Another Bust! More Than 600 Smuggled Reptiles Rescued From Animal Trafficking Network; Nine People Arrested – World Animal News

http://worldanimalnews.com/another-bust-600-smuggled-reptiles-rescued-animal-trafficking-network-nine-people-arrested/

By WAN –
March 13, 2018
Photos from Europol

A Spanish network illegally trafficking rare animals has been dismantled after more than 600 smuggled reptiles were found earlier this week.
Nine people were arrested and seven suspected members of the criminal organization are currently under investigation, as per Europol which made the announcement.

“This little dragon is free again,” the European law enforcement agency shared in a post on its Facebook page yesterday. “Big hit by Guardia Civil and Europol against an organized crime group trafficking more than 600 protected reptiles from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania.”
The group reportedly purchased the animals from Australia, the Fiji Islands, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman, and South Africa, before illegally transporting them to Spain.

Europol explained that it provided analytical and operational support and “assisted Guardia Civil officers by deploying a team to Spain with a mobile office and UFED extraction capabilities on the internationally-coordinated action day, providing them with real-time intelligence analysis and forensic support.”
Their efforts helped to identify transnational links with other serious and organized crimes around the world.
Overall law enforcement authorities from 17 countries worldwide were involved in the operation.
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TAGS:Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Rescue
Illegal Wildlife Trafficking,Reptiles,Spain,Wildlife Smuggling

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Biology Teacher Robert Crosland Feeds Live Puppy To A Snapping Turtle In Idaho? Why Wasn’t He Stopped? – World Animal News

http://worldanimalnews.com/biology-teacher-robert-crosland-feeds-live-puppy-snapping-turtle-idaho-wasnt-stopped/
By Lauren Lewis –
March 13, 2018

In its most simple definition, a teacher is one whose occupation it is to teach or instruct.
But there is nothing simple about being a teacher; a provider of knowledge and insight; a mentor; a motivator; or any of the other many ways to describe someone who dedicates themselves to this important, respected, and admired profession.
From pre-school to high school, teachers, after parents, are among of the most important and influential people readying youth for adulthood. They teach far more than reading, writing, arithmetic, and science.
Sadly, at Preston Jr. High School, approximately 300 miles east of Boise, Idaho, one biology teacher failed miserably in the eyes of animal advocates everywhere.
Horrifically, it was recently revealed that on March 7th of last week middle-school teacher Robert Crosland allegedly fed a live puppy to a snapping turtle while some of his students were present; a horrific occurrence that in an official statement the Preston School District described as a “regrettable circumstance.”

alligator-snapping-turtle-600x315

Regrettable Circumstance?
“The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school directed program. We emphasize that at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised,” the school district claimed in the release. “District administration was made aware of the issue soon after it occurred and immediately began the process of investigation and taking steps to ensure that this type of action could not be repeated.”
While noting that the situation should not be taken lightly, the school district requested that the public be patient while “appropriate measures are determined and carried out.”
It is the request made next that is perhaps most shocking.
“While the district certainly does not condone individual actions that may violate district policy or reasonable expectations of behavior,” the district noted, “we hope that any errors in judgement made by a teacher in this instance will not cause us to forget the years of care, effort, and passion the teacher has given to students in Preston School District.”
Errors in judgment? This is way more serious than an error in judgment. This is criminal.
Perhaps what the district should be thinking about now is not the past but the future of the students who witnessed this extreme case of animal cruelty or even heard about it second hand. What lesson did it instill in them? That lack of regard for an animal’s life is acceptable, or even worse, the norm? That animal cruelty and abuse are condoned by people they look up to and trust?
The puppy was allegedly sick. That is their defense? That makes it okay?
The answer is a resounding NO!
Local animal activist Jill Parrish, who filed the police report, agrees.
“What I have learned in the last four days is disgusting. It is sick. It is sick,” Preston told KSTU News. “Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal. That is violence. That is not OK.”
In an opinion piece for the Preston County News newspaper where he works as an editor, Joseph Hauger explained how he first found out about the incident which he believed to be false at the time.
After receiving his second notification from Facebook Instant Messanger, and a click, Hauger wrote that this is what he found:
“This is (teacher’s name omitted.) He is a teacher at Preston Jr. High in Preston, Idaho. Some pretty disturbing things have come to light about him. A few days ago, he fed a live puppy to his snapping turtle. He tried to feed it to his snake first, but the snake wouldn’t eat it, so it went to the turtle. He did this in the school in the presence of students. This is a common practice for him. He offers students extra credit for bringing in live animals for feedings. Puppies, kittens and bunnies have all be used.”
If that was the case, who brought the puppy to the classroom and how was this even allowed to happen, again? How can this be legal?
Though only allegations at this point, they are serious and need to be addressed.
Until then, it does not seem appropriate for Crosland, regardless of how popular he is or how long he has worked at the school, to remain in the classroom. He should be placed on temporary leave. If found guilty, he should be charged with the crime and justice should be served.
He and animal abusers everywhere need to learn the lesson once and for all that animal cruelty and animal abuse is never okay. The lives of animals matter as do the lives of humans. We are all sentient beings who feel terror, pain, and sadness among many other emotions.
Imagine what that poor crying puppy was feeling as Crosland first tried to feed him to a snake before tragically feeding him to a live reptile.
Heartbreaking and excruciatingly painful to even think about!
He is educated but seems to be in need of a crash course on who people that hurt animals are inclined to abuse next.
This is sad, troubling, and terrifying on so many levels.

