IFAW praises New York bill to ban sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn

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The International Fund for Animal Welfare submitted the following press release concerning a bill in New York to ban the sale of ivory and rhino horn:

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IFAW Statement on New York Ivory Ban: We Love New York

Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2014) – Jeffrey Flocken, North American Regional Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), issued the following statement regarding a bill passed last week by the New York state legislature which bans  the sale and purchase of elephant and mammoth ivory and rhino horn:

“A big victory for endangered elephants and rhinos, as New York enacts a landmark law to ban the sale of ivory and rhino horn.

These bans are important tools for regulating, and, we hope, eventually ending the ivory and rhino horn trade. Every 15 minutes on average, an African elephant is slaughtered for its ivory tusks to support a mass consumer demand. Rhinos, which are also poached for their horns, are similarly threatened. The U.S. ranks as one of the largest ivory consumers in the world and New York serves as one its biggest entry points and markets.

Promising regulations are gathering momentum at the federal level. As one of the first states to pass such legislation, New York is carving a path for others to follow.

We love New York’s actions and congratulate and thank our coalition partners in encouraging the passage of these bills.”

To learn more about IFAW’s work to crush the ivory trade, please visit http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/our-work/elephants/ending-ivory-trade.

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Horrible, evil, sick people are killing elephants

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Among the planet’s most evil elements are those who are killing endangered elephants and rhinos for their horns and tusks. I will never understand what goes through the minds of people who can torture innocent people and animals – sometimes for nothing more than a motive for profit.

There most certainly is a special, incredibly hot corner of hell waiting these individuals.

The latest news is more than troubling, in that over 20,000 elephants were victims of poachers in 2013.

If the pace of killing continues, our kids could receive the news too soon that some evil humans have wiped two incredible species of animals off the face of the Earth.

The message splashed across the news headlines of late too often involves nasty levels of greed – be it from poaching to massive pay for CEOs, while hiring levels are not where they should be to more.

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AKC continues to fight against improved protections for puppy mill dogs

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The American Kennel Club continues to make statements that have no basis in logical thought or in facts – where breeding regulations are concerned.

One of the AKC’s primary arguments centers on the false premise that minimum standards of care and/or inspections will hurt  breeders. But here’s the clinching argument: Good, quality breeders already meet or exceed the standards being proposed across the nation.

So it is the bad breeders – the puppy mills – that will face problems under new guidelines. This is the main issue after all. The AKC’s position leaks more than the BP Gulf Oil Gusher.

If a breeder is not taking their dogs in for veterinary care or never allows them play time outside of their cages or is not cleaning their cages or kennels, then that breeder should be shut down.

To suggest these minimum standards are too much, is showing support for puppy mills.

On the AKC website, the group states a new proposal in North Carolina – “Creates unprecedented new levels of regulation of private property ownership.” I cringe when I see animals put in the same category with sofas and subdivision lots.

WNCN reported on June 9 about the AKC’s efforts to speak out against NC Governor Pat McCrory’s proposal to move animal welfare enforcement to the NC Department of Public Safety. WNCN quoted from a letter sent by the AKC to North Carolina House members:

“The Governor’s recommendations would create unprecedented new regulation based on the ownership of private property, create new inefficiencies as responsibilities are shifted between departments, and do nothing to improve the well-being of animals.”

They are wrong about this notion of private property, as it about the welfare of living, feeling beings. They are wrong about the shift, as enforcement should be a law enforcement issue – naturally. And they are completely off base about the well-being of animals. Protecting dogs and cats in puppy and kitten mills is all about the well-being of animals.

I don’t know how one group can reach this level of being so wrong about this subject.

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Baby rhino suffering emotionally after mother killed by poachers

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A baby rhino rescued after evil poachers killed his mother, is suffering through some emotional problems.

The degenerates who are killing rhinos to support their evil profit motives are some of the worst of the Earth’s worst. They would gladly wipe a species of animal off the face of the Earth for profit.

Updates on Gertjie’s progress and story are available at this link.

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Yes – Horse racing isn’t fair – to the horses

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So California Chrome’s owner said horse racing’s triple crown system isn’t fair to the horses. And he said the other owners who don’t put their charges in all three races are cowards. Then he sort of apologized to the industry.

Yes – horse racing is not fair – but not in the way this guy suggested.

Horse racing isn’t fair to the thousands of race horses that die every year. It isn’t fair to the horses who have been drugged over the years. It isn’t fair to the horses that are the result of poor breeding practices.

Horse racing isn’t fair to the horses that suffer when they are no longer deemed valuable to the industry and it isn’t fair to the horses that end up being shot in the head by captive bolts in a slaughterhouse somewhere.

 

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After a series of positives from the Pope, he slips up on pet guardianship

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Pope Francis has been, for the most part, a positive force over the course of his term. But he slipped up in a major way with his recent comments in comparing couples having kids with couples who decide to limit their families to pets.

Time quoted the Pope as saying the following, in reference to couples deciding against having kids and instead having pets:

Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness.

The human population of the planet is exploding exponentially. While there is nothing wrong with having kids, there certainly is nothing wrong with deciding to not have kids. And what about the couples who try but are not able to have children? Suggesting either category of couples will end up bitter and lonely is just wrongheaded.

And certainly, the Pope should learn a bit more about how rewarding it is to adopt homeless pets. Saving lives and experiencing the love of the rescued pet is on the other end of the scale from bitterness and loneliness.

I don’t think the Pope thought this one through. Who am I to question the Pope? Well …. just someone who understands the love we can receive from animals – and children.

The Time piece wraps up with this:

In other words, all the effort you spend caring for your furry friends would be of better use if Fido or Fifi were children.

That’s a pretty short-sighted look at the subject, isn’t it. Does it have to be either or? I know there are a ton of families with kids AND rescued pets. And they have enough love to give to all of them.

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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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Hall of Fame drummer drums up support for ivory ban

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I just received the following release from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW):

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Matt Sorum Drums Up Musicians’ Support for U.S. Ivory Ban

(Washington, D.C. – June 4, 2014) – Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, legendary Grammy Award-winning drummer of Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult and Kings of Chaos, and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) supporter Matt Sorum, penned an open letter urging fellow musicians to support the U.S. government’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, which seeks to dramatically reduce the U.S. role in elephant poaching by enacting new rules on ivory trade.

Under the new regulations, owners of ivory objects would still be allowed to own their items, or give them as a non-commercial gift. However, owners (including musicians with instruments that include ivory) would not be allowed to sell them without removing and replacing the ivory first. Additionally, musicians would need to secure proper documentation before they travel with their instruments overseas.

As Sorum noted in the letter, “This is an issue that needs the attention and support of the music community. We need to be a part of the solution, not the problem.  As much as we all love our instruments, they are in the end just things – not worth contributing to the demise of a species.”

Elephants are being poached for their ivory at an alarming rate. The elephant population in Africa has declined up to 95 percent in the last century, and on average, poachers are killing one elephant every fifteen minutes. Some populations are well on the path to extinction.

“Elephants are in crisis. This rule will bring about meaningful action to reduce the amount of illegal ivory smuggled into the country, while helping to protect this dynamic and most intelligent species. But we need the support of many stakeholders to ensure its success,” added Jeff Flocken, North American Regional Director, IFAW. “We thank Matt for bringing attention to this important issue and hope fellow musicians will band together to protect elephants.”

Sorum is among many celebrities supporting the ivory sale ban. In April, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall and Dave Matthews, alongside a coalition of businesses and conservation organizations, signed a letter to the Administration commending them for their actions to protect elephants.

To read Sorum’s letter, visit g.ifaw.org/mattsletter. Learn more about IFAW’s work to protect elephants.
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Manufacturer of d-CON rodent poison reaches agreement with EPA

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Reckitt Benckiser, the manufacturer of d-CON rat and mouse poisons, has reportedly agreed to stop selling some its products that contain chemicals the EPA has deemed to be a risk to people, pets or wildlife.

Twelve products are on the list and they will no longer be distributed beyond March 31, 2015.

The EPA has included information – on the linked page above – for people who want to dispose of any of these products they already purchased.

Consumers who wish to dispose of any of the d-CON mouse and rat poison products listed above should contact their state or local waste disposal program or service for information on proper disposal in their community. These pesticides are harmful to the wildlife, so consumers who have opened containers should not discard them outdoors or dispose of them in sinks or toilets.

Consumers can contact their local government for recommendations on how to dispose of unwanted or unused pesticide products.

My wife and I have always been leery of rat and mouse baits/poisons and do not use them for fear of the possible ingestion by our pets.

This case is an important example of how the EPA does protect us. I keep reading about uninformed politicians who want to shut down the EPA. What a look at how we’d live without the EPA? – Just take a look at China and the areas where the air is thick with smog and rivers are toilets.

We need the EPA.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Minnesota’s important new puppy mill regulations begin July 1

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As of July 1, all commercial breeding operations within the state of Minnesota will be required to obtain a license and will be subjected to annual inspections.

Inspections are a key element that all states should enact. As long as breeding facilities meet minimum standards of care, they will have nothing to fear. Quality breeding operations will be allowed to continue to operate.

The notion propagated by groups such as the AKC, suggesting breeding regulations will harm quality breeders, is wrong on its face. And of course, those who cannot meet minimum standards of care should be shut down.

A bill to regulate puppy mills in my home state of North Carolina has regrettably stalled in the State Senate. Hopefully, the success in the Minnesota will help push North Carolina to take up the cause of compassion.

 

 

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