Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, August 31, 2008

US Fish & Wildlife Has Forensic Lab

For now......

Our crime laboratory is very much like a 'typical' police lab, except the victim is an animal. We examine, identify, and compare evidence using a wide range of scientific procedures and instruments, in the attempt to link suspect, victim and crime scene with physical evidence.


VP Palin won't like this!

Birds Dyed for Sale in India

Ugh!

Ordinary wild black headed munias are dyed fluorescent green, red and yellow to enhance their value. Hill mynahs, in great demand internationally, are frequently substituted by common mynah bathed in lamp black and mustard oil. With a touch of orange on the head, the ordinary rose-ringed parakeet turns into the more expensive Alexandrine parakeet. The unsuspecting buyer often with little knowledge about birds is thrilled to have got a ‘bargain’ price for a rare bird, readily buys the bird. It is a win-win situation for everyone, except of course, the hapless bird. The only silver lining is that in most cases, only vegetable dyes are used. As otherwise, the bird would die even before the sale is made! An estimated 50,000 traders in the various towns and cities of India earn their living doing this.

The practice of dyeing animals is not restricted to just birds. In the 1970s, authorities discovered that the poachers were dying the rare golden langur, grey, for the purpose of smuggling!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Why Palin?

The following is not necessarily representative of ALL of Critter News. Just me.

Why has John McCain chosen Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, as a running mate? This may not seem like an animal issue, but it is. For me, I've been deluged for months by Defenders of Wildlife material about Alaska's heartless treatment of wolves. Treatment headed by this woman's administration.

Now, she's a Vice-Presidential candidate. Yikes! If McCain gets elected, then I can see the future of the Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Agriculture, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, etc. A big F-U to animals.... worthy of George W. Bush himself.

But why Palin? She is the former mayor of a town with about 7,000 people (I grew up in a town of about 3,300 people. It's ballooned to 5,000 now. There's not much difference between that and 7,000. In other words, there ain't too much happening in a town of that size! I know!) She's been governor of Alaska for about two years, a world of its own with about half a million people, half of which may be subsistence hunters for all I know. Again, a woman who has been not been challenged with issues surrounding the lower 48 states. A small-town mayor running a small-town state.

She is so not qualified. So, why Palin?

She's a woman and she comes from oil. Her husband is in the oil business and she can advocate the gutting of ANWR.

Oh, and she's a cute woman and she'll appeal to the Hillary voters.

I didn't vote for Hillary, but I'm a feminist. Generally, feminists don't lean towards cute ex-beauty queens. They like Janet Reno and Madeline Albright types. Not much to look at, but a hell of a brain.

I hope that the scrutiny of Palin will do something about Alaska's unfair and cruel treatment of wolves. A couple of urban colleagues had this honest reaction when I filled them in. "Man, that's COLD!"

It is cold. And brutal. And unnecessary.

Let's hope Sarah doesn't make it to the White House. Let's hope McCain is just crazy...and not crazy like a fox.

Activists Release 6000 Mink in Canada

Activists in BC broke in and released 6000 mink. The article mentions this as being part of "Operation Bite Back", which I don't get. Bite Back is an ALF website that posts about these kinds of things.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bring Palin a Wolf Leg, Get $150.00

In addition to killing wolves from airplanes, Palin supports paying cash to those that cut off their left leg and bring it in for a cash prize. How's that for state socialism?

Palin Supports Brutal Method of Killing Wolves

I understand there may be some instances where predator control is necessary. I'm not an absolutist on this point. Doing it from low flying aircraft, however, is just barbaric. The wolves suffer needlessly because hunters simply wound them more often then not firing from an airplane. This is what Palin has pushed for.

Here is a video from Defenders of Wildlife that shows the method (it's under 3 minutes).



Here is more video from Current on the subject (this one is a full 10 minutes), but explains how this is mainly for the benefit of trophy hunters, not subsistence hunters that Palin claims it is for. It's worth watching.

Sarah Palin Thinks Bush Administration Too Environmentally Friendly

Wow. How far off the reservation do you have to be to sue the Bush administration over environmental issues because they are too strict? That's what Governor Pallin did in order to suck up to oil and gas interests in Alaska.
The state has sued Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, seeking to reverse his decision to give polar bears protection under the Endangered Species Act. Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, and other state officials say that by listing the bear as threatened, the government will cripple offshore oil and gas development.
Thank god we have people like her to protect oil companies from the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Blogging Today!

Too busy watching Barack.

Great speech!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Virgina Creates Wildlife Crime Watch Program

Sounds intriguing. I was particularly interested in the list of program sponsors. They were all hunting associations AND the National Rifle Association.

"Wildlife Crime Watch" is a new program implemented by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The ultimate goal of law enforcement is to stop criminal activity before is occurs. This program is a proactive effort to develop a partnership between citizens and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. It is patterned after the successful "Neighborhood Watch." Emphasis will be placed on wildlife and environmental issues but traditional crime prevention will also be addressed. Efforts will be made to have as many people in the community involved as possible, from young to old.

Through community meetings, neighbors will learn more about each other and how to protect wildlife, the environment, personal property and human life. Game Wardens and Department biologists will be available to provide information on wildlife and environmental issues. Game Wardens will act as liaison officers to coordinate with other agencies and organizations to provide assistance in other areas of concerns to the communities.

This program is designed to adapt to the concerns and needs of each participating "Watch" group. Meetings will be conducted as often as is necessary to meet the needs of each group. Road signs announcing the area as a "Wildlife Crime Watch Area" will be placed in the participating communities. Citizens will utilize phone trees and act as eyes and ears of law enforcement to report on suspicious activities.

Man Arrested for Smuggling Armoured Catfish

I guess you can smuggle anything in your suitcase if you try hard enough.

A Chinese man has been arrested for allegedly smuggling 13 armoured catfish into Australia on a Melbourne-bound flight.

The 34-year-old man arrived in Melbourne on a flight from Hong Kong on August 21 and was referred to the Australian Customs Service following a quarantine x-ray examination.

Customs officers allegedly found a cardboard box containing the live fish in plastic bags.

Dog Bites Dog to Save Boy

A pit bull attacked and was dragging a boy down the road in South Africa. So, a neighbor got his rottweiler (named Blade), who fought off the pit bull and saved the kid. How cool is that?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mean Kitties

This guy usually has some pretty funny videos of his cats. I subscribe to his videos on youtube.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lake Tahoe Bear Poached for Gall Bladder

Sounds like a crime of opportunity. Beware the disturbing photo.

State wildlife officials are investigating a possible poaching case in which someone removed the gallbladder of a black bear -- which can sell for thousands of dollars in Asia -- after the animal was struck and killed this week by a car in the Lake Tahoe area. The Times' Jia-Rui Chong reports:

The animal was found with its groin area shaved and gallbladder missing early Tuesday, less than 10 hours after a motorist reported striking the bear and California Highway Patrol officers moved it off the roadway. A surgical glove was discovered next to the bear's mutilated carcass.

"It appears that someone knew what they were doing," said Capt. Mark Lucero of the Department of Fish and Game's Northern Enforcement District.

It is illegal to take parts of dead wildlife left on the side of the road, Lucero said.

"A second violation would be if the gall was marketed on the black market," he added.

The penalty for trafficking in bear parts, a felony, is a $10,000 fine and a minimum six months to one year in prison.

Congo Officer Arrested for Baby Chimp Sales

No wonder wildlife trafficking is such a problem. Even members of the army are involved.

In this case, someone confused a baby chimp with a baby gorilla.

ICCN (Congolese Wildlife Authority) rangers received a tip-off that someone in Goma was trying to sell a baby gorilla. The rangers set up a sting operation, where one of them posed as a foreigner interested in buying the gorilla. They had a team of ICCN Rangers on standby to make arrests....

Following the arrests, it has emerged that the man who owned the house is a Major in the Congolese army. It was not a surprise that Major "X" (can't be named for legal reasons) was involved in the trade of baby chimps. He has been implicated in poaching incidents in Rwindi and more importantly there is strong evidence that he is a ringleader in the illegal charcoal trade.

I can't even imagine what happened to the baby chimp's mother.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Support Kindness Ranch

This is a new nonprofit in Wyoming that provides a sanctuary for survivors of animal experimentation.

I'm sending them a donation and hope you will too.

Beijing Olympics End, Let the Cruelty Begin Anew

I didn't watch a single minute of the games. From what I understand they were a wonderful testament to the combination of totalitarian governance married to vast corporate wealth. Yippee.

Note - this is not a knock against all those that competed. I don't have issues with them. I did have issues with the host country in this case because of the horrible way they treat animals, and their lack of any animal cruelty laws. I don't foresee any changes in the near future on that front.

China was awarded the Olympics on the condition that they would meet certain standards of behavior. They met none of those. And yet, the IOC President Jacques Rogge called then "truly exceptional games".

If anything the Chinese learned during these it's that given enough whitewash and money, other countries will swallow their Potemkin Village garbage. And so, nothing will change. They will continue to keep dogs and cats in cages too small to even stand up. Continue to boil them alive. Continue to abuse many other species with the full backing of the state.

What a truly exceptional game they've played.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dog Meat Still on the Menu in Beijing

Looks like the ban on dog meat during the Olympics was a farce. Big surprise. I'm sure it will be more out in the open along with their choking pollution problem once the games end.

Hundreds of Mink Released in Utah

Animal rights activists released about 600 mink from a fur farm.

Argentine Dog Saves Baby

A dog in Argentina saved an abandoned baby.
The baby, weighing 4kg (8lb 13oz), had some slight injuries, but no bite marks. The owner called the police and the child is now being looked after by the authorities, while a decision is taken about his future.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kamptee, India A Source of Illegal Wildlife Trade

Here's some information off the beaten path. Kamthi (previously spelled Kamptee) is a city and a municipal council in Nagpur district in the Indian state of Maharashtra

The seizure of 12 deer antlers (6 pairs) from a car at Kamptee octroi post by city police late Tuesday night proves that Nagpur continues to be major centre for of illegal trade in wildlife parts....

In India, collection of even shed antlers was banned in May 1998.

Before the ban, Kamptee was a hub of antler trade in India with states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa as the main collection centres. Earlier, 300 tonnes of shed antler products were allowed to be exported from four ports...

Don't Forget What China Has Done

I haven't watched a minute of the Olympics, but I've heard enough praise from those who've watched it. "What a beautiful opening ceremony!," "what a great basketball game!," and "did you see Michael Phelps?" Yadda yadda.

This is why I want NOTHING to do with the Beijing Olympics....and, no, it's not just about the animals.

I'll be glad when this marketing blitz is over. Then the American sponsors will be happy and we can get back to normal.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quote of the Week

If only we can overcome cruelty, to human and animal, with love and compassion we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human moral and spiritual evolution - and realize, at last, our most unique quality: humanity.

~ Jane Goodall

Wolves & Eagles No Longer Endangered in Michigan?

That's what Michigan's State Department of Natural Resources says.

Michigan's removal of the bald eagle and gray wolf from the list will be the most significant change in species protection the state has seen in years. Since 1976, Michigan's endangered and threatened species listing has been modified only six times--a fact [DNR's former endangered species coordinator, Todd} Hogrefe attributed to the tremendous amount of time and effort it takes DNR staff to decide which animals to include and which to leave out.

The delisting would not open the door for hunters to kill wolves, the state's DNR notes. Killing would be permitted only if a wolf posed a direct threat to humans.


State environmental groups are showing "cautious optimism."

How to Eat Fish Sustainably

Needless to say, I support NOT eating any fish or meat all. BUT, for those people who do eat fish and want to do so responsibly, here is a very educational article that addresses the issue.

Want the highlights?

*Eat as locally as possible.

*Ask questions.

*Read labels.

*Choose wisely at restaurants.

*Eat lower on the food chain.

