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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GRAPHIC VIDEO: Breaking News: Pork Industry Turns Pigs Into Shit Eating Cannibals

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 “Please sign the petition below; no animal should be treated in this horrific way, then sold to the public!”

20th February – Posted By Matt Rice

TodayThe Humane Society of the United States released horrifying hidden-camera video footage of pigs being fed diarrhea and the ground up intestines of their own piglets at a factory farm in Kentucky – Iron Maiden Hog Farm.

Although the practice of feeding pig guts and shit to other pigs is common on industrial farms across the country, it is illegal under state law

The video, which was profiled by The New York Times, also shows mother pigs crammed into filthy metal cages so small they can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives. Seemingly without irony, the facility is named after a medieval torture device by which human victims were confined in a metal box barely larger than their own bodies.

Watch the graphic undercover video here:

Viewer Discretion – Pigs Suffer at IRON MAIDEN

Published on 20 Feb 2014

Click to Help: http://bit.ly/1e8oElA
An undercover exposé of Iron Maiden Farms in Owensboro, Kentucky revealed that sows confined in cramped cages known as gestation crates were fed intestines from ground up piglets who had recently succumbed to a highly contagious diarrhoeal disease.

Like a medieval torture device, the use of gestation crates by the pork industry is perhaps the cruellest form institutionalized animal abuse in existence.

In fact, these crates are so cruel they have been banned in nine states and the entire European Union. In the last couple years, more than 60 major food providers, including Costco, Target, Safeway, Kroger, and others, have committed to phasing gestation crates out of their supply chains. Even major pork producers like Smithfield and Hormel have recognized the need to do away with cruel crates.

Unfortunately, Walmart, the largest pork retailer in the world, continues to support factory farms that keep pigs in gestation crates. Multiple undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals at Walmart pork suppliers have revealed thousands of pigs crammed inside these metal torture boxes. As the largest retailer in the world, Walmart has the power and the responsibility to put an end to this horror once and for all.

Please visit WalmartCruelty.com to take action and find out more. OR sign the petition here:http://www.walmartcruelty.com/#petition

While grocery retailers can help put an end to some of the most egregiously cruel factory farming practices, consumers can also help prevent needless cruelty to animals every time they sit down to eat by adopting a healthy and humane, vegan diet.

News Post:-http://www.mfablog.org/2014/02/

Appeals Court Vacates Ban on US Horse Slaughter

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“THIS IS A DIFFICULT SUBJECT for me to discuss. I own horses & understand that due to overpopulation, lack of food or abandonment etc. it is causing welfare problems. Charities can’t protect every horse in need of a home, they will simply never have enough funds to protect them all. God…I wish they could, I hate to see horses or any animal for that matter suffer, no animal lover would want an animal to suffer unnecessarily. So to prevent this, if there is no other way possible to save them, I would prefer they were put out of their misery; in the kindest way possible & cremated.  Horses die from disease, injury or just old age & their bodies have to be dealt with whatever the circumstance.

“If owners are not permitted to dispose of the body themselves on their own land, which most aren’t; then the body (no matter how loved) has to be dealt with! I dread the day one of my horses dies or has to be put to sleep, but I don’t have land to bury them on or the required permission…it would literally break my heart, but I will have no option but to still call the knacker man (for want of a better word) to cremate the body & return the ashes to me, so I can do with them as I wish.”

“WHAT I  OPPOSE is the use of slaughterhouses TO KILL HEALTHY, ILL & ABUSED HORSES FOR FOOD & PROFIT! This planet already kills way too many animals to feed the population, some in the most barbaric, cheapest & despicable ways, with rife abuse & cruelty: which is why I don’t eat animals. Those who don’t own horses but own dogs, would find the practice of a slaughterhouse for dogs horrific & wouldn’t stand for it! Just as it is with horse owners/lovers… HORSES DO NOT BELONG ON THE MENU in this century or the next. By all means their bodies have to be dealt with…BUT NO HORSE SHOULD END UP ON A PLATE! Killing horses for their meat & profit alone is not justified; THOSE WHO WISH TO KILL HORSES FOR FOOD, ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY, PURE GREED ALONE & IT IS THEY WHO SHOULD BE BANNED!!”

