Freedom of speech

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Janet Fontenot, new editor of The Southern
Utah Spectrum, a newspaper circulating 50,000 copies
daily, recently dropped a weekly column by Lester Wood
of Citizens for Humane Animal Treatment, and according to
Wood, “initiated a policy of censorship against environmen-
talists, refusing to print letters to the editor with a pro-ecolo-
gy viewpoint.” In place of Wood’s column, Fontenot is now
publishing a column called “Maverick Country,” which
Wood describes as “a rabid anti-ecology column.” Other
Utah journalists essentially confirm Wood’s account, noting
that Fontenot has praised cattleman Met Johnson as
“Legislator of the Year.” Johnson is among the members of
the Utah legislature who have advanced open seasons and
legal jacklighting of skunks, raccoons, and red foxes, plus
a 20% increase in the sale of puma permits, in the erroneous
belief that killing predators will make more game available
on depleted rangeland. The state wildlife agency and even
some hunting groups are against the proposals.

But it was a great appeal

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

A firm called In Vitro International enlisted the aid of
the Doris Day Animal League and the Animal Welfare Institute in
late April as it awaited a ruling from the U.S. Department of
Transportation as to whether a non-animal test it developed to mea-
sure chemical corrosivity could be used as a substitute for the tradi-
tional skin burn test on rabbits. Literature apparently originating
with IVI, reprinted verbatim by AWI and colorfully amplified by
DDAL, suggested that “tens of thousands of rabbits” would be sub-
jected to the painful skin burn tests this summer so that U.S. chemi-
cal manufacturers could comply with a voluntary international
labeling standard recommended by the United Nations and ratified
by DOT, to take effect on October 1.

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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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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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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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Euthanasias down–– but by how much? ANIMAL PEOPLE PROJECTS ANNUAL TOLL OF CIRCA 6 MILLION

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado––A new
estimate of euthanasia rates produced by Phil Arkow of the
Humane Society of Pike’s Peak indicates the pet overpopu-
lation problem may be only half as bad as the most opti-
mistic previous projections. Factoring in additional infor-
mation apparently unknown to Arkow, ANIMAL PEO-
PLE extrapolates a current annual euthanasia rate of about
six million dogs and cats per year––half again higher than
Arkow’s figures, but still significantly lower than older
estimates, which ranged as high as 20 million per year 20
years ago, and have gradually fallen to below 10 million.

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Editorial: Pet overpopulation: it’s win or lose now

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

The latest shelter statistics, presented on page twelve of this issue, suggest that at
present about four million cats per year are euthanized for population control––about two-
thirds of the total number of animals euthanized because they have no homes.
The significance of this number is not only that it is low indeed compared to the
best estimates of feline euthanasia published only a couple of years ago, and almost unbe-
lievably low compared to the estimates of 15 years ago. Records of kitten survival in both
private homes and feral colonies indicate that only about half of the kittens who are born
live long enough to be weaned. Only about half of the kittens who survive that long reach
sexual maturity, so that no more than 25% of all the cats born eventually join the breeding
population, even without neutering. Further, according to data ANIMAL PEOPLE col-
lected and published in 1992, while conducting the cat rescue project described in our lead
feature for this month, only about half of all feral mothers live long enough to bear more
than one litter, and only half of those live long enough to bear more than three litters. Our
cat rescue records indicate that only one feral mother in a hundred lives longer than three
years, so four to five litters appears to be the normal outside limit to feral reproduction.

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No dolphins in Denver! ACTIVIST CAMPAIGN SUCCEEDS

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993

DENVER, Colo.––An astute
media campaign including extensive
advertising in local newspapers and the
April back cover ad in ANIMAL PEO-
PLE paid off big for Animal Rights
Mobilization! on May 13 when the pro-
moters of the proposed Colorado’s Ocean
Journey aquarium dropped plans to
include captive dolphins. It was appar-
ently the first time any major aquarium in
planning anywhere cancelled a marine
mammal exhibit under pressure from an
animal rights group.

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Chicago, New Jersey, Macon: Model animal control programs meet fiscal reality; SHORT-TERM SAVINGS MAY MEAN LONG-TERM TROUBLE

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

CHICAGO, Ill., SPRINGFIELD, N.J., and MACON, Ga.–– The financial pres-
sures of the 1990s threaten to undo the model animal population control programs envisioned in
the late 1980s, just as their benefits are beginning to be realized.
The budgetary ax fell first and hardest in Los Angeles, California, where on July 1,
1992, the city closed the public low-cost neutering clinics that helped cut animal control pickups
from 144,000 in 1970 to 87,000 in 1991, even as the estimated city pet population rose by 21%.
Euthanasia rates were cut proportionately. Animal control officials estimated that for every dollar

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