Animal Legal Defense Fund : Maternal Deprivation: The Cruelest Research Continues

The University of Wisconsin is at it again with the renewal of horrific “maternal deprivation tests.” Recently in hot water for their horrendous experiments on cats, the UW’s psychological tests on monkeys top the list of sadistic treatment of sentient beings.

What do the tests do?

Infant monkeys are immediately removed from their mothers after birth and kept in total isolation. They will be given “surrogate” materials known to provoke heightened anxieties. For 42 days, the confused infants will be subjected to relentless fear and panic-inducing tests while totally isolated. These tests include being intentionally terrified by human researchers, being left alone with a live King snake, and being left alone in a strange room with a strange monkey. They will then be killed and dissected.

Haven’t we done this before?

A 10 year study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has already determined that isolating infant monkeys leads to self-mutilation. Surely we could establish this common-sense observation without tormenting monkeys. Mammals, particularly primates, rely upon their mother for safety and nurturance crucial to their psychological well-being. One only needs to observe humans, or animals in the wild, to see that distressing experiences, while deprived of one’s mother, are terrifically destructive. There is no justification for continually frightening baby monkeys and depriving them of basic care.

In the late 1950s, Harry Harlow’s infamous University of Wisconsin tests, in which he psychologically tortured baby monkeys, caused such an outcry that amendments were later made to strengthen the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The AWA is the only federal law that protects animals used in laboratories. With these amendments, the law establishes that infant animals should receive special protections and, particularly, receive care for their psychological well-being. Yet, here we go again. Read the entire article here:

Animal Legal Defense Fund : Maternal Deprivation: The Cruelest Research Continues.

PETA claims additional animal cruelty at UW-Madison : Daily-cardinal

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents Tuesday urging the board to end a UW-Madison animal research project, presenting new allegations the university practiced animal cruelty in the experiments that began in 2008.

PETA’s accusation states UW-Madison harmed cats in research to improve cochlear implants, which improve hearing. PETA’s letter to the Board states nine cats faced “cruel and wasteful treatment,” including having metal posts drilled into their skulls and not receiving adequate treatment for infections.

PETA made similar allegations in September 2012 about a cat named Double Trouble. The United States Department of Agriculture opened an investigation into the research and found no violations.

PETA also sent complaints about the additional cats to the USDA and the National Institutes of Health, both of whom opened new investigations, according to a statement released by the group.

The Board received PETA’s letter and opened its own investigation into the allegations and found the claims to be unsubstantiated, according to Student Regent Katherine Pointer.

“We had an outside group of individuals and animal researchers and veterinarians do an investigation and they found [the allegations were] unsubstantiated,” Pointer said. “So unless new information is revealed or something else happens, the Board isn’t going to take any more action.”

Pointer also said the researcher involved with the experiments was “mortified” by the allegations, also saying they are unsubstantiated.

PETA spokesperson Jeremy Beckham said the group hopes the new investigation by the USDA will bring an end to the “sloppy and cruel experiments” at UW-Madison.

“We hope the USDA has the will to take action,” Beckham said. “They certainly have the evidence at their hands to give them the ability to do it.”

Additionally, Beckham said even if the new investigations find no violations, PETA hopes the Board of Regents will intervene and stop the experiments.

“Even if [the NIH and USDA] fail to act, we think the University of Wisconsin system has an obligation to act here because this experiment is tarnishing the university’s reputation,” Beckham said.

The USDA Office of the Inspector General declined to confirm or deny if the department is conducting an investigation.

PETA claims additional animal cruelty at UW-Madison : Daily-cardinal.

Proposal seeks to limit trapping on Dane County land

FROM ALLIANCE FOR ANIMALS: Alert to AFA members and supporters and concerned citizens in Dane County:

If you have the opportunity, please attend and show your support for
limiting publicly-owned property open to trapping.

While we oppose trapping everywhere, we believe this is a step in the
right direction and allows the county to set a precedent that could
be important if and when the state requirement is overturned.

