HUMANE ENFORCEMENT

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1996:

The San Francisco Commission of Animal
Control and Welfare on September 13 postponed any action
on the treatment of live turtles, frogs, birds, and other animals
sold as food until October 17. A year-long San Francisco
SPCA push for more stringent enforcement of anti-cruelty laws
in Chinatown markets burst into the public in August when the
SF/SPCA was simultaneously attacked by Chinatown market
owners for alleged cultural imperialism and by Fund for
Animals representative Virginia Handley, who asked members
to tell SF/SPCA president Richard Avanzino that “his job is to
protect animals, not animal abusers” because Avanzino told
the San Francisco Chronicle that a ban on home slaughter
advanced by the Fund, Action for Animals, and In Defense of
Animals after the controversy began would probably be unenforceable.


Responded Avanzino, “We are not opposed to
these efforts. However, it is our belief that such a ban would
not be effective in alleviating the suffering we have seen in
public markets. Live animals who could not be slaughtered at
home would simply be slaughtered at the market at the time of
purchase, as many are now. Neither the conditions under
which these animals are kept not the suffering they undergo
before slaughter would change. Our preference would be to
have no live animals sold in San Francisco at all. Failing that,
we would like to see stronger regulatory measures to secure
and enhance the rights of these animals to fair and compassionate
treatment. But much could be done right now, if those
charged with enforcing existing laws were to do so vigorously
and fairly.”
Former Tucson pet store owner Cynthia M.
Miller, convicted of 11 cruelty and neglect counts in August
and pleading guilty to 29 more, on September 20 drew nine
years on probation, during which she is not to possess any animals;
a fine of $3,800; a seek counseling order; and an 18-
month suspended jail term. Tucson Animal Control received
90 citizen complaints about Miller’s store, Prrfect Pets, during
the 10 months it operated.
The SPCA Montregie, serving the region just
across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal, on August 13
protested outside the offices of the Montreal SPCA against the
intervention of executive director Pierre Barnoti and staff on
the side of the defendant in three recent cruelty cases. Barnoti,
whose background is in fundraising, came to the perennially
embattled and financially troubled Montreal SPCA circa two
years ago. The organization has changed leadership about
every two years for at least a decade. The Montreal animal
control contract was lost to a private bidder in 1994.

Doll Stanley-Branscum, director of investigations
for In Defense of Animals, on August 19 won the conviction
of Catherine and Lawrence Twiss in Philadelphia, Mississippi,
on 73 counts each of the 77 counts each of animal cruelty filed
against them for neglecting 46 African lions, 21 tigers, six
lion/tiger hybrids, five pumas, five bears, and various other
animals, found in April near starvation. Catherine Twiss was
fined $7,300 plus $180 more for simple assault on StanleyBranscum,
and drew 10 days in jail. Lawrence Twiss drew the
same fine plus 10 days in jail suspended. Briefly fleeing to
Arkansas in May, taking 11 of the big cats with her, Catherine
Twiss was also charged with cruelty there. Ten of those animals
were recovered alive; one leopard was found dead in the
same cage as a hungry lion.
Cleaning up the site of the former Ligertown
Game Farm cost $44,000, officials in Bannock County, Utah
said on July 27. Owners Dotti Martin and Robert Fieber were
recently convicted on 11 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals
and creating a nuisance. Conditions at the game farm
came to light after 19 African lions escaped and were shot in
September 1995.

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