Humane Society International / South Korea


sirius_r/iStockphoto

SEOUL, South Korea—Humane Society International/Korea welcomes the introduction of the Act on the Vitalization of Development, Dissemination, and Use of Alternatives to Animal Testing Methods (VAAM Act). Assembly member Jeoung Ae Han and 12 other National Assembly members introduced the measure on December 23rd.

In an era with so many questions arising around the scientific validity of animal testing carried out in relation to food, pharmaceutical and chemical safety, there are also increasing efforts to develop and standardize alternatives to animal testing approaches.

The VAAM Act was introduced to emphasize the urgency of passing a bill introduced in December 2020, that supports non-animal technology development and adoptionAssembly member In-Soon Nam introduced the earlier bill, the Act on the Promotion of Development, Dissemination and Use of Alternatives to Animal Testing Methods (PAAM Act).

Assembly member Han explained the aim of the new bill: “There needs to be a legislative system to actively share research information and support for alternatives to animal testing using innovative approaches by cross-ministerial authorities. We need to improve public health with advanced science, following global examples.”

As HSI/Korea director of government affairs, Borami Seo observed, “There are challenges in using internationally recognised alternative methods in Korea due to different guidelines provided by various ministries. It is important that our central ministries come together to support non-animal approaches with strategic plans from development to implementation. Assemblymember Nam’s December, 2020 was a first step. Together, the VAAM Act. and  PAAM Act will serve to prioritize the importance of human biology-based methods without using animals. That’s great for people and animals.”

ENDS

Media contact: Borami Seo bseo@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Viet Nam


HSI

HANOI, Viet Nam—Seven grocery stores and a bakery in Viet Nam are supporting Nguyen Khoi Green JSC (the makers of Nguyen Khoi – Natural Pork brand or Nguyen Khoi) to end the gestation crate confinement of female breeding pigs and to implement group housing, which gives these intelligent animals room to move.

The supplier’s transition plan will see 25% of pigs in group housing by the end of 2023, with the expectation that all Nguyen Khoi facilities will be gestation and farrowing crate-free by 2025. These improvements are in response to growing awareness and demand for higher animal welfare. Humane Society International, a global organization working to protect all animals, is providing technical assistance—conducting farm visits, connecting Nguyen Khoi with animal welfare experts, and facilitating certification to a meaningful program.

Nguyen Khoi in Phu Tho Province (north of Hanoi), is among the first pork producers in the country to join the global movement to phase out gestation crates. In much of the pork industry, sows are confined to crates roughly the same size as their bodies throughout each of their nearly four-month long pregnancies. These crates confine sows so tightly they are unable to turn around, easily lie down or take more than a few steps forward or backward.

Instead, Nguyen Khoi will transition to group housing, which has been successfully used by farmers around the world to provide sows more space to move, socialize and adopt more comfortable resting postures during their pregnancies.

“Animal welfare is a growing global issue and we want to do our part. This is something we value, and we believe our customers appreciate that too,” said Thao Nguyen Phuong, co-founder and COO- Nguyen Khoi. “We are also looking forward to working further with HSI and our retailer partners to educate the market on animal welfare since we are one of the first companies implementing such a humane initiative in Viet Nam.”

Xanh Sam, a grocery store in Hanoi has committed to sell exclusively 100% crate-free pork from in all of their stores and future locations by 2025. Ms. Lai Thi Huong, CEO and co-founder of Xanh Sam stated: “As an organic and sustainable food store in Hanoi, we applaud Nguyen Khoi for this pioneering transition. This next step on animal welfare is very crucial and aligns with Xanh Sam’s core values.”

Three of Nguyen Khoi’s buyers in Hanoi’s neighboring provinces have committed to 100% crate-free for their entire supply chains too.

Ms. Nguyen Thuy My, the owner and founder of Khoẻ 365 Mart in Hai Phong Province, said, “We’re very delighted about this opportunity, we are very ready to follow our long-term supplier’s journey by committing to 100% crate-free by 2025.”

In Lao Cai Province, TrangHealthy has partnered with Nguyen Khoi for years because of a similar vision. The shop owner, Ms. Nguyen Huyen Trang, said, “We are very excited to be leaders in by adopting 100% crate-free by 2025.”

