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1. USDA Accepting Comments on Downed Animals

Each year, millions of animals—most of them worn-out dairy cows—collapse, so sick or injured from brutal conditions on factory farm and transport that they cannot even walk off the transport truck to the slaughterhouse. For years, animal advocates have been trying to pass legislation to ban the use of downed animals in the U.S. food supply. This would not only be safer for consumers but would also provide farmers with financial incentive to treat animals better so that they don’t become downed in the first place.

For years, agribusiness did everything in their power to oppose legislation banning the use of downed animals for human food.

When mad cow disease was discovered in a downed cow in Washington State, and when countries all over the world immediately stopped buying U.S. beef, the USDA quickly announced a ban on the use of downed animals for human food. There are several problems with the ban. First, it’s temporary. Second, it only applies to cows. Third, there is no provision requiring that the animals be euthanized, so they can still be dragged with cranes or forklifts while fully conscious, and they can still be slaughtered for pet food or to be fed to other animals raised for food.

Despite the weakness of the ban, agribusiness is now seeking to overturn it entirely. The USDA is accepting public comments on the ban until April 12, 2004.

Contact the USDA before April 12. Ask the USDA to:

(i) Make the ban permanent.

(ii) Make the ban apply to all farmed animals—not just cows.

(iii) Require that downed animals be euthanized. An animal that is downed is clearly in severe pain, and it is impossible to humanely transport a downed cow or pig (who can only be lifted with a crane or forklift).

Write to the USDA at:
FSIS Docket Clerk
Docket 03-025IF
Room 102, Cotton Annex
300 12th and C Street SW.
Washington, DC 20250-3700
Fax: 202-690-0486
[email protected]

For more information about downed animals, visit For more information about mad cow disease, visit


2. National Crime Prevention Conference Addresses Animal Abuse

For the first time, the annual National Youth Conference and International Forum will address animal abuse as a component of the cycle of violence. Randall Lockwood, co-editor of "Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence" will be a featured speaker at the conference.

IDA's Guardians for Life Education Program will be on hand to provide youth and professionals with action-based resources to take back to their communities.

The conference, sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), will be held February 14-17 in Arlington, Virginia. Designed for youth ages 12-22 and the adults who work with them, the four-day conference challenges all participants to be resources for violence prevention.

IDA is a national member of the NCPC. Backed by evidence that links animal abuse to child abuse, domestic violence, school shootings, and even bullying, IDA is working with the NCPC and other violence-prevention networks to establish a precedent for addressing animal abuse at all violence-prevention events, workshops and conferences.


3. Educate Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton About the Cruelty of Fur

After several twists and turns, denials, and a cover-up, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s staff has now admitted that she has a new fur coat.

Every year, millions of animals, including rabbits, minks, foxes, and raccoons, are trapped in the wild in barbaric steel-jaw leghold traps. Those who don’t freeze or starve are usually beaten to death, jumped on to crush their ribs and lungs, or suffocated. Animals, particularly mothers desperate to reach their helpless young, have even been known to endure the pain of chewing off their own limbs in order to free themselves from traps. And fur farms are just as hideous. After months of fear and being confined to crowded, filthy cages, suffering extreme weather conditions and unbearable stress, the animals are forcibly removed from the cages and killed by suffocation, neck-breaking, or genital electrocution. Sometimes, these methods only stun—not kill—the animals, who end up being skinned alive.

Please write and call Senator Clinton to remind her (ever so politely, please) that she can stop violence in this country by never, ever buying or wearing fur. As a powerful politician, and as someone who gets considerable media exposure, it is crucial that Senator Clinton be made aware of the feelings of animal activists so that she can take more pro-animal stances in the future. Please contact her at:

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
476 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
202-228-0282 (fax)
Web Form:


4. Remember to sign-up for Team IDA!

We have almost 60 national members right now, and the list is growing everyday. We need unstoppable voices to bring attention to world class, professional triathlete Eric Harr as he competes in such challenging athletic trials for IDA and animals everywhere.

This Sunday, February 1, Eric will be competing in the kickoff event for the Ultimate Challenge In Defense of Animals, the San Francisco Half-Marathon. We are excited to announce that 40 San Francisco Bay Area Teammates, will be participating in the Half-Marathon or 5K, to spread our pro-animal message and support Eric on Sunday.

Being part of Team IDA is not only about cheering on Eric, but getting active to save the lives of animals. You can join by taking part in local athletic events in your own community. To sign-up for Team IDA you can go to or call Jessica at (415) 388-9641 ex. 222.


5. You’re Invited to IDA’s Arizona Brunch

If you are in the Arizona area, you are invited to join IDA for brunch on Sunday, February 8 at noon. This brunch is a pre-event party for IDA’s April 17 gala, To the Beat of Flying Hooves and¿ the Wag of Happy Tails. The brunch will take place at one of Arizona's most beautiful equine farms, Gail Dudley's Sweetwater Farms, built in the tradition of the stately Virginia and Kentucky farms. Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with the magnificent rescued horses of IDA’s Arizona Conquistador Equine Rescue Program and the happy, fun, and tail-wagging canines rescued by SAFE (Save Animals From Euthanasia) and IDA.

Meet the famous Conquistador, rescued from sure death by abuse and starvation in a joint effort by IDA, Concerned Citizens for Animal Welfare, and the Silver Creek Regional Humane Society, and brought back to health with the help of compassionate people throughout Maricopa, Navajo, and Apache counties.

See firsthand what your compassion and efforts have done for the horses and dogs of Maricopa County.

Admission is $25 per person. All proceeds will benefit IDA rescues in Arizona and joint IDA/SAFE rescues of dogs, cats, and other animals from collectors and puppy mills. Dress casual.

To RSVP and purchase tickets contact:
Dr. Pat Haight, In Defense of Animals @ 480-394-0578
Gail Dudley, Save Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE) @ 480-585-9443

Visit here for more information.


6. Visit IDA's Online Resources

Have you visited the IDA Online Resource Center yet? It is you’re a fantastic resource for animal rights materials and information.
From our list of 12 Things YOU Can Do, to detailed campaign resources, we've compiled the best and most useful materials available to help you understand—and take action—on the issues affecting animals worldwide.
Whether you want to start your own animal rights group, document animal abuse at laboratories, distribute informational brochures to the public, or embark on a cruelty-free lifestyle, the IDA Online Resource Center has what you need to get started combating animal abuse.
To get started today, visit here.

Who knows? You may even be inspired to start your own animal sanctuary, like IDA's Project Hope or even our chimp sanctuary in Africa!
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