Sunday, March 29, 2009
But one commentary that I particularly enjoyed was a little editorial in the Baltimore Sun this weekend. It captures the sentiment that so many Americans are really starting to have to come to grips with, the way the nation finally had to come to grips with its smoking habit after the Surgeon General's warning came out in 1964: no matter how much you may enjoy eating red meat... and no matter what excuses you can come up with to justify your cravings... it is just plain bad for you and if you want to live longer you just have to stop.
Kudos to republican governor Bobby Jindal for proclaiming last week the 1st Annual Louisiana Week for the Animals and to all the sponsors who helped put this together. May it be the first of many to come!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Let me take a moment here to say that I have nothing against veterinarians. Most go into the field because they genuinely love animals, and most do put in an honest day's work. But as professional occupations go, at least in Illinois, it is quite clearly one of the least regulated professions out there. For that rogue element (which exists in every field), if someone wants to get away with shameful behavior, veterinary practice is a good choice.
So I was surprised and pleased to see that last week Georgia actually took a veterinary matter seriously. Click here for the article by Teresa Stepzinski from The Florida-Times Union.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Chicago - Sheriff's police removed as many as 70 puppies -- some crammed into bird cages -- after raiding a suspected puppy mill on the South Side this morning.
"There are dogs running all over the place," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, as he held a pair of shivering Chihuahua puppies in his hands.
Dogs were stacked in cages and were walking around in their own feces, officials said.
Click here to read the rest of the story...
Click here to read on...
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Court Rules Miami-Dade County Pit Bull Ban Unenforceable
On Thursday, a Florida court struck down Miami's longtime ban on pit bulls. Read more in this press release here.
Georgia Ordered to Stop Licensing Animal Shelters That Gas Cats and Dogs
On Wednesday, a Georgia court entered a permanent injunction requiring that state's Dept. of Agriculture to stop its practice of approving and encouraging local shelters to euthanize animals in gas chambers. Read more in this press release.
Way to go to all the attorneys responsible for moving the ball forward on these two issues!
Friday, March 20, 2009
At any rate, Professor Francione had a very thoughtful (as all his writings are) opinion piece yesterday on the D.C. elephant trial. Even though his argument does not want to acknowledge any merit to the plaintiffs' position, I will still take the opportunity to post his viewpoint here.
I would add, as my own counterpoint, that I know plaintiffs' attorney Kathy Meyer too. I haven't asked her about her personal views on elephants in circuses, but I am pretty sure that if it were up to her personally, all the hooks, prods and chains would have been scrapped a long time ago.
But the fate of these elephants - or elephants in circuses generally - or the concept of having non-human animals kept in circuses even more generally - is not up to Kathy. The reality is, if she, me or anyone else went into court and asked that all elephants be freed from circuses, we'd all get our a**@* handed to us on a platter. No matter how morally right it may be, the law just doesn't work that way. And we know that. The suit would be thrown out, nothing would change and we'd lose any credibility we had with the judge the next time we went into to ask for anything else. That's precisely why (I fall into the camp that believes that) lawsuits and legislation that seek incremental changes in law have value.
Back to work.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
As she explains on the conference website:
It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the first Animal Law Conference, The Animal Within the Sphere of Human Needs. Organized by the International Research Group in Animal Law (GRIDA) under the honorary presidency of counsel Joan Clark, this bilingual event will deal with a wide range of issues related to the legal status and welfare of animals.
The purpose of this conference, the first of its kind in Canada, is to bring together a group of researchers and students to explore the bases for a new understanding of “animal law” and its determinants. The conference will provide a platform for interdisciplinary exchanges between Canadian and international researchers and practitioners in the field who can suggest a relevant or innovative outlook on the legal and moral treatment of animals. Overall, the goal is to review the behaviours that human beings exhibit towards the animal species.
Read the rest of Martine's statement - as well check out the full list of speakers, topics, and other conference details - by clicking here!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
(Yes, I realize the site is in French. If you click on the link for the "programme" tho, most of the speaker names and topics are in English. If I get an English language link, I'll let you know.)
Monday, March 16, 2009
According to a USDA press release:
WASHINGTON, March 14, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a final rule to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to require a complete ban on the slaughter of cattle that become non-ambulatory disabled after passing initial inspection by Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspection program personnel.
Thanks to Doug Powell at Kansas State University for the heads-up on this one!
Thanks to colleague Lin Hanson for the heads-up on this story!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This is not the first time Alderman Ed Burke has proposed a mandatory spay/neuter program for most of Chicago's more than a million dogs and cats. It is opposed (as per usual) by veterinary groups and breeders, and given Chicago's recent history of stinging defeat and nationwide embarrassment over other animal welfare measures (think foie gras and elephant chaining), it is surprising to me that any member of Chicago's city council would even attempt to bring this issue to the table. But good luck to him. If it passes this time, Chicago would join L.A. in really being out on the forefront of trying to control the pet overpopulation crisis in this country.
Read more in Monique Garcia's Chicago Tribune article.
In Samson's case:
The state of Florida and city of Pembroke Pines abide by a "one-bite rule," meaning that if a dog bites another animal once, owners get a "slap on the wrist," and the dog's life is spared. Broward County, on the other hand, calls for any dog that causes severe injury or death to a domestic animal to be euthanized on the first offense.
"The space between the two laws has created 'a real Catch-22'" according to the lawyer for Samson's owner, animal law attorney Jennifer Dietz.
What exactly happened to Samson and where does his case stand now? Click for the rest of Amy Lieberman's Zootoo article.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Salt Lake City Tribune
Mar. 11, 2009
The smell of raw meat or the chaos of Wal-Mart can launch Edward Carey back to a time when saving soldiers' lives in Iraq was his job. Now the former combat medic is home and Lexi, a border collie, is trying to save his.
A service dog-in-training, the 8-month old black and white puppy yanks the veteran back to reality with a tug on his pants when a panic attack begins. Often, Carey says, she knows one is coming before he does.
Plagued by anxiety, Carey hopes a new state law won't stop people like him from healing.
Lawmakers have eliminated references to emotional support animals allowed in private and public places, leaving some Utahns with disabilities concerned about what the future may hold for their service or comfort animal. They worry the law will step on the rights of the disabled, preventing them from getting the animal assistance they need.
Click here for the rest of the article.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
A fabulous article by Slate Magazine's Kenji Yoshino the other day about a new lawsuit filed in Massachusetts. On the surface, it's about gay rights. But if you can get past the initial homophobia that seems (unfortunately) to paralyze so many folks... it's really about state's rights.
In a nutshell... it puts the uber-conservatives on our Supreme Court in the unenviable position of either having to stick to their "core" values upholding state's rights by giving their blessing (just couldn't resist ;) ) to gay marriage in the bay state... or show themselves to be the hypocrites (think Bush v. Gore) that they really are...
... if you are intrigued, read on...
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
TORONTO — Ontario's Provincial Animal Welfare Act officially takes effect today, ushering in tougher penalties for animal abuse.
Before overhauling the 90-year-old act, the province had been criticized for having the most lax animal protection laws in the country.
The provincial government says it's gone from "worst to first" and Ontario is now the only jurisdiction in Canada with special protections for law-enforcement animals like police dogs and horses.
Read the rest of the article here...