Few are in a position to speak for the animals like Wayne Pacelle. As President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), he leads the nation's largest animal protection organization in the mission of celebrating animals and confronting cruelty.
In today’s Sacramento Bee, my colleague Jennifer Fearing
wrote a column questioning the outdated policies governing predator management
that have dominated for too long. The public is fed up with unsporting and
inhumane practices, as evidenced by the ban on hound hunting that passed in the
California legislature last year. Within the last year, the Sacramento Bee itself has run a
series of exposés on the ruthless predator-killing practices of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, which spends millions of tax dollars to create
little more than a grisly body count.
But it’s not just California that needs to step up. It’s all
of the states that are allowing and encouraging the slaughter of wolves,
mountain lions, black bears, coyotes, foxes, and other predators. Conservation biology
reminds us of the important role they play in ecosystems by controlling
populations of deer, elk, rabbits, rodents and others. Their
effects are felt up and down the entire chain of life in their habitats.
Right now, we are working with Michigan citizens to qualify
a ballot measure to block trophy hunting and trapping of wolves. In Maine, there is a growing movement to put a stop to reckless bear hunting and trapping
practices. And with the federal government on the verge of budget cuts associated with
the sequester, many
people are saying the time is past due to trim the predator-killing ways of the
I hope you’ll join our efforts
to stand up for apex predators, and combat the prejudice and persecution of so
many magnificent species who deserve so much better than we give them.
Viewpoints: State must
overhaul approach to predators
February 28, 2013
Jennifer Fearing, Special to the Bee
A year ago, a photo surfaced of Dan Richards, then-president
of California's Fish and Game Commission, bear-hugging a dead mountain lion.
Richards had shot the majestic animal – protected in
California, but legal to be hunted in Idaho – out of a tree where the cougar
sought refuge after hours of pursuit by a pack of hounds. The photo set off a
social and mainstream media firestorm fueled by the outrage expressed by tens
of thousands of Californians and many elected officials.
Yesterday for the 13th time in the past two years, our Animal Rescue team deployed to North Carolina for a puppy mill rescue. Our team, with support from local animal welfare
groups and law enforcement, rescued 58 small dogs. Most of them were in
very bad condition, mainly due to untreated infections and injuries. Like most
of the other puppy mills that have required our intervention, this facility was
selling puppies directly to the public via the Internet. Because the federal
government and North Carolina law are silent on the issue, the mill operated
without oversight or inspections. It was only because the animal treatment was
so bad that law enforcement made the judgment that violations of state
anti-cruelty laws may be taking place. The owner
surrendered the dogs to authorities.
Meredith Lee/The HSUS One of 58 dogs rescued from a N.C. puppy mill on Tuesday
Yesterday’s rescue follows an investigation that aired
Sunday by an ABC affiliate in Seattle regarding a different Internet puppy
4 News updated the story of Wendy Laymon, a Missouri breeder we exposed in
Dirty Dozen reports on some of the worst puppy mills in Missouri. As the ABC
story notes, Laymon was fined and jailed in Washington state more than a decade
ago for animal-related charges, only to move to Missouri where the regulatory
climate was, at the time, less strict. Using the Internet, she continues to
sell puppies, including some whom she claims are “rescued.” Laymon and the
North Carolina breeder are just two examples of hundreds of unethical breeders
who are currently able to avoid federal regulatory oversight by selling over
We’ve been working to plug
this loophole, and just today, we are pleased to announce the introduction of
federal legislation to crack down on Internet puppy mills. That legislation – S. 395 and H.R. 847, also
known as the PUPS Act, or "Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act"
– is sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and David Vitter, R-La., and
Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois
Capps, D-Calif. We thank these lawmakers for taking a stand against puppy
mill cruelty and working to correct that gaping hole in the law.
Last summer, we alerted you to a proposed federal rule
from the Obama Administration to close the internet puppy mill loophole. We asked you to share your concerns
with the U.S. Department of Agriculture about dogs in unlicensed Internet puppy
mills – and hundreds of thousands of you took action. Thanks to your incredible
response, The HSUS and a coalition of national groups submitted
nearly 350,000 public signatures and comments to the USDA in support of a
proposed rule to regulate Internet pet sellers under the Animal Welfare
Act. That rule would have an effect similar to the PUPS Act.
