SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Zoo & Gardens invites guests to celebrate Lunar New Year with two full weekends of fun and entertainment at its 100-acre park, living classroom, conservation center and Zoo!  The festivities will be held Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29 and February 4-5 from 10:00-4:00 as guests are treated to traditional Chinese dance performances multiple times each day.  Embark on an adventure by navigating the Chinese Zodiac Animal Scavenger Hunt and be sure to visit SF Zoo’s Rhode Island red rooster “Mac” during the Year of the Rooster celebration.

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens guests born in the Year of the Rooster receive complimentary admission on January 28-29 and February 4-5.  Keeping with the Chinese calendar, the Zoo will honor birthdays in 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921 and 1909, as well as birthdays falling in January and February of the following year.

Event Details

What: Lunar New Year Celebration at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Where: San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, Great Highway and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94132

When: January 28-29 and February 4-5 from 10:00-4:00

Visuals: Traditional Chinese dance performances, guests going on Chinese Zodiac Animal Scavenger Hunts, and more than 2,000 animals (including a rooster)

Best time for coverage: 11:00 am or 1:30 pm for the dance performances (11:00 and 12:30 on 2/5 only)

Event link:


For planning purposes, below outlines upcoming February events:

  • February 1-28: Senior Sweetheart Month – Senior citizens ages 65 and older receive 2 for 1 admission
  • February 11: Members’ Morning – Exclusive access to the Zoo before gates open to the public
  • February 11-12: Will Zoo be Mine? – Take a “Lovers Stroll” and learn about animal mates, couples and families
  • February 18-20: Animals of America – Spend President’s Day Weekend visiting and learning about Zoo residents (many of them rescued) native to North America

About San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Established in 1929, San Francisco Zoo & Gardens connects people to wildlife, inspires caring for nature and advances conservation action.  An urban oasis, the Zoo & Gardens are home to more than 2,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species as well as seven distinct gardens full of native and unusual plants.  Located at the edge of the Pacific Ocean where the Great Highway meets Sloat Boulevard, the Zoo is open 365 days a year from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (fall/winter) and is accessible by San Francisco MUNI "L" Taraval Line.  You can find us on the web at


Animal Defenders International (ADI) applauds Massachusetts State Senator Bruce Tarr’s introduction of SD.2002, to prohibit traveling wild & exotic animal acts. ADI was honored to work with Senator Tarr and local advocates on the bill, reflecting increasing public recognition that these acts are both cruel and dangerous.

The Feld organization recently announced its closure of RinglingBros. circuses, citing decreased ticket sales over the last decade, a change in views from audiences, and admitting that“It isn’t relevant to people in the same way.”

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europenotes"There is little or no educational, conservational, research or economic benefit derived fromthe use of wild mammals in travelling circuses that might justify their use. In addition to thewelfare considerations, the use of wild mammals in circuses canrepresent serious animalhealth and public health and safety risks.

ADI President Jan Creamer said ADI worked closely with Senator Tarr on this effort and we know how determined he is to protect wild animals and the public from these cruel and dangerous acts. ADI’s evidence of the suffering and abuse of wild animals in circuses shows that these shows simply cannot meet the needs of wild animals in lightweight, small and mobile accommodation.

A comprehensive 2016 scientific review considered the latest science and consulted 658 experts and organizations around the world (including industry representatives), to ultimately conclude that for wild animals, this is not “a life worth living.”

Once a ban is in place, ADI has offered to assist with the relocation of circus animals should the need arise. Despite assurances from the circus industry, the physical and psychological health of animals in circuses is inevitably compromised. Animals in circuses are routinely subjected to brutal training methods and violence.

ADI has led the campaign to expose the suffering and educate the public around the world, providing video evidence, prosecutions, and expert reviews. 34 nations have reviewed the evidence and taken action to end traveling circus performances. Across 27states in the US, 68jurisdictions have already decided to either ban or restrict the use of wild animals in traveling shows, due to concerns about public safety and animal welfare.

ADI is also supporting RepresentativesRyan Costello (R-PA) andRaul Grijalva(D-AZ), who launched Traveling Exotic Animaland Public Safety ProtectionAct (TEAPSPA)in Congress last November. The congressmen have concluded that ending wild animal use is the only practical approach to deal withpublic safety issues and inspection and oversightproblems repeatedly cited by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Following bans on the use of animals in circuses in Peru and Colombia,ADIworked with both governments to remove over 100 animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade last year including lions, bears, monkeys, a tiger and others. ADI rehabilitated the animals and rehomed them to their natural habitats. These rescues were popular with the public and show what can be achieved with legislators and animal protection organizations cooperating.

