Commitment to Gulf Continues with Oil Spill Assessment

By on June 10, 2010 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The biggest news in the Gulf is the tragedy unfolding with the largest oil spill in our nation’s history. Oil is still spewing from the Deepwater Horizon well and there’s no end in sight. The HSUS has assembled an expert team to assess the spill’s impact on birds, marine mammals and other wildlife and we’ll be working to identify any gaps that exist in the current response and to prepare for the long-term effects of this cataclysm.

Brown pelican
Kathy Milani/The HSUS

In the past years, two issues that have dominated our work in Louisiana were the response to Hurricane Katrina and our efforts to make cockfighting illegal. We continue to work to rebuild and to build anew the state’s humane infrastructure, including a major low-cost spay/neuter campaign to deal with the chronic problem of pet overpopulation in the Gulf region. In 2007, The HSUS succeeded in passing legislation to outlaw cockfighting, making Louisiana the 50th and final state to ban this barbaric practice. And yesterday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a second anti-cockfighting measure into law—this one making it a crime to be a spectator at cockfights. We are grateful to Sen. Danny Martiny and Rep. Ernest Wooton for leading the fight to pass this latest anti-cockfighting legislation. It's truly amazing to see how the politics have changed on this issue in just the last few years, thanks to our efforts.

Both our Katrina response and our anti-cockfighting campaign show that we’re not only effective but capable of sustaining our efforts over the long haul. I presume we’ll need both capabilities as we confront the current disaster in the Gulf. We’ve already delivered 12.5 tons of pet food, generously donated by Mars Petcare, Inc. and The Humane Choice Company, to be distributed to Gulf residents who, with their livelihoods disrupted by the oil spill, are finding they can no longer afford to care for their animal companions (see video of the delivery).

Our assessment team, arriving tomorrow, consists of Debra Parsons-Drake, The HSUS, senior director, Animal Care Centers; Laura Bevan, The HSUS, regional director; Sharon Young, The HSUS, Marine Mammal Issues; Barry Kellogg, Humane Society International, veterinary medical doctor; Jim Reed, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, habitat biologist; Lynn Miller, International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, expert in oiled wildlife (bird) impacts; and Ed Clark, Wildlife Center of Virginia, Clinical Wildlife Health Initiative.

Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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