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So who thinks: 1) Stake Holder Input during the public comment phase of management plans guides the outcome of the finally adopted plan? 2) The HSUS does not closely monitor New York legislation AND DEC plans? 3) The DEC is not getting flooded with public comment from the antis this week about the bear and swan management draft plans? Here is one of their e-mail blasts that went out to their members in New York: http://action.humanesociety.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=81881.0&dlv_id=82803
How New York Protected Animals The New York state legislature adjourned on June 20 after passing three critical measures for animals. Lawmakers approved bills to: protect sharks by banning the sale of their fins; end the possession of feral pigs at canned hunts; and strengthen laws that regulate crowded, filthy puppy mills. Additionally, they defeated a law that would have legalized the harmful trapping of snapping turtles, the official state reptile. We will continue to work with legislators and other animal advocates over the interim so that we are ready when the legislature reconvenes in January. Now that the legislative session is over, your elected officials are home in their districts. It’s the perfect time to call them and ask for a meeting. Let them know you care about the protection of animals. To find out more, check out our Advocate Toolkit here. You can also follow our state legislative efforts on our New York Facebook page, and stay informed on the humane movement by subscribing to my blog
A bill that would have made animal cruelty a felony in South Dakota has been rejected by the state Senate Ag committee. A report in the Examiner dot com says Ag groups lobbied heavily against Senate Bill 171, saying current animal abuse and cruelty statutes in South Dakota are working. The bill excluded farming and ranching practices but ag groups were heavily against the measure because it was supported by the Humane Society of the United States. The North Dakota state Senate passed a felony animal cruelty and abuse bill last week. North and South Dakota are the two states in the nation without felony laws against egregious animal cruelty
We recently updated you on the $5 million lawsuit filed against HSUS, CEO Wayne Pacelle, ex-employee Scotlund Haisley, and others concerning a 2009 “raid” of South Dakota hunting dog breeder Daniel Christensen in which HSUS’s Emergency Services team helped execute a search warrant that was later tossed out by a judge. After two years of the lawsuit trudging along, the presiding judge told the parties to get the show on the road. There are a few court filings that bring new information to light. Among the filings are emails from former emergency services team members who resigned months before the Christensen raid took place. They paint a troubling picture. We wrote before about former HSUS animal rescue team members Ronnie Graves and Allan Schwartz. They spoke to radio host Carroll Cox about the reasons why they left the team and outlined questionable practices, such as HSUS personnel wearing badges—seemingly giving off the false impression that they were officers of the law. They had problems with Haisley’s leadership of the team. Among the court documents are copies of resignation emails for Schwartz and Meredith Shields, which go into depth about their issues. The allegations range from poor management in transporting animals from a puppy mill seizure to illegal, unsafe, or unethical actions such as overloading vehicles and driving through floodwaters. Read the emails in full to get all of the details. To us, Schwartz’s most damning line is this: “When the motivation for the work done becomes the publicity and accolades received, then we have lost sight of why we do what we do.” No kidding. These days, it seems that HSUS puts out a press release for every piece of litter it picks up. (Maybe Wayne Pacelle should contemplate Matthew 6:5. We’re sure HSUS’s religion department would help him.) Last but not least, there seems to be a little bit of prescience in his email to Scotlund Haisley: “I could no longer put my professional reputation on the line or risk being arrested or sued because you chose to bend or break the law and disregard response protocols.” Given that these emails were sent to Wayne Pacelle months before the South Dakota raid happened, we wonder if he wishes he had done something differently in the interim. If HSUS loses this litigation, that will certainly be a black mark on Wayne’s leadership