Friday, December 28, 2007

U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd from West Virginia Has Been Named "Person of the Year" By Peta for His Efforts to End Animal Abuse

My respect to the senator as well. Perhaps the only one who cares one bit about animal issues.

Article:

PETA singles out Byrd for pro-animal animal activism

http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/virginia/dp-wv--
peta-byrd1226dec26,0,7149319.story

By the Associated Press

December 26, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd has been named "Person of the Year" by Virginia's People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The animal rights group conferred the title on the longest-serving U.S. Senator on Wednesday, citing the West Virginia Democrat's passionate July speech against dogfighting. PETA also cited his efforts to improve the treatment of animals.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said "much animal suffering has been alleviated" because of Byrd.

Past recipients of the award include owners of a company that makes cleaning products without testing them on animals and the designer of a "humane" rodent trap.

Following Michael Vick Conviction, the ASPCA and the National Football League to Debut Anti-Cruelty Public Service Announcement

Very interesting. I hope it has some effect. Curious too if the NFL will stick with this message or will it be business as usual next year?

More on the campaign can be found at http://www.fightcruelty.org/

Article:

ASPCA and NFL Team Up to Fight Animal Cruelty

http://www.itchmo.com/aspca-and-
nfl-team-up-to-fight-animal-cruelty-4346

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and the National Football League will debut a new anti-cruelty public service announcement (PSA) featuring Miami Dolphins DE Jason Taylor, it was announced today. The PSA, produced by NFL Films, is scheduled to begin airing December 22 on NFL Network and ESPN.

In June 2007, the ASPCA and the league announced a collaboration on the development of educational materials to enhance awareness on the proper treatment of animals among players and employees. In addition to educating its players and teams on the importance of caring properly for animals, the league has extended its efforts in this area by partnering with the ASPCA to help raise awareness of animal cruelty across the nation. Featuring Jason Taylor and Bear, his Akita of 11 years, the PSA encourages viewers to help the ASPCA put an end to animal cruelty, and can be viewed at www.fightcruelty.org.


"We applaud the NFL's commitment to raising awareness of animal cruelty and championing the humane treatment of animals," said ASPCA President & CEO, Ed Sayres. "In joining our efforts to eradicate animal cruelty, the NFL is sending a strong message to players, fans and the general public -- that the mistreatment of animals will not be tolerated and is, in a word, simply unacceptable."


"Jason is one of many players in the league who shares his home with a pet," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We are pleased to be partnering with one of the most respected animal welfare organizations in the world in support of a cause embraced by so many NFL players -- and one that is important to millions of Americans."


Jason Taylor was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft. Since then, he has firmly established himself as one of the premier defensive ends in the league. Taylor was awarded the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, and is widely-recognized as a leader in off-field community service in South Florida and beyond. He lives in Florida with his wife, three children and the esteemed four-legged member of his family, Bear.


About the ASPCA®:

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Americas, and today has more than one million supporters throughout North America. A 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach. The New York City headquarters houses a full-service, accredited, animal hospital, adoption center, and mobile clinic outreach program. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York's animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series "Animal Precinct" on Animal Planet. For more information, please visit http://www.aspca.org/.


Contact:

Melissa Treuman
(212) 876-7700 x 4521

Group Raises Awareness to Plans by University of California at Santa Cruz to Destroy 120 acres of Forest for Development of Animal Testing Facility

As stated below, the facility will allow practices such as “…biotechnology, nanotechnology and invasive experimentation upon living animals (vivisection). “

There also is the environmental aspect. I’ve been to that campus and I have to agree – it is probably the most beautiful campus in the US. Just knowing that the school is even thinking of destroying the surrounding tress is disturbing

You can learn more about resistance to the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) at UC Santa Cruz by visiting http://www.lrdpresistance.org and downloading a pdf of the first issue of the Long Range Resistance newsletter.

Article:

Tuesday Dec 25th, 2007 8:37 PM

Delivering Food to Tree-sitters at UCSC on Christmas

In 2003, the Princeton Review ranked UC Santa Cruz as having the 'most beautiful campus' in the nation. This year's rankings are in and UCSC placed 8th in the 'most beautiful campus' category for "The Best 366 Colleges: 2008 Edition."

Since November 7th, 2007, Coast Redwood trees on UCSC's Science Hill have been bases of resistance to campus expansion with students sitting on platforms situated in the crowns of numerous trees. Many students, staff and faculty at UCSC, as well as residents of Santa Cruz County, feel that UCSC's campus expansion plans are anything but beautiful. UCSC's 2005 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) includes an additional 4,500 students by 2020, the destruction of 120 acres of forest, and a Biomedical Sciences Facility engaging in controversial, corporate-driven practices such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and invasive experimentation upon living animals (vivisection).

On December 25th, I explored a little bit of the UCSC campus and stopped by the parking lot on Science Hill to see if anything was going on at the tree-sit. This contentious parking lot is located where UCSC plans to build their Biomedical Sciences Facility. The facility would be the first project under UCSC's 2005 LRDP. During my brief time on Science Hill, numerous people brought food to the tree-sitters, including Michael Urban, a professor of politics at UCSC.
Stop UCSC Expansion! Support Arrested Tree Sitters. Come to Court on January 3rd 8:30am. Bring Good Vibes.
The Biomedical Sciences facility would be the first project under UCSC's plan to develop 120 acres of forest in order to accommodate 4,500 new students by 2020. The Biomedical Sciences facility will have no allotted classroom space, despite student complaints about overcrowded class sizes. However, the facility will have room for live animal experimentation, which includes such practices as food/air deprivation, infection, and non-anesthetized surgery, according to UCSC campus guidelines.

In Defense of Animals (IDA) is a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization based in San Rafael, California that states, "Our mission is to end animal exploitation, cruelty, and abuse by protecting and advocating for the rights, welfare, and habitats of animals, as well as to raise their status beyond mere property, commodities, or things." In addition to their principal website, www.idausa.org, IDA also maintains a special website called, "The Truth about Vivisection" located at www.vivisectioninfo.org. The following information about vivisection was taken from VivisectionInfo.org. Learn more by reading the Frequently Asked Questions at VivisectionInfo.org.

The Truth about Vivisection
Every year, tens of millions of animals are dissected, infected, injected, gassed, burned and blinded in hidden laboratories on college campuses and research facilities throughout the U.S. Still more animals are used to test the safety of cosmetics, household cleansers and other consumer products. These innocent primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents and other animals are used against their will as research subjects in experiments and procedures that would be considered sadistically cruel were they not conducted in the name of science.

Researchers claim that they must be allowed unfettered access to animals for experiments in order to find cures for human diseases, yet they refuse to address the serious ethical problems of torturing sentient creatures for research purposes. On top of that, over-reliance on animal experimentation has historically hindered scientific advancement and endangered human safety because results from animal research typically cannot be applied to humans. In fact, scientists could save more human lives by using humane non-animal research and testing methods that are more accurate and efficient.

For these reasons, IDA has been fighting to end the needless torture and death of animals and advance human medicine since 1983. Here are some of the major campaign victories we have achieved for animals in that time.


USDA Charges UCSF for Animal Welfare Act Violations
In 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) charged the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with 89 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The USDA's action followed years of protests by IDA and other Bay Area groups to expose the cruelty secretly taking place behind the walls of UCSF's laboratories. Instead of defending themselves in court and revealing their mistreatment of animals to public scrutiny, UCSF chose to pay a $92,500 fine, one of the largest ever levied against a research institution by the USDA.

In Defense of Animals has an active campaign against Stephen Lisberger's Monkey Experiments at the University of California - San Francisco. You can learn more about the campaign by visiting: http://www.vivisectioninfo.org/lisberger.html

You can learn more about resistance to the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) at UC Santa Cruz by visiting http://www.lrdpresistance.org and downloading a pdf of the first issue of the Long Range Resistance newsletter.

Recent Study States the Obvious: Processed Meats, Including Bacon and Sausages Carry Significant Cancer Risk

Not that we didn’t already know this, but….

Article:

Bacon, other processed meats especially risky, scientists say

http://www.star-telegram.com/health/story/378921.html

By COLIN BARRAS

New Scientist magazine

If you want to avoid cancer, it may be time to ditch those breakfast fry-ups. A comprehensive report on the link between nutrition and cancer recommends avoiding all processed meats, including bacon and some sausages. It also advises against eating more than 6 grams of salt per day.

While many foods carry a cancer risk, most of them can be eaten in moderation without noticeably endangering health. However, for salted or cured meats, there is no clear safe dose, says Martin Wiseman, project director of the report, published in November by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research.

One reason for avoiding processed meats is that they often contain nitrates -- preservatives that may contribute to the production of suspected carcinogens called N-nitroso compounds. Processed meats also contain high levels of salt, which is linked to stomach cancer.

The report gives 10 lifestyle recommendations for reducing the risk of cancer. While some of these measures are rather severe, Wiseman is optimistic that the report will persuade people to change their eating habits, at least in terms of cutting out unhealthful foods, such as processed meat.

