GlobalAnimal.org's POLITICS section covers animal laws and animal welfare legislation in governments worldwide.

Putin On A Show: Vladimir Putin’s Animal Misfires (GALLERY)

(OP-ED/ANIMAL WELFARE) UKRAINE — At the center of the current crisis in Crimea stands Russian President Vladimir Putin. The former KGB man is no stranger to conflict and controversy in the foreign policy arena, and it should come as no surprise that he is certainly no friend to animals either—though his PR campaigns attempt to say otherwise. From attempting to lead a flock of endangered Siberian cranes, to his unwarranted dislike of small dogs, here are some reasons President Putin was inducted into our Animal Cruelty Hall of Shame. — Global Animal

Australia’s War On The Environment?

(OCEAN CONSERVATION/SHARKS) SYDNEY — During Tony Abbott's short time as Australia's Prime Minister, sharks have been indiscriminately killed, the dumping of dredging on the Great Barrier Reef was approved, and Tasmania's forests are now under severe threat. Has the current Australian government declared war on the environment? According to the Independent's Kathy Marks, the answer is a resounding and shameful yes. Read on to find out why. — Global Animal

The red wolf is one of the world's most endangered animals.

Animal Welfare Institute Howls For Red Wolves

(ENDANGERED SPECIES/WILDLIFE) The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) recently filed against the North Carolina State Wildlife Agency for authorizing day and night hunting of coyotes in the red wolves' protected area. Coyotes look very similar to endangered red wolves, and there are shockingly only 90 to 110 of the species left in the wild. With their hunting authorization, the North Carolina State Wildlife Agency is violating the Endangered Species Act. The hearing of the injunction will take place Tuesday, February 11. — Global Animal

The Animals Of JFK’s ‘Camelot’ (GALLERY)

(ANIMAL FRIENDSHIP/PETS) This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. For many Americans, JFK's presidency is symbolic of a new frontier filled with hope and enshrined in the Arthurian legend of Camelot. Here, we celebrate President Kennedy's life and the menagerie of pets and animals—including dogs, cats, horses, and donkeys—who were all part of the Camelot dream. — Global Animal

LA Bullhook Ban Beats Circus Cruelty

(CIRCUS ANIMALS/ ACTIVISM) On Wednesday, the city of Los Angeles dealt a crucial blow to circuses in the area, effectively banning bullhooks, and saving elephants a tremendous deal of pain in the process. After a three-year pursuit of the ban, the Los Angeles City Council voted to forbid the weapon after seeing undercover footage of elephants brutally beaten with bullhooks. The undercover video that helped sway the city council came courtesy of PETA, who once again did their part to protect animals. Continue reading below to find out what the bullhook ban means for elephants and circuses. — Global Animal

Condors Rejoice! California Bans Lead Ammunition

(WILDLIFE/ENDANGERED SPECIES) California is leading the way for wildlife recovery by becoming the first state to require that all hunting ammunition be lead-free. On October 11th, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the ban in response to documented studies and repeated requests by environmental groups to protect the highly endangered California condors, as well as other birds and wildlife, who are killed every year from direct and secondary lead poisoning. Lead ammunition is devastating to animal life, especially for scavengers like the condor, who are at huge risk by consuming hunted carcasses. Environmentalists are hoping that the ban in California could encourage other states to pass similar laws. In a 2012 study conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, researchers found that almost 70 percent of condor deaths were the result of lead poisoning. With only 400 birds left in existence, eliminating lead-based ammunition is a huge step in the right direction for potentially stabilizing, or even dramatically increasing California condor populations. Read on for more information on the bill, lead poisoning, as well as arguments brought forth by hunters and other opponents. — Global Animal

Chicken causes more foodborne illnesses than any other meat. Photo credit: worldtruth.tv

Ag Gag Tramples Freedom Of Speech

(ANIMAL CRUELTY/ANIMAL NEWS) The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and PETA have made huge strides in their effort to disband the unlawful "ag-gag" or "anti-whistleblower" laws in Utah. The controversial "ag-gag" laws give the state the right to conceal incriminating evidence of animal cruelty on their factory farms. It is now illegal for whistleblowers, or undercover workers, to tell the public where their food is coming from and to expose factory farms for their poor working conditions. Animal rights activists say the "ag-gag" law is unconstitutional because it is taking away our first amendment, freedom of speech. Read on to learn more about how PETA and ALDF are working together to put an end to "ag-gag" laws. — Global Animal

Montana Lowers Fees To Kill Wolves

(WOLVES/WILDLIFE) Up until recently, wolves have been on the verge of extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that because wolf numbers are up, they would like to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. It seems the state of Montana finds this to be enough justification to kill more wolves, meaning the state would be more lenient with hunting laws. The state has recently lowered the fee to eliminate wolves and are now allowing each hunter to kill up to five. Continue reading below to learn more on how Montana is trying to wipe out these beautiful creatures and see how activists are reacting. — Global Animal

Stray Dogs Facing Death

(DOGS/ANIMAL WELFARE) Last month, Romania passed a law to legally euthanize stray dogs. The law came to pass after a child was killed from wounds sustained by stray dogs in Bucharest, and allows for local governments to euthanize stray dogs that are caught and not adopted in two weeks. On Wednesday, September 25, courts upheld the law. However, international protests have sparked debate over the mass slaughter of these animals. Read on to learn more about the stray dog law and sign the petition urging the Romanian government to consider other methods before euthanasia. — Global Animal

Tony The Truck Stop Tiger Triumphs!

(WILDLIFE/ANIMAL WELFARE) The fight to free Tony, the Siberian-Bengal tiger famously caged and put on display at Grosse Tete, Louisiana’s Tiger Truck Stop, continues. The Louisiana Supreme Court has denied a petition to review the Court of Appeal's decision, which ruled in favor of the captive tiger. The Louisiana Court of Appeal ruled that Michael Sandlin, the person responsible for caging the tiger, did not in fact have the right to a grandfather permit, which would allow him to keep the tiger in spite of the state's exotic cat laws. Read on to learn more about Tony the tiger's plight. — Global Animal

An animal rights group devoted to abolishing the horse carriage industry in New York City declared victory. Photo Credit: flickr

Hold Your Horses! NYC Says No More Horse Carriages!

(HORSES/ANIMAL RIGHTS) NYCLASS, a non-profit animal welfare and advocacy organization in New York City, has been devoted to abolishing the horse carriage industry in New York City for some time. Recently, the group declared victory against one of the largest, most outdated forms of tourism and animal cruelty in the Big Apple. The organization ran a series of ads against Christine Quinn, former candidate in the mayoral primary election, who was openly supportive of keeping this inhumane industry alive. With Quinn out of the running for mayor, it is safe to say this antiquated industry will finally come to an end in the near future. Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota, both mayoral candidates, have pledged to stop the horse carriage trade if elected this November. Read on for more information regarding this huge victory for horses in New York and how humane voters changed the outcome of the election. — Global Animal

Guilty Government Practices

(ANIMAL TESTING/RESEARCH) The federal government may currently be shut down, but that doesn't mean people have stopped paying attention. Few actually realize how much money the government spends on funding research campaigns. Sure, this may sound like an excellent initiative, but what does that mean for research animals? The government spends up to $14.5 billion annually on research involving experimentation on animals. Often, these experiments lead to death or other unwarranted consequences. When will the need to hurt living creatures "for our own benefit" come to an end? Read on to learn just how guilty the government really is. — Global Animal

Government Shutdown’s Ruff Consequences

(ANIMAL WELFARE) NEW YORK — Now entering its second week, the partial government shutdown has caused a break in the inspections for puppy mills and pet dealers. According to the ASPCA, the animals could be in danger, with a high risk of being harmed or abused because of missed inspections. Read on to learn about the shutdown on puppy mills and it's effects, and learn how you could play a part in keeping these animals safe! — Global Animal

Are GMO Pesticides Poisoning Kauai?

(ENVIRONMENT/ANIMAL CONSERVATION) Debate has sparked in Kauai, Hawaii surrounding the use of local lands for GMOs. Companies in the area are using the land for seed research and development and residents are calling for an end to the experimentation. A petition at MoveOn.org demands a halt to the lease of state lands to corporations involved in GMO production and seed R&D on Kauai and support for Kauai County Bill 2491, which calls for a moratorium on GM crops in Kauai, prohibition of open-air experimental testing, and a formal, in-depth environmental impact statement. The petition suggests that open-air experimentation on GMOs, including the use of toxic pesticides is dangerous to residents, wildlife, and the entire ecosystem of Kauai. Read on to learn more about GMO production's impact on the Hawaiian ecosystem. — Global Animal