Action Alerts

Actions Needed for Current Federal Animal Legislation

CONTACT

Find your U.S. Representative here

Find your U.S. Senator here

Contact your Senators AND Representatives to support:

  • The Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 80, which would end the trafficking in primates for the pet trade, was approved by the House in July. The bill has been on the Senate legislative calendar for consideration by the full Senate without any further action.
  • The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009, H.R. 503 and S. 727 would end the slaughter of horses for food for human consumption throughout the states and prohibit the transport of horses to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption.
  • The Great Ape Protection Act, H. R. 1326, which would end the use of great apes for invasive research. While the bill now has 123 sponsors, it needs a greater push to move it into a position for serious consideration.
  • The Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2009, H.R. 3907 and S. 1834, would ensure that all dogs and cats used by research facilities are obtained legally.
  • The BEST Practices Act, H.R. 4269, would end the use of live animals in military medical training courses. This landmark bill, titled in full “the Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training Practices Act,” would end the use of live animals for research in both combat trauma injuries and chemical and biological casualty management exercises.
  • The Restore Our American Mustangs Act, H.R. 1018, would restore protections to wild horses and burrows under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives on July 17, 2009. This bill would put a stop to the horrific roundup of wild horses now taking place in the Calico Mountains Complex in northwestern Nevada, where the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to permanently remove up to 2,500 horses and move them to warehouses in the Midwest. In addition, BLM has begun the roundup of 200 horses in the Confusion Herd Management Area of Utah, leaving fewer than a hundred horses in the herd. The horses are rounded up using helicopters, causing stampedes towards the capture pens that leave horses injured and dying.
  • The Government Accountability Office reviewed the BLM policies, and issued a report in November 2008 that identified a number of deficiencies with the BLM wild horse and burro program. The problems cited included a reliance on poorly managed removals as the primary method for managing horses and an inaccurate system of accounting regarding the actual number of wild horses on the land. Passage of this bill would put an end to current BLM practices, but it is important to let the current Administration know that they should stop the current roundup NOW, before more horses are killed.
  • Send an e-mail to the Bureau of Land Management Director, Bob Abbey asking him to put the current roundup on hold to assess better management practices before more horses are maimed and killed in this year’s roundup.

Contact only your Representatives to support:

  • The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, H.R. 1549 and S. 619 would end the practice of feeding antibiotics to healthy chickens, pigs and cattle to encourage rapid growth and protect against epidemic disease from confinement farming.
  • The Truth in Fur Labeling Act, H.R. 2480 and S. 1076, would require the labeling of all fur products regardless of value, closing a loophole that currently exempts products with fur valued up to $150.

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Call off the Guns! Put Wolves Back on the Endangered Species List

Tell Secretary of Interior Salazar to put wolves back on the endangered species list, regardless of whatever cattle ranchers and hunters demand.

Ken Salazar
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street N.W.
Washington DC 20240
phone (202) 208-3100
fax (202) 208-6950
email

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

I am outraged that you have carried out the Bush Administration’s plan to take gray wolves off the endangered species list in Montana and Idaho, leaving them vulnerable to mass killing. In so doing, you have abandoned President Obama’s pledge to follow a science-based approach to environmental protection.

According to a letter signed by some 230 scientists, a severe reduction in current wolf numbers would dramatically increase the threat of extinction for a gray wolf population that is still recovering. By handing wolf management back to the states, you’ve paved the way for the first public hunting of wolves in decades. These hunts, combined with other state programs,have already killed 350 wolves — and could ultimately destroy 40 percent of the entire population. That is not sound science, it’s a disaster.

Wolves once thrived in much of the lower 48 states. Today, they reside in only five percent of their former range. If there is one place in this country where they should be allowed to flourish, it is in and around Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and the remote Selway Bitterroot ecosystem in central Idaho.

I urge you to restore the wolf’s protection under the Endangered Species Act and submit your plan to rigorous scientific review. The wolves of the Northern Rockies are world-renowned as living icons of the American West. Please call off the guns and develop a sound wolf recovery plan that ensures a healthy future for these magnificent creatures.

Legislation to Watch

Senate Bill 6566 (Prohibiting terrorist acts against animal and natural resource facilities.)
Introduced by Sen. Val Stevens, (R-Arlington) (R) on January 18, 2010, prohibits terrorist acts against animal and natural resource facilities and prescribes penalties

Senate Bill 6634 (Providing penalties for failure to comply with dairy farm record keeping.)
Introduced by Sen. Kevin  Ranker, (D) (D) on January 19, 2010, authorizes the department of agriculture to impose a civil penalty, not to exceed five thousand dollars in a calendar year, on a dairy producer for failure to comply with dairy nutrient management recordkeeping requirements

Senate Bill 6483 (Promoting natural wildlife planning management.)
Introduced by Sen. Jim Hargrove, (D-Hoquiam) (D) on January 15, 2010, requires the department of fish and wildlife to obtain specific legislative authorization before implementing a species management, recovery, or reintroduction plan that recognizes a method of propagation or dispersal other than natural propagation or dispersal

News of Note

January 26th, 2009

Activists protest primate starvation
Six to seven angry protesters lined the sidewalk in front of the downtown location of the UW Primate Facility yesterday. The protest was led by Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN) and the Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN). The group of mostly graduate students and concerned community members held signs that read, “No federal money for torture,” and, “Cruelty is criminal.”

Got Milk? Got Ethics? Animal Rights v. U.S. Dairy Industry
Undercover videos produced by animal rights groups are fueling a debate over the need for new laws to regulate the treatment of American dairy cows.  The graphic videos include one made inside a huge New York dairy operation where cows never go outside, have the ends of their tails cut off in painful procedures without anesthesia, and are seen being abused by one employee who hits a cow over the head with a wrench when it refuses to move. An investigator for the group Mercy for Animals worked at the New York dairy farm, Willet Dairy, one of the largest in the state, for two months as a mechanic.

1-year sentences in puppy mill case
The couple accused of starving, dehydrating and suffocating at least six animals while working at a kennel in Gold Bar has been given the maximum sentence allowed. Jason and Serenna Larsen were each given a year in jail for each of six felony counts. However, they will be allowed to serve all six sentences concurrently, which effectively reduces their sentences to just one year each. And Serenna Larsen will serve her time on work release.

Man loses hunting licenses for killing elk in park
A Cowlitz County man has been placed on probation, fined $2,500 and stripped of his hunting licenses for three years for shooting a Roosevelt elk inside Olympic National Park in 2007.

NY dairy farmer kills 51 cows, commits suicide
State police in New York say an upstate dairy farmer shot and killed 51 of his milk cows in his barn before turning the rifle on himself.

The Rise of Dog Identity Politics
But we, or most of us, are a long way from the farm these days. What, though, should a dog’s rights be? Not to suffer is the basic one on which pretty much everyone is in agreement, and where dogs are concerned, the last four decades are mostly a story of enormous progress. Canine suffering has been criminalized across the board.

News of Note

January 19th, 2010

Technology aims to replace animal testing
Technology allowing cosmetic makers to test for allergic reactions to their products without controversial animal trials is in the works and could be in use by next year.  The technology developed by Hurel Corp., with funding from cosmetics maker L’Oreal, is designed to replace tests on mice and guinea pigs used to predict skin reactions from drugs and cosmetics. The device uses laboratory-grown human skin cells to simulate the body’s allergic response to foreign chemicals.

Five fatal flaws of animal activism
“I hoped to discover that the exploitation of animals for food and science had been reduced since the 1980s.  What I found, however, was more than disappointing – a complete absence of decisive progress. Austria with several new laws has come closest to meaningful change, but even there the number of animals suffering for human needs and pleasures is undiminished, and the industrialised exploitation of animals for food is spreading across the globe.”

In Praise Of (Mostly) Vegan Diets
Today’s blog is way, way off the topics I usually cover–politics, economics and markets. Instead I want to talk about diet and its relationship to health and fitness. If you’re desperate for a link to the usual topics of politics, economics and markets, then I would say that I’m offering America a health care plan of my own. (Also See: “Costs Of The ‘Silent Pandemic’.”)  My health care plan is a vegan diet.

Vick’s Courage Award Sparks Controversy
“Baltimore is the focus of a nationwide controversy, all because of a decision by Michael Vick’s teammates.  The Ed Block Foundation just formally announced they will give Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick–who has been convicted for dogfighting–their Courage Award.  Vick’s teammates on the Philadelphia Eagles selected him for this honor and they’re not backing down.”

