‘It’s pretty messed up’: Americans’ deadly love for tigers

‘It’s pretty messed up’: Americans’ deadly love for tigers

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: October 11, 2020 SNIP: More tigers are now held in captivity in the United States than survive in the wild in Asia. That is the grim statistic that underpins Americans’ growing appetites for posing for pictures with big cats and their offspring, a desire that is today being met by thousands of tigers that are caged and displayed in private roadside zoos across the US. Young tigers are taken from their mothers just after their birth and bottle fed and handled by humans. Then they are used as props until they are about 12 weeks old when they become too dangerous to hold. Many develop bone and joint problems because they were removed so early from the adult female and not given proper nutrition. At the same time, mother tigers are returned to cages to provide future supplies of cubs. “This is done repeatedly,” says wildlife photographer Steve Winter. “It’s inhumane.” For the past two years Winter has tracked the fates of tigers across the US and recorded scenes of their confinement, maltreatment and exploitation. Some of the most powerful of these images will be highlighted this week when a portfolio of his tiger photographs receives a special commendation at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards at the Natural History Museum, London, on Tuesday. Winter told the Observer last week that some roadside zoo customers will spend several hundred dollars on visits to tiger enclosures where they can handle young animals and pose with older ones. When challenged, these individuals will often justify their behaviour by saying the zoos were helping to conserve animals,...
5,000 pets found dead in boxes at Chinese shipping depot

5,000 pets found dead in boxes at Chinese shipping depot

SOURCE: CBS News DATE: September 30, 2020 SNIP: At least 5,000 pets were found dead in cardboard shipping boxes last week at a logistics facility in Central China, likely casualties of a miscommunication in the supply chain of China’s thriving mass-breeding industry. Only a couple hundred animals were saved, and authorities have launched an investigation into the grim discovery in Henan Province, a local animal rescue group told CBS News on Wednesday. “The station was cluttered with express boxes with thousands of animals that had already died, and the entire place reeks of rotting bodies,” said Sister Hua, the founder of animal rescue group Utopia. She doesn’t use her real name, saying she prefers to keep attention on the animals rather than her personally. The animals included rabbits, guinea pigs, cats and dogs, all held in plastic or metal cages wrapped in cardboard boxes with breathing holes. They had been left in the boxes without food or water for about a week before they were discovered at the Dongxing Logistics station in Henan’s Luohe city. “It was obvious they died of suffocation, dehydration and starvation,” said Hua. Hua said it was likely the animals were bought online as pets but left stranded at the logistics depot because of a delayed collection, as the logistics company involved may have refused to sign off on a shipment violating transport...
Oregon Wildlife Commission Keeps Cruel Trapping Practices in Place

Oregon Wildlife Commission Keeps Cruel Trapping Practices in Place

SOURCE: Center for Biological Diversity DATE: June 16, 2020 SNIP: After a contentious 12-hour meeting, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission rejected conservation proposals to adopt a uniform 24-hour trap check time for all wildlife and to ban beaver trapping on federally managed public lands. The commission also voted 6-1 last Friday to continue the state’s existing furbearer trapping and hunting regulations for the next two years. Oregon’s trapping policies currently allow animals to languish in traps anywhere from 48 hours to 30 days, depending on how they are categorized by statute or rule. “It’s troubling that the commission upheld Oregon’s cruel, outdated and wasteful trapping program for the benefit of just 1,000 licensed trappers in the entire state,” said Quinn Read, Oregon policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This decision is completely out of step with Oregonians’ changing wildlife values. It’s time to relegate trapping to the dustbin of Oregon’s history.” While the commission declined to adopt the conservation proposals, they voted unanimously to direct agency staff to review trap-check time requirements and identify proposals for rule changes by January 2021. The commission also supported the concept of forming a beaver working group and indicated its intent to define the roles and responsibilities of such a group at its July meeting. The Center and its conservation allies advocated for two proposals to reform Oregon’s trapping program. The first proposal asked the commission to close federally managed public lands to commercial and recreational beaver trapping and hunting. Beavers and their dam-building activities are crucial to restoring riparian ecosystems and reducing the harms of climate change, yet beavers...
New Trump public land rules will let Alaska hunters kill bear cubs in dens

New Trump public land rules will let Alaska hunters kill bear cubs in dens

SOURCE: New York Times DATE: June 9, 2020 SNIP: Baiting grizzly bears with doughnuts soaked in bacon grease. Using spotlights to blind and shoot hibernating black bear mothers and their cubs in their dens. Gunning down swimming caribou from motorboats. Hunting methods that for years were decried by wildlife protectors and finally banned as barbaric by the Obama administration will be legal again on millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness in time for the warm July weather. The National Park Service policy published the new rules in the Federal Register on Tuesday, reversing Obama administration rules and giving trophy hunters, outfitters and Alaskans 30 days to prepare to return to national preserves in Alaska with the revived practices. Among the reinstated tactics: killing wolves and coyotes, including pups, during the season when mothers wean their young, and using dogs to hunt bears. Animal rights and wildlife protection groups condemned the rule as allowing inhumane trophy hunting of wild brown and black bears. “This would allow extreme cruel killing methods on over 20 million acres of national preserves in Alaska,” said Laura Smythe, a staff attorney with the Humane Society of the United States. The initial dispute stemmed from conflicting approaches over how Alaska manages predators in the state. The Alaska board of game allows such baiting tactics to kill bears and wolves in order to ensure enough moose, caribou and other game are available for hunters. The National Park Service, however, is charged with protecting wildlife populations including predators like bears. In 2015 the Obama administration codified the Park Service’s role by enacting a rule that eliminated sport hunting...
Rather than Cull Millions of Livestock, Let’s End Animal Agriculture

Rather than Cull Millions of Livestock, Let’s End Animal Agriculture

SOURCE: Harvard Political Review DATE: May 4, 2020 SNIP: As the U.S. economy reels from the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s meat producers are facing a logistical disaster. Social distancing measures have forced restaurants and industrial food service providers to stall their operations, and meatpacking facilities across the country have shuttered or reduced capacity. With nowhere to send their chickens, pigs, and cows, farmers have been overwhelmed by a growing glut of animals within their crowded production facilities. Now, facing pressure to “depopulate,” they have begun to slaughter their livestock populations by the millions. The situation is ghastly — on this point, farmers, consumers, CEOs, and animal rights activists can all agree. The Food and Environment Reporting Network has described it as “an orgy of waste that turns the stomachs of even the most pragmatic.” Faced with overcrowding, farmers are presented with two options: limiting the growth of their animal populations (via induced abortions or withholding food to limit the animals’ physical size), or “depopulation,” also known as culling (pick your euphemism). For the latter, there are many methods available. Daybreak Foods Inc. recently used carbon dioxide saturation to euthanize 61,000 egg-laying hens in Minnesota. Other companies may choose to cover their flocks in a layer of foam, which blocks the birds’ airways and gradually suffocates them. The American Veterinary Medical Association also lists ventilation shutdown, which induces organ failure as temperatures rapidly rise, as an appropriate form of euthanasia. Pigs may be killed by other means, including “gunshot, captive bolt, electrocution, and injection of anesthetic overdose.” One method called “blunt force trauma,” otherwise simply known as “thumping,” is specifically...