Mexico’s Chihuahua state along U.S. border bans dogfighting

By on February 16, 2018 with 0 Comments

In just two short years since its founding, our Humane Society International/Mexico office has made its mark in the protection of animals. Last year, when Mexico was hit by two earthquakes, team members deployed to hard-hit areas, bringing relief to more than 6,200 animals. We have conducted an investigation into the sale of horse meat as beef at butchers’ stores and markets. We have stopped the cruel Kots Kaal Pato festival where ducks and geese were strung up like pinatas and beaten to death, and we are working to stop “tournaments” in Yucatan where horses are gored and eviscerated by bulls. We have also won several significant victories for farm animals, including working with food industry leaders in Mexico to get tens of millions of egg-laying hens out of cruel battery cages.

With respect to dogfighting, we have won several key victories at the federal level. Thanks in large part to our efforts, the Mexican federal government in 2016 banned dogfighting and in 2017 adopted felony-level penalties for dogfighting.

This week, we gained another important victory in Chihuahua where the state legislature passed a bill that would transform the state criminal code to impose penalties on any dogfighting-related activities.

This is an important step in the work to end the scourge of dogfighting both in Mexico and in the United States. The state of Chihuahua shares a long border with the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas, and a tough approach to dogfighting in Chihuahua will prevent U.S. dogfighters from trekking into Mexico to stage fights. These people cannot do business as usual anymore in the United States where — thanks to the work done by The HSUS — dogfighting is a felony in every state and also a federal felony. So they go venue shopping to find spots where cruelty is under-regulated or not regulated at all.

Besides the hurt they inflict on dogs, the criminals involved in dogfighting are often implicated in crimes against humans. Police discover drugs, guns, and even evidence of murders committed in connection with these cruel events. In Ciudad Juarez, in 2013, dogfighters were suspected of killing an entire family of eight, including three children, because of unpaid dogfighting debts.

In 2016, soon after the HSI/Mexico office opened, we launched a major anti-dogfighting campaign along with local animal protection organizations. Our work led to Mexico’s House of Representatives, and later its Senate, passing a reform of the federal criminal code, penalizing various activities related to dogfighting, including organizing fights, owning or trading a fighting dog, possessing a property used to hold fights, and attending a fight as a spectator. Last year, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed reforms to ban dogfighting and mandated the federation and states to impose penalties on dogfighters within a one-year timeframe. Dogfighting became a federal offense in Mexico in June 2017.

But while the country’s criminal code now includes dogfighting, it is also important that each state prohibits it in its criminal code, since the states continue to have jurisdiction in some cases (for instance, when dogfighting occurs outside federal facilities or when foreigners or officials are not involved). Chihuahua is the first Mexican state to adopt state-level reforms this year (nine other states already penalize the practice). We are off to a strong start, with the goal of wiping out the scourge of dogfighting entirely in the years to come.

Florida high school shooter bragged about killing animals

By on February 15, 2018 with 29 Comments
Florida high school shooter bragged about killing animals

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, for every family, and for every community that has to endure such suffering and pain. Beyond the shared . . . 

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Bills in Iowa would force grocery stores to sell eggs from caged hens

By on February 13, 2018 with 6 Comments
Bills in Iowa would force grocery stores to sell eggs from caged hens

The HSUS works year-round to secure the passage of animal protection bills in state legislatures, and to block bad ones advanced by lobbyists for Big Ag. Some lawmakers in Iowa have recently introduced two retrograde bills that seek to reverse the good work done by animal protection advocates in improving conditions for hens in battery . . . 

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As world watches Pyeongchang, HSI focuses attention on Korea’s grisly dog meat trade

By on February 12, 2018 with 3 Comments
As world watches Pyeongchang, HSI focuses attention on Korea’s grisly dog meat trade

By Kitty Block A new generation of heroes has emerged in South Korea, and they are my friends and colleagues. This 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 . . . 

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Making progress for animals: a message from HSUS’ acting president and CEO

By on February 9, 2018 with 9 Comments
Making progress for animals: a message from HSUS’ acting president and CEO

By Kitty Block Today, as the Winter Games begin in Pyeongchang, my colleagues in Humane Society International are on the ground in South Korea, extending their important work against the dog meat trade. Three years ago, The HSUS and HSI embarked on an important campaign in that nation, the only one in the world where . . . 

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Taking on a Mexican spectacle of cruelty

By on February 1, 2018 with 7 Comments
Taking on a Mexican spectacle of cruelty

It is almost unfathomably monstrous, and it is repeated around the year, year after year, in the municipalities of Yucatan, Mexico. Men riding bulls goad the animals to chase horses in arenas. The bulls charge at the horses, injuring and eviscerating them. The horses, their guts hanging loose, die a slow and painful death even . . . 

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Thousands of commercial deer farms in U.S. are looming danger for wildlife and even people

By on January 31, 2018 with 5 Comments
Thousands of commercial deer farms in U.S. are looming danger for wildlife and even people

In Montana, hunters are fanning out across two large swaths of land in the state to shoot deer to be tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The disease was detected for the first time in wild deer populations in Montana last fall, marking the steady advance of CWD into vast tracts of land throughout the . . . 

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Breaking news: President Trump confirms he’ll ban elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia

By on January 28, 2018 with 14 Comments
Breaking news: President Trump confirms he’ll ban elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia

President Trump has confirmed, in an interview airing Sunday night with the British journalist and animal advocate Piers Morgan, that he has directed his administration to ban the import of hunting trophies from African elephants and other rare wildlife from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Trump’s commitment, the best single action he’s taken on animal welfare during . . . 

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Indonesia’s dog meat markets exposed in stomach-churning way

By on January 25, 2018 with 15 Comments
Indonesia’s dog meat markets exposed in stomach-churning way

It’s a video that’s almost impossible to watch, even for those of us who’ve gritted their teeth and endured hundreds of videos through the years that put some malevolent form of animal cruelty on a computer screen or television. The Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition, which includes Humane Society International, gathered this latest horrific evidence . . . 

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Federal food stamp program should, in a SNAP, allow pet food purchases

By on January 24, 2018 with 14 Comments
Federal food stamp program should, in a SNAP, allow pet food purchases

A heart-tugging issue has surfaced as lawmakers prepare to dig into details of the Farm Bill, a catchall package of items relating to agriculture and food policy in the United States. Should recipients of food stamps be allowed to purchase food for their hungry pets with the finite federal support they receive through the program? . . . 

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