“Being kind to animals is not enough. Avoiding cruelty is not enough. Housing animals in more comfortable, larger cages is not enough. Whether we exploit animals to eat, to wear, to entertain us, or to learn, the truth of animal rights requires empty cages, not larger cages.”
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By Will Potter - April 29, 2013 - Green Is The New Red
"This Utah woman filmed a slaughterhouse from the public street."
"Amy Meyer wanted to see the slaughterhouse for herself. She had heard that anyone passing by could view the animals, so she drove to Dale Smith Meatpacking Company in Draper City, Utah, and from the side of the road she could see through the barbed-wire fence. Piles of horns littered the property. Cows struggled with workers who tried to lead them into a building. And one scene in particular made her stop.
“A live cow who appeared to be sick or injured being carried away from the building in a tractor,” Meyer told me, “as though she were nothing more than rubble.”
As she witnessed this, Meyer did what most of us would in the age of smart phones and YouTube: she recorded.
When the slaughterhouse manager came outside and told her to stop, she replied that she was on the public easement and had the right to film. When police arrived, she said told them the same thing. According to the police report, the manager said she was trespassing and crossed over the barbed-wire fence, but the officer noted “there was no damage to the fence in my observation.”
(Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Vermont are all considering similar bills right now.)
Meyer was allowed to leave. She later found out she was being prosecuted under the state’s new “ag-gag” law. This is the first prosecution in the country under one of these laws, which are designed to silence undercover investigators who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms. The legislation is a direct response to a series of shocking investigations by groups like the Humane Society, Mercy for Animals, and Compassion Over Killing that have led to plant closures, public outrage, and criminal charges against workers.
Even the most sweeping ag-gag bills, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council model legislation, don’t explicitly target filming from a roadside. But Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Vermont are all considering bills similar to the Utah law right now.
Pennsylvania’s bill criminalizes anyone who “records an image of, or sound from, the agricultural operation” or who “uploads, downloads, transfers or otherwise sends” the footage using the Internet.
North Carolina’s bill doesn’t specifically mention factory farms or slaughterhouses: it is called the “Commerce Protection Act,” and it includes investigations of any industry. It was introduced on the same day a fifth employee of Butterball pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after an undercover investigation showed workers beating turkeys.
Tennessee’s bill has already passed and is awaiting signature from the governor. In response to calls for a veto from the Humane Society and Carrie Underwood, one state representative compared undercover investigations to rape and sex-trafficking.
California’s ag-gag bill recently failed, after a massive public backlash. One newspaper editorial said “the cattlemen have committed the worst PR gaffe since New Coke.” The bill was a response to an undercover investigation by the Humane Society that showed “downer” cows, too sick to move, being pushed by tractors (much like what Amy Meyer recorded in Utah). It led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history.
The public backlash against these bills, including recent editorials by the New York Times and Washington Post, has relied on hypothetical examples of how they could be used. The AFL-CIO and Teamsters say they could put workers at risk. The ASPCA says they could shut down lawful investigations by animal protection groups. The National Press Photographers Association says they could wrap up journalists.
The first ag-gag prosecution should be a warning that these aren’t hypothetical concerns. These bills have one purpose: keep consumers in the dark. Rather than respond to video footage of animal cruelty with across-the-board reforms, the industry is trying to turn off the cameras.
It’s telling that the owner of the slaughterhouse Amy Meyer filmed happens to be Darrell H. Smith, the town mayor. (Mayor Smith, the meatpacking company, and the local prosecutor did not return phone calls for comment). If that’s shocking to you, it shouldn’t be. In Iowa, for example, the nation’s first ag-gag law was sponsored by Rep. Annette Sweeney, who is the former director of the Iowa Angus Association.
In Utah, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Mathis, called undercover investigators “animal rights terrorists” and said video recordings of animal abuse are “propaganda.” In his opening remarks at a legislative hearing on the ag-gag bill, Mathis said: “It’s fun to see my good ag friends in this committee… all my good friends are here.” Ag-gag supporters couldn’t be any more transparent in their financial motivations for censorship.
It was prescient that, as the Utah bill was being considered, the Utah Sentencing Commission warned that it could be used against anyone who merely takes a photograph of a farm or slaughterhouse. At the time, Rep. Greg Hughes of Draper replied: “Who would really pursue that in terms of prosecution?” Now, the first ag-gag prosecution is for precisely that, in his own district.
Most people won’t ever find themselves in the position of Amy Meyer, of course. Few of us actively seek out information about how our food is produced. (Do you know the location of a factory farm, if you wanted to?) The animal products just arrive at the supermarket, without investigation or thought.
With ag-gag bills, the industry is trying to keep it that way. These bills are not just about animal activists from national organizations going undercover. They are about people like Amy Meyer, who have seen how animals are being treated, and who want you to see what they have seen.
Most importantly, ag-gag bills are about you — the millions of Americans who might see this footage, be sickened by it, and demand a change."
Hundreds Of Dogs Rescued Before Being Smuggled As Food
Posted: April 26th, 2013
Source - (CNN) - Over 680 dogs are rescued from smugglers in Thailand's northeastern provinces of Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom while being smuggled for consumption in Vietnam.
Animal control officers and army rangers found 550 dogs in a makeshift den built in an abandoned farmland in Sakon Nakhon's Kusuman District Thursday night.
The place is intended to keep the dogs before smuggling across the Mekong River to Laos and to a final destination in Vietnam. Officials said the smugglers fled before they arrived.
Most of the dogs are in good health. However, they will be taken for treatment at an Animal Quarantine Office in nearby Nakhon Phanom province.
In Nakhon Phanom's Tha Uten, a patrol unit spotted a pick-up truck loaded with 130 dogs on the bank of the Mekong River. The driver of the truck, stacked high with dogs stuffed into tiny cages, was nowhere to be seen.
Officials believe the dogs would have been loaded onto a boat to Laos, destined for Vietnam where dog meat is considered delicacy with medicinal benefit.
For many years, dogs in Thailand have been sent across the border in a lucrative business despite a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a fine of up to $670. Traffickers are known to round up stray dogs in rural Thai villages, and sell them for up to $33 per dog in Vietnam.
