National TV ad campaign seeks backing for anti-soring bill

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“In my opinion the only real way to outlaw this cruel sadistic practice; is not to have shows like the ‘Big Lick. After all, it’s the prize money most are after, do they really care about the horrific injuries & burns, they inflict on the horses?”

Urge Congress to End Horse Soring

Published on 17 Mar 2014

New TV ad campaign by The Humane Society of the United States calls on federal lawmakers to support H.R. 1518/S. 1406, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.

A national television advertising campaign backed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is the latest strategy in promoting a federal bill aimed at toughening regulations and penalties around the illegal practice of soring horses.

The advertisement is pushing for the passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518/S. 1406.

It urges viewers to call their federal lawmakers and ask them to pass the bill.

It began airing in Kentucky on Sunday, urging viewers to call Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and ask them to support the PAST Act.

The ad campaign would expand to other media markets around the country in the coming weeks, the HSUS said.

The commercial is the latest effort by the HSUS to urge Congress to pass the bill against soring – the illegal practice of inflicting pain to horses’ legs and feet to force them to perform an exaggerated high-stepping gait known as the Big Lick.

The Senate bill has been introduced by their Republican colleague, Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire, and it has 51 cosponsors. The House bill has 268 cosponsors.

The bill will fortify an existing federal law, the Horse Protection Act, which was passed in 1970 to eliminate the abuse of Tennessee walking horses and other similar breeds.

The HSUS says the bill is so weak that cheating and violations have been rampant for decades. The PAST Act would end the failed industry self-policing system; ban the show-ring use of chains, stacks, and excessively heavy shoes (devices that used in the soring process); and increase penalties for violators.

Kentucky is the heart of horse country in the US, and Senators McConnell and Paul should support this critical legislation to protect horses from the cruelty of soring,” said Pam Rogers, Kentucky state director for the HSUS.

“No other breeds are subjected to this kind of intentional form of torture, and it is a disgrace that it exists anywhere.

“Only an upgrade of the federal law will put an end to the horrible horse abuse that still plagues the ‘Big Lick’ show world.”

The PAST Act is endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association (and every other state veterinary medical association), the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the American Horse Council, along with a host of other national animal protection, veterinary, and horse industry organizations.

In 2011, an HSUS investigation into Tennessee walking horse trainer Jackie McConnell’s stable in Collierville, Tennessee, revealed shocking cruelty to horses to a national audience, which led to the introduction of the PAST Act.

The investigator recorded horses being whipped, kicked, shocked in the face and intentionally burned with caustic chemicals. The new commercial shows footage from this investigation.

 News Link:http://horsetalk.co.nz/2014/03/18/national-tv-ad-campaign-seeks-backing-anti-soring-bill/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HorsetalkconzHeadlines+%28Horsetalk.co.nz+Headlines%29#axzz2wM7ZaoCq

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Activist Take On AVMA To Condemn Debarking Surgery

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Everyone has that neighbor who leaves their dog outside to bark all day.  From dusk till dawn, Hunter is barking at every leaf that floats by, and we all wish he would just shut up.  But to what end do we wish that possible?  Most of us would rather the owner just take better care of their pet, but some have gone so far as to devocalize their dogs.

Though it is rare, some people do take their dogs and even cats to the vet to have a ventriculocordectomy performed, which is the removal of the vocal cords.  This procedure is done by going through the mouth or by making an incision in the throat.

Sue & Perry

This medically unnecessary surgery can cause scar tissue build-up, and impair a dog’s ability to breathe and eat.  Additional surgeries may be needed to remove scar tissue, as is the case with Sue Perry’s adopted Newfoundland, Porter.

“I was just horrified by this,” said Perry.  “When he tried to bark, I was like, ‘What the heck?’

Perry is adamantly against the inhumane procedure, and wondered how Porter’s previous owner could do such a thing, then give him up anyway.  She belongs to the Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets, which fought to get “debarking” outlawed in Massachusetts.  Karen Mahmud, another of the group’s activists, also has an adopted dog, a Chihuahua named Lola, who had previously been devocalized.  Lola coughs constantly, and acts like there is something lodged in her throat.

