New York State hospitals must now make a healthy plant-based option available to patients at every meal. The new rule went into effect this week, following a landmark bill that was signed into law last year.
Bill S1471A/A4072, introduced by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, requires hospitals in New York to offer plant-based meals and snacks containing no animal products or by-products that are nutritionally equivalent to other menu items. The bill also requires hospitals to list the plant-based options on all written materials and menus.
“This law gives physicians a teachable moment to discuss with patients the power of a plant-based meal to help prevent and reverse conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity,” Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said in a statement.
The Physicians Committee, which supported the bill, is a member of a nonprofit coalition that offers support, resources, and hands-on trainings to help hospital culinary teams provide more plant-based meals.
The nearly 1.7 million New Yorkers who have diabetes and heart disease account for 40% of all deaths in New York State, according to the New York State Department of Health. In New York State, the leading COVID-19 comorbidities are high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Research shows that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans can help fight heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.
Last year, the D.C. Council introduced the Healthy Hospitals Amendment Act of 2019, a bill that would require hospitals in Washington, D.C., to improve the nutritional quality of their menus by eliminating processed meat such as bacon and hot dogs and making plant-based options available. California passed similar legislation in 2018, which the Physicians Committee co-sponsored along with Social Compassion In Legislation.
The Physicians Committee’s Healthy Hospital Food web page provides quantity plant-based recipes, tips for implementing plant-based meals, and case studies of hospitals offering healthy food.
The post Breaking! New York Is Latest State To Offer Plant-Based Options In Hospitals; Washington D.C. & California Have Passed Similar Legislation appeared first on World Animal News.
A coalition of state and national wildlife protection organizations is applauding the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission for its vote to ban cruel wildlife killing contests, in which participants compete to kill the most, the largest, or even the smallest animals for cash and prizes.
The news comes after WAN issued an Urgent Call To Action back in July, that called for Washington residents to submit comments in support of the ban throughout the state.
The new rule, put forth by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, prohibits the killing of unprotected species including: coyotes, bobcats, crows, foxes, and raccoons in a contest. Contest participants killed at least 1,427 animals in these events in Washington between 2013 and 2018.
Washington joins six other states including—Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Vermont—that have taken a stand against cruel, unsporting, and wasteful wildlife killing contests. California banned the awarding of prizes for killing furbearing and nongame mammals in 2014; New Mexico and Vermont outlawed coyote killing contests in 2019 and 2018, respectively; Arizona and Massachusetts prohibited killing contests that target predator and furbearing species in late 2019; and in April 2020, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted to ban wildlife killing contests for furbearing and certain small species in the state.
“The majority of Washingtonians respect and value wildlife and this step forward by our Commission is in line with those values,” said Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Barbara Baker, who championed this issue with her fellow commissioners, in a statement. “As stewards of our state’s wildlife, prohibiting a practice that contravenes sound wildlife conservation, fails to increase game populations, and harms ecosystems is simply the right decision.”
“Wildlife killing contests are a bloodsport just like dogfighting and cockfighting, which have been outlawed nationwide,” said Camilla Fox, Founder and Executive Director of Project Coyote. “We commend Commissioner Baker and the entire Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission for relegating these ecologically and ethically indefensible events to the history books.”
In 2018, Project Coyote’s Science Advisory Board, together with more than 70 renowned conservation scientists, issued a statement citing peer-reviewed science that refutes claims that indiscriminately killing predators permanently limits their populations, increases the number of deer or other game species for hunters, or reduces conflicts with humans, pets and farm animals. In fact, randomly shooting coyotes and other wild carnivores can disrupt their social structures, leading to increases in their populations and more conflicts.
Nonlethal, preventive measures are most effective at reducing conflicts with wildlife. Wildlife killing contests are also destructive to healthy ecosystems, within which all wildlife species play a crucial role. For example, coyotes and other targeted species help to control rabbit and rodent populations and restrict rodent-and tick-borne disease transmission.
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On Friday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee instructed the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to draft new rules governing the killing of wolves involved in conflicts with livestock. This action reverses the commission’s denial of a petition filed by advocates in May that called for reforms of the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s lethal wolf management policies.
“This is a victory for Washington’s wolves and all of us who have been speaking out against the state’s relentless wolf killing,” said Sophia Ressler, a Washington wildlife advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity in a statement. “We are hopeful that the development of enforceable wolf management rules will protect our recovering wolf population and make wildlife officials accountable to the public they serve.”
The new rules will address the use of non-lethal measures to avoid livestock-wolf conflicts. They will further examine chronic conflict areas where the state has killed wolves year after year.
As previously reported by WAN, the state has killed 34 wolves since 2012. Twenty-nine were killed for the same livestock owner in prime wolf habitat in the Colville National Forest. After the Fish and Wildlife Commission denied the wolf advocates’ petition in June, the groups appealed to the governor, who had 45 days to decide whether to deny the appeal or require the commission to create new wolf-management rules.
Governor Inslee’s decision requires the commission to start a formal rulemaking process, which includes giving notice to the public and creating an opportunity to comment on proposed rules. The timeline for this process will be available on the department’s website when the rulemaking is announced.
“The governor’s decision to approve this petition is a necessary step in cleaning up the mess the Department has made of wolf management,” stated Jocelyn Leroux, Washington and Montana Director for Western Watersheds Project. “This decision will give a voice to the majority of Washingtonians that do not want wolves needlessly slaughtered year after year at the charge of a few livestock producers.”
“Demonstrating a commitment to environmental leadership, Governor Inslee has put the Department on notice: It’s time for fair rules, and public transparency, when it comes to Washington’s iconic wolves,” shared Samantha Bruegger, a wildlife coexistence campaigner at WildEarth Guardians.
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg
The post Washington Governor Jay Inslee Orders New Rules To Be Drafted Using Non-Lethal Methods To Address Wolves Involved In Conflicts With Livestock appeared first on World Animal News.
It is with heavy hearts that WAN shares the news that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has killed the last two remaining members of the Wedge wolf pack on August 13th. This is sadly due to conflicts between wolves and livestock. Despite public outcry from around the world to change how the department manages endangered species throughout the state, WDFW still went ahead and killed the last two remaining members of the wolf pack.
“The nonstop killing of wolves in Washington has to end now,” Sophia Ressler, Washington wildlife advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “These wolves shouldn’t be gunned down just for trying to feed their families. It’s ludicrous that Washington officials aren’t implementing appropriate preventive measures and instead choose to slaughter a state endangered species.”
The state has now killed 34 wolves, almost all of them for livestock conflicts in the Kettle River Range, an area of prime wolf habitat. Twenty-nine of the wolves killed have been for the same livestock owner.
Washington is killing endangered species so that livestock can be killed for their meat for human consumption. This should be illegal.
The most recently eradicated Wedge pack wolves occupied very similar territory to the previous Wedge pack. The department killed seven of that eight-member pack in 2012, effectively destroying it. Yet, the 2012 eradication failed to prevent wolves from quickly reoccupying the territory.
The Center for Biological Diversity and several other conservation groups have urged Washington Governor Jay Inslee to require formal rules that would dictate required nonlethal deterrence measures and extra steps that must be taken in areas of chronic conflict. The current guidelines are created by Washington’s Wolf Advisory Group and are not considered enforceable requirements by the state.
Just last week, the state removed a vocal wolf advocate from the advisory group for disagreeing with the department’s choices. This decision outraged conservation groups and prompted a new call to Governor Inslee for wolf-management reform.
“There is no scientific support that killing wolves is an effective long-term solution for preventing conflict,” continued Ressler. “Mandating effective range riding or other appropriate deterrence measures would help to deter conflict and, in turn, save both wolves and livestock.”
The state also has an active kill order out for wolves in the Leadpoint pack, whose territory borders the Wedge pack’s territory.
The killing of these endangered wolves to satisfy human greed is unfathomably, sickening, senseless, and must end.
Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
TTY/TDD call 711 or
Thank you for speaking on behalf of the voiceless!
The post Washington Department Of Fish & Wildlife Kills The Last Two Members Of The Wedge Wolf Pack Over Livestock Conflict So That People Can Eat Meat appeared first on World Animal News.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) reported today that a non-breeding adult female wolf from the Wedge pack in the Kettle Range in northeast Washington was killed yesterday, leaving only two wolves in the pack. This action comes days after WDFW shockingly issued a lethal removal order for one wolf in the pack. WDFW has now moved to an evaluation period for both the Wedge and Togo wolf packs.
“The history is clear. Killing wolves is a short-term Band-Aid approach that has not and will not prevent ongoing conflicts,” said Zoë Hanley, Northwest Program Representative for Defenders of Wildlife in a statement. “The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife needs standardized protocols to ensure that effective range riding takes place prior to authorizing lethal control, and the U.S. Forest Service needs to promote grazing practices which reduce livestock vulnerability to predation. Defenders of Wildlife has said it before, and we’ll continue to say it – it’s time to take a new approach.”
• Lethal removal operations are recurring in this region of the Kettle Range, which includes multiple grazing allotments managed by the U.S. Forest Service. To date, the Forest Service has not publicly addressed the depredations or the effect they have on the landscape and the livestock producers, nor has the federal agency taken any meaningful actions to prevent further depredations.
• This region of northeastern Washington state– north of Highway 2 and south of the Canadian border– has been the site of repeated wolf-livestock conflicts. As part of the Colville National Forest, the land is managed by the Forest Service, but to date, there has not been the necessary response by the Forest Service to the “lessons learned” from those prior conflicts. Neither the non-lethal measures as implemented nor previous lethal removal of wolves has stopped this particular cycle of wolf-livestock conflict.
• Since new wolf packs continually return to this landscape and reproduce, even after multiple lethal removal operations, this area is considered highly suitable wolf habitat. Given the number of reproductive packs in northeastern Washington, and nearby populations in British Columbia, and Idaho, this landscape is likely to be recolonized by new or replacement wolves on a regular basis and is already a population source for wolves dispersing throughout the state.
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