Join the global campaign to Stop Circus Suffering:


RALEIGH, N.C. (January 18, 2017) – The ever-increasing emergence of new canine DNA tests and testing laboratories has made choosing quality DNA testing providers and the right DNA tests for health and breeding decisions increasingly challenging for many owners, breeders and veterinarians. Working with a wide-spectrum of stakeholders in dog health, the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) "Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs" initiative will provide practical support to address these challenges.

With no existing national or international standards of accreditation, or standardization oversight group, there is a growing need for a reliable third party neutral organization that can provide guidance surrounding test reliability, laboratory quality assurance processes and procedures, test applicability by breed, and provide counseling regarding interpretation and best use of genetic test results. This is needed to support consumer confidence in DNA testing, educate consumers in the use of these tests, utilize these tests effectively as tools to reduce the incidence of inherited disease, and to reduce redundant international efforts. IPFD will work to coordinate and consolidate expertise, as well as ongoing and new work to increase the availability of resources to consumers.

The goal of this new IPFD initiative is to create an open access, searchable and sustainable online resource that will:

  • Catalog information provided voluntarily from commercial test providers for genetic testing in dogs;
  • Describe expertise, quality assurance, activities and resources of the test providers;
  • Host expert panel reviews of genetic tests, their reliability, and applicability;
  • Coordinate a program for standardized proficiency testing and potentially peer review and audit;
  • Collate/assemble existing and new resources for genetic counseling and education; and provide the foundation for future developments.

The initial phase of the initiative is to develop a working prototype of the online resource. Both the prototype and the final output will be hosted on the IPFD’s platform. The initiative will be guided by IPFD CEO This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Project Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and will be overseen by a multi-stakeholder steering committee set up by the IPFD. Initial funding for the prototype is provided through generous contributions from IPFD Founding Partners, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), and the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

 # # #

AKC Canine Health Foundation
For more than 20 years, the Raleigh, NC-based AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science and research to improve the lives of dogs and their people. The Foundation works to prevent, treat, and cure diseases that impact all dogs, while providing professional information and resources for a new breed of dog owner. Take action because you care; find out more online at

International Partnership for Dogs
International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) is a non-profit organization, registered in Sweden, and initiated in 2014 by a diverse group of stakeholders in the international dog world. The IPFD mission is to facilitate collaboration and sharing of resources to enhance the health, well-being and welfare of pedigreed dogs and all dogs worldwide. Visit the IPFD online at for more information.

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is a 50 year old non-profit foundation with a specific mission to improve the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease. Visit the OFA online at for more information.

Animal Defenders International (ADI) has welcomed the announcement by Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus to close its animal shows from May, citing declines in ticket sales after earlier announcing a ‘mood shift’ among their consumers .After decades of exposing the cramped, barren conditions with long periods of time tied up and chained with no freedom of movement and a brutal training culture, ADI believes that public opinion has ended the suffering.

Modern audiences now have many entertainment options and do not want to see shows where animals are made to suffer for a few minutes of entertainment.

Jan Creamer, ADI President, said:“After decades of exposing the suffering of animals in circuses behind the scenes, we are pleased to hear that Ringlings has finally bowed to public opinion – it was a mistake for them not to see the trend away from animal shows to human-only performances over a decade ago. Circuses can survive without the animal performances.”

Studies of the use of wild animals in traveling circuses show that in the circumstances of a traveling show, circuses cannot meet the needs of wild animals. Animals are confined in small spaces, deprived of physical and social needs, spending excessive amounts of time tied or chained up, shut in transporters and unable to move around.The abnormal, stereotypical behaviors seen in circus animals, rocking, swaying and pacing, indicate that they are under stress and not coping with their environment. ADI’s video evidence has shown how these animals are forced to perform tricks through physical violence, fear and intimidation.

ADI has led the campaign to expose the suffering and educate the public around the world, providing video evidence, prosecutions and expert reviews. 34 nations have reviewed the evidence and taken action to end traveling circus performances. Across 27states in the US, 66jurisdictions have already decided to either ban or restrict the use of wild animals in traveling shows, due to concerns about public safety and animal welfare.

