In The News

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All Vivisection Results Should be Published

30/6/10

New Scientist.
Vivisection value.

by Kathy Archibald, London, UK

Simon Festing says that reducing publication bias in animal research would ensure a sound basis to move from animal studies into clinical trials (5 June, p 22). This would be true if the results of animal studies translate directly to humans. They do not, which is a far more important problem than publication bias. Full publication of every animal study of the immunomodulatory drug TGN1412, for example, would still have suggested that it was safe to proceed to clinical trials, since the devastating response to the drug is unique to humans.

Systematic reviews of the applicability of animal results to human medicine - such as those by Pablo Perel and others (BMJ, vol 334, p 197) and by Daniel Hackam and Donald Redelmeier (The Journal of the American Medical Association, vol 296, p 1731) show consistently that animal studies predict human response incorrectly a majority of the time. In the case of stroke, is anyone seriously suggesting that more than 150 treatments successful in animals have failed in humans because of publication bias? Of course, this bias should be addressed. There should unquestionably be a registration system for animal studies, as there is for human studies. As chief executive of Understanding Animal Research, surely Festing should be calling for this, rather than merely commenting that "it is not inconceivable that we might move towards a similar system".

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727670.200-vivisection-value.html

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Choosing Healthy Foods now called a Mental Disorder

29/6/10

In its never-ending attempt to fabricate "mental disorders" out of every human activity, the psychiatric industry is now pushing the most ridiculous disease they've invented yet: Healthy eating disorder.

This is no joke: If you focus on eating healthy foods, you're "mentally diseased" and probably need some sort of chemical treatment involving powerful psychotropic drugs. The Guardian newspaper reports, "Fixation with healthy eating can be sign of serious psychological disorder" and goes on to claim this "disease" is called orthorexia nervosa -- which is basically just Latin for "nervous about correct eating."

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Why Do We Test New Drugs On Animals?

29/6/10

Opposing Views

Blog by Dr Ray Greek

A new study in JAMA raises an interesting question about using animal models to predict drug response. Taking the diabetes drug rosiglitazone has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack. The study was a meta-analysis, which is a fancy way of saying scientists analysed all the studies that have been conducted on rosiglitazone and combined all the data in order to make a judgement about the drug. The conclusion that rosiglitazone increases risk for heart attack is controversial for reasons that do not have an impact on this blog, hence we will ignore them.The question this study brings to the fore is: What is the purpose of testing new drugs on animals?

Specifically, are these tests to protect the patients taking them when the new drugs come to the market? Or, are the animal tests supposed to protect the volunteers and patients that take the drug in clinical trials?

The reality is, the animal tests fail in both cases. But the question is valid because the animal experimentation industry, via its spokespeople, tells society that animal testing is performed to keep children and other patients safe. They claim that every time a child takes a new drug, he would be at risk of death and severe side effects were it not for animal testing.

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Doctor's Faith Shattered After Glaxo's Latest Scams

29/6/10

Conventional doctor's faith in Big Pharma shattered after Glaxo's latest scams

Writing in Forbes magazine, Yale cardiologist Harlan Krumholz notes that in spite of his desire to believe in the good intentions of the pharmaceutical industry, the actions of companies such as GlaxoSmithKline continue to disappoint him.

"I want to believe in America's pharmaceutical companies," Krumholz wrote on Feb.25. "I want to believe that people in these companies believe that the best strategy for success is to do what is best for patients. I want to believe that they are interested in scientific truth and eager to know of any safety issues and ready to share that information with the public.

"This week I was disappointed again."

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Kangaroos Being Poisoned by Fluoride

29/6/10

Hundreds of kangaroos have been euthanized due to acute fluoride poisoning in the Australian state of Victoria, the country's Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has announced.

The poisonings appear to be occurring due to emissions of fluoride from the Alcoa aluminum smelter at Portland and the Austral Bricks factory at Craigieburn, the state's first and second biggest emitters of fluoride dust, respectively. According to Bruce Dawson of the EPA, the toxic chemical is being absorbed by nearby plants that kangaroos and other animals forage on. The animals may also be breathing in the chemical directly.

The levels of fluoride being emitted by Alcoa and Austral are fully legal under Australian law. The smelter emits 120 tons of the dust per year, while the factory emits 66 tons.

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McDonald's Threatened with Lawsuit Over Toys in Happy Meals

28/6/10

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is planning to sue fast-food giant McDonald's if the company does not comply with its demands to remove toys from "Happy Meals". CSPI claims that marketing unhealthy food with toys is contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic and should be stopped immediately.

The announcement by CSPI comes just weeks after a California county banned not only toys but all other promotions aimed at children that involve McDonald's Happy Meals. By doing this, the county believes that children will be less attracted to fatty foods that are high in salt and calories.

According to the same article, back in April, Santa Clara County, California, also banned toy promotions from fast food meals sold in unincorporated parts of the county.

Spokesmen from McDonald's denied that Happy Meals are inherently unhealthy, citing the fact that the meals are of an appropriate size...

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Police Break The Law

28/6/10

Officers claim they don't need law to stop photographer taking pictures

Two police officers stopped a teenage photographer from taking pictures of an Armed Forces Day parade - and then claimed they did not need a law to detain him.
Jules Mattsson, a 16-year-old freelancer from Hackney, east London, was photographing police cadets on Saturday when he was ordered to stop and give his personal details by an adult cadet officer who claimed he needed parental permission to capture images of the cadets.

After arguing his rights in a series of protracted legal debates with officers, the sixth former says he was pushed down a set of stairs and detained for breaching the peace until the parade passed.

He is now considering taking legal action against the Met which has often been criticised for its heavy handed approach towards photographers in the capital.

 


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Undercover Exposé of Meat Trade

27/6/10

Reaction to Animal Cruelty Exposed in Covert Film

Representatives from the Food Standards Agency, Animal Aid and The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers give their responses

Tim Smith, Chief Executive, Food Standards Agency:

“The FSA takes its animal welfare responsibilities seriously and I have recently met with Animal Aid to discuss their concerns. However the scale of GB meat production means that FSA staff cannot watch the slaughter of every animal.

"The vast majority of slaughterhouses in GB are fully compliant with their animal welfare legal requirements but there should be no exceptions.

"The slaughtermen we have suspended performed their duties satisfactorily when watched by an FSA vet, but the footage shows some appalling actions when they are not being observed. The solution would seem to lie in more observation, whether by management in person, CCTV or additional FSA vets or inspectors. CCTV is a good option as there is often limited space in the stunning pen.

"Current legislation does not require slaughterhouse operators to install CCTV, but the FSA does support its use in abattoirs. We are working with the meat industry to encourage voluntary CCTV installation as best practice and we would encourage retailers to consider whether they should make it a requirement of their suppliers.

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Doctors Call For Total NHS Ban on Homeopathy

27/6/10

BMA conference tables seven motions against public funding of 200-year-old 'unscientific' practice

Doctors will this week call for a total ban on all homoeopathic treatment on the NHS.

Hundreds of delegates to the British Medical Association's conference are expected to support seven motions all opposed to the use of public money to pay for remedies which they claim are, at best, scientifically unproven and, at worst, ineffective. Critics of the 200-year-old practice also want junior doctors to be exempt from working at homoeopathic hospitals because it goes against the principles of evidence-based medicine. Sugar pills and placebos have no place in a modern health service, they say, especially as the NHS must find £20bn in savings over the next few years. But supporters claim homoeopathy helps thousands of patients with chronic conditions such as ME, asthma, migraine and depression who have not responded to conventional medical treatments. The British Homoeopathic Association (BHA) points out that less than 0.01 per cent of the massive NHS drug bill is spent on homoeopathic tinctures and pills.

Nevertheless, the conference will also hear calls for homoeopathic remedies to be banned from chemists unless they are clearly labelled as placebos rather than medicines. The over-the-counter market is worth around £40m a year, and rising, according to Mintel, the consumer research organisation. The increasingly vocal dissent follows a report from MPs on the influential science and technology select committee earlier this year, which also urged the NHS to cease funding omoeopathic treatments due to a clear absence of scientific proof about its efficacy. The MPs criticised current licensing and labelling regulations which "lend a spurious medical legitimacy" to homoeopathic products which are no more than sugar pills.

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Woburn Electric Shocks Elephant

27/6/10

Woburn admits it gave bull elephant electric shocks

This is not a Woburn elephant but is another one in similar dire situation which we must get them out of

The male elephant said to be best trained and most manageable in Europe was given 4,500-volt shocks to make it obey

A male elephant at Woburn Safari Park which has been described by bosses there as “one of the best trained and most manageable bulls in Europe" was forced to obey its keeper’s commands with the use of high voltage electric shocks, it has emerged.

Raja, a 16-year-old Asian bull elephant, was trained in the past by being given jolts from an electric goad when he disobeyed. The 4ft-long goads, also known as “hotshots”, deliver a charge of at least 4,500 volts and their use has been condemned as inhumane by animal welfare campaigners.

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U.S. Government Panel Pushing "vaccinations for all"

26/6/10

U.S. government panel now pushing "vaccinations for all!" No exceptions…

An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that every person be vaccinated for the seasonal flu yearly, except in a few cases where the vaccine is known to be unsafe.

"Now no one should say 'Should I or shouldn't I?'" said CDC flu specialist Anthony Fiore.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 11-0 with one abstention to recommend yearly flu vaccination for everyone except for children under the age of six months, whose immune systems have not yet developed enough for vaccination to be safe, and people with egg allergies or other health conditions that are known to make flu vaccines hazardous. If accepted by the CDC, this recommendation will then be publicized to doctors and other health workers.

The CDC nearly always accepts the advisory committee's recommendations. Current CDC recommendations call for the yearly vaccination of all children over the age of six months, all adults over the age of 49, health care workers, people with chronic health problems and anyone who cares for a person in one of these groups. These recommendations cover 85 percent of the US population.

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100,000 Americans Die Each Year from Prescription Drugs...

25/6/10

While Pharma Companies Get Rich

Prescription drugs taken as directed kill 100,000 Americans a year. That's one person every five minutes. How did we get here?

How many people do you know who regularly use a prescription medication? If your social group is like most Americans', the answer is most. Sixty-five percent of the country takes a prescription drug these days. In 2005 alone, we spent $250 billion on them.

I recently caught up with Melody Petersen, author of Our Daily Meds, an in-depth look at the pharmaceutical companies that have taken the reins of our faltering health care system by cleverly hawking every kind of drug imaginable. We discussed how this powerful industry has our health in its hands.

Daniela Perdomo: Your book includes some staggering stats. For example, 100,000 Americans die each year from prescription drugs — that’s 270 per day, or, as you put it, more than twice as many who are killed in car accidents each day. Could you elaborate on this? Are these people abusing their prescription drugs or is this a sign of prescription meds gone bad?

Melody Petersen: The study estimating that 100,000 Americans die each year from their prescriptions looked only at deaths from known side effects. That is, those deaths didn’t happen because the doctor made a mistake and prescribed the wrong drug, or the pharmacist made a mistake in filling the prescription, or the patient accidentally took too much. Unfortunately, thousands of patients die from such mistakes too, but this study looked only at deaths where our present medical system wouldn’t fault anyone. Tens of thousands of people are dying every year from drugs they took just as the doctor directed. This shows you how dangerous medications are.

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Supermarkets Selling Meat from Animals Fed GM Crops

25/6/10

Supermarkets across Britain are routinely selling food from animals reared on genetically modified crops without having to declare it on labelling, it can be disclosed.

They have acknowledged that meat, fish, eggs and dairy products on their shelves could contain “indirect” GM ingredients. Every major supermarket in the country said it was unable to provide a guarantee that it was not selling products from animals given GM feed.

Even ''high-end’’ retailers said only the more expensive organic ranges were certain to have been produced without any GM involvement. The disclosures have reignited the debate about the use of genetic technology in food production following health and environmental concerns. Opponents of the technology claimed that retailers were using a loophole in labelling rules to “trick” the public over the link to GM. The disclosures follow the recent resignation of two leading academics from a government panel set up to assess public attitudes to the new technology in protest at “GM propaganda”.

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HPV Vaccine Blinds 16 year Old Girl

24/6/10

A 16-year-old girl lost nearly all of her vision within 10 days of receiving the second course of her vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV), reports a case study in the Journal of Child Neurology.

The HPV vaccine is designed to prevent infection by the strains of the virus that are responsible for the majority of cervical cancer and genital warts cases.
The study recounts the case of a previously healthy teenage girl who developed a headache on the left side of her head and began to lose vision in her right eye eight days after receiving her second HPV vaccine shot. Over the course of the following 48 hours, the pain spread across her head and she began to lose sight in her left eye as well.

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Northern Ireland Bans Hare Coursing

24/6/10

Northern Ireland bans hare coursing, and fox hunting could be next

The Assembly has voted to ban hare coursing in Northern Ireland. A motion to outlaw the use of greyhounds to chase and kill Irish hares was passed by 23 to 18 this week and has been incorporated into the Wildlife and Natural Environment (NI) Bill. It is expected to come into force after the summer. It follows a series of temporary bans by successive Environment Ministers on taking hares.

Assembly Members will also be considering a Private Members Bill introduced by the Green Party aimed at banning fox hunting. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where hunting foxes with dogs remains legal.

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Internet to Fund Vaccines

24/6/10

WHO to tax your internet usage to fund vaccines in third-world countries

The United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO) is pushing hard to impose global consumer taxes to help fund its various programs, including a new proposal that would tax the internet in order to pay for vaccines and other pharmaceutical medicines for third-world countries. Yes, you read that right - WHO wants every person in the world to help pay for drugs that make Big Pharma even richer.

Consider it a reverse Robin Hood ploy: They're stealing from the working class and giving to the ultra wealthy drug companies!

Of course this isn't the first time the UN has petitioned governments around the world to illegally tax citizens in order to further its own agenda. This body of unelected officials tried to push "cap and trade" legislation for supposed climate change just last year (but failed to do so because many countries simply refused the idea).

In the current scheme, WHO appointed a so-called panel of "medical experts" to prepare a report highlighting various financing ideas that would fund all the projects WHO is trying to accomplish in the world. One of those ideas is to have governments tax internet usage in their countries and give the money to WHO for "medical research and development" in poorer, developing countries. (This is code-speak for unlawfully pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into the coffers of Big Pharma in the name of charity).

An executive summary of the report is available at:
http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/011510_executivesummary.PDF

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Leona Lewis Tour Meat Ban

22/6/10

Leona Lewis has angered her tour staff by not allowing any meat to be consumed in her tour venues, according to reports.

The 'I Got You' singer, who takes her Labyrinth tour to Glasgow tonight, has been a strict vegetarian since the age of 12 and is said to be banning people from even bringing in meat from outside.

"There are going to be murders. Leona has demanded that only veggie food be made available for everyone - and members of the crew are threatening to quit," a source told The Sun.

"She will not even allow food to be bought off-site then brought in. She is getting a reputation as a bit of a pain in the a**e. She is such a diva. It's getting out of control."

Lewis's support act Gabriella Cilmi recently expressed her concern to Digital Spy about eating on the tour, admitting: "All I know so far is that the food's going to be vegan, and I'm not sure how I'm going to cope with that."

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a231635/lewis-angers-tour-staff-with-meat-ban.html

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US Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Sale of GM Crop

21/6/10

WASHINGTON, USA (AFP) – The Supreme Court lifted Monday a four-year ban on the sale in the United States of genetically modified alfalfa, which farmers fear contaminates others crops.

A district court judge in California in May 2007 blocked the US biotech giant Monsanto from selling alfalfa seeds that it had genetically modified to resist its Roundup weed killer.

The ruling was upheld on appeal in 2009, but Monsanto went to the Supreme Court arguing that any decision should have awaited the findings of a study by the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

"Until APHIS seeks to effect a partial deregulation, any judicial review of such a decision is premature," the Supreme Court said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100621/pl_afp/uscourtcompanymonsantofarmbiotech_20100621150216

food and depopulation: monsanto monopoly 10/6/10 read

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BP is Burning Rare Sea Turtles Alive

20/6/10

BP is burning rare sea turtles alive, blocking efforts to save them


A rare and endangered species of sea turtle is being burned alive in BP's controlled burns of the oil swirling around the Gulf of Mexico, and a boat captain tasked with saving them says the company has blocked rescue efforts.

Mike Ellis, a boat captain involved in a three-week effort to rescue as many sea turtles from unfolding disaster as possible, says BP effectively shut down the operation by preventing boats from coming out to rescue the turtles.

"They ran us out of there and then they shut us down, they would not let us get back in there," Ellis said in an interview with conservation biologist Catherine Craig.
Part of BP's efforts to contain the oil spill are controlled burns. Fire-resistant booms are used to corral an area of oil, then the area within the boom is lit on fire, burning off the oil and whatever marine life may have been inside.

"Once the turtles get in there they can't get out," Ellis said.

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Woburn Animals Suffer in Cramped Cages

20/6/10

Woburn animals' secret suffering in cramped cages

Inspectors have cracked down on flaws at the famous wildlife park after they found animals were being kept in overcrowded enclosures

Woburn Safari Park, which claims its animals enjoy living in a “natural environment”, has been keeping many of them for long periods in overcrowded, unsafe or dangerous enclosures which left some half-blind and in pain.

The park, which is owned by the Duke of Bedford, and attracts almost 500,000 visitors a year, trades on the way the lions and tigers are allowed to roam freely across spacious enclosures covering more than 40 acres. When the public are not looking, however, it has been packing them into cramped cages for up to 18 hours a day.

The harsh reality of the treatment suffered by the animals has emerged in a report by government inspectors. It raises serious questions about the attraction, opened 40 years ago, as one of the first drive-through safari parks outside Africa.

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Lumley Pulls Out of Opening Harrods Sale

19/6/10

On hearing that this woman, who claims to care for animals, was to open the Harrods sale anti fur activists bombarded her with correspondencea and film of animals being skinned alive and caught in traps and so on. She didn't turn up to open the sale but failed to adequately explain why.

Joanna Lumley provokes questions by checking out at Harrods

Joanna Lumley, a close friend of the Duke of Edinburgh, has pulled out at the last minute from appearing at Harrods.

 In a move that is likely to provoke much speculation, Joanna Lumley pulled out on Friday from opening the Harrods summer sale.

Executives at the department store, which was recently sold by Mohamed Fayed to the Qatari royal family in a £1.5 billion deal, had hoped that the appearance on Saturday morning of the actress, who is a close friend of the Duke of Edinburgh, would herald a "step change" in its history.

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Dalai Lama Slams Anti-Whaling Protesters

19/6/10

The Dalai Lama has criticised wildlife activists for staging what he said were violent protests over Japan's hunting of whales.

The rebuke came as the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader visited Japan for an 11-day lecture tour.

At a news conference, he said he had told the US-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to stop its violent harassment of Japan's whaling fleet.

"One time I wrote a letter...(saying) their activities should be stopping," he told reporters.

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London Vivisection Lab Plans

18/6/10

London's 'somewhat unusual' new research centre. Britain plans £600-million biomedical facility for young investigators

As the United Kingdom grinds through its worst recession in decades, British researchers have unveiled an ambitious design for a massive biomedical science complex in central London. The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) is the most significant scientific development in Britain "for a generation", says Paul Nurse, a Nobel-prizewinning cell biologist and chair of the project's scientific planning
committee.

Nurse says the state-of-the-art research centre will be among the largest in the world. In Europe, it will be second in size only to the Paris-based Pasteur Institute, he says. Its aim will be to understand the fundamental biology that underlies disease.

More detailed plans for the building, which will be located near London's St Pancras International train station, were unveiled at a press briefing on 18 June and feature a distinctive glass atrium that stretches the length of the entire structure. A small educational laboratory and a 450-seat lecture theatre also feature in the design, which will include lab and office space for 1,500 staff.

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Animal Transporter Burnt

18/6/10

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Unforeseen in Animals

News reports, 20th May to 18th June

“Cholesterol drug side effects need watching: study.” Reuters. 20 May 2010

“J&J strengthens warning about suicide on painkillers.” APP.com. 25 May 2010.

“FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that it has approved a revised label for Xenical to include new safety information about cases of severe liver injury that have been reported rarely with the use of this medication.” FDA Medwatch. 26 May 2010

“GTx plunges on study failure. GTx drops after company says toremifene did not meet goals in preventing prostate cancer.” Yahoo News. 26 May 2010

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Man Fined Over Bid to Free Battery Hens

18/6/10

An animal lover has been fined after attempting to liberate battery hens from a farm near Wimborne.

Mark Organ, 46, and seven others had hired a van and gathered cages and bags in order to free unhealthy or distressed birds late one night in January last year.
They were foiled by a man out walking with a powerful lamp as they approached a Witchampton farm.

A jury at Bournemouth Crown Court found Mr Organ guilty of conspiracy to steal, and on Thursday, June 17, he was ordered to pay £1,515.

Judge James Meston, QC, told Mr Organ: “It is clear you have a long-standing serious concern about the welfare of animals, and believe your self to be morally justified in stealing chickens.

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Requiem for a Bat

18/6/10

Programs like Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel, in which Bear Grylls set fire to a cave filled with bats to smoke them out and then gleefully beat them to the earth with a club before stomping them to death, must be brought to an end. They can only perpetuate the unwelcome idea that any non-human creature is some foreign object to be treated in any way people wish, no matter how cruelly. Grylls’ actions differ little from some of his Medieval counterparts who for entertainment used to tie cats to their heads and run full speed against a concrete wall smashing the cats to death against the wall. In fact, the indiscriminate killing of cats in the 14th century during the period of the plague, like throwing them from belfry towers to kill the evil spirits they were thought to possess, also had the effect of increasing the incidence of the disease. With fewer cats to control the rat population that carried the fleas responsible for transmitting the plague, it was easier for the disease to spread. Superstition and ignorance can kill, and cruelty to animals will always have consequences.

 I have personally witnessed the gleeful, sadistic killing of an animal on only one occasion. That happened when I was a boy and observed a schoolmate wire the feet of a live frog to an electric transformer, pour gasoline over the frog, and then turn the transformer on so that the frog was electrocuted and set on fire simultaneously. This boy was so thrilled by his action that he repeated it again and again on the same frog that he had killed, laughing gleefully with a wild, crazed look in his eyes……

By David Irving

http://thomaspainescorner.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/requiem-for-a-bat/

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Scottish Scientists to Create Diseased Pigs

17/6/10

See below news that Edinburgh University's Roslin Institute is to develop genetically engineered pigs to be born with Cystic Fibrosis to be used in experimentation then killed.

To do this to any animal is obscene but it is worth noting that pigs have been proven to be one of the most intelligent animals on earth. They far surpass the mental capacity of dogs and even many primates and can master complex exercises such as playing basic computer games. Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University who's studied them has said “Pigs are able to focus with an intensity I have never seen in a chimp.”