Similarly, Ms. Hoang Thi Minh Trang, the owner of Organio Corner in Hai Duong province, said, “Farm animal welfare is something quite new in Viet Nam, and Organio Corner is very proud of pioneering on this journey. We have committed to work with our partners to ensure 100% of pork sold in existing and future stores is from crate-free farms.”

An Nong Farm, a food retailer in Quang Binh, has also followed its pork supplier’s path by adopting a commitment of having a 100% crate-free supply chain by 2025. “We have the same vision of producing and selling sustainable foods not only focusing on humans and the environment, but also animals. The new chapter of Nguyen Khoi on animal welfare is aligns with our values,” shared by Ms. Le Thi Thanh Thuy, CEO and co-founder of An Nong Farm.

Another client of Nguyen Khoi joining the call for better animal welfare is Stephanie, the first organic bakery in Hanoi. The bakery chain has committed to switch to 100% crate-free pork. “We will continue sourcing pork from Nguyen Khoi as we share the same core values and vision,” said Ms. Le Thu Tra, CEO and co-founder of Stephanie.

Similarly, two other food retailers, Eco foods and Leaf Organic have committed to source crate-free pork, 50% and 80% respectively, by 2025. The two retailers have additionally committed to source pork from other suppliers that don’t use gestation crates.

Nguyen Khoi joins other producers in Southeast Asia, such as Betagro, that are already converting to group housing systems.

Hang Le, HSI’s Southeast Asia regional farm animal welfare program manager, said, “Nguyen Khoi, Xanh Sam, Khoẻ 365 Mart, TrangHealthy, Organio Corner, An Nong Farm, Stephanie, Leaf Organic and Eco foods have taken animal welfare seriously by adopting a crate-free commitment. Consumers care about the way animals are treated in food production and oppose the cruel, lifelong confinement of sows in gestation crates. These companies are sending a clear message that in Viet Nam the future of pork production is crate-free.”

HSI works with members of the food industry and producers to help ensure a successful transition to higher animal welfare systems through educational events, technical workshops and by facilitating the exchange of best practices among experts.

Because of this work and due to the growing demand from the global food industry, producers in Viet Nam and the entire region are now improving the lives of farm animals by committing to crate-free pork production. A growing number of food and hospitality companies, including Tesco Lotus in Thailand, Unilever, Sodexo and Hilton Worldwide, have adopted crate-free pork procurement policies as part of their corporate social responsibility goals.

ENDS

Media contact: Hang Le, Southeast Asia regional farm animal welfare program manager: hanglt@hsi.org

Reference in this release to any specific commercial product or service, or the use of any brand, trade, firm or corporation name is for the information of the public and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humane Society International or its affiliates of the product or service, or its producer or provider, and should not be construed or relied upon, under any circumstances, by implication or otherwise, as investment advice. Links and access by hypertext to other websites is provided as a convenience only and does not indicate or imply any endorsement with respect to any of the content on such website nor any of the views expressed thereon.

Bill 70/2014, backed by Humane Society International, passed a plenary session vote in the Senate, advancing bill to final legislative step

Humane Society International


HSI

BRASILIA—After nearly a decade in the National Congress, Bill 70/2014, which aims to enact a federal ban on animal testing for cosmetics in Brazil, passed the Senate today. The amended bill, which represents the collaborative work of Humane Society International and the Brazilian Association of the Personal Hygiene, Perfumery and Cosmetics Industry, garnered the support of Sen. Alessandro Vieira, Sen.  Eliziane Gama andSen.  Nelsinho Trad. The Liberte-se da Crueldade Brazil campaign, launched in 2012, led by Humane Society International in Brazil in partnership with the NGO Te Protejo, handed in more than 1.6 million signatures to the President of the Senate demonstrating citizen support to encourage the swift vote of this bill, which has been dwelling in Congress for nearly a decade.

