animal welfare

Photo by Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Idaho's so-called "ag-gag" law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

Courtesy of Mercy for Animals

A Morgan County, Colorado, dairy farm is at the center of an animal abuse investigation following the release of a video showing workers punching and stabbing dairy cattle.

Morgan County Sheriff Jim Crone has yet to press criminal charges against workers shown in the videos, but says he’s working with the farm’s owners Jim and Marie Goedert to locate current and former employees. In a statement, the Goederts say they’ve taken disciplinary action against the employees involved.

maplegirlie / flickr

In Des Moines, Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire terriers are defined as vicious breeds, even if they have no aggressive history.

Courtesy of Austin Stewart

Would you eat the eggs of a hen lost in virtual reality?

On this River to River segment - a proposal by Austin Stewart of Iowa State University to give real, captive chickens a true virtual experience of roaming a free range.

“All the chickens in this world would have microphones so they can squawk at one another and socialize," says Stewart.

Spoiler alert: While Stewart admits that this is not a real business proposal, he is trying to provoke discussion on our lives as people living in "boxes" as well as communication on our livestock practices.

Mehul Gala

Iowa has the second largest number of large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities in the country. This hour, concerns about what are commonly known as puppy mills.

The U.S. Humane Society's 2014 report includes six problem puppy breeders in Iowa. Today, we talk about concerns over large-scale dog breeders with Mary LaHay, President of Iowa Friends of Companion Animals. She says that Iowa has "over 15,000 adult dogs in Iowa puppy mills, and we can do better than this."

World Bank Photo Collection / flickr

Jane Goodall is famous for her groundbreaking observation of wild chimpanzees; but for the last 30 years, she’s devoted most of her time to traveling the world, telling her stories, and trying to fan the flames of an environmental movement that could save her beloved chimpanzees and so many other species from extinction.

Charity Nebbe / IPR

Host Charity Nebbe speaks with Peter Trachtenberg, who is teaching this summer at the University of Iowa, about his latest book, Another Insane Devotion: On the Love of Cats and Persons.  It explores the fierce and tender bonds of love between people and cats.  Also, we get an update on this summer’s kitten explosion in Iowa, from the directors of two Iowa animal shelters.

patries71 /flickr

Approximately a thousand chimpanzees are held in U.S. laboratories for experiments. This week the federal government announced a proposal to list captive chimpanzees as endangered, a move that would increase protections for them.  Today on River To River - two opposing views over whether this is a good idea and how it might affect advances in the field of medicine.

Douglas Porter / Flickr

When you adopt a puppy or a kitten, a dog or a cat, from an animal shelter the goals are not only to find a good home for that pet but to make sure that pet is a good fit for you and that the home is forever. Charity Nebbe talks with representatives of the Animal Rescue League in Des Moines who co-authored two new books to help families with the adoption process and to help owners solve issues that may provoke them to turn in their pets to a shelter.