Contributed by:
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202)452-1100
(202) 778-6132 FAX

An open letter – looking back, and charging ahead in 2017

When opportunities for progress present themselves, and they will, we will seize them. Make no mistake about that. Our work is bipartisan. Our work is not blue-state or red-state regional. Our work is urgent and it is everywhere.

When opportunities for progress present themselves, and they will, we will seize them. Make no mistake about that. Our work is bipartisan. Our work is not blue-state or red-state regional. Our work is urgent and it is everywhere. Photo by Alamy

Dear Friends: Let’s start the New Year with thanks. Thanks to all of us. Whatever you did as part of the movement to help animals in the year just past, be proud. It was a challenging year. And so many, many people did so much, providing so much support and encouragement. For some, the compassionate . . . 

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Breaking news: Smithfield will complete transition to group housing for sows by end of 2017

The HSUS successfully campaigned to ban gestation crates in California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Rhode Island. Most recently, voters in Massachusetts also banned gestation crates when they passed our Question 3 ballot initiative.

The HSUS successfully campaigned to ban gestation crates in California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Rhode Island. Most recently, voters in Massachusetts also banned gestation crates when they passed our Question 3 ballot initiative. Photo by iStockphoto

Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, has made more progress away from cruel gestation crates. The company announced today that it has converted 87 percent of its sow housing to group housing systems, and will be at 100 percent by the end of 2017. A decade and a half ago, there wasn’t a single . . . 

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Rolling Stone crushes puppy mill trade

For his article Rolling Stone reporter Paul Solotaroff piggybacked on a puppy mill raid that the HSUS Animal Rescue Team carried out with the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. Above, a dog in a crate at the puppy mill.

For his article Rolling Stone reporter Paul Solotaroff piggybacked on a puppy mill raid that the HSUS Animal Rescue Team carried out with the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. Above, a dog in a crate at the puppy mill. Photo by Meredith Lee/The HSUS

Of the entire dizzying array of animal cruelty concerns, there’s not one more top of mind for the American public than puppy mills. It’s a term we’ve all been hearing for decades and we’ve lamented the presence of the industry for at least as long. Yet, amazingly, there’s still so much confusion about puppy mills, . . . 

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Grizzly bear fate likely to rest with Trump Administration

If the great bears are delisted, the states will take charge of managing them, and public officials in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming seem to be champing at the bit to open trophy-hunting seasons on them.

If the great bears are delisted, the states will take charge of managing them, and public officials in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming seem to be champing at the bit to open trophy-hunting seasons on them. Photo by John E. Swallow

With just three weeks until the Obama team transfers executive power to the Trump Administration, the current leadership of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is running out of time to remove federal Endangered Species Act protections from the grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Yet, with many leaders within the conventional wildlife . . . 

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California, Oregon lead on animal welfare policies, while Mississippi and the Dakotas have the lowest ranks

Massachusetts came in at third place for passing the nation’s most comprehensive farm animal protection measure that phases out the cruel confinement of veal calves, breeding sows, and laying hens, and restricts the sale of those products in the state.

Massachusetts came in at third place for passing the nation’s most comprehensive farm animal protection measure that phases out the cruel confinement of veal calves, breeding sows, and laying hens, and restricts the sale of those products in the state. Photo by iStockphoto

Each year, The HSUS releases its Humane State rankings based on a wide set of animal welfare policies — covering a total of 93 policy ideas, from protecting farm animals to prohibiting bear and cougar hunting to regulating puppy mills. This year again, California occupies the top spot and handily so. It fortified its outstanding . . . 

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Trump should support reasonable federal regulations, not crony capitalism

While there are legitimate arguments to be made about over-regulation and crony capitalism, there’s also very little argument about the value of having regulations in our society. And that’s true when it comes to animals, who are vulnerable to people who would exploit them solely for profit or recreation.

While there are legitimate arguments to be made about over-regulation and crony capitalism, there’s also very little argument about the value of having regulations in our society. And that’s true when it comes to animals, who are vulnerable to people who would exploit them solely for profit or recreation. Photo by Aubrey Gaines/The HSUS-Doris Day Equine Center

Yesterday, I got a lift to the Portland (Oregon) airport, took a cross-country flight to National Airport, and jumped in a cab to head home, hugging my dog and scratching my cat’s head for a good long time after walking through the door. Long-distance travel is a matter of routine for many of us now, . . . 

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Gains to limit animal research and testing in 2016

The chimpanzees abandoned on a series of islands in Liberia by the New York Blood Center continue to thrive under our care.

The chimpanzees abandoned on a series of islands in Liberia by the New York Blood Center continue to thrive under our care. Photo by Jenny Desmond/For The HSUS

At The HSUS and Humane Society International, as part of our commitment to all animals, we put our shoulder into the moral and scientific problems of using animals in research and testing. In doing this work, we follow the framework of the Three Rs – refining, reducing, and replacing the use of animals. That approach . . . 

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Polar bears in the crosshairs of denial and greed

Polar bears survived for thousands of years by using the sea ice as floating platforms to hunt seals, but now there’s no ice for many of them in their warming habitats.

Polar bears survived for thousands of years by using the sea ice as floating platforms to hunt seals, but now there’s no ice for many of them in their warming habitats. Photo by Alamy

For years, a small band of lawmakers in Congress – every one of them aligned with Safari Club International – has remained obsessed with securing a rider to allow 41 Americans to import the heads of polar bears they shot some years ago in Canada. Unable to import the heads because of federal animal protection . . . 

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Sodexo, Panera Bread announce major reforms for broiler chicken welfare

In our industrial food production system, broiler chickens are genetically manipulated to grow so fast, they’re barely able to walk by the end of their lives, which is usually only about 47 days.

In our industrial food production system, broiler chickens are genetically manipulated to grow so fast, they’re barely able to walk by the end of their lives, which is usually only about 47 days. Photo by iStockphoto

We’re building major momentum with our new campaign to improve the lives of broiler chickens, with Panera Bread and Sodexo this week committing to work with U.S. suppliers to implement on-the-farm reforms. These are big, powerful brand names in the food sales world, and they are two very strong companies we’ve worked with on a . . . 

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Top 10 victories for all animals in 2016

In a pathbreaking announcement for captive marine mammals, SeaWorld, in cooperation with The HSUS, announced in March that it would end all breeding of its orcas and it won’t obtain additional orcas from other sources.

In a pathbreaking announcement for captive marine mammals, SeaWorld, in cooperation with The HSUS, announced in March that it would end all breeding of its orcas and it won’t obtain additional orcas from other sources. Photo by iStockphoto

We’re operating in a time of punctuated change for animals. It hardly means that we’ve been on a glide path to reform. And it doesn’t mean that we haven’t had setbacks or that we don’t have immense challenges ahead. But what it does mean is that The HSUS’s strategic, focused action, brandishing, and using many . . . 

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