From ANIMAL PEOPLE, August/September 1996:

Royal SPCA members on June 22 voted 432-2 according to the London
T i m e s and 459-2 according to the Daily Telegraph to require members to pledge
that they will not “participate in any activity which is considered by the society to
involve avoidable suffering to animals.” The requirement is subject to the approval
of the Charities Commission, however, which in May obliged the RSPCA to drop
a 19-year-old antivivisection policy on grounds that a charitable organization may
not oppose activities undertaken “for the good of man.” An estimated 3,000 members
of the 88,000-member British Field Sports Society recently joined the 28,000-
member RSPCA in an attempt to reverse the RSPCA position against hunting, but
were not yet eligible to vote. The Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association i s
attempting a similar hostile infiltration and takeover of the Irish SPCA, The Irish
Times reported on June 27. Already five local affiliates have amended their policies
to endorse fox hunting. The ISPCA hopes to thwart the effort by adopting a membership
requirement similar to that adopted by the RSPCA.

The World Wildlife Fund and McDonald’s restaurants have undertaken
a joint promotion in Australia. John Revington of the U.S. McLibel Support
Campaign issued a statement lamenting “that WWF has allowed itself to be used in
this way,” but McDonald’s may have no worse a record on animal issues: WWF,
founded by trophy hunters in 1961, is unknown to many donors a leading advocate
of hunting, while McDonald’s in 1994 became the first major meat purchaser to
adopt a code of humane conduct for suppliers. The McLibel Support Campaign
assists British activists David Morris and Helen Steel, who are defending themselves
against a libel suit filed by McDonald’s over a flyer they distributed on Earth
Day 1990. The ongoing trial is now the longest in British history.

Internal affairs
The Massachusetts Audubon Society is trying again to close the wildlife
rehabilitation center at Laughing Brook, in Hampdon, Massachusetts, the 300-acre
former home of author Thornton Burgess. Friends of Laughing Brook raised
$500,000 from local donors to found the center, which received $255,000 a year in
operating funds from Massachusetts Audubon as recently as 1990. The funding was
cut to $130,000 a year after a 1992 attempt to shut the center was thwarted by public
outcry. Friends of Laughing Brook founder Dalton Philpott has resigned in protest;
the other Friends directors have threatened to follow.
International Society for Animal Rights acting president Susan Altieri
on June 20 responded to ISAR founder Helen Jones’ March 13 motion to dismiss
the organization’s February 28 lawsuit against her by filing a more specific case.
ISAR seeks restitution of $1 million in assets, which Jones allegedly diverted to her
personal use between 1992 and 1995. The refiling was backed by an extensive list
of witnesses.
The American SPCA, according to one well-placed source, has offered
former staffer Lisa Papacena $200,000 to settle a suit alleging it engaged in unionbusting,
and has sought to drop without liability a suit alleging independent TV
producer Livi French of The Caring Corps improperly used proprietary names in
titling a public access cable expose series Eye On The ASPCA and a group seeking
reforms at the ASPCA The Henry Bergh Coalition, in honor of the ASPCA

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