Galicia’s wild horse roundup pits tradition versus animal rights

herd of wild horses being rounded up in Sabucedo, Galicia, Spain

Photo: avarand/Shutterstock

The hardy Galician horses of northwestern Spain typically spend their days foraging in the rugged surrounding forests and hills. Left to their own devices, they graze and roam free, only once in a while spotted by villagers and the occasional tourist.

Until roundup time.

Once a year, typically in summer, locals in villages throughout rural Galicia trek into the hills to herd the horses back home. For the Rapa das Bestas, or Capture of the Beast, the semi-wild horses are corralled by their rancher owners as villagers celebrate the longstanding ritual.

Records of the event date back to at least the 18th century, but some believe it started even earlier. As the horses are caught, their manes are cut and deloused and foals are microchipped and sometimes branded. Some animals are kept to be sold. The rest are returned to the hills until the roundup is held again the next summer.

According to the New York Times, the ranchers consider letting the animals roam free an efficient way to deal with the underbrush that is prone to forest fires. Although their numbers were as strong as 20,000 just 15 years ago, it’s thought the horses number only about 11,000 today.

The popular annual ritual is coming under fire from animal rights activists who say the horses are mistreated during the rough-and-tumble event. Some even liken it to bullfighting.

Laura Duarte, an official from Pacma, a political party promoting animal rights, told the Times that elements of the roundup are hard to justify.

“We don’t criticize what’s being done, but how it’s been done, because it causes terrible stress to animals that live in the wild and aren’t used to human contact,” she said.

“To brand a horse with hot iron can only cause huge suffering.”

Even if a wild horse roundup isn’t on the same level as bullfighting as far as cruelty is concerned, Duarte said “tradition” is still the same defense given for both.

“Any tradition that harms animals must be reviewed,” she said, “and doing something for a very long time doesn’t mean it shouldn’t now be adapted to our times.”

Please Sign on for 24 hour Mandated Trap Checks!

Will you please add your name to a letter, that our friend, Zack Strong, of NRDC, so diligently compiled, insisting Montana implement a 24 hour mandated trap check time period?

Montanans, in particular, are asked to sign as FWP continually emphasizes out of state comments as if Montanans don’t care!

Simply reply to this alert and provide:

  • your name
  • your town and state

Also requested, but not required:

  • your occupation, especially if in wildlife, animal, or science related professions

We will then see that you are included on the letter to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks before the deadline for the 2017 Trapping Proposals

Please reply before July 13!

Feel free to pass this on so others can sign on, too! A very big thank you, to Zack, for his dedication and persistence!

Everyone, PLEASE don’t forget to submit your comment on ALL the Montana 2017 trapping proposals before the July 16 5pm mst deadline.

Animal cruelty has given me a change of heart on dog sporting competitions

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/animal-cruelty-has-given-me-a-change-of-heart-on-dog-sporting-competitions/2017/06/25/68f5ceec-585e-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.a0f78bbbebd0#comments

 Columnist June 25
I love dogs — Toni will tell you I don’t need a wife by my side, I just need a Weimaraner — and every year, my favorite column to write is a canine diary from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race or the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

However, I will never pen either of those columns again and apologize to readers — particularly Iditarod-wise — for my poor judgment.

The thing is, I get along with dogs better than with people; they are more dependable and less deceitful. And in writing a weekly humor column — well, in theory it’s a humor column — I always have relished the annual opportunity to look for laughs from a dog’s perspective.

But in searching for the funny, I lost sight of the facts:

Sled dog racing is cruel, unusual and unacceptable punishment for the animals.

The Iditarod is a rugged 1,000-mile trek over nine days. Only about 50 percent of the dogs reach the finish line, and since its inception in 1973, at least 150 dogs have died in the race.

Short of perishing, Iditarod dogs suffer horrifically along the trail — diarrhea, bleeding ulcers, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and frostbite.

For a better sense of all these horrors, I would suggest a viewing of the new documentary “Sled Dogs” from Toronto filmmaker Fern Levitt or going to the Sled Dog Action Coalition’s website at helpsleddogs.org.

Beyond the brutal training and care of sled dogs, we also treat so many other creatures in unspeakable fashion.

When I was a kid, I delighted in watching bullfighting on TV on Sunday mornings — yes, Sunday mornings; apparently, it is our day of rest and their day of reckoning. Then I went to my first bullfight in Spain as a college student and, well, aside from the fact that it really didn’t seem like a fair fight, I was struck by the savage, barbaric nature of the exercise.

Yet so many civilizations worldwide, near and far, engage in stuff like this.

Bullfighting. Dogfighting. Cockfighting.

Frankly, any animal activity that involves the suffix “fighting” is unquestionably inhumane. At least when humans partake in fighting — boxing or MMA — the participants choose to do so. On the other hand, I don’t think a rooster wakes up at the crack of dawn thinking, “I’d love to bloody another rooster to death after dinner.”

But this is where our culture rests:

Sticking a moose head over the fireplace mantle.

Standing on a boat showing off a 125-pound tuna.

My goodness, rodeo — rodeo! — is the official state sport of South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, though I’m not quite sure the horses and other livestock consider it a sport.

Then there are professional bass fishing competitions.

The Bassmaster Classic — to determine the world champion of bass fishing — is a three-day spectacle on ESPN2.

(At least in poker, we never kill the fish; we just take their money.)

Anyway, I used to fish myself and used to bet on horses; can’t do either anymore.

What they do to horses in horse racing and greyhounds in greyhound racing so that we can place wagers on them is unfathomable and unbearable. Google “greyhound dog abuse” and you will get as many results as “Kim Kardashian shopping.”

Even the circus is abusive to animals, unless you believe the Ringling Brothers polled local elephants to see whether they enjoy balancing on a stool while a woman dances on the back of their head.

(I guess we have evolved a bit — at least there is no longer pigeon shooting at the Olympics. Yes, at the 1900 Summer Games in Paris, there was pigeon shooting. Live birds were held and released as “athletes” took aim. The object: Shoot as many pigeons as possible. Nearly 400 birds were killed.)

It’s really pretty simple:

Animals should not be subjected to our whims, in any way, shape or form, for the sake of our sporting-and-entertainment needs.

We probably should stop eating them, too.

Griz with trap on foot still hasn’t been found

Humane Society, Wyoming Untrapped urge state investigation.

  • By Mike Koshmrl
  • Jun 21, 2017

A national animal rights organization has jumped into the fray of what to do about a grizzly bear that’s been spotted in Teton County with a Conibear-style trap clamped onto its front paw.

The Humane Society of the United States, fearing for the animal’s ability to forage and get around, has sent a letter formally asking federal and state wildlife managers for an investigation.

“We want them to locate the bear, anesthetize it, get the trap off and treat it,” Wendy Keefover, the society’s carnivore protection manager, said in an interview. “And then secondarily, we would like both agencies to investigate the trapping. Grizzly bears right now cannot be legally trapped, even inadvertently, under the Endangered Species Act.”

The grizzly in the grip of the steel spring-loaded trap was photographed May 31 on Togwotee Pass traversing a large snowfield.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department — a state agency that anticipates soon managing grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone region — dispatched biologists to locate the animal the day the report came in, large carnivore manager Dan Thompson said Monday. Search efforts are ongoing but have been unsuccessful so far, he said.

“Not including myself, at least three people have put in about 50 hours on the ground looking for this animal,” Thompson said. “And I’ve spent countless hours responding to email and phone call allegations that we haven’t been looking.”

Game and Fish personnel were unable to locate the bear’s tracks after the sighting, Thompson said. Capturing the bear in a culvert trap wasn’t a viable option, he said, because of its remote location and persistent snow.

Keefover worried that the bear would not be able to take the trap off on its own and could lose part of its paw, or get a sepsis infection and die.

