Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Recognizing Animal Cruelty’ Category

Ground temps July 1   Horses held at the Palomino Valley Holding Facility are being left to wither and die due extreme heat, dehydration and total lack of concern on the part of the Bureau of Land Management.

Despite the outcry, despite the disgust and fingers continually pointed at the BLM, it is obvious from my earlier posts of today, and their nonchalant attitudes in responding as they have done to Ms. Courtney that they really DO NOT CARE period.  Required shade is not being provided!!!  Horses, young and old continue to suffer in totally unacceptable conditions.

 

 photo credit to “Marjorie Lynne, American Horse Survival Network.”

OPINION: Group Calls for BLM to Give Shelter to Nevada Horses

MUST READ

    http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/23095

   Jetara Séhart

PHOTO: MARJORIE LYNNE WAGNER , Surface temperature of sun drenched ground reads 164 degrees on July 1st, 2013 at approximately 3:20 PM. within the BLM Wild horse holding facility PALOMINO VALLEY CENTER, NEVADA

Thermometer 164 degreesPALOMINO VALLEY, (Nevada) – High Desert sun relentlessly shines upon 1800 plus warehoused wild horses and burros enclosed within BLM shadeless pens where horses are offered no escape from triple degree dangerous heat.

    BLM Uses Fuzzy Math to count Dead Horses

    http://terrifarley.blogspot.ca/2013/07/counting-wild-horses-why-statistics.html

The war is on and the anti slaughter campaign will not stop.  What BLM is doing is a disgrace, a National Disgrace, the fact that the US Government is allowing it to continue is a National Disgrace.  The WORLD is watching in total disgust.  The fact that Canada has continued to ENABLE this by continuing to import these American horses into Canada to be slaughtered in this country is a National Disgrace.

What is happening at the Palomino Valley Holding Facility is  blatant  BLM grandstanding in total defiance of the millions of American citizens who are fighting for these horses. 

BLM is NOT above the law!!! and must be held accountable for this horrific suffering and death. 

The United States Government continues to allow this to happen, ignoring the pain and suffering, the public outcry to end BLM’s actions,

and therefore continues to Disgrace its own country and it’s citizens in the eyes of the world.

Below is the email which I received from Craig Downer, renown author of the ‘Wild Horse Conspiracy’ one of the major voices out there for the wild horses and burros.  He is responding to the proposal involving:

It is with his permission that I post this.

 

Subject: Corrected Input for Spring Mtns Wild Horse & Burro Complex HMA Project Plan. USFS Project 40960; BLM Project DOI-BLM-NV-S030-2013-0010-EA

June 30, 2013

 

Ms Terri Frolli, Project Leader; Mr Randall G. Swick, Spring Mtn. NRA Area Mgr.; Ms Deb MacNeill, BLM Pahrump Field Office Mgr.

4701 North Torrey Pines Drive

Las Vegas NV 89130-2301

Email: smwhbcomplex@fs.fed.us

Re: Spring Mountains Wild Horse & Burro Complex Herd Management Area Project Plan, Humboldt-Toiyabe Nat’l. Forest, Spring Mtns. NRA & Bureau of Land Management, So. Nevada District. USFS Project # 40960; BLM Project # DOI-BLM-NV-S030-2013-0010-EA

 

Dear Sir/Mme:

 

Thank you for sending me your notice of proposed action. I have carefully read through this and in turn offer for your careful consideration the following:

 

I fully understand your duty to fairly represent all legitimate interests upon the public lands and their ecosystems.  Knowing this, I am very disappointed that you continue to grossly minimize the wild horses and burros in the vast 784,325-acre Spring Mountains Complex, 21% of which is managed by USFS and 79% by BLM.

 

I have visited the Complex and its equid herds many times dating back to the 1970s but with special intensity during the past six years.  In 2010 I even flew around the complex to get an overview of this fascinating and bio-diverse range and to assess the population density and distribution of its wild horses and burros.  I have spent many days observing the wild horses and burros around Cold Creek and in diverse seasons, and have also observed wild horses on the western side of the Wheeler Pass HMA and the wild burros of the Red Rock JMA. 

 

These animals are not the overpopulating misfits they are too often portrayed as!  As returned native species in North America, they are simply in the process of filling their respective ecological niches; and their filling such enhances the Spring Mountains Complex ecosystem.  As members of the mammalian order Perissodactyla and its family Equidae, they possess distinctive biological characteristics and a distinctive ecological role that is, in fact, complementary to the many other species of plants and animals inhabiting this region.  I say this not because I am merely partial to these beautiful animals but because of my objective investigation of their natural history and ecological relationships over many years.  These are semi-nomadic species who possess post-gastric, or caecal, digestive systems as opposed to the ruminant digestive system of the other large herbivores who inhabit the Spring Mountains: bighorn sheep, the mule-tailed deer, and Rocky Mountain elk. There have been elaborate, multi-year studies that prove the remarkable extent to which wild equids actually assist such ruminant species, as well as many other species of plants and animals, large and small.  These equids act as natural gardeners wherever they roam, fertilizing and building the nutrient-rich and moisture retentive humus content of soils. This is due in large part to the slow decomposition of their droppings. And they also disperse the viable seeds of many diverse native plant species that find a fertile bed in which to germinate in their slowly decomposing feces. In this way, naturally living horses and burros contribute to the ecosystem they inhabit to a greater degree than do the ruminant grazers who more thoroughly decompose the forage they ingest, leaving in their droppings relatively nutrient-poor and drier organic material.  This is abundantly proven but it takes that rare commodity known as an open-mindedness to recognize these wonderful facts. 

 

The greater story concerning horses’and burro’ reoccupation of the Spring Mountains region, as well as many other parallel regions, reveals that a wild-horse/burro-containing ecosystem is an ecologically enhanced ecosystem, one with a giant missing piece, or role, that has been restored. Rather than cursing their presence here, this is true cause for celebration, for this contributes to the thriving of the many other marvelous plants and animals who go together in this magical, and uniquely alive and inter-dependent community.  Both the horse and the burro are species whose origin and vast majority of time on Earth – measured in the millions of years – occurred in our amazing part of our world: the North American continent.  And so much of the inspiring beauty of these animals, I believe, is owing to their natural harmony and benign fitting in with all the Rest of Life – including us humans – if we would only recognize this!

 

Your 26-page document is full of clever wording and the tricky presentations of filtered and incomplete facts and their biased interpretations.  These do no justice to the wild horses and burros with rights to inhabit their several legal herd areas (BLM) and territories (USFS) nor do they do justice to members of the General Public, both in southern Nevada and in the United States as a whole.  Among the General Public are literally millions of people who truly love the wild horses and burros and their freedom to truly be themselves out in the wide-open spaces of the West. As public officials you are sworn to fairly and justly represent all the laws of the land and not to favor big vested interests such as public lands ranchers, big game sports hunters, mineral and energy extractors, and big profit-driven corporations that would ride rough-shod and trample down many values and presences on the public lands if so allowed.  Wild horses and burros in the wild are a Quality of Life issue, both for America and for all the world.  They must not be sacrificed in order to placate greedy, narrow-minded, and selfish interests who do not have the long-term Common Good uppermost in their value and priority systems.

 

Section 2 c of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (WFHBA) plainly states that the land where the wild horses & burros lived in 1971 (meaning their year-round habitat by any fair and judicial view) were to be “devoted principally … to their welfare …”  The proposal contained in your document, however, ignores this core legal intent by assigning ridiculously low Appropriate Management Levels that are both genetically non-viable and would create tortured populations of wild horses and burros. These would be frustrated in realizing their natural, ecological niche, or place in the life community. Here I present a Table for your consideration based on the data you have supplied in your document:

 

 

 

Table of Existing and Proposed Acres per Individual Wild Horse/Wild Burro for Spring Mountains Complex, USFS/BLM Joint Management Areas (JMA) Proposed Action (WH = wild horse; WB = wild burro) Lettered Columns: A = WH Median

2013 Pop. Est.; B = WB Median 2013 Pop. Est.; C = WH Median 2013 Proposed AML; D = WB Median 2013 Proposed AML; E = Total JMA acres; F = WH # acres per individual, current 2013 pop.; G = WB # acres per individual, current 2013 pop.; H = WH # acres per individual, proposed AML 2013; I = WB # acres per individual, proposed AML 2013.

