LETTERS [Sept 1997]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1997:

The bear truth
Regarding the Florida “Habitat for
bears” license plate campaign that kicked off
in June, mentioned in your July/August edition,
it is essential to note that other specialty
plates in Florida, like the manatee plate,
are specifically designed to provide funds for
the conservation of particular endangered
species. The bear plate, as proposed, would
simply create a new funding source for the
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission. If the petition drive in support
of the bear plate is successful, the
Commission will get $15 from every plate
sold, to use as needed, including to promote
blood sports.
Revenue from hunting and fishing
license sales in Florida is plummeting. Sales
of one-year freshwater fishing licenses to
Florida residents, for instance, have
dropped by more than 100,000 since 1986.

The Florida black bear, numbering
fewer than 1,500, is threatened mainly by
habitat loss as result of roadbuilding and
development. Additionally, dozens of bears
are killed each year by automobiles.
It is ironic that the Florida Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission, which
waited until 1994 to end the hunting of
Florida black bears, has now jumped on the
bear conservation bandwagon. I strongly
discourage Floridans from signing the petition
to have the bear plate issued.
––Nichols Atwood
Coconut Creek, Florida

You wrote that programs to adopt
out foals born to Premarin-producing mares
amount to “save a foal, kill a mustang,”
because the Premarin foals compete with wild
horses removed from the range by the Bureau
of Land Management for adoption placement.
We could also say, “save a greyhound, kill a
shelter dog.” Trying to reach some sort of
balance, I adopted both a former racer and a
shelter dog.
As for the wild horses and burros,
it’s an American disgrace. But it wouldn’t
have to be if the Department of the Interior
was run by strong and decent individuals.
Everyone knows that the problem lies with
the ranchers, not the horses and burros. We
know that the BLM roundups are not the
answer. Since the problem is with the ranchers
and the Interior Department via the BLM,
it’s not productive to point the finger at persons
who are trying to help some innocent
victims, whether they be mustangs or
Premarin foals.
––Greta Marsh
Massachusetts Citizens Against Dog Racing
Lanesboro, Massachusetts

Taking retired racing greyhounds
who would otherwise be killed or adopting
mustangs from the BLM at far less than the
cost of capture and transport does not help
keep a cruel industry profitable. Nor would
accepting Premarin foals for adoption, if
they came free, like the greyhounds. But they
do not. Bidding on Premarin foals at slaugh –
ter auctions helps support the slaughter price,
and thereby––no matter how unintentionally
––helps perpetuate the cruelty.

Wild Horse Annie
The “Wild Horse Annie Act” was
passed in 1959, not 1971, as your
July/August cover article stated. The “Wild
Horse Annie Act” prohibited the use of motor
vehicles and aircraft to capture or kill wild
horses and burros, as well as the pollution of
any water hole for the purpose of trapping,
killing, or harming them. The Wild and
Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971
put the animals under the control of the BLM
and the Forest Service.
It would appear that an immunocontraceptive
program, already tried successfully,
is the longterm answer for the humane
handling of both wild horses and burros.
––Lanny Shane
St. Petersburg, Florida

Our July/August edition stated on
page 15 that the 1996 San Francisco citywide
shelter killing rate of 4.6 per capita was a new
low for major cities. That should have read per
thousand human residents, not per capita.
On page seven of our July/August edition,
we mentioned that Bill Clark of Friends
of Animals had “relocated” from Israel to
Connecticut. In fact, he was only visiting the
U.S., and has since returned to Israel.
In our June edition, we listed among
the defendants in a lawsuit filed by former
International Society for Animal Rights
employee Anthony McHugh against ISAR and
persons associated with it, “Cindy McHugh
(believed to be McHugh’s mother),” who is
actually his aunt. The suit has been dismissed.

Cards from Bogle
School teacher Rick Bogle, forced by
parental pressure to quit inviting speakers on either
side of animal rights issues to debate in his class –
room, spent the summer holding a series of vigils
outside federal Regional Primate Research Centers.
Details are on his World Wide Web site,
June 26
I’m sitting directly across the street from
the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center in
Beaverton. It is a very busy place––cars come and
go seemingly around the clock. The monkeys must
need regular tweaking. The rain has been a nuisance,
but no matter how miserable I am, I know that only
a few hundred yards away are a multitude living
through a nightmare. Many people driving by have
stopped and been surprised that the center is here.
The sign is hidden and the entrance is park-like.
This center is expanding. They are adding
a number of laboratories. The behavioral lab to
come is especially bothersome.
July 12
At least in Portland there was a hidden
sign. Here in Seattle there is no way to know that the
Washington Regional Primate Center is even here.
Well, many people know now, because we put up a
sign. There was a genuine media frenzy here on
Monday, and will be another demo here on
Saturday. Your weather sucks, but it does make me
look very committed as I sit here huddled in the rain.
August 6
I am camping in Worcester, directly across
from the entrance of the New England Regional
Primate Research Center. The setting is deceptively
pretty––a winding drive through a meadow bordered
by hardwoods. A sign in front reads “Harvard
University Southborough Campus.” A couple of
investigative reporters have become interested in the
aortic constriction studies done here, sponsored by
the Harvard Medical School. It seems that most
locals were under the belief that the school had quit
using dogs. They then became interested in seemingly
contradictory Center position statements which
hold that no one knows why monkeys self-mutilate,
but that monkeys reared away from adults self-mutilate
at high rates. The population of individually
housed monkeys here is quite high, with an accompanying
high rate of chronic neurotic behavior. As
in Washington, they are just now beginning to consider
the “psychological well-being” language in the
Animal Welfare Act.
I hate these places, and being so near is
almost overwhelming. I’ve stimulated a 24-hour
police presence at the hastily erected barrier. There
never has been a real gate.
––Rick Bogle
Prairie City, Oregon

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