Posts Tagged ‘Animal Rights’

Terry O’Neill on getting critters declared legal ‘persons’: Will animal rightists succeed where pro-lifers have failed?

June 3, 2008

If you’ve been to Olympic Plaza in Calgary or to Parliament Hill in Ottawa recently, you’ve probably come across an installation of five statues depicting the “Famous Five” — the five Canadian women whose lawsuit led to the historic declaration in 1929 that women are to be considered “persons” under Canadian law.

The sculptural tableau is a dramatic tribute to the accomplishments of Emily Murphy, Nellie Mooney McClung, Irene Marryat Parlby, Louise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards. But on the heels of the last week’s news about a case currently making its way through the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the question must be asked: Should the bronzes of Emily, Nellie and their friends now be accompanied by ones depicting Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail?

That’s certainly a possibility (albeit an intentionally flippant one) given the wide-ranging impact that will be felt should the European court agree with an argument being advanced by the Vienna-based Association Against Animal Factories, which is seeking to have a 26-year-old chimpanzee named Matthew declared a legal “person.”

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Extreme Animal Rights Groups: Do They Really Help Animals?

May 28, 2008

More than half of US households own a pet. Most are too busy to research the current politics behind the animal rights versus animal welfare movement.

Animal welfare, AW,  movement wants to improve the conditions of animals, animal rights, AR,  movement, in the long run, is against any and all animal use, even as pets.

The problem is, many animal rights groups are wolf in sheep clothing, pretending to be animal welfare. But upon close inspection it is clear they don’t do anything for the animals, most money is spent in high salaries, fancy offices and lobbying.

These sneaky groups use anything for their agenda to separate honest animal lovers from their money…

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Jane Goodall urges Nobel prize for sparing lab animals

May 27, 2008

The primatologist Dr Jane Goodall will today propose that a Nobel prize be set up for advancing medical knowledge without experimentation on animals. The scientist, who pioneered research on chimpanzees in the wild, says moving away from animal research is a “goal towards which all civilised nations should be moving”.

She will speak at an event organised by animal rights groups and MEPs to put pressure on the European commission to review directive 86/609, which governs animal research across the EU.

“As we move into the 21st century we need a new mind-set,” she said. “We should admit that the infliction of suffering on beings who are capable of feeling is ethically problematic and that the amazing human brain should set to work to find new ways of testing and experimenting that will not involve the use of live, sentient beings.

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Federal judge in Montana rejects bid to delay wolf lawsuit

May 10, 2008

A federal judge in Montana has rejected a request by the government to delay a lawsuit seeking to place the gray wolf back on the endangered species list, saying he’s “unwilling to risk more deaths.”

At least 39 of the Northern Rockies’ 1,500 gray wolves have been killed since they lost federal protection in March. That action placed wolves under the authority of state wildlife agencies in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

The three states have relaxed rules for killings wolves that harass or harm livestock. The states are also planning public hunts later this year — the first in decades.

Environmental and animal rights groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week, claiming the loss of federal protection threatens the wolf’s successful recovery. They also asked for a court injunction to restore federal control over wolves while the case is pending.

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A Rescued Goat Gets a Chance for a Normal Life

May 2, 2008

They are both amputees: She lost part of her right leg to bone cancer at the age of 10, and he lost part of his left leg four months ago because of an injury he most likely suffered at a Brooklyn slaughterhouse.

Her name is Jenny Brown, and she is a 36-year-old television producer turned animal rights advocate. His name is Albie, and he is a goat of unknown age and breed.

They met last August, after Albie was plucked from Prospect Park and taken to the animal sanctuary Ms. Brown has owned here since 2004. Albie was malnourished and sickly at the time, his mouth covered in sores, his leg and hoof badly infected, Ms. Brown recalled. His injuries seemed to indicate that he had been hogtied before he broke free and made his way to the park.

Ms. Brown said that she tried to save Albie’s leg, treating it with ointments and homeopathic remedies, but that the wound would not heal. In December, Albie’s leg was amputated just above the knee.

He is now awaiting a prosthesis, a very rare indulgence for a farm animal. And the same technician who fitted Ms. Brown with a new artificial leg is also designing Albie’s.