A federal appeals court on Friday removed a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter, clearing the way for companies in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa to open while an appeal of a lawsuit by animal protection groups proceeds.

abuse1

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver lifted the emergency injunction it issued in November after The Humane Society of the United States and others appealed the ruling of a federal judge in Albuquerque. The judge said the U.S. Department of Agriculture followed proper procedure in issuing permits to Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, N.M., Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa.

The appeals court’s order Friday said the groups had “failed to meet their burden for an injunction pending appeal.”

Blair Dunn, an attorney for Valley Meat and Rains Natural Meats, said the order lifts the emergency status of the case, meaning it will likely be months before a final decision is issued.

Dunn said the plants are ready to open, although they could agree to remain shuttered if the plaintiffs agree to post a sufficient bond to cover the companies’ losses should they ultimately prevail.

“They are getting ready to go as quickly as they can. It shouldn’t take too long. Not more than two weeks,” he said.

The Humane Society, however, said “the fight for America‘s horses is not over.”

“We will press for a quick resolution of the merits of our claims in the 10th Circuit,” said Jonathan R. Lovvorn, the group’s senior vice president of animal protection litigation and investigations.

The plants would become the first horse slaughterhouses to operate in the U.S. since 2007. Congress effectively banned horse slaughter by eliminating funding for inspections at the plants in 2006. It restored that funding in 2011, but the USDA did not approve the first permits for horse slaughterhouses until this summer.

The issue has divided horse rescue and animal welfare groups, ranchers, politicians and Indian tribes about what is the most humane way to deal with the country’s horse overpopulation, and what rescue groups have said are a rising number of neglected and starving horses as the West deals with persistent drought.

Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation were set to begin horse slaughter operations in August, but U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo blocked their plans while she heard the lawsuit by The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and others. The groups claimed the plants should have been forced to undergo environmental reviews under provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Responsible Transportation abandoned its horse slaughter plans and converted its plant to cattle before Armijo dismissed the lawsuit in November.

Attorneys for the plants have argued that the plaintiffs are simply in court because they are morally opposed to horse slaughter and are looking for a way to delay the plants while they lobby Congress for a ban.

Proponents of a return to domestic horse slaughter point to a 2011 report from the federal Government Accountability Office that shows horse abuse and abandonment have increased since domestic horse slaughter was banned. They say it is better to slaughter the animals in humane, federally regulated facilities than have them abandoned to starve across the drought-stricken West or shipped to inhumane facilities in Mexico.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, calls the practice barbaric and has said blocking a return to domestic horse “is an issue of national importance and scale.”

News Link:http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/appeals-court-vacates-ban-us-horse-slaughter-21216265

Video: Tethered Duct-Taped Bait Dog Found Tied To Fence

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“WTF…It never ceases to amaze me just how cruel humans can be; it is we humans that are the animals!. Somebody knows who this dog belonged to, they don’t just bloody appear from know where.  Please, If anybody knows anything about this case, please do the right thing & inform those below. Please keep this sweet dog in your prayers; so that he may make a full recovery. His leg may have to be removed but lets hope he will come through this & find a forever home!”

A one-year-old pit bull was rescued in Kentucky after having been found tied to a fence with his snout duct-taped shut. A reward is being offered for information on who did this.

Duct-Taped severely wounded, Frodo was found tied to fence

It is believed he was being used as a bait dog because he is covered in bite marks.

He clearly, in my opinion, was a bait dog and this is not the first time being thrown into a ring,” said Rebecca Eaves, director of The Arrow Fund. “Basically, a dog got him here, broke his canines and pushed them in.”

The pup, now named Frodo, is being treated at the Blue Pearl Animal Hospital, where he is being pumped full of antibiotics and painkillers. One of his legs will have to be amputated because of injuries, but staff say he’s lucky to be alive.

“It’s a shame what they do to these animals, and I’m emotional because I’m sick of this,” Eaves said. “This is a sweet, sweet puppy, that was just shown a life of horror.”

Frodo was found on the 2600 block of West Kentucky Street in Louisville. Investigators have no idea who tied him to the fence, and are urging the public to come forward.

“Right now, we want to plead to the community,” said Donald Robinson with Louisville Metro Animal Services. “You can remain anonymous. Please call our tip line, let us know if you’ve seen anything, if you’ve seen this particular animal out in that particular neighbourhood.”

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) involved.

We want to put this person behind bars,” Eaves stated. “Dog-fighting is rampant here in Louisville and everybody needs to be serious about it. Don’t be afraid. Turn them in.”

