Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Universities in the Meat Industry?!

There is little chance of progress toward humane treatment of nonhuman
animals – an end to animal use and ecosystem disruption – while many of our
largest and most popular, prestigious, and influential institutions – our
land-grant universities (LGUs) / colleges of agriculture – teach inhumane
practice and meat ideology.
They don’t abuse as many sensitive chickens, pigs, fish, turkeys, cattle,
and others as the rest of the industry they helped create. But they teach
people to, each year providing billions of dollars’ worth of public
relations, training, and research for meat and allied industries – dairy, fish,
eggs, feed, pharmaceuticals, and others.
LGUs teach false beliefs about animals, including humans, and misrepresent
animal rights. The “institutions of higher learning” we rely on for an
enlightened public!

So it is crucial that we inform boosters of those institutions! – in
addition to administrators and officials RPA has been educating for years. An
easy, enjoyable, convenient way to help: Spot LGU promotions on cars –
decals, magnets, stickers, license-plate frames – and give the gift of
knowledge: special RPA fliers on windshields!
LGU cars are abound! My state’s main LGU, Penn State, larger than many
cities, has the world’s largest alumni association. If I leave home with
fewer then five Penn State fliers in my pocket, I sometimes lack enough for
the parked Penn State cars I see. I saw several Iowa State cars (number-one
university serving the meat industry) in the small Iowa town where I spoke
this past fall. Same with Raleigh on my November visit to North Carolina

Have RPA send you a supply of fliers for your state’s LGU!

Don’t leave home without LGU fliers!

When you travel, have us send you a supply for your destination state!

Tell RPA your leafleting tips so we can share them with other members and

« « «

Last but far from least …

Heartfelt thanks to all who made late fall / early winter RPA’s best
donation season ever
– and to all who gave in recent weeks!

The struggle for unalienable equal basic autonomy and ecology rights of
all individual animals regardless of species is its own reward. But it costs
a little bit to carry it on. It is necessarily a long-term struggle,
with little short-term sign of progress, because few people yet understand
animal rights, its necessity for protecting nonhuman animals, or its potential
far-reaching benefits for humans. RPA works every day to change that.
Donations in any amount lend invaluable moral support!
Thanks and best wishes,
David Cantor
Founder & Director
Responsible Policies for Animals, Inc.
P.O. Box 891
Glenside, PA 19038
_www.RPAforAll.org_ (
_www.ExpertsOfConscience.org_ (
_www.EatForSports.org_ (
Responsible Policies for Animals, Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit
organization, shows people how to establish responsible policies for
animals that are also responsible policies for people and ecosystems –
unalienable equal basic autonomy and ecology rights of all individual animals
regardless of species. Nonhuman animals have no rights; therefore, no meaningful
RPA’s 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign aims to end our land-grant
universities’ support of the meat industry -- see _www.RPAforAll.org_
( and _www.ExpertsOfConscience.org_
( .
RPA's This Land Is Their Land campaign aims to protect wildlife by ending
armed assaults and destructive land-use practices. See Campaigns page at
_Www.EatForSports.org_ ( provides facts and
sources promoting plants-only eating for humans. Like other animals, humans
should have a right not to have institutions impose harmful foods on
RPA's formal statement opposing violence in the name of animal advocacy is
available at _www.RPAforAll.org_ ( or by
Donations to RPA are tax deductible as allowed by law and may be made at
the above address or at _www.RPAforAll.org_ ( .

Artist Makes Fortune Painfully Tatooing Pigs

Click on title above to see another instance of animal exploitation and cruelty

(The guys tatoos suck. I think he is just using the pigs for practice while making $$$ off it too)

I feel a petition coming on to boycott this artist work

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Maryland Launches State-wide Jr. Hunter Event

The shame of it all. Marylands STATE-WIDE "Jr. Turkey Hunt" where adults are encouraged to take a young hunter out on the Junior Turkey Hunt day. This one-day hunt allows licensed hunters aged 16 or younger to hunt wild turkeys when accompanied by an unarmed, licensed adult of at least 21 years of age.

Age 16 OR YOUNGER?!! Where do they draw the line? At what age can a young child be issued a licence to kill? After he (or she)is old enough to walk on its own and tote a gun, I guess. Sounds like there are no age restrictions, other than having to be UNDER 16.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Local Vet Facing Animal Cruelty Charges in Cat Killing

A local veterinarian is facing felony cruelty to animals for allegedly beating a cat to death.

Bay County Sheriff's investigators arrested 52-year-old Margaret Fowler Monday morning at her home on South Lagoon Drive. The alleged incident happened on March 1.

Authorities say one of Fowler's neighbors saw Fowler hitting what appeared to be a cat with a rubber mallet.

The neighbor claims Fowler then grabbed the cat by the tail, carried it to a privacy fence and laid it down. The neighbor says she walked over to the fence and discovered the cat belonged to her live-in boyfriend.

Animal Control officers arrived.

They say Fowler told them she noticed the cat was suffering from injuries it received after it was hit by a car. She claimed the cat dragged itself over to the fence and died.

