Circus World animals to get more scrutiny


Why wasn’t this news reported when Circus World was open for business and giving elephant rides to children?

See letter from September 2 regarding the potential TB exposure. Illegally imported elephants pose risk at Circus World

It is time to stop the use of elephants as entertainment.

BARABOO — Animals brought in to perform at Circus World Museum will be under more scrutiny than in past years.

The decision comes on the heels of an elephant owner who brought four elephants without an import permit to Circus World this summer.

Dr. Paul McGraw, an assistant state veterinarian with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said any exotic animal that comes into the state is required to have the permit. The elephants’ owner, Louie J. Delmoral, received a warning in late June.

Then a U.S. Department of Agriculture animal health technician and a DATCP field veterinarian said that one of the elephants was not eligible for travel or public contact in Wisconsin. The same elephant was exposed to another elephant that was suffering from tuberculosis at Carson and Barnes Circus in Oklahoma, according to a DATCP report in July.

It was determined the elephant at CWM be removed from Wisconsin or stay with the other three elephants in Baraboo as long as it didn’t have contact with the public.

Dr. Elisabeth Patton, a veterinarian program manager with DATCP, said there is no evidence that the elephant in Baraboo was sick with tuberculosis.

“Based on the medical testing and the increased level of monitoring given to it, the elephant didn’t pose a threat to the public,” Patton said.

McGraw said Delmoral did not violate any USDA rules.

“We just felt it was prudent for the elephant to stay in Wisconsin until they were ready to move,” he said.

There was no danger to anyone who came in contact with the elephant, McGraw said.

“There’s never been a case where an elephant gave a human tuberculosis,” Delmoral said. “We operate under very strict USDA guidelines.”

Delmoral, who has been training and showing elephants for 30 years, said he would not have been at CWM this past season if he was not in compliance.

“The USDA would not allow it,” he said.

CWM Executive Director Steve Freese said he is working with the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to make sure those who bring animals to perform are in compliance before they are allowed onto the grounds.

“The state doesn’t tell me or show me if the animal owner is in compliance or not,” Freese said.

He said there is no “paper trail” at Circus World where he knows who is in compliance and what animal trainers or owners are not.

“How can I fix anything if they (the state and federal agencies) don’t tell me what is happening?” Freese said.

He said he is working with the USDA and DATCP to learn when they are visiting CWM to check the paperwork of the animal owners.

“Absolutely, we are making certain changes,” he said. “We want this to be a fun and safe environment for people to visit and to work.”

Circus World animals to get more scrutiny.

Minneapolis chicken rescuers believe a bird in the hand is better than a bird on the plate | Twin Cities Daily Planet

AFA Annual Meeting

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Sequoya Branch, Madison Public Library
4340 Tokay Boulevard, Madison

Special guests: Christine Heppermann, author of City Chickens, will discuss her new book about Chicken Run Rescue.

She’ll be joined by Mary Britton Clouse and Bert Clouse from Chicken Run Rescue.

6:00 – 7:15 Guest speakers
7:30 – 8:30 AFA meeting (all welcome to attend!)

Please come and meet the AFA Board of Directors, get a recap on 2012 and learn about our plans for the coming year.

Vegan refreshments will be served.

Read full article here:

The Clouses’ devotion to chickens goes beyond rescuing individual birds. They are determined to get chickens off people’s plates and into their laps. They advocate a plant-based diet (for people – chickens are omnivores) with no eggs and no chickens.

“Chickens are warm and silky and nice to hold,” said Mary. “They are companion animals, not food.

Minneapolis chicken rescuers believe a bird in the hand is better than a bird on the plate | Twin Cities Daily Planet.

The Badger Herald: All animals deserve sympathy felt for UW cats

From an early age, we are taught to be kind to pets while we ignore where our meat comes from. This is a good way to stop children from becoming serial killers, but there’s no logic behind it. What makes a cat morally different from a pig?

Read full article here:

The Badger Herald: All animals deserve sympathy felt for UW cats.

Amy M. Kerwin: Would you do that to a chimpanzee?

A Sunday Vegan Dinner with Author Jonathan Balcombe on October 7th – Hosted By Primates Incorporated. RSVP by Sept. 25 here.

The Sept. 27 Science Festival at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Center will feature a demonstration called “Are You Smarter Than a Monkey?” Laboratory staff will invite children to interact with touch screens just as monkeys do in the labs.

When people think of primates touching screens, they probably picture chimpanzees. Thanks in large part to vocal advocates like Jane Goodall, chimpanzees have received much respect and recognition through the passing of the CHIMP Act. Society is catching on that retirement of these intelligent beings (approximately 1,000 are housed in laboratories) is the ethical thing to do since the act allows federal funding for the retirement of chimpanzees into spacious and enriching primate sanctuaries.

Today, the primates interacting with touch screens are likely rhesus monkeys, one of the most prevalent species of primates used in research.

There are approximately 125,000 monkeys housed in research facilities across the U.S. (8,600 are in Wisconsin laboratories) according to the 2010 USDA Animal Usage Report.

Not all studies using primates are terminal, and various researchers throughout the country have contacted me in search of a primate sanctuary.

Unfortunately, funding for the retirement of monkeys from research facilities is hard to come by — and reputable primate sanctuaries are full or near capacity. Sanctuary directors often have to turn down researchers hoping to retire animals. Without the retirement option, monkeys are instead sold for more research, kept for breeding or euthanized.

Even if there were space to retire monkeys, some primate researchers actually discourage monkey retirement because they want to re-use the monkeys in other studies. But more progressive researchers around the country are starting to wonder why we aren’t helping monkeys the way we are helping chimpanzees.

Primate retirement is an issue close to my heart. I applied to work at a UW primate laboratory in 1999 and I worked with nearly 100 rhesus monkeys for five years. I quickly discovered how smart these animals are and learned to appreciate and admire the vast range of their individual personalities.

I also discovered that the minimum housing guidelines were inadequate given their intelligence and the intricate social life they would otherwise be able to have in the wild. Rhesus monkeys can live to 35 years in captivity and are typically housed using USDA standards: a cage size of 4.3 square feet and a height of 2.5 feet. Many get a partner, and the cage size doubles. In some protocols — if it’s claimed the scientific technique justifies it — monkeys are not fortunate enough to even get a cagemate.

I started questioning our research results because of the prevalence of abnormal behavior, the stressful handling practices, and the unexpected deaths that occurred. I decided to resign, leaving my rhesus friends behind forever as I simultaneously began questioning the animal research industry as a whole.

It turns out animals dying from laboratory accidents and illnesses are considered “side effects” of doing research. For example, in a 2011 article describing how three monkeys died in a Louisiana research facility after being left in a chute between their outdoor enclosures, the director of the facility said: “Of the 6,500 primates at the center, they expect to lose 3-6 percent every year.”

When each monkey costs $5,000-$8,000 for a study and $6-$12 per day to care for them (depending on the institution), accidental primate deaths should be reported and evaluated annually for a proper cost-benefit analysis to occur.

I just ask that society be reminded of what monkeys actually have to endure day in and day out in the name of helping humankind. Touch screens may help reduce abnormal behavior, but they are certainly no solution to fixing the housing environment or relieving stress during research procedures.

When it comes to giving back to the monkeys or planning for their welfare, somehow their widely accepted similarity to humans seems to fade away as the research industry continues to support the minimal housing and care guidelines that have been around since the 1970s. Using thousands of primates in research without accepting they deserve more from their environment is neither ethical nor innovative. We can do better.

Amy Kerwin is a former primate researcher and founder of the Wisconsin based nonprofit organization, Primates Incorporated. for more information.

Amy M. Kerwin: Would you do that to a chimpanzee?
AMY M. KERWIN | president, Primates Incorporated

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Amy M. Kerwin: Would you do that to a chimpanzee?.

Being vegan on the UW-Madison campus: Five best bets for student herbivores – Isthmus | The Daily Page

Hannah West, Alliance for Animals’ Vegan Outreach Coordinator and Mad City Vegan Fest coordinator knows “vegan” in Madison. . .

