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Statements of Position/Policy Regarding Animal Welfare

Foreword

Following are the statements of positions and policies that have been approved by the Board of Directors of Maui Humane Society. Taken together, these statements constitute the attitude and position of Maui Humane Society (MHS) regarding animal welfare and protection issues at this particular time in history.

MHS defines itself as an organization committed to both protecting and advocating for all animals. As such, we seek to respond creatively, quickly and realistically to new challenges facing animals in society as well as in the wild. In addition, many of the issues we address are complex and mercurial. For these reasons, this volume is intended to be read as a living document; modifications to existing position and policy statements, as well as entirely new issues requiring development of statements, are anticipated.

Maui Humane Society is a unique and distinct non-profit organization directed by its own volunteer Board of Directors. It is not an affiliate of any other organizations or entities. However, MHS wishes to acknowledge three national organizations -- The Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Protection of Animals, and the American Humane Association -- for their assistance and leadership in the research and preparation of many of the following positions and policies.

Maui Humane Society publishes these statements as a barometer by which we expect to be judged in our efforts to help make our community a more humane society and a better place for both animals and humans.


Position Statements (in alphabetical order):


Animals as "Novelties," Including Animals as Easter Pets, and the Distribution of Animals for Commercial Promotions and for Contests

Every year, millions of animals are sold or otherwise distributed as novelties. The most common example of this practice is the annual sale of baby ducklings, chicks and rabbits in association with the Easter season. Other examples include the distribution of goldfish in association with community events and contests, and the use of various small domestic and exotic animals as promotional devices associated with the opening of a film or business.

The great majority of these animals do not survive for any length of time. Instead, they die as the result of starvation and neglect, or as a result of the stress and conditions they experience as part of the distribution process itself.

Maui Humane Society is opposed to this practice, which not only causes the suffering of animals but also encourages children to be insensitive to the real needs and the suffering of animals.

Approved February 2015                                                                Back to Top


Animals in Biomedical Research and Testing, including the Study of Live Animals in Elementary and Secondary School Biology

Regardless of the possible health benefits for both human and animals historically and currently derived from scientific research and testing on animals, and with due acknowledgment that such advances have been derived from research and testing on animals, The Maui Humane Society expresses grave concern relating to the status quo of animals in biomedical research and testing. Such concerns are directed at the conditions for the housing of animals, the process for the review and approval of protocols using animals, and the safeguards and limited laws in place for possible protection of animals.

The Maui Humane Society endorses the approach of The Humane Society of the United States as it relates to this complex issue; that is, that the evaluation of proposed plans for research and testing involving animals should carefully address the following three questions. Can the proposed use of animals be replaced by non-animal methods that would yield comparable results? If not, can the proposed number of animals be reduced to a minimum without compromising the results? Can the proposed procedure be refined so that any pain, suffering, or deprivation experienced by the animals be minimized without compromising the results? These principles -- replacing, reducing, and refining animal use -- constitute the three-R's of the alternatives approach.

The Maui Humane Society further believes that certain experiments should be prevented by legal safeguards, regardless of the possibility of alternatives. These include experiments that unnecessarily duplicate other studies; are scientifically or medically trivial, are dubious, or otherwise unnecessary; are extremely painful or stressful; or otherwise fail to balance scientific aims and the public's concern for animals.

As a related matter, The Maui Humane Society holds the following view of the study of live animals in elementary and secondary school biology: for pre-college biology to have any lasting value to the student, the focus of such education must be on appreciation of animals as living, sentient creatures with an emphasis on normal behavior, life patterns and interaction with the normal environment.

The Society opposes the use of animals in school-sponsored or approved experiments, lessons or projects that interfere with the normal health or development of the animal, constitute major manipulation of the animals or the animals' behavior, or cause pain, fear, anxiety or discomfort. Experiments and activities using live animals should be limited to observation of pets, or normal living patterns of wildlife in the wild or in appropriate institutional settings. In those situations in which classroom teachers maintain live domestic animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs, The Society feels strongly that the single most important lesson will be in what safeguards the teacher puts in place to guarantee the physical and psychological well-being of the animal; classroom pets are often the victims of neglect. In rare instances, small native animals whose habitat can be temporarily simulated in a classroom setting may be brought in for short-term observation; but release to the original natural habitat must be arranged for after a brief period.