The senior director of veterinary forensic sciences for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals performed an necropsy and found that the cat bled to death because it was beaten in the head and stomach with a round blunt object.

Fowler is the owner and operator of Acupuncture & Holistic Veterinary Service of Northwest Florida. She runs the business out of her South Lagoon home, right across the street from the alleged incident.

She also practices at several other veterinary clinics and animal attractions in Bay County.

Fowler is being held in the Bay County jail. She's due in court tomorrow for a bond hearing.

The cat's owner says he is horrified at what happened: "It takes a sick mind, just absolute twisted, sick mind to do something like this to a defenseless animal," said Spike Shipley. "I don't know how to describe it, I just, every day, I think about it."

Shipley says the cat's sister died under suspicious circumstances last Thanksgiving. He says he may turn that incident over to authorities.

Email Address:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Monkey Farm Cruelty / Puerto Rico Just Says NO!

Click on title above to see vid

NYS Assembly Member a Friend to Animals / Proposes New Anti-Cruelty Legislation

Click on title above for vid from CNN

Another USDA Animal Welfare Failure

Click on title above to see vid of USDA sanctioned Exotic Animal Farm ( raid )

Willet Dairy Farm Cruelty - Fonda, NY

Click on title above to see another horrific Dairy Farm Cruelty Case exposed

Friday, March 26, 2010

Robeson shelter officials deny abuse claims

By Catherine Pritchard
Staff writer

Rachelle Dudgeon had never seen an animal euthanized by "heart stick."
But the Minnesota resident says she's sure that's what she saw being done to a dog at Robeson County's animal shelter in January. And given the way the dog "screamed," Dudgeon says, she's also sure the animal was not sedated at the time, which would be against North Carolina law.

Jeff Bass, the shelter's manager, says Dudgeon is lying. He said the shelter abides by state law.

But since Dudgeon's story started circulating on the Internet early this month, the shelter has come under a firestorm of criticism from animal advocates and under increased scrutiny from state regulators.

Gov. Bev Perdue's Facebook page has been deluged almost daily with calls for action at the shelter and often inflammatory comments by animal advocates near and far.

"Sack the staff at Robesons and get some caring animal lovers to work there instead ... Simple!!!" wrote a woman who lives in England.

Perdue wrote on March 10 that her office had contacted the state Department of Agriculture and the Robeson County sheriff about allegations of cruelty at the shelter.

"I understand the state vet's office within the Department of Agriculture, which oversees animal shelters in this state, has already sent an inspector to Robeson County," she wrote. "I trust they will ensure that state laws are being properly followed by the shelters there."

Lee Hunter, the veterinarian who heads the Animal Welfare Section of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said his inspectors have made several unannounced visits to the shelter this month.

As in the past, problems were found. The biggest was an improper cleaning protocol. Workers were mixing Clorox and Ajax to clean the shelter, and the resulting fumes bothered the inspector as well as the animals. The shelter agreed to use a safer cleaning method, Hunter said.

Hunter said his office has probably received more complaints about the Robeson County shelter than any other in the state, but its operation is "probably about average" for shelters. "All shelters have problems," he said.

He said his office is continuing to investigate the shelter but has found no violations of the state Animal Welfare Act.

Robeson County Manager Ken Windley and county Health Director Bill Smith, whose department oversees the shelter, didn't respond to phone calls from the Observer.

But Bass said he's heard from them.

"My bosses are telling me, 'Listen, you're doing an OK job. Just keep going,' " he said.

Longtime complaints
Criticism has been lodged for years against the Robeson County animal shelter, which is a clearinghouse for stray and abandoned dogs and cats picked up by animal control officers throughout the large rural and poor county.

In the 1990s, Smith, already the head of the Health Department, deplored the shelter, which then consisted of five dog pens and scattered cages behind a veterinary hospital in Lumberton. In 1999, he said that animals had to be destroyed after a five-day waiting period because there was no space.

In 2001, animal advocates released an undercover videotape that showed shelter workers euthanizing unanesthetized dogs and cats by injecting drug overdoses directly into their hearts - intracardiac injections dubbed "heart sticks." The method is said to be extremely painful if the animal is not sedated.

A local group headed by a persistent shelter critic, Faith Walker of Lumberton, then filed suit against the county over its euthanasia methods.

County officials denied animals were treated inhumanely but agreed to sedate animals before euthanizing them.

In 2002, Bass joined the shelter as its manager. In 2003, the operation moved to new, much larger quarters near the landfill in St. Pauls.

Hundreds of animals are brought there each year. Most are euthanized after the five-day waiting period to make room as more animals are brought in. Last year, Bass said, 1,011 dogs were adopted from the shelter and 2,843 were euthanized. Cats fared worse - 172 were adopted while 1,731 were killed.

"I can't sit on them for long periods of time because there's nowhere to keep them," Bass said.

Critics say the shelter could house many more animals if Bass didn't insist that half the pens be kept empty. He said he has to have somewhere to move the animals while other pens are being cleaned.

When the shelter runs out of space, Bass said, it euthanizes most animals with the intracardiac injections - but not until sedation is administered and has become effective.

Many animal advocates don't believe it. A Facebook posting by one, in January, brought Dudgeon to Robeson County. At a page for a group opposed to North Carolina shelters that euthanize animals with gas - not the case in Robeson County - a woman posted that 150 animals at the Robeson County shelter were "SCHEDULED TO DIE BY HEARSTICK (sic) TUESDAY!"

The woman, who is from Georgia, wrote that she'd heard about the situation from another Facebook poster.

Dudgeon, who belongs to a Minnesota animal rescue group called Puppy Porch, saw the woman's post and drove to Robeson County with her husband to take as many of the animals as she could - about 16 dogs and one cat. At least one other out-of-state rescue group was adopting animals at the shelter then, too.

In the widely circulated statement that Dudgeon posted on the Internet in early March, she said she was in a shelter kennel feeding a skinny mother dog when she heard men talking nearby. She said they stopped at another kennel and used a pole to jab something.

"Then I heard the most horrific screams from an animal that I have ever heard in my whole life," she wrote. "The men sat over the dog and laughed as it screamed in pain for about 1-2 minutes."

In an interview, Dudgeon said she is positive the men were using the heart-stick method to euthanize a dog without anesthesia.

Dudgeon said she then went outside the shelter and heard similar howls, which she believed were made by other dogs being euthanized without anesthesia.

"What I (said) in my statement is very truthful," she said.

Bass said her statement was "just a complete false fabrication from the start." He said that while the first dog was euthanized that day, Dudgeon was not in the shelter at the time and it wasn't done until the dog had been correctly anesthetized.

He said the howls she heard while outside the shelter may have been from the dog when it was collared with a "control stick," before it was anesthetized, and from other dogs who were being moved so kennels could be cleaned.

He said no animal has ever been euthanized by heart-sticking without sedation since he has been with the shelter.

"We do not do that here," he said.

Bass said he has been unfairly vilified by animal advocates, many of whom mention him by name in online postings.

"Please call them to the carpet and ask them to explain themselves, especiall (sic) this jeff blass (sic) person," wrote one on Perdue's Facebook page.

"Bev needs to be the leader she campaigned to be and stop the MURDERING of innocent animails (sic) at the hands of Jeff Bass and others like him," wrote a woman from Louisville, Ky.

Bass said many cite videos as evidence of cruelty at the shelter, but he said they're looking at the video made in 2001, before he was there and before policies were changed.

"They're throwing me under the bus, and I'm a total stranger," he said.

Dudgeon said she also is under fire. "People are harassing me, too," she said. "Don't think that I'm not getting it."

She said she does not condone harassment or mistreatment of Bass or his staff.

Meanwhile, Walker said she is preparing to file another animal-cruelty suit against the county. She said her first suit was dismissed in 2004 because she couldn't prove she had tried to resolve the complaints with local agencies before going to court. She said she won't have that problem this time.

Hunter, the veterinarian heading the state Animal Welfare office, said he knows many are "exceedingly angry" over animal euthanasia.

But, he said, it's an unfortunate necessity for now.

"It's the end product of a pet overpopulation problem," he said. "Until the pet overpopulation problem is solved, there's going to continue to be euthanasia. You can't adopt your way out of this."

That won't stop many animal advocates from trying. In the past few weeks, numerous dogs and some cats have been taken from the Robeson shelter by various animal rescue operations. Most reportedly send the animals up north where there are fewer strays because of spay and neuter programs.

Dannie Royce of Fayetteville, who works with several animal rescue groups, was at the shelter Tuesday with other rescuers. They loaded about 16 dogs, including eight puppies, and three cats into carriers.

Many had been scheduled to be euthanized that day but "Jeff was nice enough" to delay that so the rescuers could come in, Royce said.

She said she'd been to the shelter about six times since moving to Fayetteville three months ago and had never had a bad encounter with Bass or his staff.

"They've always been really nice and accommodating," Royce said. "They all seem to care for the dogs. ...I don't think it's as bad as they say online."

Staff writer Catherine Pritchard can be reached at or 486-3517.

Farewell to "Gucci," dog that changed Alabama's Cruelty Laws Dies - RIP

Gucci at the time he was tortured in 1994.

Dog that changed Alabama cruelty laws dies

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A dog who was severely burned as a puppy in a case that drew worldwide attention and led to tougher animal cruelty laws in Alabama has died.

Doug James rescued the dog named Gucci after it was hung by the neck, tortured and set on fire by a group of youths in 1994. James said the 16-year-old chow-husky mix had been in declining health in the past few months and was euthanized on Wednesday.

Passed in 2000, the Pet Protection Act, called Gucci's law, made first-degree cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Abuse and neglect of a cat or dog is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

James said Gucci turned 16 on Monday and his annual birthday party is scheduled Saturday at a local pet shop. He said the gathering will now be a memorial service.

USDA Killing Wild Boar from Air

Wolves, Wild Boars, Buffalo, all victims of the USDAs air-assault on our nations wild animals - to protect our public lands for the privately owed ("Welfare Rancher" cows)
Click on title above for article

Thursday, March 25, 2010


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 22 Mar 2010
Source: Science News

Athlete's foot therapy tapped to treat bat-killing fungus
Over the past 4 years, a mysterious white-nose fungus [responsible
for the White Nose Syndrome (WNS) - Mod.TG] has struck hibernating
North American bats. Populations in affected caves and mines can
experience death rates of more than 80 percent over a winter. In
desperation, an informal interagency task force of scientists from
state and federal agencies has just launched an experimental program
to fight the plague. Their weapon: a drug ordinarily used to treat
athlete's foot.

John Eisemann of the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service, better known as APHIS, in Fort Collins, Colorado,
mentioned the new program during his talk, here, at the American
Chemical Society's spring national meeting. He was describing legal
tactics by which wildlife officials can thwart invasive vertebrate
species with off-the-shelf chemicals.

He noted, for instance, how scientists have used a contraceptive
vaccine -- one designed to control white-tail deer populations -- on
rodents. It offered a nonlethal approach to reining in the population
explosion of non-native fox squirrels on a University of California
campus. In another instance, wildlife managers employed a cholesterol
inhibiting drug to reduce sex hormone levels -- and the urge to
reproduce -- among invasive monk parakeets. And on Guam, Eisemann's
team designed special traps baited with neonatal mouse carcasses.
Each bait had been implanted with a child's dose of acetaminophen,
the active ingredient in Tylenol. It proved amazingly effective in
strategically poisoning a major scourge, invasive brown tree snakes
-- and only that species.

The bat task force enlisted Eisemann's help to make sure that
whatever they tried would be legal. He's the go-to guy for
identifying what permissions, waivers or requests are required before
wildlife managers can apply poisons or anti-fertility drugs. The Food
and Drug Administration allows for some off-label use of an existing
drug as a veterinary prescription. And that's the tactic he arranged
for the task force to use with the athlete's foot drug.

Theoretically, Eisemann says, it should have been possible for
scientists to apply to get the chemical officially registered -- as
in approved -- for use on bats. But with the disease spreading like
wildfire and the potential market for a white-nose therapeutic tiny,
the time and expense didn't seem feasible.

Afraid of upsetting the ecological balance of endemic fungi in caves,
the scientists decided to pilot test the program in already perturbed
and disturbed environments -- a few mines in upstate New York.
Earlier this year, the researchers applied the antifungal medicine
onto the noses of several hundred bats. It killed the fungus,
Eisemann says. Now the goal is to see if and how it might have
affected the treated colonies' die-off rate, since only a small share
of any population had their noses rubbed with the antifungal drug.

Indeed, the scientists are hoping they might not need to treat the
entire colony. "If there's enough communal grooming," Eisemann said,
"they may only need to treat a certain percentage of the bats."

[Byline: Janet Raloff]

Communicated by:

[While there still seem to be many unknowns, it looks like there may
be a glimmer of hope to control this disease that is having such an
impact on the bat populations. - Mod.TG]

[see also:
White nose syndrome - Canada: (ON) 1st report 20100322.0905
White nose syndrome bats - USA (04): (MD) 20100321.0896
White nose syndrome bats - USA (03): (WV) 20100225.0626
White nose syndrome bats - USA (02): (TN) 20100219.0570
White nose syndrome, bats - USA: (VT) 20100209.0438
White nose syndrome, bats - USA (14) 20091014.3538
White nose syndrome, bats - USA (13): (NJ) 20090712.2495
White nose syndrome, bats - USA (12) 20090510.1750
White nose syndrome, bats - USA (11) 20090510.1743
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (10): cave closings 20090507.1703
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (09): (VA)susp. 20090427.1590
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (08): (MA) 20090414.1413
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (07) 20090320.1110
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (06): (PA) RFI 20090311.1011
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (05): (PA) 20090309.0975
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (04): (PA) 20090306.0931
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (03): (WV) susp 20090220.0711
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (02): (northeast) 20090208.0578
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA: (Northeast) 20090129.0401
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (07): (Northeast) 20081102.3448
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (06): (Northeast) 20080331.1195]

ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted
or archived material.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

WordPress Exec's to Hold Texas B-B-Q

No wonder they have locked me out of my WordPress Blogs,...a bunch of carnivores, huh?

Juris Equidae;

Public Land Wars;

Click on title above for article

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

USDA fails to stop anal shocking and other abuses of slaughterhouse animals

March 15, 7:03 PM
Animal Policy Examiner - Katerina Lorenzatos Makris

The federal agency responsible for ensuring humane handling of animals in slaughterhouses does so inconsistently, resulting in continued “egregious” abuses, charges a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Testifying before congress this month, a GAO official described flawed enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978 (HMSA), which “prohibits the inhumane treatment of livestock in slaughter plants.”

