Written by PETA
It's déjà vu all over again, and it'll probably have you wondering: What is PETCO thinking? Other than, "Hey, we can make some money!"
A PETA undercover investigator worked for more than three months at Sun Pet Ltd., an animal dealer in Atlanta that sells hamsters, mice, gerbils, birds, fish, and other small animals directly to PetSmart, PETCO, Pet Supplies "Plus," Petland, and Walmart. He documented that animals were cruelly killed, abusively handled, and kept in severely crowded, filthy conditions. Surprised?
PETA's investigator witnessed numerous abuses. A worker put hamsters in a plastic bag and bashed them against a table in an attempt to kill them. He also reported that many sick and injured animals died after PETCO and PetSmart stores returned them like damaged goods to Sun Pet without enclosing any food or water for the long journey, instead of providing them with veterinary care or ending their suffering.
PETA turned over the investigator's findings to law-enforcement authorities. This morning, officials descended on Sun Pet's massive warehouse.
Sun Pet sells hundreds of thousands of animals annually, just like U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), the exotic-animal dealer that PETA investigated late last year. That investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 26,000 animals, the largest animal seizure in history. (Perhaps also not surprisingly, Sun Pet has ties to USGE. Before that hellhole was raided and shut down, Sun Pet purchased hamsters from USGE and then sold them to PETCO stores, among others!)
This is PETA's fourth exposé revealing the abusive and filthy conditions endured by animals who are eventually sold at PETCO stores and our third exposé revealing conditions for animals who are eventually sold at PetSmart stores. Please tell PetSmart and PETCO in no uncertain terms to stop selling animals in their stores.
PETA investigations amply demonstrate that appalling neglect and abuse is just business as usual for companies that buy and sell living beings, so please tell your coworkers, friends, and everyone you know not to shop in their stores.
Written by Alisa Mullins
The findings of a new report from Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) should come as no surprise to anyone with an ounce of sense: Abuse and exploitation run rampant in meat factories, no matter the victim's species.
One in three workers interviewed by the EHRC claimed to have heard or been the victim of verbal abuse by superiors, and one in five admitted to "being pushed, kicked, or having things thrown at them." The report contains testimony from employees who claimed to have had frozen burgers thrown at them by managers and states that workers with bladder conditions admitted to urinating on themselves after they were denied bathroom breaks.
It doesn't take a great leap of logic to understand that the callousness required to hang gentle animals by chains and shackles, cut their throats while they are still conscious, and begin to skin them while they are still blinking will bleed into employee relations, and it's no coincidence that the hardships endured by humans are eerily similar to those endured by animals. If you want to stop human and animal exploitation, the answer is easy: Go vegan.
Written by Logan Scherer
We already know that elephants in the wild lead rich emotional lives, but recent findings about elephant brainpower and a "secret" language of low-frequency sounds have me wondering what these clever animals gossip about in the wild, and I'm going to have nightmares tonight about what the elephants who are beaten by Ringling are trying to tell us.
Among the researchers' conclusions is that while baby elephants will shriek to signal distress, adult elephants shriek only from pain. If you've seen PETA's undercover footage and the photographs from a former Ringling trainer, you know there are a lot of shrieking elephants at Ringling: Mothers and babies shriek as they are dragged away from each other with chains and ropes, babies shriek during violent "training" sessions, and trainers induce plenty of agonized shrieks as they dig their metal-tipped bullhooks into the elephants' sensitive skin.
As one researcher in Kenya said about the elephants he studied, "They've proved to have abilities which have only been found elsewhere in the great apes and humans." If you don't think humans belong chained and beaten in the circus, please don't support circuses that use elephants. Maybe this is how elephants say "thank you."
Written by Heather Drennan
We are thrilled to report that thanks to a new ordinance passed by the city of Somerville, Massachusetts, circuses setting up shop in the city will never again be allowed to use exotic animals! The legislation, signed by Mayor Joe Curtatone, states that "nondomesticated animals" may not be displayed in events held on public or private properties.
