Monday, June 15, 2009
(CNN) -- Newly released videos are raising questions about the military's continued use of live animals in simulated battlefield medical training.
In the military training video, a monkey is monitored after being given a simulated nerve agent.
The military training videos were acquired by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine under the Freedom of Information Act. The PCRM claims the videos, which show the use of monkeys and goats in medical training, are evidence that the military is violating its own animal-welfare regulations.
"We are dedicated to employing the best available training techniques to prepare our medical care providers to treat battlefield injuries while minimizing the use of live animals," the military spokesman said. "To this end, the Medical Chemical Biological Casualty course makes extensive use of manikins and computer-based training."
Sunday, June 14, 2009
06/08/2009 06:27 PM
Was it an accident, greed or revenge for being locked up? A chimpanzee called Pedro made a name for himself on Monday by biting off the forefinger of Berlin Zoo's director.
A chimpanzee called Pedro bit off the forefinger of Berlin Zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz on Monday as he was trying to feed him through the bars of his cage.
A spokeswoman for the zoo said Blaszkiewitz, 55, had been leading a group round the zoo and wanted to hand Pedro a snack through the bars when the chimp grabbed his arm and bit off almost all of his forefinger. "It was just hanging by a shred of skin," local daily "B.Z." quoted an eyewitness as saying.
Blaszkiewitz was rushed to hospital where doctors tried to sew his finger back on. Zookeepers said their boss hadn't stuck to the safety rules that he kept on reminding them about -- maintaining distance to the animals. Chimpanzees are known to be potentially dangerous.
Blaszkiewitz kept calm despite his wound. "He wasn't any more upset than if someone had trodden on his foot," the spokeswoman said.
The zoo couldn't immediately be reached on Monday evening to ascertain whether the operation was successful and whether Pedro has had his banana rations cut.
Blaszkiewitz presided over the hand-rearing of polar bear cub Knut in 2007. The bear became an international media celebrity and brought the zoo a surge in visitor numbers and profits.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Unlike Canada, EU surges ahead on animal welfare reform
Jun 04, 2009 05:32 AM
PROJECTS AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, VANCOUVER HUMANE SOCIETY
Gordie&Maurice at Fauna
The recent uproar over Canada's seal hunt (and the Governor General's
appetite for seal heart) saw widespread charges of hypocrisy levelled
at the European Union over its ban on seal products. Critics
repeatedly point to Spanish bullfights or French foie gras production
as evidence of Europe's poor animal welfare record. While these
practices deserve criticism, the truth is that Europe is light years
ahead of Canada in animal welfare policy. In fact, among developed
countries, Canada is at the bottom of the league in its treatment of
It is a well-documented fact that the European Union has led the world
in reforming farm animal welfare, working to reduce the suffering of
hundreds of millions of animals. Some examples:
In 2007, the EU banned veal crates. The crates, so small that the
incarcerated calf cannot turn around for most of its 16-week life,
have been illegal in Britain since 1990.
Sow stalls, which keep pregnant pigs in such close confinement they
are virtually unable to move throughout their 16-week pregnancy, will
be banned in the EU in 2013. Tethers, used to further restrict sows'
movement, were prohibited in 2006.
The EU has agreed to ban battery cages for laying hens in 2012,
stopping a practice that denies the birds virtually all their natural
behaviours and keeps them so cramped they cannot even flap a wing.
All these systems and practices remain in use in Canada, where farm
animal welfare is governed by an entirely voluntary, unaudited set of
"recommended codes of practice."
Moreover, the EU is committed to further advancing animal welfare
reform. A protocol in the Treaty of Amsterdam legally recognizes
animals as sentient beings and requires member states to "pay full
regard to the welfare requirements of animals." Animal welfare
standards are being incorporated in EU trade agreements.
Farm animal welfare is also moving forward elsewhere. California
recently banned battery cages, sow stalls and veal crates. Colorado,
Florida, Oregon, Arizona and Maine have passed legislation banning
intensive confinement systems. Nothing comparable is happening in
A report by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS)
released earlier this year ranked Canada well behind Australia, New
Zealand, the United States and the EU in terms of farm animal welfare.
The report found that all these jurisdictions spent millions of
dollars on animal welfare, while Canada's latest five-year agriculture
plan virtually ignores the issue. The CFHS, a mainstream organization
representing most of Canada's SPCAs and humane societies, said
Canada's record was "shameful."
The same could be said of Canada's treatment of animals generally. In
2008, all Canadian animal welfare organizations loudly opposed Bill
S-203, the federal government's hopelessly weak animal cruelty
legislation. Despite this opposition, the bill passed, leaving
Canada's animals without the kind of legal protection they have in
other countries. The legislation'
borne out, with several horrific animal cruelty cases resulting in
little or no penalty for the perpetrators. This included the acquittal
of a man who killed five dogs with a hammer and the case of man who
threw a kitten off a balcony and then ran over it with his car ? the
charges were dropped. The CFHS says Michael Vick, the American
football player charged for involvement in a dogfighting ring, would
not have been convicted had his crimes taken place in Canada.
Less than one-quarter of one per cent of charges under the animal
cruelty provisions of the Criminal Code result in convictions. An
International Fund for Animal Welfare survey of animal cruelty laws in
14 countries ranked Canada last in a comparison of effective animal
Despite all this, defenders of Canada's commercial seal hunt continue
to point at Europe's bullfighting and foie gras. Yet a closer look
reveals that there is considerable European opposition to both
practices. Fifteen European states, including Germany, Norway, Denmark
and Austria, have banned the production of foie gras. Bullfighting is
banned in a number of EU countries, including the United Kingdom, the
Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Polls show most Europeans abhor
bullfighting. Even within Spain there is opposition ? Barcelona banned
the practice in 2004. Foie gras and bullfighting are staunchly
defended by entrenched minority interests, but everyone can see which
way the wind is blowing.
To people who really care about animals, all the finger pointing and
accusations of hypocrisy criss-crossing the Atlantic are meaningless.
What matters is progress in ending animal suffering.
Sadly, in Canada, we are not making much.
SHOW THE ANIMALS YOU CARE - BE PART OF SOMETHING SPECIAL
Friday, June 5, 2009
Youth in Motion's award winners include cancer treatment researchers, a 12-year-old fundraiser and a mountain climber
June 02, 2009 05:45 PM EDT
Youth in Motion (www.youth-in-motion.ca) is the non-profit organization that runs the annual Top 20 Under 20, a national awards program that celebrates young Canadians who have demonstrated a significant level of innovation, leadership and achievement.
Applicants can be nominated, or nominate themselves, and must be under 20 on Dec. 31, 2008.
Winners are selected by a volunteer national judging panel of people who have made significant contributions in education, business, and the not-for-profit sectors.
Winners receive a bursary of up to $5,000 to be applied toward an educational experience. They also attend a four-day leadership summit and receive career coaching.
Profiles of the winners (whose ages are listed as what they were on Dec. 31, 2008) appear alphabetically below.
Please send questions to the winners at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their answers will appear below the profiles.
James Brooks, 12, London, Ont.
By Marjo Johne
There were a dozen things James Brooks could have bought with the $100 gift he got for his eighth birthday. But then he read about Kanzi, a bonobo that can communicate with people, who was living in Iowa. So he donated his birthday money to the organization that looks after the celebrity ape.
"Monkeys and apes were always my favourite animals," says James, who is now 12. "But then I found out that apes are an endangered species and I thought 'I really want to help.' " Having already raised about $4,000 for the Great Apes Trust by asking friends and family to make donations in lieu of birthday gifts, James decided to help the widows of park rangers in the Democratic Republic of Congo who were killed by ape poachers.
Last year, he started 1000 Classrooms. Through its website, www.1000classrooms.org, James is working to collect at least $3 each from 1,000 classrooms across Canada, money that will be used to buy henhouses. "The idea is to set up the widows with chicken houses so they can sell eggs and make some income," says James, who has so far collected money from about 70 classrooms. "But by bringing the program to classrooms, I can also teach thousands of kids about apes and maybe inspire them to help as well."
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Such a proposal is highly controversial and is a major step backwards at a time when the ethical and scientific use of nonhuman primates in research is being challenged internationally by scientists as well as others.
Primates are highly intelligent, social animals with complex behavioral and psychological needs. The cruelty and suffering involved in the international trade in primates for research has been well documented; in particular, the injuries and mortalities involved in the capture of monkeys from the wild and the stress and suffering involved in their confinement in captivity. The common fate of many primates in the research industry is to be used in toxicity testing which involves the forced ingestion, inhalation or injection of potentially lethal and poisonous chemicals
Please help by writing to the following people calling on them to dissociate Puerto Rico from the suffering and cruelty inherent in the trade in primates for research. If the construction is allowed to go ahead then this will not only result in the suffering of thousands of monkeys, it will also have a negative and detrimental impact on Puerto Rico’s image abroad.
Hon. Glorimari Jaime
Municipio Autonomo de Guayama
Oficina de Plan de Orden Territorial
P.O. Box 360.
Puerto Rico 00785-0360
Congressman Pedro Pierluisi1218 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515
Fax: (202) 225-2154E-mail: PR00-WYR@housemail.house.gov
British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)
International Primate Protection League (IPPL)
Monday, June 1, 2009
La semaine dernière, alors que j'étais occupée à faire la distribution des lait frappé, je suis montée voir le groupe qui s'y trouvait donc Pepper, Jeffy, Sue Ellen et Regis. La belle Pepper se prélassait en s'appuyant sur son bras comme si elle posait pour une caméra. Elle était si adorable que je n'ai pu m'empêcher de prendre une photo!
Regis chillin with his pablum!!
Regis relax avec son pablum!!
Cinnamon Cranberry Flax Muffins
1 c whole fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
3 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs, beaten (or egg replacement)
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla
2 tbs grated orange peel
3/4 c chopped walnuts or pecans (optional for topping)
Preheat oven to 350F
Butter muffin tins. Makes from 12-24 muffins - paper liners will stick not suggested
1. Pour boiling water over cranberries. Let set for 5 min. and pour off water.
2. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients (not cranberries yet) separately, then mix together.
3. Let mixture stand for 10 min to thicken.
4. Fold in cranberries
5. Fill each muffin cup about half way and sprinkle with nuts.
Bake about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Each muffin has 2 grams of effective carbohydrates plus 6 grams of fibre and 6 grams of protein.