Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) does not require cosmetic testing on animals, it does allow a company to take whatever steps necessary to prove product safety. This includes animal testing. Even though the FDA does advocate for alternative methods of testing, it seems to be an all too common perception that animal testing is necessary for the development of safe products.
Answer by Rory Young:
Ivory poaching has not decreased as poverty has been alleviated, the opposite has happened. This is because ivory and rhino horn poaching are about green not hunger!
As Africa (where the poaching happens) and the Far East (where the biggest market is) have grown economically, and especially with regards to their per capita income, the poaching of ivory and rhino horn has escalated in tandem with this economic growth.
In our newest film you'll see three former federal agents and a Congressman blow the whistle on the USDA's barbaric and wasteful Wildlife Services program and expose the government’s secret war on wildlife.
Dec. 1, 2013 - An agency within the USDA called Wildlife Services—a misnamed entity if there ever was one—has been having their way for almost a century, killing over 100,000 native predators and millions of birds each year, as well as maiming, poisoning, and brutalizing countless pets.
December 4, 2013
Responding to Congressional requests and well over a hundred thousand letters from the public, the Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General confirmed today that it plans to conduct an audit of the USDA’s controversial Wildlife Services predator control program. Every year, at a cost of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, Wildlife Services uses traps, poisons and guns to kill over 100,000 native carnivores such as bears, wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions.
The notoriously substandard Las Vegas Zoo, where 150 animals were confined on just three acres, closed its doors a few months ago after all its zookeepers mysteriously quit.
The animals at the zoo included a lion, a cheetah, a chimp, a crocodile and some apes, including a chimp named Terri.
Observers described Terry as a forlorn individual living in a cage with rotten, shriveled fruit, and filthy drinking water. He came to the zoo nearly 20 years ago with his longtime friend Simon. As youngsters they had performed an ice skating routine for the Ice Capades, a traveling entertainment show. Simon died shortly after they arrived at the zoo. Since then Terry lived alone.
A few people, including his former owner and trainer at the Ice Capades, dropped by once in awhile to try and cheer him up, but it was generally agreed he was deeply depressed.
Fortunately, Terry’s story has a happy ending. In October he was taken in by Save the Chimps (STC), a Florida sanctuary, where he has made his first friend, a female named Indie.
A recent post from the sanctuary described how
Indie, a very laid-back, quiet, friendly chimpanzee, wasn’t troubled when Terry ignored her. In fact, she pretty much lost interest in him. Ironically, this is exactly what Terry needed. Since Indie wasn’t bothering to even attempt to interact with Terry, he had the opportunity to observe her without feeling threatened in any way. Over the next few days, he became more and more curious about her, even following her from room to room in the Special Needs building. Then, a little over a week after they met, Terry let Indie groom him!”
The staff considered this an enormous breakthrough. To their knowledge, “It was the first time Terry had been touched by another chimpanzee in eighteen years.”
Donate to STC: https://www.savethechimps.org/donate
The IUCN has just listed the okapi as Endangered, only one step away from the highest risk of extinction, Critically Endangered.
The animal wasn’t recognized by the western scientific establishment until brought to their attention by Sir Harry Johnston in 1901. I wrote about how the okapi got its (Western) name in Anatomy of a Beast:
Sir Harry Johnston…made a career in Africa during the reign of Queen Victoria. In his Book of Great Jungles, biologist and nature writer Ivan Sanderson devoted several pages to Sir Harry whom he viewed as the forerunner of a new guard of explorer: the naturalist. “Johnston went to ‘the dark continent’ on a shooting trip in 1882,” Sanderson wrote, “and stayed simply because he wanted to paint pictures and see the country, not explore for new routes or opportunities for trade.”
Against a legion of naysayers, Johnston became the first Westerner to “discover” the Okapi, an odd horse-sized mammal that resembled somewhat a zebra but shaped more like a giraffe. The reigning scientists in London finally had to admit his success when he presented them a skull and hide from the animal, which they hurriedly named Okapia johnstoni. Sir Harry collected animals for the London zoo and had his own zoological garden at home. Several of his pets accompanied him on his expeditions and, no matter the equatorial weather, he always dressed for dinner.
The elusive giraffe-like forest creature is one of the oldest mammals left on earth and nearly impossible to observe in the dense tropic forests because its sense of hearing and smell are extremely acute.
Armed conflict, human settlement, deforestation and poaching have reduced the okapi’s numbers to approximately 10,000 to 15,000 animals in the wild, down from an estimated 40,000 a decade ago.
Their last redoubt is the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in a 13,700-sq-km tract of the Ituri Forest in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Over 40% of the okapi left on earth live in and around the Reserve where the Okapi Conservation Project (OCP) works with ICCN rangers (the Institute in Congo for the Conservation of Nature) and local communities to protect the biodiversity of the Ituri Forest.
The reserve, home to significant populations of leopard, forest elephants, bonobos, chimpanzees, monkeys, peacocks, and crocodiles, became a World Heritage Site in 1996.
Last September (ANIMAL POST “Men with guns” September 8, 2012), MaiMai Simba rebels, led by an elephant poacher known as Morgan, armed with AK-47 rifles, invaded the reserve’s Epulu station killed seven park staff and their family members and took others hostage. They destroyed the reserve’s infrastructure and, in a final brutal act, killed the station’s 15 okapi, who were serving as a reservoir for the infusion of new genetic stock into okapi populations in global conservation programs.
Over a year later, security and peace has begun to return to Epulu with the armed militias being run out of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. However, the militia that conducted the raid, including its leader Morgan, remain at large.
For an update on the reserve and the okapi go here.
For more information or to donate, visit the Okapi Conservation Project.
The Nonhuman Rights Project is filing three lawsuits in New York State this week to rescue chimpanzees from abusive situations and move them to sanctuary.
The first suit, filed today, concerns Tommy, who lives alone in a small cement cage at a used trailer lot in Gloversville. Tommy is the last of six chimps that were kept in cages at the business to attract customers. In the last three to four years, all but Tommy have died.
The second lawsuit will be filed Tuesday on behalf of Kiko, a chimpanzee who is deaf and living in a private home in Niagara Falls. The third will be filed Thursday on behalf of Hercules and Leo, who are being used in locomotion experiments at Stony Brook University on Long Island.
The legal cause of action being invoked is the common law writ of habeas corpus, in which a person being held captive seeks relief by calling upon his captors to show cause as to why they have the right to hold him or her. The aim is to breach the legal wall that separates humans from nonhuman animals.
Will this madness ever stop?
Mongabay reports that Greenpeace has photos of illegal clearing.
Flyovers of a concession owned by PT Andalan Sukses Makmur, a subsidiary of Bumitama Agri Ltd, show excavators clearing peat forests and digging drainage canals just outside Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan. Tanjung Puting is famous for its population of orangutans that have been intensely studied by Birute Galdikas, a noted researcher and conservationist.
Nearly every major food provider in the United States has committed to eliminating gestation crates.
Tell the company how you feel here.
Shout out: The Dish.
As the slaughter of elephants continues unabated, Möevenpick Hotels & Resorts in the Middle East are helping create the demand for ivory by renting shops inside their hotels to ivory traders.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of elephants are being killed every year for their tusks, and almost daily reports show the slaughter seems to be worsening.
Contact Möevenpick Hotels and let them know how you feel about their policy.
Source: Wildlife Extra.