Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

Facebook killer may have had a history of animal abuse

Facebook killer may have had a history of animal abuse

The murder of Robert Godwin, Sr., with a shot to the face on Easter Sunday, jarred the nation. The perpetrator uploaded the encounter to Facebook for all to see, in an act that blended violence and vanity in the most macabre way. Steve Stephens opened his car door and picked his victim at random, gunning . . . 

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American trophy hunters target our black bears

American trophy hunters target our black bears

Yesterday, Florida’s largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, rightly urged the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to forego a trophy hunt for black bears in the state, as it did last year after an outpouring of concern from residents. Connecticut is going through a similar debate, with its small black bear population, and there’s . . . 

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Animal factories exact enormous toll on local communities, taxpayers, and animals

Animal factories exact enormous toll on local communities, taxpayers, and animals

Last week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nullified a Bush-era regulation that gave something of a free pass to factory farms that pollute the air and water. The regulation wrongly exempted factory farms from any obligation to report releases of toxic air emissions, including ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which can cause so many problems . . . 

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Cuomo signs budget to provide $5 million for NY shelters

Cuomo signs budget to provide $5 million for NY shelters

Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a 2017-18 state budget that includes a little-noticed item—one that until this year never found its way into fine print in the state’s spending plan. It’s a $5 million funding source, designated as the Companion Animal Capital Fund, that provides independent humane societies, SPCAs, and nonprofit and municipal . . . 

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Oklahoma’s “prosperity districts” are not OK

Oklahoma’s “prosperity districts” are not OK

Last November, Oklahoma voters crushed a State Question 777, a proposed constitutional amendment in Oklahoma to create a “right to farm” — a measure to deregulate agriculture in the state on a go-forward basis. Despite a multi-million dollar campaign to pass it, more than 60 percent of voters rejected it, with rural and urban counties . . . 

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Taking USDA’s Wildlife Services program to court

Taking USDA’s Wildlife Services program to court

Last month, a federal agent placed an M-44 cyanide bomb on public lands in eastern Idaho. As intended, it detonated, but the agent missed his target and claimed a couple of unintended victims: a 14-year-old boy, Canyon Mansfield, was sprayed as the poison shot out of the explosive device. He survived, but his dog Casey, . . . 

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Is China warming on animal welfare, while the U.S. is cooling?

Is China warming on animal welfare, while the U.S. is cooling?

Last week the Chinese government published a list of 67 licensed ivory carving factories and retailers set to close by March 31, with the balance of the other operations slated to shutter by December 31. This is part of a rather astonishing turnaround for a nation long regarded as an outlier on animal welfare. There . . . 

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Putting the campaign to help broiler chickens on the front burner

Putting the campaign to help broiler chickens on the front burner

Last summer, I reported on the launch of one of The HSUS’s biggest and most important campaigns in its 63-year history: an effort to improve conditions for the nine billion chickens we raise and slaughter for food each year in this country. These birds — called broilers — represent nine out of every 10 animals . . . 

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This week, lawmakers introduced a swirl of major reforms to help animals, taxpayers

This week, lawmakers introduced a swirl of major reforms to help animals, taxpayers

A few years ago, a group of very special citizens trekked from a number of states to Capitol Hill to lobby for a ban on shark finning in U.S. waters. Some of them had a bit of difficulty getting around, parts of their legs missing. Other took extra time to dress for the occasion, given . . . 

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Scores of federal lawmakers say no to keeping horses sore

Scores of federal lawmakers say no to keeping horses sore

Today, in a show of legislative horsepower, U.S. Reps. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, HR 1847, with nearly half the lawmakers in the U.S. House joining them in a quest to close loopholes in the almost 50-year-old Horse Protection Act that have enabled the cruelty . . . 

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