Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre Only Near Haven for 50 Species Exploited By Poachers and Ravaged By War

Let’s hope this center can continue to offer some hope. Here are some sad details from the article below:

“Chimps are being abducted by witch doctors.

Congo's own war, which has claimed the lives of an estimated four million people since it began in 1998, has also caused untold damage to the ecology of some of the country's rarest animals. Hippos are on the brink of being wiped out in the Virunga National Park in eastern Congo. The Mai Mai, a Congolese militia operating in the North Kivu region, killed more than 400 hippopotamuses last month, according to the Zoological Society of London. The Mai Mai sell the hippo meat and the ivory found in their teeth. There are now estimated to be fewer than 900 hippos remaining in the park, down from 22,000 in 1988.

The number of elephants has suffered a similar decline, falling from 4,300 in the 1960s to just a few hundred by 2003. War, and the breakdown of any form of central government, has left most of the wildlife park's staff without pay for several years.”

Article:

Africa's animal refuge: The Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/article2018689.ece

It was set up as an animal orphanage, but today it is a haven for 50 species exploited by poachers and witch doctors in a region ravaged by war. Steve Bloomfield reports on a unique sanctuary
Published: 27 November 2006

Few animals are likely to have endured a more miserable existence than Sarah. By the age of four she had spent most of her life being used by a witch doctor in a Ugandan village. Locked in a cage and deprived of any contact with other chimpanzees, parts of Sarah's body would be shaved and her fur used in traditional ceremonies to banish evil spirits.

Spotted by a middleman for an animal smuggling ring, Sarah was bought for a few dollars and prepared to be flown out of Uganda, bound for either the Middle East or Europe, where conservationists believe she would have been sold to a collector. But Sarah refused to go quietly. As she was being taken away in a bag, on the way to Entebbe airport just outside Uganda's capital, Kampala, her incessant wriggling and screeching alerted the police. The trafficker was arrested and Sarah found herself in a new home: the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe. Here, along with more than 200 other animals, including 10 other chimpanzees, Sarah has been nurtured back to health.

The centre aims to recreate Uganda's extraordinarily diverse ecology, from rocky savannahs to lush wetlands, along the sandy shores of Lake Victoria, and allows free-ranging antelope to mix with vervet monkeys and more than 250 bird species.

Set up in 1952 by the British colonial government as an orphanage for abandoned young animals, the centre had fallen into a state of disrepair by 1994. Following a proposal from the World Conservation Society, it was turned into a conservation centre for vulnerable and endangered species.

Funded by the World Bank, the centre is now home to more than 50 species whose existence in the Great Lakes region is under threat. They include an African rock python, which at more than 20ft from tongue to tail is one of the longest snakes in the world. Normally found in a dusty savannah, the conservation centre's specimen had been locked up in a cage and taunted by villagers. Desperate to escape, the python cracked his skull on the metal bars.

Also at home in the centre are spotted-necked otters, which spend their days lazing in ponds, being fed fish brought in by fishermen form the nearby Lake Victoria. Three animals were accidentally caught in fishermen's nets over the past 20 years. The youngest was only brought in after a fisherman visited the centre and saw the other two. After finding the otter caught up in his net, he had panicked and kept it in a drum, unsure of what to do with it.

Birds have also been saved. The centre is home to a shoebill stork, a 5ft tall, grey-feathered bird of which there are only 350 left in the world. It was found in the boot of a car, about to be smuggled out of the country.

Sarah is not the only chimpanzee to have been saved from a life of pain with a witch doctor. Kikyo, who is still being kept in quarantine while vets carry out a thorough examination, had also been kept for use in traditional witchcraft ceremonies.

Poachers and smugglers have long been viewed as the biggest enemies chimpanzees face in sub-Saharan Africa. But increasingly, wildlife officials in the Great Lakes region are finding that chimps are being abducted by witch doctors. In the past six months there have been several reports in Uganda of baby chimps being orphaned after their mothers were kidnapped.

Not all the animals living in the centre have had to be rescued, however. Sherino and Kabira, two rare white rhinos, were imported from neighbouring Kenya in 2003. Uganda's last white rhino was hunted and killed in 1983. Environment officials hope that Sherino, male, and Kabira, female, will mate and produce offspring when they are older which can be introduced into the wild.

Such is the eagerness of the Ugandan government to bring white rhinos back to the wild that two were imported in August from Disney's theme park in Florida. Nande, a seven-year-old female, and Hasani, a five-year-old male, grew up in a manmade savannah at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The presence of white rhinos in Uganda's national parks would represent an enormous boon for the country's tourism industry. The two-decade conflict in the Acholiland in the north of the country has damaged its reputation as a safe tourist destination. By contrast, in neighbouring Kenya, which has benefited from relative stability since achieving independence and has similar safari potential, tourism is the number one foreign currency earner.

War has held back the economies of the entire Great Lake region, which also encompasses Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continuous fighting has made environmental protection in the region almost impossible. Uganda's feared rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army, is now putting the lives of some of the world's rarest white rhinos at risk after it moved west into Congo's Garamba National Park.

Congo's own war, which has claimed the lives of an estimated four million people since it began in 1998, has also caused untold damage to the ecology of some of the country's rarest animals. Hippos are on the brink of being wiped out in the Virunga National Park in eastern Congo. The Mai Mai, a Congolese militia operating in the North Kivu region, killed more than 400 hippopotamuses last month, according to the Zoological Society of London. The Mai Mai sell the hippo meat and the ivory found in their teeth. There are now estimated to be fewer than 900 hippos remaining in the park, down from 22,000 in 1988.

The number of elephants has suffered a similar decline, falling from 4,300 in the 1960s to just a few hundred by 2003. War, and the breakdown of any form of central government, has left most of the wildlife park's staff without pay for several years. But Congo's recent democratic elections, the first in more than 40 years, have led some conservationists to raise hopes that animals such as the okapi and the pygmy giraffe can be saved. Peace talks between the Lord's Resistance Army and the Ugandan government, taking place in Juba, South Sudan, have also shown some signs of promise.

For the animals that find their way to the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre, though, war has just been one of many threats to their existence. Poachers stalk Uganda's countryside, while the country's borders, particularly with Congo to the west and Sudan to the north, are too porous for wildlife officials to have much of hope of catching smugglers.

But for those like Sarah, the centre offers sanctuary. Or as UWEC's executive director, Andrew Seguya, put it: "We give them a second chance."

Few animals are likely to have endured a more miserable existence than Sarah. By the age of four she had spent most of her life being used by a witch doctor in a Ugandan village. Locked in a cage and deprived of any contact with other chimpanzees, parts of Sarah's body would be shaved and her fur used in traditional ceremonies to banish evil spirits.

Spotted by a middleman for an animal smuggling ring, Sarah was bought for a few dollars and prepared to be flown out of Uganda, bound for either the Middle East or Europe, where conservationists believe she would have been sold to a collector. But Sarah refused to go quietly. As she was being taken away in a bag, on the way to Entebbe airport just outside Uganda's capital, Kampala, her incessant wriggling and screeching alerted the police. The trafficker was arrested and Sarah found herself in a new home: the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe. Here, along with more than 200 other animals, including 10 other chimpanzees, Sarah has been nurtured back to health.

The centre aims to recreate Uganda's extraordinarily diverse ecology, from rocky savannahs to lush wetlands, along the sandy shores of Lake Victoria, and allows free-ranging antelope to mix with vervet monkeys and more than 250 bird species.

Set up in 1952 by the British colonial government as an orphanage for abandoned young animals, the centre had fallen into a state of disrepair by 1994. Following a proposal from the World Conservation Society, it was turned into a conservation centre for vulnerable and endangered species.

Funded by the World Bank, the centre is now home to more than 50 species whose existence in the Great Lakes region is under threat. They include an African rock python, which at more than 20ft from tongue to tail is one of the longest snakes in the world. Normally found in a dusty savannah, the conservation centre's specimen had been locked up in a cage and taunted by villagers. Desperate to escape, the python cracked his skull on the metal bars.

Also at home in the centre are spotted-necked otters, which spend their days lazing in ponds, being fed fish brought in by fishermen form the nearby Lake Victoria. Three animals were accidentally caught in fishermen's nets over the past 20 years. The youngest was only brought in after a fisherman visited the centre and saw the other two. After finding the otter caught up in his net, he had panicked and kept it in a drum, unsure of what to do with it.

Birds have also been saved. The centre is home to a shoebill stork, a 5ft tall, grey-feathered bird of which there are only 350 left in the world. It was found in the boot of a car, about to be smuggled out of the country.

Sarah is not the only chimpanzee to have been saved from a life of pain with a witch doctor. Kikyo, who is still being kept in quarantine while vets carry out a thorough examination, had also been kept for use in traditional witchcraft ceremonies.

Poachers and smugglers have long been viewed as the biggest enemies chimpanzees face in sub-Saharan Africa. But increasingly, wildlife officials in the Great Lakes region are finding that chimps are being abducted by witch doctors. In the past six months there have been several reports in Uganda of baby chimps being orphaned after their mothers were kidnapped.

Not all the animals living in the centre have had to be rescued, however. Sherino and Kabira, two rare white rhinos, were imported from neighbouring Kenya in 2003. Uganda's last white rhino was hunted and killed in 1983. Environment officials hope that Sherino, male, and Kabira, female, will mate and produce offspring when they are older which can be introduced into the wild.

