Category Archives: Issues

Silver-ish Lining to the Bird Flu Cloud

Apparently the bird flu scare in China has led to “significant” profit losses for Yum Foods, the parent company of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Unfortunately we are still not talking profit losses that will require the closing of all KFCs worldwide (take a moment to daydream about that…), but something in the order of $120 million in just three months, with more expected this year. Before you decide to kick back and get out of the activism business, after a campaign to somehow reassure customers that KFC is “high-quality food” Yum is STILL planning to open seven hundred new KFCs across China this year.

 

 

 

Hopefully These Drones Will Save Lives

PETA will soon be getting one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor hunters.  Drones are already being used to carry out elephant counts in the African nation of Burkina Faso, because they are cheaper and easier to operate than planes. The World Wildlife Fund will also be using anti-poaching drones (paid for by Google) in Africa and Asia. PETA’s drones will not be weaponized (you can’t hear it but my voice is regretful) and will only be used to film illegal hunting activity, information that will then be turned over to law enforcement.  Illegal deer and dove hunters, bighorn sheep hunters and bowhunters will be targeted, as well as hunters who are drinking and out to maim for fun. Eventually, the drones will also be used to check on factory farms and fishing spots on or off shore as well — anywhere “animals routinely suffer and die.” One drone, put into action by an AR group in South Carolina last year, was shot down. The upside is a slightly increased risk of hunting accidents.

Ringling Elephant Shot in Drive-By

One of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Asian elephants was shot in the shoulder on Tuesday morning outside BancorpSouth Arena in Tulepo, northern Mississippi. The elephant was allegedly fine and “walking around eating carrots” after 20 minutes and being treated by zoo staff and a local veterinarian. I can’t help but feel there is information lacking there — and a lot more care. The local police captain said the crime will be pursued as a federal offense since the elephant is endangered.

Just beating them is OK, though.

“Do what’s best for the elephants”

Yesterday, The Seattle Times published an editorial opinion piece by David Hancocks, former director of Woodland Park Zoo. His message: Elephants at the zoo are suffering. These complex social creatures cannot have even their basic needs met in a zoo environment.

Thanks to The Seattle Times and letters from the people of Seattle, the plight of Watoto, Chai, and Bamboo is getting attention from decision-makers.

Watoto the elephant pacing in a cage

Unlike their wild counterparts, elephants in captivity do not thrive. Their lifespans are shorter, their natural social bonds are severed, and they are deprived of the enriched environments they need to keep physically and psychologically well.

Elephants are active animals and travel miles and miles every day. In Woodland Park zoo, they have a measly acre to pace in—when they’re let outside.

The elephants at Woodland Park Zoo deserve to be released to a sanctuary. The wheels are in motion. Public opinion is changing and people are siding with the elephants. It’s time, in the words of Mr. Hancocks, to “do what’s best for the elephants.”

Please write to the zoo at:

Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th Street, Seattle, WA  98103
Email: woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org and zooinfo@zoo.org

Address letters to:

  • Dr. Deborah B. Jensen, President and CEO
  • Bruce Bohmke, Chief Operations Officer
  • Jamie Creola, VIce President of Education
  • Dr. Darin Collins, Director of Animal Health
  • Dr. Nancy Hawkes, General Curator
  • Valerie Krueger, Director of Finance
  • David Schaefer, Director of Communications & Public Affairs
  • Gigi Allianic, Media and Public Relations

Also please write the mayor, your city council member, and especially Sally Bagshaw the Parks Committee Chair.

Mike McGinn, Mayor
mike.mcginn@seattle.gov, 206-684-4000

Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Council, Parks Committee Chair
sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, 206-684-8801

Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council, Council President
richard.conlin@seattle.gov, 206-684-8805

Sally J. Clark, Seattle City Council
sally.clark@seattle.gov, 206-684-8802

Nick Licata, Seattle City Council
nick.licata@seattle.gov, 206-684-8803

Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council
bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, 206-684-8804

Tim Burgess, Seattle City Council
tim.burgess@seattle.gov, 206-684-8806

Jean Godden, Seattle City Council
jean.godden@seattle.gov, 206-684-8807

Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Council
tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov, 206-684-8808

Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Council
mike.obrien@seattle.gov, 206-684-8800

Deborah Jensen, Woodland Park Zoo President
deborah.jensen@zoo.org, 206-548-2416

Or send a letter to each of the above council members at the following address:
[Name of Councilmember]
Seattle City Hall
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Or fax them at 206-684-8587.

You can learn more about the elephants at the zoo and the efforts to release them to a sanctuary, at Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

New bird flu hits China

Here’s another reason to go vegan:

A strain of avian flu recently broke out in China and authorities in three cities there have shut down live bird markets. Sadly for the birds, whose death awaited them at the markets anyway, 20,000 birds have already been killed as a precaution.

caged chickens at a market in China

H7N9 has been found in pigeons so they’re being slaughtered, along with chickens, geese, ducks and other birds at the markets.

Twenty-one people have contracted the flu, and six deaths have been reported. So far, there haven’t been signs of human-to human transmission.

Keeping birds in close quarters, where they can spread the avian flu, isn’t a good practice. The best way to help birds and people is to ditch meat and eat a vegan diet.

 

Protesting the fur industry

Have you ever seen anti-fur demonstrations downtown Seattle?

Anti-fur demonstrators at Nordstrom

If you’re walking past Nordstrom and you’re offered an anti-fur leaflet, here’s why:

Nordstrom continues to sell fur despite the cruel nature of the industry. As long as fur is sold at Nordstrom, Action for Animals will continue to organize demonstrations outside the department store. NARN members frequently join AFA at the demos to shed light on the horrors that millions of animals endure in the name of fashion. Farmed fur animals gassed, poisoned, or genitally electrocuted. Wild-caught animals suffer for days in traps and break bones and teeth trying to free themselves.

We want Nordstrom to know that it’s unacceptable to sell fur, and we want to let consumers know about the barbaric practices they’d support if they buy fur.

The good news is, fur is completely avoidable. If you think suffering and death is too high a price to pay for fashion, you’ve got choices. There are a lot of retailers who don’t sell fur. There’s even a list to help you shop with your conscience.

So if you see AFA and NARN outside Nordstrom, say hi or join in! We appreciate your support. While you’re at it, tell Nordstrom you won’t shop there until they stop selling fur. Here’s a petition you can sign and a sample letter.

Bill Gates promotes veganism

You know veganism is going mainstream when people like former President Bill Clinton cut out meat, eggs, and dairy. Now, Bill Gates is on board, with a feature on his website called The Future of Food.

Bill Gates

Gates is primarily concerned with the environmental impact of meat eating as the developing world readies itself for economic growth. Meat production is a cruel, unsustainable industry that damages water supplies and land–and that’s what Bill Gates is trying to change.

He supports new innovations in plant-based foods and wants to reinvent the way people eat. Instead of fixing a broken system, he’s working with companies who want to turn the industry on it’s head and start a whole new model. A plant-based model.

Less land, less water, and no animal cruelty is a model that benefits everyone.

Leaked Internal Email Uncovers Monkey Death at Woodland Park Zoo Due to Improper Handling

A male patas monkey. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

We at the Northwest Animal Rights Network are shocked to learn of a recent incident at the Woodland Park Zoo that involved the death of a monkey due to apparent improper handling by zoo staff. An internal email was leaked by a zoo employee to In Defense of Animals — an international organization we have worked with in previous campaigns — who then reported the information. According to the zoo employee, a male patas monkey suffered grave injuries several weeks ago when zoo staff, reportedly operating against the advice of keepers, captured the monkey with a net. An internal email dated March 2, 2013, obtained by IDA, confirms the monkey suffered a severe compound leg fracture, a traumatic brain injury, and extensive bruising. Zoo staff reportedly placed the injured monkey in a kennel following capture, yet despite his serious injuries, the monkey languished in the kennel alone for an estimated two hours without medical attention or medication to alleviate his pain. A veterinarian eventually euthanized the monkey.

