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Good News: The Chimpanzees in Liberia Will be Receiving the Care They Need and Deserve

Breaking news: The HSUS, New York Blood Center announce landmark agreement for care of Liberian chimpanzees

May 30, 2017

Today, The HSUS announces a major, multi-million-dollar agreement with the New York Blood Center (NYBC) concerning more than 60 chimpanzees formerly used by the NYBC in medical experiments in Liberia. The New York-based medical charity has committed $6 million to The HSUS to help with the decades-long task of providing long-term care for the animals. This morning’s joint announcement signals a critical turnaround in The HSUS’s relationship with the NYBC. Most importantly, it provides financial resources for the careful stewardship of these chimpanzees, who deserve every measure of human mercy after the travails they’ve endured.

In 2015, The HSUS and Humane Society International responded to an emergent crisis and began to care for the chimpanzees on a set of estuarine islands in Liberia with insufficient natural food and water resources. Dedicated individuals took it upon themselves to provide enough food and water for the chimpanzees to survive in the first days, but the circumstance required the intervention of a party that had the staying power to provide daily care to the animals. With the support of the Liberian government and more than 35 animal protection and conservation organizations worldwide, The HSUS stepped in, bringing on many of the chimps’ long-term caregivers to provide boots on the ground for the animals. We’ve been there ever since, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a month. We have a staff of more than 30 people operating the facility, led by great ape specialists Dr. Jim Desmond and Jenny Desmond, as well as John Zeonyuway and Joseph Thomas, who have worked with the chimpanzees in Liberia for decades.

To care for these animals, we had to confront some extreme logistical, security, and personnel challenges, in addition to shouldering responsibility for the immense financial liabilities that this intervention required. In the broadest sense, we were mindful that chimpanzees are long-lived, and our response to this crisis essentially obligated us to a 40-year commitment and millions of dollars to provide proper housing, enrichment, and veterinary care for them.

The crux of the agreement announced today stipulates that the NYBC and The HSUS are effectively splitting costs for long-term care of the chimpanzees, which will include day-to-day care and also the construction of improved sanctuary facilities. The HSUS and HSI will take on responsibility for the lifetime care of the chimpanzees and will seek support from our supporters and others to help raise the remainder of the needed funds.

I am pleased to express my thanks to the NYBC for making this very generous and important commitment. I’d be remiss, too, if I did not offer our sincerest expression of gratitude to thousands of individuals and dozens of organizations whose generosity and kindness allowed us to help the chimps for the past two years, providing a bridge to an even more secure future with the new facilities we intend to build. This project has required an ensemble cast, and I offer additional earnest appreciation to the government of Liberia, the Arcus Foundation, Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute, Duke University scientist Brian Hare, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, actors and animal advocates Kate and Rooney Mara, the American Anti-Vivisection Society, and the Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society. And the most important thanks are reserved for our incredible chimpanzee care team on the ground.

The HSUS and HSI plan to work hand in hand with the government of Liberia in the years ahead, and that partnership will be critical given that the chimps have been through very difficult circumstances and need round-the-clock care.

The additional millions we must raise are still a very substantial financial burden we must bear, but we do so knowing of the steadfast resolve and commitment of our supporters. We intend to start building an endowment for the care of these chimps today, rather than leaving the task to future generations of leaders and other supporters of The HSUS. I hope you’ll join us in celebrating the HSUS-NYBC agreement and adding to the $6 million endowment by making a donation to this Liberian chimp fund online at: www.humanesociety.org/liberiasanctuary or www.humanesociety.org/liberiachimps.

Read more here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/05/30/dozens-of-research-chimps-were-abandoned-on-liberian-islands-a-battle-over-their-fate-is-now-over/?utm_term=.1a08c1f5527d#comments

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Elephants Performing – Help This Become a Thing of the Past

Elephant ride and activities Thailand

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle—a “luxury camp” in Thailand—continues to force elephants to give rides and play polo, despite claiming to give refuge to endangered Asian elephants. Offering these rides sends a dangerous message to tourists and drives demand for an abusive industry that controls animals through violence and domination. Dozens of travel companies have committed to not offering rides, and as a result of the public’s “mood shift” against the use of animals for entertainment, Ringling Bros. circus has shut down after 146 years. It’s well past time that Four Seasons ended rides and all other direct-contact activities with elephants.

Elephant football Thailand

Please take a moment to urge Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle to end the use of elephants for rides, polo, and all other exploitative activities.

https://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/four-seasons-elephant-rides

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Good News for Animals at the Washington University

Some good news for animals in animal testing:
Physicians Committee Commends Washington University for Ending Animal Labs
Last Pediatrics Program in the U.S. Known to Use Animals Ceases Practice

ST. LOUIS—Washington University has ended the use of live cats and ferrets in its pediatrics program, as announced in an e-mail to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The Physicians Committee—a national nonprofit of 12,000 concerned physicians—applauds the university’s decision to join all other surveyed programs in the United States in using human-relevant training methods, like advanced medical simulators.

