Displaying items by tag: USDA

Talkkin' Pets News

June 30, 2018

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Matt Nall - Super Pet Tampa Bay, Florida

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer / Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guests - Lisa Ward, Co-Director of Education at Maddie's Fund will join Jon and Talkin' Pets June 30, 2018 at 635pm EST to discuss The Million Cat Challenge

Debbie Guardian, President and Founder of Opie & Dixie will join Jon and Talkin' Pets June 30, 2018 at 720pm EST to discuss and give away her 100% natural organic Paw Balm

Talkin' Pets News

May 26, 2018

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Katy Meyer - Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Services

Producer - Daisy Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer / Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - Vicki L. Thayer DVM, DABVP (feline) Winn Feline Foundation/Executive Director, will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 5/25/18 at 721pm ET to her organization and the 2018 Joint Scholarship Recipients

Talkin' Pets News

March 17, 2018

Host - Jon Patch (The birthday boy today)

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestrial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - Dr. Mitsie Vargas, author of Alt-Vet: The Revolutionary Pet Care and Longevity Solution by Dr. Vargas will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 03/17/18 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away her new book

 

Animal Protection Coalition continues fight for transparency

 

SAN FRANCISCO – Today the Animal Legal Defense Fund appealed a court’s recent decision to dismiss its lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for removing tens of thousands of animal welfare records from the agency’s website. As the preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is leading the challenge to the information blackout with a coalition of animal protection groups including Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, Companion Animal Protection Society and Animal Folks.

The coalition filed suit in February 2017 arguing that the USDA’s decision to remove the records previously posted in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) database violates both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). United States District Judge William H. Orrick dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that FOIA does not provide a remedy to enforce the government’s obligation to publish certain types of records.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s claims under the APA were also dismissed. The APA authorizes courts to set aside agency actions if they are "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law" if there is no adequate alternative remedy available elsewhere in the law. Without addressing whether the USDA’s action was arbitrary or capricious, the court dismissed the APA claim on the basis that FOIA provides an adequate remedy because coalition members could submit a traditional FOIA request to the USDA for records. But obtaining animal welfare records through traditional FOIA requests significantly burdens countless animal protection organizations and other agencies. Records which were previously immediately accessible at no cost now require each individual organization to manage voluminous FOIA requests that take several months or even years to process, not to mention the possibility of large fees.

The removed documents revealed inhumane treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, roadside zoos and puppy mills across the country. The coalition used these records to advocate for stronger animal protection policies, confront the USDA over inadequate regulation of substandard facilities, supply evidence for law enforcement action and build legal cases against especially egregious violators.

In August, the USDA unveiled a new limited database to search for inspection reports and research facility annual reports. However, the documents posted have significant information redacted, including the name of some of the permitted facilities, and does not provide previously included information such as animal inventories. To date, the USDA also continues to withhold important enforcement action records such as administrative complaints and official warning letters

“The USDA cites our lawsuit in its announcement of a new public database, so they recognize the importance of providing animal welfare information,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “However, the USDA continues to withhold important information under the new system—which is insufficient.”

The organizations are represented pro bono by Margaret Kwoka, Associate Professor at University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

For more information visit, aldf.org.

###

About the Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Animal Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, the Animal Legal Defense Fund files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visit aldf.org.

Third bill this month involving animal traps

Washington, D.C., March 28, 2017 -- Today, Born Free USA announced its support for the introduction yesterday of the Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping (LIFT) Act (H.R. 1727) in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). This bill would not only prohibit all officials and contractors of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using leghold traps, Conibear traps, and snares in the line of duty, but would also ban the use or possession of such traps on all land managed by the DOI or USDA. The bill includes limited exceptions, including for endangered species protection and invasive species control, but requires non-lethal management methods to be used and documented first.

The reintroduction of this bill comes within the same month as the reintroduction of the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 1438, introduced March 8) and the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act (H.R. 1629, introduced March 20).

According to Jennifer Place, Program Associate for Born Free USA, “Steel-jaw leghold traps, snares, and Conibear traps are exceedingly cruel and dangerously indiscriminate. They have no place on land set aside to preserve our wildlife and vast expanses of wilderness. They also have no place in the wildlife management toolbox. These devices are archaic, brutal, and ineffective. While they kill tens of thousands of animals, they do not solve the underlying human/wildlife conflict, and instead frequently exacerbate that conflict. It is time to eliminate the use of these traps on federal lands and by federal employees.”

“In Oregon and across the country, pets and wild animals fall victim to the indiscriminate cruelty of inhumane body-gripping traps,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “I am reintroducing the LIFT Act to require federal agencies to prioritize use of humane methods, and to stop the use of cruel traps on public lands, including by USDA’s Wildlife Services.”

