Sea Shepherd celebrates court finding that Japan is illegally whaling

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Sea Shepherd sent out the following press release today, in response to the report that the International Court of Justice has ruled Japan’s whaling operation is illegal.

Of course, not only is it illegal, it is also immoral.

The Independent ran a news story today concerning the ruling and the finding that Japan’s whaling is not based on scientific research. Finally. We all know it isn’t based on research, unless they’re researching the taste of whale meat.

And the BBC reports Japan will accept the ban on whaling in the Antarctic region. This is great news and I hope the country holds to its acceptance. We can only hope bans can be implemented for all region’s of the Earth’s oceans.

The BBC article quoted Greenpeace UK spokesman Willie MacKenzie as saying – “The myth that this hunt was in any way scientific can now be dismissed once and for all.”

“” “”
March 31st , 2014 – Melbourne, Australia —

“The International Court of Justice findings that Japan’s whaling is illegal vindicates a decade of courageous actions by Captain Paul Watson and his crews,” Sea Shepherd Australia Chairman, Bob Brown said.

“All across Australia people will be celebrating this win due to Sea Shepherd and their huge public support for protecting whales in this country that led to the Australian Government to take this legal action,” said Dr Brown.

“Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott should tell Japan, ‘Never cross the equator again with a whale harpoon gun’,” said Dr Brown.

“This result gives further credit to Sea Shepherd for not only upholding Australian Federal laws also International laws in defending the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary for the whales and for future generations.” said Jeff Hansen, Sea Shepherd Australia Managing Director.

“In the absence of law enforcement in the Southern Ocean, Sea Shepherd has been the only organisation upholding the law in defence of the International Whale Sanctuary, while Japan has been consistently breaking the law and this ruling now proves that,” said Mr Hansen.


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No surprise here; horrors of greyhound racing in Australia swept under the rug

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It keeps happening in regard to animal welfare and environmental issues. But it’s hard to imagine why it’s seems okay to some, to produce a study, without covering the main topics involved in the particular issue at hand.

In what is being called a “parliamentary inquiry into the greyhound racing industry,” the producers of the study have conveniently omitted key facts that cover the suffering the dogs endure. The rug has been lifted, however, in a Sydney Morning Herald article published March 30.

Reportedly, any mention of the massive number of greyhounds killed each year by the industry was removed from the report. This comes even in light of a racing insider admitting in a hearing that 3,000 dogs are killed each year.

The article also states other problems, such as the “mistreatment of dogs, loopholes in drug testing inadequate animal welfare standards and the absence of lifetime tracking” were “glossed over.”

And the article ends with this: “Mr Borsak said the panel found that the incidence of greyhound cruelty and neglect was minimal.” Robert Borsak is the select committee chairman and Shooters and Fishers MP.

As is the case in the United States and elsewhere, some politicians will make any wacky statement, no matter how far it is from reality. Why? – Because some people will believe anything that crawls from their mouths and in too many cases, national media outlets let them get away with it.
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Wacky Quote of the Week: Dog racing lobbyist calls out casinos

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With increasing frequency, I’m reading quotes that jump off the page of articles or editorials due to the complete wackiness of the statement. Some politicians are well known for stunning quotes, but we can always rely on greyhound racing supporters and puppy mill supporters for off-the-chart statements.

It happened again this morning, from a dog-racing supporter. Don Avenson has been lobbying of late for the Iowa Greyhound Association. The Soiux City Journal quoted Avenson as stating casinos are an industry “built on false dreams and glitter.”

You support dog racing and you say casinos are “built on dreams and glitter?” Greyhound racing has been built on a horrible history of animal exploitation and a massive level of injuries and deaths. I’m not a gambler and would never defend the gambling industry. But going after casinos while you are defending greyhound racing is more than two-faced and more than wacky.


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Headline of the Week: “Finish Line for Iowa Greyhound Racing Draws Closer”

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If only the notion would move into reality – and very soon. But the story under the headline above – as posted today on the website – notes an agreement is still in the works.

The bill that could bring an end to greyhound racing in Iowa has advanced to the state’s House Ways and Means Committee. Breeders and other dog-racing employees could share $70 million. As it stands now, the state’s two dog tracks gets millions in subsidies from the casinos each year, to prop up a crumbling industry.

The article notes the legislature is telling the casinos and dog-racing leaders to work out a deal or take the solution offered by the state.

I don’t mind assisting the employees in the transition to other careers, but handing over millions to an industry with a history of animal-welfare abuses is not a good thing at all. But then again, if this means more dogs will be saved from a life of racing, it can be a good thing.

If only we could see Florida finally shut down its dog tracks, we could be on the way to finally shutting this industry down for good.


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Video: Billy Joel and Jimmy Fallon – The Lion Sleeps Tonight

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This was just too good to pass up and it is animal-related – sort of.

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PETA’s video report on the abuses in horse racing

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PETA released the following report this week, with undercover video concerning the horrors of horse racing. The New York Times focused on the news as well.

When profit motives are mixed with animals – most notably here with animal racing – the outcome is routinely horrible for the animals.

Now is the time to ban horse racing and greyhound racing. For every day that passes, horses and dogs are dying at alarming rates, while countless more are suffering.

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Smithsonian Video: Young Rhino recovering after being shot by poachers

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This video is from 2010, but I just received it in an email today. And it is very much worth sharing, as brutally evil poachers are trying to wipe rhinos off the face of the Earth – in the name of GREED.

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Clueless commentary misrepresents the animal-welfare movement

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Once again, we find someone trying to justify the abuse of animals – as somehow something that should be protected as freedom.

An individual named Michael Rubin produced an editorial for Commentary Magazine, which was posted on March 19 under the headline – “Are Animal-Rights Activists Really Concerned About Animals?”

The writer jumps into two huge propaganda strategies often used by those who wish to defend the abuse of animals. He calls it “animal rights” and he attacks PETA.

In reality, the movement is about animal welfare and yes, we feel animals should be protected from abuse. If he wants to call that animal rights, fine. But anyone suggesting animals should not be protected from abuse is way over on the extremist end of the scale.

And look, PETA is PETA. It sometimes uses provocative means to draw attention to animal abuse. No matter what opinion anyone might have about PETA, talking about it does nothing to alter the reality animal abuse.

But Rubin goes beyond these two diversions to defend the use of animals – particularly elephants – in circuses. First, the use of hooks to train elephants is terrible. Secondly, elephants belong in their natural habitats.

He claims elephants are “healthy and stimulated” in circuses and “often become bored and depressed” when their entertainment days are over. And he uses the typical greyhound-racing defense in calling them working animals. And then he attempts to make two wrongs into a right by suggesting the dangers of poaching means it’s okay to pull them from their habitats for circus entertainment.

The far better option is putting the full effort into protecting the habitat from poaching.

Rubin certainly has a right to express his opinion in a commentary, but this doesn’t mean he can get away with misrepresenting the animal-welfare movement. And certainly he needs to educate himself in the area of animal suffering and self-awareness.

And getting back to the headline, he does nothing to show “animal-rights activists” are not concerned about animals.


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Confusing story out of Arizona, concerning proposed animal-cruelty laws

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I’m not quite sure what to make of an article posted March 11 on the Arizona Daily Sun website – under the headline: “Lawmakers create cruelty exceptions for farm animals.”

The story starts out as reporting the state legislature had created special exceptions in regard to acts of animal cruelty, for farmers and ranchers. (Translated – “factory farms.”)

So apparently two provisions were removed, so that factory farms could be protected. But then we read that one of the provisions removed would have stripped the power from police departments to investigate acts of cruelty on the farms. The power would have completely fallen under the Department of Agriculture.

If that provision had remained, police would not have been able to investigate the abuse of the horses, goats and sheep in back yards. But then the article suggests new language was added to allow police to investigate and alert the Department of Agriculture.

But the we read where:

Also gone is a mandate that anyone with a video, photograph or other evidence of cruelty must turn that over to the Department of Agriculture within five days or risk jail time and a fine.

It seems to me allowing police to investigate animal cruelty on farms and removing ag-gag regulations would be opposed by factory farms and would not be considered as exceptions for factory farms.

The one aspect reported from the new bill that does go easy on farmers is one that set a penalty of six months in jail and a $2,500 fine if the act of abuse is inflected on a farm animal. The article notes:

Existing laws make many forms of abuse of any animal, farm or domestic, a felony with potentially two years in state prison and a $150,000 fine.

But then the articles notes the measure might not gain passage unless the concerns of farmers and ranchers are addressed, as if they are not yet getting any special treatment in the bill.

So is it that the farmers and ranchers want complete immunity from charges if they are found to be abusing animals and do they not even like the lesser charges included in the bill, even though the story seems to indicated they are getting exceptions?

Wow. We need some clarification here.


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Idaho ag-gag law challenged by ACLU

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The ACLU is rightfully challenging Idaho’s new ag-gag law, recently signed by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter.

It’s troubling to consider that the response from the Governor and state legislature, to the release of undercover video showing farm animals being abused, was an effort to protect those who are abusing animals.

It is also now against the law in Idaho to capture images of livestock damaging public lands through grazing. So the supporters of this law want to ban the taking of photos or video on public property.

It is unbelievable. Are we Russia or the United States? Do the citizens of Idaho actually want to protect those who abuse animals? Does this state really want us to move back into the 1700s?


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