Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Obomba Lagging Behind Bush in Wildlife Protection

With President Barack Obama lagging way behind Bush on protecting species, lastweek The New York Times highlighted the Center for Biological Diversity'ssignificant efforts to correct that failure. The Obama administration hasprotected only two new U.S. species under the Endangered Species Act in itsfirst 10 months, compared with 11 in Bush's first year. The currentadministration has also stripped northern Rockies gray wolves of protections,opened up oil drilling in polar bear habitat, followed Bush on not allowing thepolar bear's Endangered Species Act status to actually protect it from globalwarming, and endorsed Bush's anti-jaguar policies.Accordingly, the Center's activity since the Bush years has far from waned: Asthe Times notes, we've sued the federal government more than 20 times over thepast 11 months to rectify illegal and delayed endangered species actions. Westopped the killing of Great Lakes gray wolves and are in court to defend thepolar bear on multiple fronts. In 2010, the Center will go to court to overturnthe worst of the Obama decisions we haven't yet addressed and change theadministration's wildlife-conservation perspective at the same time.Read the New York Times article for yourself;\4-2009.html

Friday, November 6, 2009

NY Bans the Gassing of Stray Pets!!

1. Victory! NY Bans the Gassing of Stray Pets

An especially challenging political climate in the New York State Legislature has slowed the progress of a variety of pro-animal welfare bills this year. However, hard work by legislators, committee staff, the ASPCA and New York’s animal advocates brought the humane euthanasia bill (NY A. 999B) over the finish line!

Introduced in January, the bill sat dormant until the ASPCA, working closely with Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Senator Suzi Oppenheimer and staff, helped revive it and secure passage in the Legislature in the fall. On October 9, it was signed into law by Governor Paterson.

The new law, which goes into effect in one year, will:

Prohibit carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide poisoning (gassing) of stray and shelter animals (effective in 90 days).
Require that the euthanasia of stray and shelter animals be performed by injection.
Require that such euthanasia be performed by a certified euthanasia technician, licensed veterinarian, or licensed veterinary technician.
Prohibit intracardiac euthanasia—a painful injection right into the heart—on unsedated shelter animals.
Require that veterinarians who perform intracardiac euthanasia on unsedated animals not under the care of a shelter do so only if it is the most humane option and that they document the event and rationale.
“The ASPCA recognizes the necessity of humane euthanasia as a last-step option to spare animals further suffering,” says Debora Bresch, Esq., ASPCA Legislative Liaison to New York State. “We thank the bill’s sponsors, Assemblywoman Paulin and Senator Oppenheimer, for their tireless efforts to assure that animals receive humane treatment at the end of their lives, and look forward to the day when euthanasia of unwanted animals is an infrequent occurrence."

*Never miss an advocacy alert again—sign up for the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to receive free legislative emails.

Click on title above for full text of law;

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

H1N1 Flu Confirmed in Iowa Cat

By: Courtesy of AVMA

A cat in Iowa has tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, state officials confirmed this morning, marking the first time a cat has been diagnosed with this strain of influenza.

The cat, which has recovered, is believed to have caught the virus from someone in the household who was sick with H1N1. There are no indications that the cat passed the virus on to any other animals or people.

Prior to this diagnosis, the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus had been found in humans, pigs, birds and ferrets.

To date, H1N1 influenza virus infection of pigs has been reported in Canada, Argentina, Singapore, the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland), Ireland, Norway, the U.S. and Japan. It has also been reported in turkeys in Chile and Canada. Based on the evidence available at this time, the infections were spread from humans to the animals.

Spain: Sadistic, Sick in the Head Spanish Teenage Thugs Torture and Kill Donkey During `Celebrations'

October 31, 2009 by Serbian Animals Voice

A dozen 17-year-olds sadistically tortured a hapless donkey by beating her up and raping her with a broomstick destroying her insides yesterday in Torreorgaz, Extremadura, during the "celebrations" of the Quintos, a tradition where animals are often abused.

There is pressure on the owners of the donkey to withdraw their complaint to the police.

Please write asking for justice for the innocent animal and her owners so the monsters will not get away:

Ayuntamiento de Torreorgaz – Calle Del Moral, 1 – Teléfono: 927 20 50 01 / 927 20 52 03
Fax: 927 20 53 74 – E-Mail:

Sample letter Sample letter Sample letter Sample letter

Con horror hemos leído la noticia de la tortura a muerte de una burra por parte de unos salvajes de 17 años en su municipio. Por medio de este mensaje solicitamos que se castigue ejemplarmente a los culpables y que se prohíban "los quintos" de ahora en adelante. Su ayuntamiento queda en mi lista de lugares de España que no visitaré a menos que se civilizen.


YOUR Name and country


Traslation of sample letter:

We have read with horror about the torture to death of a donkey by a group of 17 year old savages in your municipality. We urge you to punish the criminals making an example of them and to forbid this celebration from now on. Your part of the world is now on my list of places I will not visit in Spain until it becomes civilized.

*** SAV Comment ***

As we have declared in recent posts on this site, the EU is doing nothing to prevent animal abuses and suffering; this is a typical example. The EU is only interested inn money.

The EU would appear to be keen for other animal abusing nations to become members of its `club', much to the detriment of member states which DO show compassion towards animals.

They did it to a helpless animal they will do it to helpless children and adults also. That is a proven fact that the PTB like to ignore.

Filed under: CAMPAIGNS - Global Animal Welfare Issues,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pet Safety and Protection Act and the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act

With Bowed Head, and in Terrible Pain and Anguish, He Gives Up the Ghost & Prays for an End to his Suffering

Letters needed in support
November 3, 2009

Dear Humanitarian:


As the trapping season commences across the country with the beginning of fall, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) has introduced legislation to end the use of brutal traps on furbearing animals within federal wildlife refuges. H.R. 3710, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, which was submitted with a total of 35 original cosponsors, helps to restore the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System by placing a ban on the use of cruel body-gripping traps within the refuge system.

Currently, animals living within national wildlife refuges are at risk of falling victim to body-gripping traps where they may endure excruciating pain. More than half of our nation’s 550 refuges currently allow trapping using steel-jaw leghold traps, Conibear traps and snares. Steel jaw leg-hold traps clamp shut with bone-crushing force on an animal’s leg; the pain is so intense that an animal may chew off his or her own limb to escape on three legs. Conibear traps are designed to crush the animal’s spinal column for a quick kill. However, the trap often misses and clamps down on the chest or pelvis, crushing but not immediately killing the animal who suffers horribly. Snares are among the oldest form of trap, a simple noose made of thin wire, which tightens around an animal's neck or body as he struggles to get away.

H.R. 3710, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, will put an end to use of these traps within the refuge system. Body-gripping traps have been restricted in several states and leghold traps have been banned in 89 other nations. Because body-gripping traps and snares do not discriminate, they jeopardize the birds, deer and threatened and endangered species inhabiting wildlife refuges. Bald eagles, Canada lynx, gray wolves and other imperiled species are frequent victims of traps set for other species.

A national Decision Research public opinion poll showed that 79% of Americans believe trapping on national wildlife refuges should be prohibited, while 88% believe wildlife and habitat preservation should be the highest priority of the refuge system. Trappers, who comprise less than one-tenth of 1% of the population, already have access to millions of acres of public and private lands outside the refuge system for their activities.


Please write or e-mail your U.S. Representative today, urging him or her to cosponsor H.R. 3710, the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act. For more information about the bill, to find your legislator or to send an email please visit AWI’s Compassion Index at


Class B dealers sell non-purpose-bred dogs and cats for research. They are supposed to acquire the animals they sell only from other dealers, pounds, and individuals who have bred and raised the animals themselves. However, these dealers routinely flout the Animal Welfare Act, obtain animals through fraud, deception, and outright theft, and falsify their records. They are notorious for keeping the animals in horrendous conditions. USDA spends hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars each year unsuccessfully trying to regulate them and has acknowledged that it cannot guarantee that dogs and cats are not being acquired illegally for use in experiments.

A National Academy of Sciences Committee report released on May 29, requested by Congress and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), concluded there is no scientific need to purchase dogs or cats from Class B dealers for NIH research. According to the USDA, there are 10 Class B dealers selling live dogs and cats for experimentation. Of these, one has a five-year license suspension, and six are under investigation for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In addition, there are at least 15 investigations underway related to illegal activities uncovered during the traceback of records.

H.R. 3907, introduced by Congressman Mike Doyle (D-NY), and S. 1834, introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), titled The Pet Safety and Protection Act, will end this abuse-ridden system by prohibiting Class B dealers from selling dogs and cats for use in experimentation.


Please write or e-mail your U.S. Representative and both U.S. Senators today, urging them to cosponsor H.R. 3907 or S. 1834, the Pet Safety and Protection Act. For more information about the bill or to find your legislator, please call us or visit AWI’s Compassion Index at

We hope you will share our “Dear Humanitarian” letter with family, friends and co-workers, and encourage them to contact their legislators. When contacting your members of Congress, please respectfully request a response from them on the issue(s) so that you, as a constituent, will know their position. As always, thank you very much for your help.

Cathy Liss

Let Them Eat Dog, He Says......

Let Them Eat Dog-Shit, says I

Let them eat dog
by —Jonathan Safran Foer, author of the novels "Everything is Illuminated" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." His new book, "Eating Animals
Posted: November 1st, 2009 - 9:23pm
Source: Wall Street Journal

Despite the fact that it's perfectly legal in 44 states, eating "man's best friend" is as taboo as a man eating his best friend. Even the most enthusiastic carnivores won't eat dogs. TV guy and sometimes cooker Gordon Ramsay can get pretty macho with lambs and piglets when doing publicity for something he's selling, but you'll never see a puppy peeking out of one of his pots. And though he once said he'd electrocute his children if they became vegetarian, one can't help but wonder what his response would be if they poached the family pooch.
Dogs are wonderful, and in many ways unique. But they are remarkably unremarkable in their intellectual and experiential capacities. Pigs are every bit as intelligent and feeling, by any sensible definition of the words. They can't hop into the back of a Volvo, but they can fetch, run and play, be mischievous and reciprocate affection. So why don't they get to curl up by the fire? Why can't they at least be spared being tossed on the fire? Our taboo against dog eating says something about dogs and a great deal about us.
The French, who love their dogs, sometimes eat their horses.
The Spanish, who love their horses, sometimes eat their cows.
The Indians, who love their cows, sometimes eat their dogs.
While written in a much different context, George Orwell's words (from "Animal Farm") apply here: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
So who's right? What might be the reasons to exclude canine from the menu? The selective carnivore suggests:
Don't eat companion animals. But dogs aren't kept as companions in all of the places they are eaten. And what about our petless neighbors? Would we have any right to object if they had dog for dinner?
OK, then: Don't eat animals with significant mental capacities. If by "significant mental capacities" we mean what a dog has, then good for the dog. But such a definition would also include the pig, cow and chicken. And it would exclude severely impaired humans.
Then: It's for good reason that the eternal taboos—don't fiddle with your crap, kiss your sister, or eat your companions—are taboo. Evolutionarily speaking, those things are bad for us. But dog eating isn't a taboo in many places, and it isn't in any way bad for us. Properly cooked, dog meat poses no greater health risks than any other meat.
Dog meat has been described as "gamey" "complex," "buttery" and "floral." And there is a proud pedigree of eating it. Fourth-century tombs contain depictions of dogs being slaughtered along with other food animals. It was a fundamental enough habit to have informed language itself: the Sino-Korean character for "fair and proper" (yeon) literally translates into "as cooked dog meat is delicious." Hippocrates praised dog meat as a source of strength. Dakota Indians enjoyed dog liver, and not so long ago Hawaiians ate dog brains and blood. Captain Cook ate dog. Roald Amundsen famously ate his sled dogs. (Granted, he was really hungry.) And dogs are still eaten to overcome bad luck in the Philippines; as medicine in China and Korea; to enhance libido in Nigeria and in numerous places, on every continent, because they taste good. For centuries, the Chinese have raised special breeds of dogs, like the black-tongued chow, for chow, and many European countries still have laws on the books regarding postmortem examination of dogs intended for human consumption.
—Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the novels "Everything is Illuminated" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." His new book, "Eating Animals," a work of nonfiction, comes out next week.

Categories: Animals
Compassionate1 says:

What people eat the world over is by custom and useage. Here in the U.S. our govt (the USDA) has an "offical" list of "approved" food chain animals that are acceptable for us to eat. Dogs, cats, and horses ARE NOT on that list and that is the only thing that makes them different from traditional food chain or "slaughter" animals. We simply want to keep it that way. After all, Americans DO NOT traditionally eat those animals and who is not for maintaining cultural traditions...also, we should ask ourselves, in this world of so little compassion and soooo much consumption of everything,....must we eat everything that moves or breathes? Is nothing "sacred" or special enough to warrant protection against un-necessary slaughter?

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 - 4:42am

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Troubled TN Shelter Raided by Authorities

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sheriff's deputies in Shelby Co, TN executed a search warrant this week at the Memphis Animal Shelter:

According to the search warrant, "detectives have learned that some animals have been deprived of food and water while at the Memphis Animal Shelter," and while in the shelter's care, "some dogs have been starved to the point of requiring euthanasia."

District Attorney Bill Gibbons said an investigation into practices at the shelter was launched after his office received a tip from a citizen earlier this month.

Gibbons said one or more people could face criminal charges. Up to 300 animals were inside the shelter, but officials did not say how many were in bad condition.
So I guess we can hold out hope that they may have fed at least some of them?

This shelter is no stranger to cruelty allegations, as this report from last month illustrates:

The incident in question took place at the animal shelter last Friday, when an injured dog ended up buried beneath bags of euthanized animals. The animals were on their way to an incinerator where dead animals are burned.
The employee involved in this incident kept his job.

Failure to properly feed the dogs in their care has been alleged in recent months as well, although the shelter denied the allegations:

The complaint alleges the shelter was at full capacity, ran out of food, and a dog fight began when an employee trying to stretch the food supply brought one dish into a cage.

"We were never out of food," [Memphis Animal Shelter administrator Ernie] Alexander said.

He then explained what really happened.

"We had an influx of dogs to come in from both the city and the county, where we had three to four animals per kennel," he said.

Alexander claimed the dog fighting was due to the overcrowding, and not a food shortage.

That was in July. So if there truly was no food shortage but now the dogs are starved nearly to death, either someone's lying or intentionally starving the shelter pets. Will everyone keep their jobs this time?

Click on title above to go to YesBiscuits blog where you can leave comments for this article;

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update: Buffalo Field Campaign

Here we have a case of buffalo and elk extermination by the BLM due to the fact that they have a disease THEY CAUGHT FROM CATTLE!

I just wish the powers-that-be would leave the buffalo and wild horses alone and let them run free on our public lands

Weekly Update from the Field October 22, 2009

While there is currently little activity in the field, volunteers are beginning to return to BFC headquarters, preparing for this coming years' bison migration. Meanwhile, the government is considering a new Bovine Brucellosis Program that continues to cater to livestock interests and again fails wild bison and elk. One of the Interagency Bison Management Plan partners, USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has put forth a concept paper, which they intend to turn into a regulatory program.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED to help wild bison and elk in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. APHIS is accepting comments through December 4, 2009, but please be sure to send yours as soon as possible and encourage your friends to join us in this effort.

HERE'S THE SCOOP: The US Dept. of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), one of the agencies behind the slaughter of more than 3,600 wild bison in the past 10 years, is planning to create a new set of rules for brucellosis, the cattle disease upon which the bison slaughter is blamed. APHIS is accepting public comments until December 4th, 2009.

A Concept Paper for a New Direction for the Bovine Brucellosis Program outlines the thinking of the ranching industry and animal health bureaucracy on eradicating brucella abortus from native bison and elk populations in the Greater Yellowstone area (GYA). APHIS also aims to update its brucellosis rules for cattle ranchers within a yet to be drawn "designated surveillance area" in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Surveillance boundaries will be set by each state and part of its purpose is "surveillance, prevention, and disease management in elk and bison."

As APHIS lacks legal authority over wildlife it seeks to "partner" with states and federal land management agencies like the U.S. Department of Interior to potentially vaccinate and deliver contraceptives to reduce the "prevalence" of brucellosis in elk and bison.

APHIS states: "Eradication depends on finding the last remaining brucellosis-reactor animal, the last remaining brucellosis-affected herd, and eliminating the disease from wildlife reservoirs. All potential risks for exposure and transmission of brucellosis from infected wildlife populations must be mitigated and eliminated as well. Currently, the last known reservoir of disease is the wildlife populations in the GYA."

There is currently no way to eradicate brucellosis without killing tens of thousands of elk and America's last wild bison that inhabit millions of acres in the ecosystem. And there is no future guarantee that cattle or another source could re-infect native wildlife again.

Entirely missing from the livestock industry's narrative is the fact that brucellosis originated in European and African livestock imported into the United States that eventually spread to and infected native elk and America's last remaining wild bison.

BFC reviewed APHIS' concept paper and we have put together suggested talking points to your government.

You should be sure to personalize and elaborate to make them your own:
* Remaining wild elk and and native bison populations in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem are irreplaceable. These native wildlife species belong to the American people and are part of our cultural heritage. The public trust responsibility for protecting native wildlife must *not* be compromised for the sake of disease eradication programs that are costly, intrusive and likely to fail.

