The Wisconsin Animal Protection Society (WISAPS) opposes animal exploitation in any form. WISAPS was incorporated in 1990 as a non-stock corporation under Wisconsin law. We are a Wisconsin organization encouraging a humane attitude towards all living creatures through direct action and education. One of our major accomplishments was the transfer of two elephants from the Milwaukee County Zoo to a sanctuary in California.
JOIN US! MEMBERSHIP IS FREE!
Please contact us for more information and to become involved. Mark Silverman, President. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: We are not connected nor associated with the organization, Animal Shelter.org, which has the wording, "Wisconsin Animal Protection Society," on its website.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE.
Returning wildlife to their natural environment. Help us find an organization with experience in the transfer of research animals from the laboratory to their natural habitat. In some cases, the animals have never lived outside of a laboratory! (See Nurse Sharks, below).
Learn how to be a vegan, if you are not already, by eating a plant-based diet, instead of meat and dairy. An excellent website is the Food Revolution Network, (at foodrevoution.org).
Animal testing. As reported in Nature, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed to explore alternative methods to replace laboratory animals in developing new drugs and products. According to the Nature article: "Last June, the FDA set out proposals for the New Alternative Methods Program that will focus on replacing, reducing and refining the use of laboratory animals through the adoption of cutting-edge alternative methods. The aim is to produce findings that are more relevant to humans, streamline product development and reduce costs." (See, Nature Index, 11-4-22, Rachel Nuwer, nature.com). (11-14-22).
Northern long-eared bats have won "endangered" status, reports the Center for Biological Diversity, reversing a previous "threatened" listing. The Center for Biological Diversity noted the years of legal work by the Center and its allies. (Endangered Earth, 12-1-22). The bats are suffering from "White-nose syndrome," a fungal disease. According to the Associated Press, the disease has infected 12 types of bats and killed millions. The northern long-eared bat is among the hardest hit. The bat is found in 37 eastern and north-central states, plus Washington D.C. and much of Canada. (AP News, 11-29-22). Northern long-eared bats are found throughout Wisconsin but they are never abundant. (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, dnr.wi.gov, 12-2-22). (12-4-22).
Deer. We contacted the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR),
noting the large number of deer that had been hit by automobiles, lying alongside
Hwy I-94, between Milwaukee and Madison. We asked whether the DNR, or any other agency, had explored the construction of additional fencing along I-94, in Waukesha and Dane counties. (11-10-22).
Fireworks. WISAPS President, Mark Silverman, contacted his City of Milwaukee alderperson to request that the City and/or its contractor move the location of its Wilson Park 4th of July fireworks to a location away from the pond where ducks and geese live. He noted his concern that the noise of the explosions are harming their hearing, citing the Animal Ethics website. (8-10-22).
Meat and poultry. Mark Silverman wrote to Governor Evers, (6-24-22), supporting the Petition filed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine requesting a discontinuation of two meat and poultry grant programs.
The letter stated, in part:
Re: Petition Requesting Discontinuation of the Meat Talent Development and
Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Resiliency Grant programs
Dear Governor Evers,
I am writing to express my support for the Petition filed recently by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) requesting an immediate halt to the Meat Talent Development and Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Resiliency Grant programs and their replacement with ARPA-funded programs that maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency for plant-based foods that reduce the risk of developing severe COVID-19. As PCRM notes, these programs exacerbate the public health emergency that the ARPA seeks to address. (See, PCRM’s Petition for Executive Action, dated June 7, 2022).
For the health of Wisconsinites, as well as cattle and poultry, we need to join the movement away from meat-based diets. The number of cattle and calves in Wisconsin as of January 1, 2022, totaled 3.5 million head, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service - Cattle Report. Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter in all feedlots, on January 1, 2022, totaled 270,000 head, up 8% from one year ago. (See,
United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Wisconsin Ag News - Cattle & calves, 1-31-22).
The Wisconsin agricultural industry stands to gain, as well, from ARPA-funded programs that improve food and supply chain resiliency for plant-based foods. Plant based food sales, in the U.S., grew almost 2.5 times faster than did the total food sales from 2018 to 2020. Plant-based food sales grew almost 27% in the past year. The retail market for plant-based food is worth $7 billion, up from $5.5 billion in 2019. (See, GFI, Good Food Institute, 6-24-22 posting).
Please grant the petition filed by PCRM. Humans, animals and the agriculture industry will all benefit. Should you have any questions please contact me at the above address or email: email@example.com. Lastly, as a nearly life-long Wisconsin resident, I applaud the great work you do for the state of Wisconsin!
Mark Silverman, JD.
Wisconsin Animal Protection Society
Free the Nurse Sharks! We circulated a petition to free the nurse sharks from the research being conducted upon them by the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The petition states:
To: Office of the Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 163 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706 . WE, the undersigned Wisconsin residents, request that the University of Wisconsin-Madison discontinue its research using Nurse Sharks and return them to the ocean. Nurse Sharks’ natural ecosystem/habitat is the coral and rocky reefs, in the tropical to warm temperate latitudes of the Eastern Pacific and Western Atlantic Oceans. That is where they belong – not in a small tank in Wisconsin! Please use other research methods.
We forwarded the petition, with sixty signatures, to the Chancellor, on June 10, 2022, along with a cover letter explaining our position.
Shark research. WISAPS president, Mark Silverman, made an Open Records request for information pertaining to research being conducted on nurse sharks at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. on 12-20-21: Dear Custodian: I am making a request for the following records, pursuant to Wis. Stat. Sec. 19.35, as well as pursuant to the United States Freedom of Information Act: 1. A description of research currently being conducted on sharks at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 2. Any completed Animal Care and Use Protocol related to the above-mentioned shark research. (1-3-22).
Research protocol portions. Mark received a response to his Open Records request. The University of Wisconsin is using up to 4 nurse sharks for its research, which may last three years. They are kept in a tank. Here are portions of its research protocol: "The goal of this research is to use nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) to generate antibodies against cancer antigens and coronavirus antigens. . . .Though not planned, it is possible sharks may require humane euthanasia. Animals are anesthetized with MS-222 as described on the Anesthesia/Analgesia/Sedation page. When fully anesthetized (immobile and non-responsive to stimuli) sharks are decapitated. . . . At the end of their assignment in this protocol, animals will be:....made available to other investigators. . . .[Other Describe other disposition arrangements and justify below]. . . . . .Donated to an aquarium, zoo, with appropriate aquatic habitat, or other appropriate aquatic display
Second open records request. Mark made a second Open Records request, 2-22-22, seeking: 1. Records indicating the dimensions of the tank or tanks housing the nurse sharks being used for the above-mentioned research, including length, width, height, gallons of water. 2. Records in any form, including digital, including emails, relating to any incident or incidents in which a nurse shark was: a. Involved in an animal emergency; b. Observed to be in pain or distress; c. Administered an analgesic, anesthetic and/or sedative; d. Observed to have a change in behavior; e. Observed to have a localized lesion or lesions; f. Exhibiting complications from CFA (Complete Freund’s Adjuvant) administration; g. Not eating, not swimming, showing poor growth or poor body condition, or weight loss; h. Administered euthanasia; i. Decapitated; k. Donated to an aquarium, zoo, aquatic display entity, or other facility; l. Made available to other investigators. 3. Photographs and videos of a nurse shark or sharks in the above-mentioned research tank or tanks. These may be in digital form. No more than three photographs and one video are being requested. (2-23-22). We received a response, on 4-8-22, to our second request, which we are now reviewing. (4-8-22).
Dimensions of tank. From the response to our second open records request: "However, in the interest of transparency, the university is providing the dimension here: approximately 19ft x 12ft x 5ft. The tank holds up to 5,000 - 7,000 gallons of water. "
Monkeypox, COVID-19 and SARS. Lessons learned?
According to Tanya Sanerib, Legal Director and Senior Attorney, Environmental Health Program, Center for Biological Diversity, “More than 60% of emerging diseases are zoonotic. ‘Zoonoses’ are diseases that naturally reside in animals but can mutate and infect people.” She continued: “These mutations are increasing in number as more people take up more land, alter our climate and exploit animals....The United States consumes roughly 20% of global wildlife....We need to ban all wildlife trade and close wildlife markets as a first response.” (Endangered Earth, Summer 2020 issue).
Monkeypox is a zoonotic orthopoxvirus with symptoms that are similar to but less severe than small pox, according to the World Health Organization. The virus was named monkeypox after it was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, the CDC said. It’s not clear what animal is the original source of the virus, but it is found in many species, particularly rodents, in Africa, the WHO said. The first case identified in humans was in 1970 in a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2003, there were 47 confirmed and probable cases reported in six states, the CDC said. All of those cases were tied to pet prairie dogs, who were infected with the virus after being kept near small mammals that were imported to the U.S. from Ghana, the agency said.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5-30-22). The 2003 outbreak, which lasted three to four weeks, came from exotic imported animals, including two African giant pouch rats, and spread to prairie dogs that were sold as pets. In 2003, Wisconsin was the epicenter of a monkeypox outbreak. The first human monkeypox cases were in 1970, according to Richard Kennedy, co-director of the vaccine research group at the Mayo Clinic. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 5-26-22).
