Performing animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1995:

Contrary to wire service reports and the account
in the April edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE, dogs did die in
this year’s 1,161-mile Iditarod sled race from Anchorage to
Nome, Alaska––but race officials failed to disclose the
March 10 death of a dog belonging to Minnesota musher
Robert Somers until March 25, eight days after Japanese
musher Keizo Funatsu lost a dog and suffered frostbite just 22
miles from the finish. Although winner Doug Swingley fin-
ished on March 14, Funatsu was still on the course when
ANIMAL PEOPLE went to press.
At deadline a bill to ban horse-tripping, a staple
of charro-style rodeo, needed only New Mexico governor
Gary Johnson’s signature to become law. California adopted a
similar law last year.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey
C i r c u s will spend a record $25 million on advertising this
year, says The New York Times, including $5 million for an
unprecedented national image-building campaign.
Coquitlam is the last town on the Lower
Mainland of British Columbia to permit the use of animals
in circus acts, after the passage of an animal act ban by
Langley Township. Vancouver Humane Society director
Debra Probert is now seeking tighter restrictions on all private
ownership of exotic wildlife, as well as amendments to the
animal act bans that would bar circuses from bringing exotic
beasts only to leave them “parked, chained, or severely
restricted in traveling cages” as gate attractions. Both situa-
tions are covered in the Langley ordinance.
Alligator trainer Jim Moulton, of St. Augustine,
Florida, knocked a three-foot-long alligator unconscious in a
demonstration bout held on April 11 in the courtroom of Tel
Aviv district judge Hila Gertler. Gertler is to rule soon as to
whether alligator wrestling is legal under Israeli humane laws.
The activist group Let The Animals Live has sued to stop
daily alligator-wrestling performances at the Hamat Gader
game farm.
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