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    Europe bans the sale of cosmetics tested on animals

    This may not have a thing to do with birding, but it’s a pretty huge victory toward ending useless animal experiments, and we’re glad to see it!

    U.S. companies under pressure to end animal tests as Europe bans the sale of cosmetics tested on animals March 11, 2013,

    March 11, 2013,LOS ANGELES, CA–Today (March 11th) Animal Defenders International (ADI) welcomes the final stage of implementation of the European Cosmetics Directive. This ends the sale in the 27 countries of the European Union, of cosmetics that continue to be tested on animals elsewhere in the world. The historic move not only marks the end of the testing of any cosmetics on animals in the EU, but for the first time, puts pressure on cosmetics manufacturers in the USA, and elsewhere to end testing on animals, if they want to sell in the huge EU market of 501 million people.

    U.S. Congress and Federal agencies must now act to end cosmetics testing on animals or risk seeing U.S. companies being excluded from the lucrative European cosmetics market.

    The European Union has in place a safety testing strategy for cosmetics that does not involve animals – almost all of the tests were replaced three years ago – and is being adhered to by some of the biggest cosmetics manufacturers in the world, and some of them have manufacturing operations in the U.S. There is no reason now, that companies in the U.S. cannot adopt the same protocols. It is vital that these tests are adopted in the U.S., to end unnecessary animal testing and to keep U.S. firms competitive in the world’s markets.

    ADI’s partner group, the UK’s National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) ran a 30 year campaign against cosmetic tests, with ADI involved in the campaign for the past 20 years. ADI believes this is not just a victory for ethics but for science, as it has seen the systematic replacement of animal tests with scientifically advanced non-animal alternatives. A series of humane alternative methods were developed, simply because companies were compelled to find them, in the face of upcoming cosmetic testing deadlines set by the European Parliament.

    Jan Creamer, ADI President: “This is an historic victory – an end to horrific and cruel animal tests in Europe, and this perfectly positions the U.S. to move swiftly on this issue. Several other countries have now introduced bans on testing cosmetics on animals, but the European Union really provides the perfect model for the U.S. to follow because it includes an alternative testing strategy for regulators.

    “A huge factor when we were securing the bans on cosmetics testing, first in the UK and then in Europe, was that these tests were unjustified and unnecessary. However, in terms of the safety testing protocols laid down in regulations, this was always complex. People use products such as cosmetics and toiletries over decades, around the eyes and mouth, so they are absorbed and ingested. However, because the European Parliament agreed that it is not necessary to have more and more of these products, they set deadlines for replacement tests to be introduced. That gave industry the incentive to change.”

    “The simple fact is if we can have an effective safety testing strategy that does not use animals for products that are applied to the face and body each day, then we should be preparing to eliminate animal tests in other areas. When we campaigned for the Cosmetics Directive it was met by enormous opposition by animal testing companies, but when they had a deadline and were told they had to do it, they found the humane alternatives.”

    The ADI and NAVS exposed the horrific nature of cosmetics testing, securing images inside animal laboratories, of racks of rabbits restrained in stocks having products dripped into their eyes, and guinea pigs with their backs raw and inflamed after having products applied to their skin.

    For the majority of tests, animals have not been used for cosmetic ingredients in the EU since March 2009. The deadline for the replacement of certain animal tests under the marketing ban was extended to March 2013 in order to allow alternatives to be developed and approved.

    ADI also successfully secured an amendment to the new European Directive on animal experiments, which became law this year, calling for a ‘thematic review’ system of replacement of animal research, with a view to setting targets for replacement of other animal tests in a similar way to the target-setting system within the Cosmetics Directive.

    ADI hopes that progress will be made next to end the use of animals for testing household products

    Animal Defenders International  http://www.ad-international.org

    With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, and educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

    Through its Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research –  www.ldf.org.uk – ADI funds non-animal scientific and medical research including cancer, safety tests and neuroscience.