We thank the Obama Administration for proposing this
rule to deal with Internet sellers and to have them brought under the
regulatory authority of the USDA, just like the large-scale sellers of dogs to
pet stores. But final action is overdue, and we hope the abuses that we
continue to bring to light provide enough incentive to complete the job they
started and bring relief to so many suffering dogs.
Can horse meat find its way into the U.S. food supply?
I would not be the least bit surprised if it does turn up, now that people are
starting to look. The U.S. Department of Agriculture largely relies upon a
self-reporting system that leaves us at the mercy of other nations, even as the
number of countries audited by U.S. officials every year has declined
by more than 60 percent since 2008.
Many European food manufacturers sell meat products in the
U.S. If horse meat wound up unexpectedly in the European meat supply, why
couldn’t it be in the U.S. supply too?
We have all of the expected assurances from federal food
safety officials and other leading authorities that the systems in place are
sufficient to protect against any replay of what has been happening in Europe.
But we had similar assurances about the safety of pet food, before melamine
found its way into tens of millions of cans and pouches of that product in
2007, killing dogs and cats across the country. We were told of the sheer
impossibility of mad cow disease in the U.S. supply chain before we saw an incident a
decade ago that had a $12 billion impact on the beef industry.
It’s no easy thing to secure the food supply. More than
ever, it’s a global enterprise with supply chains stretching thousands of miles
– a point of vulnerability for food safety and infiltration at the production,
transport and processing stages. As The HSUS and so many other watchdog
groups have pointed out, there are serious gaps in the system, along with
disreputable people in the production and supply chain who can take advantage
or corrupt it.
Kathy Milani/The HSUS
For Western nations, with the most developed regulatory
frameworks in place for slaughter and meat processing, that oversight system is
focused principally on food-borne pathogens, with worker attention and testing
occurring in the post-mortem period. The system is not built to detect when
meat from one species has fraudulently been substituted for another, as
happened in Europe. Until the horse meat scandal, that sort of testing was rarely
Here’s what we do know. The meat industry in the U.S. is
lobbying for laws to make
it a crime just to take a photo in a meat processing facility. We know that
it’s trying to cover up animal abuse and food safety problems. Whether this is
an industry-wide goal or not, such lack of transparency means that there are
fewer eyes on the facilities involved in production and transport, and that
provides an opening for unscrupulous operators.
The American meat industry – which includes the National
Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and others –
is the biggest proponent of slaughtering horses for human consumption. It’s not
exactly a leap to suggest that they want to push horse meat onto the plates of
American consumers. In yesterday’s New
York Times, one proponent of slaughter boasted that there is growing demand
for the product in the U.S.
It puzzles me that agribusiness trade groups would
potentially put the beef and pork sectors at risk in order to give a toehold to
the highly marginal horse slaughter industry. Haven’t they watched as beef
sales in Europe have taken a nose-dive and vegetarianism has surged since
the horse meat scandal hit the front pages? Do they not realize that a similar consumer response would happen here in the United States if the same
discovery happened on this side of the Atlantic?
For years, the U.S. Department of Defense has intentionally hurt animals, including dogs, in order to simulate “battlefield wounds,” for the purpose of medical combat training for treatment of injured soldiers. Upon learning of these in-field “experiments” with animals, the public demanded change and better ways to help our troops in crisis. In response, in the 1980s and early 1990s, Congress put an end to the military inflicting wounds on dogs, cats and primates for the purpose of conducting surgical or medical training. Unfortunately, they just swapped species and the DOD is still inflicting awful harm upon animals, despite the availability of superior training alternatives.
Jennifer Kunz/The HSUS
Today, the Washington
Post reported that public concern over these
experiments has not abated. Congress has again weighed in on this issue, through
the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, and has requested that the
Pentagon present a report on how the military plans to phase out the use
of all animals for combat training. According to The Post, this “marks the first time Congress has ordered the
Pentagon to provide a detailed plan to start relying less on animals and more
For combat training purposes, the military burns, shoots,
stabs and breaks the bones of animals. One whistleblower captured
footage of the legs of goats being taken off with tree trimmers as
part of Coast Guard training. In another case, the military attempted to
conduct their trainings off site, seemingly in order to avoid public attention,
although a media outlet successfully captured
footage of the training.
Everyone wants our military personnel to have the best medical
treatment possible if their missions go wrong or they are otherwise injured. But
the archaic practice of injuring animals won’t provide the best training
possible. There are significant anatomical, biological and physiological
differences between pigs, goats and humans.
