Will YOUR business be next?
A legal business was shut down by animal rights groups and their increased influence on government officials with their lies and false propaganda. Their influence likely included extortion and threats. We may never know. But to what end?
Will YOUR business be next?
Detroit — Attorneys for Detroit have pledged to rewrite the city’s Animal Control Ordinance after a federal judge said it lacks constitutional protections.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds was poised Wednesday to strike down a section of the ordinance that gives the city, animal control officers and the Detroit Police Department the authority to enter private property without a warrant and seize any animal for any suspected violation of animal control ordinances.
Eleven residents are suing the city claiming animal control officers seized dogs, imprisoned the animals in filthy conditions and charged exorbitant fees.
Charles Raimi, deputy corporation counsel for Detroit, defended the ordinance, adopted in 2004.
“This is a public safety and quality of life issue,” Raimi said.
Edmunds told Raimi it’s well known the city has problems with dogs and there have been horrific attacks on people, including a vicious multiple dog attack that killed 4-year-old Xavier Strickland in Detroit in December.
“But that doesn’t justify a statute that violates the Fourth Amendment,” she said. “Why can’t it be rewritten to require a warrant?”
The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Raimi said the ordinance can be re-written and asked Edmunds to stay any order she issues to give the city 30 days to get a new ordinance in place that would require “exigent” circumstances for a search.
Raimi told Edmunds the Animal Control’s new director, Melissa Miller, has drafted a memo that is “ready-to-go” that says exigent circumstances are required to enter private property.
Miller was not immediately available to comment on the memo. Raimi declined a request by The Detroit News for a copy of the memo.
Jennifer Grieco, who represents residents suing the city, argued her focus was challenging the language of the ordinance that allows warrantless searches in private home and on private property with no consent or pressing circumstances.
“This is unique to the city of Detroit and is not patterned after any law,” she said.
As for claims it has to protect citizens, Grieco said the department can still pick up stray dogs it finds on the streets. Blocking the private searches portion of the ordinance, she says, would prevent them from taking dogs without warrants inside homes and on private property.
She also accused the city of trying to hide behind its limited resources and its recent exit from bankruptcy.
“It’s not an excuse to trample Constitutional rights. This doesn’t justify breaking into homes,” Grieco said.
Edmunds delayed her ruling Wednesday and said she would issue a decision next week on the request for a preliminary injunction. The remaining portion of the case is scheduled for trial in November.
After the hearing, Grieco said if the city rewrites the ordinance it has to include the need for a warrant, consent or emergency circumstances to enter someone’s home or property.
In November, a group of residents sued the city, alleging animal control systematically and illegally seized dogs. The city imprisoned the dogs in “filthy, brutal and deplorable conditions” and some dogs died after owners were unable to pay fines and fees, the residents said.
The city’s conduct violated the residents’ due process rights and subjected them to unlawful searches and seizures, according to the lawsuit. The city also intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the residents, according to the lawsuit.
The city, according to its attorneys, uses code enforcement practices to protect the public’s health and safety and to prevent the spread of rabies and other diseases caused by animals.
According to the complaint, Detroit Animal Control officers seized three dogs from Detroiter Floyd Hardrick Jr. on July 13. Officers seized Rocky, Mama and Puppy from his backyard and basement after breaking into the home without a warrant.
Hardrick did not have $390 cash to rescue the dogs from the city shelter. He had $130 — enough money to rescue Rocky after four days.
During its stay at the shelter, the 31/2-year-old dog lost weight and came home with kennel cough, the complaint alleged.
On July 21, four days after returning from the shelter, Rocky died.
“Mr. Hardrick was never able to afford to retrieve Mama and Puppy who were, on information and belief, destroyed,” Grieco wrote.
The residents are seeking unspecified damages, attorney fees and costs.
Read original article here
From: Irby, Marty
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 3:13 PM
To: Irby, Marty
Subject: Moving On
As many of you know, tomorrow, February 5th will be my last day in the office of Congressman Ed Whitfield. It is a very bittersweet time leaving Team Whitfield and Capitol Hill, mostly because I feel like I’m leaving a family. I am however, very excited that beginning Monday, I will be serving as the Director of Rural Outreach and Equine Protection at the Humane Society of the United States—working with a great team on the animal welfare and equine issues that are near and dear to my heart.
