Archive for April 25, 2012


***THIS IS NOT AN ACTION ALERT. PLEASE DO NOT SEND THESE EMAILS***

The following text is translated from the Greenhill campaign site in Italy.

fbr billboard edited by american activists

Simulposted with Negotiation Is Over

That the vivisectors are concerned about the amendment that could pass the Senate is not new. The various operations of Garattini and other vivisectors, advertising campaigns, press releases, all the evidence. But yesterday we had information of another move by the American vivisectors. The Foundation for Biomedical Research , the same who designed a pro-vivisection campaign we talked about recently, has sent to its members and supporters a newsletter about what is happening in Italy, seeking to put pressure on the Senate Committee XIV. From across the ocean is greatly concerned about and the reason is that even a small achievement as the prohibition of breeding of some species may be taken as an example to other European countries and, beginning to create serious problems to the lobby of Torture .

For this reason, the FBR, which is one of the most important lobby of vivisectors worldwide, calls on all supporters to send e-mail to Rossana Boldi (fourteenth President of the Senate Committee) , the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Europe.

Clearly we have moved the waters that were to remain quiet and now pharmaceutical companies, farmers, research centers and vivisectors are coalescing, still trying to keep science in a dark cage made of captivity and suffering for millions of animals. Even a small step towards an ethic of respect for other animals. And then tell us who want to return to the Middle Ages!

Below the full text of the English-version of the email that FBR certainly did not want to end up in the hands of animal rights.

The addresses to which FBR supporters are instructed to write:

Please Note: NIO has deleted the email addresses to prevent any accidental emails being sent

 


We understand that the vivisectors around the world can not silence the conscience of 86% of Italians said they were against vivisection!

Operation, We’re Mad is not over, you still hear your voice!

EMAIL OF THE FBR:

From: Foundation for Biomedical Research <info@fbresearch.org>
Date: Thu, Apr 12, 2012
Subject: Follow-Up: ITALY – Biomedical Research and the Animal Rights Movement

BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH BEING THREATENED NOW!!

We need your help…NOW!

Many of you have already sent an email, but if you haven’t already, please consider doing so.

WE NEED YOU TO SEND AN EMAIL TODAY!!!

All across the world, animal rights groups are launching campaigns designed to block biomedical research using animals.

There’s a comprehensive effort to block the air transportation of non-human primates. And now in Italy, Senators are close to passing a national law that would block the breeding of certain species of animals for research.

We need your help…NOW!

On February 2, 2012, the Italian Chamber of Deputies passed the law. Now the Senate will vote on DDL n. 3129 in the coming weeks.

Article 14 (part C) of this law states: “…to forbid the breeding of primates, dogs and cats destined to the experimental purposes as per letter b, in the whole of the national territory.” The European Union passed a directive that is intended to harmonize all standards for lab animals (Directive 2010/63/UE), yet Italy is going beyond that directive, so we must support the biomedical research community and do all that we can to inform the Senate and prevent this bill from becoming law.

PLEASE…we NEED each of you to send an email to members of the Italian Senate. Here are the 6 things you can do to help right now:

1) COPY AND PASTE the Italian and English message (messaggio) that follows.

2) FOLLOW your institutional policy for sending emails like this. Use your personal email account (if needed). Do not identify your company or your university, but identify your interest, that animal research is essential to your studies to find cancer treatments, or Parkinson’s disease, etc… (if your policy so allows).

3) USE the format below for both subject line and content. Our messaging is intentionally positive and affirming. If you prefer to write something else that is, of course, your choice.

