Beware, take action for animal research

I have blogged about the value of the non human primate model in research. Now is the time to voice your support towards such research. Faseb has issued the following action alert asking you to contact your US Senators to protect the humane use of animals in research.

You need to oppose S810, the Great Ape protection and Cost savings act. Follow the link here.

images courtesy http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/resources/image-library/?c=16&return_url=%252Fresources%252Fimage%252Dlibrary%252F

Here's the details:
The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S 810) would prohibit the use of chimpanzees and other great apes in biomedical research, which could have severe consequences for ongoing studies seeking prophylactic vaccines for hepatitis C and safety testing of monoclonal antibody therapies. The bill would also halt ongoing research that could benefit great apes themselves, such as development of an Ebola vaccine for wild gorillas and chimpanzees, whose population is being ravaged by the disease. Most importantly, the bill would make it impossible for scientists to act quickly in the event that apes are needed to study a newly emerging infectious disease.
Supporters of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (GAPSCA) claim that chimpanzees in research are being mistreated and that chimpanzee research is unnecessary.

These claims are false:
(1) Chimpanzee research is conducted under strict regulatory oversight.

Federally-funded chimpanzee research is subject to the Animal Welfare Act, the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Animals, and AAALAC accreditation. GAPCSA supporters exaggerate the incidence of problems and assert that outdated practices such as single housing in small cages are the norm. Standards for the care of chimpanzee have changed dramatically in recent years and have become more demanding as our understanding of their behavioral needs has increased. Animals are typically housed in large enclosures with access to both indoor and outdoor areas. Environmental enrichment is required, and they are housed socially except when isolation is necessary for health reasons.

(2) An expert panel convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2011 concluded that research with chimpanzees may still be needed.
Because chimpanzees are intelligent and social animals, the panel recommended strict criteria to determine when the research is necessary. While the IOM report noted that the need for chimpanzee research has decreased as alternatives have become available, it is important to maintain the capacity for this research in the event of future disease challenges. NIH is taking steps to implement the IOM's criteria, including determining whether the research addresses an important health problem; whether there is an alternative research model; and what impact the research would have on the animals themselves.
TAKE ACTION: Use the form on this link to let your Senators know that you oppose the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.

images courtesy http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/resources/image-library/?c=16&return_url=%252Fresources%252Fimage%252Dlibrary%252F


The US Animal Entreprise Terrorism Act a template for use against economic loss by animal extremists

Reproduced from NABR

In the US the AETA provides greater protection for the biomedical research community and their families against intimidation and harassment, and addresses for the first time in federal law, campaigns of secondary and tertiary targeting that cause economic damage to research enterprises.
18 USC § 43

United States Code Annotated

Title 18. Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Part I. Crimes

Chapter 3. Animals, Birds, Fish, and Plants

§ 43. Force, violence, and threats involving animal enterprises

(a) Offense.

--Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce, or uses or causes to be used the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce--


for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise; and


in connection with such purpose--


intentionally damages or causes the loss of any real or personal property (including animals or records) used by an animal enterprise, or any real or personal property of a person or entity having a connection to, relationship with, or transactions with an animal enterprise;


intentionally places a person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to that person, a member of the immediate family (as defined in section 115) of that person, or a spouse or intimate partner of that person by a course of conduct involving threats, acts of vandalism, property damage, criminal trespass, harassment, or intimidation; or


conspires or attempts to do so;

shall be punished as provided for in subsection (b).

(b) Penalties.

--The punishment for a violation of section [FN1] (a) or an attempt or conspiracy to violate subsection (a) shall be--


a fine under this title or imprisonment not more than 1 year, or both, if the offense does not instill in another the reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death and--


the offense results in no economic damage or bodily injury; or


the offense results in economic damage that does not exceed $10,000;


a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both, if no bodily injury occurs and--


the offense results in economic damage exceeding $10,000 but not exceeding $100,000; or


the offense instills in another the reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death;


a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if--


the offense results in economic damage exceeding $100,000; or


the offense results in substantial bodily injury to another individual;


a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both, if--


the offense results in serious bodily injury to another individual; or


the offense results in economic damage exceeding $1,000,000; and


imprisonment for life or for any terms of years, a fine under this title, or both, if the offense results in death of another individual.

(c) Restitution.

--An order of restitution under section 3663 or 3663A of this title with respect to a violation of this section may also include restitution--


for the reasonable cost of repeating any experimentation that was interrupted or invalidated as a result of the offense;


for the loss of food production or farm income reasonably attributable to the offense; and


for any other economic damage, including any losses or costs caused by economic disruption, resulting from the offense.

