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.

VALENTINE'S DAY DOLPHIN DEMO

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society & Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians NEED YOU on Valentine’s Day!

Demonstrations To Take Place in the U.S. and Overseas Against Taiji’s Brutal Dolphin Hunts

World Love For Dolphins Day

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians are inviting supporters and all concerned individuals to join in targeted demonstrations on February 14, 2014  – VALENTINE’S DAY — against Taiji’s brutal capture and slaughter of dolphins.

There will be demonstrations at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. and Japanese consulates in cities across the country, demanding an end to the bloodshed in Taiji. The appalling dolphin hunts have been in the public eye so much recently for a variety of reasons, and we need to keep up the pressure. This may be the beginning of the end! PLEASE DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BE THERE. I know it is Valentine’s Day, and you didn’t plan to spend it holding a sign, but what BETTER way could there be?!

Valentine’s Day Demonstration, Feb 14th, 2014, 12:00pm-1:00pm ET/PT, outside the Japanese Consulate at 601 Union Street downtown (Union St. exit).

You can download & print a poster on Sea Shepherd’s website here .

 

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.

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.

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.