A PUBLICATION OF THE AMERICAN ANTI-VIVISECTION SOCIETY 2016 | Number 3
FARM IS A LAB blowing the whistle on farmed animal research pg 4
thirty years of farm sanctuary pg 8
2016 Issue 3
When a Farm Is a Lab Features
4 farmed animal research blowing the whistle on
An inside look at a meat research lab that wound up in a New York Times exposé. By Jim Keen
8 Thirty Years of Farm Sanctuary
From its humble beginnings, Farm Sanctuary has grown to become a leading advocate for animals. By Jill Howard Church
10 Santa Cruz Biotechnology
Departments 1 First Word Shocking revelations lead to action. 2 Briefly Speaking New Chimpanzee Sanctuary Opens; Brexit, the U.K., & Animals; Public Opinion and the AAVS Mission; NIH Chimp Retirement Plan. 22 Giving Gifts to the Sanctuary Fund make more animal rescues possible. 22 Tributes Special friends honored and remembered. 24 Members’ Corner Being “put out to pasture” is a welcome reprieve for former carriage horses.
By Eric Kleiman
12 Left Out of the Law
Farmed animals used for research get little or no protection from local, state, or federal laws. By Crystal Miller-Spiegel
13 Military Testing on Animals
Leading the charge to end the use of goats and pigs to train medics. By Ryan Merkley
14 Pregnant Mares’ Urine
The sad story behind popular hormone replacement drugs. By Crystal Schaeffer
16 Spider Goats and Popeye Pigs
How genetic engineering turns animals into unnatural novelties. By Amber Barnes
18 Interview: Kim Sturla
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Animal Place A California refuge has provided sanctuary for thousands of animals over nearly three decades.
20 Large Animals as Chemical Factories
Transforming production of biologicals from animals to alternative methods. By Martin Stephens
21 ARDF Announces 2016 Grants for Alternatives Funding will advance human health as well as spare animals.
Founded in 1883, the American Anti-Vivisection Society’s (AAVS) mission is to unequivocally oppose and work to end experimentation on animals and to oppose all other forms of cruelty to animals. AAVS is a nonprofit education organization using legal, effective advocacy to achieve meaningful, lasting change.
FRONT AND BACK Cover PhotoS by rob cardillo
USDA inspections of one of the country’s largest producers of antibodies led to major penalties.
VOLUME CXXIV Number 3 ISSN 0274-7774
Executive Editor Sue A. Leary Managing Editor and Copy Editor Jill Howard Church Staff Contributors Amber Barnes Jill Howard Church Chris Derer Crystal Miller-Spiegel Crystal Schaeffer Art Direction Brubaker Design
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SPECIAL REPORT p 22
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First Word “I could never do your job,” an animal-loving friend said to me last summer. Even though I am exposed every day to serious animal suffering, I’m not usually jolted by what I hear. But that was not the case when I opened up my copy of The New York Times on January 19, 2015. The front page led readers into the story of appalling and shocking cruelty at an agricultural research facility in Nebraska. Inside, a multi-page spread detailed—with eyewitness accounts, official documents, and photos—a The newest member of the Leary household, Rosie culture of callous disregard for animal pain and suffering. The reporter, Michael Moss, did a remarkable job of investigation, interviewing multiple sources with widely varying roles and perspectives, placing Freedom of Information Act requests for thousands of pages of documents, and making site visits. It was revealing and impressive. Even more impressive is the person who made it all possible, Jim Keen, a career veterinarian for animals in agriculture who worked for years at the facility through his position at the University of Nebraska. He was the whistleblower who alerted Mr. Moss to the conditions at the facility and brought him behind the scenes. I am honored that Dr. Keen has written an article for this issue; he helps us walk in his shoes—at times trudging—as he came to grips with what was really going on in this place. After the story broke, AAVS immediately enlisted members to protest. We also wrote to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is responsible for the facility, to identify priorities requiring urgent attention. An interim report by the USDA led to some remedies, but left a lot of issues unresolved. AAVS will not let these animals down; we are committed to applying continued pressure on the USDA. As our government is preparing for a new administration and the next session of Congress, your voice is urgently needed. Please speak up for cows, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, and others by signing our online petition (link below), and encourage others to do the same. I am still upset and shocked by extreme animal cruelty, but I am also motivated to act. I know that when we work together, change is possible. I hope that the stories told in this issue serve as inspiration for you, and a reminder that everyone can indeed make a difference.
Sue A. Leary, President, American Anti-Vivisection Society
Sign the petition
to help farmed animals in research.
Briefly Speaking news you need to know
New Chimpanzee Sanctuary Opens
Brexit, the U.K.,
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB
In June, U.K. citizens voted to leave the European Union (EU), and since then, there has been concern about how the move will impact Europe and the rest of the world. There has been some speculation about how Brexit could affect animals, particularly those used in science. Although there is uncertainty, U.K. scientist Michael Balls, Editor of the journal ATLA (Alternatives to Laboratory Animals), foresees possible impacts in “human and animal health and welfare, and the biomedical sciences, as well as the various industries, institutions, and regulations which can affect them.” In a recent editorial, Balls specifically raises the question of whether or not the U.K. will continue to follow British laws amended to comply with EU directives, and points specifically to the Animals Scientific Procedures Act, a more comprehensive British version of the U.S. Animal Welfare Act (AWA). He notes some of the changes: free-feeding larval forms (tadpoles) are covered; beagles are specifically counted in addition to the broader category of dogs; data submitted on primates must include their place of birth
to distinguish between those who are wildcaught and those who are captive-bred; and genetically engineered animals are categorized by phenotype and not genotype. He says that these are “very sensible and valuable provisions” and hopes that such information will be continued to be collected. Balls also reports that, in the U.K., 4.14 million procedures using animals were completed in 2015. There were 3,612 procedures involving primates, of which 3,140 used crab-eating macaques; these statistics can be broken down even further to those for regulatory testing, basic research, or applied research. Dogs were used in greater numbers than primates. Last year, 4,643 procedures (including 3,511 for regulatory testing purposes) using dogs were reported, most being beagles (3,241). What’s interesting to note is that as the AWA turned 50 this year, it still does not require any of the detailed information mentioned above, nor does it include rats, mice, birds, birds, or fish, who constitute 95 percent of animals in labs.
Photo COURTESY OF Project Chimps
Established in 2014 in north Georgia, Project Chimps will be the sanctuary home for 220 chimpanzees formerly used in research at the University of Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center. The first group of residents (Gracie, Genesis, Emma, Gertrude, Samira, Jennifer, Charisse, Buttercup, and Latricia) arrived in September. “With so many chimpanzees having an immediate need to move out of labs, it’s exciting to have a new sanctuary like Project Chimps that can provide appropriate care for a large number of animals,” said Sue Leary, President of AAVS. “We’re thrilled to be a part of this effort to bring these chimpanzees home.” The special trailer needed to safely transport the chimps was purchased by AAVS, and it’s expected that 21 more trips will be made before all the chimpanzees are secure at Project Chimps. “AAVS has given us the ability to provide a safe and comfortable mode of transportation for all the chimps coming to their new sanctuary home,” said Sarah Baeckler Davis, President and CEO of Project Chimps. “PantGertrude is among the original hoots of gratitude to this amazing and supportive organinine residents of the new Project Chimps sanctuary in Georgia. zation that works to end the use of animals in science.”
Public Opinion and the AAVS Mission A survey conducted earlier this year found that nearly 67 percent of Americans support “the animal protection movement’s goal to minimize and eventually eliminate all forms of animal cruelty and suffering.” Conducted by Faunalytics, the poll is part of the group’s Animal Tracker annual survey of Americans and their attitudes and behavior toward animals. The poll also found that almost 75 percent those surveyed believe that students taking biology courses should be “allowed to choose alternative methods of learning that do not involve dissecting animals.” “These results are profound,” said Crystal Schaeffer, AAVS Outreach Director. “It shows that an overwhelming majority of the public supports the important work that we do. Public backing is key in making social change, with regards to animal issues.” However, the survey also found that more than 65 percent of
Americans feel that they are not knowledgeable about “issues that affect the welfare of animals” in laboratories. Over 10 percent were not sure how they felt about the issue. This statistic demonstrates the importance of education in the AAVS mission. People care about animals and inherently don’t want them to suffer. But if they don’t know about an issue and what really happens to animals in labs, how can they take a stand? “This is why one of our top ways to support AAVS and our mission to end the use of animals in science is to educate others,” said Schaeffer. “Share AV Magazine, ask friends to take action on a specific issue, give a compassionate shopping guide along with your favorite cruelty-free product. These little actions can have a ripple effect as people learn about animals in labs, and the more people who know, the more good work we can do together.”
