Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Magazine article explains "progressive" animal welfare

Don't take my word for it nor that of Nathan Winograd. I know I can rub people the wrong way, and I'm sure Winograd's tough love approach also loses part of his audience as well.

However, I am more hopeful than ever that the progressive drum is beating too loud for people to ignore and will only grow louder. My hope comes from seeing regressive hold-outs like the HSUS acknowledging that progressive approaches to animal welfare for animal control departments and animal shelters are inevitable. This recent article from HSUS's very own Animal Sheltering magazine talks about animal welfare's regressive history and its progressive future. I urge everyone who cares about animals to take the time to read this.

Out of Control, Into Compassion, by Carrie Allen

Dog experiments right under our noses

How would you feel if you were asked to be on a community oversight committee for facilities that test on animals, especially dogs and cats? What if you had to walk through these facilities to witness the fate of the animals within those cages and the sacrifices they make for the supposed human and animal good? Even our pet foods are tested on animals in inhumane conditions, and the companies that do this work are very good at hiding from the public.

I had looked into this at NMSU at one time but decided against it--to join a community oversight or watchdog group for the facilities that test on animals at our university. I knew that I could never be silent if I had to walk through such a facility and accept the fate of these animals or only look for cruelty that broke whatever laws are in place to supposedly protect the animals.

For me, being on a community oversight board for a regressive animal shelter is not that much different. Biting my tongue and trying to work from within the system to affect change is also not in my DNA.

That said, people are needed for these roles. An e-mail message I got today reminded me of this.

A man who rescues beagles and bassets wrote to tell me there is a lab here in Las Cruces that is currently testing on female beagles. This facility is looking to place any male beagles into homes that are born from the litters they are breeding. I had no idea a private research facility that tests on dogs and pigs existed here.

It's called Southwest Bio-Labs, Inc. Google it to try to find out more information, and you see that the company is hard to pin down. From the little I read tonight, it looks like they test drugs made for animals.

I urge anyone who is interested to contact NMSU's animal experimentation labs and this company to ask if there are citizen or community oversight committees you can join for these facilities. Someone needs to have access to ensure that animals are not suffering more than is absolutely necessary.

As for myself, I live for the day when experiments such as these are entirely unnecessary. I think most fit this description today, but many industries are hard to change and even more difficult to topple. In the case of "science", much that passes for legitimate reasons to test on animals seems absurd to the average person, but try to tell that to the scientists whose bread and butter rests in these experiments.

Animal sheltering is not the only industry that needs progressive approaches and needs to change to correctly reflect today's views about animals by the majority of the public. Only by having access to these industries can we know and understand the status quo so we can demand progressive changes that are long overdue.

1 comment:

Lexis said...

Head's Up the pound killed off another family dog off before the 72 hrs. Someone wrote on Craigs List about it. You might want to check it out.