The same week The Seattle Times reported that a macaque monkey at the UW died of thirst, The Baltimore Sun offered some hopeful news: Johns Hopkins, which runs the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, is now going to compare standard animal tests with more modern scientific methods that use human cells or computer models.
I used to think the end of animal testing — or, at least, most animal testing — was a no-brainer. It’s not emotionally tied to food, and people can surely understand that more accurate non-animal alternatives are better than inhumane treatment of animals.
But the propaganda is effective. Many people believe humans will die if animal testing stops, despite much evidence to the contrary — some of it self-evident.
How valuable do you think smoking tests on animals are? Do we not know the ill health effects of cigarettes? Yet the tests continue.
How about emotionally wrenching tests at the University of Wisconsin that showed monkeys prefer love to food? They’re at it again.
In an excellent report that gives a comprehensive outline of the issue, Meredith Cohn at The Baltimore Sun writes: “Many hope to decrease the number of drugs that show promise in animal testing but fail to prove safe and effective in human trials, failures that are costly and disappointing to pharmaceutical companies and researchers as well as to patients hoping for better therapies and cures. A drug trial for a promising Alzheimer’s drug failed in a large trials last year, for example.”
In 2015, more than 767,600 animals were used in research, Cohn reported. That’s according to data from a U.S. Department of Agriculture website that was recently taken down. That number included dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, primates and some farm animals.
It’s incredible that this hasn’t been done before, and thank heavens it’s happening now.
Next, how about someone stops the creation of these human-pig hybrids meant to carry human organs for transplant?
Here’s the heartbreaking story of another research monkey dead at the UW. In a new inspection report, federal regulators say a female pigtail macaque went without water for at least two or three days, and that she was “severely dehydrated.”
Her water line had become disconnected from her cage.
And contact UW President Ana Mari Cauce:
And ask the USDA to fine the UW’s Primate Center (WaNPC – Washington National Primate Center):
Fort Collins, CO Office
2150 Centre Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
Phone: (970) 494-7478
Fax: (970) 494-7461
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.
We know mice, rats, pigs, cats and dogs are research subjects. Even primates, our closest relatives, are subject to the horrors of our research labs. And, of course, orcas are subject to research work at theme parks.
But grizzlies? Who knew Washington State University kept grizzly bears in captivity for research? Turns out that at least 15 grizzlies have died in the past six years under the “care” of WSU research labs, according to public records obtained by The Spokesman-Review in Spokane.
“Five were put down for experiments that required body-tissue samples. Four were euthanized as cubs to control the number of bears in captivity. At least two died because of human error, and the deaths of other animals have raised questions about WSU’s treatment of research animals,” reporter Chad Sokol wrote.
In 2010, two grizzly cubs had to be euthanized after nearly starving to death because they failed to go into hibernation.
In 2014, an 11-year-old bear named Mica was found dead after a tear in her uterus spilled infectious fluid into her abdomen. Mica had been given a contraceptive called megestrol acetate, which the doctor who dissected Mica wrote is “an established risk factor” for uterine infections in dogs and “may be the primary inciting factor in this bear.”
“Regardless, records show all of the center’s female bears were on a megestrol regimen a year later,” according to The Spokesman-Review.
Michael Budkie of Stop Animal Exploitation Now in Cincinnati is calling for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fine WSU for “infractions related to animal treatment, citing bear deaths and the overdosing of three bighorn sheep,” the paper reported.
Let’s support his request. Please email Dr. Robert Gibbens, director of the USDA’s western region:
Or call him at (970) 494-7478 — asking that he fine WSU for these grizzly deaths.
Sample email: Subject: Please fine WSU over grizzly deaths
Dear Dr. Gibbens,
Recent news reports that WSU has been negligent in its treatment of grizzly bears used for research — to the point 0f killing some of them — signifies a serious problem that needs to be addressed by the USDA.
While many organizations along the west coast rescue and rehabilitate bears orphaned in forest fires and otherwise in distress, WSU has apparently killed four grizzly cubs in the past four years to avoid overpopulation in the labs. What a waste of resources.
Worse still are the unnecessary and unplanned deaths of Mica, who died because of the contraceptive she’d been given, and two cubs who were euthanized in 2010 because they’d failed to go into hibernation as researchers erroneously expected.
These mistakes are unconscionable. I hope you will impose the maximum fine to let WSU know this treatment and these deaths will not be tolerated and must stop.
It’s a big name — the Toxic Substances Control Act reform bill — and it could save tens of thousands of animals from chemical testing.
The House passed its version of TSCA reform this week 403 to 12. The bill minimizes animal testing and focuses on more efficient and less costly testing methods, which would save animals from being fed deadly chemical and having them rubbed on their skin and in their eyes.
Now Rand Paul is holding up the bill in the Senate.
“Well, it looks like American families will have to wait a bit longer for better protection from toxic chemicals” given Rand’s decision, Robert Denison, a lead senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, wrote in a blog post.
Yes, it’s a mouthful — the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) reform bill — but it’s important. The reforms could save many thousands of animals from chemical testing. It would improve the science behind commercial testing, encourage safer decisions and reduce or eliminate the use of animals in chemical testing.
The House passed its version of the bill this week.
Please call Sen. Maria Cantwell at(202) 224-3441 and Sen. Patty Murray at (202) 224-2621 now and ask them to vote yes on the final TSCA reform bill to improve the science behind chemical tests and to help animals.
It’s a mouthful that can save lives!
Can you believe that the University of Washington uses live pigs in their paramedic training? This cruel and barbaric practice needs to stop.
How to help:
1 – Complete the online form here addressed to William S. Ayer – Chair, University of Washington Board of Regents.
2 – Write to the Chair and Please ask the Board of Regents to replace the use of live pigs in the school’s paramedic training program with validated human-relevant methods.
William S. Ayer, Chair
University of Washington Board of Regents
139 Gerberding Hall
Seattle, WA 98195-1264
phone (206) 543-1633
fax (206) 543-6110
You can see the sample letter and more details at all-creatures.org.
The wonderful Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, which was “founded in 2003 to provide sanctuary for chimpanzees discarded from the entertainment and biomedical testing industries,” is holding its annual fundraising shindig — which is a scrumptuous blast! — on Saturday, April 30, at 6 p.m.
Seven chimpanzees live at the sanctuary — all from a private biomedical facility in Pennsylvania. Before being used to test hepatitis vaccines and (the females) as breeders, they were captured in Africa and/or kept as pets and/or used in entertainment.
Now Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra live in a safe, peaceful place, making choices about how to spend their time — inside where it’s warm or adventuring outdoors. You can meet them and learn what they’re doing on the sanctuary’s blog.
You can also support them and help the sanctuary expand to be a haven for more chimpanzees by attending Hoot!, an awesome evening of vegan food and camaraderie, with a live auction, dessert dash and raffle.
Tickets are $100 through April 1, or $750 for a table of eight. Sign up before they sell out, and we’ll see you there!
While we’re rallying hard to keep the University of Washington from building a new, underground animal research facility that no one but academic careerists need, a pharmaceutical lab just up the I-5 corridor appears to be doing what we’re trying to prevent: killing animals, including through neglect.
The USDA is investigating SNBL USA, the Everett-based facility of Japan-based Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories, for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act, The Everett Daily Herald reports.
SNBL “uses monkeys, dogs, rabbits, pigs and rodents to study the effects of drugs” there, according to the Herald. It’s the West Coast’s largest monkey lab, with up to 2,000 behind cage doors.
“My monkeys are much healthier than you are,” the former high school teacher who’s making a lot more money as the second-in-command at SNBL’s Everett lab, told the Herald a couple years ago.
The USDA is looking into 34 monkey deaths brought to its attention by an animal rights activist in Ohio, Michael Budkie of Stop Animal Exploitation Now. The deaths did not occur in the course of research, and one — from October — was blamed by USDA inspectors on understaffing.
The monkey was strangled when its neck got caught in a cage.
Some 25 died of dehydration on their way from a breeding farm in Cambodia to the United States. Two others died of overheating after being chased by workers, and six monkeys died after apparent in-fighting to establish dominance during lives that are spent entirely as research subjects in cages.
SNBL, which likes to point out that activists are bringing attention to its deadly mistakes, also has faced complaints from the Humane Society and Pasado’s Safe Haven, the Herald has reported.
We’re ramping up for a busy week. Here’s a rundown of some of the ways you can get involved in the next few days.
Fri Nov 27 from 9am-11am
Vegan Outreach Downtown Seattle
Meet at 4th & Pine, in front of Starbucks
This is a chance to hand out vegan recipes and Why Vegan booklets to the crowds who will be congregating for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. People love the recipe books and it’s a great way to make a positive impact.
Fri Nov 27 from 11am-1pm
Fur Free Friday Downtown Seattle
Nordstrom Downtown Seattle, 500 Pine Street
After leafleting, it’s demo time! Hold a sign, hand out a flier, or simply be part of the group of people who oppose fur. There’s no need for cruelty in the 21st century.
Fri Nov 27 from 1pm-10pm
#BlackLivesMatterFriday 2.0 : The Quest For Freedom
Westlake Park, 401 Pine Street
After demos, let’s show solidarity with other groups. This event isn’t organized by NARN, but it’s important that we support our fellow activists. Oppression and injustices are rampant and we need to stand with others to make changes.
Sun Nov 29 from 6pm-9:30pm
No New Animal Lab Home Demos
Meet at Starbucks, 800 12th Ave, Seattle
This event isn’t organized by NARN, but we stand with the No New Animal Lab campaign and encourage you to attend protests at the houses of people involved in the plans to build a new underground animal lab at the University of Washington.
Tue Dec 1 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
NARN Letter Writing Party, Fur Free Friday Edition
Wayward Vegan Café, 801 NE 65th Street
Join NARN members, animal activists, and other vegans for a letter writing dinner at Wayward Café! We’ll be upstairs with stationery, stamps, and addresses. Just bring yourself!
Well, there’s no shortage of events in Seattle in the next week. Have a peaceful Thanksgiving, eat lots of delicious vegan food, and plug into the community however you can.