LETTERS [Nov 1997]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1997:

Thank you for sending your wonderful paper.
It’s nice to read that animal welfare issues are being
tackled globally!
As chief executive of the Greek Animal
Welfare Fund, based in the United Kingdom, I am
very involved in locating where exotic animals are kept
within Greece, seeing how they are kept, and if necessary,
doing what we can to help.
Early this year we moved 11 apes and two
crowned cranes from the Athens zoo. Last weekend I
managed to get the last monkey out of Iraklion, in
Crete. We have four more monkeys lined up to go,
from the National Gardens in Athens, a bar in Voula,
and a wildlife center in Aegina. We have been very
lucky to gain the support of the AAP Foundation in
Amsterdam [a world-acclaimed primate facility], and
to date all the apes have gone there. After a short quarantine
for tests and treatment, they have been introduced
into family groups. We hope they will eventually
be relocated into an approved venue together.

I have just visited a small zoo in northern
Greece which leaves a lot to be desired, and I am currently
in correspondence with them to see if we can
again help to move some of the animals, which
include lions, bears, and wolves.
Our other activities include regular neutering
projects, working with the Veterinary University on
matters such as the successful animal welfare seminar
held in May this year, distributing educational material,
talking with local mayors and municipal governments
about animal welfare, talking with national government
departments, investigating complaints, and
supporting some of the many groups dotted around
Greece both financially and with equipment.
I receive a lot of correspondence from the
U.S. from people who have visited Greece and have
been shocked by what they have seen, but I just want
to tell your readers that many groups as well as GAWF
are working to promote animal welfare in Greece.
Things are improving, but gradually. All we can do is
keep pushing hard for change, maintain a presence,
and continue to do as much practical work as possible
on a day-to-day basis.
If any ANIMAL PEOPLE readers would
like to know more, or receive a copy of our magazine,
please write to me. ––David Barnes
Chief Executive
Greek Animal Welfare Society
1-2, Castle Lane
London, SW1E 6DN, United Kingdom
Fax 0044-171-630-9816
E-mail: 104715,3306@compuserve.com

Pain & fear
With all the talk about cloning more animals
for food, organ donation, and medical research,
wouldn’t you think they could find and eliminate the
center of pain and fear in these millions of animals?
––Odette Grosz
New Orleans, Louisiana

We’re honored
I apologize for not asking in advance, but I
quoted your June editorial in my own small newsletter:
Cat ladies, and gentlemen, who venture into
dark alleys alone to catch and neuter seemingly end –
less legions of ferals, could teach the rest of the ani –
mal protection cause quite a lot about patience,
endurance, fortitude and strategy. Cat rescuers
understand that the work must be sustained, come
flood, forest fire, or the chance to raise $10 million
around freeing Willy. One must take on the big prob –
lem, not just the most visible edges of it, and unrelent –
ingly keep after it, because only dealing with the visi –
ble part achieves nothing. Working mostly alone or in
small groups, at personal expense and risk, cat res –
cuers and the veterinarians who neuter homeless cats
at a discount have earned much credit for helping to
cut the U.S. animal shelter killing toll from a recorded
high of 17.8 million in 1987 to maybe 4.5 million last
year. There are still too many homeless cats. Yet few
if any social problems have ever yielded faster to indi –
vidual initiative.
This was sent to over 600 local people,
many of whom participate in our feral cat-trapping program.
I wanted to give them a small pat on the back,
and your editorial was so explicit on the subject. I
hope this is all right with you. ––Virginia Merry
Vice President
Animal Birth Control
Pine Beach, New Jersey

We’re honored by reprints. Just tell readers
where our material came from, and if possible, men –
tion that we’ll send a free sample copy and subscrip –
tion information on request. Thanks.


Smithsonian in Burma
Your page one September article “Refuge
or no-man’s-land” contains information that requires
clarification. The Smithsonian Institution is not
involved in any capacity, either advisory or financial,
in the development of the Myinmoletkat Nature
Reserve in peninsular Burma, nor of the Lampi
Island Marine Park. The Institution’s scientists have
trained wildlife sanctuary staff to investigate the ecology
of the endangered brow-antlered deer or tramin in
a remote area north of Mandalay, Upper Burma. The
Kyatthin Wildlife Sanctuary is the last stronghold of
the thamin, which was once widespread in Southeast
Asia. This project, initiated in 1995, is an attempt to
integrate the needs of local people with the conservation
goals of the park. The project, which focuses on
the thamin as a flagship species, includes floral and
faunal surveys, and employs local people as field
assistants and temporary helpers. In addition, a sister
initiative in environmental education has enlisted the
support of local villages through school teachers and
monasteries. This project is working to ensure the
survival of a small patch of habitat by integrating
community needs with conservation.
––Robert Hoage
Office of Public Affairs
National Zoological Park
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C.

This is to clarify the staffing of Doing
Things For Animals, as reported on page 11 of the
October edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE. My penchant
for positive thinking led me to prematurely
identify Ed Sayres as director of ethics, standards,
and accreditation. While Ed and I have talked about
the possibility, Ed has not yet accepted this important
role that will benefit so many animals and their caregivers.
––Linda Foro
Doing Things For Animals
Sun City, Arizona

Tulane, my first night
From across the street I can hear monkeys
calling to each other in the breeding pens. There are
4,000 monkeys here. Already I have been told to
leave or get burned out. The security officer has suggested
I sit behind a tree. Really.
At the demo today, two people came. I feel
at risk, but I know that the prisoners are. They cannot
leave, so I won’t. I wish I was home.
––Rick Bogle
Prairie City, Oregon

Middle school science teacher Rick Bogle is
midway through a year-long series of vigils outside
each of the federally funded Regional Primate
Centers. The two people who joined him in protest at
Tulane were Jeff Dorson and Dana Dell of Legislation
in Support of Animals, who were later joined by one
other LISA member.

Hegins Seven
I am one of the “Hegins Seven,” who took
part in a civil disobedience action at the Labor Day
pigeon shoot in Hegins. Our goal was to block the
main road leading to the massacre. We shut down the
road for almost 10 hours as we locked ourselves
together in concrete barrels. What seemed like hundreds
of people left the pigeon shoot to come see us. I
think our action worked very well.
Unfortunately, all seven of us are facing
serious charges. We have 11 charges total, five of
which are felonies. As you can imagine, we have
huge lawyers’ bills to pay and no money with which
to pay them. The Hegins Defense Fund has been set
up on our behalf c/o the New Jersey Animal Rights
Alliance, POB 174, Englishtown, NJ 07726.
Thank you for any help you can give us.
––Christine Matyasovsky
Animal Defense League
Milford, Connecticut

Jailed for 45 days on October 2, Hegins
Seven member Dawn Ratcliffe, 24, of North
Carolina, commenced a hunger strike. According to
Mike Markarian of The Fund for Animals, “Ms.
Ratcliffe has vowed to continue her hunger strike in
prison until the Republican leaders of the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives put legislation
to ban live pigeon shoots on the House floor for a fair
vote. State Representative Sara Steelman (D-Indiana
County) introduced a bill to ban live pigeon shoots
during the second week of October, with 43 co-spon –
sors. The Republican leaders of the House have
thwarted several past attempts to vote on similar leg –

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