Horsewhipping, tahrs, and political sacrifice

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:

NEW DELHI–Lashing racehorses with “jockey bats” is now illegal in India, Indian Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Maneka Gandhi declared on February 20. The announcement, issued at the presentation ceremony for the Vanu Menon Animal Allies Awards, inadvertantly upstaged news media recognition of the winners. One winner was Visakha SPCA founder Pradeep Kumar Nath, familiar to ANIMAL PEOPLE readers from coverage of his work on behalf of nesting sea turtles, cattle rescued from the illegal slaughter traffic, and street dogs and cats.

The banned whips are defined by the 1998 edition of The Whole Horse Catalog as “heavy sticks, made of plastic or fiberglass [now, formerly made from whalebone] coated with leather or thread and furnished with leather, tape, or rubber handles,” with “wide leather ‘poppers,’ or flaps, to make a noise when slapped against the horse’s flank.”

Indian jockeys may still use lightweight rubber whips, Mrs. Gandhi stated, as Animal Welfare Board of India chair and retired judge Guman Mal Lodha clarified the details. But the rubber whips may be used only to signal to the horses, not to do them injury, Mrs. Gandhi stipulated. Mrs. Gandhi said that beatings with jockey bats had blinded many horses and sometimes caused horses to develop dangerous blood clots on their heads, beneath the skin.

“There have been several instances in which whipping has inflicted serious injury on horses,” Justice Lodha confirmed,
adding “I see no reason why we should tolerate this.”Delhi Race Club manager Kulwant Singh told Arun Kumar Das of
the Times of India that, “We have placed orders for the import of 15 whips from England,” and said that the race club would “propose to initiate action against jockeys who violate the order.” Agreed Delhi Race Club president P.S. Bedi, “We will embrace rubber whips as soon as they arrive.”

Mrs. Gandhi herself was 10 days later named winner of the prestigious Aadishakti Puraskar award, to be presented in April by singer Lata Mangeshkar on behalf of Dinath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratishthan, “in appreciation of her remarkable contribution in the field of environmental protection and animal welfare,” the announcement said.

But handing out and receiving laurels were not among Mrs. Gandhi’s uppermost concerns. Her top political priorities during a hectic February and March were dealing with the aftermath of the January 26 Gujarat earthquake and a cabinet crisis occasioned when a corruption scandal forced the resignation of Defense Minister George Fernandes and other ranking officials.

Mrs. Gandhi found time in between to interrupt the scheduled South African National Park Service massacre of the last 31 feral Himalayan tahrs left on Table Mountain, near Cape Town, offering them sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh. The tahrs established themselves on the mountain after a pair escaped from the Groote Schnur Zoo in Cape Town. They had arrived in 1935 from a zoo in Pretoria. Unwanted in South Africa, Himalayan tahrs are highly endangered in
their native India, with only a few hundred believed to remain in the wild.

The South African government on March 23 suspended the massacre for six months to give Mrs. Gandhi, the Wildlife Trust of India, and Friends of the Tahr time to arrange for the tahrs to be net-gunned from helicopters by a New Zealand team and flown to India–and to seek funding for the work. A last-minute complication was the risk that quarantines on the movement of all hooved stock, meant to slow the spread of hoof-and-mouth disease, might cause delay.

A further complication may be reported objections from the World Conservation Union that the Table Mountain tahrs are “invasive,” should therefore be removed immediately, and should not be allowed to mix with the remaining wild tahrs lest they carry negative inbred genetic traits.


Never one to spare the verbal lash against cruelty and corruption, Mrs. Gandhi also found time to demand that Karnataka state minister for primary and secondary education H. Vishwanath be criminally prosecuted for attending an allegedly illegal sacrifice of two rams on February 16.

“The minister’s cousin reportedly bought the animals and kept them in a police officer’s house before sacrificing them,” the Times of India reported. “The minister attended the prayer service, but did not witness the sacrificial ceremony. He left the place only after the rituals of sacrifice were over. Chamarajnagar Deputy Commissioner Bhimaiah and Police Superintendent Anne Gowda reportedly accompanied the minister. It is learnt,” the Times of India continued, “that the minister spurned the invitation of his cousin to partake of the rams’ meat.” Mrs. Gandhi demanded that Vish-wanath be prosecuted.

Reported the Deccan Herald of Mysore on March 3, “A public interest litigation petition will be filed in the High Court against Viswanath, said Progressive Organ-ization convenor K. Ramadas.” A noted rationalist author, Ramadas made the sacrifices public knowledge by confronting Vishwanath as Vishwanath prepared to speak on “Anthropology in the service of humankind” at the Fine Arts College for Women in Manasagangothri.

A prominent member of the Congress Party, which ruled India from 1947 to 1998, Vishwanath was defended by Congress officials who accused Ramadas of “abusing Vishwanath by caste name.” Ramadas said he would apologize if anyone could produce evidence that he had done it.

The incident stimulated reportage all over India about ongoing open defiance of the 1960 national prohibition of animal
sacrifice–and was scarcely the first time Mrs. Gandhi denounced influential politicians for tolerating it. In April 2000, for
instance, she fingered Andhra Pradesh chief executive N. Chandrababu Naidu.

“Andhra is the only state where animals are sacrificed on the premises of the Legislative Assembly in what they claim are purification exercises,” Mrs. Gandhi told Asian Age. “My ministry has received letters from all over the state informing us about animal sacrifices and the complete ignorance and, in some cases, connivance of local authorities. We have set up a fact-finding committee,” she said, “to inquire into these complaints and identify the areas where action is necessary.”

Asian Age published details furnished by Mrs. Gandhi including calendars of sacrifices at prominent temples and a
description of a rite in Medak in which day-old lambs are reportedly killed by the priests’ teeth.

“In most cases,” Mrs. Gandhi charged, “there is a nexus among the temple priest, the village moneylender, and the butcher, wherein the priest concocts a reason for a particular sacrifice, the moneylender steps in to provide the money, and then the priest sells the carcass to the butcher at the wholesale price. This is the reason why most temples have meat markets behind them. It is absolutely obscene.”

The only animal sacrifices specifically exempted from the 1960 law are the sheep and goat slaughters undertaken by Muslims at Ramadan, called Bakr-Id in India–but Mrs. Gandhi said there is no effective enforcement of the restriction on which species may be killed, nor of the requirement that the slaughtering be done only at designated locations, in the prescribed Halal manner.

Other mass ritual killings are commonly reported. At Kushtagi, for instance, 80,000 people reportedly attended three
days of sacrifices that began on February 25. “Despite heavy police presence, 1,000 buffaloes were reportedly killed and 10,000 sheep,” said the Deccan Herald. “The police are said to have left utterly helpless.”

At Pauri Garwhal in December 2000, 40,000 people watched the sacrifice of “76 male buffaloes and an endless number of goats and rams,” according to Aarti Aggarwal of the Times of India. “The swinging axes, the bleating of the animals, the frenzied worshippers created a sickening scene. The carcasses were eventually thrown off a mountaintop, creating a virtual mountain by themselves. The stench was unbearable. By evening the earth was as red as the
setting sun. Vultures blanketed the sky.”

But animal welfare activists and civic authorities claimed a victory of sorts, in that the number of buffaloes killed has fallen annually since 1998, when 150 were killed. More successes–but involving much smaller numbers of animals–are claimed in halting “sacrifices” and other ritual use of wildlife. Many of the events are just thinly disguised destruction of animals who may raid crops or attack livestock, and fade as wildlife populations diminish.

The biggest single-day ritual killing of wildlife in India, however, appears to occur each August at Nagapanchami, the snake festival, when most participants appear to believe they are doing cobras and rock pythons a kindness by feeding them milk, butter, and sweetened rice–paying snake charmers for the privilege. The captures, defanging, mouth-stitching, and other procedures done by the charmers to make the feedings possible, however, kill an estimated 50,000 snakes per year. ANIMAL PEOPLE receives reports of ritual wildlife abuses being interrupted or halted by activists at the rate of about one case per week.

BOOKS: Teaching Compassion

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:

Teaching Compassion: A Guide for Humane Educators, Teachers and Parents
by Pamela Raphael with Libby Coleman, Ph.D, and Lynn Loar, Ph.D
The Latham Foundation for the Promotion of Humane Education
(1826 Clement Ave., Alameda, CA 94501), 1999.
130 pages, paperback. $24.95 includes postage and handling.

Humane educators, myself included, used to share techniques about how to tactfully get the kids to stop telling their stories and pay attention. Pamela Raphael realizes that the stories are the lesson. She helps children turn their stories, such as “I had a dog once, but it ran away,” into poems about animals. These poems let the children express their strong emotions, their needs, their hopes, and sometimes their dark secrets about the pets who have been in
their homes. Examples are scattered throughout the book and are fascinating reading on their own.

The Bad News

Only four humane education lessons are described and one is on hunting. Pamela Raphael, the primary author, lists “debating hunting” as a segment of the lesson plan and a skill students learn. However, in her narrative description of the lesson, the debate seemed to happen by chance, due to the unplanned presence of a pro-hunting teacher. Humane educators must be aware that a stacked-deck presentation, on any hotly contested topic, can get an entire
program thrown out of most school districts. Sometimes all it takes is one parental complaint. That would be a needless shame. Most kids, after hearing both sides of the hunting debate fairly presented by informed adults,
land firmly on the side of the animals. So why risk even the allegation of unfairness?

Another misstep was the book’s claim that “In order for students to benefit from the pet overpopulation lesson, it is
important for a trained professional to conduct a sex education class before the presentation.” That will go over big with schools, especially in conservative districts!

I am baffled that the authors seem to think most teachers and humane educators can calmly handle stories of abuse and neglect, but cannot simply state that spaying and neutering are operations that prevent animals from having litters. I find that kids are usually content with that. And I could more easily handle a question like, “Do they cut off their…ya know?” than a child sobbing “My daddy strangled my cat. Is it okay that I hate him?”

A stronger editor perhaps was needed. For instance, school administrators and other readers might like to know the backgrounds of the authors. The reader will gradually discover Pamela Raphael’s position and employer. Her career history and training are not noted. Only contributor Lynn Loar’s occupation and field are explicitly stated.

Many other questions of interest to humane educators are not addressed:
* How were these presentations set up in the first place?
* What were the expectations of the administrators and teachers?
* How often did Raphael go into each classroom, and for how long?
* How extensively field-tested were the lessons?
* How did parents react?
In one homework assignment, students are to present humane information to their parents. The next day the students with unresponsive families are urged to discuss with class members how they can become effective in helping their families to be more empathetic and responsive–which practically invites parental opposition to the program.

At times Raphael left me hanging, mentioning a disturbing thing a child said, e.g. “My brother threw my cat against the wall last night,” but not commenting on it. I want to know what Raphael said in response! I was confused at times about the flow of the lessons: when did the children do art, how are the vocabulary lists used, and how do the poetry lessons in the Appendix fit in with the other poetry assignments?

The “Skills Learned in this Lesson” sections seem contrived, a common fault in supplementary curriculum materials, and not very useful for educators who today expect to see national standards addressed. The book could have been strengthened with some insights from brain research on the impact upon learning and behavioral change when  students’ emotions are engaged.

The Good News

Raphael’s descriptive writing rings true with my experiences as an educator: “When I ask children if animals have feelings, they look at me as though I have just asked the stupidest question in the world.”

Her vivid writing creates almost a verbal video of the classroom scene. Through her detailed accounts, Raphael makes
evident that humane education has changed, but what has changed is not the lessons. Without the poems and stories, which are Raphael’s forte, the four humane lessons described are not much different than many typical humane education presentations of recent decades. What has changed are how children react and how educators need to respond.

For instance, bringing a cat or a dog into the classroom used to be a fun event for the kids and one sure to detract from
whatever point the humane educator intended to make. Raphael illustrates that in teaching some of our children today, the animal is making the point, not the instructor; and sadness, not happiness, can be the overriding emotion. “Children may not even be aware of their sad feelings until they are faced with a vulnerable animal,” she explains. “Close interactions with animals frequently bring long-buried feelings to the surface, where they are more accessible and therefore more easily understood.”

One of Raphael’s great strengths is that she listens to children’s reactions, even when painful, and encourages them, at some risk: “After Tonja’s revelations, students became agitated and overwhelmed by their emotions. Chaos resulted. I quickly decided not to control the class in order to see where their powerful feelings would lead. I let the chaos become a river of outraged voices.” Note: Chaos scares school administrators. It scared me as a teacher too!

Raphael writes of the animal abuse stories children told her: “Stories like these continued until I realized that every child in that classroom had recently either witnessed the abuse of an animal or had abused or killed an animal himself or herself…In ways that were almost confessional, they unburdened themselves. Words boiled up and out of their mouths faster than they could articulate them. They knew they had done something very wrong, but didn’t know who to
tell or even how to tell it.”

But what do you do when all you see is a classroom full of red flags?Regrettably, only 18 pages cover “confessions of abuse” and “how to cope with revelations of neglect and abuse.” However, elsewhere Raphael does address how to empower children toward finding solutions, after awakening their strong emotions. She also shares role-plays she devised to help children who have witnessed abuse, and advocates the use of poetry as a healing device.

Despite the guidelines in the book to help teachers and others know what to do when a child reveals abuse or neglect, and despite the examples of how Raphael helps children who are overcome with emotion, I think many of us would react more like Mr. Trevor, a teacher who “was so startled by his students’ unprecedented show of emotion that he asked the school psychologist to talk with his class immediately after lunch.” We don’t feel prepared and aren’t sure how to best help the children. Raphael states that some teachers react with a willingness to speak with students, but that others “reacted with complete denial accompanied by an unspoken but clear message that they did not
want to get involved with students and their families on this level.”

Why do we feel unprepared? One example resonates with my recent experiences with abused children: “A sexually abused child may find the animal’s exposed genitals disturbing and may perceive its grooming as sexually provocative. Caught off guard by an emotionally charged situation, the child may start talking about other experiences of nudity,
oral-genital contact or other sexual activity. The humane educator should be prepared to deal with revelations of neglect, domestic violence and sexual abuse.”

Teaching Compassion does NOT fully prepare you. I don’t think any book could. But it convincingly reveals the need for preparation. It also demonstrates how ordinary humane lessons, combined with poetry, can bring to light the inner world of children. Too often it includes the seeds of violence.

What to do with it

So should humane educators begin incorporating Raphael’s use of poetry and her role-plays into classroom presentations? In my opinion, no. My belief is that the first priority for humane educators should be helping to transform educational institutions so that they claim humane education as their own task.  Passing laws mandating humane education at the elementary and secondary levels has not worked. Neither have we effectively reached all the children we need to educate in attempting to reach as many classrooms as possible ourselves.

Teaching Compassion is a much needed book that may inspire fulltime teachers and counselors to claim humane education as something they now want and need to be doing. Studies of “the link” and the “cycle of abuse” have helped open some doors. This book will open some that remain closed.

If you are a humane educator, you can use this book as a catalyst to discussion with school psychologists, social workers and administrators about collaborating to provide humane education training. Seek grants to enable your collaborative team to write a locally appropriate curriculum, using stories, poetry-writing, discussion and role-play as Raphael recommends. Connect the lessons to national standards. Then devise participatory training to help teachers further learn to respond to student revelations, compassion, and needs. Budget for classroom coaching as follow-up.
My hope is that Teaching Compass-ion will help those who are only marginally concerned about animal issues to share the vision of 19th century humane educator George T. Angell that humane education is “working at the roots” to eliminate cruelty and violence, and is every teacher’s job.

–Patty Finch
[Finch, a former classroom teacher and later director of the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education, is now a teacher trainer for the Maricopa Community Colleges in greater Phoenix, Arizona, focusing on inner city educators, through a U.S. Dept. of Education grant.]

BOOKS: Animal Welfare

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:
Animal Welfare by Colin Spedding
Earthscan (120 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JN, U.K.), 2000.
187 pages, paperback; £12.95.

Apparently authored as a text for courses in veterinary and agricultural ethics, Animal Welfare by Colin Spedding competes for market share with Veterinary Ethics, edited by Gilles Legood, published by Continuum and reviewed in
the November 2000 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE. The books extensively overlap.

Spedding, says the back cover of Animal Welfare , “has worked in animal welfare for over 30 years, including 10 years as chair of the Farm Animal Welfare Council. He is emeritus professor at the University of Reading, and deputy chair of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals.”

This gives him a credible overview, but perhaps not in the same depth in all areas as the anthology contributors assembled by Legood. And Spedding often mangles facts, to the detriment of his discussion. For example, Spedding describes the prolonged confinement of pregnant mares for the collection of their urine, the base material for
the estrogen supplement Premarin. But he identifies the substance collected, called PMU for short, with “pregnant mare’s serum,” which would be a blood product. Then Spedding asserts that this product is known by the abbreviation “PMS,” actually the abbreviation for one of the conditions that PMU is used to treat.

Earlier, Spedding says “some experts,” whom he does not identiy, claim that Americans abandon 50 million cats per year. This would require Americans to abandon, each year, as many cats as entered animal shelters back when
shelter entries peaked, plus the highest credible estimate ever produced of the total feral cat population, making an implicit assumption that no feral cat ever lives long enough to reproduce.

Estimating cat abandonment at such a high level would also require assuming that five out of six owned cats will be abandoned within one year. Spedding also seems skeptical of vegetarians, and favorable toward hunting. Yet Spedding repeats many times that whatever advantage humans get from causing an animal to suffer is irrelevant in considering the welfare of the animal. It is possible that many institutions which would reject Veterinary Ethics as “radical” (although it isn’t) may be willing to teach Animal Welfare, and that in such places it will do significant good.

Animal Obituaries [April 2001]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:

Animal Obituaries

Clearpath, a peregrine falcon who had lived on the Bond Court office building in downtown Cleveland, was widowed during the winter and tried to move to the Terminal Tower nesting box used for the past two years by another peregrine, Zenith. They met in a March 23 duel to the death partially captured by FalconCam (

Carhartt, a member of Anchorage Daily News reporter Jon Little’s Iditarod Trail racing team, died abruptly on March 9 in Eagle River from a rare bacterial infection, four days after Little left him with co-worker Melissa DeVaughn because he seemed too tired to go on. Carhartt was among two dogs who died during the 2001 Iditarod. Several other dogs were injured when their teams were run over by snowmobilers.

Igor, two-and-a-half, a member of Nenana musher Carrie Farr’s Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race team, on February 19 became the second of two dogs to die mysteriously near the Eagle checkpoint.

Robby, 8, the lame U.S. Marine Corps bomb-sniffing dog whose plight inspired a new federal law to let the U.S. military retire old working dogs, was euthanized on January 19 due to severe arthritis.

Papa, 53, reputedly the oldest Nile hippo in captivity, was euthanized due to multiple painful conditions of age on February 26 at the Dallas Zoo, his home of 40 years.

Misty, 24, the last Atlantic bottlenose dolphin at the Mystic Aquarium in Stonington, Connecticut, died on March 15 from complications of a bacterial infection. Her death came two months after that of her companion, Stormy, 5, who was rescued in 1998 after he lost his mother in a tropical storm, suffered serious shark bites, and washed ashore near Port Aransas, Texas. He was saved by members of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, who had to
hold him afloat to enable him to breathe.

Destiny, a nine-day-old dolphin calf born to Dophin Research Center resident Aleta, but on March 6 quickly passed to Tursi, another pregnant dolphin, suddenly died in the arms of her caretakers on March 15. Though Aleta showed no interest in Destiny, Tursi reportedly made every effort to nurse Destiny as if she were her own calf.

Mr. Mags, a striped dolphin who became separated from his mother, died on March 13 at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida, where he was sent to receive longterm care. Volunteers at the Virginia Marine Science Museum kept him alive for six days after finding him stranded.

