Friday, April 23, 2010

Remembering Sophie

Today marks the 2nd year of Sophie's passing...she was not with us for long but did leave a deep impression on all here at Fauna, especially the only chimpanzee friends she had know most of her life, Spock and Maya...I am convinced she would have loved to just sit in the sun on the islands and not have to worry about being locked in at to roam as she pleased.
May she have all the sun, grass and chimpanzee friends she deserves wherever she chooses to be now....

We miss you Sophie.....1976-2008

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jane Goodall looks back – and forward

A film about Jane Goodall, Janes's Journey, is slated for release in the fall. Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Fifty years after she first went to Africa on a 'crazy' expedition, her research has revolutionized animal studies, and expanded beyond
Sarah Boesveld

From Friday's Globe and Mail Published on Thursday, Apr. 08, 2010 Fifty years ago, people laughed when a sprightly 26-year-old Jane Goodall went to the wilds of Africa to study chimps.

There was no money for what she remembers her doubters calling a “crazy” expedition to learn from the human-like creatures in the Tanzanian parks. But her breakthrough observation that they could make and use tools just like chimps in captivity was an epiphany that would change the way scientists studied hot-blooded animals.
Today, her work helping others to understand chimpanzees has expanded to become something of a social empire. She’s honed in on youth, motivating them to make social and environmental change through Roots & Shoots and other programs with the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada and in more than 100 other countries. She’s working on yet another book, this one about plants, and a documentary about her called Jane’s Journey is scheduled for release in the fall.
As she reflects on her career before an audience at the University of Toronto Friday and advocates for the environment with International Conservation Caucus on Parliament Hill next week, she’s casting her view forward to the next 50 years. She spoke with The Globe and Mail in Toronto.
We’re here because of that day 50 years ago. What were your expectations when you came upon the shores of Lake Tanganyika?
I didn’t have any expectations except that I was jolly well going to get the chimpanzees to accept me and I was going to learn about them. The big problem was every time they saw me, they’d run away. They’d never seen anything like this white ape before, I was peculiar to them.
How did you gain their trust?
I found this famous peak, it’s now known as Jane’s Peak. And from the peak I could look over two valleys. I realized that sitting up there day after day I could see the chimps moving below. Gradually they got used to me. And then one of them, David Graybeard, lost his fear before the others. He came every day when the fruit was ripe and he found and stole some bananas. After that, when he saw me in the forest, he would sometimes approach. Gradually the others would watch and think, ‘Well, she can’t be so scary after all.’ If David was in the group, I could probably get a little close.
Why did you name the chimps?
Wouldn’t you have given them names? I cannot imagine, honestly, anybody giving animals numbers. I wasn’t a scientist, I hadn’t been to university. I described their personalities as I got to know them. I could see that they were thinking creatures who planned what to do to some extent. I certainly knew they were emotional. And one of my Cambridge professors – because I had to go to Cambridge and get a degree – they’d told me I’d done everything wrong.
What do you think about people teaching chimps how to do very human things like driving. Does that hold any value?
It depends on how it’s done. Chimps in the circus are taught to do tricks, they’re very clever at it. But showbiz is showbiz and mostly it’s being done very harsh punishment if you don’t do it right. Same with the intelligence tests in the labs originally all this was done through punishment, rather than do it all through reward. Chimpanzees can do almost anything.
So if it’s done by reward, is it valuable?
Not just for its own sake, but we now know that it’s very, very wrong to have a chimpanzee as a pet, for example, because they get to be aged and too big and potentially dangerous. Once we have them in zoos, in captivity, one of the worst things they have to contend with is boredom. So the programs that teach them to communicate with sign language or computer, once they are captive and they’re not any more in the wild, is good for them.
And what about zoos? Is there a place for them in the future?
Certainly some zoos shouldn’t exist. And some animals don’t belong in zoos, for example elephants and wolves perhaps most of all, dolphins and orcas. That’s wrong. However, a good zoo, which understands that they need the right kind of space, social structure and environmental enrichment, that kind of zoo can educate. Most kids don’t get the chance to see a giraffe in Africa. If they see them where they can walk and they have some parklands and they can put out that long neck and they can see the black tongue curling out around the leaves, that child won’t forget that.

Jane Goodall with Mr. H, a stuffed monkey doll she's had for the last 15 years.

