Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Cruel China Keeps Up it’s Status as Largest Fur Producer in World. They Love to Inflict Unimaginable Cruelty. Dogs and Cats also Victims

Don’t believe us? Just read the article below and see the footage taken from Chinese fur farms at this web address: http://www.furisdead.com/feat/ChineseFurFarms/


Yep, China is the biggest fur “producer” in the world. That also makes them the cruelest country in the world. They truly are a cruel nation. Just consider the article below and the few points I pulled out prior to it:

“…[W]hat makes activists especially angry is the cruel way in which fur farms kill the animals.

Barbara Maas, chief executive of British organization Care for the Wild International, says workers often just hit animals on the head and do not always make sure they are dead before skinning them.

"So either animals that have been stunned, they come to it again and then the workers seem almost to get annoyed that the animal is wiggling and they either, if they are lucky, hit them on the head again, or they just put the boot on their neck or hang them upside down from hooks so the animal can't defend itself, and they peel the skin off -- we have video footage of this -- they peel the skin off the animals like you and I would peel a banana," she said.

International animal rights groups say the millions of animals raised for their pelts in China are severely mistreated, with foxes, minks, raccoons and rabbits kept in small, filthy cages and treated cruelly.

The animal rights organizations also say Chinese companies use fur from cats and dogs. These are often deliberately labeled as fur from other species or as fake fur, and sold to unsuspecting shoppers abroad."

Don’t believe us? Just read the article below and see the footage taken from Chinese fur farms at this web address: http://www.furisdead.com/feat/ChineseFurFarms/

Article:

Animal Rights Groups Target China's Fur Industry

http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-02-25-voa5.cfm

By Claudia Blume

Hong Kong

25 February 2006

China, the world's biggest producer of fur products, has become the latest target of international animal rights groups. The organizations say there are no laws to protect livestock on Chinese fur farms, where animals are kept in appalling conditions and brutally killed.

While many people still consider wearing a fur coat politically incorrect, real fur has begun to make a comeback.

Often dyed and mixed with other materials, fur can be found decorating a variety of fashion items, from clothes to shoes and bags.

China has become the world's biggest producer and exporter of these fur products. Many of the pelts used are imported, but an increasing number are produced domestically.

International animal rights groups say the millions of animals raised for their pelts in China are severely mistreated, with foxes, minks, raccoons and rabbits kept in small, filthy cages and treated cruelly.

The animal rights organizations also say Chinese companies use fur from cats and dogs. These are often deliberately labeled as fur from other species or as fake fur, and sold to unsuspecting shoppers abroad.

But what makes activists especially angry is the cruel way in which fur farms kill the animals.

Barbara Maas, chief executive of British organization Care for the Wild International, says workers often just hit animals on the head and do not always make sure they are dead before skinning them.

"So either animals that have been stunned, they come to it again and then the workers seem almost to get annoyed that the animal is wiggling and they either, if they are lucky, hit them on the head again, or they just put the boot on their neck or hang them upside down from hooks so the animal can't defend itself, and they peel the skin off -- we have video footage of this -- they peel the skin off the animals like you and I would peel a banana," she said.

The China Fur Commission claims these are isolated cases. But PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) says the practice is widespread.

Andrew Butler, PETA's Asia-Pacific representative, says it is hard to take action as China, unlike other fur-producing countries, does not have legislation for the protection of animals.

"We feel this is an important step for China to take, so that when we find cruelty, there is at least legal recourse for concerned groups and individuals to take against those who are being blatantly cruel to animals," said Butler.

But animal rights groups say there is evidence the Chinese public and the government are beginning to listen to their concerns.

Jill Robinson, founder of the Animals Asia Foundation in Hong Kong, says there is growing concern about the mistreatment of animals as more and more Chinese are keeping pets.

"They care just as passionately as people in the West in many, many cases," said Robinson. "And these are the people that are rising up now against this cruelty."

PETA has noticed a growing awareness of the cruelty of the fur industry among Chinese consumers. The group recently ran an anti-fur advertisement on phone cards in Shanghai and visits to its Chinese-language website increased as a result.

Butler believes animal rights issues will gain a lot of momentum in the next few years, especially in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, when the whole world will be watching China.

Infant Primate Abuser psychologist Mark Laudenslager of University of Colorado Continues His Ridiculous Torture Practices at a Distance

This guy has been big news in Colorado for a long time. Get this, he investigates whether poor mothering leads to alcohol abuse in adolescent monkeys. He also studies the effect of separating infant monkeys from their mothers. I’d really like to know how either of these is an important study. Seems like another Pork project to me. What a fool. Or maybe University of Colorado is the fool for allowing this ridiculous experiment to waste tax dollars.

For some reason he has moved his abuse victims to another facility but will continue his project. Maybe wants some of the blood off of his hands.


TWO ARTICLES FOLLOW:

Animal Rights Group Protests Monkey Transfer

http://www.wfmynews2.com/news/local_state

/article.aspx?storyid=58576

An animal rights group is vowing to protest a planned transfer of monkeys from Colorado university to Wake Forest Medical Center.

Winston-Salem, NC -- A California animal rights group is promising to protest plans to move a colony of monkeys to a research facility in the Triad.

In a letter to Wake Forest University, In Defense of Animals asks Wake Forest to instead advocate for the monkeys' transfer to a sanctuary.

The group warns that protests and "unwelcome media attention" will result if the transfer of the monkeys goes forward. According to IDA, the animals have been used to study the effect of separating infant monkeys from their mothers and whether poor mothering leads to alcohol abuse in adolescent monkeys.

RELATED STORY:

Controversial Monkey Transfer from Colorado University To Wake Forest Medical Center Decried
Animal Protection Group Cautions That Protests Will Follow Monkeys Should Transfer Plan Proceed

http://www.idausa.org/news/currentnews/monkey_transfer.html

Winston-Salem, N.C.— An international animal protection organization is calling on Wake Forest University to reject a plan by the University of Colorado to transfer a colony of bonnet macaque monkeys, used in controversial experiments, to its Winston Salem medical center. In a letter to Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch and President and CEO Richard H. Dean, In Defense of Animals (IDA) urged that Wake Forest advocate instead for the monkeys’ transfer to a sanctuary and warned that protests and unwelcome media attention will result if the transfer of the monkeys, who have been used in the widely criticized research of psychologist Mark Laudenslager, proceeds.

For 17 years, Laudenslager has used the colony to study the effect of separating infant monkeys from their mothers. His current studies investigate whether poor mothering leads to alcohol abuse in adolescent monkeys. CU documents obtained by IDA indicate that Laudenslager will conduct his alcohol studies on the monkeys long-distance from the CU medical center in Denver.

Wake Forest should not aid CU’s attempt to shirk its ethical obligations to these monkeys and dump its problem on another university 2,000 miles away,” said Rita Anderson of the Committee for Research Accountability (CRA), a project of IDA.

Anderson’s campaign to convince CU to cancel Laudenslager’s experiments and release the monkeys, known as the CU 34, to a sanctuary is supported by CU faculty member and well-known ethologist Mark Bekoff, who has stated, “The University ought to release the CU 34 to a sanctuary and stop using these wonderful beings as pawns - mere objects - in a heartless self-serving economic ploy.”

Anderson vowed not only to continue her efforts at CU, but also to organize protests and community action at Wake Forest, should the transfer take place.

“It would be grossly irresponsible for Wake Forest to move ahead with the plan to accept these monkeys,” said Dr. Elliot Katz, president of IDA. “They have suffered loss and deprivation for years at CU, living most of their lives in a 100 year-old basement which did not even meet federal standards. These long-suffering primates deserve a chance to live their final years in the relative freedom of a sanctuary.”

Laudenslager’s maternal separation experiments cost taxpayers at least $7 million, and the first year of his alcohol studies is funded with a nearly $800,000 federal grant from the National Institutes of Health. The experiments have been criticized by psychologists and other professionals as being irrelevant to human experience and a huge waste of tax dollars.

IDA is an international animal rescue and advocacy organization based in Mill Valley, California.

Young Activist in Ann Arbor, MI Takes Her Protest to the Street: Girl, 14, Spends Hours a Week Demonstrating Against Cruelty of Kentucky Fried Chicken

This is for the youth out there – see, you’re not alone.

Article:

Young animal rights activist takes her protest to the street Girl, 14, spends hours a week demonstrating against cruelty

http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?

/base/news-3/114086604187280.xml&coll=2

Saturday, February 25, 2006

BY KHALIL E. HACHEM

News Staff Reporter

Ally Brooks is an animal rights activist at heart, and hers is a very young heart.

Last year, the 14-year-old says, she was suspended for three days from school for objecting to the dissection of squids.

This week, while other teenagers were hitting the malls or watching television during their winter breaks, Brooks and some of her friends were protesting in the name of animal rights in front of a local fast food restaurant.

"Animals are defenseless. They can't speak for themselves,'' said Brooks, an Ypsilanti Township resident and ninth-grader at Lincoln High School. "They need someone to speak for them.''

A vegetarian for three years, Brooks said she has spent two hours a day this week outside the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Washtenaw Avenue, protesting the way the company handles and prepares poultry.

The restaurant manager declined to comment on the protest.

Brooks said that she realizes people are going to kill animals to eat meat but it can be done with more humane methods. She said she has for the past two years spent much of her free time protesting the treatment of animals at poultry plants. She has distributed fliers, written to members of Congress and recruited friends to help her.

In school last year, she staged a verbal protest over the dissection of 10 squids during a science fair because the school could have used computer programs to teach animal anatomy instead of real animals, she said.

Brooks said she was suspended for three days after the protest.

Lincoln Consolidated Schools trustee Jeffrey Stokes said the district does not release the names of students who are disciplined.

Christina Felek of Ypsilanti Township, also a ninth-grader at Lincoln, stood with Brooks on the sidewalk in front of the Kentucky Fried Chicken store Friday, waving signs protesting the mistreatment of animals. She said she eats meat but was inspired to join in by her friend.

Brooks has loved animals since she was a little girl, said her mother, Cathy Brooks-Mull; she would bring in stray cats and animals and care for them. The teenager now has several animals including cats, mice and rabbits.

As the cold wind blew Friday, Brooks flashed a smile when drivers honked their horns in support of her protest.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Even Hunters Outraged: Like Everything in Their Life, Dick Cheney and Rich Guys Hunt by Different Rules: Canned Hunts Allow Easy Shots and Business

This is a great article about canned hunting and it’s relation to hunting in general. It also discusses how the US Government is trying to weaken the Endangered Species Act to allow importation of the remains of slaughtered endangered animals.

You see, canned hunting is simple – a bunch of rich people join fancy clubs that raise certain animals, then they hold the animals until all of the rich guys are ready and then release them allowing easy shots.

I would think that real hunters would find this a bit little girlish. I mean how weak is that? They pull up in their nice cars (probably driven by someone else) and then go into their little club, slap a few backs, have a few drinks and then put on their nice clean clothes. They then have Jeeves show them where to sit in a manicured field and then on cue, they have the animals released and then they shoot them. They then retire to a cushy room to wheel and deal and slap backs, etc.

Easy life for them. Weak, but easy.

I can see now why Dick Cheney shot someone – he has no idea on proper hunting techniques. Why? Because he usually doesn’t have to know about them. Everything is usually done for him. Pathetic.

More on canned hunting can be found here:

http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/issues_facing_

wildlife/hunting/canned_hunts/


Article:

Cheney's Canned Kill, and Other Hunting Excesses of the Bush Administration

http://www.hsus.org/legislation_laws/wayne_pacelle
_the_animal_advocate/cheneys_canned_kill_and_
other_hunting_excesses_of_the_bush_administra
tion.html

By Wayne Pacelle

Vice President Dick Cheney went pheasant shooting in Pennsylvania in December 2003, but unlike most of his fellow hunters across America, he didn't have to spend hours or even days tramping the fields and hedgerows in hopes of bagging a brace of birds for the dinner table.

Upon his arrival at the exclusive Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, gamekeepers released 500 pen-raised pheasants from nets for the benefit of him and his party. In a blaze of gunfire, the group—which included legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), along with major fundraisers for Republican candidates—killed at least 417 of the birds. According to one gamekeeper who spoke to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cheney was credited with shooting more than 70 of the pen-reared fowl.

After lunch, the group shot flocks of mallard ducks, also reared in pens and shot like so many live skeet. There's been no report on the number of mallards the hunting party killed, but it's likely that hundreds fell.

Rolling Rock is an exclusive private club for the wealthy with a world-class golf course and a closed membership list. It is also a "canned hunting" operation—a place where fee-paying hunters blast away at released animals, whether birds or mammals, who often have no reasonable chance to escape. Most are "no kill, no pay" operations where patrons only shells out funds for the animals they kill.

Bird-shooting operations offer pheasants, quail, partridges, and mallard ducks, often dizzying the birds and planting them in front of hunters or tossing them from towers toward waiting shotguns. There are, perhaps, more than 3,000 such operations in the United States, according to outdoor writer Ted Williams.

