America’s New Animal Cruelty Law Ignores 99% of Animal Cruelty

Ari Solomon    News

As an animal activist, I truly want to celebrate any step forward for animals. On one hand, it makes me very happy that President Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act into law yesterday. (And yes, it’s difficult for this diehard liberal to admit that Trump actually did something good, but even a broken clock is right twice a day).

The legislation, which passed the Senate unanimously – something truly remarkable in these divided times – expands on the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act and increases the punishment for instances of animal cruelty, making them felony crimes.

The new law was heralded by many in the animal protection movement. Kitty Block, the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, had this to say: “PACT makes a statement about American values. Animals are deserving of protection at the highest level. The approval of this measure by the Congress and the president marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law. For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.”

Now, like I said, I agree that this is a positive step. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that this new law completely ignores 99 percent of the animal cruelty that routinely takes place every single day in the United States.

According to The Washington Post, the PACT Act “outlines exemptions for humane euthanasia; slaughter for food; recreational activities such as hunting, trapping and fishing; medical and scientific research; ‘normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice’; and actions that are necessary ‘to protect the life or property of a person.’”

Of course animal cruelty to dogs and cats by private citizens should be dealt with severely. But what about the billions of animals tortured each year on America’s factory farms? Or how about the tens of thousands of animals, including dogs and cats, who are tested on and mistreated in laboratories?

Can we actually say we’re cracking down on animal cruelty when we still allow SeaWorld to keep cetaceans captive and force them to perform? Or permit insanely cruel practices like fur trapping and bow hunting?

My objective is not to trash Ms. Block or even President Trump on this issue (though Trump’s record on animals is pretty abysmal), but merely to point out that animal cruelty is still animal cruelty, even when it’s done for money or recreation or sport. In fact, we should take those cases of abuse even more seriously because they affect so many more animals. One sick fuck torturing his dog is abhorrent, but what about a business that tortures thousands in a laboratory or a puppy mill?

As society’s view of what constitutes animal cruelty evolves, so will our laws. But, in the meantime, it’s the animals who needlessly suffer day in and day out. Sadly, the PACT Act leaves the overwhelming majority of those animals no better off than they were before.

Main image: Anna Moneymaker / The New York Times 

https://veganista.co/2019/11/26/americas-new-animal-cruelty-law-ignores-99-of-animal-cruelty/

Hayden man attacked by grizzly last year makes Animal Planet television debut tonight

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/sep/04/hayden-man-attacked-by-grizzly-last-year-makes-ani/

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 4, 2019, 7:50 p.m.

After being attacked by a grizzly bear last October,  Bob Legasa has started working with Counter Assault. Here he is pictured demonstrating how to use the company’s bear spray. Legasa’s story will be featured on Animal Planet’s “I was Prey” on Wednesday. (Bob Legasa/Freeride Media / COURTESY OF FREERIDE MEDIA)
After being attacked by a grizzly bear last October, Bob Legasa has started working with Counter Assault. Here he is pictured demonstrating how to use the company’s bear spray. Legasa’s story will be featured on Animal Planet’s “I was Prey” on Wednesday. (Bob Legasa/Freeride Media / COURTESY OF FREERIDE MEDIA)

Nearly a year ago, Bob Legasa was bloody and broken in the Montana backcountry, the unfortunate recipient of the maternal fury of an adult grizzly bear.

“It certainly was something I hope I don’t have to endure again,” Legasa said this week. “As far as the emotional and physical aspect of it, I’m lucky that I didn’t get mauled. That I wasn’t being rag dolled and tossed around. It was short and sweet. Or fast and vicious.”’

Tonight, Legasa will relive his Oct. 13 experience on national television. The Hayden resident’s story will be featured on Animal Planet’s “I Was Prey” show.

This is what happened: As Legasa and his partner, Greg Gibson, walked through tall sagebrush – between 6 and 8 feet – they startled a grizzly bear cub and its mother.

The mother bear tackled Legasa. Gibson, of Sandpoint, sprayed the bear with bear spray. The bear dropped Legasa, but not before breaking his arm with her mouth and clawing his face. She then started to charge Gibson. Gibson sprayed the bear again and she retreated.