Your work has taught us not only about animals but about human interactions. What has it taught you personally?
I think the most important lesson I’ve learned personally is the importance of early experience for our children. It’s very clear with the chimps that if you have a good mother, she’s protective but not too protective. She’s affectionate, playful and perhaps most important of all, supportive of the child if it gets into trouble. Then that child is likely to thrive into an individual who plays an important role in his or her community.
Do you think your work is reconnecting us with nature and the more ancient indigenous ways of viewing animals as our peers?
Yes, well, with our youth program. We are part of the animal kingdom, we’re not separate from it. And that gives you a new way of thinking, new respect not just for chimps, but the other amazing animals with whom we share the planet.
Why is youth your main focus now?
It’s the very main focus because I could kill myself trying to save chimps. In a way I am killing myself trying to save chimps. They are in a terrible state in the wild, the numbers are just plummeting and we’re doing everything we can through the Jane Goodall institute. But for all of us, it’s useless unless new generations become better stewards than we’ve been. And young people are not going to become good stewards if they don’t have hope that their actions are going to make a difference. There’s so much lack of hope.
What are the major challenges sustaining the future for chimps and the rest of the world?
One is the sheer number of people on the planet and the growing number. The second one is that way over half of those people are living in poverty, and when you’re living in poverty you are not able to be a good steward of the environment. Then there’s the unsustainable lifestyle of everybody else, like you and me. The youth get it, they understand. And the great thing is the main message of our program is that every one of us makes a difference every day.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Adorable Pigs/Cochons tout mignons

This was the scene when I got back from lunch on Friday. They must have known a cold night was in store as they were all cuddled up in the same stall. After going to feed the horses, they were all separated in their proper stalls and all I had to do was close the garage door and their stalls. Not only are they darn cute, they are quite smart on top of it!!!

Voici la scène qui m'attendait au retour du lunch vendredi. Ils devaient avoir pressenti qu'une nuit glacée s'annonçait puisqu'ils étaient tous collés les uns sur les autres dans la même stalle. Après avoir été nourrir les chevaux, ils étaient tous revenu dans leur propre stalle et il ne me restait plus qu'à fermer la porte de garage et leurs stalles. En plus d'être vraiment adorables, ils sont vraiment intelligent!


Gordie, Maurice and Sulley

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It is Binkys' 21st Birthday today; why not adopt him as a gift for someone special!

Binky is a very sweet and sensitive guy. Not that anyone would know from just meeting him a couple of times. He is a real guy; likes to look and act all tough around his friends and the girls, but underneath he is unsure of himself and seeks a lot of attention. He loves to play chase and makes the best raspberry sound when he wants something special. He also likes to throw objects if you choose to try and act as if you can not hear him!

C'est l'anniversaire de Binky il a 20 ans. Pourquoi ne pas l'adopter et en faire cadeau à une personne qui vous est chère? Binky est un garçon très gentil et sensible. Personne ne pourrait s'en apercevoir après seulement quelques rencontres. C'est un vrai mâle; il aime montrer et agir comme un dur autour de ses amis et les filles mais à l'intérieur il manque de confiance et demande beaucoup d'attention. Il adore jouer à se pourchasser et il fait les meilleurs "bruits de pet" quand il veut quelque chose de particulier. Il aime aussi vous tirer des objets si vous choisissez de feindre de l'entendre!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

R&R Spring eNews

Opposition Weighing In

GAPA is Strong and Alive

With 143 cosponsors, the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326)

continues to gain support. Meanwhile, opposition to the bill is beginning to become vocal — a sign that they are starting to get that this bill 'has legs!'

“We are ready for the opposition’s point of view," says NEAVS/Project R&R Executive Director Dr. Theodora Capaldo. She adds, "And that is all it is, a point of view, without scientific :
or economic : foundation. We have powerful legislators who want to hear both sides of the story. Our members and compassionate citizens everywhere can take pride in having helped fueled this debate. Opposition to the bill underscores the bill’s progress — gaining the support of thousands of citizens, scientists, and government leaders — and it informs us that the opposition is getting that, yes indeed, this really is happening.” Read more...

Project R&R On the Road

NEAVS/Project R&R, represented by Dr. Capaldo, attended a meeting of leaders from the sanctuary community, animal protection organizations, and the zoo community to discuss strategic plans for providing sanctuary to great apes rescued from research once the Great Ape Protection Act passes into law. Dr. Capaldo’s presentation, entitled “An Economic Analysis of Chimpanzee Housing and Maintenance in U.S. Laboratories and Sanctuaries,” demonstrated the economic benefits of transferring chimpanzees from federally supported laboratories into sanctuary. Read more...

In this photo: sanctuary and animal protection organization leaders and associates.
Back row left to right: Jennifer Feuerstein, Save the Chimps; Linda May, Arcus Foundation; Erna Toback, HSUS; Kay Farmer, Arcus Foundation; Theodora Capaldo, EdD, NEAVS/Project R&R; Gloria Grow, Fauna Foundation; Jennifer Ball, HSUS; Lee Theisen-Watt, APES. Front row left to right: Steve Ross, Lincoln Park Zoo; Linda Brent, Chimp Haven; Kathleen Conlee, HSUS; Laura Bonar, Animal Protection of New Mexico; Lesley Day, Chimps, Inc.; Sarah Baeckler, CSNW. Not available for photo; April Truitt, Primate Rescue Center and Patti Ragan, Center for Great Apes. Photo © Chimp Haven

At a March meeting of the Animal Law Practice Group of the Massachusetts Bar Association, NEAVS' President Theodora Capaldo, EdD joined a panel of experts including Steve Neimi, DVM, Director of the Center for Comparative Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Chair of the Board of the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research (MSMR), and Valerie Parkinson, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Manager at Tufts University to discuss Animals in Laboratories: What is the Legal Framework and is it Sufficient? Read more...

