England: SAV Now Commences Action With The EU Commission Regarding Live Farm Animals In Transport – Sample Letter To Copy and Send.

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All photographs by Valerie Cameron.

Onderwater Dover 2nd May 2013

 

This has been a long article to write and produce; but nothing compared to the arduous suffering that EU animals have to endure on the roads of the EU every day due to archaic legislation.  It is time for change – we hope the following provides you with useful information on the subject; and that you will send a copy of the sample letter (amended or un amended) to Commissioner Borg as requested.  Thank you.

There appears to be many animal welfare sites within various member states of the EU who could and should be doing a great deal more to push directly for legislation changes at the EU Commission level regarding the transport of all live farm animals across Europe.  Whilst some may be taking a form of action towards their own national governments; we stress that EU wide legislation which applies to all member states is made in the EU Commission, Brussels, and not by individual member states just for the benefit of individual member states.  The EU may update or produce new legislation in the form of a new or amended ‘Regulation’ – and this has to be officially adhered to by all member states to ensure that EU standards are met and maintained.  If a member state does not / is shown not enforce the official regulation, then the EU (as a whole, via the Commission) can take action against any individual member state that shows non-compliance.

For this reason, we feel that the EU Commission is the very establishment; the only real establishment which needs to be addressed regarding amending EU law throughout Europe, which then should be to the benefit of ALL animals in transport across the whole of Europe.  If what we witness of the UK government is anything to go by to date; regardless of the evidence of cruelty and suffering presented to them time after time after time, welfare organisations are largely ignored; being fobbed off with government ministry weasel words and counter responses in some kind of pathetic ping-pong game with welfare campaigners which continues for months and months, and which in the end results in nothing to improve animal welfare.

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So what do we suggest should be done ?

Ditch the pointless efforts to make national governments listen to evidence; and instead take the evidence directly to the heart of the EU; where policy makers can amend and introduce legislation for bettering animal welfare legislation which corresponds to the wishes of EU citizens in 2014.  We don’t want to have to still rely on some old outdated and non-effective legislation aka 1/2005 from 22nd December 2004, when we are fast approaching the 22nd of December 2014 !!!

The EU and its Commissions need to wake up to the fact that people in Europe want change; and they want it now.  They don’t just want weasel words from EU politicians which never result in any progress – the people of the EU demand action for animals; and they demand it now.  It is up to our servants, who work at the EU, to take on board the wishes of the people and to actually put the wheels of change into motion.

Why are we doing this EU animal transport campaigning on a site primarily for Balkans stray animals ? 

As stated in the above introduction, there appear to be many live animal transport welfare sites within various member states of the EU who could and should be doing a great deal more to push directly for legislation changes at the EU Commission regarding the transport of all live animals across Europe.  If they are not going to push hard for changes to EU legislation; and instead only target their own very non-active governments (in most cases), ie. Those governments which normally do nothing for the benefit of animals in transport, then we at ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ will attempt to take the issue to where we consider it really matters; and that is the offices of power located at the EU headquarters.  We will by pass the ‘oily rag’ of national governments and go directly to the ‘chief engineer’ who is located in Brussels – and target the people and commissions who can and should be making a difference for all EU animals.

Although this (live animal transport) is not really an issue which should be addressed to any major degree by ‘Serbian Animals Voice’; as we primarily try to help stray animals in the Balkans; we, by being based in England, UK (the UK being an existing EU Member State !); feel that many current welfare group activities to only target the UK government (for example) on this issue are getting basically nowhere. We need to push and campaign a great deal more on this important issue in the heart of EU power with the hope that we will get additional campaign support from you; our wonderful SAV site visitors, which will strike where it really makes a difference; the EU headquarters in Brussels.  Changes in Brussels make changes to EU legislation – sending an e mail to a member state ministry official does very little.

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‘Eurogroup for Animals’; which is the primary campaigning animal welfare organisation at the EU, claim to have (see below) several ‘visions’ regarding a better place for all animals within the EU.  They have a vision that “cruelty to animals is not tolerated’; and ‘the welfare of all animals is protected by European legislation”.  We naturally fully support this vision, but would currently like to remind the Eurogroup that for the last 10 years, there have been no real changes to animal welfare laws giving so-called ‘protection’ to animals in transport across the EU.  It is now well past time for change – even 10 years later than it should have been regarding Regulation 1/2005.  National governments are basically individually doing nothing despite all the mails, evidence and data regarding cruelty in transport being given to them; so; if national governments will not act and be a voice for animals within the EU corridors,  we push it alone in Europe; and this will now be an aim of Serbian Animals Voice for the future..  National EU member state governments talk long and talk loud about their alleged ‘concerns for animal welfare’; but the reality is, certainly regarding the UK, and for live animals being transported all around Europe, they do very, very little; usually nothing apart from attempting to enforce archaic rules and regulations from 10  years ago or more.  These antiquated laws currently remain as they are and today, in 2014, the animals continue to suffer on a daily basis; currently with no hope of any real change but getting plenty of assurances with terms like ‘visions’ and ‘cruelty not being tolerated’.  Well, we have a message for the EU and its associates; cruelty IS witnessed and tolerated throughout the EU every day by animals which have to endure long distance transport.  It is time to act for them and to get better legislation to prevent their suffering.

