Calling all animal lovers: Trump’s sons are proud murderers of endangered species

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Some people are posting this picture as a joke. Don Jr. bringing down an elephant (under highly controlled hunting) and cutting off its tail is kind of ironic. But it’s really just sick, down to the clean knife above.

Don Jr. made his big debut tonight and some say he made a big splash and helped “humanize” his father.  But he and his disgusting brother, Eric, deserve nothing but scorn for the series of wild animal kills that spread across Twitter tonight.

I was not aware of their depravity towards animals until tonight. The folks calling Don Jr. “Patrick Bateman” on Twitter were spot on.

From The Daily Beast:

Back in 2012, photos surfaced of the elder Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, proudly posing with the carcasses of dead animals they hunted while on a big-game hunting expedition in Africa. The photos showed Donald and Eric posing with a lifeless cheetah, Donald clenching a knife along with the bloody, sawed-off tail of an elephant, and the pair posing next to a crocodile hanging from a noose off of a tree.

Here are Trump’s sons holding up a dead cheetah, all smiles:

How quickly the press forgot about Donald Trumps spoiled kids being exotic animal killers but I didn’t.

I guess this is the dead croc:

View image on Twitter
Horrible people doing horrible things,

More Daily Beast:

The Trump boys were hunting in Zimbabwe—the same country where Cecil was killed—and though Zimbabwean animal conservation groups looked into the incident, the hunt was deemed perfectly legal. Once the photos went viral online, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted (and then deleted): “Not a PR move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game.”
Later, Donald Jr. clarified his thoughts on the big-game hunt in an interview with Deer & Hunting magazine in August 2012.

“I think what made it sort of a bigger story and kind of national and even global news was that I didn’t do what a lot of other people do, which is immediately start apologizing for what I am and that I’m a hunter and all this,” Donald Jr. told Deer & Hunter. “I kinda said, ‘No, I am what I am. I did all those things. I have no regrets about it.’”

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 · 12:16:27 PM PDT · kat68

CORRECTION: It has been noted several times in the comments that the Trump kids are holding up a dead leopard, not a cheetah. Apologies for the mistake. I relied on the news story instead of my own eyes.

Donald Trump vs. animals

If a presidential candidate announced that his or her administration would hurt one of your relatives, you would likely do everything possible to prevent that person from being elected. For the 95% of U.S. pet owners who describe their dog or cat as a member of the family, or the millions of other Americans who care about animals on farms and in the wild, Donald Trump presents such a threat.

From a four-legged vantage point, a Trump administration would be a disaster. Last month, the Trump campaign floated billionaire Forrest Lucas as the potential secretary of the interior in his administration, a position that oversees vital animal-related programs at the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Described as “the leading anti-animal advocate in the United States” by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, Lucas has dedicated much of his time and fortune to defending some of the worst animal abuse industries in our country.

Lucas’ anti-animal front organization, Protect the Harvest, spent a quarter of a million dollars to try to block a ballot initiative in North Dakota that would have set felony-level penalties for malicious cruelty to dogs, cats and horses. That’s relevant to Lucas’ potential influence in a Trump administration, given that the Bureau of Land Management manages tens of thousands of wild horses in the West.

Lucas’ political machine has also advanced other anti-animal causes, including so-called “right to farm” legislation in states like North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana and Oklahoma. Such legislation would leave millions of animals suffering in silence on factory farms and slaughterhouses, while undermining the Bureau of Land Management’s role in humanely administering 155 million acres of grazing land for cattle and sheep.

While Interior is not directly responsible for companion animal programs, Lucas has shown callous indifference to their protection by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to efforts to weaken and repeal tough standards to reform puppy mills in Missouri, the nation’s largest dog-breeding state. The Lucas group also helped kill a local initiative in Indiana that simply would have required proper outdoor shelters to protect dogs and cats from the elements.

Along with Lucas, the other members of Trump’s Agriculture Advisory Committee include some of the most vocal anti-animal business leaders and elected officials in our country. Former Iowa State Rep. Annette Sweeney, one member of that group, was the author of her state’s “ag gag” bill, a perverse inversion of justice in which the heroes who film cruelty on factory farms are instead charged as criminals themselves. That bill was signed into law by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, another advisor on Trump’s team.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, yet another member of Trump’s committee, is infamous for vetoing a bill that would have banned trophy hunting of mountain lions in his state, thus extending Lucas’ anti-cat efforts outlined earlier to their wild cousins as well.

Donald Trump Jr. in Africa with an elephant tail.

But Donald Trump doesn’t need to consult his advisory board to find defenders of cruel trophy hunting practices like Heineman. He has more than enough of them in his own family.

Sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. have offended millions of wildlife lovers with their pay-to-kill hunts for some of Africa’s most magnificent creatures, including elephants, kudus, civet cats, crocodiles, waterbucks and leopards. Pictures of the Trump boys posing with the victims of their murderous vacations have drawn condemnation across the world, but a much more muted response from their father, who justified it with a casual comment that his “sons love to hunt.”

In this midst of Trump’s anti-animal tornado, it is with wistful retrospection that many Republican animal advocates remember the past leadership by our party on many of the same issues. President Dwight Eisenhower signed the first federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act into law, as well as legislation prohibiting the poisoning of wild horse and burro waterholes. President Richard Nixon expanded the scope and coverage of animal protection legislation by signing landmark animal protection laws including the Animal Welfare Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Endangered Species Act.

President Gerald Ford expanded both the Animal Welfare Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, while Republican legislative leaders like Senator Bob Dole championed the protection of farm animals throughout their careers from their seats in Congress. More recently, Representative Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) twice led Congress to ban horrific animal crush videos, and dozens of Republican representatives in both chambers have fought for legislation to protect whales, chimpanzees, horses and companion animals from cruelty and abuse.

On Election Day, those are the voices for animals that we should honor and respect. If you love your dog, cherish your cat or care about other animals on farms or in the wild, then proxy their paws in the voting booth and pull the lever for anybody but Donald Trump.

Weinstein is CEO of Ridgeback Communications. He was director of media relations for the Dole/Kemp presidential campaign and was deputy press secretary to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Referendum to make hunting, fishing, trapping a constitutional right garners support from 30 senators

A majority of Montana’s state senators backed a measure to ask voters to decide whether hunting, fishing and trapping should become constitutional rights in the 2018 general election.

Senate Bill 236, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Fielder, R-Thompson Falls, would create a ballot initiative to put in Montana’s constitution the right for Montana citizens to hunt, fish and trap. Measures that ask for a ballot initiative require 100 votes total between the Senate and the House and don’t need the governor’s signature.

In an initial vote on Monday, 30 Senators supported the bill. It faces a final Senate vote on Tuesday — the vote that will actually count toward the 100 necessary.

 Fielder said the bill will strengthen the state constitution’s protections for these activities.

“The language in the existing Montana constitution is unclear,” Fielder said.

She also said strengthening the language will help fight off future attempts to limit hunting or trapping in the state, such as the ballot measure voters rejected in November to ban trapping on public lands.

But opponents of the bill said the protections within the constitution are strong enough and that the failure of the trapping initiative last fall shows that the activity isn’t in serious danger.

“We don’t need to change something that already works,” said Sen. Mike Phillips, D-Bozeman.

In a February committee hearing, the bill garnered support from the Montana Trappers Association and the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, among others. A number of conservation groups and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks opposed it.

The bill was amended slightly before being sent out of the Senate Fish and Game committee on a 6-5 vote. The amendment turned some opposition into support — namely, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation — but it didn’t eliminate all opposition.

Nick Gevock, the conservation director for the Montana Wildlife Federation, said his group still opposes the measure because they believe changing the constitution requires more careful consideration than can be found in the “hurried emotion of a 90-day legislative session.”

On the Senate floor Monday, Fielder said the bill is similar to laws passed in 14 other states, including Idaho. In a post on its website, the National Conference of State Legislatures says {a style=”font-size: 12px;” href=”http://www.ncsl.org/research/environment-and-natural-resources/state-constitutional-right-to-hunt-and-fish.aspx#5” target=”_blank”}21 states{/a} across the country guarantee the right to hunt and fish, including Montana.

