Police seize hundreds of roosters in illegal cockfighting investigation

By 9News Staff8:44am Mar 12, 2021https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.446.1_en.html#goog_392972310Play VideoPolice seize hundreds of roosters in illegal cockfighting investigation

https://www.9news.com.au/national/police-seize-hundreds-of-roosters-cockfighting-investigation/34bf69a8-a4a6-4194-adb8-f5d7e49b7f55

Police and RSPCA inspectors have seized 540 roosters in Sydney as part of an investigation into an illegal cockfighting ring.The birds were confiscated after a raid on a property at at Horsley Park in the city’s west yesterday.Authorities found more than 540 fighting cockerels, roosters and chickens, as well as cockfighting paraphernalia.READ MORE:Koala survives attack that left her with horrific injuries

NSW Police and RSPCA inspectors seized hundreds of roosters during the raid. (NSW Police)

A crime scene was set up and will be maintained at the property today while RSPCA inspectors safely remove the animals.A man was detained by police and spoken to at the property before being released.The operation was part of an extensive police investigation into animal cruelty offences in Sydney’s south-west.

Illegal cockfighting equipment was found during the raid in western Sydney. (NSW Police)

YOU MAY ALSO LIKERecommended by4 Steps to Government Security: Investigate, Monitor, Analyze, Act.SPONSORED | SplunkLimited Time Offer – Bloomberg.com For Just $1.99SPONSORED | Bloomberg.com[Pics] Ancient Infant’s DNA Changes What We Know About North American HistorySPONSORED | EliteHeraldOn December 13 last year a police found a designated cockfighting area and several large sheds used to house 71 fighting cockerels, as well as metal spikes, spurs and other cockfighting paraphernalia at a property in Catherine Field.Police also seized $107,170 cash and several electronic devices from the premises.The animals were taken by RSPCA inspectors, with several requiring veterinary care for serious injuries.

Illegal cockfighting equipment was found during the raid in western Sydney. (NSW Police)

A 56-year-old man was taken into the custody of the Department of Home Affairs over his visa status, while 34 men were detained at the scene.The 34 men are next due to appear in court on April 1 over animal cruelty charges.Anyone with information should contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000 or at CrimeStoppers.com.au

WHAT I WITNESSED INVESTIGATING FACTORY FARMS DURING THE PANDEMIC

WHAT I WITNESSED INVESTIGATING FACTORY FARMS DURING THE PANDEMIC
 By: Clément Martz  |   Reading time: 6 minutes
Out of all the countries, why did you choose Sweden? We are one of the countries with the highest animal welfare standards in the world,” the police officer asked while I was being interrogated after photographing the conditions inside a pig farm. “Is keeping pigs indoors, unable to see the daylight, crowded in tight dirty stalls while standing in their own excrement until they are sent to slaughter at 6 months of age considered high welfare standards?” I replied.
In the last year, I have been to countless Swedish farms, documenting these so-called “high welfare standards” during the pandemic. What I have witnessed and documented shows me that the way these animals are being treated is an immediate concern. Their conditions are shocking and seeing them for myself was an urgent wake-up call.

COVID-19 has affected farmed animals across the globe. Although the virus has largely been transmitted between humans, animals raised for food have still felt the consequences. 

From animals being buried and burnt alive to slowed operations in slaughterhouses and worsening conditions in the West, millions of farmed animals are also victims of this pandemic.

In Sweden like most other countries in the world, factory-farmed animals are raised for food in confined and overcrowded conditions. According to the Swedish Board of Agriculture, Sweden has 63,000 farms and over 50 percent of Swedish farms have animal production. 

Each year, Sweden produces:2.6 million pigs100 million chickens8 million egg-laying hens290,000 tonnes (over 319,600 US tons) of cow’s milk
INVESTIGATING FARMS AROUND THE WORLD 

Animal agriculture keeps hidden the daily treatment of farmed animals. Hearing—and seeing—directly from undercover investigators what they have witnessed inside factory farms is a powerful eye-opener. Here at Sentient Media, we’re making sure their stories are told:The Forgotten Victims of Factory Farming: Lex Rigby, Head of Investigations at UK nonprofit Viva!, writes that fish farming is “the world’s fastest-growing food production sector, generating over half of the fish filling our supermarket shelves.”

“As with land-based factory farms, conditions on fish farms cannot easily replicate the complexities of an animal’s natural environment—leading to increasing concerns regarding their welfare,” writes Rigby.

Later this month, Rigby will join Pulitzer Prize winner Ian Urbina and undercover investigator Pete Paxton to talk about the impacts of industrial fishing in our next Sentient Session: Reporting Life at Sea. Learn more and register here.
 What a Dairy Farm Really Looks Like: “I remember their eyelashes,” writes Natalie Blanton, recalling the calves she met in childhood in Utah, growing up around “idyllic” dairy farms—and the realizations that led her to stop consuming dairy.

“As I matured, and after enough games of hide-and-go-seek among these rows of sheds housing tiny young calves,  I started to piece together a more sinister cycle taking place. It was a gradual tugging on threads of understanding, an unraveling of a dark truth behind those happy cows on those happy milk cartons,” she writes. 
 Stepping Out From Behind the Camera: After many years spent documenting factory farming, Gemunu de Silva now leads Tracks Investigations, an organization with over 250 investigations under its belt. 

“For such a staple of the animal advocacy world, Gem and Tracks have flown surprisingly under the radar. But that is by design. Up until this year, Gem avoided doing press, leaving it to the NGOs to draw the media’s attention to the cruelties his investigations exposed. It is only as the pandemic has forced a hiatus on the majority of Tracks’ projects that Gem has begun telling the stories of his decades-long career,” writes Claire Hamlett. 
 Helping Others Expose Animal Abuse: Now leading the investigations department at Animal Outlook, Erin Wing was once an investigator too, drawn to taking action for farmed animals after experiencing trauma and abuse herself. She shares what she saw inside factory farms, including a dairy farm where, she writes, “I reached the limit of what I could endure.”

“There, brutal violence was a daily occurrence. The last effort that I felt I owed to the animals before retiring from the field for good was holding out at Dick Van Dam Dairy for a few more weeks so I could rescue a newborn calf named Samuel. I found comfort in the fact that we escaped the dark world of factory farming together,” writes Wing.
Read more from Sentient Media.

Episode 21: Fish, the Forgotten “Food” Animal with Mary Finelli of Fish Feel

26 February 2021

Banner with Hope Bohanec holding a chicken
Mary Finelli

Just as United Poultry Concerns was the first farmed animal advocacy organization to focus on chickens, Fish Feel was the first organization to focus on fishes. In Episode 21 we have a special interview with Mary Finelli, founder and president of Fish Feel. Hope and Mary discuss how fishes are caught and killed in the ocean by the trillions every year and how the fishing industry is also notorious for human slavery.

Mary talks about aquaculture and the cruelties to the fish in this industry as well as the ecological damage caused by fish farms. She shares her insights into the killing and eating of other marine life such as lobsters, crabs, oysters, and clams and also educates us on the fish oil supplement industry, the caviar industry, and the exciting new trend in advocacy of fish rescue. Listen in for a breadth of knowledge about our underwater relatives and share this episode with those who need to hear it.

LISTEN TO EPISODE 21

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I Stopped Saying “Meat” and Here’s Why


“Cockfighting roosters can be rehabilitated” by Karen Davis

United Poultry Concerns

www.upc-online.org

PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405 USA
 info@upc-online.org

A Ban on Mail Order Chicks?

FEB 22, 2021Tove Danovich

New York legislators are considering a bill that would prohibit shipping live animals within the state.A new bill proposes banning mail order chicks in New York.Photography by Stephanie Frey via Shutterstock773SHARES

There are a lot of ways to look forward to a long winter’s end. For some people, it’s the arrival of tulips and daffodils. For others, it’s the song of nesting birds. But for many, there’s only one kind of spring fever they know—baby chick season. The United States Postal Service has been shipping chicks through the mail since 1918 and, until last summer, there’s only ever been a small contingent of people speaking out against it. Generally speaking, people either don’t know that hundreds of thousands of chicks are shipped every year to farms and individuals through the USPS or they’re the ones ordering them.

That changed when an article from the Portland Press Herald went viral in August 2020 and detailed how at least 4,800 chicks had died on the way to farms in Maine. Service cuts and delays at the USPS were largely blamed, but the issue of whether live animals should be shipped at all started attracting the attention of lawmakers. Earlier this month, Linda Rosenthal, a New York State assembly member from Manhattan, introduced a bill that would end the shipment of any live animals by mail into or within her state. In addition to day-old poultry, the bill would also impact the reptile trade, which frequently relies on the mail to move animals. 