*Have stand-bys.

*Be careful with the big two (shrimp and salmon).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gwyneth Paltrow Models Fur, Activists Not Happy

You'd think of all the things she could model, she would stay away from fur products. Or maybe there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

German Canines to Help Catch Smugglers

Interesting.

Amy, a German shepherd, and Uno, a Labrador retriever, have joined the team at {Frankfurt,} one of Europe's busiest airports — the first two dogs in Germany trained to sniff out live animals, plants or derivatives or remains of them.

The three-year-olds' debut is a joint effort between police and the World Wildlife Fund to help stop the illegal but lucrative trade in rare species — which the organization estimates is a $293 billion annual business....

They have been taught to focus on 16 specific smells including feathers, leathers, reptiles, caviar, coral, ivory and bone.


Incredible that illegal smuggling is estimated at $293 billion. That's huge.

Three Men Go on Trial in Puerto Rico for Dog Massacre

These are the 3 that allegedly tossed animals off a bridge to kill them. If guilty, I hope they are punished severely. Somehow I doubt that will happen, but you never know.
Animal control workers in October took about 80 pets from the housing project in the northern Puerto Rican town of Barceloneta and allegedly tossed them off a bridge to their deaths. The killings brought revulsion around the world and triggered calls for tourist boycotts of this U.S. Caribbean territory.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Canadian Sentenced for Ivory Smuggling

Good news.

Tania Julie Siyam, a 32-year-old Canadian art dealer, has been sentenced to serve 60 months in prison and pay a $100,000 fine for illegally smuggling ivory from Cameroon to the United States. The sentence follows a long running international investigation by special agents of the U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife officials from Environment Canada and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland, Ohio. Siyam plead guilty in a U.S. District Court to four federal felony charges.

Tania Siyam originally operated art import and export businesses in Montreal, Canada, and Cameroon that were fronts for smuggling products from endangered and protected wildlife species, including raw elephant ivory.

US Fish & Wildlife Only Accepting Snail Mail

OK, so if you have a comment about the changes to the Endangered Species Act, you can ONLY snail mail or hand deliver your letter. No email or faxes.

Plus...

You only have 30 days to comment.

And there will be no public hearing.

That's just BS.

Paul Watson on Sharks

Happy Monday.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Update on Proposition 2 in CA

Again, thanks to Farmed Animal Net for this update on California's proposition 2.

California’s Proposition 2 is not solely about the California egg business but is also about the egg industry’s national survival, warned Gene Gregory at the annual legislative meeting of United Egg Producers (UEP). Gregory is the president and CEO of UEP, an industry trade group. The ballot initiative was the dominating topic of the meeting, where it was said that up to $50 million will be needed to successfully fight it. Throughout UEP’s annual meeting speakers cautioned that Prop 2’s passage would be a major blow to the industry. Efforts for such a ballot initiative in Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire and Vermont have failed but efforts are currently underway to establish similar legislation in Colorado and Washington.

In July, the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)’s board of directors voted 9-4 to endorse Prop 2. The action prompted many farmed animal vets to leave CVMA and form the Association of California Veterinarians, which subsequently voted to oppose the ballot initiative, reports Feedstuffs.

Some Good News In NJ Farm Animals Case

Thanks to Farmed Animal Net for this information from August 8.

In a unanimous decision, New Jersey’s Supreme Court rejected a broad challenge by animal protection advocates to the state’s rules on the care of farmed animals) but struck down regulations that regard husbandry practices as being “humane” merely because they are routine. The court upheld regulations permitting pig and calf confinement, the transport of ill and injured cattle, and force molting of birds. “Although the court noted that these practices are controversial and that downed animals ‘suffer greatly,’ it found the record on appeal insufficient to warrant striking the regulations at this time,” explains an article from the Environmental News Service. While the decision did not ban any procedure or practice, “the Court further held that tail docking could not be considered humane, and [that] mutilations without anesthesia including castration, de-beaking and de-toeing could not be considered humane without some specific requirements to prevent pain and suffering,” the article notes. The N.J. Department of Agriculture (NJDA) was ordered to readdress a number of its mandated standards for farmed animal treatment.

A N.J. Farm Bureau spokesperson expressed disappointment at the decision while animal protection advocates deemed it a victory. Many states exempt routine practices from their cruelty code, and the precedent-setting ruling will be used in the nationwide campaign against controversial practices. The plaintiffs plan to pressure the NJDA to abandon them when the regulations are revised.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

China Gets to Buy Elephant Ivory

I don't know how to call this one....will it help or hurt the elephant population in the long run?

Either way, I hate these incredibly intelligent animals being "harvested" as "product."

The UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in Geneva voted in favour of China becoming a licensed importer. Britain was one of nine countries which supported the move.

It will allow China to bid for more than 100 tonnes of ivory stockpiled in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe through culling and natural deaths.

The African states say they need to sell the stockpiles to finance the conservation and management of their elephant populations but critics say it will give illegal traders the opportunity to launder poached ivory.

Situation Critical for Zimbabwe Wildlife

War and chaos is bad for everyone, human and non-human.

In Zimbabwe, activists claim impoverished Zimbabweans are killing elephants and eating them. Out-of-control poaching is apparently wiping out all sort of wildlife, including hippos.

Virginia Fox Smuggler Gets Six Months

Jerk.

Howard Glen Blevins, 68, of Asheville, N.C., pleaded guilty in March to five counts of trafficking in wild animals. A statement from U.S. Attorney Julia Dudley said Blevins had bought animals for several years from trappers in different states and brought them to Virginia to sell to the owners of "fox pens." Hunters would then pay to hunt in the pens.

He was caught after a yearlong investigation by Virginia game officials that included the undercover purchases of 54 red foxes and 47 coyotes from Blevins.

The animals were transported in the closed bed of a pickup truck, sometimes with two dozen or more animals crowded together. Often they were injured.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Norway Knights Penguin, Ostrich Denied Again

Nils Olav, a king penguin on the Norwegian King's Guard, was bestowed a knighthood for simultaneously defusing an IED while taking out a machine gun in Iraq. I kid. The IED was already defused. OK, I don't think Norway even has troops in Iraq...

To the article:
FOR the commanding officer of the Norwegian King's Guard, it was a moment as surreal as it was moving.

As Lieutenant-Colonel Ingrid Gjerde surveyed the scene before her in Edinburgh yesterday, she must have wondered whether she was dreaming.

For the King's Guard was about to award a knighthood to what was already the world's most decorated penguin
The King's Guard has adopted the penguin at the zoo. Apparently he got a little nervous when he saw he sword.

Update - They have it on video! Thanks Internets!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Spotted Owl Appears Doomed

This is very sad. We live in the Pacific Northwest and I remember the spotted owl battles in the 90s. All that work for nothing...

First of all, good ol' Dubya never disappoints.
The Bush administration has decided that the northern spotted owl can get by with less old growth forest habitat as it struggles to get off the threatened species list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday it would cut by 23 percent the federal forest land designated as critical habitat for the owl in Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Designating critical habitat for protection is a requirement of the Endangered Species Act.

Meanwhile, owl numbers are dropping by 4 percent a year.

Conservation groups say the critical habitat designation and a new plan for restoring owl population.

The spotted owl is particularly in danger of extinction in Washington State, where we live. Basically, the Northwest Forest Plan was a big failure (thank Bill Clinton for that one.)

The situation is particularly bad in Washington, where the rate at which owls are found at nesting sites has fallen by nearly half since 1994. Scientists blame the decline largely on the invasion of a tougher owl and the loss of much habitat to decades of logging.

"It's not looking very good," said Eric Forsman, of the U.S. Forest Service, a pre-eminent spotted-owl scientist. "The populations seem to be gradually going downhill, and it's not clear if or when that's going to stop."

Kitty and a Remote Controlled Mouse

Happy Friday Kids!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Your Pet Could Be in a Novel

And you don't have to be the writer! Best Friends is having a contest where you can enter for a mere $25.00 into a drawing.
Here’s how it works: First, sponsor an animal at Best Friends for $25. To sponsor an animal, click here. And don’t feel you have to limit yourself to one entry. Sponsor as many animals as you like!

You’ll receive an e-mail receipt for your sponsorship that will serve as a raffle ticket. Forward that receipt to Devin at raffle@RedHotNovel.com.

The winning entry will be drawn on December 31 by an independent third party, Raymond E. Derr, CPA, of Anderson-Derr, CPAs. Devin will then work with the winner to incorporate the animal into the book.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Seal Exhibit...At the Mall?

What the...? You've GOT to be kidding!

A controversial new attraction that allows visitors to swim with sea lions at the West Edmonton Mall won't be reviewed until next year, according to the association that certifies zoos and aquariums in Canada.

For $150, visitors can don a wetsuit and play in the mall's indoor aquarium with Clara, Kelpie and Pablo, three sea lions.

...Two retailers in the giant mall, the largest in Canada, have also raised concerns about the attraction.

Officials with Lush Cosmetics and The Body Shop have both questioned whether allowing people to swim with sea lions is the best way to promote the protection of wildlife.

Quote of the Week


I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.

Leonardo Da Vinci, artist, designer, inventor and scientist:

Basset Hounds!

Tbogg's dogs: Fenway, Beckham, and Satchmo.

Monday, August 11, 2008

RIP Satchmo

Popular blogger Tbogg's dog Satchmo has died. Many of us knew him through his Thursday night Basset Blogging.

Do They Miss Me?

Probably not. I've been faithfully boycotting the Olympics. I don't think I'm missing much. And, I suppose the Chinese don't really care. That's OK. I still won't watch them. As soon as these games are over, they will go right back to their horrible treatment of animals and humans.

Bush Relaxes ESA Standards, Sun Rises in East

Expect more of the Worst President Ever to find ways to give everyone and everything the middle finger before he leaves office.
The Bush administration yesterday announced plans to relax the law protecting endangered species to allow federal agencies to decide for themselves whether construction projects such as highways, dams or mines might harm endangered animals and plants.

Under the altered rules, the government would no longer have to consult with independent scientists about the effect of new projects on wildlife. Thousands of consultations take place every year.
Is there anything this complete douche bag won't do for industry? I am counting the days until this moron goes back to his horrible little scrub brush ranch.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Woman Who Cloned Pets is Alleged Kidnapper and Rapist

This is just bizarre, but the woman who had 5 dogs cloned is a bail jumping alleged rapist. The rapist part is alleged, not the bail jumping part.
The story of Joyce McKinney is the stuff of pulp fiction: a North Carolina-born beauty queen who moved west, won the title Miss Wyoming USA and went on to college at Brigham Young University, where she became obsessed with a Mormon fellow student.

When that young Mormon took a missionary trip to England, authorities say, McKinney hired a private detective so she could find and follow him.

She and a male accomplice were accused of abducting the 21-year-old missionary as he went door to door, taking him to a rented 17th-century "honeymoon cottage" in Devon and chaining him spread-eagle to a bed with several pairs of mink-lined handcuffs.

There, investigators say, he was repeatedly forced to have sex with McKinney before he was able to escape and notify police.
Creepy. She promptly jumped bail and fled the country. That was in 1977, but apparently she was still pining for him, as she was allegedly stalking and trying to do it again to the guy in 1984.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Funny Hamster Video

Enjoy:

More From the Authoritarian Games

A Protester was removed from an equestrian event in Beijing.
Christina Chan tried to display the flag, hidden under a Canadian flag, at the dressage in Hong Kong.

She was asked to leave, but refused to do so, and was later removed from the arena with a second protester.

The Games opened in Beijing on Friday with a spectacular display of fireworks, music and dancing.
Spectacular the event may have been, but the repression remains. Boycott the "games". China does not deserve our admiration or attention.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Captive Tiger Regulation Lags in the US

The wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC and World Wildlife Fund jointly authored a comprehensive report on captive tiger regulations across the United States. Not a subject one would associate with the US, making such a study all the more important.

According to the report, the U.S. government has no way to determine how many tigers there are in captivity within its borders, where they are, who owns them, or what happens to their body parts when they die. Captive tigers include animals bred in zoos, used for entertainment in carnivals or promotional exhibits, housed at rescue facilities, and those privately owned. In many states there are no controls on individuals keeping tigers as pets. Current estimates indicate that there are more than 5,000 tigers in captivity in the United States, more than exist in the wild. A registration scheme for all captive tigers and a means to monitor disposal of dead tigers is urgently needed, according to the report.

Lowland Gorillas Doing Better than Expected

About 125,000 were unexpectedly counted during a recent census.

But don't get too excited....

Jillian Miller, executive director of conservation group The Gorilla Organization commented: "The discovery of such a large population of western lowland gorillas is absolutely fantastic news for the sub-species and for conservationists, but we should be careful not to be too complacent.

"The area where these gorillas have been found is in the path of the Ebola virus, which has wiped out large numbers of Western lowland gorillas during the past 25 years."

She added: "Numbers are less important than trends, and sadly the trend for all gorilla sub-species, apart from the mountain gorillas, has been a downturn in population figures."

Let The Beijing Olympic Games Begin!

Just remember scenes like this, which is something they don't want you to see. And note - I know there is animal cruelty in all countries, but can you imagine the reaction in your town if someone walked down the street like this? Disgusting.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

98 Year Old Orca Matriarch Dies

Well, that's just an estimate. I had no idea they could live that long.
Great-great-great-grandma Lummi – the oldest member of the local orca population – has been missing since December and is presumed dead.

Lummi, the matriarch of the family of orcas known as K pod, is thought to have been born around 1910, give or take 15 years. Her birth year is an estimate based on when she stopped having babies.

Even if the number is off by a decade, 98-year-old Lummi was a pretty old orca. On average, female orcas found around Puget Sound and the waters of the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island live to be about 50.

International Vegetarian Club of Beijing

I was just surfing about looking for any Chinese websites on animal issues (that I could actually read), when I came upon the International Vegetarian Club of Beijing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Obama Disappoints with Support of Off-Shore Drilling

What can I say? I'm disappointed in him.

Swimmer Amanda Beard Protests Fur Beijing Games

Awesome.
U.S. swimmer Amanda Beard unveiled a demure nude photograph of herself urging women "Don't wear fur" on Wednesday, hours after Chinese authorities had prevented her from her staging a news conference for "safety" reasons.

The Athens 2004 Olympic gold medallist said she was determined to carry on even after plainclothes police banned her scheduled news conference at a Beijing hotel "for our safety".
Here is her website. I'd root for her, but I'm skipping the games to protest their treatment of animals.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Woman Pays $50,000 to Have Dog Cloned

Personally, I think this money would have been better spent on taking care of unwanted dogs that are already here. I realize the dog that was cloned saved her life, but these puppies are not that dog. And her dog didn't do what he did because he had the right DNA. It would have been a better tribute to that dog to help other animals (human or otherwise).

Read about it here
.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stop Alaska's Aerial Hunting of Wolves

I hate the fact that Alaska gets a female governor who is hellbent on supporting the brutal aerial hunting of wolves. Where is her compassion?

Defenders of Wildlife are tireless crusaders on behalf of wolves. Here's a link to their page where you can email support of the PAW Act.

Rep. George Miller (CA) has introduced the Protect America's Wildlife (PAW) Act, legislation to close a federal loophole and curb Alaska's brutal aerial hunting program -- and prevent programs like it from spreading to places like the Greater Yellowstone region. But he needs your support to win passage of this wolf-saving measure.


Visit here and sign.

Capital Animal Welfare Association Helping Stray Animals in Beijing

I know I've been hard on the Chinese with regard to animal cruelty. And, at least as a matter of their official policies, they deserve it. They do a rotten job in providing basic protection for animals there.

Some brave souls in China are trying to change things. Qin Xiaona, of the Capital Animmal Welfare Association is one such person. CNN has a good article about it.

But I still ain't watching those damn games...

China's Disgusting and Cruel Dog Meat Trade

While the Olympics are going on, I plan on highlighting China's sorry record of cruelty towards animals. Here is an article about dogs being boiled alive so they can be eaten. I shall refrain from quoting the article, as that description is enough to turn one's stomach. No wonder they are so ashamed of it that they have forbidden dog meat to be sold in Beijing during the games. I am certain they will resume when the last athlete has left.

DO NOT WATCH THE GAMES. China does not deserve your attention for this authoritarian spectacle.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Some Environmentalists Support Mustang Culling

Well, this sucks. Another battle on the difficult animal rights vs. environment front.

Some environmentalists and scientists have come to see the mustangs, which run wild from Montana to California, as top-of-the-food-chain bullies, invaders whose hooves and teeth disturb the habitats of endangered tortoises and desert birds.

...Environmentalists’ attitudes toward the horses have evolved so far that some are willing to say what was heresy a few years ago: that euthanasia is acceptable if the alternatives are boarding the mustangs for life at taxpayers’ expense or leaving them to overpopulate, damage the range and die of hunger or thirst.

Animal Rights Activists Suspected in Firebombings

A family had to escape their burning house after a firebomb was set off. Another scientist had their car set on fire on campus. That's pretty scary stuff.
The Santa Cruz incidents occurred one day after a mass e-mailing by Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, or SAEN, highlighting what the group called "mounting violations of the animal welfare act" at private labs in Santa Cruz and Berkeley. Police would not say whether there is a connection between the group and Saturday's violence. Clark would only say authorities are looking at several animal liberation groups, including SAEN.

According to SAEN's executive director, Michael Budkie, who said he was in Ohio, the group researches and highlights public records regarding use of animals in research labs. He said the group does not use violent tactics and was not involved in the attacks Saturday in Santa Cruz.

I looked on the ALF website and Biteback magazine, and neither one has any information on the incidents.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Woman Killed By Bear Hunter

You know, if you're too young and/or stupid to tell the difference between a bear and a 54 year old woman, maybe you shouldn't be handling firearms.

Saudi Arabia Bans Sale of Pets

Saudi Arabia has banned the sale of cats and dogs. They are now officially more screwed up then the North Koreans in the general screwed up way a country can be.
Othman al-Othman, head of the Muttawa in Riyadh, told the al-Hayat daily that the ban was being enforced because men use pets to flirt with women and to "disturb families."
I have never heard of a country so OBSESSED with sex. These people must think about it 24 hours a day. What a bizarre, sexually repressed, sad country.

Beijing Tries to "Un-Politicize" Games

Maybe it's the rotten air pollution and the human rights record. Or the disgusting record on their treatment of animals that has gotten more attention then ever. Oh, the ways I hope this Olympics won't shine...

I know I won't watch so much as one minute. Boycott the games! They don't deserve our attention.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lewis and Clark's Animal Law Conference

I received this notice a few days ago in my email.

The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund of Lewis & Clark and the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark are pleased to announce this year's Animal Law conference on October 17, 18 and 19, 2008. Please join advocates and others from the animal law community for One Earth: Globalism & Animal Law! The conference showcases prominent legal minds from the United States and around the world to discuss recent trends and future developments in animal law. In addition to feeding your minds, the conference features a variety of vegan food highlighted at the Friday evening reception and the banquet on Saturday.

Additional information about this exciting event is provided on the conference website: www.animallawconference.com. Register today to receive an early bird discount!

Don't Eat Fido: Humane Society Tips For People That Go to the Beijing Olympics

Personally, I wish you would all just stay away. I plan on watching NONE of the Olympics to protest China's lack of any animal cruelty laws, and generally rotten behavior towards animals.

But, if you do go, the Humane Society has a list of do's and don'ts.

Light Blogging

Blogger froze our account for thinking we were blog spam, so we haven't been able to post. Blogging will resume as we find the time.