In the News https://hslf.org/ en House takes a bite out of live wildlife markets, wildlife trade with amendments to National Defense Authorization Act https://hslf.org/blog/2021/09/house-takes-bite-out-live-wildlife-markets-wildlife-trade-amendments-national-0 <span>House takes a bite out of live wildlife markets, wildlife trade with amendments to National Defense Authorization Act</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:12</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This nation cannot move fast enough to reduce the pandemic threats associated with live wildlife markets and the trade in live wildlife. That’s why we’re delighted that the House voted late yesterday in a winning bipartisan vote of 362-59 to include key elements of the Preventing Future Pandemics Act (H.R. 151) within its annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) package, which ultimately passed 316-113. The Department of Defense and other agencies have long recognized zoonotic disease and wildlife trafficking as matters of national security, and it’s only right that the Congress follow suit.</p> <p>Yesterday’s vote means that two pieces of the Preventing Future Pandemics Act—via amendments — will be considered in the House-Senate negotiations on the final NDAA. The first would set U.S. foreign policy and provide direction and resources to eliminate the most dangerous (and cruel) flashpoints for the spread and mutation of zoonotic diseases, live wildlife markets and the trade in terrestrial wildlife for human consumption. The provision would leverage American leadership in the global community to stop the terrible risk-laden conditions of the live wildlife trade that permit these deadly viruses to be introduced.</p> <p>The second would authorize significant new resources for a U.S. Fish &amp; Wildlife Service program to combat wildlife trafficking, increasing the program’s capacity fivefold and authorizing $150 million per year through 2030.</p> <p>In our successful lobbying efforts, we demonstrated that these two amendments rightfully belong under the umbrella of national security. In 2020, 190 Navy ships registered COVID-19 cases (some 65 percent of the fleet) with nearly 75,000 infected service members. Even after appropriate disease control measures were adopted, U.S. fleets were forced to make do with reduced maintenance and longer deployments, impairing military readiness.</p> <p>The House vote comes just after the release of a United Nations report that identifies the human consumption of terrestrial wild animals as a potent source of viral pathogens like SARS, Monkeypox, Ebola, and COVID-19. The UN report focused on the links between zoonotic diseases and activities that bring humans, wildlife and domestic animals into increasingly close and intense contact, including habitat encroachment, transportation of wildlife to markets, and the wildlife trade.</p> <p>As the fourth most lucrative illegal industry in the world—right behind illegal human, drug, and arms trafficking—the illicit trade in live wildlife contributes to increased global instability through zoonotic disease spread and the financing and metastasis of other organized criminal activities. This helped to strengthen the position of Representatives Mike Quigley, D-Ill., Fred Upton, R-Mich., Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.in their effort to add the amendments. They were united in their view that the NDAA is a fitting place for Congress to set the bar high on national action to stave off future pandemics tied to live wildlife markets and the destabilizing trade in wildlife worldwide.</p> <p>“We must prevent the next pandemic before it can start. Our economy, our physical and mental well-being, and our very livelihoods depend on it,” said Representative Quigley. “The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted not only our individual health but the safety of our entire nation. By including key components of the Preventing Future Pandemics Act in the NDAA, we ensure that our military’s readiness never again faces the threat of a global health crisis. The next pandemic can be stopped, and this is a vital first step.”</p> <p>We also helped rally support for another amendment included in the House NDAA, one that would provide the Department of Commerce with the necessary authority to address pressing threats to marine mammals like the North Atlantic right whale and humpback whale, including climate change, ship strikes, and amplified noise in ocean ecosystems. With respect to ship strikes, the amendment would ensure that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration identifies areas presenting high risks of vessel collisions with marine mammals, develops vessel restrictions in those areas, and creates a near real-time monitoring and mitigation program to reduce the risk of collisions. The champions of the measure were Representatives Rick Larsen, D-Wash., Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., and Kim Schrier, D-Wash.</p> <p>Now the final NDAA will need to be worked out between the House and Senate, with deliberations expected in late October. We’ll be there to make the argument that the United States should seize this opportunity to demonstrate enlightened leadership in reducing the global pandemic threat, the scourge of wildlife trafficking and the reckless illegal trade in terrestrial wildlife for human consumption, as well as to provide urgent protections to imperiled whales.</p> <p>The wildlife markets and the larger wildlife trade are riddled with cruelties, and by bringing an end to them we can bring relief to millions of animals who are their victims. But we would also be doing ourselves great good by forever stopping these practices that put us all at risk. Given the devastation, turmoil and upheaval that COVID-19 has caused throughout the world for the last year and a half, there’s no time to lose.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/231" hreflang="en">Issue Areas</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Fri, 24 Sep 2021 13:12:10 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21805 at https://hslf.org In major win for animals, Mexico bans animal testing for cosmetics https://hslf.org/blog/2021/09/major-win-animals-mexico-bans-animal-testing-cosmetics <span>In major win for animals, Mexico bans animal testing for cosmetics</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Tue, 09/07/2021 - 16:13</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>Even in our age of advanced technologies, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats continue to have chemicals and substances forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes or slathered on their skin to satisfy new regulatory demands that undercut progress against cosmetic animal testing. That’s why we put so much effort into legislative and regulatory change—<a href="https://www.hsi.org/issues/be-cruelty-free/">removing the driver for new animal testing and ultimately banning it</a>.</p> <p>So, we rejoiced last week when Mexico became the first nation in North America to pass a law banning animal testing for cosmetics. Once enacted, the new law also bans the manufacture, import and marketing of cosmetics tested on animals elsewhere in the world. With the addition of Mexico, 41 countries have banned such testing. Also, seven states in the U.S. have prohibited the sale of animal-tested cosmetics and 10 states in Brazil have also enacted bans. </p> <p>Over the years, we have largely campaigned against cosmetic animal testing because of the terrible suffering and loss of animal life inherent to such procedures. As we approach critical mass in our global effort to end cosmetics testing on animals, it is more important than ever that we make it clear that we do not just stand against animal suffering, we also stand for something: The transition to state-of-the-art non-animal methods that are rapid, inexpensive, more accurate and simply better at assuring safe use for humans. This is part of a vision of a more humane world in which corporate, institutional and public policies take animals’ interests deeply into account, a world that recognizes their dependence on us, does real justice by them and seeks to draw out the best in ourselves.