An international team of scientists published two extensive papers online, offering the strongest evidence to date that the CODVID-19 pandemic originated in animals at a market in Wuhan, China. Specifically, they conclude that the coronavirus most likely jumped from a caged wild animal into people at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where a huge COVID-19 outbreak began in December 2019. (NPR, 3-3-22). Analyzing a wide range of data, including virus gene, maps of market stalls and the social media activity of early COVID-19 patients across Wuhan. The scientists concluded that the coronavirus was very likely present in live mammals sold at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in late 2019 and suggested that the virus spilled over into people working or shopping there on two separate occasions.The studies have not yet been published in a scientific journal. (The New York Times. 2-27-22. Carl Zimmer and Benjamin Mueller).
Animal markets were also found to be ground zero for the epidemic of severe acute respirator syndrome (SARS), in 2002-04, according to Kristian Andersen, a virologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. (Nature, Amy Maxmen. 2-27-22).
DON'T SHOOT THE DEER!
Deer Removal from Boerner Botanical Gardens and Whitnall Park We learned, in 2020, that deer are being "removed" from the Boerner Botanical Gardens through the use of sharpshooters. The sharpshooters have a permit, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Information has been requested from the DNR and Milwaukee County as to the number of deer shot and whether alternatives to shooting were explored. (2-8-20). We obtained signatures on petitions requesting that the County and City of Milwaukee stop shooting deer in Whitnall Park, the Boerner Botanical Gardens and in Potter's Forest. We asked them to use other methods, such as live CWD testing and relocating, if the number of deer in these locations must be reduced. Another alternative to killing the deer would be fertilization control. (9-7-21). A letter was written and emailed (9-14-21) to the Milwaukee County Executive and to the Mayor of Milwaukee, with copies of the petitions.
UPDATE AND GREAT NEWS! We learned, from the Park Naturalist, that "Milwaukee County Parks is not conducting a deer removal program in Whitnall Park or Potter's Woods in the 21/22 winter period. Zero deer have been removed from December 2021 to January 2022." (1-27-22). According to the DNR, in 2020, 2 deer were "harvested" and in 2021, 6 deer have been harvested thus far, via nuisance deer permits, at the Boerner Botanical Gardens and Whitnall Park locations. A "nuisance deer permit" has been reissued for these locations, in 2021. In that permit up to 40 deer are authorized to be harvested. (3-6-21). Milwaukee County Parks has harvested 12 deer as of 3-31-21: 9 bucks and 3 does, of which 8 were adults and 4 were fawns. This information was obtained from the Wisconsin DNR. (6-18-21). We made another open records request with the DNR, requesting records of the number of deer living in Whitnall Park and in the Boerner Botanical Gardens, currently, as well as the maximum number of deer desired to inhabit these areas. The DNR has responded, informing us that: "The DNR does not generate deer population estimates for areas smaller than deer management units (DMUs) and in Milwaukee's case, the DMU is a county wide unit. Therefore, we do not have any sort of deer population estimates that are specific for these properties." The DNR referred us to websites to obtain population estimates for the Milwaukee DMU, as a county. Nor does the DNR have a desired population number. The response to our Milwaukee County open records request stated, in part, that Whitnall Park's deer population goal should be a maximum of 9 deer. (9-19-21). In October, Mark Silverman spoke to a Wehr Nature Center Interpretive Naturalist who is also a Park Naturalist with Milwaukee County, about alternatives to killing the deer as a population control technique. (10-29-21). He had corresponded with the Naturalist about this issue, previously, in 2020. (11-20-21). Mark Silverman made an Open Records Request, using the Milwaukee County Parks website, requesting a record or written answer as to the number of deer harvested in Whitnall Park, Wehr Nature Center, Potter's Forest, and Boerner Botanical Gardens, from December 1, 2021 through January 25, 2022. (1-25-22). Please contact us if you have information regarding the testing of live deer for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Transferring deer to other locations would be better than killing them.
