Watch these webinars to learn about the market opportunities and scientific basis behind cage-free egg production according to experts in the field and cage-free producers in Latin America.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina—The vast majority of Argentine society opposes trophy hunting in the country and the export and import of trophies. This was demonstrated by the results of a recent survey conducted in Argentina in May 2022 regarding this practice, which consists of killing animals for competition or pleasure with the intention of obtaining parts of the animals to exhibit them.
According to the survey, which was carried out by the consulting firm at the request of Humane Society International, 86% of respondents oppose trophy hunting. That figure goes up to 93% when it comes to hunting threatened or endangered species such as lions, elephants and giraffes—with 92% of respondents openly in favor of a ban on trophy hunting.
When asked about the presence of foreign hunters in the Argentine territory, 91% of those surveyed agreed that the practice should be prohibited, as should the exports of trophies that result from such hunting and the import of trophies from Argentine hunters abroad. This trend is in line with the growth of a global movement that advocates for animal welfare.
“Trophy hunting is a destructive practice that harms animal welfare and species protection. Unfortunately, trophy hunting exists in many countries and Argentina is one of the top exporting countries of hunting trophies. We have the opportunity to become an agent of change. By encouraging the cessation of this activity, we can be an example to follow,” said Marina Ratchford, a representative of Humane Society International in Argentina.
Argentina’s minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Juan Cabandié highlighted the importance of the opinion poll and stated that it is “evidence of the growing environmental conscience” in the country. “The social perception is in line with this,” he said, referring to the recent poll demonstrating that trophy hunting is an arcane practice that is currently rejected by nine out of 10 Argentinians.
Teresa M. Telecky, vice president of HSI’s Wildlife department, said: “Trophy hunting is a destructive, abusive and archaic practice that threatens the survival of wild populations. Argentina is a significant contributor to this unethical industry. The country has the power to step up as a world leader in conservation and end the import and export of these macabre trophies once and for all.”
There has been much recent progress in the fight against trophy hunting. Not long ago, Argentina’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, led by Juan Cabandié, clarified current regulations on exports and inter-jurisdictional transit of hunting trophies.
Under Cabandié, the environmental ministry has prohibited the importation, exportation and interjurisdictional movement of hunting trophies of native fauna species through Resolution 133/22. The ministry is also working on an updated regulation to prohibit the importation of all hunting trophies to Argentina. With respect to animal welfare and wildlife preservation efforts, the minister singled out the Environmental Control Brigade’s operations to rescue animals from illegal wildlife trafficking, with more than 700 animals rescued to date. These animals are currently living in rescue and rehabilitation centers for fauna.
In 2021 Aerolineas Argentinas instituted a policy that prohibits the transport of hunting trophies of Argentina’s native fauna on any domestic or international flight.
Humane Society International has joined with groups in Argentina’s nonprofit sector linked to the protection of wildlife, such as Pumakawa and Fundacion Cullunche, to urge the government to acknowledge and act upon the public’s opposition to trophy hunting as well as the export and import of hunting trophies.
“Trophy hunting is an inhumane form of hunting that results in and encourages methods that increase the suffering of animals. Not setting a limit on practices like these is harmful to the policies and advances built from the effort and work carried out by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and other organizations,” added Jennifer Ibarra of the Cullunche Foundation.
According to information from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), between 2014 and 2018, Argentina was among the top 10 exporters of hunting trophies and the world’s 23rd largest importer of hunting trophies of protected mammals. Among the most imported animals are the African elephant, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, African lion, hippopotamus and chacma baboon. The majority of hunting trophy exports were of blackbuck and pumas, with nearly all blackbucks taken from the wild and most pumas bred in captivity.
What is happening around the world:
- The High Court of the Western Cape granted an interim suspension of relevant hunting quotas in the application for an interim interdict against the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s 2022 hunting and export quotas for leopard, black rhino and elephant.
- The International Union for the Conservation of Nature Ethics Specialist Group called on the German government to end the practice of trophy hunting imports for ethical, ecological and legal reasons. This was followed by an announcement from the Environment Minister Steffi Lemke of the intention to restrict the import of hunting trophies from protected animal species to Germany.
- The Belgian Federal Parliament unanimously passed a resolution demanding that the government immediately stop authorizing trophy import permits of species protected under certain international trade regulations.
- In Italy, a bill to ban the import and export of hunting trophies of protected species—the first of its kind in that nation—was presented to the Chamber of Deputies in Rome.
- The Spanish Parliamentary Association for the Defense of Animal Rights presented a motion for resolution to prohibit the import and export of hunting trophies of protected species listed in Annexes A and B of the Wildlife Trade Regulations.
