Human rights and animal rights

Human rights arise solely from belonging to the type of human being.

Human rights are de facto only a privilege of the ruling species, of the humans, which enables us to discriminate against all other animal species.

We are not on the side of the stronger, we fight for the rights of the “other” animals, for those without rights.

Every step that leads to the abolition of animal slavery is a step towards more justice.

Regards and good night, Venus


EU: Resistant germs in chicken meat


From Ranking of EU chicken meat companies after contamination with antimicrobial-resistant pathogens

The testing of 165 chicken meat samples from the three largest EU poultry meat companies showed that one in two chicken meat samples is contaminated with antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.

The samples were purchased in five EU countries (DE, ES, FR, NL, PL) from the low-cost range of Lidl, Aldi, and directly from the companies’ factory outlets.

Chickens from the German PHW group are the most contaminated, with a total of 59 percent of contaminated samples, followed by the French LDC group with 57 percent of contaminated samples.

At the Dutch Plukon Food Group, one in three chickens is contaminated with resistant pathogens.

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are a growing health threat.

If people pick up resistant pathogens during the preparation or consumption of meat, this can lead to serious infections where antibiotics have little or no effect.


For more…at


And I mean… The vegans were always on the carnivore’s line of fire:

“Take care of your food and leave me alone” …
“It is my free choice to eat what I like …”
“It is not healthy to only feed on plants …”

Right from the start, we drew attention to the dangers that come from slaughterhouses and factory farming.
The carnivores were just annoyed.

Now I rub my hands and officially say that it is my free choice to feel divine joy just at the thought that the carnivores may have already eaten these highly dangerous new germs and even with pleasure!!
We expected it.

These are the free citizens, the corpse eaters, the second-hand murderers, those who commissioned the daily massacres in slaughterhouses …

I wish them a lot of fun and a lot of courage for further free elections in our pathogenic democracy.

My best  regards to all, Venus

Pakistan: Islamabad High Court Holds that Animals DO Have Legal Rights.

Islamabad High Court Holds that Animals Have Legal Rights

By Nicole Pallotta, Senior Policy Program Manager

 Summary: The Islamabad High Court has held that animals have natural rights and are entitled to protection under the Pakistani constitution. The case before the court was threefold, involving an elephant held in solitary confinement at a zoo, a rescued bear who had been forced to “dance” and perform tricks, and the killing of stray dogs. Despite at times anthropocentric framing, the ruling unequivocally recognizes that animals have legal rights and is highly critical of humanity’s treatment of wild animals in particular.

“Do the animals have legal rights? The answer to this question, without any hesitation, is in the affirmative…. Like humans, animals also have natural rights which ought to be recognized. It is a right of each animal…to live in an environment that meets the latter’s behavioral, social and physiological needs.”
– Justice Athar Minallah, Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (p. 59)

In a groundbreaking decision, the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan1has recognized that animals have legal rights and are entitled to protection under the nation’s constitution. In a 67-page ruling — dealing mainly with the treatment of an elephant at a zoo — Justice Athar Minallah asked whether animals have legal rights and found, “the answer to this question, without any hesitation, is in the affirmative.”

The ruling contains striking language about the rights of animals. In addition to their physiological needs, Justice Minallah repeatedly references animals’ social and behavioral needs and their right to an environment in which these needs can be met. He is highly critical of zoos that keep wild animals (whom he refers to as “inmates”) in captive conditions that are nothing like their natural habitats, and thus prevent them from engaging in normal behaviors.2

Although the decision — which draws on religious doctrine and quotes extensively from the Quran3 — repeatedly refers to humans as “superior beings,”4 and at times frames animals’ rights in the context of human survival,5 it unequivocally recognizes that animals have natural and legal rights.

In addition, despite its at times anthropocentric framing, the ruling is highly critical of humanity’s treatment of wild animals — e.g., destroying their natural habitat and consigning them to zoos — and refers to humans as an “invasive species.”6

The case before the court combined three separate petitions. The first involved an elephant named Kaavan,7 who was being kept in deplorable conditions at the Marghazar Zoo, and whom petitioners sought to relocate to a sanctuary. The second petition involved a rescued black bear who had been abused and forced to perform tricks.8

The third petition, discussed in least detail, regarded “the killing of stray dogs allegedly in a cruel manner.”

An Opportunity to Rethink our Relationship with Animals

The ruling begins with a brief discussion of the current COVID-19 pandemic and frames the question of whether animals have legal rights in this context, noting the crisis that has caused “the human race to go into captivity” has given us an opportunity to rethink our relationship with nonhuman animals:

The pandemic seems to have changed the world for the time being. . . . Is it an opportunity for humans to introspect and relate to the pain and distress suffered by other living beings, animal species, when they are subjugated and kept in captivity and denied the conditions and habitats created for their survival by the Creator, merely for momentary entertainment? [The current pandemic crisis] has highlighted the interdependence of living beings on each other, the desperate need to restore the balance created in nature. . . (p.3)

After summarizing the three petitions before the court, Justice Minallah poses a question: Does the constitution — a human-made document designed to govern humans — also guarantee enforceable rights for animals?

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic Pakistan 1973. . . like most of the other constitutions, has been framed by humans for regulating themselves. . . . The fundamental rights guaranteed therein or the various types of writs that can be issued by a constitutional court are in the context of only one living species, i.e. humans. It either contemplates a ‘person’ or a ‘citizen’. Do other living beings, such as the species categorized as ‘animals’ and who share the gift of life with humans, have legal entitlements and thus enforceable ‘rights’? Does the Constitution impose any duty or duties on the State and humans regarding the welfare of other species such as animals, their conservation and protection?  (p. 5)

Next, Justice Minallah considers the conditions at the zoo where Kaavan is kept, criticizing a report outlining efforts to improve conditions, calling these measures “cosmetic.” This is a common criticism of zoos in the U.S. as well. Often when zoos make “improvements,” they take the form of naturalistic flourishes — or changes that are more aesthetic than substantive — that construct a comforting narrative for human visitors rather than meaningful changes in the captive animals’ enclosures. Like a well-designed film set, these enhancements convey the illusion of nature.9

“Do Animals Have Rights?”

After expressing strong skepticism that the zoo can ever meet the needs of Kaavan and other animals, Justice Minallah returns to what he considers the fundamental issue before the court: Do animals have legal rights? In so doing, he elucidates three related questions:

1) Do animals have independent rights which humans have a duty to protect,

2) Does treating animals cruelly violate human rights, and

3) Are specific laws being broken in the cases before the court?

When considering the potential source of these rights, Justice Minallah switches between justifications. The frame employed most often throughout the ruling is that animals have independent or natural rights, which humans in turn have a duty to protect. These rights are grounded in Pakistan’s animal cruelty laws and Islamic religious doctrine. A second frame yokes the rights of animals to the rights of humans by arguing that protecting animals will also protect the environment, which is an essential component of humans’ “right to life.”

In considering whether animals have rights, before shifting to an examination of the treatment of animals by various religions, Justice Minallah provides a survey of recent jurisprudence regarding the rights of animals around the world, including cases in Argentina and Brazil in which judges granted legal personhood to an orangutan and a chimpanzee, respectively. He also cites litigation in the U.S. by the Nonhuman Rights’ Project to secure writs of habeas corpus for the release and relocation to sanctuaries of three chimpanzees and an elephant.

Animals and the Quran

Despite some of the strong language on display throughout the ruling supporting animal rights, Justice Minallaha quotes several verses from the Quran that explicitly relate to animals and which call into question the nature of these “rights.” Among these examples are passages that reference using animals for food, transportation, adornment, and to “carry your loads.” One passage says that animals were made to be subject to humans. Still other passages note the Earth was created for all beings and encourages compassion, respect, and gratitude for animals.

These religious passages, perhaps unsurprisingly, advance an animal “welfare” rather than “rights” perspective. However, just as property and personhood are not binary categories, so do concepts like welfare and rights10 exist on a continuum of legal protections from strong to weak.11

Justice Minallah lists several more verses from the Quran, concluding that not only Islam but all religions recognize the duty of humans to protect animals:

It is inconceivable that, in a society where the majority follow the religion of Islam, that an animal could be harmed or treated in a cruel manner. All religions acknowledge the rights of the animal species and the duty of humans to protect them from being harmed or treated in any manner that would subject them to unnecessary pain and suffering. (pp. 52-3)

The fact that humans have a duty of care toward animals is generally an uncontroversial position — the more difficult question is what that duty entails.

Unnecessary Suffering

Justice Minallah notes a common thread among the religious passages quoted in the ruling is that they highlight “the duties of humans to protect [animals] from harm, unnecessary suffering and pain.” Here, we see a common phrasing that has vexed U.S. advocates for animals in the legal system: the qualifier “unnecessary” precedes terms like “suffering” and “pain” in most cruelty laws. “Unnecessary” is notoriously difficult to define (and most U.S. laws do not attempt to) and creates such a large loophole that almost anything can be justified regarding society’s treatment of animals. Justice Minallah addresses this question directly, specifically in regard to wild animals kept in zoos (discussed below).

Most people would agree with Justice Minallah that no animal should be killed or harmed unnecessarily. However, the reality is that animals exploited for human use, especially those raised and killed for food, are frequently both harmed and treated in a cruel manner. The word “unnecessary” has been used to justify a wide range of maltreatment under the guise that traditional, socially normative, economically advantageous, or personally convenient equates to necessity.

Legal vocabularies of necessity, along with language justifying “standard” or “customary” practices — as found in common exemptions pertaining to farmed animals in cruelty laws — employ circular reasoning to justify and further entrench practices that at one time may have been considered normative. Norms pertaining to the treatment of animals change over time and are not universal. For example, some practices may be considered normative primarily within an industry rather than among the general public. However, due to an aggressive lack of transparency achieved through mechanisms like deceptive marketing, corporate and government secrecy, and Ag-Gag laws, consumers may be largely unaware of routine ways animals are mistreated in the animal agriculture industry.

In addition, while they are treated cruelly in many contexts, including zoos and the entertainment industry, wild animals, especially charismatic megafauna like elephants and whales, tend to garner more social concern than farmed animals. Likewise, though in many places it references animals generally, the focus of this opinion is wild animals in zoos.

Justice Minallah finds that animals in zoos are protected under Pakistan’s national animal cruelty law12 and, in so doing, directly addresses the “unnecessary” qualifier. He notes that the phrase “unnecessary pain and suffering” is broad in scope and that “beneficial statutes” like the cruelty law — which was enacted for the benefit of animals — must be given the widest interpretation possible.

In addition, in determining what is “unnecessary,” Justice Minallah weighs the suffering of animals against the benefit to society provided by the zoo and finds the ethical calculus indefensible. On one side of the equation are animals who are clearly suffering, and on the other is a zoo that makes no “positive contribution whatsoever” to society. Moreover, the conditions of captivity are such that the zoo not only fails to provide an educational experience, but is likely having an adverse effect on visitors. The existence of “better and more informative opportunities” to learn about animals due to advanced technology further makes the case that the suffering of animals in the zoo cannot be justified as “necessary” (p. 52).

Constitutional Protection

Justice Minallah also found that animals are protected under the Pakistani constitution because humans have rights under this document that are directly tied to the well-being of wild animals. In employing the novel argument that cruel treatment of animals in captivity infringes on human rights, Judge Minallah concludes that animals — at least wild animals — are protected under the constitution:

The welfare, wellbeing and survival of the animal species is the foundational principle for the survival of the human race on this planet. Without the wildlife species there will be no human life on this planet. It is, therefore, obvious that neglect of the welfare and wellbeing of the animal species, or any treatment of an animal that subjects it to unnecessary pain or suffering, has implications for the right of life of humans guaranteed under Article 9 of the Constitution. . . . Cruel treatment and neglect of the wellbeing of an animal in captivity, or exposing it to conditions which do not meet the animals’ behavioural, social and physiological needs, is an infringement of the right to life of humans. (p. 56)

This is remarkably sweeping language that would have substantial implications for human-animal relations were it to be interpreted literally.