The LIFT Act would prevent USDA Wildlife Services from using any injurious or lethal trap in the line of duty. Wildlife Services routinely kills two million to five million animals annually in the name of “wildlife management.” In 2016, the agency reported killing approximately 2.7 million animals, more than 50,000 of whom first suffered in a crushing or suffocating trap.

This vital bill would also ban the use of these traps on the nearly 700 million acres of federal public land managed by the DOI and USDA. Overseeing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Park Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Department of the Interior manages more than 500 million acres, or approximately one-fifth of all U.S. land, and 75% of all federal public land. The other 25% of federal public land is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and equates to approximately 193 million acres.

“We thank Congressman Blumenauer for his leadership and urge the swift passage of H.R. 1727 to ensure that federal tax dollars are not being used to inhumanely trap wild animals, and that all of our public spaces are safe for people, their pets, and wildlife,” Place adds.

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 www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

Lawsuit argues removal of online animal welfare records violates the Freedom of Information Act and the Administrative Procedure Act

SAN FRANSICO – Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed suit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for removing tens of thousands of animal welfare records from the agency’s website. According to the lawsuit, the USDA’s decision to remove the records violates both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The removed documents revealed inhumane treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, roadside zoos and puppy mills across the country.

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California on behalf of a coalition of animal protection organizations, contends that the USDA violated FOIA, which requires federal agencies to affirmatively disclose final orders and frequently requested records. It also argues that the USDA violated the APA, which prohibits agencies from taking actions that are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law[.]” If the coalition is successful with its claim under the APA, the USDA would be required to resume posting the records online so they are available to the public.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is joined in the lawsuit by Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, Companion Animal Protection Society and Animal Folks. The USDA’s decision to stop posting records significantly burdens the organizations because they must now manage voluminous FOIA requests to access the same records, potentially pay large fees, and wait for several months or even years to obtain records previously accessible immediately online at no cost.

Public access to these records is especially important in light of the USDA’s chronically lackadaisical enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The Office of Inspector General, an oversight division of the USDA, regularly finds that the USDA renders its enforcement of the AWA largely ineffective by not aggressively pursuing enforcement actions against substandard facilities and by significantly discounting penalties even when it does pursue enforcement action.

“The USDA itself needs oversight due to its continual failure to adequately enforce the federal Animal Welfare Act,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The information blackout is a tremendous blow to transparency and undermines advocates who are working to protect hundreds of thousands of animals across the country.”

The plaintiffs filing today’s lawsuit regularly utilized the USDA database and enforcement actions page to obtain records about the conditions of animals at facilities regulated under the AWA, such as research laboratories, puppy mills and zoos around the country. In turn, these organizations use the records to advocate for stronger animal protection policies, confront the USDA over inadequate regulation of substandard facilities, supply evidence for law enforcement action and build legal cases against especially egregious violators. The Animal Legal Defense Fund relied on these records in its groundbreaking Endangered Species Act (ESA) victory against the Cricket Hollow Animal Park (previously Cricket Hollow Zoo), a roadside zoo that cruelly confined endangered animals in inhumane conditions. It was the first victory applying the ESA to protect animals in captivity.

The organizations are represented pro bono by Margaret Kwoka, Associate Professor at University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Perkins Coie LLP.

For more information visit, aldf.org.

###

About the Animal Legal Defense Fund
The Animal Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, the Animal Legal Defense Fund files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visit aldf.org.

About the Companion Animal Protection Society
Founded in 1992, the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy/kitten mills. CAPS addresses animal suffering through investigations, legislation, education, media relations, consumer assistance, and rescue.

About Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!

SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!) is a national non-profit animal advocacy organization dedicated to the rights of all animals.  Our mission is to end the exploitation of animals imprisoned in laboratories by educating the public with the reality of what is happening inside the vivisection industry and engaging government agencies to enforce laws, issue citations, and levy fines against criminal labs.  Through in-depth investigations of laboratories and national media campaigns, SAEN exposes and ends the misery of animals.

About Animal Folks

Animal Folks is a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting the lives of animals by modernizing the animal law enforcement system in Minnesota. Animal Folks is focused on systemic change — finding new, innovative ways to prevent animal cruelty and improve how animal law is enforced throughout Minnesota. To achieve this mission, Animal Folks conducts research on animal cruelty issues and cases, creates training materials and resources, files criminal and civil complaints against abusers, and collaborates with state, local and national authorities and organizations for sustainable reforms. www.animalfolks.org.

