Monday, August 29, 2011

TURTLE TORTURE

Baby Snapping Turtle
It's late and the photo above is the best I could do at this late hour.  That little guy was found while on a canoe paddle on Indian Boundary Lake simply floating on the surface of the water.

I am not in a very good mood tonight.  I received an email yesterday from a friend who described an absolutely horrible situation in Indiana involving the harassment and maiming of snapping turtles resulting with many that die slow, horrible deaths.  It seems that;  no;  it is a fact that in Ohio County, Indiana there is an event called Snapperfest that has become an annual event.  It has been held every year for the past ten years.  This year it took place on August 20th at the Campshore Campgrounds in Indiana.  The following paragraph is a copy from a web page I found briefly describing activities of the event.  I quote from that article:

"The frightened animals are grabbed by their tails and repeatedly slammed to the ground.  their heads are yanked from their shells, and they are then swung around until "contestants" are able to wrap their fists around the animals' necks.  Cheering on of the turtle-wranglers has grown in popularity, and the organizers insist it is good, clean, fun."

To that I say Bull!  This is a clear example of animal cruelty in its most prolific form and it is being ignored by law officials from all branches of the Indiana government.   The local Aurora Police Chief Bryan Field said that although he has received numerous complaints, the event falls outside of the jurisdiction of the Aurora Police Department.  Again;  I say bull.  All that police department has to do is pick up the phone and involve an agency that is responsible.  You think I'm making too much of this issue?  Type in Turtle Cruelty in your search engine and prepare to see the most stupid, overweight, Bubba complete with bib overalls swinging a snapping turtle around by it's neck and acting macho and proud as the obviously uneducated crowd of dolts clap and cheer him on from the grand stand.  Look at the proud, "I'm tuff",  face this idiot wears.

What is happening to society?  What on earth kind of enjoyment can any human being with the slightest bit of neuron activity at all in the brain get from exacting such harsh torture on an ancient creature that is harmless and secretive in the wilds.  What an example to hold up to the children present!   Worse;  what kind of law enforcement agency says the issue is out of their jurisdiction, hangs up the phone and goes to the doughnut shop immediately after?  This ridiculous spectacle has been occurring for the past ten years.  Hard to believe.  Is everybody in Indiana insensitive to animal abuse?  Does animal abuse only pertain to dogs, cats and horses.  The answer to that is absolutely not!  Animal abuse is the harassment and abuse of any animal, wild or domestic.  ANY!  Evidently the law in Indiana views it differently.  They better not view it differently.  I'll make damn sure they don't.  I looked up the Indiana Law pertaining to cruelty and mistreatment of animals and I'm going to call this Chief Bryan Field of the Aurora Police Department and remind him of the statute.  It reads:

Title 35, Article 46, Chapter 3  Indiana Cruelty to Animals  Statute 35-46-3-12
Heading----Torture or Mutilation of a Vertebrate Animal

Sec 12 (a) A person who knowingly or intentionally tortures, beats, or mutilates a vertebrate animal commits cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor.  However, the offense is a Class D felony if the person has a previous, unrelated conviction under this section

It goes on:

(b)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the accused person:
(1)  reasonably believes the conduct was necessary to:
(A)  prevent injury to the accused person or another person:
(B)  protect the property of the accused person from destrruction or substantial damage, or
(C)  prevent a seriously injured vertebrate animal from prolonged suffering, or
(2)  engaged in a reasonable and recognized act of training, handling, or disciplining the vertebrate animal

By the way;  a turtle is a vertebrate.   Their spine is attached to their shell, just in case you were wondering if the statute applies to turtles.  Revisit Section 12 and read it again.

This is only one statute applicable to the issue.

This rant of mine is not about hunting turtles or capturing and selling snapping turtles.  Both actions are legal in most states.  The law is the law.  This is about extreme torture and maiming of an animal for the pure joy of it.  The Alligator Snapping Turtle is considered endangered by many states and Indiana considered them endangered and has strict regulations that forbid it's destruction or even capture.  Wonder if proud Bubba can identify one of those or does he select his turtle victims indiscriminately?

I am going to do all I can to put this issue in front of as many public animal agencies as I can.  If you would like to join me;  please feel free to send the address of this blog entry to anyone you think may be interested in stopping this insanity.  And if you are a law enforcement agency in Indiana;  please email me.   I'd like to exchange the written word with you about this abomination that has been overlooked for the past ten years and still exists in your state.

I am not a tree hugger and never claimed to be.  I will, however, not stand by and see a creature tortured to death, wild or domestic, for the enjoyment of some uneducated morons by an obviously uneducated moron who probably has ten moronic kids at home waiting to grow up to be just like dad.