Category Archives: Issues

Another Worthwhile Petition re Ag-Gag Legislation

As you are aware, courageous undercover investigators have exposed and documented patterns of terrible abuse at numerous factory farms. These have led to recalls for food safety reasons as well as criminal convictions for animal cruelty. Instead of changing agribusiness, ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, wants to criminalize anyone who brings animal abuse to light. (You can read more about ALEC at GreenIsTheNewRed.com — they are also behind efforts to weaken environmental protections and silence free speech online). They believe the factory farms should be left to regulate themselves, like toddlers in candy stores.

Ag-Gag bills have been introduced in nine states this year, and became law in three last year. They don’t just target undercover investigators, but other whistleblowers and journalists. Some of them criminalize anyone who even “possesses” or “distributes” photographs and YouTube videos. Under the model bill devised by Agribusiness and ALEC, investigators, whistleblowers, journalists and anyone who shares the footage they obtain are labeled terrorists.

Please write this oh-so-quick letter below, or a variation thereof, sign it, and send it to ALEC.

To:
ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)
Ron Scheberle, Executive Director
John Eick, Legislative Analyst, Energy, Environment and Agriculture and Civil Justice Task Forces
Bill Meierling, Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Stop bills that make it a crime to expose animal abuse on factory farms.Consumers have a right to make safe, healthy, and humane decisions about what we buy.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

END DOLPHIN CAPTIVITY THROUGHOUT INDIA

THIS CAN BE DONE. Don’t skim though this and think, hmm…yeah…mm…will do it later…I’ll just…and then think about other things. READ THIS and do it NOW. There ISN’T any better use of your time for the next 5 minutes. I’ll be honest: ten, because I want you to get a piece of paper and write a paper letter. (If you have forgotten how to write because it has been such a long time, or if you want to do BOTH, you can also email the minister directly at mosefgoi@nic.in).

The Indian Minister of Environment and Forests, Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan, is considering a ban on dolphin captivity in India, with a decision to be made in the coming weeks. India has no dolphins at present, but there are numerous proposals to begin, and it must be stopped before the whole subcontinent is opened to such a trade in misery. (What a great reasons for the Taiji drive fisheries to continue!) We need an OUTPOURING, an AVALANCHE, a DELUGE of letters from everywhere, to convince her that a decision to ban captive dolphins is right, and that people the world over are behind her.

PLEASE MAIL YOUR LETTERS — your friends’ letters, your relatives’ letters, your kids’ letters and drawings –TO YOUR LOCAL INDIAN EMBASSY OR CONSULATE. 

 A list of embassies can be found here. 

LETTER TEMPLATE: 

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing you to express my sincerest gratitude that the Indian Minister of Environment and Forests, Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan, is considering a nationwide prohibition on dolphin captivity.

It is known that dolphins suffer in captivity. They are extremely intelligent, self-aware beings with emotions, feelings and close relationships to one another and their ocean home. Removing dolphins from the sea and putting them into small tanks or sea pens is removing a huge part of who they are as dolphins and forcing them to endure a life of misery.

India is a culture of compassion. In a world where animals are treated so poorly, India represents a beacon of hope. By enacting a total ban on captivity, not only will thousands of dolphins over the years be spared a life of torture and misery, but people will be encouraged to think about who dolphins truly are – as beings who deserve our respect.

As Mahatma Ghandi famously said, you can judge a society by the way it treats its animals. The Minister has the chance to show the world how compassionate and kind India truly is by denying dolphin-exploiting industries to become established within their borders. I hope she makes the right choice.

Yours truly,

 

(Your Name)

NY SENATE PASSES BILL TO END SHARK FIN TRADE

The New York Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed a bill prohibiting the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins in New York. This action seeks to help avert the threatened collapse of shark populations worldwide, caused by the demand for shark fin soup — a tasteless but expensive Chinese delicacy and status symbol usually served at banquets and celebrations.

This legislation is not only bipartisan but also has the support of every Chinese American legislator in the state.

Similar legislation recently passed in Maryland and already exists in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

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/.

Animal Crush Videos = Freedom of Speech

I have to warn you, this made me gasp out loud in DISBELIEF.

In Texas this week, US District Judge Sim Lake threw out charges against the Houston monster couple below, Ashley Richards and Brent Justice. They were arrested (in part due to great work by a local activist) and accused of violating the federal “animal crush video” law by filming and distributing sex fetish videos depicting the torture of puppies, kittens, rabbits and other animals. In one of the videos, Richards tortured a pit bull puppy. She duct-taped its mouth, cut its back leg with a meat cleaver, slit its throat and finally cut off its head. She also stomped on a kitten and ground her shoe heel into its eye socket.Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Justice allegedly created and distributed violent sex fetish videos — animal snuff films - that depicted the torture of puppies, kittens, rabbits, and other animals.

The 2010 statute outlaws “any photograph, motion picture, film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that: (1) depicts actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury; and (2) is obscene.”

This case was the first prosecution under that statute. But Judge Lake said that the law is unconstitutional and “abridges the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.” (PETA spokesperson Stephanie Bell said “The new crush law was drafted specifically to protect animals from this type of heinous cruelty without violating free speech rights.”)

Lake’s ruling is being appealed.

Help get chimps OUT of the entertainment industry!

From allcreatures.org, Originally Posted: April 10, 2013

“Urban Tarzan” premiere episode features chimp

FROM Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest

ACTION

Let the producers of Urban Tarzan know that brutal training practices in the entertainment industry are well documented. Remind them that in addition to welfare concerns, using chimpanzees in the media seriously hinders conservation efforts of free-living chimpanzees.

You may send your letter to the creators and executive producer, Mark Basile at:
mark@axiusinc.com

You may also submit your comments to Spike TV’s Facebook page, or post Tweets that express your concern, such as @1UrbanTarzan very disappointed to see a chimp in your show. Please remove the episode!

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

There is a growing public awareness about the ethical problems with using chimpanzees in entertainment. Please remind the producers of the show about these issues by sending them a polite letter. Ask them to remove the episode from the air and pledge to never use primates in their productions again. Your letters can make a difference! In the last couple months both Great Clips and CR Fashion Book have removed content with chimpanzee actors after receiving educational letters from advocates like you!

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.

Criminalize Ag-Gag Laws

Pigs, chickens, cows and turkeys are being stomped, electroshocked, kicked, pitchforked, punched, skinned, burned…and a lot more….as you are reading this. It happens while you sleep, eat, drive to work, watch movies, relax. It happens unceasingly. Not everyone thinks it’s OK, and the videos/photos/proof brought out of those factory farms have won some significant victories. Ag-gag laws criminalize undercover work. Let’s be really clear: these laws, that are now in place in FIVE STATES and pending in many others, do nothing to improve conditions for the animals — on the contrary. They free farmers to commit the most atrocious acts of cruelty on a regular basis because no one will ever see them. This is also a food safety issue, not that I care ONE DUST MOTE about that. Under these Ag-gag laws, it is not the crime that is illegal, but bringing the crime to light.
This petition goes to the White House and must be answered.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/criminalize-ag-gag-laws/KQWSvsKr

Signing takes less than 10 seconds. Even if your house is on fire you have 10 seconds.