Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why the Welfare Construct Fails to Protect Animals

On Wednesday March 31st 2010, the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at
McGill will be hosting a talk by Peter Sankoff, professor of criminal law
and animal law at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand.

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to join us for an introductory
look at the issues at the heart of the existing debate on how best to create
a world for animals in which their legal interests matter.

When: Wednesday, March 31st 2010
5:30-7:00 pm
Where: McGill Faculty of Law, Room 312
3644 Peel Street, Montreal

Attendance is free.

Please feel free to pass on this message to your contacts and/or post on
your website.

Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at McGillFaculty of Law, McGill University
Montreal. Quebec

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Research Monkey Deaths Prompt Calls for Crackdown

Deaths of research monkeys prompt calls for government crackdown
By SCOTT SONNER Associated Press Writer
SPARKS, Nev. March 17, 2010 (AP)

The Associated Press

Workers at a Nevada research lab were checking on a primate room when they came across a ghastly sight: Thirty dead monkeys were essentially cooked alive after someone left the heater on. Two others were near death and had to be euthanized.

At a lab run by the same company, a monkey died last year after it was sent through a washer while still in its cage. The temperatures were so scalding the monkey never had a chance.

The two cases have led to calls for greater oversight and enforcement of the animal research industry after an alarmingly high number of deaths in recent years.

Critics say fines for violations at animal research labs are so puny that they do nothing to deter violations. The lab where the monkeys died in Nevada was fined a mere $14,000 for the two incidents, according to records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"The penalties have given them virtually no motivation whatsoever to cease violating the law," said Michael Budkie, the executive director of the Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now. "If they are literally killing animals through negligence, something is wrong with the system."

The group asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last month for an independent investigation into animal deaths at research labs.

Agriculture Department records show there were 97 negligent animal deaths at research facilities nationwide over the last two years, a figure that does not include lab mice and rats.

One of the biggest violators was Charles River Laboratories, where the 33 monkeys died at facilities in Reno in 2008 and Sparks in 2009.

The Massachusetts-based company is one of the world's largest suppliers of clinical and laboratory research services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

It also is a leading importer of research animals and breeds some of its own animals for medical research. Its researchers in Nevada are working to find a cure for cancer, new flu vaccines and better ways to treat obesity.

Spokeswoman Amy Cianciaruso said survival rates for major diseases are at an all-time high thanks to the discovery of new drugs made possible in part by the work of scientists at Charles River labs. The company has called the monkey deaths a "terrible and unfortunate tragedy," but said they were isolated cases and corrective actions were taken. Agriculture Department records show one employee was fired and another disciplined.

"Charles River's work is an essential component of the research that has led to these discoveries and has played a vital role in medical advances for humans as well as animals," Cianciaruso said.

The dead monkeys represent a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of primates used for research around the country.

Charles River is one of 26 registered U.S. importers of non-human primates, a group that includes zoos, universities and private labs, said Christine Pearson, a spokeswoman for the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Together they imported 27,388 animals in fiscal year 2008 and have averaged approximately 25,000 primates per year over the past four or five years, she said. Charles River alone reported it housed nearly 10,000 primates nationwide in 2008.

Congress first passed the Animal Welfare Act in 1966 and amended it in the 1980s to set new minimum standards for dogs used in research and the psychological well-being of primates. It was amended again in 2008, raising fines from $2,500 to the current $10,000 per violation for negligent acts.

Budkie said if the Agriculture Department fails to act on its request for an investigation into research animal deaths, his group will appeal to Congress to step up enforcement and raise fines.

The monkey deaths have become a public relations headache for Charles River, an 8,000-employee company that had sales of $1.2 billion in 2009.

The company's roots date to the 1940s when a young veterinarian, Dr. Henry L. Foster, bought a Maryland rat farm and began breeding the rodents in Boston. Foster later began breeding Rhesus monkeys following a trapping expedition in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Those animals were used to create a stock of 800 that were transported to two isolated islands in the Florida Keys, where workers trapped 400 to 500 young a year to sell to labs around the world.

Charles River remains a frequent target of animal rights activists over what happened in the primate quarantine room on May 28, 2008.

A series of errors began when a repair technician left the heater in the "ON" position at 8:20 a.m. An alarm three minutes later warned the temperature in the primate room had risen to an unsafe 84 degrees, but no one noticed it, a Department of Agriculture report shows. Another alarm went undetected nearly two hours later.

It wasn't until 12:30 p.m. that lab personnel found 30 dead monkeys. Surviving monkeys were moved to a cooler location and given fruit; two later had to be put down.

Workers quickly opened the doors to circulate air and gently sprayed down the monkeys with a hose, according to a government report. It's not known how hot it got in the quarantine room.

It wasn't the only problem for the company.

Another monkey died after going through a cage washer last year. In 2007, Agriculture Department reports show two monkeys at the now-closed Sparks lab had fingers amputated after they were caught in the wiring of their cages while being moved, and a third monkey suffered a cut to the tip of its tail.

In addition, the former director of laboratory sciences at the Sparks lab has filed a civil lawsuit accusing the company of mistreating research animals, falsifying records to cover up the abuse and firing him in October 2007 for complaining about it.

The company denied the allegations and said the worker was fired because he made derogatory and sexual comments to women.

Charles River refused a request from The Associated Press to tour its Reno facility.

The company says it has moved beyond the monkey deaths.

"We have discussed the incidents in Reno extensively. We don't have anything new to add about that," Cianciaruso said. She said that as a matter of policy, the company doesn't respond to "animal activist groups."

"They just make false claims so we don't engage in a 'he said, she said' back and forth," she said.

Dr. Goodall's Lecture Tour 2010

50 Years of Chimps and Change

Dear Supporters,

2010 marks a monumental milestone for the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and its founder, Dr. Jane Goodall, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Goodall's pioneering research and her extraordinary legacy.

Fifty years ago, Dr. Goodall first set foot on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in what is now Tanzania's Gombe National Park. The chimpanzee behavioral research she pioneered there has produced a font of scientific discovery, and her vision has expanded into a global mission to empower people to make a difference for all living things.

Please join us for Dr. Goodall's upcoming visit to Toronto and Ottawa, where she will reflect on the meaning of the past five decades, from the incredible insights her research has offered into our closest animal relatives, to the extraordinary change the world has seen since 1960, for people, for animals, and for the environment.

April 9, 2010 - Toronto, Ontario - ALMOST SOLD OUT
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Convocation Hall

Dr. Goodall will be giving a public presentation at Convocation Hall in partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum and the Centre for Environment, University of Toronto.

The lecture is ALMOST SOLD OUT, so order your tickets today to ensure a seat. A few PREMIUM tickets including a private reception with Dr. Goodall have now become available !

For tickets and to learn more.

April 12, 2010 - Ottawa, Ontario
Time: 20:00 pm
Location: Dominion Chalmers United Church

Dr. Goodall will give a talk as part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

For ticket and more information.

We Animals: McGill Symposium & Exhibit On Animal Law: March 8-11, 2010

This is Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Welfare at the Montreal SPCA, this was during her presentation on the Canadian Laws on Animal Welfare/Cruelty.

Fauna was invited to attend the We Animals Symposium and Exhibit that was held in the McGill Faculty of Law building in downtown Montreal. The event which lasted two nights was hosted by the McGill Student Animal Legal Defence Fund (SALDF). Sophie Gaillard and Ashlyn O’Mara of the McGill chapter of SALDF, arranged for Fauna to not only be involved in the event but graciously included our Foundation as a recipient of part of the proceeds from the event, along with the ALDF and the Montreal SPCA.

The following presentation/discussion took place during the two nights.

