Breaking: Judges unanimously reject pork industry challenge to landmark farm animal law

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on July 28, 2021 with 0 Comments

Today, a three-judge panel in the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit unanimously denied an attempt by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation to strike down California’s Proposition 12, considered the strongest farm animal protection law in the world.

Championed by the Humane Society of the United States, Proposition 12 is the ground-breaking animal welfare ballot measure passed by California voters in a landslide in 2018. It bans the extreme confinement of egg-laying hens, mother pigs and baby calves used in the veal industry, and prohibits the sale in California of eggs, pork and veal if they are the products of animals confined inside cruel cages.

USDA Proposition 12 bans the sale in California of meat produced using extreme animal confinement, like gestation crates, where pregnant pigs are kept for months, hardly able to move.

Today’s news comes just one month after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a separate meat industry legal challenge to Proposition 12. The 9th Circuit’s ruling affirms what the HSUS and the Humane Society Legislative Fund have long advocated, and what courts have repeatedly held: that states have the right to pass laws that reject cruel products and protect their citizens’ health and safety.

The HSUS intervened to defend Proposition 12, along with Animal Equality, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Outlook, Compassion in World Farming USA, Farm Sanctuary and the Humane League.

The vast majority of egg-laying hens, veal calves and mother pigs in the U.S. are locked in the type of extreme confinement systems Proposition 12 outlaws. Animals inside factory farms suffer horrifying abuses on a daily basis. For nearly their entire lives, egg-laying hens, mother pigs and baby calves are crammed in tiny, dirty cages where they can hardly move, leaving them unable to engage in many of their most basic natural behaviors. The cruel, filthy conditions have also been linked to zoonotic disease by the United Nations.

The HSUS and HSLF are battling every day to end this animal cruelty. Our legislative campaigns have resulted in the passage of farm animal protection laws in over a dozen states, and our corporate campaigns have convinced hundreds of food corporations to adopt cage-free policies. The transition to a more humane, safe and sustainable agricultural model is underway, and we urge the Biden Administration to support this effort.

Today’s legal decision makes it even more clear that the cruel caging of farm animals has no place in a humane society. We’ll keep making that point in boardrooms, legislatures, courtrooms and public discourse until the crates and cages are just a bad memory.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Mink fur production drops to historic all-time low in the US

By on July 28, 2021 with 1 Comment
Mink fur production drops to historic all-time low in the US

Every year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases a report on mink fur production, and this year’s report shows a promising outlook for mink, a species that suffers immeasurably for nothing but trim on a jacket, a pom on a hat or purse or eyelash . . . 

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Why food system reform must include animals

By on July 23, 2021 with 3 Comments
Why food system reform must include animals

The newly released Rockefeller Foundation report, “True Cost of Food: Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System,” strengthens the case for substantial reform of animal agriculture in the U.S. and elsewhere. The primary purpose of the report is to demonstrate that the $1.1 . . . 

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Travelers: What you should know about encountering wildlife right now

By on July 21, 2021 with 0 Comments
Travelers: What you should know about encountering wildlife right now

A poignant Washington Post story about a black bear mourning her 6-month old cub, struck dead by a vehicle in Yosemite National Park, is a reminder that even in wild spaces animals are at risk when they come into contact with humans. Since 1995, motorists . . . 

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Victory! These US states just made great progress for animals

By on July 20, 2021 with 5 Comments
Victory! These US states just made great progress for animals

One of the ways we make a difference for animals is by working on the state and local levels to secure the passage of laws that prevent cruel and inhumane practices that threaten animals—from puppies born in massive puppy mills to coyotes and foxes at . . . 

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Why the summer heat is particularly dangerous for these types of dogs

By on July 15, 2021 with 1 Comment
Why the summer heat is particularly dangerous for these types of dogs

Recent heatwaves across the U.S. and Canada have proven to be deadly for people and animals. And just a few weeks before these fatal heatwaves, the Westminster Dog Show declared Wasabi, a Pekingese, winner of its “best in show” award at its 145th annual competition . . . 

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The narrative about sharks needs to change—before it’s too late

By on July 13, 2021 with 1 Comment
The narrative about sharks needs to change—before it’s too late

A bad reputation can mean the difference between life and death for animals, and nowhere is this clearer than for sharks. Sharks may be depicted as terrifying animals in films like “Jaws,” but the true tale of horror is how humans have treated shark species . . . 

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How Korean chefs are using plant-based recipes to replace dog meat soup

By on July 12, 2021 with 2 Comments
How Korean chefs are using plant-based recipes to replace dog meat soup

When three peak days of summer approach in South Korea, so do the peaks of slaughter of dogs from the country’s dog meat farms. The three hottest days of the year according to the lunar calendar are known as Boknal, a period when some people . . . 

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Corporate campaigns are making a fundamental difference for animals

By on July 8, 2021 with 4 Comments
Corporate campaigns are making a fundamental difference for animals

Fashion seasons and runway shows without animal fur. Organ-on-a-chip technologies for testing cosmetics and other products. A transition to cage-free and crate-free systems that can change the lives of countless chickens and pigs in vast food supply networks. Plant-based meals in major restaurant chains and . . . 

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The decades-long fight to save America’s lion

By on July 6, 2021 with 5 Comments
The decades-long fight to save America’s lion

For some, freedom means the right to use nature, even to the point of destruction. Others view freedom as involving an enormous duty to present and future generations: to protect native wild species and their habitats that make America one of the world’s most fascinating . . . 

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Has trophy hunting changed since the death of Cecil the lion?

By on July 1, 2021 with 4 Comments
Has trophy hunting changed since the death of Cecil the lion?

It has been six years since the death of Cecil, a male lion who was a popular individual for wildlife viewing tourists visiting Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The heartbreaking details of the hunt that killed Cecil made international headlines: Cecil was lured out of . . . 

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Breaking: US House passes amendments to transportation bill containing big wins for animals

By on June 30, 2021 with 10 Comments
Breaking: US House passes amendments to transportation bill containing big wins for animals

Update 7/1/2021: The INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684) has passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 221 to 201. We urge the U.S. Senate to include the House amendments in their version of the bill and pass it swiftly in order . . . 

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