Petition Filed to Stop Abuse of Turtles at “Snapperfest” Following Undercover Investigation of Cruelty

January 19th, 2012

Animal Groups Urge Indiana to Correct Legal Snafu that Has Allowed Abuse of Turtles at Annual Event as Appalling Footage from Indiana’s Snapperfest 2011 Is Released

For immediate release

Contact:

Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund

 Indianapolis – This morning, the national non-profits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and Best Friends Animal Society submitted a petition for rulemaking to the Indiana Natural Resources Commission, arguing that the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) misinterpretation of state law has allowed for illegal cruelty at Ohio County’s annual “Snapperfest.” Never before seen undercover footage provided by the World Animal Awareness Society – WA2S.org at last summer’s Snapperfest—an event where “contestants” demonstrate their prowess by pulling the heads of live turtles far outside of their shells—reveals numerous acts of cruelty that are in violation of state law. However, the DNR has condoned these actions by stating that Snapperfest participants are exempt from anti-cruelty law under an exception for activities including hunting and trapping, because, so they say, the turtles were trapped prior to their mistreatment at Snapperfest. ALDF and Best Friends Animal Society’s petition asks the Commission to clarify that this exception does not . . .

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