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VICTORY! NZ bans testing party drugs on animals

VICTORY! NZ bans testing party drugs on animals

Posted 15 May 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: victory, animal testing, dogs, New Zealand, good news

I'm SO happy to tell you that the New Zealand Prime Minister has said a big fat 'NO' to testing party drugs on animals! Seems like a no-brainer right? But around 18 months ago, the NZ Health Department was considering a plan that would see legal 'party pills' and synthetic cannabis tested on animals. Now that plan has been scrapped!

And the best part is that YOU helped! Thousands of individuals from right here amongst the Unleashed community took action to urge the Health Minister to put a stop to this. *High five!* Thanks to the intense campaigning of animal groups, including our friends at SAFE, and compassionate people like YOU speaking up, countless dogs, rabbits and other animals will now be spared from cruel tests for legal 'party drugs'.

thankyoubeagle.jpg

Thankfully, more and more people are coming to realise that animals probably don't want to be tested on and are developing and adopting animal-friendly alternatives. In fact, it looks like India might soon become the first country to get rid of animal testing for drugs altogether!

Are you picturing animals running free right now? Because I sure am :) And I was reminded of a story from a few years ago where 9 beagles were rescued from an animal lab in the USA. What better way to celebrate this good news from NZ than with a video of dogs experiencing their first moments of freedom:

Feelin' those good rescue story vibes? Keep 'em rollin' with this one about FREE chimps :)

P.S. If you'd like to make sure you're a part of our next game-changing campaign to help animals, click here and join our ass-kicking Action Team!

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Carl Cages Himself for Chickens!
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Carl Cages Himself for Chickens!

Posted 5 April 2011   by         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: eggs, chickens, cage, activism, battery cage, news, new zealand

There's a new legend in town! New Zealander, Carl Scott is at this very moment, sitting alone in a tiny cage next to a highway, and he plans to stay there for a whole month!

Why? To shine the spotlight on the cruel treatment of chickens kept in battery cages for their eggs (yes, sadly the situation in NZ is not much different to Australia). Now that's commitment!

The space he's living in for the next month is less than two metres across, 130cm high (he can't even stand up!) and even includes his toilet. Yet Carl would be the first to tell you that despite these cramped conditions he's still got it way better than the average chook (let's call her Betty).

To start with, Betty doesn't have her own cage; she has to share it with up to 5 other birds, with less than the space of an A4 piece of paper for each to live in . She can't even flap her wings!

Betty's cage is one of thousands of cages, stacked in rows - up to four cages high. Living in the bottom row, she is showered with waste from hens locked in cages above hers.

Betty has lost many of the feathers that would keep her warm from constantly rubbing against the wire of the cage. If Betty isn't living in chronic pain from an untreated broken bone, then stats suggest that at least one of her cagemates is. [1]

For virtually her entire life, she has been locked in this tiny cage in a windowless shed. The short time before she was put in this cage was no more pleasant. During that time the tip of her beak was sliced off with a hot iron, without any pain relief.

Even if Betty survives life in this miserable cage, her only 'reward' for producing eggs will be death. When she no longer lays enough eggs to be 'profitable', she will be trucked off to slaughter with her cage-mates (before her second birthday), without ever knowing the simple joys of dustbathing, perching or building her own nest.

There is absolutely no doubt that chickens in battery cages endure a life of hell. None of us would want to trade places with them. Which makes Carl's demonstration all the more heroic. Carl, you're a legend!

If you don't think any person or animal should be forced to live this way, have your say for chickens in New Zealand here and chickens in Australia here.

Do you think you could spend a month in a cage for the cause?

Ref [1] Parkinson G (1993), "Osteoporosis and bone fractures in the laying hen", Progress report of work at the Victorian Institute of Animal Science, Attwood

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GRRRR to Woolworths... :(

GRRRR to Woolworths... :(

Posted 2 June 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 11 Comments

Tags: pigs, chickens, woolworths, factory farming, New Zealand

If you've picked up a newspaper lately you may have noticed pigs have been getting a bit of attention (and I don't mean swine flu). Recent investigations in Australia and NZ have revealed just how bad factory farming can get (and as someone who's seen a lot, even I was shocked).

Mike King may be a new name to many Aussies but in NZ he's a familiar face. The NZ comedian and TV celebrity was until recently also the face of NZ Pork. That is, until he found out where NZ Pork came from – factory farms. With the help of undercover investigators King saw a factory farm first hand. The footage from this investigation was aired on the NZ current affairs program Sunday, to much public outrage.

And it's no wonder people were outraged. The NZ 'codes' for pig welfare (and the Australian 'codes' for that matter) effectively make it legal for farmers to be cruel to pigs. For example, they permit sows (mother pigs) to be locked in cages called 'sow stalls' which are little bigger than their own bodies.

Meanwhile back home, an investigation into one of Woolworths' major Tasmanian pork suppliers has exposed one of Australia's worst ever cases of commercial animal cruelty. Investigators found starving sows with legs so swollen they couldn't stand to reach food or water; one mother pig had been left to die in her own waste with a shoulder wound rotting and filled with maggots. It was some of the worst footage I've seen. And this supplier, Gary Oliver, supplies roughly 20% Woolworths' Tasmanian pork!

So the big question is how did Woolworths' react? Well, it seems they've given Mr Oliver a slap on the wrist; told him to clean up his act; and now it's back to business as usual. Bit if you ask me, anyone who can leave an animal to be eaten alive by maggots should not be paid to 'look after' animals.

But the story doesn't end there. Last week one of Woolworths' major Tasmanian egg producers was also convicted of animal cruelty. On at least 2 separate visits to Sun Valley Poultry a government inspector found hens crammed into tiny cages on top of the rotting corpses of their dead cage-mates, to the extent that they could not even stand properly. The inspector found another 27 dead birds left to rot in their cages; not to mention birds covered in manure; and one dead bird being cannibalised by a distressed cage-mate.

So it seems that the 'fresh food people' need a shake up. Rotting birds in tiny wire cages and dying, maggot-infested pigs is not what I'd call a 'high standard' of animal welfare! If this sort of cruelty and neglect on factory farms makes you sick, then let Woolworths know. And if you've already written once and weren't happy with their response (I certainly wasn't!) then here's a few tips for how you might respond to their letter.

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