For canned hunts involving mammals, hunters can shoot animals native to given continents—everything from Addax to Zebra—within the confines of a fenced area, assuring the animals have no opportunity to escape. Time magazine estimates that 2,000 facilities offer native or exotic mammals for shooting within fenced enclosures.

The HSUS worked hard to expose Cheney's shooting spree, and we were fortunate in persuading The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Dallas Morning News, and other media outlets to cover the events of that day and our subsequent criticism.

Our criticism is simple to understand: Farm-raised pheasants are about as wary as urban pigeons and shooting them is nothing more than live target practice, especially when they are released from a hill in front of 10 gunners hidden below in blinds—as Cheney and his party were. Such hunting makes a mockery of basic principles of fair play and humane treatment, and the vice president should not associate himself with such conduct.

The private excesses of Cheney are bad enough, and worthy of The HSUS's rebuke. But it's the public policy excesses that are of even greater concern to me. Cheney's hunting trip strikes me as emblematic of the Bush Administration's callousness towards the earth's animals.

The administration's most outrageous proposal is its plan to allow trophy hunters to shoot endangered species in other countries and import the trophies and hides into the United States. The administration first floated the proposal a few months ago, with formal proposals subsequently published in the Federal Register, and President Bush is expected to make a final decision soon on the plan, which originated with his U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For 30 years, the Endangered Species Act has provided critical protections for species near extinction in the United States. The act also protects species in foreign nations, by barring pet traders, circuses, trophy hunters, and others from importing live or dead endangered species. While we can't prevent the shooting or capture of endangered species overseas, we can prevent imports—thus eliminating the incentive for American hunters and others to shoot or trap the animals in the first place.

But with this plan the administration is seeking to punch gaping holes in the prohibitions, under the assumption that generating revenue through the sale of hunting licenses will aid on-the-ground conservation in foreign lands.

The plan is transparent on its face. It's not aimed to help species, but to aid special interests who want to profit from the exploitation of wildlife. No group is more centrally involved in this miserable plan than Safari Club International, the world's leading trophy hunting organization and an entity with close ties to the Bush Administration.

The 40,000 member organization of rich trophy collectors has doled out close to $600,000 in campaign contributions among GOP candidates in the past six years. President Bush appointed a former top lobbyist of the Safari Club to be the deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—again, the very agency promoting the plan to allow the selling off of endangered species to private interests.

The HSUS is not a pro-hunting organization. That said, we view certain types of hunting as worse than others. It crosses any reasonable line to support the shooting of some of the rarest and most endangered animals in the world. And it is beyond the pale to advocate for or participate in the shooting of animals in canned hunts—for birds or mammals.

President Bush met with leaders of 19 hunting organizations on December 12. While we expect him to endorse certain forms of hunting, he should in no way countenance the shooting of endangered species or the hunting of captive or pen-reared animals. If that's where these hunting groups want to lead him, he needs to resist their entreaties. He needs to stand up to these special interest groups and draw a bright line between certain types of hunting conduct.

Americans don't support this nonsense, and the president shouldn't either.

Whale and Dolphin News in Brief

From wdcs.org

WHALE MEAT TURNED INTO DOG FOOD


Whale meat from Japan’s ever increasing whale hunts is being turned into dog food.

Japan’s stockpile of whale meat has doubled in the past decade as a result of an increase in the number of whales killed. Government officials have admitted that stockpiles are rising and they are looking to find new markets. WDCS was shocked to find a website selling whale meat for pets, claiming the products are ‘fished freshly out of the water’, ‘organic’, ‘safe and healthy’ and ‘made in factories where whale meat is processed for human consumption’.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/whaling


GILL AND TANGLE NETS - WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW TO STOP THEM.

In recent weeks, large numbers of dead dolphins and porpoises, the victims of fishing nets, have washed up on the shores of south west England. Each year, thousands die in this way threatening the survival of entire populations.

Gill and tangle nets, set to the sea bed, pose a real threat to dolphins and porpoises. Many fishermen that use these nets are now required under EU law to use acoustic 'pinger' devices designed to stop the animals from getting entangled and killed. However, the fishing industry has been reluctant to comply, arguing that the pingers are expensive and are unlikely to survive the rigours of the fishery.

Action is essential now. If pingers are not used, and demonstrated to be protecting dolphins and porpoises, then fishermen should not be allowed to continue using these nets. We are pressing the UK Government to take urgent and effective action.

Join us in our fight to save our dolphins and porpoises by sending an e-card to UK Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw outlining your concerns. To send your e-card now, please go to:


http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/nets

CAPTIVE ORCAS IMPORTED TO TENERIFE

Despite receiving hundreds of letters of protest from WDCS supporters, the Spanish authorities have allowed the first import of orcas into the European Union for more than ten years.

Four orcas have been transported from Sea World, USA to a new captive orca facility at Loro Parque, Tenerife. The cruel practice of keeping orcas in captivity could also have an impact on wild populations, as low survival rates in captivity may mean more are captured to supply the industry.

A huge thank you to everyone who sent letters of protest to Spain. The level of opposition to the imports did not go unnoticed and will help WDCS with future campaigns to end captures and international trade in orcas. In more positive news, following a local campaign supported by WDCS, Mexico recently banned the import and export of marine mammals for commercial purposes.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/captivi



UK: ARE HUMAN ACTIONS TO BLAME FOR WHALE DEATHS?
Following a number of whale strandings off the east coast of the UK, WDCS is highlighting the need to identify whether human actions are to blame.
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/strandi


UK: CORNWALL STUDY TO PROTECT DOLPHINS
In response to the large number of dolphin and porpoise deaths off the South West coast of England, WDCS scientists are monitoring populations in the area. This year, WDCS Consultant, Marijke de Boer is conducting a study in Cornwall. To read extracts from her research diary, please go to:
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/UKresea


US NAVY SONAR RANGE CHALLENGED
The civilian agency in charge of marine issues has challenged the US Navy’s plans to build an underwater sonar training range in the Atlantic Ocean.
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/noise


TEN IRRAWADDY DOLPHINS DIE IN CAMBODIA
The bodies of ten Irrawaddy dolphins, eight of them calves, have been found in Cambodia’s Mekong river, putting one of the rarest dolphins in the world even closer to extinction.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050223/irrawad


SPAIN: MYSTERIOUS BEAKED WHALE STRANDINGS
An unusual mass stranding of live Cuvier's beaked whales took place in Spain on the 26th January. The stranding appears to have coincided with naval activities. All the whales have since died.
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/strand2



UK: MARRA, THE TRAPPED DOLPHIN IS FREE
The bottlenose dolphin that was trapped in a dock in Maryport, UK since January 5th was freed by a team led by British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR).
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/Marra

Garden City's Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas Just One of Many Zoos Accused of Elephant and other Animal Abuse

Garden City zoo could encounter lengthy process with animal rights accusations

http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/Gardenzoo022506.html

By Tim Vandenack

The Hutchinson News

tvandenack@hutchnews.com

GARDEN CITY, KS - Addressing an animal rights group's charge that drastic change is needed in the care of captive elephants - including Moki and Chana at Lee Richardson Zoo - isn't a simple task.

