Friends of Animals offers $500 for scholarship to stop youth group's frog killing contest in Tennessee Because there are no laws in Tennessee protecting amphibians or reptiles from heinous killing contests, the DeKalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers are once again encouraging their peers to murder hundreds of frogs in the name of a fundraiser to create an agricultural scholarship for a DeKalb County student. So Friends of Animals (FoA) has offered $500 for the scholarship if the students cancel the horrific contest. Another non-profit, Running for Rescues, has also offered $500 to a student who donates 20 hours of their time to a certified, local animal-oriented non-profit in the community if the event is cancelled.
"Giggin for Grads" allows participants to go out at night and stab frogs with a sharp, long weapon or pitchfork-a deranged form of hunting called "gigging." Whoever has the heaviest bag of dead frogs wins the scholarship.
Kirk Miles, the wildlife program manager for Tennessee's Wildlife Resources Management Agency in DeKalb County confirmed to Friends of Animals' Campaign Director Edita Birnkrant that "there are no laws addressing cruelty specific to frogs" in Tennessee. The event is perfectly legal and all that's needed is a hunting license. That's the root of the problem, and we want it changed-so no more frogs have to suffer a slow, agonizing death from being stabbed.
The only law that exists regarding frogs and killing contests is that firearms cannot be used to kill the frogs. Apparently, anything else goes and is considered legal, including actions that would be considered outright torture. When asked if participants could light frogs on fire with no consequences, Miles admitted that there would be "no charges we could file against someone lighting frogs on fire."
"Apparently the wildlife management agencies in Tennessee don't understand the importance of the diversity of animals in an ecosystem," said Priscilla Feral, FoA's president. "Instead, because they are wedded to the hunters they make money from, they support activities that desensitize youth to killing animals so they grow up to be licensed hunters in the state of Tennessee."
FoA sent out an alert via e-mail and social media urging Tennessee residents to contact Governor Bill Haslam and tell him to put a moratorium on animal killing contests until the legislature can debate and consider a ban of animal killing contests in Tennessee. (FoA supports similar legislation was introduced in New York.) Residents should be able to weigh in on animal cruelty issues in their state.
"I saw the alert on FoA's Facebook page. Running for Rescues is a unique non-profit because we pay bills for other non-profits-whether it be for vetting, transport, food, etc. We help all animals," said Jodi Dougherty, founder, Running for Rescues. "For us to offer $500 to stop who knows how many frogs from being killed, is a no-brainer."
Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals, free-living and domestic around the world. www.friendsofanimals.org