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Speaking of Joy

Published 01/21/10

On January 20, Will Travers and Adam Roberts (CEO and Executive Vice President respectively of Born Free USA) joined Big Blend Editors Nancy Reid and Lisa Smith for “The Nature Connection” on Big Blend Radio, in a special segment honoring Joy Adamson's 100th Birth Anniversary. Nancy worked for Joy Adamson in late 1970s, and of course Will’s mother, Virginia McKenna, portrayed Joy Adamson in the movie Born Free.

Listen to the show online or download an mp3 of it at www.bigblendmagazine.com/The-Nature-Connection/Jan-20-2010.htm

Ivory in our own Back Yard

Published 01/19/10

Two men have been indicted in California on charges of smuggling ivory from endangered African elephants into the United States. Samart Chokchoyma of Thailand is accused of selling the ivory on eBay to Moun Chau of Montclair, Calif. Prosecutors in Los Angeles said Tuesday that both men are charged with violating an international treaty that protects endangered species....

Born Free USA has extensive material on the wildlife trade, of which ivory smuggling is just a part.

2 men indicted in Calif. for ivory smuggling
Associated Press
The Washington Post

Tiger mauling highlights need for restrictions on private possession of exotic animals

Published 01/12/10

A leading rights group that works to protect the well-being of wild animals in Canada says that the mauling death of an Ontario man by his tiger is a wake-up call to governments at all levels to prevent people from owning exotic animals. Rob Laidlaw, the executive director of Zoo Check Canada, said the death of Norman Buwalda on Sunday was the result of Ontario's weak laws that make it too easy for people to keep wild animals as pets without any oversight. ... Barry Kent MacKay, the Canadian representative of Born Free USA, another animal rights group, said his organization has been warning communities for years to toughen laws. "We warned these communities to pass these bylaws, because people can have a plethora of animals," MacKay said. "Private owners don't see the danger, they think everything is fine."

Animal groups urge tougher laws after Ontario tiger owner killed
Mark Iype, Canwest News Service
National Post

Ringling Bros. Circus Decision

Published 12/31/09

After years of legal wrangling, a decision has been rendered in the Ringling Bros. Circus case. Unfortunately, Judge Emmet Sullivan dismissed the case on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked legal "standing" to pursue their claims. Because he dismissed the case for a lack of jurisdiction, the Judge did not address any of the extensive evidence in the case which showed that the Asian elephants are kept on chains for hours on end and are hit with bull hooks to make them perform tricks in the circus.

Judge rules in favor of circus in lawsuit over treatment of Asian elephants
Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Published 12/23/09

Thank you for all you did in 2009 to protect animals from cruelty, abuse, and exploitation. Without your participation — your actions, your donations, your support — we could not have been nearly as successful. Take pride as you read about this past year’s achievements.

But remember, our work is far from done. While we have great plans for 2010, we still need you to join us in ensuring that next December we can all look back with satisfaction on a string of victories on behalf of the animals.


A column on fur refers to our Fur Farm Report

Published 12/18/09

... I opted for mink because, as a farmed animal, my conceit was that its treatment could be no worse than other livestock, as those of us who have read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma or Jonathan Safran Foer's just-published Eating Animals know. I still feel that way, although no way would I now accept a fur coat. (Just this week, Born Free USA came out with yet another indictment of fur farming practices, in both the U.S. and Canada.) I'm not even keen on down-fill since that, too, is also cruelly obtained. ...

My love/hate of fur
Antonia Zerbisias
The Toronto Star

A defensive reaction to our Fur Farm Report

Published 12/18/09

A national animal rights group is blasting Idaho for its treatment of mink, calling the Gem State the third-worst in the nation for its treatment of animals farmed for their fur. According to a news release by the national wildlife advocacy organization Born Free USA, Idaho earned its place near the top of the list for its high number of unregulated mink farms.

Mink treatment draws group’s wrath
Sean Ellis
Idaho State Journal

Idaho Ranks Third on List of 'Worst Fur Farming States'

Published 12/09/09

Born Free USA today released Cruelty Uncaged: A Review of Fur Farming in North America. The 44-page report, which reviews statistics and legislative oversight of animals raised for their fur, names Idaho as the third-worst state in the nation for cruelty to “fur farmed” animals.
“The fur industry and its apologists want us to believe that fur farming is a humane, environmentally friendly, and highly regulated industry,” said Monica Engebretson, senior program associate with Born Free USA. “As this report demonstrates, nothing could be farther from the truth.”

Link: Idaho State Journal

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