Displaying items by tag: Massachusetts


Animal Defenders International (ADI) applauds Massachusetts State Senator Bruce Tarr’s introduction of SD.2002, to prohibit traveling wild & exotic animal acts. ADI was honored to work with Senator Tarr and local advocates on the bill, reflecting increasing public recognition that these acts are both cruel and dangerous.

The Feld organization recently announced its closure of RinglingBros. circuses, citing decreased ticket sales over the last decade, a change in views from audiences, and admitting that“It isn’t relevant to people in the same way.”

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europenotes"There is little or no educational, conservational, research or economic benefit derived fromthe use of wild mammals in travelling circuses that might justify their use. In addition to thewelfare considerations, the use of wild mammals in circuses canrepresent serious animalhealth and public health and safety risks.

ADI President Jan Creamer said ADI worked closely with Senator Tarr on this effort and we know how determined he is to protect wild animals and the public from these cruel and dangerous acts. ADI’s evidence of the suffering and abuse of wild animals in circuses shows that these shows simply cannot meet the needs of wild animals in lightweight, small and mobile accommodation.

A comprehensive 2016 scientific review considered the latest science and consulted 658 experts and organizations around the world (including industry representatives), to ultimately conclude that for wild animals, this is not “a life worth living.”


Once a ban is in place, ADI has offered to assist with the relocation of circus animals should the need arise. Despite assurances from the circus industry, the physical and psychological health of animals in circuses is inevitably compromised. Animals in circuses are routinely subjected to brutal training methods and violence.

ADI has led the campaign to expose the suffering and educate the public around the world, providing video evidence, prosecutions, and expert reviews. 34 nations have reviewed the evidence and taken action to end traveling circus performances. Across 27states in the US, 68jurisdictions have already decided to either ban or restrict the use of wild animals in traveling shows, due to concerns about public safety and animal welfare.

ADI is also supporting RepresentativesRyan Costello (R-PA) andRaul Grijalva(D-AZ), who launched Traveling Exotic Animaland Public Safety ProtectionAct (TEAPSPA)in Congress last November. The congressmen have concluded that ending wild animal use is the only practical approach to deal withpublic safety issues and inspection and oversightproblems repeatedly cited by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Following bans on the use of animals in circuses in Peru and Colombia,ADIworked with both governments to remove over 100 animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade last year including lions, bears, monkeys, a tiger and others. ADI rehabilitated the animals and rehomed them to their natural habitats. These rescues were popular with the public and show what can be achieved with legislators and animal protection organizations cooperating.

Join the global campaign to Stop Circus Suffering: www.stopcircussuffering.com

Review written by Jon Patch with 3 paws out of 4

The Finest Hour              

Walt Disney Pictures and Whitaker Entertainment present a PG-13, 117 minute, 3D, History, Action, Drama, directed by Craig Gillespie, screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy with a theater release date of January 29, 2016.

Washington, D.C., October 14, 2015 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, will be one of several groups testifying in support of a bill to ban the sale of ivory and rhino horn in Massachusetts on Wednesday, October 21. House Bill 1275, introduced by Representative Lori Ehrlich, will be heard in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

This important legislation would restrict commerce in ivory and rhino horn throughout the state. Illegal trafficking of these wildlife products is directly responsible for shocking declines in wild populations in recent years, and this bill is a crucial step toward reducing the target market.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, “Massachusetts has the opportunity to be a powerful leader on these issues. This bill is of particular importance because Boston’s port, like any entry point to the U.S., is a site where wildlife parts can be smuggled into the country and laundered as legal products. The elephant poaching epidemic across Africa has reached crisis levels and rhino poaching is escalating exponentially, so we have no time to waste in enacting legislation.”

The crisis has become increasingly severe over the past several years. It is estimated that more than 129,000 elephants have been poached since January 2012. “If the killing rate continues, certain African elephant populations could go extinct within a decade,” says Roberts.

Additionally, all five extant rhino species are in serious danger due to poaching. Africa’s black rhinos are critically endangered, with a population of fewer than 5,000. There are only 3,000 one-horned rhinos remaining in India and Nepal, and Southeast Asia’s Sumatran and Javan rhinos number only in the hundreds and tens, respectively. The horns, made of a substance akin to fingernails, are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Despite conclusive evidence that they have no curative properties, hundreds of rhinos are killed for their horns every year.

Poaching is not only a wildlife conservation and animal welfare issue, but is also directly linked to transnational criminal syndicates, according to the Born Free USA reports, Ivory’s Curse and Out of Africa. Poaching supplies $7-10 billion to a wildlife trafficking enterprise that enables terrorism, weapons, and human trafficking, feeding devastating violence and instability in Africa. Global criminal syndicates use poaching as a substantial source of funding for their brutal activities, which also threatens U.S. national security.

New York and New Jersey passed similar laws restricting the commerce in ivory and rhino horn last year, and California more recently. View a map of state action to crack down on the sale of ivory and rhino horn at www.bornfreeusa.org/ivoryinfographic.

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 America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-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.

Bill will prohibit the trade of most shark fins

Washington, DC, July 24, 2014 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, commends Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for signing H.4088.  Sponsored by state Representative Jason Lewis, this bill is an important step toward reducing the shark fin trade that devastates shark populations worldwide.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of  Born Free USA,, “Shark finning is a particularly cruel practice in which people cut the fins off live sharks and return their bodies to the water where the sharks inevitably die. The animals who are cast back into the ocean suffer slow, painful deaths by drowning or blood loss. This is not a fate that any animal should suffer.”

Shark fins are most often used in shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy that has made the fins the most lucrative part of the animal. Fins that are introduced through ports, such as those in Massachusetts, are shipped to markets across the nation, which contributes to the demand for this cruel product.

Roberts adds, “Conservation crises of this scale demand a widespread response. Shark finning does not threaten just a few sharks, but 73 million sharks every year worldwide.  Many of these sharks are endangered species.”  As keystone species as the apex predator at the top of ocean food chains, they are crucial to the survival of ecosystems.

As more states in the U.S. pass bans on shark fins, the global threat to shark populations is reduced. Born Free USA thanks Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts legislature for taking a stand against this horrific practice and ending the trade of most shark fins in the state.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, the organization 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 USA’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.

Gov. Patrick signs bill creating statewide spay/neuter program,
prohibiting gas chamber euthanasia and ineffective breed-specific bans

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commended Massachusetts legislators and Gov. Deval Patrick for enacting a measure to improve many of the commonwealth’s outdated laws governing animal control, potentially saving the lives of countless companion animals and protecting public safety. The new law will increase the availability of low-cost spay/neuter, ban gas chamber euthanasia, require animal control officers to receive training, allow pets to be included in court-issued orders of protection and improve Massachusetts’ dangerous dog law, as well as make other important updates to the existing animal control statutes.

“The new law provides a more effective system of animal control and protection to serve Massachusetts residents, while saving municipalities valuable resources in this uncertain economic climate,” said Bill Ketzer, senior director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Northeast region. “We thank Governor Patrick for signing this legislation into law and taking such a strong, life-saving step forward for Massachusetts animals.”

The new law updates a wide range of antiquated animal control statutes, some of which date back to the 19th century. Specifically, S.2192 will:

  • Create a statewide spay/neuter program to reduce the number of homeless animals in Massachusetts, thereby reducing the cost to cities and towns for sheltering these animals;
  • Outlaw the use of inhumane gas chambers to euthanize shelter animals;
  • Require animal control officers to have training, which will result in greater protection for citizens, increased licensing compliance and enforcement of dangerous dog laws;
  • Reduce dog bites by improving the dangerous dog laws to ensure they are effective and not breed-specific; and
  • Allow pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders, which helps protect both animals and people.

“Despite the comprehensive nature of this legislation, the measure also responsibly ensures that there are no costs borne by Massachusetts taxpayers in its implementation,” added Ketzer. “This is a landmark victory for animal welfare in Massachusetts and will improve the lives of countless pets and people.”

For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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