All posts by Jean

Navy wants bombing and sonar permits – Act now!

The Navy is looking to get permits to continue sonar and explosives exercises in the Pacific Northwest, a controversial exercise that risks the well-being and lives of marine mammals who swim through the Navy’s training range.

The Navy is gathering comments from the public comments on its draft environmental impact statement for the testing range, which occupies parts of the Pacific Ocean from Canada to California.

Interested in speaking up? Come to a hearing:

  • Feb. 26, 5-8 pm: Oak Harbor High School, Oak Harbor, WA
  • Feb. 27, Cascade High School, Everett, WA
  • Feb. 28, North Kitsap High School, Poulsbo, WA
  • March 3, Astoria High School, Astoria, OR
  • March 4, Isaac Newton Magnet School, Newport, OR

If you can’t beat a hearing, please leave a comment on the Northwest Training and Testing site.

For more info, read the article on the KCTS website.

Oppose Yellowstone National Park's Bison Slaughter

We recently learned from In Defense of Animals, that Yellowstone National Park plans to slaughter 800 wild bison. bison from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_bison_in_Yellowstone_National_Park.JPG

According to park spokesman Al Nash, the park is seeking “opportunities to capture any animals that move outside the park’s boundaries.”

Please help the hundreds wild bison who are being brutally hazed into traps and sent to slaughter. This killing began on February 7th, with the capture of 20 bison. The scared animals were then shipped to a slaughterhouse in Ronan, Montana. Other bison are currently being held in traps inside the park, awaiting their fate.

This is a politically motivated move by the Montana livestock industry, which has no tolerance for wildlife.

Click here to take action.

Action Alert: Stop Washington Cougar Hound Hunting Legislation

Thanks to Exposing the Big Game and the Mountain Lion Foundation (MLF) for the info listed below. Check out their websites for more info.

Washington state Senators Brian Dansel and Don Benton have coauthored a bill that would force the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to allow trophy hunters to use hounds to kill cougars for fun.

Senate Bill 6287 states special “dangerous cougarwildlife task teams must be developed in each county [...] and a kill season with the aid of dogs must be established,” ultimately claiming they will hunt lions to protect the public and increase research on the species. WDFW and the findings of numerous research projects have shown these hunting programs don’t work, and they can actually increase cougar-human conflicts.

WDFW already has the authority to initiate special public safety hunts with the use of hounds, if needed (WAC 232-12-243). But the agency has found that teaching the public about coexistence and only killing the cats who cause problems has proven to be a more successful policy.

Allowing groups of hound hunters to kill random cougars in rural areas has not yielded any positive results and is just an excuse for hunters who want to chase cougars with a pack of dogs.

Washington sport hunters (without dogs) already shoot more than 100 lions each year. As a result, the cougar population is declining and the mean age of the cats is lower. Young cats are more likely to come into conflict with people, pets, and livestock.

How to help:

Please contact your Senator NOW (before February 18th) and urge him or her to vote against this bill!

Write a short letter or email stating why you oppose Senate Bill 6287. Even a phone call will help. You can use this contact form if you’re short on time (but personal letters are best). If possible, please also send MLF a copy of your letter and cc emails to info@mountainlion.org.

Talking points:

  • Senate Bill 6287 is a redundant authorization of public safety hound hunts — WDFW already has this tool at its discretion if they think it’s necessary to use hounds to help kill cougars.
  • Senate Bill 6287 would force the Department of Fish and Wildlife to implement a wildlife killing program that they know is unsuccessful and potentially dangerous.  The legislation is not backed by the Department, scientific research, or the majority of citizens in Washington.
  • Washington residents have repeatedly shown we do not support the use of hounds to track, tree, and kill wildlife for fun. It’s a cruel and outdated unsportsmanlike hobby that needs to remain illegal.
  • This bill would allow hound hunters to kill cougars that have posed no threat to people, which may actually increase the percentage of problem cougars in our state.

Thank for taking the time to help protect Washington’s cougars!

Help pass a spay/neuter assistance program

Here’s a way to help overpopulation issues with companion dogs and cats: Ask Your State Senator to Vote YES on SSB 5202, the Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill.

Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5202 would create a statewide companion animal spay/neuter assistance program to help people with low incomes get free or very low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for their dogs and cats. The bill would also fund spay/neuter surgeries for feral and free-roaming cats.

SSB 5202 replaces the original bill, orange kitten in a barnSB 5202, which attempted to raise funds from the sale of pet food across the state. The pet-food fee funding part isn’t in this bill; it’s been replaced with a voluntary contribution of up to $1 per pet license from communities that license pets.

Please contact your state senator by phone or email and ask him or her to vote for SSB 5202 in the senate.

Your state senator can be contacted by filling out the comment form on the bill. It’s quick and easy. Be sure to click the buttons asking for a reply from your senator.

Here are some tips to help you write a clear message:

  • Ask your senator to encourage other senate leaders to schedule SSB 5202 for a vote on the senate floor.
  • Ask your senator to vote for SSB 5202.
  • Tell your senator that the bill will help reduce the amount of money homeless animals cost our cities and counties, and will help end the deaths of thousands of dogs and cats in our state’s shelters.
  • Tell your senator why the bill is important to YOU and others in your community.

It’s really effective to also call your senator’s office asking for a “yes” vote on SSB 5202, Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance. You will find your senator’s phone number in this list.

Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the info listed here. If you have questions, please contact them at info@savewashingtonpets.org.

Help Iditarod dogs

From the Sled Dog Action Coalition:

sled dogs

The Iditarod is a cruel event and mushers often beat dogs who won’t run, or who don’t run fast enough. Dogs are injured during their brutal training and end up with cracked ribs, broken jaws or skulls from mushers.

Thankfully Target and Fred Meyer ended their support for the Iditarod after they received protest emails. But the dogs still need your help.

Please send protest emails to race sponsors: Konica Minolta, Golden Corral,  Allworx (Windstream) and Waste Management.

Email Addresses:

Sample letter:

Dear Iditarod Sponsor:

For the dogs, the Iditarod dog sled race is a bottomless pit of suffering. Please end your organization’s support of this event. What happens to the dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, frostbite, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. Over 143 dogs have died in the race, including three who frozen to death in the brutal cold. For more facts, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website, http://helpsleddogs.org.

Iditarod mushers beat dogs who won’t run, or who don’t run fast enough. Dogs are beaten with shovels, bats, chains, two-by-fours or whatever else is handy. Dr, Jeanne Olson, who has been a veterinarian in Alaska since 1988, confirmed the brutality used by mushers training dogs for the Iditarod. She saw dogs with cracked ribs, broken jaws or skulls from mushers using two-by-fours for punishment. In an article published by the University of Alaska, Dr. Olson said, “There are mushers out there whose philosophy is…that if that dog acts up I will hit that dog to the point where it would rather die than do what it did, ’cause the next time it is gonna die.’”

Jim Welch says in his book Speed Mushing Manual, “Nagging a dog team is cruel and ineffective…A training device such as a whip is not cruel at all but is effective.” He also said, “It is a common training device in use among dog mushers…” Jon Saraceno wrote in his column in USA Today, “He [Colonel Tom Classen] confirmed dog beatings and far worse. Like starving dogs to maintain their most advantageous racing weight. Skinning them to make mittens. Or dragging them to their death.”

Iditarod dog kennels are puppy mills. Mushers breed many dogs and routinely kill unwanted ones, including puppies. Mushers have drowned, shot, bludgeoned and dragged many dogs to death. For example, Iditarod musher Dave Olesen drowned a litter of newborn puppies. Another musher got rid of unwanted puppies by tying them in a bag and tossing the bag in a creek. Mushers even have a saying about not breeding dogs unless they can drown them: “Those who cannot drown should not breed.”

Veterinary care during the Iditarod is poor. In the 2012 race, one of Lance Mackey’s male dogs ripped out all of his 16 toenails trying to get to a female who was in heat. This type of broken toenail is extremely painful. Mackey, a four-time Iditarod winner, said he was too stubborn to leave this dog at a checkpoint and veterinarians allowed Mackey to continue to race him. Imagine the agony the dog was forced to endure.

Here’s another example: Veterinarians have allowed dogs with kennel cough to race in the Iditarod even though dogs with this disease should be kept warm and given lots of rest. Strenuous exercise can cause lung damage, pneumonia and even death. To make matters worse, kennel cough is a highly contagious disease that normally lasts from 10 to 21 days.

Please end your organization’s association with this horrific race.

Sincerely,

[your name]

Help bring Lolita home

Lolita is a orca from the Puget Sound off the coast of Washington State, who was captured and stolen from her family four decades ago. You might remember her story from the documentary Blackfish and Lolita: Slave to Entertainment.

Lolita c/o ALDFShe’s been languishing in a tiny tank at the Miami Seaquariam. The Endangered Species Act protects members of the Southern Resident orca population, but Lolita has been excluded from being protected–until now.

Thanks to pressure from PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) made a decision that could free Lolita. The NMFS agreed that Lolita deserves the same protection as her wild family.

Even if Lolita cannot be truly wild and free, she deserves to live in peace without being forced to perform tricks for food. She hasn’t seen another orca in 30 years–a cruel  situation for a social animal. A sea pen in the Puget Sound would give her space, natural sounds and sights, and the change to reconnect with her family.

Plus, Lolita’s mother is still alive! Reuniting the two would give Lolita a good chance at freedom.

Help now!

Please share your support for Lolita here. Let the government know you support their decision to include Lolita in her family’s ESA listing. Please tell them that her current conditions are causing her to suffer, and that you want her moved to a seaside sanctuary in her home waters under expert care.

Comments will be accepted until March 28th, but why wait? Add a brief note now–and help bring Lolita home!

Speak up for the Woodland Park Zoo elephants

FOWPZE

Woodland Park Zoo has their hand out again for money from tax payers – in fact they’re listed first on the list to get money in the Parks Legacy Plan. The City needs to know that there are many of us who don’t want more funding to go to the zoo.

