HSUS leader Wayne Pacelle reviews results for 2014

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In his A Humane Nation blog this week, Humane Society of the United States leader Wayne Pacelle reviewed the organization’s “Top Transformational Results of 2014.”

The list features:

South Dakota becoming the 5oth US state to adopt a felony animal-cruelty law.

It is now a federal crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight.

The truly idiotic and evil “King Amendment” was tossed out of the Farm Bill.

A federal appellate court rightfully overturned a horrible ruling from a lower that might have tossed out the animal crush video law. If I recall, the lower court tried to claim that torturing and brutally killing animals was protected free speech. That’s one for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame.

So arguably the current leader for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame is Citizens United.

A number of countries have agreed to end the use of gestation crates for pigs.

Three horse-slaughter plants were blocked from opening this year.

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture rule blocks the importation of puppies for sale. This means at least foreign puppy mills can’t sell here.

Internet sellers of puppy now have to follow USDA guidelines. The HSUS helped to block a legal challenge to this ruling.

Better protections are in place for animals suffering through experiments in labs.

The World Trade Organization is thankfully supporting European Union’s ban on products resulting from the horrific Canadian seal hunts.

The wolf hunts were stopped in Michigan.

New York and New Jersey became the first states to banned the sale of Ivory. This one should become a federal ban.

And Pacelle states the “…  International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program violates the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling’s ban on commercial hunting.”

Read Pacelle’s full rundown at the link above.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

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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HSUS Video: Tennessee walking horse rescue

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This video is from last April, but it is certainly worth sharing now. The HSUS took park in the rescue of about 19 Tennessee walking horses who had been abused by the horrible practice of “soring.”

For those not familiar with this phrase, it involves putting a burning chemical on the horse’s lower legs, so that it exaggerates the high-stepping motion with the front legs. It is the typical actions we see in industries where animals are used for profit or for winner contests. In this case, it happens to be horse shows.

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Breaking News: King Amendment removed from Farm Bill

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This is BIG news. The horrible King Amendment has been removed from the Farm Bill. The amendment is named for the single biggest supporter of animal cruelty in the US government – Rep. Steve King.

The mission for King and his amendment, was to gut animal cruelty laws across the nation and to prevent states from passing legislation to protect animals from abuse. But the Farm Bill Conference Committee has agreed to drop the seriously-flawed idea.

On its website, the World Society for Protection of Animals posted a statement by Anne Lieberman –
Executive Director, WSPA USA

If included, the King Amendment would have lowered standards for agriculture production and weakened current state-based laws (like in California, whose laws allow certain animals to move freely and extend their limbs while confined). This would have had serious negative consequences for the welfare of millions of farm animals and for consumers.

The Humane Society of the US also praised another key provision in the latest version of the Farm Bill:

The compromise bill includes a provision making it a federal crime to attend or bring a child under the age of 16 to an animal fighting event, based on the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which will fortify the federal law against organized and barbaric dogfighting and cockfighting rings.

So good news here. This is another huge setback for Steve King, who has expressed opposition to prohibiting kids from attending animal fighting events. Yes, I know; it’s unbelievable. How could anyone think it’s okay to bring kids to a dog or cock fight. The man serious needs a visit from Dickens’ Three Ghost.

The US House could vote on the revised bill on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Kathy Kangas of the HSUS wrote an editorial for the Huffington Post on Jan. 24, concerning the evil King Amendment.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is celebrating King’s defeat and offered the following as part of their statement:

With today’s news, the recent renewal of the ban on horse slaughter inspection, and last week’s tabling of New Hampshire’s Ag-Gag bill, it looks like 2014 is off to a great legislative start so far!

And back on Jan. 23, the LA Times offered its take, under the great headline: “Iowa Rep. Steve King lays an egg on the Farm Bill.”

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Breaking News: Gov. Cuomo signs New York puppy mill bill

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New York has new regulations to combat puppy mills, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on Friday. The primary factors in the law are the ability for local municipalities to regulate breeders and enact stronger regulations.

