Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Animal Testing Weekly Updates

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Join Minneapolis Supporters to Help End Live Animal Labs. Two weeks ago, we held a physician-led demonstration outside of Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in Minneapolis to protest the teaching hospital's use of live animals to train emergency medicine residents. Local physicians and supporters joined us on a windy Thursday morning as we called out the hospital for refusing to utilize the nonanimal training methods that are used by the vast majority of similar programs. Demonstrators carried signs that read "Modernize Medical Training" and "End Animal Labs" while handing leaflets to passersby.
Doctors from the Physicians Committee were joined by Minneapolis-area residents to demonstrate against the school’s use of live animals.

Join the efforts of our concerned physicians and local residents by contacting officials at the medical center and urging them to end this educationally and ethically inferior practice immediately.

At HCMC, the emergency medicine skills lab involves cutting into live animals to practice up to 21 procedures on each sheep and six procedures on each rabbit. Trainees make incisions into an animal's throat to insert a breathing tube, insert needles into the chest to remove fluid surrounding the heart, split open the breastbone in order to access the heart, perform various cardiac procedures, cut the skin near the lateral corner of the eye, and drill holes into the skull. If the animals survive the invasive procedures, they are killed following the training session.

This animal use is at odds with current standards of practice. Today, 89 percent of surveyed emergency medicine residency programs in the United States (142 of 160) use only human-relevant training methods, such as medical simulators, partial task trainers, and cadavers. In fact, HCMC already has a state-of-the-art simulation center that could replace the use of animals with modern methods.

Please ask CEO Jon L. Pryor, M.D., M.B.A., and Emergency Medicine chair James R. Miner, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., to improve training at the medical center by ending animal use in favor of human-based methods.

Help End Forced Dissection Participation in the U.S.! Every year, countless students stand up and speak out against dissection. Why?

cat dissection
Over 10 million animals are used every year for dissection—and many of them are killed specifically for classroom dissection.
baby pig dissection
Click to help end this practice!

Why the NhRP (The Nonhuman Rights Project) Exists: 

“The injured have no rights, and those with rights are not injured.” – Nonhuman Rights Project President Steven M. Wise

As anyone who’s gone to court on behalf of a nonhuman animal well knows, it’s difficult to vindicate the interests of members of even the most cognitively and emotionally complex species—as long as they’re considered mere legal “things.” That is why the NhRP exists: to transform at least some nonhuman animals from legal things with no rights to legal persons with fundamental rights.
Steve’s quote above is from our official statement on a recent court decision that illustrates these limitations and the urgent need for recognition of nonhuman rights. In New England Anti-Vivisection Society v. US Fish and Wildlife Service, NEAVS alleged that USFWS’s decision to grant export licenses to ship eight chimpanzees from Yerkes National Primate Research Center to an unaccredited English zoo violated numerous federal statutes, including the Endangered Species Act. On Sept. 15, a federal district judge in Washington, D.C. dismissed the case. Visit our website to read our full statement—and make sure to follow NEAVS, whose work on this important case we heartily applaud.

In other NhRP News:
  • Steve is the keynote speaker at this weekend’s 24th Annual Animal Law Conference at Pace University in New York City. Follow us on Twitter for live tweets of Steve’s speech!
  • NhRP attorney Monica Miller is a featured panelist at the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law at Vermont Law School’s Oct. 21 symposium on the Endangered Species Act. She’ll discuss the intersections between the ESA and nonhuman rights. The event is free and open to the public. 
  • I’ll be participating in NYC United for Animals’ first-ever forum on Oct. 27 at the NYU School of Law. NYC United for Animals is a brand-new platform for new and established advocates to collaborate and maximize our efforts for animals. If you’re in the area, we encourage you to join us for what promises to be an exciting and inspiring event (also free and open to the public). Visit this page for our interview with Jay Shooster, one of the coalition's founders and a former NhRP volunteer.
  • The NhRP legal team is finalizing the first-ever habeas corpus petition on behalf of captive elephants, which will be filed later this year.
  • Our list of academic publications continues to grow, including new law review articles to be published soon on using home rule powers to convey rights to nonhuman animals on the municipal level and an exploration of the ability to use manumission to liberate nonhuman animals and make them legal persons in the process.
  • The movement for nonhuman rights is not confined to the United States: We continue to work with lawyers and advocates all around the world as they seek to find ways to win legal rights for nonhuman animals in their countries, whether by legislation or litigation.
  • "[NhRP President Steven M.] Wise’s approach tries to provide an answer to a paradox: How can a legal thing sue to challenge its thinghood?" We love this essay on nonhuman rights by the Baffler Magazine’s Astra Taylor. The essay also examines the case of Grant Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, which in 2014 adopted a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance according to which natural communities and ecosystems possess the right to exist, flourish, and naturally evolve. Recommended reading for any NhRP supporter.
Thank you as always for standing with the NhRP and our nonhuman animal clients.