GRAPHIC VIDEO: R.I.P… PAWS Says Goodbye To Beloved Asian Elephant Annie.‏

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It is with very heavy hearts that we at PAWS share news of the passing of our dear friend, Asian elephant Annie – best known for her joyous romps in the lake that is part of our Asian elephant habitat at the ARK 2000 sanctuary. She had endured severe arthritis and foot disease, which gradually worsened over many years. After it became clear that the medications and treatments used to treat her chronic conditions were no longer providing relief, she was humanely euthanized on Tuesday, while lying on soft soil and surrounded by those who cared for and loved her. At age 55, she was among the oldest Asian elephants in North America.

“Everyone at PAWS will miss Annie. She was a very special elephant,” said PAWS president Ed Stewart. “I’m proud we were able to give her a peaceful and more natural life at the PAWS sanctuary for nearly 20 years. We restored her dignity and gave her the care and respect she deserved.”

Annie was born in Assam, India, around 1960, and taken from her mother at a very early age for use in the zoo industry. She was immediately put on display in a zoo in Wisconsin, where she spent much of her life chained to a concrete floor.

In 1994, the nation was shocked by videos showing Annie and her companion Tammy being cruelly trained. While held by ropes and chains handlers “broke” the elephants, mercilessly beating them into submission. This was no undercover video; the zoo recorded the training session as instruction for other keepers. (This footage was included in the 2013 HBO documentary, “An Apology to Elephants,” narrated by actress and comedienne – and friend of PAWS – Lily Tomlin.) Under public pressure, the zoo opted to relocate the elephants to PAWS.

Annie arrived at PAWS in 1995, rescued from the Wisconsin zoo with Tammy, who passed away in 2003 at age 52 from chronic foot disease and arthritis – the leading causes of death for elephants in captivity. Despite their great intelligence and size, in captivity elephants are forced to live in small, barren enclosures that cause a multitude of physical and psychological harms. Their social, physical and psychological complexities may make them one of the most deprived of all captive wild animals.

Annie keeps cool in the lake, provided for all the animals; this is as free as any captive animal can be, pure heaven for all!

Annie’s life at the PAWS ARK 2000 sanctuary was far closer to what elephants naturally need. She had a sprawling habitat in which to roam, elephant companions, soft grass to lie down and nap on, and a lake in which she loved to bob, splash and swim. It was always a joy to see Annie enjoying her habitat – something we often shared with you on our Facebook page and on Youtube.

Over the years, Annie experienced a variety of health problems, including an injury caused by a bull elephant during forced mating. Her arthritis and foot problems had progressed, including a severe foot abscess. In 2012, Annie tested positive for tuberculosis, but never exhibited symptoms of the disease. Her general condition remained good, including normal appetite and weight, but Annie’s arthritis and foot disease ultimately made movement unbearably painful for her. Tuberculosis has been diagnosed in many elephants used for circuses and to give rides, and in zoos such as the Oregon Zoo and St. Louis Zoo.

It is a sad fact that by the time most elephants come to PAWS they are suffering the debilitating effects of a life spent in inadequate captive conditions. Annie was no exception. Had she remained in her native home, she likely would have been leading a full and enriched life today, surrounded by a family of her own.

“Our job at PAWS is to restore dignity to captive elephants and, for elephants like Annie and Tammy, give them a life free from beatings and chains,” explained Ed. “We did our best for them, and continue to make a significant difference in the lives of all the elephants and other wild animals under our care.”

As is customary for all elephants that pass away at PAWS, a necropsy is being performed on Annie’s remains by pathologists from U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and tissue samples sent to a laboratory.

PAWS thanks everyone who has ever cared about and supported Annie and helped give her – and all of the wild animals at PAWS – a life of dignity, serenity, and love. On behalf of Annie and everyone at PAWS, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts
“This next video shows pure brute strength by keepers to make Annie lay down. Watch closely & see how the bull hook is gouged into her skin to make her first lay down, then stand; Annie cries out in pain as she is manhandled, she could easily have harmed her trainers, but she didn’t. Now, listen very closely as the keepers talk about how to get her to lay down, near a diagram, around 5.29..(I can hear what sounds like an electrical shock prod) …I bet they were using it on Annie…vile acts of cruelty; just for the publics entertainment!! Annie must have thought she was in heaven when she was moved to PAWS; she finally had some freedom to behave like an elephant should, larking about in the lake & making friends with other free elephants,. I’m so grateful to PAWS for giving Annie her freedom & final home, her final resting place of peace, tranquility & compassion…God bless her soul!”