A Capital Confidential blog post on the Times Union website includes a statement from the ASPCA.

Ecorazzi reports actress Lea Michele spoke out in support of the bill and urged the governor to sign it.

On its website, the ASPCA thanks Cuomo for his signature.


“The puppy mill industry wanted to keep the state law unchanged because it allowed maximum profit and minimum accountability,” says Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “With this law, we’ll be able to keep a closer eye on these operations, stop inhumane practices, and undoubtedly save many lives. For New Yorkers and animal lovers—and animals themselves—this is a huge and important win.”

The Humane Society of the United States calls the move “groundbreaking.”

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Video: A look into online puppy sales

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A reader, Twitter friend and fellow animal-welfare advocate has requested that I post information about the organization, Purebred Breeders. It took a few seconds to find the following video from HSUS – from December of 2011.

Back on December 7, 2011, the Today Show featured a segment about Purebred Breeders, which reportedly covers almost 800 websites.

In a post on the HSUS website from Dec. of 2011, Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president for animal protection litigation and investigations for HSUS is quoted as saying:

“Purebred Breeders reaps massive profits by purchasing puppies from puppy mills around the country and selling them at a huge mark-up to dog lovers who would never knowingly buy a puppy mill dog.”

Spread the word everywhere you possibly can and through as many means as possible. People should never purchase puppies or kittens before visiting the breeding facility and before insisting on a full tour. Otherwise, the risk is too great that they were bred at a puppy mill or kitten mill.

And for the millionth time, tell everyone that of the top 25 strategies for adding a new furry family member, No. 1 through No. 24 involve adopting through a rescue group or shelter.

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Columnist asks if Christians should care about animal welfare

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Christianity Today blogger Ed Stetzer put this question out to his readers on Thursday: Should Christians Care about Animal Welfare?

My answer? – Of course; absolutely; with a doubt. After all, compassion was a primary focus for Jesus. From the Bible to Saint Francis of Assisi to most recently, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, we’ve seen a long history of compassion for animals from Christianity.

In addition, studies are showing those who engage in animal cruelty also end up abusing people.

There is one key statement in Stetzer’s piece that I take a bit of exception to:

Furthermore, the radicalization of the animal rights movements has, I think, scared away many Christian leaders. Yet, as the video shows, that’s not always been the case.

This is misconception that too many people are stepping into. Sure, some groups have ramped up the actions in protesting animal cruelty. But this does not change the fact that animals are being abuse in horrible ways all over the country and the planet.

I’m not at all accusing Stetzer here, but the phrase “animal rights movement” usually comes from the crowd who wants to shut down any progress in protecting animals from cruelty. These folks hate on groups like the Humane Society of the US or the ASPCA, in an effort to discredit anyone who wants to protect animals from abuse.

And in so many cases, the effort comes from those with a monetary stake in defending industries from any regulations.

But I should focus back on Stetzer’s main theme. Yes – Christians and those from all religious affiliations should care about animal welfare. Compassion should be a primary focus of all religions. And compassion should not have a such a narrow focus that it is limited to one species.

Who could reasonably state, on religious grounds or by any standards, that we should not care about the suffering of innocent people and animals? Of course we should care.

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HSUS board member reviews 2013

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A view of the year 2013 for the Humane Society of the US, written by board member Cathy Kangas, was publish Tuesday on the Huffington Post website.

While the list Kangas features contains a number of important facts, some of the information really deserves highlights.

The public also became aware of the American Kennel Club’s ties with the puppy mill industry.

The HSUS also successfully advocated for passage of amendments to the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations bills to defund horse slaughter inspections, which if retained in the final FY 2014 spending bill, will restore the ban on horse slaughter in the U.S.

The HSUS won a big victory in securing an amendment to the farm bill that makes it a federal crime to attend an animal fight.

Let’s hope we see a huge range of success in the area of animal welfare in 2014.

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