Canadian Seals Suffer

Seals need our help in Canada.

Seals need our help in Canada.

Canada’s annual seal slaughter has begun during which baby seals are clubbed to death for their fur. Should fashion trump the life of infant animals? Of any animal?

It is not just the suffering of those who are clubbed to death that stains this annual hunt with the blood of inhumanity. For those baby seals who survive often starve to death when their mothers are killed. Also, according to investigating animal welfare groups, many baby and adult seals are not killed instantaneously by hunters; these animals are then typically beaten repeatedly or are skinned alive.

Please contact the Canadian government requesting an end to this inhumane practice, which contributes to incomprehensible suffering for sentient creatures.

The Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

The Honourable Gail Shea
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Room 556, Confederation Building
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

The Honourable John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2249 Carling Ave., Suite 418
Ottawa, Ontario K2B 7E9

The Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
Room 105, East Block
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

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Save Kittens’ Eyes

With advances in biomedical research using non-animal related techniques, there is no reason for subjecting newborn kittens to such invasive tests.

Paws Down!
To Cardiff University for using kittens for research into human eye conditions.

According to a news story, Cardiff University has been “conducting ‘cruel’ experiments in which kittens’ eyes were sewn up and newborn litters raised in total darkness.”

With advances in biomedical research using non-animal related techniques, there is scant reason for the university to continue subjecting newborn kittens to such devastating tests. Instead of using animals, many scientists use human and animal cell, tissue, and organ cultures; chemical systems; blood products; sophisticated mathematical and computer simulations; and plastic organ models. Alternatives, such as Eytex, Skintex®, epiPack, take the place of harmful tests on animals. Advances in tissue engineering and robotics, bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, metabonomics, systems biology, and in silico (computer-based) systems offer alternatives to animal use.

Animal testing can take months if not years at expenses ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to multi-millions of dollars, whereas computer modeling can take place instantaneously and at far lower costs, especially the cost to the animals and their suffering. In vitro tests involving human cell and tissue cultures are faster, cheaper, and more reliable than animal tests in many instances.

Take Action: Write a polite letter to the vice chancellor of the university urging him to curtail experiments on kittens and suggest the university use alternative, non-animal tests instead.

Dr. David Grant
Vice Chancellor
Cardiff University
Park Place
Cardiff CF10 3AT
United Kingdom

Animal Abuser Registries

The link between animal abuse and the potential for violent behavior is well known.

Several states have legislation pending that would create animal abuser registries similar to child abuser and sex offender registries. An animal abuser registry would be for individuals convicted of felony animal abuse or who committed certain violent offenses against animals.

Intentional animal cruelty is of particular concern as it is a sign of psychological distress and often indicates an individual may be predisposed to committing acts of violence toward humans. Since animal abuse is often an early sign of potential human abuse, keeping track of animal abusers would help protect not only the animals of a community but also the humans as well. Therefore, creating and maintaining a registry of individuals convicted of felony animal cruelty can be an asset in identifying potential criminal behavior.

Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. Additionally, mental health professionals and top law enforcement officials consider the blatant disregard for life and suffering evidenced by all forms of cruelty to animals to be an unquestionable warning sign. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders; and the FBI uses reports of animal cruelty in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

In addition, such registries could be valuable in tracking people who engage in illegal animal fighting, such as cockfighting and dog fighting; hoarders; and people who run puppy mills.

The following states have legislation pending:

Arizona HB 2310

Florida SB 618

Maryland SB 301

New YorkA 5373

TennesseeSB 3149

NHES urges the citizens of these states to contact their legislators and encourage them to support a felony animal abuser registry in their state.

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Feld Entertainment Fined

Paws Up!

To the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for taking action against Feld Entertainment, Inc.

According to news reports, an agreement has been reached between the USDA and Feld Entertainment, Inc., owners of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, whereby the company agrees to pay a fine of $270,000 for allegedly violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). In agreeing to the settlement, however, Feld Entertainment admits no wrongdoing or violation USDA policy. According to the agreement, Feld is to “develop and implement annual AWA compliance for all employees who work with and handle animals, including trainers, handlers, attendants and veterinarians….”

Take Action: Write the secretary of the USDA thanking him for pursuing its case against Feld and urging the agency to ensure the safety of all animals in the entertainment industry and to charge those in violation of the AWA to the fullest extent of the law.

In addition, do not support companies that exploit animals for entertainment purposes. Therefore, do not attend circuses where animals are forced to perform. Instead, attend circuses where the human animal soars to majestic heights. Be enthralled with our own species’ ability to perform; leave the animals to live their own lives.

