TAKE ACTION ON ANIMAL ABUSE REGISTRY. URGE NO EXCLUSION OF FARM ANIMALS.
"On September 24, 2010, Billy Joe Gregg, Jr., a worker at Conklin Dairy Farms caught on hidden camera during a Mercy For Animals investigation maliciously abusing cows and calves, pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. Gregg was sentenced to eight months in jail, ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, and is barred from contact with animals for three years. Gregg must also receive counseling through a program that specializes in treating individuals involved in animal abuse cases. Gregg's arrest and conviction stem from chilling undercover footage recorded during a Mercy For Animals investigation earlier this year at Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City, Ohio. During a four-week investigation in April and May, MFA's investigator documented farm workers:
UPDATE! 03/21/13 Our sources advised us that the vote on the Animal Abuse Registry (excluding farm animals) planned for today had been postponed. Legislator McCracken's office also advised one of our sources that they were receiving a lot of calls in favor of keeping farm animals included, and this was causing concern. Previously it was the farmers who were calling the Legislator opposing the inclusion of farm animals.
Erie County Legislator Terrence D. McCracken (D-Lancaster, Depew, South Cheektowaga, Alden) is leading the Democratic Majority in proposing a local law to create an animal abuse registry in Erie County. "The registry would identify individuals in Erie County who have been convicted of an animal abuse crime to prevent those people from adopting, buying or obtaining animals from any animal shelter, pet seller or other person or entity involved in the exchange of animals by adoption, sale or other means,” Legislator McCracken said. “The registry would contain the names, residential addresses, birthdates and facial photos of animal abuse offenders living in Erie County, along with the date of each conviction for an animal abuse crime. The registry will contain this information for five years following the date of conviction or release from incarceration, and any animal abuse offender convicted of a second or subsequent such crime shall be placed on the registry for an additional 10 years.”
But a revised version of the law was recently introduced that excluded farm animals. See laws below.
Revised Version of Law (excludes farm animals)
Original Version of Law (included all animals)
How You Can Take Action
1. Urge both Terrence D. McCracken, Legislator and Robert M. Graber, Clerk to keep farm animals protected under the Animal Abuse Registry legislation and make it the Law to protect farm animals from cruelty and abuse.
By Email: Just cut and paste the following text, personalize it, and email both Terrence D. McCracken, Legislator at Terrence.McCracken@erie.gov and Robert M. Graber, Clerk at graberR@erie.gov. Please be sure to use your own words and feel free to use the Five Talking Points below.
I am writing today as a concerned constituent. Individuals convicted of crimes of abuse or neglect toward farm animals should be listed in the Animal Abuse Registry. These provisions in the Law should apply to all farm animals such as cows, pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens. I urge you to introduce this legislation with no exclusions of farm animals to provide these modest protections.
Thank you for your consideration.
By Phone Call: Contact both Terrence D. McCracken, Legislator at 716-681-3459 and Robert M. Graber, Clerk at 716-858-7500 to urge them to help protect farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect by not excluding them from this Law. Please feel free to use the Five Talking Points below.
2. Send a letter via email to the editor of the Buffalo News about farm animal cruelty, abuse and neglect cases. Use the Talking Points below for ideas on what to say. Go to Guidelines for Everybody's Column for information on how to write a letter.
3. Please share your email to Terrence D. McCracken, Legislator and Robert M. Graber, Clerk with ASHA at tracy@ashasanctuary and also the response you receive. This will help us to understand our community concerns on farmed animal abuse and the issues we face in protecting them. We will use this information to continue to raise awareness on farmed animal cruelty and promote compassion and kindness toward these animals.