* Protecting native wildlife species as wild, native species needs to come first. Vaccination, capture, blood testing, and slaughter are techniques developed in and for the livestock industry and are *not* acceptable management practices for native wildlife.

* Natural resistance to brucellosis in native bison and elk is poorly understood by scientists. Nutrition is key to wildlife's natural resistance to disease infection. A high priority for funding should be placed on habitat conservation and acquisition to meet the foraging needs of native wildlife including protection of migration corridors permitting free dispersal of migratory species across the landscape.

* The U.S. government must impose a ban on the artificial or supplemental feeding of native elk and bison by state wildlife agencies and stop its complicity in permitting these activities on National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands. These taxpayer funded practices unnaturally congregate wildlife and are widely viewed by scientists as vectors for disease including Chronic Wasting Disease for elk and deer.

* Given the profound ecological damages caused by grazing livestock on public lands, the U.S. government should phase-out and retire cattle grazing allotments in known elk and bison ranges to provide habitat for native wildlife and reduce co-mingling with cattle that harbor diseases dangerous to native wildlife.

* Current vaccines including RB 51 were designed for domesticated cattle and *not* for native wildlife species. Hence, current vaccination programs of elk and bison is ineffective at conveying immunity. Furthermore, no effective field delivery system exists resulting in native wildlife being captured for vaccination and subject to stress, injury, and death.

* Brucellosis in cattle is a localized issue. Properly fencing and vaccinating cattle is a prudent step for ranchers to implement in known elk and bison ranges. Depopulating entire cattle herds is an inappropriate APHIS requirement when individual cattle are found to be infected with the disease.

Read a list of citations BFC used for supporting information.

You can read the document online here. Please feel free to email us with any questions, comments, or suggestions you have.

TAKE ACTION: APHIS will accept public comments online here.


You can mail your comments through the postal service. APHIS requests that you send two copies. If you choose this route, please mail your comments to:

Docket No. APHIS-2009-0006
Regulatory Analysis and Development
Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

*Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2009-0006.

Unfortunately, APHIS is not providing an email address to send comments to, nor even a contact person. It would be a good idea to mention your frustration with this, and you might want to mention to APHIS that they need to inform the public of the designated personnel in charge of the comment process, which they have failed to do

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Lee Ann Thomas, Director, Ruminant Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-6954.

Thank you so much for taking the time to make your voice heard for our last wild buffalo herds!

Roam Free!
* Help Buffalo Field Campaign Help the Buffalo
Thanks to each of you who took the time to cast your vote for BFC in the Christies Cookies Charity contest. While we didn't finish in the top 12, and therefore didn't win one of the cash prizes, we received thousands of votes and finished 23rd. Considering how late we learned about and registered for the contest, we did extremely well. But we really could definitely have used the funding for our bison protection programs.
With the migration likely to begin in just a few weeks, we are busy making preparations to defend the bison in the field and in the legal and policy arenas. We need your help to successfully protect the bison. Below are a few ways you can help.

Donate to Buffalo Field Campaign. Donations are tax deductible and are the most effective way for you to help BFC protect the bison.

Purchase a BFC water bottle or tee shirt. BFC's newest and most popular merchandise item is our stainless steel Klean Kanteen water bottle. These bottles are available for $25 including shipping and handling.

Donate an item on the BFC Wish List or earmark a monetary donation to help us purchase some of these much-needed items.

If you'd rather contribute with a check, please mail to: BFC, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

* Last Words
"Elimination of brucellosis in wildlife should not be the burden of livestock stakeholders; it should be the responsibility of wildlife agencies."
~ Anonymous livestock stakeholder

Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to Thank you all for the poems, songs and stories you have been sending; you'll see them here!
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 22
2008-2009 Slaughter: 3
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 2
2008-2009 Highway Mortality: 16
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,702*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortalities

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Media & Outreach
Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
BFC is the only group working in the field every day in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Strangles in Dogs / New Canine Flu Closes Down Shelter

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 14 Oct 2009
Source: [edited]

Rare pneumonia kills 2 Ottawa dogs
A total of 2 dogs at the Ottawa Humane Society shelter have died from a
rare and severe form of canine pneumonia in the last 2 months. Humane
society veterinarians said they have never seen this type of disease
before. The dogs initially suffer from a cough, lethargy and fever, but the
signs rapidly progress, with the animals coughing up blood and dying within
a day.

The 1st humane society dog developed signs in mid-summer [2009], while the
2nd got sick in early September. Since then, staff have treated every dog
with antibiotics, disinfected every pen, and briefly placed a moratorium on
adoptions. The moratorium was lifted a week ago. Dr Shelly Hutchings, a
humane society veterinarian, said the illness is caused by bacteria --
known as _Streptococcus equi_ -- that typically causes mild disease in
horses. In dogs, infection is rare but severe, causing hemorrhagic
pneumonia. The disease does not spread to humans.

Hutchings said little is known about how dogs contract the disease, and
there is no vaccine to prevent it. "It's frightening for sure," Hutchings
said. "We don't really know what the incubation period is. There's a lot we
don't understand about transmission or which dogs it will affect." Experts
believe dogs in shelters may be susceptible because they are stressed by
cramped quarters and constant barking.

Bruce Roney, Ottawa Humane Society executive director, said the infections
highlight the need for the new shelter, which is slated to open in 2011.
"We don't have proper isolation space in this building," he said. "It makes
[diseases] so difficult to control." Roney said no new cases of the disease
have been seen at the shelter, and the pneumonia hasn't shown up in any
adopted dogs.

The humane society has asked area veterinarians to watch out for the
clinical signs.

communicated by:

[The disease is not necessarily new, but there remains some mystery around
how the dogs acquire it, particularly in those having no apparent contact
with horses. The most common theme of some of these outbreaks has been the
association with pneumonia.

As early as 2002 this was called canine infectious respiratory disease
(CIRD). It was reported following pneumonia and was cultured from airways.

An article, "The association of _Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus_
with canine infectious respiratory disease" published by Science Direct
includes the following statement: "CIRD is a multifactorial infection that
affects many kennelled dogs despite the wide use of vaccination. Current
vaccines aim to protect against viral agents and a single bacterial agent,
_Bordetella bronchiseptica_. We sought to examine the role of streptococcal
species in CIRD. The isolation and identification of streptococci in the
lower respiratory tract of clinically healthy dogs and those with CIRD were
used to correlate the presence of specific streptococcal species with
respiratory disease. In this study we report that the presence of _S. equi
subsp. zooepidemicus_ is associated with increasing severity of disease in
a population of kennelled dogs with endemic CIRD." The article can be found

_Strep equi_ in canines was also reported in: Canine strangles case reveals
a new host susceptible to infection with _Streptococcus equi_. J Clin
Microbiol 2006; 44(7): 2664-5. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00571-06. See

Another article: American College of Veterinary Pathologists. A clonal
outbreak of acute fatal hemorrhagic pneumonia in intensively housed
(shelter) dogs caused by _Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus_. Vet
Pathol 2008; 45: 51-3. See

_Streptococcus equi subsp. equi_ is the etiological agent of strangles and
is responsible for nearly 30 per cent of all reported equine infections
worldwide (Chanter, 1997). The very closely related organism _Streptococcus
zooepidemicus_ (_S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus_) has also been found to be a
significant cause of equine lower airway disease, foal pneumonia,
endometritis, and abortion (Chanter, 1997). In dogs, _S. zooepidemicus_ is
associated with hemorrhagic streptococcal pneumonia (HSP) (Garnett et al,
1982). The HSP syndrome is a severe infection, in which sudden death can
occur without any prior clinical signs. In general, dogs with higher _S.
equi subsp. zooepidemicus_ scores of infection were more likely to have
severe alveolar damage (Chalker et al, 2003).

In the past, identification of _S. equi_ bacteria usually relied on culture
of the bacteria, but this technique is slow and not very sensitive. A
recent study (Newton, 2000) has shown that repeated nasopharyngeal swabbing
and culture of _Streptococcus equi_ could not detect the development of
healthy carriers in more than 50 per cent of equine strangles outbreaks.
_S. equi_ was sometimes not detected by culture of nasopharyngeal swabs
from carriers for up to 2 or 3 months before nasal shedding resumed
sporadically. The study found that PCR was a more sensitive technique for
detecting _S. equi_ on swabs: many more known positive swabs were detected
using PCR than using culture (56 of 61 swabs positive by PCR vs. 18 of 61
swabs positive by culture). Similar results were obtained for equine
guttural pouch samples from 12 established carriers (PCR 76 per cent vs.
culture 59 per cent). PCR also allows differentiation of the 2 subspecies,
_equi_ and _zooepidemicus_.