With around 25 years of experience regarding all aspects of work associated with live animal transport within the UK / EU – see ‘About Us’ – http://serbiananimalsvoice.com/about-us/ – Serbian Animals Voice founder Mark, still gets very involved with, and has great concerns about the current so-called ‘EU Regulations’ and the terrible conditions in which live farm animals are transported across the EU under every single day.  Current legislation (primarily EU Regulation 1/2005) on the so-called ‘protection’ of animals during transport is not enforced adequately by any EU member states and at this present time, these so-called ‘Regulations’ which are supposed to protect animals in transport are antiquated and grossly outdated; combined, they cause endless animal suffering; something which the Eurogroup inform us they do not wish to see as part of their future ‘vision’.  At the moment, 2014, the EU Commission should bow its head in shame across the whole of Europe for continuing to allow animals undergoing long distance transport to suffer day in, day out, week in, week out, etc on the roads of Europe, whilst allegedly being ‘protected’ by some travesty of so-called archaic legislation produced some 10 or more years ago and which is not really enforced much by many of the existing EU member states.  Good animal transport in the EU is a complete and utter travesty, and it is time that this was changed.

Under the travesty of existing European law / legislation, Animals are currently supposed to be ‘protected’ from cruelty and suffering by the main legislative / welfare / protection document of the EU; which goes under the name of ‘Council Regulation 1/2005 (of 12/2004) on the protection of animals during transport and related operations’.

Click on the link here to gain access to this legislation:

https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/animalhealthwelfare/transportofliveanimals/Council%20Regulation%201%20of%202005.pdf

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As you can see, there are a lot of words which in reality, amount to very little or even nothing when it comes to so called national ‘competent authorities’ enforcing rules on the transport of live animals across Europe.  Ask EU animal welfare organisations who continually go undercover to expose the real truths about long distance transport; and who are then simply ignored by their masters in authority.  Just from our own experiences regarding live animal exports from the UK (England) to mainland Europe, we are currently witnessing Dutch convicted criminals (convicted and fined in an English court of law in 2010 and specifically relating to animal transport welfare issues !) now running an ex Soviet battle tank carrier ship designed only for river crossing; to get live animals for slaughter from the UK into mainland EU by crossing the English Channel to France.  A vessel which is only designed for river usage, not the English Channel !.  What is done to protect transported animals here ? – Nothing appears to be done by either the EU Commission or national UK so-called ‘Competent Authorities’ run by the national government, to stop these convicted  criminals; convicted for past animals welfare offences; from continuing with their sordid trade in animal abuse between EU member states – namely England and France.  If the EU Commission was concerned, then it would act at present to prevent this criminal from continuing; – but here in 2014 we see no actions by the EU Commission to currently stop this.

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So via this site; the ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ site; which is England, UK; EU member state based, we now intend to make EU peoples voices relating to long distance live animal transport heard within the EU Commission; by campaigning through the ‘Eurogroup’ – the organisation which claims on its website to have a future EU where “cruelty to animals is not tolerated”.  In addition, we will directly target the Commission responsible for animal welfare in Europe – which is headed by Commissioner Tonio Borg.

Council Regulation 1/2005 (of 12/2004) on the ‘protection of animals’ during transport was produced by EU Commission legislation some 10 (ten) years ago.  It is now time for the Eurogroup, the EU Parliament and the EU Commission to wake up; and realise the fact that this archaic and outdated legislation is in desperate need to be completely and utterly re-vamped to bring it into line with the feelings and wishes of many millions of people; EU citizens throughout the EU. The legislation as it stands does not work to help animals; it has never worked; and so the EU Commission now needs to address this at the current time. The welfare of animals during transport legislation / regulation(s) needs a major overhaul; it needs to be vastly improved by the EU Commission; with, as just one major example of a progression to improving animal welfare, introducing a maximum journey time for ALL animals in transport to  enduring a ONE OFF, maximum journey time of just 8 (eight) hours, nothing more; the journey is to be started and completed within a time window of 8 hours, or it does not even get any EU approval to commence in the first place..

It is therefore down to the Eurogroup and the EU Commission, headed by the Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, namely Tonio Borg; to actually come clean and put their supportive words for animal welfare into real actions for the animals in transport; those who suffer each and every day.  It is time to now move forward from the grossly outdated legislation and hours which animals endure on the roads of Europe at this very moment, to new and much better legislation in the form of a new or revised Regulation which limits live animal transport to a one off maximum of 8 hours journey time, regardless of the farm animal species.  If the EU Commission does nothing more for animals in transport; at the very least, it should be making 8 hours and the one off maximum journey time for animals in transport a new regulation.  We at ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ will do everything in our power to push for better legislative changes for animals in transport within the EU at the real heart of where legislation is produced; namely the EU, Brussels.

The shambles that is the current EU legislation for animals in transport, Regulation 1/2005; allows different species of farm animals to be transported for the varying times given below; times which we feel need to be scrapped across the board and instead replaced by a one off single maximum journey time of only 8 hours – no more – be it for animals undergoing slaughter upon their arrival, or animals going for further fattening:

Under existing EU Regulation 1/2005,the ‘shambles’ of a legislation, journey times for animals currently being transported across the EU are:

Unweaned calves, lambs and foals – 9 hours – 1 hour break – and then a further 9 hours.  Total time of at least 18 hours excluding the break period.  The 1 hour break is a minimum, with no maximum time; and the break is taken with the animals still loaded onto the vehicle; they are not unloaded.  A basic transport time of 18 hours possible with an unlimited break of 1 hour minimum in the middle of the journey, still taken by keeping the animals on the vehicle.

Pigs – 24 hours maximum journey time in one single journey.  According to the Regulation, animals ‘should’ be given access to water continually during the journey.

Cattle, Sheep, Goats –  14 hours, minimum of 1 hour rest (again unlimited as above) with then another possible 14 hours of journey time.  Total journey time of at least 28 hours excluding the middle break period which is unlimited and which keeps the animals on the carrier vehicle.

