HSUS leader Wayne Pacelle reviews results for 2014

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In his A Humane Nation blog this week, Humane Society of the United States leader Wayne Pacelle reviewed the organization’s “Top Transformational Results of 2014.”

The list features:

South Dakota becoming the 5oth US state to adopt a felony animal-cruelty law.

It is now a federal crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight.

The truly idiotic and evil “King Amendment” was tossed out of the Farm Bill.

A federal appellate court rightfully overturned a horrible ruling from a lower that might have tossed out the animal crush video law. If I recall, the lower court tried to claim that torturing and brutally killing animals was protected free speech. That’s one for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame.

So arguably the current leader for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame is Citizens United.

A number of countries have agreed to end the use of gestation crates for pigs.

Three horse-slaughter plants were blocked from opening this year.

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture rule blocks the importation of puppies for sale. This means at least foreign puppy mills can’t sell here.

Internet sellers of puppy now have to follow USDA guidelines. The HSUS helped to block a legal challenge to this ruling.

Better protections are in place for animals suffering through experiments in labs.

The World Trade Organization is thankfully supporting European Union’s ban on products resulting from the horrific Canadian seal hunts.

The wolf hunts were stopped in Michigan.

New York and New Jersey became the first states to banned the sale of Ivory. This one should become a federal ban.

And Pacelle states the “…  International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program violates the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling’s ban on commercial hunting.”

Read Pacelle’s full rundown at the link above.

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North Carolina officially drops the use of shelter gas chambers

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There’s some very good news out of my home state of North Carolina. The Department of Agriculture has served notice to county municipal animal shelters that the use of gas chambers is no longer acceptable.

A vast majority of the state’s shelters had already stopped using gas chambers of horror to euthanized homeless pets. A WUNC article from December 9 reports the new standards in North Carolina match recommendations from the American Veterinary Medical Association, Humane Society of the United States and American Humane Association.

The AVMA changed its stance on gas chambers in 2013.

Because we know animals experience emotional as well as physical suffering, it makes the use of gas chambers particularly cruel. The animals certainly experience fear when they are stuffed into the dark chambers and then experience respiratory distress once the gas is turned on, until the end finally comes.

Too often, a group of animals are stuffed inside for a mass killing.

It is a horrible way to die. The only acceptable method to euthanize an animal is through injection. I long for the day when shelters no long euthanize animals. If only more more people understood the importance of sterilization and the importance of caring for their pets as a lifelong commitment.

The policy in North Carolina goes into effect on February 15 of 2015.

Wayne Pacelle of Humane Society of the wrote about the news on his Humane Nation blog.

The HSUS produced this map showing the current map of where gas chambers are used or have been banned:

HSUS-gas-chamber-map

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Great Read: Des Moines Register editorial concerning weak puppy mill regulations

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It is very pleasing to see more attention being given to animal-welfare issues. Today, we have a Des Moines Register editorial concerning the weak level of protections for puppy-mill dogs in Iowa.

Of course, this is true for much of the country.

The Des Moines Register editorial writer notes puppy-mill breeders are often given a pass when dogs are found living in horrible conditions. At times, the breeder is only issued a citation and the suffering animals are left behind to continue to suffer.

A Human Society of the US report is cited, one that list the worst offenders in the country. It is disgusting to read how these people are allowed to continue to operate. In some cases, the offenders are actually allowed to deny access to inspectors.

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Puppy mill busted in North Carolina

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I’m a bit late getting this up on the blog. But it is important to report – for the benefit of those who might have missed the news – on a puppy mill bust in Rutherford County, NC.

Thank you to the local law enforcement officials there and once again to the Humane Society of the United States.

Thankfully, these dogs were saved. But because too many states have failed to enact and put into practice better protections for puppy mill dogs and animals across the board, the raids are scattered.

A massive number of puppy mills will continue to slip under the legal radar.

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BREAKING GOOD NEWS: Federal court tosses lawsuit that challenged new crackdown on puppy mills

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The Humane Society of the US just released a statement concerning the actions of a federal court. A lawsuit that challenged the USDA’s new rules directed to the Internet sales of puppy mill puppies, was shut down by the court.

“We are delighted the court has thrown out this baseless lawsuit challenging USDA’s new rule cracking down on Internet sellers of puppy mill dogs,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president of animal protection litigation and investigations for the HSUS, in the press release.

“In a detailed opinion, the court concluded that the breeders ‘are barking up the wrong tree’ because ‘their complaints are more policy disagreements with APHIS’s regulatory approach than they are valid legal objections to APHIS’s authority.’

