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

December––five years after a veterinary
hospital in a neighboring county tried to ini-
tiate action, and one year after Wang pur-
portedly bought off a federal probe. Wang’s
factory reportedly earned $526,000 from
selling 20 different fake medicines over a
six-year period, which in the Chinese econ-
omy had the purchasing power of tens of
millions of dollars in the U.S. At least 20%
of Wang’s take was paid out in bribes.
Pitman-Moore, one of the
world’s largest veterinary pharmaceuti-
cal firms, is laying off more than 1,000
employees––30% of its workforce––and
closing 11 of the 27 plants it operates in the
U.S., Great Britain, South America, and
the Pacific Rim. Imcera Group Inc., which
owns Pitman-Moore, announced the down-
sizing on May 19. Several product lines
will be discontinued due to poor profitabili-
ty, including Grolene, a hormone used by
confinement hog farmers to produce leaner
pork, in lieu of providing the hogs with the
opportunity to get outdoor exercise.
Thai Rath, one of the leading
newspapers in Bangkok, Thailand, report-
ed May 4 that an elephant rehabilitation
center in the northern part of the country is
trying to help 30 elephants formerly used
for dragging logs to kick amphetamine
addiction. The elephants were allegedly
drugged by their handlers––an extremely
dangerous procedure for both the elephants
and the men––so they would work harder.
Health officials in the Eastern
Townships of Quebec (just north of
Vermont) have confirmed 43 cases of rabies
in wildlife, livestock, and domestic pets
since last July, almost all of them in the
area. Of the three humans who have
required rabies shots, two were bitten by
their own pets while the third was bitten by
a skunk she mistook for one of her cats.
The Missouri Department of
Conservation is blaming an outbreak of
canine distemper among raccoons on the
decline of trapping. ANIMAL PEOPLE
editor Merritt Clifton recently pointed out to
DoC officials that while raccoon trapping is
sharply down, raccoon hunting with dogs is
up––and it was fecal matter from diseased
dogs, probably contaminating water
sources, that undoubtedly brought distem-
per to the raccoons in the first place. DoC
spokesperson Kathy Love then asserted that
distemper can’t be transmitted by fecal cont-
amination of water sources, contradicting
virtually every veterinary manual on the
subject and the evidence that canine distem-
per transmitted by feces washed into the
North Sea with storm runoff was responsi-
ble for killing several thousand seals during
1988 and 1989––the worst outbreak of
canine distemper among wildlife on record.
Lance Workman, a lecturer at
Glamorgan University in Wales, has dis-
covered with the aid of sophisticated sound
analysis equipment that robins from differ-
ent parts of Britain sing with distinctively
different regional accents. British robins
don’t migrate, unlike American robins,
who may lose their accents through meeting
and mingling with other populations.
Pippy, an escaped budgie,
stopped barmaid Ruth Durbin on April 29
in the village of Nailsea, England, told her
his address, and demanded to be taken
home. Startled, Durbin complied.
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