From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2000:
U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle ruled on June 27 in Washington D.C. that the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation, In Vitro International, and Philadelphia college student Kristine Gausz have standing to pursue their March 1999 lawsuit against the USDA for failing to protect birds, rats, and mice under the Animal Welfare Act. Huvelle held that “a researcher who witnesses the mistreatment of rats in her lab must have standing,” and that the USDA does not have “unreviewable discretion to exclude birds, rats, and mice from AWA protection.” The Alternatives Research & Development Foundation is a subsidiary of the American Anti-Vivisection Society, founded in 1994 to support the development of alternatives to animal use in laboratories.
Seattle Federal District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled on June 12 that USDA Wildlife Services could proceed with killing as many as 3,500 resident Canada geese in alleged problem areas around Puget Sound this summer, under contract to 12 counties, 11 cities, the University of W a s h i n g t o n, and B o e i n g. As many as 1,000 geese were reportedly captured and gassed during the next two weeks. USDA Wildlife Services regional chief G a r y O l d e n b u r g refused to disclose the locations of goose roundups and killing to either the Seattle Times, activist groups, or Renton mayor Jesse Tanner, and reportedly told Tanner that if any journalist turned up at a killing site, the killing would be halted to avoid exposure. Similar massacres––and secrecy––are slated for many other regions.
The Colorado Court of Appeals on May 25 authorized the city of Lakewood to kill five prairie dog colonies along the Bear Creek greenway, overturning a November 1998 injunction. The appellate court held that state courts may not interfere with municipal administrative affairs. The prairie dogs are reportedly safe, however, as Lakeland now professes to be pursuing nonlethal containment.
The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on June 9 in New Orleans that a prohibition on “any hunting” issued to convicted bird poachers Michael Detraz Jr. and Sr. meant “any hunting anywhere,” including in Mexico. The Detraz father-andson duo had argued that U.S. courts do not have the authority to restrict what people do in other nations.
The U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 19 ordered Internet domain name speculator Michael T. D o u g h n e y to surrender to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals the domain name . Doughney registered the name in 1995, before PETA had a web site. He used it for about four months to post anti-animal rights messages.
Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger Jr. of Hartford, Connecticut, ruled that a fawn is a deer who still has spots, not any deer short of maturity. The A n i m a l Rights Front, of New Haven, had held that cull hunts held at Bluff Point Coastal R e s e r v e in Groton during 1996 and 1997 violated a state law against hunting fawns.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on June 20 voted 7-1 against technical objections by the Oklahoma Gamefowl Breeders Association to the format of a petition filed by the Oklahoman Coalition Against Cockfighting in an effort to put an anti-cockfighting initiative on the November state ballot. The Gamefowl Breeders reportedly also intend to challenge the validity of the 99,309 signatures on the petition, of which 69,887 must be authenticated, and also challenge the constitutionality of a cockfighting ban.
The Performing Animal Welfare S o c i e t y in early June reportedly sued F e l d Entertainment Inc. and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows in U.S. District Court in Sacramento for allegedly infiltrating PAWS, beginning in 1989, stealing files, personnel records, and donor lists. PAWS founder Pat Derby told Cynthia Hubert of the Sacramento Bee that she learned of the covert operation from an east coast private detective who had obtained about 20 boxes of her own documents from a former Feld executive