not followed China’s recent move to tentatively declare dogs and cats as companion animals (so no longer livestock), there are many bye-laws in place that activists on the ground and internationally push to be enforced.
“So why aren’t these laws enforced? This is a question activists continue to raise to embassies and government officials, and right now in South Korea, there is a mass e-petition campaign.”
NoToDogMeat are currently supporting, among others, Korean Charity Kara, which organised a drive through protest four days ago with an overwhelmingly positive response.
Julia said her charity will be showing their support by taking to the streets on 23 July (Thursday) at 2-5pm at the South Korean Embassy in London followed by a walk to House of Parliament before they break for summer recess.
It also clarifies standards of care requirements for food, water, and shelter, and includes provisions for hygiene conditions, grooming, and veterinary care, while removing ambiguous language to ensure anyone who tortures a pet can be charged for their crime.
Finally, mental health assessments will now be required for juveniles with offenses punishable as an aggravated misdemeanor and class D felony.
“HF737 is a significant step forward for Iowa, a state that has long been ranked as one of the worst in the nation for animal protection laws,” commented Iowa Pet Alliance executive director Haley Anderson. “During such unprecedented and politically contentious times, HF737 has proven that protecting our pets is something the majority of Iowans and legislators can agree on, regardless of party.”
Lady Freethinker (LFT) applauds this step in the right direction for Iowa. Thank you to the nearly 32,000 people who signed LFT’s petition demanding stronger and more effective animal welfare legislation in in the state, and to all of the animal activists in Iowa fighting so hard for change.
Whilst Kellogg’s does have a number of vegan cereals and products, they could expand this range extensively by simply switching the vitamin D used in their cereals to a plant-based version.
The vitamin D currently used in most of Kellogg’s products is an animal-derived version of vitamin D3. This comes from a substance called lanolin, which is found in sheep’s wool.
Vegans avoid wool and products made from wool for a number of reasons. Firstly, there is an inherent link between the wool industry and the meat industry. Additionally, undercover investigations into the wool industry have shown abuse and horrific treatment of gentle sheep during the sheering process.
Plant-based vitamin D can be in the form of vitamin D2 or a plant-derived D3.
Last year, Animal Aid announced that supermarket giant Asda has swapped the vitamin D in a number of their cereals to a plant-based version, making a number of their own-brand cereals vegan.
This simple swap does nothing to alter the taste or quality of the product, but it does open it up to a huge and ever-growing vegan market.
Please join us in urging Kellogg’s to swap the vitamin D3 in their cereals for a vegan version.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the preeminent legal advocate for animals, released the first in a series of white papers providing policy recommendations to reduce our heightened risk from zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 and the next global pandemic, which need only a human-animal interaction to arise. The paper — COVID-19 and Animals — asserts that, even as the government mobilizes to limit the staggering impact of COVID-19, it is imperative it also address immediate and gradual changes to mitigate the ongoing risk from zoonotic disease outbreaks.
Live markets, where diverse live animals are sold and slaughtered on demand, originally received significant attention and criticism due to suspicion that COVID-19 originated in a live market in Wuhan, China — as SARS had originated in a similar market in 2002. Alternatively, the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s paper raises the alarm around the rate of zoonotic disease being produced in the industrial animal agriculture industry in the U.S.
Factory farms engage in many of the same risky practices as live markets, but on a scale orders of magnitude greater. Factory farming is already responsible for numerous zoonotic disease outbreaks, including the 1997 Bird Flu (H5N1) and the 2009 Swine Flu (H1N1). In April 2020, a highly pathogenic strain of Bird Flu (H7N3) — a strain which has caused illness in humans — was discovered in a turkey farm in South Carolina. It is simply a matter of time before a zoonotic disease outbreak has the combination of high level of contagion and high fatality rate. In that respect, COVID-19 is a dress rehearsal, with a fatality rate predicted to be under one percent (still fluctuating as cases progress) — compared to 60 percent of H1N1 and 90 percent of Ebola, another zoonotic disease, which have lower levels of contagion.
The legal and illegal wildlife trade, animal habitat loss and human encroachment, climate change, and recent regulatory obstruction by the federal government are also examined — as well as the failure of U.S. laws and regulatory oversight, including public health agencies, to prepare for a pandemic scientists and experts have predicted for decades — and the absence of any proactive measures.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is grateful for its collaborating partners in the production of these recommendations, including Co-Directors Ryan Gordon and Vanessa Shakib of Advancing Law for Animals and Jackie Bowen, MS, MPH, of Clean Label Project.
Express News Service | Published: 03rd July 2020 01:42 PM The animal protection organisation said the trade of dog meat in Nagaland was utterly illegal and in complete violation of various laws such as the Indian Penal Code 1860. (Photo | EPS)
GUWAHATI: Even though dog meat is a delicacy in Nagaland and considered a cure for pain-related ailments, The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) has urged the state government to immediately ban its slaughter and enforce the stringent animal welfare laws.
“We are writing with deep concern, shock and horror at recent images that have emerged from ‘animal bazaar’ markets in Dimapur where dogs are seen in terrified conditions, tied up in sacks, waiting at a wet market, for their illegal slaughter, trade and consumption as meat,” FIAPO legal manager Varnika Singh wrote to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in a letter.
Dogs are regularly smuggled from Assam and West Bengal into Nagaland.
In Assam, the dog catchers, who work for smugglers, get about Rs 50 for a single dog and the same dog when sold at a wholesale market in the state costs approximately Rs 1,000.
