A video featuring a father and son slaughtering a mother black bear and then her two screaming newborn cubs in their den has ricocheted around the world, drawing obvious comparisons to the killing of Cecil, the African lion, by a Minnesota dentist several years ago.
There’s great news for animals in the final 2018 budget bill that President Trump signed into law last week. The bottom line is this: the budget bill includes language to restrict funds from being used to harm horses and to address a purge of key animal enforcement records, it increases federal resources to enforce significant animal protection laws, and it omits riders that would have been devastating for wildlife.
San Francisco has voted to ban all sales of fur within its limits, in a historic victory for millions of animals cruelly confined and killed for their skins and hides.
Had the Department of the Interior appointed Ted Nugent and Phil and Si from Duck Dynasty to its International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC), we might at least have been able to laugh a little. As things stand, however, it’s a crying shame. Formed in November 2017, the council is little more than a trophy hunting trade association masquerading as a public panel.
Most Americans learned about the trophy killing fringe group Safari Club International for the first time in July 2015. That’s when one of its members, Walter Palmer, killed Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, leaving the cat in agonizing pain for at least 10 hours before finishing him off. A new book by Andrew Loveridge, an Oxford University wildlife biologist, lays bare the circumstances of the wealthy Minnesota dentist’s misconduct. Palmer and his guides used a slaughtered elephant as bait, let Cecil suffer in agony for hours, and then took steps to cover up their seemingly illegal actions.
It's a far cry from the thrills and spills of the slopestyle and the halfpipe to the shabby squalor of a dog meat farm, but that did not deter Gus Kenworthy from making the journey. As the Winter Games at Pyeongchang came to an end, the U.S. freestyle skier joined the Humane Society International rescue team at a dog meat farm in South Korea’s Gyeonggi-do province where HSI is now working on rescuing more than 80 dogs destined for the stew pot or the grill. It was so moving for Gus that he decided to adopt one dog, Beemo, who will live with him in the United States once the farm closure is complete.
Once again, our country is in collective mourning over a senseless, gruesome massacre at a school, this time in Parkland, Florida. As the mother of a high schooler myself, I am heartbroken and worried for every child, every family and every community that has to endure such suffering and pain. Beyond the shared grief and heartache for the victims and their families, a common refrain we are once again hearing is, what could we have done?
A new generation of heroes has emerged in South Korea, and they are my friends and colleagues. Last weekend, as viewers around the world tuned in to watch skating, skiing, hockey, and other sports at the Winter Games, I waited for news from the Humane Society International rescue team working just down the road from Pyeongchang. They were there to save animals and close down a dog meat farm. I’m so proud of my team and relieved that the dogs, who would have ended up being slaughtered, now have a chance at a better life.