Last week, I
wrote about our efforts to increase the government’s investment in
alternatives to using animals in harmful research and testing. The great news
is that, in this case, there are effective alternatives available, so there is
no need to use animals for military trauma training. Some examples are high
fidelity simulators that simulate a living human, cadavers, and experience in human trauma centers. These
alternatives again represent amazing innovation and can be used in combination.
We look forward to the Pentagon’s report and hope that
military trauma training on all animals will be a closed chapter for the
finest, most sophisticated, innovative, and, one day perhaps, the most humane military
in the world.
this month, filmmakers and photographers Jim and Jamie Dutcher released a
deeply compelling book, The Hidden Life of Wolves, about these remarkable but
beleaguered American predators. The Dutchers are drawing standing room
only and slack-jawed crowds wherever they’ve appeared, sharing their stunning
images and educating people about the lives of these creatures.
the release of the book is not a moment too soon. States in the northern
Rockies and the Great Lakes didn’t waste any time after federal delisting,
authorizing trophy hunters and trappers to start killing hundreds of wolves –
extinguishing the lives of the wolves and causing upheaval in the pack’s social
HSUS has been punching back to protect the wolves. These wolves are not
just populations; they are individuals. They feel pain and suffer, just
like the dogs in our homes.
filed legal actions in Wyoming and the Great Lakes and, along with our
coalition partners, launched a ballot measure campaign in Michigan in concert
with American Indian tribes, hunters, environmentalists, and local humane organizations.
I am also pleased to report that we are supporting a bill in Minnesota to
impose a five-year moratorium on the sport hunting of wolves.
would be a tough fight in Minnesota, but the senate president and minority
leaders are cosponsors of the bill. It already has support from lawmakers
from both parties, and from urban and rural areas of the state.
Lakes states have long traditions of hunting, but that’s hunting for
meat. This is nothing of the sort; people don’t eat wolves. What’s
more, if the general rationale for hunting is “wildlife management,” that’s not
in play here. Wolves are the best wildlife managers there are, helping to
control the size and behavior of prey populations and limiting the impacts of
roadkill and crop depredation. And if there is an individual wolf causing
a threat to farm animals or public safety, the law allows for selective taking.
it’s not enough to introduce a bill or launch a ballot measure. We’ve got to
push these policies forward, and with wolf haters out there, we need to
demonstrate an outpouring of public support. We need Minnesotans to write
and meet with their legislators, and Michiganders to take to the street and start
gathering signatures. We’ve got deadlines coming up, and, for wolves,
these are life-and-death matters. We can help the wolves, but only if you
join the effort.
The revelations about horse meat masquerading as beef
products represent one of the biggest food scandals in recent years. It’s
of keen interest to The HSUS and Humane Society International because we’ve
been warning European authorities of the dirty deeds of the horse meat
industry. While there are no operating slaughter plants in the U.S.,
growing numbers of American horses are being live-shipped to Canada and Mexico,
where they are slaughtered and then sent to Europe. We know
that these horses are routinely given veterinary drugs not suited for human
consumption. We have not been able to understand why Europe has neglected
to adhere to its rigid food safety standards when it comes to horse meat.
The abuses of the horse meat industry are unraveling before
the eyes of the world. I’ve asked Jo Swabe, HSI’s EU Director in Brussels, to
provide a dispatch. She’s been working around the clock on the issue, along
with several members of our European and American staff, who have traveled to
Europe during the past week to apprise European officials of the realities of
the horse meat trade in America.
Last week, when we learned along with the rest of the world
about a widening horse meat scandal in Europe, we wondered if this might be a
crack in the armor of the American horse slaughter trade. We had recently
learned that the number of horses exported for meat from Canada and Mexico,
where most U.S. horses go for slaughter, had jumped to over 160,000 in 2012.
Clearly, demand is driving the supply ever higher as, at least in Europe, the
cheap cost of horse meat, relative to beef, has caused unscrupulous dealers to
switch out beef for horse meat in processed foods such as lasagna and Bolognese
sauce. When this fraud was discovered on Irish and English supermarket shelves,
citizens in these horse-loving nations were enraged.
Jennifer Kunz/The HSUS/FFA
European politicians, concerned about a further loss of
consumer confidence in the fragile European economy, are launching
investigations in search of the magnitude of the fraud, and developing a plan
to stabilize constituent confidence in the highly regulated food safety system.
The HSUS equine protection team immediately joined with
Humane Society International representatives in the European Union to implement
a strategy to advance humane concerns related to the cruelty and lack of human
food safeguards in the shady North American abattoir industry. American horses
do not belong on foreign dinner tables.
Horse slaughter isn't just bad for the horse, it is a
serious violation of EU food safety standards because American horses are
routinely given doses of veterinary drugs absolutely prohibited for any animal
that enters the European food chain. We've tried to alert the European
Commission before but have simply been ignored. However, now Europe can't
afford to fix part of this problem, the fraud, without fixing the entire
system. Without comprehensive action consumer confidence will drop even more
and the economy will be even further damaged.
HSUS and HSI representatives have met with officials from
seven governments so far this week. On Thursday we delivered a petition with
signatures of over 9,000 EU citizens asking that the European Union place a
moratorium on the sale of horse meat of American origin, because the regulatory
authorities cannot ensure that the horses are in compliance with Europe's own
food safety regulations. We have more meetings later this week. In addition, we
have been talking with the European media and other humane organizations to
solidify our position that horses from North America do not belong in the
European food chain.
As we meet with European officials, the scandal is widening.
This week the EU called for its member state governments to test both for DNA
(to determine if products labeled beef are in fact beef and not horse) and also
for drug residue. This signals an expansion of the EU's investigation from the
fraud related to species, to a concern about the illegal trade in adulterated
horse meat. Since 20 percent of the horse meat consumed in the EU comes from
North America, and virtually all of this meat is out of compliance with EU food
safety standards, we are gratified to see that the Commission is paying
attention to this serious food safety concern. The scandal has widened as well
with Belgium announcing fraud in its equine "passport" system. This
mandatory program documents all drugs given to European horses destined for
slaughter. In addition, this week several more countries have verified that
they have discovered horse meat in their beef products.
The Council of the European Union is set to meet early next
week to agree on its response to the scandal and announce significant reforms
to address this crisis. We will be in Brussels and the capitols of other
influential governments over the next several days talking with health,
environment and agricultural officials to convince them that Europe cannot have
a safe and compliant food system while allowing the sale of horse meat from
North America with no lifetime drug treatment history.
“What are the alternatives to using animals in medical research?” This is a
legitimate question I am often asked, and now, due to scientific innovation and
increasing evidence of the shortcomings of animal research, it is becoming
easier to answer. A newly published
scientific paper shows that a reliance
on mice in medical research has been potentially useless for three major,
often-fatal conditions: sepsis, burns and trauma. The 10-year study, worked on
by 39 scientists from across the country, reports that humans and mice respond
to inflammation completely differently. According to The
New York Times, the researchers could not, initially, get their paper
published because the results from the human studies were so different from the
mouse studies that no one thought the findings were accurate. This highlights
how strongly and uncritically some scientists continue to believe that because
mice are mammals, their biology and physiology are comparable to our own.
So what does all of this actually mean? It means that for decades, scientists and
pharmaceutical companies have worked on developing drugs for sepsis, burns and
trauma, based on information from mouse studies, but found that the mouse
response to treatment is inconsistent with the human response. As a
result, time and money have been wasted and treatment opportunities to help
patients were delayed or overlooked.
The HSUS and Humane Society International are at the forefront of pushing for
change and have urged similar critiques of other areas of animal research. For
example, through our chimpanzee campaign we have argued there are major
problems with chimpanzee research and this was finally confirmed by the Institute of
Medicine last year. And leading research journals have published
studies by HSI scientists demonstrating the shortcomings of animal models
for the study of asthma and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it is important that we not simply focus on the failures of the
current animal research paradigm, but that we also encourage new investment in
innovation and the development of non-animal alternatives based on human cell
systems and human studies. In 2007, the National Academy of Sciences produced a
report which stated that toxicity testing without animals can be realized in
the not-too-distant future. We have launched the Human Toxicology Project Consortium
to make this vision a reality and have also been successful in getting Congress
to invest more on approaches that are faster, cheaper and more precise without
the use of animals.
The National Institutes of Health is also moving in this direction with the
launch of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences in December
of 2011. NCATS seeks, among other things, to speed the development of effective
to NIH Director Francis Collins, the development and approval of a drug
currently takes an average of 13 years, often using expensive and time-consuming
animal studies that cost more than $1 billion, yet the failure rate for these
tests exceeds 95 percent.
For one of its first projects, NCATS partnered with the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency and the Food and Drug Administration to provide funding for the
development of “on-a-chip”
technologies that use donated human tissue to mimic human organ systems in
order to screen for safe and effective drugs. This is a compelling example of
the possibilities of innovation in medical research, but much more is needed.
A growing number of scientists are coming to believe, as we do, that in order
to reverse the slow pace of progress in fighting cancer, asthma and other major
diseases, we need far greater investment in 21st century tools and
technologies that are directly relevant to humans. It is these modern
techniques that are better equipped to unlock the answers to human illnesses
that currently elude us, while at the same time reducing, and eventually
superseding, whole animal research. This is the future we are working to create
– a win-win for everyone.
It is an axiom that people once involved in practices or
industries that cause harm to animals, and who then see the light and join the
humane movement, have emerged as some of the most influential of advocates.
It’s by that route that Pat Derby, first a former trainer of big cats and other
large animals for use in TV commercials and movies and then the founder of the
Performing Animal Welfare Society, became one of the great leaders of the
effort to help captive wildlife. Pat passed away this past Friday, after a
long, painful battle with cancer.
Nicole Paquette/The HSUS
Pat and her partner Ed Stewart founded PAWS in 1984 and over
the last quarter century, they helped to reshape the debate over
performing animals and captive wildlife – reminding people of the many problems
with training animals for entertainment, keeping wild animals as pets, placing
exotic animals in fenced enclosures to be shot, and putting animals on display
in circuses and roadside zoos. They’ve also cared for a wide array of
creatures in need, including elephants relinquished by the Detroit Zoo and then
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (in a closely kept legal
settlement between the corporations), as well as dozens of tigers rescued from
a cruelty case by our affiliate The Fund For Animals, at PAWS’ California-based
One of the great features of our movement is its pluralism
and the fact that there is an advocate for just about every kind of
animal. Pat Derby was a remarkable champion for captive wildlife, and she
and Ed always impressed me not only with their ability to take in the cast-offs
and care for them, but also to advocate for policy changes and shifts in
attitudes to get at the root causes of problems. Pat knew that our movement
simply cannot rescue its way out of these problems. That’s why she worked
in support of a bill, authored by then Assemblyman Sam Farr, setting humane
standards for the care and handling of captive wildlife in
California. That effort eventually led to a ban on private ownership of
all manner of wild animals as pets. She also helped lead the way to restrict
captive shoots of exotic mammals on private ranches in the state.
Pat Derby was never afraid to expose the cruelty behind
the abuses that occur in entertainment – taking on Bobby Berosini and his
mistreatment of orangutans in his Las Vegas act; Ringling Bros. and other
entities involved in systematic mistreatment of animals in the circus industry;
and the deprivation and poor care received by so many animals at roadside zoos
and even some accredited zoos. She has inspired so many to take on this cause
and stand up for captive wild animals in all settings.
We will miss her fierce advocacy for all animals, but we are
heartened that Ed Stewart and the rest of the team at PAWS will continue her
At The Humane Society of the United States, we have assembled a highly qualified
professional staff, with different types of expertise and experience, to
conduct the vital work of animal protection. Among these experts, we are
blessed to have a growing cohort of veterinarians who help to care for
domesticated animals and wildlife.
Lori Rohlfing A dog being examined at a previous HSVMA clinic.
Among the affiliates under The HSUS’ umbrella is the Humane
Society Veterinary Medical Association. Tomorrow, the HSVMA will help to
provide direct care to animals with a World Spay Day spay/neuter clinic in
Madison, Wis. HSVMA veterinarian Susan Krebsbach will conduct the event along
with the local rescue group she founded, Dane County Friends of Ferals, and
veterinary technicians, veterinary students and local vets, who will
collaborate in a one day-initiative to sterilize feral, free-roaming and pet
cats in Dane County.
