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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Natural Bridge Zoo in VA Reopens after Permit is Reinstated

Paws Down!

PawsDownTo the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for re-instating The Natural Bridge Zoo’s permit to showcase wild animals.

Recently, NHES applauded Rockbridge County Circuit Judge Michael Irvine for refusing to allow the reopening of the Natural Bridge Zoo after the attraction was cited 44 times by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for animal welfare violations. Now, according to a recent news article, the Virginia Department of Inland Fisheries has reinstated The Natural Bridge Zoo’s permit, after having revoked it not 90 days prior.tiger

Natural Bridge Zoo owner Karl Mogenson claims that in that brief period of time, he has “fixed” the abhorrent conditions that caused him to be cited for 44 violations under the Animal Welfare Act. He goes on to claim that the big cats, elephants, apes, and other animals in his possession are happy in his roadside zoo, which reopened May 30. Roadside zoos are a miserable substitute for a wild animal’s natural habitat, and those that fail to reach the AWA’s most basic requirements are undoubtedly unsuitable for animals that live there.

Take action. Virginia residents, contact the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and express your displeasure at the reinstatement of The Natural Bridge Zoo’s permit.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
P.O. Box 996
Verona, VA 24482

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NJ Bill Woud Require Animal Cruelty Offenders to Pay Vet Expenses

pawsupPaws Up!

To New Jersey Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak and  Assemblyman Pat Diegnan for proposing a state bill that would requirepup animal cruelty violators to pay for the care of the animals they injured.

According to a recent news article, two state senators in New Jersey, Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak  and  Assemblyman Pat Diegnan, are sponsoring a new animal protection bill that would make animal cruelty violators financially responsible for their crimes. A-3034 would require animal cruelty offenders to pay for the veterinary costs of their animal victims. Additionally, violators would be required to pay for the food, shelter, bedding, and other care costs of animal victims who are subsequently housed in an animal rescue or shelter. This common-sense measure has the dual purpose of forcing violators to make all possible amends for their actions and reduces the burden of cost upon innocent owners, animal shelters, and veterinarians.

Take Action. Residents of New Jersey, contact your representatives, and urge them to support A-3034 as a means of holding animal cruelty violators fully responsible for their actions.

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Alaska Bill Would Grant Pets Greater Legal Protection

pawsupPaws Up!

To Alaska House Representative Liz Vazquez for introducing a bill that would grant companion animalsgreater legal protection in the state of Alaska.

While most of us do not think of our companion animals in terms of being “personal property,” that is precisely how companion animals are still viewed in many cases heard by state and county courts. In

H.B. 147 would provide protection under restraining orders to pets of domestic violence victims.

H.B. 147 would provide protection under restraining orders to pets of domestic violence victims.

Alaska, a recently introduced H.B. 147 would not stop the law from viewing animals as property – but if passed, it would grant a higher legal protection for animals. For one, the bill introduced this spring by Rep. Liz Vazquez would require citizens convicted of animal cruelty or neglect to personally pay for the care provided to animals seized from their property. The bill

would also include animals in domestic violence protection orders. In civil cases involving divorce, the bill would create a statute requiring judges to consider the best interest of the animal when ruling on issues of ownership.

Take action. Residents of Alaska, contact your representatives and ask them to support H.B. 147, and other legislation that protects companion animals from violence and neglect.

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New Bill in NJ Would Classify Dogfighting as Organized Crime

Dog fights usually occur in tandem with drug sale and gambling and as such, should be prosecuted as organized crime.

Dog fights usually occur in tandem with drug sale and gambling and as such, should be prosecuted as organized crime.

Paws Up!

To the New Jersey Senate for passing S736 to prosecute dogfighting ring leaders as members of organized crime.

Dogfighting is a grisly offense. It is not restricted to any social or demographic sphere. Thankfully it is illegal in the United States, but sadly many people are not deterred by the law when money is involved.  Dogfighting is closely linked to other forms of serious crimes and it often serves as a platform for other criminal activities including drugs and racketeering. According to a recent news article, the New Jersey Senate is trying to advance S736 into a state law which would classify dogfighting as a form of organized crime.

Take Action: Residents of New Jersey, please contact Governor Chris Christie and urge him to sign S736 into law. Residents of other states, please contact your legislators and encourage them to implement tougher laws against dogfighting offenders.

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“Rocky’s Law” Establishes Animal Abuser Registry in Orange County, NY

Paws Up!

Pictured: Legislator Mike Anagnostakis of Orange County, NY, who introduced

Pictured: Legislator Mike Anagnostakis of Orange County, NY, who introduced “Rocky’s Law”
Photo by: Jim Sebastian, The Times Herald

To the county legislature of Orange County, NY, for enacting “Rocky’s Law,” which establishes an online registry of animal cruelty offenders and prohibits offenders from owning companion animals.

According to a recent news article, county legislators in Orange County, NY, have passed “Rocky’s Law” aimed to prevent cruelty to companion animals in the county. In April, Edwardo Macedowas of Newburgh, NY, was arrested after leaving his dog, “Rocky,” outside in the snow for a period of 5 weeks with no food or water while he was out of town for vacation. By the time help arrived, Rocky’s physical condition was so poor that he had to be euthanized.

Soon after, Orange County legislator Mike Anagostakis introduced the bill that would become “Rocky’s Law.” Under this law, Orange County residents convicted of animal cruelty will be named on an online registry and prohibited from owning a companion animal for fifteen years. Repeat offenders will be barred from owning a companion animal for life.

Take action. Orange County residents, contact the Orange County legislators  and thank them for passing “Rocky’s Law.” Residents of other counties, contact your county legislators and encourage them to enact public registries for convicted animal cruelty offenders.

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Natural Bridge Zoo Closes to the Public

PD_Black_Bear

Exotic animals deserve to live free in their natural environments.

Paws Up!

pawsupTo Rockbridge County Circuit Judge Michael Irvine for upholding the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ decision to revoke the Natural Bridge Zoo’s state permit.

How many of you visited a roadside zoo when you were a child? Lions, tigers, and elephants who seemed untouchable in movies could now be seen up close. As a child, you may not have given much thought to the animals’ daily lives, just the awe-filled memory of seeing exotic animals in real life.

Throughout the years, more people have come to realize that these majestic animals should not be imprisoned in cages for our enjoyment, but rather they should be allowed to live in their own environments—free. According to a recent news story, the Natural Bridge Zoo has been operated by Karl Mogenson for over thirty years in Rockbridge County, VA. Whereas some establishments improve over time, management of the Natural Bridge Zoo has worsened over the past three decades to the point that it has now become a place of deep sorrow and profound suffering for the animals there. Thankfully, concerned citizens have given these beloved animals a voice. Recent inspections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) uncovered as many as forty-four animal welfare violations. Upon learning of the USDA inspection report, which cited numerous instances of inadequate veterinary care and inhumane practices, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries suspended the zoo’s permit to showcase wild animals. In a recent ruling, Rockbridge County Circuit Judge Michael Irvine upheld the state agency’s decision. Thanks to this ruling, the zoo will not be allowed to reopen in the foreseeable future. However, despite numerous citations, the zoo still holds a federal license under the USDA.

Take Action: Please contact the USDA APHIS to encourage the agency to permanently revoke the Natural Bridge Zoo’s federal license.
USDA, APHIS, AC
920 Main Campus Drive,
Suite 200, Unit 3040
Raleigh, NC 27606
Telephone: (919) 855-7100
Fax: (919) 855-7123

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