Founded in 1968, the Animal Protection Institute of
America (API) is a national nonprofit whose mission is to advocate for
the protection of animals from cruelty and exploitation. Headquartered
in Sacramento, California, API has a number of regional representatives
across the nation and the border, which currently includes
representatives in Toronto, Chicago and San Antonio.
The animal protection movement has seen many changes
since API's humble beginnings. API is proud of having been around before
the majority of people were even aware of the most basic animal
protection issues. Through the years we've been on the front lines of
many animal protection issues by working to halt the killing of baby
seals for their fur, the use of cruel devices like the steel-jaw leghold
trap and the extermination of wild horses.
More recently, API's diverse national and regional
Our Pet Food Investigative Report exposed the disturbing
fact that the meat in some pet foods is decayed, diseased, or contains
harmful hormones. Preservatives, flavorings, food coloring, and
deceptive labeling all help disguise ingredients unfit for consumption.
This report helped bring necessary media scrutiny on the
$10-billion-a-year pet food industry and an API staffer is the only
animal advocate named as an official liaison to the oversight agency
that issues guidelines for pet food labeling.
API has taken an active, vocal role in discouraging
cross-species transplantation and the genetic alteration of animal
species to provide a ready supply of animal organs for humans, which
aside from ethical concerns has proven medically unsuccessful, and has a
very real possibility of transmitting dangerous viruses to humans. API
was asked to present our case at a conference held by the Food and Drug
Administration in January 1998. These efforts, in part, delayed final
government approval of xenotransplantation guidelines.
An API alert in June 1998 focused worldwide media
attention on the dangers to wildlife posed by the Yoplait yogurt
container, which has caused possibly thousands of wild animals to
suffocate and die. These efforts forced Yoplait's manufacturer, General
Mills, to meet with API representatives and begin a modification process
that, if successful, will result in an improved "wildlife-friendly"
design for their containers.
API investigated trapping of wildlife in our National
Wildlife Refuge System. This produced a investigative article indicting
the trapping activity on wildlife refuges and supported a grassroots
group, Friends of Buddy, to secure "small but significant" changes in
the Montana Fish & Game Commission State trapping regulations.
API and other groups filed a lawsuit which kept a
program to kill 250 deer at a wildlife sanctuary at South Carolina's
Hilton Head island from moving ahead. Other API legal efforts put a
program to kill deer at the Gettysburg National Military Park on hold,
as did a related lawsuit at Cuyahoga Valley National Recreational Area
API helped halt a planned U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) slaughter of 1500 Canada geese in Virginia. The court-issued
temporary restraining order inspired the USDA to abandon a similar plan
in Seattle that would have killed 400 Canada geese.
API was a leading member of the ProPAW (Protect Pets and
Wildlife) coalition which helped place Proposition 4 on California's
November 1998 ballot to ban traps, snares, and two extremely dangerous
poisons which can indiscriminately kill dogs, cats and other animals.
API was also active in ballot initiative/campaigns in six other U.S.
API initiated a pilot program with the California
Department of Fish & Game and a Washington State wildlife sanctuary,
which ensured the safe rehabilitation and return of three orphaned bear
cubs to the wild. Most recently, in October, this resulted in the
release of a young female named Topaz, near the California-Nevada
The untimely deaths of animals in the circus sparked
billboards, newspaper ads, demonstrations, and a media blitz by an
API-led coalition which helped focus public attention on circus
cruelties toward animals during a summer tour of California by the
Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Animal groups in Colorado, New
York and Florida have recently expressed interest in continuing the
API has also moved into cyber-space where our World Wide
Web page was named one of the top five best animal advocacy sites. API's
Internet site provides net users with a vast array of information and
resources, on national and state legislation, the use of animals in
science and research -- including a resource site with tools to help
activists investigate animal experiments in their local areas -- as well
as extensive areas that address the use of animals in entertainment,
alternatives to dissection for students, and much more.
For more information about API please visit our website:
or contact us at:
Animal Protection Institute
P.O. Box 22505, Sacramento, CA 95822.
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