Animal Rights

Texas Wildlife Association “Working for tomorrow’s wildlife … TODAY!” 2800 NE Loop 410, Suite 105 <> San Antonio, Texas 78218 <> 210/826-2904 <> 800/839-9453 <> FAX 210/826-4933 TWA Position Statement on Ownership of Deer Adopted May 2005, and Recommend Revision September 30, 2008, by TWA DMC. Approved by TWA Executive Committee, October 15, 2008. TWA supports public ownership of wildlife resources, and is, and will remain, opposed to any efforts that result in conversion of Texas’ wild deer to private ownership. TWA strongly supports the position that our native white-tailed and mule deer are to remain publicly-owned wildlife regardless of the natural or man made situations in which they are found; and that deer intentionally released from breeder pens upon release remain the property of the people of the state of Texas. We believe deer breeders should continue to enjoy and benefit from certain privileges extended by statutes governing deer breeder permits. TWA also believes reasonable TPWD oversight as provided through statute is desirable for both the continued integrity of the breeder industry and the protection of wild deer.

Exotic animals and Texas law

Exotic animals and Texas law

HOUSTON – Few people realize the illegal sale of exotic animals is estimated to be a multibillion-dollar-a-year business. In fact, officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told Channel 2 Investigates the black market for exotic animals is second only to the illegal drug trade.

“The thing about crime or criminals, if they can make a buck, they’re going to,” Texas Parks and Wildlife Lt. Brent Satsky said.

More Investigates HeadlinesParks and Wildlife recently wrapped up an undercover operation in the Houston area. In just four days, game wardens posed as buyers and found 10 illegal sales. American alligators, a timber rattlesnake, a 100-year-old alligator snapping turtle, turtles and pythons were seized.

The snapping turtle and timber rattlesnake are threatened species, which makes it a Class C misdemeanor to own or sell them without a state permit. The pythons are considered invasive species and are also illegal to own of sell without a permit.

Satsky said the regulation of invasive species is particularly crucial to protecting our native species.

“Think about the things it’s going to prey upon,” Satsky said. “Those kind of things can be detrimental to Texas native species.”

Game wardens also made two cases involving the illegal, backdoor sales of shrimp to the public. Satsky said illegal shrimp sales are a rampant problem in the Houston area, typically involving someone buying directly from a boat captain and then reselling the catch without a permit.

“If we’re not looking at that, who else is going to do it?” said Satsky.

Satsky said Parks and Wildlife game wardens are constantly scanning the internet for illegal sales. However, he said the black market is evolving. He said these sales typically took place on Craigslist and eBay, but are now being found on popular apps like Offer Up and Letgo.

“People are attracted to these, and they have an affinity for them, and they want them,” said Satsky.

Satsky admitted not everyone they catch knows they are breaking the law. One example game wardens shared with KPRC Channel 2 News involved a Cypress man selling mounted game birds. The federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act prohibits this, and an undercover video shows the seller was clearly shocked to learn this detail.

Satsky said stopping individual sellers is important, but the real goal is going after those intentionally using invasive, endangered or threatened species to turn a profit.

“That’s our intent: To go after the person that is trying to capitalize and commercialize our natural resources,” Satsky said.

DNR Kills Exceedingly Rare Mountain Lion in Northwest Iowa


DNR Kills Exceedingly Rare Mountain Lion in Northwest Iowa

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had to deal with an unlikely predator on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in Ida County, according to a news release.

The first sign of this predator’s presence came when a farmer near the town of Galva reported finding a dead calf with what looked like wounds sustained by a large cat, the DNR said in its news release. Then, 911 responded to calls after the farmer’s neighbors got a glimpse of a mountain lion near the farm.

DNR officers responded to the scene, where they found the mountain lion in a tree staring down at the crowd of people and barking dogs surrounding it.

According to The Des Moines Register, mountain lions – for the most part – come from western South Dakota and Nebraska, both of which have natural lion populations. However, they are thought to be quite uncommon in Iowa.

“White-tailed deer and other wild animals, particularly the weak or injured, are often the preferred prey. But in this situation, it appears this mountain lion has targeted young livestock, and livestock producers are well within their rights to protect their livelihood,” said Bruce Trautman, deputy director with the Iowa DNR.

Here is the news release from the Iowa DNR, and their explanation of what happened and why they took the actions they did:

Today, officers with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were called to dispatch a mountain lion from a farm near Galva, in northeast Ida County.

The situation arose after a neighboring livestock producer discovered a dead calf that showed evidence consistent with an attack by a large cat late last week. Repeated calls were placed to 911 Monday evening by a nearby landowner who discovered the cat.

