Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

Thank you Vancouver Animal Defence League and Fin Free Victoria for pressuring Kirin to go fin free

For two years we have been pressuring Kirin to adopt a fin free menu and they finally agreed without a single protest. A big thank you to activists from Fin Free Victoria who took the time to come over from the Island to meet with management at Kirin, this undoubtedly played a large part in their recent decision.

Kirin was one of the largest shark fin dealers in Canada. With 4 huge locations in the lower mainland, they are a popular choice for weddings and large banquets. After our recent victory with the Sun Sui Wah campaign we made a statement to media about our intention to move on to Kirin with our Fintastic Friday Night protests, soon after that they changed all of their in-house and online menus. Yesterday we confirmed with management that they will not be purchasing anymore shark fin, but they will use their remaining stock to provide for any events previously booked.

Please thank Kirin management for taking steps to protect our planets remaining shark populations.

We are currently searching for a new campaign target. With hundreds of restaurants in the lower mainland serving shark fin soup, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

We are still working on a Provincial shark fin ban with Fin Free Victoria, we should have some positive updates before the end of the month.

If you would like to contribute to VADL campaigns please visit our website.

Thank you!



Filed under: Alerts, Updates, , , ,

Update from Alley Cat Allies who broke story of Audubon recommending citizens poison cats

Great work for stray cats!

On Friday, we broke the story of a National Audubon Society editor-at-large who took to the Orlando Sentinel, a major metropolitan newspaper, to advocate that citizens get rid of cats by poisoning them with a common over-the-counter medication.

Together, we sent an incredible 30,000 emails directly to Audubon CEO David Yarnold and Chairman B. Holt Thrasher. Because of your response, the Audubon Society suspended the author, Ted Williams, from his position over the weekend.

This is a huge win and I am proud of our response – of your response – but our work’s not done yet. Extremist, anti-cat attacks are on the rise following the Smithsonian’s junk science cat “study.” To respond just as aggressively the next time cats are under fire, we rely on your continued support. Will you help us now to continue to show the strength of our movement?

Click here to donate $5 or more to Alley Cat Allies so that we can continue to be the leading national voice for defending cats.

Thank you for being such a reliable, dedicated ally for cats.


Becky Robinson
Alley Cat Allies


Filed under: Updates, , , , , , ,

Summary of the CITES with CATCA

Summary of the CITES CoP16:
I invite you visit my CATCA FUNDRAISER GROUP: to bid on some cool animal items to help me cover the expenses of my lobbying… at the CITES CoP16. If you want to know about my succesful lobbying stories check my wall. Please share widely.
Thank you!
Ericka Ceballos


Filed under: Articles, Follow Ups, Fundraisers, Newsletters in Activism, Updates, , , , , , ,

Who was Captain?


Here is a write-up from the Justice For Captain Facebook Group:

Today it has been 2 months since Captain’s death. I’d like to remember Captain today by sharing his story with the world. Captain was a 2-year-old German Shepherd who was a tryout for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police but he was rejected because he was “too friendly” and was also alleged to have been deaf. He was sold by the RCMP to a man in Langley who subsequently sold him to Captain’s current

owner, Brian Edward Whitlock. On July 18, 2012, Captain was discovered in a dumpster in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, by a couple out for a walk. He was emaciated, and had been stabbed, cut, and brutally beaten, to the point of likely being rendered quadriplegic and with brain hemorrhaging. Captain was rescued from the dumpster and taken immediately to a veterinary hospital. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts to save him, including performing CPR for 30 minutes, Captain passed away the next day. Captain’s owner was nowhere to be found in the days following Captain’s discovery in the dumpster. A warrant to search his residence was subsequently secured, and during that search a Swiss army knife, baseball bat, and heavy chain were recovered. The SPCA recommended charges of animal cruelty (causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal in accordance with the Canadian Criminal Code) to Crown Counsel in Captain’s death, but have indicated they will not name the suspect in Captain’s death until charges are laid. However, media sources have reported that the charges have been recommended against Brian Whitlock. Crown Counsel have not yet approved charges. They returned the file to the SPCA seeking further information regarding witness statements and expert witness testimony, as well as results of DNA testing. The SPCA is currently awaiting the results of the DNA analysis, and have indicated that Crown Counsel will not proceed with charges until they have all the evidence before them. The SPCA have expressed, however, that they are “very confident” that charges will be laid in Captain’s case and that he will get justice in the courts. There are measures that YOU can take to ensure this happens.

1) Please sign and share the petition to our government to strengthen and enforce animal cruelty legislation:

2) Please phone, send an e-mail (, or write a letter to BC’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General to RESPECTFULLY ask when charges will be pressed against Captain’s killer:

Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Honourable Shirley Bond
PO BOX 9044 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9E2
Phone: 250 387-1866
Fax: 250 387-6411

Thank you for remembering Captain today by taking action to ensure that he did not die such a horrific and indefensible death in vain. WE NEED JUSTICE FOR CAPTAIN.


