Sunday, April 18, 2010

UW Madison Seeks Legal Exemption from Having to Provide Sufficient Food and Water

Update on the post below: Fortunately, AB-747 did not pass out of the Wisconsin State Senate, so died without passage. The university is thus violating the state law requiring adequate food and water for all confined animals in every instance of inadequate nutrition, vitamin deprivation or overdosing, and water deprivation. Primate center vet Saverio “Buddy” Capuano recently reported to the All Campus Animal Care and Use Committee that monkeys used in common brain experiments in which they must perform some task (like tracking a light across a screen) typically lose weight due to, according to Capuano, the severe water restriction they are subjected to. The monkeys are kept chronically thirsty in order to motivate them to perform whatever task the vivisector has invented.

It is just a matter of time before the university renews its efforts to exempt itself from the state's Crimes Against Animals statutes.

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For the moment in Wisconsin, it is a violation of one of the state’s Crimes Against Animals statutes not to provide food and water to a confined animal sufficient to maintain good health:
Wisconsin Statutes > Criminal Code > Chapter 951 > § 951.13 - Providing proper food and drink to confined animals

951.13 Providing proper food and drink to confined animals. No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may fail to supply the animal with a sufficient supply of food and water as prescribed in this section.

951.13(1)
(1) Food. The food shall be sufficient to maintain all animals in good health.

951.13(2)
(2) Water. If potable water is not accessible to the animals at all times, it shall be provided daily and in sufficient quantity for the health of the animal.

A while ago, a bill was introduced by State Rep. Nick Milroy in response to a horrible situation involving an abandoned colt who literally froze to the ground during an especially harsh winter and despite an 11th hour rescue, eventually died. One motivating factor in the bill’s introduction was the fact that a young boy was witness to the colt’s misery and the adults' callous attitudes. The proposal, Assembly Bill 747, is known as Windchill’s Law. The wind chill at the time of his rescue was reportedly 50 degrees below zero.

The bill is laudable and stiffens the penalties for abandonment, the failure to provide adequate food and water, and provides enhanced penalties if a child witnesses the abuse or is forced to participate.

But like many otherwise good ideas, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s self-interested involvement has injected a dark and ugly pathogen into its core with only little notice. [See: Isthumus 04/08/2010. "Will more animals suffer if law is 'strengthened'?"] The State Assembly, accepting the university’s council in good faith, was duped into exempting the university from one of the statutes affected by Windchill’s Law, WI 951.13, quoted above.

Currently, every animal at the university undergoing an experiment in which adequate food and water necessary to good health isn’t being provided, is yet another instance of the university's ongoing violations of the state’s Crimes Against Animals statutes. If Windchill’s Law passes as written, the university will be exempt from providing adequate food and water.

Once again we can see its arrogant belief that it should not be held to the same standards as the rest of the state.

The university genuinely that it shouldn't have to obey the same laws as everyone else. It sees itself above silly concerns like animals’ pain and suffering.

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