• Uncategorized

    Plight of Famed Wild Horses and BLM

    Latest Victims of BLM Roundups:
    Family of Cloud, Wild Horse of PBS Fame,
    Dumped at Federal Auction Saturday

    Lovell, WY (September 24, 2009) — This weekend, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will auction the offspring of the much-celebrated Cloud herd of wild mustangs, captured earlier this month, along with other horse bands, from the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range that borders Wyoming and Montana. In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal protection organization, is outraged at this latest travesty committed by the BLM, a division of the U.S. Department of Interior and the government agency entrusted to protect wild horses. A popular PBS Nature series, which has chronicled the story of the near-mythical wild stallion Cloud and his family, has brought into the public consciousness the plight of America’s wild horses. Wild horses have always been fixed in people’s minds as the embodiment of true and unfettered freedom.

    “Just two weeks ago, the majestic horses of Pryor Mountain were living wild and free with their families,” said IDA President Elliot M. Katz, DVM. “Now those families have been shattered forever.  57 of these beloved horses are imprisoned in BLM holding pens awaiting an uncertain future. If the world’s most famous herd cannot be saved, then the future looks bleak for the wild mustangs who are part of our nation’s heritage.”

    The auction of Cloud’s family members on Saturday comes just two days before the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will hear public dissent over the government’s inhumane wild horse management program, which plans to round up thousands more wild mustangs, even as an astounding 33,000 horses are currently warehoused in government facilities at a cost to taxpayers of $100,000 per day and tens of millions annually.

    An IDA observer documented the Pryor Mountain herd roundup, in which horses, including young foals, were mercilessly chased by helicopter causing injuries and lameness. In addition to members of Cloud’s family, four other bands of horses were rounded up from the Pryor Range, including older horses like Conquistador, a 19-year-old stallion and his 21-year-old mare.

    “The inhumanity of the BLM’s policy is most evident in the roundup and auction of the older horses who are completely unsuitable for adoption. These horses have no future unless returned to the open range immediately,” Katz continued.

    The Pryor Mountain horse roundup is just one of many BLM captures underway; in late August, the agency began roundups southwest of Ely, Nevada, intending to capture and remove more than 600 horses from 1.4 million acres of public lands.

    At Monday’s public hearing, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (public testimony at 3 p.m.), at the Hyatt in Arlington, Virginia, IDA will call upon the Obama Administration to reverse the BLM’s scandalous wild horse policy, which aims to remove thousands of additional horses from public lands while continuing to allow millions of privately owned cattle to graze those same public lands.

    IDA is also supporting passage of the Restoring Our American Mustangs Act (ROAM), which would update existing laws that protect wild horses by prohibiting the killing of healthy wild horses and burros, removing restrictions on areas where horses can roam freely, and facilitating the establishment of wild horse sanctuaries, among other provisions. This summer. ROAM was passed by the House of Representatives on a 239-185 vote and is currently in the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. When Congress unanimously passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act of 1971, these wondrous mustangs were described as “the living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” The horses who remain deserve our fierce protection.

    # # #

    In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in Mumbai, India, Cameroon, Africa, and rural Mississippi.
    IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS · 3010 KERNER BLVD. · SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 · 415-448-0048Pli

  • Bird Accessories,  Bird Feeders,  Glass Bird Feeder,  Tube Bird Feeder,  Uncategorized,  Wild Bird Feeders

    Tube Birdfeeders for Growing Grass?

    tube birdfeedersRecently we’ve had lots of rain here in Georgia, which is great because we’re usually in a drought.  However, I think this past episode may have been one of those “500-year” occurrences!

    Inundated, with rain, it has not let up for days, then the grand finale…about 16 inches in 24 hrs. All of the feeders were soggy, soaked, and stinky!  Not once, but twice, the tube birdfeeders were dumped and cleaned.  The seed became packed down, and downright nasty.  There was grass growing in them!

    The sideways rain had turned the little sanctuary into a health and safety issue for feathered friends.

    With 2000% humidity, waiting until the storm passed,would likely have been a better option!

  • Uncategorized

    Landmark Victory in Federal Court for IDA

    In Defense of Animals Wins Landmark FOIA Victory in Federal Court

    USDA Forced to Disclose Records from Controversial Animal Test Lab Huntingdon Life Sciences

    Washington, DC After a seven-year court fight, including the first trial in years involving the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been ordered by a federal judge to disclose 1,017 pages of records obtained during an investigation of controversial toxicology lab Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) to In Defense of Animals, the animal protection group said today.

    “These records will shed light on the USDA’s failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act,” said IDA Research Director Eric Kleiman. “Why did the USDA, later joined by HLS, fight so hard and so long to prevent the public from seeing these records? We’ll know within the 60 days ordered by the Court.”

    The records – 503 pages withheld in full, 514 withheld in part (with most heavily redacted) – include test results, notes of observations of primates involved in toxicology testing, Animal Care and Use Committee minutes as well as necropsy reports and requests for veterinary care from six studies.

    IDA filed the lawsuit in 2002 against the USDA, but later HLS “intervened” and also became a defendant. At trial, the USDA did not produce a single witness; HLS had two.

    The December 2008 trial, the first in years involving FOIA, resolved the issue of whether HLS would suffer competitive harm if the records were disclosed. These records, obtained by the USDA during its investigation of the lab, formed the basis of the USDA’s formal complaint against HLS, alleging multiple and grave violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The charges included multiple counts of failing to provide adequate veterinary care and inadequate research oversight.

    Within days of filing the complaint against HLS, the USDA settled it with what IDA termed a “slap-on-the-wrist” fine. This was consistent with multiple USDA Inspector General reports regarding the agency’s lax enforcement of the AWA. The most recent, in 2005, stated that USDA imposes “minimal” fines that “violators consider…a normal cost of conducting business rather than a deterrent for violating the law.”

    The FOIA trial came about as a result of an opinion by another judge, who, after reviewing a sampling of the unredacted records in camera (in private), expressed his doubt that defendants could prevail at a trial focusing on the issue of competitive harm. This judge stated that the USDA and HLS came “mighty close” to “’blatantly’ contradicting the record” in the case. He also noted that the USDA had violated a prior court order by failing to produce an analysis of what could be redacted from the records.

    Kleiman noted that IDA has won multiple FOIA victories, including a court-ordered public interest fee waiver for thousands of pages of NIH records after IDA had proven its “dissemination methods and history demonstrate that the disclosure will contribute to a greater understanding” by the public. IDA has also used FOIA records to document data manipulation and researcher misconduct (see “Drug Study Hid Chimp Deaths,” at http://www.startribune.com/templates/Print_This_Story?sid=11617276

    “This victory is the latest in a long line of IDA campaigns that often take years,” concluded Kleiman. “No matter how long, IDA will continue to persevere on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.”

    The public interest law firm Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal represents IDA in this case. The District Court opinion is available online at https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2002cv0557-121 <file://localhost/cgi-bin/show_public_doc>

    In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in Mumbai, India, Cameroon, Africa, and rural Mississippi.
    IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS · 3010 KERNER BLVD. · SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 · 415-448-0048