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The rights of animals, claimed on ethical grounds, to the same humane treatment and protection from exploitation and abuse that are accorded to humans.
Animal Welfare Act The Animal Welfare Act was signed into law in 1966. It is the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Other laws, policies, and guidelines may include additional species coverage or specifications for animal care and use, but all refer to the Animal Welfare Act as the minimum acceptable standard. The Act is enforced by USDA, APHIS, Animal Care. Animal Welfare Act and Regulations "Blue Book" (September 2013) USDA Animal Care has posted the most up-to-date version of the Animal Welfare Act and regulations.
Here is a list of our favorite links about Animal Rights and additional information.. We hope this list helps you LOCATE / RESEARCH ENTER SUBJECT. If you have suggestions about other sites to include, send email to YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.
Our society has long recognized the need to protect animals through criminal
statutes. A few years ago, we saw the national story of Michael Vick, a
professional football player who was sentenced to twenty-three months in federal
prison for his involvement in a dog fighting operation. You can also see
examples of neglect on TV shows that encounter the problem of animal hoarding.
These programs show that even with the best intentions of taking care of
animals, those we take on too much are actually hurting animals much more than
they are helping them. TV coverage and Michael Vick’s conviction brought new
attention to the nationwide problem of animal abuse.
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the
idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be
afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human
beings. Advocates approach the issue from different philosophical
positions, ranging from the protectionist side of the movement, presented by philosopher Peter Singer—with a utilitarian focus on suffering and consequences, rather than on the concept of rights—to the abolitionist side, represented by law professor Gary Francione,
who argues that animals need only one right: the right not to be
property. Despite the different approaches, advocates broadly agree that
animals should be viewed as non-human persons and members of the moral community, and should not be used as food, clothing, research subjects, or entertainment.
The idea of awarding rights to animals has the support of legal scholars such as Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe
of Harvard Law School. Animal rights is routinely covered in
universities in philosophy or applied ethics courses, and as of spring
2010 animal law was taught in 125 law schools in the United States and Canada. Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby argued in 2008 that the movement had reached the stage the gay rights movement was at 25 years earlier.
Critics of the idea argue that animals are unable to enter into a social contract or make moral choices, and for that reason cannot be regarded as possessors of rights, a position summed up by the philosopher Roger Scruton,
who wrote in 2000 that only humans have duties and therefore only
humans have rights. There has also been criticism, including from within
the animal rights movement itself, of certain forms of animal rights activism, in particular the destruction of fur farms and animal laboratories by the Animal Liberation Front.
A parallel argument is that there is nothing inherently wrong with
using animals as resources so long there is no unnecessary suffering, a
view known as the animal welfare position.
Top Most Endangered Species-Animals, sea life
According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF)
Black Rhino-Less than a month after Vietnam’s Javan rhinoceroses were declared extinct, another rhino species has perished. Africa’s Western Black Rhinoceros has officially been declared extinct.
The giant panda is a black and white bear living in temperate-zone bamboo forests of central China. As one of the rarest animals on the edge of extinction, it stands for the species endangered and conservation efforts to protect them.
Giant pandas once inhabited in lowland areas, but with the development of farming and forestry, they have been forced to mountains of Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu.
Giant pandas prefer to live in broadleaf and coniferous forests with dense bamboos, at altitude between 5,000 and 10,000 feet, which areas are bathed all year around by mist and rain.
The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.3 metres (11 ft) and weighing up to 306 kg (670 lb). They are the third largest land carnivore (behind only the Polar bear and the Brown bear). Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts. They have exceptionally stout teeth, and their canines are the longest among living felids with a crown height of as much as 74.5 mm (2.93 in) or even 90 mm (3.5 in) In zoos, tigers have lived for 20 to 26 years, which also seems to be their longevity in the wild.They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.
Tigers once ranged widely across Asia, from Turkey in the west to the eastern coast of Russia. Over the past 100 years, they have lost 93% of their historic range, and have been extirpated from southwest and central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, and from large areas of Southeast and Eastern Asia. Today, they range from the Siberian taiga to open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps. The remaining six tiger subspecies have been classified as endangered by IUCN.
The largest freshwater turtle in North America, the alligator
snapping turtle is found primarily in southern United States waters.
They are found from eastern Texas east to the Florida panhandle, and
north to southeastern Kansas, Missouri, southeastern Iowa, western
Illinois, western Kentucky, and eastern Tennessee.Typically only nesting females will venture onto open land.