(d) Definitions.

--As used in this section--


the term "animal enterprise" means--


a commercial or academic enterprise that uses or sells animals or animal products for profit, food or fiber production, agriculture, education, research, or testing;


a zoo, aquarium, animal shelter, pet store, breeder, furrier, circus, or rodeo, or other lawful competitive animal event; or


any fair or similar event intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences;


the term "course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of 2 or more acts, evidencing a continuity of purpose;


the term "economic damage"--


means the replacement costs of lost or damaged property or records, the costs of repeating an interrupted or invalidated experiment, the loss of profits, or increased costs, including losses and increased costs resulting from threats, acts or vandalism, property damage, trespass, harassment, or intimidation taken against a person or entity on account of that person's or entity's connection to, relationship with, or transactions with the animal enterprise; but


does not include any lawful economic disruption (including a lawful boycott) that results from lawful public, governmental, or business reaction to the disclosure of information about an animal enterprise;


the term "serious bodily injury" means--


injury posing a substantial risk of death;


extreme physical pain;


protracted and obvious disfigurement; or


protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; and


the term "substantial bodily injury" means--


deep cuts and serious burns or abrasions;


short-term or nonobvious disfigurement;


fractured or dislocated bones, or torn members of the body;


significant physical pain;




short-term loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or


any other significant injury to the body.

(e) Rules of construction.

--Nothing in this section shall be construed--


to prohibit any expressive conduct (including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstration) protected from legal prohibition by the First Amendment to the Constitution;


to create new remedies for interference with activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution, regardless of the point of view expressed, or to limit any existing legal remedies for such interference; or

(3) to provide exclusive criminal penalties or civil remedies with respect to the conduct prohibited by this action, or to preempt State or local laws that may provide such penalties or remedies


Extremists target AF-KL, United, Air China

Another merry go round for animal extremists by WAR-Faun, Peta against airlines!

**Join the WAR-FAUN Anti-Vivisection Alliance as we again converge on Air France-KLM Executive Offices in NYC to call them out for their complicity in the "lab" primate-trafficking blood trade! Come and stand with us in defense of our evolutionary next-of-kin at a WAR-FAUN Gateway to Hell! demo on Friday, July 27th!**



United's One-Way Flights Are Deadly for Monkeys Claims PETA

Here's what PETA wants you to do:
In addition to not booking a flight with United Airlines and the other heartless airlines that transport monkeys to U.S. laboratories, please take another step to help end this cruel practice by urging these airlines to adopt a policy against the transportation of monkeys destined for laboratories.
Also, take a moment of your time to let United Airlines know that you will not be flying with the airline until it stops transporting monkeys to laboratories:
Tweet at United Airlines on Twitter.
Send an e-mail directly to United Airlines.
This is part of PETA's AIR CRUELTY campaign which asks airlines to stop shipping monkeys to be tortured. Here's what they want you to say to UNITED at their PETSAFE email:

I was dismayed to learn that your airline continues to facilitate cruelty to animals by transporting primates destined for laboratories. These highly social, intelligent beings are routinely mutilated, poisoned, deprived of food and water, forcibly immobilized in restraint devices, infected with painful and deadly diseases, and psychologically tormented.
Additionally, primates suffer from the long and grueling transport in the cargo holds of planes and in the backs of trucks. For these reasons, nearly every major airline including Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Aer Lingus refuses to transport primates for use in experiments. It is shameful that your airline lags behind and continues to support this cruel practice.
Please join leading airline companies and adopt a formal policy prohibiting the transport of primates destined for laboratories to ensure that your company plays no role in the suffering of these animals.
If you want to look at the campaign follow this link

Another association American Anti Vivisection Society has a letter up too, protesting United's policy of transporting laboratory animals. The emails are sent to Jeffery A. Smisek President and CEO. Follow the link here to view the Transport Trouble campaign.
PETA also wants Air China to stop transporting non human primates, here's what their web site says:

Even though nearly every major airline in the world has abandoned the disgraceful practice, Air China continues to transport hundreds of monkeys from Asia to their deaths in some of the cruelest laboratories in the United States.
To read it follow the link here

This type of continued harassment has got to stop for the intention is to damage the reputation of the airlines and cause economic loss. If you can not stop research don't try stopping transportation! There is no law saying this transportation activity is illegal and certainly neither is animal research! In fact the benefits and medical advances using animal research have been demonstrated over and again.