Justice Minallah also employs the less novel argument that animal cruelty is correlated with diminished empathy for humans. The antisocial effects of maltreatment of animals form the second basis for the conclusion that preventing harm to animals is a constitutional obligation.13

Finally, he critiques the fact that most national constitutions are framed in terms of humans, rather than in the context of “life” more broadly, asserting this anthropocentric focus gives rise to confusion and conflict when courts consider the plight of other-than-human living beings.

As an example of this problem, Justice Minallah points to the Nonhuman Rights Project’s ongoing litigation, in which U.S. courts have “gone to the extent of implicitly recognizing animals to be other than a mere ‘thing’ but the relief of habeas corpus was denied on the ground that they could not be treated as humans.” For this reason, Justice Minallah argues that although constitutions were written with humans in mind, they must be adapted to encompass other sentient beings.

The Source of Natural Rights: Sentient Life

Justice Minallah refers to the “natural rights”14 of animals, which he locates in the fact that they are “alive” and have been given the “gift of life” (p.59). While this is a broad category, he circumvents a slippery slope argument that might sweep up plants and bacteria by repeatedly mentioning sentience, as well as referring to living “beings.” Therefore, it seems the origin of  the natural rights referenced in the ruling is the state of being alive and sentient:

The human rights are inherent because they stem from the attribute of being ‘alive’. Life, therefore, is the premise of the existence of a right. . . . An object or thing without ‘life’ has no right. A living being on the other hand has rights because of the gift of ‘life’. An animal undoubtedly is a sentient being. It has emotions and can feel pain or joy. (p. 59)

Justice Minallah also addresses — and handily dismisses — a common straw man fallacy employed by opponents of expanded legal rights for animals: namely that this means they will have the same rights as human beings:

It has never been the case of those arguing on behalf of animals to recognize that they have the same rights enjoyed by the human species. No relief has ever been sought on behalf of any animal to grant it freedom by releasing it from a zoo and thus allowing its free access to public places meant for humans. (pp. 58-59)

Rather, his use of the phrase “natural rights” refers to animality, or animals’ species-specific nature and needs:

By nature each specie has its own natural habitat. . . . It is unnatural for a lion to be kept in captivity in a restricted area. To separate an elephant from the herd and keep it in isolation is not what has been contemplated by nature. Like humans, animals also have natural rights which ought to be recognized. It is a right of each animal, a living being, to live in an environment that meets the latter’s behavioral, social and physiological needs. (pp. 59-60)

Which Animals?

This all raises the two-pronged question: 1) What natural rights do animals have, and 2) do they apply to all animals? Justice Minallah does not overtly state that only some animals have natural rights, but the examples and language used, as well as the case before the court, suggest he believes wild animals are the primary beneficiary of these rights. This could be because two of the petitions concern wild animals held in captivity. However, on the third petition, regarding the killing stray dogs, Justice Minallah is virtually silent.15

Without further details, it is impossible to say why this is. However, it could be noted that in the U.S., we are accustomed to companion animals like dogs and cats being the primary subjects of jurisprudential discussions about legal rights for animals (though cognitively complex wild animals like primates, elephants, and orcas also figure prominently) — when these rights are discussed at all.16

Yet, Pakistan has a different culture regarding companion animals, particularly dogs, who less commonly live indoors and are often perceived as workers more than household companions or family members.17 18 Stray dogs, who sometimes become aggressive towards people, are a source of social conflict as well and are frequently victims of cruel treatment.19

The less prominent cultural belief that dogs are family, however, does not quite explain why the opinion primarily mentions wild animals — as the latter are not considered family either. The privileging of wild animals in this decision appears rather to be the belief that human rights are inexorably tied to the rights of wild animals via the bridge of habitat preservation, which is essential to the survival of humans and animals alike. If wild animals’ rights are disregarded, the argument seems to go, so too will their habitat be devalued, which in turn harms humans. The ruling does not refer to farmed animals except in quoted passages from the Quran that mention using them for food, transportation, and other utilitarian ends.

