Wednesday, August 31, 2005

ASPCA Puts Out A Call for Disaster Relief Funds for Animal Shelters Affected by Hurricane Katrina



From: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050831/nyw064.html?.v=18

Definitely help.


Press Release Source: ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

ASPCA Puts Out A Call for Disaster Relief Funds for Animal Shelters Affected by Hurricane Katrina
Wednesday August 31, 10:01 am ET

General Public Asked to Donate via www.aspca.org to Fund for Animal Shelters Affected by Hurricane

NEW YORK, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of the loss and devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has issued a call for help and in-kind aid for the numerous animal shelters effected by this incredible natural disaster. With the funds raised, the ASPCA, working through its National Outreach department, will grant the money to shelters most in need of financial support as a result of this week's hurricane.

The ASPCA distributes funds from our Disaster Relief Fund to shelters and organizations across the country that are impacted by natural disasters. Our efforts help organizations through the recovery process by providing direct support to help rebuild facilities and relocate animals. Contributions will go directly to the ASPCA Disaster Relief Fund. To donate to the ASPCA Disaster Relief Fund, please go to www.aspca.org and click on the Disaster Relief icon or call (212) 876-7700 Ext. 4516.

"The affects from Hurricane Katrina are enormous," said Ed Sayres, president and CEO of the ASPCA. "As relief organizations begin the daunting task of helping the people and communities regroup and rebuild, we hope we can lend assistance in aiding our brethren shelters in this time of need."

About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (ASPCA) was the first humane organization established in the Western Hemisphere and today has one million supporters. The ASPCA's mission is to provide an effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA® provides national leadership in humane education, government affairs and public policy, shelter support, and animal poison control. The NYC headquarters houses a full-service animal hospital, animal behavior center, and adoption facility. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York's animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series Animal Precinct on Animal Planet. Visit www.aspca.org for more information.

Source: ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Zoos are no place for elephants

Really?!! You mean very large animals who roam great distances should not be kept in small areas with cement enclosures? Who would have thought?

Zoos are no place for elephants


From: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9078917/

Animal Behaviorist Weighs In On Proposed City Ordinance

WMAQ-TV

CHICAGO - An animal behaviorist who has studied elephants for 30 years in Africa told a City Council committee Thursday she believes no zoo can adequately care for elephants without providing several miles of space for them to roam. Images: Zoo's Last Elephant Dies

Jan. 2005 Images: Peaches Passes Away

Oct. 2004 Images: Elephant Dies At Lincoln Park Zoo Alderwoman Mary Ann Smith (48th) has introduced legislation that would require any zoo or other stationary animal exhibit to provide a minimum of 10 acres of space -- five acres indoors and five outdoors -- per elephant. Meanwhile, circuses or other traveling exhibits would have to provide a minimum 1,800 square feet indoors and outdoors for a single elephant, with an additional 900 square feet indoors and outdoors per additional elephant.

During a hearing by the City Council's Parks & Recreation Committee, Joyce Poole, research director of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya, said she believes zoos provide some advantages through medical research that can be used to benefit animals in the wild. But she said most zoos and circuses simply do not have the space to properly care for an animal the size of an elephant.

"In my view, elephants are not made for zoos as we see them today. I would like to see, maybe 10, maybe 15 spaces ... in the United States that have elephants. I see them more like a sanctuary where you have a certain number of elephants, males and females can breed together, families can be established and they can live normal elephant lives where they can breed and graze," Poole said.

Poole has been studying elephant behavior at Amboseli National Park in Kenya since 1975.

According to Poole, elephants have a highly developed "democratic" social structure and the animals develop long-term relationships with each other. She said elephants have shown the ability to recognize other elephants after several years of separation and are well-known for their ability to recognize and even mourn the deaths of other elephants.

Poole said zoos are not conducive to developing such social relationships because most zoos keep only a handful of elephants, while in the wild, females and calves live in family groups of an average of nearly 19 animals per group.

Of the 1,300 elephants at the 150-square-mile Amboseli National Park, the largest group contained about 550 animals, according to Poole.

Most elephants at the park travel between 5 and to 10 miles per day, further in drought conditions, and Poole said the animals cannot get the same amount or quality of exercise in the confined spaces offered by most zoos and circuses. She said most zoo elephants suffer from obesity, arthritis or painful foot problems because of the lack of activity, health problems they do not face in the wild or in large animal sanctuaries.

Though some critics of proposals to restrict or prohibit the keeping of elephants in circuses have argued the animals get exercise during the acts they perform, Poole said the exercise is not the same quality as the animals get in the wild.

She said circus elephants are under more stress when they perform because of a fear they will be disciplined for failure to perform. "I don't think it's appropriate exercise," Poole said.

Smith, who chairs the Parks & Recreation Committee, said she does not expect to bring the proposal to a vote for several months. She said because the ordinance is not a routine matter for the City Council, she wants to "do some quality homework" to gather evidence from as many experts as possible.

While officials from Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo were notified of Thursday's hearing, Smith said she scheduled Poole's testimony only because Poole happened to be in Chicago for another reason and Smith wanted to hear from Poole at some point.

Smith said she expects to invite zoo officials and other animal experts to testify later to gather as much information as possible. "You can tell there is a huge universe of research here that is available to us and we intend to continue drawing in this research," Smith said.

Lincoln Park Zoo spokeswoman Kelly McGrath could not immediately provide comment.

Smith drafted the ordinance following the deaths of three Lincoln Park Zoo elephants between October 2004 and May 2005.

A report by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association determined, based on necropsies and interviews, that Wankie and Tatima, two 36-year-old African elephants, died from a rare lung disease and Peaches, a 55-year-old African elephant, died from complications due to old age.

Wankie -- who had lost 30 percent of her lung capacity due to the infection, mycobacteria szulgai, and was suffering from a bout of colic just before her transfer to the Hogle Zoo in Utah -- died on May 1, according to the AZA report. Tatima died on Oct. 16, 2004, and Peaches died on Jan. 17, the report said.

Information provided by City News Service.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Humans Are on Display at London Zoo

This is great. I really love the point they're trying to make - that humans are animals. It really brings it home when you see the pics of them in an exhibit. It also brings home the reality of caged life. It's hard to see how any of these people could accept zoos after the experiment. We'll see.

Unfortunately though, it will probably increase visitors to the zoo.

Here is the link:
http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/
article.adp?id=200508261438099
90007&ncid=NWS00010000000001

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Reality of Zoo Life: Chinese Try to Get Chimp to Quit Smoking

This is not a humorous posting (though it seems the writer thinks it is). Just another on the reality of zoo life. Perhaps if she wasn't in a zoo in the first place she wouldn't be smoking.

From: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050826/
ap_on_fe_st/smoking_chimp

Chinese Try to Get Chimp to Quit Smoking

Fri Aug 26, 7:02 AM ET

The handlers of a smoking chimpanzee in a zoo in northwest China are trying to get her to kick the habit.