In the current version of the bill, each animal shipped would be counted as a separate offense—each punishable by a civil penalty of up to $1,000. That bill was referred to the agriculture committee where it seems unlikely to make much progress as written. This is because the USPS is a federal agency regulated by the constitution and, therefore, state bans can’t override federal law, says Kimberly Frum, a postal service spokesperson. 

Since news of  the bill started spreading through farming, hatchery and backyard chicken committees, lawmakers have heard from many businesses and individuals who are concerned about how a ban on shipping chicks could affect them. Catherine Raleigh-Boylan, a co-owner of Raleigh’s Poultry Farm in Kings Park, New York, says not having access to day-old chicks would affect her business drastically.

“It wouldn’t be cost effective at all,” she tells Modern Farmer. Raleigh-Boylan says that, even in 2020, she’s never had an issue with shipments from the post office to her farm—which was started by her parents and has been ordering chicks by mail for 60 years. “You might lose one or two out of two-hundred. The rest are always healthy,” she says.

While large, vertically integrated companies such as Tyson Foods have their own hatcheries and truck chicks between them and the farms that raise poultry for meat, most small farmers rely on getting multiple shipments of chicks in the mail throughout the year. Many individuals who raise chickens choose to buy them from local farm stores rather than through the mail, but the vast majority of those farm stores also get their chicks in large shipments through the USPS. Of course, those who don’t live close enough to a hatchery to pick up chicks in person could always order fertilized hatching eggs through the mail,  but this would require buying an incubator and—if the owner wanted to vaccinate their chicks—doing it themselves despite the fact that most vaccines are only sold in batches between 500 and 10,000 doses. 

Many farmers have a similar story to that of Raleigh-Boylan. John Metzer, the owner of Metzer Farms, a California hatchery, says he thinks the post office does a good job overall. “But, sometimes, somebody makes a mistake and puts the chicks on the wrong truck or forgets to take it off. It’s a human error thing,” says Metzer, who is also a board member of a group of hatchery owners called the Bird Shippers of America. Industry wisdom dictates that chicks are okay as long as they arrive at their final destination within 72 hours of their hatch date. Chicks absorb the yolk in their egg before hatching, which gives them enough nutrition that, in nature, they won’t starve to death while the rest of the hen’s clutch of eggs hatch; some always take longer than others. This is the basic principle that allows the mail order chick business to exist. Metzer says that 90 percent of his chicks get where they’re going within two days and the rest in three.

“The fact that they can not starve to death and die of dehydration in a 72-hour period does not make it humane,” says Karen Davis, founder of United Poultry Concerns, an animal rights organization that focuses on poultry. She raises the point that because hatchery chicks are incubated en masse—and do hatch at different times—a chick that’s part of the “Monday” group didn’t necessarily hatch on Monday morning. “Seventy-two hours from when? When they’re put in shipping boxes or when they’re taken to a truck?” she says. If they have to be shipped at all, Davis would like to see chicks reach their final destination within 24 hours of hatching, although she doesn’t see an easy way to enforce it. There doesn’t seem to be any scientific research on how far apart chicks actually hatch on average under a hen and, therefore, how long chicks usually go without food or water after hatching in nature. 

It’s clear that many farmers and backyard chicken keepers want the shipment of day-old chicks to continue. And, other than this summer, it’s not an issue that’s gotten a lot of attention even among the animal welfare community. “There’s so much to attend to as far as farmed animals are concerned,” Davis says. “You can go into a [factory farm] and videotape and document what’s going on there and show it on the internet, but you can’t really do that when the birds are in a cargo area of an airplane.” And other than dying on the way to their destinations, chicks don’t have a lot of ways to communicate how they feel about the experience of being shipped in the mail in a cardboard box. The wisdom thus far has seemed to be: As long as they arrive alive, the system is working. 

