Monday, October 31, 2011

Save the Orcas from SeaWorld

LandMark Case in the Works, Save the Orcas' from SeaWorld !
PETA Sues SeaWorld for Violating Orcas' Constitutional Rights

In the first case of its kind, PETA, three marine-mammal experts, and two former orca trainers are filing a Alawsuit asking a federal court to declare that five wild-caught orcas forced to perform at SeaWorld are being held as slaves in violation of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The filing—the first ever seeking to apply the 13th Amendment to nonhuman animals—names the five orcas as plaintiffs and also seeks their release to their natural habitats or seaside sanctuaries.

The suit is based on the plain text of the 13th Amendment, which prohibits the condition of slavery without reference to "person" or any particular class of victim. "Slavery is slavery, and it does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on gender, race, or religion," says general counsel to PETA, Jeffrey Kerr.The five wild-captured orca plaintiffs are Tilikum and Katina (both confined at SeaWorld Orlando) and Kasatka, Corky, and Ulises (all three confined at SeaWorld San Diego). "All five of these orcas were violently seized from the ocean and taken from their families as babies. They are denied freedom and everything else that is natural and important to them while kept in small concrete tanks and reduced to performing stupid tricks," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery, and these orcas are, by definition, slaves."

In the aerial view of SeaWorld, one can see how little room orcas have. Inside the circle is Tilikum, whose nose and tail almost touch the ends of his tank. Image © 2011 GoogleOrcas are intelligent animals who, in the wild, work cooperatively, form complex relationships, communicate using distinct dialects, and swim up to 100 miles every day.

At SeaWorld, they are forced to swim in circles in small, barren concrete tanks. Deprived of the opportunity to make conscious choices and to practice their cultural vocal, social, and foraging traditions, they are compelled to perform meaningless tricks for a reward of dead fish.Our understanding of animals grows every day. Animals are no longer regarded as "things" to dominate, but as breathing, feeling beings with families, dialects, intellect, and emotions. Just as we look back with shame at a time when we enslaved other humans and viewed some people as property less deserving of protection and consideration, we will look back on our treatment of these animals with shame.

The 13th Amendment exists to abolish slavery in all its forms—and this lawsuit is the next step. The orcas are represented in the suit by what the law refers to as their "next friends": PETA, Ric O'Barry (a former orca and dolphin trainer and the star of the Academy Award–winning documentary The Cove), renowned marine biologist and orca expert Dr. Ingrid N. Visser, Orca Network founder Howard Garrett, and former SeaWorld trainers Samantha Berg and Carol Ray.The groundbreaking suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego.Please help animals imprisoned by SeaWorld today.

Click here to write to The Blackstone Group—the company that owns SeaWorld—and ask that it immediately set in place a firm and rapid plan to release the animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with an appropriate and more natural environment.
Posted by PETA
, , ,

Victory ! Suspected "Crush" Video Ring Leaders Arrested

Victory! Suspected ‘Crush’ Video Ring Leaders Arrested
Victory! Suspected ‘Crush’ Video Ring Leaders Arrested

tweetmeme_url = '';

-->Here’s a reason for dogs, frogs, monkeys, mice, pigs and many other animals to smile: Dorma (“Chita”) and Vicente Ridon, the Filipino couple charged with crimes related to the production of a series of “crush” videos—in which scantily clad young girls engaged in the torture killing of animals—were arrested by the police on Tuesday morning. The couple has been charged with violations of child abuse and animal welfare laws, and are expected to face further charges involving human trafficking and wildlife protection laws. They are expected to face trial within the year.

The “crush” videos depict extreme cruelty to animals, including scenes of a rabbit as he or she was skinned alive, rabbits as they flailed and screamed while their ears were cut off and they were set on fire, a dog as he or she was burned with a clothes iron, a monkey and several dogs as they were repeatedly hit in the eyes with the sharp end of a stiletto heel, and puppies as they were crushed until they vomited their internal organs.Thanks to everyone who took the time to report the Ridons’ whereabouts. We’re happy to see that Filipinos take animal welfare seriously and will do all they can to see justice served.

Posted by Rochelle Regodon

The Elephants Lose Again

Circus Elephant Abuse Lawsuit Dismissed By Appeals Court

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by animal rights activists that claims the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus abuses its elephants.The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington agreed with a lower court judge that the Animal Protection Institute and a former Ringling employee Tom Ryder did not have the legal standing to sue the circus. The lower court found that Ryder was "essentially a paid plaintiff" because he received at least $190,000 from the animal rights activists pursuing the case.The lawsuit claimed the circus is violating the elephants' protection under the Endangered Species Act with the use of bullhooks for training and prolonged chaining during train rides between shows.Feld Entertainment Inc. argued the elephants are not hurt and that the instruments are necessary to keep the animals under control and protect public safety. The Vienna, Va.-based company runs the circus and has an elephant sanctuary in Florida.Feld attorney John Simpson said the appellate ruling supports the company's $20 million racketeering lawsuit against Ryder, animal rights groups and their attorneys that claims they committed bribery, obstruction of justice and other illegal acts in filing the elephant suit. Simpson said the purpose of the company's suit is to keep animal rights groups from using the federal court system to pursue "radical agendas.""Feld Entertainment is the target today and some other businesses are going to be targets tomorrow," Simpson said in a telephone interview. "And at some point it has to stop."The Animal Protection Institute declined to comment on the ongoing litigation. But they are asking a judge to dismiss Feld's racketeering suit, calling it "a transparent effort to stifle any criticism of FEI's elephant treatment practices" and to bankrupt and punish the animal rights groups.