Saturday, June 27, 2009

2 minutes that will change your life

PSA re posted after correcting typo here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6aS6XBXSzY

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Monday, June 22, 2009

Stop the invasion HR 669 Common Sense Article

Orlando Sentinel -  Stop the invasion

Let's say a snake, originally imported from another country as a pet,
gets loose and starts breeding in the wilds of Florida.

Under current law, the federal government can declare that species
"injurious," which means it would become illegal to import it. But in
typical bureaucratic fashion, such a declaration can take up to four
years to complete.

By then, the snake has had plenty of time to become well-established
in a place where it doesn't belong.

That's what's happened in the Florida Everglades, where the state is
considering putting a bounty on the thousands of hungry Burmese
pythons now on the loose in the River of Grass, eating rabbits and
even the occasional alligator. Strangely enough, the government has
yet to decide that the Burmese python is "injurious," so U.S. Sen.
Bill Nelson has introduced a bill that would bypass the bureaucracy
and add pythons to the list of banned wildlife.

We're glad Mr. Nelson is on the case, but his measure is way too
little and way too late.

Florida and the rest of the nation need a far more comprehensive law
to stop the invasion of exotic species into natural places.

A proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives is a move in the right
direction.

Introduced by a delegate from Guam, where the non-native brown tree
snake has wreaked havoc on native bird populations, the bill would
bring some desperately needed logic to animal-import laws.

Instead of waiting until after a non-native species has gotten out of
control, the species' risks would have to be assessed before it can be
imported into the United States.

This approach might well have saved the Everglades from the python,
the Potomac River from the Chinese snakehead fish, and the Mississippi
River from the Asian carp.

Predictably, those who make big money from importing and selling
exotic wildlife, and who care much less about their products' harm to
the environment, are up in arms. Even by today's low standards, their
campaign is particularly noxious, implying that the feds are going to
kick in doors and wrest away a child's pet gerbil.

No such thing is true. The bill doesn't apply to most domesticated
pets, and people who already own snakes, gerbils and other critters
would be allowed to keep them. They just couldn't breed them or import
more of them until the species' risks for harm were assessed. Even
before that determination is made, the bill allows the government to
include common and domesticated non-native wildlife on a list of
approved species.

Also dubious is the claim that the U.S. pet industry would collapse.
Please. We doubt the industry will suffer greatly if a few exotic
animals are banned. This is a common scare tactic, one that also
conveniently ignores the billions in economic damage and other costs
from non-native plants and animals.

It's hard to take the exotic-pet industry seriously when it opposes
even Mr. Nelson's modest proposal to ban the import of pythons. The
industry's reasoning? Aside from the Burmese python, other types have
yet to populate in the wild.

Yet. Implying that we should wait until there's another environmental
crisis before doing something.

Florida's Legislature already has shown it doesn't have the stomach
for meaningful controls of exotic species, even in a state where the
warm climate increases the risk from invaders.

That's why Florida's congressional delegation in Washington needs to
get behind a federal law that will get a grip on this growing problem.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/orl-edped-exotic-wildlife-062209062209jun22,0,5087549.story
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Saturday, June 20, 2009

Exotic animal rule criticized

Exotic animal rule criticized

Published: June 20, 2009

Related Links

TALLAHASSEE - Animal rights groups cheered this week when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to ban people from keeping cougars, cheetahs and other exotic animals as pets.

But the new rules contain a lion-sized loophole, according to a local big-cat rescue group, which warns that people will now be able to turn their backyards into "sanctuaries" for dangerous species.

The wildlife commission voted unanimously Thursday to add cougars, panthers, cheetahs, hyenas, aardwolfs and gaurs, an oxlike creature, to the state's "Class I" list of animals that may not be kept as pets. The rule is effective in August. Exhibiting or selling Class I wildlife requires a special permit. The new rule includes a grandfather clause for people who already own cougars or other animals now banned as pets.

The commissioners also banned people from taking fox, skunks, bats, raccoons, and white-tailed deer from the wild to keep as pets, and beefed up requirements for owning a patas monkey, giraffe and several other species.

Leaders of Big Cat Rescue, a 47-acre refuge in northwest Tampa that is home to 137 animals, applauded those new restrictions. But the group also faulted the commission for creating a new classification of people and groups that can keep exotic Class I animals.

Ironically, that new classification of licensee - a "captive wildlife sanctuary" - fits Big Cat Rescue to a tee.

"The intent of the sanctuary is to provide a lifetime home, if you will, for any infirmed or wounded wildlife - this is the last stop for them," said Capt. Linda Harrison, who oversees the captive wildlife division at the Fish and Wildlife Commission. "They come in, they don't come out. It is a facility that is providing lifetime care for the animals."

She added: "Big Cat Rescue played a big role in guiding us in that direction."

But Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue, says the final rule was flawed, making it too easy for more people or groups to keep dangerous animals on their property.

The main problem, she said, is that sanctuary licensees can choose not to exhibit their animals to the public - which would exempt them from a state bonding requirement, as well as additional regulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

State lawmakers passed a law in 2007 requiring that commercial exhibitors of Class I animals post $10,000 bonds, giving the public some reassurance about an owner's ability to pay restitution if his or her animal bites or mauls someone.

Baskin said that bonding requirement also helps to weed out people who lack the financial resources to properly care for an animal. Many of the large cats at her refuge, she said, are animals abandoned by such people.

"Now, if someone wants to have a tiger in their backyard, they can call themselves a sanctuary," she said.

It's true, Harrison said, that the new rule could allow an individual to create a wild animal sanctuary in their backyard. But it's not as simple as it sounds, she said. To qualify for a license, the applicant must be registered as a not-for-profit corporation in Florida. They must also meet the commission's site requirements and submit to inspections.

Keyword: Exotic Animals, to find out whether your neighbors are keeping exotic animals.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/jun/20/na-exotic-animal-rule-criticized/news-politics/


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Friday, June 12, 2009

Farming Tigers Fails as Badly as Farming Bears

China seizes van with 173 bear paws, python skin

The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 9, 2009; 4:48 AM

BEIJING -- Authorities in southern China <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/china.html?nav=el> seized a van they suspected was hauling drugs but found it packed with what may be a different kind of contraband: bear paws, a python skin and a pangolin carcass, an official said Tuesday.

The van was stopped by police Sunday in the Guangxi region near the border with Vietnam, according to Tang Chaoan, head of the propaganda bureau in the city of Fangchenggang, where the case was being investigated.

The load included 173 bear paws, one python skin and the carcass of a pangolin - a type of sticky-tongued, toothless, nocturnal anteater that is a menu item in southern China.

Bear paws are also considered a delicacy in southern China where exotic animals are favored by diners despite the impact on populations of endangered species.

It was not clear if the animal parts were being smuggled.

The area abuts Southeast Asia's notorious "Golden Triangle" drug producing region and officers suspected the van was transporting narcotics, Tang said. The van's driver and an assistant denied any knowledge of the bear paws and other items, he said.

The bear paws - also used in some traditional medicines - weighed 844 pounds (383 kilograms), he said.

The python skin - used in the two-stringed violin-like instrument called the Chinese Erhu - was over 16.4 feet (five meters) long. It is illegal to trade unlicensed pythons under Chinese law.

Jill Robinson, founder of Hong Kong-based animal welfare charity Animals Asia, said the paws likely came from bear farms, and the seizure highlights the need to take a closer look at the bear farm industry.

She said bear farms are not regulated enough, and parts are often smuggled across borders - an illegal practice under Chinese and international law.

The van had started its journey in the neighboring province of Yunnan, but it was unclear where the parts were headed, Tang said. He said investigations were continuing.
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Thunderhawk NKA Central FL Given 2 Yrs to Move Out

By Tiffany McBride

brevnews@hometownnewsol.com

CocoaÕs Central Florida Animal ReserveÕs had the largest turnout yet for its open member day May 17.

The non profit big cat rescue sanctuary has high hopes their next challenge will be met with success. A record 250 people attended and helped raise more than $4,000.

"We've met every challenge we've been given so far. This is an opportunity to build a better facility for the cats," said Bill Crawford, special projects manager and eight-year volunteer.

"We can build the next place from the ground up solely as a cat sanctuary that is open to the public."

This comes after the March 24 decision by the Brevard County Commission for the facility to move from its current location. The ruling states the sanctuary must move to agriculturally zoned property within two years. The property they occupy now is zoned general use.

On open member day the normally non-public facility was open to members and their guests. Visitors took guided tours of parts of the facility from volunteers. Free beverages and lunch were available, and educational videos about the facility were playing under a large open tent in the driveway. The videos documented everyday activities, volunteer testimonials and special situations like big cat dentistry and surgery. "Our main goal is to reward our members for their support and give them an opportunity to see the effort they are generously helping," said K. Simba Wiltz, senior vice president.

The facility, regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, houses 38 tigers, six lions, three leopards and six cougars. A total of 53 big cats.

The facility is not open to the public because it is unable to meet the regulation guidelines of three-foot offset barriers around the animals' enclosures.

This means that the animals are supported solely on donations. And aside from veterinary bills, it costs more than $7,000 a month to run the facility, says Mr. Crawford.

The facility stands at capacity and is unable to rescue any more cats, despite a long waiting list of big cats in need of rescue within the U.S.

The organization has a few leads on new property, one of them in Scottsmoor.

"We are looking for a place that is, first and foremost, high and dry," said Mr. Wiltz. "We need around 20 acres to accommodate cats and have room for future plans, and it absolutely has to be zoned agricultural. Ideally, it would be near a major access road so that people have easy access. We want our new facility open to the public."

The reserve trains all of its volunteers to ensure safety around the big cats. All volunteers follow a senior handler, with years of experience, before they are allowed to perform certain tasks.

"I had to shadow an experienced volunteer for the first few weeks until I was permitted to work on my own," said Lori Woodell, a volunteer since August.

Many cats would respond with nuzzles against their enclosures and seem to listen to what some of the tour guides would say to them.

"We love these cats. These are our kids, and they're the best kids I've ever had," said Effie Blue, volunteer coordinator and board member. "It's got to be a labor of love. This is the toughest job you'll ever love."

There are no paid positions at the reserve and many volunteers express the feeling of high morale and streamlined teamwork. Every tour guide had personal stories to share about the cats.

Mrs. Blue recalls having left a chore undone in a rescued tiger's enclosure. She had already released him back into his main cage from his shift cage, a smaller side cage used to separate the cats from their main cage so that volunteers may perform maintenance and feeding without being in the same cage as the cats. The lion had fresh food waiting, but Mrs. Blue attempted to call him to go back into his shift cage with ease.

"He took a look at his food, then back at me, then back at his food, and then he came over and got into his shift cage for me. He actually listened and waited for his food so I could go back into his cage," said Mrs. Blue.

The organization was originally known as Thunderhawk Big Cat Rescue, but reincorporated to Central Florida Animal Reserve in 2007. The facility had been rescuing cats from abuse, neglect, abandonment, and other scenarios since 1997. Education and outreach are the focus until rescue operations can resume, said Mr. Wiltz.

More big cats are in need of rescuing each year, as their popularity as household pets, and game in canned hunts, grows, said Mr. Crawford.

As the demand increases, the number of big cat rescue organizations grows. Hundreds of these rescues exist, said Mr. Wiltz.

Canned hunting is the practice of raising a captive wild animal to later be hunted and killed within its enclosure or fenced area for hunters to trophy.

It is estimated that there are more than 1,000 canned hunt operations in at least 25 states. At least 17 of these are in Florida, according to The Humane Society of the U.S. Web site.

Also, trading of these animals' parts for the use of Chinese medicine is on the rise, said Mr. Crawford.

For more information on CFAR or to inquire about donations, go to www.CFLAR.org or email events@cflar.org or mail to P.O. Box 184 Sharpes, FL 32959.

http://www.myhometownnews.net/index.php?id=58831

Carole's post:

You can do something about the flood of unwanted big cats by attending the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commissioners meeting June 17 Plantation Inn  9301 West Fort Island Trail  Crystal River, FL  34429 from 8:30 till 4pm.  They are discussing new rules and have decided that neighbors should NOT be notified before someone moves in with tigers, despite thousands of calls and letters from concerned neighbors who find out they are living next door to big cats, bears, pythons and venomous snakes.  There is no state law that prohibits having these animals next to residences, schools, day care centers, etc. 

There is a huge problem of people using big cats for shows and photo ops and then relegating them to back yard cages, killing them for their parts or selling them to canned hunts.  The answer is not to build more rescue centers, but rather to stop the breeding and exploiting of these animals.  None of the cats in private hands are part of any real conservation program.  None will ever repopulate the wild.  They are only bred in captivity because ignorant people will pay to see them in cages.  Ending the breeding ends the problem.  Tell the FWC you want them to end the breeding of big cats at RuleChanges@MyFWC.com or at the meeting.
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Tony at Tiger Truck Stop in Louisiana

Jun 11, 2009
fetching data...
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Various
Location: Louisiana, United States


Sadly there have been NO changes at Tiger Truck Stop for Tony the tiger. I'm sorry there was ONE, they repainted part of his cage with that horrible shipyard grey besides that NOTHING else. We have got to start sending letters again guys. PLEASE start with Mr. Ourso jburleigh@ibervilleparish.com the parish president, then Maria Davidson mdavidson@wlf.louisiana.gov and then let's not forget about Governor Bobby Jindal http://www.gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=form&tmp=email_governor

Sadly Iberville Parish thinks that we have all gone away with our tails tucked help me show them that until Tony is taken care of humanely that we are NEVER going away. We have to show them that we are the voice for Tony and that we truly care about him unlike his owner Michael Sandlin http://www.myspace.com/papatiger

We stand strong in numbers please do not give up on Tony, he needs us. Please forward this to everyone you know and ask them to please get involved so together we can make a difference, TONY is counting on us. If not us then who?  www.FreeTony.com

Sincerely,

Sky Williamson

 


Monday, June 01, 2009

Dear Mr. J. Mitchell Ourso,

I wanted to find out what is going on concerning Tony the Tiger at Tiger Truck Stop? It has now been three months since the last council meeting and the only thing they have done concerning Tony is repaint the cage with that god awful shipyard gray. I have been by there several times and have seen nothing being done that would or could be considered as improvements to better the quality of his life. Clearly Michael Sandlin is not going to do anything willingly regardless of what he says and for whatever reason no authority figure is making him do any improvements.  Is there some reason for this? The reason I pushed this issue as far as I did was for Tony and now it seems that the parish has forgotten about him again.

I would really appreciate if you would email me a copy of the revised ordinance concerning wildlife such as Tony. Please send me an update on this matter as you know it is very important to me and others that care about the welfare of all animals.

Sincerely,

Sky Williamson

augustsky@netzero.net


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Thursday, June 11, 2009

Big Wildlife E-News: Issue 9, June 12, 2009

Welcome to Big Wildlife's enews, a monthly email update about our work to protect and restore carnivores throughout North America. We provide this free communication, along with periodic action alerts, to our members, supporters, and colleagues. If you do not wish to receive these updates, please let us know and we will remove you from our distribution list. Thanks. Please visit our website at www.bigwildlife.org

IN THIS ISSUE:
*INTERNATIONAL CALL-IN DAY TO eBAY – MONDAY, JUNE 15
*BOBCATS IN NEVADA THREATENED BY TRAPPING
*"CONTROL KILLS" OF GRIZZLY BEARS OUT OF CONTROL ON BC'S CENTRAL COAST


INTERNATIONAL CALL-IN DAY TO eBAY – MONDAY, JUNE 15
Big Wildlife, along with the Alaska Wildlife Alliance and Raincoast Conservation, has urged eBay to halt the sale of trophy hunts of lions, leopards, bears, wolves, and other large predators on its website. To date, eBay has refused to ban the trophy hunts from its site. Click here to read more about our eBay campaign.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
*On Monday, June 15 urge eBay to stop posting these cruel trophy hunt sales.

Ebay employees to contact:
Jack Christin, eBay Senior Regulatory Counsel
Phone: 408-376-5145
Cell: 408-679-3621
Email: jchristin@ebay.com

Terri Deanzo, eBay, Office of the President
Phone: 408-376-7400 (After dialing number, you will hear a recording. Press "0." An automated voice message will ask you to spell the person's last name. Key in "Deanzo.")
Email: csme@ebay.com

Amy Skoczlas-Cole, eBay's Global Citizenship Group
Phone: 408-376-7400 (After dialing number, you will hear a recording. Press "0." An automated voice message will ask you to spell the person's last name. Key in "Skoczlas.")
Email: askoczlascole@ebay.com


BOBCATS IN NEVADA THREATENED BY TRAPPING
The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners will meet June 27th, in Lovelock, to establish trapping regulations for bobcats for the next two years. Unfortunately, Nevada wildlife officials have resisted ending trapping "season" to protect this fragile animal.  State data suggests Nevada's bobcat population faces possible collapse from over-trapping. Trapping is also incredibly cruel and should be banned altogether.
 
