“…if one person is unkind to an animal, it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals… the cruelty is condoned”
January 22nd, 2011 by admin
The wise words of British activist Ruth Harrison, from her groundbreaking book Animal Machines. Cruelty to an individual animal is often the subject of community outrage and news coverage, but large-scale cruelty is ignored.
Earlier this month, two boys in Pasco County broke into their neighbor’s pigeon loft and stabbed to death 18 racing/homing pigeons. The boys were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. These 18 pigeons suffered horrible deaths, but hundreds, perhaps thousands of healthy but unwanted pigeons are killed in Pasco County each year. Pigeon racing is popular in Pasco County. Trainers are quite open about killing, or “culling,” pigeons who have not proven themselves as racers to make room for new pigeons. There is no outrage at the deaths of these birds.
At South Sumter High School on Tuesday morning, three pigs who are part of the Agriscience program were discovered in their pen covered in blood. A student, Dallace Lee Hatley, was quickly arrested and charged with animal cruelty. He admitted to allowing his dog into the pen to attack the pigs on Monday night. The boy was rightfully arrested and charged with a crime, but using dogs to chase down and attack wild pigs is a common practice among hunters in Florida, not to mention that the three pigs, who are recovering from their wounds, will be sold for slaughter at the upcoming Sumter County Fair. A Lieutenant with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office seemed to realize the irony when he told News Ch. 13, “You can not treat an animal in a poor, inhumane way, even if at one point they are going to end up being food on a plate.”
This week a Muscovy duck with an arrow sticking out of his body was spotted in a lake at the Meadows Mobile Home Park in Tarpon Springs. The duck was captured on Thursday and is receiving care at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. The injured duck was spotted shortly after the mobile home park had hired a trapper to remove ducks from the lake. Trapper Mike Santo told the St. Petersburg Times that he uses nets to capture ducks, which he then sells at livestock markets. Whoever shot the Muscovy duck could be charged with animal cruelty (Tarpon Springs police are investigating), but sadly it is legal to round up dozens of wild ducks and sell them to be killed for food.
Ask the Meadows Mobile Home Park to immediately halt the trapping of Muscovy ducks. Let them know that there are effective, non-lethal methods of limiting populations of Muscovy ducks– such as removing newly-laid eggs. Trapping is a cruel and short-term solution. Contact:
The Meadows Mobile Home Park
Carole Joy & Lenny Gayan, park managers
505 Anclote Blvd.
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Phone: (727) 938-3788
Fax: (727) 934-8935
Visit ARFF’s website to learn more about Muscovy ducks.