• Don Lichterman

Things to do in '21, Many Law Suits Filed, Big Cat Public Safety Act in Congress, Arctic $25 an Acre

Weekly Report about Crimes, Abuses and an overall Wildlife & Animal Welfare Report!
  • Create a fur-free future

  • Improve the lives of farm animals

  • Stop puppy mills

  • End cosmetics animal testing

  • Ban trophy hunting

  • Advance protections for farmed animals

  • Shut down more roadside zoos in 2021

  • Achieve justice for animal victims of criminal abuse

  • Increase animal law courses in law schools

  • Bring about long-lasting legal protections for animals

The Big Cat Public Safety Act Advances in Congress

The Big Cat Public Safety Act is a critical captive wildlife protection bill that would prohibit the private possession of big cats like tigers and lions and make it illegal for exhibitors to allow direct contact with cubs. After passing the U.S. House of Representatives 272 to 114, the bill will next be considered by the Senate.

Lawsuit Defends Plan to Protect North Cascades Grizzlies

The Center for Biological Diversity just sued the Trump administration for ending a critical program aimed at restoring grizzly bears to Washington state's North Cascades. In the past decade, biologists have only been sure of two grizzlies living in the region (and those bears were actually across the border in Canada).


The recovery of North Cascades grizzlies — in fact, their survival — depends on transporting bears from more robust populations, which is one of the key parts of the program Trump nixed.


"The Trump administration's purely political decision to axe this conservation program was a massive blow to the grizzly bear recovery program," said Center lawyer Andrea Zaccardi. "We're hopeful our lawsuit will put grizzly bears in the North Cascades back on the road to recovery — instead of extinction."

Suit Filed to Force Protection of Climate-imperiled Wolverines

The Center and partners filed suit this week over the Fish and Wildlife Service's repeated refusal to give Endangered Species Act protection to wolverines in the lower 48 states, where only about 300 of the fierce, snow-loving animals are left.


Wolverines once ranged all the way from Canada down to the mountains of New Mexico and California. The Center joined the fight to save them in 2008, but despite several favorable court decisions — including an opinion from a Montana judge telling the Fish and Wildlife Service to safeguard the animal "at the earliest possible, defensible moment in time" — wolverines have gotten no help at all.


"The future of the wolverine in the lower 48 is on a knife edge," says the Center's Andrea Zaccardi.

Judge Halts Plan to Frack 60,000 Acres in Utah

Thanks to a lawsuit by Center and allies, a judge just overturned the Trump administration's plan to lease out more than 60,000 acres of public land for fracking in northern Utah's Uintah Basin, including areas near Dinosaur National Monument. "This is a strong rebuke of Trump's disastrous fracking frenzy across our public lands, which is destroying the climate, wildlife and frontline communities," said the Center's Taylor McKinnon. "President-elect Biden's ban on new federal fossil fuel leasing can't come soon enough."

Demand a Permanent End To Oakland Cat Massacres!

In a callous and unnecessary move, at least 18 homeless cats have been shot and killed recently by the East Bay Regional Park District in Oakland, California before they were given the opportunity to be rehomed. The Park District has just claimed to have suspended the program following outcry, but has yet to commit to ending it permanently. Join us in calling on officials to develop and implement permanent humane, non-lethal alternatives to protect both cats and wild animals to ensure this never happens again. ACT NOW

The Death of a National Park

What we are witnessing at Point Reyes National Seashore is a gross failure of democracy and a moral collapse on the part of an iconic American institution to live up to their founding principals. Activists held a memorial ceremony for the native Tule Elk at Point Reyes National Seashore on November 21, 2020. The Tule Elk are confined to a small area of the park behind an 8th foot fence at Pierce Point at the National Seashore. The Tule Elk struggle to find adequate water and nutrients to survive in this unnaturally small habitat they've been confined to since the 1970s. As a result, many Tule Elk die of nutrient deficiency and thirst during the year because they are unable to venture beyond Pierce Point to find water and food in other parts of the Point Reyes National Seashore. The Tule Elk have been confined at Pierce Point because 24 cattle ranches and dairy operations at Point Reyes National Seashore feel they can run their environmentally destructive operations with greater efficiently without the Tule Elk mingling with their cows. The National Park Service has exhibited GROSS NEGLIGENCE by bowing down to the wishes and demands of the taxpayer subsidized private ranchers. The National Park Service has shown complete disregard for their founding mandate to preserve the environment and wildlife for future generations of Americans.

