From Mercy for Animals
I guess this is a start, but why can’t they phase out the need for raising pigs in ANY kind of industrial environment or for any reason other than to allow them the lives they were meant to live according to nature, and not according to man? Same with Walmart, Still, I guess it’s a step in the right direction.
April 2, 2013
Canada’s Second-Largest Pork Producer Gives Gestation Crates the Boot
By Ari Solomon
The Epoch Times reports that Olymel, Canada’s second-largest pork producer, has agreed to phase out gestationcrates for pregnant sows. The company said the decision was inevitable, citing gestation crate bans in the European Union and in several US states, as well as growing demand from customers who want companies to do away with this inhumane practice. The decision also comes only months after a harrowing undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals Canada at Puratone Farms in Manitoba, which received national media attention.In the United States, almost all major companies, from Safeway and Kroger to McDonald’s, have agreed to phase out the use of gestation crates, which confine pigs in spaces so small they can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably. However, Walmart, the largest US pork retailer, has refused to budge on the issue. Mercy For Animals has been putting steady pressure on the company to take swift action. From our full-page ads in its hometown newspaper to our Walmart Cruelty Tour, MFA won’t rest until Walmart gets on board and does the right thing.If you’d like to urge Walmart to ditch these cruel crates, sign our petition and share this video narrated by The Price Is Right’s Bob Barker.
To learn more about totally leaving meat off your plate, visit ChooseVeg.com.
Puppy Mill Facts
Rescued puppy mill dog suffering from a severe case of untreated mange and a ruptured eye.
What is a puppy mill?
A puppy mill is a mass breeding facility that produces puppies for sale. There are thousands of puppy mills across the country, producing over 2 million puppies per year. These facilities, most of which are inspected and licensed by the U.S.D.A., are notorious for their filthy, overcrowded conditions, and the unhealthy animals they produce. Many of the dogs suffer from malnutrition and exposure, usually remaining outside year round, enduring both freezing temperatures in the winter and intense heat in the summer. Cat breeding occurs on a smaller scale and under similar conditions.
Puppy mill conditions
Puppy mill kennels generally consist of small, outdoor wood and wire cages or crates. The animals are cramped into these filthy cages. Their eyes are filled with pus and their fur with excrement. Many of the puppies suffer from malnutrition and exposure. Like pet store owners, breeders save money, and thus maximize profits, by spending little on food, shelter, and veterinary care. Puppies consequently receive below standard food, minimal if any veterinary care, and inadequate shelter which, combined with the inbreeding prevalent in puppy mills, produce animals with genetic diseases and abnormalities. Puppies’ legs often fall through the bottom of their wire cages, causing additional injuries.
This mill dog’s body is covered with sores. Her cage barely allows room to turn around.
The hind leg of this dog was eaten off by another dog. She lay for two days without medical attention, even though the puppy miller was aware of her condition. She died shortly after rescue.
Female dogs kept in puppy mills their entire lives are called “brood bitches.” They are typically undernourished and receive little veterinary care, in spite of being kept perpetually pregnant. Their puppies are frequently taken from them before being weaned. As a result, some puppies do not know how to eat and thus die of starvation. At approximately six or seven years of age, when they can no longer breed more puppies, “brood bitches” are killed.
“Brood bitches”, like this dog, could easily have 50 puppies before she is killed.
Transportation and Sale
At four to eight weeks of age, puppies are taken from their mothers and sold to brokers (or retail businesses). The brokers then pack them in crates and transport them for sale at various pet shops. Frequently, the puppies are not provided with adequate food, water, ventilation, or shelter during transport; consequently, many die en route. Those that are not sold will be killed, brought back to the mill to breed, or sold to laboratories for research.
Puppy mills are regulated by the US Department of Agriculture, under the Animal Welfare Act, which, passed by Congress in 1966, established minimum standards of care for animals bred for commercial sale. It is estimated that there are more than 5000 licensed puppy mills currently breeding and selling animals commercially in the US. These licensed mills provide local pets stores with an estimated 500,000 puppies and kittens each year. However, there are thousands more breeding facilities with equally horrific conditions which remain unlicensed and unregulated because they sell dogs online or directly to the public.
Inspectors for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), under the USDA, are charged with inspecting and regulating thousands of puppy mills, as well as research facilities, zoos and circuses each year. Understaffed and with authority limited to an inadequate Animal Welfare Act, kennels are inconsistently inspected and anti-cruelty laws are rarely enforced in the rural areas where most puppy mills are located. Even when licensed breeders are found to be in violation of AWA, puppy mill operators are allowed to remain open while they remedy them. Repeat offenders often refuse to allow Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service workers to enter and inspect their facilities; these kennels sometimes remain licensed in spite of this noncompliance.
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) falls far short of what most individuals would consider minimum standards of care, and this is acknowledged in the USDA’s own materials.
“Individuals who operate facilities in these categories must provide
their animals with adequate care and treatment in the areas of housing,
handling, sanitation, nutrition, water, veterinary care, and protection
from extreme weather and temperatures. Although Federal requirements
establish acceptable standards, they are not ideal.
Regulated businesses are encouraged to exceed the specified minimum standards.”
*Source, APHIS AWA Factsheet
The American Kennel Club
Although the AKC claims to be devoted to advancing the health of purebred dogs, it typically spends only about 2% of its total yearly income on research towards that end. Moreover, AKC papers do not guarantee the value or health of a puppy. The organization does not try to work with breeders to improve mill conditions, perhaps because breeders pay the AKC millions
From Compassion Over Killing (COK):
COK Co-Files Lawsuit against Federal Agencies for Failure to Regulate Deceptive Egg Labels
Lawsuit pushes for Mandatory Truth in Labeling on Cartons, including the claim “Eggs from Caged Hens”
Walk into any grocery store in the US, and you’ll likely find cartons of eggs bearing a variety of advertising schemes ranging from images of happy hens roaming around outside to claims such as “animal-friendly.” Surprisingly though, what consumers see or read on the outside of an egg carton doesn’t necessarily represent how the hens who laid those eggs were treated.
Egg Label Claims
Animal welfare claims on egg cartons are currently unregulated in the United States, enabling egg producers to mislead consumers with exaggerated and false claims.
More than 95% of eggs sold in the US come from birds confined in tiny wire battery cages so restrictive, they can barely even move—a practice that, according to polls, most consumers find unacceptable. Furthermore, many experts agree that confining hens in battery cages causes tremendous suffering. Despite these expert opinions and widespread public opposition, battery cage confinement continues to dominate the U.S. egg industry.
However, without any federal oversight, claims on egg cartons can—and commonly do—misrepresent to consumers how those eggs were produced. Compassion Over Killing has documented several cases of express and implied claims on egg cartons across the country that imply a higher level of animal care than is actually the case. Deceptive marketing on cartons of eggs produced by birds likely to have been confined in cages include the claims “animal-friendly” and “naturally-raised” as well as images of hens outside on a green pasture.
In other words, not only is the egg industry cruelly confining hens in cages, it’s also deceiving consumers about that abuse. The egg industry in the U.S. has proven to be incapable of regulating itself, and without government standards in place, the current egg labeling landscape is essentially meaningless.
On March 28, 2013, Compassion Over Killing and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) co-filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration, two agencies within the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federal Trade Commission for failing to regulate animal welfare labeling on egg cartons.
The lawsuit is based on rule-making petitions originally submitted by COK to these agencies in 2006 and 2007 requesting that egg production methods be fully disclosed on all cartons sold in the U.S., including the clear identification of “eggs from caged hens.”
In spite of Congressional mandates, the agencies have failed to take any action to regulate the often-misleading claims and deceptive imagery widely found on egg cartons. Even the United Egg Producers, the U.S. egg industry’s trade association, has endorsed federal legislation containing a similar labeling program.
Mandatory labeling on egg cartons has already been implemented throughout the European Union and in several states in Australia. Consumers—and hens—in the U.S. deserve the same.
How You Can Help
Choose Egg-Free Foods: The best way each of us can help egg-laying hens is to leave their eggs out of our shopping carts. Discover delicious egg-free products and recipes
Share this page: Tell your friends and family about the hard-boiled truth of egg production and the misleading claims often found on cartons
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A small victory in the whole scheme of things, but it all has to start somewhere.
From The Huffington Post
JACKSON, Miss. — A raid on a barn in northern Mississippi over the weekend busted up what is thought to be one the biggest annual dogfights in the United States with organizers and participants from around the country, authorities said Monday.
A monthslong investigation involving numerous federal, state and local agencies culminated in the raid Saturday night where at least 200 people gathered in a barn at the end of a dirt road in Benton County, authorities said.
Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson said shots were fired when officers arrived but nobody was hurt and authorities didn’t return fire. He said it’s not clear if the suspects shot at the officers or into the air.
Dickerson said the man believed to be the main organizer was arrested at the scene. Dickerson would say only that the man was from California.
Dickerson said authorities are looking for the man who owned the property, but it’s not clear if he was involved. It could have been one of his relatives who volunteered the use of the barn, the sheriff added.
Dickerson said authorities believe the fight was among five of the biggest held annually in the country.
“This is one of the all-star fights in the United States for dogfighting,” Dickerson said.
The winner of the event could have made big money by later breeding the victorious dog, Dickerson said.
Twenty dogs were rescued. Two had already fought and one of them died, said Chris Schindler, manager of animal fighting investigations for the Humane Society of the United States.
Nearly 50 people have been arrested and authorities are looking for others who fled, some running into the woods and leaving behind their vehicles, said David Murphy, an investigator with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
At least 70 vehicles were seized. Murphy said many of the cars had out-of-state tags from places as far away as California, Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio. Some of them were rental cars and authorities are trying to track down who rented them.
Dickerson said between $50,000 and $100,000 in cash has been recovered and the event could have generated several hundred thousand dollars.
The organizers probably chose the site because it was a secluded spot in a rural area where they thought the activities would go unnoticed, Dickerson said.
Authorities said they believe there was another dogfight Friday night run by the same organization in Tallahatchie County, Miss., but they couldn’t find it, Dickerson said.
Schindler said the “fight drew some of the biggest names in organized dogfighting.”