Montana’s current law guarantees the “opportunity” to hunt, and Fielder’s bill would change that word to “right,” which she said has a more clear legal definition.

“It’s time for Montana to step up,” she said.

But some worry that the change could upend wildlife management within the state. An internal memo from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks provided to the Chronicle said the bill would endanger the state’s ability to charge residents and nonresidents different prices for hunting and fishing licenses. The memo says the change would likely draw a legal challenge and that a court might find that the state is discriminating against non-residents by charging them higher license fees.

Phillips mentioned this on the Senate floor Monday, saying the change could result in the state “giving the deal of the century to nonresidents” by lowering out-of-state license fees.

“If you feel lucky in court, vote for 236,” he said.

Sen. Jeff Welborn, R-Dillon, and Sen. Terry Gauthier, R-Helena, joined the Senate’s 18 Democrats in voting against the bill. The measure will need 70 votes in the House to pass, which means that even if all Republicans support it, they will need at least 11 votes from Democrats. Two House Democrats are listed as sponsors of the bill — Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy of Box Elder and Rep. Brad Hamlett of Cascade.

 

A seafood company killed a lobster — and was convicted of animal cruelty

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/03/07/a-seafood-company-killed-a-lobster-and-was-convicted-of-animal-cruelty/?utm_term=.9dd86bc65913
March 7

An Australian seafood company was recently convicted of animal cruelty — for killing a lobster.

The legally actionable problem was not actually taking the life of the lobster. It’s that the lobster was killed in a way deemed to be unnecessarily — and illegally — brutal.

According to the Guardian’s description of what happened, workers at Nicholas Seafoods were seen by investigators “butchering and dismembering lobsters with a band saw, without adequately stunning or killing them.” The lobsters’ tails were cut from their bodies while the animals were still alive, in violation of local animal cruelty laws, and led to a conviction that may be the first of its kind in the world.

Depending on your perspective, this might both churn the stomach and raise confusing questions. Are you behaving monstrously if you boil a live lobster — a fairly common cooking method? Could you be found guilty of animal cruelty if so?

The answer to the second question is pretty straightforward: As things stand now, you are highly unlikely to be convicted of animal cruelty for behaving badly, even very badly, toward a lobster.

The Nicholas Seafoods killing took place in the Australian state of New South Wales — one of a few Australian jurisdictions to specifically include crustaceans sold for food, like lobsters, in its animal cruelty laws. The conviction was the first in that state, a local spokeswoman for the Royal Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said. The company was fined $1,500.

It’s not unheard of for some sea critters to have legal protections. Octopuses are “honorary vertebrates” under European Union law governing the treatment of animals used in scientific research. And some advocates say they would like to see more fish gain more protection — like the 806 people who recently signed an online petition asking to include lobsters in Britain’s animal cruelty laws.

But welfare laws for lobsters and their ilk are unusual. In the United States, neither fish nor crustaceans are covered under the federal Animal Welfare Act, and they are mostly exempt from state animal cruelty laws as well. (Occasionally, a cruelty charge has been brought under state law when a pet fish is killed in a brutal way.)

“A majority of state laws protect all animals, but there are typically exemptions for hunting and fishing activities,” said Ann Chynoweth, vice president of the Humane Society of the United States’s animal cruelty campaign. “Laws regarding slaughter do not cover fish — or chickens.” (They do cover cows and pigs.)

Why aren’t fish, crustaceans and chickens given these legal protections? It’s not because these creatures aren’t smart or don’t experience pain. There’s good evidence that they are and they do. Jonathan Balcombe, author of the book “What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins,” said he believes fish are sentient creatures with highly complex lives and societies.

“Their lives matter to them,” he said. “I’ve become firmly convinced they deserve equal moral consideration to all other vertebrates.”

Balcombe said the situation with crustaceans, as opposed to vertebrate fish, is “less clear.” But research has shown that crustaceans do “remember and learn from apparently painful events,” and that should bring them into our moral universe, he said.

“Sentience is the bedrock of ethics,” he said.

Regardless of the established science or the moral reasoning, the reason dogs and cows have more legal protection than lobsters seems primarily based on our cultural associations and practices. Dogs have the most protections because people adore them and think of them as members of the family. Fish and lobsters have been given practically none, because in general people do not — though every once in a while an especially old or pretty lobster captures our rapt attention and mercy.

“This exemplifies the paradoxes and inconsistencies we see in the treatment of animals,” said Hal Herzog, a psychology professor at Western Carolina University and author of “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat.”

Group saves 110-year-old lobster from someone’s dinner table at South Florida restaurant. http://abcn.ws/29OSEJI 

But according to Andrew Lurie, the Humane Society International’s senior attorney for international law and trade, even those species we love don’t get a whole lot of protection — here in the United States or elsewhere. Animal cruelty convictions in general “are rather rare worldwide,” he said.

On the other hand, consumers are beginning to demand that the animals who produce our food are kept and killed more humanely. It’s this consumer demand that, for example, is driving companies to vow to switch to eggs from cage-free hens. In November, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure banning the sale of eggs or meat from animals kept in tight confinement.

So is the Australian lobster case an oddball anomaly or a step toward a future in which more animals we eat get more protections, and when it might not be so strange for lobsters to be included in our moral and legal universe? Lurie said he is not sure. But the chief executive of the RSPCA in New South Wales said it sets a significant precedent.

“We hope this conviction will expand the circle of empathy and welfare to crustaceans and more animals that often do not evoke the same level of compassion as others,” Steve Coleman said. “With the scientific community proving lobsters feel pain, and the New South Wales legislation backing that up, we’re excited to see such progress in the space of animal welfare, and we hope that this case can be a guiding light for others.”

Still want to dine on lobster but minimize its suffering — not to mention your chances of being busted if you happen to be in Australia? The RSPCA Australia’s website recommends a few preferable methods for ending a lobster’s life. And no, boiling it alive is not one of them.

Stunning the lobster in an electrified bath is better, the organization says, as is chilling the lobster in a saltwater ice slurry, then “rapidly cutting through the center-line of the head, thorax (chest) and abdomen with a large, sharp knife” before the lobster regains its version of consciousness.

Or — just a friendly suggestion here — you could avoid all these questions and let the lobsters live.

Read more:

To save their beloved red squirrels, Brits will monitor and kill invasive American ones

A revered sea turtle was offered coins as a blessing. She ate them all and nearly died.

More people are adopting old dogs — really old dogs

Tennessee officials: 2nd confirmation of avian flu

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/tennessee-officials-2nd-confirmation-avian-flu-46028555

Tennessee officials have confirmed that a second commercial breeding poultry operation in Tennessee has tested positive for the avian flu.

Officials say the chicken breeding facility is located in Giles County, which lies south of Nashville and is close to the Alabama state line.

On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that another farm in southern Tennessee had bird flu. The entire flock of birds in Lincoln County was killed. That farm supplied Tyson foods.

Officials said the latest chicken-breeding operation to be infected is owned by a different company. Investigators do not believe that chickens at one farm sickened those at the other facility.

The Giles County chicken flock has been killed and investigators are testing nearby poultry facilities.

A ‘Squirrel Slam’ Lures Hunters and Protesters to Western New York

BROCKPORT, N.Y. — They crouched and hid, using the gray, rainy skies and fallow fields as camouflage. They scurried across well-traveled roads, up barren trees and perhaps even toward the border with Canada. They used their wits, their two extra legs and — yes — their bushy tails to fend off their pursuers.

And yet, it was not the squirrels but the hunters who triumphed here on Saturday during the annual Squirrel Slam, a decade-old fund-raising event that has drawn the ire of animal lovers and environmentalists.

The slam and its former host and beneficiary — a volunteer fire department in the nearby town of Holley in western New York — are the subject of a lawsuit filed in state court by Lauren Sheive, a squirrel aficionado who claims there has not been a proper review of its environmental effect.

In particular, Ms. Sheive and her lawyers allege that the slam — which is held on the last Saturday of February during squirrel-hunting season — is particularly damaging to the arboreal rodents because the key to winning the one-day contest is to bag the heaviest squirrels; that is, those that might be pregnant.

“Since it is baby time, the moms will be fatter and larger,” according to an affidavit submitted by Ms. Sheive, who lives in Williamson, N.Y., east of Rochester. “So if, as could happen, there is an overkilling of females who are potentially leaving young to die in their nests, what does that do to the balance of nature?”

Photo

Dennis Bauer recorded the weight of squirrels at the hunt on Saturday. Mr. Bauer has helped organize the event for the last 11 years. CreditMike Bradley for The New York Times

State environmental officials dispute that assertion, saying the hunt falls outside of the period in which squirrels breed and care for their young. Supporters of the slam have long been bewildered by the accusation that they are somehow upsetting the area’s ecology, saying the event is merely a fun way to raise money and promote community bonding.

“Everyone thinks I’m sending 300 people into the woods and slaughtering all the squirrels,” said Dennis Bauer, a hunter who helps organize the event, noting that the slam is not localized, but countywide. If it were harming squirrels, he said, “I wouldn’t do it.”

The dispute also touches on age-old friction between rural and urban mores, with some here grumbling that the conflict was being stoked by downstaters who would not know a Remington from a Rembrandt.

“I think it’s the coolest — Americana in action,” said Jeff Allen, a former logger in Alaska and a local resident who was up early to check out the slam. “And I think this is just a great little thing for upstate New York.”

At the same time, the hunt has also tapped into a broader push by national animal rights groups to stop hunting contests, including those that target animals such as coyotes, pigeons and prairie dogs.

In Albany, state lawmakers have introduced a bill to ban any contest where the goal “is to take the greatest number of wildlife,” though the winners of the squirrel slam receive a small cash prize based on weight, not the number of animals killed. (Slam hunters are limited to five squirrels; the state limit for most species is six a day.)

Still, the New York State director of the Humane Society of the United States, Brian Shapiro, has expressed concern that the slam could cause “the wider community to believe that wildlife is unimportant and killing for a monetary prize is meritorious.”

When the lawsuit was filed in 2015, it was initially dismissed. Then in December, Ms. Sheive won on appeal, and the case was sent back to Orleans County Supreme Court for further review. Arguments there are due on Monday.

One of the slam’s principal opponents has been Richard Brummel, a Long Island resident and grass-roots environmental advocate who has waged a dogged campaign against the event in recent years, citing the State Environmental Quality Review Act to challenge the hunt. He said that his love of squirrels was born from a suburban upbringing and that the animals were “agile,” “industrious” and “very acrobatic.”

“And they are actually somewhat approachable,” he said.

Squirrels are plentiful in New York, according to the State Department of Environmental Conservation, which categorizes three types of squirrels — gray, fox and black — as having “abundant population” and allows them to be hunted in most parts of the state from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28.

Some squirrels, however, are considered nuisances and thus are hunted by humans year round. And many of the squirrels in this neck of the woods fall into that enemy-of-the-people category, said Amethyst McCracken, an avowed pet lover who works at an animal-care office in Holley.

“We have squirrels here the size of cats,” said Ms. McCracken, a licensed veterinary technician. “They do damage. They cause accidents. They chew through power cords, go through drains.”

Photo

Amy Prate of Hilton, N.Y., left, and Brian Sams of Palmyra, N.Y., took a selfie at the hunt in Brockport, N.Y., on Saturday. CreditMike Bradley for The New York Times

Like others here, Ms. McCracken said part of the slam’s problem might be branding. “When you hear ‘slam,’ you think about someone taking it and slamming them on the ground,” she said. But whatever the hunt is called, its organizers insist that the animals did not go to waste. Their tails are used to make fishing lures, while much of their meat — a flavor that has been compared to rabbit or, yes, chicken — finds its way into squirrel stew and other foods.

Joey Inthavong, an immigrant from Thailand who lives in Rochester, collects hundreds of squirrels from the slam every year. He insisted the quality of the local squirrels was excellent.

“They live outside, eat apples, like deer, eat good food,” Mr. Inthavong said. “Not like in the city — they eat garbage.”

Regardless of the looming legal action, the slam proceeded on Saturday, though without the Holley Fire Department after previous protests. Kevin Dann, the fire chief, said his company was “100 percent uninvolved.”

“People in New York City don’t like that we hunt up here,” he said.

Instead, the event was transferred to an Elks Lodge in Brockport, a college town on the Erie Canal, about 20 miles west of Rochester. Most of the participants were experienced hunters — rifles and high-powered pellet guns being the weapons of choice — and had war stories about their nimble prey.

Photo

Brett Jacobson of Greece, N.Y., participated in the squirrel hunt. “They’re like little ninjas,” he said.CreditMike Bradley for The New York Times

“They’re like little ninjas,” said Brett Jacobson, an avid hunter from Greece, N.Y. He noted that squirrels often scare off deer during that hunting season. “They’re obnoxious,” he said.

All told, New York has more than 500,000 licensed hunters — including 30,000 squirrel hunters. The participants in Saturday’s slam worked in a range of professions, including public-school teachers, salesmen and small-business people. Many chatted amiably in the hall of the Elks Lodge, drinking draft beer and buying raffle tickets.

Mr. Bauer, the hunter who helps organize the event, is a mechanic. He says the event draws all kinds of people — “fathers and daughters, 60-year-old brothers, husbands and wives.” And sure enough, a steady stream of hunters arrived in the late afternoon, bearing boxes and plastic bags full of squirrels.

The squirrels were handed off to a team of women called “squirrel girls,” who weighed them on digital scales as Mr. Bauer recorded weights. The winning team — teenagers from Kendall, N.Y. — brought in the heaviest individual squirrel (nearly two pounds), and five squirrels that weighed more than seven pounds total.

Mr. Bauer said it had been a tough day to hunt, driving rain and wind, but a good day for the slam: All of the money raised — from $10 tickets, raffles and the like — would go to the local Elks, who said they would use it for causes like helping veterans and fighting cerebral palsy.

Many of the hunters said they understood that squirrel hunts may not be for everyone, particularly those in cities, where the animals are more likely to be in a park than your barn.

“It’s a country thing,” said Rich Ezell, 62, who hunted with his son-in-law, adding that the event was for a good cause. “I wouldn’t shoot them just to shoot them.”

‘Hog Apocalypse’: Texas has a new weapon in its war on feral pigs. It’s not pretty.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/02/23/hog-apocalypse-texas-has-a-new-weapon-in-its-war-on-feral-pigs-its-not-pretty/?utm_term=.01fdacb6c80b
                                                       _____________________
Best lines: Stephanie Bell, an animal-cruelty director for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a statement that feral hogs “should not be sentenced to death simply for trying to forage and feed their own families.” She noted correctly that feral boars were brought to the United States to be hunted for sport before they proliferated across Texas and other states.
                                                       _________________________
February 23 at 8:44 AM

Securing a Texan’s right to shoot wild pigs from a helicopter may have been Sid Miller’s best-known accomplishment before this week.

The state’s agricultural commissioner hangs a boar’s head and toy chopperoutside his office to remind people of the law he got passed, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

But Miller has never stopped searching for better ways to kill some 2 million feral hogs in Texas that the commissioner accuses of eating newborn lambs, uprooting crops and “entire city parks,” trampling across highways and causing more than $50 million in damage a year.

The search is over, Miller announced Tuesday: “The ‘Hog Apocalypse’ may finally be on the horizon.”

Miller said he would return his entire research budget to the state. He doesn’t need it anymore, he says, after finding “a new weapon in the long-standing war on the destructive feral hog population.”

It’s called warfarin: the pesticide with war in its name. Pigs eat it. It kills them slowly, often painfully, and turns their innards blue. It’s already wiped out swine herds in Australia, which later banned the product as inhumane.

The Environmental Protection Agency just approved it.

Hunters and wildlife experts, not so much.

More than 3,000 have signed the Texas Hog Hunters Association’s petition against Miller’s chemical war.

“If this hog is poisoned, do I want to feed it to my family?” the group’s vice president, Eydin Hansen, asked the Dallas CBS affiliate. “I can tell you, I don’t.”

Stephanie Bell, an animal-cruelty director for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a statement that feral hogs “should not be sentenced to death simply for trying to forage and feed their own families.” She noted correctly that feral boars were brought to the United States to be hunted for sport before they proliferated across Texas and other states.

Tyler Campbell, a former researcher with the U.S. Agriculture Department, led the agency’s feral-hog studies in Kingsville, Tex., for several years, when warfarin was first tested on pigs in the United States.

“It was fast-tracked,” he said.

The test results weren’t pretty, he said. Marketed as Kaput Feral Hog Bait, the product is comparable to rat poison — with similar effects.

“They bleed,” Campbell said. Internally and externally, usually for a week or more before they die.

Just as concerning, he said, were difficulties in preventing other species from eating the poison — which is known to paralyze chickens, make rats vomit and kill all manner of animals.

The EPA regulations — which Texas plans to strengthen by licensing warfarin’s use — requires hogs to be fed the poison out of bins with 10-pound lids.

The lid tactic won’t work, Campbell said. Before retiring from government research a few years ago, he saw a study in which raccoons lifted much heavier lids in search of food.

“The wildlife community at large has reasons to have concerns,” he said.

“We do have very serious concerns about non-target species,” state wildlife veterinarian Jim LaCour told the Times-Picayune.

Even if only hogs can get to the bait, LaCour said, “they’re going to drop crumbs on the outside.” Those crumbs might then be eaten by rodents, which might be eaten by birds, and thus warfarin could spread throughout the ecosystem.

People should be concerned too, LaCour said: Millions take low doses of warfarin, like Coumadin, to prevent blood clots. Ingesting more from poisoned game could be “very problematic,” he said.

Miller isn’t worried.

The commissioner’s office didn’t reply to requests for comment. But in a statement to the CBS station DFW, he said years of testing prove that other wildlife, or pets, “would have to ingest extremely large quantities over the course of several days” to get sick.

As for the hunters’ objections, Miller said a blue dye will make poisoned hogs obvious long before they reach the oven.

“If you want them gone, this will get them gone,” the commissioner told the Statesman.

As precedent, he pointed to Australia, where he said warfarin “was used for many years” on feral hogs.

It was — in experiments that concerned government officials so much they later banned its use on grounds of “extreme suffering.”

The poison was effective, granted. It proved as apocalyptic as Miller promises, taking just a few months to wipe out an estimated 99 percent of wild pigs in Sunny Corner State Forest during an experiment in 1987.

Other studies described poisoned hogs’ last days in explicit detail: Some were lucky; massive internal bleeding killed them quickly after they ate warfarin. Most suffered for a week or more — one pig for a full month before it died.

“Animals moved only if approached closely and spent most time lying in shelter,” researchers wrote in Australian Wildlife Research in 1990.

Some leaked blood from their eyes or anuses. Many bled internally — sometimes into their joints, causing severe pain. An autopsy revealed one pig’s liver had fused to its stomach.

Being shot from a helicopter, the Australian government concluded, was objectively less cruel.

Tom Regan, Pioneer Animal Rights Philosopher Died February 17 But His Work & Influence Endure

By Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns*

“My tribute to philosopher Tom Regan, who wrote The Case For Animal Rights,
and*
*who died on February 17, 2017 after a battle with Parkinson’s Disease, is
a*
*slightly expanded version of the Comment I posted yesterday morning to
Merritt*
*Clifton’s beautifully composed obituary for Tom in Animals 24-7 which you
can*
*read here: Tom Regan, 78, made the case for animal rights
<http://www.animals24-7.org/2017/02/18/tom-regan-78-made-the-case-for-animal-rights>.*

Thank you Merritt Clifton for your informative tribute to animal rights
philosopher Tom Regan, whom I met in the early 1980s right around the time
that
his book *The Case For Animal Rights* was published in 1983. Since that
book was
more academic than Peter Singer’s *Animal Liberation*, published in 1975,
was, it
probably was more dipped into by activists than read cover to cover. But
Regan
transcended Singer by arguing that nonhuman animals have not only
“interests”
but RIGHTS and INHERENT VALUE. Sentient beings, in his famous phrase, are
Subjects-of-a-Life in the sense that “their experiential life fares well or
ill
for them, logically independently of their utility for others and logically
independently of their being the object of anyone else’s interests.”

Accordingly, he wrote that nonhuman animals “have a distinctive kind of
value
– inherent value – and are not to be viewed or treated as mere
receptacles,” a
point he stressed at length in *The Case For Animal Rights* and throughout
his
career.

In later years, Regan criticized Singer’s acquiescence in scientific
experiments
on nonhuman animals if the experiments were claimed by the experimenters to
have
a potential to save more HUMAN lives or to mitigate more HUMAN diseases.
Regan
challenged the media’s reflexive reference to Singer as the “father of
animal
rights” which, he said in a discussion about making monkeys suffer for human
benefit, is not so. He wrote: “The Peter Singer interviewed on the BBC2
program
does not believe that nonhuman animals have basic moral rights. As early as
1978, three years after the publication of Animal Liberation, he explicitly
disavowed this belief.” (Tom Regan Replies to Peter Singer
<http://animalfreedom.org/english/column/peter_singer.html>)

Tom Regan in his work following *The Case For Animal Rights* evinced a
lyrical
gift, writing expressively and movingly about animals and about his own
early
life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and his evolution from being an avid
boyhood
fisherman and meat eater to becoming a passionate vegan advocate for
animals and
animal rights.

A True Pioneer

Tom Regan is a true pioneer of the Animal Rights Movement. He laid
philosophical
groundwork even for those who may not now know him as well as they should
and, I
hope, will. Regan had an emotional and artistic sensibility which he
combined
with his academic polemics to produce powerful speaking and writing for
animals
and animal rights.

I attended his outdoor presentations in the 1980s and later, where he said
of
the Establishment versus himself: “They say we’re EXTREMISTS for caring
about
animals! I AM an EXTREMIST. I am EXTREMELY against animal abuse, and I am
against it All the Time!”

This is a paraphrase of a speech I heard him give one year. It was
passionate
and fiery and interesting too when you compare that oratory with his
earliest
foray into animal rights in a clip from The Animals Film
<http://www.theanimalsfilm.com> where he appears
reading from a paper with his head down, but delivering words that echo in
all
of us who are working for animals and animal rights to this day and always
will.

I am eternally grateful to Professor Tom Regan for his establishment, in
philosophy and the arts, of the case for animal rights. And I am honored by
his
kind words of appreciation for my own animal rights work through United
Poultry
Concerns in his 2013 Interview with the Eugene Veg Education Network, which
you
can – and must! – read here:

Eugene Veg Education Network Interview with Tom Regan
<http://www.eugeneveg.org/pdf/Interviews/Interview-Tom_Regan.pdf>

TELL THE USDA TO STOP PROTECTING ANIMAL ABUSERS

Animal welfare advocates rely on the transparency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to publicly post regular inspection reports on thousands of commercial dog breeding operators, Tennessee Walking horse show participants, roadside zoos, aquariums, circuses, research labs, and other facilities regulated under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA).

On February 3, the USDA purged its website of all these reports with no warning or explanation. This outrageous action undermines longstanding consensus about public access to information concerning these laws and frustrates public interest, state, local, and industry efforts to help enforce them.

Animals held in research facilities and puppy mills are shielded from public view, therefore these records are essential to ensure that these dogs, monkeys, rabbits, and other animals are receiving basic care.

The USDA is changing the equation for the worse for animals and the public with this abrupt and destructive move. Your voice is needed to ensure that these records are restored.

TAKE ACTION
Please send a message to the USDA and let them know, in no uncertain terms, that they should not be permitted to withhold this vital information and should instead continue to keep those who are responsible for complying with federal law accountable for their actions.

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Dear United States Department of Agriculture,

I was shocked and concerned to learn that all inspection reports on thousands of commercial dog breeding operators, Tennessee Walking horse show participants, roadside zoos, aquariums, circuses, research labs, and other facilities regulated under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA) were scrubbed from your website on February 3.

These reports are crucial to those of us who wish to protect animals from exploitation and abuse. Furthermore, they are the product of taxpayer dollars and there is no justifiable reason for these regularly requested public records to not be posted online.

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This action alert is for U.S. residents only. International advocates, please visit Humane Society International for ways you can take action for animals.

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Could Going Vegan Save Millions Of Lives? Who would have thought?