Saturday, 20 September 2014

Undercover Video Exposes Horrific Animal Cruelty At World's Largest Pizza Cheese Supplier Factory Farm

New hidden-camera video footage from Mercy For Animals, secretly recorded at Winchester Dairy outside of Roswell, New Mexico, shows workers viciously kicking and punching cows, stabbing them with screwdrivers, and violently whipping animals in their faces and bodies with chains and metal wires. The shocking video also shows "downer" cows who are too sick or injured to stand being dragged with a tractor while workers shock them in the genitals with electric prods.

Winchester Dairy supplies milk to Leprino Foods — the world's largest maker of mozzarella cheese and a supplier to virtually all major pizza chains in the country, including Pizza Hut, Papa John's, and Domino's.

Mercy For Animals is calling on Leprino Foods to immediately adopt meaningful animal welfare guidelines, including zero tolerance for kicking, punching, and shocking cows; prohibition of painful and unnecessary mutilations of animals; provision of a safe, clean, and sanitary environment for cattle; and installation of video monitoring systems that live stream to the Internet to help deter abuse.

Following the undercover investigation, Mercy For Animals immediately alerted law enforcement authorities to the abuse documented at Winchester Dairy and presented them with meticulously compiled evidence of the violations of New Mexico law. Less than 24 hours after Mercy For Animals alerted authorities, the factory farm is believed to have suspended operations.

Mercy For Animals is urging the New Mexico Livestock Board and the Chaves County District Attorney's Office to take immediate action in pursuing justice for these abused and exploited animals by prosecuting the workers and managers caught on video committing horrific acts of criminal animal abuse.

After reviewing the undercover video, world-renowned animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin said that the acts of kicking and shocking cows, and hoisting them above the ground were "definitely abusive" and that the bellowing animals were in "severe distress." She also stated that "[m]anagement should be partially to blame for the abusive handling because they failed to provide both training and appropriate equipment for moving downer cows."

"Cows exploited and abused for Leprino's cheese are treated as mere milk-producing machines and endure lives filled with extreme misery and deprivation," said Mercy For Animals' president, Nathan Runkle. "No socially responsible corporation should support dairy factory farms that beat, kick, shock, and drag sick and injured animals. Due to its complete lack of meaningful animal welfare standards, Leprino Foods has allowed a culture of cruelty to flourish in its cheese supply chain."
To view the undercover video, visit 

SOURCE Mercy For Animals

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Friday, 19 September 2014

Oklahoma Muslims to Hold Rally Against ISIS

On Friday, September 19, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will join the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City in holding a rally to publicly denounce ISIS and religious extremism in the name of Islam.

WHAT: Oklahomans Muslims Against ISIS Rally
WHERE: Grass lawn southeast of Penn Square Mall (Intersection of Pennsylvania and NW Expressway)
WHEN: Friday September 19, 2014 from 4 - 6 p.m.

"Oklahoma Muslims stand in solidarity with Muslims throughout the United States and the Muslim world in condemning the inhumane and barbaric actions of extremist group ISIS," said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. "ISIS not only represents the worst of humanity, but their actions are without a doubt the antithesis of Islam's teachings."

Last week, Muslims in the Tulsa area held a similar rally to denounce ISIS and hate in the name of religions.

SEE: Tulsa Muslims Denounce ISIS Attacks, Hate in Name of Religion

CAIR Oklahoma has previously issued several condemnations of ISIS' un-Islamic and morally repugnant violence and religious extremism.

SEE: CAIR Reiterates Condemnation of ISIS Violence, Religious Extremism
SEE: CAIR Condemns Killing of Journalist Steven Sotloff by 'Anti-Islamic' Terror Group ISIS 

CAIR-Oklahoma is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialog, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Top Saudi Religious Scholars Issue Fatwa Condemning Terrorism

Today, the Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars) issued a fatwa (religious opinion) reemphasizing that terrorism is a "heinous crime, injustice and aggression rejected by Shariah (Islamic law)." The Council concluded its 80th session, held in Riyadh, with a review of the speech given by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in which he warned about the threat of terrorism and implored the international community to support the fight against terrorists and extremists.

The Council declared that "terrorism is contrary to the purposes of this great religion [Islam]" and said that it is in full support of the Kingdom's efforts to combat extremists domestically and globally. In addition, the Council called on religious scholars "to do their duty and intensify the guidance of people in this serious matter to clarify the truth," including rejecting fatwas or opinions issued to justify terrorist acts or extremist ideologies. 

The Council's statement advised that Muslims adhere to Islam and its right path based on the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, which rejects terrorism. Moreover, the Council encouraged the education of young people to follow a righteous path and emphasized the need to support the leadership of the country and its religious scholars in this time of strife.

As the birthplace of Islam and the home of the Two Holy Mosques, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects extremists and terrorists who aim to subvert the Islamic faith. Saudi officials and religious scholars have long been vocal in condemning terrorism and extremism.

SOURCE Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Information Office

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Japan's 'scientific whaling' under the spotlight

As delegates from around the world converge on Portoroz, Slovenia for the opening of the 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) today, pro and anti-whaling nations are set to clash over Japan's 'scientific whaling'.

The stage is set for a critical meeting of the IWC, the conservation body set up to protect whales, with up to 80+ member countries coming together for the first time in two years against the backdrop of a recent landmark judgment by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which ruled that Japan's 'scientific whaling' in the Antarctic was illegal and must stop. 

After initially announcing it would comply with the March 2014 ruling and cancel its slaughter in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, Japan has stated that it intends to create a new research plan and resume killing of whales in the name of science after a one-year pause.

A draft resolution by New Zealand to be considered by the IWC aims to uphold the ICJ's ruling and help ensure that no further illegal permits for scientific whaling will be issued. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is urging anti-whaling countries to support this resolution and resist any attempts to weaken it. 

Patrick Ramage, Director of IFAW's Global Whales Programme, said: "New Zealand's resolution aims to secure the full promise of the ICJ judgment which gives whales in Antarctica protection against slaughter for the first time in more than a century. We need a concerted effort by conservation-minded countries to ensure safe passage for this resolution and encourage Japan to permanently end its illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean."

Japan recently sent an email to scientists around the world asking for international help to review its plans for a new 'scientific whaling' programme.

Ramage added: "This back to front approach – deciding to kill whales first and developing plans to justify it later - shows Japan would rather just keep killing whales than join other countries in carrying out legitimate and valuable scientific research. The stage is set. The World Court set out clear criteria in its approach to scientific whaling. We will find out this week whether the IWC is up to the challenge of imposing court-ordered standards for scientific whaling or content to stand on the sidelines while Japan continues commercial whaling by another name."

In what is shaping up to be a watershed meeting for the IWC, many other issues are also on the table, including proposals for Japanese coastal whaling, creation of a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary and greater involvement of other international organisations such as the UN on the whaling issue.
IFAW opposes whaling because it is cruel and unnecessary; there is simply no humane way to kill a whale. Responsible whale watching offers a humane and economically viable alternative that is better for whales and provides more sustainable livelihoods for people.

IFAW's team in Slovenia will be providing regular video blogs from the meeting via
Follow IFAW updates on Twitter via @Action4IFAW and @IFAWUKPress
Images and footage available for media use by registering with
IWC documents are available here:

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare

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Thursday, 11 September 2014

NCMEC Urges Washington State Supreme Court To Allow Victims' Case Against Backpage To Be Heard

"I enjoy catering to mature gentlemen. My body is a gentleman's playground." - ad appearing on confirmed to be selling a child for sex, as cited in NCMEC's amicus brief

Sexually explicit language advertising the sale of children for sex is a common business practice for

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children filed an amicus brief urging the Washington State Supreme Court to allow three child sex trafficking victims to have their day in court against the online classified advertising website owned by Backpage LLC. 

NCMEC's brief, filed in response to Backpage's motion to dismiss the victims' case, argues that Backpage enables the development of child sex trafficking ads on its site, which results in the repeated sexual exploitation and victimization of children. 

In the past five years, NCMEC's Child Sex Trafficking Team has seen a 1,432-percent increase in reports of suspected child sex trafficking. Today a majority of child sex trafficking ads reported to NCMEC involve ads posted on Clearly, it was not Congress' intent to protect online companies enabling the sale of children for sex when they enacted the Communications Decency Act in 1996.
Despite Backpage's knowledge that it has created a lucrative marketplace for child sex trafficking on its website, it has rejected most of NCMEC's recommendations to help reduce the selling and buying of children for sex on its website and has only made minimal efforts to curb the posting of child sexual exploitative content. 

Child sex trafficking is a pervasive and destructive crime. NCMEC's amicus brief asks the court to allow the victims' case to move forward to assure the fair adjudication of a matter so greatly important to the safety of children across the United States.

NCMEC joined the Washington State Attorney General's Office and the following nonprofits in support of the child victims: National Crime Victim Law Institute, Shared Hope International, Covenant House, Human Rights Project for Girls, FAIR Girls, and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. To read NCMEC's amicus brief and the other amicus briefs and underlying court papers, go here.

SOURCE The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

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