Animal welfare: Six incidents in 2011 that would make Gandhi proud
We've lamented the six worst moments in the year's animal welfare hall of shame, pointing to the mistreatment of shelter dogs, the handling of circus elephants and the intent of a bird researcher to poison cats. Here's the photo gallery compilation.
Now for the good news: Improving treatment and care of animals continue to be important in our culture these days.
The National Institutes of Health recently suspended all new research grants involving chimpanzees pending the creation of new, stricter guidelines for experimentation on our closest primate relative, for example.
Earlier this year, Los Angeles County approved an ordinance intended to tighten regulation of puppy mills, the factory farms of dog breeding where females are frequently overbred and puppies are crammed into filthy cages.
And speaking of cages: The egg industry agreed to overhaul its practices, meaning egg-laying hens will have much larger "colony cages" -- a sensible and humane approach.
Here's a photo gallery that rounds up more of 2011's noteworthy examples of humans being humane.
Photo: Amber Chomor meets a puppy up for adoption at Animal House Shelter in Huntley, Ill., on Dec. 6. Credit: Daniel J. Murphy / Associated Press