To complete the trifecta of posts, here's an quick blurb from the NY Times' Freakonomics blog about two journal articles on slaughterhouses. The first article will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy and focuses on the possible psychological impacts to slaughterhouse workers who are exposed to the kill floor. The second article from the American Sociological Association looks at the statistical data linking slaughterhouses and increased crime rates. The study's findings "suggest unique effects of slaughterhouse employment levels on certain types of crime (controlling for several key variables and compared to other types of industry)."
Sunday, April 13, 2008
From the New York Times Dot Earth blog: the first international conference on manufacturing meat took place recently. The process involves growing cell cultures in vats as opposed to raising and slaughtering animals. The conference was held in Norway by the In Vitro Meat Consortium.
Update: After posting, I saw these posts at vegan.com, one of which linked to a more detailed article at Wired.
The New York Times has an interesting article on the aftermath of the delisting of gray wolves from the endangered species list. According to the article, in the first few days after the delisting 10 wolves were killed in Wyoming alone. On the first day protections were lifted, one of the wolves that was shot was a partially crippled radio-collared wolf named 253M. A coalition of environmental groups have stated that they will go to federal court on April 28th to challenge the delisting.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
In an attempt to get caught up, here's yet another news roundup:
- Humane Society Questions Legitimacy of Animal Charity (TBO).
- Collier officials uncover more illegal fishing nets (Naples News).
- Cheetah attack inflames big cat debate (Palm Beach Post).
- Florida Retirement Community votes to shoot ducks; animal cruelty charges follow (Fox News).
- 11th Circuit's Ruling on Florida Keys endangered Species (Miami Herald).
- Dogs and Puppies Rescued from Breeding Facility (TBN Weekly).
- Arizona ships 22 alligators to Florida (TBO).
- FWC approves lobster rule amendments (Charlotte Sun-Herald).
- Deer Management Plan released by FWC (Lakeland Ledger).
- 1781 Gopher Tortoises get new home (Tampa Bay's 10).
- Questions remain for sheriff in dog shooting (Alligator).
- Boca shelter helps heal harm of puppy mills (Palm Beach Post).
- Tighter Turtle Protections Eyed (News Press).
- Local group helps save Schnauzers (Marco Island Sun Times).
- Florida's Pet Lemon law protects animal lovers (First Coast News).
Thursday, April 10, 2008
WWSB ABC 7 reports that the Florida Bald Eagle has been removed from the endangered species list by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The eagles are recovering in Florida with 1,100 active nests counted last year after a low of 88 nests counted in 1973. Monitoring and development restrictions remain in place even after the delisting.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The Bradenton Herald has an article on changes by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to the rules for "harvesting" (aka hunting, killing, etc.) river cooter turtles. The new rules limit the times of year that the turtles can be hunted. There are also updates to the hunting of other turtle species as well.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
TCPalm reports that a coalition of ten local animal shelters is offering various spay/neuter programs. The program started last week but extends through Tuesday the 8th, according to the article. The program is aiming to spay or neuter 1,000 animals and cut down on the rampant pet overpopulation problem. The eight shelters that participated in a similar program last year, received almost 105,000 animals. The article also includes some interesting facts about spaying/neutering:
- An un-neutered male dog can detect an un-spayed female dog in heat for up to 3 1/2 miles away. As a result, more than 80 percent of dogs hit by cars are un-neutered males. Neutering pets makes them less likely to roam.
- Altering pets greatly reduces or eliminates the desire for them to spray or mark their territory with urine.
- A dog or cat that is neutered is less likely to fight with other animals for a mate or territory.
- The chance of testicular and ovarian cancer is greatly reduced for those pets altered at an early age.
- Unsterilized animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than do those who have been spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering can make pets less likely to bite.
- Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
The cover story of this month's Animal Sheltering magazine features an article entitled "A Losing Bet: Greyhound Racing’s Impact On Shelters." The full article is available at this link in pdf format. The article focuses on the large number of unwanted dogs that are typically bred by puppy mills and the impact that this has on both the dogs and animal shelters. It's an interesting article and I highly recommend it in its entirety. Late last month, the Miami Herald ran a similar story describing abuses in the greyhound racing industry.
According to the Herald article, Florida is attempting to curb some of the worst abuses associated with greyhound racing. Senate Bill 590, currently pending in the Florida Legislature, would require the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering to adopt rules governing the humane treatment of racing animals at pari-mutuel facilities. According to a staff analysis accompanying the bill, the division believes that it currently lacks the "authority needed for the humane treatment of racing animals" and has "indicated that it cannot conduct the inspections needed to supervise the welfare of the racing animals without the consent of the owners of the racing animals." The changes to the law would add rulemaking authority for the humane treatment of racing animals and give the division the ability to inspect any area at a pari-mutuel facility where racing animals are housed or maintained, including where food, medications, or other supplies are kept.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Via this post at How Appealing, the Austin American Statesman reported that the Texas Supreme Court entered a ruling late last month indicating that people with dogs have a duty to stop their dogs from attacking once an attack has started. According to the article, the victim of the bites claimed that the dogs' owner "watched the attack from several feet away, did nothing to intervene and even scolded [the victim]'s son for trying to calm the dogs so he could rescue his mother."
Law.com reports on the global settlement of a number of lawsuits based on tainted pet food. Approximately 120 suits were filed in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
With a tip of the hat to a post at How Appealing, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that will impact wildlife in the Florida Keys. Specifically, the court ruled in favor of a number of endangered and threatened species and animal/environmental groups holding that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) failed to comply with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, with regard to FEMA’s administration of the National Flood Insurance Program in the Florida Keys.
It's always good to see animals being named as parties to a case in their own right. In the 11th Circuit's opinion, the plaintiffs–appellees were three environmental organizations and eight endangered or threatened species. The organizations were the National Wildlife Federation, the Florida Wildlife Federation, and the Defenders of Wildlife. The endangered or threatened species are the Florida Key deer, the Key Largo cotton mouse, the Key Largo woodrat, the Key tree-cactus, the Lower Keys marsh rabbit, the Schaus’ swallowtail butterfly, the silver rice rat, and the Stock Island tree snail.
As a bonus piece of trivia, the opinion's author, Judge Barkett, was a justice on the Florida Supreme Court before being appointed to the 11th Circuit. She was the first woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court and the first female chief justice. According to the Florida Supreme Court's website, when she was appointed to the court in 1985 "the Justices' chambers collectively had only two restrooms: one marked 'Justices' and the other for women. With Barkett's appointment, this situation obviously came to an end."
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
The Palm Beach Post reports that there is little interest in the bill pending in the Florida legislature that would have Florida join the majority of states in the country that ban bestiality. Senate Bill 744 and its companion bill in the house, House Bill 1227, would make it a felony to have any contact with an animal for the purpose of sexual gratification. The bill's sponsor, Senator Nan Rich, is quoted in the story as having had difficulty getting the bill moving, perhaps because of the subject matter:
But Rich has not been able to get the bill before a committee. She has asked Sen. Paula Dockery, chairwoman of the criminal justice committee, to take it up. Dockery could not be reached for comment.Those Floridians interested in letting legislators know that they support the passage of the bill should click here to check out the action alert page at the Humane Society of the United States.
The taboo subject and graphic nature of the acts may be the reason the bill seems to be stalled, Rich said.
"I think there's a discomfort for people about discussing this," Rich said. "We don't understand why. People are very comfortable up here discussing sexual predators. Well, this is sexual predator."
Posted by Riley at 7:46 AM
Tampa Bay online ran a good article on Florida Pet trust laws and the need to plan for pet care in your estate. Without this type of planning, companion animals can end up in shelters when something happens to their guardians. The article links to the SPCA Tampa Bay, which offers "The Pet Owner's Guide to Estate Planning for Pets," according to the article. Whiel you should ask your lawyer about the proper way to implement an animal trust, the article also includes a checklist for pet estate planning:
CHECKLIST FOR PET PLANNING
•Identify and designate someone to assume ownership and care of your pets. Choose an alternate caretaker as well.
•Stay in touch. Make sure this person continues to be willing to honor this commitment, especially if your pet has special needs.
•Provide sufficient funds to care for your pet. Authorize payments for the care of pets and specify that you are willing to pay for food, water, veterinary care, grooming, exercise, socialization, etc.
•Specifically authorize payments to family members, friends, professional pet sitters and veterinary clinics for their help in caring for your pet.
•Empower your personal representative (executor) to make these arrangements in the event that the original provisions cannot be honored.
•Use language that refers to your "pets" instead of their names. That way no one will be left out if you get a new pet and your documents are not up-to-date.
•Use the SPCA pet profiles to establish a standard of care that you can refer to in your document. These profiles also provide valuable guidance on how to care for your pet in an emergency.
•Name a trust protector to oversee your pet's new owner and the funds you have set aside for your pet's care.
More noteworthy news from around the state:
- FWC Asks for Help With Horseshoe Crabs (The Ledger).
- Bill would aid animal shelters (Palm Beach Post).
- Pollo Tropical drops hormones from Florida Restaurants (South Florida Business Journal).
- Injured Bobcat Released into the Wild (Jacksonville Times Union).
- Fla. Politicians Take Steps To Rid Everglades of Invasive Pythons (NBC 6).
- Brothel Bust yields Gopher Tortoises (13 News).
- Freshwater Turtle Harvest Limits Sought (The Ledger).
- Troubled wildlife sanctuary closes (Tampa Bay Online).
- Woman attacked by cheetahs (TCPalm).