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Ask WA Legislators to Pass These Bills on Animal Fighting

There are committee hearings tomorrow for wo bills in the Washington State House of Representatives would outlaw animal fighting paraphernalia: HB 1919 and HB 1929.

House Bill 1919, sponsored by Reps. Mosbrucker, Appleton, Smith, Ybarra, Dye, Ormsby and Stanford, would:

  • Expand the circumstances under which a person may commit an Animal Fighting offense to include: (1) stealing an animal for animal fighting; and (2) possessing, transferring, manufacturing, or engaging in other activities relating to animal fighting paraphernalia.
  • Elevate the classification of Animal Fighting from a class C felony to a class B felony when a person intentionally mutilates an animal in furtherance of the offense.
  • Provide that a person is guilty of Animal Cruelty in the second degree when he or she abandons an animal that has been used for animal fighting and thereby causes or risks harm to the animal.
  • Require the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to establish and maintain a statewide voicemail line to allow members of the public to anonymously report incidents of animal abuse.
  • Require the WSP to establish a central repository for local law enforcement agencies to report incidents of animal abuse for submission to the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

House Bill 1929, sponsored by Reps. Lovick, Klippert, Leavitt and Stanford, would expand the circumstances under which a person may commit an Animal Fighting offense (a Class C felony) to include owning, possessing, buying, selling, transferring, or manufacturing animal fighting paraphernalia for specified purposes. Paraphernalia would include items such as “breaking sticks; cat mills; treadmills; fighting pits; springpoles; unprescribed veterinary medicine; and gaffs, slashers, heels, and any other sharp implement designed to be attached in place of the natural spur of a cock or game fowl.”

It’s important that both these bills pass. Please contact your representatives to ask that they support HB 1919 and 1929. The easiest way to find your representative is to input your address on this website.

In an email, letter or phone call, you might say:

Dear Rep. So-and-so,

I’m writing to ask that you help ensure HB 1919 and 1929 in the current legislature pass. They elevate animal fighting from a Class C to a Class B felony, expand the definition of animal fighting to include buying and owning animal fighting paraphernalia, and require the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to establish both a statewide voicemail line to allow the public to anonymously report incidents of animal abuse and a central repository for local law enforcement agencies to report incidents of animal abuse for submission to the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

These are important bills that should have no trouble passing. Thank you for taking the time to ensure that they do.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Idaho Fur Trappers Wanted — to Grow Up

Seriously, what century is this? Aren’t enough animals being farmed for fur — so many that companies sometimes misrepresent whether clothing they sell uses animal or faux fur — that we don’t need competitions to kill more? People are the beasts in this scenario.

Idaho Fish and Game are part of this depraved situation, which appears to be at least tacitly condoned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials, according to The Smokey Wire website, which is administered by Sharon Friedman, Ph.D., forest geneticist, Forest Service retiree (2012) and former chair of both the Forest Policy Committee and Forest Science and Technology Board at the Society of American Foresters.

What’s Idaho Fish and Game upset about? Of the 2.6 million cattle and sheep in Idaho at any given time, about 77 cattle and 61 sheep have been killed each year there since 2009, according to a post on The Smokey Wire by Matthew Koehler. That compares to fewer than 1,000 wolves, last time Idaho counted. It’s worth reading his whole post to learn more about this subject.

If you’re in Boise, please visit Idaho Fish and Game in person to let them know what you think: 600 S. Walnut, Boise, ID. If you’re not, please call them at (208) 334-3700 and call or email Idaho Fish and Game Commission Members:

  • Derick Attebury of Idaho Falls, derick.attebury@idfg.idaho.gov, (208) 525-7290
  • Jerry Meyers of North Fork, Salmon.Commissioner@idfg.idaho.gov, (208) 756-2271
  • Brad Corkill of Cataldo, brad.corkill@idfg.idaho.gov, (208) 769-1414
  • Dan Blanco of Moscow, dan.blanco@idfg.idaho.gov, (208) 799-5010
  • Tim Murphy of Nampa, tim.murphy@idfg.idaho.gov, (208) 465-8465
  • Greg Cameron of Rupert, MagicValley.Commissioner@idfg.idaho.gov, (208) 324-4359
  • Lane Clezie of Pocatello, lane.clezie@idfg.idaho.gov, (208) 232-4703

You also can call the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which funds the wolf hunt: 800-225-5355.

A Bill to Ban Plant-Based Milk + Happier Reasons to Write Your Legislators

Here’s an overview of bills worth writing to your legislator about this session, which goes through April:

Senate Bill 5349: Concerning products identified as milk (WHAT ON EARTH?)
The bill adds this to language to existing state law that prohibits selling contaminated milk:
“It is unlawful to sell, offer for sale, or deliver any product that is identified by the word ‘milk’ and that is intended for human consumption as food or drink if the product is not milk or does not contain milk or milk products.”

House Bill 1026: Concerning breed-based dog regulations (YES!)
A public hearing is scheduled in the House for 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 21, and it’s set to go to executive committee on Jan. 31.
“Prohibits a city or county from prohibiting the possession of a dog based upon its breed, imposing requirements specific to possession of a dog based upon its breed, or declaring a dog dangerous or potentially dangerous based upon its breed unless certain conditions are met.”

House Bill 1045: Prohibiting the lethal removal of gray wolves (YES!)
“Prohibits the department of fish and wildlife from authorizing the killing of gray wolves. Allows the department to authorize the nonlethal removal or relocation of gray wolves that are destroying or injuring property, or when nonlethal removal or relocation is necessary for wildlife management or research.”

House Bill 1007: Concerning dedicated funding for animal shelter capital projects (YES!)
“Requires the department of commerce to establish a competitive process to: (1) Solicit proposals for and prioritize projects whose primary objective is to assist animal shelters in acquiring, constructing, or rehabilitating facilities; and (2) Establish a competitive process to prioritize applications for assistance.”

House Bill 1025: Concerning the slaughter of horses and other equines for human consumption (YES!)
“Prohibits a person from: (1) Slaughtering a horse if the person knows or should know that the meat from the slaughtered animal is intended to be used for human consumption; and (2) Possessing, purchasing, bartering, selling, or transporting horses if the person knows or should know that the horse or its meat will be used for human consumption. Excludes horses, mules, and asses from the definition of ‘meat food animal.'”

House Bill 1046: Prohibiting hunting with the aid of dogs for certain purposes (YES!)
“Prohibits a person from hunting or pursuing black bear, cougar, bobcat, or lynx with the aid of a dog.”

Look up your state legislators: https://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
A list of their email addresses: https://app.leg.wa.gov/memberemail/Default.aspx?Chamber=S
Set up alerts for bills you want to follow: https://www.washingtonvotes.org/
Look up more about this session’s bills here: https://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/

Speak Out Against Coyote-Killing Contest

Here’s a celebration of a lack of empathy: To reward people who’ve learned coyote calls well enough to lure them to their deaths, the United States Predator Challenge invites people from three parts of the country to kill coyotes and bring their carcasses to three locations for counting toward a depraved contest entry.

The website reads, “We want to stress the importance that to win one of these regional contests will be HUGE… and to win the overall Championship will truly set the bar in the predator calling world.”

In an action alert, Project Coyote asks that you:

  • Urge your state legislators to support a ban on wildlife killing contests, which are cruel and unsporting, in your state. Locate your state legislators here. Find more guidance on passing local and state bans on wildlife killing contests here.
  • Urge your city and/or county council to pass a resolution condemning wildlife killing contests and calling for a statewide legislative ban. This year, the city councils of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, passed similar resolutions.
  • Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.
    a. For tips and tools about writing letters to the editor, click here.
    b. Talking points (it’s important to be polite and personalize your message):
    °  States should follow the lead of California and Vermont and ban the killing of coyotes and other wildlife for prizes and fun.
    °  Wildlife killing contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes, and simply for the “fun” of killing.
    °  No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests serve any effective wildlife management function. Coyote populations that are not hunted or trapped form stable family groups that naturally limit populations. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability, resulting in increased reproduction and pup survival. Read more here and here.
    °  Coyotes play an important ecological role helping to maintain healthy ecosystems and species diversity. As the top carnivore in some ecosystems, coyotes provide many benefits including providing free rodent control and regulating the number of mesocarnivores (such as skunks and raccoons), which in turn helps to boost ground and song bird abundance and biodiversity. Read more here.
    °  Wildlife killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that animals are disposable.
    °  Wildlife killing contests put non-target wildlife, companion animals, and people at risk.
    °  Killing as many animals as possible conflicts with traditional fair-chase hunting values and contravenes science-based wildlife conservation principles and practices.
  • Post this sharegraphic on social media, accompanied by the requests above.
  • Help raise awareness about wildlife killing contests by distributing this educational postcard and this factsheet.
  • Help sponsor a screening of KILLING GAMES ~ Wildlife In The Crosshairs in your community. Contact Project Coyote at info@projectcoyote.org about sponsorship opportunities.
For more information about wildlife killing contests, please visit the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests’ website here.

Today’s the Day to Call Gov. Inslee for the Wolves: 360-902-4111

save-wolves-gray-wolves-by-Sakarri-Flickr

The Center for Biological Diversity published a full-page ad in today’s Seattle Times calling on people to call Gov. Inslee and demand that he stop the senseless killing of Washington’s endangered wolves.

That makes tomorrow — Monday — a great time for us all to call at once, to send a message.

GOV. INSLEE: 360-902-4111

Please also sign the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition for Gov. Inslee.

The center’s ad reads: “Governor Inslee: STOP the SENSELESS KILLING of WASHINGTON’S ENDANGERED WOLVES. More than 20 wolves have already been gunned down by the state, including 18 to appease one rancher who refuses to take reasonable steps to protect his cattle, like removing them from known wolf den and rendezvous sites. It’s cruel, counter to science and a waste of taxpayer money

“Washington has more than 1 million cattle and approximately 120 wolves. Conflicts between cattle and wolves are rare, affecting only a handful of Washington’s cattle annually. In response the state has killed 20 percent of Washington’s endangered wolves, destroying wolf families and even killing pups.

Science shows that killing wolves is not effective at reducing conflicts and may actually create more. The only methods scientifically proven to work are nonlethal.

And yet: The state has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on helicopter snipers to gun down endangered wolves, and spent more than $1 million on a consultant for its wolf-killing program.

“HERE’S WHAT MUST CHANGE:

  1. Inslee must immediately halt state-sponsored killing of wolves.
  2. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife must develop a new strategy for dealing with wolf-livestock conflicts.
  3. Inslee must transfer management of wolves from the game managers at the Department of Fish and Wildlife to the nongame division, where they will be managed as endangered species. [Ed. note: can you believe this hasn’t already happened?]
  4. Inslee and wildlife managers must listen to Washington residents — 3 out of 4 say wolves should be protected and are a vital part of our wilderness.
  5. Endangered wolves should be welcomed and protected on our public lands.

Thank you to the Center for Biological Diversity for paying for this ad!! For more information — or to donate — visit BiologicalDiversity.org.

Also see previous posts on this blog:

Does This Look Like a Cow Pasture? Then Stop Killing Wolves, Gov. Inslee

Fish & Wildlife Killed the Matriarch of the Profanity Pack: Time to Start Calling

Gratitude, Sorrow for Wolf Researcher Who’s Out at WSU

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Fish & Wildlife Killed the Matriarch of the Profanity Pack: Time to Start Calling

The mission statement for the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is: “To preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.”

The truth is, it does a lot of killing — of geese every year, of more than 300 mountain goats on the Olympic Peninsula (despite catchy visuals of the luckier goats being transported elsewhere by helicopter) this year — and of wolves on behalf of people who ranch on public land every year lately.

