LETTERS [March 1999]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1999:

Critical mass
Your newspaper has singlehandedly
done more for animal
advocacy around the world by covering
issues that are avoided by others
because the topics are either too
intellectually demanding or too controversial
to handle. For instance,
your January/February 1999 editorial
on how to best deal with China is
probably the best position I have
read on the matter. And your expose
of the bloated compensation paid by
high-profile and powerful groups
likethe Humane Society of the U.S.
et al is courageous and important.
As a college professor for
30 years, I am quite impressed with
how you can do extensive research
on a shoestring budget. Imagine
how much money the HSUS
expended just in terms of travel junkets
to expose the China dog fur
issue, only for ANIMAL PEOPLE
to point out that Russia is still the
biggest exporter of dog fur. And
imagine how the sum of all the
bloated salaries of animal executives
could be used for spay/neuter programs
and no-kill animal sanctuaries.
Their self-aggrandizement is
unconscionable and demoralizing to
those who at the grassroot level
struggle every day to survive.
Your newspaper has done
a lot on behalf of sincere animal
people who see the urgent need to
build a critical mass toward the time
humanity will learn to share this
planet with nonhuman species.
––Ruben Santos Cuyugan
Lenoir, North Carolina
[Cuyugan is retired direc –
tor of the UNESCO project for
International Development of the
Social Sciences.]

Replacement

Animal shelters can stop shelter
killing of dogs with very little
expense to them, just by giving
away altered animals to lowincome
homes to replace unaltered
owned animals who die, so that
the breeding pets of poverty level
families are replaced by a nonbreeding
population. Statistical
analysis shows that enough such
replacements are needed every
year, since the dog turnover rate is
17% per year, to eliminate surplus
dog births.
Here are the numbers:
There are currently 3.7 million
sub-poverty level U.S. households
with dogs. They acquire about
678,000 dogs per year, of whom
about 314,000 are female.
Promoting Animal Welfare Society
data shows that dogs of poor owners
have, on average, two litters of
six pups each before they are
spayed or surrendered to a shelter.
U.S. animal shelter dog intake
per year includes receipt of about
514,000 owner-surrendered altered
females. If placed in low income
homes, they could prevent more
dog births in a year than the total
number of dogs now being killed in
shelters.
Altering intact females and giving
them to low-income households
for free also makes economic
sense. Animal control, holding,
killing, and disposal costs average
around $70 per animal, nationwide.
To spay a dog costs an average
of $50, and licensing costs
another $10 for an altered dog.
Hence, by spending $60, an average
of six births are prevented,
saving animal control and shelter
charges of $420. The net saving
per altered dog placed is an average
of $360.
I will be happy to provide further
data. Contact me by e-mail at
>>BobPAWS@aol.com<<.
––Lewis R. Plumb
Chico, California

 

WWF & turtles
I am very glad that you
have dared to expose the World
Wildlife Fund.
This is my practical experience
here: they only make paper
statements and do precious little in
the actual protection of nature. I had
a bitter experience with them with
regard to sea turtle protection. To
patrol the 20 miles or more of nesting
coast near Visakhapatnam, as
we do every winter, is not only very
difficult but also very expensive.
In good faith, and understanding
from all their attractive
advertisements that WWF is a pioneer
organization in the cause of animal
protection, I asked their regional
director for help. Instead, to my
dismay, he launched a complaint to
the Conservator of Forests that I was
poaching sea turtle eggs. My 20-
page letter to the WWF head office
in Switzerland got the WWF regional
director and a volunteer corps
sacked, but their replacements are
also ineffective.
––Pradeep Kumar Nath
Visakha SPCA
26-15-200 Main Road
Visakhapatnam 530 001
India

Mahashir
ANIMAL PEOPLE is a
revolutionary voice in the world on
behalf of silent animals. We wish to
call to your attention the brutal illegal
large-scale killing of the fish
mahashir, tortoises, and other water
creatures in the River Ganges, “the
soul of India,” and in her tributaries.
The very delicate fish
mahashir is the one which purifies
the river water. The mahashir totally
disappeared from the rivers of Uttar
Chand and the Himalayas about
three or four years ago, during
floods, but in absence of floods has
recently reappeared––only to be netted,
poisoned, and blasted from the
water to be eaten or pressed to
extract medicinal oil. Our government
seems to be unable or unwilling
to prevent the killing.
The regions where the
mahashir dwells are populated by
Hindus, who burn their dead and
give the ashes to the Ganges. After
the application of the Forest Act of
1980, however, tree-cutting to
build funeral pyres was prohibited.
Due to lack of fuel, many people
now throw only half-burnt bodies
into the river. Previously, the
unburned bodies became food for
the fish. Because of the loss of
mahashir, however, bodies are now
seen floating in the rivers, distributing
many dangerous diseases.
We are working to stop the
killing of mahashir, turtles, and
other Ganges species, and to win
real protection for them.
We welcome the help and
cooperation of others.
––Dr. Harish Maikhuri,
Animal Welfare Officer
and Mrs. Kuseum Maikhuri
Prithivi Kalyan Samiti
Gopeshwar, Garhoval
Himalaya, India 24601

Zimbabwe
New Year’s greetings
from Zimbabwe and the Bulwayo
Branch of the SPCA!
We are all grateful to you
for publishing our “wish list” last
October. There was great excitement
here yesterday when we
received a parcel from one of your
readers, Carolyn Fu of Hawaii, who
very kindly sent us several of the
items we mentioned, including a
screwdriver. It was a lovely surprise.
Thank you for your support.
––M. Harrison
Bulawayo Branch SPCA

POB 1321
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

India
Your editorial on cruelty
to the dogs in China who are eaten
and skinned for fur made a good
point in that it would be more useful
to encourage better animal care in
China than to launch a boycott.
Dogs in many parts of
India also endure much suffering.
They may be killed by electrocution
or by poisoning, as described in
your November 1998 edition. They
may also suffer appalling cruelty in
capture, which is often accomplished
by use of bone-crushing iron
tongs or a tin wire around the neck.
A boycott of India because
of this treatment would be counterproductive.
The cruelties, while
common, are against national policy,
and many animal welfare societies
all over India are struggling to
establish alternative humane methods
of street dog population control.
As your editorial emphasized,
what we need is not condemnation
but financial support. If the
wealthy animal protection societies
in the U.S. could “adopt” needy
Indian societies, and help sponsor
their projects, we could bring an
end to much suffering of street dogs.
Just a tithe from the affluent
American societies could stop
the killing and poisoning in many
communities. Already the courts in
some Indian states have ruled that
killing street dogs is to stop, and
that animal birth control programs
are to be substituted––but this has
happened only where the local animal
welfare organizations have
funds to implement the rulings.
––Christine Townend
Managing Trustee
Help In Suffering
Maharani Farm, Durgapura
Jaipur, Rajasthan 302018, India

Editor’s note:
The North Shore Animal
League, DELTA Rescue, International
Fund for Animal Welfare,
and various other U.S.-based orga –
nizations are already actively help –
ing humane work abroad.
Many more, with ample
means to help, probably won’t until
all their overpaid executives and furwearing
trustees gather for a board
meeting on a frigid day in hell.
Yes, we’re talking about
the Humane Society of the U.S.,
whose Humane Society International
seems more visible in HSUS fundraising
appeals than in usefully
helping anyone anywhere we’ve
been, and the American SPCA,
whose board reportedly still
includes shooter-of-tame-ducks Fred
Drasner, among others of question –
able humane commitmenmt.
However, individual ani –
mal protection donors can often
make an astonishing difference, just
by redirecting their contributions.
To HSUS and other rich
outfits with little hands-on role, the
first $10 or even $25 that any donor
sends is just seed money to reinvest
in trying to get more.
To overseas organizations
lacking even a screwdriver, such a
gift can be a miracle.

Turkey
News of the Duffield
Family Foundation commitment of
$200 million to save dogs and cats,
in the October 1998 edition of ANIMAL
PEOPLE, came as a tonic to
us. As people who believe that life
is a sacred gift of God to all living
beings, and know “the thrill of nokill,”
we want to congratulate the
animal lovers who are trying to realize
this humane project.
Here in Turkey, where
there is no animal protection law,
we try to help stray dogs in our
Samandira shelter, which urgently

needs repair. Right now we have
400 dogs, who receive food, vaccination,
and love. Since we don’t
have a neutering clinic, we send our
dogs to be neutered at various outside
clinics, with the help of our
friends. We believe neutering animals
and educating people are the
most important steps to be taken,
but due to lack of funding we cannot
do enough of either. We hope and
wish we could find the means to
start our own spay/neuter program.
––Suna Develioglu
Istanbul Hayvanseverler Dernegi
Bhariye Cad. 68
Beyez Saray Apt. 3/5
Kadikby-Istanbul, Turkey

