728Re: Fw: Wisconsin bills, seizure bond will remove rights to animal ownership.
- Apr 4, 2010Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I had skimmed these bills a while back, but of course who has time to devote a portion of their attention to something that others do full time, and are paid to do it! I saw dog fighting mentioned, and went back to more pressing matters in my life.
Something happened in Pennsylvania a few years ago that illustrates why laws like this are so dangerous. A woman was trying to comply with PA law, but in the process drew attention to herself, and the PA Game Commission seized her animals pending resolution. Armed officers just showed up at her property unannounced and basically told her if she resisted, she would be arrested and her animals might be harmed in the process of taking them by force. So she cooperated. Time went by as she fought through the legal system. At least one animal died in state custody, because the state was ignorant of how to properly care for a wallaby. These animals were loved and cared for. The state did not seize them based on abuse, they seized them just because of a technicality in the law to prove their power, and used this woman to make an example for others who dared to challenge them. She could not visit the animals, so had friends go to the facility (which offered tours for a price and was owned by a retired state enforcement officer!!!). Signs on the animal's enclosures lied about their origin. Some of the animals were closely bonded to their "previous" owner, and were very depressed. More than a year later, a court ordered some of the animals returned. The PA Game Commission ignored the court order. The woman held back from some actions or asking people to bombard the state with complaints, because she was afraid of what they might do to the animals in retaliation.
These new bills, combined with the Invasive Species Act, may really screw over feral cat caretakers. Feral cats aren't currently listed as an invasive species like zebra mussels, but they easily could be added in the future. I wrote to my representative about the Invasive Species Act, but he was a sponsor of the bill. Opposing it was essentially impossible because you'd be saying it's OK to let zebra mussels and snakehead fish into state waters.
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