“It’s very, very upsetting,” said Mahmud.  “I would never think that it’s ok to put a dog under needless torture.  If a dog barks, a dog barks.

The two women, who have never met in person, created an online petition demanding that the American Veterinary Medical Association speak out against debarking.  They say as long as the AMVA does not condemn it, they condone it.  The petition has already garnered over 130,000 signatures.

Karen & Lola

The practice of devocalization is illegal in Europe, as well as in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but the word needs to get around to outlaw it in the rest of the states.  Most veterinarians refuse to do this surgery, and it is no longer taught in veterinary schools.

“My feeling is very strong that this procedure is done strictly for the convenience of people who don’t want to hear or are annoyed by their pet’s vocalizations,” said Joel Woolfson, a veterinary surgeon.  “It has nothing to do with the health of the animal.”

Dog experts say much of excessive dog barking is down to the owners:  the dogs are bored, socially isolated, poorly trained and suffer from anxiety or compulsive disorders.  Of course, they also bark when stimulated or when they feel their territory or themselves are threatened.

Sheilah Robertson, veterinarian and assistant director of the AMVA’s Animal Welfare Division, said the Animal Welfare Committee will consider scientific evidence and public opinion on the matter when they review the devocalization policy.

News Link:-http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2012/10/activists-take-on-avma-to-condemn-debarking-surgery/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LifeWithDogs+%28Life+With+Dogs%29

Below is the link for the petition for the AMVA to speak out against debarking:

http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-veterinarians-devocalization-is-mutilation

Our Dogs Were Devocalized!

 

Published on 18 Sep 2012 by 

Our dogs’ first owners had them devocalized, then gave them up. Some vets perform this needless surgery even knowing the pain and suffering it causes. LEARN MORE: http://cprpets.weebly.com/about-devocalization-of-dogs-and-cats.html

Animal group urges fair to cancel elephant rides

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A Southern California animal welfare group has asked the Kern County Fair Board to end elephant rides at the fair, saying the Have Trunk Will Travel company that provides them abuses the animals and will put fairgoers at risk.

An email sent to the Kern County Fair Board by Animal Defenders International includes, with the request to terminate the Have Trunk contract, a video showing company staff using staves and stun guns to beat and zap the large animals while training them to stand on their forelegs, balance on platforms and do other circus tricks.

 

“We think that bringing abused elephants into a crowded space like the Kern County Fair is a potential recipe for disaster,” said Matt Rossell, campaigns director for Animal Defenders International. “Based on the clear video evidence, these animals are being abused.”

But Kari Johnson, co-owner with her husband, Gary, of Have Trunk Will Travel, said the video that ADI states was shot in 2005 is “not representative of our training practices.”

Have Trunk has not changed its training practices since 2005, she said, but the video is a carefully edited creation that takes the incidents in question completely out of context with the purpose of making Have Trunk look bad.

“Its so powerful because it’s visual,” she said.

Despite that argument, groups like ADI have been successful in convincing other fairs and zoos to cancel elephant rides provided by Have Trunk Will Travel.

The Santa Ana Zoo ended elephant rides in December after 25 years, in part because new standards from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums call for animal handlers to minimize the time they spend in the same space as the massive animals, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In March the board of the Orange County Fair voted to end its relationship with the Johnsons and their business and terminate elephant rides at the fair, according to the Orange County Register.

Kern County Fair CEO Mike Olcott said he has decided to continue the elephant rides as planned when the local fair opens Wednesday morning. “I researched it and everything is OK,” he said.

The group has been providing elephant rides at the Kern County Fair for 10 years, Olcott said, and there has never been a problem. The fair has a contract with Have Trunk and, Olcott said, he believes it is too late to cancel the deal for this year.

But one member of the fair board, Mark Salvaggio, has called for Olcott to bring the decision to the fair board.

In an email to Olcott early Thursday afternoon, Salvaggio said he was “troubled over the questions” raised by the ADI email. He asked Olcott to add an item to the board’s Monday agenda allowing discussion and action on termination of the contract.

Olcott said he does not plan to put the item on the board agenda because agendas are released 10 days prior to the meeting and it is too late to add something to it.

Members of the public will be allowed to speak during the public comment section of the meeting but the board will not be able to act on their comments.

