When the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission reduced a two-year suspension to just 60 days for trainer Amber Cobb, who was found by Delaware Park’s board of stewards to have “demonstrated cruelty to a horse in her care,” the Paulick Report was besieged with messages of outrage and disgust from a wide array of people in Thoroughbred racing.
Contact the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission and demand they immediately revoke the training license of Amber Cobb for beating and terrorizing a racehorse. Simply suspending Cobb will not do — the time period…
From Cradle to the Grave Greyhound Racing is inherently Cruel Worldwide and especially more so in Botswana Africa. Currently it is legal to breed and race Greyhounds and there are no animal welfare or rehoming or veterinary care or protection in place for Greyhounds.
Dogs are being callously overbred and used as a currency and sold off. These defenceless Greyhounds are being raced to DEATH.
They are also being used and abused for hunting. Once these Greyhounds are surplus to requirements they are brutally Killed. There are no rehoming or adoption process in place. There are limited animal welfare laws where APCA ( ) have barely enough facilities resources to look after rescued dogs. Greyhounds in Botswana need urgent help and protection. We are calling for outright BAN on Greyhound Racing and Breeding in Botswana. For Animal Protection laws to be implemented and Enforced.
Enforcement and funding will be crucial charity warns
The RSPCA has welcomed the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare and urged them to ‘have courage’ in delivering it.
An unprecedented coalition of 50 animal welfare charities called for the UK Government to take a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ to redefine our relationship with animals through a new animal health and welfare strategy and released a green paper – “Act Now For Animals” – setting out the sector’s priorities.
Animal loving personalities including wildlife presenter Chris Packham, DJ Sara Cox, TV personality Angela Rippon, choreographer and TV presenter Arlene Phillips, actress and wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna and actress Carol Royle added their support in a video:
Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA today applauded the Government’s plans to take action on more than a dozen animal issues which the public care passionately about, including pet issues: tackling puppy smuggling through changes to import rules, introducing compulsory microchipping for cats, cracking down on pet theft through a new government taskforce and banning remote controlled training e-collars.
Sam Gaines, head of the companion animals department at the RSPCA, said: “The past year has highlighted just how important pets are for so many people and so we are thrilled that the Government plans to take action on issues which offer our pets greater protections.
“We are delighted that the sale and use of equipment designed to cause pain and fear will be banned and puppy and kitten imports will be tackled. Throughout the pandemic we have seen many pet owners understandably concerned about pet theft and so we’re pleased to see a new taskforce being introduced to crackdown on pet thefts.
“We’re also pleased to see the Government introducing compulsory microchipping for cats – should a cat be lost, or become injured, they can easily be reunited with their owner.”
Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said: “These announcements could make a real and lasting difference to animals’ welfare, so we’re pleased the Government is committed to improving animals’ lives in the UK and abroad.
“We can no longer ignore the inextricable link that exists between the way we treat animals, our own health and that of the planet – but to really achieve a step change, it will take courage from right across Government.
“We urge the Prime Minister to put animal welfare at the heart of policy making and make these announcements just the beginning of an evolving, holistic animal health and welfare strategy.”
Chris added that as well as needing courage, the Government needs to create an Animal Sentience Committee with real teeth to ensure animals are considered in relevant policy making.
He added: “An Animal Sentience Committee is crucial to the success of future legislation; it must be independent, made up of leading animal welfare experts and be able to meaningfully hold ministers to account. It must not be a token gesture.
“We are pleased the Government will be taking action on many of the top welfare issues that we know the public care passionately about and look forward to working with them to identify further opportunities to improve animal welfare.”
Show captionAnimal welfare protesters at a rally in front of the Al Kuwait live export ship as sheep are loaded in Fremantle harbour, 16 June 2020. Photograph: Richard Wainwright/AAPAnimal welfare
Set of government measures will include halting most live animal exports and a ban on hunting trophy imports
Animals are to be formally recognised as sentient beings in UK law for the first time, in a victory for animal welfare campaigners, as the government set out a suite of animal welfare measures including halting most live animal exports and banning the import of hunting trophies.
The reforms will be introduced through a series of bills, including an animal sentience bill, and will cover farm animals and pets in the UK, and include protections for animals abroad, through bans on ivory and shark fins, and a potential ban on foie gras.
Some of the measures – including microchipping cats and stopping people keeping primates as pets – have been several years in preparation, and others – such as the restriction of live animal exports – have been the subject of decades-long campaigns.
George Eustice, the environment secretary, said: “We are a nation of animal lovers and were the first country in the world to pass animal welfare laws. Our action plan for animal welfare will deliver on our manifesto commitment to ban the export of live animal exports for slaughter and fattening, prohibit keeping primates as pets, and bring in new laws to tackle puppy smuggling. As an independent nation, we are now able to go further than ever to build on our excellent track record.”
The action plan for animal welfare includes measures that will involve cracking down on pet theft, which has become a growing problem in the “puppy boom” sparked by the coronavirus lockdowns with a new taskforce. Controversial e-collars that deliver an electric shock to train pets will be banned, and import rules changed to try to stop puppy smuggling.
However, the use of cages for poultry and farrowing crates for pigs will not be subject to an outright ban, as campaigners had called for. Instead, their use will be examined, and farmers will be given incentives to improve animal health and welfare through the future farm subsidy regime.
The government also repeated its pledge to uphold UK animal welfare in future trade deals, but will not put this commitment into law as campaigners have urged.
James West, senior policy manager at Compassion in World Farming, a pressure group, said some of the measures were the subject of protracted campaigns: “We have long been calling for UK legislation that recognises animals as sentient beings and for sentience to be given due regard when formulating and implementing policy. We are also delighted the government has confirmed it will legislate for a long-overdue ban on live exports for slaughter and fattening. We have been campaigning for this for decades: it is high time this cruel and unnecessary trade is finally brought to an end.”
He called for the government to go further, and stop the import and sale of foie gras, and ban the use of cages for the UK’s 16 million sows and laying hens that are still kept in cages.
He added: “All of these positive announcements must be supported by a comprehensive method of production labelling, and it is essential that the government ensure these much-needed animal welfare improvements are not undermined by future trade agreements.”
The ban on the import and export of shark fins, the subject of a campaign by the chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and others, was also welcomed. Steve Backshall, the Wildlife TV presenter and patron of the Bite-Back campaign on shark finning, said: “[This] will be significant in helping restore the balance of the oceans [and] sends a clear message to the world that shark fin soup belongs in the history books, not on the menu.”
Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said: “Delivering on the plan will require understanding and real commitment from across Whitehall. Respect for animal welfare is not only the right thing to do for animals, it will also play a critical role in tackling global environmental and public health challenges such as climate change, antibiotic resistance, and pandemic prevention.”
Christopher Hope, Charles Hymas 9 hrs ago 9 – 11 minutes
Animals with a backbone will have a legal right to feel happiness and suffering in a Government drive to raise welfare standards in Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech.
An Animal Sentience Bill will enshrine in law that animals are aware of their feelings and emotions, and can experience joy and pleasure, as well as pain and suffering.
“Sentience” will apply to “vertebrate animals – anything with a spinal cord”, Environment secretary George Eustice told The Telegraph in an exclusive interview below.
An existing committee of experts and civil servants in Defra will be tasked with ensuring Government’s policies take into account animal sentience.
Ministers were criticised in 2018 when the duty was not carried across into UK law from the European Union after Brexit.
The Government wants to make the UK a world leader in animal welfare and laws that protect animals form the centrepiece of this week’s Queen’s Speech.
As well as an Animal Sentience Bill, an Animals Abroad Bill will ban the import of trophies from animal hunting. A third measure – a Kept Animals Bill – will stop live animal exports and ban families from keeping primates as pets.
The Government will also publish an animal welfare strategy which will raise the prospect of banning fur imports, microchipping all domestic cats and calling time on the cruel killing of pigs by gassing them with carbon dioxide.
Animal welfare is not at odds with caring about our rural communities
The Conservative government has certainly come a long way since the party first won power in 2010 on a pledge to offer a free vote on legalising fox hunting, writes Christopher Hope.
This week’s Queen’s Speech will see the Tory government publish draft laws that enshrine in law the right of animals to feel pain, as well as bans on live animal exports, importing hunting trophies and keeping primates as pets.
A separate animal welfare strategy document will set the direction of travel, raising the prospect of banning fur imports, microchipping all cats and calling time on the cruel killing of pigs by gassing them with carbon dioxide.
It is some journey from “hoodie hugging” when David Cameron was leader in the 2000s to “bunny hugging” under Boris Johnson in the 2020s. And it has been witnessed at first hand by George Eustice, a party press officer in the 2000s and now the Environment secretary.
He says: “I don’t really see that there’s an inconsistency between caring about animal welfare, wanting to promote that and believing in rural communities, and the values of the countryside.
“I grew up on a family farm from a sixth generation farming family. I’m somebody who really understands the social capital that exists in our farming communities and rural communities.
“And by having higher standards of animal welfare, there’s nothing at all that is at odds with caring also about rural communities in the countryside.”
For Mr Eustice, who grew up on his family farm with Guinea pigs, rabbits and a rescued Border Collie called Mono, the difference between then and now is that Boris Johnson wants to prioritise animal welfare.
