News of Note

Video shows animal star of film Water for Elephants being abused to learn tricks
An animal rights group has released disturbing video footage that it says shows elephant star Tai being hit with large metal hooks and stunned by electric shocks.

Animal testing: Meet director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing
“We spend billions of dollars on biomedical research in animals that too often doesn’t give us much real information about how a chemical or device will behave in people,” Hartung said..Testing one new substance in rats costs roughly $1 million and takes about 4 years to get results.

Animal testing alternatives for China
Julia Fentem, vice-president of Unilever’s Safety and Environment Assurance Centre, believes the move away from animal tests is mainly a result of scientific progress and future research priorities. ‘We need to better understand how chemicals interact with human biology,’ Fentem told Chemistry World. Andresen’s colleague Zhang Qiang agrees: ‘Animals are different to humans. How can we be confident enough on the safe dosage that is drawn from the dosage used in animal testing?’

State Legislatures Take Up Bills Barring Undercover Videos of Confined Animal Feeding Operations
Bills aimed at blocking the release of videos taken by activist groups of conditions in confined animal feeding operations are being considered by state legislatures in Iowa, Minnesota and Florida…Both sides are focusing their efforts on Iowa, which has the nation’s largest concentration of egg and pork operations. What happens in Iowa, they say, could be a bellwether for other states.

The Kentucky Derby Must Kick Its Drug Problem
But the U.S. and Canada are among the very few countries where horses can receive injections of furosemide, a diuretic also known as Lasix, or Salix, up to four hours before post time…Race-day drugs present all kinds of problems. Start with the horse. The sport itself already exerts tremendous pressure on the animal. So is it humane to stick needles in horses just four hours before the start of a race? Drugs also mask the weaknesses in racehorses.


Plan to exclude veal from drug tests draws opposition
The Center for Science in the Public Interest Wednesday urged the Food and Drug Administration to reject a proposal by the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments to exclude tests of veal as a basis for investigating improperly administered drugs at dairy farms.

Soul Food, Vegan Style
A tale of two doctors, many cows and a multitude of human ailments, Lee Fulkerson’s “Forks Over Knives” makes a pedantic yet persuasive case for banishing meat and dairy from the dinner table.

Dog-bite study renews debate on breed-specific bans
Researchers at University Hospital in San Antonio studied 15 years of dog-bite data and found that pit bulls were more likely to be the culprits in more severe attacks, some of them fatal. Opponents of breed specific bans including former AVMA President Bonnie Beaver calls the research and its conclusions flawed. “These are serious injuries to humans, and I do not mean to belittle the seriousness of the problem seen at the hospital. However, the dog-related data is seriously flawed, and are used at will to try to prove a specific point of view.”

Ban on puppy mill sales proposed in Los Angeles
A Los Angeles councilman introduced a motion Friday that could prohibit the sale and purchase of pets bred in puppy and kitten mills.  Some pet stores purchase animals from puppy and kitten mills or large-scale breeding operations with unsanitary and overcrowded conditions and inbreeding.  “By being customers, we perpetuate the problem,” Koretz said.

Lawmakers Pass Animal Cruelty Bills
State lawmakers have passed two bills to crack down on animal cruelty, including one proposal known as the “Peacock Bill,” in response to the beating death of a peacock in Makaha…Another bill that passed would make it a felony for anyone to attend a dog fight in Hawaii.

Monkeys’ Memories Can Stretch Beyond What’s in Front of Them
Monkeys can recognize an object they have seen before, but now scientists have shown that they are also capable of a much more sophisticated form of memory: They can hold in mind an object without actually seeing it.

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Action Alerts

Tell Woodsky’s Cruelty is not entertainment
Woodskys – a new bar in Fremont proudly holds goldfish races to entertain their drunk patrons.  During, before and after these races many of the goldfish die.  To make matters worse, the fish are kept in a small dirty tank when they are not being shot through a plastic tube by people who think sending small fish forcefully through a tube is fun.
Give Woodskys a call and let them know how you feel about their engaging in animal abuse
206-547-9662
(they are open 4pm-2am, so you will only get an answer if you call during those hours.)

They also have a Yelp page
http://www.yelp.com/biz/woodskys-seattle
Woodskys also has a Facebook page on which they have been proudly advertising their goldfish races. Please post your thoughts on their Wall

Speak Out Against Bills That Hide Truths About Factory Farming
Bills that could subject whistleblowers to criminal prosecution for their efforts to expose animal abuse on factory farms are currently making their way through the Minnesota, Florida, and Iowa legislatures. Tell the governors of Florida, Iowa, and Minnesota to veto any of these bills that reach their desks.
Even if you live outside Florida, Iowa, and Minnesota, your voice is still needed. The meat from slaughtered animals crosses state lines, and the governments in these states need to hear from consumers across the country who care about the way animals killed for food are treated.

Make direct contact:

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
1007 East Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
phone (515) 281-5211
email – info@terrybranstad.com

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton
Office of the Governor
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
phone (651) 201-3400
fax (651) 797-1850

Florida Governor Rick Scott
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
phone (850) 488-7146
fax (850) 487-0801 (fax)

New Day Northwest’s best & worst show
King 5’s New Day NW today featured a segment on the problems with the exotic animal trade (http://www.king5.com/new-day-northwest/Deadliest-Pets-120782014.html), for which they should be thanked, but then they followed it up with a story on bull riding (http://www.king5.com/new-day-northwest/Professional-Bull-Rider-Shane-Proctor-120787059.html). Unfortunately, like many people, they just don’t get it! It’s classic speciesism on daytime TV: cute or wild animals deserve protection while other animals are here for our entertainment. According to a reply from New Day NW Executive Producer Lindsay Johnson, she has “never seen people who treat animals with more respect than people whose livelihoods depend on them.” It is absurd to think that because one makes money off of animal exploitation they would treat the animals well; it is also simply not true. Animals buck because they do not want to be ridden. Electric prods, spurs, and bucking straps are used to irritate and enrage animals used in rodeos. Before entering the ring, cows and horses are often prodded with an electrical “hotshot” so that the pain will rile them. The flank (or “bucking”) strap is tightly cinched around the animals’ abdomens, causing them to buck vigorously in an attempt to escape the pain. The animals are transported around the country, made into spectacles, and put in harm’s way. This is not showing respect; it is pure exploitation and cruelty.

Please write to New Day NW. Thank them for addressing the many problems with the exotic animal trade and express your disappointment in their choice to follow it with a segment promoting animal cruelty. Let them know that rodeos and bull riding events are no fun for the animals and that all animals deserve protection, not just exotic ones: http://www.king5.com/new-day-northwest/about/89296437.html

Please also contact King 5 Programming, as comments to New Day NW may fall on deaf ears: http://www.king5.com/on-tv/contact/62984757.html

Ask the Point Defiance Zoo to Close Elephant Exhibit
Closing the elephant exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is within sight but what about the two elephants living there?  Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (PDZA) is holding a public comment meeting to discuss their 10-year plan which includes closing their tiny elephant exhibit – but not until poor Hanako and Suki die.  WHY WAIT for them to die? Why force them to continue to live in this physically and psychologically harmful environment?
Please write to the PDZ and ask that the humane decision be made.
Ask for Hanako and Suki to be retired to an elephant sanctuary.
Email the zoo at:  strategicplan@pdza.org
Or snail mail:
Attention Strategic Plan,
5400 North Pearl St. Tacoma, WA 98407
You can also join their facebook page and leave comments supporting the end to the elephant exhibit. https://www.facebook.com/PtDefianceZoo

Earth to EPA:  Bees Need Help Now
Tell the EPA to seriously restrict and/or refuse new uses for three particularly suspect neonicotinoid insecticides: imidacloprid, thiomethoxam and clothianidin. These pesticides are known to be particularly toxic to honey bees, persist for years in the soil and because they are applied as seed treatments on everything from corn and canola to almonds and pome fruits, chronic exposure in the field is difficult if not impossible to control.
Contact
Lisa P. Jackson
Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20460
EPA general number (202) 272-0167
email jackson.lisap@epa.gov

Tell Edmonds Rotary:  Fishing Is Not Kids’ Entertainment
Call or write The Rotary Club of Edmond, Washington, and politely ask that they stop promoting or working with anyone who promotes the killing of and cruelty towards animals. Let them know that it is not acceptable to encourage children (or anyone) to kill or be cruel to fish or any other animals.
The Edmonds Rotary Waterfront Festival has partnered with the Willow Creek Fish Hatchery and will be providing a shuttle bus from the festival to the hatchery, where kids under 12 can hook the animals and then have them killed and gutted for free.
Fish are not swimming vegetables; they are animals with developed nervous systems and brains capable of processing pain and fear. Author of the 2010 book Do Fish Feel Pain? and Penn State professor Victoria Braithwaite says, “We now know that fish actually are cognitively more competent than we thought before—some species of fish have very sophisticated forms of cognition…In our experiments we showed that if we hurt fish, they react, and then if we give them pain relief, they change their behavior, strongly indicating that they feel pain.”

The Rotary Club of Edmonds
PO Box 115
Edmonds, WA 98020
phone (425) 771-1744
To call or email the Club Leadership click here

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News of Note

Study ranks food pathogens by cost to society
Of the food pathogens that cost society the most money — in terms of medical care, lost days of work, long-term chronic health problems or deaths — half are found in poultry, pork, beef and other meat products, according to a study due for release Thursday.

Tiny frogs source of salmonella outbreak from Oregon to Massachusetts
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the outbreak was traced to a single breeder in California. But federal officials have been helpless to do anything about it.  “What’s frustrating is that we don’t seem to have the tools to stop these sorts of outbreaks,” Keene said. “If it’s a food source, it’s regulated. They recall the product. They shut down the facility. But there’s never been any recall of (the frogs). The company hasn’t even been publicly identified.”

Vegans and vegetarians say plant-based diets are healthier – and a growing number of experts agree
Vegans and vegetarians are buoyed by a growing consensus that, followed with care, such diets can be healthful, even beneficial. In 2010, they won outright endorsement for the first time in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary pyramid, considered the standard of healthful eating.

Lab-Grown Synthetic Skins Could Replace Animals in Cosmetics Testing
Animal testing by the cosmetics industry may seem downright barbaric, but it could also be obsolete, as well. Synthetic skins are now good enough to mimic animal skins in lab tests, according to research that will appear in the June 5 issue of the Journal of Applied Polymer Science. Bharat Bhushan, a professor at Ohio State University and Wei Tang, an engineer at China University of Mining and Technology used atomic force microscopes to observe the responses of pseudo and rat skins to a generic skin cream.

Vivisection Or Death: Part V, Conclusion
This is the last essay in a five part series examining the position that experiments on animals are necessary for life-saving breakthroughs; that without vivisection humans would die.

Maine Bill To Protect Lab Animals
Animal testing causes extensive physical and emotional suffering for the laboratory animals, but even without banning testing altogether, much of the worst pain could easily be avoided if proper care was given to the animals. New Maine legislation has been put forth to protect lab animals from severe suffering. While this legislation, if passed, is a small step in the right direction, it would only protect vertebrate animals from the worst suffering, not all pain.

American Veterinary Medical Assoc. condemns cruelty to calves at Texas facility
n a statement just released by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Gail Golab, director of the Animal Welfare Division, after viewing the undercover video released by Mercy for Animals, an animal advocacy group, condemned the cruelty and issued a call for stricter adherence to humane animal handling standards. Golab called the treatment of calves at E6 Cattle Company barbaric, inhumane, and unacceptable.

Animals, Cruelty and Videotape
The animal advocacy group Mercy for Animals sent an undercover investigator to E6 Cattle Company in Texas, where he filmed calf abuse over a two-week period.  To prevent such whistleblowing, several states have passed so-called “Ag-gag” laws that would make it illegal to clandestinely film inside slaughterhouses, sparking what animal rights activists fear will be a nationwide trend.

Priced Off the Menu? Palau’s Sharks Are Worth $1.9 Million Each, a Study Says
Sharks can be worth far more when they are swimming around the reef than when they are in a bowl of soup — as much as nearly $2 million each, in fact, according to the results of a study released Monday.

Calling animals ‘pets’ is insulting, academics claim
The call comes from the editors of then Journal of Animal Ethics, a new academic publication devoted to the issue.  It is edited by the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, a theologian and director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, who once received an honorary degree from the Archbishop of Canterbury for his work promoting the rights of “God’s sentient creatures”.

Controversial greyhound races in steep decline
Despite their disagreement on conditions for the dogs, there is no disputing this: Greyhound racing is in a steep decline. Racing fans blame the economy and competition from instant gambling like slot machines. Activists say it’s time to end the races altogether.

FBI kicks off agroterrorism symposium
Bennett said Al Qaida and other groups have expressed interest in using chemical and bio-weapons. “They have provided different attack scenarios.” Fortunately, she noted, to-date any intentional incidents have not involved terrorists, but disgruntled employees, animal rightists, or they have been proven to be hoaxes.

Animal activists score victory against foie gras with major hotel
A campaign to ban foie gras around the world is sizzling up after a major hotel chain’s Maui location succumbed to pressure from animal rights groups and pulled the French delicacy off its menu last week.

Migrating Sea Turtles Pick Up More Pollution
One of the many threats loggerhead sea turtles face is man-made pollution, but the extent of the risk is a question. To begin to look for the answer scientists have measured contaminants in the blood of a group of adult male turtles and tracked their migration along the Atlantic Coast.

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