Written by Michelle Kretzer
Great Britain has united against circuses that force wild animals to perform. With the vast majority of
the British public behind them, the members of Parliament voted unanimously to ban wild-animal acts in circuses
in England and Wales.
Pressure has been mounting for the past
few years for the government to make this historic move, particularly after animal rights
an undercover video that showed a groom at Bobby Roberts Super Circus who kicked
an Asian elephant named Anne and beat her with a pitchfork. PETA U.K. kept up the
anti-circus momentum, with demonstrations,
ads, newspaper articles, and action alerts asking its members to e-mail the prime minister.
Now Britons can pop a cork and celebrate the fact that legislation to ban all
wild animals from circuses is passing through Parliament, meaning no more wild
animals will be torn from their homes and families, denied everything that is
natural and important to them, confined to tiny boxcars or cages, and forced to
perform demeaning and painful tricks for human amusement.
Circuses in England and
Wales will go on—but with talented human performers who are there by choice.
We aren't there yet in the U.S.—but the
time is coming. Check out PETA's guide "Steps to Take When the Circus Comes to Town"
for ideas on how to help. England and Wales are ending these cruel acts, and we
President Ingrid E. Newkirk put her money where her mouth is—in a very literal sense—in
an eye-catching protest outside British retailer Fortnum & Mason's Piccadilly store this week.
protest illustrated what geese endure while they are being raised for the foie gras sold in Fortnum & Mason
stores. But in order to replicate fully how foie gras is produced, Ingrid would
have had to be force-fed several times a day for weeks until her diseased liver
had painfully swelled to up to 10 times its normal size.
process is so cruel that it's illegal in the U.K., but Fortnum & Mason
continues to sell foie gras imported from France, where a recent PETA U.K. investigation documented the confinement of geese to crowded, filthy pens and their slaughter
while still conscious.
British venues, including the House of Lords, the
House of Commons, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Wimbledon, Lord's Cricket
Ground, and all the residences of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, refuse to serve foie gras,
and retailers Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, House of
Fraser, and Jenners refuse to sell it. PETA UK won't
stop until it has added Fortnum & Mason to that list.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Trendsetting U.K.-based retailer Topshop teamed up with PETA U.K. to make over the window of its Oxford Street flagship
store for the weekend and send a message to shoppers that exotic skins are not
in. (Take that, Beyoncé.)
In order to make
handbags, shoes, and Super Bowl halftime outfits,
snakes are commonly nailed to trees and skinned alive, and alligators and
lizards are bludgeoned with hammers. It can take several agonizing hours for
the animals to die, usually from shock or dehydration. Watch PETA's shocking exposé, narrated by
Joaquin Phoenix, to learn more about the suffering that lies behind those crocodile backpacks and python pumps. Reptiles may be cold-blooded, but wearing their skins is cold-hearted.
Please follow Topshop's lead (it doesn't
sell fur or exotic skins) and pledge to keep wildlife out of your wardrobe.
In a rousing victory for
animals, a county planning commission in the U.K. has denied a notorious
chicken factory farm a spot within its borders.
Harrison Farms had asked the Shropshire Council for permission to build an
intensive factory farm in which 330,000 chickens at a time would be tightly
crammed into dark sheds until the time came to slaughter them. But after
hearing from PETA U.K. and almost 5,000 of PETA U.K.'s
members and supporters, the council denied the application.
The animal advocates
explained to the council how factory
farms dose chickens with massive amounts of antibiotics to keep them alive in the
cramped, filthy conditions and to make them grow so large so fast that many of
them become crippled under their own weight or experience organ failure. They
also relayed how the farms cut off the ends of chickens' sensitive beaks with a
searing-hot blade to stop the frustrated birds from pecking at each other and
how the only time the chickens see grass or feel the warmth of the sun is when
they are being shipped to the slaughterhouse to have their throats slashed and be dunked in tanks of
scalding-hot water. They also gave the council information on how factory farms
are among the main contributors
to climate change.
Congratulations to everyone
who wrote in!
Written by PETA
People have been safely using toothpaste, dish soap, and other household products for generations, but that didn’t stop REACH, the European Union's massive chemical-testing program, from torturing and killing about 200,000 animals in tests on the ingredients in these products, among many other chemicals. A recent report by the agency that oversees REACH reveals that companies are ignoring the requirement to use every available alternative to experimenting on animals and are instead putting thousands of animals through suffering that most people wouldn't wish on their worst enemy.
According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, "Among these 'unnecessary' tests were 188 studies on eye irritation carried out on rabbits; 336 skin sensitisation studies on guinea pigs or mice; 254 short-term toxicity tests on fish; and 33 genetic toxicity tests on mice."