 

 

JMA

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

Red Rock

77

72

22

39

187639

2437

2606

8529

4811

Spring Mtn.

Wheeler Pass

369

137

57

28

379812

1029

2772

6663

13565

Johnnie

105

207

24

81

216874

2065

1048

9036

2677

Total/Overall

551

416

103

148

784325

1423

1885

7615

5299

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mathematical analysis of acres per existing individual 2013 wild horse/wild burro and proposed 2013 AML individual wild horse/wild burro reveals the gross unfairness of the proposed joint BLM/USFS plan for the Spring Mountain Complex toward the legitimate wild horse and burro populations.  I have double checked these figures and they clearly reveal: (1) that the current wild horse and burro populations in the Complex are not overpopulated, but rather are still in the process of filling their respective horse or burro ecological niches in this region.  Even in the drier portions of the Complex, the number of acres per individual wild horse or burro should be in the low hundreds per individual, not in the low thousands per individual (existing 2013 population) and much less in the several thousands of acres per individual wild horse or wild burro!  That the proposed Appropriate Management Levels for the enormous 784,325-acre Spring Mountains Complex plans to allow for only one individual wild horse per 7,615 legal JMA acres and for only one individual wild burro per 5,299 legal JMA acres reveals the disgusting extent to which our BLM & USFS public officials are subverting the true intent and purpose of the unanimously passed WFHBA!  This is a travesty of justice and must not be allowed by a caring public!  It makes mockery of American democracy and caters to the traditional enemies of the wild horses and burros, especially in the case of the Spring Mountains Complex to the big game hunting interests represented by the Nevada Department of Wildlife. This agency has traditionally sought to eliminate wild horses and burros from the state of Nevada, including its majority of federal lands and in spite of their great popularity with the general public both in this state and nationwide.

 

As a wildlife ecologist and individual human being, I wish to go on record that I will legally protest and challenge this proposal through every means available.  It represents a hostile betrayal both of the magnificent wild horses and burros and their freedom; and of the majority of Americans – the General Public – whose Quality of Life would be grievously damaged were this shameless and deceptive plan to be officially adopted and implemented! Below I list some of my major objections on a page-by-page basis to points contained in the BLM & USFS proposal.

 

Page #  Specific Comments

2-3: I propose that you employ Reserve Design in order to achieve a “Thriving Natural Ecological Balance” with “naturally self-stabilizing populations” of wild horses and wild burros.  This is a branch of wildlife conservation that has been used in many places and for diverse species and ecosystems. I describe and adapt its principles for the wild horses and burros and their inhabited ecosystems in a proposal as well as in my recent book The Wild Horse Conspiracy, Ch. IV, and would be glad to send you a copy of both.

 

6: Concerning water in the Johnnie JMA, BLM & USFS should take steps to secure year-round water sources for the wild horses & burros here. Both agencies should avail themselves of the Implied Federal Water Rights that came with the WFHBA.

 

Allow the wild burros to naturally occupy the drier habitat to which they are well adapted, such as the Mojave Desert, but do not interfere with the natural process of niche separation between the wild horses and the wild burros. Simply allow it to occur.

 

Various pages & tables: There is clearly no overpopulation of wild horses and burros in the Spring Mountains Complex. The populations of both species should be allowed to fill their respective ecological niches and naturally self-stabilize within their bounded but sufficiently large habitat areas.  This they will do as ecological “climax” species. (See my description of Reserve Design for ideas on how to contain these wild-equid-containing ecosystems in Ch. IV of my book, also for definition of “climax”.)

 

Whole document: You need to contrast the wild horses & the wild burros with other herbivores living in the Spring Mountains Complex, especially the big game species for which the Nevada Dept. of Wildlife is managing: elk, mule-tailed deer, bighorn sheep. You give no relative comparison of forage consumption, annual migration patterns and overlaps, type of forage consumed by the various species and dietary overlap, and similar factors.

 

Whole document: You should recognize the very crucial role wild horses & wild burros play in preventing catastrophic wildfires by eating the coarser, drier, more flammable vegetation over broad areas and their converting this via their droppings into rich and moist soils.  With their post-gastric digestive system, they are ideally equipped in this capacity. To ignore this salient biological fact is wrong.  The ruminant grazers: deer, elk, bighorn, cattle, etc., are not nearly as capable in this regard and burn up their metabolisms in the more thorough digestive processing of such dry and coarse vegetation.  In the era of Global Warming, this is a major consideration, as the wild horses & burros, if allowed to fill their niches, will greatly assist in catastrophic fire prevention.  In many regions where equid populations have been either drastically reduced or eliminated, catastrophic and extensive fires have resulted due to their no longer being able to consume and process the dry vegetation for which their post-gastric digestive systems are ideally suited. (See my book, Ch. II & Bell, R.H.B, 1970 reference in book’s bibliography.)

 

5, top: As returned native species, wild horses & wild burros restore and enhance the wilderness ecosystems of the Spring Mountains Complex.  They should not be excluded or overly reduced.  It is biased and unfounded to treat them as non-natives (see Ch. I of my book).

 

6 & whole doc.: The wild horses & wild burros must not be arbitrarily excluded from slopes greater than 30%, but rather the various species present, including bighorn, deer & elk, should be allowed to naturally define their niche space within the Complex.  In fact, the presence of the wild equids will help the ruminant grazers, by enhancing their habitat and making it more productive (see references to two works by Fahnestock & Detling in my book’s bibliography). 

 

Whole doc., incl. p. 5: Another point is that the Spring Mountains Complex’ sloped terrain where not exceedingly steep can to a large degree multiply habitat, or niche space, for many species.  This is due to the provision of greater surface area exposed to precipitation, air, and sunshine (see p. 36 of my book). 

 

Not allowing wild horses & wild burros to fill their ecological niches actually thwarts their natural population stabilization because this interferes with harmonious processes of social and ecological adaptation that take time and being left alone (see pages 125-128 of my book).

 

6: Per Section 6 of the WFHBA, BLM & USFS need to set up “cooperative agreements” with other agencies, private parties, etc. Also options under Section 4 of the WFHBA should be promoted in order to secure complete habitats, including adequate water, for long-term viable and ecologically well-adapted wild horse & wild burro populations of the Spring Mountains Complex.

 

6 bottom: In spite of your claim that there is not enough forage, are not the wild horses’ & wild burros’ very abilities to survive proof that there is adequate forage and water for them?

 

7: This 30% utilization standard can be quite arbitrary and unjust to the actual species inhabiting the ecosystem.  Such standards can be out of tune with nature’s balancing processes over time, such as the natural shifts in occupied annual home range over the generations that both wild horses and wild burros display (see Pellegrini 1971 in bibliography of my book).

 

7 bottom: I caution against using this proportional count of horse fecal ball piles to deer and elk pellet piles.  This fails to differentiate between the past-gastric equid digestion (less degraded feces hence taking longer to decompose) and the ruminant digestion (fresh feces already more degraded and hence taking less time to be absorbed into the soils, though providing relatively less nutrients thereto).  (See my book, pages 33-34 & 46-48.) These ecological facts are not taken into account, hence the chart in Figure 2 is misleading.

 

8: You state that your agencies, the BLM & USFS, are trying to maintain a “thriving natural ecological balance.” However, by overly interfering with the wild horses & wild burros, their natural tendencies to fill their ecological niches and to establish natural stabilizations of their populations, your agencies are not respecting what is in truth natural, i.e. your agencies are working contrary to natural processes.

 

For example, your agencies determination of “excess” is arbitrary.  The wild horses & wild burros here are not overpopulated by any objective view.  Please take another look at my table deriving # acres per individual wild horse/wild burro. This is on page 3 of this input. To an objective ecological view, these two species are under-populated within the Spring Mountain Complex.  Drastically reducing and arbitrarily limiting the wild horses and wild burros to such low, non-viable AMLs, as you are proposing, is anything but “minimal feasible management” and your injection of the phrase “minimal feasible population” is your deceptive invention. Both run entirely contrary to the true intent and purpose of the WFHBA!

