When dolphin hunters in Taiji, Japan, last week captured a pod of hundreds of bottlenose dolphins and separated about 80 young ones from their mothers, one mother fought frantically to stay with her baby in a video that made news around the world.
While some dolphins are caught for meat — the modern-day version of a whale-hunting tradition in Taiji — that is not where the big money is. The non-traditional driver of the hunt is dolphins sold for “entertainment.”
A dolphin sold for meat brings in hundreds of dollars. Untrained dolphins sold to marine parks garner $10,000 each, according to The Dodo. By that math, Taiji made at least $3 million from about 300 dolphins it sold alive in the late 2010 to early 2011 hunting season, and maybe $1 million on the nearly 2,000 dolphins it sold for meat.
To its huge credit, the Japanese Assocation of Zoos and Aquariums banned the buying and selling of dolphins from the Taiji hunt in 2015. It was a brave move, made under threat of expulsion from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, National Geographic reported.
However, that does not mean the end of suffering for dolphins, even in Japan. The marine parks could breed dolphins, like their counterparts in the United States have bred orcas and other animals. Taiji’s mayor has also said that, if hunting is banned, the city may rope off its infamous cove (site of the Oscar-winning documentary, “The Cove”) and breed dolphins there.
The only real way to make headway against the dolphin hunt — and captive breeding — is to stop visiting marine parks. If people are forced to look at how their own behavior leads directly to suffering, that will do more to save these beautiful, brilliant, compassionate animals than any amount of shaming of Japan.
In case you missed NARN’s letter-writing party on Sunday, it’s not too late to write letters in support of Trans Prisoner Day of Action & Solidarity (Jan. 22). Find names, addresses and more information here.
Another prisoner who could use our support is Nicole Kissane, who was sentenced last week to 21 months in federal prison after a judge accepted her non-cooperating plea agreement.
She and Joseph Buddenburg are animal advocates from California who were indicted in 2015 for alleged conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. They are charged for allegedly releasing thousands of animals from fur farms and destroying breeding records in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
You can write to Nicole here:
Nicole Kissane #20651-111
San Diego MCC
808 Union Street
San Diego, California 92101
Joseph had already been sentenced to two years in prison. Here’s his address:
Joseph Buddenberg #12746-111
FCI Victorville Medium I
P.O. BOX 3725
ADELANTO, CA 92301
Join us for our next letter-writing party, which will be posted here.
Have you read the In Defense of Animals’ list of the Top 10 Worst Zoo for Elephants? Not surprisingly, Oklahoma City Zoo (OKC Zoo) took the top (i.e.: worst) slot for 2016. OKC Zoo has questionable health care, dangerous housing practices, and continues to breed elephants in a herpes virus-infected environment.
Please email the Oklahoma City Mayor and City Council asking them to stop the inhumane treatment of these endangered animals by closing the elephant exhibit and retiring the elephants to the 2,100 acre Asian habitat at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.
Mayor Rick Cornett (who happens to be on the Zoo Trust Board!), (405) 297-2424, email@example.com
Ward 1: James Greiner, (405) 297-2404, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 2: Ed ShaDid, (405) 297-2402, email@example.com
Ward 3: Larry McAtee, (405) 297-2402, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 4: Pete White, (405) 297-2402, email@example.com
Ward 5: David Greenwell, (405) 297-2569, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 6, Meg Salyer, (405) 297-2404, email@example.com
Ward 7: John Pettis, (405) 297-2569, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 8: Mark Stonecipher, 405) 297-2569, email@example.com
Bamboo and Chai were sent to OKC Zoo in 2015. Poor Chai, who you can see in this video, died within 8 months of arriving at the zoo. She died from emaciation, after rapidly losing 1,000 pounds, and from an infection in her blood, likely caused by 25 puss-filled abscesses—both conditions went untreated!
Bamboo, the last surviving elephant from Woodland Park Zoo is still languishing at OKC Zoo. She’s been attacked by the other elephants, and has sustained multiple injuries, including a gash to her trunk and a bite that amputated the end of her tail. As a result, this social creature is frequently kept isolated.
Please write a polite but firm email to the Oklahoma City Mayor and City Council asking them to stop this inhumane treatment of elephants. Tell them to allow these elephants retire to the 2,100 acre Asian habitat at the accredited Elephant Sanctuary in TN.
Tilikum, the orca torn from his family near Iceland when he was just two years old, died yesterday at SeaWorld Orlando.
He suffered in captivity for more than 33 years, having food withheld when he did not “perform” correctly. His tank mates scraped his sides with their teeth because they, too, were hungry.
Like all orcas in captivity, Tilikum had a collapsed dorsal fin — a sign, for decades, that he was in distress. His sperm was used to create more orcas in captivity.
Tilikum was the star of the 2013 documentary, “Blackfish,” which showed the world the horror of his living conditions. SeaWorld’s profits and stock price tanked, and the company subsequently said it would stop its “Shamu” shows and stop breeding orcas in captivity.
Hopefully, the lessons from his tragic life will save orcas from future suffering.
Unfortunately, we are not there yet.
Tokitae, popularly known as Lolita, is an orca captured with four family members near Whidbey Island in 1970. She’s the only one surviving.
A judge ruled earlier this year that she will remain at the Miami Seaquarium, despite expert reports that the dolphins with whom Tokitae shares a small tank have scraped their teeth on her skin more than 50 times in one year. She often needs antibiotics and painkillers.
U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro decided that did not constitute “grave harm.”
And so Tokitae is not coming home, despite a detailed and feasible plan that’s in place whenever the humans with power over her life choose to free her.
Here’s Judge Ungaro’s email (I think): firstname.lastname@example.org
And email for the Spain-based CEO of Palace Entertainment, which owns the Miami Seaquarium: email@example.com
Dear Mr. Eiroa,
Tilikum’s death this week was another reminder of the graveness of Tokitae/Lolita’s incarceration in Miami.
Although Judge Ungaro decided that dolphins scraping Tokitae’s sides more than 50 times in one year did not constitute grave harm, you have the power to show compassion and send her home.
As you know, there’s a viable and detailed plan for doing just that. Just say the word, and the money will come — from Seattle and elsewhere — to free her.
Please do the right thing before it’s too late.
Photos from Blackfish
Why is Vilog Livestock, a slaughterhouse in Auburn, WA, still operating, despite losing its license two years ago?
Rickson Vilog, owner of the slaughterhouse, has been ordered to remove all livestock from his property by Dec. 22 or face daily fines. Will that make a difference? Let’s make sure it does!
Please contact the Attorney General’s office and ask that they enforce the law.
Main Phone (360) 753-6200
Consumer Protection (Mon-Fri from 10-3) 1-800-551-4636 (in-state only)
Vilog had his first fines in 2011 and is still killing animals. It’s time to shut him down!
Turkey butchering season has hardly passed, and already the down coat industry is warming up for an onslaught of holiday orders.
Although the vast majority of consumers say they dislike the use of fur, the company Canada Goose continues to use fur from trapped coyotes in its coats. It also fills the coats with plumage from geese that are killed for meat, in some cases having their throats slit while they’re alive.
Even the “ethical” trapping that Canada Goose brags about using allows coyotes to languish for 24 to 72 hours. In that time, mother coyotes sometimes chew through their limbs to escape. The traps also do not ensure a quick or painless end when the trapper returns.
“Humane” traps: No right way to do the wrong thing.
Despite Canada Goose’s claim that fur is the “only” choice for the hard, hard winters its customers endure, modern fabrics mean that warmer coats are available without killing animals. Synthetic materials also hold up to wet, humid weather.
Please tell Dani Reiss, CEO of Canada Goose, that it’s inhumane and completely unnecessary to use fur and plumage in his products — and that you’ll be spreading the word about the old-fashioned butchering still carried out for his company’s products.