The 26-year-old female chimpanzee has been smoking for 15 years. Her mate died recently, which caused her to smoke even more.

Now, the chimp's keepers are worried about her health as a result of her intense smoking. So, they're trying to give her milk instead of cigarettes.

She started smoking years ago by picking up butts from tourists.

How much animal testing is done?

This article focuses on the UK, but there are many parallels to the US. Pay particular attention to the types of animals used. Even though they claim most are rodents, a large number are animals which most would not even conceive are still being used. For example, dogs, cats and primates. I'm not implying that rodents don't matter, but unfortunately, most do not see them on the same "level" as dogs and cats. That certainly isn't my view though. Physiologically, the name of the animal doesn't matter.

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4177200.stm

How much animal testing is done?

More than 500 academics, scientists and doctors in the UK have signed a declaration supporting the use of animals where necessary to advance medical research.

The statement comes 15 years after a similar initiative, and just one day after the closure of a farm's programme to breed guinea pigs for research, following a sustained campaign by protesters.

The animal experimentation debate remains hugely polarised.

How much work involving animals is still carried out in the UK and has it changed since the last declaration of support by scientists?

The number of animals used in experiments dropped away steadily between the 1970s and 1990, but has more or less levelled off in the past 15 years. Since 2001 the number of procedures using animals has risen slightly every year.

The latest figures available show 2.8 million procedures using animals were recorded in 2003 - about half the number carried out in the early 1970s.

The vast majority - 85% - used in tests are specially bred rats, mice and other rodents.


UK ANIMAL PROCEDURES (2003)
About 2.8m new 'procedures' were carried out
'Procedures' includes the breeding of animals for research programmes
Mice are the dominant research tool, followed by rats
About 40% of all procedures use some form of anaesthesia
Non-human primates are used in less than 1% of experiments
Invertebrates like fruit flies and worms are used in research but not protected by British law
Campaigners criticise the lack of detailed information on animal tests and say scientists are reluctant to share data.

While the number of normal animals used in experiments continues to drop, since 1990 there has been an increase in animals bred with genetic modifications or defects, from around 200,000 to more than one million.

This, says the Research Defence Society (RDS), is because with the mapping of the human genome - which began in 1990 - scientists have identified important genes but do not yet know their functions.

The only way to find out what those gene functions are is to "knock them out" (remove) or add them to a mouse, said an RDS spokesperson.

But according to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (Buav), genetic engineering has a "unique capacity to cause immense suffering and harm to animals".

Sustained campaigns

Their campaigners say techniques used are often poorly understood and produce unpredictable results. Animals develop tumours, brain defects, limb and skull deformities, infertility, arthritis, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, they say.

But RDS says the practice is "more precise" in terms of modelling a particular human condition.

A report this year into the ethics of animal testing in the UK - drawn up by scientists, animal rights groups, philosophers and a lawyer - said the true effects of genetic modification could be difficult to assess.


WHAT ARE ANIMAL TESTS FOR?
32% : Genetic studies, eg to find the function of a gene or study diseases
31% : Developing ways to treat/prevent diseases, eg multiple sclerosis, plus testing new medicines for safety
31% : Fundamental biological and medical research, eg finding out how the brain works
4% : Safety testing of non-medical products, eg pesticides. No testing of cosmetics since 1998
2% : Developing new methods of diagnosis, eg scanning unborn babies
Home Office 2003/RDS
The panel, set up by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, said more effort should be made to assess and monitor the welfare of animals used in genetic experiments.

Earlier this year, the government gave an extra £3m funding to a centre set up for the replacement, refinement and reduction of animals in research - known as the "three R's".

The law governing animal experiments in the UK is widely regarded within the scientific community as one of the strictest in the world, although Buav argues this does "not necessarily equate to better protection for lab animals".

Professor Ian Jackson, of the MRC Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, holds a licence to experiment on mice. The unit's purpose is to understand genetic factors involved in human disease and development.

"There may be a burden of administration within the law, but it makes you think about the work you are doing. For every experiment that is licensed you have to state explicitly why the benefits to medical, and veterinary, research outweigh the cost to animal welfare."

Scientists 'may leave'

Every project also has to go through an ethical review, he added.

"Scientists and some animal welfare groups believe it is better the work is done here, under strict regulations, than abroad. Sometimes when you look at experiments done elsewhere in the world you wonder about their particular regulations," he said.

But pharmaceutical companies and research scientists would consider moving their work abroad if animal rights activists made it too difficult to stay in the UK, said Prof Jackson.

The fact that scientists wishing to do stem cell research were coming to the UK from the USA - where there is no government funding for research on new stem cell lines - "proved scientists were mobile," he added.

Meanwhile animal rights groups have sustained their fight against any experiments being carried out on animals, and have claimed some successes.

In July 2004, a construction firm abandoned a contract to build labs at Oxford University after its shares fell 19% in one day when animal rights campaigners wrote to shareholders threatening to publicise their investments.

Earlier that year plans to build a controversial centre for experiments on monkeys were shelved by Cambridge University, who cited security costs as one of the reasons for its decision.

And a campaign waged against vivisection lab Huntingdon Life Sciences, aimed at hitting it in the pocket, has meant a string of companies have severed ties with the firm.

This week, Darley Oaks farm in Staffordshire said it would stop breeding guinea pigs for medical research after action by animal rights activists, including the theft of a body from a grave.

But professor of political sociology at Reading University, Dr PAJ Waddington - who has studied protests - said auditing success and failure of animal rights groups was "far from straightforward".

"Effectiveness is a complex issue - in what respects have they been effective? Closing down a farm breeding guinea pigs is a scalp, but if fur has returned to fashion, for example, then an advance on one front will be offset by a retreat on another.

"Then there is the issue of time span: because a farm appears to go out of business doesn't mean that the business will not continue to be done elsewhere."

A new law in 1986 meant 'procedures' - which has a broader definition - rather than 'experiments' were counted
The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 applies to all living vertebrate animals, plus one species of octopus, used in scientific procedures in Britain. Licences to carry out experiments are issued under the Act
Scientists say the law is strict and protects animals while campaigners argue it protects researchers and legalises cruelty

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/4177200.stm

Published: 2005/08/24 13:58:36 GMT

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Animal tests get renewed backing

Disturbing, no doubt, but also some promising statements. In essence, many agree that they attempt to find and use alternatives to animal tests (we can only hope they're telling the truth). Also, that they try to minimize suffering (again, only can hope, and really, can they minimize it at all?).

But, not a good sign for any progress that has been made. This show of unity certainly will influence public opinion towards the unfortunate acceptance of the use of sentient animals in research.


From the BBC at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4178166.stm

Animal tests get renewed backing

More than 500 UK scientists and doctors have pledged their support for animal testing in medical research.