Nearby Braintree, Provincetown, Quincy, and Revere have similar laws, so the entire area is a model in fighting the abuse of animals who are trained to perform physically challenging and dangerous tricks in circuses that are concerned only with profit, not with animal welfare. Spread the compassion to your own community by pushing for local legislation to ban the use of animals in circuses. Contact us for a list of places that have prohibited circuses and to request all the information you need to get started.
Written by Logan Scherer
An apparently agitated elephant reportedly charged into the arena during Ringling's afternoon pre-show in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday, endangering about 100 spectators. Most attendees hurried away from the scene, and luckily, no one was injured, but the potential exists for injury or death when elephants rampage. Since 1990, dangerous incidents involving captive elephants in the U.S. have resulted in 13 human deaths and more than 135 human injuries.
The frightened elephant may have been trying to escape from the bullhook abuse that commonly takes place backstage at Ringling's shows. As documented in a PETA video—which was taken over a period of several months and released last July—of the same Ringling unit that is performing in Columbia, elephants are struck repeatedly with bullhooks (a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker that trainers wield to strike, stab, hook, prod, and intimidate elephants in order to make them obey). We are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to check this elephant for signs of bullhook abuse as well as to ensure that she is treated for any injuries sustained when she ran amok and that she is permanently removed from travel.
This is the second complaint with the USDA that we have filed against Ringling regarding its treatment of elephants—in less than a week. A few hours of "entertainment" at the expense of animals intimidated into performing dangerous and unnatural tricks is never worth the trauma inflicted on those animals or the danger to spectators and their children.
George and Weezie Jefferson may have moved up, but I'm jonesing to move out. My destination: Switzerland, which just might become the most animal-friendly nation in the world.
Last year, Switzerland passed a law that guarantees rights for all animals. Next month, voters will weigh in on a referendum that, if passed, will require that lawyers be assigned to protect companion and farmed animals from abuse.
I can only imagine the relief if such legislation caught on in the U.S. (and how much Judge Judy I'd wind up watching). Goldfish could be rescued from their scum-caked tanks. Lonely, cold dogs banished to back yards could enjoy warmth and companionship inside. Pigs, chickens, cows, ducks—any and all factory-farmed animals—might never again have their body parts burned or chopped off, and they'd be freed from their filthy cages, crates, and pens. Those examples are just off the top of my head. Jot yours down in the comments section below.
Written by Karin Bennett
Last week, PETA Germany released an undercover investigation inside a farm owned by "cage-free" Wiesenhof. The company is a giant producer in the world's chicken-meat industry, and it sells its chicken flesh worldwide, including right here in the U.S. Undercover footage taken at Wiesenhof's hatching facilities shows untrained workers breaking chickens' necks, failing to treat contagious diseases appropriately, and refusing to empty manure pits for 10 months. One worker punched a rooster who tried to escape and later urinated inside the barn next to the animals.
Unlike birds who are fattened and then slaughtered at the age of only 5 weeks, "parent animals" at hatching facilities suffer abuse and neglect for up to 10 months. PETA Germany has filed a legal complaint against Wiesenhof, claiming that the company is guilty of violating the German Animal Welfare Act, German slaughter and transport laws, environmental laws, and laws concerning epidemic outbreaks and hygiene.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Wiesenhof's parent company, PHW Group, has strong ties to Aviagen—owner of the turkey farms in West Virginia that were the site of PETA's landmark undercover investigation that led to the first-ever indictments for felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds as well as the first-ever cruelty convictions of turkey factory-farm workers. The owners of PHW Group and Aviagen's parent company are brothers. Cruelty apparently runs in the family, and if you aren't looking to support it, go vegan.
Pamela Anderson's got to have more frequent flyer miles than George Clooney's character in Up in the Air. And wherever she goes, she makes sure the people and the media talk about her efforts to help animals. The latest destination of PETA's jet-setting BFF? Chile.
Chile recently ratified a national animal welfare law, which is good, but it could go further. And in July, Chile's neighboring country, Bolivia, took a strong stand against cruelty to animals by passing a law forbidding the use of animals in circuses. Now Pamela has asked the president of Chile to do the same.
Abuse of animals in circuses is standard practice, and it begins before babies are old enough to leave their mother's sides. PETA recently released images of employees of Ringling, one of the largest circus outfits in the world, as they use ropes, bullhooks, electric shock prods, maternal deprivation, and corporal punishment to force baby elephants into doing tricks that are never seen in the wild and are confusing for them.
We'll keep you updated on Pam's efforts to fight animal abuse worldwide—in the meantime, help save baby elephants by asking the USDA to revoke Ringling's license and pursue criminal prosecution of Ringling trainers right here at home.
Victory Update: Following a national PETA campaign against Brookstone's sale of Frog-O-Spheres —tiny plastic boxes containing two African dwarf frogs—the retailer has discontinued the sale of these little frog prisons in its stores. Learn more about this victory for frogs.
Last month, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside Wild Creations—the supplier of frogs for Brookstone's Frog-O-Spheres—and documented unsanitary living conditions, rampant starvation, and gross mishandling of thousands of frogs. Frogs were left to languish in stagnant water that was murky with feces and molted skin. They were so desperate for food (our investigator worked there for weeks before anyone was seen feeding the animals) that they were chewing on each other's legs, causing wounds, infections, and, eventually, loss of limbs. Live frogs were left on the floor to die or—mistaken for dead—tossed aside, including into the trash, by employees who had received no training.
Share on Facebook | Viewing OptionsEmbed<embed src="http://www.mediapeta.com/videoplayer/video.swf?v=frog_o_sphere_web_peta_high" _mce_src="http://www.mediapeta.com/videoplayer/video.swf?v=frog_o_sphere_web_peta_high" quality="high" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="240" height="180" allowScriptAccess="always"></embed><br>Watch undercover footage from inside <BR>Brookstone's frog supplier. <BR> Find out more at <a href="https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?id=2737" _mce_href="https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?id=2737" target=_blank">PETA.org</a>.
We showed the disturbing footage to world-renowned experts in biology and herpetology, and their message was clear: Distribution of Frog-O-Spheres must stop forever. Clifford Warwick, a fellow at the Institute of Biology and one of the world's leading authorities on herpetology, said, "The advice given by the 'technical' staff [of Wild Creations] about this product is less than amateuristic. It is blatantly false, and dangerous and will lead to the suffering and death of many animals, and possibly also lead to human disease and death. … [S]ales staff and workers … are being guided by superiors whose 'knowledge' is more dubious (and frankly dangerous) than even common sense would dictate."
Tom Langton, who runs the frog conservation organization Froglife, reacted by saying, "The housing indicates gross negligence and effective intent to cause suffering and death of frogs and is in fact a breeding factory for pathogens. Such pathogens could spread beyond the immediate factory and into the external environment creating new criminal offences."
You might not be a biologist or even know what a herpetologist is, but what do you think about PETA's latest investigation?
Last month, Amali, a 5-year-old giraffe, got an unnatural knot in her neck from an injury sustained in-transit to the Tulsa Zoo, where she was expected to breed with a male giraffe. After weeks of treatment with ineffective drugs, Amali's neck remained crooked. A few days ago, zoo veterinarians prepared her for an X-ray procedure, but soon after sedation, Amali died.
Amali's disability may have looked unusual, but her tragic passing is an all-too-ordinary occurrence for giraffes at zoos. Captive giraffes frequently die as a result of inadequate care and space. Veterinary neglect is often lethal—as it was in 2005 for a giraffe named Kenya at the Columbus Zoo after the zoo's chief veterinarian administered the wrong drug during surgery. In 2006, Makena, a 1-year-old giraffe, fatally broke her neck while she struggled to free herself after her head became wedged in a small space at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas. Earlier last year, Dusti died from strangulation when he became entangled in a pulley system at Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. The year before, Makonnen, a 2-year-old giraffe, died in a barn fire at Six Flags in Vallejo, Cali.
Giraffes belong in the wild, not in enclosures that offer many opportunities for these curious animals to become injured. If you notice abuse or mistreatment of animals in your local zoo, file a report. Your observations and documentation can save lives that would otherwise be lost to neglect and carelessness.
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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.