Senate candidate isn’t really against cockfighting

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Back to blogging this week, as things have been really hectic at my house, with a sick dog and lots of writing deadlines. Carl the rescued greyhound is much better now – thankfully.

So I’m playing some catch-up with stories from April that I had filed away for comment.

First up is an unbelievable statement from a US Senate candidate in Kentucky. Matt Bevin reportedly spoke at some point at a pro-cockfighting rally and now says any legislation in this area should be left up to the states.

So it’s not a stretch in reading about Bevin’s thoughts to see that he would be okay with some states making cockfighting legal. In 2014, this is a horrendous position to take.

Anyone who understands the horrors of dog fighting or cockfighting would never suggest that it’s okay for some states to allow these industries to exist.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Legislation Update: Greyhound racing, puppy mills and animal cruelty

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There has been some positive movement around the map of late, on greyhound racing to animal-cruelty laws.

South Dakota finally joined the ranks of the states with felony animal cruelty laws, becoming the 50th state to enact more serious punishment for severe acts of cruelty to animals.

Thanks to the recent passage of SB 46, cockfighting also becomes a felony in South Dakota and the HSUS reports it is now a felony in 41 states.

GREY2K USA’s Carey Theil reviewed recent legislation on greyhound racing in his Saving Greys blog. Colorado officially banned dog racing this month and West Virginia could cut racing subsidies by 10 percent.

The Iowa State House could hopefully vote soon on a bill to decouple dog racing from the two casinos in the state and in Florida, a bill could help reduce the number of races there. And thankfully, we’re seeing injury reports in Florida that should shine more light on the horrors taking place.

The West Virginia legislation will cut “infrastructure, thoroughbred development, greyhound racing and the racetrack modernization fund” by 10 percent, according to SFGate.com. Thankfully, the bill passed in a big way.

It’s a small step in the right direction But we need to see a complete ban. This most-recent move was prompted by budget concerns. The state could move closer to a balanced budget and end the suffering for the dogs by completely banning dog racing.

In Virginia, at last report, Baily’s Law is only waiting for Governor McAuliffe’s signature. The bill would require pet dealers to reimburse particular veterinary fees within 14 days, for pets they have sold who later require care. And pet stores will be required to reveal the identity of the breeders they use.

Another good step to cut down on puppy mill breeding, but why not ban the sale of pets in stores and why not require breeders across the board to cover veterinary care in cases where a puppy or kitten is found to have genetic problems or health problems that are a result of breeding practices?

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Breaking News: King Amendment removed from Farm Bill

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This is BIG news. The horrible King Amendment has been removed from the Farm Bill. The amendment is named for the single biggest supporter of animal cruelty in the US government – Rep. Steve King.

The mission for King and his amendment, was to gut animal cruelty laws across the nation and to prevent states from passing legislation to protect animals from abuse. But the Farm Bill Conference Committee has agreed to drop the seriously-flawed idea.

On its website, the World Society for Protection of Animals posted a statement by Anne Lieberman –
Executive Director, WSPA USA
.

If included, the King Amendment would have lowered standards for agriculture production and weakened current state-based laws (like in California, whose laws allow certain animals to move freely and extend their limbs while confined). This would have had serious negative consequences for the welfare of millions of farm animals and for consumers.

The Humane Society of the US also praised another key provision in the latest version of the Farm Bill:

The compromise bill includes a provision making it a federal crime to attend or bring a child under the age of 16 to an animal fighting event, based on the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which will fortify the federal law against organized and barbaric dogfighting and cockfighting rings.

So good news here. This is another huge setback for Steve King, who has expressed opposition to prohibiting kids from attending animal fighting events. Yes, I know; it’s unbelievable. How could anyone think it’s okay to bring kids to a dog or cock fight. The man serious needs a visit from Dickens’ Three Ghost.

The US House could vote on the revised bill on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Kathy Kangas of the HSUS wrote an editorial for the Huffington Post on Jan. 24, concerning the evil King Amendment.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is celebrating King’s defeat and offered the following as part of their statement:

With today’s news, the recent renewal of the ban on horse slaughter inspection, and last week’s tabling of New Hampshire’s Ag-Gag bill, it looks like 2014 is off to a great legislative start so far!

And back on Jan. 23, the LA Times offered its take, under the great headline: “Iowa Rep. Steve King lays an egg on the Farm Bill.”

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

NBC News promotes cockfighting as a great vacation stop

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I have been stunned more times than I can count over many years of researching animal-welfare information. But what I read today on the NBC News website ranks as one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever read, in terms of an article from a news outlet, presented as a promotion of animal cruelty – in this case cockfighting in the Philippines.

The article is posted in the Travel section, as if people should use it as an option for something to do on a vacation trip. The writer is shamelessly promoting cockfighting. What’s next from NBC News – an interactive map of underground dog-fighting rings, as a great family outing?

And I’m assuming an NBC News editor looked over the text before approving the article for publication. It is not only an extremely poor example of journalism, it also shows a complete lack of education on the part of everyone involved.

I know NBC News would try to defend the piece by suggesting it was written from the perspective of culture where the daily horrors take place. But where is there even a note of how inhumane cockfighting is?

