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PETA People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

  • PETA TV Blitz Blasts Fireworks Warning for Animals in Houston
    by Catie Cryar on June 29, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    After a number of terrified animals were harmed and some were even killed as a result of last year’s Fourth of July fireworks displays, PETA is sending out a plea from Battlestar Galactica actor Edward James Olmos: Ditch the noisy, animal-endangering pyrotechnics. Last year, a dog was killed in Highlands after improperly discarded Fourth of... Read more » The post PETA TV Blitz Blasts Fireworks Warning for Animals in Houston appeared first on PETA.

  • How ‘Free the Animals’ Inspires PETA Lawyers to Take Cruelty to Court
    by PETA on June 29, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    Don’t miss the final installment of PETA Prime’s “Free the Animals” video series—where PETA Foundation Chief Legal Officer Jeff Kerr shares how the true stories from this landmark book influenced the law. The post How ‘Free the Animals’ Inspires PETA Lawyers to Take Cruelty to Court appeared first on PETA.

  • Fire Up the Grill, Vegan Chefs! It’s the Ultimate BBQ Kit
    by PETA on June 29, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    PETA’s Grillin’ Without Killin’ Kit will add some spice to your next cookout and show your guests how to enjoy this summer tradition with finger-licking good vegan food. The post Fire Up the Grill, Vegan Chefs! It’s the Ultimate BBQ Kit appeared first on PETA.

  • PETA to Push for Bird-Slaughter Probe at Annual RH Meeting
    by Catie Cryar on June 29, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    When RH—formerly known as Restoration Hardware—holds its annual meeting tomorrow, PETA will be there asking shareholders to vote for its resolution calling on the company to commission a report on the welfare of the birds on the farms and in the slaughterhouses in the retailer’s down supply chain, due to concerns that they’re often live-plucked... Read more » The post PETA to Push for Bird-Slaughter Probe at Annual RH Meeting appeared first on PETA.

  • PETA TV Blitz Blasts Fireworks Warning for Animals in Des Moines
    by Catie Cryar on June 29, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    After a number of terrified animals were harmed and many were even killed as a result of last year’s Fourth of July fireworks displays, PETA is sending out a plea from Scandal star Bellamy Young: Ditch the noisy, animal-endangering pyrotechnics. Last Independence Day in Iowa, an elderly dog named Ethyl got spooked by fireworks and... Read more » The post PETA TV Blitz Blasts Fireworks Warning for Animals in Des Moines appeared first on PETA.

Animals & Politics Animals & Politics

  • Good news! Louisiana becomes 9th state to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals
    by kblocher@hslf.org on June 27, 2022 at 3:42 am

    Good news! Louisiana becomes 9th state to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals kblocher@hslf.org Mon, 06/27/2022 - 03:42 By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block In a victory for rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats and all animals used for testing, Louisiana is the latest state to take steps to end the cruel and unnecessary use of animals to test cosmetics. Eight other states (California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Maine, Hawaii and New Jersey) have already banned the sale of cosmetics that have been newly tested on animals. This win aligns with rising consumer opinion that there is no need to test products like shampoo, aftershave and lipstick on animals. There is also a similar bill that will be heading to the governor’s desk in New York. As we celebrate the passage of this law in Louisiana, we remain focused on the need for a comprehensive national solution. While we have worked hard to ensure states pass these laws, it’s imperative for animals that we ban animal testing for cosmetics at the federal level. That will do more to bring the United States into greater harmony with the many nations that have prohibited such testing and strengthen the international regulatory frameworks that govern animal testing and the many non-animal methods coming to replace them. Congress recently had a golden opportunity to end cosmetics animal testing in the U.S. but, sadly, did not seize it. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee recently considered must-pass legislation that grants the Food and Drug Administration additional oversight on cosmetics. We urged committee members to include language from the federal Humane Cosmetics Act into this legislative package. In a major missed opportunity for animals, the language was not included in this legislation. Still more concerning is that the current bill’s language may preempt state laws that end the production and/or sale of cosmetics tested on animals, like the one just passed in Louisiana. We will not rest until this issue is addressed by Congress, and we will not stop until animals no longer have to suffer for these cruel and outdated cosmetics tests. Some of the strongest support for ending animal testing for cosmetics is coming from the cosmetics industry itself. The Humane Cosmetics Act has the endorsement of the Personal Care Products Council, the trade association representing nearly 600 companies that make and market cosmetics, in addition to more than 375 companies that have individually signed on to support this legislation. Companies want a federal law that aligns the U.S. with the nine states and 41 countries that have already passed laws to end or limit animal testing for cosmetics. Our thanks to state Rep. Barbara Freiberg (R, 70) for her leadership on this issue. Her work to make Louisiana the latest state to take on the cruelty of cosmetics animal testing will help solidify congressional support for this issue and bring us one step closer to finally relegating animal testing for cosmetics to history.   Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Federal Legislation Animals in Research State Legislation Blog      

  • FY23 budget appropriations produce banner harvest for animal protection
    by kblocher@hslf.org on June 23, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    FY23 budget appropriations produce banner harvest for animal protection kblocher@hslf.org Thu, 06/23/2022 - 21:53 Success in the federal animal protection arena demands advocacy that is determined, purposeful and realistic. At the Humane Society Legislative Fund, those are our bywords. We are not just tenacious in the pursuit of our goals. We are disciplined in our public outreach and in our negotiations with legislators and key stakeholders. We understand how to make sure Washington politics works for animals, and we pursue a holistic strategy for securing strong and lasting animal protection gains. For the latest proof, you need look no further than the House Appropriations Committee’s approval of the FY23 bill that funds programs within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee produced a banner harvest of animal welfare gains, many involving HSLF priorities that took months to advance through extended outreach to legislators and others, and that we will be working hard to sustain in the final package. Perhaps the most striking result is a permanent ban on horse slaughter operations in the United States, an elusive goal in the past. Other welcome outcomes stemming from our work with congressional allies and other animal organizations include increased funding and clear expressions of support for stronger enforcement of the Horse Protection Act and Animal Welfare Act, and report language encouraging the USDA to help fund producer transitions toward cage-free eggs—and, for the first time, crate-free pork. Legislators also called upon the agency to prepare a report on its program to monitor and minimize COVID-19 infection on mink farms. On horse soring, a significant focus of our work, the bill provides $4.1 million for HPA enforcement, $1 million more over FY22. Report language reminds USDA that Congress assigned the agency primary responsibility to enforce this law, including the training of all inspectors. The report also presses the USDA to publish its new proposed HPA soring rule expeditiously and to finalize it as soon as possible. On AWA enforcement, the committee approved report language directing the agency to ensure that any interference with or failure to allow access for inspection, as well as each failure to comply with animal welfare standards, is documented on an inspection report. The Committee also directed that there be no more use of “teachable moments” or any similar program that obscures findings during inspections. Troubling signs of lax enforcement have tarnished the agency’s reputation in recent years. With regard to USDA-operated laboratories, the bill permanently requires APHIS inspections of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facilities for compliance with AWA regulations and standards. The bill’s report language also directs ARS facilities to explore and pursue the post-research placement of dogs, cats and other domesticated animals, something the FDA has already begun to support. The bill permanently bars the use of funds to license “Class B” dealers (notorious for acquiring dogs and cats by shady means to sell for research). In addition, language in the report directs USDA to prioritize enforcement of licensing requirements for online dog dealers, to reopen an audit of the agency’s dog dealer oversight to complete in-person visits, and to strengthen its collaboration with the Department of Justice on AWA enforcement to ensure access to evidence needed to initiate cases. In another encouraging development, the bill provides $3 million in support of the PAWS grants program to expand shelter options for domestic violence survivors with pets. Now, as this package heads to a full Committee vote, we will put all we’ve got into ensuring that every one of these measures makes it to final passage. With the support of animal advocates around the country, we can deliver again on the promise of a comprehensive animal welfare agenda in Congress. In this case, we’ve worked closely with congressional champions, particularly Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., as well as Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Chris Smith, R.-N.J., and we thank  them for their leadership. Together, we successfully integrated a host of animal protection concerns into one of the most important funding packages there is. It takes months to advance these individual measures on their respective pathways through Congress. This week, we have witnessed the outstanding results of our efforts to push them forward as part of a comprehensive and well-integrated animal welfare package. The members of the HSLF team come to work every day with a single goal in mind: tangible gains for animals. We are fighters. We are battlers. And we are grateful to you for all you do in support of our efforts to raise the profile of animal protection on the federal policy agenda.  Federal Legislation Equines Farm Animals Blog      

