It seems that many parts of the country are ringing in the New Year by celebrating the passage of new animal rights laws.
A California law went into effect this year that requires pet stores to be in good repair, provide proper animal care and clean grooming areas. The law also states that dogs and cats must be weaned and over eight weeks old before they can be sold.
Also in California and a few other states, shelters who sell animals for research has been prohibited as well as using carbon dioxide as a means to euthanize them.
Sea World Orca Breeding
After years of putting on its signature killer whale shows, Sea World San Diego has announced that it will finally be ending the popular orca performances.
For years, animal rights activists have been vocal about the treatment of the marine mammals in its care implying that the conditions of the captive whales have made them more aggressive.
In the show, the professional trainers prompt the whales as they leap out of the water performing tricks for the audience to see. As a result of public outcry and declining ticket sales, the iconic theme park will be replacing the killer whale show with Orca Encounter, a new attraction that will showcase the preservation and the natural behavior of the animals.
In conjunction with that decision, Sea World San Diego says it will no longer breed orcas in captivity. The Orlando-based theme park says it wants visitors to be inspired to take action to protect the animals as it raises its final generation of killer whales.
Dogs Left in Hot Cars
Several states have extended the Good Samaritan Law to people who try to remove distressed animals left unattended in hot cars. After having looked for the owner and contacted the police, a rescuer has the right to break the car window to get the dog out if believed to be in danger.
Dog fighting is a blood sport that forces dogs to fight for profit and entertainment and is a felony in all 50 states. Now California law states that instead of automatically euthanizing and labeling a dog as vicious, animals taken from an illegal dog-fighting ring operation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.