Finally, The Maui Humane Society believes that dissection is unnecessary and inconsistent with the development of a humane ethic. While recognizing that banning classroom dissection is unlikely at this time The Society believes that students should, at the least, be exposed to an ethical discussion regarding the topic and provided with the choice of meaningful non-dissection alternatives.

Please also refer to the following policies within this volume: "Humane Education" and “Shelter Animal Seizure”.

Approved April 2014                                                                      Back to Top


Animals in Entertainment and Performance, Including Animals in Circuses, Rodeos and Racing Events

Maui Humane Society is not opposed to the use or involvement of animals in entertainment and performances per se, but is opposed to the use of animals in any event which is likely to result in pain, injury, excessive stress or death to the animal. This view applies to all entertainments and performances involving animals, including but not limited to animals in circuses, rodeos, racing events, television and motion pictures, as well as local community events organized as fund-raisers or for entertainment.

MHS is opposed to and denounces the use of pain causing devices including but not limited to electric prods of various description, sharpened sticks, chemical irritants electric shock or choke collars intended for the training or used in actual performances. Instead, MHS believes that training and direction must be based upon positive reinforcement instead of coercive or abusive techniques.

MHS does not support any performance which denigrates animals or simulates the pain or death of an animal. Such events can have a desensitizing effect on the community as a whole and on children in particular, helping to foster a belief that animals are impervious to pain and suffering and that animal abuse is acceptable behavior.

Approved February 2015                                                                Back to Top


Animals Raised for Food/Slaughter

Maui Humane Society does not take a position on dietary issues such as vegetarian, vegan, or other types of specialized diets. MHS supports the enforcement and strengthening of current laws and the implementation of humane standards for animals in every phase of animal based food production. MHS opposes practices that result in animals being viewed as and treated as non-feeling entities and practices that cause suffering or decrease the quality of life such as “factory farming” techniques.

MHS believes that there is great potential for inhumane slaughter when done by nonprofessionals (often called backyard slaughter), and as such, MHS opposes the slaughter of any animal used for food except by a certified slaughter house.

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Assistance Animals

Maui Humane Society recognizes that certain animals can help some disabled or handicapped individuals lead more independent or enriched lives by either assisting them in the performance of necessary tasks and/or by serving as a nexus to assist such persons with their disability. For the purpose of this statement, the term "assistance animal" is used in its broadest possible sense but within the scope of Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 515, the Fair Housing Act and American Disabilities Act.

Maui Humane Society believes that in such a relationship, the needs of both the animal and the human must be recognized and accommodated. Responsibility for an assistance animal's care must rest with a clearly defined handler or caregiver. MHS is opposed to any programs or placements that include the surgical or medical alteration of an animal beyond surgical sterilization and common and sound veterinary medical practice. MHS condemns the practice of de-fanging primates, de-barking dogs or the chemical tranquilizing of animals for such programs. Similarly, the training of such animals must be based upon positive reinforcement and not utilize coercive or abusive techniques and/or devices.

MHS advocates selecting assistance animals from shelters whenever feasible and does not support the use of primates or exotic or wild animals as assistance animals. MHS further recommends that retired assistance animals become household pets in their handler's homes or other carefully screened placements.

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Behavior Modification and Training of Pets

The Maui Humane Society believes that the training of one's companion animals is an integral part of pet-owner responsibility; that the abuse, neglect and frequent abandonment untrained animals suffer at the hands of uninformed and frustrated owners, is of similar concern to other forms of more intentional cruelties. As such, providing adequate and humane training is on a par with providing such other basics as appropriate food, water, shelter, veterinary medical care and exercise.