And ithis article -- Zoonotic transmission of Streptococcus equi subsp.
zooepidemicus from a dog to a handler. J Med Microbiol 2009; (DOI:

indicates that _Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus_ infection may,
under some circumstances, be a zoonotic disease.

While this may be possibly Canada's 1st case of canine strangles, the
disease has been around for several years. - Mod.TG]

[Equine strangles - Canada: (BC) 20090417.1466]

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Swamp to sandwich: Fla. gators sliced and diced

By BRIAN SKOLOFF Associated Press Writer
The knives are sharpened and the shiny steel gurneys bloodied at All American Gator Products, the end of the line for about 1,000 alligators killed during this year's hunting season in Florida.

It's the busiest time of year here at one of the state's largest gator processing plants, where the toothy reptiles make their first stop on a path from the swamp to a hamburger bun, a basket of nuggets or a spot on a shelf full of handbags, wallets and souvenir heads.

Roughly 6,000 alligators are killed each year in Florida during the 11-week public hunting season from August to November. Most end up at one of the state's 34 licensed processors.

All American and its co-op partners process roughly 200,000 pounds of alligator meat — about 2,800 gators annually — for sale to individuals and restaurants.

On a recent afternoon in the yellow-walled warehouse that looks like a morgue, workers in yellow rubber aprons sliced into half-skinned gators splayed out on steel tables.

A few feet away, others diced up meat into nuggets and filets, while at another table, workers weighed, bagged and boxed slabs of the chicken-like flesh. A nearby room held stacks of gator hides.

The facility smells like, well, alligator — a fishy, overpowering stench that takes a little getting used to.

To owner Brian Wood, "It smells like money."

"Anytime the plant is smelly, that's a good thing," Wood said.

After 21 years in business, he supplies alligator meat to 38 states using major distributors like Sysco Corp., the largest food distributor in North America.

Last year, Wood had about $1.2 million in sales, 70 percent from alligator meat, which generally goes for up to $9 a pound.

The hides, too, were once valuable, used by high-end retailers such as Prada and Gucci for purses, handbags, belts and wallets.

But with the economic downturn, the values have plummeted, Wood said.

Just two years ago, hides were going for $57 a foot, mainly to overseas buyers. That dropped to about $44 per foot last year. Now, practically nothing.

"I have 800 hides I have not been able to sell," Wood said.

He also preserves intact, after removing the flesh and bones, up to 10 percent of the gators he processes for hunters who want them made into stuffed trophies.

"Some people also want the skins tanned into leather, and we'll manufacture products for them so that way they can have a wallet or briefcase or boots made from their alligator," Wood said.

With its annual gator hunt, Florida is like other Southern states populated by the large reptiles, including Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

And with more than a million gators, Florida typically has no shortage. Last year, 22,447 alligators were killed there, said Stephen Stiegler, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. That includes animals taken during the public hunt, hunts on private lands and reptiles taken from the wild because they had become nuisances, a potential danger to people or their pets.

The state also had 57 licensed farms operating last year that killed an additional 27,444 alligators for sale on the market.

Most of the dead gators end up at processors.

Wood only handles the wild ones.

He said gator meat sales have been stable for years, but to supplement his revenue in tough times he has recently made the leap to iguanas.

South Florida has tens of thousands of the nonnative lizards, the offspring of pets turned loose to reproduce in the wild.

Wood has contracts with several towns and country clubs to capture them. He processes the lizards and sells the meat and hides, just like gator.

"They call it the chicken of the tree. It's very tasty meat," he said, adding that many people from Central and South America eat iguana.

But alligators are still his mainstay.

"It started out as a novelty but a lot of people really enjoy it," Wood said. "It tastes ... kinda like a fishy chicken or a scallop."

The grill sizzles at Harry and the Natives Restaurant up the road in Hobe Sound, where manager Jeff Brown serves up to 30 gator burgers a day. The restaurant also serves gator hash for breakfast and spicy Buffalo gator bites.

"It's actually a real nice flavor and it's much leaner than almost any meat going, just about 2 percent fat," Brown said.

Customer Gregg Lake sat at the restaurant bar recently, preparing to eat his first alligator burger, sandwiched on a bun with lettuce and tomatoes.

He eyed it carefully, grasping it with both hands, took a quick sniff, and chomped.

"Mmmmmm, very good," Lake said, still chewing. "That's fantastic. I know this is gonna sound funny, but it tastes like chicken."

Wilbert Barrientos, left, Mimmo Giuliani, Jakub Hryniewicz, and Irwin Collado, right, lift an alligator up on a table at All American Gator Products in Hallandale, Fla. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. It's the busiest time of year at one of the state's largest gator processing plants where the reptiles make their first stop from the swamp to a hamburger bun. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Two alligators lie on the floor waiting to be processed at All American Gator Products in Hallandale, Fla. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. It's the busiest time of year at one of the state's largest gator processing plants where the reptiles make their first stop from the swamp to a hamburger bun. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Wilbert Barrientos skins an alligator at All American Gator Products in Hallandale, Fla. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. It's the busiest time of year at one of the state's largest gator processing plants where the reptiles make their first stop from the swamp to a hamburger bun. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Alligator meat is chopped up at All American Gator Products in Hallandale, Fla. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. It's the busiest time of year at one of the state's largest gator processing plants where the reptiles make their first stop from the swamp to a hamburger bun. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

An alligator is pulled on a floor on its way to being processed at All American Gator Products in Hallandale, Fla. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. It's the busiest time of year at one of the state's largest gator processing plants where the reptiles make their first stop from the swamp to a hamburger bun. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Iguanas wait to be processed as David Paredes skins an iguana at All American Gator Products in Hallandale, Fla. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. It's the busiest time of year at one of the state's largest gator processing plants where the reptiles make their first stop from the swamp to a hamburger bun. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Alligator meat sits ready to be shipped at All American Gator Products in Hallandale, Fla. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. It's the busiest time of year at one of the state's largest gator processing plants where the reptiles make their first stop from the swamp to a hamburger bun. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

An alligator head is on display at All American Gator Products in Hallandale, Fla. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. It's the busiest time of year at one of the state's largest gator processing plants where the reptiles make their first stop from the swamp to a hamburger bun. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

An alligator waits to be processed at All American Gator Products in Hallandale, Fla. Monday, Sept. 21, 2009. It's the busiest time of year at one of the state's largest gator processing plants where the reptiles make their first stop from the swamp to a hamburger bun. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court Says Animal "Crush" Videos OK

...and I am sooooo ashamed to love the law right now.


Resurgence of Animal Crush Videos Reinforces Need for Federal Depiction
of Animal Cruelty Law
September 15, 2009

Small animals like kittens, puppies, rabbits, and mice get crushed to
death in "crush videos."
With the U.S. Supreme Court set to consider the constitutionality of a
federal anti-animal cruelty law on Oct. 6, The Humane Society of the United
States revealed the results of a new investigation showing a recent resurgence
in the same horrific animal "crush" videos that sparked the law's passage
a decade ago, now once again widely available on the Internet as
enforcement efforts have been hindered.
The enactment of the Federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law in 1999
halted the proliferation of animal crushing operations, and has also been used
to crack down on commercial dog fighting operations, in which the animals
often fight to the death for the amusement of viewers. The HSUS' most recent
investigation shows that since the law was struck down by an appellate
court last July, crush videos have re-proliferated on the Internet in response
to the court's ruling.
"The federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law is the only tool available to
crack down on this horrific form of extreme animal cruelty," said Wayne
Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "We
wouldn't allow the sale of videos of actual child abuse or murder staged for
the express purpose of selling videos of such criminal acts, and the same
legal principles apply to despicable acts of animal cruelty."
"More than 10 years ago law enforcement in my district alerted me to the
problem of thousands of 'crush videos' on the Internet. To combat these
perverse videos that show horrific acts of animal cruelty, I introduced the
Depictions of Animal Cruelty Act and it was enacted into law in 1999 with
strong bipartisan support," said Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif. "HSUS'
investigation revealing the widespread proliferation of crush videos since the law's
legal challenge makes the need for the this sensible but strong federal
animal protection law perfectly clear."
The videos and photographs show women, often in high-heeled shoes, impaling
and crushing to death puppies, kittens and other small animals, catering
to those with a fetish for this aberrant behavior.
The HSUS recently conducted extensive Internet research and undercover
email communication to ascertain the availability of small animal crush videos
for sale on the Internet. The crushing videos were easily available for
purchase and horrifying in the cruelty inflicted on the victims. The password
protected part of one website had 118 videos for sale. The videos were of
small animals, including rabbits, hamsters, mice, tortoises, quail, chicken,
ducks, frogs, snakes, and even cats, being tortured and crushed. The
animals were burned, drowned, and had nails hammered into them.
Videos ranged in price from $20 to $100. Each of the videos for sale
contained footage of multiple animals, translating into hundreds of small
animals being tortured and crushed to death for the profit-making of this one
website alone.
Undercover investigators also established contact with another crush
website and were offered for sale 12 crush videos featuring rabbits. Another
website contacted offered for sale 17 mouse crush videos.
"We wouldn't allow people to sell videos of people actually abusing
children and raping women, and for good reason. It's vital to protect the
community from the violence that flows from those who perpetrate such inexcusable
crimes," said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. "The same legal principles apply to the
malicious acts of cruelty revealed by The HSUS' recent crush video
investigation. We do not tolerate illegal animal abuse, and we should not tolerate
those who profit from it."
The Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law
* Congress passed the federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law
(Section 48) in 1999 with overwhelming bipartisan support.
* The law criminalizes the interstate sale of depictions, such as
video, in which "a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured,
wounded, or killed, if such conduct is illegal under Federal law or the
law of the State in which the creation, sale, or possession takes place."
* January 2005: _Robert Stevens_
( was convicted in a jury trial of knowingly selling
graphic depictions of animal cruelty with intent to place those depictions in
interstate commerce for commercial gain. Stevens had been selling graphic
videos depicting actual dog fights, which are illegal in all 50 states.
* May 2005: Stevens appealed his conviction to the Third Circuit
Court of Appeals, which overturned the conviction and found that the Depiction
of Animal Cruelty Law was facially unconstitutional because it violated
First Amendment free speech guarantees.
* December 2008: The U.S. Solicitor General filed a petition for
certiorari requesting that the Supreme Court review and overturn the Third
Circuit's decision. The HSUS filed an amicus brief in support of the Solicitor
General's petition.
* April 2009: The Supreme Court agreed to review the Third Circuit's