Animal extremists target Airlines, Airports, Freight Forwarders and all related in any way to research on animals

Without the airports, airlines, ferries and customs clearers this trade would not be able to go on. They are the ones keeping these animals suffering and they are the ones we need to stop in order to shut down the trade in animals for vivisection. Get involved today and play your part in this monumental fight.


The above paragraph comes from a Transit Cruelty web page part of NAVA's Gateway to hell campaign. On the same web site carriers are called targets, as are trucking companies or freight forwarders. http://www.antivivisection.info/campaigns/gateway/airlines.html

It is nothing new, there are similar campaigns from like minded organizations. Read this web site:

The actions are not without consequences to science and medical advancement as is reported here:

Calling someone or a company a target goes beyond the right to demonstrate peacefully or to use the freedom of expression when the aim is to stop the animal use by all means necessary. In this case the efforts aim at transportation and more specifically air transportation. Some extremist groups target importers or those companies that work with pharmaceuticals or research institutions such as universities.
Take a look here:

The aim remains the same : to stop any animal use.
After years of criminal harassment, arson, constant threats and million $ in damages to properties etc, in the US and the UK things have finally changed for these kind of behaviours are no longer tolerated. Animal extremist activists are finally prosecuted and jailed.
Camille Marino, a Florida based Animal extremist known for her activism on her infamous blog Negotiation is over, will now serve time in jail, as is reported here http://speakingofresearch.com/2012/07/16/marino-is-over-hopefully/.

David Jentsch , an unlikely activist as he likes to call himself and founder of Protest for Science, http://unlikelyactivist.com/about/ , is a scientist and once a victim of animal extremists. He describes in his post how after constant intimidation and harassment he took things in his hands and went to court to sue Camille Marino and won. A welcome development towards answering animal extremists.

The time of apologetic messages about why animals are used in research is over and the research industry players refuse to be held hostage by these groups. Their messages and outreach efforts are increasingly being heard by the general public and politicians as is witnessed here

Facts and Figures for the EU are available here: http://www.animalresearchforlife.eu/index.php/en/factsfigures

So what about research itself ? Does it or not contribute to medical advancement? Is it really necessary?

Take a look here: http://www.nabr.org/Biomedical_Research/Medical_Progress.aspx and find out through work done by Nobel price winners using animals.

Do think twice before saying no to transporting research animals for the very drugs transported under temperature controlled conditions more often than not originate at the very beginning of the drug discovery process :

If you are interested in medical advancement and how animal research contributes, or are being pressured by animal extremist groups feel free to read my blog posts here:

or to contact me at Raemdoncke@gmail.com


US Airlines saddled with miniature horses

Giving people access to airplanes and flying them to their destination is the bread and butter of airlines. Except of course for those that focus on freight, mail or parcels but the principle is the same.
My colleagues at the Animal Transport Association most recently released an article in ATA Migrations v2011_048 (July 16, 2012) about allowing miniature horses, pot bellied pigs or monkeys in the cabin to accompany disabled persons.  The same stands for psychiatric or emotional support animals according to  Brandon Macsata of the US Association for airline passenger rights.

The need for service animals is well understood by airlines and in the past I together with other colleagues, on behalf of the airlines, have worked with Guide dogs for the blind, an association that works towards sensitizing the public and the industry towards the needs of disabled persons and how to handle guide dogs. In an airline environment most animals travel in the (heated) belly holds of the aircraft.
As is pointed out in the article some disabled persons prefer opting for animals with a longer lifespan than dogs, which I think is a fair decision. The problem for airlines and some passengers arises when the definition of a service animal is stretched to include other animals than the usual cat or dog.

Behavioral and physiological animal needs (faeces/urine) come further complicate the picture for airlines, not only from a passenger discontent perspective - think of allergies, unease with or fear of animals but also from the perspective that crews are not trained to deal with disruptive animals. A screaming pig or a panicked, be it a miniature, horse is most likely one of the least likely experiences you would want to live on board an aircraft. Staff in charge of checking in and flying passengers may not know when or where to draw the line when confronted with an unusual service animal. How big is big and the ability or capacity to restrain an animal by its owner are not things that are easily determined as well as perhaps an unreasonable expectation to demand from check-in and flying staff.