News Link:-http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2013/07/tethered-duct-taped-bait-dog-rescued/

Reward offered after dog found tied to fence with mouth duct taped – Viewer Discretion Advised

Published on 3 Jul 2013

An extreme case of animal cruelty and neglect has Louisville Metro Animal Services asking for the community’s help.

Animal Abuse Persists At Some Meat Plants

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The meat industry has been scandalized in recent years by undercover videos showing horrific abuse of farm animals on their way to slaughter: workers kicking piglets like volleyballs, skinning veal calves alive and ramming a forklift into a sick cow. (Undercover videos at end of this post)

The videos prompted commitments to improve enforcement of a 55-year-old federal law requiring that animals be insensible to pain when they’re slaughtered.

Although many slaughter plants and meat inspectors have worked hard to avoid further abuse, new evidence shows that problems continue.

A federal investigation released last month shows many animals still suffer needlessly.

The federal audit found that meat inspectors unevenly enforce humane-slaughter rules — or don’t enforce them at all. That’s because their bosses won’t support them, two whistle-blowing meat inspectors recently told The Kansas City Star.

Even efforts by the government’s “humane handling ombudsman” –– hired last year to improve enforcement –– reportedly were ignored in one recent case.

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, a meat industry consultant and a widely acknowledged expert on the humane treatment of animals, agrees there are still problems.

Inconsistent enforcement and vague regulations mean some plants get away with “really mistreating animals and doing bad stuff,” she said, while others abide by the law and are still unfairly punished.

A top meat inspection official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture acknowledged problems in uniformly applying the rules, but said he does not believe his agency would punish inspectors for enforcing the law.

It’s the law

The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958 requires that food animals be slaughtered in a way “that causes a minimum of excitement, pain, injury, or discomfort.”

It says animals should be rendered “insensible to pain” before slaughter, a tall order in a country that last month alone killed 3 million head of cattle and 9.2 million pigs.

Today that is accomplished by electrical stunning, a bullet to the head, a “captive bolt” gun that drives a steel rod into the animal’s brain or –– in the case of pigs –– lowering them into a carbon dioxide gas chamber.

While some might see humane slaughter as the sole province of animal-rights groups and radical vegetarians, many in the meat industry have long embraced it.

Compliance with the law saves money, improves meat quality and keeps consumers happy.

When pigs are stressed before slaughter, for example, they produce what is called PSE, or “pale, soft, exudative pork,” which makes the meat dry and unattractive to consumers.

Despite the benefits, however, a number of incidents from 2008 to last year show enforcement is lacking.

A 2008 undercover video by the Humane Society of the United States showed a crippled, sick cow being shoved toward the kill floor of a California beef plant with a forklift. The video led to a recall of 143 million pounds of beef –– the largest in U.S. history.

In March 2010, Dean Wyatt, a USDA veterinarian, told a congressional hearing that when he tried to enforce the humane slaughter act, he was overruled by his bosses and eventually punished.

Those incidents led to renewed enforcement efforts.

Yet just last month, an audit by the USDA’s inspector general found that conditions in some plants haven’t changed.

At a plant in Minnesota, investigators saw a hog emerge from a carbon dioxide chamber still conscious and alert.

“Instead of immediately re-stunning the hog, it took plant employees over 1½ minutes to administer a stun with the captive bolt gun,” auditors said.

In a testament to one Indiana pig’s incredible luck and sheer will to live, auditors said the animal was stunned with a captive bolt gun that misfired, causing the bolt to lodge in the animal’s skull. It remained conscious and aware while the plant sent for another gun, which also misfired.

The hog remained conscious, squealed and somehow managed to dislodge the first bolt from its skull. Finally, workers put it out of its misery with an electric stunner.

Despite meat industry protests, the USDA began posting significant humane-slaughter violations on its website last year.

Among the 85 enforcement actions since May 2012 is a New York plant cited in March when inspectors found a calf that was still gasping for air after it had been partly eviscerated and skinned.

The meat industry’s primary lobby, the American Meat Institute, has actively promoted humane slaughter and says the low number of violations reflects “a high level of compliance by the industry.”

Whistle-blower

Some federal meat inspectors say their efforts to enforce the law are hampered by their bosses.

After federal meat inspector Jim Schrier documented problems late last year at a Tyson pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, he said he was transferred to another plant miles from his home.

The plant stuns hogs with a hand-held electrical stunner.

Setting the stunner too high can cause a “blowout,” Schrier said, when hogs jerk abruptly, breaking their backbone and damaging valuable cuts of meat.

As a result, he said, stunners are sometimes set too low.

“That’s when you end up with hogs that are conscious, a violation of the humane slaughter act,” Schrier said.

Schrier said plant workers –– who are sometimes injured by animals that are conscious and kicking in mid-slaughter –– often had to re-stun the hogs with a captive bolt gun.

After he confronted his boss about ignoring his findings, Schrier said, he was transferred to another plant 120 miles away.

“We’ve been gagged the last few years if we stop the production line,” Schrier said. “And our supervisors never back us up.”

Several of Schrier’s co-workers backed up his claims, but asked not to be named for fear of retaliation.

Schrier, a food inspector for 29 years, sought help from the Government Accountability Project, or GAP, a nonprofit organization that offers legal help to whistle-blowers.

Schrier’s bosses at the USDA are reluctant to comment on his specific case.

But Dan Engeljohn, deputy administrator of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, said, “With regard to Mr. Schrier … I was aware of repeated behaviors over extensive periods of time … Sometimes employees need to start fresh with a new environment.

“In this particular case,” Englejohn said, “there is some history there that played into the decision about whether this employee would be better positioned elsewhere. There is a broader perspective here, not just the humane handling.”

GAP officials don’t agree.

“With 29 years of outstanding civil service and a near-perfect record of employment, it seems to me the only career mistake Mr. Schrier made was enforcing the law,” said Amanda Hitt, director of GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign, which is preparing to intervene on Schrier’s behalf.

A Tyson spokesman said the company was unaware of Schrier’s assertions.

He said the company trains its workers carefully and uses strict humane-handling guidelines developed by Grandin. He added that the plant monitors its electrical stunner to make sure it is working properly.

Official ignored?

Partly because of complaints such as Schrier’s, the USDA last year appointed a humane handling ombudsman, whose job is to help resolve complaints from inspectors and the public.

But the travails of Kansas-based meat inspector Judy Kachanes, a 26-year veteran of the agency, suggest the department isn’t making the ombudsman’s job any easier.

Kachanes said she contacted the ombudsman, Mark Crowe, after her bosses failed to take action on her complaints about humane-slaughter violations at a small meat plant in McPherson, Kan.

Eventually, her complaint made its way to Englejohn, who met Crowe in McPherson last year to look into the situation.

Englejohn said in documents obtained by The Star that the plant could probably improve its compliance with humane-slaughter rules, but he ultimately decided there was no violation.

Kachanes has since been reassigned to another plant, and she is currently being advised by GAP.

At the very least, said Hitt, of GAP, the case demonstrates that the inspection agency dismissed or ignored the efforts of its own humane handling ombudsman.

Hitt said Crowe told her that the USDA’s meat inspection division had “largely ignored” him in his efforts to resolve the matter.

Crowe declined to comment, but Englejohn acknowledged that Crowe wanted the agency to do more to address Kachanes’ concerns.

As for Kachanes, Englejohn said he was asked to look into her performance history, “and there is some history there that needed to be addressed.”

Hitt responded: “The only performance history in question is the USDA’s history of not enforcing the act.”

Downers

Some in the meat industry continue to fight efforts to improve humane practices, some animal-welfare groups say.

For example, the industry has pushed for state “ag gag” laws that make it a crime to take unauthorized videos at farms and slaughterhouses. Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas and 18 other states currently have ag gag laws.

“These ag gag laws are the worst thing agriculture ever did,” said Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. “It sounds like they’ve got something to hide.”

Recently released USDA documents also show that regulators gave in to meat industry pressure on the issue of “downer” animals –– those that are unable to walk to the kill floor under their own steam.

After the Humane Society’s 2008 “sick cow” video, the USDA banned the slaughter of “downer” cattle.

Downed pigs and sheep can still be slaughtered if they pass certain inspections.

But as a result of the scandal, another USDA agency –– the Agricultural Marketing Service, which buys meat for the school lunch program –– reconfigured its purchasing requirements.

An early draft said any plant that processed downed pigs could not sell to the school lunch program, even if that meat went to other customers.

But according to USDA documents obtained by the Humane Society, and verified by The Star, that requirement was dropped after the meat industry objected.