"It won't be straightforward, but it's not impossible," he says. "There's this idea that diet is immutable, but there have actually been huge changes, even in the last 10 years." For example, the scare over mad cow disease in the UK had a substantial impact on the nation's beef consumption in the 1990s, he says.

The report also reveals clear links between obesity and a range of cancers, but Wiseman doubts that this will easily persuade people to lose weight.

"The public has the notion that fat gives you heart disease and diabetes, but they don't realize it also gives you cancer," he says. "After smoking, obesity is the highest preventable cancer risk."

Wiseman concedes that "the risk from processed meat is an order of magnitude less than that from smoking" but is nevertheless "not trivial." For example, the risk of colorectal cancer increases by 21 percent for every 50 grams of processed meat eaten every day, on average. By comparison, smoking 20 cigarettes per day can lead to a 20- to 40-fold increase in the risk of lung cancer.

Linda Geddes contributed to this report.

Ten ways to avoid cancer

1. Body fat. Aim for a body mass index of 21 to 23, and avoid weight gain during adulthood.

2. Physical activity. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity, like brisk walking, every day.

3. Junk food. Avoid sugary drinks and energy-dense fast food.

4. Meat. Eat no more than 500 grams of red meat per week, and avoid processed meats.

5. Alcohol. Limit daily intake to one drink for women, two drinks for men. Do not binge drink.

6. Fruit and vegetables. Eat five portions of fruit and non-starchy vegetables each day and limit refined starchy food.

7. Preservatives. Avoid salt-preserved foods. Limit salt intake to 6 grams per day.

8. Dietary supplements. Avoid them, except in special cases such as folic acid during pregnancy.

9. Breastfeeding. Try to breastfeed for six months.

10. Cancer survivors. Seek professional nutritional advice

Recent Event at San Francisco Zoo Regarding Siberian Tiger Attack Once Again Proves Unnatural State of Zoos and Animals in Captivity

As stated below, it is possible that the teens were taunting the captive tiger. Life in captivity and this taunting could easily cause an already-stressed tiger to act.

A tragedy for all sides.

Article:

Cops: Tiger attack victim helped friend By JORDAN ROBERTSON and MARCUS WOHLSEN, Associated Press Writers

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071228/
ap_on_re_us/tiger_escapes

SAN FRANCISCO - The last minutes of a 17-year-old boy's life were spent trying to save his friend from the tiger that was mauling him at the San Francisco Zoo, only to have the animal turn on him, police and family members said.

Carlos Sousa Jr. and his friend's brother desperately tried to distract the 350-pound Siberian tiger, but the big cat instead came after Sousa.

"He didn't run. He tried to help his friend, and it was him who ended up getting it the worst," the teen's father, Carlos Sousa Sr., said Thursday after meeting with police.

The heroic portrait of Sousa and a timeline of the dramatic Christmas Day attack emerged as officials revealed that the tiger's escape from its enclosure may have been aided by walls that were well below the height recommended by the accrediting agency for the nation's zoos.

San Francisco Zoo Director Manuel A. Mollinedo acknowledged that the wall around the animal's pen was just 12 1/2 feet high, after previously saying it was 18 feet. According to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the walls around a tiger exhibit should be at least 16.4 feet high.

Mollinedo said it was becoming increasingly clear the tiger leaped or climbed out, perhaps by grabbing onto a ledge. Investigators have ruled out the theory the tiger escaped through a door behind the exhibit at the zoo, which remained closed Friday.

"She had to have jumped," he said. "How she was able to jump that high is amazing to me."

Mollinedo said safety inspectors had examined the wall, built in 1940, and never raised any red flags about its size.

"When the AZA came out and inspected our zoo three years ago, they never noted that as a deficiency," he said. "Obviously now that something's happened, we're going to be revisiting the actual height."

The 4-year-old tiger, a female named Tatiana, went on a rampage near closing time Tuesday, killing Sousa and severely injuring the two others before police shot it to death.

Brothers Paul Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23, were at San Francisco General Hospital with severe bite and claw wounds. Their names were provided by hospital and law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the family had not yet given permission to release their names.

After interviewing the brothers, police said Kulbir Dhaliwal was the animal's first victim.

As the tiger clawed and bit him, Sousa and the younger brother yelled in hopes of scaring it off him, police said. The cat then went for Sousa, slashing his neck as the brothers ran to a zoo cafe for help.

After killing the teenager, the tiger followed a trail of blood left by Kulbir Dhaliwal about 300 yards to the cafe, where it mauled both men, police said.

Four officers who had already discovered Sousa's body then arrived and found the cat sitting next to one of the bloodied brothers, police Chief Heather Fong said. The victim yelled, "Help me! Help me!" and the animal resumed its attack, Fong said.

The officers used their patrol car lights to distract the tiger, and it turned and began approaching them, leading all four to open fire, she said.

Police are still investigating how Tatiana was able to leave the enclosure.

At least one expert said the wall was low enough for the tiger to leap to the top.

Zoo officials said a "moat" separating the habitat from the public viewing area that measured 33 feet across contained no water, and has never had any. They did not address whether that affected the tiger's ability to get out.

"I think it could be feasible for a cat that has been taunted or angered," Jack Hanna, former director of the Columbus Zoo, said Thursday. "I don't think it would ever just do it to do it."

Police have not addressed whether the victims had teased the tiger.

On Thursday, Fong denied earlier reports that police were looking into the possibility that the victims had dangled a leg or other body part over the edge of the moat, after a shoe and blood was found inside the enclosure. No shoe was found inside, but a shoeprint was found on the railing of the fence surrounding the enclosure, and police are checking it against the shoes of the three victims, she said.

AZA spokesman Steven Feldman said the minimum recommended height of 16.4 feet is just a guideline and that a zoo could still be deemed safe even if its wall were lower.

Accreditation standards require "that the barriers be adequate to keep the animals and people apart from each other," Feldman said. "Obviously something happened to cause that not to be the case in this incident."

Many other U.S. zoos have significantly higher walls around their tigers.

Mollinedo said surveillance cameras and new fencing will be installed around the exhibit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mars, Inc. Creator of M&M's, Snickers, Starburst, Twix, Milky Way, Skittles, etc. Supports Cruel Animal Testing: Tell Mars to Stop Deadly Animal Tests

Unbelievable. What useless, meaningless and ridiculous tests. The link to the story is here - http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/marsuk07 .Please read and act.

Article:

Tell Mars to Stop Deadly Animal Tests

Got a sweet tooth?

Think twice before picking up a Mars bar! You should know that candymaker Mars, Inc – the creator of M&M's, Snickers and other sweets – continues to fund deadly animal tests, despite the fact that more reliable human tests are available and that none of the tests are required by law.

Mars in the US is currently funding a deadly University of California experiment on rats to determine the effects of chocolate ingredients on blood vessels. Experimenters force-feed the rats by shoving plastic tubes down their throats and then cut open the rats' legs to expose arteries, which are clamped shut to block blood flow. After the experiment, the animals are killed. Mars' US division has also funded other cruel experiments. Mice were fed a confectionery ingredient and forced to swim in a pool of paint and water. The mice had to find a hidden platform to avoid drowning, and after the experiment they were killed and dissected. In yet another experiment supported by Mars, rats were fed cocoa and then anaesthetised with carbon dioxide. Their blood was collected by having needles jabbed directly into their hearts, which can lead to internal bleeding and other deadly complications.

Mars' US division is also lying to the public, claiming that Mars doesn't fund cruel animal tests for foods, even though PETA US have uncovered a history of such experiments – including the current programme at the University of California.

Mars' top competitor in the US, Hershey's, has pledged that it will not fund or conduct experiments on animals. Please urge Mars to follow Hershey's lead and immediately end all support for animal tests!

Mars UK produces Bounty, Galaxy, Celebrations, M&M's, Mars, Snickers, Twix, Topic, Milky Way, Tracker, Revels, Starburst and Skittles as well as Tunes and Lockets.

You can contact Mars, Inc's American office directly using the form below. Personalised letters always work best: feel free to use the text we've provided, but your message will carry more weight if you use your own words. If you do this, be sure to keep it polite and factual.

To act, visit http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/marsuk07

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cast Your Vote for IDA's Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants in 2007 List: Take Part in Raising Awareness to the Plight of Captive Elephants in Zoos

What an innovative way to tackle this important issue. I encourage all to at least visit the page. You’ll quickly be able to see just how many zoos are listed. This gives you a good idea on how many places have had incidents that have either killed or harmed an elephant. Unfortunately, the list is long.

Article:

Cast Your Vote for IDA's Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants in 2007 List

http://www.helpelephantsinzoos.com/10_worst_2007b.php

For the last few years, IDA has released its annual list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants to draw attention to the appalling treatment of Earth's largest mammal in captivity and pressure zoos to provide the space and natural conditions elephants need or stop keeping elephants altogether.

The media has enthusiastically reported on our lists, bringing more scrutiny to the zoos that were singled out as being particularly sad and sorry places for pachyderms.

As the controversy surrounding elephants in zoos rages on, the 2007 list is sure to grab people's attention once again, and we need you to tell us which zoos are most deserving of this undesirable publicity.

This year, we are letting you—the people decide which zoos make the ignoble list. Cast your vote below and click on the zoo names for information to help you decide. The "losers" will be announced in 2008.

