People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world. PETA's blog is your source for up-to-the-minute information about PETA's campaigns; breaking news about victories, new initiatives to help animals, and animal rights information from across the globe.
The calèche industry has been a longtime stain on Montréal’s tourism industry, but the city’s new bylaw will eliminate the cruel, archaic spectacle as of December 21, 2019. Advocates of the ban cited the industry’s notorious record of cruelty to animals as the reason for spearheading this monumental decision.
“Montreal is saying it’s time to move past the calèche industry,” Craig Sauvé, the city councilor responsible for animal issues, explained to The Globe and Mail. “When I see [the calèche horses] after a long time and they’re struggling and they don’t look particularly happy, I feel sorry for them. I say, ‘Is this where we are as a society?'”
During a presentation of the new bylaw, city officials noted that since 2014, horses were involved in four accidents and hundreds of complaints. In addition, officials stated that 14 tickets had been issued based on violations related to these horses’ welfare or the conditions of the carriages.
While Montréal is successfully moving past this distasteful and outdated spectacle, horses continue to escape, collapse, or die on city streets in other cities in Canada and across the U.S.
If you’re a tourist and find yourself choosing transportation in your yet-to-be-explored city, choose a human-powered pedicab, rent a bike from a bike-share service, or simply walk. A carriage ride may be a fleeting moment of entertainment for you, but it supports a lifetime of torment for horses.
Many accidents, injuries, and even deaths—involving both horses and humans—have occurred after the animals became spooked in traffic. In a split second, a horse can go from appearing calm and sedate to crashing blindly through busy streets in a panic.
Horse-drawn carriages are hazards on 21st century streets. No amount of regulation can protect the public from the danger caused by horses who become frightened and bolt. Let’s follow Montréal’s lead and work together to ban these cruel relics of the past.
With high temperatures forecast for the upcoming months and a recent report that a dog had to be rescued from Pinnacle Mountain after suffering from heat exhaustion in Little Rock over the weekend, animals—who can quickly succumb to heatstroke if left outdoors—are at risk. Already this year, there have been at least 16 hot weather–related animal deaths—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most aren’t.
Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted for cruelty.
The following tips will help keep animal companions safe in hot weather:
Keep animals indoors. Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences. Anyone who sees animals in distress and is unable to help should note their locations and alert authorities immediately.
Never leave an animal inside a hot vehicle. Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars, and a dog trapped inside can die from heatstroke within minutes—even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly open.
Avoid hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, causing pain, burns, and permanent damage to dogs’ paws after just a few minutes of contact. Walk dogs on grass whenever possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day. Never run with dogs in hot weather—they’ll collapse before giving up, at which point, it may be too late to save them.
After learning from PETA about Loomis Bros. Circus’ use of elephants and big cats from exhibitor Brian Franzen—who’s been cited for beating an elephant, caging tigers outside in the rain without shelter, and failing to provide animals with veterinary care—the University of South Carolina–Aiken agreed never again to host an animal circus at its Convocation Center! The university’s compassionate decision is yet another sign to animal-abusing circuses everywhere that they need to drop the cruelty if they want to keep attracting audiences.
After learning of a high prevalence of tuberculosis (TB)—which is very contagious and transmissible from elephants to humans—among elephants forced to give rides at Amber Fort in Jaipur, India, PETA is issuing a travel advisory urging tourists not to make any contact with elephants, to stay away from the area, and to avoid all elephant rides. PETA India has also sent a letter calling on India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to direct the Rajasthan government to quarantine the infected elephants, provide them with urgent veterinary care, and screen all untested elephants forced to interact with the public for TB immediately.
The travel advisory follows an Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) report obtained through the Right to Information Act, 2005, which reveals that in addition to the 10 elephants working at Amber Fort who tested positive for TB, many were found to be older than 50 years old and 19 were observed to be visually impaired, endangering both themselves and the public. All were found to be suffering from various foot problems, including overgrown toenails and bruised footpads, and many displayed stereotypical behavior patterns indicating mental distress, such as repetitive swaying and head-bobbing. Additionally, the tusks of 47 elephants appeared to have been cut in violation of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and likely have entered the illegal wildlife trade. And all the 102 “working” elephants AWBI inspected were seen carrying loads heavier than the legal maximum of 440 pounds.
“Explosive reports of blind, contagious elephants forced to carry back-breaking loads day in and day out are exactly why these rides must stop,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s urgent travel advisory is meant to protect both travelers and the sick, suffering elephants who are being denied much-needed veterinary care, putting everyone at risk.”
On Friday, the winners of the 2018 Biodesign Challenge will be announced at New York’s Museum of Modern Art—and three student design teams are also competing to win the PETA Prize for Animal-Free Wool, which includes a one- to two-week-long learning experience at Stella McCartney‘s London headquarters. The following innovative materials are contenders for the prize:
From the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, Woocoa is a vegan wool created from hemp and coconut fibers treated with enzymes extracted from the oyster mushroom.
Kerasynth, from the Maryland Institute College of Art, is a microfluidic vegan skin with an array of follicles producing wool—and students have already projected the company’s stages of development.
The Fashion Institute of Technology team has created Werewool, a fiber mimicking the properties of wool, by isolating and expressing a protein from their own DNA and combining it with a bonding enzyme.
“The next generation of designers knows that animal-free, eco-friendly materials are the future of fashion,” says PETA Director of Corporate Affairs Anne Brainard. “PETA’s Animal-Free Wool Prize will help aspiring designers develop a sustainable material that will keep sheep from being shorn bloody for wool sweaters and scarves.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—has released seven exposés recorded at 44 wool-producing facilities on three continents that have all revealed that sheep are mutilated, abused, and skinned alive in the international wool industry. Shearers are typically paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, violent work. The wool industry also produces massive amounts of methane, erodes soil, and contaminates waterways.
The PETA Prize for Animal-Free Wool—which is sponsored by PETA, designer Stella McCartney, and Stray Dog Capital—is part of the Biodesign Challenge, which partners design students with biotech professionals to help them develop new inventions that push biotechnology forward.