No Monkeying Around: Harvard Closing Primate Research Center
By Ed Silverman - April 24th, 2013 - via Pharmalot
In a move hailed by animal-rights activists, Harvard Medical School will close its New England Primate Research Center sometime over the next 12 to 24 months due to the difficulties in obtaining research funding. Consequently, a five-year federal grant from the US National Institutes of Health will not be renewed (here is the statement).
The decision comes after Harvard began investing to correct problems that resulted in the deaths of four monkeys between June 2010 and February 2012, which prompted an investigation by the US Department of Agriculture. The USDA probe cited Harvard for violations of animal welfare rules, which was a huge embarrassment for the school.
The primate center currently houses approximately 2,000 monkeys, including rhesus macaques, crab-eating macaques, common marmosets, squirrel monkeys and cotton top tamarins. But school officials say the closing is unrelated to the violations.
“The decision that we made was a strategic, long-term decision and not based in any way on the problems we had over the last several years,” med school dean Jeffrey Flier tells The Boston Globe. “The school would have had to make considerable investments. Those are investments that would not have been able to go in other directions. And when we looked at everything, including the more difficult external funding environment that we all face,” this was the right decision. The school estimates it would have to invest at least $25 million over the next five years.
Nancy Haigwood, director of the Oregon National Primate Research Center, tells the paper that the decision would slow down the pace of research into diseases that affect human health and might lead scientists to leave the Boston area to pursue their projects. The Harvard center is known for research into AIDS and Parkinson’s, among other ailments.
Deborah Kochevar, dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, tells the paper she was very surprised after chairing a panel of outside specialists who last year reviewed operations at the primate center and issued a report suggestings improvments, which Harvard seemed committed to pursuing.
Animal-rights activists, meanwhile, were ecstatic. “Harvard’s decision to close the New England Primate Research Center is a significant, positive development. As an organization, we advocate for better investment of research dollars. Moving away from the use of these highly intelligent animals is another step in that right direction. Our government should prioritize alternatives that will provide better, faster and more relevant results for human health,” says Kathleen Conlee, vice president of animal research issues at The Humane Society of the United States.
“Harvard wants the public to believe that this closure is due to economics,” says Michael Budkie, who heads Stop Animal Exploitation Now. “That is simply not true. The only way Harvard could quash this scandal is to close the primate center, because even last year’s resignation of the Center’s Director could not end their ineptitude.”
"A new Animal Equality investigation reveals shocking torture to lambs raised for their meat in Italy. For over a year, undercover investigators have captured shocking footage never seen before by the Italian public.
Every year, in Italy during the Easter Holidays, over 4 million lambs, sheep and goats are slaughtered. This is due to the consumption of this meat being a tradition to celebrate the holidays. The extortionate number of lambs killed every year is horrifying and forms part of a cruel massacre. This figure is even greater if we consider sheep and goats, which are exploited equally during this period of the year. The overall number of slaughtered animals prior to Easter totals approximately 800.000."
Starting the day in handcuffs is generally not considered ideal, but for Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell, it was a good way to spend the morning.
Cromwell, along with a PETA protestor named Jeremy Beckham, was arrested Thursday at the University of Wisconsin after interrupting a Board of Regents meeting.
The two protestors burst into the meeting to protest the university’s policy of using cats as lab animals. According to Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, the pair held signs featuring a large photo of Double Trouble, a lab cat with metal implanted in her head.
“This is not science! This is cruel! Shame on you!” Cromwell admonished the board. Beckham echoed the sentiment, saying, “This is the reality of what happens to cats in labs. Take a look at the photograph. This is the pride of the university here.”
Cromwell and Beckham were unaware that the meeting was being streamed online, a fact that Cromwell considers a bonus, since it garnered more exposure for the protest. You can check out the video here.
“People saw us and heard us, and if we’d known, we would’ve gone up to the cameras, but I think a lot of people got out their phones and took photographs,” he said. “I’m sure it’ll go viral, and that’s why I’m here.”
Both Cromwell and Beckham were arrested by university police and brought to the Dane County jail. They were charged with disorderly conduct and have a court date next week. Cromwell said that they were treated courteously, and that being cuffed is “always fun.”
According to a PETA release, “Thirty cats a year at UW-Madison are starved, deafened and decapitated for brain research that hasn’t done accomplished its goals of improving human hearing. (Warning: That link leads to graphic and heartbreaking images of lab cat Double Trouble.)
However, a spokesman for the school emailed the Journal Sentinel to say that PETA’s claims are false. “Today’s events are just another attempt by these outside activists to get attention,” he said. “They have attacked and distorted this line of research, which has very real benefits for people who are deaf, from every angle, and they are getting no traction with the public.”
The research may benefit humans, but if the images in the PETA link are any indication, these cats are not treated humanely, a sentiment that Cromwell agrees with. “These photographs were very powerful,” he said. “It is something that can be seen that does affect people outside the scientific community and raise their ire, as it should.”
According to PETA, after Double Trouble was no longer useful as a live test subject, she was euthanized and decapitated for brain study. PETA has set up a petition to help other cats like Double Trouble; head over to the site to take action.
Cromwell has been an animal rights activist since his work on the movie “Babe,” when PETA reached out to him to save pigs from slaughter.
Factory Farm Abuses to be Considered "Act of Terrorism"
If New Law Passes /Jan 24th, 2013
AlterNet / By Katherine Paul, Ronnie Cummins
This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.
How do you keep consumers in the dark about the horrors of factory farms? By making it an “act of terrorism” for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on the corporate-controlled farms that produce the bulk of our meat, eggs and dairy products.
And who better to write the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, designed to protect Big Ag and Big Energy, than the lawyers on the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force at the corporate-funded and infamous American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
New Hampshire, Wyoming and Nebraska are the latest states to introduce Ag-Gag laws aimed at preventing employees, journalists or activists from exposing illegal or unethical practices on factory farms. Lawmakers in 10 other states introduced similar bills in 2011-2012. The laws passed in three of those states: Missouri, Iowa and Utah. But consumer and animal-welfare activists prevented the laws from passing in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York and Tennessee.