We emailed (4-20-22) each member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, asking them to oppose Senate Bill 3738 which requires the removal of the gray wolf from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. The bill was sponsored by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and has been referred to the above committee. We noted that wolves were nearly erased from the lower 48 states, by the 1930's, and then began a recovery, in the 1970's, under the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In January of 2021, the gray wolf was removed from protection under the ESA. The following month, Wisconsin hunters killed an estimated 20% of the state's wolf population, 218 wolves, in 3 days. A Wisconsin court temporarily barred a Wisconsin wolf hunt, in an October, 2021, ruling. In February of 2022, a U.S. District Court judge, in California, restored federal protections of gray wolves across much of the U.S. The judge noted that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had failed to show that wolf populations could be sustained in the Midwest and portions of the West without protection under the ESA. (AP News, 2-10-22). (4-21-22).
We submitted a public comment (3-10-22) regarding the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Proposed Migratory Bird Season. Our comment stated: "The Wisconsin Animal Protection Society (WISAPS) opposes hunting, trapping and fishing. Therefore, as president of WISAPS, and as a longtime Wisconsin resident, my comment is that the migratory bird season should be zero days and the bag limits should be zero. We humans should respect wildlife. To hunters we say: "Carry a camera instead of a gun." To summarize, we request, in all zones and across all species: Season length: 0 days. Bag limit: 0. Again, thank you for receiving this public comment."
We submitted public comments (3-3-22) to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regarding the DNR's Draft Walley Management Plan. Our comments stated that we oppose the plan because it involves killing, "harvesting" of fish. We also expressed our concern with the removal of walleye eggs, pointing out that we humans would not want our babies taken from us. Finally, we noted that, according to scientific research, fish feel pain.
We submitted written public comments (2-17-22) to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regarding the DNR's Draft Greater Prairie-chicken Management Plan. The plan involves the DNR's management of Greater Prairie-chickens (GRPC) in North-Central Wisconsin. The GRPC is a species of grouse native to the tallgrass prairies of North America. It is currently found in 11 states in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains, including Wisconsin. (See, DNR Draft Plan).
Our comments expressed concern with "translocation" of the GRPCs from other areas, such as Minnesota, which, according to research cited in the Draft Plan, creates a risk of mortality. We also opposed the planned "control" of the GRPC's natural predators, which include badgers, coyotes, hawks and owls. Lastly, we stated our concern with any increase in grassland habitat development involving prescribed fires and the application of herbicide. We chose Alternative 4 of the four alternatives described in the Draft Plan. (2-18-22).
TAR SANDS OIL PIPELINE
WISAPS president, Mark Silverman, provided pubic comments, at the Wisconsiin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) virtual Public hearing, on 2-2-22. Mark stated that WISAPS opposes the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline relocation project, noting that, according to the Sierra Club, tar sands pipelines, like Enbridge's Line 3 and Line 5, represent a tremendous threat to Wisconsin's natural resources and Indigenous communities. Enbridge is responsible for one of the largest pipeline spills in American history, dumping more than one million gallons of tar sands residue into the Kalamazoo River, in 2010. (Sierra Club). Since 1968, the sections of Line 5 which do not pass through the Straits of Mackinac have had 33 spills. A 2016 study found that a spill in the Straits, which connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron, would threaten up to 700 miles of shoreline and the drinking water of millions of Americans. (Forbes, 5-6-21). Mark submitted six pages of written comments to the DNR, on 2-3-22, citing provisions of the DNR's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (on the Proposed Enbridge Line 5 Relocation Project) which note permanent impacts to animals and their habitat. Written comments may be submitted to the DNR by email or regular mail. The deadline was extended to April 15, 2022. The email address is: DNROEEACOMMENTS@WI.GOV.
Mark Silverman provided public comments at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Bear Advisory Committee Meeting, held virtually, on 12-1-21. Mark informed the committee that the Wisconsin Animal Protection Society respects non-human animals, pointing out that there are 5.9 million people living in Wisconsin and approximately 24,000 black bears. He asked the committee to set its bear "harvest" quota as low as possible, and advised the committee that WISAPS wishes it could be zero.
Mark Silverman submitted written comments and testified (virtually) at the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board public hearing (9-29-21) relating to Wisconsin regulations regarding the migratory bird hunting season. The comments were that we would like the "bag limits" to be as low as possible and the hunting seasons to be as short as possible because we do not believe in the killing of animals. We wish there would be no hunting or trapping.
Public Comment. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites public input regarding the policies it creates. Its website has a Hearings and Meetings Calendar. (See, dnr.wisconsin.gov).
The following websites have platforms which enable the public to take action, for example, by joining a petition. Feel free to use them.
