Written by Jeff Mackey
Following PETA's undercover investigation into Triple
F Farms, a massive ferret-breeding operation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
has fined the company nearly $17,000 for
violating at least eight regulations under the Animal Welfare Act.
The violations were discovered during
USDA inspections conducted in response to PETA's submission of video footage
and other evidence.
Documents recently obtained from
the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division show that Triple F President
Jack Fallenstein also agreed to pay 28 employees more than $28,000 in back
wages to settle 38 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act following a
federal investigation prompted by PETA's complaint to the agency.
PETA's investigation into the ferret
mill lasted nearly four months and documented systematic and often fatal
neglect and abuse of ferrets. We found that Triple F owners, supervisors, and
workers left newborn ferrets for dead when they fell through wire cage bottoms 3
feet onto the filthy concrete floor, housed ferrets in severely crowded
conditions, and deprived ferrets with bleeding rectal prolapses, gaping wounds,
herniated organs, and other painful conditions of veterinary care or
euthanasia. PETA's investigator also saw
ferrets thrown into the trash—and into the facility's incinerator—while still
Triple F sells ferrets to pet stores
and laboratories around the world. Since 2006, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) has had contracts worth more than $1.5 million with the
company. The CDC signed even more contracts with this filthy factory farm after
PETA shared its evidence and the USDA's findings with CDC brass. PETA has
called on the agency to rescind Triple F's contracts and disqualify it from
future contracts. The National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug
Administration, and the Navy have also had contracts with Triple F worth nearly
the director of the CDC's Procurement and Grants Office to stop the agency from
funneling taxpayer dollars to Triple F.
There's good news today in a case we told you about
in May 2010: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has hit the Texas Biomedical
Research Institute—formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical
Research—with a fine of more than
$25,000 over serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The
facility has repeatedly allowed primates to escape from their cages and injure
themselves and others, including humans.
The stiff fine comes after PETA filed a formal complaint
with the agency in 2010 after two baboons imprisoned at Texas Biomed escaped
from their cages, injuring an employee in the process. The fine also covers an
incident from 2009 in which a juvenile rhesus macaque monkey escaped from a
cage and then spent the night in below-freezing temperatures. He suffered from
hypothermia and had to be euthanized.
But quite apart from the satisfaction of seeing these primate torturers pay at
least a small price for their misdeeds,
these penalties are an important reminder to heartless experimenters everywhere
that abusing animals can cost them more than karma points.
But since karma is
on our side, let's keep the momentum going. Texas Biomed is notorious for being
one of the last laboratories in the world that still torments chimpanzees in
cruel and invasive experiments.
You can do your part to help protect primates—just click here to ask your
congressional representatives to cosponsor and support the Great Ape Protection
and Cost Savings Act today, which would end experiments on chimpanzees at Texas Biomed and
Written by PETA
damning reports from someone working inside the University of Texas Medical
Branch (UTMB), PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture
earlier this year. The USDA found, among other abuses, that sheep who had undergone
invasive experimental surgeries (including one sheep who could not stand up
afterward) apparently received no pain relief at all, that a goat
died in surgery without proper monitoring during anesthesia, and that
experimenters using ferrets in an infectious-disease study neglected to consult
with veterinary experts.
The USDA noted that experimenters failed to provide basic post-operative pain
relief to animals who had been subjected to invasive surgeries—including
allegedly leaving a dog who had tubes implanted during surgery to die without
any treatment. The agency
has cited UTMB for violating the minimum standards of the Animal Welfare Act. UTMB
has "ongoing" problems with oversight, says the agency.
Please e-mail UTMB President David L. Callender
and ask him to immediately discipline experimenters for their cruelty to animals.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
The just-released U.S. Department of Agriculture food guide, "MyPlate," turns the old food pyramid on its meaty, fatty head and replaces it with a dish loaded with fruits, veggies, and grains. Meat has been replaced with "protein," which includes beans, nuts, and seeds, and milk has been booted to the side, with soy milk suggested as an option.
"We know that there are significant health benefits from consuming more fruits and vegetables, and that's an opportunity for us to sort of move away from some of the meals that we've been preparing in the past," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "It doesn't take a lot [of effort] to [fill] your plate with half fruits and vegetables." And vegetarians enjoy lower risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity than meat-eaters do, according to the American Dietetic Association.
Finally—some government nutrition guidelines that are easy to swallow! Learn more about filling your plate with healthy veggies by ordering a free PETA vegetarian/vegan starter kit.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
This just in: In response to PETA's undercover investigation of animal experiments at the University of Utah (the U) and the complaint that we filed with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U has been cited for nine violations of federal animal protection laws, including the following:
One whistleblower's powerful testimony about the abuse of pigs and calves in slaughterhouses throughout the country may bring about a serious overhaul in the U.S. government's monitoring of slaughterhouses.
Dean Wyatt is a veterinarian and supervisor of the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), which is a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Last week, Wyatt told the members of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that time after time, his warnings about unsafe slaughterhouse practices went ignored. Two of the slaughterhouses he worked with—one in Oklahoma that allegedly mishandled pigs and one in Vermont that he ordered to shut down three times for mistreating calves—ignored his directives to stop abusing animals. And a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday supports Wyatt's claims, admitting that the FSIS has a history of unsuccessfully regulating slaughterhouses and that it is lax in its enforcement of humane slaughtering standards:
Now governmental officials are saying that they will take steps to improve the agency's enforcement standards. So does this mean that we'll see more stringent enforcement anytime soon? We hope so. But in the meantime, there's no reason to support the massacre of animals or to jeopardize your health: Go vegan!
Written by Logan Scherer
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.