NEWS OF THE WEEK:

McDonald’s Under Fire From Animal Rights Groups, Cal Senate Committee Passes Iconic African Species Protection Act, April 13 – April 20, 2018

By Leslie Goldberg

  Exposing the hidden truth behind “happy meals.”

Exposing the hidden truth behind “happy meals.”

LOOK OUT MCDONALD’S

The ubiquitous fast food chain McDonald’s is now facing the Humane League along with a coalition of other animal rights groups including Mercy for Animals, Compassion Over Killing and Animal Equality. The groups are demanding higher animal welfare standards for broiler chickens including more space and switching to slower growing breeds. Apparently, some big bucks are behind this “I’m Not Lovin’ It” campaign. The groups managed to take out a full-page ad which ran in the New York Times on March 25. Protests were staged in Chicago and two large truck billboards toured the city. They featured a 6 foot by 10 foot “I’m Not Lovin’ It” art installation. (ALTERNET, April 16, 2018)

 IF THE FEDS WON’T DO IT CALIFORNIA WILL!

A bill banning the possession of any dead body part of an African elephant, African lion, leopard, black or white rhino, giraffe or zebra has passed the California Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water by a vote of 7 to 2. California Senate Bill 1487, the Iconic African Species Protection Act, exempts body parts already in possession at the time of enactment or in possession by a bona fide scientific or educational institution. The bill is the work of Senator Henry Stern and sponsored by the animal advocacy group, Social Compassion in Legislation. It now faces another vote in the Public Safety Committee on April 24. (World Animal News, April 17, 2018)

MORE FROM SOCIAL COMPASSION IN LEGISLATION

Two more bills, sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation, are making their way through the California Legislature. One is the CRUELTY FREE COSMETICS ACT, SB 1249 which bans the sale in California of cosmetics tested on animals. SB 1249 will be introduced to the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 24. (State Capitol, Room 112 at 1:30 pm.) The other, SB 1138, FOOD OPTIONS: PLANT-BASED MEALS, requires California patients and prisoners have the opportunity to choose plant-based meals. A hearing will be held on April 25 in the Senate Health Committee, Room 4203 (John Burton Hearing Room) at 1:30 pm. (Social Compassion in Legislation)

EPA COMES TO AID ANIMALS

The Environmental Protection Agency is pushing for a policy which encourages researchers to find alternatives to pesticide and chemical testing on animals. The agency stated that there are now newer, more effective and less cruel ways to determine if certain pesticides and chemicals pose a risk to human health. They invite public comment up to June 6 at EPAcomments@humanesociety.org – (HSUS, April 13, 2018)

PETA AND OTHERS SUE THE USDA

PETA and numerous other animal rights groups have joined a lawsuit over the recent decision USDA’s  (thanks Donald Trump) to deny public access to information on whether laboratories, puppy mills, roadside zoos and other animal-abusing industries have violated the federal Animal Welfare Act. The USDA’s effort to hide information on facilities such as these hamper efforts to investigate animal cruelty. (PETA, April 16, 2018)

ONE STEP CLOSER TO ENDING GREYHOUND RACING

Now Florida voters will have the chance to decide whether to continue to allow the cruel practice of greyhound racing in the state. It has been estimated that every three days a dog dies on a Florida track. Typically, the dogs are kept in small cages 23 hours out of the day. Florida is really the center of dog racing in the United States and 12 of the 18 tracks nationwide operate there. This measure banning dog racing will appear on the November ballot and has the support of the state’s Republican governor Rick Scott. (HSUS, April 17, 2018)

FISH WIN IN COURT

A Hawaii court just invalidated all of the state’s 131 aquarium collection permits because they were issued without environmental impact reviews first. The permits (which are still in effect) allow commercial aquariums to collect 2,000 fish a year for a total of about 250,000 fish including endangered species and endangered coral reefs. Environmental and animal protection groups sued the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to achieve the victory in the 1st Circuit Court; the groups regard the court’s decision as an important step in an effort to protect fishes. (Center for Biological Diversity, April 16, 2018)