Displaying items by tag: california

California retains first place; South Dakota holds last

(Jan. 15, 2013)—The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, has released its fourth annual “Humane State Ranking” report, a comprehensive analysis of animal protection laws in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The HSUS graded states on the strength of a wide range of animal protection laws, including public policies dealing with animal cruelty and fighting, pets, wildlife, equines, animals in research, and farm animals.

California earned first place for the fourth year in a row, while South Dakota remained in last place. Ohio was the most improved state, leaping ahead in the ranks by passing laws regulating puppy mills and the private possession of dangerous wild animals. To see the complete 2012 Humane State Rankings, click here.

“Members of The Humane Society of the United States want to know what their state lawmakers are doing to improve animal welfare. Our Humane State Ranking report demonstrates which states are falling behind important protections for animals, and which states are leading in the effort to create a more humane and civil society,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “Ohio made great progress, but the Dakotas are lagging badly and are clearly out of step with so much of the rest of the country when it comes to animal welfare policies. Animal protection matters to Americans, and our laws must line up with our values.”

California stayed on top for the fourth year in a row by passing a number of new laws, including a law banning the hound hunting of bears and bobcats. Other top states are Massachusetts (tied for second place) for passing a law allowing pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders, and banning gas chambers for euthanasia; Illinois (tied for second place) for passing a ban on shark fin products; Oregon (fourth place); New Jersey (tied for fifth place) for passing a horse slaughter ban; and Maine (tied for fifth place).

South Dakota earned the lowest score (51st place). Other states near the bottom include Idaho (50th place), Mississippi (49th place), North Dakota (48th place) and South Carolina (47th place).

South Dakota and North Dakota received especially low marks in part because they are the only two states in the country with no felony-level penalties for malicious acts of animal cruelty. North Dakota could have pulled ahead this year, but voters rejected a ballot measure to increase penalties for egregious acts of animal cruelty on the November 2012 ballot, keeping the state squarely at the bottom of the list.

In 2012, The HSUS helped pass 74 new laws and regulations to protect animals and helped to defeat more than 100 harmful measures.

The ranking was based on 75 different animal protection issues in 10 major animal protection categories including: animal fighting; animal cruelty; wildlife abuse; exotic pets; companion animals; use of animals in research; farm animals; fur and trapping; puppy mills, and equine protection.

20th Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures and Walden Media present a PG, 97 minute, based on a true story, sport, drama, directed by Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson, screenplay by Kario Salem and story by Jim Meenaghan with a theater release date of October 26, 2012.

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) August 22, 2012—The AVMA strongly condemns recently released video showing the inhumane treatment of cows at a California slaughterhouse and is calling for stricter adherence to humane animal handling guidelines and standards.

The AVMA labeled the abuse, which includes cows being pulled by their tails, kicked, and repeatedly shocked, as indefensible and deplorable.

“Once again, we are confronted with video showing unacceptable and inhumane treatment of livestock by those responsible for their care,” said Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA. “We hope that those responsible are brought to justice, and that their punishment will serve as a reminder that this type of abuse will not be tolerated by either veterinarians or the American public.”

The undercover video, taped in June at Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford, Calif., was shot by an animal rights group. Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended operations at the facility on Monday, and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is conducting an investigation into the allegations.

In addition to investigating the inhumane and improper handling of cattle by facility employees, and the potential food safety risks associated with that handling, the AVMA urges the USDA to investigate whether or not the USDA-FSIS inspectors at the facility were providing adequate oversight. Anyone complicit in this unacceptable treatment of animals needs to be held accountable.

Dr. Gail Golab, director of the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Division, emphasized the association’s zero-tolerance approach toward animal cruelty.

“People working with animals have a responsibility to ensure they are treated humanely; this includes workers on the floor as well as management in the corner office,” Dr. Golab said. “They also have a responsibility to stop—and prevent—this type of cruelty toward animals.

“Animal welfare is an AVMA priority, and we have worked hard to encourage the use of sound animal care practices in all types of facilities. Good animal care means making sure that animals are cared for and handled appropriately at all times. The AVMA simply will not tolerate bad behavior toward animals,” Dr. Golab said.

The AVMA urges law enforcement authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and to prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

The AVMA has long-standing policies addressing the appropriate care and handling of animals used for agricultural production. They are available for review at https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/AnimalWelfare/Pages/Animal-Welfare-Policy-statements.aspx.

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The AVMA and its more than 82,500 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org for more information.

Oakland, CA - In recent months, Zookeepers have been on baby watch, welcoming hundreds of animals to the Oakland Zoo collection. Baby animals include big and small creatures: a squirrel monkey, 100+ milky frog tadpoles, 100+ mini millipedes, eighteen spiny lizards, nine spotted turtles, and three baby wallaroos (joeys). Each of the babies receives care specialized to its needs. Sometimes mothers know best, while other instances require a zookeeper’s intervention.