In all, six states now have Ag-Gag laws, including North Dakota, Montana and Kansas, all of which passed the laws in 1990-1991, before the term “Ag-Gag” was coined.
Ag-Gag laws passed 20 years ago were focused more on deterring people from destroying property, or from either stealing animals or setting them free. Today’s ALEC-inspired bills take direct aim at anyone who tries to expose horrific acts of animal cruelty, dangerous animal-handling practices that might lead to food safety issues, or blatant disregard for environmental laws designed to protect waterways from animal waste runoff. In the past, most of those exposes have resulted from undercover investigations of exactly the type Big Ag wants to make illegal.
Wyoming’s HB 0126 is the perfect example of a direct link between an undercover investigation of a factory farm and the introduction of an Ag-Gag law. The bill was introduced mere weeks after nine factory workers at Wheatland, WY-based Wyoming Premium Farms, a supplier to Tyson Foods, were charged with animal cruelty following an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). HSUS activists videotaped workers kicking live piglets, swinging them by their hind legs and beating and kicking mother pigs. Charges were filed in late December. In January, State Rep. Sue Wallis and Senator Ogden Driskill introduced Wyoming’s Ag-Gag bill which would make it a criminal act to carry out investigations such as the one that exposed the cruelty at Wyoming Premium Farms.
Wallis and Driskill both have ties to Big Ag. Wallis was the subject of a conflict-of-interest complaint filed in 2010 by animal welfare groups. The groups accused her of improper and fraudulent abuse of her position as a legislator after she introduced a bill allowing the Wyoming Livestock Board to send stray horses to slaughter. At the time she introduced the bill, Wallis also was planning to develop a family-owned horse slaughter plant in the state. Both Wallis and Driskill are members of the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association. Driskill has accepted political contributions from the livestock industry and Exxon Mobil, a member of ALEC.
Most of the Ag-Gag laws introduced since 2011 borrow the premise, if not the exact language, from model legislation designed by ALEC. ALEC’s sole purpose is to write model legislation that protects corporate profits. Industry then pushes state legislators to adapt the bills for their states and push them through. The idea behind the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act is to make it illegal to “enter an animal or research facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other or other means with the intent to commit criminal activities or defame the facility or its owner.”
Australian sheep 'clubbed, buried alive' in Pakistan
Sept. 27th, 2012
At least 10,000 Australian sheep sent to Pakistan have been slaughtered, with Pakistani newspapers reporting a video which they say shows some of the animals being clubbed to death and others buried alive.
Karachi-based PK Meat and Food Company bought the sheep after authorities in Bahrain rejected the shipment on the grounds the animals were infected.
Authorities in Karachi then ordered the boatload of 20,468 sheep be killed because of the disease risk, but PK Meat and Food obtained a court order which temporarily stopped the killing.
The Pakistani court has now adjourned until Friday its decision on the remaining sheep stranded in Karachi.
But disturbing vision has surfaced which shows the brutal way in which 10,000 sheep were killed by local authorities.
The ABC has not seen the footage but Steven Meerwald, managing director of Wellard, the company that exported the sheep, has confirmed seeing it.
"One of the staff members at the facility took that vision during the culling, at some risk to themselves to be able to get evidence," he said.
Several Pakistani media outlets have also reported on the cruel footage.
The News International said the sheep had been stabbed, clubbed to death and buried alive.
The Express Tribune, another Pakistani paper, says nearly half of the 20,000 Australian sheep at the Karachi feedlot are either dead or missing.
Kazim Alam is the journalist with the Express Tribune who visited the feedlot where the sheep are being held.
"Along the boundary of the pen, I could see the dead sheep with flies buzzing around and the smell was absolutely - I just could not bear it," he said.
He says he was also shown a video by the importer showing some of the animals being destroyed by inexperienced butchers.
"The images were horrible. I could clearly see an animal which was evidently alive," he said.
"The animal was clearly alive, I could see the animal breathe, and yet, the animal was lying on a pile of recently slaughtered sheep. So it was very, I should say, cruel and inhumane."
Lyn White from Animals Australia raised the local media reports with the Government this morning and an investigation is now underway.
"There is no happy ending here. These sheep are either going to be culled or they're going to be killed for human consumption. Either way, they'll be slaughtered while fully conscious," she said.
She says Australian authorities have little control over what happens to the sheep once they are exported.
But she says it was not until the animals lost their commercial value in Pakistan that people became concerned about their welfare.
Audio: Listen to Sabra Lane's interview (The World Today)(See link below to website.)
"As soon as they seemingly lost their commercial value in Pakistan and the cull was ordered, we were so concerned about how they'd be treated," she said.
"When they had commercial value they are slaughtered in a manner that is unacceptable in Australia, let alone when they have none."
While Ms White concedes that the Middle East is Australia's largest market for sheep exports, she says Australia needs to draw a line.
"A question has to be asked, when is enough profit enough and when do ethics kick in here? And we keep these animals in our care, under our protection," she said.
The Federal Agriculture Department's acting deputy secretary Paul Morris says the exporter of the sheep, Wellard, could be held responsible for their treatment in Pakistan under the new export supply chain assurance system.
"There's a range of conditions that can be placed on future exports if they're found to be in breach of those requirements and ultimately there is a penalty of removing their licence if severe compliance problems are found," he said.
In a statement the Fremantle-based exporter said "we are concerned by the slaughter method because it is inconsistent with Wellard's animal welfare ethos".
Wellard says its stockmen were forced to leave its export partner's accredited abattoir by local police, and local livestock department officials then undertook a cull.
Stephen Meerwald is quoted in the International News report as saying he has not eaten or slept since seeing the "gruesome" footage.
"Regardless of whether they were healthy or not, the way they were killed or buried alive is neither humane, nor Islamic," he said.
The Agriculture Department says it and Australia's High Commission in Pakistan continue to be "actively involved" in matters relating to the sheep in Karachi.