1989: Zoo training tape of Annie.

Warning: Contains graphic images that are hard to watch.

Uploaded on 5 Oct 2011

Asian elephant Annie, and her close companion Tamara, shared an elephant barn/enclosure at the Milwaukee Zoo until 1994, when videotaped recordings of cruel beatings and abusive training elicited public demands that the two elephants be sent to the PAWS sanctuary. Today Annie (Tamara died in 2002) spends her days roaming and grazing among the trees, swimming in the lake, dusting and mud-bathing before lying down to sleep on a sunny hillside.

The archaic management of elephants by zoos that have been using the Free Contact system, has been the focus of controversy between AZA and animal welfare organizations, as well as many zoo professionals who advocate the use of Protected Contact management, a safer and kinder approach to elephant management.

Free Contact allows elephant keepers and handlers to share the same space with the elephant while using the cruel weapon known as the bullhook, the ankus, or the “guide”, to control the animal and to protect the handler. This system has caused injury and death to keepers and considerable suffering to elephants. Protected Contact requires that keepers work with the animal behind barriers and eliminates the use of any weapon or punishment for the elephant. It is a system that ensures the safety of the keeper and the welfare and comfort of the elephant.

In August of this year, The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) board of directors has approved new standards that will maximize occupational safety of elephant care professionals at AZA-accredited and AZA-certified facilities. The recent release of this new policy by AZA is a giant first step toward maximizing the physical and psychological health of the elephants as well.

The Elephant Manager’s Association opposes these new standards. In a recent statement, EMA wrote: “It is the opinion of the EMA that evaluations and decisions of this sort are best made by elephant care professionals intimately involved in the program as opposed to policy makers that casually observe from a distance.”

PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606

www.pawsweb.org

 “TORTURE CHAMBER…JUST THINK ON, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE AN ELEPHANT IN A CIRCUS OR EVEN A ZOO…THIS IS HOW THEY WERE FIRST SNATCHED FROM THEIR MOTHERS IN THE WILD; THEN TORTURED, SO THEY WOULD ACCEPT THE COMMANDS OF HUMANS; FOR THE SOUL PURPOSE OF ENTERTAINING HUMANS…HORRIFIC!!”

 VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED…BUT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW ELEPHANTS SPIRITS ARE BROKEN SO HUMANS CAN USE THEM…PLEASE WATCH!!

Published on 8 Mar 2012

Here are the images of the training of wild elephants that are caught for the tourist trade. Please remind yourself and tell others that by visiting elephant camps you are supporting this!

Edwin Wiek of the WFFT and Khun Lek (Sangduan Chailert) of ENP are now targeted by the DNP for speaking up about the illegal wild elephant poaching and trade. This video shows what the DNP doesn’t want you to see or know about!

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PETA: “Crush” Video Makers Sentenced to Life!!

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 Received this in email….Well done PETA…at last the courts are taking this despicable act of cruelty, seriously!

Dear Julie,

For three years, PETA Asia has been working with authorities in the Philippines to help them find and prosecute the makers of horrific “crush” videos in which scantily clad girls (one as young as 12 years old) are filmed stepping, standing and stamping on and slowly crushing animals – from the smallest of mice to large dogs who are tied down and helpless.

Now PETA Asia’s efforts to shut down the makers of these sick fetish videos have resulted in a landmark ruling against those who tortured and killed puppies, rabbits and other animals.

Recently, a Philippine court found Vicente and Dorma Ridon guilty of child abuse, animal welfare crimes, human trafficking and wildlife-protection crimes and sentenced the pair to life imprisonment and a fine of more than 9 million pesos (Rs. 1,23,00,000) each for their part in making the videos.

This huge victory began with a single compassionate person who stumbled upon these vile videos and took the time to report them to PETA Asia, which then worked with the help of authorities to ensure that the Ridons were located, investigated, arrested, prosecuted and ultimately sentenced for their crimes. PETA Asia hired one of the top law firms in the country to assist the prosecutor, thereby ensuring that the case was given full attention. The group also stands ready to fight an appeal.

In videos made by the Ridons, one dog is skinned alive and another is burned with a clothes iron. Rabbits flail and scream while their ears are cut off or they’re set on fire. One video shows a puppy who is crushed until the animal vomits up internal organs. The Ridons’ long sentence is a warning to anyone involved in the vile crush video industry that there are grave consequences for harming animals.

