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Archive for the 'Farm Animals' Category

Farm Sanctuary: Celebrate Thanksgiving with the turkeys!

Turkey dinner. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur, Farm Sanctuary
jo-anne mcarthur

I look forward to getting this press release every year. What can be more fun than celebrating Thanksgiving with the turkeys? What a blast! /Gary

ORLAND, Calif. – Nov. 17 – Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, will host its annual Celebration FOR the Turkeys at its shelter in Orland, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 21. At this popular event, part of the organization’s national Adopt-A-Turkey Project, participants gather to celebrate a cruelty-free Thanksgiving.
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Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
Under: Farm Animals, wild turkeys | 1 Comment »

Animal Welfare: Calif. legislature passes important farm animal bills

Calif. Legislature Presses Ahead with Animal Welfare Reforms

Both houses of the California legislature passed important farm animal welfare legislation on Tuesday, in the wake of the passage of Prop. 2 in November.

Introduced in February by California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter), S.B. 135 passed the Senate Tuesday by a vote of 25-12 with bipartisan support. If enacted, S.B. 135 would ban the painful and unnecessary tail docking of dairy cows, and it previously passed the Senate Food & Agriculture, Public Safety, and Appropriations committees in the run-up to Tuesday’s vote.
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Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Under: Farm Animals | 2 Comments »

PROP 2: Why I’m voting YES on Prop 2 next Tuesday

I wrote the following reasons for voting YES on Prop 2 in my Times’ daily newspaper column on Sept. 7. Today is Wednesday (Oct. 29) and we will be voting on this issue next Tuesday (Nov. 4).

This is such an important issue, I want to remind you again why you should be giving Prop 2 a YES vote. I can’t think of any better way to say it than the way I did in my column, so here it is again:
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Posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Under: Chickens, Farm Animals, Pigs | No Comments »

Do you want to be an animal activist?

Animal Activist Training Class at Animal Place sanctuary, 3448 Laguna Creek Trail, Vacaville, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday (Sept. 27); $10 per person.

An interactive and informative training session with facts about farmed animals and tools on how you can help. Learn effective letter writing, legislation, tabling, leafleting, personal ways to help and more. Sanctuary tour is included.

Call 707-449-4814 to sign up, or visit and click on Animal Activist Training under Upcoming Events.

Want to get involved and help farm animals? This is a great program. Check it out. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, September 25th, 2008
Under: Animal Activists, Animal Politics, Animal protection legislation, Farm Animals | No Comments »

How to stop some of the farm animal abuse on factory farms

One way to help stop some of the abuse of pigs and other farm animals on commercial factory farms in California is to vote YES on Prop 2 in November.

Prop 2 would prevent the cruel and inhumane confinement of calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens kept in crates and cages so small they cannot lie down, turn around, or extend their limbs.

Find out more about Prop 2 at

Thanks for caring! /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
Under: Factory Farms, Farm Animals, Pigs | 1 Comment »

FEDS & agribiz can’t spend federal funds on anti-Prop 2 ads

Millions of misappropriated federal dollars temporarily put on hold, won’t be spent on anti-Prop 2 ads.

San Francisco (Aug. 21) — Yes on Prop. 2 – Californians for Humane Farms, the proponents of an anti-cruelty ballot initiative that will provide more humane treatment of California farm animals, announced today that millions of advertising dollars slated to be spent by the federal government and agribusiness giants campaigning against Prop. 2 have been put on hold while a federal court decides whether the advertising violates federal law.
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Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2008
Under: Chickens, Farm Animals, Humane Laws | No Comments »

Status of new pet laws in Sacramento

Here’s the status of 2008 CALIFORNIA ANIMAL LEGISLATION in Sacramento, California.

If you like, or dislike any of these laws, write your legislators and the governor and tell them how you feel about it.

The address for legislators and Governor: State Capitol Bldg., Sacramento, CA 95814, 916/322-9900

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Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2008
Under: Animal Laws, Animal protection legislation, Cats, dogs, Farm Animals, Pets, Spay/Neuter, Wildlife | No Comments »

Suit seeks humane slaughter for 9 billion farm birds

I received the following press release late Wednesday from The Humane Society of the United States. I felt it was so important, I’m not even going to rewrite and edit it down to a manageable size as I usually do. I want you to read and absorb every single word. Please do. The chance to put an end to the torture of 9 billion animals is no small thing. Go HSUS!

I’ll have more to say about this in my Friday column. You can read that in the Times, or at

SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 6, 2006) — Today, The Humane Society of the United States hailed a decision by United States District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel refusing to dismiss a landmark case challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s policy of excluding chickens, turkeys, and other birds killed for human consumption from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958. The suit alleges that current poultry slaughter methods allow more than 9 billion animals to be slaughtered each year without any federal protection from cruelty and increase consumers’ risk of contracting food-borne illness.

"The Court’s decision marks the first step in ensuring that turkeys, chickens, and other birds are protected from inhumane slaughter, as Congress specifically ordered more than 50 years ago," said Sarah Uhlemann, an attorney with the Animal Protection Litigation section of The HSUS who represents the plaintiffs in the case.

The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) explicitly requires that "cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep,  swine, and other livestock" be slaughtered in accordance with humane methods. Despite the fact that "other livestock" clearly includes animals such as farmed birds, who comprise more than nine out of ten land farm animals killed annually in this country, the USDA interprets this law in a way that excludes chickens, turkeys, and other birds from legal protection.

As a result of the USDA policy, processors continue to slaughter birds using such inhumane methods as shackling fully conscious birds upside-down, electrically stunning them into paralysis, and sometimes even drowning the conscious birds in tanks of scalding water.

According to several recent studies, these methods increase the risk that carcasses will become contaminated with dangerous bacteria that can sicken consumers.

The Court, finding that "plaintiffs credibly allege that they face an imminent exposure to heightened risk that they will become ill from consuming inhumanely slaughtered animals," dismissed the USDA’s attempt to argue that such risk should be ignored. The Court noted that plaintiffs cited the USDA’s own studies to support their argument that current method of slaughtering poultry increase likelihood of bacterial contamination.

When enacting the HMSA, Congress recognized that certain slaughter practices, including hanging conscious animals by their legs from metal shackles and slaughtering animals while still fully conscious, cause "needless suffering." To alleviate this widespread suffering, Congress mandated that all livestock be rendered insensible to pain before shackling and slaughter. Yet each year, thanks to the USDA, more than 9 billion chickens, turkeys, and other birds suffer from these very practices — practices which also increase risk of food poisoning.

Now the USDA’s policy could be overturned.

Recent abuses in poultry slaughter plants across the country have highlighted other far-reaching implications of USDA’s policy of excluding poultry from the HMSA. For example, a 2004 New York Times article graphically reported horrific abuses and "hundreds of acts of cruelty" at a Pilgrim’s Pride chicken slaughter plant in Moorefield, West Virginia, including workers "jumping up and down on live chickens, drop-kicking them like footballs, and slamming them into walls" with the acquiescence of plant supervisors. Likewise, a 2004 investigation of a Perdue poultry slaughter plant in Maryland and a 2005 investigation of a Tyson’s facility in Alabama revealed similar abuses. The workers involved in some of these cruelties were terminated, but neither the workers nor the facilities could be prosecuted under federal law because of USDA’s practice of not applying the HMSA to poultry.

The lawsuit was brought by attorneys with The HSUS and the public interest law firm of Evans & Page on behalf of The HSUS, East Bay Animal Advocates, Equal Justice Center, Western North Carolina Workers Center, and several members of The HSUS who consume poultry products.

Find out more about the work being done by The HSUS on the Internet at

Posted on Thursday, September 7th, 2006
Under: Farm Animals, Humane slaughter | 2 Comments »