Such is the eagerness of the Ugandan government to bring white rhinos back to the wild that two were imported in August from Disney's theme park in Florida. Nande, a seven-year-old female, and Hasani, a five-year-old male, grew up in a manmade savannah at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The presence of white rhinos in Uganda's national parks would represent an enormous boon for the country's tourism industry. The two-decade conflict in the Acholiland in the north of the country has damaged its reputation as a safe tourist destination. By contrast, in neighbouring Kenya, which has benefited from relative stability since achieving independence and has similar safari potential, tourism is the number one foreign currency earner.

War has held back the economies of the entire Great Lake region, which also encompasses Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continuous fighting has made environmental protection in the region almost impossible. Uganda's feared rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army, is now putting the lives of some of the world's rarest white rhinos at risk after it moved west into Congo's Garamba National Park.

Congo's own war, which has claimed the lives of an estimated four million people since it began in 1998, has also caused untold damage to the ecology of some of the country's rarest animals. Hippos are on the brink of being wiped out in the Virunga National Park in eastern Congo. The Mai Mai, a Congolese militia operating in the North Kivu region, killed more than 400 hippopotamuses last month, according to the Zoological Society of London. The Mai Mai sell the hippo meat and the ivory found in their teeth. There are now estimated to be fewer than 900 hippos remaining in the park, down from 22,000 in 1988.

The number of elephants has suffered a similar decline, falling from 4,300 in the 1960s to just a few hundred by 2003. War, and the breakdown of any form of central government, has left most of the wildlife park's staff without pay for several years. But Congo's recent democratic elections, the first in more than 40 years, have led some conservationists to raise hopes that animals such as the okapi and the pygmy giraffe can be saved. Peace talks between the Lord's Resistance Army and the Ugandan government, taking place in Juba, South Sudan, have also shown some signs of promise.

For the animals that find their way to the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre, though, war has just been one of many threats to their existence. Poachers stalk Uganda's countryside, while the country's borders, particularly with Congo to the west and Sudan to the north, are too porous for wildlife officials to have much of hope of catching smugglers.

But for those like Sarah, the centre offers sanctuary. Or as UWEC's executive director, Andrew Seguya, put it: "We give them a second chance."

Site Showcases Vegan Fashion Options by Stella Mccartney

Good to see Stella using her mind and name for postitive change.

http://inhabitat.com/2006/11/26/stella-mccartney-vegetarian-fashion/

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Group Attempting to Raise $25,000 to Remove Seven Big Cats From the Catskill Game Farm in New York State

Will Prevent Cats From Ending Up At Canned Hunting Facilities

Luckily this place is closed now, but still auctioning off animals. Despicable as most end up at canned hunting facilities, the lowest of the low in the hunting world.

For more information on canned hunting and animal auctions see: http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/10/
behind-scenes-at-animal-auction.html


Article:

Animal Rights Group holding fundraiser

New Paltz-based Wildlife Watch attempting to raise $25,000 to house 7 big cats from Catskill Game Farm

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=
539416&category=&BCCode=
HOME&newsdate=11/28/2006

By DAN HIGGINS, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
Last updated: 4:12 p.m., Tuesday, November 28, 2006

An animal rights group is attempting to raise $25,000 to remove seven big cats from the Catskill Game Farm. It's offering naming rights on three lions to spur people to give.

The Game Farm closed in October after 70 years in business. It auctioned off close to 1,000 animals, but many remained behind. Game Farm owners said they would care for those they didn't sell, and possibly breed them.

Now, New Paltz-based Wildlife Watch is seeking donations to transport and house three African lions, three mountain lions, and one black panther from the site.

The game farm gave Wildlife Watch the cats, which will go to the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minn., but it will cost $5,000 to move them and $20,000 to build a habitat.

The group says it has until mid-December to raise the money, because it wants the habitat built before the ground freezes for the winter. The three highest donors will get to choose a name for one of the African lions.

Donations can be sent to Wildlife Watch, P.O. Box 562, New Paltz, NY 12561, or donors can call 1-877-945-3435.

-- Dan Higgins

POM Juice Continues Ridiculous Animal Testing: Calls Continue to Executives to Give a Written Explanation on the Unnecessary Animal Testing

Sure it’s Pamela Anderson (at least she’s doing something good with her fame), but the fact remains – why in the world would POM juice test on animals? It makes no sense. Here are the faces:


“A PETA spokesperson explained, "We discovered that in one experiment that POM funded, mother mice were fed POM juice and their week-old babies were locked in a chamber with almost no oxygen for 45 minutes, causing severe brain damage."

The spokesperson added that the experiments were so severe that animals are killed in the process.

They continued, "They were then killed so that experimenters could dissect their brains. In another experiment, rabbits' arteries were severed to make them impotent. The rabbits were then fed POM juice to study erectile dysfunction."

Article:

Pamela Fights POM On Animal Testing

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/


November 27, 2006 11:01 p.m. EST

Sally Grover - All Headline News Contributor

Los Angeles, CA (AHN) - She may be in the midst of some personal woes as she divorces Kid Rock but it doesn't stop Pamela Anderson from standing up for what she believes in.

The "Baywatch" star has announced that she will boycott POM juice because of its stance on animal testing.

The animal rights activist, who is working closely with PETA, is urging the public to follow her lead via graphic videos and messages posted on her official website.

Anderson is calling for POM juice executives to give a written explanation on their animal testing.

A PETA spokesperson explained, "We discovered that in one experiment that POM funded, mother mice were fed POM juice and their week-old babies were locked in a chamber with almost no oxygen for 45 minutes, causing severe brain damage."

The spokesperson added that the experiments were so severe that animals are killed in the process.

They continued, "They were then killed so that experimenters could dissect their brains. In another experiment, rabbits' arteries were severed to make them impotent. The rabbits were then fed POM juice to study erectile dysfunction."

Outraged by the tests, Anderson is calling for shoppers to switch their drinks to a friendlier "Naked" brand of juice.

She urged, "Considering the cruel experiments on animals that POM is funding, I'm calling on everyone to get Naked instead."

Groups Call for Cancellation of Black Bear Hunt in Great Dismal Swamp Area in Virginia Scheduled For Friday and Saturday

Article:

Groups protest black bear hunt in Virginia

http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/514812.html


CHESAPEAKE, VA. - Two animal rights groups have launched a campaign to cancel a black bear hunt in the Great Dismal Swamp scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

In Defense of Animals and the Animal Welfare Institute argue that the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, on the Virginia-North Carolina border, did a shoddy job of studying the refuge's bear population, upon which the hunt is based.

"The foundation for the hunt is extraordinarily fragile," said D.J. Schubert, a wildlife biologist with the Animal Welfare Institute.

The number of bears killed is capped at 20. One hundred hunters selected in a lottery can participate. Each paid $50 for the privilege.

"The only reason to allow the slaughter is to appease a small minority who take pride and pleasure in killing defenseless animals, and it's just not right," said Kristie Phelps, a member of In Defense of Animals.

The groups have started a letter-writing campaign and petition online.

Suzanne Baird, the manager for the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, has said the refuge worked with biologists who concluded "a small hunt done late in the season will have a negligible impact on the population."

Studies estimate the swamp's bear population to be between 275 and 350.

Land around the Great Dismal Swamp is one the state's two prime bear habitats. The other is in the Appalachians of western Virginia. The state is home to about 6,000 black bears, a wildlife expert said.

The bear hunt will take place on 21,000 acres divided into two sections in the Virginia portion of the 111,200-acre refuge. Bear hunting will not be allowed in the North Carolina section.

Hunters are required to use 20-gauge or larger shotguns.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Signed Into Law: Big Business Gets an Early Christmas Present: First Amendment Rights Take a Hit as Government Grows

Those businesses that profit off the pain of animals got an early Christmas present. Written by and for those businesses.

As I’ve said before, even if you don’t support animal rights in anyway, this law represents the growth of government and an intrusion on first amendment rights. It’s funny how the republicans are now the party of big, intrusive government.

Unfortunately, Feinstein and other so-called liberal democrats were fully behind this bill. Why? Well, they benefit from the profits of those businesses that test on animals as well. Remember, politicians in Washington are big business no matter the party. And they all live off of campaign contributions.

For more on the draconian Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act see: http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/11/house-passes-animal-
enterprise.html


Article:

Animal Terrorism Act Signed Into Law

http://cbs5.com/localwire/localfsnews/bcn/2006/11/27/n/
HeadlineNews/ANIMAL-RIGHTS/resources_bcn_html

11/27/06 11:20 PST

Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced today that President Bush signed into law the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a bill that can potentially criminalize interference with an "animal enterprise," including interference with commercial and academic institutions that may use animals for testing or research.

According to Feinstein's office, universities and research facilities such as the University of California San Francisco campus have been targeted by animal activist groups, causing them to spend more than $2.5 million dollars to increase security at their research facilities.

Dr. Elliot Katz, veterinarian and founder of In Defense of Animals, says the law unfairly targets animal rights activists by placing restrictions on their protests not placed on protests conducted by other groups.

"I am proud to be an activist," said Katz, "I am not a terrorist."

Katz said, "The bill reads: if you do something illegal that affects the economics of a company then you can be punished."

Katz said he fears this may include actions such as civil disobedience.

According to Feinstein's office, the law "establishes graded penalties of up to life imprisonment, depending on the financial damage or level of bodily injury caused by such conduct."

Feinstein says the law "confronts these threats in a manner that gives due protections under the First Amendment."

Katz disagrees.

"This law proves that industries are profiting from animals and they don't want to lose the profits that they make on the backs of animals," he said. "They want to intimidate people who care about other species."

Ruling Allows Group to Build First Museum Depicting Animal Research Using Primates: Will Stand between Two University of Wisconsin Research Labs

Of note: One of the labs is the National Primate Research Center.

Groundbreaking for two reasons:

One, it is the first ever museum to expose the truth of research using primates.

Two, the judge actually upheld the contractual agreement, taking the side of an animal rights group.

Here are the main facts:

“Judge Sarah O'Brien ruled that a contract between the activists and business owner Roger Charly for the purchase of property is valid and enforceable. She ordered Charly to sell it for $675,000 as specified in the contract.”

“[T]he museum will feature graphic depictions of … the cruelty of research on animals. It would be housed on property containing sheds and warehouses between the National Primate Research Center, one of eight federally funded labs, and the Harry Harlow Primate Psychology Laboratory.”

Article:

Judge OKs museum that protests animal research

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/
chi-0611280101nov28,1,7426227.story?coll=chi-
newsnationworld-hed


By Ryan J. Foley
Associated Press
Published November 28, 2006

MADISON, Wis. -- A judge on Monday removed a major obstacle from animal-rights activists' plans to build a first-of-its-kind museum protesting animal research in between two University of Wisconsin primate research labs.

Dane County Judge Sarah O'Brien ruled that a contract between the activists and business owner Roger Charly for the purchase of property is valid and enforceable. She ordered Charly to sell it for $675,000 as specified in the contract, but both sides said they expected the sale to be on hold while Charly appeals.


Rick Bogle, founder of the Primate Freedom Project, hugged his wife after O'Brien read the ruling, which he said removed "the biggest hurdle" for the idea that he moved to Madison to pursue more than two years ago.

He said the museum would feature graphic depictions of what he considers the cruelty of research on animals. It would be housed on property containing sheds and warehouses between the National Primate Research Center, one of eight federally funded labs, and the Harry Harlow Primate Psychology Laboratory. Harlow was a pioneer in animal research.

"For once in Madison and in Wisconsin, the animals won," Bogle said. "It's just a matter of time before we are able to open our doors and invite the public in so they can actually learn what's going on inside the monkey labs in Madison and around the country."

Bogle's group filed a lawsuit to force the sale after Charly tried to back out of the deal by claiming the contract wasn't valid.

The university's real estate arm offered Charly $1 million for the land after learning of the proposed sale to activists, who university officials feared would harass researchers experimenting on primates as they search for cures to human ailments such as AIDS and Parkinson's disease.

But O'Brien rejected arguments that allowing the sale would put researchers in danger.

While the university is appropriately concerned about activists trying to use force to stop research, she said she failed to understand "how there is increased danger to university property if plaintiffs met next door or camped out on the sidewalk."

But Joe Kemnitz, director of the primate center, said the proposed museum would be a magnet for out-of-town extremists who would threaten researchers.

"Continual presence right outside our door would have a factor of intimidation, and I think it would be bad for morale and feelings of safety of our staff," he said.

O'Brien also rejected the claim that the sale would add $3 million to $5 million to a planned lab expansion by forcing the university to build around the property.

As a government agency, the university has the legal authority to seize the property for its use in the future if necessary, she noted. Its "lack of foresight" in not purchasing the property earlier should not scuttle a valid contract, she said.

Monday, November 27, 2006

To Circumvent Animal Welfare Laws, Pharmaceutical Companies will Begin Outsourcing Animal Testing to China where Animal Care Laws are Non-Existent

Now for our disturbing story of the day (maybe week).

I think the title and subject speak on their own, but to point out here the obvious which wasn’t stated: If pharmaceutical companies truly cared about animal welfare as they say, then why this horrible move? Why not just increase welfare standards? Why outsource animal testing to the world’s cruelest country – China? Why? Well, it’s obvious now – drug companies don’t care about animal welfare. It’s that simple.

Here’s some quotes from the article below that provide a summary of the main points:

"In terms of animal supply, China is a good place to be, as it is the world's largest supplier of lab monkeys and canines -- mostly beagles."

“But there is no avoiding the reality of the work done here: The beagles in Bridge's cages are infected with diseases, operated on, and fed substances that can severely affect their health. Eventually, their organs are removed and examined.”

“But it's unclear how well China's animal testing industry will be regulated. Beijing didn't enact any animal welfare regulations until 2004, and they are ineffective and inconsistently implemented, said Lu, whose organization is the largest animal welfare group in China. The track record of Chinese companies that conduct animal testing is not well documented, mostly because neither the government nor the industry has studied it.”

"We are very aware and very concerned about this recent and disturbing trend of companies to contract with laboratories in countries in which animal welfare oversight is poor and public awareness is low," said Jason Baker, Asia-Pacific director for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "There is no doubt this is intended to circumvent American animal welfare laws, as minimal and unenforced as those may be."

Article:

Outsourcing animal testing

US firm setting up drug-trial facilities in China, where scientists are plentiful but activists aren't

http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2006/11/25/
outsourcing_animal_testing/?page=2

By Jehangir S. Pocha, Globe Correspondent | November 25, 2006

BEIJING -- Glenn Rice wants to turn China's dogs into global economic assets.
Article Tools

Because animal rights groups make it difficult for drug companies to build or expand animal-testing laboratories in the United States, Europe, and India, Rice, chief executive of Bridge Pharmaceuticals Inc., is outsourcing the work to China, where scientists are cheap and plentiful and animal-rights activists are muffled by an authoritarian state.

"This is a country with a large number of canines and primates, and if we establish pre-clinical testing facilities here, we can change the dynamics of the industry," said Rice, who in 2004 created his San Francisco-based company out of the life sciences department at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif. "Animal testing also does not have the political issues it has in the US or Europe or even India, where there are religious issues as well," he said. "So now big pharma is looking to move to China in a big way."

Beijing is fast becoming China's leading biotechnology center, and Bridge, located in the lush sprawl of the city's Zhongguancun Life Science Park, was given "big benefits and a 5-year tax holiday" for choosing the capital as its home, Rice said.

"But beyond that, it's the whole menu of advantages that attracted us," said Rice, who now alternates weekly between Beijing and San Francisco. "In terms of animal supply, China is a good place to be, as it is the world's largest supplier of lab monkeys and canines -- mostly beagles."

Large drug companies such as Novartis, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Roche have disclosed plans to set up research and development centers in China. But the real growth is likely to come from mid-sized companies that outsource their animal testing or pre-clinical trials to companies such as Bridge, which can offer them prices that are about half of those charged by US-based competitors. By 2008, that could double the size of the pre-clinical outsourcing industry, which was worth $2 billion last year, Rice said.

Outsourcing research to China will also benefit people suffering from so-called orphan diseases, illnesses that afflict small numbers of people.

Given the steep cost of drug development and the steeper rates of failure, "unless there is a market of about $500 million a year for a drug, big pharma companies will not invest in it," Rice said. With China's lower costs, he said, "it becomes feasible to develop drugs for orphan diseases."

Despite such benefits, the subject of animal testing is a difficult one. US regulations generally require that all drugs be tested on at least two species, usually rats and then dogs or monkeys, before being submitted for approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Bridge's Beijing facilities have been designed to meet US standards on animal care, and it expects to be certified as such by the end of the year. Air and water quality are carefully monitored, and the cages are regularly cleaned.

But there is no avoiding the reality of the work done here: The beagles in Bridge's cages are infected with diseases, operated on, and fed substances that can severely affect their health. Eventually, their organs are removed and examined.

"Unfortunately, there is no substitute to testing on live animals," said Rice. "If we stopped animal testing, new drug development would stop short in its tracks."

While animal rights are discussed in China, advocates are not openly militant -- the government wouldn't allow it.

"We believe in engagement rather than protest," said Lu Di, 75, director of the Chinese Association for the Protection of Small Animals in Beijing. "Animal testing is inevitable, and we want to focus on advocating companies and universities use the best standards and processes they can to minimize any pain caused to the animals," she said.

But it's unclear how well China's animal testing industry will be regulated. Beijing didn't enact any animal welfare regulations until 2004, and they are ineffective and inconsistently implemented, said Lu, whose organization is the largest animal welfare group in China. The track record of Chinese companies that conduct animal testing is not well documented, mostly because neither the government nor the industry has studied it.

"We are very aware and very concerned about this recent and disturbing trend of companies to contract with laboratories in countries in which animal welfare oversight is poor and public awareness is low," said Jason Baker, Asia-Pacific director for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "There is no doubt this is intended to circumvent American animal welfare laws, as minimal and unenforced as those may be."

Baker said PETA attempts to "hold companies accountable for the actions of their contractors" and publicizes any abuse of animals by firms operating overseas. The group has an office in Hong Kong and hopes to one day open an office in mainland China.

Rice said that when Bridge considered doing business in China, it realized it could not rely on local companies because they lacked rigid standards and quality control.

"We've built our own organization so we can control every aspect of it, and we spend a lot on hiring the best people and training them," he said.

For example, Bridge's Beijing operations are headed by Ada Kung, a Taiwanese national who studied and worked in the United States. Without Kung and a core team of US-educated and experienced managers, Bridge would not be able to maintain international standards on quality and intellectual property rights protection, Rice said. But the company's Chinese staff is learning fast, he said.

"Today, it may seem like it's too early to do much more than we are doing in China," he said. "But tomorrow, or the day after, it'll be a different story."

Rare Abyssinian Lion Cubs Poisoned At Ethiopian Zoo to Save and Then Make Money: Dead Cubs Sold To Taxidermists for $170 Each To Be Stuffed and Sold

Do I really need to comment on this idiocy and pure heartlessness of this move? Really, I’m speechless.

Article:

Ethiopian lions poisoned to save money

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061122/ap_on_re_af/ethiopia_lions_poisoned_1

By LES NEUHAUS, Associated Press Writer Wed Nov 22, 3:55 AM ET

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Rare Abyssinian lion cubs are being poisoned at a zoo because staff cannot afford to keep them, a wildlife official said Wednesday.

The dead cubs are sold to taxidermists for $170 each to be stuffed and sold as decorations, said Muhedin Abdulaziz, the administrator at the old imperial Lion Zoo in the capital, Addis Ababa.

"These animals are the pride of our country. We need to do something about this. But our only alternative right now is to send them to the taxidermist," Abdulaziz said.

Ethiopia's lions, famous for their black manes, are the country's national symbol and adorn statues and the local currency.

Wildlife experts estimate that only 1,000 Ethiopian lions, which are smaller than other lions, remain in the wild. Despite a recent crackdown, hunters also kill the animals for their skins, which can fetch $1,000.

Abdulaziz said it costs around $6,000 a month to run the zoo, but it only receives $5,000 in revenues from entrance fees. He added that the poisoning has been going on at least since he arrived two years ago; the number of cubs that have been killed was not immediately clear.

The zoo is a popular local attraction, although poor facilities have led to concerns by international wildlife organizations. It was built in 1948 by Emperor Haile Selassie and currently has 16 adult lions and five cubs.

The Party for Animals, a Dutch Animal Rights Political Party, Wins Two Seats in the Country's General Election

Becomes First Animal Rights Interest Group To Enter A European Parliament.

This move should lead to gains in other governments across Europe.

Article:

Dutch animal rights party wins 2 seats in election

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=oddly
EnoughNews&storyID=2006-11-23T171209Z_01_L23144076_
RTRIDST_0_OUKOE-UK-DUTCH-ELECTION-ANIMALS.XML&
WTmodLoc=Oddly+Enough-C1-Headline-5

Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:12 PM GMT148

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch animal rights party has become the first animal interest group to enter a European parliament, the group said on its Web site on Thursday, after winning two seats in the country's general election.

The Party for Animals, founded in October 2002 and with a smiling dairy cow as its logo, was one of 24 parties vying for seats in Wednesday's election, which saw the ruling Christian Democrats remain the largest party.

"We are thrilled with such a wonderful result," said party leader Marianne Thieme.

"Finally, we can start realising our party's highest priority, namely ending all animal suffering," the law graduate said.

Small-interest parties have sprung up in the Netherlands in recent years, fuelled in part by the country's liberal roots, and as people become more aware of environmental issues.

Free Green, a party that advocates the growth and use of cannabis, and Party of Small Seats, which has as its motto 'Love, Respect and Freedom', were among some of the wackier parties.

Despite Knowledge of the Unbelievable Cruelty, Record Numbers of People in England Are Buying Real Fur

You’ll see in this article that this is occurring even though most know about the horrible cruelty behind the fur industry.

Most disturbing though is that England is a main supporter of the horrible Canadian Baby Seal Slaughter - http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/03/annual-canadian-baby-seal-slaughter.html, perhaps the worst form of sick cruelty on the Earth: “In 2004, the UK imported almost a third of the value of all Canadian seal skins into the EU. Protests continue over the Canadian seal hunt, where hundreds of thousands of animals are clubbed or shot each year. Campaigners claim that some seals are still alive when they are skinned.”

Article:

Real fur: Dressed to kill

Revealed: UK fur imports at record levels, 'IoS' investigation shows
Top designers and celebrities defy the anti-cruelty lobby

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2016135.ece

By Jonathan Owen and Marie Woolf
Published: 26 November 2006

Record numbers of Britons are buying real fur, overturning decades of campaigning by activists who say substitutes should be worn instead.

Sales of fur clothing have hit £500m for the first time, up 30 per cent on two years ago, with £40m of new fur products being imported every year.

To the fury of the anti-cruelty lobby, the championing of real fur by supermodels and top designers is sending sales soaring, with, say protesters, young animals being clubbed and shot by hunters as a result.

The fashion designer Stella McCartney last night told The Independent on Sunday: "The continuing use of fur is a real problem in the fashion industry, and there is an issue with people assuming that fur trim is fake when most of it is real."

More than a decade after top models posed in placards with "I'd rather go naked than wear fur", new figures show that sales of fur have risen by 30 per cent in the past two years.

Figures compiled for the IoS by HM Customs and Revenue show that almost one million tons of fur are being imported each year - and that the global market for fur has hit almost £7bn.

Fendi, the luxury retailer, has led the move to "rebrand" fur, selling products using dyed and shaved fur to make it look more appealing. Other top stores have followed suit, with designers such as Julien Macdonald, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen staging shows with models in real fur.

The British Fur Traders Association said that sales of fur have risen by a third in two years, while Hockley, a London furrier, is reporting a 45 per cent rise in business. Concern over the comeback of fur in the UK is so great that the RSPCA is preparing to mount a major new anti-fur campaign early next year.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals blamed the fashion industry for fuelling the rise, saying catwalk shows were making fur seem acceptable to the public. "Fur-bearing animals are forced to endure life in cruel cages and are... slammed against concrete floors and skinned alive," said a spokesman for the charity.

Such is the scale of alarm at the rise in fur use that the Government is moving to ban all imports of harp and hooded seal products into the UK.

This has been prompted by a sharp increase in the past year in the amount of seal skins imported into Britain. Official Customs figures show that the amount of seal pelt imports rose from 3.6 tons in 2004 to 4.1 tons last year. In 2004, the UK imported almost a third of the value of all Canadian seal skins into the EU. Protests continue over the Canadian seal hunt, where hundreds of thousands of animals are clubbed or shot each year. Campaigners claim that some seals are still alive when they are skinned.

Record numbers of Britons are buying real fur, overturning decades of campaigning by activists who say substitutes should be worn instead.

Sales of fur clothing have hit £500m for the first time, up 30 per cent on two years ago, with £40m of new fur products being imported every year.

To the fury of the anti-cruelty lobby, the championing of real fur by supermodels and top designers is sending sales soaring, with, say protesters, young animals being clubbed and shot by hunters as a result.

The fashion designer Stella McCartney last night told The Independent on Sunday: "The continuing use of fur is a real problem in the fashion industry, and there is an issue with people assuming that fur trim is fake when most of it is real."

More than a decade after top models posed in placards with "I'd rather go naked than wear fur", new figures show that sales of fur have risen by 30 per cent in the past two years.

Figures compiled for the IoS by HM Customs and Revenue show that almost one million tons of fur are being imported each year - and that the global market for fur has hit almost £7bn.

Fendi, the luxury retailer, has led the move to "rebrand" fur, selling products using dyed and shaved fur to make it look more appealing. Other top stores have followed suit, with designers such as Julien Macdonald, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen staging shows with models in real fur.

The British Fur Traders Association said that sales of fur have risen by a third in two years, while Hockley, a London furrier, is reporting a 45 per cent rise in business. Concern over the comeback of fur in the UK is so great that the RSPCA is preparing to mount a major new anti-fur campaign early next year.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals blamed the fashion industry for fuelling the rise, saying catwalk shows were making fur seem acceptable to the public. "Fur-bearing animals are forced to endure life in cruel cages and are... slammed against concrete floors and skinned alive," said a spokesman for the charity.

Such is the scale of alarm at the rise in fur use that the Government is moving to ban all imports of harp and hooded seal products into the UK.

This has been prompted by a sharp increase in the past year in the amount of seal skins imported into Britain. Official Customs figures show that the amount of seal pelt imports rose from 3.6 tons in 2004 to 4.1 tons last year. In 2004, the UK imported almost a third of the value of all Canadian seal skins into the EU. Protests continue over the Canadian seal hunt, where hundreds of thousands of animals are clubbed or shot each year. Campaigners claim that some seals are still alive when they are skinned.

Groundbreaking Think tank - The World's First Dedicated to Animal Ethics - To Launch Today; Goal To Open Debate On Issues Such As Animal Testing

Groundbreaking indeed. This should be a promising step and will likely lead to good changes. The leadership is also strong. The center will be run by the Rev Professor Andrew Linzey, “…an Anglican priest, writer and University of Oxford theologian, [who] is well known for his opposition to animal testing.”

In addition,

“More than 100 academics from 10 countries have been recruited as advisers to the centre, which has the full title Ferrater Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, after the Spanish philosopher, Jose Ferrater Mora, who spoke out against bullfighting in Spain.

Projects already underway include the introduction of a course in animal ethics and the publication of a Journal of Animal Ethics.”

Here is the goal of the center through the words of the director: “Prof Linzey said: "We must strive to ensure animal issues are highlighted and rationally discussed throughout society - we cannot change the world for animals without changing our ideas about them.”

"The centre will promote ethical attitudes and contribute to informed public debate."


Article:

Thinktank launched to debate animal ethics

http://education.guardian.co.uk/businessofresearch/
story/0,,1958262,00.html

Alexandra Smith and agencies
Monday November 27, 2006
EducationGuardian.co.uk

A thinktank claiming to be the world's first dedicated to animal ethics is to launch today, with the aim of fostering debate on controversial issues, such as animal testing.

The new animal ethics centre, launching online today, aims to "put animals on the intellectual agenda". The centre's director, the Rev Professor Andrew Linzey, an Anglican priest, writer and University of Oxford theologian, is well known for his opposition to animal testing.

