In a new bill, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne outlined procedures for testing "legal highs" on animals so that the products can be sold in New Zealand stores again. Legal highs, also called party pills, are psychoactive drugs intended for recreation, not for curing or preventing illness.
The bill recommends performing toxicity tests on dogs and rats over a six to 12-month period. Toxicity testing generally involves administering drugs or chemicals to animals by force feeding, inhalation, injection, or on the skin to determine immediate reactions and lethal doses. This causes great pain to the test animals, who are usually killed at the end of the testing period. New Zealand currently tests 300,000 animals per year, and the legal drug tests would add to this number for a completely unnecessary cause.
An estimated 32,000 baby cows have been stranded aboard ships for six weeks at an Egyptian port after arriving from Australia. The Ministry of Agriculture is keeping them quarantined after fears that they were given cancerous treatments before boarding a vessel from Australia to Egypt, where they are planned to be slaughtered.
The cows remain on board their vessels in horrible conditions, waiting for the ministry to decide their fate. According to an al-Shorouk news report, they will likely remain on these ships for weeks as further tests take place.
This is not the first time when cows suffered on ships destined for Egypt. Earlier this year, 3,000 cows died on a ship after the Egyptian government refused to let them dock.
Thousands of animals are suffering and have died because of poor live export practices and lack of communication. Please urge the Ministry of Agricuture to offload the 32,000 stranded cows and take action to prevent similar situations from happening in the future!
Starting in July each year, Namibian license holders start slaughtering Cape Fur seals and don't stop until they reach their quota of 85,000 baby seal pups and 6,000 bulls. This is the largest slaughter of marine life on the planet, surpassing even the Canadian seal hunt.
The cull is driven by one fur trader, Hatem Yavuz, who buys all the pelts and processes them for fashion. Only 107,910 Cape Fur seal pups were born in 2006. Despite this, 85,000 terrified pups are separated from their mothers every year and clubbed to death with clubs that have nails in them.
The first Wisconsin wolf hunt is scheduled for October 15th and is planned to continue through February. Wisconsin is the only state that will allow hunters to use dogs to pursue wolves, and current hunting regulations lack any regulations such as leash and lead requirements.
Hunters argue that they can use radio collars to tell dogs to stop, but dogs don't always listen to them. Because wolves are known to attack hunting dogs, current hunting regulations create the potential for brutal conflicts between dogs and wolves. Endangering dogs in this way would violate Wisconsin's animal cruelty laws.
Chinese scientists are conducting experiments to create genetically modified (GM) cattle designed to produce tastier beef. They have given extra genes to two calf clones in hopes that the genes will increase muscle fat and improve meat flavor. After the calves reach maturity, they will be slaughtered to test the quality of their meat.
Though beef is not a necessary part of the human diet, the best tasting and healthiest beef is traditionally produced by treating cattle well, allowing them to graze and roam free, and feeding them a natural diet. Producing GM cattle might improve beef flavor for less money, but animals must suffer greatly in these experiments. Like all GM foods, GM beef would have unpredictable effects on the health of humans who consume it.
A newsletter originally posted on the USDA website read, "One way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the Meatless Monday initiative." After backlash from politicians and agricultural interest groups, the USDA retracted their recommendation, tweeting that the "Statement found on USDA website was posted w/o proper clearance."
The USDA's own food pyramid lists beans, peas, processed soy products, nuts and seeds as protein sources along with meats. The average U.S. diet is unimaginative and heavy on meats, to the detriment of human and environmental health. No one is forcing citizens to give up meat. The Meatless Mondays initiative or similar promotion of non-meat proteins would simply encourage people to be more imaginative in their eating choices and more conscious of how their diets affect their health and the world around them.
Artist Laura Ginn recently hosted an extravagant dinner in Manhattan to complement her art show, "Tomorrow We Will Feast Again On What We Catch." The dinner was made with rat meat, and the artist wore a fur coat made from the pelts of 300 rats.
Catching and eating animals for survival is one thing, but Ginn purchased and used medical rats from California. She used thousands of dollars solicited from the public to fund the exhibition and dinner. Despite the exhibition's primitive survivalist motif, the use of medical rats in this fashion was indulgent and glamorized animal exploitation for the sake of art. Eating wild rats is dangerous because of the diseases they carry, so the dinner/performance art had little if any educational value from a survivalist perspective.
California's foie gras ban went into effect on July 1st, but chefs and restauranteurs are exploiting loopholes to get around the law. Some restaurants have created a secret code word for customers to use when requesting foie gras, serve it for "free" with an overly expensive menu item or offer to prepare foie gras that a customer brings in.
Choosing to serve and eat foie gras is not a victimless crime -- undercover investigations of foie gras farms have found sick, dead and dying birds with holes in their necks from having force-feeding tubes rammed down them. California gave state producers years to come up with more humane ways to produce foie gras, but they failed to do so.
A House Farm Bill amendment introduced by Congressman Steve King threatens to prevent states from developing independant animal cruelty, food safety and labor standards for agriculture products produced in other states.
The amendment is in response to a California Bill, effective in 2015, that would require eggs sold in the state to be kept in cages large enough to stand and spread their wings. If passed, the amendment would threaten this bill as well as the California foie gras ban that took place earlier in July.
Rhino poaching deaths in South Africa have risen from an average of about 15 in 2008 to 448 in 2011. South African National Parks wildlife veterinary services head Markus Hofmeyr estimates that at current rates, rhinos could go into decline by 2016 and go extinct in the wild by 2050.
Rhino horns are sold to China and Vietnam for use in medicine thought to relieve cancer symptoms. The horns have fetched up to $60,000 on the black market.
In the beginning of
April, I started a
petition to urge the FDA
to stop requiring any
animal testing on any
drugs. I almost have
3,000 signatures, but I
need your help to get
more! We need to show the
FDA that we won't stand
for this any more.
Joseph Kony deserves to
be arrested tomorrow.
He's spent two decades
crimes against humanity.
However, if he were to be
arrested, would the
children be safe? Not in
the least. So, what can
you do? 1. Only buy
fair trade 2...