Sophie, a female coyote who was radio-collared last fall in Presque Isle State Park, Michigan, was found roadkilled circa March 20 in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, near Cleveland, about 80 miles from Presque Isle.

Severino, 20, the last wild Sphix macaw, has not been seen since September and is presumed dead after repeated usuccessful searches of his habitat in the Curaca region of northeastern Brazil. There are 66 Sphix macaws in captivity, six of them in Brazil.

Martha-One-Wing, the misnamed male bald eagle who for 15 years was traveling ambassador for the Arkansas and U.S. Eagle Awareness Programs, died on January 26 at the home of Jane and Tom Gulley, his caretakers ever since he was found with a crippling gunshot wound in 1978.

Jiggs, 35, a Bornean orangutan captured from the wild in 1966, resident at the Seneca Park Zoo since 1992, died from a stroke on January 17. Jiggs was noted for his gentle play with young orangutans.

Sonny, 21, an African elephant captured in Zimbabwe during a cull at about age 2, died on February 22 at the Popcorn Park Zoo, the exotic animal care facility of the Associated Humane Societies of New Jersey. Popcorn Park director John Bergmann became Sonny’s caregiver after keepers at several other zoos found Sonny too hard to  handle.

Smokey, 29, brought to the Oakland Zoo from Kruger National Park in South Africa in 1975, died on March 11. Among the few successful stud bulls among the U.S. captive African elephant herd, Smokey sired four offspring, but none lived longer than 11 months. In 1991 Smokey kicked to death 25-year veteran handler Lorne Jackson, of Hayward, causing the Oakland Zoo to go to the “protected contact” style of elephant keeping.

Human Obituaries [April 2001]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:
Human Obituaries

David McTaggart, 69, was killed in a head-on car crash on March 23 in Umbria, Italy. Born in Vancouver, B.C., McTaggart won the Canadian singles badminton championship three years straight, 1950-1952. He founded a construction firm at age 23, and built the Bear Valley ski resort in California, but quit the business after he was nearly bankrupted by liabilities resulting from a 1969 gas explosion. He spent the next few years sailing his yacht Vega. In 1972 he answered an ad placed by an organization called the Don’t Make A Wave Committee, formed in 1970 by Quaker activists Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote, and Irving Stowe. Having already sailed into U.S. nuclear testing zones twice to protest atmospheric explosions, they were now seeking a boat to sail into Mururoa atoll in French Polynesia to protest against French atomic blasts. McTaggert took the job, renamed his boat the Greenpeace III, and introduced a more confrontational style of protest. The group metamorphized into Greenpeace by year’s end, with McTaggert, Don’t Make A Wave crew members Bob Hunter and Patrick Moore, and 19-year-old Paul Watson as charter members.

Initially Greenpeace remained focused on nuclear weapons, but former Vancouver Aquarium researcher Paul Spong,
Hunter, Moore, and Watson in 1975 led them into opposition to Japanese and Russian whaling. The anti-whaling campaign captured the public imagination, enabling Watson to talk the others into opposing the Atlantic Canadian seal hunt as well. McTaggert, however, continued to favor environmental action over animal-saving. Watson left in 1977 to form the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Thereafter, McTagg-ert was the dominant figure in building Greenpeace into a global empire with 3.5 million members worldwide at peak in 1990 (now down to 2.7 million), and annual income of $112 million. Although opposition to whaling remained central to the activity of several overseas chapters, the U.S. and Canadian chapters took softer positions and became gradually less involved. McTaggert retired from Greenpeace in 1991 and spent his last years producing olive oil in Italy.

Alan Blank, 62, of Des Moines, Iowa, who was building a zoo in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on March 8 vanished after a morning meeting with an American business associate who was killed in a traffic accident the following morning. Blank is believed to have met foul play.

Wilfred T. Neill Jr., 79, a noted herpetologist, died on February 19. “His health had declined steadily since his 41st
poisonous snakebite in 1978,” recalled Cornell University colleague Kraig Adler.

Richard Hughes, 34, an elephant keeper at the Chester Zoo in England, was crushed against a wall on February 8 by Kumara, 34, a female Asian elephant who had reportedly become difficult on many recent occasions. “Richard ate, slept, and breathed elephants,” recalled his father.

Nathan Mitchell, 33, an animal control officer for the past six years in Biloxi, Mississippi, after spending eight years as an animal technician, was so engrossed in trying to coax a loose pit bull terrier to come to him on March 6 that he apparently never heard the CSX Transportation freight train that ran him over. He left a son, Nathan Jr., age 6.

Lim Chang San, 75, of Pahang, Malaysia, locally known for his love of animals, on March 6 dug a water buffalo out of a pit on an oil palm plantation into which the animal had fallen. His employer, Lau Aie Ma, 51, saw the buffalo escape, walk a few steps, then turn and gore Lim. Lau suffered multiple injuries while trying to save Lim, and might have been killed himself if five orang asli villagers had not come to his aid.

Animal Liberation author Peter Singer stirs the pot with essay on bestiality

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:

AUGUSTA, Maine.; PITTSBURGH, Pa.; PRINCETON, N.J.; SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–Philosopher Peter Singer, always provocative, did it again on March 12 with an essay for the online magazine <> entitled “Heavy Petting.” Asking why people think what they think and take the positions they do on human/animal sexual relations, Singer at e-mail speed sparked perhaps as much quick uproar as he did when the first reviews of his 1974 book Animal Liberation appeared.

Then too, Singer was accused of trying to upset the natural order.Now chairing the Princeton Univer-sity Center for Human Values, Singer cofounded the Australian advocacy group Animal Liberation, and succeeded Henry Spira, who died in September 1998, as president of Animal Rights International. Singer’s main career, however, is making people think about many of the hottest topics in public discourse: euthanasia, for example, and whether or not society should try to save newborns with birth defects so severe that they seem to have little chance of enjoying their existence. Though Singer himself is Jewish, and most of his family died in the Nazi holocaust, he is frequently picketed as an alleged advocate of eugenics and worse.

Though he gives generously to anti-hunger projects, especially Oxfam, he is often accused of being anti-human.
Comparably paradoxical denunciations of “Heavy Petting” flew thick and fast. “Once an Ivy League professor is known to be a proponent of infanticide, perhaps nothing he says or writes should raise eyebrows,” began Kathryn Jean Lopez, the associate editor of National Review.

Her real target, however, appeared to be Princeton president Harold Shapiro, chair of the National Bioethics Advisory
Commission ever since it was formed eight years ago by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. “The commission’s charter expires in October, and its very existence should be reconsidered,” Lopez wrote.

At a glance, Shapiro’s advisory role on biotech would seem to have little to do with Singer’s views on psychology, sociology, and animal welfare. However, while Shapiro ponders the issues raised by transferring genes across species barriers, Singer dared question whether interspecies biological activity associated with genetic transference is inherently more “unnatural” than inserting a glow-in-the-dark gene from a jellyfish into a rhesus macacque, as
was done in January 2001 by Oregon Health Science University staff working at the Oregon Regional Primate Center.

Lopez seemed to be offended by Singer explaining that “a human male who has sex with hens ultimately kills the hen,” yet asking if that is “worse than what egg producers do to their hens all the time.” Lopez did not, however, attempt to form an answer on either side of the question.

Other rips at Singer and “Heavy Petting” were distributed by New Republic contributing editor and George Mason University Law School teacher Peter Berko-witz; syndicated columnist Debra J. Saunders; and Rutgers University animal rights law professor Gary Francione, whose perspective is generally as far left as Lopez is to the right.

Fumed Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral, “When FoA questioned Singer’s views, he replied, ‘If sexual contact between a human and an animal was not contrary to the desires of either, gave pleasure to both, and caused no harm, present or future, to either, would it be bad? If so, why?’ Obviously, the animal rights movement needs to distance itself from Singer.” Standing close to a lightning rod could be deadly–but Feral did not try to answer the question Singer asked, either.

Tennessee Network for Animals director Don Elroy, who has pursued passage of an anti-bestiality law in a state which now has none, disregarded the conditions built into Singer’s question of Feral; equated all bestiality with imposing the human will upon an animal, although the example Singer gave in his essay of a dog rubbing himself against a human leg would not seem to fit that definition; and concluded that, “While Singer may be thought of as the ‘father of the animal rights movement,’ the views he has expressed are farther from what the movement stands for than most of
the attacks from detractors.”

Singer was prominently defended within the animal rights movement only by PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk. “Heavy Petting,” said Newkirk, is “daring, honest, and does not do what some people read into it, which is condone any violent acts involving an animal, sexual or otherwise.” Singer’s bottom line: “We are animals…great apes. This does not make sex across the species barrier normal, or natural, but it does imply that it ceases to be an offense to our status and
dignity as human beings.”

Current court cases

But Singer wrote with three bizarre criminal cases involving suspected use of animals for sexual gratification in the headlines:

* A San Francisco grand jury on March 27 indicted attorneys Robert Noel, 59, and Marjorie Knoller, 45, who are husband and wife, for involuntary manslaughter and failure to control an animal. Knoller was also indicted for second degee murder. Noel and Knoller were charged in connection with how they allegedly trained two Presa Canario dogs, whom they were keeping for prison lifers Dale Bretches, 44, and Paul Schneider, 38. Bretches and Schneider are
reputed leaders of the white supremacist Aryan Nations gang. On January 26 the dogs broke away from Knoller and killed Diane Whipple, 33. Three days after the attack, Noel and Knoller legally adopted Schneider–who reportedly had a collection of “X-rated” photos of Knoller in his cell. The warrant authorizing the search sought, among other things, “any materials or correspondence describing sexual acts by Noel or Knoller that involve dogs.” Whether any were
found, however, and what bearing they may have on the case, has not been disclosed.

* The indictments came the same day that Phillip Buble, 44, of Parkman, Maine, testified to the Maine legislature’s criminal justice committee in opposition to a bill to create a felony penalty for bestiality. Buble stated that he and his dog, Lady Buble, “live together as a married couple, in the eyes of God.” Phillip Buble’s father, Frank Buble, 71, was on February 27 sentenced to nine months in jail for beating Phillip Buble with a crowbar on September 13, 1999. Frank Buble told police that he was trying to kill his son because he was sick of the son’s behavior. Phillip Buble told the legislative committee that the dog saved him from the attack.
* In Butler County, Pennsylvania, Tammy L. Felbaum, 42, born Tommy Wyda, has been held since February 25 on multiple counts of cruelty to animals allegedly involving both violence and neglect. She was also charged with homicide on March 13. Her sixth husband, James John Felbaum, 40, was on February 25 found dead from a castration that Tammy Felbaum says J.J. Felbaum did himself. Tammy Felbaum is believed to have castrated herself in 1980 in order to force her doctor to consent to her having a surgical change of gender. A previous husband, Tim Charles Barner, 51, is missing and may also have been castrated by Felbaum, police said. Both J.J. Felbaum and Tammy Felbaum had prior arrests for drug-related offenses.

ANIMAL PEOPLE has received documentation since 1992 of only 22 bestiality cases within the U.S., involving 20 perpetrators, who allegedly committed acts with 17 horses, 10 dogs, five cats, four cows, three sheep, and a pig. This makes bestiality the rarest of all animal-related offenses. The most common is mass neglect, with cases on file involving more than 1,000 perpetrators and more than 50,000 animal victims. One nation, South Africa, records more than 80% of all known bestiality cases, with 284 convictions in 1997-2000 alone.

The transgenic dilemma: Body or soul?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:

Are you eating pork when you eat a tomato? Would having fish genes qualify a pig as “not pork”? Is a cow with human genes either more or less holy than a cow without?

In the brave new world of biotech, such questions make careers for lawyers and philosophers–and terrify the faithful. Even as biotech makes food more resistant to viruses, bacteria, mold, and fungi, vegans often find that trans-species
hybridization complicates their effort to avoid all traces of animal products and byproducts. Orthodox Jews, Hindus, Jains, and Muslims may even feel that biotech puts their souls at risk.

The appeal of absolute belief tends to be that it establishes easily understood rules of conduct. The more basic the belief, the simpler the rules: Thou Shalt. Thou Shalt Not. One God. Ten Commandments: no more than can be counted on fingers.

But simple rules require simple definitions. And in transgenic and xenographic science, there are none. That makes the traditional Jewish and Islamic prohibitions on consuming pork and the Hindu proscription against eating beef a series of religious, philosophical, and political battlegrounds. The Jain prohibition on ingesting any living being in any form,  always hard to obey because of the dfficulty of seeing small insects, already became impossible for strict literalists with the discovery of microbes, but the injunctions against pork and beef have endured centuries, withstanding translation into every language and transplantation into every human culture–until now.

Now they are confounded by medical and agricultural practices which have become routine in some parts of the world while still unknown in others. Pigs’ heart valves have been implanted in humans for more than 25 years, for instance, and skin grafts from pigs have been used to help burn patients. Until recently, such techniques often took decades to
perfect. But biotech advances seem now to be accelerating to warp speed the research, development, and testing phases of transgenic and xenographic procedures.

When pigs fly

Just over three years ago, in March 1998, 38-year-old James MacDonald, of West Lafayette, Indiana, received the first
transplant into a human of small intestinal submucosa from a pig, as part of a surgical knee reconstruction. In February 2000 the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of pig small intestinal submucosa as a patching material for almost any sort of soft-tissue wound–even eye injuries and some types of stomach ulcer. Now SIS, as it is called, has been used to treat more than 25,000 human patients, and is well on the way toward even more common use.

A similar product made from a matrix of collagens taken from the livers, stomachs, and urinary bladders of pigs has been used to make replacement larynxes, intestines, and other organs for about 30 dogs whose original organs were removed as part of the study, Purdue University Department of Biomedical Engineering senior researcher Stephen Badlylak disclosed on March 22. This product too is believed to be on the fast track to FDA approval and general use.

In 1998, doctors disclosed experimental use of pig livers to keep human liver transplant candidates alive pending receipt of livers from human donors; transfusions of pig blood into humans; transplants of cells from genetically modified pigs to treat human spinal cord and brain injuries; and injections of fetal pig brain cells into the brains of Parkinson’s Disease patients.

Experimental use of fetal pig tissue to treat diabetes began in mid-2000, under direction of Diacrin Inc. researcher Jonathan Dinsmore. If that treatment works, it could improve the quality of life for 1.5 million Americans, plus millions more people abroad. At about the same time in mid-2000, researchers in Japan, Scotland, Virginia, and Wisconsin separately announced the births of cloned pigs, a first step toward mass production of pigs genetically modified to supply replacement organs for people. Reports indicate that any or all of these procedures could soon follow SIS into frequent application.

The market for human use of genetically modified pig parts is believed to be so potentially lucrative that the Hormel and Smithfield pork-packing empires have invested millions of dollars in related research, with partners including the Mayo Clinic, Baxter Healthcare, and ProLinia Inc. The pork barons are hoping to catch up to the Imutran, Infigen, and Geron Bio-Med research empires, whose scientists are believed to be the leaders in research and development.

People who eat pork are not expected to have ethical qualms about accepting transplants from pigs–and that includes most of the population in the most affluent parts of the world. For those who object to pig parts, alternatives may eventually be developed, grown in other species. Researchers, ethicists, and investors tend to believe that anyone who eats meat will readily accept transplants and other products modified through the use of animal genes, as soon
as they are proven safe.

PERV throws curve

Animal welfare concerns are not considered to be much of an impediment to transgenic biotech either–because most of the source genetic material can be taken from animals who were raised to be butchered anyway; because animals raised specifically to provide organs for transplant must be kept in healthier conditions than meat production facilities afford; and because the advent of genetic modification enables researchers to use far fewer animals in each new
product safety test. The effect of procedures or substances on human organs may now be studied by inserting human genes into the bodies of test animals to give their organs human properties.

Conventional wisdom in the biotech field is that genetic research is far more compatible with animal welfare than the search for drugs and surgical treatments. In August 2000, however, concern about the liabilities associated with pig endogenous retroviruses (PERV) caused the Roslin Institute of Scotland and Geron Bio-Med of California to drop out of the race to produce replacement human organ in pigs.

Although PERV does no harm to pigs, and so far does not appear to infect people, British virologist Robin A. Weiss proved in 1997 that cross-species infection can occur via test tube. Since PERV invades cells in much the same manner as HIV, integrating itself into the genetic program of the host, there are scary implications should people ever become vulnerable to a PERV strain.The PERV problem seemed to be solved in December 1999, when Bio-Transplant Inc. researcher Clive Patience announced that his team had bred a genetically modified pig which does not carry PERV.

The London Sunday Times reported in August 2000 that, “The use of pig organs for transplant to humans is poised to win governmental approval.” But the BioTransplant claim has apparently not yet been independently confirmed. And even as Sunday Times reporters Jonathan Leake and Lois Rogers wrote, the British Natural Environment Research Council revealed that Imperial College researchers Michael Tristem and Joanne Martin had found evidence that some pig retroviruses jump species barriers in the wild.

“When viruses jump species, they usually acquire pathogenic properties,” Tristem told London Observer science editor Robin McKie.The Boston-based Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation reinforced the British findings with a warning about PERV in December 2000. In February 2001 the third annual report of the United Kingdom Xenotransplant-ation Interim Regulatory Authority cautioned that due to PERV and unsolved tissue rejection problems, “The likelihood of whole-organ xenotransplantation being available within a worthwhile time frame may recede.”

Commented Interim Regulatory Authority member and heart transplant surgeon John Dark, of Newcastle, “Xenotrans-plantation is the future of transplants–and it always will be.” But even if people never receive replacement organs
cultivated in pigs, surgical use of other pig parts is likely to keep growing.

Hybrid cowboys?
Applications of biotech involving cattle to human health care were relatively slow to emerge. The emphasis of genetic research with cattle has mainly been on producing more lucrative dairy and beef breeds. Ethical discussion remained subdued until October 1998, when Vandana Shiva of the New Delhi-based Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology warned India that the Roslin Institute had applied for a patent on the genetic properties of the vechur cow. The vechur is a rare Indian breed, found mainly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala states.

Shiva urged the Indian government to assert a claim to the genetic properties of all native Indian animals and plants.
Other commentators soon linked the scientific, legal, and economic issues that Shiva raised to ethical concerns involving the treatment of the “Mothers of India.” Especially offensive to many Hindus would be the use of genes
from Indian cattle to make cow slaughter more profitable.

On the far side of the world, Advanced Cell Technology chief executive Michael West, of Boston, was successfully melding human DNA with a cow’s ova to produce a hybrid cell of potential utility in growing organs in cows which will be compatible with human bodies. Concern that the procedure might produce a hybrid fetus or lead to cloning humans was so prominent in news coverage during November 1998 that then-U.S. Presi-dent Bill Clinton sought the advice of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. A hearing was held in Miami, a non-committal report was issued, and the work proceeded.
Unmollified, prominent voices from the Christian right have persistently demanded that the National Bioethics Advisory Commission be dismantled–which would actually diminish public oversight of genetic research.

Low average

Michael West, meanwhile, claimed in April 2000 that while sheep cloned by the Roslin Institute have shown symptoms of premature aging, his cloned cattle seem to be free of the problem. That might make them better candidates than pigs for use in growing replacement organs. But West had produced a calf fetus in only one of 271 attempts. The major anticipated application of biotech to cattle for human medical benefit would be the use of cows as living bioreactors,
who would be genetically modified to secrete human proteins used in drugs.

As this essentially involves only making medicines from milk, a classic Vedic procedure, there is no Hindu resistance to it in concept. Nor is there evident opposition in principle within the U.S. except from opponents of any genetic modification. Neighbors concerned mainly about manure and traffic and only secondarily anxious about biotech have put up the only visible resistance so far to plans by the Dutch pharmaceutical firm Pharming Group N.V. to build $37 million worth of facilities to produce drugs from genetically modified cow’s milk at Craig, Virginia, and at Virginia Tech University.

The Pharming Group project was first announced in early 1999. In August 1999, Agresearch Inc. outlined a similar project that it wanted to start near Wellington, New Zealand, on land leased from the Maori tribe. The Agresearch proposal met heavy resistance. Two members of the Ngati Wairere subtribal council delegation supported Agresearch;
five were opposed.

“It’s a mixing of whakapapa between species which is culturally inappropriate,” explained Agresearch foe Jacqui Amohanga. But the Agresearch project went ahead, under former Roslin Institute researcher David Wells. The goal is to use milk to produce human myelin basic protein, used to treat multiple sclerosis.

Use of actual parts from cattle in human medicine has distantly paralleled the use of pig parts. The first use in the U.S.
of a bovine valve in a human heart, for example, occurred in May 1999, following a procedure previously used in Europe. A valve from a bovine neck was used instead of a pig’s heart valve because a pig’s heart value would have been too large for the patient, a 13-month-old boy who was born with a severe congenital heart defect. He will have to receive the larger valve later, at about age 10.

The biggest subsequent development in cow-to-human xenography, announced on February 22, 2001 by PPL Therapeutics, was a technique for altering so-called stem cells from cow’s skin to produce heart muscle. Commented Donald Bruce, director of the Church of Scotland’s Society, Religion, and Technology Project, “This is an encouraging
breakthrough in the search for replacement cells to treat serious diseases without the need to use human embryos. It is obviously still too early to say that this is the solution we have been looking for, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.”

Tossing tomatoes

Researchers and the medical products industry would mostly prefer that the public continue to believe that pigs are pigs if they look like pigs; cows are cows if they moo and give milk; pig and cattle products are taboo for Jews, Muslims, and Hindus only if ingested as food; and people can otherwise do as they wish with livestock.

Fundamentalists are not so certain. Few fundamentalist leaders, of any religion, have ever fully trusted science. The
scientific method requires questioning certainties of the faith, while the findings of science tend to push the realm of God–the unknown–ever farther from daily human existence. Science shrinks the authority and prestige of priests. Science upsets the social order.

Science means trouble, in short, and when it comes coupled with putting parts or genetic information from one species into another, it also takes the form of an ancient dirty trick: causing thr religious to transgress a taboo unawares. It is said that the Buddha, who ate no meat, died when someone slipped pork into his begging bowl–a story which may least concern Buddhists, many of whom eat pork.

Some of the bloodiest riots in the history of India resulted from rumors that British troops had given Moslem and Hindu recruits weapons greased with lard and beef tallow. As recently as January 23, 1999, alleged Hanuman worshippers burned to death Australian missionary Graham Staines, 58, and his sons, ages 6 and 10, over evidently completely unproven rumors that they had tricked Hindus into eating beef, thereby “forcing” conversion to Christianity.

So what happens when a Jew, Moslem, or Hindu receives a transgenic or xenographic medical treatment? Or eats a genetically modified vegetable? Is such an act sinful? The question may have arisen first in Israel, where surgeons
began implanting pig heart valves in humans about 20 years ago, soon after the procedure was introduced in the U.S. and Britain. It came up again in April 1998, in discussion of a proposed pig-to-human heart transplant which would not have been done in Britain, at the time, because of concern about PERV.

“We as Jews are not supposed to eat the meat of a pig, but there is no reason not to use it to save a human life,” said Shear Yashu Cohen, chief rabbi of Haifa and of the Ariel Institute, a rabbinical training center. Universiti Sains Malaysia theologian Wan Salim Wan Mohd Nor, Ph.D., and associate professor of medicine Mohd Nizam Isa, M.D., likewise argued for tolerance at an April 2000 symposium. “When there is no other option, it should be all right to use pig organs,” Nor said, putting the obligation to protect human life ahead of dietary law.

Added Isa, “We cannot afford to close an eye to technology. To debate the issue in relation to moral, ethical, religious, and economic implications, we must first understand what the technology is all about.” But in June 2000, Muslim genetic engineering opponent Chamnong Buanien, of Thailand, invoked the alleged use of a gene from pigs to keep tomatoes fresh as a hoped-for ultimate weapon against the introduction of genetically modified crops in the
southern provinces of Satun and Songkhla, where most Thai Muslims live.

Epidemic of faith

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:

LONDON–A combination of misplaced faiths brought the world the widest outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease ever– and the most virulent known strain:

* Millions of Islamic faithful mistakenly believe that the Koran commands them to kill a hooved animal at the yearly Feast of Atonement, and give two-thirds of the meat to the poor.

* Millions of British residents mistakenly believed–until late February 2001–that the English Channel, having protected them against Napoleon, Hitler, and canine rabies, protects them as well against other invaders and diseases.

* Millions of Europeans mistakenly believed back in 1992 that abandoning livestock vaccination against hoof-and-mouth disease would reduce meat prices. Therefore, under the Single Europe Act, the European Union forced eight member nations to repeal as purported artificial trade barriers their national laws requiring that hooved
animals be vaccinated.

Instead, the entire EU adopted the British, American, and Japanese requirement that infected and exposed herds must be killed, on the theory that the highly contagious and easily transported hoof-and-mouth virus could be totally eradicated. Vaccinated animals are considered “exposed,” because the vaccination causes them to produce false positive results in standard testing, and– whether infected or not–vaccinated animals can still be immune carriers.

Now struggling to meet the EU standard, English and Scots officials had by March 28 condemned 719,000 animals–far more than the 480,000 who were killed in the 1967-68 hoof-and-mouth episode that had been Britain’s worst. Incomplete species totals included 420,519 sheep, 118,627 cattle, 46,021 pigs, and 261 goats.Just 728 animals were found to be infected within the first month of the outbreak arriving in Britain, but 441,640 animals had already been killed.

Epidemiologists commissioned by the British government forecast on March 23 that more than 4,400 animals would eventually be infected, twice as many as in 1967-68, without the “immediate slaughter of all susceptible species around infected farms.” British authorities are still traumatized by the ongoing global blame-throwing over their failure to contain bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Better known as “mad cow disease,” BSE emerged circa 1980, and in 1996 was found to have jumped into humans as the brain-destroying new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Ensuing trade bans devastated the British livestock export industry, once Europe’s largest.

Politicians and public officials who took a decade to respond decisively to BSE lost no time implementing whole-herd slaughters in response to hoof-and-mouth. Indeed, some initiated killing animals so enthusiastically that they created a whole new health problem.


Concerned that decomposition in the soil might cause water pollution, British government veterinarians initially tried to burn the fast-accumulating corpses. Rehearsing for just such a disaster, government purchasing agents solicited bids on firewood and coal to stoke bonfires of dead livestock shortly before Christmas. But burning the animals proved too slow, at three days per pyre, while a 10-day backlog of bodies festered, and merely piling the remains up with fuel gave badgers, foxes, feral pigs, birds, insects, and other carrion-eaters ample time to spread the hoof-and-mouth virus farther.

Agriculture minister Jim Scudamore delayed action on National Pig Association and British Wild Boar Association recommendations that the feral pigs and boars be killed–perhaps because no one, anywhere, has ever succeeded in eradicating feral swine from a land mass larger than the Catalina Islands, off southern California. Several advisors reportedly told Scudamore that it probably could not be done with the resources available.

Soldiers finally excavated pits to hold up to half a million dead animals at the abandoned Great Orton military airfield in northern England, and Scotland called out the Highlanders 1st Battalion to dig holes for a quarter million more at Brickshaw Forest, near Locherbie. Almost 100,000 bodies remained unburied as ANIMAL PEOPLE went to press, and the Agriculture Ministry was considering a suggestion from Nevada Department of Agriculture expert Ron Anderson that they should incinerate them with napalm. Anderson said napalm had served him well against an August 2000 outbreak of anthrax.

The London Zoo and the 61-member Federation of Zoos unsuccessfully petitioned the Ministry of Agriculture for exemptions from mandatory slaughter of hooved animals, and asked to be allowed to vaccinate their rare and endangered species instead. At risk were elephants, bison, rhinos, hippos, okapi, antelope, camels, deer, and 48 of the last 59 Northumber-land cattle, whose herd has lived within the same 300-acre walled enclosure at Chillingham since
approximately 1300. Doomed were the almost equally rare Herdwick sheep of Lake District National Park, after the hoof-and-mouth virus was apparently carried 20 miles on the wind to infect cattle pastured nearby.


“There are grounds for arguing that the slaughter policy is misconceived,” opined BBC News environment correspondent Alex Kirby as early as February 25. “It is not strictly necessary, as the disease poses no real risk to human health. At most, it can lead to a mild infection, and it is not invariably fatal to the animals. In adult cattle only a small minority succumbs, though the death rate can be much higher in younger animals and pigs.” The major effect of hoof-and-mouth, Kirby explained, is that afflicted animals suffer weight loss, producing less meat and milk.

“But whether that would leave farmers worse off than they are already is debatable,” Kirby said. “The last hoof-and-mouth outbreak in the U.K. was in 1981, which leads the government to argue that slaughtering has worked. But it is at least as logical to say that the U.K. has for 20 years been lucky. The uncomfortable truth is that the day the U.K. is declared free of hoof-and-mouth again, the risk of another outbreak will remain just as high.”

“Once the virus is here,” Kirby continued, “modern farming as good as rolls out the red carpet to greet it. Animals kept in close confinement, reared in close quarters, will inevitably infect one another very quickly.”

Commented virologist Fred Brown, of the USDA Plum Island Animal Disease Center, located in Long Island Sound, “It’s quite clear that if you stop vaccinating, you’re vulnerable.” Brown explained to Los Angeles Times staff writer Emily Green that since 1997 a new test has been developed, but not widely deployed, which can distinguish the false positive result caused by vaccination from the actual disease. Britain and other nations, as well as consumers’ groups, opposed mandatory vaccination because of the anticipated cost: more than $900 million per year in Britain alone, estimated British agriculture minister Nick Brown.