Invite Mr. Reiss to come on into the 21st century, where we can let the coyotes keep their fur, and geese their plumage — and muscles.
Now is the time to push wildlife officials to use the permission they already have from a 2002 environmental impact statement that allows them to breach four dams on the lower Snake River. Those breaches would have a tremendous positive impact on salmon and orca populations in the Northwest.
Comments on the Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement are being taken now — and the Snake River is part of that system.
Please comment here, encouraging them not to wait to breach these four dams. Salmon and orca need this help now.
Here are politicians to contact as well — you can just copy and paste your comment from the EIS page — and here’s an encouraging story about the sockeye, chinook and trout already making their way back to an upper watershed following the demolition of a dam blocking the Elwha River.
Northwest Animal Rights Network is a volunteer-run organization that has been fighting for the rights of animals for more than 30 years. In that spirit, NARN believes in the fundamental right of all individuals–humans and non humans alike–to be free from harassment, exploitation, and oppression. When we are threatened, harassed, or attacked as activists, it can become dangerous or impossible to do our work.
For these reasons, NARN stands with local activist Zarna Joshi. After a charged Seattle City Council meeting related to the Block the Bunker issue, Joshi was sexually harassed by a bunker supporter. Rather than let it slide, she spoke out. As a result, for the last few months Zarna has been harassed, threatened with rape and death, and otherwise attacked. While Zarna’s abuse happened at a Block the Bunker event, we know that this kind of thing could have–and certainly HAS–happened at animal rights demos and events.
Let us be clear: Women and other oppressed/marginalized people absolutely retain the right to defend themselves from misogyny and harassment. NARN supports Zarna Joshi and anyone else who makes the choice to resist oppression. We believe this resistance and mutual support is absolutely fundamental to our work as activists
Please take the time to watch Zarna’s illuminating response videos below. To read more about what patriarchy is and how it affects our work and lives, check out this article Why Patriarchy Persists (and How We Can Change It). Be sure to scroll all the way to the end for 10 ways you can take action.
How much will it cost this time? SNBL USA has been slapped on the wrist for primate mistreatment before, in 2006 for a paltry $36,852 and in 2009 for an even more paltry $12,937.
Now the USDA has filed a nine-page complaint detailing the deaths of 38 primates in the company’s lab and breeding facility in Everett, north of Seattle, The Seattle Times reports. The “gravity of the violations… is great,” according to the complaint.
That list of horrors highlights the importance of stopping research on primates and other animals, whose torment frequently produces no more useful medical information than tests that do not involve animals.
It also calls to mind the expanded animal research capabilities of the University of Washington’s new underground research lab, currently under construction.
And just to put icing on that nightmare cake, check out the photo the paper ran below the primate death story. Zoos and animal testing: Really, really outdated and cruel.
The Seattle City Council’s final Budget Meeting is tomorrow. Please come to speak out against funding the confinement of suffering animals. Ask the City Council to put the money toward parks programs, off-leash parks and under-served communities rather than more money for the zoo.
Also, please write an email with NO more money for the zoo in the subject line to: Council@seattle.gov
The City has a contract with the Woodland Park Zoo which mandates over $7 million dollars in annual payments. (King County pays the zoo $4.2 million annually). The 2017 budget includes an additional $1.8 million dollars to the Zoo through the Seattle Parks District. The City Council makes the Seattle Parks District’s funding decisions. This $1.8 million dollars is DISCRETIONARY and must be stopped.
The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and all in-person 2 minute (or less) comments will be heard. Sign-up sheets will be provided outside the entrance of the City Council Chambers. If you wish to speak, please sign up at 4:15.
What: Seattle City Council BUDGET meeting.
When: Tuesday, October 25 at 5:30pm
Public comment: Sign up at 4:15pm
Where: Seattle City Hall at 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104. City Hall chambers on the second floor.