Woodland Park Zoo sued over elephant records

FOWPZEAlyne Fortgang, co-founder of Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, recently filed a lawsuit against the Woodland Park Zoo.

The suit asks the Court to declare that Woodland Park Zoo is acting as a “hybrid” pubic agency and, as such, should be subject to Washington State’s Public Disclosure Laws. This means the Zoo would have to tell us how they spend the millions of tax payer dollars we give them AND answer our questions about Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s quality of life.

Over the past 7 years FWPZE has filed many Public Disclosure Requests with the Zoo.  The zoo has repeatedly refused to share important information about the welfare of the three elephants living there.

Woodland Park Zoo claims it isn’t subject to public disclosure requests. However, the Zoo’s operations are funded with $10.4 million taxpayer dollars and uses city-owned buildings and land at no cost.”

“Woodland Park Zoo can’t have it both ways; if it chooses to take our generous tax dollars, then it must be held accountable on how it spends our money,” said Fortgang. “I am simply asking that the Zoo be transparent with tax payers, which is why public records laws exist.”

Action:

While the suite is underway, please write a polite email asking for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto be retired to a sanctuary immediately.

Here are addresses for the Seattle City Council, King County Council and zoo management and Board. If you’ve already written, please write again and please cross post.Ed.murray@seattle.gov, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov, Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.govBruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, larry.gossett@kingcounty.gov, kathy.lambert@kingcounty.gov, larry.phillips@kingcounty.gov, julia.patterson@kingcounty.gov,  jane.hague@kingcounty.gov, pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov, joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov, rod.dembowski@kingcounty.gov, reagan.dunn@kingcounty.gov, dow.constantine@kingcounty.gov,Deborah.jensen@zoo.org, Darin.Collins@zoo.org, zooinfo@zoo.org
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ASAP: Oppose Law Permitting Raccoon Torment in Georgia

In Georgia, a bill is under review which would permit the use of live raccoons for field trial competitions. Time is running out — the bill, HB423, has already been approved by the State House and has now gone to the Natural Resources Committee, where it could be discussed any day. Please help stop this Bill – if passed, hunters will be allowed to train their dogs using caged live raccoons. Every minute in confinement is already a terrifying eternity for them. In addition, they are flung high into trees or hauled across fields and bodies of water as frantic dogs give chase. They must repeatedly endure this hellish ordeal, often for hours on end, and many are badly injured or killed during the trials. Survivors risk developing chronic and contagious stress-induced disorders, which are also often fatal.

URGENT ACTION! Please contact the members of the Natural Resources Committee and urge them to oppose HB 423.

Send an email (one to all is fine) today to: ross.tolleson@senate.ga.gov; rick.jeffares@senate.ga.gov; bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov; frank.ginn@senate.ga.gov; steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov; diana.hauser@senate.ga.gov; stevehenson@mindspring.com; jack.hill@senate.ga.gov; freddie.sims@senate.ga.gov; curt@curtthompson.com; tommie.williams@senate.ga.gov

THANK YOU ALL!
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Don’t Give Up on Wolves, Please!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently stripped wolves of their Endangered Species Act protections in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes. As a result, these states have opened trophy hunting and trapping seasons, and thousands of wolves have been mercilessly slaughtered.

The FWS has also proposed removing protections for wolves in the rest of the lower 48 states, which would lead to even more killing. Thanks to feedback from nearly A MILLION citizens and a host of conservation biologists, the FWS recently convened a new panel of experts to revisit the issue. This new panel found that the FWS relied upon ONE SINGLE — faulty — paper in deciding to remove federal protections from wolves.

A new comment period is open and the FWS needs to hear from you before March 27.  After a previous such comment period in Michigan, 10,000 pro-wolf comments were deliberately deleted; we trust that this will not happen with the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. (Sample letter/email below, but personalizing it is always a good idea!)

Dear Secretary Jewell,

I value wolves and I want to see them protected by the Endangered Species Act. Without these federal safeguards, wolves are pitted against an unfair arsenal of traps, snares, baits, hounds, and shooters who kill them from low-flying aircraft. Killing wolves puts their family packs in disarray and leaves young pups to starve.
Most Americans love wolves, and wolf-watching tourists spend millions of dollars to see them in places like Yellowstone National Park. After receiving pressure from the livestock industry and extreme groups, the government has given up on wolves and literally put them in the crosshairs before they could recover to most of their historic range. It’s quite simple: wolf populations are still recovering, and the best available science does not support their removal from the protections afforded to them by the Endangered Species Act. Please provide adequate protections for this iconic and beautiful species.

Mailing Address:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Phone: (202) 208-3100
E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov
Web: Feedback form

Your action can save a lot of lives. And a lot of suffering. Wolves are seldom killed instantly with a single clean shot. Remember hunters who shoot anything that moves; remember bowhunters and traps. Please give up 15 minutes for this. Don’t put it off.

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Put a stop to cosmetics testing on animals

A lot of people don’t realize that many shampoos, moisturizers, and another cosmetics are still tested on animals. Fortunately a new act, the Humane Cosmetics Act, would relegate animal testing for cosmetics to the history books.

H.R. 4148 would prohibit animal testing for cosmetics manufactured or sold in the U.S., and would ending painful tests on countless rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs. Safe cosmetics can be made from thousands of existing ingredients. Plus, several non-animal safety tests are available for new ingredients. These non-animal alternatives are quick, safe, cost-effective, and often more reliable than animal-model testing.

The European Union and Israel have already phased out cosmetics animal testing, and we can too!

TAKE ACTION
Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. representative and urge him or her to support H.R. 4148. You can find your rep’s name here.

Tell  your rep: “I’m a constituent and I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 4148 if you haven’t already done so. This bill would prohibit animal testing for cosmetics manufactured or sold in the U.S.”

After making your phone call (please do not skip that crucial step!), please send a personalized letter. The Humane Society of the United States has more information and a form that will help you to automatically send a message.

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Please OPPOSE the SPORTSMEN’S BILLS

In Defense of AnimalsThis week, we desperately need every U.S. citizen to call and send a letter to both of your US Senators to help protect wildlife and public lands from those who enjoy killing wild animals including hunters, anglers, and trappers.

Two bills, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 1996) and the Sportsmen’s Act (S. 1335), are currently pending in the Senate, while the latter has already passed the House.

The goal of this package of bills, collectively called SHARE (Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreation Act), is to further “sportsmen’s” interests — although we know that in fact there is nothing sporting about killing other for FUN. The bills have provisions that, if passed, would open more federal land to hunting, fishing, and trapping, allow the importation of polar bear “trophies” from Canada, interfere with the Toxic Substances Control Act and allow hunting in National Parks.

What you can do:

  1. Please send the letter below (or preferably a personalized version of it) to both of your U.S. Senators.
  2. Follow up with a call and say: “Please OPPOSE S.1996 the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s bill, S.1335 the Sportsmen’s bill, and all related bills.” That is ALL.

You can look up your US Senators here

Sample letter: I urge you to vote against S.1996 the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s bill, S.1335 and all related bills.

The overall goal of these bills is to further the interests of “sportsmen,” a minority compared to the overwhelming majority of the public who do not hunt, fish, or trap. Furthermore, these bills, if passed, would undermine provisions of existing conservation statutes, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. These bills would interfere with the exercise of authority by federal agencies responsible for managing federal lands and protecting public health.

By favoring the interests of a minority against those of the majority of the taxpaying public, who use public lands for nonviolent and peaceful enjoyment, these bills seek to take control of wildlife and public lands away from federal agencies and the public and hand it over to hunters, anglers, and trappers. This will not be tolerated by the majority of the public who use these lands, and who finance the protection and maintenance of them through our tax dollars.

I am strongly opposed to S. 1996, S. 1335 and all related Sportsmen’s bills, and I urge you to vote on my behalf against these bills, which would compromise existing protections for wildlife, public lands, and public health.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!  YOUR letter may be the one that tips the scales!

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Remember the emails you wrote against the last donkey basketball?

Dig them out. Copy and paste them for this one, and then keep them handy for next time.