NEW! PROBIOTIC DOG TREATS FOR ALLERGY & IMMUNE SUPPORT

Animal Nutritionist Marc Ching & Rescue Pet Foods Deliver Delicious

Fourth generation herbalist and nutritionist Marc Ching and owner of the PetStaurant has teamed up with Rescue Pet Foods to create dog treats with supplemental support. Available in two varieties including Allergy Support and Immune Support, these probiotics are essential for a healthy lifestyle, and the snacks are both a supplement and a treat!

Both formulas feature USDA human grade, restaurant quality beef, venison, organic chicken or organic turkey fortified with heat stable probiotics and organic herbs. No wheat, corn, rice, potato, soy, sugars, salt, fillers, preservatives or other harmful ingredients. The treats are non-GMO and gluten free.

“We’ve added immune boosting properties specifically targeted at improving your dog's health and resistance to illness with delicious restaurant quality meats to create a savory probiotic infused treat and vigorously healthful snack,” says Marc.

Additionally, the treats have been formulated to improve your furry friend's skin. Each bag is infused with over 100 million CFU* of friendly beneficial bacteria as well as fully absorbable Omega 3 and 6. Recommended by Veterinarians and Animal Nutritionists across the U.S., probiotics work to boost the immune system and help fight off immune invaders that can cause inflammation and other health issues.

The first of their kind, these proven Probiotic Treats are perfect for picky eaters who have allergies and skin problems or need added immune boosting benefits.

Each bag retails for $11.95. For more information please visit www.rescuepetfoods.com

 

WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Area Technical College will become the first veterinary technician teaching program in the nation to begin using the SynDaver Synthetic Canine, SynDaver Labs announced Monday.

Veterinary Technology students at WATC will begin using the Synthetic Canine during the 2017 spring semester. The SynDaver Synthetic Canine was developed by SynDaver Labs in Tampa, Florida and offers students a realistic alternative to live animals for training purposes.

“The Veterinary Technology program at WATC is ecstatic to have the first SynDaver Synthetic Canine in the state,” said Amanda Hackerott RVT Program Director – Veterinary Technology. “The SynDaver Canine is an amazingly unique piece of health-science technology and it is only fitting that the largest technical school in Kansas has it.”

The SynDaver Synthetic Canine is made of water, fiber and salt, just like a real animal. It is designed to replace live animals and animal cadavers in veterinary medicine training.

The SynDaver can breathe and bleed just like a real dog. It has individual muscles, bones, and organs. Additionally, she can be operated on repeatedly without any risk to a live animal. The USDA mandates that every attempt is made to reduce, refine or replace live animal use.

By using the SynDaver Synthetic Canine, Veterinary Technology students at WATC will be provided hands-on experience without being exposed to carcinogenic formaldehyde used to preserve dead animals. Additionally, in the past when a live animal is used in training, there is a limit to how many procedures one student can perform. With the SynDaver, there is no limit per procedure; all students will be able to practice skills as much as necessary without violating USDA regulations.

Students will also be able to practice invasive procedures that would not be as practical to perform on a live animal. This broad scope of practice while in school will help to prepare WATC students to become leaders in the veterinary medical industry.

“We’re proud to be able to make a product, which is not only going to immediately save animal lives by replacing them in training, but it will also help to train those individuals who will be responsible for saving more animal lives in the future,” said Dr. Christopher Sakezles, founder of SynDaver Labs. 

About SynDaver Labs
SynDaver Labs manufactures synthetic humans for training in schools, hospitals and military installations. SynDaver has the world’s largest database of live-tissue properties and all SynDaver tissues are made from water, salts, and fibers. The company currently has 10 patents on these materials, processes, and related products. SynDaver Labs is headquartered in Tampa, Florida and employs nearly 100 people. The company also has an advanced research facility located in Phoenix, Arizona and is planning additional facilities in the U.S., China, Europe, and Latin America.

 

The Pet Leadership Council (PLC), which is comprised of pet industry leaders, animal welfare organizations, veterinarians and academia, is announcing its support of a Purdue University Study currently underway to improve dog breeder standards.

The study being led by Candace Croney, PhD at Purdue University entitled assessing animal welfare: applications to dog care and welfare standards is expected to be completed by the end of the year. In an effort to facilitate best care practices via research and education, it will address proper guidelines for all aspects of dog well-being in commercial breeding operations including but not limited to: housing, nutrition, sanitation, health and vet care, behavioral well-being, breeding ages, end of breeding life and the outcome of healthy puppies.