Here’s why:

  • The zoo already gets $6.6 million dollars annually–and the amount goes up every year. Last year Seattle taxpayers paid  the zoo an additional $2 million for parking!
  • We do not consider this business a park.
  • No other park has admission.
  • No other park has a Board of Directors dedicated to fund raising.
  • The zoo could save $787,000.00 by closing the archaic and inadequate elephant exhibit by retiring the elephants to a sanctuary. They could also save the cost of fighting media and citizen criticism of the elephant program that has mounted to at least $480,000.00 over the past 7 years.
  • No other park has such public controversy associated with it’s operations. The zoo’s elephant program has been criticized by The Seattle Times, The Ron and Don Show (the #1 rated talk radio show), The Seattle PI, Crosscut, blogs, internationally renowned elephant experts and Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

Please go one of these meetings and give public comment or simply say why you’re there on the sign-in sheet. We’d like to your thoughts if you attend. Here are the dates and times of the meetings:

Thursday, January 23 at 6 p.m. – International District/Chinatown Community Center 719 8th Ave. S
Saturday, January 25 at 1 p.m. – High Point Community Center 6920 34th Ave. SW (Free childcare will be provided)
Thursday, January 30 at 7 p.m. – Bitter Lake Community Center 13035 Linden Ave. N

More info on the Parks Legacy Plan is here.

Also, please write a short and courteous email to the following people asking Woodland Park Zoo to be removed from the Parks Legacy Plan. It can be as simple as: “Please remove Woodland Park Zoo from the Parks Legacy Plan. The Zoo receives enough tax dollars.”

parkslegacy@seattle.gov, Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.gov, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.govKshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, Ed.murray@seattle.gov

Thanks for your help. We couldn’t help the elephants without you!

Support SB 6080 and get fishing line collected and recycled

Carelessly discarded monofilament fishing line is a serious threat to humans and wildlife. When birds and other animals get tangled in it, they risk strangulation, starvation, amputation, and death. Because it’s transparent, monofilament fishing line is also a serious risk to people who swim and dive near it.tangled fishing line

SB 6080 would require a pilot program to be implemented for the collection, recovery, and recycling of monofilament fishing line at established fishing areas, boat ramps, and other locations.

Please support SB 6080 by testifying at the hearing in favor of the bill, submitting written testimony to the committee, or both.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. before the Senate Energy, Environment, and Telecommunications Committee. The hearing will be in Senate Hearing Room 4, J.A. Cherberg Building on the state capitol campus in Olympia. (Here are directions and a map of the capitol campus).

How to help:

  • Attend the hearing and bring others who support this bill with you. Sign in, indicating you support the bill (pro). You don’t have to testify, but you can!
  • If you testify, please be brief. There are hearings on other bills during that committee meeting and your testimony may be limited to one or two minutes.
  • Written testimony is welcome. Provide your written testimony the committee staff when you enter the hearing room. Please bring 14 copies of your testimony so there are plenty of copies for committee members and staff.
  • If you can’t be at the hearing and you’d like to send a brief comment by email, just reference the bill name (concerning a fishing line or monofilament recycling pilot program), the bill number (SB 6080) and your name, address, and affiliation (if any). Send your comments to Adam Day at adam.day@leg.wa.gov. Mr. Day is the legislative assistant for Senator Mark Mullet, the prime sponsor of SB 6080, and he’ll give your comments to members of the Senate Energy, Environment, and Telecommunications Committee. If you’d rather contact each of the committee members directly, you can find their names listed here. You’ll find their email addresses here. Note: Your comments should be submitted by January 21, 2014.

Committee hearings are subject to change. Before attending this hearing, please confirm that its time, date, and location have not been changed. The committee’s hearing schedule is here.

Thanks to Save Washington Pets (Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation) for the info about this bill.

Come to Animal Activism 101

Last year’s Animal Activism 101 workshop was such a hit, we’re doing it again!

If you’re new to activism, this is a great chance to learn about how to pick the right activities for your skills, strengths, and interests and how to actually get started.

If you’ve done some activism, but are new to the scene, we’ll share some tips, tricks, and best practices not only from NARN, but from other activists around the world.

We’ll talk about tabling, leafleting, demonstrations, writing, online activism, corporate campaigning, and using your unique talents and interests in making the world a better place for animals.

We’ll also talk about dealing with stress, the psychology of change, and how to be strategic in planning your activism, and how to deal with people on a personal level.

We want to build a strong community of NW vegans and animal activists. Let’s learn from each other, share what we know, support each other, and most importantly, be as effective as possible for the animals. The animals can’t wait. They need us now. Their future depends on our work!AR101

Sunday, February 9th, 2014
12:30 – 3:30 pm
Cascade People’s Center
309 Pontius Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109

Please RSVP on Facebook (or email info@narn.org) so we know how many snacks to bring. If you want to bring something to share, please let us know.

This is a FREE event.

To spend one’s life being angry, and in the process doing nothing to change it, is to me ridiculous. I could be mad all day long, but if I’m not doing a damn thing, what difference does it make?” ― Charles Fuller

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.