Thursday, July 30, 2009

NPR: Interview with makers of dolphin documentary

Fresh Air's Terry Gross has a great interview with the makers of "The Cove," the documentary about dolphin slaughter off the coast of Taijii, Japan. The movie has won a number of accolades, including the audience award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

The interview features director Louie Psihoyos, who is the executive director of the Oceanic Preservation Society, and Ric O'Barry, who is the former dolphin trainer responsible for teaching the dolphins on the TV show Flipper. As noted in the interview, O'Barry now believes that dolphins should not be kept in captivity. Click here to listen to the interview. A review of the movie by David Edelstein is available here. Check out the trailer below:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Investigation into horse killings expands

The is reporting that another slaughtered horse was discovered in Miami-Dade County on Sunday, making it the 17th such case under investigation since January 11th. A caretaker found the horse in a pasture near the horse's stable; pieces of chest and leg were missing prompting authorities to speculate that it was butchered for meat.

Miami-Dade County Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at (305)471-TIPS, or visit

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lobster poachers sentenced

WCTV reports that six individuals were recently convicted for catching 922 lobsters late last year. They faced additional charges based on 1700 pounds of lobster tails discovered by investigators. An officer with Florida Fish and Wildlife commented on the illegal poaching of lobsters:
Those who respect and follow the rules want those who are exhausting and abusing the resources to pay. More than 1,700 pounds of lobster tails represents more than 1,000 times the legal bag limit for a mini-season sport dive. If everybody took half that many lobsters, there wouldn’t be any left.
According to the article, one of the convicted defendants will spend 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Additionally, he is prohibited from fishing for five years in many of the waters in and around South Florida. He and his wife also had to forfeit three vehicles and three boats; and they must sell two properties in the Florida Keys, including their residence.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

2009 Animal Law Conference at Lewis & Clark

The folks over at Oregon Animal Law posted an announcement regarding the 2009 Animal Law Conference at Lewis & Clark Law School. This year's conference is being held October 16-18, 2009.

The keynote speakers are Nicholas D. Kristof, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New York Times columnist and Jonathan Lovvorn, Vice President & Chief Counsel for Animal Protection Litigation & Research at the Humane Society of the United States. The conference features a number of of other renowned speakers from the field of animal law, including:
  • Frank Ascione, American Humane Endowed Chair, University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work;
  • Steven Wise, Author, and Founder/Director, Center for Expansion of Fundamental Rights;
  • David Wolfson, Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy;
  • Joyce Tischler, Founder and General Counsel, Animal Legal Defense Fund;
  • Katherine Meyer, Partner, Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal;
  • Bruce Wagman, Partner, Schiff Hardin;
  • Russ Mead, General Counsel, Farm Sanctuary;
  • Pamela Frasch, Assistant Dean of the Animal Law Program & Executive Director, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School; and
  • Kathy Hessler, Professor & Clinical Director, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Zoo seeks special tax district

The Zoo of Northwest Florida has two weeks of funding left in its coffers according to an article in the Pensacola News Journal. One of the proposed solutions is to create a special tax district that would fund the zoo over the next decade. The envisioned district would generate a tax bill of $20 on a piece of property with a taxable value of $100,000.

According to the article, the zoo's funding is set to run out August 7th, but the zoo's mortgage holder, the for-profit Animal Park Inc., has agreed to keep the zoo open in the short term and is obligated to care for the animals and secure new homes for them if the zoo should close to the public.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Red Snapper fishing ban moving closer

Federal officials have proposed halting the fishing of red snapper off the Florida coast after a report showed that they are being overfished and down to 3 percent of a healthy stock, according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel. The fish can live up to 50 years and become more fertile as they age. The federal report found that the annual catch of red snapper is too high and there are not enough older fish to help the population rebound. The public can submit comments on the proposed ban until August 5th. To submit comments about the proposed ban online go to the website and enter NOAA-NMFS-2008-0089 in the keyword search. Other methods of commenting are described here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nurse shark dumped on street in Miami

Miami police are looking for two men that may have dumped a 6-foot nurse shark on the street, according to CBS 4. The men had apparently tried to sell the shark to fish markets earlier. They face misdemeanor charges if caught for improper killing and disposal of an animal.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Florida Animal Law Committee Spring Newsletter

The Florida Bar's Animal Law Committee Spring 2009 Newsletter is available at this link. It features articles on damages in companion animal cases, prosecuting endangered species violations, Miami-Dade's Animal Law Ordinances, and Florida's Dangerous Dog law.

More posts on the way...

I've been swamped and neglecting the blog... more posts coming soon.