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Resurgence seen in “crush” videos, HSUS says

Animal “crush” videos — recorded depictions of extreme, and generally fatal, animal cruelty — have undergone a resurgence, ten years after they led to the passage of federal anti-animal cruelty laws, the Humane Society of the United States says.

With the U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider the constitutionality of a federal anti-animal cruelty law on Oct. 6, the HSUS revealed the results of a new investigation showing that such videos are widely available on the Internet, despite the decade-old law, and even more so since it was struck down by  an appellate court last July.

The enactment of the Federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law in 1999 halted the proliferation of animal crushing operations, the HSUS said. The law has also been used to crack down on commercial dogfighting operations.

“The federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law is the only tool available to crack down on this horrific form of extreme animal cruelty,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We wouldn’t allow the sale of videos of actual child abuse or murder staged for the express purpose of selling videos of such criminal acts, and the same legal principles apply to despicable acts of animal cruelty.”

Pacelle wrote about the crushing issue on his blog yesterday.

The videos and photographs show, among other things, women, often in high-heeled shoes, impaling and crushing  puppies, kittens and other small animals.

The HSUS says it recently conducted extensive Internet research and undercover email communication to ascertain the availability of small animal crush videos for sale on the Internet. The password protected part of one website had 118 videos for sale. The videos were of small animals, including rabbits, hamsters, mice, tortoises, quail, chicken, ducks, frogs, snakes, and even cats, being tortured and crushed. The animals were burned, drowned, and had nails hammered into them.

Videos ranged in price from $20 to $100. Each of the videos for sale contained footage of multiple animals, translating into hundreds of small animals being tortured and crushed to death for the profit-making of this one website alone.

Undercover investigators also established contact with another crush website and were offered 12 crush videos featuring rabbits. Another website contacted offered 17 mouse crush videos.

“We wouldn’t allow people to sell videos of people actually abusing children and raping women, and for good reason. It’s vital to protect the community from the violence that flows from those who perpetrate such inexcusable crimes,” said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. “The same legal principles apply to the malicious acts of cruelty revealed by The HSUS’ recent crush video investigation. We do not tolerate illegal animal abuse, and we should not tolerate those who profit from it.”


Comment from Twilight
Time September 16, 2009 at 10:36 pm

The most gory, obnoxious, obviously staged, and obscene videos widely distributed and shown in years originate from animal rightist groups filming usually abroad.

Comment from justin
Time September 28, 2009 at 11:56 am

As many of you know, the US Supreme Court is ruling on the very issue that would better protect our animals from these “crush videos”. The case, to be reviewed by the Court on Oct. 6th, is United States v. Stevens.

International Society for Animal Rights is hosting a 15 minute Skype presentation titled “Unpublished Insights into United States v. Stevens”.
This presentation is free and will take place on Wednesday, September 30th at 1:00PM EST.

ISAR will present an analysis by Professor Henry Mark Holzer of the possible outcome of the Stevens case. He will focus on what can be expected of each justice in light of Supreme Court precedent, their own philosophies, and the nature of the case. Immediately following the presentation there will be a Q&A session.

In order to listen, you must have Skype. You can download Skype for free at http://www.facebook.com/l/11614;www.skype.com/. After you have Skype, add the username ColleenGedrich to your contacts.

For more information, please see the link below: