Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Laws to Start in California

From Hometown Station AM 1220.....
New legislation in California increases the misdemeanor penalty for animal neglect and makes it a crime to sell a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, or carnival. California SB 917

Two new laws in Oregon and California prohibit the possession, sale, trade or distribution of shark fins. The California law specifies that a person must hold a license in order to possess shark fins for scientific purposes. In addition, restaurants may possess and sell shark fins purchased before Jan. 1, 2012, until Jan. 1, 2013. California AB 376.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Undercover Video Sparks Calls for Canadian Ban on Horse Meat

Excerpted from CTV.CA....
Animal rights groups are calling for a ban on the sale of horse meat after disturbing video at a slaughterhouse in west Quebec was sent to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition.

The footage was shot with a hidden camera inside Les Viandes de la Petite Nation near Montebello. It shows a parade of horses being stunned with what's called a captive bolt pistol.

At one point, a worker can be seen stunning a horse and waving goodbye. Under Canadian laws, one shot is supposed to render the horse unconscious but it often doesn't happen. Captured on video, is one horse being stunned 11 times.

"What we do here is legal and supervised by the Canadian government," said the company's general manager.

The video was sent by a source inside the slaughterhouse. For the coalition, it was added evidence there needs to be a ban on horse meat for more than just health reasons. They call the process unethical.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Russia Bans Canadian Seal Imports!

Great news! But I'm not exactly sure why RUSSIA would ban them. (The other two neighbors that banned them are Kazakhstan and Belarus). Apparently, some claim about 90 percent of Canadian sales are to Russia. Russia does have its own seal hunt, but apparently they banned killings of animals under one year old. Weird. I don't see what they get out of it, unless they want to impress Europe, which has already banned seal products.

Excerpted from the Globe and Mail....
Russia and two of its neighbours have informed the World Trade Organization that they are banning the import and export of harp seal pelts – a move that animal-rights activists are celebrating as the death knell of Canada’s commercial seal industry.

Russia has been the biggest market for the Canadian seal fur industry. And harp seals are the prime source of that fur.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bob Barker Offers to Pay to Move Canadian Elephants to Sanctuary

I hope, when I reach their age, I'm as active and effective as Bob Barker and Betty White are in the animal rights movement.

Excerpted from CBC News....
Legendary game show host Bob Barker says it will cost $200,000 to move three elephants from the Toronto Zoo to a California sanctuary, and he doesn't mind paying for it himself.

Toronto city council voted in October to move the elephants to a facility run by PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) near Galt, Calif., called ARK 2000.

The former host of The Price is Right, interviewed on CBC News Network on Monday, said the three female African elephants — Toka, Thika and Iringa — would be better off in a warmer climate.

"I don't think there should be elephants in Canada," said Barker, 88, during a live interview with CBC’s Carole MacNeil. "I love Canada and I love Canadians, but it's not the place for elephants and I think it's becoming obvious to the people up there.

"I grew up in South Dakota and I know a little bit about cold, and it's just not the place for an elephant."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Huge Ivory Seizure in Malaysia

Possibly the largest ever....full story here in Wildlife Extra News.
December 2011. Malaysian authorities have seized a staggering 15 tonnes of elephant ivory in Port Klang, just west of Kuala Lumpur; the sixth and by far the largest major seizure involving Malaysia in recent months, quite possibly the largest ever.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lawsuit to Challenge Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

Read the full article in the Washington Post....
A group of animal rights activists sued the U.S. government Thursday to challenge the constitutionality of a rarely used law they say treats them like terrorists if they cause a loss in profits for businesses that use or sell animal products.

Five activists represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights filed the lawsuit in federal court in Boston, asking that the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act be struck down as unconstitutional because it has a chilling effect on lawful protest activities

I wish them luck!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Canada Leaves Kyoto Protocol

PAH!

Read the whole article at thestar.com.
The Conservative government is facing a barrage of criticism at home and abroad for its decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, including assertions the move could be breaking federal law.

On Tuesday, Canada’s Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan said he has a legal mandate to continue to inform Parliament of the government’s progress when it comes to meeting its targets under the binding climate accord.

Under the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, Vaughan is obliged to provide yearly reports to MPs on the country’s efforts to meet its targets — even if the government pulls out of the agreement. Vaughan said he is working with a team of lawyers to determine what the implications of the government’s decision will be.

“If the act remains, then we will inform Parliament, and the question will be: How will we do this?” Vaughan said. “If the act remains an act of Parliament, then we will abide by the law.”

Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May accused the Conservatives of breaking domestic law by withdrawing from the international climate-change accord — a move she says has made Canada a “pariah on the world stage.”

Monday, December 12, 2011

BLM Admits Horse Roundups Have Involved Mistreatment

An internal review by the US Bureau of Land Management admits that the roundup of wild horses has involved some mistreatment, but they refuse to admit the treatment was inhumane.

Excerpted from USA Today....
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's internal review of a wild horse roundup in Nevada found some mustangs were whipped in the face, kicked in the head, dragged by a rope around the neck, and repeatedly shocked with electrical prods, but the agency concluded none of the mistreatment rose to the level of being inhumane.

The Bureau of Land Management's internal review of a wild horse roundup in Nevada in Sept., found some mustangs were kicked in the head, dragged by a rope around the neck and repeatedly shocked with electrical prods, but the agency concluded none of the mistreatment rose to the level of inhumane.

BLM Director Bob Abbey did, however, determine additional training is needed for the workers and contractors involved. Abbey, the former BLM state director for Nevada, said the roundup this summer near the Utah line was done correctly for the most part. But he said the review cited some incidents of inappropriate practices, including helicopters jeopardizing the health and safety of horses by following too closely or chasing small bands or individual animals for too long.

"Aggressive and rough handling of wild horses is not acceptable, and we are actively taking steps to ensure that such behavior is not repeated," Abbey said in a statement announcing a number of procedures intended to improve and further review the BLM's standard operating procedures for roundups.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ugh! North Sea Birds with Plastic in Them

Pretty gross and sad. Read the full story here.
Data from studies monitoring the amount of consumer plastic eaten by sea birds suggest that levels in the North Sea are well above targets... and the figures are rising.

For the most recent monitoring period, the target amount was exceeded in well over half the birds studied, with the English Channel being the worst affected region with 74% of birds over the threshold.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

California Exotic Animal Laws Criticized by Some

Here's an interesting article. Ohio's governor just signed an executive order modeled on California's exotic animal laws, actually spurring criticism of the effectiveness of those laws.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Horse Slaughter Could Start Up Again in One Month

Bad news for horses in the US. Of course, right now, they're just being shipped to Canada and Mexico anyway, where health and welfare standards are much, much lower.

Read the complete article at pantagraph.com.....
Horses could soon be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month.

Slaughter opponents pushed a measure cutting off funding for horse meat inspections through Congress in 2006 after other efforts to pass outright bans on horse slaughter failed in previous years. Congress lifted the ban in a spending bill President Barack Obama signed into law Nov. 18 to keep the government afloat until mid-December.

It did not, however, allocate any new money to pay for horse meat inspections, which opponents claim could cost taxpayers $3 million to $5 million a year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to find the money in its existing budget, which is expected to see more cuts this year as Congress and the White House aim to trim federal spending.

The USDA issued a statement Tuesday saying there are no slaughterhouses in the U.S. that butcher horses for human consumption now, but if one were to open, it would conduct inspections to make sure federal laws were being followed. USDA spokesman Neil Gaffney declined to answer questions beyond what was in the statement.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Efforts to Rescue Lolita the Orca from Miami

Read the rest of the article in the Courthouse News Service....
Animal-rights activists claim an orca is being held in an "inadequate tank" in the Miami Seaquarium. They sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for excluding captive killer whales from listing under the Endangered Species Act.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Individuals and three individuals challenge the NMFS decision "to exclude from the listing of the Southern Resident killer whale population all captive members of that population and their progeny."

The federal complaint focuses on a whale named Lolita, who was captured more than 40 years ago, and has been held at the Miami Seaquarium. The activists claim Lolita is being "kept in an inadequate tank, without companions of her own species or adequate protection from the sun."