Dolphin Slaughter in Denmark

From the email:  Thanks to Laura Westra for this translation of the Italian text:

SHAME!  It is Incredible that it should exist! what todo? other than report it and offer these images as far as possible. DENMARK; A SHAME

…pictures….

Although this appears incredible, every year in Denmark this brutal and bloody massacre happens in the Faroe Islands that belong to Denmark.Denmark, supposedly a civilized country, a country that is a member of the European Union…Too few people in the world are aware of this terrible event. The massacre occurs because young men want to demonstrate they have become adults, that they are of age(!!) Noting has been done to stop this barbaric occurrence, against Calderones Dolphins, super inelligent and sociable, who come to people out of curiosity. Send this message far…let’s hope things will change, who knows!
INCREDIBILE CHE POSSA ESISTERE ! che fare, se non denunciare quello che sta accadendo, diffondendo il più possibile queste immagini.

….DANIMARCA :  UNA VERGOGNA

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BENCHE’ QUESTO SEMBRI INCREDIBILE, OGNI ANNO, QUESTO MASSACRO BRUTALE E SANGUINARIO SI RIPRODUCE NELLE ISOLE FEROE, CHE APPARTENGONO ALLA DANIMARCA.  LA DANIMARCA , UN PAESE SUPPOSTO ‘CIVILIZZATO’, MEMBRO DELL’UNIONE EUROPEA. TROPPE POCHE PERSONE AL MONDO CONOSCONO QUESTO AVVENIMENTO ORRIBILE E DEPROVEVOLE CHE SI RIPETE OGNI ANNO. QUESTO MASSACRO SANGUINARIO E’ IL FRUTTO DI GIOVANI UOMINI CHE VI PARTECIPANO PER DIMOSTRARE DI AVER RAGGIUTNO L’ETA’ ADULTA (!!). E’ ASSOLUTAMENTE  INCREDIBILE CHE NON SIA FATTO NIENTE AFFINCHE ‘ QUESTA BARBARIE CESSI. UNA BARBARIE CONTRO I DELFINI CALDERONES, UN DELFINO SUPER INTELLIGENTE E SOCIEVOLE CHE SI AVVICINA ALLA GENTE PER CURIOSITA’.

INVIA QUESTO MESSAGGIO A TUTTI I TUOI CONTATTI. VERGOGNA ALLA DANIMARCA !!! Fate sapere a tutti che in Danimarca massacrano ogni anno i delfini extra-intelligenti e socievoli per una festa così come fosse un carnevale. Solo le persone inutili pensano che tanto non cambia nulla e per questo rifiutano di inviare questo messaggio a tutti.Speriamo che cambierà, chi lo sa!

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INCREDIBILE CHE POSSA ESISTERE ! che fare, se non denunciare quello che sta accadendo, diffondendo il più possibile queste immagini.

….DANIMARCA :  UNA VERGOGNA
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BENCHE’ QUESTO SEMBRI INCREDIBILE, OGNI ANNO, QUESTO MASSACRO BRUTALE E SANGUINARIO SI RIPRODUCE NELLE ISOLE FEROE, CHE APPARTENGONO ALLA DANIMARCA.  LA DANIMARCA , UN PAESE SUPPOSTO ‘CIVILIZZATO’, MEMBRO DELL’UNIONE EUROPEA. TROPPE POCHE PERSONE AL MONDO CONOSCONO QUESTO AVVENIMENTO ORRIBILE E DEPROVEVOLE CHE SI RIPETE OGNI ANNO. QUESTO MASSACRO SANGUINARIO E’ IL FRUTTO DI GIOVANI UOMINI CHE VI PARTECIPANO PER DIMOSTRARE DI AVER RAGGIUTNO L’ETA’ ADULTA (!!). E’ ASSOLUTAMENTE  INCREDIBILE CHE NON SIA FATTO NIENTE AFFINCHE ‘ QUESTA BARBARIE CESSI. UNA BARBARIE CONTRO I DELFINI CALDERONES, UN DELFINO SUPER INTELLIGENTE E SOCIEVOLE CHE SI AVVICINA ALLA GENTE PER CURIOSITA’.

INVIA QUESTO MESSAGGIO A TUTTI I TUOI CONTATTI. VERGOGNA ALLA DANIMARCA !!! Fate sapere a tutti che in Danimarca massacrano ogni anno i delfini extra-intelligenti e socievoli per una festa così come fosse un carnevale. Solo le persone inutili pensano che tanto non cambia nulla e per questo rifiutano di inviare questo messaggio a tutti.Speriamo che cambierà, chi lo sa!

GRIDA in Rearview — A Most Excellent Event

Only time for a brief word about the GRIDA conference b/c I’m now at a different conference, this time of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.  The GRIDA event was outstanding.  Lecture topics ranged from animal behavior to AETA.  Among the highlights: David Favre advanced his vision of animals as living property; Steve Wise sketched out a continuum for legal recognition for nonhumans that seemed simultaneously revolutionary and inevitable; Kathy Hessler lucidly described the inanities of vivisection (for example, just eliminating the redundancies in animal research would decrease the number of animals killed by over two thirds);  Maneesha Deckha offered a feminist critique of Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach; Luc-Alain Giraldeau’s description of the history and science of animal behaviorism made clear how much most of us don’t know and probably should about the beings for whom we advocate; and Carol Morgan described her doctoral fieldwork (for her degree in ethics) among  her fellow veterinarians.  The disconnect between veterinarians’ duties to their patients and their duties to their clients brings the incompatibility of economics and ethics into stark relief.  There were many more excellent presentations and a welcome interdisciplinary and international collegiality.  Professor Martine Lachance and her colleagues at UQAM deserve a rousing cheer and congratulations.

–David Cassuto

Some Thoughts On a Shelter Closing

Several posts on this blawg have commented on the troubling reality underlying the legal status of animals, which is that so long as animals remain property under the law, any legal advances are only made in terms of animals’ relationships to humans, not for the sake of any inherent right to autonomy. I return to the issue briefly today because of an article I read Tuesday. It seems Room For One More, a no-kill shelter in nearby Hopatcong, NJ, no longer has room for any. Because they have lost their lease, the shelter must close down, and may euthanize some of the animals when it closes. Michelle Stymacks, the shelter’s operator, says, “Unfortunately, euthanizing them is a possibility. If we can’t place them, that’s the only other option.”

In a sadistic way, I would love to see NJ DYFS close, and have Christine Mozes report that while she hopes to find homes for all of the children, most of the adoption agencies are full, so they will have to resort to euthanization, as they have no room for them. On a less cynical note, the legal implications surrounding this article frustrate me. First of all, I personally think that there should be more safeguards in the law for non-profits when it comes to leases. Keeping this to animal concerns, this closure illustrates how baffling property status over animals can be. If you own a dog and decide to kill him via lethal injection administered by a veterinarian, the law will not stop you. If you find someone else’s dog on the street and decide to kill her via lethal injection, you will face legal consequences, but, as always, only to the extent that you have damaged the property rights of the dog’s owner. If you find that same dog on the street, however, and cannot readily ascertain an owner, the killing is once again permitted, no matter how many dogs and cats you kill. This is how we view shelters in this country.

Now I don’t mean to fully villify Room For One More; they have brought in animals from far worse conditions, and have done what they can to rehabilitate them. I also understand that when the money dries up, there is nowhere else to go, and releasing all of the animals into a world where they could not find food or shelter is cruel. I also believe that Stymacks is fully aware of the consequences of this action. What I do mean to villify is the way that even non-profit no-kill shelters must operate under the “animals as property” paradigm, and that therefore rescued animals are no more than found, abandoned property. Again, for all those who claim that this is a result of over-population of companion animals, that it is a necessary hardship, I ask you to think about how you would react if this were the same situation featuring abandoned infants.

–Seth Victor

The Otter Hunt Reborn

yawningEn route to Montreal for the GRIDA Animal Law Conference (see post here), I picked up some Canadian newspapers.  From the NationalPost, I learn that aboriginals on Vancouver Island hope to kill 1% of the region’s sea otters per year for “ceremonial reasons.”

