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from the Animal Defenders

March 17, 2017 Leave a comment

What a difference a week has made for spider monkey Zumba! ​

A week ago today, we were tracking a circus around the capital city of Peru, Lima, following confirmation that a monkey had been seen. This is in violation of Peru’s ban on animal circuses and their new animal welfare act. 

Since we seized the animals from Peru’s circuses and relocated them, we and our supporters and partner organisations in Peru have been alert to anyone breaking the law. We had to make sure circuses knew there would be penalties if they used animals again. So, as we continued to track the circus, a flurry of calls and plans were made with government officials and on Sunday we moved in, alongside wildlife officers and police. That was Zumba’s last day in the circus.

The owner of the circus was arrested and will be prosecuted. It was important to show Peru will have zero tolerance for the use of wild animals in circuses, and of course, sweet Zumba is our 110th rescued animal during this whole operation.​

In the first instance, Zumba was taken into temporary custody in a zoo, although under ADI’s care (our own temporary custody centre has now been dismantled). The ADI team enriched the enclosure and gave him lots of attention, and he has clearly been enjoying himself swinging around on the ropes!

Before Zumba could be moved to his permanent home at our sanctuary partner where we have Pepe and the other monkeys, our veterinary team sedated him and performed a full examination, samples taken for testing, as well as neutering him to prevent breeding. The new animal protection legislation also requires specific new permits and tests to be carried out to ensure the health of the animals at his new home.

With your help we will be taking Zumba back to the Amazon forest where he will be carefully introduced to Pepe and our other rescued spider monkeys. Zumba will be a perfect addition to their family!

We will be flying Zumba to Iquitos and then it will be a ride along the river to Pilpintuwasi, to move next door to his new family so that he can get to know them!

Can you help get Zumba home?

PLEASE DONATE

Licence refused for South Lakes Safari Zoo 

March 16, 2017 Leave a comment

As you may have heard already, it is with cautious relief that I tell you that the council unanimously decided to refuse the Zoo Licence application from David Gill for South Lakes Safari Zoo. I have been wanting to update you sooner but the past weeks have continued to be non-stop, dealing with press and queries. 
On the day of the hearing, we were there to present our case against this licence application. It was sad and frustrating to hear from zoo inspectors how much the animals had suffered at this zoo. To hear the decision to refuse was exhilarating and a big relief.

But soon after the joy, I realised that this was not the real battle – the animals are not safe yet. We have a much tougher fight on our hands.

A second zoo licence application has been submitted for Cumbria Zoo Co. Ltd. to take over the zoo. We must stop this application being granted!

At least some of the key management who are named under Cumbria Zoo Co Ltd were in similar roles at South Lakes Safari Zoo. They have been involved over the years when serious welfare concerns and deaths have taken place. How can they then be considered to take over the zoo?

Please donate now to fight for a better future for the animals at the zoo 

We have less than two weeks to submit our report against this recent application, to try to convince the zoo to refuse it and shut the zoo down for good. 

We are sure you agree that we should give the animals the chance to live out the best lives possible going forward, not to be used in some kind of experiment to see if the next owner can do a better job.

Please, if you can, donate before the 24th March so we can prepare the strongest possible case against this company who want to continue to exploit animals for profit.

The ultimate question is, what is best for the animals? Haven’t they been through enough? We think so. This zoo needs to be closed once and for all so please help if you can. 

Animal testing

March 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Before I share the grueling animal testing segment from CTV’s W5, let me note that I have been offline since Friday, at a natural products expo, and would like to apologize to those of you who had letters bounce after being sent to the National Post address I offered. I am glad quite a few people seem to have worked out that the address was missing the “s” at the end of the word “letters.” Thank you!

And I would have liked to have sent Saturday’s front page Toronto Star article out to you (particularly to my Canadians) more quickly, but letters are still appropriate. The article is about that stunning animal testing story, which aired on CTV’s W5 on Saturday. As that is a weekly show, the episode is currently featured on the website and we are not at all late for feedback. 
I wonder how most Canadians watching CTV’s popular news magazine show, W5, on Saturday March 11, responded to the half hour segment, “Undercover investigation reveals what goes on inside Montreal animal research lab.” I warn you that it is hard to watch — beagles being repeatedly slapped in the face, or frothing at the mouth and vomiting after having ingested poisons, and monkeys wallowing in cages or struggling in restraints. And it is hard to listen to, as pigs have their backs burned with chemicals. But it is important to watch and to especially to share, and so important to thank W5 for the coverage. You’ll find it on line at 

http://tinyurl.com/hrvgcx8 

And W5 says:

“You can e-mail your comments or questions to W5@ctv.ca Every e-mail is read and acknowledged by W5’s producers. Due to the volume of mail received if you have a specific question or story proposal please be patient.”

