NOT ALL ABOUT TIGERS AND CRIMINALS

September 25, 2016 @ 8:36 AM

Responses to illegal wildlife trade need to be more nuanced and not only focused on high-profile species if we are to truly tackle the problem, say researchers.

Across the globe, the illegal wildlife trade threatens thousands of species, including fish, fungi and plants, along with the more familiar ‘charismatic’ animals such as tigers, rhinoceroses and elephants. Despite widespread recognition of the problem, science and policy has concentrated on a few high-profile species.

A Lancaster University-led study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, argues there is a need to recognize the diversity of products - from medicinal plants to elephant tusks – as well as the complex and diverse networks of .........

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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WILDLIFE FILM INDUSTRY

September 24, 2016 @ 8:30 AM

It's easy to get swept up in the wonders of the animal kingdom when watching an animal documentary, but what you're watching may be no more real than reality television. And the animals may be suffering at the hands of the entertainment industry.

Chris Palmer, School of Communication professor, believes the animal filmmaking industry - including Discovery, National Geographic, Animal Planet and the History Channel - becomes less ethical each year. According to Palmer, unethical animal filmmaking focuses on dollars and ratings.

“These networks and their fraudulent documentaries only increase ignorance and fear when they could be changing the course of history by bringing true science education to a broad audience,” ......

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AFTER UPROAR, BLM CLAIMS IT WILL NOT KILL 45,000 WILD HORSES

September 17, 2016 @ 8:16 AM

On September 14 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it would continue to care for over 45,000 wild horses after public outcry in response to an advisory committee’s recommendation to euthanize the animals. But animal activists say the announcement offers little assurance, and the animals are still in danger.

“The news circulating in the press is designed to put out the fire of public outcry. As long as the Bureau of Land Management has the legal right due to the Burns Amendment to give wild horses and burros 3-Strikes, KILL alleged 'unadoptable' wild horses and burros – plus those over 10 years old, then nothing has changed,” stated Anne Novak, Founder and Executive Director of Protect Mustangs.

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CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS GROUNDBREAKING LEGISLATION TO END ORCA CAPTIVITY

September 15, 2016 @ 7:26 AM

California Governor Jerry Brown has officially signed groundbreaking legislation prohibiting the breeding and theatrical performance of captive orcas in California, as well as their export, consistent with federal law, out of North America.

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) was the co-sponsor of this legislation, along with former SeaWorld trainers Samantha Berg, Carol Ray, and John Hargrove. The sponsors and the author of the legislation, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), worked for two years to secure its passage.

“We are so grateful to the governor for signing this act into law. We now must work to have other states follow California's shining example,” stated Dr. Naomi Rose, AWI marine mammal scientist. &.........

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH URGED TO RECOGNIZE RIGHTS OF HUMANIZED ANIMALS

September 15, 2016 @ 5:43 AM

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) urging the agency to recognize that chimeric and transgenic animals with humanized cognition should be protected as human research subjects, and ensure regular oversight by Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) in all NIH-funded research where enhanced cognitive ability in such animals is a possibility. The Animal Legal Defense Fund previously petitioned NIH’s parent agency – the Department of Health and Human Services – to adopt similar regulations in December 2013 and April 2015. In September 2015, NIH placed a moratorium on funding human-animal chimera research, but recently announced plans to lift the ban while considering ......

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CHINA TO ADOPT FIRST ANIMAL TESTING ALTERNATIVE

September 14, 2016 @ 8:58 AM

Animal advocates are praising a significant move by Chinese authorities away from an almost exclusively animal testing paradigm for cosmetics. The National Institutes for Food and Drug Control released a proposal for a new in vitro test standard for cosmetic ingredients as part of China’s ongoing efforts to align its regulatory frameworks with those of key international trading partners, providing technology supporting future trade in cosmetics, and further developing Chinese programs and infrastructures for non-animal test method development and validation.

“It is encouraging to see Chinese cosmetics authorities begin to embrace internationally recognized in vitro methods for cosmetic safety,” said Troy Seidle, Humane .........

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LANDMARK PUPPY MILL DECISION REINSTATES REGULATIONS ON CRUEL INDUSTRY

September 11, 2016 @ 8:35 PM

In a victory for Pennsylvania’s puppy mill pooches, a panel of judges found in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund in its lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The opinion strikes down exemptions created by the agency to the 2008 amendments to the Pennsylvania Dog Law, which had allowed the cruel puppy mill industry to shirk the law. The decision restores the integrity of the law, a comprehensive set of requirements for commercial dog breeders. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which is charged with administering and enforcing the Dog Law, eviscerated key elements of the law by issuing two broad exemptions for puppy mills. After exhausting other channels for challenging the exemptions, the Animal ......

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COURT URGED TO ACKNOWLEDGE TRUE VALUE OF ANIMALS

September 11, 2016 @ 7:40 PM

Florida resident Micheline Boutin is suing an emergency veterinary clinic and the attending veterinarian for veterinary malpractice that allegedly lead to the death of Frankie, her Doberman Pincher / Great Dane mix dog. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief arguing that the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for Frankie’s intrinsic value. Heidi Mehaffey of the law firm of Robert Hartsell provided pro bono support on the brief.

Under the law, “pets” are defined as property, and because Frankie was a mixed breed dog, he has no market value. The Animal Legal Defense Fund recognizes that animals are not just property, and have an inherent value that should be .........

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MONKEY INVASION

September 4, 2016 @ 9:46 AM

Monkeys have long been a common sight in temples and tourist destinations around the world. These intelligent animals once stayed away from urban hubs, restricting themselves to the fringes of big cities. But deforestation, animal agriculture, industrialization and fast expanding cities is reducing monkey habitat at an alarming rate. As a result, many species of monkeys are invading cities for food, shelter and water.

Many monkeys have long taken to temples, where they are often protected and fed. From these temples they radiate out to nearby forests. But urbanization has invaded temple areas, bringing the city to the monkeys.

As natural monkey habitats are continuously destroyed, monkeys are loosing their fear of humans. In ......

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