Resolution of the Case

The 67-page decision forms a lengthy backdrop and justification for the Islamabad High Court’s ruling that Kavaan the elephant must immediately be transferred from the zoo to an appropriate sanctuary. Justice Minallah found the black bear — who was the subject of the second petition — had been treated in a cruel manner and was therefore rightly seized, granting the petitioner permission to move him to a bear sanctuary. Regarding the third petition, any policy changes regarding the killing of stray dogs remain unclear and were delegated to a wildlife management board with the directive that the policy must be “humane.” Justice Minallah writes:

The Board is the competent authority to prescribe a policy and mechanism regarding stray dogs. It is expected that the Board while formulating the policy will have regard to the best practices observed internationally and the injunctions of Islam which teaches treating animals in humane manner. (pp. 64-5)

Moral Consideration, Law, and Social Norms

Justice Minallah places great weight on cognitive ability in his reasoning throughout the ruling. Likewise, his assertion that humans are superior to other animals is grounded in cognitive capacity. Arguments that locate moral consideration or legal rights in mental ability are often criticized as speciesist. However, in creating a de facto hierarchy based on cognitive capacity rather than the frequently invoked intrinsic value of being human, he arrives at a conclusion consistent with the utilitarian strand of animal rights theory popularized by Peter Singer in Animal Liberation (1975). Like Singer, Justice Minallah argues there is moral equivalency between cognitively impaired humans and nonhuman animals. Thus, he reaches what would seem a rather remarkable conclusion from an animal rights perspective: “An infant, a comatose or a mentally challenged person is not different to an animal” (p 58).

The implication of such conclusions must be interpreted with a large grain of salt given the context of the decision’s focus on wild animals and the fact that of the three petitions before the court, Kaavan the elephant is discussed by far at greatest length.

However, laws and judicial decisions serve an important symbolic function as well. When social norms are in conflict during times of social change — as they are now with regard to animals’ treatment in society — laws can work over time to “crowd out” some norms while amplifying others.20 While the practical impact of this ruling remains to be seen, statements supportive of animal rights issued from a high court signal a shift in consciousness regarding society’s treatment of animals that is underway.


Justice Minallah found that Kaavan the elephant has rights because he has legal protections. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is making a similar argument in Justice v. Vercher, which if successful will be the first lawsuit in the United States to establish that animals have a legal right to sue their abusers in court.21

In addition to this case, we fight on multiple fronts to expand the boundaries of the law toward greater recognition that animals are more than mere property and deserve a legal status that reflects their nature as living, feeling beings. In harmony with the sentiments articulated in this ruling, the Animal Legal Defense Fund envisions a legal system that ultimately protects animals’ right to flourish in their own ecological communities, to live their lives according to their emotional and physical capacities, and to be free from cruelty and exploitation.

Further Reading


  1. 1.    The Islamabad High Court is the senior court of the Islamabad Capital Territory and has appellate jurisdiction over two district courts. It is one of the nation’s five high courts, which are under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. 
  2. 2.    For example, of the zoo in question, Justice Minallah writes: “The caged living beings in the Zoo are undoubtedly in pain, distress and agony, definitely disproportionate to the purpose intended to be achieved by keeping them in this condition. As would be discussed in more detail, the conditions of captivity at the Zoo definitely amount to the criminal treatment of living beings.” (p. 6) 
  3. 3.    Justice Minallah notes that while his ruling focuses on Islam due to its prevalence in Pakistan, the context for his thinking is broader because there is consensus among the world’s religions that animals are sentient beings who must be protected:

“The emphasis and importance of ‘life’ and the protection of living beings cannot be overstated in every religion and faith. Be it Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion, there is no dispute that ‘life’ is the most precious and superior creation of the Creator. There is consensus amongst all religions of the world that animals are ‘sentient beings’ i.e able to perceive and feel. However, the primary sources of law of Islam will be discussed in more detail because ninety seven percent of the population in Pakistan are its followers i.e Muslims. Moreover, Article 31 of the Constitution and its preamble expressly provides that ‘steps shall be taken to enable the Muslims of Pakistan, individually and collectively, to order their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam’.” (p.47) 

  • 4.    However, advancing a less hierarchical thesis, Justice Minallah also notes that although “human has been made superior to other forms because of its cognitive attributes. . . the other forms of life are not inferior but each have a specific and distinct purpose.” (pp. 47-8) 
  • 5.    E.g., “This Court has been called upon to recognize that animals have rights which ought to be respected or, rather, it is the duty of the human species to protect these rights for its own survival.” (pp. 4-5) 
  • 6.    “The invasive species i.e humans, have deprived the wildlife native species of its habitat, which was protected under the law. It manifests how humans have undermined the rule of law and threatened the balance created by nature.” (p. 23) 
  • 7.    Of Kaavan, the court writes:

“[He] was gifted by the Government of Sri Lanka in 1985 when he was one year old. . . .  For more than three decades Kaavan has been kept chained in a small enclosure described by the amicus and the Wildlife Management Board as small, with inappropriate conditions required to meet the physiological, social and behavioural needs of this extraordinary species of living beings. . . . This social living being has been kept in isolation since his female companion Saheli’s death at the age of twenty two in 2012. According to the report submitted on behalf of the Wildlife Management Board, because of the conditions of captivity, Kaavan exhibits severe stereotype behaviour and may have also developed neurological problems.” (pp. 10-11) 

  • 8.    “The Bear was seized when it was being used for entertainment purposes by making it ‘dance’ and perform other tricks. It was in a shockingly distressing condition. A rope was passed through its muzzle and its teeth had been taken out in order to exercise control over it.” (p. 4) 
  • 9.    On the matter of cosmetic flourishes for zoo patrons rather than substantive features for animals, see the previous Animal Law Update, “California Supreme Court Reverses Protections for Elephants Confined at Los Angeles Zoo.” 
  • 10.  The philosophical difference between so-called animal welfare and rights is sometimes summarized as the difference between advocating for bigger cages versus no cages. In the concrete realm of law and policy, these concepts are less easily separated as legal protections are a type of legal right. 
  • 11.  See: Animals’ Legal Status
  • 12.  “The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1890 . . . . makes overdriving, beating, or otherwise treating any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering illegal. The person found guilty of treating an animal in such a manner is liable to be sentenced with imprisonment besides the imposition of a fine.” (p. 52) 
  • 13.  He writes:

“Researchers have found profound influences of a positive relationship between an animal and a child. The child tends to develop more empathy towards fellow human beings. In a nutshell, the relationship of the treatment of animals and the right to life of humans makes it an obligation of the State and its authorities to jealously guard against cruel and illegal treatment of animals. Protecting, preserving and conserving the animal species and preventing it from harm is a constitutional obligation of the State and the authorities.” (p. 57) 

