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May 13, 2010

Talk Back: Captive Marine Mammals, Coyote Hunting, Mobile Crimes Lab

Last month Naomi Rose, Ph.D., The HSUS's marine mammal scientist, testified before a Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee about the problems associated with the captive display of marine mammals at theme parks. My blog in advance of the hearing drew many responses—among your comments:

Thank you Wayne and Naomi for being the HSUS membership voice to the House Subcommittee. Even as a child I sensed sadness and fear when our parents took us to a zoo. I hated the zoo but loved the animals. When I became old enough, I just said “no thanks” to zoo or water theme park visits. We should be teaching children to respect and protect marine life in the wild, not at poolside or through an over-sized aquarium. I sincerely hope the House Subcommittee shows some real courage and intelligence this time and ends the “entertainment” industry's exemption to the Marine Mammal Protection Act! —Linda Yarbrough, Texas
This is too much. We’ve gone too far. We’re poisoning their home, overfishing their food sources, and capturing them to send to parks or eat them, of all things. Is living in this world really going to be worth it when we kill off all our plants and animals? I don't want that world, I don't want to be part of it, I don't want to support it. … This can’t keep going on, we are not the only living, loving, breathing beings on this planet and we need to see that. —laramie
I was an employee at Sea World of Texas in the sharks/coral reef department. I performed in thousands of shows during my time there. I completely support your actions in standing up for marine mammals. Sea World does not speak for the whales…I know. Best of luck. —Sarah Mueller
Thanks for the post. I just saw “The Cove” and was inspired by [Ric] O' Barry's commitment to the cause. The slaughter was really brutal and tragic. It's time to reconsider housing animals that require much more space and social interaction than a captive setting can provide. It is a shame that any industry that profits from animals inevitably becomes corrupt: choosing dollars over animals every time. —Sara N

Another post that brought to light a troubling issue was the New York Times story about the use of greyhounds to chase and kill coyotes, a form of animal fighting masquerading as sport hunting:

I have a beautiful retired racing greyhound. I love to watch her run, but to think of other greyhounds chasing and killing coyotes makes me sick to my stomach. I hope that the cruelty of humanity will be surpassed by our compassion for the animals involved. —honeybee
I live in the Canadian prairies and extreme hatred towards coyotes is very common. At the wildlife rehab center we sometimes get orphaned coyotes (these are the babies that are not killed along with their parents or left to starve). … Coyotes are not vermin or pests, they are intelligent and opportunistic survivors that deserve to exist free from vicious human persecution. Pitting animals against each other and deriving enjoyment from it is extremely sadistic. —Anna C.
It never ceases to amaze me what things people do for "enjoyment." What in the world is wrong with people who like to watch living creatures maim and kill each other? —Becky Walters
This is a new one to me. Every day brings another form of animal cruelty! The magnitude is so huge and overwhelming, will we ever conquer it? … This is dogfighting pure and simple and I'm not happy about the greyhound or the coyote being killed. —Barbara Fleming

And you were excited about the unveiling of The HSUS's Mobile Animal Crimes Lab, a new resource available to law enforcement to help crack down on animal fighting criminals and other abusers:

This is way too cool! I am glad somebody also believes in treating animal cruelty cases as serious and as top notch as I do. I wish this had occurred a long time ago, but I am glad to see it now. Great job! —Jackie Phillips
This is absolutely wonderful! All of you involved in this are my heroes! To know there are so many suffering animals out there and to have people like all of you helping them is just heartwarming to me. Dogfighting is just so horrific and I certainly hope this will aid in keeping these criminals from harming more animals. Not just in dogfighting but any cruelty case. —Karen Wagner

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