HSUS sues USDA for brazen maneuver to hurt farmers and nix federal farm animal welfare rule

The organics rule covers an array of housing, husbandry, and other animal-care protocols for animals raised under the “organic” label, strengthening nebulous and weak standards for “organic” milk, meat, and eggs that have been in place since 1990. Photo by iStockphoto

Today, The HSUS is suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture for working to scuttle the Organics Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule – one of the most important rules to ever come out of a federal agency, affecting the well-being of tens of millions of animals each year. The USDA finalized the rule in January 2017, . . . 

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Steady progress against puppy mills – 250 localities now ban sales of cats and dogs at pet stores

HSUS investigations reveal that pet stores often mislead consumers about the source of the dogs they sell, resulting in countless would-be pet lovers enriching puppy mills that treat dogs inhumanely. Photo by David Sokol/For The HSUS

Last week, the city of Poulsbo, Washington, became the 250th locality in the United States to enact a law prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, unless the animals are sourced from shelters or rescues. Cities, towns, and counties of all sizes and demographics are registering their concerns about the national epidemic . . . 

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USDA ponders disastrous plan to eliminate government inspections for licensed breeders, zoos, and researchers, and allow self-policing by third parties

The political operatives who took over at the U.S. Department of Agriculture a year ago say they now want to turn over federally funded inspections of puppy mills, roadside zoos, and research labs to the very groups using the animals. Photo by Kathy Milani/The HSUS

After purging thousands of Animal Welfare Act inspection reports and violation notices that used to be available to the public and were searchable online, the political operatives who took over at the U.S. Department of Agriculture a year ago say they now want to turn over federally funded inspections of puppy mills, roadside zoos, and . . . 

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Some hints of progress in curbing cruel and wasteful USDA predator-killing program

In October, a federal judge gave the green light to an agreement between environmental groups and the USDA to halt aerial gunning, trapping, snaring, and the use of cyanide on coyotes and other animals in 16 California counties.

Our federal government is in the business of killing native carnivores and birds in mindboggling numbers every year, mainly with your tax dollars. It’s an obscure program, euphemistically known as USDA Wildlife Services, and it amasses an annual body count in the millions, including wolves, mountain lions, bobcats, black bears, coyotes, foxes, and countless species . . . 

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British Columbia strengthens ban on trophy hunting of grizzly bears

Under the prior Liberal government, British Columbia had become the world’s grizzly-bear-hunting hub, with trophy hunters killing 250 of the great bears a year there. Photo by iStockphoto

Today, British Columbia’s New Democratic Party government delivered on its campaign promise and more by announcing a provincial ban on trophy hunting of grizzly bears, even if the hunters involved claim they eat the meat of the animal. The NDP, in cooperation with the Green Party, ousted the Liberals in elections earlier this year, gaining . . . 

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HSUS stays the course for animals in Puerto Rico with Operation Viva Vieques

Dozens of veterinarians from Puerto Rico and veterinary teams from around the world deployed to the island where we hosted 20 free spay/neuter and vaccine clinics and free horse wellness clinics. Pictured above, Dr. Adriana Silva with one of her patients. Photo by Thaisi Da Silva/The HSUS

Our longstanding work in Puerto Rico was made all the more urgent when Hurricane Maria pummeled the islands and all but eliminated utilities, transportation, and other essential services for weeks and, in some parts, months. Given our work on the ground, and our connections with so many key constituencies in Puerto Rico, we were in . . . 

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A giant step backward on the treatment of orcas in captivity

It’s one thing to take in a stranded orca in trouble and provide lifesaving care, but it’s another matter to impregnate the animal in a captive setting, knowing that her newborn will never find a pod and will probably never swim even a mile in a day. Photo by iStockphoto

It was my great hope that SeaWorld’s March 2016 decision to end its orca breeding and theatrical performance shows would be a catalyst prompting all other marine theme parks to get on board and move to the next, better chapter in our relationship with cetaceans. We imagined that the company’s commitment would close the chapter . . . 

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VA and HSUS announce pact to help veterans and homeless animals

We’ll work with the VA to promote and expand pet keeping for Veterans, encourage their engagement with local animal shelters and other humane organizations as adopters, patrons, and volunteers, and communicate the many benefits that companion animals bring to the lives of Veterans. Photo by iStockphoto

When you think of those who embody the notions of loyalty and faithful service, you need look no farther than the pets in our lives and the military Veterans who’ve served our nation. These faithful friends and defenders of hearth and home deserve every act of kindness we can deliver. As admirers of dogs and . . . 

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Survey of American electorate reveals overwhelming opposition to trophy hunting

The survey showed that voters, by a margin of more than five to one, oppose allowing American trophy hunters to import into the United States the parts of elephants and lions they kill in Africa. Photo by Alamy

We have no better evidence of the non-partisan nature of animal protection than new data from a national poll, released this week by The HSUS, that shows deep and widespread opposition to trophy hunting, including strong disapproval of allowing imports of sport-hunted elephant and lion trophies from several African nations. The survey showed that voters, . . . 

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U.S. should change its spots on trophy hunting of leopards

Americans imported the equivalent of at least 5,575 leopards between 2005 and 2014, nearly half of the global trade in leopard trophies during that period. Photo by Alamy

While we eagerly await President Trump’s follow-up on his decision to suspend imports of elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, we hope he takes a broad look at the trophy hunting of other threatened and endangered species and stops all imports of the animals for their heads, tusks, and other body parts. More . . . 

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