Written by PETA
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that selectively breeding dogs for certain “aesthetic” traits like a shiny nose, or perky ears—or whatever the hell it is that breeders are looking for in the animals they use for self-gratification and profit—isn’t good for the animals, and in fact can cause extreme health problems. All of the animals who won awards at the AKC-sponsored Westminster Dog Show this week have something in common beyond having been deliberately bred into a world where millions of animals are dying on the streets for lack of a good home: They’re all genetically predisposed to be highly susceptible to a laundry list of debilitating diseases.
In first place, we have Uno, the first beagle ever to take home the “Best in Show” honors at Westminster. As a beagle, Uno has a significantly higher risk of hypothyroidism, demodectic mange (a condition that occurs when a dog’s immune system can’t regulate the number of mites living in the skin), umbilical hernia, epilepsy, eye and eyelid problems, cryptorchidism, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disk disease, and luxating patella. But I’m sure his Westminster crown will console him when one or more of these ailments set in.
The two poodle contestants, Vikki and Remy, who were just edged out by Uno in the competition, probably won’t live as long as he does either: Poodles are prone to cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, allergies, severe skin disease, hip dysplasia, runny eyes, ear infections, Von Willebrand disease, bloat, and Addison's disease—an adrenal gland deficiency which requires lifelong medication and monitoring.
Uno also defeated a Weimaraner named Marge (elbow dysplasia, bloat) a Sealyham terrier named Charmin (bronchitis, early tooth decay, poor digestion, severe spine problems), and an Australian shepherd named Deuce (hip dysplasia, blood disorders, digestive problems, epilepsy, chronic eczema, gastric disorders, spinal paralysis).
So everyone’s a loser. Thanks, breeders, for contributing to the problem. Can’t wait to see you guys next year.
What was the most difficult thing about this investigation for you?
Being Jewish, I grew up believing that kosher food was better supervised and therefore cleaner, healthier and produced more humanely. Like the famous kosher slogan, I thought the kosher food industry always “answered to a higher authority.” It was disillusioning to see, yet again, such callous violations of the most fundamental Jewish principles, such as tsa’ar ba’alei chayim (kindness to animals) and to witness this horror face-to-face with the tortured animals.
Why did you agree to do this investigation?
As someone who keeps kosher, I feel ashamed and embarrassed that the kosher food industry has been complicit in some of the worst farmed animal abuses. PETA has been instrumental in bringing about humane improvements to kosher slaughter within the United States and much of that has been due to our undercover investigations. We have also tried for years behind the scenes to get the important companies to end this hideous “shackle and hoist” kosher slaughter method in South America but unfortunately these companies were more concerned with hiding what goes in their slaughterhouses. Undercover footage is the best way to expose the truth and ultimately hold people accountable to make conditions less cruel for the animals. I desperately want kosher food to live up to the highest standards and I know other kosher consumers demand the same.
You can watch the results of the investigation below, and if you’d like to take action, please click here to write to Jewish leaders asking them to enforce tougher standards on kosher slaughterhouses like this one to ensure that these horrors never happen again.
We sent this letter to the St. Kitts Attorney General yesterday urging him to immediately investigate the “teaching” procedures being performed on dogs, donkeys, and sheep at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, which is owned by Chicago-based DeVry, Inc. (of late-night TV commercial fame). We’re also calling for prosecution of any school officials who are found to have been violating the island’s cruelty-to-animals statutes.
All this got set into motion when we received numerous photographs documenting the mutilation of animals who are forced to undergo multiple surgeries before they are killed and cut apart. The key points to remember here are that a) there are numerous humane alternatives to the tests conducted at Ross, and b) it is illegal to cause "unnecessary suffering" to animals under St. Kitts law. As it should be. Here’s what PETA’s research director told the media today:
"Ross University is forcing its students—men and women who will devote their lives to healing animals—to maim and kill dogs and other animals in unnecessary, painful procedures. We're asking the attorney general to help students and animals by enforcing St. Kitts' anti-cruelty laws."
If you’d like write to the veterinary school about this issue, you can do so through the handy webform here.
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.
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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.