By Giornale Di Brescia - April 28, 2012 | DGR News Service
They broke through or climbed over the gate networks. They made their way inside the farm and opened the cages, taking away puppies, pregnant mothers, and all the little beagle puppies they could find. It was a raid organized by Occupy Green Hill to demand the closure of the mill.
The procession started at the parking lot of PalaGeorge, and was attended by about 1000 people from all over North Italy and also from the center. By way of the action Sepentone deflected, and instead of going towards Via San Zeno, the main road leading farm where he was deployed the cordon of police, groups of protesters cut through the fields and the lanes, coming close to the fences.
From then on, the situation has become confused with groups of demonstrators who tried to open gates in the perimeter and teams of mobile riot police and police deployed to contain them. On the side of the gates, however, the protesters opened a breach in the fence and broke into the farm, going into the sheds and taking away at least thirty dogs.
By the end of the day, police had arrested 12 people from the local police station Montichiari, and transferred them to Desenzano. Some protesters said they had suffered violence by officials.
Green Hill 2001 is a company located in Montichiari (Brescia), which breeds beagle dogs to vivisection labs. From this farm, more than 250 dogs each month end in the enclosures, in the hands of vivisectors and on operating tables. Dogs there are born to die and sentenced to suffer.
After the collapse of the other Italian breeder of laboratory beagle dogs, the Morini Stefano di San Polo d’Enza, it is likely that Green Hill has had a greater demand, expanding and becoming one of the main breeding dogs in the European market research animals.
Inside the Green Hill 5 huts are locked up to 2500 adult dogs, plus several litters. A lager made of animal shelters closed, aseptic, without open spaces without natural light or air. Rows and rows of cages with artificial lighting and ventilation system are the environment in which these dogs develop before being loaded onto a truck and shipped to hellish laboratories.
Among the clients of Green Hill, there are university laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and renowned trial centers as the notorious Huntingdon Life Sciences in England, the largest animal torture laboratory in Europe.
Who derives profit from this pain?
For some years now Green Hill was acquired by an American firm called Marshall Farms Inc. Marshall is a name infamous throughout the world as it is the largest “factory” dog lab in existence. The Marshall beagle is actually a standard variety.
Marshall’s dogs are shipped by air all over the world, but with the purchase of Green Hill as the European headquarters and the construction of a huge farm in China, Marshall is pursuing a plan of expansion and market monopoly.
In this it must also be seen that the expansion project includes the construction of other shelters in Montichiari, which would provide Green Hill with 5,000 dogs, making it the largest beagle dog breeder in Europe.
For a price from $600 to $1200 you can buy dogs of all ages. Those willing to pay more can also buy a pregnant mother.
Green Hill Farm and Marshall also offer its customers surgical treatments on demand, including the cutting or removal of the vocal cords.
For Green Hill and Marshall Farm animals are just merchandise, objects to breed and sell, without the slightest scruple about pain and suffering – mental and physical – that they will suffer.
By Penny Tilton - Kansas City Animal Advocacy Examiner
April 28, Montichiari Italy, Animal Liberation Front (ALF) of Italy, protested Green Hill, a facility that breeds and raises Beagles for animal testing. Dozens of ALF protesters infiltrated one of the breeding kennels that housed the female dogs and their puppies. Once inside the facility the protesters managed to release 1 adult female beagle and 25-30 puppies, before the police intervened and arrested 12 of the protesters. Allegedly this has set off a cyber attack from Anonymous called SD fur.
At 16:15 a group of ALF protesters hurled stones at the first building of kennel, they then climbed over the fence to reach the cages where the animals are locked up. As the Police were trying to get past the blockade of outside protesters, a dozen other ALF protesters came out carrying handfuls of puppies and one adult female beagle. The protesters started lifting the dog and puppies over the fence to the ALF protesters on the other side. The ALF protesters managed to release some 25-30 puppies before police broke through the barricade of protesters. The police eventually arrested 12 of the protesters and seized 7 of the puppies. Some protesters said they “experienced violence by some of the officials.”
Each year in the UK around 4 million animals of various species are killed in vivsection labs.....and over 100 million worldwide! In the 21st century there is no place for animals to be used and killed when there are many alternative methods that benefit hmuans and animals alike.
Broad Spectrum of National Interest Groups Sign On to Oppose "Ag-Gag"
Feb. 23, 2012,
NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire -
Twenty-seven national groups representing a wide spectrum of public interests have signed on to a statement opposing proposed "ag-gag" legislation that is being considered in states around the country. These bills seek to criminalize investigations that reveal animal abuse and could suppress critical information about the production of animal products on agricultural facilities.
The statement, which is being provided to lawmakers who are currently reviewing ag-gag legislation, was organized by a coalition of national animal welfare organizations that have come together to collectively combat these harmful proposals. These organizations include the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Compassion Over Killing, Farm Forward, Farm Sanctuary, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), In Defense of Animals and Mercy For Animals (MFA).
The statement reads in part:
"These bills represent a wholesale assault on many fundamental values shared by all people across the United States. Not only would these bills perpetuate animal abuse on industrial farms, they would also threaten workers' rights, consumer health and safety, and the freedom of journalists, employees and the public at large to share information about something as fundamental as our food supply. We call on state legislators around the nation to drop or vote against these dangerous and un-American efforts."
In addition to the aforementioned animal organizations, the following groups representing civil liberties, public health, food safety, environmental, food justice, legal, workers' rights and First Amendment interests signed on to the statement: A Well-Fed World; Brighter Green; Center for Constitutional Rights; Center for Science in the Public Interest; The Cornucopia Institute; Earth Policy Institute; Earth Save; Food and Water Watch; Food Empowerment Project; Government Accountability Project; National Freedom of Information Coalition; National Press Photographers Association; Natural Resources Defense Council; Organic Consumers Association; Slow Food USA; T. Colin Campbell Foundation; United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; Whistleblower Support Fund; and Youth for Environmental Sanity.
