Misguided new program in Australia puts more greyhounds at risk

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I was stunned when an article popped up Tuesday night on the Pack News Wire, concerning a so-called “Masters” greyhound racing program in Australia.

Some dogs will be forced to raced past the typical age when they are shut down from racing. The stark cluelessness on the part of the racing industry plays out in the following paragraph from the piece posted on the TheDogs website.

Masters racing is an important initiative that prolongs the careers of NSW racing greyhounds and reiterates GRNSW’s commitment to greyhound welfare by maximising the racing opportunities available.

The nerve of suggesting this is a commitment to the welfare of the dogs is sickening at best.

The industry will try anything, from propaganda and more, to keep this horrible industry afloat.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

News media stepping up of late, in exposing greyhound racing

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It’s been an impressive month or so in the news media, in terms of focusing on greyhound racing, as the horrible industry it really is.

The public across the board is against it and only a tiny segment of gamblers support it. So the only roadblocks remaining are the lobbyists and the few politicians in states like Florida who continue to block important legislation that might shut down the tracks for good.

How these few state legislatures can continue to hand over state funds to this industry and offer it protections no other industry enjoys is beyond belief. This industry should be shut down today, across the globe.

So this week, I’ll be reviewing some of the media coverage. Let’s start with an editorial from the Pensacola News Journal, posted Tuesday on the News-Press.com site.

The writer notes enforcement is “almost nonexistent” from the Florida Division of Parimutuel Wagering, in regard to rules that should ban or suspend those convicted of a felony or of abusing animals. (More on this in an upcoming post.)

Since a new reporting law went into effect last year in Florida, 93 racing greyhound deaths occurred. In a single year – 93 dogs were killed. And this doesn’t include the injuries or I fear, the dogs killed before they even began their racing days.

The editorial goes on to suggest an end to dog racing is a “moral imperative.” It is an incredibly important phrase to use. The state legislature needs to step up in its next session and take the moral path, in at least decoupling dog racing from the casinos.

Greyhound racing can no longer exist in this country without being propped up by public funds and the few state laws that require casinos to hold races. It’s crazy – despite the reports on the troubling rate of deaths and injuries and the history of abuse, some elected officials are still supporting dog racing.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

No logic coming from those who oppose puppy mill regulations

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I’m gonna keep hammering away at this, because every time I read about those opposing breeding regulations in states across the map, the same, tired, twisted mess keeps sinking to the bottom of the debate pond.

So let’s review the basic proposals and specific regulations – with the key follow-up question – WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT?!

** HUMANE HOUSING: Usually, the proposals in state bills set minimum, reasonable standards for the size of cages where the breeding dogs are housed or set a space requirement that allows the dogs room enough to turn around freely and lay down comfortably. And of course the cages should be free of feces and other unhealthy conditions.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – No reasonable person could opposed this provisions – PERIOD. The alternative is to allow breeders to force the dogs to live in horrible conditions.

** DAILY EXERCISE: The bills typically call for minimal amounts of time each day, when the dogs should be allowed to play or at least walk around a bit outside or within some open area.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – No one with an ounce of compassion in their soul would really suggest dogs housed in breeding kennels should be kept in their cages 24/7. We’d never want pets in homes to live this way.

** CLEAN FOOD AND WATER: Self-explanatory.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – The alternative would be dirty water and scummy food? Only a moron would not want the dogs to get clean food and water.

** VETERINARY CARE: Again, self-explanatory.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – Of course, I can hear the pro-puppy mill types saying, “Nobody tells me what to do with my property. It’s just like my car, I change the oil when I want to.” And that pretty sums up where animals stand with the pro-puppy mill side.

** LIMITS ON THE NUMBER OF TIMES FEMALES SHOULD BE PREGNANT IN A GIVEN TIME FRAME: Some of the proposals I’ve seen include this regulation and it’s a good one. The females should be given time for their bodies to rest. They are not factory machines.

WHO COULD BE AGAINST THAT? – This, along with the other provisions, aids in the health and welfare of the dogs. It’s common sense and good veterinary science.

WHO IS FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE? – Animal welfare advocates and quality breeders and every single human with the ability to think logically and have compassion for animals.

