Mountain lion mix-up

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Last October, Predator Project Newsletter extensively
quoted and paraphrased from a letter by Michael Horan of Eagle’s
Nest, New Mexico, protesting the relocation of 13 mountain lions
as part of a study of their population dynamics which has yielded
strong evidence that the species should not be hunted. Horan linked
the relocation to older and ongoing mountain lion killing projects
undertaken to protect livestock.
Various animal protection groups picked up and echoed
Horan’s claims, condensing his account each time, dropping source
identification, and eventually adding appeals for letters of protest to
be addressed to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
Then someone, remembering that the original item had been pub-
lished on newsprint, wrongly cited ANIMAL PEOPLE as the
source, although the first issue of ANIMAL PEOPLE hadn’t even
gone to press yet when Horan wrote his letter.

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It’s to make you turn green

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

The United Conservation Alliance,
an association of hunters and trappers whose
name only sounds like an environmental group,
teamed with the Fur Information Council of
America to distribute 100 public service
announcements to 50 leading TV stations just
before Earth Day. The 30-and-60-second
announcements ––which apparently were not
aired by most of the stations––quoted Greg
Lincombe of the Louisiana Department of
Wildlife and Fisheries, claiming, “Commercial
trapping through the fur industry is the only
viable solution to keep muskrat and nutria in
check.” Actually, Louisiana alligators eat a lot
more muskrat and nutria than trappers catch, and
they’d eat even more if Linscombe’s department
didn’t remove as many as 75,000 alligator eggs a
year for resale to alligator farmers––but it’s the
sale of trapping permits (down 90% in five years)
that keeps him in a job.

Trapping not necessary for rabies control, says N.Y. wildlife official

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

NEW YORK, N.Y.––New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation Bureau of Wildlife official Gordon Batcheller rattled readers of Fur Age
Weekly on May 17. “Although the harvest of raccoons is one way of reducing the risks of
contact,” Batcheller wrote in a guest article, “the relationships between hunting or trapping
and population size are too complex to make a simplistic statement like: hunting and trap-
ping is a necessarymeans of control.”
Batcheller went on to describe progress in developing means of vaccinating rac-
coons to halt the mid-Atlantic raccoon rabies pandemic, now in its 14th year. His remarks
were a sharp departure from the traditional position of state wildlife agencies, whose
income is derived in part from the sale of trapping licenses, and were a direct rebuttal to
recent claims by several Fur Age Weekly columnists.

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ANIMAL HEALTH & BEHAVIOR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Chinese authorities have begun
purging officials of Shenqui county in
Henan province for collaborating with
Wang Zhiqiang, an entrepreneur who built
a rural empire around a factory that manu-
factured fake veterinary medicines––among
them “antibiotics” made of talcum powder
and cornstarch, and “intravenous solution”
made of monosodium glutamate dissolved
in water. Wang allegedly bought off police
and politicians, held investigators for ran-
som, and tortured witnesses. Federal
authorities finally arrested Wang and shut
down his No. 1 Veterinarian Medicine
Factory, as he styled it, last

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The dream that haunts Vic Koppelberger by Donna Robb

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

The dream that haunts Vic Koppelberger came to
him 30 years ago, and changed his life.
“I stood in a room before all the animals I ever
shot,” Koppelberger remembers. “They were lined up and
staring at me. It was my judgement day.”
Koppelberger, now 75, never hunted again.
He had the dream shortly after a disturbing hunt-
ing experience. Using a stuffed owl as a decoy,
Koppelberger and his game warden hunting companion hid
in the woods at the edge of a clearing. The owl, perched on
a stump, attracted crows who dive-bombed the stuffed
enemy. The crows made easy targets.

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HUNTING

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

The Wildlife Legislative Fund of
America, a hunting and trapping lobby,
recently sneaked an amendment to the 1994-
1995 Ohio Department of Natural Resources
budget through the state House of
Representatives that would raise $450,000 a
year for a subsidiary, the Wildlife Conserv-
ation Fund of America, through a 25¢ sur-
charge on the sale of hunting, fishing, and
trapping licenses. The amendment was intro-
duced by representative Ronald Amstutz, at
request of WLF director Tom Addis. After the
proposed diversion of public money to a spe-
cial interest lobby became known, Amstutz
claimed it was all a mistake. “I was misin-
formed,” he told Michael Sangiacomo of the
Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I thought it was a
small raise for the people who write the licens-
es. I made certain assumptions, and apparent-
ly I was wrong. I never looked at the lan-
guage.” ODNR legislative liasion Scott Zody
said his agency “did not ask for” the amend-
ment, “and does not support it.”

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COURT CALENDAR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

Animal Trafficking
Worldwide Primates propri-
etor Matthew Block, 31, of Miami,
drew 13 months in federal prison on April
17 for his part in arranging for six infant
orangutans to be smuggled from Indonesia
to the Soviet Union––the 1990 Bangkok
Six case. Hoping to win a plea bargain,
Block testified against three accomplices
and helped set up the January 26 arrest of
a Mexican zoo director for allegedly trying
to smuggle a gorilla. However, assistant
U.S. attorney Guy Lewis told U.S. district
judge James Kehoe that Block had never
fully cooperated with either investigation,
had lied about his degree of involvement
in the orangutan deal, and was still in
touch with smuggling associates. Block
now faces USDA action for allegedly
feeding primates at his facility spoiled
food, failing to provide water, and keep-
ing them in vermin-infested cages.

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Wild Cats

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

Genetic researchers trying to save
the highly endangered Florida panther on
April 9 recommended a shift away from cap-
tive breeding, the focus of present recovery
efforts. Instead, the team suggested, closely
related Texas cougars should be released into
panther habitat to diversify the gene pool by
natural means. Under the plan, panther kittens
would no longer be removed from the wild for
use in captive breeding, since their gene pool
is presently so narrow that the offspring would
be likely to inherit genetic defects.

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Oceans

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

The International Whaling Commission commenced
its annual meeting in Kyoto, Japan, on April 19 as a throng of
1,000 demonstrators marched outside to demand an end to the cur-
rent global whaling ban, in effect since 1986. The IWC scientific
committee met during the last week of April to review current data
on whale populations, while the general commission meeting is
set for May 10-14. Japanese whalers, who already kill 300 minke
whales a year under the auspices of a government research pro-
gram, want to resume whaling on a commercial scale. Iceland has
already resumed commercial whaling, after qutting the IWC.

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