Action Alert for Raccoons

URGENT UPDATE! In spite of receiving hundreds of calls in opposition to HB 423, a bill that would allow LIVE raccoons to be trapped and used as bait in hunting field trail competitions, the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee approved this bill.</p>
<p>We must fight harder than ever. Committee members obviously had already made up their minds, but your senators may be undecided. They do not want to lose your vote. Your Georgia state senators MUST hear from you! Urge them to vote NO on HB 423!</p>
<p>To find your senator’s contact info follow the easy steps below:</p>
<p>1. For your State Senator click: <a href=http://votesmart.org/
2. Type your address or 9 digit zip code in the box and click "Search." (If your address doesn’t bring the page up your 9 digit zip code will.)
4. Click "State Legislative."
5. Beneath "State Senate" your senator’s name is underlined. Click his/her name.
6. Your senator’s email address and phone contact information appears.
7. Call your senator at the capitol number AND the district number and ask him/her to "vote NO on HB 423."
8. The subject line of your email should read: Vote NO on HB 423″ src=”https://scontent-b-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/t1.0-9/1146578_671874842854362_1134460989_n.jpg&#8221; width=”398″ height=”299″ />

URGENT UPDATE! In spite of receiving hundreds of calls in opposition to HB 423, a bill that would allow LIVE raccoons to be trapped and used as bait in hunting …field trail competitions, the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee approved this bill.
We must fight harder than ever. Committee members obviously had already made up their minds, but your senators may be undecided. They do not want to lose your vote. Your Georgia state senators MUST hear from you! Urge them to vote NO on HB 423!
To find your senator’s contact info follow the easy steps below:
1. For your State Senator click: http://votesmart.org/ 2. Type your address or 9 digit zip code in the box and click “Search.” (If your address doesn’t bring the page up your 9 digit zip code will.) 4. Click “State Legislative.” 5. Beneath “State Senate” your senator’s name is underlined. Click his/her name. 6. Your senator’s email address and phone contact information appears. 7. Call your senator at the capitol number AND the district number and ask him/her to “vote NO on HB 423.” 8. The subject line of your email should read: Vote NO on HB 423

Urge Georgia Legislators to Oppose Raccoon Torture!

If House Bill (H.B.) 423 passes, it will allow hunters to trap and cruelly confine raccoons for use in field trial competitions. This bill has passed through the House and is now with the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee, which may discuss it as early as March 11. Your voice and the voices of everyone you know are desperately needed right now. Please forward this alert far and wide!

Every minute in confinement is already a terrifying eternity for raccoons, who, during field trial competitions, are flung high into trees or hauled across fields and bodies of water as frantic dogs give chase. They must repeatedly endure this hellish ordeal, often for hours on end, and many are badly injured or even killed during the trials. Survivors risk developing chronic and contagious stress-induced disorders, which could eventually prove fatal after their release.

Please urge the members of the Senate Committee  and your senator to oppose H.B. 423. Let them know that field trials are inhumane and harmful to local ecosystems and can spread disease. Tell them that these events should remain illegal in Georgia!

Action Alert Here:  https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5343

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

“Kill ‘Em All Boys” Ringleader Gets 13 Months in Prison for Poaching and Animal Cruelty

Prosecutors obviously saw the potential for this hunter/poacher’s behavior to lead to cruelty against humans–Washington state officials also suspended his nursing license.

http://www.komonews.com/outdoors/news/30924359.html

Poaching group leader gets 13 months in prison

Mick Gordon poses with slain cougar

By Dan Tilkin and KATU Web Staff

Oct 13, 2008   Story Updated: Oct 30, 2013

CATHLAMET, Wash. – The man considered the ringleader of a group of poachers who called themselves the “Kill ‘Em All Boys” was sentenced to a year and a month in prison Monday for illegally killing wildlife.

Mick Gordon, pictured below, pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree animal cruelty, hunting black bear, cougar, bobcat and lynx with dogs, second-degree criminal trespass and third-degree malicious mischief.

Washington Fish and Wildlife officers said the group used a device they called “the permission slip,” which is a metal bar used to break locks blocking access to prime poaching territory on timber company lands. They even had a videotape made of the bar in use because they wanted to sell the contraption on eBay.

Undercover officers infiltrated the group as part of the investigation. Later wildlife officers seized trophy heads and guns from Gordon’s garage.

Gordon, a registered nurse, was also accused of torturing one of his hunting dogs with a shock collar as well as not giving it care for porcupine wounds; the dog eventually died.

Prosecutors on Monday asked for an exceptionally long sentence, saying Gordon had “run amok.”

“I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve done,” Gordon told the judge. “It’ll never happen again”

Judge Michael J. Sullivan called Gordon an aberration.

“When I look at you and what you’ve done here, which seems to be a highly organized crime spree, I just don’t know how to put those two together,” the judge said.

The sentence was much stiffer than normal. In other recent animal cruelty cases, defendants received sentences of about 3.2 months on average.

Washington state officials have also suspended Gordon’s nursing license.

According to state health department documents, Gordon told an undercover officer he put a shock collar on a child’s neck, turned it to its highest setting and shocked the child. He also told the officer he despised his bed-ridden, elderly patients.

NY Town Hosts Annual “Squirrel Slam” Bloodbath

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

THE VILLAGE OF HOLLEY, N.Y., IS PREPARING FOR ANOTHER
BLOODBATH SATURDAY, FEB. 22, WHEN IT WILL HOST ITS ANNUAL”SQUIRREL SLAM”

Friends of Animals (FoA) and local residents will lead a protest of the
horrific event, a squirrel-shooting contest for children and adults
disguised as a fundraiser, and take questions from the media, on Saturday
from 4:30 to 6 p.m. outside the Holley Fire Department located at 7 Thomas
St., where the hunters will bring dead squirrels to be weighed to claim prizes.

“Our experiences protesting the event last year showed a sickening,
gun-worshipping culture of adults, teenagers and children who celebrated the
violence of mass animal killing,” said Edita Birnkrant, FoA’s NY Director.

While the fire department gears up for the event despite opposition, New
York lawmakers are speaking out against the disgrace and showing support of
legislation that would put an end to animal killing contests for good.

“Any competition that encourages and glorifies the slaughter of innocent
animals for no purpose has no place in our state,” said N.Y. state Sen. Jack
Martins, one of the sponsors of a bill that would make these contests illegal.

Last year FoA, an international animal advocacy group founded in New York in
1957, mobilized supporters and took to the streets to protest and released a
mini documentary detailing its efforts. The video,
<http://friendsofanimals.org/news/2013/april/squirrel-slam-video&gt;
http://friendsofanimals.org/news/2013/april/squirrel-slam-video , also draws
attention to the Senate and Assembly bills that would ban animal killing contests in New York.

“Killing contests like the ‘Squirrel Slam’ provide an incentive to children
and adults to shoot many animals to win prizes- a disturbing, irrational
activity that’s out-of-pace with New York culture and must end throughout
the state,” said N.Y. state Sen. Tony Avella, who created the bill.

“I believe it is an obligation and honor to advance legislation that will
protect and maintain the beauty and health of New York State wildlife,”
added N.Y. state Assembly member Deborah J. Glick.

David Brensilver, a wildlife advocate and writer/musician, created a
“Squirrel Slam” protest song in support of FoA’s efforts and can be
downloaded here: <http://thedailymaul.com/?p=9791&gt;

http://thedailymaul.com/?p=9791.

Animal killing contests are part of a broader conversation on gun violence.
The Holley event comes just over a year after a rifle wielding Adam Lanza
committed mass murder at an elementary school, and last month, a 12-year-old
opened fire at a middle school and an elderly man fatally shot someone
because he was text messaging during a movie.

__________________

Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded
in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals to live free, on their own
terms. <http://www.friendsofanimals.org&gt; http://www.friendsofanimals.org

Animal Cruelty and Human Violence

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cathy-kangas/animal-cruelty-and-human-_b_2507551.html

by Cathy Kangas, 01/18/2013

Recently in Tampa, a pit bull was found dead, chained to a post in a foreclosed home. In Sacramento, a puppy was burned alive. At the same time across America dozens of men, women and children are victims of violent crimes. It is time to take a serious look at the connection between those who torture and kill animals, and perpetrators of violent crimes against people.

The examples are appalling. Mass murderer Jeffrey Dahmer cut off the heads of cats and dogs impaling them on sticks; Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler, trapped dogs and cats in orange rates and shot arrows through the box, and David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz poisoned his mother’s parakeet. While these are anecdotal stories about well-known serial killers, there are scientific studies that draw a direct correlation between animal torture and human cruelty.

With their limited resources local law enforcement can’t always make animal cruelty incidents a top priority. But perhaps when we look at the connection between animal cruelty and human violence, we would focus more attention on those who abuse animals to prevent them from escalating to crimes against people.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, researchers determined that between 71 percent and 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partners also abused or killed the family pet. 1 Another study found that in families under supervision for the physical abuse of their children, pet abuse was concurrent in 88 percent of the families. 2 In seven school shootings that took place across the country between 1997 and 2001, all boys involved had previously committed acts of animal cruelty. 3

Because of this growing evidence of a link between animal cruelty and violent crimes, those who abuse animals are now on the radar of law enforcement agencies, social workers, and veterinarians in states that have cross-reporting laws requiring these professionals to report cases of animal abuse.

In the case of animal abuse by young children, intervention at an early age can stop these tendencies before they escalate to include violence against people. The National School Safety Council, the U.S. Department of Education, the American Psychological Association, and the National Crime Prevention Council all now agree that animal cruelty is a warning sign for at-risk youth.

Dr. Randall Lockwood, a psychologist who has written extensively on the link between animal abuse and human violence, wrote “Those who abuse animals for no obvious reason are budding psychopaths. They have no empathy and only see the world as what it’s going to do for them.”

What can the public do to stop animal abuse? First and most importantly, all animal abuse should be reported to local law enforcement, who should make arrests in these cases a priority. Only 28 states currently have counseling provisions in their animal cruelty laws. Psychological counseling should be mandated for anyone convicted of animal cruelty with particular emphasis placed on helping children who have abused animals. This is necessary for their own welfare as well as that of their community.

Animal welfare organizations should come together to offer substantial rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who abuses an animal and efforts should be undertaken to push this story in the local media. The Humane Society of the United States offers rewards in cases across the country, oftentimes in partnership with other organizations. Prosecutors should not only demand jail time, but also insist on psychological counseling for those convicted of animal cruelty. In questioning suspects in violent crimes, law enforcement should question them about any abuse of animals in their past.

This is a serious problem. It is also one that will only get worse if left unchecked. The public should demand that anyone who abuses an animal be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is not an animal rights issue. It is a way to identify and help those who may one day become a danger to the community at large.
__________
Cathy Kangas, a member of the Board of Directors of The Humane Society of the United States, supports animal welfare causes through Beauty with a Cause.

1237908_417630058349401_880655430_n

Restaurant’s seal-meat burger, named after Brigitte Bardot, sparks threats from animal-rights activists

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/10/16/restaurants-seal-meat-burger-named-after-brigitte-bardot-sparks-threats-from-animal-rights-activists/

MONTREAL — When Kim Côté and Perle Morency added a seal-meat burger to the menu of their popular bistro in Kamouraska, Que., they decided to have some fun with the name. The Phoque Bardot Burger — combining the French word for seal and the name of the actress known for her campaign against the Canadian seal hunt — became one of the restaurant’s top sellers.

But last month news of the couple’s creation made its way across the Atlantic, and animal-rights activists there failed to see the humour. A French Facebook page called “Defend the animals and protect nature” reported the burger was concocted from “the meat of massacred baby seals” and lamented that its name was disrespectful toward Brigitte Bardot.

“We are receiving a lot of hate messages, and we’re almost inclined to let them win, because we don’t feel like fighting,” Ms. Morency, co-owner of the Côté Est bistro, said in an interview Wednesday. “There is a lot of intimidation. I don’t want my restaurant to be blamed any more, for people to call and say, ‘You are crazy, you are inhumane, you are assassins.’ ”

DSC_0131

Celebrities Want to Tie Trade Pact to Dolphin Hunt

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/celebrities-tie-trade-pact-dolphin-hunt-22385320

WASHINGTON February 6, 2014 (AP)

Associated Press

A group of American celebrities and other activists want President Barack Obama to refuse to sign an international trade agreement until Japan bans the capture and slaughter of dolphins in the fishing town of Taiji.

Backing the effort are Oscar-winning performers Sean Penn, Cher, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Charlize Theron as well as TV stars Ellen DeGeneres and William Shatner, and many others.

The Oscar-winning 2009 documentary “The Cove” chronicled the dolphin roundup in Taiji and helped spark protests over the annual hunt and ensuing slaughter. Japanese law allows a hunting season for dolphins, and fishermen defend it as a tradition.

In a letter dated Wednesday that included dozens of names, hip-hop producer Russell Simmons asked the U.S. ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, to urge Obama not to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, until Japan bans the hunt. Kennedy recently tweeted that she was deeply concerned about the dolphin hunt, which has drawn widespread news coverage.

Simmons’ letter said those signing don’t oppose the TPP but seek to make stopping the dolphin hunt a key factor in negotiations. The free trade agreement is being negotiated by 12 nations that account for about 40 percent of global gross domestic product.

The letter said that corporations have spent the past two years crafting language in the TPP “to serve their interests.”

“Should human compassion not be afforded the same privilege as business interests?” the letter stated. It added: “The world is looking to you, Ambassador Kennedy, and to our government to send a clear message to Japan that this atrocity must be banned now.”

After Kennedy’s tweet, a State Department spokeswoman told reporters that the U.S. was “concerned with both the sustainability and the humaneness of the Japanese dolphin hunts.”

Simmons said more than 600 dolphins have been slaughtered since the hunting season360_yangtze_dolphin_0810 began Sept. 1. Anti-hunt activists reported that dozens of fishermen helped to herd about 250 dolphins into a cove one day last month. Of those, about 40 were eventually killed for their meat. At least 50 others were kept alive for sale to aquariums and others, and the remaining dolphins were released.

Connections of animal and human suffering

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/pets/dr-fox/connections-of-animal-and-human-suffering/article_0d7de883-b56e-587a-bc67-516db2cddce1.html

by Dr. Michael Fox

Dear Readers • Humans, like other animals, have so-called mirror neurons in their brains that instantly process the emotional state of another deciphered through their facial expressions, vocalizations and body language. This happens to facilitate communication and appropriate action/reaction.

When signals of distress and suffering are processed, empathetic concern is evoked, as is fear. Sociopaths and psychopaths may respectively feel nothing or some perverse pleasure. Empathetic concern, which can include sympathy, outrage, remorse, anger, guilt and disbelief, can lead to denial or appropriate action to help, save, protect and defend by direct action.

While the print and TV media increasingly limit public exposure to extreme human suffering, there are even greater limits imposed, at least in America, on showing documented cruelties and suffering of animals. Ironically, some newspapers —1474693_10202436592133870_578596781_n including my local edition — have no qualms publishing photographs of a 12-year-old girl with a deer she had shot and a wildlife biology student grinning with a wolf he had shot draped around his shoulders. This establishes a culturally accepted norm, but images of animal suffering and cruelty — of animals in traps, in factory livestock and fur farms, puppy mills and slaughterhouses — are rarely shown by the mass media. We should ask why, and who is protecting whom.

Censorship of animal cruelty and suffering by the mass media parallels the atrocious record of state and federal law enforcement agencies of anti-cruelty laws. Janelle Dixon, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Animal Humane Society, recently reported how her organization spent $225,000 caring for dogs from a puppy mill, while the operator of this commercial dog breeding operation received a charge of a year’s probation, a 90-day suspended jail sentence and a $50 fine.

Clearly, America must wipe its mirror clean when it comes to animal and human suffering caused by how, as a culture, we choose to do our business. And the media must begin to act responsibly rather than entertain, distract and continue to promote consumerism and biased information.