The PACT Act hopes to ban animal cruelty at the federal level

February 4, 2019 by  
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Even though it has been a federal crime to create and distribute animal torture videos for nearly a decade, the actual act of animal torture has not been banned at the federal level. Now, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) are trying to change that with the re-introduction of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act). If passed, the PACT Act would prohibit “intentional acts of crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling or otherwise subjecting animals to serious bodily harm,” according to a press release . The law would also make it easier for U.S. attorneys to prosecute the horrible acts, and those convicted would face seven years in prison plus fines. Related: New Jersey first state to ban wild animals in circuses Currently, all 50 states have separate laws against animal cruelty . However, according to CNN , the federal statute would allow authorities to go after criminals who cross state lines or torture animals on federal property. Rep. Buchanan said that animal torture is “abhorrent,” and we should be punishing people who commit this act “to the fullest extent of the law.” Buchanan added that protecting animals from cruelty is one of his top priorities. Rep. Deutch said the legislation is “common sense,” and animal welfare is an important issue for many Americans. He explained that Congress should build on current state and local laws to guarantee animals a level of protection throughout the entire country. According to the press release, there are exceptions included in the law, such as “normal veterinary care, hunting and conduct necessary to protect life or property from a serious threat caused by an animal.” Multiple groups have endorsed the legislation, including The National Sheriffs Association, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Humane Society of the United States. In a petition to garner support for the bill, the Humane Society wrote that even though every state has felony penalties for malicious cruelty, we need a federal law to close the gap for when it occurs on federal property or in interstate commerce. + PACT Act Via EcoWatch Images via Kimdewar0 and Timur85

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The PACT Act hopes to ban animal cruelty at the federal level

Green-roofed Hanging Villa is embedded into a lush jungle landscape

February 4, 2019 by  
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Architect Tonny Wirawan Suriajaja of Jakarta-based design firm TWS & Partners has created a spacious family retreat that takes advantage of its verdant and paradise-like valley setting in more ways than one. Tucked into the side of a lush mountain far away from snarling traffic in Bandung, the capital of Indonesia’s West Java province, Hanging Villa is an urban respite that boasts spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and harnesses solar gain and cross breezes for natural heating and cooling. To integrate the building into the landscape, mainly natural materials and an earthy color palette were used to enhance the surrounding view. Commissioned by a client who values large family gatherings as well as personal space, Hanging Villa includes a mix of large communal areas and separate private spaces. The multi-level building consists of a series of stacked volumes rotated on their corner axes to optimize views in multiple directions. The outdoor spaces — such as the accessible green roof , roof deck and outdoor pool — have also been created to accommodate larger groups and various events. To seamlessly connect the interiors with the exterior spaces, the architects used timber and other natural materials to dress the interiors and also installed full-height glazing throughout. The building has also been strategically oriented to optimize views and access to natural light and natural cross ventilation. Meanwhile, insulating glass and other materials help prevent heat loss without creating indoor humidity. Related: This contemporary light-filled home feels like an extension of Bali’s tropics “The design creates a healthy indoor environment quality by adequate ventilation , which leads to the increase of comfort and health benefits for the occupants,” the firm explained. “The shallow pool function as an element that produces a cool refreshing breeze as the wind flows into the building while benefiting the occupant by reducing the operating cost of using air-conditioner.” + TWS & Partners Via ArchDaily Photography by Fernando Gomulya via TWS & Partners

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Green-roofed Hanging Villa is embedded into a lush jungle landscape

China launches brutal dog meat festival this week despite worldwide protests

June 24, 2016 by  
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Animal rights activists in the United States, China, and many other countries around the world are crestfallen this week as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival kicks off in rural southern China. Although smaller than in previous years, the festival ( which also exists to celebrate lychee fruit and the summer solstice) centers around a gruesome main attraction. Thousands of dogs are brutally beaten, burned, skinned—typically while still alive, and while their abusers are smiling—and then eventually eaten. Since it began in 2010, the festival has drawn attention from around the globe, as animal lovers fight to end the cruel event. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbwbD8JcJgY Warning: the above video contains graphic footage of violence against animals. This week, the 6th annual festival began as scheduled, despite global protests. Celebrities such as Joaquin Phoenix, Matt Damon, and Russell Simmons banded together to film a public service announcement produced by the nonprofit Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation , making tearful pleas to end the slaughter. This is just one example of the many ways animal lovers around the globe have been working to protect China’s dogs. Earlier this month, the Humane Society International (HSI) with a local group called Beijing Mothers Against Animal Cruelty presented a petition to Yulin and Chinese government officials containing 11 million signatures. So far, the government has taken little to no action. Related: 1o,000 dogs and cats to be slaughtered for human consumption at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival The dogs tortured at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival are collected by traders, often by dishonest means. A few months ago, an undercover video taken at a Yulin slaughterhouse showed cages packed full of dogs and many of the animals were wearing collars and tags, suggesting that they had been housepets, most likely stolen off the street. The festival has no specialties or restrictions for the age or type of dog involved in the torture, so even very young puppies may be brutally beaten this week and the breeds can include recognizable purebreds like cocker spaniels and labradors. Some of the dogs destined to be killed at this week’s festival were rescued in the nick of time, but the numbers are small. Various sources have reported that a handful of groups of dogs, ranging from 15 to 20 individuals, were rescued just days prior to the festival’s opening, and HSI has transported 54 dogs and cats to local shelters in China after they were saved from traders. HSI also reports that this year’s festival is likely to be much smaller than in years past, as political pressure may be reducing participation. In its inaugural year, the Yulin festival slaughtered as many as 15,000 dogs. HSI says the number dropped to 2,000-3,000 dogs in 2015, and the agency’s team in China says there is evidence pointing to less killing than in previous years. + Support Humane Society International + Tell China’s government officials to stop the killing Images via Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation

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China launches brutal dog meat festival this week despite worldwide protests

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