Stop Texas A&M experiments on golden retrievers to develop muscular dystrophy

 There’s a petition taking off on Change.org, and we think you might be interested in signing it.
Petitioning Michael K. Young, Dr. Joe Kornegay, Texas A&M University, Dean Eleanor M. Green
Michael K. Young: End the cruel and useless Muscular Dystrophy dog labs at Texas A&M.

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At my university, Texas A&M in College Station, experimenters led by Joe Kornegay breed golden retrievers to develop different types of muscular dystrophy (MD), including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which is a particularly severe disease. These diseases ravage their bodies, causing progressive muscle wasting and weakness. Studies with these dogs haven’t led to a cure or even a treatment to reverse disease symptoms, even after experimenting for 30 years.

Dogs who didn’t have the disease but carried the DMD gene were used for breeding. Deprived of loving homes, they frantically paced the slatted floors and bit the bars of small cages in frustration. They didn’t even have the comfort of a blanket.

To gauge just how much a dog’s muscles have deteriorated, Kornegay has invented a crude technique that could pass for medieval torture: He repeatedly stretches them with a motorized lever in order to cause muscle tears.

Kornegay has been at this for more than 30 years. Puppies in his laboratory who are born with DMD are so weak at birth that they require extra nutrition. By 6 weeks of age, their hind limbs have shifted forward, making walking difficult, and some are unable to open their mouths or jaws.

You Can Help Put an End to the Needless Suffering!
Please urge Texas A&M University to close their dog laboratories, stop breeding MD dogs, release all dogs for adoption into good homes, and redirect their resources into humane research methods. As Aggies we have so much pride in our school, and these useless labs need to stop.

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Stop Bill H.R. 3990 in Congress From Stripping the Antiquities Act

 

 

Our public lands, enjoyed and loved by people across the country, and the home to many wildlife are under attack like never before.

Here’s what’s at stake: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended the largest elimination of protections for public lands in U.S. history. President Trump wants Congress to approve a budget that will cut the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) budget by 84%. And the House of Representatives will be voting on H.R. 3990 that will strip the Antiquities Act—an act that has helped protect iconic national monuments like the Grand Canyon and Bears Ears—down to worthless scraps.

If these attacks on public lands hit home—beautiful places like Bears Ears National Monument and the Appalachian Trail could be ruined forever.

Sign now to call on Congress to protect our public lands from the chopping block.

SIGN THE PETITION

The Trump administration has made countless attacks on the environment and treasured lands of our country. H.R. 3990 has been fast-tracked in a perilous move to strip away the remaining protections for our public lands.

We still have time to head off this reckless legislation, but we must act now.

Sign and send the petition: Reject cuts to the protection of our public lands!

SIGN THE PETITION

Keep fighting,
Trust for Public Land

Paid for by The Trust for Public Land.

 

Bird of The Week: Common Raven

Spooky Spirit Bird: Common Raven

The intelligent and sociable Common Raven has been the subject of mythology, folklore, and literature through the ages. In Native American cultures, it is portrayed as a sly trickster, a spiritual figure, or even a god that helped create the earth.

 

Others have seen the raven as a bird of death and doom, perhaps most famously by Edgar Allan Poe in his poem, “The Raven.” Swedish folktales depict ravens as the ghosts of those who have been murdered, and old German stories describe ravens as damned souls.

 

Maybe people find ravens intimidating because they are so smart. Their brains are among the largest of any bird species, and they display excellent problem-solving ability. Biologist Bernd Heinrich, known for his studies of raven behavior, argues that the raven is one of only four known animals (along with bees, ants, and humans) with the ability to communicate about events not in the here-and-now.

 

See up-close video and read more >>

DONATE | BIRD OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE | SUBSCRIBE

CONTACT US

American Bird Conservancy
PO Box 249
The Plains, Virginia 20198
(540) 253-5780
info@abcbirds.org

Renew Funding For Gun Violence Research to Help Protect All Species

The NIH must fund gun violence research

Gun violence kills an average of 93 people a day in the United States. It is a public health crisis, but because of the National Rifle Association’s extremism, most doctors and researchers cannot treat it as one.

In 1996, the NRA successfully pressured Congress to pass the Dickey Amendment, which effectively banned federal funding for gun violence, first at the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) and then at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).1

After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, at the urging of President Obama, the NIH began to fund some gun violence research.2 But it stopped in January. NIH leaders need to know that people across the country are counting on them to stand up to the NRA and the extremist Republicans who do their bidding in Washington and start funding gun violence research again. Can you add your name today?

Tell the National Institutes of Health: Renew funding to research the public health crisis caused by gun violence. Click here to sign the petition.

The NRA was furious in the 1990s when CDC-funded research confirmed that having a gun in the home increases the risk of homicide. In 1996, the NRA pushed its lackeys in Congress to take away $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget – the same amount the CDC spent on gun violence research the previous year.3 That was the same year Congress passed the Dickey Amendment that prohibited federal funding from being used to “advocate or promote gun control.”4

While the language of the amendment does not explicitly defund all gun violence research, it has effectively shut it down. Since then, researchers have been so afraid of doing work that could be ineligible for federal funding that there has essentially been a 20-year halt on gun violence research. This gap in research at a time when tragic gun deaths are happening on a daily basis means that public policy is informed more by the NRA’s dangerous and extreme rhetoric than real knowledge about the scale of gun violence, its causes and what works best to prevent it.

Progressive champion Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with her colleagues Sens. Chris Murphy and Catherine Cortez Masto, recently led 24 of her Democratic colleagues in urging the NIH to renew the funding opportunities it opened in 2012.5 While the tragic massacre earlier this month in Las Vegas has focused attention on the gun violence epidemic, now is the time to help amplify their call.

Tell the National Institutes of Health: Renew funding for gun violence research. Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/NIH_Gun_Violence?t=7&akid=25714%2E13062688%2EPYrmm1

Thank you for standing up to the NRA.

Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

1. Michael Hiltzik, “The NRA has blocked gun violence research for 20 years. Let’s end its stranglehold on science.” Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2016.
2. Miles Korhrman and Kate Masters, “The NIH Is Finding Ways to Tip-Toe Around Congress’s Restrictions on Gun Violence Research,” The Trace, April 7, 2016.
3. Ibid
4. Marissa Fessenden, “Why So Few Scientists Are Studying the Causes of Gun Violence,” Smithsonian, July 13, 2015.
5. Emily Schumaker, “Senate Dems Urge NIH To Renew Gun Violence Research Funding,” HuffPost, Oct. 12, 2017.


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Support Pet & Women Safety [PAWS] Act of 2017 [H.R. 909] in Connecticut

Taken from Humane Society Legiislative Fund, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 455, Washington, DC 20037, www.hslf.org

PETITION TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE

Dear Representative John Larson, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Senator Chris Murphy:

As a citizen of Connecticut and one of your constituents, I strongly urge you to cosponsor and support the Pet and Women Safety [PAWS] Act of 2017 [H.R.909] that will provide federal funds to emergency and short-term pet shelters to provide protection for “pets of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.”

Far too many women do not seek help and instead remain in abusive relationships in order to protect their cherished pets. This critical legislation removes obstacles from their path by providing a safe haven for their animals. I appreciate your consideration of my comments and am confident that you will all support this admirable, common sense legislation.  Thank you.

 

 

 

Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy This Winter

Provide by Jasmine Dyoco October 2017

Keep your dog happy and healthy this winter

Photo by Pixabay  – click here 

For some dogs, the snow and cold is a winter wonderland, and it’s like the snow has fallen specifically to be his playground. But despite their built-in winter coat, not all dogs take to the extra cold and precipitation.