Dane County Park Commission
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 5:30 pm
Location: Lyman F. Anderson Agriculture & Conservation Center
5201 Fen Oak Drive – Conference A-B
Madison, WI 53718

Wisconsin State Journal article below:

Calling the practice cruel and inhumane, a Dane County supervisor Wednesday night will unveil a proposal to reduce the amount of county-owned land available for trapping.

Sup. Cynda Solberg, District 36, wants to limit trapping to county land bought with the help of state Stewardship funds that make hunting and trapping a requirement as part of the purchase agreement. The proposal, which will be introduced to the Parks Commission on Wednesday night, could remove up to 345 of the county’s 1,871 acres in wildlife areas that are currently open to trapping, according to the county’s most recent statistics.

“If I had my way I would like to see it banned completely,” said Solberg. “But realistically this is the best we can do.”

The plan would require County Board approval.

Solberg said she was the lone dissenter last year when the board approved accepting state Stewardship funds to help pay for a 25-acre addition to McCarthy Park near Cottage Grove. The use of Stewardship money — a state source many local governments tap to expand or buy new land for parks — made McCarthy the first recreational park in the county to allow trapping.

At about the same time, the state Legislature passed a bill that strengthened rules allowing trapping and hunting on public land purchased with Stewardship money.

Solberg said traps “torture” animals and also endanger young children and pets. Although reports of pets killed or children injured in traps over the past few years are rare, she called them accidents waiting to happen.

“The argument is that traps are not in (recreational) areas. But I ask those people, ‘Do you have children? They never stay where they are supposed to,'” Solberg said. “It’s not reasonable to say it will only trap what it’s intended for. It’s like playing with fire. Why wait for something to happen?”

Mark Peters, a district director for the Wisconsin Trappers Association, said the broad trapping rights granted by the state constitution may only be limited by reasonable restrictions.

“I understand that certain areas should not be open, but there are areas that are county-owned that are open right now that are not causing problems for anybody,” he said.

But Solberg said it’s difficult to thoroughly enforce the law requiring trappers to check their traps daily. She added that she has heard too many stories of animals stuck in traps for days waiting for the trappers to show up and kill them.

“We have no idea where these traps really are. It’s impossible to oversee something like that,” Solberg said. “All these rules are great, but I don’t buy it that they can be checked up on.”

Peters said trappers do a good job of policing themselves. “There are always a few people who violate the rules, but, by far, the vast majority of trappers are trying to do it the right way, ethically and staying within the regulations, sometimes way beyond the regulations, to avoid potential problems,” Peters said.

Peters said approved traps will not kill pets or injure children. He added trapping is used today in city and county parks to control wildlife populations that are damaging public lands and creating public health risks.

A differing opinion was offered by Rick Bogle, a spokesman for the animal rights group Alliance for Animals that Solberg said asked her to sponsor the amendment. “Wild populations just aren’t running amok,” said Bogle.

Bogle called Solberg’s amendment a step in the right direction. “A very few of us want to go out and set traps, leave them there for a period of time until they come back and kill the animals trapped in them and make money selling their pelts,” he said. “That tiny fraction has completely been allowed to trump the concerns of a much larger, majority opinion. I don’t think it’s at all fair that the state forces communities to do this. We think the mandate is biased and undemocratic.”

Proposal seeks to limit trapping on Dane County land : Wsj.

Full Version – Monkey experiment debate |

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is facing criticism for controversial experiments involving Rhesus monkeys.  In these experiments, baby monkeys are separated from their mothers after birth and later subjected to tests to provoke fear and anxiety. The monkeys are then killed so that their brains can be dissected and studied.

Jane Velez-Mitchell moderated a first of its kind debate on these maternal deprivation experiments. Eric Sandgren, Director of the Research and Animal Resources Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Rick Bogle of Madison, Wisconsin’s Alliance for Animalswho organized a campaign to stop these experiments, debated both sides of the argument.  Those opposed to the experiments have started the site

Monkey experiment debate |

Monkey experiment controversy |

Experiments done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are angering animal rights advocates. The experiments in question are being preformed on Rhesus monkeys because of their similarities to humans. In these experiments, baby monkeys are separated from their mothers right after birth and later subjected to scary tests to provoke fear and anxiety. The monkeys are then killed and dissected and their brains are studied.Jane Velez-Mitchell moderated a first of its kind debate on maternal deprivation experiments. Eric Sandgren, Director of the Research and Animal Resources Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Rick Bogle of Madison, Wisconsin’s Alliance for Animals who organized a campaign to stop these experiments debated both sides of the argument. Opponents to the experiments have started a site

via Monkey experiment controversy |

Protestors honor wolves killed during Wisconsin hunt – WKOW 27: Madison, WI

MADISON (WKOW) — The highly debated wolf hunt has come and gone, but the controversy is far from over.

Friday night several demonstrators gathered outside the state’s Department of Natural Resources building to pay tribute to the 117 wolves killed this season.

Many have been protesting this hunt since it first came up last January. Since then the issue has been discussed in several court proceedings clarifying issues from using dogs to hunting at night. However, the message for a few dozen demonstrators is simple: they simply want it to end.

“We want to honor the wolves that lost their lives to this unnecessary hunt,” one demonstrator says.

The hunt that was the first of its kind. After years of being on the nation’s endangered species list, wolves are no longer the top predator in Wisconsin.

“The wolf is an iconic, beautiful animal very much like us. It is appalling that we are allowing this to happen in our state,” says demonstrator Patricia Randolph.

The group honored the 117 wolves with poems and songs, even lighting candles for each individual wolf, then blowing them out to symbolize their last dying breath.

Down the block a lone demonstrator on the other side of the issue speaks out against wolves that threaten her way of life.

“The wolves in our area, they have been coming onto our lawns,” Shelly Seiler explains. “There was a neighbor dog that was attacked and killed by one.”

Seiler says over the past two years she’s seen the population near her Columbia County home double in size. Without the hunt she’s afraid the population will be out of control.

“We are dairy farmers so there is a small concern about that.”

Demonstrators argue that’s not the hunting they’re concerned about. It’s the trophy hunting that they believe is unnecessary.

“They were on the endangered species list due to hunting, then we bring them back from the brink of being endangered to hunt them. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me,” says demonstrator Melissa Smith

The Department of Natural Resources has said during this entire debate that an organized wolf hunt will not threaten the local population. Friday’s demonstrators not only question that statement, but argue the DNR’s decision to approve a hunt was motivated by money and not what’s best for the species.

Protestors honor wolves killed during Wisconsin hunt – WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports.

A Candlelight Wolf Memorial

A candlelight memorial is planned to honor the 117 wolves killed in this year’s Wisconsin wolf hunt. The memorial will take place in front of the State Natural Resources Building.

Volunteers are needed to help set up candles. If you can help please come between 4:00 – 4:15.

The memorial will include candles, the ringing of bells, and a poem for the wolves.

I know that I am not alone in wanting to honor the 117 wolves who were killed in the Wisconsin hunt this year. It is our intention to symbolize the wolves’ lives and deaths at this memorial.

Alliance for Animals and Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic also support this event.

A Candlelight Wolf Memorial.

Vegan Dining in Madison – past Isthmus reviews

isthmus_screenshotHappy New Year!

We want to give a special thumbs up to Madison’s weekly paper,  Isthmus for featuring twice-yearly articles about vegan dining in Madison.  We can’t wait to see what’s in store for us for 2013 (maybe three articles!).  As a thank you to Isthmus we wanted to list the reviews, all written by Cheryl Breuer, from 2011 and 2012.

And a special thanks to Features editor Linda Falkenstein for including articles such as these in the Isthmus.

So read ’em all and “Like” them if you’re on Facebook.

Eating vegan in Madison restaurants

Whoopie cookies and more among Madison’s vegan sweets

Five Madison tofu dishes to win you over

Being vegan on the UW Madison campus – 5 best bets for student herbivores