Saved avalanche pigs get chop
Pigs saved from the chop after public protests stopped them being buried alive in snow by scientists are to end up as sausages, say researchers conducting the tests.  Animal rights campaigners have demanded that the Austrian scientists hand over the 19 pigs so they can be re-housed at a refuge.

Scientists say dolphins should be treated as ‘non-human persons’
Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.

A Gentleman Enforcer Turns His Focus to Haiti
“Laraque is one of a handful of N.H.L. players of Haitian descent. He is also one of the most remarkable enforcers to have played the game: a celebrity spokesman for animal rights advocates; a vegan..Laraque is already famous in Canada for his animal-rights work.”

Council gets down to some monkey business
“The future of Rafiki, a tiny marmoset monkey who has lived nearly all of his eight years on Bainbridge Island with his adopted family, depends on a decision facing the Bainbridge Island City Council Wednesday evening…She admits she wouldn’t do it again, “because I’m a strong believer that this animal should not be a home pet,” she said. “It’s a lot for families to commit to, so I don’t support it now. But he’s a member of our family just like anyone else. He’s a real fun character.”

Action Alerts

Contact Your Legislators Now to Say “YES” to Spay/Neuter
Make a New Year’s Gift to Help Save Washington’s Homeless Pets.
Please take a few minutes to contact your state legislators and urge them to support passage of Senate Bill 5329/House Bill 1406 in the 2010 legislature.  It is important that your message is received by your legislators by January 15, 2010.

Homeless dogs and cats are depending on you!

Need help contacting your legislators? Go to this page for support.

Status of the legislation: The bills are in the Senate and House Agriculture Committees chaired by Senator Brian Hatfield and Representative Brian Blake, respectively.  The spay/neuter bill must pass committee to have a chance of surviving this session.

Critical points to make to your legislators:
1. Tell your legislators why this spay/neuter legislation is important to YOU and SHOULD BE PASSED.
2. Ask your legislators to contact Senator Hatfield and Representative Blake urging them to pass the bill through committee.

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Ask Senator Maria Cantwell to support the Great Ape Protection Act
Please contact Senator Maria Cantwell, and ask her to show her support of the Great Ape Protection Act, H.R. 1326,  by leading on a Senate version of the bill.

Thanks to supporters like you across the country, the bill – currently in the House Energy and Commerce Committee – has over 120 cosponsors to date. Your voice as a constituent is key to the bill’s success.

Suggested email text: Dear Senator Cantwell,
As your constituent, I am writing to ask for your leadership on a Senate version of the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326). This legislation will end invasive research on chimpanzees, retire all federally-owned chimpanzees to sanctuary, and codify NIH’s administrative ban on federal funding for breeding chimpanzees.
About 1,000 chimpanzees live at great tax payer expense in eight labs. The vast majority are not in active research, but instead are languishing in these facilities. Chimpanzees are extremely expensive to maintain in a lab.  A full 71% of the American public believes that those who have spent 10 years or more should be retired to sanctuary. It is estimated that nearly $200 million taxpayer dollars will be saved through this legislation as it phases out of the use of chimpanzees in invasive research and transfers them to sanctuary retirement, including our federal chimpanzee sanctuary.

The Great Ape Protection Act is a long over-due, common-sense reform that will: protect our closest genetic relatives from physical and psychological harm; stop the fleecing of American taxpayers who pay for their substandard laboratory maintenance and care; and allow precious NIH dollars to be reallocated to more productive areas of research that can truly benefit humans. This issue is very important to me. I would be very grateful for your leadership on this critical legislation. Thank you
The Great Ape Protection Act Prohibits:
> Invasive research on great apes
> Federal funding of such research both within and outside of the U.S.
> Transport of great apes for such research
> Federal breeding of great apes for such research