The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250

Mother Jones
The Huffington Post

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Canada Institutions Save Lives

Paws Up!

To two Canadian universities that have agreed to stop using live animals in trauma medicine training courses.

The University of Sherbrooke in Quebec and the Sacre Coeur Hospital in Montreal have curtailed the use of live animals in trauma medicine training courses. Now that these two institutions joining others in Canada that have done likewise, according to a news article, “…none of the 22 Canadian universities and hospitals that offer the Advanced Trauma Life Support program uses animals any longer….”

Photo by amber10_79/Flickr

NHES looks forward to the day when animals will no longer be subjected to the pain and suffering associated with biomedical research and testing, which is often unnecessary and costly when compared with other non-animal techniques. Therefore, we are delighted to learn that these two institutions have stopped using live animals in trauma medicine training courses.

Take Action: Canadian residents, please take a moment to thank these two institutions for their decisions to protect animals.

Dr. Pierre Cossette
Dean, Medical School
University of Sherbrooke
2500 Boulevard de l’Université Sherbrooke,
QC J1K 2R1

Dr. Francois Madore
Acting Director of Research
Sacre Coeur Hospital
5400 Boulevard Gouin Ouest
Montreal, QC H4J1C5

National Post
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

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When you think about it…do commercials affect our food choices?

Photo by clstal/flickr

We see commercials on television of cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys out in the farmer’s yard, eating grass, scratching for grubs, wallowing in water holes. Sometimes these animals are portrayed as actually talking to us to let us know how happy they are to be members of the farmer’s family. They let us know how nutritious their products are. Sometimes they claim to give us strong bones and healthy teeth.

These commercials are intended to make eating meat more palatable to the viewing public. If these animals could really speak our language, or we theirs, they would be unlikely to tell us they want to be confined in small spaces while all their nutrients go toward creating a glass of milk, an omelet, a package of bacon, or a fast food hamburger. Their happy portrayals also leave out the hectic, crowded conditions when the animals are herded onto trucks bound for the slaughterhouse.

When you think about it…as consumers, we have the right to know how our food is produced. Do happy farmed animal commercials hinder our ability to know?

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When you think about it…should animals be thought of as commodities for business and human enjoyment?

Photo by Farm Sanctuary/Flickr

Humans have a complex and varied relationship with the rest of our kindred in the animal kingdom. Any moment in our modern lifestyles can reveal a different way that humans are using animals, from the leather in our shoes, the tests done on our cosmetics and household chemicals, to the food we eat and what choices we make for entertainment. As a species that has made it a mission to remove ourselves from the will of nature, what implications does this have as to our responsibility to other animals and the rest of the natural world?

The tendency for humans to abuse animals in industry is widely pervasive. Cruelty to circus animals has been well documented as common in practice. Dolphins, chimpanzees and other wildlife held in captivity for use in entertainment lead shorter life spans and have been shown to have a drastically decreased quality of their emotional and psychological well-being. Animals used in research suffer horrible laboratory-inflicted illness and injury, often to be revived just long enough to last through a study’s completion before being euthanized. Poultry, pigs, cattle, and other animals on massive-scale factory farms live short lives in cramped conditions before meeting their end at the slaughterhouse. Animals raised for their fur live in similarly wretched conditions and are disposed of for the perceived value of their skins. In all such examples of industry, the nature of dominating animals as profit commodities in industry seems to preclude an inevitability of exploitation and abuse.

For example, A recent lawsuit alleges that an association of dairy companies slaughtered more than 500,000 dairy cows in an effort to inflate the price of milk. The lawsuit was brought by a Los Angeles firm on behalf of consumers against Cooperatives Working Together, a group which includes the National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’Lakes, Inc, and Agri-Mark, among others. The plaintiffs have presented documents in evidence of the cows being killed under the guise of an industry welfare program, in which cattle were prematurely slaughtered as a measure of ‘retirement’.

Doesn’t this type of reckless abuse point to a greater concern: that when animals become a business commodity to be measured in terms of their marketable utility, the reality of misuse is certain? We are raised in America with an image of all the animals of the farm living in harmonious symbiosis with the farmer, but the reality is that the factory farming of today can offer the animals involved no benefit.

Perhaps the place we have created for ourselves in the modern world implies a duty to be stewards, not merely taking nature under our dominion as we have been.

When you think about it…making living creatures a business commodity for the purposes of food, fashion, or entertainment will always carry the consequence of exploitation and disregard.

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