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

The loggerhead sea turtle is just one of the animals benefiting from military assistance. Photo Credit: National Marine Life Center

Government Shutdown Shuns Sea Turtles

(OCEANS/SEA TURTLES) FLORIDA — Florida’s endangered sea turtle populations are starting to find out the recent government shutdown isn’t species specific. Among the number of important federal initiates dwindling at the hands of the United States Government, two of Florida’s national parks are on the verge of closing. The Everglades National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park are at the forefront of sea turtle conservation in the state and generate an abundance of tourism. Continue reading to learn exactly how much the shutdown harms the threatened species. — Global Animal

U.S. Government Shutdown: Critter Consequences

(ANIMAL WELFARE) The American government shutdown has everyone talking and opinions on the legislative impasse are limitless. But there is also some buzz surrounding the shutdown's effect on animals. From the suspension of the panda cam at the National Zoo to the closure of national parks and wildlife refuges, the shutdown has affected government employees as well as animals in their care. Thankfully, most animals will still be cared for at zoos and monitored in the wild by some remaining Fish and Wildlife Service employees. Read on for more on the government shutdown's impact on animals.  — Global Animal

Obama Enlists Furry Friends (GALLERY)

(ANIMALS IN POLITICS) President Obama recently launched a new publicity campaign to raise awareness for the Affordable Care Act, his signature legislation. He hopes the new effort will lead to an increase in sales of Obamacare until the launch of the health reform. The new memes, dubbed the "Adorable Care Act," feature cuddly creatures who broadcast the benefits of the program. They've been appearing all over Tumblr and Twitter lately, and were even tweeted by the White House. Check them out in the gallery below! — Global Animal

Clinton’s Crusade Combats Elephant Poachers

(WILDLIFE CONSERVATION/POACHING) Traditionally elephants have been symbols of the Republican Party, but that won’t stop Hillary Clinton from lending the pachyderms a helping hand. On Thursday, Clinton announced an $80 million plan to combat elephant poaching and trafficking. If elephant poaching continues at the same rate, the giant land animals are expected to disappear within a decade. Continue reading below to see how Clinton’s plan will aid the elephant cause. — Global Animal

Martha Stewart Urges Gov. Christie: Protect Pregnant Pigs!

(CELEBRITY NEWS/FARM ANIMAL CRUELTY) She'd never be caught living in a pigsty, but the queen of fine living is fighting for the little oinkers' homes. Martha Stewart is calling on her hometown of New Jersey's legislators to help protect pigs from gestation crates—a common but cruel practice in the pork industry. In an open letter she urges lawmakers to reaffirm their support of a statewide ban on the extreme confinement of breeding pigs in cages that are so small the little sows are unable to move a single inch in any direction. Pigs are social, intelligent creatures, and this kind of inhumane treatment causes both physical and psychological disorders. In May, the state legislature overwhelmingly voted to prohibit these barbaric devices, but reportedly under pressure from out-of-state pork interests, NJ Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill. Now a coalition of animal welfare organizations from all over the country—with Martha right by their side—are urging lawmakers to finish the job they started and override Christie's veto. This common-sense legislation, already enacted in nine other states, requires breeding pigs to at least be allowed to stand-up, lie down, and turn around in the crate they're confined to. Sounds like basic decency to me! Read below for more on the campaign to end this abusive practice and click here to watch the Humane Society of the United States' ad depicting how millions of innocent pigs are forced to live. — Global Animal

Detroit Councilman To Send In The Goats

(POLITICS/FARM ANIMALS) Detroit’s large number of overgrown lots may have residents cringing as they pass by, but goats are licking their lips. In an effort to clean up the vacant lots, Detroit City Councilman James Tate wants to bring in goats to trim the grass. Continue reading below to find out how this unique lawn mowing method is experiencing a surge of popularity. — Global Animal

Prince William: Animal Friend Or Foe?

(CELEBRITY NEWS/ANIMAL ACTIVISM) Just as Prince William was settling down to take a well-deserved year off from his royal responsibility, news broke that his two guard dogs in the British army have been euthanized. The terrible news is of no fault to the prince, but it comes at an inopportune moment, as William recently stressed his concern for all global wildlife. Additionally, the prince is no stranger to sport hunting, which will be a tough obstacle to overcome if he’s truly serious about his new animal-loving lifestyle. Is Prince William truly an animal lover, or is his past too much to compete with? Read the article below and decide for yourself. — Global Animal

West Hollywood Celebrates As America’s First Fur Free City!

(FASHION/FUR) LOS ANGELES — West Hollywood, California has made history by becoming the first city in the U.S. to officially ban the sale of fur! As of Saturday, September 21st, it is now illegal for businesses in West Hollywood to sell fur, with infractions costing $250 in fines and fees. Supporters of the ban point out that more than 50 million animals are treated inhumanely and then killed for their fur to fuel the fashion industry every year. City officials gathered on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood to celebrate this huge legislative victory over the weekend. For more on the fur ban, read the full press release and visit the associated links below. — Global Animal

Bobcat Bill Bans Trapping To Save California Wildcats

(ANIMAL LAWS/WILDLIFE) The Bobcat Protection Act of 2013 is currently on its way to Governor Jerry Brown for review after passing the Senate and clearing the Assembly last week. Since U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials reported that 1,500 bobcats were trapped along the border of Joshua Tree National Park last year alone—more than twice the number of trappings in 2009, a group of Southland activists have been working to condemn the trapping with state Assembly Bill 1213. Authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, the bill would not only make it illegal to trap, sell, or export bobcats or bobcat parts taken from the area, but the legislation would also create a buffer zone around the national park and prohibit wire cage traps on private land without the owner’s written permission. Read on to learn more about Assembly Bill 1213 and contact Governor Jerry Brown to let him know that you support the bill and expect him to support it, too! — Global Animal

Michigan Bill Chucks Gas Chambers

(ANIMAL LAWS/POLITICS) Last week, the state of Michigan took a step in a more humane direction after approving a bill that would effectively ban the use of gas chambers at animal control shelters. Gas chambers are currently used by the state to euthanize pets, but their utilization has garnered objections from animal activists who deem the practice inhumane. Continue reading below to discover more about this progressive decision, and learn which other states still use gas chambers. — Global Animal  

California Tackles Flea Market Pet Sales

(PET SALES/ANIMAL LAWS) This past week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law an important restriction on the sale of animals at flea markets and swap meets. AB 339 was sponsored by Born Free USA and the State Humane Association of California and was authored by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson. The bill allows for the sale of animals at these venues under strict conditions that the local jurisdictions adopt certain care standards. If they do not comply, the sale of animals will be prohibited all together. These standards are the same regulations that are required of retail pet stores. Read on to learn more about the new law and its conditions. — Global Animal

UPDATE: Mayor Cat Survives Assassination Attempt

(PETS/POLITICS) The people of Talkeetna, Alaska can rest easy, their honorary mayor Stubbs the Cat has returned home after spending a little over a week at the veterinarian. Stubbs’ companion, Lauri Stec, says he’s doing much better, and will recuperate at home for a few days before returning to his office at Nagley’s General Store. On Saturday, August 31, Stubbs was attacked by a dog near Denali National Park, leaving him with a fractured sternum and punctured lung, among other wounds. — Global Animal

USDA Dog-tired Of Online Puppy Mills

(ANIMAL LAWS/PUPPY MILLS) Dog lovers rejoice! The USDA has announced new regulations regarding pet sales online that will protect pooches. Dog breeders who breed at least four female dogs and then sell the puppies online, by mail, or over the phone will be forced to comply with the same regulations as wholesale breeders. Previously, these breeders have not been monitored because they were grouped with retail stores, where animals can be inspected by potential buyers. The new rules will crack down on puppy mills and ensure that dogs receive proper care. Read the full article below for more on the new law. — Global Animal

The Real Cost Of Putin’s Environmental Showboating

(WILDLIFE/POLITICS) With the G20 summit meeting taking place in St. Petersburg today, and a debate on Syria on the table, Russian President Vladimir Putin has had a lot of schmoozing to do this past week. He's not particularly known for having the warmest personality, and it comes as no surprise that he is no friend to animals either—though his PR campaign attempts to say otherwise. In fact, the truth is his treatment of animals is far from what's actually portrayed in the pre-arranged photo-ops. Read on to learn more about Putin's staged compassion for wildlife. — Global Animal