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Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician (Nobel 1952)

Animal Planet Cancels ‘Call of the Wildman’ in Canada

April 10, 2014
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source ecorazzi

Animal Planet has abruptly cancelled its “Call of the Wildman” series, just days before a new season was scheduled to air. The network says that the show was cancelled due to a lack of popularity, but the star of the show, Ernie Brown Jr., a.k.a. Turtleman, as well as its production company Sharpe Entertainment, were already under intense scrutiny after investigative reports exposed multiple acts of animal abuse.

The revelations sparked outrage among fans and animal activists, leading to multiple federal and state investigations. According the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), “Call of the Wildman actively sought out species, taking them from their natural habitats and forcing them into stressful, dangerous, and unnatural situations. The animals were then tormented for the sake of entertainment as Brown chased and trapped them on camera.” Animal rights groups turned to legislative measures to ensure the allegations against Sharpe Entertainment were not brushed aside by authorities, as well as calling for the show to be axed.

Jodi Cook, a spokeswoman for Bell Media, the parent company of Animal Planet Canada, said in a statement that “Call of the Wildman has not been resonating with Canadian audiences and the decision was made not to move forward with Season 3 this month as previously announced. We will be replacing that title with content that is more in line with other programming that’s performing well with our Canadian viewers. There are no plans to return Call of the Wildman to our schedule at this time.”

Although Cook did not specify that the reason for the show’s cancellation was a direct result of the allegations of animal abuse, media personnel speculate that this is more than likely the reason. Paul Dergarabedian, a television and film industry analyst for Rentrak, a media research firm, says that even though it is not unheard of for television schedules to change last-minute, “nobody wants to have that kind of change in a release date that close to anything.” Considering the associated marketing costs, any last-minute changes are likely to be “cause for a bit of a stomach ache on the part of executives.”

Amanda Lotz, a media scholar at the University of Michigan, also says that the move would be financially and logistically undesirable. Lotz speculates that the decision was probably driven by worries about a larger cost if Animal Planet went ahead with the new season. “My suspicion would be that there’s ample concern about the negative publicity,” she said.

It still remains unclear whether Animal Planet Canada’s sister network in the United States plan to air a new season of the show. So far, the network and Sharp Entertainment have not made any announcements.

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No, Lousiana, “Chicken Boxing” is Not a Legitimate Sport

April 9, 2014
by
Care2

Care2

Source Care2
By

A Louisiana senator is making headlines for standing in opposition to legislation that would crack down on cockfighting in the state, claiming it will shut down the legitimate sport of “chicken boxing.”

Articles about what went down at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Tuesday morning read like they might be straight out of The Onion, or might at the very least be an April Fool’s joke, but the effort to toughen the laws on cockfighting in the state is very real.

Louisiana was the last state to ban cockfighting in 2008, making it illegal in every state, but animal advocates who are opposed to this cruel bloodsport believe that low penalties in Louisiana and neighboring states have made it a prime place for those involved to continue to do business.

Senate Bill 523 was introduced by Senator J.P. Morrell with the intention of closing the loopholes in the current law that make it difficult to enforce by expanding the definition of chicken to include gamefowl, rooster or other birds, banning cockfighting paraphernalia – including spurs, gaffs and knives – and increasing penalties for offenders by making it a felony on a first offense.

Senator Elbert Guillory opposed the measure, claiming it would shut down the sport of “chicken boxing.”

The AP quoted Sen. Guillory saying: “There is a legitimate sport known as chicken boxing. It has nothing to do with cockfighting, and it is clear that this bill would interfere, would criminalize that legal enterprise.”

He further described chicken boxing “as similar to human kickboxing, with chickens kicking at each other while wearing rubber “gloves” that cover the spurs on their legs. The chickens face each other in rounds of 10 minutes each, and … there’s little chance of serious injury with veterinarians on hand to monitor the matches.”

“Instead of a blade or exposed spur, they hit each other with these boxing gloves on, which is quite safe,” Guillory said later. “There’s no blood.”

Bloodless or not, his explanation apparently baffled fellow lawmakers who said they had never heard of such a thing. Sen. Morrell said the the explanation sounded like an excuse to circumvent current laws and that fighting two chickens is already illegal anyway.