The Maui Humane Society recognizes that there are currently many different and, sometimes, conflicting schools of thought regarding the philosophy and methodology of behavior modification and training. The Society endorses any and all training practices which are based on respecting the animal and the selective positive reinforcement of natural tendencies targeted to modify behaviors. Conversely, The Society condemns any and all training practices which are based on or utilize coercive or abusive techniques and/or devices.

Approved April 2014                                                               Back to Top


Bloodsports, Including Cockfighting and Dog Fighting

The Maui Humane Society is unequivocally opposed to so-called bloodsports such as cockfighting, dog fighting, bullfighting, and other similar spectacles. The Society views such events as without any redeeming value or merit, and as symptoms of the most cruel and base tendencies; these spectacles are intentional torture presented as a source of entertainment and profit.

The Maui Humane Society actively campaigns to make all such activities criminal offenses, enforced and prosecuted at the highest appropriate level. The Society believes that any and all related activity should be illegal, including: active participation in a so-called bloodsport, for amusement or for gain; owning, possessing, keeping or training any animal with the intent of involving that animal in a bloodsport; permitting or knowingly allowing a bloodsport on any premises or property under one's charge or control; knowingly spectating at a bloodsport; possession of implements for use or training of any bloodsport.

Please also refer to the following policy within this volume: "Societal Violence."

Approved September 2014                                                               Back to Top


Breeding of Companion Animals

Maui Humane Society provides temporary care and sanctuary for thousands of animals every year. Companion animals -- predominantly dogs and cats, rabbits to a lesser degree, and other animals which have been domesticated and are commonly kept as pets -- make up the great share of animals housed through MHS’ Animal Shelter program.

Maui Humane Society recognizes that the current crisis in companion animal overpopulation is among the most significant, if not the single largest contributing factor, to the need for sheltering programs. As such, MHS believes in and promotes reasonable efforts and programs designed to help control the breeding of companion animals and to educate the public about the impact of the overpopulation crisis.

Maui Humane Society condemns mass breeding establishments and is strongly opposed to the sale, through pet stores and other retail markets, of animals bred in such facilities. "Puppy mills" are the best known example of such establishments, but there are equivalent although generally smaller industries for other animals such as cats, parakeets, guinea pigs, which are equally reprehensible. MHS believes that legislation, public information and the economic strength of public boycotts of such enterprises are legitimate tools to close puppy mills and other mass breeding establishments.

Maui Humane Society believes that should individuals choose to allow the breeding of companion animals in their care, humane standards must be in place regarding the frequency of breeding, the conditions in which the animals are housed, the age of the mother and the ages at which the offspring and mother are separated, the regimen of preventive veterinary medical care provided, and the genetic relationship between mated pairs.

MHS believes that anyone profiting from the sale of companion animals is obligated to review potential homes prior to the placement of the offspring with attention directed at the appropriateness of the placement for both the animal and the potential caregivers. MHS further believes that individuals and companies profiting from the sale of companion animals should be held accountable for the health of the animals produced and sold, and supports legislation mandating this sort of accountability.

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Cosmetic Surgery on Animals

The Humane Society opposes all cosmetic surgery and any other unnecessary surgical procedures on animals when such procedures are performed solely for the convenience or pleasure of the animals' owners. Examples of such procedures include tail docking and ear cropping. The declawing of cats is similarly opposed in those cases where it is performed solely for the convenience of the cat's owner.

Approved October 2014                                                               Back to Top


Euthanasia

Maui Humane Society acknowledges that euthanasia of animals may be necessary in certain circumstances primarily to alleviate or prevent suffering. MHS does everything in its power to provide for the homeless animals of Maui but the sad reality is that available resources and appropriate homes, do not match the number of homeless and abandoned animals who arrive at our door each day. We agree with the ASPCA position statement that euthanasia must be understood for what it is: "a last-step, end of the road option to spare homeless and abandoned animals further hardship and suffering".

Maui Humane Society recognizes that the current crisis in companion animal overpopulation is among the most significant if not the largest single contributing factor to the euthanasia of otherwise healthy animals. As such, MHS believes in and promotes reasonable efforts and programs designed to help control the breeding of companion animals, to maximize accessible and affordable spay/neuter services, to educate the public about the impact of the animal overpopulation crisis and to promote and institute live release options (adoption, reclaims, and transfer to a facility where the animal will be guaranteed a home and/or acceptable living conditions within that facility).

Maui Humane Society further advocates that euthanasia be performed only by skilled professionals trained in administering injectable euthanasia solution in a manner which, to the fullest extent possible, is painless, rapid and minimizes fear and apprehension in the animal.

Approved October 2017                                                               Back to Top


Farm Animal Welfare

The Maui Humane Society, consistent with its basic belief that the prevention of unnecessary animal suffering and the promotion of an empathetic approach to all life is an essential goal of a greater humane society, expresses concern for all animal life. Based on the massive number of animals involved, the Maui Humane Society recognizes that the exploitative and manipulative practices of farm animals represents the single largest category of animal suffering and abuse.

The Maui Humane Society firmly believes that all animals should be allowed to live in an environment for which they are biologically and psychologically predisposed. Farm animals, as animals under direct human control, can only experience such an environment if it is artificially provided for them. As such, the Maui Humane Society calls upon the farm animal community to strive to create environments and husbandry practices which provide the following: adequate and appropriate food, water, air, shelter and exercise; effective health care and supervision; environmental complexity and enrichment to avoid boredom and sensory deprivation; handling in all stages of life, including the process which leads to the termination of life, which avoids unnecessary pain, fear and suffering.

Approved September 2014                                                               Back to Top


Fur as Garments and Other Luxury Animal-Products

Maui Humane Society believes that the trapping, raising and killing of animals for luxury fur garments is a source of significant animal pain and suffering; as such, MHS is opposed to these practices. Furthermore, Maui Humane Society believes that the use of animals as a source of luxury items (including the use of fur as garments, and the use of such materials as animal ivory and turtle shell for trinkets and novelties) fosters the wrong and harmful impression that an animal's commercial worth is determinant of an animal's true value.

Because ranched fur-bearing animals experience significant stress during life as a direct result of captivity, and because these animals further experience significant suffering as a direct result of the manner and methods used to kill these animals, ranched furs cannot be considered a humane alternative to wild-caught fur.

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Healthy Community Cats

Maui Humane Society no longer euthanizes healthy community cats due to lack of space or unsuitability for adoption.  Instead, we practice a sterilization  program. We spay or neuter the cat, tip the left ear, insert a microchip, vaccinate , administer deworming medication and return the cat to their original location.  We are able to safely assume from the cat’s healthy body condition that they are being fed and cared for by a community member.  In addition to increasing the number of outdoor cats who are sterilized, our policy also reduces the overall population of cats on Maui. It also prevents the tragic euthanasia of pets who were captured while roaming and lack owner identification.

Read More: Maui Humane Society's Policy on Healthy Community Cats


Homeless Animals

Maui Humane Society agrees with the Humane Society of the United States’s policy statement on Animal Homelessness, specifically, that the number of companion animals in need of good homes is greater than the number of responsible homes available. This results in millions of companion animals entering local shelters. Maui Humane Society therefore urges people to spay or neuter their companion animals and to solve pet behavior and other problems that may lead to pet relinquishment.

Maui Humane Society also urges humane organizations and animal care and control agencies to require whenever possible that all animals be sterilized before being released for adoption, unless medically inappropriate, and to encourage the spaying and neutering of companion animals within their communities. MHS supports the enactment and enforcement of animal control ordinances designed to regulate, deter, and reduce companion animal breeding, and encourages cooperation between animal shelters and veterinarians in implementing sterilization programs and other solutions to the problem of companion animal homelessness.