“There were always other priorities. Boris Johnson is the first Prime Minister, probably ever, to mention animal welfare on the steps of Downing Street. We’ve now got an occupant in Number 10 who really just wants to get some of these things done.”
Critics claim that Mr Johnson’s love for animals comes from his fiancee Carrie Symonds, a passionate environmentalist. Mr Eustice says he has not talked to Miss Symonds “directly” about the new animal welfare laws.
He says: “She [Miss Symonds] has long held views on this so there’s no doubt about that – she’s campaigned on animal welfare issues.
“And it’s not as though she’s unique and alone in this. She is a Conservative she’s passionate about animal welfare, as am I, as is the Prime Minister.”
The most eye-catching of this week’s slew of animal welfare laws is an Animal Sentience Bill which will enshrine in law that animals are aware of their feelings and emotions, and have the same capacity to feel joy and pleasure, as well as pain and suffering.
Mr Eustice says: “It would not make fishing illegal – people needn’t worry about that. It is much more than when we design policies, we have to have regard for animal sentience.”
Mr Eustice admits some of the measures – such as the ban on bringing back hunting trophies to the UK and possible restrictions on fur imports – will not affect large numbers.
The ban on keeping primates as pets, for example, is mainly targeted at the small number of people who have marmosets in homes (numbers grew after the Labour government removed restrictions in 2008 on the grounds that they are not dangerous).
But it is all about “sending a signal”. He says: “It sends an important signal around the world and this is something that we want to try and stop.” Many of these changes – such the ban on live animal exports – are made possible by the UK’s exit from the European Union.
“As a self governing country you gain some agility and also the self confidence to make these judgments for yourself.
“And it does show that outside the EU, we can address areas of policy that some might consider, small niche areas of policy, but where you can make laws better or stronger.
Mr Eustice admits that tackling the fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic is the Government’s number one priority.
But he says: “That doesn’t mean you have to stop work on every other front. How you treat animals, and the legislation you have to govern that, is a mark of a civilised society, and we should be constantly looking to improve and refine our legislation in this area.”
It has been a busy week for Mr Eustice who last week had to defuse the row between French fishermen and Jersey’s government over access to their waters which led to the Navy sending in gunboats to ensure no one came to any harm.
Mr Eustice is unrepentant.
“It was an entirely legitimate response to a situation that you couldn’t have predicted what might have come, and it’s better always to have your assets on standby ready to react should they be needed.”
And he is scathing of “disproportionate” threats to cut off Jersey’s power not least because France “would have to intervene in a commercial arrangement between EDF and Jersey”.
He blames the French government for not telling its fishermen that they had to agree to new licensing agreements based on their historic catches with Jersey’s government.
“It appears that some of the French industry hadn’t quite appreciated what the European Commission had agreed in the Trade and Cooperation agreement,” he says.
Jersey has now given the French fishermen until July 1 to ensure their paperwork is in order. Mr Eustice does not rule out sending in the Navy again.
He says: “If the intelligence model – and an algorithm they follow – suggested that there was illegal fishing activity in Jersey waters, then some of those assets would be redeployed into that area to address that.”
Mr Eustice is optimistic about the future of the Union – despite concern about buoyancy of support for the SNP – pointing out that “within Defra, we work very constructively with Scottish Government and with Welsh Government.
His hope is that over time, as Brexit beds in, the calls from independence parties in the devolved administrations will die away.
“They will accrue powers in everything from agriculture and environment to animal welfare policy powers that they never had before the devolved administrations will now again.
“What will happen is over time once the tensions over Brexit heal …, things will bed down the devolved administrations, all of them will realise that they can do things that they could never do as an EU member and the attraction of rejoining the EU will fade.”
Something we can all get behind. Dogs have gone from utilitarian, in the beginning of the last century, to being part of the family—like your kids (Sometimes better! I’ve seen some of your kids). We’ve advanced in so many areas; surely we can advance here. https://t.co/JyjxOGRzXF
Today, the New York Court of Appeals—one of the most influential state courts in the United States—agreed to hear the habeas corpus case of our elephant client Happy, an autonomous and cognitively complex nonhuman animal who has been imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo for over four decades. This marks the first time in history that the highest court of any English-speaking jurisdiction will hear a habeas corpus case brought on behalf of someone other than a human being.
In 2018, the Nonhuman Rights Project brought a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on Happy’s behalf, seeking recognition of her fundamental right to bodily liberty and transfer to an elephant sanctuary. Happy became the first elephant in the world to be granted a hearing to determine the lawfulness of her imprisonment. Following several days of hearings, the trial court “regrettably” denied Happy’s petition because of prior court decisions, which will now be examined for the first time by the Court of Appeals.