They have signed a declaration stating that a "small but vital" part of medical research involves animals.

The statement, which was drawn up by the Research Defence Society (RDS), has disappointed animal welfare groups.

On Tuesday, a Staffordshire farm which breeds guinea pigs for medical research said it was to stop after intimidation by animal rights activists.

Death threats

The animals bred on family-run Darley Oaks Farm, in Newchurch, are used in developing treatments for respiratory diseases, such as asthma.

Its owners and workers have been targeted, with some receiving death threats, during a six-year campaign by activists.

Wednesday's declaration, which is not linked to Darley Oaks' decision, comes 15 years after a similar declaration by the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA).

Campaigners say it fails to acknowledge the "pain and suffering" animal experiments cause.


HAVE YOUR SAY
We would rather not use animals and we try hard to find alternatives
Robin Lovell-Badge, NIMR
Signatories to the Declaration on Animals in Medical Research include three Nobel laureates, 190 Fellows of the Royal Society and the Medical Research College, as well as 250 university professors.

Dr Simon Festing, executive director of RDS, said: "We are delighted to have gathered over 500 signatures from top UK academic scientists and doctors in less than one month.

"It shows the strength and depth of support for humane animal research in this country."

Seeking alternatives

The declaration states that researchers should gain the medical and scientific benefits that animal experiments can provide.

However, it also points out that scientists should make every effort to safeguard animal welfare and minimise suffering.

Wherever possible, the statement continues, animal experiments must be replaced by methods that do not use them, and the number of animals in research must be reduced.

Known as the "three R's", the concept of "replacement, refinement and reduction" forms the backbone of the UK government's policy on animal research. All the signatories have vowed to adhere to these principles.

"We would rather not use animals and we try hard to find alternatives," said geneticist Robin Lovell-Badge, of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in London.

"However, without the research we do there would be no progress in finding cures that alleviate pain, suffering and disease in animals as well as humans."

'No progress'

The statement also promises to be more open about animal experimentation, urging research establishments to "provide clear information and foster rational discussion".

"We have seen a mood of increased openness amongst researchers over the last two years," said Dr Festing. "We are building on that and the declaration will help."


The RDS declaration does not acknowledge the pain, suffering and distress that animal experiments cause
Brian McGavin, RSPCA
Professor Nancy Rothwell, vice-president for research at the University of Manchester, added: "It's vitally important that the research community sends the message that animal research is crucial to medical progress, that it is conducted humanely, and that we work within strict regulations."

However, animal welfare organisations have reacted with outrage to the declaration, arguing that it represents a lack of progress since the statement 15 years ago.

"We are concerned that in 15 years, doctors and scientists still appear committed to the unethical and potentially dangerous use of animals for medical research," said Adolfo Sansolini, chief executive of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (Buav).

Mr Sansolini also disagrees with the assertion that there is a greater degree of transparency within the field of animal research.

"We had high hopes with the Freedom of Information Act coming into force in January that animal experimentation would finally become more open, but this has not been the case," he said.

Brian McGavin, of the RSPCA, told the BBC News website: "The RDS declaration does not acknowledge the pain, suffering and distress that animal experiments cause, nor does it require any positive actions by the researchers who signed it."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/4178166.stm

Published: 2005/08/24 08:21:22 GMT

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sign of the Times: Kenya Wildlife Service to Move Elephants

Now humans are having to move elephants.

From: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050822/ap_on_re_af/kenya_packing_
pachyderms&printer=1;_ylt=
AondcG6F_qCgf9s7vBlxmJsV6w8F;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MXN
1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

Kenya Wildlife Service to Move Elephants

By TOM MALITI, Associated Press WriterMon Aug 22, 2:48 PM ET

The Kenya Wildlife Service will move 400 elephants hundreds of miles to the nation's largest animal reserve from a smaller park that has been holding too many of the animals, a spokesman said Monday.

The $3.2 million exercise will begin Thursday and involve transporting elephants 218 miles to the northern part of Tsavo East National Park from Shimba Hills National Reserve, said Edward Indakwa, a spokesman for the wildlife service.

The government is funding the relocation, Indakwa said.

The first 50 elephants, comprising six families, will be tranquilized and moved by truck in a trip that will take 10-12 days, Indakwa said. Officials will then wait to see how they fare in their new environment before moving the rest, he said.

"With a current elephant population of 600, the (Shimba Hills) National Reserve is choking. The elephants destroy the habitat, break park fences and cause mayhem and destruction in villages surrounding the park," said Indakwa.

He said researchers estimate that Shimba Hills, on Kenya's southern coast, can only hold 200 elephants, while Tsavo East National Park, several hundred miles to the north, has 10,397 elephants, down from a peak of 25,268 in 1972.

Tsavo East suffered its heaviest loss of elephants during the 1980s and early 1990s when poachers devastated Kenya's pachyderms. But poaching has since subsided, helped by a 1989 global ban on the ivory trade that has seen prices drop.

Kenya Wildlife Service Director Julius Kipng'etich said his organization has increased security in the area where the elephants will be relocated.

"We deployed 83 young ranger recruits to Tsavo East last month. ... If the poachers come, they will find us ready," Kipng'etich said. He said that they will also have regular aerial patrols.

Kipng'etich also said the wildlife service had taken steps to reduce the possibility of elephants damaging nearby farms, a constant threat facing authorities as Kenya's population grows and more people move to once-empty land to farm, at times close to national parks.

The service also has tagged six matriarchs and will monitor their movements so that its rangers can drive them away before they reach private farms, Kipng'etich said.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would end cruel trapping via the use of the antiquated and brutal leg hold trap

Is it just me, or when thinking about the leg hold trap, does everyone else picture some aged old trapper with skins dangling from his clothes? It's hard to believe in 2005 that these cruel and antiquated contraptions are still used! I'm sure many are surprised to learn this.

More information on leg hold traps can be found here: http://www.hsus.org/about_us/our_50th_anniversary_19542004
/fifty_years_of_success_scenes_from_the_hsuss_first_five_
decades/death_grip_steeljaw_leghold_traps.html


Want to see what a leg hold trap does? Come on, you owe it to the victims to at least see what leg hold traps do. Visit: http://www.nawa.org/trap.html

About the bill...

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would end cruel trapping via the use of the antiquated and brutal leg hold trap across the country.

House Resolution 3442, introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey, D-New York, bans the use of foothold traps nationwide and prohibits the possession of fur derived from an animal caught by that type of trap.

The sale of fur, including hats and coats, would be prohibited if there is not proof that it was obtained without the use of foothold traps. Trappers as well as fur manufacturers and distributors would be susceptible to federal charges.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Take Action! To end cruel trapping, contact your U.S. representatives and ask them to support HR 3442. Explain that the leg hold trap is outdated and unnecessarily cruel. There is no reason to use leg hold traps.

