Displaying items by tag: cruelty to animals

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist Introduces Petfax Act to Combat Puppy Mills Protect Consumers

Washington D.C. – Yesterday U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) introduced legislation in the U.S. House recognized as the “Petfax Act” to mandate honesty and transparency in the commercial sales of dogs and cats and crackdown on cruel “puppy mills”– large commercial dog breeding operations that breed high volumes of puppies to sell at pet stores and across the internet. It is the third anti-puppy mill bill introduced in this Congress – an indicator of the broad concern about the systematic mistreatment of dogs in large-scale commercial dog breeding operations.

Over 100,000 mother dogs are forced to suffer in puppy mills where they are forced to spend their entire lives in barren cages without ever touching a blade of grass. Horrific, painful injuries are commonplace and frequently go untreated. Puppies often become sick due to the unsanitary conditions of mills and long-distance transport to pet stores where they are sold to unsuspecting customers. It is not uncommon for pet stores to deny that the dogs come from puppy mills. Current laws barely meet survival standards, fail to adequately protect animals and consumers, and allow violators to continue renewing their license.

“Most dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills, where the dogs are treated like a cash crop,” said Holly Gann, Director of Federal Affairs for the Animal Wellness Foundation and Animal Wellness Action, “If you buy a car, you can get a full history from Carfax; but when it comes to purchasing a puppy, sellers generally won’t provide information about where the dog came from or the dog’s medical history.”

“Welcoming a new pet into your home is a decision rooted in love. Pet owners deserve the peace of mind that their new family member wasn’t abused or mistreated by breeder or seller,” said Rep. Crist. “Requiring a Petfax increases transparency, decreasing the potential for animal abuse, a win-win for all parties involved.”

“Too many animals suffer from inhumane conditions in our nation,” said Reschenthaler. “The Petfax Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation I’m introducing with Rep. Crist, will better protect dogs and cats from neglect and abuse. By improving transparency and providing consumers with more information, including the source of their pet and its record on animal welfare inspections, we can hold irresponsible sellers of dogs and cats accountable. Given the proven ties between cruelty to animals and child and senior abuse, I will continue fighting to strengthen protections for our nation’s pets.”

The Petfax Act would:

·        Require that sellers of dogs and cats disclose certain information to a customer about the animals, including information identifying the dealer who bred the animals, the number of dogs bred and sold by that dealer over the past two years, a listing of any violations the dealer has had in the past two years, and health information about the animals, including whether a veterinarian was seen, vaccinations administered, and congenital disease. The Petfax Act would make it illegal for a seller, such as a pet store, to misrepresent the source of a dog or cat, including misrepresenting whether the animal came from a mill.

·        Require that animal welfare inspection records are reinstated on the USDA website, so that the public can look up a breeder prior to purchasing a dog to see if the breeder has violations. These records were previously available until being taken down by the USDA in 2017, eliminating transparency and allowing mills with violations to have no accountability.

  • Similar to another bill in Congress – the Welfare Of Our Friends (WOOF) Act – the bill closes a loophole that allows mills with violations to continue operating. The bill prohibits USDA from issuing or renewing a license to a dealer who has had a suspension within the past 10 years. It also prevents a license from being granted to the immediate family member of a dealer who has had their license suspended or revoked, to someone who resides at the same address, or to an entity where the dealer holds an ownership interest.

The Petfax Act for honesty in pet sales is the latest in local, state, and federal legislation to root out puppy mills. Two other bills have also been introduced in Congress: The WOOF Act would address loopholes to stop puppy mills with suspensions from continuing to operate, and the Puppy Protection Act would increase the standards of care for mother dogs kept in these mills. Over 300 localities across the nation have adopted legislation to prevent pet stores from selling puppies that come from puppy mills, and California and Maryland have adopted similar state legislation, with many more to follow.

The Animal Wellness Foundation (Foundation) is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.


Appropriations bill will prevent U.S. horse slaughter operations in FY2017 by eliminating funding for horse slaughter inspections

WASHINGTON—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commends the members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for approving an anti-horse slaughter amendment to its fiscal year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The Udall-Kirk Amendment, introduced by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), and cosponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Jack Reed (D-RI) was passed in the full committee by a bipartisan vote and will continue a ban on the gruesome horse slaughter industry on U.S. soil by preventing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using taxpayer dollars to conduct horse slaughter inspections, which is a requirement for slaughterhouses to operate. An identical amendment was approved by the House Appropriations Committee in April.

“Horse slaughter is inherently cruel, environmentally and economically devastating to local communities and unsafe for foreign consumers,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “Eighty percent of American voters oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption and now that both the House and Senate have approved this language we are one step closer to prohibiting the irresponsible and wasteful use of taxpayer dollars to fund this brutal practice. We are grateful to Senators Udall and Kirk for introducing this amendment to ensure this grisly industry does not establish itself in the U.S.”

"New Mexicans regularly write and call asking me to ensure we never allow horse slaughter in the United States, and this amendment will ensure no federal dollars are used to allow the practice to exist," Udall said. "Horses are a beautiful symbol of Western independence. Most Americans find the idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption repulsive, and they have no tolerance for attempts to open horse slaughtering plants. This amendment is a strong step forward, and I will keep fighting to prohibit horse slaughter in the United States." 

"Illinois banned horse slaughter in 2007 and I support the end of the practice in the United States,” said Sen. Kirk. “Americans have a long-established history with horses and overwhelmingly reject their slaughter for profit."

A recent Edge Research poll commissioned by the ASPCA shows that 2.3 million Americans have adequate space, resources, and strong interest in adopting horses. This new data suggests that there are more than enough homes available for the 125,000 American horses shipped to Canada and Mexico last year to be slaughtered for human consumption. The majority of these horses – 92 percent, according to the USDA – are young, healthy animals who could otherwise go on to lead productive lives with loving owners.

Whether slaughter occurs in the U.S. or abroad, the methods used to slaughter horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses are difficult to stun and often remain conscious during their butchering and dismemberment. In addition, meat from American horses is unsafe for human consumption since horses are not raised as food animals. They are routinely given medications and other substances that are toxic to humans and are expressly forbidden by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption.

While the Udall-Kirk Amendment prevents slaughterhouses from opening on U.S. soil for another year, it is not a permanent solution and cannot prohibit the current transport of U.S. horses from being trucked to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. To address this issue, Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 1214 /H.R. 1942)—legislation that would permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to ensure animals have greater protection under the law, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Dogs transported to temporary shelter to receive much-needed medical care

Huntersville, N.C.—At the request of the Huntersville Police Department, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting with evidence collection and the removal of 23 pit bulls allegedly housed and fought at a property in Huntersville, N.C., approximately 12 miles north of downtown Charlotte. The Animal Care & Control Division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is also working to support local authorities with the investigation.

A search warrant was executed Tuesday morning, where responders discovered dogs tethered on heavy chains and living in filthy conditions. Some were thin and exhibited scars, bite marks, broken teeth and other injuries commonly associated with dog fighting. Sixteen adult dogs and seven puppies were removed from the property, and dog fighting paraphernalia was discovered, including conditioning and training devices, indoor and outdoor fighting pits, and medication common to treating wounds associated with dog fighting. No arrests have yet been made.

The dogs are being transported to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they will be provided medical care and behavioral enrichment by ASPCA responders until custody is determined by the court. The ASPCA is working closely with local law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure the best legal outcome for these animals.

“Our hope is that our actions today will bring those persons responsible for this cruel and inhumane activity to justice,” said Chief Cleveland L. Spruill of the Huntersville Police Department. “We want to send a message that this type of cruel and illegal activity will not be tolerated in our community.”

“Dog fighting victims live terribly isolated lives and are subjected to horrific acts of cruelty,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of Investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Dog fighting is an underground activity that goes mostly unnoticed by the public, and we’re grateful to the Huntersville Police Department for actively pursuing this case to help end the suffering of these dogs.”

Agencies supporting the ASPCA by supplying resources, hands-on assistance or supplies include: the Animal Care & Control Division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; Asheville Humane Society; and Humane Alliance, a program of the ASPCA.

Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In North Carolina, dog fighting, the possession of dogs for fighting and being a spectator at a dog fight are all class H felonies, with a maximum penalty of up to 25 months in jail. The ASPCA has worked with law enforcement on more than 100 dog fighting cases, including the two largest dog fighting raids in U.S. history in 2013 and 2009. Earlier this year, more than 17,000 concerned citizens signed the ASPCA’s letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, asking for more vigorous pursuance of dog fighters. 

For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to tackle dog fighting and what the public can do to help, please visit www.aspca.org/dogfighting.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Farm Sanctuary Defends California’s Right to Ban the Production and Sale of Cruelly Produced Foie Gras


In response to a California district court’s decision to overturn a portion of the state’s law that bans the production and sale of cruelly produced foie gras, Farm Sanctuary issued the following statement:


“On January 7, a federal district court judge invalidated California’s ban on the sale of foie gras, a ban that Farm Sanctuary and our supporters actively worked to get passed in 2004. The judge erroneously ruled that an unrelated federal law, the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), preempts the California foie gras ban.


Farm Sanctuary believes that the judge clearly decided this case incorrectly. The PPIA regulates only poultry slaughter, labeling, and ingredients, and not cruel farming practices. Accordingly, in order to conclude that the foie gras sales ban was unconstitutional, the judge, in an opinion that defies logic, held that the force-feeding of geese and ducks, constitutes an “ingredient.” Force feeding is clearly not an ingredient. It is a cruel farming practice, which is still banned in California and in more than a dozen other countries.


Unfortunately, the judge’s ruling means that foie gras — a product of egregious cruelty to farm animals that would be a felony if inflicted on dogs or cats — will now be sold in California restaurants. To prevent this injustice, Farm Sanctuary urges the California Attorney General to promptly appeal the district court’s convoluted decision to the Ninth Circuit and seek an immediate stay on the decision pending the outcome of the appeal. This action is necessary so that the will of the majority of California’s citizens, who support the ban on this horrific practice, may prevail.  

At Farm Sanctuary, we are privileged to provide a loving home to ducks who have survived the horrors of foie gras. Living at our New York Shelter right now are Monet and Matisse, who were left here anonymously after they were rescued from a foie gras facility. They arrived with sores on their bills from the force-feeding pipe; cuts, scrapes, and broken feathers attested to the cramped cages where they were confined and to rough handling by workers, who hold struggling birds as feed is pumped into their bodies.

Understandably, rescued foie gras ducks have been among the most terrified animals we’ve welcomed to our shelters. During their first days with us, Monet and Matisse were subdued, hiding in the corner whenever caregivers approached. Then one day, while being weighed, Monet did something he’d probably been longing to do for weeks at the foie gras factory: He opened his wings and flapped. Emboldened by his friend, Matisse tried it too. Soon both ducks were joyfully spreading their wings, thrilled to embrace their new lives. All ducks deserve such freedom from fear and pain. California’s foie gras ban offered hope of an end to their suffering.

Even in the face of yesterday’s decision, we are determined to keep that hope alive. And we encourage you to do so as well. Please urge restaurants with foie gras on their menus, and stores with foie gras on their shelves, to stop selling this diseased product and to sell one of the many delicious vegan pates instead.”  

Farm Sanctuary operates three shelters in New York and California that provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals, works to change laws to decrease abuse of farm animals, and promotes compassionate vegan living.

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A breaking Mercy For Animals Canada undercover investigation reveals sadistic, criminal cruelty to cows at the country’s largest dairy factory farm, leading law enforcement to raid the factory farm and recommend charges against eight workers.

MFA’s investigator documented employees inflicting horrific abuses on cows, including:

  • Using chains, rakes, metal pipes, and canes to viciously whip, punch, kick, hit, and beat cows
  • Hoisting cows into the air by chains around their necks while other workers screamed obscenities at them
  • Sadistically poking at cows’ festering, pus-filled wounds
  • Violently ripping clumps of hair out of cows’ sensitive tails 

Unfortunately, the abuses captured on hidden camera at this facility are not limited to factory farms in Canada.

In the last five years, Mercy For Animals has conducted five undercover investigations into the dairy industry, and every one of these investigations has led to criminal charges and convictions against workers who were caught on video maliciously abusing animals.

Most recently, our investigation at Wiese Brothers Farms in Wisconsin led to multiple criminal convictions of workers who were caught on hidden camera viciously kicking and whipping cows, beating them in the face and body, and using machinery to cruelly hoist sick or injured cows into the air.

Treated as mere milk-producing machines, cows on dairy factory farms endure lives of near constant misery and deprivation. In order to keep a steady supply of milk, the cows are repeatedly impregnated. Several times a day, dairy cows are hooked by their udders to electric milking machines that can cause the cows to suffer painful lesions and mastitis.

If they don’t move fast enough, the cows are often mercilessly beaten. These highly intelligent and social animals suffer almost unimaginable abuse from the time they are born and ripped from their mothers' sides until they are so physically worn out from repeated pregnancies and constant milk production that they are sold for slaughter.

Please join Mercy For Animals in calling for an end to the worst forms of cruelty in the dairy industry.

Then share the hidden-camera video with friends and encourage them to take action too.

Finally, please consider further helping cows, and all farmed animals, by exploring a diet free of eggs, dairy, and meat.

Thank you.

Nathan Runkle Executive Director

P.S. Want to support our vital work? Click here to make a donation.

USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills

Tens of thousands of dogs suffering in substandard, filthy, and overcrowded cages for years on end will finally get the protection they deserve as a result of a rule the U.S. Department of Agriculture will formally adopt today. This change, a long-held aspiration for The HSUS, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Doris Day Animal League, is decades in the making and will extend federal oversight to thousands of puppy mills that do business online.

Of the dozens of puppy mills that The HSUS has assisted in closing down over the past five years, the vast majority were selling puppies online and escaping any federal oversight because a loophole in federal Animal Welfare Act regulations exempts Internet sellers. Because large-scale dog breeders who sell animals to pet stores are regulated, but breeders who sell directly to the public are not, there has been a massive migration of breeders to the latter sales strategy within the last decade or so. If they could sell dogs and escape any federal oversight, why not get in on that act and continue to cut corners on animal care?

The HSUS, HSLF, and DDAL pointed out that it was fundamentally unfair that people involved in the same underlying business enterprise (breeding dogs to sell for profit) would face entirely different regulatory standards. It was a circumstance ripe for fraud and misrepresentation. Internet sellers of puppies often displayed images of puppies frolicking in open fields. In reality, the dogs were languishing, crammed inside feces-encrusted cages, receiving no protection from the elements and no veterinary care whatever. And until the legal standard was modified, the federal government couldn’t take action because none of these mills required federal licensing and inspection.

Due to pressure from The HSUS and DDAL, the USDA’s inspector general looked into enforcement of the rules governing dog breeding, finding appalling abuses of the dogs, deficient exercise of authority by USDA where it had authority, and identification of this glaring gap in the law that allowed Internet sellers to evade any federal oversight whatever. It was that OIG report, combined with our advocacy efforts in Congress and with the Obama administration that finally compelled federal action.

We thank the Obama administration and the USDA for bringing new standards of care to thousands of puppies, but also to kittens, rabbits and other warm-blooded animals who are often raised in inhumane facilities and sold as pets over the Internet, by mail or by phone, sight-unseen.

The HSUS and HSLF called on supporters to act in 2011, and 32,000 people signed a petition urging the Obama administration to crack down on unregulated puppy mills. When the USDA proposed an actual change in its regulations in 2012, HSUS members and other animal advocates generated 350,000 public signatures and comments in support.

There has been strong bipartisan support in Congress for closing the “Internet loophole” in the Animal Welfare Act regulations. Federal legislation, S. 395 and H.R. 847 – known as the PUPS Act, or "Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act" – sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif., galvanized members of congress in support of efforts to finalize and implement the rule.

Puppy mills aren’t going away overnight, and it’s still important for any potential puppy buyer to meet the breeder in person at his or her facility to see how and where a puppy was born and raised. But this rule has the potential to allow federal inspectors to peer behind the closed doors of puppy mills and improve the lives of tens of thousands of animals. That is a change worth celebrating, and we thank our supporters, the USDA, and our allies in Congress for supporting this significant step.


LOS ANGELES, CA-- In an effort to track down the accused murderer and animal abuser, Luka Magnotta, Last Chance for Animals' (LCA) Special Investigations Unit (SIU) took unprecedented steps to try and flush out the killer in a case that clearly demonstrates a link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans.

Taking clues from the thousands of pages of pseudonyms and online posts left by Magnotta and his many pseudonyms over the years, LCA's SIU accurately predicted Magnotta would be checking websites and videos of himself from mobile devices and cyber cafes while on the run. LCA's SIU attempted to lure in the killer, or his companions, using covert tactics often reserved for law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

To that end, SIU investigators immediately got to work and posted a video glorifying Magnotta, dubbing him "The James Dean Killer." The hits came quickly and word spread fast. While Luka was in France, there were several hits from that country.

A second video titled "1 Man 1 Icon" was produced to continue the façade using family photos of Magnotta that had not yet been featured in the press. While Luka was in Germany, this video recorded hits from Germany.

During the course of this investigation, contact was made with several individuals who may have been Luka, or close associates of Luka. That information was turned over to Law Enforcement.

While there has not yet been evidence presented to demonstrate that Magnotta was watching the videos produced by LCA's SIU; when he was apprehended, reports came in stating he was watching YouTube and viewing images of himself at the time of arrest.

Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a national animal rights organization based in Los Angeles, has been active for nearly three decades. Founded and led by animal expert, author, and former actor, Chris DeRose, LCA's roots began in exposing the inherent cruelty of vivisection. LCA fights for the rights of animals by conducting investigations that expose animal cruelty, launching public awareness campaigns, pushing animal friendly legislation and helping prosecute animal abusers. www.LCAnimal.org



For the animals,

Special Investigations Unit
Last Chance for Animals
(310) 271-6096 x 32
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