NEWS OF THE WEEK:

The Draconian King Amendment, California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act Passes First Hurdle, April 20 – April 27, 2018

By Leslie Goldberg

  Protesting to ban fur sales in San Francisco earlier this year. Photo by Michael Goldberg

Protesting to ban fur sales in San Francisco earlier this year. Photo by Michael Goldberg

UPDATE ON THE DRACONIAN KING AMENDMENT

The dreaded King Amendment, deceptively called the “Protect Interstate Commerce Act,” which would destroy states’ abilities to regulate both animal welfare and environmental protection in their states, passed a House Agricultural Committee vote last week. Proposed by Rep. Steve King, a Republican from Iowa, the amendment which is part of the Farm Bill takes specific aim at California’s ban on the sale of eggs from hens trapped in battery cages. (Iowa wants to sell its eggs in California.) The King amendment could also overturn states’ regulation of puppy mills, bans on the sale of dog and cat “meat,” San Francisco’s ban on the sale of fur, and other protections. Call your representatives! (HSUS, April 20, 2018)

CALIFORNIA ANIMAL RIGHTS LEGISLATIVE NEWS

This week at the California State Capitol, animal rights activists won two and lost one. A bill banning the practice of declawing cats didn’t make it out of the state’s Public Safety Committee. The loss was possibly due to the testimony from two representatives of the veterinary association who argued that the practice was medically appropriate in some situations. On the victory side was the Iconic African Endangered Species Act, SB 1487, which bans the possession of body parts of 11 different African animals including lions and elephants. SB 1487, passed with a vote of 5 to 2 along party lines in the Public Safety Committee. Next stop is a vote in the whole state Senate. The other victory was the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, SB 1249,  which passed the state Judiciary Committee and heads off to the Appropriations Committee. The act bans the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. (Reported by Leslie Goldberg)

A BIG BREAK FOR DOGS IN JAPAN

The Japanese government has now banned the testing of agrochemicals on dogs. Typically, this type of testing subjected animals to these pesticides (either ingesting or inhaling) for a year. Now the Japanese government has concluded this practice is not only cruel but ineffective. This ban is a big deal – it will save over 4 million dogs a year. (Live Kindly, April 21, 2018)

WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO GO VEGAN?

According to research conducted by the University of Albany and published in a journal called Appetite, people who grew up with pets were the most likely to become vegans and/or vegetarian. And folks who grew up with the widest variety of animals (meaning cats, rodents, farm animals and not just dogs) were even more likely to go vegan or vegetarian in later life. (Bustle, April 21, 2018)

THE PRICE OF MEAT

Eating meat in the United States costs about 10 percent more than the world average, according to a study published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Health. But go to Switzerland and you’ll find it costs a whooping 142 percent more! In Norway it’s 67 percent higher and in Hong Kong it’s 61 percent higher. Why so cheap in the U.S.? Government subsidies. There’s a lot not to like in the Farm Bill, besides the King Amendment. (Fin24, April 21, 2018)

BABOON JAILBREAK

Four baboons, using a large barrel which had been placed in their pen for “enrichment” climbed out to freedom from the Institute for Biomedical Research in San Antonio. The facility which houses 2,500 animals and uses them for medical experiments had been the subject of a HSUS undercover investigation. The activists found them kept in “poor conditions” where the apparently underfed animals were eating rocks, wounding each other, engaging in hair plucking and self-biting. Some improvements were made, but it wasn’t enough according to four baboons who made their way onto city streets before being caught. Human activists called for the primates to be released to a sanctuary. So far, the facility hasn’t responded. (Newsweek, April 17, 2018)

DXE CO-FOUNDER ARRESTED AT BOULDER WHOLE FOODS

DxE co-founder Wayne Hsuing said he was only trying to ask Whole Foods a question but the company doesn’t like to be questioned. A store manager in Boulder refused to answer Hsiung. Instead, she called the police and Hsiung was arrested, along with his intrepid camera person, DxE activist Ateret Goldman. As he attempted to get a Whole Foods manager to have a conversation about Whole Foods’ promotion of “humanely-raised” meat and tried to get her to look at the photos he had brought of the dismal conditions at one of the store’s “humane meat” suppliers, Deistel Turkey Ranch, she asked him to leave. Hsiung, as is his habit, took his time. In the Whole Foods parking lot he was cited for trespassing and taken to jail because he didn’t have his I.D. (Boulder News, April 24, 2018)

DXE TEEN ACTIVIST ARRESTED IN SAN LUIS OBISPO

DxE activists Zoe Rosenberg, who is 15, and Julianne Perry were arrested this week after chaining themselves to a pen where a cow was to be killed for a California Polytechnic University butchering class. The activists were trying to draw attention to this appalling exercise in needless cruelty. When the truck driver bringing the animal who activists named “Justice” saw the protesters he drove off, never unloading the victim from his truck. As Rosenberg and Perry wailed “Where’s Justice?” police cut their chains and dragged them to jail. (The Tribune, April 23, 2018)

DON’T EAT CATS OR DOGS SAYS CONGRESS

U.S. lawmakers advanced a bill to make eating dogs and/or cat illegal here. It’s not that a lot of Americans eat dogs or cats, but rather, as the Washington Post explained, the measure is to make a strong statement to the international community that eating these animals is wrong. It’s a way for the American government to support international animal rights activists. However, it is not a way to stop our own country’s citizens from engaging in the parallel cruelty of eating cows, chickens, pigs and others. (Washington Post, April 24, 2018)

COMMERCIAL PUPPY AND KITTY MILLS FACE MORE OPPOSITION

The State of Maryland just banned the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores. The measure also encourages people to visit shelters if they want to acquire an animal. The message is “Adopt, Don’t Shop.” California has already got that message. In this state pet shops must sell dogs and cats from shelters instead of commercial operations. (Washington Post, April 24, 2018)