NEWS OF THE WEEK:

SF a step closer to fur ban, Trump USDA withdraws animal welfare regulation for organic farms – March 9 - March 16, 2018

By Matt Johnson

SF ON THE VERGE OF BANNING FUR SALES

The three members of the Board of Supervisors Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee voted Wednesday to send the legislation to the full Board for consideration in coming weeks. The proposed ban would make San Francisco the third and largest-by-far US city to pass such a ban. Activists are hopeful that this ban is a stepping stone for bigger and better change for animals. (SF Examiner, March 14, 2018)

TRUMP USDA WITHDRAWS ANIMAL WELFARE REGULATION FOR ORGANIC FARMS, SPARKING BACKLASH

A week after its controversial decision to allow African elephant trophy imports, the Trump administration is again facing criticism from animal welfare supporters, this time for the withdrawal of regulations that would have required higher production standards for organic livestock and poultry.

Given the demonstrated resistance to enforcement of existing animal protection laws, it’s encouraging to see activists standing up to resist further regression. Representative Steve King of Iowa’s so-called “King Amendment” to the Farm Bill similarly undermines existing law, with sparse federal regulation overruling more expansive state legislation. (ABC News, March 14, 2018)

ACTIVISTS DISRUPT PROMINENT BRITISH DOG SHOW ON LIVE TV

PETA activists flooded the center of the arena during the award presentation at the Crufts dog show.

Representatives with Crufts were quick to frame the situation with the messenger to blame. “It appears that protesters from Peta gained unauthorised access to the ring in the main arena at Crufts, and in doing so scared the dogs and put the safety of both dogs and people at risk in a hugely irresponsible way.”

Of course, the breeding of animals is itself hugely irresponsible, contributing to the overpopulation of animals and leading to millions killed yearly. Breeding also artificially selects for traits which are appealing to humans, often to the detriment of the animals bred. (The Guardian, March 11, 2018)

PROGRESS AS MASSACHUSETTS BILL SEEKS TO OUTLAW THE DROWNING OF ANY ANIMAL

Advocates in Massachusetts are pushing state legislators to consider more expansive animal protection regulation, including a provision to ban the drowning of any animal. Other provisions are intended to increase reporting, update penalties, and prohibit certain kinds of cruel acts. Violators would be subjected to up to seven years in prison and/or up to a $5000 fine.

This is yet another example of state-level legislation outpacing federal law, underscoring the urgency of protecting state’s autonomy on animal issues. (Boston.com, March 11, 2018)