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Good news for North American pigs
Smithfield Foods, Inc., the nation's largest pork producer with 1.2 million sows, has announced plans to phase out the cruel practice of confining sows to “gestation crates” that don't allow them to move around during their lifetime of repeated pregnancies. It is happening in response to pressure from the company's customers who know that U.S. consumers are more aware and concerned than ever before about the suffering animals experience to put food on their tables. Sadly, the phasing in of larger group pens will take far too long—10 years at company owned farms and 20 years at farms that are sub-contractors.

Victory for Cows in the UK!
After a year of campaigning against Nocton Dairies’ plans for a factory dairy farm in Lincolnshire, England, WSPA is thrilled to announce that the plans have been withdrawn. “While the Environment Agency's objections were the final nail in the coffin for the Nocton plans, our own research made it clear that there were numerous reasons why Nocton should not be given the go-ahead. WSPA hopes that the small dairy farmers and NFU members who spoke out against these plans will continue to gather support from the wider industry for conventional, pasture-based systems – not large-scale, intensive ones.

Twelve thousand cattle at risk in Argentina
Heavy rains since October 2006 have caused flooding of the lowlands and islands of the Paraná River in the Santa Fe Province of Argentina, with 500,000 cattle at immediate risk and 100,000 already evacuated. The situation worsened recently with severe rains leading to a surge in the river level. Between 30,000 and 50,000 cattle have died due to the flooding and a further 12,000, evacuated to roadsides by small scale cattle farmers, are at risk of starvation and need immediate help. In support of the provincial government relief efforts, WSPA will provide enough feed for adult cattle and calves to last for the next few weeks.

Swine flu: WSPA disputes need for pig cull
Egypt is still culling pigs despite there being no known link between the recent outbreak of swine flu and pigs. News on the spread of swine flu continues to develop, but there have been no significant discoveries that directly concern pigs, pig farming or pork products. It was initially reported that the pig cull in Egypt was intended as a precaution against spread of infection from pigs to humans. WSPA objects strongly to the inhumane handling and slaughter methods of pigs shown in recent news coverage, and insists that handling and slaughter should follow the relevant OIE guidelines agreed by Egypt and all other member countries of the OIE.

Cattle die in severe floods
The President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has officially declared a national disaster after flooding and torrential rain severely affected humans and animals. Stranded livestock are being tended to and fed where possible, but it is proving difficult to reach all the affected animals in time. Farmers who have managed to transport their cattle to Trinidad Port by boat are finding that there is a lack of feed and nowhere to house their animals. A WSPA team is also heading to Santa Ana and Santa Cruz, areas also severely affected by the floods, to assess what animal welfare assistance is required. As a Member Society the RSPCA is kept up-to-date with all of WSPA’s work and is generously supporting this disaster management intervention.

Act now: Situation remains critical for Egypt’s pigs
Information from Cairo suggests that more than half the country’s pig population has now been culled, despite there being no proven link between pigs and swine flu transmission. But the OIE lacks the mandate to intervene, and the remaining pigs are expected to be killed within two weeks – a decision challenged by thousands of WSPA supporters internationally. WSPA continues to question both the need for the cull and the methods used – before swine flu was publicized authorities had planned to re-home overcrowded city pigs outside Cairo. With no link between pigs and swine flu transmission, no acceptable reason has been given as to why pigs from the city could not be moved to the new farms.

Plans to resume New Zealand’s cruel live sheep trade
Negotiations to resume New Zealand’s live sheep trade with Saudi Arabia are underway following a ban on live exports for more than five years. The draft Arrangement follows the same terms as the agreement between Australia and Saudi Arabia which has paved the way for the resumption of live sheep exports from Australia. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of sheep for slaughter and exported more than four million sheep to the Middle East in 2006. The long distance transport of animals falls well short of providing animals with the level of protection now demanded by most countries and runs counter to New Zealand’s pioneering animal welfare legislation.

WSPA rejects temporary suspension of live cattle exports from Australia to Indonesia
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Senator Joe Ludwig, has stated that he will work with the live export industry with the aim of resuming the trade within six months. And yet, Minister Ludwig is relying on the industry itself again to make a difference in more than 120 Indonesian slaughterhouses in just six months. Whether it is cattle shipped to Indonesia or sheep shipped to the Middle East, the only way to fully protect Australian animals is to process them within Australia. WSPA and thousands of our supporters from around the world are calling on the Australian Government to take meaningful action by announcing an end date for live animal exports to all countries.

WSPA calls for action as new footage in Australia exposes the cruelty of live cattle export
WSPA is calling for an immediate end to live cattle exports from Australia to Indonesia, following the exposure of horrific cruelty inflicted on animals in Indonesia’s slaughterhouses on Australia’s Four Corners program. Jessica added, “Surely no one in the Australian government, at Meat and Livestock Australia or the farming industry could possibly justify the widespread and absolutely horrific abuse cattle endure in largely unregulated Indonesian abattoirs. WSPA is calling on the Australian Government to really take heed of the evidence Animals Australia and the RSPCA Australia have provided and immediately end the cattle trade to Indonesia, and announce an end date for live animal exports to all other countries.

WSPA urges support for Massachusetts bill to protect farm animals
The extreme confinement of farm animals causes unimaginable suffering and is perhaps one of the worst abuses associated with industrialized – or “factory” – farming. In Massachusetts alone, 17,000 egg-laying hens are crammed into tiny, overcrowded cages that render the animals virtually immobile for their entire lives. Female breeding pigs spend nearly 80% of their lives confined to stalls so small that they cannot move. It’s time for Massachusetts to join the national movement and end the cruel confinement of farm animals. Remember, you have to be a resident of Massachusetts in order to contact your state legislators about this bill.

Supermarkets pledge to help WSPA end long-distance transport of live animals
Hawaii-based stores will no longer purchase pork from pigs shipped live from mainland U.S. Two supermarket chains in Hawaii – Foodland Super Market Ltd and Times Supermarkets – have agreed to no longer purchase pork products from pigs transported live from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii for slaughter, citing animal welfare reasons for their change. The supermarket chains decided to adjust their pork purchasing policies in light of WSPA’s recent “No Paradise for Pigs” investigation, which focuses on the transport of thousands of pigs from mainland U.S. to Hawaii every year. WSPA encourages Hawaii-based retailers to consider safer and more humane approaches – such as supplementing local production with imported, USDA-certified chilled and frozen meat from animals raised and killed humanely in mainland U.S.

The violent treatment of sheep in Egypt
Harrowing new footage revealing the violent treatment of Australian sheep exported to Egypt has the World Society for the Protection of Animals calling for an end to Australian live exports to the country. The footage shows Australian sheep tied to car roof racks; thrown off vehicles and trying to escape through busy traffic; with their legs bound and having their throats roughly cut with blunt knives – practices which contravene a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Egypt signed with Australia in October 2006 for the handling and slaughter of Australian animals on foreign soil. “This footage should be the catalyst for the Federal Government to implement a ban, effectively saying to the international community that it values the welfare of Australian animals and will no longer tolerate the intolerable cruelty inflicted on its animals overseas.

WSPA battles the elements
Tweet An estimated 50,000 cattle have died as a result of flooding in Bolivia, with heavy rainfall continuing to damage housing, infrastructure and agriculture. The extreme climatic events also resulted in over 250,000 people being displaced, leading to concerns for companion animals left behind. A WSPA assessment team has been sent in to the affected area and is working with its member society, Animales S.O.S, to assess the needs of surviving livestock and companion animals.

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia