Movie review written by Jon Patch with 3 out of 4 paws
Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Michael De Luca Productions, DC Vertigo, Creative Wealth Media Finance and BRON Studios present an R Rated, 102 minute, Action, Crime, Drama, directed by Andrea Berloff, from the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle with a theater release date of August 9, 2019.
Review written by Jon Patch with 3.5 out of 4 paws
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Lionsgate, Campbell Grobman Films, Cristal Pictures, East Light Media, Millennium Films, Nu Boyana Film Studios, Skydance Media and TDMP present 118 minute, R rated, Action, Comedy, directed by Patrick Hughes and written by Tom O’Connor with a theater release date of August 18, 2017.
SMITHTOWN, NY – (March 1, 2016) – In 2011, a young puppy was rescued from the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan. The young dog, Marley, lived in the horrors of war before being rescued by United States Army Veteran Jonathan Jones. Now, Jones is fighting the Bay County Courts to save his dog’s life against a cruel injustice. He has been sentenced to death for a natural reaction, and one that Jones feels does not warrant such a harsh reaction.
“Back in 2011, our colleagues Nowzad Dogs in Afghanistan went to great lengths to get Marley safely to the United States,” explains Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue. “Marley has lived with the Jones family and played with the children for almost five years. Now, after everything Marley has been through, to have the dog awaiting a death sentence for a natural response is unfair and we are determined to help justice prevail.”
The incident occurred when Marley bit Jones’ 15 year old son who was wearing a mask while playing cops and robbers with his 5 year old brother. Marley was only protecting the younger boy from what he thought was a threat. Unfortunately, neighbors called animal control before learning the facts.
The Bay County Magistrate ruled in Marley’s favor, but the County Attorney is appealing the case for a death sentence. Marley has been in a glass chamber on death row in Bay County, Florida for almost five months now. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, March 3, 2016.
“Marley’s family just wants justice in this case and to bring their dog back home where he belongs,” affirms Misseri. “He is more than a dog…he’s family. Guardians of Rescue will do all that they can to help free Marley and we ask that everyone join us and do the same.”
To support Marley and his family via Facebook or learn more about the case, visit the site: https://www.facebook.com/HelpSaveMarley/…
To raise funds for Marley’s defense, visit the GoFundMe page at: https://www.gofundme.com/FREEMARLEY.
Guardians of Rescue provides assistance to animals out on the streets, helping to rescue them, provide medical care, food and shelter, and find foster-home placements. Many families are struggling, making it difficult for them to care for their pet financially. They are also instrumental in helping military members with their pets, and providing therapy dogs to veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. To learn more, get involved, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto www.guardiansofrescue.org.
About Guardians of Rescue
Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well being of all animals. They provide aid to animals in distress, including facilitating foster programs, rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.
(Washington, D.C., Jan. 5, 2016) The Brazilian conservation groupFundação Biodiversitas, with support from American Bird Conservancy, has secured a tract of vital Atlantic Forest habitat for the Stresemann’s Bristlefront, listed as Critically Endangered by theInternational Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and other rare species like the Banded Cotinga. The acquisition adds 766 acres to the 1,586-acreMata do Passarinho Reserve, bringing the total protected area to 2,352 acres. This expansion represents a major step toward the preservation of the many species that rely on this unique and threatened forest region.
Because of deforestation, the reserve “is like an oasis in a desert,” said Gláucia Drummond, Executive Director of Fundação Biodiversitas. Expanding the protected area represents “one of the most promising and effective ways to save the Stresemann’s Bristlefront from extinction” and to preserve the area’s rich biological heritage, she said.
Biodiversitas created the reserve in 2007 with ABC support. The reserve sits at the southernmost point of a rare forest complex—one of the last patches of Atlantic Forest in northern Minas Gerais and southern Bahia states—that shelters numerous endangered species. The newly protected area includes large areas of primary forest as well as former cattle-grazing areas that, untouched for more than a decade, have become robust secondary forests.
The Mata do Passarinho Reserve, anAlliance for Zero Extinctionsite, represents the last known home of theStresemann's Bristlefront. With a population of fewer than 15 known individuals, the ground-nesting bird is one of the most endangered species on the planet.
Stresemann's Bristlefront numbers fewer than 15 known individuals. Photo by Biodiversitas
“With this acquisition, the Mato do Passarinho Reserve now protects all the forest known to be occupied by the Stresemann’s Bristlefront,” said Daniel Lebbin, ABC’s Vice President for International Programs. “Additional expeditions are needed to confirm if any other bristlefronts may still persist in additional forest fragments nearby.”
“Mata do Passarinho” is Portuguese for “Songbird Forest.” Many other endangered bird species shelter in the reserve, including theBanded Cotinga, Brown-backed Parrotlet, Red-browed Parrot, Hook-billed Hermit, and Bahia Tyrannulet. Rare mammals—including the maned three-toed sloth and the yellow-breasted capuchin monkey, which is listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN—will also benefit from the expansion of the protected area.
The Atlantic Forest stretches along the Brazilian coastline from the state of Rio Grande do Norte south to Rio Grande do Sul, and reaches inland as far as Paraguay in the south. With intense human development in the region, the forest has been reduced to about eight percent of its original extent. In some places it has disappeared almost completely. The expansion of the Mata do Passarinho Reserve helps guarantee the survival of this rare and threatened ecosystem and the many species that rely on it.
As well as harboring many rare and endemic species, the Atlantic Forest helps ensure clean water and air and other essential environmental services for the area’s human population. “We want the reserve to be a source of pride for local communities and for public managers as well as being an opportunity to generate income for these people and municipalities,” Drummond said. “The challenge now is to raise awareness among neighboring landowners about local production practices and help them understand the importance of maintaining and restoring native forest.”
In addition to helping secure the latest Mata do Passarinho expansion, “ABC has assisted the reserve with guard housing, reforestation programs, and a Stresemann's Bristlefront monitoring program,” said Bennett Hennessey, ABC’s Brazil Program Coordinator. ABC and the reserve have also established a conservation program that includes supplementing the bristlefronts’ food supply and providing artificial burrows for the ground-nesting birds.
This acquisition was made possible through the generous contributions of David and Patricia Davidson, David Harrison, George and Cathy Ledec, Michael Reid, the Jacaranda Foundation, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust, and IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands (IUCN NL). The project is also supported by the Global Environment Facility, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, the Hildegard and Hans Schaefer Foundation, and the United Nations Environment Program.
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Fundação Biodiversitas’ mission is the conservation of Brazilian biodiversity. A nongovernmental organization based in Belo Horizonte, Biodiversitas has promoted science-based conservation in Brazil since 1989 and acts as a reference center for the collection and application of scientific knowledge.
Groups Urge President Xi Jinping to Ban Ivory Sales and Trade as an Immediate Priority
Washington D.C., July 9, 2015 -- In a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, members of the Species Survival Network (SSN) have given a cautious welcome to the announcement by China that it will “strictly control ivory processing and trade until the commercial processing and sale of ivory and its products are eventually halted.”
SSN’s letter to the Chinese President urges him to end the domestic ivory trade in China as an immediate priority, inform his citizens of the importance of the measure, and use his influence to encourage leaders in other countries with a domestic ivory trade to do the same.
According to Will Travers OBE, President of SSN and the Born Free Foundation, “An immediate ban on the importation and sale of all ivory in China would be the single most valuable, effective and unequivocal action that could be taken to end the elephant poaching crisis in Africa.”
As many as 30,000 African elephants, and probably more, are being killed by poachers each year across Africa for their ivory. As a consequence, populations of forest elephants in central Africa are thought to have been reduced by almost two-thirds in the past decade. Further, the ongoing pan-African elephant census has highlighted huge losses of elephants in a number of countries, most recently in Mozambique which has lost almost half of its elephants over the past 5 years. In Tanzania, a reduction of 60%, or more than 65,000 animals, is reported to have occurred over the same period.