Yes – quality breeders meet or exceed the standards of care being proposed across the nation. The only breeders who would be impacted are those that do not meet the minimums. And that’s the point – isn’t it?

I repeat – That’s the point, isn’t it?

And yet, we have groups like the AKC and others out fighting every bill to regulate dog breeding.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Dad makes stunningly-inaccurate statement, in defending his trophy-hunting daughter

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The Texas Tech cheerleader who drew a lot of attention recently after posing with animals she had killed on big-game trophy hunts, appeared recently at an outdoors show.

Recall that supporters of the woman used the excuses that killing endangered animals somehow helps to protect them. I guess if there isn’t a reasonable excuse for doing something wrong, people will try to fill the void with some sort of nonsense.

But now the nonsense has been taken to a new level, by the cheerleader’s father. In a CNN video, he says, “There’s never been an animal go extinct because of hunters. There’s been animals go extinct because of poachers.”

That is unbelievably, stunningly inaccurate. Just go to the Wikipedia link highlighted here and go from the 18th Century forward. Between hunting and habitat destruction, humans have been wiping out species for a long, long time. And hunting only becomes poaching when the hunting and habitat destruction reaches critical levels.

And the father’s statement is only made worse by the fact that if not for protections, such as those put into effect by the Endangered Species Act, even more animal species would have been wiped out by hunting. Take for example the Bald Eagle.

But it is important to note that this case also reflects on the state of journalism in the US. I have no problem with news outlets presenting statements from both sides within a story like this. But facts matter. What the dad said was grossly inaccurate. Journalists and news outlets have a responsibility to report facts.

Sure, present the opinions from both sides. But when a statement is made by either side that steps way beyond the scope of fact, the media should the take the extra step to report the facts. To let the extreme inaccuracy go is just lazy.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

How is it possible that a few state senators blocked puppy mill legislation in NC?

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We should not have state or federal legislative systems where a few elected officials with an ax to grind or a special-interest group to support can block extremely reasonable legislation that has the overwhelming support of the public.

Despite what some members of the US Supreme Court would have us falsely believe, people have the rights, not the special interests.

In North Carolina, Republicans hold super majorities in the House and Senate. The House voted in overwhelming numbers to pass a previous anti-puppy mill bill. A very small number of senators blocked the Senate version from moving out of committee.

Now, with the breeding previsions inserted into a budget bill, the same few individuals have managed to make sure the protections never come to a full vote. In negotiations over two overall versions of the budget, they managed to get the animal-welfare text removed – again.

As I’ve noted before, the arguments against the proposed legislation to protect puppy mill dogs and cats have no basis in reality. I can’t even imagine an alternate reality where these arguments might work.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

PackRant: To those who oppose puppy mill regulations – go ahead, read this, I dare ya

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There are a ton of issues swirling around the political oceans, from jobs to health care, from Supreme Court decisions to climate chance and much more.

Often enough, some of the arguments are completely off the charts within particularly debates. But none of the arguments I’ve seen over the last few decades for any issue surpass the level of lame and illogical we see from those opposing puppy mill regulations.

Sure, those opposing recent bills in various states have a reason to oppose them. There’s money to made in this industry. If they came out and merely said, “Hey, if the law is passed, puppy mills would be shut down and less money would be made,” at least there would a direct admission there.

But the actual arguments we’re seeing just have no basis in reality or logic.

Let’s look at a few:

There are no legal definitions of the phrase ‘puppy mills.‘ – Of course there are. And in some cases the very people opposing the bills don’t like the specifics delineating which breeders are covered. And they don’t like the standards of care established, which clearly define that puppy mills would fall under these base levels.

Inspections violate private property rights. – I wonder if anyone spewing this one would ever really eat at random restaurants that had not been inspected for the last few months? I wonder if they would suggest USDA inspections should be dropped – so that we would never know how safe our food is to eat? I guess they think anything going on on private property should be shielded from law enforcement and inspectors.

Where inspections are ongoing, the system protects public health and safety and therefore consumers. Inspections for puppy mills would protect animals from potential abuse and consumers from potential fraud.

