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Factory farming encourages global poverty
A new report by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) says that far from benefiting those suffering from poverty and hunger - as once promoted by Governments and Development Agencies - factory farming is actually part and parcel of the poverty problem. The report “Industrial Animal Agriculture-Part of the Poverty Problem” demonstrates that the cruel and hidden costs of factory farming results in lost livelihoods for people living in developing countries who depend on local farming for their survival. The WSPA believes the majority of industrial animal farming practices not only cause immense pain and suffering to the animals involved but are one of the causes of poverty and hunger in developing countries.

WSPA urges G8 leaders to start serving humane and sustainable farming
Industrial leaders meeting at the G8 summit this week again failed the millions of people around the world who are hardest hit by the current food crisis, failing to recognize the damage done to livelihoods by factory farming. As outlined in our recent report – Industrial Animal Agriculture – Part of the poverty problem –industrial agriculture is not only responsible for the suffering of billions of animals around the world, is also a key part of the poverty problem. Significant environmental and health costs are also created by the countries involved, rather than by the foreign-owned corporations profiting from the goods.

WSPA endorses historic Ohio initiative for farm animals
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has endorsed a citizen-backed ballot initiative being promoted by Ohioans for Humane Farms - a coalition of animal protection organizations, veterinarians, family farmers, food safety and environmental advocates - to help end some of the cruelest factory farming practices in the state of Ohio. The measure on Ohio’s November 2010 ballot, if passed, will require the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to implement certain minimum humane care standards that will prevent animal cruelty, improve health and food safety, support family farms and safeguard the environment throughout the state of Ohio. Cows too sick or injured to stand or walk on their own should be humanely euthanized, not inhumanely dragged or pushed onto the kill floor to be used for human consumption.

Experts turn out for farm animal welfare in China
In April, world-renowned animal welfare experts traveled to China to take part in a landmark conference on farm animal welfare. WSPA, along with three other leading animal welfare organizations - Compassion in World Farming, the Humane Society International and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – joined forces to host the two-day conference. “There is a real desire to improve farm animal welfare in China and WSPA will do all that we can to assist with this,” she added. More than 150 Chinese specialists attended the conference, including scientists, government officials and national media. This landmark conference, which brought together leading experts from across China, as well as international speakers from six countries, will advance the move towards more humane and sustainable farm animal welfare in China.

New livestock teaching farm opens in Indonesia
A new livestock teaching farm has opened in Banda Aceh, Indonesia to replace the previous facility destroyed by 2004’s tsunami. The opening of the new farm on May 3rd marks a step towards the full recovery of animal welfare facilities in the devastated region. Livestock veterinary skills are greatly needed in a region where people rely on their animals for their livelihoods. Not only will the new farm be an effective teaching unit, it will also provide good animal welfare for the animal inhabitants. WSPA, HSI and Giant Steps have co-funded the member society-led construction project, plus support to introduce and implement the veterinary teaching syllabus for animal welfare: Concepts in Animal Welfare.

WSPA pays tribute to animal welfare pioneer
An unassuming animal welfare champion, Peter was a dairy farmer who became appalled at the direction of post-war farming in terms of animal welfare. In 1967, he set up CIWF, to rally against the cages and crates that were being used so prevalently to house farm animals. He saw CIWF grow from a personal protest in his back room to the leading international force for farm animal welfare that it is today. WSPA is proud to work with CIWF, a key partner in the FarmWatch campaign. He built an organization from scratch that is now one of the most formidable in the world for protecting farm animals.

WSPA helps shoppers find humane foods
As part of our campaign to put an end to the cruel and unsustainable practices of factory farming, WSPA USA’s EatHumane.org is making it easier for shoppers to find animal-friendly products at the supermarket with a food label classification system and searchable database of humane foods at major US grocery stores. An ever-increasing array of food product labels that make claims about human nutrition, environmental protection and animal welfare leave many shoppers confused about how to make the most humane choices when buying animal products. Generally animals raised under humane food programs are given access to sunlight, fresh air, and freedom of movement. Now before grabbing their grocery carts, shoppers can search their local store online to find food products and see how their store compares to others.

Major partnership to stop bear farming in Asia
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Calvin Ayre Foundation, which has agreed to support WSPA’s campaign to end the cruel practice of farming Asian bears for their bile. Bear bile is believed to have medicinal properties, and since the 1980s bile has been extracted from live bears kept on bear farms. For animal welfare reasons alone, WSPA believes that the practice of bear farming should be phased out completely. Its use is also unnecessary because there are a large number of equally effective synthetic and herbal alternatives to bear bile.

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.

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.

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.

Farm animal victory in the USA
WSPA congratulates member societies the Humane Society of the United States and the Farm Sanctuary for their work, along with other US-based animal welfare groups, in improving the lives of thousands of farm animals. In many of these countries the practice of cruel, intensive factory farming is exploding. The project will act as a flagship example of alternative farming systems for chickens, pigs and cows that adhere to improved welfare standards. The project also aims to raise awareness of inhumane farming practices and encourages Brazilian and Chinese consumers to purchase meats, milks and eggs that have been reared on farms that take the animal’s welfare into consideration.

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.

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia