The Stir – It’s a sad day for animal rights groups. The Supreme Court just struck down a federal law designed to stop the sale and marketing of dogfight videos and videos showing other acts of animal cruelty.
The court, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that the law was an unconstitutional violation of free speech…
The last time the Supreme Court carved out an exception to First Amendment free speech protection was in 1982 when it banned the distribution of child pornography.
Kansas City Star – Animal rights groups were naturally disappointed by the ruling, but said they would continue to press for a more specific law, one that might pass constitutional muster.
And let’s face it: This was a victory for free speech because it once again validated the view that the government doesn’t have all-encompassing powers to shut down speech it doesn’t like or deem appropriate.
Montreal Gazette – Antoine Goetschel does not actually talk to the animals. That doesn’t mean he can’t figuratively walk with them as their lawyer, he says…
In this capacity, he can initiate and intervene in prosecutions under the country’s animal abuse laws as public counsel representing the interests of the abused parties – the animals involved. His “clients” have for the most part been cats and dogs and cattle, but he hasn’t shied from pushing the envelope, and courting ridicule in the bargain, as he did by taking on the case of a pike who was dragged for 10 minutes on the end of an angler’s line.
[Associated Press] One menu item could soon disappear from foreign dinner tables: meat from slaughtered American horses.
Animal rights advocates are urging lawmakers to pass a bill banning the slaughter of U.S. horses for consumption abroad, arguing the practice is inhumane. Opponents of the proposal say it would actually increase cruelty in the form of abandonment, abuse and neglect.
[New York Times] Spain’s parliament recently passed a resolution granting legal rights to apes. Reaction has been mixed. Peter Singer, a Princeton University bioethics professor and animal liberation activist, declared the vote to be of “world historical significance.” The comedian Stephen Colbert — flashing a photo of a performing chimpanzee — insisted that the new law had better not give apes “the right to not wear a tuxedo and roller skates.”
[Local Guardian] Animal rights protesters hurled abuse at families as they entered Zippos circus on Twickenham Green at the weekend.
Zippos’ founder and owner, Martin Burton, said he heard parents called “child abusers” by the protesters, who represented sub-groups of Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) and Animal Defenders International.
[Canadian Press] That’s what animal rights activists in West Virginia had in mind when they donated Canadian interactive software that replicates a frog dissection to Wheeling Park High School.
Marilyn Grindley, a member of the Ohio County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said dissecting animals “desensitizes kids.”
“It tells them that we do not have any respect for any animal.”
She wants to end the practice.
[This Is London] His name is Matthew, he is 26 years old, and his supporters hope to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
But he won’t be able to give evidence on his own behalf - since he is a chimpanzee. Animal rights activists led by British teacher Paula Stibbe are fighting to have Matthew legally declared a ‘person’ so she can be appointed as his guardian if the bankrupt animal sanctuary where he lives in Vienna is forced to close.
A spokesman for the court in Strasbourg said: ‘Any application regarding this chimpanzee will be considered at a primary level by a magistrate and a lawyer before we decide whether it deserves a full-blown hearing.’
In Canada, the foie gras issue was raised last month in Vancouver after animal rights group Liberation B.C. protested outside fashionable restaurants serving the liver.
At least one restaurant, West, pulled it but said it was doing so only because it did not want to subject its customers to harassment.
Alaska industry and political leaders reacted with disappointment, even vehemence, to the decision Wednesday to protect the polar bear as “threatened,” despite assurances from the Bush administration that the listing would mean no new regulation in Alaska.
“Reinterpreting the Endangered Species Act in this way is an unequivocal victory for extreme environmentalists who want to block all development in our state,” said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.
Under a new Swiss law enshrining rights for animals, dog owners will require a qualification, anglers will take lessons in compassion and horses will go only in twos.
From guinea-pigs to budgerigars, any animal classified as a “social species” will be a victim of abuse if it does not cohabit, or at least have contact, with others of its own kind.
The new regulation stipulates that aquariums for pet fish should not be transparent on all sides and that owners must make sure that the natural cycle of day and night is maintained in terms of light. Goldfish are considered social animals, or Gruppentiere in German…
What is it with Saskatchewan? The SHRC works overtime to keep Down With Everybody entertained.
REGINA — Officials in a Saskatchewan town are expected to explain to a human rights tribunal why they put down a woman’s three dogs.
Jacqueline Nash alleges her animals were destroyed because officials assumed she was too poor to pay fees related to their care at the Wolseley pound. A former animal control officer says town officials commented about Nash’s income and her ability to care for the dogs.
Under cross-examination today, Shirkey admitted that the dogs were dishevelled, had ticks and were missing some fur.