LETTERS [April 2000]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2000:
I am part of a small organization of Mexican and American citizens in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, trying to start a shelter for the street animals. We have nothing here for the protection of animals, and the conditions for the animals here are horrible. In May the city will dispatch trucks to throw out into the street hundreds of hot dogs laced with strychnine. That is how the population is controlled, or so they think. Approaching the city is on our list of things to do, but without a facility we are somewhat powerless. We are waiting to hear back from the city about possibly using some of their land. Meanwhile puppies and kittens are born every day in the street. We desperately need help!
Mascotas de La Paz A.C.
c/o K. M. Mitton 2314 Carriage Circle,
Oceanside, CA 92056-3604.
Editor’s note: We strongly urge animal rescue organizations to avoid becoming dependent upon the use of public or leased property, and especially to avoid putting up per – manent structures on land they do not own outright. We have seen countless situations, both in the U.S. and abroad, in which well-meaning people think they have secured the use of land via lease or public con – tract, build a shelter or animal hos – pital, and then lose everything when the political winds shift or the property owner sells the land.
Buy your land outright. Then finance your building con – struction with a mortgage. Having collateral will enable you to build on a legally secure foundation.
Building a shelter, in any event, is not a direct means of pre – venting killing. High-volume lowcost or free neutering, plus antirabies vaccination, must be the first priorites of any successful antikilling program, to cut the street animal birth rate and reduce the threat to the public from the existing street animal population. Everything else is secondary. Once the numbers of free-roaming, repro – ducing animals are reduced, pre – venting cruelty and increasing adoptions will be much more easily done.
H.S. of Canada
Some of my friends and I are concerned about the finances of The Humane Society of Canada. This organization has indicated to Revenue Canada that they spent $800,000 last year on their charitable activities, but they refuse to give specific information about these activities. Readers who are concerned about this may contact Revenue Canada, Charities Division, 12th Floor, 320 Queen St. Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L5, Canada.
The Humane Society of Canada began as a project of Humane Society International, offi – cially the umbrella for the Humane Society of the U.S. and affiliates, legally an HSUS subsidiary. It has been involved in litigation vs. HSI/HSUS, over board structure and control of funds raised in Canada, since 1996.
Way of Death
I will be attending this year’s Animal Care Expo in Las Vegas, sponsored by the Humane Society of the U.S., but after reading in your December edition what Jean Gilchrist of the Kenya SPCA had to say about the last Expo, I wonder whether it is all a waste of time. Here at the Bulawayo SPCA, euthanizing is sadly a way of life. All the staff hate it, and find it a very depressing aspect of our lives, but it is the only solution for the many little souls who are brought it, their bodies wracked with disease and injuries. Most of them have never known a kind word or a pat. We just do not have the resources or kennel space to give them the long-term care and attention that they need.
We have a very strict policy on euthanizing: always three people in attendance, one to administer the injection, one to gently hold the animal, and the third person to stroke and talk to the animal. It must never be done when staff are in a hurry, and we always have two people crosscheck that the animal’s heart has stopped. Cats and kittens are always tranquilized first.
P.O. Box 1321
Some animals will always be irrecoverable, and will require euthanasia even in the best of situations. However, as a general principle of effective prac – tice––whether in the U.S. or abroad––we believe more can be accomplished, faster, by demon – strating that each animal’s life has value, even if one cannot save them all, than by attempting to “save” them all by routinely and efficiently killing most.
Thank you for sending your newspaper. We at our shelter always look forward to reading it.
I have been running this shelter for eight years now, on a volunteer basis. I am a Dutch citizen, now living here, and love it––especially helping the animals.
Our vet does about 20 to 30 spay/neuter surgeries per day in our clinic, which is so overcrowded that we are seeking a second vet. Once a week our present vet goes out to poor areas, where we do the surgeries on the spot. We help anyone who has problems with animals, at low cost or no cost. In a poor country like Costa Rica, this is necessary. Street animals are a problem here. People just throw them in the streets. We pick up as many as we can. We get no help from the government. We are always seeking donations, including of suture material, antibiotics, vaccines–– anything that can help animals.
We take in animals of all kinds, including horses, cattle, and wildlife. We only euthanize animals whose only future would be a painful death. We prepare dogs and cats for adoption, and rehabilitate wildlife for release.
We have a web page at infoweb.co.cr/refugio.
Asociation Humanitaria Para La Protecion Animale Apartado
73-3000 Heredia CR, Costa Rica
Life is full of ironies, and the March article on the [Invasive Species Council’s] “feral hit list” is no exception. Many exotic animals were transplanted to satisfy hunters and fishers unhappy with the “sporting” qualities of native species. The effect on natives has often been devastating and ANIMAL PEOPLE is promoting this travesty with its misbegotten defense of these alien introductions. Other exotics arrived so that their flesh could become meat, and ANIMAL PEOPLE has become an unwitting ally of transportation for terminal exploitation. Unnatural co-mingling of gene pools may become the biotech nightmare of every animal kingdom, yet ANIMAL PEOPLE encourages it by mistaking it for natural selection.
