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Animal Welfare

December 25, 2010 | By Georgina Gustin, St. Louis Post Dispatch
American shoppers face an array of labels in their grocery stores, most designed to help them make healthful choices. Soon they'll see yet another label ? this one concerning the treatment of animals in the food chain. "There's organic, there's fair trade, but 'humane' is the next big thing," said Phil Lempert, a supermarket and consumer behavior analyst. "We ask shoppers what they're looking for, and that's what they're telling us. " The increasing consumer demand, though, has already touched off a controversy over labeling standards for meat and eggs ?
December 18, 2013 | By Saba Hamedy
The U.S. Department of Agriculture fined Harvard Medical School $24,036 on Wednesday for 11 Animal Welfare Act violations, including four animal deaths, from February 2011 through July 2012. The government's decision to fine the university wraps up an ongoing investigation of the medical school's animal facilities. One facility, the New England Primate Research Center , located in Southborough, Mass., announced its decision to close in April. In a document sent to the university's Center for Animal Resources and Comparative Medicine, USDA officials outlined the alleged violations.
July 8, 2011 | By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
If animal welfare advocates and the nation's leading egg farmers have their way, the future is looking rosy for chickens — and Americans will probably have to spend a bit more for their eggs. On Thursday, longtime adversaries the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers announced that they are jointly petitioning Congress for legislation that would require all farmers in the U.S. to adopt new standards on the size of cages used for hens that lay eggs. The new standard would require enclosures providing at least 124 square inches of space per bird, up from a minimum of 48 square inches that's now standard practice in many states.
December 16, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Several major retailers, including H&M, ASOS and Calvin Klein, have halted production of items made with the fur of angora rabbits following the release of an undercover video showing the animals shrieking as the fibers are pulled from their skin. But Zara is not one of them, according to animal-welfare activists, who are now turning their attention to the Spanish brand. The retailer -- a division of the world's largest apparel retailer, Inditex Group -- still has more than 60 angora items for sale on its website, according to advocacy group SumOfUs.
The Los Angeles City Animal Regulation Commission has suspended its relationship with Mercy Crusade of Van Nuys, which is the subject of state and federal investigations brought on by reports the animal welfare group bought as much as $100,000 worth of assault-style guns. In Sacramento, meanwhile, state legislators--with encouragement from the city of Los Angeles--are moving to change state laws that authorize animal welfare groups like Mercy Crusade to name state humane officers.
June 19, 2006 | Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
Patricia Guiver, a longtime Orange County animal welfare advocate who turned her love of animals into a series of mysteries featuring a tea-sipping pet detective, has died. She was 76. Guiver died Tuesday of complications from heart surgery at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, said Chris Guiver, her son and sole survivor. She was divorced.
May 6, 2005 | From Reuters
Two animal welfare experts said they resigned as advisors to fast-food chain KFC after the company asked them to sign an agreement preventing them from speaking publicly about its policies on such issues as animal slaughter. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University and Ian Duncan of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, said they stepped down from KFC parent Yum Brands Inc.'
Shira, a sad-eyed mutt with swollen legs and crushed hips, can barely limp along the dirt roads of the squatter camp where she lives alongside South Africa's destitute--people who can barely afford to care for themselves, let alone their pets. But for Shira, hope has come in the form of animal welfare activists who visit squatter camps like Zandspruit, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. They come to treat sick cats and dogs but leave helping the people as well as their animals.
July 2, 2007 | Jerry Hirsch, Times Staff Writer
Veterinarian Bud Stuart was delighted when he was given a live lobster by a client as extra thanks for saving a dog -- at least until the Santa Barbara seafood lover thought about cooking it. Stuart put the lobster in the freezer, expecting the chill would anesthetize it. Yet, when he later held it above a boiling pot of water, it was still alive and pinching. The crustacean was tasty, but he now vows "never to bring another live lobster into this house.
January 13, 2010 | By Carla Hall
About two dozen animal welfare advocates testified Tuesday before the Los Angeles Board of Animal Services about the qualities that a good general manager needs to run the city's shelter system. "I would love to see the new general manager standing with the mayor and declaring an end to the killing of animals in our city," said Bill Dyer of the animal welfare group, In Defense of Animals. Making the city's shelters "no-kill" or very low-kill -- meaning healthy animals are never euthanized for reasons of space -- has long been the goal of the city's animal welfare advocates.
September 20, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
It's not surprising that the Annenberg Foundation's plans for an expansive interpretive center in the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve has stirred controversy. The cherished 640-acre reserve that stretches from Westchester to Marina del Rey has passionate advocates who often disagree on the best course for its restoration. One element of the Annenberg plan that has come under fire is an animal adoption and care facility. That would be a welcome service in almost any other location in the Los Angeles area, but it doesn't fit into a preservation scheme for Ballona and should not be part of a final design plan.