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    Little Boy Blue: A Puppy’s Rescue from Death Row and his Owner’s Journey for Truth

    A Puppy's Rescue from Death Row and his Owner's Journey for TruthA brief summary of the book: When journalist Kim Kavin decided that she wanted a puppy, she did what millions of people do every year: clicked on an online photo and submitted an application. She had no idea that the adorable brindle–advertised as healthy and near her home in New Jersey–was actually a last-minute rescue from a gas-chamber shelter in North Carolina.

    Blue had arrived in the Northeast with at least a dozen other dogs in an RV that is just one among countless transports whose sponsors are dedicating their efforts to saving dogs by any means possible. Blue was happy and friendly, but he seemed to have endured some unusual albeit unknown ordeal. The dog’s manner prompted Kavin to trace his history all the way back to a long row of cages where Blue had been tagged to be put down in just three more days. 

    Little Boy Blue is the true story of one sweet puppy’s journey of survival. It’s also a shocking exposé that describes a brutal ongoing reality inside some of this country’s taxpayer-funded shelters. But Little Boy Blue also tells an inspiring story of the grass-roots rescue network that has exploded across the nation in recent years. Readers will come to know and love a very special dog who now brings smiles to the faces of everyone he meets.

    From a single click of Kim Kavin’s computer mouse, Blue’s journey of a lifetime began. This is the story of Little Boy Blue, told with candor and a great deal of love.

    5 Practical Tips for Adopting a Dog by Kim Kavin

    Get a full veterinary assessment in the first few days.

    Shelters and rescue groups work hard to ensure that all puppies and dogs are healthy before they are adopted. However, because the dogs have been in a shelter environment, it is possible that something may have been overlooked. Take your new dog to your trusted veterinarian and get a full workup to be sure there are no undiagnosed health issues. The most common challenge with dogs coming straight out of a shelter (as opposed to a foster home) is diarrhea that requires a few days of antibiotics to clear up completely. Young puppies may also require booster shots for rabies and other standard vaccinations.

    Expect a transition period of one to two weeks.

    Any dog moving from a shelter or rescue environment into a home is going to need an adjustment period. Try to imagine how you might feel coming out of a bare prison cell and into a home full of adults and kids, new smells, and new things. It usually takes a dog one to two weeks to settle down, feel at home, and show his true personality. Your job during this time is to provide love, stability, and encouragement. It is unrealistic to expect training or any other serious lessons to take hold during this transition period. Your goal during this time is to create a bond with your new dog so that he knows he can trust you.

    Be prepared with a crate, a leash, chew toys, and training treats.

    All new dogs, especially puppies, need to be shown what is—and is not—okay for them to do in a new home. They don’t need discipline. They need education. Crate training is ideal because the crate gives the dog his own space where he feels safe, and where you know that he isn’t going to hurt himself or wreck your house. It’s a win-win. Also have plenty of chew toys and teething bones, especially for puppies, so you can teach your dog to chew on those instead of on rugs or furniture. Training treats that are small and low-calorie should always be at the ready, too. Keep them in your pocket so that when your new dog does something good, you can reward him. Also keep your new dog on a leash at all times when outside your home. Until he knows his name and the command “come,” a leash is the only way that you will be able to get him back.

    Create a daily routine to help with quick housebreaking and early training.

    Dogs, including puppies, are creatures of routine. Start on Day One by teaching your dog that the first thing to do after waking is to go outside and make potty. Out of the crate, and out the back door, right in succession. Take him outside five or six times a day if you can during the first week, always rewarding him with a treat when he makes potty outdoors. Make going potty the last task before bedtime, too. If you stick with this routine, your dog will be housebroken faster. He will learn that if he wants treats all day long, then he has to keep going outside to go potty. He will also learn where the door is to the outside, so he can start to walk there on his own and alert you when he needs to go out.

    Enroll in puppy kindergarten or beginner obedience classes.