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
*Attend the Saturday, June 27 Commission hearing in Lovelock. Urge wildlife officials to ban trapping of bobcats and all other furbearing animals.

Hearing location:
Lovelock Community Center, 820 6th St., Lovelock, Nevada
Time for public comment: 8:30 AM

*If you can't attend the hearing, contact the Nevada wildlife commissioners. Note, the Commission does not have one central email address so you will have to cc all the commissioners at the addresses below. You can also call the Commission chair, Gerald Lent, at (775) 852-4636.
 
Email addresses for Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners:
ga.Lent@yahoo.com
ron.lurie@azcharlies.com
tmcavin@charter.net
michaelkmcbeath@cox.net
dmcninch@washoecounty.us
pmori9@hotmail.com
scottraine@sbcglobal.net
fourswan@mvdsl.com
hay4you@veawb.coop

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For talking points to use in your comments click here and scroll down to "The Cruel Reality of Trapping." Questions, contact Don Molde at skyshrink@aol.com or Brian Vincent at brian@bigwildlife.org


"CONTROL KILLS" OF GRIZZLY BEARS OUT OF CONTROL ON BC'S CENTRAL COAST

A disturbing number of grizzly bears are being shot as so-called "control kills" in the Bella Coola valley on British Columbia's central coast. (Click here to read Georgia Strait article.) Records obtained from the provincial Ministry of Environment show that 18 grizzlies were killed as "problem bears" from 2007-2008. The majority of these grizzlies were killed because of irresponsible human behavior – primarily, a failure to secure bear attractants. For example, one local resident left a tub of salmon on his deck and then killed a female grizzly and her two cubs when they tried to eat the fish. Another resident, who was "not into removing" the apples from his tree, killed a grizzly for feeding on the fruit.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

*Urge the BC Minister of Environment to make existing laws addressing the issues of bear attractants enforceable and provide sufficient government funding for conservation enforcement and bear smart education.

BC Minister of Environment contact information:
The Honourable Barry Penner
Minister of Environment
PO Box 9047
STN PROV GOVT
Victoria BC
V8W 9E2

Email: env.minister@gov.bc.ca
Phone: 250 387-1187
Fax: 250 387-1356

SAMPLE LETTER TO MINISTER:
Dear Minister Penner,

A disturbing number of grizzly bears are being shot as so-called "control kills" in the Bella Coola valley on BC's central coast. Records obtained from the provincial Ministry of Environment show that 18 grizzlies were killed as "problem bears" over the course of 200 and 2008. The majority of these grizzlies were killed because of irresponsible human behavior - primarily, a failure to secure bear attractants. For example, one local resident left a tub of salmon on his deck and then killed a female grizzly and her two cubs when they tried to eat the fish. Another resident, who was "not into removing" the apples from his tree, killed a grizzly for feeding on the fruit.

The BC government needs to reform existing laws under the Wildlife Act that address the issue of bear attractants to actually make them enforceable.  The BC government must also help communities in bear habitat implement bear-proof waste management systems. And it needs to reinstate recently slashed provincial funding for bear smart programs. Taking such measures will ensure greater safety for people and bears.

Sincerely,
YOUR NAME, CONTACT INFORMATION HERE

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Go to Big Wildlife and Raincoast Conservation

--
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT BIG WILDLIFE'S WEBSITE AT: www.bigwildlife.org

Big Wildife is  a project of the Earth Island Institute. Visit Earth Island at: www.earthisland.org

"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men."
-- Leonardo Da Vinci

"One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds."
-- Aldo Leopold
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Huffington Michael Markarian

The Huffington Post - June 10, 2009

Michael Markarian
Posted: June 6, 2009 11:38 AM

Go Forth and Advocate: A Q&A with Stephanie Vance

Stephanie Vance, the AdVocacy Guru, used to work on Capitol Hill, but now she travels the country training advocates on how to participate in the legislative process and become effective citizen lobbyists.

She has published a new book, "Citizens in Action: A Guide to Lobbying and Influencing Government," and like her presentations and training events, it's informative, engaging, and even fun. She took a few minutes to chat with me recently about the book and her upcoming appearance at the Taking Action for Animals conference, and I wanted to share some of her thinking with blog readers.

Michael Markarian: How did you get your start in training advocates and interest groups?

Stephanie Vance:After I got my degree in political science and with my parents strongly suggesting I get a job, I moved to Washington, D.C., where I worked at a lobbying law firm, as a lobbyist for NPR, and as a legislative aide for three different members of Congress. Through those experiences, I came to realize that people really do not understand the amazing power they have to make a difference on policy issues they care about. I figured if I told them how to be more effective, they'd be happier with their government and the world would be a better place.

MM: How can the average citizen really influence government policymaking?

SV: Effective advocacy really boils down to four key steps: knowing what you want, knowing who you're talking to, knowing how to talk to them, and knowing how to follow up. In terms of knowing what you want, it's critical to ask for something specific as opposed to simply "educating" elected officials on an issue. They need to know how they can best help on animal welfare issues. Knowing about your audience means that (a) you should always communicate with someone relevant to you (i.e., your own elected official) and (b) you should know something about their own interests, policy interests, and background. On animal welfare issues, for example, it's good to know if they have a companion animal in their lives; it's also good to know what bills they've introduced, not just on animal issues, but across the spectrum. For the third point, knowing how to talk to them, the main point here is to tell a compelling and personal story. And finally, following up is what really separates the effective from the ineffective advocates. People who are "politely persistent" get a lot further than those who ask once and never ask again.

MM: Why do you think that, contrary to popular opinion, government isn't broken?

