The Faroe Islanders have a lot to say about this not being anyone else’s business. How comfortable to be able to commit atrocities and then say it’s no one else’s business. I want that to apply to things I’d like to do, too.
Do you all remember Patrick? The pit bull who was starved until he was almost dead by his owner, Kisha Curtis, and then stuffed in a trash sack and thrown 19 stories down an apartment trash chute in Newark? It was hard to believe from the pictures at the time that he could possibly still be alive. But he was, and he is well and happy today. His story and pictures sparked massive outrage around the WORLD, and led to the demand that stronger laws be put in place to deter and punish animal abusers (Curtis will not be receiving jail time). Tens of thousands of you called or wrote in, demanding some semblance of justice, if not for Patrick, then for other animal victims in the future. Last week, on August 7th, “Patrick’s Law”, unanimously passed the NJ Senate and was signed by Governor Chris Christie.
Under Patrick’s Law, starving or otherwise abusing an animal will be considered to be a fourth degree crime, which is a step up from a disorderly persons offense. If the abuse causes the animal’s death, it would be a third degree offense. Fines would increase from $1,000 to $3,000 for the first offense and range between $3,000 to $5,000 for any further offenses.
You and I know this is still a grim joke of a punishment for a crime so terrible, so prolonged, and so deliberate. Would Curtis fit, I wonder, down the trash chute?
We’ve written about the King Amendment before, and it keeps coming up in the news. It’s like the end of a horror movie when the villain just won’t die!
The House of Representatives passed the dangerous and overreaching King amendment, which threatens to repeal many animal protection laws on farm animal confinement, horse slaughter, puppy mills, shark finning, and even dog meat. A House-Senate conference committee will now negotiate the final Farm Bill, and we need to keep the King amendment out!
Please make a brief, polite phone call to Rep. Jim McDermott (202) 225-3106 asking for help to remove the King amendment from the final Farm Bill. If you have time, please also call Sen. Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441 and Sen. Patty Murray (202) 224-2621.
You can say: “I’m a concerned constituent, and I’m calling to urge you to oppose the King amendment and remove it from the Farm Bill. It’s a dangerous and radical attack on states’ rights.”
Washington’s wolves are making a comeback. After an extensive, five-year public process, a state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan was developed to help the wolves. Instead of making the wolf plan legally enforceable, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is considering proposals to increase cases where wolves can be killed and when compensation is paid after wolf predation on domestic animals. The parts of the plan that protect wolves aren’t being considered, and a meeting has been planned for Aug. 2 to make a decision on the proposed changes.
Please tell the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission not to expand wolf killing but instead focus on making the 2011 plan law. If you can, join the Center’s West Coast Wolf Organizer, Amaroq Weiss, at the hearing in Olympia on Friday, Aug. 2 and speak up for wolves in person.
Stand up for the wolf plan and for Washington’s wolves and reject these unjustified, one-sided proposals.
Sounds like a no-brainer, but it is a first: the New York Senate has passed a bill requiring convicted animal abusers, like convicted sex offenders, to register with the appropriate criminal justice department. In addition, those convicted of torture have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and are banned from ever owning a pet again. I am glad it is clear to at least one state that animal torture isn’t a merely a momentary lapse in the judgement of otherwise good people — like giving someone the finger in traffic after a bad day at work.
Now, the names and addresses of convicted animal abuses in New York will be made readily accessible to the public — meaning, just for example, that shelters can check the registry before finalizing to an adoption. This bill is on its way to the NY Assembly, where it will be sponsored by Jim Tedisco, the same man behind NY’s original 1997 ‘Buster’s Law” making animal abuse a felony. (I could tell you about Buster but I won’t.)
Considering that it is no easy feat to be convicted of animal abuse to begin with, and that there is a high rate of recidivism (partly because it’s so EASY), let’s hope NY’s registry is just the beginning. Michigan and California are also considering animal abuser registries, but an attempt to pass a similar law earlier this year in Maryland failed, largely due to the efforts of the PIJAC (Pet Industry Joint Advisory Committee), which claimed that keeping animals out of the hands of psychos would make life too hard for pet retailers.
A few weeks ago Washington State Parks used USDA Wildlife Services to kill geese at Lake Sammamish State Park. They didn’t give the public any notice or any opportunity to comment.
USDA Wildlife Services cruelly rounds up geese when the adults start to molt and can’t fly. USDA then herd the adults and babies into pens. If they are still doing what they did in the past when they were killing geese in the Seattle parks, the geese are shoved into gas chambers in the back of the USDA trucks.
The gas chambers weren’t designed for large birds like geese. The chambers are too small for the geese to stand upright prior to being gassed to death. Multiple geese are stuffed into the chamber at the same time while frantically struggling and trying to escape. Of course this is all done under a cloak of secrecy, so people are unaware of what’s being done or how.
There are many humane alternatives that work well when used together. Killing the geese only creates a temporary solution, because other geese will move in, resulting in an endless cycle of killing.
Geese at all of the Washington State Parks are in danger. If they are killing geese at Lake Sammamish State Park, they are probably killing them in the other state parks as well.
Please contact officials at Washington State Parks and tell them to stop the endless cycle of killing and to come up with a focused well thought out, comprehensive plan that uses humane alternatives. Killing is unacceptable and we must do a better job of sharing the earth with wildlife.
Urgent Action Alert:
Animals suffering on factory farms urgently need your help.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the Farm Bill that includes the dangerous “King Amendment”—a measure that would override state animal protection laws nationwide.
If enacted, the King Amendment would nullify the few state laws that do provide protection to farmed animals, such as laws banning cruel crates and cages, prohibiting the force-feeding of ducks, and forbidding horse slaughter and shark finning.
The shameful King Amendment, proposed by animal cruelty defender Rep. Steve King of Iowa, is also a threat to laws governing environmental protection, worker safety, and more.
The Farm Bill is currently under review by a joint congressional committee, which has the authority to remove the King Amendment.
It is crucial that you speak out against this dangerous legislation, which will have devastating consequences if enacted.
Please contact your U.S. representatives today and urge them to oppose the King Amendment to the Farm Bill.
Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants is joining IDA (In Defense of Animals) for this year’s Jungle Party Demonstration for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto, the three elephants on display at the Woodland Park Zoo. Jungle Party is the zoo’s largest fundraiser and Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants will be present to make the donors aware of the elephants’ pathetic lives.
What: Rally for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto When:4pm – 6:30 pm; Friday, July 12, 2013. Come for all or part of the time. Where: Woodland Park Zoo’s WEST entrance (on Phinney Ave N. at N. 55th, Seattle, WA 98103)
Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants and IDA will also be protesting the composition of the task force that the zoo formed after years of criticism over the elephant program, the two scathing Seattle Times reports and subsequent two editorials calling for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s retirement to a sanctuary. The zoo is concerned about its image and the task force is about damage control, not looking after the elephants’ best interests.
Woodland Park Zoo chose all members of the task force, most of whom are financially and personally invested in the zoo. There are the five current or past zoo board members on the force—a clear conflict of interest. Dr. Slinker, a zoo board and task force member, chose the health panel. He co-authored an op-ed in The Seattle Times in which he said the elephants don’t have foot problems (which they do) and should stay at the zoo.
This task force is all about assuaging donors not Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s welfare. It clearly shows the zoo is concerned about their insistence on keeping elephants in their tiny display.
Also: Please come to all or part of the next task force meeting on Monday, July 22nd from 4pm – 7pm or 8pm (to be announced). It will be at the Seattle downtown library at 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104-1109 206-386-4636
It’s time again for another blood sport bath. Every summer from July 6th to 14th, the San Fermin Festival takes place in Pamplona, Spain. It’s a festival honoring Saint Fermin, a 3rd Century Roman who converted to Christianity.
Sadly, the festival revolves around the running of the bulls. Every morning bulls are forced onto slippery cobblestone streets filled with thousands of crazed revelers. As fireworks and explosives go off, the terrified animals run through a cordoned off section that creates a chute of sorts. The route leads to a bull ring, where they will be tortured and killed.
The festival is steeped in tradition related to transporting bulls to market. Today, it attracts mainly tourists, who think running among terrified animals makes them macho. It’s not brave or masculine. It’s shameful.
Many Spaniards oppose this cruelty. This year, animal rights activists from PETA UK and Spain’s Anima Naturalis joined forces to demonstrate against the barbaric practice. They stood in coffins (representing the 48 bulls that will be killed during the festival) to protest.
The San Fermin festival attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs. Bull fighting is actually on the decline but tourism keeps it alive. When travelling, stay far away from bull fights and other forms of cruelty and vote with your dollar. Spain is a beautiful country so enjoy the scenery, hospitality, dance, art, architecture, nature and beaches instead.
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