May 2024 Enewsletter


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May 31, 2024

Animal protection at risk, A promise for animals, Alternatives the next frontier, Chimps in trees

Don’t Let Them Reverse Animal Welfare Standards

The agriculture industry has been relentless in trying to reverse progress in welfare standards for animals used for food, and it now has a grip on the proposed Farm Bill in the House of Representatives, a five-year roadmap for how agriculture products are produced, sold, and distributed across the country. The bill includes provisions that would overturn important state and local animal welfare laws, including California’s Proposition 12, which prohibits the use of cruel intensive confinement farming practices such as gestation crates for pigs, battery cages for egg-laying hens, and veal crates for calves.

Your help is needed to block this effort to strip welfare laws meant to protect animals exploited by the agriculture industry!

Enacted with 63% of voter support, Prop 12 does not allow in-state production and sale of animal products that involve extreme confinement of sows, hens, and calves. Fifteen other states have similar laws addressing intensive confinement for farmed animals, all of which  would also be weakened by the House’s proposed Farm Bill. The pork industry has repeatedly challenged Prop 12, even taking its case to the Supreme Court, which upheld the law. Nonetheless, pork lobbyists have their hands on the Farm Bill and aim to nullify Prop 12, considered to be the strongest farm animal welfare law in the U.S. This effort to weaken animal welfare comes at a time when surveys show that 80% of American voters support humane farming practices.

The proposed Farm Bill would allow pork and other agriculture industries to continue intensive farming practices that maximize profits at the expense of animal health and welfare. If this language remains in the final version of the Farm Bill it would have devastating effects on animals and their welfare.  AAVS usually asks you to take action for animals in labs, but anyone can see that this power grab is shameful and bad for animals.

Please contact your legislators and urge them to block any provisions in the Farm Bill that would nullify welfare laws meant to protect animals.

Other News

At the first-ever global meeting of the World Federation for Animals in May, AAVS and 60 other member organizations made a promise to animals to “commit…to ensuring animal welfare is recognized as a cornerstone of the sustainable development agenda,” needed to achieve a “sustainable and equitable world where the care of animals is inherent to our thriving. Together, we are not just envisioning a future—we are actively creating one where the welfare of all living beings is our measure of progress.”

The powerful international animal supplier and contract testing company, Charles River Laboratories, is making a $500 million investment into alternatives through its Alternative Methods Advancement Project to explore methods that can replace animal testing. “Advances in science and technology have brought our industry to an inflection point,” said CEO James Foster. “Alternatives are the path to the next frontier of drug development.” This kind of industry investment is important in inspiring regulatory acceptance of alternatives.

Sanctuary Moment

Chimp Haven

Treetop Ten in the Trees

Seeing a chimpanzee climbing in the treetops might not seem like a big deal—that’s what chimpanzees do. But sadly, not all of them get that chance, including the chimpanzees who previously were confined to cages at a wildlife facility outside of Los Angeles. Now called the “Treetop Ten,” these chimps, who were also once used in research, never had the opportunity to climb trees until they were finally transferred to the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Louisiana.

All chimpanzees relocated to Chimp Haven go through an integration process so they can slowly acclimate to their new home. The sanctuary was designed to resemble their wild habitats, complete with climbing structures, mature trees, and manmade termite mounds where they can ‘fish’ for treats. Every chimp group reacts a little differently when they enter their forest habitats for the first time; some are understandably a little reserved and take their time getting comfortable. For the Treetop Ten, this is by far the largest living space they’ve ever experienced. That’s why we were thrilled to hear that over a year after arriving at Chimp Haven, three members of the Treetop Ten (including Mocha, pictured) were spotted climbing trees, likely for the first time in their lives!

It’s hard to believe these sweet chimps didn’t have access to trees before finding sanctuary. It’s why AAVS supports sanctuaries like Chimp Haven. Our Build It! giving campaign helped fund Chimp Haven’s expansion so the Treetop Ten can have a safe place to live the chimp life!

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