4) SEND the email to SEN Rossana Boldi (14th chair of the Senate Committee), Renato Balduzzi (Minister of Health), and Enzo Moavero Milanesi (Minister of European Affairs):

Boldi_r@posta.senato.it
Segreteriaministro@sanita.it
info@politicheeuropee.it

SUBJECT LINE: The future of biomedical research in Italy – DDL n. 3129

MESSAGE:

Honorable Senator,

As a researcher I’m ‘following with great interest the draft law No. 3129 “Provisions for the fulfillment of obligations deriving from Italy’s membership of the European Communities – Community Law 2011 “currently in the Senate Policies Commission of the European Union. In particular, Art. 14, are contained the provisions transposing the European Directive 2010/63, which would be very disadvantageous for biomedical research. In fact, the implementation of these provisions would make it virtually impossible for many of the research currently underway at Italian and international, and frustrate the efforts made through the adoption of Directive 2010/63 by the Communities’ European Union, to harmonize standards and conduct of studies involving the use of laboratory animals. If these provisions were approved, in addition to the impact on Italian research, the success of the anti-vivisection movement in Italy would undoubtedly encourage similar efforts in other countries, using the Italian campaign as a precedent.

The drugs, therapies, diagnostic tools, treatments and vaccines that we develop for pets, children, adults and seniors, all depend on the continuation of biomedical research. These times are exciting. Never in history have we been close to major breakthroughs that promise to improve the health of both humans and our animals. A discovery made in an Italian university now becomes another element essential for science and universities around the world.

I therefore hope that the rules contained in Art. 14 could be revised so ‘to make them compatible with the needs of biomedical research and also with the content and spirit of the European Directive 2010/63.

I have confidence in your continued support for biomedical research in Italy and worldwide.

Sincerely,

5) SIGNATURE: If institutional policy with your employer allows you to identify your

job title and affiliation then please do so. If not, please use your personal email
account and use your best judgment with regard to describing your job affiliation
and title.

6) BLIND COPY (bcc) FBR info@fbresearch.org on emails you send to Italy.

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Extreme measures: Jacqueline Traide is restrained and has her mouth clamped open while being subjected to brutal animal testing practices at the Lush store in London's Regent Street today

  • Jacqueline Traide force-fed and given injections at Lush’s Regent St store
  • Eyes stream from irritant and arm bleeds when she tries to resist needle
  • Humiliated and restrained for ten hours in protest against animal testing
  • Shocked onlookers stop to take pictures and video on their mobile phones

Watch video HERE.

by Paul Harris (Daily Mail UK)

They dragged her along with a rope around her neck and pushed her down on a bench.

It was feeding time for Jacqueline Traide and you could tell from the look on her face she was terrified.

First, they stretched her mouth open with two metal hooks attached to a strap around her head. The man in the white coat grabbed hold of her ponytail and tugged it until she tilted backwards.

Horrific treatment: The 24-year-old re-enacts a procedure where cosmetics are dropped into an animal's eyes

By the time he had finished spooning food down her throat, she was choking, gagging and trying to break free.

For the next ten hours, this attractive, 24-year-old artist was given injections, had her skin abraded and smothered in lotions and potions – then endured having a strip of her hair shaved off in front of stunned onlookers in one of Britain’s busiest streets.

Aghast: Horrified shoppers stop, stare and take photos of Miss Traide as she sits on a plinth wired up to 'electrodes' in the shop window

And somewhere else in the world, perhaps in a laboratory carrying out tests for an expensive new mascara, a helpless animal was being subjected to precisely the same treatment.

The difference was that Jacqueline – publicly humiliated, shivering with cold and nursing the red-raw skin on her cheek – was free to go home when the experiment ended.

The animal would have suffered a miserable death.

Making a point: Oliver Cronk force-feeds Miss Traide while attached to a mesh of wires to represent electrodes in a stunt designed in protest against animal testing

Strong-headed: Miss Traide has her hair shaved as is often the case with laboratory animals. Humane Society International and Lush Cosmetics have joined forces to launch the largest-ever global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics

Stunned: Shoppers text and ring friends in shock and disbelief at what they are seeing as Jacqueline lies on a plinth with her eyes bandaged

Jacqueline volunteered for her starring role in the deliberately shocking performance to underline a campaign aimed at drawing attention to the pain and cruelty inflicted on animals during laboratory tests on cosmetics.

Dressed in nothing but a flesh-coloured body stocking, she was put on display in the shop window of Lush cosmetic store’s branch in Regent Street, London, to re-enact widely used tests.

The ‘cruelty-free’ chain is helping to spearhead a Humane Society International campaign to end cosmetic testing on animals.

