Supreme Court Strikes Down Depiction of Animal Cruelty Act

Critter News

The Supreme Court struck down a law that outlawed the depiction of animal cruelty. He argued that his documentaries were protected by the First Amendment. The high court case stemmed from the arrest and conviction of a Virginia-based documentary producer named Robert Stevens who sold videos containing scenes of dogfights. Mr. Stevens said his videos were aimed at portraying the aggressive characteristics of pit bulls and the use of pit bulls in hunting.

Best & Worst States for Animal Protection

Critter News

According to this Technorati article , the Humane Society rated the states on their animal protection laws. New Jersey Illinois Massachusetts Colorado Maine WORST STATES Ohio Hawaii Alabama North Dakota Mississippi Idaho South Dakota (worst) According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the states fell this way. animal abuse animal cruelty california legislation humane society us

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Support the Great Ape Protection Act

Critter News

End the use of chimpanzees in animal experiments. Tags: chimpanzees animal experimentation animal research animal cruelty medical research It's unconscionable.

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Appeal Denied for Six Activists Convicted Under AEPA

Critter News

Six members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty were convicted at a 2006 trial in New Jersey of conspiracy to violate the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The law, since revised, aimed to protect animal research laboratories from illegal, sometimes violent protests. The company had been a target of animal activists since video footage surfaced on television in the 1990s depicting animal abuse at its laboratory in the United Kingdom.

Links/Products You Should Check Out

Creature Talk

Sanctuary Tails – This is a blog written by some of the people who care for animals at Farm Sanctuary. They talk about animal cruelty issues, but also profile rescued animals – my favorite part. There are some very touching stories, and it’s so nice to read about animals being well cared for when it seems like all you ever hear are horror stories.

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Supreme Court to Review Legality of Animal Abuse Videos

Critter News

The justices said they would review, at the request of the federal government, an appeals court decision that said Congress's broad attempt to discourage animal cruelty by outlawing its depiction violates the First Amendment. The appeals court said the goal of protecting against animal cruelty was a worthy one, but one already accomplished by laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia outlawing the practice. Thanks to Animal Law Online for the catch.

Getting Emotional

Creature Talk

Sometimes being an animal rights advocate is emotionally exhausting. Last night I was watching Animal Planet, as I often do, and the show was about polar bears in the wild. The mama bear was trying to get him back up but she couldn’t and eventually she had to leave him so that she could protect her other cub and herself. Yes, I cried at the cruelty of nature. Chickens, turkeys, pigs and other farmed animals get nothing of the sort.

Connecticut Oil Company President Illegally Owns Primate

Critter News

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection says he never had the required permit. Tags: animal cruelty illegal pets primates us I'm starting to wonder about Connecticut. It's the same state where the Travis incident occurred. However, this time the owner is an oil and gas company president , not some eccentric woman on Xanax.

Journalists Arrested During Namibian Seal Hunt

Critter News

The pair were subsequently held by the Namibian authorities before being freed after agreeing to pay a fine for "entering a protected marine area without a permit.". Tags: animal cruelty africa seal hunters seals namibia hunting Ugly stuff in Namibia, the country with the seal hunting that no one talks about because so few know about it (I mean who thinks about seal hunting in Namibia?) From Wildlife Extra News.

Working Animals Face "Firing Squad" in Developing Countries

Critter News

Fortunately the donkey was rescued by the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA). Here's what they say about "the Firing Squad," a horrible method of "treating" wounded work animals. Humar, pictured on the right, is just one animal to have suffered this traditional, yet ineffective treatment, to horrifying effect. Tags: developing countries donkeys animal cruelty working animals animal welfare Horrible story.

Suit Against Circus Owners Goes to Trial

Critter News

Finally, a cruelty suit against Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is coming to trial. Tags: animal cruelty circus elephants A U.S.

Freedom of Speech

Animal Ethics

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment protects depictions of animal cruelty. This does not mean that it protects animal cruelty, which is (and ought to be) illegal in every state

Hal Herzog's "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat"

Animal Person

Hal Herzog’s “ Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat ” (Harper 2011), though fascinating, is ultimately depressing for vegans and animal rights activists. Well, as it turns out neither a trip to a slaughterhouse nor killing an animal yourself is powerful enough to make people go vegan.

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From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

2): We disagree with your contention that the First Amendment protects animal “crush” videos. Stevens , the Supreme Court last year overturned a 1999 law banning depictions of animal cruelty on the grounds of overbreadth. These videos, the subject of House legislation and of a bill that we plan to introduce, are beyond “disgusting”—and go beyond conventional conceptions of animal cruelty. To the Editor: Re “ Disgusting but Not Illegal ” (editorial, Aug.

Humane Society Endorses Obama

Critter News

The Obama-Biden ticket is the better choice on animal protection, and we urge all voters who care about the humane treatment of animals, no matter what their party affiliation, to vote for them. has been a solid supporter of animal protection at both the state and federal levels. Not a big surprise considering McCain's VP choice.

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National Justice for Animals Week

Critter News

From the better late then never category, the ALDF is having a National Justice for Animals Week to raise awareness about animal abuse. Here is the full press release: During its first-ever National Justice for Animals Week, February 22 – 28, 2009, the national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is recognizing some of the top law enforcement professionals in the nation for getting real justice for animals who are victims of abuse.

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From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

To the Editor: Re “ Animal Cruelty and Free Speech ” (editorial, Oct. 6): I do not agree that “anyone with an appreciation for the First Amendment” must conclude that “crush videos” or videos of vicious dogfights are protected speech and that the federal law in question should therefore be struck down. The law speaks specifically and narrowly to the distribution for profit of videos that show illegal acts of cruelty actually being performed on live animals (my italics).

On Trial: Animal Torture Videos vs. Free Speech

Animal Ethics

Code, Title 18.48, made it a federal crime to knowingly create, sell, or possess a depiction of animal cruelty with the intention of placing that depiction in interstate or foreign commerce for commercial gain. The law was enacted to prevent the sale of videos depicting wanton cruelty to animals, such as “crush videos” in which a scantily clad woman, whose face is unseen, kills helpless animals such as rabbits and kittens by stomping on them with spike heels or her bare feet.

Environmental Groups Call For End To USDA Wildlife Killing

Critter News

From WildEarth Guardians: WildEarth Guardians’ research reveals this agency is: • Biologically Unsound - Wildlife Services uses a “sledgehammer approach” to wildlife management, meaning over one million animals are killed each year using non-selective killing controls such as poisons, traps, and aerial gunning. Animals killed also include threatened and endangered species, a number which has steadily increased since 2005.

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From the Mailbag

Animal Ethics

As you know, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is committed to protecting the lives of animals everywhere. But you may not know that we have filed a lawsuit against Mendes Calf Ranch for its violation of California animal cruelty laws. While our lawsuit to stop this cruel practice is pending in court, there is more we can do for these animals right now. Greetings, We need your help.

From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

9): Thank you for encouraging California voters to support the state’s Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, or Proposition 2, on the November ballot. Consumer boycotts and protective laws are desperately needed. While well intended, Proposition 2 is primarily based on emotion and not on a thorough scientific evaluation of all factors that contribute to animal well-being. To the Editor: Re “ Standing, Stretching, Turning Around ” (editorial, Oct.