Save animals and help the planet

Yesterday was Earth Day, and Pasado’s Safe Haven posted an excellent article about how to help animals and the environment.

To the planet, every day is Earth Day. It’s never a bad time to make positive changes. Here’s the info from the Pasado’s post:

Washington dairy farms produce 20 million pounds of waste each day.

This waste isn’t regulated by outside agencies, and it seeps into our groundwater and enters streams directly through runoff. The dairy and meat industries’ disposal and storage methods are incredibly destructive to our environment, dangerous to human health, and damaging to domestic and wild animals.

Animals are treated horrifically on these farms.

Because animals are nothing more than a commodity on dairy and beef farms, they often spend their entire lives standing in several inches of their own waste.

Take action and help Pasado’s save countless lives!

How To Help

Please contact Governor Inslee and ask him to require the Department of Ecology to issue new State Waste Discharge General Permits for factory farms. Call Governor Inslee at 360.902.4111 or copy and paste the following suggested email into the Governor’s contact us form. (To make even more an impact please consider drafting a letter in your own words.)

Dear Governor Inslee,  Please direct the Washington Department of Ecology to issue a strong National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) and State Waste Discharge General Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (“CAFOs”) that do business in the State of Washington.  The current CAFO General Permit was issued in 2006 and expired July 21, 2011. No new permit has been issued. It is imperative that the Department of Ecology issue a permit that contains the following requirements: (1) universal coverage for all medium and large CAFOs; (2) mandatory surface and groundwater monitoring; and (3) implementation of best waste management practices.

I sincerely hope that you take this request seriously and act swiftly. Issuing a new CAFO General Permit will not only bring us into compliance with the law, but in addition it will:

  • Be a small step toward improved conditions for farmed animals who currently spend their entire lives in their own waste.
  • Be a significant step toward improvements in our groundwater and freshwater streams.
  • Be a significant step toward mitigating human health hazards created by the situation as it now stands.

Please act now, Governor Inslee, and help to guide our state to becoming a national leader in environmental and animal welfare policy.

The Problem

Washington Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs / Factory Farms) dispose of animal waste in ways that have devastating effects on our ground water, streams and oceans. The Department of Ecology regulates this practice through a permit system REQUIRED by the federal Clean Water Act and the Washington Water Pollution Control Act. However, the current permit system expired in 2011 and it has serious flaws, including covering only 12 of the 1183 CAFOs in Washington.

The Solution

The Department of Ecology needs to issue a new CAFO permit that contains:

  1. Required coverage for 100% of medium and large CAFOs/Factory Farms.
  2. Mandatory surface and groundwater monitoring.
  3. Implementation of the best waste management practices.

We believe the Department of Ecology is open to this; however they are well aware of the immense power of the animal agriculture industries. They need the influence of a directive from Governor Inslee in order to make this happen.

For more information, please see the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club’s summary of the environmental effects of CAFOs.

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The University of Washington is killing pigs

pigletAll Creatures recently posted an action alert about the killing of pigs by the University of Washington (UW). Here are the details:

This Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed a complaint with the USDA because the UW is violating the federal Animal Welfare Act by using live pigs to teach paramedics and flight nurses. For more info, here’s PCRM’s complaint to the USDA: Use of Live Pigs for Paramedic Training at the University of Washington.

Please help this effort by calling and e-mailing the president of the university. Be polite and encouraging.

Talking points

In the training program at UW, paramedics and nurses make an incision in the throat of a pig and insert a breathing tube and wire. This is performed up to five times by multiple trainees on each pig. The pigs are then killed. Nonanimal training methods are widely used by paramedic programs across the Pacific Northwest, making this use of animals not only cruel but unnecessary.

I am calling to ask Mr. Young to please stop the use of pigs in UW’s paramedic training program.

  • UW has a simulation center that can replace the use of animals immediately.
  • UW’s paramedic course is the only program in the Pacific Northwest known to use animals. The remaining programs use non-animal methods such as human-based medical simulation.

Contact info

Michael Young, President
University of Washington
301 Gerberding Hall
Box 351230
Seattle, WA 98195
phone (206) 543-5010
pres@uw.edu

You can also sign  the online petition.

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Help polar bears

The Senate will soon be considering a dangerous bill that, if passed, will undermine years of protection for polar bears and hurt other wild animals.

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 1996) combines several radical hunting proposals into one bill. If passed, it will benefit a small group of wealthy trophy hunters who want to import polar bear trophies from Canada–despite current laws against that! The bill would also mandate that federal agencies open up millions of acres of public lands to hunting and trapping. It would also strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to protect habitat and people from lead poisoning through toxic ammunition exposure.

Act now

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Senator urge opposition for S. 1996. Look up your senator’s phone number here. You can say: “I would like you to please vote NO on S. 1996, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014.”

After making your phone call, please go to this HSUS page where you can personalize and submit the letter automatically.

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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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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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Oppose Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter

We recently learned from In Defense of Animals, that Yellowstone National Park plans to slaughter 800 wild bison. bison from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_bison_in_Yellowstone_National_Park.JPG

According to park spokesman Al Nash, the park is seeking “opportunities to capture any animals that move outside the park’s boundaries.”

Please help the hundreds wild bison who are being brutally hazed into traps and sent to slaughter. This killing began on February 7th, with the capture of 20 bison. The scared animals were then shipped to a slaughterhouse in Ronan, Montana. Other bison are currently being held in traps inside the park, awaiting their fate.

This is a politically motivated move by the Montana livestock industry, which has no tolerance for wildlife.

Click here to take action.

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Action Alert: Stop Washington Cougar Hound Hunting Legislation

Thanks to Exposing the Big Game and the Mountain Lion Foundation (MLF) for the info listed below. Check out their websites for more info.

Washington state Senators Brian Dansel and Don Benton have coauthored a bill that would force the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to allow trophy hunters to use hounds to kill cougars for fun.

Senate Bill 6287 states special “dangerous cougarwildlife task teams must be developed in each county [...] and a kill season with the aid of dogs must be established,” ultimately claiming they will hunt lions to protect the public and increase research on the species. WDFW and the findings of numerous research projects have shown these hunting programs don’t work, and they can actually increase cougar-human conflicts.

WDFW already has the authority to initiate special public safety hunts with the use of hounds, if needed (WAC 232-12-243). But the agency has found that teaching the public about coexistence and only killing the cats who cause problems has proven to be a more successful policy.

Allowing groups of hound hunters to kill random cougars in rural areas has not yielded any positive results and is just an excuse for hunters who want to chase cougars with a pack of dogs.

Washington sport hunters (without dogs) already shoot more than 100 lions each year. As a result, the cougar population is declining and the mean age of the cats is lower. Young cats are more likely to come into conflict with people, pets, and livestock.

How to help:

Please contact your Senator NOW (before February 18th) and urge him or her to vote against this bill!

Write a short letter or email stating why you oppose Senate Bill 6287. Even a phone call will help. You can use this contact form if you’re short on time (but personal letters are best). If possible, please also send MLF a copy of your letter and cc emails to info@mountainlion.org.

Talking points:

  • Senate Bill 6287 is a redundant authorization of public safety hound hunts — WDFW already has this tool at its discretion if they think it’s necessary to use hounds to help kill cougars.
  • Senate Bill 6287 would force the Department of Fish and Wildlife to implement a wildlife killing program that they know is unsuccessful and potentially dangerous.  The legislation is not backed by the Department, scientific research, or the majority of citizens in Washington.
  • Washington residents have repeatedly shown we do not support the use of hounds to track, tree, and kill wildlife for fun. It’s a cruel and outdated unsportsmanlike hobby that needs to remain illegal.
  • This bill would allow hound hunters to kill cougars that have posed no threat to people, which may actually increase the percentage of problem cougars in our state.

Thank for taking the time to help protect Washington’s cougars!

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Help pass a spay/neuter assistance program

Here’s a way to help overpopulation issues with companion dogs and cats: Ask Your State Senator to Vote YES on SSB 5202, the Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill.

Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5202 would create a statewide companion animal spay/neuter assistance program to help people with low incomes get free or very low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for their dogs and cats. The bill would also fund spay/neuter surgeries for feral and free-roaming cats.

SSB 5202 replaces the original bill, orange kitten in a barnSB 5202, which attempted to raise funds from the sale of pet food across the state. The pet-food fee funding part isn’t in this bill; it’s been replaced with a voluntary contribution of up to $1 per pet license from communities that license pets.

Please contact your state senator by phone or email and ask him or her to vote for SSB 5202 in the senate.

Your state senator can be contacted by filling out the comment form on the bill. It’s quick and easy. Be sure to click the buttons asking for a reply from your senator.

Here are some tips to help you write a clear message:

  • Ask your senator to encourage other senate leaders to schedule SSB 5202 for a vote on the senate floor.
  • Ask your senator to vote for SSB 5202.
  • Tell your senator that the bill will help reduce the amount of money homeless animals cost our cities and counties, and will help end the deaths of thousands of dogs and cats in our state’s shelters.
  • Tell your senator why the bill is important to YOU and others in your community.

It’s really effective to also call your senator’s office asking for a “yes” vote on SSB 5202, Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance. You will find your senator’s phone number in this list.

Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the info listed here. If you have questions, please contact them at info@savewashingtonpets.org.

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Help Iditarod dogs

From the Sled Dog Action Coalition:

sled dogs

The Iditarod is a cruel event and mushers often beat dogs who won’t run, or who don’t run fast enough. Dogs are injured during their brutal training and end up with cracked ribs, broken jaws or skulls from mushers.

Thankfully Target and Fred Meyer ended their support for the Iditarod after they received protest emails. But the dogs still need your help.

Please send protest emails to race sponsors: Konica Minolta, Golden Corral,  Allworx (Windstream) and Waste Management.

Email Addresses:

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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