Industry lobbyists said they were concerned that the rule would “preclude pork suppliers from doing business with the Federal commodity purchase program.”

The Humane Society and other groups said they had no opportunity to comment.

A spokeswoman for the American Meat Institute said the policy would “dissuade companies from participating in the school lunch program and ultimately drive up costs with no consumer benefit.”

The spokeswoman, institute Vice President Janet Riley, added that the policy would have been an overreach.

“AMS should not be dictating to companies what products those companies can sell with respect to transactions outside the scope of the school lunch program,” she said.

An AMS official speaking only on background told The Star that the requirement was not dropped because of industry pressure but because the agency realized it would be demanding a wholesale change in meat industry practices.

Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle said the case shows that the Agriculture Department bent to the will of the meat industry.

“USDA has historically been more a protector of the meat industry than a serious-minded enforcer of the laws,” Pacelle said.

News Link:-http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/28/4320072/animal-abuse-persists-at-some.html

Undercover videos

Here are links to three undercover videos of animals abused on their way to slaughter; some scenes are quite graphic.

Humane Society video showing sick cows being pushed by a forklift: http://youtu.be/CrxvxewC-gA

Humane Society video of veal calves being abused:http://youtu.be/LnlusPCzXI0

An undercover video showing abuse of pigs at Smithfield Foods. The company later changed its practices:http://youtu.be/L_vqIGTKuQE

Watch an American Meat Institute video about proper humane handling procedures: http://youtu.be/LsEbvwMipJI

Video: Bad To Chase Bunnies At The Rodeo?

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One bunny had a broken jaw and was missing its tail. Three more wound up at the home of a Cottage Grove employee after a co-worker said her kids couldn’t keep them. “Video at end of this post”!

Heather Crippen of Red Barn Rabbit Rescue says that those were a few of the results of a previous “animal scramble” at the Cottage Grove Rodeo.

Bunny at recent animal scramble. Photo Scott Becstead/HSUS

Crippen started Red Barn with her daughter and runs the small rescue out of her farm in Creswell. She says with 50 rabbits already and a waiting list of 20 more, she wants to avoid more hurt and homeless bunnies. She has been asking the rodeo, which will take place July 12-13, to sponsor a different event for children.

Rabbits are fragile and the event stresses, sickens and even kills them, she says. In the animal scramble last year, and at a recent one at Myrtle Creek in Douglas County, rabbits were tossed out of trailers or pickup trucks and into an arena where hordes of children were unleashed to chase and catch them.

Red Barn’s video of the 2012 scramble shows bunnies getting stepped on and, Crippen says, paralyzed with fear. If the kids catch a rabbit at the event, they keep it. An attendee at the Myrtle Creek scramble was reported to have said to his child, “You going to catch us a rabbit? Going to help dad butcher it?”

Crippen has offered to donate money to the Cottage Grove Riding Club (CGRC) for a different, animal-friendly event, such as one that hides money and prizes inside plastic eggs. The rodeo and scramble are a fundraiser for the riding club. At press time, the rescue’s offer has not been accepted.

CGRC president Kelli Fisher says the event benefits the community and it gives children “the opportunity to experience raising their own animal.”

Red Barn has discovered that the scramble is subject to USDA regulations. “They have to get licensed and inspected,” Crippen says. “Many of the regulations are for the protection and safety of the rabbits.” And she says she was told the rodeo only recently applied for the license, so she’s not sure how they will get approved in time.

Crippen emailed the club in May, asking that this year’s event be removed, saying she has heard from PETA and other groups that want to protest the scramble. Crippen wrote that Red Barn has tried to discourage protest and “we prefer a professional approach to this disagreement.”

The riding club responded with a letter from attorney Milton E. Gifford, who alleges that Crippen’s email “threatened that there would be protests and picketing.” He tells her that she does “not have the right to videotape any portion of the rodeo” and calls her email “veiled threats” and says she will “be held personally liable for intentional interference with business relations.” Fisher says, “I and our board consider Red Barn and its members to be cruel, hurtful and a threat to our families.”

Scott Beckstead, Oregon director for the Humane Society of the United States, has been supporting Crippen’s efforts to end the scramble. He says…

“It is our position that this event is inherently cruel to the rabbits, and promotes unhealthy attitudes about pet ownership by awarding live animals as ‘prizes.’ Rabbits are delicate, sensitive little creatures, and turning them loose in a rodeo arena to be chased by a throng of children subjects them to an unreasonable risk of terror, shock and injury.”