PETA U.K. is calling out the government officials responsible for enforcing REACH by placing this ad in an influential European politics magazine, The Parliament, and asking Europeans to write to the European Commission.
In related news, PETA and its international affiliates have written to the European Chemicals Agency, which oversees REACH, demanding a moratorium on reproductive toxicity testing until a newly approved refinement―that can spare hundreds of thousands of animals―is in place.
In the meantime, you can help animals on both sides of the pond by buying only cruelty-free products. Visit the PETA Living page for lists of companies that do and don’t test on animals.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
After nearly a year of campaigning by PETA U.K. and massive opposition from U.K. residents who care about the Earth and animals, Nocton Dairies has withdrawn its application to build a 3,770-cow mega-dairy, which would have been the largest dairy factory farm in the U.K. More than 6,000 of the 14,000 registered objections received by the district council came from PETA U.K. supporters!
This great news means that thousands of cows will be spared the misery of enduring intensive confinement and artificial impregnation year after year, only to have their terrified calves yanked away from them within a day of being born.
According to a Nocton Dairies spokesperson, the factory farming industry's agenda is to "produce more with less"— in other words, to squeeze every last drop of milk from mother cows. Let's show them that they don't need to bother: Sip on tasty, cruelty-free soy, almond, or rice milk instead, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
PETA U.K.'s billboard asking anglers if they are "overcompensating" for something hit a little too close to home for some fishers. Fortunately, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the agency that reviews all ad complaints in the U.K., has a better sense of humor than do the angry anglers—it gave the billboard the all-clear.
Says ASA spokesperson Rob Griggs, "Our decision was that we acknowledged the intended humour, and we felt that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."
Guys who get off on impaling animals' mouths with hooks and leaving them to slowly suffocate are definitely short on at least one thing: compassion.
Written by Christine Becknell
The list of celebrities who have been spotted wearing Stella McCartney's luxe animal-friendly fashions reads like a Hollywood who's who: Jada Pinkett Smith. Kate Winslet. Charlize Theron. Could the Queen's Guards be next?
We hope so. After a faux-fur prototype of a Queen's Guard's bearskin cap was presented during a meeting earlier this week with several Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials, we're encouraged by the possibilities. Stella, who collaborated with Canadian eco-designer Atom Cianfarani on the prototype, has been working with PETA UK for several years to develop a faux-fur hat that will pass the MoD's rigorous water-resistance tests.
"Historically, England has a very high regard for animals, so it makes perfect sense that the MoD should continue shedding ceremonial furs from uniforms," she says.
The new material is lighter and more breathable than bear fur, is less expensive, and of course, no bears were killed to make it. Currently, one bear is killed for every hat that's produced.
The MoD officials were impressed by PETA UK's prototype and have greenlighted further testing. Check back here for updates.
Written by Paula Moore
Before there was Gaga, Eva, or Natalie, there was Twiggy. From her groundbreaking debut in the '60s to her insightful (and compassionate) presence on America's Next Top Model, Twiggy is always in style—so it's no surprise that the eternally vogue icon shuns fur. Elegant and wise, Twiggy knows that faux is forever trendy, which is why she and a rescue pooch named Jasmine posed in this adorable new ad from PETA U.K.:
There is no difference between companion animals and those who are tormented and killed on fur farms. Dogs are among the many animals—including cats, rabbits, foxes, and minks—who are starved and left in extremely crowded wire cages to suffer the blazing summer heat and the unbearable winter cold. After miserable lives filled with neglect and abuse, animals on fur farms are slammed to the ground or electrocuted in an effort to kill them. Those attempts often fail, and then the animals suffer the agony of having the skin stripped from their bodies while they are still able to feel pain. Follow Twiggy's timelessly humane lead and take our pledge to go fur-free.
Written by Logan Scherer
Two years ago, PETA UK began urging Selfridges to drop foie gras from its shelves so that it would stop contributing to the fatal force-feeding of ducks and geese. PETA UK and its supporters dauntlessly demonstrated, sent more than 5,000 e-mails to Selfridges, and placed thousands of phone calls to the retailer. We are thrilled to announce that all this hard work has paid off: Selfridges has pledged to stop selling foie gras forever.
The splendid news comes from Sir Roger Moore, PETA UK's committed celebrity spokesperson, who received the call directly from Selfridges. Moore's unwavering dedication, along with the inspiring passion of PETA UK's campaigners, attracted endless attention on television, in newspapers, and around the Internet—wherever you turned, PETA UK was there, spreading the message to give up foie gras.
This towering triumph is proof that every e-mail, phone call, and letter matters. Please help spread the success by writing to managers of local restaurants that still sell the vile food. Alert them to the gross cruelty behind foie gras, and ask them to remove it from their menus.
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.