Monday, December 31, 2007

Hoppy New Year!

JG's Verizon gave birth yesterday to four babies, one REW and three colored, one colored one didn't make it. None of these will be for sale. All three colored ones looked black, But one is darker than the other two. The one that didn't make it was a lighter one. I'm anxious to see how these babies turn out. They are 1/4 French Lop, 1/4 Giant, and 1/2 German. JG's King Lear is the proud dad. Ideally, I'd like to keep a buck and a doe from this litter. Hopefully I'll actually get a doe, my track record this year hasn't been too good. I never had more than 2 does in a litter this year, which flooded me with bucks. Now that I've finally moved those fellows out, thanks to another (wonderful!) breeder who didn't have a very productive year, I can start breeding again. I'm going to take it slow, however, and not worry about quantity or having rabbits to sell. If I happen to have rabbits when someone is looking, fine. If not, that's fine, too. My next two litters will be Tans. My friend Cheryl is breeding the Germans, and this current litter of mine will be it for the Giants for awhile, so I can properly evaluate them.

I'm excited about the upcoming Tan litters, I FINALLY have Tan bucks to breed with the Tan does! YIPPEE!!!

I'm also going to take it very easy on showing this year. If and when I have a bunn or two ready, and a show with other Giants is not too awful far away, I'll go. If not, I won't. I'm not going to have the gas and hotel money this coming year like I did last year. I am not going to the PA Convention this year, and I won't be sending rabbits either. We'll see what happens with Nationals.

Wishing you all a safe, happy, healthy, productive, and successful New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story......

'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus musculus.

( 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title of St. Nicholas.

(The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums.

(The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads

My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.

(And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.)

Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian itself -

(Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,)

Thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a minuscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller.

(When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.)

With his ungulate motive power travelling at what may possibly have been more vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen - "Now Dasher, now Dancer..." et al. -

(More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!)

Guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our abode, through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.

(To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.)

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180-degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved - with utmost celerity and via a downward leap - entry by way of the smoke passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebony residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated on the walls thereof.

(As I drew in my head, and was turning around, down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot

His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.

( A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.)

His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of Albion's floral emblem, the latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry.

(His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!)

His amusing sub- and supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small, tabular and columnar crystals of frozen water.

(His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow

Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking piece whose grey fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly.

(The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath

His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical container.

(He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.)

He was, in short, neither more nor less than an obese, jocund, multigenarian gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite every effort to refrain from so being.

(He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself

By rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid and rotating his head slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.

(A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread

Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned appended hosiery with various of the aforementioned articles of merchandise extracted from his aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle. Upon completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about-face,

(He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,)

He then placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage.

(And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose

He then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto observable chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common weed.

(He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.)

But I overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately prior to his vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility:

(But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,)

"Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to that self same assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly pleasurable period between sunset and dawn."

("Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.")

Some thoughts on inbreeding, linebreeding, and care

Bob and I have a wonderful English Springer Spaniel named Banjo. Banjo does not have papers, his dam's papers were lost. He is a cross between show bloodlines and field bloodlines, his grandfather was ranked second in the state in field trials, or so his breeder told us. Anyway, he is a solid, energetic, tireless and determined hunter, and many times we wished he did have papers, as we would love to breed him. But that doesn't look like it will ever happen. Anyway, I've done a lot of reading about field spaniels, and the most prolific line is the Saighton line. They are bred in Wales, and exported over here. What does this have to do with rabbits?

http://www.spanielsinthefield.com/library-13.asp

This article is an interview with their breeder, and it is fascinating. His philosophy, which worked for him for over 50 years, is summed up near the end:

"Start with the best, stay in the line, breed between your "families," linebreed on outstanding individuals and emphasize good bitches. Then keep the pups until they're old enough to develop and evaluate. And, finally, throw in a large measure of dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm, plus the financial resources ... to carry out your plan."

I have a black otter buck, JG's Santonio, who is heavily inbred to one of my first - and best -rabbits, DA Joey. Joey's only fault, in my opinion, was that he was small. Even in full coat, he only weighed 9 pounds, and he needed to make 9.5 to be registered. However, he had excellent shoulders and the nicest butt. That nice butt has carried through to this guy, you actually have to search for his pin bones! He's small, however, demonstrating that inbreeding "fixes" the good and the not-so-good. So you have to be very particular when you do it. Right now smallness is something I can live with in my Tan lines. I have the structure set, the color is coming along nicely, and so is the wool quality. So, I need to maintain the structure while improving the other two. Once I have gotten all three where I want them, I'll start worrying about size.

