Vegan Outreach: Capitol Hill Block Party

Support orca sanctuary at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Great Hall, Green Lake

Credit: Courtesy of Dr. Brandon Southall, NMFS/OPR: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51647007@N08/5036399325.

The Whale Sanctuary Project will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at the Great Hall by Green Lake (7220 Woodland Ave NE) to share details of a vision for a 60- to 100-acre seaside sanctuary to care for orcas who are allowed to retire from life in concrete tanks at marine parks and aquariums. It would also serve as a full-service veterinary and “urgent care” facility in the San Juan Islands for free-ranging orcas who live-strand or need  special assistance in a controlled setting

“We have all the science we need to know these animals need to be out of concrete tanks,” Marino, who is also a neuroscientist and the lead author of a peer-reviewed scientific paper in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, told The Seattle Times’ Lynda V. Mapes. “The goal is to empty all the tanks and not breed any more [captive orcas] so eventually this whole form of entertainment is phased out.”

The Miami Seaquarium still holds Lolita, who was among 90 orcas taken from Puget Sound waters in 1970 to serve as entertainment. The Seaquarium “has on multiple occasions fought lawsuits to free Lolita and also rejected an ongoing campaign by the Lummi Nation for her release. Lummi tribal members are expected to file a new lawsuit soon to free her,” Mapes writes.

Please join the public meeting on Thursday!!

Update: Twin Lakes/Federal Way no longer plans to gas geese

Update on July 13: The emails seem to have worked! We received word that Twin Lakes is no longer plans to kill the geese. The people who’ve been receiving the emails are tired of them, so no need to write with thanks. Way to go! And thank YOU!

Original post from June 12:

[A note to be polite in asking officials to stop this treatment of the geese. Professional-sounding requests may or may not work in the short term, but nasty ones almost surely will turn people against the idea of change.]

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services calls it “relocation services.” But in fact, when they’re paid to remove Canada geese, the birds are instead gassed to death.

Two residents of Federal Way are speaking out against the practice, telling Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club and Twin Lakes Homeowners Association that they don’t want their fees spent on such “services.”

“Canada geese know how to hold their breath so the gassing process is a long, agonizing, terrifying suffocation, Bonnie Armstrong noted in a flyer she sent to Twin Lakes neighbors,” the Federal Way Mirror reported.

The city of Federal Way hires Wildlife Services to “control” Canada geese on behalf of the Steel Lake and North Lake Lake Management Districts.

[Emails deleted when the plan to kill geese was ended.]

Tell the National Park Service to stop killing elk

Ever wonder what NARN’s letter-writing parties are like? Aside from great food and excellent company, they involve writing letters based on templates like this one, which was created by Melanie, who co-hosted our letter-writing dinner last month. Thank you, Melanie!!

Source: https://www.change.org/p/cicely-muldoon-save-the-tule-elk

Stan Austin, Regional Director
Pacific West Region
National Park Service
333 Bush Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94104-2828


Stan_Austin@nps.gov

Sample letter:

I urge the National Park Service not to kill Tule Elk at Point Reyes National Seashore in order to protect the profits of the beef and dairy industry.  Tule Elk, which are native to Point Reyes, were exterminated and then reintroduced by the National Park Service. Now the beef and dairy ranchers, which no longer own the land they occupy, want to extend their land leases and cull the Drakes Bay Tule Elk herd.  Please choose to protect wildlife over industry profits and select the alternative of no ranching and protection of the Tule Elk herd. Our National Parks are for nature not agribusiness.

Background:

  • The Tule Elk were once thought to be extinct and have been a pillar of success in local conservation work. 
  • Point Reyes National Seashore is now the only national park where you can view these animals. 
  • Local beef and dairy operations, leasing 30% of the park, are pressuring the National Park Service to “manage” the wild elk, including their relocation off the seashore and even their lethal removal. 
  • At a time where so much wildlife is already at stake, we ask the park to protect the elk and its habitat and NOT cave to industry pressure.

We are asking for:

  1. Under no circumstance shall the park kill any Tule Elk.
  2. The park should prioritize Tule Elk habitat.
  3. The park should refuse to grant 20-year permits and leases to cattle and dairy ranchers. Ranchers have overstayed their original permit limits already. Long-term leases will set a terrible precedent in favor of private, commercial industry and jeopardize the future of our parks and the health of the ecosystem.
  4. Absolutely no diversification of ranch operations. Any diversification (such as chicken coops, pigs, sheep, row crops, etc) will only serve to attract more predators like coyotes, foxes, bobcats that will be in conflict with ranch operations and have to be “managed” as well.
  5. The park should revoke permits for all cattle and dairy operations and restore the leased land to its original, pre-industry state. The park should prioritize wildlife NOT commercial interests!

#supportTEAPSPA: The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act

Photo:
Jo-Anne McArthur / One Voice /
http://weanimals.org/

The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA), or HR 2863, introduced last month in Congress, would amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling performances. If possible, follow up your letter with a call. This bill has strong opposition and has failed before.

Animal Defenders International offers more information on its website, including a quick online way to ask your local rep to support this bill — and this list of reasons to support TEAPSPA:

Insufficient Space

Animals are housed and transported in very small cages.

Extended Periods Spent in Transport Vehicles

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / One Voice/
http://weanimals.org/

Even for short journeys, animals are often loaded long before, and unloaded long after.

Lack of Exercise / Restriction of Natural Behaviors

Circuses lack the resources to allow animals to exercise normally or act naturally.

Stress From Abnormal Conditions

Solitary animals get crowded together, predators and prey are housed in close proximity, and family members are separated.

Physical Abuse

Most “tricks” are coerced through the use of bull hooks, electric prods, whips, metal bars, and methods most would view as torturous.

Resulting Problems

Animals kept in circus conditions are prone to severe health, behavioral, and psychological problems.

Regulation Difficulties

Studies show that the transient nature of traveling circuses present significant challenges to, and increase the costs of, regulation and enforcement.

Safety Concerns

The extreme stress caused by the circus environment often makes wild animals highly dangerous, especially with the public. Deaths and injuries are becoming increasingly common.

Photo:
Jo-Anne McArthur / One Voice / weanimals.org

Sample letters to Congress

Rep. Pramila Jayapal is a co-sponsor. Here’s a quick online way to thank her for being awesome.

The bill was introduced last month in the House Agriculture Committee, which has one WA member: Kim Schrier, D-Wenatchee (freshman Dem who helped flip the House from Republicans)

Online: https://schrier.house.gov/contact.
Snail mail: 1123 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-7761

Here’s a sample letter for Rep. Schrier:

Dear Rep. Schrier,
Please support the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA), which would prohibit the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling performances. This is a simple way to stop suffering and protect the public and would be a great way to build your record as a compassionate and forward-thinking Democrat in the House.

45 countries have banned such performances, the National Aquarium is releasing its dolphins to a sanctuary, SeaWorld has stopped captive breeding of orcas, Ringling Bros is out of business, Floridians voted overwhelmingly last year to stop greyhound racing.

This is a bill in keeping with the times. Business interests should not prevail in this case.

With thanks from your fellow Washingtonian,
Your name

Look up your House rep using your address and ask them to support TEAPSPA:  https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

Photo:
Jo-Anne McArthur / One Voice /
http://weanimals.org/

Tell FDA: No animal tests for sunscreen

Jo-Anne McArthur / NEAVS http://weanimals.org

From an email sent this week by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

“In a proposed rule, Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use, FDA will require cancer tests which expose animals to very high doses of the sunscreen ingredients every day for two years, and other tests giving these chemicals to pregnant and lactating animals. The tests involve spreading chemicals on immobilized animals’ shaved skin every day. FDA may also require tests which involve force-feeding and injecting chemicals into the animals’ bodies. Following the testing, the animals would be killed and dissected.

“Despite the fact that these tests would kill tens of thousands of animals, FDA doesn’t mention whether it is even taking any steps to minimize the number of animals that would be used or to use data already available. This is at odds with recent FDA statements that the agency seeks to reduce and replace animal tests wherever possible.

“The animal tests won’t make sunscreen products safer and may delay the approval of newer, more effective sunscreen ingredients. FDA should require human-relevant, nonanimal tests that evaluate a chemical’s potential to damage DNA, increase cell growth, activate hormones, and suppress immunity. When combined with what is already known about a chemical, such tests provide useful information that can better protect consumers from harmful ingredients.

“Please comment on the proposed rule to urge FDA to use nonanimal methods instead. We have provided text for you, but feel free to use your own words. 

“After commenting, please share this alert with your friends and social networks. We need as many people as possible to voice their opposition to these tests.”

Tuesday Deadline: Tell USDA to Stop Bad Breeders

Pasado’s Safe Haven Outreach Manager Brenna Anderst sent this email alert last week:

TAKE ACTION HERE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) *automatically* renews breeders’ Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licenses every year, EVEN if a breeder fails to meet the incredibly low USDA licensing standards.This means that puppy mill operators can stay in business without any worries of enforcement.  

The USDA recently released a proposal to fix its abysmal licensing system. However, the proposal has two key problems: 1) It doesn’t stop bad breeders from getting or keeping a license and 2) It indicates that the USDA plans to keep withholding basic information about the breeding industry from the public. Will you lend your voice to help the countless animals trapped in puppy mills, hidden from public view? 

The comment period for this new proposal ends May 21st – so please act now!  PLEASE TAKE 2 MINUTES and tell the USDA that they need to redraft the Animal Welfare Act licensing requirements and do more to enforce the animal welfare laws that protect innocent animals.  

Your voice matters RIGHT NOW! And it only takes 2 Minutes!

TAKE ACTION HERE

Tell Tenino, WA to say ‘no’ to June 1 circus

Photo by Jo-anne MacArthur, WeAnimals.org

The city of Tenino, Wash., near Olympia plans to host the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus at a city park on June 1.

The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus uses wild animals such as big cats as part of their acts and have received numerous citations from the USDA,
including:

  • Not having a complete diet plan for big cats.
  • According to a court docket, a different tiger cub died before Culpepper & Merriweather had the animal seen by a veterinarian
    for refusing to eat. The necropsy showed that the cause of death was a widespread E. coli infection and bacteria in the blood.
  • A female tiger named Delia delivered three cubs after mating with her sibling. Culpepper & Merriweather did not know that Delia was pregnant until about 10 days before she gave birth and did not
    have her examined by a veterinarian.

Please contact Tenino’s mayor and city council and politely request that they not welcome a circus that uses animals.

Tenino Mayor Wayne Fournier: (360) 264-2368, mayor@ci.tenino.wa.us

Tenino City Council members:

Animal cruelty is not entertainment, as a recent expose by the Humane Society of the United States found. Its reporter, Karen E. Lange, sums up the situation well: “Without expert knowledge of tigers or training methods, many in the crowd probably feel they’ve seen a fun show: happy, if somewhat lazy, tigers performing for meat treats. Distracted by the excitement of live tigers and by the trainer’s spiel, they have missed troubling signals—the way the trainer’s assistant used a heavy metal pole to prod the tigers to move, the way the “Royal Bengal” leapt from the trainer when he jabbed the meat treat pole at the ground, as though shocked by an electric current. They have not seen what animal behavior experts who watch the same show readily do: a man using threats of pain to coerce wild animals into doing tricks.”

It’s abusive to the animals and can be dangerous for spectators, according to the report.

Gov. Inslee: Veto This Mountain Lion Bill!

AThe Mountain Lion Foundation just posted this urgent alert:

HB 1516 has passed the Washington State Legislature and would require the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to select hound hunters to train their dogs by chasing cougars, bobcats, or bears. 

But there is still hope – Governor Jay Inslee [who’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination on a climate platform] can veto HB 1516!

Cougars need your help now. The bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk. 

Please ask Governor Inslee to VETO HB 1516 by contacting him at his official message page or by phone at (360) 902-4111.  

Here’s why:

The people of Washington believe that individuals should take personal responsibility to coexist with cougars.

With 63% of voters approving Initiative 655 in 1996, the people of Washington prohibited hunting bear, cougar, bobcat, and lynx with dogs.  

WDFW’s own 2008 Cougar Attitude Survey showed overwhelming citizen support for these two statements:

  • “Livestock and pet owners who live in cougar habitat should be held responsible for taking steps to secure their animals” (93%); and
     
  • “Individuals living near cougars should be held responsible for taking steps to minimize the chance of human/cougar conflict” (90%).

Let’s not needlessly train a new generation of hound hunters!

Ask the Governor: Why now? In Initiative 655, the Fish and Wildlife Commission was authorized to allow the use of dogs to hunt or pursue black bear, cougar, bobcat, or lynx onlyif there was a public safety need; to protect livestock, domestic animals, and private property; for scientific purposes; or to protect endangered species.

We believe that no such new need has been established.

It has not been demonstrated scientifically that additional hounding of mountain lions will provide livestock producers with better protection for domestic animals, or people with greater safety. Washington’s relatively rare cougar conflicts are far better managed using less dangerous techniques.

This legislation is an excessive overstep. It is unreasonable to sanction harassment and possible death by hounds given all the threats cougars face with a human population that is growing exponentially, and alongside increasing competition with wolves to survive in less and less wild habitat.

Hounding is inhumane.

Hounds kill cougar kittens, and cougars often injure or kill hounds (Lindzey et al. 1992, Logan and Sweanor 2001, Elbroch et al. 2013).

Mountain lions are caused significant stress by hounding (Harlow et al. 1992, Bryce et al. 2017).

Hounds also chase, stress and change the behavior of other wildlife species including deer and other ungulates (Hristienko and McDonald 2007, Grignolio et al. 2011, Mori 2017), as well as putting pets and livestock at risk.

Please, take action immediately:

Ask Jay Inslee to VETO HB 1516 by contacting him at the Governor ‘s official message page or by phone at (360) 902-4111. 

Hounding is not necessary. It’s clearly against the will of Washington voters. Hounding causes stress, injury and death to both wild and domestic animals. There’s no upside to this bill.

Please be respectful and clear in all communications. Discourteous communications reflect poorly on advocates for wildlife and the conservation community.

There’s more YOU can do!

  • Forward this message to your friends and family in Washington State and ask them to contact Governor Inslee as well.
  • Help keep this issue in the public eye by submitting Letters to the Editor to your local paper.

Let’s Get This Bill to Ban Live Animal Paramedic Training Out of Committee!

State Senate Bill 5211, which would ban the use of live animals given invasive medical procedures during paramedic trainings, made it through the state house but is stuck in Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane)’s Appropriations Committee.

Here’s his number: (360) 786-7946. If you know anyone in Spokane, encourage them to call too: That’s the area he represents.

It’s tight, but there’s still time for him to get this bill out of his committee and up for a vote.

Please call and leave a quick message today! Let’s get SB 5211 passed!!

Wolf Bill Still Alive in WA Senate: Now’s the Time to Call!

Amazingly, House Bill 2097 that threatens the endangered status of wolves in Washington state is still alive in the state Senate. It’s passed the full House and is now up for a second reading before the full Senate.

Even if you’ve already written, now is the time to call your state senator (type your address in here) and let him or her know that you oppose this bill. Leave a message tonight (Sunday) so they get it in the morning, or call first thing Monday before they vote.

While you’re on the phone, ask them to vote FOR HB 1026, which is also up for a Senate vote. It would prohibit a city or county from prohibiting the possession of a dog based upon its breed, imposing requirements specific to possession of a dog based upon its breed, or declaring a dog dangerous or potentially dangerous based upon its breed unless certain conditions are met.