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Animal News Weekly - February 21, 2013

The ScreamIDA Presents "Outragie Awards" To Top Ten Most Outrageous Animal Experiments

Each year, billions of dollars fund animal experiments, much of it U.S.-taxpayer dollars from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The public is led to believe that these experiments are necessary to promote human health and well-being. Indeed, the mission of NIH is to "to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability."

But under close scrutiny this claim does not hold up. Animal experiments continue year after year, examining the same questions, at huge cost, creating "animal models" for diseases and conditions that are uniquely human, like smoking and alcoholism.

IDA's Outragie Awards highlight the Top Ten most stupid, cruel and truly outrageous experiments. You can read IDA's full list here. Among this year's awardees are:

The Most Outrageously Superfluous award went to researchers at Yale and the University of California, Los Angeles who gave massive doses of PCP to monkeys, claiming this made them "schizophrenic," and then gave them a drug already known to treat schizophrenia in humans. The Most Outrageously Depraved award was bestowed upon scientists at Columbia University who used costly genetic engineering to wipe out the sense of smell in mice, and then electro-shocked them and hung them upside-down by their tails with adhesive tape, claiming to study the effect of smell on anxiety.

U.S. residents only, click here to send a fax to your U.S. Senators and Representative right now! Then call them - you can reach any Senator or Representative through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.

White tail deer, US FWSStop Deer Slaughter Planned For Washington DC's Rock Creek Park

The tranquil and historic Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC has been a safe place for native deer for more than 120 years, until now.

The National Park Service (NPS) has ordered the killing of half of the park's 314 deer, allegedly to protect native plant species. But the agency's own records show that there is no overpopulation, and no need for such drastic and inhumane measures.

If the brutal NPS plan is not stopped, deer will be shot with guns and bows after being lured to piles of grain, apples and hay. Others would be killed after capturing them with nets and shooting them in the head with penetrating steel captive-bolt guns.

Your voice is important! Click here to send a letter to the Director of National Park Service, Jonathan B. Jarvis, urging the agency to abandon their cruel plan for a deer massacre and, instead, to fulfill their mandate of protecting Rock Creek Park's resident deer.

African elephant, US FWSAfrica's Wild Elephants Need Your Help

Africa's elephants are being slaughtered at an alarming rate, poached for their tusks to meet a growing demand for ivory in Asia. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) approved a worldwide ban on the sale of ivory in 1989, then sanctioned two sales of stockpiles of ivory in 1999 and 2008.

Today, poaching in some areas is the worst since the ban went into effect, decimating wild populations of elephants. In Gabon, poachers have killed more than 11,000 elephants in recent years, representing two-thirds of that country's elephants. Poachers carry large-caliber rifles to kill the elephants, then hack off their tusks with chainsaws, leaving behind the carcasses of entire families of elephants. This ivory is used to make jewelry, chopsticks, and other trinkets.

CITES is the governing body empowered to protect elephants. Delegates will meet in Bangkok, Thailand starting March 3, where they will discuss changes to existing laws.

Please urge your country's CITES representative to reject any future proposals for trade in ivory, support improved protection for elephants under CITES Appendix I (the greatest protection CITES offers), and return to the full ban on the sale of ivory established in 1989. If you live in the U.S. send a brief, polite email to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Department: If you live outside the U.S., click here to identify the CITES representative for your country and corresponding email address.

Pat Derby, PAWS photoIn Memory Of Pat Derby

Elephants and all animals have lost one of their greatest champions. Pat Derby, co-founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in California, passed away on Friday after a long battle with cancer. Pat devoted her life to protecting animals - she was an outspoken advocate and a driving force for elephants and other animals used in zoos, circuses, and other performances. Thanks to Pat Derby and her partner Ed Stewart, elephants who suffer lives of misery in zoos and circuses now have a place to go to spend their remaining years in peace. IDA worked closely with Pat on several campaigns to help elephants, including the rescue of Tinkerbelle and Lulu from the San Francisco Zoo. Pat's steadfast commitment and fearless leadership inspired countless animal advocates worldwide. She leaves behind a legacy of action, and most of all, compassion for our fellow creatures. Pat Derby will be greatly missed.

elephant in circusHuge Ringling Demo Coming To Brooklyn, New York

Please join In Defense of Animals and other organizations in protesting Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. March 20 will be the first time that Ringling has performed at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn - let's show them that animal abuse is not welcome in New York! Please attend the huge opening evening and daytime protests!

When: Wednesday, March 20, 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 6 - 7 p.m.
Where: In front of Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217

IDA's contact for this demo: Deborah Robinson: Stay tuned for more info as the dates approach!

Click here to donate.

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