Please take just a moment to thank the producers: W5@ctv.ca

And Canadians (and others who are moved) please respond to Kevin Newman’s story about the segment, which was on the front page of Saturday’s Toronto Star. Here is just a small section of the lengthy article, titled, “Undercover at the animal test lab; Hidden cameras capture scenes of apparent abuse of dogs, pigs, monkeys in Montreal-based lab”:

“Last Chance for Animals’ undercover footage provides what is believed to be the first inside look at a Canadian testing facility and focuses attention on an industry, largely unregulated, that makes animals sick so humans won’t be.

“The public rarely gets to see what the animals endure. While animal testing is legal, it is nevertheless very upsetting to watch.

“Every year in Canada, an estimated three and a half million animals are used by science, some of them exposed to experimental drugs, household products and even cosmetics to test their tolerance to them.

“The vast majority are mice, fish and birds, but 12,000 dogs and 5,000 monkeys are also involved in more advanced testing. The animals are bred for the purpose, sold to the labs, and live very short and often painful lives.”

You’ll find the full article on line at http://tinyurl.com/zf9fy8d 

Letters to the Editor go to lettertoed@thestar.ca The Star notes: “Letters must include full name, address and all phone numbers of sender (daytime, evening and cellphone). Street names and phone numbers will not be published. We reserve the right to edit letters, which typically run 50-150 words.”

While I noted above that the story is hard to watch, its having appeared on a popular half hour news show, and on the front page of one of the world’s leading papers, is truly encouraging. We have a long way to go as we strive for animal liberation, but we are making great strides, and the pace at which we are making them is heating up. Thank you for being part of the good fight. 

Holocaust comparison 

March 10, 2017 Leave a comment

The Toronto Pig Save trial is on the front page of Canada’s National Post today, Friday March 10, surely due to the bold tack taken by Anita Krajnc’s defense lawyer, Gary Grill.The headline of the article, by Adrian Humphreys, reads, “Pig activist like Gandhi or Mandela, says lawyer.”

The story opens with: 

“A trial for a woman charged with giving water to a pig on its way to slaughter took on grand proportions Thursday with the treatment of pigs equated to the extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany and the accused being compared to some of history’s greatest human rights champions: Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Susan B. Anthony.

“In making closing submissions in the case against Anita Krajnc, who is charged with mischief after giving a roadside drink to a pig packed in a truck outside a Burlington slaughterhouse in 2015, her lawyer Gary Grill evoked the Holocaust.”

We learn that outside the court Grill commented on the Holocaust comparison:

“There are many important parallels that we can draw from the two things. One is our inability to have emotional contagion, somehow. Why don’t we feel the suffering of others? How do we close ourselves out to that, whether it be Jews being herded into a train or whether it be pigs?” 

We read:

“In his no-holds-barred defence, Grill summarized testimony from the five days of evidence that factory farming damages the environment and that ‘bacon is potentially lethal’ and that feeding bacon to a child is child abuse.”

And we learn:

“Instead of merely asking the judge to acquit Krajnc on a paucity of evidence brought by the Crown of any harm stemming from her actions, Grill encouraged the judge to strike a legal precedent – to accept her actions were justified for the public good.”

You’ll find the full, fascinating, National Post front page story (which apparently, oddly, is on the front page in all but the Toronto edition) online at http://tinyurl.com/zkumwps 

I would be surprised if the article doesn’t get some heavy pushback, so I urge you, today when it is so needed, to lend animals your voice in a letter to the National Post. The paper takes letters to the editor at letter@nationalpost.com . Always include your full name, address, and telephone number when sending a letter to the editor. 

Scotland’s mountain hare

March 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Since last Thursday, our petition to protect mountain hares in the Cairngorms National Park has collected over 3500 signatures, and we’ve only just started. We would love to get to 5000 today, so please take action and sign now.Last week, the mountain hare killing paused for the closed season. Shockingly, in the last few hours of the open season, a nature photographer snapped a disturbing image. An ATV packed with the dead bodies of mountain hares – scroll to the end of this email if you want to see it. A chilling reminder of what we’re up against. 

At least mountain hares are safe for the next five months. They can leap and bound across the hills, mate and breed, and graze the heather freely. Until August, when the killing can start again. Unless we come together and show we care for the mountain hare!

Here’s how one OneKind supporter, Cartoon Ralph, summarises the situation.

Mountain Hare by cartoon ralph

We believe our National Parks should be at the forefront of stopping the culls, so we’re sending a giant postcard to the Cairngorms National Park calling for an end to mountain hare culls within the Park. If you haven’t added your name to our postcard yet, then there’s still time to do it! 

