Horrible Headlines of the Month: Greyhound Racing and Horse Racing

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It is commonplace to see really clueless headlines over really clueless articles, especially where greyhound racing and horse racing and other animal industries are concerned.

I’ve gone back over some recent alerts that have popped up on the Pack News Wire.

Welcome to the brave new world of greyhound racing at Towcester” – by Northampton Chronicle & Echo.

This one is about a new greyhound racing stadium in the UK. So while the news out of this industry is extremely troubling for the welfare of the dogs, here we have a brand new facility where uninformed people go to gamble on a blood sport.

Can Texas horse racing be a winner again?” – by Star-Telegram.

To answer their question – No, not for the horses who will die, some after being shipped off to be slaughtered.

The article quotes the president of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association as saying, “Texas horse racing right now is in trouble.”

That’s actually really good news for horses.

Christmas Comes Early For Kel and Keybow” – Australian Racing Greyhound.com.

It’s an article concerning the performance of a dog in a recent race. Kel refers to the dog’s “owner.”

Unfortunately, the blessings of Christmas can only come to Keybow if he is rescued from greyhound racing.

AND we have another article (if you can call it that) out of Australia where a National Greyhound Welfare Strategy is being developed by the greyhound racing industry.

I’m not trusting the dog racing industry to be the one to develop welfare standards.

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Wildlife killing contest could move forward

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Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity are sending out alerts related to a proposed wildlife killing contest on federal lands.

A lawsuit and letter campaign was launched back in November by the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups. The Bureau of Land Management pulled a permit to hold the contest in Idaho.

The targets are wolves, coyotes and other animals. And now the hunting group wants to move the contest to national forests for January.

This is not “wildlife management.” This is an excuse to have a killing spree.

The CFBD page is HERE. Defenders of Wildlife has a page set up to send comments to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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NJ Gov. Christie’s veto of bill to free pigs from gestation crates is misguided

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Maybe misguided isn’t the right word for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s veto today of a popular bill that would ban gestation crates at pig farms.

Polling indicates New Jersey residents overwhelmingly support a ban on these crates and the bill passed with solid support from Republicans and Democrats in the State House and Senate. Gestation crates are cruel on an extreme level.

Yet, the Associated Press quotes Christie as saying the bill is a “solution in search of a problem.”

So I amend my headline. Christie’s veto and his stated reasoning for issuing the veto fall under the category of uneducated, wrongheaded, heartless and pure, blind politics.

I wrongly considered Christie could be an independent thinker at times and might be one to brush off political pressure, especially in cases where the citizens of his state clearly and overwhelmingly supported an issue. In this case, the governor has caved to corporate puppet masters. He put the will of the power brokers above the will of the people and the side of compassion.

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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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Hopefully, provisions to weaken Ohio’s puppy mill law will be pulled from new bill

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Some Ohio lawmakers were out to weaken Ohio’s puppy mill law, with provisions that would have “dramatically reduced state bonding for some dog breeders and eliminated requirements that they disclose past law violations and provide pictures of their kennels on license-renewal applications.” – as reported by the Columbus Dispatch.

But now, it seems the damaging changes will be pulled from a recent bill in the Ohio Senate. Rep. David Hall, R-Millersburgl, who had inserted the language now reportedly says he will yank the provisions.

The pressure needs to be ramped up on state and federal legislators to enact better protections for animals. And when improved laws are in place, we can’t let lawmakers try to gut the protections through the back door.

Thankfully, it seems here that press coverage caught this attempt in Ohio.

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Two dogfighting stories interconnect

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An Associated Press article from November 22 reports dogfighting continues to thrive, despite the law enforcement focus and press coverage. The big money involved is too much of a draw for the evil participants within this criminal industry.

The article rightfully notes weak laws are largely to blame. The leaders of dogfighting operations have little fear of real punishment. The criminal justice system amounts to little more than a minor inconvenience for people who abuse animals.

The slap-on-the-wrist style of punishment was never more evident than in a recent case in New York. The Long Island Press reported November 25 that a man who pleaded guilty back in August to animal cruelty and animal fighting charges was given probation and community service and was banned for possessing animals for only five years.

So he won’t serve time for a horrific crime and in five short years will be able to have pets. How any judge or anyone who voted for or supports this level punishment would think a dog fighter will be okay around animals in five years is stunningly misguided.

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Troubling Trend: Polar bear populations falling

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Despite what some climate-change deniers have claimed of late, polar bears are struggling to survive, as the planet warms.

An LA Times ran article on Saturday, reporting on a recent study that showed populations of polar bears in Alaska and western Canada fell by 40 percent, from 2001 to 2010. The research was conducted by scientists from a number of organizations, including the U.S. Geological Survey and Environment Canada.

As the report notes, hunting for food is much more difficult for the animals now. As the Arctic ice continues to dramatically melt, they are forced to swim greater distances between ice fields.

But some in the anti-science crowd continue to claim the ice is not melting and polar bears are healthy and happy. Just saying something that is not true over and over and over again doesn’t turn it into a fact.

It’s so sad to see entire species of majestic creatures slip into extinction, while the root causes are too largely ignored. Sometimes, as is the case with climate change, it is greed that drives the movement to ignore these issues.

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Ohio House tries to back-door provision to weaken protections for puppy mill dogs

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How anyone, in 2014, could still support cruelty is beyond belief. But while we continue to see positive steps forward, some elected officials are trying to gut even the most basic protections for animals.

Some members of the Ohio House are supporting a bill that includes provisions to scale back the state’s anti-puppy mill law, as the Columbus dispatch reports this morning.

The publication notes three significant changes in the bill: “… cutting the bonding requirement by more than half for large-volume dog breeders, and eliminating the need for criminal-background checks and kennel photos with breeder renewal applications.”

The goal is to make it easier to abuse animals. I wonder if these people go home and tell their kids what they’re doing.

Hey kids, guess what dad did today? He made it easier for people with a history of animal cruelty to work at puppy mills. These are the morals I want to pass on to you.”

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Columnist takes slippery-slope argument to the extreme

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In writing in support of horse and greyhound racing, Les Muir out of Australia, goes all in on the slippery-slope routine. In his Daily Advertiser column, Muir seems to really believe that if horse racing was banned, bans on all sports would follow.

It’s stunning. I hope he was actually doing some sort of double-reverse tongue-and-cheek.

 

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Local Pennsylvania store chain drops puppy sales; makes important statement

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I was really pleased to see this headline flash up on the Pack News Wire earlier today: “Pets Plus stops selling animals raised in puppy mills.”

The Montgomery News article reports Pets Plus stores in the Philadelphia area are joining the Humane Society of the United States program to end the sale of puppies. The article notes more customers are going into the stores to shop, since the change to holding adoptions only.

There is an ever-growing understanding in the general public as to the risk of buying puppies from stores. The odds are far too great that the puppies are bred in puppy mills.

The last local store in my home city that was selling puppies went out of business a few years ago. The only other puppy seller shut that store down several years prior.

A new pet-supply store just opened here, part of a national chain. Before the site opened, I spoke with the manager who emphatically stated they would not be selling dogs or cats and would be hosting adoption events.

Stores still claiming they need to sell puppies to stay in business are living in the 1950s and need to update their business models in a huge way. Many of the national chains and a host of local stores all across the nation learned long ago that selling puppies is a loser in every aspect of the term.

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