Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, October 31, 2010

South Dakota Governor Wants Livestock Research Facility

This looks like its for farming of livestock, not medical research, but that's bad too. Research on animals is research on animals.

From the High Plains Journal...
Gov. Mike Rounds wants a biotech animal research facility built in South Dakota.

The Argus Leader reports that Rounds announced Sept. 28 his intentions to build such a facility in the state during the Livestock Biotech Summit at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

The summit on genetically engineered animal technologies drew about 200 people from as far as South Korea and New Zealand.

Rounds says a biotech facility is important in creating disease-free animals.

Rounds says the proposed project is in the conceptual phase. He asked industry experts at the conference to give their input on how the center should be developed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Animal Rights Activists Jailed in Europe

They are members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). I support their cause, but am uncomfortable with their tactics.

From Reuters...

The group had targeted about 40 firms as part of an international conspiracy to force the closure of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), an animal research laboratory based near Cambridge. The members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) posted hoax parcel bombs to staff and offices, carried out criminal damage, threatened violence and made abusive phone calls, Winchester Crown Court was told.

The campaign also used tactics such as false allegations of paedophilia against managers of the supply companies, and posting sanitary towels to their homes saying the blood was contaminated with the AIDS virus.

Some employees from firms in Britain, France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland had "puppy killer" and "scum" daubed on their houses.

The cost of the damage and increased security measures amounted to 12.6 million pounds, the court heard.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Humane Method of Killing Chickens?

I realize that the most humane method of treating chickens is to not kill them for food...BUT, as long as there is still a demand for their meat, PETA is advocating "Controlled-Atmosphere Killing" as an improvement over current methods of electric immobilization.

Per PETA...
Controlled-atmosphere killing is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-approved slaughter method that is currently used to kill 75 percent of turkeys and 25 percent of chickens in the United Kingdom and 10 percent of all birds in the European Union. CAK removes oxygen from the birds' atmosphere while they are still in their transport crates. The birds are not "gassed" (i.e., asphyxiated); they die from lack of oxygen, or anoxia, which is a painless process. CAK eliminates the numerous animal welfare, economic, and worker-safety issues associated with electric immobilization:

* With CAK, birds are dead before they are removed from their crates, shackled, bled, and scalded in defeathering tanks. Accordingly, these stages do not hurt the birds, damage or contaminate their carcasses, or pose a risk of injury to workers.
* With CAK, workers never handle live birds, so there are no chances for abuse. Worker ergonomics and safety are vastly improved. Lights can be kept bright, the air stays clean, and workers do not need to struggle with flapping, scratching, defecating, and vomiting birds.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Protest Against the Oregon National Primate Research Center

From Oregonlive...
Animal rights activists stretched a 60-foot banner across the Hawthorne Bridge {Saturday} morning targeting the Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU.

In support of National Primate Liberation Week, the Portland Animal Defense League hung a banner that read "OHSU: Stop Killing Monkeys Now!" for morning commuters to see.

...The sign -- removed by authorities shortly after it went up -- is the latest in an ongoing clash between activists and the Primate Research Center, which houses about 4,200 primates and is one of eight national primate research centers. In June, demonstrators blocked the entrance to the lab, and police arrested five activists for obstructing traffic.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now, an Ohio-based animal rights group, recently ranked the lab at Oregon Health & Science University as the nation's sixth worst animal lab out of 44 others. The group and Animal Defense League say 259 primates at the research center have been abused or deprived of food and clean cages, citing an annual report that the primate center files with the USDA.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sea Shepherd Gets New Vessel

It replaces the Addy Gil which was sunk. Nice pictures. Still unnamed though.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hen Harriers Persecuted in Britain

These birds of prey are being seriously threatened by shootings, poisonings and other attempts to disrupt breeding on grouse moors, probably by gamekeepers on estates. (Grouse are a bird species which the hen harriers hunt and their population is also declining. There is a great deal of controversy as to the effect of the hen harriers on the grouse. Some say they are a factor in the declining numbers.

From the Guardian...

One of Britain's most threatened birds of prey, the hen harrier, is being almost entirely eradicated from grouse moors because of systematic persecution, a new report has found.

A study by bird of prey experts has estimated that only 1% of the naturally occurring number of hen harriers are successfully breeding on the UK's grouse moors, because a large majority are poisoned, shot or disturbed to protect stocks. The study's results, described as "deplorable" by one senior conservationist, were published by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Harvard Medical School Facility Accused of Improper Research Reporting

Sounds awful. Again, work by SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now.)

From the MetroWest Daily News...

An Ohio-based animal rights organization has filed a complaint against Harvard Medical School, alleging that the school's New England Primate Research Center in Southborough did not properly report its experiments on animals.

The federal Animal Welfare Act requires the facility to report experiments involving the use of animals that receive "unrelieved pain or distress" and explain why it did not administer pain relievers, said Michael Budkie, co-founder of Stop Animal Exploitation Now in Milford, Ohio.

Two Harvard research projects allow primates to experience unrelieved pain - one subjects them to electric shock and one purposely stresses animals who have already been diagnosed with self-injurious behavior, according to the complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the Animal Welfare Act.

Harvard Medical School has not listed those primates as receiving unrelieved pain or distress, Budkie said.

The school has not listed any non-human primates in this category from 2005 to 2009, according to the complaint.

Monday, October 18, 2010

EU Backing Cloned Animal Products

It's bad enough having to deal with the welfare of normal farm animals, but what about the welfare of cloned animals? If they are cloned solely for the products they provide, will it be more difficult to argue for their welfare as living creatures?

From the Daily Mail...

Concerns surround the ethics of the process, the welfare of the animals and a lack of research on food safety. However, a leaked report to be discussed by the EU’s College of Commissioners today comes out in favour of food from the offspring of clones...

If this policy is adopted, European farms could be populated by cloned supersize animals used as breeding stock for cows, pigs and sheep that are reared for food.

Clones themselves can suffer a range of painful conditions, including malformed organs and gigantism. Many die in the womb or soon after birth.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

At Least Five Dead Whales Around Bay Area

Really sad. It looks like they are getting killed by ships as they try to eat krill.
A bountiful crop of krill and busy shipping lanes are to blame for a rash of dead whales that have surfaced around the Bay Area within a few short months, according to scientists.

At least five dead whales have been sighted or have washed ashore around the region since late July, not including a male fetus found near its 80-foot-long mother in Pescadero on Oct. 2.

..."We're definitely seeing an increase in ship strikes - it's awful," said Mary Jane Schramm, spokeswoman for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

Researchers say the animals appear to be following abundant swarms of krill - the tiny, shrimp-like creatures that make up whales' favorite food group - right into the path of ship traffic. Last year's krill population was also large, but it did not bring the same cluster of whale deaths.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tensions Mount over University of Florida Animal Research

Things are getting a little tense. Not sure I agree with posting the researcher's photo. Wonder if that could get activists into trouble under AETA (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.)

This is a long article from the Gainesville Sun...
Animal rights activists are targeting a University of Florida researcher for his role in experiments on primates — even though he says he doesn't personally conduct animal research.

Wildwood-based activist Camille Marino runs the "Negotiation is Over!" website, where she posted the researcher's address and a picture of his home. She's accusing him of being a "monkey mutilator" and plans protests with other animal-rights activists at the UF football game today and at the researcher's neighborhood in the coming weeks.

Interpol Makes Arrests in Tiger Smuggling

From the PR Newswire...
A coordinated international law enforcement operation has led to the arrest of 25 individuals suspected of taking part in the illicit trade of tigers, one of the world's most endangered species.

The two-month operation involved national enforcement agencies in six tiger-range countries (China, India, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam) and was coordinated by INTERPOL's Environmental Crime Program at its headquarters in Lyon, France. "International collaboration in wildlife crime enforcement is critical to protecting species like tigers that are on the brink of extinction," said Fred O'Regan, President and Chief Executive Officer of IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Investigation Demanded for Southwest Lab

Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN) is calling for an investigation of Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, TX.
SAEN says previous USDA reports revealed primates have died at the Texas lab from dehydration and hypothermia, while others have simply been "found dead" -- possibly without veterinary care -- after suffering from serious disease conditions that include temperatures up to 105 degrees.

Documents show discrepancies in reporting to two different regulatory agencies, suggesting fraud within the lab, SAEN claims.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Anti-Vivisection Activists Address Scottish Parliament

This event was scheduled for today, October 5.

From indymediascotland.org....

Scotland for Animals have arranged for two of the worlds leading experts on non-animal research to speak at the Scottish Parliament {on October 5}.

Dr Ray Greek, President of Americans for Medical Advancement and consultant Dr Andre Menache will be joining the animal charity in asking MSP's and the Scottish Government to take urgent action to end the use of animals in experiments.

Scotland for Animals spokesman John Patrick: "Our country has a disproportionately high number of animals used in experiments when compared to the UK total. We requested data from the Home Office on animal experiments in Scotland and the figures are grim."