A sweet reunification during IFAW wildlife assessments in Barbuda

Barbuda Environment officer Alexander Desuza dog after hurricane irmaBarbuda Environment officer Alexander Desuza’s dog greets him as he arrives at his home to bring fresh food to her.

Alexander Desuza pulled up to a white cement house and jumped out of our assessment vehicle, calling out for his two dogs. He had stayed on Barbuda during Hurricane Irma, and was evacuated shortly after the storm. Unfortunately, he was unable to bring his dogs with him and this was his first time back at his home to see if his dogs were doing well.

One dog was patiently waiting on the porch and the second dog emerged from the rubble near his home. Both excitedly wagged their tails at the sight of Alexander. As a Barbuda environment officer, he knows the island well and was driving our team of wildlife assessment experts around the island’s mangroves and wetlands. Our job was to note the damage done to wildlife habitats and identify species present. Barbuda’s wetlands provide critical habitats for key species, like Whistle Ducks and Yellow Barbuda Warblers.

While it was important for our team to begin work, it was also important for us to make sure Alexander’s dogs survived Hurricane Irma’s aftermath.

The dogs were in good condition, mostly stressed from the changes and unfamiliarity of the past week. Once they saw Alexander, they calmed down and were able to eat some food. He also gave them water.

It was heartbreaking to see so many animals without their families and without physical homes (95 percent of Barbuda’s houses were destroyed). IFAW is committed to the care of all animals. Our assignment on this trip was to help the Ministry of the Environment assess wildlife – and we have already made reports on the wildlife we did locate.

Alexander Desuza, a Barbuda Environment officer, speaks with another member of the Ministry of the Environment prior to arrival on Barbuda for a day of wildlife assessment.Alexander Desuza, a Barbuda Environment officer, speaks with another member of the Ministry of the Environment prior to arrival on Barbuda for a day of wildlife assessment.

It was a heartwarming moment to witness such a beautiful relationship between a man and his dogs – a trio who clearly love each other deeply.

The people of Barbuda have started to rebuild their lives, and the community has put a plan in place that includes their animals. We look forward to supporting Barbuda, its people and wildlife as they build back even stronger. Please keep up with our Hurricane Irma relief efforts as we help communities and wildlife in the Caribbean!

–JG

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DAMN DAIRY

http://www.upc-online.org/alerts/170911_damn_dairy.html#.WbwQ0bsBpic.facebook

 by Karen Davis, PhD

This article derives from an impromptu comment I posted on September 8, 2017 following an article in Animals 24-7:“What is ‘the dairy industry’?”

A calf being licked by her mother.

All I ever had to see of the dairy industry to hate it were images of calves torn from their mothers to be isolated, tremblingly, in solitary crates and hutches. All I ever had to hear were the mothers crying for their stolen newborns. This is not just big dairy operations; it is dairy farming. I remember back in the 1970s being taken by a friend to a small dairy farm in Pennsylvania and seeing the cows and the mud and the cement milking “parlor” and the milking machinery. That was my first glimpse of a bizarre and sickening business considered by everyone I grew up with as “normal.” In fact, it wasn’t “considered” at all.

Whenever possible, I post comments to food section articles in The Washington Post and elsewhere pushing back against claims that the mammary milk stolen from mother cows and goats is “necessary” for human calcium; in reality, interspecies mammary milk is not even digestible by the majority of the human population. Even if it were, the business would be what it is, ugly. Despite the machinery, packaging and other things between themselves and the cow or goat, consumers of mammary-gland products are essentially sucking the nipples of a nursing mother robbed of her baby and her baby’s birthright.

I’m one of those people who never realized for the longest time that in order to produce milk, a cow, like all mammals, has to be pregnant. Reading “The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals” in 1983 turned on a light bulb in my brain. That cookbook described how dairy cows have been genetically manipulated to produce such an unnatural amount of milk for human consumption that their udders drag on the milking parlor floor and workers tramp on those swollen, dragging udders without a thought.