  • Major developments in pivotal Supreme Court case for animals
    by kblocher@hslf.org on June 23, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    Major developments in pivotal Supreme Court case for animals kblocher@hslf.org Thu, 06/23/2022 - 17:02 By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block A lawsuit currently being considered by the United States Supreme Court will have enormous consequences for millions of animals across the country—and we have news about major developments, some of it positive and some disappointing. Regardless, the fight continues. First, some background: The pork industry is suing to overturn California’s Proposition 12, widely considered one of the strongest laws for farm animals in the world. Proposition 12 banned the intensive confinement of egg-laying chickens, mother pigs and calves used in the veal industry. It also prohibited the sale in California of eggs, pork and veal from facilities that use those practices. The landmark animal welfare, consumer protection, and public health law passed in 2018 with 63% of California voters in support, and we are proud to lead such a decisive step forward for farm animal welfare. But the victory we and the majority of California voters celebrated on behalf of animals in 2018 has had to be vigorously defended ever since. Our legal team and allies have successfully defended Proposition 12 in multiple courtrooms. This current case was filed by the National Pork Producers Council, and the Trump administration submitted a brief in support. Since then, we have been urging the Biden administration to break with the Trump-era position that opposes Proposition 12. Unfortunately, late last week, the Biden administration submitted a brief that declined to reverse the course set by the Trump administration in 2020. The Biden brief walked back some of the most extreme anti-humane positions advanced by the Trump brief, but nevertheless recommended the Supreme Court remand the case back for additional court hearings on the industry’s claims. While disappointing, the Biden brief stopped short of openly endorsing the pork industry’s radical legal theories and specifically noted that state laws like Proposition 12 can be constitutional under the right conditions. The California Attorney General and our lawyers will now focus on making clear in our briefing to the Supreme Court that Proposition 12 meets every one of the conditions set forth in the Biden brief. We are enormously grateful to the 16 U.S. Senators and 100 Representatives, all members of the Democratic Caucus, along with governors and members of state legislatures across the country, who signed letters to the Biden administration. Along with this significant legislative support, there has been a vast coalition supporting Proposition 12—including 98 organizations representing concerns about food safety, animal protection, the environment, sustainable agriculture and farm workers. There clearly was a critical show of political unity for our position. We’re thankful, too, for the concerned citizens who reached out to the White House on this issue. There was also a positive development in the Supreme Court case that came from an unlikely source: University of California Davis agricultural economics professors. U.C. Davis is one of the most prominent agricultural schools in the country and is frequently hired by agribusiness to conduct industry-focused research. The National Pork Board funded two of the school’s top agricultural economists to analyze the effects of Proposition 12 in 2018. In Friday’s filing, the researchers told the Supreme Court that the industry’s claims of out-of-state economic damage from Proposition 12 are entirely unsupported by their research, and some “lack any plausible basis,” while others defy “common sense” and “simple economic incentives.” In summary, the economists assert that “as a matter of both economic theory and empirical data, [the industry’s] central economic arguments are erroneous and implausible.” The other briefs filed on Friday night were mostly from the usual suspects aligned with the pork industry. We will respond to the pork industry’s bogus arguments, and a wide group of concerned experts and public interest groups also plan to submit briefs showing that not only does Proposition 12 align with legal precedent, but most importantly that it is in the best interests of animals, consumers, farmers, workers and the planet. We will continue to keep you posted on how this pivotal case develops. Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Farm Animals Blog      

  • Congressional action on crucial bills to protect equines applauded by animal protection organizations
    by kblocher@hslf.org on June 23, 2022 at 11:53 am

    Congressional action on crucial bills to protect equines applauded by animal protection organizations kblocher@hslf.org Thu, 06/23/2022 - 11:53 Congressional action on crucial bills to protect equines applauded by animal protection organizations WASHINGTON (June 23, 2022)—Critical votes on two horse protection bills and on a funding bill with key horse provisions made today a benchmark date in the long history of equine advocacy by the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund. The Subcommittee on Consumer Protection & Commerce of the House Energy & Commerce Committee voted 22-0 on legislation to ban soring in the Tennessee walking horse industry and the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The two measures are at the heart of the organizations’ equine protection agenda. And the House Appropriations Committee approved important provisions we sought for horses in the bill funding the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Fiscal Year 2023. “Horse lovers and advocates have been seeking to hasten the day when we’d give horses a measure of justice on these issues,” said Keith Dane, senior director on equine protection for the HSUS. “It’s hard to imagine any greater betrayal of horses than slaughter and soring, and there could be no simpler solution than to ban them outright, no compromise.” “If average Americans of any persuasion could vote on it, these cruelties would have long since disappeared. Neither one is worthy of a humane nation, and that should seal the deal with the 117th Congress, which we hope will pass these two measures immediately,” said Tracie Letterman, vice president of federal affairs at HSLF. The subcommittee passed the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 5441, as introduced, without any weakening amendments. The bill would amend the federal Horse Protection Act to eliminate industry-self policing, ban soring devices and strengthen penalties for soring, in which unscrupulous trainers use painful techniques to induce an artificially high-stepping gait in some show horses. The effectively-crafted PAST Act has the strong support of the HSUS and HSLF and other leading animal, veterinary and horse industry organizations, which have united to oppose the efforts of a single animal organization that recklessly promoted a so-called “compromise” that would have codified further cruelty and victimization of walking horses. As for the slaughter of horses to eat them, more than 80% of Americans reject the practice. But the export of horses to other countries for slaughter continues, and the foreign slaughter industry would welcome the opportunity to restart operations in the United States. Passage of the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act, H.R. 3355, would produce a permanent ban on domestic slaughter of horses for food and prohibit their shipment abroad for that purpose. Their focus on equine protection is not the only thing the two measures have in common. Both enjoy the strong support of a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives. The SAFE Act currently has 218 sponsors, while the PAST Act has 258 and already won House approval by a vote of 333-96 in 2019. This represents an historic opportunity to pass humane legislation for which there is clear and substantial support. The vote today of the Fiscal Year 2023 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill in the House Committee on Appropriations could also prove decisive regarding horse slaughter. The bill contains a permanent defunding of inspections of domestic horse slaughter plants, which would prevent them from ever reopening on U.S. soil. Through the efforts of the HSUS, HSLF and allied organizations, there has been a de facto ban on funding for most of the past 17 years, but that requires an annual lobbying effort. A permanent prohibition on allocation of taxpayer dollars for inspections would signal the definitive end of horse slaughter for food on American soil. The bill also contains more than $4 million (a $1 million boost from last year) for USDA enforcement of the Horse Protection Act and provisions encouraging the agency to strengthen its enforcement against soring. Media contact: Emily Ehrhorn, HSLF/HSUS, 202-779-1814; eehrhorn@humanesociety.org   ## The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at hslf.org/blog, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund. Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at humanesociety.org. Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, A Humane World. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on Twitter. Read the award-winning All Animals magazine. Listen to the Humane Voices Podcast. Federal Legislation Equines Press Release      

  • Good news for big cats as crucial bill passes House Committee!
    by kblocher@hslf.org on June 15, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Good news for big cats as crucial bill passes House Committee! kblocher@hslf.org Wed, 06/15/2022 - 11:15 America has a big cat crisis. Untold numbers of captive tigers, lions, leopards and other big cat species are kept in captivity throughout the nation, most of them in shoddy roadside zoos, private menageries or in private homes and yards as pets. Today, to confront this cruelty and halt the worst excesses of the industry that exploits these animals so mercilessly, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act, H.R. 263, by a vote of 25-17.  The legislation, introduced by Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), would prohibit keeping tigers, lions, leopards and other big cat species as pets, and ban direct contact between big cats and the public. Big cats are large apex predators who roam widely in their natural habitats. In captivity, their lives could not be more different—or miserable. They are usually warehoused in small, barren and poorly secured cages, improperly fed, and denied appropriate veterinary care.  Now, the bill should be taken up for a vote by the entire House of Representatives, where it already enjoys the bipartisan cosponsorship of 257 members, more than half of the Congress.  The country’s large population of captive big cats is chiefly the fault of an unscrupulous public contact industry in which low-grade roadside zoos and petting operations charge members of the public to pet, feed, play with, or get their picture taken with infant tigers, lions, leopards, etc. Our undercover investigations of cub petting graphically exposed its immense cruelty. Bred specifically for the industry, babies are torn from their mothers at birth and suffer significant neglect and mistreatment during their time as photo props. At just a few months of age, when they have grown too large to be handled, they are often warehoused in roadside zoos or cast into the pet trade. And inevitably the fate of many big cats in this terrible pipeline is unknown.  Meanwhile, new cubs continue to be produced, used for public contact, and disposed of—a cruel cycle that has created an unsustainable number of “surplus” animals.  The passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263/S. 1210) would prevent hucksters such as those featured in the Netflix series Tiger King from using vulnerable cubs for public handling. Some of these operators are already on the ropes. Joe Exotic is in prison, Jeff Lowe’s USDA license was suspended, Tim Stark’s USDA license was revoked, and “Doc” Antle has been indicted on animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking charges. Just last week, Antle was also charged with federal money laundering crimes in a human trafficking case. None of this meaningfully changes what happens on the ground, however, because as long as cub petting remains legal, nothing will prevent other “Tiger King” wannabes from profiting off the lives of vulnerable big cats.  Allowing the public to handle and take selfies with tiger cubs does nothing to advance conservation or education. In fact, data shows that such activities distort public perceptions regarding the conservation needs of wild cats. In addition, conservationists have long feared that tigers and lions discarded from the cub-petting industry feed the illegal market for animal parts used in supposed traditional medicine, as well as fuel the poaching of big cats in the wild.  Many of these animals end up in private situations not much better than the petting operations or roadside zoos. It is likely that 6-month-old Elsa, who was found crying outside in freezing temperatures, Loki, who was discovered in a tiny, filthy cage in the garage of an abandoned house, and 9-month-old India, who was confiscated after strolling through a residential neighborhood, began life as cubs in the cruel cub petting business.  The pandemic has provided another need to ban cub petting. The coronavirus has been found in captive tigers, lions, cougars and snow leopards, leading the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue a rare advisory to big cat exhibitors to discontinue hands-on encounters with wild cats in the interests of public safety and animal welfare.  In the last Congress, the legislation passed the House by a vote of 272 – 114, with strong bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the session ended before it could be taken up by the Senate.  H.R. 263 and its companion bill in the Senate, S. 1210, introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), have been endorsed by more than 80 animal welfare organizations, professionally operated zoos and animal sanctuaries, and law enforcement organizations and officials.  We thank Reps. Quigley and Fitzpatrick for their longstanding commitment to this legislation, and we thank Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee Chair Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) for moving it through the committee. Please contact your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators today to urge their support of H.R. 263/S. 1210!  Federal Legislation Wildlife Blog      

Blog - Rincker Law Champaign, IL, Shelbyville, IL, New York

  • Navigating Parental Alienation
    by Cari Rincker on June 27, 2022 at 9:53 am

    What is Parental Alienation? Parental Alienation occurs when a child shows extreme preference for one parent (the “Preferred Parent”) over another parent (the “Rejected Parent”) as a result of efforts by the Preferred Parent to alienate the child from the Rejected Parent.  Parental Alienation can significantly complicate a divorce and the accompanying allocation of shared parental responsibilities. Parental alienation is ... Read More The post Navigating Parental Alienation appeared first on Rincker Law.

  • Big “Life Changes” Often Mean Big “Estate Plan Changes”
    by Cari Rincker on June 27, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Many people who put together an estate plan do so when they start a family – assuming they put an estate plan together at all during their lifetime. While putting an estate plan together is a good thing to do, many people make few updates once the plan has been created, despite other key life events happening over the years. ... Read More The post Big “Life Changes” Often Mean Big “Estate Plan Changes” appeared first on Rincker Law.

  • Don’t Rest Easy: Reopening a Closed Estate in Illinois
    by Cari Rincker on June 26, 2022 at 10:52 am

    When a loved one passes away, navigating the probate process can be daunting and exhausting.  Once the estate has been distributed and probate is closed, it would be nice to rest easy knowing that “what’s done is done;” however, it is important to understand that there are a few circumstances where a closed estate can be reopened again in Illinois. ... Read More The post Don’t Rest Easy: Reopening a Closed Estate in Illinois appeared first on Rincker Law.

  • Episode 57 of Ag Law Today: Update on Animal Confinement Laws
    by Cari Rincker on June 25, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    I was excited to record this episode with Beth Rumley while I was in New York City a few weeks ago getting an update on where we are with animal confinement laws on this episode of Ag Law Today.  It was an update from Episode 46 found here.  I am an adjunct at Vermont Law School online and several of ... Read More The post Episode 57 of Ag Law Today: Update on Animal Confinement Laws appeared first on Rincker Law.

  • Episode 56 of Ag Law Today: Agriculture Mediation
    by Cari Rincker on June 24, 2022 at 10:03 am

    I feel blessed each time I get to talk to an ag lawyer rockstar like Paul Goeringer from the University of Maryland.  Hear us talk about agriculture mediation on this episode of Ag Law Today. Share this Article The post Episode 56 of Ag Law Today: Agriculture Mediation appeared first on Rincker Law.