Olcott said that if his board president wants to put the issue on the agenda after the fair is over, the board can discuss it at that point.

The battle between animal groups and Have Trunk Will Travel — a for-profit business that provides elephants for films, commercials, weddings, fairs and other events — has been going on for a couple of years.

“In what context is it OK to shock and beat an elephant?” Rossell said. “The only justification I could see was if someone was in imminent danger.”

The video clearly shows that the animal handlers were not in danger from the elephants but instead were using the devices as part of routine training and animal husbandry and was shot over eight weeks, he said.

Johnson said the various groups that regulate her business — from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums — have seen the video and dismissed it.

Have Trunk is certified by the AZA as a “related facility” through March 2014, according to the association’s website.

“Shocking elephants and other violent behavior depicted in the video is prohibited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums guidelines, the American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines, and in California statute,” Rossell wrote in a statement.

Johnson said her company has been warmly received at the Kern County Fair for the decade it has been there.

News Link:http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x2067067578/Animal-group-urges-fair-to-cancel-elephant-rides

Related:https://preciousjules1985.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/mammoth-win-for-elephants-orange-county-fair-votes-to-end-elephant-rides/

Republican Congressman – Gloats About Bill To Enable Animal Torture

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“Sorry, I’m going to have a real rant about this, so feel free to just ignore me & go straight to the post (in black writing)…I don’t know much about politics, but I know this congressman wants farm animals to go back to their pitiful lives, which will have a knock on effect to the end product, which totally defeats the object of healthy meat.  I know a little about farm animals & meat quality, from courses done at Agricultural College! How can this buffoon, justify farm animals reverting back to living  daily torturous & painful lives in cramped & filthy conditions; conditions that have a knock on effect to the price of the meat, i.e. no profit due to inferior quality of the meat & hides!”

“If he really wants to ‘fix food production’, he should be fighting to ban the cruel treatment of farm animals, not encourage it! I don’t really like talking about consuming meat, as I’m vegetarian/99% vegan (can’t call myself vegan because I do love an egg butti, from my friends pet chickens) but it’s my duty, well in this case it is!”

“Animals that are able to live by the 5 F’s rule (still sometimes referred to as Brambell’s Five Freedoms) are:-1.Freedom from Hunger and Thirst, 2.Freedom from Discomfort, 3.Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease, 4.Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour, 5.Freedom from Fear and Distress:-will, in the end, produce better quality meat; which consumers will pay more for…meaning more profit…think about it..”.

Pink meat – caused by stress or abuse, don’t buy it!

If animals are given the above, they are likely to produce good quality offspring. As soon as an animal is born, it’s treatment throughout life on the farm will affect the quality of the meat.”

“Keeping animals fit & healthy is paramount to their ultimate value. Farmers must ensure all their workers treat the animals with respect. If you see pork that is light in colour, chances are that animals was severely stressed at the time of slaughter; so if you care for animals don’t buy meat of this colour!!”

“Ill treatment such as kicking, poking, prodding, or any form of abuse, will cause trauma to the animal, that will ultimately cost the farmer in the long run.”  

Dark meat, the cause of most of the meat wastage!

“This causes the greatest amount of meat wastage, money down the drain! If inspected, sometimes whole carcasses are wasted due to bruising of the skin & ultimately dark meat! “

“Take cows, sheep sometimes poultry or pork, if the animal was stressed, injured or diseased before being slaughtered, it will be dark in colour. It has something to do with the muscle glycogen & little lactic acid production, which results in dark coloured meat.

 “If you like steaks, don’t buy dark coloured meat, it won’t be as tasty as it should be & it will be as tough as old boots!.” 

This is healthy meat form a healthy animal!

“It’s simple, farmers must treat livestock well through out their lives on the farm. Once they leave the farm towards slaughter, anyone handling them must ensure there is no abuse, keep stress levels down & all will be rewarded, with everybofdy making a profit!”

“Which is why I can’t believe thist old numb nuts want to change it…I’ve decided he just doesn’t like animals…Period!!”

