Puppy mill raids boost lawmaker interest

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2009:
The 2009 state legislative sessions in at least six states
opened with introductions of proposed anti-puppy mill bills, with
many more bill introductions reportedly pending.
Stimulating the legislative activity were some of the biggest
dog seizures from alleged puppy mills on record in Minnesota,
Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington–all involving
small breeds and small mixed breeds, the dogs least often available
from shelters and most in demand through pet stores and Internet pet
The Everett Animal Shelter, just half an hour by car and
ferry boat from the ANIMAL PEOPLE offices in the outer Seattle
suburbs, on February 9, 2009 took legal custody of nearly 160 dogs
who were seized on January 16 in the first of a multi-day series of
raids on sites in rural Snohomish and Skagit Counties. The raids
netted more than 600 dogs in all, most of them of small breeds and
small mixed breeds. Many were pregnant, though humane officers
said Internet reports that thousands of puppies were expected were

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Can a label make pork “humane”?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2009:
LONDON–Two pork industry fronts, the
British Pig Executive and the National Pig
Association, may not advertise that “British pig
farms have very high welfare standards, assured
by the Quality Standard Mark,” the Advertising
Standards Authority ruled on February 11, 2009.
Pending revision of the BPEx and NPA ads,
the ruling interrupted a two-year promotion
featuring television chef Jamie Oliver. The
Advertising Standards Authority passed no
judgement as to the value of the Quality Standard
Mark used by BPEx and the NPA, but only about a
third of the pigs raised in Britain are raised
according to the requirements of the program.

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No more treating sentient lives as trash

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2009:

Horse racing evolved as “The Sport of Kings,” since kings
were among the first people who could afford to breed and race highly
valued animals kept by others mostly for work.
Animal fighting, regardless of any terms applied to the
human participants, by contrast evolved as “The Sport of Trash.”
The plastic garbage bags full of “sexed” male chickens
awaiting live maceration at any hatchery serving the egg industry
illustrate why. Cockfighting, bullfighting, and dogfighting each
originated through the quest to find profitable uses for lives that
would otherwise be snuffed out and discarded: birds who would never
lay eggs, cattle who would never give milk, and barge-born mongrel
pups who might combine big-dog stamina with small-dog feistiness,
but would grow up to be too small to pull carts, too big to hunt rats.
Gambling money and the evolution of paying audiences for
animal fighting eventually separated the lineage of most gamecocks,
fighting bulls, and fighting dogs from their barnyard and waterfront
ancestors, but not entirely. The public participatory forms of
bullfighting practiced in India as jallikattu and dhirio, for
example, and the Brazilian version called farra du boi, are little
changed from ancient origins.
Surplus bull calves in early agrarian societies might be
castrated and trained to draw plows and carts, but relatively few
were needed for work. Bull calves might also be raised as steers,
for beef; but until the advent of mechanized grain production, few
people could afford to keep and fatten cattle just to be eaten.
Yet many tried. Around the world, agrarian societies
typically tried to feed most of their young and healthy animals
through the winter, then culled them at midwinter solstice and
spring equinox festivals. The killing was sometimes ritualized as
sacrifice, sometimes as sport and entertainment, and often as all

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Hell & high water hit Down Under

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2009:
MELBOURNE–Dozens of fast-spreading bushfires, many of them
believed to have been set by arsonists, killed countless animals
and hundreds of humans who tried to save their homes and animals in
drought-stricken northeastern Victoria state, Australia during the
first weekend of February 2009.
Among the first 181 known human fatalities were five
prominent animal advocates and two young sisters who tried
unsuccessfully to evacuate their horses [see page 18]. More than 200
rural Australians were missing in a burned region larger than
Luxembourg, pending searches of rubble that remained smouldering for
as long as a week.

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