Ag-gag Laws Create Moral Compass Confusion

Dairy cows spend most of their lives producing milk, which means they must be continually pregnant.

We are taught at an early age the difference between right and wrong, and as we grow our knowledge increases of what is right and what is wrong. Our nation was founded by a set of rules that denotes this fact. When did that line start to blur? Money has played a key role in causing confusion in our moral compass. No one seems to be safe from its tantalizing grasp. Ag-gag laws are on the rise and with it confusion starts to form between what is right and what is wrong. This law punishes people for reporting illegal or unethical acts that occur in factory farms.

Factory farms are prevalent in the United States due to the high consumption of animal products. Our society highly values ease and accessibility. Because of the nature of our society we have created a need for factory farming especially through fast food chains. Animals in these farms are not treated with respect. They are treated as if they have no feelings. Ag-gag laws were created not to protect animals or the public interest but to keep businesses safe from regulations. Animals are not able to voice how they are being treated in these places. We, as animal welfare advocates, cannot be their voice when we will be punished by a law that states we are in the wrong as whistleblowers. Where do we draw the line?

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Delta Airlines Bans Shipment of Wildlife Trophies

lionpawsupPaws Up!

To Delta Airlines for banning the shipment of wildlife trophies on Delta flights

Many trophy hunters traveling to African countries in search of big game are not solely seeking the experience of killing a rare animal. In part, these hunters are motivated by the hope to obtain a “trophy” from the hunt – which may be the severed head, horns, pelt, or corpse of the hunted animal. While federal law places some restrictions on the import of wildlife parts, many forms of “hunting trophies” are still imported legally into the U.S. Until recently, airlines such as Delta permitted wildlife trophies as cargo, so long as the cargo did not violate U.S. wildlife trafficking laws.

According to a recent news article, that policy has changed. Delta Airlines will no longer allow the body parts of trophy-hunted lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, or buffalo as cargo on Delta flights. This decision comes shortly after a 13-year-old male African lion, locally known as “Cecil,” was slaughtered by an American trophy hunter, who lured the lion out of his protected sanctuary in Hwange National Park. Cecil’s headless, skinless body was later found by park officials in Zimbabwe.

Take action. Contact Delta Airlines and thank them for taking a corporate stand against trophy hunting.

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Bristol, CT Passes Ordinance to Reduce Cat Overpopulation

pawsupPaws Up!

To the city council of Bristol, Connecticut for issuing an ordinance to decrease cat overpopulation through mandatory spay and neuter.

Two CatsIn a recent news article, Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, a Bristol City Councilwoman, related the terms of an ordinance that was passed concerning feral cat overpopulation in the area. It is volunteer-based and complaint-driven. Under the new ordinance, anyone with a cat over the age of six months will be required to have him or her spayed or neutered. Those who disregard the ordinance could face a $90 fine. The ordinance aims to decrease the feral cat population in the area.

Take Action: Please contact your city council to request a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance to be passed in your city.

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Lake County Fair in Illinois Hosts Controversial Banana Derby

pawsdownPaws Down!

To the Lake County Fair for contracting the Banana Derby.

    Capuchin and other monkey species are not well suited to being pets and don't belong in the entertainment industry.

Capuchin and other monkey species are not well suited to being pets and don’t belong in the entertainment industry.

In a recent news article regarding the Lake County Fair, residents have voiced concerns about the welfare and exploitation of the capuchin monkeys used in the popular “banana derby,” in which monkeys are tethered to the backs of running dogs to entertain fairgoers. Sandra Hart, a Lake County board member, and others signed a petition asking the Lake County Fair Association to discontinue contracting with Gilligan T. Monkey,LLC, the contractor who provides the show. The petition was denied. As long as people keep attending the banana derby, the fair will keep contracting them.

Take Action: Choose not to attend fairs that use exotic animals for entertainment purposes.

City Council of Hendersonville, NC, Passes New Limits on Dog Tethering

pawsupPaws Up!

To the City Council of Hendersonville, NC for increasing restrictions on dog-tethering within city limits.

Hendersonville, NC, is joining the list of towns in the United States that have passed restrictions on dogpuppy tethering. Keeping a dog on a chain for hours, days, and years at a time dramatically diminishes a dog’s psychological and physical welfare. Despite this, state laws seldom address the practice commonly known as “dog chaining” – leaving counties and cities to pass local ordinances to inhibit the harmful practice. In early July, city council members in Hendersonville, NC, which is home to about 13,500 people, unanimously voted to limit the amount of time a dog can be chained to no more than 2 hours in a 12-hour period. The minimum age for tethering puppies was also raised from 4 to 6 months.

Take action. Residents of Hendersonville, NC, contact your city council members and thank them for passing this important local law. Residents of other locales, contact your city council and county commission and urge them to place more restrictions on dog tethering in your area.

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Animal Welfare Laws May Increase in Pennsylvania

pawsupPaws Up!

To Senator Richard Alloway II and Senator John Eichelberger for working to improve animal welfare laws in the state of Pennsylvania.

In a recent news article, Senator Richard Alloway II proposed Senate Bill 373 and Senate Bill 78. S.B. 373, which would impose greater restrictions on animal tethering. The law would not allow owners to tether their dogs outside for more than 30 minutes when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. S.B. 78 would prevent immediate family members from applying for a kennel license if another family member has had one revoked. Senator John Eichelberger has proposed

If passed, Cordelia's Law would include horses in the states animal cruelty statues, along with other companion animals.

If passed, Cordelia’s Law would include horses in the states animal cruelty statues, along with other companion animals.

Senate Bill 294, named Cordelia’s Law, after a horse who starved to death while being tied up in a junkyard. S.B. 294 would be the first bill in Pennsylvania to include horses in animal cruelty laws.

Take Action: Pennsylvania residents contact your legislators and petition that S.B. 373, S.B. 78, and S.B. 294 be passed into law. Non-residents, contact your state to see what types of animal welfare laws have been passed and express your support for laws that will grant animals more protection.

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Perrysburg High School Should Stop Goldfish Swallowing Tradition

pawsdownPaws Down!
To Perrysburg High School for allowing students to swallow live goldfish on school property.

It is hard to imagine why anyone would want to swallow a struggling, still-alive, goldfish whole. This file000481436678behavior is so heartless and disgusting, it strains belief that school administrators and public health officials have been condemning the stunt, historically propagated by college students, since as far back as 1939. Unfortunately, the egregious practice is still occurring in at least one American high school. According to three different news articles from 2013, 2014, and 2015, Perrysville High School students in Perrysville, OH, are continuing to obtain pet-store goldfish, which are swallowed en-mass during the annual boys’ varsity basketball game against Maumee High School.

Swallowing live goldfish for attention is a pathetic practice that delights in the pointless destruction of a defenseless animal. Taking part in an activity like this not only causes suffering and death to a living creature, but glibly proliferates a complete lack of regard or respect for life.

Take action.

Contact the administrators of Perryville High School and respectfully urge them to pass and enforce a school policy prohibiting the harming of animals.

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