Thursday, February 9, 2017

Animal Crimes & Animal Cruelty to Report This Week!

On Friday the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) removed tens of thousands of animal-related inspection reports, documents and enforcement actions from its public website, citing unspecified privacy issues and, strangely, a commitment to “transparency.” We’re asking you to help us fight back—for the animals left in the dark, and for our basic rights.

Animal welfare groups such as the ASPCA, as well as journalists, pet-related businesses, state agencies and the public rely heavily on this online resource. Why is USDA hiding the reports now? Why make it more difficult to look into a business’s record of animal treatment? Who benefits, besides industries that want to keep their animal abuse hidden from the public eye?

Stand with us now and sign our petition to USDA, telling it to reverse its blackout on animal welfare information.
Fact: In a secretive laboratory, a monkey dies screaming in agony after her cage is put in a high-temperature washing machine while she's still in it.

Fact: An improperly stunned pig shrieks as she's scalded to death in a slaughterhouse.

Fact: At a roadside zoo, a bear paces endlessly back and forth in a concrete pit, stopping only long enough to whimper and beg for a scrap of food.

Fact: These are the types of blatant cruelty that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—responsible for enforcing federal animal-protection laws and regulations in the U.S.—is now shielding from public view.

On Friday, with little warning, the USDA scrubbed its website of critical information that PETA relies on to expose abuse. The reason seems clear: The agency wants to guard itself and animal exploiters against our scrutiny.

As champions of animal rights, we cannot let the USDA hide what every citizen has a right to know. We're preparing a legal challenge right now. Please, make an emergency gift to PETA this very moment and help us stand strong and fight for all animals, large and small.

As numerous PETA eyewitness investigations have proved, we cannot trust the USDA to enforce laws and regulations that protect animals. Documents such as inspection reports and annual reports of facilities that exploit animals must be available to PETA and the public so that everyone can see if the agency is doing its job—and call it out when it's not.

The USDA says that the documents purged from its website can now only be accessed through Freedom of Information Act requests, which can take years to be approved and can result in partially or entirely blacked-out documents. That means many, many animals could suffer and die out of the public eye while caring people wait for information that can help stop their misery.

At this critical moment, our lawyers are working to push back against this outrageous denial of transparency—and we need our supporters to be staunchly in our camp.

Make an urgently needed gift to PETA today—animals' lives depend on it! 

After years of adhering to a board-approved and community-supported meat-free menu policy for shelter sponsored events, the Sacramento SPCA became the first shelter in the country to reverse a progressive menu policy after new CEO Kenn Altine took over.

Sacramento locals contacted Animal Place, concerned over the sudden change. The policy had been modified without input from community members. In response, Food for Thought Program Manager, Patti Nyman, reached out to CEO Kenn Altine to ask him to consider returning to a more ethical policy. He declined.

Join us and urge the Sacramento SPCA to return to its board-approved animal-friendly menu policy.


ACT: Tell the USDA to Restore Public Access to Animal Welfare Data

Did you see the coverage in The Dodo and National Geographic about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s shocking decision to erase a huge amount of animal welfare information from its website? This information included years of records on zoos, circuses, puppy mills, and research labs that helped us hold abusers accountable. We won't stand for this—and neither should you. Write to the USDA now!
2016’s Best and Worst States for Animal Protection
The Animal Legal Defense Fund released our 11th annual year-end report ranking the animal protection laws of all 50 states. The past five years of the Rankings Report reveal that more than three quarters of all states have significantly improved their animal protection laws, but there’s a long way to go. The rankings are based on a comprehensive review of each jurisdiction’s animal protection laws. This is the longest-running and most authoritative report of its kind. Find out where your state ranks.
Help Us Defend the Endangered Species ActThe Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of the key pieces of legislation we use to secure stronger protection for animals under the law. Our recent groundbreaking victory removing tigers, lions and lemurs from a deplorable roadside zoo was based on the ESA, as are several of our ongoing cases. Our mission to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system, as well as the very survival of entire animal species, depends on the continued strength of the ESA. We want to expand protections granted under this important federal law, not weaken it. The Animal Legal Defense Fund promises to defend the ESA. Sign your name to join us.
Time to Renew Your Membership
It’s hard to believe that there are still people in this country who abuse, torture and even kill animals with little remorse. It’s inexcusable that our legal system often fails to protect animals or assure that justice is served to their abusers. Your membership to the Animal Legal Defense Fund ensures that we can continue to stand up as a voice for animals in courtrooms and legislatures across the country. In 2016, your support for the Animal Legal Defense Fund helped us make great strides, like winning the first ever victory for captive wildlife in an Endangered Species Act lawsuit, going toe-to-toe with big corporations against animal cruelty and winning a landmark victory to reform puppy mills. Renew your membership today.
Highlights from 2016Three cases in particular highlight the importance and the broad range of our continuous work on behalf of animals. From our success at Cricket Hollow Zoo to developing creative legal strategies to keep animals safe from abusers, 2016 was a big year for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Read more about 2016’s big wins.

The demand for chimps as pets is driving this horrific practice -- and driving these creatures toward extinction.

We can’t let this kind of murder continue without taking dramatic action.

It is estimated that 3,OOO great apes -- two-thirds of them chimpanzees -- are lost EVERY year due to the illegal trade.[1]

We MUST stop these killings before it’s too late.

Dolphins on a plane? Help end this insane cruelty now

Polar Bears Under Attack

ACT: Polar Bears Under Attack

Last month, Representative Don Young (R-AK) declared war on polar bears by introducing the Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act (H.R. 224) and the Restoration of the U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Conservation Fund Act (H.R. 225). Not only would these bills be devastating for polar bears, they would also set a dangerous precedent for the import of endangered species. Tell your congressmembers to oppose H.R. 224 and H.R. 225!


LEARN: The Battle Begins

Next Wednesday, February 15 at 10am EST, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on "modernizing" the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—which actually means that it hopes to weaken the ESA to benefit business interests. The ESA has prevented extinction for 99% of listed species, and it's effective because it's based on science (and not on politics). This is the first battle to protect the ESA in 2017, and we must prevail. Watch the hearing next Wednesday to see who fights for the ESA!

Zoo Captivity

LEARN: Born Free USA Speaks Out against Zoo Captivity

Recently, we've seen story after story of zoo visitors sneaking into the animals' cages or the animals themselves escaping: a fatal tiger mauling in China, a red panda named Sunny escaping from Virginia Zoo, and a bobcat named Ollie escaping from the National Zoo. As Born Free USA's CEO, Adam M. Roberts, explains: "Every time there's a wild animal in captivity, there's a chance that someone's going to get hurt, and the animal will ultimately pay the price." It's far too risky—for humans and animals alike—to confine wild animals to zoo enclosures that are surrounded by people.


UPDATE: Mikey Gets Settled at our Sanctuary

Mikey the monkey was bred and sold as a pet. When his human had to move, the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary agreed to provide Mikey with a forever home. We're pleased to report that Mikey has passed his quarantine and was recently released into his new enclosure! It was wonderful to give him this new space where he can explore, burn off energy, and finally be with other monkeys. Soon, Mikey will be introduced to a young female named Teddy, and will continue his transition to being a normal monkey. Check out this photo of Mikey in his new enclosure!


SUPPORT: Help us Help Wildlife in 2017

If you haven't yet, we'd greatly appreciate you making a $10 donation to Born Free USA for 2017! Just $10 from each person reading this will fund all of our wildlife protection campaigns. We don't know what kinds of challenges this year will hold for animals, so we need to be as prepared as possible. Let's band together to have a strong voice for wildlife!