When you think about it…animals are smart!

Animals like goats may be more intelligent than once thought.

Animals like goats may be more intelligent than once thought.

You may have read about a parrot who had 100 words in his vocabulary and great apes who speak sign language. Pigs are said to be as smart as dogs. Sheep recognize and remember the faces of 50 other sheep. A documentary on ravens shows us their intelligence. Dolphins are creative, cats are adaptable, elephants exhibit self-awareness, and other animals show their smarts as well. And now we find out that goats are smarter than we thought. As we learn more about the animals in our midst, we might just come to realize they are their own “persons” and deserve to be left to their own lives. Now, wouldn’t that show just how smart we humans are? For when you think about it…animals, including humans, are smart!

 

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Coast Guard Cutting Back on Live Animal Use

PawsUp

The U.S. Coast Guard is reviewing its use of live animals for medical training and seek to reduce the number of animals being used.

The U.S. Coast Guard is reviewing its use of live animals for medical training and seek to reduce the number of animals being used.

Paws Up!
To the U.S. Coast Guard for reducing the use of live animals in training.

According to a news story, “The Coast Guard won’t use as many live animals for its combat medical training after an animal rights group showed a goat’s legs being removed with tree trimmers.”

Across the United States, more than 95 percent of trauma training courses are taught using only human-based simulators. The American College of Surgeons has approved nonanimal models like the TraumaMan System, SimMan, and cadavers for these courses.

According to Dr. John Pippin, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “It’s especially inhumane and especially indefensible [to use live animals] when there are alternatives in hand which not only would spare the animals the trauma of going through this but also would provide a better educational experience.”

The Coast Guard is moving in the right direction by reviewing its use of live animals in its training with the view toward reducing their numbers.

Take Action: Write a thank-you to the commandant of the Coast Guard and urge him to continue to review the use of live animals in medical training.

Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
Commandant of the Coast Guard
Commandant CG-00
US Coast Guard
Headquarters
2100 2nd St., SW STOP 7000
Washington, DC 20593-7000

When you think about it…maybe shipping animals long distances should just stop.

Live animal transport can be extremely hazardous, subjecting animals to extreme weather conditions and traffic accidents.

Live animal transport can be extremely hazardous, subjecting animals to extreme weather conditions and traffic accidents.

Live animal transport is injurious to most, if not all, the animals who are shipped long distances to be slaughtered.

In the United States, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, and cattle are routinely shipped fairly short distances before they reach slaughterhouses, yet they can still be subjected to extreme weather conditions. Horses sent to slaughter may be in transit for a couple days before reaching slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada and some are shipped overseas. Australia transports sheep and cattle to the Middle East by cargo ship. All these transports are fraught with danger. Trailers break down, traffic jams occur, accidents happen. What then becomes of the “cargo”? They often languish inside hot containers, are ejected onto roadways, or are tossed about in high seas.

Of course, the worst danger of all is that they are being shipped to slaughterhouses. So, when you think about it…maybe shipping animals long distances should just stop.

When you think about it… rooftops are no place for chickens, pigs, cows, or goats.

City environments are unsuitable for farm animals, exposing them to air, light, and noise pollution.

City environments are unsuitable for farm animals, exposing them to air, light, and noise pollution.

For many urbanites, the idea of a little country in the city is appealing. Instead of putting posters on their walls of country scenes, or taking weekly drives into the country, they decide to bring the country into their home or more often onto their rooftops or balconies. While rooftop vegetable gardens are definitely a great way to enjoy fresh produce without having to go to the country, bringing chickens and other farm yard creatures to the Manhattan skyline is a bit over the top. Legalities aside, keeping animals typically thought of as farm animals in a city environment places them in unnatural settings. They are exposed to air, noise, and light pollution unheard of on the farm.

Animals who live on farms are of course also at risk—their lives may be shortened or debased simply because they are thought of as commodities for human consumption. If we can move away from the idea of animals living on farms so they can be killed for our dinner to animals living on farm sanctuaries so they may enjoy their lives to the fullest, we will all benefit. For, when you think about it…rooftops are no place for chickens, pigs, cows, or goats…neither are factory farms.

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Enforce Animal Welfare Act

morgue_goats

Many farm animals like goats die because of lies and information deliberately withheld from federal inspectors

According to a news story, Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCB) “has continued to flagrantly violate the Animal Welfare Act [AWA] – leading to more animal deaths – and deliberately withheld information from federal inspectors about the existence of a herd of 841 animals, many of whom suffered with significant illnesses.

“A scathing five page USDA report dated Oct. 31, 2012 reveals the existence of a herd of 841 animals at Santa Cruz Biotech (SCB). The report states that several SCB staff had lied to federal inspectors, denying the existence of these animals. This herd included a dozen animals with unreported and untreated illnesses.

“A later USDA report Dec. 18, 2012 discloses even more federal violations, multiple sick animals, and the deaths of two other animals.”

While we would all like to see an end to using animals in biomedical research, as long as animals are being used, they deserve to be cared for under the guidelines of the AWA.

Please write the secretary of Agriculture and urge him to enforce the provisions in the AWA and to fine SCB to the fullest extent for its violations of the AWA and to revoke the company’s license.

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

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Protect Pigs and Other Farmed Animals

A happy pig roams a grassy area.

Photo by NHES

The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is taking comments until early April on whether additional farmed animals should be protected under the “no downer” rule of 2009. Cattle are the only animals now protected.

The “no downer” rule states that any cattle not able to walk to slaughter must be humanely euthanized and not slaughtered and sold for human food consumption. However, all other farmed animals are exempt from this protection. Some who are too weak, injured, or ill are shocked, beaten, and dragged to slaughter or are simply left to languish and die. These animals have the capacity to suffer just as cattle do and should be protected just as cattle are.

Send a letter to the administrator FSIS urging his agency to add pigs, goats, sheep, and other farmed animals to the “no downer” protection rule.

Alfred V. Almanza, Administrator
Food Safety Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250-3700

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