Humane Society International in cooperation with the Brazilian Association of the Personal Hygiene, Perfumery and Cosmetics Industry strengthened the bill language to reflect international best practices in non-animal testing methods. Stakeholders achieved a consensus, highlighting that cosmetics animal testing on products and their ingredients was unnecessary, leading to the unanimous vote of the amended bill, marking a significant milestone for animals used in laboratories in Brazil.

Antoniana Ottoni, public affairs specialist from HSI, said: ‘We’ve achieved a significant milestone today. After nearly a decade in Congress, we were finally able to pass this in the Federal Senate. We are very pleased to see this bill moving once again. This was a joint effort between Humane Society International, the Brazilian Association of the Personal Hygiene, Perfumery and Cosmetics Industry and the politicians who have supported this issue. We thank the president of the Senate for championing this bill, along with all senators who continue to reinforce this issue in Congress. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to move the bill swiftly through the final legislative stage to become law.”

Senator Nelsinho Trad said: “It is our duty to protect animals. I am happy to endorse this matter and with the movement of the Federal Senate in favor of the cause. Now, we urge colleagues in the Chamber of Deputies to analyze the substitutive text and approve it as soon as possible.”

The next step for this project to become a federal law will be a debate and vote in the Chamber of Deputies, which could make Brazil the 43rd country to ban animal testing for cosmetics.

Facts:

  • Animal testing for cosmetics can  subject rabbits, guinea pigs and mice to eye/skin irritation, eye/skin corrosion, acute toxicity (LD50), and other tests s without pain relief. Consequences of this type of experimentation are permanent skin injuries, blindness, eye irritation, stress, intoxication and death.
  • Worldwide, there are already 42 countries that have banned animal testing for cosmetic purposes, including India, Norway, Switzerland, South Korea, Australia, Colombia, Mexico and those belonging to the European Union. At the national level, the Federal District and 13 states in Brazil have legislated through state laws to end these practices: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Amazonas, Pará, Santa Catarina, Paraná, Pernambuco, Espírito Santo, Acre and Paraíba. However, Bill 70/2014 seeks to ban experimentation on animals for cosmetics at the federal level, thus including all states in the country.
  • More than 2,000 “cruelty-free” beauty brands are available worldwide. These companies produce safe products by using ingredients that have a history of safe use along with modern reliability assessment tools without the need for animals. HSI recommends reviewing the list of brands free of animal testing in Te Protejo Brasil.

ENDS

Media Contact: Antoniana Ottoni: +556181403636; aottoni@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Europe


Kateryna Kukota

BUCHAREST, Romania—The Romanian Senate has voted in favour of a draft bill to ban chinchilla and mink fur farming, following an investigation by Humane Society International/Europe that exposed shocking suffering on the country’s fur farms.

Andreea Roseti, Romania country director for HSI/Europe, welcomed the vote, saying: “The broad cross-party support for this bill in the Senate strongly signals the willingness of the Romanian Parliament to put an end to the cruel practice of breeding and killing animals for fur.

HSI/Europe welcomes the quick legislative path of this bill, and hopes that when it comes to the Chamber of Deputies in the next few months, the decision-making chamber will act decisively so that Romania can become the 20th European country to ban fur farming. The European continent can be considered a trailblazer in ending the suffering of animals for fur fashion, a practice that is being rejected by consumers, designers, retailers and policymakers across the world.”

The bill was initiated in October this year, after which it was presented in the Standing Bureau of the Chamber of Deputies on 7 Nov. and submitted and recorded in the Senate on the same day.

Chinchillas and minks are the only species of fur-bearing animals who are intensively bred on fur factory farms in Romania. If successful, the ban would therefore mark the end of fur farming in the country. In September this year, HSI/Europe revealed the results of its investigation at several of Romania’s chinchilla fur farms, documenting serious animal welfare concerns, including animals confined in small, wire-mesh cages, with females forced into a cycle of almost perpetual breeding, with total disregard for the natural behaviour of the species.

The vote in Romania comes while there is also growing support across Europe for an EU-wide ban on fur farming and imports. The “Fur-Free Europe” European Citizens’ Initiative, launched in May and supported by more than 70 organisations, has already collected more than 1.1 million signatures of EU citizens.

