Wacky Mentality: In NZ, claim made that clubing seals does not cause pain

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An animal-cruelty case in New Zealand has taken a wacky twist, as the accused is denying he did anything wrong.

On the one hand – fur seals are protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act. And then there’s the nation’s Animal Welfare Act, where suffering is the key issue.

The accused is charged with “ill-treating” and killing 23 New Zealand fur seals. The Marlborough Express reports the man’s lawyer says he would have pleaded guilty under the Marine Mammals Protection Act. But he’s denying he made the seals suffer.

And get this from the article:

Defence lawyer David Clark contended it was possible all the seals were killed or knocked out instantly, and would therefore not have felt any pain before they died, some after being hit a second time.

So even if he had to strike the seals a second time, they claim no suffering was involved. The claim stretches far beyond the boundaries of science and reason. So it easily earns a Wacky Mentality Award.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Video: Dolphins help seal pup find its way

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In this touching video, a group of dolphins find a seal struggling near a shoreline and direct him back out to sea. It appears the seal is giving up until his rescuers arrive.

Yet another of so many confirmed case studies of animals showing compassion for others. It’s something we don’t see in some humans.

Canadian government goes crybaby on European seal product ban

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The top level of the Canadian government is continuing its bizarre and all-in support of beating seal pups to death for their body parts. Are these people channeling their inner US Rep. Steve King or something?

Defending this level of cruelty is bad enough on a basic level, but this insistence that other countries must be forced to support the cruelty by being forced to buy the products is off the charts.

Thankfully, groups like the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are speaking out for the seals.

Cruelty case in Canada has thought-provoking results

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A news story out of Edmonton, Canada has me thinking about our own criminal justice system and its slap-on-the-wrist mentality where animal-cruelty cases are concerned.

A woman has pleaded guilty to “causing an animal distress” after more than a thousand rabbits where found living in and around her home, many of them in very poor health. Half of them were later euthanized due to their condition.

This paragraph in the Global Edmonton article jumps off the page – “” In addition to the $8,500 fine, the court also employed a rarely used section of the animal protection act. It essentially allows the court to put Zenner on probation for the rest of her life. “”

The woman is also banned from having rabbits and henceforth can only have one spayed or neutered dog or cat as a pet. And she can only go into pet stores to buy food for that pet.
On the downside, I don’t like the idea that a person who has been found guilty of this level of cruelty can have a pet at all. But the lifetime ban for those convicted or who have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty is something the US needs to enact. I’m sure the degree of animal cruelty needs to be factored into the system.
This story also makes me think that the Canadian system of justice is conflicted in many ways, where animal cruelty is concerned – as is the case in our system in the US. In this case, an individual who probably allowed her hoarding to get way out of hand gets a pretty stiff sentence and basically has been told to stay clear of animals, save one at a time.
But in other areas of Canada, the nation’s government fully supports and promotes the brutal beating deaths of thousands over thousands of baby seals every year.

Topics: Factory farming, seal slaughter, kangaroo slaughter – and greed

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What led to current state of factory farming? – Greed. What prompts the annual seal slaughter in Canada and the similar kangaroo slaughter in Australia? – Greed – And then there is the unfortunate market for the products from these mass slaughters.

A new Whole Foods just opened in my hometown. My wife and I roamed through the store over the weekend and I found a section with meat products from animals raised as free-roaming. This – for the most part – is the way it used to be, before factory farming took over the industry.

For the sake of massive profit – pigs, cows, turkeys and chickens, etc are crammed into tiny cages for the entire span of their entire lives. It’s horrible. Why can’t the animals at least be free to roam before their deaths? Why can’t they live free of cruelty at least until the time of their deaths?

The response to these questions from the supporters of factory farms always turns to the cost of production and the increased price on the shelves. It’s always about money. They can’t help it. It’s money and profit and pricing and sales. All things are excusable because finances always come first in the era of factory farming.

Employees need better working conditions? Employees need a raise? – Can’t be done. After all, the CEO needs another multimillion-dollar bonus. The record profit margin must be maintained. The vice-president in charge of what-ever is only making $1.2 million; hardly enough to maintain homes in California and Florida. And have you checked how much it takes to fill the gas tank on a yacht lately?

The employees don’t need a raise. The price of house-brand macaroni and cheese is still pretty cheap in the grocery store. They can eat that every day. After all – they’re only workers. If they want more, they can get a fourth job. What are they doing in the overnight hours anyway – sleeping? That’s pretty lazy.

And for the animals; if they weren’t crammed into crates 24/7, they’d be wandering around outside doing nothing. They can’t read or watch TV and they aren’t allowed in the mall, so what kind of life could they lead?

This is the philosophy of the universally greedy.

US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced a bill last week that could improve the housing for hens on factory farms – in this case, in mass-production egg farms. The bill is endorsed by the United Egg Producers  and the Humane Society of the United States. It doubles the size of the cages most hens are crammed into today – for at least 124 square inches for each hen.

An editorial this week on the Chicago Tribune website noted the following – “” Major chains like Costco and Wal-Mart already insist on cage-free eggs for their private brands. Food companies General Mills and Kraft are shifting in that direction. Burger King has announced that within five years it will switch to all cage-free eggs. “”

Slowly but surely, progress is being made toward more humane conditions. But there is a long way to go and other facets of the factory farming industry might not be so willing to change their ways.

I referenced the annual seal slaughter and kangaroo slaughter above. Lesli Bisgould, a Canadian animal rights lawyer is making a connection between the two very similar atrocities, on separate continents.

An estimated 90 million kangaroos have been killed in Australia over the last two decades.

Bisgould, reportedly the first lawyer in Canada with a focus in animal rights, has been challenging the Canadian seal hunts and questioning the justifications for the slaughter. I haven’t handed out one these of late, but Bisgould is hereby awarded a Pack of Humane Justice Award.

Pack Line Headlines: Petition against dog racing ad, seal pups face climate change, bear-bile farming

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43,000 sign petition against Skechers greyhound racing ad: Over 43,000 people have signed an online petition on Change.org, requesting the company change plans on its reported Super Bowl ad that will feature racing dogs.

Business Insider received a letter from Cheryl Kearney, the director of post production, noting the American Humane Association had observed the filming of the ad and claimed “no animal was harmed in the making of this commercial.”

But of course, logic seems to fly over the heads of the top brass at Skechers. The point is, it is stupid and morally wrong to promote greyhound racing. Do some research before you decide to do something like this.

Baby harp seals being killed due to melting ice: National Geographic is reporting baby harp seals are drowning and being crushed in large numbers due to melting ice in the Earth’s polar region. This is due to climate change that is warming the region to an extent that the thick ice the seals need to survive is melting.

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Good news and bad news out of Canada

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I believe the Canadian people are great – aye. The Canadian government, on the other hand, engages in some really messed up policies. And as is the case far too often in the US government, elected officials there seem to be locked into doing the bidding of corporate Canada and Big Oil – over what is best for the people, the environment and wildlife.

The good news out of Canada this week comes from an odd source – Russia. CTA.ca reports the International Fund for Animal Welfare has obtained a document that states the Russian Federation has banned has the importation of all harp seal pelts.

Russia has been the largest market for seal pelts. This could be a great victory for baby seals and could mean vast numbers could be saved from the brutal hunts that take place each year, where the babies are clubbed to death. It’s a sick industry and it’s long past time to shut it down.

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AM Pack-Line Headlines: Topics – Endangered Species, animal welfare, seals

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ONE – I have not been alone in treehugger circles in criticizing the Obama Administration for previous stands on wildlife issues, for example the removal of important protections for wolves. But some good news out of the administration was being reported over the weekend.

A host of new species could soon gain new protections under the Endangered Species Act. Of course, there are still budget problems that could spell trouble for acting on the protections for all of the animals in need of protection.

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Five seals found shot to death on Massachusetts beach

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In recent week, five gray seals have been found shot to death Massachusetts on the beach at Cape Cod, Mass. Gray seals are a protected species under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

NOAA’s law enforcement division is investigating the crimes.

As my father used to say, the person or persons responsible for doing this are doing it “for meanness.”