Here’s how it killed another wolf from a helicopter on Friday, according to a Facebook post from the Western Wildlife Council — which rightly points out that on Monday, it’s time to start calling the governer and Fish & Wildlife (numbers below) about releasing this information at 5 p.m. on a Friday. The last wolf expert who stood up to ranchers is out. It’s time for the public to say something.

“Today at 4:57 pm I received an email from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife providing a link to a recent update regarding wolves in Washington State.

Imagine the sounds of helicopter blades cutting the air over these wolves and the crushing feeling of a blast of Buckshot Piercing their skin, breaking their bones incapacitating them until someone arrives to finish them off. This happened today.

In this update that the Department purposely waited until shortly before the close of business to circulate, it stated that they believed they have shot from a helicopter (not so unlike the one pictured below) the Breeding Female of the OPT pack in Northeast Washington in Ferry County.

This makes the current count on wolves killed by this ranching outfit to 18 Wolves for the mere reason that he and his group have refused to accept the best available science and, therefore paid the price by a significant number of cattle being injured.

The method commonly used to dispatch wolves from choppers are using large pelleted buck shot fired from a shot gun to disable the animal until it is later given a kill shot from someone on the ground.

It is appalling that WDFW uses tactics like this to kill our wildlife that reside on our public lands for the sake of cows that do nothing but damage these fragile ecosystems.

Since WDFW waited until nearly 5:00 pm to release the information in the hopes advocates will calm down a bit and not call in to their offices disrupting their phone services, I think it is time to organize a call in Monday through Wednesday of this next week to the Governors Office and to WDFW ( ALL OFFICES) and keep calling!!

You See, it’s not just the wolf activity they are monitoring. It’s your reaction!!

Governors Office Number 1-360-902-4111

WDFW 1-360-902-2200

Please also email director Susewind at director@dfw.wa.gov

Please also direct phone calls to Donny Moterello and WDFW’s Region 1 Office @ (509) 892-1001

It’s Time to truly roll up our sleeves!!

Picture of Profanity Wolf Below”

Image may contain: outdoor and nature

 

How to Help the Orcas

Photo by Christopher Michel used under Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Photo by Christopher Michel used under Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Puget Sound is now in danger of losing a third precious orca. The poor health of the 27-year-old male came to light this week following the recent losses of a baby that lived just minutes and whose lifeless body was carried by her mother for weeks, and subsequent loss of a 3-year old female who was once bursting with health and life.

Resident orca whales need about 385 pounds of fish — preferably chinook — every single day to thrive, and pregnant mothers need even more, according to Lynda V. Mapes’ article in The Seattle Times. So no one should get their hopes up yet about the fact that three resident orcas are pregnant.

What can we do?

For starters, stop eating salmon. You won’t find that advice much, because a big industry has grown up around humans eating (and wasting) salmon. You’ll hear about how complicated it is, about the failure of hatcheries, about where we fish versus where the orcas fish. The bottom line is we eat and waste a whole lot of wild chinook. Let’s leave them — and the oceans — all we can.

Here’s more advice you won’t find much, also because of industry: Vessel noise disrupts the orcas’ ability to fish, so stop or limit your whale watching tours and other boating activities.

Contact your elected officials to demand that the Army Corps of Engineers start breaching four dams on the Lower Snake River for which it now has the authority and funding. The Army Corps will not start work until it hears from Gov. Inslee and Sen. Murray, according to the Orca Network. In the face of political and historical arguments for keeping the dams, it’s important to know that shipping has steadily declined along the waterway the dams create, and “the dams provide only about 5 percent of the region’s power, which today is easily replaced, if it’s needed at all. The dams provide no flood control and irrigation takes place only at Ice Harbor dam, nearest the Columbia,” according to another Lynda V. Mapes article.

Encourage elected officials to prioritize mitigation for climate change and pollution, which the Center for Whale Research points out is a major reason orccas no longer thrive in local waters.

You can take steps personally to mitigate pollution and climate change as well, including limiting water consumption (turn off water while brushing your teeth, limit showers to five minutes), reducing electrical consumption (set thermostats to 68 degrees or less, turn down your hot water heater, unplug rarely used electronics, switch off lights), use unbleached paper products, reuse (glass jars, cloth bags), recycle, avoid extra packaging, buy local and/or organic, limit pesticide use, limit household chemicals, and carpool or, better yet, walk, bike or ride the bus or train.

Animal Activist Petitions Against Olympic Game Farm: Here’s How You Can Help

SFM_4483-2When Carolita McGee was seven, her father moved their family to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.

“Right away, I was drawn in by the forested backyards we had. Even though I enjoyed having friends, nothing compared to the calming & blissful feeling I would get when I was immersed by nature & her Crtrs (critters ;-)),” Carolita wrote in an email discussing her recent petition against the Olympic Game Farm on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. “It was around 10 years old that I promised nature I would take care of her & that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing ever since.”

Formerly a pet sitter, veterinarian assistant and a worker in the pet shop industry — which she no longer supports, she now helps animals of all kinds, wild and domestic, as a volunteer. She works with local animal control officers and sometimes asks PETA for help when other avenues are exhausted.

As a pet sitter in Los Angeles, Carolita specialized in reptile care and provided basic grooming, including baths & mani/pedis for animals with feathers, scales and fur.

She adopted pets that were no longer wanted or near death, which resulted in having 31 Crtrs at one time in a large apartment with no furniture except a TV on the floor. “I slept on the floor for many years so that my pets could have the best set-up I could give them,” she wrote. They included iguanas, snakes, rodents, a rabbit, fish and a parrot she still has.

Carolita created CrtrGrl to educate people and to speak up for nature and its Crtrs using her corny sense of humor via YouTube, her website and social media including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

“People don’t want to be preached to, so I’m using a different twist to get the message across,” she wrote. “My morning ritual includes signing petitions, writing letters to our government, using social media to share and raise awareness on animal advocacy.”

She continues to work with animal control on local matters and recently started a petition against Olympic Game Farm.

How did you become aware of the Olympic Game Farm?  

My husband, Scott, and I visited the farm per a referral from one of the bed and breakfast places we were staying at nearby. We told her about our love for animals and nature, so we were very excited about this “sanctuary” she was raving about!

What kinds of animals live there, and how do do visitors see or interact with them?

We saw farm animals, camel, llama, ponies, bears, wolves, elk, zebra, bison, etc. You pay extra to pet the farm animals, and there are usually kids who enjoy that section. You can pay a dollar or two to buy a loaf of wheat bread to feed the safari animals.

You drive your car on this road that takes you to an open field of wild animals that stick their heads in your window for bread. I didn’t notice a single employee around to make sure no human or animal gets hurt.

We would often get so nervous thinking we were going to run over an animal because they have absolutely no fear of cars. Why would they? Each car is filled with junk food!

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We noticed a reptile house and an above-ground pool labeled “aquarium” that cost extra. We regret not checking these out, but we were already so overwhelmed with sadness and disgust about how these poor animals are exploited, we couldn’t stomach it anymore.

What are the animals’ living quarters like?

The animals in the open field have little shelter — just a few wooden beams and a roof scattered here and there. We saw two Kodiak bears in their own open area with just a metal half dome for shelter. There were no pools, nothing to climb around on, but plenty of bread being tossed at them.

A solo black bear and three wolves were housed together in a small, wire enclosure with very little to provide enrichment. These animals were pacing back and forth, showing obvious signs of boredom and frustration. This is the last section we saw before rushing out of there. Unfortunately, I became too overwhelmed.

Behind the elk, in the distance, is a small open shelters with a wooden roof top that they share.

Behind the elk, in the distance, is a small open shelter with a wooden roof top that they share.

What are they eating?

The owner said in one article that they are fed fruits, veggies, meat, grains etc. and that the bread is merely a treat, but if you’re open to the public 8+ hours, 7 days a week, offering loaves of bread to every visitor, this bread becomes their staple diet. Even as a treat, it provides no nourishment and can be harmful to these animals. Even the USDA doesn’t approve of this, but they haven’t pushed the owner to stop, which boggles my mind. (I will be posting copies of the USDA reports soon.)

What else are the animals experiencing?

Scott and I mostly witnessed much sadness with many of the animals there. In addition to the pacing, there were animals just still, staring into space. Words are not enough to describe just how absolutely sad they were. It’s gut wrenching. One bear wouldn’t take the bread being tossed at him/her, yet people wouldn’t stop tossing them as they hit his/her body.

Does the game farm charge to visit?

Yes. $14 per person.

Who owns the farm, and how have they responded to your efforts?

Robert Beebe owns the farm. I’ve written a letter to him which he never responded to.

I tried another approach with the letter in this petition. NARN comments — and the owner’s responses to criticism are in this Huffington Post article.

What can I do to help?

Thanks much for asking.

  • Please sign the petition and share it widely.
  • Please share any photos or video you have.
  • Contact local newspapers, radio and television stations and tag them in tweets and on Facebook.
  • Please contact Disney’s headquarters for infringement of the Disney name “Olympic Game Farm.” Let Disney know that you are shocked & disappointed that they would support animal neglect, abuse & cruelty.
  • Please contact Dr. Carolyn J. McKinnie, USDA’s Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer, for this region asking her to require the owners to make improvements or send the animals to a proper sanctuary. She appears to be the veterinarian who visits the game farm.

 

A word of encouragement for all of us

I’m sure you know this already, but with the animal welfare laws being so weak, being an animal advocate can often times feel like we’re running in place to never reach the finish line. This can be quite frustrating and exhausting, but laws change due to persistence and continued courage. Every day I’m learning to be strong for these wonderful non-human beings. Each and every one of them are worth the pain that comes with the fight. I strive to live to see the day animals & their habitats are no longer slaves & exploited for human benefit. That they live to be, at the very least, respected, living wild and free.

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Photos used with permission of Carolita McGee.

Urgent: Speak Against Sloth Event Slated for Tomorrow (Dec. 14)

The Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center & Sloth Center is holding a “Santa Sloth” fundraiser in Olympia on Thursday, Dec. 14, at which sloths and lemurs will be used as photo props.

The event costs $40, and the Facebook event indicates about 160 will attend.

The Center itself has negative USDA reports and had a lemur die in August when it was left outside overnight and coyotes came onto the property. Indeed, they “they breed animals, sell animals into private ownership, and allow the public to handle animals on the premises. They are not accredited by GFAS,” according to ICARUS Inc.

In light of that background, perhaps it’s not surprising that the Center has not gotten the word about using wildlife as props.

Let’s each take a moment to remind them and those planning to attend the event above. Thank you!

Bear Witness for the Turkeys ~ Join Us in Enumclaw on Saturday

Thanksgiving is a time of mixed emotions for many vegans. It’s nice to share traditions and favorite vegan recipes with family and friends — but it’s a holiday that also reminds many of us of the destruction wrought by the arrival of white people on this continent and the deaths of 46 million gorgeous beings every year, birds who were born only to suffer, die and be complained about as “dry, stringy” meat on the tables of Americans.

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Next Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Seattle Farmed Animal Save will bear witness to turkeys being sold for local Thanksgiving tables. The group will gather and hold signs on the highway outside the live animal auction at the Enumclaw Sales Pavilion (22712 SE 436th St, Enumclaw). It’s a bit of a drive, but you can drop by the Redwing Cafe on your way there or back for a yummy treat.

I’ve never been there before Thanksgiving, but founder Kristina Giovanetti (who beautifully described the power of bearing witness in an earlier NARN post) says it’s what you would expect: Box after box after box of turkeys being sold. No price is decent for a living being, but these animals go for shockingly little.

As you probably know based on Instagram posts from all over the world, the Save Movement is powerful and heartening and heartbreaking, all at the same time. Please join us on Saturday!

Here are photos from a recent live auction — beautiful animals with numbers on them:

Birds in boxes.

Birds in boxes.

chicken

sweet goat

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sweet goats