Category Archives: Animal Welfare

Issues concerning the treatment of animals, and efforts via reforms and legislation to improve it.

In Chai’s memory, please take two actions

When Scientific American described elephants’ lives in zoos as torturous, Chai could have been the poster child. Ripped from her mother as a 1-year-old baby she was crated and shipped from Thailand to a cold, barren barn cell in Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. At 19 years old and after countless failed artificial insemination attempts, she was sent across the country to Dickerson Park Zoo to be bred. Upon her arrival she was beaten for up to 2 ½ hours for which that zoo was fined by the USDA. She lost 1,000 pounds.

chai

Chai came back to Seattle pregnant. Soon after Hansa was born Woodland Park Zoo began the artificial inseminations again. She was violated by this highly invasive procedure 112 times!

Chai endured the death of Hansa who died at only 6 years old from the herpes virus. This disease is almost always fatal to young Asian calves. Even though all the elephants at Woodland Park Zoo had been exposed to the herpes virus, the Zoo continued to artificially inseminate Chai—despite Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants’ relentless protests.

After Watoto died in 2014, the city of Seattle considered filing charges against Woodland Park Zoo.  Watoto went down during the night due to lameness and arthritis directly caused by zoo confinement. Woodland Park Zoo did not seek the assistance of a crane to lift her and she laid on the ground suffering for 4 more hours until she was euthanized. Woodland Park Zoo decided to close the elephant exhibit.

Ignoring science, the vast majority of Seattle residents, powerful media voices, the City Council and the Mayor, the Zoo shipped Bamboo and Chai to the Oklahoma City Zoo—a worse zoo.

We are asking that the Seattle City Council, Mayor Murray and Woodland Park Zoo urge the Oklahoma City Zoo to retire Bamboo to an accredited elephant sanctuary. 

PLEASE do two things in Chai’s memory:

1. Write an email to Seattle’s newly elected City Council, Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council. Addresses to cut and paste are below. Just one line will do!
2. Sign this petition: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/oklahoma-city-zoo-close-elephant-exhibit/

Talking points:

  • Woodland Park Zoo does not reflect Seattle’s values. Captivity of wild animals needs to end.
  • Woodland Park Zoo must pay for its negligence in caring for Chai, Watoto and Hansa. Please withhold funds from this rogue organization.
  • Chai, Watoto and Hansa suffered a lifetime of misery at the hands of Woodland Park Zoo.  Citizens demand more oversight.

bruce.bohmke@zoo.org, Ed.murray@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, lisa.herbold@seattle.gov , Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov,
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov,  Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Debora.Juarez@seattle.gov,  Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov, Rob.johnson@seattle.gov

RIP Chai. Rest in your newly found peace.

Nancy Pennington and Alyne Fortgang
Co-founders, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants

Support the Animal-Abuse Registry in Washington State

Cowards who abuse or neglect animals are often repeat offenders and are violent to innocent creature of many forms, including humans.

Washington legislators are proposing Senate Bill 6234, a bill that would require state residents convicted of crimes against animals to register as offenders.

Such a registry would be a huge benefit for law-enforcement officials, animal shelters, concerned citizens, and of course animals.

This important bill must pass out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee by February 5 in order to move forward, so your voice is urgently needed! 

If you’re a Washington State resident, please fill out this form, urging your state legislators to support the bill.

Calling your state legislators is also extremely helpful. Ask them to urge the Senate Law and Justice Committee to schedule a hearing for Senate Bill 6234 and pass it out of committee for a vote.

You can  click here to identify your state legislators.

 

Take Action: Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Offense

Americans decry the dog torture and death that makes up the Chinese dog meat trade — but it’s still not a federal offense in the United States to crush, burn, suffocate, impale or otherwise subject animals to heinous cruelty.

It’s illegal to trade in video showing these activities, and the FBI is tracking animal abuse in a database that classifies such crimes as felonies — but they are not against the law at the federal level.

H.R. 2293, the Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act), would make those things illegal.

It has just a 10 percent chance of passing, according to GovTrack.us.

Please take the time to contact your legislators, asking them to co-sponsor this imporant bill.

BLM Rounding Up 1,500 Horses in Oregon: What You Can Do

horses helicopter
BLM

The Bureau of Land Management, which is supposed to protect wild horses, sent nearly 1,800 of them to certain death in Colorado between 2009 and 2012.

The U.S. Office of the Inspector General issued a scathing report, the according to Denver Post coverage last week. The report said the bureau “failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered.” (Here’s the full report.)

That hasn’t stopped the bureau’s plan to descend early next month on Beatys Butte Herd Management Area in southern Oregon, where 1,500 wild horses live peacefully on some 400,000 acres of public land. Using helicopters, it will drive them out.

Such roundups appear to be legal, based on earlier Inspector General reports, which mention how difficult a job it is to carry out.

There are other ways.

Although BLM culls horses to “maintain rangeland health,” ranchers in southern Oregon acknowledge it’s to ensure there’s enough land for their cattle. As one rancher from Kiehly Brothers Ranch put it, “It’s starting to hurt the resource out there…. It’s just too many horses out there for the resource.”

Let’s tell BLM and the Department of the Interior, which oversees it, that that’s no reason to send 1,500 wild horses to their deaths. If horse populations need to be controlled, the fertility control vaccine PZP is a far more humane and more sustainable option.

Leave a message on BLM’s web site and for Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the former CEO of REI who oversees BLM:

Call 202-208-3100, email feedback@ios.doi.gov and/or use an online feedback form.

Here’s a sample, but please tailor for yourself:

Dear Secty. Sally Jewell,
I’m writing from Seattle, where we’re watching closely what you and BLM do in Oregon next month with the horses at Beatys Butte.
You know that a fertility vaccine is a more humane, more sustainable option than what BLM has planned — and that such action will only call more attention to a program that’s been badly mismanaged and was embarrassed by an OIG report last week regarding illegal behavior in Colorado.
Please take the time to save these wild horses and to get this program on track.
I know you’re busy, but it’s time now.
Thank you,

Seattle benefit for Help Animals India

Help Animals India is having its first-ever Seattle benefit for India’s animals.

Date: October 17, 2015
Time: 5 pm
Cost: $15 (tickets available here)
Location: Culture Shakti Dance, Seattle

help animals india

Despite some of the best animal protection laws in the world and a renowned heritage of reverence for life, modern India is a country where millions of animals suffer severe neglect or abuse.

Overpopulation, poverty, pollution, superstition, apathy and ignorance all contribute to their plight. In a country where human misery and impoverishment remain high, the welfare of destitute animals is a low priority.

Help Animals India is a Seattle-based non-profit dedicated to improving the welfare of animals in India by raising money for dedicated Indian animal protection groups and advising them on how to improve their capacity to help the animals.

Join them for a fun evening of Indian Dance Performance by the Dancers of Culture Shakti, Indian and World Vibes Music by Dj Seanuman, Mystic Kombucha on Tap, and a Catered Silent Auction with Items from local businesses.

Delicious Food Provided by Chaco Canyon, The Shop Agora, & Cupcake Royale.

Get your tickets today!

ALL proceeds go the benefit Help Animals India

Can’t make the event? Please consider donating - any amount helps!

You can find out more about Help Animals India on their website  or on their Facebook page.

Weekend activism

Wondering how you can help animals this weekend? Wonder no more. This weekend in jam-packed with amazing opportunities to help animals.

October 2nd (today)

Today is World Day for Farmed Animals. It’s a time to fast, learn, and educate others on the plight of the 10 billion animals this country eats every year.

This afternoon is the March on UW. At 2 pm, at The University of Washington’s Red Square, hundreds of animal rights activists will march against the university’s plans to build a new animal testing lab. Please join us!

The April March on UW

This evening is the circus demo in Everett. Help us educate circus-goers that animals do not belong in the circus.

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October 3rd (tomorrow)

Three more circus shows in Everett means we’ll have three more demos. Please join us from 10-11:30 am, from 3-3:30 pm, from 5:30-7 pm, or all of the times!

The Global March for Elephants, Rhinos, and Lions is happening from 1-2:30 pm tomorrow in downtown Seattle. The march starts at Westlake Center and is part of a worldwide effort to save wild animals from poaching.

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October 4th (Sunday)

Another circus demo is Everett begins at 11:30 am. Please join us and let Ringling Bros. know that we won’t stand for animal abuse.

Help make the last circus demo of the year the biggest one ever. We know Ringling beats animals. From 3:30-5 pm, we’ll make sure ticketholders know too.

 

 

 

Fish & Wildlife Wants Feedback. Let’s Do That.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is traveling the state this fall seeking public comments to help determine what values and priorities will drive the department over the next several years.

These meetings will help identify changes in WDFW’s operations and services and help shape policy, budget and fee proposals. The department’s press release says it wants to strengthen relationships with “anglers, hungers, outdoor recreation groups and others interested in fish and wildlife in Washington.”

Let’s let them know what we think — in person and in writing.

They’re taking written comments through October on the department’s website and via email (WildFuture@dfw.wa.gov) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonFishWildlife). Public meeting information is below.

There are so many issues, but here’s a start:

Please take a few minutes to let WDFW know what’s important to you when it comes to Washington wildlife, and if you can, attend one of these public meetings, all scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.:

Sept. 30: Center Place, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley

Oct. 6: WDFW Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd, Mill Creek

Oct. 8: Saint Martin’s University, Norman Worthington Conference Center, 5300 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey

Oct. 14: Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver

Oct. 20: Port of Chelan County Confluence Technology Center, 285 Technology Center Way, Wenatchee

jim_unsworth_cropped_250pxEach meeting will include a brief presentation by a WDWF regional director, then participants will break into small groups to chat with department representatives. The department will summarize the comments and suggestions later this year.

Here’s a photo of WDFW Director Jim Unsworth, who started in January. He’s the one who’s making the effort to ask for feedback, which is commendable. Hi, Jim!

Major Successes With Fishing Line Recovery & Recycling Program

fishing lineWe received an encouraging email from Bonnie Anderson today regarding her work with parks departments over implementation of a Monofilament Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Program.