Although international trade in ivory was effectively banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix I listing of African elephants in 1989, China is one of a number of countries that continues to permit domestic trade in ivory. It has also consistently been identified as the principal destination for both legally and illegally obtained ivory since CITES permitted China to import 62 tons of ivory in a “one-off sale” in 2008. The closure of domestic ivory markets is seen as an essential component of efforts to control elephant poaching.
China has already taken steps to destroy parts of its ivory stockpile. Six tonnes of ivory were crushed in Guangdong province in January 2014 and a further 662kg in Beijing in May this year, coupled with similar decisions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in May 2014. However on April 29, 2015, a few weeks before the recent ivory destruction, China issued a new list of 34 ivory processing factories and 130 sales outlets, with authorizations valid until the end of 2016 and subject to renewal.
The Species Survival Network (SSN), founded in 1992, is an international coalition of over one hundred non-governmental organizations committed to the promotion, enhancement, and strict enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Through scientific and legal research, education and advocacy, the SSN is working to prevent over-exploitation of animals and plants due to international trade. www.ssn.org.
Bill will provide vital funds for conservation of vulnerable wild cats and dogs
Washington, DC, June 10, 2015 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, applauds Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) for introducing H.R. 2697, legislation to provide essential funding for the conservation of wild cats and dogs (felids and canids). Many of these wild species, once considered common, are now in decline due to pervasive threats such as habitat loss and disease. The long-term survival of many wild felids and canids is in serious jeopardy of survival.
Of the 37 wild felid species worldwide, all but three are currently recognized as species in need of protection. Of the 36 wild canid species worldwide, 20 are recognized as in need of such protection.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation: “Reversing the global decline of felid and canid species demands a profound international investment and I commend Representative Grijalva for taking action. Felid and canid species around the world are simply unable to cope with the endless barrage of threats before them, including hunting, disease, and habitat destruction. Reversing the population declines that most of these species face requires the conservation leadership long shown by the U.S. government.”
The bill is based on other crucial laws enacted to conserve African and Asian elephants, tigers, rhinos, great apes, marine turtles, and migratory birds. The projects funded by these successful laws have produced marked results and significantly aided vulnerable species.
“Humans have been killing these species, destroying their habitats and driving them away for far too long, and the damage done to the world around us speaks for itself,” Grijalva said. “The best science we have, combined with a healthy respect for nature, demands that we pass this bill. At the end of the day, if we don’t protect these species, they’ll disappear and take large food chains with them. We’ll have nowhere to look but the mirror to understand the cause.”
Lions and Ethiopian wolves are of particular concern to Born Free USA. An estimated 32,000 or fewer lions remain across Africa, which represents more than a 50% decline since 1980. They face indiscriminate poisoning, shrinking habitats, lack of prey species, trophy hunting, poaching, and illegal trade. The survival of the West African lion is in particular peril; they face possible extinction with only 400 remaining. With fewer than 500 adult Ethiopian wolves, this species is one of the rarest carnivores in the world. Living in small, isolated populations within Afroalpine regions of Ethiopia, these wolves are severely threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, rabies, and hybridization with domestic dogs.
“There must be resources available so that meaningful action can be undertaken to protect these and other species,” said Roberts. “West African Lions, Ethiopian wolves, and other imperiled felids and canids are running out of time. I strongly urge members of Congress to support the Rare Cats and Canids Act and ensure its swift passage.”
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org; www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.
Nature Chronicles a Diversity of Life in
The Sagebrush Sea
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 on PBS
An ecosystem tapped by energy development faces an uncertain future
It's been called The Big Empty - an immense sea of sagebrush that once stretched 500,000 square miles across North America, exasperating thousands of westward-bound travelers as an endless place through which they had to pass to reach their destinations. Yet it's far from empty, as those who look closely will discover. In this ecosystem anchored by the sage, eagles and antelope, badgers and lizards, rabbits, wrens, owls, prairie dogs, songbirds, hawks and migrating birds of all description make their homes. For one bird, however, it is a year-round home, as it has been for thousands of years. The Greater Sage-Grouse relies on the sage for everything and is found no place else. But their numbers are in decline. Two hundred years ago, there were as many as 16 million sage grouse; today, there may be fewer than 200,000.
The Sagebrush Sea tracks the Greater Sage-Grouse and other wildlife through the seasons as they struggle to survive in this rugged and changing landscape. The program airs Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). After broadcast, the episode will be available for online streaming at pbs.org/nature.
In early spring, male sage grouse move to open spaces, gathering in clearings known as leks to establish mating rights. They strut about, puffing up yellow air sacs in their breasts and making a series of popping sounds to intimidate other males. For weeks, they practice their elaborate display and square off with other arriving males, battling to establish dominance and territory. Successful males then display for discriminating females and are allowed to mate only if chosen as the most suitable. The criteria are a mystery to all but the females, nearly all of which select only one or two males on the lek each year. Once they've bred, the hens will head off into the protective sage to build their nests near food and water and raise their offspring alone. Within a month, the chicks hatch and follow the hens as they forage for food and keep a watchful eye out for predators. In the summer, the grouse head to wetlands, often populated by farms and ranches, in search of water, only to return to the sage in the fall. Shrinking wetlands that once supported thousands of grouse still manage to provide for hundreds.
Other species discussed in the program include the golden eagle and great-horned owl. Both bird species take advantage of perfect perches on the rocks and ridges sculpted by the area's constant wind to nest, hunt, and raise their families. Cavity-nesting bluebirds and the American kestrel return each year to raise their young in rock crevices. The sagebrush serves as a nursery for the sagebrush sparrow, the sage thrasher and the Brewer's sparrow, all of which breed nowhere else.
Sage survives in this arid environment through deep roots that reach to the water below. Like water, however, many key resources are locked below ground in the high desert, bringing an increasing presence of wells, pipelines and housing. As they proliferate, the sage sea is becoming more and more fragmented, impacting habitats and migratory corridors. And of the 500,000 square miles of sagebrush steppe that stretched across North America, only half now remains. For the sage and the grouse, the future is uncertain.
Nature is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is executive producer. The Sagebrush Sea is a Cornell Lab of Ornithology Production.
Nature pioneered a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry. Throughout its history, Nature has brought the natural world to millions of viewers. The series has been consistently among the most-watched primetime series on public television.
Nature has won over 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 12 Emmys and three Peabodys. The series received two of wildlife film industry's highest honors: the Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award given by the Wildscreen Festival and the Grand Teton Award given by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The International Wildlife Film Festival honored Nature executive producer Fred Kaufman with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Media.
PBS.org/nature is the award-winning web companion to Nature, featuring streaming episodes, filmmaker interviews, teacher's guides and more.
Support for this Nature program was made possible in part by the Arnhold Family in memory of Clarisse Arnhold, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Estate of Elizabeth A. Vernon, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Filomen M. D'Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, George B. Storer Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.
About WNET As New York's flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah!andCyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.
Born Free USA roundup of federal and state bills
Washington, D.C., December 30, 2014 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, works with federal, state, and local legislators to strengthen existing animal protection laws and establish new ones that tackle crucial wildlife issues including exotic animals kept as “pets,” the barbaric trapping industry, and the trade in wildlife parts. This year was significant in legislatures around the country, with animal bills seeing both big wins and frustrating defeats.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, “We fight with unsurpassed determination to protect animals and preserve wildlife. We are grateful to those who support our efforts to reduce animal suffering, increase public safety, and help ensure compassionate conservation everywhere. All American citizens can help influence their state and federal leadership and impact the way we treat wildlife. Every voice can be heard, and we are asking people to step up for the sake of wildlife protection and the future of our planet.”
Born Free relies on its dedicated constituents to help persuade legislators to act for animals throughout the year, and encourages everyone to join its eAlert team for regular updates on ways to assist (www.bornfreeusa.org).
Born Free USA’s hit and miss list for 2014 bills:
Exotic animals and other primates:
From the slaughter of wild animals in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011 after a man released them from his property, to the Connecticut woman who was mutilated by her neighbor’s pet chimpanzee in 2009, to the nearly 100 other incidents detailed in the Born Free USA Exotic Animal Incidents Database throughout 2014, the stories of private ownership of exotic pets are gruesome and preventable. To protect wildlife and the public, Born Free USA worked on the following bills:
1) Federal Bill: Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R. 2856/S. 1463)
Purpose: To prohibit the interstate commerce in nonhuman primates for the exotic pet trade.
History: In 2003, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act was signed into law to prohibit interstate commerce in lions, tigers, and other big cats as pets. Because primates face similar inhumane treatment and pose similar threats to public health and safety, advocates seek to add them to the list of species prohibited in commercial trade.
Progress in 2014: Born Free USA, along with partners, worked to attract more attention to this bill. The list of cosponsors soared to more than 150, and members of Congress spoke out in passionate support of the bill at a press conference highlighting Charla Nash: a woman who was severely injured in an attack by her neighbor’s pet chimpanzee, and who lent her voice to highlight the importance of this measure.
Outcome: While the bill had strong bipartisan support and passed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, it was ultimately overlooked due to other Congressional priorities. Born Free USA will capitalize on the favor it accrued to start strong in the next Congress.
2) Federal Bill: Humane Care for Primates Act (H.R. 3556)
Purpose: To change CDC regulations to allow sanctuaries to import primates into the country for the purpose of providing humane lifetime care.
History: Current CDC regulations allow the importation of primates for “bona fide scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes,” which excludes sanctuaries and prevents needy primates overseas from being rescued by U.S. organizations, such as the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary.
Progress in 2014: After securing introduction of the bill in 2013 with Rep. Ellmers (R-NC) as a sponsor, Born Free USA worked to raise awareness and build support for the bill in Congress. With more than 40 cosponsors, this bill was well-received.
Outcome: While it did not pass, the awareness raised ensures that the bill is well-poised to be reintroduced in the House in 2015, and to find a Senate champion.
3) West Virginia Bill (S.B. 428/H.B. 4393)
Purpose: To prohibit private ownership of exotic species, with that list to be defined by the Department of Natural Resources.
History: West Virginia was one of only six states left lacking restriction or oversight for the private possession of exotic animals. This historic bill was initiated by Born Free USA in 2012, though it failed to pass that year.
2014 SUCCESS: This bill passed the legislature and was signed into law by the governor.
Born Free USA is addressing this cruel, unregulated industry. Tens of thousands of targeted and non-targeted animals are caught in traps that leave them injured, maimed, or dead. To prevent further harm, Born Free USA worked on the following bills:
1) Federal Bill: Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 3513)
Purpose: To ban trapping in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The bill aims to restore the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System to create havens for wildlife that are safe and free from unnatural intrusion. The bill would also protect people and companion animals incidentally caught by brutal traps.
History: Born Free USA played a key role in drafting the bill when it was originally introduced in the 2009/2010 Congress.
Progress in 2014: Born Free USA lobbied to gain support for this bill in the House, and engaged our Members in a grassroots effort to emphasize the need for this ban.
Outcome: This bill failed to gain traction in the 2013-2014 Congress. However, Born Free USA will continue its efforts to educate members of Congress about trapping.
2) Illinois Bill (S.B. 3049)
Purpose: To add the gray wolf, American black bear, and cougar to the list of protected species under the Illinois Wildlife Act.
History: Under Illinois law, it is unlawful for any person at any time to take, possess, sell, offer for sale, propagate, or release into the wild any “protected species,” with exemptions for scientific, educational, or zoological institutions. The gray wolf, American black bear, and cougar populations are in need of these protections afforded to the other threatened species protected under the Illinois Wildlife Act.
2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA lobbied in support of this bill through grassroots outreach and by submitting testimony to the legislature. The legislature recognized the importance of these wildlife protections, passed the bill, and the governor signed it into law.
3) Virginia Bill (S.B. 42)
Purpose: To prohibit the construction of new fox penning enclosures, although current fox pens may continue to operate until 2054.
History: There has been an ongoing battle to ban fox penning, a cruel “sport” in which organizers force dozens of dogs to compete in a fenced-in area to chase—and sometimes rip apart—foxes and coyotes. The wild animals are caught in leghold traps that cause anguish through broken bones or other wounds, and are transported in cages to the pen. With dogs tearing apart the captive animals, there is a constant demand for fresh wildlife for the fox pens.
2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked closely with a coalition of groups to usher this bill through the legislature, where it ultimately passed and was then signed by the governor. While it is not an outright ban, it is a positive step in a state in which the practice is so entrenched.
Illegal wildlife trade is ranked among the top five global crimes in terms of profitability. The trade in bear gallbladders, sport-hunted wildlife trophies, and other animals—including threatened and endangered species—could drive some populations or species to the brink of extinction. In particular, Born Free USA’s two groundbreaking reports, Ivory’s Curse and Out of Africa, revealed the insidious links between terrorist networks and the ivory trade. To address this crisis, Born Free USA worked on the following bills:
1) Federal Bill: Targeted Use of Sanctions for Killing Elephants in their Range (TUSKER) Act (H.R. 5454)
Purpose: To require certain nations to work with the U.S. on anti-poaching efforts, or face sanctions if they fail to cooperate.
History: As Born Free USA’s Ivory’s Curse report revealed, African nations must play a significant role in cracking down on corruption within governments and poaching within their boundaries. This bill is designed to incentivize African nations to make the poaching crisis a priority.
Progress in 2014: Born Free USA assisted sponsor Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) with crafting the language of the bill. It contributed to the ongoing discussion in Congress about how to best tackle the poaching crisis, and demonstrated that the U.S. is serious about finding a solution.
Outcome: This bill did not make any progress in 2014, but Born Free USA will continue to promote it, as well as other Congressional efforts to end the ivory trade, in 2015.
2) Federal Bill: Rare Cats and Canids Act (H.R. 5836)
Purpose: To provide a source of funding for projects to enhance conservation of international felids and canids.
History: This bill was previously introduced in 2007 and 2009, and it passed the House of Representatives both times. Wild cats and dogs desperately need these conservation efforts. Of the 37 wild felid species worldwide, all but three are currently recognized as species in need of protection. Of the 36 wild canid species worldwide, 20 are recognized as being in need of protection.
Progress in 2014: Born Free USA worked with sponsor Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ) to update the language, find original cosponsors, and recruit the support of other groups before it was introduced.
Outcome: This bill was introduced too late in the session to make progress, but will be reintroduced in 2015.
3) Massachusetts Bill: Shark Fin Ban (H.B. 4088)
Purpose: To prohibit the possession and sale of shark fins, with exemptions for certain species and purposes.
History: Shark finning is a cruel practice in which people cut the fins off of live sharks and return their bodies to the water, where the sharks inevitably die. Similar laws exist in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Washington, Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked closely with a coalition to usher this bill through the legislature, where it ultimately passed and was signed by the governor. While it is not an outright ban, it is a positive step in a state with a large fishing industry.
4) New York Bill: Restrict the Sale of Ivory and Rhino Horn (A. 10143/S. 7890)
Purpose: To prohibit the sale, purchase, trade, barter, and distribution of ivory and rhino horn articles, but with certain exemptions.
History: New York had a much weaker law regulating the sale of ivory, but it was not sufficient to ensure that no illegal ivory was sold in the state. As the elephant and rhino poaching crisis grows, New York was one of the first states to recognize the need to crack down on the trafficking of these products.
2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked with partners to provide grassroots support of the bill. The legislature recognized the urgency of this matter and passed the bill, allowing the governor to sign it into law.
5) New Jersey Bill: Ban the Sale of Ivory and Rhino Horn (S. 2012/A. 3128)
Purpose: To prohibit the sale, purchase, or barter of ivory or rhino horn.
History: This bill passed the first year it was introduced, establishing New Jersey as the state with the strongest prohibition on ivory and rhino horn.
2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked closely with partners to secure this bill’s passage, including testifying before a committee, engaging with media, and providing grassroots support. The bill passed the legislature and was signed into law by the governor.
To find out more about these bills, and how to take action, visit http://bornfreeusa.org/b4b_lawmakers.php.
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. www.bornfreeusa.org; twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and facebook.com/bornfreeusa.
For Immediate Release: October 7, 2014
BETHESDA, MD—The Cat Daddy himself, Jackson Galaxy, stars in Alley Cat Allies’ National Feral Cat Day® (Oct. 16) Public Service Announcement (PSA) to help raise awareness of community cat care.
On his popular Animal Planet show “My Cat From Hell,” Galaxy works with cats of all kinds, and teaches cat owners how to provide an enriched environment for their furry family members. But Galaxy’s love for cats doesn’t stop there.
The PSA shares the important message that outdoor cats deserve the same love and respect as the cats who share our homes.
“Whether you call them family cats, house cats, feral cats, community cats, alley cats…it doesn’t matter,” says Galaxy in the PSA. “They are our cats, our community cats, and they deserve our love and our protection.”
This year marks the 14th annual National Feral Cat Day® and the theme—TNR: From the Alley…to Main Street—represents how far Trap-Neuter-Return has come. Starting in the alleyways with volunteers and rescue groups, TNR is now finding its way into shelters and animal control policies.
“Trap-Neuter-Return has become the mainstream way to care for community cats,” says Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “If your local shelter isn’t doing TNR they are behind the times, and you should ask them to adopt the program. It saves lives and tax dollars.”
There are over 450 cities and counties with official ordinances or policies endorsing TNR and there are more than 600 nonprofit groups across the country practicing TNR.
Determined to change the state of cat care provided in our country’s animal sheltering system, Alley Cat Allies was the first to advocate for TNR for community cats in 1990. Since then a groundswell of support has arisen for community cats and their care. Learn more at www.alleycat.org.
The video is available at www.alleycat.org/FeralCatDayPSA
About Alley Cat Allies Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has over half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide.
Having created the Casa Dorada Sanctuary Project back in 2008 and working together with other local entities, the resort has dedicated significant financial and human resources to ensuring that adequate measures are in place to safeguard nests, protect eggs and eventually successfully release baby turtles into the sea.
Every late summer and fall, guests staying at Casa Dorada are fortunate to witness the arrival of female turtles on the beach right in front of the resort to lay their eggs. Then, 6 to 9 weeks later baby turtles are born making their way to the sea for the very first time, offering one of nature’s most touching spectacles. The most common turtle species encountered in Los Cabos is the olive ridley, whose regular nesting period is from July to October, while the release of baby turtles usually takes place in September and October.
Casa Dorada and its turtle conservation efforts To date, the Casa Dorada Sanctuary Project has protected more than 160,000 turtle eggs and released nearly 140,000 offspring into the sea. These efforts have helped in making the Cabo San Lucas Bay and Los Cabos a vitally important nesting area for the olive ridley.
Local involvement In order to continue protecting turtles in the area, regional governments have created The Los Cabos Sea Turtle Conservation Program. In 2005 many of the community’s hotels, resorts, restaurants, and organizations have joined in, creating The Los Cabos Sea Turtle Protection Network. In 2008, Casa Dorada was officially added to this strategic coalition. Later, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources granted the hotel federal permission to establish a working nursery for the safekeeping of olive ridley eggs, a privilege only a handful of institutions in the Southern Baja have enjoyed.
About Casa Dorada With an incomparable location on Medano Beach--the best swimmable beach of Cabo, Casa Dorada is just steps away from world-class shopping, dining, entertainment, and the marina. As a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, a collection of the world’s finest independent luxury hotels, Casa Dorada Los Cabos brings the upscale service and family-friendly features to the Cabo San Lucas oceanfront. The Resort grants visitors a more convenient, yet equally spectacular, alternative to the more remote hotel zone of the Tourist Corridor. Boasting unobstructed vistas of Land’s End and the famous Arch, Casa Dorada is just 30 minutes away from Los Cabos International Airport. All of the 185 spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and penthouses, open up to Los Cabos’ most dazzling ocean view, while the luminous and contemporary interiors ensure your comfort and satisfaction.