Since 2013, my time on Capitol Hill has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I feel very fortunate to have served the people of the First District of Kentucky alongside some of the most brilliant, dedicated, and kind hearted individuals I have ever known— and I am proud to call each of them my friends. I’m also deeply honored to have served such a caring, kind, compassionate, and genuine boss, mentor, and friend in Congressman Ed Whitfield – the Distinguished Gentleman from Kentucky. I’ll still be living on the hill, visiting Congressional offices, continuing work on my Master’s at Wesley Seminary, and now spending a few days each week in Gaithersburg, MD.
The communications department will be left in the hands of veteran Team Whitfield member, Rob Hankins. Please feel free to reach out to him atRobert.Hankins@Mail.House.Gov on any press or media issues. I hope you will all keep in touch. For those of you who don’t have it, my personal email isMarty@MartyIrby.com and my cell phone number is 615-796-1509.
If any of you are up for celebrating tonight and looking to enjoy a nice beverage or two, we will be at Union Pub beginning at 6:00pm this evening!
Agriculture Policy Advisor
Office of Congressman Ed Whitfield (KY-01)
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy & Power
2184 Rayburn House Office Building | Tel: 202.225.3115 | Fax: 202.225.3547
Washington, D.C. 20515
Marty.Irby@Mail.House.Gov / http://whitfield.house.gov
By GEOFFREY MOHAN, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
SEPTEMBER 29, 2015
Will the next egg you crack come from a chicken raised in a roomier barn? Foodies and farmers are in unusual agreement on the answer: If not now, then soon enough. Both say McDonald's recent decision to transition to "cage free" eggs for its McMuffins and other menu items was a tipping point in the $9-billion egg industry, which still produces 96% of its eggs in barns full of stacked wire cages. It will be increasingly hard to ignore a buyer of 2 billion eggs, especially given that McDonald's joined a flock of companies that already made similar supply-line switches — including the top three cafeteria service companies, and fast-food competitors Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks.
Since California passed a measure requiring more space for egg-laying hens in 2008, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Michigan and Ohio have enacted laws regulating hen housing, while activists in Massachusetts have launched a similar measure aimed at the 2016 presidential ballot.
"The McDonald's announcement really settles the debate as to whether there will be a future for cage confinement in the egg industry — the answer is no, there won't be," said Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society of the U.S. "How quickly that will happen is now the real question."
Ken Klippen, head of the National Assn. of Egg Farmers, agrees, but isn't exactly applauding the McDonald's decision. He penned an open letter to the company, challenging its assertion that it's more humane to give chickens more room, and reminding them that more manure may come into contact with eggs laid by hens that have access to floors. "I agree. This is a tipping point," Klippen said. "The egg farmers do want to respond to this because there is a segment of us that disagree with the merits behind that decision."
Glenn Hickman, though, isn't waiting to debate the merits. The Arizona-based egg producer, an indirect supplier to McDonald's, responded to the announcement with plans to build a modern, 2-million-hen facility. Hickman, like other West Coast producers already in the California market, has been moving toward roomier enclosures since Proposition 2 passed in November 2008.
California's Proposition 2, which took full effect in January, doesn't stipulate enclosure sizes. It requires that hens have the ability to turn around freely lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs. The state Department of Food and Agriculture has since issued a rule requiring about 116 square inches per bird.
A 2010 law effectively expanded Proposition 2 to apply to all shell eggs sold in the state, which consumes roughly twice as many eggs as it produces. Before the law passed, Hickman housed several million chickens in the stacked wire enclosures known as battery cages, which leave each bird with less space than a sheet of photocopy paper.
By December, 4 million of his projected 10 million laying hens will live in more spacious "enriched" enclosures with amenities such as perches, scratch areas and private areas to lay eggs. About 200,000 already are being raised organically in cage-free facilities, he said. "When it comes to harvesting an egg, whether the chicken can fly up or down or scratch or perch really doesn't upset the production of the egg," Hickman said. "As long as we can convince the consumer that those things cost a little bit extra but they're worth it — and we can sell the eggs for a profit — we're happy to do so."
Frank Hilliker, a San Diego County egg farmer with about 16,000 hens, once despaired at the prospect of culling his flock to comply with Proposition 2. He and his sister even considered selling the family property, which is surrounded by suburban development. Hilliker instead became a reluctant convert, focusing on the same farm-to-table niche that foisted the change on him. "I'm a pretty conservative guy," he said. "Most of these people I deal with aren't so conservative. We don't talk politics." Hilliker is constructing another modern barn and hopes to have as many as 50,000 laying hens by December, most of them in enclosures that are compliant with Proposition 2.