NIH Chimp Retirement Plan
n August, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced its plan to relocate all NIH-owned and supported chimpanzees to Chimp Haven, the national chimpanzee sanctuary in Louisiana. The announcement came in response to a Government Accountability Office report criticizing NIH for not initiating a long-term plan to move the animals. As of August, about 230 retired chimpanzees live at Chimp Haven, which has space to take another 75 animals in the immediate future, and has room to expand. Nineteen NIH-owned chimpanzees, some of whom are descendants of the original Air Force chimps, have already been relocated from the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) to Chimp Haven. But there are approximately 360 chimps still waiting at research facilities. The next 144 chimps to be moved are those at the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico, and NIH expects this to be done by FY
2021. Following them, the chimpanzees at the Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research in Texas are to be relocated by FY 2025. The last animals to be moved are the NIH-supported chimpanzees who currently reside at SNPRC. The deadline for their transfer to Chimp Haven is FY 2026. Although the plan did not provide much additional detail, a report released later by the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), following a site visit and interviews, made other recommendations. Among them were improved communications between NIH, Chimp Haven, and the research labs, in order to facilitate the transfers. In addition, OLAW noted that labs should share medical and behavior records to ensure that any special needs the chimps may have are adequately met. The report also noted the need for Chimp Haven to expand capacity by increasing the amount of experienced
staff to care for the growing number of sanctuary residents. While ample time is needed to prepare infrastructure, organize transfers, and allow for new social groups to form, NIH’s plan to make chimpanzees at research facilities wait up to 10 years to be retired to Chimp Haven is disheartening. Unfortunately, according to law, although NIH is required to cover most of the cost of caring for retired chimpanzees, Chimp Haven is tasked with raising enough funds to build additional habitats. The decades-long effort to end the use of chimpanzees in research will only be truly realized when every chimp is at home in an accredited sanctuary. AAVS has launched its Build It! campaign to help sanctuaries expand so they can provide a proper home for every chimpanzee who is released from a laboratory as soon as possible. Learn more at aavs.org/BuildIt
Blowing the Whistle on Farmed Animal Research by jim keen
Decades of systemic abuse of farmed animals at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska, was revealed in a lengthy front-page exposé in The New York Times on January 19, 2015. As a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinarian who spent 26 years at MARC, I was the whistleblower who worked closely with investigative reporter Michael Moss
Located in the heart of Big Ag country, MARC is the world’s largest livestock research facility with approximately 35,000 cattle, pigs, and sheep on a 35,000-acre ranch and farm surrounding a laboratory campus. Operated jointly by the USDA and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), MARC has about 200 employees and an annual federal budget of around $22 million, plus an additional $5 million from livestock sales—cumulatively $1.3 billion since its founding in the late 1960s. Its research focuses on genetic selection “to improve beef cattle, swine and sheep production efficiency and red meat quality.” CIRCLES OF HELL Between 1988 and 2014, I had several roles at MARC: clinical veterinarian, livestock infectious disease and food safety research epidemiologist, and veterinary school teaching faculty. For my first 20 years at MARC, I was largely blind, mindless, and numb
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB
to research cruelty, or I accepted livestock suffering as a necessary if undesirable consequence of “needed research.” Veterinarians are often called “the clean-up crew for animal scientists,” meaning many veterinary practices on factory farms are needed only because of unnatural genetics, stressful, crowded, and unsanitary environments, and the abnormal feedstuffs that these animals are subjected to as part of factory farm management. During my veterinary training at the University of Illinois, I was taught and I believed the fable that a farm animal’s welfare is perfectly fine if he or she produces and reproduces. However, in 2007 I began a personal and painful transformation in which I awakened to rampant MARC research malpractice, poor animal husbandry, and the enabling role that I and other productionoriented veterinarians played in livestock suffering. I realized factory farming and “production research” were both circles of hell
Photo by istock PHOTO
for more than a year to bring this sad story to light.
in an agricultural manifestation of Dante’s Inferno. My conversion was both guilt- and conscience-driven and informed by my daughters’ organic farm. In 2008 I began keeping a log of abuses at MARC that I witnessed or learned of from my veterinary colleagues. Over subsequent years, I informed my UNL supervisors of this inhumane treatment and reported my concerns to the UNL institutional veterinarian—all to no avail. In fairness to UNL, the USDA held all of the administrative power to improve (or not) animal welfare. The lack of change, the (belated) rekindling of my veterinary oath to protect animal well-being, and my nascent welfare mindfulness drove me to become a whistleblower. LIFE AND DEATH AT MARC At MARC, animals are subjected to “accepted industrial animal agriculture (factory farm) management practices,” e.g., castration without anesthesia and the dense crowding of cattle into filthy feedlots. Their care is institutional, not personal. For example, several adult breeding bulls died of starvation while on winter pasture because the cattle manager refused to provide the additional supplemental feed requested by the barn manager. Most animals there, especially cattle, are in long-term genetic selection projects. MARC’s original mandate was to create new breeds of beef cattle, sheep, and swine by combining various pure-breed characteristics to create novel “synthetic” or “composite” meatproducing breeds. Many composite cattle, sheep, and pigs breeds were created at MARC over the past half century, but none was ever commercially adopted. A second MARC genetic approach, often with major health and welfare repercussions, is to select one or more economically desirable traits or a natural mutation (e.g., for large muscle mass) and then intensely breed for this trait over many generations. This typically results in an animal with one extremely exaggerated body part or system that “successfully over-produces” the desired trait. Unfortunately, the end results were usually scientific curios or genetic freaks.
virtually every genetic experiment conducted at MARC over the past half century has been an abject failure.
Examples of failed MARC genetic selection experiments include: Double-muscled myostatin mutant Belgian Blue cattle, who have muscles that never stop growing but also have dystocia (birthing complications), poor fertility and stress tolerance, and low calf viability. Beef twinning, in which cattle were bred over three decades to have twins at nearly
50 times the normal rate. However, high rates of dystocia, mastitis, calf deaths, and sterile female offspring led to project abandonment.
“Easy Care” sheep, a strain MARC has bred since 2002 to survive on their own with little or no human labor. Annually about 1,500 ewes are kept year-round on isolated pastures, giving birth to more than 3,000 lambs in spring without shelter, shade, or effective protection from coyotes. The predictable and tragic result of this $1 million-per-year research has been the deaths of thousands of newborn lambs from starvation, hypothermia, predation, and ewe abandonment. This is perhaps the most extreme example of senseless, bio-implausible scientific malpractice with predictable animal cruelty and abuse inherent in the experiment design and execution.
Farmed animals in the U.S. are used in research in three common ways:
1 Industrial animal agriculture focusing on cattle and swine. Through its Agricultural Research Service ($790 million in 2016) and awards mostly to universities ($350 million in 2016), the USDA funds research to more efficiently produce meat and milk.
2 Biomedical research in which livestock are used as experimental models of human biology or disease, and to test biomedical devices, drugs, or surgical procedures.
3 Biotechnology using living organisms to make bio-products, which often entails altering genes (DNA) to “improve” animals or microorganisms. In 2015, approximately 85,000 pigs, sheep, cattle, goats, and horses were used in biomedical and biotech research.
So-called “easy care sheep” bred at MARC had very high lamb mortality rates.
FALLOUT ON THE FARM My whistleblowing infuriated and embarrassed two very large and powerful organizations: the USDA and UNL (my employer). Unlike individual whistleblowers, institutions have enormous resources, a loyal population that supports them, and an overwhelming predatory instinct to destroy any message or messenger that could do them harm. With the odds and the system stacked against me, I suffered severe and sustained personal, professional, legal, health, and financial consequences. I did not work for 17 months due to administrative and sick leave. I received numerous phone calls and unannounced visits from, or was shadowed by, local and UNL police officers and the Nebraska State Patrol. I was interviewed by UNL police and the FBI as a possible eco-terrorist and was threatened with job termination. (My firing was ultimately prevented by my academic tenure and a good but expensive lawyer.) I was locally shunned. My marriage of 32 years ended in divorce. I was permanently
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB
banned from MARC and transferred 105 miles away to the main UNL campus in Lincoln. However, national publicity from the Times article had beneficial impacts far beyond my original goal of stopping MARC livestock abuse. First, the federal AWARE (Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors) Act was introduced, which would remove the exemption of farm animals used in agricultural research at federal facilities from coverage under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Second, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service veterinarians are conducting, for the first time, routine animal welfare inspections at all Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facilities. Third, a long-overdue Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) experiment review process is being instituted at MARC to prevent, minimize, or at least justify research livestock pain and suffering. Fourth, the USDA Office of the Inspector General investigated abuse allegations at MARC; a final report is pending. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Congress is currently withholding $57 million from the ARS annual budget for its failure to update the animal care policies at each of its approximately 100 research facilities. CONDITIONS AND CULTURES The travesty of the immense suffering of thousands of U.S. taxpayer-owned animals at MARC is that this inhumaneness was largely preventable if good scientific safeguard practices and standards of animal care, use, welfare, and experimental oversight had been in place. MARC’s conditions and culture created a perfect storm for research abuse. Non-competitive funding creates an environment permissive to non-rigorous, low-quality, or irrelevant experiments. This contrasts with university research funding by the USDA, which is almost always awarded as competitive grants. Adding to that is a proindustrial animal science bias, culture, and mindset, which discounts the value of or need for animal welfare, or is culturally blind to animal mistreatment. Until very recently, all animals at MARC were owned by UNL and thus should have been subject to its IACUC review process. Presumably for political reasons, UNL exempted thousands of MARC animals from animal welfare oversight, even though MARC scientists routinely claimed in scientific publications
Photo by Jim Keen
During physiology research, many hundreds—perhaps thousands—of MARC sheep and swine have suffered and died from sepsis, wound infections, or technical incompetence following experimental abdominal, reproductive, and even brain surgery performed by unqualified (non-veterinarian) animal scientists or their technicians. This occurs in spite of the availability of multiple licensed UNL veterinary clinicians to provide any medical and surgical services free of charge upon request. Recent examples include incidents in which intestines fell out of live pigs after a UNL technician incorrectly performed abdominal surgery; they died of shock. In another example, a cow bled to death following an improper surgical technique by a MARC animal scientist trying to remove an ovary. Some quality and valuable scientific research has been conducted at MARC by many well-meaning scientists, but the overall return on investment of hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars over several decades is abysmal. Although considered the world’s premier livestock genetics institute, virtually every genetic experiment conducted at MARC over the past half century has been an abject failure, mostly due to unnatural “increased production efficiency” designs that caused tremendous animal pain and suffering, and/or a lack of commercial demand.
that their livestock research was IACUC-approved. Thus, many published MARC scientific research papers are fraudulent and ethically should be retracted. The ARS required IACUC reviews beginning in 2002, but that mandate was ignored by four successive MARC directors. The USDA in general and MARC in particular are highly responsive to the politically powerful Big Ag red meat industry. In many ways, MARC functions as the industry’s research and marketing arm, performing a great deal of short-term targeted applied research for the red meat industry at little or no cost and with meat lobby funding. Animal welfare is considered a cost, not a benefit, in industrial meat production and research. Out of approximately 2,000 ARS scientists, only six perform livestock welfare research (none at MARC), compared to hundreds of ARS scientists (about 60 at MARC alone) doing livestock production research. Factory farming is economically unsustainable but dominates due to subsidies, not true market forces. Animal cruelty may not be the intent of factory farms or production research, but it is an unavoidable and predictable by-product given industrial livestock farm design, management practices, and animal genetics. A CHANGED MAN When I decided to blow the whistle, I deliberately sought out The New York Times and investigative reporter Michael Moss to maximize my chances of stopping MARC livestock abuse. Their exhaustive analysis and reporting, and the nationwide media
coverage following publication, put tremendous pressure on the USDA. Louis Brandeis was right: “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases.” I suffered as a whistleblower, but I also benefitted greatly. My goal of improved welfare for the MARC animals was realized and then some. I am glad I no longer support, through my research activities and previous beliefs, the unsustainable and inherently cruel industrial animal agriculture system, a mistaken application to living systems of approaches better suited for making automobiles or cellphones. Although I have been a veterinary researcher for almost three decades, I increasingly question the value and return on public investment of scientific research in general and of livestock/animal research in particular. My UNL academic research focus has pivoted toward agroecology, finding sustainable animal agriculture practices that respect livestock well-being and improve livestock and poultry well-being. I am very active in the animal protection movement (a countercultural activity in most of Nebraska). My story is a case study in an upcoming documentary film. I became an “almost vegetarian.” My progression from farm animal research abuse atheist to ambivalent agnostic to cruelty whistleblower to livestock protection activist is complete. Converts do make the best zealots. AV Jim Keen is a research veterinarian whose current work focuses on livestock protection, especially for chickens, and on sustainable animal welfarefriendly farming as an alternative to industrial livestock production.
New York Times Excerpts Prompted by Jim Keen’s whistleblower actions, The New York Times published a lengthy article on Jan. 19, 2015 titled “U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit: Animal Welfare at Risk in Experiments for Meat Industry,” by Michael Moss. The Times interviewed two dozen employees of the Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska, and reviewed thousands of pages of internal records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Below are excerpts:
• Little known outside the world of big agriculture, the center has one overarching mission: helping producers of beef, pork and lamb turn a higher profit as diets shift toward poultry, fish and produce....[T]hese endeavors have come at a steep cost to the center’s animals, which have been subjected to illness, pain and premature death, over many years. • The center has about 30,000 animals, tended by about 44 scientists, 73 technicians and other support workers. The scientists, who do not have medical degrees, and their assistants euthanize and operate on livestock, sometimes doing two or more major surgical operations on the same animal. • Of the 580,000 animals the center has housed since 1985…at least
6,500 have starved. A single, treatable malady—mastitis, a painful infection of the udder—has killed more than 625. • A Times examination of 850 experimental protocols since 1985 showed that the approvals were typically made by six or fewer staff members, often including the lead researchers for the experiment….The language in the protocols is revealing. While the words “profit” or “production efficiency” appear 111 times, “pain” comes up only twice. • In one trial aimed at creating larger lambs, pregnant ewes were injected with so much of the male hormone testosterone that it began to deform their babies’ genitals, making urination difficult. “Death losses were high,” the lead scientist wrote in 1990, and the
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
experiment was abandoned because it had little to offer sheep producers. • Many of the [calf] twins died during birth as their eight legs became tangled….[T]he breeding increasingly yielded triplets, with 12 legs to get tangled. By 2001, the center was reporting that 16.5 percent of twins and triplets were dying, a rate more than four times that of single calves. • When the American Meat Science Association met in 2013, a scientist from the Nebraska center gave a presentation comparing the two chief methods for killing pigs—one with anesthesia and one without. Though he did not favor one or the other, his standard was clear: Which produced the more tender meat? Complete article at aavs.org/nytimes
thirty Years of
Farm Sanctuary by Jill Howard Church
Farm Sanctuary has grown to include its Watkins Glen, New York, site (pictured) and two more sanctuaries in California.
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB
That year, at the suggestion of former AAVS Public Relations and Presidential Assistant Bernard Unti, Farm Sanctuary co-founders Gene Baur and Lorri Houston visited the Lancaster Stockyards in southern Pennsylvania, where more than 300,000 animals per year were auctioned off to slaughter. On a hot August Sunday, as Gene and Lorri walked past the stockyard’s “dead pile” (where carcasses were dumped until a renderer collected them), they saw something move. Unbelievably, a young sheep lifted her head from among the putrid bodies and looked at them. “We knew we couldn’t leave her on the dead pile to linger possibly for days,” Gene later wrote, so they loaded her into their old van and found a veterinarian, who palpated the sheep’s body until she began to rouse. Gene and Lorri took her home, named her Hilda, and thus began Farm Sanctuary’s long history of animal rescue. The first sanctuary was located on a former chicken farm near the DelawarePennsylvania line, but after quickly reaching
Photos Courtesy of Farm Sanctuary
To help commemorate its 30th anniversary this year, the nonprofit group Farm Sanctuary created a special wine glass for its supporters featuring the image of a sheep, dedicated to the first animal the group ever rescued back in 1986.
its capacity, the sanctuary moved to a larger site in Watkins Glen, New York, in 1990. The group has since added two more locations in California. All together, Farm Sanctuary’s shelters are home to nearly 1,000 cows, pigs, sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks. Farm Sanctuary’s comprehensive mission includes education programs that focus on humanity’s relationships with other animals. The group’s Someone Project shares information from the growing body of scientific evidence—endorsed by such animal behavior experts as Jane
Goodall—regarding emotions, intelligence, and social behavior in farmed animals. The group regularly takes in animals rescued during cruelty investigations or other emergencies, and has been active in promoting state and federal legislation regarding animal welfare reforms. Each November, Farm Sanctuary’s sites host a Celebration for the Turkeys, where participants “give thanks for the amazing animals who are now free from harm.” All of the sanctuaries offer public tours as well as internships and volunteer opportunities that bring people closer to animals many grew up thinking of as commodities
and not companions. It’s not surprising that many visitors vow to reduce or end their consumption of animal products after getting to know the animals at Farm Sanctuary. “The place can have that effect on people, and it doesn’t come from a ponderous lecture,” Gene wrote. “All they have to do is connect with the animals and feel the peaceful spirit in the air.” So much has resulted from the rescue of one little lamb. Cheers, Hilda. AV Jill Howard Church, M.A., is the Managing Editor of AV Magazine.
The Meaning of Sanctuary by Gene Baur, co-founder, Farm Sanctuary When Hilda died, we buried her in the garden at the Watkins Glen shelter, not far from the foundations of the barn built in the 1800s. In the spring, flowers form a blanket over the grave, and the herbs and other plants attract butterflies and bees. We etched a drawing of a lamb on the headstone along with this inscription: “Hilda, rescued from a stockyard, August 3, 1986, died of old age, September 25, 1997. Forever changing hearts and minds.” When we rescued Hilda and founded Farm Sanctuary, we had no idea that either would survive as long as they did, or touch so many. We simply wanted to get Hilda out of the stockyard. Ironically, Hilda probably did more to help others than anyone ever did for her. Thousands of visitors have been reconnected with farm life through Hilda (and the other animals), and in doing so, reconnect with the finer aspects of their own humanity. At the sanctuary the animals can be who they are and people can allow themselves to care. Twenty years later, we have rescued thousands of animals, have made hundreds of thousands of people aware of the plight of farmed animals, and have helped enact laws that will affect the lives of millions of them. Through the Watkins Glen and Orland sanctuaries, we have shown people that cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, sheep, and all the other farm animals are capable of awareness, feeling, and suffering—in some ways, suffering more intense than our own precisely because for most it never ends. In the course of this work, the meaning of the word sanctuary has deepened for me. For every Hilda, Hope, or Cinci Freedom, we are aware that another creature—in just as much pain and just as deserving of care—is being denied a place of mercy. There are always more animals than we can provide shelter for. Even if we had space for five thousand, or five hundred thousand, or five million, or a thousand times that
Gene Baur in 1992 with Hilda, who was rescued from near death at a Pennsylvania stockyard.