Saving Life on Earth Fund

Trump has set a price for auctioning off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: $25 an acre.


That's how much it'll cost oil companies for the privilege of wiping out our pristine northern wilderness — home to polar bears who are just now beginning to den with newborn cubs.


We're in court to stop this disgusting plunder of nature.


You can help us fight with a matched gift to the Saving Life on Earth Fund.


Trump is hell-bent on rushing through oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He set a date of Jan. 6, at a record pace and without waiting for public input, to auction off oil leases there.


If this fire sale proceeds, polar bear cubs could soon be terrorized by massive seismic vehicles or see drilling rigs from their dens.


And once leases are sold, it will become much harder to keep this treasured landscape from turning into an oilfield.


Not only did Trump fast-track the lease sales, but he issued a draft permit to allow a company to harass polar bears while searching for oil in the refuge.


It will allow convoys of 45-ton thumper trucks, tractors and bulldozers to roll over fragile tundra all day, all night, for weeks at a time.


We filed for a preliminary injunction to block this activity — and we'll keep fighting to keep oil and gas wells out of the refuge.


The Arctic is not Trump's to sell to the highest bidder. This majestic landscape belongs to the American people — and must be protected to avoid worsening the extinction and climate crises.


We can't let the administration get away with ruining the Arctic refuge on its way out the door.


You can help us fight with a matched gift to the Saving Life on Earth Fund.

Fish and Wildlife Service’s Branch of Delisting and Foreign Species Chief Don Morgan

Giraffes in Africa have suffered a 40 percent decline in the last 30 years. Meanwhile, the United States has imported more than 40,000 giraffe parts for pillows, knife handles, jewelry, bible covers, and more since 2006.


Don’t let giraffe parts become the new ivory!


Giraffes facing a silent extinction could receive a major helping hand if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) protects them under the Endangered Species Act.

An Endangered Species Act classification would allow the USFWS to write restrictions on the taking, possessing, selling, or transporting of giraffes and their parts. The listing also could help raise awareness about the plight of giraffes.


We must speak out now to protect giraffes from ruthless poachers and trophy hunters.


Sign this petition now urging the agency to add giraffes to the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act before we lose these gentle, beautiful animals forever.

US Live Animal Markets Cram Birds and Bunnies into Floor-to-Ceiling Cages Amid Pandemic

Recently-released undercover video footage shows how U.S.-based live animal markets continue to cram animals into overcrowded floor-to-ceiling cages amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.


An animal cruelty investigator from Animal Outlook, a Washington, D.C.-based animal welfare nonprofit, visited several live animal markets in southern California.


Wearing a hidden camera, the investigator captured shocking images of birds packed tightly together in wire cages stacked on top of each other, live chickens shackled upside down on slaughter lines, and feces and urine caked on floors in the facilities.


The investigator also observed rough, inhumane handling of animals by workers, who threw the birds around or dangled rabbits by their delicate ears.

Recently-released undercover video footage shows how U.S.-based live animal markets continue to cram animals into overcrowded floor-to-ceiling cages amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.


An animal cruelty investigator from Animal Outlook, a Washington, D.C.-based animal welfare nonprofit, visited several live animal markets in southern California.


Wearing a hidden camera, the investigator captured shocking images of birds packed tightly together in wire cages stacked on top of each other, live chickens shackled upside down on slaughter lines, and feces and urine caked on floors in the facilities.


The investigator also observed rough, inhumane handling of animals by workers, who threw the birds around or dangled rabbits by their delicate ears.


Stressed animals have weakened immune systems, making them more susceptible to viruses and bacteria that thrive in the unsanitary and cruel conditions associated with factory farms and other live animal markets. Multiple studies, including a United Nations (UN) report published this July, have linked former zoonotic disease outbreaks, including swine and bird flus, to live animal markets and factory farms.


“Pandemics such as the COVID-19 outbreak are a predictable and predicted outcome of how people source and grow food, trade and consume animals, and alter environments,” the report noted.


As of December, the COVID-19 virus had surfaced in more than 500 U.S. meatpacking plants, infecting close to 50,000 workers and killing more than 200 workers, according to the Food Environment Reporting Network.


The UN study reported that three of the leading factors believed to contribute to zoonotic diseases “jumping species” from animals to humans — and thus creating global pandemics — are the increased demand for animal protein, the rise in intense and unsustainable animal agriculture practices, and the increased use and exploitation of wildlife.


For Animal Outlook and other animal welfare and human rights organizations, the solution is clear: fix our broken food system.


“It’s time to rethink our food system. The current one is broken beyond repair,” Animal Outlook wrote on its website. “As a society, we must demand better because we all deserve better. We must stop these systems of destruction. It’s up to us to hold the animal agriculture industry and our government accountable.”

An undercover investigation conducted at Fair Oaks Farm, a supplier to milk company Fairlife...

...revealed shocking systematic and chronic abuse:

  • Workers kicking baby calves in the head

  • Baby calves being thrown to the ground and left to overheat and die in the sun

  • Workers stabbing and beating baby calves with steel rebars, burning them in the face with hot branding irons, and kneeing them in the spine.

All this was happening while Fairlife claimed its products come from cows who receive “extraordinary” care.


Our lawsuit against Fairlife for hiding the abusive treatment of the cows at their facilities continues to be one of our top priorities in 2021 — and we need to be ready to see this fight through to the end. These innocent babies deserve protection!


As we fight for the most abused animals across the country, your support is needed now to fuel all our legal battles on animals’ behalf.


As we represent consumers in a lawsuit against Fairlife for consumer deception and false advertising, your support now will make twice the impact in this case and other important legal actions against companies who build animal abuse into their business models. Hold individuals and companies that abuse animals accountable.


Fair Oaks advertises itself as a place where cows are treated humanely. But the undercover video proves the reality is one of violence, cruelty, suffering, and death. Unfortunately, the dairy industry is made up of thousands of factory farms just like Fair Oaks — places where profits take priority over the well-being of animals. Despite this, companies often tout “animal welfare standards” when making marketing claims to consumers — hiding their animal abuse behind fictitious green grass and red barns in ads and on products’ packaging.


We need your help to stand up to this cruelty and deceit. Please contribute to the Animal Legal Defense Fund today and help us reach our goal. You can make twice the impact in our fight to protect abused, neglected, and exploited animals.

Poachers have entered the pristine Okavango Delta – a treasured Botswana World Heritage Site.

We urgently need your help.


Just last month five white rhinos were killed and dehorned – merely months after Botswana evacuated critically endangered black rhinos to save them from poachers.


And if you saw our posts last month, you also know that 12 elephants in Tanzania were mutilated for their livers to feed an emerging black market. Wildlife traffickers are now claiming elephant livers cure cancer.


I'm worried. COVID-19 has reduced African Wildlife Foundation’s revenue, so we're facing a pressing budget shortfall that could threaten critical programs protecting rhinos and elephants.


That's why this opportunity I'm about to share could not wait.


AWF conservation champions have stepped in to meet the triple crisis head-on. Your gift has 3X the power to fight a triple crisis

TRIPLE YOUR GIFT BY DEC. 31

With rhino poaching escalating in vital landscapes, and this new demand for elephant livers, the value of your tripled gift cannot be overstated.


Wildlife traffickers know conservation leaders and organizations are struggling due to decreased revenue. They're exploiting every extra minute to decimate fragile populations of rhinos, elephants, lions, and mountain gorillas.


The callous cruelty that donkeys suffer in Africa is dreadful. Every day, we struggle to save as many as we can from the horrific Chinese donkey-skin trade and from brutal abuse by owners. Meisie is one poor victim. Meisie’s rural owner used her to protect his flocks from jackal and caracal predators. One day, he left her without food or water and never went back. We received a phone call saying a donkey was dying in South Africa’s Cederberg mountains. When we rushed to investigate, we couldn't believe the state of this poor girl when we rescued her - she had been so badly neglected that her hooves had developed ‘slipper foot,’ a condition where hooves grow wrongly and cripple the donkey. Meisie could still stand, but she couldn’t walk. Imagine being abandoned with no food or water AND being unable to walk.

It's a miracle Meisie survived, but she is still gravely ill. Even with intensive care, it took Meisie three weeks to learn to walk again. She also had a severely compromised immune system, and developed 'strangles,' a potentially fatal respiratory disease.

The problem is exacerbated by the continuing Chinese demand for donkey skins. We have been working to save donkeys from the disgusting Chinese donkey skin trade for four years. We support 256 rescued donkeys at the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary in South Africa, and another 46 at the MARES donkey sanctuary in Zimbabwe. The worldwide donkey skin crisis continues to devastate donkey populations globally. Donkeys are being abused, stolen and slaughtered as the demand for their skin increases to make ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy believed to be a cure-all. It is the first time in history that donkeys are confronted with this unprecedented threat.


According to Under the Skin, a 2019 report by The Donkey Sanctuary, it is estimated that the ejiao industry currently wants 4.8 million donkey skins annually. With China's donkey herd reduced from 11 million in 1992 to just 2.6 million now, the Chinese industry is killing donkeys around the world and shipping their hides to China. This has placed unprecedented pressure on donkey populations globally and is wiping donkeys out in some countries.

Sourcing of the donkeys is indiscriminate - often pregnant mares and young foals are butchered. No donkey is safe from this evil web of destruction.

Our team has been working tirelessly to improve this dreadful situation - and we are pledged to continue for as long as it takes. Don, we desperately need your help to keep donkeys safe (even those we support at the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary - who are in urgent need of food) from the rapacious traders who hover in the background waiting to seize any poor donkey we can’t support. Please see that donkeys too can have a happy holiday.

Justice for Animals! Stop Animal Suffering and the Next Pandemic
You are invited to a special evening of fun and virtual fundraising in support of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Thursday, January 28, 2021 Two online sessions — 4 p.m. PT and 7 p.m. PT RSVP NOW

Join the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Special Guests to celebrate our wins for animals and kick off our fundraising for the new year to achieve ground-breaking legal actions to:

  • Advance protections for farmed animals

  • Shut down more roadside zoos in 2021

  • Achieve justice for animal victims of criminal abuse

  • Increase animal law courses in law schools

  • Bring about long-lasting legal protections for animals

View videos highlighting our recent successes ~ Hear from Animal Legal Defense Fund leadership ~ Bid on fun auction items ~ And hear from other Special Guests.

Location: Online

Cost: Free to attend with an inspiring “Fund a Need” opportunity during the event. The first 50 people to register will get a coupon (valued at $10.99) from Miyoko’s Creamery for a delicious Miyoko’s product of your choice! Founded by iconic vegan chef & cheesemaker Miyoko Schinner (A.K.A. "The Queen of Vegan Cheese"). Miyoko's Creamery is the gold standard of artisan vegan cheese & butter. #milkplantshugs #thecreameryoftomorrow #phenomenallyvegan #plantdairy

RSVP NOW

For more information visit aldf.org/JFA.

Host Committee Pearl of Patrons David and Mary Love ~ John and Timi Sobrato ~ Kyle Vogt Jewel of Justice Brook and Amy Dubman ~ Sarah Luick Apex Advocate Brad Goldberg ~ Tatiana Freitas ~ Ingrid and Branden LeBlanc ~ Barbara Magin ~ Vijay R. Sanghvi Family Foundation ~ Jill Sideman ~ Rie Woodward Daring Defender Drs. Elaine Carlitz and John Husokowski ~ Janis Rosenthal and Jeff Rinkoff, M.D. ~ Sejal Sanghvi ~ Maxwell and Teri Sobel ~ Katherine Stirling ~ Vanessa Taylor

Thank you for all that you do for animals, and don't forget to follow PETA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Looking for a career in animal law? Please click here for the Animal Legal Defense Fund's listing of current employment opportunities. Become a Social Media Ambassador

Remote Online Advocacy Representatives (ROAR) are online partners who help us spread the word about important animal issues. Please click here to learn more. 

"Corporations Are People, My Friend."

Our companies are known for creating products that enhance people's lives. Through Sunset Corporation of America and its companies, we’re equally dedicated to improving lives.  Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.

The Sustainable Action Network (SAN), A Don Lichterman non-profit organization dedicated to building a global community raising awareness of corruption, injustice and the need for action across a full range of issues impacting people and animal/wildlife welfare around the world, such as conservation, climate change, campaign law, lobbying, government action and rescue work. SAN’s vision is to create safer world, free from political, environmental, and social oppression, where all the inhabitants of Earth can live in harmony within their own natural environments. Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.

CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
ANIMAL RESCUES WELFARE, CRIMES & ABUSE
PROTECT OUR WILDLIFE