• Don Lichterman

National Justice for Animals Week, Donald Trump Jr., SeaQuest, Santa Anita & Yummy...Sharks Fins!

Welcome to the Animal & Wildlife Welfare, Abuse & Crime Report brought to you by the Sustainable Action Network (SAN)!

Join the Animal Legal Defense Fund for National Justice for Animals Week February 23 to 29!

This week is an annual event dedicated to raising public awareness about animal abuse, how to report it, and how to work within your community to create stronger laws and ensure tough enforcement. And you can also grab a limited edition shirt to show you support justice for animals throughout the year.

Animal Law Symposium: Oklahoma City

Join the Animal Legal Defense Fund for our Animal Law Symposium! This day-long symposium will provide attendees with the opportunity to hear from the top voices within the animal law community, including local experts. Register now.

Webinar Recording Available: Rankings in Review: State Anti Cruelty Laws

In case you missed the live webinar earlier this month on our annual rankings report, you can watch a recording of it at your convenience. In this webinar, Animal Legal Defense Fund Staff Attorney Kathleen Wood discusses the annual Animal Protection Laws Ranking Report, including what goes into creating our Compendium and Rankings Report, as well as the highlights from 2019.

In its 2021 federal budget proposal, the Administration is seeking catastrophic cuts to programs that protect wildlife.

We need Congress to fight back and restore support for programs that help tigers, elephants, rhinos, and countless other endangered species.

Please tell Congress right now: stand up for wildlife.

Among many programs on the chopping block are vital efforts at USAID and the Department of State that fight international wildlife trafficking, one of the largest transnational criminal enterprises in the world. Also redlined are the USAID Biodiversity Program, the Multinational Species Conservation Fund, and other key programs that conserve vulnerable species in the wild and protect the landscapes and seascapes that represent the last remaining wild places on the earth. Make your voice heard.

The Administration’s proposals represent a devastating threat to the future of elephants, tigers, and many other endangered species. But together we can fight back.

Congressional support is vital to the future of international conservation programs. That’s why we need to tell Congress to step up and speak out for elephants, tigers, gorillas, and many more species that cannot speak for themselves.

Tell Congress: protect endangered wildlife.

Please help send a message to Congress that you care about the future of wildlife. Programs that protect tigers, gorillas, turtles, and many others are not optional - they’re essential.

Donald Trump Jr. Gets Permit to Hunt Grizzly Bears

Trophy Hunting is a type of hunting in which an individual kills innocent animals for recreational purposes. The hunters usually kill selected animals – frequently big game such as rhinos, elephants, lions, pumas, and bears – under official government license. The trophy is the animal (or its head, skin or any other body part) that the hunter keeps as a souvenir.

It is a booming industry and is legal, albeit with restrictions on the species that can be hunted, where and when the hunting can take place, and the weapons that can be used. Allowing endangered species to be killed for sport is counterintuitive. It is part of a trend called "evolution in reverse" or "survival of the weak," and scientists have pointed out that sport-hunted populations of species like bighorn sheep now have smaller horns than those of 30 years ago, and after decades of poaching and trophy hunting giant-tusked elephants are a rarity in the wild.

Additionally, there can be deadly impacts from a trophy hunts beyond just the individual killed. Research has shown that when a dominant male lion in a pride is killed, the social group is disrupted and a cascade of deaths can result within the pride: young males killed fighting for the dominant position, cubs killed when a new dominant male takes over, and females killed protecting their cubs. And finally the idea that trophy hunting brings a conservation incentive to local people to save a species is not only counter-intuitive, it is a logical fallacy.

When a species' greatest value is as a dead trophy, its days will inevitably be numbered, just as they are when the value of their parts -- like ivory tusks, tiger skins, or rhino horn -- make protection from poachers nearly impossible.

We should not be harassing the wildlife for we would not like it if the roles were reversed.

#ProtectMillions: Silk island, known more formally as Koh Dach, is an island untouched by time.

#ProtectMillions: Silk island, known more formally as Koh Dach, is an island untouched by time. The island is undeveloped, consisting of small villages, rice fields, and Buddhist temples. Up to 1000 cats and dogs call the island home. Most are free-roaming, with many living either on the streets or at temples where the monks provide them with food.

Sadly, there is no veterinarian on the island or other animal care services. This means that every animal on the island is unvaccinated, unsterilised, and many suffer from chronic, untreated illnesses. But there is hope. Please support our mission and make a donation to help the animals on Silk Island: http://bit.ly/help-silk-island

SeaQuest Is No Place for Animals

Hundreds of animals have died at SeaQuest and other aquariums owned by Vince Covino. Do the right thing and NEVER visit shopping mall animal attractions like SeaQuest.

Every inch of rainforest in Madagascar could be gone in the next 50 years. We have to act right now to stop deforestation.

Sometimes, the numbers and statistics around environmental destruction are so gargantuan and complex that it's hard to wrap your head around what they actually mean.

But this one couldn't be clearer: Madagascar could lose 100% of its rainforests in our lifetimes.

Climate change is ravishing Madagascar, as it is ecosystems around the world.

But the country is making a bad situation worse by enabling large scale deforestation of their rainforest.

These aren't just any rainforests. Madagascar is home to an astonishing array of wildlife that isn't found anywhere else on earth. That includes its 101 different lemur species. These cute creatures all live in the rainforest and are already endangered. Losing Madagascar's rainforests wouldn't just change the face of the land, it would lead to a massive, irreversible loss of biodiversity.

There's one positive note to this dire warning: the people who will watch this devastating loss can change the island nation's fate.

Wiping out Madagascar's rainforest is an imminent threat. It's scary, but it's also mobilizing. Nobody wants to allow their home to be ruined. We need the people in power to do something now to prevent the destruction of their homeland forever. We just need to make sure they know the stakes and that the world supports action.

Sign the petition to urge officials in Madagascar to impose strict protections to save their rainforest.

A “serious substance that has the potential to slow a greyhound down” has been found in a greyhound who finished last in a race at Tralee stadium.

As revealed in the Irish Greyhound Board’s February 2020 “Adverse Analytical Findings” report, “Propranolol returned from a urine sample obtained from the greyhound Yesterdays News at Tralee Greyhound Stadium on the 22nd September, 2019”.

The IGB report states: “Mr John Gleeson [Muckenaugh, Lixnaw, Co. Kerry], registered owner of the greyhound Yesterdays News, was not in attendance. Mr. Kevin Gleeson appeared before the Control Committee representing his son, Mr. John Gleeson. Mr. Pat Herbert, Head of Regulation, Bord na gCon [Irish Greyhound Board], represented Bord na gCon in this matter.

The Control Committee, having considered all of the evidence in this matter was satisfied the case presented by Bord na gCon was proven. The Control Committee noted the explanation tendered by Mr. Kevin Gleeson that a family member may have inadvertently administered medication to the greyhound Yesterdays News on the day of the race in question.

The Committee noted that the substance Propranolol is a serious substance that has the potential to slow a greyhound down. The Committee further noted that no absolute explanation was tendered for the detection of the substance in the urine sample obtained from the greyhound in question.”

As demonstrated by this petition, we are all a voice for the elephants. 

If you live in the U.S., our voices can get louder by asking our members of Congress to support two bills that are moving against trophy hunting: 1.    CECIL Act H.R. 2245; Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies. This will restrict the import and export of trophies of any species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 2.   Protect Act, H.R. 4804; Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creature Trophies. This will prohibit trophy hunting of ESA species in the US and import of any trophy of a species listed under the ESA. 3.   Lastly there is an Appropriations Bill For Fiscal Year 2021. The appropriations bill is a spending bill that authorizes the expenditure of government funds.  You can tell your member of Congress you would like to see language for the Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2021 to defund U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s trophy import permits of elephants from Botswana. Please call your member of Congress and for his/her support on these bills.  To find your legislator, go to House.gov and type in your zip code.  It will provide your legislator’s contact number.  Please call and state you would like your legislator to support the CECIL Act and Protect Act and language in the Appropriations Bill FY21 to defund trophy hunting permits of elephants from Botswana.  I am currently working through the details of meeting with the Embassy of Botswana.  Please continue sharing this petition.  I want to keep building momentum up to the moment I meet with the Embassy.

Yummy...Sharks Fins...
Congress Failed to Pass this Shark Saving Bill Last Year: Demand They Do So in 2020

Shark finning is the practice of catching sharks solely to cut off their fins to make shark fin soup, an expensive delicacy in many Asian cultures. Fisherman, encouraged by high market prices, catch hundreds of thousands of sharks a day, then slice off their fins while they are still alive. They often don't even bother with the rest of the fish. Instead, they toss it back into the water — suffering and in pain — to sink to the bottom and drown.

Tell U.S. Congress to take action now. Tell them to reintroduce the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act and pass it now.

According to the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), over 73 million sharks a year are killed for their fins alone. The high death toll is devastating their population. Some species are now on the brink of extinction. This is nothing short of a wake-up call to do something now. Without sharks, the seas will die.

Sharks have evolved to be the ocean's apex predator. They keep prey fish "populations healthier by going after the old, sick, and very young...and keep the population numbers of other species in proper balance." And contrary to what you might think, a healthy shark population actually improves fishermen's harvest.

Last year, U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill to try to ban this practice by making it illegal to "possess, buy, or sell shark fins or any product containing" shark fins federally. Those in breach of the law would face serious criminal consequences. Unfortunately, the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2019 was never passed.

That is unacceptable. This is a problem we must tackle to save this vital species. Time is running out, and Congress must act.

Please sign the petition and tell Congress to take action now. Tell them to reintroduce the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act and pass it now.

An illegal shipment of 1,400 pounds of dried shark fins, estimated to be worth around $1 million, has been discovered at a port in Miami.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that officials found the fins packed into 18 boxes, which were believed to have originated in South America. The body parts were likely en route to Asia, where they’re primarily used in “luxury” shark fin soup.

This falsely declared shipment violated the Lacey Act, which bans illegal wildlife trade, and also contravened the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). No criminal charges have been announced, but an investigation is ongoing.

The vile shark fin trade is responsible for the gruesome deaths of up to 73 million sharks annually through “finning,” or the act of severing the fins from a shark and simply dumping the body back into the sea. Unable to swim without their fins, the sharks are left to sink and suffocate, bleed to death, or be eaten alive. This disgraceful practice is illegal in U.S. waters, but importing the fins is not.

“The seizure in Miami of 1,400 pounds of shark fins being shipped from Latin America to Asia speaks to the worldwide crisis facing sharks,” Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, told CBS News. “The United States plays a key role as an international transit hub for shark fins … Sharks are worth more alive than in a bowl of soup.”

Lady Freethinker’s petition to ban the cruel shark fin trade in the U.S. has reached over 22,440 signatures. Thank you to all who have signed. If you haven’t added your name yet, please do to urge the U.S. Senate to pass the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, saving millions of sharks who are being inhumanely slaughtered for their fins.

Breaking! Exotic Animals No Longer Allowed to Be Used as Entertainment at Los Angeles House Parties

By putting an end to exotic animal trade many animals will be spared the miserable existence of being forced to live in a tiny cage and live out their lives in depression. Exotic animals are not and never were meant to be kept as a pet, hence the name exotic. By keeping these animals out of unfit and incapable owners hands, we can help secure a brighter future for the wildlife of our planet.

Trapped Behind Fences, Sheep Burn to Death in Climate Fueled Fires

Surrounded by charred corpses, this severely burned sheep stands alone after being trapped behind fences during the Australian Fires. The wool industry mutilates sheep and, through methane production, fuels disastrous fires that burn millions to death.

Colt Killed Training at Santa Anita – 8th Dead Horse There in 2020.

The California Horse Racing Board has disclosed the training death (“shoulder”) of 4-year-old Unveiled this morning at Santa Anita. The colt was being prepped for his first race. He is the 8th horse killed at Santa Anita in 2020 – for, mind you, gambling and entertainment. This alone renders their (specious) “safety rate” utterly meaningless.

Newest LFT Billboard Strengthens the Message: Horseracing Kills.

Lady Freethinker (LFT), in collaboration with Horseracing Wrongs, continues to fight against the cruelty and senseless deaths involved in the barbaric, profit-driven horseracing industry with a second billboard in the Los Angeles area.The billboard, again made possible by the generous support of Mark Matyazic, drives home a persistent and clear message: horseracing kills.

This billboard is now in two locations in the LA area. The death toll at the nearby Santa Anita Racetrack is rising. From broken legs and fractured ankles to head-on collisions and mysterious sudden deaths, the injuries and fatalities keep piling up.As the numbers continue to grow, the individuality of each horse gets a little more lost, but Tikkun Olam isn't simply one of the 44 horses that died this year due to this torturous industry. He has a story.

Every horse has a story, and far too many of them dismally end in a bodybag.Don, will you help to change the way their stories end?

If you haven't yet, sign our petition to save these innocent animals from an early grave.

This petition acts as a show of support for the maximum sentence allowed under law in the case of US v. Gordon. The sentencing hearing regarding this case will be held on February 28, 2020.

Last year (2019) in Kaktovik, an Arctic village in Alaska, a whaling captain and Alaskan Native named Christopher L. Gordon shot and killed a polar bear that had wandered into his front yard to eat a butchered whale carcass he had left outside. In Alaska, killing a polar bear is a violation of the Marine Protection Act, unless for reasons of self-defense or subsistence purposes (applies to Alaskan Natives only).

In the case of Christopher L. Gordon, he shot and killed a polar bear leaving the body of one of Alaska's most iconic, threatened species to rot. The polar bear's body was covered with snow, causing a snow removal vehicle to move the body and rip off one of its legs. The polar bear's remains were later taken to the dump and set on fire. Since Christopher did not use any part of the polar bear, the killing is not considered subsistence hunting, and, therefore, he violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

If convicted, Gordon faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Polar bears are classified as marine mammals because they spend most of their lives on sea ice. As global warming takes effect, less sea ice remains, making it difficult, if not impossible, for polar bears to hunt for food. Kaktovik is located on the north shore of Barter Island on the Beaufort Sea coast, an area affected by rapid global warming which speeds up the movement of sea ice, the primary habitat of polar bears.

Because of this, polar bears are often desperate for food and will scavenge, leading to bear-human conflicts. The tourism in Kaktovik is booming because tourists want a chance to see polar bears before they go EXTINCT. The threats polar bears face are imminent. The last thing they need is to be killed for merely trying to survive.

We the undersigned support the maximum sentence allowed under law in the case of US v. Gordon.

Please also sign our IMPACT STATEMENT: https://www.oneprotest.org/polar-bear

The Fashion Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know These Facts About Cashmere

Do you know the effects cashmere has on the environment? It's estimated that 70% of Mongolia’s grasslands have degraded largely because of the demand for it. Desertification like this can cause dust storms reaching all the way to the U.S.

PETA's 5th Australian Wool Exposé—Does It Look Like the Industry Has Changed One Bit?

What more do you need to see before you stop wearing wool? How many more sheep must be beaten, cut open, kicked, thrown, and skinned alive?

Cease and Desist Letter Issued to B.C. Government for Wolf Cull

Our legal counsel has found the B.C. wolf cull program to be in direct violation of the province's own laws. Last week, Pacific Wild issued a Cease and Desist letter for the cull to Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson. It's time to put a stop to this cruel excuse for conservation and use taxpayer dollars for something useful. ⁣ ⁣ From our Executive Director Ian McAllister: “Hundreds of wolves are being killed each year in the most horrific fashion, at tax-payer expense. Now we find out it is most likely illegal, and our organization is prepared to challenge the government’s cull in court."⁣ ⁣ You can read the full release here: https://pacificwild.org/news/press-release-cease-and-desist-letter-issued-to-b-c-government-for-controversial-wolf-cull-for-contravention-of-provincial-law/

This Is How Camels Suffer at Circuses and Fairs

These camels spend their lives under the threat of violence, just so humans can have a moment of entertainment.

You can see how scared the one who falls is — he knows he’ll face extreme consequences if he doesn’t get back in line.

Bears as Far as North America Are Falling Victim to the Horrific Bear Bile Industry

You may or may not be familiar with the plight of the Asiatic black bear and the sun bears of Asia. Throughout large parts of Asia, the two species are farmed or poached to harvest their bile, which is believed to have healing properties.

Of course, their liver fluid isn't actually medicinal, but that doesn't stop this heartless industry from torturing and killing thousands of bears a year. Sign to help stop American bears from meeting the same fate.

Yet, while bear bile farms might be thousands of miles away from the shores of the United States, it doesn't mean that Americans and others aren't trying to profit from bear bile here at home. In fact, black bear poachers have been caught in Florida harvesting their game's gallbladders to sell to the Asian market.

Something must be done to protect the beautiful North American black bear from becoming victims of the bear bile market. Sign the petition.

Luckily, U.S. Senators John Kennedy and Cory Booker have introduced a new bill aimed at stopping bear poaching in the United States. The Bear Protection Act "would protect bears from poaching and torture and prohibit the import, export, possession, transport, and sale of bear organs."

American lawmakers must do everything they can to protect the nation's wildlife. And this bill is just one more step in doing so. Tell Congress you support the Bear Protection Act. Sign the petition and tell our legislators to make it law.

France Bans Shredding Chicks

France recently announced they’ll be banning the cruel practice of shredding live male chicks on egg farms. Male chicks are of no value to egg farms and are routinely discarded into shredders, suffocated, or gassed to death. France aims to stop shredding male chicks by 2021. This practice is still legal in the US. Read more.

Tiny, Frail Piglet Suffering on Floor of Filthy Farm

This year marks three decades of the iconic, world-famous "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign, in which celebrities have taken it all off! Today—after dozens of ads, hundreds of protests, and yearly demonstrations at international fashion weeks—the majority of retailers and designers are rejecting fur, compassionate consumers everywhere are shunning it, and even Queen Elizabeth II has renounced it.

PETA's tremendous progress for animals in the fur industry couldn't have come about without the determined support of kind people like you—or megastars like Tyra Banks, Pamela Anderson, and P!nk, who've rejected animal fur by posing in the buff for this eye-catching campaign coordinated by PETA and our international affiliates. Gillian Anderson, star of television's popular The X-Files, made a powerful statement for feminism as well as animal rights when she launched her "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" ad on International Women's Day two years ago.

The world hasn't seen the end of PETA's effective, headline-grabbing advertisements and demonstrations featuring nude celebrities or activists. But since the fur industry is now in a downward spiral, we're marking this modern, compassionate era of fashion by retiring "I'd Rather Go Naked" anti-fur ads and expanding our focus on other areas in which animals still need a great deal of help—including the hideous leather, wool, and exotic skins trades.

PETA and our international affiliates are the only major animal rights groups with campaigns against the use of all animal skins, not just the dying fur trade, and this far-reaching activism recently led to a big win for fascinating and widely abused exotic animals. After hearing from PETA U.K. and amid growing concern over the devastating Australian bushfires, iconic British fashion label Paul Smith has announced a ban on exotic skins, including kangaroo leather, in all its future collections.

This move will protect kangaroos from being shot and decapitated in their shrinking natural habitat, alligators from being hacked open and impaled with metal rods, and young ostriches from being suspended upside down before their throats are slit. After similar exotic skins bans from household names like Chanel and Victoria Beckham, we're now pushing Hermès and Prada to be the next brands to join the growing list.

Take Action, Responsibility & Wildlife...
"Corporations Are People My Friends."
Our companies are known for creating products that enhance people's lives.  Through Sunset Corporation of America and its companies, we’re equally dedicated to improving lives.  Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.

The Sustainable Action Network (SAN), A Don Lichterman non-profit organization dedicated to building a global community raising awareness of corruption, injustice and the need for action across a full range of issues impacting people and animal/wildlife welfare around the world, such as conservation, climate change, campaign law, lobbying, government action and rescue work. SAN’s vision is to create safer world, free from political, environmental, and social oppression, where all the inhabitants of Earth can live in harmony within their own natural environments. Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.

Activism and Sustainability:

  • Gun Safety & Gun Laws

  • Cruelty Free

  • Death Penalty

  • Demand Action

  • Sustainable Action Network

Fairness and Equality:

  • Grammy District Advocacy

  • Privatization

  • Voters Issues & Gerrymandering

  • Private Prisons & the War on Drugs

  • Finance, Housing & the Economy Corporate Responsibility:

  • Candidates, Bills, Laws & Protections

  • Wildlife & Oceania

  • Labeling & Transparency

  • Comprehensive Captivity & Hunting Results Databases

Purchase gifts that help animals this holiday season! The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s holiday shop is now open – for a limited time. Find past favorites and new designs in options including totes, shirts, hoodies, and even options for dogs!

These items make the perfect holiday gift for friends and family who care about animals. Spread the message of compassion and support the Animal Legal Defense Fund. 100% of the profits go to our work to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.