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Born Free USA In The News

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

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

Another Ringling Bullhook Story References Born Free USA

Published 12/08/09

... Born Free USA has sued Ringling Bros. in federal court hoping for a ruling that the use of bullhooks and the chaining up of Asian elephants, which are endangered, violates the Endangered Species Act. A six-week trial in Washington, D.C., concluded in March but no decision has been issued. ...

PETA targets Mitchell Elementary students to protest circus
Kathy Steele and Sherri Ackerman
The Tampa Tribune

The commonality of exotic pet attacks

Published 11/17/09

... Born Free USA maintains a list on its Web site of attacks and injuries caused by exotic pets when they are let loose or held captive. There are more than 90 incidents listed for this year through September, compared with the same amount for 2007 ...

Survivor of Chimp attack struggles to live life after horrific mauling
Gregory Boyce
St. John the Baptist Parish Progressive Examiner (Louisiana)

Birds are not suitable companion animals

Published 11/06/09

What if you went over to your neighbor’s house and noticed that they had a cat sitting in a cage in their living room?

So begins a post from Born Free USA's Senior Program Associate Monica Engebretson that generated dozens of comments in response.

Should Birds be Kept as Pets?
Monica Engebretson
Opposing Views

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