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The number of news found: 19.

05/26/2015 CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS WANT HARSHER PENALTIES FOR ANIMAL ABUSERS

In response to a horrible attack on sea lions at a Laguna Beach rehabilitation center, California officials are pushing for harsher penalties for animal cruelty. The push for the new laws comes after someone dumped chlorine into a pool where 17 sea lions were being treated at the Pacific Mammal Center last month. The attack obviously angered the community and animal rights activists and prompted the new bill authored by five legislators. According to a fact sheet issued by one of the legislators, Assembly Bill 1543 would seek restitution on behalf of the animals injured at places such as the Pacific Mammal Ceneter, levying a $5,000 fine per count of animal cruelty. The monies received would go towards the victims. The new fine would be an addition to the $20,000 penalty for animal cruelty that can already be imposed under state law.

05/25/2015 PAMELA ANDERSON STRIPS DOWN FOR NEW PETA AD

Pamela Anderson recreates the famous "Psycho" shower scene for a new PETA campaign against water waste in the meat industry. The ad, which was shot by famed photographer Dave LaChappelle, claims that California's desperate drought crisis has more to do with meat consumption and less with taking really long showers. "Meat and dairy farms drain a third of the world's fresh water," reads the ad. "Making splash for the environment doesn't just mean shorter showers. Try vegan." According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 55 percent of the country's water supply is drained by animal agriculture, while  only 5 percent is used in homes. "Rivers are siphoned off, not just for the animals but also for crops grown to feed animals on factory farms," Anderson says in a press release for the campaign. "Producing one pound of beef uses as much water as about six months of showers."

05/21/2015 RUNNERS INJURED IN ANIMAL SNARES

Calls are being made for snares to be banned after two runners were caught in the traps in the Peak District in the UK. The wire devices are designed to catch foxes, which prey on red grouse. An investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports found 100 snares in the nearby area. The organisation says it also found "numerous" bodies of rare mountain hares. The estate that owns the land says parts of the snared areas are fenced in and well signposted. The incidents highlight the controversy surrounding the management of upland moors and how to balance the conflicting interests of humans and wildlife.

05/20/2015 MORE AMERICANS THINK ANIMALS DESERVE SAME RIGHTS AS HUMANS

A new poll shows that the number of Americans that believe animals are entitled to having the same rights and protections as humans has grown. A Gallup poll called 1,024 randomly selected numbers and asked Americans 18 years old and over about their concern for animals in different settings for the third time (the first being in 2003 and the second in 2008) and the results are encouraging. "Almost a third of Americans, 32%, believe animals should be given the same rights as people, while 62% say they deserve some protection but can still be used for the benefit of humans," reads the results for the poll. "The strong animal rights view is up from 2008 when 25% thought animals' rights should be on par with humans'."

05/19/2015 JAMES FRANCO: ANIMALS ARE SOMEONE, NOT SOMETHING

He's spoken out about captive orcas, he's pledged to help chimps and now animal lover and actor James Franco is partnering up with Farm Sanctuary to help farm animals. The Oscar nominated actor appears in a new video for the organization that rescues abused farm animals and gives them a second chance at life. "It's amazing to me how easily we can compartmentalize our relationships with animals. It's easy to draw that distinction between the animals we eat like pigs, cows and lambs and animals that we live with like dogs and cats," he explains in the video while images of the happy animals at the Farm Sanctuary fill the screen.

05/18/2015 NEW ZEALAND RECOGNIZES ANIMALS AS "SENTIENT BEINGS"

New Zealand just took a huge a step forward for animal welfare by legally recognizing them as "sentient" beings. The amendment to New Zealand law on behalf of the The Animal Welfare Amendment was passed on Tuesday. The new bill states that animals, like humans, are "sentient" beings - meaning they are able to perceive and feel things. The bill also includes banning cosmetic testing on animals, which was recently put into law last month.

05/15/2015 GOVERNOR WANTS TO STOP ANIMAL PERFORMANCES IN HAWAII

Governor David Ige has pledged to stop issuing all permits for having performing animals at events in Hawaii, a move applauded by animals rights activists and supporters. ''These animals are coming from as far away as Florida and Texas, five- to six-day journeys by land and then another five-day trip just to make it out here for an unnecessary entertainment act,'' said Inga Gibson of the Humane Society of the United States. Gibson also alluded to Tyke, an elephant who escaped from a circus taking place in Hawaii 20 years ago and was shot 80 times by local policemen who couldn’t stop him, when making the point that no matter how well trained, animals are unpredictable and authorities don’t know how to handle them. The Humane Society already appealed to the state’s Department of Agriculture last year to stop the use animals for entertainment. Now that the governor has officially shown his support, the idea will have to be discussed in public hearings in every island and then approved by the Department of Agriculture and the governor.