Mountain hares are killed in huge numbers across Scotland by hunting parties who view it as a legitimate sport, by gamekeepers to manage land for red grouse shooting, and, to a lesser extent, to protect forestry. As it’s a free-for-all it’s hard to say how many are killed. The only official estimate is that 24,529 mountain hares were killed in one year back in 2006/07.That’s ten times more than the number of badgers killed in England’s badger culls in 2015. 

We believe that decisive leadership by the Park would not only protect mountain hare in the Cairngorms, but would be the first step towards greater protection of this iconic species across Scotland. 

TAKE ACTION NOW

The postcard will be handed in with your name on it alongside everyone else’s, sending a powerful message that we won’t stand for mass culls in our National Parks. Click here to sign the postcard now.

Please feel free to share this email with your family, friends and colleagues and encourage them to support our campaign too. 

Let the lobsters live

March 10, 2017 2 comments

I was delighted to see that Australia’s animal cruelty conviction, for cruelty to a lobster, had made the Washington Post and Canada’s National Post, even before I read the Post article right through to the utterly perfect ending. Titled, “A seafood company killed a lobster – and was convicted of animal cruelty,” Arin Greenwood’s article appears in the Thursday March 9 edition of the Washington Post on page A14. A truncated version of the same article appears on page B3 of Canada’s National Post, titled, “Claw and order; New South Wales Firm Convicted For Cruelty To Lobster.”

Greenwood relays a story, as reported in The Guardian, which says that the Nicholas Seafood Company workers were convicted, having been seen, “butchering and dismembering lobsters with a band saw, without adequately stunning or killing them.”

She writes, 

“Depending on your perspective, this might both churn the stomach and raise confusing questions. Are you behaving monstrously if you boil a live lobster – a fairly common cooking method? Could you be found guilty of animal cruelty if so?

“The answer to the second question is pretty straightforward: As things stand now, you are highly unlikely to be convicted of animal cruelty for behaving badly, even very badly, toward a lobster.”

But this case, and this article, are big steps in the right direction! 

The article tells us, “In the United States, neither fish nor crustaceans are covered under the federal Animal Welfare Act, and they are mostly exempt from state animal-cruelty laws as well.” And we learn, “Laws regarding slaughter do not cover fish – or chickens.”
Then Greenwood writes:

“Why aren’t fish, crustaceans and chickens given these legal protections? It’s not because these creatures aren’t smart or don’t experience pain. There’s good evidence that they are and that they do. Jonathan Balcombe, author of the book ‘What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins,’ said he believes fish are sentient creatures with highly complex lives and societies.

“‘Their lives matter to them,’ he said. ‘I’ve become firmly convinced they deserve equal moral consideration to all other vertebrates.’

“Balcombe said the situation with crustaceans, as opposed to vertebrate fish, is ‘less clear.’ But research has shown that crustaceans do ‘remember and learn from apparently painful events,’ and that should bring them into our moral universe, he said.

“‘Sentience is the bedrock of ethics,’ he said.”

While the truncated Canada National Post version ends on that important note, the original Washington Post version continues with quotes from Hal Herzog, the author of “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat,” and from Steve Colman of Australia’s RSPCA, who says:

“We hope this conviction will expand the circle of empathy and welfare to crustaceans and more animals that often do not evoke the same level of compassion as others. With the scientific community proving lobsters feel pain and the New South Wales legislation backing that up, we’re excited to see such progress in the space of animal welfare, and we hope that this case can be a guiding light for others.”

And then, after letting us know where we can find out how “to dine on lobster but minimize its suffering,” Greenwood ends with,

“Or you could avoid all these questions and let the lobsters live.”

On line, there is an extra phrase, so the ending reads, “Or — just a friendly suggestion here — you could avoid all these questions and let the lobsters live.”

Friendly indeed!

You’ll find that Washington Post article on line at http://tinyurl.com/z27f6r4 

You’ll find the truncated but still superb version that appeared in today’s National Post (Canada) at http://tinyurl.com/j4u2t7k 

Canadians can respond to the latter, making the suggestion that got left out of the shortened piece, though please don’t use Greenwood’s exact words. Letters species — fish and chickens, for example, are specifically mentioned in the article. 

The Washington Post takes letters at letters@WashPost.com and Canada’s National Post takes them at letters@nationalpost.com   

Always include your full name, address, and telephone number when sending a letter to the editor. 

PETA sues department of agriculture 

February 14, 2017 Leave a comment

hqdefaultPETA, a coalition of other organizations and Harvard Animal Law & Policy Fellow Delcianna Winders just filed a lawsuit this morning in U.S. district court. Hitting the “delete” key on inspection reports and other documents was illegal, the suit argues, and the agency must reinstate every one of them and add all new records in the future.

We’re not going to let the feds get away with hiding abuse at roadside zoos, laboratories, circuses, and other facilities that exploit animals!