DNR officers use lethal action as the last resort option in these situations and every effort is made to humanely remove the animal.

“White-tailed deer and other wild animals, particularly the weak or injured, are often the preferred prey. But in this situation, it appears this mountain lion has targeted young livestock and livestock producers are well within their rights to protect their livelihood,” said Bruce Trautman, deputy director with the Iowa DNR.

This is the first confirmed female mountain lion in Iowa. There is no physical evidence that she has produced any young. The Iowa DNR will collect teeth, tissue samples for genetic analysis and examine the stomach contents of the 88 pound animal.

This is the fourth mountain lion killed in Iowa and the most recent since 2013 when a four year old male was shot in Sioux County. Since 1995, there have been 21 confirmed mountain lions in Iowa.

Western South Dakota and Nebraska have been the genetic source for the lions killed in Iowa.

Mountain lions are not listed as a furbearer and have no protected status in Iowa.

Anti-Hunting Comedian Ricky Gervais Hatefully Attacks a 13-Year-Old Girl


Anti-Hunting Comedian Ricky Gervais Hatefully Attacks a 13-Year-Old Girl

So apparently, comedian Ricky Gervais is fine with cyber bullying a 13-year-old girl, but hunting is where he draws the line . . .

This is the kind of asinine mindset that antis walks around with on a daily basis, and it’s exactly what fueled thousands of hate-filled comments directed at a young girl who has a passion for hunting.

Gervais responded to a picture posted by Aryanna Goudin of her posing with a giraffe she shot while on a once-in-a-lifetime hunt with her father in South Africa. His tweet read, in horrible taste we might add, “Do you love me now daddy?” which gives implications Gourdin is some brainwashed child who only shot the animal for her father’s approval.

Here is the tweet and the photo that caused Gervais to lash out in such an unprofessional manner:

A couple of house-keeping notes:

This incident can teach all of us hunters an important lesson about how we represent ourselves after the kill. While we certainly don’t agree with Gervais’ comments or how he handled this situation, this particular celebratory pose is the exact kind of low-hanging fruit that anti-hunters such as Gervais love to feast on.

For the sake of comparing, take a look at the following photo and tell us that’s not a hunter who respects the animal she just harvested:

Also, it should be noted that before Gervais even posted his comments, Aryanna had already admitted that the photo was in poor taste, and that she learned her lesson about posting pictures that are offensive to others. This is a young girl with a very good head on her shoulders who simply loves to hunt, and she certainly doesn’t seem to care what one man with a dwindling comedy career has to say about it.

In response to the hundreds of thousands of negative comments she receives about her hunting, Aryanna simply replied, “I would never back down from hunting. I am a hunter, and no matter what people say to me, I’m never going to stop.”

Bad News: A Tick that Could Give Us All a Meat Allergy is Spreading Like Wildfire


Bad News: A Tick that Could Give Us All a Meat Allergy is Spreading Like Wildfire

A bad tick year just got a whole lot worse after hearing that a particular tick, whose bite makes people allergic to meat, is spreading.

The lone star tick (earning its name from the distinct white marking on its back) carries a sugar molecule called alpha-1, 3-galactose, or Alpha-Gal for short, which basically scrambles people’s immune systems, making them forever allergic to meat.

How is this strange phenomenon happening? Well, without getting too much into the scientific details, basically Alpha-Gal is one of the few sugars found in red meat. When bitten by a tick whose carrying Alpha-Gal, your body automatically attempts to develop an antibody to fight it off. From that point forward, consuming any red meat will trigger an allergic reaction, which can include, hives, shortness of breath, stomach cramps and in some severe cases difficulty breathing and fainting. In the rarest cases, death can occur.

According to reports, the tick is commonly found in the southeastern United States, but cases have recently been reported in Minnesota, and New Hampshire, which suggests the terrifying thought that the lone star tick population and habitat is growing.



Q: What inspired you to first get involved with activism and/or to join DxE?

As a vegan and someone who knew that animals are just like us in all the ways that matter, I felt isolated. I found myself pleading with friends, family and coworkers to consider what animals are going through. I never had support or any structured outlet to channel my energy into. However, in June of 2016 I attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Modesto, CA and members of DxE came to disrupt it. They held signs and chanted as the Secret Service rushed to surround Senator Sanders and two activists unrolled a giant banner that said, “animal liberation is social justice”. I went home that day and went to DxE’s Facebook page and started sharing content and sending friend requests to activists. A few months later, I finally made it out from Modesto and attended my first DxE protest. It was a great experience and everyone was so welcoming and friendly that I kept coming to more and more actions whenever I could. Before long, I was contributing to working groups, moving in to an activist house in Berkeley and even marshaling my first protest.

Q: What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?

My favorite moment took place on the last day of DxE forum 2017. We learned at the action briefing that morning that all 200 of us would be participating in DxE’s first broad daylight open rescue. We silently marched to a slaughterhouse in San Francisco and held white flowers and bore witness while activists walked in to the slaughterhouse and removed six hens one by one. I felt so empowered to be part of a community and a movement that was putting animal liberation into action. With each bird who came through those doors, leaving their property status behind, tears fell down my cheeks as I promised myself that I would keep fighting until the day we could remove all animals from exploitation everywhere.

Q: Are you a part of any working groups or unique activism in your chapter and how do they influence your activism?

I’m in a few working groups, but the outreach working group is one of my favorites! We organize New Activist Orientations, tabling events and we work on strategies to bring new people into our community. I think this is important because if we are able to mobilize thousands of activists, animal liberation will happen soon.

Q: How do you stay motivated as an activist?

I keep in mind two things: that this is a marathon not a sprint and that animals are suffering immensely and dying by the millions every day. I give myself space to get rest and to find a balance between activism, friends and my job, but I never lose sight of the fact that we are doing work that needs to get done.

Q: What advice would you give to new activists?

I would urge new activists to aim to be as effective as possible by finding something they’re passionate about and working hard to apply it to our movement without fear of failure.

Q: Why Animal Liberation?

Because animal liberation is social justice. I am here to challenge injustice whatever it is. A lot of times that’s injustice towards nonhuman animals. Other times that’s injustice towards immigrants, injustice towards people of color or injustice anywhere we find it. I am here learning, working and fighting until everyone is safe, happy and free.


Top Five Crimes Against Animals

Top Five Crimes Against Animals

Ranked by Rate of Prosecution – These are the crimes against animals that are the most often prosecuted in the United States

  1. Neglect

Animal neglect refers to when an animal’s caretaker fails to provide basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. Animal neglect takes place over longer periods of time than other more violent acts. But victims of animal neglect suffer severely because their suffering is prolonged. Neglect can end in death or permanent damage. Nationally, animal control officers cite animal neglect as the most common reason that they are called to a home.

  1. Affirmative Acts of Abuse

Affirmative acts of abuse are intentional actions meant to injure or kill an animal. Horrific, violent acts against animals, like dragging them behind a car or skinning them, fall under this category. These crimes often get media attention because they are so upsetting. Affirmative acts of abuse cover any violent act that can be committed against an animal. Situations where a domestic abuser acts violently towards animals as a way of controlling their human victim also fall under the affirmative acts of abuse category.

  1. Animal Fighting

Animal fighting refers to when animals are forced to fight in order to entertain people. In the United States, dogfighting and cockfighting are the most popular kinds of animal fighting. When animals are trained to fight, “bait” animals are frequently used to induce savagery in the fighting animal, and are often mauled or killed in the process. Bait animals are usually sweet-natured and defenseless, like kittens. When animal fighting is uncovered, it is rarely the only crime occurring. People engaged in animal fighting are often also guilty of gambling, conspiracy, and money laundering.

  1. Abandonment

Abandonment is when an animal is left behind by his guardian. It refers to when a family pet, accustomed to being fed and sheltered, is either dumped somewhere far from her home or her family moves and leaves without her. When home foreclosures rise, animal abandonment rates also increase significantly. Abandonment does not include people who engage in Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). In TNR, self-sufficient, unowned cats are trapped by caring individuals, taken to a veterinarian to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated against rabies, and then returned to the trapping location.

  1. Bestiality

Bestiality refers to any sexual crime against an animal and may also be accompanied by affirmative acts of abuse. Though the vast majority of people find bestiality abhorrent, it is more common than you might think. There are even online groups for people who engage in bestiality and sometimes organized events. Unfortunately, bestiality is not illegal in all 50 states, although prosecutors can still sometimes prosecute bestiality as an affirmative act of abuse.

Breaking news: New York City bans use of wild animals in circuses

Breaking news: New York City bans use of wild animals in circuses

Following the lead of Los Angeles – which took the same action two months ago – the New York City Council, the lawmaking body for the City of New York’s eight million residents, voted today to ban wild animal acts in circuses (after a one-year phase-in). The New York City Council embraced the policy in a commanding vote of 43 to 6, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, a staunch animal advocate, says he looks forward to signing this legislation.

The council’s policy provides more evidence of the startling turnaround on this category of animal use since March 2015, when Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced it would end the use of elephants in circus acts. The famed circus had been the political protector of animal-based circuses, but relinquished that role when it started to unwind its animal acts. Ringling Bros. shuttered the circus last month, after 146 years of performances in the United States.

New York City Council Member Rosie Mendez spearheaded the push for 1233-A. She fought this battle for 11 years, and this year she got a major assist from Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson. The HSUS and the newly formed Empire State Humane Voters led the charge for the bill from the outside. Both groups had the support of a large coalition of animal protection organizations and grassroots advocates.

“This legislation will ensure that animals are in their natural state, not confined in small boxcars and/or treated in other inhumane ways. Equally important, human beings will be safe from animals that may act ferociously,” Councilwoman Mendez said after the vote.

While Ringling is out of the business, there are a number of smaller traveling circuses that often lease the use of elephants, tigers, and other animals in these moving menageries. Last month,The HSUS conducted an undercover investigation of a tiger trainer who rents out his circus act to a number of traveling circuses, providing a clear look at the coercive training techniques that cause these majestic animals to cower and moan, their frequent intensive confinement, and the grueling travel they typically endure. Lawmakers and the public have come to see that these animals are victims, not willing performers.

The momentum on this front continues. On June 6, the New York state legislature passed the Elephant Protection Act, which would prohibit the use of elephants in traveling shows. Gov. Andrew Cuomo can sign it soon. A similar bill in Illinois awaits Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature. Recently, legislation also passed in cities and/or counties in Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, and Ohio. Four states and more than 125 localities in 34 states have passed restrictions or prohibitions on the use of wild animals in circuses and traveling shows. “We now know more about the proper treatment of wild and exotic animals than we did in the past. Entertainment alone is not an excuse to put these animals through more than they ever should have to endure,” added Council Member Corey Johnson.

In the wake of New York City’s vote, we will continue to see the adoption of policies to forbid wild animal acts. Meanwhile, more people interested in acrobatics and other forms of arena entertainment can buy tickets for Cirque du Soleil and other enterprises using talented and willing human performers. There, you can experience the pleasure of awe-inspiring performances and know that you’ve not sustained an ounce of animal cruelty in the process.

Federal Laws that Protect Bald Eagles

Bald Eagle

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Federal Laws that Protect Bald Eagles

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act

The bald eagle will continue to be protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act even though it has been delisted under the Endangered Species Act. This law, originally passed in 1940, provides for the protection of the bald eagle and the golden eagle (as amended in 1962) by prohibiting the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit Bald Eagle sitting in tree(16 U.S.C. 668(a); 50 CFR 22). “Take” includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb (16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3). The 1972 amendments increased civil penalties for violating provisions of the Act to a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction. Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment. The fine doubles for an organization. Rewards are provided for information leading to arrest and conviction for violation of the Act.


Go here for more information about the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and permits issued under that Act.


Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a Federal law that carries out the United States’ commitment to four international conventions with Canada, Japan, Mexico and Russia. Those conventions protect birds that migrate across international borders.


The take of all migratory birds, including bald eagles, is governed by the Migratory Birds Treaty Act’s regulations. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) prohibits the taking, killing, possession, transportation, and importation of migratory birds, their eggs, parts, and nests except as authorized under a valid permit (50 CFR 21.11). Additionally, the MBTA authorizes and directs the Secretary of the Interior to determine if, and by what means, the take of migratory birds should be allowed and to adopt suitable regulations permitting and governing take (for example, hunting seasons for ducks and geese).


Penalties under the MBTA include a maximum of two years imprisonment and $250,000 fine for a felony conviction and six months imprisonment or $5,000 fine for a misdemenor conviction. Fines double if the violator is an organization rather than an individual.


The MBTA and its implementing regulations provide authority for the conservation of bald eagles and protect against take if the Endangered Species Act protections are removed.


Lacey Act

The Lacy Act was passed in 1900, and protects bald eagles by making it a Federal offense to take, possess, transport, sell, import, or export their nests, eggs and parts that are taken in violation of any state, tribal or U.S. law. It also prohibits false records, labels, or identification of wildlife shipped, prohibits importation of injurious species and prohibits shipment of fish or wildlife in an inhumane manner. Penalties include a maximum of five years and $250,000 fine for felony convictions and a maximum $10,000 fine for civil violations and $250 for marking violations. Fines double for organizations. Rewards are provided for information leading to arrest and conviction. violation of the Act. For more information on the Lacey Act






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In Texas, two types of laws protect animals from cruelty: civil laws and criminal laws. The laws are similar but differ in the penalties they impose.

In a civil case, if a judge rules that a person or people have been cruel to animals, the judge may take away their animals and/or order them to pay restitution.

