Speak up for animals in labs

Have you read the Herald’s article, Inside the Monkey Lab? It’s about SNLB, an animal research facility in Everett, WA, and it’s terribly one-sided.

Please write to Peter Jackson (pjackson@heraldnet.com), the editorial page editor, and tell him the article was not fair or balanced. You can also add your comments at the bottom of the article, but a letter to the editor will have more impact. For talking points on why we don’t need animal testing, here’s some info:

Animal testing is bad science, based on outdated ideas, and it’s a money-making racket. Researchers applying for grants, can secure more money when they use animals in their experiments. And Mark Crane, the SNLB VP interviewed in the article said his company breeds and sells research monkeys to other labs for about $3,500 each. It’s big business. Careers depend on it.

If animals are so different from us (different enough for us to justify experimenting on), it also means they’re too different to gather relevant, conclusive evidence drawing of a monkey being operated onthat would apply to us. If they’re similar enough that the experiments would actually be useful and relevant, then they’re just like us and it’s unethical to test on them. Either way, it’s wrong.

The cost of experimenting on animals is high and the benefits are minimal. Non-animal testing is usually cheaper and more accurate than animal tests, which can be unreliable. Animal tests are misleading because they’re not good at showing how humans will respond.

With animal testing, illness is induced, and then a cure is sought. That’s an unrealistic and unnatural environment and doesn’t translate well to humans. According to the AAVS, nine out of ten drugs that appear promising in animal studies go on to fail in human clinical trials.

For example, the polio vaccine was delayed by decades because of animal testing. Monkeys respond differently to the virus. Penicillin almost didn’t see the light of day because it was ineffective on rabbits (and killed guinea pigs). It wasn’t until Alexander Fleming gave it to a dying patient (as a last-ditch effort) and she recovered that it was proven acceptable for human use.

Thalidomide, a drug used in the 1950s to treat morning sickness, was proven harmless in dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and rats, and was cleared for human use. It wasn’t until over 10,000 children were born with severe birth defects that it was pulled from the market. Animal tests didn’t warn us.

More recently, Vioxx, a painkiller for people with arthritis, was taken off the market after it caused up to 320,000 heart attacks and strokes. The drug was tested on animals but those tests never revealed the danger to people.

We have the technology to use alternatives to animal tests–and there are many! We have mathematic and in silico (computer models), genomic tests, in vitro (test tube) on human cell cultures, and medical imaging.

JOIN US PROTESTING THE DONKEY BASKETBALL GAME!

Unfortunately we were unable to prevent the Anacortes Middle School from going ahead with their inhumane donkey basketball event this coming Saturday, January 18th. (See my post from November 18th). Recently interviewed, the owner of the “Donkey Sports” company said, “Animal rights groups are a small, misinformed segment of society and should not be allowed to deprive the rest of the community from [sic] this fun event.” 

Let’s ALL go and make sure no one going in remains unaware that this is animal cruelty, and that compassionate people are a SIGNIFICANT — AND GROWING — VOCAL SEGMENT of the population! The event begins at 6pm; protesters should be there at 4:30. Bring signs!

Whatever else you were going to do with Saturday, do this instead. Unless you are sabotaging fishing boats off a Certain Cove in Taiji, or something similar.

Protest Coyote Killing Contest in Oregon

Another coyote-slaughter-’contest’ has come to our attention. This is the 8th annual JMK Coyote Hunting Contest in Crane, Oregon. It will continue for a three-day period from Friday, January 17, through Sunday, January 19, 2014.The contest offers a special one-day free entry for children under 16. Cash, belt buckles and other prizes will be awarded to the two-man team killing the most coyotes by weight, the largest individual coyote, and more.

Please contact the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service (USFS) to express your concerns (addresses below). It is hard for me to tell you to be polite, since neither I nor you feel polite about this issue, but foul letters will get us nowhere. The same letter/email can be sent to all four snailmail addresses and one email address. Honestly, writing one letter with the help of the taking points below and at http://www.predatordefense.org/coyotes.htm, copying it and sending it to four places will take less than half an hour out of your life, but those coyotes will be living a horror next weekend, and many will NOT live.

Quick calls to ask that the event be cancelled would be wonderful, too. What are they going to do to you over the phone? What are they going to do to those coyotes? Right.
Thank you.• Commercial activities on public federal lands require special use permits and an environmental review to determine their impact on the ecosystem and the quality of the human environment.
• Are these agencies aware of this event?
• Participants are paying a one hundred dollar fee to join the event, making it a commercial endeavor.
• Have the promoters of this event applied for and received a permit?
• An undetermined number of hunters will be involved in the organized event, likely putting the public at risk over the weekend when many families recreate on public land.
• Like other top predators, coyotes play a critical role in keeping natural areas healthy. In fact, coyotes are a keystone species, meaning that their presence or absence has a significant impact on the surrounding biological community.
• Field research demonstrates that the indiscriminate killing of coyotes actually increases conflicts and predation on livestock by causing coyote populations to dramatically increase. In order to feed more robust litters, coyotes may change their hunting habits to include unnatural and larger prey, such as livestock. Thus, increased persecution leads to larger populations and increased predation.

Brendan Cain
District Manager
28910 Hwy 20 W
Hines OR 97738-9424
541-573-4422
bcain@blm.gov

Emigrant Creek Ranger District
265 Hwy 20 S
Hines OR 97738-9428
541-573-4300

Blue Mountain Ranger District
PO Box 909
John Day OR 97845-0909
541-575-3000

Prairie City Ranger District
PO Box 337
Prairie City OR 97869-0337
541-820-3800

Victory for Canada geese!

Washington State Parks recently confirmed that they will not be killing Canada geese in any state parks in 2014!

canada geese

Last spring, we reported that geese were rounded up and gassed in Sammamish State Park. For 2014, State Parks Resource Manager Andrew Fielding said they’ll be using non-lethal methods instead, such as:

  • Using remote devices like air boats to deter geese
  • Bringing in trained dogs handled by volunteers to scare geese away
  • Modifying the landscape to make it less appealing to the geese
  • Adding fencing (like snow fencing) to keep geese away
  • Installing predator cut-outs to scare off the geese
  • Improving signs to let people know they shouldn’t feed the geese
  • Enforcing rules that prohibit feeding wildlife
  • Sharing information through local inter-agency agreements

The Parks Department will focus on Lake Sammamish because it’s in an urban area and has a large number of Canada geese.

This effort was a collaboration with a lot of groups. Action for Animals spread the word, NARN did, and so did In Defense of Animals. But one person, Diane Weinstein, took the lead, talked to officials, and got the issue to the top of their agenda. It shows that it takes just one person to make an impact and get the ball rolling.

And when an issue gains momentum, there’s no stopping it!

So thanks to Diane, AFA, IDA, and all the individuals who called, emailed, and spread the word.

Keep fighting for animals!

Tell Southwest Airlines to cut ties with SeaWorld

Southwest Airlines is renewing its commitment to promote SeaWorld, claiming its relationship with SeaWorld is about “bringing families together.”

Conversely, SeaWorld is all about tearing marine mammal families apart. For a glimpse into how they operate, check out the official page for the documentary, Blackfish (you can watch the full movie on Netflix).

SOUTHWEST_AIRLINES

PETA has reached out to Southwest Airlines, but the company isn’t listening. Now it’s your turn to tell Southwest how you feel.

Please politely urge Southwest Airlines to sever its partnership with SeaWorld. You can contact them on their web form.

Let your friends and family know as well so we can be a loud voice for orcas and other animals in captivity.

Animal Welfare Bills in the 2014 Washington State Legislature

Fighting for animals is often an uphill battle. Animals don’t usually get a lot of respect of attention in the legislature. That’s why it’s important to let your state reps know that animals matter!

For the 2014 session, several animal-related bills will be brought before the legislature.

SB 5202 Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance. This is a follow-up of the substitute spay/neuter bill that passed the senate in 2013. The substitute bill doesn’t include the original pet-food fee funding source, but it does provide the basic outline of a statewide spay/neuter assistance program. The bill will need to be reconsidered in the senate before it can proceed to the house.

SB 5203 Limiting Sales of Animals in Public Places. This bill would restrict certain sales of animals in public places, such as roadside sales. A draft substitute bill, that improves the original bill introduced in 2013, is currently being prepared .

SB 5204 Animal Cruelty Prevention. This bill covers several issues. It tightens up the animal fighting law, addresses animals confined in vehicles and other spaces during extreme temperatures, and cleans up the definition of second-degree animal cruelty. A draft substitute bill has already been prepared, which includes a new provision to correct weaknesses in the first-degree animal cruelty statute.

HB 2117 Breed Based Dog Regulations. More than two dozen cities in this state have breed-based bans. The bans place restrictions on certain breeds (usually pit bulls). In the 2014 session, a bill is being introduced that, if passed, would prevent a dog’s breed from being a factor in a ban or in classifying him or her as dangerous or potentially dangerous. Read more about how you can help bring pass this bill here.

Washington_State_Capitol_Legislative_Building

Thanks to Save Washington Pets (Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation) for the info about these bills.

Action Alert for HB 2117: Breed-based dog regulations

Here in Washington State, more than two dozen cities have breed-based bans in place. The bans place restrictions on certain breeds (usually pit bulls). In the 2014 session, HB 2117 (Breed-Based Dog Regulations) is being introduced. This bill would prevent a dog’s breed from being a factor in a ban or in classifying him or her as dangerous or potentially dangerous. The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Sherry Appleton.

Contact Your State Representatives!

All members of the Washington State House of Representatives have until 2 pm on January 13 to sign on as cosponsors of the bill. Please contact your two state reps today or tomorrow and encourage them to sign on and support this bill.

You can find your reps here and you can find their phone numbers here. If you can’t call, or would rather email, here’s a template by Best Friends Animal Society.

Please offer a brief, polite message with your full name, address and phone number, asking your rep to cosponsor HB 2117, a bill that addresses dog breed discrimination, and explain why it’s important to you.American pit bull terrier

Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the information about this bill.

Signature Gathering for Meatless Mondays

When: Saturday, January 11th @ 10:00am – 1:00pm
Where: University District Farmers Market
(on University Way NE between NE 50th St and NE 52nd St.)
(map)

Seattle is fortunate to be home to one of the new offices of The Humane League, a national Animal Rights Organization. One of their main focuses in Seattle is to get the Seattle School District to implement Meatless Mondays. YOU can help make this happen by helping to gather signatures for support of Meatless Mondays at the University District Farmers Market on Saturday, Jan 11th from 10am – 1pm.

If you can help, please contact Rachel at rachelhw@thehumaneleague.com

Humane Lobby Day

When: Thursday, January 30th @ 8:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Department of Enterprise Services Auditorium
1500 Jefferson St. SE (Olympia, WA)
(map)

Washington’s animal advocates will soon fill the halls of the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services in Olympia for Humane Lobby Day 2014. You can be in on this exciting action, too! Join your HSUS state director Dan Paul for one day that can make all the difference for animals.

Don’t worry if you’re new to lobbying or are unfamiliar with the issues. What’s important is that you’re there. We’ll be there with you every step of the way.

What is Humane Lobby Day? It’s a one-day event in your state where you can meet with your elected officials and their staff about animal protection issues in Washington.

Why is your participation in Lobby Day so critical? We know legislators are most motivated when their constituents take time to meet face-to-face. It’s your chance to show how much animals mean to you.

Reserve your spot now for Humane Lobby Day 2014! Dan Paul is happy to help with additional questions: dpaul@humanesociety.org.

If you’d like to attend this event you can RSVP online.