Apply Animal Welfare Act rules to recreational hunting, says advocacy group

first_imgThe Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) says captive hunt ranches are operating in a legal loophole, and need a stricter standard over treatment of their animals.Ranches should abide by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the organization’s senior staff attorney, Anthony Eliseuson, argues in a letter to the USDA’s animal care unit.Ranchers keep certain breeds of animals and allow them to be culled via hunting for a price. An animal advocacy group wants landowners with captive wildlife for hunt to be governed under the same rules that govern humane and legal treatment of animals in the US. A recent investigation by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) found that most of these canned hunting ranches – and likely all of them – are operating without what’s called “an exhibitor’s license.”Also known as captive hunt facilities, the facilities either import or breed and then kill some of the exotic or endangered animals at the facilities. Typically, breeding is done for the “propagation of the species,” according to submitted application materials online, and animals are thinned out through guided hunting for a price.The 30-day public review period on four current applications or renewals for captive hunt facilities expired August 31. It was part of a mandatory review period for all new and renewed licenses for these captive hunt facilities. Permitting for the facilities is currently done through a lengthy application and permit application through the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. The agency could not be reached for comment on the issue.The ALDF says these facilities operate in a legal loophole, and should be required to follow a stricter standard in regards to the treatment of the species. They should also abide by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), says ALDF’s senior staff attorney Anthony Eliseuson.“Captive hunt facilities are commercial enterprises that profit from selling the opportunity to view and kill the animals they exhibit, often including endangered and threatened species,” said Eliseuson in an August 17 letter to the USDA’s animal care unit.Specifically, the law says that “any person exhibiting any animals which were purchased in commerce or the intended distribution of which affects commerce, or will affect commerce, to the public for compensation is an exhibitor and must be licensed.”More significantly, the AWA governs human care standards like access to adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care.  If hunting ranches were governed under the AWA, enforcement would help ensure animals were not suffering from lack of those basic necessities, according to Eliseuson. Other practices are included, such as the ability to legally intervene if a hunting ranch mistreats any animals under the guidelines of the AWA.Captive hunt facilities are remarkably mainstream across the US and around the world. They aim to appeal both to those who want to view animals in the wild and to hunters’ desire to track and kill them. Among the most well-known of these operations is Turner Ranch Outfitting, owned by Ted Turner Enterprises, which runs several facilities. They could not be reached for comment on the issue.The ALDF also wants to increase pressure during the public commenting period on several captive hunt facilities which are currently applying for new licenses or renewals. Eliseuson said that the ALDF is willing to take legal action to resolve the permissions.There are four applications being reviewed for culling, captive breeding, interstate commerce and export through a website run by the Federal Register called The website houses federal regulations and other related documents issued by the US government in a searchable online database. It allows for open posting of public comments on application under the 30-day review period.One of these applications is under the name of Jack L. Phillips of Gladewater, Texas for a renewal of his 5 year-old captive-bred wildlife registration. The application is for the red lechwe (Kobus leche), “to enhance the propagation or survival of the species” for five more years. Phillips could not be reached for comment.In the application and related correspondence publicly posted on, Phillips states in a letter that he is raising the red lechwe for propagation of the species only.“We are a ranch operation,” writes Phillips in a letter from earlier this year. “We do not have a license or registration under the Animal Welfare Act regulations of the U. S. Department of Agriculture or any state license.” Phillips also refers to his operation as “ranching for restoration,” a common application of the law among of the at least two dozen such ranches around the country. There are similar operations overseas: notably in countries like South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.According to application materials from Phillips, there are several ways the red lechwe are cared for in his herd.“The herd is culled and the very old animals are hunted each year, to get rid of the inferior animals and the animals are allowed to breed freely, on the 8,000 acre ranch. Any progeny are also allowed to roam free, grow to adulthood, and allowed to freely breed in an effort to carry on the breeding and population to increase the herd.”Phillips also describes how the animals are hunted, and why.They “are culled as their parents before them… to maintain a superior herd.”How the animals are kept – and die – are legal questions the ALDF wants to address, says Eliseuson.“It’s just one of those situations that nobody paid attention to these areas to see if they follow” AWA rules, Eliseuson said. He said that by the ALDF’s count, there are “hundreds” of these canned hunting facilities throughout the US.Eliseuson says it goes beyond just a clear cut case of non-compliance, and his organization is willing to pursue a legal route if necessary.“It’s morally wrong,” he said. Animal Rights, Animal Welfare, Animals, Captive Breeding, Hunting Article published by Genevieve Belmakercenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more