05/14/2015 NEW CAMPAIGN AIMS TO SHOW REALITY OF RESEARCH ANIMALS

The people hoping to adopt research dogs from the University of Minnesota know them only by code numbers: 14AC2, 12AC1, 14CC4 and so on. They want to learn more, so they have filed public records requests to find out what experiments have been done on the dogs. It’s part of a campaign by a California-based animal rights group, the Beagle Freedom Project, that’s trying to end the practice by shedding more light on what happens in university laboratories. The possibility of adopting former laboratory animals is more than an abstraction in Minnesota, which last year became the first state to require universities to offer research dogs and cats for adoption, whenever possible. Since the law passed, nine former research dogs have been successfully adopted through the university’s partnership with the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley. 

05/13/2015 DYLAN MCDERMOTT SHARES VISIT TO VIETNAM TO SUPPORT WILDAID

Actor Dylan McDermott produced a short video of his recent trip to Vietnam in support of WildAid. The star was joined by his fiancee, and "Stalker" co-star Maggie Q, who serves as an ambassador for WildAid. Q has been an advocate for animal welfare and climate change for many years, and it seems that her passion has rubbed off on her fiance. McDermott said he made the video to "make people feel something" about the "senseless killing of animals" that is prevalent in the country. The couple made the trip to Vietnam in April as an effort to help end the illegal wildlife trade.

05/12/2015 VEGAN DIET BEST FOR PLANET

A federal panel that helps set federal dietary guidelines is recommending Americans eat less meat because it's better for the environment, sparking outrage from industry groups representing the nation's purveyors of beef, pork and poultry.  The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a federally appointed panel of nutritionists created in 1983, decided for the first time this year to factor in environmental sustainability in its recommendations. They include a finding that a diet lower in animal-based foods is not only healthier, but has less of an environmental impact. The meat industry is lashing back, contending the panel has neither the authority nor the expertise to make such a judgment. The Agriculture Department and Department of Health and Human Services will use the committee's report and recommendations to draft the final guidelines for 2015, due out later this year.

05/11/2015 SLASH'S PLEA TO SAVE ELEPHANTS

In 2013, Slash performed in South Africa with rock supergroup Kings of Chaos and spent extra time seeing the local wildlife. Although he had been aware of the diminishing numbers of elephants in the world, the former Guns N' Roses guitarist learned on this trip that the situation was becoming increasingly more dire. Slash's singer, Myles Kennedy, was equally affected by the situation. Kennedy wrote the lyrics for what would become "Beneath the Savage Sun," a doomy hard rocker told from the perspective of an elephant who witnessed the death of a fellow pachyderm. Now, Slash has made a powerful video for the track – which is featured on the guitarist's last solo album, 2014's World on Fire – illustrating the brutality of the ivory trade with written facts, images of both living and murdered elephants and poachers' spoils. The video notes that the U.S. is the world's second-largest consumer of ivory, so Slash hopes the clip serves as a wake-up call.

05/09/2015 ESCAPED CHIMP FOUND DROWNED AFTER MATE SHOT

The tragic end for Mallorca's runaway apes has raised questions about ethics of keeping such primates caged. Adam was found drowned in a reservoir at a water treatment park near to the zoo on Thursday morning, four days after his mate Eve was shot dead by police. The primate couple ran off together after breaking down the bars of their cage at Sa Coma safari park on Monday afternoon. The 70kg chimps went on a rampage through the zoo, breaking windows and attacking other animals forcing tourists to take refuge in their own cars or inside the zoo's restaurant. Authorities launched a search. The chimps' bid for freedom took a tragic turn when Eva was shot dead by a member of the zoo's staff. Her mate evaded capture and was still on the loose despite intensive search operation by local police and Seprona. His body was finally discovered early Thursday morning, floating face down in the pool.

05/08/2015 ELEPHANTS WILL LIKELY DISAPPEAR FROM NORTH AMERICAN ZOOS

In what might be considered a small victory, dying elephants in North American zoos likely won't be replaced. From Seattle to Toronto, elephants are disappearing from North American zoos. The fact is, many zoos can't give the necessary space that these majestic creatures require. They're also social animals who depend on living with a herd, but that's becoming more and more difficult to provide as the elephant population both in captivity and the wild continue to dwindle. According to the Maryland-based Association of Zoos & Aquariums, as of December 2014, there were 159 African elephants at 39 North American zoos and 139 Asian elephants at 34 zoos in the U.S. and Canada. Since 1991, 21 zoos in North America have closed their elephant exhibits. And more will probably follow suit thanks to national guidelines implemented in 2011 that require some zoos to close their elephant programs by 2017 if they cannot increase their herds and expand their facilities.

