FINALLY – A just punishment for dog fighting

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Kudos to U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins, who handed down a record $2 million fine this week on participants in a major dog-fighting operation – to serve as restitution to help cover the care of the dogs involved.

The same judge also imposed the longest sentence ever in a federal dog-fighting case.

The Star-Telegram reports the money will go to two animal-welfare groups who cared for the 451 dogs rescued in the case.

The key, evil organizer in the operation received eight years in prison and fined $580,000. Another individual was ordered to pay to pay $627,389 and spend four years behind ball. And another got five years and $458,752.

This sort of justice needs to happen much more often – especially when the crimes involve acts of cruelty involving animals and people.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Score one for the use of drones – to expose factory farming

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Not a big fan in general of drones flying around the country, sometimes as a threat to aircraft safety or invading the privacy of the general public. But as is the case with many subjects, some good uses are arising.

The individual who shot the video below was able to educated us all on the health risks from hog farm lagoons. There are some real horrors going on within too many factory farms across the nation.

Some will always try to wave off the cruelty-to-animals debate, as strong as the evidence is against factory farming. But even the cruelty apologists will not be able to counter this video, where it shows huge ponds of feces, urine and more – and the sprinklers used to spay this noxious mess into the air over the property of nearby properties.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Federal judge completely botches ruling on foie gras

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This one is really disappointing. A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a California ban on foie gras.

For those unfamiliar with this food product, it is an unnecessary delicacy that is manufactured by force-feeding through tubes stuffed down the throat of ducks or geese.

People eat meat. That will go on. But why does the process have to include cruelty to this level or to the level of gestation crates or battery cages? In many cases, animals lived better lives on farms in the 1800s.

But this product – foie gras – is a delicacy. It is completely unnecessary. So one less fancy item will be on some high-handed menu. And while some people won’t get to brag that they ate foie gras, more ducks and geese will be spared inhumane treatment.

I think the diners and chefs can at least give up this item.

ABC News quoted U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, who overturned the ban, as saying,

“California cannot regulate foie gras products’ ingredients by creatively phrasing its law in terms of the manner in which those ingredients were produced.”

What?

So if the production of an ingredient for a product was shown to put consumers’ health at risk, I guess Judge Wilson would claim the state couldn’t regulate it. I guess he thinks companies should be able to put lead back into the paint on toys and asbestos into homes.

So this judge doesn’t think a state can legislate against animal cruelty? Would he suggest a state could not regulate dog fighting, because the state cannot regulate a gambling operation based on the way the participants are produced?

Of course the states can and should be able to regulate food production, due to the manner in which the products are produced – for the goals of human health, food safety and the protection of animals.

It appears Judge Wilson based his ruling solely on the impact on the profit for high-end restaurants.

Maybe the judge needs to watch a video of who the birds are fed and then attempt to justify his misguided judgement.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Video: HSUS assists with rescue at Alabama fighting-dog breeding operation

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It is so sad what some people will do for profit. In the case exposed below, it is called hog dog fighting.

The Humane Society of the US assisted law enforcement recently with a rescue at a breeding operation, where dogs are bred to fight pigs.

Degenerates actually place bets as dogs are released to attack pigs.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Quick update – 2015 thus far: Deer farming, red wolves, sea fracking

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Three interesting bits of news from the Associated Press have come in on the Pack News Wire that I have not touched on as yet. So let’s toss out a quick update.

Deer farming: Nine public hearing were slated for January by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, on the topic of deer farming. This practice involves raising deer on farms to be sold as game or directly for their meat and antlers.

Hunters are joining wildlife advocates to express concern for this sort of industry. One fear is for the risk of the spread of diseases.

Red Wolves: 2015 could be a key year for the red wolf. The Associated Press notes North Carolina has the only wild population of this wolf species. The program to maintain the species is being debated early this year.

Due to habitat loss and hunting, the red wolf populations were devastated. In 1987, red wolves were bred and released into the wild in an effort to restore their numbers.

Sea Fracking: An article from January 9 contained two stunning revelations.

If fracking waste is discharged by a company into the ocean, it is in most cases up the company to report the spill.

