Support an Audit of the USDA Wildlife Services Lethal Predator Control Program
Wildlife Services (WS), a branch of the US Department of Agriculture, has spent more than $393 million in federal funds annually since 2004, and over the same period has killed more than 22 million animals. This included protected species and over 788,000 mammalian predators such as wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, black bears and grizzlies, foxes, badgers, and domestic dogs and cats. USDA WS is only a phone call away to service any private or commercial customer who views wild animals as inconvenient, primarily the ranching and livestock industry and trophy hunting clubs such as the Safari Club International.
From using foothold traps and neck snares, conducting ground or aerial gunning, bombing coyote dens to suffocate pups and pregnant females, to allowing dogs to attack and rip apart trapped wild animals and using pound dogs to experiment with M-44 sodium cyanide, the institutionalized culture of animal cruelty within the USDA WS is appalling. WS practices have been exposed as inhumane by Tom Knudson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with the Sacramento Bee, and as excessive, unnecessary, unprofessional, wasteful of the public's tax money and lacking accountability while defying science, according to a recent opinion page of the NYT Editorial Board. Two Congressmen, Peter DeFazio and John Campbell, have recently requested an investigation of WS's practices and policies, particularly their lethal predator management program.
Time Is Running Out to Defeat the King Amendment to the Farm Bill!
The revamped Farm Bill, including the highly controversial King Amendment, was recently approved by the House. House-Senate negotiators are now working to finalize the Farm Bill. The King Amendment, proposed by Representative Steve King of Iowa, claims to protect interstate commerce, but in reality it is designed to undermine animal welfare laws enacted by individual states. Please take a moment to call your U.S. Representatives and ask them to remove the King Amendment from the 2013 Farm Bill. According to the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, states should be able to ban the sale of agricultural products if they are not produced in a manner approved by that state. Please help us defeat the dangerous and unconstitutional King Amendment to the 2013 Farm Bill.
Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Indiana, is the largest agritourism facility in the United States. They are attempting to make the horrors of factory farming "fun" for the whole family. The Pig Adventure tour begins with pregnant or soon-to-be-pregnant sows being fed by machine, then moves to the birthing barn, where sows in gestation crates are either in labor or have recently given birth. There are 2,750 pigs at any given time at Pig Adventure, with as many as 250 piglets born every day. That's about 80,000 pigs every year sold to farmers in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. These horrors of factory farming should not be celebrated, they should be condemned. Extreme confinement in gestation cratesRepeated artificial insemination of sows, forcing them into a continuous cycle of pregnanciesBabies taken away from their mothers after an extremely short period of nursingCastration and teeth-cutting of piglets with no pain killers, routine practice in pig farming hidden from public viewThe actual slaughter of pigs - electrocution to render them unconscious, hanging them upside down and slashing their throats, which also remains hidden from public viewFair Oaks Farms began its sadistic twist on "family fun" with Dairy Adventure and plans to add more "attractions" within the next ten years including more cows, chickens, and fish. Please take a moment to post a message on Fair Oaks Farms' Facebook page. Animals are not objects. They are sentient beings capable of feeling fear, sadness, and pain. Their lives and deaths do not constitute an "amusement park."
Tyke's Death: A Tragic Reminder of Elephant Suffering in Circuses
Nineteen years ago this week, Tyke, a 20 year old African elephant "owned" by the notorious Hawthorn Corporation, was killed on the streets of Honolulu. On August 20, 1994, she was performing with the Circus International in Hawaii when she killed her trainer and gored her groomer, then bolted from the arena and ran through the city for a half-hour, injuring several people before collapsing from the 86 police bullets fired into her. It took nearly two hours for her to die, lying in the street. Tyke's legacy, a growing worldwide awareness of the suffering of animals in circuses, continues to gather strength. IDA is working every day to nurture that awareness, and to transform it into action. Elephants in circuses endure intense confinement, social isolation and the constant threat of physical punishment. We aim to end these abusive practices and to prevent further injuries or deaths—elephant or human—resulting from the proximity between the public and these traumatized, highly stressed animals. For more information about how you can help, please see http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/wild-free2/elephant-protection/circuses/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loyal Friends, Never Food
One of the most deceitful myths in South Korea is that there are two types of dogs—edible or meat dogs, and animal companions. Of course dogs are dogs, and the reality is that any dog may end up in the dog meat trade: former animal companions, purebreds (including Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Schnauzers, Malteses, Beagles), dogs from puppy mills, shelters, dogs sold at closed dog auctions. All of these dogs are eaten as meat or boshintang as dog meat soup or gaesojuas "health" food. A former dog trader was once quoted as saying "Pet dogs are cheaper because they are sold per dog and not by the pound. When you butcher them, you can't tell whether they are pet dogs or meat dogs." Though dog meat is consumed year-round, the practice is especially celebrated during the summer, when farms throng with dogs. Bok-Nal ("dog-eating days") falls on the hottest days of the year. It is zealously believed that dog meat, with its alleged cooling properties, will strengthen bodies and "help stamina" to beat the heat. On the second Bok day, July 23rd, Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA), one of the leading South Korean animal-protection organizations, launched an IDA-funded subway ad at Dongdaemoon Station, one of the busiest subway stations in Seoul. The ad will be featured for a month. The text at the top, in red, asks provocatively, "What are you eating?" The text in the middle, in white, asks, "They are family at home, but when found on the street, consumed for food?" The text at the bottom, in red, states simply, "They are all the same." Their names, from top left to right: Jjangi, Toto, Janggun, Coco, Ddoli, Nuri, and Ddungi. The message of this deeply affecting and superbly logical ad is this: there are no dogs bred specifically for the purpose of human consumption, because all dogs—lost, rescued, dogs in council shelters, dogs anywhere and everywhere—can be processed for consumption. These beautiful dogs are all the same. The truth of the ad asks people to think for themselves against this horror of an industry, which profits from lies, unimaginable cruelty, and is a public health catastrophe for both humans and dogs. For more information, please contact email@example.com.