Best Way to Stop the Dolphin Hunt: Don’t Visit Marine Parks

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.

Dolphin_slaughter_in_Taiji_Japan

Photo: VanessaNYC07 at Wikimedia Commons

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.

Write to Prisoners, Including a Vegan Sent to Prison Last Week

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.

www.supportnicoleandjoseph.com

www.supportnicoleandjoseph.com

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

For more information, visit the Support Nicole & Joseph website and Facebook page.

Join us for our next letter-writing party, which will be posted here.

Tell the Oklahoma City Council to send Bamboo to The Elephant Nature Park

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.

Contact:

Mayor Rick Cornett (who happens to be on the Zoo Trust Board!), (405) 297-2424,  mayor@okc.gov

Ward 1: James Greiner, (405) 297-2404, ward1@okc.gov

Ward 2: Ed ShaDid, (405) 297-2402, ward2@okc.gov

Ward 3: Larry McAtee, (405) 297-2402, ward3@okc.gov

Ward 4: Pete White, (405) 297-2402, ward4@okc.gov

Ward 5: David Greenwell, (405) 297-2569, ward5@okc.gov

Ward 6, Meg Salyer, (405) 297-2404, ward6@okc.gov

Ward 7: John Pettis, (405) 297-2569, ward7@okc.gov

Ward 8: Mark Stonecipher, 405) 297-2569, ward8@okc.gov

abused elephantBamboo 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.

Shut Down this Unlicensed Slaughterhouse

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)

General Complaint Form

Vilog had his first fines in 2011 and is still killing animals. It’s time to shut him down!

 

Canada Goose hurts animals with fur and plumage

2379783983_c7e9604158_z

Photo: USEPA

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.

Here’s his email: dreiss@canada-goose.com. And here’s Canada Goose’s Facebook page.

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.

Tell regulators to breach Snake River dams for orcas and salmon

gorgeNow 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.

NARN Stands Against Patriarchy and All Oppression

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.

Tell the City Council “NO more money for Zoo”

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.

Map: http://tinyurl.com/j2yd2ac
Wear:  ORANGE

Tell regulators new ‘humane’ rules don’t fly

The U.S. government wants factory farms that use unanesthetized castration, debeaking, dehorning and prolonged extreme confinement to be able to label their meat as “humane.”

As the Huffington Post puts it, “Up is down, black is white, and this meat was ‘raised with care.'”

Please let the U.S. Department of Agriculture know that the truth actually means something to consumers in this country. We’re in a public comment period for proposed new guidelines from the department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and you can leave your comment here.

Here’s what I sent: “You seriously think meat farms should be able to define ‘humane’ on their own? How can you call yourselves regulators any more? The truth actually means something to consumers and to farms that do bother to treat animals with some humanity. Please do your job.”

For context, here’s part of the toothless new proposed guideline:

“For animal welfare claims, such as ‘Raised with Care’ or ‘Humanely Raised,’ FSIS will only approve a claim if a statement is provided on the label showing ownership and including an explanation of the meaning of the claim for consumers, e.g., ‘TMB Ranch Defines Raised with Care as [explain the meaning of the claim on the label]’ or ‘TMB Ranch Defines Sustainably Raised as [explain meaning of the claim on the label].'”

How is that even regulation? Sounds like somebody’s taking a page from bank regulators, who have allowed financial institutions to do way too much self-regulation.

That kind of laziness hurts consumers and, in this case, would hurt farms that have more humane practices. If factory farms can charge higher prices because they’re pretending to treat animals better than they actually do — and have the blessing of regulators in doing so — it could put the smaller, more humane farmers out of business.

Perdue Farms and Kroger have settled lawsuits about such labeling, and now the goverment wants to make it okay.

One Perdue chicken farmer turned against Perdue, a company he’d done business with, because of its misleading claims, as The New York Times reported.

The farmer invited Compassion in World Farming to make this video to show the truth of these chicken’s miserable lives, which include lameness, filth, raw skin and a lack of sunshine and fresh air:

WDFW response to wolf killing, and a possible response from you

Photo by Arne von Brill (some rights reserved)

Photo by Arne von Brill (some rights reserved)

The office of Jim Unsworth, the director of Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, responded to public concerns about the killing of the Profanity Peak wolf pack with the long email below.

Here’s a possible response — his email is director@dfw.wa.gov:

Dear Dir Unsworth,

Thank you for writing such a thoughtful and comprehensive response.

This part rings untrue: “Capturing wolves and placing them in captive facilities is also problematic. For one thing, live-capturing wolves is extremely difficult, especially in the rugged terrain of the Profanity Peak pack’s range. In addition, experience has shown that many wolves do not adapt well to captivity.”

