More than half of all antibiotics sold and used in the United States do not go to treating people. Instead, they go to animal agriculture — where overuse of these drugs is now contributing to a huge upsurge in antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Factory farmers regularly dole out antibiotics in livestock’s water and food supplies, as part of a general mission to prevent infections and death among their pig, foul, cow, and other animal populations. Preventing infections is a huge concern, because factory farmers lock these animals in filthy, feces-covered, overcrowded conditions where diseases can easily run rampant. While corporate farmers could solve this problem by improving facility conditions, they’d rather continue to pack animals as tight as possible to keep profits high. So instead they pump the animals full of antibiotics. This has already had disastrous consequences for human health.
The more our bodies and bacteria get used to the presence of antibiotics, the more those bacteria evolve and mutate to fight off our antibiotic medical treatments. And that means we have fewer and fewer ways to protect ourselves when we get sick. As a result, the number and intensity of superbugs in humans is exploding. MRSA, CRE, candida auris, strep, and others are plaguing more and more people — even young, healthy patients. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this superbug explosion has become even more dire. And these patients aren’t just becoming incredibly sick. Many of them are dying as these overused medicines become less and less effective.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tried to help reduce antibiotic use in agriculture, but with limited success. That’s partially because it hasn’t set many hard, enforceable rules. Recently, it began requiring farmers to work with veterinarians to administer certain antibiotics that it deems “medically important” for human use. But as long as a vet is willing to sign off on the treatment, there’s not much enforcement in place to stop misuse.
Other, over-the-counter antibiotics don’t even require this cursory veterinary involvement — even though they can also contribute to superbug development! Animal agriculture is already killing captive, defenseless creatures. It’s killing the planet with horrendous greenhouse gas contributions. And now it’s killing humans, too, through incessant antibiotic use. The U.S. government must finally regulate the use of antibiotics in livestock, and stop our worsening superbug crisis. Sign the petition to protect our health!
Please sign the petition now to stop this:
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With the EU ban on cosmetics tests on animals came the promise of a Europe in which animals no longer suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics. That promise has been broken. Authorities still demand animal tests on ingredients used in cosmetics, which goes against the expectations and wishes of the public and the intention of legislators.
Yet, never have we had such powerful non-animal tools for assuring safety or such a golden opportunity to revolutionise human and environmental protection. The European Commission must uphold and strengthen the ban and transition to animal-free safety assessment.
We call on the European Commission to do the following:
1. Protect and strengthen the cosmetics animal testing ban.
Initiate legislative change to achieve consumer, worker, and environmental protection for all cosmetics ingredients without testing on animals for any purpose at any time.
2. Transform EU chemicals regulation.
Ensure human health and the environment are protected by managing chemicals without the addition of new animal testing requirements.
3. Modernise science in the EU.
Commit to a legislative proposal plotting a roadmap to phase-out all animal testing in the EU before the end of the current legislative term.
Start of the collection period
SAVE CRUELTY FREE COSMETICS – COMMIT TO A EUROPE WITHOUT ANIMAL TESTING
Info about (Progress of) Initiative:
With thanks to Di for getting this;
French matador El Rafi performs a muleta pass on a fighting bull in the arena of Arles, southern France, on June 6, 2021 (Photo by Nicolas TUCAT / AFP)
‘Immoral and archaic’: Animal rights activists eye bill to ban bullfighting in France
As thousands of bullfighting aficionados gather across southern France for traditional summer ferias, opponents of the practice are reviving their fight for an outright ban, confident that public opinion is finally on their side.
“I think the majority of French people share the view that bullfights are immoral, a spectacle that no longer has its place in the 21st century,” said Aymeric Caron, a popular former TV journalist and animal rights activist who was recently elected to parliament as part of the hard-left France Unbowed party.
For years, critics have sought a final legal blow against what they call a cruel and archaic ritual, but none of the draft bills presented have ever been approved for debate by National Assembly lawmakers.
French courts have also routinely rejected lawsuits lodged by animal rights activists, most recently in July 2021 in Nimes, home to one of France’s most famous bullfighting events.
But Caron, based in Paris, told AFP that the time was ripe for a new proposal given growing concerns about animal welfare, with a draft bill to be submitted this week.
“I do indeed hope this bill will be debated in parliament in November… it would be a first,” he said.
The prospect seems all the more likely after France Unbowed won dozens of new seats in recent elections, helping to strip President Emmanuel Macron of his centrist majority in parliament.
The goal is to modify an animal welfare law that allows exceptions for bullfights — as well as cock fighting — when it can be shown that they are “uninterrupted local traditions.”
Such exceptions are granted to cities including Bayonne and the mediaeval jewel of Mont-de-Marsan in southwest France near Spain, where the practice has its origins, and along the Mediterranean coast including Arles, Beziers and Nimes.
‘Respecting the animal’
For Caron, “it’s not a French tradition, it’s a Spanish custom that was imported to France in the 19th century to please the wife of Napoleon III, who was from Andalusia,” the countess Eugenie de Montijo.
That argument is unlikely to convince the jostling crowds who packed the streets of Bayonne for the bullfighting feria that ended Sunday, a sea of fans clad all in white except for bright red bandanas or sashes.
“The people who want to ban it don’t understand it. Bullfighting is a drama that brings you closer to death… You’re afraid, but that’s a part of life,” said Jean-Luc Ambert, who came with friends from the central Auvergne region.
Like many other fans, his friend Francoise insisted that bullfighting is an art as much as a sport, where “a man puts his life on the line, while respecting the animal.”
“We’re not trying to convert anyone — I just want the people against it to leave us alone,” she told AFP.
The guest star of the Bayonne feria, Spanish matador Alejandro Talavante, did indeed find an appreciative audience, with the crowd demanding the award of the bull’s ear for his performance.
It’s a conflict that echoes the widening rift in France between rural dwellers steeped in deep agriculture traditions, and Parisians and other urban residents accused of trampling on the country’s cultural heritage — often derided as “the Taliban of Paristan.”
Andre Viard, president of the national bullfighting association, shrugged off the threat of a ban.
“This comes up in every parliamentary session,” Viard told AFP of Caron’s efforts to find allies for the France Unbowed initiative.
“We tell the other parties: Why do you want to be associated with a bill that attacks a cultural freedom protected by the Constitution, and territorial identity?”
The debate echoes similar opposition in other countries with bullfighting histories, including Spain and Portugal as well as Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.
In June, a judge in Mexico City ordered an indefinite suspension of bullfighting in the capital’s historic bullring, the largest in the world.
Caron is banking on support from across the political spectrum, including top members of Macron’s party such as the head of his parliamentary group Aurore Berge, who was among 36 lawmakers who called for a bullfighting ban last year.
An Ifop poll earlier this year found that 77 percent of respondents approved of a ban, up from 50 percent in 2007.
“More and more people are concerned about animal suffering, including in bullfights,” Claire Starozinski of the Anti-Bullfighting Alliance told AFP, adding that many people don’t realise that the bulls are actually killed.
“I know there are MPs from other parties who will support me, and have said so,” Caron said — though he admitted that more mainstream lawmakers such as Berge might be reluctant to join his leftish campaign.
“Is she going to remain true to her convictions, or make a political calculation that prevents her from supporting me? That’s what will be at stake in the talks over the coming weeks and months.”
Animal sanctuary owner charged for refusing to return cows to beef farm
A New York animal sanctuary boss was arrested after she allegedly refused to return some missing cows to their owner.
Tracy Murphy of Asha’s Farm Sanctuary could face up to seven years in prison if convicted after a missing steer and heifer escaped from a nearby farm and ended up on her property.
New York State Police say that troopers visited the sanctuary in Niagara County, New York, on July 25 to retrieve the animals and return them to the farm.
But when they arrived at the sanctuary, Ms Murphy allegedly would not return them to the farmer.
So troopers with a search warrant seized the animals and returned them to the owner of McKee Farms,Scott Gregson, and took Ms Murphy into custody.
The 59-year-old appeared in court shackled and pleaded not guilty to third-degree grand larceny charge. She was then freed from Niagara County Jail.
“I don’t know how they got over there,” said Mr Gregson.
“My fence was secure, the electric was on, and the gates were all closed and there were no hoof prints or droppings so I don’t know how they got over there.”
He says that he initially called Ms Murphy and made arrangements to visit her and collect the animals. But he says when she refused to comply he called the State Police.
“All I wanted was for me to get my cattle back. Obviously, I made a complaint with the state police and they are pressing charges against her. I guess it’s up to the courts at this point,” he added.
Before her arrest, Ms Murphy had offered to pay for the animals and keep them at the sanctuary.
“Where do you think a Sanctuary would release the animals back to slaughter when they found their way here,” Murphy told WKBW. “We’re willing to waive any bordering, and we’re willing to give them top dollar for these animals.”
The incident has attracted the attention of Hollywood star Joaquin Phoenix, a vocal animal rights activist, who told The Independent that he hoped Ms Murphy would be treated fairly and praised her “kindness.”
“There was an opportunity here to show compassion and mercy. To allow these peaceful creatures to remain without fear or anticipation of harm for the rest of their lives,” he said in a statement.
“What this merciful opportunity was met with was such a shame. I applaud Tracy for standing her ground in the name of animal liberation.
“To so harshly punish a woman who was simply showing kindness to two individuals who had wandered onto her property is astounding.”
ISLAMABAD: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a US-based animal rights non-profit organisation, has offered to help Pakistan implement humane practices in veterinary and medical schools and end animal testing in Pakistan through a series of reforms.
The offer was made during a zoom meeting between the prime minister’s strategic reforms adviser, Salman Sufi, and PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, Chief of the Science Advancement and Outreach Division Dr Katherine Roe and Vice President of International Laboratory Methods Shalin Gala on July 22, 2022.
PETA had approached Mr Sufi, after a viral video footage revealed veterinary students in at least three institutions in Pakistan were involved in inhumane practices on animals, such as operating on animals without anaesthetics and denying them post-operative care despite excruciating pain.
On June 30, Salman Sufi announced an initial set of historic strategic reforms that included barring animals from being used for live testing in any veterinary college or industrial complex in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
“This is a great start and we fully support this measure, and we agreed that more can and should be done since many of the veterinary schools are geographically outside of ICT and are not obligated to follow this new reform policy,” said PETA in a response.
It underscored Pakistan should issue a circular or a regulatory reform that explicitly embraced humane simulation training models for veterinary education and ban training methods that were not medically necessary and did not directly benefit animals involved at the federal level or through the Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council.
PETA cited numerous simulation models for both basic and advanced veterinary and zoology training, such as SynDaver Surgical Canine model, the Critical Care Jerry and Critical Care Fluffy models, the Virtual Animal Anatomy, and Biosphera softwares, to avoid harming animals during the training.
“As such, we are proposing a new collaboration with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Salman Sufi to help provide advanced simulation models so that universities in Pakistan can transition to harm-free and humane veterinary education. We are currently working with Salman Sufi to gather information and do an assessment of the universities’ needs with respect to acquiring simulation models so we can best plan how to assist them,” Ms Gala said.
In response to questions on areas of collaboration with Pakistan, PETA shared more topics that it was addressing with Mr Sufi, such as modernising medical training.
Shalin Gala said before the current Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) came into being, PETA was in communication with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) to advise them on various reforms for their undergraduate medical (or MBBS) curriculum to replace the use of animals nationwide with non-animal methods.
According to Ms Gala, PETA had advised them to adopt its proposed curriculum reform language stating, “no animals or animal parts shall be used for any aspect of the MBBS curriculum including but not limited to practical labs, learning objectives, contents, teaching/learning strategy, teaching aids and assessments. Only non-animal teaching, learning, demonstration and assessment methods shall be used such as didactic methods, interactive computer-aided learning (CAL), human patient simulators (HPS), human cadavers, supervised clinical practice or other non-animal models”.
This reform, if enacted, would mirror similar reforms adopted internationally as well, she added.
“We would like for Pakistan’s MBBS curriculum to have the same non-animal training standard and use modern simulation technology. We hope to work with Salman Sufi to move this strategic reform forward, which will put Pakistan’s medical education system in sync with the US, Canada, India and others that no longer use animals for undergraduate medical training,” Ms Gala said.
In 2014, following discussions with PETA India, the University Grants Commission in India issued a notification ending dissection and experimentation, for training purposes, in university and college zoology and life sciences undergraduate and postgraduate courses, sparing 19 million animals in that country alone from being killed and cut apart for dissection every year.
PETA asserted its scientists were eager to work with Mr Sufi on setting up a national database in Pakistan for approved non-animal biomedical research and training methods, and drafting regulatory language that the use of animals for such purposes must be replaced by approved non-animal methods that appear in the database.
It also intended to assist conduct scientific reviews of the efficacy of animal use to identify additional areas in which such use had failed to advance human health, or in which non-animal methods were now available, and could be ended quickly.
While technical skills were important, it was also of the utmost importance to instill a culture of care in veterinary training. Creating a dichotomy between the animals used for training and the animal companions seen in an examination room did not benefit the veterinary profession, according to PETA.
“We are currently exploring ways to create materials relevant to Pakistani society and potentially incorporating this compassion-building programme into current school curricula,” the animal rights organisation said.
In response to a question on trafficking of animals, PETA said Mr Sufi mentioned his proposed reform to seize wildlife held in unsuitable living conditions and repatriate them to relevant countries for rehabilitation.
Dog shelter worker cries over dead animal after Iranian regime ‘raids property and slaughters 1,700 canines taken in as strays’
- Authorities allegedly massacred up to 1,700 dogs at a shelter this weekend
- Heart-wrenching footage showed a volunteer crying as she held the dogs
- Ebrahim Raisi’s regime is looking at a law which would ban pet ownership
- The bill initially proposed in December would also see fines dished out for the ‘import, purchase and sale, transportation and keeping’ of many common pets
- Bill authors see the practice of keeping pets as a ‘destructive social problem’
Dog shelter workers are protesting President Ebrahim Raisi’s regime in Iran after authorities allegedly stormed their compound and slaughtered up to 1,700 dogs.
Heart-wrenching footage shared on social media showed one volunteer in floods of tears as she clasped one of the dead hounds in her arms.
‘This was the most vulnerable and obedient one,’ she cried, before the camera panned to show several canine corpses strewn across the roadside and a nearby valley.
Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist who shared the footage, said of the slaughter: ‘The ruthless rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran spare no-one.
‘In addition to repressing women, ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQs, they also annually kill countless stray dogs. Animal rights activists in Iran need your attention.’
The massacre comes with Iranian lawmakers set to pass a bill which would restrict pet ownership without possession of a special permit.
It would also see considerable fines dished out for the ‘import, purchase and sale, transportation and keeping’ of many common pets, which some parliamentarians believe is a symbol of decadence which could ‘replace’ healthy family relationships.
The bill, initially proposed in December, pits growing numbers of people with pets against those who consider the practice a symbol of decadence and hold that, under Islamic law, dogs and other animals are unclean.
Authors of the bill condemn the practice of humans living under one roof with domesticated animals as a ‘destructive social problem’.
Dogs are a common animal in Iran and have been kept in rural areas for centuries, but more urban dwellers began to develop an affinity for raising pets in the 20th century.
The middle eastern nation was once one of the most tolerant with respect to pets, passing animal welfare laws as early as 1948 and pushing for the development of animal rights.
But the 1979 Islamic Revolution drastically altered daily life for millions of Iranians, and dogs are now held in contempt by ultraconservative lawmakers.
The bill proposed late last year aims to rid Iranian society of the practice of keeping pets.
Anti-pet lawmakers say the practice could ‘gradually change the Iranian and Islamic way of life’ by ‘replacing human and family relationships with feelings and emotional relationships towards animals’.
Their proposed law would prohibit ‘importing, raising, assisting in the breeding of, breeding, buying or selling, transporting, driving or walking, and keeping in the home wild, exotic, harmful and dangerous animals’.
It lists the animals to be banned as ‘crocodiles, turtles, snakes, lizards, cats, mice, rabbits, dogs and other unclean animals as well as monkeys’.
Offenders would risk a fine equivalent to 10 to 30 times the ‘minimum monthly working wage’ of about £80 and the ‘confiscation’ of the animal – though it is highly likely the animal would simply be killed.
However, there have already been reports in Iran of police officers making arrests on those walking their dogs or carrying pets in public.
Tehran’s police chief General Hossein Rahimi announced on July 8 that entering the parks with dogs will be forbidden and police will consider and deal with it as illegal action.