Obviously any case of animal abuse is disturbing, but this has far more serious implications as the zoo employee stated that the monkey would be alive today if proper procedures had been followed. Due to apparent negligence and the failure to adhere to policies concerning the welfare of animals, he suffered painful and life-threatening injuries and was left alone to languish without medical attention for a substantial amount of time.

The IDA has subsequently submitted a complaint to the USDA, stating that this reported incident may violate multiple provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including improper handling of an animal and failure to provide adequate veterinary care.

“The last hours of this monkey’s life were full of terror and pain, as evidenced by information received from the zoo employee and the internal email detailing the monkey’s injuries. This reported case demonstrates a disturbing lack of respect, empathy, and compassion for a vulnerable animal and raises the question of whether other similar cases at the Woodland Park Zoo never see the light of day,” said IDA spokesperson Nicole Meyer. “IDA is asking the USDA to conduct a thorough investigation and to hold zoo staff accountable for this alleged incident.”

We at NARN also urge the USDA to investigate this report and to hold the zoo accountable as well, and we will provide updates about the complaint from the USDA as to what actions, if any, occur as a result. We will also work with IDA for any further actions concerning this incident.

Spay/Neuter Assistance Bills Hearings: How You Can Help

The spay/neuter assistance bills were recently introduced as SB 5202 and HB 1229 in the Washington legislature and have hearings scheduled on February 5 and 6.

Here we’ll guide you in attending the hearings, submitting a letter or email of support, and offer talking points. If something’s not clear, email us at info@savewashingtonpets.org for guidance.  Thanks for speaking up on behalf of the animals!

Attending the Hearings

Your attendance at either or both hearings will be very helpful. You can testify or just sign in indicating your support for the bills, and you can bring copies of written testimony to provide the committee members (bring about 20 copies for committee members and staff).

Special notice for residents of District 19 (Pacific, Wahkiakum, and parts of Grays Harbor and Cowlitz counties): Please contact us atinfo@savewashingtonpets.org. Your attendance at the hearings is very important, since the committee chairmen represent your district.

If you Cannot Attend the Hearings

1.  Identify your district and your senator/representatives, then call and/or email them to let them know you support these bills (mention both bills by number as SB 5202/HB 1229). Helpful Hint: to avoid forms, use the legislator email directory.

2.  If your senator or representatives are on the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee or the Senate Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development Committee it is especially important that you submit a letter/email or come to the hearing (where that legislator is a member) to testify.

The Hearings

SB 5202: The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, 10 am, before the Senate Agriculture Committee. The hearing will be held in Senate Hearing Room 3 in the John A. Cherberg Building at the Capitol.

HB 1229: The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6, 8 am, before the House Agriculture Committee. The hearing will be held in House Hearing Room B in the John L. O’Brien Building at the Capitol.

Please note that hearing schedules are subject to change. Please confirm the senate hearing schedule here and the house hearing schedule here before you travel to Olympia. Need directions to Olympia? Please see this page on the Legislature’s website.

Talking Points for Your Email or Testimony

The bills would provide financial assistance to support the costs of companion animal spay/neuter surgery. Expected impacts include significant cost reductions for animal care and control of homeless animals and a significant reduction in the numbers of dogs and cats euthanized in Washington shelters. For possible talking points, please see our flyer that explains the bill, and our flyer that summarizes the financial benefits of passing this bill.  Remember to be brief and polite in any communications with legislators.

Questions? Contact us at info@savewashingtonpets.org!

Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation has taken a lead role in preparing and advocating for passage of the Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill (SB 5202/HB 1229) and the two bills addressing animal cruelty (SB 5204/HB 1202 and SB 5203/HB 1201). Please join us in supporting the passage of these bills, and all bills that advance and preserve the humane treatment of animals.