IDA Releases Annual Ten Worst Zoos For Elephants List
IDA's 2011 list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants was released this week, and it is generating headlines and TV coverage throughout the U.S. and Canada. With the assistance of many advocates for elephants, we once again expose the hidden suffering of elephants in zoos, where lack of space, unsuitably cold climates and unnatural conditions condemn Earth's largest land mammals to lifetimes of deprivation, disease and early death. The list is in its eighth year.
From Hawaii to Massachusetts, from Canada to Texas, and all points in between, we reveal the worst of the worst. Click here to see the full list, and find out if there's a suffering elephant near you who needs help.
Breaking News - USDA Acts For Nosey The Elephant!
For years, IDA has been telling you about the elephant Nosey: carted around from one small circus to another, suffering from a terrible skin condition, losing weight, fed poorly, and regularly in dangerous contact with the public. We have been diligently monitoring her, with your help, and have filed multiple complaints with the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
The USDA has just announced that formal charges have been filed against Nosey's exhibitor, Hugo Liebel, for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act involving inhumane treatment and dangerous handling of Nosey, and a spider monkey named Reggie.
The USDA charges include repeated noncompliance with federal requirements for veterinary care, handling, and housing from 2007 through 2011. The charges specifically cite failure to provide veterinary care for Nosey's chronic skin condition and weight loss, chaining Nosey so tightly that she could not move, and handling her in a way that was dangerous to the public.
This can result in significant fines, and in the suspension or revocation of Liebel's license to exhibit animals, giving us reason to hope that Nosey's life will soon improve. Thank you for responding to our appeals about Nosey - this is yet another example that your letters, e-mails, and phone calls do work.
States March Backwards - Return Of The Anti-whistleblower "Ag-gag" Bills
Documenting any activity at an animal farming operation may soon be a criminal offense. Last year, because of pressure from the animal agriculture lobby, four states tried to make it illegal to document farm activity without the owner's consent. Although this legislative effort was defeated in all states, similar bills have cropped up in 6 states so far in 2012, and more are expected.
These so-called "Ag-gag" bills are designed to undermine whistleblowers and journalists seeking to inform the public and to hold the industry accountable for basic levels of food safety and humane standards. Courageous individuals risk their personal safety to document the egregious practices behind the closed doors of livestock facilities. But instead of being heralded as heroes, they could soon face criminal prosecution. Click here to read more.
For those who live in states where these bills have been introduced, be on the lookout for an alert from us in coming weeks with ways you can help!
Effective Animal Advocacy Requires Being Nice To People
Animal advocates, like all other activists for social change, occasionally reach the point where being polite takes a back seat to expressing anger. It is hard to not get angry at those who perpetuate cruelty to animals. But expressing that anger by being rude is not the most productive advocacy. Rudeness and intimidation rarely win converts - or legislative support.
As one IDA staff person notes in our blog this week, "We want to win people over ... no one makes changes in their lifestyle if they are demeaned or addressed with disdain. Negative attacks will only push people further away from our message ... People change when a friend or respected authority gives them information in a caring and compassionate manner." Click here to read the rest of the blog and post your own thoughts.
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In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.
In Defense of Animals is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today! All donations to IDA are tax-deductible.
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