Horses – except registered horses – equine animals may be transported for a maximum period of 24 hours.  According to the EU Regulation, they should be provided with liquids and feed every 8 hours.

There are lots of ‘should be’ in the above legislation.

The reality from undercover investigations show that the reality of welfare in transport is often very different.

Below you will find a ‘sample letter’ which can be copied and sent to the EU Commissioner (Borg); the man who can take action; addressing your concerns associated with the current issues of live animal transport, The shamble of regulation 1/2005 and what is hoped for the future according to both him and the Eurogroup.  We also include a link which will show all current Members of the EU Parliament (MEP’s) who represent every member state at the EU Parliament.  If you are an EU citizen, these MEP’s can also be contacted directly by you to express your concerns on this issue.  Find and contact them directly at:  http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html

Send letters and mails for change to the regulations and a maximum one off journey time of 8 hours to the following:

Contact the spokesperson for Commissioner Tonio Borg – Frederic VINCENT – at:  frederic.vincent@ec.europa.eu

Commissioner Borg informs us of his animal welfare intentions at:  http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/borg/personally_speaking/index_en.htm :

Part of his statement reads:  “Animal welfare is close to the hearts of many Europeans. This is plainly evident from the numerous petitions, letters and Parliamentary questions sent every year to the Commission. It is in fact not by coincidence that Europe’s body of laws protecting animals is among the strongest in the world”.

… “During the meeting, I underlined the fact that rules only live up to expectations if they are properly enforced and suggested that there is room for improvement in enforcing animal welfare regulations. Part of the necessary groundwork has been setting a standard format for reporting of enforcement actions by Member States which will permit useful comparison and thereby an even playing field for operators”

 … “In our discussions, I also stressed the importance of enforcement on animal transport. We have the leading animal welfare legislation in the world; let’s make sure that we enforce them properly and uniformly. Under this Commission mandate, we are preparing important groundwork for a general animal welfare law.

I am confident that we have paved the way for key achievements in the years to come”.

Eurogroup Contact e mail:  info@eurogroupforanimals.org     

Eurogroup  website for further informaton:  http://eurogroupforanimals.org/

 

Eurogroup    –  ‘Our Vision’

We are passionate about creating a society where animal welfare is fully considered and where;

  • Every animal lives in an environment where they can perform their natural behaviour 
  • Cruelty to animals is not tolerated 
  • The welfare of all animals is protected by European legislation 
  • All EU laws on the protection of animals are effective and prevent animal suffering
  • Politicians in all 28 member states and at EU level consider the impact every new policy has on animals 
  • Our active membership network of animal welfare groups is recognised as the leading authority on animal welfare

Eurogroup statement:

  • Farm Animals

Today’s industrial food production means that billions of farm animals suffer in Europe every year and since its inception Eurogroup’s aim has been to highlight their plight and to campaign vigorously for legislation. Animals used for food are not just agriculture products but sentient beings. From the point of birth to the slaughterhouse they need to be treated accordingly.

In addition, we make sure that governments and industry apply the laws. We encourage financial compensation for farmers who invest in welfare-friendly production systems, and highlight cases were EU subsidies lead to animal suffering as is the case for export subsidies for live animal export.

 

Summer 2014 – Eurogroup meets with Commissioner Borg

During the summer of 2014, Eurogroup for Animals represented by Reineke Hameleers, Peter Davies and Martyn Griffiths had a one-hour meeting with European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg and three members of his staff, to discuss our concerns and ensure the welfare of all animals that is protected by European legislation.

The subjects covered included the proposed EU Animal Welfare Framework Law, Proposal for Cloning for Food production, Trade and Animal Welfare, Companion Animals, Proposal on EU Strategy on Invasive Species and the situation on the Seal Trade dispute following a Resolution submitted from the recent Eurogroup for Animals’ AGM.

Commissioner Borg was very positive and hopeful on all these issues.

Eurogroup for Animals hopes that it will result in a concrete outcome for improved welfare of animals.

To give your voice to supporting the concrete outcome for the improvement of animals in the EU, please send the following sample letter to the addresses given below.

Sample Letter

Can be directly copied and sent to the following e mail addresses; or copy the sample letter and amend as you wish.

To:  frederic.vincent@ec.europa.eu

‘CC’ Copy to:  info@eurogroupforanimals.org    

 

Subject:  Time to Update live farm animal transport times and regulations immediately – pave the way to improved animal welfare now !

Dear Commissioner Borg;

I have visited your website and read the many statements you make with regard achieving better welfare for animals during transport.  I also note that during the Summer of 2014 you had a meeting with the Eurogroup to discuss their concerns regarding the live transport of animals across the EU, and your promise to “ensure the welfare of all animals is protected by European legislation”.

Current legislation in the form of Regulation 1/2005 does not give much protection to animals in transport.  This has been proven time after time by undercover investigations undertaken by animal welfare organisations located throughout the EU.  To simply declare that a driver is ‘competent’ to transport live animals for many hours because he has a piece of paper which says that he is ‘competent’ is a complete and utter travesty for both EU animal welfare and good name of all EU citizens who are sick of witnessing the daily abuses that this EU live transport trade supports.

For example, in the UK (an EU member state); we currently witness a Dutch operator who has been convicted in an English court of law for causing animal suffering during transport, carrying / exporting live animals between Kent (English) ports and the French port of Calais.  I ask, where is the ‘animal protection’ that you talk about here when a Dutch convicted criminal is transporting live animals across your EU ? – as a convicted criminal, he should be banned and you should face up to the facts that EU citizens require a lot more action from you now on the issue of live animal transport.  These requirements include:

  • A one off maximum journey time of 8 hours for all animals in transport; regardless of them going for immediate slaughter or for further fattening.
  • A Major overhaul or complete re-vamp of the Regulation 1/2005 which as shown by undercover investigators; actually does very little, or even nothing, to give any ‘protection’ to animals being transported across the EU.
  • Much better and much more detailed animal transport driver training prior to them being given their sheet of paper and being declared as ‘competent’ to deal with animals being transported.

You talk on your website of  “Under this Commission mandate, we are preparing important groundwork for a general animal welfare law.  I am confident that we have paved the way for key achievements in the years to come”.

The people of the EU do not want to be lied to in the form of so- called future  ‘animal protection legislation’ such as Regulation 1/2005, if it just means basic tinkering round the edges; they want major welfare changes for animals in transport and they want them now.  As the Commissioner responsible, it is down to you to immediately address the EU citizens concerns and implement positive actions for animal welfare improvements immediately; such as for example, stopping Dutch criminals from exporting live animals from the UK to mainland Europe.  This, combined with introducing an 8 hour maximum journey time limit would be a good start to actually show you really mean action rather than just talking the talk of better animal welfare.

I thank you for your time and consideration of my requests; and I will be watching you and the actions oof your Commission very closely to see just how much progress you actually make in ‘paving the way for (animal welfare) achievements in the years to come.  Please don’t make it years; do it now !!

The 8 hour maximum journey time along with banning the operations of Dutch criminals would be two first good actions you should be taking down your path to better animal welfare – I really want to see both of these undertakings implemented very, very soon; not in distant years to come.

Yours truly,

Name –

Nationality –

From A supporter of ‘Serbian Animals Voice – Kent, England UK (Existing EU Member State).

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England Time Out – 5 Minutes In the Garden.

 

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Hi all;

here are a few pictures from my garden taken on 28/7/14.  Enjoy – Mark.

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I grew the Hibiscus (3 photos below) from a tiny seed about 11 years ago – I selected because it is animal rights purple / violet; and was grown in memory of all the innocents who have died worldwide at the hands of man.

It is now about 1.5 metres high x the same width – a beautiful plant in memory of the animals

 

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USA: Could This Penalty Spell the End of Killer Whales Swimming With Trainers?

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(Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Reproduced from:  http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/07/24/miami-seaquarium–hit-with-fine-mishandling-killer-whales?cmpid=tpdaily-eml-2014-07-25

Could This Penalty Spell the End of Killer Whales Swimming With Trainers?

Miami Seaquarium, the last U.S. aquatic park to let employees work in the water with whales, was hit with a fine for putting workers at risk of death.

July 25, 2014 By David Kirby

David Kirby has been a professional journalist for 25 years. His third book, Death at Seaworld, was published in 2012.

 

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued the Miami Seaquarium a citation for allowing killer whale trainers to come into dangerously close contact with its sole orca, Lolita.

OSHA made a similar move against SeaWorld Florida after the 2010 killing of trainer Dawn Brancheau by the 12,000-pound whale Tilikum.

Though Miami Seaquarium could challenge the violation in court, the penalty could herald the end of trainers performing water shows with killer whales in the U.S.

“The employer did not furnish (a workplace) free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm (from) struck-by and drowning hazards,” OSHA said in the citation, which was issued July 10.

OSHA gave Miami Seaquarium until Aug. 26 to fix the violation by prohibiting trainers from getting into the water with the orca. The water park also must install physical barriers or require that a minimum distance be maintained between trainers on land and Lolita. The agency proposed a fine of $7,000.

The citation sprang from a complaint filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund  last January.

“OSHA has enforced [orca safety protocols] against only one such facility, SeaWorld of Florida, and only then after a trainer there was killed by an orca,” ALDF said in a June 11 letter to OSHA’s Enforcement Department.

“Enforcement, which came too late for the deceased trainer, is still denied employees of other marine entertainment facilities,” ALDF wrote. “Rather than wait for the next fatality, OSHA should intervene now.”

Neither OSHA nor Miami Seaquarium has responded to interview requests.

The news heartened captivity opponents because it could deal a significant blow to Miami Seaquarium’s business model. When SeaWorld halted all “waterwork” with killer whales in 2010, Miami Seaquarium remained the only U.S. facility where visitors could watch trainers swimming with, riding on, or leaping from the body of an orca.

According to ALDF, Lolita “has given numerous indications that she could similarly physically injure or kill her trainers. A video posted to YouTube on December 20, 2012, shows Lolita lunging out of the tank and snapping her mouth at visitors.” Another video showed Lolita nearly heaving a trainer into the wall of her small tank. In the 1970s, Lolita grabbed a trainer and pried off his wetsuit.

ALDF said Lolita might be even more dangerous than Tilikum, who has been involved in the deaths of three people, because she performs in a far smaller pool, with fewer escape routes for trainers. “She lives in a less stimulating environment than Tilikum, deprived of both space and companionship,” according to ALDF’s complaint.

In 2010, OSHA hit SeaWorld with a “willful” violation in Brancheau’s death and mandated safety abatements identical to those being imposed on Miami Seaquarium. SeaWorld has unsuccessfully appealed that decision.

“After SeaWorld lost their appeal, we confirmed that trainers were still treating Lolita like a surfboard—risking their lives in the process—and sent a fresh complaint to OSHA,” said Jenni James, a litigation fellow at ALDF. “We didn’t want Lolita and her trainer to star in a Blackfish sequel,” she said, referring to the 2013 documentary about orca captivity.

Lolita, who was taken from her pod in Puget Sound 40 years ago, has been the subject of an ongoing legal battle to secure her release back into the wild.

“It makes sense that the OSHA standards should be the same across this misguided (and hopefully dying) industry,” former SeaWorld trainer Samantha Berg said in an email. “On the other hand, I can’t help but hurt for Lolita, confined for almost 44 years in that small, miserable pool. Human contact is about the only thing she’s got. All the more reason to push for her release.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA: S.C. Dog Dragger is Convicted of Felony Animal Cruelty, and Is Sentenced to 10 Years – A Warning To Other Abusers !! – Well Done Judge Verdin.

USA

Success! S.C. Dog Dragger is Convicted of Felony Animal Cruelty,

Gets 10+ Years

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by Susan Bird

July 21, 2014

Photo credits –  S.N.A.R.R Animal Rescue Northeast and Photo Justice for Andra Grace Facebook page.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/success-s-c-dog-dragger-is-convicted-of-felony-animal-cruelty-gets-10-years.html#ixzz38UvYFutc

Remember the heartbreaking story of Andra Grace, the young pit bull who was cruelly dragged behind a pickup truck for two miles in late October 2013?

If you do, you probably also remember the petition that over 2,700 Care2 readers signed, demanding that South Carolina authorities upgrade the charges against the man accused of that gut wrenching crime from a misdemeanor to a felony.

We have some very good news for those of you following this case. Those charges were indeed upgraded and the accused, Roger Dennis Owens, was convicted on July 15. He’ll be spending the next 10 and a half years in prison for what he did.

Watch footage from the hearing in this news report:

In his court appearance, Owens told Circuit Judge Letitia Verdin that he intended to “plead guilty to my charges and get it behind me.” He added that he’d recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Owens revealed a bombshell during his testimony — someone paid him off with drugs and alcohol to take Andra Grace and get rid of her.

Judge: One of the Cruelest Things That Ive Seen Since Ive Been on the Bench

Reportedly, neighbors next to the property where Andra Grace was living had complained that she kept coming around to beg for food. The dog’s owners, who apparently were not caring for her or other animals in any real way, got tired of the complaints and asked Owens to do them a favor.

Owens agreed to get Andra Grace out of there. Inexplicably, instead of turning her in to a shelter, he decided to take care of the problem by tying the the poor helpless dog to his pickup truck and driving away.

Contrary to reports issued at the time of the offense, courtroom testimony revealed that Owens didn’t just tie Andra Grace’s leash to the bumper. It was much worse than that. He reportedly tied her front legs to his truck, forcing her to attempt keep up with his speeding truck by running on her hind legs.

He dragged Andra Grace for about two miles that way, according to authorities. Two women driving in the opposite direction saw what was happening, called the police, and turned around to follow the truck and save the dog.

The dog’s injuries were so severe that initial responders didn’t think she’d survive. She lost most of her rear toenails, the tendons in her knees were exposed, and her paws were “degloved.” Her belly and mammary glands were also torn up.

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Photo credit: Justice for Andra Grace Facebook page

Donations from generous people around the world paid for the medical care Andra Grace needed to pull through. At the time of this incident, Andra Grace had recently given birth to a litter of puppies which had been given away at too young an age. Rescue workers tracked down the surviving puppies and re-homed them with families who will care for them properly.

According to Owens’ attorney, he does in fact like animals, but that fateful day he’d been drinking and wasn’t “thinking straight.” Uh huh. Sure. The judge didn’t buy it for a minute. She was appalled. You can see it in her face in the news video above.

“This is one of the cruelest things that I’ve seen since I’ve been on the bench,” said Judge Verdin. She then handed down the sentence, which demonstrated she was serious as a heart attack.

She sentenced Owens to five years for felony “ill treatment of an animal,” the maximum sentence available under South Carolina law. She also gave him five years for being a habitual traffic offender and six months for driving under the influence on a suspended license, bringing his total sentence to 10 and a half years. Owens showed no remorse, according to a reporter for WYFF.

The prosecutor, Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins, said he hopes Owens’ sentence will send a message that animal abuse will not be tolerated in his jurisdiction.

Finally, A Happy Life in a House Full of Love

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Photo credit: S.N.A.R.R Animal Rescue Northeast

Andra Grace lives in Florida now with her new adoptive parent, Lynne Dixon, and her family. When Dixon heard the news about Owens’ conviction, she became emotional.

“[Andra Grace] was in her bed and I knelt down. And I was already bawling. And I just climbed into her bed with her and scooped her up and squeezed her,” Dixon told WSAV.

Andra Grace has healed up nicely, though some of her fur is gone and will never grow back.  She’ll always bear scars — both physical and emotional — from her horrific ordeal. Don’t worry about her, though, Care2 readers. She’s safe and loved. Her abuser is in jail with a felony conviction forever on his record.

Your signatures helped bring justice for Andra Grace. Without the angry public outcry that demanded a more serious charge for this offense, Owens would be spending decidedly fewer years behind bars. You helped make a real difference for this dog.

This is a victory across the board. Relish it — it doesn’t happen as often as it should.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/success-s-c-dog-dragger-is-convicted-of-felony-animal-cruelty-gets-10-years.html#ixzz38UuPJNij

 

Netherlands: Latest News On Pony Crush Video Originally In July 2013.

Netherlands

 

At SAV we originally produced a link about this issue back in July 2013.  This is now being put back onto the site.

Note – we have made NO changes to the post as it was produced at the time.

The update information below has been sent to us and here again, the information is un-edited. Hence we cannot verify when actually the ‘Wednesday’ or ‘Thursday’ is – but clearly from July 2013. This news does provide later news and information; which we consider to be very positive.   SAV

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LATEST UPDATE – 25/7/14

 

Update: This took place in the Netherlands; people are speaking Dutch.

The people involved were arrested and the ponies (there were apparently 3) are all OK!

 

Three arrested after Shetland pony abuse video goes viral.

Thursday 04 July 2013 – Two people have been arrested in Groningen in connection with the abuse of a Shetland pony after video of a woman squashing the animal by sitting on it went viral on internet.

The 57-year-old man and 58-year-old woman come from Lochem and reported to the police once the video hit the headlines, the Volkskrant said on Thursday.

A 57-year-old man from Alkmaar was arrested on Wednesday. He is said to be the owner of the video production company which made the film.

His family have since gone into hiding, local broadcaster RTV Noord-Holland reports. Their home has been broken into and the building has been pelted with eggs, the broadcaster said.

He denies all involvement with the production. In the video, the overweight woman can be seen sitting on the pony wearing a lace top and carrying a whip. At one point, when it buckles under her weight, she continues to sit on it, smoking a cigarette.

The police have not ruled out other arrests and are looking at other, similar videos, the Volkskrant said. Poses One video, which has been placed on Facebook, shows a Shetland pony being badly treated by a blonde woman while the cameraman urges her to make erotic poses, the paper said.MPs from the animal rights party PvdD have asked justice minister Ivo Opstelten to sharpen monitoring of animal abuse and to find out if the videos were produced in the Netherlands. –

See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/07/three_arrested_after_shetland.php#sthash.4opX5peC.dpuf

 

 

 

Romania: The Latest Very Detailed News In Romania From Carmen – 24/7/14.

 

Carmen has very kindly provided us with an update of the current situation in Romania. Can we suggest that you look in detail at the information and many photographs which are provided in the following links – SAV:

Stray dog situation in Romania (C. Arsene), July 2014 (English version) (1)

Situation der strassenhunde in Rumänien (C. Arsene), Juli 2014 (Deutsch version)

Romania-update: Stray dog situation/Situation der strassenhunde

English und Deutsch email

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England

English

Dear All,

As many of you have asked for an update about the current situation of the stray dogs, I’ve put together the following.

Probably all of you already know about the decision of the Court of Appeals in Bucharest to suspend Governmental Decision HG 1059/2013, referring to the Methodological Norms for the application of the law for the stray dog management, until the Court can decide whether HG 1059 is annulled. On the 16th the Government appealed to the Court of Appeal against this decision, an action that was actually foreseeable due to the strong pressure they received in this respect.

After the decision of the Court to suspend the Norms, the situation in the public shelters is mixed: there are some City halls which have stopped killing, others go on with the killing officially or unofficially, and yet others continue to collect dogs and crowd them in the public shelters where they will die anyway because of starvation.

The policy in the public shelters has not changed. We find the same horrible conditions, the same life and death in the same horrible shelters, the same abusers, dog catchers, companies, or the same ignorant/inefficient/abusive Veterinary Directorates which protect the City halls and the illegalities.

 

The huge business in Slatina

Despite the enormous efforts made in the fight against the abusers, sometimes the situation doesn’t improve at all, as for example in Slatina. There, we have a trial in Court, we brought in some journalists, and even a delegation from the European Parliament. In order to stop the “wave” and also to save the company from the Court, in February City Hall cancelled their contract with the company which we had taken to court. But then they signed a new contract with another dubious company with the same interests.

 

A success example

Romdog July 14

At other times, we have succeeded to change the situation in a town (permanently or only for a while), as it happened only some days ago with the public shelter in Gaesti, where I had been asked (as well by you) to intervene. The dogs had been captured/treated in the most tormenting way by using the forks. Some of them died in the street, others have been killed in the public shelter. Again, a company had a lucrative business of stray dog management going, asking for exorbitant prices which were being paid by the City Hall in Gaesti. After doing some research and gathering the necessary information, we sent our complaints to the responsible institutions. As a result, the Sanitary Veterinary Directorate has closed the public shelter and the police has launched a criminal investigation.

 

Round-table in European Parliament, “The brutal killing of dogs in Romania”

Romdog July 2 2014 EU

On 17th July a very good round-table discussion took place at the European Parliament, moderated by EP reporter Peter von Kohl.  The participants were MEP Janusz Wojciechowski (Poland) and his assistant in animal welfare issues, vet Karoline Tomaszewski, MEP Stefan Eck (Germany), MEP JörgLeichtfried (Austria), and MEP AnjaHazekamp (Holland).

MEP Janusz Wojciechowski has come twice to Romania as part of two delegations, and he continues to put pressure on EP and EC. MEP Wojciechowski stated at the round-table that the situation he saw in Romania is horrible, that the Romanian authorities doen’t want to stop the brutal killing, that the stray dog management is a business, and that the Romanian authorities have an interest to continue this.

MEP Hazekamp stated that what is happening in Romania is very cruel and inhumane, that it violates the Treaty, and that the method has no effect on the stray dog population.

MEP Leichtfried commented on the answer from the EC, that they don’t have the competence to act in animal welfare. But he considers that the EU must have, because only a European law can make a difference in Europe for all animals and not only stray dogs.

MEP Stefan Ek said that the situation in Romania gets worse every day and that the EU has to officially react; he added that on 15th July a member of his party was in Bucharest and followed the cars of ASPA (the Public Service for stray dog management) to see how they work, and he was physically attacked by ASPA’s personnel.

The vet councilor Ms. Tomaszewska said that during her visits to Romania (as part of two EP delegations) she observed that the declaration of the mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, differs a lot from what she saw in the public shelters. She also spoke about the experience she and the other members of the EP delegation had in the Slatina shelter; there was no food, no water, dogs like skeletons, and no adoption possible. The participants also spoke about the huge budgets allocated for ASPA.

The moderator said that it is well known that people from abroad are annoyed about the cruelties against dogs in Romania and that there is a will outside to do something. The moderator asked the participants what the most effective thing might be that people abroad could do. All the MEPs agreed that the EU people have to say “NO tourism in Romania” until the “bloody massacre is stopped”, that the EU has to act, and that the people have to put moral pressure on Romanian authorities.

You can view the round-table discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmNmbGgEKjY

 

Foreign groups of activists from Germany, Austria, and the UK came to Romania and followed the dog catchers from ASPA in Bucharest. They have seen all the components: the mistreating of animals, the huge impact the animal abuse has on the people, the cruelty and corruption of the authorities. Just as an example:

A Report, in English and German, about the overall actual situation regarding the stray dog management in Romania you will find attached/below:

 

English version: http://www.fnpa.ro/stray-dog-situation/

 

German version: http://www.fnpa.ro/situation-der-strassenhunde-in-rumanien/

 

 GERM0001

Deutsch

 

Ihr Lieben,

 

Da mich Viele von Euch um aktuelle Neuigkeiten über die Situation der Strassenhunde baten, habe ich das Folgende zusammengestellt.

Wahrscheinlich wissen die meißten von Euch über die Entscheidung des Berufungsgerichts in Bucharest, die Regierungs-Entscheidung HG 1059/2013 (die die methologischen Normen, die angewendet werden sollen im Umgang mit Streuner-Hunden, regelt) zeitweilig aufzuhebenbis das Gericht entscheiden kann, ob HG 1059 annulliert werden soll. Am 16. hat die Regierung Berufung gegen die Entscheidung des Berufungsgerichts eingeleitet, was vorauszusehen war, denn starker Druck wurde auf die Regierung ausgeübt.

Nachdem das Gericht entschied, die Normen zeitweilig aufzuheben, ist die Lage in den öffentlichen Tierheimen gemischt: manche Gemeinden haben mit dem Töten aufgehört, andere machen weiter entweder offiziell oder unoffiziell, und noch andere fangen immer noch Hunde ein und stopfen sie in die Heime, wo sie sowieso vor Hunger sterben werden.

Die Vorgehensweise in den öffentlichen Tierheimen hat sich nicht geändert.  Wir sehen dieselbe schreckliche Lage, dieselbe Leben-oder-Tod Situation in denselben grauenhaften Heimen, dieselben Schänder, Hundefänger, und Firmen, oder dieselben  uninformierten, unfähigen, gewalttätigen Vorstände für Tierärzte, die die Gemeinden und deren illegale Handlungen beschützen.

Das Riesen-Geschäft in Slatina

Trotz der enormen Bemühungen im Kampf gegen die Hundeschänder, ändert sich die Lage manchmal überhaupt nicht, wie zum Beispiel in Slatina. Wir sind dort zum Gericht gegangen, wir haben Journalisten eingeladen, und sogar eine Delegation des Europäischen Parlaments. Um die Protest-Welle zu stemmen, und auch, um die Firma vor dem Gericht zu bewahren, hat die Stadtverwaltung den Vertrag mit der Firma, die wir angezeigt hatten, gekündigt. Aber gleich danach haben sie einen neuen Vertrag unterschrieben, mit einer anderen zweifelhaften Firma mit den gleichen Interessen.

 

Ein Erfolgs-Beispiel

Romdog July 14

 

Andere Male konnten wir die Situation in einer Stadt verändern (dauernd oder nur für eine Weile), wie zum Beispiel vor ein paar Tagen beim öffentlichen Tierheim in Gaesti, wo man (ihr  auch) mich bat, einzugreifen. Die Hunde wurden auf unglaublich grausame Weise gefangen und behandelt, mit Gabeln. Manche starben auf der Straße, andere wurden im Heim getötet. Wieder hatte eine Firma das lukrative Geschäft der Streuner-Behandlung übernommen, bei dem die Stadt Gaesti die astronomischen Preise bezahlte.  Nachdem wir etwas nachgeforscht und die nötige Information eingebracht hatten, reichten wir unsere Beschwerden bei den zuständigen Behörden ein. Daraufhin machte der Vorstand für Gesundheitstechnik und Veterinärmedizin das Heim zu, und die Polizei hat eine kriminelle Untersuchung angefangen.

 

Rundgespräch im Europaischen Parlament, „Das brutale Töten der Hunde in Rumänien“

Romdog July 2 2014 EU

Am 17. Juli fand ein sehr gutes Rundgespräch im europaischen Parlament statt, das von EP Reporter Peter von Kohl moderiert wurde. Anwesend waren MEP Janusz Wojciechowski (Polen) und seine Assistentin für Tier-Angelegenheiten, Tierärztin  Karoline Tomaszewski, MEP Stefan Eck (Deutschland), MEP JörgLeichtfried (Österreich), und MEP AnjaHazekamp (Holland).

MEP Janusz Wojciechowski war zweimal in Rumänien im Zusammenhang mit zwei Delegationen, und er übt dauernd Druck aus auf die EP und EC. MEP Wojciechowski erklärte bei dem Rundgespräch, dass die Lage, die er in Rumänien vortraf, schrecklich sei, dass die rumänischen Behörden das brutale Töten nicht stoppen wollen, dass die Verwaltung der Streuner ein Geschäft sei, und dass die rumänischen Behörden daran interessiert sind, dass es weitergeht.

MEP Hazekamp sagte, dass es brutal und unmenschlich sei, was in Rumänien vorgeht, dass es den Vertrag verletzt, und dass die angewandte Methode keinen Einfluß auf die Streuner-Bevölkerung hat.

MEP Leichtfried sprach über die Antwort des EC, dass es keine Berechtigung habe, für das Wohl von Tieren einzugreifen. Er findet, dass der EC eingreifen muß, denn nur ein europäisches Gesetz kann für alle Tiere, nicht nur Streuner, einen Unterschied machen.

MEP Stefan Ek sagte, dass die Situation in Rumänien jeden Tag schlimmer wird, und dass die EU offiziell reagieren muß; er fügte hinzu, dass am 15. Juli ein Mitglied seiner Gruppe in Bucharest war und den Wagen des ASPA (öffentlicher Dienst für Streuner- Verwaltung) folgte, um zu sehen, wie sie vorgehen. Er wurde körperlich angegriffen von ASPA Angestellten.

Tierartzt-Beraterin Ms. Tomaszewska sagte, dass sie während ihrer Besuche in Rumänien (sie hatte an zwei EU-Delegationen teilgenommen) beobachtete, wie sehr die Erklärung des Bürgermeisters von Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, sich von dem unterschied, was sie in den öffentlichen Heimen sah. Sie sprach auch von dem, was sie und die anderen Mitglieder der EP Delegation im Heim in Slatina erlebten; es gab kein Futter, kein Wasser, die Hunde waren wie Skelette, und Adoption war unmöglich. Die Mitglieder erwähnten auch die riesigen Budgets, die ASPA erhält.

Der Moderator erklärte, dass es allen bekannt ist, dass Menschen aus dem Ausland empört sind über die grausame Behandlung der Hunde in Rumänien, und dass dort ein starker Wille besteht, etwas zu unternehmen. Der Moderator fragte die Teilnehmer, was die erfolgreichste Aktion sei, die Leute im Ausland tun können. Alle MEPs stimmten überein, dass Leute von der EU „NEIN zum Tourismus in Rumänien“ sagen sollen, „bis das blutige Massaker gestoppt wird“, dass die EU handeln MUSS, und dass die Leute moralischen Druck ausüben müssen auf rumänische Behörden.

 

Ihr könnt das Rundgesprach hier sehen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmNmbGgEKjY

Gruppen von Tierschützern aus Deutschland, Österreich und Grossbritannien kamen nach Rumänien und folgten den Hundefängern des ASPA in Bucharest. Sie haben alle Teile gesehen: den Missbrauch der Tiere, den riesigen Einfluß, den die Misshandlung hat auf die Bevölkerung, die Grausamkeit und Korruption der Behörden. Nur zum Beispiel:

Ein Bericht auf englisch und auf deutsch über die gegenwartige Situation in Bezug auf die Verwaltung der Streuner in Rumänien findet Ihr attachment und hier:

Deutsch version: http://www.fnpa.ro/situation-der-strassenhunde-in-rumanien/

English version: http://www.fnpa.ro/stray-dog-situation/

 

 

 

 

 

USA: TELL PRESIDENT OBAMA TO STOP THE NAVY’S ASSAULT ON WHALES!

USA1

Save Whales From deadly Sonar

 

Petition link:

 

https://secure.nrdconline.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=42827D810D047CE472DE280526AA039B.app304a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3531&autologin=true&s_src=EMOSONPETBGD0714BG1YRFU&utm_source=link&utm_medium=alert&utm_campaign=email

 

Further info:  http://www.savebiogems.org/save-whales-from-sonar/ 

TELL PRESIDENT OBAMA TO STOP THE NAVY’S ASSAULT ON WHALES!

 

The U.S. Navy is conducting exercises that could kill nearly 1,000 whales and other marine mammals during the next five years of testing and training with dangerous sonar and explosives. With one stroke of his pen, President Obama can end the Navy’s senseless attack on whales — without compromising military readiness. Urge President Obama to help secure his environmental legacy and save countless marine mammals from needless suffering and death.

 

Petition Wording:

 

Make Your Voice Heard!

Your message will be sent to:

President Barack Obama

Subject line:

Protect whales from deadly sonar and explosives

Dear President Obama

 

 

I was sickened to learn that the U.S. Navy’s use of sonar and explosives during routine training and testing continues to needlessly kill whales and dolphins. Just this April, beaked whales mass-stranded and died — for the fourth time — on the beaches of Greece during U.S. Navy joint exercises offshore. Over the next five years, the Navy itself estimates that its exercises along the Atlantic Coast and off Southern California and Hawaii could cause nearly 1,000 deaths and inflict thousands of cases of permanent hearing loss and organ damage.

 

I refuse to accept that this is the best your administration can do. Your Fisheries Service has pledged to do more to protect whales and dolphins from Navy activities. Instead it has authorized the Navy to inflict an unprecedented level of harm on marine mammals.

 

As Commander in Chief, you have the power to end this deadly assault on whales with one stroke of your pen. Please direct the Navy and the Fisheries Service to immediately put vital marine mammal habitats off-limits to sonar and explosives.

 

Don’t let your administration go down in history as the one that turned its back on whales and dolphins.

Please act now to protect them.

 

 

 

 

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