Switzerland Leading the Way: A Presentation By the World’s Only Public Animal Welfare Lawyer, Dr. Antoine F. Goetschel.
Dr. Goetschel spoke about how Switzerland has become a world leader for animal welfare legislation and his role in the process. As the only public Animal Welfare lawyer in the world, his work has been key to get Switzerland, and more specifically the canton of Zurich, where they are today. Part of his mandate is to help other countries improve their animal welfare legislation by using Switzerland as an example and giving them the tools to build upon. It was very clear from his presentation that North America is far behind in their animal welfare/cruelty legislation and we have a lot of work to do.
Perspectives on Animal Law: A Panel of Experts from Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S.
The panel discussion included the aforementioned Dr. Goetschel from Switzerland, Alanna Devine – Director of Animal Welfare for the Montreal SPCA, and David Wolfson – lawyer and professor at the Columbia Law School in New York. Dr. Goetschel continued on the topics he had started the previous night in regards to the animal welfare legislation in Switzerland. Alanna Devine presented the portions of the Canadian Criminal Code that cover animal cruelty and she showed us how difficult it is to prosecute offenders in this country due to the wording in the law which states that the offender must show “willful” neglect in order to be found guilty. This is open to much interpretation and is a big reason why a lot of offenders are never prosecuted. Finally Mr. Wolfson concentrated on the factory farming industry and the hurdles they are facing to bring legislation to this industry. Factory farm animals make up 98% of all the animals humans are in contact with in North America, the number of animals in this industry is stunning. He also touched on the environmental impacts the factory farming industry is considered the largest polluter, above the auto and oil industry.

From left to right is Dr. Goetschel, Alanna Devine, David Wolfson. This was taken during David's speech regarding factory farming.

The event also included a photo exhibit by Jo-Anne McArthur which concluded with a reception/vernissage on the last evening. Jo-Anne is an extraordinary photographer who has dedicated her work to highlight how humans have, and still are treating animals in all different countries and cultures. She has started the We Animals project
and her photos are breathtaking yet thought provoking at the same time. We encourage you to visit her website and help support her project.

Jo-Anne McArthur

Once the event had concluded we had the pleasure of receiving Jo-Anne and Karol Orzechowski for a visit at the farm. Karol is a host on the Animal Voices Radio in Toronto. They took some time to talk with the staff and also took some audio and video footage with Gloria while she talked about the chimp's stories. Jo-Anne took some photos with the staff and the animals on the farm during the visit as well. You can find a quick review of her visit on her blog at

To Ashlyn, Sophie, Jo-Anne, and Karol, thank you for including Fauna in this event and giving the animals a voice!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sue Ellen's Birthday/Anniversaire de Sue Ellen

It is Sue Ellen is 42 today March 17th; why not adopt her as a gift for someone special! Sue Ellen is such a sweet little thing. She loves her cooked meals and squeaks with pleasure the whole time she is eating. She loves pretty colored scarves, purses and necklaces that she drapes around her belly and can carry around for days. And of course one of our best bed makers of the entire chimp house.

Sue Ellen a 41 ans cette année alors pourquoi ne pas l'adopter pour une personne qui vous est chère!
Sue Ellen est si adorable. Elle aime les repas cuisinés et elle émet des petits couinements de joie tout au long de son repas. Elle rafole des écharpes, sacs à main et colliers colorés qu'elle met autour de son cou et qu'elle gardent pendant des journées entières. N'oublions pas qu'elle fait les plus beaux lits de toute la Maison des Chimpanzés.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Remembering Donna Rae

Donna Rae passed away on March 14th, 2005 and a great soul was lost. She was sweet loving and was a great friend to many. Her afternoon tea was a must and she gave the greatest kisses of all. It took everyone a long time to get used to not hearing the impatient banging of a cup at tea time and the playful foot stomp that no matter where you were you knew it was Donna Rae requesting play time.

All our love..


Rest, rest for evermore upon a mossy shore; Rest, rest at the heart’s core till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake: Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake Her perfect peace. – Christiana Rossetti

Donna Rae est décédée le 14 mars 2005 et une âme s'est éteinte. Elle était si affectueuse et une grande amie pour plusieurs. Le thé de l'après-midi était un incontournable et ses bisous était meilleurs. Beaucoup de temps s'écoula avant que tous s'habituent à ne pas entendre le bruit d'une tasse cognant les barrreaux à l'heure du thé ou le bruit taquin d'un pas lourd qui annonçait à tous que Donna Rae était d'humeur à jouer.