ADI is supporting RepresentativesRyan Costello (R-PA) andRaul Grijalva(D-AZ), who launched Traveling Exotic Animaland Public Safety ProtectionAct (TEAPSPA) in Congress last November. The congressmen have concluded that ending wild animal use is the only practical approach to deal withpublic safety issues and inspection and oversightproblems repeatedly cited by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

FDA cites numerous health dangers

January 3, 2017
By: Edie Lau
For The VIN News Service


Photo courtesy of Valley Animal Hospital
Powdered medical gloves, such as this supply at a veterinary hospital in New Jersey, must be thrown away to comply with a federal ban that takes effect this month.

Powdered medical gloves are going the way of powdered wigs.

A once ubiquitous staple of doctors, powdered gloves are being thrown out of exam and operating rooms by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as of Jan. 18. The reason: The powder poses a variety of risks to wearers, patients and even bystanders.

The dangers include severe airway inflammation from inhaling the powder; wound inflammation and post-surgical adhesions from contact with the powder; and respiratory allergic reactions from breathing powder that carries proteins from natural rubber latex gloves. The most common type of powder used in gloves is cornstarch, according to the FDA.

The coming ban is absolute — there’s no grace period for using up existing supplies. “[T]he risks of illness or injury to individuals who are currently exposed to these devices is [as] equally unreasonable and substantial as it would be for future individuals that might be exposed to powdered gloves,” the FDA stated in a March 22, 2016, Federal Register notice proposing the ban. The ban was made final on Dec. 19.

Although glove use in veterinary medicine is not explicitly mentioned in the FDA rule, the prohibition applies in the veterinary sphere, too, an agency spokeswoman confirmed.

“The ban applies to powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove that are already in commercial distribution and for these devices that are already sold to the ultimate user, such as small medical practices and hospitals. As such, it applies to ... gloves that are in use at veterinary practices,” the spokeswoman, Deborah Kotz, said by email.

Asked how the ban will be enforced, Kotz replied: “The FDA can take various enforcement actions, if necessary, to remove banned devices from the market, including seizure of the product, civil money penalties or criminal prosecution.”

She declined to say what criminal charges could be brought, or the potential size of fines.

The FDA recommends unused inventories of gloves be disposed of like any community solid waste, which usually is by burial in a landfill or by incineration.

Dr. Bruce Henderson, hospital director of Valley Animal Hospital in Clifton, New Jersey, estimates that his practice has $150 worth of powdered gloves in stock. “I’m just going to pitch them all in the garbage and buy new ones,” he said in a message-board discussion  on the Veterinary Information Network, an online community for the profession.

Henderson said he wouldn’t want to risk creating a situation in which employees claim harm from the use of banned gloves. Moreover, he’s already largely made the transition to powder-free gloves and prefers them.

“My associate requested non-powdered gloves when she started working here a few years ago, so we switched over. I like the non-powdered way better!!” he wrote on VIN.

Henderson explained by email that he likes not getting powder all over himself when he removes the gloves.

Some veterinarians are less enthused about switching.

VIN News Service photo
Dr. Karen Vanderloo, a practitioner in Wisconsin, has been dissatisfied so far with powder-less gloves. She hopes her clinic will find other styles that work better. “I’m sure we’ll all get used to the new gloves eventually,” she said.

Dr. Karen Vanderloo, a veterinarian at Oregon Veterinary Clinic near Madison, Wisconsin, is unimpressed with the performance of non-powdered gloves.

“Anticipating the change, we got a shipment of the powder-free gloves about six to eight weeks ago, and the general consensus was not favorable,” she told the VIN News Service by email. “They’re more difficult to put on, especially immediately after scrub prep before surgery, and because of the rolled cuff, are harder to put on in sterile fashion — the rolled edge keeps folding/rolling on itself.”

Other practitioners cite the difficulty of donning powder-less gloves with sweaty hands. That’s one advantage of powdered gloves, the FDA noted. “The benefits of powdered gloves appear to only include greater ease of donning and doffing, decreased tackiness and a degree of added comfort …” the agency stated in its notice of the final rule.

These benefits, the FDA concluded, “are nominal when compared to the risks posed by these devices.”

Long history of problems

The use of lubricant powders in surgical gloves dates to the late 19th century. At the time, the powders consisted of the spores of Lycopodium, an evergreen herb also known as club moss.

“By the 1930s, Lycopodium powder was recognized to cause wound granulomas and adhesion formation and was replaced by talcum powder (chemically, hydrous magnesium silicate) … In the 1940s, talcum powder (talc) was also recognized to be a cause of postoperative adhesions and granuloma formation. In 1947, modified cornstarch powder was introduced ...” according to the FDA.