In the streets of Nagaland, dog meat sells for Rs 200 per kg which is roughly Rs 2,000 per dog or 40-50 times increase from the catchers’ ‘price’, the FIAPO wrote.
The animal protection organisation said the trade of dog meat in Nagaland was utterly illegal and in complete violation of various laws such as the Indian Penal Code 1860.
It also said that Section 429 of the IPC makes the killing of animals a punishable offence with up to five years of imprisonment.
“The trade of dog meat involves packaging dogs in gunny bags with their mouths either tied with a string or sewn shut which is a complete violation of this Act. The consumption of dog meat is a violation of the laws and hence, illegal. This calls for an immediate and stringent implementation of the laws. In a rapidly-developing country like ours, it is imperative that we accord equal rights to animals,” the FIAPO letter read.
It added that capturing and transporting dogs and preparing and consuming their meat put individuals directly at the risk of contracting rabies as the disease can spread not only through dog bites but also by handling and consuming infected meat.
“In Vietnam, 30% of human deaths due to rabies were linked to exposure to the virus during slaughter of the dogs. In addition to this, dogs are notoriously traded in wet markets, where they are slaughtered on demand in front of the customers, exponentially increasing health and epidemiological risks of infections as we are already witnessing with the global rise of Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.
Animals were rescued from a “shelter” where they reportedly endured unimaginable neglect, such as untreated tumors, infections and one report of a dog whose jaw was “literally rotting out… laying there, waiting to die.” The owner of the shelter had previously been charged with abuse, was allowed to continue owning animals, and remains a free man even today. Sign this petition to demand authorities finally prosecute the accused abuser.
PETITION TARGET: President of the Ohio Senate Larry Obhof
Imagine a beaten, bloody dog rushed through an animal hospital’s doors, her body broken from abuse. Veterinarians treat her injuries — but then hand the helpless puppy back into the arms of her abuser, never letting police know what happened.
This scenario is entirely possible in Ohio, where no law mandates vets or social service professionals to report suspected abuse. But new legislation could help save abandoned and abused animals from brutal cruelty.
The Ohio House recently passed a bill requiring professionals who suspect an animal has suffered maltreatment to report the matter to the police or humane agents.
House Bill 33 implements “cross-reporting mechanisms and procedures to ensure law enforcement is notified of suspected abuse against a companion animal.” Now, it heads to the Ohio Senate and awaits committee assignment.
We must speak out to ensure it’s enacted and to prevent the suffering of neglected or abused companion animals.
Sign this petition urging President of the Ohio Senate Larry Obhof to pass House Bill 33, requiring professionals to report suspected cases of animal cruelty and potentially save the lives of dogs and cats.
Author (s): Claudine Liegeois Recipient (s): President RPChine, Ambassador RPC in France, governor of the city of YULIN The petition
Governing a continent-state is obviously a challenge.
And this is undoubtedly part of the origin of the centralizing and firm regime in the DRC.
However, it did not prevent (if we dismiss the scenario of a laboratory leak), the propagation and the monstrous planetary damage of the Covid19.
This is because those in charge of the Chinese political apparatus, despite all the coercive means with which they have been able to acquire, allow archaic traditions, officially banned, to persist until this 21st century (!)
On this sinister occasion, what an incredible image China has revealed for itself: beneath the veneer of a modern country and a brilliant elite, we discover a people maintained in its rusticity and lack of education.
The Chinese regime’s tolerance for these evil traditions is odious. One would not dare to think that these are there, valves necessary for the supervision of the masses….
Concerning the market of Yulin and the prior, abject torture, of dogs and cats for a meat of better taste, You continue to ignore the terror of other nations that can not, by simple comparison, qualified as ” civilized ”.
You will tolerate unbearable, cruel, intolerable practices; unworthy of any individual having respect for himself. You stick to diplomatic promises, facade bans; You close your eyes, You let it happen.
This customary and irresponsible tolerance to feudal practices has led you and the entire planet to almost unprecedented human, economic and social disaster.
The image of China did not come out of it larger, and distrust towards it was duly installed around the world.
Since then, you have been able (it seems?) To take things in hand and stop the markets for wild and protected animals.
Do the same with markets like Yulin; Stop the gratuitous and unbearable torture of these poor beasts!
These are manifestations of barbarians, which we can only hope to turn to those who practice them and those who tolerate them. One would hope that the Covid19 would spread to Yulin; So, in turn, men will have to suffer before they die
Hoping that my appeal will be heard, I shout my indignation here against all these so-called traditional abuses.
PETITION TARGET: Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Volodymyr Yelchenko
After a plane landed in Toronto from Ukraine, airport workers discovered a shocking scene on board: 38 French Bulldogs lying dead in their cages, likely from suffocation during the flight, and hundreds more covered in vomit and barely able to stand, dehydrated from traveling so far without water.
French Bulldogs are already so vulnerable to respiratory problems that some airlines refuse to allow them on their planes, but this particular flight reportedly shrink-wrapped some of the cages, dramatically increasing their likelihood of death.
The helpless dogs were likely imported from large-scale breeders, or puppy mills, as the demand for French Bulldogs has soared during the current coronavirus pandemic, according to the Daily Mail. Even for commercial breeders, though, transporting 500 dogs on a plane is a near impossible task.
Sign this petition urging Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Volodymyr Yelchenko to push the Ukrainian government to ban all puppy mills involved in this tragic event, potentially saving hundreds of dogs from suffering a similar fate.
Renee Kraft started this petition to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and 10 others 2 minutes
Due to the impact of Covid -19 the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter (TOHAS) shut its doors to the public only allowing adoptions of animals following Covid -19 guidelines. Despite the pleas of trappers and homeowners they discontinued their much needed and popular Trap Neuter Return (TNR) services leaving trappers and homeowners to pay out of pocket for spay and neuter expenses.
Now with the reopening of NYS phase 2, TOHAS has not provided any information when they are opening and resuming TNR services despite the fact that under NYS phase 2 spay and neuter services are permitted to be performed per the NYS COVID executive orders under NIACS code 541940. There is no excuse for the TNR program to not be opened!
There is an overpopulation of feral cats on Long Island. We are exploding right now with an abundance of kittens. Too many to place as pets and mamas are quickly getting pregnant with the next litter. Have you ever seen kittens lose their eyes to infection? Have a URI so bad it could barely breathe? Have it’s little body devoured by worms and parasites from the inside out? TNR is the only humane way to control the feral population and reduce the suffering.
Please sign this petition telling TOHAS to open their doors and resume their TNR program immediately. Taxpayers funded this program, they need these services now!
Families are filling fireworks stores as COVID-19 brings new restrictions & cancellations on shows across the region. Author: Jamie Bittner (FOX43) Published: 11:00 PM EDT June 22, 2020
Call it the new toilet paper, fireworks are now emptying store shelves across the region.
Phantom Fireworks in Hopewell Township told FOX43 business is normally up this time of the year. But in 2020, manager Bill Hunt told FOX43 the store has seen a nearly 20-30% increase in sales.
“It seemed like it was our 4th of July weekend when we’re extremely busy, cars out the door,” said Hunt about this past weekend as he also told FOX43 a buy one, get one sale also helped draw customers into the store. null
Hunt said the store is operating under new safety protocols by limiting the number of customers inside to around 160 people at a time. Normally, the store would hold around 235 customers. Store workers are also wearing face shields and all customers are also asked to wear a mask while shopping inside.
“When we get to our capacity we’re actually going to limit the amount of people who come in to groups of two and children under 18 won’t be allowed in just for flow to go through the store a lot better,” said Hunt.
Hunt hopes the early rush on fireworks will actually help ease the crowds July 4th weekend and promote social distancing by spreading out sales.
“All the fireworks are canceled, so the kids still want to see some sort of fireworks,” said Erik Sheppard, who drove from Baltimore after his local fireworks events were canceled.
Sheppard, along with other customers, left with the store with shopping carts filled to the brim with fireworks.
“During this time period this actually means everything because we’ve been in so long, especially the kids, that’s another reason why I wanted to do this because I know they’re probably more bored than we are,” he said.
Hunt reminds everyone who plans to buy and set off fireworks to prioritize safety.
“We want everybody to be safe. We want to make sure everybody knows fireworks are very safe if used the correct way,” he said.
York County, Hanover, Wrightsville, and Red Lion plan to hold fireworks displays over the holiday weekend.
July 4th celebrations in Springettsbury Township have been postponed to September 26. York City, Jacobus, and Shrewsbury have canceled fireworks displays. Fireworks at Long’s Park in Lancaster are also canceled.
After the Dutch government confirmed that two fur farm workers were “extremely likely” to have contracted the virus from mink, the country ordered the killing of hundreds of thousands of mink on the infected farms to prevent future outbreaks. Photo by BirdImages/iStock.com
The Dutch parliament has voted to permanently shut down an estimated 128 mink fur farms in the wake of coronavirus outbreaks on 17 of these farms since April. If approved by the Dutch government, the decision would bring a welcome end to the cruel business of fur farming in the country—a business that causes immeasurable suffering for millions of animals each year.
Mink on fur farms in the Netherlands have already paid a heavy price during the pandemic. After the government confirmed that two farm workers were “extremely likely” to have contracted the virus from mink, the country ordered the killing of hundreds of thousands of mink on the infected farms to prevent future outbreaks. Most of the animals killed were days’ old and weeks’ old pups.
Denmark, which is Europe’s largest mink producer, has also discovered infected mink on its fur farms and has culled at least 11,000 mink as a result.
The Netherlands is Europe’s third largest producer, producing 4.5 million mink pelts, according to the latest data available. Along with a dozen other countries in the European Union, the Netherlands has been in the process of phasing out mink fur farming since 2013, when a ban was adopted, with a deadline of December 2023. But animal protection groups, including Humane Society International, have been lobbying the Dutch government to end the practice sooner in the wake of the pandemic.
The Netherlands has already phased out fox and chinchilla fur farming.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated at a wildlife market in Wuhan, China, and since the outbreak there has been more attention focused than ever before on trades that cruelly confine animals. We have been warning for years about the animal welfare problems inherent in such businesses, and the strong public health risk they pose. Last month the Humane Society family of organizations released an 11-point policy report to prevent the risk of future pandemics, including ending the wildlife trade, ending fur farming, ending the large-scale commercial breeding of dogs in puppy mills, and ending the intensive confinement of farm animals on factory farms.
Infectious disease experts around the world have voiced similar concerns over future pandemic outbreaks and animals kept in close confinement.
Conditions on fur farms are not all that different from those in a wildlife market: scared animals are kept in filthy, crowded cages. Many are often sick or injured, creating the perfect environment for diseases to breed. An HSl investigation of a fur farm in Finland showed hundreds of foxes and mink crammed in small, barren and filthy battery cages. Many of the animals had eye infections and gaping wounds, including a mink with a large, bloody hole in the head. Some animals lay dead in the cages and others ate them or walked over them.
The vote yesterday in the Netherlands shows that the people of that country do not want their nation contributing to such cruelty anymore, and we urge the government to approve the closure of fur farms without delay. The experience of the Netherlands should also serve as a reminder for other fur-producing nations that this is a business rife with animal welfare and public health problems, and that they should act swiftly to end fur farming on their soil. The market for fur is dropping fast, with major fashion houses and retailers shutting their doors on this cruel commodity. Now, with the danger of disease looming, there is not a single reason to keep this fading industry alive.
The Mexican gray wolf is one of the most endangered mammals in North America; only 163 remain in the wild in the United States.
Despite numerous threats that menace this single, fragile population, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the very agency charged by federal law to recover endangered species, has been managing the wild population via egregious measures that undermine Mexican gray wolf recovery.
The Service’s current Mexican wolf 10(j) management rule:
increases allowable killing,
fails to provide adequate protection for the loss of genetically valuable wolves,
sets a scientifically unsound population cap of 300-325 wolves and allows the killing of any wolves beyond this arbitrary number,
arbitrarily prevents wolves from finding essential native habitat by restricting wolf dispersal north of Interstate 40,
and fails to consider the wild population as “essential” to the recovery of Mexican gray wolves in the wild.
A coalition of conservation groups filed suit to challenge the management provisions, and in 2018, a federal court ruled in their favor. The judge found that the 10(j) management rule further imperiled the species, and directed USFWS to revise the way it manages Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.
Now is our opportunity to convince USFWS to comply with the court order and make the necessary management changes to ensure the long-term recovery of this unique wolf.
The USFWS is accepting public input on the proposed changes to the 10(j) Management Rule – Comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on June 15, 2020.
Consider using additional talking points to guide your comments, but please personalize your message. Nothing is as effective as speaking from the heart.Talking Points
The Wolf Conservation Center will submit all written comments via the federal register. Your confirmation email will also include a copy of your comments and guidance on how to submit them yourself.
United States Fish & Wildlife Service
Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2020-0007 – Revise Mexican gray wolf management to ensure recovery
Dear [Decision Maker],
As a lifelong supporter of Endangered Species Act (ESA) and someone who cares deeply for our nation’s wildlife, I’m writing to ask you to revise the 10(j) rule governing the management of endangered Mexican gray wolves to provide for the long-term survival of this unique species.
The Mexican gray wolf is one of the most endangered mammals in North America; only 163 remain in the wild in the United States.
A federal court rejected several provisions of the current Mexican wolf 10(j) management rule for failing to further the conservation of the Mexican wolf, and ruled that imposing these measures would be a violation of the ESA.
The judge particularly faulted the 10(j) rule for its:
– failure to consider the only wild Mexican gray wolf population as “essential” to the recovery of the species
– scientifically unsound population cap of 300-325 wolves, and allowing the killing of any wolves beyond this arbitrary number
– relaxed rules on the killing of Mexican wolves due to livestock conflicts or impacts on their natural prey
– failure to provide adequate protection for the loss of genetically valuable wolves
– arbitrary boundary restricting wolf dispersal north of Interstate 40
The management of this endangered gray wolf subspecies must follow the law and the science on Mexican wolf recovery. Please incorporate the following elements into the final rule to ensure Mexican gray wolf recovery.
* Personalize your message ESSENTIAL DESIGNATION Mexican gray wolves need greater protection under the Endangered Species Act with a designation of “essential” for the wild population. GEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES The new rule must eliminate artificial boundaries that prevent dispersal. The Mexican Wolf Recovery Team’s Science and Planning Subgroup (SPS), scientists appointed by USFWS for their recognized expertise in scientific disciplines relevant to Mexican wolf recovery, emphasize that the Mexican gray wolf’s long-term survival requires connected habitats north of the Interstate 40, including the Grand Canyon region and portions of southern Utah and Colorado. POPULATION CAP The new rule must not include a population cap. Scientists recommend a minimum of three, naturally connected sub-populations of at least 200 individuals each, collectively comprising a meta-population of at least 750 wolves in the US Southwest. WOLF REMOVAL ORDERS Every Mexican gray wolf on the ground is essential. Lethal control must be restricted to cases in which they pose a likely threat to human health or safety. The new rule must also include higher thresholds for initiating wolf removals. Wolves must not be removed from the wild for their predation on wildlife such as elk or deer. Public land grazing permittees must practice basic animal husbandry and remove livestock carcasses or render the carcasses inedible to prevent savaging by wolves. If livestock carcasses on public land attract wolves who subsequently prey on livestock in the vicinity, those wolves shall not be removed from the wild. Public land grazing permittees must also be required to take non-lethal measures to prevent conflicts to protect livestock. If wolves prey on livestock when the permittee is cognizant of the nearby presence of wolves but fails to take measures to protect the livestock, wolves shall not be removed from the wild. Any permittee found guilty of the illegal killing or injuring of a Mexican wolf shall have their livestock grazing permits revoked. GENETIC HEALTH Mexican wolf’s genetic imperilment requires an active program of releasing more genetically diverse wolves into the wild to capitalize on the remaining genetic potential available in the captive population. While we applaud the agency’s dedication to cross-fostering, this should not be the only strategy used to increase genetic diversity in the wild population. Given the severity of the wild Mexican gray wolf population’s genetic crisis, USFWS should also resume releasing pair-bonded adult male and female Mexican gray wolves with pups into the wild — the means by which reintroduction was initiated in 1998 and successfully undertaken until abandoned under political pressure in 2007. The final rule should also include a “Replacement Release Objective”, which would allow USFWS to release wolves from the captive breeding population into the existing wild wolf population to replace wolves that have been removed from the wild population due to illegal killings or mortality caused by USFWS management activity. Replacement wolves from the more genetically diverse captive population would maximize genetic diversity of the wild wolf population. BEST AVAILABLE SCIENCE Lastly, the new rule must contain provisions based on the best available science. The judge particularly faulted government officials for disregarding the advice of expert scientists who warned that the new management rule would hinder the Mexican wolf’s recovery.
The new management rule must follow the law and the science on Mexican gray wolf recovery. Now is our opportunity right our wrongs from the past by taking the necessary steps to ensure the long-term recovery of this unique and essential species.
WOLF CONSERVATION CENTER
7 Buck Run, South Salem, NY 10590 Mailing address: P.O. Box 421 South Salem, NY 10590 Phone: 914-763-2373
The world has applauded the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai for being the first in mainland China to ban the consumption of dog and cat meat and welcomed the Chinese government’s confirmation that dogs are companions not livestock. However, millions of stolen pets and street animals in China continue to suffer terrible abuse for this trade and are killed in horrific ways.
The brutality of the dog and cat meat trades tarnishes China’s global image and reputation, and opinion polls show that most people in Yulin and across China don’t eat dogs and cats. Large public gatherings for the Yulin festival also runs contrary to public health and safety in the wake of COVID-19. We implore Yulin to end the annual dog meat “festival” and become the next city in the country to make the progressive decision to ban the dog and cat meat trade.
Please ask Du Xinshe, Party Secretary of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to end the slaughter once and for all.
The Mexican gray wolf, or lobo, is one of the most endangered carnivores in the world. After lobos were nearly wiped out, reintroduction began in 1998 in remote areas of New Mexico and Arizona. Since then, recovery has been slow and turbulent.
In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) decided that the only wild population of Mexican gray wolves in the U.S. was not essential to the recovery of Mexican gray wolves as a species. Guardians and our allies sued, and in 2018, a U.S. district judge told USFWS to go back to the drawing board to write a new management rule for the lobo.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently seeking comments on that new Mexican wolf management rule. This is our chance to make sure the agency gets recovery right, so please raise your voice!
Want to do even more for lobos? After you sign the petition, check out our wolf tool kit for ready-to-go social media posts and tips on writing a letter to the editor.
America’s wild animals are in danger in the very places set aside to protect them.
The U.S. Department of the Interior plans to open an unprecedented number of wildlife refuges to more hunting and fishing — totaling more than 2.3 million acres of public lands across 97 national wildlife refuges and nine fish hatcheries.
Species like mountain lions, migratory birds and black bears will have their safe havens turned into death zones.
Tell Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to rescind this plan immediately.
We’re in the midst of Earth’s sixth mass extinction — one species vanishes nearly every hour. Opening national wildlife refuges to more hunting is exactly the kind of action that is fueling the wildlife extinction crisis.
We should be working to protect animals, not making it easier for them to be gunned down. These wild animals deserve to be safe from hunting in the very places set aside to protect them.
Bears are highly intelligent with strong family ties. They spend prolonged periods raising and nurturing their young. Photo by Jos Bakker
Missouri has proposed a hunting season on its small and still-recovering population of black bears, who were once nearly wiped out because of overhunting and logging, which decimated their habitat.
The Missouri Department of Conservation estimates that there are now approximately 540 to 840 bears in the state. But some studies show that those numbers may be inflated. And even if there are as many bears as the MDC claims, it’s still not a large number.
Missouri has no good reason for allowing such a hunt. Bears self-regulate their own populations because of limited food availability and slow reproduction. There have also been minimal bear-human conflicts in the state, and these are entirely preventable.
Fact is, the only reason the MDC is proposing this hunt is to appease trophy hunters. But Missourians do not support it, not least because it would deprive a majority of the state’s residents of the joy of seeing a black bear in the wild. According to a March 2019 poll conducted by Remington Research Group for the Humane Society of the United States, nearly half of Missouri residents outright oppose hunting the state’s bears while fewer than a third support such a hunt.
Instead of allowing trophy hunters to kill them, the MDC ought to be working hard to preserve its bear population. Bears are critical for a thriving ecosystem. They disperse seeds across vast distances—even more seeds than birds. They open up forest canopies and allow sun to filter to the forest floor. They also break logs while grubbing, which helps the decomposition process and facilitates the return of nutrients to the soil. Keeping bears protected is critical to maintaining the state’s biodiversity.
These are also incredible animals, highly intelligent with strong family ties. Bears have the largest brain size of any carnivore and are highly sentient. They spend prolonged periods raising and nurturing their young. They are also slow to reproduce, which means hunting them can lead to their numbers dropping even faster than projected. Trophy hunters also tend to target adult breeding animals, which can lead to cubs being killed by incoming male bears looking to take over the newly opened territory.
Black bears are naturally shy and typically try to avoid humans, and the only times they are likely to come near humans is when there is food available. The MDC can help avoid such conflicts by expanding public education about simple, non-lethal preventative measures that residents can take to coexist peacefully with bears–including using bear-resistant trash cans, cleaning up BBQ grills, feeding pets indoors, and using electric fencing around chicken coops and beehives.
