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Minke whale.  (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society photo)

Defying International Court of Justice, Japan announces plan to kill another 4,000 whales in the name of research

         TOKYO––Defying a March 2014 ruling by the International Court of Justice and a September 2014 International Whaling Commission resolution,   the Japanese government on November 18, 2014 announced that it intends to resume so-called “research whaling” in Antarctic waters during the winter of 2015-2016. The Japan Fisheries Agency has proposed to the IWC a new “research whaling” quota of 333 minke whales per year for 12 years––nearly 4,000 whales in all. Prior to the International Court of Justice ruling, which came in response to a petition from the government of Australia, Japan had hunted whales under self-set quotas recently running as high as 855 minke whales, 50 humpback … [Read More...]

Rough chicken-catching shown on Mercy for Animals' video made at Koch Foods' facility in Chattanooga.  (MFA photo)

Pilgrim’s Pride & Case Farms have “worst chicken plants for animal cruelty,” say Animal Welfare Institute & Farm Sanctuary

WASHINGTON D.C.––Pilgrim’s Pride Inc., of Greeley, Colorado, operates three of the nine “worst chicken plants for animal cruelty,” according to a review of USDA records by Animal Welfare Institute farm animal programs manager Dena Jones and Farm Sanctuary director of policy Bruce Friedrich, but the worst of all appears to be the Case Farms facility in Canton, Ohio, Jones and Friedrich have advised company president Tom Shelton. “We have recently filed Freedom of Information Act requests for records documenting the failure of poultry slaughter plants to adhere to Good Commercial Practices as required by Poultry Products Inspection Act regulations,” Jones and Friedrich wrote to Shelton on … [Read More...]

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Trophy hunters vs. horn poachers: an arms race that rhinos can only lose

WASHINGTON D.C., WINDHOEK, JOHANNESBURG–– Who covets rhino horn most, Vietnamese nouveau riché who believe powdered rhino horn can cure them of cancer, or U.S. trophy hunters willing to pay almost any price to hob nob with the elite of Safari Club International? Who is really to blame for driving up the price of rhino horn to the point that … [Read More...]

Animals, adversity, asbestos & taking the heat

by Merritt Clifton Time tends to put adversity into perspective. When I broke into journalism more than 45 years ago, and was soon assigned to the “poop beat,” as the animal and environmental news beats then were called, many leading humane organizations still opposed sterilizing dogs and cats. Some vehemently opposed vaccination, despite the … [Read More...]

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Turtles outlived T-Rex but are now at risk, says Fish & Wildlife Service

WASHINGTON D.C.––The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the October 29, 2014 edition of the Federal Register proposed to list the common snapping turtle, Florida softshell turtle, smooth softshell turtle and spiny softshell turtle on Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Created by … [Read More...]

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M the cat assisted in this data compilation.  (BC)

Record low shelter killing raises both hopes & questions

by Merritt Clifton U.S. animal shelters are now killing fewer cats and dogs than at any time in the past 60 years––nearly 300,000 fewer in the most recent fiscal year than just one year earlier, and just 8.6 per 1,000 Americans, the lowest ratio on record––but is the recent dramatic progress really saving animal lives? Are fewer animals being born, for whom there are no adoptive homes? Are … [Read More...]

Daxton Borchardt,  killed by socialized,  sterilized pit bulls on March 6,  2013.

Attempt to repeal pit bull ban crushed in Colorado

AURORA, Colorado––Advocates for pet, livestock, and human safety in Aurora, Colorado claimed a resounding win with the November 4, 2014 defeat of a well-funded attempt to repeal the nine-year-old Aurora pit bull bylaw. Asked Aurora ballot question 2D, “KEEPING OF PIT BULLS––Shall the people of Aurora adopt an ordinance allowing pit bulls back into their city?” Aurora sprawls over parts of … [Read More...]

(NACA photo)

Hoarder convicted of killing animal control officer

SACRAMENTO, California––Joseph Francis Corey was on October 30, 2014 convicted by jury of killing Sacramento County Animal Care & Regulation Department officer Roy Curtis Marcum, in a case that brought international attention to the increasing risks faced by animal control officers in an era of increased possession of dangerous dogs, easy access to firearms, and deteriorating public mental … [Read More...]

Buffalo calf rescued by the Visakha SPCA.  (VSPCA photo)

Supreme Court of India ruling covers tracks on Gadhi Mai sacrifice

DELHI––Did a two-justice bench from the Supreme Court of India on October 17,  2014 strike a mighty blow against animal sacrifices at the Gadhi Mai festival, to be held in the village of Bariyarpur, Nepal, on November 28-29, 2014? Or did the Supreme Court justices just hand the government of India and a coalition of animal advocacy groups a face-saving way to declare victory when the much … [Read More...]