But even within the industry, not everyone agrees that shipping day-old chicks should continue as is. “I think it’s ridiculous I can buy light bulbs and get them overnighted from China, but I put a baby chick on a plane and then get told it will be two to three days and no guarantee on that,” says Tom Watkins, vice president of Murray McMurray hatchery in Iowa. He thinks there’s a real need for kind and compassionate animal transportation. “I care very much about the chicks. Things are not ideal. While even [in] the best of circumstances not every chick will make it, we need to give them a fighting chance,” he says.

The chick shipping season generally goes from February through October, months that—especially lately—are full of winter snowstorms or heat waves, both of which can be deadly to chicks. Either the chicks can die from overheating or freezing or because of postal delays that take the chicks far beyond the 72-hour period. In mid-February 2021, winter storms were so severe that the USPS actually suspended the shipment of all live animals from February 12 through February 16. Because of the dates, it may not have had much of an effect on chicks (they usually ship on Monday or Tuesday), but, generally speaking, if the post office isn’t shipping chicks, it doesn’t mean the chicks aren’t hatching. Commercial hatcheries may be able to slightly delay hatching with advanced notice, but they certainly don’t have the resources to care for all the surprise chicks. (Hatcheries also can’t hold on to them and ship them a week later since the USPS only accepts day-old and adult birds.) MyPetChicken, a hatchery popular with backyard keepers, announced it was suspending chick shipments for the week of February 15 and “would use as many as possible” as six-week-old birds or perhaps put them back into their breeding program.

The 4,800 chicks that died in Maine got a lot of press thanks to the way they fit into the narrative about USPS delays over the summer. Regular—and some might say predictable—losses from the weather or chicks that are too weak after a long delay between hatching and getting into a heated brooder easily cause more deaths every year. 

A farm store employee in the Pacific Northwest tells Modern Farmer that her store had an order of a few hundred chicks, hatched Tuesday, February 9 and set to arrive by Friday—before the USPS restriction on live animal shipment went into effect. Modern Farmer is not identifying the employee as she was not authorized to speak to the press about her job. The chicks got stuck on the way there because of the winter storm in the region. Between the delay and the long weekend, there’s no way that the chicks would make it to their final destination alive. “Other stores had non-arrival and delay notices, too,” she says. The number of chicks that don’t make it in time can add up quickly when multiplied across farm stores and personal orders throughout a weather-affected region.

She adds that February cold snaps are common and are why she never orders chicks this early. She also avoids even incubating them at home due to the risk of the power going out and the chicks’ heat source with it. “I’d prefer to see them start shipping in March when the temperatures don’t seem to be quite as extreme,” she says, adding that she wished more hatcheries had a policy of not shipping during weeks with a federal holiday. “Unfortunately, consumer demand drives us to purchase and ship them this early.” And since the pandemic started, that demand has skyrocketed.

North Carolina man faces a dozen animal cruelty charges after 12 dogs seized from home

NEWS

by: Nexstar Media WirePosted: Feb 23, 2021 / 06:31 AM EST / Updated: Feb 23, 2021 / 06:31 AM EST

Courtesy: Robeson County Sheriff’s Office

PEMBROKE, N.C. (WBTW) – A Pembroke man is facing twelve misdemeanor cruelty to animals charges after a dozen dogs were seized from a home in Robeson County.

Deputies with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office say Nehemiah Pate, 25, was arrested Monday. Deputies were tipped off by a community member about the living conditions and malnourishment of several dogs at Pate’s home on Ottmus Road.North Carolina woman accused of stabbing man, breathing in deputy’s face after saying she tested positive for COVID 

The dogs were rescued and transported to local veterinarian hospitals for treatment and care. The sheriff’s office provided photos of the dogs.

  • Courtesy: Robeson County Sheriff’s OfficeRead More »
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Courtesy: Robeson County Sheriff’s OfficeRead More »

“There is no excuse for animal cruelty,” Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said. “Animals can’t express their feelings but when abuse is recognized, we must become their voice.” Sheriff Wilkins also called the case “horrific”.

Anyone with information about the case or other cases of animal cruelty is asked to contact the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 671-3170 or (910) 671-3100.

Investigators say man killed hamsters to relieve stress; connected to crimes in Lee, Collier counties

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Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein

Published:February 5, 2021 10:09 PM ESTUpdated:February 6, 2021 6:53 AM EST- Advertisement –

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A man accused of mutilating a hamster admits to buying the pet store animal just to kill it. At least eight hamsters are dead.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office originally arrested suspect Christian Hunter in Golden Gate Estates, and he faces new charges in Lee County Friday.

According to brand-new court documents, Hunter told investigators he did it to relieve stress and anger.

Investigators say receipts and surveillance video is what they were able to gather as evidence to connect Hunter to crimes in Lee County that were similar to crimes he was already arrested for in Collier County.

Hunter was first investigated in 2020 when a mutilated hamster was found in the parking lot of a Petco at Gulf Coast Town Center.

Collier County deputies arrested Hunter Tuesday, accusing him of killing and beheading a hamster he bought from a different pet store.

When Hunter was arrested for torturing and killing a hamster in Collier County, deputies relayed the information to the Lee County animal abuse unit and realized the cases were connected.

“It’s become habitual behavior, and as time goes on, a hamster isn’t going to be enough,” said Dr. Laura Streyffeler, a licensed mental health counselor. “And he may move up to a rabbit and then a dog, and who knows what else?”

Streyffeler says this is a major red flag.

Court documents also show Hunter admitted to buying and killing at least eight hamsters in the last year. He said he’d squeeze them to death and used scissors to cut them up.

“You can’t just put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound,” Streyffeler said. “This kind of behavior doesn’t happen from somebody who made a decision overnight. This is very deep-seated, emotionally disturbed behavior.”

Hunter told deputies killing these creatures relieved his own personal stress and anger.

“I got chills immediately when you explained the whole process of that,” FGCU student Sal Dietrick said. “That’s just disgusting.”

Employees at a pet store in Lee County told us it was extremely upsetting finding the hamster brutally killed in the parking lot of their business.

Others worry about the mental health of the people finding what is being left behind by Christian Hunter.

“Especially if he’s doing it in like the parking lot and stuff,” FGCU student Grant Steinke said. “I mean, there are people that are going to see that as well. I mean, could be a child walking by, wanting to get a hamster himself or herself.”

The employee of the Lee County pet store chatted with us but did not want to talk on camera. He told us, after they realized what Hunter did in the parking lot, they called all their other stores in the area and told them not to sell any animals to him.

They told us Hunter tried purchasing hamsters at two other Lee County Petco stores, but was turned down.

Hunter is no longer in law enforcement custody after bonding out of Collier County jail this week.

Lake Lowell female duck found with blow dart through her face


by Ariana PyperSaturday, January 30th

https://komonews.com/news/local/lake-lowell-female-duck-found-with-blow-dart-through-her-face

2021AAhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.437.0_en.html#goog_270600488Volume 90% 8VIEW ALL PHOTOSLake Lowell female duck found with blow dart through her face ( Lake Lowell Animal Rescue)

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NAMPA, Idaho (CBS2) — A female duck from Lake Lowell is in recovery after she was found with a blow dart through her face on Jan. 24.

Lake Lowell Animal Rescue was called about a month ago about a report of a duck swimming around with a blow dart in its face.

After trying to catch the duck for weeks, the rescue was able to catch the female duck with the help of a BSU grad student’s net gun.

Matthew Gillikin, a BSU grad student, said he built the net gun for a senior capstone project. The goal of the project was to either do something to help the community or help solve a problem.

“Matthew has helped build us a net gun and we were able to take that out and use it to catch her,” Melissa Blackmer, Lake Lowell Animal Rescue Director said.

The duck was taken in and treated by Dr. Karlee Hondo-Rust, a veterinarian at Treasure Valley Veterinary Hospital.

“The dart actually entered just below her eye, so had it been a few millimeters back she would have lost her eye,” Dr. Hondo-Rust said.Lake Lowell female duck found with blow dart through her face (Lake Lowell Animal Rescue)

Dr. Hondo- Rust said the duck is doing well and responding to the pain medicine and antibiotics. She is hopeful that they can release her in a few weeks.

Blackmer said, unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Over the years, there have been reports around the valley about birds and cats being blow darted like this, but not all of them were as lucky as this duck.

“I do think there is someone or more than one person going around doing this and it’s incredibly unfortunate and very very cruel. It’s a recurring thing, so every few years or so we will get a run of ducks or geese come in because they have been blow darted and haven’t succumbed to their injuries,” Blackmer said.

Blackmer said she wants to raise awareness about animal cruelty in the valley, and the importance of reporting animal cruelty cases.

“We just want to raise awareness about some of the animal cruelty that happens because I think a lot of times people don’t realize what can happen to your pet who is outside or in this case, ducks or roosters, or other animals,” Blackmer said.

Blackmer said you can report an injured animal by calling Lake Lowell Animal RescueRuth Melichar Bird Center (Animals In Distress Association), or the police.

You can also join the Facebook group The Life Outdoors for updates on animal cruelty cases in the area.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.437.0_en.html#goog_270600489Volume 90% Lake Lowell female duck found with blow dart through her face{ }(Lake Lowell Animal Rescue)

Three Men Arrested for Beating Dolphin to Death in Vicious Attack

Samantha Lock  2 hrs ago

Three Men Arrested for Beating Dolphin to Death in Vicious Attack (msn.com)


Rep. Crenshaw slams congressional push to overturn election as…Josh Hawley rebuked by fellow Republicans and home-state newspapers —…Three Men Arrested for Beating Dolphin to Death in Vicious Attack

A dolphin was beaten to death by a group of men who used sticks and rods to beat the helpless animal in a vicious attack in India.animal on the water: File photo: A bottle nosed dolphin swimming in the Bay of Islands in Pahia, New Zealand.© Lisa Wiltse/Getty File photo: A bottle nosed dolphin swimming in the Bay of Islands in Pahia, New Zealand.

The disturbing incident, which took place on December 31, was filmed in Uttar Pradesh in the country’s far north.

In the footage, at least three men can be seen beating the critically endangered freshwater Ganges river dolphin as one man pins the animal down.

The dolphin struggles to free itself but is powerless against the group of men as blood pours from its body.

Horrific , difficult to watch video from UP’s Pratapgarh where these villagers beat a Dolphin ( yes a dolphin ) to death on dec 31 . Three arrested , says @pratapgarhpol . Must take a different level of depravity to do this … pic.twitter.com/KsV7eBZW4F— Alok Pandey (@alok_pandey) January 8, 2021

Towards the end of the 30-second clip, the dolphin appears to show few signs of life from the vicious attack.

“You are assaulting it for no reason,” one man can be heard saying, according to NDTV.

A forest department official who responded to a call about the incident, reportedly found the animal lying lifeless by the side of the Sharda Sahayak canal.

The official said the dolphin had received multiple injuries, including axe wounds. Villagers were reportedly unwilling to reveal how it died.

Three men have since been arrested after the video went viral on social media, according to the Pratapgarh Police Department.

In November, the gutted carcass of an endangered freshwater dolphin was found in a river sanctuary in Bangladesh, leading wildlife officials to express fears of a spike in poaching during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Residents in the town of Raojan spotted the body of the Ganges river dolphin on the banks of the Halda River, AFP reported. It contained a deep incision from the neck to the tail.

Poachers appeared to have gutted the 62-inch-long animal, removing layers of body fat—a product that is used in local traditional medicine—Abdullah al Mamun, an official from the Bangladeshi fishery department, told AFP.

The Ganges dolphin is critically endangered. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are thought to be between just 1,200 and 1,800 Ganges river dolphins left living in the wild in Nepal, Bangladesh and India.

Concerns over poaching during coronavirus lockdowns have been raised by wildlife officials in countries around the world.

Poaching attempts have increased in Kaziranga National Park in India, which is home to the world’s biggest population of one-horned rhinos, during the country’s lockdown, AFP reported.

There has also been a spike in the killing of other animals in India, with poachers targeting the endangered Indian gazelle, peacocks, and other species, according to The Hindu Times.

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Skamokawa couple face animal cruelty charges

By Diana Zimmerman 

 https://www.waheagle.com/story/2020/08/06/news/skamokawa-couple-face-animal-cruelty-charges/18132.html

August 6, 2020

Wahkiakum County Engineer Paul Lacy and his wife, Daria were scheduled to be in Wahkiakum District Court on Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing. The pair have been charged with 11 counts of animal cruelty in the second degree and two counts of transporting or confining a domestic animal in an unsafe manner in a case that brought Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office to their Skamokawa property multiple times over the course of several months in 2019.

A brief overview, according to reports from the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office:

On May 2, 2019, WCSO received a complaint that several horses were loose in Skamokawa. When deputies responded, they found a small pig standing atop a larger decomposing pig carcass in a pig pen that was several inches deep in mud and feces. Nearby in a garage, they found several dogs standing shoulder to shoulder, unable to lay down in a kennel, along with a smaller cage containing more dogs. The dogs were without food and water. Two calves were found without water, and a dozen or more chicks were found without food or water.

On June 8, 2019, the WCSO received a report of possible animal cruelty at a property in Skamokawa.

A deputy found one horse up to its knees in mud and feces. There was an overturned water bucket nearby, and no feed. The horse had swollen knees and had lost patches of hair. Nearby in a horse area, he found four horses with untrimmed hooves and swollen knees. Several of the horses had ribs showing.

Paul Lacy said he had sold about 20 horses and still had about 18 remaining. He said it was not uncommon for horses to not get their hooves trimmed, stating that the Department of Natural Resources does not trim wild horses’ feet.

A witness provided photos of neglect, including a horse with visible ribs standing in a stall in mud up to its knees. A second photo showed a horse with overgrown hooves and visible ribs, and a third photo showed two horses with visible ribs.

On June 15, 2019, deputies and an animal control officer from Cowlitz County visited the Lacy home to inspect the animals. The animal control officer “found them to be in such bad conditions and health, according to her training and experience, that probable cause existed for Animal Cruelty.”

On June 18, 2019, deputies were told about an injured horse. A caller said she had witnessed people loading most of the horses onto a truck, but found a horse with a broken leg in a stall, bleeding out. Deputies responded. They found two horses in a muddy pen, one of which had clearly defined ribs, hips, and shoulder bones. Several pigs were in a large stall, laying in and wandering around in mud, feces, and bones. A horse with a leg injury was found deceased nearby, with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.

On June 21, 2019, deputies returned to the farm. They found a horse with open wounds on its muzzle and face. Photographs were taken.

Paul Lacy said that the horse that had been euthanized had been buried in his back field, and that he had gotten rid of several dogs. He said that he did not want to get rid of any more, as he and his wife, Daria, planned to breed them to sell. He was advised that they would need a license.

Lacy was advised at that time that if he did not continue to improve the care of his current animals, he would be subject to criminal charges.

On June 24, 2019, Lacy said in a missive that he had reduced the number of horses from 18 to two, the number of dogs by five, the number of chickens by two, and the number of pigs by one, with a plan to auction three and harvest two.

On July 3, 2019, a neighbor reported that some of Lacy’s animals were on their property. The Lacys were given a warning. Deputies noted that the two remaining horses appeared to be in better condition, and that pigs were in a newly constructed pen with food and water available.

On December 15, 2019, a search warrant was served by the sheriff’s office in conjunction with the Cowlitz County Humane Society, which seized four pigs, one sow, five piglets, 15 sheep/goats, four ducks, four ducklings, one turkey, seven dogs, and 32 bird eggs in an incubator. Two dogs were found in a room, with evidence that they had attempted to gnaw and scratch their way out. The floor was smeared with feces, and there was no food or water. In the same room, they found a cage containing a duck and ducklings, the bottom of the cage full of liquid feces, resulting in a fetid odor. The animal control officer was heard to say that day that “this was one of the worst cases she has worked on.”

On December 19, they returned to collect the remaining animals, including 10 turkeys, 11 geese, 61 ducks, 42 chickens, one pack rat, and two pigeons. Every bird had a lice infestation, according to the report.

Why we eat meat without guilt, but hate seeing animal slaughter

In her book ‘For A Moment of Taste’, former PETA CEO Poorva Joshipura writes about how categorising an animal as ‘food’ changes our view of it. Until we see it being killed.

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When I ate meat, if someone were to have asked me if I loved animals, I would have said an enthusiastic ‘yes!’ After all, I adored playing with dogs and cats I would come across, enjoyed feeding squirrels and birds with my grandmother and liked watching wildlife documentaries with my father. 

However, eating animals requires someone ripping them from their families and butchering them—this is something everyone knows, even if they do not know the details of how it is done, and I knew that much too. Yet, I ate meat anyway. What allowed me to do so? What might allow others to do the same?


Also read: Will more people turn to vegetarianism in a post-coronavirus world?


The Brazilian Supermarket Prank 

Scientists have been studying this conflict, between caring for animals and killing them to eat them. This phenomenon has been labelled ‘the meat paradox’ by University of Kent and Université Libre de Bruxelles researchers Steve Loughnan, Boyka Bratanova, and Elisa Puvia. 

And we generally do care for animals. That’s why countries have laws protecting animals, why societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCAs) and other animal protection groups exist, why there was such national outrage when tigress Avni was killed, why the global horror when Cecil the lion and later his son Xanda were killed by trophy hunters in Zimbabwe, and it is likely why you are reading this book. In fact, many of us find what has to happen to animals to produce meat wrong, at least in principle, what little we may know about it, even if we eat meat. 

A prank that was set up at a supermarket in Brazil, in which a man pretending to be a butcher offered samples of free fresh pork sausages to the store’s customers, proves this point. Shoppers would visit the counter, eat and admire the pork. Then, the butcher would offer to make more, but to do so he would bring out a live piglet and put the animal in a machine that appeared to instantly grind her up and turn her into fresh meat. In reality, another prankster was sitting in the machine safely collecting each baby pig. Although customers had just readily eaten pork, they were aghast when they thought a live pig was about to be killed. One woman spat out pork from her mouth, others pleaded with the butcher not to kill the young pig and even tried to physically stop him from doing so. None of them picked up another piece of the free fresh pork that they had eagerly eaten before seeing the live pig. If you were one of the customers, what would you have done?



Ranking Species on Worthiness of Moral Concern 

While many of us are perturbed by the thought of slaughter of any animal, several studies found people who choose to eat animals are inclined to reject the thought that animals are capable of complex emotions and are likely to draw a further line between the emotional capacities of animals usually used for food (such as chickens) versus those who are not typically eaten by humans (like parrots). Both are birds, but the findings of these scientists indicate that people who eat meat are prone to believe parrots can feel more deeply than chickens, even though there’s no scientific support for such a view. Refusing to acknowledge animals, especially animals used for food, have the ability to experience deep emotions, appears to let many of us dismiss what happens to them in the production of food. 

Through studies conducted by Loughnan and his colleague Brock Bastian of the University of Queensland, the pair describes how vegetarians tend to compare with meat eaters in thinking about the mental faculties of animals when told they will be killed. Vegetarians did not alter their view of that animal’s acumen when told an animal, such as a lamb, was set for slaughter. When meat eaters were told the same thing, it was found that they generally reduced their view of the animal’s mental abilities. This, the researchers surmise, may be a ‘defensive way’ to allow us to consume animals without much guilt or remorse.

Another experiment shows merely categorizing an animal as ‘food’ effects how most people perceive the animal’s rights. In this study, researchers introduced a tree kangaroo to participants—an animal the participating individuals were not familiar with. They were given general information about tree kangaroos and then some were told that the animals were for eating while others were not. Those individuals who were told the species was food considerably regarded tree kangaroos as less deserving of concern than the other participants. 

Labelling an animal ‘friend’ has an effect too, but an opposite one—doing so tends to increase our respect for the friend species. This labelling of animals as ‘friend’ versus ‘food’ and the psychological effect it has on how we then view them is surely what helped me, when I consider it in hindsight, to simultaneously love animals like dogs and cats and eat animals like cows, chickens and pigs.


Also read: A Dutch butcher is winning hearts by making plants taste just like meat


If this is the effect one study had on people’s minds, imagine the result of being told repeatedly, like we usually are from a young age, that certain animals are for ‘food’ by authority figures, like our parents, or members of our community or people we want to be accepted by, like our friends. What if these individuals would have instead categorized those same animals as ‘friend’? Would we have thought differently? 

Today there are many vegetarians and vegans in the United States, but in the ’80s and early ’90s, the repeated messaging to me as a youngster from most people was speciesist: Animals like cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and fish merely existed to be eaten and animals like dogs and cats are friends. In other words, particular species are worthier of respect than other animals just by way of being. Indeed, though I happily ate what I considered to be the ‘food’ members of the animal kingdom, I would have eaten my own foot before I ate a dog. If we are raised in a meat-eating family, or if our families engage in rituals or customs that involve killing or eating certain animals, something similar is usually the repeated messaging we hear too. 

This excerpt from A Moment of Taste by Poorva Joshipura has been published with permission from HarperCollins India.

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