Cast your vote here: http://www.helpelephantsinzoos.com/10_worst_2007b.php

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Morningstar Farms Commits to Using Fewer Eggs and More Egg-Free Products

Very important move. We’ll see if this stands over time. Seems they will move to a greater commitment to vegan products.

Article:

Morningstar Farms Responds to Demand for Egg-Free Foods

Company commits to using one million fewer eggs in 2008

http://sev.prnewswire.com/food-beverages/
20071212/DC0968812122007-1.html

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Morningstar Farms, a Kellogg subsidiary that has been making vegetarian products for more than 25 years, has stated it will use one million fewer eggs in 2008 while also offering more egg-free products.

According to company spokeswoman Kathleen Eckler, in 2008 "Kellogg is reducing the amount of eggs we use in our Morningstar products by a minimum of one million eggs. We're committed to announcing even more new vegan products for our customers."

After months of discussion on the topic with the Michigan-based company, Compassion Over Killing (COK) and Vegan Outreach, two nonprofit animal protection organizations, wholeheartedly applaud Morningstar Farms for implementing this policy. By reducing Kellogg's egg usage by more than a million eggs per year, nearly 4,000 fewer laying hens will suffer in factory farms each year.

"A growing number of consumers are choosing egg-free foods as a way to protect their health and protect animals," says COK's executive director Erica Meier. "We applaud Morningstar Farms for committing to offer more vegan items, and we encourage other companies to follow its compassionate lead."

More than 95% of eggs produced in the U.S. come from hens confined inside barren wire battery cages so restrictive, the birds can barely even move, let alone engage in many of their most natural behaviors including spreading their wings, perching, or walking. Battery-caged hens are typically provided with a meager 67 square inches of space in which to live -- that's less floor space than the size of one sheet of notebook paper.

Jack Norris, RD, president of Vegan Outreach, commented, "Consumers asked Morningstar Farms to remove eggs from its products, and the company heeded their call. Vegan Outreach is pleased to congratulate Kellogg on this important humane move."

Morningstar Farms has long been a leader in supplying vegetarian products sold in grocery stores nationwide. Its decision to use fewer eggs and create more vegan products further demonstrates the company's leadership in offering healthier and more humane food choices in the marketplace.

Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a nonprofit animal advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the abuse of animals in agriculture through undercover investigations, public outreach, litigation, and other advocacy programs. On the web at COK.net.

Vegan Outreach is a national nonprofit advocacy group. Since 1993, Vegan Outreach has been on the cutting-edge of grassroots advocacy against cruelty to animals. Distribution of Vegan Outreach literature exposes these animals' suffering -- otherwise hidden in factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses -- while promoting more compassionate, humane choices. On the web at VeganOutreach.org.

Website: http://www.cok.net/
Website: http://www.veganoutreach.org/

International Animal Rights Day: An Introduction

December 10th is International Animal Rights Day. It actually corresponds with National Human Rights Day. This article provides an interesting introduction to this day.

Article:

International Animal Rights Day passes decade mark
http://www.ouraynews.com/Articles-i-2007-12-12-168767.112113-International_Animal_Rights_Day_passes_decade_mark.html

December 12, 2007

Dec. 10 is National Human Rights Day, marking the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948.

This document, attesting to the basic rights of all individuals, was created at the tail end of one of the most destructive and devastating wars in human history and it marked a new era framed by compassion, justice, and individual rights assuming precedence over the dictates of government or other powers.

Although the implementation of the Declaration of Human Rights has yet to be fulfilled to the extent that it was intended, National Human Rights Day does represent a time to reflect upon the progress made and yet to be made, our individual responsibility toward furthering this intent, and to appreciate the ideals that the Declaration reflects. Such ideals are the particular focus of this week's pet column, as December 10th also marks the 10th Anniversary of International Animal Rights Day.

International Animal Rights Day is a natural progression and extension of the principles of the Declaration. Including non-human beings within the Declaration submits to the moral imperative humanity holds toward protecting and respecting other living beings as we do ourselves. Many may ask why animals should be considered for this inclusion while hopefully more will ask why they haven't already been.

It is undeniable that human beings are now recognizing the capacity of animals to experience pleasure and pain, happiness and suffering. We know that animals possess and express distinguishing characteristics as individuals and although they may not be able to communicate their interests in our language, the existence of such interests — to live their lives according to their own priorities — is beyond question.

As we look at the damage to our environment caused by living under the pretense that human affairs exist in isolation from those of all other living creatures on the planet, we know that this approach can not be sustained. International Animal Rights Day challenges us to redefine our understanding of "progress" with a consideration of our responsibility to protect the rights of all living beings.

As noted in previous Pet Columns the mission of Second Chance encompasses the "promotion of responsible pet ownership and the human-animal bond." We recognize that to create a community, country, and world where animal humane societies are no longer needed we have to foster and nurture this human-animal connection. International Animal Rights Day envisions this shift and leaves us with the question of how would we best like to see it expressed in our community.

Even defining animal rights can be a daunting task, as for example some vegetarians would likely set different parameters than a rancher might. How can these varying opinions be honored in an inclusive definition of animal rights?

Remember the Declaration of Human Rights was "declared" almost two decades before the Civil Rights movement gained acceptance in the U.S. Thus like the U.S. Constitution it needed to be based upon the current environment with an ability to progress as humanity does.

Although International Animal Rights Day doesn't receive much press or recognition, for that matter neither does National Human Rights Day, Second Chance Humane Society would like to offer Pet Column readers an opportunity to participate in the intentions of this day. We would like to hear from you about ideas to promote animal rights in our local communities, that would hopefully be accepted and adopted by all. Please email us your thoughts.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cruel Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick Sentenced to 23 Months for Dog Fighting and Dog Killing

Well, it’s now over. Unfortunately, cruel Michael Vick only received 23 months when he could have been sentenced up to five years.

I’m not sure why the judge put a lenient sentence, as he was very clear that Vick engaged in gross cruelty, abuse and killing. As the judge stated, "You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity."

The judge was also clear that Vick lied about actually killing the dogs.

It later came out that he most certainly did take part in cruel killing dogs. As stated in another posting we put out on Vick at http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/08/michael-vick-former-quarterback-of.html “According to the statement, Vick also was involved with the others in killing six to eight dogs that did not perform well in testing sessions last April. The dogs were executed by drowning or hanging.”

"Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts" of Vick, Phillips and Peace, the statement said.

The judge was clear that he knew that Vick lied about killing the dogs:
“Hudson agreed with a federal probation officer's finding that Vick had lied about his hands-on killing of dogs and about his drug use. Vick tested positive for marijuana Sept. 13, violating conditions of his release while he awaited sentencing.” “On another occasion, Vick said he dropped a dog after Phillips tied a rope around the animal's neck, the judge added.”

Almost two years in jail for years of cruelty. I’m happy he is found guilty and is going to jail, but it’s a lenient sentence.

Article:

Vick gets 23 months for dogfighting

By LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press Writer

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071210/
ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_vick_sentencing

RICHMOND, Va. - Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison Monday for running a "cruel and inhumane" dogfighting ring and lying about it.

The suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback could have been sentenced up to five years by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Vick, who turned himself in Nov. 19 in anticipation of his sentence, was wearing a black-and-white striped prison suit.

After Vick apologized to the court and his family, Hudson told him: "You need to apologize to the millions of young people who looked up to you."

"Yes, sir," Vick answered.

The 27-year-old player acknowledged using "poor judgment" and added, "I'm willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for my actions."

Although there is no parole in the federal system, rules governing time off for good behavior could reduce Vick's prison stay by about three months, resulting in a summer 2009 release.

"You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity," Hudson told Vick.

Before the hearing, Michael Vick's brother, Marcus Vick, sat with his right arm around their mother, comforting her as she buried her head in her hands and wept.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank called the sentencing another step in Vick's "legal journey."

"This is a difficult day for Michael's family and for a lot of us, including many of our players and fans who have been emotionally invested in Michael over the years," Blank said. "We sincerely hope that Michael will use this time to continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard."

Vick was suspended without pay by the NFL and lost all his lucrative endorsement deals. The league had no comment Monday on the judge's ruling.

One of Vick's attorneys, Lawrence Woodward, asked for leniency. He said Vick "grew up on some of probably the meanest and roughest streets in this commonwealth," but had never been in trouble with the law and had done much for charities.

Vick was denied any credit for taking responsibility for his crime. Hudson agreed with a federal probation officer's finding that Vick had lied about his hands-on killing of dogs and about his drug use. Vick tested positive for marijuana Sept. 13, violating conditions of his release while he awaited sentencing.

Hudson recalled that Vick at one point said he only handed over two dogs to co-defendant Quanis Phillips, who killed them. On another occasion, Vick said he dropped a dog after Phillips tied a rope around the animal's neck, the judge added.

"I'm not convinced you've fully accepted responsibility," Hudson told Vick.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for a term of 18 months to two years. Federal prosecutor Michael Gill asked for a sentence at the high end, meaning Vick would get more time than either of the two co-defendants sentenced last month.

"He did more than fund it," Gill said, referring to the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting operation. "He was in this thing up to his neck with the other defendants."

Outside court, Woodward said Vick didn't want anyone feeling sorry for him.

"He just wants a chance to prove himself when all this is over," he said. "But the other thing he said to me, which I also think is important for everyone to know, is that he understood that some of the things he was doing in life and off the field were dangerous, and he told me he feels lucky that he's alive and not hurt and now it's all about the future."

U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg sounded a similar theme.

"This was an efficient, professional, and thorough investigation that well exposed a seamy side of our society," he said in a statement. "I trust Mr. Vick learned important lessons and that his admission of guilt will speed his rehabilitation."

Vick pleaded guilty in August, admitting he bankrolled the dogfighting operation and helped kill six to eight dogs. He has been held at a jail in Warsaw, Va., since he voluntarily began serving his sentence.

In a plea agreement, he admitted bankrolling the dogfighting ring on his 15-acre property in rural Virginia and helping kill pit bulls that did not perform well in test fights. He also admitted providing money for bets on the fights but said he never shared in any winnings.

At a news conference after pleading guilty last summer, Vick apologized to the NFL, the Falcons and youngsters who viewed him as a role model and vowed: "I will redeem myself."

Court papers revealed gruesome details about Vick's dogfighting operation, including the execution of underperforming dogs by electrocution, drowning, hanging and other means. Those details prompted a public backlash against the once-popular NFL star and outraged animal-rights groups, which used the case to call attention to the brutality of dogfighting.

John Goodwin of the Humane Society of the United States called the sentence appropriate.

"People that are involved in this blood sport are on notice. You can throw your life away by being involved in this," he said.

Two co-defendants were sentenced Nov. 30. Purnell Peace, of Virginia Beach, got 18 months. Phillips, of Atlanta, got 21 months. Another co-defendant, Tony Taylor, will be sentenced Friday.

The case began in April when a drug investigation of Vick's cousin led authorities to the former Virginia Tech star's Surry County property, where they found dozens of pit bulls — some of them injured — and equipment associated with dogfighting.

Vick initially denied any knowledge about dogfighting on the property. He changed his story after the three co-defendants pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government.

By 8 a.m. Monday, about 50 people were in line outside the courthouse waiting for the doors to open. About two dozen animal rights activists stood across the street holding posters showing injured pit bulls and the messages, "Report Dogfighters" and "Dogs Deserve Justice."

"We want to make sure the focus on the animals in this case isn't lost," said Dan Shannon, spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Julia Novak arrived with her small beagle, Frankie, who wore a sandwich board with the message on one side: "Dogfighters use dogs like me for bait."

Ryan Eanes, 27, of Richmond, wore his No. 7 Vick jersey as he waited in line.

"We all make mistakes," Eanes said. "I don't support the situation with the animals, but I support him. I believe his apology is sincere."

Cruel Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick Sentenced to 23 Months for Dog fighting and Dog killing

Well, it’s now over. Unfortunately, cruel Michael Vick only received 23 months when he could have been sentenced up to five years. I’m not sure why the judge put a lenient sentence, as he was very clear that Vick engaged in gross cruelty, abuse and killing. As the judge stated, "You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity."

The judge was also clear that Vick lied about actually killing the dogs. It later came out that he most certainly did take part in cruel killing dogs. As stated in another posting we put out on Vick at http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/08/michael-vick-former-quarterback-of.html “According to the statement, Vick also was involved with the others in killing six to eight dogs that did not perform well in testing sessions last April. The dogs were executed by drowning or hanging.” "Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts" of Vick, Phillips and Peace, the statement said.

The judge was clear that he knew that Vick lied about killing the dogs:
“Hudson agreed with a federal probation officer's finding that Vick had lied about his hands-on killing of dogs and about his drug use. Vick tested positive for marijuana Sept. 13, violating conditions of his release while he awaited sentencing.” “On another occasion, Vick said he dropped a dog after Phillips tied a rope around the animal's neck, the judge added.”

Almost two years in jail for years of cruelty. I’m happy he is found guilty and is going to jail, but it’s a lenient sentence.

Article:

Vick gets 23 months for dogfighting

By LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press Writer

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071210/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_vick_sentencing

RICHMOND, Va. - Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison Monday for running a "cruel and inhumane" dogfighting ring and lying about it.

The suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback could have been sentenced up to five years by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Vick, who turned himself in Nov. 19 in anticipation of his sentence, was wearing a black-and-white striped prison suit.

After Vick apologized to the court and his family, Hudson told him: "You need to apologize to the millions of young people who looked up to you."

"Yes, sir," Vick answered.

The 27-year-old player acknowledged using "poor judgment" and added, "I'm willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for my actions."

Although there is no parole in the federal system, rules governing time off for good behavior could reduce Vick's prison stay by about three months, resulting in a summer 2009 release.

"You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity," Hudson told Vick.

Before the hearing, Michael Vick's brother, Marcus Vick, sat with his right arm around their mother, comforting her as she buried her head in her hands and wept.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank called the sentencing another step in Vick's "legal journey."

"This is a difficult day for Michael's family and for a lot of us, including many of our players and fans who have been emotionally invested in Michael over the years," Blank said. "We sincerely hope that Michael will use this time to continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard."

Vick was suspended without pay by the NFL and lost all his lucrative endorsement deals. The league had no comment Monday on the judge's ruling.

One of Vick's attorneys, Lawrence Woodward, asked for leniency. He said Vick "grew up on some of probably the meanest and roughest streets in this commonwealth," but had never been in trouble with the law and had done much for charities.

Vick was denied any credit for taking responsibility for his crime. Hudson agreed with a federal probation officer's finding that Vick had lied about his hands-on killing of dogs and about his drug use. Vick tested positive for marijuana Sept. 13, violating conditions of his release while he awaited sentencing.

Hudson recalled that Vick at one point said he only handed over two dogs to co-defendant Quanis Phillips, who killed them. On another occasion, Vick said he dropped a dog after Phillips tied a rope around the animal's neck, the judge added.

"I'm not convinced you've fully accepted responsibility," Hudson told Vick.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for a term of 18 months to two years. Federal prosecutor Michael Gill asked for a sentence at the high end, meaning Vick would get more time than either of the two co-defendants sentenced last month.

"He did more than fund it," Gill said, referring to the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting operation. "He was in this thing up to his neck with the other defendants."

Outside court, Woodward said Vick didn't want anyone feeling sorry for him.

"He just wants a chance to prove himself when all this is over," he said. "But the other thing he said to me, which I also think is important for everyone to know, is that he understood that some of the things he was doing in life and off the field were dangerous, and he told me he feels lucky that he's alive and not hurt and now it's all about the future."

U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg sounded a similar theme.

"This was an efficient, professional, and thorough investigation that well exposed a seamy side of our society," he said in a statement. "I trust Mr. Vick learned important lessons and that his admission of guilt will speed his rehabilitation."

Vick pleaded guilty in August, admitting he bankrolled the dogfighting operation and helped kill six to eight dogs. He has been held at a jail in Warsaw, Va., since he voluntarily began serving his sentence.

In a plea agreement, he admitted bankrolling the dogfighting ring on his 15-acre property in rural Virginia and helping kill pit bulls that did not perform well in test fights. He also admitted providing money for bets on the fights but said he never shared in any winnings.

At a news conference after pleading guilty last summer, Vick apologized to the NFL, the Falcons and youngsters who viewed him as a role model and vowed: "I will redeem myself."

Court papers revealed gruesome details about Vick's dogfighting operation, including the execution of underperforming dogs by electrocution, drowning, hanging and other means. Those details prompted a public backlash against the once-popular NFL star and outraged animal-rights groups, which used the case to call attention to the brutality of dogfighting.

John Goodwin of the Humane Society of the United States called the sentence appropriate.

"People that are involved in this blood sport are on notice. You can throw your life away by being involved in this," he said.

Two co-defendants were sentenced Nov. 30. Purnell Peace, of Virginia Beach, got 18 months. Phillips, of Atlanta, got 21 months. Another co-defendant, Tony Taylor, will be sentenced Friday.

The case began in April when a drug investigation of Vick's cousin led authorities to the former Virginia Tech star's Surry County property, where they found dozens of pit bulls — some of them injured — and equipment associated with dogfighting.

Vick initially denied any knowledge about dogfighting on the property. He changed his story after the three co-defendants pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government.

By 8 a.m. Monday, about 50 people were in line outside the courthouse waiting for the doors to open. About two dozen animal rights activists stood across the street holding posters showing injured pit bulls and the messages, "Report Dogfighters" and "Dogs Deserve Justice."

"We want to make sure the focus on the animals in this case isn't lost," said Dan Shannon, spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Julia Novak arrived with her small beagle, Frankie, who wore a sandwich board with the message on one side: "Dogfighters use dogs like me for bait."

Ryan Eanes, 27, of Richmond, wore his No. 7 Vick jersey as he waited in line.

"We all make mistakes," Eanes said. "I don't support the situation with the animals, but I support him. I believe his apology is sincere."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Judge Sentences Co-Defendants of Michael Vick to Prison for Dogfighting: Next: Vick Sentencing

A good sign. Unfortunately though, the maximum is only around that length of time. Pretty pathetic to think that under 2 years in prison and a pathetic 250 fine is all they received.

With sentencing guidelines this weak, it’s a good bet that once out, they’ll be back to their old cruel ways.

But, on the bright side, the judge was clear about his disdain and the fact Michael Vick and his cruel cohorts engaged in animal cruelty.

By the way, links at the story below also take you to copies of the facts of the case for all involved as well as the plea deals.

Article:

-- A federal judge made clear his disdain for animal cruelty when he sentenced two of Michael Vick's dogfighting cohorts to 18 months and 21 months in prison Friday.

Two Vick Co-Defendants Sentenced

http://herald-zeitung.com/wire.lasso?report=/dynamic/stories/F/FBN_VICK_CO_DEFENDANTS&-session=HeraldZeitung:40DA3C4E1b96f25A17HxK315A689

By LARRY O'DELL
Associated Press Writer
AP Photo

Two Vick Co-Defendants Sentenced
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal judge made clear his disdain for animal cruelty when he sentenced two of Michael Vick's dogfighting cohorts to 18 months and 21 months in prison Friday.

"You may have thought this was sporting, but it was very callous and cruel," Judge Henry Hudson told Quanis Phillips of Atlanta, who received the longer sentence.

The prison terms for Phillips and Purnell Peace of Virginia Beach are a little longer than prosecutors recommended, but less than the five-year maximum Hudson could have imposed.

Vick, the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback, also faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 10 for his role in a dogfighting conspiracy that operated on his 15-acre property in southeastern Virginia from 2001 until last summer.

"It's good news for Michael Vick because it shows the judge is willing to sentence within the range," said Steven Benjamin of Richmond, secretary of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for prison terms of a year to 18 months for Peace and 18 months to two years for Phillips, who has 10 prior misdemeanor convictions. Prosecutors recommended sentences at the low end of those ranges because of the co-defendants' cooperation in the government's investigation.

But Hudson, who owns a bichon frise dog, said he believed slightly tougher sentences were appropriate. Peace's sentence is at the top of the guideline range, Phillips' in the middle.

And Benjamin said Vick still could get a sentence above the negotiated range in his case - a year to 18 months - if Hudson concludes 27-year-old Vick is more culpable than the others because he admitting bankrolling the operation and providing gambling money.

According to court papers, Vick not only financed the "Bad Newz Kennels" but also participated in executing several underperforming dogs by drowning, hanging and other means.

Vick publicly apologized for his role in the dogfighting enterprise and turned himself in Nov. 19 to begin serving his prison term early. He is being held in a state jail in Warsaw, Va.

Vick's attorney, Lawrence Woodward, attended Friday's proceedings and declined to comment as he left the courtroom.

John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for the Humane Society of the United States, also attended and said he was satisfied with the sentences.

"The judge sent a pretty strong and clear message that dogfighting is a dead-end activity, and it carries some meaningful consequences," Goodwin said.

Peace, Phillips and Tony Taylor of Hampton pleaded guilty last summer and agreed to testify against Vick, prompting the former Virginia Tech football star to enter his own plea agreement a few days later. The 35-year-old Taylor will be sentenced Dec. 14.

In addition to prison time, Peace and Phillips were fined $250 each and will be placed on three years' probation after their release.

Hudson said he was "disturbed" to read in a pre-sentencing report that Peace told the court he saw nothing wrong with dogfighting and believed "it's natural for dogs to fight."

"I am very sorry," Peace told Hudson, fighting back tears while his family members in the packed courtroom softly wept.

Peace also expressed remorse and pleaded for understanding in a letter to Hudson, who received five other letters from Peace's friends and relatives.

"I have asked God and my family to forgive me, but I would also like to ask you, the public, and everyone else that I have affected and or offended not to just pardon me, but to try and understand I am not without sin, and I am more than just the dog slayer the world has come to know me as," Peace wrote.

The 28-year-old Phillips passed on his opportunity to address the court and did not submit any letters from supporters. His attorney, Jeffrey Swartz, later told reporters Phillips was "nervous and decided not to speak," so he did the talking for him.

Swartz told the judge Phillips was sorry and would be willing to "help address the issue of dogfighting" as part of his probation.

"That's going to have to flow from the heart, not an order from me," Hudson said.

Swartz also explained how Phillips got involved in the enterprise, tracing it to his childhood in Vick's hometown of Newport News.

"He grew up around people for whom dogfighting was an accepted and acceptable activity," Swartz told Hudson. "It was a way for young men to prove themselves."

Swartz said he was not trying to excuse the behavior, which Phillips now realizes was wrong.

All four men also face state charges, and Swartz told Hudson that "I still have to shake my head and wonder a little bit about the federal government's decision to prosecute this case."

Federal prosecutors refused to comment as they left the courthouse, where several protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals gathered holding posters with pictures of injured dogs.

Taylor's attorney, Claire Cardwell, also left without answering reporters' questions.

Phillips, who has been in custody for violating terms of his release, was led away in his orange prison jumpsuit. The 36-year-old Peace will report to prison Jan. 3.

The case began in April when a drug investigation of a Vick relative led authorities to the Surry County property, where they found dozens of pit bulls and an assortment of dogfighting paraphernalia.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Decision by Judge Allows Medical Research on Dogs, Monkeys and Other Animals to Continue At University Of California San Francisco

Disappointing decision.

Article:

Judge tosses lawsuit against UC San Francisco

http://www.examiner.com/a-1072767~Judge_

tosses_lawsuit_against_UC_San_Francisco.html

Filed under: SAN FRANCISCO , John Upton , UCSF animal welfare lawsuit

Nov 28, 2007 4:00 AM (12 hrs ago) by John Upton, The Examiner

SAN FRANCISCO (Map, News) - Medical research on dogs, monkeys and other animals will continue at UC San Francisco, as a San Francisco Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit by animal rights activists that claimed their rights as taxpayers were violated when the university pays fines for breaking the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Attorneys for the activists had asked the San Francisco Superior Court judge to appoint an independent monitor to oversee animal research at the university, and to shut down the university’s animal research until it guaranteed that it would comply with the federal animal welfare law.

But Judge Patrick Mahoney on Tuesday sided with university lawyers, who argued that such a ruling would interfere with the agriculture department’s enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act.

“The plaintiffs are essentially trying to circumvent federal law,” University of California counsel Chris Patti told The Examiner.

Dan Kimburn, an attorney for the Washington, D.C.-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and for the six Southern California professors and physicians who launched the court case, said he would appeal the ruling.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has previously cited UC San Francisco researchers for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

In December 2003, researchers were cited because a monkey was not given proper painkillers after its skull was cut open, according to court documents.

The fines associated with the violations include a $92,500 settlement in 2005, court documents show.

The animal activists adopted a novel strategy in the case, according to committee spokeswoman Jeanne McVey.

“If you’re a person, you can’t sue under the Animal Welfare Act, because the purpose is to protect animals,” McVey said. “And animals can’t sue because they’re animals.”

Russia Difficult Country to Live in for Vegetarians or Vegans

Nothing surprising here. Disappointing, but not surprising.

Article:

Russia not a place for veggies

http://www.russiatoday.ru/features/news/17663

The concept of vegetarians, and especially vegans, is not widely known or understood in Russia. Many people do not accept its idea and there’s even an online anti-vegan community. Health concerns is another reason why Russians remain sceptical.

Fur is fashionable, practical and certainly not taboo. And when the chill starts to bite, many Russians enjoy nothing more than warming up with a hearty meaty meal.

“I sense from others negative emotions towards myself, my family, my child. People find every possible way to prove I live the wrong type of life,” Oksana Markovchina, a vegan, says.

“People do not accept somebody different from themselves,” she adds.

But despite its lack of popularity, it’s relatively easy to be vegan in Moscow, as there are many soya food substitutes in the shops.

The biggest difficulty vegans have is buying clothes and materials, without leather.

Prestigious Annual Arthur Ling Memorial Award Honors Vegans and Vegan Products

Very interesting and noble award. More on the Arthur Ling Memorial Award Vegan Award can be found at: http://www.vegan-awards.org.uk/

Article:

Christmas Without Cruelty Vegan Awards in World Vegan Month Finale


http://ww.responsesource.com/releases/rel_display.php?relid=35481&hilite=

World Vegan Month will finish on December 2nd at The Animal Aid Christmas Without Cruelty Fayre at Kensington Town Hall, London. The finale will spark a shower of vegan awards for people, companies and vegan products.

The most prestigious of the awards is the annual Arthur Ling Memorial Award in memory of vegan pioneer and ethical innovator Arthur Ling. The Arthur Ling Memorial award, sponsored by vegan chocolate manufacturer Plamil Foods, uncovers vegans working hard to change the world we live in and help it to be more ethical.

Annual Vegan Award

Adrian Ling, who runs Plamil Foods, who initiated this award said "We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate my father’s spirit of innovation and also encourage, publicise and reward people or groups who innovative projects that make a difference to people, animals and the environment."

Winner of The Plamil Arthur Ling Memorial Award 2007

This year the Arthur Ling Memorial Award sponsored by Plamil goes to Dr Dan Lyons from anti animal testing campaigns group Uncaged in Sheffield.

Earlier this year Dr Lyons was awarded a PhD for his research into the evolution of British animal research policy. This establishes Dr Lyons as one of the country's leading authorities on the politics of animal experimentation, giving enormous potential benefit to Uncaged and the anti-vivisection movement, which is often portrayed as ill informed. This Phd status will give clear and new credibility to the legal fight against animal experimentation.

Dr Lyons will be presented the award at the Christmas Without Cruelty Fair in Kensington Town Hall Sunday 2nd December at around 2 pm.

Winner of The Plamil Arthur Ling Memorial Award 2006

Last year's Arthur Ling Memorial Award sponsored by Plamil was presented to Sandra Hood, a dietician with Foods for LifeSandra Hood wrote the invaluable vegan parent handbook "Raising your vegan infant – with confidence'

Appeal To Local Newspapers to find 2008 winner

"We are appealing to regional newspapers and local vegetarian and vegan groups to help us find people developing vegan alternatives and vegan projects that deserve the 2008 award and prize money to help them develop their ideas." Adrian Ling says optimistically.

Contacts

Adrian Ling MD - Plamil Foods Ltd. Folkestone, Kent. CT19 6PQ. UK. Tel +44 (0)1303 850588 www.plamilfoods.co.uk

Tony Bishop-Weston - PEA PR - www.peapr.com –Tel : 07944068432 Fax: 08712884643

Dan Lyons - Uncaged - www.uncaged.co.uk Tel: 01142722220

http://www.vegan-awards.org.uk/

Brutal Former Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick to Appear in Court April 2 on State Dog fighting Charges

Remember, these are in addition to the federal charges he already pled guilty to. Thankfully the state of Virginia is now taking this seriously.

Article:

Judge sets April 2 trial date for Vick on state dogfighting charges

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3129620&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines

Associated Press

Updated: November 27, 2007, 5:39 PM ET

SUSSEX, Va. -- Michael Vick's lead attorney left open the possibility of a plea agreement after the suspended NFL star was scheduled for an April 2 jury trial on state dogfighting charges.

The Atlanta Falcons quarterback pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge in August and voluntarily reported to jail last week, even though he will not be formally sentenced until Dec. 10.

As he left the courthouse, defense attorney Billy Martin was asked why Vick is fighting the state charges after pleading guilty in federal court.

"I can't tell you we're fighting them, I can't tell you we're taking a plea deal," Martin said. "We're going to look at this matter and give him some legal advice, and that has not been decided yet."

Vick was not in a Sussex courtroom Tuesday when Surry County Circuit Judge Samuel Campbell set Vick's trial date during a five-minute consultation with defense attorneys Lawrence Woodward and Martin and prosecutor Gerald Poindexter.

Vick, who's being held at a Warsaw, Va., jail, faces up to five years in prison for his federal conviction.

The two state charges -- beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs, and engaging in or promoting dogfighting -- are also punishable by up to five years in prison each.

Vick's lawyers previously indicated they would fight the state charges on the grounds he can't be convicted twice of the same crime. Woodward declined to discuss that strategy before Tuesday's court proceedings.

Campbell also set trial dates of March 5 for co-defendants Quanis L. Phillips and Purnell A. Peace and a May 7 trial for Tony Taylor.

Vick and the three co-defendants pleaded guilty to the federal charge in U.S. District Court in Richmond. In an Aug. 27 plea agreement, Vick admitted bankrolling a dogfighting enterprise and providing gambling money, as well as helping to kill six to eight dogs.

In another development, Vick agreed to federal prosecutors' demand that he set aside about $928,000 for the care of pit bulls seized from the dogfighting operation.

Prosecutors last week filed court papers seeking a freeze on money, saying they were concerned about Vick's "deteriorating financial condition." Several creditors are suing Vick for more than $5 million, and an arbitrator has ruled he should repay the Falcons nearly $20 million in bonus money.

A consent order entered Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Richmond says Vick has agreed to place the money in an escrow account maintained by Martin's law firm. The money must be deposited by Friday.

The dogfighting operation known as Bad Newz Kennels operated since 2001 on Vick's 15-acre spread in Surry County. A drug investigation of a Vick relative led authorities to the property, where they found more than 50 pit bulls and equipment commonly used in dogfighting.

Tuesday, 10 protesters from the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stood outside the courthouse in rural southeastern Virginia. They held placards with pictures of injured dogs and the messages "Report Dogfighters!" and "Dogs Deserve Justice."

"The message is loud and clear, that all dogfighters must be punished to the fullest extent of the law, no matter who they are," PETA protester Melissa Karpel said.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Court Asks to Order Brutal Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick to Pay up to $900,000 to Care for 54 Pit Pulls Seized from his Atlanta Property

This could be one more nail in the coffin of the profiteering of Michael Vick from Brutal and bloody dogfighting. Seems fair as many also had to be euthanized due to horrible conditions he and his cronies kept them in. We can only hope.

For those who don't remember, here is the story we put out that speaks to the brutal methods of Michael Vick - http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/08/michael-vick-former-quarterback-of.html

Article:

Vick faces $900,000 bill for dog care

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/20/vick.dogs/index.html

(CNN) -- The government asked a federal court Tuesday to order former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to keep on hand assets valued at more than $900,000 -- the amount earmarked for the care of 54 pit bulls.

Michael Vick leaves court in Richmond, Viriginia, in August after pleading guilty to dogfighting charges.

The animals were found on his property when a dogfighting operation was busted last April.

Vick turned himself in to authorities Monday to get a jump start on serving his sentence for running the ring.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson noted that Vick, in his plea agreement, agreed to pay "restitution for the full amount of the costs associated with the disposition of all dogs" in the case.

Vick agreed that those costs could include "the long-term care and/or the humane euthanasia of some or all of those animals," which were seized from the "Bad Newz Kennels" on his property in Surry County, Virginia.

The motion said that only a restraining order can ensure that Vick's assets are not placed beyond the reach of the government.

It noted that Vick's financial condition is deteriorating, and cited the team's attempt to recoup bonus money from his 10-year, $130 million 2004 football contract; his alleged default on a $1.3 million bank loan for a wine store; another bank lawsuit seeking payment for default on a $2.5 million line of credit; and yet another bank's lawsuit seeking at least $2 million for loans related to a car-rental business.

"In addition, published reports also indicate that Vick is in the process of selling assets, specifically a suburban Atlanta home listed at $4.5 million," it said.

Vick, 27, is being held at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, until an upcoming sentencing hearing.

He pleaded guilty in August to a federal conspiracy charge of bankrolling the dogfighting operation after three associates admitted their own roles in the ring and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. See a timeline of events in the case »

Vick, who has been suspended indefinitely by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, faces 12 to 18 months in prison on the conspiracy charge.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 10.

On September 25, a Virginia grand jury indicted Vick and the three co-defendants on state charges of running a dogfighting ring.

The Surry County grand jury brought two felony charges against the four men: one count of unlawfully torturing and killing dogs and one of promoting dogfights. Each could result in a five-year prison term.

Simple and Easy Tips to Increase Effectiveness of Animal Rights Activism

This article is very positive in that it shows that anyone can do simple acts and make a difference. This is from Oregon, but the tips are applicable anywhere.

Article:

Be effective in defending animal rights

http://www.bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071120/FEAT06/711200328/1009&nav_category=

By Laura Moss / The Bulletin

Published: November 20. 2007 5:00AM PST

It doesn’t matter if you are a wallflower or if you are outspoken, you can be a part of getting legislation passed that could possibly help your pet and other animals.

At a Lobby 101 seminar held at the Humane Society of Central Oregon in Bend recently, more than a dozen people were told that each person can have an impact.

“You don’t have to be an expert to have an influence and to have a voice,” said Kelly Peterson, Oregon state director for the Humane Society of the United States.

Face-to-face meetings are a great way to make your views known to your representative, Peterson said. Oregon has a legislative schedule that is conducive to that, because it convenes only every other year. That means legislators have more time to spend in their districts. In 2008, however, a short supplemental session is scheduled to begin Feb. 4.

For more info
Information on effective lobbying techniques may be found on the Humane Society of the United States Web site, www .hsus.org, as well as other animal-related Web sites, like www.aspca.org.
If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, phone calls and e-mail are quick and effective forms of contact, Peterson said. Letters sent through the post office may take up to six weeks to arrive, she added, because they have to be transported out of state to be tested for anthrax before they are delivered.

If you are unsure who your current representatives are, you can find out on the state’s Web site, www.oregon.gov, or by visiting the Humane Society of the United States Web site, www.hsus.org.

It is important to know what could influence a legislator to take on a proposed bill, Peterson said. The merits of the issue, cost, impact on a representative’s district and personal affiliations could play a role in a legislator’s decision, Peterson said.

Knowing whom to contact is key, she added. Be sure you are contacting your own representative, as they may be less likely to be influenced by somebody who is not a constituent. If a legislator is a committee chairperson on a committee that could play a role in getting certain legislation passed, be sure to contact them, especially because they are likely paying attention to the statewide impact of any legislation, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

And finally, remember that a bill is not complete until the governor has signed it, so calling Gov. Ted Kulongoski couldn’t hurt, either.