Information About New Baby Animals

It was a scary start for a baby squirrel monkey, born on June 14. Mother, Peepers, was showing signs of distress after giving birth and started bleeding from a life threatening infection. Veterinary staff monitored her and performed an emergency hysterectomy to save her life. During the surgery, zookeepers carefully tended to the baby.

Baby squirrel monkeys have a psychological need to cling to fur and be constantly moving, so we placed the baby on a stuffed animal and rocked it constantly throughout the time the baby was separated from its mother,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager.

The surgery was a success; Peepers was reunited with her baby and began nursing immediately.

Nature also created miraculous moments behind-the-scenes of the Reptile and Amphibian Room. During the month of June, more than 100 milky frog babies hatched. This type of frog can lay up to 200 eggs at a time. The eggs are separated from the adult frogs as soon as possible. Keepers monitor the tadpoles as they grow legs and develop into tiny froglets (process takes approximately four weeks). The babies are kept off exhibit until they are large enough to fend for themselves, and not become dinner for adult frogs.

Multiples of millipedes hatched behind-the-scenes of the bug house. Right now, zoo keepers are keeping track of more than 100 tiny millipedes that require more work than one might realize. The eggs are laid in moist rotting soil or in rotting food. They are the size of a piece of bird seed and are white. After a few weeks, they hatch into very small white millipedes, gradually turn brown, and take nearly three years to develop into adults. Once adults, they can grow to about ten inches in length.

On the tiny spectrum of animals, eighteen spiny lizards were born this spring. Spiny lizards are live bearing and precocious, so they do not need a lot of specialized care. Zookeepers remove them from the exhibit to prevent the gila monsters from eating the tiny lizards for lunch and because they need require a different diet than the adults. It is critical the animals receive UVA/UVB lighting during their development; therefore, special lighting is used over their enclosures.

“Breeding reptiles is very hard and detailed work, but it is very rewarding to increase the numbers of these species in captivity,” said Adam Fink, ZooKeeper.

Baby turtles aren’t as easy to care for as lizards. Currently, zookeepers are raising nine spotted turtle babies. Turtle eggs are placed into an incubator, with close attention placed on watching temperature and humidity. The sex of a turtle is determined by the temperature at which the egg is incubated; therefore, zookeepers are careful with the male to female ratio when incubating eggs. Once hatched, the tiny turtles need very specific food during their development. Like the lizards, turtles require UVA/UVB lighting for bone and shell development.

Three joeys that started out very small, the size of kidney beans, are now being seen inside and outside of their mothers’ pouches. With birthdates estimated in November, February, and April, visitors are able to see the three babies while riding the Outback Express Adventure train through the Wild Australia section of the Zoo. Joeys are born blind and helpless, beginning in their mother’s Cloaca, then to the pouch, where they crawl in and latch onto a nipple. It takes nearly six months before the joeys start peeking outside the pouch. At this age of development they also resemble their parents and begin making appearances outside of the pouch.

“The nice thing about having such a large exhibit is that it allows the animals to behave as they naturally would,” said Lorraine Peters, ZooKeeper. The joeys in pouches don’t peek out too often; however, our train drivers will point them out whenever possible. Right now, we’ve got one starting to peek out and I’ll bet she’s out completely within a couple weeks.

Baby Maggie, a reticulated giraffe, born in January at eighty pounds and seventy-two inches is still very popular at the Zoo among visitors. She enjoys playing with her older brother on exhibit and is very active throughout the day. Behind-the-scenes, ZooKeepers, Amy and Sara, are working with Maggie to get her used to ZooKeepers. They are training her to wear a halter, so she is not afraid should she need a veterinary procedure. Keepers use a whistle, a target, and treats to train Maggie.

Three baby river otters (two males and one female) born in February are now nearly the size of their parents. The babies are extremely active and rambunctious and enjoy playing with their parents and their siblings. Older sister Tallulah has taken a special interest in helping her mother care for the juveniles which will be great practice for her when she is ready to start her own family.

“Raising baby otters is fun and challenging,” said Andrea Dougall, ZooKeeper. “It has taught me a lot and been a great learning experience.”

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.

The East Bay Zoological Society has managed and operated both the Zoo and surrounding Knowland Park for the City of Oakland since 1982. Under its management, the Oakland Zoo presents an award-winning experience for visitors, fosters knowledge and understanding of animals and the environment through educational programs, and has earned national awards and international acclaim for its animal management and endangered species programs. Over the years, exhibit by exhibit, the Oakland Zoo has been reinvigorated and revitalized, making it a place where animals thrive and visitors enjoy. For more information, please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org. ###

 

Oakland, CA – Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, has awarded the Oakland Zoo the prestigious 4-star rating for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. The Oakland Zoo is currently the only zoo in California with such a high rating and is one of only eleven in the country to have four-stars.

"We are honored to receive Charity Navigator’s highest rating”, said Steve Kane, Chair of the East Bay Zoological Society Board of Trustees. “This distinction reflects our accountability to all our constituencies and commitment to remain true to our mission of education and conservation."

Charity Navigator works to help charitable givers make intelligent giving decisions by providing information on more than five thousand charities nationwide and by evaluating their financial health. It calculates each charity’s score based upon several broad criteria, including how much is spent per dollar raised, what percentage of funds goes to programs vs. administrative and fund-raising expenses, and the organization’s long-term financial health. It then assigns a rating from one to four, with four being the best rating.

Dr. Joel Parrott, Executive Director of the Oakland Zoo remarked “This high rating coupled with the Oakland Zoo’s growing reputation highlights our focus on good stewardship of charitable contributions and maintaining the public trust.”

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.

The East Bay Zoological Society has managed and operated both the Zoo and surrounding Knowland Park for the City of Oakland since 1982. Under its management, the Oakland Zoo presents an award-winning experience for visitors, fosters knowledge and understanding of animals and the environment through educational programs, and has earned national awards and international acclaim for its animal management and endangered species programs. Over the years, exhibit by exhibit, the Oakland Zoo has been reinvigorated and revitalized, making it a place where animals thrive and visitors enjoy. For more information, please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.

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(SCHAUMBURG, Ill.) April 24, 2012— The American Veterinary Medical Association today released the following statement in response to the detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a dairy cow from central California.

“The finding of this BSE-positive cow is not particularly surprising, and it is certainly no cause for alarm,” said Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “It is not surprising because we have known for several years that there is a very low prevalence of BSE in our nation’s cattle population. USDA has maintained a good, targeted surveillance program for the disease, and it is expected that we might find such cases periodically.

“This finding is not cause for alarm because the tissues of any infected cows that pose a food safety risk, i.e., specified risk materials or SRMs, have been kept out of the human food supply since early 2004. What this finding does confirm is that the safeguards put in place by the USDA several years ago are working as they are intended.”

Dr. DeHaven is a past Administrator of APHIS and was USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer in Dec 2003 when the initial case of BSE was found in the US.

For more information, please visit, www.avma.org.

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The AVMA and its more than 78,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org for more information

 Los Angeles, Calif., March 7, 2012 – Animal advocates from Stray Cat Alliance, a national nonprofit advocacy organization for the humane care, rescue and protection of cats, continues to pressure officials in Sacramento regarding California Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to repeal provisions of the Hayden Law, which will put pets in California's animal shelters in danger.
 
Stray Cat Alliance met with the governor’s finance staff last week to discuss the repeal, explain the consequences for animals, and present a petition with 13,500+ names and comments from SCA supporters against the proposed repeal.
 
"We don’t believe the Governor's office understands this issue fully yet, and how dire the future will be for animals if it is permanently repealed," said Stray Cat Alliance executive director Christi Metropole. "Californians need to keep up the pressure and explain this is precedent-setting law that saves lives and saves tax dollars."
 
The Hayden Law, introduced in 1998 by then-State Senator Tom Hayden, allowed families more time to recover lost pets and made California shelters more accountable to animals in their care. The Hayden Law reimburses shelters for expenses related to holding animals longer than 72 hours to give families reasonable time to reclaim lost pets, give animals a better chance for adoption, provide veterinary care if needed, and other provisions.
 
Brown’s plan for permanent repeal eliminates these safeguards entirely, even though the law was suspended in 2009 due to financial constraints and there is currently no cost to the state. A repeal also eliminates the possibility that the mandate can simply be reinstated in the future when the economy improves.
 
Advocates point to the success of the law in reducing the number of cats and dogs killed in shelters. At the time the law was enacted, shelters killed more than 570,000 cats and dogs per year. Following Hayden, these numbers were reduced to around 400,000. In 2009, when the law was suspended, kill rates increased again.
 
"Thanks to misinformation and erroneous assumptions, the governor's office has been led to believe that the Hayden Law incentivizes killing, but nothing could be further from the truth," said Metropole. "Even though it doesn’t make fiscal sense to even suspend Hayden, we are not asking for it to be reinstated right now. We are asking for them to just continue the suspension. It’s literally a matter of life and death."
 
SCA asks Californians to call Governor Brown's office, members of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee and other key officials to state their opposition to repealing any part of the Hayden Law. The organization continues to request signatures on its petition.
 
On the same trip, Metropole and other activists also met with Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), who has a long history of working on animal issues, to come up with other, long-term solutions to the problem.
 
At a press conference held tomorrow morning at Los Angeles City Hall, Metropole and other SCA members will join 5th District Councilman Paul Koretz to address media about the City’s opposition to the repeal. The press conference begins at 9:00 a.m.in the Council Media Room (third floor behind Council Chambers).
 
Next Tuesday, Stray Cat Alliance will join HSUS, Last Chance for Animals, and other national organizations to continue lobbying on behalf of California pets and attend a budget subcommittee meeting March 13 at 1:30 p.m. in Capitol Room 447.
 
About Stray Cat Alliance
Stray Cat Alliance works for a no-kill nation, where every cat has a right to be safe, healthy and valued. Since 2000, it has empowered hundreds of volunteers and thousands of community members to care for more than 75,000 cats in need. Stray Cat Alliance performs no-cost Trap/Neuter/Return (T/N/R), advocacy, and other health services, and runs an adoption program in Southern California, and has placed thousands of cats in homes. Stray Cat Alliance advocates humane care and protection of free roaming community cats, supports the reduction of kill rates for cats in shelters today, and helps communities develop cost-effective spay/neuter programs of their own. See www.StrayCatAlliance.org for more information.
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 Oakland, CA, March 7, 2012.... On Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 11:00am, Dr. Joel Parrott, President & CEO of Oakland Zoo, will be surrounded by supporters, friends of the Zoo, volunteers, and staff as a new giraffe barn is unveiled. The Zoo’s new 1500 square-foot barn will accommodate a herd of nine giraffe. “Benefiting the animals should always be our clear goal,” stated Oakland Zoo Zoological Manager Michelle Jeffries. “With the help of Oakland Zoo supporters, new facilities like this barn become a reality.” Thanks to contributors, led by Robin Reynolds and George Zimmer, funding was made available to raise the roof for the Zoo’s nine reticulated giraffe.

The new barn is designed to better accommodate the animals and their specific needs – twenty-five foot ceilings, a birthing area, space for medical procedures, two large doors specially designed to create a round-about where animals can shift easily in and out of the barn, and a floor made out of materials best suited for hoof stock. The new barn replaces old structures that were outdated and need of repair. The Zoo is still seeking additional funding for medical equipment needed for the giraffes' medical care. For information on making a donation, please contact Emma Lee Twitchell, Oakland Zoo's Development Director at (510) 632-9525, ext 153.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.

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Warner Bros. Pictures, Silver Pictures and Green Hat Films present an R rated, 88 minute, comedy directed by Nima Nourizadeh, written by Matt Drake and Michael Bacall with a theatrical release date of March 2, 2012.

After more than 27,000 sign online petition, Gov. Brown allows AB 376 to become law


SACRAMENTO, CA - Governor Jerry Brown signed the California shark fin ban, AB 376, into law on Friday, making California the the fourth state to pass a ban on the sale of shark fins.

Shark finning is a process by which fishermen catch sharks, slice off their fins and tails, then throw the fish back into the water to die. Up to 73 million sharks are killed through finning every year, pushing some shark populations to decline by as much as 90 percent in recent years. About 85 percent of U.S. shark fin consumption occurs in California.

The bill’s passage marks a huge win for the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance (APA Alliance), an organization that formed to give voice to Asian Americans who support the ban on the sale of shark fins. Bill Wong, a member of the APA Alliance, recruited
more than 25,000 people to join a campaign on Change.org calling for passage of the ban. The APA Alliance was one of the bill’s sponsors, organized call-in days, and was instrumental in pushing Gov. Brown to support AB 376.

"We applaud Governor Brown for signing AB 376,” said Bill Wong, creator of
the petition on Change.org and member of the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance. “It puts California at the forefront of the global effort to save sharks led by a broad coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, conservationists, animal rights activists, commercial fishermen, business leaders and artists. The passage of this bill may just be the tipping point that will preserve the shark species and the ocean ecosystem."

AB 376 passed in the state senate in early September, giving Governor Brown until October 9th to either veto the legislation or sign it into law. Despite lobbyists for fin importers and the restaurant industry pressuring Gov. Brown to veto AB 376, he signed the bill into law on October 7th.

“The APA Alliance started a petition on Change.org in support of AB 376 even before the bill was put up for legislative proposal,” said Sarah Parsons, Senior Organizer at Change.org. “The organization has worked to build momentum for this legislation for months, successfully getting many members of the Asian American community to support AB 376. It has been encouraging to watch people from across the state come together to express their support for a shark fin ban.”

The ban goes into effect on January 1, 2012, but businesses and individuals can sell shark fins obtained before the ban went into effect until July 1, 2013. California is now the fourth U.S. state to enact a ban on the sale of shark fins, joining Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon.

To view the APA Alliance’s petition on Change.org:
http://www.change.org/petitions/join-the-apa-alliance-to-ban-shark-fin-in-california

To learn more about the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance:
http://www.apaoha.org/

For more information on Change.org, please visit:
http://www.change.org/about
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.

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