Diet & Health

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

The USDA on May 5 announced
that it will begin requiring labels on raw
meat and poultry to include cooking and
handling instructions, explaining how to
prevent health hazards such as the growth of
E:coli bacteria, which in January and
December killed four children who had just
eaten undercooked hamburgers. The label-
ing rules are to be formally proposed by
August 15. The new requirement comes in
settlement of a lawsuit brought by Beyond
Beef and the parents of one of the January
victims. U.S. trade representative Mickey
Kantor meanwhile denied in a series of press
releases and public statements that such
strengthened food labeling laws could be
overturned under that General Agreement on
Trade and Tariffs and/or the North American
Free Trade Agreement, as alleged obstacles
to international commerce. Last year, the
two agreements were invoked to overturn the
use of U.S. dolphin protection legislation to
exclude imports of tuna netted “on dolphin,”
at considerable cost in dolphin lives.

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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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Agriculture

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

The Food and Drug Admini-
stration held hearings May 6-7 on whether
to approve the sale of milk produced with
the aid of the genetically engineered hor-
mone bovine somatotropin (BST), and if
sale is approved, whether the milk should
be specially labeled. Four chemical
firms––Upjohn, Monsanto, American
Cyanamid, and Eli Lilly––have reportedly
spent $500 million to develop and introduce
BST, which boosts milk production per cow
by up to 20%. BST is opposed by con-
sumer groups concerned about the possible
effects of the drug on human health, which
may include altering the growth rate of
bone and liver cells; animal protection
groups worried that BST may increase the
stress on cows; and dairy farmers anxious
that many of them could be put out of busi-
ness, since BST enables fewer cows to pro-
duce more milk, which is already in over-
supply. The same debate is underway in
Canada, where a multi-department review
of the possible effects of BST is to be com-
pleted later this year.

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Guest column: Instead of breeding bans

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

by Margaret Anne Cleek
I am convinced that breeding bans will not work.
This broad-brush approach is inappropriate because the
majority of pet owners are responsible. The people pro-
ducing the surplus are a relatively small percentage of the
population (perhaps one dog owner in three and one cat
owner in five according to the pro-breeding ban Humane
Society of the U.S.), but because of the high fertility rate
of the animals involved, the numbers of animals resulting
from their litters is great. We have to separate the animal
numbers from the people numbers to understand this.
Production control principles apply: you have to know the
source of the problem to address it.

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Horses and Cattle

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-New York) have reintroduced the Downed Animal Protection Act, as S. 367 and H.R. 559, which would require stockyards to promptly euthanize sick and injured animals. Support for the measure may be addressed to Senators and Congressional Representatives.
The American Horse Protection Association’s sixth annual training seminar for equine cruelty investiga-
tors will be held May 20-21 at College Park, Maryland. Get details from Ellen Foysyth, 202-965-0500.
Norma Bearcroft, president of the Canadian Wild Horse Society, has asked members to approve a resolution to disband the struggling group by year’s end.

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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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Bill to stop wolf-strafing

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

WASHINGTON D.C.––As he
promised he would last winter, Oregon Rep.
Peter DeFazio has introduced amendments to
the Airborne Hunting section of the Fish and
Wildlife Act of 1956 that would bar using
aircraft to kill native endangered or threat-
ened species on public lands––even for
wildlife management purposes. Support for
the bill, H.R. 1391, may be addressed to any
member of the House or Senate.
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