The justices said they would review, at the request of the federal
government, an appeals court decision that said Congress's broad attempt to
discourage animal cruelty by outlawing its depiction violates the First Amendment.

(Newser) – Animal cruelty takes the floor of the Supreme Court tomorrow,
(today, and they ruled FOR animal cruelty saying torturing animals is
protected by the first amendment)
as the justices consider whether to overturn an
appeals court judgment that allows the depiction of animal cruelty under
the auspices of the First Amendment. The lower court wasn’t keen on animal
cruelty, but found that our furry friends—unlike children, say—“would likely
not suffer continuing harm by having their images out in the marketplace.a

The primary case was of a dog trainer who sold videos, purportedly for
educational purposes, which included dogs attacking pigs and each other.
Interestingly, Newsweek notes, he was prosecuted under a 1999 law that was
intended to quash so-called “crush videos,” made for fetishists who get off on
the high-heeled death of small animals. If the court overturns the ruling,
depictions of animal cruelty would join the likes of child porn as
expression not protected by the First Amendment.
—Harry Kimball

Source: ( _Newsweek_

Supreme Court to Weigh Legality Of Animal Abuse [Crush] Videos

[Ed. Note: Crush videos show the crushing to death of living animals
(kittens, rats, rabits,etc.)[Ed. Note: Crush videos show the crushing to death of
living animals (kitt
From WashingtonPost.Fro
The Supreme Court yesterday (5/27/09) turned to the gruesome, announcing
that it will decide next term whether fetish films that depict the killing of
small animals and videos of dogfights are protected by constitutional
guarantees of free speech.
The justices said they would review, at the request of the federal
government, an appeals court decision that said Congress's broad attempt to
discourage animal cruelty by outlawing its depiction violates the First
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia voted 10 to 3
last summer to find unconstitutional the rarely used law passed by
Congress in 1999. The appeals court said the goal of protecting against animal
cruelty was a worthy one, but one already accomplished by laws in all 50
states and the District of Columbia outlawing the practice.
The appeals court noted that the Supreme Court is resistant to removing
First Amendment protections of depictions even of illegal actions. The last
time the court did so was over child pornography.
"Preventing cruelty to animals, although an exceedingly worthy goal, simply
does not implicate interests of the same magnitude as protecting children
from physical and psychological harm," the appeals court said.
The law was passed in order to combat a phenomenon most people have never
heard of: "crush videos." According to the House report that accompanied the
bill, the videos depict "women inflicting . . . torture [on animals] with
their bare feet or while wearing high heeled shoes. . . . The cries and
squeals of the animals, obviously in great pain, can also be heard in the
The report said the videos appeal to people "with a very specific sexual
fetish," and because often only a woman's leg or high-heeled shoe is shown
inflicting the torture or death to the puppies, kittens and other animals,
prosecution under animal cruelty laws is difficult.
But the broadly written law, which outlaws depictions of almost any form of
animal cruelty, apparently has never been used for prosecuting crush
videos. Instead, it snared Robert Stevens of Pittsville, Va., who was convicted
and sentenced to 37 months in jail for selling videos of pit bull fights to
undercover agents operating out of Pennsylvania.
Stevens was not accused of taking part in the filming of the videos, one
of which showed a dog ripping apart the jaw of a pig . Lawyers for Stevens
said the government apparently has used the law only three times, all for
videos about dogfights. But the lawyers said the exceptions in the law, for
"serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic,
historical or artistic value," show that the images have some First Amendment
The Humane Society of the United States also had urged the court to review
the law, saying that the sale of crush videos on the Internet had "all but
disappeared" after the law was passed but that sales had been revived by
the decision that the law was unconstitutional.
"We wouldn't allow the sale of videos of actual child abuse or murder
staged for the express purpose of selling videos of such criminal acts, and the
same legal principles apply to despicable acts of animal cruelty," the
society's president, Wayne Pacelle, said in a statement...

_Resurgence of Animal 'Crush' Videos Reinforces Need for ..._
15 Sep 2009 ... Resurgence of Animal 'Crush' Videos Reinforces Need for
Federal ... The enactment of the Federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law in
1999 ...
( ...
- 74k - _Similar pages_

_Resurgence of Animal 'Crush' Videos Reinforces Need ..._
15 Sep 2009 ... Resurgence of Animal 'Crush' Videos Reinforces Need for
Federal Depiction ... " The federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law is the
only tool ...
( ....

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[ _More results from www.hsus.org_
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hemsley Trust Fund Sued by Animal Welfare Orgs.



HSUS,ASPCA, and Maddie's Fund Charge That Helmsley Trustees Are
Misdirecting Funds Despite Clear Direction from Late Heiress to Help Dogs

NEW YORK (Aug. 11, 2009) -- Three of the country's most prominent
animal welfare organizations -- in what they are terming the most
significant financial litigation in animal welfare history -- have filed
suit in New York's Surrogate Court to intervene in the matter of Leona
Helmsley's $5 billion estate.

The groups are seeking to force the Helmsley Trustees to follow Mrs.
Helmsley's expressed intent to help dogs. According to the groups, less
than $100,000 of the initial $136 million Helmsley grants have gone to dog

"Mrs. Helmsley's Trust Agreement was clear: Help dogs. And the
Trustees have not done this, and instead pursued their own agendas with
Mrs. Helmsley's money," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The
Humane Society of the United States. "Every person with a will or estate,
and every charity that relies on bequest income, should be profoundly
concerned about this misdirection of funds."

The three organizations believe that State Attorneys General have a
responsibility to protect the wishes of any heir or heiress, and also to
protect the entire charitable sector from the whims of trustees who wish
to ignore detailed and unambiguous estate planning instructions. In this
case, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo failed in his charge to
protect these interests.

"Literally hundreds of millions of dollars that have been willed by people
nationally, who cared about dogs, have not gone to provide for dogs as was
intended," said Rich Avanzino, president of Maddie's Fund. "The ignoring
of donor intent in this country has become an unspoken national shame.

With $5 billion at stake this is a game changer. We want to work with the
Helmsley trustees to arrive at a figure that is consistent with Mrs.
Helmsley's intentions and would change injustices in dog care and welfare

For instance, even a small fraction of this money makes it possible to
virtually empty all animal shelters in America of dogs without homes."

"There has been a sea change in recent years in how we treat animals and
the Helmsley trustees don't understand that change," said Ed
Sayres, president and CEO of the ASPCA. "Mrs. Helmsley understood the
importance of animal welfare and was determined to help. She had a vision
for her worldly estate to make our society a better place for dogs and
animals, and consequently, people. We want that noble cause to go forward.
Dogs give us so much in our lives, and the least we can do is make sure
they are not harmed, exploited, or neglected, and the Helmsley estate
allows us to do so. It is not an overstatement to say that the fate of
dogs in this country could very well rest on the
decision of this lawsuit."

The trustees went to court last fall to invalidate Mrs. Helmsley's express
wishes, asking the Court to declare that they "are not bound by the
expression of Decedent's wishes...."

The Trustees disregarded Mrs. Helmsley's wishes and obtained court
sanction for doing so. The process deprived the parties most affected by
their decision -- dog welfare charities -- of any fair opportunity to have
a say on the issue. Neither the Trustees nor the Attorney
General contacted any of these three nonprofit organizations, which are
widely recognized as the leading advocates for dog welfare in the country
if not the world -- or any other organization that might speak up on
behalf of the charitable community that Mrs. Helmsley had a
right to expect would receive "special emphasis" in the Trustees'

After a judicial ruling without hearing from the only charitable
category of recipients specifically listed in Mrs. Helmsley's mission
statement, the trustees distributed the initial round of grants from Mrs.
Helmsley's trust, blatantly disregarding Mrs. Helmsley's express wishes.
The trustees allocated less than .1 percent to dog welfare charities.

"These three leading organizations tried to reach an amicable solution
with the trustees; unfortunately, the trustees were unwilling to
discuss this with us. Now these organizations are forced to resort to
litigation to correct this abuse," Pacelle said.

They have filed a motion to intervene and vacate the initial order.

Posted by:

Click on title above to go to a petition we have made for the dogs;

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vasella calls animal-rights activist attacks 'terrorism'

August 10, 2009 — 10:48am ET | By Tracy Staton

Novartis chief Daniel Vasella (photo) says "terrorist" attacks from animal-rights activists have changed his life "markedly." And with the extremist groups threatening to continue their assaults if the company doesn't stop doing business with U.K.-based Huntingdon Life Sciences, those changes could certainly continue.

Vasella says the attacks--including a fire at his holiday home in the Tyrol, and theft and vandalism at his parents' graves--amount to terrorism. "For me, it is terrorism to propogate fear, to put targeted people under pressure with all possible and in particular illegal methods," he told a Swiss newspaper over the weekend.

Ironically, Novartis says it hasn't done business with Huntington for some time. Vasella said in an interview with SonntagsBlick that he understands the activists' sympathy for animals, but that animal testing is necessary for some aspects of drug development. "The population fully supports medical-biological research with the goal of making progress for patients," he said. "That must be respected."

Meanwhile, law enforcement has no new leads in the case, SwissInfo reports. And Vasella says the police haven't taken the attacks and threats seriously enough until now. Novartis spokesman Eric Althof told the AFP news service that the attacks have been escalating "since the end of last year."

- see the SwissInfo story
- read the news from AFP
- get the coverage in Swisster

Related Articles:
Militants target drug execs in wide range of attacks
'Militant' group claims Novartis attack
Extremists accused in attacks on Novartis chief
Activists torch Novartis CEO's home, steal mother's ashes

Click on title above to go to article with working links;

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tortoise Protection Group UK

Welcome to the Tortoise Protection Group Website
The Tortoise Protection Group is a non-profit organisation founded in 2007.

Our site is dedicated to helping ensure the survival of tortoises in the wild by campaigning for a ban on the importation of tortoises for the commercial pet trade, and to promote high standards of husbandry to tortoise keepers in the UK.

With your help we can make a difference
Sign our online petition here

Watch our graphic slide show - not for the faint hearted. (Click on title above to go to website)

See commercial trading of wild caught and captive bred tortoises at the Hamm Terraristica Reptile Fair - A Far Cry From Nature:

We are a group of volunteers striving to campaign against the importation of tortoises into the UK for the commercial pet trade. Please help and be assured that any donation gift, no matter how small, will be well spent working towards making a lasting difference for tortoises. We rely on your generosity to help our cause.

If you wish to donate by using PayPal please click on the Donate button on the right hand side of this page, or alternatively you can send your donation by cheque made payable to the Tortoise Protection Group and send it to our contact address:

The Tortoise Protection Group
PO Box 1484, Oxford, OX3 3BQ

Many thanks for your suppport.


Latest News


The Tortoise Garden in Cornwall has again been targeted by spineless, greedy, thieves. The sanctuary has been offering homes to unwanted tortoises for 11 years and had 7 tortoises stolen in June of this year. 5 futher tortoises were stolen on Sunday; 2 seven year old Indian Stars, 2 two year old Hermanns and a mature Spur-Thighed Tortoise. Last Night, further tortoises were stolen:-

"There is worse news, they came back in the night and stole my big giant and several pens of toddlers, leopards and god knows who else."

If you have any information that may lead to the recovery of the stolen tortoises, please contact John Hayward - Coordinator National Theft Register - who will also handle the issuing of rewards due for the recovery of the animals and the conviction of the dispicable people involved in the theft.

John Hayward

National Theft Register

Tel 01869 325699 / 07802 404929


10th August 2009


TPG Online Petition
We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to sign our online petition and we do hope to be in a position to present both the online and the paper petitions in the near future.

We currently have over 15000 signatures in total but we would appreciate more. If members would kindly consider either signing our online petition, which fortunately we have been able to continue, by clicking here or continuing to collect signatures from work colleagues, friends etc on our paper petition, which can be downloaded here, we should be grateful:-

In the meantime we are waiting to hear back from an MP who is working on our behalf with regards to obtaining answers from Animal Health/DEFRA regarding important issues on importation raised by us.

April 2009


Veterinary Adviser
The TPG are pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Eatwell Veterinary Adviser to the Tortoise Protection Group.

29 March 2009


2008 TPG Annual Review (A Year of Good Progress)
To read a brief summary of the work undertaken by the TPG over the last 12 months click here


Information Required
Would anyone who has purchased a tortoise over the internet please contact us giving details of the transaction, in particular how the tortoise was delivered, packaged etc.

We are also seeking information on any sick tortoises purchased.

Herpes Virus

Tesco Turtle Abuse in China


Click here to view Readers Letters
Latest Item 12 August 2008 - Weed Poem by Sharon B


On the night of July 20th our private collection of 14 tortoises were stolen from our back garden…as they slept. We are so desperately worried about their health and well being after such a long time. Now their hibernation time is getting nearer and it is vital their well-being is monitored at this crucial time.

Please look carefully at the photos below of our 6 Hermann and Spur-thigh adult tortoises, and babies,who are missed terribly and adored by us all.

is offered ….substantial amount…..for ANY information leading to the safe return of the six adult tortoises and their 8 hatchlings, all 3 year olds.

Did you know that these pets are loved, as part of our family?
Did you know they should not be sold unless with DEFRA certificates?

Have you seen a new tortoise in your neighbour’s or a nearby garden, shed or greenhouse?

Have you, or someone you know, been offered a baby or adult tortoise for sale, other than from a pet shop or reputable dealer?

If you can answer “Yes,” to either of those questions…….. PLEASE! PLEASE! Let us know…

In any 1 of the following ways….anonymously if preferred….

Phone Pauline or David Bromly on 02392 381451
E-mail to
Phone Portsmouth Police 0845 045 4545 or Crimestoppers on..0800 555 111
Phone John Hayward, National Stolen Exotic Pets Register on….07802 404929
Two adults have been returned, thanks to someone in Winchester seeing our flyer!!

Please keep looking and help us get the rest home, where they belong!!!!!

Click on title above to visit website;

RSPCA ropes in rodeo over wild horse race / AU

By Kate Dennehy
August 9, 2009

Mount Isa Rodeo (AU) organisers last week axed an event after the RSPCA threatened to prosecute them for cruelty.

RSPCA Queensland senior inspector Tracey Jackson said the wild horse racing event was "traumatic" for the animals and, had it gone ahead, the organisers would have been prosecuted under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.

Ms Jackson said the event involved "terrified" unbroken horses being roped, saddled and mounted and raced around the arena.

"In the past, horse's ears were bitten and lugged and horses are pulled over on their backs," she said.

"The entire entertainment value of the event relies upon the horses being distressed, in fear and terrorised and constitutes an offence under the act.

"Community standards have changed since the inception of this event and it is clearly no longer acceptable to put these animals through this kind of trauma just for entertainment."

Animal activists welcomed the decision.

Jeanie Walker, who runs the anti-rodeo website, said her group had been trying to have the "horrendously cruel event" banned for years. She sent a letter and wild horse racing footage to Premier Anna Bligh last year.

Animals Liberation Queensland's Annette Guice said the event was about "terrorising horses for public spectacle" and hoped it would be banned from all rodeos.

Ms Guice and Ms Walker also called for the calf-roping event to be banned, but it is still included at the rodeo.

Calf roping of young calves is banned in Victoria and South Australia.

Rodeo manager Patricia Esdaile said the wild horse racing had been dropped because of the RSPCA's concerns and another reason on which she would not comment.

Ms Esdaile said the calf roping had not been dropped because "it's not illegal".

