Pound Seizure Now Banned in Minnesota!

It’s a historic day for animals in Minnesota. Pound seizure, legal in Minnesota since 1949, is now banned under the Omnibus Agriculture bill, HF2398/SF2061, which was approved by Governor Mark Dayton over the weekend. Pound seizure allowed any animal in a publicly funded shelter for more than five days to be claimed by a laboratory for experimentation. The new bill states: “A person must not release an animal seized and held under this section for research or product testing, either directly or through an animal dealer.”

The Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) worked with Howard Goldman, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) State Director for Minnesota to help bring about passage of this bill.

ARC formed End Pound Seizure Minnesota (EPSM), created a web site, obtained thousands of signatures against pound seizure, and brought awareness of the issue to the public through outreach and education. Amy Draeger, attorney and President of EPSM wrote original legislation and conducted historical research on pound seizure in Minnesota. Over a number of years, ARC made numerous requests for information under the Minnesota Data Practices Act to document usage of the pound seizure law.

ARC passed on all its research on the issue and its original legislation to Howard, who obtained authors for the bill in the legislature and tirelessly lobbied for its passage throughout the two-year legislative session. Howard was able to meet with past institutional opponents of the bill and persuade them not to oppose it, which was a major step towards successful passage of the bill.

We’re so thankful that ARC was able to work with Howard and HSUS in securing this victory for animals in Minnesota – and we’re especially thankful that no longer will lost and unclaimed animals in Minnesota be in danger of being released to institutions for experimentation.

World Wide Vegan Bake Sale – Twin Cities Style!

Update: Huge thanks to Celeste Hill and Melissa Swanson, World Wide Vegan Bake Sale – Twin Cities Style organizers, and all the volunteers who staffed the sale. Because of all your hard work we raised over $850 for animal advocacy programs in Minnesota. We were also thrilled at the many new people who stopped in who were considering a vegan diet and wanted to learn more about it.

Don’t miss the World Wide Vegan Bake Sale – Twin Cities Style on Saturday, April 21 at Ethique Nouveau, 317 West 48th St. in Minneapolis. All are welcome! It’s baketivism at its most awesome. All proceeds go to support the Animal Rights Coalition’s animal rights advocacy in Minnesota. (ARC is also the group that keeps Minneapolis Vegan Meetup going, BTW.)

Delight in the wide assortment of amazing vegan goodies – all the delish, none of the effort! Make sure to bring a container to tote home all the homemade goodness. A human who is able to stick to buying “just one” treat at our extravaganza of sweetness doesn’t seem to actually exist. Never been to one of our Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale events? Make plans to attend as it’s not to be missed! We kick off at 10am and the sale runs until 4pm. That’s 6 whole hours of deliciousness!

Twin Cities Pet Expo Outreach

The Melissas make a great team!

Thanks to all the volunteers who staffed the ARC booth at the two-day Pet Expo at the Minneapolis Convention Center. We had 91 people view a video about the treatment of animals on farms and gave out over 800 pieces of literature. Great job, ARC Outreach Team!

Watching the video

ARC is partnering with FARM on the Pay Per View Program, an innovative new outreach strategy where people are offered $1.00 to watch a 4-minute video. Pay Per View exposes the public to the harsh reality of animal agriculture in a way that most other outreach cannot. With headphones on and a privacy enclosure around the screen, viewers are intimately engaged in what they are seeing. Viewers often tear up or become angry after watching the video, and our volunteers turn that passion into action by encouraging them to decrease their consumption of animal products and work towards a vegan diet. Follow-up surveys demonstrate that over 50% of respondents reduced animal product consumption after watching the video.

Foie Gras in the Twin Cities: Unwanted by Restaurant Patrons and Bad for Ducks

ARC’s Forego Foie Gras campaign received a grant from the Humane Research Council to research attitudes toward foie gras among Twin Cities diners. The results of the survey overwhelmingly prove that Minnesotans oppose this cruel product and prefer to patronize foie gras free establishments. Three-quarters (74%) of Twin Cities residents support a ban on foie gras production in the state of Minnesota, and after learning about how foie gras is produced, nearly half (45%) of respondents said they would avoid dining at restaurants that serve foie gras. Read more about the survey results.

ExtraVEGANza at Whole Foods Minnetonka

On Saturday, March 31 from 10:30am to 2:30pm, the Animal Rights Coalition is joining Whole Foods Market in Minnetonka (1001 Plymouth Road, Minnetonka, MN) to create a day dedicated to sampling and learning about vegan food and the importance of compassion towards animals.

Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats

Senate File (S.F.) 462 and House File (H.F.) 702, known as the Dog and Cat Regulation Bill, were the bills introduced in 2011 for the 2011-2012 Minnesota Legislative Session to license and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota. The session ended on May 10, 2012 and neither bill was granted a hearing. The bills did not progress and were not voted on. A new bill to license and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders will be introduced in January 2013 for the 2013-2014 Minnesota Legislative Session.

Even though the 2011-2012 session has ended, legislators still welcome input from constituents during the interim. Please know that re-districting and the upcoming November 2012 election may change who represents you. Find contact information for your legislators and call, write or email them. Tell them you’re a constituent and are contacting them about inhumane dog and cat breeding in the State of Minnesota and the fact that Minnesota has no state laws to regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. Ask them to support legislation to license, inspect, and enforce standards of care for commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota. Read more about this issue and puppy and kitten mills in Minnesota here.

ARC Holiday Open House Recipes

White Chili with Homemade Tortilla Chips & Cilantro/Lime Mock Sour Cream

By popular demand, here is the recipe for the the delicious and easy to make White Chili with Homemade Tortilla Chips & Cilantro/Lime Mock Sour Cream served at the December ARC holiday open house by Rhymes With Vegan Chef Meagan Holtgrewe, and the Layered Vegan Taco Dip and Mini Taco Salads that were served. Enjoy!

Oppose the Ag-Gag!

The “ag-gag” bills, S.F. 1118/H.F. 1369, are still alive when the Minnesota Legislature convenes January 24 and may come up for hearings this session.. These bills would make it illegal for someone to enter a farm or animal-producing facility and take videos or photos without the owner’s permission. The bills would make even just possessing and distributing these videos or photos a crime. The bills did not pass in 2011 because many people, including the news media, thought they were unconstitutional.