Anyway, I am working on 3 "families" right now. The German, the Giant, and the Tan. Once I have the Steel gene bred out of my Giants, the Tans should be ready to cross with them to get size. The Germans are right where I want them, and will continue to influence the other two.

So, I have been pretty much following the same plan as that great spaniel breeder, except I do sell does, and I don't hang onto entire litters as long as perhaps I should. So I am reconsidering those two subjects. I am definitely going to start breeding fewer litters and hanging onto them longer. Also, I am going to get more particular about who I sell to. It has been brought to my attention that some animals I have sold have needed to be rescued, and were in really poor condition. Now, I completely understand that sometimes things get ahead of you, it has happened to me, too. So, if you find things are getting out of hand, please contact me.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Surprise!!!

As many of you know, I have set out on my own path to improve the size of my Giant Angoras. I lucked into a purebred French Lop doe who had wool, and I bred her to my best German Angora buck at the time, Fuhrerdernacht. The only surviving baby, Lear, is doing fabulously, and weighs around 12 pounds now. He molts, but after all, he is only 1/2 angora. His wool is a little too fine for good spinning quality, but works great for felting. Anyway, I had a scare with Lear, he took an awful long time for his family jewels to appear, but they did eventually. I test-bred him to my best Giant doe, Verizon, and she did not cooperate at all. Yet, this morning, a week before she should be due, she was gathering hay. :)

I promptly moved her to a cage with a dropped nestbox, and did everything I could to make her comfortable. She isn't due until Saturday, but so far she is displaying the proper nesting skills. I can't wait to see how this litter turns out!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Important NAIS update

OK, I know I haven't posted anything personal lately, I promise I will soon. Meanwhile...


USDA Releases Business Plan And Congress Provides Some Funding for NAIS

The USDA has finally officially released its "Business Plan" for how to implement NAIS. It has also released a revised version of its User Guide. You can read the documents on the Liberty Ark website at http://www.libertyark.net/federal.shtml (they will be posted tomorrow, 12/21) or the FARFA site: http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/Government-documents

The clear message in both documents is that USDA continues to push forward with NAIS, despite the numerous objections that have been raised. The USDA does not address the many problems with NAIS: the invasion of privacy, burdening of property rights, excessive cost, or the ineffectiveness of the program in the face of real animal health issues. Instead, the only question for USDA appears to be how to push NAIS through despite the protests.

On the Congressional side, the omnibus spending bill that was just passed provided $9.75 million in funding for NAIS. Although we're disappointed that any funding was provided, this is much less funding than in the last four years. We have made progress, and the next step is to push Congress to stop ALL funding for NAIS.

TAKE ACTION #1: Congress is heading home for the holidays. Start the new year off right -- make an appointment to meet with your elected officials! Call your Representative and Senators' district offices. You can find their contact information at www.congress.org.

Ask to speak to the scheduler, and say that you want to meet with the Representative or Senator after the holidays. If the legislator can't meet with you, ask for a meeting with the district director. Once you have a meeting scheduled, contact us at noah@libertyark.net for materials to help you explain the issues clearly and effectively.

TAKE ACTION #2: Submit written comments on NAIS. As with the publication of Program Standards and Technical Reference earlier this month, USDA again stated that it seeks comments on the released documents or other aspects of NAIS. So you can comment on the new document and all of the many other problems with NAIS. The notice did not include a deadline for comments.

Send your comments to: animalidcomments@aphis.usda.gov, or by mail to NAIS Program Staff, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 200, Riverdale, MD 20737.

Be sure to send a copy of your comments to your Representative and Senators. It is critical that Congress knows that people are notifying USDA of their objections to NAIS and that your Congressmen understand your objections!
More Information

You can find the new documents on the FARFA website at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/Government-documents or on the Liberty Ark website at http://www.libertyark.net/federal.shtml (as of tomorrow, 12/21)

There are many problems with these new documents, and we will be submitting comments to USDA and Congress after the holidays. For now, we'll just mention a few highlights:

* The "voluntary at the federal level" shell game has gotten even stickier. USDA now states: "NAIS provides the opportunity for producers that are not part of a disease program to freely participate in national animal health safeguarding efforts." (Business Plan, preface i). The logical corollary of this statement is that NAIS is rapidly becoming NOT voluntary for anyone who IS part of a disease program. As detailed in multiple places in the Business Plan, USDA intends to use existing disease control programs -- including tuberculosis, brucellosis, scrapie, and equine infectious anemia testing -- to impose NAIS on animal owners acrosss the country.

* USDA refers to a "critical mass" of 70%. While at first glance, this may seem to be a sign that USDA is backing away from its unfounded claims that 100% participation is needed, a closer reading shows otherwise. The 70% critical mass is simply a way to gauge "the progress being made towards obtaining the participation levels necessary to achieve the optimum traceability goal." (Business Plan, p.11). What is the "optimum traceability goal"? USDA does not explain in this document, but it has repeatedly claimed NAIS needs 100% participation. In other words, USDA still wants every single livestock and poultry owner in the country to be subject to NAIS.

* While various horse groups have claimed that horses will somehow end up being exempt from NAIS, the Business Plan places horses in "Tier 1" as a "targeted species" for implementation. Moreover, it's not just "competition horses" that will be the target -- it's any horse that would "require a Coggins test of health certificate." (Business Plan, p.14) Some states, such as Texas, require horses to have Coggins tests if they participate in any event (even a trail ride), are sold, or simply are kept within 200 yards of a horse owned by another person. In other words, USDA is placing the vast majority of pleasure horses owned by regular people in the bulls-eye for implementing NAIS.

* The USDA continues to ignore the low-cost, practical alternatives for tracing animals, and acts as if a huge federal program is the only solution. For example, USDA states: "less than half of adult cattle can be associated with any USDA official identification system." (Business Plan, p.18) Where is the data or analysis showing the real-world outcome? Why does identification of animals have to be through an official USDA program in order to address disease? Where are the studies showing that we need an official federal program to successfully address disease? Experience teaches us otherwise, yet USDA is unwilling to listen or learn.

* While pushing NAIS on every livestock and poultry owner, USDA continues to obscure the true extent of the program by relying on the NASS census numbers. This tactic allows USDA to make NAIS seem more successful than it is (such as by claiming that they have registered 30% of the premises in the country), while also downplaying the number of people NAIS will directly impact. The NASS survey covers only "farms," defined as properties that have $1,000 or more of agricultural products for sale in the census year. Millions of hobby farms, homesteaders, pet owners (chickens, pot-bellied pigs, etc), and horse owners are not included in the survey -- but they would be included in NAIS.

We need the millions of people who will be impacted by NAIS to speak up! Download materials to educate people at your local feed store, sales barn, farmers market, or co-op. Contact your legislators and explain the problems with NAIS. Help us stop this program by educating people and speaking up!
Email and Contact Issues

Liberty Ark Supporters: The Liberty Ark mailing list is still down, which is why you are getting this email through the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. You can reach the Liberty Ark steering committee at noah@libertyark.net if you have any questions.

FARFA List: As always, you can reach us at info@farmandranchfreedom.org or 866-687-6452 with any questions.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

NAIS

From an email from Judith McGeary, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance,
www.farmandranchfreedom.org

End-of-the-Year Update on NAIS

The Senate Passes The Farm Bill

The Senate finally voted on its version of the Farm Bill. The NAIS provision was amended, but not in a good way. The big "manager's amendment," which rolled together a lot of unrelated amendments, included a provision that replaced the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption in Section 10305 with a new provision. The new version directs the USDA to issue regulations consistent with FOIA for information collected under NAIS. Like the earlier version of Section 10305, this provision would be the first direct statutory reference to NAIS, and thus implies Congressional approval of what USDA is doing. Whether one thinks farmers' information should be open under FOIA or not, the most important point is that no such database should be created in the first place! In January, the Senate and House will create a conference committee to merge their two versions of the Farm Bill. As soon as we know all the members of the conference committee, we will update you on who to contact.
The Nation Publishes Anti-NAIS Article!

A strong anti-NAIS article was published online in The Nation. If a lot of people go to the site to read the article, the public response will encourage The Nation to publish more articles on NAIS.

You can find the article, "USDA Bets the Farm on NAIS," at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071231/pentland_gumpert Go to the link and send all your friends this alert so they can read the article online too! Help us get more press coverage of NAIS!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Farm Bill passed, PAWS defeated - for now...

... but the import restrictions were left intact, just moved to another amendment:

http://saova.org/news.html

We need to remain vigilant, no doubt these efforts will continue.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yet another update - ACT NOW

Dear Virginia Friends,

VHDOA lost its website last week, hampering our communications. We hope to be back online soon. Threats from the animal rightist, anti-hunting Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) extend well beyond its "Virginia is for Puppy Mills" campaign scheduled for the next General Assembly.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has filed a Farm Bill amendment, effectively reintroducing the unsuccessful Santorum-Durbin-HSUS-AKC-AVMA PAWS bill of 2005. This amounts to a procedural end run, bypassing Senate committee hearings and their votes. HSUS used the same maneuver in 2001, attaching the so-called Puppy Protection Act to the last farm bill without a recorded vote. The GOP-led House conferees removed it. The nature of floor amendments and changed Congressional control considerably enhance HSUS's prospects for gaining what it couldn't in 2005-2006.


There's a new provision banning the import of *any* dog or cat younger than six months old, but other changes from PAWS2005 are largely cosmetic. HSUS's primary goal hasn't changed. The measure requires the federal regulation of any person selling more than 25 dogs and/or cats per year at retail or wholesale, reversing the current distinction which exempts private retail sellers. It also leaves intact the separate requirement that *all* hunting dog owners be regulated, regardless of size. Stripping the wholesale-only regulation shield creates the same "gotcha" situation that was the primary motivation for SAOVA's extensive efforts to defeat S2609 (PAWS2005). If this rider becomes law, it sets the stage for a savage, unpredictable fight at the USDA implementation stage and/or expensive federal court litigation to keep the federal government, HSUS, PETA or AKC out of hunters' homes and kennels.

AKC and AVMA aren't likely to fight this rider. It's the same bill they fought so hard to pass in 2005. It also now contains pet import restrictions, something that they both support, as well as an alternative party kennel inspection provision much desired by the AKC. Sen. Durbin's SA3723 amendment is on the Senate floor, as is the large, complex and controversial Farm Bill. A vote on the bill and its amendments has been stalled, pending negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders. That deadlock could be broken at any time. There is a very substantial risk that all, or most of all of SA3723 (PAWS2007) will be deemed to be non-controversial. If HSUS and Senator Durbin sell that falsehood to Agriculture Committee leadership, SA3723 will be added in the floor manager's omnibus "technical" amendment package and passed without debate. We should strive to prevent this from happening. Relying on 2007-2008 House Agriculture Committee leadership and their conferees to block this measure would be unwise.

ACTION REQUEST:
ASAP, please contact Senators John Warner and James Webb. Urge that they not permit SA3723 to be included in the Farm Bill in *any* fashion. Vote NO on SA3723! The Agriculture Committee hasn't vetted the measure and it very materially injures the interests of all Virginia pet owners. Don't permit this HSUS sneak attack on you and your animals. See contact details at http://tiny.cc/VADCdelegation

In addition, send the exact same message to Farm Bill floor manager and Senate Agriculture Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Minority Member Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). http://tiny.cc/DCSenateAG

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Hunting Hounds Study

I attended a dog owners invited DGIF "focus group" meeting in Caroline County last week. Unlike the previous such meetings around the state, a large group of uninvited houndsmen came to this unpublicized session. Many questions regarding the study's goals and procedures were raised. About twenty of the invitees were gathered together in a separate room for a taped discussion led by a new VT employee. My August expressed concerns about the nature of this study's management plan and the threat it posed to sportsmen and their relationship with DGIF were confirmed in the meeting and in discussions with staff, both before and after they acknowledged that HSUS and PETA had been invited to participate in a December 18th study meeting in Richmond. Both of these groups are rapidly anti-hunting and totally committed to ending the sport. Such influences have been evidenced in other DGIF rulemakings. Since the department's Director was fired on November 30th, you are encouraged to voice your concerns about this very dangerous set of circumstances to the DGIF Board and your Richmond legislators. http://www.dgif.state.va.us/about/board/ http://leg1.state.va.us/081/mbr/MBR.HTM

Freely forward and cross post.

Sincerely,
Bob Kane, President
Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association
http://vhdoa.uplandbirddog.com/

NOTE THE SECTION THAT REQUIRES ALL HUNTING DOG OWNERS TO BE REGULATED. THIS IS NOT JUST AFFECTING VA. THIS IS A FEDERAL BILL.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Good news, but it isn't over yet...

Dear SAOVA Friends,

As I write this update, the Farm Bill is being debated on the Senate floor.

Senator Durbin has revised SA 3723, removing all references to expanded breeder regulation and third-party inspection. Your quick response in opposing SA 3723 succeeded in raising the alarm to the controversy surrounding this amendment - reviving memories of the extended and fierce 2005 PAWS battle.

We wish to thank all SAOVA supporters who rallied to our call for action to this devastating legislation. This brief testing of the waters demonstrated once again the importance of remaining vigilant and ready to take immediate action to defend our rights and preserve our sport.

