From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1998:

Genetic patents
New York Medical College cellular biologist Stuart A. Newman,
cofounder with biotechnology critic Jeremy Rifkin of the Council for
Responsible Genetics, revealed in the April edition of Nature that on
December 18, 1996 he and Rifkin applied for a patent on three techniques of
mixing human embryonic cells with the embryonic cells of other species to produce
part-human, part-animal “chimeras,” named for beasts of Greek myth
who had lion heads, goat bodies, and snake tails. Explained Newsweek, “The
two activists hope that a patent would give them the legal means to block scientists
from using any of the methods they lay out in the application.” Patent
Office verdicts, N e w s w e e k continued, “can be appealed all the way to the
Supreme Court––a prospect that delights Rifkin and Newman. Bioethicists say
that the ensuing court battles may force the first real legislation on what constitutes
a human,” thereby legally limiting many potential uses of both human and
animal genetic material in research.

Julia Butler Hansen refuge
USDA Wildlife Services trapper Dan Libby on April 7 caught his
first coyote of the year at the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge
near Cathlamet, Oregon––a pregnant female, who was released 65 miles away.
The live trapping and release came in response to protest last year over the
killing of nine coyotes, ostensibly to protect a declining herd of endangered
Columbia whitetailed deer. However, after declaring last spring that killing
coyotes was necessary to protect the Julia Butler Hansen herd from extinction,
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in November 1997 proposed downlisting the
deer from “endangered” to “threatened,” and proposed removing other known
population of the species, at Roseburg, Oregon, from the federal endangered
and threatened species list. Having settled a 1997 lawsuit against the coyote
killing out of court, on the USFWS pledge that the Julia Butler Hansen deer
management strategy would be reassessed, Friends of Animals “will shortly be
filing an amended complaint” to reopen the case, FoA attorney H e r m a n
Kaufman said. “Once again,” he elaborated, USFWS “has utterly failed to
analyze the causes of the declining deer population, and has mistakenly scapegoated
the coyote. USFWS has refused to explore the longterm nutritional deficiencies
of the deer, owing to the policy of using the refuge for cattle grazing.”

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