Point 1. Local Farm Animal Cruelty and Abuse Cases
Barker, NY (US). Goat neglect, 43 found dead
"The number of dead goats found on property at 500 South St. in the Town of Barker increased over the weekend when five were found covered with hay and lime in a horse trailer and a sixth was found nearby, the Broome County Sheriff's Office reported." (keep reading)
Buffalo, NY (US). Goat decapitated, feet cut off
"5 year old Zack Bennett and his friend were about to go fishing in South Park when they saw an animal with no head and it's feet cut off, and three dimes placed on it's body. At the time they thought it was a dog. 'I don't understand who would do that to like a dog...that's like cruelty that's nasty.' said Bennett." (keep reading)
Cattaraugus County, NY (US). Starved animals in barn reeking of death
"Dozens of animals were removed from a farm in Cattaraugus County and emergency rescuers described it as a case of "Silence of the Lambs" meeting "Little Shop of Horrors." (keep reading) (Farm Sanctuary report)
Go to Pet-Abuse.com for a searchable database of further farm animal cruelty cases and offenders in New York State.
Point 2. Vast Majority of Farm Animals Subjected to a Number of Abuses Legal Under the Law
"The vast majority of the 10 billion land animals raised for human consumption in the United States are subjected to a number of abuses—many of which would be illegal if forced on dogs or cats. Many farm animals are intensively confined in crates, cages, or pens so small they can barely move, while others are overcrowded in filthy, barren sheds. Painful physical mutilations are commonly inflicted on farm animals without any anesthesia, and most farm animals are selectively bred for unnaturally high rates of production which dramatically decreases their well-being."
Point 3. Farm Animals Have Virtually No Protection Under the Law
"From life on a factory farm to death at a slaughter plant, animals raised for meat, eggs, and milk suffer immensely. And, as shocking as it may be, much of the abuse these animals endure is often perfectly legal. There are no federal animal welfare laws regulating the treatment of the billions of 'food animals' while they're on the farm. Further, while all 50 states have cruelty statutes, most explicitly exempt common farming practices, no matter how abusive."
Point 4. Farm Animals Do Not Have to Be Treated Well to Produce
"Animal agribusiness representatives often claim that it's in their own interest to treat animals well, and a common defense of factory farming is that 'only happy animals produce.' While there are some instances where improving animal welfare would also improve the bottom line, unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Says poultry welfare expert Dr. Joy Mench: 'It is now generally agreed that good productivity and health are not necessarily indicators of good welfare...Productivity...is often measured at the level of the unit (e.g. number of eggs or egg mass per hen-housed), and individual animals may be in a comparatively poor state of welfare even though productivity within the unit may be high.'
Farm animal welfare expert Dr. Donald Broom asserts: '[E]fforts to achieve earlier and faster growth, greater production per individual, efficient feed conversion and partitioning, and increased prolificacy are the causes of some of the worst animal welfare problems.'
And, agricultural ethicist Dr. Bernard Rollin states: '[I]n industrial agriculture, this link between productivity and well-being is severed. When productivity as an economic metric is applied to the whole operation, the welfare of the individual animal is ignored.'"
Point 5. Documenting Cases of Animal Abuse Crimes Becoming a Criminal Offense
"Documenting any activity on an animal farming operation my soon be a criminal offense. Last year, because of pressure from the animal agriculture lobby, four states tried to pass bills that would make it illegal to document farm activity without the owner’s consent. Although this legislative effort was defeated in all states, similar bills have cropped up in Florida, New York, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska so far in 2012, and more are expected. These bills are designed to undermine whistleblowers seeking to keep the public informed and to hold the industry accountable to basic levels of food safety and humane standards. These courageous individuals risk their personal safety to go undercover and document the egregious practices inside the closed doors of livestock facilities. But instead of being heralded as heroes, they could soon face criminal prosecution." (keep reading).
Erie County Legislature: http://www2.erie.gov/mccracken/index.php?q=legislator-mccracken-proposes-erie-county-animal-abuse-registry
Humane Society of the United States: http://www.humanesociety.org/forms/ contact_us/farm_animals_contact.html
Animal Legal Defense Fund: http://aldf.org/section.php?id=148