Vegan students feel welcome in Madison. That’s according to Hannah West, a music education student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. West, 22, is involved in several groups working to bring more vegan choices to the UW campus and area restaurants, but says Madison is already ahead of the curve when it comes to vegan dining.

“When you go to a restaurant in Madison, even one that’s not explicitly vegetarian or vegan, there’s usually a vegan option, which provides vegans with a positive experience and a sense of being supported in their choices,” says West.

I took some guidance from West before beginning my search for inexpensive, tasty vegan food within walking or biking distance of campus. Here are my top five picks. Click below to see Cheryl’s top five picks!

Being vegan on the UW-Madison campus: Five best bets for student herbivores – Isthmus | The Daily Page.

Charles Talbert: Protecting animal rights is good citizenship

In Thursday’s guest column, UW-Madison neuroscientists defending animal research called those from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who question their work “militants,” and the questions themselves “senseless attacks.” They characterize statements in a legal suit filed against them as an action that “bypasses our system of justice.”

Their rhetoric clouds the issue. Citizens who fund a public university have a right to question the use of their taxes for experiments whose only obvious benefit is the financial one to the department that pays the researchers’ salaries. Yet UW stonewalled for years before making its records public.

That’s understandable. Many people would rather lose their hearing than have animals used in experiments. And for what purpose: to learn that two hearing aids are more effective than one?

Oversight of their experiments cannot be entrusted solely to those who conduct them or to their peers. These researchers mistake “senseless attacks” for what’s actually good citizenship.

— Charles Talbert, Monona

Read more:

Charles Talbert: Protecting animal rights is good citizenship.

PETA, despite reputation, could be useful on campus : Daily-cardinal

We have all heard the stories of the extremes members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have gone to in order to turn heads and call attention to incidents they determine to be animal cruelty. So upon learning of PETA’s accusations that a UW-Madison animal research lab violated animal welfare laws while using cats to perform brain experiments, many of our initial reactions were to question the legitimacy of the claims. But while the group is controversial and sometimes disruptive, we welcome its insight onto our campus.

Animal research has seemingly always been a topic of debate, and rightfully so. At UW-Madison in the 1950s, experimenter Harry Harlow separated monkeys from their mothers to study childhood attachment styles, despite the notion that maternal deprivation typically has a severe negative impact on psychological development. In other experiments, baby monkeys were totally isolated from other monkeys for up to 24 months, leaving them seriously psychologically disturbed.

But today, legal guidelines are in place to ensure animal research is conducted in a humane manner. As long as animal experimentation follows the regulations set in place, we do not disprove of it.

In the situation at hand, we do not particularly trust either side with their accounts of what happened in the UW-Madison lab. PETA alleges “Double Trouble,” an orange tabby cat used in the experiments, underwent several invasive surgeries and was eventually euthanized. The lab, however, said the cat was used in legally sound experiments on cochlear implants. Lab officials said the experiments have revealed information that has allowed a young boy to hear.

Without knowing exactly what occurred within the confines of the lab room, we strongly support the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture’s ongoing investigation into the experiment.

If animal welfare guidelines were breached, the lab deserves to be penalized. While we believe the Food and Drug Administration and other government entities that hold researchers accountable for abiding by regulations are enough, and PETA is often more disruptive than constructive, we welcome its watchdog role onto our campus.

If PETA is willing to work with the university’s researchers in a constructive way to improve experimentation tactics, it could bring a beneficial perspective to the table.

And while we trust the FDA is competent to hold experimenters accountable to engaging in lawful research practices, having the extra check on researchers can help ensure no valid cases of animal cruelty slip through the cracks.

Possibly most importantly, the group brings publicity and debate to controversial issues, such as animal experimentation, and forces members of society to engage in constructive dialogue surrounding ways to improve the treatment of animals. Conversations such as these that call into question the status quo are part of what makes UW-Madison the intellectual powerhouse that it is.

The Editorial Board is composed of 7 members of The Daily Cardinal. Please send all responses to

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PETA, despite reputation, could be useful on campus : Daily-cardinal.

The Badger Herald: PETA protests in UW Library Mall

Demonstrators supporting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals displayed graphic photographs portraying a cat used in experiments to protest the University of Wisconsin’s alleged acts of animal cruelty Tuesday.