It’s amazing what she’s been able to accomplish:

  • Her years of effort at the state level are really paying off. Senator Mark Mullet has set aside money in the state’s capital budget for the Puget Sound Corps program to build fishing line recovery bins. The work is being overseen by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, which will determine how many bins will be built, where they will be located and other specifics.
  • The Sammamish Parks department has joined the Program and will soon install fishing line recycling bins at Pine Lake Park, Beaver Lake Park and Sammamish Landing.
  • The King County Parks department will start the Program by the end of November with 30 recycling bins at Cottage Lake Park,  Five Mile Park, Geneva Park and Dockton Park.  Other locations will soon be determined.
  • The Medina Parks department is considering the Program.  Bonnie is scheduled to meet with the board in September to discuss its possible implementation.
  • The Seattle Parks department has promised to study the Program for a possible project in 2016.
  • The Washington State Parks department has expressed interest in the Program, and Bonnie is providing them with additional information.

Bonnie would like to expand these efforts to other counties that offer recreational fishing. If you or someone you know would like to help, please contact her at: thegreatbono@yahoo.com.

Thanks and congratulations to Bonnie for all her hard work in pushing to implement the Monofilament Fishing Line Recycling and Recovery Program in as many parks, fishing piers, and marinas as possible!

Cecil the Lion

Cecil the Lion, as he was known, was a lion who lived in Zimbabwe. You’ve probably seen the media storm and public outrage this week about his murder. A wealthy American paid to hunt down Cecil—at night, by luring him out of a preserve—and shoot him with a crossbow.

a lion similar to Cecil

It was nothing but a cowardly act by a small-minded trophy hunter, hell-bent on proving his sense of worth by killing others.

What I learned from the frenzy this week is that it pays to have a name. Cecil was a lion who’d been photographed by tourists for years (he was 12 or 13). He was GPS-collared and was part of an Oxford University study. But he was no different from many other lions that wealthy westerners (usually Americans) pay to kill. Six hundred lions are killed in trophy hunts every year, according to National Geographic.

Cecil sparked public outcry because he was well-known. In the same way we mourn for a celebrity’s death, but not the random people who also die.

For most people, the lion is a majestic creature. King of the jungle. We don’t associate them with food or clothing. That’s another thing Cecil had going for him. People around the world have issued hate mail and death threats to Cecil’s killer, and vigils and protests have sprung up at the man’s business.

Most of the people disgusted with Cecil’s death likely also eat and wear other animals. It’s a disconnect. Melanie Joy addresses this topic in-depth in her book, Why we Love Dogs, Eat pigs, and Wear Cows. This phenomenon (of loving some animals and eating others) she calls carnism. The book explains how people compartmentalize and justify this discrepancy.

It’s okay to mourn for Cecil. His death was a tragedy. His pride is in jeopardy, and his cubs will likely be killed by competing lions. But we need to also mourn for the millions of dogs and cats who are euthanized each year because they have no homes. And for the billions of farmed animals whose lives are brutal and short. They are all as precious as Cecil and as deserving of life.

We can’t stop evil people from hunting (although signing the petition to ask Zimbabwe to stop issuing hunting permits or the petition to include lions on the endangered species list would help). But we can adopt dogs and cats and never buy from breeders. And we can choose to not eat animals.

If you’re not already, please go vegan—for the countless animals just like Cecil, who are worthy of our admiration and who want to live.

Help save the New York Blood Center chimps

You may have heard about a group of chimpanzees who are in a horrible predicament. They’ve spent their lives as research subjects in Liberia.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the New York Blood Center (NYBC), the organization that exploited the chimps in the name of “science” recently walked away from its obligation to feed and care for the chimps for the rest of their lives.

NYBC had been spending $30,000 a month on 66 chimps, who are no longer being tested on and are living on secluded islands near the country’s capital, Monrovia. But they cut funding and the chimps, many with hepatitis and other viruses, are at risk of dying from dehydration and starvation.

image of chimps in Tanzania c/o "Gombe Stream NP Mutter und Kinder" by Ikiwaner - Own work. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gombe_Stream_NP_Mutter_und_Kinder.jpg#/media/File:Gombe_Stream_NP_Mutter_und_Kinder.jpg

TAKE ACTION:

1)  DEMAND CIPRIANI CANCEL NYBC FUNDRAISING GALA:

Cipriani, an upscale event space, is hosting an NYBC fundraising gala on November 5 with sponsorship levels up to $150,000.

CALL (646) 723 0826 and ask for an event planner. Politely explain why you are calling and let them know you are part of an ongoing campaign to have Cipriani cancel this event.

POST to Cipriani Facebook page

2) DEMAND HOWARD MILSTEIN REINSTATE FUNDING:

CALL: 212-842-7300 and demand Howard Milstein, Chairman of the NYBC Board of Trustees, reinstate funding for the abandoned chimps.

Milford Management is Howard Milstein’s real esate company

3) TWITTER CAMPAIGN:

Use these automated tweetsheets to contact NYBC donors and the media. You can also draft your own tweets to the recipients in these sheets:

Tweetsheet
Additional Tweetsheet

For more info about the abandoned chimps, read: