Boycott KFC! — August 23, 2011

Boycott KFC!

All around the world, including in India, KFC’s suppliers cram birds into huge waste-filled factories, breed them to grow so large that many can’t even walk, and often break their wings and legs. At slaughter, the birds’ throats are slit and they are dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water—often while they are still conscious.

KFC’s own animal welfare advisors have asked the company to take steps to eliminate these abuses, but KFC refuses to do so.

PETA India obtained graphic video footage documenting the following at a Venkateshwara Hatcheries farm, which supplies KFC India:

Chickens were stuffed into extremely crowded warehouses, where they had to push and shove in order to reach their food.

Birds were bred to grow so large so quickly that many suffered in agony when their weak legs could not support their weight.

Barns were littered with the carcasses of chickens who died from fatal diseases.

Many sick and injured chickens never received medical attention.

Chickens suffered at the hands of callous workers who neglected to observe even minimum animal welfare standards.

These wretched conditions mimic the abuses found at KFC supplier farms and slaughterhouses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.


One Step Closer to Bullhooks Going Away! — August 20, 2011

One Step Closer to Bullhooks Going Away!



I’m writing about a very exciting development that will make a world of difference for captive elephants!

After more than a decade of efforts by PETA’s elephant experts and other concerned animal protection groups to push for an end to “free contact” between elephants and their human handlers—a system based on negative reinforcement, physical punishment, and domination—the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has just adopted a new policy requiring all AZA-accredited facilities to switch to protected-contact elephant management. That means no more use of abusive bullhooks—sharp, steel-tipped weapons that resemble a fireplace poker—for any zoo that wants to be accredited by the AZA.

With your support, PETA has worked hard to end free contact between elephants and their human handlers, starting with our investigation into an incident at the El Paso Zoo in which an elephant named Sissy killed her handler. More and more facilities have already made the switch to the safer, more humane protected-contact management system. Most recently, in the wake of an elephant keeper’s death, PETA called on the Knoxville Zoo to make the switch and urged Tennessee officials to fine the facility for using free contact despite its known risks. Officials agreed and recommended $8,400 fines in connection with the death, and more importantly, the Knoxville Zoo also agreed to permanently switch to protected contact.

Over the past 20 years, human interactions with captive elephants in the U.S.—often interactions in which a keeper has beaten an elephant who has then retaliated—have resulted in 15 human deaths and more than 135 reported injuries. No deaths and only one injury (the result of disregarded protocol) have occurred at zoos that use protected contact.

The AZA’s policy calls for phase-in steps to be taken, with protected contact to be implemented no later than September 1, 2014. But it is likely that zoos will come into compliance sooner. There will be limited exceptions for some medical care, although elephants can be humanely taught to present parts of their bodies for injections and pills.

Although circuses are not AZA-accredited and thus not subject to the new policy, the AZA’s recognition of the enormous benefits of protected contact—for both elephants and people—is of huge significance in our battle to end the cruel use of bullhooks on any elephant and an important milestone in our campaign to end elephant use and abuse everywhere.

Thank you for making this all possible through your support and for helping us to continue being the strongest advocate for elephants.

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Victory: Jallikattu and Bull Races Banned! — August 16, 2011

Victory: Jallikattu and Bull Races Banned!


It is a moment of celebration for PETA India and everyone who has been a part of our campaign to bring an end to jallikattu. A new Ministry of Environment and Forests notification in The Gazette of India says that bulls can no longer be used as “performing” animals. The decision comes shortly after PETA supporter Hema Malini sent a letter to Jairam Ramesh, the former Minister of Environment and Forests, in support of PETA’s campaign to end jallikattu. This decision means an end to the cruel “sport” of jallikattu, in which terrified bulls are kicked, punched, jumped on, dragged to the ground and otherwise tormented. It also means an end to bull races. In such races, bulls are commonly beaten with sticks, which often have nails protruding from them.

The announcement comes during PETA India’s case at the Supreme Court calling for the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act No 27 of 2009 – a state law that permits jallikattu under the guise that the bulls are performing animals – to be struck down on the grounds that threatening and attacking animals cannot be termed as “performance” and that the cruelty which is inherent in jallikattu is a violation of the national Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. Now the use of bulls for performance is completely prohibited.

Recent PETA investigations at five jallikattu events had documented that bulls were tied so tightly that it would cause them severe discomfort and pain, that they were hit with fists, that they had their tails twisted and pulled, that they were jumped on and that they were wrestled to the ground.

Your e-mails, phone calls and letters to the ministry have been heard. Congratulations! Help us enforce the law by e-mailing PETA on Info@petaindia.org if you see anyone using bulls for performance.

 Victory: Jallikattu and Bull Races Banned!.

Help Suffering Animals Languishing at Roadside Zoo —

Help Suffering Animals Languishing at Roadside Zoo

The Lazy 5 Ranch is a roadside zoo in Rowan County, North Carolina, known for its long-term neglect of animals in its care. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has repeatedly cited this facility for direct violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Repeatedly failing to provide veterinary care to animals in immediate and ongoing distress, resulting in unnecessary pain and suffering and risking further medical complications. For example, 14 unshorn sheep suffered heat distress (they were found lying on their sides and panting rapidly) after temperatures reached into the 90s.
  • Giraffes with hooves so severely overgrown that they could not walk properly, a condition that has gone uncorrected for more than nine months despite the USDA’s recognition that this condition is painful and causes unnecessary suffering.
  • Failing to ensure the daily observation of each animal and failing to notify a veterinarian of injuries or conditions that could lead to injury. In one instance, employees failed to inform a veterinarian that a deer was suffering discomfort because of a large raw wound, which had numerous flies on it, and that another deer had shredded plastic wrapped around his or her throat, head, and antlers.

Recent visitors to the Lazy 5 Ranch have also reported a dead animal left in public view, animals with injuries and wounds seemingly left untreated, and animals with insufficient shade and no apparent water source during the heat of the summer.

Clearly, the health and welfare of the animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch is not being ensured by the USDA, and while roadside zoos are periodically inspected by this agency, they are not exempt from state and local laws, which are generally stricter than minimal federal standards and provide animals with greater protection.

Please join PETA in urging Rowan County Animal Control to take immediate action to protect the animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch by initiating a formal investigation and charging the facility with cruelty to animals!

Help Suffering Animals Languishing at Roadside Zoo.

fOiE gRaS — August 14, 2011

fOiE gRaS

Because of the extreme cruelty involved in the production of foie gras—the diseased and “fatty liver” of force-fed ducks and geese—many restaurants and grocery stores around the world have stopped serving and selling it. PETA has shared with Dean & DeLuca—a U.S.-based gourmet grocery chain—the shocking undercover video footage of foie gras farms showing birds as they have tubes rammed down their throats, yet the company refuses to end sales of foie gras. Please write to Dean & DeLuca and urge the company to stop selling foie gras.

Investigations of foie gras farms in the U.S. and overseas have documented countless sick, dead, and dying birds, including some animals who were found suffering from holes in their necks after pipes had been forced down their throats. One investigation in New York found ducks crammed into wire cages. The birds’ beaks were bloody, and their wings were twisted together. At a foie gras farm in Europe, birds were found dangling by wires as blood spilled from their neck wounds onto the live animals beneath them.

Foie gras production is so cruel that it has been condemned by the Pope and is prohibited in 15 countries, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.


Did You Know Animal Experimentation Still Happens? — August 2, 2011

Did You Know Animal Experimentation Still Happens?

Did you know that animals are still used to test everything from deodorant to laundry detergent to dog food? Yes, even now, with all our technological advances, animals are still being forced into restraints and under the knife in the name of “science.”

In 1981, shortly after PETA was founded, the group launched the precedent-setting “Silver Spring monkeys” case, resulting in the first arrest and criminal conviction of an animal experimenter in the U.S. on charges of cruelty to animals, the first confiscation of abused animals from a laboratory, and the first U.S. Supreme Court victory for animals in laboratories.

The monkeys we led police to in a Silver Spring, Maryland, laboratory were in bad shape. As the state’s veterinary witnesses would later testify in court, many of the monkeys had been operated on for a crude experiment in which their backs were cut open and their nerves severed. One timid little monkey named Billy had both his arms broken and was only able to move by pushing himself along the bottom of his cage on his elbows to get to his food.

The abuses that the Silver Spring monkeys endured were not isolated incidents. Millions of animals are used in experiments every year. All species of animals, from chimpanzees to cats, are used, and more often than not, they are acquired without much thought, housed in abysmal conditions, and denied anything remotely similar to a natural or comfortable life.

You can help stop this abuse by making simple lifestyle choices. Cruelty-free living means using all your purchasing power for good. Many people start by swapping out everyday household items or cosmetics with cruelty-free alternatives, but you shouldn’t stop there. Donations to charities can also support cruelty to animals. Here are some resources to help you on your journey to cruelty-free living:

Cruelty-Free Cosmetics: Hundreds of household-product and cosmetics companies have signed PETA’s statement of assurance promising that they will not use animals for product testing. Find out which of the products that you currently use are cruelty-free, and search for others before your next trip to the store.

Cruelty-Free Charities: Many well-known health charities, including the American Cancer Society, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the March of Dimes, and the American Lung Association, fund experiments on animals. Fortunately, animal-friendly philanthropists can give to cruelty-free charities that use modern tests instead. VisitHumaneSeal.org to find out which charities do and which don’t fund animal experiments now.

Cruelty-Free Companion-Animal Food: Many “pet”-food manufacturers, including Iams and Menu Foods, conduct tests to measure the “metabolic energy” of dog and cat food. Use our product database to find companies that don’t test on animals in labs.

Pledge to Be Cruelty-Free. You can keep the pressure on those responsible for these cruel tests by signing our pledge and joining the thousands of caring consumers who refuse to purchase products from corporations that abuse animals.

The only thing that stands between the end of cruel animal experimentation and the beginning of sensible and humane health programs is the fact that too many people still accept the unacceptable. We must demand change. We are so fortunate to have you as part of our community—together we can end animal experimentation.

Don’t hesitate to contact us should you need more information. Thank you for all that you are doing to help make a difference for animals.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk



Emaciated Elephants Still on the Road — July 30, 2011

Emaciated Elephants Still on the Road

Another circus, another ailing elephant. After PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) about severely underweight elephants traveling with the Hanneford Family Circus, inspectors found that Liz, a 36-year-old Asian elephant, is so thin that her ribs, pelvis, and spine are protruding. Liz also has deformities of one front leg and one back leg that make walking difficult. Although it appears that Liz may not be performing at the moment, Hanneford still hauls this ailing elephant from venue to venue, and witnesses have seen her chained by two legs, unable to take a single step in any direction.

Hanneford Family Circus is often hired by the Shriners to perform as the “Shrine Circus.” (The Shriners don’t own their own circus—they hire animal exhibitors and other acts.) If your local Shrine still sponsors animal circuses, ask it to stop.

Liz’s plight is similar to that of 10-year-old Sara, an emaciated young elephant with Ringling Bros. circus. Sara’s face is hollowed, and her bones jut out. She has suffered from chronic lameness for at least two years, but according to the USDA, Ringling has not conducted adequate diagnostics or developed a treatment plan.

Please urge the USDA to order Liz and Sara off the road before it’s too late.

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Posted by PETA

Urge Congress to Support Great Ape Protection — July 29, 2011

Urge Congress to Support Great Ape Protection

Chimpanzees—humans’ closest living genetic relatives—are extremely social, intelligent individuals who have rich mental and emotional lives. They have incredible memories, they share cultural traditions that are passed down through generations, they care deeply for their families and friends, and they grieve the loss of their loved ones when they pass away. Sadly,more than 1,000 of these remarkable beings are imprisoned in barren cells in U.S. laboratories where they have been intentionally infected with diseases such as HIV and hepatitis—even though scientists agree that chimpanzees are poor models for researching human diseases—and forced to endure decades of invasive procedures, fear, loneliness, and pain.

This hellish experience leaves lifelong emotional scars on chimpanzees, and many of them resort to self-mutilation or suffer from depression and other psychological disorders after experiencing the trauma of having their minds and bodies violated.

Despite international criticism, the U.S. remains the only nation in the industrialized world that continues to conduct invasive experiments on chimpanzees.

The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R. 1513/S. 810) would permanently end the use of chimpanzees—and all other great apes—in invasive experiments and retire more than 500 federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries.

Please help protect chimpanzees and other great apes now by asking your congressional representatives to cosponsor and support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.

Putting your subject line and letter into your own words will help draw attention to your e-mail.

Imprisoned by SeaWorld —

Imprisoned by SeaWorld

In aquariums, dolphins and other sea animals routinely die prematurely from stress and other captivity-related causes, and SeaWorld has an abysmal record.

SeaWorld continues to turn a blind eye to the safety of humans and animals alike despite numerous tragedies—including the recent deaths of a mother and baby orcaand the death of yet another trainer who was seized, thrown against the walls of the tank, and held down to drown by a frustrated whale.

The intelligent, social ocean animals kept in the pitifully small tanks at SeaWorld are denied everything that is natural and important to them. In the wild, dolphins swim up to 100 miles a day in the open ocean, but captive dolphins are confined to small tanks in which the reverberations from their sonar bounce off the walls, driving them insane. Some of these animals were violently captured and torn away from their homes in the wild, and many are forced to learn and perform circus-style tricks. According to whistleblower tips from trainers, withholding food and isolating animals who refuse to perform are common training methods.

The only thing that people learn from visiting a SeaWorld theme park is how miserable life is for the animals confined there. Children see mere shadows of animals, defeated beings who do not engage in natural behavior and cannot live as nature intended. Marine parks teach all the wrong lessons: that it is acceptable to imprison animals; to deprive them of freedom of movement and thought; to forbid them the chance to establish their natural territory and explore; to breed and separate them as we, not they, please; and to watch them go insane from boredom and loneliness.

You can help the animals imprisoned by SeaWorld today. Please take a moment to write to The Blackstone Group—the company that owns Sea World—and ask that it immediately set in place a firm and rapid plan to release the animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with a more natural environment.



Posted By: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

It’s the shameful secret that those in the international fur trade do their best to hide.

Cats and dogs in China—more than 2 million individual animals this year alone—will be killed for their fur. Animals like the ones we share our homes with as beloved family members are being routinely abused and slaughtered for their fur.

This cold fact has been witnessed repeatedly by investigators from PETA Asia and independent animal protection organizations around the world 

PETA is leading the campaign against the bloody fur industry. Please support our efforts today with a special gift to bolster this lifesaving work.

The animals suffering in these markets can’t tell their own story, so I’ll relay to you just some of what PETA Asia investigators have documented: 

“Workers stuffed hundreds of terrified animals into cages to make the trip to the Chinese animal markets. No food or water was provided.”

“The cages were packed so full that the animals couldn’t move inside. And dying or dead animals were packed in with the living.”

“When they arrived at the market, the cages were tossed 10 feet from the tops of the trucks to ground below, shattering the bones of the fearful animals inside.”

“At the market, the killing methods used shocked even our most seasoned investigators—bludgeoning and even skinning the animals while they were still alive!”

All these horrors take place so that someone can have a fur coat or fur trim on a hat. It’s outrageous and must be stopped.

The skins of these animals find their way to the international clothing retail markets, including the U.S., and are sometimes misleadingly labeled as anything from “Asian jackal” to “rabbit.”

Thank you for everything that you do for animals.

Kind regards,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


P.S. The more than 2 million cats and dogs slaughtered for their fur each year in China can’t tell their own story. But that’s why PETA is here—to work to end this cruelty and abuse perpetrated out of greed. Please join with us to end the bloody fur trade. Thank you!