The 15 Biggest Animal Rights Wins of 2017
2017 was a big year for animals and the establishment and recognition of their rights as valuable elements of our planet.
From the acknowledgement and condemnation of animal abuse to ground-breaking laws being passed through parliament, these 15 animal rights wins of 2017 will give a clear insight into how far the rights of animals have come and how far they will continue to go.
1. British Slaughterhouses made CCTV surveillance footage mandatory
Unfortunately, abattoirs are full of unethical inhuman behaviour towards animals. 11 slaughterhouses in the UK were secretly filmed between 2009-2016 and 10 out of 11 of these establishments were involved in animal cruelty.
A New Government order making installation of CCTV surveillance mandatory in all British slaughterhouses will help to prevent the very worst cases of animal which can include violence, sexual abuse and torture. This has been a big step towards increasing the level of animal rights and welfare standards in Britain.
2. Luxury Fashion Brands went Fur-free
Big labels are well and truly moving with the times of the people and are beginning to understand that “kindness sells”. In 2017, Michael Kors, Gucci and Jimmy Choo have all gone fur-free, recognising that most stylish people in this day and age wouldn’t be caught dead in fur. This, along with the fact that vegan labels are making a serious name for themselves in the fashion industry, has resulted in a big fall in unethically sourced animal furs and skins.
3. Major brands stopped testing on animals
Major soy sauce distributor ‘Kikoman’ and major pasta distributor ‘Barilla’ stopped testing their products on animals. The United States Department of Agriculture released a document showing figures detailing a 10% decrease in animals in US laboratories between 2014-2015. Denmark worked hard to end all testing on animals with progressive documents being passed in 2017, aiming to eradicate animal testing by 2025.
4. China shut down its domestic ivory market
China’s domestic ivory trade has involved the yearly slaughter of 30,000 African elephants. Last year however, all government sanctioned ivory facilities were closed.
5. Big brands went Vegan
Growing list of vegan alternatives such as “raw” vegan ground beef, vegan eggs, dairy-free ice-cream or vegan cheese. Häägen-Dazs created their own vegan ice cream and Guinness went vegan.
6. 220 companies stopped using Angora Wool
220 companies worldwide announced they will no longer sell Angora wool. This after PETA released an in-depth investigation showing rabbits on a Chinese Angora wool farm screaming out in immense pain as their fur was being gruesomely ripped out while the rabbits were still alive. H&M, Primark and Topshop, to name a few, stopped all Angora wool product orders immediately.
7. Gajraj the elephant was freed after 50 years of captivity and abuse
Gajraj was constantly chained close to a popular tourist destination in Satara, India for over 50 years. In 2017 he was sent to an Elephant Conservation and Care centre due to the continuous protests from PETA and 200,000 supporters rallying for his protection and release.
8. SeaWorld announced it will stop breeding Orcas and phase out displays
The release of the disturbing “Blackfish” documentary put a great deal of pressure on amusement parks involving the captivity of wild animals. A vast array of positive results came from this pressure; a national aquarium in Baltimore sent all of its dolphins to coastal sanctuaries.
9. Vietnam agreed to close all bear bile farms
In July 2017, The Vietnamese Government agreed to a historic plan with Animals Asia that involved the termination of all bear bile farms, with an estimated 1000 bears to be rescued from farms all over Vietnam and rehoused to sanctuaries.
10. Taiwan banned eating cat and dog meat
New legislature amendments passed by the Taiwanese President, meant individuals who eat or trade dog or cat meat can now be fined between $1,640 to $8,200, while those who are involved in any slaughtering can face up to a two-year prison sentence and a $60,000 fine.
11. Vancouver banned the sale of puppy mill dogs and cats
The decision came after many Vancouver residents either made personal complaints to the City Council or signed a heftily weighted petition complaining about the welfare of animals in pet stores.
12. India banned the import of Reptile Skins and Exotic Furs
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade in India banned the imports of reptile skins as well as Chinchilla, mink and fox furs. India’s economic growth saw a steep rise in the demand for exotic skins and furs. Being the world’s second largest population, this essentially means saving tens of thousands of animals each year.
13. “Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus” took down their big tops for good
“Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus” had to cease their major circus company due to a serious plummet in attendance after countless reports of animal abuse and unethical captivity of wild animals. In 2017, Scotland, Romania, Guatemala, Ireland and Italy also banned wild animal circuses.
14. France banned the captive breeding of killer whales and dolphins
French laws ensured wild dolphins would no longer face a lifetime of confinement. The law also demanded larger pools and banned all direct contact between the animals and the public - including all “swimming with dolphins” attractions.
15. PETA Campaign stopped the abuse of baby monkeys
The National Institute of Health stopped the 30-year routine isolation, drugging and terrorising of baby monkeys due to a well-developed and extremely effective PETA campaign. The campaign involved an ad blitz on subway trains and buses, Federal complaints and intensive demonstrations.