News of Note

Group protests Edmonds animal seller
A group of animal rights protestors was in town last week demonstrating against an Edmonds company called Paris NHP (Non-Human Primate.)  According to the protest organizers, Tim and Liz Sage, “Paris Non-Human Primates is a ‘Consulting Service Offering Solutions for Biomedical Research Resources,’ but is listed by the city of Edmonds, as a ‘Domestic Animal Farm’.”  “This ‘farm’ specializes in the selling of macaque monkeys, for use in inhumane and scientifically unsound experiments that are dangerous to human health.

 

Thousands of GM Mice Killed by Hurricane Sandy
Scientists from New York University have been left reeling in the wake of hurricane Sandy after thousands of lab mice were killed as a result of rising flood waters, potentially setting back this medical research into heart disease and cancers by as much as a decade and leading scientists to have to contemplate starting all over again — something neither they, nor animal rights campaigners, relish.  The loss of animal life was first reported by New York Daily News on Tuesday. In a short account, told to them by an unnamed researcher at the university, the Daily News reported that emergency power was lost at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, leading to the loss of many specialist enzymes and antibodies that had been cultivated by the scientists and which needed to be stored at below-zero temperatures.
As Wolves’ Numbers Rise, So Does Friction Between Guardians and Hunters
Wisconsin is three weeks into its first wolf-hunting season, sanctioned by the State Legislature in April. Minnesota is scheduled to begin its first registered wolf hunt this weekend.  The legalization of wolf hunting in both states was devised to manage a rebounding wolf population after the federal government stopped listing the species as endangered in the region last year. Both have drawn lawsuits from local and national animal rights groups that fear the undoing of nearly four decades of work to restore a healthy number of wolves.

 

Worried about climate change? Go vegan
Hurricane Sandy is one more dramatic demonstration that climate change and its extreme weather patterns are now part of our future.  Although we’re unlikely to reverse climate change, we can still mitigate its effects by reducing our driving, our energy use and our meat consumption. Yes, meat consumption. A 2006 United Nations report estimated that meat consumption accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested the real figure may be closer to 50 percent.

 

Marion Cotillard film faces animal rights boycott
Animal rights campaigners are urging cinema-goers to boycott the new Marion Cotillard film, Rust and Bone, because it features killer whales in captivity.  Cotillard plays an animal trainer in the film and her scenes were shot at the Marineland Park in Antibes, France, which has a number of captive orcas.

 

Minneapolis: Animal researchers’ convention spurs protest
About 60 members of an anti-animal-testing group protested outside a convention of animal researchers in downtown Minneapolis, saying the research done by the group’s members is inhumane.  The idea that animal research can be done humanely is a false premise, argued Kim Socha, a board member of the Animal Rights Coalition, which organized the Sunday, Nov. 4, protest.

 

NIH faces chimp housing quandary
Dozens of chimpanzees retired from research may have to continue to live in lab-like conditions.
On 21 September, NIH director Francis Collins declared the 110 agency-owned chimps at the New Iberia Research Center, which is part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, “permanently ineligible” for research. The move followed the centre’s decision a month earlier not to reapply for a key contract that has supported the NIH chimps housed there for decades. The existing NIH contract with the facility expires in August 2013, leaving the agency little time to avert a housing crisis for animals that can live for up to 60 years in captivity.

 

Animal Rights In China
China is the world’s biggest animal farming nation. Billions of farm animals are raised on the industrialized farms on the Chinese mainland. When I conducted a survey of China’s factory farms in 2005-2006, I saw a nationwide enthusiasm for Western farming practices such as gestation crates, battery cages, ear-clipping, beak-trimming, early weaning (for calves), castration, tail-docking (for pigs), and forced feeding (ducks and geese for weight gains and foie-gras production). While EU nations are phasing out such practices, China is massively employing them.

 

An Elephant That Speaks Korean
Koshik was imitating Korean words in several ways  “We found a high agreement concerning the overall meaning, and even the Korean spelling of Koshik’s imitations,” Stoeger says. But as far as the scientists can tell, Koshik doesn’t actually mean what he says.  It’s not completely clear why Koshik adopted his unusual vocal behavior, but the researchers suggest that it might go back to his days as a juvenile. Koshik was the only elephant living at the Everland Zoo in South Korea for about five years, during an important period for elephant bonding and development. Humans were his only social contacts.

 

Union Busting by Profiting From Non-Profit May Breach IRS
When Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) was trying to fend off a union organizing drive at its largest meat- processing plant, it hired public relations executive Rick Berman. They discussed “preparing the nuclear strike,” according to e-mail records.  Soon after, a non-profit called the Center for Union Facts began running television ads slamming the “union bosses” who were trying to organize Smithfield’s plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina. That was no coincidence: Berman also runs the center.