If prosecuted in a criminal case, a person may face penalties including fines, jail or both. Those under the age of 18 are also required to undergo counseling if convicted of animal cruelty.

Texas criminal laws only apply to domesticated animals, such as house pets and livestock defined as “domesticated living creature(s) or any wild living creature previously captured” and subject to a person’s care and control. The scope of civil laws are broader and do not differentiate between domestic and wild animals; however, civil statutes adopt a much narrower definition of what constitutes cruelty. Therefore, people could engage in actions that are not prosecutable under Texas criminal laws, but they would be held liable for their actions under civil laws.

Section 42.09 “Cruelty to Livestock Animals” and 42.092 “Cruelty of Non-Livestock Animals” of the Texas Penal Code prohibits a person from intentionally, knowingly or recklesly cruelly treating an animal. The following actions define cruel punishment:

  1. Torturing an animal
  2. Failing to provide food, care or shelter
  3. Abandoning an animal
  4. Transporting or confining an animal in a cruel manner
  5. Killing, seriously injuring or poisoning an animal
  6. Causing an animal to fight with another
  7. Using a live animal as a lure in a dog race
  8. Tripping a horse
  9. Injuring an animal belonging to another person
  10. Seriously overworking an animal.

House Bill 653 and Senate Bill 1724, commonly known as “Loco’s Law,” went into effect September 1, 2001, making animal cruelty a felony and punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to two years in jail. The law was named for a puppy called Loco, whose eyes were intentionally gouged out. Prior to Loco’s Law, animal cruelty was not considered a felony under Texas law. Today, animal cruelty convictions are classified as either a felony or misdemeanor.

Compared to other states, Texas’ animal cruelty statutes are very narrow in scope because they exclude certain types of animals—including circus animals, wild animals and animals used in experiments—from protection from animal cruelty laws.

Additionally, section 42.10 of the Texas Penal Code prohibits dog fighting, and also deems offensive such activities as attending a dog fight as a spectator, or participating in the earnings or operation of a dog fighting facility.

Cockfighting is a crime in Texas, where it is a felony, punishable by two years in a state jail and/or a $10,000 fine. Since 2002, a federal law has prohibited any interstate or foreign transport of fighting animals.

Sources:,, Texas Health and Safety Code 821.001


PETA Stoops To All-Time New Low in Manipulative Fake Animal Abuse Video


PETA Stoops To All-Time New Low in Manipulative Fake Animal Abuse Video

It appears PETA has hit a groundbreaking new low. . . Wait until you hear this.

The animals-rights group released a disturbing video recently that illustrates a cat being beaten by its owner. Don’t worry, the video is totally fake and is actually CGI meant to deceive any viewers that might watch it.

The real disgusting part here, is PETA has been going around to various media outlets – such as Mashable – trying to convince them to cover the video and, you know, just forget to mention that the video isn’t real. In other words, they hoped to falsely manufacture an avalanche of backlash and deceive thousands of people all to the benefit of their organization.

As a hunter and an animal lover, this is just backwards thinking that seems impossible to comprehend. We are not going to embed the video due to legal concerns and because it’s terribly disturbing, but here’s a screenshot from the video that shows how realistic it appears:

(You can view the video here, but caution, some people might find it disturbing)


Federal Legislation and Regulation

Federal Legislation and Regulation

At Farm Sanctuary, we spend our lives with farm animals, and we know them as individuals. We would no more eat a chicken or a pig than we would eat a kitten or a puppy. However, we also recognize that legislation and regulation can lessen the suffering of millions — or even billions — of animals with one new law or regulation.

Follow the “take action now” links below for more information on each bill or regulation and appropriate contact information.


A downed hog at a slaughterhouse

Undercover investigations show pigs and other farm animals, who are sick or disabled by the cruelty of factory farming, being beaten, dragged by their ears or tails, pushed with forklifts, and shocked with electric prods to get them onto the kill floor so they can be slaughtered for profit.

When President Obama took office, he announced a rule banning the slaughter of adult cattle who are too sick or injured to walk. But this victory left other farm animals unprotected. Farm Sanctuary responded with a regulatory petition to the USDA to extend the rule to all livestock, including pigs. Unfortunately, our petition was temporarily rejected. But we are not giving up this fight, and we have rallied a coalition of eight national animal protection groups to demand an end to the slaughter of the hundreds of thousands of crippled pigs who arrive for slaughter every year.

Take action now to stop the slaughter of sick and injured pigs.



Despite the fact that chickens and turkeys comprise more than 98 percent of all slaughtered animals in the United States, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has refused to create legal requirements that eliminate the worst abuses of birds at slaughter.

Consequently, birds are routinely and horrifically abused. It is perfectly legal for slaughter plants to take animals with broken wings or legs and subject them to the full and agonizing slaughter process. As discussed in this front page story from The Washington Post, every year, roughly million of these poor animals are literally boiled alive.

Farm Sanctuary and the Animal Welfare Institute have filed a legal petition with the USDA, calling on the agency to create regulations that will stop the slaughter of sick and injured animals, among other protections. You can read our full petition here, along with an article about our petition.

Then, please contact the USDA and ask them to act on our petition by creating poultry regulations to stop some of the worst abuses, including a ban the slaughter of animals with broken wings or legs.


pigs in factory farmFarm animals receive far more antibiotics than humans do in the United States, both to keep animals alive in conditions so filthy and disease-promoting that they would die in massive numbers without the drugs and also to make them grow more quickly.  The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), would stop the use of antibiotics that are also used in human medicine.

Take action now to say no to antibiotics for farm animals.



Horse slaughter is fraught with terror, pain, and suffering. The battle over horse slaughter in the United States has resulted in thousands of horses being shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. Bi-partisan legislation would shut down the trade in horses once and for all.

Take action now to stop horse slaughter.



House of Horrors — with your tax dollars. Please take action!

On January 20, 2015 the New York Times broke the story of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska, which is tormenting animals—with more than $22 million in taxpayer dollars for 2014.

At this lab, workers without medical or veterinary degrees are chopping open animals, “sometimes doing two or more major surgical operations on the same animal.”

And to repeat: Not a single one of these workers has a medical or veterinary degree.

The facts and anecdotes uncovered by the Times are gut-wrenching.

For example, a former worker tells of a pig who was “thrashing and gagging” as another worker tried to extract lung tissue from her. The worker doing the operation, “seemed to be getting some kind of enjoyment out of this thing, talking and shouting at the animal, ‘How do you like that, pig?’”

Please contact your Senators and Representative in Washington to ask that they demand that this lab be shut down.

NADR Update

NADR Update
Hello Fellow NADR Member,

For your information, we have attached a copy of a PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION entered by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas last Friday pertaining to DNA Solutions, Inc. This is a federal court order. The order prohibits DNA Solutions, Inc., its officers, agents, representative, employees and successors, and all other persons in active concert and participation with it, as follows:

It is therefore ORDERED that Plaintiff North American Deer Registry, Inc.’ Application for Preliminary Injunction (Dkt. #17) is herebyGRANTED.

It is further ORDERED that DNA Solutions, Inc., its officers, agents, representative, employees and successors, and all other persons in active concert and participation with it, are hereby enjoined from engaging in the following acts:

a) DNAS shall not use, offer to use, alter, delete, modify, disclose, or permit access to the Registry, the Biological Materials, Genetic Information, Genotype Analysis Data, Registration Data, Membership Directory, or any other information provided by NADR or its members to DNAS or any copy of the same (electronic, paper, or otherwise) or information derived from such information for any purpose.

b) DNAS shall not use, offer to use, or disclose to any other entity or individual any of the content of the Registry or any other information it gained form NADR and/or NADR members in the performance of any of its prior dealings with NADR (“Confidential Information”), until further order of the Court. Such Confidential Information shall include, but not be limited to, the identity and contact information of persons and organizations who previously did business with DNAS under agreements with NADR.

c) DNAS shall not represent in commerce that it owns or has the right to disclose or access or offer access for commercial purposes, a database containing deer genetic profiles if any of such deer genetic profiles contained therein were provided by NADR, or  member of NADR.

d) DNAS shall not use the information maintained in the Registry, Biological Materials, Genetic Information, Genotype Analysis Data, Registration Data, Membership Directory, or any other information provided by NADR or its members to DNAS to build or operate a registry.

Please notify us at NADR immediately if you are contacted by DNA Solutions, or anyone acting on its behalf, or if you are aware that DNA Solutions is continuing to offer or allow comparisons to the genetic information and analysis included and previously included in the NADR Registry.

We are looking forward to a great summer 2017 as we continue to improve and expand the genetic markers and related analysis associated with the samples you entrust to NADR.   Thank you for your continuing support of the NADR Registry.     

Best Regards,

Ray Burdette
North American Deer Registry
(405) 513-7228

Deer Breeders Corp. | 972.289.3100 | |

Animal welfare and animal rights are very different beasts

Animal welfare and animal rights are very different beasts

Looking out for each other. EPA/Zoological Society of London

More than 20 years ago, the university department where I was doing my PhD was fire bombed by animal rights activists. At the time, I was conducting research into animal welfare, as were many of the staff in my department. I found it hard to understand why a research department whose main objective was to improve the well-being of animals would be the target for such an attack.