SV: Yeah, people often do a double-take at that assertion. In my opinion government is actually designed to be completely and totally inefficient. When the founding fathers got together and said "Hey, let's make a government," they wanted to make it very difficult to move legislation through the process. In fact, the lack of agreement and partisan bickering isn't evidence that government is broken--it's evidence that government is operating exactly as the founding fathers intended.

MM: What does "Citizens in Action" offer that wasn't covered in your previous books?

SV: It's a much more comprehensive look at the entire advocacy process. It offers insights into the three branches and three levels of government and really seeks to help people build a comprehensive advocacy effort. In addition, there's more information on e-advocacy, including using social networks and tools like e-mail to get your message across.

MM: You have always been a big hit at the Taking Action for Animals conference. What can people expect to hear from you if they attend this year?

SV: I am so honored and pleased to continue to be a part of this conference and will keep coming back in some capacity until people tell me not to! This year, there's a whole lot of new things to say about effective advocacy, especially in light of the changes in the Administration and Congress. And a "special guest" and I (that's you, Mike) will be offering up "The Worst Congressional Meeting in the World." Everyone will get at least a chuckle out of that, I promise--as well as some ideas for how to make their interactions with legislators even more effective. Oh, and we'll do some "Message Mad Libs." I can't say more--people will have to come and see it for themselves!

MM: Can you give us an example of a highly effective congressional meeting, in which an advocate or group benefited from your training tips?

SV: I'm always so pleased when someone comes up to me and says, "Hey, I tried what you said and it worked! My congressman actually listened to me." A perfect example of this was the League of American Bicyclists lobby day, where a group of biking enthusiasts were going in to see their member of Congress absolutely sure that he, as a conservative Republican, wouldn't support funding for bicycle safety. But they went in with a positive attitude and some personal stories about the impact of biking in the community. They were pleasantly surprised to learn the congressman was an avid bicyclist and would strongly support them.

MM: What was the worst congressional meeting you've ever witnessed?

SV: Well, we'll see a composite of all the worst at TAFA, but I'd have to say it was when someone walked in the office and was outraged they couldn't meet with the member himself--that instead they'd be meeting with "just staff." That "just staff" was me and I was the Chief of Staff at the time. He actually told me that this was a big waste of his time. And then, when I told him we had nowhere to sit in the office and would he mind standing in the hall, well, he lost it. He stormed out and we never saw him again. And he never got our support on his issues.

MM: What is the absolute worst thing to say in a congressional meeting?

SV: There are so many, but probably something like, "I know your boss takes money from the other side and will never listen to me on this issue, but I thought I'd just tell you what I think anyway, even though the congressman is a corrupt politician." Yes, people actually say those kinds of things.

MM: Do you have any specific guidance for animal advocates that sets their issues apart from other interest groups?

SV: Animal advocates have so many things going for them. They have great and compelling stories, terrific nonpartisan issues, and a strong constituency-based advocate network. The one main piece of advice I have is that advocates need to continue to build on the professionalism of the movement. As an animal advocate myself, I know that we're sometimes seen as a little "odd" (I'm odd, but for other reasons). The more we let people know that we're serious, we have strong arguments to make, and we know how to play the political game, the more successful we'll be. HSUS and HSLF have really taken the lead on that and I've noticed a big (and positive) difference.

MM: How is Ozzie?

SV: Thank you for asking! As adorable as ever. Although, I think he finished off another TV remote last week. But we love him more than television, so he can eat all the remotes he wants. We know they're not good for him, though, so we do our best to hide them--it's just that as an Australian cattle dog, he's smarter than my husband and I combined and we can't outwit him for long.

MM: How can people learn more and continue to sharpen their advocacy skills?

SV: Well, buy "Citizens in Action," of course :). But I also think that all the training HSUS and HSLF give advocates is fabulous, so people should take advantage of those opportunities. In addition to the free resources available through you all, there are free resources on my web site that I hope people will use. And the most important thing to remember is that as citizens we have an amazing power to make a difference. We just need to apply that power effectively and persistently: If we do, there are no limits to what we can achieve.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-markarian/go-forth-and-advocate-a-q_b_212027.html?view=screen
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Hillsborough County Cutting Animal Services

Happy to report that, though the animal contingent was terribly outnumbered, huge kudos go to Commissioner Rose Ferlita for stepping up and committing to finding some sort of solution for the budget cuts facing Hillsborough County Animal Services.  There were well over 350 citizens at the meeting, which filled the commission room as well as an overflow upstairs room. Lots of news coverage and cameras.  Speakers were limited to 2 minutes each and over 60 people spoke up about Parks & Recreation, Children's Issues, Consumer Protection, etc.  Only about 12 people spoke up for the animal services issue. 

 

But, the animal speakers came to the commission with concrete suggestions to solve the budget issues and with a plan of working together, non-profits and county agencies.  Commissioners Ferlita and Beckner applauded this team approach and vowed to find a way to facilitate this in order to avoid the animal service cuts.  There was no other issue that they made that commitment to.

 

Special thanks to everyone who wrote emails and helped make this a hot topic.  About 20 representative emails were read to the commissioners and to the public during the meeting.  Big Cat Rescue was well represented when those of Deborah Albert and Barbara Frank were read into the record.

 

Now, we have next week's Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting to look forward to and how we can make a difference there.  Julie Hanan


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Monday, June 08, 2009

Domestic animals need help as much as their wild captive counterparts!!

Domestic animals need help as much as their wild captive counterparts!!

In 2007, Tampa became a partner community in ASPCA® Mission: Orange™, a program committed to increasing adoptions of shelter animals and eliminating the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets due to lack of homes or resources. With the proactive work of Hillsborough County Animal Services (HCAS) and the other local partners, Tampa has been an ASPCA Mission: Orange success story—for example, adoptions increased by a staggering 48% over 2007, and 1,588 more lost companions were reunited with their loving pet parents.

Now, however, our coalition's ability to continue saving animals is threatened by Hillsborough County's proposed budget for fiscal year 2010 (Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010). Unveiled on June 3, this budget will eliminate 26 positions at HCAS, including animal caretakers, cruelty investigators and customer service representatives. The elimination of these positions will have a major impact on enforcement capabilities, adoption programs, disaster relief and other efforts that are currently saving animal lives in the Tampa area.

The passage of the budget as written will likely reverse the progress we've made in the past few years—meaning more animals will die needlessly. Please help the ASPCA and our Tampa partners by urging Hillsborough's Board of County Commissioners, which approves the county's budget, to reject these severe cuts to animal control staff and programs.

What You Can Do

1.    Call and email the members of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners to protest the proposed budget cuts to HCAS. The board's contact information may be found here:
https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/bocc/about/contactus.cfm

2.    A series of public hearings on the 2010 budget has been scheduled—the first is tomorrow. Please attend if you can.

Budget Public Hearing Dates:
June 9, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00PM
July 16, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00PM
September 8, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00PM
September 17, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00PM

Location:
County Center
601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33602
View Map


Thank you, Florida, for speaking up for your state's neediest animals.

Merrill, BCR Partner


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Little Cats in Hillsborough County Need Your Voice

PLEASE GIVE THESE GUYS JUST A FEW MINUTES OF YOUR TIME TONIGHT – PLEASE?

 

tabby small.jpg   calico small.jpg  Grey white small.jpg

 

We, at Big Cat Rescue, are already caring for these little kittens, as well as many more kittens and adults here at our sanctuary.  We're not just caretakers for big cats.  We're also being inundated with small cats  WHY?  Mainly because 1700 cats and kittens were killed at our county animal shelter in MAY alone!  They would be dead, if not for us.  Caring people just don't know what to do, so they end up asking us for help.  This problem impacts us all!!

 

Tomorrow night, the county commissioners are meeting to make even more DRASTIC cuts to the already low budget and it spells death and abuse for 1000's more animals like these .  If they don't hear from you RIGHT NOW, if they don't receive 100's of calls, emails, meeting attendees speaking up, there will be no more cruelty investigation officers in our county.  Adoption counselors, vet techs, veterinarians are scheduled to be cut.  This is a DESPERATE situation for the animals in this county – DESPERATE!

 

AREN'T THEY WORTH YOUR TIME?  PLEASE go to www.hillsboroughcounty.org and email ALL the commissioners your outrage tonight.  If you can also call and leave messages or even attend tomorrow night's meeting, YOU can make a difference and help save their lives.

 

Please do it for them!!!!!!!

 

Background Information:

 

It is important to attend but an email is just as good and probably more effective. We really need to voice our concerns as to how this cut will impact the save rate and have drastic consequences for adoptions and cruelty investigation and reverse the positive trend.

You can go to the website:  www.hillsboroughcounty.org and email commissioners all at the same time.  You can also review all proposed budget cuts by clicking on the budget link.  

 

Here are the very sad stats:

To be cut:  19 Field operations and 5 cruelty positions which would effectively end cruelty investigations, enhance dog fighting, eliminate protection against vicious dogs and bring the county back to operating as it did in the 1930's.

In 2009, HCAS responded to 2100 bite calls, 5180 injured animal calls, 1850 vicious animal calls and 4700 neglect calls.

This is very sad for the animals.

As far as Shelter services:  To be cut -  2 vet techs, one part time vet and 6 adoption counselors.  This will impact directly adoptions, transfers and care of the animals in the shelter.

Please go to the website and please send an email.

Thank you!

You are all urged to attend the public budget hearing put on by the
Hillsborough County Commissioners this Tuesday at 6p.m. at County Center
located at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd (downtown Tampa) to discuss the intended
budget cuts to HCAS which sound pretty drastic. I am being told they are looking to
cut 4-5 investigative officers and turn animal abuse investigations over to
the Sheriff's Department and cut something like 8 vet techs. It is feared
now that the vet on staff will perhaps cutback the number of spay/neuter
surgeries
which makes sense if he does not have the support staff. This
cutback on surgeries would in turn delay adoptions. And, of course, we all know
what that leads to! Personally, I would like to know how animal abuse cases
will rank in priority with the Sheriff's Dept. instead of allowing Animal
Control Officers to handle??

Any and all are welcome to attend and urged to speak up. Let's show up in force and make our voices heard for the sake of these
animals. Feel free to pass this email along.

Thanks!
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Sunday, June 07, 2009

Albertville, AL 5/7/09 City passes law on dangerous animals

Albertville, AL 5/7/09 City passes law on dangerous animals



Published May 7, 2009

"People should be able to walk their neighborhood without fear," Albertville police Chief Benny Womack.

Womack presented a proposal for an ordinance to control dangerous animals to the City Council at Monday night's meeting.

Although the city already has an animal control ordinance on the books, Womack said this one is more specific.

"We have received a sizable amount of calls during the past year regarding aggressive dogs threatening citizens," he said. "It has caused a number to be afraid to leave their homes or walk their streets.

"In an effort to make our neighborhoods safer and for citizens to not be afraid of animals, I looked at a Gadsden city ordinance regarding all dangerous animals and came up with the ordinance I presented to the city council."

The ordinance defines what constitutes a "dangerous" animal.

"The ordinance was produced with the breed known as a pit bull in mind," Womack said. "It and similar breeds that present a more aggressive behavior towards people, their owners and other animals, because they are raised to be fight dogs, are what I had in mind."

