Action Alerts

Take Action: Urge Congress to Support the Great Ape Protection Act

Tell your Federal legislators to support an end to biomedical research on chimpanzees and ask that they cosponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R.1513/S.810).

Because this is a new bill and new number, even if you previously signed a letter in support of ending chimpanzee research, it is vital that you PLEASE sign again.

Make direct contact:

Contact your U.S. Representative
Contact your U.S. Senators

Support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R.1513/S.810)
Dear [Decision Maker],
Please show your support of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R.1513/S.810) to end the use of chimpanzees in invasive research by signing on as a cosponsor.

The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act seeks to prohibit:
* invasive research on great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons)
* the funding of such research both within and outside of the U.S.
* the transport of great apes for such research; or
* the breeding of great apes for such research;

The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act seeks to require
* the permanent retirement of all federally-owned great apes

Free Tony the Tiger From Truckstop Prison

Tell the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to follow the regulations already set by the State of Louisiana to protect members of the public and tigers such as Tony by revoking Sandlin’s permit immediately.
On April 11, 2011, ALDF filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and its secretary Robert Barham, arguing that he violated state law in granting a permit allowing Sandlin to exhibit Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop.

Make direct contact:

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La 70808
P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70898
phone (225) 765-2800
online contact form

News of Note

Question of animal testing goes far beyond ethics
There is a systemic lack of education about animal research and ethics, both for the public and especially for student scientists.  Perhaps our society could take a step back and acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of people suffering from illnesses on planet Earth would benefit from the simplest, cheapest solution: access to clean water and nutritious food. Not pharmaceuticals.

USDA investigating Santa Cruz Biotechnology: Animal research facility out of compliance in 2010 and 2011
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating veterinary care at Santa Cruz Biotechnology after inspections at the research facility twice last year found a dozen sick or injured goats in pain, including one awaiting euthanization.

States Look to Ban Efforts to Reveal Farm Abuse
Undercover videos showing grainy, sometimes shocking images of sick or injured livestock have become a favorite tool of animal rights organizations to expose what they consider illegal or inhumane treatment of animals….Similar legislation is being considered in Florida and Minnesota, part of a broader effort by large agricultural companies to pre-emptively block the kind of investigations that have left their operations uncomfortably — and unpredictably — open to scrutiny.
Also see:
Bill would ban filming of Minn. farming operations

Staph in meat: Are US cattle and poultry over-drugged?
A new report, saying that risky forms of Staph bacteria are showing up in supermarkets at “unexpectedly high rates,” is raising concerns about whether the US meat and poultry industries are relying too heavily on antibiotic drugs.  Nearly half of meat and poultry samples in the nationwide study — 47 percent — were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that medical experts link to various human diseases.
Also see:
Bacteria in grocery meat resistant to antibiotics

Dog-saving stirs debate
Animal-rights activists are barking mad over news that trickled out over the weekend involving a truck full of 520 dogs that was stopped Friday on a highway en route to a slaughterhouse.  Discussion of the issue was rife over the next two days, particularly online, with people debating the merits of national laws protecting animals.

Pet rescuers brave Fukushima danger zone
“I understand the nuclear danger and everything, but they’re just being left to starve to death, basically,” said Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support.  Gallaon-Aoki and others like her have been slipping into the 20-km radius around Fukushima Daiichi to retrieve pets and feed livestock left behind when their owners were forced to evacuate.

New generation of rat poisons has ripple effect in wildlife
A potent new generation of rat poisons used by California’s residents and businesses are killing not only the rodents they’re aimed at but also a growing number of the bobcats, barn owls, kestrels and other wildlife that feed on the mice, rats and squirrels. “Rodenticides are the new DDT. It is an emergency, an environmental disaster. We are killing nature’s own rodent control,” said Maggie Sergio, director of advocacy at WildCare, a Bay Area wildlife rehabilitation center that has responded to dozens of poisoning cases.