His new project is expected to bring a more reasoned approach to the animal rights debate, including the controversial building of Oxford's animal testing laboratory.

The thinktank, which is to open its own centre in Oxford, opposes violence and illegal acts and distances itself from militant animal rights activists who advocate campaigns of violence and intimidation. One of the first issues of debate on its agenda is "the relationship between animal abuse and violence to human beings".

The new centre is not related to the University of Oxford.

More than 100 academics from 10 countries have been recruited as advisers to the centre, which has the full title Ferrater Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, after the Spanish philosopher, Jose Ferrater Mora, who spoke out against bullfighting in Spain.

Projects already underway include the introduction of a course in animal ethics and the publication of a Journal of Animal Ethics.

The construction of the £20m animal research laboratory at Oxford has been dogged with controversy.

In July 2004, the construction firm Montpellier pulled out after threatening letters were sent to its shareholders and its share price dropped. Work on the lab was suspended because of continuing threats of violence.

In the same month, the Animal Liberation Fund (ALF) admitted to an arson attack on the Hertford College boathouse and joined another animal rights group, Speak, in a campaign to target any organisations linked to the university.

Work started again on the lab in December last year, prompting Speak to begin demonstrations outside the building site, and in January a posting on the ALF website threatened violence against all staff and students at the university.

Since then staff and students have retaliated by forming their own group, Pro-Test, which has marched in support of the testing.

Prof Linzey said: "We must strive to ensure animal issues are highlighted and rationally discussed throughout society - we cannot change the world for animals without changing our ideas about them.

"The centre will promote ethical attitudes and contribute to informed public debate."

Pro-Test, the Oxford-based group that backs animal testing, welcomed Prof Linzey's centre.

A spokesman for Pro-Test said: "We understand that there are disagreements surrounding the area of animal rights, but we believe they should be solved through debate and discussion rather than through violence and intimidation,

"Further debate on whether animal research is justified is always going to be a good thing."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Liberation Award Winners: Youth Pick Top Companies, Bands and People Who Commit to Cruelty-Free Living

This is a great award program that really allows people who actually use the products and listen to this music or know these people vote. Also gives credit to those artists and companies that are living the cruelty free message.

http://www.peta2.com/outthere/o-libbyawardsvoting.asp


Best Animal Rights Song: Rise Against - "Ready to Fall"
Best Vegan-Friendly Clothing & Accessory Company: American Apparel
Best Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Company: Smashbox Cosmetics
Most Animal-Friendly Record Label: TrustKill
Best Vegan Meal: Ruby Tuesday's veggie burger
Veg Athlete of the Year: Nyjah Huston
Best Veg Band: AFI
Best New Fur Foe: Trent Reznor
Best Vegan Skate Shoe: VANS Rowley XLIII
Best Vegan Junk Food: Purely Decadent Peanut Butter Zig Zag
Best Movie of 2006 With Animal Rights Message: Earthlings
Breathrough Band: Newcomers to PETA - Hellogoodbye

Attorneys in Australia Form Group to Provide Pro-Bono Representation of Protesters, Animal Welfare Groups and the RSPCA

Excellent move. In this day of the growth of government and it’s ability to trample on free speech rights, the time will come when it will hit Australia. This takes courage and will have positive actions.

In particular, the group mentioned that it “…it plans to take on cases involving the live export of animals and the whaling industry.”

The issue of the live export of animals from Australia and the horrendous cruelty involved can be read about at:
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/11/australia-live-
animal-exports-again.html



Article:


Lawyers back animal rights protesters

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1794482.htm

AM - Wednesday, 22 November , 2006 08:16:00
Reporter: Josie Taylor

TONY EASTLEY: In Victoria, 60 barristers have formed a high-powered panel to act pro-bono representing protesters, animal welfare groups and the RSPCA. The group says it plans to take on cases involving the live export of animals and the whaling industry.
In Melbourne, Josie Taylor reports.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Supported by three Supreme Court judges, the group of lawyers says current animal protection laws are in fact letting animals down.

Group representative, Barrister Graeme McEwen

GRAEME MCEWEN: The animal protection statute in Victoria is not largely enforced, and that we believe is contrary to the public interest. And second, occasionally there are public interest matters in courts, which require counsel to argue them. And we believe that we can best do this if we assist the litigants by acting on a pro bono basis, and with experienced counsel.

JOSIE TAYLOR: What is wrong with statute at the moment?

GRAEME MCEWEN: Well, the state statute proscribes cruelty offences, but provides a series of defences to prosecutions or exemptions from prosecution if a person complies with what's called a code of practice. A code of practice effectively favours producer interest over animal welfare where there's a conflict. And thus these codes act to subvert the protective reach of the statute.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Can you give an example of that?

GRAEME MCEWEN: Just say with the domestic poultry code, the space allowances for hens, less than an A4 size sheet of paper. So, their plight simply goes unacknowledged.

If you have millions of battery hens each year, sows confined in intensive breeding establishments, broilers, whatever it may be, we are talking about millions upon millions of animals that have no protective breach of the statute in effect.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Graeme McEwen says the RSPCA is under funded and can't cope with the often complex prosecutions of animal welfare cases. He says the newly formed group will pursue cases involving the live export industry and whaling, as well as primary industry.

GRAEME MCEWEN: The quantity of suffering, if I could term it that way, is enormous. If you have, for example, 13 or 14 million battery hens each year, and if you have 350,000 sows kept in intensive breeding units, they're just a sample. It is a serious question in terms of the amount of suffering, and it would be wrong of us to believe that suffering ends at the borders of human experience. Otherwise why have an animal protection statute?

JOSIE TAYLOR: The Victorian caretaker government says it recently tripled funding for the RSPCA, and that governments around Australia have agreed to change from voluntary codes of practice in animal husbandry to enforceable national standards.

But president of the RSPCA, Hugh Wirth, agrees with the lawyers that further reform is needed.

HUGH WIRTH: The laws in Australia, whilst they're better than in Britain, still need to be dealt with particularly in areas such as the concept of duty of care. That's one major issue that needs to be addressed, but there are many others.

JOSIE TAYLOR: The Melbourne-based group of lawyers wants bar councils around Australia to follow its lead and form similar groups in other states and territories.

TONY EASTLEY: In Melbourne, Josie Taylor reporting there. And the National Farmers' Federation was unavailable for comment.

Tofurky (Vegetarian Alternative To Turkey) And The Meat Substitute Market: Growing, But Who Actually Owns The Companies?

An interesting article which attempts to analyze vegetarianism in the US. I’m not sure that I agree fully with their numbers, but does give a good all around look at meat alternatives.

Also, provides information on who owns what now in the meat-free world. Sadly, the smaller companies are being purchased by the huge meat-focused conglomerates. In particular:

“Kraft (KFT) now owns Boca, of vegetarian burger fame. Dean Foods (DF) has WhiteWave, maker of the popular Silk line of soy milk beverages, and Kellogg (K) has meatless sausage and burger maker Morningstar Farms. ConAgra (CAG) recently bought Lightlife, which sells meat substitutes such as Smart Bacon.”

Article:

Pass the Tofurky, Please

Vegetarian alternatives to traditional holiday favorites are becoming increasingly popular and profitable

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/nov2006/
db20061121_643413.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_after+work

by Rebecca Reisner

BW Exclusives


With Thanksgiving upon us, the folks who make the vegetarian poultry alternative known as "Tofurky" have good reason to flap their wings. Having survived sitcom jokes and glacially slow initial sales, Turtle Island Foods is celebrating the sale of its 1 millionth Tofurky roast since the product was hatched in 1995.

"At first, retailers didn't believe anyone was crazy enough to make a whole Tofurky roast for Thanksgiving," recalls Seth Tibbott, founder of Turtle Island Foods, located in Hood River, Ore. "The first one served eight and cost $32. Stores would sell one per season at first, then five the next year."

Today, the company, which also makes Tofurky versions of such meat staples as sausages and cold cuts, is turning a robust profit and expects $10 million in sales in 2006, despite dramatically lowering the cost of Tofurkys over the years (see BusinessWeek.com, 11/21/06, "My First Tofurky").
Analog Meat Market

And Turtle Island Foods isn't the only happy player at the table. For businesses manufacturing vegan and vegetarian versions of dairy- and meat-based products, the outlook is pretty much all good. "Traditional supermarkets like Safeway (SWY) are stocking more of these foods," says Joe Agnese, a supermarket analyst with Standard & Poors Equity Research. "Whole Foods (WFMI) will open more stores. They give a shot to local providers as well as big producers."

In the U.S., sales of products "positioned as analogs to meat and dairy products" grew 63.5% between 2000 and 2005, according to British market researcher Mintel International. The firm estimates U.S. consumers will buy $1.38 billion of these products in 2006. According to Schaumburg (Ill.)-based natural products market researcher SPINS, in the 12-month period ended in January, 2006, sales of frozen and refrigerated meat substitutes alone increased 35.9%.

To look at the evidence, one might think the percentage of U.S. vegetarians is climbing steeply. Not true, say industry watchers. "There are more vegetarians simply because there are more people coming to the U.S.," says Harry Balzer, vice-president of the NPD Group, a consumer marketing research firm in Port Washington, N.Y., that studies U.S. eating habits. "But the percentage of strict vegetarians hasn't changed much in the last 15 years." He estimates it's 3% of the population. "The phenomenon lies in the number of meat eaters who are choosing to eat vegetarian foods more often—but not exclusively," according to Balzer.