Tout notre amour,


Rest, rest for evermore upon a mossy shore; Rest, rest at the heart's core till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake: Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake; Her perfect peace.- Christiana Rossetti

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March against animal cruelty in Canada a big success



Marie Josee (Fauna Volunteer) Just Behind Georges Laracque

Mimi, Andree and Kaya (Marie Josee's) dog.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rest in Peace, Carlos, and Be Free

Carlos, the chimp whose image symbolized the misery of laboratory life, and the contrasting hope offered in sanctuary at Save the Chimps, passed away on Friday, March 5, 2010 of heart failure. He was born in Africa in the late 1960s, and was estimated to be 43 years old. He had spent most of his life as a biomedical research subject and breeder, until he was rescued by Save the Chimps in 2002.

When Save the Chimps’ late founder Dr. Carole Noon first met Carlos, he was living alone in a concrete and steel cell in “The Dungeon” at the former Coulston Foundation laboratory. A photo of Carlos sitting glumly in his desolate cage came to symbolize the experience of so many chimps used in biomedical research. Placed in contrast with the energy, color, and open space of the islands at Save the Chimps in Florida, Carlos’ photo also became one of hope and promise for a better life. But Carlos himself was so much more than a photo. Carlos was an amazing chimp with a larger-than-life personality who captured the hearts of his chimp and human friends alike. Despite years of cardiac disease, he was full of vigor, and despite his (mistaken) reputation for anti-social behavior, he embraced the opportunity to end his years of loneliness and join a large family of chimpanzees. Although Carlos was actually one of the last chimps to be integrated into his family group, he quickly assumed a leadership role, and his family became known as “Carlos’ Group.”

Carlos was an amazing chimp with a larger-than-life personality who captured the hearts of his chimp and human friends alike.

Carlos was also known for his sense of humor, particularly with his caregivers. Perhaps aware of his past reputation for aggression, he delighted in “scaring” us at every opportunity. The game began with Dr. Noon: when speaking to Carlos during those early days in The Dungeon, she would say, “Don’t scare me, Carlos,” and he would suddenly leap towards the front of the cage, gesturing wildly with his hands. Dr. Noon would feign fear and cry out, and Carlos would smile and laugh—and wait to do it again, always with a knowing gleam in his eye and a grin on his face. The game was passed on to his caregivers, and he never tired of it.

In 2007, Carlos and his family traveled to their new island home in Florida. When the door was opened, Carlos burst through it and ran to the far reaches of his island. As he made his way out, Dr. Noon announced with joy, “Carlos has left the building!” After exploring his new home, he lay back in the grass, crossed his legs, and gazed up at the bright blue sky. Since then, that image of Carlos at peace in his new home has been the symbol of hope realized, a promise kept.

Carlos is survived by several children: Ana, Arnulfo, Daveeta, Gabe, Gerro, Seve, and Worthy—all of whom share Carlos’ characteristic “big head”, good looks, and charm. He is also survived by his adopted chimpanzee family, and his devoted caregivers. The island that he loved so dearly will always be known as “Carlos’ Island”, and we will always carry his memory in our hearts.

Rest in peace, Carlos, and be free.

It is because our donors,Carlos had the chance to know a life without bars, the warmth of the sun and the love of his family
and friends.

Thank you for your compassion and loyal support.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Policy coming on dissection in schools

Policy coming on dissection in schools
By Wanda Chow - Burnaby

Published: February 24, 2010 3:00 PM

Burnaby school board agreed in a 3-2 vote Tuesday to create a formal policy giving students a choice if they don’t want to perform animal dissections in high school science classes.

The move came after a presentation by animal rights advocate Lesley Fox and representatives from the BC SPCA.

In an earlier interview, Fox, of, said she remembers being troubled in Grade 10 after having to dissect a pig fetus.

“I knew this animal was killed specifically for the purpose of me and my friends to cut it up. It didn’t make me feel good.”

Fox, now 35, also didn’t like how some classmates disrespected the dead animal, throwing parts around the room and goofing off.

“It’s all kind of like playtime, and then it all goes into the garbage.”