In a recent poll commissioned by the ASPCA, it was revealed that 71 percent of Americans support undercover investigative efforts by animal welfare organizations to expose animal abuse on industrial farms and 64 percent oppose making such efforts illegal. Additionally, 94 percent of Americans feel that it is important to have measures in place to ensure that food coming from farm animals is safe for people to eat, and 94 percent agree that animals raised for food on farms deserve to be free from abuse and cruelty.
Some of the horrific cruelties committed on industrial farms have been exposed by investigators from such animal welfare groups as The HSUS, MFA and Compassion Over Killing. These include newborn piglets screaming in pain at breeding facilities in Oklahoma, workers kicking and stomping on turkeys at a Butterball facility in North Carolina, dairy calves being stabbed repeatedly with pitchforks on an Ohio dairy farm, and ducks being tortured at the nation's largest foie gras factory farm.
Undercover farm investigations have also led to the disclosure of crucial health and welfare information and many groundbreaking reforms, including a ban on cruel confinement systems in California, the closure of a massive slaughterhouse that was shipping meat from sick animals to public schools, and the development of humane slaughter protocols.
This year, ag-gag legislation is being considered in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Utah. Ag-gag proposals were also being considered as part of two bills in Florida, but lawmakers in January decided to remove the controversial language after pressure from constituents and animal protection groups. In addition to industrial farms, these bills have the potential to shield slaughter plants and puppy mills from legitimate investigations.
About the ASPCA®Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation's leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org .
About Compassion Over KillingCompassion Over Killing (COK) is a nonprofit animal protection organization based in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the abuse of animals in agriculture through undercover investigations, public outreach, litigation, and other advocacy programs. COK is on the web at COK.net.
About Farm SanctuaryFarm Sanctuary promotes legislative, policy, and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary's shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals. For more information, please visit farmsanctuary.org.
About In Defense of AnimalsIn Defense of Animals (IDA) has been in the forefront of protecting the rights, welfare and habitat of animals since 1983.
About Mercy For AnimalsMercy For Animals is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies. MFA works to fulfill its mission through education campaigns, undercover cruelty investigations, legal advocacy and animal welfare corporate outreach. For more information, visit www.MercyForAnimals.org .
We are delighted to announce that the Greek Government has banned the use of all animals in circuses following a campaign by ADI and the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF), backed by over 50 local animal protection groups across Greece. The new animal protection law also addresses a number of important issues concerning stray animals.
Tim Phillips of ADI, who launched the Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Greece in 2006 said: “In circuses in Greece we saw horrific suffering. I remember a hippo living in a small, filthy cage on the back of a lorry with a stinking pool barely bigger than a bath tub to wallow in. This is a great day for animal protection in Greece and indeed Europe. We applaud the Greek Government for taking a strong, unequivocal stand against animal suffering in circuses.”
Evgenia Mataragka of the GAWF, based in Athens said: “We are delighted that Greece has said no to cruelty in the name of entertainment. We have witnessed terrible suffering of animals in traveling circuses here and these animals often have to endure long journeys by sea from Italy. Many municipalities have already banned animal circuses in Greece, so we believe that this will be a popular with Greek people.”
Greece is the second country, behind Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Europe to ban all animals from circuses. Austria and Croatia currently have bans on wild animal acts, and several European countries including Portugal and Denmark have measures to ban or phase out wild animals in circuses.
Bolivia was the first country to ban all animals from circuses and, in February 2011, ADI completed an enforcement operation with the Bolivian authorities closing down and rescuing every animal from circuses defying the law. This included relocating 29 lions to the USA as well as rescuing primates and horses.
ADI and GAWF have said they are committed to assisting the Greek Government with enforcing the ban.
In July 2011, Peru banned wild animals in circuses following an undercover investigation and campaign by ADI. It is clear now that the days are numbered for keeping animals in travelling facilities and forcing them to do tricks in the name of entertainment. Legislation is currently being considered by the Governments of the USA, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.
The UK will now be under considerable pressure to implement a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, which was called for by an overwhelming vote by back bench MPs last year. The British Government had cited a legal challenge to Austria’s ban on wild animal acts as a reason for not implementing a UK ban. However, in December the Austrian Constitutional Court in Vienna announced that it had thrown out the application by Circus Krone to overturn Austria’s ban.
Two animal-rights activists were arrested on Saturday at a protest of the University of Florida's use of primates in research.
Camille Marino and Lisa Grossman, part of the animal rights group Negotiation is Over, were protesting outside the Gator Gala awards ceremony at Emerson Alumni Hall. Gainesville police arrested Marino on an out-of-state warrant and Grossman for a suspended driver's license.
Marino, 47, is being held at the Alachua County jail and awaiting extradition to Michigan. The warrant stems from a case in which she posted the home address, phone number and other information online about a researcher at Wayne State University in Detroit. The researcher obtained a court order for the information to be removed.
Marino was held in criminal contempt for failing to do so and ordered to pay more than $6,281 in his legal fees.
Grossman, 50, of Jacksonville, was charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for presenting police with a suspended driver's license. Gainesville police spokesman Cpl. Angelina Valuri said that it's against the law to have a suspended driver's license even if the person isn't driving.
Michael Budkie of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, an animal rights group working with Negotiation is Over on the primate campaign, questioned the motive for the arrests.
“It's my opinion that these arrests took place at the protest in a concerted effort to stifle dissent against the university,” he said.
Negotiation is Over's campaign against animal research at UF has included posting the personal information of university employees online and seeking public records on research involving primates. Marino sued UF for failing to provide records, leading to an Alachua County Circuit Court judge ordering last month for them to be released.
Marino and Grossman were protesting in December 2010 at a fundraiser at UF when they were issued trespass warnings by university police. Grossman was later charged with trespassing for violating the warning by distributing fliers on campus offering a $100 reward for information on students involved in research.
The warnings don't apply to the sidewalk outside Emerson Alumni Hall, located on University Avenue across from the main campus.
Contact Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or email@example.com.
