The number of news found: 32.
12/31/2003 500 PETS DUMPED AT RSPCA!
Almost 500 rejected companion aniamls were dumped on one Queensland RSPCA refuge in the week before Christmas, the organization said. RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the refuge in the Brisbane suburb of Fairfield took in 335 cats and 147 dogs from December 19 to 26. "We've received a truckload in the past week, sadly," Mr. Beatty said. "Looking after a pet has been put in the too-hard-basket for some people over the Christmas holidays." Mr. Beatty said half of the rejected animals were surrendered to the RSPCA while the remainder were picked up as strays. "When people take on an animal, they should take it on with the understanding that you take it on for the term of its natural life and it's not a case of getting a new one every year," he said. "You should recycle rubbish but you shouldn't recycle pets." Mr. Beatty said the RSPCA had also received close to 50 reports of animals being locked in parked cars and reminded pet-owning motorists the summer heat could kill carbound animals inside seven minutes.
12/31/2003 USDA BANS THE SLAUGHTER OF DOWNED CATTLE!
At a press conference today in Washington, DC, Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced, "Effective immediately, USDA will ban all downer cattle from the human food chain." This ban on the slaughter of downed cattle is part of a government effort to quell public concerns in light of the recent discovery of mad cow disease in the United States. It is a historic victory for animal protection advocates who have worked to end the inhumane marketing and slaughter of downed animals since the 1980's. Many details are yet to be determined, but this appears to be a major victory for farm animals. Prior to today's statement, the USDA had consistently defended and advocated for sending downed cattle to USDA slaughterhouses. The development is a tremendous step forward for the humane treatment of farmed animals. The action will prevent enormous animal suffering. Downed cattle, too sick or injured to even stand, are commonly dragged to slaughter with chains or pushed with forklifts or tractors, and suffer from painful abrasions, torn ligaments and broken bones. Farm Sanctuary has been investigating, documenting and exposing the cruel treatment of downed animals since 1986. While the immediate catalyst for this ban has been the discovery of mad cow disease in the US. Years of researching and compiling data, and lobbying the USDA, FDA and U.S. Congress provided the critical body of evidence and the history of repeated animal abuses and food safety hazards to substantiate the clear connection between "downers" and mad cow disease. For the complete 17 year history of the campaign to stop downed animal cruelties, please visit www.nodowners.org/timeline.htm.
12/30/2003 DEAN URGES GOV'T. AID FOR BEEF INDUSTRY!
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean on Friday assailed the Bush administration for failing to set up a livestock tracking system he said could have averted the current mad cow scare and said he supports federal aid to help the American beef industry weather the storm.
12/30/2003 KANGAROO CULL PLAN SHOT DOWN!
Developers have been forced to shelve plans to shoot more than 2500 kangaroos in western Sydney after overwhelming public opposition. Instead, some will be sterilised by contraceptive implant, some removed to another location and about 500 will remain on site to form part of a regional park, The Daily Telegraph has learned. A final plan of management for the macro fauna of the former ADI site at St Marys, which is earmarked for a 5000-home development, is now before the State Government for approval.
12/29/2003 MAD COW CASE MAY BRING MORE MEAT TESTING!
As the American beef industry struggles with its first case of mad cow disease, the Department of Agriculture is debating whether to do far more screening of meat and change the way meat from suspect animals is used, department officials say. The officials declined to say exactly what they would recommend, but acknowledged that European and Japanese regulators screened millions of animals using tests thattake only three hours, fast enough to stop diseased carcasses from being cut up for food. United States inspectors have tested fewer than 30,000 of the roughly 300 million animals slaughtered in the last nine years, and they get results days or weeks later. But the American system was never intended to keep sick animals from reaching the public's refrigerators, said Dr.Ron DeHaven, the Agriculture Department's chiefveterinarian. It is "a surveillance system, not a food safety test," Dr. DeHaven said.
12/29/2003 KEIKO TO GET MEMORIAL!
Keiko, the killer whale star of the "Free Willy" movies, is to be honoured with a stone memorial built by village children in Norway, where he died this month, local television reported. "We have invited all of the young people of the village of Halsa to bring a stone to commemorate Keiko's death," mayor Margrete Seter said. The children will bring the first stones to lay at the memorial site during a ceremony on January 8, followed by the rest of the village in western Norway. Keiko died this month at the age of 27 and was buried on the banks of the Taknes fjord in western Norway, where he had sought refuge in an attempt to return to the wild. The orca was captured in 1979 off the coast of Iceland and spent most of his life in captivity, in water theme parks and starring in movies, including the "Free Willy" trilogy about a boy trying to free a whale from captivity.
Queensland is the only State in Australia where the keeping of pet rabbits is illegal yet pet rabbits are the most commonly kept illegal pet in Queensland. The old fine was $3750! Keeping pet rabbits in Queensland remains illegal under the new Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002.
12/28/2003 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA POULTRY PROFESSOR CLAIMS FORCE FEEDING OF DUCKS MIMICS NATURAL BEHAVIOR!
In Associated Press articles published in various newspapers last week, Francine Bradley, a poultry expert from the University of California, Davis, claims that the force feeding of ducks and geese in the production of foie gras (pate') actually mimics natural feeding behavior in ducks. Bradley is quoted as saying, "You have people making decisions about food production based on a concept of animals which comes out of Disney." She goes on to say that, "force-feeding mimics the gorging of migratory wild ducks and thinks people put off by it would probably be aghast if they could see the large fish that shorebirds swallow."
12/28/2003 JAPAN, KOREA TO HALT U.S. BEEF IMPORTS!
TOKYO (AP) - Japan and South Korea took action to halt imports of U.S. beef on Wednesday after a cow in Washington state tested positive for mad cow disease. Japan's Agriculture Ministry said the country was indefinitely banning beef imports, depriving American exporters of their largest overseas market. In Seoul, South Korea, the government halted customs inspection of U.S. beef, a move that effectively keeps U.S. beef from reaching its domestic market. The suspensions came less than four hours after the U.S. government announced that a Holstein cow on a Washington state farm tested positive for mad cow disease, marking the disease's first suspected appearance in the United States. The Bush administration on Tuesday tried to reassure Americans their food is safe. A Japanese ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the ban applied to beef and beef products and took effect immediately. Japan is the largest overseas market for U.S. beef. Exports totaled $842 million in 2002, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Last month, the U.S. Senate passed S. 269, which limits the keeping of lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, and cougars as companion animals by prohibiting the interstate transport of them for this purpose. A similar bill passed in the House of Representatives as well (H.R. 1006)! On Friday, President Bush signed the bill into law. The Captive Wildlife Safety Act will not only benefit many states that are considering similar legislation, but will also establish a consistent policy for all states. This new legislation will prohibit the interstate transport and trade in lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, and cougars intended for use as companion animals. Although these animals may seem playful and safe when young, they grow to become powerful and potentially dangerous animals as adults. We all have read about serious and deadly altercations involving many of these animals when kept in the home, or in captivity. These animals are wild by nature and should not be kept in captivity, except in certain facilities such as qualified and approved zoos and sanctuaries. The Captive Wildlife Safety Act will help insure the well-being of these beautiful creatures, as well as protect the public from the dangers inherent in keeping them as companion animals.
A Scottish MEP has won majority support in the European Parliament for aban on the trade of cat and dog skins. More than 300 MEPs have signed up to a landmark declaration supporting a trade ban promoted by Tory MEP Struan Stevenson, who lives in Edinburgh. The leader of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, will now instruct the European Commission to draft legislation outlawing the practice to reflect the wishes of the European Parliament. The move is only the fifth time in its history that the European Parliament has obtained a majority of MEPs' signatures on a declaration.
12/25/2003 MAD COW DISEASE IN THE U.S.!
In the wake of the discovery of the first known case of mad cow disease in the U.S., Santa is making an emergency pit stop outside the USDA on Christmas Eve to warn the country about "mad cow" dangers. When Santa Claus heard Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman proclaim that she'd be serving beef on Christmas despite the long-dreaded confirmation of mad cow disease in the United States, he loaded up his sleigh and made an early stop in Washington to warn Americans that it could be dangerous for them to follow Veneman's example. (PETA)
12/24/2003 GERMAN PROSECUTORS INVESTIGATE ANIMAL LAB!
State prosecutors in Germany have launched an investigation into conditions at one of the country's biggest animal laboratories after animal rights activists apparently released video footage of staff abusing monkeys. The Ministry of Environment in North-Rhine Westphalia said it was investigating allegations of cruelty by staff at the laboratory, which is operated by Covance, a US-based contract research organisation.
12/22/2003 ANIMAL PROTECTION ACTIVISTS TO HOLD CONTINUOUS 4-DAY PROTEST AGAINST FAMOUS PLAYERS WINTER FUR ADVERTISEMENTS!
Vancouver - Skinned! will be demonstrating continuously in front of the Capitol 6 theatre for four days straight to protest Famous Players decision to advertise for the fur industry. Giant popcorn containers drizzled with "blood" will aid in sending a very clear message that Famous Players is participating in a cruel and hideous industry that conducts an annual slaughter of forty million animals worldwide.