By the time she had to dissect a frog in Grade 12, she had the strength to speak up and refuse the assignment. She ended up in the library, researching and drawing diagrams about the subject instead.

Still, “it’s not easy to be singled out.”

So when her website received emails last fall from two Burnaby high school students seeking advice on how to avoid the dissection assignments, she figured it was time to seek a formal policy on the matter in the district.

Students told Fox the current practice, of giving students a choice, really depends on whether a particular science teacher is open to it. If they’re not, students are too intimidated to speak out, she said. That will continue until a formal policy is in place to back up the students.

Fox advocates for alternatives, such as computer software programs that simulate dissections, and noted that less than one per cent of high school students go on to medical or veterinary schools and actually derive a direct benefit from the dissection experience. And even universities are starting to move away from dissecting real animal specimens.

Despite that, Fox stressed that a policy in high schools doesn’t exclude anyone from performing dissections as usual. It simply gives alternatives to those who have concerns with it.

Currently, such policies are in place in schools in Vancouver, Kelowna, Toronto and in some districts in Nova Scotia.

Board chair Diana Mumford and trustee Tony Coccia opposed the Burnaby motion which was supported by trustees Baljinder Narang, Ron Burton and James Wang. Trustee Gary Wong and board vice-chair Larry Hayes were absent.

Mumford said she did not support it because students she spoke with at the District Student Advisory Committee told her it was a non-issue and that they already knew they had a choice. District staff also told her it wasn’t an issue.

She was particularly opposed to having a group from outside the district wanting to create policy in Burnaby schools.

“I guess I was disturbed that we ... weren’t trying to do this because of people in our community and need in our community. It was an outside issue.

“You can create a lot of policy that will never see the light of day.”

Earlier article:

Monday » March 8 » 2010

Frog letter kicks off discussion

Animal rights activist wants school district to put dissection policy in writing

Jennifer Moreau

Burnaby Now

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Alternatives: Lesley Fox shows off some virtual dissection software.

CREDIT: Contributed photo/BURNABY NOW

If Burnaby students have the option to opt out of dissecting animals in science class, animal rights advocate Lesley Fox wants the school board to put it in writing.

"A lack of policy means anything goes. I've seen it happen, I know it happens," Fox said in an interview with the NOW.

Fox is a Vancouver resident who runs a website called Frogs Are Cool. She is also a certified humane educator with the Humane Society of the U.S. She has been campaigning to get school districts to adopt a student choice policy when it comes to dissecting animals.

Fox said she was contacted by a couple of Burnaby students through her website, students who had concerns about dissection and asked her to help bring in a policy. Both students were completely unaware that dissection alternatives existed, Fox said.

She wrote a letter to the Burnaby school board, urging them to adopt a student choice policy, but superintendent Claudio Morelli reported back saying all Burnaby schools give students alternatives to dissection if they don't want to do it.

Fox was concerned that even though this may be the practice, there is no written policy, and students are often unaware that they have other options.

"I firmly believe a student choice policy is needed. Choice isn't a choice unless you know you have one," she said, adding it's "really nice" that the district feels students can opt out. "(But,) until kids know they have a choice, as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't exist."

The problem, according to Fox, is in the absence of any official policy, individual teachers could decide to fail a student or force them to participate, for example.

Fox had not heard of any case in Burnaby of this happening, but she said it could be a possibility.

"Until you have a policy in place, sure, all of those things could happen," she says. "That's why a student choice policy is important."

Students often dissect frogs or fetal pigs - animals that Fox said come from a biological supply company. They are bred and killed solely for the purpose of dissection and embalmed in chemicals.

Her ultimate goal is to stop dissection in schools and let students use computer programs or plastic models instead.

School board chair Diana Mumford said if students object to dissecting animals, there are other things they can do and they won't be penalized for it.

Mumford said they sent Fox a letter saying they have reviewed the process, spoken to principals and that trustees are confident students can chose not to dissect. As for Fox's speculation that they may face retribution, Mumford said, "that information is totally false."

"We give our students choice, and this is what we do, this is our district," she said.