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Canada Moves One Step Closer to Ending the Seal Slaughter
(taken from PETA.org website)
I'm happy to share some terrific news on PETA's global fight to stop Canada's annual baby-seal slaughter. Ryan Cleary—a member of Parliament from the Canadian province where much of the seal slaughter is scheduled to take place—has now gone on the record stating that it may be time to end the massacre for good as the market for seal skin dwindles as a result of animal rights campaigns. This is terrific news and an indication that PETA's vigorous efforts are beginning to change the minds even of politicians from regions where the seal slaughter takes place.
Cleary's statement comes after a string of victories against the seal slaughter. Thanks in part to the help of thousands of caring members and supporters like you around the world, the U.S. and the European Union (E.U.) have banned seal imports, and just last month, Russia—which buys 80 percent of Canada's seal pelts—took steps to ban imports as well. This move came after Pamela Anderson made an international appeal to Vladimir Putin on PETA's behalf. In just the past year, Iggy Pop and Ke$ha starred in PETA's edgy "Canada's Club Scene Sucks" ads, Sarah McLachlan and Joan Jett penned letters urging Canada to give up its challenges of the E.U. ban, and Canada native William Shatner led our Canadian Tax Day campaign to show citizens and lawmakers that millions of Canadian taxpayer dollars are propping up the dying annual massacre. At last, after all these efforts, national media outlets across Canada are exposing the wasteful slaughter for what it is.
We have finally reached a tipping point in this campaign—the time is now to call on Canada to end the slaughter once and for all. Please take a few minutes and click here, to urge Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stop this annual massacre.
Thank you for your unwavering commitment to these animals.
Senior Vice President,
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Animal-Rights Activist Wins 15G In Leafleting-Arrest Lawsuit
January 25, 2012| - By Vinny Vella
EDWARD COFFIN said yesterday was "bittersweet," even though he ended it $15,000 richer.
The city agreed to pay Coffin, an animal-rights activist, that sum as a settlement. He sued the city last year with the help of the state's branch of the American Civil Liberties Union after he was illegally arrested during a supermarket protest in 2009.
"The money is appreciated, but my ultimate goal was to get better First Amendment training for Philadelphia police officers," he said. "I think I've made some progress, but it's still a major problem."
City police officers are not trained on activists' rights and instead are told to refer problems involving them to the department's Civil Affairs Bureau, according to the complaint filed in the lawsuit.
That wasn't the case with Coffin, who was arrested by Sgt. Dominick Cole in 2009 for handing out pro-vegan fliers outside the Whole Foods Market on South Street near 10th. Cole charged Coffin with handbilling without a permit, an offense that applies only to commercial literature.
When Coffin pointed this out to Cole, he charged him under an ordinance that requires a permit for parades and assemblies. But that ordinance applies to groups of 75 or more, and Coffin was joined by only one other person.
The charges against Coffin later were thrown out, but he was determined to make an example of his situation.
"I felt extremely violated that I was arrested for handing out leaflets, a First Amendment activity," Coffin said. "I was afraid cases like mine would have a chilling effect and convince other protesters that it's not worth it."
Although Coffin's personal battle is over, Paul Messing, one of the attorneys who represented him during the lawsuit, said he would continue to pursue the issue, with additional lawsuits if necessary.
"The problem is not resolved by this settlement," he said. "We will continue to talk to the city about necessary changes in Police Department procedures to ensure that fundamental First Amendment rights are being protected."
Truck With 1,500 Dogs Bound for Chinese Restaurants Intercepted By Lib
January 19th, 2012
Daily Mail UK
The class between Old and New China reaches another dramatic pitch as yet another bold interception occurs in broad daylight by Chinese animal liberators — a tactic that activists in the US and other nations would do well to emulate!
Starving, exhausted and crammed into tiny cages, they were just hours away from being killed for restaurants.
These shocking pictures were taken after more than 1,500 dogs were found piled one on top of another inside a truck bound for the slaughterhouse.
Manyof them would not even have survived the 22-hour journey.
Animal welfare volunteers and police in Chongqing, south-west China, discovered the malnourished and dehydrated animals loaded inside cages so small they couldn’t stand up.
Theytook them to a nearby farm where they were given food, water and emergency medical treatment, but many were too frail to survive.
Xiao Lu, of the Chongqing Animal Protection Association, said: ‘When [the dogs] saw us they were groaning, but some were so exhausted and dying that they didn’t even have the strength to make a sound.
‘The dog peddler said his truck was only loaded with 700 dogs, but there are at least 1,500.'
The harrowing photographs of the suffering animals were posted on the internet by the blogger who was behind the rescue operation.
After spotting the truck carrying the animals, he posted a plea on the web, begging for help in saving the dogs’ lives.
It was answered by animal welfare volunteers, and with the assistance of the police, they intercepted the vehicle at a toll gate. Many of the dogs, which were being taken to Guangdong province, in the far south of the country, were saved.
Eating dog meat in China dates back thousands of years. It is also consumed in countries including Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, but is illegal in most Western countries.
Restaurants serving dog are common in many Chinese cities, but particularly in Guangdong province, where some locals think it has medicinal properties.
Despite proposals to ban the consumption of dog last year, and growing international opposition to the practice, the meat has continued to be sold.
Alan Knight, chief executive of International Animal Rescue, said: ‘The transport is disgusting. They cram them into small wire cages, with no food or water, and take them across the country and kill them in inhumane ways.
Kung Pao Nightmare - China Consumes 4 Million Cats Yearly
January 14, 2012 - By Robert Slattery
Animal Rights – China is currently in debate about the morality of eating cat meat, a tradition for some, and a vile practice for others. Regional paper Nanfang Daily reported an estimated 4 million cats are eaten in the country a year, and the number may be rising due to economic hardships.
Cat isn’t eaten as widely as prejudicial conjecture might have one think, but it does appear in a few traditional dishes, eaten largely by rural eldery populations. In addition, it is eaten to supplement diets in the cold winter months.
Cat meat is not popular with youth though, suggesting a paradigm shift regarding the animal. Mei Zhigang, a professor at Central China Normal University explains that for many now, the cat is no longer simply an animal, but “part of human civilization.” This has resulted in new laws regarding animal welfare and consumption. In fact, trade in cat meat is illegal.
