International animal legislation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2005:

Twenty-three nations with native chimpanzees, bonobos,
gorillas, and orangutans on September 9, 2005 signed a Declar-ation
on Great Apes in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, committing
themselves to protecting great apes and ape habitat in terms similar
to the language of the 1982 global moratorium on commercial whaling
and the 1997 Kyoto protocol on climate change.
The treaty was brokered through four years of negotiation by
the Great Apes Survival Project, formed by the United Nations
Environment Program and the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation. “GRASP has convinced nearly all of the range states
that saving great apes is very much in their interests, by stressing
that apes can bring enormous economic benefit to poor communities
through eco-tourism,” summarized Michael McCarthy, envronment
editor of the London Independent. “The new agreement places ape
conservation squarely in the context of strategies for poverty
reduction and developing sustainable livelihoods.”

The Director General and Inspector General of Police and
Commissioner of the Department of Hindu Religious Institutions &
Endowments in Tamil Nadu state, India, in mid-October 2005 warned
that “slaughtering animals, offering their organs, spilling their
blood, exhibiting their flesh or bones, selling, or cooking them
in the name of religion, deity, fair, festival, house warming,
vehicle sanctification, etc., is punishable under the Karnataka
Animal Sacrifice Prohibition Act of 1959.” Enforcement of the
46-year-old law has often been weak and sporadic. At request of the
federal ministry of environment and forests, however, the Tamil
Nadu Director General of Police in September 2005 signaled a
crackdown by ordering all city and district police departments to
form units mandated to enforce anti-cruelty laws.

A 59-point pet care bylaw taking effect on November 9, 2005
in Rome, Italy, reportedly bans keeping goldfish in small round
bowls, requires that dogs be walked at least once a day, bans
displays of live animals in storefront advertising, forbids the use
of choke collars and electrical shock collars, bans tail-docking,
ear-cropping, and declawing of dogs and cats, and officially
recognizes feral cat caretakers. Similar bylaws have been adopted
lately by other Italian cities, wrote Barbara McMahon of The
Guardian. “Reggio Emilia, near Bologna, banned boiling live
lobsters,” McMahon said, “and birds such as budgerigars and parrots
must be kept in pairs.”

The Bulgarian Council for Electronic Media on November 8,
2005 ordered that Bulgarian TV channels must not broadcast
“psychological or physical violence against humans or animals”
between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The 577-member French National Assembly on October 17, 2005
unanimously resolved that foie gras, produced by force-feeding ducks
and geese until they develop unnaturally distended livers, is “part
of the cultural and gastronomic patrimony, protected in France.”
The Israeli Supreme Court in August 2003 banned foie gras production
as unconstitutionally cruel. (See “Letters,” page 6.)

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