Australian Professional Rodeo Association general manager Steve Hilton said he was disappointed the wild horse racing was dropped.

"It's not cruel," he said. "The horses aren't terrified, they're just trying to get away because they're not broken in."

The rodeo started on Friday and finishes today.

Source: The Sun-Herald

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bob Barker Sicks PETA on Cruel NC Bear Zoo

I was there, I decided not to go see the bears, I inquired into their habitat, the lady didn't have anything good to say about their existance, it made me sick in my heart, here I was in a beautiful place, a place of my ancestors, then there were those poor bears.

Click on title above to hear bob live on 08/04/lkl-web-exclusive-bob-barker-im-not-an-expert-on-bears-im-an-expert-on-giving-away-refrigerators/

August 4, 2009

LKL WEB EXCLUSIVE: Bob Barker — “I’m Not an Expert on Bears, I’m an Expert on Giving Away Refrigerators”

Posted: 10:32 AM ET

Editor’s Note: LKL has reached out to “Cherokee Bear Zoo” for a response to this commentary. So far, our calls have not been returned.

Cherokee’s Unbearable Bear Pits

By Bob Barker

Even though my life has been full of incredible experiences and I’ve learned that there’s always more on the horizon, I never imagined I’d be writing a blog post for CNN at the age of 85. But when I was asked to write about my work for animals and my recent campaign to free some bears who are living in appalling conditions in Cherokee, North Carolina, I knew it was time to ask Debbie Leahy of PETA to help me with my computer skills.

Knowing about my love for animals, a few months ago my good friend Rep. Bill Young of Florida called me about an unfortunate experience that his family recently had involving caged bears. His wife, Beverly, had taken their children and grandchildren to Cherokee to educate them about life on a reservation. Being part Native American myself and having grown up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota , I appreciated their interest in Indian culture.

Beverly saw a sign that said, “Come Feed the Bears,” so they stopped at a roadside zoo. She described what she saw as “sickening.” There were six to seven bears in concrete cubicles. Their fur was hanging off, they were begging for food, and an employee was tossing one bear cub around by the scruff of his neck. Beverly said she had an uncomfortable confrontation with the person who was mishandling the cub, and was asked to leave. I remember her saying, “The prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are treated better than these bears, who have done nothing.”

I contacted my friends at PETA, and they sent a staff member and a bear expert to investigate. They reported that the situation was much worse than what the Young family had witnessed. There are actually three roadside zoos in Cherokee—Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Bear Park and Santa’s Land. They house close to 30 bears in unimaginably awful conditions. The bears are confined to desolate concrete pits or cramped cages where they often pace back and forth, walk in endless circles, get into fights with each other, cry and whimper and beg tourists to throw food at them. They have no dirt to dig in or trees to climb—just the same four walls every single day of their lives.

Accompanied by representatives from PETA and the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California, I went to Cherokee to appeal to Michell Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, to intervene in behalf of these beautiful animals. Before the meeting, I planned to visit these zoos to see the conditions for myself. I guess the owners of the two facilities where bears live in pits were too ashamed to let me see what was going on there because they refused to let me in.

I told Chief Hicks that I’m not an expert on bears. I’m an expert on giving away refrigerators. But I can tell you that these bears are not properly housed or fed. Cherokee has a rich cultural history and much to be proud of. The cruel bear displays are a glaring blemish on the area, and I hope that the members of the Tribal Council for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will open their hearts and do the right thing by shutting them down.

The good people of Cherokee welcomed me warmly, and many told me they agreed that the bears are kept in deplorable conditions. Bears are very intelligent, active and curious animals. They need room to roam, natural surroundings to investigate and opportunities to forage, climb and dig dens.

Earlier in my career, I hosted a show called Truth or Consequences. I closed the show by saying, “… hoping all your consequences are happy ones!” I hope with all my heart that Chief Hicks and the tribal council will make the consequences for the Cherokee bears happy ones. Until then, my heart and my conscience won’t allow me to do anything but ask people to stay away from Cherokee and voice their support for allowing the bears to retire to a sanctuary.

To learn more about how to help these bears, please visit

Filed under: Bob Barker • LKL Web Exclusive

Friday, August 7, 2009

Whichita's Mini-Horse Show a Big Hit

Posted on Fri, Aug. 07, 2009
Wichita's miniature horse show attracts people from Minnesota to Texas

The Wichita Eagle

A miniature horse gets ready to compete at the AMHA Central Regional Championships at the Kansas Coliseum Thursday. Winners advance to compete at the AMHA World Show in Fort Worth.

(Click on title above for original article with photos & video)

Trainers get ready to take their miniature horses into the show ring to compete in the AMHA Central Regional Championships at the kansas Coliseum Thursday. The Show will run through Sunday.

Miniature horse trainer Carlos Andrade works with "Sugar and Spice" in the 28'' and under senior gelding division at the AMHA Central Regional Horse Show at the Kansas Coliseum Thursday. The show will run through Sunday. Admission is free.

Judge Steve Lampson puts the red ribbon on "Blackhawk," after being named the Central Regional reserve grand champion in the senior gelding class at the AMHA Central Region show for miniature horses at the kansas Coliseum Thursday. The show will run through Sunday and admission is free.

Larry and Sue Elniff have been training and showing miniature horses for 29 years because, they say, they love the fellowship and the friendship.

"We are members of our local club, and we just love getting together with our friends, even if we don't involve the horses," Sue Elniff said.

The Elniffs and other trainers are in Wichita this weekend for the American Miniature Horse Association's central regional show, which features more than 200 miniature horses. Winners from this competition qualify for the association's world show in Fort Worth in the fall.

"We have people coming here from all over the Midwest," said Laura Mullen, show manager for the event. "We have some from Minnesota, all the way down to Texas, so it's one of our bigger shows."

The regional show started Thursday and runs through Sunday. Competition each day begins at 8 a.m.

The competition includes a variety of events, with everything from obstacle courses to cart-driving. In order to qualify as a miniature horse, the animal must be no taller than 34 inches at the bottom of its mane.

The Elniffs got started with miniature horses when they bought two of them in 1990.

"After we bought them as pets, we went to a couple shows just to watch," Larry Elniff said. "We thought to ourselves, 'Hey, our horses could do that.' "

They traveled to Wichita from their 40-acre farm in Ozawkie, where they keep their animals and train them.

Known for their calm demeanor, trainability and, of course, their smaller size, miniature horses make good pets, but are also great for competitions like these.

"These animals are great for children," Sue Elniff said. "They are nice animals and are easier to handle because of their size."

The Elniffs' grandson, 14-year-old Garret Rathbun, shows their horses and has already qualified for the world show in Fort Worth.

"We think this competition really helps kids to build character and strong friendships," Larry Elniff said. "To do well at these competitions, you've got to put in a lot of hard work and practice. At the same time, though, they're having fun doing it."

Rathbun echoed his grandfather's words.

"It's great to come to these shows and see all your friends and have a good time," he said. "This is my sixth year competing, and we usually do about six shows a year."

The Elniffs have no plans to stop training and showing miniature horses.

"It's possible that when we both are retired, we will want to do some traveling," Larry Elniff said. "But until then, we will continue to show these horses. We love it, and our grandson is hooked."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

RI to Ban Greyhound Racing!


Dear Friends,

Today I bring you great news!! After hearing from greyhound advocates
around the world, the Rhode Island legislature has announced it will not hold a
special summer session in order to prevent Twin River from shutting down
live racing.
his means that dog racing will end on August 8!

When lawmakers report back in September, we will introduce legislation to
end dog racing as a matter of law. Please thank Representative Patricia
_rep-serpa@rilin. state..ri. us_
( and Senator Lou Raptakis
_sen-raptakis@ rilin..state. ri.us_
( for sponsoring this bill, which
will end dog
racing for good in New England. Click here to read an Associated Press
about our rally at the state capitol- _http://www.forbes. com/feeds/
ap/2009/07/ 16/ap6662278. html_

**To hear the latest update on the campaign to end dog racing please tune
into Sins of Omission Radio on Monday, August 3 at 9 p.m. (Eastern time).
will discuss the "Unseen Costs of Greyhound Racing" with host, Paula
Log into _www.blogtalkradio. com/NQR_ (
and call 347-677-0792 with your questions and comments.**

Once Twin River ends dog racing, there will be just eight states remaining
where dog racing is legal and operational. We are committed to ending dog
racing in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas, West Virginia
and Wisconsin.

Please help us reach this goal by becoming a member of the
Gracie Club or by making a contribution today.
Together, we can end dog racing nationwide!
For the greyhounds,

Christine A. Dorchak, Esq.

Dennis Tabella of Defenders of Animals, Rep. Pat Serpa & Rep. Rod Driver
with Christine Dorchak, Carey Theil & Zoe at the Rhode Island rally.