“The best way to teach emergency airway intervention is on human-relevant training methods. I commend Washington University for switching to modern methods,” says John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., director of academic affairs for the Physicians Committee. “With this decision, Wash U’s pediatrics training has progressed into the 21st century.”

On Oct. 14, Washington University Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics Gary Silverman, M.D., Ph.D., responded to a Physicians Committee inquiry by writing: “Yes, we ended this and are looking for adoptive ‘parents’ for the cats.” Prior to this decision, pediatrics residents at the school were instructed to force a breathing tube down the throats of live cats and ferrets to practice endotracheal intubation.

Washington University announced in 2013 that it would stop using cats for the same procedure in a different course. In addition, the Department of Defense ended the use of animals in pediatrics residency courses and neonatal resuscitation training as of Jan. 1, 2015.

Now all of the 198 U.S. pediatrics programs surveyed by the Physicians Committee use only nonanimal, human-based education methods. Only one of the 17 Canadian pediatrics residencies continues to use animals: Laval University of Quebec. Dr. Pippin will submit a letter to Laval University Rector Denis Brière, Ph.D., to inform him of the news.

To interview Dr. Pippin, please contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or RPohl@PCRM.org.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

 

Please share this widely and let people know that there are other and better training methods than live animals.

Thank you for spreading the news on animal awareness!

 

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Good News: TripAdvisor Will Stop Selling Tickets to Some of the Cruelest Tourist Activities

There was a time when it was believed that dolphins enjoyed swimming with humans. That might have been true when the animals were able to swim with someone by choice but being held captive to perform this kind of action is cruel and inhumane.

There also might have been a time when elephants would have helped a human by letting this person sit on their back. But being forced to carry tourists around has nothing to do with choice or pleasure or freedom.

And to believe that baby tigers would willingly leave their mothers to sit on a tourist’s lap is either very naive or worse.

Trip Advisor has listened. The company will stop supporting this kind of cruelty.

You can read more here:

https://www.worldanimalprotection.us.org/news/tripadvisor-stop-selling-tickets-some-worlds-cruelest-tourist-activities?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=us_wine&utm_content=general_supporters_27_october_2016_1700

You can write to Trip Advisor and tell them how much you appreciate their decision:

https://www.tripadvisorsupport.com/hc/en-us

 

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Good News:Virtual Reality Surgical System Replaces Practice with Live Pigs

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 12.44.25 AM

photo: Jo-Anne McArthur, WeAnimals

Technologies in many fields are advancing at an ever faster pace. Some of these save lives, and some of these also save lives of animals in a different ways.

Many doctors had to do their training on live animals, but now there are some fascinating replacement technologies that not only save human lives but also the lives of other beings.

Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) doctors-in-training at renowned Rush University Medical Center in Chicago will no longer practice surgical procedures on live pigs. Thanks to a collaboration between the hospital and PETA, medical residents will now train on a state-of-the-art virtual reality surgical system.

“The surgical experience of our residents takes a huge leap forward as we move toward a more humane and effective method of simulation training,” said Dr. Xavier Pombar, the OB/GYN residency director at Rush University. “Representatives from PETA have worked steadfastly with our department toward this goal. I cannot thank them enough for their efforts.”

Now this news has to spread so that more doctors can learn without harming other beings.

You can learn more here:

http://www.peta.org/blog/obgyn-residents-trade-practice-live-pigs-high-tech-simulators/?utm_campaign=063016%20OBGYN%20Residents%20Trade%20Practice%20Live%20Pigs%20High%20Tech%20Simulators&utm_source=PETA%20E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert

http://www.pcrm.org/media/online/may2016/hennepin-county-live-sheep-for-medial-training

http://www.rushu.rush.edu/education-and-training/rush-center-clinical-skills-and-simulation

https://www.digitalfrog.com

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The Worst Zoo in the World: Gaza

Sadly, this “title” would probably still fit many small zoos and animal parks in the world. Luckily for the animals at the Gaza Zoo, the animal welfare organization Four Paws has started rescue efforts, but there still is much work to do.

“Dear animal friends,

FOUR PAWS has returned to the Gaza Strip.

Over the last few days, a FOUR PAWS team has been helping the desperate, suffering animals at the Khan Younis Zoo, described by some media outlets as “the worst zoo in the world”.

There are still several animals living at the zoo, including Laziz, the last remaining captive tiger in Gaza, along with monkeys, birds, emu, deer, turtles and a couple of porcupines, all of which are still sadly living in very poor conditions.

Thanks to the support of generous people like you, FOUR PAWS has been able to provide much-needed food to the undernourished animals, which has led to visible improvements in the health of the animals, including Laziz the tiger.