 

8 bottom: Yes, natural movements within JMA must be assured and interior fences removed, also impediments to water access. Also, water sources drained unnaturally to outside JMA must be restored to the extent possible. Exercise your Implied Federal Water Rights (see p. 120 of my book).  Also, with regard to natural wild horse and wild burro movements outside the JMA, this often constitutes a natural rest rotation and you should examine possibilities in Sections 6 & also 4 of the WFHBA to see whether cooperative agreements, etc., can be arranged in order to accommodate these movements.

 

Another point here: what is natural about these arbitrary determinations of population levels set at very low Appropriate Management Levels?  To a much greater extent, you should let the laws of nature decide at what levels the wild horses & wild burros should be! Your use of the word “natural” is deceptive.

 

9 middle paragraph: What are the standards for USFS’ “satisfactory condition or better”?  Likewise for BLM’s “healthy rangelands”?  This paragraph reveals these agencies’ biased attitudes toward the wild horses and wild burros! The blanketing statement concerning “degraded vegetation” with wild horses & wild burros as implied causal agents is unfounded in fact.  No proofs are given.  Also it seems you are using MCBB as an excuse to greatly reduce wild horses & wild burros without proof of their detrimental effect. These equids may actually be beneficial to the endangered Mt. Charleston Blue Butterfly.  Also, there is no discussion of how large numbers of deer, elk, or even bighorn may be affecting this species.

 

9 ff: Re: Proposed Action, you need to seriously consider Reserve Design as an alternative to this heavy handed and disrespectful proposal (see earlier comments on Reserve Design).

 

11 top: 60% male to 40% female sex ratio adjustment. I object! This would disrupt the natural harmony within the wild horse & wild burro societies and further thwart the stable, mature bands, or comparable burro groups, and their important ability to stabilize their own populations. This would result in much stress among the populations, as there would be increased competition and frustration among males and more frustrated mares as well. All this would disrupt the traditional care and education of young equids by older males and females. This is a serious disruption and does not accord with the WFHBA.

 

11 mid page: There are many adverse effects upon wild horses produced by PZP, including out-of-season births, stress, and social disruptions (see my book, p. 129-130).

 

17 bottom: Re: genetic diversity & AML: You need to let natural selection operate so that each herd is able to adapt to each unique habitat over the generations. Arbitrarily and periodically gutting the wild equid populations will throw this benign natural process into shambles!

 

18: Re: Wilderness restrictions against wild horses & wild burros, this is very wrong and shows extreme prejudice against them.  See my earlier comments re: how wild horses & wild burros can restore and enhance wilderness ecosystems, i.e. are compatible therewith.  Also both species of wild equids greatly reduce fire hazard (see earlier comments).

 

26: Monitoring and Tracking of Treatments. Point 1: You need to factor in natural mortality rates of all ages and sexes. I have observed that many foals die in nature, including from accidents, disease and natural predation.  (It is very misleading to state that there are no natural predators for the wild horses and burros, as BLM & USFS documents and public statements often do!)  Your document fails to consider the level of natural and unnatural predation or human attacks on these animals in the Spring Mtn. Complex, e.g. of puma, coyote & wild dog packs, rattlesnakes, and – a major oversight – the illegal capture, removal as well as killing of wild horses and burros by members of our own human species.  All of these ignored mortality factors can be in fact major!

 

–Though with much more to impart, I now close in order get this timely input in by June 30, 2013, to the email address provided in your document. I have a history of giving such input as well as federal court testimony to defend the precious wild horses and wild burros of the Spring Mountain Complex. From any objective point of view, these “national heritage, returned native” species are not overpopulated.  Though BLM & USFS have contrived to paint a negative picture of them in the Spring Mountain Complex in this and earlier documents, the truer and fuller story of these wonderful and ancient presences is not to be found in such evanescent and shallow-minded assertions. The greater story concerning both horses and burros is one with All Life’s Greatest Story. This story includes us all as equals, all individuals and all kinds – however minutely or broadly categorized – for each inextricably and indispensably related within the Great Unfolding Tree of Life.  And to acknowledge, respect, and honor the precious freedom of brother/sister/blesser of humanity horse/burro to realize its greater calling, purpose, and destiny in relation to All of Life, not just humanity alone – well, my friend, this is nothing short of a supreme and liberating Virtue!

Read Full Post »

Published with permission of the author:  Sarah J West

 

 

IS CHANGE IN THE AIR?

HUMANE EDUCATION…and the URGENT call to action!

A puppy beaten to death on a golf course, a pit bull dog pelted with stones, another pit mix set on fire, an emaciated dog tethered and left to die and a puppy found dead after being hanged from a fence are all part of a series of shocking animal cruelty cases in Baltimore, MD.  The abusive acts have attracted the attention of city officials because they have all been committed by children, some aged as young as 10.   This was reported in the June 17, 2010 National Examiner article written by Seltzer. The incidences of animal abuse perpetrated by children and adolescents are not slowing down; they are becoming a rising tide!

 

On Saturday April 17, 2012 Canada Shannon Barry was kicked in the face and knocked unconscious by a stranger in Edmonton, for being gay. Statistics Canada figures suggest young people between the ages of 12 and 22 are responsible for six in 10 hate crimes; the majority of those accused being 17 or 18. According to Statistics Canada, in 2012, hate crimes against gays doubled. Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada, Canada Human Rights Trust said that “Hate crimes are an alarming reality that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered Canadians know all too well , one that  governments can no longer ignore.” Kennedy said that’s consistent with Egale’s own research and suggested efforts to reverse this alarming trend need to begin in schools. In light of this EGALE hast has started the SAFER SCHOOLS CAMPAIGN.

If there is any one human expression that is indicative of and at the root of the fundamental and debilitating flaws in our society, it is a lack of compassion. The Dalai Lama expresses this best in his quote Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. From gay bashing to racism, bullying to animal cruelty we have become a western society hardened and sensitized to violence, left isolated and invalidated by modern technology. Television and movie theatres stream and scream at us with programming and films full of murder, abject violence, fabricated global disasters and callous reality TV shows. Communications with each other as individuals are minimized to heads down texting and voice mails, leaving a complete absence of personal and emotive expression in our everyday contact with friends, family and colleagues. Global TV Vancouver Canada reported in a March 26th 2013 news cast that in the nation, over 10 million texts are sent every 60 minutes!

School shootings are on the rise.  If we recall the tragic events of the Sandy Hook Newport Connecticut school shooting, the second deadliest school shooting in American history in which 27 lives were taken and we can now clearly the parallels between the absence of empathy exhibited by those who commit this type of  violent act  inherent   animal cruelty perpetrators.The website Pet Abuse.com states: More recently, high school killers such as 15-year-old Kip Kinkel in Springfield, Ore., and Luke Woodham, 16, in Pearl, Miss., tortured animals before embarking on shooting sprees. Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who shot and killed 12 classmates before turning their guns on themselves, bragged about mutilating animals to their friends

. Dr. Randall Lockwood, Ph.D. Senior Vice President for Anti-Cruelty Field Services, for The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), who has written extensively on the link between animal abuse and human violence, wrote “Those who abuse animals for no obvious reason are budding psychopaths. They have no empathy and only see the world as what it’s going to do for them.”

School shooters generally have a common character flaws:1) a history of antisocial-personality traits, 2) suffer from mental illnesses such as depression or psychosis and 3) tend to obsess about how others, whether other individuals or society at large, have wronged them.
All of these character traits are also to be found in animal cruelty perpetrators and those who committed other violent acts.Ted Bundy Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy are infamous illustrations of this behavior and all presented to police and clinicians as having a complete absence of empathy. Both physical and cyber bullying permeate the fabric of our education systems in the United States and here in Canada. The British Columbia government is so concerned about this that they have launched a PSA campaign and website to combat this “Erasebullying.ca”  The campaign is specifically targeted to children and youth aged 13-18.This concern for bullying  is echoed worldwide had has prompted the introduction of International STAND UP to Bullying Day.  This is a special semi-annual event in which participants sign and wear a pink “pledge shirt” to take a visible, public stance against bullying. The event takes place in schools, workplaces, and organizations in 25 countries across the globe on the third Friday of November to coincide with Anti-bullying week, and then again on the last Friday of February       

Many schools across North America are introducing an Anti-Bullying contract to be entered into and signed by teachers, students and their parents or guardians. This contract created to combat the rising tide of bullying, alone, is a serious and critical indication of a lack of compassion in our children and youth today!

