Performing Animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

The Louisiana state senate on
May 12 passed a bill to make attending an
illegal dogfight a crime, 33-0, but reduced
the offense from a felony to a misdemeanor,
and cut the maximum penalty from three
years in jail and a fine of $3,000 to one year
in jail and a fine of $1,000. A bill to ban
cockfighting meanwhile remained stalled in
a legislative committee headed by cock-
fighting fan Rep. Raymond Lalonde.

Top-ranked three-year-old race-
horse Union City broke a leg in the May 15
Preakness Stakes, and was euthanized min-
utes later.
British horse racing authorities
are still trying to sort out the legal and finan-
cial chaos resulting from the repeated false
starts and eventual nullification of the April
4 Grand National Steeplechase. Twice race
officials recalled the field due to technical
difficulties and disruptions by animal rights
activists, but the second time most of the 39
riders missed the red flags. John White, rid-
ing 50-1 longshot Eshna Ness, galloped to
“victory” just ahead of 25-1 risk
Cahervillahow in the cancelled race, as
50,000 spectators and bettors came to the
verge of riot.
As of mid-May, British troops
acting on behalf of the World Society for the
Protection of Animals were still unable to
obtain custody of a caged brown bear a
United Nations patrol found behind a restau-
rant on April 29 near Vitz, Bosnia-
Herzegovnia. “The bear’s future remains in
the hands of armed men hardened by war
and resentful of foreigners trying to impose
alien standards on the treatment of animals,”
the Montreal Gazettereported.
Axel Gautier, 51, an elephant
trainer with the Ringling Brothers and
Barnum & Bailey Circus since 1957, was
fatally stomped May 4 by an elephant at the
circus farm in Wiliston, Florida. Gautier
was a sixth-generation circus performer,
descended from the founders of the Didier
Gautier circus in France. His sons Michael
and Kevin continue the family tradition.
Greyhound trainer John Pim-
ental, 63, of North Pownal, Vermont,
pleaded no contest on April 21 to two cruel-
ty charges in exchange for further charges
being dropped, and was sentenced to do 100
hours of community service. Pimental
allegedly allowed at least four of the 70 dogs
in his kennel to become seriously infested
with parasites. He was cited by the
Bennington County Humane Society in
August. In late December the North Pownal
greyhound track announced it would go out
of business.
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