Animals and Animal Welfare

26 Jul 2014

$3, 173.70.

That's the amount that Missouri tax payers have paid between March 3, 2014 and May 30, 2014 for Chris Koster's lawsuit on behalf of large egg producers against California's egg laws. It doesn't sound like a lot of money until you realize that this just covers the fees paid to the California legal team representing Koster (and supposedly, Missouri). It doesn't cover the time that J. Andrew Hirth, our Assistant State Attorney General, has put into the case, or any of the other members of the AG office staff. It also represents only about 6% of the likely cost, overall, for the lawsuit if it manages to survive the California Motion to Dismiss. If the case goes to trial, the cost will easily exceed $55,000 in legal fees.

This, just to defend a couple of larger egg producing companies in Missouri.

17 Jul 2014

circus elephants on parade

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

I was sent a link to a story and asked if it was true. The story noted that Charity Navigator, the charity watch dog group, had attached a Donor Advisory to the Humane Society of the United State's listing, specifically because of the lawsuits related to the Ringling Brothers circus.

15 May 2014

Last update

I've had a day to get over the shock at the settlement amount.

All of the statements by the animal welfare folk I posted links to make logical sense. And believe it or not, once I got over the shock at the amount of the settlement, I wasn't necessarily against a settlement in the ESA attorney fee battle—though, I believed it was important to continue the fight in the RICO case. What I had expected was a settlement closer to the amount given in the original animal welfare attorney fee reply—about five million.

This amount would have been a loss for the groups, yes, but it wouldn't have been such a PR bonanza for Feld. The larger amount, though...that's going to cut deep, and not just in a monetary sense.

Regardless of what I've said today, I am not mad at the groups. I am profoundly disappointed, which, in some ways, is worse.

22 Mar 2014

I have spent considerable time building a list of negative incidents associated with circus elephants in the United States since 1800. Thanks to Google's newspaper archive, I'm discovering several more to add to what is already a large list.

Of course, sometimes the incidents happen in real time.

Three circus elephants got loose and damaged two cars in the parking lot of the Family Arena on Saturday afternoon before being corralled by trainers, according to the circus’ sponsor.

Dennis Kelley, president of the Moolah Shriners of Eastern Missouri, which has been sponsoring the Moolah Shrine Circus for decades, said the incident happened during a performance about 5 p.m. He said no people were in the parking lot when the elephants somehow escaped from the back of the arena in St. Charles. The elephants roamed an area of the parking lot where only circus and Shriners employees’ cars were parked.

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