number, it wouldn’t be enough. We’d still have to say, “Sorry, we can’t take any more.” So beyond providing a home for the animals we can take in, the sanctuaries act as a reminder that for billions of other farmed animals there is no respite or place of mercy. The animals who do make it to our California and New York shelters embody the dangers of factory farming all too well. Because our society mainly eats the young, Farm Sanctuary is one of the few places in the country where it is possible to see the long-term effects of breeding for productivity and industrial confinement. As they age, the animals need additional care. Genetic alterations and the industry’s standard practices have compromised their health in irreversible ways. So although looking after the animals is time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes emotionally painful, we feel responsible to provide the best care possible. By opening our hearts to the difficult and broken, a deeper healing can take place. That, for me, is the most profound of all the meanings of sanctuary. From FARM SANCTUARY by Gene Baur. Copyright © 2008 by Gene Baur. Reprinted by permission of Touchstone, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
By Eric Kleiman
Santa Cruz Biotechnology
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB
Photo by istock PHOTO
Santa Cruz Biotechnology (SCBT) has been one USDA. The Public Health Service Policy on the of the world’s largest suppliers of research antiHumane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals bodies. Six surveys done between 2007 and 2015 exempts pre-made (not custom) animal-derived ranked SCBT first or second in global market antibodies, as the Animal Welfare Institute share. Yet for years, the U.S. Department of Ag- (AWI) pointed out in requesting that the NIH riculture (USDA) cited the company for alleged remove this exemption. This means that violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) intaxpayer-supported NIH researchers can volving multiple and repeated failures to provide buy antibodies from any supplier, regardless adequate veterinary care, resulting in significant of its animal welfare record. animal suffering. Other citations related to the And SCBT’s documented animal welfare failure of the company’s Institutional Animal record is deplorable. At an August 2015 Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to provide hearing, the USDA stated that a 2005 proper oversight, using sick and/or ill goats in stipulation agreement under which SCBT was antibody production, and—perhaps most damn- fined $4,600 for alleged AWA violations from ing—repeatedly denying to USDA inspectors 2002 to 2004 was the “starting point” for the the very existence of a barn housing 841 goats. case; in the 33 inspections conducted afterwards, Antibodies are part of a multibillion-dollar the USDA continued to document serious global business, with hundreds of suppliers deficiencies. Multiple citations contained in worldwide offering more than half a million the 2005 stipulation involved many of the same types of antibodies, which are used by all kinds alleged violations documented by the USDA in of researchers to understand cell signaling, complaints filed in 2012, 2014, and 2015— identify proteins, and study cell membrane the first time three separate complaints had ever receptors where drugs dock. Animal-derived been filed against a registered research facility. antibodies are produced by injecting an antigen When asked about SCBT’s ability to comply into animals, waiting for an immune response, with the AWA, a USDA inspector testified, and then drawing blood to harvest the “I don’t see a will to,” and later added, “We’re antibodies. Non-animal methods of antibody seeing the same problems over and over and production include using bioreactors and over again.” recombinant monoclonal antibodies. THE CASE OF THE Antibody production is extremely hard on animals. Internationally accepted guidelines exist DISAPPEARING GOATS for producing animal-derived antibodies, includ- From 1999 through 2015, SCBT’s annual reing how strongly an antibody can challenge imports noted that the company had thousands of goats and rabbits, with the highest total in 2011: mune systems, how much and how often blood 8,052 rabbits and 9,485 goats. However, 2,471 can be drawn, and the common-sense guideline rabbits and 3,202 goats who were listed on a of not using sick animals. The USDA has cited July 2015 USDA inventory were inexplicably SCBT for failing to abide by several of these. gone by January 2016. The news, first published For private commercial antibody suppliers like SCBT that receive no direct funding from in Nature, caused a firestorm, including indithe National Institutes of Health (NIH), reguvidual researchers announcing on social media lation in the U.S. is solely dependent on the that they were boycotting SCBT.
A barn with 841 goats was intentionally not disclosed to USDA inspectors.
This disappearance occurred after two seminal events. First, the USDA filed a third formal complaint in August 2015 regarding an egregious inspection at SCBT just a month prior, when a goat diagnosed with urinary stones was found “unwilling to walk, and breathing heavily.” Five hours later the goat was “agonal, suffering and in distress.” No veterinarian was on site or able to be contacted before SCBT staff—without veterinary approval or a secondary euthanasia injection, both violations of its own standard operating
Antibody production is extremely hard on animals. procedure—killed the goat with a captive bolt gun. The USDA inspector wrote, “Allowing [this goat] to suffer throughout the day without the consult of a veterinarian was not in the best interest” of this animal. The second—and most decisive—event was the August 2015 USDA hearing, which included the bombshell testimony of whistleblower and ex-SCBT veterinarian Robin Parker. She testified that the decision to deceive USDA inspectors about the existence of the barn with 841 goats— who were later found with “significant health concerns” and deprived of any treatment or veterinary observation—was made by SCBT’s owner, John Stephenson. The 2015 hearing also brought to light
the devastating inspections documented by the USDA for years—and revealed profound suffering not contained in the inspection reports. An inspector testified it was “pretty shocking” to see a goat’s broken leg “visibly moving around,” having not received veterinary care for days. Another inspector testified that SCBT, without approval of its IACUC and despite repeated denials, engaged in one or more terminal bleeds of rabbits without the sedation mandated by American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines. Only when an inspector discovered a dead rabbit covered in blood in a freezer did SCBT admit that the rabbit had endured a terminal bleed. After its witnesses foundered in their feeble attempts to justify the company’s actions, SCBT requested to rest its case and establish a briefing schedule, or suspend the hearing, to pursue settlement. The USDA agreed, but the settlement negotiations failed, and the Department strongly challenged SCBT’s representations to the court in its request to reinstate the hearing. Finally, an unprecedented settlement was reached. SETTLEMENT AND PENALTIES AWI—soon joined by AAVS and other organizations—was the first to call on the USDA to revoke SCBT’s dealer license. That license is different from a research registration. The USDA required SCBT to have both. Why? The USDA defines the production of antibodies as testing animals’ immune response, and thus requires a research registration. In addition, if that production facility sells those antibodies for research, teaching, testing, or
experimentation, a dealer’s license is also required. The USDA cannot suspend or revoke a research registration, but it can do so with dealer licenses. Without a dealer license, suppliers such as SCBT cannot sell antibodies derived from AWA-covered species in the U.S. The USDA’s actions, as well as international media coverage and pressure from animal protection groups, ultimately led to the historic settlement. In May, SCBT agreed to permanent dealer license revocation and a $3.5 million fine—more than 12 times larger than any fine ever levied under the 50-year history of the AWA. SCBT also canceled its research license. Groundbreaking as it is, the settlement has a huge catch: The AWA excludes rats, mice, and birds from protection. Although SCBT can only sell its existing stock of antibodies derived from AWA-covered species such as rabbits and goats until December 31, SCBT offers thousands of mice-derived monoclonal antibodies that it can still produce and sell forever—with absolutely no federal oversight. AWI believes that animal welfare must be a priority in all purchasing decisions. Multiple individual researchers, as well as institutions such as Northwestern University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and McGill University, concur. One prominent animal research advocate took it a step further, saying, “Frankly, Santa Cruz should go out of business, and the scientific community should hasten that by refusing to buy their products.” AV Eric Kleiman is the Research Consultant for the Animal Welfare Institute.
Left Out of the Law By Crystal Miller-Spiegel
Animal Welfare Act does not apply when used in breeding experiments to increase litter size.
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to the use of animals in agricultural research, but many facilities, such as state universities, follow the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching. The Guide is published by the Federation of Animal Science Societies; its 10 member groups include the American Dairy Science Association, the American Society of Animal Science, and the Poultry Science Association. This, however, is more of a “policies and procedures” type of use developed by industry. Adherence to the Guide includes the establishment and use of an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee comprising individuals with various backgrounds who review proposals for animal use at the facility, visit animal use areas, etc. Yet there is no oversight by an outside public agency, and therefore no transparency. Failure to follow this Guide does not have legal consequences. In 2015, the Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors (AWARE) Act was introduced as a result of public concern following a New York Times article covering the cruel treatment and neglect of animals at MARC. This brief bill amends the AWA to state that the farm animal exclusion does not apply to animals used by federal agencies. The AWA exclusion of farmed animals should be removed entirely, because the use of animals in agricultural experiments deserves scrutiny regardless of where it is conducted. It is, indeed, experimental (particularly reproductive research and disease prevention), and by its very nature, compromises animal welfare. AV Crystal Miller-Spiegel, M.S., is a Policy Analyst for AAVS.
Animal Welfare Act applies when used in human medical device experiments. Photo courtesy of PCRM (opposite)
nimals used in agricultural research are not protected by law. It’s the worst of both worlds: agricultural exclusions and research exclusions. State and local laws typically exclude animals used in scientific or laboratory research from protection under anti-cruelty and other state or municipal animal protection laws, ceding that authority to the federal government. At the federal level, the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which regulates how certain types of animals in laboratories are obtained and used, specifically excludes animals used in agriculture-related experiments to improve their use as food or for fiber (including breeding, reproduction and disease treatment/prevention). In its definition of “animal,” the AWA states, “[The term animal excludes]…farm animals, such as, but not limited to, livestock or poultry used or intended for use as food or fiber, or livestock or poultry used or intended for use for improving animal nutrition, breeding, management, or production efficiency, or for improving the quality of food or fiber.” Although the AWA only sets minimal animal welfare standards, it does provide oversight, transparency, and legal consequences for severe deficiencies. It is worth noting that the same animal—say, a pig—used in biomedical research on human diseases is covered under the AWA. The AWA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, as described on page 4, the USDA failed to monitor the treatment of thousands of animals at one of its own facilities, the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC). There are no other animal welfare laws that apply
Military Testing on Animals By Ryan Merkley
A high-tech “Cut Suit” that simulates human combat injuries is among the alternatives to using wounded goats and pigs to train medics.
bones, interchangeable organs, and an artificial heart that pumps blood. Instead of using an unconscious goat, the medic is forced to deal with a writhing, screaming casualty—much more true to life. Some military training programs are already using modern methods like this. As the public became aware of the military’s practices, due largely to the work of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Congress took notice. The Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act was introduced in 2009; the current bill calls for phasing out the use of animals in combat trauma training courses by October 2020, and currently has the support of more than 70 members of Congress. In addition, influential lawmakers from both parties are speaking out. Last June, Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), a physician and Army Reserve general, was the lead signatory on a letter from 71 House members that asked the Department of Defense to provide financial costs, animal numbers, and details on plans to reduce or replace animal use by the military. In 2015, retired Army lieutenant colonel and practicing neurosurgeon William Morris, along with 13 other former military health professionals, wrote to the Secretary of Defense saying, “Many of us have trained on live animals, and many of us attempted to translate that training in the treatment of human casualties, so we understand the need for modernizing the way military personnel are prepared for the battlefield. The current practice of stabbing, shooting, and amputating the limbs of thousands of pigs and goats each year is far from the best your agency can offer, and the men and women we send into harm’s way deserve the best.” Statements like those are backed up by research. A 2015 U.S. Navy study that compared the use of animals with humanmodeled simulators, and rated the ability of both to boost confidence and strengthen overall skills, reported that “participants viewed the two types of training as equally effective.” An Armyfunded study, presented in August at a military health conference, compared the use of goats to simulators for teaching the control of traumatic bleeding and the use of tourniquets. The authors concluded, “Our data suggests we can replace animals with synthetics.” These studies serve as the underpinnings of the effort to replace this cruel animal use. But in order for that change to happen, the public must engage their legislators, Congress must continue to pressure the Department of Defense, and medical experts within the agency must all work to move combat medicine into the 21st century. AV
ost people would be surprised to learn that in military training courses, more than 8,500 goats and pigs are stabbed, dismembered, and shot every year. The intention is to prepare medics to treat severe battlefield wounds, but there is a growing body of research that makes it clear this animal use is unnecessary. A 2008 San Antonio Express-News article took readers inside one of the Army’s courses: “Two combat medics hold the rear leg of an unconscious goat stretched out on a blue sheet atop the nylon mesh of an Army litter. Instructor Armand Fermin places a tree trimmer over a joint in the leg, closes it, applies pressure and a ‘crack’ echoes inside the dimly lit tent at Fort Sam Houston.” A significant part of the military’s reasoning for this grisly practice has been just that—it’s grisly. Medics need to be prepared for the horrors of war and ready to respond under pressure. But recent studies demonstrate that the emotional impact of dealing with wounded soldiers (and other important effects of training) can be provided by non-animal methods. Take for instance the Human-Worn Partial Task Surgical Simulator, also known as the “Cut Suit.” This anatomically acRyan Merkley is the Director of Research Advocacy for the Physicians curate device is worn by a human actor and includes breakable Committee for Responsible Medicine.
By Crystal Schaeffer
n an era of tremendous advancement in science, it seems odd that a pharmaceutical company like Pfizer is still using a 75-year-old method to produce a family of drugs geared toward women. First approved in the early 1940s as a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to alleviate menopause symptoms, Premarin is made of conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) harvested from pregnant mares’ urine (PMU). In the 1990s, after CEE prescribed alone was shown to increase the risk of endometrial cancer, it was paired with the hormone progestin to formulate the drug Prempro. However, as the cruelty endured by horses used in the PMU industry was exposed, many women looked for alternatives. In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative reported an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke associated with the combined use of CEE and progestin and sales dropped dramatically. Today, despite the continued cruelty to horses and the health risks linked with CEE, Pfizer is remarketing its Premarin family of drugs, which also includes Prempak-C, Premique, and Duavee, hoping to again capitalize on its once billion-dollar business.
WELFARE CONCERNS Although companion horses are typically kept in box stalls, the “Recommended Code” specifically states that “[b]ox stalls must not be used for urine collection from a pregnant mare.” Instead, PMU horses are confined to smaller tie-stalls that do not provide enough space for them to easily move and lie down. The Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching states that horses should be kept in stalls that allow “essential movements, including lying down in sternal or lateral recumbency.”5 Horses can sleep while standing, but to reach important REM sleep, they need to lie down, preferably on their sides. Unfortunately, mares kept in tie-stalls cannot do so. The Guide also recommends that horses confined in box stalls “receive 30 min of free time…or 15 min of controlled exercise THE INDUSTRY According to the North American Equine Ranching Information per day,” and that “horses in tie-stalls should be provided with Council (NAERIC), Pfizer currently has contracts with 20 horse more time for exercise.” But the PMU “Recommended Code” merely says that mares should be “given the opportunity for farms (four in Saskatchewan and 16 in Manitoba1) that use [exercise] as is necessary for…individual welfare,” while a white paper authored by the Equine Ranching Advisory Board states that, at minimum, horses should be “turned out bi-weekly.”6 The Guide warns that horses “standing for prolonged periods in either box or tie stalls may develop edema of the lower limbs…or abdo-
Barbra and Fiona were rescued from a Manitoba PMU farm in 2004, while both were pregnant. Barbra still lives happily at Equine Advocates, but Fiona died in 2015 after struggling for years with painful foot and respiratory problems associated with her prior mistreatment.
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB
Photo by Jim Craner/Equine Advocates
Pregnant Mares’ Urine
about 1,300 breeding mares2 to produce PMU. In 2002, before the decline in prescribed CEE drugs, there were 37,000 mares on 422 PMU farms in Canada and North Dakota.3 PMU production occurs in fall and winter, when for six months of an 11-month pregnancy, mares are tied up in narrow stalls with concrete floors. Using straps and a halter, each mare is fitted with a device that covers her urethra so urine can be collected. She has limited mobility, making it difficult for her to comfortably lie down. Mares are impregnated every year until their production declines, after which most are sent to slaughter. Many of their foals suffer the same fate, or are raised to eventually replace them on the “pee-line.” There is little oversight to ensure the welfare of horses in the PMU industry. U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Care Policy states that “[h]orses used for the production of PMU are not covered by the AWA [Animal Welfare Act].” Regulations in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan simply refer to the industry’s “Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Horses on PMU Ranches,” which was developed in part by Pfizer and Manitoba Agriculture.4
“I always say that they treat these mares like four-legged drug machines— as though they are not even alive.” Susan Wagner, Founder and President of Equine Advocates, shares some of her insights about the PMU industry: What was your reaction the first time you walked into a PMU barn? I was horrified. I was also working undercover so I had to keep my feelings and emotions to myself. It was like being in a prison. One of the saddest things was on a large farm where they had several hundred PMU mares on pee-lines. Because they were regulating their water intake (to concentrate their urine), when horses heard the sound of water starting to flow through the pipes, they became anxious, and as the water reached them, drank eagerly. After the water was gone, they continued to try to drink. Foals are considered an unwanted “by-product” of the PMU industry. Typically, how old are the foals who are sent to slaughter? At auction in Winnipeg, we rescued foals who were between five and six months old. We also went to a feedlot where 1,000 foals were being fattened
for slaughter. Some of them were pulled from their mothers before they were old enough to be weaned—not even four months old. Do former PMU horses have chronic physical health issues? Yes, many of them do. One mare, Barbra, came to us with a torn muscle in her rear left leg. She may have been impaled on something and was never treated for it. I am sure that many of the mares struggle against standing in one spot for so long, resulting in injuries. Some conditions and injuries stem from standing on concrete for years and being tethered. Other PMU mares have had very serious foot and hoof injuries from years of neglect. Horses’ feet should be trimmed every six to eight weeks, but on one of the PMU farms where we saved 46 mares, the mares had their feet done just once a year. Scarlet, rescued in 2000, was able to live a relatively normal
men, especially if pregnant.” And because they stand for long periods on hard surfaces, many PMU mares suffer from chronic arthritis. PMU TODAY A 2015 survey commissioned by AAVS and the public research organization Faunalytics found that 86 percent of Americans believe that doctors should inform patients that there are HRT drugs available that do not contain CEE. However, Pfizer has been trying to resurrect its Premarin family of drugs using different marketing, new product names, and a less obvious way of listing its primary ingredient. Although still manufactured with PMU, CEE is now listed simply as “conjugated estrogens,” making it confusing for doctors and patients who are trying to avoid such medications. Some of the PMU industry has moved to China, where there is both a lack of transparency and animal welfare laws. According to a report from a Chinese news outlet, the PMU industry began there in 2006, with as many as 90,000 mares currently being housed in rural areas.7
Susan Wager with rescued mare Mariclare
life with special shoes for 10 years, but she succumbed when she was only 18. What emotional scars do mares endure after years in the PMU industry? Years of cruelty and abuse take a toll on every one of these mares. One mare, Kelli, is still not over her experience. While we can work with her now, she is still untrusting of humans. She continues to make gradual progress, but her emotional scars far outweighed the physical ones. Learn more at www.equineadvocates.org
The PMU industry is driven by product demand, so it’s important for the public and those in the medical field to be aware of the cruelty involved in PMU production and the availability of alternative products. When enough consumers object to the cruelty, this archaic industry can end. AV Crystal Schaeffer, M.A. Ed., M.A. IPCR, is the Outreach Director for AAVS. 1 NAERIC. (2016). NAERIC ranches. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://www.naeric. org/ranchers.asp?strNAV=3 2 NAERIC. (2016). About the equine ranching industry. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://www.naeric.org/about.asp?strNav=4 3 DiVita, Lee. (2002, April 15). Veterinary, equine community dispels accusations against the pregnant mare urine industry. JAMA. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from https://www. avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/s041502d.aspx 4 PMU Study Committee. (2013). Recommended code of practice for the care and handling of horses on PMU ranches. (6th ed.). p. 2. 5 Federation of Animal Science Societies. (2010, January). Horses. Guide for the care and use of agricultural animals in research and teaching. (3rd ed.). p. 90. 6 The Equine Advisory Board. (2014, June). Care and oversight of horses managed for the collection of pregnant mares’ urine, p. 13. 7 BON TV China. (2002, May 22). Horse urine a profitable industry. Biz Wire. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL5o8c_Fetg
Spider Goats and Popeye Pigs
By Amber Barnes
scientists are dabbling with the makeup of animals for various purposes, including medical and agricultural research, and sometimes for
no clear reason at all. SURPRISING SPECIES A surprising number of pigs, sheep, cows, and goats are the focus for many researchers, in addition to the more commonly used mice, rats, and rabbits. In agricultural research, scientists are attempting to perfect the ideal “food” animal. One such invention is the “Enviropig,” a strain of pig that researchers in Canada genetically engineered to digest phosphorous. This ability could potentially reduce the environmental issues associated with the high levels of phosphorous released into
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the water from large-scale pig farming.1 Of course, this does nothing to prevent the other problematic emissions created by pig farms or address the atrocious welfare issues associated with many farming practices; it merely attempts to mold an animal to fit a broken system. In a bizarre attempt to use genetic engineering to create healthier “food” animals, researchers in Japan created what they dubbed the “Popeye pig.” Animals in this study were genetically altered to contain spinach genes with the hope of producing healthier meat.2 The Daily Mail quoted geneticist Sue Mayer of Genewatch as saying, “When there are so many other ways to have a healthy diet, it is difficult to see how genetic modification such as this can possibly be justifiable.” However, not all research involving the genetic engineering of large animals is agricultural. Perhaps one of the stranger experiments is the “spider goat.” Researchers at the University of Wyoming integrated spider DNA into the genomics of a goat in an attempt to harvest large amounts of silk through goat milk, possibly for making protective garments like bulletproof vests. Other research involving genetic engineering has been criticized for its apparent lack of application. Chinese scientists recently created a new type of sheep that has patterned and colored wool. Author and yarn expert Clara Parkes has condemned this research as being a mere excuse to experiment on large animals, as colored wool is considered a contaminant in the wool industry and such studies provide no benefit to the sheep themselves.3 REGULATIONS In the United States, the FDA has jurisdiction over genetically engineered animals, pursuant to its authority to regulate “new animal drugs.” It also regulates medical products classified as biologicals, which include vaccines, serums, and blood products. The FDA must license biologicals before they can be introduced. States usually have little say over the regulation of genetically engineered plants or animals, although the California Fish and Game Commission banned GloFish, a genetically engineered tropical aquarium fish. In a recent resolution coordinated by Consumers International, the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue urged the European Union and U.S. govern-
Photo by istock PHOTO
The term genetic engineering (GE) often conjures visions of glow-in-the-dark animals, strange hybrid creatures, and other characters of science fiction. As it turns out, that isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. The development of GE animals can entail invasive and painful research, with large numbers of animals suffering to produce one line of acceptable “research subjects.” In addition to those concerns, complications may arise during studies, causing unintended effects on the animals and resulting in more suffering or adding to the number of “wasted” animals. Perhaps the most notorious genetically engineered animal in the news is the AquAdvantage salmon. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the salmon for human consumption in 2015 amid opposition from environmental, fishery, animal protection, and food safety groups. The AquAdvantage salmon are Atlantic salmon who are genetically engineered to grow to market size in 18 months, as opposed to the usual three years. While these genetically altered fish are making a splash in news headlines, there are many other areas of genetic engineering where scientists are dabbling with the makeup of animals for various purposes, including medical and agricultural research, and sometimes for no clear reason at all.
