Cheers and Jeers

Cheers and Jeers

When Walter Palmer announced his intentions to re-open his dental practice in Minnesota yesterday, CNN asked “What will his first day back at work be like?”…personally, we hoped it would be horrendous. And it looks like our wish came true given the presence of protesters, cameras and journalists made sure his day at the office was anything but business as usual as he returned to work today.  

So it should be no surprise that we have yet another jeer for Palmer who’s back in the news after he spoke with the Associated Press last weekend about how he’s ready to get back into public and also attempted to justify his killing of Cecil, saying “If I had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study obviously I wouldn't have taken it.  Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion.” 

This just goes to show that after everything, Palmer still just isn’t getting it. It doesn’t matter if a single lion has a name or is well-known. Every single lion and other wild species in Africa and around the world has value and the right not to be gunned down by hunters. This is the reason why we have been working diligently to help stop trophy hunting in its tracks and recently held a rally for our legislation,“Cecil’s Law”, that would implement a statewide ban on the importation, possession, sale or transportation of the remains of the five big game species native to Africa (the African elephant, lion, leopard, black rhino and white rhino, all of whom are threatened by illegal poaching and sport hunting and are currently facing extinction.).

You can help take action and ensure trophy hunters, like Palmer, finally get the message about their sick “hobby” by contacting NY lawmakers about passing “Cecil's Law” today. 


We’re happy to hear that the exploitative days of greyhound racing in Texas are finally finished. We have a big cheer for the news that the last remaining dog racing venue in Texas, called Gulf Greyhound Park, announced their plans to shutter its track at the end of the year and send the dogs to adoption programs, which will finally bringing an end to what has been an upsetting and long-running chapter of animal mistreatment in the state's history.

The Gulf Greyhound Park has featured greyhound racing since opening in 1992 and in a statement to the Austin American-Statesman, Sally Briggs, general manager of the track, cited an overall decline in the racing industry as a reason for the closure.

Among the general welfare concerns surrounding greyhounds that range from keeping them in small cages for most of their lives to feeding them poor quality food, racing in Texas has also been plagued with serious issues from the spread of a deadly disease at Gulf Greyhound Park, forged health records, the use of drugs and failing to provide veterinary care to a trainer getting busted for using live rabbits as lures to train dogs, according to a Care2.com article.  

Gulf Greyhound Park has also long been considered one of the worst tracks for dogs in the United States. Between 2008 and 2014 alone, more than 2,300 greyhound injuries were reported. In that time, 108 greyhounds died or were euthanized. 

The closure in Texas now leaves only six states with operational tracks, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa and West Virginia. The closures and dwindling interest in this dying industry is a hopeful sign that more states will soon follow, as the commonly held notion of animals existing for entertainment purposes continues to be wiped out.

 


We have a huge jeer to the New Mexico Game Commission which voted to approve trapping for cougars on state trust land and private land throughout New Mexico. The commission also voted to increase bear-hunting quotas. Both decisions came without sufficient scientific evidence and in the face of overwhelming public opposition. 

More than 1,000 New Mexicans sent written comments and several hundred people came to Thursday's meeting to ask the Commission not to adopt New Mexico Game and Fish's proposals, which may put bear populations in danger and would allow traps on private and state trust lands, where they could maim or kill not just cougars but other animals. 

At the meeting, commissioners restricted public comment to one hour — 30 minutes for each side. Those who opposed increased cougar- and bear-killing far outnumbered those in support, so the restriction meant that a disproportionate number of New Mexicans in opposition did not get their voices heard. 

“I'm deeply concerned that the New Mexico Game Commission is becoming increasingly hostile to predators, even though there’s such broad public support for recovering beautiful Mexican gray wolves and protecting cougars and bears,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Complaints from the livestock industry in large part drive the commission’s antipathy toward animals at the top of the food chain — but wolves, bears and cougars each play important roles in sustaining the web of life.”

The board's decision to approve the expansion prompted opponents in a packed hearing room at the Santa Fe Community College to erupt in jeers, shouting “shame on you” to the seven commissioners.

Security officers had to help bring the meeting back under control.

FoA is adamant that wildlife officials should be educating the public on what to do when they encounter a black bear or a cougar in the wild, such as staying together and not running, and teaching them to always carry bear deterrent spray, rather than wasting time spreading wildlife-hating propaganda. We also encourage people to tell their legislators to support laws that would prohibit wildlife hunting and baiting. 

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