June 21, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- For animal lovers in China, the week seemed to bring one discouraging headline after another. First, tourists in a southern resort reportedly manhandled a stranded dolphin and took photos with it rather than immediately call for help; the mammal later died. Then, customs authorities announced that they had caught two men trying to smuggle more than 200 bear paws into the country from Russia; the feet are considered a delicacy in some parts of China.  On Friday, the southern city of Yulin went ahead with a dog meat festival, over the objection of activists who complained many of the table-bound canines were abducted strays and pets being slaughtered at unlicensed butcheries.
March 27, 2013 | By the Los Angeles Times editorial board
A California Assembly bill that would require anyone who videotapes, photographs or records incidents of animal cruelty to turn over the evidence to authorities within 48 hours - or be charged with an infraction of the law - sounds like a tough new measure to crack down on abuse. It's not. In reality, it's one of a crop of disturbing "ag-gag" bills being introduced across the country. Although AB 343 is not as bad as some others that ban outright recording and videotaping at animal facilities, it would effectively hamper animal welfare undercover investigators and employee whistle-blowers who are collecting information on systemic animal cruelty at meatpacking plants, slaughterhouses, livestock ranches and farms.
March 5, 2013 | By Carla Hall
Los Angeles public schools have just gone meatless on Mondays. But unlike the Los Angeles City Council's resolution in November that simply urges people to observe a Monday without meat, the school system really has issued an edict. It stopped serving meat on Mondays last month. Of course, students could pack turkey sandwiches from home. But the school cafeterias won't be selling them, and that's a good thing. The ethical reason for eating less meat is obvious -- fewer animals will be killed.
January 31, 2013 | By Carla Hall
Sometimes, an animal protection issue has a clear moral path to follow, notes Wayne Pacelle, the chief executive of the Humane Society of the U.S.  But other times, he writes on his blog, “the protection of one species appears to conflict with the protection of another.”  He was talking about birds and feral cats. And once again, the conflict between the two species is in the spotlight. A new report , published in the online journal Nature Communications and based on a systematic review of existing studies, estimates that “free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds” annually in the United States.
January 5, 2013 | SANDY BANKS
I hate to be a party pooper. So I've been eager to join the celebration over "No-Kill December" -- the first time that Los Angeles city animal shelters have managed to go an entire month without euthanizing any adoptable dogs or cats. But I couldn't help worrying that "No-Kill December" would lead to January slaughter. What happened to all those dogs and cats -- 1,000 in a typical December -- the city shelters are forced to put to death every year? There's no way shelter employees could have found homes for all of them.
June 5, 2011 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
The gig : Dr. Gary K. Michelson, 62, is a billionaire inventor of surgical devices and a retired orthopedic surgeon who has devoted an estimated $300 million of his fortune to an assortment of causes. Topping the list: animal welfare, medical research, online textbooks and tropical rain forests. An early influence: Michelson vividly recalls the childhood event in Philadelphia that set him on his path to medicine: His grandmother suffered from a crippling spinal deformity that made it impossible for her to distinguish between hot and cold in her extremities.
July 28, 2010 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
When a plan for a rodeo at the Santa Cruz County fairgrounds was tentatively approved last month, fans of ropin' and ridin' were elated. But officials Tuesday said a threatened lawsuit from animal welfare activists forced them to scuttle the local Sheriff's Department event, which was aimed at raising money for children's activities and organizations. The Santa Cruz County Fair Board of Directors "made a business decision that the benefits didn't outweigh the risks," said Steve Stagnaro, a board spokesman.
November 20, 2012
Animal wranglers involved in the making of "The Hobbit" movie trilogy say the production company is responsible for the deaths of up to 27 animals, largely because they were kept at a farm filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other "death traps. " The American Humane Assn., which oversaw animal welfare on the movies, says no animals were harmed during the actual filming. But it also says the wranglers' complaints highlight shortcomings in its oversight system, which monitors film sets but not the facilities where the animals are housed and trained.
November 12, 2012 | By Carla Hall
Amid all the cost-cutting and tax increasing that the Los Angeles City Council is proposing, there's one more thing the council would like you to give up: meat. Just on Mondays. The council unanimously approved a resolution last week endorsing the international “Meatless Monday” campaign that began as a nonprofit initiative of  the Monday Campaigns Inc. in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future. The city will encourage residents to abstain from meat and go vegetarian one day a week for health and environmental reasons.  According to the campaign, cutting back on meat can reduce risks of  cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
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