Poison Dog Treats from China in the News Again!




March 16, 2012

When Kevin and Candace Thaxton's 10-year-old pug Chansey got sick late last year, the couple assumed at first it was simply old age. The small dog started showing symptoms of kidney failure -- drinking water excessively and urinating in the house. By the time the Thaxtons got her to a veterinarian, Chansey's kidneys 
had shut down and she was in extreme pain. She died two days later.

"It was so hard. It was just devastating," Kevin Thaxton told ABC News.

But the Thaxtons would go through the ordeal again just weeks later -- leading them to a new theory behind Chansey's death -- when their new Pekingese-mix puppy Penny exhibited the same symptoms, finally resulting in kidney failure. When Candace Thaxton stumbled on a Food and Drug Administration warning that there'd been an increase in complaints about chicken jerky dog treats made in China, she says she knew immediately what had happened to her beloved dogs.

"I grabbed the bag of treats and turned it over," Candace said. "At first I saw it said 'Manufactured in South Carolina' so I thought I was safe. Then I looked harder and it said 'Made in China' and I just said 'Oh no.' "

In just the past four months, the Food and Drug Administration has fielded over 530 complaints from pet owners claiming their dogs suffered illness or death after eating jerky treats made in China, officials tell ABC News. The FDA has issued three separate warnings about Chinese jerky treats in the past four years -- advising owners who give their pets the snacks to watch the dogs closely for signs of illness. But since the agency says it has yet to find a "definitive cause" for the mystery ailments, it hasn't blamed Chinese treats for the illnesses, it hasn't named any of the well-known American firms like Purina that sell them, and it hasn't recalled any of the products. Dog owners and legislators are now demanding action.

News of the possible risk to dogs comes at a time when the safety of imported food is being heavily scrutinized. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control reported that foods imported from other countries are to blame for dozens of recent foodborne disease outbreaks. The CDC looked at outbreaks from 2005 to 2010 and concluded that 39 outbreaks and over 2,300 illnesses came from food imported into the U.S. Nearly 45 percent of the foods that caused the outbreaks came from Asia.

The FDA says it is actively investigating reports of illness and death and has been conducting tests on samples of the treats. An FDA spokesperson said the samples came from around the country but would not cite specific sources that provided the samples.

The FDA issued its first warning about chicken jerky treats from China in 2007, in response to the first wave of consumer complaints, and then issued a second in 2008. When the FDA issued a third warning in late 2011, based on another increase in complaints that year, it asked consumers to report any other purported incidents directly to the agency. Since that update, hundreds of dog owners have come forward to share their concerns. The Thaxtons, who say their dog Penny recovered after they stopped feeding her the treats, are now part of an angry population of pet owners who say the FDA hasn't done enough to protect their four-legged family members in the years it has known about the problem.

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I was checking Susie Burrows Facebook page yesterday, and felt such sadness and despair about the world. You know, when emotions are allowed to flow freely through you, they do not bite so deeply.  In a large sense, you see that even the strongest emotions are just events that pass through you, who are the witness, the container, and the affects themselves.

Yet, I felt a strong movement in me to act on the issue of the worldwide abuse of animals for food and fur, as well as pure sport.  I felt guilty I have not done more.

I think it is time that We Are Sentience and our Sangha, to get behind ending meat eating by developing a long term plan for ending meat eating, animal testing, the fur trade, etc.

I will have people meet with me with ideas to develop such a plan.

Some ideas are to:

Start taxing meat, as cigarettes were taxed, on ecological grounds, the damage they do to the environment.  Make it a progressive tax.  That is, each year there is an additional tax that is to be spent in several ways:  To detoxify the environment; to subsidize ranchers who want to go out of business; to subsidize private industry food manufacturers to develop new and tasty vegetarian alternatives to meat, that can give the same protein and other nutrients as supplied by meat, and taste like meat, so that meat eaters don't feel "robbed." These foods can also be subsidized at the retail level to bring down their costs, as often vegan prepared dishes cost much more than actual meat-added prepared meals.

Centralize data on all research regarding the negative health effects of meat.  I have seen several lately, but there should be a central place to publish this information.

Add warnings about the deleterious effects of meat on all retail foods containing meats.

Have advertisements on television, as with smoking, about the negative health effects of meat eating.

Have you noticed, you never see videos of how animals are slaughtered on regular or cable television.  You can find this on Youtube and other places, but never on mainstreat TV.  The meat industry is VERY sensitive to such images going to mass audiences, and either they object to TV stations, or the stations suppress the videos themselves as too awful or offensive to air.

Many people really don't want to see images of such suffering caused by their own meat eating, fur using, or the use of other animal products.  They even attack Facebook people who post such images as offensive, when the worst offense is that they do nothing.