In addition to providing food, we were able to check on all of the remaining animals, provide veterinary treatment, and even relocate some of the animals to larger enclosures, including a pelican, the two porcupines and some turtles.

Even though our team was only permitted to stay for a limited time in Gaza, we’ve met with the responsible people on site and we will continue helping beyond our departure.

We are still working to find a permanent solution for the animals in Gaza, and we will continue to keep you updated on the situation.”

“P.S. We are 100% funded by voluntary donations. Your gift today means we can do more!”

You can read more here:
http://www.four-paws.us/news-press/press-releases/four-paws-back-to-work-in-gaza/

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Good News Is in Reach: US Congress Approves Bill Reducing Animal Testing

The European Union has set the pace when banning animal testing for cosmetics. Now the United States Congress has approved a bill that specifically gives “preference for the development and use of alternative methods and strategies” instead of animal testing.

The road towards the elimination of all animal testing remains bumpy and deadly for many animals, but this is an encouraging step in the right direction.

Wayne Pacelle, Humane Society of the United States, writes: “The Senate gave final approval to a bill that revamps a 40-year-old federal law regulating the use of chemicals. The bill contains – for the first time in any broader environmental and health protection statute – an explicit decree from Congress to minimize animal testing and to create a clear preference for the development and use of alternative methods and strategies. The section of the bill relating to animal testing, championed by Senators Cory Booker, D-NJ, and David Vitter, R-La. – and strongly supported by Senators Tom Udall, D-NM, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and committee ranking member Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. – was its own hard-fought battle, and the inclusion of this language will almost certainly accelerate the movement away from animal tests for chemicals, pesticides, biocides, cosmetics, and other potentially dangerous substances in risk assessment protocols or for safety substantiation.

Once President Obama signs this legislation, as he is expected to do in the next few days, it gives the Environmental Protection Agency an unmistakable mandate from Congress that it must continue to embrace 21stcentury science and wean itself off outdated animal testing protocols, which are expensive, slow, and often non-predictive of the human circumstance. I wrote recently that the EPA is dramatically decreasing animal tests for pesticide hazard assessments, and is now working to replace animal tests in its endocrine screening program. In fact, in 2016, the EPA proposed to waive skin lethal dose tests for pesticide formulations.

The National Institutes of Health, the largest funder of biomedical research in the world, has allocated tens of millions more in funding to the development of non-animal methods and approaches, and this work will build on the battery of non-animal-testing methods already in use and increasingly widely accepted by scientists. In testimony before a key Senate panel this year, NIH director Francis Collins predicted “that ten years from now, safety testing for newly developed drugs as well as assessment of the potential toxicity of numerous environmental exposures will be largely carried out using human biochips that are loaded with cells accurately representing heart, liver, kidney, muscle, brain and other tissues. This approach, made possible by the dramatic development of induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS cells), will mostly replace animal testing for drug toxicity and environmental sensing, giving results that are more accurate, at lower cost, and with higher through-put.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a consensus body of 36 member nations, has embraced the concept of using the best new techniques and approaches for risk assessment, and that will also accelerate the move away from animal testing on the international stage.

To be sure, this is a global movement, and there is progress on many fronts. In 2013, the European Union banned cosmetic animal testing and trade, and India followed suit the next year. Earlier this week, we announced that Australia will soon join that club.

We are making gains in other domains where animal testing has long been a feature of risk assessment. In 2012, our Humane Society International team in Europe worked to reduce animal testing requirements, perhaps by as much as 50 percent, for risk assessment for pesticide and biocides. We’ve also succeeded in convincing Brazil, Canada, the EU, and India to delete the requirement for a notorious one-year dog pesticide-poisoning study requirement (the United States deleted the requirement back in 2007).

In the past year HSI also convinced the EU to adopt animal replacement methods for skin/eye irritation, skin allergy, skin lethal dose testing and a reduced animal use test for reproductive toxicity under its chemicals law – potentially sparing 2.6 million animals the effects of these painful tests, while the Indian health ministry banned repeat animal testing of new drug imports.

In all, there is evidence around the globe that a combination of moral intention to reduce and eliminate animal testing and new technologies that give us superior options are ushering in a new paradigm in the realm of safety testing and drug efficacy work. This is the humane economy in action. The long-established practice of poisoning animals for a variety of purposes is on the way out, and it will be replaced by human biology that will give us better results and not leave a trail of animal victims in our wake. The language in the TSCA reform legislation to be signed by President Obama is the latest and, in some ways, the clearest evidence of this trend. For that reason, this legislation may be the most important animal protection gain in the entire 114th Congress.”

You can read more here:

Congress sends landmark bill to reduce animal use in chemical testing to Obama

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2014/02/federal_bill_to_end_cosmetics_testing_introduced_in_Congress.html

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2576

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2858

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