“Dismissing the breeders’ legal claims as ‘a dog that won’t hunt,’ the court granted judgment in favor of USDA and the HSUS – which intervened to help defend the rule because every large-scale operation should be inspected and every dog provided a bowl of clean water and enough space to move around.”

Add me to the list to animal-welfare advocates who are grateful to the court for flushing this nasty lawsuit down the toilet, where it belongs.

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Humane Society releases scorecard for elected officials and voter guide

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The Humane Society Legislative Fund has released two important web pages, where voters can go to see how their area representatives rank on animal welfare issues.

The 2014 Animal Protection Voter Guide allows users to click on their state for a list of candidates with good animal-welfare records.

The Humane Scorecard offers a detailed report on how the current Congress is performing for animal welfare.

The sites offer good tools for helping voters decide which elected officials are voting with a level of compassion.

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Puppy mill deniers keep getting it wrong

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Read most any article about proposed anti-puppy mill legislation and underneath you will most likely find comments from those opposed to improved protections for animals.

Or the letters to the editor section will feature this sort of drivel or you can find it on some organization’s website.

Of late, those fighting against better regulations are crying foul over two bills in the North Carolina General Assembly. The crying has pushed a few state senators to block HB930. So NC Governor Pat McCrory is trying to push through anther plan, as part of his proposed budget (SB842), to transfer enforcement of such laws from the Department of Agriculture to the law enforcement arm of the state.

It makes sense, but we also need the better regulations so that law enforcement officials state wide will have the tools they need to combat puppy mills and all forms of animal cruelty.

(I will post more details on these sections of SB842 very soon.)

Some individuals are claiming North Carolina doesn’t have a puppy mill problem. This is just insane. With the state’s lack of regulations, puppy mill operations are hiding in the shadows and they know the odds of being uncovered are slim.

And the propaganda is flying, suggesting people’s right to have pets is being attacked and the right to breed dogs or cats is being attacked. The reality is the only entities being regulated are puppy mills.

Those who can’t practice within the minimum guidelines being proposed should never be allowed to breed animals – period.

And of course this other side keeps spreading the notion that a definition of the phrase ‘puppy mill’ does not exist. This one is one of the most extreme cases of propaganda floating around.

Puppy mills and kitten mills are substandard breeding operations where the dogs or cats live 24/7 or a vast majority of every day locked in small cages, in unsanitary conditions. The animals rarely to never are allowed time to play or even walk around for exercise and rarely to never are given veterinary care or proper food and water.

Another area where the propaganda slides far from reality is the suggestion that breeders would never mistreat or neglect dogs, as they know it would hurt their chances of selling the puppies.

As we’ve seen in every puppy-mill bust ever – this isn’t true. As long as these mass-production operations can sell the puppies to the unsuspecting segment of the population, they care very little about what happens later with the health of the puppies or about the suffering of the parent dogs.

This is happening all over the country right now. This notion that breeders can’t mistreat their dogs because it would cut into sales is millions of miles off Reality Road.

And then we have the attacks on the Humane Society of the US and the ASPCA. This effort is ONLY designed to push the debate away from the suffering of the dogs and cats trapped in mills. We can’t let the puppy mill supporters get away with it.

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The attacks on the Humane Society, ASPCA and PETA are really attempts to block anti-cruelty efforts

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It happens constantly. An article or column or blog post reports on an undercover video showing abusive acts inflicted on animals or reports on legislative efforts supported by animal-welfare groups – and the attacks follow in the comment section.

People crawl out to slam PETA, the Humane Society of the US, the ASPCA or whatever group might have taken the video or pushed for the protection of innocent animals.

It’s time to call it what it is – pure propaganda in an effort to divert the reader’s attention from the effort to protect animals from abuse.

Every time an HSUS representative is quoted in an article about an anti-puppy mill bill, the propagandists slam the organization with wild accusations that show the person commenting is clueless to what the mission of the group really is.

Continue reading

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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?

 

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HSUS Video: Tennessee walking horse rescue

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This video is from last April, but it is certainly worth sharing now. The HSUS took park in the rescue of about 19 Tennessee walking horses who had been abused by the horrible practice of “soring.”

For those not familiar with this phrase, it involves putting a burning chemical on the horse’s lower legs, so that it exaggerates the high-stepping motion with the front legs. It is the typical actions we see in industries where animals are used for profit or for winner contests. In this case, it happens to be horse shows.

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