State and local lawmakers also acted to improve the
lives of animals.
* Thirty-one states now impose felony penalties for animal cruelty
* Tennessee lawmakers recognized that the value of a companion animal
exceeds a person’s monetary investment in the animal by passing
legislation that awards non-economic damages to a person whose pet is
killed or injured by an intentional or negligent act.
* Georgia made abandoning a domestic animal a crime.
* New Jersey made it illegal to leave animals unattended in a vehicle
under inhumane conditions.
* Iowa and Michigan narrowly rejected efforts to enact mourning dove
* Illinois passed a dissection choice bill that allows students to refuse
to participate in or observe dissection without suffering any academic
* Michigan banned ownership of wolf-hybrid dogs and large carnivores, such
as lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers and bears.
Voters sided with animal protection in the majority of
state ballot measures related to animal issues, continuing a trend from
* Washington restricted the use of steel-jawed leghold traps and other
* Montana banned so-called “canned hunts.”
* Alaska restored that state’s ban on land-and-shoot wolf hunting.
Other important victories for animal came as a result
of action in the U.S. courts:
* A federal judge overturned a Clinton Administration initiative that
would have allowed dolphin-deadly tuna from Mexico to be labeled “dolphin
* A federal appeals court put a temporary halt to a whale hunt by the
Makah tribe of Washington State, finding that the necessary environmental
impact assessment had not been completed objectively by the
* A settlement of a lawsuit seeking to force the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to provide minimal protection for mice, rats and birds used in
medical research would have offered protection for millions of animals,
but an eleventh hour maneuver by researchers halted implementation of the
settlement for one year.
Reforms in wildlife management have been slow to come,
but animal protection forces scored some victories in 2000:
* New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman refused to allow a bear
hunt in that state, despite strong lobbying by hunters. Instead, the state
will implement a program designed to reduce human-bear conflicts.
* Maryland has formed a Non-Lethal Wildlife Management Task Force to
recommend non-lethal approaches to handling conflicts between humans and
wildlife. Maryland Governor Parris Glendening affirmed his opposition to
the hunting of that state’s population of several hundred black bears.
Major corporations are also increasingly recognizing the
public’s concern for animals, as witnessed by McDonald’s landmark
announcement that the fast-food giant will refuse to purchase eggs from
producers who do not meet minimum standards for animal care.
On the national front....the United Kingdom imposed a
nationwide ban on fur farming, becoming the first nation to take this bold
step for the welfare of animals. The U.K. will soon consider a ban on fox
Go on to Children's Book
- Half Price
Return to 31 December 2000 Issue
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