In what is also a concerning development, the MDC’s proposal leaves the cruel practices of bear baiting and bear hounding on the table “if management needs change in the future,” although these are not part of the current proposal. Hound hunting, or using packs of dogs to pursue bears, is an incredibly cruel practice that causes stress and distress to wildlife, and to the hounds themselves. Baiting—the practice of leaving large piles of junk food to attract the animals and then shoot them—is particularly heartless. Baits often attract mother bears who are looking for food but who find themselves in the crosshairs of a hunter instead. An overwhelming 77% of Missourians are strongly opposed to these methods, according to the Remington poll, and the MDC should not even be considering it.
Missouri’s wildlife officials would do well to heed the needs of the state’s wonderful wild animals, and the wishes of their residents, instead of kowtowing to a handful of trophy hunters. If you’re a Missouri resident, please let the MDC know that you’re opposed to this unnecessary killing of the state’s small and vulnerable bear population. The agency is accepting input on this proposal until June 5th, and raising your voice in opposition to it could make all the difference.
Natural England recently published a blog outlining their decision to issue licences to take peregrine falcon chicks from the wild to be used in falconry. Taking a chick from their nest and natural habitat to be used in needless breeding programmes to support a hobby is deeply unethical, and this decision must be reversed.
Natural England try and justify this obvious violation of ethics by describing falconry as ‘an ancient tradition’, while it is in fact just archaic and outdated.
It is particularly outrageous that while Natural England recently revoked licences to release grey squirrels after rescue, they are now issuing licences to take animals from the wild to support a cruel hobby. It is shameful that Natural England prioritises supporting this ‘sport’ over the wellbeing of sentient beings.
Peregrine falcons are one of the few species who have seen a resurgence in their numbers in recent years, but this does not mean they should be exploited in this way. These animals still suffer persecution, and still need protections. We are concerned these licences being issued could open the door for further animals to be taken from the wild to benefit humans.
We appeal to Natural England to immediately reverse this decision, and withdraw these licences.
Support peregrine falcons by adding your name to this petition calling on Natural England to reverse this decision.
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PETITION TARGET: U.S. Congress
Puppy mills are factory-like hell holes where mother dogs are forced to breed over and over in filthy, tiny cages until they are “spent.” Sick, starving and even pregnant dogs suffer without medical care in overcrowded, feces-infested and urine-soaked cages, shivering in freezing cold temperatures during the winter and suffering in agonizing heat during the summer, according to inspection reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA is tasked with protecting animals in puppy mills, roadside zoos and animal labs, but the agency’s shocking leniency enables these abusive operations to get away with vile animal cruelty. After withholding access to animal welfare records, their 2019 Impact Report claimed that 99 percent of licensed facilities were in “substantial compliance” with animal welfare laws without defining what exactly that term means.
Violations of the Animal Welfare Act are common, as evidenced by the U.S. Humane Society’s annual “Horrible Hundred” report on puppy mills, but details reflecting these widespread abusive operations are conspicuously absent from the report.
The USDA has the power to fine violators, revoke their licenses, and pursue criminal charges, but it chooses to allow many facilities to continue operating even after multiple uncorrected violations. Injured and sick dogs are not properly cared for, leading to a rise in disease outbreaks. By obscuring inspection records, adopting increasingly relaxed animal welfare policies, and barely enforcing established animal protections, the USDA is failing to protect puppies from being abused for profit. It’s time to fight back.
New bipartisan legislation could end barbaric wire cages and inadequate veterinary care for puppies throughout the United States. The Puppy Protection Act aims to improve the lives of thousands of dogs forced to live in filthy, crowded conditions for the benefit of cruel, profit-driven breeders.
Sign this petition urging the U.S. Congress to pass the Puppy Protection Act, and call to end the puppy mill system once and for all.
Show captionMadrid’s Las Ventas bullring is deserted, following the cancellation of the 2020 bullfighting season due to the coronavirus lockdown. Photograph: JuanJo Martin/EPABullfighting
For months the ranchers had laid the groundwork; grazing and exercising a select crop of half-tonne fighting bulls to be transported to arenas and festivals across the country. Then – just as Spain’s bullfighting season was set to kick off – the country was plunged into lockdown.
“It was dreadful,” said Victorino Martín, a second-generation breeder of fighting bulls. “The coronavirus came at the worst possible moment.”
The lockdown brought the bullfighting sector to a standstill as Spanish authorities scrambled to control one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks, with more than 26,000 lives claimed. Weeks later, though urban hotspots like Madrid and Barcelona remain under lockdown, elsewhere measures have eased, and industries ranging from travel to car manufacturing have turned to the government for help in navigating Spain’s new normal.
No request has been as controversial as that made by the bullfighting sector. Long reviled by animal rights campaigners who see it as cruel and outdated, bullfighting’s fight for survival has triggered a fierce debate over its future in Spanish society.
“The bullfighting sector is – and will be – one of the most affected by the dramatic situation that we’re living through,” bullfighter Cayetano Rivera said recently on social media, after dozens of events, including Pamplona’s running of the bulls, were cancelled.
Bullfighter Cayetano Rivera in the ring in Jaen, southern Spain, in October 2019. Photograph: SALAS/EPA
With the virus threatening to wipe out much of the season, which runs until October, he appealed to Spaniards to consider the tens of thousands of people thrown out of work as the industry struggles. “We can’t forget the many people and families who depend, either directly or indirectly, on the bullfighting world to live.”