    Obedience school is a must for anyone who wants their dog to grow up well-behaved. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had ten dogs before this one. All dogs need training outside the home, in environments where there are distractions including other dogs. Your dog may be able to “stay” in your kitchen, but that’s not going to do you much good at a park full of people he wants to meet. Investing a little bit of time early-on at obedience school is the best thing you can do to ensure that your dog will be a great family member for many years to come. Take several courses if you can. Don’t stop at just one. The more time you spend on obedience during your dog’s first year with you, the easier your life is going to be in the long run.

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    Veterinarian Proposes Law Recognizing Pets’ True Value

    Tragedy Focuses Efforts on Legislation

    New Book seeks legislative change on Pet's True ValueA veterinarian is asking anyone who will listen – legislators, judges, fellow pet owners – if the loss of a pet is akin to the loss of furniture, a computer or a car.

    Kenneth Newman, a 33-year veterinarian and author of Meet Me at the Rainbow Bridge (www.meetmeattherainbowbridge.com), has proposed a law that answers his question. Gracie’s Law recognizes the emotional bond between pet and owner by entitling the owner of a pet killed through an act of malice or negligence to $25,000 in damages.

    “It’s time we change the laws to more accurately reflect what pets mean to the average American,” says Newman.

    Gracie’s Law would not supersede current laws, he says, which entitle owners to the property value of their pet. And it would not replace criminal prosecution for acts of malice. And owners who decline a recommended veterinarian procedure to save a pet would not be held accountable under the law, he says.

    Newman’s dog Gracie was killed in April 2008 when a negligent driver backed up 25 yards without looking, crushing Newman and Gracie between two vehicles. The vet escaped with a broken leg; Gracie saved his life, he says.

    “An attorney looked me in the eye and said that my dog was a piece of property, that I wasn’t entitled to anything for the dog, and that this was a simple broken-leg case,” he says.

    In every state, he says, laws view pets as property. Owners are entitled to no more than replacement value; no law takes into consideration the loss of companionship, grief, or pain and suffering.

    Newman says that doesn’t jibe with Americans’ attitude toward their pets. According to an American Animal Hospital Association survey, 90 percent of owners consider their animals part of the family. Other findings:

    • 52 percent of Americans would rather be stranded on a deserted island with their pet than with another person.

    • 83 percent call themselves “Mommy” or “Daddy” in reference to their pet.

    • 59 percent celebrate their pet’s birthday.

    Cases involving pet owners’ bonds are increasingly showing up in the courts, Newman points out:

    • Matrimonial law: Attorneys have experienced a 23 percent increase in pet cases, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. This includes custody battles over pets, veterinarian bills and visitation rights. Harvard now has a course dedicated to pet law.

    • The North Carolina Court of Appeals: While the plaintiff’s wrongful death lawsuit was denied, animal activists applaud a judge’s willingness to at least hear a case involving a Jack Russell terrier that died while undergoing tube feeding at a state facility.

    • Texas justice: On Nov. 3, 2011, Fort Worth’s 2nd Court of Appeals ruled that value can be attached to the love of a dog. That overruled a 120-year-old Texas Supreme Court case, which held that plaintiffs can only recoup the market value of their pets.

    • Largest award: In April, a Denver judge awarded Robin Lohre $65,000 for the death of her dog, Ruthie. Lohre had accused Posh Maids cleaning service of negligence for allowing the dog to get outside, where it was hit by a car. Newman notes this sets a new precedent for pet value, but that such uncapped awards may threaten affordable veterinary care. 

    To read Gracie’s Law and copy it to share, visit meetmeattherainbowbridge.com, click “image gallery” and scroll down.

    About Kenneth Newman DVM

    Kenneth Newman graduated from Purdue University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1979, and has since been a practicing vet. He experienced a badly broken leg and the death of his Labrador retriever Gracie due to the negligence of a driver in April 2008. Since then, he has proposed and advocated Gracie’s Law, which recognizes that pets are more than common property. Newman lives with his wife and their son, as well as several pets.