A coalition of conservation and animal protection groups (including the then–Animal Protection Institute, now Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute) on Monday sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force it to extend federal protection to Canada lynx in New Mexico. The federal government lists the elusive, furry cats as threatened in 14 states — but not in New Mexico. Last August, the coaliion petitioned for protection for the cats, asking the agency to make a decision on the species' status in New Mexico. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., complains that Fish and Wildlife failed to make a finding on the petition within 90 days as required by the Endangered Species Act. The law gives the agency 90 days to determine whether the petition provides sufficient information for the agency to then determine whether a listing may be warranted.
Conservationists sue for lynx protection in New Mexico
Sue Major Holmes
Essayist Joel Schwartzberg takes his three children to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performance and discovers — surprise! — protesters outside the venue and an "underwhelming" show inside. His own research leads him to Ringling's past AWA violations and the conclusion that "I'll probably steer myself and my family toward non-animal circuses in the future." Born Free USA united with API has long decried the abuses of circuses that use animals.
The Sadist Show on Earth?
How much is that doggy in the window? And does he come with a money-back guarantee? Yes, he does, according to California's so-called puppy lemon law, which allows a buyer to return a dog for the purchase price — just like for a pair of shoes at Nordstrom — if the animal gets sick because of an undisclosed illness or condition. If that sounds heartless, the law also allows the consumer to keep the sick puppy and still be compensated for some medical costs. "People are much more aware of the problems with puppy mills," said Barbara Schmitz, an attorney with the group Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute. "That's what got the law passed."
Puppy 'lemon law' gives buyers a choice
Los Angeles Times
"I read with great interest — and greater horror — that one component of TNT's new plan to expand the network's slate of original programming is an unscripted series set aboard the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train that transports the performers and animals from show to show. That sound you're hearing may be the bottom of the barrel scraping — or it could be the moaning of an elephant being abused." "Talking Animals" radio show host Duncan Strauss sounds off on Ringling's latest publicity campaign, echoing Born Free USA united with API's own concerns.
TNT's Ringling Reality Series: Sickest Show On Earth?
The Huffington Post
A circus-elephant keeper was ordered to leave after the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services learned that, using different names and business aliases in Arizona and Texas, the man had a history of numerous Animal Welfare Act violations. New city rules for exotic animals prohibit an exotic-animal permit for any applicant who has violated the AWA within five years. Finding abuse of elephants in circuses to be rampant, Born Free USA united with API is working hard to stop their use. Elephants belong in the wild.
Circus-elephant keeper ordered out of L.A.
Los Angeles Daily News
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is facing serious challenges, to be sure: possible loss of industry accreditation and millions of dollars of needed repairs. Perhaps this is the perfect time for everyone involved to consider the very future of the zoo. I understand the allure of seeing magnificent wild animals up close, especially threatened or endangered species. But I also understand the costs — both financial and ethical.
Time for a decision on future of our zoo
Letter to the Editor
Senior Vice President, Born Free USA
The Baltimore Sun
While the article "On the Other Tightrope" framed the debate about circuses' treatment of animals in general terms and mentioned a pending federal lawsuit, it failed to point out what the evidence against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is. Ringling Bros. employees have repeatedly been documented hitting elephants with bull hooks. Ringling Bros. elephants are kept chained all the time except when performing; in one documented case, elephants were chained for 77 consecutive hours. This is just the tip of the iceberg of information presented in the lawsuit. Abusing elephants with bull hooks and chains, which is standard industry practice, is simply unacceptable.
Elephants and Ethics at the Circus
Letter to the Editor
Nicole G. Paquette, Esq.
Senior Vice President, Born Free USA
The Washington Post
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program beginning next Spring will kill ravens caught preying on desert tortoises threatened with extinction. USFWS considered comments by animal advocacy groups to use only non-lethal methods, but that would take too long to have an effect, said a USFWS biologist, adding that the decline of the desert tortoise population needed to be stopped as soon as possible. Non-lethal in the plan including educating the public to place trash in covered garbage bins and not to over-irrigate lawns so that pools of water can be used by ravens for drinking. Monica Engebretson, senior program associate with Born Free USA united with API, said she hoped the program would have included methods to prevent raven eggs from hatching and efforts to pass ordinances that would fine residents for not properly taking care of their garbage or lawns so that the effort is taken seriously.
Plan calls for killing ravens to save desert tortoise