Written by Michelle Kretzer
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act died last year when the congressional session ended and, along with it, our hope of permanently ending the slaughter of American horses for food in 2012. But we're getting another chance.
Senators and representatives from both sides of the aisle have come together to sponsor the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act. The SAFE Act would prevent horse slaughter in the U.S. and would slam shut the loophole that currently allows horses to be shipped to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered.
Last year, more than 160,000 horses were crammed onto transport trucks and sent on grueling journeys across the border. A PETA undercover investigation of one such transport revealed that horses—including thoroughbred horses formerly used for racing—who were being shipped to Canada spent 36 hours on a truck in subfreezing conditions and were not given rest, food, or even a sip of water. Inside the slaughterhouse, workers shot the horses in the head with a captive-bolt gun, but at least 40 percent of them were still conscious after the first shot and had to be shot several times. Then they were strung up by one leg, and their throats were slit.
A full 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter. But just feeling that way won't help. Please, let this be the thing that you do to help animals today. Urge your senators and representatives to support the SAFE Act.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Update 2: Thanks for your calls and e-mails in Nosey's behalf. We have learned that Nosey is no longer
appearing with UniverSoul Circus. PETA will, of course, continue to monitor her
situation, and we'll post updates here. Please learn more about ways to help animals used for entertainment.
Update: As UniverSoul
Circus prepares to force Nosey to perform next week in Tallahassee, Florida,
actor Cheryl Hines has written an urgent letter to the manager of the North Florida Fairgrounds
imploring him to cancel the ailing elephant's appearances. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has also added his
voice in a plea to stop UniverSoul Circus from allowing Nosey to perform. Local activists have
also planned to demonstrate at the fairgrounds in Nosey's behalf.
Originally posted on February 20th, 2013:
Can you help us help Nosey, an ailing elephant exhibited by Hugo Liebel? Recent photographs of her led an elephant expert to conclude that her health is worsening, and PETA is calling on local law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to confiscate Nosey, who will soon be forced to perform with UniverSoul Circus.
The photos were taken during a recent Liebel Family Circus show in Davenport, Florida. (PETA had urged Davenport officials to cancel the show, but they failed to act to protect Nosey.) Upon review, a veterinarian with decades of experience treating and caring for elephants determined that Nosey's painful skin condition continues to deteriorate and that she is suffering as a result.
In addition to these welfare concerns, records just obtained by PETA reveal that Nosey tested positive on a StatPak test for tuberculosis (TB) antibodies in January 2012. A positive test can be an early indicator of TB infection, which is highly transmissible between elephants and humans. Indeed, direct contact with a TB-positive elephant is not necessary for transmission of the disease. This is particularly worrisome given Liebel's record of unlawful unsupervised and dangerous contact between Nosey and the public.
Liebel has been abusing and neglecting Nosey for years. PETA has been filing complaints against the circus with the USDA for nearly a decade—more than a dozen of them since 2009. In March, Liebel is set to face almost three dozen formal charges for violations of the Animal Welfare Act—most of them relating to Nosey, including repeatedly chaining her so tightly that she could barely move and repeatedly denying her veterinary care.
Upon learning through a public records request that UniverSoul Circus planned to use Nosey in its Florida shows, PETA implored UniverSoul CEO Cedric Walker to spare the suffering elephant but has received no response, so the group is stepping up its campaign to get Nosey the help that she so desperately requires.
How do horses show love? They nuzzle and groom each other.
How do people show love to horses? By refusing to ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
On most Valentine's Days, record numbers of these sensitive, skittish animals are forced to drag carriages full of people across the hard pavement, dodging loud traffic and breathing exhaust fumes. But this February 14, PETA asked people to celebrate in a truly lovely way: taking a romantic stroll and leaving abused horses out of the plan.
Demonstrators explained that in the past year alone, there have been 13 accidents involving horse-drawn carriages. There were a barrage of supportive honks and thumbs-up signs, and a group of 50 high school students saw us and cheered.
And the efforts paid off: Few people climbed aboard the carriages.
Multitudes have called on New York to ban horse-drawn carriages. Please add your name to the list today.
As President Barack Obama began a tour of the country
to talk about jobs and the economy, PETA met him in Asheville, North Carolina,
and presented him with a job description of our own:
While the president spoke to Asheville residents
about lowering the unemployment rate, PETA asked him to grant retirement to the
bears who are suffering in
another part of the state in squalid roadside bear pits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently suspended the operating
license of one of the pits, the Chief Saunooke Bear Park, after PETA filed multiple complaints about animal abuse there. The USDA cited
the bear pit for, among other abuse, denying the bears adequate food and
Obviously, the Secret
Service took stock of our bear and her message. Here's hoping the POTUS realizes
soon that these bears want to be unemployed,
year, people who exploit chickens and reduce them to bits in a bucket gather at
the International Poultry
Expo to congratulate each
other on making money at it. So this year, PETA sent a flock of "birds"
to suggest that attendees give a cluck about chickens:
on pots and pans and shouting, "We are not nuggets!" the chickens got
everyone's attention. A surprisingly large number of attendees accepted the demonstrators'
leaflets and listened to explanations of how chickens suffer on factory farms
and in slaughterhouses, including being mutilated and drugged, having their throats slit while still
alive, and often being scalded to death.
was an educational expo indeed.
you mess with bears, sometimes you get hurt. Of course, PETA's
"bear" didn't actually harm a hair on the heads of the animal abusers
at Chief Saunooke Bear
Park (CSBP) during a protest last weekend, but he and about two dozen of his friends
did bite back against the cruelty at the vile roadside zoo.
protest comes less than a week after the release of the findings of our undercover investigation of CSBP that unearthed evidence of systemic neglect and abuse of bears
(including shooting and eating one of
them), threats of violence, illegal drug use, sexual harassment, and racism by the park's staff. We are calling for the closure of the hellish bear
pits and the seizure of the surviving animals.
What You Can Do
If you didn't make it to the demonstration, don't worry—you
can still help the bears suffering at CSBP by asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to confiscate all animals from the shabby roadside zoo immediately and place
them in a suitable sanctuary.
We've learned, haven't we, when you are
told "You're a winner!" that there's some fine print and a catch. The
same is true with the magic words that imply that dogs and cats are winners,
too: "no kill"! Here, too, there is fine print, and it can be much
more damaging than finding that you are being billed for a subscription you
didn't want. The fact is that many limited-admission shelters, now often given
the great-sounding, dressed-up title "no-kill shelter," actually hurt animals every single day. Not necessarily the ones they take in,
who may or may not be well cared for, but rather, the ones they don't. The
animals someone else has to decide what to do with or who just end up abandoned
or worse when the "no-kill" shelter is full, as it inevitably
These glorious-sounding shelters generally
turn away many more
animals than they accept, picking, choosing, and admitting only the youngest,
healthiest, prettiest, and most adoptable, if any, because on most days, they
will tell all comers, "We're full." The rest are sent away to suffer
on the streets or to be left in the hands of people who don't want them. Some "no-kills" do accept
animals when they shouldn't, by which I mean when their facilities are already
crammed beyond capacity, subjecting all of the shelter's tenants to crowded, unsanitary
conditions, illness, and often a painful death from parvovirus or from fighting.
And if the animals they do take in are not adopted, many so-called "no-kill"
shelters warehouse them in cages for years, unwanted and unloved, even after
they are driven "cage crazy" from the stress of confinement. I've seen them
sit with their back to visitors, withdrawn into a world of depression and lost
"No-kill" advocates are quick
to throw stones at open-admission
offer refuge to every animal who comes through their doors and euthanize animals when they are
not adoptable, when they run out of appropriate living space for them,
or when the animals brought in are injured, aggressive or gravely ill. So in
return, PETA is quick to expose the cracks in the rosy picture that "no-kills"
try to paint. Here are just a few of the recent additions to our long, ever-expanding
list of "no-kill"
failures that cause animals to suffer:
September 13, 2012/Corpus
Christi, Texas: Area animal
shelters report that they are filled to capacity and that homeless, roaming animals in the
area are at “epidemic” levels. The
shelter director at no-kill "Pee Wee's Pet Adoption World and Sanctuary"
stated, "I get 75 calls a day, and people get angry because I can't take
75 animals a day .… If you multiply 75 times 365 days a year, I would have to
take in 27,000 plus animals a year." The Gulf Coast Humane Society
director reports that his shelter "turn[s] people away right and
2012/Northeast Mississippi: Area open-admission animal shelters
are suffering from the effects of some private shelters' picking and choosing in
order to limit admissions in a ploy to call themselves "no-kill"
for fundraising appeals. A local news outlet reported that, while the [no-kill] policy keeps
current shelter residents alive, it limits the number of pets those facilities
can house and means new arrivals routinely are turned away. Some then are "dumped
alongside roads, abandoned at a neighbor's house or shot and killed," according to representatives of no-kill
shelters citing what jilted pet owners have told them. The writer spoke with a woman taking
three unwanted dogs to an open-admission shelter and whose husband had made his
family's options and intentions clear: "It was either that or shoot them."
July 17, 2012/Willis,
Texas: "Considered one
of the country's [premier] sanctuaries for pit bulls," was the no-kill Spindletop Dog Refuge was raided
by authorities who seized approximately 300 pit bulls found in tiny plastic
carriers with no water and unable to fully stand up. Some dogs were seen
drinking their own urine and a police news report revealed that "[o]ne dog's
feet were so scalded it was laying on its back in its own urine in feces,
presumably to take the pain off of its feet."