Youth suicides are at a record high as a result of bullying. This statistic contained in a recent British Columbia Global Television news cast reported that 9 young people have committed suicide, in BC alone, over the last 5 years; as a direct result of cyber, physical and verbal bullying.

The United States based website www. bullying statsistics.org states the following: As social networking and online social interaction becomes more and more popular with sites like Face book and Twitter, cyber bullying has become one of the most prevalent types of bullying that occurs between teens. About 80 percent of all high school students have encountered being bullied in some fashion online. These growing numbers are being attributed to youth violence including both homicide and suicide. While school shootings across the country are becoming more and more common, most teens that say they have considered becoming violent toward their peers, wish to do so because they want to get back at those who have bullied them online. About 35 percent of teens have been actually threatened online. About half of all teens admit they have said something mean or hurtful to another teen online. Most have done it more than once.

According to Wikipedia, Forty-nine states in the United States have passed school anti-bullying legislation, the first being Georgia in 1999. The one state without anti-bullying legislation is Montana. A watchdog organization called Bully Police USA advocates for and reports on anti-bullying legislation. In Canada the Ontario and Alberta governments have initiated legislation providing for anti-bullying laws. Ontario laws were enacted in 2012.

While looking at the tapestry of this critical lack of compassion in our society’s youth we have to include the statistics that animal cruelty perpetrators are now much younger than ever before! This fact is confirmed with founder and administrator of the Queen Waldorf Fights Back and Pet Abuse.com websites which keeps track of the most violent and animal cruelty crimes in North America. The founder whose name is not made public for security reasons, said”.  Some of the most violent crimes such as animal tortures are, in my experience, committed by youth.  Since there is a direct link to animal abuse and Conduct Disorders, diagnosis and early intervention is paramount in treating this serious psychiatric disorder.” 

According to the website Petabuse.com Animal abuse is in on the rise in North America .On November 12 the 2012 an RSPCA UK press release reported a rise in animal cruelty and stated that the number of cases of animal cruelty rose by 4% in the first nine months of 2012.

Cathy Kangas a Board of Directors member of the Humane Society of the United State writes in a January 18th 2013 Huffington post article: According to the Humane Society of the United States, researchers determined that between 71 percent and 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partners also abused or killed the family pet.1

The British RSPCA (Royal Society for the Protection of Animals) stated in a recent press release “Animal cruelty, neglect and suffering are reaching “unprecedented levels“.

This absence of societal empathy among our youth also can be clearly evidenced from one highly significant resource! This the critical study conducted by the University of Michigan  who analyzed the personality tests of 13,737 students over 30 years and say that today’s college students are 40-per-cent less empathetic than those of the 1980s and 1990s ! Their study showed that the most notable and sizable empathy drop spiked after 2000 when social networks such as Face book and MySpace began to expand. These “literally” distant technical environments” allowed people to ionize their own lives and in doing so create emotional buffers between themselves and others (the world).This also creates a sensitization to another’s pain and an emotional disconnect from hurting others and animals.

The continuing evolution of inanimate social media such as Twitter, Face Book, Digg, Flickr, Youtube, Blogger, Reddit have provided a mechanism for transparent and virtually instant communication. However it has also been the significant factor in allowing young people to tune out and keep their emotions at bay, thus creating an ever increasing need for tools to combat this anesthetised communication with its notable absence of empathy.

While the majority of young adults may not come from highly dysfunctional families they come from families, where family time together and communication is minimal.  For so many families today’s economy necessitates that both parents work. Long hours working away from their children increase the ever widening gap between children and their sense of place and belonging. This and the ever increasing prevalence of a society that communicate via the latest smart phone just exacerbates this absence or need for feelings and the expression of emotions.

To find a place to begin in tackling this growing and unsettling lack of, or absence of empathy we must look to the historical and philosophical foundations of early learning. Fredrick Froebel.1782-1852, Jean Piaget,1896-1952, Maria Montessori, 1870- 1952, all well known to early childhood educators, were among some of the most world renowned philosophers of the belief that the primary years in a child’s grown are critical to forming solid foundations for children to grow into whole human beings.

Abram Maslow well known for Hierarchy of Needs model in 1940-50s theory supports this further and remains valid today for understanding human motivation, and personal development. In this Hierarchy of Needs model Maslow clearly outlines the foundations for normal human development and the necessary journey towards “actualization” the fullest whole potential that any individual can reach. In this hierarchy Maslow outlines five basic stages of growth: biological and psychological needs ( food  warmth sleep ect),  safety ( protection order security ect ) Society ( community, family, sense of belonging ), self esteem ( reputation achievements status, responsibilities ect ) and finally self- actualization ) reaching ones full emotional social and spiritual potential. If any one of these development platforms are not nurtured and provided to young children in these early learning stages of their lives in a healthy way; deviations and dysfunctional behaviors are created. When children and young adults do not feel validated and have a healthy self esteem, they lack the capacity to feel empathy. Their sense of being out of place, generally as a result of a highly dysfunctional family environment and an interrupted or damaged up bringing leads to rage and deviant behaviors. Individuals from families like this are more than likely to be the perpetrators of the most violent and deviant crimes and animal cruelty.

The most commonly seen deviant behaviors exhibited by those individuals from a seriously dysfunctional upbringing is rage expressed towards those seen to be those weaker than themselves, other family members and or animals. The Animal Cruelty Syndrome is now clearly   recognized by the American Psychiatric Association who state that this syndrome is serious presentation of a conduct disorder. According to a 1997 study done by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Northeastern University, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse The link between abuse of animals , generally family pets and domestic violence is undeniable and statistically proven. If we accept that individuals who lack compassion, demonstrated by violence to animals and others have come from seriously dysfunctional role modeling, then it is that early upbringing within which we must influence in order to effect change.

Creating awareness and change in the early stages of an individual’s life must be the premise for the road to creating the foundations of healthy human beings. Therefore the place we must start to create that awareness and change is in the school system. We cannot change the foundations of family structures and their varying modes and models of upbringing for young children. However we can integrate humane education curriculum into our school systems that fosters the foundations of compassion and empathy. Primary and elementary school children spend and average of 30-35 hours of their lives at their school .By providing pre-school, kindergarten children and young adults with exposure to the concepts of compassion, empathy and the humane treatment of all living things; we have hope in counteracting this general lack of compassion in today’s society and influencing a new generation of young adults. This is where we have to begin. The need now for connecting with our children and youth and exposing them to the concepts of compassion and humane thinking, is greater than ever at any point previously in our history!

The early beginnings of this thinking with regard to what we refer now to as humane education can be traced back to John Locke 1632-1704 the Oxford university graduate who helped found the core thinking of western philosophy. A highly influential British scholar and philosopher Locke had a great concern for the welfare and humanity of children and a deep concern for their education and in creating sound minds and bodies. He wrote “For the custom of tormenting and killing other animals will by degrees harden their hearts even towards men: and they, who delight in suffering and destruction of inferior creatures, will not be apt to be very compassionate or benign to those of their own kind.

4 stages of cruelty no 1.jpg          This early and historical recorded concern for cruelty towards animals is further and later reflected in the visual portrayal of the work of British born William Hogarth, 1697-1764, Latin teacher and artist. Hogarth was deeply concerned about the abhorrent kinds of animal cruelty he witnessed on the 16th century working class London streets and created a serious of paintings entitled The Four Stages of Cruelty. Hogarth created the serious with a specific purpose. He stated that he had created the images“in the hopes of preventing to some degree the cruel treatment of poor animals which makes the streets of London more disagreeable to the human mind… the very describing of which gives pain.”

Hogarth believed that the cruelty to animals he was witnessing underscored other forms of social dysfunctions His 4 paintings illustrate acts such as blinding a bird the with a hot object, a pair of cats suspended and hung form a lamppost and a stray dog with a heavy object tied to its tail !

This historical  and visually compelling body of Hogarth’s work and the thinking behind it can be categorically be seen as the first recorded evidence of the fact that animal cruelty is in fact a symptom and reflection of larger abnormal social  pattern and behaviours. By today’s understanding this can described as some form of humane education in that both Locke and Hogarth felt a deep need to influence society and address what they both saw as serious societal flaws .Both Hogarth and Locke drew some form of parallel between society’s mistreatment of animals as a sickly symptom of the ills of society, violence and crime.

These “observations” have evolved into what we now know as The Animal Cruelty Syndrome, a form of conduct disorder identified by the American Psychiatric Association who considers animal cruelty as one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder. Animal cruelty is now known as the signature pathology of violent offenders.

If we look at the roots and history of humane education in its more concrete and originating form we look at the inspiring work of American  George Thorndike Angell 1823-1909, lawyer , teacher, humanitarian and animal lover. The son of an educator Angell was extremely interested in education as a vehicle to combat animal cruelty. Like his historical forerunners Locke and Hogarth Angell had come to understand that in teaching children to show compassion towards animals facilitated the overall development of good character. 

After the end of the American Civil war it was purported that educating and influencing the characters of children was a positive step towards creating upstanding and good citizens. This time in American history was the perfect window for Angell to begin his work with teaching children of all ages, to show compassion. He began his work by illuminating the need to show that animals in the everyday lives of children, the cats dogs rabbits birds and horses ECT, must be shown kindness and given protection. This was the foundational premise for his Bands of Mercy work

Band of Mercy Badge, late 19th century.  Collection of Scotlund Haisley

Angell’s work with the children in his Bands of Mercy organization, founded in 1881, is with no question the early foundations of Humane Education. Angell wrote various short essays entitled “ 12 Lessons on Kindness to Animals “and included such subjects as the kindness to horses and that a horse’s metal bit should be warmed before it was put into the horse’s mouth. Along with this he created short questionnaires in which the children were required to read a short paragraph and then choose the correct answer to the questions .The lessons were sent free to children in the 85,000 Bands of Mercy groups throughout the world. Angell’s long term vision for all children to show kindness and respect for all living things gravitated rapidly across America. Although Angel’s primary focus in his mission for the children who joined his Bands of Mercy groups, was to deal with individual acts of cruelty inflicted on the animals present in the everyday lives of the children, his vision for sowing the seeds of kindness and compassion could not reach the institutionalized  cruelty of industries such as Fur farms.

Angell was devoted to animals. In 1868 he worked tirelessly to achieve Massachusetts’s first general anti-cruelty legislation. This was as a result of learning that two horses and been brutally raced for 40 miles over rough terrain and then dropped dead. He was horrified!

In 1889 Angell founded the American Humane Education Society He was also the founder of the then ground breaking publication dedicated to animal welfare “ “Our Dumb Animals” Over 25,000 copies were distributed The mission statement for the publication was “To speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Sadly the onset of World War IIwas the key cause for the disbanding of Angell’s Bands of Mercy Groups. Children, their families and society had a far greater and pressing focus. Another key factor affecting the demise of the Bands of Mercy was that Angell’s’ work was not integrated into and institutionalised by the education systems at that time.

The definition of the word “humane” as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary is“To be marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animalsIt is the word humane that best embodies the kinds of curriculum and education we need to offer in the schools and that will instill, inspire and create a sense of compassion in children and our youth  And from the words of the father of humane education George T Angell we must work at the roots!

A great deal has changed since the times and life of George Angell and his Bands of Mercy. We live in a radically different socioeconomic climate. We live in a society flooded with new technology I Pads and Tablets, communications that are dulled by the white noise of advertising, movies, and the daily Tweeting onslaught of celebrity’s lifestyles and fall outs. Our family lives are harried and fragmented by the need to work harder and longer, driven by a general and rising increased cost of living.

Eden Wood 1

Since the brief but global Spice Girls phenomenon young girls have been sexualized far too early .Young children from ages as early as 5 years are exposed to behaviours, clothing and ideas far too emotionally mature for their intellectual abilities to handle. Misguided parents paint, dress up and parade their little girls teaching them to pout and sway their hips in the hopes of becoming the next child beauty pageant queen. Advertisers and their ever watchful eye have now indentified a new “Tweenie” market to peddle princess wear, jewellery, make up and even cell phones!

         We are now seeing an ever increasing need for counselling and support for our young solders, witness to the most heinous acts of barbarism while away from their homes. Daily we hear about one politician or another found guilty of corruption. We watch the news and hear about yet another child abuse or kidnapping, suicide, hostage taking, homicide, or another case of heinous animal cruelty!  Our minds become numb, sensitised to all the violence, so we just change channels and munch on our potatoes chips .With all this coming at us like a battering ram how can we be expected to take time talk to our children about our humanity and the need for compassion, kindness and empathy in our lives? We can’t.

          While this sadly tragic snapshot of western life is debilitating, we can draw strength from the very early roots of humane education. While George Angell’s pioneer vision did not survive for very long, those roots were nurtured and kept alive through the work of others who came after him. In 1915 inspired by Dr. William O’Stillmanleader of the AHA’s, American Humane Association, “Be Kind to Animals Week “was founded. During this week, visits to local schools were made to promote the development of humane education and to publicize the good works of the nation’s humane societies. Be kind to Animals Week” is still an annual event, hosted by the American Humane Society.

         World Animal Day, founded in Florence Italy in 1931 was created by a group of compassionate ecologists whose mission was to celebrate the October 4th 1182 birthday of Italian Saint Francis of Assisi who loved all animals. World Animal Day is still celebrated annually all over the world.  There are now ambassadors in over 60 countries who speak out and for World Animal Day and the need to show compassion to all sentient non human beings.

          Our world today is vastly different of the world lived in by George Angell and as a society we are deeply flawed and in trouble. However with regard to the “intervention” if you like of our children and youth there is hope. Humane education today is quite different in its presentations than that of George Angell but it is slowly growing as a much needed focus. Change is in the air.

Founded in 1948 by Anna C  Brigs The National Humane Education Society (NHES),  based in  Charles Town, West Virginia, is a non profit animal welfare organization Their mission is to foster a sentiment of kindness to animals in children and adults. As well as rescue, relief assistance for animals and adoption services, they also provide educational presentations to all ages of individuals through their Humane Education & Advocacy Department.

            From Wikipedia the Institute for Humane Studies founded in 1961 in Menlo Park, California by F. A. Harper was created in order to promote peace, prosperity, and social harmony by fostering a greater understanding of human affairs and freedom. The institute offers scholarships and programs to all those in pursuit of a better world through education and training. Founded in 1996 by Zoe Wiel and based in Surry ME The Institute of Humane Education offered the first ever Humane Education training and continues to offer professional development , online training , workshops and presentations to teachers, students and the public. Ms. Wiel’s book The Power and Promise of Humane Education   is a must have resource for anyone in this field. Ms Wiel stated in an interview with TREE HUGGER, that humane education must be infused as regular curricula into all schools throughout the United States and that at present only a handful of states provide for some humane education; in a limited number of schools. The Institute of Humane Education is a non profit organization and dedicated to making a better world through humane education, creating and inspiring a respect and reverence for all living things, animals, our environment and each other

          Teach Kind an initiative created by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also offers human education resources and free materials for humane education teachers who wish to bring this kind of humane thinking to primary and elementary school children. Susan Hargreaves of Earth Save Miami has been spearheading an effort to get humane education into Florida schools. She’s been successful at introducing these issues into countless classrooms, reaching individuals ranging from ages 5 to 20 and approximately over 4,500 children. Earth Save promotes the values ofinspiring compassion and love, stimulates critical thinking ,provides factual information and offers positive lifestyle choices. Efforts to have humane education integrated into regular school curriculums are far greater in the United Sates, than in Canada.

In Canada all human education in left up to the animal welfare organizations to provide Canada has no dedicated institute or organization and this must change. While both the British Columbia and Ontario SPCA probably have the strongest and greatest wealth of humane education materials and resources it is not or ever will be enough. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies CFHS offers a wonderful Humane Education kit that can be purchased on line for $25 .This is an invaluable resource for those individuals and teachers interested in bringing humane education concepts to their students Canada however does not offer any certified training as a Humane Educator. Anyone interested this field must pursue this through the US based Institute of Humane Education and The Humane Society of the United States University.

In 1996 Canadian Mary Gordon, educator, author, child advocate and parenting expert recognized internationally as an award-winning social , entrepreneur created the initial curriculum for her Roots of Empathy and began piloting the program in Toronto. In 2000 she established the national and international organization Roots of Empathy, which now offers programs in every province of Canada, New Zealand, the USA, the Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, and Germany. Ms Gordon’s program allows young people to be introduced to a young baby and their family. Throughout the school year the children get to know the baby and watch their growth while seeing and taking about the baby’s expressions, progress and feelings. Though these experiences the children are exposed to how the baby and its family express their fear, sadness and joy. This is possibly the only and current humane education type program that is universally offered throughout Canada.

          When we think of humane education we automatically think of animals. To see why we think this we can start by remembering George Angell who knew by connecting the children at that time with animals, the strays, pets and farm animals in their everyday lives, he could offer the children an experience of relating to a living sentient being who showed feelings and actions., from the kinds of animals that that they could easily associate with.

          The same premise for the foundations of Angell’s “humane education”: is even truer today. We need only look at the statistics provided by the American Pet Products Association to confirm this and see how great the importance is of the animals (pets) in our lives are to us and the love we have for them. In the US alone here are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs and approximately 86.4 million owned cats. In 2012 in the US according to the association Americans   spent, $53.33 billion spent on their pets! There are no concrete statistics for the number of dog and cat owners in Canada.

We consider our pets our family. The use of the term “companion animal” is used globally. We have funeral services, birthday parties with cakes and presents, spa treatments and day care for our pets, therefore it continues to make the best sense to introduce our children and youth to the concepts and ideals of humane education though the inter-actional experiences with our animal friends.

When conventional therapy is unable to reach a child, animals and their unconditional love, trust, patience and support are used to assist in healing and to reach goals, The PAWWS to Heal non profit organization based in Madison Wisconsin is specially designed for this and matches up certified pet therapy animals with children who have challenges. Another clear example of an animal’s power to heal and teach the world about compassion are the programmes in which inmates are matched up with dogs who need training and socialization so they may become more easily adopted. Two such successful programs are two US based Paws on Parole and Prison Pups. In both programmes one inmate is assigned to one special chosen dog for several months. During this time the inmates live with that dog 24/7 feed, sleep, exercise and work with that dog. During the time that the inmates work with the dog their behaviour changes. They become more open to talking about feelings and for many inmates it is the first time that have learned to love something sentient. It is life changing for both the dogs and their inmate partners. Each gives and receives unconditional love to the other. This is humane education in another form.

Our companion Animals are part of our everyday lives. They guide the sight disadvantaged, those of us who are disabled or traumatised and greet us when we arrive home tired and stressed  from work .Animals are gifts to our world  and can show us the way to being compassionate.

As young people mature other aspects of the thinking at the core of humane education, a respect and reference for our environment and each other can be introduced.  As an example while on a walk with a group of Kindergarten children we can talk about the “happiness” shown by the dog running in the park and the love shown towards them by their guardian We can take care walking not to break branches, or tread on the ants crossing the concrete in front of us, or disturb the butterfly we see poised motionless on a nearby flower.

While humane education in its broadest sense is concerned with the wider picture of instilling and inspiring an accountability reference and respect for all living things, our environment and each other, animals are the initial and only way to introduce our young children and youth to these concepts.

Animals suffer silently in the industrialized cruelty of factory farming, scientific research, are hunted, trapped and skinned for their fur. These brutal truths are too raw and barbaric to bring into the lives of our young children. However to create a new society of compassionate young adults, who will care about these issues  our environment and each other, we must start in a place that is safe and recognizable with both our children and their families , with the animals we see on a daily basis. Looking into the eyes of an animal is our first window into the world of another.

On April 2nd of this year the Huffington Post reported this story of animal cruelty. Last week, in Monteo North Carolina a group of kids approached Jackson a black and white stray cat, threw him into the air, ran over him with their bikes and squirted energy drinks in his face. The bullies reportedly varied in age were from 5 to 13! While yet further evidence that animal cruelty abusers are getting younger, one remarkable and courageous action stands out! While highlighting this heinous animal abuse, action by another child gives us a glimmer of hope. A young boy called Wendell Overton 10 yrs old saw what was going on shouted at the group of bullies, ran over and scooped up Jackson ( as he has now been named) in his arms.

He took him home to his Mother who called the Outer Banks SPCA. Jackson is now recovering at the SPCA and will be up for adoption when his injuries are healed. Wendell has been receiving cards and letters of thanks from all over the state, for his act of compassion and courage, in saving this little cat. This compassion is what we want to instill and inspire in all our children and youth

          While traditionally and historically humane education has originated and remained in the hands of the animal shelters, humane societies and SPCA branches, this categorically cannot be allowed to continue! They are overburdened enough in their key mission to rescue, shelter, rehabilitate and re-home animals and by their very nature and size cannot in any way meet the needs of reaching all our children and youth .Humane education MUST first be acknowledged by our governments, teaching intuitions and the public as paramount to raising healthy whole compassionate young adults And further that the only concrete method in creating this foundation, is by providing human education curriculum via integration into our school systems throughout North America.

When we take a careful look at our society of young people anesthetised by modern technology, forced to dilute and keep their feelings at bay, the violence and disarray in our current daily lives; our only hope for change is to “talk” to the youngest members of our new generation. Yes change is in the air..However we have a very long journey in front of us.

          Taken from the Massachusetts SPCA website; from the father of humane education George Angell’s collection of quotes  “I am sometimes asked, “Why do you spend so much time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is so much cruelty to men?? I answer: I am working at the roots’

Small changes may be evolving, but this is where we must begin and we must act now!

-30-

 

COPYRIGHT (SJW) Sarah J. West Founder CFAWR Canadians for Animal Welfare Reform. Victoria BC Canada Canadian Ambassador World Animal day

Read Full Post »

Canada continues to import fur products from China!!!!!

 

Demand that Prime Minister Harper bans and ends these imports instead of enabling this horrific cruelty.

http://youtu.be/YEBLpMAEueY
Warning!! This is an extremely graphic undercover video.
Canada continues to enable this by importing these fur products into Canada. This must stop now!!!!!

How could anyone be proud to show off fur cuffs, fur boot trim and fur accessories imported from China when these animals suffer so horrendously.

Read Full Post »

There has been much by way of   emailing between parties with reference to the controversial No Kill Movement, and in addressing the issues and conversation that ensued, I have received permission from Ms. West to copy and paste her response in one of her communiques.    My own comments are made first and I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. West.

Bloggers Comments:

Over population is definitely NOT and animal problem.  It is in fact a HUMAN problem period!  Every single day, in every single town, city and province countless kittens and puppies are born and cats and dogs are either turned into shelters, are found abandoned and dumped.  Why, because educating the masses as well try to do, stressing the need for spay/neuter is being totally ignored by the ignorant, the money hungry and the irresponsible pet owners not only in Canada but elsewhere throughout the US and every country on the Globe.  It is a HUMAN problem.  We see it everyday, and we clean up the mess and horror left behind.

As far as the laws governing companion animals in this country, we all know how archaic and antiquated these laws are, yet each time a new Bill is brought before the House to improve the legislation and declassify animals as mere property, it is voted down by the current government in power.  Further, shelter funding for the most part is not subsidized by provincial or federal funding and often depends solely upon donations.  What municipally owned shelters there are, are dictated to by the municipal bureaucrats who dictate!!

Over burdened shelters, and especially No-Kill Shelters trying so desperately to find forever homes for those in need,  unlicensed back yard breeders, the human failures of spaying and neutering companion animals, the total lack of responsible pet owners and the failure of municipal, provincial and federal government to properly address the issues of inadequate veterinary services in many areas across Canada, the Federal Legislation, the lack of very real animal protection By-Laws within our communities, municipalities and not having enough qualified, fully educated Animal Cruelty Investigators within each SPCA, town, city, municipality and province/territory is also part of the problem.

We need the powers of Seizure to save distressed animals held in the confines of ongoing neglect, disregard and failures to provide the necessities of life.  Here in Canada, we need the powers that are given to SPCA’s within the US.  Here instead we must depend upon the local police forces for seizure and quite honestly folks they have enough on their hands and distressed and abused animals are the last of their concerns.

Major movements within this country and elsewhere, as Sarah has pointed out, must have one focus to be effective Any problem regarding animal welfare is NOT  a single faceted one The No Kill Solution is taking the shelters to task.  This is one of the problems we have with bad shelter management, lack of cooperation with rescues, not socializing dogs and the list goes on!

We have seen the scandals surrounding the OSPCA, my God my computer files are enormous on that particular issue alone.  Then you take into account the Whistler case, that massive slaughter was unnecessary and fueled only by greed and a failure to effectively monitor such operations. The subsequent investigation into the slaughter was too little too late, and the outcome of the judgement issued by the Courts for this mass murder was merely a slap on the wrist.

WE must, support each other.  WE must be united period.  WE must not criticize or judge that which is being done by any one group or organization in their fight to end cruelty to animals in this country or anywhere else period.  Dissention among the troops proves only to make the army very shaky and ineffective.  While one has the right to disagree, and I will defend that right, we all have one common goal and purpose..to save animals.  Since the Federal Government shows total disrespect and total disregard, often branding many of us as ‘terrorists’ if we speak out against the lack of very real Animal Protection, cutting off charitable status to organizations that openly oppose current ridiculous antiquated legislation and policies..we have only each other from which to draw strength and resources.

 

Ms. West writes:

Areas of Focus That must be Addressed Regarding Pet Overpopulation and Animal Cruelty

 

  1. Education and awareness both public the government courts police and the media ( Bonnie is working on this )
  2. Education and awareness both public the government courts police and the media that animals are sentient beings
  3. Education and awareness with regards to THE CAMBRIDGE DECLARATION ( that animals have the same consciousness as we do) yes we all know this but it’s NOT public knowledge and  certainly NOT known and recognized by the public courts government police and media
  4. Education and awareness via humane education in elementary schools ( I am working on getting certified as a humane educator ) for CFAWR
  5. Education and awareness with regards to the Animal Cruelty Syndrome ( for the public courts, government and media)
  6. Getting the TERM “ Companion Animal” listed in our dictionaries and  as  working on getting the use of this TERM in precedence setting legal cases
  7. Debunking the myth that shelter ect are somehow inferior or broken
  8. The destruction of whose who run puppy mills and back yard breeder
  9. Education and awareness regarding the necessity and positives if spaying and neutering
  10. Creating ways to make spaying and neutering ( more accessible and affordable ) for the public  Mobile vets  and subsidised procedures by the veterinary profession for low income citizens
  11. Legislation that bans the sale of puppies and kitten from pet stores ( Canada wide)
  12. Acceptability of TNR programmes by municipalities ( Canada wide)
  13.  Complete transparency and better shelter management by shelters and humane societies ( FOCUS for the NO KILL MOVEMENT) and Bill Bruce the Calgary Model Bonnie also working on this
  14.  Animals removed as property from the Canadian criminal code and PROPER Animal welfare legislation brought into Canada ( CFAWR is trying to work on this tiny step  by tiny step
  15.  Creating and establishing relationships with those MP’s trying to make changes to federal and provincial cruelty legislation ( Peggy Nash Mac Harb Mark Holland ect
  16.  Contraception for cats and dogs Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs
  17. Cohesiveness, elimination of back biting and power struggles inherent in many animal welfare rescuers and groups ( animal advocacy underground)
  18. Animal advocacy volunteer training/ support regarding education speaking with media, animal care and networking for animals in need

 

If we have groups and movements taking on any of these’ issues of this multi-faceted program…. it is a good thing!   No one group can do it all and we cannot criticize each other if any one of us feel that something is fundamentally wrong with a specific group then don’t work with them  Keep doing what you are doing, but I feel other than that we must work together as Bonnie says.

 

Think about this list above.  This is a huge problem  almost beyond comprehension but we can neither be “ overwhelmed” or critical.  All efforts are helping and the No Kill movement may be doing some things you don’t like  but the fact that Nathan Winograd has started this is a good thing.  Many animals lives have been saved by his movement and that is a good thing regardless. I for one glad am he is on the ground fighting back with the No Kill Movement

All of us have to pick one focus and working on creating a dove- tail relationships with others who have a different  mandate and focus! It is out of “ combined” efforts that will and do make a difference for all the animals we care for so deeply.

 

We can’t change other countries but we can all come together to do what we can for Canada and her animals and creatures, wild, marine, stray ,farm and companion.

 

Sincerely

 

Sarah West Founder/President

Canadians For Animal Welfare Reform (CFAWR) www.cfawr.org

Contact us via cfawr@telus.net  

Follow us on Twitter

Canadian Ambassador World Animal Day

 

 

Read Full Post »

Over a month ago I announced via FaceBook that I was, after long hard thought, retiring from advocacy.  Perhaps I used the wrong terminology, sabbatical is the term I should have used.  Suffering from Compassion Fatigue, I need a break, the length of which is unknown.

Anyone who is bombarded on a daily basis with the continued horrors inflicted upon animals, anyone who must physically clean up the mess left behind by irresponsible pet owners, administer care to the abandoned and the suffering, anyone who works in shelters and vet hospitals will in time go through Compassion Fatigue.  Similar to Post Trauma Stress Disorder, the effects of Compassion Fatigue can be and are devastating.

Despite the need for peace and respite from advocacy there are issues that continue to eat at my soul, no inner peace can be found as long as animals suffer at the hands of man.

I received this email just the other day from Sinika, with the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, and with her permission have copied and pasted it below.

Canada continues the blood bath in the equine slaughter plants in this country.  Canada continues to enable the horrific BLM roundups of wild horses in the US by importing these animals for slaughter into our country.

We all thought that the recent XL Meat scandal was bad enough.  We learned how our Canadian Food Inspection Agency dropped the ball on that one.  Well the CFIA continues to drop the ball, by not effectively and efficiently monitoring horse slaughter in this country, and by allowing contaminated horse meat to be exported from this country.  But really, think about it, can we expect anything less, after what we have already learned?

Once you have read Sinika’s  email, please take the time to visit this additional  link below regarding ‘Animal Angels’ Investigation of  the “Bouvry’s Slaughter Pipeline”. “Bouvry Exports operates one of the largest horse slaughter plants in Canada approved to export horse meat to the EU. Bouvry Exports owns about 2000 acres of land near Fort Macleod, where they fatten US and Canadian horses in large feedlots.”

Warning the pictures which are exposing this horrendous inhumane treatment of horses awaiting slaughter are very graphic.

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=whxo74bab&v=001rfHpJW7JhgDr8qwFNDbXg9Pu9-IzZcEd7xgB8eBrxCjUoheS_2QY-8GOquJ-4WBdFdNJaacsldVMviXrVCbFa4AZZ7i32KMc3B_FLV8mlryiahf_PcKjTGPWxg9wJVzu3qZCw_0JtgRgCZ91IxGbsqFVIljvA04MDFO1YByYstl7dog3Npbd-7HZs-HjCMuEMA0DRiV22etN6gBwoP8nKfLMBsUF5cKSoOCHNnQtFHUmdWSHOAa1ke7TlEZd83Z6

We cannot allow the continuation of such inhumane treatment to continue.  We all know about the Factory Farms, we all know about the Puppy and Kitten Mills, we all know about the Dog Fighting Rings, the Racing Industry, the Circuses and the Rodeos….but more must be done to end the equine slaughter for profit and greed and the exploitation of lands established as protected areas for wild horses, we must all put an end to the Canadian export of tainted meat unfit for human consumption, and any and all Canadian imports of products into this country from the cruel exploitative practices of other nations against animals.