Bill mandates ‘fixing’ of cats, dogs before sale
State lawmakers are looking at a bill that would require pet retailers in Hawaii to sterilize all cats and dogs before selling them.  Passing such a law would lessen the suffering of feral cats because of overpopulation and reduce the number of animals euthanized in shelters.

Designer pets come with health costs
An increasing number of pets are either euthanized or abandoned because owners can’t pay the medical bills, and part of the problem is the impulsive purchase of “designer” pets, say Ottawa animal welfare workers and veterinarians.  Designer dogs — such as the tiny dogs found in the handbags of Hollywood starlets — or any dog bred to extremes will often come with built-in medical problems.

Dutch ritual slaughter ban a step closer
In Holland, a proposal to ban Kosher and Halal slaughter methods has moved a step closer to reality, with a majority of the country’s MPs now supporting the ban.  In order to reduce stress, in the EU animals slaughtered for meat are normally stunned before they are killed. But Kosher and Halal butchery requires the animals to be fully conscious when their throats are cut.

St. Louis Zoo treating elephant Donna for tuberculosis
St. Louis Zoo says it’s a mystery how 40-year-old Asian elephant Donna contracted tuberculosis. No other elephant or keeper has tested positive for the illness.  “We assume elephants get TB like any other animal,” said the zoo’s director of animal health, Dr. Randy Junge. “An animal or human who has TB blows it out and another animal can pick it up. It takes prolonged contact. But we have a closed herd with no animals coming or going.”

All Charges Against Bryan Monell Dropped
Raw milk: Turning the clock back on science
The raw milk debate has been raging throughout the U.S. in various states and counties for several years. Proponents says can cure about every ailment known to man, woman or child, but opponents of raw milk advise consumers about the food safety issues with raw, unpasteurized milk and potential deadly pathogens that can lurk within unpasteurized milk.

Take Action: Urge Congress to Support the Great Ape Protection Act

The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R.1513/S.810) has been re-introduced in the 112th Congress. This bill will end the use of chimpanzees for invasive research procedures, shut down federal breeding programs, and release federally-owned chimpanzees to permanent homes in sanctuaries.

The United States is the last country to use chimpanzees in large-scale invasive experiments, and while chimpanzees are our closest genetic relatives, there is still enough substantial differences in physiology, genetics, and susceptibility to diseases to make them poor models in research. Millions of dollars wasted and decades of research with inconclusive results have shown that the use of chimpanzees has not provided any advancement towards cures that human-based research has provided. There are over 500 chimpanzees that are federally owned, and by releasing them to sanctuaries, the Great Ape Protection Act will save taxpayers $20-25 million annually.

The bill has the leadership of Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) as well as 42 cosponsors already signed on in the U.S. House, and Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in the U.S. Senate.

Please take a moment and send an automated letter to your Senators and your House Representative to encourage them to support an end to the confinement and suffering of chimpanzees being used in experiments. The letter is programmed to be directed to your legislators that represent you in your area, and has the option of using a pre-written request or one that you’ve written. Encourage others you know to sign on as well. Thank you.

cross-posted to UW Kills

Pro-Animal Research Billboard Offers False Choice

As part of a national advertising campaign funded by the Foundation for Biomedical Research to get public support on the side of animal research, these billboards have been placed here in Seattle as well as other cities like LA and Portland. The FBR is a PR division of the National Association for Biomedical Research, of which the University of Washington is a member. The timing of these billboards is interesting, as it seems they were put up to rally citizens to their side in the face of the upcoming World Week for Animals in Laboratories, a week of international rallies and activities to show opposition to the institutions that confine, torture, and kill animals in the name of “science.”

This ad campaign is grossly misleading, as it presents to the public a false dichotomy, an artificial either/or scenario that suggests that animals have to die in order to save humans. Their claim that animals are integral and absolutely necessary to find cures are belied by the fact that there are many medical foundations that are working on cures for diseases without the use animals in their research. In fact, the use of animals prolongs the development of adequate procedures and treatments; animal physiology is different from that of humans’, requiring that humans models be used anyway for a treatment to be ultimately approved. Researchers get more money in grants by conducting animal testing, so there is little incentive for successful results or solid scientific design. Much of the research continues to be funded despite being redundant or inconclusive. And the animals suffer through torturous procedures, poor conditions, and poor treatment, with countless animals dying as a result, and an innumerable amount killed.