ENDS

Media Contact:

  • Romania: Andreea Roseti, country director HSI/Europe in Romania: aroseti@hsi.org ; 0741-188-934
  • United Kingdom: Wendy Higgins, director of international media: whiggins@hsi.org

 

Humane Society International / Africa


Kobus Tollig Photography

CAPE TOWN, South Africa—Animal protection organization Humane Society International/Africa has launched its Healthy Pets, Healthier Community pilot program in Struisbraai and Bredasdorp, Cape Agulhas, to improve the welfare of roaming and owned community cats and dogs. As part of the launch, HSI/Africa and partners conducted the program’s first sterilisation marathon or “sterithon” at Struisbaai North Primary School and the Bredasdorp East Sports Grounds, sterilising 142 animals (111 dogs and 31 cats) and providing vaccinations, deworming and other treatment for 100 other animals, all of whom also received other primary veterinary care and grooming—as well as treats and toys from HSI/Africa volunteers.

The Healthy Pets, Healthier Community program provides local pet owners with the knowledge to help families maintain a healthy and humane lifestyle for their pets. This pilot program is also delivering humane education for local schools and families, low-cost veterinary services, and includes an animal law enforcement component that will strengthen the protection of animals in these communities. HSI/Africa will work with partners, other animal welfare groups and school children in the communities to improve the lives of their companion animals.

The program is being rolled out following a Monitor and Impact Evaluation Assessment survey for communities, that showed low dog and cat sterilization rates in Bredasdorp East and Struisbaai North, and high euthanasia and shelter surrender rates at the Cape Agulhas Municipality animal control facility. The survey indicated that most pets are not kept inside the home or do not have suitable outdoor kennels. This resulted in cruel practices such as dogs being kept on heavy chains and pets suffering from severe untreated tick, mite, lice and fly infestations.

Audrey Delsink, wildlife director and acting campaign manager for HSI/Africa’s companion animal and engagement program, said: “HSI/Africa is very proud to launch its very first Healthy Pets, Healthier Community pilot program in Cape Agulhas. The program aims to improve the health and welfare of companion animals in these communities through enhancing the family and pet bond. This is being achieved through high sterilization and vaccination rates. Meaningful and effective community engagement and humane education will be central to the success of our program. We encourage the communities of Struisbaai North and Bredasdorp East to participate and help us implement locally humane solutions for their dogs and cats through affordable veterinary services.”

In addition, HSI/Africa also visited two local schools to teach students the importance of responsible pet care and to encourage them to bring their pets to the “sterithon” and clinic days in the areas. The talks were focused on more than 400 children, who received educational coloring books to help them learn about caring for their pets at home.

Cape Agulhas Municipality executive mayor Paul Swart said: “Roaming dogs are a real challenge in our communities. To change this situation, we need to better inform our communities and I want to commit myself to doing so, starting here with HSI/Africa. Cape Agulhas is the most Southern point in South Africa, and we want to become an example for the rest of the country. We want to be a humane society that cares for one another – not only for us as humans, but especially for our pets. Through the ’Healthy Pets, Healthier Community’ program we wish to change the mindsets of our people to help them become better parents to their pets. Healthy and happy pets can improve our personal health and bring happiness to our homes. We thank the HSI/Africa team for the work you’ve already done in Cape Agulhas, and we look forward to becoming kinder, animal-loving communities with you.”

HSI/Africa encourages all community members to register their animals for sterilization and bring their furry friends to upcoming clinics to be hosted in 2023. For enquiries about the Struisbaai North registration, call Trevor on (084) 511-8705 and for enquiries about the Bredasdorp East registration, call Kerri-Lee on (082) 712-8331. For program enquiries, call Audrey Delsink from HSI/Africa on (083) 390-0337.

For video and photos click here.

ENDS

Media contact: Leozette Roode, specialist media communications and meat reduction: LRoode@hsi.org ; 071 360 1104; E

Humane Society International / Global


HSI

SEOUL—Humane Society International/Korea has won an “Outstanding Contribution to Society” award, given by the Korean Society for Alternative to Animal Experiments.

