Animal Updates Across the Commonwealth
PAWS II signing at the MSPCA with Governor Baker!
Governor Charlie Baker joined us at the MSPCA-Angell in Jamaica Plain for a ceremonial signing of PAWS II!
We would again like to thank everyone that made calls, attended lobby days, and sent messages to their legislators to get PAWS II passed into law. We would also like to thank members of the Animal Cruelty Task Force, and the PAWS II legislative sponsors, State Senator Bruce Tarr, State Representative Lou Kafka, and State Senator Mark Montigny—without whom this law would not be a reality.
PAWS II builds upon changes made to the state’s animal cruelty laws, made with in the PAWS Act of 2014, using recommendations from the Animal Cruelty Task Force. PAWS II goes into effect on November 8. Read more about this new law.
Good news for deer in Braintree! A proposal that would have allowed a bow hunt in two conservation areas was rejected by the Braintree Conservation Commission last week. Thank you to the Braintree residents who responded to our alert. The proposal was put forward as an attempt to reduce the deer population because of issues with vegetation in the conservation areas. We shared information with the Conservation Commission about why bow hunting is inhumane and isn’t effective to reduce the population.
Help end traveling animal acts in Massachusetts
The MSPCA has long held concerns and spoken out about the use of wild animals in circuses and traveling acts because of the suffering they cause to these animals, the false picture given of the animals displayed, the inherent problems of almost constant traveling, being chained while not performing, restrictive caging, and coercive training methods. Many people have asked what to do after recent exhibits of elephants at the Big E and Topsfield Fair.
Contact your state senator and state representative about H. 418, a bill to ban traveling elephant acts. If you do not know who represents you visit www.wheredoivotema.com. To learn about other steps you can take to end these traveling acts, visit our website.
Fall is upon us! It is time for everyone to start getting ready for the winter months—wildlife included! Our wild neighbors are storing food and finding a comfy place to keep warm these next few months. This could be in a tree hollow—or in your attic!
Think you have wildlife living in your home? The Intruder Excluder can help you identify who you are sharing your home with, and provide humane resolutions to your wildlife issues!
Join the MSPCA and HSUS to hear from local elected officials and advocates about their efforts to pass bylaws in cities and towns to protect animals. This summit, on October 27, is a great opportunity for animal advocates to network and to learn more about fighting puppy mills and circus animal abuse locally, including how to draft legislation, navigate your municipal legislative process, and strategize on messaging. Register here.
#SNELovesPets is back!! During the month of October, Subaru of New England has generously offered to donate $5 to the MSPCA and other animal welfare organizations across New England for each pet photo posted to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #SNELovesPets! Last year you helped us raise $60,000 for animals and posted 23,353 photos! Tag Subaru of New England and MSPCA-Angell, and most importantly drop the #SNELovesPets tag! Keep those pics rolling in all October long!
Other new law updates
At the end of the formal session in the legislature, a law passed that makes changes to the state’s Valor Act—a law originally passed in 2012 designed to offer measures to support veterans. One provision allowed judges the discretion to divert criminal cases to treatment programs instead of incarceration. Several news articles chronicled the use or attempted use of this provision in domestic violence cases, as well as several involving animal cruelty. The new law, signed August 9, prevents certain crimes from being diverted, including those for which the penalty is greater than 5 years, and therefore includes animal cruelty cases.
Another measure that was signed on the same day, as part of the larger Environmental Bond bill, requires training for all municipal animal inspectors—and also seeks to improve their record keeping. These provisions, in part, were brought to the table after the large farm animal cruelty case in Westport, Mass. in 2016.
The 2018 Blue Hills deer hunt will happen again this year, despite much controversy surrounding the previous three hunts. The number of archery hunters has been increased from 75 to 100 and two new management areas will be open. This adds an additional 180 acres available to archers during the 11-day bow hunting season, which runs M-Th, November 5-21. The shotgun season remains 4 days long, and will take place November 27 & 29 and December 4 & 6.
In 2017, over 300 permits were allowed, but resulted in the death of only 67 (42 female) deer, resulting in frustrated hunters and state and local taxpayer money poorly spent. Please tell your legislators that you oppose the costly, ineffective, and unnecessary hunt in the Blue Hills.