Cheers and Jeers

Cheers and Jeers

We have a cheer today for the people who refrained from participating in “Gigging for Grads” this year and a jeer for those who still showed up. 

“Giggin for Grads” was held on June 19 in Tennessee by the Dekalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers and allowed participants to go out at night and stab frogs with a sharp, long weapon or pitchfork—a deranged form of hunting called “gigging.” Those who had the heaviest bags of dead frogs won scholarship money. 

Friends of Animals, Nashville Animal Advocacy and other organizations raised awareness about the barbaric event in the media and pledged more than $2,000 to the youth group if they canceled the event and. A petition reached nearly 6,500 signatures calling on the event’s cancelation. 

The good news is that members of Nashville Animal Advocacy, who protested at the event, reported that “turnout was much lower than last year.” 

We hope that the organizers will consider the opinions of everyone who gave this cruelty a stamp of disapproval when they are planning to raise scholarship money next year. Email one of the organizers at ansfarms@yahoo.com and remind her that the Global Conservation Group’s Senior Biologist Susana Paco, said, “A method such as stabbing is extremely painful for the frog, who dies of massive hemorrhaging and usually asphyxiates on its own blood.” 

The organization’s Cruelty Investigation Department described the event as “A prime example of human depravity and willingness to cause harm to animals.”

We couldn’t agree more.

FoA urges Tennessee residents to contact Governor Bill Haslam and tell him to put a moratorium on animal killing contests until the legislature can debate and consider a ban of animal killing contests in Tennessee. FoA supports similar legislation that was introduced in New York. Residents should be able to weigh in on animal cruelty issues in their state. 

 

We have a huge jeer for NJ’s Fish and Game Council which agreed last week to allow raccoon trappers to use cruel leghold traps that have been outlawed since 1984. 

The Department of Fish and Wildlife claims these traps “do not result in the death of the captured animal, or in the potential for significant injury such as is possible with steel-jawed leghold traps.”

That’s a completely ridiculous assumption since the animal (a house cat in some cases) would be subjected to 60 pounds of force on its paw, pain, anxiety, and exposed to predators and weather for however long it takes a trapper to check his catch.

Hunters can argue all they want that these leg traps are more “humane” than previous versions, but the truth is these traps are just as cruel and fit the definition of leghold traps that Friends of Animals helped ban in the state over 30 years ago. 

One sign of hope is that Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) has drafted a concurrent resolution to block the DFW, claiming the use of these traps are “not consistent with the language and intent of the Legislature” all those years ago, which is absolutely correct. 

We are calling on the NJ state legislature to now use its Constitutional authority and overrule the Game Council’s decision instead of allowing this regression of barbaric hunting practices to continue. New Jersey citizens can find their state legislators here. 


We have a jeer today for the Bureau of Land Management’s Billings, Montana Field Office for approving a July summer roundup at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range to curb the size of the herd. We also have a thumbs down for so-called wild horse advocates who laud the BLM and for PZP-pushers like Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick of the Science and Conservation Center, where the fertility control pesticide just happens to be manufactured.

The BLM issued its record of decision on Tuesday that it plans to remove approximately 20 wild horses between the ages of 1-3 this summer and 6-12 wild horses annually to reduce the size of the 170-animal herd. 

We hope that some good will come out of this disheartening news—that the public will finally see through the lies, corruption and deception of the Bureau of Land Management and the supposed advocates who laud the agency, as well as PZP pushers. 

For example Kirkpatrick recently said this about anti-PZP groups like Friends of Animals: Rather than being “friends” to horses, these groups are helping to perpetuate the current unworkable and inhumane system of wild horse roundups. Fortunately, many other horse groups, scientists and a growing number of wildlife managers understand that fertility control offers us the best solution for humanely controlling horse populations and, ideally, ending roundups for good.”

He went on to say: To get at the truth, reasonable horse advocates, the media and scientists must challenge these groups to back up their claims with facts and science. Here is a list of questions they should be asked, publicly, to answer. 

Well we in fact did answer ALL of Kirkpatrick’s questions with facts and science, and we actually delivered our responses in person to Kirkpatrick in Montana. Of course, he would not come out to talk to us. This was after we held a rally for the Pryor Mountain wild horses on June 4 outside the Billings Field Office, and then went inside to hand deliver comments regarding the environmental assessment for the proposed roundup and present the BLM with the “Worst Government Agency” Award.

Mr. Kirkpatrick, it is time you back up your claims with facts and science before it’s too late and wild horses are managed to extinction. For instance, if PZP is the best solution for ending roundups for good, which you claim over and over in opinion pieces and in sound bites to the media to distract the public from the BLM’s wild horse extermination plan that satisfies ranchers who they treat as clients…..why in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range is the BLM STILL conducting roundups after they’ve been forcibly drugging mares there with PZP since 2003?

The truth of the matter is BLM lies, wild horses die. 

To read our responses to Jay’s questions—by the way it is odd that Kirkpatrick places the burden on Friends of Animals to disclose and study the effects of a pesticide which he manufactures and promotes—click here. We actually welcomed the opportunity to respond to his many questions and attacks so we can educate the public more on the plight of America’s wild horses. 

 

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