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A new rule that ends limits for hog slaughtering speeds could increase animal suffering, advocates warn. kickers / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Trump's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalized a new hog slaughtering rule Tuesday that environmental and food safety advocates warn could harm animals, plant workers and public health, Reuters reported.

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Scientist watching mice in laboratory. Adam Gault / OJO Images / Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pledged Tuesday to "aggressively reduce animal testing" and to end funding for mammal tests by 2035. The move makes the EPA the first federal agency to set a timeline for ending animal tests, according to Science Magazine.

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42 Wild burros like these have been found shot dead in the Mojave Desert since May. Bureau of Land Management

Someone is shooting the Mojave Desert's iconic wild burros, in what officials say is one of the largest killings of its kind on land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Southern California, The Los Angeles Times reported.

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picture-alliance / Xinhua / Then Chih Wey

Some 183 nations are set to discuss possibly loosening elephant and ivory exports at the World Wildlife Conference on trade in endangered species, known as CITES, which is meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

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herraez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

German politicians from the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens on Wednesday proposed raising the value added tax (VAT) on meat to the standard rate of 19%. Currently, meat is taxed at a reduced rate of 7%.

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Pexels

By Rachael Roth

The year 2019 is the year of the pig, and we speculate that it's also the year of the vegan (how many dating profiles have bragged about animal-free diets recently?). With 55 percent of Americans vowing to eat more plant-forward diets this year, it's clear that our focus has shifted from consuming animals to cuddling with them. Lovers of all things furry can now stay overnight at farms that house and rehabilitate animals across the U.S. When you stay at one of these sanctuaries, you'll be guaranteed quality time with critters and contribute to the longevity of the farms' initiatives, so you can sleep even easier.

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New York is officially the first state in the union to ban cat declawing.

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Chickens raised for meat in McDonald's supply chain suffer every day. ANDREW SKOWRON / OPEN CAGES / The Humane League

By Taylor Ford

Golden arches tainted with blood. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the "Headquarters of Cruelty." Dozens of protesters. Horrified passersby.

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A sei whale, considered endangered by the IUCN; sei are one of three species that will be hunted commercially in Japan starting today. Gerard Soury / Getty Images

Commercial whaling ships set sail from Japan Monday for the first time in more than 30 years, The Guardian reported.

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A spotted flycatcher rests in an olive tree.

By Jason Bittel

Imagine you're a redwing, a small, speckled bird in the thrush family. You weigh as little as two light bulbs, and yet each year you make a 2,300-mile journey from your summering grounds in Iceland to a winter refuge in Morocco. One night, you decide to stop off in an olive grove in Portugal to rest your weary wings.

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A chimpanzee in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya. Ray in Manila / CC BY 2.0

By Ashley Edes

Whether you find it fascinating or disquieting, people recognize the inherent similarities between us and our closest primate relatives, especially the great apes. As a primatologist I regularly field questions ranging from how strong gorillas and chimpanzees are (very) to whether monkeys throw poop (not yet observed in the wild) to how smart they are (let's just say I can't compete with their puzzle-solving abilities).

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