His thoughts were backed up by John Goodwin, director of animal cruelty policy for the Humane Society of the United States, who stated that there is no such thing as chicken boxing.

“‘Chicken boxing’ is just a creative excuse the cockfighters have come up with to mask their real agenda, which is to maintain the weakest penalties for cockfighting as possible,” he told the Times-Picayune.

He further explained that cockfighters use “sparring muffs” on birds during practice matches to see how well they fight, which could look like little boxing gloves, but that the actual sport chicken boxing is not really a thing.

Despite the opposition and strange arguments, the committee voted 4-2 to pass the bill, which will now go to the Senate for a vote where we can only hope chicken boxing won’t be mentioned — or defended.

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PETA wins battle for release of captive elephant Sundar

April 8, 2014
by
PETA

PETA

Source The Hindu
By Vinaya Deshpande

The Bombay High Court on Monday ordered the immediate transfer of Sundar elephant to a sanctuary in Bangalore and dismissed a politician’s petition seeking setting aside of the government order to the same effect which was passed in 2012. Sundar, the abused elephant’s cause has been taken up by many celebrities like Paul McCartney, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Pamela Anderson, Arjun Rampal, R Madhavan, Gulshan Grover.

Sundar is now slated to be transferred to Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) in Bangalore.

The elephant was gifted to the administration of Jyotiba temple.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had alleged that the tusker was brutalised by the temple authorities, which was in their custody since 2007. In 2012, the state government had issued orders directing for Sundar’s release in a sanctuary. The orders were never implemented.

PETA then approached the Bombay High Court seeking the implementation of government orders. Vinay Kore, the politician who had allegedly gifted the tusker to the temple, moved a petition seeking setting aside of the government order. In the meantime, Sundar was moved to Warana nagar from the premises of Jyotiba temple.

“The elephant’s beatings had been caught on videotape, and veterinarians and elephant experts who examined Sunder found him scarred and wounded and chained so tightly that he couldn’t lie down.

The campaign for his release spanned 21 months as people in India and around the world worked to save him from his abusers. PETA India is now calling on Maharashtra Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Sarjan Bhagat to implement the court’s order quickly before Sunder can be harmed again,” a press statement by PETA said.

The court on Monday ordered for the immediate enforcement of the government order. The division bench of V M Kanade and A K Menon directed that the transfer should be taken up before the onset of monsoon.

In the past, the court had observed that it was cruel to keep the animal chained. PETA had produced videographic evidence before the court showing the bad condition of the tusker. While the government authorities, in their submissions before the court in the past, had pleaded that Sundar was in musth condition, and therefore could not be moved, PETA had maintained that the tusker was fine, but was being severely tortured.

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Demand that FWS Review the Status of Idaho’s Wolves

April 7, 2014
by

Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife



Please click HERE to take action

Background, source Defenders of Wildlife

Less than five years after losing federal protection, it is clearer than ever that Idaho refuses to manage its wolf population responsibly.

That’s why today, Defenders of Wildlife officially requested that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) immediately initiate a status review of wolves in the Northern Rockies and examine the relentless threats that this species has encountered since being stripped of Endangered Species Act protection back in 2011.

The call for this status review is the first step toward restoring Endangered Species Act protection to wolves in Idaho and other Northern Rockies states.

Please, join us in calling on FWS to review the status of Idaho’s persecuted wolf population.

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IDA alerts, please take action

April 5, 2014
by

Source IDA

Stop Cornell University’s Violent Deer Killing
In Defense of Animals

For New York’s Cornell University, it is “deer management,” but for the rest of us it is the unnecessary and brutal killing of innocent deer. Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been baiting and luring deer into live-capture clover traps, then using captive-bolt guns, which kill the deer by shooting a metal rod into each of their skulls. Terrified deer have had to endure overnight capture in sub-freezing temperatures before being killed.

Fawns suffocate and die in the womb when their mothers are slaughtered.

Being flight animals, once deer are caught in traps, they often thrash wildly and cry out in fear. Their panicked movements only increase and their cries become even more desperate once their killers arrive. This technique of netting and bolting deer is widely condemned by veterinary experts and humane societies for its egregious cruelty. Faculty and staff of Cornell’s DNR call this barbaric treatment of helpless deer “euthanasia,” a term that actually describes a compassionate choice to end a life of suffering, which has nothing to do with this violent killing of healthy deer.

Click here to take action.


 Take Part in World Week for Animals in Laboratories
April 20-26, 2014
Please Help End the Needless
Abuse of Animals for Cosmetics Testing

In Defense of Animals

Please join In Defense of Animals (IDA) and others for World Week for Animals in Laboratories. IDA is sponsoring this event to ensure that the plight of animals suffering in laboratories remains in our consciousness as we advocate for the replacement of animal testing models with non-animal based practices.

The timing is perfect to help garner support for H.R. 4148, the Humane Cosmetics Act. The passage of H.R. 4148 would ensure animals are not injured in any process involved in the creation or manufacturing of cosmetics.

If you would like to coordinate an event for WWAIL, we can provide you with flyers about cosmetics testing on animals. We will also be producing a flyer letting people know how they can act to support H.R. 4148. The deadline to request materials is Monday, April 14, 2014. To register your event, please click here.

If you haven’t already, please take action now to support H.R. 4148.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 415.448.0048, ext. 205 or wwail@idausa.org. For more information, please visit www.wwail.org.

A Happy Leonard Update

In Defense of AnimalsWe’d like to share a happy update on one of our Hope Animal Sanctuary (HAS) cruelty cases we reported on in January – the rescue of an emaciated and freezing dog suffering with no shelter. Complicating his situation was the refusal by a judge to sign the criminal affidavit and seizure order. A sympathetic circuit court judge finally signed them, and IDA was granted full custody of Leonard.

Leonard is flourishing. He spends his time frolicking, playing, and exploring with other dogs at HAS. He struggles a bit because he will never have the full use of his left rear leg, but he still manages to run up the hills with his pack. He keeps watch as his canine friends swim in the sanctuary ponds. Curiosity and uneasiness still play a small role in his daily activities, but he is stronger, healthier, and happier each day. Your ongoing financial support makes happy stories like this possible. Thank you for caring and helping us saves lives like Leonard’s.


 A Tale of Two Mice 

In Defense of AnimalsOn Monday of this week, the IDA main office was abuzz with a rare mouse sighting. A mouse ran out of a staffer’s office and straight into the kitchen. While looking for him, IDA’s Anita Carswell found what she initially believed to be a dead mouse at the bottom of a blue recycling container. This mouse was not the same mouse who had run into the kitchen. This poor mouse had fallen from a trashcan into an empty recycling bin and probably spent all weekend trying to escape. She was likely dehydrated and cold from her long weekend in the container. A house with hay was made for her outside, and she was brought there, with a lid of water and some almonds, but she was unresponsive. Anita picked her up, cupping her in one hand, while setting up a heating pad and blanket with the other hand. Luckily, Melissa Gonzalez, another concerned staffer, had an avocado and protein mix powder, which was donated to the rescue effort as well. By the end of the day, the mouse’s energy was completely restored and when brought outside she practically flew out of the basket completely ignoring the habitat set up for her.

While the second mouse was recovering, the search for the first mouse resumed. He was finally spotted and streaked out the back door and into the evergreens on his own. We’re hopeful these two friends find each other again, and that their encounter with us was enough to make them want to stay outside where they are safer.


 

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SeaWorld Protester Pleads ‘Not Guilty by Reason of Necessity’

April 3, 2014
by
PETA

PETA

Please click HERE to take action

Source PETA

She was arrested after blocking SeaWorld’s float at the Rose Parade, but Amanda Slyter pleaded “not guilty” in court today. Why? Because she believes that her actions qualify for protection under a common-law defense called “necessity,” or the “greater good” defense. This means that a person violated a lesser law in order to right a greater wrong—in this case, SeaWorld’s cruel confinement of orcas to tiny concrete tanks.

Outside the courthouse, PETA supporters gathered to back Amanda and to hold signs that read, “SeaWorld Hurts Orcas.”

SeaWorld’s float depicted orcas leaping freely in the sea with their pods—a far cry from reality. The orcas held by SeaWorld are actually confined to glorified bathtubs, where they’re forced to perform confusing tricks for paying customers. Distraught mother orcas even have their babies taken away and shipped to other parks. Standing in a parade route for a few minutes certainly seems to pale in comparison with SeaWorld’s actions.