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Plan for South Witham Super Dairy Farm Dropped

17/6/10

Plans for a so-called super dairy close to a village in Lincolnshire have been dropped after opposition from residents in the area.

Velmur, the firm that wanted to put almost 3,000 cows at South Witham near Grantham, said it had decided to withdraw the plan.

In a statement, the company said the scale of the plan was not "acceptable to people in the village". Martin Wilkins, of the parish council, said people were pleased with the news. In their statement, Velmur said: "The directors of Velmur and their advisers have, following their meeting with the South Witham Parish Council and the open meeting, reflected on comments raised at the meeting and the reaction of the village." The firm said it considered that the case "for more intensive dairying" remains in the UK and added they thought the scheme could have met anticipated concerns of the village. But the document continues: "Velmur had from the outset agreed to consult and listen to the views of the village.

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Drug Giant Accused of Deception

17/6/10

AstraZeneca Denied Drug's Link to Diabetes for Years After Admitting Link to Japanese Physicians

(NaturalNews) Drug giant AstraZeneca attempted to obscure the connection between one of its blockbuster drugs and diabetes risk for years after it knew of the problem, according to documents recently unsealed as part of lawsuits against the company.

More than 15,000 patients have sought damages from the company, alleging that they were harmed by side effects from its atypical antipsychotic Seroquel. According to the plaintiffs, AstraZeneca deliberately hid information linking the drug to an increased risk of weight gain and diabetes. The lawsuits have been consolidated into a single case for the purpose of pre-trial proceedings.

The recently unsealed documents include notes from a meeting between salesperson Nancy White and a doctor in July 2006, during which the doctor said that his patients were expressing concern about Seroquel's links to diabetes. White reported telling the doctor that "there has been no causative effect" proven between the drug and the disease.

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Law Fails to Prevent Stupid Experiments

16/6/10

Nature. Original in International Journal of Obesity

Western diet increases wheel running in mice selectively bred for high voluntary wheel running.

Objective: Mice from a long-term selective breeding experiment for high voluntary wheel running offer a unique model to examine the contributions of genetic and environmental factors in determining the aspects of behaviour and metabolism relevant to body-weight regulation and obesity.

Full article on:
http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v34/n6/abs/ijo201025a.html

See the new VIN website: http://www.vivisectioninformation.com
Information for abolition

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Japan Threatens to Go Renegade!

16/6/10

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

Like a spoiled kid who owns the ball, threatens to quit the game, and take his ball home with him unless he gets to win, Japan has now threatened to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) unless it gets what it wants. And what Japan wants is to kill whales, despite the fact that practically every other nation in the world (except for the retro-Vikings in Norway and Iceland) considers whaling to be barbaric, cruel, and unnecessary.

The Associated Press reported today that Japan is considering withdrawing from the IWC if no progress is made toward easing an international ban on commercial whaling according to its fisheries minister on Tuesday. In other words, they get to kill whales or they leave the party.

The annual IWC party begins next week in Agadir, Morocco and because of Japan’s persistent bullying and threats, the delegates are expected to seek a compromise between pro and anti-whaling countries, which would legalize commercial whaling on a limited scale. Stung in recent days by revelations of vote buying, Japan has now resorted to threats to leave the IWC and take whatever whales it wants, wherever it wants, whenever it wants. And rather than enforce the existing moratorium, some nations including the United States and New Zealand are apparently willing to throw the baby out with the bath water with the ridiculous compromise of allowing whales to be killed in order to keep Japan from killing more whales. In other words, they are saying that we will have to kill the whales to save them.

This is not the first time that Japan has threatened to withdraw from the IWC and they are at it again

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Shooting Badger Costs Former JP £3,000

16/6/10

A FARMER and former magistrate has been fined for trapping and shooting a badger which dug up his garden.

The RSPCA yesterday warned people against killing the animals after dairy farmer and former High Sheriff of Dyfed Richard Harold James, 77, caught the badger in a snare near his Pembrokeshire home and blasted it to death at close range with a shotgun.

The ex-JP was given fines and costs totalling almost £3,000 by Swansea Magistrates yesterday (tue) for killing a protected animal and using a snare to trap it. He shot the animal twice near his home at Home Farm on the Stackpole Estate in Pembrokeshire just before last Christmas. James then threw the animal onto a slope leading on to National Trust land.

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Please Contact Fortress

16/6/10



FORTRESS: FINANCING ANIMAL TORTUREFortress is vital to HLS' survival, who are still millions of dollars in debt and are struggling to stay afloat. Since the recent buyout of HLS, they are now in even more debt - totalling over $100million. Fortress themselves are also in heavy financial trouble due to the recession - so now is a great time to ask them to recall HLS' loan of $70 million plus! Without this loan, HLS could not have stayed open these past years - and
if it was recalled, they could not stay open in the future.

Global week of action against HLS' lifeline lender, Fortress Investment Group 21st-27th June

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Mel Broughton on Trial Once Again

15/6/10

Jury Sworn in for Animal Rights Campaigned Arson Trial

A jury has been sworn-in over a 49-year-old animal rights campaigner accused of plotting an arson attack against Oxford University.

The trial of Mel Broughton, of Semilong Road, Northampton, is due begin at Oxford Crown Court tomorrow. He is accused of conspiracy to commit arson and possession of an article with intent to destroy property.

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/8218526.Jury_sworn_in_for_animal_right_campaigned_arson_trial/

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Bull Fighter Bottles it

15/6/10

A 22 years old bullfighter was arrested in Mexico this week after he ran away as the bull entered the ring. A symbol of the bullfighter is a small ponytail in their hair so when they end being bullfighters they cut their ponytail. This bullfighter after temporarily re entering the ring away cut his ponytail in front of the crowd and left again.
 
Sadly he didn't refuse to kill the bull because any kind of compassion, just because he lost his nerve. He said to the media "I don't have balls to be a bullfighter".
 
Afterwards he was arrested because the contract said he was going to kill two bulls and he only killed one.
 
 Video link http://www.elmundo.es/america/2010/06/15/mexico/1276618647.html

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Dorset Firm's Anti-Hunt Adverts Banned

15/6/10

Lush boss Mark Constantine has defended his company’s anti-hunting campaign after it was banned by the advertising watchdog. He spoke to the Daily Echo after the campaign, by his high street cosmetics chain, was banned following 129 complaints.

A leaflet by the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) and distributed in Lush stores read: “Hunting ban, what hunting ban?”, while a postcard by Lush stated : “The hunts are still at it! The foxes still need your help”, with a note inviting customers to forward it to their local police chief constable.

Complainants to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) raised a range of issues with the campaign, including complaints that it unfairly denigrated hunts and hunters and misleadingly implied that hunts were intentionally and regularly breaking the law.

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US Vivisectors Face Criminal Charges

14/6/10

New Scientist

US animal researchers face criminal charges

By Andy Coghlan

Animal experimenters in the US, beware: you may find yourselves facing criminal charges for simply doing your job. That's what has happened to nine staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who could go to jail or pay heavy fines for carrying out decompression experiments on sheep for the US navy.Some sheep died in the experiments, which aimed to find new ways to save divers from decompression sickness, otherwise known as "the bends". Antivivisectionists at the Alliance for Animals in Madison and at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals discovered that Wisconsin has a law banning the killing of animals through decompression. The AFA and PETA filed charges, and on 2 June circuit judge Amy Smith backed the animal-rights groups' claim. She concluded that the researchers "intentionally or negligently violated Wisconsin law", and so should face criminal charges. Smith dismissed the university's defence that the research project was exempt from the law.The case is the first in which animal researchers have faced criminal charges in the US since 1981. "If animal rights groups continue to pursue the use of laws in ways they were not originally intended, I'm concerned that universities may be forced to expend additional resources to counteract these unwarranted legal attacks," says Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research in Washington DC, which defends animal experiments. "I recommend institutions doing biomedical research educate their in-house counsels about these animal rights strategies and be prepared."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19040-us-animal-researchers-face-criminal-charges.html

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Big Pharma lies about statin drugs finally exposed in British Medical Journal

14/6/10

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

To hear Big Pharma tell it, statin drugs are "miracle" medicines that have prevented millions of heart attacks and strokes. But a recent study published in the British Medical Journal tells a completely different story: For every heart attack prevented by the drug, two or more people suffered liver damage, kidney failure, cataracts or extreme muscle weakness as a result of taking the drug.

Statin drugs, in other words, harm far more people than they help.

Julia Hippisley-Cox and Carol Coupland led the study which examined data from over two million patients, including over 225,000 patients who were new statin drug users. They found that for every 10,000 women being treated with statins, there were only 271 fewer cases of heart disease. And yet, at the same time, the statin drugs caused 74 cases of liver damage, 23 cases of acute kidney failure, 39 cases of extreme muscle weakness and 307 cases of cataracts.

Statin drugs, in other words, helped 271 people but harmed 443 people. This demonstrates how they are wreaking havoc with the health of those who take them, causing damage that far outweighs any benefit they might offer.

Big Pharma's highly deceptive advertising implies that statin drugs help everyone who takes them. So if 10,000 people took the drugs, we're promised, heart attacks would be prevented in all 10,000 people. That's the implied message in the drug ads, anyway. But this is just a wild exaggeration and distortion of the facts. Most drugs don't work on most people, and statin drugs only "work" on about 2.7% of those who take them. Yet they cause serious damage in about 4.4% of those who take them.

So if you take statin drugs, your odds of benefiting from them is less than 3 out of 100. But your odds of being harmed by them are more than 4 out of 100. For 96 out of 100 people, statin drugs do nothing except make the drug companies rich and pollute the waterways every time you flush the toilet.

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Revealed: Japan’s Bribes on Whaling

13/6/10

From The Sunday Times

A SUNDAY TIMES investigation has exposed Japan for bribing small nations with cash and prostitutes to gain their support for the mass slaughter of whales.
The undercover investigation found officials from six countries were willing to consider selling their votes on the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
The revelations come as Japan seeks to break the 24-year moratorium on commercial whaling. An IWC meeting that will decide the fate of thousands of whales, including endangered species, begins this month in Morocco.

Japan denies buying the votes of IWC members. However, The Sunday Times filmed officials from pro-whaling governments admitting:

  • They voted with the whalers because of the large amounts of aid from Japan. One said he was not sure if his country had any whales in its territorial waters. Others are landlocked.
  • They receive cash payments in envelopes at IWC meetings from Japanese officials who pay their travel and hotel bills.
  • One disclosed that call girls were offered when fisheries ministers and civil servants visited Japan for meetings.

Barry Gardiner, an MP and former Labour biodiversity minister, said the investigation revealed “disgraceful, shady practice”, which is “effectively buying votes”.

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Badger Cull on Hold

11/6/10

Badger cull in Pembrokeshire 'on hold' for appeal

A cull on badgers in Pembrokeshire will not begin before the results of an appeal, the Welsh rural affairs minister has announced. The decision was made after the Badger Trust was told it could appeal against the outcome of a judicial review that backed the assembly government's plans. Elin Jones had initially said work on the cull to try to stop TB being spread to cattle, would continue until a judge said otherwise.
 
The appeal is due on 30 June.
 
The trust disputes a cull, which is being piloted in an area of Pembrokeshire, would make any difference to the spread of bovine TB. At least 1,500 badgers could be killed during the five-year programme.
 
The Badger Trust, a charity which campaigns for the conservation and protection of badgers, had asked for the right to appeal against the outcome of a judicial review held in April, which upheld the assembly government's right to mount the cull.
 
It argued that the assembly government and the minister had not shown that a cull would "eliminate or substantially reduce" the rate of TB infection, as the law meant it had to, and that ministers had a duty to weigh the harm to the badger population against the possible benefits to farmers, but had not done so.The exact location of the proposed cull is a tightly-guarded secret
 
Mr Justice Elias agreed that these two points were "arguable" and granted the trust leave to appeal.

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Police Admit Mass Human Rights Breaches

11/6/10

Kent police 'learns the lesson' of £5.3 million policing operation that resulted in mass human rights breaches

Bindmans Press Release

Climate Camp protestors have received an unqualified apology from Kent police for subjecting them to unlawful searches, together with a commitment to disseminate the lessons learned to every police force in the UK and a modest amount of compensation.

The settlement brings to an end test case litigation brought by veteran activist Dave Morris and 11 year old twins who were attending the Climate Camp at Kingsnorth in July 2008 as their first political event.

Some three thousand five hundred stop and searches were carried out at Kingsnorth pursuant to the unlawful policy. It was set out in a secret, 'Police eyes only' briefing document known as 'Slide 18', the existence of which was only revealed immediately before the final court hearing. Kent Police had previously argued that searching officers had the necessary individual suspicion to justify every search.

In January the Divisional Court held that there had been human rights breaches in each of the test cases but referred the question of what redress needed to be made to the County Court if it could not be agreed. A settlement has now been reached under which the new Chief Constable of Kent will write to every other force stating: "During the Operation. a briefing was issued which did not give reasonable grounds to stop and search the Claimants under section 1 PACE. The material part . headed Slide 18, is also attached to this letter. As the October 2008 review undertaken by the National Police Improvement Agency found, this was interpreted as an instruction to search everyone. This interpretation by Officers within these circumstances has led Kent Police to face what it is we face today. Many people were searched as a result of these briefings. That should not have happened.

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Animal Protection Trial - Week 12

10/6/10

Confused hunter as witness for arson

This week in court a hunter testified about the burning down of a hunting cabin in 2007. He had told police in his statement that he had found the burnt down cabin on 13 November 2007. Whilst at the cabin he claimed he had seen two people cycling by and that one of them was one of the defendants. He said he recognized the defendant from a TV appearance.

Fire experts say however that the cause of the fire was most likely the careless use of a stove. A police officer on patrol had found...

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Vegan Streaker Jailed for Freeing Mink

9/5/10
 
An animal rights activist known as the vegan streaker has been jailed for 265 days (180 suspended) and given 240 hours of community service for releasing 2,500 mink from a fur farm in Zeeland in 2009.
 
Peter Janssen, 24, admitted releasing the animals. Most were caught soon afterwards but 50 died and around 100 were never caught.
 
A 21-year-old woman was found not guilty of the same charges.
 
The fur farm owner has submitted a €450,00 damages claim against Jansen for lost income because of stress caused to the animals and the damage to their pelts while they were free, the Telegraaf said.
 
Janssen got his nickname after streaking through a television show where a Paul de Leeuw programme was being recorded.

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/06/vegan_streaker_jailed_for_free.php

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Hunger Strike Protest

7/6/10

An activist has today begun a hunger strike outside the office of Willmott Dixon in Coleshill in protest at the involvement in the construction of a new animal lab at the University of Leicester.

A local campaigner commented "Midlands Animal Rights activists want to mount the pressure on the company, and a 3 - 5 days hunger strike will start as of Monday 7th June 2010 at 12 noon outside of their site. We are hoping to publicise this in the local press as much as possible in order to expose Willmott Dixon to the public and thus further the pressure on them to pull out of their contract in helping to build the new vivisection laboratory for Leicester University."

Please lend your support by attending, or contacting Willmott Dixon in disgust at their involvement in the new lab:

Chantry House,
High Street,
Coleshill,
Birmingham,
West Midlands
B46 3BP
Tel: 01675 467 666

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Spain Challenges the Bull Fighters

6/6/10

Why bullfighting is making Spain see red

Until a few years ago, there was little opposition to bullfighting in Spain. Now, the time-honoured bloody spectacle risks being outlawed in Catalonia. Is the game up for la corrida?

The Observer - Paul Richardson


Matador Manuel Jesús, ‘El Cid’, performs a pass in 2007 at La Maestranza in Seville, the sport’s oldest bullring. Photograph: Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters

A bull ring in a big Spanish city on a weekend afternoon: not a place for faint hearts, nor for anyone with ethical qualms about what they are here to see. The plaza is packed to the rafters; there are elderly couples and groups of young women, families, a few teenagers. Imagine a cross between a baseball game, a Roman circus, and a sell-out concert by some X Factor idol. All is noise, heat and shouting and garish colours; a wind band plays Spanish bullfight paso dobles.

Nothing about this scene has changed, in essence, since Hemingway, Orson Welles and Ava Gardner pitched up in Pamplona to sit in the front row and chomp on fat cigars. Out on the circle of sand, a vast open-air theatre, still strut the men in their black winged caps, their neat black slippers, their sparkly traje de luces ("suit of lights"), tighter on their taut bodies than seems either plausible or advisable, and their thick capes of DayGlo violet on one side and canary-yellow on the other.

Even the action, when it happens, seems archaic, timeworn, stuck in a groove of tradition. Out of a gate comes a large black bull moving at great speed, a thick-set beast weighing half a ton. The men in the spangly suits move in, taking the bull around the ring, tiring him out. The banderilleros do their grim business, planting coloured spikes in the bull's back, making the blood stream down its sides. But the torero is the star the public wants to see. He wields the red cape, the bull following it this way and that, creating an effect almost of intimacy as 500 kilos of horned fury brushes past his body. In an unguarded moment, the torero is caught off balance and the bull tosses him on its horns like a rag doll. The crowd screams as the torero staggers to his feet. There is dark blood running down his leg, staining the rich embroidery.

In a world that is bent on putting "reality" in inverted commas, there are few spectacles more viscerally immediate than this. There is plenty of brutality and death on our computer screens, but this live gore-fest is powerfully shocking to sensibilities numbed by virtual horror.

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Geese Culled in Park

5/6/10

Residents shocked by 'barbaric' cull of Canada geese in park - Stoke - PLEASE HELP!!

Residents shocked by 'barbaric' cull of Canada geese in park

RESIDENTS have branded a cull of Canada geese "barbaric" after they were woken early in the morning by the sound of gunfire in a neighbourhood park.
The shooting at the lake at Longton Park began soon after 5am yesterday and lasted for at least half-an-hour. One neighbour today described being particularly unnerved as the shots rang out just hours after she had seen TV footage of a gunman running amok in Cumbria, massacring 12 people.

Cassie Fletcher, whose home in Queens Park Avenue, Dresden, overlooks the park, said: "When you hear all that shooting at that time of the morning, the first thing in your mind is whether something similar is happening here. It made it doubly worrying." She was woken up by the noise just before 6am and rang the police immediately.

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Vaccine Conspiracy Exposed

5/6/10

WHO scandal exposed: Advisors received kickbacks from H1N1 vaccine manufacturers

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

A stunning new report reveals that top scientists who convinced the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare H1N1 a global pandemic held close financial ties to the drug companies that profited from the sale of those vaccines. This report, published in the British Medical Journal, exposes the hidden ties that drove WHO to declare a pandemic, resulting in billions of dollars in profits for vaccine manufacturers.

Several key advisors who urged WHO to declare a pandemic received direct financial compensation from the very same vaccine manufacturers who received a windfall of profits from the pandemic announcement. During all this, WHO refused to disclose any conflicts of interests between its top advisors and the drug companies who would financially benefit from its decisions.

All the kickbacks, in other words, were swept under the table and kept silent, and WHO somehow didn't think it was important to let the world know that it was receiving policy advice from individuals who stood to make millions of dollars when a pandemic was declared.

WHO credibility destroyed

The report was authored by Deborah Cohen (BMJ features editor), and Philip Carter, a journalist who works for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London. In their report, Cohen states, "...our investigation has revealed damaging issues. If these are not addressed, H1N1 may yet claim its biggest victim -- the credibility of the WHO and the trust in the global public health system."

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Notes from the Austrian Animal Protection Trial – Week 11

5/6/10

mmmmmmm

Protest outside the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC, USA

International Support in Washington DC...

Staff and volunteers from the American animal rights organisation FARM held a protest outside the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC this week. For an hour activists gathered and marched in front of the Austrian Embassy chanting messages and carrying large signs reading “Stop Austrian Repression”, “Activism is NOT a crime”, “Protect Free Speech” and “Drop all Charges – Shame on Austria!”. During the demonstration activists approached the embassy to deliver a letter to the embassy's public information officer, Wolfgang Renezeder. Friendly and understanding, Mr Renezeder was aware of the worldwide protests and agreed to make sure that the letter was delivered to the Ministry of Justice in Vienna.

The activists said they will continue to take a stand and speak out against the Austrian government until this injustice is stopped and the charges have been dropped against the 13 individuals.

... judge throws two defendants out of the court room and much more

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Sea Shepherd Captain Protests His Innocence

4/6/10

Case against me is all lies, says whaling activist on trial in Japan

AFP/ GETTY IMAGES

Pete Bethune with the powerboat which became the Ady Gil, which was fuelled by natural fats. It was sliced in half by the Shonan Maru No 2

Arrested at sea, taken to Tokyo in handcuffs and now facing a possible 15-year jail sentence for trying to stop Japan's annual whale cull, Peter Bethune has become a controversial hero of the environmental movement. But in Japan, where he is on trial for boarding a whaling ship and assaulting a crew member, he is despised and harangued by nationalists, who call him an eco-terrorist.

Mr Bethune is accused of throwing an acid similar to rancid butter, and injuring a member of the crew of the Shonan Maru No 2 that collided with his powerboat a month earlier during clashes in the Antarctic Ocean. The New Zealander's trial is the first in Japan against a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservationist Society, a direct action group founded more than 30 years ago in the US, and has attracted huge media attention.

Japanese ultra-nationalists have picketed his daily court appearances and staged noisy protests outside the New Zealand and Australian embassies in Tokyo. Some called for Mr Bethune to be "hanged" and for Japan to go to war with Australia over its whaling stance. Australia announced this week that it is upping the ante in the anti-whaling battle by following through on a long-standing threat to take Japan to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Australia and New Zealand accuse Japan of commercial whaling in what both countries consider a whale sanctuary. Tokyo calls the annual cull "scientific whaling" and says neither country has any legal claim over the southern oceans. Against this backdrop, Mr Bethune, from New Zealand, told The Independent that much of the evidence against him is an "orchestrated litany of lies" and described his trial as "judicial rape".

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Protest Planned at Ilkley Business

3/6/10

Animal rights activists say they plan to protest outside the headquarters of an Ilkley-based firm over the company’s involvement in the building of an animal testing laboratory. The National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA) group, based in Oxfordshire, says it plans to carry out a peaceful ‘sustained’ protest at buildings owned by the NG Bailey group of companies, including the firm’s head office, Denton Hall.

The group is opposed to the building of a £15 million laboratory at the University of Leicester, which will be used for carrying out tests on animals. University bosses said earlier this year that the ‘vital’ tests would be in an effort to find new treatments for cancer, heart disease, meningitis and other human illnesses.  NAVA says it is targeting NG Bailey for protests as the main sub-contracting builders for the laboratory. The group further claims that thousands of beagle dogs and rodents would be used in experiments at the laboratory – and said demonstrations had already taken place at two Leeds offices.

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M&S Proud to be Cruelty-Free

4/6/10

NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release
 
Marks & Spencer launches national animal-friendly advertising campaign

Company promotes its cruelty-free approval by the internationally recognized BUAV standard
 
The BUAV is delighted that Marks & Spencer, the major high street retailer, has today launched a national advertising campaign showcasing its non-animal testing policy and BUAV Approved status as part of its ‘Plan A’ eco-initiative. All Marks and Spencer’s own brand cosmetic, toiletries and household products are approved by the BUAV's Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) and Humane Household Product Standard (HHPS) and carry the globally recognised Leaping Bunny Logo.  The range of over 1200 products is the largest range of ‘cruelty free’ household and beauty products available on the High Street.

BUAV's Leaping Bunny Logo is the absolute gold standard in cruelty-free products. It symbolises an extensive independent audit process and guarantees that no animal testing has occurred in any part of the product or its ingredients after a fixed cut-off date. A fixed cut-off date is a date after which a company will not accept animal testing of any of its ingredients for cosmetic purposes.

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Opposing Views - Dr Ray Greek

2/6/10

Pascals’ wager

The animal experimentation community sells animal use to society based on their claim that animals can predict human response to drugs and disease. Want to cure cancer? Study mice. Want to understand HIV? Study monkeys. For example, according to the BBC May 31, 2010: American scientists say they have developed a vaccine which has prevented breast cancer from developing in mice. The article quotes Vincent Tuohy, from the Cleveland Clinic as saying:

We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women in the same way that vaccines have prevented many childhood diseases. If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental. We could eliminate breast cancer. (Emphasis added.)

An editorial in Nature May 20, 2010 is titled Still prime time for primates. It states:

Rats turn out to be surprisingly useful for research on cognition [see Neuroscience: The rat pack]. But if the goal is to understand the human brain and its many disorders, then primate studies remain essential . . . But the rodent researchers have never argued that rats could or should replace primates in research that is ultimately directed at understanding how the human brain works — and thus what goes wrong in neurological and psychiatric conditions . . . This approach — combined with the low cost of rearing and keeping rodents and the wide availability of genetic tools for studying them — promises to help scientists to reach these
basic cognitive components with unprecedented speed and rigour. Rodent research is also a less ethically sensitive issue than primate research, so the more information that can be wrung out of rats and mice the better. However, scientists will not be able to extrapolate directly from the rodent brain to the human brain to work out what has gone wrong in complex disorders such as schizophrenia. (Emphasis added.)

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Austrian Animal Protection Trial – Week 10

1/6/10

Solidarity Gathering in Paris, France

This week saw three detectives from the special commission testifying in court. What they told the judge revealed many shocking inconsistencies which the defence attempted to address in their questioning. However, the judge prevented this by not allowing many of the defences' questions.

Arrests and house raids based on assumptions

It transpired that in October 2007 police were already planning home raids and remand prison for a number of activists. The police reports show that Dr Balluch and VGT were the main suspects. However, this was based on nothing more than the assumption that VGT possibly provided a cover for people committing offences, there was no proof or any evidence. And Dr Balluch was considered the main suspect only because he was president of VGT.

Exonerating evidence – irrelevant?

Asked about investigative results, such as DNA tests and Mobile phone and vehicle tracking, which would clear the defendants of any involvement in offences, the detectives claimed that the results were in their reports but not in the final police reports, since evidence was only considered relevant, if it provided evidence for guilt.

The judge saw fit to end this line of questioning indicating that exonerating evidence was irrelevant for the 278a law as the defendants are not charged with committing any offence, but merely be a member of a criminal organisation by supporting it through legal means. She instead busied herself with asking the detectives whether they were of the opinion that the listed offences had been carried out by a “freaked out individual” acting alone with no connection to campaigns, campaigners or animal groups or whether an organisation was behind the offences. Observers of the proceedings, those few who were not trainee police officers ordered to be there of course, were dismayed at this question as it can only reflect the judge's opinion that there can only be one or the other. This is not the reality of a normal protest movement. A good example of this are the so called “threatening” e-mails sent to fur retailers. They are standard requests to a company asking them to stop selling fur.

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Massive Police Presence to Prevent Dairy Farm Protest

31/5/10

More than 150 law enforcement officers lined U.S. Route 42 for the planned protest.

Dairy Farm Protest Prompts Massive Police Presence

PLAIN CITY, Ohio — More than 150 law enforcement officers lined U.S. Route 42 on Monday for an animal rights protest at a dairy farm.

The protest against Conklin Dairy Farms Inc. was planned after an animal rights group shot undercover video of a Conklin employee brutalizing cows.

Billy Joe Gregg, who was seen in the video, was fired last week and was charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty, 10TV News reported.

The law enforcement included Union County sheriff's deputies, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, firefighters and emergency management staff. They were bracing for the possibility of violent action by animal rights activists, 10TV's Glenn McEntyre reported.

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Spanish Pig Farm Investigation

31/5/10

The images shown here are part of the Animal Equality's investigation on Spanish pig farms. They have been selected among thousands of photographs taken during our investigation. This has led us to visit 172 farms (intensive and extensive ones) from different parts of Spain. We have documented the life of these animals since their birth till their death at the slaughterhouses, and all the horrors they suffer (mutilations, freedom deprivation, cannibalism, illness, open wounds...).

link

Other AE links:-

link

http://www.vimeo.com/channels/granjasdecerdos

link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/igualdadanimal/

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Major Firms Scrap Animal Testing

30/5/10

Major firms scrap animal testing / Ito En, Shiseido take lead in consideration of EU, U.S. markets.

OSAKA--Ito En, Ltd., a major beverage maker based in Tokyo, abolished animal testing at the end of April, while cosmetics giant Shiseido Co. aims to do so within the company by March next year and abolish the practice completely, including through outsourcing, by March 2013, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.The companies decided to scrap the tests, eyeing European and U.S. markets, where animal rights movements are strong. In Europe, sales of cosmetics developed via animal testing are regulated. Since it is the first time major Japanese companies have decided to abolish animal tests, the move likely will affect other corporations. According to Ito En, the company decided to abolish animal testing through talks with animal rights organizations in the United States, the company's major export market, and also because it learned that two major U.S. beverage makers have abolished the practice. "It's an inevitable step as we take our business global," a staff member said. Ito En had experimented with animals, mainly rats, to verify the effectiveness of catechin, which is a substance in green tea. From now on, however, the company will adopt alternative testing methods such as using human cells. Yet animal tests are required to obtain government authorization of foods for specified health use. The company said it would outsource animal tests in case the data derived from such procedures become necessary in the future.Shiseido has not performed animal testing in its cosmetics research and development since the latter half of the 1980s and has limited such tests to the application of cosmetic materials. This spring, the company decided on a policy to completely abandon the practice, in accordance with European Union regulations.

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Cruel Horse Trader Jailed

27/5/10

James Gray was found guilty of the worst case of animal cruelty seen by the RSPCA.

A horse trader who went on the run while awaiting sentence for what the RSPCA described as the worst case of animal cruelty it had even seen started an eight-month jail sentence today. James Gray, who ill-treated more than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys on his family's farm, was arrested after being stopped by police during a random check on the M5 near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, yesterday.

The 46-year-old had absconded from Aylesbury crown court, Buckinghamshire, two weeks ago, and was given a 26-week prison sentence in his absence. Today, he was given an extra eight weeks' jail by the same court for breaking his bail conditions.

Gray's imprisonment comes after lengthy court proceedings that followed the discovery by the RSPCA and police of dead and emaciated horses at Spindles Farm, at High Heath, near Amersham.

The RSPCA chief inspector Rob Skinner said: "This is such an appalling and shocking case, not just because of the terrible suffering the animals endured, but because of the lack of compassion shown by members of the family who seemed to think it was OK to sit back and watch it happen." Thanking West Mercia police for spotting Gray's car using number plate recognition, he hoped the trader would never own another animal in his lifetime.

The investigation cost the RSPCA more than £2.3 million, including veterinary treatment and care of the rescued horses, who will now be rehomed.

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Meercat TV AD Cruelty

26/5/10

Meerkat misery: Thanks to that TV ad, they're now a must-have pet... but behind the cute image lies shocking cruelty

Right at the back of the pet shop, between the cages of mice, sacks of puppy feed and swarms of goldfish at £2.50 a pop, a little animal no more than eight inches tall is running up and down a poky mesh cage.

Simples, a one-year-old meerkat, is on sale for £900, making him quite a money-spinner for the store. Despite his high value, however, he looks anything but happy.
His cage at Planet Pets in Radcliffe, north Manchester, is just 5ft by 2ft ('not good enough,' according to the RSPCA) and he is kept in it alone, despite the fact that wild meerkats live in groups of ten to 30.

TV star: Meerkat 'Aleksandr Orlov' in the adverts for price comparison site comparethemarket.com


The animals are also hardwired to spend their days digging tunnels, but Simples has only a shallow layer of wood chips to play with.

And he's far from the only meerkat living in these kind of conditions, because they are big business - selling at pet shops up and down the country for as much as £1,500 each.

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Sea Shepherd Captain on Trial

26/5/10

Pete Bethune¹s Criminal Trial Starts May 27th

The criminal trial against Sea Shepherd Conservation Society volunteer Captain Pete Bethune begins in Tokyo on May 27. Captain Bethune was arrested in March and remains in maximum-security detention in Tokyo. He was detained after boarding the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2 in February to protest the sinking of Sea Shepherd's vessel Ady Gil (which he captained) as well as Japan's illegal whaling operations. He faces several charges, including trespassing and property damage.
Captain Bethune boarded the Shonan Maru 2 to present the captain of that vessel with a three million dollar invoice for damages arising from the Shonan Maru 2's destruction of the vessel Ady Gil. Bethune also boarded the vessel in an effort to stop it from slaughtering more whales, and his actions did cause the Shonan Maru 2 to prematurely withdraw from the illegal whaling operation in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd's Seattle-based law firm, Harris & Moure, will have two of its lawyers in Tokyo during the trial both to assist Bethune's Japanese defense team and to explain Sea Shepherd's position regarding the trial and Japan's illegal whaling operations. Harris & Moure's Managing Partner, Dan Harris, will be available in Tokyo for media questions beginning on May 26 and throughout the trial.

Steve Dickinson, who heads Harris & Moure's Asia practice out of Qingdao, China, will be at the trial both as a translator and as a liaison to Sea Shepherd in the United States. Mr. Dickinson began his legal career with a prominent Tokyo law firm and is fluent in Japanese.

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Is Factory Farming Making You Sick?

26/5/10

The following grim scenes feature in a new five-minute Animal Aid film released today (Wednesday, 26th May).

A calf no more than ten days old lying dead in a 'zero grazing' shed with blood seeping from his nose and mouth.

Young pigs looking for sustenance in a trough filled with faeces.

A piglet wandering across a floor streaked with afterbirth searching for his mother.

A bin full of dead sheep and lambs.

The film was shot secretly in randomly-selected farms across the UK during the last three years. The images support Animal Aid's argument that modern animal farming presents a significant threat to human health, as well as an intolerable burden upon the animals themselves.

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Inside a Dairy Farm

26/5/10

Ohio Dairy Farm Investigation | Mercy For Animals

BEWARE THE VIDEO IS SHOCKING

Chilling undercover footage recorded during a new Mercy For Animals investigation exposes dairy farm workers sadistically abusing cows and young calves.

Captured on hidden camera, the shocking scenes of abuse reveal a culture of cruelty at Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City, Ohio.

During a four-week investigation between April and May, MFA's investigator documented farm workers:

Violently punching young calves in the face, body slamming them to the ground, and pulling and throwing them by their ears

Routinely using pitchforks to stab cows in the face, legs and stomach

Kicking "downed" cows (those too injured to stand) in the face and neck – abuse carried out
and encouraged by the farm's owner

Maliciously beating restrained cows in the face with crowbars – some attacks involving over 40 blows to the head

Twisting cows' tails until the bones snapped

Punching cows' udders

Bragging about stabbing, dragging, shooting, breaking bones, and beating cows and calves to death

After viewing the footage, Dr. Bernard Rollin, distinguished professor of animal science at Colorado State University, stated: "This is probably the most gratuitous, sustained, sadistic animal abuse I have ever seen. The video depicts calculated, deliberate cruelty, based not on momentary rage but on taking pleasure through causing pain to cows and calves who are defenseless."

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Your Dog Needs You - Urgent

27/5/10

DANGEROUS DOGS ACT, DEFRA QUESTIONNAIRE - IMPORTANT

It is with grave concern and URGENCY that we felt it crucial to contact you and ask you to spread the word.

Are you aware of the Dog Control Bill that is currently on its second reading in the House of Lords and the effect it will have on all our dogs?

We believe this Bill is aimed at status, illegal and dangerous dogs but it actually affects every dog in the country.

It is intended to replace the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) and other legislation but actually extends the power of the law into your home and gardens.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE YOU ONLY HAVE UNTIL 1ST JUNE TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

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Horse Abuser Arrested

26/5/10

Horse trader Gray arrested after disappearing for two weeks

HORSE trader James Gray is back in police custody two weeks after he disappeared from court as he was due to be sentenced for animal cruelty offences.
Gray was arrested by police officers in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, earlier today and is to due back in court in Aylesbury tomorrow.

Gray, the owner of Spindles Farm in Hyde Heath, disappeared from Aylesbury Crown Court on Wednesday May 12 during a lunch break just as he was to be sentenced for nine offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

He had originally been convicted of the offences and appealed – but had his sentence of 26 weeks in prison, a lifetime ban from keeping equines and being made to pay £400,000 costs upheld in his absence.

Four other members of his family were sentenced at the same court hearing – having bans from keeping animals extended from five years to seven.
The Chiltern district's head of policing, Chief Inspector Ian Hunter, said: “I'm delighted that he's been arrested. We've been relentlessly pursuing and following all lines of enquiry.

“I was very confident he was going to be caught and that has now happened today. He will now carry out the sentence as the court had intended.”

http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk

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Huntsman Guilty of Assault

23/5/10

A hunt supporter

Huntsman fined after quad bike incident

The West's most prominent hunt monitor has received £50 compensation from a hunter who ran into him on a quadbike.

Kevin Hill was monitoring a meeting at Hatch Beauchamp, near Taunton, when the incident happened on January 29.

Mr Hill received a leg injury when a quad bike ridden by Stephen Browning hit him.

Mr Browning was fined a total of £665, and given six penalty points on his licence.

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/Huntsman-fined-quad-bike-incident/article-2200809-detail/article.html

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Veggie Patient Fed Meat

23/5/10

Vegetarian patient Dot, 87, fed meat by hospital

By Sam Matthew 23/05/2010

A hospital is under fire for feeding a life-long vegetarian patient meat as she lay helpless in bed.

Despite her family's pleas, staff fed it to frail and confused Dorothy Leese, 87, for two weeks. And yesterday a probe into what went wrong was under way at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. Mrs Leese's daughter, Tina angrily hit out: "When I raised her diet with staff I was made to feel I was being a nuisance.

"It is almost as though they're saying, 'She's a vegetarian - so what?'" Mrs Leese feels so strongly about animal rights she has never worn leather. Tina added: "I haven't got the heart to tell Mum what they've done because she'd be devastated."

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/05/23/vegetarian-patient-dot-87-fed-meat-by-hospital-115875-22278473/

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Bull Fighter Gored

22/5/10

This pic shows a Spanish matador being gored by a bull.

Spanish bullfighter Julio Aparicio is gored by a bull during a bullfight of the San Isidro Festival at the Las Ventas bullring in Madrid. Source: Herald Sun

Veteran bullfighter Julio Aparicio stumbles and falls to the ground, then the bull charges him.

The bull's horn enters Aparicio's throat and protrudes through his mouth, during the fight at Plaza de Toros las Ventas bullring as part of the San Isidro Festival in Madrid.

Apricio is in hospital in a critical condition.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/warning-graphic-pics-of-bullfight/story-e6frf7jo-1225869901001

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MOD Blow up Pigs

21/5/10

MoD blew up 119 live pigs in explosive tests
By Ian Drury

Animal rights campaigners expressed outrage last night after the Ministry of Defence admitted blowing up 119 live pigs in explosives tests.

The MoD defended the experiments, saying they had 'saved many lives' in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have led to improvements in body armour and the medical treatment of soldiers injured by roadside bombs, it said.

Questionable research? Scientists blew up 119 pigs at Porton Down research centre in Salisbury. They were investigating the effects of IEDs and explosives used by the Taliban. But animal welfare activists criticised the 'unethical' practice of causing 'massive mutilation and injury' to the pigs. The research took place at the Government's secret military research laboratory Porton Down, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, between 2006 and 2009. Official figures reveal 25 pigs were used in improvised explosive device experiments in 2006, 19 in 2007, 40 in 2008, and 35 in 2009. The animals are anaesthetised before the explosions.

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Stop the Hunt Ban Repeal

With the present government hell bent on overturning the hunt ban, now is the time to ask your MP to secure the future of the Hunting Act.

http://e-activist.com/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=122&ea.campaign.id=6614&ea.url.id=30056&ea.campaigner.email=kWhBXHScnoRJj8%2Bj9nbKYQ==&ea_broadcast_target_id=0&forwarded=true

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Contaminated Vaccines Approved

20/5/10

The FDA has just given its nod of approval to vaccines that are contaminated with a pig virus that causes a fatal wasting disease.
According to the FDA, injecting this virus into the bodies of human infants and children is perfectly fine. Read more about this shocking development in today's feature story:

http://www.naturalnews.com/028832_rotavirus_vaccines_contamination.html

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Swedish Mink Action

20/5/10

" they were put

Last night, activists from Djurrattsalliansen (Animal Rights Alliance) in Sweden placed over 40 minks in fountains in over 25 cities all over Sweden.

Together with a sign saying "Mink want to live in the water, not in cages" they were put up in fountains and given the name "fountain minks".

See more

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Heading for the Front Lines

20/5/10

Our flagship, Steve Irwin, is currently in Cannes, France, making final preparations for Operation Blue Rage. On another front, because of the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we have just announced our plans for a campaign to help with the animal rescue efforts there. This is called our Gulf Rescue Campaign.

Please read on to learn more about these current campaigns as well as environmental protection progress being made in the Galapagos and an update on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's investigation into the sinking of the Ady Gil this past January.

This is a critical time for Sea Shepherd. Our funds are stretched tight, having two campaigns at once while simultaneously preparing to go back to Antarctica to defend whales, but we know that with your support we can continue to defend, conserve, and protect our oceans.

While British Petroleum (BP) may be morally and legally responsible for causing the deep-sea oil breach in the Gulf of Mexico that is turning into the largest and most destructive oil spill in history, it is impractical and unwise to leave the rescue of all marine life in the Gulf to a private corporation.

We have initiated plans for a Gulf Rescue Campaign and are calling upon all able organizations to join us in sending vessels with trained crew to support large-scale efforts to rescue oiled sea birds, turtles, and other marine species.

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Reward for Fox Killers

20/5/10

Wales Against Animal Cruelty are being joined by Brian May's SAVE ME campaign, a site dedicated to defending the hunting act. They will be putting out an appeal on their site for donations towards reward money being offered for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for torturing this fox cub to death.

WAAC have already pledged £250, and that's just the start!

Found a dead fox cub on the edge of the Hiraethog forest today, with orange nylon rope tied in a knot around one her back legs. Her other back leg had been torn off - there was just a bit of jagged upper leg bone jutting down from her lower body. I believe this poor animal was used for baiting young hounds to become more vicious and so track and savage fully grown foxes to death. She was then dumped in the forest down a ditch on top of bramble and dried grasses. It was the smell of decay that gave away her whereabouts. This cub was obviously well fed by somebody before she was trapped/dug out, then abused, presumably by being swung around on the rope and mutilated by dogs. You could see she must have been very beautiful, not the thin scrawny types usually found in a forest area.

This poor girl was definitely tortured to death for the purpose of encouraging hounds/dogs to rip their victims apart I cannot begin to image what this poor young animal went through before she died of her injuries.

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Govt to Kill More Badgers

20/5/10

English badgers set for targeted culls

Coalition agreement likely to delight farmers but enrage animal welfare groups

Ministers are preparing to order targeted badger culls in England in a move that will delight farmers who believe it the prime factor in the spread of TB through their dairy herds – and enrage many animal welfare groups.

The new coalition agreement released by Downing Street today says: "As part of a package of measures, we will introduce a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis."

A cull is due to start in west Wales soon, after a failed legal challenge by critics. But the previous Labour administration ruled out the measure in England, insisting scientific research suggested it could actually help spread the disease faster as animals fled the kill zones.

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The Badger Trust Press Release

20/5/10

Jim Paice wrong on badger killing ‘science’

The Coalition agriculture and food minister, Mr Jim Paice is reported to have told West Country farmers that there would be a badger cull in areas of high bovine tuberculosis infection.

The formal Programme for Government issued today (May 20) says only the following: “As part of a package of measures, we will introduce a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis”.

The Badger Trust says that if the policy really were science-led killing badgers would not be considered at all.

David Williams, the chairman, said: “We do not yet know what ‘badger control’ means – vaccination, killing the protected species or effective biosecurity measures. In the case of killing badgers, repeated, properly structured scientific research, authoritatively and publicly published, has demonstrated that killing them would be of only marginal benefit, and even that would not be permanent. In addition there is a real risk of making the situation worse.

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Animal Lab to Move

20/5/10

Mystery around remote NY island begins to lift as storied animal research lab heads west

Plum Island Lab

Caption: This undated file photo provided by the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Plum Island Animal Disease Center off the coast of New York's Long Island. The federal government is looking for the public's input on what to do with the island now that plans are under way to move an animal research lab there to Kansas. (AP Photo/ARS-USDA/File) (Anonymous, AP / August 9, 2006)

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) — Hannibal Lecter, the fictional villain in "Silence of the Lambs," said it sounded "charming." Author Nelson DeMille made it the centerpiece of his 1997 thriller about deadly viruses and hidden treasure.

Since the infancy of the Cold War, Plum Island has been the site of an animal disease laboratory; access is limited to scientists, support personnel and, on rare occasions, invited guests. Because of its remote location a mile and half off the eastern tip of Long Island's north fork, it frequently has been the target of rife speculation about what really goes on there.

The general public could someday get access to the 840-acre pork chop-shaped oasis now that the federal government is moving its animal disease research functions to a new lab in Manhattan, Kan. With a "For Sale" sign about to go up at Plum Island, the General Services Administration is seeking community input on what should be done with the property. A hearing was held Wednesday in Connecticut and another is scheduled for Thursday on Long Island.

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A Deep, Pervasive Sickness

19/5/10

Sheep CT scans boost flock quality
Anthony Bartram
BBC News

Researchers say the process is just speeding up natural selection

Putting a live sheep into a CT scanner looks ungainly, even slightly comical, but the science behind it has serious implications for Britain's national flock. One by one they are mildly sedated by a vet and then strapped to a gurney, complete with head cushion for comfort. Once loaded on to the machine itself, a slow conveyor takes them through the large white, donut-shaped scanner.

This is not happening because the animal is hurt or injured, in fact the Charollais ram is in tip top condition and his owner wants more like him. Dr Kevin Sinclair, a professor in developmental biology at The University of Nottingham, is helping farmers pick the best of the best to breed better quality meat into their flocks. He says:

"One argument for lamb becoming less popular as a meat is because people complain about it being too fatty.
"Breeders are increasingly testing their animals for leanness and this does it with pinpoint accuracy."

Read more

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Austrian Animal Protection Trial – Week 9

19/5/10

Court time taken up with legal demonstrations

A famous Austrian musician gave a concert in Stuttgart, Germany. A demonstration against the repression in Austria was organised in front of the concert

After almost all of last week and most of this week's trial dates being taken up by questioning witnesses about legal anti fur demonstrations the defence made an objection to the judge on the grounds that the demonstrations under discussion were legally registered, not forbidden by the police and had no relevance to any crimes. The judge overruled the objection stating that those demonstrations were incriminated as part of a double strategy of legal protests and illegal activity. The two days in court this week were taken up with shop assistants and store managers being asked to describe the anti fur demonstrations in front of their stores and the behaviour of the protesters taking part.

One store manager claimed enthusiastically that one of the defence lawyers was an aggressive protester who was constantly demonstrating outside her store! Dr Stuefer, the lawyer in question, has nothing to do with animal rights campaigning.

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Harrods Fur Campaign

18/5/10

Please contact Harrods' new owners at the address below.

Some of you will by now be aware that Harrods was bought last week by Qatar Holding, a company set up by and operated on behalf of the Qatari Royal Family. You probably also know that Harrods is the only department store in the UK which continues to sell real fur, despite the fact the production of fur is illegal in the this country.

For several years anti-fur campaigners had been trying to persuade the previous owner Mohamed Al Fayed to withdraw fur from sale, but instead Al Fayed went to court and took out legal injunctions to try to have the protests stopped. After 4 years of protests and court cases, the campaign continued. When Qatar bought Harrods they also bought the campaign that goes with it.

Qatar Holding is basically an arm of the Qatari royal family, which rules the tiny, but oil rich Gulf Arab state. The Chairman of Qatar Holding is also the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, (His Excellency Sheikh. Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani.) He is also part of the Al Thani Dynasty which has ruled Qatar for almost 2 centuries, his cousin is the Emir of Qatar.

We are hoping that the new owners will take the compassionate step of stopping the sale of fur in Harrods once and for all, and that is where you can help us.

Our first step is...

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Greyhound Racing Ends in New England

17/5/10

Greyhound Racing Ends in New England; Opponents Focus on Florida
By Michael J. Mooney

This time last year, we had a cover story about Jailamony, a greyhound with a broken leg, and the national fight over greyhound racing. While Florida, with 13 tracks, remains the mecca of dog racing in this country, other states continue banning live racing.

Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri signed legislation Friday allowing betting parlors in that state to end dog racing, meaning greyhound racing is over in all of New England.

Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine each outlawed dog racing in the past couple of years. It ended for financial reasons in New Hampshire, and the state Senate recently voted to make live racing illegal. Connecticut's last greyhound track closed in 2006.

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Liberated Mink Survive in the Wild, study shows

15/5/10

Study shows released mink survive in the wild

Laying to waste fur industry claims that A.L.F.-liberated mink do not survive in the wild, a recent study published in April 2009 studies the survival rate of captive-bred mink when released. The study, done in partnership with Oxford University, tracked the survival of released mink over eight years. The study found that none of the released mink died directly due to lack of survival skills.

For years, anecdotal evidence and quotes from wildlife biologists supported the possibility of high survival rates for released mink. For example, view this article on a (now removed) blog post from a Utah woman finding a mink in her yard near the McMullin Fur Farm, 18 months after it was raided by the Animal Liberation Front.

The Mink Release Study

The study (viewed here), is titled "The survival of captive-born animals in restoration programmes – Case study of the endangered European mink Mustela lutreola".

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Unforeseen in Animal Tests

20th April to 14th May

Study of Glaxo platelet drug halted due to clots.
Newron shares plummet 55% after drug fails
F.D.A. Rejects InterMune’s Drug for Fatal Lung Disease.
Tylenol, Excedrin study shows they have no benefit
‘Antidepressant tied to risk of newborn heart defect.’
Regulator examines prostate medications for diabetes and heart risks.
‘Trial Of Glaxo 'Red Wine' Drug Suspended; Safety Events Cited.’
‘F.D.A. Rejects InterMune’s Drug for Fatal Lung Disease.’
‘Taking the pill could be putting women off sex, a new study has claimed.’
Pfizer halts late-stage testing of cancer drug due to serious adverse rections
‘Anticonvulsant drugs linked to suicidal behaviour.’
‘“Don’t give children flu jab” says chief medical officer’
FDA boxed warning for Propylthiouracil due to liver injury, failure and death.
Alzheimer drug fails.
Antisoma loses staff as drug fails
Medical journal ‘Alzheimer's drugs hurt brain?’
GSK lupus drug disappoints in human trials.
March FDA posting issues 40 new adverse reaction warnings.
US regulator FDA issued 25 further new warnings over adverse reactions in March

All articles available from VIN – vivisectionkills@hotmail.com

Related Articles:

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Police Urged to Kill Dogs

13/5/10

Met urged to destroy dangerous dogs to save money

There are currently 451 dogs held in Met police kennels Scotland Yard has been urged to destroy thousands of dangerous dogs rather than paying more than £10m to care for them.

The Metropolitan Police (Met) plans to outsource kennelling and care of dangerous dogs, which could cost up to £10m over four years.

Lord Harris, former Metropolitan Police Authority chairman, asked: "Why don't we just put them down?"

A record 1,146 dogs, including pit-bull terriers, were seized in London in 2009. Police currently have 451 dogs. Each dog can cost the force up to £9,000, while owners fight lengthy court cases trying to prevent destruction.

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Lab Contractor Pulls Out

13/5/10

Despite going to their best efforts to hide all contractors involved in the construction of the new laboratory at the University of Leicester, we have managed to track them all down.

We are able to confirm that as of Monday, A-Plant Hire are no longer involved in the project and are withdrawing all building and construction equipment from use at the site.

As "one of the largest non-operated equipment rental companies in the world" with over 100 sites in the UK, and many others in the USA, this is the first of many victories on the road to stopping the new animal lab being built. We thank A-Plant for making the ethical decision and hope that other contractors will make the same choice and follow suit.

http://www.noleicesterlab.co.uk/news/13_05_10c.html

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Scientists' Turn to Win Votes

12/5/10


Rather than bemoaning the loss of science-savvy politicians in last week's election, researchers in the UK should strive to make new friends

As Nature goes to press, the United Kingdom's general election of 6 May has still not produced a clear outcome. Although the right-leaning Conservative Party won the most seats in the parliament, they failed to capture the majority needed to form a government. In the coming days, the Conservatives or the incumbent Labour Party are likely to form a coalition with the left-leaning Liberal Democrats to govern the country.

What seems clear, however, is that the next parliament will contain fewer scientifically savvy members than the current one. An analysis by London's The Times newspaper shows that some 71 candidates with scientific backgrounds have been elected, down from 86 of the 650 members in the last parliament. Among the defeated is Evan Harris, a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Liberal Democrats, who was considered by many to be the most articulate voice during the election for science and its importance in policy-making.

Harris's fate represents the dashed hopes of a small but vocal minority of scientists and policy-watchers who tried to shape research into a live campaign issue. In the aftermath of the election, The Times announced that it had been a “terrible night” for science, while New Scientist declared that “science is the loser”.

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Flu Vaccine & Convulsion

12/5/10

Influenza vaccine sends children into convulsions

Influenza vaccines have sent 57 children into life-threatening convulsions, reports The Age out of Australia. These influenza vaccines were being give to children under five to "protect" them from seasonal flu, but after receiving the shots, these children started going into convulsions.

An investigation has revealed that there is no quality control problem with any particular batch of influenza vaccines. They all pass quality control, in other words, so the convulsions are being caused by what is intentionally put into the vaccines, not by some mistaken chemical contaminant.

This, of course, baffles conventional doctors who have all been told that vaccines are perfectly safe and could never harm anyone. So rather than pausing to consider what might be contained in the vaccines that's causing children to go into convulsions, they charge ahead with the recommendation that even more people should get vaccines.

Alan Hampson, chairman of Australia's Influenza Specialist Group, "...advised young, healthy people anxious to get the flu vaccine to consider having the swine flu vaccine" reports The Age. There is no amount of real-world evidence, you see, that can break the mythological stranglehold that vaccines have over the minds of mainstream physicians. Even if children start dropping to the floor and convulsing right in front of them, they will continue to push vaccines on even more children.

Read more

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Convicted Horse Trader Absconds

12/5/10

By Lauren Turner, Press Association

A horse trader convicted of the worst case of animal cruelty ever seen by the RSPCA absconded from court today as he awaited sentence. James Gray, 46, neglected more than 100 animals on his family farm, with horses found crammed into pens ankle-deep in their own faeces and carcasses littering the fields.
Gray attended Aylesbury Crown Court, Buckinghamshire, to appeal against his 24-week prison sentence today, having lost an appeal against his convictions last week. But when the court resumed after adjourning for the judge to deliberate, Gray was nowhere to be found.

It is thought he walked past security guards and into the town centre, despite being told by Judge Christopher Tyrer not to leave the court building for the hour-long break. A warrant for his arrest was issued.

Michael Fullerton, representing Gray, was asked by the judge where his client was, and replied: "I have no idea. I haven't seen him from the time the court rose."
Gray, who was convicted along with his wife and three of his children following the neglect at Spindle Farm in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, was sentenced in his absence to 26 weeks in prison.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/convicted-horse-trader-absconds-from-court-1971845.html

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Mike Tyson Turns Vegan

12/5/10

Mike Tyson's fighting fit again... and he's turned VEGAN

He once infamously bit off part of an opponent's ear during a fight, but it seems Mike Tyson has lost his taste for meat

The former boxer claims to have given up animal products in exchange for a purely vegan diet. And it seems the change is doing him some good. After piling on the pounds in recent years, Tyson looked fighting fit as he headed out for dinner in Beverly Hills last night. While recording a 90-minute interview for the Yes Network in New York last week he revealed that he had given up eating meat or animal products. The 43-year-old said he'd become a vegan and finally had 'no drama' in his life.
The wire service AP reported: 'Alternately defiant, choked-up and introspective, Tyson's frank answers frequently drew applause and laughs, some of the nervous variety, as he detailed his rise and fall as heavyweight champion.'

Read more

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Shining a Light in the Darkness

11/5/10

Science Media Centre

Waking up to the news that Dr Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat science spokesperson, had lost his seat in last week’s election by a tiny margin was devastating. I can’t even remember how or under what circumstances I met Evan, but for anyone who works, as we do, on the frontline of some of the biggest scientific debates of our times, it is only ever a matter of time before you get to know this MP well. As the Science Media Centre emerged out of the ashes of the GM saga the remit was clear: to encourage more scientists to engage more effectively on contentious issues like GM. Opening in April 2002, a series of issues faced us that were clearly our reason for being: the MMR/autism controversy, the high profile campaign of opposition to animal research and the controversy over the use of embryos in stem cell research. Finding scientists to speak out on any of these issues was initially a huge challenge, yet Evan seemed to have made every one of them his own; arguing on behalf of the scientists involved in every public forum he could access. And that brave and dogged support of scientists working on the most controversial issues has remained a constant – seemingly impervious to either party politics or the search for vote-winning populist policies that dominates so much of politics.

It was eagle-eyed Evan Harris who first spotted the line in the draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that revealed that government may move to ban human-animal hybrid embryo research in response to public revulsion. It was Evan who organised the first meetings of scientists to contest the proposed the ban, which grew into one of the biggest and most successful scientific collaborations on a scientific controversy. A year later, when Parliament voted in favour of allowing research on human-animal hybrids, few in science failed to acknowledge the exceptional contribution of one politician to this amazing transformation in public and political opinion.

Arriving in the office after Evan’s defeat I discovered that my personal sense of dismay was widely shared with hundreds of scientists, science press officers and science journalists, all emailing and texting to express their shock that science had lost one of its foremost champions in Parliament. It’s clear that this is not a partly political issue, with one of the first supportive comments received coming from Lord Drayson, the Labour government’s Science Minister who has sparred respectfully and humorously with Evan at all three pre-election science candidates' debates. Perhaps one of the more poignant comments came from Professor Brian Cox, who admitted aloud that he and the scientific community should have waded in to fight for Evan’s seat given the importance of having such a champion in Parliament. His comments reflected some of the interesting articles written about science in government in the run up to the election, with respected journalists like Mark Henderson and Roger Highfield speculating whether we should or could corale the ‘science vote’ as a force in British politics.

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Mink Farming is Killing the Lakes

10/5/10

Nova Scotian Mink Industry Blamed for Water Woes

HALIFAX—Tensions are running high in Yarmouth County. A proposal for a lakeside mink ranch near Carleton, Nova Scotia has resulted in a call for the provincial government to declare a moratorium on the establishment of new lake- and riverside farming developments. Residents are worried their lake will be condemned to the same fate as many other water-bodies in the Carleton River watershed, which have been overrun by blue-green algal blooms.

“The pollution is so bad," says Carlene MacDonald, a Carleton resident. "The mink breeders choose to use 100 kilometres of river systems as their toilet and the government allows it by not responding.”

Preparations have begun for the mink ranch on Sloans Lake. Locals are concerned their lake will be polluted by manure, urine, offal, caustic cleaning liquids and fly control chemicals from the ranch. Photo: Carlene MacDonald

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Global Cooling? Never!

10/5/10

Space and Science Research Center

Food and Ethanol Shortages Imminent as Earth Enters New Cold Climate Era

The Space and Science Research Center (SSRC), the leading independent research organization in the United States on the subject of the next climate change, issues today the following warning of imminent crop damage expected to produce food and ethanol shortages for the US and Canada:

Over the next 30 months, global temperatures are expected to make another dramatic drop even greater than that seen during the 2007-2008 period. As the Earth’s current El Nino dissipates, the planet will return to the long term temperature decline brought on by the Sun’s historic reduction in output, the on-going “solar hibernation.” In follow-up to the specific global temperature forecast posted in SSRC Press Release 4-2009, the SSRC advises that in order to return to the long term decline slope from the current El Nino induced high temperatures, a significant global cold weather re-direction must occur. According to SSRC Director John Casey, “The Earth typically makes adjustments in major temperature spikes within two to three years. In this case as we cool down from El Nino, we are dealing with the combined effects of this planetary thermodynamic normalization and the influence of the more powerful underlying global temperature downturn brought on by the solar hibernation. Both forces will present the first opportunity since the period of Sun-caused global warming period ended to witness obvious harmful agricultural impacts of the new cold climate. Analysis shows that food and crop derived fuel will for the first time, become threatened in the next two and a half years. Though the SSRC does not get involved with short term weather prediction, it would not be unusual to see these ill-effects this year much less within the next 30 months.”

The SSRC further adds that the severity of this projected near term decline may be on the order of 0.9 C to 1.1 C from present levels. Surprising cold weather fronts will adversely impact all northern grain crops including of course wheat and the corn used in ethanol for automotive fuel.

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Harris Blames Leaflet Smears - Oxford Times

10/5/10

Ousted Oxford West and Abingdon MP Dr Evan Harris blames leaflet smears from animal rights and Christian groups

DR Evan Harris blamed “inflamatory” leaflet campaigns for his being ousted from parliament last week. The Liberal Democrat MP lost his Oxford West and Abingdon seat after 13 years when Conservative Nicola Blackwood beat him by just 176 votes. Dr Harris said he feared campaigns by an animal rights group and an Anglican priest played a part in swinging votes against him. He said:

“I hope that this does not discourage other politicians from speaking out on some of these important issues.

“If people think these kind of negative campaigns are effective, we could see more of it. But we need politicians who speak their minds. You cannot agree with both sides. Some politicians keep quiet and do not argue their case.

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Austrian Trial Week Eight

10/5/10

The Press

The press this week have reported on the long drawn out nature of the trial and the distinct lack of any evidence against the defendants coming to light. Reports also reminded the public of the tax payers' money which has been and continues to be sunk into this case. Other reports focused on the bizarre and often deeply worrying happenings inside the courtroom. One journalist compiled a list of quotes and events – the majority of which appear in these and preceding notes. This week also saw the head of Amnesty International Austria criticising the trial in an online interview with one of the country's leading newspapers.

Judge's decision to withdraw linguistic statement

The judge again adjourned her decision to withdraw Dr Schweiger's statement and the decision to allow a second linguistic statement from the defence.

Media spokesperson for Kleider Bauer

The questioning of Kleider Bauer's media spokesperson was conducted by the judge in a separate room in the court building. The questioning was shown on a screen in real-time in the courtroom. The reason for this unusual procedure was that the spokesperson claimed that she “felt mentally unable to testify in front of the defendants”.

Before leaving the courtroom to conduct the private questioning, the judge told the court that this witness would be questioned about two incidents. Firstly about damage to her car in 2007. The judge showed photos to the court of the car where white marks could be seen on the paint work and the tyres had been punctured. Police had found fingerprints on the car, but they didn't match to any of the defendants.

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APP Election Victory

8/5/10

Dr Evan Harris stood on the podium five years ago and romped home with a 7,683-seat majority. A safe seat for the Big Pharma front man and useful to them to help peddle their potions. These are all tested on animals, passed as ‘safe’ and often go on to do people harm or lead to more drugs which are tested on animals and so on. At around 4.00am yesterday morning following a number of tense recounts of the Oxford West votes, Evan Harris took the platform for the result along with Keith Mann but was rather less buoyant than previously. Let us not forget we don’t ask for votes for the Animal Protection Party instead we ask for voters to tick any box other than the target, for example Evan Harris. And they did, wiping out his majority!

Let us also remember that this defender of great evil has been prominent in inciting the savagery inflicted on our companions inside the windowless chambers of Oxford University. Remember Tipu Aziz brain damaging little Felix and the others for TV? Harris and Aziz marched with placards through the streets of Oxford alongside the vivisectors and assorted chums demanding more of this terrible, misguided exploitation of our fellow earthlings! How much of human society really wants more animals to be used in this way? We believe that most people have evolved beyond this and view children in a similar way to animals and as Evan Harris hasn’t we joined up some dots for his constituents and forged allies to achieve our stated aim.

Harris couldn’t hold back from moaning to the audience during his losers’ speech of the “dirty” nature of the Animal Protection Party campaign and told of his hopes that this approach wouldn’t become a regular feature of British politics. It only added insult to his injury when we reiterated that this is exactly what we intend to do!

“Science lost one of its strongest parliamentary supporters with the surprise defeat of Evan Harris, Professor David Nutt, who resigned as chairman of the Government's drugs advisory committee, said that it was a sad day for science and the Government." The Independent

To further strengthen this important step forward we have established connections with people who once might have had less respect for our kind of thinking than they now do. Many of who have expressed their admiration for our efforts, one Oxford candidate, a Green, was big enough to state that he believed that we had a greater case for standing than he did. And it’s perhaps worth noting that the personable Nicola Blackwood, the Conservative who has replaced Evan Harris, is against repealing the Hunting Act. Harris however voted very strongly against the ban. What a gem!

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A Terrible Night for Science

7/5/10

Last week, we predicted that May 6, 2010 would be a bad night for parliamentary representation of science in Britain. Many of the Commons's most effective champions of science were retiring or threatened with losing their seats, and they did not appear to be matched by many likely newcomers with similar credentials. The number of MPs with a science background, our research indicated, was likely to fall from 86 in the last Parliament to 77 in the new one.

It turned out to be much worse than that. This election looks to have had a truly dreadful outcome for science, regardless of which party or parties ultimately go on to form the Government. It has denuded the House of Commons of science's strongest advocates, and significantly eroded its scientific expertise.

The most damaging result came in Oxford West & Abingdon, where Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat science spokesman, lost to the Tories by just 176 votes, after a recount. His departure will be keenly felt, for no MP has done more to speak up for science and to campaign for its interests over the past 13 years.

Evan Harris has been front and centre on almost any scientific issue you care to name. He played a pivotal role in ensuring that the recent Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act was amended so as not to constrain science or medicine. He has led the campaign for reform of the libel laws, in light of cases such as Simon Singh's. He speaks up for the researchers who conduct animal experiments, and was a brave defender of Oxford University's new animal research facility (which was in his constituency under old boundaries).

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A Harassed Harris - BBC News

7/5/10

 

Lib Dem MP Evan Harris loses Oxford West and Abingdon

Dr Harris said it was a "great disappointment"

Liberal Democrat Evan Harris has lost the seat for Oxford West and Abingdon to Conservative Nicola Blackwood. In a surprise defeat Dr Harris, who took the seat from the Tories in 1997, polled 23,730 votes - only 176 less than Ms Blackwood's 23,906 votes.

The count was so close that the votes had to be recounted.

Dr Harris, who said opponents had told untruths against him during the campaign, said the result was a disappointment but he would come back.
During the campaign, Dr Harris criticised an opponent's leaflet campaign describing him as "Dr Death".

The Animal Protection Party claimed Dr Harris had an "enthusiasm for euthanasia", but Dr Harris dismissed the attack as "disgraceful".

Ms Blackwood said: "I feel rather elated; I have to say this wasn't the result I expected when I came over in the car this evening. "It has been rather a tense evening. We've had several recounts but when it comes down to it this was a seat where every single vote counted." Ms Blackwood then fulfilled a promise to sing live on air on BBC Oxford. Earlier in the night she promised she would sing if she won - after fellow Tory MP Ed Vaizey revealed she was a trained opera singer.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/england/8667863.stm

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Austrian Trial Week 7

6/5/10

Solidarity

Two international solidarity actions took place this week. The first was a blockade on the border between the Czech Republic and Austria which got into the main news channels. Protesters were interviewed at length about the case and about the international protest campaign: http://www.shameonaustria.org

The second action was in Stuttgart, Germany: http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=HOwJmAeGLik

Police Security Report

A press conference this week presenting this years terrorism report of 2009 informed media that in 2009 only 3 animal rights related crimes had taken place in Austria. Ministers conclude from this that the leaders of the criminal organisation are the people now standing trial. The report summarizes fully legal activities as being activities of a criminal organisation!

New Court Regulations

Monday morning of week 7. Outside the court building police in full uniform were present. In the court room between 40 and 50 trainee police officers took up seats in the public viewing gallery. Presumably this measure was in response to the last session's disturbances from the public as they expressed their outrage at the disputed testimony given by the prosecution's linguistic expert.

In addition, anyone wanting to observe the proceeding as of Monday must now show ID. This was not the case up until now. Thanks to this surprisingly rapid change in court regulations around 30 animal rights sympathisers didn't get to watch the proceedings, including relatives of the defendants.

A general ban on filming anywhere in the whole court building was also issued this week.

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An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

© Keith Mann
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