Each day, though, veterinarians working for HSUS affiliates
such as HSVMA and Humane Society International provide critical care and
education to communities at home and abroad:
Through its Rural Area Veterinary Services
program, which combines community service and veterinary education, HSVMA helps
rural communities where poverty and geographic isolation make regular
veterinary care inaccessible. Last year alone, 35 small animal and equine field
clinics held in the U.S. and abroad in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic,
Ethiopia and Mexico helped train more than 300 veterinary students who hailed
from vet schools across the U.S., Canada, Latin American and the United
Kingdom. The free veterinary care made available to these communities provided
treatment to 7,000 animals, at an estimated value of $1.3 million.
in partnership with the government of Bhutan and the Bhutan Foundation, is
engaged in a long-term program to help spay/neuter and vaccinate close to
50,000 dogs across Bhutan to humanely address the overpopulation of
free-roaming dogs. We have launched similar programs in other countries in
Asia, including Bangladesh and the Philippines.
Pets for Life program has evolved into an exciting new community-outreach
effort that uses innovative strategies to save pets by helping communities
that—because of economic, social, or cultural factors—don’t have access to
pet-care information, resources, or veterinary and related services, despite
great need. Starting in the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,
The HSUS has expanded this program into Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Los
Angeles. The program is being duplicated in cities
across the country with the help of PetSmart Charities.
HSUS is one of the largest and most diverse providers of direct animal care in
the country. Veterinarians and technicians at our care centers provide relief
and protection for sick, injured, abused and abandoned animals from coast to
coast in the states of California, Florida, Massachusetts, Oregon and Texas.
Veterinarians and veterinary technicians should be in the
forefront of animal protection. They can help The HSUS’ work to drive
strong public policies for animals, advance our market–based and corporate
outreach efforts concerning animal welfare reforms, educate the public about
best practices, and most importantly, by doing what their vocation and
compassionate nature has trained them to do: conduct hands-on work saving
animal lives and alleviating suffering.
We are working to engage and recruit even more veterinary
professionals, and we encourage you to enlist your animal caregivers to
join the more than 5,200 veterinarians, technicians and assistants, and
students of the HSVMA. To learn more, please visit HSVMA.org or e-mail email@example.com
to find out how you can provide a gift membership to the HSVMA.
the course of a two-year-long investigation
into narcotics trafficking, authorities in northeastern North Carolina fell
upon a major dogfighting operation. In the end, authorities seized dozens
of dogs and arrested two alleged perpetrators.
Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office One of 80 dogs rescued from an alleged dogfighting operation in Elizabeth City, N.C.
So many of the
raids we conduct with law enforcement turn up bloodied or scarred animals and
illegal narcotics. In fact, a three-year study by the Chicago Police
Department found that 70 percent of animal offenders had also been arrested for
other felonies, including domestic and aggravated battery, illegal drug
trafficking and sex crimes.
“Getting these two off the streets of Elizabeth
City/Pasquotank County on the drug charges alone will help provide for a much
safer community, but also removing these animals and putting a stop to such
cruelty goes even further to maintaining a safer community and protecting the
dogs and public,” said Sheriff Randy Cartwright, in a news release from The Pasquotank
County Sheriff’s Office.
The HSUS Animal
Rescue Team assisted with the rescue, which occurred over a two-week period,
according to personnel with the sheriff’s office. And we’ll be helping
North Carolina authorities and local rescue organizations in the aftermath,
with our experts reviewing evidence and helping the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina care for the dogs.
Eventually these dogs will be placed with The HSUS dogfighting rescue coalition
to be rehabilitated and assessed for adoption into loving homes.
thanks to all involved in helping rescue these dogs – PCSO, Elizabeth City
Police Dept., the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, North Carolina Alcohol Law
Enforcement, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Camden Sheriff’s
Office, SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina and Pasquotank Animal Control; and thanks to HSUS corporate partner PetSmart Charities for providing
food, supplies and enrichment items for the dogs as they recover and start the
next, best chapter of their lives.
P.S. There has
been an uptick in arrests of people involved in animal fighting in recent years
because we’ve heightened awareness of the problem, trained law enforcement on
investigating these crimes, and worked hard
to strengthen state and federal laws against the practice. In fact, over
the past decade, Congress has closed major loopholes and strengthened penalties
in the federal animal fighting law. But
there’s one loophole still to be addressed: the issue of spectators at the fight. To
correct that, we are backing the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which will make it a federal crime to attend an illegal animal fighting
enterprise. That legislation passed the Senate last Congress, but the
House did not take it up before the Congress completed its work for the
year. It’s been reintroduced in the House and Senate, and now it’s up to
all of us to get this bill to the President in 2013.