"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it
violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

"The fate of animals is of greater importance to me
than the fear of appearing ridiculous;
it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men."

- Emile Zola (1840-1902)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

For Immediate Release
July 29, 2009

New Prisoners: Utah Activists BJ Viehl and Alex Hall Locked Up Again!
Meanwhile Political Prisoner Jordan Halliday Remains Caged for Refusal to Co-operate with Grand Jury

BJ Viehl and Alex Hall were put back into custody for alleged "violation of their pretrial orders". The judge (an ex-prosecutor against "eco-terrorism") has ordered that they remain in custody pending trial.

WILLIAM "BJ" VIEHL AND ALEX HALL were originally arrested March 5, 2009 for their alleged role in a raid of a South Jordan, Utah mink farm in August, and the alleged attempted raid of a second mink farm in October. Both are being held captive in Salt Lake City Jail on charges of animal enterprise terrorism, while the real terrorists continue to trap, maim, imprison and murder thousands of innocent fur-bearing animals for their own perverted profits. Their trial has been postponed; we don't know the exact date, but will keep everyone updated when we find out.

JORDAN HALLIDAY was arrested for contempt of court on March 13. The United States Attorneys office subpoenaed him to testify in front of a Federal Grand Jury, and provide information involving the mink liberation's in Utah. He refused to cooperate, because the questions asked where not related to the investigation. He was only asked personal questions about his friend and associations.

Grand juries are unconstitutional fishing expeditions that have been used throughout U.S. history to disrupt and destroy social justice movements. They take away rights to force answers to questions, without being able to have a lawyer present. Jordan was well aware of the exploitation and abuse of these tactics and resisted the proceedings which resorting in him being arrested.

Please send books and letters to:

William James (BJ) Viehl
Inmate #2009-05735
Davis County Jail
800 West State St.
Farmington, UT 84025

Alex Hall
Inmate #2009-06304
Davis County Jail
800 West State St.
Farmington, UT 84025

Jordan Halliday
Cache County Jail
Inmate # 24836
1225 West Valley View Highway Suite 100
Logan, Utah 84321


For more information visit,

Animal Liberation Press Office
6320 Canoga Avenue #1500
Woodland Hills, CA 91367


Monday, August 3, 2009

Stop Omak's Suicide Races!

Crossposting for Zoe;

My name is Zoe, I belong to Care2...I have been an animal rescuer for a very long time. Right now there is a situation going to occuring Omak, Washington. There is a race called the Suicide race, horses are killed and's been going on since the 30's...I have been emailing since I got the message from IDA, In Defense of might know the group.

If you don't have this info, I am going to put it in the body of this letter. I'm not very good with computers. I wanted to list it on Care2 as an emergency situation, there are people they can call or email. Wrangler, Coors and Campbells soup are 3 companies who sponsor this thing.


Stop The Omak Suicide Race!

Next Scheduled Cruelty: August 6 - 9, 2009 - Letters And Phone Calls Needed

The Omak Suicide Race is the most disgusting part of the Omak Stampede, a rodeo held in a small town in eastern Washington since 1935. The race regularly and routinely kills horses. Just since 1984, there have been at least 20 documented horse deaths.

After a galloping start, horses plunge over an almost vertical drop (62 degree angle) of about 225 feet. The horses do not realize where the ground is until it is rushing beneath them. They cannot see horses ahead of them. This is not professional riding or racing. This is documented cruelty as riders have a “no holds barred*” mentality that forces horses onward to win AT ANY COST. Horses are pushed to breakneck speed, with inevitable collisions and pile ups that cause serious injury or death. And that’s just the first leg.

At the bottom of the downhill charge, the horses are pushed to survive the swift current of the rocky, deep Okanogan River. Horses may have already sustained injuries from the steep downhill run of this race and then must brave the waters; horses have panicked and drowned. If they land sideways, which happens frequently if they lose balance, they can wrench their necks, causing severe neck and back injuries and further trauma. It takes far more energy to move through water than to gallop on land.

Exhausted horses are pushed on to an uphill sprint another 500 yards. With this continuous overexertion, recovery is nearly impossible, and with reduced oxygen flow, muscles are doomed to permanent damage. The psychological trauma endured by the horses who are injured or survive is lifelong.

Thanks to PAWS for information used in this alert.

At the bottom of this e-mail is a list of sponsors of the Omak Suicide Race, and others involved with the event. Write some letters! Make some phone calls!

The Omak Stampede has tried to separate itself from the Suicide Race. But in the Suicide Race Rules, which must be signed by participants, it clearly requires the Omak Stampede, Inc., to be included in news releases. Part of the race purse money comes directly from the Omak Stampede Committee. Some sponsors, such as Wal-Mart and Crown Royal, have withdrawn their support completely. But the Omak Stampede has directed sponsors such as Coors Beer, Pace Picante Sauce, and Wrangler Jeans to declare that the Stampede and Suicide Race are unrelated events and has convinced these sponsors to continue their sponsorship. Furthermore, official merchandise, logos, and even letterhead of the Omak Stampede feature the Suicide Race. See for yourself at

A sample letter is printed below, after the list of sponsors. You may use the sample letter, but your letters and calls will have greater effect if you use your own words.

Who to write and/or call:

Pace Picante Sauce Sponsorship of Omak Suicide Horse Race
Jerry S. Buckley, Sr. VP - Public Affairs
Campbell Soup Company
1 Campbell Place
Camden, NJ 08103-1701

Coors Beer Sponsorship of Omak Suicide Horse Race
N. Cornell Boggs , III
Chief Responsibility and Ethics Officer
300 12th Street
Golden, CO 80401

Wrangler Jeans Sponsorship of Omak Suicide Race
Eric C. Wiseman
Chairman, President and CEO
VF Corporation
World Headquarters
105 Corporate Center Blvd.
Greensboro, North Carolina 27408

Letters Editor
The Seattle Times
P.O. Box 70
Seattle, WA 98111

Mayor of Omak, Cindy Gagne
2 North Ash Street
PO Box 72
Omak, WA 98841

Colville Tribes Involvement:
Owners and Jockeys Assoc.

Omak Stampede & Suicide Race Board
George Dunckel, Chairman
509-826-1983 or 1-800-993-6625
PO Box 2028
Omak, Washington, 98841

Sample Letters: (Below are one sponsor sample, and one sample letter to the Mayor):

Sample Sponsor Letter:

Eric C. Wiseman
Chairman, President and CEO
VF Corporation
World Headquarters
105 Corporate Center Blvd.
Greensboro, NC 27408

Re: Wrangler Jeans’s Sponsorship of Omak Suicide Race

Dear Mr. Wiseman:

Wrangler Jeans is sponsoring the Omak Suicide Race and Stampede, a barbaric event which has killed at least 20 horses in the past 25 years.

We ask that Wrangler Jeans drop its sponsorship of the Stampede until it ends the “Suicide Race.”

The organizers of this event have many excuses, but none withstand scrutiny. For example, the Stampede says that it does not run the Suicide Race, but the Stampede’s web site markets the race. The Stampede says that the race is a traditional native event, but that is untrue; the Native Americans did not race horses off this cliff at night, causing so many deaths and injuries. And, if that were really the genesis of this event, why is not limited to Native Americans?

The very name, “Suicide Race,” tells us what they are selling. Does Wrangler Jeans really want to be associated with this?

Wal-Mart and Crown Royal have pulled their sponsorships. Please follow their humane lead and do the same.

Thank you for your kind attention, and a response would be appreciated.


Sample Letter To Mayor:

Cindy Gagne, Mayor of Omak
2 North Ash Street
PO Box 72
Omak, WA 98841

Dear Mayor Gagne:

I am writing to you regarding the Omak Suicide Horse Race. This event of the Omak Stampede is surely a “business draw” for your community. Sadly, however, the money and entertainment value come from cruelty and inhumane exploitation of horses.

Pitbull fighting has been banned from all 50 states due to the inhumane and gruesome exploitation of dogs. The Suicide Race is much like the pitbull fighting in its cruel use of horses.

I urge you to be a leader and change your community’s direction. Many people are learning about this gore-seeking, pointless event called the Suicide Race. Your community will be under scrutiny and will have to answer the question: why sponsor an event that brings out the cruel, thrill-seeking, ugly side of humanity? This Suicide Race, by name, is selling death for thrills; this is NOT an American value nor a Native American value.

Please consider ways to transition your community away from the distorted and shameful focus on gore and cruelty that is the Suicide Race to truly honorable and respectable FAMILY entertainment. There are other options for drawing business to your community.

Thank you for your consideration, and I would appreciate a response.


In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 85,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.

In Defense of Animals is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today! All donations to IDA are tax-deductible.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031

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