From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1997:

Defended by attorney Richard Halpern, Mike
Durschmidt of Chicago on October 16 became one of the
few animal rights protesters ever to win aquittal with a
“necessity” defense, in which the defendant contends it was
necessary to break a law to prevent a greater harm from
occurring. A Lake County Circuit Court jury agreed that
Durschmidt was justified in lying down in the ring at the
1996 Wauconda Rodeo to prevent children from racing on
the backs of sheep, and was therefore not guilty of trespass,
but did convict Durschmidt of resisting arrest for not leaving
at police direction. Sentencing was deferred.
Acquitted by a lower court, Brigitte Bardot
was convicted on appeal on October 9 of inciting racial
hatred in a 1996 newspaper column for complaining of
alleged “foreign overpopulation” in France at the same time
she denounced lamb slaughter in connection with the E i d
a l – A d h a Islamic religious holidays as “torture” and “most
atrocious pagan sacrifice.” Bardot was fined $1,600 and
was ordered to pay a symbolic 20¢ to the Movement
Against Racism and for the Friendship of People, which
pursued her prosecution.

A New York State Appellate Court on October
8 upheld New York City Clerk Carlos Cuevas’ September
12 refusal to certify for the November 4 city ballot an initiative
seeking to create a city Department of Animal Affairs.
Cuevas ruled that the initiative petition filed by the Shelter
Reform Action Committee was improper because only
41,736 of the 75,214 signatures were valid, well short of
the 50,000 signatures required to qualify for the ballot, and
because as Justice David B. Saxe wrote in the judgement
affirmed by the Appellate Court, “By removing from the
mayor the discretionary power to designate the appropriate
agency to maintain shelters, etc., the proposed charter
amendment would in effect supercede state law.”
Utah prosecutor Ernie Jones said October 17
that he may file future animal rights-related arson cases in
federal court, where they can bring a maximum sentence of
35 years, after Mark Klein, 19, got just one year in jail
for his part in firebombing a McDonald’s restaurant in West
Jordan. Ryan Zacharie Durfee, 20, and Jason Troff, 19,
earlier drew one year in jail each for the same offense. An
unnamed juvenile got probation. Each was sentenced by a
different judge.
Fullerton, California municipal judge Gregg
L. Prickett on October 8 gave Gina Lynn, 25, of
Menifee, California, the opportunity to seek recognition of
the vegetarian charity Food Not Bombs as a courtapproved
community service site, to enable her to complete
a sentence to spend 350 hours feeding the homeless without
having to handle animal flesh. Lynn, her mother, and two
other members of Orange County People for Animals
were convicted of chaining themselves to a railing at a May
1995 dolphin show at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Daniel Bebin, 18, of Fairfax County, Virginia,
was released October 10 on $20,000 bail after surrendering
in response to a warrant charging him with breaking windows
at an insurance agency while protesting the annual
Labor Day pigeon shoot in Hegins, Pennsylvania.
Delyla Wilson, of Bozeman, Montana, convicted
on October 7 of assaulting Agriculture Secretary D a n
Glickman and Senator Conrad Burns by tossing bison
guts on a table in front of them at a March 23 public meeting
about the killing of bison as they leave Y e l l o w s t o n e
National Park, is to be sentenced on January 7. Wilson
faces up to two years in prison and a fine of as much as
Federal judge J. Garvan Murtha ruled on
October 8 that the Fund for Animals and Green Mountain
Animal Defenders lacked standing to argue that federal
funds were improperly used in connection with establishing
the Vermont moose hunting season.

New Jersey Appellate Judge Philip Carchman on
October 8 granted a New Jersey Audubon Society request to
temporarily reinstate a moratorium on horseshoe crabbing
imposed by Governor Christine Whitman to protect shorebirds,
for whom horseshoe crab eggs are a critical food source
on migrations to their Arctic nesting sites. The New Jersey
Marine Fisheries Council had voted on September 25 to
ignore the moratorium, originally imposed on May 30,
renewed in August. In mid-September Whitman recommended
that the moratorium be adopted in modified form as a permanent
regulation. As horseshoe crab catches multiplied
eightfold since 1990, the New Jersey horseshoe crab population
fell by 90% in six years. Sanderlings, red knots, and
ruddy turnstones arrived in May at the lowest average weights
ever recorded on their migration routes, but recovered rapidly
on an 80% horseshoe crab egg diet.

Mega-hog farm opponent Malcolm Blount, 51, a
small-scale farmer from Fancy Farm, Kentucky, was indicted
on October 2 for wanton assault and endangerment after being
shot three times in the neck and shoulder on August 14 by
Buckman Farms construction manager Henry Spivey, 44, of
Mayfield. Spivey was not indicted, although eight of the 12
Graves County grand jurors thought he should have been.
Graves County commonwealth attorney David Hargrove
said, “Spivey got beat up pretty bad, too,” insisted the fight
had nothing to do with animosity over factory farms driving
small hog producers out of business, and said he was considering
asking a second grand jury and an outside prosecutor to
review the case, since his own late law partner, state senator
Jeff Green, had done legal work for mega-hog farm developer
Kenneth Buckman.

Remains found in a septic tank on the 42-acre former
estate of dog breeder Camilla Lyman in
Hopkinton, Rhode Island, are believed to be hers. Lyman,
who kept 58 dogs in a $525,000 kennel on the property, disappeared
in 1987. A newly appointed police chief reportedly
found the bones just as the American Kennel Club Museum
of the Dog, of St. Louis, Missouri, sued attorney Robert A.
Ragosta and show dog breeder George T. O’Neil of North
Kingstown for failing to deliver $1 million in a trust fund
Lyman set up to benefit the museum. Ragosta and O’Neil
managed the fund. The museum in December 1996 asked the
Rhode Island Superior Court to order Ragosta and O’Neil
to account for the allegedly missing money. Claims the suit,
“Annual accountings prepared by the co-trustees from 1986
through 1996 are questionable and reflect evidence of selfdealing,
unsubstantiated and improper payments, vanished
funds, excessive trustees’ fees, waste of trust assets, unexplained
loans, and illegal real estate deals.”

The USDA on September 26 announced a record
$175,000 fine against former Class B dog dealers Julian and
Anita Toney, of Des Moines, Iowa, described as “the
largest ever required to be paid by the USDA in full. The
Toneys, long suspected of trafficking in stolen dogs, also
permanently lost their Class B permit. They were given five
months to raise the money.
The USDA on October 17 announced that Mona
Hill of Mona Hill Kennels in Huntington, West Virginia,
agreed to permanent disqualification from operating in any
AWA-regulated capacity, and to pay a fine of $25,000, of
which $24,000 is suspended on condition that she never operate
On October 16 the USDA announced a civil
penalty of $15,000 and four-month license suspension against
Barbara Coleman of Tombar Kennels, in Bombay, New

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