But insuring British farmers against losses comparable to those resulting from the hoof-and-mouth outbreak would cost $800 million. Currently, only 10% have insurance against disease outbreaks, in part because the cull of 4.7 million cattle in the thus-far futile effort to eradicate “mad cow disease” sent the premiums soaring. $900 million is, coincidentally, approximately the same amount as has been budgeted by the European Union to combat BSE. About 300 million animals within the EU might be potentially vulnerable to hoof-and-mouth.


“In light of the questions now being asked in Britain and the rest of Europe about whether non-vaccination strategies are really worth the occasional massive slip-up,” commented New Scientist European correspondent Debora MacKenzie in a comparison of notes with ANIMAL PEOPLE, “I am trying to re-examine such policies. While I
understand the reasons for them, I wonder if both the risks and the technology have not moved on, and made it time for a re-think.

“The whole system rests on the possibility of keeping pathogens out of an area post-eradication and post-vaccination. But it seems to me the risk of introducing pathogens has increased substantially recently with increased global trade and travel, while the impact of introduction has also increased along with livestock density. Has the cost-benefit ratio favouring the maintenance of large numbers of un-immunised animals perhaps shifted against non-vaccination as a result of this?

“Marker vaccines,” which can be distinguished from the actual illness, “and molecular surveillance,” permitting early
discovery of hoof-and-mouth, “may allow vaccinating and detecting the pathogen well enough,” MacKenzie suggested, “to prevent infection without risking an epidemic.”

The EU on March 24 authorized the Netherlands to make limited use of vaccination, if the Dutch government cannot kill animals fast enough to halt the spread of hoof-and-mouth. But disposing of remains is expected to be the biggest problem for the Dutch, whose low land and high water table make burial out of the question. Also lacking safe places to maintain long-burning bonfires, the Nether-lands may just have to use napalm.

BSE confusion

The cost of the epidemic was evident even in the U.S., where suspected hoof-and-mouth outbreaks have recently occurred only in Idaho. Hoof-and-mouth was officially eradicated from the U.S. in 1929 and from all of North America by 1952, Associated Press farm writer Philip Brasher reported. The U.S. has prohibited imports of hooved animals from any nation with hoof-and-mouth or which vaccinates hooved animals against hoof-and-mouth since 1930.

But Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman complained to Brasher on March 27 that the meat industry is suffering nonetheless, in part because American consumers, she said, are confusing hoof-and-mouth with BSE. BSE, in the mutated form of nv-CJD, has killed at least 86 people–but has never been found within U.S. cattle. Veneman spoke, however, less than a week after a new report by the Food and Drug Administ-ration found that nearly 700 of the
2,500-odd U.S. rendering plants and animal feed meals have inadequate controls to keep mammalian meat and bone meal out of food meant for cattle, sheep, goats, deer, and elk –the species believed vulnerable to getting BSE as result of eating the remains of sheep infected by scrapie. Maybe Americans were not so confused after all.

Renewed BSE scares in Europe combined with concern about hoof-and-mouth to bring a 10% sales decline at European franchises of McDonald’s restaurants –“no small amount,” reported Daryl Lindsey of, “considering that the company derives as much as 36% of its operating income from the continent.”Lindsey said that McDonald’s was being forced to “fast-track the mainstreaming” of vegetarian products test-marketed in New York,
Amsterdam, and India.


The role of faith in bringing on the animal massacres might have come to fore when 5,000 sheep and cattle belonging to farmer John Fisher were burned over a week’s time at Arthuret Knowes. On March 16, Matthew Engel of The Guardian watched the pyre from a sign commemorating the Battle of Aedderyd in 573. “On this spot,” Engel wrote, “the pagans of Strathclyde were slaughtered by the Christians of Cumbria. Though the pagan king Gwenddolau had Merlin [of Arthurian legend] to encourage him, 80,000 humans were killed.” Their remains too were burned.

But religions and ancient beliefs other than Christianity and nature-worship were most involved in spreading hoof-and-mouth. The pan-Asia hoof-and-mouth strain responsible for the current global epidemic already afflicted hooved animals in at least 25 nations before it hit Britain. Following the same trade routes that the world’s major religions did long ago, the pan-Asia strain may have come south at some point from Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Georgia, but was first identified in northern India in 1990, according to epidemiologist Nick J. Knowles, of the Institute for Animal Health at Pirbright Laboratory in England.

In succession the pan-Asia strain infected the Hindu world, the Buddhist world, and now the Judeo-Christian/Islamic world. “From India the pan-Asia strain spread east and west: to Nepal in 1993-1994, Bhutan in 1998, and Tibet and Hainan province, China, by 1999,” reported London Times health editor Nigel Hawkes on the morning after the Feast of Atone-ment. “It reached Kinmen Island, between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. Before anyone realized it was there,” Hawkes continued, “cattle had been moved to Taiwan, carrying the infection with them. The strain has also
hit Mongolia, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thai-land, Malaysia, Laos, the Philip-pines, Korea,” which had been free of
hoof-and-mouth since 1934, “and Japan,” free of hoof-and-mouth since 1908.

Seventeen outbreaks afflicted 2,152 pigs in Hong Kong, killing 464, during the last four months of 2000, acknowledged
Leslie Sims, assistant director of the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department. Waste from an Asian freighter, fed to pigs on a farm near Durban, South Africa, took the pan-Asian strain of hoof-and-mouth on to other African nations. Durban is a major port of call for freighters in the live animal export trade–and an alleged hub of accidental hoof-and-mouth exports. A shipment of 24 giraffes and three rhinos sent from Durban to Spanish exhibition facilities on October 5, 2000, was refused and returned to Durban after 40 days at sea from fear that they might
have hoof-and-mouth. Two of the giraffes died during the journey.

National SPCA of South Africa senior inspector Morgane James warned again of the disease risk inherent in shipping live animals as recently as February 27, after discovering 34 sick animals among a cargo of 1,500 goats and 10,000 sheep who were en route via Durban from Namibia to Saudi Arabia aboard the livestock carrier Holstein Express. About 15 animals had already died, James said; 10 were euthanized aboard the ship, and two dozen were treated.
Namibian environment and tourism minister Tangeni Erkana on March 16 banned live exports of native wildlife, as a conservation measure, but the livestock traffic was not affected.


Meanwhile, Hawkes of the London Times explained, based on Knowles’ findings, hoof-and-mouth “spread to Saudi Arabia, probably through the trade in live sheep and goats, and then into Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria” by 1996. It went on to afflict Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and the kingdoms of the Arabian Peninsula–possibly carried by Muslim pilgrims returning from Mecca, who might have transported the hardy virus unaware of having ever
encountered it.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif formed a special commission to fight hoof-and-mouth in mid-March 2001, amid new
outbreaks in and around the cities of Jeddah, Yanbu, and Kamis Mush-yat, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Other outbreaks appearing within 10 days of the Feast of Atonement hit Iran and Sri Lanka. By then, the disease could have come from almost any direction.

On February 22, 11 days before the Feast of Atonement, hoof-and-mouth apparently entered the Netherlands with 230 calves brought from Ireland by way of Mayenne, France. In Mayenne they were in proximity to the sheep who suffered the first French outbreak of pan-Asian hoof-and-mouth. The strain then broke out on all three Dutch farms which received some of the infected calves. More than 20,000 animals including 662 farmed deer were killed to try to stop the Dutch outbreak. Year-round, the Netherlands imports about 25% of all the livestock shipped from Britain, then re-exports most of them.

At least some of the animals imported in late February are believed to have been imported for resale to the Halal butchers serving the sizeable Dutch Muslim minority. The Netherlands ruled much of largely Muslim Indonesia for nearly 300 years, and did not surrender its last holding, the island of Irian Jawa, until 1962. Sheep imported from Britain during the same time frame are believed to have taken hoof-and-mouth to Germany, where Islamic immigrants from Turkey form the largest ethnic minority. The exact means by which the pan-Asian strain travels are still unknown. Saudi experts, frustrated by repeated failures of quarantine, think it might be carried by dirty shoes. Pigs were the
suspected major carriers in southeast Asia and Britain, but are rarely kept in the Islamic world because Muslims do not eat pork.


Islamic health authorities anticipated that the public animal massacres held on March 5 to mark the annual Feast of Atonement might bring epidemics. Like the feast itself, marking the end of the Islamic equivalent of Lent and the reputed day on which Abraham sacrificed a ram allegedly sent by God instead of his son Isaac, disease outbreaks linked to the killing are an annual event.

A thousand years ago Islamic physicians were the world leaders in medical knowledge and research. They knew even then that epidemics can be spread by pilgrimages, mass movements of stressed animal herds, and the rotting remains of animals left in streets. For centuries, Islamic medical experts have tried with limited success to temper the zeal of the faithful for killing which is not demanded anywhere in the Koran, yet is almost universally believed to be a religious duty.
“My grandfather and grandmother always used to say it was important to let blood flow inside the house at least once a year,” Damascus housewife Ilham Abdi, 41, explained to New York Times correspondent Neil Mac-Farquhar. “It’s a blessing for the family. It keeps away sickness and the evil eye,” Abdi insisted. But if anything associated with the killing protected her household, it was the vigorous post-slaughter clean-up. MacFarquhar also noted fly infestations following the disposal of offal in the streets, and the incidence of self-inflicted accidental knife wounds among men attempting to do their own Halal slaughtering. In 2001, as always in recent years, Islamic health experts struggled to head off disaster.

Responding to apparently false reports of “mad cow disease” appearing in Thailand, Malaysia on February 14 banned the import of Thai cattle. Fighting anthrax outbreaks since January, agriculture officials in West Java, Indonesia, distributed 130,000 free vaccinations to owners of cattle and goats. In Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey, news media urged the faithful to heed governmental pleas to do their slaughtering at officially approved sites, where hygienic conditions could be monitored.

In Britain, Halal Food Authority president Masood Khawaja urged Muslims to “send equivalent money that would be spent on the sacrifice to underprivileged countries.”

Not “sacrifice”

The term “sacrifice” is actually a misnomer. Animal sacrifice is no more a part of Islam than it is of Judaism or
Christianity. The Feast of Atonement is a meal held in conjunction with a religious occasion, like the Seder at Passover and Easter Sunday dinners, but it is not a religious rite in itself. Further, although the killing is customarily done as a
public display of appreciation for good fortune, it is not actually an event that many people choose to watch.

Public officials in Tereng-ganu, Indonesia, this year misunderstood the reason for the killing being done in public, and
tried to promote the Halal-style massacre of 1,000 cattle as a tourist attraction, using the motto “Tour Kuala Terengganu and perform your religious obligation.” They cancelled the event on March 1, after selling just 70 tickets.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban mullah Mohammed Omar, 40, on March 16 ordered a second round of slaughter, reportedly to atone for the slowness with which Taliban troops destroyed two gigantic statues of Buddha carved into cliffs in the Bamiyan Pass during the 3rd and 5th centuries A.D. Taliban spokesperson Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, 24, told
Barbara Crossette of The New York Times that the statues were destroyed as false idols because a delegation from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cul-tural Organization offered funds to protect and maintain the statues, but refused to lift economic sanctions imposed against the Taliban because it has sheltered international terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban had asked for food aid, amid winter famine. The 100 cattle who were killed in the Bamiyan atonement exercise were butchered and distributed to hungry Afghanis, but did not go far. Muslims are asked to help the poor as a central feature of the Feast of Atonement. As the poor rarely could afford meat in ancient times, and winter feed stocks often ran thin before spring, herding peoples came to mark the occasion by culling their camels, sheep, goats, or cattle, and giving the remains to the starving.

Long after the ancient practices lost their original meaning, they continue. And, though Masood Khawaja only asked Muslims to do exactly what Mohammed originally wanted–to help the poor, not kill animals per se–a shortage of Halal-slaughtered meat in British stores and a shortage of animals to buy for custom slaughter is suspected of contributing to the illicit traffic in uninspected livestock which is believed to have had a major role in distributing the pan-Asia strain of hoof-and-mouth, as the current epidemic is called, around the world.


There are three semi-permanent reservoirs of hoof-and-mouth disease, all in areas associated with clandestine cattle
trafficking: South America, eastern Africa, and India. University of Manchester veterinarian and historian Abigail Wood traces the first British outbreak to cattle brought from Argentina in 1839.  British troops may then have taken hoof-and-mouth to Kenya and India.

“Reluctant to undermine a renaissance of Argentine steak on world markets, the Argentine government hid an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth for months,” Washing-on Post correspondent Anthony Faiola disclosed on March 17. Rancher Enrique Klein told Faoila that the outbreak appeared in the Santa Fe region, 170 miles northwest of
Buenos Aires, in early January. Klein said he had 300 cases in his own herd alone. He reported the outbreak promptly, he said, and the National Sanitary and Agricultural Quality Control Service responded with aggressive vaccination, but did not disclose the outbreak to world health monitors.

By March 22, Argentina was fighting as many as 53 hoof-and-mouth outbreaks in four provinces. Relying on vaccination, and knowing that beef export markets had been lost for years to come, Argentine officials said they would not resort to mass slaughter. But if slaughter brokers couldn’t ship Argentine cattle to Europe, they speculated, perhaps they could ship horses. Coinciding with slumping beef sales, European buyers nearly doubled the price paid for Canadian horseflesh between mid-January and mid-March, Claude Bouvry of Bouvry Exports told Vancouver-based
author Nich-olas Read. Reputedly selling mainly foals born to mares used on pregnant mare’s urine production lines, in connection with making the Wyeth-Ayerst estrogen supplement Pre-marin, Bouvry owns three slaughterhouses in Quebec and Alberta.

The high prices apparently inspired one Argentinian broker to batch 700 horses in Buenos Aires and 200 more in Uruguay, obtained on the pretext of needing carriage horses and riding horses in Italy. They were to be shipped aboard the Holstein Express (the same transporter that carried sick animals from Namibia en route to Saudi Arabia but was intercepted by the National SPCA of South Africa), and were to be landed at La Spezzia, near a horse slaughtering plant which is reputedly among the major sources in the world for ponyskin.

Martha Gutierrez of the Buenos Aires-based Asociacion para la Defensa de los Derechos del Animal was at deadline trying to stop the shipment, but found that international animal protection charities including Compassion In World Farming and the World Society for the Protection of Animals were not very helpful. “The export of the horses is legal, as the buyer says they are going for riding and not for slaughter,” WSPA representative John Walsh told Gutierrez. “Therefore, all we can do is prove in Italy that they will actually be slaughtered.”


The Masai, of Kenya, herd a rugged breed of cattle with strong resistance to hoof-and-mouth –which the Masai call by the same word they use for the common cold, according to Associated Press correspondent Alexandra Zavis. The Masai, whose herds have been diminished by drought over the past year, are “deeply disturbed by the news that hundreds of thousands of livestock have been killed in Britain to stamp out hoof-and-mouth,” Zavis wrote in a March 23

“Tribal tradition holds that these herders are the true custodians of all the world’s cows,” Zavis continued, “and the notion of a mass slaughter of otherwise healthy animals is not only horrifying in theory; they take it very personally. ‘If the European people were here in Africa, we could have raided them for this,’ Nicholas Tanyai said angrily,” at a cattle sale in Susua, 50 miles northwest of Nairobi. “‘Just bring those animals that you are killing, and we will buy them.'” Masai cattle enter global commerce mainly when rustled by Somalian militias. That brings the cattle–or their meat–into
proximity with smugglers and arms traders, just a short sail from much of the Middle East.

Toll booths

Masai cattle are only a minor part of the livestock traffic associated with the Feast of Atonement. Indian cattle, on the other hand, often laundered through Bangladesh, are probably the largest illegally trafficked portion. “Under the Cattle Preservation Act, it is illegal to transport cattle across state borders for slaughter,” explained Indian minister for social justice and empowerment Maneka Gandhi. in a recent guest essay for The Times of India. “Cow transportation is
permissible only for draft use or for milking. Since Kerala and West Bengal are the only states where cow slaughter is not banned, it is intriguing that 100% of the cattle transported by train from Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan are taken toward West Bengal. Does West Bengal alone have a scarcity of milk cows? Clearly, the movement of cattle toward West Bengal is not for the ostensible purpose of milking, but is rather to feed the smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh,” just across a long open border.

“Statistics clearly indicate that Bangladesh’s leather and beef trade cannot be supported by the nation’s official cattle
population. So where do the cows come from? The railways,” which do most of the long-distance hauling, “are loathe to prohibit transportation of cattle,” Mrs. Gandhi charged. “When the cattle are unloaded at Howrah,” the even poorer
and more chaotic across-the-river twin city to Calcutta, “the dead cows are sold to the leather traders,” Mrs. Gandhi added. “The live ones, if they can walk, are taken to Bangladesh. The West Bengal government refuses to recognize this smuggling. The Bangladesh government taxes it. There are toll booths where every cow smuggler has to pay.”

Railway Traffic board member Shanti Narain professed shock at Mrs. Gandhi’s interference with the timely and profitable running of the trains. “This is giving a bad name to the entire government,” Narain said.

“The world-famous Hari-har Kshetra cattle fair at Sonepur has turned into a mammoth market for smugglers along the Indo-Bangladesh border,” Times of India correspondent Rajesh K. Thakur charged on November 15, 2000. Thakur claimed that of 667 buffaloes sold during the first five days of the fair, 300 “have allegedly been smuggled to 14 different slaughterhouses situated along the border,” among 65 slaughterhouses in the region.

As Thakur’s accusations reverberated, representatives of the Visakha SPCA and the Department of Animal Husbandry and Transport on December 4 seized 122 cattle from six trucks which were allegedly taking them from Srikakulam village, north of Viskhapatnam, to Kerala for slaughter, by way of Hyderabad. Although Kerala is diametrically opposite West Bengal, on the far side of India, the meat from the cattle would probably also have been exported to the
Middle East– in this case, over the Arabian Sea.

The case was significant to documenting the spread of hoof-and-mouth because the seized animals had it. They had either become infected at Srikakulam or aboard the smuggling vehicles. Either way, the vehicles were held just long enough for the drivers to be fined the equivalent of $2.17 apiece. More cattle could have been loaded–and inflected–within hours. And if the smugglers didn’t care to take the same route twice, instead of heading south to Kerala they could as easily put the cattle aboard a northbound train to Howrah. The journeys would be of about equal distance.

Members of People for Animals, founded by Mrs. Gandhi in 1984, intercepted three trains en route to Howrah with cattle during the last 10 days of 2000–two at Ghaziabad and one at Agra. The Agra train was finally stopped after pulling away from five previous stations when a growing mob, chasing the train from station to station, surged across the track at Yamuna bridge station and, led by Agra SPCA founder Krishana Balla, sat on the rails to keep the engineer from leaving. Agra police arrested 128 members of the train crew.

Together, the raids apprehended nearly 3,000 cattle, wrote Manjari Mishra of the Times of India. They routinely found as many as 40 cows and calves packed into cars meant to carry no more than 12. Both Agra and Ghaziabad are much closer to Haryana and Punjab, the region where the pan-Asian strain of hoof-and-mouth was first detected a decade ago, than they are to Howrah. Moreover, hoof-and-mouth is still there, occurring “almost every year,” Punjab Agriculture University pro-vice chancellor K.S. Aulakh told the Press Trust of India.

Trying to contain the most recent outbreak, nine mobile veterinary teams on March 23 began vaccinating cattle in parts of Rajasthan state adjoining Haryana.

Pointing fingers

“Illegal sales of livestock are a worldwide problem,” commented Colorado State University microbiologist Charles H.
Calisher on ProMED, the online bulletin board of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. “Hypocritical functionaries who look the other way when cattle are slaughtered [illegally] or are moved from their country to another country by train, in broad daylight, are known to operate with impunity in the name of national sovereignty. So, disgusting traditions continue without hope for abatement, and maintenance of ‘markets’ are the sine qua non of the industry and of politics.”

The pan-Asia strain is now spreading as rapidly through the Christian world as it did through the Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic worlds, with greater velocity but often through the same combination of bureaucratic ineptitude, criminality, and finger-pointing in the wrong direction as facilitates the illegal cattle traffic in India. Hoof-and-mouth was officially recognized in Ireland, for example, on March 21, a full month after Irish calves inflected France and the Netherlands.
Irish authorities blamed cattle smugglers, practitioners of an ancient pastime which reputedly supports some units of the outlawed Irish Republican Army.

About 40,000 animals were to be killed on the Cooley Peninsula, in an effort to keep the illness from spreading, but
scarcely anyone seemed optimistic that the killing would succeed. The Dublin stock exchange dropped 5% within one day of the first confirmation that hoof-and-mouth had hit.

French prime minister Lionel Jospin meanwhile blamed an alleged sheep smuggler–by name– in commenting on the discovery of hoof-and-mouth in the Mayenne region of northeastern France. Jospin was then embarrassed when Mayenne prosecutor Philippe Warin told media that there were no grounds for accusing the man, a longtime successful importer of sheep from Britain.

IRS probes alleged self-dealing by Humane Society of U.S. lawyers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:
WASHINGTON D.C.– Humane Society of the U.S. general counsel and vice president Roger A. Kindler, 51, and HSUS senior counsel Murdaugh Stuart Madden, 79, did not respond before the April 2001 ANIMAL PEOPLE deadline to a March 21 invitation to comment on a formal allegation by former HSUS employee Nancy E. Dayton, of Lodi, New York, that Kindler and Madden “engage in undocumented and unaccounted excess benefit transactions, and have done so since at least 1993.”

The IRS advised Dayton on March 16, she told ANIMAL PEOPLE, that her complaint has been assigned to an investigator. Identifying herself as “former Legal-Executive Secretary/ Office Manager, Office of the General Counsel, HSUS,” Dayton complained to the IRS on January 28, 2001. “On August 22, 2000,” Dayton wrote in her complaint, “I met with Paul G. Irwin, President/ CEO of HSUS. I told Mr. Irwin my concerns. I further informed Mr. Irwin of my concern that HSUS had filed false reports to the IRS in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999, when it attested that the Society did not engage in Section 4958 excess benefit transactions, and claimed that no taxes were owed.

“On September 11, 2000,” Dayton continued, “Paul Irwin summoned me to his office, proclaimed no excess benefit wrong-doing, and fired me. I was given a severance agreement that belied Irwin’s proclamation of no wrong-doing.” Dayton told ANIMAL PEOPLE that she refused to sign the severance agreement.

“One attorney reviewed the severance agreement and offered me a contingency retainer for settlement negotiations based on wrongful discharge,” Dayton said. “After several months of legal fooldarah, I ended settlement negotiations in favor of exercising my freedom of speech and ensuring that this information reaches the IRS and donors. They have a right to know; I have an obligation to inform.”

Stated Dayton in her complaint to the IRS, “I have witnessed Roger Kindler’s use of the following HSUS resources for private profit and personal gain: office space and meeting room with a prestigious business address; support staff time and services including receptionist, secretarial, accounting, runner/messenger, legal publications filing; computers, printers, copier, facsimile machine; computer software programs; office supplies; storage facilities; mailroom staff time and services; internet access. Murdaugh Madden enjoys the same benefits.” Doing business as the firm of “Murdaugh Stuart Madden and Roger A. Kindler,” Madden and Kindler advertise at the Martindale-Hubbell electronic legal reference site, <>, that they handle “tax-exempt law, trusts, estates, wills, wealth preservation, immigration law, [and] international law.”

The law firm address at 2100 L St. NW in Washington D.C. and the listed telephone and fax number are the same as for the HSUS executive offices. But HSUS is not mentioned on the Madden-Kindler front page, and indeed appears to be mentioned at the site only once each in Madden and Kindler’s professional resumes. Madden is identified, among many other credentials, as HSUS general counsel 1958-1990, and senior counsel subsequently. Kindler is identified as HSUS associate general counsel, 1981-1990, and general counsel subsequently.

The most recent HSUS filing of IRS Form 990, dated June 28, 2000, indicates that HSUS received real estate rental income of $607,231 during the preceding fiscal year, but does not name the tenant(s).

ANIMAL PEOPLE ask-ed Kindler and Madden via fax to, “Please explain why your for-profit business is using facilities and access portals provided by your nonprofit employer”; explain why their for-profit business is not more clearly differentiated from HSUS; and explain whether their law firm pays rent for the use of HSUS facilities. Dayton avered to the IRS that use of the HSUS premises, personnel, and equipment by the for-profit law firm is extensive and financially significant.
“Roger Kindler assigned work on the following projects unrelated to the Humane Society of the United States’ charitable mission,” Dayton wrote to the IRS, “and on behalf of individuals with no relationship to the HSUS charitable mission: immigration cases and filings; estate probate proceedings; wills, estate planning documents, powers of attorney, death declarations, etc., and rewrites of same; witnessing and signing individuals’ legal documents; accounting clients’ expenses, typing and sending clients’ bills; typing personal income tax forms and business
profit/loss statements for him and his wife; typing tax, estate, and insurance documents and forms for his aunt, mother, and friends; picking up forms from Immigration and Naturalization Service offices; post office errands; ordering publications, typing moonlighting insurance forms; fighting parking tickets; lodging complaints on taxi cab and bus companies; personal correspondence; and the issue that ultimately drove me to research charitable regulations and to report my concerns: eliciting Federal Trade Commission [Division of Enforcement] intervention to get his friend out of paying her Columbia House Music Club debt of $87 and then getting her debt removed from collection agency action.”

ANIMAL PEOPLE asked Kindler and Madden to provide their own version, if they wished, of why Dayton was discharged. They did not. ANIMAL PEOPLE also asked Kindler and Madden how they would compare the allegations raised by Dayton with the use of HSUS funds and resources in connection with private property transactions in
1986-1988, in which HSUS bought the former home of HSUS President Emeritus John L. Hoyt, but allowed him to live there rent-free for some time afterward, and provided financing to enable Irwin to purchase beachfront property in Maine.

In addition, ANIMAL PEOPLE asked, “Is the substance of these allegations not also closely parallel to the criminal and civil allegations of misuse of HSUS office, property, expense accounts, staff time, and other resources formally brought against former HSUS vice president of investigations David Wills in October 1995, following Wills’ discharge upon your own advice as general counsel and senior counsel of HSUS?”

Charged with sexual harrassment and embezzling at least $93,000 from HSUS, mostly through allegedly falsified expense accounts, Wills on June 16, 1999 pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling $18,900 from HSUS between 1990 and 1995; agreed to pay HSUS restitution of $67,800; and accepted a sentence to serve six months in a halfway house. Kindler received salary and benefits from HSUS totalling $136,049 in the most recent fiscal year. Madden has not been listed on an HSUS filing of Form 990 in several years, but in 1995 received salary and benefits of $116,116.


Longtime HSUS donor Dita White, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, on Valentine’s Day asked HSUS vice president for wildlife John Grandy to explain why HSUS has aligned itself with a group of spearfishers and other consumptive users of wildlife calling themselves the Marine Safety Group.

According to White, the Marine Safety Group wants to ban feeding sharks in the vicinity of shark observation cages, not for safety reasons but because in her view, “They are worried that some feeding sites could be turned into marine sanctuaries.” The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission twice rejected the Marine Safety Group’s position, White said, since there have been no fatalities involving shark observation cages in 30 years of use, and since shark experts are generally agreed that feeding the sharks to lure them into observation range does not impair the sharks’ ability to forage.

The Marine Safety Group then turned to Grandy and HSUS marine biologist Naomi Rose. Rose and HSUS director of media relations Howard White wrote a joint letter endorsing the Marine Safety Group position on February 7. Calling to demand explanations, Dita White learned, she said, that neither Rose nor Howard White had any prior awareness of
their allies’ backgrounds.

Among other recent examples of eyebrow-raising HSUS alliances and weak research:

* The June 2000 edition of the HSUS e-mail newsletter Humane Lines denounced the use of shock collars in an experimental attempt to condition wolves to avoid livestock–but HSUS actually endorses the PetSafe “Radio Fence” shock collar-for a royalty, dog trainer Pat Miller recently revealed in The Whole Dog Journal.

* Less than a month after an HSUS subsidiary calling itself the Humane Society of Hong Kong hit Hong Kong animal lovers with a direct mail fundraising package about how dogs are tortured and killed for meat in some parts of China, as described in the March 2001 ANIMAL PEOPLE Watch-dog section, HSUS spokesperson Rachel Querry reportedly told Brad Honywill and Michael Clement of the Toronto Sun that she had never heard of the common practice among
dog-eaters of inflicting as much pain and stress on the doomed dogs as possible in their final hours, to saturate their flesh with adrenalin.

* Located only blocks from the Mexican Embassy and Library of Congress, the Humane Society International subsidiary of HSUS on March 23 resorted to asking on the <hsi-animalia> electronic bulletin board, “Does anyone know if Mexico has laws against dogfighting, and if so, what the laws entail and how they are enforced?”


HSUS on February 20 announced the Seattle opening of a new Pacific Northwest regional office, headed by Lisa Wathne, HSUS legislative field representative for Washington state. A King County (Seattle area) animal control officer for four-plus years, Wathne later worked for seven years in the animal advocacy department of the Progressive Animal Welfare Society, located in Lynnwood, Washington.

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