The Armchair Vegetarian

Many consumers who like the taste of meat or dairy also feel they need a break from it. "When you spend the day eating vegan items, you don't feel weighted down. People are more willing to experiment, to substitute meatless meals two or three times a week," says Eugene Matalene, chairman of health-food producer Blue Green Enterprises in Brooklyn. "The average housewife will try them."

And Tibbott reports that many consumers who buy Tofurky roasts at Thanksgiving-time are also serving real turkeys, but need something to feed vegetarian guests.

Matalene believes that while health and animal welfare concerns help sales, it's first and foremost the improved taste of vegetarian foods that has excited consumers' appetites in recent years.
Matters of Taste

Indeed, in a 2006 summary of his positive outlook for Hain (HAIN), maker of such health food store regulars as Yves Veggie Pizza Pepperoni and Rice Dream beverages, Citigroup analyst Gregory Badishkanian cited "a narrowing…taste differential between conventional food and natural foods."

And the allure to the palate derives not only from vegetarian foods that mimic the taste of meat. "I'm more inclined to buy something that has its own identity," says Terrie Piell, an insurance-services marketing manager and mother of two young children in Flemington, N.J. "I like Gardenburger's mushroom and wild rice patties."

Houston's, an upscale chain of restaurants, reports that many carnivores order its notably popular veggie burger—made with black beans, prunes, and other animal-product-free ingredients—simply because they enjoy its flavor, non-meaty though it is. St. Louis professor Peter Coogan counts himself a fan. "It's surprisingly good," says Coogan, who teaches at Fontbonne University. "The first time I ordered it, I tried to send it back because it looked so much like a real hamburger. But it has its own taste."
Buying the Competition

Despite the growing popularity of such vegetarian restaurant and grocery-store fare, no one in the industry seems to be talking about purveyors of meat and dairy products taking any financial hit.

One reason: Food conglomerates are hedging their bets by buying smaller companies that produce vegetarian products. Kraft (KFT) now owns Boca, of vegetarian burger fame. Dean Foods (DF) has WhiteWave, maker of the popular Silk line of soy milk beverages, and Kellogg (K) has meatless sausage and burger maker Morningstar Farms. ConAgra (CAG) recently bought Lightlife, which sells meat substitutes such as Smart Bacon.

Smaller, independent makers of vegan and vegetarian foods say that despite their success, they've barely taken a nibble out of their conventional counterparts. "We're not competing with Hershey's (HSY)," says Hank McKowen, owner of Dolphin Natural Chocolates, a Watsonville, (Calif.) maker of vegan chocolates sweetened with fruit juice. "Our competitors are other vegan chocolate producers."
A Mother's Veggie Love

McKowen also cites a trend mirrored by much of the vegan and vegetarian industry: that females still buy more than males. "Most of our consumers are women over 35," says McKowen. Data from the Vegetarian Resource Group, a nonprofit educational organization, revealed that 5% of consumers who say they never eat red meat are male, while 9% are female.

"Many women are looking for healthy food for their children," says Charles Stahler, co-director of the Vegetarian Resource Group, which is based in Baltimore. "They may serve meat to their husbands—but not to their kids."

Another somewhat predictable trend: These products go over better on the health-conscious East and West Coasts than they do in the heartland. "We do great on the East Coast, in San Francisco, and parts of the Southwest," says McKowen. "We don't do well in the middle of the country."

Tibbott reports that Tofurky products enjoy healthier sales in blue states, although they're sold in all 50. "We don't sell a lot in South Dakota," he says, "but we do sell some."

Full List of the Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges in the US and Canada

Here is the full list provided by

http://www.peta2.com/college/c-vegschools-winners.asp

Amazing that number one listing is in Indiana. The rest were fairly predictable.

United States

#1 Indiana University-Bloomington

Newspaper and television stations all over the Midwest were buzzing about IU's options like Sesame Noodle & Pea Pod Casserole, Vegan Garden Burger, and Hot Cakes. All IU's vegetarian and vegan options are clearly marked and always delicious.

#2 Humboldt State University

This Cal State school features options like Vegan Stuffed Green Pepper, Sautéed Portabella Over Polenta, and even Soy Yogurt. Students there tell us they are absolutely overjoyed with their vegetarian options.

#3 University of Puget Sound

UPS certainly delivers. Featuring options like Vegan Cheeseburger, Vegan Biscuits & Gravy, Vegan Field Roast Sloppy Joe, and more, the vegan options at this school could convert even the most die-hard meat-eater.

#4 Yale University

What can we say? Smart people eat healthy food. Yale's options include BBQ Vegan Ribs, Chef's Choice Vegan Pizza, Vegan Enchiladas, and a phenomenal list of other rotating options.

#5 SUNY Purchase

Some of our peta2 Street Team members tipped us off to the all-vegetarian Terra Ve café on campus. We found out the school serves meals such as Tofu Marsala, Tempeh Cacciatore, and Tabouli & Tomato Salad With Tofu.

#6 Oberlin College

It's in the middle of Ohio, but estimates put the vegetarian population of the school at about 40 percent. Meat-eaters, watch your back! With Southwest Vegetable Paella, Mexican-Style Lentil Bake, Teriyaki Tofu With Pineapple, and many more options, there's no reason to eat animals.

#7 New York University

Not only does NYU have the benefit of being close to many of the nation's best vegetarian restaurants, it also promotes Weekly Vegetarian Nights and Monthly All Vegan Meals. On top of that, regular goodies such as Risotto With Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Sweet and Sour Tofu, and Caribbean Baked Beans are always just a dining hall away.

#8 University of California-Berkeley

It makes sense that a school integral to the protest movements of the '60s would continue the legacy by standing up to corporate meat mongers. Students' brains are fueled by Tofu Scramble, Vegan Meatloaf, and Hazelnut Cutlets, among other fabulous foods.

#9 University of Pennsylvania

It sounds more like a gourmet restaurant than a university, but UPenn gets it done with Fettuccine With Vegan Tomato Artichoke Alfredo, Crispy Fried Tofu With Pineapple Chutney, and Vegan Carrot Cake With Tofutti Cream Cheese Icing.

#10 University of Florida

Considering this school has one of the most active animal rights groups in the country, Animal Activists of Alachua, it's no surprise it made the list. Daily vegan options in the "Vegan Corner's" rotation include Tofu Creole, BBQ Boca Burger, and Thai Peanut Noodles.


Canada

#1 McMaster University

Shout outs to Bridges Vegetarian Deli for promoting its options and shooting McMaster to first place. Then again, if I went to a school where I could chomp on Soy "Beef" and Mushroom Sandwiches, Grilled Portobello Burgers, and Vegetable Lo Mein, I would be pretty psyched too.

#2 University of Victoria

Village Greens on campus has all-vegetarian entrées that seem to have students eating up a storm. Students can have anything from sushi to veggie burgers to tofu noodle stir-fries.

#3 University of Waterloo

UW has vegetarian chili, tofu veggie stir-fry, grilled tofu steak, and tons more options to satisfy even the hungriest students. Sounds yummy.

#4 Simon Fraser University

If I knew I could get Vegetarian Sloppy Joes, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos, and Veggie Kabobs at college, my Freshman 15 would be more like the Freshman 150.

#5 Mount Allison University

This school has a clearly marked vegan/vegetarian section of the menu and really great options like Baba Ganoush Pita, Plantains, and Marinated Tofu.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

European Union Calls for a Ban on the Trade In Cat and Dog Fur: Article Shows Grim Reality of Horrible Practice

A very necessary move. Of course, it’s China who’s mainly to blame.

Here are the key facts. You’ll be surprised at just how many dogs and cats are victim of the trade and use of dog and cat fur:

A study commissioned by Dutch animal protection organisation Bont voor Dieren (Fur for Animals) in 2002 found canine DNA in five out of 93 fur items studied.

Campaigners claim 2 million cats and dogs slaughtered every year

Main exporter: China

12 to 15 adult dogs needed to make a dog fur coat

Up to 24 cats needed for cat fur coat

Cat and dog fur also used in hats, gloves, shoes, blankets, stuffed animals and toys

Dog fur sometimes labelled as: Gae-wolf, sobaki, Asian jackal, goupee, loup d'Asie,

Corsac fox, dogues du Chine, or simply fake or exotic fur

Cat fur sometimes labelled as: house cat, wild cat, katzenfelle, rabbit, goyangi, mountain cat

The Commission's plan aims to:

* Block cat and dog fur imports at the border
* Introduce penalties for traders
* Encourage sharing of information on how to detect cat and dog fur.



Article:


EU proposes cat and dog fur ban

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6165786.stm


Steps to ban trade in cat and dog fur across the EU have been announced by the European Commission.

The move follows a request for action from EU member states, and a campaign by Paul McCartney and his estranged wife, Heather Mills McCartney.

It is estimated that two million cats and dogs are being killed in China by fur traders each year.

Fifteen EU states have already taken some action on cat and dog fur, but it is still legal in the other 10.


CAT AND DOG FUR TRADE
Campaigners claim 2 million cats and dogs slaughtered every year
Main exporter: China
12 to 15 adult dogs needed to make a dog fur coat
Up to 24 cats needed for cat fur coat
Cat and dog fur also used in hats, gloves, shoes, blankets, stuffed animals and toys
Dog fur sometimes labelled as: Gae-wolf, sobaki, Asian jackal, goupee, loup d'Asie, Corsac fox, dogues du Chine, or simply fake or exotic fur
Cat fur sometimes labelled as: house cat, wild cat, katzenfelle, rabbit, goyangi, mountain cat

"The message that we have received from EU consumers has been loud and clear. They do not find it acceptable to farm cats and dogs for their fur, nor do they want products containing such fur sold on the European market," said Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, Markos Kyprianou.