The award is sponsored by KSAAE every year to recognize individual academics and institutions and entities that contribute to the promotion of alternative approaches to animal testing. The award ceremony was held at the 3rd Asia Congress for Alternatives to Animal Experiments in Korea. Congress participants, along with representatives from South Korea, Japan, China, India, Europe, and USA joined in congratulating HSI/Korea on receiving the award.

HSI/Korea has been active in public awareness and legislative campaigns focusing on the chemical toxicity, medical and biologicals fields to remove obsolete animal tests and promote non-animal methods using state-of-the-art technologies. Even as interest in adopting human-biology relevant approaches increases worldwide, regulatory acceptance and use of such human-predictive methods remain slow in Korea.

HSI/Korea, director, government affairs Borami Seo said “We are thrilled to receive this “Outstanding Contribution to Society” award. HSI/Korea would like to share this honor with the many parties who supported our mission to promote animal testing replacement for better science. Right now, there is a bill, the Act on the Promotion of Development, Dissemination and Use of Alternatives to Animal Testing Methods in the national assembly and we urge the government to support this measure in the interest of Korean scientific communities and public health.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Borami Seo: bseo@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Belgium


HSI

BRUSSELS—Animal protection charity Humane Society International/Europe strongly condemns Denmark’s plan to import 10,000 mink from Iceland, Norway, Spain, Poland and Finland to start a new breeding programme for fur farms once the country’s temporary mink breeding and farming ban is lifted from Jan. 1, 2023. Only around 1% of Danish fur farmers (14 out of more than 1,200 mink farm companies) applied for State Aid to re-start business if the temporary ban was lifted.

Two years ago, all Danish mink farms were shut down on government order and the animals were gassed to death following the discovery that a mink variant of the coronavirus could be transmitted to humans, and that hundreds of SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks had been recorded on mink farms across Europe. It remains unclear how the imported animals will be health screened, and if a solution is not in place in time, all the animals could potentially be killed upon arrival.

Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs at HSI/Europe, commented: “It is contemptible that 10,000 mink are to be transported to Denmark, including 2,000 animals currently being shipped from Iceland across rough winter seas, to refill the barren wire cages on a handful of Danish fur farms whose owners decided to continue profiting quite literally off the backs of defenceless animals. This is happening as across the EU, more than one million people so far have signed an official petition calling for an end to all fur farming. Mink farms are a ticking time bomb for disease risk, and we urge both the competent national authorities and the European Commission to closely scrutinise any mass movement of potentially infectious animals, as well as act to shut down the fur trade before it delivers the next pandemic.”

With consumers and designers alike increasingly rejecting fur, the industry has been in financial decline for years. The pandemic compounded this decline, hastening the closure of fur farms in the Netherlands and the introduction of bans in several other EU countries. However, SARS-CoV-2 continues to pose a threat to public health for as long as the factory farming of mink—a species highly susceptible to this virus and a source of viral mutations—is allowed to take place.

Although Danish authorities have given the green light for fur production to resume, there is growing public support for a total ban on fur farming. Indeed, Denmark was one of the first EU Member States to reach the national threshold for signatures for the European Citizens’ Initiative for a Fur-Free Europe, which calls for a ban on all fur farming across the European Union. After just seven months, this petition has amassed more than 1.1 million signatures.

Background information on fur farming:

  • More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year worldwide—that is equivalent to three animals dying every second, just for their fur.
  • Fur farming has been banned in 19 European countries, including Malta, Ireland, Estonia, France, Italy and most recently Latvia on Sept. 22, 2022. Political discussions on a ban are also underway in Romania, Lithuania, Spain and Poland. A further two countries (Switzerland and Germany) have implemented such strict regulations that fur farming has effectively ended, and three other countries (Denmark, Sweden and Hungary) have imposed measures that have ended the farming of certain species. Mink farming is also being phased out in the Canadian province of British Colombia. The UK was the first country in the world to ban fur farming, in 2003.
  • Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been documented on over 480 mink fur farms in 12 different countries in Europe and North America since April 2020.
  • Fur also comes with a hefty environmental price tag including C02 emissions from intensively farming carnivorous animals and the manure runoff into lakes and rivers. A cocktail of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, such as chromium and formaldehyde, is used to preserve the fur and skin to stop it from rotting.
  • An increasing number of fashion designers and retailers are dropping fur cruelty. In the last few years alone, Moncler, Dolce & Gabbana, Canada Goose, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Chanel, Prada and other high-profile brands have announced fur-free policies.

ENDS

Media Contact: Yavor Gechev, communications director for HSI/Europe: ygechev@hsi.org

Humane Society International welcomes announcement from hotel in Africa

Humane Society International / Africa


Stock Photography

CAPE TOWN, South Africa—Hotel Verde has committed to exclusively source pork from suppliers who do not confine soon-to-be mother pigs in crates. With this announcement, Hotel Verde joins the growing list of global companies that have pledged to procure only crate-free pork. This announcement follows discussions with Humane Society International/Africa, which welcomes the commitment.

Chef Adrian Schreuder, executive Chef at Hotel Verde said, “As the greenest hotel in Africa, Hotel Verde is committed to source and serve only the highest welfare products available. As part of our animal welfare and sustainability policy, we pledge to transition our entire pork supply comes from only local farms that do not use gestation crates for pregnant sows. We are working towards a 100% implementation goal by the end of 2023. Hotel Verde is proud to work with Humane Society International/Africa on the implementation of this animal welfare policy.”

Gestation crates are used to house sows during each of their nearly 4-month long pregnancies on commercial farms to maximise profit by packing as many animals into a facility as possible. Pregnant pigs kept in these steel gestation crates cannot fully express their natural behaviour and are confined so tightly that they are prevented from turning around or even extending their legs when lying down. Not only do the pigs suffer physical discomfort and injuries, but they also experience frustration and psychological stress.

Candice Blom, farmed animal specialist for Humane Society International/Africa, says: “We applaud Hotel Verde for prioritizing the welfare of farmed animals by adopting this commitment throughout its supply chain. These policies drive the demand for higher welfare standards on piggeries and will ultimately eliminate the use of cruel crates. Consumers care about the way animals are treated in food production systems and oppose the inhumane, near lifelong confinement of sows in crates.”

More companies are adopting responsible consumption policies in South Africa and the world, including Marriott InternationalHilton WorldwideNestle and others. Humane Society International/Africa will continue working with Hotel Verde and other companies to improve the welfare of animals in their supply chains.

ENDS

 Reference in this article to any specific commercial product or service, or the use of any brand, trade, firm or corporation name is for the information of the public only, and does not constitute or imply endorsement by HSI/Africa or any of its affiliates of the product or service, or its producer or provider, and should not be construed or relied upon, under any circumstances, by implication or otherwise, as investment advice. Links and access by hypertext to other websites is provided as a convenience only and does not indicate or imply any endorsement with respect to any of the content on such website nor any of the views expressed thereon.

Media contact: Leozette Roode, media specialist for HSI/Africa, e: LRoode@hsi.org, t: +27 71 360 1104

 

Artists, scientists, First Nations, animal protection and conservation groups urge province to end senseless killing of wildlife

Humane Society International / Canada


WildMedia/Alamy Stock

VICTORIA, Canada—A broad coalition of non-government organizations, scientists, environmentalists, eco-tourism operators and notable British Columbians, including Robert Bateman, have signed an open letter calling on the British Columbia government to end wildlife killing contests in the province once and for all. The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs has signed the open letter and also submitted a separate letter urging the BC government to end these contests.

Wildlife killing contests take place legally across British Columbia every year. During these contests, animals are killed to accumulate points towards winning cash and/or prizes. Animals commonly targeted in these contests include coyotes, wolves, bears, cougars, bobcats and raccoons. In 2019, a coalition led by non-governmental organizations called on the BC government to end wildlife killing contests, resulting in media backlash and public outcry against these contests. Unfortunately, in absence of the provincial government taking concrete actions to prohibit wildlife killing contests, they have merely been driven underground and out of the public eye.

Kelly Butler, the wildlife campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada, stated: “The science is clear, wildlife killing contests have no place in wildlife management. These contests exploit misunderstanding and fear surrounding species like wolves and coyotes and are a transparent means to kill animals for fun. We are calling on the government to take action to protect BC’s wildlife and join the growing number of jurisdictions that are prohibiting these cruel contests.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of UBCIC, stated: “Killing contests betray the general public into thinking that a problem is being solved, but the problem is not on the wildlife management, the real problem is the degradation of land, forests and waterways. Animals balance themselves in the proper conditions, and human intervention and industry has not allowed for that to occur. Instead, we blame one animal when the real ‘animal’ is us.”

Robert Bateman, Order of Canada, Order of British Columbia, renowned artist and naturalist, stated: “I am shocked that BC continues to allow wildlife killing contests. These cruel and unscientific events encourage and normalize needless animal suffering, and do not represent the values held by the overwhelming majority of British Columbians. Killing of superior members of a species degrades the gene pool.”

The concern relating to these contests extends beyond conservationists and environmentalists; several eco-tourism operators signed on to the open letter as well.

Eric Boyum, owner/operator of Ocean Adventures Charter Co., stated: “While the BC Ministry of Tourism’s partner Destination BC uses slogans like ‘BC, Where Nature is Nurtured’, nothing could be further from the truth. Allowing wildlife killing contests demonstrates a very real lack of care for sentient animals that are not only vital to the biodiversity of their ecosystems, but also vital to the image and integrity of tourism in BC. The cruelty exhibited by those that kill these beautiful animals for kicks, is something we should all be deeply concerned about and that we should all be committed to ending.”

Across the United States, a growing number of states are outlawing wildlife killing contests in order to protect wildlife and uphold the values of their citizens. Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington have now outlawed killing contests for coyotes, foxes, bobcats and other species, and several other states are considering similar action. In Canada, only Ontario has an applicable law prohibiting hunting for “gain or the expectation of gain.”

The open letter calls on the Ministry of Forests to prohibit wildlife killing contests and is signed by:

  • Adventuress Sea Kayaking
  • Animal Alliance of Canada
  • Animal Justice
  • Animal Protection Party of Canada
  • Animals Asia Foundation
  • BC Nature
  • BC SPCA
  • Bears Matter
  • Clayoquot Action
  • Coyote Watch Canada
  • Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research
  • EXPOSED Wildlife Conservancy
  • Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee
  • Humane Society International/Canada
  • International Animal Rescue
  • John E. Marriott (Wildlife Photographer)
  • National Wolfwatcher Coalition
  • North Shore Black Bear Society
  • Ocean Adventures Charter Co.,
  • Ocean Light Adventures
  • Pacific Wild Alliance
  • Project Coyote
  • Robert Bateman (Artist)
  • Sierra Club BC
  • Spirit Bear Lodge
  • Susan Musgrave (Poet)
  • Takaya Legacy Project
  • The Fur-Bearers
  • The Kerulos Center for Nonviolence
  • The Union of BC Indian Chiefs
  • Tourists Against Trophy Hunting
  • Vancouver Humane Society
  • Wilderness Committee
  • Wolf Awareness
  • Zoocheck Inc.
  • Breder Law, Animal Lawyers
  • In Defense of Animals

ENDS

Media Contact: Kelly Butler, wildlife campaign manager: 438-882-7238; kbutler@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Mexico


Meredith Lee/HSI

MEXICO CITY—Humane Society International/Mexico congratulated the LXIV Legislature of the Tlaxcala State Congress members for recognizing and punishing animal abuse as a crime unanimously.

Dr. Claudia Edwards, programs director for HSI/Mexico, said: “We applaud the decision of legislators to combat and punish animal cruelty—in dog fighting in particular—complying with the provisions of article 87 bis 2 of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection.”

This reform to the Penal Code was presented last year by congresswoman Maribel León Cruz and was supported by different animal protection organizations, including Animal Rescue-Legal Defense Tlaxcala and HSI/Mexico, and several local individuals interested in animal welfare. With this decision, Chiapas is now the only federal state without penalties for animal abuse in its state criminal code.

HSI/Mexico has worked with various civil organizations for animal protection and with authorities in various states to assist in legislation to combat and eradicate all forms of animal cruelty.

ENDS

Media contact: Magaly Garibay: 55 5407 0502; mgaribay@idee.agency

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