“I’ve been an amputee for most of my life, but I can run a farm, I can wrestle animals, I can carry bales of hay, thanks to modern prosthetics,” Ms. Brown said. “I thought it would be only fair to give Albie the same chance to live a normal life.”

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New York bans grisly electrocution of animals for fur

April 30, 2008

New York has become the first state in the nation to ban the electrocution of animals in a particularly gruesome way to harvest their fur.

The law bans the practice of anal and genital electrocution of fur-bearing animals, including mink, foxes, chinchillas and rabbits. The misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail.

National animal rights advocates on Wednesday said they hope it will force similar measures in other states.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to use the law to push other states to ban similar practices on farms, which are often hidden in rural areas where animals are born and bred unsheltered in cages.

“Anal electrocution is common practice in fur farms across the world,” said Melissa Karpel of the Norfolk, Va.-based PETA. “A lot of these methods aren’t effective and these animals will wake up while they are being skinned.”

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Feds sued for taking gray wolves off endangered list

April 29, 2008

Environmental and animal rights groups sued the federal government Monday, seeking to restore endangered species status for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifted federal protections for the estimated 1,500 wolves in March. It turned over management responsibilities to state officials in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana for the first time in more than three decades.

The lawsuit alleges those states lack adequate laws to ensure wolves are not again eradicated from the region. At least 37 were killed in the last month.

The groups are seeking an immediate court order to restore federal control over the species until the case is resolved.

“We’re very concerned that absent an injunction, hundreds of wolves could be killed under existing state management plans,” said attorney Jason Rylander with Defenders of Wildlife, one of twelve groups that filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

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PETA and Euthanasia: Even among animal lovers, killing unwanted pets is a divisive issue.

April 28, 2008

Nearly a decade later, Daphna Nachminovitch still remembers the rerelease of the Disney classic “101 Dalmatians” and the tragedy that followed. First there was a spike in sales of the famous spotted breed. Then, in the months that followed, shelters took in hundreds of Dalmatians from disillusioned pet owners around the country. “As soon as the puppies outlived their cuteness and the kids didn’t want to scoop the poop anymore, the dogs were dumped in shelters,” says Nachminovitch, vice president of cruelty investigations for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). “Many of them had to be euthanized, because there was simply no place for them to go.”

But what many animal lovers don’t realize is that PETA itself may have put down some of those unwanted Dalmatians. The organization has practiced euthanasia for years. Since 1998 PETA has killed more than 17,000 animals, nearly 85 percent of all those it has rescued. Dalmatians may no longer be the breed of the day, but the problem of unwanted and abandoned pets is as urgent as ever. Shelters around the country kill 4 million animals every year; by some estimates, more than 80 percent of them are healthy. In recent years those grim statistics have split the animal rights community. Ironically, PETA has emerged as a strong proponent of euthanasia. (The group is better known for its public condemnations of everyone from fashion designer Donna Karan for her use of fur to the National Cancer Institute for its animal research.) In defense of its policy PETA has insisted that euthanasia is a necessary evil in a world full of unwanted pets. But while the group has some well-known allies, including the Humane Society of the United States, a growing number of animal rights activists claim to have found a better, more humane way.

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Inquiring minds ask: Where do animals and religion meet?

April 18, 2008

Is the average American church unaware of animal rights? Is there an inverse correlation between church attendance and support for such rights?

An opinion piece in today’s Harvard Crimson attempts to answer those questions. For a different take on religion and animals, read Times staff writer Stephanie Simon’s Column One article below…

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Re-homing pets in Ireland sometimes means shipping them overseas.

April 3, 2008

Apparently our friends in the UK have come up with a great word for “to find a new home for homeless pets.” It’s re-home. You’ll see it a lot in this article. Isn’t that clever?

-Kitty Mowmow


A recent report has highlighted how thousands of animals are being shipped out of Ireland for re-homing by Irish animal rescue centres.

The survey carried out by animal rights group Anvil revealed that almost 40 per cent of rescued animals in Ireland are being sent overseas because animal sanctuaries cannot find homes for them.

And these figures not only apply to rescue centres across the country but also to animal centres in the Kilkenny area.

The Inistioge Puppy Rescue centre look after about 1,000 dogs each year where up to 40 per cent of the dogs are shipped over to Sweden and England for re-homing.

Mullinahone based dog rescue centre PAWS send 95 per cent of their dogs abroad every year for re-homing and last year alone sent 600 dogs abroad.