Coaldale, CO 81222
Species are more often translocated to satisfy hunters and fishers (and trappers) simply because the native equivalents have already been extirpated or extin – guished. The introduced varieties thrive where the natives did not for two reasons: they inherit an empty ecological niche, and they tend to arrive along with newly imposed bag limits. Examples go back as far as the widespread introduction of starlings and rock doves circa 1895 after the virtual eradication of pas – senger pigeons, and are as current as the Colorado effort to recover the trapped-out lynx by importing lynx from Canada. If native competitors existed to hold the habitat, knowing already where the food and cover are, the newcomers would soon be starved out––as five lynx were in early 1999 anyway.
The phrase “unnatural comingling of gene pools” calls to mind segregationist fears of “misce – genation.” If gene pools can mix, the mixing is not unnatural; it may be healthy. Another phrase for it is maintaining genetic diversity.
Among the ironies of extir – pating “non-native” species in the alleged interest of keeping “biodi – versity” is that if such bio-xenopho – bia catches on, much wildlife could become terminally inbred.
Dogs no longer fit to be tied
At the urging of Animal Advocates Society of British Columbia, Lions Bay has banned the unattended tethering of dogs.
Lions Bay also adopted the other sections of our “Humane Treatment of Animals” laws, which have now been adopted by ten municipalities. Anyone who keeps an animal must provide clean, potable drinking water at all times, and suitable food of sufficient quantity and quality to allow for normal growth and the maintenance of normal body weight; clean food and water receptacles, located so as to avoid examination by excretia; the opportunity for exercise sufficient to maintain good health, including the opportunity to be unfettered from a fixed area and exercised regularly under appropriate control; and necessary veterinary medical care when the animal shows pain or suffering.
Animals must also receive shelter sufficient to ensure protection from heat, cold, and wet, as appropriate to the animal’s weight and type of coat, which provide sufficient space to allow any animal the ability to turn about freely, and to stand, sit, and lie in a normal position. Any pen or run area must be regularly cleaned and sanitised, and all excretia removed at least once a day.
To the best of our knowledge, Lions Bay is the first town in Canada to take this step toward the elimination of dogs being seen in law as property, used and abused as owners wish.
Animal Advocates will again be asking the Provincial Government to incorporate these provisions into the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. In 1997, after receiving positive all-party support for their inclusion, adoption at the Provincial level was stopped by the British Columbia SPCA.
The campaign in Lions Bay was led by Animal Advocate Lyla Bessner. She deserves thanks and congratulations.
Animal Advocates Society of B.C.
Box 114, 103-2609
North Vancouver, B.C. Canada V7N 4N2
SHARK tells Corona “Get out of bullfights”
(An open letter to the Corona/Grupo Modela beer distribution company.)
Greetings from SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness). Headquartered in Geneva, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, we have for the past 10 years worked on animal issues throughout the U.S. Like Corona beer and other Grupo Modelo products, we have now expanded our range to other parts of the world. We address animal cruelty issues by using graphic close-up video footage, distributed to mass media, to educate the public.
This letter is to advise you that our investigators have found that Corona and Grupo Modelo are major advertisers in bullrings, and are therefore a considerable source of income for the bullfighting industry. SHARK has graphically documented bullfighting, and already possesses many dozens of pictures and hours of video footage showing animals bleeding, crying and dying in bullrings, with ads for Corona and other Grupo Modelo products forming the backdrop.
We would like to give you an opportunity to reconsider your support of bullfighting. Having researched your company, I note that your marketing strategy is one of selling people on getting “a taste of Mexico” by drinking Corona and other Grupo Modelo products. Interestingly, other than a one-word mention on page 30 of your website, there is no reference to bullfighting in any of your U.S. advertising.
Obviously your marketing people realize that a public association with bullfighting is not in your best interest in the U.S. We agree. The majority of people worldwide do not appreciate the concept of animals systematically crippled, tortured and slaughtered.
If you will provide me with an address and contact information, I will send you materials to show why you should sever your relationship with bullfighting. The materials include videotapes, photographs, and newspaper articles, including the results of two polls.
The video footage is mainly directed at Pepsi ads, as we recently successfully concluded a campaign to get Pepsi out of bullrings. However, you may rest assured that we have a wealth of video footage available with Corona and Modelo ads as a backdrop for animal torture and death.
I also encourage you to look at the website designed for the campaign against Pepsi. We are almost ready to remove this site, as Pepsi has bowed to public pressure, and has removed its signs and banners from the bullrings. The address is PepsiBloodBath.com.
If needed, SHARK will create a Corona/Modelo website that will similarly expose your dealings with bullfighting.
A year and a half ago, PepsiCo believed that its size and wealth could protect it from our campaign. After receiving worldwide condemnation, and the direct intervention of a cabinet minister of the Indian government, PepsiCo sees things differently. SHARK is now prepared to focus the considerable worldwide momentum of the Pepsi campaign on Corona and all of Grupo Modelo.
Approximately 18 months ago, I wrote a letter to the management of Pepsi Cola and offered them the same deal that I now offer to you: Get out of bullfighting now and become a corporate hero worldwide, or continue to support animal cruelty and watch it become a millstone around Corona and Grupo Modelo’s neck. I urge you not to repeat Pepsi’s mistake.
Please feel free to contact me at any time. I look forward to corresponding. But be advised that our campaign will begin in just a couple of weeks.
P.O. Box 28 Geneva, IL 60134