Victories Just This Week from Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)
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Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)
August 2015

Please don’t ever doubt that your support makes a difference. Because of you, we have had an incredible week of victories that could have positive implications for thousands of animals worldwide for years to come. The purpose of this letter is simply to offer our heartfelt gratitude on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. We are just so humbled and appreciative that we wanted to share what we have accomplished just this week—together:

  • ALDF just won a landmark victory for animals and free speech, when the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho ruled in our favor, declaring Idaho’s Ag-Gag law unconstitutional. Ag-Gag laws criminalize undercover investigations that document animal welfare, worker safety, and food safety violations at an “agricultural production facility.” Under this law, journalists, workers, activists, and members of the public can be convicted for exposing animal cruelty or life-threatening safety violations.
  • In response to ALDF-generated online petitions and public outrage over Cecil the Lion’s poaching death in Zimbabwe earlier this month, Delta Airlines announced this week that the carrier has officially banned shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight. As one of the world’s largest airlines and the only U.S. carrier with direct service to South Africa, Delta has now made it harder for endangered animal trophy hunters and poachers to transport their carcasses back home to stuff and mount.

    Hours later, United Airlines stated that they will no longer transport felled elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards and water buffalo as well as lions. Next, American Airlines announced that they will no longer transport buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion or rhino trophies. By refusing to play a role in the wildlife trafficking supply chain, a $20 billion illicit trade in imperiled animal body parts, these airlines have demonstrated strong and ethical leadership. So, now it seems exotic animal trophy hunters will have to transport their kills by sea—or, better yet, find another hobby.
  • After 16 years of pacing a 250-square-foot cage eating corn and dog food at Jim Mack's Ice Cream in Central Pennsylvania, Ricky the Bear is living the good life at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keensburg, Colo. A February 2015 settlement in an Animal Legal Defense Fund lawsuit ultimately led to her release to the sanctuary. Bears in captivity can live for up to 40 years. That means this 19 year old still has half of her lifespan to enjoy the rolling grasslands and an eight-foot deep pond at her disposal.

    Today, Ricky no longer nervously paces back and forth and fully explores the 15 acre habitat she shares with several other black bears. Some of the sanctuary’s residents take years to stop engaging in the maladaptive, compulsive pacing behavior. However, after merely six months in her new digs, Ricky’s newfound meanderings mean that she is well on her way to achieving a full psychological recovery.

As an ALDF ally, you know that the law is the only protection that animals have from harm—and ALDF is the voice for animals in the legal system. Thanks to your support, we will continue to fight animal cruelty in court and keep animals out of harm’s way. We will also continue to provide you with updates on our important initiatives and programs.

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