“I know people whose dogs have got into Conibears, and they can’t open them with two hands and two feet,” she said. “So to presume a bear could get one off is not reasonable.”

Thompson had a different opinion.

“I think there’s a high likelihood that the bear has since removed that trap, because it was a smaller trap,” he said. “As strong as bears are, I would expect a grizzly to be able to remove it, I would think.”

The Jackson Hole group Wyoming Untrapped acquired a photo of the caught grizzly from Game and Fish using a public records request after the agency declined to release the image.

Reviewing the photograph the organization’s staff says that the trap connected to the bruin’s paw is a 220-style Conibear. It’s a device that is commonly used to trap raccoon, skunk, fisher, bobcat, lynx and similar-size furbearers, according to TrappingToday.com. It’s designed to grip animals tightly by the body and kill swiftly.

Lisa Robertson, Wyoming Untrapped’s founder, urged state managers to intensify their investigation.

“We ought to seek the source of this possibly illegal trap and treat it like we would poaching,” Robertson said. “Trapping incidents are mostly pushed under the radar. I think that’s why we were not notified — we just found out from a concerned citizen.”

Wyoming Untrapped plans to distribute fliers around Jackson notifying residents and visitors of the grizzly that may still be in a Conibear trap.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067, env@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGenviro.

Bowhunter leaves bear cubs without mother

Bowhunter leaves bear cubs without mother

MARK NIELSEN / PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN

JUNE 2, 2017

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service has rescued one black bear cub and is keeping an eye out for two more after their mother was killed by a bowhunter in the Hart this week.

The sow’s body was found Wednesday off Aintree Drive near the Inverness Mobile Home Park.

Conservation officers found the three cubs up a tree in the vicinity on Thursday and were able to tranquilize one but the other two were too far up for a safe shot so they were left alone.

“I’ve got a couple of residents there who are going to keep an eye out and if they see them and if they are able to, are going to grab them and toss them in a kennel because they’re pretty small,” conservation officer Eamon McArthur said Friday afternoon.

Killing a sow bear with cubs is a violation of the Wildlife Act, as is failing to retrieve a kill. Bowhunting within city limits is legal although the consequences can be stiff if someone is hit by an errant arrow.

Although a warning or a fine is still possible, hunters who kill a sow is asked to report the incident to the Conservation Officer Service so the cubs can be rescued.

“This is relatively close to town and we’ve managed to locate one of the cubs but if this was out in the bush and they just dropped and left it, well those cubs would starve to death, likely,” McArthur said.

Anyone who has information on who is responsible for the death is asked to call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

– See more at: http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/local-news/bowhunter-leaves-bear-cubs-without-mother-1.20378863#sthash.dEq564YS.dpuf

How fear of death affects human attitudes toward animal life

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170424170801.htm

Date:
April 24, 2017
Source:
University of Arizona
Summary:
When reminded of death, humans become more likely to support the killing of animals, no matter how they feel about animal rights, researchers have found. Psychology’s terror management theory may explain why. The researchers’ findings could also help scientists better understand the psychological motivations behind the murder and genocide of humans.
Uri Lifshin holds his cat, Chupchik. Lifshin’s own love of animals is, in part, what drove him to study humans’ psychological reasons for supporting killing them.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Arizona

When reminded of death, humans become more likely to support killing animals, regardless of their existing attitudes about animal rights, according to new research from the University of Arizona.

The research provides new insight into the psychology behind humans’ willingness to kill animals for a variety of reasons, and could also potentially help scientists better understand the psychological motivations behind the murder and genocide of humans, said lead researcher Uri Lifshin, a doctoral student in the UA Department of Psychology.

Lifshin and his colleagues conducted a series of experiments based on their existing work on terror management theory — the idea that humans’ awareness of their own mortality is a strong motivator for behaviors that may help quell the fear of death.

