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OldDog/NewTricks

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AMP News Service Digest
Thursday, February 16, 2006

In This Edition:

shac trial witnesses tell of protest terror

Former ALF/ELF spokesman reportedly to go before Grand jury

Budkie prepares for 'world week' with fundraising and soundbites

Vlasak and Mates to go to jail, stage hunger strikes

PETA, HSUS use cheney shooting to advance anti-hunting agenda

peta & pcrm can't find health charity to endorse radical message

dr. norman e. shumway, heart transplant pioneer, dies
shac trial witnesses tell of protest terror

Chilling testimony by those who faced intimidation and harassment by animal rights activists continued this week in the domestic terrorism trial of six associated with SHAC. The words were supplemented by videotapes showing mayhem at several locations.

A senior executive of Marsh USA in Dallas told of a prolonged campaign of harassment and threats that terrorized her family, including one e-mail targeting her 7-year-old son. The woman cried on the stand as she recounted, "The person asked how I would feel if they cut open my son and filled him with poison the way Huntingdon does with the animals. That was devastating for me to see something like that." SHAC had published on its website personal information about the executive, her husband and their children, including the name of their son's teacher, the school he attended and the fact he sang in a choir. A protest was held at the church the family attended.

Marsh was at one time targeted by SHAC because it was a business partner of Huntingdon Life Sciences, the epicenter of the activists' 5 year harassment campaign.

Another witness, a vice president of a subsidiary of Marsh USA, was in one of two Seattle sky scrapers that were evacuated when activists set off smoke bombs in July 2002. "I saw the [elevator] doors open and a hand and part of an arm come out and put down a canister," he said. "By the time the person withdrew his hand, there were sparks and a tremendous amount of flame and smoke."

He testified that foremost in his thoughts was the fact that hundreds of Marsh employees had been killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. He thought the Seattle offices were also under assault by terrorists. "There was absolute panic," he said. "It was just chaos."

Another Marsh worker, based in San Francisco, testified how activists - including SHAC then-president Kevin Jonas, one of the defendants - massed on the back deck of her family's home in April 2002 and began yelling at them to come outside. She said they called her "puppy killer," and screamed "You answer to us!"

"I didn't feel safe any more," she told the jury.

News coverage of the Seattle skyscraper attacks and raw video of the home visit in which Jonas was involved were among the tapes that prosecutors played for the jury yesterday. The tapes had been seized in a raid of the home in which three of the defendants, including Jonas, lived.

Almost all of the incidents against Marsh were followed by postings on SHAC's website, based on information attributed to "anonymous activists." One posting on the SHAC site read, "Marsh employees: We know where you work, we know where you eat, we know where you sleep. Is HLS really worth it? We are winning." SHAC took pains to claim that it was not responsible for the incidents, while at the same time applauded those who were.

The six defendants - Kevin Jonas, Lauren Gazzola, Jacob Conroy, Joshua Harper, Andrew Stepanian and Darius Fullmer - are facing federal charges of animal enterprise terrorism, conspiracy and stalking. The trial is expected to last several more weeks.

Associated Press, February 15, "Workers tell of office invasions, home vandalism by activists "
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/13880265.htm

Former ALF/ELF spokesman reportedly to go before Grand jury

The activist on-line news service IndyMedia today carries an anonymous post reporting that Craig Rosebraugh has been served with a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury in Oregon that is looking into a number of actions claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).

The report said that federal agents served Rosebraugh with the subpoena on Tuesday. No immediate verification of the report was available.

Rosebraugh served as a press spokesperson for the ELF and its twin, the Animal Liberation Front, for several years. In 2002 he appeared before a US congressional subcommittee hearing on ecoterrorism and pled the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination a total of 54 times in responding to 56 questions.

Budkie prepares for 'world week' with fundraising and soundbites

Michael Budkie, executive director of the anti-research group SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now), has been quite busy getting ready for what he calls “World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week” (WLALW) and other activist groups have for years called “World Week for Animals in Laboratories” (WWAIL). Whatever the term used, “The Week” this year will be held April 23-30. Traditionally, it has been a time for animal rights groups to attempt to draw attention to the use of animals in research and has been marked by small protests, vigils and teach-ins at institutions.

In his latest newsletter to SAEN supporters, Budkie pleads for more funds. He promises “$500 will cover the costs of investigating a nationally known lab…$1000 will help make World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week 2006 a reality.”

No doubt much of the WLALW money is spent on airfare. During “The Week” Budkie criss-crosses the country to hold news conferences in major media markets. His style is to wave a SAEN report filled with muddled statistics, ponderous writing, and erroneous assumptions that he claims sheds light on what he says is ineffective oversight of the nation’s animal research facilities. Any media coverage he receives usually is from student newspapers or by journalists so uninformed on the issues surrounding the use of animals in research that they are duped into thinking Budkie is an authority on the topic.

This year, Budkie’s report is already on the SAEN website. The 12 page report is entitled “2005 Enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act: Whose Side is the USDA on?” (sic).

Not surprisingly, the report makes use of the recent USDA Inspector General’s audit of the inspection and enforcement activities of the APHIS Animal Care Program (the OIG’s executive summary is even included, as well as materials found on the APHIS website.

In his analysis, Budkie clouds the issue by mixing figures relating to research facilities inspected by the USDA with other figures that include other USDA-inspected animal enterprises.

A sense of his rhetorical style may be gleaned from Budkie’s report:

“The USDA routinely promulgates misleading, if not downright dishonest statistics regarding the use of animals by laboratories, which is not surprising since (according to the USDA OIG) in many instances inspectors do not even bother to count animals in labs when they are inspected” …

“The conclusion of this report is that the USDA has far too much of a vested interest in the area of animal experimentation to adequately enforce the AWA with regard to laboratories, and historically the agency has been too lenient with regard to enforcement at all varieties of facilities…The USDA has conducted itself as though promoting public safety and protecting the animals who the Animal Welfare Act was designed to protect has become little more than an annoyance which gets in the way of other important activities – such as protecting laboratories from the intrusive eyes of the tax-paying public.”

One can almost pick out the soundbites Budkie will use on reporters. Here’s one, following an analysis of the number of violations of the AWA reported in the year ending September 2005. The numbers Budkie uses are for both research and non-research enterprises:

“During the year ending in September of 2005, the Animal Welfare Act was violated 2.4 times every hour, and 65.5 animals suffered as a result of each of these violations.”

Budkie’s report is rife with such statistical non-sequiturs.

AMP will provide a copy of Budkie’s report on USDA enforcement to our members upon request.

Other materials on Budkie’s site are designed to be used during “The Week” including another report “Breaking the Law: Animal Care in US Labs” which is essentially a rewrite of past materials he has used; on violations of the Animal Welfare Act at 25 facilities, using figures from 1999-2003.

There is also a calendar of events, with many plans listed by state. However, in that endeavor, Budkie again shows his penchant for inaccuracies - the calendar list is of events that were already held – during “The Week” in 2005!

In Defense of Animals and other groups are promoting WWAIL. AMP will continue to monitor planned by all activist groups for “The Week” and report as warranted.


Vlasak and Mates to go to jail, stage hunger strikes

Jerry Vlasak and eight members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) are preparing to stage hunger strikes while serving jail time in Canada as a way to draw attention and raise money for future SSCS operations. They were convicted in January for coming too close to Quebec's Magdalen Islands spring seal hunt last year and were ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 each or serve a sentence. Nine activists opted for jail time and will spend 22 days in custody. Two others will reappear in court at a later date.

Captain Paul Watson, SSCS president, was found not guilty of coming too close to the hunt last year after being able to show he was on board the crew's ship when a scuffle broke out between his group and a group of Newfoundland sealers on land.

Watson says the protesters plan to start serving their jail time on the opening day of this year's seal hunt.
CBC News, February 9, "Seal-hunt protesters opt for jail time"
http://www.cbc.ca/pei/story/pe-sea-shepherds-20060209.html
peta, HSUS use cheney shooting to advance anti-hunting agenda

What else would you expect? Amidst the media frenzy surrounding the Vice President's hunting accident, PETA and the Humane Society of the United States did not hesitate to exploit the incident to further their radical agendas.

PETA's Ingrid Newkirk wrote a ‘personal’ letter (distributed as a press release) to Mr. Cheney, suggesting that he "put down [his] guns and pick up a tennis racket instead," remarking that "the risks to [Cheney's] fellow tennis participants would be minimal" and "it would be good for his heart in more ways than one." To literally add insult to injury, PETA held a demonstration yesterday outside the hospital where Harry Whittington is receiving treatment for the injuries he suffered in the accident.

But Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS, was even faster than Newkirk in picking up a pen. He sent a letter advising the Vice President "to pursue a less violent form of relaxation and get on with the important business of leading the country." That ‘personal’ letter was also quick to be distributed to the nation’s news media.

Washington Post, February 13, "Cheney Shoots Fellow Hunter in Texas Accident"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/12/AR2006021200524.html?sub=AR

World Net Daily, February 14, "PETA chief fires off sarcastic letter to VP"
http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48840


PETA & pcrm can't find health charity to endorse radical message

PETA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) are apparently having a tough time locating health groups willing to endorse their radical message. A recent action alert from PETA urges supporters to help the front group Council of Humane Giving find a “cruelty-free diabetes charity.” (The Council, managed by PCRM, seeks out charities that will sign a pledge stating they will not fund or conduct animal experiments now and will not do so in the future. For signing the pledge, charities are given the right to display a “Humane Charity Seal of Approval”.)

Not surprisingly, no diabetes charity has said that it will abandon its support of life-saving work using animals to align with groups that misrepresent the truth about animal research and threaten medical progress.

dr. norman e. shumway, U.s. heart transplant pioneer, dies
Dr. Norman E. Shumway, the Stanford cardiac surgeon who in 1968 performed the United States' first successful human heart transplant and is credited with making the operation a standard procedure, died February 10 at his home in Palo Alto, California. He was 83.

After the first surge of heart transplants in the late 1960s, the procedure fell into disfavor because most recipients survived only briefly following their surgery as their bodies rejected the new organ. Dr. Shumway helped make the procedure the established practice it is today. Heart transplants now can extend the lives of patients by as much as 27 years.

Dr. Shumway was a mentor to many leading heart surgeons, but insisted they first practice their techniques on animals. "The best arena for the training of good surgeons is the dog laboratory," he once said.

Dr. Shumway told a reporter in 2004 that two Nobel laureates steered him to the field of heart transplantation. One was Dr. Peter Medawar, a pioneering British immunologist, and the other was AMP Director Dr. Joseph E. Murray, who performed the first human kidney transplant in Boston in 1954.

The New York Times obituary, by medical reporter Larry Altman, refers repeatedly to the importance of animal research in Dr. Shumway’s work. (requires free registration
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/11/health/11shumway.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

Americans for Medical Progress
908 King Street, Suite 301 wAlexandria, VA 22314 w 703.836.9595
[email protected] w www.amprogress.org

This e-mail is part of AMP News Service and is intended for use in a
 

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