- The United Kingdom committed to one to one of the world’s strongest policies banning the import of hunting trophies of over 7,000 protected species.
- Costa Rica pioneered this paradigm shift in Latin America in 2015 when it banned recreational hunting in response to a public petition.
- In 2019, Colombia banned recreational hunting and in 2021 banned the import of hunting trophies as part of a new law to strengthen the fight against wildlife trafficking.
- Recently, Chile’s President Gabriel Boric committed to prohibiting the hunting of native fauna.
The poll of 1,001 residents of Argentina’s Northwest, Northeast, Central, Buenos Aires, Mountain and Patagonia regions was conducted by CIO Investigacion from March 31 to April 9, 2022, with a margin of error of +/- 3%.
Media contact: Rodi Rosensweig, senior principal strategist media relations: email@example.com ; 202-809-8711
SANTIAGO, Chile—Egg farmers who are using cage-free hen housing systems in Chile have formed the country’s first union association to support cage-free production. The formation of Chile Libres comes after many years of dialogue among producers and stakeholders including Humane Society International, who played a technical advisory role.
Chile Libres aims to promote cage-free egg production systems with high animal welfare standards and to collaborate with similar national and/or foreign institutions to develop capacity building programs, to inform the organization’s activities and to engage in regulatory developments that support a transition to cage-free hen systems.
“We have felt the need to promote change and call on those who share this vision to work together. We would like to make our experience available to strengthen local capacity and become the solution to society’s call for more humane, fair and sustainable production systems. Animal welfare is a core value for our association,” said Pablo Albarrán, Chile Libres Association president, in a statement translated from Spanish.
Daniela Sánchez, country director and farm animal welfare corporate policy manager for Humane Society International in Chile, said: “We are proud that Chilean producers are leading this effort to promote cage-free hen and higher welfare egg production systems. We applaud their entrepreneurial spirit and their active and public role in support of higher welfare production systems that allow laying hens to express their natural behavior.”
Egg-laying hens in Chile are typically confined in wire cages so small that they cannot freely spread their wings. Cage-free production systems provide a much higher level of welfare, allowing the birds to express their natural behavior, including ground scratching and pecking, laying their eggs in nests, perching and fully spreading their wings, which are all scientifically documented behavioral needs. HSI works with the food industry in Chile and worldwide to help ensure a successful transition to these higher-welfare production systems.
HSI will continue to support the work of the Chile Libres Association to bring the collective knowledge of producers on cage-free production to enhance the global cage-free movement.
Media Contact: Daniela Sanchez: +56 9 62181089; firstname.lastname@example.org
PETEN, Guatemala—When the rescue crate door was opened, the margay cat (Leopardus wiedii) took a glimpse of Yaxha Nakum Naranjo National Park, before jumping out and immediately climbing up a tree towards freedom. The small nocturnal wild cat had spent several weeks rehabilitating after being rescued from wildlife trafficking.
Along with the margay, 13 other wild animals were released on September 24th by non-governmental organizations Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association (ARCAS) and Humane Society International/Latin America. These 14 animals were the latest release of 61 animals so far this year. The animals were donated, rescued or seized in different parts of the country, including the Izabal and Peten departments, and comprised:
- three spotted owls (Ciccaba virgata)
- three raccoons (Procyon lotor)
- three road hawks (Rupornis magnirostris)
- one margay (Leopardus wiedii)
- one royal toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
- two hooded turtles (Kinosternum scorpioides)
- one snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
ARCAS and HSI/Latin America have worked together since 2007 to protect wildlife in Guatemala, and this latest release. Following treatment, rehabilitation and quarantine at the ARCAS Wildlife Rescue Center in Peten, Guatemala, and having completed a pre-release veterinary assessment, the animals were released by the NGOs under the guidance of the National Council of Protected Areas.
This is the latest release of wild animals completed by ARCAS with the support of HSI /Latin America, which during 2021 has also included the release of 24 crocodiles (Crocodylus morelleti), six coyotes (Canis latrans), eight raccoons (Procyon lotor), five opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) and four coatis (Nasua narica).
The ARCAS Rescue Center has been working since 1991 developing physical, medical and ethological rehabilitation programs for the different species of animal who fall victim to illegal trafficking, so that they can be later released in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve.
Fernando Martinez, ARCAS director, said: “The Rescue Center’s mission is to strengthen existing wildlife populations, to prevent species extinction, and to have healthy populations capable of adapting and reproducing in the wild.”
Mauricio Mota, director of Humane Society International in Guatemala, believes the partnership between ARCAS and HSI/Latin America has been crucial to the success of releasing these animals. Mota said: “As habitats are under threat and human populations grow, we are seeing more and more encounters between people and wild animals, including exploitation and capture for illegal trafficking. That is why HSI is pleased to support ARCAS’ work to rehabilitate animals who have been rescued, seized or donated, to give them a second chance at a life of freedom in the wild. People should never buy these animals as pets, should not buy objects that contain animal parts, and should report any illegal activity related to wildlife to the authories.”
Media Contact: Mauricio Mota: (502) 32438475
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica—Whether under a temporary tarp, in a shack or with a looming rainstorm, teams provided emergency veterinary care for 1,250 pets after flooding occurred in the Costa Rican Caribbean and northern areas.
Humane Society International, in conjunction with the National Animal Health Service (SENASA), other animal welfare organizations and local emergency committees, installed mobile clinics in five communities prioritized by the authorities based on need: San Rafael and a Maleku territory in Guatuso, Sixaola, Suretka and Naranjales in Sarapiquí.
At these sites, people brought their pets to receive basic veterinary care while following COVID-19 prevention measures. Many of the dogs and cats were treated for skin ailments caused by the floods. Teams cleaned wounds, provided antibiotics when needed—and provided rabies vaccinations, deworming and anti-flea treatments. SENASA also donated food and other animal supplies such as bowls, collars, leashes and blankets.
“Animals also suffer the impact of natural disasters, be they floods, volcanic eruptions or earthquakes; that is why at HSI we support government entities by providing emergency veterinary care for pets who have been affected by them,” said Andrea Borel, executive director of HSI/Latin America.
Borel also highlighted the importance of including both companion and farm animals in family, local and national emergency plans.
Media Contact: Alejandra Zúñiga: 7012-5598; email@example.com
SANTIAGO, Chile—Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared worldwide in 2020 more than 3,900 animals and counting have been fed and assisted thanks to donations made by Humane Society International.
This effort was made possible by generous aid provided by Mars, Incorporated to HSI to help communities and animals around the world during the pandemic crisis.
In coordination with thirty animal protection organizations in Chile, HSI provided more than 16 tons of food—the equivalent of the approximate weight of a bus—to dogs and cats impacted by the strict pandemic confinement measures. Additionally, more than 900 animals received basic veterinary care to treat wounds, skin problems and other ailments.
Thanks to the donation made by Mars, Incorporated, HSI delivered 16 basic emergency kits equipped with supplies and medications needed to assess and manage ailments like skin conditions, small injuries and wounds, to various groups in central Chile, benefiting more than 570 animals who required immediate assistance.
To date, local organizations in Chile delivered 16.4 tons of food for dogs and cats in 26 cities and towns across Chile. The groups distributed the aid in two phases: one starting in 2020 and the other throughout the first quarter of 2021.
“The COVID-19 lockdown has severely affected the health and well-being of dogs and cats throughout the Latin American region. Through this important collaboration with Mars, we have been able to mitigate some effects related to the lack of food and veterinary services,” said Alexandra Rothlisberger, companion animals and engagement director for HSI in Latin America and the Caribbean.
HSI recognizes that each country is experiencing the effects of the pandemic differently, and has varying animal welfare needs, which is why the Mars, Incorporated support has been extended to different parts of the world. This aid has also reached many countries in Latin America, including but not limited to Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana, Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and Costa Rica, and in the Caribbean, to the Dominican Republic.
SANTIAGO DE CHILE—A federal cruelty-free cosmetics bill championed by Humane Society International and Te Protejo passed the first stage of review by the Health Commission within the Chilean Chamber of Deputies with bipartisan political support, regulatory backing and the support of cosmetics companies. The Health Commission unanimously supported Bulletin 13.966-11 to ban animal testing for cosmetics, as well as the import or sale of beauty products developed with reliance on new animal testing carried out anywhere in the world after the law comes into force. The commission voted to move forward to study the bill in further detail.
“We are delighted to see that this bill has widespread support, and commend members of the Health Commission, the Chilean Cosmetic Chamber and the Institute of Public Health for their support in moving this groundbreaking legislation to the next stage in the legislative process. We are looking forward to seeing Chile become the next country to be cruelty-free,” said Daniela Sanchez, HSI country director for Chile.
The bill is supported by industry leaders like Lush, Unilever, P&G, L’Oréal and Avon, which are working with HSI to secure meaningful animal testing bans in many of the world’s most influential beauty markets, including Chile. In addition to pursuing legislative bans, HSI and its partners are collaborating to develop a training program under the Animal-Free Safety Assessment to support smaller companies and government authorities transition from animal testing to state-of-the-art non-animal methods, which are readily available and better at assuring human safety than the animal tests they replace.
“Te Protejo has been working for nine years to raise awareness and consciousness among citizens in relation to the cruelty that testing on animals involves. Recent polling illustrates that 72% of Chileans support the ban on animal testing. The support from deputies from the Health Commission could propel Chile to become the 41st country to ban animal testing in cosmetics in the world,” Nicole Valdebenito, director of communication and corporate affairs of NGO Te Protejo said.
Earlier this year HSI launched #SaveRalph, a stop-motion animated short film to raise awareness and secure support to end cosmetic animal testing in key beauty markets around the world. #SaveRalph generated awareness for cosmetic animal testing with over 4.5 million signatures worldwide and in 300,000 in Chile alone. The film has since been viewed over 150 million times and has caught the attention of policy makers around the world.
- Aviva Vetter, the Humane Society of the United States: 514-975-9720; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nicole Valdebenito, Te Protejo: +52 1 55 83944794; email@example.com
SANTIAGO DE CHILE—Cencosud, the largest multinational retail company in Chile, has announced it will sell exclusively cage-free eggs in its own brand by 2025 and all eggs at two of its major chains by 2028.
Cencosud operates in Chile under several supermarket brands, including Jumbo, Spid 35 and Santa Isabel. All of these brands are covered by the policy, which will be fully implemented by 2025 for their own brand eggs. By 2028 the policy will apply to all eggs at the Jumbo and Spid 35 stores and 50% of the egg offerings at Santa Isabel chain. The company also operates in Argentina, Brasil, Colombia and Peru, and has an office in China.
This commitment comes after many years of dialogue with Humane Society International and internal discussion. HSI will continue to work with the company in Chile during the implementation of this policy, and in the countries where they operate, to help them expand and adopt a 100% cage-free egg commitment globally.
Daniela Sanchez, HSI corporate policy manager for HSI Farm Animals in Chile, said: “We are proud that Cencosud Chile has taken this step, adopting a cage-free egg commitment, and we look forward to working with the company and its egg suppliers on the implementation of this policy. I believe that together with relieving thousands of egg-laying hens from the cruel confinement of cages, Cencosud is sending a clear message to the egg industry and related stakeholders that in Latin America the future of egg production is cage-free.”
Egg-laying hens in Chile are typically confined for their whole lives in wire cages so small that they cannot even fully stretch their wings. Cage-free production systems offer hens a higher level of welfare, allowing the birds to express their natural behavior, including ground scratching and pecking, laying their eggs in nests, perching and fully spreading their wings. HSI works together with the food industry in Chile and worldwide to help ensure a successful transition to these higher animal welfare production systems, through a variety of educational events, farm tours, technical workshops and by facilitating the exchange of best practices.
Cencosud joins the other three largest supermarket companies that have fully committed to selling exclusively cage-free eggs in Latin America: Carrefour, Costco and GPA. From one end of the supply chain to the other, companies in Chile and the entire region are improving the lives of farm animals by committing to cage-free egg production.
Media Contact: Daniela Sanchez: firstname.lastname@example.org; +56 9 62181089
PANZOS, Guatemala—More than 430 families living in poverty in the municipality of Panzos, Alta Verapaz received veterinary care and food for their domestic and farm animals following the devastation ofHurricanes Eta and Iota at the end of 2020.
With support from Humane Society International/ Latin America, members of the Guatemalan foundation EquinosSanos para el Pueblo provided animals with basic veterinary care, including internal and external deworming, and distributed vitamins. The work focused on the hardest hit communities, located 268 kilometers from Guatemala City.
The efforts helped 5,717 animals, including poultry, pigs and dogs. In a previous visit carried out at the end of 2020, the foundation helped9,162 animals.
“In the first visit in December 2020, after the hurricanes hit, ESAP found a large number of sick and malnourished animalsin a severely impacted region in Guatemala. Many of these animals survived because of the commitment of the community to the wellbeing of their animals combined with the food and veterinary care that we were able to help provide,”said Mauricio Mota, Guatemala country director for HSI.
“On the second visit, we found that the health of the animals improved. In the case of pets, we observed a decrease in their external parasite load and an increase in their energy level, especially for the dogs,”Mota added.
Mota notes that this is an example of how animal care after natural disasters is essential for the recovery and well-being of affected families. The surviving animals received help, leading to the economic and social recovery of their owners, who in many cases suffered serious losses due to floods.
“At HSI, we hope to continue to work with our allies in Guatemala in emergency situations,” said Mota.
Media contact:Mauricio Mota; +502 32438475, email@example.com