Italy
I’m writing to inform you
about our initiative for saving
Venice’s pigeons. Massimo Cacciari,
current Mayor of Venice, in
order to control pigeons’ population
growth, has decided to apply the
systematic killing of a certain number
of animals. Our organization,
Ente Nazionale Protezione Animali,
considering Cacciari’s decree unjust
and morally questionable, has
begun a “Boycott Venice” initiative.
We are starting a petition against the
killing all over Italy and through our
Internet sites, and are informing
European and American associations
for animal protection, asking everyone
not to visit Venice until the
decree is lifted.
We are also asking the
Mayor to discuss non-violent methods
to reduce the pigeon population.
Our petition is posted at
> > h t t p : / / w w w . a r p n e t . i t / e n p a / p e t i z _
colombi.htm<<.
Please remember that the
actual petition is in Italian and can
be signed by Italian citizens only.
The boycott may be joined
by anyone.
––Marina Berati
Ente Nazionale Protezione Animali
Turin, Italy

Cat poisoning
On Monday January 25th,
ostensibly to prevent the spread of
rabies from foxes, cats were mass
poisoned with alpha-chloralose in
Arad, Israel. Many suffered lingering
deaths. Low-level city workers
did the poisoning with little or no
supervision from the only veterinary
professional employed by the city,
Yosef Simchon, DVM, who
ordered the poisoning.
Animal activists in Arad
searched the two neighborhoods
where the poisoning was done, to
find the dying cats, and called
Yankele Kahane, DVM, sent by the
Cat Welfare Society of Israel, to
humanely euthanize the cats with
sodium pentabarbitone. Simchon
prevented Kahane from searching
the city dump for more dying cats
dumped there by city workers, and
called the police to have Kahane
arrested for trespassing. Kahane
was released after paying bail.
Photographers with Dr.
Kahane quickly escaped at the time
of his arrest to insure the safety of
the videotape of the poisoning.
Please join us in demanding
that oral rabies vaccination of
foxes be immediately implemented
in Arad, plus a spay/neuter and vaccination
program for street cats.
Contact Bazelel Tabib,
Mayor of Arad, fax 972-7-
9954265; Rafael Eitan, Minister of
Agriculture, Jerusalem, Israel, fax
972-2-6535958; and Amnon
Shimshoni, Director of Israel
Veterinary Services, Beit Dagan,
Israel, fax 972-3-9681641.
––Rivi Mayer,
Cat Welfare Society of Israel, and
Ellen Moshenberg,
Arad For Animals
Israel

Electrocutions
I live in Drummondville,
Quebec, Canada. In my city, animals
are electrocuted without anesthesia,
using boosting cables for
cars! The people responsible for this
atrocity are Henri Paul Picottin and
his wife Solange. The mayor who
authorized this is Francine RuestJutras.
She thinks animals are not
important. We petitioned her to stop
the electrocutions, but she laughed.
Letters of protest may be sent to her
c/o the City of Drummondville, 413
Lindsay, Drummondville, Quebec,
Canada J2B 1G7; fax 819-478-
3363; or e-mail >>mairie@drummond.com<<.
––Mario Cusson
Drummondville, Quebec
[Local news media veri –
fied Cusson’s account.]

 

Cow At My Table
I appreciate your remarks
about my work for farm animals in
your January/February review of
Jennifer Abbot’s new video A Cow
At My Table. I wrote about factory
farming for the first time in 1973,
for Friends of Animals. That was
my personal groundwork that would
lead to writing Animal Factories
with Peter Singer.
––Jim Mason
Mt. Vernon, Missouri

Discount rate
Vegan Outreach has purchased
enough copies of A Cow At
My Table to reduce the price, if
ordered from us, to our cost of
$15.00. We hope that by cutting the
price in half, we can get thousands
into circulation.
––Jack Norris, Director
Vegan Outreach
1189-B Ashborough Drive
Marietta, GA 30067

Czech Republic
I work for the environmental
organization Hnuti DUHA,
which translates “Friends of the
Earth, Czech Republic.”
Because of the terrible
conditions on our factory farms, I
have decided to realize a campaign
for farm animal welfare. I want to
monitor all our animal farms and the
conditions of the animals there.
Then I want to inform the public of
the conditions, and of the possibility
of influencing conditions by purchasing
only products of farms
where conditions are good. Then I
will try to convince our government
to include in legislation a proposal
that animals should be raised without
suffering and by more environmentally
friendly means.
I would like to receive
information and educational materials
from others who have done such
campaigns. I would also appreciate
advice on obtaining funding.
––Petra Vetecnikova
Hnuti DUHA Brno
Jakubske nam. 7
602 00 Brno
Czech Republic

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