To find out who your Representatives and Senators are, call 888-VOTE SMART or visit www.vote-smart.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Inhumane Trapping Prevention Act (Introduced in House)

HR 3442 IH


109th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3442

To end the use of conventional steel-jawed leghold traps on animals in the United States.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Rabbits Renamed "Poultry" by the USDA: Your Help is Urgently Needed: Rabbits will be slaughtered fully conscious

This isn't a vegetarian issue. This is an issue that should touch all who care about moving toward humane treatment. This move by the USDA moves far away from humane treatment. Why they insist on not even some sort of protections says a lot about their true mission. A brutal group who hardly ever sides with humane treatment.

From: United Poultry Concerns, Inc. - http://upc-online.org/alerts/81105rabbit.htm

Rabbits Renamed "Poultry" by the USDA: Your Help is Urgently Needed

Like birds, rabbits will be slaughtered fully conscious

A full-page ad in the July 28th edition of The New York Times (sponsored by The Humane Farming Association, Animal Rights International, and the Animal Welfare Institute) notes that the US Department of Agriculture has classified rabbits as "poultry" to avoid including them under the 1958 Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, from which "poultry" are excluded.

For more information, see the ad as a PDF (60k) at

http://www.hfa.org/about/rabbits.pdf

What Can I Do?

Please contact the USDA today and voice your dismay at this new classification of rabbits. While expressing your concern about rabbits, please urge the USDA that ALL farmed animals including chickens, turkeys, and ducks should be included under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Write to:

Mike Johanns, Secretary of Agriculture

US Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Ave SW

Room 200-A

Washington, DC 20250

Phone: 202-720-3631

Fax: 202-720-2166

Email: agsec@usda.gov

Salutation: Begin your letter: Dear Secretary Johanns. Keep your letter to 3 paragraphs on one side of one page. Letters sent via regular mail may have more impact than an email – but all letters are better than no letter. Thank you.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Scientists aim for lab-grown meat

From BBC

Scientists aim for lab-grown meat
An international research team has proposed new techniques that may lead to the mass production of meat reared not on the farm, but in the laboratory.

Developments in tissue engineering mean that cells taken from animals could be grown directly into meat in a laboratory, the researchers say.

Scientists believe the technology already exists to directly grow processed meat like a chicken nugget.

The technology could benefit both humans and the environment.

"With a single cell, you could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply. And you could do it in a way that's better for the environment and human health.

"In the long term, this is a very feasible idea," said Jason Matheny of the University of Maryland, part of the team whose research has been published in the Tissue Engineering journal.

Growing the meat without the animal could reduce the need to keep millions of animals in cramped conditions and would lessen the damage caused by the meat production to the environment.

Laboratory-grown meat could also be healthier, proponents say.

Eating 'mush'

Tissue engineering techniques were first developed for medical use and small amounts of edible fish tissue have been grown in research conducted by Nasa.

To industrialise the process, researchers suggest the cells could be grown on large sheets that would need to be stretched to provide the 'exercise' for the growing muscles.

"If you didn't stretch them, it would be like eating mush," said Mr Methany.

Whilst the technology to produce processed meat is here now, producing a steak or chicken breast is still quite a way off, the researchers say.

Questions

The new techniques could also provide a dilemma for vegetarians.

Some may feel able to eat meat that has been grown without an animal being harmed.

Others feel that question marks remain about the way the cells would be taken from animals.

"It won't appeal to someone who gave up meat because they think it's morally wrong to eat flesh or someone who doesn't want to eat anything unnatural," Kerry Bennett of the UK Vegetarian Society told the Guardian newspaper.

How regulators might react is also unclear.

The US Food and Drug Administration has asked companies not to market any products that involve cloned animals until their safety has been evaluated.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/4148164.stm

Published: 2005/08/13 11:52:01 GMT

Animal rights group awaits permission to enter Gaza to save strays

I'm glad someone has thought of this.

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 01:17 18/08/2005
Animal rights group awaits permission to enter Gaza to save strays
By The Associated Press

An Animal rights group is trying to rescue dogs and cats left behind by settlers being evacuated in the Gaza Strip.

Hakol Chai (Everything Lives) is awaiting permission to bring in a mobile veterinary clinic replete with cages, traps and trained staff.

"Cats and dogs left behind by departing settlers have no ability to survive under the extreme conditions that will exist during and after the disengagement," said Merav Barlev, the group's director. "Without our help, when all that remains is dust and ruins, those who escape the massive bulldozers will die of hunger, thirst, and injuries."

The group said it is concerned about stray dogs and pets left behind by settlers sent to hotels or to apartments too small to house animals.

Rescued animals will be taken to shelters, with Hakol Chai attempting to find permanent homes for them.

Rights group discloses deaths of lab primates at University of Wisconsin

It's bad enough that they actually use other animals, but to abuse them like this is just beyond reason.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/
nationworld/chi-0508170156aug17,1,212655.
story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

Rights group discloses deaths of lab primates

By Ryan J. Foley
Associated Press

August 17, 2005

MADISON, Wis. -- Critics of animal research have released internal records detailing a study at the University of Wisconsin that led to an "unusual number" of deaths and illnesses of rhesus monkeys in 2001 and 2002.

The university memos uncovered by the Primate Freedom Project show one of the monkeys died while an attendant went out to lunch during an experiment, and others were given drugs that had not been approved by a review committee.

"He went to lunch and he came back and the monkey was dead in a chair," said Jean Barnes, a spokeswoman for the animal-rights group, referring to one of the incidents described in the records. "That's a terrible way to treat a creature that has the same feelings that we do."

Critics say such research methods must be stopped at the university's National Primate Research Center, one of eight federally funded centers to study primates.

University officials said the memos released Monday show that the school took action against Ei Terasawa, a professor of pediatrics, after problems with her research on monkeys' brains surfaced in 2003.

They suspended the researcher from work on animals for two years in 2004 and outlawed the experiment in question, which was used to study how brains develop during menopause.

"It's one of the most severe actions that the committee has ever taken," said Eric Sandgren, chairman of a university committee that oversees research projects involving animals.

The documents, uncovered in an open-records request, were released as the rights group and the university fight over the ownership of property sandwiched between two primate labs in downtown Madison. The records did not specify how many monkeys died.

The group says it has a contract to buy the land to open a museum dedicated to the horrors of primate research, but the private owner is rethinking the sale after the university offered him $1 million--$325,000 more than protesters agreed to pay.

Rick Bogle, the group's founder, said Monday that he plans to exercise the group's option to purchase the land this week, likely setting in motion a legal fight over the property.

Terasawa, the suspended researcher, declined comment Monday.

Sandgren called Terasawa "an outstanding scientist" and said she has not yet decided whether to return to animal research after her suspension.

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Life for Sale: Illegal Animal Trade Goes Online

Again, humans will buy and sell anything. I guess nothing is sacred any more. On the same subject as the previous post but different details. Worth reading both.