This isn’t an unintended consequence — King told the Daily Caller that his amendment “fixes the states and their political subdivisions regulating food production everywhere in America.” However, King might want to reconsider that position, as his amendment would legalize several horrific farming and food practices that some states have chosen to do away with:

  • Florida, Ohio, and seven other states have banned confining pregnant pigs in cages that prevent them from moving their limbs or walking in a circle. Pigs confined in so-called gestation crates are forced to defecate where they stand, exposed to serious risk of traumatic injury as a consequence of immobility, and develop sores as a consequence of attempting to move against or bite the bars the bars that confine them. They live their whole lives like this.
  • Seven states have banned similar confinement for baby calves. So-called veal creates are designed to atrophy muscles to improve the taste of meat, creating what the ASPCA callslives of agony and frustration” for the cows until they are slaughtered at four or five months.
  • Three states have banned tail-docking, wherein parts of cows tails are lopped off, occasionally without anesthetic. The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes tail docking as unnecessary and highly painful.
  • Maryland prohibits adding arsenic to chicken feed, which – besides the obvious problems – also spreads the poison into the surrounding soil.

King, though, brags that his legislation “wipes out everything they’ve [animal rights advocates] done with pork and veal.” Indeed, King has a long record of opposing animal welfare law — he has, for example, been Congress’ leading advocate against anti-dogfighting legislation.

He also believes that the Humane Society and other animal rights advocates are attempting to ban “production agriculture” and has fantasized about exposing vegetarians with “an agenda for our diets” on the House floor.

News Link:http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/07/18/540441/republican-bill-animal-torture/?mobile=nc

A Cut Above – How a onetime rodeo gal is wrangling animal cruelty

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“Read this interesting story about a women who used to be a rodeo fan & actually ride bulls, but who know has seen the light & fights against the industry…as well as blowing the whistle on other industry short falls. I would like to shake this lady’s hand & probably give her a cuddle for the countless animals she has saved at low cost; since realizing animals hurt too etc.!”

Veterinarian Peggy Larson gets along better with animals than with most humans. “The spaying and neutering is pretty easy,” she says, cleaning up after a surgery in her Colchester-based Cat Spay/Neuter Clinic. “What’s hard is dealing with people.”

It’s not surprising that Larson takes a sometimes-dim view of her fellow humans: She’s spent decades fighting instances of animal abuse ranging from livestock mishandling to rodeo exploitation to outright neglect and cruelty. But this feisty and outspoken woman wasn’t always an animal crusader. She grew up a self-described tomboy on a North Dakotaranch, and at 16 decided on a whim to take up bareback bronco riding — a rodeo sport dominated by men. “I was crazy when I was young,” Larson says with a laugh.

Peggy Larson spays a cat

“You really have a different mind-set when you grow up on a ranch,” she continues. Animals were “income-producing objects,” a commodity, and so she didn’t worry much about the spurs she dug into a bronco’s back, or the calves who were shocked repeatedly before a roping event — until she enrolled in veterinary school and found herself gobsmacked by just how much animals and humans have in common.

“It was a real revolution,” she says.

Now Larson is 77, though she looks a good decade younger. At 5-foot-4, she’s spry and petite. Today she’s wearing scrubs and comfortable Crocs sandals, and she perches atop a small step stool next to her operating table. Larson keeps up a steady stream of chatter from behind her surgical mask while she deftly preps a long-haired gray cat for surgery. Already asleep with the aid of an anesthetic, the cat is splayed belly up on the operating table.

Not that Larson is especially worried about popularity contests: She’s not afraid to ruffle feathers, particularly in her work as an advocate for animals. She rails against theAmerican Veterinary Medical Association, which she dubs a “backward institution” and accuses of worrying more about making money than animal welfare. “The AVMA is pro-rodeo, they’re pro hogs in gestation crates, they’re pro hens in batteries,” Larson says, disgusted.

While working as a USDA inspector of animal welfare and livestock disease programs in the late ’70s and early ’80s, she blew the whistle on embezzlement within the program. Larson later took a no-nonsense approach to overhauling meat inspection in Vermont during her stint as state veterinarian. The onetime bronco rider now campaigns to eliminate the sport. “There’s nothing more cowardly to me than a calf roper,” she says fiercely.

Read the rest here:– http://www.7dvt.com/2012cut-above

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