Their sentence is also a powerful reminder of PETA Asia’s commitment to helping animals no matter how long it takes. Thank you for all you do for animals in need. Compassionate people like you are helping PETA and our international affiliates save animals’ lives.

Kind regards,


Poorva Joshipura
Chief Executive Officer

 

Feds Bring First Case Under New ‘Animal Crush’ Video Law

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A Houston man and woman were indicted Wednesday for producing “animal crush” videos, the first federal case brought under the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, which was passed after the Supreme Court ruled that a previous version of the law violated the First Amendment.

The U.S. attorney in southern Texas charged Ashley Nicole Richards, 22, and Brent Justice, 51, who are already facing state animal cruelty charges, with producing eight videos that allegedly involve the torture and killing of puppies, chickens and kittens, according a release from the federal prosecutor’s office. Richards and Justice face five counts of animal crush charges and two obscenity charges.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office of Southern Texas confirmed the Houston case is the first in the nation brought under the revised law.

In April 2010, the Supreme Court decided 8-1 in U.S. v. Stevens to strike down Section 48 of Title 18 of U.S. Code as unconstitutional.

The code, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion of the court, penalized “anyone who knowingly ‘creates, sells, or possesses a depiction of animal cruelty,’ if done ‘for commercial gain’ in interstate or foreign commerce.”

That case involved a man who sold videos of dogfighting and of dogs attacking other animals. He challenged his indictment on the grounds that Section 48 violated the First Amendment.

Though the government argued the code was necessary for cases of “animal crush” and animal fighting videos, the court held “a law may be invalidated as overboard if ‘a substantial number of its applications are unconstitutional.’” The court, therefore, did not discuss whether animal crush videos were a special case that could warrant an exception to the First Amendment.

“We … need not and do not decide whether a statute limited to crush videos or other depictions of extreme animal cruelty would be constitutional,” Roberts wrote for the court.

The court invalidated the law altogether as overboard, prompting Congress in September of that year to pass the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, which specifically prohibited animal crush videos and defined them as “any photograph, motion picture, film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that:

(1) depicts actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury;

(2) is obscene.

The “and obscene” provision would be key if the statute were challenged anew, said First Amendment expert and University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone.

“[Congress] passed this very complicated law that does not add anything to the scope of what is criminal,” Stone told POLITICO. “So as long as we stipulate that the material has to be obscene to be prosecuted under the statute, then why don’t you just prosecute you under the obscenity statute?”

The reference to obscenity also appears to limit the statute’s application in several ways, including limiting it to videos that are sexual in nature.

Stone believes that if the case were to be brought to the highest court, the question at issue would be whether there is a legitimate reason to distinguish this type of obscenity from others.

With free speech restrictions, the government cannot constitutionally pick and choose what type of speech to restrict based solely on its content, as established in the hate speech case R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul.

Stone compares the animal crush statute to a law creating higher penalties for purveyors of homosexual obscenity as opposed to non-homosexual obscenity – the government in both cases would need to show why the distinction serves a societal necessity.

Stone said in defence of the law, as in the comparable issue of child pornography, sometimes the government punishes selling depictions of something cruel to take away the incentive for individuals to commit the cruelty in order to profit off of it.

The animal crush statute carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison; the obscenity statute carries up to five.

News Link:-http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2012/11/feds-bring-first-case-under-new-animal-crush-video-150700.html?hp=r2

Couple behind animal torture videos face new charges

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Additional charges have been filed against the Filipino couple currently on trial for crimes related to the production of “crush” videos featuring scantily clad underage girls torturing and killing animals.
 
Dorma and Vicente Ridon were arrested in August last year and charged with animal cruelty and child abuse.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said in a statement Friday the Ridons are now facing additional charges of violating the Wildlife Protection and Conservation Act (RA No. 9147) and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA No. 9208).

They are currently being held at the La Union Provincial Jail.

“Manila is ‘ground zero’ in the international war against the vile crush-video industry,” said PETA-Asia vice president Jason Baker.

“The Philippines has an opportunity to slam the door on animal abuse by holding the Ridons accountable for the horrific pain and misery that they have caused,” he added.
 
According to PETA, the case has prompted government to improve laws against animal cruelty.

In February 2011, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into crush videos. Also in May that year, Rep. Irwin Tieng filed a bill to prohibit the sale, exchange, or distribution of crush videos in the country. — Amanda Lago/VS/HS, GMA News

News Link:-http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/264456/news/nation/couple-behind-animal-torture-videos-face-new-charges

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