  1. 14.  Natural rights, which tend to be grounded in philosophical or religious principles, are generally considered to be universal and inalienable, as opposed to legal rights, which are socially constructed, granted by governments, and  vary by time and place. Of the natural rights of animals, Justice Minallah writes: “Like humans, animals also have natural rights which ought to be recognized. It is a right of each animal, a living being, to live in an environment that meets the latter’s behavioral, social and physiological needs.” (pp. 59-60) 
  2. 15.  While the killing of stray dogs was the subject of one of the three petitions, the ruling spends approximately two sentences out of 67 pages on this matter and the remainder on wild animals, particularly Kaavan and other elephants. 
  3. 16.  For example, in cases and legislation pertaining to “custody” of companion animals
  4. 17.  See: Berglund, Jenny.  2014. “ Princely Companion or Object of Offense? The Dog’s Ambiguous Status in Islam.” Society & Animals. Vol. 22, Issue 6; Khalid, Haroon. “ The two worlds of Pakistani culture – one that abuses animals and another that holds them sacred.” August 3, 2018; Turk, Zari. “ Changing trend of keeping pets in Pakistan.” The Patriot. June 11, 2016. 
  5. 18.  Though it should be noted that while the “dogs are family” narrative is common in U.S. culture, many people who keep dogs neither consider them to be family nor treat them as such. 
  6. 19.  See: Khan, Naimat. “ Animal rights activists condemn culling practices for stray dogs in Karachi.” Arab News. July 22, 2020. 
  7. 20.  See: Carbonara, Emanuela. 2017. “ Law and Social Norms” in The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics: Volume 1: Methodology and Concepts. Edited by Francesco Parisi; Sunstein, Cass R. 1999. “ Law’s Expressive Function.” The Good Society. Vol. 9, No. 2 (pp. 55-61). 
  8. 21.  Oral argument in Justice v. Vercher before the Oregon Court of Appeals was held on September 2, 2020. 

Direct Action Everywhere: “Now they know they can’t stop us”.


26 people were arrested after locking down this Smithfield* slaughterhouse in LA — as actions happened around the world for #RosesLaw, an Animal Bill of Rights.



*Smithfield Foods, Inc. is the largest pork producer in the USA and is headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia / USA. The company belongs to the Chinese WH Group based in Luohe, Henan / China, which is the largest pig breeding and pork processing group in the world.

Smithfield is proud to operate itself the entire value chain of meat production, i.e. fattening, slaughtering, and further processing into meat products.

The multinational company produces 14 million piglets per year and processes 27 million pigs into various meat products.
In 2006 this was a total of 2.7 million tons of pork and 635,000 tons of fresh beef, which were marketed under brand names such as Smithfield, Butterball, John Morrell, Gwaltney, Patrick Cudahy, Krakus, Cook’s Ham, and Stefano’s.

Smithfield has offices in 26 states and 9 countries, and sales in 44 countries worldwide.
US government agencies have found Smithfield systematically violating workers’ rights (Wikipedia).

Many thanks and respect to the brave activists.

My best regards to all, Venus


UK: Government backs Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill as it takes crucial step forward.


Press Release

Government backs Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill as it takes crucial step forward

Plans which will mean animal abusers could face up to five years in prison move a step closer.

The Government is backing legislation for tougher prison times for those who cruelly mistreat animals, as plans to introduce more stringent sentences move a step closer today (Friday 23 October 2020).

The Bill, introduced in Parliament by Chris Loder MP in February, will see the most serious perpetrators of animal cruelty face up to five years in prison, up from the current maximum of six months. Today, the Bill will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons, backed by the Government.

These tougher prison sentences would be among the toughest sanctions for animal abuse in Europe, strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare.

The Bill follows a public consultation in 2017, in which more than 70% of people supported the proposals for tougher prison sentences for those guilty of animal cruelty offences. This could include dog fighting, cruelty towards domestic pets or gross neglect of farm animals.

Chris Loder, MP for West Dorset, said:

It is high time as a nation that we take the lead on global standards for animal welfare and hand down tougher custodial sentences for those who inflict the worst kinds of cruelty on innocent animals.

My Bill, which I’m pleased has cross-party support and is fully endorsed by the RSPCA and other animal welfare charities, delivers a strong message to animal abusers that their behaviour will no longer be tolerated. We need to get it on the statute book and send a clear signal to potential offenders there is no place for animal cruelty in this country.

Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said:

There is no place for animal cruelty in this country and this crucial piece of legislation will bring in more stringent sentences for animal abusers who commit the most heinous crimes, cementing our role as a global leader in animal welfare.

In addition to supporting this Bill, we are taking steps to ban primates as pets, crack down on the illegal smuggling of dogs and puppies, and we will be making good on our commitment to end excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening of farm animals.

I would like to thank Chris Loder MP for introducing this vital Bill. We will do all we can to support its swift passage through Parliament.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said:

We’re thrilled that The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill has passed through this stage and that we’re one step closer to getting real justice for abused and neglected animals in this country.

In the three years since the Government pledged to increase the maximum sentence under the Animal Welfare Act from six months to five years, immediate custodial sentences have been imposed on 132 individuals following RSPCA investigations into cruelty and these included horrendous cases such as a dog who was kicked to death by her owner and a man who bit off a kitten’s ear.

Tougher sentencing would give courts more flexibility to impose longer prison terms on those people guilty of the most serious offences to better reflect the severity of the crimes and to act as a stronger deterrent to others.

The Second Reading of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill is due to conclude on 23 October. The Bill will then go to Committee Stage, with Report Stage and Third Reading following this, before transferring to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.

You can track the progress of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill and read debates on all stages of the Bill’s passage on the Parliament website.

Germany: Alternative to Animal Experiments: New Applications for Organoids from Human Intestinal Tissue.

Alternative to animal experiments: new applications for organoids from human intestinal tissue

26 October 2020

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have cultured so-called intestinal organoids from human intestinal tissue, which is a common byproduct when performing bowel surgery. These small ‘miniature intestines’ can be used for molecular biological examinations and allow for a direct application of research results to humans, thereby making animal experiments redundant.

The human intestine is vital for both digestion and absorbing nutrients as well as drugs. For any type of research that involves intestines, scientists require research models that reflect the physiological situation inside human beings with the highest possible accuracy.

Standard cell lines and animal experiments have certain disadvantages. One main issue is the lack of applicability of the results to humans. Now, a multidisciplinary research team covering the areas of nutritional science, general medicine, and chemistry has demonstrated how a modern in vitro model — made from human intestinal biopsies — can answer various questions regarding the molecular processes inside the human gut.

“When studying diseases or performing drug screenings, it is critical to have access to a human test system such as human organoids in order to prevent obtaining species specific test results,” said Tamara Zietek, who is part of the Chair of Nutritional Physiology at TUM.

She added that, “over the course of the last few years, organoids have become one of the most promising in vitro models due to their high physiological relevance; they also present a human-based alternative method to animal experiments.”

Read more at source

Science Daily

New Zealand: Take Action Now – Ask the PM to Stop Live Animal Exports Immediately.

Dear Mark

It’s been 55 days since the Gulf Livestock 1 capsized with the loss of 41 crew members, including two New Zealanders, and almost 6,000 cows. This tragedy led to the government announcing a temporary ban on live export and yet another review into this cruel and unnecessary trade. 

Last month, Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Conner gave the okay for New Zealand to resume exports ‘conditionally’ on 24 October despite the risks. Disappointingly, that day has come.

The live export ship, Yangtze Fortune, will dock at Napier port on Tuesday 3 November and plans to take thousands New Zealand cows on a long and stressful sea journey in unnatural conditions. The majority of animals live exported from New Zealand are sent to countries with lower animal welfare standards than our own and sometimes no animal protection laws at all. This means our animals are being farmed and slaughtered in ways that are illegal in here New Zealand. 

The only way we can truly help these animals is to get a permanent ban on live animal export. And we need your help. 

The Gulf Livestock 1 disaster has highlighted the risks both humans and animals are forced to endure on live export ships. Tens of thousands of Kiwis have called for a ban on this cruel practice and we won’t stop until our Government leaders align the law with our Kiwi values by permanently banning live animal export. 
Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern herself has questioned whether the cruel live export trade should be allowed to continue and has highlighted the fact that the trade is problematic, especially where animal welfare and New Zealand’s reputation is concerned. 
Take action for animals by writing to the Prime Minster, Jacinda Ardern to echo her concerns about this trade and urge her  to ban live animal export permanently. 


We know caring people like you want to see an end to live export. And together we will continue to put pressure on our Government until this cruel trade is permanently banned.
Thank you for your support – together we will get a ban on live export. 

Debra Ashton
Chief Executive Officer

P.s Join the more than 30,000 people who have already called for a ban on live export from New Zealand. Together, we can stop this cruel trade.