I suspect most people, as I did then, see animal welfare and animal rights as synonyms. In reality, however, they are at opposite ends of the continuum concerning our treatment of animals.

Proponents of animal welfare are interested in questions like: “How can we improve the well-being of zoo animals?” Whereas animal rights supporters ask questions like: “Should we have zoos?”

These are very different questions with diametrically opposed outcomes: the constant improvement of zoos or their closing down. Both could be argued to improve animal well-being, but one is highly pragmatic, whereas the other is philosophical.

Cost-benefit analysis

Accepting and working with the status quo that animals are used for important research or housed in zoos for conservation purposes, my job as an animal welfare scientist is to maximise their well-being in these situations. Much of my work is based on the ideas of the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham who famously said of animals and their well-being:

The question is not: ‘Can they reason?’ Nor: ‘Can they talk?’ But: ‘Can they suffer?’

Bentham, importantly, put the focus on the practical question of suffering, moving the debate away from human-animal comparisons, and brought in the concept of a cost-benefit analysis.

Human activities affect the well-being of animals to different degrees and society uses Bentham’s cost-benefit analysis to determine whether what we are doing is acceptable. For example, treatments for diabetes were developed on animals in laboratories. These, animals paid the cost with theirs lives and, consequently, hundreds of millions of people, presently, benefit from a treatment for a terrible disease. This cost-benefit analysis is enshrined in many laws relating to animal welfare.

The role of animal welfare scientists is, on a practical level, to improve animal well-being. On a philosophical level, it accepts some of the ways that human activity impinges on the well-being of animals and works to minimise their cost and maximise the benefits to them.

From this perspective, it can be argued that animal welfare research justifies the continued use of animals by humans, be it for research, for food or in zoos. The support for the continued use of animals for scientific purposes is a particular cause of conflict with animal rights activists – hence why my university department was fire bombed.

Human concerns

I believe we should do our utmost to improve constantly the conditions of animals affected by human activities. Like animal rights advocates, my concern is to improve the lot of animals. But, while their approach is to abolish the use of animals, my approach is to work with animal industries. We take a pragmatic stance that it is impossible for modern society to function without using animals – be it for food or for medical research.

Most people I suspect have sympathy for the welfare and rights approach, depending on the issue at hand. I, for example, would not support research to improve the wellbeing of whales being hunted for scientific or other purposes. There is, in my opinion, no humane way to kill whales and I disagree with exploiting highly sentient animals when the capacity to suffer seems to be linked to cognitive abilities.

But I have to admit when the use of animals affects my life directly then I am more likely to support an animal welfare approach. In the past few years, several members of my family have had life-threatening conditions and all have survived due to medical care based on research using animals. Therefore my interest in this subject derives from what John Stuart Mills called “enlightened self-interest” – that is, we have a moral obligation to take care of the animals who improve our well-being.

Just like voting for a political party, before you pin your flag to one cause or another be sure you understand the implication of your choice and that you are prepared to live with it. This might be animals being held in imperfect conditions, but conditions that are improving, or a world without zoos and limited medical advances.

Animal Rights and Feminist Theory

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Texas Parks & Wildlife tightens rules on deer breeders

Texas Parks & Wildlife tightens rules on deer breeders

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted new rules Monday to combat a disease found in deer, but the new rules could put a strain on many of the state’s 1,300 deer breeding businesses.

The commission’s vote came after months of discussions with interested groups, including breeders, ranch owners who sell hunting leases, environmental groups and livestock organizations.

The purpose for new regulations is to address how the state is going to deal with chronic wasting disease. The neurological condition — which affects deer, elk and maybe moose, but not humans — can cause weight loss, behavioral changes, brain lesions, excessive salivation, pneumonia, difficulty swallowing and head tremors.

It was discovered last year at a breeding facility in Medina County, near San Antonio.

With the commission’s unanimous vote on Monday, deer breeders will have to comply with increased regulation. There will be limited movement of breeder deer across the state, increased postmortem testing for chronic wasting disease and more live testing for the disease, too.

Deer breeding opponent Jenny Sanders, who is executive director of Texans for Saving our Hunting Heritage, called the commission vote a win.

Sanders, who also has served a manager on the 11,300-acre Temple Ranch near Freer in South Texas, said chronic wasting disease as a major threat to white-tailed deer in Texas and to the multibillion-dollar hunting industry. The state had the responsibility to protect the state’s 4 million white-tailed deer, she said.

Not everyone agreed with Sanders and the commissioners.

Particularly frustrated were few dozen members of Texas’ biggest deer breeding group, who walked out of a meeting before the vote even occurred.

Breeders involved with the Texas Deer Association said they believed the members of the commission had come to the meeting with their minds made up.

Marty Berry, a breeder from i want to buy flagyl South Texas, said he felt like the commissioners didn’t care to hear from breeders.

“Nothing else can be accomplished at this level, “ he said.

Hugo Berlanga, a former member of the Texas House from Corpus Christi and owner of a deer breeding business, said the breeding industry in Texas is already on “life support.” The new regulations will come with high costs and will force some breeding operations of out business, he said.

“They have done so much damage to breeders,” he said.

Berlanga said the process was rigged to the benefit of large ranch owners who fear competition from smaller businesses that are often close to metro areas.

“It’s a bunch of elitists. I can’t explain it any simpler than that,” said Berlanga, a board member of the Texas Deer Association.

Sanders, whose group’s members include some representatives from major Texas ranches, has rejected the notion that the breeder fight is about large ranch owners trying to eliminate competition from breeders.

Rather, she said in a recent op-ed published in the San Antonio Express News, that “a small group of deer breeders” has “embarked on an effort to undermine” the efforts of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Josh Havens, a spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said the commission has heard testimony from a number of individuals who either represent themselves, organizations and landowners.

“(T)his is a public resource issue, and the commission will make their decision based on science and what is in the best interest of the states wildlife and hunting heritage,” Havens wrote in a text message.

Berry, the South Texas breeder, said his and other breeders’ fight won’t end with the commission vote.

An already-filed lawsuit is going to be part of the answer, he said.

“That’s going to be the next step before the Legislature,” he said.

New CWD Case Discovered at Fifth Deer Breeding Facility

New CWD Case Discovered at Fifth Deer Breeding Facility

New CWD Case Discovered at Fifth Deer Breeding Facility


Officials have confirmed a new case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a captive white-tailed deer at another breeding facility in Medina County. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) are conducting an investigation into this new case. The case comes from a 3½-year-old buck that underwent a live test rectal biopsy for CWD conducted in March by the deer breeder.

Tissue samples revealed the presence of CWD during testing at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in College Station. The lab notified TAHC and TPWD of a suspected positive on May 1. Officials submitted the samples to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, which validated the suspect findings on May 9. TAHC and TPWD are working with the breeder to develop a CWD herd plan.

The facility is in the immediate vicinity of two positive deer breeding facilities/release sites and one low fence ranch where CWD was detected in a free-ranging deer. The latest discovery marks the 50th confirmed positive case of CWD in Texas since 2012.—courtesy TPWD

Exotic Wildlife Association
“Promoting Conservation through Commerce”
 Important News for Our Deer Industry (Microchip Bills)!

Deer breeders would like to be able to use microchips as an alternative form of identifying their breeder deer under TPWD permit system.  HB 2855 was filed for this purpose by amending the TPWD code to allow identifying breeder deer with microchips recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a unique alphanumeric number. The bill required the breeder that uses microchips to make available a microchip reader for the use by TPWD and TAHC personnel.

HB 2588 by Paddie authorizes TPWD to make regulations regarding the use of microchips. If the bill passes it would become in effect on September 1, 2017. The bill passed the House Culture, Recreation, and Tourism committee and awaits to be placed on House Calendar for a vote. Its companion in the senate, SB 1720 by Sen. Estes will be heard on May 8 in the Senate Agriculture, Water, and Rural Affairs Committee.

Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025

Exotic Wildlife Association NEWS ALERT

Exotic Wildlife Association
“Promoting Conservation through Commerce”
Legislative Newsletter
Animal Cruelty
HB 748 by Farrar authorizing a municipality with over 700,000 people to impose on a person charged with animal cruelty to pay all costs and attorney fees. The bill is pending in committee. EWA opposes the bill. Passed out of committee and is set on House Calendar
HB 749 by Farrar would develop an animal abuser database similar to a sexual abuser database, was supposed to be heard March 20, but was withdrawn. EWA opposes the bill. EWA Opposes the bill. Still pending in committee.
SB 16 by Nichols would have eliminated all fees for applying or renewing the license to carry a handgun. However, due to the high fiscal note in such a hard fiscal year, the CSSB 16 has been amended to reduce all the fees to $40. EWA supports the bill. Passed the House.
SB 263 By Perry relating to the handgun removing the caliber requirement to obtain or renew a license to carry a handgun. EWA supports the bill. The bill awaits hearing in the House.
Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025