ANIMAL PHARM Perhaps one of the fastest growing areas that involve transgenic animals is “biopharming,” a process that produces pharmaceuticals in animals and plants that are usually genetically engineered. Transgenic animals are used to make human proteins that have medicinal value. The proteins contained in the milk, PIGS IN PARTICULAR eggs, or blood of the animal are collected and purified. Cows, sheep, and goats Pigs have long been exploited in agricultural are commonly used in biopharming because they are easy to manage and have systems, but they also constitute a large part of larger bodies and therefore greater capacities for producing medicinal proteins. biomedical disease research. According to Gün and The first human therapeutic protein was made in a transgenic goat and was Kues, at least 90 percent of genetically modified approved for use in Europe and the United States in 2006. Genetically modipigs are developed for biomedical studies.4 fied cows have also been created to produce human lactoferrin, an antibacteMany pigs used in research are genetically enrial agent found in human breast milk.7 However, there is much work being gineered to suffer from various diseases or other done in the area of biopharming that does not rely on the exploitation of health issues so the progression of these illnesses animals. An alternative to the use of animals in biopharming is the gene editing of plants to create proteins and vaccines that could have a tremendous impact on global health. Tobacco plants are being modified to create drugs such as Eleyso, which is used to treat a rare condition called Gaucher disease. Another drug developed using tobacco plants is PlantForm’s version of the breast cancer drug Herceptin. The plant version of the drug can be produced for only $100, as opposed to the usual $1,000 per dose when manufactured from animal cells.8 Farm-raised salmon Other crops used in biopharming include rice, are being genetically modified to grow faster alfalfa, safflower, and maize—which at least and bigger to meet solves the welfare problems of using animals as consumer demands. bioreactors. The world of genetic engineering is vast and can be studied, and so different drugs can be tested growing, with millions of animals being exploited each year. The concern, as on the pigs for possible treatments or cures in ever, is that animals will increasingly suffer as these industries expand. It is humans. These sensitive, inquisitive animals are imperative that researchers turn their sights toward alternatives to the use of modified to be afflicted with such diseases and animals in this and all areas of invasive research. AV disorders as cystic fibrosis, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and Amber Barnes is a Policy Analyst for AAVS. retinal disease.5 However, in many of these studies, genetically engineered pigs didn’t present with the symptoms required to study the disease.6 Forsberg, C. W., Phillips, J. P., Golovan, S. P., Fan, M. Z., Meidinger, R. G., Ajakaiye, A., ... & Hacker, R. R. (2003). Xenotransplantation (cross-species transplantaThe enviropig physiology, performance, and contribution to nutrient management advances in a regulated environment: The leading edge of change in the pork industry. Journal of Animal Science, 81(14_suppl_2), E68-E77. tion) is another area where more and more reSaeki K, Matsumoto K, Kinoshita M, et al. Functional expression of a Δ12 fatty acid desaturase gene from spinach in searchers are studying the use of genetically moditransgenic pigs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2004; 101(17):6361-6366. fied pigs as the answer to the human organ donor doi:10.1073/pnas.0308111101. Sala, Ilaria Maria. (2016). China’s latest genetic engineering experiment is a flock of sheep no one wants. Quartz. shortage. Since pig organs are similar in size and http://qz.com/723014 physiology to human organs, they are considered Gün, G., & Kues, W. A. (2014). Current Progress of Genetically Engineered Pig Models for Biomedical Research. by some researchers to be good candidates for huBioResearch Open Access, 3(6), 255–264. http://doi.org/10.1089/biores.2014.0039 man transplants. Currently the major issue (aside Leuchs S., Saalfrank A., Merkl C., Flisikowska T., Edlinger M., Durkovic M., et al. (2012) Inactivation and Inducible Oncogenic Mutation of p53 in Gene Targeted Pigs. PLoS ONE 7(10): e43323. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043323 from the pigs’ welfare) is rejection of the transStøy, J., Steiner, D. F., Park, S.-Y., Ye, H., Philipson, L. H., & Bell, G. I. (2010). Clinical and molecular genetics of plants by the recipients’ immune system. However, neonatal diabetes due to mutations in the insulin gene. Reviews in Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders, 11(3), 205–215. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-010-9151-3 pigs altered with human genes might reduce that Cooper C.A., Maga E.A., Murray J.D. Production of human lactoferrin and lysozyme in the milk of transgenic dairy risk, so researchers are creating transgenic pigs animals: past, present, and future. Transgenic Res. (2015) Aug;24(4):605-14. doi: 10.1007/s11248-015-9885-5. Epub 2015 Jun 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 26059245 for growing organs. But there is still a chance for Mann, Mark. (2015). These Bioengineered Tobacco Plants are Growing Pharmaceuticals of the Future. Motherboard. pig-to-human virus transmission that could pose a May 4, 2015. http://motherboard.vice.com/read/these-bioengineered-tobacco-plants-are-growing-pharmaceuticals-ofthreat to public health. the-future ments to better regulate new genetic engineering techniques, fully consider the welfare of animals involved, and adopt mandatory labeling laws for food produced using genetic engineering.
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Animal Place
Kim Sturla with Bruce, who was severely malnourished when he was rescued.
AAVS: What led you to establish Animal Place? KIM: I worked on a variety of issues, but not farmed animal issues. But there was an epiphany working at an animal shelter [when] a piglet was rescued off the streets, and we were all bonding with her. Two people came forward interested in adopting her, but only to fatten her up to be barbecued when she was six or eight months of age. So being a humane society, we certainly would not adopt to those two people, but at the same time, the humane society had a fundraising event and served ham. And everybody but me ate the ham. So for me it was one of those awakenings of the powerful disconnect we have toward farmed animals. And then just the pure numbers [of animals raised for food] was what really shocked me into redirecting my energies. How well do you get to know each animal personally? For the first 20 years, really well, because I was either the exclusive caretaker or the primary caretaker. We started out with 60 acres, and I was working for the Fund for Animals, which allowed me to work out of my home, and my [former] husband [Ned Buyukmihci] was a veterinary professor at UC-Davis, so we both worked full-time while maintaining Animal Place. Where did the first animals come from? A number of them came in through the humane society where I was working. Some were chickens purchased by UC-Davis for use in an education class.
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Photo COURTESY OF Marji Beach/Animal Place
Nearly 30 years ago, Kim Sturla co-founded Animal Place in rural California as a refuge for abused, neglected, and homeless farmed animals. Today the sanctuary has two locations and rescues thousands of animals each year, keeping many and rehoming others.
