BLM Rejects Permit Request for Cash-Prize Killing Derby

The BLM has cancelled a permit requesting the use of their land for a "predator derby."

The BLM has cancelled a permit requesting the use of their land for a “predator derby.”

Pawpawsups Up! To the United States Bureau of Land Management for cancelling a permit for a predator-killing competition in Idaho. Earlier this year, the hunting group Idaho For Wildlife applied for a special-use permit to include Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property in a “predator derby,” in which contestants would kill as many animals as possible, namely wolves and coyotes, for a cash prize. The BLM initially planned to disperse the event through the Salmon, Challis and Upper Snake BLM field offices during the three-day event in early January. However, according to a recent news story, the BLM announced on November 13th that the permit was cancelled. Although the killing derby is still scheduled to take place, participants will not be permitted to hunt on BLM lands. In 2013, the event drew about 230 people, approximately 100 of them hunters, who killed 21 coyotes but no wolves. Take Action: Contact the Idaho Office of the Bureau of Land Management and thank them for not allowing the slaughter of animals on BLM land.

Bullhooks Banned in Oakland

pawsupPaws Up!
To the city of Oakland, California for banning the use of bull hooks on elephants.

Bullhooks are often used to force wild animals such as elephants into performing unnatural tricks.

Bullhooks are often used to force wild animals such as elephants into performing unnatural tricks.

According to a recent news story, the Oakland City Council in California has banned the use of bullhooks on elephants. A bullhook, or ankus, is a steel rod with a hook at one end used to control elephants for circus performances. The hooks are designed to stab and pull elephants. The ban was passed even though representatives from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus previously threatened to skip Oakland during their U.S. tour if the ordinance was adopted. Los Angeles recently adopted a similar ban and other cities such as Richmond, VA are considering banning the use of bull hooks on elephants.

Take Action: Citizens of Oakland California, contact the council member in your district to convey your support of the new law banning the use of bullhooks on elephants.

Pets Plus Naturals Stops Puppy Mill Purchases, Promotes Adoption Instead

pawsupPaws Up!
To Pets Plus Naturals for transitioning from pet store to animal rescue partner.

Photo by Cornfusion

Photo by Cornfusion

According to a recent news story, a pet store chain in the Philadelphia, PA area will no longer participate in the for-profit sale of puppies and kittens. Instead, Pets Plus Naturals pet stores has decided to partner with multiple animal rescues to find homes for pets at risk of euthanasia in shelters in the eastern United States.

Owner Bruce Smith and co-owner Mark Araeia of Pets Plus Naturals realized overwhelming numbers of dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens are dying as a result of pet overpopulation. The two entrepreneurs also cited horrifying conditions in puppy mills as a reason to transition to the pet adoption model. In addition to housing homeless pets and facilitating adoption, Pets Plus Naturals will transfer 100% of adoption fees to animal rescue partners.

Take Action: Contact Pets Plus Naturals  and express your support of the company’s new pet adoption policy.

New York Attorney General Helps Local Governments Fight Animal Cruelty

pawsupPaws Up!
To New York Attorney General Eric T. Shneiderman for protecting animals from abuse and neglect.

Local governments in New York now have greater authority to pass laws preventing animal cruelty and neglect.

Local governments in New York now have greater authority to pass laws preventing animal cruelty and neglect.

 Earlier this year, New York passed a state law granting local governments greater authority to regulate the pet trade within their communities. As part of his Animal Protection Initiative, New  York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is helping mayors and other officials on the local level understand their new powers. According to the NY Attorney General’s website, Schneidman’s office has sent 1,035 letters encouraging mayors to take advantage of the new law.  Schneiderman is also offering assistance in drafting local legislation that would thwart puppy mills, increase regulation, and heighten standards of care for animals in the pet trade.

Take Action: New York residents, contact your local mayor’s office to express your support of local laws that protect animals in the pet trade.

Captive Chimpanzee “Tommy” May Gain Freedom as Legal Person

pawsup

Paws Up!
To attorney Steven Wise for representing chimpanzees in a New York Supreme Court appeal that could free imprisoned chimps.

Photo by the Nonhuman Rights Project

Photo by the Nonhuman Rights Project

According to a recent news story, a chimpanzee being held captive in New York may be freed from a life in a small cage on the premise that he is a wrongly imprisoned person. The 26-year-old chimpanzee named “Tommy” is currently living alone in a small concrete enclosure with a television set on the property of a sales lot for transport trailers near Gloversville, NY. He is being kept as a pet, and has no interaction with others of his own species. Steven Wise is the attorney representing Tommy. In October, Wise made the argument to the New York Supreme Court that Tommy, along with three other chimpanzees located elsewhere in New York, are persons being unjustly imprisoned. Recognition as a legal person would not grant Tommy and the other chimpanzees the rights and freedoms of human beings, but would grant them the basic legal right to not be imprisoned. The panel of five judges is expected to rule on the case in the coming weeks. Wise has recommended to the judges that the chimpanzees be relocated to North American Private Sanctuary Alliance located in Florida.

The designation of animals as persons is not entirely new. Last year , the national government of India recognized dolphins as ‘persons’  having their own established society and culture.  Dolphins therefore, cannot be held captive in India. Steven Wise is not representing all chimpanzees as a species, but if judges recognize Tommy’s personhood, this case could offer a legal platform to help captive chimpanzees throughout the United States.

Richmond, VA May Soon Outlaw Use of Bullhooks on Elephants

Paws Up! pawsup To the city of Richmond, VA for considering a new ordinance that would outlaw the use of bullhooks on elephants.

Bullhooks are commonly used by circus employees to prod, strike, or jab elephants.

Bullhooks are commonly used by circus employees to prod, strike, or jab elephants.

According to a recent news story, three councilmen in Richmond, VA have introduced a city ordinance to ban the use of the ankus, or bullhook, for the control of elephants. A bullhook is a steel rod with a sharp hook at one end that is used to strike or prod an elephant into performing a certain behavior. In addition to the bullhook, no person can use a “baseball bat, axe, handle, pitchfork or similar instruments or a tool designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training or controlling the behavior of an elephant.” Violations would be classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Ringling Bros. regularly employs bullhooks and opposes the proposed ordinance. If passed, the ban would go into effect January 2017.

Take Action: Richmond residents, contact your city council to express your support of an ordinance to ban the use of bullhooks on elephants. Richmond City Council 900 E. Broad Street, Suite 305 Richmond, Virginia 23219 804-646-2778

Illinois Wildlife Find More Protection

pawsupPaws Up!
To Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for signing into law an amendment to the Illinois Wildlife Code, adding gray wolves, American black bears, and cougars to the list of protected species.

8.7.0rc3

Cougars, gray wolves, and American black bears are now among the protected species in the Illinois Wildlife Code.

Beginning January 1, 2015, gray wolves, American black bears, and cougars in the state of Illinois will be protected under S.B. 3046, an amendment to the Illinois Wildlife Code. These new protections will prohibit the killing of these animals unless there is an imminent threat to people or their livestock. If an animal is found to be a nuisance, a permit must first be granted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to kill that particular animal.

Over the past 150 years, gray wolves, black bears, and cougars have nearly disappeared throughout the state of Illinois. With populations slowly on the rise again, the careful management of these species is crucial to their recovery.

Take Action: Illinois residents, send a note of thanks to Gov. Quinn thanking him for his efforts in supporting positive management of protected species in your state.

Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601

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