Illegal Animal Trade Goes Online
By Rachel Metz

http://www.wired.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,68561,00.html

02:00 AM Aug. 18, 2005 PT

The internet has become a haven for sales of exotic pets and animal products, many of them illegal and made from endangered species, a study released this week has found.

Between November 2004 and January 2005, International Fund for Animal Welfare found thousands of endangered animals and animal products available for purchase over the internet, including a live Siberian tiger for $70,000, a lion, peregrine falcons and many medicines made from leopard, tiger, rhino and elephant parts.

During a one-week period in January, the study found more than 9,000 live wild animals and animal products and specimens for sale, predominantly from species under legal protection. The animals and products were offered on animal-trading websites, in chat rooms and on auction sites like eBay.

The sale of endangered animals and products gives poachers an incentive to keep hunting them and increase the trade in exotic pets, according to the report.

"This has been a problem for a long time but it's becoming worse because of the internet opening up new markets and globalization," IFAW spokesman Chris Cutter said.

Cutter pointed to several sites allegedly selling endangered animals protected by international law.

One is Rainbow Primates, which offers various monkeys for sale, including two capuchins, two java monkeys and a spider monkey, for between $3,500 and $6,800.

Visitors to the site are greeted by a photo of a young monkey dressed in baby's clothing and highlighted by animated sparkles. The theme from The Monkees plays in the background. The site shows many more monkeys in various baby outfits, including frilly dresses and fuzzy-looking onesies.

The Rainbow Primates site doesn't sell any endangered animals, said employee David Davis, and he doesn't think any private citizen should own a great ape, gorilla or chimpanzee. Davis said the site's photos are about 3 years old.

"But a monkey, such as a capuchin, that does everything for paralyzed people, you know ... they do make good pets," he said. "But you've got to always remember they're a wild animal."

In regards to whether or not people should own exotic pets, Davis said: "I think people have a right of choice, you know? This is free America, is that correct?"

IFAW's Cutter said people who buy exotic animals may have good intentions, but are doing the creatures more harm than good.

Cutter said raising tigers in a backyard isn't going to help tigers in the wild, since they're not going to be re-released.

"On one hand these people love animals and they're trying to protect them, I guess you would say, but it's a really naive way of going about conservation," he said.

Other sites pointed out by Cutter for selling exotic animals include Schreiner Farms and Awesome Exotic's (sic). Nobody could be reached at Schreiner Farms, and an Awesome Exotic's employee would not comment.

In efforts to stanch the growth of such trade, the IFAW is working with international policing groups like Interpol to improve related law enforcement and data collection. The group is trying to toughen up laws regarding exotic pets in the United States, and is hoping to persuade the Department of Agriculture to beef up enforcement of live-animal laws. The group is also working with sites like eBay to cut down illegal online trade.

EBay has been helpful, Cutter said, though he added, "even if eBay were perfect, it would still be a problem."

EBay spokesman Chris Donlay said illegal animal product sales are not a big problem for the auction site. EBay doesn't allow trading of live animals, but it does permit sales of legal taxidermy animals and animal parts, he said.

Donlay said the company doesn't release data regarding auctions that are stopped because of illegal activity, and confirmed that the company has been brainstorming with IFAW. He said eBay is working to keep its wildlife policy up to snuff.

Not all sales of endangered animals and animal products are illegal -- an ivory statue or leopard coat, for example, can be sold legally if it was made before laws were passed banning such items.

Many animals that are endangered in the wild can still be legally sold domestically, depending on the type of animal and laws in the buyer's and seller's states.

Live endangered animals and endangered animal parts or products sold internationally are subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora agreement, which works to ensure the vitality of plant and animal species traded around the world.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Revealed: The Illegal Online Animal Trade

I swear, people will kill anything for any reason.

Published on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 by the lndependent/UK
Revealed: The Illegal Online Animal Trade
by Maxine Frith

They are marketed as the perfect birthday present for animal-loving children, or a classy addition to the image-conscious suburban home.

However, the products being sold on hundreds of internet sites are not soft toys or unusual knick knacks, but potentially-dangerous live animals from the world's most endangered species.

Gorillas, tigers, and chimps can be bought for as little as a few hundred pounds, despite international bans on their sale.

The illegal online trade in rare and exotic wildlife is now worth billions of pounds and sales are soaring, according to a new report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

In just one week, IFAW investigators found more than 9,000 live animals and products made from endangered species for sale on internet auction sites, chat rooms and classified pages, despite the fact that 70 per cent of the species and specimens were protected under law.

The scale of the trade is astonishing.

Want a gorilla in your backyard? It's yours for £4,500 from a classified ad on the internet - just come to London and pick it up, with no proof needed of any capacity or ability to look after such a beast.

Gorillas are among the most highly-endangered species on the planet and all commercial trade in them is prohibited under the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

They are potentially lethal and need expert care and treatment, yet IFAW found a British-based website selling a seven-year-old gorilla in January this year "due to relocation of its owner."

Giraffes have also been offered for sale. A US website, GotPetsOnline.com was offering a "sweet natured" two-year-old for sale for $15,000.

Experts are particularly concerned at the way monkeys are marketed and traded on the net.

At www.ad-mart.co.uk, in January, a Welsh trader was offering a pair of breeding cotton-headed tamarin monkeys for sale for £1,900.

When IFAW investigators approached the buyer, they were told they would not need any special licenses or documentation.

Yet the species is protected under CITES and any buyer would need to apply to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for special approval, as well as obtaining a Dangerous Wild Animals licence.

Other, American-based websites sell monkeys along with "cute" accessories such as nappies, feeding bottles, clothes and toys, adding to the impression that these are a slightly more lively version of a doll.

Traders in live primates call themselves "Monkey Moms" and the animals "monkids".

When the IFAW undercover investigators contacted some of the US traders, they were told it would be possible to export them to the UK - a blatant breach of EU law.

Experts are concerned that demand for monkeys and chimps is fueling the illegal capturing and trading of wild species.

Where there were two million chimpanzees in the wild a century ago, there are now fewer than 150,000 left.

As well as live animals, there is a booming market in illegal ivory, tiger skins and other products on the internet.

Phyllis Campbell-McRae, director of IFAW UK, said: "Trade on the internet is easy, cheap and anonymous. However, it is clear that unscrupulous traders and sophisticated criminal gangs are taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the web.

"The result is a cyber black market where the future of the world's rarest animals is being traded away. This situation must be tackled immediately by governments and website owners before it is too late."

She added: "Each one of us also has a responsibility to stop buying and selling wild animals and wildlife products. Trade in wildlife is driven by consumer demand, so when the buying stops the killing will too. Our message to online shoppers is simple - buying wildlife online is as damaging as killing it yourself."

Jim Knight, biodiversity minister, said: "We take the issue of wildlife crime in all its forms very seriously.

