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.
A royal toucan, three turtles, three raccoons, three hawks, three spotted owls and a margay cat returned to their natural habitat, thanks to ARCAS and HSI/Latin America
Humane Society International / Latin America
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.”
More than 1,000 animals affected by floods receive veterinary care
Humane Society International / Global
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.
From Arica to Tierra del Fuego, more than 3,900 dogs and cats living on the streets have received food and basic veterinary care through 30 animal protection organizations in Chile
Humane Society International
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.
Humane Society International
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; 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.
Nonprofit organizations provide veterinary care and food in Panzos, Alta Verapaz
Humane Society International / Latin America
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.
Chile is in the running to become the second South American country to prohibit animal testing for cosmetics following introduction of a federal bill in late December which, if passed, would prohibit new animal testing of both finished cosmetics and their ingredients, and severely restrict the import or sale of beauty products developed with reliance on new animal testing carried out anywhere in the world. Bill 13.966-11 was introduced by Deputy Vlado Mirosevic in close cooperation with HSI and our Chilean partner Te Protejo, with bipartisan support of government and opposition parliamentarians, as well as from several leaders in the beauty sector and cruelty-free domestic brands.
“We commend Deputy Vlado Mirosevic for his leadership in introducing a bill that will close the door on cruel cosmetics in Chile,” said Aviva Vetter, HSI cosmetics program manager for research & toxicology. “This bill brings us one step closer to ending animal suffering in the global beauty industry.”
Through the Animal-Free Safety Assessment (AFSA) Collaboration coordinated by HSI, leading brands are able to work behind the scenes with HSI and our partners to agree bill language, which can expedite movement of bills through the political process. The next step for the Chilean bill is review by the Health Commission in the Chamber of Deputies.
Since the launch of the 2017 Chilean branch of HSI’s global campaign to end cosmetic animal testing, HSI and Te Protejo have worked in close cooperation with decision makers to bring the country in line with the global cruelty-free trend. A 2019 public opinion poll by Inside Research on behalf of HSI and Te Protejo found that 74% of Chileans agree that testing cosmetics on animals is not worth the animals’ pain and suffering, and to date more than 100,000 Chileans have signed our petition supporting a ban.
The Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Award honors the Italian food group for its global cage-free policy
Humane Society International
SÃO PAULO—Italian food group Barilla, the world’s largest pasta manufacturer, is the recipient of the Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Award, recognition given to companies that adopt policies that have a significant positive impact on the farm animals in their supply chains. Humane Society International, one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, had nominated Barilla for the award, which is given by the Humane Society of the United States, HSI’s sister organization. With the award, both organizations recognize and celebrate Barilla’s transition to responsible sourcing of cage-free eggs in its global supply chain. Barilla is one of only a handful of companies in the world to achieve a 100% cage-free egg supply chain ahead of schedule.
HSI’s first contact with Barilla was in late 2016, and in just a matter of months the Italian company committed to exclusively sourcing eggs from cage-free hens and achieved full implementation of that commitment in 2019, one year before its publicly announced 2020 deadline. Exemplifying leadership in transparency, Barilla provided yearly progress updates on its egg sourcing statistics in its annual sustainability report. Barilla’s global policy applies to each of the countries in which they operate.
In Brazil, Barilla has played an especially important role as an example for other food companies, which it has publicly encouraged to create and implement cage-free egg policies. “Barilla’s leadership has inspired other companies in Brazil to embrace animal welfare and cage-free egg supply as a core element of responsible sourcing. Now we have over 100 companies committed to sourcing exclusively cage-free eggs in the country, and the number keeps growing. We hope that with Barilla’s great example, other companies will be inspired to follow suit. We have no doubt that the future is cage-free in Brazil,” noted Maria Fernanda Martin, HSI’s corporate policy and program manager for farm animals in Brazil.
At every stage, Barilla demonstrated a clear mission and vision, embraced at every level of the company and backed by its leadership through active and ongoing engagement with producers and consumers. HSI strongly supported Barilla’s transition to cage-free, facilitating farm tours, technical workshops, and peer-to-peer learning.
Animal welfare initiatives are part of Barilla’s global goals. According to Fabiana Araújo, marketing manager for Barilla in Brazil: “Receiving the Spira Award validates the brand’s efforts to have a sustainable production system. Commitment to innovation has led Barilla to be one of the few companies in the world to reach a production chain with 100% cage-free eggs, and the first company in the industrialized pasta segment in Brazil to adopt a cage-free egg policy.”“We seek to do the right thing in our business model, and that’s what we’ve done here. We benefited from the steady and constructive support of Humane Society International, and our partnership was crucial to Barilla’s early completion of our stated goal. Particularly in Brazil, where we have been present for only a few years, the support of HSI has been critical for success,” said Eldren Paixão, procurement manager for Barilla in Brazil.
Cage-free production systems typically offer hens higher levels of welfare, allowing the birds to express more of their natural behaviors, including moving around, laying eggs in nests, perching, and fully spreading their wings.
In celebration of Barilla’s journey and collaboration with HSI, the organization will host the 4th meeting of the South American Animal Welfare Movement, an online seminar on October 5 -9 for companies, producers, and investors. The seminar will feature practical insights on the benefits of adopting higher animal welfare practices and provide stakeholders with meaningful and applicable guidance on transitioning to cage free egg and crate free pork supplies. For more information and registration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Henry Spira Awards recognize significant corporate animal welfare commitments in the memory of Henry Spira (1927-1998), a legendary Belgian-American humane advocate who specialized in constructive engagement with corporations committed to an animal welfare mandate as part of their corporate social responsibility missions. He is considered one of the most effective animal advocates of the 20th century.