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Posts Tagged ‘animal rights’

Relocating D.C. rats

Posted by Richard on January 16, 2012

In the District of Columbia, pest control companies can no longer kill (unless “no other options are feasible,” whatever that means) various vertebrate pests, including squirrels, skunks, raccoons, and some species of rats and mice. Instead, they must trap the critters alive, preferably in “family units,” and relocate them.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has no compunction about breaking up Mexican “family units,” but rat “family units” in D.C. need to be kept intact. PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk declarated that “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” But it’s long been clear from their actions and pronouncements that the animal rights crowd thinks rats and other non-domesticated creatures deserve more consideration than pigs or dogs, and far more than boys.

The District of Columbia’s Wildlife Protection Act of 2010 (PDF) took effect last year, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli thinks it’s just ridiculous:

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he is worried that a new District of Columbia law that governs how pest control operators must handle rats may result in entire rodent “families” being relocated across the Potomac River into Virginia by D.C. pest control personnel.

Lately, there have been reports of growing rat infestations around the Occupy DC protests at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square.

While the law exempts “commensal rodents”–varieties of which most people know (or have seen) as common rats or house mice–the rice rat and deer mouse, which are found in the District, are not defined as commensal and apparently are not exempt from the law. In addition, the new law expands the definition of wildlife and sets the rules for handling it to include raccoons, squirrels, skunks, and other animals that can carry disease, such as rabies. The law applies to trained animal control officers, not to homeowners.

Personally, I’m all in favor of relocating a bunch of rodent pests out of the District of Columbia, and I’m hoping this November’s election will do just that.

HT: The Westerner, who noted, “First they disarmed the citizen.  Now they disarm pest control.  I predict a thriving black market for rat killin’ in the D.C. area.”

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Happy birthday, Knut!

Posted by Richard on December 5, 2007

Remember Knut, the polar bear cub hand-raised at the Berlin Zoo? Last March, I wrote about how animal-rights activists (who are more accurately described as anti-human activists) thought Knut should be killed rather than reared by humans to become an "inauthentic" polar bear.

Knut is one year old today, and they had a big celebration at the Berlin Zoo:

It's amazing how time flies. It seems like just yesterday that he was melting hearts with his fluffy white fur, cuddling with his keeper and posing for photos with other hot celebs like Leonardo di Caprio.

Now our little Knut is all grown up.

The Berlin Zoo celebrated its star attraction Wednesday with free entry for kids — a small sacrifice, considering that the former powder puff drew in as much as 10 million euros ($14.7 million) by more than doubling ticket sales over the past year. That doesn't count revenue generated by Knut paraphernalia.

According to Spiegel, Knut fans from all over the world came to Berlin for his birthday:

Many at the zoo on Wednesday were locals who have made a habit of regularly dropping by to check up on the polar bear. "When I am feeling bad, I come here to see him and I feel much better afterwards," said Berlin resident Ann Kreiner, 62, who had brought a stocking full of goodies for her ursine friend.

But a good number of Knut disciples were seeing their furry guru for the first time. The Caracas contingent was just one of a number of Knut bloggers who came for the event, all wearing scarves — reading "Dec. 5, Two Thousand and Knut" — so they could find each other. Judy Lydecker, 59, from Winsted, Connecticut, was one of them. She's visiting Berlin for just six days and plans to come to the zoo every day.

The Spiegel story links to two photo galleries, one of Knut today and one of his public debut last March, for those of you who need a cute furry creature fix. If you're really into cute — or Knut — check out the Kute Knut Enclosure, a blog all about Knut. You can sign a birthday card for Knut and find lots of pictures, poetry, and other Knut-related stuff.

Geburtstagsgrüße, Knut! You seem to be a pretty happy polar bear, and I'm glad crazies like Frank Albrecht didn't succeed in having you killed.

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Animal-rights activists want cub killed

Posted by Richard on March 21, 2007

Back in 1994 at the Denver Zoo, a polar bear named Ulu gave birth to twins and promptly rejected them. The cubs were rescued by a zookeeper, put in incubators, and fed with eyedroppers. Klondike and SnowNamed Klondike and Snow, they were the first polar bears successfully hand-raised by humans. People around here went nuts over the adorable little critters, which were a marketer's dream. They gained national attention (including a PBS special), were celebrated in a video and a book, and made the zoo a boat-load of money. When the bears approached adulthood, due to space constraints (and perhaps loss of cuddliness), they were sent to Sea World, a move that caused great consternation locally, complete with petitions and protests.

I remember all the hype, adoration, and frenzy over Klondike and Snow. I don't remember anyone calling for them to be put to death. Not even animal-rights activists. 

Times have changed. Animal-rights activists today would rather see a polar bear die than be raised by humans. In Germany, some say Berlin zookeepers are violating animal-welfare laws by not killing little Knut:

Everyone loves Knut. The three-month-old polar bear born in one of Berlin's zoos has become a star in the German capital and has won hearts the world over. Indeed, the exact date of his first public appearance — likely to be made later this week — is the subject of almost as much anticipation as the details of Britney Spears Alcoholics Anonymous love affair. It's impossible not to love the little guy, right?

Well, not quite. Animal rights activists, as SPIEGEL reported Monday, aren't so enthralled with the polar bear baby. They are concerned that Knut, who is being raised by human hand after his mother rejected him, is in danger of losing touch with the bear necessities. Some would like to see him dead.

"Raising him by hand is not appropriate to the species but rather a blatant violation of animal welfare laws," animal rights activist Frank Albrecht told the mass circulation newspaper Bild, whose front page headline Monday read "Will Sweet Knut Be Killed by Injection?"

Berlin Zoo is allowing Knut to be raised in such a way that the bear will have a behavioral disorder for the rest of his life, Albrecht believes. "In actual fact, the zoo needs to kill the bear cub," he adds.

He's not alone. Wolfram Graf-Rudolf, director of the Aachen Zoo, told the newspaper, "I don't consider it appropriate for the species that the little polar bear is being raised on a bottle." The animal will be fixated on his keeper and not be a "real" polar bear, he says. However he feels it is now too late to put Knut out of his supposed misery. "The mistake has been made. One should have had the courage to put him to sleep much earlier."

Kill Knut because he's not a "real" polar bear? This is the PETA view of animals. Such people argue that animals have "rights" that forbid us from eating them, wearing them, riding them, putting them in zoos or circuses, having them as pets, or benefitting from them in any way whatsoever. Then they turn around and declare an animal worthless and unfit to live because dependence on humans has ruined its animal "purity" and "humanized" it. It's not love of animals that drives such people, it's hatred of humans.

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