If we join together an offer people a leading voice to end this continuous assault on our open hearts, on our consciences, maybe we can end meat eating within the US, or mostly end it, not in our lifetimes maybe, but within this century, then we will have done something that Robert Adams and Ramana would have been proud of.

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012

Mary Cummins appealing unjust Texas court ruling - Animal Advocates

Mary Cummins appealing unjust Texas court ruling 

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates

June 14, 2012 Judge William Brigham ruled in favor of Plaintiffs in the case Bat World Sanctuary v Mary Cummins. Cummins had reported Lollar to authorities for animal cruelty and animal neglect which she witnessed while at Bat World in Texas. She posted her reports and public documents online and was sued for defamation. Cummins is appealing this unjust ruling.

Mary Cummins an animal rescuer in Los Angeles, California reported Amanda Lollar of Bat World Sanctuary for animal cruelty, animal neglect and health code violations. Cummins witnessed Amanda Lollar performing surgery on bats when she is not a veterinarian and hasn't gone past the ninth grade. Bats were dying under Lollar's care. Cummins posted her findings on her website AnimalAdvocates.us.

Cummins also posted the results of Freedom of Information Act requests on her website. She posted complaints and reports made by others about Amanda Lollar and Bat World Sanctuary. The complaints stretching back 18 years were about animal cruelty, animal neglect, violations of the health code, violations of Texas Parks & Wildlife regulations, violations of the Animal Welfare Act, building violations and a report about a rabid bat biting a toddler directly next door to Bat World Sanctuary. 

Cummins also posted negative reports bat experts had made about Lollar's procedures. Lollar recommended freezing bats to death in her manual which is illegal and inhumane according to the American Veterinary Medication Association. Lollar also recommended the improper use of anesthesia which Lollar admitted caused some bats to die.

Amanda Lollar then sued Cummins for defamation. Plaintiffs in court did not prove that Cummins defamed Lollar. The essential elements of a defamation cause of action that must be proven in Texas are, (1) The defendant published a statement of fact, (2) The statement was defamatory, (3) The statement was false, (4) The defendant acted negligently in publishing the false and defamatory statement, and (5) The Plaintiffs suffered damages as a result. 

Plaintiffs did not prove that Cummins made all of the statements. Most of the items were the results of information act requests. They were public documents written by others. Cummins contends that everything she posted was the absolute truth. Plaintiffs did not prove that the items were false or that they suffered any financial damages.

Cummins was also sued for breach of contract. The essential elements of a breach of contract cause of action that must be proven are, (1) There is a valid contract; (2) The Plaintiffs performed or tendered performance according to the terms of the contract; (3) The Defendant breached the contract; and (4) The Plaintiffs sustained damages as a result of the breach.

Cummins contends she never signed a contract. Plaintiffs' own signature expert report stated that the signature on the contract was only "probable." It was not "strongly probable" or a "positive identification." Plaintiffs did not perform according to the contract. Cummins actions would have never been considered a breach. Plaintiffs showed no financial damages.

Even though Plaintiffs did not prove defamation or breach of contract Judge William Brigham ruled in favor of Plaintiffs. The Judge will soon sign an order to force Cummins to remove items from her website and others. The items are the results of information act requests. They are complaints made by others about animal cruelty, animal neglect and violations of the health code. The order will also include websites owned by others who were not a party to the action.

Cummins stated "I clearly did not defame Amanda Lollar or Bat World Sanctuary. I reported her for animal cruelty and neglect. I provided photos and videos to authorities besides detailed reports. Lollar just wants to hide these complaints from the public. Most of the items they want removed were written by others or are on websites I don't even control. I cannot possibly remove other people's websites or content. This order is overly broad."

Cummins continued "I most certainly did not sign their contract. Their own expert handwriting report did not state that I signed it. The authorship report by their so-called 'expert' Eric Shupps is also flawed. Shupps has never been an expert witness before in any case. He used a free beta software called JGAAP. The author of the program stated it cannot be used for court cases because of its inherent limitations. Shupps also used the writings of others as samples of my writing. Garbage in, garbage out. On top of this Shupps accused me of planting a Google bomb. Google bombs have been impossible since 2007."

When asked about the ruling Cummins replied, "I'm shocked because Plaintiffs did not show the essential elements for a claim of defamation or breach of contract. Then again I'm not shocked. Before one hearing Plaintiffs' attorney Randy Turner told me that he's known this judge for years. He insinuated that the Judge will automatically rule in his favor, and he did. There was a conflict of interest." 

Cummins stated she is contesting the Judge's order, requesting a new trial and appealing the decision. Cummins is currently suing Amanda Lollar and Bat World Sanctuary in Federal court in California for libel and defamation.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates rescues ill, injured and orphaned native wildlife for release back to the wild.http://www.AnimalAdvocates.us