Using the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine website, we urged Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (Drs. Neilson, Alam and Halverson), to stop using live animals to train surgery residents. The message noted that there are many validated and widely available methods that allow trainees to repeat procedures and hone their skills -- without harming animals. Currently, 77% of surveyed general surgery programs in the U.S. use only human-relevant training methods, such as patient simulators, laparoscopic simulators, virtual reality simulators, human cadavers, and partial task trainers. At least 10 other surgery residency programs in the state (Illinois) exclusively use non-animal training methods. (1-21-22).
Using the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website we asked Senator Tammy Baldwin to ensure that the next National Institutes of Health (NIH) director will prioritize cruelty-free research, to replace animal experiments with human-specific nonanimal studies and to prioritize their continued development. The PCRM website notes that the NIH director sets the direction of medical research and the prioritization of funds from the agency's $46 billion budget. Currently, about half of the NIH budget is spent on animal experiments resulting in an estimated 100 million animals used each year in research. It's bad science, says PCRM, that leaves animals suffering and patients waiting for scientific breakthroughs. PCRM explains that Senator Baldwin is on the committee that will vote on whether or not to advance the president's nominee for the next director of the NIH. (1-14-22).
Using the Center for Biological Diversity website we urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop allowing ultra dangerous pesticides, like atrazine, to kill endangered wildlife. (1-3-22).
Using the Friends of Earth website we told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to ban brutal wolf hunting practices, to enact the necessary restrictions. (1-3-22)
Using the Earthjustice website, we urged the EPA (EPA Administrator Regan) to ban bee-killing glyphosate. Glyphosate is an herbicide found in common pesticides like Bayer-Monsanto's Roundup. Earthjustice: "Research shows that 93% of endangered species are at risk of being harmed or killed by glyphosate. The EPA's draft biological evaluation found that glyphosate is a threat to over 2,400 species and habitats." Also, studies show that glyphosate -- widely used along the migration route for Monarch butterflies -- is wiping out milkweed, the only food young Monarchs eat. (See, Earthjustice website). (12-16-21).
Using the Defenders of Wildlife website, our president, Mark Silverman, urged state Representative Gwen Moore to co-sponsor H. Res. 69, if she hasn't already done so, to establish a National Biodiversity Strategy to tackle species extinction. (12-12-21).
Using the Friends of Earth website, Mark Silverman urged the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to place a ban on inhumane hunting practices. (12-8-21).
Using the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website, Mark Silverman urged Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to stop using animals for training surgery residents. (12-3-21).
Using the Farm Sanctuary website, Mark Silverman asked USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to take immediate action to protect chickens, turkeys, ducks and other farm birds from abuse in U.S. slaughterhouses. The message noted that the USDA exempts these and other animals classified as poultry from minimal protections under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and failed to promulgate humane handling regulations under the Poultry Products Inspection Act. More than half a million chickens are boiled alive in U.S. slaughterhouses every year. Farm birds are 9.6 billion of the 9.8 billion land animals slaughtered annually in the United States. (See, Farm Sanctuary website). (11-26-21).
Using the Friends of Earth website, we urged Home Depot and Lowe's to discontinue selling Roundup, which contains Glysophate, which wipes out milkweed - the only food source for Monarch caterpillars. (9-11-21).
Our president, Mark Silverman, electronically signed the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) petition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as president of WISAPS and as a member of the ALDF, demanding that the USDA fulfill its legal obligation to fully inspect research facilities and protect animals under the Animal Welfare Act. USDA policy directs inspectors to conduct only partial inspections of some research facilities These partial inspections may disregard animal husbandry, record keeping or facility management, which impacts the animals' well-being. (8-21-21).
Using the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website, we urged top officials at Wake Forest School of Medicine to end the use of animals to train surgeons. The school is scheduled to use and kill pigs for a training lab August 30th. (8-20-21).
Using the Friends of the Earth website, we urged Kroger to phase out bee-toxic pesticides in its food and beverage supply chains, to stop prioritizing neonicotinoids and chlorpyrifos, while supporting its suppliers to transition to safer alternatives, increasing offerings of organic products, and publicly reporting on progress. (8-20-21).
Using the Alaska Wilderness League website, we asked President Biden to do all that he can to prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (8-19-21).
Using the Friends of the Earth Website, we asked Congress to stop subsidizing fossil fuel. (8-18-21).
Using the Friends of the Earth website, we asked the EPA to phase out lead in aviation fuel. (8-17-21).
Using the Friends of the Earth website, we urged Congress to support the MONARCH Act of 2021. (The Monarch Action, Recovery and Conservation of Habitat Act). The bill establishes a fund of up to $12,500,000 for each fiscal year from 2021 through 2025, to provide grants for projects that fund western monarch conservation and recovery actions. (8-15-21).
Using the Defenders of Wildlife website, we urged Representative Gwen Moore to cosponsor the Migratory Bird Protection Act, HR 4833. (8-12-21).
Using the Center for Biological Diversity website, Mark Silverman, as president of WISAPS, contacted Keith Warnke, Division Director of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), stating that he is saddened that the DNR has proposed allowing hunters and trappers to kill 130 more wolves this Fall. He asked that the DNR not authorize "another disastrous wolf hunt this year." The language of the website message to Mr. Warnke stated, further, that "...hunters and trappers exceeded the quota for the Winter hunt. The risks to Wisconsin's wolf population show that a quota of 130 wolves is unacceptably high. The department can't enforce any quota unless it fixes the problems that led to the quotas being exceeded. And it should not be authorizing another hunt when the new wolf-management plan won't be finalized until 2022. Development of a new plan is necessary to ensue that wolf-management decisions are informed by the best science." (8-9-21).
Using the Friends of the Earth website we joined their petition demanding that the Department of the Interior protect the Endangered Species Act. (8-5-21).
Using the website of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), we asked the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf. (8-2-21).
Using the Friends of the Earth website we joined their petition demanding that the Department of the Interior protect the Endangered Species Act. (8-5-21).
Using the Center for Biological Diversity website we urged Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to meet with tribes and restore protections for gray wolves. (7-22-21).
Joined Sierra Club's petition to Governor Evers and the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to protect Wisconsin wolves from trophy hunting. (7-21-21).
Joined ASPCA's petition to the Biden administration requesting action to stop puppy mills (licinsed breeding facilities). ASPCA: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is responsible for overseeing these facilities (7-21-21).
Joined the petition of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) to the president of Wayne State University, in Detroit, asking for an end to dog experiments on heart failure and hypertension. PCRM: Dogs are subjected to multiple surgeries and have devices implanted. 25% of the dogs die at the surgery stage. Survivors run on tread mills while heart failure is induced. Every dog dies within a few months. (See PCRM website). (7-20-21).
Used the website of Earthjustice to thank the Biden administration and to urge quick action to follow through on the announcement to restore and expand protections of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. (7-19-21).
Joined Defenders of Wildlife's petition to the Biden administration asking that the gay wolf be re-listed under the Endangered Species Act. (7-18-21).
Joined the Sierra Club's petition to President Joe Biden and Jamie Pinkham, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, urging them to stop construction of the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline, noting that the pipeline would affect animals as well as as people. (7-16-21).
Using the PCRM website we asked the university of Cincinnati to stop using animals in its general surgery program. (7-8-21).
Using the Greenpeace website we urged various members of Congress to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. (7-7-21).
Using the Sierra Club's website we urged Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to protect gray wolves, noting the recent wolf hunt in Wisconsin, during breeding season, and the use of dogs - killing 218 wolves in three days. (7-5-21).
We made an Open Records request to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the deer count in Whitnall Park and in the Boerner Botanical Gardens, as well as the maximum number of deer desired to inhabit these areas. (6-22-21). (A follow-up email was sent 7-26-21).
Dane County Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction To Block Wolf Hunt In Wisconsin This Year.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that two weeks before it was scheduled to begin, Judge Jacob Frost issued a preliminary injunction that effectively blocks the Fall 2021 Wisconsin Wolf hunting and trapping season. The judge said, on Friday, October 22nd, that the Department of Natural Resources failed for nine years to implement permanent rules for the state's wolf season and therefore violated state law. Plaintiffs in the case are: Animal Wellness Action, the Center for a Humane Economy, Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf and Wildlife, Project Coyote and state resident, Patrick Clark.
Ojibwe tribes in Wisconsin, which have a wolf lawsuit against the DNR and the Natural Resources Board pending in federal district court, applauded the Dane County decision. A hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction by the tribes is scheduled for October 29th. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 23, 2021). (10-23-21).
We submitted written comments and testified at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wolf Harvest Advisory Committee meeting, April 8, 2021. Mark Silverman (WISAPS president) stated that wolves should not be hunted for sport and pointed out alternatives to killing them in order to protect cattle. Many others from the public commented that wolves should not be killed and voiced their opposition to an additional wolf hunt in the Fall of this year. This committee will meet again in May. (4-9-21).