The estimated loss of income so far is at least €700m (£797m), said Martín, who also heads the Fundación del Toro de Lidia, which was created in 2015 to defend the industry. “Even more concerning is that we don’t know when we’ll be able to restart our activities,” he said. “Meanwhile, the animals continue to eat. You have to take care of them and the employees.”
The industry is in discussions with television networks about broadcasting bullfights behind closed doors – a measure Martín hopes could help the beleaguered industry.
But with little chance that crowds will be allowed to return to the streets for bull fiestas or into arenas for bullfights, he was steeling himself for his worst-case scenario: cancellation of the entire season. “What industry could survive a year and a half without any income and still cover its costs?”
Animal rights activists protest against bullfights before the San Fermin annual running of the bulls in Pamplona in 2018. Photograph: Pablo Blázquez Domínguez/Getty Images
A handful of ranchers have already given up, he said. “There are breeders that have slaughtered all of their animals … I know there was a week where more than 400 were killed.”
The economics of that make little sense, as it can cost up to €5,000 to rear a bull while the slaughterhouse pays €500, he noted. But for those who have bulls that will outgrow the strict age limits on bullfighting and street festivals if they are not used this year, it is one of the few options.
The Unión de Criadores de Toros, which represents the interests of some 345 breeders of fighting bulls, estimates that more than 7,000 bulls had been raised for this year’s season.
The industry has turned to the Spanish government for help, outlining a list of requests that include a rollback of the sales tax on fighting bulls and grants to help breeders. “We want them to treat us as they would any other cultural industry,” said Martín, citing the economic spinoffs for hotels, restaurants and bars generated by events.
Their request has been met with stiff opposition. More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition urging the government not to use public funds to prop up bullfighting.
“It’s outrageous – particularly at this moment, when there are families that don’t have enough to eat and hospitals that have been decimated by cutbacks,” said Aïda Gascón of AnimaNaturalis, an animal rights group that is one of the organisations behind the petition. “Public funds should not be used to promote and pay for spectacles based on the abuse and mistreatment of animals.”
Similar petitions have been launched in Portugal and France, where the local bullfighting industries have also asked for government help. “Bullfighting is facing the most critical moment of its existence,” the petition noted. “We have a unique opportunity … to build a world without bullfighting.”
The assertion is borne out by Spain’s last economic crisis, which saw cash-strapped municipalities shift funds away from festivals involving bulls. In 2007, one year before the financial crash, Spain held 3,651 events featuring bulls. Just over a decade later, this number had more than halved, with 1,521 such events held in 2018.
Spain’s economic minister, Nadia Calviño, predicts that Spain’s GDP could shrink by 9.2% this year and animal rights groups are pushing for bullfighting to be cut off from public funding.
“What we’re looking for is the total abolition of this practice of torturing animals as a form of spectacle,” said Gascón. “One way to do that is to choke off their subsidies … it wouldn’t get rid of the industry completely but it would reduce it to 5% or 10% of what we have today.”
A former planning commissioner allegedly threw his cat while he was attending an online business meeting. Demand that this animal be removed from this person’s home and that rescuers do everything in their power to find this sweet cat a new home if it is found that this senseless and thoughtless act was committed.
In addition to the logistical and financial crises so many continue to endure as a result of COVID-19, extended social distancing has plunged much of the world into a full-blown existential crisis as well. Shelter-in-place mandates, shuttered businesses and community spaces, and the loss of important social and familial rituals has found us confronting an unprecedented moment of alienation. We are profoundly disoriented by the sense of being estranged from our own lives.
While this feeling of separation is emotionally harrowing, I believe it can also provide an opportunity to consider the abjectly alienated existences we routinely inflict on so many of our fellow beings; the nonhuman animals we breed or capture for the purposes of exploitation. For us, this estrangement from the lives we belong to is temporary. For the animals languishing on farms, in zoos, vivisection laboratories, aquariums, circuses, pet stores, breeding mills, kill shelters, and anywhere else humans have imprisoned our fellow creatures, alienation is the very essence of their existence, and a permanent condition.
A “beef” cow at a “livestock” show. Photo by Unparalleled Suffering Photography.
And while the plights of all of these creatures is urgent and worthy of closer examination, in the interest of time I will limit this reflection to animals who are farmed; not only because they comprise the bulk of my research and advocacy, but because our consumption of animals, and our obsession with meat, is now unavoidably implicated in the current pandemic on multiple levels.
Our Fatal Flesh Obsession
While it is widely believed that COVID-19 jumped to humans via the animal flesh trade, this has led to a disproportionately critical focus on wildlife and “wet” markets. In reality, the “livestock” sector is the single largest source of human zoonotic disease pandemics globally. A 2012 global study mapping human diseases that come from animals found that “While zoonoses can be transmitted to people by either wild or domesticated animals, most human infections are acquired from the world’s 24 billion livestock, including pigs, poultry, cattle, goats, sheep and camels.”
Indeed, the World Health Organizationstates that “the greatest risk for zoonotic disease transmission occurs at the human-animal interface through direct or indirect human exposure to animals, their products (e.g. meat, milk, eggs…) and/or their environments,” while the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations notes that “Seventy percent of the new diseases that have emerged in humans over recent decades are of animal origin and, in part, directly related to the human quest for more animal-sourced food.”
