Help for hot-car heroes
Remember last summer, when warnings and signs all over warned people not to leave pets in vehicles? Hot cars, the warnings went, heat up fatally fast, and animals left in them have no way to escape. Occasional media stories about people who broke car windows to free heat-suffering pets led to an unhappy realization: New Jersey offers no protection for the good Samaritans who take such action to save trapped animals.
That was then. Now, help is on the way for animal helpers, says Brian R. Hackett, NJ’s State Director, State Affairs, for the Humane Society of the US (HSUS). He reports that legislation to protect those who rescue an animal from inhumane conditions (A3636) was passed overwhelmingly by the State Assembly, and Senator Ray Lesniak has agreed to post the bill for a committee hearing soon so it can get a Senate vote in December before the end of the session!
Passage would mean that next year those wanting to help animals trapped in hot cars can do so without looking over their shoulders and wondering what price they’ll pay.
“Trillions of Flies Can’t All Be Bad,” the headline read. To which I replied, “Oh yes they can.” Yuk: flies. Where’s that fly-swatter?!
I find no redeeming social value in flies (or ticks or mosquitoes, for that matter), and I don’t care how well-written the story may be about the variety and fascination of these creatures. Thanks to long-time conditioning, when I think of flies, I think of public rest rooms in summer, greenhead flies on the beach and any kind of fly at any time in my kitchen. Where IS that fly-swatter?!
But they’re animals, right? And isn’t this blog about all animals? Sure, but that doesn’t mean I have to like all animals or abandon my belief that “the only good fly is a dead fly.”
Elephants need much more
Protest was quick and loud recently when the Trump administration overturned a 2014 Obama ban on hunters bringing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia into the US. The government ruled that once again, elephant “trophies” – any part of the elephant, including tusks – could once more be brought back from the countries where people can shoot elephants for pleasure. (Yes, there really are such people.)
Then, surprisingly, Trump rolled back the ruling. So, for now, the ban still holds, as does Obama’s near-total ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory. But before we get all excited over this turn-about, it’s important to know that trade in ivory, not trophy hunting, “is driving the catastrophic declines that continue in most elephant populations in Africa,” according to Save the Elephants – the most trustworthy source I know for credible information about elephants.
The best fight to join is stopping the widespread poaching of elephants for their tusks, the crime that fuels the trafficking and trading in ivory around the world. I hope that many others, who love elephants and don't want a world without these great animals living safely, will donate on Tuesday to Save the Elephants via Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) in San Francisco. Donations will be matched up to $175,000. (http://www.savetheelephants.org/new-donate-page-US/)
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