Thousands of shoppers, tourists and office workers witnessed Jacqueline, a social sculpture student at Oxford Brookes university, being roughly manhandled and administered by performance artist Oliver Cronk, dressed as a clipboard-toting lab technician.

Her eyes streamed from an irritant he sprayed into them at intervals and her arm began to bleed when she struggled to resist an injection.

The Oxford Brookes university student was 'experimented' on by performance artist Oliver Cronk, dressed as a clipboard-toting lab technician

Passengers craned from open-top buses as passersby took mobile phone footage of the spectacle before signing a petition or simply turning and walking away

Perhaps the most startling moment was when he gripped her head and used electronic clippers to shave a large strip from her hairline – common practice in laboratories when monitors or electrodes need to be attached to an animal’s skin.

Passengers craned from open-top buses as passersby took mobile phone footage of the spectacle – before signing a petition or simply turning and walking away.

Jacqueline, who appeared nervous when I spoke to her before she took up position, remained mute throughout her ordeal – but gave the clear impression that not all her pain was an act.

She told me: ‘I hope it will plant the seed of a new awareness in people to really start thinking about what they go out and buy and what goes into producing it.’

Moments later, someone fastened the rope around her neck.

Jacqueline remained mute throughout her ordeal ¿ but gave the clear impression that not all her pain was an act

Lush campaign manager Tamsin Omond said: ‘The ironic thing is that if it was a beagle in the window and we were doing all these things to it, we’d have the police and RSPCA here in minutes.

But somewhere in the world, this kind of thing is happening to an animal every few seconds on average.

The difference is, it’s normally hidden. We need to remind people it is still going on.’
Scientists have long used laboratory animals for medical and drug testing and continue to do so.

‘But although animal testing for cosmetics was banned in the EU three years ago, it is still legal in Britain to sell products animal-tested in other parts of the world, including the USA and Canada. In China, such testing is a legal requirement.

Humane Society spokeswoman Wendy Higgins said it was ‘morally unthinkable’ that cosmetic companies should continue to profit from animal suffering, adding there could be ‘no justification for subjecting animals to pain for the sake of producing lipstick and eye shadow’.

Some of the paraphernalia used on Jacqueline as the protesters attempted to closely mimic the conditions which face animals in labs around the world

by Kevin Gosztola (firedoglake)

Twenty-eight protesters were preemptively arrested in DeWitt, New York as they tried to reach Hancock Air Force Base for a demonstration outside the gates against the use of drones. The protesters were charged with “failing to obtain a town permit,” according to the Post-Standard.

Concerned citizens from Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rome and Albany had planned a “Peace Walk” to the base, where Reaper drones are present. They planned to protest “murderous use” of drones, which violates international law, just as they did last year. But the group reached an intersection near a commercial strip mall and about ten sheriff’s cars pulled out to block the road.

In the parking lot was a Greyhound bus for arrestees. The police began grabbing people and saying everyone was under arrest. Debra Sweet, director of the World Can’t Wait, reported the police in the town of DeWitt were issuing all sorts of orders. It was confusing. They were saying you could put down your signs and go back to where you came and avoid arrest. They also were saying anyone walking away would be charged with resisting arrest.

Sandy Kessler, who is from Rochester, said anyone walking on the road with a sign would be arrested.

I said, what if I put my sign back? He said no you will get arrested. I said why? He said there can be no individual protests, no group protests. You don’t have a permit. Well, nobody really ever gets a permit. Last year, with the big one where thirty-eight people got arrested, yes, we got a permit. But we just decided we really didn’t need a permit. This is America.

Everyone there to demonstrate got together and forced the head sheriff to explain what was going on. Sweet said the sheriff explained in DeWitt “you are not allowed to have any sort of gatherings for any reason with signs and to parade in the street without permit.” After about five to ten minutes of negotiations, he backed off.

“It is apparent that many of you didn’t know a permit was required, he told the demonstrators. And, if you make the choice to leave you will not be arrested. But, at least ten people found this all completely unacceptable. They challenged the police and kept on heading toward the base and were arrested.

The police were not in riot gear. All of the people there were videotaped. Everyone who parked where they customarily park for vigil protests received parking citations, according to Sweet.

Kessler said this has “been going on for years since we found out there have been drones flying out of there.” She told Upstate Drone Action she saw police and military high-fiving.

These were arrests “based on prior knowledge of our plans and on the content of our message,” contended Sweet. She added I am sure if we had held a support rally for the Air Force or for drones they would not have treated us like this at all.

Reportedly three people who were arrested had their phones confiscated. Two people had their video cameras confiscated. A person had their phone and video camera confiscated. They were given receipts but their property was not returned, even though they were released with a citation. The citation read, “No permit.”

Video from the protest has been posted by Syracuse Peace Council. It shows a sheriff telling protesters to head to a parking lot. He is telling them he is not here to discuss the law. That is why they are going to go to court. He tells a woman at around three minutes into the video that because they were in a “formation,” beating drums and carrying signs they are to be arrested. The woman challenges him and he tells her, “I didn’t make the law, ma’am. I’m just enforcing the law just like you guys want to enforce international law.”

At the six-and-a-half minute mark, you can see the sheriffs tell the protesters that they understand people weren’t here to break the law but they have to understand the town requires permits. There’s a compelling section of the video at the eight-minute mark where a woman, who appears to be affiliated with the ACLU gets clarification on what demonstrators would not be able to do without a permit. She informs another officer, politely, that the sheriff’s understanding of the permit law in DeWitt is “extremely problematic.” She makes sure the sheriff understands a challenge to this interpretation will be coming in court.

There’s an interview with a man in a wool cap and sunglasses twelve minutes into the video where he explains he is trying to protest militarism and that this is the wrong direction. He says if Americans want to protect their rights and the rights of innocent people being killed in so many countries by drones, people need to take action. [At the fifteen minute mark, the permit law is read by the woman who appears to have some affiliation with the ACLU.]

This clampdown by DeWitt police comes days after peace activists of the three-day convergence “Trifecta Resista” were met by stormtroopers at the gate of Whiteman Air Force Base. They were there to protest not only drones but also nuclear weapons and the continued detention of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks.

In the video above, the military police can be seen doing some kind of fascist goose step toward the protesters. They smack their wooden batons on their police shields as they advance with jackbooted bravado and close in on a small group of activists singing songs with Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly leading them.

This response to demonstrations is not coming from city governments. It is nearly obvious that this repressive conduct is being ordered by the military and federal government. The authorities are afraid of people’s efforts to protest against drones because they could influence public opinion on a technology that is still relatively new. And, undoubtedly, this only empowers the activists who daringly and boldly confront the military industrial-complex on a regular basis in this country.

Update

Upstate Drone Action has posted a press release on the action. The posting includes a copy of the “indictment” they were trying to symbolically deliver to the base.

The drone attacks either originating at Hancock or supported here are a deliberate illegal use of force against another nation, and as such are a felonious violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.

By giving material support to the drone program, you as individuals are violating the Constitution, dishonoring your oath, and committing war crimes.

We charge the chain of command, from President Barack Obama, to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, to Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, to every drone crew, to every service member supporting or defending these illegal actions with the following crimes: extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation of national sovereignty, and the killing of innocent civilians.

We demand that they immediately stop these crimes, and be accountable to the people of the United States and Afghanistan.

DailyMail, April 24, 2012

In a scene of inconceivable horror, these slaughtered elephant carcasses show the barbaric lengths poachers will go to in their hunt for nature’s grim booty.

The bodies were among a herd of 22 animals massacred in a helicopter-borne attack by professionals who swooped over their quarry.

The scene beneath the rotor blades would have been chilling – panicked mothers shielding their young, hair-raising screeches and a mad scramble through the blood-stained bush as bullets rained down from the sky.

 Barbaric: In a scene too graphic to show in full, the carcasses of some of the 22 massacred elephants lay strewn across Garamba National Park in the Congo after being gunned down by helicopter-borne poachers

Barbaric: In a scene too graphic to show in full, the carcasses of some of the 22 massacred elephants lay strewn across Garamba National Park in the Congo after being gunned down by helicopter-borne poachers

When the shooting was over, all of the herd lay dead, one of the worst such killings in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in living memory.

‘It’s been a long time since we’ve seen something like this,’ said Dr Tshibasu Muamba, head of international cooperation for the Congolese state conservation agency, ICCN, as he surveyed the macarbre scene at Garamba National Park.

After the slaughter, the killers set about removing their tusks and genitals before likely smuggling them through South Sudan or Uganda, which form part of an ‘Ivory Road’ linking Africa to Asia.

Elephant and rhino poaching is surging, conservationists say, an illegal piece of Asia’s scramble for African resources, driven by the growing purchasing power of the region’s newly affluent classes. 

Massacred: Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching earlier this month in South AfricaMassacred: Members of the Pilanesberg National Park Anti-Poaching Unit stand guard as conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching earlier this month in South Africa, where nearly two rhinos a day are being killed to meet demand for the animal’s horn, which is worth more than its weight in gold.
 
Rising trend: Elephant and rhino poaching is being driven by the growing purchasing power of the continent's newly affluent classesRising Elephant and rhino poaching is being driven by the growing purchasing power of the continent’s newly affluent classes.
 
Members of the Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) patrol in Pilanesberg National Park on April 19, 2012
Conservationists and police investigate the scene of a rhino poaching incident on April 19
 

‘Biggest challenge’: Conservation group TRAFFIC, which monitors the global trade in animals, said 2011 was the worst year for large ivory seizures in the more than two decades it has been tracking the trends.

A record number of big ivory seizures were made globally in 2011 and the trend looks set to continue in 2012 as elephant massacres take place from Congo to Cameroon, where as many as 200 of the pachyderms, listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as ‘vulnerable’, were slain in January.

In South Africa, nearly two rhinos a day are being killed to meet demand for the animal’s horn, which is worth more than its weight in gold. More are being killed each week now than were being taken on an annual basis a decade ago.

Conservation group TRAFFIC, which monitors the global trade in animals and plants, said 2011 was the worst year for large ivory seizures in the more than two decades it has been running a database tracking the trends.

After the trade in ivory was banned at the end of the 1980s – a policy implemented to stem a slaughter of elephants at the time – the illegal trade declined sharply, helped by the co-operation of Japan from where most of the demand had been coming.

Conservationists say there was a spike in the mid 1990s driven by emerging Chinese demand that bubbled for a few years, then dropped off as red flags were raised.
 
Targeted: An elephant walks through scrub in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa's North West Province. Hundreds of the pachyderms, listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as 'vulnerable', were slain in 2011Targeted: An elephant walks through scrub in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa’s North West Province. Hundreds of the pachyderms, listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as ‘vulnerable’, were slain in 2011. 
 
Endangered: A White Rhino and her calf walk in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park. More than 180 have been killed in South Africa so far this yearEndangered: A White Rhino and her calf walk in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park. More than 180 have been killed in South Africa so far this year.

Zimbabwe-based Tom Milliken, who manages TRAFFIC’s Elephant Trade Information System, said since 2004 ‘the trend has been escalating upwards again, dramatically so over the last three years.’

Ben Janse van Rensburg, head of enforcement for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the international treaty that governs trade in plants and animals, said: ‘The biggest challenge is that in the last few years there has been a big shift from your ordinary poachers to your organized crime groups.’

This was on display in Congo last month, where investigators determined the poachers shot from the air because of the trajectory of the bullet wounds.

Helicopters do not come cheaply and their use points to a high level of organization.

Ken Maggs, the head of the environmental crimes investigation unit for South African National Parks, said one person recently arrested for trade in rhino horn had 5.1 million rand ($652,400) in cash in the boot of his car.

South Africa is the epicenter of rhino poaching because it hosts virtually the entire population of white rhino – 18,800 head or 93 per cent – and about 40 per cent of Africa’s much rarer black rhino.

As of the middle of April, 181 rhinos had been killed in South Africa in 2012, according to official government data.

At this rate, more than 600 will be lost to poachers this year compared with 448 in 2011.

A decade ago, only a handful were being taken.

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