The Commission says that different countries have taken different approaches to banning cat and dog fur, such as bans on rearing cats and dogs for fur, trade or import bans, and compulsory labelling.

It says the different legal requirements in each country could fragment the internal market for fur, so a co-ordinated approach is necessary.

The Commission's plan aims to:

* Block cat and dog fur imports at the border
* Introduce penalties for traders
* Encourage sharing of information on how to detect cat and dog fur.

The Commission says there is no evidence that cats and dogs are being bred for their fur inside the EU.

It says the obligation on member states to carry out checks and test for the fur will also provide a clearer picture of what products it is being used in, and where it comes from.

As cat and dog fur can be hard to detect when it is dyed, some states are already using hi-tech systems - mass spectrometry or DNA testing - to identify it.

A study commissioned by Dutch animal protection organisation Bont voor Dieren (Fur for Animals) in 2002 found canine DNA in five out of 93 fur items studied.

These items included toys and an article of clothing.

Butterball Truth: The Life of the Thanksgiving Turkey Pre and Post Slaughter: New Website by Group Exposes Cruel Reality of the Thanksgiving Turkey

I’ll let the site speak for itself. Footage from an actual Butterball Turkey plant. Also, to see the reality of the life of the newly hatched turkey chick, please either see the prior blog posting at http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/11/undercover-
footage-shows-reality-of.html

or

www.cok.net/camp/inv/turkeys06/

Site:

http://www.goveg.com/feat/butterball/butterball.asp

Or watch it via this blog:

Undercover Footage Shows Reality of Turkey Hatchery: See Newly Hatched Turkeys Suffocating In Plastic Bags, Being Mangled By Machinery

The video can be seen at www.cok.net/camp/inv/turkeys06/

Here’s a great introduction into the life of the Thanksgiving Turkey. Artificial insemination leads to being born in an artificial environment. Young life then subjected to unimaginable cruelty.

Please not that the hatchery exposed Goldsboro Milling Co. is a corporate affiliate of Butterball LLC, and its turkeys are sold under the Butterball name.

A quick quote to sum up the article below:

“The employee, who worked at the hatchery for three weeks in June and July, documented newly hatched turkeys suffocating in plastic bags, being mangled by machinery and being dumped into the same disposal system used for their discarded eggshells.”


Article:

Hatchery routine criticized
Owner of breeding farm says methods are within state, federal guidelines

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/16064004.htm


LEIGH DYER
Ldyer@charlotteobserver.com

A Washington-based animal-rights group plans a national news release today challenging the practices of a leading N.C. turkey hatchery as inhumane.

Compassion Over Killing, a nonprofit animal-protection group, has posted videos on its Web site (www.cok.net) shot by an investigator who worked at a hatchery owned by Goldsboro Milling Co. The videos involve turkeys being hatched for this week's holiday. Since October, the company has been a corporate affiliate of Butterball LLC, and its turkeys are sold under the Butterball name.

The employee, who worked at the hatchery for three weeks in June and July, documented newly hatched turkeys suffocating in plastic bags, being mangled by machinery and being dumped into the same disposal system used for their discarded eggshells, said the group's executive director, Erica Meier. "From the very first day of their lives, these chicks endured unimaginably abusive treatment," she said.

Nick Weaver, general manager of Sleepy Creek Farms, which oversees the hatcheries of Goldsboro Milling, said the number of baby turkeys -- called poults -- who die by the methods the group documented is minimal.

"I like to get every single poult that's viable out of these hatcheries and to a farm," he said. "Everything they're claiming injures my bottom line."

Each poult is worth roughly $1.10, Weaver said. He estimated that of the roughly 75,000 poults processed each day at the company's hatcheries, about 20 accidentally die or are destroyed because they are not viable.

Occasionally, some poults are destroyed because they are considered surplus, and suffocation is one method accepted under industry guidelines, he said.

Another industry-accepted killing method is to send them through the same pneumatic tubes used to dispose of their eggshells, where they are instantaneously killed by a high-speed impact, he said. The guidelines were developed in compliance with both state and federal regulations, he added.

"To portray it as this horrible, sinister ... situation is just not fair, just not accurate," Weaver said.

Meier said the videos show that the numbers of destroyed poults are at least in the dozens each day.

The group's news release does not allege that any of the hatchery's practices is illegal.

They are instead urging that consumers halt the practices by not eating turkey on Thursday. "Each one of us can give turkeys something to be thankful for this holiday season by simply leaving them off our plates," Meier said.

More Information

Compassion Over Killing's videos are available at:

www.cok.net/camp/inv/turkeys06/

New Jersey State Commissioner Called Off 2006 Bear Hunt Last Week

Looks as though the state finally made the right decision. I’m glad to see that hunting groups haven’t fully taken over the NJ wildlife decision making process.


Article:

Bear hunt ruling heats up debate

http://www.njherald.com/287549242354561.php

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

By TOM HOWELL JR.

Herald Staff Writer

Hunters may have a hard time convincing judges that a state commissioner was out of bounds when she called off the 2006 bear hunt last week, a Rutgers legal expert said.

The state Supreme Court had set up a system where the commissioner of Department of Environmental Protection would ensure the state Fish and Game Council's bear policy was based on sound science, said Carter Strickland Jr., associate professor and acting director of the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic.

Now, sportsmen will have to argue non-lethal alternatives have already been looked at closely, an argument Strickland believes is a "hard lift."

But pro-hunt official John Rogalo, from Stanhope, said New Jersey's policy "is the most comprehensive black bear management policy in North America" and it "fulfills the law in every way."

The Fish and Game Council developed the policy after a state Supreme Court ruling in 2004, and former DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell signed off on it. It made the hunt an official part of the overall Fish and Game code, which the governor reviews every five years.

The debate over this year's bear hunt heated up on Oct. 30, when Gov. Jon Corzine asked the state DEP to determine if a hunt is necessary.

In a letter to the state Fish and Game Council last week, state DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson concluded there had not been adequate implementation of non-lethal bear control.

Reaction was swift on both sides of the issue. Animal rights groups applauded the move, saying they will replace their protest plans with fund raising and support for non-lethal alternatives like bear-resistant garbage cans. Rogalo and a local farmer, meanwhile, expressed their disappointment and said the decision could be costly.

The state Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and Safari International have already filed suit in appeals court against the DEP and Jackson.

"The black bear policy has already been through (the courts) as the best possible scenario," said Rogalo, vice president of the federation's northern region.

He said Jackson's letter to the Fish and Game Council was not based in documented fact, and the policy already "passed muster" under Campbell.

"Her opinion is that we should not have a bear hunt," he said. "That is not how we manage wildlife here in New Jersey. It's by the best science available. That's why our laws are set up the way they are, and not by a whichever-way-the-wind's-blowing type of management."

There was no definite time scheduled for arguments before the Appellate Division, but the matter should be taken up soon, Rogalo said.

Strickland, who is not involved in the litigation, also said the courts should be take up the issue quikcly

"They did last time, and they will this time," he said.

The state DEP was aware of the suit Monday.

"Our attorneys have received it and we are working on a response," DEP spokeswoman Elaine Makatura said Monday.

She declined to say whether the sportsmen had a valid argument, simply noting "the legal process will move forward and play out and determine a decision."

Two anti-hunt organizations, the New Jersey Animals Rights Alliance and Bear Education and Resource group (BEAR), filed a brief Monday in opposition to the sportsmen's lawsuit.

The groups had filed their own suit against the DEP and sportsmen clubs before last week's shift away from the hunt. Arguments in that suit were scheduled for Nov. 29 in Morristown.

"If the hunters win their lawsuit, I believe our lawsuit will go forward," NJARA attorney Doris Lin said.

The losing side will most likely take their issue to the state Supreme Court, but Strickland is doubtful the high court will take up the matter.

"The Supreme Court answered the question of what is the commissioner's role this time around," he said. "My guess is they will deny (the case) unless there is dissent among the judges."

The New Jersey Farm Bureau denounced the decision to abandon a bear hunt, citing crop damage. Bears have damaged more corn this year than last, especially in the northern part of the state, said Pegi Adam, a spokeswoman for the bureau.

Sussex farmer Richard Byma said bears eat and destroy portions of his best-tasting crop in August and September.

"They make a great big circle and sit and pull cornstalks around them," he said. "They go after good food, and it's not just one farm."

Byma lost an estimated $3,500 worth of his crop, or $350 per acre, at By-Acres Holsteins farm.

When asked if he supports the bear hunt, his reply was immediate: "Oh, you betcha, it's kind of going to get out of hand," he said. "Our legislature doesn't take the loss, we do. The governor doesn't take the loss, the farmers do."

Meanwhile, BEAR director Lynda Smith said the state's decision will allow her group to do good work instead of becoming bogged down in the courts. She and other anti-hunt residents were charged with disorderly persons offenses after incidents at protests in December.

She is confident the bear hunt will not go forward this year.

"Clearly the state Supreme Court has said the department commissioner has the ultimate authority, and she really took her time in reading over the plan."

Smith said she plans to write to the DEP and offer assistance through fundraising and volunteerism. BEAR has roughly 1,000 members, she said, including about 150 devoted active members in Sussex and Passaic counties.

"We're very excited about it and willing to do what we can," Smith said. "Certainly we want to be part of the solution. We're willing to step up to the plate and do it."

BEAR programs have included Adopt-a-Cop, which raises funds to provide officers with non-lethal bear control gear and training, she said. The group is also promoting its bear-resistent Critter Cans, which have a screw-on lid.

West Milford received $200,000 for a bear-proof trash can program, but the money was still in the bank as of early this month as the township chooses a vendor.

"They're trying to get the best possible can," said Smith, who lives in West Milford. "I'm confident the money will be spent this spring."

Funding and resource constraints were the reasons why non-lethal measures in the bear policy were not implemented, Jackson said in her findings.

Plans to implement funding for non-lethal bear management have not yet been made, since it has only been two working days since Jackson's announcement.

China Cancels Ridiculous and Cruel "Animal Olympics"

This ridiculous event featured such abusive situations “…as boxing matches between kangaroos and their keepers, bears fighting and riding bicycles, and an elephant tug-of-war.”

More about this ridiculous event can be seen at
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/10/
cruel-china-at-it-again-opens-annual.html

Article:

Shanghai cancels "Animal Olympics" after cruelty complaints

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/21/asia
/AS_GEN_China_Animal_Show.php


The Associated Press
Published: November 21, 2006

SHANGHAI, China: A Shanghai zoo said Tuesday it had canceled a show dubbed the "Animal Olympics" following accusations of cruelty from animal welfare groups.

The show was scrapped "out of consideration for the safety of our visitors," said a woman who answered the phone at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park's publicity department.

The woman declined to give her name and said official spokesmen were unavailable. She refused to answer questions about the cruelty accusations or give other details.

However, the Shanghai Daily newspaper quoted a park official, Su Feilong, as saying that a negative public response had prompted the cancellation.
"The games never caused any trouble before, but we received complaints this year, so we stopped them," Su was quoted as saying.

The show had featured animals in athletic-type situations, such as boxing matches between kangaroos and their keepers, bears fighting and riding bicycles, and an elephant tug-of-war.

Animal rights groups documented the acts, spread news about them on the Internet and organized letter-writing campaigns to the central government's tourism authority and Shanghai officials.

"This is degrading for the animals, insulting to our intelligence and a disaster for any possible chance of increasing respect for the wild animals we share the world with," Daniel Turner, senior program officer for Born Free's Zoocheck program, said in a statement on the British-based group's Web site.

The cancellation indicated heightened sensitivity to negative publicity about animal welfare in China, where such shows are common at zoos and animal parks and rarely draw complaints from the Chinese public. But growing concern is evident and is often linked to personal freedoms such as the right to own a pet, which used to be banned by the communist regime.

Earlier this year, mass slaughters of dogs in an effort to control rabies sparked criticism even from state-controlled media. A campaign in Beijing to enforce strict rules on dog ownership, including limiting ownership to one dog, also prompted a rare public protest earlier this month by about 500 demonstrators outside a city zoo.

"Chinese law only seeks to protect rare wild animals and there is little that can be done to publicize the importance of animal protection in general," said Tao Rongfang, of the Shanghai Small Animal Protection Association, a private voluntary group that is one of China's oldest animal welfare organizations.

"It's good to see that some of our citizens realize this problem and ... object against this," Tao said.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Dutch Party For Animals Poised for Historic Win in Dutch Elections: Set to be the First Animal Rights Party in Europe to Have its Own Lawmaker

Amazing, just amazing. The first step in many to come.

Here are a few facts about this monumental issue:

"We see this as a follow-up to liberating slaves, giving rights to women, and finally giving rights to animals," says party leader Marianne Thieme.

The Party for the Animals is poised to win at least one, and possibly two seats in the Dutch parliament — another coup for a country known for progressive legislation on decriminalizing and regulating euthanasia, soft drugs and prostitution.

"We want a constitutional amendment, guaranteeing animals the right to freedom from pain, fear, and stress caused by humans," said Thieme, 34, in an interview with The Associated Press.


Article:

AP Interview: Animal rights party poised for historic win in Dutch elections

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/19/europe/
EU_POL_Netherlands_Animals_Party.php

The Associated Press

The Roman emperor Caligula is fabled to have made his horse a senator. The Dutch Party for Animals won't go that far, but looks set to score a milestone in elections Nov. 22 by becoming the first animal rights party in Europe to have its own lawmaker.

"We see this as a follow-up to liberating slaves, giving rights to women, and finally giving rights to animals," says party leader Marianne Thieme.

The Party for the Animals is poised to win at least one, and possibly two seats in the Dutch parliament — another coup for a country known for progressive legislation on decriminalizing and regulating euthanasia, soft drugs and prostitution.

"We want a constitutional amendment, guaranteeing animals the right to freedom from pain, fear, and stress caused by humans," said Thieme, 34, in an interview with The Associated Press.

Her party, known by its Dutch acronym PvdD, has adopted a down-to-earth program, sidelining more radical activists who would like to mandate vegetarianism and forbid zoos.

Its central aims are promoting "biological" farming practices — such as giving animals a minimal amount of living space — and discouraging the most inhumane of industrial farming practices, such as castration or slaughter without anesthesia.

Those goals are already endorsed by most political parties, but Thieme said support for her group has swelled since it was formed in 2002, as politicians failed to make animal welfare a priority.

"They say: people are more important. People should come first. But if you always follow that line of reasoning, animals never make it onto the agenda," she said.

The PvdD is one of 24 parties qualifying to stand for election, but only about 10 are likely to win seats. In 2003, PvdD drew 48,000 votes, just shy of the roughly 50,000 needed for a seat in the 150-member legislature.

In the most recent polls, the party stands to win around 130,000-140,000 votes, enough for two seats.

"Suddenly all the political parties are talking about animals," she said. "We're winning voters from them."

She says PvdD supporters not only come from the left, but also include traditional supporters of Christian parties who feel animal abuse is contrary to their values. Some likely voters are working-class pet owners with a strong feeling for "social justice," many who have never voted before.

"They say, I don't know what politics is. But I know what I want: I want to vote for animals," Thieme said. "I know that I care for them, I know they're abused, and that the violent way we treat animals says something about our society."

She said the broader movement suffered a setback after the murder of populist politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 by an animal rights activist. The PvdD rejects violence, she said.

Animal rights parties exist in other western countries, notably Germany, and environmentalist parties that endorse animal-friendly policies have booked political successes around Europe.

Thieme said success in the Netherlands could help the movement elsewhere. "One of our purposes is to be an inspiration for other countries and animal rights activists," Thieme said.

She also credits her party's strength to a backlash against intensive farming in a country that is one of the world's biggest meat producers and has seen three massive outbreaks of animal disease in the past decade.

The worst was an outbreak of bird flu three years ago that led to the slaughter of 30 million chickens and infected 89 people, killing one. The government culled livestock and even ordered children's pet birds be handed over for gassing to control the spreading disease — a public relations disaster.

On issues that are not obviously animal-related, the PvdD will vote to "protect the weakest members of society," Thieme said.

Once it achieves its goal of a constitutional amendment, she said her party may simply dissolve itself. Or it may push the philosophical debate further.

"Let's begin with easing the suffering of the hundreds of millions of cows, pigs and chickens stuck in factory farming," she said. "After that, if there are people who want to stand up for the mosquitoes, then we'll talk about it."

Iceland Kills Endangered Fin Whale: First Illegal Murder of a Whale Since Iceland Announced Their Intention to Violate the Global Moratorium

Disturbing to say the least. Read on for more information.

Article:

Sea Shepherd News
News Releases

10/23/2006

Iceland Murders Its First Endangered Whale

http://www.seashepherd.org/news/media_061023_1.html


"I view the taking of a whale's life in the same manner I would view the taking of a human life. It is murder, and it is a crime to slaughter such socially complex intelligent and sensitive sentient beings. The method of killing is torturous and grossly inhumane. We would never tolerate a domestic animal to suffer such a long and painful death. Every person who regards themselves as civilized must express their disgust and their revulsion against the whale killing atrocities of Iceland, Norway, the Faeroes, and Japan. These people who practice this horrific serial killing of whales are the most barbarous representatives of humanity upon this planet and cast shame upon their nations."
- Captain Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd

Iceland killed an endangered fin whale yesterday. This is the first illegal murder of a whale since Iceland announced their intention to violate the global moratorium on commercial whaling.

The whale was swimming happily along some two hundred miles off the coast of Iceland when some Nordic nimrod cowardly slammed an exploding harpoon into its backside.

The whale struggled in incredible pain for a long time before losing strength and finally drowned after an agonizing period when it lungs ruptured and its heart burst from the strain of oxygen deprivation.

There are some who will take offense at our use of the word "murder." We make no apologies.

Whales are highly intelligent, long lived, socially complex, sensitive sentient beings. It is a crime against nature and humanity to cruelly snuff out the life of even one of these great creatures.

What Iceland did is unforgivable and tragic, and leaves us with a deep resentment and anger towards Iceland.

"Every time a whale is killed by a human being, it destroys a little more of my faith in humanity," said Captain Paul Watson. "Killing whales in the 21st Century is a savage, barbaric, ecologically ignorant act of a people who are displaying an incredible contempt and disrespect for life and for world opinion."

Sea Shepherd is calling for a total boycott of all Icelandic products and tourism to Iceland and the Society is already planning a campaign to confront Icelandic whale killers in Icelandic waters in 2007.

"We are recruiting crew and we are organizing a plan to go to Iceland and it will be a priority following our campaign beginning December 1st to oppose the illegal whaling activities of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.

Search for More Content

Custom Search
Bookmark and Share

Past Articles