ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE VS. U.S. FOREST SERVICE SIDELINED

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Source:  PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

Map of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

Two Horses and a Mule Died of Dehydration in Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves Forest

Washington, DC — An attempt to criminally prosecute U.S. Forest Service employees for acts of cruelty to animals resulting in the death of two horses and a mule has been dropped, according to court records posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  The dismissals followed an assertion of federal sovereign immunity in order to block prosecution in state court.

More than most federal agencies, the U.S. Forest Service uses horses and mules in its daily operations. Consequently, care and maintenance of equine livestock is an important duty on many national forests.

But there was a major breakdown of those responsibilities on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona.  In May of 2016, two horses (named Snip and Diesel) and a mule (named Little Bit) were…

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From Animal Welfare Institute: USDA Still Stonewalling on Access to Enforcement Records — Straight from the Horse’s Heart

” When BuzzFeed, which consulted with AWI for an April 28 story on the issue, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records pertaining to the site scrub, the USDA provided 1,771 pages of records with every single page completely blacked out—all information redacted.” – Animal Welfare Institute SOURCE: Animal Welfare Institute at awionline.org […]

via From Animal Welfare Institute: USDA Still Stonewalling on Access to Enforcement Records — Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Great News! New York Senate Votes to Increase Penalties for Animal Cruelty Offenses

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Story by Natasha Brooks  as published on One Green Planet.org

People convicted of serious animal cruelty crimes will now be banned from owning companion animals.

We have some great news for animals! The New York state Senate passed legislation on June 6, 2017, that would increase penalties for those convicted of animal cruelty. This legislation was sponsored by Republican Senator James Tedisco, and it received support from both major parties. According to Tedisco, “It’s the most bipartisan, nonpartisan day of the session … It’s a privilege to have an animal; it’s your responsibility to take care of them.”

People convicted of serious animal cruelty crimes will now be banned from owning companion animals. Additionally, they voted to double the jail time and fines for these crimes, from two years in prison and a $5,000 fine to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Those convicted will…

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State Experiments with Legal Advocates for Abused Animals in Court

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Story from Fox News.com

“Every state has the problem of overburdened courts that understandably prioritize human cases over animal cases in allocating resources,”

niversity of Connecticut law professor Jessica Rubin, left, and law student Taylor Hansen prepare to present arguments as animal advocates in a dog fighting case on May 30, 2017, in Superior Court in Hartford, Conn. (AP)

Many states have victim’s advocates or child advocates, people in the judicial system who represent those affected by crime or abuse. Now, one state has created legal advocates for abused animals, an experiment being watched across the nation for signs of success.

There are eight approved volunteer advocates across Connecticut — seven lawyers and a UConn law professor, working with her students. It’s up to a judge to decide whether to appoint one, but they can be requested by prosecutors or defense attorneys. In the first six months of the…

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