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TAGS
Animal Abuse,Animal Cruelty,Animal News,Animal Protection
Idaho,Puppy,Turtle

© Copyright 2016 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! Notorious Wildlife Poaching Gang Busted In Malaysia; Responsible For 20 Elephant Deaths Over The Past Decade & More – World Animal News

http://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-notorious-wildlife-poaching-gang-busted-malaysia-responsible-20-elephant-deaths-past-decade/

By Lauren Lewis –
March 13, 2018

Royal Malaysian Police display the weapons, snares, and other poaching materials during a press conference today. Photo from TRAFFIC.
Authorities in Malaysia busted a poaching gang that is believed to be responsible for the slaughter of an estimated 20 elephants for their tusks over the last decade.
Four suspects, local men between the ages of 40 and 50 years old, were apprehended over the weekend during the three-day operation dubbed Ops Gading in Gerik. They are being held under police custody for seven days.
A joint team from the Royal Malaysian Police and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks also seized several high-powered modified firearms, 255 bullets of various caliber, cash, 13 snares, and animal remains including deer antlers and suspected tiger bones.
The team also located the carcass of a male Asian Elephant, believed to be 30-years-old in Piah Forest, not far from Gerik. The carcass was missing its tusks and a necropsy by the Wildlife Department’s forensics team showed the elephant had died from two gunshot wounds to its head.

malaysia-poaching-gang-arrest-820-533x261-972167752.jpg

Photo of the elephant carcass recovered. Photo from Royal Malaysian Police.
“This is a notorious gang of poachers that the Wildlife Department has been tracking since 2009. We believe the tusks from the elephant have been sold by the group to foreign buyers,” said Police Commissioner Dato’ Seri Zulkifli Abdullah, Director of the Federal Police Internal Security and Public Order Department at a press conference today. “We hope this serves as a lesson to other groups to stop this kind of illegal activity and we will continue to work with Perhilitan to enforce the law.”
Zulkifli also noted that the police, through the Internal Security and Public Order Department would focus at least 20% of the Force’s manpower on addressing environmental crime including wildlife and fisheries.
“This is exactly the kind of collaboration Malaysia needs to bring down the syndicates decimating Malaysia’s wildlife,” Kanitha Krishnasamy, Acting Regional Director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia said in a statement following the press conference.
According to the organization, the Royal Malaysian Police issued a release claiming that one suspect admitted during initial investigations that he had just sold a pair of elephant tusks to a middleman in a town at the Malaysian international border.
Police are continuing to work with the Wildlife Department and authorities in a neighboring country to investigate and identify the parties that may have purchased the tusks.
Forests in northern Peninsular Malaysia are often a target of poachers because they are rich with iconic endangered species including tigers, elephants and bears.
This successful operation marks the second elephant poaching gang to be dismantled in Malaysia in a little more than a year. On February 10, 2017, seven men from that group were arrested in the state of Kelantan, which is also located in northern Peninsular Malaysia. Follow-up raids uncovered two elephant tusks, dried elephant meat, and other wildlife parts.

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TAGS Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Welfare,Animal Welfare Organizations
Elephant Ivory,Elephants,Poaching

© Copyright 2016 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Tell Fox and CBS Tigers Should Not Be Exploited On Television Shows!

It happened again just last week a major television network (FOX) featured a rented tiger from the notorious exotic animal rental business in Hollywood Animals to use in an episode of a television program (9-1-1) for shock value and to garner higher ratings.

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=24543

Tell The EPA: Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

The science is clear : Neonicotinoid pesticides are harmful to birds and aquatic life, and deadly to bees.

https://environmentamerica.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=25050&uid=1220798&utm_source=salsa&utm_medium=email&tag=email_blast:44429&utm_campaign=AME4-FCNS:WILDLIFE:CUDDLY-0318&utm_content=EM9:00C:0HH-APP

USDA abandons rule on higher welfare standards for animals raised under organics label · A Humane Nation

https://blog.humanesociety.org/2018/03/breaking-news-usda-abandons-rule-higher-welfare-standards-animals-raised-organics-label.html?credit=em_031318_blog_post_031218_id9614

blog.humanesociety.org
USDA abandons rule on higher welfare standards for animals raised under organics label · A Humane Nation
By Blog Editor
Breaking news: USDA abandons rule on higher welfare standards for animals raised under organics label

The rule prohibited cruel practices like “tail docking” of cattle and transporting animals too sick or injured to endure the journey. Photo by iStockphoto

Despite strong public support for the measure, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has killed a rule that established clear and meaningful protections and higher animal welfare standards for farm animals raised under the organics label. The USDA delayed implementation of the rule three times before yesterday’s announcement that it would formally withdraw the rule. This gift props up factory farming operations that exploit the confusion and imprecision of prevailing standards. And it’s a travesty for millions of animals raised within the organic system, as well as the consumers who appreciate organic products and look to the government to support stronger welfare norms under the USDA’s authority.

The USDA now claims—for the first time ever—that it does not have statutory authority to pass rules improving welfare conditions for livestock, including poultry, on organic farms. The agency has conveniently ignored its own regulatory history of doing so, such as with its “access to pasture” rule, promulgated in 2010. That rule required that ruminant animals be allowed to graze, and clarified that producers had to maintain pastures for their animals. The USDA has also ignored comments from key members of Congress that contradict the agency’s recently-formed interpretation.

The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule encompassed an array of housing, husbandry, and management standards, standards that consumers expect when they buy organic products. The rule prohibited cruel practices like “tail docking” of cattle and transporting animals too sick or injured to endure the journey. The rule also ensured that animals raised under the standard could not be tightly confined, and it set minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for egg-laying chickens. Importantly, the rule closed a loophole in current regulations that allow large poultry companies to skirt the law and use screened-in porches to satisfy “outdoor access” requirements.

By withdrawing the rule, which was supported by most prominent organic trade groups and producers, including family farmers, and by some large-scale non-organic producers, such as Perdue Farms, the agency has chosen to ignore the wishes of thousands of stakeholders committed to higher welfare standards. The USDA is also ignoring the wishes of a majority of Americans who want to see the National Organic Program establish criteria in line with their expectations for how animals should be treated before slaughter.

In its haste to rationalize its backtracking, the USDA plays up the “costs” of the organics standards, ignoring that the standards are heavily favored by organic producers. The agency also ignores that the organics market is one in which consumers have already determined that there is added value in paying premiums for products associated with high standards of animal welfare. Indeed, these standards were put together after a decade of careful consideration of its costs and benefits – like ensuring the integrity of a nearly $50 billion industry serving millions of Americans. In a matter like this, the public rightly expected the agency responsible for regulating the nation’s food supply to step up its game, not to take a step backward.

Last May, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, seeking to communicate his view of the agency’s duty to the American people, said, “We owe it to the consumer to let them know we are concerned about their safety and the wholesomeness, nutritious capacity about the food they consume. They deserve to know and we better be able to tell them.”

Apparently, someone in the secretary’s own agency didn’t get the memo.

USDA abandons rule on higher welfare standards for animals raised under organics label · A Humane Nation

https://blog.humanesociety.org/2018/03/breaking-news-usda-abandons-rule-higher-welfare-standards-animals-raised-organics-label.html?credit=em_031318_blog_post_031218_id9614

blog.humanesociety.org
USDA abandons rule on higher welfare standards for animals raised under organics label · A Humane Nation
By Blog Editor
Breaking news: USDA abandons rule on higher welfare standards for animals raised under organics label

The rule prohibited cruel practices like “tail docking” of cattle and transporting animals too sick or injured to endure the journey. Photo by iStockphoto

Despite strong public support for the measure, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has killed a rule that established clear and meaningful protections and higher animal welfare standards for farm animals raised under the organics label. The USDA delayed implementation of the rule three times before yesterday’s announcement that it would formally withdraw the rule. This gift props up factory farming operations that exploit the confusion and imprecision of prevailing standards. And it’s a travesty for millions of animals raised within the organic system, as well as the consumers who appreciate organic products and look to the government to support stronger welfare norms under the USDA’s authority.

The USDA now claims—for the first time ever—that it does not have statutory authority to pass rules improving welfare conditions for livestock, including poultry, on organic farms. The agency has conveniently ignored its own regulatory history of doing so, such as with its “access to pasture” rule, promulgated in 2010. That rule required that ruminant animals be allowed to graze, and clarified that producers had to maintain pastures for their animals. The USDA has also ignored comments from key members of Congress that contradict the agency’s recently-formed interpretation.

The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule encompassed an array of housing, husbandry, and management standards, standards that consumers expect when they buy organic products. The rule prohibited cruel practices like “tail docking” of cattle and transporting animals too sick or injured to endure the journey. The rule also ensured that animals raised under the standard could not be tightly confined, and it set minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for egg-laying chickens. Importantly, the rule closed a loophole in current regulations that allow large poultry companies to skirt the law and use screened-in porches to satisfy “outdoor access” requirements.

By withdrawing the rule, which was supported by most prominent organic trade groups and producers, including family farmers, and by some large-scale non-organic producers, such as Perdue Farms, the agency has chosen to ignore the wishes of thousands of stakeholders committed to higher welfare standards. The USDA is also ignoring the wishes of a majority of Americans who want to see the National Organic Program establish criteria in line with their expectations for how animals should be treated before slaughter.

In its haste to rationalize its backtracking, the USDA plays up the “costs” of the organics standards, ignoring that the standards are heavily favored by organic producers. The agency also ignores that the organics market is one in which consumers have already determined that there is added value in paying premiums for products associated with high standards of animal welfare. Indeed, these standards were put together after a decade of careful consideration of its costs and benefits – like ensuring the integrity of a nearly $50 billion industry serving millions of Americans. In a matter like this, the public rightly expected the agency responsible for regulating the nation’s food supply to step up its game, not to take a step backward.

Last May, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, seeking to communicate his view of the agency’s duty to the American people, said, “We owe it to the consumer to let them know we are concerned about their safety and the wholesomeness, nutritious capacity about the food they consume. They deserve to know and we better be able to tell them.”

Apparently, someone in the secretary’s own agency didn’t get the memo.

Jury finds New Hampshire Great Dane breeder guilty of animal cruelty · A Humane Nation

https://blog.humanesociety.org/2018/03/breaking-news-jury-finds-new-hampshire-great-dane-breeder-guilty-animal-cruelty.html?credit=em_031318

blog.humanesociety.org
Jury finds New Hampshire Great Dane breeder guilty of animal cruelty · A Humane Nation
By Blog Editor

Breaking news: Jury finds New Hampshire Great Dane breeder guilty of animal cruelty

Today’s verdict is a fitting end to a horror story that began to unfold in June 2017, when The HSUS assisted in an extraordinary rescue of 84 Great Danes from a New Hampshire mansion belonging to a wealthy breeder. Photo by Lindsay Hamrick/The HSUS

In a huge victory in our ongoing fight against commercial breeders who neglect and mistreat the animals in their care, a New Hampshire jury today found a woman who kept 84 Great Danes in filthy conditions inside a New Hampshire mansion guilty on 17 counts of animal cruelty.

This is a fitting end to a horror story that began to unfold in June 2017, when The HSUS assisted in an extraordinary rescue of 84 Great Danes from the custody of Christina Fay. Fay claimed she provided the dogs with outstanding care, but when our Animal Rescue Team entered the building with the Wolfeboro Police Department, which had requested The HSUS’s assistance, the contrast between the mansion’s opulent façade and the conditions inside was shocking. There was an overpowering smell that hit our team members as they walked in, and feces and debris were smeared across all the walls to the point where the windows were opaque. Other dogs in the home appeared to have spent countless hours in cages with no access to water.

In December, a district court convicted and sentenced Fay on 10 counts of animal cruelty, a decision she appealed. The jury that handed down today’s decision after a two-week trial at the Carroll County Superior Court in Ossipee, New Hampshire, heard compelling testimony from witnesses, including a veterinarian experienced in investigating animal cruelty cases who testified that conditions within Fay’s home were the worst she had ever seen.

Many of the dogs were ill and in distress when we found them, and suffered from an array of health problems, including severe eye issues and symptoms associated with communicable illnesses. For The HSUS, which has led the effort to care for the dogs at an emergency animal shelter we constructed especially for them, this has been an expensive undertaking that has cost $1.3 million so far.

On a related track, we have been working with New Hampshire lawmakers to address the enormous financial burden on taxpayers and non-profit organizations in caring for animals legally seized from cruelty investigations. Last week, the state Senate passed a bill that puts the financial burden of caring for rescued animals on the perpetrators of the cruelty involved, rather than on taxpayers.

The bipartisan bill, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, would also reform commercial breeder regulations and strengthen penalties for egregious cruelty. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who announced this summer that he’s planning to work with advocates and lawmakers on common sense regulation protecting animals, applauded the passage of the Senate bill and has urged the House to send it to his desk. “Animal Cruelty will not be tolerated in New Hampshire,” Sununu said, adding that the bill would ensure that the “horrendous treatment of the Great Danes from Wolfeboro never happens again.”

This week, we also expect the New Hampshire Senate finance committee to vote to approve a $200,000 appropriation in the bill which would fund two new inspectors for the Department of Agriculture to inspect not only commercial dog kennels but all currently licensed entities like animal shelters, rescue organizations, and pet stores. A hearing to determine sentencing for Fay and the custody of the dogs is expected to be scheduled within 30 days.

P.S. In another case brought to light by our HSUS rescue team, we got good news last week from Alabama, where we helped with a rescue of 65 dogs from a suspected breeding operation in 2015. The dogs and puppies were starving, severely underweight, and living in terrible conditions. Last week, a court found defendant Jerome Wesley Hughes guilty on six counts of felony animal cruelty and one misdemeanor.

Petition: Ask Congress to Oppose Anti-wolf Riders

Please ask your members of Congress to oppose anti-wolf or other anti-endangered specie riders on the Interior Appropriations Bill.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/ask-congress-to-oppose-anti-wolf-riders/?link_id=0&can_id=7ad351936beea88858e90dc36b567b29&source=email-your-senator-or-representative-could-save-wolves&email_referrer=email_314736&email_subject=your-senator-or-representative-could-save-wolves

Petition: Speak Out for Your Rivers | 5,000 Miles of Wild – 5,000 Miles of Wild

Join us to protect wild rivers and public lands. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the wild and Scenic Rivers act in 2018, we are teaming up with partners to ask Congress to protect 5,000 new miles of wild and Scenic rivers and 1 million acres of riverside lands. And, we will make sure the rivers flowing through public lands remain unharmed by development and pollution. We can’t do it without you. Add your voice today.

https://www.5000miles.org/petition/