Animal

USDA Enforcement of Animal Welfare Laws Drops Dramatically

Written warnings to breeders, exhibitors and research labs that allegedly violated animal welfare laws have dropped approximately 88 percent over the past two years, The Washington Post reports. In 2016, the USDA issued 192 written warnings, filing 23 written complaints against offenders. This year so far, the department has issued 39 warnings, settling only one complaint. The agency says the drop is the result of a suspension of hearings because of litigation and an emphasis on working with alleged violators rather than an investigative process that internal audits have faulted for ineffectiveness.

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Noah's Bark

A Tennessee trucker wasted no time heeding the call to action during Hurricane Florence, rescuing more than 60 animals in his school bus, The Washington Post reports. Tony Alsup of Greenback has been using his “EMERGENCY ANIMAL RESCUE SHELTER” bus to rescue shelter pets since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last year. Alsup transported the frisky felines and periled pooches to the dry parts of South Carolina, Alabama and ultimately Knoxville to find enough shelters or foster homes for the animals.

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California to Ban Sale of Cosmetics Tested on Animals

California Gov. Jerry Brown last Friday signed into law the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act which bans the sale of cosmetics if the final product or any component of the product was tested on animals after January 1, 2020, according to a recent press release by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The bill received support from several celebrities and was endorsed by 100 cosmetics companies, including John Paul Mitchell Systems and Lush Cosmetics. There will be some exceptions for regulatory requirements.

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More Chimpanzees Now Living in Sanctuaries Than Research Facilities

There are now more chimpanzees living in sanctuaries than research facilities, NPR reports. Following the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) decision to end biomedical research on chimps in 2015, it was determined that the nearly 400 animals that were living in research facilities would be relocated to the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Louisiana. An NIH advisory board determined that all chimps must be relocated unless the relocation is "extremely likely to shorten their lives," due to concerns that the stress involved with the drastic change in environment could exacerbate the chronic illnesses and conditions some older and less healthy chimps face.

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Animal Crackers Now Free to Roam in a Grocery Store Near You

After being caged for 116 years, Nabisco has decided to take a free-range approach to its childhood staple Animal Crackers, The Washington Post reports. The snack has been virtually unchanged since it hit the market in 1902, but with mounting pressure from animal advocacy groups and controversy surrounding treatment of circus animals, the company decided it was time to re-vamp its Barnum box. The new design ditches the circus theme and features the animals roaming the savanna. Nabisco has also produced limited edition redesigns to bring attention to animal-related issues and organizations, like the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and the World Wildlife Fund.

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TBA Mentoring Program Seeks Animal Law Mentors

The TBA’s Mentoring Program is seeking volunteers willing to mentor newly-licensed attorneys who are interested in the animal law practice area. There is a current need for a mentor in Nashville, but volunteers from across the state are welcome to sign up. This is a flexible program designed by the mentor and mentee based on their schedules and availabilities. To become a mentor, fill out this application or contact Kate Prince at kprince@tnbar.org or 615-277-3202.  

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Animal Law Forum 2019 & Special Guests

Register now for the TBA Animal Law Section's 2019 annual forum at the Nashville Zoo. This unique opportunity will provide updates on trends and advancements in animal law while allowing participants to network, enjoy all of the fun and activities offered by the zoo and a chance to meet the two latest additions to the organization's family. We will be joined by the zoo's President and Chief Executive Officer, and the board's general counsel, who will discuss conservation efforts and laws affecting procurement and care for animals.
 
Additional topics will include animal considerations in divorce and domestic law, ethics, legislative updates affecting the practice area and the humanization of animals. A midday lunch is included, with additional time to explore the zoo, the recently added Expedition Peru exhibit and new state-of-the-art veterinary medical space that also serves as a teaching center, where you can learn about the diagnosis, treatment, and management of animal health. Don't miss this chance to fulfill necessary CLE requirements while experiencing one of the top zoos in the nation. Here are the key details:
 
When: Friday, May 17, registration at 8 a.m., CDT
Where: Nashville Zoo, 3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville

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Johnson County to Address Animal Control

Johnson County intends to address a lack of animal control presence, The Tomahawk reports. Proponents cite a recent example of a dog bite case that was responded to by a sheriff’s deputy who relinquished control of the animal to a private, unlicensed rescue in lieu of a state-controlled facility, causing the victim to undergo unnecessary rabies treatment due to lack of updates on the dog’s rabies test. The county will address this issue in its next commissioners meeting on Sept. 20, at 7 p.m., EDT in the Johnson County Courthouse.

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Jaguar Escapes Zoo Enclosure, Killing Other Animals

A jaguar at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans escaped its enclosure on Saturday, killing eight other animals before being tranquilized and returned to its enclosure by veterinarians, The Washington Post reports. The 3-year-old jaguar went on a rampage, attacking alpacas and foxes and an emu trapped in their own habitats. No humans were injured in the incident and the zoo reopened on Sunday.

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Lawmaker Seeks Change for Horse Safety

A case of animal neglect in Maury County has sparked questions from a Tennessee lawmaker about how horses are treated under current laws, according to Fox 17. Rep. Johnny Shaw, D–Bolivar, who sits on the agriculture committee, maintains that current law makes it very difficult for rescuers to save abused horses, because of their consideration as livestock and not extending them the same protections as pets and household animals. Shaw has offered the resources of his office — reachable at 615-741-4538; rep.johnny.shaw@capitol.tn.gov — for anyone who would like to comment on this issue.

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