Written by Jeff Mackey
Update: In one of the
pettiest pieces of pork-barrel politics we've seen in a long time, North
Carolina state Rep. Roger West, who just so happens to be a sponsor of
Brasstown's annual New Year's Eve Possum Drop, has introduced Senate Bill 60,
also sneeringly known as "The Opossum Right-to-Work Act."
At face value, the bill appears
to be simply a way to skirt a judge's recent ruling that outlawed the cruel
event. But it's actually far more insidious than that—it would also strip other
wildlife protections and would allow wild animals to be held in captivity
for unspecified periods of time, put on display for profit or publicity, and
exploited for some unspecified "other purpose." The bill even seeks
to exempt some activities from the state's anti-cruelty law. TV icon Bob Barker
has sent a letter to members of the North Carolina Senate urging them to reject
the bill, and if you're a North Carolina resident, we hope you will do the same and get all your
neighbors to weigh in, too.
Originally posted on November 14th, 2012:
After the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC),
despite an objection from PETA, issued a made-up permit to Clay Logan to possess an opossum for his cruel annual New Year's Eve "Opossum
Drop"—in which a terrified opossum is abducted, held captive, then
suspended and lowered into a horde of boisterous revelers—at his general store
in Brasstown, PETA took the matter to court. Now
the verdict's in, and the animal with the gray fur scored a victory over the
folks with the red faces—and necks.
That's right, y'all: Senior Administrative Law Judge Fred G.
Morrison Jr. ruled in PETA's favor, finding that in North Carolina, citizens "are prohibited from capturing
and using wild animals for pets or amusement" and that the "WRC
has no authority to issue any permit to Logan for the unlawful public display
of a native wild animal at the Opossum Drop Event." As a result, the WRC may not "issue any permit or license for possessing and publicly
displaying a live opossum for use in an 'Opossum Drop' event or for any other public display of a
live opossum or other native wild animal."
Each year, several weeks prior to New Year's Eve, Logan has captured
an opossum from the wild and confined the animal before hoisting him or her high
into the air on New Year's Eve, and then, with a raucous crowd cheering and the
noise of fireworks, live music, and the firing of muskets and cannons, lowered
the frightened animal into the fray. Opossums are shy animals who are terrified
of humans—their primary predator—and vulnerable to stress-related conditions because
of captivity, including capture myopathy, which can result in death days or
even weeks after release back into the wild.
What You Can Do
Causing animals pain or distress should never be cause for
celebration. Learn more about entertainment that doesn't harm animals as well as how to live in
harmony with wildlife.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
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!
Sometimes, even compassionate people seem to
disregard fish. I know: I was one of them. Years after I stopped eating meat, I
identified as a vegetarian but would still have a little sushi. It was a long
time before I realized—thanks to PETA—that fish are sentient beings who
feel pain acutely and struggle against death. Perhaps a few other people are
having their own "aha" moment right now, thanks to PETA Germany's recent victory
Acting on a tip, two PETA Germany
investigators joined some tourists on a crab fishing boat operating along the northern coast.
The crab fishing itself wasn't illegal, but the way the anglers were tormenting
was. Under German law, fish must be instantly killed or placed in water after
being caught. But these anglers were catching several fish in their crab traps
and leaving the unwanted animals to asphyxiate to death on the boat. They even
laughed about the animals' struggle to breathe before they died.
The investigators shot video evidence and began
throwing suffering fish back into the water. Then they filed a complaint with
the Hamburg District Attorney's Office, and the court slapped the owner of the boat
with a fine of 400 euros (about $540). He and his crew will likely be taking
fish protection laws more seriously now.
If you know someone who claims, "I'm a vegetarian, but
I still eat fish," perhaps you can mention this story as a way of
illustrating that fish
feel pain and, like every other animal, deserve to be free from suffering.
After PETA filed multiple complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding egregious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) at Chief Saunooke Bear Park, the bear pit must now surrender its exhibitor license. What's more, the license will remain suspended until the dismal facility is able to prove that it's compliant with AWA regulations—if it ever can.
Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians joined PETA in meeting with the USDA to detail the problems at the Cherokee, North Carolina, roadside zoo. Following our complaints and meeting, the USDA charged the bear pit with more than a dozen violations. Now, the park has agreed to pay a fine and surrender its license in order to settle the case. It's probably a smart move, considering that in a 62-page report that PETA gave to the USDA, bear experts who visited the facility documented that, among other violations, the park was failing to maintain adequate barriers between bears and the public, leading to at least two attacks on visitors thus far. According to the experts, the park also failed to supply food for its public feedings that met the bears' nutritional needs and instead allowed visitors to feed them cat food and Lucky Charms cereal. Among many other abuses, the facility also failed to provide the bears with veterinary care and forced them to eat from filthy, unsanitary food containers.