Large-scale egg producers in the Midwest also have shifted production. Indiana-based Rose Acre Farms Inc., with about 25 million hens, has committed to switching to more ample enriched environments in any new barn construction.
The shift has driven up costs and widened the difference between wholesale prices in California and other markets, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture economists. The gap between California and New York, for example, rose to $1 in January, from a 12-cent differential in October 2014, according to the USDA. This week, the average wholesale price for a dozen white, large eggs hovered around $2.40 in California, up by $1.26 from this time last year, according to the USDA. The nationwide average was $1.78, up about 82 cents from the same period last year, according to the department.
Much of the recent price escalation has been attributed to outbreaks of avian influenza this spring, which wiped out more than 42 million laying hens in the U.S. Midwest. The egg industry has warned of price shocks because of the cage-free craze. Hilliker, for example, said he lost several customers after he made his transition, among them a discount grocer who bought about $4,000 worth of eggs each week.
Klippen said the industry will fight efforts to extend cage-free regulations. He publicly scolded McDonald's after its Sept. 9 announcement: "You may congratulate yourselves on this new policy, and animal activists will mark their score cards as accomplishing another defeat for egg farmers," he wrote. "The egg farmers themselves are wondering why anyone would want to revert to the former ways of producing eggs that was more stressful for the chicken and may compromise the quality and food safety of the eggs for their consumers." Klippen said McDonald's bowed to "a small group of consumers, who are sort of the animal activists."
But neither Hickman nor Hilliker is turning back any time soon. "It's been a challenge going cage-free, but it's reinvigorated me, as a farmer," Hilliker said. When he goes into his barns on a given morning, Hilliker said, "I'll look, and say, oh my God, I can't believe I did this — and survived. And I'm building the next one."
Read more ~> http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-eggs-cages-20150929-story.html
BY JENNI BERGAL
WASHINGTON ~ This summer, Milwaukee residents were captivated by reports of what appeared to be a lionlike creature roaming city neighborhoods. Authorities set up a dragnet and traps, but the big cat was never located.Wisconsin state Sen. Van Wanggaard, a Republican, wasn't surprised to hear of a wandering wild feline. He already was so concerned about the threat posed by dangerous exotic pets that he'd been crafting a bill to limit private ownership of them.
Wanggaard wants his state to join dozens of others that have passed laws banning or regulating big cats, bears, apes and other exotic pets, which animal welfare advocates say can threaten public safety when they escape and are at risk of being poorly cared for by private owners.
Although it's difficult to determine exactly how many exotic creatures are privately owned, the Humane Society of the United States says they are part of a multibillion-dollar industry. Born Free USA, a wildlife conservation and animal welfare group opposed to private ownership, estimates that between 10,000 and 20,000 big cats alone are in private hands in the U.S. And because the federal government largely leaves it to the states to regulate exotic animals, legislatures have been grappling with the issue.
Since 2013, legislation that deals with exotic pet ownership has been proposed in more than a dozen states, including Wisconsin, according to Born Free. Of the 22 measures filed, 18 have failed and two have passed, including one that created an exemption allowing the owner of a Louisiana truck stop to keep his tiger, Tony, as a roadside attraction. Two remaining measures are pending, including Wanggaard's in Wisconsin and another in Pennsylvania.
Opponents say many owners are ill-equipped to house and care for exotic pets, putting them in cages and enclosures that don't meet the creatures' basic needs.
"Wildlife belongs in the wild. It's risky for everyone involved," said Kate Dylewsky of Born Free. "It's cruel to the animals to keep them in confinement, often isolated from members of their own species. And most people don't have knowledge or the resources to care for these animals properly."
Many exotic pet owners, breeders, private zoos and sanctuaries disagree. They say that state bans can hurt efforts to protect animals. And, some argue, the states shouldn't meddle with an individual's decision about what kinds of pets to keep.
Good regulations could help protect these animals, said Lynn Culver, executive director of the Feline Conservation Federation, which represents owners, breeders, private zoos and sanctuaries that keep wild cats. "But these (ban) laws are designed to stop future generations and clamp down on current populations."
Culver said exotic animals need to be kept in captivity so they can breed. "They are the offspring of animals that were taken out of the wild. We're morally obligated to manage them responsibly for future generations."
Federal laws restrict the sale and transportation of some exotic and wild animals, but don't generally address private ownership. That falls to the states, which take a variety of approaches.
Some state laws specify which species are banned or regulated. The Wisconsin proposal lists several types of exotic animals that would be considered dangerous - including non-native big cats and bears, gorillas, chimpanzees, alligators and crocodiles. Others are more general, said David Favre, a professor at the Michigan State University College of Law and director of the Animal Legal & Historical Center, a website devoted to animals and the law.
"It usually takes some horrible event in a state, where people say, 'How did you let this happen?' for the legislature to act," Favre said.
That's what occurred in Zanesville, Ohio, after a suicidal man released more than 50 big cats, bears, primates and wolves in 2011. Police and animal control officers tried to use tranquilizers, but couldn't control the situation and were forced to kill most of the animals.
At the time, Ohio had no law dealing with dangerous exotic pets. After the Zanesville incident, the Legislature in 2012 banned their possession or acquisition. Those who already owned such pets were allowed to keep them, but they had to apply for permits and comply with safety and care standards.
In Connecticut, the Legislature amended its law in 2009 to ban the private ownership of some primates after an incident that year in which a woman was blinded, lost both hands and had much of her face ripped off by her friend's 200-pound pet chimp.
Wisconsin is one of five states without a law regulating the private ownership of dangerous exotic animals, according to Born Free. Fourteen states require licenses or permits. Twelve allow ownership of some exotic animals but prohibit others. And 19 have bans on a number of species.
Last year, West Virginia, which had not had a law, passed a measure that prohibited private possession of lions, tigers, bears, elephants and most primates. Owners were grandfathered in, provided they are registered. The rules went into effect earlier this year.
"When you don't have any checks and balances in place, it was wide open for people bringing these exotic animals into our little state," said former Democratic Del. Randy Swartzmiller, who introduced the bill. "The majority of the Legislature saw this as a bill that was not only going to protect people but also the well-being of these animals."
But bills restricting or regulating exotic animal ownership often die in state legislatures. This year, six measures failed - in Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wyoming - according to Born Free.
"In some of these states, it's very hard to have a conversation about it," said Born Free's Dylewsky.
To pass laws, legislators and the public often must be educated about the potential threats to public safety and the animals' well-being, said Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife for the Humane Society. Also, debates about which animals should be covered by new laws are usually heated.
Zuzana Kukol, co-founder of REXANO, or Responsible Exotic Animal Ownership, a nonprofit that advocates for exotic pet owners' rights, opposes bans, saying they don't really work. "Do bans on drugs or prostitution work? If people want it, they're going to get it."
Kukol, who with her fiance lives in rural Nevada and owns lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other exotic animals, dismisses the public safety argument. "The regular population isn't getting killed by tigers and lions on the way to the store," she said. "They're much more likely to be killed by a drunk driver."
Kukol said that many counties and cities already have regulations governing exotic animal ownership. In her area, she said, the county does an inspection every year and requires her to get an annual permit.
"I don't think states should micromanage," Kukol said. "They should take care of the roads, not worry about exotics. They are not telling me how many dogs or horses I can have."
Wanggaard, who introduced the Wisconsin measure in August, points to a case in Kenosha two years ago. Police were called to a house where they found five rattlesnakes, a crocodile, two alligators and a poisonous Gila monster, and, dead in the backyard, an alligator and a snake. While these types of incidents have cropped up over the years, Wanggaard said, the recent Milwaukee lion scare might be the impetus needed to pass legislation.
Under his proposal, private possession of many dangerous exotic animals would be prohibited. Those who already own them would be able to keep them - but not to acquire any others - if their municipality allows it and they are registered. The proposal would exempt accredited zoos, wildlife sanctuaries and circuses.
A police officer for 30 years, Wanggaard said that he recalls times when police would respond to domestic violence calls and, arriving at a home, find a bear or an 8-foot alligator. "Not only is it dangerous for the officer, but these animals often aren't being maintained in a humane way."
Wanggaard said that exotic pets also put a strain on emergency services, noting that in Milwaukee this summer, 30 or 40 officers were busy trying to corral the lion.
Wanggaard, who is vice chairman of the Senate majority caucus, said that if his bill becomes law, authorities will have a better handle on where exotic animals are located and whether they're legally allowed.
"We have hours of discussion in our towns and villages about somebody raising five chickens in their backyard," he said. "We're regulating that, but we won't regulate it if you have a lion or a baboon in your basement."
Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/living/pets/article37174974.html#storylink=cpy
by Amber Jamieson
A deep-pocketed animal-rights activist paid a team of private eyes to spy on Central Park horse carriage drivers for three months in the hope of catching them breaking the law.
Up to six gumshoes would camp outside Manhattan horse stables at 5:30 a.m. and follow drivers all day, sometimes until after midnight, confirmed Mike Ciravolo, an exec at celebrity investigative firm Beau Dietl & Associates.
The Post revealed in January that horse drivers were concerned about mysterious men in black sedans with video cameras tailing them.
“It was unnerving,” said carriage driver Bryan Northam.
Drivers thought the PIs had stopped in late December, but Ciravolo said the surveillance continued until February.
Ciravolo wouldn’t reveal who hired his company or for how much. Past clients of the firm founded by famed ex-NYPD Detective Bo Dietl have paid upwards of $250 per hour.
Drivers suspect the surveillance operation was the work of real-estate mogul Steve Nislick, the co-founder of NYCLASS, a group trying to ban horse carriages.
When confronted by The Post, Nislick said he knew about the video. Asked if he funded the surveillance, he replied, “I’ll get back to you.” He never called back.
By Mark Binker and Laura Leslie
RALEIGH, N.C. — Both the state House and Senate voted Wednesday to override Gov. Pat McCrory's veto of House Bill 405, a law that proponents say protects private property rights but opponents say muzzles whistleblowers.
Dubbed an "ag-gag" measure by its critics, the bill gives businesses the right to sue employees who expose trade secrets or take pictures of their workplaces. Animal rights groups say the measure is aimed at curbing the kind of undercover investigations that have exposed abusive practices in factory farms and slaughterhouses.
"Whistleblowers are protected in this bill," Sen. Brent Jackson, R-Sampson, said on the floor of the Senate during a brief debate Wednesday afternoon.
Senators voted 33-15 to override the veto less than hour after members of the House voted 79-36 to pass the measure not withstanding the governor's objections. The bill will become law Jan. 1.
When McCrory vetoed the bill, he said he agreed with the goal of curbing the practice of people who get hired merely so they can film undercover or gather corporate documents.
"While I support the purpose of this bill, I believe it does not adequately protect or give clear guidance to honest employees who uncover criminal activity," McCrory wrote in his veto message.
Journalism groups and the AARP made similar arguments, saying that the bill would apply to all employers, not just the agriculture industry. Industry workers, they say, could be discourage from coming forward with evidence of elder abuse.
"To give one relevant example, allegations surfaced last year that employees at Veterans Affairs facilities in North Carolina had been retaliated against for whistleblowing," wrote Steven Nardizzi, chief executive of the Wounded Warrior Project. "As an organization dedicated to honoring and empowering injured service members, we are concerned that this legislation might cause wrongdoing at hospitals and institutions to go unchecked."
House sponsors said that critics of the bill were wrongly characterizing it.
"It doesn’t stop good employees from reporting illegal activities to other authorities," Rep. John Szoka, R-Cumberland, said on the House floor.
Those "authorities" would include law enforcement and regulatory agencies. It's unclear what might happen if a worker were to expose a practice to a journalist and whether that journalist would be liable. That's among the technical flaws opponents have said they wold like to fix.
"Some tweaking of this may well be in order," said Rep. John Blust, R-Guilford. "I hope we can find a vehicle for it this session, but I’m not willing to along with what I believe is misinformation."
It's not uncommon, Blust and Szoka pointed out, for lawmakers to pass separate "technical corrections" bill to fix legislation that has already passed.
But Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg, said that the governor's veto had given lawmakers the chance to start over and get the bill right to begin with.
"If there is a major doubt, we have a chance to slow it down," Carney said. "Let's take it back. Let’s get it right. Fix those corrections in a real bill that we can all wrap our hands around."
In the end, Republican backers of the measure said it was important to protect businesses from bad actors and voted to pass the bill over McCrory's objections.
"We need to vote for this because it has gotten out of control what some so-called employees have done to businesses," said Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret.
The move drew a quick rebuke from animal rights groups.
"Not only will this ag-gag law perpetuate animal abuse, it endangers workers’ rights, consumer health and safety, and the freedom of journalists, employees, and the public at large to share information about something as fundamental as our food supply. This law is bad for consumers, who want more, not less, transparency in food production," said Nathan Runkle, president of Mercy For Animals.
Read more at http://www.wral.com/lawmakers-override-mccrory-veto-on-controversial-private-property-bill/14687952/#zdZcdm7TGTWi6DIx.99
On April 7th in Kankakee County, a private animal rights vigilante group conducted a raid of an elderly couple, forcibly taking their business away from them. The Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) is a private self-styled SWAT team run by high school dropout Scotlund Haisley who operates nationwide stealing animals from their legal owners and flipping them for resale. Haisley who pays himself a yearly salary of $90,000+ out of ARC funds, claims he is simply an animal lover “saving” animals, but he has no legal authority for any of his actions. In the Kankakee County raid, Haisley and his volunteer supporters accompanied two animal control officers to execute a search warrant on Adrian’s Puppy Paradise, owned by Adrian and Louise Gutierrez. Animal rights activists claim the business is a puppy mill to justify their theft of private property. The problem is, Kankakee County Animal Control Officers have no law enforcement authority to serve search warrants on licensed businesses either. The search warrant and resulting raid was illegally carried out. The resulting physical intimidation and coercion used to get this frail elderly couple to sign over their business to Haisley was also illegal.
Fox 32 interviewed Haisley and quoted him as saying, “It is our belief she shouldn’t be in operation. These conditions were extremely inhumane as well as illegal.”
These activists would have you believe that the Gutierrez family deserve to lose their business in an armed SWAT style raid simply because they are opposed to dog breeding in America. They throw around terms like puppy mill to sway your emotions and ignore the profit motive behind their actions. ARC is run out of a UPS Mail Drop in Washington, DC, and cleared $465,388 in 2013, all tax free. They do not run an animal shelter, have no law enforcement authority and founder Haisley has no documented education in animals. What is illegal in this situation is ARC’s actions and the two animal control officers who participated in this SWAT raid of an elderly couple.
In most illegal raids like this across America, the animals are flipped and resold in less than a week while the thieves run marathon fundraising scams off the media coverage of a puppy mill bust. Americans open their wallets and give donations of millions of dollars to animal rights groups believing they are helping to save a needy animal and the majority of which is simply pocketed by illiterate thugs like Haisley.
ARC is nothing more than a group of adrenaline junkies, led by a high school dropout, and backed by Hollywood money. In fact, Haisley was sued over an illegal raid of a South Dakota dog breeder back in 2009. In the court documents he admitted that he is in this business because it gets him better lap dances from strippers. In another raid in 2011, Haisley stole an aviary of exotic birds in Tennessee and turned over some of the birds to one of his pet flipping resale partners called The Bailey Foundation of Maryland, run by Beth Lindenau. Just over a year later, 40 dead animals were discovered in Lindenau’s home. Haisley is on record saying that the bird raid in TN was justified because, he said, “These are the worst conditions for bird’s I’ve ever seen.” He said nothing when his partner, Beth Lindenau was found to have killed some of them.
Adrian’s Puppy Paradise was licensed and inspected by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, passing numerous government inspections over a fifteen year period. If the Illinois Ag Department couldn’t find anything wrong with the Gutierrez business, then what right does Haisley have to run to the media and slander their reputations? In the old days, Haisley would have been drawn and quartered as a thief. Today he hangs out with Hollywood celebrities while his victims hide in their homes in fear.
Katharine Dokken is a Public Affairs Specialist at The Cavalry Group and the author of a new book, The Art of Terror: Inside the Animal Rights Movement, available on Amazon. Follow @KatharineDokken
Read more at http://joeforamerica.com/2015/05/vigilante-squad-terrorizes-elderly-couple/
If you’re like me, you may have an uncontrollable nostalgia for things that impacted your childhood. On Thursday, March 5, I picked up my iPhone to read my morning news alerts and saw the headline, "Ringling Bros. eliminating elephant act.”
It took a few moments for this to sink in. When it did, I realized a special childhood memory of watching elephants march down Main Street in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and seeing my first circus show with my grandfather would never be one I would share with my sons, at least not in the same way. I also realized animal rights extremists had just landed a blow to my family and me I hadn’t seen coming.
