Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ex NASA Employee Joins PETA Protest

April Jean Evans was a NASA engineer, but resigned her position in protest over radiation experiments on monkeys. That takes a lot of courage and conviction. She's living with her brother now and falling into debt, but she is dedicated to working with PETA and other organizations to try to ban primates in experiments.

It was a PETA protest outside her work location that alerted her to the experiments in the first place...showing that any action in defense of animals may have impacts on people that we don't even realize.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Are Females More Prone to Animal Hoarding?

This weird little blog post on MSNBC says yes. It claims that one reason women may hoard animals more often is because we’re biologically hardwired to take care of things. It makes sense to me.

There's a whole slew of articles out there in relation to hoarding in tangent with the new Animal Planet series about the problem.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Catalonia is First Region to Ban Bullfighting

Yay! I hope it withstands any challenges. This is really big news.
The independence-minded region of Catalonia on Wednesday became the first on the Spanish mainland to outlaw bullfighting, a move some say is as much about nationalist politics as animal rights.

Lawmakers in Catalonia's regional parliament approved the controversial ban, 68-55, with nine abstentions, after emotional speeches that mixed expressions of support for preserving tradition with denunciations of bullfighting as institutionalized cruelty. The ban will take effect in the region, of which Barcelona is the capital, in 2012.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Canadian Council Says Mouse Pain Study Was Ethical

I understand that, per the researcher's words, you have to create pain to study pain, but was this study really necessary? There's just something that sits in my gut and says this is wrong...

From CBC News...
The research in question took place over many years and involved inducing various degrees of pain in mice using methods such as dipping their tails in hot water or injecting them with mustard oil or vinegar. The faces of the mice were then photographed to understand how they express pain.

"No one likes putting animals in pain," said Mogil, who holds a Canada research chair in the genetics of pain. But he said in the case, the pain was necessary and scientifically justified.

....However, Leslie Norins, the publisher of the newsletter that led to the council's investigation, questioned Mogil's research methods.

"Mice were purposefully subjected to intense pain without anesthesia," said Norins. "In our reading of the national guidelines, this came very close to a violation.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mexican Male Caught Smuggling Titi Monkeys

Caught at the airport in Mexico City, he had 18 of these monkeys and two of them were dead.

Oil Spill in China

China is currently experiencing its biggest oil spill ever too.

From Today Online...
China's largest oil spill has spread to 430 square kilometers (166 square miles) hundreds of clean up workers struggle to cope.

The official news agency Xinhua says 40 oil-skimming boats and about 800 fishing boats are being used to clean up the spill, and a 15 kilometers (9 miles) oil barrier has been set up to try to stop the slick spreading.

Huang Yong, deputy bureau chief for Dalian, China Maritime Safety Administration, told Dragon TV on Wednesday, "The oil spill will pose a severe threat to marine animals, and water quality, and the sea birds."

The oil slick started spreading five days ago when a pipeline at a busy northeastern port exploded.

China Central Television earlier reported an estimate of 1,500 tons of oil has spilled.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Depressing Oil Spill Story!

It's the "gift" that keeps on giving.

From the Khaleej Times Online/AFP...
Scientists studying the massive BP oil spill fear a decades-long, “cascading” effect on marine life that could lead to a shift in the overall biological network in the Gulf of Mexico.

With some 400 species estimated to be at risk — from the tiniest oil-eating bacteria to shrimp and crabs, endangered sea turtles, brown pelicans and sperm whales — experts say the impact of oil and chemical dispersants on the food chain has already begun, and could grow exponentially.

“A major environmental experiment is underway,” Ron Kendall, director of the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University, told AFP.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TRAFFIC Says Malaysian Raid Proves Organized Crime Link

From the Malaysian Insider...
A police raid that uncovered 42 stolen vehicles and a mini-zoo of exotic animals in Taman Wahyu here yesterday is proof that wildlife trafficking is linked to organised crime, said wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC.

Police said the vehicles were stolen from impound yards and were worth nearly RM1 million while at least two Birds of Paradise found in the warehouse in Taman Wahyu were said to be worth RM1 million each on the black market.

British Activist Jailed for Petrol Bombs

A British animal rights activist is starting a prison sentence after being found guilty of (I think) conspiracy to commit arson. He planted petrol bombs at Oxford University to protest plans to build an animal research laboratory.

I agree that the animal research lab sucks, but anything that threatens harm does not help the cause.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

San Francisco Considers Banning Pet Sales

Pet sales would be banned altogether, except for the sale of pet fish. All companion animals including dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, and lizards would be considered as pets. If it passes, San Francisco residents would have to go to a shelter or rescue group to adopt an animal.

Sounds good, but I just don't believe this will pass. It would set a national precedent, even if it is San Francisco. I can't believe the pet industry would allow such legislation without a fight.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

AETA Charges Dismissed

This is very good news from July 13, reported in Action for Animals Austin.
A U.S. district court judge today dismissed federal charges against the AETA 4, four activists charges with acts of terrorism under the Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act. In his ruling the judge stated that federal prosecutors did not show how any of the supposed activities these activists were engaged in amounted to crimes. In fact, he said their activities were protected free speech.
Here is a good analysis that appeared in Huffington Post.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Montreal Bans Pamela Anderson Ad as Sexist

I didn't realize they were such prudes in Montreal.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paul the Octopus Picks World Cup Winner!

I'm totally disappointed that Spain won the World Cup. That really sucks. The only cool thing is that Paul the "psychic" octopus was right again.

For those of you who would prefer a more sensible explanation to his abilities, this article provides a more real-world explanation.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Saturday!

Cute story about a woman and her "retarded" dog. Apologies in advance to all those who may be offended...

Conklin Farm Owner Will Not Face Charges

From the Columbus Dispatch...

A Union County grand jury has decided the owner of a Union County dairy farm caught in an abuse scandal should not face criminal charges.
...on the tape {from an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals,) Conklin is shown kicking a cow that is lying down.

{County Prosecutor David} Phillips said the portion of the tape shown publicly was spliced together and that Conklin's behavior was taken out of context. The Union County sheriff's office said it had four veterinarians with experience in large-animal care review the tape.

"In context, Mr. Conklin's actions were entirely appropriate," Phillips wrote in a news release this morning. "The veterinarians told law enforcement that cows who remain down are at risk of injury or death. A cow's muscles may atrophy. Once that happens, the cow may never get up and may suffer or die."
Interestingly enough, AETA has been dragged into this whole mess even though it's a case where animal abuse was probably committed by another employee facing charges.
The criminal investigation isn't over, however. Phillips said threats of violence and murder made by animal-rights activists against the Conklins are still under review and information may be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney's Office for possible charges under the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beagles Rescued from Bankrupt Lab

Good news!

From ohmidog! a site for dog lovers....
One hundred and twenty beagles who faced lifetimes being used in medical research experiments have been freed — just in time for the Fourth of July weekend.

On Friday, the beagles — owned by a research facility in New Jersey whose parent pharmaceutical company went into bankruptcy — were released to the care of animal rescue groups that, after socializing them, hope to adopt them out as family pets....

Best Friends Animal Society headquartered in Kanab, Utah, and Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary, based in Middletown, N.Y., and Elmsford, N.Y., worked together on rescuing the beagles, who had been left locked in the facility operated by Aniclin Preclinical Services in Warren County, N.J.

ALF Activist Receives 21-Month Sentence

Alex Hall released 650 mink from McMullin Fur farm in South Jordan, Utah in 2008. He received a sentence of 21 months under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA.)

Hall is expected to serve the rest of his sentence in Davis County Jail, rather than be shipped to a federal prison. He is expected to be released in two or three months.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ag's Reaction to Ohio Deal with Humane Society

Yesterday, I raised the issue that some may think the Humane Society copped out by making a deal with Ohio agriculture and NOT bringing new animal welfare regulations to the ballot. Well, it looks like, on the other side, big agriculture and others of that ilk feel like Ohio ag itself made a deal with the devil by entering this agreement.

Interview with VP of PETA's Laboratory Investigations

Interesting short interview with Kathy Guillermo.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Unexpected Farm Animal Deal in Ohio

To me, it's another example of the Humane Society's growing savvy and clout in the US. I know many will disagree with me and say it's a cop-out, but I'll take what I can get.

From the Associated Press...
Animal welfare groups led by the Humane Society of the United States have agreed to abandon a fall ballot issue against animal cruelty as part of a deal with state farm groups brokered by Gov. Ted Strickland.

...The deal calls for Strickland, the Humane Society, the Ohio Farm Bureau and their partners to join forces in favor of tougher laws governing farm animals, including provisions that ban certain crates and cages and the use of strangulation as a form of euthanasia.

It also calls for setting felony-level penalties for cock fighting, cracking down on puppy mills and promoting a ban on future exotic pet purchases.