CHICAGO - A Lockport butcher who pleaded guilty to trafficking in endangered tigers and leopards was sentenced to six months in federal prison Thursday. U.S. District Judge Blanche Manning also sentenced Richard Czimer, 57, to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service, Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Bonamici said. Czimer agreed to pay $116,000 to the U.S. Fish and wildlife Foundation's Save the Tiger Fund and was fined $5,000. "I'm deeply sorry for the animals that were destroyed," Czimer told the court before he was sentenced, according to the Chicago Tribune. Czimer's company, Czimer's Game and Seafood in suburban Chicago, also was fined $24,000 and placed on five years of probation. Czimer was accused of working with a ring that killed endangered species and sold him the meat at $3 dollars a pound, which he sold to gourmet cooks. William Kapp, 37, was sentenced to a maximum three years and four months after being convicted for trading in exotic cats acquired from circuses and dealers. Others received lesser sentences after they admitted shooting the cats. Bonamici said Czimer got credit for accepting responsibility and contributing to the conservation fund, but the sentence still was "pretty severe for a case like this." "Within the law the sentence is fine, but obviously this is the kind of thing that can't really be repaired," Bonamici said.
12/21/2003 PENGUINS CAPTURED FROM WILD FOR ZOOS!
The Captive Animals' Protection Society has criticised the capture of 146 Rockhopper Penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) from Nightingale Island, part of the UK Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. The capture, which was given permission by the Administrator of Tristan and the British Foreign Office was undertaken by notorious South African wildlife dealer John Visser. The birds have since been in quarantine at Visser's Shark Aquarium and will be sold to zoos in Asia and Germany. 20 of the penguins have already arrived at a zoo in Malaysia. At least four penguins died during transport to South Africa or shortly after arrival at Visser's aquarium. Rockhopper Penguins are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of threatened species because of the rapid decline of several populations. Bird conservation charities the RSPB and BirdLife have condemned the capture.
12/21/2003 IAMS DUMPED BY MAJOR ANIMAL SHELTER!
The Chief Executive of Wood Green Animal Shelters announced that they will be severing all ties with animal-testing "pet" food company IAMS/Eukanuba. Wood Green had been advertising IAMS in its magazine and promoting their products. When questioned why an animal welfare organization was endorsing IAMS, like a lot of other organizations Wood Green simply passed on IAMS' misleading "Research Policy Statement" by way of explanation. However, thanks to information and pressure from Uncaged Campaigns, and numerous letters and telephone calls from outraged Wood Green supporters, its Chief Executive issued the following statement in a letter to a supporter: "... in view of the recent concerns expressed by some of our valued supporters... I have decided to recommend to our Trustees that Wood Green Animal Shelters should not purchase, advertise or otherwise endorse IAMS products in the future. In addition, I have also decided to recommend to the Trustees that we should discontinue selling IAMS products in our shop. In the meantime, I have put these measures in place pending Trustees' ratification."
Britain's last circus bear is flying out to a new home in Canada! Fred, a 10-year-old American Black bear, will live in a sanctuary where he will mix with other bears for the first time in his life and have his own swimming pool. He was handed over to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) by his guardian, Jeffrey Mackie. Mr Mackie, the former proprietor of Circus King, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, has kept Fred as a "pet" since the bear retired from circus ring work three years ago. He contacted WSPA asking if a good home could be found for the bear, which has lived in the UK since birth and could live for another 20 years. WSPA wildlife director Victor Watkins said he had no doubt that Fred, who until now has lived in a fairly small enclosure, would be happy in his newhome. "He seems to have been well cared for, but it was no place for a bear to be living," he said. "Fred's got a great character. Some bears can be a little aggressive, but Fred just seems like a soppy, big, old teddy bear, really." Fred will make his new home at Bear With Us Inc in Ontario after being transported from Heathrow.
Taiwan's parliament has banned the selling of dog meat in an effort to deter the slaughtering of strays, a lawmaker's aide said. The original law barred the killing of companion animals, including dogs and cats, for their meat, skin or other parts for financial benefit. But it failed to stop vendors from selling slaughtered dogs or to stop restaurants from offering dog meat as a delicacy. They were able to evade punishment by claiming that they did not kill the animals themselves, said the aide to Wang Sing-nan, who proposed the amendment.
Following BUAV's undercover investigation at Covance, Munster (Germany), the Ministry of Environment in Northrhine-Westfalia has started a procedure to withdraw Covance's license to keep and experiment on laboratory animals. Covance's Munster lab reports to Covance's UK laboratory in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Covance's US headquarters is in New Jersey. Obviously this process has only just started, and it can take weeks or months. The Ministry of Environment has also confirmed that it believes the undercover evidence obtained by the BUAV constitutes a breach of German Animal Welfare law and recommends that the court authority should intervene and start legal action against the company.