The group, carrying signs reading “UW: End Cruel Cat Experiments,” gathered at Library Mall yesterday afternoon as PETA worked to raise awareness about its allegations against the university. The protest’s main objective was to spread the message to UW students and the rest of the public by providing provocative pictures of cats that were forced to participate in UW research studies, according to Jeremy Beckham, research project manager for PETA’s Laboratory Investigation Department.

Beckham said PETA filed a lawsuit against the university after receiving information about a three-year cat study UW participated in and kept secret from the public. PETA also obtained several gruesome pictures of a cat involved in the study that Beckham said UW did not want to release.

“Taxpayers need to be fully aware where their money is going,” Beckham said. “Three million dollars of tax money has been used to fund these cruel projects.”

September Jaworek, a volunteer at a local animal shelter and an owner of a cat business, joined the protest by handing out pamphlets in an effort to inform the public of what she called “an uproar of animal cruelty at UW.”

Jaworek said many of UW’s techniques and experiment protocols were largely inconsiderate of the animals’ pain levels.

“[UW researchers] are putting steel implants in the cats’ heads and drilling coils in their eyes,” Jaworek said. “UW justifies their reasoning for these cat studies, but they are not taking into consideration the pain these cats are experiencing.”

Read full article here:

The Badger Herald: PETA protests in UW Library Mall.

Daily Cardinal – Forum covers ethics in animal research

Two days after an animal rights group criticized the University of Wisconsin-Madison for its treatment of research animals, the university held a previously scheduled forum on the ethics behind animal research.

Before the forum began, associate professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine Eric Sandgren introduced the forum and discussed the recent allegations made against UW-Madison by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Sandgren said after checking into all of the complaints waged by PETA, none of the accusations were correct.

The forum featured Dr. Lori Gruen, author of “Ethics and Animals: An Introduction” who presented on the different interpretations of ethics behind research, followed by a response from associate professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health Robert Streiffer.

During her presentation, Gruen discussed the need to decide if the research not only had potential medical benefits, but also if the benefits outweigh the costs to the animal.

“Whatever suffering is caused, whatever costs are approved, the benefits have to be greater,” Gruen said.

Gruen drew on previous animal research programs, mostly programs involving chimpanzees, to illustrate examples of the scientific benefits not outweighing the costs.

“Most animals have the same valuable features [as humans], and we disvalue those features in them and in ourselves if we go forward in that way,” Gruen said. “Sometimes even when you think what you are doing is going to be beneficial, it’s not going to be beneficial.”

Streiffer stressed the need for a calculation to be done before each research project, adding up every possible medical benefit against every possible cost to animals to ensure that only the projects with real medical benefit will go forward.

Vet student Cynthia Wise, who attended the forum, said the topic was important because it creates necessary conversations to raise awareness of the ethical decisions behind animal research.

“I feel as a veterinarian, it’s part of our profession to be informed [about animal research] and be able to educate and if I am not informed then I don’t think I can speak about it,” Wise said.

See full article here:

Romney Ryan Record Of Animal Abuse : Indybay

In 1997 Romney bought German animal torture company Behring and expanded its animal research to Miami, Florida renaming it Dade Behring. He invested in
slaughterhouse products, brought brutal rodeo into the nonviolent Olympics, had an aggressive promotion of toxic animal flesh ads on Clear Channel, refused to sign a bill acknowledging the right of students to refuse to dissect animals in biology classes, filled the state wildlife agency with that 4.5% of the population which hunts,
treated his family dog terribly while breaking Massachusetts law. He has harmed millions of animals. He said “I’ve always been a rodent and rabbit hunter.” Rob Portman, touted as a possible vice presidential candidate, is a leader of the drive to bring hunters into the national parks, endangering citizens, their children, and international tourists, not to mention the animals. Paul Ryan voted no on protecting horses and burros. Ryan has voted consistently for rancher and dairy industry subsidies which benefit Wisconsin agribusiness cartels.

There is much more here:

Revised Sept 17: Romney Ryan Record Of Animal Abuse : Indybay.