REVIEWS: Shiloh

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1997:

Shiloh
Starring Michael Moriarty,
Rod Steiger, and Scott Wilson
Warner Brothers Family Entertainment
video. 93 minutes.

Based on the Newberry Award-winning
novel of the same title by Phyllis
Reynolds Naylor, the live-action Shiloh also
resembles the Walt Disney animated classic
The Fox & The Hound. In each film, a hardedged
hillbilly recluse demonstrates the more
obviously despicable aspects of hunting, trapping,
and poaching; kicks and threatens to
kill a dog who doesn’t hunt; and eventually
commits at least one kind act, inspired by the
bond between the dog and in the former, a
boy, in the latter, a fox.

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ANIMALS IN ENTERTAINMENT

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1997:

Gini Barrett, formerly senior vice president of the
Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers’ Public
Affairs Coalition, has succeeded the retired Betty Denny
Smith as American Humane Association western regional
director, responsible for overseeing animal use in screen entertainment.
Barrett also serves on the Los Angeles City Animal
Regulation Commission, to which she was appointed in 1993.
“The use of live tigers and other undomesticated
animals in retail store promotions conducted by our company-operated
stores” is prohibited, EXXON has advised field
managers. EXXON intends to continue using tigers in TV
advertising, along with tiger balloons and people dressed as
tigers in live store promotions, a spokesperson said.

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101 Dalmatian stories and rumors of elephants flying

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1997:

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida––
If Walt Disney Inc. expected praise from animal
advocates for hitting the fur trade at the
outset of the winter sales season with a liveaction
edition of 101 Dalmatians, and for
offering a home to a family of African elephants
who might otherwise have been shot,
the corporate brass got an eye-opener in
November and early December.
Of the 27 nationally syndicated news
stories about 101 Dalmatians that ANIMAL
PEOPLE newswire editor Cathy Czapla forwarded
to our files during the 30 days after
101 Dalmatians debuted in theatres circa
November 14, 24 stories predicted the film
would generate such huge ill-informed
demand for the big, notoriously unruly dogs
that animal shelters would be overrun with
owner-surrendered Dalmatians within six
months to a year. Many asserted that the 1959
original had sparked just such a Dalmatian
boom––and then another, and another, with
each re-release, including the 1991 issue of a
home video version. At least six dog clubs
and 10 animal advocacy groups held press
conferences and/or faxed out press releases to
discuss the expected Dalmatian glut.

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ANIMALS IN ENTERTAINMENT

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1997:

Tracks hounded out of business

BRIDGEPORT, Ct.– – Grey-
hound racing foes are torn between
rejoicing that the $30 million Shoreline
Star track has shut for the winter and perhaps
forever, after just one year, and
mourning the dogs who may be destroyed
because the closure of eight tracks in
three years has glutted the demand for
greyhound pets.
About 200 dogs were believed
to have been at Shoreline Star when the
track, still open for simulcast betting, on
November 30 suspended live racing until
at least May 1. Owner Robert Zeff filed
for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization
last summer. The track reportedly
generated just $14 million in revenue,
less than 25% of the $60 million first projected.

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CITES experts have a leak on Zimbabwean elephant ivory strategy

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1997:

The possibility of resumed ivory trading has meanwhile
demonstrably stimulated poaching, say Clark and David
Barritt, African director of the International Fund for Animal
Welfare. Barritt recently visited the scene of the September
massacre of 250 elephants near the Congolese border with
Gabon. “The poachers told the local inhabitants, whom they
hired, that it was all right to kill the elephants,” Barritt
explained to Inigo Gimore of the London Times, “because next
year the trade in ivory is going to be resumed legally.”
Indeed, the trade never stopped. “The preliminary
report of the CITES Panel of Experts,” FoA president Priscilla
Feral wrote on December 6 to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
chief of management authority Kenneth Stansell, “claims that
there is evidence that Zimbabwe has been engaged in large volume
commercial export of raw, worked, and semi-worked
ivory to eight countries, including the United States. Other
countries identified as having imported commercial volumes of
elephant ivory from Zimbabwe are Japan, China, Thailand,
Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Africa.
FoA is alarmed,” Feral said, “especially in light of significant
U.S. assistance to Zimbabwe’s elephant conservation programs,
as well as in light of persistent Zimbabwean claims of being
able to exercise vigorous control over the ivory trade.”

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Whale-watching

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1997:

University of Queensland PhD. candidate Ilze
Brieze reported in late October, after a year of study, that the
dolphins of Moreton Bay, off Brisbane, Australia, and at the
Australian Sea World are behaviorally unaffected by human
contact, even though the bottlenose dolphins at Sea World
appear to enjoy swimming with humans and being hand-fed.
Studies by other researchers have indicated that the wild dolphins
who interact with humans at Monkey Mia in western
Australia may have become excessively dependent upon handfeeding,
and that one result is dolphin mothers who so fixate
on humans that they neglect their infants. Studying the same
Moreton Bay dolphin population as Brieze, Mark Orams of
Massey University joined her in warning that even when there
are not obvious ill effects from contact, wild dolphins should

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Seaquarium sea lions bark “Out, out, out!”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:

MIAMI, Florida––At deadline
USDA Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service chief Dale Schwindaman
hadn’t answered ANIMAL PEOP-
LE’s request for comment on Subpart
E, section 3.100, clauses (d) and (f) of
the Animal Welfare Act, which would
appear to stipulate that the Miami
Seaquarium has held the orca Lolita illegally
since July 30, 1987, when all variances
to keep marine mammals in undersized
tanks were to expire.
Schwindaman has claimed in
letters to the Seaquarium and Seaquarium
critics that while Lolita’s tank is technically
too small under the AWA standards,
the intent of the standards is met
because the tank is longer than required,
and therefore impounds about the same
amount of water as would be required of
a tank built to specifications. According
to Schwindaman, the Seaquarium
received a permanent variance in 1988,
allowing it to keep Lolita despite noncompliance
with the AWA.

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Oceanariums

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:

The city council of Vallejo, California, unanimously
agreed on October 16 to take possession of Marine
World/Africa USA, the city’s second-largest employer, and
authorized $8 million credit to keep it open through the winter.
With assets of $33 million, Marine World/Africa USA is $56
million in bond debt, and would have missed payments of $2.3
million due November 1. Attendance, hurt by rainy weekends
and failure to add new attractions, fell from 1.9 million in 1993
to a projected 1.3 million this year. Often criticized for high
gate prices and too many souvenir stands, Marine
World/Africa USA is now a nonprofit institution, but both U.S.
Mortgage Co., of Dallas, and Ogden Services Corp., of New
York, were reportedly interested in buying it and turning it into
a for-profit venture. Spokesperson Jeff Jouett told media that
there are presently no plans to close, move, or sell the animals.

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Cetaceans

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:

South Australia on September 25
proclaimed the Great Australian Bight Marine
National Park. The long discussed park will
bar fishing and mineral exploration during the
six months of each year when the waters are
used by about 60 rare southern right whales.
Federal judge Douglas P.
Woodlock on September 26 ruled that
Massachusetts is breaking the Endangered
Species Act and other federal law in issuing
permits to fishers who use equipment known
to kill highly endangered right whales.
Woodlock ordered the state to develop a right
whale protection plan by December 16.
Hearings on how to protect right whales from
fishing gear were already underway, but
Massachusetts attorney general Scott
Harshburger immediately appealed on behalf
of the state’s 1,686 lobster trappers, likely to
be the fishers most affected. A federal appellate
court upheld Woodlock’s verdict on
October 17. Max Strahan, of Greenworld,
who filed the suit against Massachusetts,
pledged to next pursue a similar case in Maine.

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