Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, February 28, 2010

University of Utah Continues Getting Bad Press

Most of their animals get put down.
Investigative journalism by the Salt Lake Tribune, following-up on allegations levelled by PETA against the University of Utah's Comparative Medicine Center and the Cardiovascular Research & Training Institute laboratories revealed the two laboratories had used 190 dogs and cats in 2009, all obtained from shelters. Researchers told the Tribune that the testing gave the shelter animals "a second chance at life," while records obtained by the Tribune revealed that the labs had killed 116 of the 190 strays last year. Only 74 animals survived the research process to be adopted out as pets.

Leopards Threatened by Extinction Too

You don't hear much about leopards. Tigers are the ones getting most of the attention. But they are seriously threatened by extinction too.

This article
says India is losing more than one a day.

Free those Orcas!

There is NO REASON to keep orcas in captivity. It's simply for human entertainment. That generally means money for someone. That is NOT a sufficient reason to do so.

Animals were not put on this planet for your kids or your wallets.

According to this article,
there is a lot of organized outcry following the trainer death at Sea World.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Putting a Happy Face on Utah's Animal Research Program

PETA's undercover investigation showed some really questionable practices going on in the University of Utah's animal research program. Here, the Salt Lake Tribune tries to smooth things over by showing the "happy side," by talking about the research subjects that end up being adopted.

Well, I guess those are the lucky ones. What if an animal doesn't make it through? So sad, too bad?

Horrifying Attack on Pregnant Deer in Britain

A gang's dog tore apart a pregnant deer. And they filmed it on their mobile phones. Horrible.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is Dolphin Therapy Cruel to Dolphins?

Knowing now how highly intelligent these animals are, I am very resistant to "using" them for therapy.

From the Washington Post...

The dolphin-therapy business has been booming, fueled in part by the rapid growth in diagnoses of childhood mental disorders such as autism. Desperate parents in search of cures have flown to the facilities, as if to a seaside Lourdes, when all else has failed.

The practice, however, is fiercely criticized by researchers and marine mammal conservationists, including the educational anthropologist widely credited with having invented it, retired Florida International University researcher Betsy Smith. These critics charge that it is no more effective and considerably more expensive than skillful conventional treatment, while potentially harmful to the humans and the animals.

Smith, who was originally inspired by watching a dolphin interact with her mentally disabled brother in the 1970s, offered the therapy free of charge for more than a decade, before abandoning the work out of ethical concerns in the 1990s. She now maintains that dolphin therapy boils down to "the exploitation of vulnerable people and vulnerable dolphins."

Pet Trade Taking Toll on Southeast Asia

Ugh. Just depressing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Killer Whale Kills Trainer at SeaWorld

A trainer was killed by a killer whale at SeaWorld. Hopefully they won't take this out on the killer whale for acting like a killer whale. And I don't mean that in a snarky way. It's a tragedy, but these are wild animals.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Humane Society Ranks States in First-Time Report

It's their first annual "humane state" report. Ohio, Mississippi, North Dakota, Idaho and South Dakota are at the bottom. California and New Jersey came out on top.

Monday, February 22, 2010

ALDF Calling for An Animal Abuser Registry

Here's the email I got from ALDF. It sounds like they are calling for an animal abuse equivalent of the sex offender registry. I think it's a great idea.
Wouldn't you want to know if a violent or repeat animal abuser were living next door to you and your family?

Communities have good reason to be concerned about the whereabouts of animal abusers. In story after heartbreaking story, abusers repeat their violent crimes against helpless animals, and often go on to victimize people as well.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is working to ensure convicted animal abusers are exposed and prevented from harming new victims by promoting model legislation that would establish an animal abuser registry in every community across America.

Go to to sign the petition and demand that your state require animal abusers to register in their communities!

ALDF's proposed abuser registry legislation would require mandatory registration and community notification for convicted animal abusers. These laws would make a dramatic difference in keeping offenders away from potential new victims by allowing animal shelters and humane societies to more thoroughly screen potential adopters-and by alerting the public to their whereabouts.

Today, California Senator Dean Florez has announced that he will be sponsoring abuser registry legislation this session-a bill that he's developed in close collaboration with ALDF experts. But we need much more support, in districts across the nation, to protect all Americans from repeat offender animal abusers.

Animal abuse is not only a danger to our cats, dogs, horses, and other animals, but also to people. Many animal abusers have a history of domestic violence or other criminal activity, and there is a disturbing trend of animal abuse among our country's most notorious serial killers.

Keep your animals and your families safe. Watch our video and demand that your legislators establish an animal abuser registry in your state!


Stephen Wells
Executive Director
Animal Legal Defense Fund

Sunday, February 21, 2010

UK Hunting Ban Could Be in Jeopardy

It's been five years since the hunting ban was passed in Britain. It bans fox hunting, hare coursing, and stag hunting. You can still flush a fox out with dogs, but you can't kill it.

If the Tories take over, it could be in real jeopardy. They are totally against the ban.

Finless Shark Found in the Phillipines

The shark's fins had been cut and he was still alive when found, but sadly died.

Ironically, this was just after a conference on saving sharks held in the Phillipines.


Last week, representatives of some 50 countries attended the third meeting of the International Cooperation on Migratory Sharks (SHARKS III) hosted by the Philippines in Manila. Eleven of them signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) pledging to protect the whale sharks.

The participants also agreed to advance the protection of seven shark species that needed protection—the Basking Shark, Great White Shark, Whale Shark, Spiny Dogfish Shark, Porbeagle Shark, and Shortfin and Longfin Mako Sharks.

Fighting Illegal Wildlife Trade Requires More Funding

According to this article, the current funds are not sufficient for the work involved.

Not surprising.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

CBS News Runs Series on Factory Farms

This occurred a week or so ago. Katie Couric did a story on the use of antibiotics on factory farms in the US and the potential harm to humans. Unfortunately, I missed this series as we don't watch network television. A friend of mine said it was quite good. According to her, there was a message that removing the use of antibiotics would actually improve these poor animals' welfare.

Here is an article about the series.
Of course, the question remains as to whether these animals should be in these factory farming conditions in the first place, regardless of antibiotics' use. And, of course, the focus is on the impact on humans. But I'm glad they took the time to look at this. Apparently, it was NOT flattering to big ag.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

US a Hub for Eatin' Them Endangered Species

And here I've been yelling at China all this time. (Be warned there's a horrific picture of a cooked monkey head in this article.)

"The United States is one of the world's largest, if not the largest, consuming nations for wildlife products. This includes wildlife used for food, whether for cultural reasons or luxury markets," says Leigh Henry, a senior policy officer for the World Wildlife Fund and the international wildlife-trade monitoring network TRAFFIC. "Since the demand continues, so does the trafficking."

Hamner Institutes Claims It Will "Lift the Veil" on Animal Testing making it more visible to public scrutiny and ensuring the well-being of its animals. Apparently, this will be the result of a joint venture with the University of Chapel Hill. To which I say, many universities are just as opaque and irresponsible in their animal care as any private sector entity.

I'm as skeptical about this claim as other animal rights advocates.

PETA Supporters Protest at Westminster

I am a total supporter of this protest. While there may be responsible and loving breeders out there, they are only contributing to an out-of-control supply problem. There are too many animals out there and not enough homes. Why don't they stop making things worse? It's plain supply and demand. If they love animals so much, love the ones who NEED homes!

We are not encouraged to love only pure-bred humans of certain racial lines. Why does this attitude need to extend to animals?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sea Lions Shot Near Seattle

This is in our own backyard.

Total cowards. I hope they're caught because they could face a 50 thousand dollar fine. The deaths are a violation of the Marine Mammals Act and, because it’s a protected species, the shooting death of a Steller sea lion also violates the federal Endangered Species Act.

Of course, will be there sufficient resources expended to catch the killers?

Sanctuary Founder Arraigned on Hit-and-Run Death

As this article notes, as sad as this is, it's only going to spur accusations that animal lovers are also unfeeling human haters. In other words, we are abominations within our species.

It's a load of BS though. But most of us are used to it and can take it. But, again, it's a sad story for the victim and the accused. Even worse, the accused appears to have tried to cover up the hit-and-run.

I hope the sanctuary animals find good homes. They shouldn't be made to suffer for all this.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Podcast for Week Ending February 13, 2009

In this week’s podcast ending February 13, 2010:

**Britain’s Ministry of Defense defends its use of pigs as subjects in explosives testing;

**an elephant expert argues for the closing of the elephant exhibit at the Toronto Zoo;

**the State of Hawaii seeks to toughen penalties for dog fighting;

**Animal rights groups protest the Canadian seal hunt in the shadow of the 2010 Olympics.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Texas Father & Son Sentenced for Wildlife Trafficking

They were illegally bringing in deer from Arkansas. (Texas restricts deer importing.) Plus a little matter with stolen property.

Pigs Used in Explosives Tests in Britain

I wish we could stop killing animals for reasons related to killing humans.

From the BBC News...
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has defended its use of more than 100 pigs in explosive tests in Wiltshire.

Some 119 pigs were used in the research at the Government's military research laboratory Porton Down, near Salisbury, between 2006 and 2009.

The tests "saved many lives" in Iraq and Afghanistan due to improvements in post-traumatic techniques, junior defence minister Quentin Davies said.

He said 25 pigs were used in 2006, 19 in 2007, 40 in 2008, and 35 in 2009.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sea Shepherd "Escorts" Japanese Whaling Fleet From Sanctuary

Or they just decided to leave.
“We did not actually expect them to follow our orders to quit the Whale Sanctuary but they have indeed exited and are now running outside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.” Said Captain Paul Watson. “They have not killed a single whale since February 5th. We intend to turn four whaling free days into weeks.”
It's certainly been an eventful season.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Irish Travel Agency Removes Matador from Advertising

The move was in response from pressure from an animal rights group. It's a small step, but every one counts.

From the Irish Times...

THE MATADOR – one of the most abiding and traditional images of Spain – has been removed from advertising by a leading Irish travel company following a protest by animal rights activists.

The Travel Department confirmed that it had used a photograph of a bullfighter in a newspaper advertisement for a holiday in Spain. The ad was seen by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports which contacted the company to object and the company agreed to withdraw the image from its marketing material.

A spokesman for the tour operator said that the image was “part of a library of stock images” of Spain that were used for print and online media advertising. He said it had not “consciously” used “the iconic image” and stressed that visits to bullfights were not included in its itineraries.

Dane County Debates Wisconsin Animal Research

Not sure anything will come of this, but Dane County is turning its attention to the primate research going on at University of Madison-Wisconsin.

Twenty county board supervisors have sent a letter to UW-Madison's Chancellor Biddy Martin, asking her to get directly involved in the ethics of monkey experimentation.

WISC-TV has learned that a public debate on the ethics of monkey research will be held on campus in March, keeping alive a touchy campus debate that's been brewing for years.

Monday, February 8, 2010

PETA Sues the University of South Dakota

They're trying to get records released on animal experiments.

Japanese Article on Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd

A surprisingly uncritical look at Paul Watson by a Japanese writer for the Japan Times.

Alistair Darling Refuses to Eat Seal Meat at G7 Meeting

Alistair Darling, the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, is in Canada for a G-7 meeting. He refused to eat the seal meat that the local Inuit community offered to the meeting participants, instead eating Arctic char. Good for him!

Real emotional blackmail on the part of the Canadians. They're basically making participants choose between eating seal meat or pissing off the Inuits and risk being called racists. The Canadians are just using its native peoples as a guilt rod.

Stay classy Canada!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Podcast Uploaded for Week Ending 02/06/10

In this week's podcast ending February 6, 2010:

**Willet Dairy the subject of a Mercy for Animals undercover investigation suspends a worker shown abusing cows;

**The Humane Society applauds the Allergan Corporation for progress on the replacement of animal subjects in Botox testing;

**PETA files a lawsuit to free Lucy the elephant from the Edmonton Zoo;

**Mexican activists protest bullfights;

**Canada steps up its support of seal hunting while hosting a G7 meeting.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mexican Activists Protest Bullfighting


Teenage Matador Kills Six Bulls in a Day

I just find this culturally backwards and disgusting. It's a total embarrassment.

Canada to Push Seal Hunt Agenda at G-7

The Canadian government is so damn stubborn on this issue. The second half of the article deals with their attempts at pushing that damn seal hunt.

Is it THAT much a part of its economy? Canada needs to stop exploiting its natural resources and move into a more sophisticated type of economy. You'd think they were a developing nation with nothing else to offer.

27,000 Animals Rescued in Texas

Holy cow! That's HUGE. It was an exotic animal importing firm (why the eff do those even exist?) that was allegedly mistreating its animals.

A lot of these animals are reptiles, spiders and amphibians, which explains the large number. This rescue is the result of a PETA undercover investigation. (See, husband, this is why I like PETA!)

From the Detroit Free Press.....

The raid followed an undercover investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. An Arlington, Texas, municipal judge ruled that the animals suffered from neglect and cruel conditions, and an appeal by the company's owners to a higher court was denied last weekend.

Sea Shepherd Vessel Bob Barker Rammed By Japanese Whaler

Video here:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Animal Welfare First in Spain

From Spanish News - RTN (Round Town News)...

No need to click. Here's all it says.
Woman fined for abandoning her dog at the doors of an animal rescue organisation

It's the first time that an owner has been fined in such circumstances.First Instance and Instruction Court Five in Segovia has fined a Madrid woman 120 € after she abandoned her Rottweiler dog at the doors of the El Refugio animal refuge at El Espinar, Segovia in May 2008. She has also to pay 2,688 € to the animal refuge. Loa was six years old at the time she was abandoned, with her papers left with her. The refuge identified the owner via the microchip, but she did not want to take back the dog. Nacho Paunero, President of El Refugio, notes that this is the first time in Spain that someone has been fined for abandoning their animal at the doors of a refuge. He considers it a step forward in the protection of animals in Spain.

Latest News on Best Friends' Haiti Efforts

I hope one day to leave a bunch of money to help animals in such horrible conditions. Of course, I have to figure out how to earn that money first :-).

In the meantime, direct from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

University of Arizona Gets Grant for Animal Lab

Another Arizona story! They are certainly on the animal research kick.

From the Arizona Daily Star...
The University of Arizona College of Medicine won a $15 million federal stimulus grant to build a facility for research animals in downtown Phoenix.

The grant from the National Institutes of Health will cover the building cost.

About 33 researchers and staff members will work in the 22,000-square-foot research facility. It will be located next to the planned health sciences education building at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

The building will be "green" with recycling, energy efficiency, reduced water use and sustainable site and open-space plans.

Will Arizona Exempt Animal Testing from Cruelty Laws?

Unbelievable, but this stupid exemption is gaining support. Supposedly people either 1) believe the State has no place overseeing labs (USDA does that) and 2) bioscience is already very well-regulated.

Hah! This is all about making the stupid state friendly to the biotech industry. What next? They get a huge tax break?

Blinded Turtle Finds New Home in Aquarium

I'm not posting this because of the rescue (which is a good thing), but because of HOW this turtle was blinded.

From the BBC...

The aquarium said it hoped Homer would help raise awareness about the plight of his species.

Dangers include fishermen deliberately blinding the animals to protect fishing equipment.

The Archelon rescue centre in Greece previously looking after Homer believes this is what happened to him.

Homer, who is about 40-years-old, could have another 60 years of life.

Fishermen in Greece deliberately blinding turtles? Barbaric.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Horse Slaughter Rules to Appear in Canada

The Animal Welfare Institute thinks these new rules could be a blow to the horse slaughter industry, but only if actually implemented.

PETA Sues the City of Edmonton

They are trying to get Lucy the Elephant moved to a sanctuary. She is the sole elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.

There's a video available here too.

Portuguese City Tries to End Killing of Strays

Portugal is NOT known for its kindness to animals so this is a significant development for a Portuguese city.

From the Portugal News Online...

This weekend Lagos Town Hall executives are expected to sign a landmark protocol drawn up in collaboration with animal protection association Cadela Carlota, in which it is decreed that the two organisations will endeavour to put a stop to the extermination of healthy unwanted and stray animals being held in the municipal kennel.

Under Portuguese legislation, stray and unwanted animals that are kept in municipal kennels, even healthy ones, can be put down after eight days if unclaimed. The majority of these animals are unwanted dogs, removed from the streets by municipal services or dropped off by members of the public. Generally, those that have been there for a longer period are destroyed as the kennels reach maximum capacity, to accommodate new arrivals.

But as of this Saturday Lagos will adhere to an alternative path in dealing with abandoned animals and overflowing municipal infrastructures, thanks to the intervention of two local ladies, Cecilia do Carmo and Esperan├ža Martins, who in 2006 initiated proceedings to found an animal protection association following a distressing visit to the kennels.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sierra Leone's Elephant Population Near Extinction

Be warned. Awful picture here.

Again, it's all about the damn ivory.

Newfoundland MP Says PETA Pie Throw Could be Terrorism

She's referring to the pie thrown in the face of Fisheries Minister Gail Shea by a PETA member protesting the Canadian seal hunt.

It's pretty scary that a Liberal MP would actually question whether a pie in the face is terrorism. I'm wondering whether the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in the US is making the rounds of Canadian politicians.

Profile of Free the Bears Fund

Really inspiring profile of the work done by this Australian organization.
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