As long as outspoken "no-kill"
proponents continue to criticize open-admission shelters even
in the face of the animal
homelessness crisis, PETA will continue to save
animals by exposing "no-kills" for what they really are: "slow-kills."
Update: Brent Justice and Ashley
Richards have been indicted
by a federal grand jury for creating and
distributing animal crush videos. They have been transferred into federal
custody, where they will remain until they stand trial. Justice and Richards
each face up to 45 years in federal prison and up to $1.75 million in
fines. This is the first federal indictment of a crush video case in the United
Originally posted on August 21:
After PETA was alerted to violent fetish videos sold online showing
puppies, kittens, rabbits, mice, and other animals who were tortured in ways that would make even a hardened person
Cruelty Investigations Department staffers worked around the clock to find the perpetrators. Thanks to skillful sleuthing and
with the help of the Animal
Beta Project, PETA determined that the alleged producers of the videos lived in Houston,
Texas, and rushed the evidence to local authorities. Two days later, the
Houston Police Department (HPD) arrested
Brent Justice and Ashley Richards, two suspects believed to be involved
in an international video sales scheme, on felony warrants and charged them with animal torture.
Photo: Houston Police Department/Houston Chronicle
PETA applauds the HPD and the Harris County District Attorney's Office
for their swift action. We will be pushing for federal charges as well, as
making crush videos is a violation of federal law. Such videos feature animals, including mice, puppies, kittens, and rabbits, slowly tortured to death for the sexual gratification of
Charges for both suspects result from a video that PETA gave to the HPD, in which a woman prosecutors say is Richards is shown
cutting the leg and slashing the neck and throat of a puppy before beheading
the struggling animal with a meat cleaver. Richards also faces charges related
to the torture and killing of a cat in a 2010 video. As the Houston Chronicle reports, a "judge halted the reading of the court documents during a hearing last week because the details were too graphic." Richards has reportedly admitted to killing hundreds of
animals over the years. The investigation is
As this case shows, for animals in danger, one phone call or e-mail can the make the difference between life and (perhaps a horrible) death.
Please, if you witness or hear about cruelty to animals, never be silent.
Anyone who has a hard time understanding why PETA hasn't hopped
onto the "no-kill" bandwagon should have a look at this long list of failures of limited-admission
(i.e., "no-kill") shelters and rescues. There have been so many raids, busts, and seizures that we can't even be sure that
we have kept up with them all.
Rescued From a 'Rescue'?
One of the latest tragedies comes from Muncie, Indiana,
where 63 dogs and puppies were seized from a single-story house operating as "Adopt a Lab Rescue and Adoption."
Living conditions were so foul that one official characterized it as being "like a dungeon in the
basement." Some of the dogs had reportedly been bought from a "broker." This
same facility had also been raided in 2010, when 30 dogs were removed because
of poor conditions, including keeping animals in crates without food or water
for up to 21 hours a day.
No one wants to euthanize animals, least of all people who dedicate
their lives to helping them. And we should all be deeply upset that in this day
and age, shelters must still resort to euthanasia—but breeding and buying
animals from pet shops is still legal (in most places)! The reality is that there
are more animals in need
of homes than there are people ready to adopt them. Even if we could build enough shelters to hold all of them, these animals need real
homes and families to love them. They can't be warehoused forever just to make
us feel better.
Euthanasia prevents suffering—it is, by definition, humane.
But turning away animals in need of shelter is anything but humane. Forcing animals to exist in cages, joyless, for months
or years or their entire lives, is inhumane, too, as is allowing animals to
suffer in squalor, loneliness, deprivation, and illness.
There is an answer, and it lies in prevention! We can reduce
euthanasia and the need for it by taking the smart, effective approach: animal birth
control (ABC). Please start
an ABC campaign in your community, and never be silent when animals are at risk.
visitors to South Carolina turned their vacation into an opportunity to
advocate for animals when they spotted two aquariums packed to the brim with slider turtles at a beach shop.
aquariums were full of water, and the turtles had only a small bit of rock and
cut-up pieces of a pool toy to climb onto to rest. Slider turtles can't hold
their breath for long underwater, and the turtles were exhausted from being
forced to swim constantly and surface frequently in order to get air.
Reportedly, some of the animals had already died from their ordeal.
tourists called PETA, and we contacted a reputable law-enforcement agency in the area. The responding officer immediately
cited the store manager for cruelty to animals. The officer also ordered the
store to give the turtles more space, provide each tank with sufficient items for
the turtles to rest on, and closely monitor the quality of the water.
court, the officer and an equally diligent prosecutor made an excellent case
for cruelty charges, and the manager was convicted and slapped with the maximum
penalty—more than $1,000. The court also appointed a reptile specialist to
educate the manager on the proper
care of turtles. PETA is pushing the
store to stop selling turtles altogether.
all happened because some tourists took a few minutes out of their vacation to
help animals. Never let an opportunity pass you by—never be silent.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.