Cruelty to Animals
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Press Release
For Immediate Release

Contact:
John Eberhart
League of Humane Voters Georgia Chapter
404-309-9730
oeberhart@gmail.com

or James Holland
Citizens Against Animal Cruelty
912-280-0833
info@CitizensAgainstAnimalCruelty.org

Animal Cruelty Bill
Citizens Urged to Call Their Elected Officials to Oppose HB160

ATLANTA, Ga. (March 14, 2015) – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) refused to run a half-page advertisement created by Citizens Against Animal Cruelty to protest Georgia House Bill 160 without major revisions in the advertisement.

The publisher of the AJC cited its “Right of Refusal” in denying the placement of the original advertisement, objecting specifically to the real-life photos used. In order for the newspaper to agree to run the ad, major revisions were made.

“The effects of the proposed legislation aren’t pretty – in this case, they are downright inhumane," said James Holland, spokesperson for Citizens Against Animal Cruelty. "However, they deserve our unfettered scrutiny. Leg-hold traps are legalized landmines and the results of their use appear to be too horrific for voters to see in the newspaper.”

HB 160, passed by the Georgia House on February 20th and referred to the Georgia Senate, was introduced at the urging of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to contain the raccoon populations. Opponents, including Citizens Against Animal Cruelty, and the League of Humane Voters Georgia Chapter, are outraged at the bill’s promotion of leg-hold traps, which can maim and kill animals indiscriminately, including family pets.

“Before this bill is considered by the Georgia Senate, we felt it imperative that Georgia voters have a chance to understand the true consequences of this deplorable change in policy. If we don’t see it in the newspaper now, we’ll surely see it in the pathways, fields and forests in the months to come. Let’s kill the bill, not our wildlife and pets,” added Holland. Contact your state senator today: http://openstates.org/ga/legislators/

If passed by the Georgia Senate and signed into law by the Governor, HB 160 would legalize trapping raccoons for recreation and accelerate commercial trapping in 38 counties from metro Atlanta to the state's northern borders. Family dogs, hunting dogs, cats, and healthy wildlife are maimed and killed in steel leg-hold traps, Conibear traps, and snares.

The League of Humane Voters warns it’s nearly impossible to keep household pets safe from leg-hold traps. Georgia does not require signs or warnings where traps are used. Dangerous traps can lurk along trail sides and stream banks, near houses, in water, under power lines, and (illegally) in road right-of-ways. Trapping even goes on in upscale subdivisions. Not even leashed dogs are safe. Cats must be kept indoors to avoid peril.

“Trapping is unnecessary. Trapping seasons are held not for wildlife population control, but to utilize our wildlife as kill-for-kicks recreational opportunities for trappers, and as a money-making opportunity for the DNR, who sells trapping licenses,” said Holland. “Scientists at the CDC, WHO and National Academy of Science cannot point to any scientific evidence that trapping reduces disease. This is bad policy, pure and simple.”

Citizens Against Animal Cruelty is urging all Georgia voters to contact their state Senators to vote against HB 160.

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For accurate, scientific information:
John Eberhart, League of Humane Voters Georgia Chapter, oeberhart@gmail.com
Laura Simon, The Humane Society of the United States, lsimon@humanesociety.org