What's more, some say, the changes sought border on unrealistic, even counterproductive.

In Defense of Animals, based in Mill Valley, Calif., charges widespread evidence of chronic foot and joint problems among captive elephants. The group singles out the condition of the animals in six zoos, including Garden City's Lee Richardson Zoo, and seeks change in pertinent federal rules that addresses such woes.

The group filed its complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees zoo animal treatment, and department spokesman Jim Rogers says a preliminary response could be a couple of months in the offing.

In Defense officials think it could take longer. The group's petition, filed in early February, asks the government agency to respond within six months.

For Suzanne Roy, an In Defense program coordinator, it's all part of the process.

She says possible USDA responses include acceptance of proposed rule changes or partial acceptance. The agency could reject the proposals outright, which would enable In Defense to file a lawsuit in federal court.

Significantly, In Defense asks that zoos provide more space for elephants if USDA inspectors find the animals suffer from chronic foot and joint woes. Tight quarters - contrasting the broad swaths elephants range over in the wild - account for such problems, the group claims.

In Defense also asks, without specifying numbers, that elephant enclosures be large enough to allow captive animals exercise space similar to the expanses their counterparts enjoy in the wild.

The American Zoo and Aquarium Association, a zoo accreditation body, requires 400 square feet of indoor space per animal. It also calls for 1,800 square feet of outdoor space for the first elephant and 900 more square feet for each additional pachyderm.

Whether changes as proposed realistically can be expected remains in question.

Kathy Sexson, director of Lee Richardson Zoo, said elephants in the wild range over such large areas out of necessity, seeking food and water. In captivity, where their needs - physical and mental - are provided for, they don't need to travel as far.

Providing "miles and miles" of space for elephants would be nice, Sexson says, but zoos have space limitations. Moreover, she said, zoos aim to educate and foster stewardship of the globe's animals and that's not possible if an animal is out of the public eye - absent from a zoo or meandering in a hidden corner of a massive pen.

The zoo and aquarium association, in response to In Defense's petition, echoes Sexson's comments in citing a 2005 poll. Most respondents - 95 percent - say seeing elephants and rhinos helps generate a greater appreciation for them. As many agree that success in saving endangered species stems, at least in part, from the work of zoos.

Nonetheless, there's no dearth of efforts to radically alter the care of captive elephants.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which launched a now- dormant letter-writing campaign in 2004 to force Lee Richardson to get rid of Moki and Chana, seeks the complete transfer of elephants from zoos. The group wants the animals moved to spacious sanctuaries.

For now, though, the animal rights group focuses its efforts on an ordinance proposal in Chicago that requires five acres of indoor and five acres of outdoor space for captive elephants there.

In Defense, a nonprofit group, focuses on a range of animal issues, through protest, grassroots mobilization and legislative lobbying. It is much smaller in terms of annual revenues than PETA, famous for its use of celebrities and publicity stunts to push causes.

Due to Severe Negligence at the University of Nevada, Reno Research and Agricultural Facilities, Calls are Made for Unannounced Inspections

Animal-rights activists stage protest over UNR facilities

http://www.krnv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4555182&nav=8faO

Feb 26, 2006, 09:12 PM

About a dozen animal-rights advocates have staged a protest over operations at University of Nevada, Reno research and agricultural facilities.

Protesters who gathered yesterday on the UNR campus called for independent investigations and unannounced health inspections of the facilities.

The protest follows the drowning of one cow and 346 sheep belonging to UNR in New Year's Eve flooding along the Truckee River.

Earlier, UNR was fined $11,400 for 56 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Protest organizers say they're launching a petition drive to drum up support for state legislation requiring unannounced inspections.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Ohio State University Ends Research on Chimpanzees: An Amazing Development

Definitely our story of the day. A great development. Hopefully this will be a catalyst to have other universities and testing facilities do the same. A great development!

More information on chimpanzees in research and on a group building a sanctuary for them can be found at: http://www.savethechimps.org/index.asp


Article:

University ends chimp research, retires animals

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=

2628&ncid=2628&e=5&u=/nm/20060221/us_

nm/science_chimpanzees_dc_1

Tue Feb 21, 5:38 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ohio State University said on Tuesday it was closing its chimpanzee research program and sending its remaining nine chimps to a refuge where they will no longer be used for research.

ADVERTISEMENT

The university said it was following the lead of other institutions that have scaled back research using chimpanzees, the closest genetic relative of human beings.

"While we are rightfully proud of the outstanding research that has evolved from Ohio State's primate cognition project in the last decade or so, we believe the time is now right to move the animals to safer quarters where they can live out their lives in peace," said Robert McGrath, senior vice president for research at the university.

"In recent years, research institutions across the country -- including the Air Force, the

National Institutes of Health and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- have elected to reduce the amount of primate research they conduct and retire many of their animals," the university added in a statement.

"That has made locating an appropriate long-term home for the animals a more difficult task for Ohio State." It said it took four years to find an appropriate home for the chimpanzees in San Antonio, Texas.

"Ohio State is paying for construction of that facility, for medical exams and shipping, and providing an endowment to support the animals," it said.

The chimpanzees, who live in a family-like group, will be taken to Primarily Primates, Inc., which is north of San Antonio.

"This sanctuary is one of the best in the country for chimpanzees and offers these animals a much better environment than we are able to provide at this time. The staff there is well-respected nationally and completely dedicated to the health and well-being of the animals in their care," said William Yonushonis, director of the Office of Laboratory Animal Resources at OSU.

Cruel Condominium Owners in Singapore Keep Sharks in Small Tank

I totally agree with this quote from the story below:

"Sharks are adapted to life in the open ocean and to confine them to a small tank denying them the freedom to express the natural behavior is cruel,"

Article:

Furore over sharks in Singapore condo tank

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid

=1540&ncid=1540&e=5&u=/afp/200602

23/

sc_afp/singaporeanimalssharkrights_060223

150334

Thu Feb 23, 10:03 AM ET

SINGAPORE (AFP) - Three sharks have been found in a cramped display tank at a marine-themed condominium in Singapore.

Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, Acres, said the tank was "far too small" and the "sub optimal conditions" were compromising the sharks' welfare.

Two of the captives are reef sharks about one metre (3.3 feet) in length while the other is a nurse shark about twice their size, Acres said Thursday.