Mumford said she met with the district's student advisory committee, which has student representatives from all schools, and asked them about it. They reported no problems with students opting out of dissection and no cases of retribution.

"That's not the kind of thing that happens in Burnaby. I have a real problem with her 'could' - that doesn't make it fact. 'Could' is just her supposition, not fact," Mumford added.

Mumford also said her comments reflect her own opinions only, not that of the board, as the issue is still up for discussion.

© Burnaby Now 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March against animal cruelty in Canada

Demonstrations, March 13th 2010

It’s a walk of ½ kilometre approximately. We ask to wear white and a red arm-band, which will symbolize, the innocence of the animals and blood shed by those who are brutally assassinated. (The arm-band perhaps a simple piece of paperboard, or red paper or a scarf.) The walk will begin at 13: 00 hrs, and the gathering will be done in front of City town hall, on Notre-Dame Street.
We repeat that this a PEACEFUL walk….we will not deploy nor will show any violence, in order to show the government, that we are serious and we stick together to put an end to any violence made to the animals. This is why it’s important to gather the most groups possible, against cruelty, if you are against the puppy mills factories, the gas chambers, the cruelty made to the animals, also that you request more severe sentences for the people found guilty of cruelty, if you’re against the wearing of the fur, vegetarians, etc….this is IMPORTANT that you join our demonstration, because the more we will be, the more the message will pass….If we’re many we will succeed in making change the laws and will inform the public in general…. If you know or have contacts in the media, please, inform and ask them to be present. This walk should not be overlook and be unaware of…. This walk wants to be a protest against commercial hunting for the seals and all cruelties made with the animals, including: the euthanasia in the gas chambers, the puppy mills factories which are allowed in Quebec, the lack of special police force to counter cruelty made with the animals, the inhuman killing of animals for slaughter, the slaughter of the animals for their fur, to vote more severe laws for the recognized people guilty of cruelty to serve time in jail, and to offer sterilization to all, at accessible price, in order to control overpopulation.


C’est une marche de ½ kilomètre environ. Pour la marche, nous demandons de porter du blanc et un brassard rouge, ce qui symbolisera, l’innocence des animaux et le sang verser par ceux qui sont brutalement assassinés.. (Le brassard peut-être un simple morceau de carton, ou papier rouge ou un foulard.)
La marche débutera à 13 :00 hres, et le rassemblement de départ se fera devant l`hôtel de ville, sur la rue Notre-Dame. Nous répétons que nous organisons une marche PACIFIQUE….nous ne déploierons ni démontrerons aucune violence, afin de démontrer au gouvernement que nous sommes sérieux et que nous nous tenons ensemble pour faire cesser toute violence faites aux animaux. D’où l’importance de réunir le plus de groupes anti cruauté possible, que vous soyez contre les usines a chiots, les chambres à gaz, la cruauté faites aux animaux, que vous demandiez des peines plus sévères aux personnes trouvées coupable de cruauté, contre le port de la fourrure, végétariens, etc.…ils est IMPORTANT que vous rejoignez notre démonstration, car plus nous serons nombreux, plus le message passera….A plusieurs nous réussirons à faire changer les lois et informerons le public en général….
Si vous connaissez ou avez des contacts dans les médias, s’il-vous-plait, informez les et demandez leur d’être présents. Cette marche ne doit pas passer sous silence et être ignorer….
Cette marche se veut une protestation contre la chasse aux phoques commerciale et contre toutes cruautés faites aux animaux, que cela soit l’euthanasie dans les chambres à gaz, les usines à chiots qui sont permises aux Québec, le manque de police spéciale pour contrer la cruauté faites aux animaux, l’abattage inhumain des animaux de boucherie, la tuerie des animaux pour leur fourrure, voter des lois plus sévères pour les personnes reconnues coupable de cruauté, et pour offrir la stérilisation à tous, à prix abordable, afin de contrôler la surpopulation.
For more information:
Christiana-M. Charbonneau
Association & Centre d'Aide pour Animaux
Animal Care Center & Association


The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." ~ Andrew A. Rooney