The Natural Resources Board (NRB) Decided Against Wolf Hunt this Winter but a Court Ordered a Hunt to be Held
The NRB voted 4-3 against a wolf hunting season January and February. The NRB sets policy for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. (Milwaukee Journal 1-23-21). We submitted a written letter to the Wis. DNR website, on 1-20-21, opposing the hunting of wolves. Also, Mark Silverman provided public testimony before the NRB, on Friday, January 22nd, in opposition to hunting the wolf.
Many others testified at the public meeting, held on Zoom, including representatives of various tribes.
However, a lawsuit was filed by the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty on behalf of Hunter Nation, a Kansas-based hunting advocacy group. A Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge ordered the DNR to implement a Winter wolf season. Never before had the state held a hunting and trapping season during the wolves' breeding season. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2-28-21).
The rate of wolf kills was unprecedented. 86% of the wolves were killed by hunters with dogs, 9% were killed by hunters using other means such as calling or bait, and 5% were claimed by trappers. 216 wolves had been killed, 82% over the state-licensed quota. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2-28-21).
Some say that results from the rushed season will bolster efforts to place the wolf back under the protections of the Endangered Species Act. A lawsuit was filed by several environmental and animal protection groups in January in California against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2-28-21).
Milwaukee County Grounds
We responded to a request that the Milwaukee County Supervisors be contacted with regard to a proposed developer's agreement. We emailed the Supervisors, urging them to vote "no" on the proposed developer's agreement that would replace the current (2011) UWM REF Innovation Campus agreement for the Northeast Quadrant of the County Grounds. We had been informed that the current agreement includes habitat protections. The matter was referred to Corporation Counsel. (11/24/20)
Fatal Experiments on Dogs
(Freedom of Information Act request made 2-23-19).
We received a response from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Chief Research and Development Officer, Rachel Ramoni, DMD, ScD, informing us that the "research work with dogs at the Milwaukee VA has concluded." The letter continued: "However, VA will continue to do research with dogs only if the research is important to the health of Veterans and there is no alternative to using dogs."
WISAPS made the open records request in response to the news, below, reported by USA Today.
(May 11, 2019).
Fatal experiments on dogs are moving ahead at the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA is pushing forward with invasive and ultimately fatal experiments on dogs as part of the VA's medical research program. (USA Today Nov. 2-4, 2018).
In Milwaukee the experiments called for researchers to remove sections of dogs' brains to test neurons that control breathing before the animals are killed by lethal injection, records show, according to USA Today. A group called the Paralyzed Veterans of America no longer opposes efforts to end VA fatal medical research on dogs, USA Today reports. The VA's position is unchanged under its new Secretary, Robert Wilkie.
(USA Today, Nov. 2-4, 2018).
WISAPS obtained signatures from Wisconsin residents in a Petition to be sent to Secretary Robert Wilkie, requesting that the VA discontinue the fatal dog research conducted in Milwaukee. "It is animal cruelty," the Petition states. 12/2/18
REPORT ANIMAL CRUELTY OR MISUSE
City of Milwaukee. Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS). According to the DNS website: "A number of animals are regulated and licensed in the City of Milwaukee. Depending on the type of animal and the number of them, various regulations will need to be followed. " For example, up to 4 chickens are allowed, with a permit. Slaughtering of chickens is NOT allowed. There must be at least 16 square feet per chicken, including any coop and yard space. Roosters are NOT allowed. The DNS phone number to call to report a potential violation is: 414-286-2268.
The Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) recommends contacting your local police department if you suspect cruelty or neglect of animals. Call the local police NON-EMERGENCY number. According to its website, MADACC does not investigate mistreatment cases. However, they provide assistance to local law enforcement and will pick up and care for animals that are seized for violations of local and state statutes.
Gray Wolf Update (12-5-20).
WISAPS had asked supporters (02/24/18) to ask their Congresspersons to oppose bills which call for the de-listing of the gray wolf from protected status under the Endangered Species Act.
In October, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Lower 48 states. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that the next wolf hunting and trapping season will begin next year, November 6, 2021. However, in January of 2021, lethal control of wolves near farms and other "depredation sites" will be allowed. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12-5-20).
EPA to Stop Chemical Testing on Mammals
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reports that the Environmental Protection Agency announced, in September, that it will stop testing chemicals on mammals. According to the pcrm.org website, the agency is eliminating all chemical testing done on mammals by 2035.(10/20/19)
Nondairy Drink Legislation
Wisconsin legislators are pursuing bills to prohibit the use of the word "milk" in a product label if the beverage is not from a cow or goat. WISAPS president, Mark Silverman, contacted the company which produces Edensoy to ask them to consider changing its label from soy milk to soy drink or beverage. Otherwise, under the proposed legislation, the company, as well as the stores which carries Edensoy, could face fines. (11/23/19).
