From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1997:

Hoping to gain influence
against Atlantic Canadian sealers, the
International Fund for Animal
Welfare gave $10,000 to the Liberal
Party of Canada in 1996, following
gifts of $46,000 to the Progressive
Conservatives and $42,500 to the
Liberals in 1993. “In hindsight,” IFAW
Canadian director Rick Smith recently
told Maria Bohuslawsky of the Ottawa
Citizen, “the intransigence of the Liberal
government in terms of environmental
issues, and lack of access to the government
that groups such as ours have,
would indicate the donation was illadvised.”
Pocketing the money, the
Liberals boosted the sealing quota from
185,000 in 1995 to 283,000 this year.

IFAW founder Brian Davies
might have similar thoughts, after giving
one million pounds sterling to the
British Labour Party last fall through
his Political Animal Lobby, on the
promise that if Labour won this year’s
election, party leader Tony Blair would
call an early Parliamentary free vote on
fox hunting that polls indicated would
achieve a long-sought ban. Often
described by Fleet Street as the British
Bill Clinton, Blair backed away from
the pledge during the last weeks of the
election campaign; reiterated opposition
to fox hunting, after winning by a landslide,
when a popular private member’s
bill by Labour back-bencher M i c h a e l
Foster appeared likely to force the matter
to an early vote despite Blair’s reluctance
to give it a priority; and then beat
a retreat after 80,000 to 100,000 fox
hunting supporters rallied on July 10 in
Hyde Park, London––about four times
the size of the biggest crowd ever assembled
at an animal rights event, and a
convincing display of organizing talent,
since polls continue to show the British
public opposes fox hunting by a margin
of more than two to one.
Jean-Michael Cousteau, 59,
eldest son of the late Jacques Cousteau,
on July 26 announced formation of the
Jean-Michael Cousteau Institute, to
combine ecological activism with scientific
research. The announcement came
three weeks after Jean-Michael ceremonially
led about 2,000 divers in conducting
the sixth annual Great American Fish
Count, modeled after the A u d u b o n
Society Christmas bird counts, and three
days after Jacques Cousteau’s widow,
Francine Cousteau, 51, named New
Zealand yacht racer Peter Blake to take
over as head of the Cousteau
Society––puzzling even Blake himself,
who asked, “Why wasn’t Jean-Michael
chosen? I’m not what one would call a
‘greenie,’” Blake continued, “but I am
a great believer in looking after what we
have.” Blake’s role will be part-time for
the next three years, as he leads the New
Zealand defense of the America’s Cup.
Earlier, Jean-Michael Cousteau accused
publisher Robert Laffont of omitting a
key chapter from his father’s last book,
The Man, the Octapus, and the Orchid,
an autobiography rushed into print days
after Jacques Cousteau died on June 25,
at age 87.
Greenpeace USA, whose
membership has fallen from 1.2 million
in 1991 to just 400,000 today,
announced on August 9 that it will cease
door-to-door canvasing for funds,
reduce staff from 400 positions to just
65, and close 10 regional offices, leaving
just the head office in Washington
D.C., in order to trim its budget from
$29 million this year to $21 million in
1998. Greenpeace fundraising was further
hurt in July when the Council of
Better Business Bureaus Philanthropic
Advisory Service advised that the associated
Greenpeace Fund had failed
three basic accountability standards.
Greenpeace International has also cut
back this year, closing an Irish affiliate,
but still has offices in 32 nations and a
cumulative budget of $145 million.
Greenpeace Switzerland o n
July 14 demanded the resignation of
Swiss CITES commissioner P e t e r
D o l l i n g e r. “As a staunch advocate of
uncontrolled trade, Dollinger is turning
CITES into a trade agreement,”
Greenpeace Switzerland charged, citing
his efforts to help South Africa reopen
international trade in rhino parts.
Friends of Animals, a CITES observer
group since 1979, three days later formally
protested “subtrefuge, undemocratic
procedures, and perhaps also illegalities
which characterized the conduct”
of the recent CITES congress in Harare,
Zimbabwe. Animal and habitat protection
advocates are skeptical that matters
will improve much at the next CITES
congress, booked for Indonesia, which
a human rights index recently rated
among the most corrupt of nations.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.