Yummy...Black Swan Soup, Dog & Cat Meat, Wildlife Trade, Greyhounds, Rhino Poaching, Farm Reform Act
Welcome to the Animal & Wildlife Welfare, Abuse & Crime Report brought to you by the Sustainable Action Network (SAN)!
First, Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond to help animals during the COVID-19 pandemic? We want to hear from you!
Perhaps they've helped feed homeless animals on the streets or handed out vegan food to those in need—if they've helped animals in any way, big or small, we want to hear all about it! We want to compile stories about compassionate things that people are doing for animals during the pandemic.
Next, this Scorecard Ranks States on How Well They Report Animal Cruelty. Coinciding with Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has released a scorecard ranking U.S. states on their effectiveness in tracking and reporting animal cruelty crimes to the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
Local police agencies began gathering information in 2016 on a voluntary basis after the FBI added animal cruelty statistics to their NIBRS.
AWI’s Animal Cruelty Reporting Scorecard ranks the top 20 states based on the suspected validity of their efforts to track animal cruelty crime. In 2017 and 2018, which are the last years for which figures are currently available, Delaware, Colorado and New Hampshire came out on top, while Massachusetts, West Virginia and Idaho fell to the bottom.
Country-wide adoption of the new policy has been slow, however, and not all states are participating. Even some of the participating states still haven’t compiled any animal cruelty crime data. In addition, a few states reported less than six incidents in 2018.
Delaware reported 1,097 incidents, or 113 incidents per 100,000 people, compared with Massachusetts, West Virginia and Idaho, which each reported less than one incident per 100,000. Idaho ranked dead last with only seven reported incidents in 2018 (0.4 per 100,000).
AWI stresses that the disparity in the number of reported incidents isn’t necessarily because animal cruelty is more prominent in Delaware than in other states, but rather, that Delaware has a more efficient system for collating and reporting animal cruelty crime statistics. Whereas most states rely on their individual law enforcement agencies to report these crimes, Delaware has an Office of Animal Welfare that is mainly responsible for collecting such information.
“We realize that a newly recognized crime cannot appear in reports overnight,” said the senior advisor for AWI’s animal cruelty program Mary Lou Randour, Ph.D., “but we had hoped to see more progress by this point.”
The Trump administration wants to overturn our hard-fought victory to keep them protected under the Endangered Species Act and safe from trophy hunters. We're not about to let that happen.
Our lawyers will be arguing in front of a three-judge panel today to ensure these bears have the lifesaving protections they need.
Please help the Saving Life on Earth Fund to support this important battle. Thanks to a champion of wildlife, your gift will be matched.
The administration tried to strip Yellowstone grizzly protections in 2017 — and we won in court a year later, stopping potential trophy hunts of one of our country's most beloved species.
But the administration is still at it, ignoring science and legal precedent to remove federal protection for these bears.
Grizzly bears are dying at rates not seen before. It's way too soon to take away their protection, and so far the courts have agreed.
But we're not just protecting grizzly bears today. We're also defending science and the rule of law.
This is the fight we've been in for over 30 years. And that fight has taken on sharper clarity as we experience the effects of a pandemic likely caused by the way people have treated wildlife and their habitat.
To save life on Earth we must fight for each and every species, as we're doing today for Yellowstone's grizzlies. And we must do so by trusting in science — and keeping in place the laws that protect wildlife.
We know how to win. We know what it will take to save grizzlies and all wildlife. We can do it — but we need you with us.
Last year President Trump gutted some key protections of the Endangered Species Act, leaving too many imperiled species without the help they desperately need.
Now it’s time for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to step up and defend the Act.
In today’s world Twitter is an essential tool in grassroots advocacy. It’s a key way to raise the profile of an issue and communicate directly with our elected officials.
Here’s a sample tweet:
Hey @SpeakerPelosi — the Endangered Species Act is the reason the U.S. still has grizzly bears, wolves & sea turtles. Save the Act & bring the PAW&FIN Act to a floor vote! #StopExtinction @Mobilize4Wild
Not on Twitter? No worries, we’ve created a guide to get you on and communicating right away.
Joining Twitter and getting comfortable with how it works is a great new skill to add to your advocacy toolbox. You can also check out last week’s campaign call where we walked through this in more detail.
This is the single-most devastating attack we’ve ever seen on the Endangered Species Act. Speaker Pelosi and Congress must take action to restore these protections before we lose any more amazing creatures.
Together we can use Twitter as our public bull horn to spread the message far and wide — save the Endangered Species Act today.
Catherine Caruso: African Rhinos Are Being Poached at an Alarming Rate Amid Coronavirus Lockdowns as Poachers are taking advantage of stay-at-home orders.
Rhinos are a critically endangered species. Due to poaching and illegal trade, there are less than 30,000 rhinos left in the wild. Global Goal 15 supports life on land by promoting the protection of wildlife. Join us and take action on this issue here.
Rhinos across Africa are being poached at an increasingly high rate amid COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
With national parks and wildlife reserves currently free of tourists and patrols, poachers are taking advantage of stay-at-home orders. They are killing and injuring rhinos and other endangered species in tourist hotspots and other places that are usually safe due to the normally large influx of tourists.
Poachers hunt rhinos for their horns and bushmeat, which they illegally trade in exchange for money.
Several poaching bosses have instructed their employees to hunt rhinos in parks and other typically protected spaces since COVID-19 restrictions have gone into effect, according to a report from the Wildlife Justice Commission published in April. In the last few months, six rhinos have been killed by poachers in Botswana and another nine have been poached in South Africa. Kenya has also seen a recent increase in poaching. As the pandemic halts tourism to Africa, poachers are killing rhinos in travel hot spots now devoid of visitors. In Botswana, at least 6 $rhinos have been poached since the virus shut down tourism there and in the northwest South Africa, at least nine. https://cnb.cx/3cLAQyZ
The pandemic has also caused a drastic dip in funding for the protection of wildlife reserves and endangered species.
"The COVID-19 lockdown illustrates just how important ecotourism is for the conservation of Africa’s natural heritage," WildAid CEO Peter Knights told HuffPost. "If the lodges are closed, there are more unemployed people, and without tourists on safari or people working in lodges, you have less surveillance."
Rhinos are critically endangered. There are only about 30,000 left in the world, and that number is already quickly decreasing.
With poaching on the rise and no end to the pandemic in sight, "risks will increase as desperation also rises."
Lady Freethinker: The last remaining dog racing track in Alabama has decided to officially end live greyhound racing due to financial concerns and a decline in public interest for the “sport.”
The Birmingham Race Course has been holding live greyhound races for 28 years, but the track operator for the Jefferson County Racing Association announced that races will cease beginning on May 1, WVTM reported.
The association made its decision during a course closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A “massive” adoption drive will be put into place for around 600 dogs in need of loving families due to the closure, Kip Keefer reported. About 550 of those homeless greyhounds will be put up for adoption, but worryingly, those still “in their prime” are trapped in this abusive form of entertainment and will be sent to other operating race courses.
Greyhound racing causes immense suffering to thousands of dogs throughout the United States. The innocent canines are frequently hurt both on and off the track, with devastating injuries such as broken legs and backs, head trauma and electrocution. An astonishing 10,188 greyhound injuries were documented between 2010 and 2018.
When not racing, the dogs are kept in cramped cages, often underfed, and given prohibited drugs, including cocaine, amphetamines, prohormones, beta blockers and steroids.
Fewer than 10 states, including Alabama, have yet to make greyhound racing illegal, while only 4 states currently have operational dog racing tracks. Arkansas, one of the four states with active greyhound racing, is currently in a phase-out process, leaving only Texas, Iowa and West Virginia remaining to do the right thing.
It is time for this brutal industry to be banned throughout the entire United States, ending the pain and torture endured by these beautiful creatures.
New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon
Heartlessly dumped on the side of the road, a tiny brown puppy named Oscar suffered agonizing burns after having his fur torched from his body, legs and face.
A concerned citizen found the severely-injured pup scared and alone with deep scars and burn marks all over his little body. Oscar had been abandoned on a remote dirt road in Castle Hayne, N.C.
The poor dog is still healing from his injuries, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Facebook. He will require dental procedures just to eat and chew somewhat normally again, and an orthopedic and plastic surgeon will be keeping an eye on Oscar as he grows in case further surgeries are needed later in life.
This gruesome cruelty will stay with Oscar for the rest of his life, and he deserves justice.
Sign this petition urging New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon to use all available resources to investigate this crime and charge the perpetrator(s), so they can’t commit other acts of violence against innocent animals.
Sign the petition now. And, anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit at (910) 798-7517 or https://www.newhanoversheriff.com/submit-a-crime-tip/
Yummy...Black Swan Soup
Man Arrested in China for Stealing and Killing a Black Swan to Make Soup
Yummy...Dog and Cat Meat
While experts scrutinize live animal markets for their link to zoonotic disease amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the cruel dog and cat meat trade is experiencing a paradoxical uptick in Cambodia and Vietnam due to the woefully misguided belief that the meat of these poor animals contains anti-viral properties.
Four Paws International revealed that business is booming for Cambodia and Vietnam dog and cat meat vendors, who are still open and advertising their takeout services during the COVID-19 crisis.
“This is concerning because we had never seen dog and cat meat dishes being advertised on a food delivery app before the COVID-19 outbreak,” veterinarian Dr. Katherine Polak told the Independent. “It demonstrates that the dog meat industry is adapting to the increased consumption at home and increased ease of obtaining dog and cat meat, even during a lockdown.”
The barbaric cat and dog meat trade has steadily grown in Cambodia over the last few years, and the current rise in popularity is due to the alleged health benefits these meats possess. Doctors are even encouraging patients to eat dogs and cats. There is, however, no scientific credibility to the assertion that cat or dog meat helps fight against coronaviruses.
In an effort to discourage people from killing or abandoning their pets, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced earlier this year that there is no evidence linking companion animals to the spread of coronavirus. Some people mistakenly thought this announcement meant dog and cat meat is safe to eat, and it could’ve prompted the Cambodian government to maintain its historically lax approach to the industry, the Independent reported.
The dog and cat meat industry engages in horrific animal cruelty and encourages the spread of deadly zoonotic diseases. It is time to stop this abhorrent trade. If you haven’t already, please sign LFT’s petition urging the US Government to pass a resolution to end dog and cat meat across the globe.
Local officials in China’s capital of Beijing passed a new law Friday forbidding hunting, trading, and consuming wild animals throughout the city. This landmark legislation comes in the wake of the current coronavirus pandemic, which is believed to have started at a live animal market in Wuhan.
China implemented a temporary nationwide ban on their wild animal trade in late February of this year, but this marks the first time Beijing officially adopted and signed such a policy. Earlier this month, Shenzhen and Zhuhai became the first Chinese cities to ban dog and cat meat.
The newly-passed law, titled Beijing Wildlife Protection and Management Regulations, is an updated version of prior regulations that the Beijing government introduced in 1989. Officials modernized the law, which goes into effect June 1, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Sadly, this disease has already claimed over 200,000 lives worldwide.
The new regulations apply to “terrestrial wildlife of important ecological, scientific and social value,” according to a government notice, and 17 new aquatic animals were added to the list of protected species. Violators may face fines of up to 20 times the value of the animal or product, and potential penalties are even harsher for food service providers.
Chinese lawmakers have also issued a nationwide ban on consuming wildlife, a move that could help prevent another deadly global pandemic from emerging in the future. However, now it is imperative that the government take the action needed to enforce the ban. If you haven’t already, sign LFT’s petition urging the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai to push for a complete end to the wildlife trade across China.
New Jersey Residents: Crack Down on Pig Torture Devices
A new bill has been introduced in New Jersey to crack down on the immense cruelty and abysmal conditions occurring on factory farms If passed, this new legislation would ban barbaric gestation crates that confine pregnant pigs in areas so cramped they are unable to turn around.
With COVID-19 causing overwhelming losses worldwide, it is more important than ever to eliminate the horrific treatment of animals and devastating public health risks caused by factory farming. Factory farms house pigs in filthy conditions which are ideal breeding grounds for potentially deadly pathogens. The extreme confinement pigs endure in gestation crates makes them go insane.
They develop sores from rubbing against the bars of their prisons, which leaves them ripe for infection. According to Dr. Gregory Gray, who directs the University of Iowa's Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, viruses "have continual opportunity to replicate, mutate, reassort, and recombine into novel strains" after entering pig farms, which causes them "to spread and become endemic." New Jersey must act now to eliminate this cruel, public health risk! Click here to learn more and take action. Yellowstone's iconic grizzly bears get their day in court today.
While most of us are hunkered down at home protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19 the best we can, there are still some people out doing horrible things. In fact, someone found an injured alligator in Florida that had been tied up and shot twice with arrows, but the authorities have yet to figure out who did it. The idea that whoever did this is still walking around freely is terrifying. We know animal abuse and human abuse are correlated, so it's critical the authorities identify the person who did this right away.
The problem is, we know that all too often, the authorities allow animal abuse cases to fall by the wayside since they don't involve humans. That's wrong in and of itself because animals are living beings that don't deserve to be tortured. But those who abuse animals also usually abuse humans, so it's in everyone's best interest for the police to take such heinous animal abuse seriously.
Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess
In a heartless act of animal cruelty, a baby duckling was hurled out the window of a moving car and off the edge of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, helplessly plummeting over 180 feet down.
Filmed on Snapchat, the disturbing video sparked widespread outrage, with many demanding the perpetrator(s) be brought to justice. The Maryland Transportation Authority Police responded and charged Ethan R. Fowler with two counts of cruelty to animals and two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and now, it’s up to the prosecutor to give this innocent duckling the justice he or she is entitled to. If convicted, Fowler could face up to three years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Sign this petition urging Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess to prosecute the offender to the fullest extent of the law, showing that animal cruelty of any kind must be treated with the severity it deserves.
Attendance at greyhound tracks continuing to plummet in 2020
Watch the "Greyhounds Running For Their Lives" documentary on the RTE Player https://www.rte.ie/player/movie/rt%C3%A9-investigates-greyhounds-running-for-their-lives/104051751967 or on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYTb2qBjlMM
Over the past months, we have witnessed inspiring acts of generosity and humanity as we battle a common threat. It’s no secret that we all need to work together to recover from the effects of the pandemic. And our zoos, aquariums, museums, gardens, science centers, and other cultural organizations will have a crucial role to play in that recovery.
These vital bastions of science, art, and education are important economic engines in their communities. They will need help to survive and recover from the unprecedented challenges they now face.
We count on these nonprofit organizations as trusted sources of information, innovative education and engagement, while at the same time fostering science and helping in the fight against threats like the current pandemic.
Tell Congress: These organizations need immediate support from our federal legislature, including payroll protections, insurance assistance, supplemental funding, incentives for charitable donations, and more.
Elizabeth Warren Joins Cory Booker’s Bill to Close all Factory Farms in the United States by 2040
Booker’s Farm System Reform act makes new large factory farms illegal, and it forces existing farms to plan to stop expansions and operations within 20 years. Rep. Ro Khanna is the other cosponsor and is bringing the legislation to the House.
In a statement, Warren said, ” For years, regulators looked the other way while giant multinational corporations crushed competition in the agriculture sector and seized control over key markets. The COVID-19 crisis will make it easier for Big Ag to get even bigger, gobble up smaller farms, and lead to fewer choices for consumers. We need to attack this consolidation head-on and give workers, farmers, and consumers bargaining power in our farm and food system. I’m glad to partner with Senator Booker and Representative Khanna to start reversing the hyper-concentration in our farm economy.”
Booked said recently in a statement, “Our food system was not broken by the pandemic and it was not broken by independent family farmers. It was broken by large, multinational corporations like Tyson, Smithfield, and JBS that, because of their buying power and size, have undue influence over the marketplace and over public policy. That undue influence was on full display with President Trump’s recent executive order prioritizing meatpacker profits over the health and safety of workers.”
And read more about recent updates on factory farming including Antibiotic Resistance in Humans Tied to Factory Farms and We’re Eating Sick Animals and Getting Deadly Diseases Because the USDA Won’t Uphold Basic Welfare Standards in Slaughterhouses.
There Are 80 Wet Markets in New York!
Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market inWuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.
California is the only state that has banned the cruel practice of fur trapping. What about wildlife in the rest of the U.S.?
Sign Now. The appearance of the disease COVID-19 in humans has brought to light some of the horrible ways we treat animals. It is thought that the novel coronavirus was first transmitted to humans in what is called a wet market, where live animals are kept in cramped and unhygienic conditions awaiting slaughter and sale. Although it has not contributed to the spread of disease, the cruel practice of fur-trapping has similarly contributed to a massive amount of animal suffering.
Fortunately, in 2019, California became the first U.S. state to ban commercial fur trapping of its native species, including gray foxes, beavers, coyotes, badgers and mink. But sadly, these cruel practices are still going on in all other 49 states.
The fur trapping industry is cruel, plain and simple. Trappers often use particularly gruesome killing practices in order to preserve the animal's pelt for sale. Strangulation and gassing are common, as is the use of steel-jaw leg hold traps. All these methods cause a slow and painful death. It's time to end this needless misery.
This Thursday, May 14, Born Free USA CEO, Angela Grimes, and I will host a special webinar on wildlife trade and the COVID-19 pandemic.
I hope you can join us for a discussion about the link between zoonotic illnesses, like COVID-19, and the exploitation of wildlife and what we are doing to combat the wildlife trade, followed by a live Q&A. If you have not already done so, please click here to register.
Webinar on Wildlife Trade and COVID-19
This Thursday, May, 14, 2020 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM ET
(Registration is required, but free of charge.)
Angela Grimes, CEO
Angela Grimes is Born Free USA’s Chief Executive Officer and has been with the organization since 2010. Prior to Born Free USA, Angela was Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, a wildlife sanctuary and rescue center. Angela currently serves on the national Board of Directors for EarthShare, a federation of leading environmental organizations.
Alice Stroud, Africa Policy & Capacity Building Director
Alice’s focus is developing the ability of African governments to fight wildlife crime and building consensus between African countries to conserve shared resources and implement international agreements. She is a French lawyer specialized in international, environmental, and natural resources law with more than a dozen years of experience leading Africa-based capacity building programs. Alice has an LL.M in natural and environmental resources law from Lewis and Clark Law School, a D.E.A. (Diploma in Advanced Studies) from the University of Paris XI, and a Master’s Degree in International and European Law from the University of Amiens, France.
Please join us on Thursday to learn more about our work to counter the wildlife trade, save animals, and prevent future pandemics!
Captive tigers. Second-class animals.
#RuthlessTrade: Captive tigers. Second-class animals. European authorities and countries consider them less important than tigers born in the wild. The life of a tiger bred in captivity is opposite than the one it would have in the wild. Separated at a very young age from their mother, they are used for tourist interactions. Once an adult, they are often sold to perform in circuses in countries that still allow shows. Once a tiger’s career in show business is over, that same tiger can be killed and dismembered for use in traditional medicine. If you think all tigers deserve the same protection, ask the European Commission to acknowledge this ruthless trade of captive tigers https://bit.ly/tiger-trade
One depressed, captive white Bengal tiger is showing severe signs of zoochosis in the Beijing Zoo, walking endlessly in circles in what appears to be a desperate attempt to ease his anxiety, reveals a now-viral video.
Heartbreaking footage of the poor animal restlessly pacing recently surfaced on social media, serving as a sobering reminder of why wild animals do not belong in captivity. The noticeably distressed cat has been circling for so long in his small enclosure, he’s created a visible track in the ground.
The alarming video raised widespread concern about the tiger’s mental health, and a zoo staff member claims that the beautiful creature received “psychological counseling,” which included giving him more food and toys, after handlers noticed his bizarre routine.
But the zoo is clearly failing to fulfill the tiger’s basic needs.
As long as this distraught tiger remains trapped in an inadequate environment, he will continue to suffer. Sign this petition urging the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai to push the Beijing Zoo to move him to a sanctuary, where he can live a truly healthy and happy life.
Timely Protection Granted for SoCal Mountain Lions
On April 16, the California Fish and Game Commission granted temporary endangered species status to Southern California and Central Coast mountain lions, thanks to the voices of mountain lion supporters like you in California. Mountain lions face local extinction due to frequent deaths from auto strikes, rodenticide poisons, poaching, and habitat loss and fragmentation driven by human overpopulation. This landmark unanimous decision came in the nick of time for these very sensitive lion populations! LEARN MORE
Tell YouTube to Ban Videos Showing Torturing and Eating Live Animals
Most people around the world condemn blatant cruelty to animals, but YouTube continues to allow videos of people tearing live animals apart. Filming the horrifying torture and deaths of many different species for views is unacceptable, and must be stopped! ACT NOW
Applicants with an outstanding commitment to animal law and a particular interest in anti-vivisection can apply for a scholarship for the Law & Ethics of Animal Testing course.
Animal Law CLEs. Are you a member of a Bar Association Animal Law Section or Committee planning an online Animal Law CLE in the coming months? If so, don't forget to post the details on our calendar of events. We can help you get the word out!
Factory Farms: Generating Environmental Injustice in North Carolina 2020 – May 12th. Industrial animal agriculture is responsible for animal suffering, pollution, and a range of environmental impacts, but government at most levels decline to regulate this industry. Learn about the carefully-carved legal loopholes that allow factory farms to operate with limited protections for animals, the environment, or surrounding communities, and about how residents—and others—are fighting back.
Federal Legislation: Current Issues & New Ideas. What kind of legislation has been introduced in Congress to stop animal cruelty? What can we do to make sure it gets passed into law? In this webinar, Alicia Prygoski, Legislative Affairs Manager, will address the shortcomings for animal protection in current federal law, give an overview of pending legislation, and discuss what we’d like to see introduced in the future. We’ll cover bills designed to protect captive wildlife, endangered species, companion animals, farmed animals, and more. A Q&A will follow.
All webinars are available to stream shortly after airing and always free to watch.
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Purchase gifts that help animals!
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.
Support the Big Cat Public Safety Act in style with our latest shirts! Choose from two different designs available exclusively in the Animal Legal Defense Fund store. It’s an easy way to let the world know that you support keeping big cats safe!
There are few federal laws protecting the millions of wild animals living in captivity in the United States, some of whom are kept in private homes. The Big Cat Public Safety Act would ban the private possession of big cats—protecting animals like tigers and lions from cruelty and neglect.