WISCONSIN ANIMAL FACTS
Canada Goose. Canada geese are extremely common in Wisconsin. Identifying characteristics: Large goose with a long black neck and a distinctive white cheek patch; brown body with a pale white chest and underparts; black feet and legs. They fly in a V-formation to conserve energy, and different birds take turns leading the way. They are fairly common in most lakes, estuaries, wetlands, lagoons, bays, or anywhere else they can find food (grasses or grains). (See, birdwatchinghq.com). (12-2-21)
Eastern Cottontail rabbit. There are three kinds of wild rabbits in Wisconsin. Actually, there is one type of rabbit and two kinds of hares. Hares are generally larger than rabbits and have longer ears and hind legs. The Eastern Cottontail is grayish-brown with a fluffy white tail and has a rusty-brown spot on the nape of its neck. A rabbit's long ears give it the ability to hear noises from all directions. They can run up to 18 mph for half a mile at a time. They also have excellent eyesight. Habitat: wooded, thick brush areas, farmland, orchards, back yards, hollow logs. Diet: buds, sprouts, and shoots of woody plants, alfalfa, clover, peas, beans and grass. (See, wisconsin-wi.com). (12-9-21).
Squirrels. Squirrels are nimble, bushy-tailed rodents found all over the world. They belong to the Sciuridae family, which includes prairie dogs, chipmunks and marmots. There are more than 200 species of squirrels and they are categorized into three types: tree squirrels, ground squirrels and flying squirrels. Wisconsin has 5 native species of squirrel: Eastern Grey Squirrel, Eastern Fox Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Northern Flying Squirrel, Southern Flying Squirrel. They eat seeds and nuts and bury some of them for future consumption. The seeds or nuts they stored may later sprout and grow into trees. (See, Wisconsin Pollinators website). (12-10-21).
Gray Wolf. (Canis lupus). Wisconsin is one of about a dozen states in the country with a wild gray wolf population. Gray wolves, also known as timber wolves, are the largest wild members of the dog family. They are social animals, living in family groups or packs. Wolves typically mate for life. The wolf pups are usually born in a den. At birth, they cannot see or hear and weigh about one pound. When the young adults reach the age of three, they can either join the pack or leave to find their own territory. A wolf’s territory may cover 20-80 square miles, about 1/10 the size of an average Wisconsin county. Wolves often travel at 5 miles an hour, but can reach speeds of 40 miles an hour. Wolves howl to solidify pack bonds and warn other wolf packs to stay away—but despite popular belief, wolves don't howl at the moon. They howl day or night - not just when there is a full moon. (See, National Wildlife Federation and DNR websites). (12-13-21).
Northern Cardinal. (Cardinalis cardinalis). The “official” name was changed to Northern Cardinal from simply, Cardinal, in 1985, to distinguish it from seven other Cardinal species. The species was given its Latin name of Cardinalis cardinalis by the Swedish naturalist, Carl Linnaeus, in 1758. (See, The Laurel of Asheville website). The bird was named for its color, which resembles the red robe worn by Roman Catholic Cardinals. (See, World Birds website). They eat insects, berries, other vegetable matter and sunflower seeds at bird feeders. The males display bright red feathers throughout their whole body with a bold black mask around their red beak. Females feature a more subdued and pale brown coloration with red tinges on their wings, tail, and crest. Both sexes feature a prominent feather crest atop their heads. Northern Cardinals are thought to mate for life, and the pairs stay together all year long. Chicks begin leaving the nest as early as seven days after hatching but are still fed by their parents for one to two months. Both male and female Northern Cardinals are adept singers. Males sing more frequently during breeding season but will continue to sing throughout the rest of the year, with a “cheer cheer cheer...birdie birdie birdie,”even in Winter. The sharp and metallic "chip" is the most common alarm and communication call but over sixteen different calls have been documented. (See, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Panorama, Winter 2022 issue).
According to an Earthjustice posting, on its website: "When a government wants to build a toxic waste incinerator in your neighborhood, bulldoze homes to build smog-producing highways or run pipelines through ancestral Native American lands, a federal law gives you the right to find out and fight back. That law is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)." Earthjustice website, 1-19-20. Earthjustice notes that plans are underway to gut NEPA's protections. Action can be taken by visiting Earthjustice's website in order to make a public comment.
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