Despite changes in powder type, problems persisted. In 1997, FDA issued a Medical Glove Powder Report that described the risks of glove powder and the state of the medical-glove market. Because no good alternatives to powdered gloves existed at the time, the agency opted not to ban them: “The report concluded that banning powdered gloves in 1997 would cause a market shortage of medical gloves, which could result in inferior glove products and increased costs to the U.S. health care system …”

Public pressure caused the FDA to revisit the issue some years later. Between 2008 and 2011, the agency received three petitions asking it to ban the use of cornstarch powder on latex and synthetic surgical and examining gloves.

One of the petitions accompanied a report published by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine in 2009 discussing the dangers of cornstarch powder on medical gloves. The authors stated that Germany banned surgical glove cornstarch powder in 1997, and that the United Kingdom’s purchasing and supply agency stopped purchasing gloves lubricated with cornstarch in 2000.

In 2011, the FDA put out a call for public comments on the risks and benefits of powdered gloves.

The agency also considered issuing a formal warning about the risks of gloves, but, as explained in the rule finalizing the ban, concluded that warning labels would be inadequate:

“[P]atients often do not know the type of gloves being worn by the health-care professional treating them, but are still exposed to the potential dangers. Similarly, glove powder’s ability to aerosolize and carry NRL (natural rubber latex) proteins exposes individuals to harm via inhalation or surface contact. Thus, some of the risks posed by glove powder can impact persons completely unaware or unassociated with its employment and without the opportunity to consider the devices’ labeling.”

Perhaps just as compellingly, the agency now believes that the market easily can handle the switch. “Our searches … revealed that the market is saturated with alternatives to powdered gloves, resulting in downward pressure on the prices of non-powdered gloves. In addition, the share of powdered medical gloves sales has been declining since at least 2000, while total sales of all disposable medical gloves have increased.”

Glove manufacturers largely have supported phasing out powder. In an interview published by the magazine Infection Control Today in late 2015, representatives of several manufacturers said unequivocally that the health concerns are valid. They also said alternative gloves are abundantly available. A representative of Halyard Health (formerly Kimberly-Clark Health Care) said her company sells only non-powdered exam gloves. Medline Industries' representative said his company offers 20 different powder-free options with synthetic polymer coatings inside the gloves to make donning and double-gloving easier.

Henry Schein, a leading distributor of medical, dental and veterinary supplies, states on its website that it carries “a wide selection of powder-free latex medical exam gloves manufactured by reputable companies,” and names seven makers plus its own private-label brand.

The FDA cites statistics suggesting that the timing of the ban should be no trouble for the vast majority of practitioners: “[R]ecent projections of annual gloves sales indicate that at least 93 percent of medical providers have switched to non-powdered gloves.”

The FDA notes that while manufacturers will be prohibited as of Jan. 18 from importing powdered gloves, they may export powdered gloves to countries where they are lawful. The agency does not address the ethics of exporting products that it has judged to present an unacceptable health risk.

VIN News Service staff writers Christy Corp-Minamiji and Phyllis DeGioia contributed to this report.

Washington, D.C., January 5, 2017 -- Today is Born Free USA’s 15th annual National Bird Day: a day to raise awareness for wild and captive birds everywhere.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation: “We want to use this day to remind the public that birds belong in the wild. They do not deserve to be bred in captivity in unregulated, often miserable conditions. They deserve to fly and not be traded and sold as pets where they spend their lives in cages, and where people cannot possibly meet the complicated needs of a bird.”

National Bird Day is a time to celebrate birds for the true wild animals they are,” Roberts adds.

Born Free USA’s facts about birds:

  1. How many species of birds are there? There's no single correct or universally agreed-upon number, and that's because there is more than one definition of "species." By one definition, there are 18,000-20,000 bird species; by another definition, there are only half that.
  2. Blackbird singing in the dead of night. "Blackbird," a song on the Beatles' White Album, is said to have been inspired by the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
  3. The Birds. Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film The Birds employed live birds in many scenes. To attract the birds, actors often had ground meat or fish smeared on their hands.
  4. Indeed, a very Big Bird. Big Bird, a beloved character on the children's program Sesame Street, debuted in 1969. He is 8 feet 2 inches (249 cm) tall.
  5. Keep on Rockin'! The common pigeon we see in cities around the world (and sometimes in rural or wilderness areas) used to be called the Rock Dove, but it's now called the Rock Pigeon. It's a feral, domesticated variation of the wild type found in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
  6. Edgar Allen Poe's famous narrative poem, "The Raven," was first published in The Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845.
  7. Now, that's old! Parrot fossils have been found that date back as far as 60 million years.
  8. The bald eagle. The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States, but Benjamin Franklin had originally argued that the turkey would have been a more appropriate symbol.
  9. This is what is sounds like. Prince's 1984 song "When Doves Cry" stayed at number one on the Billboard Music Chart for five weeks, keeping Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" from reaching the top spot.
  10. Kept captive around the world... Turacos and louries—long-tailed, medium-sized birds—are only found in the wild in Africa, but we commonly see them in zoos.
  11. Beep, beep! Looney Tunes characters The Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote debuted in 1949. Their adversarial relationship was inspired in part by Tom and Jerry.
  12. The bird is the word. "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen was released in 1964. The song regained fame and notoriety after it was featured in a television episode of Family Guy.
  13. I smell an advantage for this owl. Great Horned Owls are found in every mainland state and Canadian province—and they have a really bad sense of smell! But, that's good for them, because a major prey species for this owl is the skunk. The skunk's best defense, a foul-smelling spray from their anal scent glands, does not deter the Great Horned Owl. Museum specimens of the owls, decades old, often retain traces of the skunk odor!
  14. The Last Suppers. In his two frescos of "The Last Supper," painted in Florence in 1480 and 1482, Renaissance artist Domenico Ghirlandaio prominently featured flying peacocks. Art historians believe the peacocks are meant to emphasize the "Oriental" setting of the Last Supper scene.
  15. And, a partridge in a pear tree. In the song "The 12 Days of Christmas," a holiday season standard, the singer's true love gives her 364 gifts—184 of which are birds.

For more information on how to celebrate the wildness of all birds and help birds in captivity, please visit For bird owners looking for support, visit

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at,, and


Dear Jon,

As 2017 begins and we ring in the new year, you’ll be pleased to know we have signed copies of this year’s official Doris Day calendar up for auction on eBay. This year we have only 10 signed calendars for auction, so click here to bid now.

These calendars, in the special collector’s A3 size (12" x 17"), are a very limited edition – only 12 copies were pressed worldwide! The Doris Day Animal Foundation has 10 of the 12 up for auction, and they have been personally hand-signed by Doris Day. And, as in years before, all proceeds will benefit DDAF, so please bid generously.

All images featured in this year's calendar were professionally scanned and restored from original photographic prints, transparencies or negatives.

This auction will run for seven days, with 10 winners to be determined on January 10, 2017.  So be sure to watch the bidding carefully. Click here now to get in on the fun!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year.

The DDAF Team

empowered by Salsa

Review written by Jon Patch with 3 out of 4 paws


Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment and Hammer & Tongs present a PG, 108 minute, Animation, Drama, Comedy, directed by Garth Jennings and Christophe Loudelet, written by Jennings with a theater release date of December 21, 2016.

Talkin' Pets News


Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jeremy Miller

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - Hour 1 - Gail Miller Bisher - Director of Communications - Westminster Kennel Club


Washington, D.C., December 15, 2016 -- As 2016 draws to a close, Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has released a round-up of its top 10 successes for animals this year. According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Despite significant national and international challenges, we have seen momentous gains for wildlife this year on issues from performing animals, to fur in fashion, to international wildlife trafficking. There is growing public awareness and momentum to stop the abuses animals face when they are held captive, or trapped, or poached for profit. Born Free USA’s successes for animals in 2016 inspire us to fight harder to build upon these gains and ensure that 2017 is an even better year for wildlife around the world.”   

International Wildlife Conservation. In the fall, a Born Free USA delegation attended the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg, South Africa. CITES Parties approved decisions and enacted measures to increase protection for several imperiled species. Born Free USA helped secure recommendations on the long-term conservation of cheetahs, including efforts to stop the illegal trade in the species; succeeded in getting CITES Parties to consider the threats facing African wild dogs for the first time; and helped stop attempts to reopen the elephant ivory and rhino horn trades. Born Free USA also played an important role in securing the adoption of a prohibition of commercial trade in all eight pangolin species.

Fur for the Animals Campaign. Born Free USA’s annual Fur for the Animals campaign—a donation drive to collect fur coats, hats, and other items to send to wildlife rehabilitators to comfort orphaned and injured animals—made international headlines this year. Since September 2016, Born Free USA has collected more than 1,000 fur item donations: more than double the donations from 2015. To date, the three-year program has received more than 1,600 fur donations, worth an estimated $3.5M, from more than 54,000 animals killed for their fur.

Debate about Whether Hunters Conserve Wildlife. In the spring, at a nationally-broadcasted live debate in New York, Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts, and President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, successfully argued that trophy hunting depletes wild animal populations; that it occurs in countries in which governments set non-science-based quotas; and that the millions of dollars spent on these violent “thrill kills” do not promote conservation. Roberts and Pacelle won, convincing 65% of the audience that hunting does not conserve wildlife.

Undercover Trapping Report. Five years after the release of Born Free USA’s groundbreaking undercover trapping investigation, Victims of Vanity, the organization released Victims of Vanity II in September. This investigation focuses on trapping that takes place on private, public, and protected lands in New York and Iowa. The footage exposes the brutal world of trapping, documenting everyday trapping practices that are shockingly cruel and dangerous—and which are sometimes illegal. The compelling investigation is being used to push for bans on trapping on federal and state public lands.

Report to Expose Online Sales of Exotic Pets. In October, Born Free USA released a report titled Downloading Cruelty: An Investigation into the Online Sales of Exotic Pets in the U.S. The research confirmed the enormous quantity of exotic animals advertised on the internet; at least 3,706 individual exotic animals across 1,816 unique ads were listed for sale during a three-month period. The locations of these ads situated sellers in 49 states and Washington, D.C., and the species for sale were highly diverse. The report is being used to demand greater accountability from the classified ad websites, and stronger state and federal laws to crack down on the online exotic pet trade.

Banning Weapons Used on Elephants in Traveling Shows. Born Free USA successfully worked with coalitions in Rhode Island and California to pass legislation prohibiting the use of weapons designed to inflict pain on elephants in traveling shows. These precedent-setting laws will ensure that elephant trainers can no longer use these brutal tools, like the bullhook: a long, thick pole with a sharp metal hook attached to the end that trainers often embed into the soft tissue of elephants. Born Free USA also worked with a New York City coalition on an ordinance to prohibit the use of performing exotic animals within the city, including testifying at a hearing in October. Born Free USA Program Associate Kate Dylewsky told the council: “There are plentiful alternatives to shows that feature animals, and neither the economic strength nor the vibrant culture of New York City will suffer a loss from this law.” Born Free USA will continue pushing New York City aggressively to adopt this bill.

Trapping Legislation Introduced. In June, Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act (H.R. 5560): a bill that would ban the import, export, and interstate commerce of steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps. In September, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced H.R. 5954: the Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping (LIFT) for Public Safety Act. This bill would ban trapping on all lands managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It would also prohibit these federal personnel from using traps in the line of duty. Born Free USA assisted these efforts by providing information on U.S. trapping and calling on members of Congress to support the legislation after it was introduced. 

Armani Goes Fur Free. In April, luxury fashion icon Giorgio Armani announced the brand would eliminate the use of real fur beginning with its 2016 Fall/Winter line. Armani committed to this humane, fur free policy after working with the Fur Free Alliance, which includes Born Free USA. By committing to a fur free policy, Armani joins other high-end brands (such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Stella McCartney) and acknowledges the ethical concerns of a new generation of fashion consumers.

Strengthening Protection of African Manatees. Illegal trade, bycatch, poaching, and human population growth are increasing threats for the fewer than 10,000 African manatees ranging in West and Central Africa. In some regions, the species is reported as being close to extinct. Local communities urgently need to understand the role they can play in its conservation. In July, Born Free USA joined forces with other groups to distribute posters throughout West Africa to educate citizens in manatee Range States about the threats affecting the species and about the need to end the illegal trade in manatee products

New Accommodations for Primates—and New Primates. In November 2015, a crew began the intensive process of creating new enclosures at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas. In March 2016, the enclosures were ready to be occupied by monkeys. These new enclosures contain necessary shade along with climbing and loafing structures. Each enclosure has its own propane-heated cinderblock house for inclement weather. The windows open, as well, so they will provide comfort in the summer heat. We also accepted new sanctuary residents, including two monkeys from biomedical research and one from a private owner who kept the vervet as a “pet.” Additionally, one of our resident monkeys from a zoo was released into the main 56-acre enclosure after a nearly year-long rehabilitation program.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation," the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at,, and

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