The ordinance approved unanimously by the council Monday covers "any mammal, amphibian, reptile or fowl which is of a species which, due to size, vicious nature or other characteristics would constitute a danger to human life, physical well-being, or property…"

Womack said the law covers the manner in which animals are to be kept, the construction of pens and the requirement that they meet all zoning and building codes.

The law governs the display of proper warning signs, which will be provided by the police department.

All owners of animals included in the ordinance must register and obtain a permit for the animals, provide two color photographs and provide proof of a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance.

A yearly application fee of $25, or $50 for a dog that hasn't been spayed or neutered, must be paid to cover the cost of processing the application and making the signs.

The locations where the animal is kept will be subject to periodic inspection by the animal control officer.

Womack said the ordinance provides for an exception when someone illegally trespasses on property and teases or attempts to abuse or torment an animal.

"The key thing to remember with this ordinance is it applies to animals that have been declared aggressive or dangerous," Womack said.

Permits will be valid until Dec. 31 each year. The owner must seek an application for renewal of the permit no less than 45 days before the permit expires.

If the application is submitted later than the deadline, a late fee of $5 per day shall be added.

http://www.sandmountainreporter.com/story.lasso?ewcd=86a2c88f657150a0

The law takes effect June 15.

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Queensland council bans circus animals

Queensland council bans circus animals

12:00PM Sunday Jun 07, 2009

A city council in Queensland has ruled exotic circus animals are a relic of a cruel past.

Neighbouring Queensland councils Brisbane and Ipswich are divided over a push by the RSPCA and Animal Liberation to ban circuses that use such animals in their shows.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman flick-passed the issue, saying animal welfare was a matter for the state government.

But Ipswich City Council has decided to act, and from July 1 will become the first Queensland city to ban circuses with exotic animals from using any land under council ownership or control.

Councillor Paul Tully said the time had come for Australia to unite and ban the cruel use of circus animals.

"These animals are put in tiny cages for their whole lives and carted from one end of Australia to the other for their public performances," he said.

"This is the beginning of the end of animal circuses in Australia."

RSPCA Queensland's scientific research officer Mandy Symons said she was disappointed that Mr Newman was not willing to act on the issue.

"He said that animal welfare was a state legislation concern, not a local government concern," she said.

"We believe that animal welfare is everyone's concern."

The Brisbane council's Labor opposition has said it would support such a ban.

- AAP

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10576996


For the cats,

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sportsmanship in Hunting Act

Putting a Stop to Pay-Per-View and Pay-to-Kill Hunting
Michael Markarian
Posted: June 4, 2009 03:45 PM

People who hunt often speak about their own ethical standards--ensuring, for example, that animals have a sporting chance and a fair opportunity to escape their pursuer. It's not the killing that matters, many say, but the tracking of wildlife in the outdoors, the thrill of the chase, and the matching of wits between predator and prey.

Sadly, there are some outliers in the hunting fraternity who lack either the skill or the inclination to follow these self-professed standards. So they take shortcuts--using money, technology, a rigged setting, and whatever means necessary to skew the advantage so that the hunter has guaranteed success and the hunted has the same chance as the proverbial fish in the barrel.

That's why public policy reforms are necessary to curb the worst abuses. And it doesn't get much worse than logging onto a web site, paying an Internet fee with your credit card, and shooting a confined animal thousands of miles away. Just click your mouse or hit a few strokes on your keyboard to fire the remote-controlled weapon, all while sitting in your bedroom wearing camouflage pajamas.

What if you want to leave the bedroom and gun down the creature yourself, but you just don't have much time to spare between three-martini lunches? Find a drive-thru safari near your house, choose a giraffe or zebra from the menu, and have the animal stocked in a pen for your shooting pleasure. The animals are hand-fed and wouldn't run from people, even if they could get beyond the fence line. Proprietors of these so-called canned hunts are so sure of your success that you won't even have to pay a dime unless you head home with the trophy and bragging rights in tow.

A new bipartisan bill in Congress seeks to crack down on these extreme practices: H.R. 2308, the Sportsmanship in Hunting Act, introduced by Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), would ban the remote shooting of live animals over the Internet and the trophy shooting of exotic mammals held captive inside fenced enclosures. It's hard to imagine anyone opposing such a common-sense reform, since rank-and-file hunters agree that these practices are abusive and unacceptable, and have nothing to do with hunting.

But we can expect to hear the same old tired arguments from some hunting industry lobbying groups on Capitol Hill, like the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, and U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, who've never met a type of animal mistreatment they won't defend. These are the same groups that have defended puppy mills, poaching, and the killing of endangered species--and even tried to shoot down HSUS programs to protect pets from the foreclosure crisis. They will try to obfuscate the issue of captive killing, and trot out bromides about the need to leave wildlife management decisions to the states, or this bill being the first step to end all hunting and gun ownership.

About half the states have banned or restricted canned hunts, and more than two-thirds of states have banned Internet hunting since a Texas entrepreneur launched the first pay-per-view snuff site in 2005. Far from being a slippery slope, hunting is still alive and well without canned hunts in Montana and Wyoming, and without Internet hunting in Idaho and Nebraska. But while the states are doing their part, a federal response is critically needed to address the interstate trafficking in exotic animals for canned hunts, and hunting over the Internet which is not confined to any state's borders. The goal is to dry up the supply of blackbuck antelope and aoudad sheep being trucked to shooting galleries around the country, and to make sure no state becomes a refuge for the next Internet hunting web site.

So the real question is whether shooting an African animal trapped in the corner of a Texas fence is really hunting at all, or is it something else entirely--something quite different that is masquerading as hunting? Outdoor writer and hunter Ted Kerasote answers this way: "Wildlife is not livestock. The problem comes when people are supposedly hunting these animals. That's the problem right there." Kerasote says captive hunts are turning hunting "into this caged, paid affair and it bears no resemblance to what hunting is, was, and could be. Like so many things in our world, people want to buy the product (the trophy) rather than experience the process (meeting the animal on its own terrain)."

David Petersen, another lifelong hunter and author, puts it a bit more bluntly: "To be scrupulously fair, not all canned killers are 'perverts'; some are merely profanely vainglorious and staggeringly stupid."

Ask your members of Congress to support the Sportsmanship in Hunting Act, which should be a consensus position for hunting advocates and animal advocates alike.

Related News On Huffington Post:

Wyoming Vs. Wolves: State Sues Government Over Endangered Listing
BILLINGS, Mont. — A pair of federal judges will decide which states in the Northern Rockies have enough gray wolves to allow public hunting, as...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-markarian/putting-a-stop-to-pay-per_b_211156.html
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Bad Guys Are Trying to Organize

The following was posted on a breeder/dealer/exotic pet owner board.  The animals need your help against these kinds of abusers.  Please take the time to contact your lawmakers and let them know that wild animals do not belong in private hands.

"HOW TO UNITE AND BECOME VISIBLE

So far, 2009 has had an overwhelming amount of proposed animal
legislation. Breeder bills, limit laws, BSL, MSN and other onerous
laws that clearly intend to prevent the age old lifestyle of living
with and enjoying animals.

Many people have asked us what they can do, how to change the tide.

It's impossible to know what any legislator might do when confronted
with an animal bill and equally impossible to know who should get our
votes and who should not.

SAOVA does a wonderful job of screening candidates for Congress, but
who is doing screening on a State and local level in YOUR area?

Voting Alliances/Coalitions in every state are the answer. There is
no better way to let legislators know that you are out there,
organized, watching them and asking questions. They learn quickly
that there are two sides to every issue, rather than to fall prey to
only one side - when they know you exist.

The Monthly National Legislation Report has a program to assist
anyone wishing to start such an alliance, with instructions (and
personal attention), from the ground up. We are not charging for
this effort, however, if you should hit the lottery, kindly toss a
few bucks our way for the program so we can continue to help educate
and assist others !

2010 is our last chance to act. We don't want to be wondering what
happened to our animals in 2011.

Regards,

Ken & *L*
Owners
Monthly National Legislation Report
IRS 527 PAC"



Lebanon, PA: City Council passes limits on exotic pets

City snake owners, it's time to get out your tape measures.

By JOHN LATIMER Staff Writer
Lebanon Daily News Updated: 05/26/2009 11:27:44 PM EDT

Under a law passed unanimously by Lebanon City Council last night, it is
now illegal to own a snake that is larger than 4 1/2 feet long.

That means owning just about any adult snake is illegal, according to Jason
Meily, owner of Pets-N-Stuff at 2641 Cumberland St.

"Almost all snakes grow to at least 4 or 5 feet," said Meily. "Even a corn
snake, which we sell a lot of. It's skinny, but it will grow to at least
that size."

Meily, who has owned the North Lebanon Township pet store for the past
year, said there are lots of snake owners in the area. He sells several snakes
a week, he said, as well as 50 mice daily and another 50 rats a week, which
are used to feed the slithery pets.

"The snake part — that's going to hurt us if people take this law to
heart, " he said

The city's new law also sets limits for four-legged reptiles at 10 pounds
and exotic birds at 5 pounds.

The size standards were put in place to clarify the city's existing "
barnyard animal and exotic animal" ordinance after a city man suggested that
residents be allowed to raise chickens in their backyards.

That idea was quickly dismissed by council on the recommendation of Fire
Commissioner Barry Fisher, who is also the assistant director of public
safety. Fisher noted that the city's public-safety inspectors have their
hands full dealing with enough problems, including issues with less-exotic pets
like cats and dogs, and don't need the added burden of inspecting chicken
pens.

The previous ordinance did not allow fowl to be raised in the city, but it
did not specifically prohibit chickens.

To close the loophole, council amended the ordinance to include chickens
and toughened it by adding the section on exotic animals. Owners must also
keep their exotic pets in cages at all times.

Councilman Wiley Parker said the city will not actively be searching for
violators, but if it receives a complaint, it will investigate. Fines range
from $50 to $300.

"It's 'Don't ask, don't tell,'" he said. "We are not going to go
looking for them. But if somebody reports to us that there is an 8-foot snake
somewhere, we are going to have to deal with it."

JohnLatimer@..._

http://www.ldnews.com/ci_12455574?source=most_viewed
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

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Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

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This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
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South Milwaukee considers exotic animal measure

South Milwaukee - Lions and tigers and bears … and sharks and rhinos and
elephants are among a myriad of animals that would be barred as pets if the
Common Council approves a new exotic animal ordinance Tuesday.

The ordinance is being considered because of an ongoing feud the city is
having with Gail Krug, who has been issued two citations for keeping a goat
and too many dogs and cats at her home.

The city's existing ordinance lists which animals can be kept as pets and
says residents can apply for permits for other animals, city Public Health
Administrator Jackie Ove said Monday. Because of confusion regarding the
goat, the new ordinance, patterned after one in Cudahy, would list which
animals cannot be kept as pets, she said.

Krug was issued a ticket April 7 for keeping two dogs and four cats, which
exceeds the city limit of three dogs and cats. She was also cited May 13
for the goat. Both citations carry a fine of $55.60 per day.

Ove said Krug is requesting that a municipal judge in a different city
consider the citations. The St. Francis municipal judge will consider the dogs
and cats citation, though no court date is set; and Krug's request for a
different judge for the goat citation is pending, Ove said.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/46631342.html
By _Tom Kertscher_ (mailto:tkertscher@...) of the Journal
Sentinel

Posted: Jun. 1, 2009 11:48 a.m.

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.