U.S. whaling negotiator hinted to Japan that IRS might pull Sea Shepherd Conservation Society nonprofit status

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2011:


MADRID--U.S. State Department messages published on January 3,  2011 by WikiLeaks and the leading Spanish newspaper El Pais disclose that U.S. diplomats in negotiation with senior Japanese officials entertained the possibility of asking the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the nonprofit status of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

The State Department messages also confirm the belief widespread among whale conservationists that current White House policy seeks as a first priority to lower the profile of confrontation with Japan over whaling. Read more

U.S. retail fur industry didn’t get big holiday bounce–& did get Truth in Fur Labeling Act

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2011:

– Experiencing sales declines of 15.5% in 2008 and 7% in 2009,  U.S. retail furriers ballyhooed hopes for a big comeback during the 2010 holiday season.  But the first available sales data suggests they didn’t get it.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that apparel sales were up 2.7%.  But the increase came mostly at department stores,  whose sales were up 2.8%,  not at high-end luxury boutiques.

The department store contribution to the U.S. retail fur trade consists chiefly of selling inexpensive fur-trimmed garments, mostly made abroad.

The biggest news for that branch of the fur trade during the 2010 holiday season was that U.S. President Barack Obama  on December 18 signed into law the Truth in Fur Labeling Act.

Taking effect in March 2011,  the Truth in Fur Labeling Act “finally closes a loophole in federal law that currently allows some animal fur garments to go unlabeled if the value of the fur is $150 or less,  leaving consumers in the dark as to whether they are buying faux or animal fur,” explained Humane Society Legislative Fund president Mike Markarian. Read more

Spanish national broadcasting agency banishes bullfights to protect children

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2011:


MADRID–The Spanish national broadcasting agency,  Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española (RTVE)  on January 8,  2011 made official that it will no longer televise bullfights.


RTVE “has not shown bullfighting in any of its programs for months,  citing low audience ratings and budget problems,”  wrote Associated Press correspondent Harold Heckle. RTVE made the de facto exclusion of bullfights from broadcasts official in the 2011 edition of the corporate stylebook.  A chapter titled “Violence against animals” says RTVE has ceased broadcasting bullfighting in part because bullfights are usually held at hours when children are likely to be watching. Read more

South Korea kills 1.6 million pigs, cattle, & dogs in fight against foot and mouth disease

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2011:

–Water taps spat blood on New Year’s Day 2011 in Paju, Gyeonggi Province,  South Korea,  “just one day after some of nearly 1,000 pigs within a 500-meter radius of a foot-and-mouth-hit livestock farm were buried alive to prevent further spread of the disease,”  reported Park Si-soo of Korea Times.

The quarantine officers who ordered the live burial claimed the water would soon run clean,  but “many experts insist that blood from the buried animals will eventually contaminate underground reservoirs,”  Park Si-soo wrote. Read more

SHARK Octocopter drone allegedly shot down while documenting Pennsylvania pigeon shoot

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2011:

HAMBURG,  Pennsylvania
–An Octocopter drone video camera platform snagged in a tall tree guarantees that Showing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK) will continue to keep an eye on the Wing Pointe gun club near Hamburg,  Pennsylvania for some time to come, while pursuing legal action to get the Octocopter back.

The case appears likely to ensure that SHARK and Wing Pointe will meet in court,  but not necessarily in connection with the cruelty prosecution SHARK has tried to press against Wing Pointe since retrieving 21 wounded but living pigeons from a “dead pile” after a pigeon shoot on December 5,  2010. Read more

Penn State faculty start industry-backed poultry transport certification program

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2011:

STATE COLLEGE,  Pa.–Pennsylvania State University faculty in the first week of 2011 introduced what they termed “a certification program believed to be the first to offer third-party quality assurance training on poultry handling and transportation for ‘catch crews.'”

The program was developed as a collaboration among 12 organizations and government agencies which operate in support of agribusiness,  among them the National Chicken Council,  United Egg Producers,  National Turkey Federation,  USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service,  and American Veterinary Medical Association. Read more

Oslo Fashion Week bans fur from catwalk

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2011:

-Oslo Fashion Week founder Pål Vasbotten on January 8,  2011 confirmed to ANIMAL PEOPLE that the only Norwegian fashion event of global note has banned fur from the catwalks. Oslo Fashion Week, held twice a year since 2004,  will next be celebrated from February 15 through February 21,  2011.

Unconfirmed reports quoting Vasbotten with a variety of different attributions circulated for more than two weeks before the Oslo Fashion Week web site first mentioned the ban by including a third-hand account by Katherine Sweet of the fashion publication Radar. Sweet reported that Vasbotten told The Huffington Post that banning fur from the catwalk “has been a very natural choice for us because we do not want [Oslo Fashion Week] to appear as an arena in which to promote products based on the treatment of animals [as] prohibited by animal welfare concerns in several countries.” Read more

Obama signs the Shark Conservation Act, meant to stop killing sharks just for fins

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2011:

Washington D.C. – U.S. President Barack Obama on January 4, 2011 endorsed into law the Shark Conservation Act,  passed unanimously by both the Senate and the House of Representatives during the last days of the 111th Congress.

“The legislation requires that sharks be landed with their fins still naturally attached,  the only sure way to enforce a ban on finning,”  summarized Humane Society Legislative Fund president Mike Markarian. Read more

New Malaysian Wildlife Conservation Act including anti-cruelty language comes into effect

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2011:

PETALING JAYA,  Malaysia— The arrival of 2011 in Malaysia brought into full effect the Wildlife Conservation Act,  a sweeping update of 30-year-old previous legislation that includes under one heading the corpus of Malaysian law covering almost every aspect of human interaction with wild animals.  Like most national wildlife laws,  the Malaysian Wildlife Conservation Act covers hunting,  fishing,  capturing wildlife, protection of endangered and threatened species, and dealing with dangerous and “nuisance” wildlife.  It also includes language prohibiting cruelty to wildlife,  including captive wildlife, and establishes basic requirements for zoo management. Read more

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