During the experiments, half of participants were presented with a subliminal or subtle “death prime”; either they saw the word “dead” flash briefly on a computer screen or they saw an image of a T-shirt featuring a skull made up of several iterations of the word “death.”

The other half of participants — the controls — instead saw the word “pain” or “fail” flash across the screen, or they saw an image of a plain T-shirt.

Study participants were then asked to rate how much they agree with a series of statements about killing animals, such as, “It is often necessary to control for animal overpopulation through different means, such as hunting or euthanasia,” or, “An experiment should never cause the killing of animals.” The researchers avoided asking questions about some of the more broadly accepted justifications for killing animals, like doing so for food.

In all experiments, those who received the death prime were more likely to support killing animals.

Prior to the start of experiments, participants were asked to report their feelings about animal rights. Surprisingly, it didn’t matter if people self-identified as supporters of animal rights. While those individuals were overall less likely than others to support killing animals, the death prime still had the same effect on them.

“If you’re an animal lover or if you care about animals rights, then overall, yes, you are going to support the killing of animals much less; however when you’re reminded of death you’re still going to be a little bit more reactive,” Lifshin said. Worth noting, the study did not include overt animal rights activists, who might be affected differently. Additional research is needed for that population, Lifshin said.

Gender also didn’t change the effect of the death prime. Consistent with existing literature, male participants were generally more likely than females to support killing animals, but males and females were both affected in the same way by the death prime.

Self-Esteem Helps Us Manage Fear of Death

The UA researchers’ paper, “The Evil Animal: A Terror Management Theory Perspective on the Human Tendency to Kill Animals,” was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Their findings are based on psychology’s terror management theory, which is derived from anthropologist Ernest Becker’s 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Denial of Death.” The theory posits that humans use self-esteem as a buffer against fear of death.

Self-esteem can be achieved in different ways. In a previous study, Lifshin and his colleagues showed that when people who enjoy playing basketball are reminded of their mortality, they improve their performance on the basketball court, and thereby their self-esteem, to manage their fear of death.

In the animal study, researchers think death-primed participants supported killing animals more because it provided them with a sense of power or superiority over animals that indirectly helped them fend off fear of mortality, Lifshin said.

This all happens subconsciously.

“Sometimes, our self-esteem depends on the idea that we are special and not just sacks of meat. We want to feel powerful, immortal — not like an animal,” said Lifshin, a proud pet owner whose own love of animals is, in part, what drove him to study why anyone would do them harm.

To further test the terror management connection, Lifshin and his colleagues designed one of their experiments to look at whether giving participants an alternative self-esteem boost would change the effect of the death prime.

It did.

Before each of the experiments conducted by Lifshin and his colleagues, participants were told a cover story to conceal the researchers’ actual aim. In the self-esteem boost experiment, participants were told they were taking part in a word relationship study, and were asked to identify whether pairs of word on a computer screen were related. During the course of the experiment, the word “dead” appeared on the screen for 30 milliseconds to some participants.

When the experimenters praised those who had seen the death prime — telling them: “Oh wow, I’m not sure I’ve seen a score this high on this task, this is really good” — the effect of the death prime was eliminated when participants went on to answer the questions about killing animals. In other words, seeing the death prime did not make participants more supportive of killing animals if they subsequently received a self-esteem boost from a different source.

“We didn’t find that people’s general state of self-esteem made a difference; it was this self-esteem boost,” Lifshin said. “Once your self-esteem is secured, you no longer need to satisfy the need for terror management by killing animals.”

Those who saw the death prime and were given neutral feedback from the experimenters (“OK you did good, just as well as most people do on this task”) still supported killing animals more. The neutral feedback did not change the effect of the death prime.

Findings Could Contribute to Understanding Psychology of Genocide

When researchers asked participants to rate statements about killing humans under various conditions, the death prime did not have the same effect; those who saw the death prime were not more likely to support killing humans.

Even so, the research could still have important implications for the study of the psychology behind murder and genocide of humans who fall into outgroups because of their race, religion or other characteristics, since those individuals tend to be dehumanized by those who would do them harm, Lifshin said.

“We dehumanize our enemies when there is genocide. There is research in social psychology showing that if you go to places where genocide is happening and you ask the people who are doing the killing to try to explain, they’ll often say things like, ‘Oh, they’re cockroaches, they’re rats, we just have to kill them all,'” Lifshin said. “So if we ever want to really understand how to reduce or fight human-to-human genocide, we have to understand our killing of animals.”


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Arizona. Original written by Alexis Blue.

Approximately 40-50 Pilot Whales Slaughtered in the Danish Faroe Islands

#BREAKING:
After a chase lasting almost four hours approximately 40-50 pilot whales have been slaughtered on the killing beach at Bøur.
On May 8th 2017 Sea Shepherd Nederland officially submitted a request to the European Commission (EC) to start infringement proceedings against Denmark for facilitating the slaughter of pilot whales and other cetaceans in the Faroe Islands, with the formal support of 27

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Sea Shepherd Faroe Islands Campaign added 4 new photos.

#BreakingNews

The pilot whales have been driven up onto the beach, after an exhausting chase that lasted almost 4 stressful hours.

The pod has been estimated to be around 40 individuals who are now forced to endure a painful death in the blood of their relatives.

We will update more tomorrow. Please remember to share these posts, and sign our petition to hold Denmark accountable for slaughter of the pilot whales here: http://bit.ly/2rdZEM0

#OpBloodyFjords #OpGrindini #OpGrindStop #Grind #visitfaroeislands

Photos by Jn.fo

THE EMBLEM; A POEM TO END HUNTING

 http://thevegantruth.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-emblem-poem-to-end-hunting.html?spref=fb
The Emblem
I’m not blind to the world animals live in.
Their reality is intertwined with my own.
Therefore I would not know where to begin
to describe the cruelty animals are shown.
Humans have become deaf to creatures cries,
We’ve become numb to the feeling of love.
One sight entirely exemplifies
the lack of empathy that I speak of.
Tied to a truck for obvious display,
was a beautiful buck; lifeless and cold.
His disfigured head quickly turned my eyes away
I’m left with an indelible image to hold.
The buck will serve as an emblem for all time.
I must have witnessed this sight for a reason.
The emblem will forever tell of the crime
that permeates the air in hunting season.
The gentle are persecuted by killers
and live a life that is never free of fear.
Respect and Justice are our soul’s pillars.
Let’s rise up and put an end to the hunting of deer.

by Butterflies; long term vegan ~ animal rights advocate

Signs of Consciousness, Sentience and Intelligence in Nature Demand Our Respect

From: Ecoterra-internalional.org


By
Sofia Adamson (*), Staff Writer WakingTimesMay 10, 2017

Part of our lot as human beings on planet earth is dominion over the plant and animal kingdoms, and as a by-product of our economic and cultural heritage, we have largely become indifferent to the suffering of animals. An indicator of the cruelest aspects of our nature.

This systemic disrespect for nature and her creatures is part of, or symptomatic of, a larger problem with modern society, the institutionalized perception that we are separate and independent of our environment. This dualism is part of the division of consciousness that is often noted in ancient texts as well as contemporary discussions of the characteristics of human consciousness.

Perhaps the most appalling sign of human kind’s dualistic trap is how we treat our friends in the animal kingdom. Yet this destructive idea is a tragic falsehood, as animals and plants alike are conscious, sentient and intelligent. The examples of this are everywhere today, and in this video, we see humpback whales clearly showing their appreciation to the humans who freed them from fishing nets.

WATCH: Saving Valentina.6.8.11.h264.mov

We are now also discovering the deeper lives of plants, and in a research study spanning some 30 plus years, biologists have discovered the songs of plants.