No one should be able to abuse animals or put public health at risk by hiding behind their so-called property rights.

If puppy mill dogs or kitten mill kittens gain protections from abuse, then the movement could spread to farm animals. – This one screams out – “We don’t want anyone punished for abusing farm animals, even if it exposes health risks to food production for humans or the suffering of the animals.”

But beyond this, it is a horrible thing to suggest. So we should not attempt to end the terrible suffering endured by dogs and cats in mills, because some other laws might come out of it? That is a heartless position to take. I get it that it’s all about profit, but really? – Does it have to be this way and this extreme?

Do these people watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and cheer for Mr. Potter? Do they think “A Christmas Carol” has a terrible ending because Scrooge is scared into becoming a compassionate person and someone who cares about individuals other than himself?

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

NC Senate blocks puppy mill regulations at the 1-yard line

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With the short session of the North General Assembly winding down this week, key members of the state Senate and House were debating a number of contentious provisions in the proposed budget bill.

Teacher pay and Medicaid and film-industry incentives were all up for debate and were the main areas of focus for the media. As the days and weeks wore on, animal-welfare advocates were hoping the new regulations on puppy mills would hang on with the House version of the budget – including inspections, new standards and enforcement of puppy mill laws moving from the agriculture department to law enforcement.

But a few members of the Senate managed to once again block the puppy mill regulations from remaining in the bill. It would be a very long shot at this point, but there could be a slight hope remaining that the measures could be reinstalled.

WRAL out of Raleigh, NC reported groups such as the American Kennel Club and hunting and agricultural organizations were against the measure. The article included the following –

They argue that requiring kennel inspections violates breeders’ property rights and say setting standards for companion animals could trigger similar requirements for livestock breeding operations.

Far-fetched is too light a phrase for how misguided these baseless arguments really are. The USDA engages in safety inspections at facilities, to protect public safety and for the same reason restaurants are inspected frequently. Suggesting inspections should be banned in these cases to somehow protect property rights, is nothing short of dangerous.
And protecting people who abuse dogs because protecting the dogs from suffering might lead to regulations on factory farms is both lame and extremely callous.
PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Two articles point to fall of greyhound racing

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Two stories posted on one website – AL.com – on July 27 touched on the downturn for the greyhound racing industry. Despite what any industry insider might want to claim, it is education that has the dog-racing industry playing to empty seats.

I’ve never gambled on anything more than a couple of lottery tickets over the course of my entire life. But for those into this sort of thing, I’m sure it seems better to gamble on cards, dice or machines, as opposed to the life or the suffering of dogs.

The first article was by AL.com writer Jon Reed. He reports the Birmingham Race Course in Alabama “is in a daily fight for its life” – as is the case for the other dog-racing tracks around the nation.

And get this, back in May, the track was reportedly three years behind on paying property taxes and requested $800,000 from the racing commission to pay off the debt.

The second article posted was from the Associated Press and it notes the day the writer was there, only a couple of dozen people were in the stands to watch the races at Flagler Dog Track in Florida.

The writer rightfully notes dog racing has been “propped up by casino gambling.” YES – other forms of gambling have not hurt greyhound racing. These other forms are actually holding racing up, as the states where it exists, the casinos are unbelievably required to hold races.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

DumbStuff: Dog spinning in Bulgaria

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I am someone who respects diverse cultures and I respect people with different views and religions. But where an activity crosses the line into stupid and cruel, we have to call it what it is – DumbStuff.

This one isn’t as well known, but it doesn’t make it any less idiotic. Some people unbelievably gather every year in a town in Bulgaria to hoist dogs into the air on ropes and spin them around in a horrible act of torture.

The misguided mission is to ward off rabies and is somehow defended as tradition.

One mayor is quoted in the linked article above as suggesting the dogs are not harmed and the people who bring them to the site for the torture actually love them. We’ve heard this before – from puppy mill operators dog racing insiders.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Video: Sea turtle appears thankful for being rescued from a rope

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In this incredible video, a sea turtle circles back to come face-to-face with the diver who just cut away a rope tangled around one of her flippers.

Self awareness is prominent across the animal kingdom and this video offers another important piece of evidence.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic