From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1997:
A month before the scheduled January 6 hearing date for legal action
between factions identified with the Fund for Animals and PETA over control of
the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, attorneys for the two sides were
reportedly drafting a memorandum of understanding agreed to in principle on
December 5 by NEAVS president Theo Capaldo, representing the “Fund” faction,
and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine president Neil
Barnard, representing the “PETA” faction. In 1988 a board slate organized by
The Fund and PETA won control of NEAVS, after a two-year battle against the
administration of probate judge Robert Ford, who was later convicted of mishandling
funds. Fund president Cleveland Amory also served as NEAVS president
until his retirement, announced in November 1995. PETA president Alex
Pacheco contested the recommendation of a committee appointed by Amory that
Capaldo should succeed him. An estimated 300 proxy ballots endorsing Capaldo
vanished just before the April 17, 1996 NEAVS general meeting, after which
Pacheco and the PETA faction, holding a slim board majority, took control of
NEAVS until September 10, when Pacheco was ousted and Capaldo reinstated,
by order of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. The S u f f o l k
County Court on October 7 rejected Pacheco’s appeal of the order, and the
Massachusetts Appellate Court on November 6 rejected his appeal of that verdict.
The PETA-controlled board majority meanwhile fired NEAVS treasurer
Richard Janisch on October 23 for “insubordination”; finance director D o n a l d
McNeilly resigned when asked to take over Janisch’s duties. Janisch was reinstated
by the Massachusetts attorney general on November 7.
The North Shore Animal League on December 3 donated $12,500 each
to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Dubuque Humane Society, Scott
County Humane Society, and Keckuk Humane Society, all of them previous
participants in North Shore pet adoption promotions, and agreed to change the
wording of sweepstakes appeals to clarify that sweepstakes entries may be sent
independent of any donation. The agreement settled a complaint by Iowa attorney
general Tom Miller. Miller argued that North Shore use of an Iowa-based direct
mailing house might make participants think North Shore is an Iowa-based charity.
The Houston Sierra Club in November welcomed backing from three
National Rifle Association board members in opposition to proposed West Side
Airport expansion into the Katy Prairie wetlands. “I hunt a lot, so it’s not like I
can’t sympathize or identify with their side of things,” Houston Sierra Club wetlands
chair Bill Stransky told Bill Dawson of the Houston Chronicle. The hunting
lobby has recently courted the Sierra Club and other conservation groups via the
31-member Natural Resource Summit of America, formed last August as a
political umbrella. The overtures toward the Sierra Club are widely seen as counters
to the longtime opposition to hunting of an Atlantic Chapter faction led by
Margaret Hays Young and the more recent rise of a faction within campus chapters
which seeks to make vegetarianism a part of the official Sierra Club policy.
The Wildlife Land Trust division of the Humane Society of the U.S.
is soon to get some turf of its own––a renovated storefront down the hill from the
HSUS offices in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Headed by former American SPCA
president John Kullberg, WLT receives and manages property deeded over to
conservation use in somewhat the same manner as the Nature Conservancy, but
unlike TNC, WLT honors covenants prohibiting hunting, trapping, and fishing.