Requires:
> Permanent retirement of all federally-owned great apes to sanctuary

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Tell The USDA They Must Enforce The Animal Welfare Act
Elephant advocates around the world were disappointed with a pre-New Year court decision that dismissed, on technical grounds, a federal lawsuit against Feld Entertainment/Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
However disappointing, this decision can in no way be seen as a victory for Ringling or any other circus that enslaves and exploits elephants. Judge Emmett Sullivan’s 57-page decision never addressed the merits of the case, or the mountain of irrefutable evidence that Ringling’s routine confinement, beating and chaining of elephants violates the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
contact the Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Animal Care, and urge that the agency fulfill its obligation under federal law to safeguard the welfare of these elephants by enforcing the Animal Welfare Act.

http://tinyurl.com/yej8gzq

Chester A. Gipson, D.V.M.
Deputy Administrator, USDA-APHIS-AC
4700 River Rd., Unit 97, Riverdale, MD 20737-1234

301-734-7833 (phone)
301-734-4993 (fax)
chester.a.gipson@usda.gov

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Help Stop Michael Vick from Receiving “Courage Award”
The Ed Block Courage Award is an annual award presented to selected players in the National Football League (NFL), who are voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship, and courage. The award is administered by the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation. Sponsorship proceeds promote the prevention of child abuse by raising awareness of the epidemic and assisting agencies who provide for the care and treatment of abused children.
Philadelphia Eagles have chosen Michael Vick to win a prestigious award given to the player with the best “commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.”
Michael Vick is an animal abuser and deserves no awards of any kind.

Letters, calls and faxes of protest are needed immediately to the following:
Ed Block Courage Award Foundation
8808 Orchard Tree Lane
Towson MD 21286
Phone: 410.821.6252
Fax: 410.821.6240

Sam Lamantia – Chairman
sam@edblock. org

Dave Copenhaver – Manager
dave@edblock. org

News of Note

January 12th, 2010

UW monkey starved to death in lab last year
Staff at the University of Washington’s National Primate Research Center allowed a monkey to starve to death last year.  A U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report says the male pigtailed macaque had lost a quarter of his body weight, and had not been weighed regularly as required by the university’s own protocols.  The death is the latest blow for animal research programs at the UW, which is one of the nation’s top institutions in terms of biomedical funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Farmers Fight Back Against Animal Rights Groups
It’s little wonder that farmers fret about the future of the livestock industry. In the past two years, feed costs skyrocketed, pork and dairy prices plummeted, and animal rights groups stepped up efforts to improve living conditions for farm animals.  Some farmers are hoping to strike back with proactive efforts to ward off unwanted legislation and boost the struggling industry.

Goodnight, Nocturnal House: Woodland Zoo will close night exhibit
The shut-down of the exhibit will save Woodland Park $300,000 a year, at a time of significant budget problems for the zoo. Despite near-record attendance last year, Woodland Park has suffered from a decline in charitable gifts and revenues. It has already cut staff, started furloughs and eliminated its Wildlife Adventures travel program.  Some people have wondered why the zoo recently opened a new penguin exhibit during an economic crisis. They’ve also asked why the zoo is unveiling a new meerkat exhibit and entry way for visitors this summer, at a time of staff cuts and exhibit closures.

Three Views of Violent Clash Over Whaling
There is now a third video viewpoint on the collision between the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling speed boat Ady Gil and the Shonan Maru No. 2, which is described as a security boat in the Japanese whaling fleet. Sea Shepherd contends that this vantage point clearly shows that the Japanese ship was intent on closing with and ramming the protesters.
Whale defenders send message to Tokyo
The Sea Shepherd conservation group will not be changing tactics when it comes to its clashes with Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean, a group leader said at an Auckland protest yesterday.

The New Age Cavemen and the City
The caveman lifestyle, in Mr. Durant’s interpretation, involves eating large quantities of meat and then fasting between meals to approximate the lean times that his distant ancestors faced between hunts. Vegetables and fruit are fine, but he avoids foods like bread that were unavailable before the invention of agriculture. Mr. Durant believes the human body evolved for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and his goal is to wean himself off what he sees as many millenniums of bad habits.

Gluten-free vegan diet helps rheumatoid arthritis
Eating a gluten free vegan diet may help patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a study in Arthritis Research & Therapy has suggested.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disease which affects multiple joints of the body. The vegan diet was found to be atheroprotective and anti-inflammatory.

More Perils of Ground Meat
About eight years ago, a company called Beef Products Inc. had the novel idea of injecting its ground beef with ammonia to kill deadly E. coli and salmonella. The Agriculture Department pronounced the idea effective and exempted Beef Products Inc. from routine tests. The company’s beef began appearing regularly in grocery stores, fast food restaurants and school lunch programs. It turned out the beef was not safe.

Are Zoos Prisons? Habeas Corpus Filed for Chimp
Jimmy is a 26 year old chimpanzee who has spent several years alone in a cage, where he’s on exhibit at a zoo in Niterói, Brazil, just outside of Rio de Janeiro. Just last week, animal protection groups filed a motion to have Jimmy released on grounds of Habeas Corpus, arguing that he is being denied his rights to freedom of movement and to a decent life, in Rio’s Criminal Court.

Action Alerts – Week of Jan 4th, 2010

Top Ten Easy Actions you can do – Get Active for Animals:

1. NASA NUKES MONKEYS – STOP THEM

Take Action

2. GET CRUELTY OFF SHELVES – NO FUR 2009/2010

Take Action

3. ROUNDUP 2010 – BLM TO SEIZE 12,000 MORE HORSES, BURROS

Take Action

4. HOW COULD THEY? 250,000 LIVE ANIMALS BUTCHERED IN NEPAL

Take Action

5. KILLING PHOENIX – TEENAGE TWINS INDICTED

Take Action

6. SHARK FINNING BAN PROGRESSES IN U.S. CONGRESS

Take Action

7. STOP THE MILITARY’S WAR ON INNOCENTS

Take Action

8. ASK ASTRA ZENECA & GLAXOSMITHKLINE TO DROP HLS

Take Action

9. SHOT IN THE DARK – AUSTRALIA’S KANGAROO MASSACRE

Take Action

10. SAVE GRAY WOLVES SO WE CAN SLAUGHTER THEM?

Take Action

Help save wild horses – support the ROAM Act
Federal land throughout the American West is home to thousands of healthy wild horses. Yet as herds continue to grow, Bureau of Land Management officials have raised the possibility of killing as many as 30,000 of these wild animals.
Recently, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed the Restoring Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act — a bill working to protect wild horses from the possibility of a government-sponsored slaughter.
The ROAM Act would step up fertility control measures, encourage more adoptions and provide as much as 19 million additional acres for the wild animals to roam.
Slaughtering healthy animals to control populations should not be an option!

Get your Senator’s contact information here:


News of Note

January 4th, 2010

Judge rules in favor of circus in lawsuit over treatment of Asian elephants
A federal judge sided with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in a legal fight in which animal rights activists accused the circus of abusing its Asian elephants.  U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said a former Ringling employee, Tom Rider, and the Animal Protection Institute did not have legal standing to sue the circus under the Endangered Species Act.

also see:  http://tinyurl.com/y8fvtzk

Federal animal welfare inspectors find 20 violations at UW-Madison
Depressed and vomiting dogs, a dirty operating room and expired medications were among 20 violations found at UW-Madison by federal animal welfare inspectors during a surprise visit last month…Investigators told Sandgren that the university is not likely to be fined for any of the offenses. University officials are working to fix the violations and prevent new ones, Sandgren said.  One major finding is that in five studies, UW-Madison researchers did not show that they tried to find an alternative to painful experiments on animals.

Down on the Farm, an Endless Cycle of Waste
Wildcat Dairy produces about 200 million pounds of manure every year.  Proper handling of this material is one of the most important tasks faced by a dairy operator, or by a cattle feedlot owner, hog producer or other farmer with large numbers of livestock. Manure has to be handled in an environmentally acceptable way and at an acceptable cost.

Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture
Researchers say the overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals has led to a plague of drug-resistant infections that killed more than 65,000 people in the U.S. last year — more than prostate and breast cancer combined. And in a nation that used about 35 million pounds of antibiotics last year, 70 percent of the drugs — 28 million pounds — went to pigs, chickens and cows. Worldwide, it’s 50 percent.

Animal welfare groups propose ballot measure to tighten rules for Missouri dog breeders
Under the proposal, dog-breeders could only have 50 breeding dogs and would be required to feed animals daily, provide annual veterinary care and not breed animals more than twice every 18 months. Breeders also would have to follow rules for the dogs’ living space and house animals indoors with unfettered access to an outdoor exercise yard.