PETA makes animal testing Albert Gore’s albatross

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:

 

WASHINGTON D.C.––People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals served
notice in July that Vice President Albert
Gore’s support of the Environmental
Protection Agency’s High Production Volume
Challenge chemical safety testing program will
be an issue in the 2000 presidential campaign––whether
he likes it or not.
In early July, PETA opened an
office in Manchester, New Hampshire, the
city where the most voters will cast ballots in
the first 2000 primary election. Covering the
windows with posters linking Gore to animal
testing, PETA was accused of violating the
office lease by property manager Patrick
Vatalaro, who had the posters removed.

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Australians want to sell fruit bats

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:

KUALA LUMPUR––Nipah virus
antibodies have been found in fruit bats in
Perak, Malaysia, confirming suspicion that
the deadly disease spread from bats to pigs
and then to people.
Nipah virus killed at least 108
Malaysians in the first six months of 1999,
all of whom lived or worked on pig farms.
More than a million pigs were slaughtered to
contain the disease, causing economic hardship
to about 300,000 people.
It is still premature to name fruit
bats as the natural hosts of the Nipah disease,
cautioned Australian Animal Research
Institute veterinary epidemiologist Hume
Field, who announced the discovery of the
antibodies in fruit bats on July 21.

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GUEST COLUMN: Treat your colleagues as you would a cocker spaniel by Kate Myers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:

In California, a board
member resigns from the local
SPCA and influences a major donor
to withdraw support. A splinter
group forms in the community. This
brings a media war, culminating in a
criminal investigation and a lawsuit.
In New Mexico, a citizen
brings cruelty charges against the
local animal control agency, after
witnessing alleged improper and
inhumane animal handling. Again,
the media is involved and, again,
litigation ensues.

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LETTERS [Sep. 1999]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:

Raccoon rabies
After the July 14 discovery
of the first Canadian case of the
mid-Atlantic raccoon rabies strain in
Nepean, Ontario, the Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources killed
all raccoons and skunks found within
five kilometres of any animal
found to have rabies. Ten kilometres
past this zone, all raccoons and
skunks are to be vaccinated and
released. A friend who lives within
the killing zone was horrified when
an MNR representative arrived on
her doorstop and told her that he
intended to kill all the animals on
her property. When my friend
objected to the killing and wanted
only the vaccinations, major problems
developed.

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Editorial: Scapegoating alien invaders for real-world trouble

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:

The beaver-like nutria, apart from being a mammal and a vegetarian, does not much
resemble a goat. Yet St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, following the earlier example of
Jefferson Parish and the self-serving 10-year-old doctrine of the Louisiana Department of
Wildlife and Fisheries, has now officially begun to treat nutria as an all-purpose scapegoat for
infrastructure damage.
Late on July 20, five members of the St. Bernard Parish SWAT team shot 20 nutria
in a public park. The shooting amounted, however, to little more than target practice, possibly
doing more to discourage after-hours human park traffic than to cut the nutria population.
Jefferson Parish police have shot nutria by the thousand since 1995. Yet Jefferson
Parish still seems to have as many nutria as ever, because the habitat still favors them, and
any successful species tends to breed up to the carrying capacity of the habitat, countering
predation by breeding faster. More intense predation brings faster breeding still.

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A Mickey Mouse take on Africa: AND WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:

TOWN, HARARE, KAMPALA,
KILGALI, MAPUTO, NAIROBI– – T h e
defining attraction at Walt Disney’s Wild
Animal Kingdom is a 20-minute Mickey
Mouse version of an African photo safari.
Canvas-topped four-wheel drive
trucks haul guests on a jolting, twisting,
splashing drive through fake savannah and
jungle so seemingly real that many ask how
Disney moved the 400-year-old baobab
trees––or are they also native to Florida?
The fake baobabs stand among
more than 100,000 real African and Asian
trees which were either transplanted or grown
at the site, along with examples of 1,800
species of moss, ferns, and perennials, and
350 kinds of grass, each specific to the needs
of particular creatures.

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WATCHING THE HORSES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:

HOLLYWOOD, Calif,––To know
whether the animals in a film or TV production
have been treated humanely, insiders say,
watch the horses.
Horses are not only the most commonly
used animal actors and props, they are
also easily replaced unless specially trained,
cost more to board than to buy, and are legally
classed as livestock, exempted from most animal
protection laws. Thus horses are the most
vulnerable species on most animal-using sets.
Watching the horses, ANIMAL
PEOPLE reader Mary Chipman, of Hazelwood,
Missouri, was alarmed in midsummer
by scenes from The Mummy and Joan of Arc.
Both, Chipman wrote, “featured
many horses who were yanked around and
made to fall during battle scenes. Some of it
could have been computer-enhanced, but there
is no doubt in my mind that quite a few horses
had a harrowing experience. Has there been a
resurgence in film cruelty?”

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U.N., U.S. plan world war on feral wildlife

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:

TOKYO––Representatives of the 175 nations that
have endorsed the United Nations Convention on Biological
Diversity––including the U.S.––are to assemble in Nairobi,
Kenya, in May 2000 to draft guidelines for purging and blocking
the spread of alleged invasive species. The guidelines are
to be presented for ratification by the CBD members in 2001.
Once ratified, they could constitute a global mandate
in support of the forthcoming recommendations of the cabinetlevel
Invasive Species Council created by U.S. President Bill
Clinton on February 2, under orders to “mobilize the federal
government to defend against aggressive predators and pests.”
The mobilization is to be underway by August 2000.
The definition of “aggressive predators and pests”
addressed by both the CBD and Invasive Species Council could
include––among many other species––feral cats; feral pigs;
the mountain goats of Olympic National Park in Washington
state; street pigeons; starlings; the parrot colonies of San
Francisco, Florida, and the New York City metropolitan area;
and all wild horses and burros on public land except Bureau of
Land Management holdings, where they enjoy limited “squatters’
rights” under the 1971 Wild And Free Ranging Horse and
Burro Protection Act.

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AZA zoos move to halt suspect animal sales ––and access to information about them

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1999:

SAN JOSE, Calif.––Responding to
a four-part probe of commerce involving former
zoo animals, published in February 1999
by San Jose Mercury-News reporter Linda
Goldston, the American Zoo Association has
halted member zoos’ dealings with the Little
Ponderosa Animal Farm and Auction in
Illinois, Goldston reported on May 28.
The AZA has also begun requiring a
review of animal transfer records as a condition
of accreditation renewal.
“However,” Goldston wrote, “officials
involved with the system for recording
surplus animal dispositions are refusing to
make updates of the information available to
the public,” and International Species
Information System executive director Nathan
R. Flesness demanded unsuccessfully that the
Mercury-News remove from its web site an
analysis of the ISIS animal transfer data during
the years 1982-1988.

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