British fight for bird habitat

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:

LONDON––English Nature, entrusted with protecting endangered species in England, has hung hundreds of hawk silhouettes over 80 third-floor windows at its headquarters, hoping to deter smaller birds from swooping into the “trees” they see reflected in the glass.

Protected species including firecrests, robins, blue tits, blackbirds, kingfishers, and a pallas’s warbler had all recently been killed there. The pallas’s warbler, native to Siberia, was a species so rare it had never previously been seen by any of the 250-member English Nature staff.

“It’s not the shape that matters,” spokesperson Sue Ellis told Jonathan Theobald and Paul Brown of The Guardian. “It has more to do with breaking up the reflective surface. The building is going to look very odd, but it will give the public some idea of what we are trying to do. One of the messages we’d like to send out is the need for better-designed buildings.”

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From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:

A December 1998 training exercise came back to haunt the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement data base (LEMIS) when Tennessee activist Don Elroy in March 2000 found a data entry indicating that 1,012 orangutans valued at $850,000 had come through Miami on a single day, en route from the fictitious firm “Quong’s Orangutans” to an address which turned out to belong to a real-life leather goods importer in Hershey, Pennsylvania. USFWS Office of Law Enforcement Branch of Technical and Field Support chief Circee Pieters told ANIMAL PEOPLE that the alleged deal was one of 29 included in the exercise, with hidden red flags indicating that they were to be deleted when the exercise was done––and they were, she said, but were later restored to the system when a power failure obliged LEMIS to restore files from a backup tape.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters in March 2000 sent to secondary schools across the province a 300-page hunter education manual produced in 1982 by the Ontario Natural Resources Ministry and the U.S.-based National Rifle Association. It includes about 50 pages showing how to load, aim, and fire weapons including handguns. “If the schools don’t like it, they can just send it back,” said OFAH spokesperson M a r k Holmes, denying that it might help students to commit murder.

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Did Animal Fair blow a cool million $$ in just six months?!

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:

Animal Fair, a glitzy magazine and web site created by celebrity cookbook co-author Wendy Diamond, “has raised about $1 million in capital since its launch last fall,” reports Keith J. Kelly of the New York Post, but is already in trouble due to “an exodus of staffers, board members and top executives,” after a split between Diamond and former boyfriend Chris Innis.

Innis formerly chaired the Animal Fair board, following the September 1999 resignation of Reciprocal Records president Larry Miller, but “has a day job as worldwide corporate planning director for magazine giant Emap Petersen, owners of Hot Rod, Teen and Motor Trend,” said Kelly, adding that Emap Petersen was not involved in funding Animal Fair.

Diamond, who claims to have raised $500,000 for charity through cookbook collaborations with rock stars Michael Jackson and Madonna, touts Animal Fair as “the first lifestyle web site and magazine for pet owners and animal lovers, bringing pets to the forefront of education, fashion, and entertainment, while creating awareness for protecting their welfare.”

Paige Powell, former editor of Interview magazine and companion to the late artist Andy Warhol, had similar ambitions for , an electronic magazine she launched from Portland, Oregon in 1996. It continues on a lower key, with a Pacific Northwest focus.

PETA in the US and abroad

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:

NORFOLK, Va.; NEW DELHI–– Sacred cows really have little in common with real cows.

Real cows give milk, are increasingly often factory-farmed in the U.S., frequently wander the roads in India without enough to eat, and in either nation follow most of their own offspring to slaughter as soon as they are economically unproductive––although in India the slaughtering tends to be illegal.

Sacred cows stand between real cows and public perception. They occupy billboards, pushing an image of health and contentment, between depictions of children and celebrities wearing white “mustaches.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals founder Ingrid Newkirk and People for Animals founder Maneka Gandhi during spring 2000 each tried to erase the “mustaches,” on behalf of suffering real cows––and were each promptly accused of atrocity.

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GeesePeace vs. USFWS

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:

GeesePeace president David Feld, of Fairfax County, Virginia, on April 14 accused the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of sabotaging volunteer efforts to control Canada geese by oiling eggs so that they do not hatch.

The Fish and Wildlife Service appears to prefer controlling geese by sport hunting or by USDA Wildlife Services roundups of geese for donation to soup kitchens.

“They have required that permit applications be processed on pink paper, declared corn oil––the recommended oil for egg treatment–– to be a pesticide which can only be used by a certified applicator, and required nest sites to be identified 60 days in advance, which they know is impossible,” Feld told Washington Post staff writer William Branigan.

Feld said the Fish and Wildlife Service also barred volunteers from oiling eggs on private property, even with landowner permission.

Added Doris Day Animal League executive director and GeesePeace member Holly Hazard, “This is a problem that the Fish and Wildlife Service itself created. Egg-oiling is something they should lead the charge on. They are not even in the army.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service introduced nonmigratory Canada geese to most of the sites where they are now problematic, beginning more than 40 years ago.

Introductions continue. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, for instance, recently confirmed that it is trying to double the Iowa population of Canada geese, despite public complaints.


From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:

BOSTON, PARIS, WASHINGTON D.C.––A single atypical case of a nutritionally deficient French vegan suffering blindness hit the newswires and radio talk shows bigtime on March 23, when described by three Paris doctors in a letter published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

For a week the report of the blind vegan upstaged news of contaminated meat recalls and scientific findings about the risks of eating meat.

Normalcy returned in April, as National Cancer Institute researchers warned the annual conference of the American Association for Cancer Research that a study of 900 women, including 300 with breast cancer, suggests that those who eat large amounts of charred and grilled meat had twice the risk of developing breast cancer as those who seldom or rarely eat charred or grilled meat.

“Normalcy,” over the past 40 years, is that the medical news about meat-eating is overwhelmingly bad. It appears prominently in The New York Times. But hometown newspapers, heavily dependent upon supermarket advertising, typically bury the information. And most Americans go right on eating as before, on average.

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Why is Wendy Rhodes kissing this shark?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:

Education and Action for Animals president Wendy Rhodes [above], of Redondo Beach, California, is kissing this formerly captive nurse shark––about to be released––to make observers ask questions, she admits.

Rhodes wants people to question their attitudes toward sharks, toward keeping captive sharks, and toward keeping any animals captive for entertainment.

The nurse shark in the photo, previously kept at a San Jose pizza restaurant, is one of six Rhodes has rescued within the past year from tanks they have outgrown. They were returned to the sea with the help of more than 50 sympathizers.

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Down Under

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:


Royal SPCA of Australia president Hugh Wirth in February 2000 outraged both vegetarians and hunters with near-simultaneous announcements that the RSPCA will help market gourmet pork, to encourage farmers to rear pigs in less cruel conditions, and that the RSPCA will also seek to extend the present partial bans on duck hunting which are in effect on public land in Western Australia and New South Wales and throughout the Australian Central Territories.


Animal Liberation spokesperson Mark Pearson reportedly accused Wirth of “getting into bed with industry,” while Sporting Shooters Association vice president Ted Drane told Manika Naidoo of the Melbourne Age that he “will ask the tax office to investigate how money donated to a charity can be spent on a political campaign.”


From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2000:

WASHINGTON D.C. – – Defenders of Wildlife and 179 other organizations on April 10 petitioned Congress for an “investigation into charges that the American Farm Bureau Federation national leadership has harmed the American farmer and their own members by posing as an organization representing farmer interests.”

The petitioners suggested that the Farm Bureau has a conflict of interest in operating “businesses that sell to the farmer and buy from the farmer.” They also sought “an investigation into charges that the Farm Bureau misrepresents its motivations to Congress and the American taxpayer, exploiting the farmer image to win nonprofit privileges that shield them from $61.75 million annually in federal income tax.”

Defenders circulated the petition by e-mail for a month preceding an April 9 expose of the Farm Bureau broadcast by CBS 60 Minutes. The expose paralleled a series of critical reports published in the Defenders membership magazine since 1998, as Defenders and the Farm Bureau clashed over the 1995 wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park and Idaho. In December 1997 the Farm Bureau won a lower court ruling, since reversed, which would have required that all the wolves and their descendants be removed from the wild.

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