"The National Wildlife Crime Intelligence Unit is working closely with internet service providers to raise awareness of wildlife controls and to enhance intelligence gathering on wildlife crime.

The Metropolitan Police's Wildlife Crime Unit was also moved from a part time to a full time investigative department.

Andy Fisher, head of the unit, said: "Ten years ago, the issue wasn't really being taken seriously, but I think it's time has now come and we are really cracking down on it."

The animals facing extinction:

TIGERS

Threatened by poaching and loss of habitat, there are only about 5,000 tigers living in the wild; but thanks to the thriving trade in exotic pets, some 10,000 tigers live in captivity in the US. One US website advertised two-week old male and female tiger cubs for just $1,500 each.

RHINOS

All five species of rhino are threatened with extinction, thanks to the trade in rhino horns which are carved into ornaments or used in traditional Asian medicine. A website called "Vintage Louis Vuitton" offered a rhino footstool, but closed when IFAW asked for the necessary documents.

GORILLAS

The bushmeat trade, the captive live trade, and the loss of habitats have devastated the world's gorilla population, with only 650 mountain gorillas surviving in the wild. In January, an advert offered a gorilla for sale in London, "due to relocation of its owner." The price was £4,500.

SEA HORSES

At least 20 of the world's 33 known sea horse species face extinction, due to the trade of live animals for aquariums, and dried sea horses for use in Chinese medicine. IFAW found many skeletons for sale on eBay. One ad said: " This could be your last chance to own one of these little beauties."

© 2005 The Independent / UK

More Proof of Cruelty: A Short Clip and Website Document Animal Cruelty at Wegmans Egg Farm, NY

There's nothing like proof when speaking of issues involving cruelty. Below you will see a link to a 2 minute trailer from the 30 minute film “Wegmans Cruelty” which shows suffering, neglect, and death in Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott, NY. Leaving dead birds to rot in cages along side alive ones is common practice. You would think they could at least stop doing this (imagine the smell of being cramped into a cage with rotting humans - graphic, but true). The factory egg facility is owned by Wegmans grocery store and contains over 750,000 hens. Thanks to technology we once again see the truth that goes on behind the scenes where the company and workers think they are not being watched. Please read on....

From: http://www.wegmanscruelty.com/

Animal cruelty at Wegmans Egg Farm – documentary film and newspaper
stories

A new documentary film "Wegmans Cruelty" reveals animal cruelty and
inhumane conditions at
Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott, NY, between Rochester and Syracuse. Wegmans
grocery store, ranked #1 on Fortune magazine’s list of best companies to
work for, operates its own factory egg facility, which contains over
750,000 hens. The 30 minute film “Wegmans Cruelty” reveals the
suffering, neglect and death inherent in these farms.

A 2 minute trailer for the film is available here:
http://www.wegmanscruelty.com/content/blogcategory/20/36/
The complete film is available as a free download also. The sites it can
be downloaded from
are growing.

The Rochester, NY, Democrat & Chronicle newspaper covered the film’s
release and Wegmans’ reaction to the film:
“Activists take on Wegmans: Chicken-cruelty charge and video rebuffed by
execs, others”:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/
article?AID=/20050702/NEWS01/507020324

A news release from Wegmans is here:
http://wegmans.com/news/flash/eggFarmUpdate.asp?
sd=home&dt=eggUpdate
Wegmans defends its farm as humane by appealing to the “Animal Care
Certified” program, a program that the Better Business Bureau has deemed
“misleading advertising.”

A spokesperson for the campaign was recently fired from her job as an
accountant for the company that services Wegmans; see the story:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/
article?AID=/20050715/NEWS01/507150383/1002/NEWS

For more information and to talk to the producers of the film, please
visit:
http://www.wegmanscruelty.com/

See also
http://wegmanscruelty.blogspot.com
http://myspace.com/wegmanscruelty

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Follow up to prior post - David Beckham loves to wear the skin of slaughtered baby kangaroos.

Just realized that Adidas recently purchased Reebok.

So, if you love Reebok, you will support Adidas.

So, Adidas = Reebok = dead baby kangaroos.

Sorry, I just report the truth. Don't kill the messenger.

Childhood cruelty to animals may signal violence in future

Very widely accepted now.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story
/0,,1546766,00.html#article_continue

Childhood cruelty to animals may signal violence in future

Rosie Cowan, crime correspondent
Thursday August 11, 2005
The Guardian

Childhood cruelty to animals can be an early warning of a propensity for
violence against other people, a report published yesterday said.
The research wing of animal rights charity, Peta (People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals), has compiled a study of the links between severe
animal abuse by children who later committed acts of extreme violence - in
some cases, murder.

Several cases have been well documented. Thomas Hamilton, the Dunblane
killer, enjoyed shooting animals and squashing rabbits' heads beneath car
wheels as a youth. Robert Thompson, who was 10 years old when he and John
Venables killed two-year-old Jamie Bulger, pulled the heads off live
birds.


Article continues

David Mulcahy and John Duffy, the so-called Railway Rapists, who raped and
murdered three women and raped or assaulted 12 more in the 70s and 80s,
shared a teenage fascination with tormenting animals.
Peta, which has sent its report to the Crown Prosecution Service, MPs and
all UK police forces, believes there should be closer cooperation between
police and social services and organisations such as the RSPCA, so that
those at risk of becoming dangerous criminals can be spotted, and perhaps
helped, as early as possible.

The FBI, which already uses reports of animal abuse to analyse criminal
threat potential, has found a childhood history of cruelty to animals is
prevalent among many serial rapists and murderers.

Robert Ressler, founder of the FBI's behavioural sciences unit, said:
"These are the kids who never learned that it was wrong to poke a puppy's
eyes out." Alan Bradley, an FBI special agent, said: "Some offenders kill
animals as a rehearsal for targeting human victims and may kill or torture
animals because, to them, animals symbolically represent people."

The Peta study found abuse of pets in the home was often linked to
domestic violence, with adult perpetrators tormenting family pets, as well
as children and partners.

Peta's research found that some children in abusive homes copy the
abusers' behaviour. "Children in violent homes are characterised by
frequently participating in pecking-order battering, in which they maim or
kill an animal. Domestic violence is the most common background for
childhood cruelty to animals."

Scotland Yard's homicide prevention unit, set up last year to examine the
psychological profile of violent offenders in an effort to thwart future
crime, is also interested in the links between various patterns of
cruelty.

Laura Richards, a senior behavioural consultant with the unit, said there
was a definite link between domestic violence and stranger rape.

Help to Abolish the Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption

Another easy action.

From The Humane Society of the United States - www.hsus.org

In the past few months, The Humane Society of the United States
and the Humane Society Legislative Fund have made critical
progress in protecting our country's wild and domestic horses
from slaughter. With your help, we successfully lobbied the U.S.
House of Representatives to abolish the slaughter of horses for
human consumption abroad.

