1977- Animal Rights Hawaiʻi was founded after meeting Peter Singer, author of “Animal Liberation.” This was the year that Ken Levasseur and Steve Sipman freed Puka and Kea, two dolphins at Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory. Following the dolphin release that is considered to be the beginning of the modern animal liberation movement, Animal Rights Hawaii got involved obtaining facility records and reporting violations by the laboratory. We continue to fight captivity of marine mammals.
1988- We received leaked internal documents that described multiple violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act at the University of Hawaiʻi. After our decade long anti-vivisection campaign and investigation, we won access to the minutes of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Hawaii.
1994- After Tyke the elephant escaped the Circus International and was brutally gunned down in the streets of downtown Honolulu, Animal Rights Hawaiʻi sued all the prinicpals involved. We have pushed for preventative legislation at the city and county level ever since that tragic day. In subsequent years we have vigorously opposed traveling exotic acts such as diving mules, alligator wrestling, and chimpanzee, bear, lion and tiger acts.
1995- We became aware of the cruel transport of live pigs from Canada and the mid-west US to Hawai’i for slaughter. Our 15 year campaign ensued. We worked with World Society For the Protection of Animals and Animals’ Angels and in 2011, Foodland Super Market Ltd. and Times Markets committed to stop participating in the slaughter of pigs transported alive from the mainland to Hawaii. Finally, in 2016, the live imports ended.
1997 Rusti, an orangutan who had been kept in an underground cage in New Jersey, was brought to Hawaiʻi. We intervened in plans to place him in a roadside zoo. He is now living at the Honolulu Zoo and has a companion, Violet another orangutan.
1998- We opposed the building of the new slaughterhouse at Kapolei listing violations at the Ewa slaughterhouse including inhumane killings and cruelty. We opposed funding at the Department of Agriculture and the legislature. The slaughterhouse was built using millions of taxpayer dollars at a tsunami evacuation zone. Thousands of animals suffer and die there every year. Animal Rights Hawaiʻi continues to monitor inspection reports and the treatment of animals at the facility.
2001- Animal Rights Hawaiʻi did an undercover investigation at Meadow Gold dairy farm in Waimanalo exposing the unlined manure lagoon leaking into the land. We opposed the sale of the dairy to the University of Hawaii due to inadequate enforcement of the Clean Water Act, preventing the sale to the University of Hawaii and the dairy went out of business.
2002- We supported the Maui County ban of the captive display of whales and dolphins. We went to Maui to submit testimony based on years of investigative work at Hawaiʻi captive facilities. The bill passed unanimously stating that “The Council finds that cetaceans are highly intelligent-and highly sensitive marine mammals. The Council further finds the presence of cetaceans in the Pacific Ocean surrounding Maui County provides many cultural, spiritual, and economic benefits to the County’s residents. The Council also finds that prohibiting the exhibition of captive cetaceans is necessary to protect, preserve, and promote the health, welfare, order, and security…
The Blue Tropix night club featured squirrel monkeys displayed behind the bar. They were forced to endure bright lights until 4:00 am and had no place to hide. We protested the club and publicized violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act. Blue Tropix night club was forced to give up their captives. They are no longer in business.
2012- We participated in the first annual Empty The Tanks Worldwide event and have continued to participate since it’s beginning. We have been protesting drive fishery slaughters since the 80’s and participated in Japan Dolphins Day every year to raise awareness and speak out against the cruel annual slaughter of dolphins.
2015- Kina the psuedorca and bottlenose dolphins Boris and BJ were transferred from a sea pen at University of Hawaiʻi to Sea Life Park. Animal Rights Hawaiʻi obtained State documents stating the cetaceans were auctioned off to the highest bidder, without filing for the proper permit. We have consulted the Attorney General regarding the lapse in permitting and have filed complaints with USDA APHIS regarding violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
2015- After the local screening of “Tyke, Elephant Outlaw” the Board of Agriculture voted unanimously for the administrative rule change following Governor Ige’s pledge to no longer issue permits for wild animal acts in Hawaiʻi.
2016- After years of publicizing constant violations and animal deaths at the Honolulu Zoo, the zoo lost its accreditation and continues to have issues with animal care. We have called for the closing of the zoo and the placing of the captive animals to accredited sanctuaries.
2016- We participated in the 1st annual VegFest Oahu and have continued to be a part of VegFest Oahu since it’s conception. Animal Rights Hawaii has also participated in the Great American Meatout for several years and tabled events at the University of Hawaiʻi promoting a plant-based diet and opposing animal research.
2016- We investigated and obtained footage of dolphins being transferred via FedEx between Dolphin Quest Hawaiʻi facilities and the controversial new Dolphinaris Arizona dolphinarium, a cruel practice by the captivity industry often hidden from public view.
January 2018- We supported Keiko Conservation in introducing SB3055, the first bill of it’s kind in Hawaii which would prohibit the issuance of permits to transfer captive cetaceans to or from Hawaii for breeding or entertainment purposes.