They were fed alcohol, and students were to study how alcohol affects the gait of chickens, if you can believe that one. Back then there was the potbellied pig sensation; it’s really only been the last five years that we’ve seen that pretty much stop. Where we were first located, there was a lot of rural land, so a lot of folks had goats and sheep, and they came from all over. Have you had certain favorites? Zelda the pig, because she was our first rescue. Bruce, the old pig who was a skeleton when I found him, just because I ached for what his life was like for so many years, and the fear that he continued to have for people broke my heart. Annabelle was a pig used in research at UCSan Francisco; they severed her jaw and had a contraption around her head and kept tightening it to lengthen her jaw, and she kept breaking the contraption, so they couldn’t use her anymore. She died of liver cancer at the very young age of four, but she was just a wonderful, trusting animal, even though she was so abused and lived in a cage. Howie the cow was found out in the field, just born, and his mother was dead. He became a real institution at Animal Place because he was just sooo friendly. He was a huge cow from a breed raised for meat production. He would come running down the hillside toward you, kicking up his heels. Every time we had tours, all the visitors would come up to him and give him treats, and he would lick everybody’s face. [Author] Jim Mason called goats “the clowns of the barnyard,” and that’s true. They have a real sense of humor about them. They’re playful, very mischievous, and I like that. It does my heart good to see animals confident enough to be who they are and not be scared of people. Is it always “happily ever after” for the animals? Some continually suffer from the abuse they experienced from people. Some seemingly make a quicker and full recovery, but that’s really the great unknown. Our responsibility when they come to us is to make them feel secure, and then for them to get interactions from us that are always positive, and we slowly try to build up their confidence. And they’re given freedom. What do visitors learn about animals from seeing Animal Place? That they’re feeling creatures; they have personalities, they’re individuals, they feel joy, they feel pain, they feel depression. They appreciate their freedom,
they enjoy their relationships. If we take [visitors] in with the cows, they can see how the cows will come up to them and solicit attention. They’re oftentimes a little surprised that [the cows] know their names. In turn, one hopes, once they see that these are feeling, thinking beings, a respect for and compassion for those animals will evolve from that experience. Do you see growing recognition that the welfare of farmed animals needs to be considered? I think people certainly have more awareness about farmed animals and knowledge of how they’re treated on farms. Some folks come not knowing really what we’re about, and that was the catalyst for developing the Museum of Animal Farming. The outside has gestation crates with a lifesize [pig] model, and farrowing crates. It has human-sized battery cages and gestation crates, and veal crates. We want them to see the housing of these animals. It is really interesting that when speaking to people about farmed animals outside the sanctuary setting, you can only give them so much information and then they tune you out; it’s just so horrific, and there’s tremendous guilt. Yet when they come to the sanctuary, you can take your humane education so much further because they’re outside in a beautiful area, seeing these happy animals with space and loving care, and they’re hearing their personal stories, and you can always frame that in the context of how they’re treated on farms. What’s the process for adopting animals? When we do a rescue, that’s when we’ll determine if it’s an animal we think can find a home for. If it’s an animal that’s already at some kind of home, we’ll see if they can hold on to it longer while we trying finding a home. If not, and we think the animal’s adoptable, they go to our Rescue Ranch in Vacaville. We take in and adopt out about 4,000 chickens a year. They go through the rehabilitation process and multiple health checks, and treatment for lice and mites and all that. And people fill out adoption questionnaires online, and those are reviewed. If it’s a large mammal, we’ll do a home check. Do you mentor other sanctuaries? We do; the network is pretty tight. Some people see it as an appealing thing to do but haven’t thought it through. What I always emphasize is that it’s a lifetime commitment; it’s 24/7, come rain or shine, whether you’re sick or not, and you have to have the finances to do it. It’s hard, but if they want to embark on that, we’ll be there to help them any way we can. What is your main message for people who want to show compassion for farmed animals? Stop eating them, and their products. Get other people to stop eating them. Lobby your family, your friends, your co-workers—make them delicious vegan food. The farmed animal issue is so personal to all of us; it’s overwhelming because of the numbers, but it’s the most empowering issue for every single person. Take your family and friends on a tour of a sanctuary. Our “Food for Thought” program is alive and well; it could be getting your shelter to stop serving them. It’s really crucial that animal protection organizations and environmental groups and wildlife groups develop some consistency with what we believe in. AV Learn more at www.animalplace.org
Large Animals as Chemical Factories By Martin Stephens
vexing challenge. However, that challenge has recently been met with a variety of techniques, utilizing immune cells (derived from human blood), the bacterium E. coli, bacteriophages (a kind of virus), and synthetic DNA. In a recent commentary in the journal Trends in Biotechnology, Gray and coauthors argue that such non-animal techniques are “mature and available to replace animal immunization methods for antibody production” and “must now take precedence.” Another example of animals used to produce pharmaceuticals is production of the popular PRODUCTS AND ALTERNATIVES drug Premarin, a cocktail of female hormones preUnlike most chemicals used as drugs or pesticides and those in household scribed for women experiencing severe menopause products and industrial applications, biologicals are often too complicated symptoms. The drug’s name indicates its source: to be synthesized by purely chemical means—they require some biological pregnant mares’ urine. To make it, large draft process. Animals are one means to accomplish this, but so too are “bioreactors” horses are kept repeatedly pregnant and confined seeded with cells, nutrients, growth factors, etc. and kept under sterile, controlled conditions (e.g., at a certain temperature). The apparatus may give the the era of using impression of being a microbrewery! The cells provide the necessary biological animals as factories machinery to produce the desired biological substance, which is harvested to produce hormones, from the bioreactor. One advantage of bioreactors is that “downUsing ARDF antibodies, and other funding, a method to stream processing” to remove improduce monoclonal biologicals is slowly antibodies without purities is likely to be easier when the use of mice was coming to an end. the conditions of production are developed and made available as a kit. more controlled. Antibodies are proteins proto small stalls (with restricted water intake) in duced by the body to recognize order to facilitate the hormones’ production and and bind to cells that are foreign collection. (Learn more about Premarin on p. 14.) and potentially dangerous (e.g., Such hormone replacement therapy has its own infectious microbes, cancer cells). problematic side effects, so it is now not prescribed Researchers have developed a as often. Synthetic sources of the hormone mix are process to produce antibodavailable, but the use of horses continues. ies from single lines of cloned In many ways, the era of using animals as factocells; the resulting monoclonal ries to produce hormones, antibodies, and other antibodies identify their targets with pinpoint accuracy. Historically, these biologicals is slowly coming to an end, as scientists cloned cells were injected into mice who then produced the antibodies, but figure out ways to produce these important subanimal use has been limited by non-animal techniques, some of which were stances with non-animal methods. As in other developed with support from AAVS’s affiliate, the Alternatives Research & areas, these new methods can often yield savings in Development Foundation. time and money, as well as spare animals. AV Polyclonal antibodies (PAbs), however, are produced in larger animals, often rabbits. As their name implies, these are created by multiple and different Martin Stephens, Ph.D., is the Senior Research clones of cells, and therefore provide a more “shotgun” approach to hitting Associate for the Johns Hopkins Center for their targets. Given the complexities of the immune response necessary to Alternatives to Animal Testing, and is a consultant for produce PAbs, the goal of replacing animal use in their production has been a the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation.
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB
Photo by rob cardillo (this page) and Photo by istock PHOTO (opposite)
ne often-overlooked use of animals by the medical industry is as producers of biologically active proteins that are harvested from their blood, urine, milk, and other bodily fluids in a process known as biopharming. These proteins are the antibodies (such as snake antivenin), hormones (such as complex estrogen), enzymes, and other “biologicals” that are currently in high demand for biomedical research and the diagnosis and treatment of human health problems. In some cases, animals are genetically manipulated to produce the human versions of the desired proteins. The larger the animal, the more volume can be obtained and the more profitable the product, and so we see horses, goats, and sheep used for this kind of production.
ARDF Announces 2016 Grants for Alternatives In August, the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation (ARDF, an AAVS affiliate), awarded $200,000 to scientists developing innovative, alternative methods of research investigation. Since ARDF’s grant program was launched in 1994, most of the studies that have received funding were developing alternatives to the use of animals in toxicology testing, which often involves enormous pain and suffering for such animals as rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs. However, this year’s group of recipients is unique in that all five studies are based in biomedical research, an area of alternatives development that in the past has been more difficult to advance.
Congratulations to the 2016 Alternatives Research Grant Recipients! Luca Cucullo, Ph.D. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo A humanized blood-brain barrier model to assess drug delivery of chemotherapeutic treatment
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) helps protect the brain and is a semi-permeable membrane that allows only select substances to cross it. Unfortunately, the BBB can also block important drugs that could be used to treat brain tumors. Currently, rodents are used as models for BBB studies, despite the significant documented differences from human cells. The goal of this study is to replace the use of rodents by developing and validating a model made of human cells that can be used to assess a potential treatment drug’s ability to safely cross the BBB. Dongeun (Dan) Huh, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia A microengineered “cervix-on-a-chip” as an alternative to animal models for the study of premature cervical remodeling in preterm birth
Despite obvious anatomical differences, mice are often used as models to study issues associated with premature birth. Dr. Huh and his team will bioengineer a three-dimensional, physiologically
functioning model of a cervix using human cells. The hope is to use this human model to investigate changes in the cervix, such as those occurring because of disease, that can cause premature birth. Yaling Liu, Ph.D. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA A mimetic blood vessel as an alternative for testing transport properties of therapeutics
The Food and Drug Administration reports that approximately 90 percent of new drug treatments fail human clinical studies. This project aims to overcome this obstacle, as well as lessen the loss of time and financial resources, by developing a human-based model that can replace the use of animals in drug testing. A bi-layer vascular model that mimics the flow of blood in the human body will be developed, with the specific aim to evaluate a drug’s efficiency and toxicity, without the use of animals. Samantha A. Meenach, Ph.D. University of Rhode Island, Kingston Development of an integrated in vitro air-grown lung cancer pre-clinical assay platform
While aerosol treatments for various pulmonary disorders have been developed,
few exist to treat lung cancer, and there is a lack of in vitro models that can be used to evaluate new drugs. Dr. Meenach will develop a medium containing lung cancer spheroids and an aerial delivery system that can be used to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of potential anticancer drugs. The hope is to reduce and replace the use of animals in preclinical testing. David S. Peterson, Ph.D. Richard Bradbury, Ph.D.* University of Georgia, Athens *Co-Primary Investigator Dr. Bradbury’s lab is at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA Replacement of animal culture with in vitro cultivation of Babesia species
Babesiosis is a parasitic infection acquired from the bite of an infected tick, and affects both humans and animals worldwide, including in the U.S. Because there is no effective way to grow these parasites in vitro, hamsters and gerbils are infected and used as living bioreactors to produce antibodies, which are used in research and diagnostic testing for humans. To replace this use of animals, the scientists will develop a culture medium made of human red blood cells suitable to produce antibodies of Babesia. AV
HONORING LOVED ONES
SUPPORT THE AAVS MISSION
This issue of AV Magazine highlights the many unexpected ways animals are exploited in science. It’s hard to imagine who even conceived of hooking up pregnant horses by the thousands to collect their urine in order to produce a drug sold the world over (see “Pregnant Mares’ Urine,” p. 14). However, there is a bright side to the work of AAVS. When allowed to “retire,” animals from labs, such as chimpanzees and monkeys, horses from PMU farms, and others, are sometimes able to find proper homes at sanctuaries. If the horses are very lucky, they might go to Equine Advocates in New York, where horses like Bernadette (pictured below) get happy endings. Bernadette was rescued from a Canadian farm in 2003 and brought to Equine Advocates, where she and her daughter, Suzie, are free to roam the sanctuary’s spacious pastures and mingle with other horses rescued from the pharmaceutical business and other abusive situations. Sanctuaries need everyone’s help, because the passion to provide excellent care entails enormous sacrifice and commitment. And AAVS is happily part of the community that brings animals out of labs and into sanctuaries. Through the Sanctuary Fund, AAVS awards grants to carefully screened sanctuaries that conduct exceptional work, providing shelter, food, medical care—and love—to animals previously used in science and medicine. The Sanctuary Fund is a vehicle for you to rescue animals and provide direct financial support to this cause. You can help by making a contribution to the Fund, giving animals a second chance and helping them recover and live in peace. You may designate a gift to our Sanctuary Fund using the enclosed envelope. To donate online and learn more about the many sanctuaries that have benefitted from an AAVS grant, visit www.aavs.org/SanctuaryFund.
Bernadette is among the more than 80 rescued horses now enjoying life at the Equine Advocates sanctuary in New York.
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB
For information on planned giving, leadership gifts, recurring gifts, or other support, contact Chris Derer, Director of Development & Member Services, at 800-SAY-AAVS or firstname.lastname@example.org. When including AAVS in your estate plans or sending a donation, please use our legal title and office address: American Anti-Vivisection Society, 801 Old York Road, Suite 204, Jenkintown, PA 19046-1611. EIN: 23-0341990. AAVS is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization to which contributions are 100 percent tax-deductible under federal and state law.
In memory of our pets, especially Calvin and Hobbes, our wonderful cats. Carol and Richard Roth Gallatin, TN In honor of my Labrador, Sheba, who is so beautiful and loving that it’s almost out of character when she bristles and barks at intruders. She is a daily blessing. Kilbee Brittain Los Angeles, CA In memory of Harold Skinner, whose kindness to all animals inspired others to show the same compassion. Clark Skinner Tulsa, OK In memory of my beloved cat, Buster, who lived 14 years with diabetes. He was a joy, as were all the many cats my husband and I gave homes to. Patricia Nilson Colonial Beach, VA In honor of Duffy, my cockatoo. Duffy shows her love every day. Mary Krohnke Denison, IA In memory of Stella Rondo, who will live in my heart forever. Sylvia Foley Redford, MI In honor of Anthe Hoffman. Elizabeth Towns Cary, NC In memory of Clayton Lundy— he always loved all animals. Valerie Lundy Aiken, SC In honor of Nicholas J. Beas. Elizabeth Herron Graton, CA
PHOTO by Wendy Braun/Equine Advocates
Sanctuaries Need Us
In honor of Unita Nicola, my Mom. She taught me to love animals. I, in turn, went vegetarian, and my son, vegan. Thanks, Mom! Susan Nicola Milwaukee, WI In memory of my brother, Dennis Bachmann, who was a bird watcher and lover of all animals. He felt that people who had to shoot birds were angry because birds could fly and they could not. Alonda Potts Deland, FL In memory of Thomasina Wolcott, our beautiful calico cat. She gave us 19 years of joy. In her memory we adopted Molly, a long-tail. Vernon and Nancy Wolcott Bowling Green, OH In loving memory of Paytee (20002015), my great friend and housemate starting 2002! David Nielsen Jacksonville, FL In memory of Schuster, my mini Schnauzer. I lost my best friend on May 26, 2016, due to kidney failure. Janet Romberger Harrisburg, PA In memory of Patty, Miko, and Katie, my three precious pugs whom we miss tremendously! George and Sheila Carque Henderson, NV In memory of Silkie, my half-coyote girl. You gave me unlimited love and unending loyalty, and with you I got a taste of the wild on our many hikes. I miss you every day. Deborah Dunstedter Rolla, MO
In honor of Joan Boisseau Becker, my good angel (and my favorite human). Glen Boisseau Becker Harmony, FL In memory of Maggie, a special stray dog full of life and love who filled our hearts. Ginger Crowder Pine Bluff, AR In memory of Chippy. We all loved you, but your Poppa most of all. He misses you terribly, but is happy you went to sleep and died in his lap. Eleanor Mathews Wakefield, MA In memory of Belle Starr, our dancing Kuvasz. Theadora Berry Victor, CO In memory of Sasha, our big, strong girl who taught us about trust, courage, and love. You will be in our hearts always. Sue Leary and Rob Cardillo Ambler, PA In memory of Sampson and Lily. Your lives were cut way too short. I hope you knew you were loved while you were here. Leah Conyers Hercules, CA In memory of Rex, my one dog, and Robin, Joebie, Daisy, Miets, Kiddy, George, Puffy, Lucky, Mickey, Dolly, and Buffy, my beloved cats. Muriel Klopman Washougal, WA In honor of Henry Kaup, Adam Mospan, and our furry friends. Virginia Carabelli Gardiner, NY
In memory of our adopted Siamese cat, Isabel—our angel from heaven, with us for only five short years. We’ll see you in heaven someday, sweetheart. Miss you! Paula and Preston Smith Chalfont, PA In memory of Barbara Schurman, my mom. God bless you, Mom. I was blessed to have you as my mother, may you rest in peace. Robert Schurman Paramus, NJ In memory of Lily, my beautiful kitty. I miss you so much, but know you are at peace. L. Christian-Smith Hartford, WI In loving memory of my mother, Conchetta Frank (1/03/192012/05/2015): a friend to animals (devoted to elephants) and to AAVS. Carol K. Frank Philadelphia, PA
You can honor or memorialize a companion animal or animal lover by making a donation in his or her name. Gifts of any amount are greatly appreciated. A tribute accompanied by a gift of $50 or more will be published in AV Magazine. At your request, we will also notify the family of the individual you have remembered. All donations are used to continue AAVS’s mission of ending the use of animals in biomedical research, product testing, and education.
When I see people taking carriage horse rides on Philadelphia’s busy city streets, I find it hard to keep silent, knowing how these animals are forced to perform unnecessary labor that some people think is so “romantic.” It’s anything but that for the horses, and patrons need reminding. While the horse-drawn carriage looks like a novelty today, it was a common form of transportation before the 20th century. And sadly, extreme cruelty was common too. AAVS founder Caroline Earle White did a lot to help horses in her day, raising funds to construct drinking fountains for them in Philadelphia, as well as encouraging community-supported water stations to aid these poor beasts of burden. Treatment of working horses gradually improved over time, thanks to the work of advocates like Mrs. White. Today there are many equine sanctuaries that care for formerly abused, neglected, or surrendered animals. Unlike most wildlife sanctuaries, equine facilities are often open to visitors. We here at AAVS are most fortunate that Ryerss’ Farm for Aged Equines in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, is not far from our office. The idyllic, pastoral setting is perfectly suited for horses to graze, play with friends, sun themselves, and relax—free from fear of poking, prodding, or confinement. Bobby II Freedom, who lives Being “put out to pasture” typiat the AAVS-supported cally carries negative connotations; Equine Advocates sanctuary, is an however, it couldn’t be more positive ambassador for urban carriage horses who are at Ryerss. It is truly a wonderful exusually discarded after they become old or injured. perience to wander the grounds, see the horses at peace, and meet them up close. Visitors are welcome to bring carrots and apples to be given as treats, for which the horses are always appreciative. Skippy, Peanut, Buddy, Sugar—each has a unique personality and story, including our old favorite Stanley, a towering Belgian sorrel previously used by a pharmaceutical company to produce snake antivenin. For years after he retired, he lived free and only produced admiring smiles. More than 70 of Stanley’s friends at the farm are lovingly looked after by well-trained and dedicated staff and volunteers. While I’ve painted a beautiful scene of Ryerss Farm, it’s not the whole picture. Like other sanctuaries, the farm is constantly at odds with budgetary concerns. Space is limited, and not every animal can be taken in. And then there’s the need to cope with the unexpected; a few years ago, one of their barns caught on fire. Fortunately, no horses or humans were harmed, but it took time to rebuild a secure structure and find temporary space in the interim. Every sanctuary faces similar challenges on occasion, making the need for AAVS’s reliable support through the Sanctuary Fund all the greater. For the animals,
Chris Derer Director of Development & Member Services
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB
Photo COURTESY OF Nousha Salimi/Equine Advocates
Suffering ends. Life begins. Give animals sanctuary. AAVS.org/SanctuaryFund 800-SAY-AAVS
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The American Anti-Vivisection Society 801 Old York Road, Suite 204 Jenkintown, PA 19046-1611 U.S.A.
“My troubles are all over, and I am at home.”
(by Anna Sewell)
2016 WHEN A FARM IS A LAB