“This is an extremely important step forward to ensuring that our nation’s puppies are coming from breeders that maintain high standards of care and provide consumers assurance that puppies and adult dogs coming from certified breeders have been raised with significant attention to their physical, genetic and behavioral health and a lifelong commitment to the dogs’ well-being,” said Bob Vetere, PLC Chairman.

While the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does have commercial dog breeding standards and licensing in place, there is demand for additional measures to hold breeders accountable and help put an end to substandard breeders commonly referred to as “puppy mills”.  These standards will provide breeders with a voluntary option to obtain a recognized and trusted certification with regular inspections. Government regulations can take years to change and often become outdated and obsolete. The Purdue guidelines will allow for continuous improvement based on the latest advances in scientific study of the health and well-being of the animals.

"The PLC is encouraged by and strongly supports the work being conducted by Dr. Candace Croney and The Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine to establish science based standards for breeders that will raise the care and welfare of their animals.” said Doug Poindexter President of the World Pet Association and PLC Trustee.

More information on the Purdue Study and several white papers already published can be found here - http://vet.purdue.edu/CAWS/engagement.php#projects.

- ### -

About the Pet Leadership Council:

The Pet Leadership Council is made up of pet industry leaders, animal welfare, veterinarians and academia and advocates for pets and those who serve and support them by promoting responsible pet ownership and educating the public on efforts to improve the health and well being of companion animals.

 

“It is standard in this horrific industry to separate babies from their mothers, and then discard them when they grow too big for handling.” Born Free USA CEO 

Washington, D.C., April 5, 2016 -- In response to a 2012 legal petition filed by Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals, and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by allowing members of the public to handle or feed infant exotic cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars, or leopards.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, “The insatiable demand for cubs and baby primates used at interactive exhibits fuels a vicious cycle of breeding and exploitation. It is standard in this horrific industry to separate babies from their mothers, and then discard them when they grow too big for handling. The USDA's most recent policy decision is a step toward addressing these concerns, but still does not do enough to protect the young big cats, bears, and primates suffering for profit around the nation."

As documented in the petition, dozens of facilities across the country routinely breed and acquire exotic feline species—all of which are listed under the Endangered Species Act—to produce an ample supply of cubs for profit.

“We applaud USDA for taking this first step to put roadside zoos and the public on notice that federal law prohibits using infant cubs for photographic opportunities and interactive experiences,” said Anna Frostic, senior attorney for wildlife & animal research at The Humane Society of the United States, “but it is imperative that the agency take additional action to prohibit public contact with big cats, bears, and nonhuman primates of any age.”

“Both animals and people are put in harm’s way when big cats are used for public contact exhibition; young cubs are particularly susceptible to disease, especially when deprived of necessary maternal care, and cubs quickly grow into dangerous predators that can cause serious injury to adults and children,” said Jeff Flocken, North America regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

In contrast to zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, “there are thousands of big cats in private menageries in the U.S., and these facilities do not have the resources or expertise to safely and responsibly care for dangerous wild animals,” said Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. 

Conservation professionals agree that endangered and threatened species like tigers, lions, and apes should not be bred for commercial purposes.

The mass propagation of tigers in the U.S. has resulted in a captive population that is nearly twice the number of tigers that exist in the wild. “Cubs used for petting, if they survive, typically spend many years living in substandard facilities and the few who are lucky enough to eventually end up at good sanctuaries typically arrive with medical issues caused by deficient care,” said Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue.

In addition to these animal welfare, public safety, and conservation concerns, “the surplus of exotic animals in roadside zoos and other substandard facilities puts an enormous financial burden on the accredited sanctuaries that provide lifetime care for abandoned and seized animals,” according to Michael Markarian, president of The Fund for Animals.

Investigations have revealed that using tiger cubs for photo ops and play sessions can yield more than $20,000 per month for a roadside zoo, fueling demand for more and more cubs—but once the cats mature, their future is uncertain. “There is just not enough space or resources at accredited sanctuaries to support the demand created by this irresponsible breeding,” said Kellie Heckman, executive director of Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

Further, “the fate of captive tigers in the U.S. has serious implications for the conservation of tigers in the wild,” said Leigh Henry, senior policy advisor for Wildlife Conservation at World Wildlife Fund. “Strengthened regulation of U.S. captive tigers will help ensure that captive-bred tiger parts don’t enter the black market and stimulate the demand that drives the poaching of wild tigers.”

While there is still much more work to be done to fully address the coalition’s petition to completely prohibit public contact with big cats, bears, and nonhuman primates of any age, this is a significant step forward for the U.S. to improve its oversight of captive tigers and lead by example to encourage other countries, like China, to reduce the demand for tigers and tiger products.

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’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

Page 1 of 2