While the issue is grotesque for many Western readers, the consumption of cats solves a significant problem China has with feral cats. In Bejing alone, it is estimated that there is over 200,000 stray cats. These kind of numbers can affect the health of the animals, as well as create a significant environmental impact.
Beyond the moral issue at hand, China’s changing view toward protecting and regulating animals is a good sign in a country known for severe lapses in animal and human rights.
1. Mercy For Animals’ undercover investigation into E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas, received so much press and public attention it actually impacted the market price of cattle futures. One of the nation’s best investigators gained employment at E6, where he observed and recorded workers bashing in the skulls of calves with hammers and pickaxes, among other horrors. (The facility specializes in raising female calves until they are old enough to be impregnated and turned into milk machines.) The American Veterinary Medical Association, not known for opposing agribusiness, even issued a statement condemning E6’s behavior. For a short time, the undercover video was banned by YouTube – a bad PR move on their part – and news of the ban reached the sizable audience of consumer tech websites, so the video received even more views. For many Americans, watching this footage was the first time they had ever considered the cruelty inherent in dairy products.
2. West Hollywood became the first fur-free city in the U.S. and one of only a handful in the world. This small independent city, surrounded on all sides by Los Angeles like Vatican City is by Rome, voted in September to ban the sale of fur apparel after a time interval to allow retailers to phase out inventory. “Fur Free WeHo” received national media attention. Although largely a symbolic gesture in terms of its impact on fur-bearing animals, the legislation drafted will serve as a model for other communities. Similar campaigns in other cities are already underway.
3. Congress introduced the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA), now HR 3359, which would effectively shut down traveling circuses such as Ringling Bros. in the U.S. Animal Defenders International led the charge after successful circus bans in other countries, with assistance from experts from the Performing Animal Welfare Society, exotic animal veterinarian Dr. Mel Richardson, philanthropist Bob Barker, and actress/activist Jorja Fox, all of whom testified before Capitol Hill staffers in early November. The announcement of the bill received huge media coverage and offered a platform for ADI to discuss the ethics of animal circuses.
4. Beagle Freedom Project’s rescue of 40 beagles from an animal testing laboratory in Spain (soon joined by three more) was the third rescue by the group. Coverage on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams two nights in a row, as well as the Today Show, catapulted the group to national and international attention. In the process, people worldwide learned for the first time about the horrors of animal testing, and were motivated to shop cruelty-free. The video of BFP’s second rescue in June of this year racked up over three million YouTube views because of the interest in the rescue.
5. Another investigation by Mercy For Animals into Sparboe Egg, the fourth largest egg producer and a key supplier to McDonald’s, resulted in what was undoubtedly the biggest economic hit to a factory farm in history when the fast-food chain, and several other major retail customers, cut ties with Sparboe. To add insult to injury, MFA filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for Sparboe’s false and misleading claims about its animal care standards.
6. Stop Animal Exploitation Now released a comprehensive report on the use of non-human primates in federally regulated animal testing labs in October. The report, based on USDA documentation, included the little-known “exemptions” to welfare laws that mean animals can be deprived of enrichment, food, and water; that permit severe confinement; that deny anesthesia for procedures; and that even allow cages to go weeks without cleaning. Although this story did not receive nearly enough attention from news media, SAEN’s research into the issue was validated when in December the National Institutes of Health announced that it would temporarily stop funding chimpanzee research, and Harvard University’s primate lab was found committing five violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
7. Compassion Over Killing announced a class-action lawsuit on behalf of consumers alleging a price-fixing scheme by dairy industry trade groups representing 70 percent of the market. The suit relies on the common practice of “dairy herd retirement” in which cows are killed, thus reducing dairy supplies and inflating prices. This is another story that received little major media attention, and we hope that developments in the case will allow it to come into the spotlight in 2012.
8. HSUS announced it would end state-based campaigns for egg-laying hens in favor of working with agribusiness trade group United Egg Producers, and UEP agreed to dump battery cages in 18 years and replace them with “enriched colony cages” featuring tiny perches and plastic strips for nesting. The agreement struck a blow to animal rights organizations such as United Poultry Concerns, the leading advocacy group for hens, who said “Unfortunately, victories for organizations do not necessarily translate into victory for animals, and this is how we view the current deal. We dissent from the view that HSUS’s agreement with United Egg Producers is ‘a step in the right direction.’ We will continue to educate our members and the public to understand that the only true way to animal welfare – to animals faring well – lies in eliminating the demand for animal products in favor of vegan food.”
9. The 11-minute video “Farm to Fridge,” narrated by actor James Cromwell, hit with a bang in Spring 2011. The compilation of footage included pigs, egg-laying hens, chickens, turkeys, dairy cows, beef cows, and fish. It was a wake-up call for omnivores all over the world, and was viewed online by millions. Mercy For Animals also sponsored a 42-city, 12,000-mile tour where “Farm to Fridge” was shown on giant TV screens on a specially designed truck that parked in conspicuous areas like shopping and dining districts. The tour earned massive press coverage in each city, from TV news to college papers and everything in between. The success of the tour and of “Farm to Fridge” has inspired numerous “pay per view” events where people are offered a few dollars to watch a video about where their food comes from.
10. Humane Research Council released its research report Humane Trends, after compiling years of data across 25 different categories to evaluate the status of animal protection in the U.S. Although not a top public or media story by any means, the information, like all HRC’s work, is illuminating and of value to activists. Incidentally, the U.S. received a score of 34 out of a possible 100 for its treatment of animals based on data on companion animals, farm animals, wildlife, and animals used in science and entertainment. HRC also released an illuminating report on all USDA food recalls of animal products from 2006-2010 that should be of great interest to food safety advocates.
750 Smuggled Dogs Rescued From Slaughter By Thai Navy Patrol
January 12, 2012 - Posted by ADMIN in Dog News
Just two weeks after a similar raid that saved 300 dogs bound for Vietnamese restaurants, Thai authorities say they have intercepted another shipment of dogs before it could cross the Mekong river into Laos.
And in this case, they say the stakes were much higher. Officials found nearly 800 dogs packed into rusty cages when a river Navy patrol unit headed by by Captain Thirakiart Thong-aram intercepted the shipment in the Ban Paeng district of Nakhon Panom province. The traumatized canines were being held in a truck parked on the banks of the Mekong as it prepared to transfer its cargo to boats waiting to shuttle the dogs out of Thailand.
The Mekong flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, making for convenient transport of smuggled goods, and Thai authorities have stepped up river patrols to counter the booming dog and drug smuggling trades.
A 37-year-old villager was arrested, but the remainder of the smugglers evaded capture. Navy officers found approximately 100 empty cages at the scene – a sad indicator that as many as 2,000 dogs may have already been sent to their deaths.
The dogs were being shipped to Vietnamese restaurants, where demand and prices have escalated due to recent efforts to curtail the illegal dog meat trade. In fact, in recent months, the cost of dog meat has doubled, from 500 baht ($16) each to 1,000 baht.
Learn more about the illegal dog meat trade in the following video from Pailin Wedel: Southeast Asia’s Dog Meat Mafia.
Long Awaited Legislation Outlaws Puppy Farming In Ireland
By CATHAL DERVAN - January 2nd, 2012
Puppy farming has been outlawed in Ireland – with harsh penalties now imposed on anyone who breaks the country’s new laws.
Legislation banning puppy farms came into effect on New Year’s Day as the government looks to clean up the country’s act.
The move comes after Ireland became known as the Puppy Farm of Europe.
Campaigners have fought for years to protect puppies from unscrupulous breeders.
Now two laws - the Welfare of Greyhounds Act and the Dogs Breeding Establishments Act - have been introduced to control dog breeding and force breeders to look after their animals properly.
The new anti-puppy farming legislation makes it impossible to produce hundreds of puppies in grim conditions.
Local authority vets also have the right and obligation to inspect all breeding locations.
They can immediately shut down any kennels where animals are not being properly cared for.
All Irish puppies will be micro-chipped and can now be traced back to the breeder.
Breeders will be allowed to keep large numbers of animals, but only under strict conditions and standards set down by the new regulations.
All breeders must also be registered with their local authority to comply with the new rules.
Police have encountered several harrowing cases in recent times.
Last autumn, a Midlands owner escaped charges after a raid on a puppy farm where 50 dogs were rescued from ‘filthy and overcrowded’ kennels. Officers described the premises as ‘deplorable’.
Major Victory As Russia Bans Trade In Harp Seal Skins!
By Sheryl Fink - Posted December 19th, 2011
I’m thrilled to tell you that the door to one of the largest markets for seal products has now been slammed shut – the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Russian Federation has banned the import and export of harp seal skins. It’s the biggest victory in the campaign to end commercial sealing since the European Union (EU) banned non-Inuit seal products, and we could not ask for a more wonderful holiday gift for everyone who has fought so hard with IFAW to protect seals.
According to the Government of Canada, Russia receives up to 90% of Canada's exports of seal pelts. In 2009, the same year that the EU banned non-Inuit seal products, Russia ended its own hunt for harp seals in the White Sea and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called it a “bloody industry” and something that “should have been banned years ago.”
IFAW’s campaign efforts have a history of successes in Russia, beginning with our efforts to end the slaughter of whitecoat seal pups by helicopter in the White Sea. Our teams observed and documented the Russian harp seal hunt in the White Sea in 1995 for the first time, and we were the first organization to campaign to end the Russian seal slaughter. Documentaries of the White Sea hunt were produced and widely shown on Russian television, along with photos and news articles. Thanks to IFAW, the Russian seal hunt could not remain hidden, and this cruel slaughter soon became public knowledge. IFAW’s exposure of subsidies to the Russian seal hunt, and the growing lack of demand for whitecoat seal products, added further strength to the campaign.
In 2008, ongoing IFAW support of aerial surveys and scientific research began to reveal an alarming decrease in the harp seal population in the White Sea, and IFAW was quick to bring our concerns to the attention of Russian public, media, and policymakers. In 2008 our campaign reached a tipping point as IFAW delivered petitions signed by 400,000 people to the Russian government. In 2009 anti-sealing protests were held in Moscow and 25 other Russian cities, and Russia ultimately ended its commercial harp seal hunt. At the time, Russia’s Minister of Natural Resources Yury Trutnev said, “The bloody seal slaughter, the killing of the defenseless animals, which can’t be even called a ‘hunt,’ is now prohibited in Russia as it is in most developed countries. It is a serious step towards the conservation of biodiversity in Russia.”
The Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russian trade ban is a significant victory that should be celebrated by all concerned with animal welfare and wildlife conservation. The full implications of this ban, with Russia’s recent accession to the WTO, remain to be seen. With the Russian market closed to harp seal fur products, and a long-promised deal to export seal meat to China at risk due to concerns over food security, the future looks bleaker than ever for the dying Canadian sealing industry. The time has come to acknowledge that the world does not want, nor need, cruel seal products. It is time to stop commercial seal hunting once and for all.
Timeline of shrinking markets
•1972 US Congress passes Marine Mammal Protection Act, which bans the importation of seal products.
•1983 IFAW helps win crucial ban in Europe on importation of “whitecoat” harp seal and blueback hooded seal products.
•1987 Canadian Government bans commercial hunting of whitecoats and bluebacks in Canadian waters.
•1990 With IFAW’s involvement, South Africa ends the hunt for Cape fur seals.
•2006 Mexico bans the import and export of marine mammals, including seals.
•2007 IFAW campaigns result in Belgium and the Netherlands adopting national bans on the import of seal products.
•2009 Russia bans the killing of harp seal pups under 12 months of age.
•2009 European Union bans the import of all seal products, with an exemption for Inuit-derived skins.
•2010 IFAW continues its fight to protect the EU ban, and continues to expose the cruelty of commercial hunts to governments around the world.
•2011 Deal between Canada and China to allow export of seal meat products postponed.
•2011 Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Russian Federation ban the import and export fur skins of harp seals and their whitecoat pups.