News of Note

Supreme Court animal cruelty ruling: All sides find positives
Free speech advocates praised Tuesday’s US Supreme Court decision striking down a federal law banning depictions of animal cruelty.  At the same time, animal rights groups are calling on Congress to enact a new, more targeted law, to prevent trafficking in photos and videos depicting acts of severe animal cruelty, including so-called “crush” videos.

Officials seek cause of Snohomish dairy-manure spill
Regulators are still trying to figure out what caused a dairy-farm lagoon to fail earlier this week, spilling millions of gallons of manure that wound up in the Snohomish River.  A breach sometime Sunday or early Monday at Bartelheimer Brothers’ waste lagoon near Snohomish is the worst such incident in regulators’ memories. As much as 15 million gallons of manure, water and other organic matter may have flowed into a slough that drains to the river.

Kinder, gentler chickens to be bred to rule future free-range roosts
As those bans go into effect and more birds move to open pens, a solution may lie in the work of an influential Purdue University scientist whose breeding method produces more congenial, peaceful chickens by focusing on the birds best suited for life in groups. The white leghorns bred by William Muir stand sedately wing to wing, staring back timidly from their cages at a Purdue research farm in northern Indiana.

KFC’s Double Down, Their Latest Double Cross
One minute they are teaming up with the money whores at Susan G. Komen to help cure breast cancer by donating money from pink buckets of chicken (what a joke), and the next, they are introducing a sandwich so unhealthy that it could worsen heart disease and obesity statistics all on its own!

World Bank chief urges action to save wild tigers
World Bank President Robert Zoellick called on Wednesday for joint action among countries and organizations to save the dwindling numbers of wild tigers from extinction.  There are barely 3,500 tigers left in the wild. Their declining numbers are blamed largely on poaching and the slow destruction of their natural habitat by deforestation.

Watahala Farms: Last commercial dairy standing in Alleghany County
Troubles have pecked away at Bennett and his neighbors over the years. About 30 dairies in the county closed in the last 60 years, indicative of struggles in the industry.   Older farmers had no kin to carry on their businesses, or milk prices plummeted and costs grew too much.   Still, nearby Rockingham and Franklin counties are the two top-producing areas for dairy in Virginia, according to the Department of Agriculture’s 2007 census.

Eating Vegan: The Elusive Vitamin B12
A long-standing myth about veganism is that animal products are the only dietary sources of vitamin B12. Here’s a little information about this critical vitamin as well as some easy ways to work it into your diet.

Action Alerts

Expose Ridiculous Research! End Chimpanzee Experimentation!

Help Keep Elephants out of Circuses

An elephant in a Shrine Circus in Pennsylvania killed his trainer. Elephants in circuses suffer from brutal training and treatment, are forced to spend hundreds of hours in small traveling containers, and are deprived of everything instinctual to their nature.

Here is info and graphic videos of how elephants suffer in circuses:
Here is info on the Shriner’s mission:

Please voice your outrage over keeping elephants in circuses.
Contact info:
Irem Shrine, P. O. Box 307, Dallas, PA 18612.
Shriners International Headquarters, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607, email:
Email Shrine Circus:
Write your local Congressperson and ask them to support legislation that would abolish elephants in traveling shows.

News of Note


Food Inc to premier on PBS April 21st
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that’s been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA.


Tribes help haze sea lions to save salmon on Columbia
Local tribes are hazing sea lions on the Columbia River as part of an alliance with Washington, Oregon and the Army Corps of Engineers to get rid of sea lions that are endangering salmon and steelhead runs….Eight California sea lions have been trapped and killed this year, as no zoos or aquariums have expressed an interest in giving them homes.

Humane Society finds abuse by U.S. egg producers
An undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States of major U.S. egg producers showed “rampant abuse” of hens, which the animal rights group said on Wednesday could prompt more consumers to embrace “cage-free” methods of production.
‘Growing concern’ over marketing tainted beef
Beef containing harmful pesticides, veterinary antibiotics and heavy metals is being sold to the public because federal agencies have failed to set limits for the contaminants or adequately test for them, a federal audit finds.

New Documents Boost Egg-Price Fixing Lawsuit Claim
The lawsuit alleges that as egg prices climbed between 2004 and 2008, industry officials who blamed rising feed costs were covering up an orchestrated hen kill-off to reduce supplies…The United Egg Producers had called the stock reduction an animal welfare effort to give caged chickens more room. The suit maintains it was a ruse to reduce the number of egg-laying hens and increase prices.


India Develops Transgenic Chicken
India has developed a transgenic chicken variety that is not only fleshier than normal breeds sold in poultry shops, but can also be used in the treatment of diseases. The breakthrough research could help boost production in a country that ranks among the world’s top three egg producers and among the 20 biggest poultry producers…Transgenic chickens have already been developed in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and China.


A regional view of animal control and sheltering

Elephant kicks trainer at Pa. circus, killing him
Police say an elephant at a northeastern Pennsylvania circus startled and kicked its animal trainer, killing him.


Food writer credits his doctor with beneficial shift toward veganism
Still largely an omnivore as he completed his vegetarian cookbook, Bittman says he didn’t make the big change in his diet until he (a) saw statistics about the environmental impact of large-scale livestock production; and (b) recognized, as he turned 57, that he had high cholesterol, high blood sugar, sleep apnea, bad knees and 35 extra pounds. “My doctor said, ‘I think you should become a vegan,’ ” Bittman says, referring to a diet that includes no animal products

Action Alerts

Ask Officials to Cancel Cruel ‘Donkey Basketball’ Game
A “donkey basketball” game is scheduled to take place at Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington, on Wednesday, April 7.
Donkey basketball games are miserable for the animals involved. Hauled around the country in cramped and stuffy trailers, the donkeys are denied proper exercise, and food and water are often withheld before games to prevent unsightly “accidents.” The events are loud, frantic, and very stressful for the donkeys, who are often forced to “play” by being pulled, shoved, screamed at, or whipped when they don’t cooperate. Although experts agree that an average-size donkey is only able to bear a little more than 100 pounds, in donkey basketball games, the animals are typically forced to carry full-grown adults.
Please urge Superintendent William Mester and Principal Beth Porter to cancel the donkey basketball game immediately and replace it with an event in which all participants choose to be involved.

Superintendent William Mester:
Phone Number: 360-563-7280

Principal Beth Porter:
Phone Number: 360-563-4002

Speak Up For California Sea Lions
As the spring Chinook salmon run begins in the Columbia River, California sea lions, who live in this Pacific Northwest river and are routinely scapegoated and labeled a “problem” – again are in the government crosshairs. They are getting trapped and killed by the Oregon and Washington wildlife agencies for eating fish – a tiny fraction of the salmon returning to their birthplace to spawn. Since March 2009, when federal authorization was given to bypass the protections of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 33 sea lions have been trapped, 24 are dead and the rest put into permanent captivity.

Please check out this link to politely voice your opposition to this pointless wildlife killing. Insist this program end immediately.

Or contact them Directly:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Jane Lubchenco, Administrator
phone: 202-482-3436
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Room 5128
Washington, DC 20230

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Roy Elicker, Director
phone: 503-947-6044
3406 Cherry Avenue N.E.
Salem, OR 97303

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Phil Anderson, Director
phone: 360-902-2200
fax: 360-902-2947
600 Capitol Way N.
Olympia, WA 98501

News of Note

Animal rights group seeks a ‘basic level of decency’
Animal rights advocates are strengthening their call to end animal abuse across the state, urging legislators to pass legislation in 2010 that would crack down on animal fights, puppy mills and the intense confinement of farm animals.

Blue Monkey Building
Why would these businesses locate here? I suspect the reason has to do with the purpose of the blue building next door – it’s a UW primate research laboratory, home to the Washington National Primate Research Center. Only once have I heard a monkey type noise from there; it was probably being transported from a truck into the facility.

Animal-Rights Advocates Bare Teeth in a Novel Way
Animal-rights groups are aggressively stepping up legal tactics in an approach that is picking up steam nationally.  The latest such instance was heard in a Wisconsin court on Thursday involving sheep that died of decompression sickness.  In Madison, prosecutors declined to pursue University of Wisconsin officials and researchers whose test subjects, three sheep, inadvertently died of an illness that befalls deep-sea divers, decompression sickness or the bends, during U.S. Navy-financed experiments aimed at helping submariners.  But two animal-rights groups, Alliance for Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, seized on a little-invoked state law to aid their case.

Tiger Abuse in China Sparks Calls for Animal Rights
It is an irony not lost on the Chinese public that the Year of the Tiger has not been good for the big cats… The Chinese government has come under increasing pressure from owners of tiger farms to relax the ban on trading tiger parts. So far the government has resisted those efforts, a move that seems to be in keeping with shifting public sentiment. The back-to-back tiger tragedies have been followed closely in China, spurring calls for greater legal protections for animals.

An experiment with vegan living leads to new way of eating

On Feb. 1, I flipped a culinary switch and became a vegan overnight. For a month, I planned to shop, cook and eat without any animal products. No meat, eggs or dairy, period.  The intent was mostly earnest. Portland has a large and quickly growing vegan community. And after seeing documentaries like “Food, Inc.” and reading works by Michael Pollan, I’d become increasingly convinced that eating less meat — perhaps even eliminating it altogether — was the greenest, most-humane thing I could do.

Study: Bacon, cheese, fatty foods are physically addictive, like cocaine
Scientists have finally confirmed what the rest of us have suspected for years: Bacon, cheesecake, and other delicious yet fattening foods may be addictive.  A new study in rats suggests that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin.

Funeral Motorcade for the Sea Lions

On Friday, April 2, the Northwest Animal Rights Network welcomed the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition as they stopped into Seattle in their first stop on their 40-state Compassion for the Animals Road Expedition. Together they held the Funeral Motorcade for the Sea Lions in light of the recent new stories of sea lions having been shot to death in Puget Sound. The culprits were fishermen, shooting seals who were guilty merely of the crime of eating. In light of such wanton killing, NARN and GAHC are taking a stand against such a gross display of greed and arrogance, not only for the plight of the sea lions, but for all animals who end up having their lives sacrificed with no regard whatsoever.

Eulogy delivered for the sea lions shot to death in Puget Sound

Despite the weather bringing blustery winds reaching 30 mph, rain bursts, and a high of no more than 45 degrees, 20 cars took part in the motorcade, drawing Q13 News to the scene. After a eulogy in Volunteer Park given by Peter Keller of NARN, as well as a speech by Anthony Marr of GAHC, the motorcade assembled and drove across the 520 floating bridge, dodging the cresting waves splashing over the sides of the bridge driven by high winds, and reconvened in Bellevue at the Bellefields Park. There another speech was given and the participants networked together to continue this work forward to give voice to all animals being killed at the hands of human self-interest.

Funeral Motorcade being assembled in Volunteer Park

The common argument that fishermen give is that the sea lions “eat too much salmon,” so to them it’s OK to kill sea lions so that fishermen can kill the salmon instead. However, salmon comprise less than 5% of the sea lions’ diet, and that sea lions in fact benefit the salmon by targeting the other two dozen species of predatory fish that prey upon salmon in far greater quantities–if anything needs to be sacrificed, it should be fishing, not sea lions.

group photo of motorcade participants

In our grief we speak, that all killings of sentient beings must end!

The eulogy given was as follows:

Greetings ladies and gentlemen,

We are gathered here today to honor ten individuals whose lives have been tragically cut short over these past three months. Here in Puget Sound, ten of this region’s most distinctive animals were found shot to death, their only crime being that they were born as sea lions, and merely living as nature intended.

No longer will they be able to experience the joys of the open sea, of lounging in the sun, playing on the shore, of catching fish. They were killed by predators, an invasive species not native to this region, one who thinks fish was theirs and theirs alone. Humans were responsible, the only species of animal that is motivated by greed, and it was greed that motivated them to shoot to death these unfortunate creatures.

Many top minds throughout history hace said the greatness of a society can be judged by hoe well they treat animals, and the fact that we deem it appropriate to kill animals simply because we feel they are inconvenient really calls into question how far we’ve advanced.

Today we grieve not only the tragic death of these indiviuals, but we are here to pay homage to all animals who have paid the ultimate price in service of mankind’s greed and arrogance.

The next time anyone encounters a dead animal, whether it be on the shores or fields with a bullet in its body, or it be shrinkwrapped on a grocery shelf, they should bow their heads in reverence to the life that was sacrificed, and make a pledge to stand up and say–the killing has got to stop!

Let us now give a moment of silence to honor the dead.


Thank you very much, and let peace be with you.

Action Alerts

Demand Investigation info Lack of Enforcement of Animal Welfare Act
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! has uncovered the negligent deaths of literally dozens of animals in 18 research facilities across the U.S. The most shocking part of these atrocities is that the Animal Care Division of the USDA has done virtually nothing about these totally unnecessary deaths.
By literally pouring through thousands of pages of government reports, SAEN’s investigation unearthed the deaths of over 64 animals within 18 registered research facilities spread across the United States. Dogs, cats, primates, pigs, rabbits, hamsters, and other animals suffered cruel deaths at the hands of careless research staff in these labs.
Despite these appalling, needless deaths, the negligent labs have skirted by unscathed by the USDA’s Animal Care Division (USDA/AC) – the very regulatory agency put in charge of overseeing these labs.
Take Action
Please contact the Secretary of Agriculture to demand an immediate investigation into the utterly inadequate enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act.

Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture, USDA
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250
email AgSec@usda@gov
phone (202) 720-3631

Only you can keep animal-friendly legislation alive in 2010!
The Washington State 2010 regular legislative session adjourned on March 11. Although two key animal bills did not pass the legislature this year, we can celebrate our 2010 successes and work to gain momentum for 2011!
* HB 1406/SB 5329, would have funded 70,000 spay/neuter surgeries annually for cats and dogs of low-income families. The bills did not pass the legislature, however the Senate did pass a resolution recognizing that spay/neuter saves cats and dogs lives and taxpayer dollars used to care for unwanted animals. This resolution, combined with increased public awareness and collaboration from numerous animal welfare groups, will help the bill in 2011.
* HB 1885 would have made it illegal to feed certain wild animals, protecting them from habituation and reducing dangerous conflicts between people and wildlife. HB 1885 made it all the way through the House and was close to a vote on the Senate floor, but time ran out.

Collectively, we still need to let our legislators know animal welfare remains a priority. It is not uncommon for bills to take multiple sessions to gain support and pass the legislature. That’s why it’s so important to contact your representatives about animal protections throughout the year:

1. Find your legislators and send each a note OR use the legislator e-mail directory to directly e-mail your representatives.
2. Use the note below to assist—any personalization will only make your message stronger.

Dear (Representative or Senator),
I understand Olympia faced a short session and a big budget challenge in 2010. However as your constituent, I’m disappointed that key bills such as, HB 1885 regarding the feeding of wildlife, and HB 1406/SB 5329 funding spay/neuter for cats and dogs, did not pass the 2010 session. Legislation which protects animals matters a great deal to me. Please support animal-friendly legislation in 2011!

(Your name, phone number and home address)

Action alerts, news, tips, stories, and resources for Animal Advocates in the NW