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American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA);
When dogs and cats are not retained in a home, they are re-homed to somewhere, and while there is a collection of research around relinquishment to shelters, little is known about the general re-homing picture. A cross sectional random digit dial survey was conducted with an aim to learn more about who is re-homing, where they are re-homing and why they are re-homing owned dogs and cats in the US. We found the prevalence of re-homing in five years at 6% making for an estimated 6.12 million household re-homing pets every five years. Pets were most likely to be re-homed by being given to a friend or family member (37%) closely followed by being taken to a shelter. Those who re-homed due to a reason related to the pet as opposed to reasons such as family issues were more likely to re-home to a shelter. For respondents who rented, housing reasons were the number one reason for re-homing, and for respondents of lower income, they were significantly more likely to re-home due to cost and housing issues as opposed to pet related issues. We conclude that some reasons for re-homing are not easily modified and humane re-homing is the best option, but that there are many areas in which intervention and prevention programs may increase retention.
According to some estimates, global bycatch may amount to 40 percent of the world's catch, totaling 63 billion pounds per year. In the United States, despite strong management measures and conservation initiatives in some regions, bycatch remains a persistent problem for far too many fisheries. Some fisheries discard more fish at sea than what they bring to port, in addition to injuring and killing thousands of whales, dolphins, seals, sea turtles and sharks each year.
In this report, we have identified nine of the worst bycatch fisheries in the U.S.—fisheries that discard large amounts of fish or harm marine wildlife at a high rate. Several of these fisheries discard more fish than they keep, or discard large amounts of the very species they are aiming to catch. Solutions to the bycatch problem already exist and must be applied nationwide. In order to stop harmful bycatch and wasteful discarding, fisheries managers and fishermen must employ adequate monitoring, count everything that is caught, establish science-based bycatch limits, and use innovative measures to control the problem.
This year, Worldwatch Institute's annual State of the World report provides a special focus on China and India, examining the global impact as these two nations join the United States and Europe as major consumers of resources and polluters of local and global ecosystems. The report explains the critical need for both countries to "leapfrog" the technologies, policies, and even the cultures that now prevail in many western countries for the sake of global sustainability -- and reports on some of the strategies that China and India are starting to implement. Besides the focus on China and India, State of the World 2006 looks at actions corporations can take to be more socially responsible; examines the potential socioeconomic, health, and environmental implications of nanoscale technologies; assesses the impacts of large-scale development of biofuels on agriculture and the environment; describes mercury sources, industrial uses, and health hazards worldwide; and provides an overview of the need to safeguard freshwater ecosystems, with examples of proven approaches in cities, villages, and farming regions around the world.
In Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry, Worldwatch researcher Danielle Nierenberg documents the harmful effects of factory farming in both industrialized and developing countries and explains the range of consequences for the environment, human health and communities. From transmission of disease and loss of livestock diversity to hazardous and unsanitary processing methods, this book shows clearly why factory farming is an unsafe, inhumane, and ecologically disruptive form of meat production. On the brighter side, Happier Meals tells you how you can make a difference by supporting local, organic, or pasture-raised animal products; embracing alternative production methods; or including a few vegetarian meals a week to help ensure that meat is made better for people, the environment, and the animals themselves.
The meteoric growth of organic dairying is one of the rare success stories found in agriculture today. The business has been built over the past two decades and nurtured by family farmers collaborating with consumers hungry for organic food.
For those farmers involved in dairying, organics has been a true lifeline. Those able to make the difficult three-year transition to organics have been rewarded by top commodity prices at the farmgate and a living wage -- something that stands in stark contrast to the intense price squeeze that has driven many of their conventional neighbors from the business. In addition, organic dairy farmers are enjoying explosive growth in demand for their products.
Consumers have been willing to pay premium prices in the market for certified organic dairy products with the understanding that the food has been raised in a sustainable, environmentally sound manner and that they are helping support and keep family farmers on the land. Many consumers assume that humane animal husbandry practices are employed by organic farmers and they may believe that their food is more nutritious.
Organic dairy products are also a "gateway" food to other organic products. Consumers recognize such familiar products as milk and cheeses, frequently sampling organic varieties first before moving on and experimenting with other organic commodities.
But this success story is now at risk; it is threatened by powerful economic interests that covet their share of the organic pie and who are willing to twist, manipulate and even ignore federal organic regulations in their rush to cash in. Some agribusiness giants are depending on consumers not knowing the difference between their product and those produced with ethics and integrity.