05/07/2015 SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS BANS TRANSPORT OF ANIMALS KILLED FOR TROPHIES

Africa's largest airline has banned the shipment of endangered animal trophies on its flights. There will be no more leopard-skins or elephant heads allowed onboard South African Airways (SAA). "SAA will no longer support game hunters by carrying their trophies back to their country of origin," SAA country manager Tim Clyde-Smith said last week. "The vast majority of tourists visit Africa in particular to witness the wonderful wildlife that remains. We consider it our duty to work to ensure this is preserved for future generations and that we deter activity that puts this wonderful resource in danger." No exception will be made, even if the hunter holds a valid permit "issued by the relevant authorities" to transport the animal, the airline said. The news comes after the recent revelation that the rate of rhinos poached last year in South Africa was bigger than ever.

05/06/2015 OUTRAGE IN SPAIN AFTER POLICE GUN DOWN ESCAPED CHIMP

Animal rights groups slammed Spanish police Tuesday for shooting dead a chimpanzee named Eve who escaped from a zoo on the holiday island of Mallorca with her companion Adam. Adam and Eve escaped in Sa Coma on the island of Mallorca on Monday afternoon after apparently breaking out of their cage, police said. The Civil Guard police force launched a search and a few hours later found the female, who was then killed by forest rangers, a regional spokesman for the Guardia Civil police force told AFP. Officers were still searching for Adam on Tuesday in a wooded, hilly region of the Mediterranean island. The Spanish primate protection group Proyecto Gran Simio asked the authorities to shut down the zoo immediately, alleging "serious irresponsibility" in the keeping of the chimpanzees. The zoo declined to comment, referring all calls to the Civil Guard.

05/05/2015 RESCUED TIGERS GO SWIMMING FOR FIRST TIME

Two tigers went swimming for the first time after being rescued from a life of filth and neglect. Tiger sisters Carli and Lily were living in a former exotic animal enclosure in upstate New York that had become rundown and neglected. The International Fund for Animal Welfare rescued the tigers and took them to Safe Haven, a secluded wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation facility in a remote part of Nevada. Wildlife rescue operator Kelli Donithan was part of the team rescuing the tigers and made a trip to Nevada to see them for the first time in nearly a year as they were introduced to their new pools.

05/04/2015 NEW YORK STATE TO TURN LIGHTS OUT FOR MIGRATING BIRDS

On their arduous flights North to their breeding grounds, birds migrating up the U.S. East Coast will have one less peril to worry about - bright lights from state-owned and -managed buildings in New York. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said that state buildings will turn off non-essential outdoor lighting from 11 P.M. until dawn during peak migration in the spring and fall. The state is along the Atlantic Flyway, one of four major routes for birds coming North in the spring from their warmer winter hideouts. To get here, many migrating species fly at night and navigate by the stars. But outdoor nighttime lights can disorient the birds and cause them to crash into windows, walls, floodlights or the ground. The phenomenon, called "fatal light attraction," has killed an estimated 500 million to one billion birds annually in the United States, the governor's office said, citing U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

05/03/2015 STANFORD VOTED BEST UNIVERSITY FOR VEGAN STUDENTS

The largest youth animal rights group in the world, peta2, has named Stanford University the ''Favorite Vegan-Friendly Large College'' in America. Each year, peta2 accepts applications from universities across the country and rates schools on factors such as availability of vegan meals and quality of vegan food options on campus. As this year’s winner, Stanford boasts an impressive variety of vegetarian and vegan options on campus. Every campus dining hall features at least one hot vegan entrée during every meal period, as well as a selection of soups, sides, salads and desserts. This past year, Stanford made quinoa burgers a vegan staple and installed a soy milk dispenser in the dining hall. Stanford also stays involved with vegan student groups on campus and makes vegan cooking classes available to the student body. According to Shannon Munz, Communications Coordinator for Stanford Dining, the university will continue to be fully supportive of its students who choose a plant-based diet. 

05/02/2015 KRISTIN DAVIS BRINGS ANTI-POACHING DOC TO WASHINGTON

Kristin Davis, everyone’s favorite actress from ''Sex and the City,'' made a visit to the State Department to host a screening of her documentary, ''Gardeners of Eden,'' about wildlife conservation. The documentary highlights the poaching and wildlife trafficking epidemic in Africa, focusing on a nursery in Tsavo National Park in Kenya, where workers rescue baby elephants whose parents have been killed. The screening was followed by a panel discussion between Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Shannon Smith, Michelle Gadd of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bryan Christy of the National Geographic Society and Davis. Davis is an executive producer for the film and a patron of Kenya's David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. ''Gardeners of Eden'' will premiere May 6 on Pivot, a TV channel, and in select theaters in New York City and Los Angeles.

The number of news found: 19.

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