The centre, which receives a lot of strays from the Callan and Windgap areas caters for up to 75 dogs at any given time while it searches for new homes for them.

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Vick Case Exposes Rift Among Animal-Rights Advocates

March 13, 2008

The lingering image of Michael Vick’s dogfighting case last summer was the daily courthouse appearance by members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.


They were noisy and angry in their denunciation, insisting that Vick, the fallen multimillion dollar quarterback, be punished for his role in illegal dogfighting and subsequent cruelty to animals.

He was certainly punished. Vick is serving a 23-month federal sentence for criminal conspiracy resulting from felonious dogfighting.

But there remains a widening divide still simmering within the animal-rights community over the treatment of abused, high-risk animals. The friction boils down to a matter of life and death. PETA generally advocates euthanizing rescued fighting dogs, while other groups lean toward rehabilitation.

The public disagreement is eye-opening for those of us who assumed animal-rights and animal-welfare groups were all on the same page. After talking to both camps, this much is clear:

They all love the animals, but can’t seem to get along with each other.

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For more animal-esque music, news, and issues, tune in to Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo online at, Sunday nights 8-10 central.

Knut the cute polar bear is turning into a ‘psychopath’

March 5, 2008

From this:

To this:


Knut the polar bear is a “psychopath”, experts warn.

The world’s most famous polar bear has become addicted to human company and will never mate, it is claimed.

The 13-month-old polar bear is Berlin Zoo’s most famous resident.

But zoologist Peter Arras described Knut as a “psychopath” to The Independent newspaper.

German activist Frank Albrecht said that animals born in captivity end up being divorced from nature and turn into hyperactive, disturbed freaks, because they become too dependent on man.

He said: “Knut is a problem bear who has become addicted to human beings.”

Knut caused a worldwide sensation when he was born last March.

But since then he has been at the centre of a major debate about the rights of caged animals.

Click here for the full article, and another related article.

For more animal-esque music, news, and issues, tune in to Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo online at, Sunday nights 8-10 central.

Consider how we interact with animals in the wild, farms, laboratories or our homes

February 29, 2008


The use of animals in research and testing is a controversial issue that arouses strong feelings in many people. The moral acceptability of using animals in experiments – whether in medical or veterinary research, to test the safety of chemicals such as pesticides, or simply to acquire scientific knowledge – is therefore heavily debated.

It is widely acknowledged, including within the law that regulates animal experiments in the UK, that animals are sentient and can have negative experiences, including those of fear and pain. This makes their potential for suffering and their use in experiments a matter of serious concern for the RSPCA. It is also unsurprising that, whilst appalled by the unacceptable activities of extremists, large sectors of the public consistently express their unease regarding this use of animals.

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Animal rights in China: A small voice calling

February 28, 2008

Human rights, or the lack of them, have long been a focus of China’s critics at home and abroad. But a new rights movement—complete with idealistic local and foreign campaigners—is stirring: animal rights.

Animals are treated dreadfully in Chinese farms, laboratories, zoos and elsewhere. There are grim factories where thousands of live bears in tiny cages are tapped for medicinal bile. At safari parks, live sheep and poultry are fed to lions as spectators cheer. At farms and in slaughterhouses, animals are killed with little concern for their suffering.

According to Zhou Ping, of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, few Chinese accept that animals have any rights at all. She thinks it is time they did, and in 2006 put forward China’s first national animal-welfare law. Her proposal got nowhere, and there is no sign of progress since. “There is so far”, she says, “only a small voice calling for change…”

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Senate clears bill on torture of animals

February 28, 2008

A bill that would make the torture of an animal a third-degree felony passed the Senate Wednesday.
SB297 came about as a compromise from animal-rights groups and livestock owners, said sponsor Sen. Allen Christensen.
“I applaud Senator Christensen,” said Majority Leader Curtis Bramble. “It was not a journey he anticipated when he set out on this issue, but he’s gotten buy-in from several stakeholders.”
Sen. Scott Jenkins tried to amend the bill to make the first offense a Class A misdemeanor and a second offense a third-degree felony. The attempt failed.
The bill passed 21-6 and goes to the House for further debate.

