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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/20/14

Sportsman Act/Filthy Chicken Rule

Message Suzana Megles
I often shutter at some of the proposed bills coming out of Congress -- especially relating to animals. Senate Bill 2363, a Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014, was one such bill which sent chills down my spine. That it was introduced by Democraticlegislator Kay Hagan of N.Carolina also surprised me. I had been receiving requests for political contributions from her and was sorry I couldn't help. Now, I am so glad I didn't.
And not surprisingly to me, Ohio's Republican Senator Rob Portman was a co-sponsor. I have NEVER ever gotten a reply from him re the many, many e-mails I sent him through petitions- many involving animal and environmental issues. At least our Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown responded to most of mine. However, I am still waiting for a response from him and Representive Marcy Kaptur regarding the SAFE Act which would stop the sale of our horses to Mexico and Canada and the horrible
slaughter which follows.
The full title of the Sportsman Bill: A bill to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting and for other purposes. Provisions:
*The bill would exempt ammunition and fishing tackle that contains LEAD from being regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act.
*The bill would allow states to issue electronic duck stamps instead of forcing hunters to wait for physical stamps.
*The bill would provide grants for wetland conservation.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supported the bill saying it "protects the use of traditional ammunition, allows more flexibility for federal funds to be used to build and maintain ranges on public lands and ensures access to federal lands for hunting, shooting, and other outdoor activities."
Isn't that nice? They think that hunters should be able to use public lands when- as I've read somewhere, they only make up a small percentage of Americans. What about the concerns of those of us who see hunting as cruel and unnecessary?

The Animal Welfare Institute opposed the bill and said, "It is an attack on our nation's wild animals and habitat." They also feared the bill would eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate hazardous substances -- including lead which is a dangerous neurotoxin which is released by ammunition and sport fishing waste.
In the process, I learned some civics re this bill as well. It failed CLOTURE in the Senate on July 10, 2014. And because of this, the bill was provisionally dead due to a failed vote for cloture. (Cloture is required to move past a Senate filibuster or the threat of a filibuster and takes a 3/5ths vote. In practice, most bills must pass cloture to move forward in the senate.)
And today I also happily read a corroborating message from In Defense of Animals-"The Sportsmen's Bill (S.2363) has been killed. Huge victory for wildlife and public lands." The bill would have been devastating to the protection of wild animals and public lands. It would also have prioritized hunting, fishing, shooting, and trapping on public land and even allowed the importation of trophies (body parts) from polar bears killed by hunters even though they have been listed as threatened since 2008.
Yes, IDA I agree-- it is truly a victory for wildlife and public lands. There is nothing selfish in all of this. The Sportsman bill would I believe have been a selfish endeavor-for the relatively few Americans who hunt and fish -- only for the pleasure of killing sentient life without need.
It sounds great- the "Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection Rule" which, according to the petition I received today is something we need to tell President Obama and Secretary Vilsack to abandon. How could anyone think that allowing the poultry companies to inspect their own chicken slaughtering would be a good thing?
Per the Food & Water Watch -- "Only Superman would inspect 175 chickens per minute. Eliminating government inspectors and replacing them with chicken company employees may save a few dollars, but at too high a price. President Obama is considering final approval of the --Filthy Chicken Rule."
Obama continues to disappoint. When it comes to animal suffering, he seems to have no heart or concern for them. Even now with USDA inspections -- thousands and thousands of chickens daily go through a horrendous and cruel slaughtering line -- some of them boiled alive in the process. And now he and Vilsack think that USDA inspections are not needed? What is needed is continued survellience and harsh penalties for
infractions wherever these poor birds suffer at the hands of greedy
corporate owners. What is needed is getting rid of the battery cages from hell so that these poor animals can have a life. And they are instead considering making even a greater hell for the chickens with the new proposed Filthy Chicken Rule.
I doubt that Obama looks up to and respects Mohatma Gandhi who said you can judge a nation by the way it treats its animals. America is no shining example of compassion to animals- though some nations are considerably worse. Today again I received news that Spain continues to use spent greyhounds for hunting and they treat them abominably
in the process. It should not come as a surprise. Many animals besides bulls suffer at their hands.
And of course, South Korea persists in eating dog meat. There are concerns re food hygiene and the illegal slaughter of canines. Per Lee Yong-ju of the Korean Animal Welfare Association "Some people argue that if we legalize the industry, it could help improve (dog) food hygiene. But history shows dogs can't be raised for food in a rational manner."
(They are even beaten to death to make their meat more tender.)
China too stubbornly defends its yearly dog meat festival which continues despite protests. They say "This is our tradition, and we are used to eating dog. It's (part of) our culture, and we won't change...But we won't kill our pet," one butcher, who's been in the trade for 10 years, told CNN." Should we be impressed with his illogic? All dogs are potential pets --given the chance.

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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