Right now, we have an opportunity to finish this work - and stop
horse slaughter for good - by focusing our energies on the U.S.
Senate.

When U.S. Senators come back to work in just a few weeks, we
expect them to immediately introduce legislation that will ban
the transport, possession, purchase, or sale of horses to be
slaughtered for human consumption overseas. That means we have
only a few weeks to gather all our forces to make sure this
critical legislation passes.

It will not be easy. Our opponents - the livestock industry with
its deep, deep pockets - have persuaded many legislators that
American horses should be slaughtered and their meat shipped
overseas to diners in Belgium, France, and other countries.

It is sickening to think about, but the extent of this awful
"market" is shocking. Last year alone, more than 65,000 American
horses were killed in the United States and processed for human
consumption. In addition, thousands of live horses were
transported across the border to Canada for slaughter. After
these horses are killed, their flesh is shipped to Europe and
Asia for human consumption.

This grotesque and inhumane practice must be stopped. Please,
help us raise $100,000 to ensure that the legislation passes,
despite our opponents' efforts to stop it.

The weeks ahead are critical to our efforts to stop the
slaughter of these beautiful animals, and your support will help
us move ever closer to victory. I hope that I can count on your
contribution to help protect America's horses from needless
slaughter.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of animals.

Sincerely,

Mike Markarian
President
Humane Society Legislative Fund

P.S. The cruelty of horse slaughter is not limited to the act of
killing the animals. Horses bound for slaughter are frequently
shipped long distances and are usually not rested, fed, or
watered during travel. Economics, not humane considerations,
dictate the conditions, including crowding as many horses into
trucks as possible. Help put an end to these inhumane practices.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Easy Action to Stop Korea From Passing a Policy to Hygienically Control Dogmeat

Wow, definitely a sick policy if enacted. Surprising that the incredible species - dog - is seen by some as just another choice on the menu. Hard to think that these feeling, caring animals would have to face the sick face of a dog or cat butcher. Please read on...

Excuse me if you have this information already, but if not, could you take a
moment to write to the Korean government asking to stop them from passing a
policy to hygienically control dogmeat. This would pave the way towards the
legalization of the illegal dog meat trade and will greatly encourage the
consumption of dog meat in Korea.

Some points you can make are :

That Korea would be the only country in the word to legalize eating dogs, and
implementing legislation to hygienically control dogmeat would certainly add
acceptance to it, when they should be making efforts to end the dog and cat
meat trade and educating the public about the myths of dog and cat meat
products.

Also, ask them to enforce the exisiting and future animal protection laws
(not those just in public view), and to introduce clear penalities for the
slaughtering of dogs and cats for food and fraudulent medicines and tonics.

Ask the Korean government if it is worth it to please the minority of Korean
dog eaters and illegal dog meat traders at the expense of millions of Korean
people and animals - and to surely hurt Korea's image in the rest of the world.

Also, all dogs and cats should be included in the definition of "Companion
Animals".

Write to: President Roh Moo-Hyun
Blue House
1 Saejong-Ro , Jongo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
110-050
webmaster@president.go.kr
webmaster@korea.net

Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan
Central Government Complex
77-6 Sejongno, Jongno-gu
Seoul, South Korea
m-opm@opm.go.kr


For more information go the International Aid for Korean Animals/Korea Animal
Protection Society's (IAKA/KAPS) web site @ www.koreananimals.org

David Beckham loves to wear the skin of slaughtered baby kangaroos.

So I guess being rich, famous and desired by most women isn't enough for him. He also desires to wear the skin of slaughtered baby kangaroos. For those who don't know - he is a famous soccer star/heart throb.

From: http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages
/david%20beckham%20targeted%20by%20animal%20rights%20group

Soccer star DAVID BECKHAM will be publicly shamed by an animal rights group, which aims to embarrass him out of wearing kangaroo-skin boots.

Vegetarians' International Voice for Animals' (VIVA) is horrified the Real Madrid ace is promoting sports brand Adidas's Predator Pulse footwear, because the shoes are made from kangaroo leather, which is chosen for its lightness and suppleness.

And they are planning to target Beckham at a high-profile event, to tell him baby kangaroos are unnecessarily slaughtered to provide the "selfish fashion accessories".

VIVA spokesman JUSTIN KERSWELL explains, "It's appalling that the kangaroo, an icon of Australia, is being treated so shamefully.

"Most people don't realise that many of the most popular football boots are made from kangaroo leather."

14/08/2005 13:41

The Not-Mentioned Victims of Gush Katif Pull Out

From: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtDisengagement.jhtml
?itemNo=612360&contrassID=23&subContrassID=0&sbSubContrass

ID=1

No, this is not a political statement either for or against the pull out (so don't email me at all about the political issue). This is about some of the non-mentioned victims.

Animal rights groups push to save Gush Katif's cats and dogs

By Eli Ashkenazi
Animal welfare advocates met with government officials on Thursday to push for implementing their plan for saving animals abandoned in Gush Katif.

The Noah organization, an umbrella association representing various animal rights groups, says that hundreds of abandoned cats and dogs might starve to death once their sources of water, food and shelter are gone following the evacuation of Gush Katif settlements.

At the meeting with representatives of the Prime Minister's Office, the Agriculture Ministry and the Environment Ministry, Noah advocates demanded the government foot the bill for the plan since it is responsible for all facets of the disengagement.


According to Noah, the PMO representative adopted its plan and even said she would work to get funding for it.

"There are hundreds of cats and several dozen dogs that need to be evacuated or else they will remain without water, food and a place to live," Noah chair Shelly Gluzman said. "The animal welfare organizations have taken upon themselves the task of rescuing these cats and dogs, but it requires financial and physical assistance.

"We have applied to international bodies for help, but so far only about a quarter of the necessary budget has been raised. Our activists are already in the field and are ready for action, but if the funds are not found, we will not be able to collect the animals."

Meanwhile, the animal welfare groups have issued a general appeal to whoever is willing to help in any way possible.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Infant Whale's Death at Vancouver Aquarium

Insane title for this article (see below). Let me give you a possible answer: captivity??

From: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1845&ncid=1845&e=
8&u=/cpress/20050809/ca_pr_on_na/whale_dies

Cause of infant whale's death at Vancouver aquarium may never be known

TIFFANY CRAWFORDTue Aug 9, 6:52 PM ET

VANCOUVER (CP) - Test results on the death of the Vancouver Aquarium's youngest beluga whale show Tuvaq was severely anemic when he died last month.

But scientists have been unable to link the condition to the infant whale's sudden and shocking death in the middle of a pool on July 17.

"It's only natural to try and say one is probably related to the other but there's no scientific basis for it and it has frustrated a lot of people so far," David Huff, the aquarium's veterinarian, told a news conference on Tuesday.

Huff said the two-year-old whale likely died from some kind of heart arythmia, but not a heart attack as some experts had previously speculated.