The cows, meanwhile, are drained of the calcium they need for their own bones, which are being depleted in order to produce milk for cheese pizzas and anything else it can be poured into for profit. Like hens manipulated for excessive egg shell production, dairy cows develop osteoporosis and painful lameness. They develop mastitis, a painful infection in their udders that leaks pus into their milk. A man who grew up on a family dairy farm in Maryland once told me that they sometimes inserted large antibiotic syringes directly into the cow’s udders to treat the infection.

The bodies of dairy cows are disproportioned by the weight and drag of their abnormal udders, and the cows have to be gotten rid of as soon as they no longer pay their way. Like hens bred for egg production, the cows’ bodies are mere envelopes for their ovaries; after that, they’re done with.

In her book Slaughterhouse, Gail Eisnitz writes that every hamburger contains about 100 “spent” dairy cows. Think about that the next time you pass by the wormy messes in the meat display counter.

Book cover: Slaughterhouse

Slaughterhouse was first published in 1997. Twenty years ago, Gail Eisnitz bore witness to events that are the same today as they were then: Your worst nightmares are “normal agricultural practices.” (See my review of Slaughterhouse.)

Articles I’ve read in agribusiness publications about cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs and other farmed animals being locked in a building in which a fire broke out, quote the “humane” family farmer: “At least no one got hurt.” I recall an article about a small dairy farm’s cows – those who did not die in the barn fire but were suffering badly from smoke inhalation – being held without help on the farm until the auction truck came to take them away.

Farmers are not sentimental about “their” animals, and this is a source of pride with them. Yet they have no problem creating smarmy, cloyingly sentimental and dishonest ads on TV and elsewhere about their “wholesome” enterprise and their “humane” animal care – anything to anesthetize the public. Each time I see one of these “dairy pure” types of ads with a farmer holding an inert newborn calf (just taken away from his or her mother), I want to puke and weep with sadness and disgust.

I want all forms of animal agribusiness to be abolished forever asap. I support whatever will make that happen. I will never stop working for an animal-free food supply and for animals themselves until I die trying.

Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns

How the chaos of Hurricane Katrina helped save pets from flooding in Texas  

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/08/31/how-the-chaos-of-hurricane-katrina-helped-save-pets-from-flooding-in-texas/?utm_term=.7ea77055919f
 August 31

People and their pets seek shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Aug. 28. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

As Hurricane Harvey pelted Houston with heavy rains over the weekend, a local television news station broadcast footage of flood evacuees sitting outsidethe George R. Brown Convention Center. The people weren’t waiting for space inside what would become a massive emergency shelter. They were choosing to remain outdoors because their pets were not allowed in with them.

That policy changed within a day, after a top elected official made clear both humans and animals were welcome at the city’s evacuation centers.

“We all saw what followed Hurricane Katrina, where people weren’t allowed to keep their pets with them, so they said, ‘Well, never mind, we’ll just stay outside,’” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told reporters Sunday evening. “We obviously don’t want that to happen.”

Emmett wasn’t making just a passing reference to the catastrophe that hit New Orleans in 2005. During that disaster, many residents stayed put — and died in some cases — rather than heed rescuers’ instructions to leave pets behind as waters inundated homes. Others faced wrenching choices when they arrived at shelters that would not allow animals. One small white dog, Snowball, became a national symbol of these emotional separations after he was taken from the arms of a child who was boarding a bus to Texas that did not take pets. The boy cried so hard, according to an Associated Press report, he vomited.

One 2006 poll found 44 percent of people who chose not to evacuate during Katrina did so because they did not want to abandon their pets. Even so, the Louisiana SPCA estimated, more than 100,000 pets were left behind and as many as 70,000 died throughout the Gulf Coast.

A dozen years later, Katrina is viewed as a watershed moment in planning for pets during natural disasters. It changed federal and state policies — and, animal advocates and experts say, made clear Americans have widely embraced the idea of dogs and cats as family members.

“You saw pictures of dogs standing on roofs and cats swimming in these toxic waters, and there was a huge public outcry,” said journalist David Grimm, who wrote about the impact in his book, “Citizen Canine.” Katrina “was a real turning point,” he added, “where suddenly it wasn’t just, ‘This is how I view my pets.’ It’s, ‘This is how everyone views their pets.’”


Volunteers in boats rescue people and their pets from neighborhoods near Interstate 45 in Houston on Aug. 29. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

At the time, emergency management plans took only people into account. The result was an ad hoc approach to animals, with some responders flat-out turning away dogs and others agreeing to evacuate them. Animal protection groups, which quickly became overwhelmed with displaced critters separated from their owners, often found themselves at odds with local and state officials, recalled Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States.

The sense that systems had failed both pets and people quickly reached Capitol Hill. In 2006, Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation requiring local and state authorities who want federal emergency grants to include pets in disaster plans. It authorized the use of federal funds for pet-friendly emergency shelters.

Snowball was the impetus.

“The dog was taken away from this little boy, and to watch his face was a singularly revealing and tragic experience,” Rep. Tom Lantos said at the time. The California Democrat, who died in 2008, sponsored the House version of the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act — legislation “born at that moment” with Snowball, Lantos said.

More than 30 U.S. states now have laws that address disaster planning for pets and service animals. Texas requires its emergency management officials to help localities devise plans “for the humane evacuation, transport and temporary sheltering of service animals and household pets in a disaster.”

Not all evacuation centers in Texas are accepting pets this week, but many are accommodating them in separate areas or coordinating with off-site shelters to house them. In San Antonio, for instance, a state-run reception center for Harvey evacuees routes pets to a city-run animal shelter, after assigning them and owners individual ID numbers that will help reunite them later.

The images and stories out of Southeast Texas — of rescue boats loaded with dogs and people — are far different from those that emerged during Katrina. Lisa Eicher’s experience offers just one example. When the Conroe, Tex., resident woke Monday, floodwaters had nearly submerged the 15 feet of steps up to the first floor of her family’s home. Before she, her husband and four children could pack more than a garbage bag of clothes, firefighters had rolled up outside in a muddy dump truck and were telling them to leave.

“We have two kids with Down syndrome, a pig and a three-legged dog,” Eicher recalled telling them.

“Sounds good,” one firefighter responded. “Let’s do this.”

Soon Eicher’s husband and a firefighter were helping Pip, a terrier mix, swim across the murky water. Next up was Penny, a mottled potbellied pig that floated on a yellow life jacket.

“A dog is one thing, but a pig is different,” Eicher said in a phone interview from Austin, where the family — pets included — are staying with friends. “I was worried that we weren’t going to be able to bring her. … The fact that they were so good with our pets was really sweet and meant a lot.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society both greatly expanded their disaster response divisions after Katrina. The latter now has memorandums of understanding with many local organizations and localities — including the Houston suburbs of League City and Dickinson — that allow for more nimble and organized responses, Pacelle said.

“In a general sense, Katrina was the teaching moment in the United States for people to understand … that the lives of humans and animals in our communities are intertwined,” he said. “You couldn’t look at individuals. You had to look at the family group when you approached disaster response.”

Animals that do not remain with owners also have more places to go these days, advocates say. As Harvey approached, several Texas shelters shipped dogs and cats out to distant facilities to make room for furry refugees. Those far-off places, such as the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, in turn revved up adoptions to clear even more space.

“We’re working nonstop to get out every single animal that was currently adoptable in some of these cities where we know that these evacuees are going to need to come,” said Katie Jarl, senior state director in Texas for the Humane Society. The organization sent more than 100 shelter animals out of San Antonio between Monday and Wednesday.


The first rescue dog is offloaded as St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey welcomes nearly 100 dogs displaced by the hurricane in Texas. (Bob Karp/Daily Record/AP)

Much of the movement is relying on sophisticated transport networks, many of which grew out of the chaos during Katrina. On Tuesday night at 10 p.m., eight mixed-breed dogs — labs, hounds and pit bulls — arrived at the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in Bridgewater, N.J. They had come from San Antonio on a plane flown by Wings of Rescue, a California-based charity that uses private aircraft to fly animals from high-kill southern shelters to northern areas where euthanasia rates are lower.

“We saw a lot of dogs out of that plane getting a second life,” said Brian Bradshaw, who manages the Somerset shelter. “By helping these animals, we are also helping people, and that goes hand in hand.”

The Harvey efforts are by no means “copacetic or settled,” Pacelle said. Citing health concerns, some emergency shelters are turning away people with pets, as are hotels — though both face shaming on social media when they do so. The corporation that owns Holiday Inn Express apologized this week after reportsthat its Katy, Tex., hotel rejected a family with three dogs.

And though animal advocates say arrangements have greatly improved since 2005, they are still not ideal for some pet owners. One Corpus Christi couple who evacuated to San Antonio opted to go to a hotel after learning their dog would be temporarily housed at the city-run shelter, rather than with them at an evacuation center.

“This isn’t a dog. This is a child,” Kevin Pogue told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. “I’m not going to be separated from my child; it’s that simple.”

That Pogue’s sentiment is now enshrined in legal code, which has long viewed pets as property, is one of Katrina’s lasting legacies.

“Pets essentially became members of society: You rescue the people, and you also try to rescue the cats and dogs,” said Grimm, the journalist. “Nobody is passing laws saying you should rescue the toasters. It’s really a huge, fundamental shift that happened.”

Stephanie Kuzydym and Emily Wax in Houston contributed to this report. 

Read more:

These rescuers take shelter animals on road trips to help them find new homes

Harvey is also displacing snakes, fire ants and gators

A photo of a dog carrying a bag of food after a storm hit Texas went viral. Here’s his story.

Harvey is a 1,000-year flood event unprecedented in scale

HSUS Harvey Update: Search and rescue operations underway

HSUS logo
Our Animal Rescue Team is on the ground right now helping animals impacted by the massive flooding and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Upon our arrival in Texas City, we learned that the most urgent needs were in Dickinson and League City, where our help was requested by officials. My team is conducting animal search and rescue missions with Dickinson Animal Control. We are responding in flooded areas where roads remain impassible to rescue pets from their deluged homes.

ART van driving through floodThe flooding is so severe that road closures will have our team marooned in place until some flooding subsides.

But we’ve purchased food and crates to temporarily house animals who are rescued from the field—and we’ll ensure they have a soft and warm place to rest.

We’re also transporting animals who were available for adoption before the storm in San Antonio to other states to make room for displaced pets.

Thank you so much for your support, and please stay tuned for another update tomorrow.

Sara Varsa
Sára Varsa
Senior Director, Animal Cruelty, Rescue and Response

Canadians Killed More Than 750 Million Animals For Food in 2015

 

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Slaughter reports from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reveal that we killed at least 750,409,569 land animals for food in 2015.This is an increase from previous years, mostly due to an increase in the number of chickens killed. In recent years, we’ve killed roughly 620 million chickens each year. This number jumped to 640 million in 2014 and 660 million in 2015.

Here are the total number of animals slaughtered in Canada in 2015 by species:

Meat chickens: 660,959,987

Egg-layer hens: 36,526,578

Turkeys: 21,477,602

Ducks and geese: 5,989,919

Pigs: 21,186,243

Adult cows: 2,672,806

Calves: 225,530

Sheeps and lambs: 557,851

Goats: 61,048

Bisons: 14,186

Rabbits: 669,873

Horses: 67,946

These numbers don’t include:

  • More than 90 million tonnes of fin fishes like salmons (they are only counted by weight) killed in Canadian fish farms.
  • Tens of millions of male chicks killed at birth in the egg industry.
  • Millions of animals who died of disease or injuries on farms or en route to slaughter.
  • Thousands of deers, elks, and wild boars killed in Canadian slaughterhouses for which 2015 data is not available.

Photo: Louise Jorgensen, taken outside a chicken slaughterhouse in Toronto.

United Airlines accounted for a third of animal deaths on U.S. flights in last 5 years

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/04/26/united-airlines-animal-deaths-flights/100925100/

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The death of a giant rabbit on a United Airlines flight from London to Chicago focused the spotlight again on the carrier that has struggled with more than one-third of U.S. animal deaths aboard flights during the last five years.

United had 53 animals die on its flights from January 2012 through February 2017, the most recent month available, according to the Transportation Department’s Air Travel Consumer Report. That compared with a total of 136 animals that died on all flights of airlines.

In a statement, United said it was saddened by news of the death of Simon, a 3-foot Continental Giant rabbit, on the flight to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

“The safety and well-being of all the animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team,” United said in the statement. “We have been in contact with our customer and have offered assistance. We are reviewing this matter.”

The rabbit’s breeder, Annette Edwards, said the animal had an exam three hours before the flight and was fit as a fiddle.

Onboard animal deaths don’t necessarily mean an airline was negligent, as revealed in summaries of department investigations.

Among the four deaths on United flights in January, a Jan. 28 incident involving Hope, a 9-year-old cat, was suspected as heart failure, according to the department. Rocco, a dog, died on a flight Jan. 21 from a cardiac abnormality due to congenital heart disease, according to the medical exam. Two geckos were found dead upon arriving at Raleigh-Durham airport on Jan. 12, but no medical exam was performed.

The department requires airlines to report any deaths, injuries or lost animals from flights with at least 60 seats.

Transporting pets has become contentious in recent years as more passengers seek to bring emotional-support animals in the cabin with them. While pleasing the owners, the larger number of animals that include birds, pigs and monkeys has sometimes upset fellow passengers.

The department considered limiting the species or sizes of animals but hasn’t acted yet. Another concern for pet owners is what might happen when animals in portable boxes are transported with checked luggage.

United didn’t have the worst statistics when compared with how many animals it was transporting during the last couple of years.

During 2016, when United transported 109,149 animals, it had incidents of deaths or injuries in 2.11 out of every 10,000 animals, according the department. Hawaiian Airlines, which transported only 7,518 animals, had a higher rate of 3.99 deaths or injuries out of every 10,000 animals.

During 2015, when United transported 97,156 animals, it had 2.37 incidents per 10,000 animals, according to the department. Envoy Air, which transported only 1,673 animals, had 5.98 incidents per 10,000 animals.

United hasn’t always been near the top of these statistics. In 2010 and 2011, Delta Air Lines had the most deaths with 16 and 19, respectively, for nearly half the deaths in those years. But since then, Delta’s totals dropped significantly, to five deaths and five injuries last year, or 1.23 incidents out of every 10,000 animals.

Delta’s latest animal policy updated in March 2016 allows for pets either in the cabin or cargo for flights less than 12 hours. If the animal’s carrying case fits under a seat (other than international business or Delta One seating), it can count as one of two carry-on bags so long as the airline is notified 48 hours in advance. In cargo, a separate booking is required 14 days in advance. Members of the military and foreign service with orders to move can transport a pet as checked baggage.

“We know that pets are important members of the family, that’s why we updated our pet travel options over a year ago to ultimately ensure that we have a high-quality, consistent service for pets when their owners choose to ship them with Delta Cargo,” said Ashton Morrow, a Delta spokeswoman.

Seven airlines didn’t transport animals in cargo at all last year: Allegiant, Frontier, JetBlue, National, Southwest, Spirit and Virgin America.

More than 350 animals

Matted dogs

From HSUS.org

We are finding dogs living in inches of their own urine and feces, with coats matted so heavily that they can barely walk, puppies choking on toxic fumes and many animals suffering from a variety of skin and eye conditions.

Animals rescued from neglect

Sadly, it isn’t just dogs and puppies who are suffering.

So far, our Animal Rescue Team has found more than 350 neglected animals — including cats, donkeys, a horse, bunnies, chickens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep and an alpaca.

Jim, the cruelty we’re witnessing is heart-wrenching. We will stay here until every animal is on their way to a better life.

This rescue is only possible with the help of compassionate supporters like you.
Thank you so much,
Sára Varsa
Senior Director, Animal Cruelty, Rescue and Response

Fossey Fund trackers save young gorilla from snare

https://gorillafund.org/fossey-fund-trackers-save-young-gorilla-snare/?utm_source=Gorilla+List&utm_campaign=55d6ab2251-FashaUpdate_2017_04_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_335decb1af-55d6ab2251-72515689&mc_cid=55d6ab2251&mc_eid=40a04b9ac4

It’s been a very stressful time for one of the mountain gorilla groups we monitor every day in Rwanda’s Volcanoes mountains. Isabukuru’s group faced the death of its leader late last month, and yesterday our trackers found one of the youngsters from this group caught in a snare.

Although no gorillas in the groups we protect had been caught in snares since November 2015, Fossey Fund staff have concerned about recent increases in the numbers of snares seen, many of which have been close to the gorilla groups. When our trackers arrived in Isabukuru’s group yesterday and noticed immediately that 3-year-old Fasha was not in the group, they began a search for him and found a deactivated snare nearby.

Soon they located Fasha by himself, with a long piece of rope around his ankle, attached to a bamboo branch. They were able to detach the branch, but the rope was wound tightly around his foot. This meant that a veterinary intervention would be necessary to have the rope removed, which requires sedation, and plans were made for this to happen today. Our trackers then waited in the forest for the rest of the day, until Fasha was able to move back to his group, since he was extremely stressed out and initially seemed to be going in the wrong direction.

Fasha with the rope from the snare on his left foot
Fasha with the rope from the snare on his left ankle

https://player.vimeo.com/video/212283403?color=ffffff&title=0&byline=0&portrait=0
Successful intervention

Today the intervention was conducted with Gorilla Doctors veterinarians, and included nine staff from the Fossey Fund, as well as Rwanda park authorities (RDB). Initially, Fasha was located close to silverback Kubaha, who has taken over the group since former leader Isabukuru died on March 26. Fasha was one of three youngsters who were receiving special protection from Isabukuru, since they all had mothers who had transferred out of the group. Luckily, Kubaha has so far taken over this protective role.

As our trackers arrived in the group, they found Fasha and others still in their night nests. When Fasha fell asleep after being sedated with a dart, our trackers were able to chase the other gorillas and keep them away during the intervention. The rope had become very tight on Fasha’s now-swollen left ankle, showing that he or other gorillas had tried to remove it, and he’d also lost a few teeth, probably while trying to bite the snare off. But the rope was successfully removed, the wound cleaned and antibiotics given, all within about 30 minutes. After resting for a short while, Fasha started moving with the group and all were feeding calmly.

Trackers play critical role

The Fossey Fund’s gorilla trackers and researchers play a critical role in this kind of situation, since it is our daily following of every gorilla in each group we protect that allows us to notice when something is wrong and to make experienced decisions in handling the situation. If our trackers had not noticed Fasha was missing, had not been able to locate him, and had not made sure he returned to his group, it is likely the outcome would have much more serious.

Thanks to support from all of our donors, we are able to provide this kind of daily, intensive protection for all of the gorillas we monitor. Help us continue this work by donating here.

USDA must rethink cyanide bombs that injured boy, killed pets, lawmaker says

This photo shows the M-44 that killed the Mansfield family's 3-year-old dog in Pocatello, Idaho.

This photo shows the M-44 that killed the Mansfield family’s 3-year-old dog in Pocatello, Idaho.  (The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office)

As was their routine, 14-year-old Canyon Mansfield and his dog raced through the backyard of his Idaho home and up the top of a nearby hill to play. Minutes later, Canyon was knocked to the ground after a cyanide bomb set by the U.S. government detonated some 350 yards from the family’s doorstep.

Canyon watched as his 3-year-old golden Labrador, Casey, lay dying, suffocating from orange-colored cyanide sprayed by an M-44 device no one had told Canyon’s family about.

“We are devastated,” the boy’s mother, Theresa Mansfield, of Pocatello, Idaho, told Fox News on Tuesday. “My dog died in less than 2 minutes. My son was rushed to the hospital covered in cyanide.”

“We had no idea they were there,” Mansfield said of the device, which she described as resembling a sprinkler head.

The dog’s death on Thursday follows a string of other recent incidents in which family pets were accidentally killed by M-44s, a controversial device used by Wildlife Services, a little-known branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture tasked with destroying animals seen as threats to people, agriculture and the environment.

Critics, including Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., say the government’s taxpayer-funded Predator Control program and its killing methods are random — and at times, illegal.

“The recent death of dogs in Idaho and Wyoming are the latest unnecessary tragedies of USDA’s Wildlife Services use of M-44 cyanide traps,” DeFazio told Fox News. “These deadly traps have killed scores of domestic animals, and sooner or later, they will kill a human.”

“It’s time to stop subsidizing ranchers’ livestock protection efforts with taxpayer dollars and end the unchecked authority of Wildlife Services once and for all,” he said.

DeFazio’s office said the lawmaker plans to reintroduce a House bill this week that, if passed into law, would ban the use of the devices for predator control.

“These deadly traps have killed scores of domestic animals, and sooner or later, they will kill a human.”

– Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.

The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Mansfield’s home on Thursday with a bomb squad to investigate the incident. The family was immediately sent to a local emergency room to be screened for cyanide exposure.

The government claims the devices are not capable of killing a child. But Idaho authorities do not agree in the case of Canyon Mansfield, who weighs only 20 pounds more than his 80-pound dog.

“He’s very lucky to be alive,” Capt. Dan Argyle of the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office said of Canyon, whose blood is still being checked for levels of cyanide.

“We’re still trying to figure out how he wasn’t affected,” Argyle told Fox News. “We think a strong wind blew it [the cyanide] downhill when the device went off — right in the dog’s direction.”

Argyle said Wildlife Services is required by law to post warning signs around the devices but said, “We did not observe any signs at the location.” Upon further inspection, authorities found a second device within yards of the Mansfield home. Both devices were planted in the ground on Feb. 25 without the family’s knowledge or consent.

Days earlier, a family walking in an area 52 miles northwest of Casper, Wyo., lost two dogs from an M-44 that detonated near a hiking trail they have walked for 20 years.

Amy Helfrieck said she heard her husband yelling on March 12 as she was antler hunting with her 8-year-old daughter, sister and brother-in-law in a prairie filled with cedar trees and rock outcroppings.

When she turned her head, Helfrieck saw her husband carrying the couple’s dog, Abby, a 15-year-old Drahthaar — a breed similar to a German wire-haired dog — down a hill.

Helfrieck, a nurse, tried to pry open the dog’s mouth.

“She was having a lot of difficulty breathing and I knew at that time she was dying,” she said.

“What I didn’t realize was that we were exposing ourselves to a very deady poison,” Helfrieck said.

Her sister’s 7-year-old Weimaraner, Molly, also was killed by the sodium cyanide trap.

In this case, Helfrieck said there were markers at the site but they were placed only 5 feet from the actual trap.

The M-44s, also known as “coyote-getters,” are designed to lure animals with a smelly bait. When an animal tugs on the device, a spring-loaded metal cylinder fires sodium cyanide powder into its mouth.

Over the years, thousands of non-target animals — wild and domestic — have been mistakenly killed by the lethal devices.

On Saturday, The Oregonian reported that a gray wolf was accidentally killed by an M-44 on private land in Oregon’s Wallowa County. The wolf death was the first documented “incidental take” of its kind in the state involving a protected animal and an M-44, fish and wildlife officials told the newspaper.

Wildlife Services said it first learned of the Wyoming incident on Monday and denied any involvement in the deaths.

Lyndsay Cole, a spokeswoman for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, told Fox News the agency does not conduct predator control using those devices in Natrona County, where the incident occurred.

Cole, however, did confirm the “unintentional lethal take” of the Mansfield family dog in Idaho.

“As a program made up of individual employees, many of whom are pet owners, Wildlife Services understands the close bonds between people and their pets and sincerely regrets such losses,” she said, noting that the agency was “very concerned” about any human exposure to the sodium cyanide.

“Wildlife Services has removed M-44s from that area, and is completing a thorough review of the circumstances of this incident,” she said.

Cole called the accidental death of family pets from M-44s a “rare occurrence,” and said Wildlife Services posts signs and issues other warnings to alert pet owners when traps are placed near their homes. She also said these devices “are only set at the request of and with permission from property owners or managers.”

The Mansfields and other familes, however, said they had no knowledge the devices were anywhere near their homes and were not familiar with how they work.

Brooks Fahy, executive director of the national wildlife advocacy organization Predator Defense, has been working for decades to ban M-44s, calling them “nothing more than land mines waiting to go off, no matter if their victim is a child, a dog or a wolf.”

“Much of the public remains totally in the dark about the fact that these deadly devices are placed on private and public lands nationwide,” Fahy told Fox News. “M-44s are totally indiscriminate. Worse yet, they are unnecessary, as the majority of the animals killed have never preyed on livestock.”

Today’s Animal Rights Headlines

‘Horrific’: Animal rights groups slam Norway for killing pregnant whales
https://www.rt.com/news/380105-norway-kills-pregnant-whales/
“Animal rights groups have slammed Norway for slaughtering pregnant
whales, calling it “even more unacceptable” as they carry the next
generation of the mammals. The criticism follows a new documentary
featuring the murder of female whales carrying a fetus.
“The documentary film dubbed ‘The Battle of Agony’, about the killing
of pregnant whales, was released on NRK, a public television network,
earlier in March.
““The majority of common minke whales caught in Norway have a fetus in
their bellies,” the film said.”

Seafood company convicted of animal cruelty for improperly killing lobster
http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2017/03/10/seafood-company-convicted-animal-cruelty-for-improperly-killing-lobster.html
“The Nicholas Seafoods company of Sydney, Australia, is in hot water
with an animal rights group for causing “immense pain” to one of its
catches.
“Australia’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
(RSPCA) reportedly observed workers from Nicholas butchering lobsters
with a band saw, before properly stunning or killing the crustaceans,
reports The Guardian.”

Animal rights protest shuts down major CBD intersection
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/animal-rights-protest-shuts-down-major-cbd-intersection-20170311-guw0bs.html
“About 600 protesters demanding the closure of Australian
slaughterhouses have shut down a major intersection in the CBD.
“The rally, organised by Animal Liberation Victoria, began on the
steps of Parliament House about midday on Saturday, before hundreds
marched down Bourke Street to occupy the intersection at Swanston
Street.”

Berkeley animal rights activist faces federal charges
http://www.dailycal.org/2017/03/09/berkeley-animal-rights-activist-races-federal-charges/
“A Berkeley resident and animal rights activist is facing federal
charges for allegedly entering a restricted area at a Bernie Sanders
rally in Modesto on June 2.
“The federal government alleged in a criminal complaint last month
that Paul Picklesimer, a member of the animal rights group Direct
Action Everywhere, boosted another activist into a sanctioned-off area
in front of the stage at the Sanders’ rally and then entered the area
himself. He is facing up to a year in jail or a fine of $100,000.”