animal rights

Phyllis Fletcher / Northwest News Network

By a wide margin, Washington voters have banned under state law the trade in elephant ivory, rhino horns and certain other endangered wildlife parts. Initiative 1401 is passing with more than 70 percent of the vote in favor statewide.

Billionaire Paul Allen bankrolled the measure to expand and toughen state penalties for animal trafficking on top of the federal laws and international treaties that already ban imports of endangered wildlife. The president of Allen's company Vulcan Inc. is Barb Bennett. She thanked Washington voters on his behalf at a victory party Tuesday night.

Mercy for Animals

A lawsuit lead by the ACLU is challenging Idaho's brand new, so-called “ag-gag” law. That's the law aimed at stopping undercover animal rights activists from making videos of abuse at farms and slaughter houses. As Jessica Robinson reports, Idaho's law isn't the first to be challenged on free speech grounds.

Last year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed suit against a Utah law very similar to Idaho’s. Both laws criminalize shooting video without the farm owner's permission.

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would ban the practice of "equine tripping" at rodeos. The bill approved Tuesday by the Oregon Senate also includes a provision aimed at preserving the right to hold rodeos in the first place.

Equine tripping is the practice of roping a horse's legs in order to make it fall. Critics say such falls can leave the animals severely injured. Most mainstream rodeos don't have the event.

A California animal rights group is publicly asking Burger King to sever its ties with an Idaho dairy. The demand from Mercy for Animals comes after the group shot undercover video at a dairy barn over the summer. Scott Graf reports from Boise State Public Radio.

Photo credit: Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

SPIRIT LAKE, Idaho - Idaho is one of only three states that don’t consider animal cruelty a felony. That would change under a bill now in the Idaho House. The measure allows up to a year in jail and a $9,000 fine for the worst types of abuse. Yet the measure hasn’t drawn cheers from animal rescue groups.