Written by Michelle Kretzer
year, PETA helped successfully defeat a series of "ag gag" bills, which would have made
it a crime to film cruelty
to animals on factory farms, in Florida, Minnesota,
and New York. Now, another round of these unconstitutional bills has begun—in Missouri, New York, and Utah—and it's up to us to
squelch these measures again.
and time again, PETA's undercover investigations of factory farms have produced
video evidence of cruelty to animals that has helped authorities prosecute the
offenders. Investigators have documented that workers slammed newborn piglets' heads into concrete
floors and left them to die in
agony, employees at a foie gras farm drowned female hatchlings, and workers at a turkey
farm jumped on turkeys'
stomachs to make them "pop."
let factory farms hide animal abuse behind shady laws. Here are three ways that
you can help animals on factory farms this week:
messaging and data rates apply. For full terms, please click here.
Last year, PETA and other animal
advocates successfully defeated "ag gag" bills in Florida, New York,
Minnesota, and Iowa. Now, another "ag gag" bill
that would make it illegal
to shoot video on a factory farm
has just passed in the House of Representatives in Utah. And once again, we're
fighting back against this unconstitutional measure.
Flush from her success in her home state of Iowa, Raising Hope star and longtime animal advocate Cloris Leachman penned a letter to Utah lawmakers on PETA's
behalf urging them not to block people from gathering the evidence needed to
prosecute animal abusers
I hope that Utah legislators recognize that with
consumer demand for better treatment of animals, they must work to enforce and
strengthen laws, not penalize those trying to expose cruel and illegal
practices. Citizens' right to document cruelty to animals—wherever it occurs—is
crucial in helping local, state, and federal officials enforce
PETA undercover investigation of factory farms has yielded evidence that workers
were abusing animals. We recorded workers who sexually assaulted a pig with a cane,
stomped on a turkey's head
until her skull exploded,
and spit tobacco into
chickens' eyes and mouth.
This indisputable proof of abuse is key to securing historic charges against and
convictions of such abusers on cruelty-to-animals charges.
residents, please ask your senators to vote against this bill and to continue
to allow people to expose blatant cruelty to animals.
Written by Jeff Mackey
A cat's survival of two harrowing ordeals in a gas chamber
has prompted concerned citizens to demand that the West Valley City, Utah,
animal shelter scrap its cruel
carbon-monoxide gas chamber
and replace it with euthanasia
second attempt to gas her, the cat was put into a plastic bag and placed in a cooler
before being discovered still alive sometime later.
Although the cat,
now named Andrea, has since
animals in West Valley City—and
in other municipalities in which animal shelters continue to use gas chambers—still suffer nightmarish
deaths. There is no excuse for using these antiquated contraptions, which can take as
long as 25 terrifying minutes to end animals' lives—assuming they work at all.
Gassing is especially
cruel to animals who are very young, old, pregnant, or sick—qualities common to
many, if not most, animals who arrive at animal shelters daily—because of their
compromised health and/or physical state. Carbon-monoxide exposure is also dangerous
to workers, placing them at risk for short- and long-term health problems or
When properly performed, euthanasia by injection is painless and quick. It's
less expensive, too—an important consideration at
a time when so many animal shelters are struggling financially.
If your local animal shelter is still using cruel and
archaic methods to put animals to death, please work with your elected officials to institute a
policy requiring euthanasia by injection.
To get more people involved, you can write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining why
it's time to ensure that when euthanasia is necessary, the community's
least-fortunate animals have their lives ended humanely, with peace and
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
PETA and two supporters
in Salt Lake City filed a federal civil rights lawsuit today against two Utah
Transit Authority police officers alleging violations of free speech rights.
The complaint states
that the PETA members were handing out leaflets about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
to commuter train passengers in a public area when the officers ordered them to
leave or face charges for trespassing. While the activists reluctanctly left as
ordered, they are now pursuing legal action to protect their free speech rights
to educate potential circusgoers about the circus's long history of animal
Elephants used by
recently received the biggest penalty for animal welfare violations
in circus history—are
chained inside filthy, poorly ventilated boxcars for an average of more than 26
hours straight and are routinely beaten in order to force them to perform
confusing and unnatural tricks.
If the circus is
coming to your town, exercise your right to free speech! Just
be sure to contact city officials ahead of any leafleting or other outreach
event to determine whether you need a permit. Contact PETA's Action Team
to get help organizing local outreach.
Written by PETA
Despite widespread criticism, the Utah House of Representatives voted to pass much of the so-called "feral cat bill," which would make it legal to shoot any animal without being charged with cruelty if the shooter "has a reasonable belief" that the animal is feral or if he or she considers the animal a pest.
The legislation is not limited only to cats—dogs, birds, rats, mice, and other animals all could be shot. The bill has now moved on to the Utah Senate, and if it is signed into law, it will launch an open season on feral cats and dogs, abandoned animals, lost companions, and wildlife. If you live in Utah, find your state senator by typing your address in the box here and politely urge him or her to vigorously oppose House Bill 210 and the cruelty to animals that the legislation would allow if passed.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Because the University of Utah (the U) still doesn't want to 'fess up about exactly how experimenters are tormenting and killing dogs, cats, monkeys, and other animals behind the doors of its laboratories, PETA has filed a lawsuit against the U for withholding records.
We originally requested the records—which the school is required to release under Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA)—following our 8-month undercover investigation at the U, but the school repeatedly sought ways to stonewall and delayed releasing the documents for nearly a year.
PETA persisted, and school officials begrudgingly turned over 1,300 pages of records related to the animals locked inside the university's laboratories, but with much of the key information deleted. They also charged us $2,420 for the records. This attempt to keep PETA from exposing the truth is not only unethical but also illegal. Under GRAMA, if the university wants to redact any information in a document, it is required to cite a legitimate reason for every single redaction, which the U failed to do. PETA now seeks to obtain the complete set of documents and force the U to repay some of the exorbitant fee it charged for the redaction-riddled records.
PETA's 2009 investigation revealed that, among other abuses, a cat had holes drilled into his skull and electrodes inserted into his brain; week-old kittens had chemicals injected into their brains, causing painful fluid buildups; dogs had their chests cut open and devices implanted on their hearts; and sick and injured animals were left to die with no veterinary care. The investigation led Utah to repeal an archaic law requiring animal shelters to sell homeless animals to laboratories for use in experiments. It also prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cite the U for violations of animal welfare laws.
You might remember that last month, we successfully settled a similar lawsuit that we filed against Davis County, Utah, in order to force the county to turn over its documents regarding animals its shelter had sold to the U. Our suggestion: The school should take a cue from Davis County, save itself some trouble and legal expense, and hand over the information, which the public has a legal right to see.
Thanks to a recent undercover investigation in which PETA revealed that the University of Utah (the U) had bought more than 100 homeless animals from animal shelters and subjected them to invasive, painful, and deadly experiments, a law was passed so that shelters in Utah are no longer required to turn animals over to laboratories. There is now only one animal shelter in the entire state—the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—that voluntarily continues to betray homeless dogs and cats by selling them to the U. The NUVAS is signing the torture-followed-by-death warrant for animals it hands over, as most are likely to suffer in the sort of archaic experiments documented by PETA's undercover investigator. A recent demonstration outside NUVAS sent the message loud and clear that this betrayal of trust cannot go on:
The demonstrators handed out leaflets to passersby, warning them about NUVAS' "pound-seizure" policy. They begged people who were surrendering animals to take their cats and dogs to a different shelter and personally rescued two surrendered cats, Angel and Libby, who might have otherwise ended up being tortured in the U's experiments. Let's keep the pressure on NUVAS and press for an end to its release of animals for experimentation.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
The Pretenders' world tour landed in Salt Lake City on Sunday—and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chrissie Hynde was happy to use the occasion to launch her PETA campaign urging McDonald's to require its suppliers to upgrade to less cruel slaughter methods. In addition to using her stage as a platform to advocate a McDonald's boycott and tossing campaign T-shirts to her audience, Chrissie unveiled her brand-new "i'm hatin' it" ad at a Salt Lake City McDonald's today. Check out some of the action below, and then head to KSL-TV to see how it played on the news:
That spectacular artwork you see there is soon to be on billboards across the country—starting with Chrissie's hometown of Akron, Ohio. Lucky Akron! First it gets its own vegan restaurant, now this awesome billboard …
Written by Amanda Schinke
As a Midwestern gal, I would like to take you on a quick, two-stop, cruelty-free tour of my section of the U.S. It's a little something I'm calling the Midwest Victory Tour. Sometimes I feel as though this part of the country gets a bum rap, so this tour is to give props to two forward-thinking Midwestern educational institutions, one in Wisconsin and one in Utah, that have recently stopped exploiting animals. If only all schools could be as progressive.
First stop on the Midwest Victory Tour is a school district in Wisconsin. A concerned citizen contacted us after learning that the district was offering a kids' summer science course that included six dissections as well as an activity in which students were given a live rat to "care for" throughout the duration of the course. We contacted the school immediately about cutting out the old-school classroom dissections and to inform school officials that rats need constant care and compassion, not a summer course's worth of "caretaking." After nearly a year of persistent follow-up, we are excited to let you know that this course is finally history!
Our next stop on the tour takes us to a Utah educational nonprofit that was recommending experiments in which live goldfish were put in ice baths in order to cause hypothermia. Since the experimenters probably wouldn't do this sort of thing to Fluffy, the family kitty, we sent the nonprofit a letter outlining why it's cruel to freeze any kitten—including sea kittens. After hearing our suggestion for cruelty-free coursework, the nonprofit has agreed to no longer suggest shocking the nervous systems of these adorable goldkittens for classroom experiments.
Well, that's the end of our Midwest Victory Tour. See, it's not all beef-expos and pus-farms in the Midwest. There's some compassion for animals too.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Sorry to break the news, but Disney was lying when it told you that crabs could sing and dance. However, it turns out that your childhood friend Sebastian definitely had reason to fear being hurt by Ursula, because … drum roll, please … crabs "sense and remember pain."
That's right, a recent study by Queen's University is making headlines by declaring (once and for all, we hope) that crabs and other crustaceans experience pain and react to it in a way that anyone can relate to. They quickly get away from what's causing the pain and then try to avoid it in the future. Makes sense. If you were to, say, touch a hot stove even though your mother told you not to, you probably wouldn't do it again. Same goes for the crab.
The only questions that remain are: How much did it pain Sebastian to be exploited by Disney for the awful (unfortunately I know this from firsthand experience) straight-to-DVD flicks The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, and how long will he remember it?
P.S. Not surprised by this news? Well maybe that's because you're already a hermit-crab expert. Take the PETA Kids Hermit Crab Quiz to test your crabtelligence.
Written by Shawna Flavell
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.