Guest blog post from Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations
Last month, I told you about soring in the Tennessee walking horse industry and the illegal infliction of pain on the feet of horses using chemicals and devices to create an exaggerated gait. We have raised this cruelty crisis with high level officials and urged the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide stronger regulation of this abusive industry. In recent weeks, we've redoubled our efforts to push for change, and we are starting to see a response.
New rules released today by the USDA take an important step toward eliminating these unethical and cruel practices. The rules make it mandatory for the industry groups responsible for monitoring shows to issue fines and suspensions to those caught soring horses. We applaud this move because we know that mandatory fines send a signal to trainers who profit from torturing horses that their abuse will no longer be treated as business as usual.
What Else is Needed to Stop This Cruelty? Many horse advocates and USDA's own Inspector General all agree that self-inspection won’t get the job done. Violations must be uncovered in order for fines and suspensions to occur. Industry oversight doesn't work and continuing a system of industry self-policing is likely to perpetuate the same problems. The facts speak for themselves: Even though USDA inspectors attended only 8 to 10% of shows in 2011, they found over halfof all violations reported. We cannot rely on the industry to report its own misdeeds.
While the new rules are a true sign of progress and deliver a clear message that violations will not to be tolerated, industry self-regulation is not the long-term solution. It's time for Congress to finally take the power out of the hands of criminals.Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to use your voice for these underprotected animals.
Is your cat cute? You know, cuter than cute? Well, we want to see! We’re kicking off Adopt a Shelter Cat Month with our How Cute Is Your Cat? Photo Contest. Enter your kitty’s most adorable snapshot and find out if she’s cuter than all the rest!
To enter, simply snap a great pic of your adopted cat and submit! The top three photos—selected by you—will be featured on our website, and the winners will receive a $300 ASPCA Prize Pack, including beautiful cat-themed jewelry from Reeds. Entries will be accepted now through June 24, 2012—and voting begins June 25!
What can we say? Our office pooches are pretty darn cute. You know, the kind of cute that gets you noticed. Just check them out in Banana Republic's new video showcasing the colorful Trina Turk Collection. We hate to brag, but our rescued canines look pretty awesome in paisley.
Banana Republic and the ASPCA created the video to increase awareness of pet adoption. After all, who wouldn't want a pup who likes to play dress-up with Trina Turk scarves? If you can't wait to play dress-up yourself, "like" Banana's Facebook page for the chance to shop the collection early, on June 6.
Interested in adopting? Visit our Virtual Adoption Center to scout out available animals at the ASPCA, find a shelter in your area or learn more about pet adoption.
Wake up, America, there's a whole lot of happy going on—it’s National Donut Day! Started by the Salvation Army in 1938, this mini-holiday honors the Army’s “Donut Lassies,” who served treats to soldiers during World War I.
Frosted? Cream-filled? Covered with sprinkles? No matter how you like them, there is no denying they’re yummy. And your dog thinks so, too!
Our special doughnut-shaped dog treats are made of 100% all-natural ingredients with absolutely no preservatives. Not only will your dog think they are delicious, these treats are actually good for pups, too!
Best of all, all proceeds from your purchases go to support our life-saving programs all over the country. So go ahead and eat a donut—but don’t forget your pooch!
Guest blogpost from Suzanne McMillan, ASPCA Director of Farm Animal Welfare.
Last week, I attended a meeting of the National Organic Standards Board—the body that advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)on organic standards—to suggest stronger protections for animals living on organic farms. Animals who are raised organically are not necessarily raised humanely. In fact, many organic farms are still factory farms, often confining animals indoors using severe devices for most of their lives.
My efforts focused on the welfare of chickens, turkeys and ducks. Specifically, I asked the board to urge the USDA to adopt rules addressing some of the worst industry practices, including beak trimming, force feeding, crowding, failing to maintain clean air and unnaturally accelerating animals’ growth rates. Along with detailed written recommendations, I delivered a three-minute oral summary of our suggestions, which you can watch here: