In northern Louisiana, animal rescuers and organizations like the Humane Society of Louisiana are seeing a shocking increase in horrific, extreme animal abuse cases. People are shooting cats and dogs with guns — and also with bow-and-arrows. A local veterinarian says it’s been heart-breaking to see so many animals come in with gunshot and arrow wounds. But the situation keeps getting worse and worse.
Sign the petition to demand justice for these shot and abused animals!
Some of the violence inflicted against these defenseless pets comes from neighbors who take out their aggression on others’ beloved companion animals. And some of the violence comes from pets’ own humans, the very people who are supposed to love and protect these defenseless creatures.
That’s why it’s imperative that animal shelters and pet retail stores in Louisiana screen potential pet-adopters before they take home a new animal. Just like we would do for children, it’s important to make sure that the new adoptive pet parents don’t have any history of violence, cruelty, or similar major red flags.
Another big problem, according to area experts, is that apparently local police don’t prioritize enforcing laws against animal cruelty. That also must change. Police departments must investigate cases where their officers have broken the law by refusing to sufficiently take animal cruelty seriously. Police must be held accountable for not carrying out laws to keep animals safe!
Tell lawmakers in Louisiana that they must take action to help animals. They must pass laws to require pet adoption sites screen people before they adopt an animal, and to hold police officers accountable if they do not enforce laws against animal cruelty. Sign the petition to reduce horrific violence against pets now!more
Based on inquiries we have received, it appears there is some amount of confusion about facilities that list themselves as “sanctuaries” yet keep dolphins for display and interactive programs. We’ve compiled some tips here to help potential customers research before they support a captive dolphin facility.
Selfie or photo opportunities, or any form of guaranteed petting/kisses/etc. In order for a visitor to be guaranteed that they get to touch a dolphin, that dolphin has been trained and is actively receiving reinforcement to perform.
Facility descriptions can be misleading
Names and labels can be misleading. Just because a facility calls itself a “Wildlife Sanctuary” does not make it so– do your research before visiting any park with wildlife. Also beware that some facilities use their charitable status or scientific labels to mislead.
Captive dolphin in Florida sea pen
Many marine parks claim their dolphins can “leave any time”. This may be technically true, but most dolphins will not jump a barrier or swim out of a pen because they cannot tell what is on the other side. Captive dolphin facilities would never take the risk of losing their investments. They know very well that their dolphins would not venture into the open sea, even if given the chance: Many captive dolphins have spent so much time in captivity, they have become dependent on people for food and other basic needs. Many of them were born into this unnatural existence, and they cannot simply “go home,” as they have no family pod to connect with.
A natural sea pen may also be a captive environment. It does not equate with being free in the wild.
Captive sea pen in the Caribbean
Wild dolphins can be exploited for profit too! If booking a swim with wild dolphins tour or whale watching tour, pursuit should never be allowed. A boat should never chase a pod of dolphins to get closer to them, or guarantee that you will see dolphins or be able to swim with them. Responsible tours do not permit touching wild dolphins or whales! A responsible tour operator will always abide by and endorse local dolphin/whale watching laws.
Activities and programs
Paid interactions or scheduled activities such as shows, exhibits, or demonstrations should be a warning– it means that the dolphins are expected to be in place and remain for a certain period of time, or perform, which are indications of active training.
Breeding or Calf Births
Breeding or the birth of calves: Staff may make it seem that dolphins are bred in captivity to help wild populations. In reality, these dolphins will not be contributing to wild populations as they will never be released. Dolphins are bred in captivity for the sole purpose of having more captive dolphins to profit from. Facilities that promote or celebrate calf births should be treated with caution.
Where did the animals come from?
If a facility buys, trades, or breeds dolphins, they are likely not a sanctuary. Real sanctuaries prefer to have as few animals as possible to ensure the most amount of space, attention and freedom. Businesses want more dolphins so they can sell more interactions. Sanctuaries have release as their top priority, rather than trying to keep as many rescues as they can.
Munjawa was released to her home range by Dolphin Project’s Indonesian team after assessment.
Many captive dolphin facilities also serve as rehabilitation centers. While it is true that some rescued dolphins cannot safely return to the wild, they should not be forced to perform and entertain in order to earn their keep. Sanctuaries would not require participation of rescued dolphins in shows or force human interactions, which can cause stress.
Captive bottlenose with basketball
A real dolphin sanctuary is a place where non-releasable dolphins that were exploited by the dolphinarium industry can live out their lives with peace and dignity.
It is place where the dolphins’ needs are met with no strings attached.
There are no dolphin shows and no interactions programs.
The dolphins receive food without having to perform any trained behaviors.
No commercial photo ops are offered to visitors.
The dolphins live in a sea pen or a floating sea enclosure away from crowds of people, traffic, and human noise.
Every attempt is made to make the dolphins’ lives as natural and independent as possible.
The dolphins receive the food and medical attention that they need.
Whenever possible, live fish are introduced to the sea pen.
Dolphins in a true sanctuary are identified properly as victims, rather than ambassadors.
No visitors are allowed to touch or in any way handle the dolphins.
A true sanctuary makes educational material available to the public about the wrongs of capturing, confining, breeding, and exploiting dolphins in shows and various interaction programs.
A true sanctuary has a fundamental policy of opposing the use of dolphins as tourist attractions that aim to entertain.
A true sanctuary may allow visitors in order to educate them about the reasons why dolphins do not belong in captivity.
A true sanctuary acknowledges that dolphins belong in nature, wild and free.
A true sanctuary is for dolphins that cannot safely be released back into the wild.
A true sanctuary never tells visitors that the dolphins are free to leave whenever they want, as this ignores the fact that non-releasable dolphins depend on their caregivers to survive.
Captive breeding is not allowed in a real sanctuary. There is no reason for a dolphin to be born in captivity.
A real sanctuary does not accept donations from the captivity industry or the tuna industry.
Hopefully, the public will leave the sanctuary with enough knowledge to tell others not to buy a ticket for a dolphin show or captive dolphin swim program.
A true sanctuary will have clear rules in place about appropriate behavior for visitors, so that the comfort and safety of the animals remains the highest priority. A true sanctuary recognizes that visitors are guests, but the animals are the residents. They deserve dignity and respect in their home.
Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) bill that threatens tens of thousands of products has officially been introduced. We need all hands on deck to oppose it. Action Alert!
Sen. Dick Durbin has launched his supplement attack by introducing his “Dietary Supplement Listing Act of 2022” with Senator Mike Braun (R-IN). This bill threatens your ability to access the supplements you rely on to stay healthy. We need to send a strong message to Congress that this is bad for consumers, bad for health, and bad for the economy.
The bill threatens fines and jailtime for companies that do not comply. If a company does not submit the proper information, in the correct form, by the proper date, the supplement is considered misbranded. For the first offense, violators can be imprisoned for one year and fined $1,000 dollars; for the second offense, violators can be imprisoned for three years and fined $10,000. Given the safety record of supplements that will be detailed below, the punishments here hardly seem to fit the crime.
This bill creates a lose-lose situation for consumers and supplement companies: if companies don’t comply, they face fines and jail time; if they do comply, companies are orchestrating their own demise by giving the FDA the list it needs to sweep the market of as many as 41,000 supplements that do not comply with the agency’s overreaching (and incomplete) “new supplement” guidance. Supplement companies lose, the economy suffers, and consumers lose access to critical health products.
It’s bad, but it may not even be the biggest threat to your supplements right now. Separately, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, is independently moving forward with plans to attach a similar mandatory product registration provision for supplements to the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act that must pass by the end of September. Durbin’s policy, then, has twice the chance of success because it is moving forward on two distinct paths.
Why are more supplement regulations such a priority for these federal authorities? Supplements are overwhelmingly safe. According to the FDA, in 2021, the agency received 2,400 adverse event reports related to dietary supplements. To put this in context, according to the FDA’s adverse event database, in 2021 the FDA received a total of 2,333,453 adverse event reports. That means that dietary supplements make up 0.1% of the adverse event reports to the FDA. National reports consistently show zero deaths from dietary supplements; according to the FDA’s database, in 2021 alone drugs killed 187,750 Americans.
That supplements are the products getting federal attention speaks to the power of the drug industry lobby and the willingness of elected officials and FDA officials to do their bidding. We cannot let these forces succeed in undermining our ability to stay healthy, naturally.
Action Alert! Write to Congress and tell them to oppose mandatory product listing for supplements. Please send your message immediately
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