Happy’s case has been supported from the start by leading scientists, philosophers, habeas corpus scholars, legal experts, theologians, and the wider public throughout the country and the world. Having begun the fight for nonhuman rights in New York eight years ago, we are thrilled the Court of Appeals has recognized the urgent public importance of Happy’s case and hope she will soon become the first elephant and nonhuman animal in the US to have her right to bodily liberty judicially recognized.
To learn more about Happy and her court case, click here. To join the over one million people who’ve signed her Change.org petition, click here. To make a donation to help ensure the legal fight for elephant rights is as strong as it can be, now and until all elephants can live freely, click here.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 17 2012: Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II visits Liverpool Albert Dock during her Diamond Jubilee tour of Great Britain, Liverpool, England. May 17 2012
The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 was signed into law yesterday by Queen Elizabeth, increasing the maximum penalty for animal cruelty in England and Wales from six months to up to five years in prison. The amended legislation also aims to deter would-be animal abusers from committing acts of cruelty.
As previously reported by WAN in June of 2019, when the Bill was brought forward by Member of Parliament Chris Loder, more than 70% of people supported tougher prison sentences for animal abusers.
Loder shared in a statement on his website that he was inspired to create change by introducing the Bill after finding a Springer Spaniel cruelly abandoned at the roadside before bringing her home to his family farm in West Dorest.
In a message posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday, Loder noted that the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act had just completed all Parliamentary stages in both Houses. It was subsequently taken to Her Majesty the Queen for Royal Assent.
“Just ONE DAY away from this important change in law for animals! #AnimalsDeserveJustice,”Loder tweeted yesterday, referring to the Bill which is now law and is expected to come into force in June of this year.
The RSPCA, one of the supporters of the Bill, secured 4,103 convictions in the courts in England and Wales over the last three years, and 156 individuals received immediate prison sentences.
“Since the Bill was introduced, animals have been starved, shot, stabbed, beaten to death and drowned,” stated RSPCA Chief Executive, Chris Sherwood. “At least now, in those cases that leave us heartbroken, our courts will be able to hand out sentences that truly reflect the severity of the crimes.”
Loder emphasized that there is more work to be done to help protect and save not only companion animals such as dogs, cats, and horses, but all animals.
“I will continue to work hard for animals, and I will continue campaigning on non-stun slaughter and live animal exports,” stated Loder, who also serves as a Patron for The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, which campaigns to help end the suffering of billions of animals reared on intensive slaughter farms. The organization also helped to support the Bill.
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg
Ken Canning Wolves across the US are again being persecuted under state management. The State of Idaho has adopted legislation that allows for the killing of 90% of the wolves statewide including newborn pups and nursing mothers in their dens. The State of Montana has adopted a bounty system similar to the one that led to the eradication of wolves from the West. The State of Wisconsin opened a hunting season without adequate regulations in place and hundreds of wolves were destroyed within days. Wolves need to regain the protection of the Endangered Species Act NOW! Please take action to restore vital protections to prevent the eradication of wolves from states that are unable or unwilling to manage wolves responsibly.
To: US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland From: [Your Name]
Please Act Now to Save America’s Wolves!
I’m writing to ask you to help save our wolves in the United States. I care deeply about the plight of wolves in our country and wolves across the US are again being persecuted under state authority. The State of Idaho has adopted legislation that allows for the killing of 90% of the wolves statewide including newborn pups and nursing mothers in their dens. The State of Montana has adopted a bounty system similar to the one led to the eradication of wolves from the West. The State of Wisconsin opened a hunting season without adequate regulations in place and hundreds of wolves were destroyed in days. Wolves need to regain the protection of the Endangered Species Act now! Please take action to restore vital protections to prevent the eradication of wolves from states that are unable or unwilling to manage wolves responsibly.
There is no excuse for the persecution of wolves in our country. Wolves are an essential species in helping to maintain healthy elk and deer herds by culling diseased animals and encouraging dispersal of large herds into smaller herds that are more sustainable to their habitat. Livestock losses to wolves remain low – less than 1 percent of cattle in wolf range are lost to wolves – and there are highly effective nonlethal deterrents that can better protect sheep, cattle, and wolves.
These states are changing their state wolf legislation to the point they are no longer sufficient to protect wolves from eradication. You have the ability to restore their protection under the Endangered Species Act before it’s too late. Please take action now. Our nation’s wolves must be protected from this Old West approach that is nothing more than an archaic and brutal campaign to eradicate their numbers.
Spain has given pets the same legal status as humans in a sign of growing support for animal rights in the home of bullfighting.
Domestic animals will be considered “living beings” under Spanish law instead of mere objects as has been the case until now.
This will mean that dogs or cats must be considered in the same way as children in divorce hearings or when inheritance or debts cases have to be settled by the courts.
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When judges decide who should have the family dog, they also must consider the welfare of the animal as they would do if they were dealing with children.
Shared custody of the pet will be an option open to judges in divorce hearings, who must also decide who pays for vet bills and food of the animal.
In Spain, 49.3 per cent of Spanish homes have a pet, but the country also has the fourth highest rate of divorce in the European Union, according to the Fundacion Affinity, a petcare company.
Under the new law, mistreatment of pets will also be regarded as a crime as if the owner had abused another person.
If someone finds an abandoned pet, they have a public duty to try to locate the owner or inform the authorities as they would do if they came across a lost child.
Spain joins France, Germany, Austria and Portugal which are the other European countries which have given pets the same legal status.
“This shows that we are changing our mentality and see animals as living beings with the capacity to feel pain, happiness, sadness and are nothing to do with a piece of furniture or a show,” Lola García, a lawyer who specialises in civil rights, told La Vanguardia newspaper.
The pet law change was introduced by the Socialists and the far-left Unidas Podemos party and was backed by all other parties, except the far-right Vox party.
Sandra Guaita, a Socialist MP, who presented the law to the parliament, said anyone who opposed the change would “deny the pain and suffering of animals”.
“We should accept that animals are not objects, they are living beings which feel and suffer,” she said.
The new law comes as support in Spain for bullfighting has been on the wane in recent years. While some Spaniards consider it as part of the nation’s culture, others condemn it as cruel.
A 2019 poll for El Español, an online newspaper, found 56.4 per cent of Spanish people were against bull-fighting, while 24.7 per cent were in favour and 18.9 per cent were indifferent.
Moments ago, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law a bill banning traps, snares, and poisons on public lands across New Mexico.
The new law—called “Roxy’s Law” in honor of a dog who was strangled to death in a neck snare on public lands in 2018—will save untold numbers of native wildlife, including bobcats, swift foxes, badgers, beavers, ermine, coyotes, and Mexican gray wolves. It also will protect recreationists and our companion animals from cruel and indiscriminate traps, snares, and poisons on public lands across the Land of Enchantment.
This monumental victory for wildlife and public lands would not have been possible without you! You wrote letters, made phone calls, shared action alerts with your friends and networks, and generously supported our campaign. Thank you!
We also want to thank all of our partner organizations in the TrapFree New Mexico coalition who have collaborated with us for years to ensure that the cruel decimation of wildlife populations via traps, snares, and poisons ceases on public lands.
A few weeks ago, when Roxy’s Law passed the New Mexico Legislature, the National Trappers Association said this on social media: “The trappers of New Mexico are on the brink of losing trapping. They are doing so because their opponents started the process 10 years ago and have been relentless. This is a 365 day a year conquest for them.”
While “conquest” is a word I would reserve to describe the infinite killing of native wildlife for private profit, the rest rings true.
Thousands and thousands of Guardians like you have been working relentlessly for years to make public lands safer, to protect native wildlife, to better society’s relationship with wildness and nature, and to erase the paradigm of killing wildlife for fun and money.
So, join me in celebrating today’s huge milestone for wildlife and public lands, and rest assured that working together—and with your generous support—we will have more victories like this to celebrate in the near future.
This morning, #RoxysLaw passed the Sen. Conservation Committee w/ a bipartisan 7-2 vote! Thank you to the Senators who voted 'yes' & to the exceptional testifiers who spoke for #SB32, from @TrapFreeNM partners to advocates, wildlife scientists, and hunters/ranchers. #nmlegpic.twitter.com/h3WqbBjqFY
Our 2020 Annual Report is here! See this year’s highlights in the fight for nonhuman rights and what we were able to achieve together this year.
While this year has undoubtedly been challenging for all, the NhRP pressed on and fought (virtually) in court and beyond for our clients, and together with you, our dedicated supporters, we made great progress in the fight for nonhuman rights.
There is still much work to be done in the legal fight for nonhuman rights, which comes up against thousands of years of nonhuman animals’ rightlessness. But the NhRP does not give up on our clients or our mission. We sincerely thank each and every one of you who stood by us particularly in this difficult year, knowing the NhRP will fight for as long as it takes because we know justice is on our and our clients’ side. Step by step, we will continue to break down the legal wall that unjustly separates human and nonhuman animals.
From all of us at the NhRP, have a safe and healthy New Year!
Kevin Schneider is the NhRP’s Executive Director. He heads up the NhRP’s internal and external operations, ensuring that all organizational efforts align with our values and are aimed to secure rights for nonhuman animals.
Following an amicus brief filed last week by Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, they are the latest experts to call for freedom and sanctuary for Happy the elephant
July 22, 2020—New York, NY—Two habeas corpus scholars and twelve North American philosophers with expertise in animal ethics, animal political theory, the philosophy of animal cognition and behavior, and the philosophy of biology have submitted amicus curiae briefs in support of the legal personhood and right to liberty of an elephant held alone in captivity in the Bronx Zoo.
The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) recently filed an appeal in its habeas corpus case on behalf of Happy, a 49-year-old Asian elephant who is both the first elephant in the world to demonstrate self-awareness via the mirror self-recognition test and the first to be the subject of habeas corpus hearings to determine the lawfulness of her imprisonment.
The authors of the briefs are:
Justin Marceau (Brooks Institute Research Scholar at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law) and Samuel L. Wiseman (Professor of Law at Penn State Law in University Park):
“One of the greatest blemishes on our justice system is the wrongful detention of persons. The Writ of Habeas Corpus is one of the tools available to correct injustices by requiring a person’s captors to justify the person’s imprisonment to the courts. While the Writ has provided a procedural vehicle for vindicating the right of thousands of humans to not be unlawfully detained, this brief argues that the time has come to consider the Writ’s application to other cognitively complex beings who are unjustly detained. The non-humans at issue are unquestionably innocent. Their confinement, at least in some cases, is uniquely depraved—and their sentience and cognitive functioning, and the cognitive harm resulting from this imprisonment, is similar to that of human beings.”
Andrew Fenton (Dalhousie University), Bernard Rollin (Colorado State University), David Peña-Guzmán (San Francisco State University), G.K.D. Crozier (Laurentian University), Gary Comstock (North Carolina State University), James Rocha (California State University, Fresno), Jeff Sebo (New York University), L. Syd M Johnson (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Letitia Meynell (Dalhousie University), Nathan Nobis (Morehouse College), Robert C. Jones (California State University, Dominguez Hills), Tyler John (Rutgers University-New Brunswick):
“We reject arbitrary distinctions that deny adequate protections to other animals who share with protected humans relevantly similar vulnerabilities to harms and relevantly similar interests in avoiding such harms. We submit this brief to affirm our shared interest in ensuring a more just coexistence with other animals who live in our communities. We strongly urge this Court, in keeping with the best philosophical standards of rational judgment and ethical standards of justice, to recognize that, as a nonhuman person, Happy should be released from her current confinement and transferred to an appropriate elephant sanctuary, pursuant to habeas corpus.”
In 2018, Judge Eugene M. Fahey of the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, favorably cited to an amicus brief submitted by philosophers in his concurring opinion in the NhRP’s chimpanzee rights cases. In that opinion, he urged his fellow judges to treat the rightlessness of nonhuman beings as a “deep dilemma of ethics and policy that demands our attention” and to “consider whether a chimpanzee is an individual with inherent value who has the right to be treated with respect.”
Earlier this year, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Alison Y. Tuitt wrote in her decision in Happy’s case that while she “agrees [with the NhRP] that Happy is more than just a legal thing, or property … and may be entitled to liberty,” she was required to dismiss Happy’s habeas petition because “regrettably … this Court is bound by the legal precedent set by the Appellate Division when it held that animals are not ‘persons’ entitled to rights and protections afforded by the writ of habeas corpus.”
Legal scholar and Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe also recently filed an amicus brief in Happy’s case, urging the First Department to recognize Happy’s right to liberty as part of New York’s noble tradition of expanding the ranks of rights holders.”
For a detailed timeline of Happy’s case and court filings, visit this page. For more information about Happy’s appeal, visit this page. To download the above image of Happy, visit this page (credit: Gigi Glendinning).
CASE NO./NAME: THE NONHUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT, INC. on behalf of HAPPY, Petitioner, v. JAMES J. BREHENY, in his official capacity as Executive Vice President and General Director of Zoos and Aquariums of the Wildlife Conservation Society and Director of the Bronx Zoo, and WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY (Appellate Case No. 2020-02581)
Media Contact: Lauren Choplin firstname.lastname@example.org ###
About the Nonhuman Rights Project The Nonhuman Rights Project is the only civil rights organization in the United States working through litigation, legislation, and education to secure fundamental rights for nonhuman animals.Nonhuman Rights Project
We are the only civil rights organization in the United States dedicated solely to securing rights for nonhuman animals.
In a disturbing situation on Saturday afternoon in Hartford County, Maryland, a baby bear that had wandered into a residential neighborhood was shot and killed by police.
Witnesses were shocked and questioned why police did not notify Animal Control or the Department of Natural Resources to get involved. A local resident expressed her horrifying experience on social media.