Your department regularly captures wolves to collar them, including in the Profanity Peak Pack. At least one sanctuary offered to take them in. To learn more about sanctuaries, perhaps you should attend the Wolf Haven International event at Town Hall in Seattle next month.

In this case, it’s also concerning that you believe that the rancher(s) had taken appropriate measures. Although Washington State University has (inappropriately, I believe) disavowed its professor’s claim that the cattle were placed on top of the wolves’ den, the rancher himself is apparently acknowledging that the cattle were placed within a few miles of it. What do your guidelines say about that? Perhaps they should account for the fact that when this law was enacted more than a century ago, most ranchers lived near their cattle and that alone acted as a deterrent to the wolves.

Finally, while I realize cattle are technically property, perhaps you should reconsider calling them that. Aren’t the wolves in this case public “property” whose lives and well-being you should guard?

Thank you for your consideration,

Awesome vegan’s name here

Email from Dir. Unsworth’s office:

“The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) received your message regarding the removal of wolves in the Profanity Peak pack and appreciates your concerns. The volume of comments we have received on this issue precludes responding to individual messages, but we welcome the opportunity to explain the department’s actions.

Many people who contacted WDFW suggested that the department should focus on conserving endangered wildlife, rather than protecting ranchers’ cattle. Conserving native species is indeed our first priority, but the department also has a legal obligation to respond to reports of property damage and public safety threats caused by wildlife. In fact, addressing these situations is essential to maintain and increase public acceptance of wolves, bears, cougars and other wildlife on the landscape.

Wolf management in Washington is guided by the state’s 2011 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, which addresses issues ranging from regional wolf-recovery objectives to strategies for reducing wolf depredation on livestock. The wolf plan was developed by WDFW in conjunction with the department’s Wolf Advisory Group (WAG), a diverse citizen panel including conservationists, ranchers and hunters. The state plan was adopted after an extensive public process and review, including consideration of over 65,000 public comments.

Earlier this year, the department worked with WAG to develop a new management protocol that established specific criteria for using lethal measures to stop wolves from preying on livestock when other measures prove ineffective. The protocol lays out specific conditions that must be met for taking lethal action, including a requirement that ranchers use preventive measures to protect their livestock.

In this case, both ranchers involved in the conflict with the Profanity Peak pack took proactive measures prescribed by the protocol and WDFW field staff to prevent attacks on their cattle. Yet, by the first week of September, the department had documented eight confirmed and five probable wolf attacks on grazing allotments in the Colville National Forest.

While ranchers can apply for compensation for those losses, state payments do not address the additional cost of protecting livestock or the disruption to ranching operations resulting from repeated predation by wolves.

Some people who contacted the department maintained that ranchers shouldn’t be allowed to graze their livestock on federal rangelands in the first place. Changing that century-old policy is beyond the department’s authority, and would require action by the U.S. Congress. So long as Washington ranchers can legally graze their livestock on public lands, WDFW has a responsibility to manage wolves in the eastern portion of the state where they were delisted from the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2009.

Since then, the state’s wolf population has grown from five wolves to at least 90 today, increasing by approximately 30 percent per year. Most of that growth has been in the eastern section of the state, where 15 of Washington’s 19 wolf packs share the landscape with rural residents and ranching operations.

Unfortunately, WDFW’s options for relocating wolves to defuse conflicts are limited, especially if a pack has a history of preying on domestic animals. Studies show that many relocated wolves return to their original range, or resume attacking livestock in their new location.

Capturing wolves and placing them in captive facilities is also problematic. For one thing, live-capturing wolves is extremely difficult, especially in the rugged terrain of the Profanity Peak pack’s range. In addition, experience has shown that many wolves do not adapt well to captivity.

For these reasons, Washington’s wolf management plan concludes that “lethal control of wolves may be necessary to resolve repeated wolf-livestock conflicts.”

We at WDFW understand that the public is divided on this issue, and that many people are upset by the idea of killing wolves to protect livestock. Yet, eight states with growing gray wolf populations – Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming – have found it necessary to use lethal measures as a last resort to manage wolf populations.

As gray wolves continue to reestablish themselves in our state, some conflicts with humans, livestock and other wildlife species are inevitable. WDFW is committed to the recovery of wolves, but recognizes that maintaining the support of people who live and work near this apex predator is essential to achieving that goal. Without their support, wolves will face a far less certain future in our state.

For more information about wolf management in Washington state, please see the WDFW website.”