Members like you help spread the word!!

Thank you to our supporters who have helped us spread the word by funding print and radio outreach ads. Most recently, for example, our ‘Regis economic ad’ (seen here) ran in The Times and Democrat, reaching thousands of readers in the South Carolina area.

To find out how you can sponsor free or paid print ads
or run a radio PSA
, click on the links or email
our communications department.

Frog © NEAVS

Humane Science for all 50 States ...

NEAVS’ Ethical Science and Education Coalition (ESEC)
continues to support compassionate students through state legislation concerning dissection choice laws and policies.

Most recently, we submitted a letter of testimony on behalf of Connecticut’s H.B. No. 5423, which seeks to encourage humane education in the curriculum of public schools.

H.B. 5423 would place Connecticut with 15 other states
that have passed similar laws and resolutions, helping to save the lives of more than 10 million animals a year who are killed for dissection classes; providing students with humane, modern, and effective education alternatives like computer and simulated models; saving the state valuable resources and dollars; and allowing caring students the opportunity to pursue careers in humane science.

If you are a resident of CT, please contact your State Representative
and urge him/her to support H.B. 5423 (follow the link and enter your zip code or address; choose the 'State' tab on the top).

Romeo, a vet school rescue

U Michigan ends dog surgeries/use

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University (MSU) recently announced that starting in Fall 2010, they will no longer use live dogs in their surgery training program for veterinary students. In these “terminal surgery labs,” live dogs are used for student surgery practice and then euthanized. Around 140 dogs were killed in the program in 2009. Today roughly 50% of veterinary schools in the U.S. no longer require terminal surgery labs and instead use humane alternatives such as ethically sourced animal cadavers, manikins, computer programs, or perform spay and neuter operations on animals at local shelters.

Please thank MSU for stopping the unnecessary and cruel terminal surgery labs and replacing them with humane alternatives that benefit both people and nonhuman animals.

Dr. Christopher Brown, Dean
College of Veterinary Medicine
Michigan State University
G-100 Veterinary Medical Center
East Lansing, MI 48824-1314
Put your
BEST paw
this Spring...

donate to NEAVS

Lady, NEAVS' beloved office resident © NEAVS


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coalition sues U.S. government over failure to respond to animal testing petition

PRESS RELEASE For immediate release
6th April 2010
Coalition sues U.S. government over failure to respond to animal testing petition

WASHINGTON and LONDON, April 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A coalition of animal protection groups today filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accusing the agency of violating its duty under the Administrative Procedure Act. The lawsuit states that the FDA failed to act on a petition asking the agency to require the use of scientifically sound alternatives to the use of animals in testing to gain approval for drugs and medical devices.
The petition was submitted to the FDA on November 14, 2007 by the Mandatory Alternatives Petition Coalition , a group of U.S. and U.K. based animal protection organizations. The effort would bring the U.S. in line with the European Union, which for over two decades has required that animal tests may not be used when available non-animal alternatives exist. The petition asks the FDA to promulgate regulations that would result in pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and other entities regulated by the FDA to utilize non-animal testing methods, whenever such scientifically satisfactory methods are available, to comply with their obligations to demonstrate product safety and efficacy. The Coalition wants to see the replacement of inaccurate, unvalidated, unreliable and cruel animal tests with scientifically sound and humane methods. It is also concerned about the number of hazardous drugs approved for human use, the harm they cause to millions of people and the inability of animal testing to detect and prevent these serious consequences. Coalition Spokesperson, Geneticist, Dr. Jarrod Bailey notes: "Many reliable testing methods are available, with more in development, which can produce safer and more effective drugs than current animal methods. It is urgent that the FDA demonstrates the leadership required to adopt modern, humane testing methods. The U.S. lags behind Europe in ending cruel animal tests when better alternatives are available. The time for action is overdue."
Members of the MAP Coalition include the American Fund for Alternatives to Animal Research (AFAAR); British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV); In Defense of Animals (IDA);
and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS)
The petition was supported by other animal protection groups, as well as physicians, scientists, veterinarians, professors, and individuals interested in reducing unnecessary animal testing. The Coalition is represented by Katherine Meyer of the public interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal.

ENDS NOTE TO EDITORS: Dr. Jarrod Bailey is available for interview.

CONTACT: UK and EU: Sarah Kite, +44 (0) 20 7700 4888 or +44 (0) 7795 565 060
U.S.: Karen Smith, +1-617-523 6020, ext 17 or +1-978-352-8175, both for MAP Coalition