It is obvious that the PAWS supporters have not abandoned, only postponed their efforts to license and regulate the private sector. The new amendment contains restrictions on puppy imports which, should they become law, would not only be unenforceable, they wouldn't adequately protect U.S. dogs' health or wellbeing. More on this topic later.

SAOVA remains, as always, in the forefront to protect your interests. Watch for further alerts and visit http://saova.org often.

Sincerely,
Susan Wolf Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance - http://saova.orgIssue lobbying and working to identify and elect supportive legislators

Please share this message widely.

Note from Jan -

This is indeed good news, but I urge you to contact your senators again and kill this amendment in its entirety. What good is an unenforcable law, except to give AR people some kind of foothold?

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Sneakier version of PAWS

Note: We all know laws never go away, and their grasp always grows, never shrinks. It is imperative that we fight each and every attempt to limit our rights and increase .gov influence regarding our livestock and pets. Please read the following report and call, write, fax, and email your US Senator ASAP.

A SAOVA message for sportsmen, pet owners and farmers concerned about protecting their traditions, avocations and livelihoods from anti-hunting, anti-breeding, animal guardianship advocates. Forwarding and cross posting, with attribution, encouraged.

SEN. DURBIN INTRODUCES SA 3723 (New PAWS AMENDMENT)

On November 15th Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced an HSUS supported amendment to the Senate version of the 2007 Farm Bill (HR 2419). The amendment is a re-enactment of the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) supported by Santorum/Durbin/HSUS/AKC/AVMA that failed in 2005.

HSUS is relentless in its mission to bury breeders, animal owners, and hunters in endless regulation and red tape until our traditional use and enjoyment of animals rests on the verge of extinction.

SA 3723 (the new PAWS), would amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and if passed will place the federal government in control of breeding and sales of dogs and cats in the private sector. As in PAWS 2005, SA 3723 exposes ALL hunting dog owners to regulation.

SA 3723 changes the AWA and USDA's existing, long-standing, legally tested basis for federal dog and cat business licensing and regulation. The current procedure is based on treating wholesale sales and retail sales differently. Reducing it to its simplest terms, under current law and USDA regulations, if you sell a dog to a wholesaler, you are regulated. Rescuers, hobby breeders and owners selling to retail buyers are exempt today. The Doris Day Animal League (now merged with HSUS) challenged the hobby breeder portion of this regulatory structure in court and lost in 2003.

SA 3723 also resurrects the concept of third party inspections by non profits who obtain certification from USDA. HSUS would have much to gain from this provision as a means to legally enter private homes.

SA 3723 adds a restriction on importing dog/cats under six months of age. Previous support by AKC and AVMA of both import and third party inspection provisions in 2005 makes it unlikely they will oppose SA 3723.

Well over 100 amendments were introduced by various Senators as part of SA 3500 which is the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill. Debate on these amendments will be short or may not take place at all for some amendments. Once the Senate passes it’s version of the Farm Bill, both versions will be sent to a Conference Committee for resolution. Possible members of the Conference Committee are unknown at this time.

The political process is inundated by lobbyists and deal-making for favored amendments. Those amendments deemed the least controversial are most likely to remain attached and slip thru as law when agreement on the final Farm Bill is reached.

It is urgent that your Senator knows this amendment is controversial and should be stripped from the Farm Bill.

CALL TO ACTION

Fighting for your present and future rights is YOUR responsibility. Defeating SA 3723 and the animal rightist threat is a priority.

DO NOT BELIEVE that this will not affect you. Once the traditional retail/wholesale regulation barrier is broken it will be gone forever. Federal Government will be inside your homes inspecting your animals. HSUS will continue to push for tighter regulation—this is not the end of this issue—it is a strategic move to break down the retail/wholesale barrier.

Contact your Senators NOW and urge that they vote to remove SA 3723 from the Farm Bill.

Failure to contact senators could mean SA3723 is seen as non-controversial and may be passed with no debate and an unrecorded vote as part of the manager's technical amendment.

Send the exact same message to Farm Bill floor manager and Senate Agriculture Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Minority Member Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). http://tiny.cc/DCSenateAG

Senate contacts and more information are posted on http://www.stopsa3273.com/.

Sincerely,
Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance - http://saova.org/Issue lobbying and working to identify and elect supportive legislators

Please share this message widely.


The message above was posted to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware residents by the Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) on one of ten regional read only elists. SAOVA is a nonpartisan volunteer group working to protect Americans from the legislative and political threats of radical animal rightists. It is the only national organization fighting this struggle for both sportsmen and animal owners, natural allies, in these arenas. Visit our website at http://saova.org/ for this program's goals, methodology and list signup details.