And one paragraph of the Associated Press piece states the following:

Little is known about the effects of the chemicals used in fracking on ocean life.

The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, for failing to honor a request for public records.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

HSUS rightfully praises one governor and slams another

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Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the US praised the accomplishments of one outgoing governor and the slammed the negative record of another, in a blog post on Monday.

Pat Quinn is out as governor of Illinois. His record on animal welfare was a solid one. Pacelle noted he vetoed a bill on the way door that would have opened up trophy hunting and commercial trapping of bobcats.

Last year, Quinn signed into law a ban on the possession, sale, or distribution of shark fins. He signed the state’s puppy lemon law and an antifreeze safety law. He also fought for restrictions on tethering and promoted non-lethal methods for law-enforcement in handling animals and pushed for a ban on the trade of primates as pets.

But as pro-compassion as Quinn was, Pacelle counters with the horrible record of out-going Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman. He vetoed a bill to ban the trophy hunting of mountain lions and fought to preserve the horrible use of battery cages for hens and gestation crates for pigs.

Heinman seems to be charter member of anti-science and anti-compassion clubs.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

More dogs than fans at greyhound races as industry continues big losses

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More bad news is circulating through the media concerning greyhound racing. The train of bad news hit the Al Jazeera America website earlier today.

In the video posted on the site, the stands were bare, save a very few individuals, for a recent race in Bonita Springs, Fla. While very few people even care to watch, we are reminded that a racing greyhound dies every three days in Florida.

Florida state Senator Maria Sachs, who gets a Pack Mentality Compassion Award today, is quoted as calling greyhound racing an “inhumane way of gambling.”

And then Izzy Havenick, who owns the Naples–Fort Myers Greyhound Track and Poker Room is quoted as saying, “We’re legally obliged to keep a business operating that loses $2.5 million a year.”

Sachs wants to see dog racing come to an end and supports legislation that would remove the dog-racing mandate and allow the casinos to close down the tracks if they choose to do so.

If only enough of her fellow legislators will agree with her, we could soon see an end to this inhumane industry.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Dog’s new prosthetic legs allow him to run for the first time

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What an inspirational story this is! Derby was born with deformed front legs. But thanks to a new set of prosthetic limbs, similar to some human prosthetic devices, he is running with joy.

One look at Derby’s face in this video offers proof-positive that animals do experience emotions.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

The bad news keeps rolling out for greyhound racing

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In Florida, supporters and insiders from the greyhound racing industry want to continue to force the state to prop up it up with influxes of money and in maintaining the state requirement that forces casinos to hold dog races.

I can’t think of any industry that enjoys protection from a state to this degree. And when we add in the fact that very few people are even attending these horrible races, we have to really wonder how anyone can justify these protections on any level.

With all of the terrible news we’ve seen on this topic over many years, the evidence for a full ban on the greyhound racing industry continues to pile up. This week, it’s a report from of WPTV out of West Palm Beach, Fla.

First up, Florida Representative Jared Moskowitz (D-Coral Springs) was quoted in the article as saying:

“No one is coming to watch the dogs run, I’ve been there I’ve seen it.”

Moskowitz has been told it is taking an average of eight months to bring cruelty cases out of greyhound tracks to completion. Half of the 16 current cruelty cases are more than a year old.

One proposal that has been debated for at least a couple of years now is to decouple greyhound racing from the state mandate, meaning no longer force the casinos to hold dog races. This would be solid step in the right direction. But the best, most humane option would be to ban dog racing everywhere – immediately.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

All things are connected – and here’s how it works

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Matt Orr’s recent post on the Up Worthy website called the success of the reintroduction of wolves into the Yellowstone National Park = “One of the most exciting scientific findings of the last 50 years …”

Wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone Park in 1995 and the results have been a resounding success. The results also offer solid proof of the interconnectivity of nature.

From the impacts on the population of deer in the park to their behavior changes to the regeneration of some of the forest areas to the good news for songbirds and beavers to muskrats, ducks, otters, fish to bald eagles and bears.

When nature is allowed to do its thing – without the negative impacts that some people and entities inflict on the environment – then beautiful things can happen.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic