Category Archives: Animal Rights

Issues dealing with animals being viewed as commodities and property, and of the inherent rights of animals to not be used, exploited, and killed by people.

The NIH still tortures monkeys

When I was an undergraduate, I read about horrific maternal deprivation experiments that Harry Harlow conducted in the 1950s and 60s. It was hard to read about them, but they happened in the past–or so I thought.

Harlow died thirty years ago but his protégé, Stephen Suomi has picked up with Harlow left off. Suomi works at a taxpayer-funded, NIH (National Institutes of Health) lab in Maryland, where he continues to conduct similar experiments.

PETA recently released disturbing proof of psychological experiments on baby monkeys. You can learn more here.

PETA also ran a full-page newspaper ad in Washington, D.C., that condemned the studies. The ad prompted a CSPAN host to confront NIH Director Francis Collins on live TV about the ad and the experiments.

NIH

You can see the ad and TV clip here.

What to do?

Please contact NIH and ask them to stop this cruelty now! Together, we can make a difference.

Help save animals in UW paramedic training

Did you know that live animals are used and then killed in the University of Washington’s paramedic medicine program?

The training is substandard, compared to the  superior human-based training methods used by the rest of paramedic training programs in the Pacific Northwest. Even more frustrating: The UW has its own simulation center and could immediately begin offering paramedics and flight nurses the best education possible.

If you’re a Washington State resident, please join the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and sign a petition asking the president of UW, Michael Young, to stop the live animal lab and to switch to human-based methods.

Thank you!

Help end cruelty to show horses

Have you heard of “soring”? It’s a cruel practice some show horses are forced to endure. It’s meant to give show horses like Tennessee Walkers an unnaturally high gait. It’s done with the use of chains, chemicals, and sharp objects–and it needs to stop.

Check out this page from the Humane Society. It has more details, a petition, and a video that show the practice of soring.

Help end a 50-year-old tradition by making a brief, polite phone call to your two U.S. senators and your U.S. representative to put an end to soring.

You can find their numbers here.

Please tell them you’re a constituent and you urge them to make sure that the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, S. 1406/H.R. 1518, comes to a vote.

PAST is the only bill that would require better USDA enforcement and put an end to soring.

Keep Up the Pressure on Sea World…

…because at SOME POINT, SOMEWHERE, SOMEONE is going to open a last letter, click on a last email, read the results of a last poll, and finally say, OK. We’re done.

Standing at a protest outside Woodland Park Prison Zoo a few days ago, I was nonplussed at the number of people giving us the thumbs-up and waving and nodding….as they went in to visit the zoo.  I wondered about it aloud to a fellow protester: why are these people still going in if they agree with our reason for being here? One of the people marching in turned around and said truculently, BECAUSE IT’S FUN!

I remember being there.  I went to zoos. I went to aquariums. I went to Sea World. I went to Parrot Jungle. It was something you did if you ‘loved animals’: you went to look at them.  Even when I was very little, it made me vaguely uncomfortable. My parents always seemed sad there, but they went anyway. It was as if we all knew something fundamental about it was badly wrong, but it was an immutable part of the status quo.  Finding out exactly how bad those places are was never much of a surprise, but finding out how POWERFUL individuals are in creating change, was.

Predictably, Sea World has reacted to calls for liberation by deciding to build bigger prisons, hoping most people won’t realize bigger bathtubs are still bathtubs,  even if they are decorated around the edges with plastic rocks and plants.

orca

I am asking you to let them know a real sea change has occurred, and no amount of window dressing will ever make imprisonment for entertainment alright again.  It’s gone beyond conditions. It is a matter of rights. The ones they have and we don’t.

So please, right now, when you finish reading — not later today, not tomorrow — tell SeaWorld to set in place a firm plan to release the animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with a more natural environment (like sea pens, pending release).  And tell them to do it now — not in 10 years, not even in five.

Sign an online petition here.

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Jim Atchison (president & CEO of SeaWorld), PO Box 690129, Orlando, FL 32869

The Blackstone Group
Contact information for 29 locations to write, call and/or fax…

Poll: Should Woodland Park Zoo send its elephants to a sanctuary?

With the passing of Watoto, The Seattle Times wrote a superb Editorial about elephants in captivity.

Please read the article and answer the poll about whether the zoo should send its elephants to a sanctuary. The poll is at the end of the article.

Please vote and share the poll with everyone you know!

Chai and Bamboo NEED your help to get a strong vote. We need to show the Mayor and City Council that people want the elephants to go to a sanctuary.

elephants in zoos or sanctuaries

Please VOTE and share!

RIP Watoto – Vigil at noon on Saturday, August 23rd‏

Today is a very sad day.  Watoto was euthanized.
She died without ever having had a good day.

You may have heard that Watoto, the African elephant that so many people were fighting for, lost her life today. Watoto was discovered lying down unable to right herself when the keepers arrived this morning.  The Zoo’s staff decided to euthanize her after being unable to raise her.

Please join in a vigil/peaceful demonstration at the street entrance to Woodland Park Zoo’s south entrance tomorrow, Saturday at noon.

What:  Vigil for beautiful Watoto
When: Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at noon
Where: Street entrance to the Zoo’s south entrance at N. 50th and Fremont Ave. N.

     

Watoto was only 45 years. In the wild, she would have been in the prime of her life; still bearing calves. Confinement in a zoo takes a devastating physical and psychological toll on these far-ranging and intelligent animals. The zoo industry’s own statistics show that elephants die young.

Woodland Park Zoo denied Watoto of one her greatest needs–companionship of her own kind. After being ripped from her mother in Africa as a baby, Watoto never set eyes on another African elephant. The zoo also denied Watoto the opportunity to spend her remaining years in a sanctuary.

Watoto suffered from a host of chronic captivity related diseases as a result of living her entire life in the cramped quarters of Woodland Park.

Woodland Park Zoo is an exceptionally poor environment. The elephants are locked outdoors in less than 1 acre.  Indoors, the elephants are locked in barren cages, standing on hard substrate and only able to walk a few steps in any direction. This lockup, due to our climate, lasts 16-17 hours a day, every day, for over half of the year. Scientific American describes this as: “tortuous conditions [which] inflict serious physical and psychological damage on such smart and sensitive animals.”

We hope that Watoto’s suffering and death will not be in vain. We are very grateful for Seattle’s Mayor Murray’s statement. We need him to go farther: Bamboo and Chai need to retire to a sanctuary. Click here to read the Mayor’s statement.

Please write to ask the Mayor and the City Council to order the zoo to release Bamboo and Chai to a sanctuary. They have the authority.

Email: Ed.murray@seattle.gov,
Jean.Godden@seattle.gov,
Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov,
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov,
Sally.Clark@seattle.gov,
Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov,
Nick.Licata@seattle.gov,
Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov,
Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov,
Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov,
Deborah.jensen@zoo.org,
Bruce.Bohmke@zoo.org,
Darin.Collins@zoo.org,
nancy.hawkes@zoo.org,
zooinfo@zoo.org

Please call the Mayor anytime on Wednesday, the 27th.  Ask the Mayor to withhold funds from Woodland Park Zoo until the elephants are released to a sanctuary. 206-684-4000

Rest in peace, Watoto.

Week of Action Against Circus Suffering

Animal Defenders International needs you to help wild animals who are caged, chained, and confined in circuses across the US.

ADI camel

This week, the Week of Action Against Circus Suffering, groups and individuals across the US will be flooding Congress with calls and emails urging their Representatives to support and co-sponsor the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 4525), a landmark federal bill introduced by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) that aims to protect elephants, tigers, bears, and other wild animals by prohibiting their use in traveling circuses.

How to help

  • Send an email message to your Representative in Congress (you can look up their contact info here). Keep your message brief and polite, and ask them to support and co-sponsor the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, H.R. 4525.
  • Follow up with a quick call to Congress. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Representative’s office. (Please do not call your Senator at this time as a companion bill in the Senate has not yet been introduced.)
  • We want to hear from you! Please contact ADI and let us know the response you get from your Representative so that we can effectively advance this important legislation.

Tips for calling your Representative:

  • Identify yourself and ask to speak with the staff/aide assigned to issues regarding wildlife and the humane care of animals.
  • Take note of their name and ask the aide to please pass along a message to your Representative that you are encouraging them to support and co-sponsor the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 4525).

You may want to share some examples of why this bill is needed:

  • H.R. 4525 is necessary because no amount of expensive regulation will protect a wild animal in a traveling circus from a life of ongoing physical and social deprivation, nor will regulation protect the public from animal escapes and diseases like TB that can be transmitted from animals to people.
  • Wild animals in traveling circuses endure confinement; long, arduous journeys; brutal control methods and physical violence.
  • Traveling circuses pose a serious threat to public safety. Circus workers and members of the public, including children, have been killed and maimed by circus animals, and lions, tigers and elephants have all escaped.
  • Investigations have revealed circus animals are trained through domination using weapons including bullhooks, whips and electric shocking devices.
  • H.R. 4525 is an important animal protection measure that will relieve an enormous amount of suffering, will save resources and protect people.

ADI elephant

Together, we can work to end the confinement; the long, arduous journeys; the brutal control methods; and the physical violence that wild animals in traveling circuses are forced to endure. No amount of regulation can protect them; only a ban can safeguard their welfare.

ADI will be posting to Facebook all week. Feel free to share the images create your own using ours as a template.

Where do Washington State candidates stand on animal issues?

Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation/Save Washington Pets has created a handy guide listing 81 candidates and their views on animal welfare bills. Have a look at the survey results so you can help influence future legislation.

A total of 265 candidates are running for 123 open seats in the state legislature. The August 5th primary election will narrow this field of candidates to the top two contenders in each competitive race. The top two, and all candidates running unopposed, will move on to the November general election.

Before you vote in the August primary election, consider where the candidates running for office in your district stand on animal welfare issues.

Without animal-friendly candidates elected to our state legislature, it can be nearly impossible to pass legislation that supports animal welfare. It can also be very difficult to stop bills detrimental to animal welfare from becoming law.

Please take a few minutes today to review the results of the Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation survey of candidates on animal welfare issues.

The report (PDF) is here. (Please be patient when downloading the file–it’s large.) Look for responses from candidates in your legislative district. Click here to find your legislative district.

Candidates state their positions on several issues, such as:

  • Strengthening the laws defining animal cruelty.
  • Providing police and animal control officers the authority to rescue animals confined in extreme temperatures (e.g., hot cars).
  • Limiting the sale of animals in public places by unlicensed sellers (such as roadside animals sales).

Please use caution in judging candidates who did not respond to the survey.

About two-thirds of the candidates running for state legislative offices did not respond to the survey. Many of the non-respondents are incumbents running for re-election who are known to be strong supporters of animal welfare legislation based on their voting records. Similarly, other non-respondents are known to be less supportive of animal welfare legislation based on voting records. Please contact your candidates directly if you need further information on their positions on any animal welfare issues

Do you have questions on the survey? Contact Rick at rick@savewashingtonpets.org.

Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the info in this post!

India is the First Country to Ban the Import of Foie Gras

With little fanfare, a notice appeared on the Indian Directorate of Foreign Trade’s website on July 3rd, simply stating that the import of foie gras, the “fatty liver” of geese, is now prohibited.  Produced mainly in France, in recent years it had found a place in high-end Indian restaurants. AND…contrary to so much legislation here in the US  that only takes effect in 300 years, this takes effect IMMEDIATELY.

It follows a campaign launched by the activist group Animal Equality, that together with PETA India, also managed to have the extremely cruel bullock cart races and all bull events banned throughout India in May of this year.

Their report to the Indian government included an investigation of a Spanish farm that was supplying liver to Indian restaurants.  The Spanish investigation was one of seven shocking foie gras investigations carried out by the group in 2012-2013 in France and Spain.

While countries such as Israel, Germany and England have banned the production of foie gras, and the U.S. state of California banned its production and consumption in 2012, India is the only country to ban imports.

In 2013 India also banned shows involving any cetaceans throughout the country.

 

 

Puget Sound area officials are killing Canada Geese‏

(From the Peace for Geese Project)

For the past 13 years, USDA Wildlife Services has been killing Canada Geese in the Puget Sound area, under an agreement with several cities and areas.

geese

The geese are rounded up in parks around Lake Washington and other areas, and gassed to death or shot.  In 2013, nearly 1200 were killed in King County alone.

Humane solutions, including egg addling, use of OvoControl-G (a proven oral birth control method for geese), and sterilization, exist.

Alternately, parks can use other measures, such as landscape modification, goose deterrent products and control techniques, automated devices to clean up goose droppings, and education and public outreach on the need to stop feeding waterfowl in our parks.

The members of the 2014 interlocal agreement to kill geese include Bellevue, Kent, Kirkland, Mountlake Terrace, Port of Seattle – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Renton, Seattle Parks and Recreation, SeaTac, Tacoma Metro Parks, Tukwila, Woodinville, and the University of Washington.

What to do:

Please sign the Change.org petition.

Also, please share the petition and like Peace for Geese on Facebook so you can get more updates.

Action alerts, news, tips, stories, and resources for Animal Advocates in the NW