The Livestock Cruelty Bill HB 2587 passed out of the House committee, despite more than 100 people attending to oppose it! It is scheduled to be heard on the House floor tomorrow. In the meantime, a similar bill was introduced in the Senate and rushed through the committee process. SB 1267 is also headed for a vote by the full Senate.
These bills are being rammed through the Legislature by out of touch lawmakers that are beholden to agriculture industry lobbyists, and we need to stop them! Thanks to the tremendous outcry of opposition from animal protection groups, law enforcement and others, amendments are being proposed that will remove the penalty for those that expose animal abuse.
Unfortunately, the bill would STILL do much more harm than good for the animals in our state (see concerns below). We should be strengthening our animal cruelty laws for all animals – not allowing the agriculture industry to decide which animals should be protected. In fact, according to a recent poll, 87 percent of AZ voters surveyed reported that they oppose putting farm animals in a separate, weaker anti-cruelty code.
Take Action here!
At last count, only 83 Mexican gray wolves persisted in the wild. The wild population is at tremendous risk due to its small size and genetics. But there are three bills in the Arizona Legislature that could push this tiny, critically endangered population of wolves even closer to extinction. Two of these measures will be voted on by the entire Senate on Monday.
Arizona Legislators have just introduced a devastating 'ag-gag' bill that would criminalize whistleblowers who expose animal abuse on factory farms, auctions, or slaughter facilities. The bill also weakens cruelty laws for livestock, including horses, and completely removes all protections from cruelty for poultry.
House Bill 2587 criminalizes the actions of those who document any animal cruelty. It requires video and photos of abuse to be turned in to the Department of Agriculture within five days, creating such a short timeline that no pattern of abuse can be documented.
And if that's not bad enough, this bill changes Arizona's strong definition of 'animal' under the animal cruelty law, removing livestock from its protection. It creates new weakened laws for farm animals and removes all authority from law enforcement to investigate abuse of livestock, including horses. It transfers sole authority to the Department of Agriculture, which has only a small number of livestock officers to cover the entire state.
Click here for more information including how you can help stop this bill.
Every spring thousands of homeless kittens come into animal shelters in Maricopa County. Most do not get out alive. Before temperatures rise and cats go into heat, the Spay Neuter Hotline is asking people to stop procrastinating. Get pet cats fixed, and also take advantage of ADLA’s Trap Neuter Return program to sterilize outside cats. Some female cats are in heat this month, and the number will increase in February. By May shelters will be inundated with kittens!
Please Join the Animal Defense League of Arizona’s Spay Neuter Hotline in its campaign. ADLA is asking animal lovers to spread the word to family, neighbors and friends. We can beat kitten season if everyone in the community pitches in by sterilizing cats in their neighborhood. Says ADLA President Stephanie Nichols-Young, “Whether you love cats or you hate them, Trap Neuter Return (TNR) is the best way to reduce the number of cats in Maricopa County. The Spay Neuter Hotline can help beginners and coach them through the process. In many cases, we have neighborhoods work together to do TNR.”
Thanks to the generosity of the Arizona Humane Society and PetSmart Charities, we are offering free surgeries in eight Valley zip codes: 85015, 85017, 85020, 85021, 85029, and 85051 in Phoenix, and 85301 and 85302 in Glendale. In other areas, the Hotline asks for a $25 donation per cat. Those who cannot afford $25 may qualify for financial assistance.
The Spay Neuter Hotline helped to sterilize more than 15,000 feral cats last year and over 50,000 since March 2009. The Hotline offers Trap Neuter Return to assist with reducing the free-roaming cat population. The Hotline also offers referrals and information to low-cost spay neuter veterinarians for pet dogs and cats. Periodically, there are free programs available for those in need of financial assistance.
Simply call 602 265-SPAY (7729) or visit the website. Sterilize all outdoor cats now, before it’s too late.
ADLA is part of “Fix. Adopt. Save” a three-year initiative that will tackle dog and cat homelessness in Maricopa County. Read more here.
Thanks to all of ADLA's staff, volunteers, and supporters for making 2013 such a successful year! Be sure to check out Squeaky's video on ADLA's YouTube Channel!
Fifteen years after they were reintroduced, only 75 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild, and they have undergone dangerous genetic deterioration due to government and private shooting and trapping, along with a freeze on wolf releases to the wild.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) now proposes changes to Mexican wolf management —two good changes and many more that threaten the lobos’ survival and recovery.
USFWS will hold a public hearing on its proposal on Tuesday, December 3 at Hon Dah conference center in Pinetop, AZ. Your voice is needed at this hearing to show support for the lobo.
Well-funded wolf opponents are pressing USFWS. We can’t outspend them, we need an army of Arizona animal advocates to step up!
You and other supporters of the Mexican wolf are all that will stand between extinction and survival for these critically endangered, beautiful and intelligent animals.
Please stand up and speak up for the lobo on December 3! RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you would like to carpool to the meeting, with other ADLA members or volunteers from our coalition partner groups. For more information click here.
Join Animal Defense League of Arizona for a free event on Saturday, November 9th at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.
Arizona's animal language expert Con Slobodchikoff, will discuss and sign his new book "Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals".
Read the book first! "Chasing Doctor Dolittle" is the current selection of ADLA's Animal Circle Book Club. Please join our online forum and share your impressions.
Register for the event and join ADLA's Book Club here. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.
A federal court hearing was held on Sept. 9th in response to a request by Russell Files that his case be removed from Maricopa County Superior Court to Arizona Federal District Court. The Removal was granted, so the state felony charges will be tried in federal court. Files’ trial was originally set to begin next week, but has been continued to Dec. 10th, in Arizona Federal District Court.
Files is a former USDA Wildlife Services employee charged with felony animal cruelty designated as a violent crime for trapping his neighbor's dog, Zoey, causing severe injuries. The leg-hold trap had been staked next to a decomposing elk skull in Files’ unfenced front yard.
Information and background on this case is posted on the ADLA website. The El Mirage Police Report on Russell Files is posted here (warning: graphic images)
ADLA News and Updates
In This Issue:
Deadline to Turn In Referendum Petitions is Sept 10th
Comments Needed on Proposed Rule Change for Mexican Gray Wolf
Update on Animal Cruelty Case Against former Wildlife Services Employee Russell Files
Save the Date for Wildlife First Symposium
Update on ADLA Spay Neuter Hotline and TNR Program
Latest ADLA Newsletter is Available Online