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Haiti: A Six-Month Update
Thanks to the generous donations from WSPA supporters, our disaster management team – as part of the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) – has made great strides in providing disaster relief to the animals and people of Haiti during the past six months. Immediately following the disaster, our team worked closely with Haitian government officials, international agencies (such as the United Nations) and other NGOs to define the country’s most pressing animal-related problems, carry out treatments and develop a long-term plan for Haiti to better protect against future disasters. Thank you for your help in making these achievements possible – there is still a lot of work to be done, but we’re getting closer to improved animal welfare conditions and veterinary capacity in Haiti.

ARCH Leads Animal Welfare Efforts and Accomplishments in Haiti
Thanks to the generous donations from WSPA supporters, our disaster management team – as part of the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) – has made great strides in providing disaster relief to the animals and people of Haiti during the past six months. Immediately following the disaster, our team worked closely with Haitian government officials, international agencies (such as the United Nations) and other NGOs to define the country’s most pressing animal-related problems, carry out treatments and develop a long-term plan for Haiti to better protect against future disasters. Thank you for your help in making these achievements possible – there is still a lot of work to be done, but we’re getting closer to improved animal welfare conditions and veterinary capacity in Haiti.

New facility offers special care for baited bears
An up-to-date clinic made possible by a generous supporter is now enabling staff at a WSPA-funded sanctuary in Pakistan to give rescued bears the very best care and treatment. It currently provides veterinary care and a safe haven for 22 bears formerly used for baiting. Bear baiting is a savage blood sport in which dogs are set upon a tethered and defenseless bear. Mellun had been rescued from a landlord who had used him in baiting events for six years. Thousands of key religious leaders have denounced baiting as un-Islamic and so far 235 landlords – who run the events – have given it up.

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.

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.

WSPA and partners get animal welfare onto Earth Summit agenda
With the focus of world leaders and the world’s public on the event, WSPA is working to ensure that animal welfare is firmly on the agenda. WSPA succeeded in having animals and sustainable agriculture inserted into the Rio Conference declaration – the so-called “Bonn Declaration” – which will feed into the planning process for the Earth Summit and the texts used to prepare it. WSPA also co-organized and chaired an event at the conference with other organizations and academics to discuss the importance of animal welfare to sustainable agriculture and food consumption. The Bonn Declaration states that animal welfare should be safeguarded and notes that, “sustainable development can only be ensured if humanity, directed and led by government policies, embraces humane, sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles and adopts sustainable livelihoods”.

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.

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.

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.

Dr Gus Thornton, a former WSPA president, has died following a long illness
Dr Thornton and his granddaughter Rose © Courtesy of the MSPCA-Angell He grew up and went to veterinary school in Oklahoma, USA. Through his work for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), he helped WSPA set up its first office and later served two years as WSPA President. Mike Baker, Director General of WSPA, said: “He was a great veterinarian and humanitarian, and he was a true leader in both fields, nationally and internationally. He cared so very deeply about animals and people, was a kind and generous person, and he spent his life helping others….he will be greatly missed.”

Help give California farm animals some freedom
Californians for Humane Farms is leading an historic effort on behalf of farm animals in California. This modest measure will vastly improve the lives of 20 million animals and takes a step forward in re-visioning modern farming methods. An estimated 20,000 sows live in these conditions in California during their four month pregnancies. By eliminating high density factory farms with their heavy concentration of animal waste, we can reduce air and water pollution and the risk of disease transmission associated with these facilities. If you live elsewhere, let friends and family living in California know about this vital initiative by forwarding this alert on to them.

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.

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia