Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Horses Could Soon Be Slaughtered for Meat in US -by JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS Associated Press

Horses could soon be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month.

Slaughter opponents pushed a measure cutting off funding for horse meat inspections through Congress in 2006 after other efforts to pass outright bans on horse slaughter failed in previous years. Congress lifted the ban in a spending bill President Barack Obama signed into law Nov. 18 to keep the government afloat until mid-December.

It did not, however, allocate any new money to pay for horse meat inspections, which opponents claim could cost taxpayers $3 million to $5 million a year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to find the money in its existing budget, which is expected to see more cuts this year as Congress and the White House aim to trim federal spending.

The USDA issued a statement Tuesday saying there are no slaughterhouses in the U.S. that butcher horses for human consumption now, but if one were to open, it would conduct inspections to make sure federal laws were being followed. USDA spokesman Neil Gaffney declined to answer questions beyond what was in the statement.
The last U.S. slaughterhouse that butchered horses closed in 2007 in Illinois, and animal welfare activists warned of massive public outcry in any town where a slaughterhouse may open.
"If plants open up in Oklahoma or Nebraska, you'll see controversy, litigation, legislative action and basically a very inhospitable environment to operate," predicted Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States. "Local opposition will emerge and you'll have tremendous controversy over slaughtering Trigger and Mr. Ed."

But pro-slaughter activists say the ban had unintended consequences, including an increase in neglect and the abandonment of horses, and that they are scrambling to get a plant going — possibly in Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska or Missouri. They estimate a slaughterhouse could open in 30 to 90 days with state approval and eventually as many as 200,000 horses a year could be slaughtered for human consumption. Most of the meat would be shipped to countries in Europe and Asia, including France and Japan.

Dave Duquette, president of the nonprofit, pro-slaughter group United Horsemen, said no state or site has been picked yet but he's lined up plenty of investors who have expressed interest in financing a processing plant. While the last three slaughterhouses in the U.S. were owned by foreign companies, he said a new plant would be American-owned.

"I have personally probably five to 10 investors that I could call right now if I had a plant ready to go," said Duquette, who lives in Hermiston, Ore. He added, "If one plant came open in two weeks, I'd have enough money to fund it. I've got people who will put up $100,000."

Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state lawmaker who's the group's vice president, said ranchers used to be able to sell horses that were too old or unfit for work to slaughterhouses but now they have to ship them to butchers in Canada and Mexico, where they fetch less than half the price.

The federal ban devastated "an entire sector of animal agriculture for purely sentimental and romantic notions," she said.

This is a reverse to what President Obama promised in 2008 when he was a candidate.  He promised to keep the ban in place PERMANENTLY.  Please follow the link below to send a letter to President Obama and let him know how you feel about his decision to start murdering horses. 


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Monday, November 28, 2011

Critics say animal cruelty law keeps cases secret

Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 | 3:07 p.m.

The sponsor of a new law intended to toughen penalties against severe animal cruelty said Monday the purpose of a late-session amendment to the measure was to allow people to report cases anonymously _ not to keep abusers and cases confidential.

But some animal rights activists say the bill's good intentions may have backfired.

The Reno Gazette-Journal first reported Sunday that the final version signed into law makes animal abuse cases confidential and gives criminal penalties to officials who release reports or talk about cases.
"The provision makes the investigation confidential, even the report," Jerry Shay, Washoe County deputy district attorney, told the newspaper.

Contacted Monday by The Associated Press, state Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, an animal lover and prime sponsor of the bill, was surprised to learn about problems with the amendment's language.
The intention was to allow people to report crimes without fear of retaliation, not to "stifle public knowledge of events," Manendo said.

"The report itself ... that is not confidential," he said. "Why would that be any different than if some got caught committing any other kind of felony?"

The measure, SB233, took effect Oct. 1. Known as Cooney's Law, it was named after a dog that died after being gutted by its owner. At the time, such crimes were misdemeanors. SB233 makes it a felony to maliciously torture, maim, mutilate or kill a companion animal.

The questionable provision states: "Any person, law enforcement agency, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or animal control agency that willfully releases data or information concerning the reports, except for the purposes of a criminal investigation, is guilty of a misdemeanor."

Bonnie Brown, the Nevada Humane Society's executive director, said "people just now are realizing" that the amendment's wording is broader than the intention.

"I don't think any of us disagree that the reporting party should be protected," she said. "The way it's written right now, it seems to me ... that simply speaking about the case could make you in violation of the law."
That could be a problem for animal welfare groups that often publicize severe abuse cases to raise money to help rescued animals or seek information to aid law enforcement, Brown said.
"For us, the generosity of the public is what helps us afford to treat those animals," she said.
Tom Jacobs, executive director of northern Nevada's Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals, agreed.
"We are concerned about the ability to educate people and make them aware of what's going on," he said. "If an individual murders somebody, it's all over the place. But if someone mutilates an animal, we can't comment on it."

Holly Michael Haley, Humane Society state director, said Cooney's Law provides much needed improvement to Nevada's animal cruelty laws.

"But this one amendment provides protections for those accused of animal abuse that other criminal defendants do not receive," she said. "That should be rectified in the next legislative session."
Manendo said he may ask legislative lawyers for an interpretation on the law's scope in light of legislative records.

Minutes from legislative hearings on the amendment requested by Sen. Shirley Breeden, D-Henderson, indicate the intent was to protect those who report animal abuse by keeping their identity confidential "except to appropriate law enforcement or government agencies for prosecution."
Lawmakers also could correct the language in 2013, when the next Legislature convenes.
"The good news is it can be remedied," Jacobs said. "The question is, how soon can it be remedied?"


Sunday, November 27, 2011

No jail time for animal abuse - by Jami Kinton

SHELBY -- A man accused of having sexual relations with animals received no jail time in Shelby Municipal Court on Wednesday morning.

"I believe you have a very severe problem," Judge Jon Schaefer said to Peter Bower, 31. "My first impulse is jail time, but jail will not help you."

In addition to 80 days of community service and two years probation, Bower must undergo a sexual evaluation, take sex addiction classes and pay a $500 fine.

Bower was ordered to not own any animals.

In May, the Shelby man was charged with animal cruelty after authorities discovered a history of sexual activity with his 3-year-old shepherd mix, Aurora.

Investigation revealed Aurora was not the only animal Bower had abused. He posted photos and stories of his encounters on multiple bestiality websites.

Bower's attorney Gordon Eyster met with Shelby Law Director Lee Shepherd, Richland County Humane Society agent Missy Houghton and Richland County Dog Warden Dave Jordan behind closed doors at the court Wednesday for about two-and-a-half hours.

At about 11:30 a.m., Bower walked into the courthouse lobby. Five minutes later, court resumed in public session.

Wearing hunter green cargo pants, a white button down shirt and green jacket, Bower took the stand with Eyster to his left and Shepherd standing nearby.

Eyster entered a no contest plea of for his client in reference to a charge of injuring animals.
Schaefer found him guilty of the charge, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Thirty states have laws prohibiting bestiality, distinct from other forms of animal cruelty. Ohio is not one of them, but since this incident, lawmakers have started working on such legislation.

Houghton said a proposal is almost ready to be introduced to the state House of Representatives.

Bower, who seemed dazed, kept his head down, swallowing hard as the judge read his fate.

His one-word responses to questions were always delayed, and sometimes had to be prompted by his attorney.

Houghton and Jordan said they were satisfied with the outcome.

"He's not going to get any treatment if he's in jail," Houghton said. "Considering that there is no law in the books, I thought this outcome was very fair."

"I'm really happy that he's not allowed to own any more animals, and hopefully now we'll be able to find a home for Aurora. We had to hold her here for months for evidence," Jordan said, noting that the dog is doing OK. "She's been in a kennel for months. Now she's been walked every day, but there's a certain amount of stress that goes along with that."

Jordan said he's glad awareness was brought to the issue.

"I think the classes will be beneficial to him," he said. "At least he'll have a good shot at getting better, because I do think this is an illness. I hope this helps him get his mind right and lets him know his behavior is not normal, isn't moral and is just plain wrong."

Bower and his attorney declined comment after the hearing.

Source :

Dimondale man accused of animal cruelty pleads no contest - by Kevin Grasha

A 24-year-old man accused of leaving a dog bludgeoned and hog-tied in a wooded area early this year pleaded no contest Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge.
Ray Emmanuel Potter of Dimondale pleaded no contest in 54A District Court to abandoning/cruelty to an animal, officials said. He faces up to 93 days in jail. A sentence hearing is set for Jan. 9, 2012.
The dog, a pit bull, was found in January of this year by a man walking his dog. The female pit bull’s four legs had been bound together with heavy-duty electrical tape. The dog’s muzzle also was taped shut. The dog also had severe head injuries — the result of blunt-force beatings, officials said.
The dog, known as Tatiana, has recovered from its physical injuries, officials said.

The sad truth about stories like this is the possible punishment that the accuser faces.  93 days in jail?  For assault and attempted murder of a living being.  What if this was a human child?  I hope one day the punishment for animal abuse will be the same as human abuse.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New York Celebration FOR the Turkeys : Live Stream Event!

For the first-time ever, by popular demand, Farm Sanctuary’s famous Feeding of the Turkeys Ceremony will be live streamed from their New York Celebration FOR the Turkeys in Watkins Glen THIS Sunday, November 20, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern (11:30 a.m. Pacific) on FARMSANCTUARY.ORG Tune in and enjoy the heartwarming sight of rescued turkeys feasting on silver platters of THEIR favorite Thanksgiving treats (stuffed squash, cranberries, and pumpkin pie) from wherever they are in the world!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

US circuses circle wagons against elephants law - By Sebastian Smith

NEW YORK — US circuses are circling the wagons against a proposed law in Congress that would ban using elephants under the big top, a tradition that animal rights activists say causes terrible suffering.
The bill, introduced this month in the House of Representatives by Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, aims directly at traveling circuses by seeking to outlaw exotic or wild animals from performances if they have been traveling within the previous 15 days.
That would mean an end to the days of elephants balancing on stools, tigers and lions jumping through fiery hoops, monkeys on wheels, or other popular staples of the ring.
"It is clear that traveling circuses cannot provide the proper living conditions for these exotic animals," Moran said in a statement.
He noted that zoos, aquariums, horse races and permanently housed animals used for shooting movies and other filming events would not fall under the ban.
The law is the first attempt for a decade to put an end to the iconic circus routines, which animal rights activists say are based on cruel training methods and harsh, unsafe living facilities.
America's most famous big top outfit, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey, sent out an email appeal to supporters this week, saying "the Greatest Show on Earth" needed help "to make sure this family tradition continues."
Stephen Payne, a spokesman, said the bill was not pro-animal, but simply against circuses.
"It's to do with putting Ringling Brothers and other circuses out of business," Payne told AFP.
"This is just anti-circus legislation that's really not necessary because we're already inspected and regulated under federal laws, state laws and local laws in almost every state we play."
Payne said animal rights groups did not understand the circus business and were out of touch with Americans.
"They are at the fringe: they don't want animals for entertaining, they don't want them for food, they don't want them for pets," he said.
"What we get are millions and millions of families coming to see Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey."
According to Ringling Brothers, their circuses not only treat elephants well, but help preserve the Asian elephant breed, thanks to a self-sustaining, 50-strong herd that has seen 23 births since 1995.
The company also funds elephant conservation programs in the United States and in countries such as Sri Lanka.
"Asian elephants have been part of Ringling Brothers for 141 years," Payne said. "P.T. Barnum once brought his elephants across the Brooklyn Bridge to convince New Yorkers it was structurally sound."
But Ed Stewart, from the Performing Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, said Ringling's elephants are not nearly as happy as their gaudy outfits and circus tricks are meant to suggest.
"There is no state of the art keeping animals in captivity. The state of the art is Zimbabwe and India and the wild, the hills of Virginia, but not in cages," he said at a press conference after the bill was introduced.
Stewart said children should stop being shown circus animals altogether.
"Real educators have to overcome what children see in the circus. It would be better if they didn't even have an experience with an elephant or a tiger or a lion if that's the experience," he said.

The circus, the zoo, the aquarium........All the same.  They all use animals for profit.

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