Saturday, March 19, 2011

Los Angeles takes on puppy mills

The LA County Board of Supervisors approved a measure to toughen an existing animal welfare ordinance earlier this week in an effort to, among other things, crack down on puppy mills. Read more about the ordinance amendments in this report by public radio station extraordinaire, KPCC.

The measure has generated a fair amount of editorial buzz, at least in the LA-area. Most agree that it won't cure the problem entirely. Many though, like this anti-puppy mill activist - seen here with her 3-legged, California puppy mill survivor companion "Baby" - feel at least it's a step in the right direction.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thought LA was polluted?

New federal and industry data show that the air at some factory farm test sites in the U.S. is dirtier than in America's most polluted cities and exposes workers to concentrations of pollutants far above occupational safety guidelines... according to a press release concerning a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project.
Who is the EIP, you might ask? (At least I was.) According to their press release:
The Environmental Integrity Project ( is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in March of 2002 by former EPA enforcement attorneys to advocate for effective enforcement of environmental laws. EIP has three goals: 1) to provide objective analyses of how the failure to enforce or implement environmental laws increases pollution and affects public health; 2) to hold federal and state agencies, as well as individual corporations, accountable for failing to enforce or comply with environmental laws; and 3) to help local communities obtain the protection of environmental laws.

Read the rest of the report by clicking here...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Florida county admits dog ordinance unconstitutional

The lawyer for Marion County acknowledged in court filings Thursday that the county's definition of "dangerous dog" conflicts with state law... and is thus invalid.

Read more about this rare (if not unprecedented...) moment of municipal candor - and what it might mean - in the Ocala Star-Banner...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Man with service snake lobbies against WA bill

A man from Shelton who uses a snake as a service animal traveled to Olympia on Tuesday to lobby against a bill that would narrow the definition of an aid animal. Read more in this Associated Press report...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Animal cruelty law gets tougher in Wyoming

CHEYENNE -- Gov. Matt Mead signed a bill Thursday that adds "household pet animal cruelty" to state law. Becky Orr of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle has more.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Supreme Court ok's hate speech at private funerals

Not animal law... but a very important rights case nonetheless...

In a predictable - but still disappointingly narrow-minded - decision, the U.S. Supreme Court announced today that the free speech rights of a Kansas church to protest at a fallen soldier's funeral trumps his grieving father's right to mourn for his son in peace.

The Associated Press has details.

Very sad, if you ask me. And needless. The court could have held (as Justice Alito did in his dissent) that there was enough evidence of the protesters targeting this soldier's funeral to find that this was a private matter, not a matter of public concern. Or, as other commentators have also suggested, perhaps the court could have even upheld free speech rights but found that these odious protests cross some other boundary, such as harassment.

In light of this ruling, last year's decision overturning the crush video ban in favor of free speech is even more troubling. If the court can't even find a balance to show compassion to humans, it is hard to imagine that it could ever possibly be a receptive climate to seeking compassion for (non-human) animal issues.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

What do Justin Bieber and EBay have in common?

Well, apparently, they both have some of his hair.

Ok, admittedly, this is just an unabashed excuse to post a picture of the 'tween hearthrobe on my obscure blog (anything to drive traffic, eh?)...

...but Justin Bieber cut his infamous locks recently, and gave some to TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as a belated birthday present when he appeared on her show last week. While to the uninitiated, it may seem sorta odd that a successful and otherwise seemingly mature - not to mention lesbian - woman would want a lock of a boy's hair, Ellen has a good reason. She put the golden strands up for auction on EBay and plans to donate the proceeds to a California animal shelter. According to local news radio station KHTS, bidding currently stands over $13,000.00!