Some dogs, such as cold-weather breeds — Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, St. Bernards, Chow Chows, German shepherds and the like — are born for cold weather. When the snow falls, you’ll catch them romping in the drifts, eating snowballs and generally having the best time. But other breeds hate it. Like, really, really hate it. If your dog is small or thin, with a thin layer of fur — whippets, dachshunds, greyhounds, Chihuahuas, etc. — then he will need a little extra help to stay warm.

Remember that dogs can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite, just like us. Even if you have a winter-loving guy doesn’t mean he should be left out in the cold. Dogs deserve warm shelter just like humans. If you must leave your dog outdoors, make sure he has a dog house, a screened porch or somewhere he can curl up in some warm blankets. There are also heated pet pads you can buy that will keep him warm without getting too

Older dogs and puppies will be more vulnerable to the cold, as well as small dogs and dogs with health conditions, so limit their time outside and keep a close eye on them. Also, watch them closely when they’re in the garage or out for a walk because they may encounter antifreeze, which is extremely toxic and tastes sweet to dogs. The Humane Society of the U.S. estimates 10,000 dogs and cats per year are killed by ethylene glycol poisoning.

Be cautious of ice melt, and try to buy the pet-safe versions. It’s commonly used to melt the ice on roads, porches and walkways, but it can irritate your dog’s paws. After a walk, even if you don’t encounter ice melt, it’s a good idea to wipe your pooch’s paws because he could his paws and get sick from residue you didn’t see. To make sure his paws are safe, consider getting him some snow boots. It seems silly, but there are a wide variety on the market  and can help protect his little toes.

A warm fire can be delightful after playing in the snow, but be careful, as your dog could burn his fur, paws or tail. Don’t leave him alone in the room with a fire, or if you must, use a secure screen. Space heaters can be dangerous if left alone with a dog, too: they can be tipped over and cause a house fire.

A sweater or jacket for your dog will help, but it isn’t a cure-all. Dogs lose most of their heat from their breathing, their paws and their ears. Don’t let your dog walk on frozen ponds or puddles. No matter how thick the ice may seem, it can always break — and your dog doesn’t know to avoid the thin areas. Thin ice is as dangerous for your dog as it is for you.

If your dog is elderly or has arthritis, the cold weather will likely cause joint pain, so be especially mindful. When your arthritic dog goes outside, be careful of him slipping on ice, which can be especially painful and injurious. Most importantly, make sure your arthritic dog has a soft bed to lie on. He might need help getting up and down from his bed. Talk to your vet about good arthritis medication to help him feel better.

Winter can be a great time to have fun with your dog, but know his or her limitations. Every dog is different and can tolerate

Everytown – Reject NRA’s Radical Agenda Oppose Bills H.R.38 & Share Act

Everytown for Gun Safety

Tell Congress to REJECT These Dangerous Gun Bills

Right now, NRA leadership is pushing members of Congress to pass two extreme bills — (1) so called “Concealed Carry Reciprocity,” which would gut your state’s laws; and (2) the SHARE Act, which would make it easy for felons and domestic abusers to buy gun silencers.

Use this form to call your Representative in Congress and tell them to REJECT the NRA leadership’s dangerous “guns everywhere” agenda.

When you reach a staff member or a voicemail box, please tell them the following things:

  1. Tell them that you want your representative to OPPOSE the two NRA priority bills in Congress — the gun silencers provision in the SHARE Act, and H.R. 38, so called “Concealed Carry Reciprocity

** Message and data rates may apply. Reply STOP to opt out.

Defenders of Wildlife Update on “California Waterfix”

Taken from Defenders Fall 2017 Magazine Law of Survival www.defenders.org

Tunnel Vision

To prevent further harm to the largest estuary on the West Coast, Defenders joined with other conservation and fishing groups in lawsuits against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service.  The suits, filed in June, challenge the biological opinions under the Endangered Species Act that pave the way for a massive project to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Known as California Waterfix, the purpose of the project is to update the current water infrastructure to secure it from sea-level rise, earthquakes and levee breaks, but the biological opinions fail to identify how two new deep-tunnel diversions will prevent significant harm to the California salmon fishery, endangered species and water quality.  The delta provides drinking water to more than 25 million people, water for 3 million acres of crops and essential habitat for more than 700 species of fish and other wildlife.

Decades of increasingly unstainable water diversions have already brought several of the area’s migratory and resident fish close to extinction.

The proposed project is expected to increase these diversions. “By greenlighting WaterFix, the federal government is greenlighting extinction,” says Rachel Zwillinger, Defenders’ water policy advisor.  For more visit, www.defenders.org/california

Sierra Club Accomplishments since 1916 – Stop The Attack on The Environment

Taken from Sierra Club Literature  October 2017 Michael Brune, Executive Director 

2101 Webster Street, Suite 1300, Oakland, CA 94612 – 415-977-5500 – www.SierraClub.org

Introduction by Jean Furs:

We as citizens and stewards of this great country of ours need to do everything in our power to defend the attacks on our environment which include our Air, Water, and Wildlife.  This is not a time in history to sit back and watch the devestation that is about to occur. We have fought for a long time to keep our Air, and Water safe and Wildlife in balance, and now they are all in grave danger.  Grave danger for something some of us call progress, and greed.  So tell me about progress. Progress is something that we all think is good and about moving things forward. The price of progress should never be at the expense of other species and the safety of humanity. Yet  some humans believe that their accummulation of wealth is more important to them than the good of the whole, the whole of who they share this planet with; our Air, Water and Wildlife. This is very far from the truth.  Things that move us back towards harming our environment is never a good thing.  Please read below what the Sierra Club has to say.  

“In the last eight years, partisan rancor ran extremely high. But we worked with leaders in Washington and at the state and local levels to make historic achievements on the environment.  From new clean air standards, to millions of acres of new public lands, to improved automotive mileage, to progress on the threats of climate disruption that put wildlife and our planet at risk, we came together to do the right thing.”

“However, on January 20th, everything changed. Instead of simply promising to undo President Obama’s climate legacy, Donald Trump began strangling it, initiating an ATTACK ON THE ENVIRONMENT that will make us all casualties of his regressive, pro-pollution industry policies.”

“He declared it when he promised to revive the coal industry rather than create clean energy jobs… when he nominated noted climate denier and oil company cheerleader, Scott Pruitt, to sabotage the EPA from the inside…when he made oil company tsar, Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State…when he ordered his minions to scrub all climate change data from the White House and EPA website and instituted a gag order at the EPA and other environmental agencies…and when he started methodically undoing President Obama’s climate advances, one executive order after another. ”

That was just the start. In the coming months and years, our opponents will do everything in their considerable power to take irreversible actions against the air we breathe, the water we drink, the threatened species we love and seek to protect, and the pristine natural lands we intend to pass on to our children and grandchildren as part of their natural inheritance.”

“I promis you the Sierra Club will not back down from this fight. We never have and we never will. but we can’t fight alone. WE NEED ALLIES. That is why I hope you can do two very important things today.”

  1. Contact our supporters in Congress: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, urging them to stand strong, and promising we have their backs. Now, more than ever, they need to know the environment matters to you.”
  2. Join the Sierra Club to support our efforts to save vulnerable wildlife and wilderness.  www.SierraClub.org

“The wildlife you love and the natural resources – like air and water- you depend upon to survive are all under attack.”

What would you call it when…

  • Fossil Fuel Executives and Climate Deniers are handed the reins to America’s most important environmental agencies and departments – including the office of the Secretary of State – with the understanding that they will subvert the ultimate mission of those agencies.
  • Donald Trump’s First Acts repealed the Stream Protection Rules, allowing coal companies to dump toxic coal waste – including arsenic and heavy metals – near streams that communities depend upon for their water supplies.
  • The Trump Team Greenlighted the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines allowing millions of gallons of oil to possibly spill and contaminate water aquifers or find their way into the atmospher.
  • EPA Head and Oil Company Cheerleader, Scott Pruitt, is given marching orders to immediately rewrite the Clean Power Plan in order to gut emission standards to slow and prevent climate disruption.

“I can only call it an ATTACK ON THE ENVIRONMENT. It’s not just an attack on polar bears, moose, bison, and other wildlife – it’s an attack on you and me and the people we love, too! “

“But Donald Trump didn’t launch a single attack.  He launced FOUR, when he chose anti-EPA litigator Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Keystone XL supporter Ryan Zinke to head the Department of the Interior, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and career climate denier Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy. ”

“Here is what Pruitt says about climate change: “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” 

You probably don’t spend your days worrying about the EPA or who leads it.  You simply want to trust that officials are doing their jobs to keep your air clean and your water safe.  That’s what you should expect as an American citizen.”

You expect that regulations will be followed, rules will be obeyed, and toxic spills will be cleaned up by the companies who created them – not be left for the citizens who are harmed.”

But I can tell you that the EPA is the single most important American government agency protecting the environment and the health of Americans, including you and me and our children and grandchildren.

Yet, Trump’s proposed budget takes an axe to the EPA’s budget,slashing it by 31 percent from its current level of $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion , and cutting 3,200 positions, including more than 20 percent of the agency’s staff of environmental enforcers.

In the next few months, you can expect to see the EPA budge slashed, existing science-based regulatons shredded or eliminated, and Trump allies from the oil, coal, and timber industries reaping even more dirty profits.

WHAT YOU CAN DO?

Join us today in membership, you will take ACTION to conserve our nation’s imperiled species, preserve our environment, press for new national parks and monuments, fight for a clean energy future, and STAND UP TO THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND THEIR FOSSIL FUEL CRONIES. You’ll also continue to be eligible for many benefits, including a subscription to the aware winning Sierra magazine and membership in your local Sierra Club Chapter! 

Best of all, you’l help energize our more than three [3] million members and activisits to do what we do best:

  • Fight to protect our air, water,climate, and wildlife.
  • Take action in the courts to ensure the letter of the law is followed.
  • Expose the dangers of fracking, coal mining, oil pipelines, and other toxic by-products of dirty energy extraction and exploitation.
  • Help prevent Big Timber from clear-cutting our national forests and extraction industries from spoiling our beautiful wildlands and pristine places, starting with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Insist that President Trump retain all elements of the Clean Power Plan in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and combat climate change.

Our Opponents may have a chest stuffed with billions of dollars and a cadre of lobbyists and lawyers. They may have many members of Congress ready to do their bidding, with anti-environment majorities in both chambers of Congress.  There will be a cabinet full of aggressive pro-industry and pro-polluting nominees, along with the opportunity to stack the Supreme Court with justices who will try to unravel our progress.

OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 

Here are a few highlights of the impact your support has achieved:

  • 1916  National Park Service is created with the support of Sierra Club and others.
  • 1920  Sierra Club blocks a proposal for major dams in Yellowstone National Park.
  • 1940  Kings Canyon National Park is established after a long Club campaign.
  • 1967  After a hard-fought national campaign led by the Sierra Club, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation abandons plans to build two dams in the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.
  • 1968  President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, establishing a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.  Club leads effort to create Redwood National Park.
  • 1970  Sierra Club efforts lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA].
  • 1973  Congress passes the Endangers Species Act – one of America’s strongest and most successful conservation measures – to protect plants and animals in danger of extinction.
  • 1976  Club promotes passage of the National Forest Management Act.
  • 1980  Club campaign helps pass the Alaska Lands Act, adding 103 million acres of national parks, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas.
  • 1984  Sierra Club succeeds in having 6.8 million acres of wilderness designated in 18 states.
  • 1991  Club wins drive to prevent oil exploration and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • 2000  Sierra club pushes successfully for the creation of eight new national monuments, including protection for rare Giant Sequoias and threatened sections of the Grand Canyon.
  • 2003  Sierra Club leads effort to defeat energy production bill that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development and would subsidize new nuclear and coal-fired power plants.
  • 2006  Club lawsuit protects Giant Sequoia National Monument from President Bush’s commercial logging plan.
  • 2009  Sierra Club leadership paves the way for passage of historic lands protection bill that includes more than 2 million acres of new wilderness and establishes 3 new national park units, a new national monument, 3 new national conservation areas, 1,000+ miles of national wild and scenic rivers, and 4 new national trails.
  • 2011  Sierra Club and allies save over a million acres of public land near Grand Canyon National Park from mineral exploration and mining.
  • 2012  Sierra Club is instrumental in getting Fort Monroe, Fort Ord, and Chimney Rock designated as the newest national monuments.
  • 2013  Influenced by Club petitions and member support, the U.S. Department of the Interior officially signed a plan to protect 11 million acres of the Western Arctic Reserve from oil and gas drilling – the largest adminstrative lands conservation action in oover 30 years.
  • 2014  Our Beyond Coal Campaign – the most successful campaign of the environmental movement in decades – passed the historic milestone of retiring the nations 178th coal-burning power plant.
  • 2015  After a 7 year campaign, with the help of tens of thousands of members and petition signers, Sierra Club and our allies stopped the Keystone XL pipeline.  The president acknowledged that avoiding the worst forms of climate change will require some fossil fuels remain in the ground.
  • 2016  3.5 million acres – including California Deserts Monuments – designated with the support of the Sierra Club.
  • 2017  Club celebrates 125th Anniversary.
  • For 125 years, Sierra Club members have been protecting the environment.  To learn more visit www.SierraClub.org/Accomplishments

It won’t be easy, but we have you, and millions of others who care. And if we stand together at this critical moment in our history, we will make a difference!

Stand with us.  This is a fight we must win.  And if we work together, this is a fight we will win – for our Air and our Water, for our natural places and for the legacy we have been entrusted to hand down to future generations. 

Sincerely,

Michael Brune

Executive Director

 

 

 

Bee-Killing Pesticides Have Now Contaminated 75% of the World’s Honey

75% of the world’s honey is now contaminated with bee-killing pesticides.

Scientists collected 200 samples of honey from around the world, and three out of four samples contained a bee-killing pesticide. Worse than that, nearly half contained a mix of several types of the toxic chemicals.

We are running out of time to stop neonics from killing our bee population. We are soaking the world in bee-killing pesticides, and even if we begin right now, it will be hard to reverse all the damage. That’s why we’re mobilizing a global grassroots movement to ban neonics. Will you chip in $1 today?

Yes, I’ll chip in $1 to help fight to save our bee population from neonics.

Neonics act as nerve agents on bugs, and they’re derived from the same ingredients that were used in Agent Orange. The pesticides have been linked to bee death and colony collapse.

And neonics aren’t just toxic to bees. They pose a deadly risk to frogs, birds, and fish as well.

That’s why the EU is considering to widen its ban on these pesticides. Bans are also in place in such large cities as Montreal. And many big retailers have stopped selling neonics for home use.

But agri-giants Syngenta and Bayer are fighting back to protect one of their biggest moneymakers. They are going as far as suing the European Commission to overturn the partial ban on three widely used neonics.

We need to fight to convince the EU to ban bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides to set an example for the rest of the world and help reverse the harmful effects on bees. Will you chip in $1 to help with our campaign?

Yes, I’ll chip in $1 today.

Thanks for all that you do,
Wiebke and the team at SumOfUs

 


More information:

Neonicotinoid pesticides – bad for bees, and may be bad for people too, Natural Resources Defense Council, September 18, 2014
Honey tests reveal global contamination by bee-harming pesticides, The Guardian, October 5, 2017

SumOfUs is a worldwide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.