Who knows what may be the next target of these groups, which would rather see an elephant die from poaching than be cared for by a circus or zoo.
Sadly this news likely went unnoticed by the majority of Americans, or those that heard it mistakenly may have thought that the decision to retire elephants is cultural progress and an actual victory.
Think again -- as a lifelong conservationist and hunter that has been blessed to be on the front lines of shaping conservation policy for over two decades as a Congressional staffer, presidential Appointee, and lobbyist for several national conservation organizations, I know firsthand the devastation these extremists have had on America’s conservation legacy.
Well-funded, politically active groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) use any means necessary to put an end to the traditions we cherish through the use of frivolous lawsuits and judicial action.
They use the courts instead of relying on science-based wildlife management to advance their agenda.
It's worth noting that Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros., has fought a number of these frivolous lawsuits, winning every one and receiving $25.2 million in settlements from animal rights groups.
Until now I have associated these extremists' impact on my life as being limited to my love of the outdoors as a hunter, and my concern with my ability to pass those traditions on to my children.
For years I’ve watched the devastating effects of their propaganda machine as it seeks to criminalize hunters, eliminate access to favorite public hunting grounds through endless legal challenges and tie the hands of public land managers and state wildlife officials, forcing them to forgo science and in turn deterring sportsmen and their future personal investments in conservation. The number one reason for the decline in hunters is the lack of access.
Taking a moment to put things into historical perspective, the idea of conservation “protecting wildlife" in America began with members of the hunting community, who introduced game laws and programs to protect our natural resources, eventually leading to the creation of state and federal wildlife agencies. This same community led the charge in passing taxes to fund our conservation system, which serves as a model for the world. America’s 13.7 million hunters contribute over $38.3 billion annually to the U.S. economy, and create over 681,000 jobs.
Despite extremists claiming that they’re “speaking for” the interest of animals, the record shows that they are doing nothing more than lining their pockets and restricting our interactions with wildlife.
Year after year extremist groups like HSUS get C and D grades from the American Institute of Philanthropy for spending as little as 55 percent of money raised on their stated mission.
HSUS raises over $110 million annually, yet only spends $40,000 on African elephants grants. The same holds true for the Asian elephant--rather than spending their budget to help animals, they're spending it fighting groups like Ringling Bros. and sportsman’s groups like Safari Club International that are actually investing in conservation. Read more
By Barton C. James
Published May 05, 2015 FoxNews
STONEY RIDGE, OH (Toledo News Now) -A judge has ordered the state of Ohio to return exotic animal seized from the Tiger Ridge Exotics animal farm in Stony Ridge Wednesday to the farm.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture seized all but one of the animals from the Tiger Ridge exotic animal farm on Wednesday.
After the animals had already been taken from the farm Wednesday, a Wood County Common Pleas Court judge ordered them returned. The Ohio Department of Agriculture says the animals will be returned sometime Thursday. A hearing in the matter has been set for Feb. 10 at 1 p.m.
The facility houses six tigers, a lion, a black lion and Kodiak bear. Owner Kenny Hetrick has been in talks with the state for years, working to make the farm meet new regulations.
Ohio enacted strict new regulations on the owners of exotic animals after aZanesville man set loose dozens of exotic animals in 2011.
After that law passed in 2012, Hetrick says he has made changes to meet state requirements, such as obtaining a half-million dollar insurance policy, microchipping each animal, neutering them and adding fencing. Hetrick says the upgrades were made possible through donations and volunteer help.
But the state said those upgrades were not enough to meet the law's requirements. An Ohio Department of Agriculture spokesperson said Wednesday that the state chose to seize the animals because cages at the facility are not appropriate for the animals held there.
The state had said it planned to transport the animals to Reynoldsburg, Ohio before finding them new homes. Now a court will decide if Hetrick gets to keep the exotic animals. link
Toledo News Now has a crew on the scene and will bring you the latest details as soon as they become available.
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The Cavalry Group is a private member based company protecting and defending the Constitutional and private property rights of law abiding animal owners, animal-related businesses, sportsmen, and agriculture concerns legally, nationwide. We strive to defend our members against the onslaught of anti-private property and anti-agriculture animal rights activism in addition to challenging the infiltration of animal rights activism in government at the local, state, and federal levels.