From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1995:
Charro rodeo horse trainer Jesus
Quinonez, 24, pleaded not guilty to two misde-
meanor cruelty counts on December 7 in Denver.
Quinonez allegedly beat a 2-year-old horse with a
board on October 10. By October 14 the horse was
partially paralyzed, ostensibly from an accident, and
Quinonez kicked and punched him for not getting up.
The case has drawn national attention through a mail-
ing by Animal Rights Mobilization.
Officials in San Bruno, California, on
December 8 asked San Mateo County Superior Court
to apply a law usually used to make property owners
maintain debris-strewn land to alleged animal collec-
tor Ruth Harris, 71, who has repeatedly violated a
court order to obey the city limit of four cats per
household since 1991. More than 100 diseased cats
have been removed from Harris’ feces-saturated
home in four separate raids. To be heard January 6,
the motion if granted will bar Harris from owning
any cats and will allow authorities to spot-check the
house at random to insure compliance.
Jim Brewer and Dafe Riffle of the PIGS
sanctuary for Vietnamese potbellied pigs in West
Virginia were involved in two high-profile court
cases in as many weeks in late November, gaining
custody of an abused pig named Hope who was ini-
tially returned to her owner and advising humane
authorities in the case of Pinky Starlight, owned by
Virginia Hudgins of Norfolk, Virginia, who was
charged with cruelty on November 8 for letting the
pig become too fat. Hudgins regained the pig in a
plea bargain, on condition that the pig be made to
lose 100 pounds over the next year to conform with a
city weight limit. Objected Brewer, “The Norfolk
weight limit of 65 to 100 pounds for pigs is artificial,
based on what breeders and promoters say they
should weigh. The average weight we are seeing is
150-plus pounds.” Such court rulings, Brewer said,
may encourage owners to starve pigs, which besides
being cruel could encourage them to become more
Dogfight organizer Gregory Hunt, 21,
drew 10 years in prison on November 7 in Roanoke,
Virginia, after pleading guilty to three felony counts
and three misdemeanors, all recorded on his own
videotape of his fighting and training exploits.
The SPCA Montregie, serving the South
Shore region of Quebec, near Montreal, handled a
record volume of animals in 1994––including 30
dogs and four cats seized in a July 9 night raid on
Elevage Canin du Nouvel-Age, the animal control
contractors for the city of Delson. On October 26,
owners Eric Vezeau and Elise Tremblay pleaded
guilty to charges of habiitually leaving the animals
overnight without heat, food, water, or ventilation,
were barred from keeping more than one animal each
for the next two years, and were ordered to donate
$1,000 each to an organization for the blind. Having
cared for the animals without compensation from
either Delson or the provincial judicial system, the
SPCA Montregie didn’t get restitution from the
Onondaga County sheriff’s deputy Eric
Broeker, 36, of Cicero, New York, was fined
$450, sentenced to do 200 hours of community ser-
vice, and ordered to pay $165 restitution to Diane
Blair of Ogdensburg for shooting her dog during a
dispute with her son. Broeker allegedly accused
Jeffery Blair of trying to start an affair with his wife.
Broeker earlier drew a 30-day work suspension for
doing a private security job on county time.
Tony Silva, 34, of Monroe Center, Illinois, was indicted December
13 for allegedly smuggling 186 endangered hyacinthe macaws and other rare
birds between 1985 and 1992, with an estimated retail value of $1.3 million. His
mother Gila Daoud, 61, of North Riverside, Illinois, was also indicted, for
allegedly managing the operation for 30 months while Silva served as curator of
birds at Loro Parque in Tenerife, the Canary Islands. She also allegedly smug-
gled ivory and other wildlife contraband on her own account. A third indictment
in the case was issued against Hector Ugalde, 53, of Miami Beach, Florida, for
purportedly arranging to smuggle 50 hyacinthe macaws into the U.S. from
Mexico. A noted parrot breeder, Silva posed as an outspoken foe of wild cap-
tures and illegal trafficking. Thirty of his alleged colleagues, nabbed by the same
six-year sting operation, have already been convicted in Miami and Los Angeles.
Silva’s apparent main supplier, Gisela Caseres of Asuncion, Paraguay, will prob-
ably escape prosecution, however, as the U.S. extradition treaty with Paraguay
does not cover bird trafficking.
Making their second big wildlife trafficking bust in two weeks,
police in Delhi, India, on November 21 arrested taxidermist Prem Lai, 60, and
confiscated more than $300,000 worth of illegally obtained pelts of endangered
species from his home and shop. The arrest followed the November 7 seizure of
$1 million worth of pelts in Kashmir.
Alleged butterfly poacher Thomas Kral, 30, of Tucson, Arizona,
is to face a pretrial hearing in January. Purported confederates Marc Grinnell,
40, of Santa Rosa, California, and Richard Skalski, 39, of Redwood City,
California, pleaded guilty to related charges in December. The trio are said to
have poached, traded, and sold more than 2,200 protected butterflies over a nine-
year period, at prices in the hundreds of dollars.
Chinese police arrested 51 people on December 2 for allegedly
poaching 16 elephants and wounding four in southeastern Yunan last March. Five
suspects, including two policemen, drew death sentences on December 19.
Fourteen others drew suspended death sentences, life in prison, or other jail
terms. About 200 wild elephants are believed to remain in China.
Other wildlife actions
A pending case against farmer H. Michael Miller, of Dresden, Ohio,
for allegedly poisoning wild turkeys who ate his corn has rallied fellow farmers
against the state Division of Wildlife’s “plentiful game” policy, which has boosted
turkey and deer populations to record levels. “The damage has gotten so bad that
we can no longer afford the wildlife,” Ohio Farm Bureau Federation president Irv
Bell said. “It is our crops, our livelihood they are eating,” but while the Division
of Wildlife gets hunting license revenues, “we get no compensation.”
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on December 22 vacated on
technical grounds a U.S. District Court injunction that had held up the diversion of
almost a million acre-feet of water to help fish and wildlife in the Central Valley
of California, pending completion of an impact study.
Also on December 22, U.S. District Judge William Dwyerupheld the
Clinton administration’s compromise logging plan for old growth forests in the
Pacific northwest. Dwyer simultaneously rejected claims from environmental
groups that the plan inadequately protects the endangered spotted owl and claims
from the timber industry that it won’t permit enough logging to keep mills open.
A coalition of southwestern environmental groups led by the Greater
Gila Biodiversity Project, Gila Watch, and the Southwest Center of Biological
Diversity have begun filing lawsuits as part of a plan to sue every National Forest
in the region to enforce compliance with critical habitat provisions of the
Endangered Species Act. The outcome of the suits, to be made on behalf of 41
species, may hinge on whether the Supreme Court agrees to review a ruling
issued last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in
Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Greater Oregon v. Babbitt, that the
ESA protects only species, not habitat, contrary to many years of previous inter-
pretation. So far, the ruling does not hold precedential value, but it will if the
Supreme Court takes it up.
Crimes against humans
Vigilantes killed more than 100 alleged
cattle rustlers in Sergipe state, Brazil, during 1994,
according to Human Rights Watch/Americas. Nine
were killed in Bahia state.
Chinese sailor Yan Wei, 20, was executed
on December 5 for killing four shipmates in a fight
over a small dog. The nature of the fight was not dis-
closed, nor was the fate of the dog.
A British Columbia Supreme Court jury
on November 22 acquitted Sooke taxidermist Jim
Howes of allegedly shooting at hunter Joe Valliquette
in a dispute over payment for repairing a bearskin.
Valliquette sought a refund; Howes said Valliquette
also threatened to rape his wife and kill his children.
The New Jersey Supreme Court r u l e d
December 20 that shopping malls must allow
peaceful leafleting by protesters. The ruling does
not directly overturn a 20-year-old U.S. Supreme
Court ruling to the contrary because the New Jersey
state constitution contains stronger protection for
freedom of speech than the U.S. constitution, but is
nonetheless expected to influence courts around the
country in similar cases. Noting the public aspects
of mall corridors and gathering places, judges in
six states have now ruled that dissidents have some
right to free expression within privately owned
malls, superseding the right of mall owners to reg-
ulate conduct for the benefit of business.
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania on
December 8 granted the Fund for Animals a motion
for an expedited hearing of allegations that the
annual Labor Day pigeon shoot at Hegins violates
the state humane law. “This means we will finally
be allowed to present our evidence to a court, and
we will be able to do so before Labor Day 1995
with hopes of stopping the 1995 shoot,” said Fund
spokesperson Mike Markarian.
Markarian and activist Todd
McDonald on November 23 became the first peo-
ple to be charged under the new federal hunter
harassment statute while protesting a stocked
pheasant hunt at the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Markarian crossfiled charges against one of the two
hunters who charged him, alleging that the hunter
hit him with his weapon and threatened to kill him.
Bill Pryor, director of adult probation
for Marin County, California, warned In
Defense of Animals on December 19 that using
people who have been ordered by courts to do com-
munity service to gather petition signatures is “a
complete misuse” of their mandated labor. IDA
program director Suzanne Roy said she planned to
appeal the warning, which is supported by prece-
dents against the use of persons ordered to do com-
munity service by political parties.
A previously unknown group of mili-
tant vegans calling itself the Green World
Movement locked customers inside a Kentucky
Fried Chicken franchise in Victoria, British
Columbia, on November 14 and made a clean get-
away, leaving behind messages describing the
abuses of the poultry industry and pledging more
actions of a similar nature would follow.
Apparently none did––but on December 23,
Safeway and Save-on-Foods stores in Vancouver
pulled frozen turkeys off their shelves after receiv-
ing a note from a group calling itself the Animal
Rights Militia, asserting that it had injected some
turkeys with rat poison. Similar tactics have been
used by a purported Animal Rights Militia else-
where in Canada and in Great Britain.
Alleged Animal Liberation Front arson-
i s t Rod Coronado was released from custody in
Kalamazoo, Michigan, on $700,000 bail December
22, including the deeds to six houses plus $50,000
in cash. Coronado returned to the Pasqua Yaqui
reservation in Arizona to await a scheduled spring
trial on charges pertaining to the February 1992 fire-
bombing of mink researcher Richard Auerlich’s lab-
oratory at Michigan State University in East
Lansing. The fire also destroyed the office of Karen
Chou, who was researching alternatives to animal
use in toxicity testing.
Keith Mann, 28, drew 14 years in
prison on December 19 in London, England, after
pleading guilty to vandalizing a slaughterhouse and
planning to burn down a poultry farm. Arrested in
1991, Mann escaped from a Manchester police sta-
tion and spent 10 months as a fugitive. He was
recaptured in 1992, in purported possession of
bomb-making materials. The sentence was the
stiffest yet given to an alleged Animal Liberation
Front member. Ronnie Lee, reputed founder of the
ALF, is serving 10 years for similar offenses.