Massimo Tettamanti and Marian Berati, two Italian animal rights activists associated with Italian anti-research organization No Vivisezione, sent out an e-mail in September asking for help in shutting down Morini, an firm that breeds animals for medical research.
In August 2002, the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy passed a statute forbidding the breeding sale or use of dogs or cats for medical research purposes. The Italian Ministry of Health appealed to Italy’s Constitutional court arguing that the law should be voided since it conflicted with a national law that allows cats and dogs to be used for medical research.
The Constitutional Court struck down the Emilia-Romagna ban, agreeing with the Ministry of Health that regions could not enact anti-research bans that contradicted national laws.
According to the e-mail sent out by Tettamanti and Berati,
But at the moment the farm cannot sell dogs tot he laboratories, yet, because in order to have the necessary permission renewed, the Mayor of the town must give an explicit authorization.
The former Mayor was absolutely in favor of the Morini farm, but A FEW WEEKS AGO A NEW MAYOR HAS BEEN ELECTED! So it’s really important to make pressure on him to convince him to “reconvert” the farm to another activity.”
The e-mail goes on to urge activists to send e-mails to the Mayor and others to convince the new Mayor to continue to refuse to allow the farm to sell animals to research laboratories.
Please, help saving beagle dogs from vivisection! Press Release, No Vivisezione, September 16, 2004.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals this week announced that it would send dog excrement to Iams to protest the pet food company’s continuing use of animal tests.
In a press release, PETA said,
Taking a page from the “flaming bags of dog poop” book of practical jokes, PETA members will clean up dog “business” at a local dog park and raise a stink about Iams abuse of dogs and cats by sending it to the pet-food maker in bags marked “IamsÂ’ Animal Tests Stink” as an unmistakable statement that the companyÂ’s cruel laboratory experiments stink
Just one question — how will Iams tell the difference between dog excrement and the normal crap that PETA sends it in letters, flyers and press releases?
Â‘Poop BagsÂ’ Spoofing Iams Dog-Food Bags Marked Â‘IamsÂ’ Animal Tests StinkÂ’. Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, August 27, 2004.
The town of Richmond, in north-western Queensland, Australia, took a lot of heat in July when it announced a $5-a-head bounty for feral cats that are apparently causing problems for native wildlife in the area.
Richmond Mayor John Wharton told ABC Queensland,
A Melbourne university was doing studies between Richmond and Julia Creek about three or four years ago and they were shooting cats at night time, opening them up in the morning and finding up to four different species of animal, either birds or small mice and dunnarts. That’s a lot of wildlife.
The Australian Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals criticized the bounty, saying that it supports killing feral cats, but not bounties which could encourage hunting feral cats for sport. Queensland RSPCA executive Mark Townend told ABC Queensland,
The RSPCA does supporting the culling [of feral cats] for the preservation of wildlife. But we have to do it in a humane way and I’m very disappointed that people will go off and offer financial incentives to have people who are amateurs out there killing other animals in an inhumane way.
The Richmond council wanted the Local Government Association of Queensland to adopt a $5 bounty throughout the Queensland, but that suggestion was rejected.
Council defends feral cat bounty. ABC Queensland, July 6, 2004.
Feral cat cull plan not supported. The Bundaberg Mail Times, July 8, 2004.
Activists with In Defense of Animals protested at the University of California Berkeley on April 19, and brought shovels in an attempt to dig up a courtyard above an underground animal research lab. Police stepped in and confiscated the shovels without incident.
The protest was part of World Week for Animals in Laboratories, and the activists displayed their knowledge of animal research. For example, protester Jennifer Blum told the San Francisco Chronicle,
It’s pretty disgusting to think about what’s happening beneath our feet — monkeys having electrodes implanted in their brains, kittens having their eyes sewed shut.
Just one problem with that thought — according to Helen Diggs, head of Berkeley’s Office of Laboratory Animal Care, the university is not involved in any research involving kittens. Perhaps Ms. Blum should be more concerned about what’s going on in her head more than what’s going on beneath her feet.
Activists denounce research on animals. Charles Burress, San Francisco Chronicle, April 20, 2004.
In February the New Mexico state Senate unanimously approved a bill that would ban the use of intracardiac injection euthanasia in that state. Intracardiac injection kills an animal by injecting barbiturate directly into the heart of the animal.
Sen. Richard Romero, who introduce the bill, said that he sponsored the ban become too often the procedure misses the heart leaving the animals to suffer. Romero told The Albuquerque Tribune,
We need to put a halt to this inhumane practice in our state’s animal shelters right away. This amounts to tormenting and torturing an animal when it’s done without anesthesia or sedation.
The ban will only apply to animal control facilities and animal shelters. The procedure will remain legal in livestock and veterinary facilities.
The full text of the bill can be read here.
Senate OKs bill to prohibit type of animal euthanasia. Associated Press, February 11, 2004.
. Albuquerque Tribune (New Mexico), February 12, 2004.
In July 2003, British Trade Minister Mike O’Brien said that his office would move to ban the import of cat and dog fur into Great Britain despite concerns of retaliation by countries exporting such products. But in late January, O’Brien said that his office was still gathering information about the extent of the trade in such furs and whether or not it was possible to implement such a ban.
O’Brien said of the matter,
Animal welfare groups have rightly raised serious ethical concerns about the alleged use of domestic cat and dog fur in the UK. Our priority remains the need to establish the facts about the extent of this alleged trade, to ensure there is a valid scientific test that can identify these furs, and to act in a measured way.
We will continue to monitor the situation and I remain sympathetic on the ethics but we do need clear evidence of the size of the problem and its scale in order to act.
In fact, since the July 2003 announcement, only a single dog fur and no cat furs have been detected being imported into Great Britain.
O’Brien seems to be shifting the onus to the European Union to ban dog and cat fur in order to deflect potential repercussions from such a ban away from Great Britain.
Case ‘not proven’ for ban. GreenConsumerGuide.Com, January 29, 2004.
Britain Backs Moves For EU Ban On Trade In Cat And Dog Fur. Press Release, Department of Trade and Industry, November 7, 2003.