More great news: Cosmetic testing on animals banned by European Union

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In a move that should have happened long ago in the United States and across the globe, the European Union has banned the testing of cosmetic products on animals – effective March 11.

Why the United States has not taken this step is beyond reason. These companies no longer need to torture animals. As the Mother Nature Network reports, the industry will now use “agreed-upon methods of non-animal testing.”

It is 2013. The science is on the record and has been for some time on these products and where it necessary to extend the testing, non-animal means can be used. Cosmetic testing on animals is an industry we need to sweep into the dustbin of history.

So on this news anyway, the European Union gets a Pack of Compassion Award.


Israel bans some products tested on animals

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Israel gets a special Pack of Compassion Award, as the New Year brings a new ban in the country on the import, marketing and sale of any toiletries, cosmetics and detergents that were tested on animals. reports the ban was voted on in 2010 and is now the law of the land.

The article quotes Labour Party member Eitan Cabel as saying, “” the new guidelines are “a true revolution in animal welfare in Israel,” Cabel said. “We’ve come a long way in the last Knesset (parliament) term and this law in the pinnacle of our efforts.” “”

The science is in on these products, in terms of skin or eye irritations, etc. The continued testing and the suffering inflicted on animals is not necessary.

Pack Topics: Animal cruelty; dog fighting; puppy mills

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Act of cruelty leads child to an act of compassion: The body of a cat was discovered recently in a park in South Minneapolis, with a stake driven through its throat and into a tree stump.

A local child was so saddened by the act that he worked with his parents to organize a vigil at the park, as reported by the Twins Cities Daily Planet. Half of the people who attended the vigil where kids.

For his efforts, Spencer Snyder and his parents get a well-deserved Pack of Compassion Award.

Judge gets standing ovation for dog-fighting sentence: A judge in Ohio got a lot of praise from local animal-welfare advocates when she called the convicted dog fighter “a monster” and apparently sentenced him to the maximum allowed – six months in  jail, five years community control, more than $12,000 in fines, restitution and court costs. And he is never allowed to have animals again.

Pet store owner sees the light on selling puppies: A pet store owner in California wrote an opinion piece for the Burbank Leader, reporting she no longer sells puppies. Her experiences with the transporters, who delivered the puppies to the store and the reality that she was selling puppy-mill puppies, led to her decision.

Sometimes the truck would show up without all of the puppies she had ordered and sometimes the driver would try to sell her sick puppies at a reduced rate. This is part of the ugly underbelly of the pet trade that the pet trade does not want anyone to see.


Maryland Girl Scouts Troop wins Pack of Compassion Award – for letter to the AKC

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Girl Scout Troop 6811 out of Sandy Spring, Md. wrote a letter recently to the American Kennel Club, asking the organization to drop its opposition to proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Act that would close the loophole in the regulations that too many breeders are jumping through.

The girls want to make sure breeders who sell puppies over the Internet are subjected to regular inspections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as other breeders are.

In a statement, the AKC told ABC News, “The AKC believes it is neither the intent of the Animal Welfare Act nor USDA to place such an unfair burden on small, hobby breeders.”

This – of course – is completely twisted thinking, designed to divert the topic from the abuse of dogs in puppy mills. The new regulations would cover breeders who sell over the Internet or through other ads. In fact ALL BREEDERS should engage in humane practices. Why should any dog be abused? People who adopt pets or purchase puppies are not permitted to abuse them, under animal-cruelty laws. All breeders should be held to this standard.

The AKC’s position cannot be defended in any way, shape or form. The organization is fighting against regulations to ensure dogs received veterinary care, time for play and exercise and humane housing.

Several members of the Girl Scouts club were quoted in the ABC News piece, including 11-year old Mary Fran Papalia.

We want breeders, internet or otherwise, to be held accountable for their responsibilities. It’s pretty straightforward. If you are keeping dogs, take care of them.

And the story includes quotes from the Girl Scouts’ letter to the AKC: “We don’t understand why the rules should be different for some people, especially if they are making money by selling dogs, who keep so much of the money that their dogs are suffering.

This seems greedy and wrong to us and we hope it does to you too.”

The AKC’s response was short and non-responsive, as you will read in the article.

Three cheers for Girl Scouts Troop 6811. For their efforts to push the AKC to support compassion for animals, this group of impressive young women earns a very big Pack of Compassion Award.

Make sure you read the ABC News article. It contains some really great information and more quotes from the girls.

Pack Topic: Saving tortoises; South Korea to resume whaling

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South Korea fibs about its reasons to resume whaling: Under the false cover of so-called scientific research, South Korea has announced plans to resume whaling. And oh by the way, representatives are talking about how much some people in the country love whale meat.

The Wall Street Journal story notes the “South Korean government cited the country’s long-standing culinary culture of eating whale meat…” So is it research on chewing whale meat? And the country claims whales are eating too many fish. So I wonder about the South Korean government’s  position on humans over-fishing the seas. Fishermen might want to look over their shoulders in that region.

Let’s call it what it is – a lie. For Japan and South Korea or any other nation to claim scientific research as a reason for whaling is supremely dishonest. It is also a slap in the face to real scientists, who actually study whales without killing them under the cover of whaling.

Endangered gopher tortoises rescued from construction site: The Vero Beach Humane Society gets a Pack of Compassion Award for relocating 31 endangered gopher tortoises from a construction site in Florida.

Volunteer Laura Guttridge of the VBHS wrote about the effort for The state of Florida allows developers to pay to plow over the tortoises and their habitat. But prior to this case, the Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation commission did not allow citizens to relocate the tortoises.

It is important to protect animals from being taken by just anybody. But in cases like this, the state would be allowing a developer to smother them to death, while denying people the right to save their lives. There is no logic in that stand, so thankfully more reasonable heads prevailed and the rules were changed to allow the VBHS to relocate them.

Well done.

Sarah McLachlan asks Canadian PM to halt seal clubbing cruelty

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One of my favorite all-time musical artist, Sarah McLachlan, has written a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, calling for an end to the country’s annual seal hunt. The the so-called ‘hunt’ is actually the clubbing of baby seals – the brutal beating of defenseless baby seals.

The Globe and Mail notes Russia banned the import of seal fur last year, joining the European Union and the United States with bans. Russia was buying 95 percent of Canadian seal fur. But the cruelty continues despite these facts.

McLachlan wrote – “This business is about as lucrative as an eight-track tape factory.”

But Harper is a full-blown supporter of this cruel and barbaric industry. The Globe and Mail also reported back in February on the PM’s trip to China, when he was set to make it priority to promote the sale of seal products.

At the time, Harper was quoted as saying – “Our government will continue to vigorously defend this humane and highly regulated industry and to seek new international markets for Canadian seal products, including China.”

So he gets a major-league Pack of Putrid Punditry Award. “Humane?” – really? No one with the ability to form even a tiny sliver of logical thought would call clubbing baby seals to death a “humane” act. This guy was really elected as the Canadian Prime Minister? Do they vote on that in Canada?

Sarah McLachlan, on the other hand, is officially awarded a Pack of Justice Award and a Pack of Compassion Award and a Wow Isn’t She Fantastic Award. (Okay … I just made that last one up, because it’s Sarah McLachlan we’re talking about here.)

Dog intervenes to save woman being beaten by her boyfriend

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Last year, when a woman in Kansas City, Mo. was being beaten with a hammer by her boyfriend, her Great Dane came to her defense. The dog absorbed several blows after laying across her body. Reports state the boyfriend then threw them both out of a second-story window. reports the dog’s injuries included a broken hip, ribs and other broken bones.

The woman later called a local domestic violence shelter, but the initially facility would not allow the dog to stay there. She refused to leave her dog and the shelter made an exception to allow the two of them to stay there.

The Rose Brooks Center is now working on the addition of 25 beds to a pet-friendly wing of the shelter. It is a great decision, because as the article notes, many abused women will not leave an abuses spouse or boyfriend for fear he will harm a pet.

So the Great Dane and the Rose Brooks Center get Pack of Justice and Pack of Compassion awards.

11-year-old Charlotte girl pushing for better regulations on dog breeding

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A young girl in North Carolina is calling for better regulations on dog breeding in the state. She understands this issue, where too many elected officials just don’t get it.

She has started a petition to promote the cause, after a recent case where an alleged puppy-mill operator turned over dozens of dogs – some in bad shape.

For her efforts, Grace Upham is awarded a Pack of Compassion Award.