He called the lack of certainty into Tuvaq's cause of death "frustrating" but said the investigation was closed.

"The fact is the pathologists, who are about as academic as anybody around here, have signed off on the case and said this is as far as we've gone."

Huff said he compares the results to sudden infant death syndrome in human children.

"That's the most likely autopsy to produce nothing," said Huff, who stood in front of a tank where Laverne, a dolphin that was recently added to the aquarium, splashed about.

Laverne is a Pacific white-sided dolphin that was brought in to join Spinnaker, another dolphin at the aquarium.

A blood sample taken from Tuvaq four to six weeks before he died tested normal, said Huff.

The aquarium has ruled out disease and a lack of nutrition as possible causes of the death.

But Annelise Sorg of the Coalition for No Whales in Captivity wondered if Tuvaq had been chewing on the tank's plumbing and pumps and could have been poisoned.

"These animals are swimming in their own cesspool and I wonder if what wouldn't kill an adult beluga might kill a baby one," said Sorg.

Huff said the infant whale's fat deposits showed he was a healthy whale, suggesting the condition came on extremely fast.

"Tuvaq's blubber was very thick and if you've been dealing with a chronic debilitating disease that's been going on for a long time, the one thing (whales) can't hide is they do lose weight."

Meanwhile, marine experts at the aquarium say the new dolphin is getting along "very well" with Spinnaker.

"We want to do what's best for Spin and I feel that we've done that. Dolphins are social animals and having a companion such as Laverne is very important," said trainer Brian Sheehan.

Sorg said Spinnaker should be sent back to Japan where at least there he would be with a pod of dolphins that he was captured with.

"Captivity is unnatural," said Sorg. "It is wrong."

The aquarium sent its 23-year-old female beluga whale, Allua, to SeaWorld in San Diego on July 24. The whale was known as 'auntie' for nursing Tuvaq when his mother turned her back on him at birth.

What Common Sense has Dictated All Along: Elephants Have Emotions

Just one excerpt from the writing:

"Stress, trauma and other social disruptions - what biomedical research has identified as having profound influences on human psychology, physiology and behaviour - holds for other social animals such as elephants."

Wow, really??!! (sarcastic).

In any case, a well written piece that displays what common sense has told us all along - all animals have emotions. Elephants are not exception. Please read:

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?
set_id=1&click_id=143&art_id=qw1121833263667B251

Monday, August 08, 2005

Animal Ethics: An amazing blog on ethics and it's relation to animal rights

An amazing blog on ethics and it's relation to animal rights. I have a background in philosophy, so I was very happy to see this issue addressed by one in the profession of philosophy. Please check it out and please add it to your "must read" category for blogs.


Animal Ethics: Philosophical Discussion of the Moral Status of Nonhuman Animals
http://animalethics.blogspot.com/

By - Keith Burgess-Jackson, J.D., Ph.D.

Whale Burgers - Yep, You Heard Me...Help Put an End to this Practice

Amazing group fighting to end issues affecting dolphins and whales. Unfortunately, some countries still view whales as food and hence partake in whale burgers. Read below to see about taking part in these issues.


In this edition we highlight an alarming increase in the number of captive dolphin displays in Europe and how you can help in our campaign to end trade in live dolphins. We bring you shocking news of the sale of whale burgers in Norway and Japan, as well as whale and dolphin news from around the world.

************************************

DOLPHINS DYING TO ENTERTAIN

Bottlenose dolphins have recently been imported to Italy for a new marine park near Rome, despite concerns over the suffering caused to these animals in captivity.

Dolphins continue to be captured from the wild to supply the increasing demands of a growing captivity industry, putting the future of wild dolphin populations at risk and causing great suffering to individual animals. Yet, despite these damaging impacts, the number of marine parks displaying dolphins in Europe continues to grow.

We believe that Zoomarine, who are responsible for the new Italian marine park, may be breaking Italian laws surrounding the use of captive dolphins. We are fighting to end trade in live dolphins. Please join our campaign by sending a campaign e-card to the relevant authorities in Italy in protest. To send your e-card now please go to:

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050805captive1

***************************************

WHALES TURNED INTO BURGERS

In a highly controversial attempt to revive flagging sales of whale meat, Norway and Japan have begun to market whale burgers.

The burgers have recently gone on sale in dozens of supermarkets throughout Norway. A restaurant chain in Japan has been selling deep-fried minke whale burgers since June.

Both countries kill whales despite an international ban on commercial whaling. Japan claims its hunt is for scientific purposes. Between them the countries propose to kill nearly 2000 whales this year and plan to greatly expand their hunts in the future.

To read more, please go to:

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050805WHALING1

***********************************

GREY WHALES FACE THREAT OF TRANSPORTATION

Two scientists at the University of Lancashire in the UK are proposing to move 50 grey whales from their home in California to the Irish Sea. According to reports, the scientists plan to capture the whales and load them onto a cargo plane before flying them to the UK and releasing them off the coast of Cumbria. WDCS experts have criticised these plans, branding them neither feasible nor sensible.

To read more on this, please go to:

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050805greywhal

***********************************

HOW YOU CAN HELP SAVE WHALES AND DOLPHINS

There are many ways that you can contribute to WDCS's work, and now, if you live in the UK, you can even help protect whales and dolphins when you purchase your car insurance.

By taking out your car insurance with Endsleigh, you can contribute to life-saving funds, as a contribution is made to WDCS with every policy bought.

For a free, no obligation quote, please call 0800 028 3571, or go to http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050805insure

Make sure you quote WDCS as a reference.

************************************

WHALE AND DOLPHIN NEWS IN BRIEF

DOLPHIN CAPTIVITY BANNED IN COSTA RICA

WDCS is pleased to be able to report that keeping dolphins and whales in captivity, and also swimming with the animals, has been banned in Costa Rica.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050805CAPTIVE2

ICELAND'S WHALE HUNT CONTINUES

Iceland’s whale hunting season began earlier in the summer, and WDCS was disappointed to learn that the whalers intended to take 39 minke whales during the 2005 season.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050805whaling2

NEW DOLPHIN SPECIES
A new dolphin species has been identified by scientists off the coast of north Australia. The animals, which have been named snubfin dolphins, were initially thought to be members of the Irrawaddy species.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050805species

NEW EXHIBITION OPENS AT WDCS WILDLIFE CENTRE
A fantastic new attraction opened last month at the WDCS Wildlife Centre in Spey Bay, Scotland. Underwater World gives visitors the opportunity to experience the watery world of the dolphin, and was opened by TV presenter and WDCS supporter Shauna Lowry.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050805WLC

WDCS GOES TO JAPAN EXPO
This month, WDCS is honored to attend the first World Exposition of the 21st Century, which is taking place at Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The Aichi Expo opened in March, with August expected to be the busiest month, with overseas visitors coming from China, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050805WW


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