Thumbs up to Rhode Island for enacting two critical measures to protect farm animals. The new laws ban the intensive confinement of veal calves and female breeding pigs and prohibit the inhumane tail-docking of cows.
"These two new measures are a significant step toward improving the lives of farm animals in Rhode Island, who all too often endure lives of agony and frustration on factory farms," says Suzanne McMillan, ASPCA Director of Farm Animal Welfare. "All animals, including those raised for food, deserve to be treated humanely."
S.2191/H.7180 prohibits two of the most horrible factory farming abuses: veal crates for calves and gestation crates for female breeding pigs. Veal calves and female breeding pigs on factory farms are often confined in crates so tiny that they are unable to lie down, stand up or turn around freely. Eight other states have already passed similar humane legislation, and 16 Rhode Island farms came forward in support of the state ban.
S.2192 prohibits the inhumane practice of "tail-docking" cows. This process involves the partial amputation—typically without pain killers—of up to two-thirds of a cow's tail. Despite claims from some in the dairy industry that tail docking is needed to help ensure cow cleanliness and udder health, the scientific evidence shows that tail docking creates no benefit to the cow or quality of milk produced. Instead, the practice causes cows pain and distress and often results in increased fly attacks. The American Veterinary Medical Association, theNational Milk Producers Federation, and numerous dairy industry representatives are highly critical of the practice and oppose routine tail docking of dairy cows.
"We thank Governor Chafee for protecting Rhode Island's animals from some of the worst factory farm abuses," says Debora Bresch, Esq., ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations for the Eastern Region.
On Thursday, June 21, the United States Senate moved forward on important legislation to protect the welfare of captive primates. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved the Captive Primate Safety Act (S. 1324), introduced by the committee’s Chair, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). The measure can now be considered by the full Senate.
The Captive Primate Safety Act would ban monkeys and other primates from the exotic pet trade. As we all know, no wild animal, especially a primate, should ever be kept as a pet.
Apes and monkeys are highly intelligent animals who need to live with their own kind in order to develop normally. In the wild, they inhabit large territories and enjoy companionship in organized social groups. Private owners have neither the knowledge nor the proper environments to provide the long-term, specialized care that captive primates require.
Many captive primates have attacked humans and other animals, or have escaped from their enclosures into the community. Bites and scratches from nonhuman primates can transmit viruses that can cause severe infections and even death to humans.
Take Action! While we applaud Chairwoman Boxer and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for moving forward with this important legislation to protect primates, more work still needs to be done. Please call your two U.S. senators today and ask them to cosponsor S. 1324, the Captive Primate Safety Act. You can find your senators' names and numbers here.
Nearly 50 dogs, ranging in age from 12 weeks to five years, were found yesterday living in the windowless basement of a six-story apartment building in the Bronx. The space, which served as a makeshift dog fighting arena, was littered with crude wooden cages and had the capacity for roughly 100 spectators. Raul Sanchez, the building’s superintendant, was taken into custody and charged with animal fighting, a felony.
Working closely with the NYPD Vice Enforcement Division and the Bronx District Attorney's Office, our team played a critical role in the rescue of the dogs, forensic evidence collection and on-scene documentation.
Also discovered on scene were a loaded .25-caliber handgun, U.S. currency, and other equipment associated with dog fighting—including dog treadmills, harnesses, muzzles, syringes and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.
"Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture," says Howard Lawrence, Senior Director of Operations for the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement. "The dogs we saw today exhibited scarring and injuries consistent with fighting dogs. We’re determined to protect New York City's animals from this form of cruelty."
Dog lovers and worker bees, Friday, June 22, is your day: It's Take Your Dog to Work Day! So reach out to your boss and let him or her know that Fido will be joining your morning call. Here are a few tips to help prepare your office…and win over your co-workers.
Be Considerate Talk to your colleagues and cube-mates before the big day. Are they scared of dogs? Do they have allergies? We know dogs are cute and cuddly, but alas, they aren't for everyone. Consider bringing a baby gate and fashioning a makeshift playpen or ex-pen to keep your dog away from those who aren't fond of the fur kind.
Brush Up on Your Manners Go over Sit, Stay and Come, and you should be off to a great start. Please note, if your little furry one still hasn't quite gotten the hang of the whole manners thing, you may want to hold off on bringing her into the office until she's honed her skills.
Prep a Doggy Daypack Bring food, water, treats, toys, blankets, a leash and paper towels to clean up any accidents. Also, think about whether your job will require you to be away from your pup at any point and how you’ll keep her confined to your workspace.
Dog-Proof Your Workspace This may mean taping up loose electrical cords and wires, putting markers and other toxic-but-tempting office supplies away in drawers, and removing plants, rugs and breakables.
Listen up, cat parents! We know spot-on flea and tick products are popular and rightly so. They're fast, easy to use, and effective. But are they safe?
As long as they are used according to label instructions, says ASPCA veterinarians. But when flea products for dogs are applied to cats, even a few drops can lead to an overdose.
Keep your cat safe from fleas this season with these expert tips:
Talk to your vet about choosing the right, species-specific flea treatment for your pet, and never use products made for dogs on cats, or vice versa.
Never use insecticides on very young, pregnant, ill or elderly animals without consulting your veterinarian.
Avoid applying flea powders and sprays in addition to a spot-on treatment. The combination of chemicals in different products can cause an adverse reaction in your pet.
Twitching or muscle spasms may be the first sign of an overdose. If you suspect your pet is having a reaction to a flea infestation or topical flea product, contact your veterinarian, or call the ASPCA’s poison control hotline at (888) 426-4435.