</p> <p>In Mexico, members of the Senado de la República unanimously adopted the federal bill to end cosmetic animal testing thanks to the bill’s champions, Senator Ricardo Monreal, Humane Society International/Mexico, Mexican animal organization <a href="https://ongteprotejo.org/">Te Protejo</a> and other key stakeholders. HSI’s <a href="https://www.hsi.org/saveralphmovie/">stop-motion animated film “Save Ralph”</a> also played a pivotal role in carrying this law across the finish line. The film—which tells the story of a rabbit “tester” through voices from a multinational, multilingual cast of stars, and went viral worldwide with more than 150 million social media views and over 740 million tags on TikTok—helped to generate more than 1.3 million petition signatures in Mexico.</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/G393z8s8nFY" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe></div> <p>Companies like Lush, Unilever, P&amp;G, L’Oréal, Avon and Givaudan are working with HSI through the <a href="https://www.afsacollaboration.org/">Animal-Free Safety Assessment Collaboration</a> to secure stronger policy alignment and provide training in modern, non-animal approaches to cosmetic safety assessment to build capacity across the global industry, together with acceptance by regulatory authorities. But the U.S., <a href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/senate-bill-to-outlaw-animal-testing-for-cosmetics-in-canada-tabled-in-house-of-commons/">Canada</a>, Brazil and other major economies still lag behind the now 41 other nations who have taken a federal stand against cosmetic testing on animals. That’s why our public policy work is laser-focused on these remaining target nations for the campaign. In the U.S. we are also pressing for <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/03/breaking-news-maryland-lawmakers-say-no-new-cosmetics-tests-animals">state laws banning the sale of animal-tested cosmetics</a>, building on the steady progress of the last year.</p> <p>Within the next few weeks, we expect to see the reintroduction of the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2020/07/industry-support-humane-cosmetics-act-grows-900-companies-supporting-end-animal">Humane Cosmetics Act</a> in the U.S. Congress, and we’ll be doing all that we can to secure its passage. You can <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/support-legislation-end-cosmetics-testing-animals">add your voice to end animal testing for cosmetics in the U.S. by contacting your elected officials</a> right now.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/31" hreflang="en">Animals in Research</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Tue, 07 Sep 2021 16:13:39 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21783 at https://hslf.org From “pet” cougars to flooding victims, animal rescue requires preparation https://hslf.org/blog/2021/08/pet-cougars-flooding-victims-animal-rescue-requires-preparation <span>From “pet” cougars to flooding victims, animal rescue requires preparation</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/31/2021 - 16:36</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>On Sunday, Hurricane Ida slammed into the Gulf Coast, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. Our Animal Rescue and Response team moved toward the strike zone, ready to assist animals in need. Bringing together supplies, equipment and personnel to support emergency response agencies in their relief efforts, we operate within a web of agreements that bind us to disaster response entities at all levels. It’s critical for us to be ready to go the moment authorities ask for our help.</p> <p>Hurricane Ida grew in intensity quickly, but as it formed and approached, we worked with Greater Good Charities to co-sponsor a flight taking homeless shelter animals in Louisiana out of the storm’s path before it hit. We brought the animals to the San Diego Humane Society, a member of our shelter and rescue partner program. Such pre-storm response helps ensure the safety of animals awaiting adoption in threatened areas while freeing up space, shelter staff members and resources that organizations require to respond to their community’s needs during and after a storm—which often includes providing a temporary home for pets while their guardians secure a safe living situation.</p> <p>When it comes to disaster, everyone knows to expect the unexpected. Those who rescue animals do more than simply expect it—they plan for it. They train, they mobilize resources, they collaborate. That critical preparation is the foundation for the flexibility that each new crisis requires.</p> <p>The preparation principle has shaped the work of our Animal Rescue and Response team, which responds to hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other dangerous situations, along with cases of cruelty and endangerment involving individual animals. The HSUS has been doing such work since the 1970s, and over the past five years alone, <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/safe-hands">we’ve deployed well over 100 times</a>.</p> <p>The past week has seen our teams helping in critical situations far beyond the Gulf Coast. In Tennessee, <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/disaster-preparedness-plans-become-increasingly-critical-worldwide">our team provided supplies and caring hands</a> to help the animals and the overwhelmed staff at the Waverly Animal Shelter who were affected by deadly floods. In New York City, the team helped a cougar being kept as a “pet.” We received a request to help remove an 11-month-old, approximately 80-pound, female cougar from a home in the Bronx. That required a complex collaboration with authorities, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York City Police Department, and the Bronx Zoo. Our team was at the scene when the homeowner surrendered the cougar, helped coordinate her safe removal and ensured her safe transportation to the Bronx Zoo, where she received excellent care from veterinarians and caregivers. The cougar is now on her way to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, an accredited sanctuary in Arkansas, where she will receive lifelong care in an environment more suited to her needs. (Her situation was <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/05/texas-tiger-arrives-black-beauty-ranch-were-focused-protecting-other-big-cats">another reminder</a> of why we’re also fighting to pass the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/bill-end-keeping-big-cats-pets-cub-petting-reintroduced-us-senate">Big Cat Public Safety Act</a>.)</p> <p>Whether it’s helping one animal in a Bronx home, or hundreds of animals in the wake of a hurricane, the key to success is being prepared. That’s why, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the forced abandonment of animals that was imposed by authorities at that time, we led the campaign to pass the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Safety (PETS) Act to require that disaster response agencies seeking federal funds prepare disaster plans encompassing the needs of animals. We’re still working to strengthen the capacity of those agencies through our partnerships and we’re pressing for passage of the <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/require-emergency-plans-protect-animals-during-disasters">Providing Responsible Emergency Plans for Animals at Risk of Emerging Disasters (PREPARED) Act</a> (H.R.1442) and USDA’s issuance of <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/06/animals-deserve-disaster-preparedness-plans-too-heres-how-you-can-help">the emergency contingency rule</a>. Both this bill and USDA’s proposed regulations would ensure that commercial animal dealers, exhibitors and research facilities who are regulated under the Animal Welfare Act develop contingency plans for the animals in their care during disasters. During Congress’ August recess, we worked with Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., to mobilize a <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/11ag0wLuc5XRY9TqMmv7vN2nnl88wg_Ad/view?usp=sharing">bipartisan letter signed by 115 representatives</a> urging USDA to reinstate its long-delayed rule.