Archive | Animal Rights & Issues

4 Sea Lions, a Seal Shot Dead in Seattle

SEATTLE, Feb. 12 (UPI) — Four sea lions and a harbor seal were victims of foul play this week, their carcasses found on a Seattle beach with bullet wounds, U.S. agents say.

One of the dead mammals was a Steller sea lion, a species classified as endangered, The Seattle Times reported. All five washed up on a beach in West Seattle.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is investigating the shootings. Brian Gorman, a spokesman for the agency, said bullets were removed from the carcasses during necropsies.

“We get one or two of these incidents a year,” Gorman said. “It’s very unusual to get multiple incidents.”

While all sea lions are protected by the Marine Mammals Act, they can be killed under certain circumstances, Gorman said. Some Indian tribes are permitted to hunt them, and they can be shot in self-defense.

But he said no one has reported shooting a sea lion, and the killings do not appear to be legal. The killer, if found, could face a $50,000 fine.

Seal Sitters, based in West Seattle, said the carcasses were towed into Puget Sound after the necropsies so they could nourish the ecosystem.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Animal Rights & Issues, Mammals0 Comments

Whaling Protester Boards Japanese Ship

SYDNEY, Feb. 15 (UPI) — An anti-whaling protester committed an act of piracy by boarding a Japanese whaling ship to make a citizen’s arrest, a spokesman for the whalers said.

Peter Bethune, a protester with Sea Shepherd, was detained Monday aboard the Shonan Maru 2, which last month collided with and sank the Ady Gill, a Sea Shepherd boat that Bethune was aboard when it went down.

Bethune boarded the Shonan Maru 2 Monday while it was under way in the Southern Ocean so he could make a citizen’s arrest of its captain and present the crew with a $3 million bill for the loss of the Ady Gill, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Glenn Inwood, a New Zealand-based spokesman for the whalers, accused Bethune of piracy.

“It doesn’t matter what his flight of fantasy was, whether he thinks he was there to make an arrest, whether he thinks he was there to deliver a bill, it’s illegal,” Inwood said.

Bethune cut his hand boarding the ship and was being treated by a doctor on the ship as Japanese authorities considered their next move, Inwood said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Restraint Urged for Whalers, Activists

SYDNEY, Feb. 6 (UPI) — Australian officials urged restraint by both sides after ships owned by Japanese whalers and anti-whaling activists collided Saturday in the Antarctic.

“The Southern Ocean is a dangerous and inhospitable part of the world,” said a statement from Peter Garrett, Australia’s environment minister.

No one was injured in Saturday’s collision, in which each side blamed the other, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker suffered a yard-long gash in the collision with the Yushin Maru 3 in their first meeting since the sinking of the 16-ton Ady Gill in a collision with the whaling fleet’s security ship, Shonan Maru 2.

Despite the damage, the Bob Barker remained in pursuit of the Yushin Maru 3 as it headed toward the coast of the Australian Antarctic Territory, Paul Watson, the head of Sea Shepherd, said Saturday night.

Watson said the whalers were using water cannons and acoustic devices against the crew of the Bob Barker while Japanese officials accused the Sea Shepherd crew of trying to blind them with a high-powered laser device.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Animal Activists Protest Pigeon Shoots

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 1 (UPI) — Animal-rights activists say they’ll use a $1 million donation from former TV game-show host Bob Barker to fight live pigeon shoots at a Pennsylvania gun club.

Barker, former host of “The Price is Right” and longtime animal-rights activist, urged the Pennsylvania Legislature to end the “horrendous” activity that uses live birds for target practice, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Monday.

Barker donated the $1 million to an anti-cruelty group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, which plans to protest at the next shoot held by the Philadelphia Gun Club, SHARK founder Steve Hindi said.

Sean Corr, an attorney for the gun club, noted the pigeon shoots are legal in Pennsylvania and said the club would “continue lawful activity on private property.”

“Contributing $1 million to save pigeons which are destined for extermination at a time when hundreds of thousands of people are in need of food, clothing and shelter in Haiti, we feel, is eloquent testament to the extremism of Mr. Barker and his associates,” Corr said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Animal Rights & Issues, Birds0 Comments

PETA Wants Groundhogs Retired

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa., Jan. 27 (UPI) — A prominent U.S. animal rights group sent a letter to the handlers of Pennsylvania’s famous groundhog, imploring them to replace it with an animatronic.

Gemma Vaughan, an Animals in Entertainment Specialist with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote in the letter to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club saying keeping Punxsutawney Phil on display year-round is a “cruel” way to treat the animal, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Wednesday.

“Make the compassionate decision to use an animatronic Phil and retire the live groundhogs who are used for Groundhog Day activities to a sanctuary,” Vaughan wrote. “Tradition is no excuse for cruelty.”

Bill Deeley, the president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, called the request “crazy.”

“Phil is probably treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania,” Deeley said. “He’s got air conditioning in the summer, his pen is heated in winter … He has everything but a TV in there. What more do you want?”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Animal Rights & Issues, Animals0 Comments

Dozens of Dead Animals Found in Washington State Barn

DEER PARK, Wash., Jan. 20 (UPI) — Officials in Spokane County, Wash., said animal neglect is suspected following the discovery of more than 160 dead animals at a barn.

Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service officials said in addition to the discovery of the dead animals at a barn in Deer Park, Wash., officers found nearly 200 abandoned animals starving in locked cages, KXLY-TV, Spokane, Wash., reported.

“The officer found mostly dead birds, a few alive, no food or water. Conditions … the pens not very clean,” SCRAPS official Nancy Hill said of last Friday’s discovery.

Hill said after the barn’s renter, whose identity was not released, failed to respond to a notice, the starving animals were removed from the property during the execution of a search warrant.

“The ones that were alive were very happy to have food and water, went right for it,” Hill said of food offered to the rescued animals.

KXLY said the owner of the animals could face felony animal cruelty charges if investigators determine such charges are warranted.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Posted in Animal Rights & Issues, Animals, Birds0 Comments

Canadian Inuit Suing European Union over Last Year's Ban on Seal Products

BRUSSELS, Jan. 15 (UPI) — The European Union is being sued by Canadian Inuit over last year’s ban on seal products.

The cultural group Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami filed the suit in Brussels Thursday seeking to overturn the EU’s Sept. 16 decision that banned European imports of seal skins and meat, the Canwest News Service reported.

The group’s president, Mary Simon, was scathing in the news release announcing the suit.

“It is bitterly ironic that the EU, which seems entirely at home with promoting massive levels of agribusiness and the raising and slaughtering of animals in highly industrialized conditions, seeks to preach some kind of selective elevated morality to Inuit,” Simon said.

The European Parliament voted 550-49 in September to ban seal products, largely based on animal rights activists’ lobbying on the commercial shooting and clubbing methods used to kill the seals.

Curiously, the EU ban does not apply to Inuit seal products, but Simon said their market was affected regardless, the EUobserver reported.

The Canadian government has also filed a challenge to the ban with the World Trade Organization.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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Exotic Animals May Come to Detroit Zoo After Being Seized from Animal Dealer

DETROIT, Jan. 13 (UPI) — The Detroit Zoo may soon be home to several exotic animals that were seized from an animal dealer in Arlington, Texas, amid allegations of abuse.

The Free Press said six Detroit Zoo curators and supervisors are already helping care for the animals, offering hope that a number of agoutis, allabies, lemur, sloths and other exotic animals could soon call the facility home.

Detroit Zoo spokeswoman Patricia Janeway said if the zoo is allowed to take in several of the rescued animals, the additions would initially be placed in quarantine before being introduced into their new habitats.

A municipal judge in Arlington, Texas, ruled last week the 27,000 animals seized from U.S. Global Exotics will not be returned to the international exotic animal dealer.

The animals were seized after a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals investigation determined the animals were not being provided with necessary care or being offered appropriate conditions by the animal dealer.

U.S. Global Exotics can appeal the ruling, but if the decision stands the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas will find new homes for the animals.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Posted in Animal Rights & Issues, Animals0 Comments

Michael Vick Drowned, Shot, and Bludgeoned Dogs Says Informant

ATLANTA, Jan. 10 (UPI) — Informants say the NFL’s Michael Vick — formerly with Atlanta, now with Philadelphia — drowned, shot and bludgeoned fighting dogs to death, documents show.

Summaries of interrogations of a member of the quarterback’s dogfighting ring and with confidential informants conducted by federal investigators were released Friday to WSB-TV, Atlanta, through a Freedom of Information Act request. The broadcaster said they contained claims that Vick killed fighting dogs that didn’t perform well by hitting them with shovels and that he got an “adrenaline high while killing the dogs.”

The transcripts were compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as investigators looked into dogfighting allegations against Vick.

They also indicated that a Delta Airlines employee was fired for trying to “get Vick around security” while the dogfighting investigation was at its peak, and that Vick hired the fired employee himself because he “felt responsible,” WSB reported.

Vick, who played six seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, served nearly two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a federal animal-fighting charge and was released in 2009. He joined the Eagles during the 2009 season.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Posted in Animal Rights & Issues1 Comment

Sea Shepherd: Ramming Won't Stop Us

CANBERRA, Australia, Jan. 8 (UPI) — The head of the anti-whaling organization Sea Shepherd says the ramming of one of its ships by a Japanese vessel will not keep it from chasing whaling ships.

Paul Watson rejected calls by the Australian and Japanese governments to show restraint, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

“We’re not going to restrain ourselves from protecting these whales and we’re not going to restrain ourselves from upholding international conservation law,” he said. “The Government has shown so much restraint over the years they have done absolutely nothing.”

The Ady Gil, a lightweight 70-foot boat, was rammed Wednesday by a Japanese ship providing security for the whalers. The boat sank under tow Friday.

The Australian government said it has told Tokyo it might bring an international court challenge if negotiations on Japanese whaling stall, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The Japanese government says the country’s annual whaling expedition to the Southern Ocean is for scientific purposes.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Posted in Animal Rights & Issues, Conservation0 Comments

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