Although the intentions of the US DOT are understandable and the flying public needs to be warranted access to airplanes, in most circumstances this is largely the case. However as always there are exceptions and the more you look into this issue the more you will find problems with not restricting the definition of a service animal to mean cats or dogs.  From what I have read airlines can refuse boarding certain animals but by allowing a stretchable definition of a service animal a pandoras' box of issues has just been opened for the benefit of a minute minority and at the expense of an overwhelming majority. As complex as transporting animals already is, this issue is just another nail in the coffin of airlines' willingness to transport animals altogether.  


Animal extremist message spreading East

Peta most recently has asked its members and the public to urge Air China to stop shipping monkeys to laboratories. There is a build in email campaign containing a pre-written text that one can use to send straight from the page. To whom I don't know since I did not try.
The above is part of a greater campaign that targets any airline involved in primate transport (see link below).

With this PETA joins the likes of the BUAV whom have launched similar campaigns to stop primate transport. The idea behind it is simple: stop transportation of laboratory animals, or make it as difficult as possible and animal based research will come to a grinding halt. BUAV actually goes a step further in that they associate the use of young primates with a baby trade. http://www.buav.org/our-campaigns/primate-campaign/

Animal breeding countries are approached at the highest level (see letter email campaign to the Prime minister of Mauritius). The BUAV is the trading name to end all animal experiments.
The people that work at breeding centers whether they are animal care takers or doctors in veterinary medicine should just give it all up and work elsewhere I guess? That part of the equation is never mentioned by animal extremists. The use of their resources is primarily a domestic issue and is certainly not an illegal activity, transporting laboratory animals even less so! Even though primates are listed on CITES appendices, the convention does not prohibit trade but provides for a mechanism and the conditions under which trade can take place. Granted that bans can (and are) be imposed.
The increasing campaigns and lobbying affects also zoo's that are involved in conservation and re-introduction efforts, for carriers opt out from transporting animals altogether.

The animal extremist message is spreading its wings eastward in Europe as one can see from this international animal rights gathering web site:

Here's how they define themselves:
The International Animal Rights Gathering is an annual event which brings together activists from all over the world for a weekend of workshops, talks, discussions, films, information stalls, entertainment and networking. The aim of the gathering is to promote and improve co-operation and co-ordination between activists from many different countries, with the aim of building a strong coherent global movement to fight animal exploitation and spread compassion. This is particularly important bearing in mind that most animal exploitation and abuse is an international business which operates across international borders, so it's vital that we as a movement also learn to think and work globally too.
When confronted with animal extremists, Airlines simply opt out from animal transportation and that is good for no one, except animal use abolitionists. Sad but true.


Bad information equals misinformation ; vivisection is a lie

There is information available about animal use at UK Universities. One can ask for this information
via such mechanisms as the freedom of information acts. This is nothing new and has abundantly been used by animal activists. One web site will even provide you the tools to do this on your behalf -follow the link.

This blog provides the number of animals used by UK universities for the year 2011. Some show the animal species or families used together with the amount of animals per species, others just the overal total amount. The header reads University Vivisection abuse. Clearly this type of publishing information does not follow a rigorous scientific methodology as scientist do when engaging a procedure or study. There is no mention of what was studied nor why but I guess that is pointless because the intent is to link amount of animals with abuse.

It reminds me of the tactics used, to say that animals die in transit or during air transportation without any further substantiation. That situation changed when US airlines reported animal escapes, injuries and deaths. The numbers reported clearly demonstrates that whilst there are such instances they are nowhere near the level animal activists want you to believe. I think there are actually more animals that die or are put to death because of lack of space at shelters than those in transit. For an overview of such incidents reported to the DOT by US carriers click here. I don't think it is the love for statistics that keeps this reporting requirement alive because by now it should be clear that some statements made by animal activists are pure and simple misinformation.

Actually the more they are able to insert new requirements into laws in the name of animal welfare, the less attractive flying animals becomes for airlines. The result is that they throw in the towel and the flying public has less options for flying their pets. Sounds all too familiar? Well indeed the same tactics are used with other animal use industries such as those involved in fur or breeding, agriculture, display, entertainment, ornamentals or the food industry. Even my colleagues involved in conservation at zoo's and aquaria are feeling the lack of available carriers as an increasing problem.

So what can you do? Make sure your associations know about your needs, ensure that transportation is a permanent agenda item and available air services is monitored on a regular basis. Ensure your voice is heard at CITES and at the OIE/World Animal Health Organization and the WHO. For what matters to you most likely matters to others as well, even if they appear silent. Make sure the devil does not creep into the details of regulatory proposals in the name of animal welfare!