“I just witnessed the most horrifying unjust killing of this baby bear,” Dawn Cowhey wrote on her Facebook page. “Right outback my condo building. Why wasn’t DNR called?!!! Why didn’t Animal Control in Hartford County get involved?! Why didn’t they tase the bear till DNR or Animal Control could come and sedate this poor life and relocate?!! Questions and absolutely felt helpless and could not protect this life as it was going down. I should have screamed louder… I should have screamed louder!!!!”
A press release from the Havre de Grace Police followed with an account of the situation. According to the police, the DNR had been contacted, but were unable to respond.
For Immediate Release Contact: Sgt. Daniel Petz, Public Information Officer, (410) 939-2121
On Saturday, June 20th, 2020, officers from the Havre de Grace Police Department were dispatched to the 700 blocks of Union Avenue for a bear on residential property. Officers responded to the area, and were unable to locate the bear who was last seen going towards the area of the hospital. Officers launched a search for the bear and alerted citizens in the area that a bear was sighted and to take appropriate actions. Officers eventually found the bear in the area of the promenade and had to euthanize the bear due to the high potential for a physical encounter with humans.
We understand this was a very unfortunate event, but officers made this decision based on the overwhelming concern for public safety.
As this investigation is still ongoing, no further information will be released at this time.
For additional information regarding this release, or any others, please contact the Office of Media relations at 410-939-2121.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources does not remove and relocate bears unless they have caused a conflict with humans or have shown signs of aggression. It is believed this baby black bear had been looking for food.
Bear attacks are extremely rare, and a bear showing up in a residential area doesn’t necessarily mean the animal is a threat. A general rule is never leave any food outside, make sure garbage cans are securely shut and remove bird feeders. If the bear appears aggressive, stay indoors and contact the DNA Bear hotline at 410.260.8888.
If you see a bear and it is not bothering anyone, keep your distance; take some photos, but never approach and stay at least 200-300 feet away from him. Be respectful of wildlife – they want to live too.
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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.
PETITION: Justice for Dog Repeatedly Punched in Face for Viral ‘Boxing’ Video
PETITION TARGET: Ada County Prosecutor Jan M. Bennetts
In a sickening video posted on Snapchat, a German shepherd cried out in pain as he was punched in the face over and over by a woman wearing boxing gloves in Eagle, Idaho.
“I hit him so hard, I felt that through –” the attacker said, as the video abruptly ends.
As the suspect repeatedly struck the visibly terrified canine, someone in the background made a taunting statement against animal lovers and laughed.
“We’re boxing animals. Where’s Sarah McLachlan?” the onlooker snidely remarked, referencing the popular singer and animal rights activist, before erupting into laughter at the violence unfolding before his eyes.
Disturbed viewers are overwhelmingly responding to the horrifying clip, which went viral on social media, with demands for justice. The suspect could face an animal abuse charge, Idaho Humane Society spokesperson Kristine Schellhaas told the Idaho Statesman, but for now, the case sits on the prosecutor’s desk, awaiting a decision.
The person who beat this innocent dog in an obvious display of cruelty must not get away with their actions. Sign this petition urging Ada County Prosecutor Jan M. Bennetts to charge the perpetrator for their suspected crimes, and to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
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.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released new guidelines for pet owners and coronavirus. After two cats tested positive for the coronavirus in different parts of New York, the new guidelines are out to share with pet owners how to care for pets in the pandemic and how to keep them safe.
Public health officials stated that there is “no evidence” that pets are part of spreading the virus. The CDC stressed the importance of the need for additional information and testing to be able to provide specific guidelines for pet owners. The CDC recommends treating pets like family members and to practice social distancing for animals too. In the meantime, the CDC has reocmmended:
“Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.”
If you’re sick with coronavirus, suspected or confirmed, follow the CDC guidelines and let someone else care for your pet while you’re sick, avoid contact until you’re well and use face coverings and hand washing if you must care for your animal during your illness.
IDEXX Laboratories said it would be providing a COVID-19 test to veterinarians. The agency also said it would continue to provide updates as more information was available.
Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.
Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
A dog suffered a slow death after she was allegedly abandoned without access to food. Though multiple concerned neighbors reported her desperate howls, rescuers could not legally breach the house due to property rights and bureaucratic red tape. Demand that animal lives be placed over property rights.
Baicheng dog market is open on weekends and is one of the main sources for slaughterhouses to source more dogs and owners use these meet ups to sell their pet dog that they no longer want or dogs they have been storing at home to make a quick sale 🤬🤬! @RickyGervais@PeterEgan6pic.twitter.com/fum4tTFhOk
Our rescue, Husky Education And Rescue Team, Inc ((H-E-A-R-T)). was contacted two weeks ago by the staff of Dorchester Paws, an open intake shelter, asking for our assistance with Cloud. Cloud was a Siberian Husky who had been brought to the shelter by someone who found him roaming the streets and he began to deteriorate in the shelter environment. He struggled with allowing strangers to handle him but once you earned his trust there was no concern.
Dorchester Paws is a 501c3 organization who serves Dorchester County, SC. The important thing to note here is the shelter uses the NO KILL designation as stated right on their website. We received many videos and notes on Cloud over the next week.
H-E-A-R-T’s Director had a conversation earlier this week with the Shelter’s Behavior Manager who was very invested in Cloud’s best interest. She wanted Cloud to go to a breed specific rescue who understood the breed. She told us about some neck sensitivities and his low grumbling when he was uncertain. These are all things H-E-A-R-T is accustomed to handling and rehabilitating in our beloved breed.
We were concerned about how best to get Cloud to MD. If he was unsure of strangers, a volunteer transport with multiple legs was not going to be successful, however maybe we could meet someone from the shelter halfway. But the Shelter staff was able to arrange a flight in which Cloud could be loaded into a crate and then the crate into the plane and then reversed once safe in MD. This would allow Cloud to be handled safely getting in and out of the plane.
We were all set! H-E-A-R-T sent the necessary paperwork to facilitate the Rescue pull and PAID the rescue pull/transfer fee of $100. Cloud was ours and he was coming to MD! We even shared his photos with our followers on our Facebook page on Thursday.
THAT’S WHEN EVERYTHING WENT WRONG!!!
At 5 pm on Friday, we received a ‘refund’ of Cloud’s adoption fee. Our Director immediately called the Shelter’s Behavior Manager and when she answered the phone she was devastated and in tears. The medical staff came to issue Cloud his health certificate so he could travel across state lines and when they went to examine him he became defensive, jumped on the medical staff and gave her a ‘pressure’ bite. He did NOT break the skin.
Now Husky lovers….how many of you have male Sibes who need to be muzzled at the vet’s office? It’s actually VERY common. Huskies are generally known for misbehaving or becoming defensive during a medical exam. Heck….this information is even on our Education page on our website.
The Shelter’s Behavior Manager was called in to assist with Cloud at this time. She was able to safely muzzle him for the vet to finish her examination and Cloud was issued a Health Certificate. But then the Executive Director of Dorchester Paws, Kim Almstedt ordered the immediate euthanasia of Cloud. They did not call H-E-A-R-T. They did not consult us about OUR dog. This NO KILL shelter simply ended his life and refunded our pull fee. Kim stated she could not endanger anyone on the transport. Well, we had a well laid out plan so no one needed to handle Cloud on the short flight to MD and we had a plan b in which we would have transported Cloud by ground! Even if Cloud had really hurt someone, we had committed to him. It should have been our decision on Cloud’s fate. And we would have tried to save him! Cloud was confused and being defensive with medical staff. Normal breed stuff but sadly this person who runs the Dorchester Paws shelter clearly hasn’t educated herself on our breed!
We are beyond crushed over this news. The tears haven’t stopped flowing yet. We’ve never worked with a shelter staff so extensively to save a Husky to simply have their Executive Director overrule a breed specific rescue and their own Behavior Manager and euthanize a dog when they pride themselves on being NO KILL. We immediately called the Executive Director, Kim on her cell phone and have not received a call back. And while the Board of Directors do not have contact information on the Dorchester Paws website, one of our Directors messaged 6 of the 7 on Facebook. The President has responded that he will “do some investigation and connect back with us”. But honestly, what could he possibly say that would justify what they’ve done? NOTHING.
We cannot let this injustice go. We must get CLOSURE FOR CLOUD. We must demand Kim Almstedt be removed from her position. She certainly has no business working in Animal Welfare. Not when there are volunteer organizations like H-E-A-R-T who are fighting so hard to save these beings when Kim is using her paid position to kill them.
So H-E-A-R-T network, we call on YOU. Help us be the voice for Cloud – a voice that we will never get to hear. A Husky who we will never get to hug. We must stop Kim Almstedt from killing another innocent being. Please sign the petition to have her terminated as the Executive Director of Dorchester Paws.
You can also call the Dorchester Paws Shelter at 843-871-3820, ask to speak with or leave a message for a Board Member and demand Kim Almstedt be removed from her position for the death of Cloud.
Happy New Year from all of us at the NhRP! Please see some of the year’s highlights in the fight for #nonhumanrights and what we achieved together in 2019 in our first ever Annual Report: https://t.co/htjD08EA96
“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