The group alleged the tank is too small to accommodate the potential full growth of a nurse shark, which is about four meters.

"Sharks are adapted to life in the open ocean and to confine them to a small tank denying them the freedom to express the natural behavior is cruel," said Amy Corrigan, Acres' director of zoology.

Acres said a tip-off from the public led to the discovery.

The group alleges the access hatch into the aquarium was not locked, making it accessible to residents.

Neither the condominium's management, nor Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, could be immediately reached for comment.

Indonesian Police and Foreign Tourists Released About 100 Protected Green Turtles That Were Confiscated From a Boat En Route to Bali to Become Food.

Sick mothers. Not even turtles are safe.


Article:

Tourists, police release 100 turtles saved from pot in Indonesia

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1540&nci

d=1540&e=6&u=/afp/20060223/sc_afp/indonesiawildlifebali

turtle_060223145859

Thu Feb 23, 9:58 AM ET

KUTA BEACH, Indonesia (AFP) - Indonesian police and foreign tourists released about 100 protected green turtles that were confiscated from a boat en route to the resort island of Bali.

"We released about 100 turtles of various sizes at Kuta Beach," water police officer Arief told AFP, adding that tourists also helped release the reptiles, some of which had carapaces measuring 50 centimetres (20 inches) in diameter.

Two of the turtles were being kept as evidence, Arief said.

"The turtles are a protected species and the boat master and his crew will be charged with violating the law on nature conservation and a 1999 government regulation on flora and fauna," he said.

The turtles, saved on Wednesday, had come from Indonesia's South Sulawesi and were to be sold in Bali, where turtle meat is widely consumed, including as part of local Bali-Hinduist religious rites.

Its shells are also crafted into souvenirs for tourists.

Indonesia, home to important migrations routes at the crossroads of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, is home to six out of seven of the world's turtle species.

Louis Vuitton Store on Paris' Famed Champs Elysees Avenue Sight of Anti-Fur Protest

Article:

Anti-fur activists protest on Champs Elysees

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1548&n

cid=1548&e=12&u=/afp/20060223/lf_afp/afplifestylefrance_060223155127

Thu Feb 23, 10:51 AM ET

PARIS (AFP) - Cloaked in fur and doused in fake blood, animal rights campaigners staged a noisy protest outside a Louis Vuitton store on Paris' famed Champs Elysees avenue.

Despite the biting cold, two young women wearing nothing but fur wraps and underwear, writhed on the sidewalk for half a hour, shrieking to simulate the agony of animals stripped of their fur, before collapsing as if dead.

Other campaigners held up banners reading "Stop the Barbarity", "Yes to fashion without cruelty, No to fur!" and images of bloodied animals -- as crowds of tourists snapped pictures of the half-nude protest.

The group, called Fur Torture, said they had targeted Louis Vuitton as one of many luxury brands in the Paris fashion industry that continued to use real fur, mainly for decoration on accessories.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Another Oil Spill Leaves up to 35,000 Birds Dead

The title says it all. Another damn oil spill. This has to stop.



Article:

Bird disaster hits Estonia coast

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4733418.stm

By Laura Sheeter

BBC News, Estonia

Swans covered in oil

The authorities still do not know who caused the oil spill

International volunteers and Estonian conservationists are trying to save the last surviving birds caught in an oil spill in the frozen Baltic Sea.

The slick appeared off Estonia's north-west coast in late January.

"I'm wearing four layers of clothes, a down suit and a dry suit, and you can still feel the cold through all that," says one rescuer standing on the ice.

"But what else can we do? We can't just leave the birds to die."

The spill, the source of which is still unknown, is estimated to have killed 35,000 birds, making it by far the worst Estonia has experienced.

Estonian prosecutors say it is mostly fuel oil, deliberately washed out by a tanker.

However, despite travelling to Egypt to take samples from one suspect tanker, investigators say it may be impossible to ever find those responsible.

Frozen sea

Although not very big in global terms, the spill's location - close to important wintering sites for sea ducks and swans - and the extremely cold winter weather mean there have been few survivors.

ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER

Slick made up of estimated 20 tonnes of fuel oil

Origin unknown

3,500 dead birds collected, but 35,000 birds thought to have died

Swans and sea ducks most seriously affected

Oil-covered feathers lose their waterproofing, and with temperatures down to -20C, birds rapidly die of hypothermia.

Weeks after the spill, the only oiled birds still alive are swans. The rescuers have to wait for the birds to become weak enough to be caught, by which time their chance of recovery is much slimmer.

Mark Thompson, from the British Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), is leading the rescue.

"We've caught maybe 500 birds, but in these temperatures it's really hard. More than once we've had to cut birds out of the ice when they've become frozen into the sea," he says.

But news that the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had been found in the Baltic Sea off Germany brought an abrupt halt to the search.

The Estonian authorities decided that thse risk was too great for those trying to rescue and treat the birds, so no more survivors would be caught.

'Time bomb'

The work continues, though, to treat those who have been rescued.

An hour's drive inland at the temporary treatment centre in Keila, more than 100 swans, long-tailed ducks and golden-eyed ducks are being warmed up, fed and washed.

A swan on the ice

The full extent of the damage is still not known

Many arrive totally emaciated, and have to be fed until they regain their winter weight and are strong enough to be released back into the wild.

The vets at the centre have come from all over the world and specialise in treating oiled birds.

Dr Ian Robinson, from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, is leading the team and fears that although the rescue operation is now over, there will be more victims of this oil spill.

"We have something of a time bomb here," he says.

"At the moment, the oil is trapped under the ice, so you can't see it, and you can't clean it up. When the sea thaws, that oil will be released, just at the time when all the migrating birds are returning here from the south.

"I have no doubt we'll see more birds caught in this spill."

But come the spring, and things could be even harder, as the team may not be allowed to rescue any birds at all, if the risk from bird flu is still thought to be too great.

Sharks Could be More Vulnerable to the Fishing Industry than was Previously Thought, Research has Revealed.

I’m not sure why we need a study to tell us this obvious fact. Not a good development.

Article:

Study warns of threat to sharks

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/4736380.stm

Sharks could be more vulnerable to the fishing industry than was previously thought, research has revealed.

Marine scientists led by Aberdeen University have discovered that the deepest oceans of the world appear to be shark free.

One possible reason, they tell a Royal Society journal, may be lack of food.

The researchers warn that the findings mean all shark populations are within reach of human fisheries and could be at greater risk than was thought.

In their paper published on Wednesday - The absence of sharks from abyssal regions of the world's oceans - the international team of researchers reports that sharks have failed to colonise at depths greater than 3,000m.