Approved October 2017                                                               Back to Top


Humane Education

Maui Humane Society believes that cruelty directed against animals and the neglectful treatment of animals are sometimes the result of an uninformed mind. Therefore, Maui Humane Society believes that humane education is one important method of preventing animal cruelty. Maui Humane Society defines humane education as teaching designed to foster empathy for other living creatures. MHS feels that the development of concerns beyond the well-being of oneself and one's own species is a logical step in the evolution of human ethics and a sign of ethical maturity.

Maui Humane Society also believes that there is a demonstrable link between violence directed against animals and violence directed against people. As one aspect of this link, young people who do not develop an appreciation for animals as sentient beings, often grow into adults who have limited concern for the welfare of animals, other people and society as a whole. Because of this link Maui Humane Society believes that humane education is a principal means of preventing all forms of violence and as such should be required component of elementary and secondary school curricula.

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Hunting, Fishing and Trapping, Including "Canned Hunts"

Maui Humane Society opposes the hunting, fishing, and trapping of any living creature for the sole purpose of entertainment, trophy or sport.

Maui Humane Society opposes the use of steel-jaw leg hold traps and all other trapping and hunting devices which, by design, cause pain and suffering. MHS believes that use of such devices should be illegal on all public and private lands.

Maui Humane Society condemns "canned hunts." Canned hunts are defined as events, generally staged for a profit, which position target animals in artificial environments for the purpose of providing a hunter with the opportunity for a kill; these events often rely upon weakened, drugged or shackled animals and extending the length of time it takes for the animal to die. MHS condemns such activities as barbaric and finds any zoos, wildlife parks and similar institutions which breed and/or supply animals for "canned hunts" as culpable and inhumane.

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Limited Admission or No-Kill Shelters

Currently, there is a proliferation of agencies which purport to provide shelter for animals with the assurance that euthanasia will not be performed on animals accepted. Maui Humane Society believes that each such agency deserves to be judged on its own merits.

While Maui Humane Society does not oppose such a philosophy or program in and of itself, MHS does recognize that such groups are able to operate only by limiting the number of animals they accept; this is in comparison to the open door policy practiced by Maui Humane Society. To the degree that these limited admission or no-kill shelters provide a complementary program to that of MHS by assisting a limited number of animals through temporary care and adoption services, it is the intent of MHS to cooperate with such agencies as long as the individual agency operates according to accepted humane standards, towards the larger goal of preventing animal suffering.

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Non-Surgical Contraception
The Maui Humane Society agrees with the policy statement of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians regarding Non-surgical Contraception. The ASV supports the development and use of non-surgical sterilization and contraceptive methods as long as those methods are proven to be safe and effective through appropriately structured scientific research, published in peer-reviewed veterinary literature, and approved through designated regulatory channels. Permanent sterility is preferred for animals being adopted from shelters. As with surgical sterilization, non-surgical interventions may or may not ameliorate the effect of hormonally-driven behaviors and may not be appropriate for every animal or every situation.

Approved March 2014                                                               Back to Top


Pets in Housing

The Maui Humane Society believes that many individuals who could provide appropriate and loving homes for unwanted pets are prohibited from doing so by restrictive policies put in place by certain property owners and managers. The Society finds such blanket restrictions short-sighted, resulting in the death of many animals as well as depriving many people of the important relationship which can be developed with a companion animal.

The Society recognizes that certain irresponsible pet owners have, by their actions, contributed to the unwillingness of property owners and managers to allow tenants to have pets. However, The Society asks landlords to consider reasonable policies to allow pets in their housing rather than restrictive policies which essentially penalize the most responsible individuals.

The Society will not knowingly place an animal with care givers who are not allowed to maintain animals in their housing.

The Society will work with landlords and property managers to develop guidelines to allow animals in their housing. Furthermore, The Society will work with pet owners to encourage responsible ownership for the welfare and comfort of the animal, the owners and the larger community.

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Pet Ownership

Maui Humane Society is fully supportive of the keeping of companion animals and recognizes that healthy examples of the human/companion animal bond are important and life-affirming relationships.

Unfortunately, in the eyes of the law, pet ownership is essentially a question of property ownership. However, Maui Humane Society acknowledges animals as fellow sentient beings. Companion animals are living animals who have been, through the process of domestication, changed in vital and important ways. MHS recognizes that, by making such changes, humans have made companion animals dependent upon us. As such, MHS's emphasis is on appropriate and responsible stewardship of companion animals.

Maui Humane Society promotes and implements policies and programs designed to enhance the healthy, mutually beneficial relationship between people and animals.

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Ritual Sacrifice

The Maui Humane Society is opposed to the ritual sacrifice of animals. For the purposes of this statement, ritual sacrifice of animals is defined as the intentional killing, maiming or torture of an animal for the purpose of propitiating a deity or for the purpose of another occult or religious reason.

The Maui Humane Society, while cognizant of and sensitive to issues of cultural diversity and recognizing the importance of various systems of belief, draws an important distinction between "actions" and "beliefs." As such, The Society believes that it is consistent with the community's greater good and certainly essential to the mission of this organization to prohibit acts of cruelty against animals even if such actions are purported to be a part of a religious or other belief system.

The Maui Humane Society believes that this meaningful distinction has been repeatedly made when issues such as bigamy and the use of narcotics and other drugs have been discussed within the context of a system of religious belief. Therefore, The Maui Humane Society supports a legislative ban on ritual animal sacrifice as defined in this statement.

Approved March 2014                                                               Back to Top


Shelter Animal Seizure

Animal Shelters cannot operate effectively without the confidence of the community they serve and must be seen by the public as a safe haven for lost, stray, or abandoned animals. The relinquishment of companion animals from public and private shelters to facilities that use live animals for research, testing or educational purposes is a betrayal of public trust and the implicit contract established between humans and companion animals.

Maui Humane Society therefore condemns the practice of surrendering animals from both public and private shelters to biomedical research laboratories, colleges, universities, other educational or training institutions, pharmaceutical houses, and other facilities that use animals or tissues from animals for experimental testing or teaching purposes or for breeding animals for such purposes.

MHS believes that the proper role of an animal shelter is that of temporary sanctuary. Seizure of animals in shelter care is contrary to that mission and reduces shelters to cheap sources for laboratories.
MHS condemns animal shelters which participate or allow shelter animals to be seized, and MHS condemns any legislative or administrative procedures which force shelters to participate in the seizure of sheltered animals.

Please also refer to the following policy within this volume: "Animals in Biomedical Research and Testing."

Approved February 2015                                                               Back to Top


Societal Violence

The Maui Humane Society firmly believes that violence directed at animals is in no fundamental way distinguishable from violence directed at people. The Society believes that cruelty and violence in all forms are unacceptable and integrally related, and that the species of the victim is largely determined by coincidence and opportunity.

The Society acknowledges the research which has documented what is termed "the cycle of abuse," referring to the following linked phenomena. First, some victims of child abuse will look for potential victims of their own, whether while still children or as adults, and a small animal makes a convenient target. Second, the link between abuse as a child and violent behavior as an adult is frighteningly well-documented. And third, that violence against animals can be seen as a predictor for future violent acts against people. No childhood act of violence against an animal should be excused as simply childish behavior. No violence against any victim should be summarily dismissed as a single or isolated event.

The Maui Humane Society has accepted prevention of cruelty and violence to animals as a part of its fundamental mission and, as such, has developed various programs to implement this goal. The Society interprets this goal in its broadest possible sense and believes that it is within its mandate to advocate for a broader humane ethic throughout the whole society; that is, to help build the greater humane society.

Approved February 2014                                                               Back to Top


Sources of Companion Animals

Because there are homeless pets awaiting adoption in almost every community in the nation, Maui Humane Society strongly advocates that persons wishing to acquire a pet consider adopting one from a shelter or other source of homeless animals. Those who are committed to acquiring a specific breed of animal should locate a breed specific rescue group or responsible breeder. While Maui Humane Society does not oppose the use of the Internet to locate adoptable animals and responsible breeders, MHS does not support purchasing or otherwise acquiring animals via the Internet without first meeting the animal and seeing the conditions in which the animal is kept.

Maui Humane Society has no intrinsic opposition to pet stores or other commercial establishments which offer for sale to the public animals commonly kept as pets, however, MHS does not support purchasing or otherwise acquiring animals from large-scale commercial breeders (puppy mills) or the retail outlets supporting the commercial breeders.

With regard to pet stores, MHS believes that such commercial establishments must establish policies and implement operational procedures which guarantee the physical and psychological health of the animals housed and sold through the establishment. Specifically, MHS believes that animals should be observed and examined by veterinarians prior to being placed for sale and at any time during the housing in the pet store when signs of illness or injury are observed. Pet
stores should also provide appropriate food, clean water, adequate ventilation, adequate size and species appropriate caging, socialization and opportunities for exercise.

Maui Humane Society further believes that pet stores should be required by law to follow standards which promote the physical and psychological well-being of the animals which they house and offer for sale.

Maui Humane Society condemns those segments of the pet retail industry which capture, transport and sell wild-caught animals and further opposes the practice of selling as pets most species of exotic animals, including captive bred individuals.

Approved February 2015                                                                Back to Top


Wild and Exotic Animals as Pets

The Maui Humane Society believes that most wild and exotic animals make unsuitable pets and that, in the vast majority of instances, the captivity of such animals results in failure for both the animals and their caretakers.

While the rare exceptions do exist, most individuals interested in the keeping of wild and exotic animals are unprepared to make and uninformed as to the commitment of time, resources and finances necessary to keep such animals in a physically healthy manner. Assuming such commitments can be made and met, most wild and exotic animals still cannot adjust fully to captivity and, as such, are simply maintained.

The Society condemns those segments of the pet industry which capture, transport and sell wild-caught animals; such actions are intrinsically cruel to the animals.

Approved March 2014                                                                Back to Top


Wildlife and Natural Habitat Preservation, Including Predator Control

The Maui Humane Society believes that protection of wildlife and wild places is essential for the future of the planet and that advocacy for such preservation is part of the greater role The Society plays in the community. The Society believes that the diversity of living forms is part of a complex natural order that needs to be preserved as much as possible. Improperly implemented predator control programs often result in the unnecessary slaughter of wildlife. In cases where there is a justifiable need for control or management policies to be put into place, the Society encourages the use of humane control measures such as repellents, immuno-contraception, chemical sterilization, trap-neuter-release-manage, and other similar non-lethal techniques. Culling of herds or euthanasia should only be used to prevent wild-life suffering and starvation.

Approved September 2014                                                                Back to Top


Zoos and Aquariums

The Maui Humane Society believes that the proper place for wild animals is in their natural, wild habitat and supports efforts to protect both wilderness and native species of fauna and flora. The Society expresses concern about zoos and aquariums in general in that these are facilities defined by their artificial captivity of wildlife.

Within that concern, The Maui Humane Society recognizes that there exists a spectrum of facilities. The Society believes that the proper and acceptable standards and missions for zoos and aquariums include the following: the preservation and restoration of wildlife, with the eventual reintroduction into suitable wild habitat; the education of the community as to the needs of wild animals and their proper role in the ecosystem; the providing of a sanctuary for injured or previously exploited wild animals.

The Maui Humane Society believes that few zoos and aquariums today strive to reach such standards and missions; instead, a great many facilities house exotic and/or wild animals essentially as a means of attracting consumers for the purpose of paying for entertainment and the purchase of gift shop and snack bar items. The Society pledges to assist zoos and aquariums who wish to function in an acceptable humane manner, and believes that institutions not interested in functioning in accord with these standards and missions should be permanently closed.

Approved February 2014                                                                Back to Top

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