 

Below is Sinika’s email: posted with her permission

Subject: The life and death of a racehorse, and the chilling implications
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 09:23:03 -0800

The Life and Death of Silky Shark, a Racehorse

 

In July 2011, a Standardbred U.S. racehorse named Silky Shark died in a Quebec slaughterhouse.

 

The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition tracked the evidence, showing that Silky Shark had been administered phenylbutazone (a deadly drug that must never enter the food chain) and subsequently slipped through the system undetected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

 

Jack Rodolico of Latitude News has produced an exemplary account of the fate of this beautiful horse – Silky Shark’s life in the racing industry, how he fell through the cracks, and what chilling implications his death holds in terms of animal protection and food safety.

Links to articles and podcasts are below.

 

The full magazine feature and podcast: http://www.latitudenews.com/story/the-shady-trade-in-american-horsemeat/

A short version aired on the American radio program Marketplace: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/world/drugged-american-horsemeat-sold-europe

 

A slightly longer version aired on Harvest Public Media’s network of public radio stations throughout the American Midwest: http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/1544/drugged-horsemeat-us-showing-europe/5

A medium-length text version on The Week:  http://theweek.com/article/index/237968/the-shady-trade-in-american-horsemeat

 

CHDC’s report, Proof of CFIA Failure: http://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/proof-of-cfia-failure/

 

 

Read Full Post »

Once again I am publishing on the request and  behalf of Canadians for Animal Welfare Reform (CAFWR)

Take a look Steven Harper There is blood on your hands

Steven Harper this is what you are supporting ! Take a long hard look? Now there is CONCRETE evidence that 42% of baby seals… yes that is BABY seals ( a few weeks old) are conscious  when being skinned alive! The seal hunt is over ! 80 % of Canadians don’t want it. 80% translates to over 27 MILLION Canadians  who want this brutal cruelty stopped. So does the rest of the world .You have no markets any more.

 

At the end of the day .China will say no to you and you have nowhere else to go to sell this bloody slaughter .Stock piling seal skins is laughable  !Do you really believe that over time there will be a market for stock piled seal skins and meat ?

 

Admit defeat Mr Harper? You are only adding more fuel to the fire of the erosion of your government. All your government will EVER be remembered for is the perpetuation of Canada’s  “bloody shame”…… in arrogance and defiance of the wishes of Canada and her citizens

 

Retrain the sealers for other industries and work. BUY THEM OUT NOW?

 

 Sarah West Founder/President

Canadians For Animal Welfare Reform (CFAWR) www.cfawr.org

Follow us on Twitter

Canadian Ambassador World Animal Day

LINKS OF INTEREST: PRIOR POSTS

CFAWR Challenges P.M. Harper and the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale: Do the RIGHT thing: End the Seal Hunt!!

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/cfawr-challenges-p-m-harper-and-the-honourable-kathy-dunderdale-do-the-right-thing-end-the-seal-hunt/

Why are Taxpayers Subsidizing the Dying Seal Slaughter Industry?

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/why-are-taxpayers-subsidizing-the-dying-seal-slaughter-industry/

IFAW Documents Unacceptable Cruelty During 2011 Seal Hunt

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/ifaw-documents-unacceptable-cruelty-during-2011-seal-hunt/

Per:The Honourable Mac Harb on Canadian Seal Hunt

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/perthe-honourable-mac-harb-on-canadian-seal-hunt/

Read Full Post »

MAY 11, 2011 A TRAGIC DAY TO REMEMBER

 

More and more, public awareness of the outrageous, unforgivable treatment inflicted on the lives of innocent animals is proving to be a driving force for positive action.

One year ago today, a VIGIL, protesting the needless murder of 102 unlucky shelter animals held at the Newmarket, Ontario shelter was launched. Below are just a few of the many pictures taken during the 2011 VIGIL.

Today, May 11, 2012 marks the Second Anniversary and once again, dedicated, caring people are gathering to honor these lost lives taken due to indifference and apparent complacency on the part of the caregivers to which these precious lives were entrusted.

The fact that today’s MEMORIAL VIGIL is even taking place is evidence in itself, that SOMETHING HAS GOT TO CHANGE IN ONTARIO.  This incident SHOULD NEVER have happened in the first place!!!!!

In March 2009 a great deal of Hype was publicized about Ontario enacting the Strongest Animal Protection Law in Canada.  Congratulations to Ontario!!

  Note the sarcasm here!!!!

McGuinty Government Modernizes Animal Cruelty Laws

http://news.ontario.ca/mcscs/en/2008/11/stronger-protection-for-animals-in-ontario.html

“Today is an historic day for our province when it comes to animal protection. Ontario has passed legislation that will give us the strongest animal protection laws in Canada, and bring more abusers to justice.”

 – Rick Bartolucci
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Service

Clearly obvious by the scandal and subsequent Inquiry launched by Mr. Klees resulting in the report finally being published: http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/news-from-ontario-ospca-full-report-released-finally/

Excerpt: “The report said a couple of things which made my blood boil, one of them being 57 animals euthanized. Well we all know that is not true. From the very beginning in their attempt to make themselves look transparent to the public they itemized exactly where the 102 animals were, how many were in foster care and those that went to alternate clinics. So how do they get off saying there were only 57.  Please do not blame the investigators for that.”

A great deal must be done to improve the Ontario situation.  Thus far it is most questionable as to whether anything at all POSITIVE has been done to protect the lives of innocent animals in Ontario, whose sole crime was to be born. 

Many animals have AND CONTINUE TO FALL VICTIM to irresponsible and uncaring owners that allow continued breeding, failing to spay and neuter their pet, allowing them to roam freely and THUS  contribute to an ever expanding population of unwanted and discarded animals.

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!

Much gratitude is due to ALL those who continue to fight, in Ontario, the injustices inflicted upon  animals in Ontario.  Gratitude must be given to those who REMEMBER and who continually REMIND us that WE are all RESPONSIBLE.  Reminding us too, that each and every one of us CAN DO something POSITIVE, to MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!  Special thanks to you for allowing me to use these pictures.

YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!

    2011 VIGIL

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrM1F2hm85I

“Miracle of Life”

Come quick”, their mother said, “The time is getting near”;
She feels that when the kittens come the children should be here.
She told them that a big orange Tom took “Kitty” as his wife,
“It’s wonderful, a gift from God, the miracle of life”.

At half a year young “Kitty” feels too painful and too scared,
To appreciate six miracles, blind-eyed and yellow haired.
But she knows these lives depend on her and nature tells her how,
And as she cleans them, children ask “Mom, can we go now?”

But now and then, for six more weeks the children visit her,
To play with six new magic toys, made of life and fur.

The six weeks pass, the newness gone and new homes yet unfound,
Mom bundles up six miracles and takes them to the pound,
Where lovingly, with gentle hands and no tears left to cry,
The shelter workers kiss them once and take them off to die.

And “Momma Kitty”, now she’s called, mourns her loss and then,
She’s put outside, and of course, she’s pregnant once again.
Dad tells “Kitty” STOP THIS NOW or you won’t live here long!,
But deep inside of Momma Cat, this time something’s wrong.

Too young, too small, too often bred now nature’s gone awry,
Momma Kitty feels it too and she crawls off to die.
She too is freed from this cruel world, and from her time of strife.
How harsh the truth, how high the price, this “Miracle of Life”

- Veterinarian, Dr Barry Taylor-from Manxalot Rescue

OSPCA Scandals are readily located by Googling:

http://www.ospcatruth.com

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/05/17/ospca-receives-euthanasia-report

http://www.facebook.com/notes/ora-animalrescue/ora-guest-advocate-feature-cruelty-in-hamilton-ospca-aware-and-doing-nothing-by-/223617177650839

VERITAS: FUMBLE – OSPCA PUTS DOWN ITS CREDIBILITY

http://www.breakthroughblog.ca/2010/05/veritas-fumble-ospca-puts-down-its.html

http://davenportdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/04/bad-guy-tim-trow-toronto-humane-society.html

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 409 other followers