No legitimate news outlet should ever consider publishing a story promoting visits to child porn websites or how people can save money on vacation travel by tripping-out on crack. Sure, some people think both activities are fine. But isn’t there some moral and professional line that should not be crossed by journalists or columnists?

I could understand an article with the cockfighter’s semi-defense of his immoral acts, along with the viewpoint of intelligent people who despise animal cruelty. But what NBC News published today is both unprofessional and disgusting.

I’m calling for NBC News to pull this drivel from its website and issue an apology for ever allowing it to appear for a second.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Animal Welfare Legislative Update for March 2

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A number of areas in the country are debating new animal-welfare regulations. I hope this is a good sign.

Nevada: The state’s lawmakers are considering two bills – in regard to reporting animal cruelty data and to toughen anti-cockfighting rules.

Ohio: The State House is looking to increase the penalties for the mistreatment of kennel animals. For current law, it is a misdemeanor. One representative can’t understand how Nitro’s Law has passed twice before in the House, but failed in the Senate.

New York: An assemblyman in Albany, NY is calling for harsher criminal penalties for cases of animal cruelty. The bodies of two Pitbull-Sheperd mixes was found on train tracks last week.

Alabama: A bill to increase the penalties for animal cruelty and expand the definition made its way out of the Alabama House’s agriculture committee on Wednesday.

 

First Pack News Wire of 2013

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Hope everyone had a safe and pleasant New Years Night. A couple of our rescues are a bit fearful about the fireworks, but it wasn’t too bad.

Let’s start the year off with some news items that crossed the Pack News Wire over the last couple of days.

We need more of this: An egg producer in the UK is being recognized for its high standards of animal welfare. Yorkshire Farmhouse is known as the UK’s largest producer free range eggs. The company has seen a significant increase in sales over the past several years, disproving the false claim that companies must use inhumane factory-farm tactics to be profitable.

Michigan Humane Society program working with at-risk kids: The Humane Society of Huron Valley is working with at-risk kids to turn the tide of animal cruelty. We need more programs like this all across the nation – in schools, churches, etc – for all kids.

18 charged with attending a dog fight: In Indiana, 18 people were arrested and charged with attending an animal fighting contest. The big problem? – These are misdemeanor charges.

The state legislatures all over need to make sure any association with animal fighting is a serious felony.

In Michigan has increased the penalties for animal fighting: Way to go Michigan. As of now, dog and cockfighting operators can be prosecuted as a criminal enterprise and the penalties can run up to 20 years in prison, with fines up to $100,000.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the bill into law on December 12. The USA Today reports – “” The new laws also allow police to seize homes and vehicles associated with animal fighting; shut down any venue associated with animal fighting and declare it a nuisance; and add animal fighting, shooting and baiting to the list of racketeering crimes. “”

 

Rep. Steve King continues to catch some heat for pro-dog fighting stance

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It is pleasing to see more news about Rep. Steve King flashing across the Pack News Wire. He fully deserves the negative press he is getting for suggesting the country should not punish people for attending a dog fight or bringing kids to dog fights.

The Humane Society of the US continues to hammer King. I received another e-mail this morning from the organization. It notes the Farm Bill, including a provision to make it a “crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight has passed the U.S. Senate as part of the 2012 Farm Bill, and also has passed the House Agriculture Committee.”

The e-mail also reported the provision is supported by “the Fraternal Order of Police, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and more than 200 law enforcement organizations from across the country.” But King is against it.

We have this video from King, where he tries to defend his previous statements. But it only proves more about the Congressman. He doesn’t know that it is against the law to violate a 13-year-old and take her across state lines. This is an unbelievably revealing video about King.

He tries to also claim there is an effort to somehow place animals above humans. He’s pulling stuff out of his hither regions.

And editorial by Rekha Basu appeared Tuesday on the Des Moines Register website, noting King’s warped thinking is twisting around itself. In one statement, King suggests the federal government should leave dog fighting laws to the individual states. But then he wants to also push an amendment into the Farm Bill that would gut state and local laws that protect his state’s farm animals.

Basu also reports King opposed including pets in disaster planning and voted against a bill to outlaw horse slaughter for human consumption. He apparently votes against anything that might offer animals protection from cruelty.

King has also suggested animal fighting is not even happening. Then he will certainly ignore the story that ran on the CBS47 website out of Southern California. About 1,000 gamecocks were rescued during a cockfighting bust.

 

 

Two stories show the two sides of our society

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I will never be able to understand the mentality it must take to abuse a child or an animal. It is perplexing to consider that while our society includes people with great levels of compassion, it also includes people capable of terrible acts committed on innocent people and creatures of this planet.

Two stories came to attention today that highlight this divide.

My brother Mark sent me the link to a Huffington Post story about a Wisconsin man who regularly takes his elderly dog down to the warm waters of Lake Superior. He does this to help ease the pain of arthritis. He floats him in the water as Shep relaxes and falls asleep.

The photo, which is the centerpiece of the feature, is very touching. The man said the Shep saved his live, coming to live with him in a troubled time in his life.

And then we have the Associated Press story about hundreds of malnourished cockfighting roosters that were euthanized after being found at a business in Southern California. It is not the first time this year that huge numbers fighting roosters were discovered and later killed in California. The Ventura County Star reports about “1,000 roosters were euthanized in late January near Oxnard.”

What sort of warped mentality allows some people to engage in acts like cockfighting?