NEWS OF THE WEEK:

DxE Activists Charged For Rescuing Sick Turkeys, L.A. Considers Cruelty-free Cleaning Products, April 21 – May 4, 2018

By Leslie Goldberg

  DxE activist rescues turkey from Norbest farm. Photo by DxE

DxE activist rescues turkey from Norbest farm. Photo by DxE

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CHARGED WITH FELONIES FOR REMOVING SICK TURKEYS FROM FACTORY FARM

Six activists with DxE, including Wayne Hsiung, Diane Gandee Sorbi and Andrew Sharo, were charged with felony burglary and threatened with 10-year prison sentences in Utah for entering a Norbest turkey facility and removing three sick and injured turkeys and taking them to the vet. The horrific conditions of the farm were documented by the group and publicized around Thanksgiving, 2017. Utah, which has a state government largely controlled by agricultural interests, passed an “ag gag” law in 2012. Last year that law was struck down by the courts. Activists believe that charging them represents an end run around that failed ag gag law and an effort to continue to mislead the public as to conditions on these farms. (The Intercept, May 4, 2018)

LOS ANGELES CITY TO BUY ONLY CRUELTY-FREE CLEANING PRODUCTS?

An LA city councilman, Bob Blumenfield, has introduced a motion which would forbid the City of Los Angeles from purchasing cleaning products which were tested on animals. Already the state bans the testing of cleaning products on animals if other means of testing are available. That state ban, however, says nothing about the sale of animal-tested products in the state, i.e. products from somewhere else. Let’s hope the LA City Council goes for it! (City News Service, April 26, 2018)

PROTECTING SHELTER ANIMALS IN NEW YORK

The New York State Senate passed a measure to prevent convicted animal abusers from working in animal shelters. The measure goes on to the Assembly. (Buffalo NPR, April 25, 2018)

BILL AIMED AT GIVING FARMED ANIMALS MORE SPACE GARNERS NEEDED SIGNATURES

HSUS gathered some 600,000 signatures for the Prevent Cruelty California measure which is almost double what is required to get the bill on the ballot. In November, California voters will have the opportunity to vote for giving industrially-raised chickens, pigs and veal calves more room. The bill would also prevent companies from outside California who do not meet the standards from selling their products in the state. The bill is similar to Proposition 2, which passed in 2008. That bill contained no mechanism for enforcement, but according to the Prevent Cruelty California website, this one does. However, the Prevent Cruelty California measure, if passed, would become null and void if the King Amendment is successfully inserted into the federal Farm Bill. (Live Kindly, April 26, 2018)

FRANCE BENDS TO THE ANIMAL FOOD INDUSTRY

Companies selling plant-derived “milk,” “cheese” or “meat” have now been banned from calling those products “milk,” “cheese” or “meat” (in French of course.) Seems odd to us, that the French would feel the need to pass such a measure because the EU passed the same law in 2017. (Drovers, April 27, 2018)

A BAN ON BOILING LOBSTERS ALIVE IN THE U.K.

Legislators in the U.K. are considering banning the practice of boiling lobsters alive, as well as other crustaceans, such as crabs and crayfish. Last February, the U.K. banned the sale of plastic straws as part of an effort to protect marine life. Apparently plastic straws get caught in sea turtles’ noses, choke fish and get caught in the throats of dolphins. Recently it was reported that the U.K government pledged 61.4 million pounds to fight marine plastic pollution. (Live Kindly, April 27, 2018)

SO COOL, EUGENE OREGON

The Eugene, Oregon police will now be equipped with special thermometers which will determine the temperature inside cars. They will use them in rescues of animals trapped in hot vehicles. (KVAL, April 26, 2018)

TRIP ADVISOR STEPS UP

The U.S.-based booking site, Trip Advisor, says it will now no longer arrange trips involving human-to-wild-animal contact – that means no more swimming with dolphins, petting tigers and riding on elephants. (Plant Based News, April 30, 2018)

A GLOBAL BAN ON TESTING COSMETICS ON ANIMALS

Legislators in the U.K. are calling on the government there to pass a resolution demanding an end to the testing of cosmetics on animals worldwide. The E.U. no longer permits animal testing of cosmetics, but exempts cosmetics produced in Europe or elsewhere and tested in China. This China Exemption, is also a sticking point for efforts to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals in California. Obviously, industry wants a China Exemption and animal rights advocates do not. (Huffington Post, April 30, 2018)

THE MEAT INDUSTRY LOVES THIS

The state Senate in Missouri has just passed a measure to require all the packaging on plant-based meat to clearly indicate that the product does not contain meat. The bill now goes on to the state’s assembly. Since the federal government already requires companies to include all ingredients in a particular product, there is some confusion as to what this bill would actually do. Jessica Almy of the Good Food Institute said, "A phrase like 'plant-based meat' clearly communicates that a food is plant-based and how a food is meant to be prepared and consumed. Second, creating a Missouri-specific prohibition would create an untenable situation where products sold in Missouri must be labeled differently from products sold in all 49 other states." (U.S. News, April 29, 2018)

NO MORE MOHAIR AT GAP, H&M AND ZARA

Following a PETA investigation of multiple goat farms in South Africa, H&M, Gap, Zara and others have vowed to stop selling mohair products. The companies’ decisions follow the release of undercover video showing workers dragging goats by their horns and legs and lifting them up by their tails, as well as trying to cut their throats with dull knives. Workers were also seen throwing goats across the floor. The end of mohair sales won’t be instantaneous. H&M and Zara have vowed to have no mohair by 2020. (The Inquirer, May 1, 2018)

PUBLIC DOESN’T LIKE THE WORD “VEGAN”

A survey conducted by food consulting firm Mattson of more than 1,000 people found that 80 percent of the respondents preferred the term “pant-based” to “vegan.” Wrote Viva Glam Magazine: “Those surveyed believe the term ‘plant-based’ is more positive than the term ‘vegan.’” They added, “ ‘Plant-based was viewed as a ‘positive food choice’ while ‘vegan’ was seen as more depriving in nature.” (Viva Glam Magazine, May 2, 2018)