As summer draws to a close I would like to update you on the latest happenings and several pieces of exciting news here at Animals' Angels.
Since our last newsletter, our teams have conducted investigations in Maryland, California, Montana, Washington,Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Texas. They drove thousands of miles and spent up to 64 hours without sleep, hungry, thirsty and in 115 Degree heat...There with the animals.
They documented cows, that are never allowed to see their calves. Horses, young and healthy, on their way to the slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada. Pigs, with weakened legs, that have never experienced one day of sunshine in their entire life.
Every state they went to has animal cruelty laws. Laws, created to ensure these animals receive basic care, such as access to food, water and shelter and protection from torture and abuse.
Unfortunately, during our investigations, we uncover that even these minimum standards are often ignored and violated.
Animals' Angels works to expose the atrocities going on, not only around the world, but right here in our own backyard.
Thanks to you,our generous donors, we don't have to do this alone. We know you are out there supporting us, our mission and those that need it the most, the animals.
ANIMALS' ANGELS investigation documents abuse of downer cow in California
During investigations it is always excruciating to witness the suffering of an animal. It is however, made all the more heartbreaking to witness the callous disregard for this suffering, such as we were faced with at the Escalon auction in California. Tacoma, as she has come to be known by us, was a "used up"dairy cow dropped off at the entrance to the Escalon auction pens, never making it past the gate. She was what is euphemistically referred to as a "downer" in industry circles - meaning an animal that is incapable of standing or moving on its own.
With open wounds, and distended udder she spent her final day lying in 110°Fahrenheit under the California sun, trampled by other cows as they were unloaded into the auction, pushed, electrically prodded, and incapable of standing, though she did try, no matter what form of abuse she was subjected to. When Animals' Angels brought Tacoma's condition to the attention of the auction manager, he disregarded our concerns saying that there was still some good meat on her, and she would be dragged out back and killed at the end of day.
According to California law, which was ironically posted at the front entrance of the auction, all non-ambulatory animals must be euthanized immediately. Any forced movement of non-ambulatory animals is prohibited.
In fact, this legislation was recently strengthened significantly, when Governour Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 2098 into law, which will allow prosecutors to file criminal charges against offenders. The penalty for a violation of this bill is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine up to $20,000 or both.
AB 2098 came as a direct response to the footage collected in Chino, California of the brutal treatment of dairy cows at the Hallmark/Westland slaughter facility, sparking the largest beef recall in US history. Given the magnitude of this recent scandal, we were shocked when even the local police department dismissed our investigation.
While we might hope that the plight of the dairy cow in California may see better protection now that Assembyl Bill 2098 has been signed into law, without an effective system of enforcement the legislation is impotent.
We were there with Tacoma, and will always remember her final hours, but how many animals must endure this treatment, and ultimately suffer alone? Animals' Angels will continue to seek justice for Tacoma by bringing our case to both the Governor and the District Attorney. We can only hope that in doing so, others like her may be offered protection from cruelty through enforcement of the laws in place.
What You Can Do:
Please contact the San Joaquin County District Attorney and politely ask him to prosecute the Escalon Livestock Market for violating section 599f of California's Penal Code:
San Joaquin County District Attorney
James Willett, Esq.
222 E Weber Ave, Room 202
Stockton, CA 95202
Animals' Angels work against horse slaughter continues
Over the summer, our investigators have spent a lot of time on one of our main projects, the work against the slaughter of America's horses. They traveled to Mexico and Canada and documented the conditions at the slaughter plants. They visited the big feedlots and markets frequented by the so called "kill-buyers" and exposed the cruelty of this hidden industry.
Examples of investigations conducted:
- The slaughter horse collecting facility in Shelby, MT. 1800 horses are currently kept at this facility, the majority of them are young and healthy. The investigators uncovered a large dead pile and a lack of veterinary care for injured and sick horses.
All this information was shared with law enforcement, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation and Congress. Animals' Angels was able to get convictions in several cases and drastically improve the conditions for the horses at some of the locations.
Horses on their way to Mexico
Our video footage was shown on HBO's "Real Sports" and created a public outcry when Bryant Gumbel highlighted the connection between the race horse industry and horse slaughter.
Our documentation was used to support H.R. 6598, the "Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008". The bill, which prohibits the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States and the export of slaughter horses to Mexico and Canada, was introduced to the 110th Congress by Rep. John Conyers and Representative Dan Burton.
While the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503) has the same goals, H.R. 6598 is more likely to pass:
- Rep. Conyers, who introduced this bill, is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. This was crucial for the Committee's quick approval of the slaughter ban on September 23, 2008.
- H.R. 6598 is a much simpler approach, because it only amends existing legislation. (Chapter 3 of title 18, United States Code)
- Unlike H.R.503, it does not include the authorization of $5 million for the Horse Protection Act.
Animals' Angels will continue to expose those who profit from this cruel industry and to seek enforcement of the existing animal protection laws.
Mother and foal at Mexican slaughter plant
What you can do:
-Please call, email or write your Representative today and ask him or her to support H.R. 6598.
- Distribute the investigative reports posted on our website to inform others about the cruel practice of horse slaughter.
- Support our investigative teams through a donation.
Animals' Angels Inc.
PO BOX 1056
Westminster, MD 21158
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