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President Obama’s weekly address hit upon one of the more troubling aspects of our government right now: the total failure of the FDA to keep us, our children, and our pets safe in the knowledge that what is consumed will not harm any of us. He has named a new Commissioner of the Food and Drug Agency, Dr. Margaret Hamburg (go ahead, giggle as I did at her last name being Hamburg(er)–I blame the cold meds I’m taking), and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein (nope, no food-related funny with his last name) as Principal Deputy Commissioner. Obama is also creating a new Food Safety Working Group which ultimately sounds like it will be making sure that the left hand of government agencies involved with food safety know what the right hand is doing–what a concept!
And as an animal welfare advocate I am THRILLED with the short, but oh-so-important sentence President Obama stated, “As part of our commitment to public health, our Agriculture Department is closing a loophole in the system to ensure that diseased cows don’t find their way into the food supply.” Please read Wayne Pacelle’s email sent out this afternoon in response to this fantastic decision. Thank you President Obama, and thank you to everyone who helped put an end to the horribly abusive downer cattle issue!
March 14, 2009
It’s been a long fight, and today, we closed another chapter on it. Since the mid-1990s, The HSUS has been working hard to stop as a matter of public policy the abuse of downer cattle — animals too sick or injured to walk. And today, President Obama himself announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was officially putting a stop to non-ambulatory cattle being mishandled in order to get them into slaughter plants. He made the announcement along with two top selections for the Food and Drug Administration and a series of other statements about food safety.
I invite you to read my blog post for today about the food safety crises and horrifying investigations that led up to today’s announcement.
The length of time we had to persist and what our investigations revealed are sad, but today I celebrate this news. And I hope that it is a harbinger of a far more serious attitude toward food safety and animal welfare from the new Administration. I am personally looking forward to working with Secretary Vilsack — a man of great integrity — on a wide range of issues. And I express my gratitude to him and his team today for his decisive action.
Many of you joined us in demanding change on this issue, so this is your victory as well as the animals’. Thank you for all you do.
P.S. Did you know you can easily subscribe to receive my blog daily by email or RSS? Look for the links to subscribe on the right side of my blog, www.waynepacelle.org. I write daily about pressing issues like farm animal abuse, so it’s a great way to stay in touch.
I thought I had previously reached the highest level of disgust with Michael Vick’s animal cruelty that I could (my previous posts), but after reading an AP story and one on ESPN, detailing portions of a 17-page USDA report released on Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, I’m even more disgusted and sickened than I ever imagined possible. And that’s saying a lot.
Here are some extremely disturbing details:
- A person identified as confidential witness No. 1 said Vick placed pets in the ring against pit bulls owned by “Bad Newz Kennels” at least twice and watched as the pit bulls “caused major injuries.”
- The witness said Vick and co-defendants Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips “thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs.”
- Vick was administered a polygraph test by the FBI in October 2007 and denied taking part in the killing of dogs in mid-April. When told he had failed that part of the test, Vick recanted his story and admitted to helping hang six to eight underperforming dogs.
- The dogs were killed by shooting, hanging, electrocution and drowning, and in at least one instance, according to one of the witnesses, when Vick and Phillips killed a red pit bull by “slamming it to the ground several times before it died, breaking the dog’s back or neck.”
- According to the report, the three men hung the dogs “by placing a nylon cord over a 2 X 4 that was nailed to two trees located next to the big shed. They also drowned approximately three dogs by putting the dogs’ heads in a five gallon bucket of water.”
You need help, Michael Vick, serious help. I only wish all you were ever allowed to lay your hands on again are the pots and pans you’re washing in jail for 12 cents an hour, and never, ever again on any innocent animals. Sick and twisted, you are, mentally sick and twisted.
Are the same sheep that blindly followed the flock and voted GWB in for 8 years the same ones that are clueless enough to be voting for Mitt Romney?!?! The more I see of this guy (the hits just keep on coming after finding out about his putting his dog on his car roof for a 12 hour drive) the more I’m amazed that folks actually only pay enough attention to notice the semi-good looks and not enough attention to listen to the words that come out of his mouth. Scary stuff, folks, scary stuff.
Apparently the story of Mitt Romney making a conscious choice back in 1983 to take a 12-hour car trip with his Irish Setter, Seamus (photo below), in a dog carrier attached to the roof of the Romney station wagon was first made public last summer as part of a Boston Globe article, and honestly I can’t believe I didn’t hear about it then. I was recently made aware of the unbelievable, yet true, story while reading “The Presidential Files: Evaluating the Elephants” on the Humane Society Legislative Fund blog. I have to assume there are others who are as blissfully ignorant about the situation as I was, so I feel a strong need to post links to the story for them below.
- Journeys of a Shared Life-Boston Globe
- Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family’s hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon’s roof rack. He’d built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.
- Dog on Roof? What Was It Like for Romney’s Pooch?-ABC News
- “It would be one thing if someone put it down or forgot and then drove 50 feet and realized what they did,” said Kaplan. “I don’t know anyone who would purposefully do that to a dog.”
- Romney’s Cruel Canine Vacation-Time
- The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus’s rather visceral protest.
- Romney-vs-PETA-Archy blog
- “He scrambled up there every time we went on trips,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Pittsburgh Thursday. “He got it all by himself and enjoyed it.”
After reading the various articles on the situation I have to seriously wonder what kind of moron straps his dog carrier on the roof of his car WITH THE DOG INSIDE, then proceeds to drive off on a twelve-hour family vacation road trip?!?! What on EARTH was this man thinking (see video below to see him ‘try’ to make sense of what he did…stupid is as stupid does…argh!) and what kind of example was he setting for his children inside the car, let alone the danger he put Seamus in on that long, miserable drive?!?! And why didn’t anyone who witnessed this abusive activity report it to someone? Come on folks, let’s take a little responsibility for not only ourselves but others (animals included) with whom we share this planet. Sheesh.
I say we strap Romney to the roof of a car for 12 hours, drive about 75 mph, and see how HE feels. And if he loses control of his bowels, as poor Seamus did, let’s do as Romney did and pull over to a gas station to hose him down, then hit the road again like nothing out of the ordinary is taking place. Now that I think about it, if we strapped Romney to the roof and started driving at a high speed I’m sure his plastered down and “perfect” hair would probably change the aerodynamics and send the car into some flying pattern. Hey, might that get Homeland Security a tad confused by this “UFO” and have them take some trigger-finger action? Hmmmm…. (And speaking of security, for the record, no, I do not buy the whole “Iranian boats antagonizing the US Navy” scenario; something fishy going on there, but we all know Georgie Boy wants to get us into war with Iran before he leaves office, so…)
- Introducing Seamus Romney, ‘Mr. Personality’-Political Intelligence/Boston Globe
- She says he was such a social dog that he often left Mitt Romney’s Belmont home to visit his “dog friends” around town. “He kept ending up at the pound,” she says. “They were worried about him getting hit crossing the street.”