From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1997:

The U.S. Supreme Court o n
November 3 affirmed a 1994 Federal Court
of Appeals ruling on behalf of the Animal
Legal Defense Fund that proceedings of the
National Academy of the Sciences are subject
to the 1972 Federal Advisory Committee
Act. This means meetings of Academy committees
must be open to the public, makes
documents accessible under the Freedom of
Information Act, and means committee meetings
must be attended by a federal government
representative. Observed New York Times science
reporter Nicholas Wade, “Officials of
the Academy say that subjecting it to the law
would undermine its independence from the
government and the credibility of its reports.

The Academy is hoping to persuade Congress
to exempt it. Failing that, the scientists who
sit on the Academy’s governing council say,
they will simply not appoint committees––in
effect threatening to bring the Academy out on
strike, since running committees is a principal
part of its business.” Responded ALDF
lawyer Eric R. Glitzenstein, “They just don’t
want to have their operations scrutinized.”
Dawn Ratcliffe, 24, hunger striking
since she was jailed for 45 days on
October 2 for trying to block access to the
Labor Day pigeon shoot in Hegins, Pennsylvania,
was hospitalized on October 29.
Ratcliffe had vowed to starve herself until the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
agreed to vote on a bill to ban pigeon shoots,
which has 46 cosponsors but is tied up in a
hunter-dominated committee. On October 31
the Schuykill County court rejected a motion
on Ratcliffe’s behalf for early parole––and the
Pennsylvania legislature recessed for three
weeks. “Dawn looks weak, thin, and tired,”
said Heidi Prescott, national director for the
Fund for Animals, “and we are very worried
about her health. We asked her to eat. She
agreed to drink additional fluids.”
Ape Army organizer Rick Bogle
was jailed for trespassing on November 1 for
trying to start a nine-day vigil outside the
California Regional Primate Center at the
University of California at Davis. Three of
23 people who turned out the next day to
demonstrate in his support were also charged
with trespass––Geoffrey George Derivshian,
20, of Fresno; and Joshua Harper, 22, and
Katies Louis, 19, both of Portland, Oregon.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas
judge Frank Celebrezze Jr. on November 4
and November 13 granted Ohioans for
Animal Rights a temporary restraining order
and a preliminary injunction to delay a proposed
deer cull in the Cuyahoga Valley
National Recreation Area until January 5, at
soonest, when he is to hear the OAR case that
the cull scheme is based on faulty biology.
Alleged animal rights activist firebomber
Barry Horne, 45, of Northampton,
England, was convicted on November 12 in
Bristol of four counts of arson, five counts of
attempted arson recklessly endangering human
life, and one count of possessing articles with
intent to damage property. One of his incendiary
devices was found by a woman who had
unwittingly let her children play with it.

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