July 13, 2012 |
Taking aim at California's pioneering efforts to bolster animal safety, the House Agriculture Committee has moved to block states from imposing their own standards for agriculture products on producers from other states. That could jeopardize California laws to protect chickens as well as one to ban foie gras, which took effect this month. The panel's amendment to the farm bill was a response to a California law, which will take effect in 2015, that requires that all eggs sold in the state be produced by hens held in cages big enough to allow the chickens to stand and spread their wings.
June 27, 2012
In Spain, there is a farm where acorns and olives spill across the ground, beckoning geese that contentedly gorge themselves until they are slaughtered for their luscious fatty livers. Virtually everywhere else in the world, however, farmers prepare ducks and geese whose livers will become the delicacy known as foie gras by force-feeding them several times a day through tubes thrust down their throats. The cruelty of this process led California to pass a law in 2004 banning the force-feeding of birds and the sale of foie gras produced by that method.
May 15, 2012 |
Denny's Corp., the chain of diners known for its pancake stacks and discount menus, is joining major companies such as McDonald's and Wendy's to stop its suppliers from cramming pregnant pigs into tiny cages. Animal welfare activists have enjoyed a winning streak recently, securing pledges from major meat companies and retailers such as Smithfield, Hormel and Safeway to wean themselves in the next decade off of pork from pigs housed in so-called gestation crates. Eight states currently ban the practice, while several more have bills pending that would mandate more humane treatment for sows.
March 19, 2012
HBO did the right thing in shutting down production on"Luck" last week after the death of a third horse being used for filming. The series, which has been critically acclaimed for its gritty, up-close look at life at a racetrack, was created by David Milch, a longtime lover of horses and racing, and filmed at Santa Anita Park employing numerous safety protocols, according to HBO officials and Rick Arthur, the equine medical director of the California...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2012 |
An undercover law enforcement operation has resulted in charges being filed against 12 people in the Southland and Las Vegas who were allegedly trafficking endangered or illegal wildlife or products made from them. Called Operation Cyberwild, the investigation was a joint effort by the enforcement arm of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game, and volunteers from the Humane Society of the United States. Agents recovered live endangered fish, protected migratory birds, and all kinds of products made from endangered animals, including an elephant foot, skins from a tiger, a polar bear, a leopard and other animals, plus some boots made of the skin of threatened sea turtles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2012 |
Among listings for fraying couches and used television sets, the Craigslist ad stood out — $2,800 for a prized Asian arowana fish, believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. A grammatically challenged buyer from Las Vegas sent the seller an email expressing interest: "Is she a super red asian arowana? I all ready have all the other species and I need the endangered one to finilize my collection. " The seller responded cautiously — "Are you a cop?" she allegedly wrote in one text message — but ultimately agreed to meet the buyer at Laguna Hills Mall for the handoff.
October 13, 2011 |
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.'s success with hormone-free dairy products, naturally raised meat and local produce has the restaurant chain taking its message to a broader audience. The Mexican-inspired fast-casual chain released an animated video to movie theaters last week and hosted the first of many food-and-music festivals. "We think the more people understand where their food comes from and the impact on independent family farmers, animal welfare, the more they're going to ask for better ingredients," said Chipotle founder and co-Chief Executive Officer Steve Ells.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 28, 2011 |
Someone else may soon be tending to the misty artificial rain forest at the Los Angeles Zoo where Bruno, a 300-pound orangutan with a wispy orange beard and a hulking frame, makes his home. The city opened the zoo and botanical gardens in 1966, but officials are now considering a proposal to turn over management to a private operator. That means the gardeners, plumbers and other city employees who help run the zoo could be transferred to other departments and replaced with private workers.
July 8, 2011 |
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.
June 5, 2011 |
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.