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Category: PETA

Iowa agriculture committees approve bill that would limit animal groups' undercover investigations


DES MOINES, Iowa — Angered by repeated releases of secretly filmed videos claiming to show the mistreatment of farm animals, Iowa's agriculture industry is pushing legislation that would make it illegal for animal rights activists to produce and distribute such images.

Agriculture committees in the Iowa House and Senate have approved a bill that would prohibit such recordings and punish people who take agriculture jobs only to gain access to animals to record their treatment. Proposed penalties include fines of up to $7,500 and up to five years in prison. Votes by the full House and Senate have not yet been set.

Doug Farquhar, program director for environmental health at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Iowa would be the first state to approve such restrictions but Florida is considering similar legislation. The Iowa measure was introduced after a number of groups released videos showing cows being shocked, pigs beaten and chicks ground up alive.

"It's very transparent what agribusiness is attempting to do here," said Bradley Miller, national director of the Humane Farming Assn., a California-based group dedicated to protecting farm animals from abuse. "They're trying to intimidate whistleblowers and put a chill on legitimate anti-cruelty investigations. Clearly the industry feels that it has something to hide or it wouldn't be going to these extreme and absurd lengths."

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Colombian company cancels planned puppy raffle in response to outcry from animal advocates

CellphonePuppy After animal lovers loudly voiced their opposition, a cellphone provider in Colombia has called off plans to give puppies away to customers in a raffle, The Times' Latin America blog La Plaza reports.

The company, called Comcel, is part of a large telecom empire owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

Comcel had previously announced that it would give away 200 purebred puppies -- Labrador retrievers, boxers, pugs, beagles and shih-tzus, according to Bloomberg News -- through the raffle that ends next week. It will now offer debit cards as prizes instead of live animals.

"When people give animals as prizes, they usually don't realize that they might be contributing to the animal homelessness crisis by condoning the breeding of pedigree pups," said Daphna Nachminovitch, a vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, one of the groups that argued against Comcel's puppy raffle. "We want everyone to understand that puppies need and deserve a serious commitment of time, money and love and that many families are unprepared for such a commitment."


-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Cachorros de San Luis, Colombia

Paul McCartney asks India's prime minister to declare a national Vegetarian Day

Macca NEW DELHI — Outspoken vegetarian Paul McCartney is urging India to declare a national Vegetarian Day to celebrate meat-free living and compassion toward animals.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said McCartney sent a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying such a day could save animals while helping to protect both the environment and people's health.

McCartney's letter said "it would be a celebration of life."

The United Nations food agency in 2003 estimated that 42% of India's 1.2 billion people are vegetarian, mostly because of financial and religious concerns. Strict Hindus and Jains do not eat meat.

Singh's office could not immediately confirm receipt of McCartney's letter Tuesday.


-- Associated Press

Photo: McCartney in 2001. Credit: Jan Bauer / Associated Press

Clothing chain Papaya to stop selling fur

Papaya Add another retail chain to the ever-expanding list of stores that don't sell fur: Papaya, a clothing company with more than 90 stores around the U.S., has recently pledged to go fur-free.

The company made the decision to stop selling fur and fur-trimmed garments after receiving graphic videos about the fur industry from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Times' business blog Money & Co. reports.

Other popular clothing companies that have taken a similar stance on fur include Limited Brands, Wet Seal, Jones Apparel Group and Forever 21. The latter company has also partnered with the Humane Society of the United States to produce a line of T-shirts featuring animal-friendly messages about pet adoption, dogfighting and more.

According to Money & Co., Papaya will sell the fur products it currently has in stock but will no longer order fur items after the remaining ones are sold.


-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Papaya

NYPD wins PETA award for switching from glue mouse traps to spring ones

Mouse NEW YORK — The New York Police Department has been commended for a new method to catch trespassers -- the small, furry ones running loose at the headquarters of the nation's largest department.

The strategy? Spring-loaded mousetraps.

The department had been using glue traps, on which mice get stuck and can live up to 24 hours, to get rid of the rodent problem at 1 Police Plaza. On Oct. 12, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals received an anonymous complaint about the traps.

"We immediately conveyed our concerns to Police Commissioner [Raymond] Kelly and asked that they ban glue trap usage," Martin Mersereau, the director of PETA's emergency response division, said Thursday.

The department responded in November. Chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Thursday that the traps were replaced with two types of professional-grade traps PETA recommended, created to kill mice instantly. The department spends about $100,000 annually on extermination, using the Brooklyn-based company KingsWay, whose motto is "We kill with skill."

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PETA's 'Be Proud of Your Body Scan' ad rejected by major airports

Peta Major airports in New York, North Carolina and Las Vegas are rejecting a proposed ad campaign from PETA that makes light of body scan machines used at airport security checkpoints.

The ads from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals features a scan of a curvaceous woman in lacy underwear with the message: "Be Proud of Your Body Scan: Go Vegan."

Major airports in Las Vegas, Charlotte, N.C., and New York City refused to display the ads designed to entice holiday travelers waiting in security lines.

Officials with McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas said its policy prohibits political ads.

PETA Vice President Dan Matthews said the ads were meant to be humorous. He said PETA has not taken a political position on airport security measures.

PETA offers to help foot Lindsay Lohan's rehab bill if she goes vegan
PETA to Pope Benedict XVI: Veganize the Vatican

-- Associated Press

Animal rights activists detained in South Korea over demonstration about vegetarianism

PETA SEOUL — Police detained two scantily clad female animal rights activists for staging an unauthorized protest near the Group of 20 summit in South Korea's capital, a police officer said Tuesday.

The activists -- wearing shorts and bras and painted from head to toe to resemble planet Earth -- jumped out of a black van near the venue Tuesday and held signs promoting vegetarianism.

Police officers quickly threw blankets over the women and escorted them into a police vehicle.

"Save the planet, go vegetarian!" Ashley Fruno, a 24-year-old Canadian who is a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, shouted as officers hauled her away from a crowd of photographers and cameramen.

Fruno and Han sae-mi, a 33-year-old South Korean member of the Seoul-based Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth, were under investigation, said police officer Park Ho-hyun, declining to give further details.

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Pamela Anderson tries to convince Orthodox lawmakers to back anti-fur bill in Israel

Pamela Anderson at the Western WallTEL AVIV, Israel — Former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson said Sunday she will try her powers of seduction while in Israel on an unlikely audience -- ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmakers.

Anderson, an honorary director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is in Israel to participate in the local version of "Dancing With the Stars."

Her work for animals "has been really inspiring," she said. "I feel like I have actually done something."

An anti-fur bill has been put on hold in Israel over concerns by ultra-Orthodox leaders that it could impact production of the characteristic fur hats worn by some men from Hasidic sects on holidays and other festive occasions.

To combat growing secularization of Jews to European society in the 18th century, Hasidic Jews decided that their way of dress should remain intact and not be influenced by fashion. Descendants of these communities to this day wear the black hats and coats of that period, including, at times, fur hats.

Anderson called Israel a "progressive" country because it had no fur farms, and said that it can serve as "an example for the rest of the world."

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PETA offers to help foot Lindsay Lohan's rehab bill if she goes vegan


Lindsay Lohan's recent court-ordered return to rehab was followed by reports that she was seeking financial assistance because she couldn't afford the cost of treatment at the Betty Ford Center.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has stepped in with an offer to help -- if Lohan will agree to adhere to a vegan diet, that is. The Times' celebrity news blog Ministry of Gossip has the details:

If Lohan goes vegan for the entirety of her remaining rehab stint, PETA will chip in $10,000. The animal rights organization will throw in an additional $10,000 if she remains a vegan for a year afterward.

"As you know, a crucial part of any recovery is showing charity to others," PETA's Michelle Cho wrote in a letter to Lohan, who previously made the group's worst-dressed list in 2008 for wearing fur. "One way to do this is to be kind to animals, the Earth, and your own body. You'll never regret it." The group is also sending a vegan care-package of sorts to Lohan, including a Paul McCartney-narrated DVD about slaughterhouses called "Glass Walls" and a vegetarian/vegan starter kit.

"Lindsay Lohan is the most visible example of a real addict, and if she can conquer her addiction to meat and cheese, absolutely anyone can," said Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's president and co-founder.

RadarOnline.com quoted an unnamed source described as being close to Lohan as saying that she is "seriously considering the offer from PETA. There is thoughtful consideration about PETA's very generous offer. Lindsay loves animals, and looks at it as a 'win-win' since being a vegetarian is a healthier lifestyle that she is striving for."

PETA supporters celebrate the group's 30th anniversary at Hollywood Palladium gala
'Octomom' Nadya Suleman unveils spay and neuter sign for PETA on her front lawn

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Lindsay Lohan leaves Beverly Hills Municipal Court after a probation violation hearing Oct. 22. Credit: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

PETA supporters celebrate the group's 30th anniversary at Hollywood Palladium gala

AlecBaldwinPETA People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been celebrating its 30th anniversary all year, but it really pulled out all the stops at its anniversary gala event at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday night. The event, hosted by Alec Baldwin, included an awards ceremony that honored celebrities and other PETA supporters for their work.

PETA Humanitarian Award recipients included "Daily Show" correspondent Olivia Munn, who has been vocal in her opposition to animals performing in circuses; model and actress Joanna Krupa, who is active in the pet rescue movement and famously posed for PETA's controversial "Be an Angel for Animals" ad campaign; "Twilight" star Kellan Lutz, who appeared in a PETA ad about pet adoption alongside his own rescue dog; entertainer, guitarist and all-around fascinating person Charo, who has spoken out against bullfighting in her native Spain; and "Glee" star Lea Michele, who filmed a public service announcement about fur for PETA.

Another honoree, actress Anjelica Huston, was observed tearing up when a video showing animals rescued from abusive situations at factory farms was shown at the gala. But later in the evening, when she accepted her own Humanitarian Award for her work on behalf of great apes in the entertainment industry, she was in high spirits. "Chimps and humans share 94% of the same DNA, and you can see that in so many ways," she joked. "Chimps don't communicate verbally, but with odd vocalizations, hands gestures, and facial expressions -- like the cast of 'Jersey Shore.' "

See a full list of honorees at PETA's website and read more about the gala at The Times' celebrity news blog, Ministry of Gossip. (They've got a photo gallery, too.)

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Alec Baldwin poses with Cheryl Hines at the gala. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images


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