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Sportsman Act/Filthy Chicken Rule

Story ID:9878
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Washington D. C. District of Columbia usa
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I often shutter at some of the proposed bills coming out of Congress – especially
relating to animals. Senate Bill 2363, a Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014, was
one such bill which sent chills down my spine. That it was introduced by Democratic
legislator Kay Hagan of N.Carolina also surprised me. I had been receiving requests
for political contributions from her and was sorry I couldn’t help. Now, I am so glad
I didn’t.

And not surprisingly to me, Ohio’s Republican Senator Rob Portman was a co-sponsor.
I have NEVER ever gotten a reply from him re the many, many e-mails I sent him
through petitions- many involving animal and environmental issues. At least our
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown responded to most of mine. However, I am still
waiting for a response from him and Representive Marcy Kaptur regarding the SAFE
Act which would stop the sale of our horses to Mexico and Canada and the horrible
slaughter which follows.

The full title of the Sportsman Bill: A bill to protect and enhance opportunities for
recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting and for other purposes. Provisions:
*The bill would exempt ammunition and fishing tackle that contains LEAD from
being regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act.
*The bill would allow states to issue electronic duck stamps instead of forcing
hunters to wait for physical stamps.
*The bill would provide grants for wetland conservation.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supported the bill saying it “protects the use of
traditional ammunition, allows more flexibility for federal funds to be used to build and
maintain ranges on public lands and ensures access to federal lands for hunting,
shooting, and other outdoor activities.”

Isn’t that nice? They think that hunters should be able to use public lands when- as
I’ve read somewhere, they only make up a small percentage of Americans. What about
the concerns of those of us who see hunting as cruel and unnecessary?

The Animal Welfare Institute opposed the bill and said, “It is an attack on our nation’s
wild animals and habitat.” They also feared the bill would eliminate the Environmental
Protection Agency’s authority to regulate hazardous substances – including lead which
is a dangerous neurotoxin which is released by ammunition and sport fishing waste.

In the process, I learned some civics re this bill as well. It failed CLOTURE in the Senate
on July 10, 2014. And because of this, the bill was provisionally dead due to a failed
vote for cloture. (Cloture is required to move past a Senate filibuster or the threat of
a filibuster and takes a 3/5ths vote. In practice, most bills must pass cloture to move
forward in the senate.)

And today I also happily read a corroborating message from In Defense of Animals-
“The Sportsmen’s Bill (S.2363) has been killed. Huge victory for wildlife and public
lands.” The bill would have been devastating to the protection of wild animals and
public lands. It would also have prioritized hunting, fishing, shooting, and trapping
on public land and even allowed the importation of trophies (body parts) from polar
bears killed by hunters even though they have been listed as threatened since 2008.

Yes, IDA I agree– it is truly a victory for wildlife and public lands. There is nothing
selfish in all of this. The Sportsman bill would I believe have been a selfish endeavor-
for the relatively few Americans who hunt and fish – only for the pleasure of killing
sentient life without need.


It sounds great- the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection Rule” which,
according to the petition I received today is something we need to tell President Obama
and Secretary Vilsack to abandon. How could anyone think that allowing the poultry
companies to inspect their own chicken slaughtering would be a good thing?

Per the Food & Water Watch – “Only Superman would inspect 175 chickens per minute.
Eliminating government inspectors and replacing them with chicken company employees
may save a few dollars, but at too high a price. President Obama is considering final
approval of the “”Filthy Chicken Rule.”

Obama continues to disappoint. When it comes to animal suffering, he seems to have
no heart or concern for them. Even now with USDA inspections – thousands and
thousands of chickens daily go through a horrendous and cruel slaughtering line – some
of them boiled alive in the process. And now he and Vilsack think that USDA inspections
are not needed? What is needed is continued survellience and harsh penalties for
infractions wherever these poor birds suffer at the hands of greedy corporate owners.
What is needed is getting rid of the battery cages from hell so that these poor animals
can have a life. And they are instead considering making even a greater hell for the
chickens with the new proposed Filthy Chicken Rule.

I doubt that Obama looks up to and respects Mohatma Gandhi who said you can judge a
nation by the way it treats its animals. America is no shining example of compassion to
animals- though some nations are considerably worse. Today again I received news that
Spain continues to use spent greyhounds for hunting and they treat them abominably
in the process. It should not come as a surprise. Many animals besides bulls suffer at
their hands.

And of course, South Korea persists in eating dog meat. There are concerns re food hygiene
and the illegal slaughter of canines. Per Lee Yong-ju of the Korean Animal Welfare
Association “Some people argue that if we legalize the industry, it could help improve
(dog) food hygiene. But history shows dogs can’t be raised for food in a rational manner.”
(They are even beaten to death to make their meat more tender.)

China too stubbornly defends its yearly dog meat festival which continues despite protests.
They say “This is our tradition, and we are used to eating dog. It’s (part of) our culture, and
we won’t change...But we won’t kill our pet,” one butcher, who’s been in the trade for 10
years, told CNN.” Should we be impressed with his illogic? All dogs are potential pets –
given the chance.