</p> <p>Even if all such agencies were fully prepared, however, there would still be a role for our Animal Rescue and Response Team. Disasters and emergencies are unpredictable, and it’s our job to respond effectively. We’re grateful to supporters and allies who stand with us as we try to help animals and people through some of the toughest moments they’ll ever go through—and we’re grateful to be able to make a difference in these crises.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/32" hreflang="en">Pets &amp; Cruelty</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Tue, 31 Aug 2021 16:36:29 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21778 at https://hslf.org Another majestic lion was killed in Zimbabwe, allegedly by an American hunter https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/08/another-majestic-lion-was-killed-zimbabwe-allegedly-american-hunter <span>Another majestic lion was killed in Zimbabwe, allegedly by an American hunter</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/13/2021 - 19:42</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div id="content-inner"> <div class="page-title">Another majestic lion was killed in Zimbabwe, allegedly by an American hunter</div> <h4 class="subhead minor"><em>The death of Mopane is reminiscent of Cecil’s demise</em></h4> <p>WASHINGTON (August 13, 2021)—A majestic lion named Mopane was <a href="https://africageographic.com/stories/trophy-hunters-kill-another-breeding-hwange-lion-mopane/?mc_cid=c0f36fc9fe&amp;mc_eid=b092c770fa">allegedly killed by an American hunter</a> outside of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe last week. Mopane’s death has sparked international outcry with details surrounding his killing similar to those of Cecil the lion, slaughtered in 2015 in the same area. With his impressive mane, Mopane was well-known to local tour guides and international tourists visiting the area to catch a glimpse of him.</p> <p>Just like 13-year-old Cecil who was lured with an elephant carcass as bait, it was reported that the approximately 12-year-old Mopane was possibly lured out of the Hwange National Park with bait and killed in in the same place that Cecil was killed on land adjacent to the Park. Like Cecil who headed up a lion pride, Mopane was known to have <a href="https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-08-11-cecil-revisited-another-hwange-male-lion-shot-by-a-bow-hunter/">formed a coalition</a> with another male lion named Sidhule, and the two males formed a pride with two adult females and six sub-adults of about 16 to 18 months old. Locals were concerned that Sidhule and Mopane would be targeted by trophy hunters and <a href="https://www.sapeople.com/2021/08/06/breaking-well-known-lion-mopane-killed-by-hunters-in-zimbabwe-leaving-vulnerable-pride/?fbclid=IwAR2onMn9BHK4cbRRCoReBaPgf_ufbpmyqZh1iGA24cp1QV-CY4EILB4t3Q4">started a petition to protect them</a>. Unfortunately, Sidhule fell victim to a trophy hunter and was killed two years ago this month in 2019.</p> <p>Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and CEO of Humane Society International said, “Mopane was a father and played a significant role in his pride. Without him, his pride is now vulnerable to takeover by another male or group of males, which may lead to the killing of the cubs and females in his pride. Yet, as with Cecil six years ago, the perverse pleasure some people derive from killing iconic animals brought this noble lion’s life to a tragic end. Another trophy hunter spending tens of thousands of dollars on a globe-trotting thrill-to-kill escapade shows humanity at its worst. It is shameful that the U.S. has the distinction of being the <a href="https://www.hsi.org/wp-content/uploads/assets/pdfs/report_trophy_hunting_by_the.pdf">world’s biggest importer of hunting trophies</a>. Enough is enough.”</p> <p>Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund said, “The individual depravity that underlies trophy hunting is self-evident. But the terrible truth is that our federal government systematically enables trophy hunting of threatened and endangered species by Americans through its failure to revise import policies that permit the bloodshed to continue. On the campaign trail President Biden expressed his concern for this issue and he can and should now direct the relevant federal agencies to halt the import of trophy parts from species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Until we have a properly implemented regulatory framework that upholds the conservation mandate in federal law, this is little more than lawless carnage.”</p> <p>The African lion is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. However, trophy hunters continue to be authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to import trophy-hunted <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2018/03/breaking-news-hsus-hsi-sue-federal-wildlife-officials-stop-imports-elephant-lion-trophies.html">lions</a> and <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2020/10/us-allowing-trophy-hunters-bring-home-hundreds-leopard-trophies-we-are-suing-stop">other species</a> threatened with extinction under a permitting scheme that HSUS and HSI have challenged as violating federal law. The Humane Society Legislative Fund is currently working with the Administration and Congress to address this dangerous and broken import permit system.</p> <p>Neither Cecil’s nor Mopane’s killings are anomalies. Between 2009 and 2018, 7,667 lion trophies were traded internationally, including into the U.S. and the European Union. In addition to advocating to eliminate the import of lion trophies into the U.S., HSI is working in South Africa to prohibit the export of lion trophies and in the U.K. and European Union to prohibit the import of imperiled species trophies.</p> <p>Additional information:</p> <ul> <li>An estimated 20,000 mature lions remain in the wild in Africa.</li> <li>Lions are infanticidal species. Infanticide occurs when adult males take over a new territory and kills the dependent cubs in order to increase mating opportunities with resident females that have dependent offspring.</li> <li>Human-induced removal of lions, such as trophy hunting, disrupts social group and results in infanticide. More information on African lions can be found <a href="https://www.hsi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/African-lion-factsheet.pdf">here</a>.</li> <li>While the U.S. is the largest importer of hunting trophies, the EU has surpassed the U.S. as the largest importer of lion trophies between 2016 and 2018 according to a <a href="https://www.hsi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Trophy-hunting-numbers-eu-report.pdf">new report</a> by HSI/Europe.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Media Contact</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>HSUS/HSLF: Rodi Rosensweig,</strong> (202) 809-8711, <a href="mailto:rrosensweig@humanesociety.org">rrosensweig@humanesociety.org</a></li> </ul> <p class="press-release-footer"> </p> <p style="text-align: center;">##</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at <a href="https://hslf.org/">hslf.org</a>, on our blog at <a href="https://hslf.org/blog" target="_blank">hslf.org/blog</a>, on Facebook at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/humanelegislation" target="_blank">facebook.com/humanelegislation</a> and on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/HSLegFund" target="_blank">twitter.com/HSLegFund</a>.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights?credit=HSLF_boilerplate" target="_blank">fight the big fights</a> to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at <a href="http://humanesociety.org">humanesociety.org</a>. </em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/">A Humane World</a>. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on <a href="https://twitter.com/HSUSNews" target="_blank">Twitter</a>. Read the award-winning <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-animals-magazine">All Animals</a> magazine. Listen to the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/humane-voices">Humane Voices Podcast</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/177" hreflang="en">Press Release</a></div> Fri, 13 Aug 2021 19:42:50 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21771 at https://hslf.org Here’s what the infrastructure bill could mean for animals https://hslf.org/blog/2021/08/heres-what-infrastructure-bill-could-mean-animals <span>Here’s what the infrastructure bill could mean for animals</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/11/2021 - 15:59</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson</em></p> <p>On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate passed the $1 trillion infrastructure package, which includes funding for a vast array of public works. Included in this massive bill are some hugely important steps for animals, as well as some opportunities for us to push to strengthen the language of the final bill to make a world of difference for animals.</p> <p><strong>Preventing deaths of animals along U.S. roads</strong></p> <p>Vehicle collisions kill more than one million large animals each year on U.S. roads—that’s roughly one large animal every 26 seconds, and that’s not counting smaller mammals and scavengers like birds who are struck. Reported collisions between motorists and wildlife are the cause of over 200 human fatalities and more than 26,000 injuries each year, at an annual cost of more than $8 billion in damages. Research studies show that <a href="https://largelandscapes.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Highway-Crossing-Structures-for-Wildlife-Opportunities-for-Improving-Driver-and-Animal-Safety.pdf">wildlife crossing structures and fencing designed to facilitate the passage of animals over or under our highways are highly effective</a>, reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions by as much as 97%.</p> <p>The infrastructure bill includes $350 million in funding for a new pilot grant program for <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/05/31/climate/wildlife-crossings-animals.html">wildlife road crossing projects and strategies</a> that aim to reduce the deaths of animals on America’s roadways and restore and maintain connectivity between habitats. This will also help to safeguard biodiversity and mitigate climate impacts by helping to restore migration routes that have been disrupted by roadways. The provisions also call for further study of methods to reduce collisions between motorists and wildlife, including directives on workforce and technical training initiatives that target the challenges of maintaining habitat connectivity and safe passage.</p> <p>The package will also give an immediate boost to state and tribal initiatives to mitigate wildlife-vehicle collisions. In recent years, nine states have enacted habitat connectivity legislation and an additional six have introduced legislation and/or issued executive orders to protect wildlife corridors. Many Tribal Nations have also been working to protect wildlife movement on their lands. But funding to implement these efforts has been inadequate, and this federal commitment promises to make quite a difference.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the Senate package did not include the establishment of a national wildlife corridors system—language that was included in the House version. This would improve wildlife habitat connectivity even further through a national system of protected habitat and migration corridors on participating federal, state, tribal and non-public lands.</p> <p>Nonetheless, what was included in the bill would be significant progress for wildlife protection, and we’re excited at the thought that it could soon become law. And we will continue to fight to ensure that it does.</p> <p><strong>Stopping the slaughter of American horses</strong></p> <p>We have been <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/05/time-stop-horse-slaughter-now-heres-why">fighting for years to end the slaughter of American horses for the global horse meat trade</a>. We’ve lobbied against it, litigated to stop it and worked tirelessly here and abroad to bring it to an end. When <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/06/breaking-us-house-passes-amendments-transportation-bill-containing-big-wins-animals">the opportunity to address horse slaughter cruelties through the transportation infrastructure packages surfaced</a>, we went all out.</p> <p>In the U.S. House, we worked closely with primary sponsor Rep. Troy Carter, D-La., and the many cosponsors from both sides of the aisle to strengthen his proposal and ensure its passage. Carter’s measure, which was ultimately included in the House’s surface transportation bill (the INVEST in America Act), would prohibit the transport of America’s equines to slaughter for human consumption, effectively placing a permanent ban on their slaughter both here and abroad. For the first time in 15 years, the U.S. House passed a measure to end horse slaughter, and we’re determined to see it become law.</p> <p>Despite our working tirelessly with Senate partners, the Senate infrastructure package did not incorporate this horse slaughter language. However, there’s still an opportunity to bring this language into the final bill. The House is anticipated to take up the Senate’s version of the infrastructure package this fall and is expected to negotiate on the inclusion of the INVEST in America Act, which again included language both to end the transport of horses to slaughter and to establish a national wildlife corridors system. We will continue our efforts to ensure that animal welfare remains in the dialogue with the goal of seeing all these critical measures pass into law.</p> <p><strong>How you can help</strong></p> <p>It would be impossible to overstate the value of constituent pressure on elected officials in keeping measures like these alive and intact in the infrastructure package, and that’s where you come in. We’re proud of what we—that’s you and us—did to make these gains possible. We rely on your personal commitment to help us put animal welfare on the agenda and keep it there. We’ve proved it in this case, and together, we’ll continue to do so in the future.</p> <p>We have advocated for such issues for many years and are so close to success. You can take action for animals by <a href="https://hslf.org/find-your-rep">urging your U.S. congressional representative to include language in the infrastructure package that will end the transport of horses to slaughter for human consumption and to include the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/33" hreflang="en">Equines</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Wed, 11 Aug 2021 15:59:06 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21766 at https://hslf.org The narrative about sharks needs to change—before it’s too late https://hslf.org/blog/2021/07/narrative-about-sharks-needs-change-its-too-late <span>The narrative about sharks needs to change—before it’s too late</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Tue, 07/13/2021 - 14:23</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>A bad reputation can mean the difference between life and death for animals, and nowhere is this clearer than for <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/animals/sharks">sharks</a>. Sharks may be depicted as terrifying animals in films like “Jaws,” but the true tale of horror is how humans have treated shark species for centuries across the world.</p> <p>This year, for Shark Week, two new documentaries aim to raise awareness about the animals. For us, <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2019/07/shark-week-help-save-sharks-cruelties-finning">Shark Week is a great opportunity to highlight our worldwide campaign to protect sharks</a> and to show how the Humane Society family of organizations is out there fighting for sharks every week, all year long.</p> <p><strong>The shark fin trade</strong></p> <p>Shark finning is one of the most gruesome and cruel ways to treat an animal. Fishermen often slice the fins off a shark at sea, then discard the still-living mutilated animal back in the water to drown, bleed to death or be eaten alive by other fish.</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0TyDDjnJKmY" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe></div> <p>Fins from about 73 million sharks are traded on the global market each year. This no doubt contributes to the fact that a quarter of all shark and ray species are at risk of extinction. Shark populations are being decimated and they don’t have enough time or capacity to recover. This industry is largely for shark fin soup, served in various countries at weddings and other special events, usually as a status symbol due to its exorbitant cost.</p> <p>A new documentary “Fin,” streaming today on Discovery+ in celebration of Shark Week, helps to shine a light on this wholesale extermination of the world’s sharks. Directed by actor and horror film creator Eli Roth, “Fin” turns the genre around to expose the shadowy shark fin trade, taking the audience on a journey through the often-disturbing facets of the product’s supply and demand.</p> <p>A lack of uniform national or international laws protecting all sharks compounds the threat. The shark fin trade remains legal in too many countries, and even where sale of certain species’ fins is prohibited markets often abound with fins from imperiled shark species and other illegally obtained sharks. For example, in a <a href="https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.13043">2017 genetic survey of fins sold in Hong Kong</a>, one of the world’s shark fin trading hubs, one-third of the species represented were at serious risk of extinction. This is because it is difficult to identify the species of shark by just looking at the detached fins, because it can be hard to enforce laws against fishing sharks inhumanely or unsustainably and because labeling requirements are often inadequate to identify the species and source of the shark <a href="https://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/4046/shark_fin_ban_announcement_brochure_final_low-res.pdf">inadequate labeling requirements</a>. Humane Society International <a href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/eu-accused-of-blocking-recovery-of-endangered-mako-sharks-in-the-atlantic/">advocates for increased international protections for shark species</a> and works with countries across the globe to implement and enforce existing protections.</p> <p><strong>Shark culling</strong></p> <p>While finning may be the worst, it is not the only threat to sharks. In a misguided attempt to make oceans safer for human swimmers, two regions in Australia are culling sharks. This means that hundreds of <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights/protecting-marine-wildlife">marine animals</a>—including whales, turtles, dolphins and rays—are killed every year in the name of “shark control,” even though culling has been proven ineffective at mitigating the risk of shark bite.</p> <p>“Envoy: Shark Cull,” another new documentary on Discovery+, exposes this misguided approach and features experts from Humane Society International Australia, helping to make the case that sharks aren’t enemies who need to be extirpated but fellow creatures in need of protections. There are non-invasive technologies available to avoid shark interactions far more effectively, as well as strategies that swimmers and surfers can learn to stay safe. Killing is not the solution.</p> <p><strong>How you can help sharks</strong></p> <p>You can take action for sharks by urging your <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/say-no-shark-fin-trade">U.S. congressional representative to end the nightmare of the fin trade in the U.S.</a> by passing the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/house-revives-bill-end-shark-fin-trade-passed-during-last-session">Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act</a>. We have advocated for this legislation for several years. If it becomes law, the Act will remove the U.S. from the dark domain of the global shark fin trade by prohibiting the commercial trade of shark fins in the U.S. We are so close to success: for the first time, the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/06/breaking-news-senate-votes-end-shark-fin-sales-us">U.S. Senate passed the measure</a> as part of a broader legislative package. Now it’s the U.S. House’s turn to act.</p> <p>You can also <a href="https://action.sharkchampions.org.au/page/85826/petition/1">add your voice to this petition urging an end to shark culling in Australia</a> and <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=4900&amp;s_src=web_pledge-CTA_blog_post_071321_id12393">sign our pledge to protect sharks</a>.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Tue, 13 Jul 2021 14:23:19 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21739 at https://hslf.org Breaking: Supreme Court rejects meat industry challenge to historic farm animal law https://hslf.org/blog/2021/06/breaking-supreme-court-rejects-meat-industry-challenge-historic-farm-animal-law <span>Breaking: Supreme Court rejects meat industry challenge to historic farm animal law</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/28/2021 - 21:09</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>Today, the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/supreme-court-rejects-meat-industry-lawsuit-against-californias-proposition-12-worlds">United States Supreme Court declined to take the North American Meat Institute’s appeal of its lawsuit challenging Proposition 12</a>, widely considered the world’s strongest law for farm animal protection.</p> <p>Proposition 12 bans the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights/protect-farm-animals">extreme confinement of egg-laying chickens, mother pigs and baby calves</a> used in the veal industry. The law also prohibits the sale in California of eggs, pork and veal from facilities that confine animals in cruel cages. The Humane Society of the United States led the campaign to pass Proposition 12, which was approved by California voters in a landslide vote in 2018.</p> <p>The Supreme Court’s outright rejection of the North American Meat Institute’s appeal from its <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2020/10/victory-california-judges-reject-challenge-to-prop-12.html">losses in the lower courts</a> is consistent with a long line of prior court rulings, and it reinforces the long-held position of the HSUS and the Humane Society Legislative Fund that states have the right to pass laws protecting animals, public health and safety. This decision is critically important to all of our sales bans enacted to protect animals and consumers—from banning the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet shops to banning the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.</p> <p>Along with a group of allied organizations, the HSUS intervened in the lawsuit on the side of the State of California to defend Proposition 12. The HSUS was represented in this case by lawyers at Riley Safer Holmes &amp; Cancila and at Molo Lamken, as well as lawyers with the HSUS’s Animal Protection Law department.</p> <p>The Humane Society Legislative Fund is also working with congressional allies to encourage the Biden Administration to support and defend California and other States’ right to set humane standards to protect farm animals, wildlife and other animals. Last month, <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1niMzu3OD0VOyG0CQ9kTkOxuE3nEuqFL1/view?usp=sharing">Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Cory Booker, D-N.J.</a>, led a letter signed by 27 legislators urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Merrick Garland to withdraw briefs filed by the Trump Administration in support of industry challenges to the California law. <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/10Y6XkrZNn0JDS0MtW5vwYUIIyNfZfto4/view?usp=sharing">Reps. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., and Jason Crow, D-Colo.</a>, made a similar appeal, and <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1I3jsK_FG7EudIWbtM2RWqd_m8q_G7hxE/view?usp=sharing">Rep. Kim Schrier</a>, D-Wash., is mobilizing an additional letter from legislators representing other states with cage-free sales laws.</p> <p>Now the case will go back to the lower court, where we will continue the fight. But it is our hope that rather than continuing frivolous lawsuits and wasting money, the meat industry will focus on eliminating the cruel caging of animals.</p> <p>The extreme confinement of farm animals that Proposition 12 outlaws in California produces animal cruelty and suffering unequaled in any sector. Egg-laying chickens, mother pigs and baby calves are confined in cages so small they can barely move. These sensitive, inquisitive animals are virtually immobilized in filthy conditions for nearly their entire lives. Extreme confinement of farm animals also increases public health risks and has been listed as a <a href="https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/32316/ZP.pdf?sequence=1&amp;isAllowed=y&amp;fbclid=IwAR1ciULjXB7ZvhgcgVeL52yLmjAasxAsZyIvfrbkDINA9g5t1jcmIO5NbVQ">top driver of zoonotic disease emergence by numerous scientists and even a United Nations report</a>.</p> <p>Our public policy work and corporate social responsibility campaigns have transformed the landscape of farm animal protection in recent years. Along with HSUS-championed laws against the extreme confinement of farm animals and sales of cruel products, more than 200 of the largest food companies have decided to adopt cage-free policies and convert to cage-free systems.</p> <p>Today’s news demonstrates loud and clear that the future is cage-free.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/35" hreflang="en">Farm Animals</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Mon, 28 Jun 2021 21:09:19 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21731 at https://hslf.org Death of chimp reveals tragic truth about primates kept as pets in America https://hslf.org/blog/2021/06/death-chimp-reveals-tragic-truth-about-primates-kept-pets-america <span>Death of chimp reveals tragic truth about primates kept as pets in America</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/23/2021 - 18:30</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>Earlier this week, law enforcement officers from the Umatilla County Sheriff’s office in Oregon were called to a home because a pet chimpanzee attacked a woman who subsequently locked herself in a bedroom. The woman’s mother instructed deputies to <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/deputy-kills-pet-chimpanzee-woman-injured-oregon/">shoot and kill the chimpanzee</a> so that emergency responders could reach her daughter to provide medical assistance. A shot to the head ended the life of Buck, a chimpanzee whose unfortunate fate had actually been sealed 17 years before when he was first acquired.</p> <p>The family who owned Buck referred to him as an “adopted son.” Seventeen years ago, baby Buck wore diapers and drank from a bottle. As he grew, he had the run of the house, as well as the family’s rural property. He ate burritos and Chinese food at their table. But treating chimpanzees or any other non-human primates as surrogate children does not change their wild and highly unpredictable nature.</p> <p>Buck was a victim of the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights/stopping-wildlife-trade">exotic pet trade</a> who should never have been living in a human home. His death is just the latest tragic example of why we at the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund support the federal Captive Primate Safety Act. If passed, this legislation would prohibit the possession of primate species like chimps, gibbons and monkeys as pets, and would restrict physical contact between them and the public. H.R. 3135 is co-led by Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.; S. 1588 is led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.</p> <p>Primates suffer enormously when kept as pets or used for public contact activities. To be sold for these purposes, infants are removed from the nurturing care of their protective mothers shortly after birth—a practice that can lead to lifelong physical and psychological problems. Worse, the complex behavioral and biological needs of primates go unmet in home settings, where these animals are typically denied mental stimulation, proper diets, freedom to exercise their natural behaviors and interaction with others of their species.</p> <p>Primates are also dangerous to their owners and to other people. Purchased as cute and manageable infants, all primate species inevitably become aggressive, unpredictable and territorial as they mature. As with Buck, keeping these wild animals in a human home doesn’t change that. The members of even the smallest monkey species are incredibly strong and can inflict serious injuries with their teeth and nails. In Arizona, a woman’s pet marmoset monkey attacked her newborn grandchild, scratching and biting the baby’s face. In Tennessee, <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/primate-escapes-and-attacks.pdf">an escaped pet macaque monkey attacked and severely injured a woman washing a car in her driveway</a>; the woman’s injuries required surgery and doctors said she was lucky to have survived.</p> <p>In a cruel irony, the qualities that make primates problematic in captive settings often lead to their mistreatment. Owners, in a futile attempt to make the animals less dangerous, often mutilate primates by having their teeth removed—a painful procedure that can cause chronic health problems yet does not prevent the animals from inflicting harm. Over time, weary of their pet monkeys’ attacks on people and damage to the home, owners often isolate the animals, relegating them to lives of loneliness, frustration and neglect.</p> <p>Primates can also spread viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections that pose serious health risks to humans, such as tuberculosis and simian immunodeficiency virus. Some diseases can occur in primates without their showing symptoms, yet human exposure through bites or bodily fluids can be fatal. This is the case with the herpes B virus.</p> <p>It is time to prevent these incidents before they happen. Primates like Buck simply shouldn’t be kept as pets. With the Captive Primate Safety Act, we have the chance to ensure that no more primates suffer his sad fate in the future. <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/tell-congress-captive-primates-need-more-protection">Contact your U.S. legislators today and urge them to support the Captive Primate Safety Act</a>.