Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Action Alerts

March of Dimes Demonstration

We will be conducting a peaceful demonstration against MARCH OF DIMES cruel, wasteful experiments at their annual WALKATHON (*Information about the March of Dimes appears below this alert):

WHEN:  SUNDAY, MAY 1st

TIME:  WALKATHON BEGINS REGISTERING WALKERS AT 8 AM; THE WALK BEGINS AT 9 AM.  THE PRESS IS USUALLY THERE AT APPX 8:30 AM. PLEASE ATTEND AS CLOSE TO 8 AM AS POSSIBLE TO MAXIMIZE OUR EFFORT.

WHERE:  OUTSIDE SAXON WOODS, WHICH IS ACROSS FROM MOD HEADQUARTERS, 1275 MAMARONECK AVENUE IN WHITE PLAINS; (FREE PARKING AVAILABLE IN 'ETHICAL CULTURE SOCIETY' PARKING LOT A FEW YARDS AWAY: 7 SAXON WOODS ROAD (SIGN VISIBLE FROM MAMARONECK AVENUE).  

ABOUT THE MARCH OF DIMES:

March of Dimes collects millions annually, to do painful experiments on animals. Both animals and human babies are the losers, because every dollar spent to harm these animals is a dollar that could have—and should have—been used to help people.
see: www.MarchOfCrimes.com 

Please cut and paste the letter below onto a new email, sign the bottom and send to: jhowse@modimes.org 

Then, please cut and paste this whole letter onto a new email, including these instructions, and mail to friends and family. Thanks!

Jennifer Howse
President March of Dimes
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605

Dear Jennifer Howse,

Though I think the goal of preventing birth defects is a valuable one, I don't think that the March of Dimes should use a penny of the millions of dollars in donations it collects annually to do painful experiments on animals. If most donors who generously open their pocketbooks to give were aware that their gifts help fund these horrors, I'm sure they would withhold their donations. Ms Howse, since I myself have become aware that the March of Dimes has funneled millions of dollars into laboratory studies on primates, rats, mice, cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs, sheep, guinea pigs, opossums, and members of other animal species, I will do whatever I can to stop it.

Both animals and human babies are the losers, because every dollar spent to harm these animals is a dollar that could have—and should have—been used to help people.

Recently, it's come to my attention that the March of Dimes' crimes against animals involve experimenters:

~ sewing shut newborn kittens' eyes, then killed them after they had endured a year of blindness.

~ putting newborn kittens in completely dark chambers, then killed them after three to five months.

~ removing fetal kittens from the uterus, implanted pumps into their backs to inject a drug that destroys nerves, then reimplanted the fetuses in the uterus. After the kittens were born, they were killed and studied.

~ implanting electric pumps into the backs of pregnant rats to inject nicotine, even though the dangers of cigarette smoking to human babies is already known.

~ injecting pregnant rats with cocaine, though the dangers of cocaine to human babies is already known.

~ injecting newborn opossums with alcohol, decapitated them an hour to 32 weeks later, then removed and studied the gonads (immature sexual organs), though the dangers of alcohol to human babies is well known.

~ transplanting organs from pigs to baboons, most of whom died within hours.

~ transplanting organs from guinea pigs to rats.

~ destroying the ear drums of unborn lambs, then killed the mother sheep and lambs just before birth to examine the brains.

Despite these experiments, the Centers for Disease Control reports that birth defects are occurring more often. Of 38 birth defects studied over a 10-year period, an astounding 27 have increased in frequency, nine occur at the same rate, and only two have decreased in frequency.

There are many reasons for this, but the most important is that the human physiology is vastly different from the physiologies of other species. It’s true that all animals are sentient beings capable of feeling pain, but the similarities essentially end there.

For example, testing chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, and addictive substances on pregnant animals and then trying to apply the results to humans is a waste of lives and money because humans are so different from other animals. Consider that:

~ humans have a longer period of fetal development, so may be more sensitive to birth defect-causing agents than other species.

~ genetic differences among species of animals affect the way they react to chemicals.

~ different species develop in utero at different rates and along different schedules, calling into question animal studies on chemicals that affect fetuses at different stages of development.

~ differences in the placenta may affect the absorption of chemicals among species.

~ the route of administration of a potential birth defect-causing agent to the animal may not be the most common route of human exposure. For instance, animals may be given nicotine intravenously, whereas human exposure is through inhaling cigarette smoke.

~ animals are rarely given chemicals on the same time schedule as humans. Animals are usually given a large amount of a substance over a short period, while people are usually exposed to small amounts over a long period.

~ stress imposed by animal handling, food or water deprivation, and restraint have been shown to affect test results.

~ animals learn and show intelligence differently from humans, and animal studies usually cannot detect a substance’s potential for causing learning or behavioral problems in babies.

Even birth defects researchers admit the difficulty of interpreting animal tests because any substance can harm fetal development if given in the right dose to the right species at the right time. This is called "Karnofsky's Law" and it’s often used by experimenters to excuse the inaccuracy of animal studies.

And, in contrast, human studies do save human lives. Virtually all known developmental hazards were identified through studies of human populations.

Human-based research identified:

~ the dangers of thalidomide, a drug commonly given to pregnant women in the 1950s that resulted in severe physical deformities; animal studies had shown thalidomide to be safe.

~ the risk of birth defects associated with rubella during pregnancy.

~ the association of folic acid deficiency with spinal cord abnormalities.

~ the disastrous effects of lead, methyl mercury, and alcohol on developing fetuses.

March of Dimes could save more babies if…

~…it put donations into under-funded programs that have been proven to prevent birth defects and help babies.

~ An estimated 25 percent of all infant deaths could be prevented if adequate pre-natal care were provided for the 1.2 million women who need it every year.

~ Infant deaths would decrease by as much as 10 percent if women who smoke (25 percent of pregnant women) gave up cigarettes during pregnancy.

~ Alcohol abuse during pregnancy is the leading cause of preventable birth defects, and there are not enough affordable addiction treatment programs for the women seeking help—yet precious resources are wasted injecting rats and other animals with alcohol.

~ The establishment of a National Birth Defects Registry can help to identify causes—and pave the way toward prevention of—birth defects.

Data from the registry could be analyzed to look for possible patterns or clusters of birth defects that may be associated with certain environmental exposures or genetic traits.

Animal studies can be dangerous and put babies at risk. The antibiotic streptomycin was tested on dogs, guinea pigs, and pigs and deemed "safe" for people. But infants who were given the drug suffered brain damage, went deaf or blind, or died.

In conclusion, Ms Howse, I urge you to stop the March of Dime's cruel and painful testing on animals and instead adopt some of the alternative and much more effective methods listed above. We are responsible for what we know and the lives we touch. Please let your actions reflect care and goodness, both for children and animals.

Thank you so much.

Sincerely,


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