Students Get a Choice

pawsupPaws Up!

New school policy in New Hampshire gives students humane alternatives to dissection.

Students in science classes in New Hampshire will no longer have to cut him open for a grade.

To the New Hampshire Department of Education for adopting a new student choice policy.

The New Hampshire Department of Education has adopted a new student choice policy  that will allow students to use alternatives to dissecting animals in the classroom.

Science classes that dissect or otherwise use animals may be teaching important critical problem solving skills; yet, at the same time, they may be inadvertently teaching a lack of reverence and respect for all life. Because they dissect animals  in school laboratories, some students may be learning that nonhuman animals are nothing more than tools to advance their knowledge. Is that what we want our science classes teaching our children?

An estimated 6 million animals are dissected in school science classes yearly. Include all the animals used in experiments at science fairs, in after-school science clubs, and in 4-H projects, among other animal-related science projects and the number continues upward. Frogs are often the animal of choice for classroom dissection, but they are not the only ones: cats, mice, rats, fetal pigs, birds, bats, fish, reptiles, and others also find themselves the victims of classroom dissection.

Take Action: New Hampshire residents, thank the superintendent of schools for your state’s action in promoting humane choices in the classroom. Residents of other states, contact your school superintendent to see if such a policy exists. If one does not, let the superintendent know you want such a policy instituted in your school system.

Brendan Minnihan, Superintendent of Schools
New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301-3860

 

 

 

 

Ruling Supports Whales

Whales in Antarctic waters are safer thanks to an international court ruling.

Whales in Antarctic waters are safer thanks to an international court ruling.

PawsUpPaws Up!

 To the International Court of Justice for ruling that Japan’s annual whale hunt in the Antarctic be halted.

According to a news story, “the International court (sic) of Justice issued a long awaited decision in Australia’s case against Japan for illegal whaling under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Japan lost, 12-4. Japan had claimed that its whaling was part of legitimate “scientific research,” but 12 of the 16 judges on the ICJ did not buy it. Looking at the details of Japan’s whaling program, the court concluded that Japan was actually engaged in impermissible commercial whaling.”

Japan has long used the “scientific research” label to continue taking great numbers of whales to the detriment of the species. Japan has agreed to the conditions of the ruling while Norway and Iceland have ignored the rules of the International Whaling Commission.

Take Action: Write a note of thanks to the International Court of Justice, letting the president know that you support the court’s ruling.

Peter Tomka, President
International Court of Justice
Peace Palace
Carnegieplein 2
2517 KJ The Hague
The Netherlands

When you think about it…elephants belong in the wild, not the streets of St. Louis.

Elephants deserve a long life in the wild.

Elephants deserve a long life in the wild.

Why are elephants wandering a parking  lot in St. Louis? Why are elephants in St. Louis, period? Their natural habitat is far from an urban setting. Yet, we find elephants, lions, tigers, and other wild and exotic animals performing in circuses in a variety of cities starting now and going through the late fall.

Circus animals  do not have a good life. They may travel many miles in railcars that can become overheated in the summer. They are kept caged or shackled unless they are performing or are being trained to perform. They are separated from members of their own families and often members of their own species. They are living in climates that do not even closely replicate their natural one. Basically, they are slaves to their trainers and owners who want nothing more than to make a buck off their backs. But these are living, breathing, sentient beings with minds of their own and sometimes they object and find a way to escape.

In the case of the St. Louis elephants, they were quickly corralled and were not made to perform the Saturday show. They should get every show off as should all wild and exotic animals who find themselves in the circus. For when you think about it…elephants belong in the wild, not the streets of St. Louis or any other city.

 

Greyhounds Get a Rest

pawsupPaws Up!             

Colorado is done with greyhound racing.

Colorado is done with greyhound racing.

To the Colorado legislature and the governor for enacting and signing into law, respectively, legislation that will ban greyhound racing in the state.

According to a news story, “Colorado is the latest state to ban greyhound dog racing.” There are just seven states where greyhound racing is legal and operational: Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Iowa, Florida, and West Virginia.

Take Action: Colorado residents, thank your legislators and governor for this action to protect animals in your state. Residents of Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Iowa, Florida, and West Virginia, urge your legislators to ban greyhound racing now.

 

When you think about it…should we be boiling lobsters?

Lobsters are still alive when they are placed in boiling water.

Lobsters are still alive when they are placed in boiling water.

Do lobsters feel pain? Are they suffering when we drop them into a pot of boiling water? Do crabs, fresh out of the ocean, feel pain when we tear their legs off? In a recent article, scientists debated these and other questions about invertebrates. Regardless of the results of these debates, should we be eating any living being? Should we be exerting our power over them just because we can? When you think about it…should we be boiling lobsters?

When you think about it…horse racing is no sport.

More Americans are recognizing the inhumane nature of horseracing.

More Americans are recognizing the danger to competitive race horses.

The sport of horse racing is no sport for the horses who must endure cocktails of performance enhancing drugs, painful injuries, and shortened lives. Thoroughbred race horses are often forced, well beyond their abilities, to continue racing so they can win purses for their owners. A horse that does nothing but eat oats and take up space in a stable is not going to last long in the racing industry. When sometimes millions of dollars are involved in the purchase of a horse, that horse had better win back those millions and a lot more. What happens when the horse doesn’t do as well as anticipated? All manner and means, legal and sometimes not so legal, are frequently used to keep that horse on the track.

Wikipedia defines sport as “all forms of usually competitive physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing entertainment to participants, and in some cases, spectators.” Notice the “entertainment to participants.” Does being drugged constitute entertainment for the horses? Does being shocked constitute entertainment for the horses? Does participating with injuries that cause the animal to be euthanized at the end of a race, or to drop dead before the finish line, constitute entertainment for the horses? When you think about it…horse racing is no sport.

Protect Icelandic Whales

You can speak for Whales in Icelandic waters.

You can speak for Whales in Icelandic waters.

As a result of Iceland’s whaling trade, it appears the country is in violation of the International Whaling Commission and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora programs.

Since Iceland continues to defy an international ban on whaling, the U.S. needs to take strong action against the country to ensure the protection of whales.

Contact President Obama and ask that he take such action against Iceland for its whale hunting and international trade in whale products.

The Honorable Barack Obama
President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500-0004

 

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