Filed under: Campaigns, Candle Vigil, Updates, , , , , , , ,

Presse Release, Anthony Marr Shark Fin Ban Urged for Vancouver, Richmond Burnaby

Media release

Anthony Marr will present at Burnaby City Hall June 25, Monday, 7pm

In Ontario, the cities of Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Newmarket, Pickering and London have banned shark fins outright.

In the U.S. Pacific: California, Oregon and Washington have all banned shark fins state-wide.

Here in British Columbia – Port Moody, Coquitlam and North Vancouver have publicly announced their own bans.

Conspicuously absent: Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby, which should be in the forefront of this charge.

The Vancouver Animal Defence League aims at outright shark-fin bans in all cities of British Columbia, beginning with Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby.

As a first salvo, Anthony Marr will deliver a 10-minute presentation at the Burnaby City Hall (4949 Canada Way) on June 25, Monday, at 7 pm. The Vancouver Animal Defence League will hold a respectful demonstration in front of the city hall at 6 pm. All are welcome to join.

“Other than shark-finning being exceedingly cruel, half of all shark species are endangered,” says Anthony Marr. “Every year, 75-90 million sharks of various species are killed for their fins, with the rest of their still-alive bodies thrown back into the ocean. Shark-finning is by and large illegal, but almost every country with a coast line do it. And these poached products end up in the Chinatowns of cities like Vancouver and Richmond where the trade is legal, and over half of the fins could be from endangered species. The ‘one-bowl-at-a-time voluntary withdrawal’ approach may work, given a few decades; unfortunately, the sharks just don’t have the time.”

Please contact:

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)



And here is Anthony Marr’s interview on Animal Voices radio:
His segment starts at 34:09.



By Wanda Chow – Burnaby NewsLeader
June 21, 2012

Like many people of Chinese heritage, Anthony Marr ate shark fin soup, a symbol of wealth and prosperity often served at wedding banquets.

Then, as a young man, he learned how shark fins are harvested.

“I was appalled,” said Marr, now an animal rights activist. “I actually saw a video that showed how the sharks were just baited and hooked, brought on board … then had the pectoral fins and dorsal fins and the tail cut off and the rest of the shark thrown back.

“Then there was also footage showing one of the sharks sinking to the bottom and just trying to gasp for breath and couldn’t move, just kept wriggling the body until they die. It was horrible.”

Marr, a Vancouver resident, will be speaking as a delegation to Burnaby council on Monday evening on behalf of the Vancouver Animal Defence League. The group wants to see the city ban the sale of shark fins and the serving of shark fin soup.

In recent months, Port Moody and Coquitlam have already approved such a ban, Marr said, and several cities in Ontario done so before that.

The group is now aiming to get such bans in place in the Lower Mainland cities with the largest populations of people of Chinese heritage—Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby.

Marr said that, of the more than 400 species of shark, over half are endangered. Shark finning is mostly carried out by poachers who “don’t give a hoot” what species they’re poaching, so half of the shark fins sold are likely from endangered species.

The largest harvesters of shark fin are in Costa Rica, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Singapore and Taiwan, he said.

Marr has been involved in campaigns to protect tigers in India and whales and dolphins off the coast of Japan. For him, the campaign to ban the trade of shark fins is personally significant.

“I also feel if it’s a Chinese activist who stood up and led to the banning of it then the Chinese people would doubly redeem themselves,” he said, “by number one, stopping it, number two, stop using it.”

Marr and the Vancouver Animal Defence League will hold a demonstration in front of Burnaby city hall at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 25, which he is calling on members of the public to join. That will be followed by Marr’s 10-minute presentation to council at 7 p.m. Monday in city hall council chambers. Info:

Article URL:

Filed under: Blogging, Updates, , , , , , ,

Toronto: Freezing Pigs Transported Despite Extreme Cold Weather Alert on Jan 3, 2012

Check out new video “Freezing pigs transported despite Extreme Cold Weather Alert on Jan 3 ’12” — we only got a little video footage from one of the three trucks we saw that morning, but the glimpses give you a sense of how gruesome the journey was for the pigs. The discoloration on their bodies is extreme and the truckload of pigs was completely silent and their stares showed incomprehension of their suffering at the hands of humans. It’d be good to call or write another letter to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA’s Toronto office is 416-665-5055 or you can post a letter here: ). On Tues., Jan 3, 2012, the City of Toronto issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. Let’s ask the CFIA to ban transport in extreme weather and enforce it. This video shows all the added “unnecessary” suffering the pigs MUST endure as they are unloaded with intensive use of the electric prod…. The trucker saw us there, I imagine, but there was no pretense when he was poking with his electric prod into the truck and then climbed into the trailer with an electric prod only–leaving the rattle paddle behind. We must speak out against this. Our only regret is we should have ‘trespassed’ that cold day to oppose the violent method of unloading and took footage of the frost-bitten and hypothermic pigs who can hardly move after enduring temperatures that felt like -30 to -40 degrees Celsius on the highway for hours and then having to face the electric prod and the piteous screaming — which makes all of them suffer more! Thanks for your support.

The City of Toronto issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert for Tuesday, January 3, 2012. Toronto Pig Save (TPS) decided to bear witness on Lakeshore and Strachan from 7:309:30 am, though we didn’t last the last 20 minutes. We saw three trucks go by… we usually see 10-12 at this time in the early morning. But there shouldn’t have been any transport trucks at all on such a cold day.

It was -12 but it felt like -18 and -20 and you can imagine how much colder travelling on the highway at 80-100 km/hr – it would feel more like between -30 and -40 for the pigs. The pigs were completely silent and looked spooked in the glimpses we caught of them.

TPS has information sheets to systematically document any possible violations of animal cruelty laws and codes you witness. The information sheets are posted on our website here:
Follow us on Twitter @TorontoPigSave
Join us on Facebook at:

Filed under: Help Needed, Letters, Twittering, Updates, , , , , , ,

Canadian Schools and Hospitals End Cruel Animal Trauma Training

NEWS RELEASE October 21, 2011


Canada Ends Cruel Live Animal Labs 


Decision Reflects International Move Away from Live Animal Use for Trauma Training

WASHINGTON—Canadian hospitals and medical schools have ended their lethal use of live animals for trauma training. The last two institutions in the country still using animals recently moved to nonanimal methods: The University of Sherbrooke was using 32 dogs a year for trauma training but has switched to simulators. Last month, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal ended animal use following communications from the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

Many Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) programs in Canada had previously involved cutting open anesthetized pigs and dogs to practice emergency medical procedures.

Since 2009, nine Canadian ATLS programs have replaced animal use with simulators developed specifically for trauma training. The University of Saskatchewan, for example, was using live pigs until PCRM successfully lobbied the school to use nonanimal methods. Queen’s University and McMaster University also replaced animals with simulators following requests from the doctors’ group.

Now all of the nearly two dozen ATLS programs in Canada use only modern training methods that better equip medical professionals to respond to trauma injuries.

“I congratulate everyone involved in reaching this win-win decision, which combines the most up-to-date, sophisticated training available and the best ethical and humane practices,” says John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., PCRM’s director of academic affairs. “There is no justification for using live animals in such courses. Nonanimal teaching methods offer a more effective—and more humane—way to teach lifesaving procedures. Canada now leads the way in achieving the best educational and ethical standards for ATLS training.”

Only five of more than 240 ATLS programs in the United States continue to use live animals for training. This shift has been facilitated by innovations in medical simulation technology, a rising awareness of ethical concerns, and a growing acknowledgement that medical training must be human-focused.

For an interview with Dr. Pippin, please contact Dania DePas at 202-527-7382 or

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research,and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.


Reposted From Original Article

Filed under: Newsletters in Activism, Updates

Eye Witnesses Watch in horror as 30 Dolphins Slaughtered in Japan

Yesterday I witnessed something I hoped I would never see.  I have been volunteering as a Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian in taiji for 2 weeks and for the entire time we were here there was no slaughter.  Many times the boats went hunting and came back with nothing, we even saw them attempting to drive dolphins in but they escaped.


Yesterday was a total nightmare.  We watched in horror as approx. 30 striped dolphins were slaughtered right in front of us.


I will never forget this little baby dolphin, no bigger than my arm, so small we thought he was a fish at first.  He kept launching himself out of the water in an attempt to escape the loud banging of the banger boats.  Four adult dolphins surrounded him to protect him, one on each side.  I watched in horror as one of them launched herself out of the water onto the rocks, blood gushing from her face.  Divers pushed them into the cove, and the tail thrashing started.  I will never forget the sound of the tails thrashing against the water, and then the blood started to run.


Please check our blog for a detailed report of the day


We are leaving today, our hearts broken for that family of dolphins.  We will be forever traumatized by what we witnessed.  Please follow Sea Shepherd on Twitter, campaign leader Rosie Kunneke sends out live tweets every day letting the public know what’s happening as the day unfolds.!/SeaShepherd



Please take action for these dolphins!!!  After what I saw, I pledge to contact the Japanese embassy and consulate every single day until this stops.  Even if you pledge to make a weekly call, but one call is not enough!  We must not forget about the dolphins in Japan, and the dolphin hunters will hunt every single day of the week until the end of March!!



Japanese embassy in Ottawa,



Japanese Consulate in Vancouver



Marley and Carisa

Cetacean Defense League

Filed under: Updates, , ,

Spending on sport hunting trumps Great Lakes Clean-up Fund

Is there anything more evident to show us the deep sickness that runs through Canada?  Peaceful Parks Coalition Press Release



Peaceful Parks Coalition



For Immediate Release


Ontario Election – Honesty Press Release


Spending on sport hunting trumps Great Lakes Clean-up Fund



September 20, 2011 Toronto, Ontario:  Last week, the McGuinty government announced 52 million dollars to clean up the Great Lakes.  To give some perspective to this announcement let’s compare it to the millions of dollars dedicated annually to the sport hunting and fishing industry.


This year, the McGuinty government has earmarked 68 million dollars to sport hunting and fishing interests through the Fish and Wildlife Special Purpose Account.  All projects and research focus on enhancing sport fishing and hunting with little funds supporting species at risk or habitat preservation.


What does 68 million dollars get you?


An additional wild turkey hunting day specifically targeting youth hunters;

Develop fisheries plans;

Develop fisheries management zone councils;

Longer Lake Trout fishing seasons, streamlined bass and pike limits;

Over 7 million fish stocked in the Great Lake to enhance sport fishery;

Five year moose study;

Online deer and moose surveys;

New Framework to Enhance Bear Management;

Moose pregnancy rate study, and so on.


“While some of these projects may have broader wildlife value, each project is chosen first and foremost to enhance sport hunting and fishing – 68 million dollars worth – every year,” says Valastro.


The number of people joining the hook and bullet crowd is declining, including the sport of deer hunting.  According to ministry of natural resources data, the number of active deer hunters has fluctuated since 2004 but has declined by 29,000 participants from its peak in 2007 (226,377) to 197,174 active hunters in 2010.


“Millions of people depend on clean drinking water from the Great Lakes, yet the best the McGuinty government can do is make a one time cash offer of 52 million dollars to protect this invaluable water source,” says Valastro. “I think he should stop bribing voters and seriously re-evaluate his priorities.”





For more Information, please contact AnnaMaria Valastro at 416.785.8636 cell



Note to the Editor:


Statistical information was retrieved through the office of Assistant Deputy Minister Rosalyn Lawrence, Policy Division, Ministry of Natural Resources.




Peaceful Parks Coalition

P.O. Box 326, Station B

Toronto, Ontario M5T 2W2


Filed under: Newsletters in Activism, Updates, , , , , , , ,

Update on Endangered Sea Turtles at UBC~ How To Help


UBC plans to trade sea turtles for turtles at UK Aquarium
University says it will experiment, kill new turtles from Britain

Endangered Sea Turtle

As reported last week, a UBC insider tipped off Stop UBC Animal Research about the university’s plans to kill seven endangered green sea turtles. The whistleblower claimed UBC was killing the turtles because the university was closing some animal research facilities on UBC’s south campus and had no place to move the animals. UBC obtained the turtles ten years ago from a turtle farm in the Cayman Islands.

Since the story made international news last week, a UK-based aquarium has offered to exchange older turtles from its facility for the UBC turtles. The older turtles would be transported to UBC where researchers would conduct highly invasive experiments on them then kill the animals. (See: Also watch Stop UBC Animal Research on CTV’s Canada AM t Click story, “UBC under fire for studying endangered turtles.”)

Stop UBC Animal Research immediately condemned the proposed deal (see: We do not support such an arrangement because it would trade one life for another and traumatize the turtles from abroad.

*Urge UBC’s President to release the turtles immediately to a sanctuary so the animals may live their remaining days in peace. Urge UBC to reject any deals that would exchange one life for another. To contact UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Stephen J. Toope:

Phone: 604.822.8300
Fax: 604.822.5055

*Donate to Stop UBC Animal Research so we can continue our important work to end animal experiments at UBC. Go to:

All seven species of sea turtles are at high risk of extinction. Listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, sea turtles face a host of threats. Those threats include: pollution, especially from oil spills, beach front development, ingestion of marine debris, such as plastic bags, the illegal turtle shell trade, and turtle egg and meat consumption. In addition, artificial lighting along beaches often discourages female turtles from nesting and disorients hatchlings who may mistakenly wander inland, exposing them to predation.

MEDIA (Click story, “UBC under fire for studying endangered turtles)

Global TV (

Stop UBC Animal Research is a community grassroots campaign that employs peaceful, legal, and compassionate approaches to educate the public about the grim realities of research on animals at the University of British Columbia and to ultimately bring about an end to research on animals at UBC. Please visit our website at:

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Stop UBC Animal Research Campaign at Vancouver Art Gallery

Flickr Photos