Sea otters, like so many other fur-bearing animals, were hunted to near extinction in Canada during the heyday of the European fur trade in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  They were reintroduced into British Columbia from Alaska in the early 1970s and have made progress, repopulating approximately 30% of their original range.  In 2007, the Canadian government downlisted otters from “threatened” to “special concern.”  Now, the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe and federal fisheries officials have crafted a sea otter “management plan” that will permit tribe members to shoot them.  Related story here.

This has strong parallels to the wolf scenario in the United States (some irony: the wolf-bloodthirsty governor of Idaho is named Otter…).  I appreciate the need for sensitivity to native people and traditions — an issue that does not pertain to the U.S. wolf situation.  And the discussion over when and how concern for animals should defer to native traditions must be ongoing and vigorous (it will likely surprise no one that I believe human rituals, whatever their provenance, are less important than animal lives).  But here the issue should not yet be ripe.  The otter has not even fully recovered its numbers and remains at risk.  Why the hurry to kill them?

–David Cassuto

Animal Issues Front & Center at Sunstein Confirmation Hearing

Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s choice for administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (a sort of Administrative Law Czar), is a law academic (U of Chicago and now Harvard) and an advocate and scholar of animal law.  He supports (among other things) the creation of a private right of action for animal protection statutes and the acknowledgment that such statutes create a basic foundation of rights (legally enforceable claims) for animals.  That and the fact that he once called for the abolition of hunting made his hearing less than smooth.  More details here; some posts about Sunstein here and here.

–David Cassuto

Some Good News from the Courts

Hot off the email:

Dear friends and colleagues,

I’m happy to share with you that the story of Animal Legal Defense Fund  v. Woodley has been reported on with great care as a big feature story in the June issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. It’s a fantastic tribute to the huge team effort that helped secure our victory in the largest civil animal cruelty case in American history, and it tells in-depth the stories of several of the rescued dogs with their new adoptive families.

The June issue of O is now available on newsstands.

Please share these links with your friends and contacts. We’re also posting an announcement on Facebook, so be sure you are an ALDF fan on Facebook and share the story with your Facebook friends as well. Please help us get the word out about the tragedy of animal hoarding.

Animal Law Symposium: The Impact On & Opportunities For Animals in the Current Political and Economic Climate

Call for Papers

The Animal Law Section of the Maryland State Bar Association, in conjunction with the University Of Baltimore School Of Law and the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Law, will host the first-ever regional Mid-Atlantic symposium on animal law.  The Impact On & Opportunities For Animals in the Current Political and Economic Climate will be a one-day symposium that will occur at the University Of Baltimore School Of Law on Friday, April 9, 2010, from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.  The Animal Law Section is pleased to partner with the Journal of Animal Law and Ethics at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Law to publish the articles, commentaries, or papers for the symposium.  To be considered to provide an article or paper, and to hence, present, at the symposium, please complete the PDF form and return it to Lauren Murphy Pringle, Editor-in-Chief at journalofanimallaw@gmail.com, or Gary C. Norman, Esq., Chair of the MSBA Animal Law Section at either (410) 786-0043 or at GLNorman15@hotmail.com.

This symposium will address a wide range of topics related to the legal condition and welfare of animals in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Submissions should discuss the impact of the current economic and political climate on animals and the opportunities that exist to improve the welfare of animals.  The steering committee for the symposium encourages authors and researchers from accredited law schools and universities, judges, lawyers, and non-profits or advocacy organization professionals to submit proposals.

The steering committee additionally invites proposals from second or third year law students.  Student papers will be considered for publication.  As with all other presenters, there is no absolute commitment to publish winning student articles or papers.  The goal, however, is to have at least one article or paper by a law student included in the symposium.

For further questions, please do not hesitate to telephone Gary C. Norman, Esq., Principal Co-chair at (410) 241-6745, or Alan S. Nemeth, Esq. at (703) 371-3053.

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