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Animal Advocates Stage Rally in Memory of Cecil (VIDEO)

February 8, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

As part of the 2017 Worldwide Rally For Cecil, animal rights activists staged a rally  in Union Square, a social justice hub in NYC, to remember the majestic lion in Zimbabwe who was killed by Walter Palmer, a hunter from Minnesota. During the rally, advocates distributed information to the public about cruelty and impact of hunting and the lies perpetuated by hunters to justify killing animals for trophies.

According to CompassionWorks International (CWI), the organizer of the Worldwide Rally for Cecil, similar events took place in 41 Cities, 20 U.S. states and 10 countries, including Australia, Ireland, Macedonia, Serbia and Zimbabwe.

Activists with CompassionWorks International stage a Rally For Cecil at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the weekend of a convention for hunters

The largest rally took place in Las Vegas, where the nation’s leading hunting organization, Safari Club International (SCI), held its annual convention. During the convention, CWI hired a mobile billboard company to drive along the Las Vegas strip with a message condemning trophy hunting.

Anti-trophy hunting mobile billboard travels the Las Vegas trip during a hunting convention

LUSH, a cruelty-free cosmetics company, provided CWI with a grant to pay for the mobile billboard. The company also posted a “KILLING IS NOT CONSERVATION” sign in the window of its retail store in the Mandalay Bay Hotel, where hunting convention took place.

LUSH, a company that supports animal rights, sent a strong message to attendees of the hunting convention that took place in Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas

In a message to rally organizers and the media, Carrie LeBlanc, CWI’s Executive Director, said of trophy hunting, “Killing for fun and for ego is vile and lacking in compassion and morality. We have a shared responsibility to protect and conserve our natural world, not to kill it for bragging rights and a rug.”

Your Turn

In 2018, the Worldwide Rally For Cecil will become the Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting (WRATH). To join the campaign to end trophy hunting, please visit WRATH and CompassionWorks International.


Chimp Advocates Stage Disruption in IBM’s Lobby

January 24, 2017 by 2 comments


The News

After being strung along for months with promises from IBM, advocates fighting on behalf of the chimps abandoned by the NY Blood Center (NYBC) staged a disruption in the company’s lobby in NYC. IBM is one of NYBC’s largest corporate partners.

Over the past four months, IBM gave advocates the distinct impression that the company was genuinely concerned about the abandoned chimps and that it planned to demand accountability from NYBC, which operates a lucrative blood collection site at an IBM campus in upstate New York. Advocates now realize that company’s ongoing expression of concern was merely strategy to contain them — with the hope that they would go away.

Advocates say that, as IBM misled the community by stringing them along, a real atrocity with real victims was taking place. Advocates also say that, as long as IBM continues to turn a blind eye to NYBC’s crime while maintaining a mutually beneficial alliance with the organization, the company remains complicit.

Advocates stage protest at IBM building in NYC (Photo by Michael Whitley Photography
@JiveAssTofurkey)

For a 30 year period starting in the mid-1970s, NYBC conducted experiments on approximately 500 chimpanzees in Liberia, where they could capture, breed and experiment on them with little regulatory oversight. After completing the research, NYBC moved the survivors onto six islands with no natural food or water and made a public commitment to provide them with lifelong care.

The NY Blood Center made a promise to provide their chimpanzees with lifelong care.

In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC had “withdrawn all funding,” leaving the chimps to die of starvation and thirst. In order to keep the chimps alive, Liberians who had been employed by NYBC to deliver food and water, began to care for them on a volunteer basis. With virtually no resources and burdened by the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, these volunteers kept the chimpanzees alive until a coalition of over 30 animal conservation groups, led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), raised funds from the public to pay for the chimps’ care on an emergency basis.

Chimpanzees abandoned by the NY Blood Center on islands in Liberia

NYBC, which has earned an estimated $500 million in royalties off of the research conducted on the chimpanzees, has publicly stated that it has no “contractual obligation” to pay for the chimps’ food and water and has shifted the financial burden of caring for their captive chimp population to the animal welfare community. Advocates are now demanding that NYBC’s corporate partners, like IBM, hold the organization accountable for its crime.

Your Turn

Sign the petition to IBM.

Use this tweet sheet, which targets IBM and other NY Blood Center partners.

Join the Facebook page: New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing to stay apprised of news and to participate in online actions to pressure the NY Blood Center to provide lifelong care to their former laboratory chimps.


Tensions Mount During Horse-Drawn Carriage Protests

January 18, 2017 by 4 comments


The News

With NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio failing to deliver on his campaign promise to ban horse-drawn carriages from the streets midtown Manhattan, animal advocates with Empty the Carriages have resumed the grass-roots effort to compel tourists to boycott carriage rides. Along Central Park South where tourists board the carriages, tensions are running higher than ever between the advocates and the drivers.

With many tourists opting out of carriage rides, the drivers have filed a lawsuit against the advocates in an effort to curb their impact. Among their demands is a 15 foot buffer zone that would prevent advocates from being able to interact with tourists contemplating a carriage ride.

A NYC horse-drawn carriage driver tears up an activist’s poster

For decades, animal advocates and other concerned NYers have campaigned, in the streets and at City Hall, to ban horse-drawn carriages on the grounds that the industry is inhumane and unsafe. When, in 2013, Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio included a horse-drawn carriage ban in his campaign platform, the industry fought back with the help of the pro-carriage media, elected officials and actor Liam Neeson.

This 2006 accident in which a horse named Spotty died sparked the movement to ban horse-drawn carriages from Manhattan

Instead of working to fulfill his promise by building a case for a ban with lawmakers, the media and the public, the Mayor abandoned the very issue that helped catapult him to his Mayoral victory.


Investigating “Humane” Claims at a California Egg Farm (VIDEO)

January 12, 2017 by 3 comments


Opinion

Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), an animal rights organization that has visited many “humane” animal farms to investigate their claims, invited TheirTurn to document one of their many nocturnal visits to JS West, an egg farm certified by the American Humane Association. Our visit, which was intended to be an investigation, morphed into a rescue mission.

After spending less than a minute inside of a warehouse with 150,000 egg-laying hens, my worst fears were confirmed. The “humane” label is nothing more than a marketing fraud designed by the animal agriculture industry and retailers to make consumers feel good about purchasing their products.

A hen with a growth on her on her face that is larger than her head is rescued

Your Turn

Please visit Direct Action Everywhere to learn more about how the animal agriculture industry preys on well-intended consumers by fraudulently marketing their products with language that states or suggests that their animals are treated humanely.


New Yorkers Rally in Support of Historic Bill to Ban Wild Animals in Circuses

January 9, 2017 by 5 comments


The News

Elected officials and animal advocates in NYC staged a rally at City Hall and testified at a public hearing in support of a bill to ban wild and exotic animals from circuses.

In 2016, Ringling Brothers eliminated elephant acts from its circus, but the company continues to use tigers, camels and other exotic animals. Other circuses that travel to New York, such as Universoul, continue to use elephants. Cole Bros., another company that used elephants in its circus, went out of business in 2016 due to  diminished attendance and show cancellations in Long Island and New Jersey.

Elephants and tigers among the many animals beaten into submission by circus “trainers.”

At the public hearing, City Council Member Corey Johnson, a co-sponsor on the bill, said “We’re probably going to look back on this [wild animals in circuses] years from now and say, ‘Why were we comfortable with that?’ In the largest city in the United States, I think we need to set the tone and example for the rest of the country.”

NYC Council Member Corey Johnson testifies in support of bill to ban wild and exotic animals from circuses

Dozens of cities and countries around the world have banned the use of wild animals in circuses. Animal rights groups in the United States say they will continue to protest until all circuses retire all of their wild and exotic animals.

Your Turn

If you live in NYC, please ask your Council Member to co-sponsor Int. 1233 to ban wild & exotic animals from performances in NYC.