Just a decade ago, swine flu, an H1N1 influenza virus, jumped from farmed pigs to humans and infected nearly 61 million people in the U.S. alone, where it resulted in 12,469 deaths, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, as many as 284,500 people were killed by the swine flu pandemic.
The infamous 1918 influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu was also caused by an H1N1 virus. Attributed to having developed from either a swine flu or avian flu virus on a pig or poultry farm (pre-dating so-called factory farms, it should be noted), the pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people globally.
While these pandemics are tragic, they are not inevitable. In the grand scheme of things, they are symptoms of a much deeper sickness, one of our own making, with which we have infected not only ourselves, but whose toxic consequences can now be seen across the globe: in the burning of the Amazon rainforestto make room for ever more cattle ranching; in Australia where the ceaseless bulldozing of koala habitat, and the deliberate mass killing of kangaroos, both on behalf of the beef industry, kill far more of each species every year than the recent wildfires that drew a collective gasp of horror; in the unprecedented rates of wildlife species extinction resulting from habitat loss, whose number one driver is animal agriculture; in the climate crisis to which meat and dairy production contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than all global transport combined, leading to more and increasingly devastating droughts, floods, fires, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events, while inching global temperatures inexorably toward the point of no return.
A koala mother and joey on a bulldozed log pile in Queensland. Photograph: WWF
Killing animals is killing us.
And the sickness is not in the scale of our killing; this is not an argument about the evils of industrial animal farming and a need to simply shift to more so-called humane, bucolic forms of exploitation and slaughter. The sickness is the mentality that designates sentient beings as something to be farmed at all. These animals, from whom we have stolen so many dignities; the dignities of self-determination, of bodily and reproductive autonomy, of family, of wildness, and of inherent existential worth, live suspended in a Frankensteinian netherworld of separation, entirely outside the natural order their ancient instincts once belonged to.
A mother goat at a “livestock” show. Unparalleled Suffering Photography
“Isolated from the natural world to which they belonged for millennia, farmed animals are forced to live their short lives in severely degraded physical and psychological environments that are far different from the ecosystems and cultures from which they historically derive. Severed from the intricate social structures that governed and guided their free-living communities, and confined, without the possibility of escape, to a human world where they have no place in the present, no link to the past, and no possibility of a future, domesticated animals have no power whatsoever over the most important aspects of their lives.
Humans decide where they will live; if they will ever know their mother; if, and how long, they will nurse their babies; when, and if, they will be permitted to see or be with their families and friends; when, where, or if they will be allowed to socialize with members of their own species; when, how, and if, they are going to reproduce; what, when, and how much they will eat; how much space they will have, if any; if, and how far, they will be allowed to roam; what mutilations they will be subjected to; what, if any, veterinary care they will receive; and when, where, and how they are going to die.”
Photo by Toronto Cow Save.
What can it mean that in a society obsessed with personal identity and freedom, we have erased the very concepts of identity, liberty, autonomy, and consent from entire populations of sentient individuals without so much as blinking at the moral implications of the indignity and debasement we needlessly inflict on them in the name of profit and palate pleasure?
To degrade any individual, much less entire species, to the lifelong status of property, captive, and commodity, is the grossest devaluing of life, and the ultimate alienation.
A dead hen on the egg conveyor. Jo-Anne McArthur/WeAnimals Media
“When we use other individuals, they have not a thing to call their own; not their bodies, not their children, not even their very lives. Nothing. Reduced to commodities and resources, every moment of their existence is governed by human economics of the service that can be taken from them, the cash value of such substances as milk, eggs and body fibres that can be stripped from their living bodies, and ultimately the value per kilo of their pitiful corpses hacked and sawed to pieces. Our use of them is thorough and utterly pitiless.
These are the innocent victims of our deluded species. They do not ‘live’ as we know and value the word. They endure an existence. They are powerless, brought into the world by violation on an industrial scale for the sole purpose of gratifying human indulgence.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can thrive without causing this devastating harm.”
And here’s author Will Tuttle:
“Harboring the idea of owning another living being is in itself an act of violence, and our outer violence toward nonhuman animals, which is so devastating to us all, springs from this idea… [W]e are never owners of others. We can be their guardians, companions, friends, protectors, admirers, and appreciators, and this blesses us far more than we might think. The move from “owner” to “guardian” frees both the “owners” and the “owned,” and establishes the foundation for peace, freedom, and justice. We are all harmed by the culturally mandated ownership mentality that reduces beings to mere commodities, whether for food, clothing, entertainment, or the myriad of other uses. It is long past time for us to awaken from the cultural trance of owning our fellow beings…”
It is no coincidence that our systematic destruction of animal lives, which is in large part facilitated by our refusal of their subjectivity, is also destroying the earth. As I write this, U.S. slaughterhouses and meat processing plants have been identified as the largest hotspot for coronavirus infection in the country, but are being forced to stay open by executive order of Donald Trump in order to supply the flesh fetish. Meanwhile, headlines continue to report “mass meat shortage” fears alongside images of people in full medical masks browsing empty meat refrigerators.
Our culture is in a state of addiction. It is pathological. And it is wrecking our planet, which ought to be incidental to the immorality of needlessly breeding billions of sentient individuals into captivity, reproductive subjugation, and slaughter. Bodies are not commodities. Body parts are not barcodes. Beings are not property.
Until we divest from this poisonous sense of entitlement, this stupor of violence, exploitation, and consumption, our species is doomed.
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard