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September 28, 2012

Talk Back: A Good Week for Pigs, Chimpanzees, Bears, and Hounds

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It’s been a week filled with meaningful achievements on the animal protection front. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed more than a half-dozen animal protection bills backed by The HSUS, including a ban on hound hunting of bears and bobcats. Three major food companies–ConAgra Foods, Dunkin' Donuts, and Chili’s–made pledges to phase out their purchases of pork from factory farms that confine pigs inside gestation crates.

And last week, the National Institutes of Health made 110 chimps housed in a Louisiana laboratory “permanently ineligible” for research. We also conducted a whole series of animal rescues–and when you add it all up, you get a sense of the breadth and impact of our work.

This good news heartened many of you:

I've been waiting so long for some more good news on this front. The day [the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act] becomes law I will throw a huge party! Thanks for sharing this and making my day, Wayne! —Dave Bernazani

Thank you for never giving up on freeing the chimpanzees. Keep us posted. —Carol Tomlinson

I like to think that the emails and messages we've been sending about chimpanzee testing [are] finally starting to pay off. This is good news indeed—a great step in the right direction. Thank you! —Jackie Reina

California was long out of step by continuing to allow packs of unsupervised dogs to be let loose in forests to pursue bears and bobcats—chases that often last hours over miles of rugged terrain and frequently result in a point-blank shot from a tree by a hunter, who caught up with the dogs using radio telemetry collars. Gov. Brown signed S.B. 1221 this week, making California the 15th state to protect bears from this unsporting practice and the 14th stopping the cruelty inflicted on bobcats. The fight over S.B. 1221 was a tough one, and it adds to the unbelievable litany of policy achievements we’ve secured in California since we pushed successfully for the passage of Prop 2 in 2008:

Way to go Wayne! I share the same passion for animals as you do. I was present at the Capitol for one of the hearings. This victory has brought me to tears of joy. Keep up the good work! —Angela Milla-Lauridsen

Great! That was a cruel, cruel sport for the dogs and the hunted animal. So glad it is banned. —Elizabeth Dinges

Thank you, Gov. Brown. This is such an inhumane practice. —Polly Leggans

And there’s something transformational going on when a cascade of food companies say they want a divorce from the gestation crate business. Just this year alone, more than 30 major companies, with more than 90,000 retail restaurants or outlets, have said they’re on the path to go crate-free.

Thank you ConAgra for taking some action. Please take it [seriously] and move the entire industry forward toward free range pigs! —Cindy Falvey

I have a potbellied pig for a pet so I don't eat pork…I do realize that farm pigs are for food but there is no reason to be cruel to them. They should roam free in a very large area. Pigs are very smart animals. They do have feelings. I have learned that with mine… —Lennie Violante

The pig has given so much to us, we can at least let it enjoy what life it has. They are very intelligent creatures. No living thing should be crated like that its whole life. —Lynne Laboy

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