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Obama Finalizes Animal Welfare Reform Law

As one of his last actions in office, president Obama outlaws tail docking, mulesing, and transportation of sick animals, amongst other cruel practices in the "organic" industry.

This week, the Obama Administration (through the United States Department of Agriculture) issued a rule that prohibits a host of cruel practices on organic animal farms. The new law prevents farmers from docking cows’ tails, transporting sick or lame animals, and engaging in mulesing—the practice of removing skin from the hind legs of sheep. The rule also clarifies previous requirements for organic chicken farms to allow certain space allocation for birds, including mandatory access to outdoor space for egg-laying hens. While the new rule does not apply to certain animals—for instance, tail docking is still allowed on pig farms—and these reforms are limited to the “organic” sector of the inherently cruel animal agriculture industry, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) CEO Wayne Pacelle believes this action is a major step forward. “The rule is a game-changer for the $40 billion organic market whose consumers often believe that organic farm animals are raised with strong animal welfare standards,” Pacelle said. Last June, president Obama signed the historic Lautenberg Act—revising the archaic 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act—making a new requirement to use non-animal testing for chemicals, and setting a precedent for exploring more relevant forms of testing (including in vitro and silico methods) of substances meant for human use.

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Stephen Colbert Confirms Jon Stewart is Vegan

The compassionate comedian is officially vegan and has the abs to prove it.
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Lady Gaga Stylist Debuts Vegan Fashion Line for Dogs

Designer Christian Cowan creates 14 vegan accessories for dogs inspired by iconic looks worn by Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus.
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Texas Vegan Burger Shop Grows into Mini-Chain

San Antonio-based Earth Burger will expand its vegan fast-food concept across Texas and to Minnesota with a location inside Mall of America this spring.
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Quartz Builds Vegan-Friendly Latke Recipe Bot

A new program is tweeting latke recipes—made vegan with simple swaps—every hour throughout Hanukkah.
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Luxury Hotel Adds Vegan Butchers’ Meats to Menus

The Herbivorous Butcher's vegan meats are now available at luxe Loews Minneapolis Hotel as part of the chain's new Flavor by Loews Hotels initiative.
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This Week on VegNews TV: The secret to these delightful sweet treats is white beans! Aylin Erman shows you how to make these simple blondies.

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