A three-month study by the GAO found U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) "weaknesses" in monitoring meatpacking companies’ compliance with the HMSA law.

Anal shocking and other abuses continue

GAO Director of Natural Resources and Environment Lisa Shames told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on government reform that USDA inspectors often do not take action against companies for such illegal practices as:

Using electric prods to shock animals in sensitive areas such as the anus and eyes
Excessive beating or electric prodding of ambulatory or nonambulatory disabled animals
Using electric prods to shock more than 50 out of 100 animals
“Concerns about the humane handling and slaughter of livestock have increased in recent years,” Shames added, “particularly after possible HMSA violations were revealed at a slaughter plant in California in 2008 and one in Vermont in 2009.”

USDA failed to implement previous GAO recommendations

“In 2004, we recommended that FSIS [the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service] establish additional clear, specific, and consistent criteria for district offices to use when considering whether to take enforcement actions because of repeat violations,” recalled Shames.

“FSIS agreed with this recommendation and delegated to the districts the responsibility for determining how many repeat violations should result in a suspension,” she said. “However, incidents such as those at the slaughter plants in California and in Vermont suggest that this delegation was not successful. To date, FSIS has not issued additional guidance.”

No action taken on some violations

Shames described the performance of FSIS on humane issues as follows:

“… our analysis of noncompliance reports shows inconsistency in the actions inspectors took in response to excessive beating or prodding. “

“ … excessive beating or prodding of ambulatory or nonambulatory disabled animals is egregious abuse—and may therefore warrant suspension of plant operations.”

“Our review of noncompliance reports identified incidents in which inspectors did not suspend plant operations or take regulatory actions when they appeared warranted. “

“From inspectors’ noncompliance reports, we identified several specific incidents in which inspectors did not either take a regulatory control action or suspend plant operations.”

Not enough veterinarians

“In February 2009, we reported that the FSIS veterinarian workforce had decreased by nearly 10 percent since fiscal year 2003 and that the agency had not been fully staffed over the past decade,” Shames testified.

“As of fiscal year 2008, FSIS had a 15 percent shortage of veterinarians," she said. "The majority of these veterinarians work in slaughter plants, and these plants ranged from no vacancy to 35 percent of their veterinarian positions vacant.”

How the study was done

Shames said the GAO “conducted a survey of inspectors-in-charge—those responsible for reporting on humane handling enforcement in the plants—from a random sample of inspectors-in-charge at 257 livestock slaughter plants from May 2009 through July 2009.”

The study also “examined a sample of FSIS noncompliance reports, suspension data, and district veterinary medical specialist reports in all 15 of FSIS’s district offices for fiscal years 2005 through 2009,” said Shames.

To lean about the GAO’s recommendations to the USDA and the USDA’s response, please visit Animal Policy Examiner again for an upcoming article on:

“Slaughterhouse inspectors request USDA guidance on what constitutes animal abuse”


Katerina Lorenzatos Makris (a.k.a. Kathryn Makris) is the author of 18 books for publishers including Avon, E.P. Dutton, and Simon and Schuster, and a teleplay for CBS.

Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as San Francisco Chronicle and National Geographic Traveler.

Among her books are Your Adopted Dog: Everything You Need to Know about Rescuing and Caring for a Best Friend in Need (The Lyons Press), coauthored with Shelley Frost, and The Eco-Kids, a series of novels for tweens (Avon Books).

Her story Small Change placed as a finalist in The Bark magazine's short fiction contest and will be published this year.

She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science Studies and a lifelong interest in animal issues.

She may be reached at

Click on title above for original article w/ working links;

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hunting w/ Hounds Cruelty

"Don’t let politicians bring back cruelty. Help IFAW keep cruelty out of the countryside and back the ban on hunting with dogs."

- Sir Paul McCartney

Bear Hunting w/ Dogs;

Hog Hunting w/ Dogs;

Bow-Hunting Cruelty / Deer w/ Arrow Sticking Out of Nose

Click on title for vid

Exposing the Cruelty of Hunt & Kill "Sports"

Click on title for vid

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

PETA's Euthanasia Rates Have Critics Fuming

Dana Chivvis Contributor
AOL News

(March 9) -- When Dawn Brancheau, a SeaWorld trainer, was killed last month by one of the park's orcas, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was quick to condemn SeaWorld for keeping its animals constrained in small tanks. Indeed, PETA is often on hand whenever there is an incident involving animals and humans. The group is well-known for its edgy, graphic advertisements, its support for radical animal rights groups, and its throngs of celebrity supporters, from Charlize Theron to Tim Gunn.

But PETA has a lesser-known claim to fame that has critics fuming: The organization euthanizes over 90 percent of the dogs and cats relinquished to its headquarters in Norfolk, Va. In 2009, PETA euthanized 2,301 dogs and cats -- 97 percent of those brought in -- and adopted only eight, according to Virginia state figures. And the rate of these killings has been increasing. From 2004 to 2008, euthanasia at PETA increased by 10 percent.

Manpreet Romana, AFP / Getty Images
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is coming under fire for euthanizing more than 90 percent of the dogs and cats relinquished to its Norfolk, Va., headquarters. Here, a PETA activist acts out a lesson on animal birth control in New Delhi last year.

The numbers are remarkable in contrast to nearby shelters. In the same town, the Norfolk City Pound euthanized 54.7 percent of its dogs and cats in 2009. In 2008, the most recent year on record, the Norfolk SPCA found homes for 86 percent of its dogs and cats and euthanized only 5.3 percent.

"I don't think it could be ethically rationalized," Nathan Winograd, executive director of the No Kill Advocacy Center, told AOL News. Winograd, a no-kill advocate, believes shelters should only euthanize animals that are not adoptable because they cannot be rehabilitated for aggression or health reasons. Often shelters put down animals when they do not have enough room.

Winograd and others, like the Center for Consumer Freedom, which is supported by food industry groups, are staunchly opposed to PETA's practices, saying they choose to kill animals needlessly for purely evil or financial reasons.

"It's whoring itself out for media coverage," David Martosko, director of research at the Center for Consumer Freedom, said of PETA. "They'll do the ridiculous stuff, but they won't put an ad in the Norfolk press saying, 'We have puppies and kittens, come adopt one.'"

But the numbers don't tell the full story. PETA says it doesn't have puppies and kittens for adoption because it is not an adoptive agency but a "shelter of last resort," taking in animals that other shelters reject because they are unadoptable and euthanizing those that are suffering. They refer adoptable animals to the nearby Virginia Beach Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"Our euthanasia program has never been a secret," said Daphna Nachminovitch, vice president of cruelty investigations at PETA. "This is one of many, many things that we do to alleviate the suffering of animals."

Nachminovitch brushes aside the idea that there is a financial motive behind their practice. PETA reported an annual revenue of more than $34 million in 2009. She says shelters don't cost much money to build or maintain, but when they are jam-packed with homeless pets, the caged animals suffer. The culprits aren't the shelters that euthanize animals, she adds, but the breeders and pet shops that fill society with 6 million to 8 million shelter animals each year.

"Money can't buy a good home, so it's not a matter of money," she said. "You could build the nicest shelter in the world, but if you don't have homes for them, they're still going to sit in a cage."

And that is the problem with Winograd's movement, according to PETA. The emphasis on "no-kill" means shelters are overcrowded and animals suffer. Instead, the emphasis should be on "no-breed." PETA promotes spaying and neutering with this in mind and sterilized 8,677 animals last year.

The Association of Shelter Veterinarians recognizes that shelters have different philosophies and methods when it comes to euthanasia and does not provide any strict rules or guidelines about it.

"Our philosophy is that whenever euthanasia is performed, it should be done compassionately and humanely. The decision to euthanize an animal rests with a shelter's staff and should be based on their policies and knowledge of the animal's health and behavior status," Dr. Jeanette O'Quin, president of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, wrote in an e-mail to AOL News.

Dr. Ronald Hallstrom, a Norfolk-area veterinarian, says euthanasia is a philosophical issue. He recalled a time when animal control brought him a dog with three severely injured legs, leading him to decide to put her down. But when he put the needle into her leg, she looked up at him and he changed his mind. Daisy, he says, is now a "wonderful, wonderful pet."

But not every animal brought to him is like Daisy.

"If you put a value on the life of an animal, you have an obligation to make the best decision," Hallstrom said. "Euthanasia of the animals that don't have owners should be performed by people that are rational and are using sound judgment."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Support Your Local No-Kill Shelter

Here is a GREAT one in NY;

Katskill Mountain Critters
A nonprofit “NO KILL” organization

April 17th

Smallwood - Mongaup Valley Fire House
Ballard Road - Mongaup Valley, NY

Doors open at 6:00
Calling starts at 7:30
Admission $1.00
All proceeds to benefit abandoned and stray animals!
refreshments will be available

For more information
call (845) 866-1975

Click on title above to go to the website

Pet Illnesses and Deaths Prompt Lawsuits Against Hartz and Other Flea and Tick Product Makers

Newark, NJ: Cat and dog owners have filed a series of lawsuits against the makers of anti- flea and tick medications alleging that their pets were made ill by the products.

Five New Jersey Companies are named as separate defendants in the lawsuits, specifically Secaucus-based Hartz Mountain Corp., Summit VetPharm LLC of Rutherford, Morristown-based Bayer Healthcare LLC, Merck & Co. Inc. of Whitehouse Station and Sanofi-Aventis Inc. of Bridgewater.

The most recent lawsuit filed last week by five pet owners against Hartz Mountain and Summit VetPharm, alleges that the flea or tick treatments made by these two companies contained Pyrethrin, or a synthetic version of the chemical Pyrethroids, which are “known to poison animals.”

The products named include Hartz Ultra Guard flea and tick drops and Summit VetPharm’s Vectra 3d. The companies are accused of negligence, violating New Jersey’s consumer fraud law and liability for creating an “unreasonably dangerous product.”

In one lawsuit, a man from California saw his Scottish Terrier, Duffy, die three days after he treated him with Hartz flea and tick drops. Rick Parsons took Duffy to the veterinarian’s facility because he did not appear well. Duffy died at the Vet's office that day and the Vet reportedly said the death was due to a “reaction to the insecticide.”

The suits reportedly states that Parsons contacted Hartz, which reviewed the case and denied any responsibility, saying that the dog’s death was due to “underlying health problems.” The suit goes on to state “in 2008 alone, there were approximately 48,000 reports of adverse events from the spot-on or squeeze-on products including pyrethrins, Permethrin, or other pyrethroids.”

According to a media report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates the products, has seen a “sharp increase in adverse consequences” resulting from these products.

“Adverse reactions reported range from mild effects such as skin irritation to more serious effects such as seizures, and in some cases, death of the pet,” the advisory said.

The lawsuits are reportedly seeking class action status.

MAR-09-10: Cat and dog owners say Hartz Mountain Corp flea medication hurt their pets [NORTH JERSEY.COM: CRIME AND COURTS] Click on title above for article;

Sunday, March 7, 2010


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 4 Mar 2010
Source: The New York Times [edited]

Cancer Kills Many Sea Lions, and Its Cause Remains a Mystery
For 14 years, since they 1st reported that a disturbing proportion of
deaths among rescued California sea lions was caused by metastatic
cancer, researchers have been trying to pinpoint the source of the illness.

In 1996, Dr. Frances Gulland, the director of veterinary science at
the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, and colleagues at the
University of California, Davis, found that a striking 18 percent of
deaths in stranded adult sea lions were the result of tumors in the
reproductive and urinary tracts.

"It's such an aggressive cancer, and it's so unusual to see such a
high prevalence of cancer in a wild population," Dr. Gulland said.
"That suggests that there's some carcinogen in the ocean that could
be affecting these animals."

The center has not observed the same syndrome in other seals. Years
of study have led researchers to think the answer lies not with any
one culprit, but with several. Their research has added to a body of
evidence concerning industrial contaminants in the ocean and their
effects on the health of its inhabitants.

Sea lions have had to cope with a variety of challenges lately. There
was the animals' mass exit from Pier 39 in San Francisco late last
year, which experts suspect was driven by a hunt for a better food
supply. Also in 2009, the Sausalito mammal center had an unusually
busy year. It took in a record 1370 sick and injured California sea
lions, and doctors found major problems in many, including
malnutrition, parasitic diseases and bacterial kidney infections.
Some had brain seizures from a toxic algae poisoning.

But the cancers are what Dr. Gulland found most worrisome. One day
last month, a volunteer rescue crew netted an ailing sea lion
stranded on Stinson Beach and drove back to the hospital, which was
newly rebuilt and reopened last summer. The thin, lethargic 200-pound
young adult male had paralysis in its genital area and in its swollen
hind flippers, clear signs of cancer.

"It's pretty distressing to see," Dr. Gulland said.

The veterinary team had to euthanize the animal. A post-mortem
examination revealed not only cancer in the penis, but also tumors
riddling the lymph nodes, lower spine, kidneys, liver and lungs. The
disease typically starts around the penis in males and the cervix in
females, then spreads. In an average year, the Marine Mammal Center
sees 15 to 20 California sea lions with cancer.

The center always performs a post-mortem dissection. That work is
"really what tells us about health trends in the ocean," Dr. Gulland said.

The nonprofit center is one of the 2 biggest marine mammal
rescue-and-rehabilitation facilities in the world -- the other is in
the Netherlands -- dedicated to researching the health troubles of
the animals it finds, said Dr. Sylvain De Guise, a veterinary
scientist at the University of Connecticut.

Members of the medical staff in Sausalito, Dr. De Guise said, "have
been pioneers at going beyond treating one individual at a time and
releasing it, and have tried to understand the bigger picture, the
causes and consequences."

Ordinarily, veterinary experts do not see much cancer in wild
animals, but there has been little monitoring for the disease.
Recently, however, cancer has emerged as a key concern for some
endangered species, including green sea turtles, Attwater's prairie
chickens and Tasmanian devils, said Denise McAloose, a veterinary
pathologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York City.

In addition, about 18 percent of dead, stranded beluga whales in the
St. Lawrence River estuary in Canada were found to have intestinal
tumors or other cancers, which have been linked to industrial pollutants.

No one knows how much of the general California sea lion population
has tumors, or if the current rate is higher than before. No
diagnostic test for the disease exists, said Dr. Robert DeLong, a
research biologist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in
Seattle who has participated in the cancer studies.

In his field observations among a colony of 100 000 animals in the
Channel Islands -- the birthplace for most California sea lions that
travel the state's coast -- Dr. DeLong said he saw 2 to 5 sea lions a
year with huge advanced tumors.

When Dr. Gulland and Dr. Linda Lowenstine, a veterinary pathologist
at the University of California, Davis, began investigating the
cancer mystery, the obvious suspect was environmental contaminants.
The Channel Islands lie off the Southern California Bight, where,
from the late 1940s until the early 1970s, manufacturing companies
discharged millions of pounds of DDTs and PCBs into the sea. Cleanup
continues, but the chemicals linger.

But if those chemicals are solely to blame, the researchers asked,
why was cancer originating mainly in the uro-genital tract, and not
in the kidney or liver, as one would expect?

"That didn't really fit," Dr. Lowenstine said.

But, in examining sea lion tumor cells with an electron microscope,
Dr. Lowenstine noticed what looked like viral particles. And indeed,
in a major discovery in 2000, a different team of researchers in
Washington, D.C., identified a herpesvirus in the sea lions, a close
relative of the human herpesvirus that fosters Kaposi's skin cancer
lesions in AIDS patients. Recent studies by the California
researchers have shown that the sea lion virus likes to live in the
reproductive tract and, among adults, is twice as common in males --
infecting 45 percent of them -- as in females.

But environmental contaminants are not off the hook. Because it takes
several "hits" of environmental or genetic damage to turn a healthy
cell into cancerous one, the researchers speculated that the virus
and chemicals could be interacting to trigger tumors.

Sea lions accumulate high concentrations of PCBs and DDTs in their
blubber from eating contaminated fish; mothers also pass the
compounds to babies. An analysis by the California researchers and
experts at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle found
that animals with higher blubber PCB concentrations were more likely
to have died of cancer.

"PCBs are notorious for 2 different things," Dr. Lowenstine said.
They can suppress the immune system, which may increase a sea lion's
vulnerability to the herpesvirus infection, but they also have
estrogen-like hormonal effects.

[Byline: Ingfei Chen]

Communicated by:

[It might be an understatement to say this was an interesting
article. If the sea lions and some sea turtles are having problems,
it might be a logical next step to think perhaps a similar situation
may be occurring in some of the whales and dolphins that beach themselves?

Certainly, as this article points out, there are other situations,
such as the Tasmanian devil that has virus related tumors. Canine
venereal tumors are also virus related. In the dogs and in the
Tasmanian devil, they are deemed transmissible tumors. It may be
possible that since this a tumor, suspected to be caused by a virus,
and the uro-genital area of the sea lions, that it too is a
transmissible tumor. Perhaps it is spread through copulation?

This article also mentioned seizures in these animals. In 1998, there
were several problems in California with undiagnosed sea lion
seizures, as related in ProMED-mail posts 19980704.123901 and
19980601.1055. Perhaps the seizures then were related early stages of
this virus? Or cancer? Other areas of the world have had sea lion
die-offs. Perhaps some of them were this same sort of occurrence?

Pictures of California Sea Lions may be found at:

- Mod.TG]

[see also:
Sea lions, seizures, undiagnosed - USA (California) (02) 19980704.1239
Sea lions, seizures, undiagnosed - USA (California) 19980601.1055
Sea lion die-off - New Zealand (03) 19980503.0864
Sea lion die-off - New Zealand (02) 19980310.0457
Sea lion die-off - New Zealand 19980308.0441
Sea lion die-off - Sub-Antarctica (08) 19980218.0313
Sea lion die-off - Sub-Antarctica (07) 19980211.0273
Sea lion die-off - Sub-Antarctica (06) 19980207.0237
Sea lion die-off - Sub-Antarctica (05) 19980205.0226
Sea lion die-off - Sub-Antarctica (04) 19980205.0223
Sea lion die-off - Sub-Antarctica (02) 19980203.0215
Sea lion die-off - Sub-Antarctica 19980201.0207]

ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Humane Lobby Day, Albany, NY, March 24

Join Us at Humane Lobby Day

Dear Animal Lovers and Advocates;

There's still time! The Humane Society of the United States invites our members and supporters to join us for New York Humane Lobby Day on Wednesday, March 24 in Albany, where you'll make a tremendous difference for animals. This is your chance to speak directly with your legislators about animal protection legislation. RSVP now.

Don't worry; we'll prep you beforehand with tips for lobbying and an overview of pending legislation to protect animals from puppy mills, captive hunts, animal fighting and factory farming.

We're chartering buses to leave from New York City to Albany, and also from Syracuse/Utica to Albany. Click on title above to register.
Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO


Be There or Be Square!

Confirmation for christine jubic

Event Name:
Albany, NY: New York State Humane Lobby Day - March 24

Date & Time:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:00 AM

5 hours, 30 minutes

Empire State Plaza Convention Center

1 guests attending

Thank you for your registration to the Humane Lobby Day in Albany, New York. We look forward to seeing you there! Please print this page for your records. A confirmation with additional information will be emailed to you shortly.

•Join The HSUS New York group on Facebook. It's free (and fun) to set up your own profile and get involved.
•Sign up for text alerts for your mobile phone to get news on the go.
•Go back to school for animals at Humane Society University.
•See all the ways to connect online with The HSUS