Beckstead says that rabbits are the third most common animal at shelters and humane societies, and events such as the scramble strain those resources. Crippen and Beckstead have met with Faye Stewart, the Lane County commissioner from Cottage Grove, and Crippen spoke to the County Commission on June 4 about her concerns over the animal scramble. Fisher says CGRC is working with the local Humane Society chapter to improve the event.

Rabbit Scramble Event – South Douglas Rodeo

Published on 9 Jun 2013

**Filmed by a volunteer

South Douglas Rodeo’s “traditional” rabbit scramble is a youth event for children under the age of six years old. The children as lined up on the fence while rabbits are dumped into the arena from the bed of a truck. On go, the children sprint and chase down their prey, a living “prize” that will come with a small baggy of food and a sticker with care instructions.

Share your thoughts about the “Rabbit Scramble” and send your opinion to the South Douglas Rodeo.

Send letters to:
South Douglas Rodeo 
1170 North Myrtle Road
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457

Please consider supporting Red Barn Rabbit Rescue and making a donation.
www.redbarnrabbitrescue.org

News Link:-http://www.eugeneweekly.com/20130613/news-briefs/bad-chase-bunnies-rodeo

AgGag Casts Doubt On Bill Requiring Quick Turnover of Animal Abuse Photos To Police

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Tennessee’s proposed “Ag Gag” law suffered a setback Thursday when the state’s attorney general labeled it “constitutionally suspect” and said it could violate freedom of the press and the right against self-incrimination.

The bill, awaiting either Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature or veto, would force anyone who purposefully took pictures or video of livestock abuse to turn those over to law enforcement within 48 hours.

That limits the media, incriminates those who captured the video through trespassing and exposes police to copyright problems should the public ask for copies, Attorney General Robert Cooper wrote.

Haslam has until Wednesday to either sign or veto the bill, his spokesman confirmed, but the governor’s office offered no further comment. If he took no action at all, it would pass into law automatically, with those who broke it facing a $50 fine.

The bill’s author, Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, said he didn’t see a constitutional problem and compared its provisions to forcing medical doctors to report suspected child abuse.

A hog farmer and relentless critic of the Humane Society of the United States, Holt said the only reason someone would want to videotape animal abuse and hang onto it would be for profit.

“If people are engaged in criminal activity, it will be abundantly apparent.  “No it will not” You don’t have to have two months to provide clarity to law enforcement,” Holt said. “Ask yourself this question: Should an animal have to suffer an abusive situation for two months?” “Those animals will suffer whether being videod or not, if they are already in an abusive situation; often the management don’t know their animals are being abused. To ensure a conviction, evidence has to be collected over a period of time, so people can’t say it was a “one off” act of violence…FFS people…open your eyes. Those who want Ag-Gag laws must want them for a reason!!”

A two-month undercover investigation by the Humane Society led to state and federal animal abuse charges last year against famed Tennessee Walking Horse trainer Jackie McConnell of Collierville. The group released stomach-turning video of McConnell beating a horse and of its legs being chemically burned to encourage the breed’s prized longer, higher gait.

Holt said his bill has nothing to do with that case. Instead, it would prevent video of legitimate animal husbandry being represented as inhumane and used for fund raising, he said.

Humane Society leaders held a news conference earlier Thursday at Gaylord Opryland Convention Center, where the group is holding its Animal Care Expo. They denounced Holt’s bill and called upon the Tennessee attorney general’s office to investigate the walking horse industry.

A letter from the group to Cooper cites a 76 percent positive rate on U.S. Department of Agriculture tests for foreign substances on horses’ legs at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration last year in Shelbyville.

“We need to know what perversion looks like and not be a part of any activity to either celebrate it, encourage it or somehow honor it,” said Dr. Michael Blackwell, president of the online Humane Society University.

Mike Inman, the Celebration’s CEO, didn’t respond to messages left Thursday but has said that walking horse trainers found McConnell’s actions deplorable. He said the industry is striving for 100 percent compliance with the federal Horse Protection Act.

Written by Heidi Hall The Tennessean

News Like:-http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130510/NEWS0201/305100086/AG-casts-doubt-bill-requiring-quick-turnover-animal-abuse-photos-police?nclick_check=1

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