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Animal responsibilities

February 28, 2008


Animal rights are rarely out of the news. If it’s not one set of celebrity chefs lecturing us about what kind of chicken to buy, it’s another telling us that it’s snobbish to worry about such things. The streets are filled with protesters marching against animal testing meeting protestors protesting that protest.

Most people are quite happy to accept that humans have rights, and there is a fair amount of agreement about what rights we have. Why should animals be more complicated? Surely they either have rights or they don’t. Unfortunately, things are not quite so straightforward…

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Film Prompted First Humane Slaughter Law

February 28, 2008

A film showing slaughterhouse workers abusing animals spurs demands for the federal government to put a stop to the behavior. That happened this year — and also a half-century ago, when a Seattle animal rights activist filmed hogs being mistreated at a Washington state slaughterhouse.

The 1950s film helped trigger a fierce debate on Capitol Hill over whether animals deserve some federal protection in their final moments. Congress ultimately decided they did, and 50 years ago this summer, lawmakers passed the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which required that meat purchased by the federal government come from processors who kill their livestock humanely.

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Rabbinate to phase out ‘shackle and hoist’ animal slaughter

February 19, 2008

Amid claims by animal rights groups of gratuitous suffering, the Chief Rabbinate is planning to gradually phase out the use of the “shackle and hoist” method of kosher slaughter in Israel and South America.

“We are working toward upgrading the way animals are prepared for slaughter to minimize animal suffering,” a Chief Rabbinate spokesman said Sunday on behalf of Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger, who is responsible for kashrut supervision.

“I want to reiterate that the methods used up until now were completely kosher,” added the spokesman, “and that the Jewish method of slaughtering is the most humane in the world. But we are doing everything to improve.”

The spokesman refrained from saying what steps Metzger would take to encourage slaughterhouse owners to make the transition from the cheaper shackle and hoist method to the more expensive “rotating pen” method.

“We plan to meet soon with importers and slaughterhouse owners who use the method in an attempt to reach an agreement,” said the spokesman.

Most South American slaughterhouses and several older Israeli ones prepare cows for slaughter by tying the animal’s hind legs to a shackle attached to a mechanical derrick and hoisting the cow off its feet.

The cow is then lowered to the ground on its side and held by three men – one at the head, one at the hindquarter and a third by one of the forelegs – while a fourth man, a shohet (one trained in ritual slaughter), cuts through the trachea and the esophagus.

Normally, the two carotid arteries, which supply blood to the brain, are also severed, causing the animal to lose consciousness within five seconds.

But the shackling and hoisting, which normally takes about 20 seconds, is performed while the animal is fully conscious. Animal rights groups claim this causes unnecessary anguish and pain.

They also say hanging the cow by its leg rips its muscle and tendons. However, sources at the Rabbinate said this is false, since ripping of tendons in the leg would render the animal treif, or nonkosher.

The pinning down of the cow after it is placed on its side, often with the use of prods and ropes, takes additional time during which the cow is under stress, the animal rights groups say.

In contrast, in a more humane method common in newer slaughterhouses, the cow is placed inside a pen that holds it tightly and flips it upside down, after which the cow is slaughtered.

However, there appear to be financial reasons slowing acceptance of the rotating pen method.

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Video shows zoo animals’ dismal digs

February 16, 2008


San Francisco Zoo animals pace in their pens, swim in their own waste and live out their days in boredom and squalor, according to a video shown Thursday night to the city Animal Control and Welfare Commission at City Hall.

A polar bear’s white fur is splotched with green algae. A giraffe gnaws a hole in his barn in boredom. And a gray seal has been swimming in the same tiny pool for decades.

“This is just pathetic,” said animal rights activist Deniz Bolbol, who had been invited to show the video on behalf of Mill Valley’s In Defense of Animals group. “What are we teaching our children when we bring them to a place like this?”

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Animal rights groups pick up momentum

January 28, 2008
The growing influence of animal rights activists increasingly is affecting daily life, touching everything from the foods Americans eat to what they study in law school, where they buy their puppies and even whether they should enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride in New York’s Central Park.

Animal activist groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) say they are seeing a spike in membership as their campaigns spread.

“There’s been an explosion of interest” in animal welfare issues, says David Favre, a Michigan State University law professor and animal law specialist. “Groups like the Humane Society of the United States and PETA have brought to our social awareness their concerns about animals and all matter of creatures.”

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