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Cloned Monkeys Will Live A Life Of Pain – Chas Newkey-Burden

The provoking photo of the two cloned monkeys, Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, says it all. Look at them clinging to each other nervously, their wide eyes both beautiful and haunting. What have these babies seen in the laboratory where they were created? How has it been for them to have the scientists picking and poking at them? Look into their eyes.

The expensive PR machine behind the project has presented news of the first cloned monkeys as a “breakthrough”. It’s like Doctor Frankenstein has turned spin doctor. But what are the bits they’re not telling us?

Whatever you think of the ethics, the practice of animal cloning leads to enormous suffering for animals. Painful, grotesque deformities and early deaths are very much the norm – 96 per cent do not survive beyond six months.

Many cloned animals have faulty or suppressed immune systems and they suffer from a string of health issues including heart failure, respiratory difficulties, and structural disabilities.

The team that created Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua admits there was “much failure before we found a way to successfully clone a monkey”. In fact, they tried 79 times before they got it right. Monkey after monkey was made to live in distressing conditions and then die after a few days. The PR people don’t tell us the names of those babies.

Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua were cloned using the same technique that created Dolly the Sheep in 1996. Dolly was the first time scientists had successfully cloned a mammal from an adult cell, taken from the udder.

Again, scientists were quick to brag about their “success”, and again they weren’t so quick to mention the dark side. Dolly was the sole surviving adult from 277 cloning attempts and she lived a peculiar, stunted life that was plagued from beginning to end by a string of health problems, including premature arthritis. She died of lung cancer.

The awful truth is that Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua will be lucky if they die young, such is the cruelty and suffering that would otherwise be in store for them. The cloning racket is like something from a horror film. Were a random person to do it in their basement, it would be seen as psychotic madness. But behind high walls and under the cover of academic titles and pompously-named laboratories, big bucks allow this “science” a veneer of responsibility.

It says a lot that even when we debate the ethics of animal cloning, most people immediately focus on the prospect of the same process eventually being used on humans. Animals are already suffering – today – but our main worry is that something similar may happen later. Mankind’s exploitative and profiteering relationship with animals – which I regard as a war on animals – is laid bare again.

Non-human primates like the macaques are sensitive, intelligent beings who share many crucial biological and psychological characteristics with us. They are the sort of animals people love and are fascinated by in viral videos and nature documentaries. I think they should be wild and free, swinging happily in their natural habitat.

The late English author and Anglican priest, William Inge, said that humans have “enslaved the rest of the animal creation and treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form”.

How could anyone disagree? One observer pointed out that Dolly the Sheep looked at humans with “red eyes full of hate”. Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua seem to look at humans with eyes full of fear. Hate and fear – how else would one look upon the Devil?

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Animal Justice Project in Pictures!

2017 was an incredibly busy year for Animal Justice Project. Below are just some of our highlights and achievements in pictures.

JANUARY

Animal Justice Project kicked started the year with coverage of the December 2016 stunt we held at University College London (UCL) in the student newspaper, CUB Magazine. With over 202,000 animals used at the university last year alone, meaning UCL is the third largest user of animals in Britain, raising awareness amongst students on the types of experiments carried out there is vital.

In January, we organised a demo at Cardiff University as part of our Campus Without Cruelty campaign with volunteers and we handed out hundreds of our leaflets about the 52,000 animals experimented on each year at Cardiff University.


More images are available in our Flickr album.

(Front page of Animal Justice Project’s leaflet about animal experiments at Cardiff University).

FEBRUARY

Along with the University of Sheffield vegan student group, we organised a demonstration as part of our Campus Without Cruelty campaign.



More images are available in our Flickr album. The event was attended by around 25 volunteers, who handed out hundreds of leaflets about the university.

The event went on to reach thousands in The Tab.



Just weeks into the Trump administration, the US Department of Agriculture shut down access to their Animal Care Information System (ACIS), which records information about animals in research laboratories. We felt this was an important step backwards so we plugged the following online petition:

Two weeks after, we launched an action in the UK on the same issue of secrecy. We launched our petition to Bristol University to end its secrecy on animal experiments. This petition has gained thousands of signatures and undoubtedly played a bit part in the university publishing their annual figures later in the year.

MARCH

In 2016, Animal Justice project was contacted by a group in Sweden – Djurrättsalliansen (Animal Rights Alliance) – about the import of 120 macaque monkeys destined for the last primate lab in Scandinavia – Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. In this laboratory, they were to be subjected to malaria experiments. We started a petition urging the university to discontinue research with macaques at the Astrid Fagræus laboratory, which gained over 60,000 signatures. In March 2017, our founder and Science Advisor, Dr Andre Menache, travelled to Sweden to hand in the petition and advocate to researchers that the malaria experiments not only cause the animals suffering, but do not give good results. At the university we met with the head of primate research, the director for Comparative Medicine at Karolinska Institute, and the acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

Read more.

The Karolinska Institute also published their own take on our meeting.

(The campaign got celebrity support in late 2016. We collected quotes and an Open Letter which we handed into the Swedish Embassy).

As a result of our campaign efforts and international condemnation of the experiments, Karolinska Institute announced they would reduce the number of monkeys imported to 24, and change their protocol so the experiments would be less invasive to the monkeys. We are still liaising with Djurrättsalliansen and Karolinska Institute on the possibility of rehoming the monkeys to a sanctuary.

APRIL

We organised a Thunderclap to University College London as a follow up action to our demonstration, asking them to commit to ending animal experimentation. On 1st May 2017, simultaneous messages appeared on UCL platforms, sending a loud and clear message to the university.

In mid April, we launched our new webpage offering free door dropper packs and other campaign materials for World Week for Animals in Laboratories.

We kicked off a door dropping day of action in Cardiff in the lead up to World Week for Animals in laboratories.

24 APRIL (World Day for Animals in Labs)

Our Science Advisor, Dr Andre Menache, wrote an Open Letter to Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an agency responsible for approving pig-human transplants – highlighting the cruelty and dangers involved. We shared the letter on social media and it had over 100 shares.

Our Open Letter outlined the ethical and public health concerns regarding the use of animals as spare parts and the possible legislative issues.

The Animal Justice Project team attended a march in the city of Birmingham and hosted an info stand prior to and after the event.


In April, our Manchester Coordinator also held a vegan bake sale at Manchester University Student Union (Campus Without Cruelty campaign) and asked students why they are against animal experiments!

In the same month, we organised the UK’s first ‘Light Brigade’ across a busy motorway in Bristol on International Britches Day. Britches was a baby macaque monkey, rescued from a US laboratory in 1985. The stunt achieved widespread media coverage and around 30 activists turned up to take part.




Read more: Bristol 247 and Bristol Post.

Finally, in April, Animal Justice Project was in Wales Online regarding animal experiments at Cardiff University.

JUNE

We hosted a demonstration outside Bristol’s MAC (cosmetic giants) store in support of a nationwide campaign set up in response to the company’s recent decision to sell makeup in China (and consequently begin animal experimentation). The event was featured in the University Paper.

JULY

The UK Government released its annual statistics showing 3.9 million animals were used in 2016. We launched a series of Facebook graphics showing the new figures, which were a reduction from the year before but only by 5%. This level of animal use has become ‘normalised’, which should be worrying to everyone. We called for much more critical assessment of the value of animal ‘models’ of disease, and the faster development and adoption of humane, non-animal methods.

Our Northern Coordinator hosted an info stand in Manchester at a vegan festival.

Our South West Coordinator and Creative Director hosted an info stand at the Brighton Vegan Garden Party and met Australian vegan celebrity, James Aspey.

We launched new T-shirts on our webshop.

At the end of July, our volunteers hosted a LUSH Charity Pot Party in the LUSH store in Essex where we raised around £200.

We joined local animal rights groups in the Midlands for the National Day of Action against British Heart Foundation, to raise awareness of its cruel animal research.

AUGUST

We hosted our first outreach event under a gazebo in Manchester with local campaigners, which enabled us to hand out hundreds of leaflets on Manchester University and our campaigning work to promote veganism and animal rights.

We offered delicious vegan cake for people to try, petitions to sign, badges for sale, and briefings on non-animal methods of research. People were shocked to find out about animal research inside Manchester University, and we look forward to carrying out more educational outreach both in the city centre and on the university campus itself.

Our volunteers organised a street collection in Essex.

We launched our fundraising page on the Animal Justice Project website to help our campaigns, and signed up two vegan runners.

SEPTEMBER

The Railway Hotel in Essex put a collection tin in the pub bar and we thanked them on social media. The Ice Shack in Manchester hosted their first annual Compassion Cup and chose Animal Justice Project as a beneficiary!

Mid-September we launched a major Freshers Week campaign offering free outreach packs to local animal rights and student groups across the country. A total of 31 university campuses were covered in Freshers Week, including Brighton University, Oxford University, Kings College London, Imperial College London, University of Kent and Newcastle University. Almost 100 packs were sent out to individuals.

(Bristol University)

(Cardiff University)

(Imperial College London)

(Leeds University)



(Lincoln)

Our Northern Coordinator hosts another info stand at a Manchester vegan festival.

After sustained pressure on Bristol University for more transparency on animal experiments they finally released their figures (which showed in black and white they were using cats in neuroscience experiments). We immediately contacted the media and the story was widely covered the next day.



Read more: Epigram and Bristol Post.

Our Science Advisor, Dr Andre Menache, presented a petition to the European Commission in Brussels on animal experimentation.

We sent a Freedom of Information request to find out how many monkeys were used last year inside the government warfare research lab, Porton Down (which is also subject of our Secret War campaign). We were shocked to see a huge rise, so we contacted the media and it was featured in the Daily Mirror and Mail Online the next day.


Our Science Advisor, Dr Andre Menache, talks about our campaign against Porton Down on BBC Radio.

OCTOBER

We launched a new campaign – Cures Not Cruelty – with a new webpage, two petitions and free leaflets for local groups to highlight the huge spending by charities on cruel animal research.

We hosted stands at Vegfest London and at West Midlands Vegan Festival.

(West Mids Vegan Festival)

NOVEMBER

We organised our first Cures Not Cruelty outreach event in Birmingham where we handed out leaflets to shoppers and urged them to support non-animal research.



On Remembrance Day, we remembered the animals dying in labs for cruel warfare experiments and asked supporters to once again sign our petition to the Ministry of Defence.

One of our runners completed a 10k run!



Our Northern Coordinator hosted another info stand in Manchester.



Our research into animal experiments at Nottingham University revealed that over 25,000 animals had been used by the university, and this was featured in the Nottingham Post.



Our Senior Researcher responded to the university’s comments.

Our founder, gave an hour long presentation at an art exhibition organised and hosted by Bristol Animal Save.

We launched our clothing range on Etsy.

Bristol-based vegan food truck ‘The Spotless Leopard’ promised to display our leaflets on Bristol University throughout 2018.



DECEMBER

Animal Justice Project organised a Cures Not Cruelty outreach event in Bristol where we spoke to shoppers and offered free vegan hot chocolate and tea.



As you can see … we had a very busy year! Together, let’s make 2018 even busier! Thank you for your support, we literally couldn’t do any of this without you.

Animal Justice Project Team.

 

 



 

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BLOG: Why We Question the Ethics of Charities! – Beckii Parnham

Health charities within the UK like Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and British Heart Foundation (BHF) are big business – with CEOs earning massive salaries, racking up millions in donations and spending hundreds of millions on research. It is easy to be fooled by their positive, persuasive, and apparently transparent websites that promote their successes towards cures and treatments. They even appear to be honest with dedicated pages on the use of animals in experiments, claiming it to be an ‘unavoidable evil’. So why are they the target of our Cures not Cruelty campaign?

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Animal Justice Project Partners Up With Ecotricity!

The electricity that Ecotricity provides is 100% green! A third of which is made by the company from their fleet of windmills and sunmills. The rest of the energy is bought from green suppliers.

Ecotricity was founded in 1995 by Dale Vince, who had the idea to cut out the middleman and start an energy company, to reach the end user with this new Green Electricity, to get a fair price – to enable him to build windmills. The company delivered green electricity to its first customer in April 1996.

In 2010 Vince became a major shareholder of Forest Green Rovers Football Club in Gloucestershire, and three months later was appointed chairman. In February 2011 players were banned from eating red meat for health reasons, and a few weeks later the sale of all red meat products was banned at the club’s ground. In October 2015 Forest Green became the world’s first entirely vegan football club!

Ecotricity are innovatively leading the way. The company is producing green gas from grass and putting it directly into the gas grid. It has several Green Gasmills currently in planning, and these will produce 100% green gas. They will also provide a viable alternative to fracking in Britain.  

In 2007 ‘Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s assessment’ has concluded, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Earth is nearing the stage when carbon dioxide rises will bring irreversible change to the planet. Electricity generation from conventional fossil fuel sources is responsible for over 30% of the UK’s carbon emissions, making it the single largest contributor, which is why the work of Ecotricity is so vital and urgent.  

If you switch your electricity and gas supplier to Ecotricity, the company will donate up to £50 to fund our campaigns for animals. This means that by making the easy switch you’re not only reducing your carbon footprint but also helping us to end cruel and unnecessary experimentation on animals.

CLICK HERE to switch today! 

Support us, support Ecotricity, and help create a better world for all!

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