Animal Protection News and Updates from Across the Commonwealth
Advocacy at the State House
The state’s legislative session has been impacted by the pandemic. While legislators have been focused on non-animal matters, last week they changed the rules to allow “formal” sessions to go through the rest of the year. We will continue to work with legislators and look for opportunities to push for the passage of animal protection legislation through the remainder of 2020. Read about the bills we will continue to work on this session.
COVID-19 UPDATE: The MSPCA-Angell’s various programs provide a safe haven for animals, especially in times of crisis. Our Advocacy team has compiled a list of advocacy resources during COVID-19 for pets and owners, information on current animal protection issues, and things you can do to stay connected to animals while at home.
Dramatic Vote Leads to a Ban on Wild Animal Acts in Wilmington
In June, Wilmington residents voted to pass a ban on exotic animals in traveling shows, joining 11 other municipalities in the Commonwealth. This vote proved that every voice counts! During the socially-distanced town meeting, the vote passed 84 to 74! Thanks go to Jenne Sindoni (learn more about her advocacy below) and all the advocates that worked tirelessly on this effort, even through this stressful year. Learn more about passing an animal protection ordinance in your town!
This summer has been HOT! Many animals are very sensitive to high temperatures, which means it’s critically important to monitor pets and provide them with plenty of shade and water. Check out these tips from our veterinarians to keeping pets safe during summertime heat waves. And please remember to never leave your pet in a hot car — it’s dangerous and it’s against the law!
Holliston Passes “Puppy Mill Bill”
Another step forward for animals! In July, Holliston voted to prevent the sale of commercially bred puppies, kittens, and rabbits in their town! Holliston is now the 5th municipality in Massachusetts (joining Boston, Cambridge, Stoneham, and Pittsfield) and 360th in the country to pass such a measure! Thanks go to all the local advocates who worked so hard to get this done, spoke at town meeting, and showed up to VOTE at this challenging time! Read more about this new bylaw in the MetroWest Daily News.
Shark week is August 9-16! Sharks have traveled through Massachusetts waters for centuries in search of food and mating opportunities. At least 12 shark species visit the Massachusetts coastline from May to November, migrating from wintering areas off the southeastern U.S., the Gulf of Mexico, and the mid-Atlantic. They arrive to feed in our nutrient-rich waters and for some species, to take advantage of potential mating opportunities. Learn more about these awesome, apex predators and the legislation we passed to protect them!
Advocate Spotlight: Jenne Sindoni
Advocate Jenne Sindoni was tired of seeing exploited, exotic, circus animals come through her town every year – so she did something about it. Read our interview with her to learn her key takeaways from the experience and how she was able to spearhead the effort to end exotic animals in traveling acts from performing in Wilmington — even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 is not the first virus to be spread through animals to humans; the SARS pandemic in 2003 is also expected to have originated in animals. People may worry less about transmission if they don’t eat wildlife. However, the conditions of factory farms — where most of the U.S. meat and animal products come from — make it more likely that the next outbreak could come from within these farms. Learn more about how factory farming could lead to the next pandemic.
Illegal Trapping on the Rise
Wildlife rehabilitators in Massachusetts have seen an increase in patients caught in illegal leg-hold traps. Our friends across the Commonwealth have treated skunks, groundhogs, and even a great-horned owl caught in a trap. These inhumane and indiscriminate traps (including leg-hold and conibear) were outlawed (except in very specific circumstances) through the Wildlife Protection Act ballot initiative in 1996. However, every legislative session we have to fight to keep these restrictions in place, as numerous bills are filed to rollback restrictions. Allowing these traps would result in even greater suffering of target and non-target animals. Learn more about wildlife trapping in Massachusetts.
We want to thank you for all you do for animals. Please continue to stay safe and cool! To receive our eNews and animal protection updates from across the Commonwealth, join the Animal Action Team!
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