Pig wrestling: Small injustices enable larger ones

Pigs like mud for their OWN reasons – click image

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations

“So delighted to find you folks upon googling,” the message begins. It arrived at my webmail box at the beginning of July, written by a woman from rural Anytown, Everystate, USA. The impetus for her message was an upcoming pig wrestling event at a local fair–complete with human spectators who would be, in her words, “guffawing and smiling all the while–unbearable!” Her concern was a lovely and oft-needed reminder that compassion–like speciesism–lives everywhere. Continue reading

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Fantastic Opportunity for Up and Coming Animal Lawyers

David Cassuto

Below follows a fellowship opportunity from an outstanding organization that is looking to fund young animal lawyers.  If you fit the profile, I urge you to apply without delay.

From the email:

 The Equal Justice Works Fellowships Program provides financial and other forms of support to lawyers working on innovative legal projects throughout the U.S.  The two-year Fellowships offer salary (up to $41,000 annually) and generous loan repayment assistance; a national training and leadership development program; and other forms of support during the term of the Fellowship.

Equal Justice Works recruits “sponsors,” including law firms, corporations, bar associations, foundations and individuals, to fund our fellowships. This year, we have sponsor interest in funding a fellow working in the area of animal law.   You have been identified to us as an expert in this area who might help spread the word to potential fellowship candidates.  The sponsor is looking for applicants anywhere in the US working on animal law projects

General Information about 2014 Equal Justice Works Fellowships Continue reading

Our State Liberties are at Stake: Remove the King amendment from the Federal Farm Bill

Angelique Rivard

WHAT: What exactly is the King amendment?

The King amendment was introduced by Republican Rep. Steve King from Iowa and aims to preempt state and local laws by mandating the least strict regulation over the production or manufacture of agriculture products. The amendment directs:

“The government of a State or locality therein shall not impose a standard or condition on the production or manufacture of any agricultural product sold or offered for sale in interstate commerce if (1) such production or manufacture occurs in another State; and (2) the standard or condition is in addition to the standards and conditions applicable to such production or manufacture pursuant to (A) Federal law; and (B) the laws of the State and locality in which such production or manufacture occurs.”

This overly broad and ambiguous amendment could effectively revoke state authority to set their own reasonable standards on agricultural products.

WHY: Why do we care about it?

Since our agricultural laws are extremely broad, the King amendment would nullify a whole host of state laws, including those preventing farm animal cruelty, regulating puppy breeders, banning shark finning and prohibiting horse slaughter. In addition to animal welfare laws, this amendment would invalidate state laws concerning food safety, GMO labeling, labor standards and environmental protection laws. For a list of the state animal welfare laws being targeted by this amendment as well as other state laws that would be severely affected click here.

HOW: How can you help stop this radically overreaching amendment from becoming law?

You can help by reaching out to your Federal Legislators. Click here to locate contact information on your U.S. Senators and Representatives. Then, let them know by email, phone or in person that you oppose the King amendment and that you strongly urge them to convince the Conference Committee to remove it from the final version of the Federal Farm Bill.