Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

France to ban mink farms and wild animals in travelling circuses

France's dolphinariums will also no longer be able to breed or bring in new dolphins or killer whales
France’s dolphinariums will also no longer be able to breed or bring in new dolphins or killer whales LOIC VENANCE AFP/File
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Paris (AFP)

France said Tuesday it planned to “gradually” ban mink farms in the country as well the use of wild animals in travelling circuses and the breeding of dolphins and orcas in captivity.

Environment minister Barbara Pompili announced the sweeping measures saying “our attitude to wild animals has changed”.

The country’s three dolphinariums will also no longer be able to breed or bring in new dolphins or killer whales.

“It is time that our ancestral fascination with these wild beings no longer means they end up in captivity,” Pompili added.

Animals rights group PETA hailed the decision as “an historic victory”.

“Champagne bottles are being uncorked here. Thank you to all those who have helped bring this about.”

The animal charity 30 Million Friends also welcomed the ban, tweeting that the government had taken “the public’s demands for the wellbeing of wild animals” into account.

It said it wanted the decisions to be pushed through as quickly as possible.

However, the minister was vague on when the shutters would come down on mink farms and the use of wild animals for entertainment, saying only that it would be in “the years to come”.

“Putting a date on it does not solve all the problems,” she said.

– Dogged resistance –

“I prefer to start a process so that we get there as quickly as possible.”

The measures are sure to be resisted by the French fur industry, which has fought a dogged rearguard action in recent years against luxury fashion houses going fur-free.

And it is as yet unclear what the measures will mean for theme parks that stage birds of prey shows.

Pompili said no new dolphinariums will be allowed to be built in France.

She said the government was looking at the idea of a sanctuary for the dolphins and the three orcas which now in captivity.

And she warned that it could take “seven to 10 years to prepare a future” for the creatures.

French circuses use some 500 wild animals at the moment, according to the profession.

Pompili said the government was going to offer circuses and dolphinariums an aid package of up to eight million euros ($9.3 million) to help them adapt to the bans.

“We are asking (circuses) to reinvent themselves,” she said.

“It will be a time when they will need support, and the state will be at their side,” the minister added.

More than 20 European countries have either banned or heavily restricted the use of animals for entertainment.

Some 400 local councils in France already have such bans in place.

Cancel the Kaporos chicken slaughter once and for all: It’s irresponsible, especially during the COVID pandemic

Jews are seen here on Flushing Avenue near Bedford Avenue performing the Atonement Ritual of Kapparot in Brooklyn in a file photo.
Jews are seen here on Flushing Avenue near Bedford Avenue performing the Atonement Ritual of Kapparot in Brooklyn in a file photo. (Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News Exclusive)

I am a Jewish doctor who lives in Brooklyn, and in March of this year, I came down with COVID-19. Thankfully, my case was not severe. I was able to manage my symptoms in a two-week home quarantine, and I eventually fully recovered, unlike more than 23,000 of my fellow New Yorkers who died from the virus in the past six months.

A few days from now, I will be celebrating Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Jewish New Year, at my home in Williamsburg. As part of the High Holiday observance, I and millions of Jews all over the world will partake in Kaporos, a customary atonement ritual wherein we use symbolic coins and hold them up as we declare our sins and pledge to donate money to charity as atonement.

There is a sect of my fellow Jews here in Brooklyn who practice Kaporos by swinging live baby chickens over their heads. In so doing, they believe they transfer their sins to the chickens before they slaughter them as a proxy for themselves, absolving them of their sins. Here in the streets of Brooklyn, a couple of blocks from my home where I came down with COVID-19, quarantined and recovered from it, tens of thousands of chickens are going to be slaughtered in unregulated pop-up slaughterhouses dotted throughout our borough.

Many of us have been trying to get these ad hoc, street-side slaughterhouses shut down for years because of our concerns about the potential effect on public health and the extreme animal cruelty. Now we can see that our concerns were justified. If there were ever a time for us to take these matters seriously, it is amidst a global pandemic where the unregulated and unsanitary conditions in “wet markets” has given rise to new and dangerous infectious diseases.

These kinds of markets promote zoonosis — the process whereby pathogens such as bacteria or viruses jump from a non-human animal (usually a vertebrate) to humans and cause an infectious disease. There is broad consensus in the scientific community that zoonosis has spawned many of the infectious diseases that have emerged in the past 30 years and has been the source of many epidemics we’ve seen in recent times, such as SARS, MERS and Ebola. The emerging science on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic suggests that wet markets in Wuhan, China, likely played a key role in the origination and early transmission of this novel coronavirus.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, China has vowed to restrict the live animal trade and shut down its wet markets. New York City has 71 wet markets scattered throughout our city. They are overseen by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. After everything we New Yorkers have endured as ground zero for the explosion of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, it is recklessly irresponsible of New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi and Mayor de Blasio to continue to turn a blind eye for another year and allow such facilities to continue to put our communities in harm’s way.

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In the past, New York City government officials have sidestepped addressing this issue of Kaporos with live chickens in pop-up slaughterhouses in the streets of Brooklyn for fear of encroaching on religious freedoms. But we live in a different time now where the restrictions of social distancing during a pandemic appropriately prohibit congregations from gathering in their usual large numbers to pray at the high holidays. Surely if we can prohibit these large religious gatherings for fear of spreading COVID-19, we can also ban unregulated wet markets.

Kaporos wet markets are likely more dangerous than regular wet markets where only workers handle, slaughter and butcher chickens. During Kaporos, the community members handle the live chickens, passing them from one to another, creating multiple points of contact for spreading germs and disease. Many of the chickens arrive to these Kaporos wet markets sickly or dead, decomposing on neighboring live chickens in the open air.

Extraordinary times call for decisive leadership. I and many of my neighbors are outraged that our city’s leaders continue to skirt this public health issue at a time when we are still so vulnerable amidst a pandemic that has claimed so many of our lives. If we New Yorkers are truly committed to containing the spread of COVID-19 and stopping the next pandemic, New York City’s officials should close Kaporos wet markets this year and all years following.

Ciment is a board-certified podiatric physician in New York City and the president of the board of directors of Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, N.Y.

Peaceful Parks mounts opposition to cormorant kills

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SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

Tom Van Dusen
Nation Valley News

ONTARIO – The Peaceful Parks Coalition is coordinating opposition against
open season on double-crested cormorants declared by the provincial
government Sept. 15 through to the end of the year. Biologists have noted
that most cormorants will have departed for the south by the end of October.

After reading a column questioning the need for the hunt in Nation Valley
News, PPC’s Ana Valastro called from Toronto to say her group is building
resistance across the province. Valastro is looking for volunteers along the
St. Lawrence River to report hunts and cormorant kills.

There are affiliated groups in Kingston and in the Rideau Lakes keeping an
eye on the process, Valastro said. At one time, there was a volunteer
working out of Brockville but that’s no longer the case.

A native species automatically protected, that designation was removed to
permit hunters to bag up to 15 cormorants a day in a “fall harvest” as long
as they hold a valid license. They aren’t required to report their kills
only to properly dispose of inedible carcasses. which opponents claim won’t
always happen.

Valastro insisted cormorants have been much maligned as ugly nuisances that
eat too much fish – robbing them from human anglers – and whose droppings
destroy vegetation, some of the damage located within view of affluent
cottagers.

In fact, the birds are beautiful and graceful, Valastro stated. For the most
part, they eat non-game or commercial fish and cause limited damage to
vegetation. Opponents have called the open hunt “reckless”, a “disgusting
slaughter,” claiming cormorants have just reached a sustainable level after
near decimation over decades.

They maintain problem areas should be managed humanely on a documented
localized basis; and they point out that no useful data will be garnered
from the hunt because results aren’t being recorded.

The Big Rideau Lake branch of PPC has reported shots fired and cormorants
killed. The branch says there are only about 50 birds on the lake at the
moment, members of a small resident colony. One cottager complained that
cormorants are being unfairly vilified for everything from eating their
weight in fish daily to driving out the loons.

“If you know who these hunters are, educate them,” the Big Rideau branch
stated. “They’re not hurting our fish populations, nor are their numbers
increasing.”

PPC in Kingston reported the number of cormorants on five islands has
dropped from about 5,000 to 2,000 with the annual migration already
underway. A volunteer discovered one dead bird but no hunters on site,
possibly because winds make it precarious to approach the islands much of
the time.

Valastro said she had little information on cormorant numbers east of
Kingston and hopes to improve reporting from this area.

https://nationvalleynews.com/2020/09/23/peaceful-parks-mounts-opposition-cor
morant-kills/

Ontario’s cormorant ‘hunt’ is based on pandering, not science

These birds, which nest along the Ottawa and Rideau river systems, are native; they’re not intruders, says Ted Cheskey. Why kill a bird we’re not going to eat?

https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/cheskey-ontarios-cormorant-hunt-is-based-on-pandering-rather-than-science

Article content

Last winter, the Ontario government proposed an amendment to hunting laws to allow a massive slaughter of the double-crested cormorant, a native species. Details included year-round hunting, a “bag” limit of 50 per day, and no obligation to recover the carcass of a dead or injured bird. The original proposal was a parody of hunting, rather than a serious proposition.

Nature Canada was one of many reputable organizations that pushed back, rightfully categorizing the hunt as inhumane, misguided, lacking in scientific justification and outright dangerous.

The concept of culling cormorants does have supporters, notably the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. That said, it is hard to believe that the first proposal was anything more than testing the waters.

The government came back with a revised proposition that seems more reasonable, at least on the surface. For starters, the hunt is limited to the fall, which addresses a key concern about the inhumanity of killing birds at their nesting sites and high risk to other colonial species.

The government also decreased the daily bag limit to 15 cormorants. To compare with other hunted species in Ontario, the daily bag limit is six ducks, five geese, 10 rails (yes, rails can be hunted) and 15 mourning doves.

Finally, hunters must make every effort to collect killed or injured birds, and if they do not eat them, they must be disposed of in a sanitary way.

While the province is calling this a hunt, the question should be asked: Would anyone eat a cormorant? The interest in having the hunt is not from a culinary perspective. It is in part because some people hate cormorants and believe they are taking “their” fish. So why call it a hunt if you are not killing the birds for food?  That creates an ethical dilemma for people who accept hunting if the object of the hunt is consumed.

The proposal lacks population targets that are the hallmark of waterfowl management in Canada and the United States, where bag limits are established based on targets to maintain healthy populations. No such objective is identified for the cormorant cull in Ontario. Without a population objective, the cull simply appears to be pandering to local interests. In other words, it is a decision based on politics rather than science.

The double-crested cormorant is a native, fish-eating species that was almost driven to extinction in much of Canada from blatant persecution that manifests itself in illegal shooting and assaults on their nesting colonies as well as the effects of DDT on its reproductive ability. Once DDT was banned in the early 1970’s, double-crested cormorants mounted a remarkable recovery, not unlike the bald eagle, particularly in the Great Lakes Region.

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Now widespread in the Great Lakes Region, double-crested cormorants nest in colonies along parts of the Ottawa and Rideau river systems, including islands on the Ottawa River near the Prince of Wales Bridge and Conroy Island in Gatineau. There is a large colony on Big Rideau Lake. Cormorants are migratory birds, leaving eastern Ontario for the Atlantic Ocean in the fall, and returning in the spring.

Their numbers have responded to abundant populations of exotic, invasive fish species such as alewives and smelt. As a colonial nesting species that often chooses islands for colony sites where other colonial species such as gulls, terns, and herons also nest, cormorants have been the object of hate and false narratives, such as that cormorants are not native species and that they destroy commercial and sport fish stocks.

What is really needed to address local concerns about cormorant populations and their impact on local fisheries is localized management, which could include organized culls as was done successfully for a decade on Middle Island in Lake Erie. It can also be done successfully without shooting. The Toronto Region Conservation Authority has successfully and transparently implemented non-lethal cormorant control at Tommy Thompson Park for many years.

Such an approach would be far better than disguising the broad, province-wide cull as a hunt, which lacks scientific justification and objectives.

Ted Cheskey, Naturalist Director at Nature Canada, a national non-profit conservation organization, leads the organization’s domestic and international bird conservation initiatives. 

‘Nothing more than a slaughter’: Cormorant hunting season officially opens

Nate VandermeerMulti-Skilled Journalist

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Published Tuesday, September 15, 2020 3:47PM EDT

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Legal, controlled hunt of double–crested cormorant angers local cottager at Big Rideau Lake. CTV’s Nate Vandermeer reports.

BROCKVILLE, ONT. — As Tim Poupore launched his boat into Big Rideau Lake Tuesday morning, a different kind of chill was in the air.

The temperature was around four degrees, but it was the official opening of the cormorant hunting season that had some lake residents feeling bitter.

“My parents built a cottage here back in the late sixties,” said Poupore on the way to check in on a cormorant colony on the lake. “I remember coming out to look at them then. My memory is that they’ve always been here.”

Big Rideau Lake Cormorant colony

September 15 marked the opening day for hunting cormorants in the province, a season that will last until December 31.

Hunters are allowed a daily bag limit of 15 birds.

However, there is an ongoing debate about hunting the birds. Some people, including in government, say they are a nuisance and that they destroy other wildlife habitats and disrupt fishing ecosystems.

But Poupore says the data does not back that up.

“I think it’s asinine. It serves no purpose,” he said. “This should be data driven and it’s not. There are no government studies; there is no demonstration of a need. It’s just people don’t like these birds and they want to blast them out of the sky.”

Arriving close to the island, orange clothing can bee seen about 25 feet up a dead tree. A sign on the edge of the water says, “Don’t shoot! Protect the Big Rideau Lake cormorant colony.”

Poupore calls out to the man in the tree and he answers back, stating his name is Buzz Boles.

Buzz Boles

“I want to preserve this colony. I’m here for several reasons. One is to observe the hunt and see how the birds react to hunters shooting at them,” Boles said.

“The other thing is this colony is very historic, it’s very small, and two hunters in a day could almost wipe it out entirely. So I think this is a valuable asset to the environment of Big Rideau Lake and it needs to be preserved.”

A retired wildlife biologist, Boles notes that there would normally be around 40 birds on the island, but that number is higher as more gather to prepare to migrate south.

Boles has been monitoring the colony for the past five years and has been in correspondence with the ministry of natural resources.

“They have said that I can be on this island, studying the birds anytime except during nesting season, and I’ve been doing that. I’m here quite legally. I have every right to sit in this tree and watch the sun come up, as is anybody else,” Boles said.

Boles said wildlife management is not being followed correctly, with no objectives like the amount of birds that need to be eradicated, and what the exact purpose is. He considers the hunting nothing more than an open slaughter.

“That’s unrecorded and gives the ministry no data that is useable. What are the objectives of this?” Boles asked. “This is a province wide free-for-all of just shoot the birds. This is not wildlife management.”

When Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski announced the hunting season back in July, he said the cormorant population was healthy and sustainable, but the government heard concerns about the birds causing damage in some communities.

“He should be ashamed, instituting a hunt like this,” Boles said, when asked if he could say something to Minister Yakabuski.

“Science does not back him up and wildlife management does not back him up. This is nothing more than a slaughter. If there is a need to reduce cormorant numbers, there are wildlife management tools to do that in a proper fashion.”

Boles has been a hunter and angler all his life and said he has seen the impacts that wildlife can have on the environment.

“All they’re doing here is eco-engineering the nearest rock big enough for them. They’re eco-engineering it, not consciously, but subconsciously, that’s the way nature works,” Boles said.

On another island, just south of Boles’ lookout, Pat Fogarty is also set up watching the birds.

“I welcome all birds and I think the cormorants are part of this natural environment and ecosystem and I think they should be left alone,” Fogarty said.

“Basically, I think they should not be hunted. They (the hunters) are not taking these animals for food. They’re not really food worthy. I know it’s just about killing the animals and I really don’t agree with that.”

As Fogarty finishes talking, gunshots can be heard back by Boles.

Poupore heads over to an island where cormorants were perched on a tree. A hunter has successfully shot one and is pulling it from the water.

When Poupore pulls close, the hunters accuse him of interfering with the hunt.

“You are infracting on the fish and wildlife game law and that’s why I’m taking pictures,” said the man, who identified himself as Brian Preston from nearby Portland.

Brian Preston

Preston also said they were reporting Boles to the ministry for interference.

“He is sitting in a tree clearly interfering with the hunt under the fish and wildlife regulations. We are reporting him to MNR now.” Preston said, as the boat left the area.

For Poupore, he now hopes the temperatures will drop quickly so the birds will head south.

“They are gathering here to fly south, to migrate, and the sooner they do that the safer they’ll be,” Poupore said.

RELATED IMAGES
  • Big Rideau Lake Cormorant colonyCormorants in a tree on an island on Big Rideau Lake. (Nate Vandermeer / CTV News Ottawa)

  • Big Rideau Lake Cormorant ColonyA sign on an island on Big Rideau Lake urging hunters not to shoot the local cormorants. (Nate Vandermeer / CTV News Ottawa)

New study finds most chicken meat sold globally comes from terrible animal suffering

September 14, 2020 3 Comments

The meat industry’s common practice of breeding broiler chickens to grow faster and bigger results in immense suffering and extremely poor quality of life for the animals, according to the largest study ever conducted on the topic.

The two-year study was conducted by researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, for the Global Animal Partnership, one of North America’s largest food labeling programs. It included 7,500 chickens from 16 genetic strains commonly used by meat producers on both large and small farms worldwide. The overwhelming majority of chicken meat sold in the United States and globally comes from the faster-growing versions of the breeds tested.

Researchers found, among many animal welfare concerns, that the fast-growing strains of chickens had reduced mobility (as measured by the ability to walk over an obstacle, which other scientific studies have found is associated with the chickens being in pain). They were also more likely to have disproportionate heart and lung development and increased footpad lesions and burns caused by ammonia from the waste of other birds—a common problem when they are so tightly confined together.

In contrast, slower-growing strains of chickens tested in the same research trial had consistently better health and mobility. These birds take about two weeks longer to reach the same weight and are widely available for the chicken industry as an alternative to the faster-growing strains.

The 68 billion chickens slaughtered for their meat globally are supplied mostly by two chicken breeding companies, and researchers at the University of Guelph consulted them for the study. The researchers found that even when the chickens were raised according to the companies’ recommendations, the welfare of the birds remained poor. Were these birds to be raised under less exacting environmental and nutritional standards, the results for the welfare of the birds would be even worse.

While this study is important, none of these findings are shocking or new—we have long highlighted the extreme suffering of broiler chickens, and there have been many scientific studies that have arrived at very similar conclusions. A vast majority of chickens in commercial poultry production are bred to reach slaughter weight in as little as six weeks. Such selective breeding, preferred by the meat industry because it yields more breast meat, leaves young birds prone to painful physical and behavioral abnormalities.

In recent years, working with the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and other allied animal protection organizations, hundreds of large food and hospitality companies have pledged to address the poor welfare of chickens in their meat supply chain as part of their corporate social responsibility commitments. We urge these companies to take note of the G.A.P. findings and end the use of fast-growing chickens.

As consumers, you, too, can bring about positive change, by educating yourselves on the conditions under which the meat you put on your table is produced and by opting for more plant-based meals. There is too much suffering right now in chicken meat production, and each one of us can play a part in reducing it.

Traps, snares and pets can be a bad combination, and here’s how to avoid a problem

Fish and Game provides resources that show pet owners how to spot and avoid trap sets, and how to release their pet if it becomes trapped.

With some wolf trapping seasons in Idaho opening on Sept. 10, and many more trapping seasons opening in Oct., upland game bird hunters and other people recreating with off-leash pets are reminded to avoid traps and be prepared to act quickly in the event their hunting or hiking companion becomes trapped.

Most traps and snares are simple in design and easy to operate if you know what to do. Some of the larger foothold and body-gripping traps can be challenging because they require more effort to open, but the principles are the same.

Idaho Fish and Game provides information on how to spot and avoid traps, and what to do if a pet gets caught. Both videos and brochure are available online.

A 9-minute video, “Avoiding Wildlife Traps While Walking your Dog” shows the variety of traps and snares you may encounter while hiking or walking your dog, and how you can recognize and avoid them. Some traps and trap sets can be very visible if you know what to look for, but many traps will be difficult to spot depending on the species targeted.

A companion 8-minute video “Releasing Your Dog from a Trap” shows the types of traps and snares likely to be encountered and demonstrates how to release your dog quickly should it get caught.

While traps and snares are rarely encountered by bird hunters, many areas in Idaho have trapping seasons that overlap with upland game bird seasons.

To determine if and when trapping seasons are open in the area they are hunting, upland bird hunters can find wolf trapping season dates on Pages 80-81 of the Idaho Big Game Seasons and Rules booklet, and other furbearer trapping season dates on Pages 31-33 of the Idaho Upland Game, Turkey and Furbearer 2020-21 Seasons and Rules booklet.

Trappers are advised to avoid conflicts by closely following all rules and regulations, including not setting traps close to popular trails, trailheads or areas where people commonly frequent. Trappers are also encouraged to post warning signs near their trap lines to inform recreationists that traps or snares are in the area, which you can download and print from Fish and Game’s website.

Missouri eases regulations on hunting coyotes, feral hogs at night

Missouri eases regulations on hunting coyotes, feral hogs at night

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Coyotes are bolder in the winter months

A cautious coyote trots along a fence line at a farm in Fenton, Missouri, on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. Coyotes can be seen more easily in the winter months when there is less cover for them to hide. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri landowners or their authorized representatives now can use night vision, infrared, or thermal imagery equipment without prior approval from a conservation agent to hunt coyotes, feral hogs and other invasive species.

The state’s wildlife regulations were updated last week by the Conservation Commission. They go into effect Nov. 30.

Landowners and their representatives will be authorized to kill or take feral hogs using these methods without prior approval from a conservation agent throughout the year.

The regulations also allow properly licensed hunters to use artificial light, night vision, infrared, or thermal imagery equipment in conjunction with other legal hunting methods to pursue and take coyotes from Feb. 1 through March 31.

With a conservation agent’s written authorization, property owners or their representatives can still use night vision, infrared, thermal imaging equipment, or artificial light at any time of the year to kill coyotes or other wildlife causing property damage, the Missouri Department of Conservation said in a news release.

New poll shows overwhelming support in Tennessee for ending horse soring with the PAST Act

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

September 10, 2020 0 Comments

More than 83% of Tennessee voters want Congress to end the terrible practice of soring walking horses and related breeds to win ribbons at competitions, a new Humane Society of the United States poll shows.

Respondents belonging to both parties in the largely conservative state overwhelmingly supported passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, a bill that would crack down on soring, the practice of inflicting pain on the legs and hooves of show horses to force them to perform the artificial, high-stepping “big lick” gait. Only 7% of respondents opposed the bill and 10 percent were undecided. Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy interviewed a total of 625 registered voters by phone between Jan. 28th and 30th for the poll, which had a plus or minus 4 percent margin of error.

The PAST Act has already cleared the U.S. House but has failed to see any action in the Senate because of political maneuvering, including strident opposition from the two Tennessee Senators, Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn.

We are releasing the poll just as the walking horse industry wraps up its biggest annual event, the National Celebration, in Tennessee. Once again this year, several trainers scheduled to begin long federal disqualifications stemming from citations for soring violations exhibited their horses and won. These included 2019 Walking Horse Trainers of the Year Philip Trimble, Trainers Association president Bill Cantrell, Howard Hamilton, Patrick Thomas and Herbert Derickson. The trainer of the horse named 2020 World Grand Champion, John Allan Callaway, served a disqualification that ended in 2018.

Two trainers who exhibited at the show, Gary Edwards and Casey Wright, have brothers who share a training operation with them and who are currently on federal disqualification. Edwards is scheduled to serve his own disqualification period starting in 2022—as soon as his brother ends his.

 

 

This is now a common theme at walking horse events, where the industry doesn’t just turn a blind eye to those cited for abusing animals — it actually rewards them. What is making matters worse is the USDA’s lax enforcement of the Horse Protection Act. The federal agency is charged with inspecting horses at shows, but it has increasingly failed to issue citations and even allows violators to serve deferred disqualifications. The federal agency does not consider it a violation if a trainer on federal disqualification continues to advertise their training operation.

All of this proves just why we need the PAST Act to become law as soon as possible. The bill would end the cruel practice of soring and amend the Horse Protection Act by banning the use of devices integral to soring, replacing the failed system of industry self-policing with a team of independent inspectors overseen by the USDA, and increasing penalties for violations.

The bill passed the House of Representatives in July 2019 by an overwhelming, bipartisan margin (333 to 96) and currently has 52 Senate cosponsors, but political cronyism has kept it from moving forward in the Senate. Sens. Alexander and Blackburn are not only opposing the PAST Act, they are instead sponsoring competing legislation that would make the situation worse, by doing nothing to prohibit the torturous devices used in soring and by codifying the industry’s failed system of self-policing while actually further weakening USDA oversight. They should take note of these poll numbers that clearly show what their constituents really want their elected lawmakers in Congress to do about soring.

There should be no debate over ending soring—it’s animal abuse of the worst kind, and it needs to stop, period. The PAST Act is endorsed by every major horse industry, veterinary, law enforcement and animal protection group in the country, and it’s time our Senators put politics aside to pass this commonsense bill. Please contact your U.S. Senators today. Urge them to cosponsor and do all they can to help pass the PAST Act without further delay.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Poland: The Price of A Fur Coat. Terrible animal suffering revealed on huge Polish fur farm.

Poland: The Price of A Fur Coat. Terrible animal suffering revealed on huge Polish fur farm.

Poland: The Price of A Fur Coat. Terrible animal suffering revealed on huge Polish fur farm.

 

 

 

From ‘Respect for Animals’ – Nottingham England.

Against the Fur Trade.

 

 

Terrible animal suffering revealed on huge Polish fur farm

 

“This is a shocking investigation. The suffering of these animals can scarcely be imagined.

I personally know what impact seeing these atrocities first hand and close up can have.

As the undercover activist says in the video, some of the things he has seen will live with him forever.

I still live with some of what I saw in UK fur farms more than 20 years ago and it is not easy, but is certainly one of the things that has driven me on to work to end this disgusting industry.”

Mark Glover, Respect for Animals

 

 

Respect for Animals’ colleagues at the Fur Free Alliance, Otwarte Klatki, have today released the results of a two-month long investigation using an activist as an undercover farm employee.

The farm in Goreczki is potentially the biggest mink farm in the world, with around 500,000 animals kept in small cages.

The worker documented shocking cases of cannibalism, open wounds and untreated sick animals. He also recorded the reality of working conditions on fur farms: low wages, little training and lack of employment rights. This is of real importance because the fur trade is currently trying to reimage itself as sustainable and ethical. These claims are lies and this investigation is further evidence of the moral bankruptcy of the fur industry.

The undercover activist, called Yevhen, used a phone and hidden camera to document the distressing conditions on the mink farm.

Yevhen agreed to openly speak on camera about his experiences.  The activist describes dead mink found every day in cages, and the shocking “hospital” – supposedly for sick animals, but where they did not receive veterinary help, instead simply killed by gassing or dying untreated and in agony.

This is the reality of industrial fur factory farming. This is why fur farming must be banned.

 

 

Take action!

Add your name to this letter to the Polish Embassy, calling for fur farming to be banned:

http://www.123formbuilder.com/form-5630432/poland-ban-fur-farming

 

You can read our full coverage of this vital investigation here:

 

 

Regards Mark