Informing the public is also important, and attending public meetings and writing letters to the editor are good ways to do that. Peterson said that if you do attend a public meeting, especially one where a representative is speaking, be sure to be friendly and not attack them if they sound as though they disagree with you.

That is important with any contact you have with your representative, she said. Compromise is going to be part of getting any legislation passed, so be ready to do so as long as the compromise will not harm any animals.

When attending public meetings with representatives, the Humane Society of the United States gives a few tips for being an effective animal advocate. First, introduce yourself by name, address and organization, if any. State a clear and concise objective, refer to bills by their numbers and names, explain why the issue is important to you personally, and never mislead them. If you are asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, tell them you don’t know, and that you’ll find out. Peterson said she has had to do this before, and it is much more appreciated than guessing at an answer.

Legislation


There is one animal-related piece of legislation that is expected to be part of the special session, Peterson said.

This is significant because during the special session, each legislator is allowed to bring only one piece of legislation to the table, which suggests that the issue is important to him or her, according to Senate President Peter Courtney’s policy analyst Sasha Pollack.

Courtney is scheduled to propose increased penalties for any person believed to be present at a dog fight, as well as any person in possession of dog-fighting paraphernalia, according to Pollack. Currently, it is considered a misdemeanor to be present at a dog fight and to be in possession of dog-fighting paraphernalia. If Courtney’s proposed legislation passes, it would make those crimes a felony.

Courtney is also proposing to add items like treadmills to the list of possible dog fighting paraphernalia, Pollack said. She said other crimes related to dog fighting are already deemed felonies, and what Courtney is attempting to do is go back and tighten up the rest of the legislation related to dog fighting.

In the 2007 legislative session, there were two bills that dealt with household animals, according to www.leg.state.or.us.

According to the state’s Web site, the passage of Senate Bill 570 requires the state offices of emergency management and agriculture to develop plans to help companion animals, service animals and livestock in major disasters or emergencies. The plans will encompass evacuation, transportation and temporary sheltering of those animals.

Senate Bill 1017 deals with reporting animal abuse, according to the state’s Web site. The bill, which also passed, requires veterinarians and officials to report if an animal they have come in contact with has suffered or is currently suffering aggravated animal abuse or animal neglect in the first degree. Included in the bill is a provision that no civil suits may be brought against a person who reports such crimes,.

Both of these bills will be in effect beginning Jan. 1

Even after Brutal Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick Sent to Jail on Dog Fighting Charges Practice Continues

We all remember the story of the cruel Michael Vick - http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/08/michael-vick-former-quarterback-of.html

Apparently the practice still continues. This story is regarding Mississippi, but the problem is still nationwide.

Sadly, as mentioned below, "...an estimated 40,000 Americans participate in the sport and use some 250,000 pit bulls, according to the Humane Society of the United States, one of the few agencies to provide such figures."

Article:

Dog fighting a dangerous problem

http://www.djournal.com/pages/story.asp?ID=258832&pub=1&div=News

Dog fighting a dangerous problem
11/19/2007 4:48:58 AMDaily Journal

11/19/2007 4:48:58 AMDaily Journal

BY EMILY LE COZ AND DANZA JOHNSON

Daily Journal

The recent discovery of 49 pit bulls alleged to have been used in a Benton County dog-fighting ring reflects not an isolated case but a widespread and elusive problem, several experts say.

Dog fighting, a gruesome sport where canines are thrown into a ring and fight until one either gives up or dies, has been around for ages. But this year's case against suspended NFL quarterback

Michael Vick put it in the national spotlight. Vick pleaded guilty in August to federal charges in connection with a Virginia dog-fighting operation.

It's an issue that has law-enforcement officials and animal activists stumped, because, according to Debra Boswell, director of the Mississippi Animal Rescue League, these operations are "harder to infiltrate than a drug ring."'It's an epidemic'"It's an epidemic," Boswell said, "not only in Mississippi, but nationwide."

An estimated 40,000 Americans participate in the sport and use some 250,000 pit bulls, according to the Humane Society of the United States, one of the few agencies to provide such figures.

Numbers are hard to track because of the sport's highly secretive nature, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which has been combating dog fighting for more than a century, according to its Web site.

ASPCA officials did not return calls for comment. Tracking it locallyTracking difficulties also pose problems in Northeast Mississippi, where law-enforcement officials get tips about the illegal activity but rarely - if ever - bust a dog-fighting ring.

The exception was in Benton County last month, where sheriff's deputies discovered an operation while on call to indict a resident on separate narcotics charges.Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson, Itawamba County Sheriff Philip Crane and Lafayette County Sheriff Buddy East say they haven't found any dog fighting in their counties. "We have had some complaints throughout the county about people fighting dogs, but we haven't been able to locate any dog fighting rings," said East. "We investigate, but we just haven't been able to find any signs."Those most likely to come in contact with dog fighting are animal shelter workers, who sometimes recover pit bulls that appear to have been injured in a match. Boswell said it's impossible to estimate how many rings exist in Mississippi, but at her Jackson-based shelter last year she said she took in about 200 pit bulls that exhibited fight-experience signs, such as scars and an overly aggressive nature.

Those dogs were euthanized, as were the several dozen involved in the Benton County ring. They can't be rehabilitated, experts say, because they are bred to fight and kill other dogs. "They're not aggressive toward people, they're aggressive toward other dogs," said Loretta Willis, manager of the Corinth-Alcorn County Humane Society.Willis said she takes in an average of 10-12 fighting dogs a month from her area, but she called this an improvement from several years ago when there used to be more.

In Tupelo-Lee County, animal shelter director Debbie Hood hasn't seen any evidence of a fighting ring since she took the reins about nine months ago. The reports are similar in Starkville-Oktibbeha County and Oxford-Lafayette County, where the areas' animal-control officers also say they see few, if any, fought canines."We hear rumors, and occasionally we'll find a dog that's scarred up pretty bad and we think that's what it's all about," said Rich McKaee, one of the Starkville's two animal control officers. "We know it goes on it's just hard to catch them."A springboardThe activity isn't just a problem for the dogs - which can suffer atrocious wounds and even death from the sport - but it's a springboard to other illegal deeds, law-enforcement officials and dog-fighting experts say.

The blood sport has strong links to the drug trade and has been connected to other crimes including theft, brutality and even murder.So serious are the implications of dog fighting that even the feds sometimes get involved, said FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden.Most recently, she said, the bureau was involved with Vick's indictment because he allegedly violated several federal laws, including participation in the interstate transport of dogs for the purpose of fighting.Why the risk? It's about money, experts say. Breeders can earn up to $5,000 for each puppy of a grand-champion winner - a dog that has won five times - Boswell said. And stud fees for these canines can run in the thousands of dollars.Fights rake in even more money. The ASPCA reported seizures of more than $500,000 involved in major dog fights and called pots of $20,000 or more "standard fare."

In Mississippi, Boswell recalled a case a few years ago where two people arrested at a traffic stop were found with $12,000 won in a dog fight. In an Arkansas case, she recalled police discovered a bet pool of more than $80,000."This is big money," she said. "It's a dangerous business."And those involved will do anything to protect their profits and way of life. Boswell read an ad from an underground dog-fighting magazine, "Sporting Dog Journal," soliciting officers to track the sport: "Officers needed to work with our enforcers to catch thieves and killers and recruit new and trusted people to eliminate snitches," Boswell read. "Need 10 officers in each state.

Requirements: martial arts degree, black belt or higher, must be familiar with all types of firearms, be familiar with all blood lines, travel throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and South America."The danger involved in this sport has prompted 46 states - including Mississippi - to make dog fighting a felony crime.

Here, those convicted face up to three years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Even spectators face punishment - up to one year in prison and $3,000 in fines.Once the state files its charges, Madden said, the FBI might want a crack at participants."Should anyone in Mississippi have knowledge of dog fighting - or cock fighting - they should contact either the local authorities or the FBI," she said, "because we will investigate."

Meat Alternatives for Thanksgiving See Some Growth: Tofurky Sales Increase

Some good news, but mostly low numbers. According to the article below, "...less than 1 percent of households will be putting a meat alternative on their table this Thanksgiving."

Article:

Vegetarians, Meat-Eaters Dig In To Send Sales of Tofurky Soaring

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/AR2007111601993.html

By Ylan Q. Mui

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, November 17, 2007; D01

Seth Tibbott was just an ordinary hippie living in a treehouse when inspiration struck.
The year was 1986, and Tibbott had hoped for six years that his small business selling vegetarian meat alternatives in rural Washington state would catch on. Success proved elusive -- the treehouse was the only place he could afford to live -- until he developed a soy-based version of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. He called it Tofurky.

