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.

Help stop the cruel shark fin trade

Sharks are a vital part of the oceans’ ecosystems. But 20% of the nearly 550 species of sharks risk extinction, in part because of the cruel appetite for shark fin soup.

Each year, millions of sharks are killed for their fins, considered a delicacy to some, and are often de-finned while still alive and thrown back into the ocean to drown.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has asked for the public to comment on a proposed rule.

shark

The purpose of the proposed rule is to implement the Shark Conservation Act, which is meant to close loopholes in the U.S. ban on shark finning.

The problem is that the federal government may then block states from taking extra steps to prevent the influx of non-regulated shark fins into their states. That could threaten the ability of states to close their market to shark fins–and mean a big step backwards for shark conservation.

TAKE ACTION

The Humane Society of the United States has a petition you can sign. Please tell the Department of Commerce that while you approve the implementation of the Shark Conservation Act, states should have the ability to adopt even stronger measures to minimize their role in providing a market for shark fins.

Come to Animal Activism 201 This Sunday

Animal Activism 201: The Psychology of Change is a two-hour workshop being held at the University District Library this Sunday, June 2nd, 2013.

animals 201

The event picks up where Animal Activism 101 left off–but don’t worry. You didn’t have to attend the first to come to the second. This one will focus on different issues, mainly how we can understand human nature and use that knowledge to be more effective activists.

Activism isn’t just attending demos, leafleting, or tabling. You can be an activist in many ways, including “behind the scenes.” Blogging, web design, graphic arts, letter-writing, data entry–there’s a job for all of us and this meeting will help you find a way to be effective.

We’ll get together and talk about how we can progress the movement for animal liberation by knowing more about how we humans work!

Check out the Facebook event and RSVP if you haven’t already or just show up!

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Seattle Public Library – University Branch
5009 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98105

Best of all, the event is FREE! We’ll be heading to a local vegan eatery for some food and socializing after, so don’t miss it!

 

When Wolves Lose Endangered Species Act Protection, We Lose Wolves!

The United States Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) has announced a plan to delist all wolves throughout the United States (except Mexican wolves) who are currently protected by the Endangered Species Act. This reckless and politically motivated plan will intensify the ongoing slaughter of wolves. We have already seen tragedy in western states where hateful anti-wolf rhetoric and politics trump ethics and science.

wolf in creek, credit Jim Robertson

When wolves lost their ESA protection in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, these states immediately began to allow a recreational slaughter. Wolves are being injured and killed by bow hunters, gunned down by trophy hunters, tortured by trappers in steel-jaw foothold traps and snares, and subjected to other brutal “management” methods, including aerial gunning. More than 1,100 wolves have been killed in these states since Congress took ESA protection away from them in 2011.

Has the human behavior that caused the endangerment of wolves and made necessary their protection changed? No! This question, not just numbers, should determine whether this species can afford to lose ESA protection. Wolves are still discriminated against and misunderstood, their role as important top carnivores for the integrity of ecosystems is not sufficiently valued, and they are hated by the livestock industry, ranchers and hunters.

Learn more and sign the petition at the IDA site.

Urge USDA To Confiscate Elephant Lucky From The San Antonio Zoo

In a shocking move, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) reportedly approved a request by the San Antonio Zoo to keep a 53-year-old female Asian elephant named Lucky in isolation. Lucky is now the only solitary female elephant in an AZA-accredited zoo in the U.S. The zoo’s director told the media that Lucky will remain at the zoo  until she dies. The zoo’s other elephant, Queenie, died in March.

elephant Lucky San Antonio ZooNo elephant should ever be held in solitary confinement. Female elephants are profoundly social – they live in matriarchal, multi-generational herds in the wild that include sisters, aunts, nieces, and nephews.

The AZA’s own guidelines require that elephants are housed in groups of three, yet the AZA is inexplicably sanctioning the San Antonio Zoo’s cruel decision to keep Lucky alone. This is the third variance the AZA has given to the zoo in a decade to house Lucky alone, despite pleas from IDA and our members to deny the unreasonable (and inhumane) requests and instead send Lucky to a facility that can meet her physical and social needs.

You can learn more and sign the petition at the IDA site.

In-vitro meat makes a debut

Here’s some food for thought: If the main reason for choosing a vegan lifestyle is to reduce suffering, what do you think about in-vitro meat?test tubes

The New York Times recently reported about a hamburger grown in a laboratory from muscle tissue. This in-vitro, or cultured, meat doesn’t require the water, grain, land, transportation, and slaughter of an animal.

The sample being worked on at the moment isn’t vegan–it’s origins are animal in nature (cow stem cells). But future versions could be grown from non-animal sources.

This still sounds like science fiction, and I’ll stick by the loads of scientific findings that meat of any kind isn’t healthy. But if people don’t stop eating meat, perhaps they could gravitate toward in-vitro meat and bypass factory farms.

Demo at the UW National Primate Research Center

This past Saturday NARN held a demo outside the UW National Primate Research Center. The demo was organized to coincide with World Week for Animals in Labs.

The Blue Building

Hidden inside this dark, unmarked, sunless building, 700 primates live and die for research, subjected to painful surgeries and traumatic procedures until their usefulness is over. The Blue Building at 3000 Western Ave is the main facility for the UW National Primate Research Center, the largest of eight across the country.

About a dozen of us spent a few hours with signs and fliers and shared info with passers-by. Many people were shocked to learn that wasteful and cruel experiments were happening in their neighborhood. The beautiful sculpture park is across the street, and no one suspects cruelty is around them.

protesting animal cruelty

The University of Washington spends millions of taxpayer dollars conducting needless tests that haven’t resulted in any contribution to humans or animals. Harvard recently decided to close its primate research center and it’s time for UW to do the same.

The UW has even been cited with safety and cruelty violations including letting a monkey starve to death, and performing unauthorized surgeries. The UW breeds monkeys and removes babies from their mothers soon after they’re born.

WWAIL Demo

We demo to let the public know about these atrocities but we also demo to let animal abusers know their deeds aren’t going unnoticed.

 What can you do?

Please send a polite letter requesting the UW reevaluate its policies regarding animal experimentation and commit to long-term reduction of the use of any animals for science.

Michael Young, President
301 Gerberding Hall, Box 351230
Seattle, WA 98195
206-543-5010
pres@uw.edu

The University of Washington Board of Regents
139 Gerberding Hall, Box 351264
Seattle, WA 98195-1264
206-543-1633
regents@uw.edu

If you’re a UW grad, you can also contact the alumni association and tell them that you won’t join them (or that you’ll be cancelling your membership) unless the university agrees not to use live animals in their research.

UW Alumni association
Box 359508
Seattle, WA 98195-9508
206-543-0540 or 1-800-AUW-ALUM
Fax: 206-685-0611
uwalumni@uw.edu

If you attend or are employed by the UW you can anonymously report any incidents or patterns of abuse or neglect of animals in the care of the university. Provide as detailed observations as you can, with dates, locations, animals involved, their serial numbers (if possible) the condition of the animals, and what incidents occurred to uwkills@narn.org.

We will protect your identity and initiate the investigation. You can also contact us to let us know what experiments are going on, who the researchers are, and what the animals go through. If you’re a student, please join or volunteer for Campus Animal Rights Educators (CARE) at the UW campus.

Harvard announces closure of primate research center

Press release reprinted from Stop Animal Exploitation Now.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Contact: Michael Budkie, SAEN, 513-575-5517 513-703-9865 (cell)

Harvard Announces Closure of Primate Research Center; Watchdog Group Applauds Move; Calls for Retirement of Primates

BOSTON/SOUTHBOROUGH, MA – Harvard Medical School has issued a statement announcing that the New England Primate Research Center will be closing within 24 months.

Harvard’s New England Primate Research Center has been embroiled in an ongoing controversy following the negligent deaths of at least 4 primates. The facility is currently under investigation by the USDA and faces a potentially major federal fine for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

“Harvard wants the public to believe that this closure is due to economics,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!). “That is simply not true. The only way Harvard could quash this scandal is to close the primate center, because even last year’s resignation of the Center’s Director could not end their ineptitude. This closure is the direct result of pressure from activists led by SAEN.”

“The closure of Harvard’s Primate Research Center is the best news I have ever heard,” added Budkie. “The potential exists to bring freedom to many monkeys and to redirect millions of dollars into clinical and epidemiological research which will more directly benefit humans.”

SAEN has announced plans to contact the Harvard Medical School’s administration to explore the possibility of placing at least some of the primates in sanctuaries.

“These primates have suffered enough,” added Budkie. “They deserve a chance to have a new life in another environment where their needs will be put first.”

World Week for Animals in Labs

We’re in the middle of World Week for Animals in Labs (WWAIL). April 20th to 28th is a week filled with demonstrations and events to educate people about the horrors of animal testing and about how needless it is, and to let researchers know that they are accountable for the cruelty they inflict on innocent animals.

Animal research is not advancing the medical industry or helping to cure disease. Real progress comes from other models such as genomic tests, human cell cultures, medical imaging and clinical trials.

wwail bunny

In observation of WWAIL, NARN will be holding a demo in front of the University of Washington Primate Experimentation facility at 3000 Western Avenue in Seattle, WA. Please join this Saturday, April 27th from noon to 2 pm and help educate passers-by about what goes on behind the walls of the “Blue Building.”

Hidden inside this dark, unmarked, sunless building, 700 primates live and die in the name of research. They are subjected to painful surgeries and traumatic procedures until their usefulness is over. The building is the main facility for the UW National Primate Research Center, the largest of eight across the country.

NARN will supply signs and leaflets, but you’re also encouraged to make your own creative signs. Questions? Email info@narn.org

For more information, check out http://uwkills.wordpress.com/.

California ag-gag bill pulled

Ag-gag bills have been popping up around the country. The bills would criminalize whistle-blowers who capture video in factory farms and slaughterhouses.

The California bill would have required anyone who records an incident of animal cruelty to turn the evidence over to the authorities within 48 hours. That would make it impossible to build a case, or show a pattern of continued abuse, which is what’s usually needed to prosecute animal cruelty.

Fortunately for now, the California bill is dead. Its author pulled the bill because it faced strong opposition from animal rights groups, food safety organizations, environmental organizations, labor unions and people fighting to protect the first amendment.

If ag-gag bills are passed, even journalists who end up in possession of undercover factory farm footage are at risk of being prosecuted. The bill isn’t good for anyone except the people who make cruelty their business and want a free pass to do whatever they want behind closed doors.

The failure of this bill is another excellent example of how we need to speak up and let lawmakers know when we don’t agree with what’s happening around us. A strong, unified voice does make a difference for animals, the environment, and people.

British government to ban wild animals in circuses

December 1, 2015 will be a great day for wild animals. That’s the day British circuses will no longer be allowed to use wild animals in their shows.

This is a great example of how politicians and animal rights activists can be allies and partners. Both groups have worked tirelessly on this issue for some time and it’s a definite victory for animals.

tiger in circus by Shizhao

Animals that are normally domesticated are excluded from the ban, mainly because supporters of the ban were worried about legal action from circus owners if all animals were excluded.

Strict guidelines for how animals are used in the circus have already gone into effect. The December 2015 timeline might seem a long way off but it’s meant to give operators a chance to make arrangements for their wild animals.

Ideally, they’ll be rehomed in sanctuaries where they will be free from the abuses and stress of the circus.

Here in Washington, Ringling Brothers still bring animals to Everett and Tacoma. We’ll be demonstrating at their events until that changes. Animals do not belong in the circus.