The court has yet to decide whether Amanda’s necessity defense will render her not guilty,  but PETA will keep our members updated on the case. In the meantime, please keep e-mailing SeaWorld and demanding that the park let the orcas retire to ocean sanctuaries.

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The Whales Have Won! — ICJ Rules Japan’s Southern Ocean Whaling ‘Not For Scientific Research’

April 1, 2014
by

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Karen Lyons Kalmenson



Source Sea Shepherd

In a stunning victory for the whales, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague announced their binding decision today in the landmark case of Australia v. Japan, ruling that Japan’s JARPA II whaling program in the Antarctic is not for scientific purposes and ordering that all permits given under JARPA II be revoked. The news was applauded and celebrated by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA and Sea Shepherd Australia, both of which have directly intervened against Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.

Representing Sea Shepherd in the courtroom to hear the historic verdict were Captain Alex Cornelissen, Executive Director of Sea Shepherd Global and Geert Vons, Director of Sea Shepherd Netherlands. They were accompanied by Sea Shepherd Global’s Dutch legal counsel.

The case against Japan was heard by the ICJ in July of last year to decide whether Japan is in breach of its international obligations in implementing the JARPA II “research” program in the Southern Ocean, and to demand that Japan cease implementation of JARPA II and revoke any related permits until Japan can make assurances that their operations conform with international law.

In a vote of 12 to 4, the ICJ ruled that the scientific permits granted by Japan for its whaling program were not scientific research as defined under International Whaling Commission regulations. It ordered that Japan revoke the scientific permits given under JARPA II and refrain from granting any further permits under that program.

Prior to the verdict, there had been some speculation that the ICJ would not permit the hunting of endangered fin and humpback whales, but it would compromise and allow the hunting of minke whales. However, it has been Sea Shepherd’s contention all along that — no matter the species — no whales should be killed, especially in a sanctuary. Sanctuary means “a place of refuge or safety; a nature reserve” where animals are protected. To allow killing in an internationally designated sanctuary is to make a mockery of international agreements made by those countries who established the sanctuary in 1994. At that time, 23 countries supported the agreement and Japan was the only IWC member to oppose it.

Even the Ambassador from Japan to the U.S., Kenichiro Sasae, during a public meeting in Los Angeles in December 2013 attended by representatives of Sea Shepherd USA, had this to say about whales and whaling: ”As an individual, I like whales and if you go out and see the whales, there is no reason for us to kill this lovely animal. But it’s history and it’s politics, I would say. There are a small number of Japanese people still trying to get this won. But mainstream Japanese are not eating whale anymore.” At the same meeting, Ambassador Sasae stated that Japan will abide by the ICJ ruling.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s international volunteer crew stood on the frontlines in the hostile and remote waters of Antarctica for eight years and then Sea Shepherd Australia took up that gauntlet for the last two years and will keep confronting Japanese whalers in Antarctica until we can once and for all bring an end to the killing in this internationally designated “safety zone” for whales. Over the years, Sea Shepherd has been the only organization to directly intervene against Japan’s illegal commercial whaling conducted under the guise of research, with their claims of research globally questioned. Indeed, Sea Shepherd has been the only thing standing between majestic whales and the whalers’ harpoons, as these internationally protected species — many of them pregnant — migrate through Antarctic waters each year.

“With today’s ruling, the ICJ has taken a fair and just stance on the right side of history by protecting the whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the vital marine ecosystem of Antarctica, a decision that impacts the international community and future generations,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen of Sea Shepherd Global.

“Though Japan’s unrelenting harpoons have continued to drive many species of whales toward extinction, Sea Shepherd is hopeful that in the wake of the ICJ’s ruling, it is whaling that will be driven into the pages of the history books,” he said.

“Despite the moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan has continued to claim the lives of thousands of the gentle giants of the sea in a place that should be their safe haven,” said Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson. “Sea Shepherd and I, along with millions of concerned people around the world, certainly hope that Japan will honor this ruling by the international court and leave the whales in peace.”

Sea Shepherd Global will have the ships prepared to return to the Southern Ocean in December 2014 should Japan choose to ignore this ruling. If the Japanese whaling fleet returns, Sea Shepherd crew will be there to uphold this ruling against the pirate whalers of Japan.

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