Biomedical researchers try to convince us that knowledge gained from animal studies can be extrapolated to humans yet their scientific papers reporting the results of research repeatedly include a disclaimer warning about making such an assumption. The difference in animal and human physiology means that many results of animal experiments are found to be inclusive, not applicable to human modality, or unreliable. The Food & Drug Administration recently reported that of all the drugs that tested safe and effective in animal testing, 92 percent are found to be either unsafe or ineffective in humans. Even drugs approved by the FDA because it was deemed safe under animal research can prove fatal because not enough adequate human research was conducted; the FDA estimated that 27,785 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths between 1999 and 2003 occurred from the prescription arthritis drug Vioxx before it was recalled. How researchers can claim that animal research saves (human) lives is indicative of their own hubris and ignorance of the real consequences of their research.

Many effective non-animal methods are available, such as such as in-vitro cell and tissue cultures, micro-fluidic circuits, computer modeling, micro-dosing, the use of CAT, MRI, and PET scans, using human cadavers or organs, and clinical research. Extensive studies have to be conducted on humans regardless of the treatment or protocol anyway, so the use of animals can and should be skipped, which would allow the speedier development of treatments among human models.

The billboard also directs people to, which offers an equally offensive command: “Against animal research? Please sign and submit this directive before you get sick or injured in order to insure you receive no medications, surgeries, treatments or disease therapies that have been tested or tried in research animals.

The logic of this imperative relies on the same simplistic reductive binary thinking. Using the same logic, we can then ask people: Against Nazis? Then you can’t drive a Volkswagen Beetle, developed by Hitler’s engineers to be the Jeep of the German army during WWII. Nor can you drive a Ford, who financed the Nazi party and helped secure its start. Nor can you drive a vehicle from General Motors, who by the mid-30s was totally committed to large-scale war production in Germany, producing trucks, tanks & armored cars. Against war and US military aggression? Then you can’t use microwaves, fly in planes that use jet engines, or use the internet, all technologies developed in the theater of war. The price of living in a modern industrialized society is that all of us, regardless of our individual beliefs, benefit from many things that came into existence from actions or institutions that we would otherwise not support. The idea, then, of directing some of us to give up the benefits of modern society without asking the same of themselves is just an example of inflated self-importance.

This is, of course, aside the fact that their claim of the treatments we have now came about because of animal research. It’s more accurate to say that we have as many treatments we have despite animal research. Human testing has always been the last line of research; animals are used initially simply because of economics. And because they are viewed as mere property, conditions to ensure their care are routinely neglected or circumvented, and less stringent oversight is given to invasive procedures. Every day, hundreds of lives are lost in service of projects that have seen no measurable progress; if cures are actually found, foundations, institutions, and researchers would loss valuable grant money. In the most cynical fashion, they sacrifice the lives of animals in pursuit of money, while telling the public that this circular game is necessary, using images of innocent children to win sentimental support.

The real answer to the question “Who would you rather see live?” is quite simple: both.

And it is possible and being proven every day among responsible researchers. Three U.S. agencies aim to end the archaic practice of animal testing, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program and the National Institutes of Health, realizing it is ineffective and wasteful. Non-animal-based research also is more ethical, as it doesn’t have the moral dissonance of taking one life in order to save another. One can only imagine how much further along the road to finding cures we would be if we hadn’t wasted billions of dollars, hours, and lives on animal testing that has proven unreliable or inconclusive. Animal research doesn’t save lives. It won’t save “her,” and we all know what happens to the “rat.”

Cross-posted at

Action Alerts

Protect Egg-laying Hens from Cruelty – ask your Representative to Vote NO on HB1813
Millions of egg-laying hens in Washington’s egg industry are confined in cages so small they can’t even spread their wings. A dangerous bill to codify inhumane industry standards for egg-laying hens in Washington (SSB 5487) has passed the Washington state Senate and will be receiving a vote on the House floor soon. SSB 5487 will codify animal cruelty by keeping hens in cages and not do anything to move Washington toward real industry reform.

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your state representative, and urge opposition to HB1813. Look up your state legislator’s phone number. You can say: “I am a constituent and I urge you to oppose HB1813, which codifies cruel and inhumane treatment of egg-laying hens in Washington.”

Ask The NIH – When Will You Stop Testing On Animals?
Please contact the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, urging him to create a strategic plan to end the use of animals in scientific research. Although Congress ordered the NIH to move towards non-animal methods almost twenty years ago, the NIH has given lip service to these methods with little meaningful progress. That’s why we are asking for an agency-wide policy that takes concrete actions to significantly reduce the number of animals in labs each year – eventually bringing that number to zero.

Make direct contact:

Dr. Francis Collins”
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
phone (301) 496-4000

Ask Your U.S. Representative to Become a Co-Sponsor of H.R. 1417, the BEST Practices Act
Each year in Department of Defense (DOD) courses, more than 6,000 pigs and goats are wounded and killed in combat trauma training courses. In these courses, military trainees practice medical procedures on anesthetized animals. At the end of each course, the animals are killed.
The DOD has defended this practice despite the overwhelming evidence that a transition to human-based alternatives would provide a better educational experience for our service members. These medical procedures are taught in the civilian world almost exclusively without the use of live animals.

Tell your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 1417, the BEST Practices Act which would end the use of live animals in military weapons trainings.

Contact your U.S. Representative

News of Note

Sweet success for local donut shop in ‘Food Network Challenge’
Green Lake’s Mighty-O Donuts tasted the sweet glaze of victory while Top Pot Doughnuts frittered away its opportunity during “Food Network Challenge: Donut Champions,” giving the purveyors of organic and vegan donuts a surprise first-place win over the Seattle chain and two other more-traditional competitors.
Also see this link

Ohio Livestock Board votes to phase out veal crates
Last month the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board voted to allow veal crates for calves during the first half of their short lives.  The American Veterinary Medical Association and the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association also agree that calves must be allowed to turn around comfortably and assume normal postures.  Additionally the board received around 4,700 public comments, of which the overwhelming majority urged the board to reverse its decision and phase out veal crates.
Also see this link

Dutch set to ban Halal and Kosher religious slaughter
In the Netherlands a bill is moving through parliament to ban Halal and Kosher religious slaughter of animals on the grounds that it is a cruel and inhumane practice. The bill currently enjoys support from a majority of Members of Parliament and is expected to be put up for debate sometime this week.

New Protests in Egypt: Activists to Picket Cairo Zoo for Animal Rights
The Egyptian uprising was enough to wrestle a dictator from his long-held post and bring shadows of democracy to a Middle Eastern nation. But can people power also be utilized to elicit support for an animal-rights movement?

U.S. Aims to Test Meat Prior to Selling
The Obama administration, hoping to prevent recalls, consumer illnesses and even deaths from contaminated meat, will unveil a proposal Tuesday to force companies to delay sending beef, pork and poultry to grocery stores while government inspectors complete tests.

Utah dog’s death raises animal testing concerns
The death of a stray dog whose heart was removed by University of Utah researchers conducting cardiology tests has spurred a renewed call from animal rights groups to stop the practice of selling some shelter animals for research nationwide.
Soy Foods OK After Breast Cancer: Study
Some breast cancer survivors fear that eating foods containing soy will increase the risk of a cancer recurrence, but new research suggests that those worries appear to be unfounded. “Our study indicated that soy food intake among breast cancer survivors is safe and may reduce the risk of recurrence,” said Dr. Xiao Ou Shu, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Vegan parents in the media
It’s no wonder the media isn’t often held accountable for accuracy when it comes to its portrayal of the Bad Guy, whether the Bad Guy happens to be a Muslim, a Mexican, a mother-in-law or a vegan. In most mainstream news reports involving vegans or veganism, both the diet and its adherents are painted in the negative (or are misrepresented at best). Why? Because the vast majority of readers are not vegan and are not going to be offended (or even realize) if the vegan lifestyle is misreported or exaggerated.

Our Big Pig Problem
For more than 50 years microbiologists have warned against using antibiotics to fatten up farm animals. The practice, they argue, threatens human health by turning farms into breeding grounds of drug-resistant bacteria. Farmers responded that restricting antibiotics in livestock would devastate the industry and significantly raise costs to consumers. We now have empirical data that should resolve this debate.

Activists and circus officials debate risks from TB-infected elephant
An animal-rights group contends that an elephant performing in Baltimore with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus poses a health risk to the public because she has tested positive for tuberculosis, but circus and government health officials say the animal is no threat because she does not have an active form of the infectious disease.

Sweet Avenger Coming to Discovery Channel
This summer, Animal Planet satisfies the sweet tooth with SWEET AVENGER, a series featuring one woman’s mission to save animals one cupcake at a time. Danielle Konya, founder and owner of Vegan Treats, declares that decadent sweets can be achieved without harming any animals, and she promises to make a vegan out of you at first bite.

Vet’s view: Importing pets brings risks for all of us
Over the past 10 years, the business of overseas pet importation has seen some pretty impressive growth. Which is a very, very bad thing. That is, if you care at all about animal welfare and public health.

Action Alerts

URGENT! Tell your Representatives to Vote NO on Cougar Hound Hunting Today
Your action is needed today to stop SSB 5356 in the Washington State House of Representatives. This bill would grant the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) full authority to extend hound hunting of cougars to sport hunters for another five years in designated counties. Although WDFW presents SSB 5356 as a conservation bill that also protects public safety, it’s really a bill which goes directly against the will of the voters and is driven by misinformation and weak science.
The companion version of this bill (HB 1124) was successfully stopped. We now need your help to stop SSB 5356 from passing!
Please take 5 minutes today to tell your representatives you oppose SSB 5356:
1. Enter your address to identify your district and representatives.
2. Call/ e-mail (or both) your representatives urging them to vote NO on SSB 5356, allowing the hunting of cougars using dogs, on the full House floor.

HELPFUL HINTS: Calling is fast, easy and very impactful. Legislative staff will take your call. Follow up with a polite e-mail to thank them, and to solidify your action. To avoid forms, use the legislator e-mail directory. CEO Kills Wild Elephants – Take Action
Bob Parsons, CEO of the internet domain hosting company Go Daddy, posted a video blog that shows him shooting and killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. This is not the first time he has publicly bragged about killing elephants and other hunting activities.
Parsons says he’s not ashamed of his reprehensible action, claiming to be helping villagers whose crops were trampled. But his lame excuse doesn’t hold water. Parsons is just another trophy hunter looking to justify murdering an innocent animal.
For more information and to see what you can do, check out IDA’s Action Alert
to contact GoDaddy directly call  480-505-8821.

Tell Congress to Pass Legislation that Eliminates Random Source Class B Dealers
Please contact your Federal representatives NOW to encourage passage of this legislation. B Dealers are licensed by the U.S. government to sell animals to research facilities with NO restrictions or regulations on where they “obtained” the animals, many of whom are companion animals either stolen from neighborhoods or bought from some dog/cat breeders.

Tell your Senators and Representative to support Rep. Doyle and Sen. Akaka’s re-introduction of the Pet Safety and Protection Act, and do everything they can to see that it is passed without delay. This Act would ban random source Class B animal dealers who sell dogs and cats to vivisectors. Congress needs to shut down the shady business that sells former companion dogs and cats to research facilities.

Make direct contact:

Contact your U.S. Representative
Contact your U.S. Senators