Covered in blood and nearly blind from the spray, which had blown into their faces, both men hiked out.

In February, Legasa traveled to New York for an interview for Animal Planet’s show. Legasa, who owns his own outdoors media company, said he hesitated when first asked to participate. He worried that the show would overdramatize his experience or put an “anti-hunting” spin on it.

After being attacked online by hard-core vegans last year, he wondered if appearing on a television show would again make him a target. Ultimately, he decided to do it, reasoning that it provided him a good platform to spread a few important messages.

“Hunting has been in a weird limelight lately,” he said. “It seems like there are more people that are understanding hunting … but then there are also … some activist groups that are really going hard on trying to cut down or stop hunting.”

1 / 3

In February, Hayden resident Bob Legasa was interviewed by Animal Planet for their show “I was Prey.” Last fall, Legasa was attacked and injured by a mother grizzly bear while bowhunting for elk in Montana. The episode featuring Legasa will air Wednesday Sept. 4, 2019. (Animal Planet / COURTESY)

Legasa hopes to emphasize on the show that he hunts for many reasons. He loves being in the mountains and the challenge of stalking prey. He enjoys the pride and accomplishment of killing an animal that provides food for him and his family.

Showing the diverse reasons people hunt is a job many hunters are increasingly taking upon themselves. Only 5% of Americans 16 years and older hunt, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study published in 2017. Fifty years ago, 10% of Americans 16 years and older hunted. Those decreased numbers mean that fewer people, especially in urban areas, know anyone who hunts.

“I was hoping that I could at least get a positive message across in that respect,” Legasa said.

In addition to burnishing the reputation of hunters, Legasa hopes to reiterate the importance of carrying bear spray, for hunters and nonhunters alike. Since his attack, he’s done promotional and testimonial work for Counter Assault bear spray, “preaching that bear spray works.”

“It should be the first line of defense,” he said. “It just gives you a better option than shooting.”

In Legasa’s case, if the two hadn’t had bear spray, they would have been out of luck. Because the bear was on top of Legasa, Gibson wouldn’t have been able to safely shoot the bear with his handgun.

With hunters and hikers heading to the hills this fall, that message couldn’t be more important.

As for Legasa, he’s mostly recovered from the attack last year. While he still has some residual pain from where the bear broke his arm, it hasn’t slowed him too much. Emotionally, he said the fallout has been minimal. Although recently, he did have his first bear-related dream.

“It wasn’t a nightmare, but there was a bear running at me,” he said. “It made me think for a second.”

That won’t stop him from hunting this year. In a week, he’s again heading to Montana for 12 days of bow hunting for elk.

“I’m going to get back on that horse and ride,” he said. “This is in my DNA. Being in the mountains is good for my soul. I’m just counting the days until I get back out there.”

Family Wants Answers After Cat Fatally Shot With Arrow

Follow KDKA-TVFacebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A family pet in Brookline is dead after police say someone shot it through the chest with an arrow. The Orr family is now demanding answers and asking police to investigate.

Nathan Orr said he heard his cat, Ollie, meowing very loudly and in pain on Saturday night.

“I thought my cat was fighting with another cat and I looked out of the window and saw he had an arrow through his back and out of his chest,” said Orr. “And unfortunately my kids also witnessed that.”

ollie cat killed Family Wants Answers After Cat Fatally Shot With Arrow

(Photo Courtesy: Orr Family)

Orr said his two sons, ages 6 and 3, are devastated after this tragedy. The family lives on Elmbank Street, a dead-end street lined with single-family homes.

“It’s not a good first brush with a loved one passing on [for the boys],” said Orr. “It was a cat, but it was part of our family. Ollie was a part of our family.”

Orr thinks that someone targeted his cat.

“It looked deliberate,” said Orr. “Due to the fact that it was a target practice arrow leads me to believe it wasn’t a hunting accident.”

There is a wooded area behind Orr’s home, but not one that allows hunting.

ollie cat Family Wants Answers After Cat Fatally Shot With Arrow

(Photo Courtesy: Orr Family)

Orr said he rushed Ollie to an emergency vet in Castle Shannon, but it was too late. The arrow had punctured the cat’s lungs. He said he will now focus on comforting his fiancé, two sons and wait for police to investigate.

“They took it hard, they took it very hard,” said Orr. “Especially when we told my 3-year-old that he had to say goodbye.”

Pittsburgh Police’s Humane Officer Christine Luffey said she plans to knock on every door along Elmbank Street to investigate this incident.

Orr said that Ollie was an indoor cat, but every once in a while he would make a break for the backyard. He said he always stayed in the yard near the bushes. Orr thinks that’s where he was when he was struck with the arrow.

Officer Luffey told KDKA she wants to remind all cat owners to keep their cats inside because they face too many dangers outside: including being hit by vehicles, contracting diseases, being hurt by other animals, and human cruelty.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Pittsburgh Police.

If you’d like to donate to help cover the Orr family’s veterinarian bills, click here https://www.gofundme.com/JusticeForOllie

Comments (2)

“I didn’t do anything [currently] illegal.”

“I didn’t do anything illegal.”  

That was the feeble excuse made by Blake Fischer, the Idaho Fish & Game commissioner who—like so many others before him—posed grinning and gloating in one morbid photo after another with the animals he’d mindlessly murdered.

How many leopards must be reduced to props for these tweaked sportsmen’s arrogant pleasures, before the laws protecting them are brought into at least the 20th century?

He might not have done anything “illegal,” but impaling to death with arrows and posing alongside an entire family of freshly-killed baboons breaks a lot of taboos, besides being in excessively poor taste for a supposed wildlife official.

And although his actions may not currently be “illegal,” who could really blame someone for doing something in response that was?

 

Psychopathic killers should not be placed in charge of threatened, endangered, or other wild animal species. Please call for Blake Fischer to be relieved of his position by contacting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at 208-334-3700 or posting a comment on the department’s Facebook page.

SADDLE RIVER CONSIDERS PLANS TO CULL DEER POPULATION

http://bronx.news12.com/story/38658997/saddle-river-considers-plans-to-cull-deer-population

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 7:20 PM PDTUpdated: Jul 17, 2018 2:15 AM PDT

Pause

Unmute

Current Time1:29
/
Duration Time1:58
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%

Fullscreen




SADDLE RIVER –Saddle River officials are considering some plans to cull the town’s deer population.

Local lawmakers were supposed to vote Monday night on whether to reduce the population by killing the animals, but that vote was postponed.

The ordinance that lawmakers were considering would have allowed the United Bow Hunters of New Jersey to kill deer over the next two years.

Supporters of the plan say that the deer are eating plants in the town and bring about the threat of Lyme disease. They also say that reducing the deer population will also help reduce car accidents.

But other said that the ordinance was too vague. It did not indicated how many deer were to be killed or if neighbors are to be notified of the hunt.

There was also a question as to if $5 million in liability insurance was enough if there was an accident during the hunt.

Other opponents say that killing the animals, especially by bow hunting, is cruel.

It is believed that 200 to 400 deer roam around Saddle River.

The Saddle Brook Borough Council will now rewrite the resolution and vote on it at a later date.

Good News: Arrows removed from Oregon deer shot through face, body

http://komonews.com/news/local/arrows-removed-from-oregon-deer-shot-through-face-body

Oregon State Police investigating after deer shot with arrows (photo from Oregon State Police)

AA

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon State Police say authorities have removed arrows from two deer, one of which was shot through its face.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Thursday that the deer in the Shady Cove area were shot illegally. Authorities began receiving calls about the deer last week.

The adult doe and a yearling doe, shot through the head and body, have been released in good health and without visible infection.

A reward for information leading to the arrest or citation of those responsible for the shooting has been bumped to $2,600.

Steve Niemela, Rogue District Wildlife Biologist, said the deer have a very good chance of survival.

Mass shootings do not reflect human nature

by David Cantor

In the aftermath of mass murders, as in Las Vegas, we constantly hear that killing others arises from human nature. Filmmaker Ken Burns stated in his “Fresh Air” interview about his recent release on the Vietnam War, “War is human nature in spades.”

Yet, during my 28 years studying human beings’ killing of others, I discovered this from the leading expert on training human beings to kill in war, psychologist Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, in “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society,” “[D]espite an unbroken tradition of violence and war, man is not by nature a killer.” Grossman invokes findings that even with military training and indoctrination, many soldiers deliberately fire over the enemy’s head.

As consistently indicated in a great many sources on morality in human beings and other animals, we see human nature in the altruistic, protective, compassionate, and cooperative behavior that takes hold in the aftermath of mass murder, in mass resistance to war, and in spontaneous celebration of war’s end.

This distinction is crucial for understanding and preventing violence and murder and for responding to perpetrators. If killing were natural, we would not collectively be so horrified by it. Maybe it would be OK for authorities to “lie us into war” if “we” could benefit at the expense of “them.” Instead, we experience moral injury from our representative government’s promoting official violence while demonizing killers acting on their own.

We reward and celebrate peacemakers and officers who make arrests without killing or injuring the accused. We teach children how to get along with other human beings, not how to kill them because it is “natural” to do so.

For killing to manifest an animal’s biological nature, the animal must have body parts adapted to killing other animals and to protecting against prospective victims’ defenses. It helps to have thick, tough skin; long, hard claws and powerful muscles for wielding them; long fangs and strong jaw and head muscles to sink them between a victim’s vertebrae; back and limbs especially suited to pouncing and chasing.

Obviously, human beings do not possess such physical traits.

As detailed in “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating” by Milton R. Mills, M.D., human beings have none of the anatomical or physiological traits that define animals who evolved in nature to kill other animals – the above plus an omnivore’s or carnivore’s dentition, saliva, and digestive tract. In nature, killing is mostly for eating. No naturally occurring human “equipment” correlates with that function.

Humans evolved as plant-foraging apes on the African savanna, with color vision good for distinguishing a great variety of edible leaves, fruits, berries, flowers, and other plants that eventually led to what we call “produce” when our species began living unnaturally through agriculture; versatile digits and nails adapted to picking, plucking, peeling; teeth good for tearing and grinding plants – not for ripping and scarfing flesh.

Human beings’ organized killing relies on innovation, not nature – on manufactured weapons, traps, rope and, more recently, poison, electrical current, toxic fumes. For killing, our elaborate imaginative and cooperative capabilities, adapted to avoiding predation and raising families while moving about the landscape foraging for plants to eat, are distorted to plan and coordinate assaults, attacks, murders, wars, eliminationist campaigns, and executions.

Our bodies alone – our original, natural condition – aid us in spotting our natural predators, grabbing children and fleeing, defending with rocks and tree branches, not in actively planning, organizing, and setting out to kill.

In making policies and establishing practices with regard to nonhuman animals, human beings and governments typically analyze the kind of animal involved. Except that other animals’ sentience, emotions, and intelligence are denied because our innate humaneness rebels against injuring and killing.

It is peculiar indeed that we craft policies and perpetuate practices for our own species based on ignorance of such a basic fact of our animality as whether or not it is natural for us to kill.

A native Chestnut Hiller and 1973 graduate of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, David Cantor is founder and director of Responsible Policies for Animals, in Glenside – www.RPAforAll.org.

Tonka’s Law, named for dog shot by hunter, unveiled on Facebook

READINGTON TWP. — When Elizabeth Mongno’s dog was killed after being mistakenly shot by a crossbow hunter, she wished for legislation to help avoid this from happening again.

After working with state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-20th), she may be getting just that.

Lesniak will be hosting a Facebook live press conference at the Mongno’s home on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to announce Tonka’s Law, named after the Mongno’s 1-year-old Alaskan Shepard, who killed by an arrow in September.

Tonka was killed less than 100 feet from Mongno’s property line when the dog ran after deer and was mistaken as a coyote by a hunter who had been given permission to be on a nearby property by a neighbor. The hunter apologized to the family and is facing charges.

The bill will change the current law to increase the buffer between hunting and residential properties from 150 to 450 feet.

The current law was put in place in 2010, when the buffer was decreased from 450 feet, a decision Lesniak voted against.

“It was a big mistake, we recognized it then, but often times tragedies have to happen before it’s recognized by the legislature or the governor,” he said.

Dog who stayed by dead pup's side is rescued

Dog who stayed by dead pup’s side is rescued

Dog taken to area shelter.

Because the legislation passed overwhelmingly in 2010, Lesniak said it’s important for constituents to contact their elected officials to support Tonka’s Law.

The bill, co-sponsored with state Sen. Kip Batemen (R-16th), will not only attempt to put the original law back in place, but also provide better notice to property owners when hunting is going on near them, he said.

“People can give, and do give, permission for hunters to use their property. People living there aren’t aware of the nearness and the need to take extra precaution,” he said.

The Facebook live will include a Q&A session from residents invited to the home and from commenters on Facebook. Lesniak said he will answer any issue regarding the protection of pets and animals.

Lesniak wanted to present the bill over Facebook live because the House is out of session, and he wanted to announce it before session began.

“We certainly want to avoid any more tragedies like poor Tonka being killed,” he said.

“We miss Tonka so much,” Mongno said in a Facebook post. “Hopefully some good changes will come from this.”

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FElizabethMongno%2Fposts%2F10155884524392147&width=500

Another deer hunter falls out of tree stand

http://www.news-sentinel.com/news/local-news/2017/10/15/archery-deer-hunter-seriously-injured-in-tree-stand-fall-in-steuben-county/

ANGOLA — Indiana conservation officers are investigating a fall from a tree stand that seriously injured an archery deer hunter Saturday evening in Steuben County.

Mark Neuhaus, 50, of Angola was archery hunting on private ground just northeast of Angola when he fell about 16 feet while climbing into his deer stand at around 5:30 p.m., according to Indiana Conservation Officer James Price.

TV hunting shows and trail cameras

http://www.kystandard.com/content/straight-arrow-tv-hunting-shows-and-trail-cameras

Straight Arrow

By Gene Culver

I get a lot of customers in the archery shop who ask about equipment they have seen on some of the bowhunting shows on TV. Some of the stuff they ask about is good; some not so much. But what worries me about the shows is how they lead viewers, especially young bowhunters, to believe that there are tons of trophy bucks running around and they make it seem pretty easy to harvest one of these trophies.

I caught the end of a hunting show Monday morning and the host of the show was saying that the shows make hunting look easy, but that viewers don’t see the times when things don’t go well, and a trophy is not taken on film. He said we don’t see how frustrating, grueling and expensive filming hunts can be, and sometimes without reward, but that he always looked forward to his next hunt, and the experiences and memories that would last a lifetime.

I don’t know how many times I have had a parent tell me that their kid wouldn’t shoot a good 8-point buck because they wanted to wait for a bigger one, and I have had guys tell me they had hunted for up to 20 years and never taken a buck because they had not seen one big enough, with their decision made partly by the deer they had seen on TV hunting shows.

The reality is that most of us don’t get the opportunity to go to a managed ranch or lodge in Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas or some of the other well-known trophy-producing states — Kentucky included, where you can only harvest a 5 ½-year-old or older buck. And most of us won’t spend the $3,000 to $10,000 or more that it costs to hunt some of these places.

In my opinion, hunting locally, the best we can hope for is to hunt and try to harvest the biggest buck on the property you have permission to hunt on, whether that is a 110-inch buck or whatever, most places just never produce the giant bucks we see on TV and dream about.

The other problem I have noticed on some of the shows; if the hunter is using a mechanical broadhead they lead viewers to believe that even when making a bad shot, it will kill the animal. Don’t believe it!

Mechanical broadheads are not a miracle cure-all for a bad shot. Regardless of what type head you choose, it is our responsibility to practice and be as efficient with our equipment as possible. And for anyone shooting less than 60-pound pull, especially kids and women shooting shorter draw length bows, I know that a good fixed blade broadhead is a much better choice and will give better penetration. Shot placement and penetration are what will put venison in your freezer.

Trail cameras have had a major impact on hunting by providing hunters with photos of the deer that walk in front of their cameras, but unless you have a camera that will rotate 360 degrees or have four cameras facing four different directions at each camera station, a lot of deer won’t show up on camera. A couple of years ago, I was hunting near a trail camera and watched eight deer move by me within 30 yards, but none of them walked by the camera to have their photo taken.

Because of cameras, I have had customers tell me if they don’t have a good buck showing up on their camera that they don’t go hunting. Most of the bucks Eric and I have been lucky enough to harvest had never shown up on a camera. We hunt because we love being in the deer woods and the challenges that bowhunting presents.