Category Archives: Animal Welfare

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

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.

OMG, WE DID IT!! Donkey Basketball CANCELLED!!

Are you hopeless sometimes because things feel written in stone and immutable? Look: between all of us, and with Pasado’s, and PETA….these donkeys will NOT be kicked and yanked and hit and shouted at this Saturday. The event has been cancelled, and will not be repeated.

You know who accomplished this? You did. 

I am filled with gratitude. THANK YOU, everyone!

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.

JOIN US PROTESTING THE DONKEY BASKETBALL GAME!

Unfortunately we were unable to prevent the Anacortes Middle School from going ahead with their inhumane donkey basketball event this coming Saturday, January 18th. (See my post from November 18th). Recently interviewed, the owner of the “Donkey Sports” company said, “Animal rights groups are a small, misinformed segment of society and should not be allowed to deprive the rest of the community from [sic] this fun event.” 

Let’s ALL go and make sure no one going in remains unaware that this is animal cruelty, and that compassionate people are a SIGNIFICANT — AND GROWING — VOCAL SEGMENT of the population! The event begins at 6pm; protesters should be there at 4:30. Bring signs!

Whatever else you were going to do with Saturday, do this instead. Unless you are sabotaging fishing boats off a Certain Cove in Taiji, or something similar.

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.

Action Alert! Chance the chimpanzee in Wolf of Wall Street

In the upcoming movie Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio is seen holding an infant chimpanzee, Chance. this is especially disappointing because Mr. DiCaprio is known for his passion for animal conservation—most recently he supported conservation efforts to save tigers in Nepal.

Animal advocacy groups have contacted Mr. DiCaprio and the movie producers; however, our efforts to reach out have not resulted in Chance’s scenes getting removed from the movie. Now it is time for the public to speak up!Chance on set

Chance was once a pet, and his previous owners discarded him to a pseudo-sanctuary called the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary. The animal attraction claims to be a reserve for animals, but they regularly exploit their residents for entertainment purposes. In fact, Chance’s owners (the Rosaire-Zoppe family) are the only remaining trainers who continue to use chimpanzees in circuses. No respectable reserve or animal sanctuary would lease out their animals for media productions such as this movie.

Even if the AHA was present for filming, they have no authority over Chance’s treatment off-set, making the “no animals were harmed” disclaimer misleading.

Portraying chimpanzees as cute and cuddly attractions seriously misinforms the public on the true nature of these beings and perpetuates the pet and entertainment industries. Studies have shown that showing chimpanzees alongside humans in film and TV mask their endangered status, and these scenes hurt conservation efforts.

Despite hearing these facts from advocacy groups, the Wolf of Wall Street producers have not removed Chance’s scenes from the movie, which will be released on December 25. We encourage you to please post on the movie’s poster on their Facebook page and Twitter to let them know that because of the issues with Chance’s scenes you will not be going to see the movie, and you will tell all your friends to boycott it with you.

Sample Facebook Post:

I’m boycotting Wolf of Wall Street because of the chimpanzee scenes! Even Hollywood knows that abuse occurs when animals are used in movies (hollywoodreporter.com/feature). Chimpanzees don’t belong in movies unless they are CGI. Chimpanzees are an endangered species and showing them as cute and cuddly props hurts conservation efforts and perpetuates the pet trade.

Sample Tweets:

Pls RT! Join @EyesOnApes and tell @LeoDiCaprio chimps should not be in movies & you won’t see @TheWolfofWallSt!

RT! @LeoDiCaprio I will boycott @TheWolfofWallSt because of Chance’s scenes. Chimps do not belong in movies! EyesOnApes.org

Don’t support animal abuse. Refuse to see @LeoDiCaprio in @TheWolfofWallSt and tell all your friends. EyesOnApes.org Pls RT!

The final thing you can do to help Chance is to spread the word! Please share this alert on social media and encourage your friends to boycott the movie with you.

~ reposted from Eyes on Apes ~

Helping people and animals this season

waywardNARN now has a donation box at Wayward Vegan Café!

We’re having a donation drive to collect supplies for the companions animals of the low income and homeless. We’re working in particular with the organization Peace on the Streets by Kids on the Streets.

Please stop by Wayward, and drop in a can of cat or dog food, a doggie or kitty bed, a leash, flea treatment, or other item for animals.

Where: 5253 University Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105 (open 9-9 every day)

Help the kids and the animals this holiday season!

Have your say about the Seattle Parks zoo assignment

Woodland Park Zoo Elephant logo

Very soon, a new Seattle City Council Chair of Parks will be selected. The Parks Chair oversees Woodland Park Zoo. Bamboo, Chai and Watoto are the three elephants who have lived 45, 33 and 43 years, respectively, on display at the Zoo. They need a council member who is concerned about their welfare to be the next Parks Chair.

Please ask Sally Clark (City Council President), Ed Murray (the Mayor-elect) and the other City Council members to choose a City Council member who will work with the Zoo to retire the elephants to a sanctuary in a warmer climate with hundreds of acres to roam.

Contacts:
mayoraltransition@seattle.gov
Sally.Clark@seattle.gov
Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov
Richard.Conlin@seattle.gov
Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov
Nick.Licata@seattle.gov
Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov
Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov

What you might want to know:

The Zoo-appointed Task Force’s recommendations should not be used to determine the elephants’ fate. Their bias was clear, with 5 out of the 14 being current or former Zoo Board members and many others having a clear conflict of interest. The Zoo Board will make their decision about Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s future early next year.

Friends of WPZ Elephants commissioned a survey using Research Now, an independent research company. The findings debunk the Zoo’s cherished catchphrase and the Task Force’s justification for keeping the elephants: That seeing an elephant will inspire people “to learn, care and act to help conserve elephants and their habitats in the wild.”

NOT SO—NOT EVEN CLOSE:

  • 97% of survey respondents knew about elephant poaching for their ivory. They learned about this crisis from print and media—not from Woodland Park Zoo.
  • 88% of people who saw the elephants at the Zoo didn’t change to whom they donate or products that they buy.

Our wet and cold climate is wrong for elephants. It forces Bamboo, Chai and Watoto to be locked up in a tiny, barren stall for 16 to 17 hours a day for over half of the year. It’s like you being locked up in a broom closet.
Watoto in a box

Please write a polite email asking for the new Parks Chair to be someone who will work with Woodland Park Zoo to retire Bamboo, Chai and Watoto to a sanctuary so they may have a humane quality of life.

Thanks so much,
Nancy Pennington and Alyne Fortgang
Co-founder, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants
A NARN Campaign
206-595-7770

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Spaceless in Seattle — heartbreak at Woodland Park Zoo