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At least 145 of America's last wild, migratory bison have already been captured inside Yellowstone National Park's Stephens Creek bison trap this week as a result of the park and other entities working under the controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). They intend to kill upwards of 900 of the gentle giants under the guise of population control and "disease risk management."
In response, Friends of Animals (FoA) Wildlife Law Program and the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) filed a lawsuit Jan. 15 against the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for allowing the horrific roundup to proceed and failing to respond to an emergency rulemaking petition filed Sept. 15 by the two groups to protect the genetic diversity and viability of the bison of Yellowstone National Park.
Every winter and spring, snow and ice cover the bison's food and hunger pushes them to lower elevations across the park boundary in Montana. When they cross this arbitrary line, the buffalo enter a zone of violent conflict with ranchers. Last winter 653 bison were slaughtered, and back in the winter of 2007/2008, the largest scale wild buffalo slaughter, claimed the lives of 1,631 animals. At the turn of the 20th century, similar reckless behavior nearly drove bison to extinction.
Read More | Buffalo Field Campaign | Documentary Film: Silencing the Thunder
Previous Indybay Coverage:
BFC Audio Interviews: Apr 2005
|| Feb 2006
|| June 2007
|| Feb 9, 2008
|| Feb 19, 2008
|| Apr 2008
Stephany Seay writes:
Many believed that a Salmon, Idaho-based wolf and coyote killing spree was canceled when organizations released to the media that the BLM had revoked permits for the event. However the Forest Service still allowed it, and the derby was still on. Eight individuals, rallied by Brian Ertz of Wildlands Defense, braved the hostile Salmon community to be on the ground and document the carnage. We were able to expose it, let them know people are watching, and we shamed them into hiding their carnival parade of cruelty.
Christopher Ketcham writes:
Salmon, like many small towns in the rural West, is a ranching society. Ranchers who run their cattle on the open range have historically regarded wild predators not as majestic creatures but as vermin to be exterminated. Investigative journalist Jack Olsen, writing in his 1971 book Slaughter the Animals, Poison the Earth, concluded that the livestock industry's hatred of predators—wolves and coyotes foremost, but also cougars, black bears, grizzlies, wolverines, lynx, bobcats, hawks, eagles, and on and on—went "so far beyond the dimensions of reality as to be almost pathological in origin."
Read More | How to Kill a Wolf - An Undercover Report from the Idaho Coyote and Wolf Derby | WildLands Defense
On December 22, with the full support of marine conservation organizations, a group of California legislators called on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service to transition away from deadly California drift gillnets. “California drift gillnets are deadly curtains of death for marine wildlife like whales and sea turtles,” said Doug Karpa of Turtle Island Restoration Network.
On December 17, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit against the California Rodeo Salinas and its head veterinarian Tim Eastman for failing to report animal injuries to the state veterinary medical board, as required under California law. The defendants are accused of significantly under-reporting the number of animals injured at the California Rodeo Salinas, the largest rodeo in the state and one of the largest in the country.
In the last two years, the nonprofit SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) has documented injuries to 41 animals—yet the rodeo has reported only four of those injuries. The lawsuit was filed in the Monterey County Superior Court on behalf of SHARK, who has had to spend its limited resources monitoring the rodeo and documenting unreported injuries to animals.
The California Rodeo Salinas holds an annual rodeo each summer in mid-July, drawing crowds of approximately 50,000 people. Events include steer wrestling, bull riding, calf roping, and team roping, all of which pose serious risks of injury to animals. For the last two years, SHARK has attended the California Rodeo Salinas and videotaped more than forty injuries to animals, including calves limping in pain after being dragged to the ground, and a horse with a tennis ball-sized wound on his neck. Expert veterinary assessment of this footage confirms that these injuries required immediate veterinary care, and should have been reported. But to mask the inherent dangerousness of rodeo events, California Rodeo Salinas has drastically and chronically under-reported animal injuries.
Read More | Showing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK) | Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)
On November 4, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a second complaint against one of the world’s largest research antibody suppliers, Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT). It alleges violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) from September 26, 2012, through April 22, 2014. Importantly, the complaint also requests the suspension or revocation of SCBT’s dealer license, a serious potential consequence given that USDA policy requires both a research registration and a dealer license for such labs to sell animal-derived antibodies.
The additional violations outlined in the complaint include repeated failure to provide adequate veterinary care — resulting in needless animal suffering — and repeated research oversight violations. The citations also include failure to provide fresh, nutritive food and ensure that procedures avoid or minimize animal pain and distress.
At the heart of USDA’s latest complaint is the grave charge that SCBT willfully refused to allow USDA inspectors access to an entire site housing over 800 goats “from at least March 6, 2012, through October 30, 2012.” When USDA inspectors were finally allowed access to the site, they reported finding goats suffering and in need of veterinary care. The inspection report from October 31, 2012, states that “[t]he existence of the site was denied even when directly asked” during multiple prior inspections.
Previous Coverage: ALDF Lawsuit Against Santa Cruz Biotechnology Animal Testing Facility Gains Support
|| Federal Investigations Reveal Severe Neglect of Animals at Santa Cruz Biotechnology
Newly proposed U.S. dietary guidelines should include meat and dairy reductions to create a sustainable food system in the United States that helps curb climate change, reduce environmental destruction and protect wildlife, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, currently in the process of developing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, is taking sustainability concerns into account for the first time.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has released new data showing that the California-based drift gillnet fishery targeting swordfish killed an estimated 53 marine mammals from May 2013 through January 2014. Fishery observers monitored 34 percent of the drift gillnet sets made last year; they documented that the fishery killed an estimated three California gray whales, six short-finned pilot whales, nine northern right whale dolphins, nine California sea lions and 26 short-beaked common dolphins.
On August 21, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) announced a settlement on behalf of plaintiffs Animal Place
, Farm Sanctuary
, and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary
in the animal groups’ lawsuit against egg industry defendants Andy Cheung and Lien Diep. The defendants abandoned 50,000 hens without food at a facility near Turlock, which led to the largest farmed animal rescue in California history. The settlement permanently prohibits Cheung, who managed the facility, from working directly with animals again—and places similar restrictions on Diep.
“The egg industry is rife with routine animal suffering, but today’s settlement ensures that those responsible for the tragedy in Turlock are permanently out of the business of raising animals,” said Matthew Liebman, senior attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Read More |
Animal Legal Defense Fund
In response to pressure from conservation groups, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced an area closure for the swordfish drift gillnet fishery in the Pacific Ocean off California from July 25 through August 31 to prevent entanglements and drownings of endangered loggerhead sea turtles. This year’s El Niño conditions, warmer than normal waters, attract the endangered loggerhead sea turtles to the nutrient-rich waters where the deadly fishery operates.
California is experiencing a serious drought and the media is filled with recommendations about how to save water: Switch to dry landscaping; don't run water when you are shaving or brushing your teeth; install low-flow showerheads; and don't wash your car. All those ideas would help, but much less than people think.
According to a 2012 report by the Pacific Institute, only 4% of California's water is used by individuals. An astounding 93% of California's water goes to agriculture; and most of that 93% is misused or wasted. Humans drink less than one gallon of water per day. A cow drinks 23 gallons per day — and we have 5.5 million of them.
Low-flow showerheads help save much less water than people think. Most people shower once a day and use an average of 14 gallons of water. You could save more water by reducing your beef intake by one pound than by not showering for six months!
Read More |
"California's Water Footprint" report by the Pacific Institute
On March 29, Chipotle Mexican Grill closed a San Francisco restaurant in response to protests by animal rights activists. Demonstrators with Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) arrived at the Chipotle at 121 4th Street in San Francisco to protest against the restaurant, surprised to find it closed. A police officer informed the activists that the restaurant had closed for the afternoon in order to avoid their demonstration, and it remained closed and empty of customers for the duration of DxE’s two-hour protest.
Since October 2013, DxE has held monthly protests against Chipotle as part of the group’s “It’s not Food, It’s Violence” campaign. The activists say that despite Chipotle’s marketing itself as a purveyor of humane and “responsibly raised” meat and dairy, animal agriculture – including inevitable slaughter – is inherently violent. The monthly international demonstrations have now reached 29 cities in 8 countries.
Read More |
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
’s latest report on March 31 highlights the increasing threat from rising global meat and dairy consumption to limiting global warming, especially as the world population continues to grow. The study says that beef and lamb account for the largest agricultural emissions, relative to the energy they provide. By 2050, estimates indicate, beef and lamb will account for half of all agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, while only contributing 3 percent of human calorie intake. Cheese and other dairy products will account for about one quarter of total agricultural climate pollution.
“We can’t ignore the devastating impact of meat consumption on our climate and our planet anymore,” said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the Center for Biological Diversity, which just launched a campaign to reduce meat consumption. “The IPCC report shows that our appetite for meat is not only harming the environment, but is a threat to a livable climate for people and wildlife around the globe. We need to drastically reduce the amount of meat in our diets if we hope to fight climate change and the extinction crisis.”
Read More |