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    Sonoma People for Animal Rights: Local animal rights group's Reader


    Here's a sample, without the masthead and photos, of the local animal rights group's Reader. If you'd be interested in receiving more of same, let me know.

    February 23, 2006

    There's a Native American story about a grandfather talking to his
    young grandson. He tells the boy he's got two wolves inside him
    struggling with each other. One is the wolf of love, kindness, and
    peace. The other is the wolf of hatred, anger, and war.

    "Which one will win, grandfather?" asked the boy.

    "Whichever one I feed," the grandfather replied.

    Cheney's Canned Kill, and Other Hunting Excesses of the Bush Administration

    USDA photo: Ron Nichols
    By Wayne Pacelle

    Vice President Dick Cheney went pheasant shooting in Pennsylvania in December 2003, but unlike most of his fellow hunters across America, he didn't have to spend hours or even days tramping the fields and hedgerows in hopes of bagging a brace of birds for the dinner table.

    Upon his arrival at the exclusive Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, gamekeepers released 500 pen-raised pheasants from nets for the benefit of him and his party. In a blaze of gunfire, the group—which included legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), along with major fundraisers for Republican candidates—killed at least 417 of the birds. According to one gamekeeper who spoke to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cheney was credited with shooting more than 70 of the pen-reared fowl.

    After lunch, the group shot flocks of mallard ducks, also reared in pens and shot like so many live skeet. There's been no report on the number of mallards the hunting party killed, but it's likely that hundreds fell.

    Rolling Rock is an exclusive private club for the wealthy with a world-class golf course and a closed membership list. It is also a "canned hunting" operation—a place where fee-paying hunters blast away at released animals, whether birds or mammals, who often have no reasonable chance to escape. Most are "no kill, no pay" operations where patrons only shells out funds for the animals they kill.

    Bird-shooting operations offer pheasants, quail, partridges, and mallard ducks, often dizzying the birds and planting them in front of hunters or tossing them from towers toward waiting shotguns. There are, perhaps, more than 3,000 such operations in the United States, according to outdoor writer Ted Williams.

    For canned hunts involving mammals, hunters can shoot animals native to given continents—everything from Addax to Zebra—within the confines of a fenced area, assuring the animals have no opportunity to escape. Time magazine estimates that 2,000 facilities offer native or exotic mammals for shooting within fenced enclosures.

    The HSUS worked hard to expose Cheney's shooting spree, and we were fortunate in persuading The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Dallas Morning News, and other media outlets to cover the events of that day and our subsequent criticism.

    Our criticism is simple to understand: Farm-raised pheasants are about as wary as urban pigeons and shooting them is nothing more than live target practice, especially when they are released from a hill in front of 10 gunners hidden below in blinds—as Cheney and his party were. Such hunting makes a mockery of basic principles of fair play and humane treatment, and the vice president should not associate himself with such conduct.

    The private excesses of Cheney are bad enough, and worthy of The HSUS's rebuke. But it's the public policy excesses that are of even greater concern to me. Cheney's hunting trip strikes me as emblematic of the Bush Administration's callousness towards the earth's animals.

    The administration's most outrageous proposal is its plan to allow trophy hunters to shoot endangered species in other countries and import the trophies and hides into the United States. The administration first floated the proposal a few months ago, with formal proposals subsequently published in the Federal Register, and President Bush is expected to make a final decision soon on the plan, which originated with his U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    For 30 years, the Endangered Species Act has provided critical protections for species near extinction in the United States. The act also protects species in foreign nations, by barring pet traders, circuses, trophy hunters, and others from importing live or dead endangered species. While we can't prevent the shooting or capture of endangered species overseas, we can prevent imports—thus eliminating the incentive for American hunters and others to shoot or trap the animals in the first place.

    But with this plan the administration is seeking to punch gaping holes in the prohibitions, under the assumption that generating revenue through the sale of hunting licenses will aid on-the-ground conservation in foreign lands.

    The plan is transparent on its face. It's not aimed to help species, but to aid special interests who want to profit from the exploitation of wildlife. No group is more centrally involved in this miserable plan than Safari Club International, the world's leading trophy hunting organization and an entity with close ties to the Bush Administration.

    The 40,000 member organization of rich trophy collectors has doled out close to $600,000 in campaign contributions among GOP candidates in the past six years. President Bush appointed a former top lobbyist of the Safari Club to be the deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—again, the very agency promoting the plan to allow the selling off of endangered species to private interests.

    The HSUS is not a pro-hunting organization. That said, we view certain types of hunting as worse than others. It crosses any reasonable line to support the shooting of some of the rarest and most endangered animals in the world. And it is beyond the pale to advocate for or participate in the shooting of animals in canned hunts—for birds or mammals.

    President Bush met with leaders of 19 hunting organizations on December 12. While we expect him to endorse certain forms of hunting, he should in no way countenance the shooting of endangered species or the hunting of captive or pen-reared animals. If that's where these hunting groups want to lead him, he needs to resist their entreaties. He needs to stand up to these special interest groups and draw a bright line between certain types of hunting conduct.

    Americans don't support this nonsense, and the president shouldn't either.

    Need a printer-friendly sign for your photo shoot?
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    Dentist's Office. New York City, NY

    Posted on February 22, 2006, 9:06 am
    Hunters in Alaska don't like competing with wolves. So the state has been issuing permits for teams of gunners and pilots to chase wolves from aircraft, then shoot them. This January, the Superior Court of Alaska found the state's aerial wolf-shooting scheme invalid. But rather than stop the gunning, the state's Board of Game hastily made up new rules and are offering permits again!

    In response, we're calling a Worldwide Web of Supporters to BOYCOTT ALASKA this travel season.

    We welcome photographs of boycott supporters holding signs such as "Boycott Alaska," "I'd rather be here than in Alaska," or "Stop Shooting Wolves." Be creative. Tell us where "here" is for you. Then tell your friends and co-workers. Help those without computer access to see the results. The more people we have taking photos instead of spending their money in Alaska, the more likely that future generations of wolves, and the rest of Alaska's biocommunity, will survive in health and freedom.

    Thanks to Francis Murray of Juneau, Alaska, for sending us this idea. At Friends of Animals, we acknowledge that wolves have inherent value. Whether we deem them endangered or plentiful in numbers, and whether or not we see them and deem them beautiful, their individual lives, their futures, and their freedom have meaning and value to them. And that's what counts to us.

    In Blackwater Woods

    Look, the trees

    are turning

    their own bodies

    into pillars

    of light,

    are giving off the rich

    fragrance of cinnamon

    and fulfillment,

    the long tapers

    of cattails

    are bursting and floating away over

    the blue shoulders

    of the ponds,

    and every pond,

    no matter what its

    name is, is

    nameless now.

    Every year


    I have ever learned

    in my lifetime

    leads back to this: the fires

    and the black river of loss

    whose other side

    is salvation, whose meaning

    none of us will ever know.

    To live in this world

    you must be able

    to do three things:

    to love what is mortal;

    to hold it

    against your bones knowing

    your own life depends on it;

    and when the time comes to let it go,

    to let it go.

    —Mary Oliver


    Send your own letter to [email protected] and note the docket number: USDA - Food Safety and Inspection Service Docket # 05-036IF

    And send a copy to SPAR!


    Dear Secretary Johanns:

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the proposed rule change "Ante-Mortem Inspection of Horses," CFR 9 Part 352 - Section 352.19.

    I oppose this rule change! It will circumvent the intent of Congress, following the will of constituents, to stop the slaughter of horses at the three foreign owned slaughter plants in the United States from March 10 through October 1st of this year.

    The Congressional record clearly shows that both opponents and supporters of the Agricultural Appropriation amendment understood the intent of the amendment was to end slaughter of horses in our country for fiscal year '06. It is a travesty that this proposed rule change will be in direct opposition to the will of the people as indicated by the overwhelming Congressional majority in both houses who voted to temporarily end horse slaughter.

    Statistics support an end to the slaughter of horses permanently in our country. Only 1% of America's horses are slaughtered and that is too many ( approximately 65,000 animals yearly). There has been no increase in abuse cases in states where slaughter has ceased. The majority of animals killed are healthy young horses. Finally, Americans do not eat horses and the enormous majority of horse owners (99%) do not send horses to these plants where these animals are not humanely killed but suffer untold agony.

    I recommend you abandon this rule change and follow the will of the majority of Americans - end horse slaughter this year.

    Thank you for acknowledging my comments.

    Dian Hardy
    Sebastopol, California

    To remove yourself from this e-list, contact the list manager at [email protected]
    Last edited by Barry; 02-24-2006 at 01:07 AM.
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