Donkey Basketball This Friday, March 7, Rosemary Clarke Middle School and Pahrump Valley High School in Pahrump, Nevada, are hosting a cruel “donkey basketball” game,  and participants will reportedly include students, teachers, and school district administrators as well as members of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue, and Nye County’s  Juvenile Probation Department.  Donkeys used in these events are repeatedly exposed to deafening crowds, blinding lights, and general chaos as they are jerked by the reins, screamed at, whipped, kicked, and ridden frantically. Your voice is needed!

Please politely urge school and county administrators to replace this cruel and dangerous event with one in which all participants choose to be involved.

Please call and send polite comments to:

  • Tim Wombaker
    Principal
    Rosemary Clarke Middle School
    775-727-5546
    Click here to email.
  • Max Buffi
    Principal
    Pahrump Valley High School
    725 727-7737
    Click here to email.
  • Thomas Metscher
    Chief Juvenile Probation Officer
    Nye County Juvenile Probation Department
    775-751-7007
    tmetscher@co.nye.nv.us
  • Fire Chief Scott F. Lewis
    Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue
    775-727-5658

 

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Washington State premier of Speciesism: The Movie

Have you heard about Speciesism: The Movie?

Speciesism

This documentary will take you on a journey across the country, as you follow director and star Mark Devries to factory farms, lecture halls, and the streets of New York.

Devries was a college student when he set out to ask questions about why humans see our species as the most important and why we make arbitrary distinctions between “food”  and “pet.”

The documentary is eye-opening. Sometimes harrowing, and surprisingly funny.

Mark Devries will be in Seattle for the Washington State premiere Speciesism, and will be leading a Q&A session afterwards.

When: Thursday, April 3rd at 7 pm
WhereVarsity Theatre, 4329 University Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98105

You can RSVP on Facebook, but be sure to get tickets as well.

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Iditarod dogs still need help

I recently wrote about the horrendous conditions the Iditarod dogs endure. Here are more Iditarod sponsors’ emails. Please write to them. A sample letter is below:

Sponsors:

If you’d like to write to the sponsors listed in my original post, here they are:

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]

 

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Navy wants bombing and sonar permits – Act now!

The Navy is looking to get permits to continue sonar and explosives exercises in the Pacific Northwest, a controversial exercise that risks the well-being and lives of marine mammals who swim through the Navy’s training range.

The Navy is gathering comments from the public comments on its draft environmental impact statement for the testing range, which occupies parts of the Pacific Ocean from Canada to California.

Interested in speaking up? Come to a hearing:

  • Feb. 26, 5-8 pm: Oak Harbor High School, Oak Harbor, WA
  • Feb. 27, Cascade High School, Everett, WA
  • Feb. 28, North Kitsap High School, Poulsbo, WA
  • March 3, Astoria High School, Astoria, OR
  • March 4, Isaac Newton Magnet School, Newport, OR

If you can’t beat a hearing, please leave a comment on the Northwest Training and Testing site.

For more info, read the article on the KCTS website.

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URGENT: CALLS AND EMAILS NEEDED AGAINST IDAHO’S AG-GAG BILL

Every minute, every single call, counts! Idahos’s terrible ag-gag bill is on the way to the governor’s desk.

PLEASE email and  call the office of Idaho’s Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter… Let  him know the whole country is watching regarding Idaho’s ag-gag bill.  Tell him, politely, that no state should affirmatively support animal abuse or make it a crime to report animal abuse — we need to move in the opposite direction, and support compassionate and humane farming and freedom of speech (First Amendment of the Constitution). Crimes should be seen and punished, not hidden and enabled.

 I realize many of us do not believe in compassionate and/or humane farming, and most of us want NO slavery rather than just better CONDITIONS, but because a big argument being used in support of this bill is that its opponents want to see animal agriculture eliminated entirely, IT IS CRITICAL THAT ALL CALLS APPEAR TO COME FROM RESPECTABLE CITIZENS WHO “SUPPORT HUMANE FARMING AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH”.  For a better understanding and more information on what transpired at the Idaho House Agriculture Affairs Committee hearings, see

lhttp://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/02/idaho-house-agriculture-affairs-committee-recommends-do-pass-for-ag-gag-bill/

Email contact and phone information for the governor is (all three would be great!):

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