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An inhuman court ruling

July 26, 2008

Re: Animal cruelty law is rejected," July 19

The decision of a U.S. appeals court to consider films of actual acts of cruelty to animals as "free speech" is appalling and unconscionable.

Filmed dogfights and cockfights are not depictions. These "blood sports" have been outlawed all over the world because of the intentional cruelty to animals. Dogs forced into these brutal events do not choose to be confined to a pit until one kills the other. Roosters do not elect to have knives attached to their feet to assure gaping, fatal wounds to another bird.

Neither do children willingly become victims of sexual predators. Can we expect the courts to soon strike down the laws against films of lewd and abusive acts involving children because they are merely "depictions" and constitute legal for-profit entertainment?

Phyllis M. Daugherty

Los Angeles

The court can't have it both ways. If child pornography isn't protected by the 1st Amendment because children are defenseless, innocent and voiceless, animal abuse and torture videos aren't either because animals are defenseless, innocent and voiceless.

Catherine Edwards

San Francisco

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