Sharks are found throughout the world's oceans and it had been hoped new species would be discovered as exploration went deeper.

There is no hidden reserve of sharks in the deep sea - it's highly unlikely we are going to find anymore

Prof Monty Priede

Aberdeen University

However, 20 years of exploration combined with analysis of records over the past 150 years, has convinced the scientists that the world's oceans are 70% shark-free.

The average depth of the oceans is 4,000m and bony fish - relatives of cod - thrive down to around 9,000m depth.

The scientists do not know why sharks are absent there but suggest one possible reason could be a lack of food resources.

Within reach

Professor Monty Priede, director of Oceanlab at Aberdeen University, said: "Sharks are apparently confined to around 30% of the world's oceans.

"All populations are therefore within reach of human fisheries, near the surface and at the edges of deep water.

"Sharks are already threatened worldwide by the intensity of fishing activity.

"But our finding suggests they may be more vulnerable to over-exploitation than was previously thought.

"As far as we can see, there is no hidden reserve of sharks in the deep sea. All we see is all there is - it's highly unlikely we are going to find any more."

The scientists based their conclusions on a wide range of data, which includes information gathered during a major expedition along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores in 2004.

The team also used findings built up over the last two decades when the university's Oceanlab started developing landers - remotely operated vehicles - which have been used in deep waters all over the world.

Expeditions using landers visited deep areas including the South Atlantic off the Falkland Islands.

The shark paper is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Pet Sales at Flea Markets: Why Not a Good Idea? Puppy Mills.

When you buy a dog, cat, bird, etc. from a pet store, you support puppy mills. It’s just as bad when you buy from a flea market. Why should you not buy from a pet store or flea market: puppy mills. To find out more about puppy mills, follow this link: http://www.stoppuppymills.org/



Article:

Animal rescuers: Stop flea market pet sales


http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/

The Associated Press

MONCKS CORNER - Berkeley County animal rescuers want to stop the sale and give away of puppies and kittens at the Coastal Carolina Flea Market.

Although the county has an ordinance prohibiting the practice, animal control officer John Nutter said it hasn't been enforced.

Lawyers are still reviewing it, he said.

Flea market owner Dan Davis said the concerns about flea market pets are unfounded.

"I don't believe we are the illegal ogre they make us out to be," Davis said.

But Pearl Sutton, executive director of the Doc Williams Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said pets sold at flea markets often are in poor health and end up discarded at shelters.

Davis says he won't ask vendors to stop selling animals until County Council redrafts its ordinance prohibiting the sale, trading or giving away of animals in commercial parking lots, flea markets, fairs or carnivals.

The dogs and cats given away or sold at the flea market are not regulated by any health standards the way animals sold in pet stores are, Sutton said.

She said it also is a public health hazard because people could get scratched or bitten by unvaccinated animals.

Dayton, Ohio Women Only Gets 13 Days in Jail for Allowing a Dog to Freeze to Death.

So that’s all she gets? 13 days in jail and will not be allowed to have another pet for four years.

Wow, real tough. I would think freezing to death would be much worst than that!


Article:

Dayton Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty


http://www.whiotv.com/news/7301124/detail.html

A Dayton woman was charged Tuesday with animal cruelty after officers said they found a frozen dog outside her home.

Charmon Borton is the second person to be charged with the crime. Dayton resident Jerry Welsh, has already been charged in the case.

At Christmas, animal control officers found a frozen dog and another dog clinging to life.

Barton was sentenced to community service and 15 days on home detention.

Welsh will spend 13 days in jail and will not be allowed to have another pet for four years.

Squeezer, the dog lucky enough to make it, is still up for adoption at the Dayton Area Humane Society.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Undercover Documentary will Air Tonight, Feb. 21, on Pet Theft and How Animal Testing Facilities Really Get Dogs and Cats: USDA and Class B Dealers

One more reminder....

Tonight is the night it airs!

And if you can't watch it, or don't get HBO, then at least visit the website at:

Dealing Dogs: The Betrayal of Man’s Best Friends

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/dealingdogs/index.html


I posted this last week. Want to post again to assure everyone will watch. Please do, you'll learn a lot. It will air tomorrow. This is the only thing I'll post today. I want everyone to focus on this documentary.

Undercover Documentary will Air 2-21 on Pet Theft and How Animal Testing Facilities Really Get Dogs and Cats: They Expose the World of Class B Dealers, Bunchers, Auctions and USDA Complicity in Pet Theft


The details of the documentary are found below. It have also included some quotes from the producers on what was uncovered in this documentary, as they were able to get someone undercover at Martin Creek Kennel and other facilities. Again, you just won’t believe it and the cruelty that was uncovered. It’s hard to comprehend.

I encourage all, (including animal haters) to see how research facilities really get dogs and cats. Dog or cat lovers, get ready. Your anger will boil over when you learn of the truth. The truth that I mention again, is supported by the USDA.

If you don’t have HBO, then at least read the quotes below and visit the site for the documentary. You will learn a lot. The site can be found at:


Dealing Dogs: The Betrayal of Man’s Best Friends

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/dealingdogs/index.html


Dealing Dogs

Each year, 42,000 dogs are sold to veterinary schools and research labs by Class B dealers, who are required by federal law to buy the animals from pounds, shelters and small breeders and to treat them humanely. However, many Class B dealers violate the law. DEALING DOGS exposes the abuses that took place at one of America's most notorious Class B dealers - Martin Creek Kennel in Arkansas. Premieres Tuesday, February 21 at 10pm (ET/PT).


Here’s a few excerpts from the producers of the show on the situation with bunchers and in particular C.C. Baird. You won’t believe it. The interview can be found here:

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/dealingdogs/

interview.html

Well, C.C. Baird keeps about between five to seven hundred dogs in a kennel. He sells them to laboratories for experimentation. Now, either you agree with that or you don't, but it is legal. What was very bad about what he was doing was where he was getting those dogs, and then how he was treating them when he had them. He was getting them from guys known as bunchers, who would sell him dogs. They would claim that they had bred these dogs, but in many cases they had taken a van, gone around and taken them off people's lawns. So he would acquire them from wherever he could, really. And then he would turn around and sell them from anywhere between two hundred and fifty to four hundred dollars. So he was making a lot of money.

And the USDA, which licensed him, has fairly comprehensive rules about the conditions in which dogs are supposed to be kept by B dealers -- requirements about the amount of cage space, the access to veterinary care, food, cleanliness. And basically, what Pete was doing was documenting both the violations of the USDA regulations, which fall under the Animal Welfare Act, and the means by which he seemed to acquire these dogs, and dispose of the dogs. I mean, one of the most harrowing sequences in the film is a visit that we made to what's known as "the Trench," which is an area on Baird's property. It's an open trench some hundred feet long that contains the carcasses in various stages of decay of dogs that were disposed of from the kennel. A lot of them died of disease, a lot of them died because they were over-crowded and they were in fights. Some of them died because they had diseases and then their organs were harvested, and sold to research labs.

Because often when a dog was ill, it was cheaper for them to dispose of him or a dog that was supposedly a "biter." One of the most horrific scenes in the film is the story of a little black dog who one of the kennel guys claimed was a "biter." And he was summarily taken out and shot in the head. And Pete got it on camera. It's pretty rough stuff.

Well, there is a bigger issue, which is that the USDA are supposed to inspect these dealers. There aren't enough USDA inspectors to go around, but many of them don't do their job. And so we hope that there is a rethink within the USDA about actually inspecting these dealers, and we hope that they make B dealers illegal.


End of summary.

I recently wrote about the case of C.C. Baird and Martin Creek Kennel in Arkansas. This disgrace was a Class B dealer, who literally stole dogs and cats from yards and sold them to animal testing facilities as well as to veterinary schools. He did this with the help of bunchers: http://geari.blogspot.com/2005/09/

noted-dog-and-cat-dealers-plead-guilty.html


This is an amazing development. I had no idea that anyone was actually working on a documentary of the issues of how research labs and veterinary schools actually get the animals they test on. As I mentioned, one particularly bad dealer is C.C. Baird. This documentary takes you behind the scenes of his disgusting operation. You wont’ believe that this man actually made millions off stealing dogs and cats from yards and then legally selling them to animal testing labs and veterinary schools. And it’s all legal via the USDA. I also have much on this form of pet theft at:

http://geari.blogspot.com/2005/09/

noted-dog-and-cat-dealers-plead-guilty.html


But the best thing would be for all to watch the documentary. It will educate you fully on this terrible issue.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Undercover Documentary will Air 2-21 on Pet Theft and How Animal Testing Facilities Really Get Dogs and Cats: USDA and the World of Class B Dealers


I posted this last week. Want to post again to assure everyone will watch. Please do, you'll learn a lot. It will air tomorrow. This is the only thing I'll post today. I want everyone to focus on this documentary.

Undercover Documentary will Air 2-21 on Pet Theft and How Animal Testing Facilities Really Get Dogs and Cats: They Expose the World of Class B Dealers, Bunchers, Auctions and USDA Complicity in Pet Theft


The details of the documentary are found below. It have also included some quotes from the producers on what was uncovered in this documentary, as they were able to get someone undercover at Martin Creek Kennel and other facilities. Again, you just won’t believe it and the cruelty that was uncovered. It’s hard to comprehend.

I encourage all, (including animal haters) to see how research facilities really get dogs and cats. Dog or cat lovers, get ready. Your anger will boil over when you learn of the truth. The truth that I mention again, is supported by the USDA.

If you don’t have HBO, then at least read the quotes below and visit the site for the documentary. You will learn a lot. The site can be found at:


Dealing Dogs: The Betrayal of Man’s Best Friends

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/dealingdogs/index.html


Dealing Dogs

Each year, 42,000 dogs are sold to veterinary schools and research labs by Class B dealers, who are required by federal law to buy the animals from pounds, shelters and small breeders and to treat them humanely. However, many Class B dealers violate the law. DEALING DOGS exposes the abuses that took place at one of America's most notorious Class B dealers - Martin Creek Kennel in Arkansas. Premieres Tuesday, February 21 at 10pm (ET/PT).


Here’s a few excerpts from the producers of the show on the situation with bunchers and in particular C.C. Baird. You won’t believe it. The interview can be found here:

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/dealingdogs/

interview.html

Well, C.C. Baird keeps about between five to seven hundred dogs in a kennel. He sells them to laboratories for experimentation. Now, either you agree with that or you don't, but it is legal. What was very bad about what he was doing was where he was getting those dogs, and then how he was treating them when he had them. He was getting them from guys known as bunchers, who would sell him dogs. They would claim that they had bred these dogs, but in many cases they had taken a van, gone around and taken them off people's lawns. So he would acquire them from wherever he could, really. And then he would turn around and sell them from anywhere between two hundred and fifty to four hundred dollars. So he was making a lot of money.

And the USDA, which licensed him, has fairly comprehensive rules about the conditions in which dogs are supposed to be kept by B dealers -- requirements about the amount of cage space, the access to veterinary care, food, cleanliness. And basically, what Pete was doing was documenting both the violations of the USDA regulations, which fall under the Animal Welfare Act, and the means by which he seemed to acquire these dogs, and dispose of the dogs. I mean, one of the most harrowing sequences in the film is a visit that we made to what's known as "the Trench," which is an area on Baird's property. It's an open trench some hundred feet long that contains the carcasses in various stages of decay of dogs that were disposed of from the kennel. A lot of them died of disease, a lot of them died because they were over-crowded and they were in fights. Some of them died because they had diseases and then their organs were harvested, and sold to research labs.

Because often when a dog was ill, it was cheaper for them to dispose of him or a dog that was supposedly a "biter." One of the most horrific scenes in the film is the story of a little black dog who one of the kennel guys claimed was a "biter." And he was summarily taken out and shot in the head. And Pete got it on camera. It's pretty rough stuff.

Well, there is a bigger issue, which is that the USDA are supposed to inspect these dealers. There aren't enough USDA inspectors to go around, but many of them don't do their job. And so we hope that there is a rethink within the USDA about actually inspecting these dealers, and we hope that they make B dealers illegal.


End of summary.

I recently wrote about the case of C.C. Baird and Martin Creek Kennel in Arkansas. This disgrace was a Class B dealer, who literally stole dogs and cats from yards and sold them to animal testing facilities as well as to veterinary schools. He did this with the help of bunchers: http://geari.blogspot.com/2005/09/

noted-dog-and-cat-dealers-plead-guilty.html


This is an amazing development. I had no idea that anyone was actually working on a documentary of the issues of how research labs and veterinary schools actually get the animals they test on. As I mentioned, one particularly bad dealer is C.C. Baird. This documentary takes you behind the scenes of his disgusting operation. You wont’ believe that this man actually made millions off stealing dogs and cats from yards and then legally selling them to animal testing labs and veterinary schools. And it’s all legal via the USDA. I also have much on this form of pet theft at:

http://geari.blogspot.com/2005/09/

noted-dog-and-cat-dealers-plead-guilty.html


But the best thing would be for all to watch the documentary. It will educate you fully on this terrible issue.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bill in Congress Would Eliminate Class B Dealers: Would Eliminate Pet Theft and Your Pet Ending Up in USDA Sanctioned Animal Testing Facility

I wrote last week on an HBO undercover documentary that will air 2-21 on pet theft and how animal testing facilities really get dogs and cats. It exposes the world of class b dealers, bunchers, auctions and USDA complicity in pet theft. Here is the link:

http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/02/undercover-

documentary-will-air-2-21.html

For more information on Class B Dealers, C.C. Baird and Pet Theft, see this link:

http://geari.blogspot.com/2005/09/noted-

dog-and-cat-dealers-plead-guilty.html

This article is also on this issue, but is more on an act in Congress that would eliminate Class B dealers. After reading the links above, you will see why any caring individual would find this to be a good thing.


From the article below:

“…[T]here is a bill in Congress entitled the Pet Safety and Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), that would eliminate Class B dealers.

“Between the HBO special, testimonies from Baird and a guy in Oregon ... I think we have a damn good chance of getting this law put through,” Derose said. “I feel pretty confident we will get it through now.”

I have to say though, that the bill is good in terms of limiting Class B dealers, but it is not perfect. The points of the bill are listed at the end of the article. Of course, the last four are not desirable. Those are:

• permit breeders (Class A dealers) to supply animals to laboratories.

• permit research facilities that breed animals to supply them to other research facilities.

• permit registered public pounds that receive animals turned in by their owners to provide these animals to research facilities.

• permit individuals to donate their own animals to laboratories for research purposes.

The third and forth points are particularly disturbing as you can imagine the fright already experienced by the animal when they're abandoned. In addition, it treats them like property in that what happens to them when turned over by their "owners" is based on what the "owner" wants. There should be additional safeguards to protect against this. It's scary these are even thrown in.


Perhaps these changes can be made as well. But a good first step that will eliminate the scum Class B dealer.


Article:

Animal rights group wants law to change

http://www.guardonline.com/?module=

displaystory&story_id=33258&format=html

By Andrea Bruner, Assistant Managing Editor

Published Thursday February 16, 2006

LOS ANGELES — Shutting down the “most notorious Class B dealer in the United States” isn’t enough — the law needs to be changed, according to Chris Derose, president of the Last Chance for Animals animal rights group, which is based in Los Angeles.

Derose said Class B dog dealers, who buy dogs from pounds, shelters and small breeders and sell to research facilities, have been around for years.

C.C. Baird of Williford, owner and operator of Martin Creek Kennel, was said to be the most notorious of the Class B dealers at the time. His facility was raided by federal agents in 2003, and he has since ceased operation.

Derose pointed to an article in the February 1966 issue of Life magazine entitled “Concentration Camps for Dogs.” That 40-year-old article, he said, showed “the whole problem of dog theft in this country. That’s why the Animal Welfare Act was introduced.

“Not a single solitary thing has changed.”

Derose said there is a bill in Congress entitled the Pet Safety and Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), that would eliminate Class B dealers.

“Between the HBO special, testimonies from Baird and a guy in Oregon ... I think we have a damn good chance of getting this law put through,” Derose said. “I feel pretty confident we will get it through now.”

He likened the Class B dealers to “organized crime sanctioned by U.S. government.”

“Once and for all I think the government needs to clean up the mess it’s made,” Derose said.

Derose said he’s seen some change since he started with Last Chance for Animals. “When I started there were 127 Class B dealers,” he said, but now there’s about a dozen or so throughout the United States.

He said the Baird case was not just an animal rights investigation; it was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Derose said that for him, the Baird case began 15 years ago in Missouri, when calls came pouring in about missing and/or stolen pets. Derose said he nicknamed Missouri the “Steal Me State.”

He said it took seven years to run license plates and eventually pinpoint who the two biggest dealers were, and the bigger of the two was Baird. “We spent a total of eight years on C.C. Baird.”

Last Chance for Animals followed Baird for a couple of years, trying to figure out how it could get the operation shut down for good. The activists approached the Environmental Protection Agency, who then turned the case over to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, but still nothing came about, Derose said.

Then Last Chance for Animals tried to get its own investigator in. “We tried four different people before we came up with Pete,” Derose said.

“We tried a guy, then a gal, and then a guy named ‘Pegleg,’” Derose said. He said he thought Pegleg would fit into the rural setting, but the Bairds were apparently afraid he would get hurt. Another woman followed, and then finally Pete settled into the area.

Pete provided some 70 hours of footage in Martin Creek Kennel that was taken, along with notes and other evidence, to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Little Rock.

The investigation is detailed in an upcoming HBO documentary entitled “Dealing Dogs.”

Filmmaker Tom Simon said he believes most people are not aware of Class B dealers, especially the conditions in the Martin Creek Kennel. “I think they’re also not aware that the USDA is supposed to be enforcing rules that provide decent welfare for these animals. The question is not whether animals should be used in research. The question is whether laws that require they are being treated humanely are enforced.”

Simon said the USDA is very understaffed, and he hopes the film leads to better enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act.

Shutting down Baird, however, isn’t enough, Derose said. “We’re going for a total ban on Class B dealers.”

He said Baird has agreed to give testimony that will be used in Congress “to show that Class B dealers are a problem.”

Derose said he talked with Baird last month, and Baird gave statements regarding the USDA and its division, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

“That is part of his cooperation (with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which filed suit against Baird and his family),” Derose said. “These dealers are used as a scapegoat or buffer zone for the research facility. They are taking the brunt of what the research facilities should be taking,” he added.

Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL), a division of the Animal Welfare Institute, claims that Class B dealers “routinely violate the Animal Welfare Act. This federal law set the minimum standards of care for animals and requires accurate record keeping on their acquisition and disposition. ... Too often, dogs and cats are subjected to abusive handling and exposure to the elements while kept on the premises of Class B dealers. Sadly, Class B dealers routinely deny these animals sufficient food, water and veterinary care before they are sold off to laboratories.

“The Department of Agriculture lacks the necessary resources to track the interstate activities of Class B dealers to ensure that they comply with federal law. USDA cannot provide an assurance that illegally acquired pets are not being sold by Class B dealers.”

The society’s Web site, www.saplonline.org, also states that the Pet Safety and Protection Act “will protect family pets while allowing research on dogs and cats to continue in an environment free from fraud and abuse.”

In short, the act would:

• prohibit Class B dealers and unlicensed individuals from selling dogs and cats to laboratories.

• prevent stray animals, who may be lost family pets, from being sold to laboratories.

• permit breeders (Class A dealers) to supply animals to laboratories.

• permit research facilities that breed animals to supply them to other research facilities.

• permit registered public pounds that receive animals turned in by their owners to provide these animals to research facilities.

• permit individuals to donate their own animals to laboratories for research purposes.

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