The hawksbill turtle grows to lengths of 3.5 feet long and
weights of up to 180 pounds. Hawksbill turtles were named for the shape
of their beak, which looks similar to the beak of a raptor.
The hawksbill was prized for its shell, which was used in combs,
brushes, fans and even furniture. In Japan, hawksbill shell is referred
to as bekko. Now the hawksbill is listed under Appendix I in CITES, which means that trade for commercial purposes is banned.
Green Cheek Amazon Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis) - RSCF has been monitoring wild Green-cheeked Amazon parrots on
Palm Beach, FL since 1995. This unusual population has only a single breeding site here - a 150-year-old stand of ornamental
Casuarina (Australian pine). The birds provide a convenient study system for researching the ecology of non-native
parrot species, as they also provide insights about how small parrot populations persist in a continually perturbed, urban
In 1809, Constantine Rafinesque first described shortfin mako and coined the name Isurus oxyrinchus (Isurus means "the same tail", oxyrinchus means "pointy snout"). "Mako" comes from the M?ori language meaning either the shark or a shark tooth. It may have originated in a dialectal variation as it is similar to the common words for shark in a number of Polynesian languages—mak? in the K?i Tahu M?ori dialect,mang? in other M?ori dialects, "mago" in Samoan, ma'o in Tahitian, and mano in Hawaiian. The first written usage is in Lee & Kendall's Grammar and vocabulary of the language of New Zealand (1820), which simply states "Máko; A certain fish".Richard Taylor's A leaf from the natural history of New Zealand (1848) is more elaborate: "Mako, the shark which has the tooth so highly prized by the Maoris".
Range and habitat
The shortfin mako inhabits offshore temperate and tropical seas worldwide. The closely related longfin mako shark, Isurus paucus, is found in the Gulf Stream or warmer offshore waters.
It is a pelagic
species that can be found from the surface down to depths of 150 m
(490 ft), normally far from land though occasionally closer to shore,
around islands or inlets.One of only four known endothermic sharks, it is seldom found in waters colder than 16 °C (61 °F).
In the western Atlantic it can be found from Argentina and the Gulf of Mexico to Browns Bank off of Nova Scotia. In Canadian
waters these sharks are neither abundant nor rare. Swordfish are a good
indication of shortfin makos as the former is a source of food and
prefers similar environmental conditions
Shortfin makos travel long distances to seek prey or mates. In December 1998, a female tagged off California was captured in the central Pacific
by a Japanese research vessel, meaning this fish traveled over 1,725
miles (2,776 km). Another swam 1,322 miles (2,128 km) in 37 days,
averaging 36 miles (58 km) a day.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a non-profit animal welfare
organization originally founded in England in 1824 to pass laws
protecting carriage horses from abuse. SPCA groups are now found in many
nations, where they campaign for animal welfare, assist in cruelty to animals cases, and attempt to find new homes for unwanted animals they feel are adoptable. Policies regarding animal euthanasia, handling feral cats, and similar issues vary by shelter.
In 2006, SPCA International was founded in the United States to
implement outreach programs, emergency financial aid for organizations,
and recognition grants on an international level. It is responsible for
Operation Baghdad Pups, which safely transports pets adopted by US
troops while stationed overseas. Online, it runs public discussion
forums, plus helps individuals find information, advocate against abuse,
and connects them with nearby shelters. In line with its name, it also
offers assistance opening animal cruelty investigations and offers a
"Cruelty Crime Stopper" reward for tips that help lead to convictions.
Historically, hundreds of thousands of wolves roamed wild throughout North
America. During the 19th and 20th centuries, as the human population grew,
people began to compete with wolves for game and habitat. Wolves were also
viewed as pests and vermin and were slaughtered by the thousands. As a result,
wolves virtually disappeared from the American west.
Why They’re Important
Wolves play a significant role in ecosystem health.
They help keep large herd animal populations in check, which can benefit
numerous other plant and animal species. The carcasses of their prey also help
to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, most
notably other scavengers. Indeed, scientists are just beginning to understand
the full positive ripple effects that large predators contribute in nature.
Today, wolves can be found in many different regions of the United States. In
some regions, like the Great Lakes district, wolves are thriving and people in
the towns and cities near them have accepted them as part of the wild landscape.
However, in other regions, wolves are facing serious threats to their existence.
Click the links at right to see the specific threats facing the different
populations around the country.