Barely a month ago, a PETA investigation revealed that staff members were deliberately depriving bears of food and that the animals are so stressed from being constantly confined to small, concrete pits that they pace repeatedly and gnaw at the metal cage bars. Our investigation also uncovered drug use, racism, wage-law violations, and more.
Please ask the USDA to take the next step and
confiscate the abused bears.
We're happy to report a favorable development in this case:
A court has denied a motion by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to
dismiss the lawsuit brought against the agency by PETA, the Animal Legal
Defense Fund (ALDF), and two Fayetteville-area residents seeking to overturn
the USDA's renewal of Jambbas Ranch Tours' license to continue to operate the
wretched roadside zoo that has racked up dozens of violations of the federal
Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
The ruling comes in the wake of the recent high-profile rescue of Ben the bear, who now resides in a spacious habitat at a sanctuary in
California, thanks to the ruling in the earlier lawsuit mentioned below.
PETA's challenge to the licenses will move forward, but the
animals at Jambbas have no time to lose—please urge USDA officials to revoke Jambbas' license
immediately and offer these animals the chance to live out their lives with the kind of
comfort and dignity that Ben now enjoys.
Originally posted on April 19th, 2012:
of Cumberland County, North Carolina, who are sickened by Jambbas Ranch Tours' pervasive neglect and abuse of animals have joined PETA and the Animal Legal
Defense Fund in suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over its renewal
of Jambbas' license despite chronic violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
AWA allows an animal exhibitor or dealer to have his or her license renewed only
if the person's business operates in accordance with AWA regulations. But the
USDA has repeatedly renewed Jambbas' license despite the fact that every single inspection of the roadside
zoo between October 2006 and January 2012 resulted in citations for AWA violations
including the following:
is the second pending lawsuit involving Jambbas Ranch. The other suit seeks to
have an abused bear named
Ben removed from Jambbas and relocated to a sanctuary where PETA has made arrangements
for him to live. In this sad video, Ben paces in his barren cage, bites the
chain-link fencing, pushes against it, and tries to reach under it—behavior a
bear expert has identified as a cry for help:
asking the USDA not to renew Jambbas' license, PETA also pointed out several
violations of the AWA that relate to Ben, including a lack of adequate space,
which is likely causing his repetitive, abnormal behavior.
is clearly not qualified to possess an AWA license. We will keep you updated as
the lawsuit progresses.
For decades, PETA has been calling for an end to the cruel and irrelevant use of
chimpanzees in experimentation. We’ve made significant progress over the years bring an end to this national
disgrace, and now
government is finally taking concrete steps to do the same.
© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
At a historic meeting
this afternoon, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) committee recommended
that the agency cut funding for seven of the nine current taxpayer-funded
grants for biomedical experiments on chimpanzees and fully or partially cut
funding for 12 of 13 behavioral studies. With regard to the fate of these 360
NIH-owned chimpanzees, the committee stated that "the majority of
NIH-owned chimpanzees should be designated for retirement and transferred to
the federal sanctuary system. Planning should start immediately ...."
The NIH's momentous move follows the landmark 2011 finding of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that "most current biomedical research use of
chimpanzees is not necessary." After the report's release, the NIH formed a committee to determine, among
other things, which taxpayer-funded projects should be ended and how many
chimpanzees should be retired.
PETA submitted recommendations calling for a complete end to
experimentation on chimpanzees to both IOM and NIH during these deliberations—and
that's just one part of the extensive groundwork that led to this exciting
development. Every step of the way, PETA has relentlessly pursued any and all
avenues to uncover abuse to chimpanzees in laboratories and has advocated for
the creation of stronger federal policy and legislation to protect chimpanzees
from being tormented in experiments.
has exposed cruelty in laboratories,
filed complaints against laboratories
that experiment on chimpanzees, reached out to Members of Congress, organized demonstrations, gained celebrity support, filed shareholder
resolutions, launched online advocacy
campaigns, and called for an end to this barbaric practice in popular and academic publications.
The end is in sight, but we must not stop until all
chimpanzees are out of laboratories. Please sign PETA's petition asking Congress to retire all
federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries.
We have very exciting news to share. Earlier this week, a representative from United Airlines phoned PETA to say that the airline will no longer transport primates for use in experiments anywhere in the world! In order to ensure that animal experimenters get the message loud and clear, United even posted the new policy on its website, and it leaves no one in doubt: The airline "do[es] not book, accept or transport primates to or from medical research facilities."
United's compassionate stance means that there isn't a single commercial airline based in North America that is willing to transport primates to a cruel death in laboratories. This will make it much more difficult for experimenters to get their hands on primates in order to lock them away from their families and poison, cut up, and kill them.