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Wed, 23 Jun 2021 18:30:27 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21725 at https://hslf.org A new Day for our work https://hslf.org/blog/2021/06/new-day-our-work <span>A new Day for our work</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/21/2021 - 16:57</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>A merger is underway between the Doris Day Animal League and the Humane Society Legislative Fund and I could not be more excited since the two organizations have been the bedrock of my journey in animal protection. Not a day goes by when I do not think of how Doris Day’s dedication to animals has affected my own life and the work of the organization I now lead. I am thrilled and grateful that my HSLF colleagues and I have been entrusted to carry on and extend her tremendous legacy through the expansion of our advocacy programs. </p> <p>When I joined the DDAL staff in 1988, I had a year of work at a trade organization under my belt. I was the first staff member hired after Doris and her son Terry Melcher selected Holly Hazard as executive director. At the time, Capitol Hill offices typically placed animal welfare issues in the portfolio assigned to the most junior staffers or interns. In other words, we had room to grow. </p> <p>DDAL was one of the first 501(c)(4) organizations for animal advocacy in the public policy sphere, and quickly became the most influential. Doris and Terry knew what they were doing. They saw that animal protection had limited political punch and recognized that a highly focused approach to lobbying and advocacy was the missing ingredient. </p> <p>I’ve always felt that people underestimated Doris in some respects. She was known for rescuing individual cats and dogs and making personal house visits to assess potential adopters. This made the greatest sense to those of us who understood her view that adoption, like other simple personal acts of compassion, could be life-changing for individuals and the animals they helped. But make no mistake, she was smart on the big picture stuff, too, taking stands against cruelty in entertainment and coming out strong against fur in the early 1970s, long before others in Hollywood did so. Whenever it really counted, she put herself on the line.</p> <p>That’s why it was no big stretch for her to launch a namesake organization with an ambitious federal policy agenda. With Terry, Holly, and a few trusted associates who had helped to manage her professional career, she set our agenda, and in short order, DDAL grew to include hundreds of thousands of supporters and a staff of a dozen committed individuals, many of whom continue to work in animal protection to this day. We got bigger but we never lost the sensibility of a lean and scrappy organization fighting the good fight. We focused on ending the use of chimpanzees in research and challenging the use of animal testing for cosmetics. We confronted horse slaughter and other equine cruelties. We targeted the sale of puppies over the Internet and the “crushing” of small animals by fetishists. We pushed for the addition of a “bittering agent” to toxic antifreeze to render it unpalatable to pets and wildlife, and we supported the building out of a permanent sanctuary for chimpanzees retired from federal research. There were many successes along the way.</p> <p>Leaning conservative as she did, Doris had a special commitment to bringing Republicans into our policy discussions. She was known for contacting President Reagan, a friend with whom she had appeared in a movie, on issues ranging from chimpanzee research to national spay/neuter programs. The president contributed a story to DDAL’s magazine discussing the horses and dogs living on the ranch that was his permanent home. </p> <p>Republicans on Capitol Hill heard from her on a frequent basis too. In 2000, amid discussions to move important legislation to create a federal body to assess replacements for animal-based tests, Doris telephoned a key Republican committee chairman to chat him up. The bill’s sponsor told me later that the chairman quickly agreed to advance the bill. Nor was this the last time we saw her work her magic in the political arena.</p> <p>In 2006, DDAL joined forces with the Humane Society of the United States to continue its work and I joined the Humane Society Legislative Fund as its executive director. HSLF and DDAL worked closely together on shared priorities, and we pondered the value of a genuine combination of the two organizations. Now, we’re on the verge of making it happen, and we’re asking you to support the newly strengthened HSLF as a <a href="https://hslf.org/donate?ms=D20X1WTXAX">member and supporter</a>. We’re asking you to unite with us in our mission to take action for animals and elect legislators who stand up for their interests. </p> <p>In 1988 I could not have dreamed that coming together with Doris, Terry, Holly—and many other lifelong friends—would result in so much progress for animals. Doris made so much of that possible through her vision, her energy, her resources and her influence. But above all she made it possible through her great passion for helping animals, the same passion that will inform all that we do as guardians of her great legacy. We can honor her best by giving our best to the cause of animals, and by working closely together to secure the public policy advances to which she dedicated herself during her long career as an advocate. We hope that you’ll join us in doing so.   </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Mon, 21 Jun 2021 16:57:33 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21723 at https://hslf.org Now is the time for countries across the world to ban fur https://hslf.org/blog/2021/06/now-time-countries-across-world-ban-fur <span>Now is the time for countries across the world to ban fur</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/17/2021 - 16:14</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>Last week, Israel became the <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/06/14/1006279660/israel-has-become-the-first-country-to-ban-the-sale-of-fur-clothing">first country in the world to ban the sale of new fur products used for fashion</a>. We want to share why this is meaningful progress for animals and for advocates around the globe fighting for a <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights/going-fur-free">fur-free future</a>.</p> <p><strong>A strong recognition of the inherent cruelty to animals in the fur trade</strong></p> <p><a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2020/10/breaking-news-israel-prepares-to-ban-the-fur-trade-first-country-to-do-so.html">Israel’s ban</a>, which will take effect in six months, came with a strong statement from the environmental protection minister: “The fur industry causes the deaths of hundreds of millions of animals worldwide and inflicts indescribable cruelty and suffering. Using the skin and fur of wildlife for the fashion industry is immoral and is certainly unnecessary. Animal fur coats cannot cover the brutal murder industry that makes them. Signing these regulations will make the Israeli fashion market more environmentally friendly and far kinder to animals.” The ban does allow for a few exemptions for “scientific research, education or instruction, and for religious purposes or tradition,” including fur hats traditionally worn by Orthodox Jewish men. Even so, the ban will prevent the suffering and deaths of countless animals.</p> <p>Humane Society International's <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2021/03/new-hsi-investigation-reveals-appalling-cruelty-on-fur-farms.html">recent fur farm investigations</a> have shown raccoon dogs being stabbed with double-pronged lances fitted with high voltage batteries that leave the animals paralyzed yet still conscious. They’ve also shown <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2020/07/hsi-undercover-investigation-shows-foxes-bludgeoned-skinned-alive-on-asian-fur-farms.html">foxes being beaten with metal rods and skinned alive</a>. These practices are meant to keep production cheap but the pelt intact.</p> <p>Given what our fur farm investigations have revealed—animals repetitively pacing their small cages, suffering from open wounds, with deformed feet and infected eyes—it’s not surprising that banning fur has increasingly come into fashion.</p> <p><strong>Laying the groundwork for a fur-free future</strong></p> <p>Israel’s ban sets an important precedent. It lays the groundwork for other countries to follow suit with similar sales bans, furthering the case that fur has no place in today’s world.</p> <p>We heard rumblings of a fur sales ban in Israel going back to 2010 shortly before West Hollywood became the first city in the world to ban fur sales. That ban led to similar legislation in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Berkeley before California became the first state to ban fur sales in 2019. Now, two towns in Massachusetts—Wellesley and Weston—have joined California by ending fur sales, and the state of Massachusetts introduced a <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/legislation-introduced-massachusetts-could-spare-animals-ending-sale-fur">similar bill</a> in February.</p> <p>The recognition of the gross mistreatment of animals in the fur trade started in the small city of West Hollywood and has now entered the world stage. It shows no signs of slowing down.</p> <p>Last month, the government of the United Kingdom announced <a href="https://consult.defra.gov.uk/animal-welfare-in-trade/fur-market-in-great-britain/consultation/intro/">a “call for evidence” for a potential ban on fur imports and sales</a>. The proposal has strong support, with 72% of Brits in favor of ending fur sales and a further 93% against wearing animal fur. Momentum there has been building thanks to Humane Society International’s <a href="https://action.hsi.org/page/31830/action/1">Fur Free Britain</a> campaign, which asks U.K. leaders to ban the import and sale of animal fur. The U.K. banned fur farming on ethical grounds in 2003, so it makes sense to no longer want to import that cruelty from other countries. Citizens from around the world are encouraged to take part in the call for evidence, including those of us in fur-producing countries such as the U.S., Canada, Finland and Italy where fur-bearing animals suffer for fashion exported to and sold in the U.K. Once the selling stops, the suffering can stop, too.</p> <p>Adding to this momentum, this month, Estonia became the latest country to end fur farming, joining over a dozen other countries, including the U.K., Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway. France is currently debating a ban on mink fur farming, and the Irish government has made a commitment to bring forward legislation this year.</p> <p><strong>The absurdity of supporting the fur trade after COVID</strong></p> <p>The time to end the fur trade globally has never been so crucial. We’ve long known the <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2021/03/new-hsi-investigation-reveals-appalling-cruelty-on-fur-farms.html">inherent cruelty</a> and environmental degradation that goes hand in hand with caging and killing millions of animals like foxes, raccoon dogs and mink, but now the pandemic has shined a new spotlight on the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/02/fur-farms-prepare-breed-mink-global-health-bodies-issue-warning-high-coronavirus-risk">fur industry’s risk to public health</a>. Israel’s fur sales ban and Estonia’s fur production ban come at a time when supporting the fur trade anywhere in the world seems especially dangerous for human beings and animals alike.</p> <p>Since April 2020, outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred on more than 420 mink fur farms in 12 countries—including 16 fur farms in four U.S. states. The virus can mutate as it spreads through fur farms, which could end up reducing the efficacy of vaccines, and evidence shows that mink can transmit the virus back to humans. As infections decline around the world, mink fur farms will still present potential reservoirs for the virus unless action is taken to shut them down.</p> <p>This is why ahead of the recent G7 meeting in the U.K., we asked governments around the world <a href="https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/06/ahead-g7-meeting-president-biden-urged-support-permanent-global-end-fur">to permanently end fur farming to prevent future pandemic outbreaks</a>, and we plan to do the same at the G20 meeting later this year. G7 leaders appear to be listening, stating a <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/06/13/carbis-bay-g7-summit-communique/">commitment to adopt a “One Health” approach</a> across all aspects of pandemic prevention and preparedness and recognizing the critical links between human health, animal health and the environment.</p> <p><strong>Putting fur permanently out of fashion</strong></p> <p>To help put fur permanently out of fashion, <a href="https://www.stellamccartney.com/us/en/stellas-world/autumn-2021-our-time-has-come.html">Stella McCartney has joined forces with HSI and the HSUS</a> to bring awareness to the unnecessary fur trade and share our <a href="http://www.hsi.org/furfreebritain">FurFreeBritain</a> and <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7749&amp;credit=web&amp;mr-s_src-synd=web&amp;s_src=blog_post_061721_idhome-page_van_humanesociety.org/stopdeadlyfur-s_src-campaign05262021_061721_id12337&amp;utm_source=vanity&amp;utm_medium=redirect&amp;utm_campaign=fur_31830_2021_press_stella_mccartney">Stop Deadly Fur</a> petitions, which will be used to push for a U.K. fur sales ban and to ask G20 leaders to publicly acknowledge that fur farming must end.</p> <p>“I wanted to address a serious issue: ending the use of fur,” <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/stella-mccartney-urges-end-fur-185359240.html">Stella McCartney said</a> upon the launch of her latest collection. “This effort is key to my life’s mission of bringing a conscience to the fashion industry. I am proud to partner with Humane Society International and to help raise awareness of the incredible work they do.”</p> <p>Many of fashion’s biggest names believe being associated with a product linked to so much animal suffering, environmental destruction and now the potential spread of COVID-19 is no longer worth it. <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2021/03/alexander-mcqueen-balenciaga-go-fur-free.html">Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga</a>, <a href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/italian-fashion-designer-valentino-to-go-fur-free-canada/">Valentino</a> and <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2021/04/breaking-news-saks-fifth-avenue-will-ditch-fur.html">Saks Fifth Avenue</a> have all gone fur-free this year joining Gucci, Chanel, Versace, Nordstrom, Prada, Macy’s and so many others. These companies are helping drive innovation for alternatives that are better for animals and the planet and are doing their part to ensure that fur never returns as an acceptable trend.</p> <p>Israel’s ban helps give further fodder to this fight, showing that country-wide bans aren’t only possible—they are necessary. Right now, we have the very real chance to relegate the fur trade to the history books once and for all, and the Humane Society family of organizations are dedicated to making that happen.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:14:21 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21721 at https://hslf.org