12/16/2003 ANIMAL KILLER ARTIST UNREPENTANT!
A Swedish-based artist who habitually kills animals for use in her work had no intention of giving up the practice, her gallery said today after protests from animal rights defenders. Ukraine-born Nathalia Edenmont was reported to public prosecutors yesterday by the Swedish Veterinary Association for failing to have a veterinarian present when killing the animals she photographs. "Of course she's going to continue to make her art," Bjoern Wetterling, who owns a Stockholm gallery currently exhibiting Edenmont's photographs, said. Johan Beck-Friis, spokesman for the Veterinary Association, said however that Edenmont was violating rules that regulated the use of animals for public viewing. "When animals are killed for purposes of public entertainment, a veterinarian has to be present to ensure that the animal doesn't suffer. (Edenmont) has used a large number of animals," he said. Wetterling, however, insisted that Edenmont had not only followed Swedish laws on the humane slaying of animals, but that her artwork was actually part of the overall fight for animal rights. "Her work calls into question the hypocrisy in the debate surrounding animal rights," he said. "Is it better to kill animals for makeup than for creating art?" he asked. "These people forget that art is food for the soul." Wetterling called many of the strong reactions to the exhibit, which portrays dead mice, rabbits and cats in different poses, "pathetic." The photograph that has provoked the strongest reactions portrays a hand with the head of a dead mouse stuck on each finger. Wetterling said the work was meant to symbolise the five stars of the former Soviet Union, which he said was responsible for the murder of Edenmont's mother when the artist was only 14. A picture of several dead mice all pointing in the same direction represented the cowardice of Swedish society, where no-one dared to be different or to speak up against the majority, he said. "Her work is very important, (and) it is very important for her that the animals she uses are treated well," Wetterling said. "I have tried to get her to try to work with larger animals, like dogs."
12/14/2003 THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES CALLS ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO END USE OF CHIMPANZEES IN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH!
WASHINGTON - The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to end the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research and testing by 2005 and to permanently relocate chimpanzees from research laboratories to suitable sanctuaries. This request was made in the form of a letter addressed to Secretary Tommy Thompson and also sent to two National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials last month. It followed public comments made recently by a senior NIH official that an end to chimpanzee research in the United States can be envisioned. The official was speaking at the annual American Association for Laboratory Animal Science meeting and was asked by The HSUS how the agency is addressing the fact that other countries are choosing to ban great ape research. This is the first time a government official has publicly indicated that a ban in the United States is a definite possibility. However, in response to the letter, an NIH official stated that there are currently no plans for implementing such a strategy.
WASHINGTON, DC - The Free Willy Keiko Foundation and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reported today that Keiko, the orca whale, died today in the Taknes fjord, Norway, in the company of staff members who have been caring for him there. Keiko's veterinarian believes that acute pneumonia is the most likely cause of death, though he also cited that Keiko was the second oldest male orca whale ever to have been in captivity. The two organizations managing Keiko's reintroduction effort expressed sadness at Keiko's death while also heralding his amazing journey. David Phillips, president and founder of the Free Willy - Keiko Foundation stated, "Rescuing Keiko from a cramped pool in Mexico and bringing him back to his home waters is the most spectacular effort ever launched for an animal." He continued: "Keiko was a champion; the most incredible whale."
12/11/2003 COVANCE EXPOSED!
The world's leading anti-vivisection campaigning organisation, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), has conducted the first ever undercover investigation in a German animal laboratory, revealing the horrifying truth behind the closed doors of Covance, one of the world's largest contract testing companies.For five months, a BUAV operative called "Marcus" worked undercover at Covance, Münster, in Germany, likely to be one of the largest users of primates for vivisection in the whole of Europe. Marcus witnessed the daily suffering of monkeys (including heavilypregnant females) subjected to the abhorrent routine of pharmaceutical toxicity testing. It was a gruelling challenge, submerged in a world where the animals were often treated with callous indifference, tormented by certain staff, separated from each other, isolated in barren cages, regularly and forcibly pumped full of drugs and eventually killed. Most of the macaques were confined in small, barren, metal, single-isolation cages for anything from a few months up to three years. The only attempt at "environmental enrichment" for some of these highly intelligent, complex animals was a tiny block of wood and the occasional plastic bone.
MELBOURNE - Australia's latest cargo of live sheep, detained for almost three weeks after an animal rights protest, left port for the Middle East on Sunday. Originally scheduled to leave on November 20, the sheep were fed pig meat by activists the night before in a bid to cause their rejection by Islamic countries. Muslim dietary laws prohibit the consumption of any pork products or products that have come in contact with pig meat.
DEERFIELD TWP. - While out deer hunting early Tuesday morning near Lebanon Road, Mayor John Stanzione fired his muzzleloader at a deer and missed the head of Rosenhayn resident Frank Manno by 2 inches as he was driving to work. The bullet smashed through the windshield of Manno's car and lodged in the headrest, inches from his head. Doug Ely, conservation officer for the Department of Fish and Game, said no one was injured and that the incident was an accident.
12/07/2003 NEW BID TO BAN TRADE IN CAT AND DOG FUR!
BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) - Think twice about buying a tiny cat soft toy this Christmas - it could be made from dog fur. The call was made by members of the European Parliament, who launched a campaign on Wednesday for a ban on imports of cat and dog fur across the 15-nation European Union. "This cat soft toy is made from the butchery of dogs in China... the citizens of Europe want a ban on this evil trade," Scottish Conservative assembly member Struan Stevenson told a news conference, displaying items made from companion animals pelts.
12/07/2003 DOG PROTEST!
A Swiss animal rights campaigner clad in a dog costume tied himself to a 4-meter crucifix at the Greek Embassy in Berlin yesterday to protest the alleged killing of stray dogs in Athens before the Olympics. Draped in a banner bearing the slogan "No blood for the Olympics," 23-year-old Max Sartore said he would stay on the crucifix for three days, taking five hours a day off for sleep.
San Francisco - Showing an actual photo of a dead duck with her feathers and skin worn away to the flesh, next to the tagline "Ducks Die Like This to Make Foie Gras," PETA's new anti-foie gras billboard will go up at 3845 Main St., 55 feet north of Folsom Street, facing south, just blocks from San Francisco's Aqua restaurant, which serves the product. Foie gras is made from the grossly enlarged livers of ducks who are force-fed through pneumatic tubes stuck down their throats. The ad comes in the wake of investigations into both Sonoma Foie Gras in California and Hudson Valley Foie Gras in New York by GourmetCruelty.com, an organization dedicated to exposing the cruelty behind the "delicacy." Investigators witnessed ducks crammed into filthy, feces-ridden sheds and others isolated in wire cages so small that they could barely move. They also observed barrels full of dead ducks: Ducks can die from choking and from having their organs rupture or explode during the traumatic force-feeding process. The investigators rescued 15 ducks, including two who could not move and were being eaten alive by rats.
Just down the road from a cove where thousands of dolphins are slaughtered for food every year in this coastal town in western Japan, a sign reads: "Let's play with dolphins." In a bizarre juxtaposition, the dolphin-hunting industry here operates side by side with a lucrative trade built on tourists' enjoyment of the live marine mammals that enables visitors to swim with dolphins and watch killer whales perform.
12/01/2003 CROCODILE ATTACKS AUSTRALIAN GOOSE HUNTER!
DARWIN, Australia - A 10-foot saltwater crocodile attacked a hunter in the Australian Outback and clamped its jaws around his leg, releasing him only after the man's aunt punched the reptile in the snout, according to a recent report. The victim, 19-year-old Manuel Pascoe, was returning from hunting geese Saturday night when the crocodile, possibly attracted by blood from the dead birds, lunged from a creek and tried to drag the man into the water, The Northern Territory News reported. Other members of the hunting party grabbed Pascoe, but the powerful reptile did not let go until the man's aunt, Margaret Rinybuma, punched it in the snout. "I hit him with my fist on the nose and I yelled out 'Help! In the name of Jesus!' and it let him go," Rinybuma told the newspaper. Pascoe suffered muscle damage to his left leg and was hospitalized in stable condition. The attack occurred along a creek near the Blyth River, about 250 miles east of the Northern Territory capital of Darwin.Saltwater crocodiles are the world's largest type of crocodile, with some of the reptiles growing to be longer than 20 feet.
12/01/2003 JUDGE DELAYS AERIAL WOLF-KILL!
A state predator control program that would have allowed three private "pilot/gunner teams" to kill wolves near McGrath as soon as this weekend was temporarily halted Wednesday in a court challenge by seven residents and a national animal-welfare group. Anchorage Superior Court Judge Sharon Gleason ordered the aerial wolf-kill stopped for as many as 10 days to give Friends of Animals and others a chance to argue for a longer suspension in a lawsuit to permanently halt the program.
The number of news found: 32.