This report aims to pull back the veil and allow consumers to easily identify those organic dairy products that have been produced with the best organic practices. By using the Web-based rating tool found on our Web page (www.cornucopia.org), you will be able to identify the brands and products found in your region and examine their ranking, score, and how well they meet key criteria covering organic management practices. The survey rates 68 different organic dairy brands and private label products found across the country.
The good news that we can report is that the vast majority of all name-brand organic dairy products are produced from milk from farms that follow accepted legal and ethical standards.
However, consumers should also recognize that an increasing amount of milk used in certain organic dairy products is coming from factory farms that are employing suspect practices that skirt organic regulations and impact nutrition and livestock. A growing number of new factory farms -- housing thousands of cows in confinement conditions -- are in development because of strong organic commodity prices, growing consumer demand, a shortage of certified organic milk, and a reluctance by federal regulators to enforce the current organic rules.
This report will help consumers make purchasing decisions separate from industry chaff and PR.
Humane Research Council;
Over 10 billion land-based animals are killed for food each year in the U.S. However, there is significant and growing public awareness and support for improved farmed animal welfare conditions. Public opinion research studies find substantial concern for farmed animals, as well as a willingness of consumers to act upon these concerns. Additionally, depending on the study, from 10% to over 50% of consumers are willing to pay higher prices for more "humanely" raised and slaughtered animal products.
Humane Research Council;
Overpopulation of companion animals is a serious problem in the United States, resulting in overcrowded animal shelters and widespread euthanasia. The severity of the situation stems from breeding operations and lack of awareness and action by animal owners/guardians to sterilize their pets and keep them separated from potential mates. The problem is exacerbated by ongoing relinquishment of companion animals, and the large populations of feral cats that continue to reproduce at alarming rates. This HRC primer summarizes the
available research regarding these and related issues.
Humane Research Council;
The number of animals used in medical, pharmaceutical, and product research each year is at least 115 million worldwide, using official figures. The actual number is believed to be much higher. Generally speaking, most people surveyed in the U.S. and elsewhere say that they accept the use of animals for research purposes, at least to a certain degree. However, more people believe it is acceptable only for medical purposes, particularly involving the treatment or prevention of serious human diseases or illnesses.
Humane Research Council;
In the United States, an estimated 154 million dogs and cats (the most common companion animals) live in 60% of U.S. households. The profile of owners' demographics varies by country, but in the U.S. pet owners are more likely to be women, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers. In some countries, companion animals are considered a "luxury," and majorities of people in almost all surveys say they relate to their pets as members of the family.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
The Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, Population Action International, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute co-hosted a Congressional briefing, entitled "Bushmeat and the Origin of HIV/AIDS: A Case Study of Biodiversity, Population Pressures and Human Health." The AIDS epidemic is a global problem with challenging social implications and no easy solutions. In the United States and around the world, citizen groups and governments are rallying to help scientists find a cure for HIV/AIDS and encouraging widespread education about the disease. To date, over 60 million people have been infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), approximately five million more become infected each year, and over 20 million have died from the disease. In their quest to understand more about this deadly disease, researchers have sought to understand where it came from, and how humans contracted it. What they have discovered is that many answers about HIV and even the potential cure will most likely come from the same place as the original source of the disease -- from chimpanzees and a monkey called the sooty mangabey in the West Central African forests. Unfortunately, it is also becoming frighteningly clear that human actions and population pressures are destroying these forests and the species that inhabit them at alarming rates, which may have significant implications for human health.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
The Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School; Wildlife Trust; the Consortium for Conservation Medicine; and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosted a Congressional briefing entitled "Wildlife and Human Diseases: Symptoms of Endangered Marine Ecosystems and Climate Change." The marine coastal environment is being subjected to increased pressure from residential, recreational, and commercial development. The combined effects of spills, leaks and accidents associated with oil extraction and transport further weakens coastal ecosystems leaving them vulnerable to injury. These disturbances, in conjunction with new stresses posed by climate change, is adversely affecting the health of marine life. An increase in disease among marine species raises significant concern on the part of scientists, environmental researchers, and policymakers who believe such events herald heightened risk to wildlife and humans.
Earth Policy Institute;
Spring awakening has long provided fodder for poets, artists, and almanac writers. Even for a notoriously fickle time of sunshine, rain, and temperature swings, some old-fashioned seasonal wisdom was consistent enough to be passed down through generations. The first blooming of a specific flower, for example, could traditionally signal when to find certain fish running the rivers, when to hunt for mushrooms, or when to plant crops. The timing of such seasonal events is coordinated in an intricate dance -- a dance underappreciated, perhaps, until something jolts it out of step.