Monday, October 24, 2011

Killing Sea Lions, Dolphins, Horses. Horse Soring and Ulcers. Report Poaching!

It's "Mammal Monday":

THE OREGONIANA sea lion with a salmon in the Columbia River.

"Oregon, Washington and Idaho have now received permission to start shooting sea lions in the Columbia River. Sea lions, lazing in the sun, scratching their heads with their hand-like back flippers, will now be in the crosshairs. They can be shot at Bonneville Dam, at Astoria or at any other place in the river or along the coast that is not a breeding colony.

The crime that merits this death sentence? Eating fish.

About 25 percent of the spring salmon migrating in the Columbia are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Because salmon are expected to return in record high numbers to the Columbia this spring, up to 13 percent of these ESA-listed fish can die as a result of human anglers - while sea lions will eat less than 4 percent.

Recent government documents acknowledge that predation by sea lions is fairly stable at about 4,000 fish. This is not true for the pressure on fish from fishermen lining the banks and plying the river with their nets. Washington and Oregon allow the percentage of mortality to the listed fish to increase when the run is larger. Rather than capping the kill at a specific, and low, level and allowing more fish to escape to spawn in years with a higher run size, fishermen are allowed to kill more -- up to 17 percent, depending on the size of the run.

If we are to save the fish, we must address the real problems facing the fish, not just address the frustration of fishermen who want the fish for themselves. Salmon recovery is hindered by a number of factors.

Foremost is the inability of the fish to successfully navigate their traditional spawning rivers: dams block passage, water is taken from their rivers and pristine habitats are degraded. While they are in the ocean, they are caught in commercial fisheries. As they spawn in the spring, fishermen await them.

A government biological assessment lists the top two factors limiting recovery as poor survival of the out-migrating juvenile salmon and fish hatchery practices. Neither of these is addressed by killing sea lions, whose predation was among the least of the factors considered in the government's assessment.

It may be frustrating for anglers to watch a sea lion catch a salmon for which they were fishing. But sea lions and salmon have been in a natural cycle for decades. Salmon and other fish migrate in runs as a strategy for "swamping" their predators to assure that enough get through to survive. However, the fish can't adapt to survive the impediments that humans put in their path.

Soon the quiet of the Columbia may be disturbed by the sound of gunshots. Soon a walk along its banks may reveal a dead or injured sea lion.

Killing sea lions will not save the salmon from further decline, it will just kill sea lions."

Save The Dolphin-Safe Tuna Label!

A recent ruling by the WTO has put dolphins in the line of fire of inhumane fishing methods. Take action!
Save The Dolphin-Safe Tuna Label!
Sponsored by: The Animal Rescue Site

"Dolphin-safe tuna may not be so "dolphin-safe" anymore. Recently the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the dolphin-safe tuna label may be interfering with Mexico's tuna production. The dolphin-safe label implies the tuna isn't caught using methods that can seriously injure or kill dolphins — methods that are banned in US waters but still practiced in Mexico.

Mexico claims it cannot afford to operate strictly under the dolphin-safe classification, and therefore the US standards for tuna shouldn't be as confining as they are. The WTO's ruling means that dolphins are in danger of being wounded or killed simply for higher profits in the tuna fishing industry.

We can't sacrifice the survival of these highly intelligent and inspiring animals merely to broaden trade options. Contact the WTO and ask them to reinstate the validity of the dolphin-safe tuna label."

It's simply absurd that the WTO would sacrifice the safety of a magnificent creature for the advancement of trade.

End Horse Slaughter.

"Each year, tens of thousands of American horses—riding horses, carriage horses, race horses, wild horses, and children’s ponies—are inhumanely transported and slaughtered, their meat shipped to places like France, Italy, and Japan for human consumption. Help us end horse slaughter
Purchased by slaughterhouse middlemen at auction, horses are shipped long distances in cramped trailers without food, water, or rest. The majority of these horses are young, healthy animals who could go on to lead productive lives with loving owners.

We have made ending the slaughter of America's horses for human consumption one of our top priorities.
The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act will ban the barbaric slaughter of American horses for human consumption, including the export of live horses across our borders for slaughter." From:
"Every year, approximately 100,000 American horses are crammed onto trailers and shipped across U.S. borders into Canada and Mexico, where they are slaughtered with inhumane methods, and then shipped overseas to wind up on plates in Europe and Asia where horsemeat is considered a delicacy." See:

From Me:  When the US closed down the slaughter houses here, it just opened the door to cruelly shipping the live animals to other countries for inhumane slaughter. 
Many of these former pets suffer terribly, physically and emotionally, and die on the way.
IF they have to be slaughtered, surely it would be better to have it done humanely in the US, where it could be better regulated?  What were they thinking?

This Brutal Horse Practice was Outlawed Decades Ago - Why Hasn't it Stopped?

'Soring' – A Benign Term for a Cruel Practice

Soring, in a nutshell, is deliberately hurting a horse to change his gait.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, APHIS describes it this way in the Horse Protection Act:
Soring is a cruel and abusive practice used to accentuate a horse's gait. It may be accomplished by irritating or blistering a horse's forelegs through the application of chemicals such as mustard oil or the use of mechanical devices.

Walking horses are known for possessing a naturally high gait, but in order to be successful in competition their natural gait is often exaggerated. The exaggerated gait can be achieved with proper training and considerable time, however, some horse exhibitors, owners, and trainers have chosen to use improper and inhumane training methods to shorten the time it would take to produce a higher gait without abusive practices.

There are many methods of soring, and some have been held as closely guarded secrets through generations of horse owners and trainers.       Among the more common tactics:

Applying caustic chemicals like diesel fuel and kerosene on the horse's pasterns, wrapping the legs in plastic, then adding leg wraps over the plastic so the acid burns into the animal's flesh.

Injecting harmful chemicals or drugs into the pasterns.

'Pressure shoeing,' which involves putting an object like a screw, a bolt or even one half of a golf ball against the soles of a horse's front hooves, then shoeing the animal. An alternate method involves cutting the hoof wall and sole down to the quick, then shoeing over the raw surface.

As a sore horse puts weight on a front leg he feels intense pain, and he pulls his foot up quickly, giving the effect of extraordinary lift in the front. Once he realizes both front feet are painful, he tries to shift his weight to the rear. The resulting gait is known in some circles as the 'praying mantis crawl.'

Causes and Treatment of Gastric Ulcers in Horses

"Modern-day living is contributing to an epidemic of GI diseases in horses.
Lack of pasture grazing, standing in stalls all day, inconsistent exercise programs and NSAID drugs are the major contributors to equine ulcers.

Healing a horse with gastric ulcers requires a combination of drug therapy and lifestyle modification.

Modern-day horses suffer from an assortment of gastrointestinal problems. One of the most common is gastric ulcers.

Known as equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) or equine gastric ulcer disease (EGUD), it is estimated a third of all adult horses, half of all foals, 60 percent of show horses and up to 90 percent of racehorses will develop the condition.

Equine experts believe much of the GI tract dysfunction in today's horses is attributable to a lack of pastures to graze, too much time spent standing in stalls, intermittent intensive training programs, and in some cases, chronic use of certain medications.

Horses Are Built to Graze the Day Away

A gastric ulcer is an injury to the lining of the stomach caused by acid.

In people, ulcers have been linked to Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Most of the acid humans produce is during consumption of food.
The stomachs of horses, however, produce acid even when no food is present, and for the most part nature has designed things such that the stomach can handle all that acid. The top portion of a horse's stomach, called the esophageal region, is the non-glandular portion with a lining similar to the esophagus. This section of the stomach has limited protection against acid.
The bottom or glandular portion of the stomach has a lining similar to that of a human's, and is equipped to withstand a high level of acid.
A horse's natural grazing activity provides protection from ulcers. When she's able to graze all day, the fiber she consumes soaks up much of the digestive acid being produced, which keeps the level in the stomach manageable.
The saliva a horse produces while grazing also neutralizes stomach acid. The roughage consumed during grazing requires a lot of chewing, which generates more saliva.
So the acid that builds up in a horse's stomach is managed by how often she eats. When she's not eating, it can rise to a harmful level. This provides insight into how important grazing seems to be to the health of horses."       
More at:

Poaching is a deadly crime against wildlife.

"Wildlife officials say that legal hunters kill tens of millions of animals every year. For each of those animals, another is killed illegally, perhaps on closed land or out of season, leaving orphaned young to starve. Few poachers are caught or punished.

Poachers may also kill endangered species or use illegal weapons.

Why do they do this? For many, profit is the motive. Bear gall bladders get top dollar for Chinese herbal remedies, and big-horned sheep antlers can fetch $20,000 on the black market. Some poachers just love killing animals, or want a trophy.

Let's stop this war on wildlife.    Going hiking or bird watching?
Know your state's wildlife regulations and hunting seasons so you can identify violations.
If you see suspicious activity, don't confront anyone.
Get a description of the poacher, the vehicle and the surrounding area."
Call your state wildlife department immediately [PDF].
More at:

Oct 24, 1901:

First barrel ride down Niagara Falls

"On this day in 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

After her husband died in the Civil War, the New York-born Taylor moved all over the U. S. before settling in Bay City, Michigan, around 1898. In July 1901, while reading an article about the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, she learned of the growing popularity of two enormous waterfalls located on the border of upstate New York and Canada. Strapped for cash and seeking fame, Taylor came up with the perfect attention-getting stunt: She would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Knocked violently from side to side by the rapids and then propelled over the edge of Horseshoe Falls, Taylor reached the shore alive, if a bit battered, around 20 minutes after her journey began. After a brief flurry of photo-ops and speaking engagements, Taylor's fame cooled, and she was unable to make the fortune for which she had hoped. She did, however, inspire a number of copy-cat daredevils."


We had a teaser rain in the early morning, probably didn't even wet a rain gauge!
Ray and I put the trim back on the bottom rear of the cargo trailer.   He also touched up some places inside, as the new can of paint was slightly different from the old can.
Should have some pictures today.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Always enjoy your blog, keep up the good work.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Oh! I thank you very much, Dick.

That is encouraging, as I do spend quite a bit of time putting it together each day.

Happy Tails, and Trails, Penny