"It's a name that resonates with consumers," said Tibbott, who grew up in Chevy Chase. "We're fine with the fact they think it's funny or they get a smile out of it. You remember jokes."
Tofurky hit store shelves in 1995, and the meatless dish has become a cultural phenomenon, even showing up on the TV shows " Jeopardy" and "The O.C." Tibbott's company, Turtle Island Foods of Hood, Ore. , has annual revenue of $11 million. Tofurky sales have grown 37 percent this year from 2006. He expects to sell 270,000 Tofurkys by the end of the holiday season, which translates to 438,000 pounds of tofu, wheat protein, canola oil and spices.
The concept was born of Tibbott's vegetarian frustrations. After attending Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, he left for college in Ohio in 1969 and returned home having sworn off meat. Thanksgiving was particularly tough, he said, recalling a nasty bout with a stuffed pumpkin and a rock-hard gluten roast.

"We were looking for something for an answer and we figured there's probably other people out there," he said.

A 2006 poll conducted by Harris Interactive for the nonprofit Vegetarian Resource Group found that about 2 percent of adults are vegetarian, meaning they do not eat meat, poultry or seafood. The total was up from about 1 percent from a similar study the group conducted in 1994. The percentage of adults who do not eat poultry in particular grew to 6 percent from 3 percent.
The market, meanwhile, has been helped by omnivores who seek alternatives to meat for health reasons. They helped turn vegetarian foods into a $1.2 billion industry last year, up 44 percent from 2001, the consumer research firm Mintel said. The report found that 23 percent of non-vegetarians eat meat alternatives, though consumers still say the products cannot match the real thing.

John Cunningham, consumer research manager at the Vegetarian Resource Group, which has received donations from Tibbott's company, acknowledged that Tofurky does not taste like turkey. That doesn't mean it doesn't taste good, with a firm texture and a salty, savory flavor. It just tastes different.

"It can take the place of a big piece of meat," he said. "People are feeling a little bit neglected because all they get to eat are side dishes" during the holidays.

Tibbott started Turtle Island Foods in 1980 with $2,500 in savings and later with investments of $5,000 from his mother and $17,000 from his older brother, Bob, who lives in Chevy Chase . Originally, Tibbott peddled a product called tempeh, which is made from fermented soybeans. He started making 100 pounds of tempeh after hours in the cafe of a cooperative in Oregon, then delivering it to clients in Portland overnight.

Two years later, he moved the shoestring operation to an abandoned elementary school in a small logging town in the Cascade Mountains . The building had no heat, but it was near a scenic river and about a mile from Tibbott's treehouse. It was cheaper than renting an apartment, and he could not afford much else. The treehouse was not quite as primitive as it sounds -- there was electricity and phone service. At night, flying squirrels passed by his window.
Tibbott lived there for seven years before marrying and moving in with his wife, Suzanne, who lived in a more traditional apartment. When Tofurky hit, the treehouse days were gone for good.

Tibbott had seen a similar name used informally on other products, but he shortened it to have the same number of letters as a telephone number and had it trademarked. The first version of Tofurky, made from soy milk, was a mammoth affair with eight tempeh drumsticks. Tibbott said he had visions of families giving thanks over a large Tofurky, only to realize that just a few people at any gathering were likely to eat it. The latest version serves three or four people, and the drumsticks were replaced by cranberry apple potato dumplings.
The quirky product slowly gained notice. In 2000, it was mentioned in an episode of the TV show "The "X-Files." A year later, Tofurky was a question on the game show "Jeopardy." (No one got the correct answer.) The comedian Ellen DeGeneres brought up Tofurky on her show in 2003 and drew laughs from the audience.

"People don't believe me," she said. "There is a Tofurky."

Though Tofurky has attracted the most attention, Tibbott's company makes a range of faux meats. In fact, its best-selling products are vegetarian sausage and hickory-smoked deli slices. The Thanksgiving Tofurky roasts rank fifth in popularity and make up about 17 percent of the company's revenue.

Despite the industry's rapid growth, mainstream appeal may be limited. Harry Balzer, vice president at consumer behavior research firm NPD Group, said that less than 1 percent of households will be putting a meat alternative on their table this Thanksgiving. The National Turkey Federation estimates that 88 percent of Americans will eat turkey Thursday, adding up to 46 million gobblers, the most of any holiday.

"Clearly," Balzer said, "it's a strong tradition."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Animal Legal Defense Fund Releases Report on States and Animal Abuse Laws: Utah Has Weakest Animal Abuse Laws in Country

The full report can be found at http://www.aldf.org/news/details.php?id=323

In essence, those who commit animal abuse in Utah get off too easily as animal torture is not a felony in Utah. In addition, Utah has little animal fighting provisions. The other states with low scores: Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky, and North Dakota.

The full report can be found at http://www.aldf.org/news/details.php?id=323

Here is a synopsis of the results. As stated at their site, the reports “..is based on a detailed comparative analysis of the animal protection laws of each jurisdiction, researching fourteen distinct categories of provisions throughout more than 2,800 pages of statutes. The ranking groups states into a top, middle or bottom tier, and includes a listing of the best five and worst five states.”

Best Five California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Oregon

Worst Five Arkansas, Alaska, Kentucky, North Dakota, Utah

Top Tier California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Vermont, Virginia

Middle Tier Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina

Bottom Tier Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming

Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University Accused of Violating Eight Provisions of the Animal Welfare Act

Unfortunately, once again, the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University has once again been caught by an undercover worker in numerous instances of animal abuse.


Article:


PETA infiltrates primate center

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/119492436914550.xml&coll=7
Animal research -

The activist group will formalize its accusations against the Hillsboro facility today

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

BRYAN DENSON

The Oregonian

For the second time in a decade, an animal-rights activist has slipped past employment screeners at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, taken a job as a monkey handler and accused the facility of routinely abusing animals.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a national animal-rights group, planted one of its undercover investigators at the Hillsboro center from April 9 to July 25, officials at the nonprofit told The Oregonian.

The investigator, whom neither PETA nor the primate center would identify, took a job as an animal husbandry technician and secretly took notes and shot video to document her complaints. PETA will formalize her accusations today in a complaint to federal regulators.

"We are an open facility," declared Michael Conn, the associate director and acting head of the primate center's Department of Animal Resources, in a response Monday. Regulators have inspected the primate center three times since February, finding the facility in full compliance with federal law, he said. "There are no secrets here."

PETA's complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture accuses the primate center, a wing of Oregon Health & Science University, of violating eight provisions of the Animal Welfare Act, a federal law intended to guarantee humane treatment of research animals. Among PETA's allegations:

Primate center officials failed to provide timely or effective veterinary treatment for monkeys suffering chronic vomiting, diarrhea and kidney stones.

The center failed to ensure that employees were qualified to perform medical procedures, allowing a worker with palsied hands to give hypodermic injections that caused blood to spurt from a monkey's arm.

Workers failed to prevent monkeys from suffering trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm and unnecessary discomfort, sometimes putting sedated animals into group enclosures that exposed them to falls or attacks from other monkeys.

"The actions of (primate center) staff show a flagrant disregard for the law and for the animals for whom they are responsible," the complaint alleges.

Similar complaints from another animal rights infiltrator in 2000 were investigated by the USDA, and the center was found not to violate the law. Conn said he would be "absolutely shocked" if the new allegations were substantiated.

Oregon's primate center, with annual research grants of $33.3 million, performs experiments on many of the 4,200 monkeys in its care, putting the facility in the cross hairs of groups such as PETA.

The key purpose of the Norfolk, Va., nonprofit is to protect animals from being used for food, clothing, entertainment or medical research.

In 1998, Matt Rossell, a former PETA investigator, went to work as an animal welfare technician at the center. He spent more than two years taking notes and photographs, secretly videotaping screeching monkeys, including one that had chewed a large gash in its own arm.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, in Maryland, formalized Rossell's observations in a Sept. 6, 2000, complaint to the USDA. It accused the facility of caging animals in filth and abusively small enclosures; conducting needless surgeries; and letting unskilled workers give monkeys injections.

Rossell also complained that the center's method of extracting sperm from monkeys -- a process called electroejaculation -- caused them pain.

The USDA sent six officials to investigate Rossell's complaints. Four months later, they cleared the primate center of violating the Animal Welfare Act, although inspectors did recommend the center improve conditions for 1,201 monkeys then kept indoors.

The center has spent much of the past seven years developing one of the nation's best "psychological well-being" programs for monkeys, said Kristine Coleman, who heads the center's behavioral sciences unit. Today, Coleman said, monkeys get more fruits and vegetables, which stimulate their natural foraging instincts.

The primate center also improved its method of extracting sperm, a process, taped by Rossell, which had burned the penises of two monkeys. Pain and injury have been halted by giving the animals a light sedative and an analgesic, said Dr. Gwen Maginnis, the center's chief attending veterinarian.

Primate center officials were caught off guard seven years ago, after learning they had hired Rossell, who champions a belief that animals are sentient beings entitled to legal rights against exploitation.

The center, which hires about 50 employees a year, improved job screening by adding a full criminal background check and asking applicants and their references whether they think animals should be used in medical research.

"If they come here with a clean criminal history and they lie about their interest and the reason they're here," Conn said, "there's not a lot you can do."

PETA's director of research, Kathy Guillermo, defended the group's use of undercover investigators at biomedical facilities.

"If the laboratories would open their doors and let us in, we would certainly rather do it that way," she said. "Unfortunately what we find over and over and over again is that the doors are shut tight."

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