YOU helped make this possible! Last year, after we organized demonstrations against the airline at its offices around the world and purchased stock in the company with the intention of introducing a shareholder resolution this year, we encouraged our members and supporters to contact the company. Hundreds of thousands of you flooded United's inboxes and Facebook wall with messages demanding that the airline stop profiting from cruelty to animals. One supporter even interrupted a United senior vice president at a trade conference, took over the microphone, and announced to attendees that United was the last U.S. airline that was still transporting primates to be abused and killed.
United's new policy means that only four major international airlines remain in the world that are willing to shuttle primates off to years of torment in exchange for a few dollars in revenue. Let's make that number zero. Please take a moment to tell Air France, China Eastern Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines that you won't be flying with them until primates don't either.
that test their products on animals needn't bother trying to ship them to
Israel, because, starting New Year's Day, the country banned the import, sale,
and marketing of animal-tested cosmetics, toiletries, and household cleaners. Previously,
in 2007, the Israeli
government had banned using animals to test personal-care and
household products within the country. But with the new law, which was passed in
2010 and came into effect January 1, 2013, lawmakers have one-upped themselves,
blocking products that have been tested on animals in other countries from even
crossing Israel's border.
and our affiliates are working to end the testing of cosmetics and household
products on animals in countries around the world, and Israel has proved that a
full ban on such vile products is not only possible but also ethically
responsible. The EU had passed
a similar ban, which
was also scheduled to take effect in 2013, but lawmakers are now considering
extending that deadline. PETA
and PETA U.K. have been pushing hard to get the EU to uphold
the original end date. In addition, PETA India is trying to get a similar ban implemented in that
country, and the effort has a lot
of momentum. PETA
and PETA Asia have been helping
Chinese scientists switch to in vitro
cosmetics testing methods and are encouraging the
Chinese government to accept the results in place of the animal tests that it
currently requires. And in the U.S., PETA has been purchasing stock in companies that conduct animal
tests so that we can propose
shareholder resolutions to switch to humane testing methods.
But despite all the
legal hullabaloo, we can at least designate our homes cruelty-free areas. It's
easy to select personal-care and household products that weren't tested on
animals by glancing at PETA's
new global Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide, the latest complete
list of companies that refuse to conduct or pay for any animal tests anywhere
in the world.
Some exhilarating news from
our neighbors (aka "neighbours" or "voisins") to the north: The Canadian Transportation Agency
(CTA) will allow Air Canada to ban shipments of primates destined for pain and
misery in laboratories.
leaves United Airlines as the only North American airline—and one of the few left in the world—to
continue this bloody business.)
Following pleas from PETA, other
organizations, and members of the public, Air
Canada first sought the
CTA's permission for the ban last year, stating that the proposed ban was "both to
align our policies with those of many other major international carriers and in
response to widespread public concern." Following objections from animal
experimenters, the CTA initially did not approve the ban and scheduled a
hearing on the issue. PETA immediately filed comments as a "party of
interest," which were included in the official record, in support of Air
Canada's proposed ban.
CTA just released its decision in this matter, ruling entirely in favor of Air Canada and against the animal tormenters. In its lengthy
decision, the CTA pointed out that the airline had received "over 47,000 letters from the
public protesting its practice of transporting non-human primates for research
purposes" and that Air Canada "cannot ignore the overwhelming volume
of letters in opposition to the transport of non-human primates destined for
As the CTA decision makes clear, this victory was made
possible because of the appeals of concerned people—including the almost 19,000
PETA supporters who took action through this website. That's why it's so critical
to make sure that your voice is heard—please join PETA in urging the few remaining
airlines still willing to ship primates to laboratories to stop contributing to this cruelty.
Circuses are running into more and more places where they can't force elephants and other exotic animals to perform, as localities ban the use of bullhooks—sharp metal weapons that resemble fireplace pokers—and other cruel devices. Trainers use them to beat, hook, and gouge elephants on the most sensitive parts of their bodies, like behind their ears and knees. In Florida alone, Pompano Beach, Clearwater, Hollywood, and Margate have already enacted bans, and now we can add Hallandale Beach to the list of dozens of compassionate communities across the country that are saying, "Not on our watch."
Thanks in part to the help and hard work of
local group Animal
Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF), the
City Commission of Hallandale Beach, just north of Miami, voted to ban circuses
and rodeos from using bullhooks, whips, and other cruel devices to
beat animals. Since threatening elephants, tigers, and other animals by showing
them a bullhook or whip is the only way that circus trainers can make them
stand on their heads, jump through rings of fire, or perform other frightening,
confusing tricks, circuses
will have to leave exotic animals out of their acts if they want to entertain
in Hallandale Beach.
PETA is sending the Hallandale Beach city commissioners a box of vegan chocolates to thank them for being elefriends.
Los Angeles is also considering a bullhook ban. Let the City Council know that you (and elephants) would love to see Los Angeles become known as the City of Angels to Animals by passing the ban.
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.