Archive for the ‘Animal Welfare’ Category

Budget-cutting proposals in NC include elimination of Animal Welfare Division

ALERT: For the full post on this topic – go to the new Pack Mentality site.

The North Carolina Chapter of the Humane Society of the United States is reporting that the North Carolina Department of Agriculture has submitted a budget proposal that includes cutting the state’s Animal Welfare Division.

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Study: Hens react with emotion when chicks are in discomfort

I found a very interesting article in, reporting on a study conducted on hens at England’s University of Bristol. It seems the mother hens reacted in a rather extreme way if they felt their chicks were in distress.

It is believed the hens are showing empathy. The hens were separated from the chicks during the experiments but were in close proximity. When puffs of air were directed at the chicks, the hens “responded more intensely with a stress response equivalent to fight-or-flight behavior,” according to the article.

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More on the AVMA oath revision, to include welfare

The American Veterinary Medical Association recently modified the veterinarian’s oath to include a concern for animal welfare. The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan noted on Friday the inclusion of the phrase, “prevention of animal suffering.”

It’s an important revision and I hope this is another move forward for animal welfare.

In her feature on the subject, Lisa Hare includes this – “” For decades, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has upheld confinement farming practices, including veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages, and for years, strongly opposed revisions to the oath. “”

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Sunday Commentary: 2009 Nightline Amish puppy mill report

The more I consider the information included in the 2009 Nightline report on Amish puppy mills, the more important it becomes, in my view.

Background: A rumor was circulating recently that Nightline had conducted another bit of research into the Amish and their dog-breeding practices. The rumor turned out – unfortunately – to be inaccurate. But in the process, I found the link to the 2009 Nightline report.

In the video – which I posted on February 25 – a Mennonite breeder was interviewed by the ABC reporter. I contend this interview and the scenes from inside his facility are important to the animal-welfare debate.

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Thought for the Day – Compassion vs. Greed

Greed and the moral compass of compassion cannot live together in the human mind. One will eventually absorb the other.

What we’re seeing of late in the animal-welfare movement – in large part – is battle of greed versus compassion. I never want to narrowly cram everyone into categories, but in a broad sense, this is the problem we face.

One side refuses to consider the fact that animals experience emotions and thus both physical and emotional pain and suffering. To understand this would mean industries that use animals would have to budget compassion into their operations. Maybe it’s changing to free-range facilities to produce eggs or removing pigs from tiny enclosures.

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Thought-provoking column reviews history of society’s views on animals

I found a thought-provoking column concerning animal welfare on The Vancouver Sun website, written by Peter McKnight. In the piece, McKnight goes back in time for a history tour of mankind’s treatment of animals – or how society viewed animals in terms of how we treat them and show concern for their welfare.

He reports French philosopher Rene Descartes argued “animals could neither reason nor feel pain, and any behaviours they exhibited were simple automatic responses”

How wrong could Descartes possibly be?

McKnight ends with the following thoughts – and I could not agree more –

“” Certainly, we still have a long way to go. But for the first time in history, there is widespread recognition of animal interests. Indeed, now, as never before, we have come to recognize that animals’ lives matter, not just for our sake, but for theirs. “”

Update – Bill to protect animal abusers pulled in Virginia

Thankfully, a bill that had been introduced in the Virginia state house that would benefit criminals and cut protections for abused animals has been pulled by the bill sponsor, as reported by Kristin Bissell of the Chesapeake Animal Welfare Examiner.

HB 2482 included provisions to allow accused abusers to keep their companion animals until the case is heard, allow those CONVICTED of abuse to keep their companion animals for at least 90 days AFTER a court has ordered them to give up their animals, repeal current regulations that allow for those convicted to be banned from having or selling or trading companion animals again and eliminate a requirement that those convicted pay for the care of the animals they have abused.

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Reference to animal emotions on classic TV show

I love the classic TV shows and find myself watching the TV Land network more than any other single channel.

A recent episode of the Andy Griffith Show included an interesting line concerning emotion in animals. When I heard it, I thought to myself, “If we were at a point in the 1960s when people were referencing this sort of knowledge, why are we not further along in the animal welfare movement, some four decades later?”

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The compassion-for-animals movement is growing reported Tuesday on some polling from the country. I hope the results might indicate that people everywhere, not just in Canada, are becoming more concerned with animal welfare and are expressing more compassion for animals.

The lead paragraph of the story reads – “” About two-thirds of Canadians say a politician’s stance on farm-animal welfare could affect how they vote, according to a new poll. “”

And the report explains 80 percent of B.C. resident say they are willing to pay more for products certified as meeting humane standards. And demand for cage-free organic eggs in British Columbia is exceeding production.

ASPCA study shows we have work to do in educating the masses about animal cruelty

The Unleashed blog on the Baltimore Sun website noted Wednesday a study by the ASPCA concerning animal cruelty – “Public and Professional Perspectives on Animal Cruelty.” While I believe the public is becoming more aware in issues involving animal welfare, this study shows we’ve got some distance to go in raising awareness.

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