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For Immediate Release: 02/12/08

Undercover footage reveals Canada to Hawaii route as one of world’s worst examples of unnecessary cruelty to animals

A two-year investigation released today by a global coalition of animal welfare groups reveals the brutality of transporting live animals long distances simply to be slaughtered at the journey’s end.

The 4,000-mile journey that up to 15,000 pigs a year endure from Canada to Hawaii was one of four international routes exposed on undercover footage. During the seven to nine day trip by truck from Alberta and then ship from California ports to Honolulu, pigs never leave cramped, filthy containers for food, water or rest. The surviving animals are slaughtered in Hawaii and sold to unsuspecting consumers as “Island Produced Pork” or served in restaurants and at luaus.

“Today we are launching a global campaign calling on governments to stop this cruel trade,” said Dena Jones, Program Manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals, which led the undercover investigation. “The cruelty these animals endure during long distance transport is completely unnecessary and unacceptable. It must stop.”

Susan Prolman, Humane Society International Director of Campaigns, added, “More than 125 years after frozen meat was first shipped, there is no reason why millions of cattle, pigs, horses and sheep are still suffering and dying during unnecessarily long journeys each year just to be slaughtered on arrival.”

“Anyone who watches the footage of pigs desperately trying to escape when they are finally let out of containers in Hawaii after more than a week of brutal confinement cannot help but be moved by their suffering. It is unconscionable to permit the unnecessary long distance transport of animals to continue,” said Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate, Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute.

The Handle with Care coalition is comprised of leading international animal welfare groups that have come together for the first time on this issue. Today they unveiled shocking undercover footage taken in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. U.S. coalition members include the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International (HSUS/HSI) and Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute.

The coalition urges people to see the evidence at www.handlewithcare.tv and add their names to a letter of protest to help stop the cruel and unnecessary long distance transport of animals for slaughter.

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Media contacts:
Barbara Castleman, Public Relations and Media Manager, WSPA: 617-896-9291
Pepper Ballard, Public Relations Specialist, HSUS: 301-258-1417
Zibby Wilder, Director of Public Relations, Born Free USA united with API: 916-267-7266

For broadcast-quality video and images, please visit:
www.digitalnewsagency.com/wspa

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