LISTEN: Singing Plants at Damanhur | Des plantes qui jouent de la musique

Forest ecologist Dr. Suzanne Simard of the University of British Colombia has uncovered the subterranean network of organisms that allow trees to communicate with one another.

LEARN: Tree’s found to communicate through Fungi [Avatar!]

It appears that animal consciousness is rising at present here on planet earth, in spite of wholesale neglect. Elephants can understand and correctly interpret human gestures, and chimpanzees are developing new behaviors and skills. Here, Kanzi the bonobo chimpanzee starts a campfire to roast marshmallows.

SEE: Bonobo builds a fire and toasts marshmallows

Chimps have now been observed using tools to fish for food, a sign of their continuing cognitive development.

REALIZE: Chimpanzees fishing for algae with tools in Bakoun, Guinea

Their learning process is now being compared to that of human children, and in the following video, an experiment demonstrates the similarities between the two.

COMPARE: Chimpanzee VS Human child learning

Many of the world’s most majestic animals are under direct threat of extinction today, and while most humans fail to appreciate this for what it really means, others continue to learn from animals, admiring their tenacity in the face of overwhelming pressure from humans. In the following case a pack of Andean bears works together to dismantle remote wildlife cameras.

RESPECT: Remote Cameras Reveal: Andean Bears Hate Paparazzi

Animals display a broad range of emotion as well, as is sometimes revealed in front of cameras, for example here, when a leopard exhibits compassion for the child of monkey it has just killed.

UNDERSTAND: Leopard Kills Monkey and Discovers Baby! INCREDIBLE REACTION!

And animals also like to have fun, as is seen in this clip of dolphins getting high off puffer fish and having a good time in the wide open ocean.

ENJOY: Dolphins on Stimulants – Pass the Puffer!

You don’t have to look to hard to find signs of mankind’s disrespect, disregard, and distrust of nature. Raising awareness of our connection and dependence on the natural world in these materialistic times is the only way to counter the devastation. Fukushima, the Deepwater Horizon, mountain-top removal, deforestation, tar sands, fracking, plastic pollution, depleted uranium, animal cruelty, so on and on… there really is no end to our ignorance and disrespect.

Whatever your relationship to the natural world is, and no matter what kind of dystopian illusions you may have for our future, there is no escaping the truth that we are all products of nature, and as such dependent on the natural world for survival and happiness.

(*) Sofia Adamson is a contributing writer for Waking Times with a keen appreciation for matters of science and the spirit.
Read more articles from Sofia Adamson

This article (Signs of Consciousness, Sentience and Intelligence in Nature Demand Our Respect) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Sofia Adamson and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution and author bio.

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Oklahoma May Legalize Hog Hunting From Helicopters

https://www.usnews.com/news/offbeat/articles/2017-03-28/oklahoma-may-legalize-hog-hunting-from-helicopters

Oklahoma could soon join Louisiana and Texas in allowing hunters to shoot feral hogs from helicopters.

| March 28, 2017, at 1:06 p.m.

Oklahoma May Legalize Hog Hunting From Helicopters
The Associated Press

FILE – In this Feb. 18, 2009, file photo, the shadow of a helicopter hovers over feral pigs near Mertzon, Texas. Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a bill to allow hunters to shoot feral hogs from helicopters. Aerial gunners are already used to help control feral swine in Oklahoma, but the work can only be done by trained, licensed contractors with support from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma could soon join Louisiana and Texas in allowing hunters to shoot feral hogs from helicopters.

The Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/2neDl3i ) reports that aerial gunners are already used to help control feral swine in Oklahoma. But that work can only be done by trained, licensed contractors with support from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry.

Lawmakers are considering a bill to expand the law to private operations.

Under the proposal, private landowners, companies and pilots would have to apply for a state license and be responsible for the activity. But hunters on board the aircraft wouldn’t need a license, nor would they have to provide their names to the state.

The agriculture department says its agents killed more than 11,200 feral hogs, mostly by air, last year.

___

Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press

Tags: Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas