Thursday December 12, 2013
According to SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness, the Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove, NJ admitted on Facebook on Monday, November 11 that they had sent nine of their "unproductive" horses to the New Holland horse auction in New Holland, PA. At the auction, nine horses were purchased by a man named Bruce Rotz, who purchases horses for human consumption for the Richelieu Slaughter Plant in Quebec, Canada. The post has since been deleted from Facebook.
Horse slaughter for human consumption was effectively banned in the US when Congress stopped funding USDA inspections of horse slaughterhouses. The ban was lifted in 2011, and while some have been eager to restart the horse slaughter industry in the US, the USDA did not issue permits until the summer of 2013. The slaughterhouses still have not reopened, thanks to a lawsuit by The Humane Society of the US, and a US federal appeals court granted HSUS's emergency injunction last month, temporarily stopping the slaughterhouses from opening.
Being sold for slaughter is just one of the abuses that animals in rodeos face. No federal law bans the transport of live horses to Canada or Mexico for slaughter, but NJ state law prohibits knowingly transporting a horse for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption. SHARK has asked the NJ State Veterinarian and the NJ Department of Agriculture to file a complaint against Cowtown.
What you can do: Boycott rodeos, and if you know anyone who attends rodeos, talk to them about the animal cruelty. SHARK is also asking the public to boycott the companies that sponsor rodeos, including Marriott Hotels, Coca Cola, and Dodge cars.
Image courtesy of SHARK.
Thursday December 5, 2013
Does your state wildlife management agency claim that the deer are "overabundant" and need to be hunted? Sick of photos of "browse lines" being used to justify a hunt? Tired of hunters saying that the deer will starve without a hunt? Do you know how and why state agencies intentionally increase the deer population? Learn how to make the scientific arguments against hunting.
Image © Doris Lin 2011, licensed to About.com
Saturday November 30, 2013
Update: See my answer, after the jump.
Inspired by a courtroom full of supporters for Sammy, an abused cocker spaniel dog in New Jersey, a newspaper asked, "What is it about animal abuse that evokes such an outpouring from people worldwide when violence against humans often goes unnoticed?" The article cites several examples, including Patrick, the abused pit bull with over 300,000 likes on his Facebook page.
People interviewed by the newspaper gave various responses, but none gave the answer that I would have given. I do have my own theory, but I don't want to influence the poll, so I'll wait a few days, before posting my answer. (Updated: I posted my opinion after the jump.)
What do you think?
Read more about animal cruelty.
Photo by Associated Humane Societies. Used with permission.
Saturday November 30, 2013
An undercover investigator who recorded video footage of animal cruelty at Quanah Cattle Co. in Colorado has been charged with animal cruelty. Taylor Radig, an undercover investigator for Compassion Over Killing, documented workers kicking and throwing newborn calves, and lifting them by their tails. COK turned the footage over to authorities about two months after Radig's employment at Quanah ended, leading to animal cruelty charges being filed against three employees and against Radig. According to a press release from the Weld County Sheriff, "Radig's failure to report the alleged abuse of the animals in a timely manner adheres to the definition of acting with negligence and substantiates the charge Animal Cruelty." Will Potter, of Green is the New Red, calls the charges "unprecendented."
Potter also points out the similarity between the sheriff's reasoning and proposed ag-gag legislation that would require investigators to turn over video footage immediately, which would prevent documentation of patterns of abuse. Footage of a single act of animal cruelty can be easily dismissed as unusual, so a pattern of abuse is important for establishing the company's tolerance and policies on animal cruelty. According to Potter, "Colorado is not an "ag-gag" state, but this is clearly part of that trend, and could indicate ag-gag legislation about to be introduced in Colorado."
As COK states on their website, "Witnessing - and exposing - animal abuse is not a crime!" The sheriff's office cites Colorado Revised Statutes 18-9-201 and 18-9-202, which says:
A person commits cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, overworks, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, allows to be housed in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious physical harm, carries or confines in or upon any vehicles in a cruel or reckless manner, engages in a sexual act with an animal, or otherwise mistreats or neglects any animal, or causes or procures it to be done, or, having the charge or custody of any animal, fails to provide it with proper food, drink, or protection from the weather consistent with the species, breed, and type of animal involved, or abandons an animal.
There is nothing in this law that requires a whistleblower to turn over video footage of animal cruelty immediately after it is shot. Unless the sheriff's office has evidence of Radig kicking or throwing calves, they shouldn't be charging her with animal cruelty. I feel like a broken record here, but I'll say it again: this is yet another example of how the government protects agribusiness interests, over the interests of activists or even public health.
The information on this website is not legal advice and is not a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an attorney.
Image of calf at Quanah courtesy of Compassion Over Killing.