From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2000:

A Faroe Islands court recently convicted
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
founder Paul Watson in absentia of alleged
illegal entry into Faroese waters, and ordered
him to pay a fine of $37,000 or serve 60 days
in jail, Watson and the Sea Shepherds learned
on September 27 from the Ritzau news agency
of Denmark. “Captain Watson has a clear
defense for all charges, but was not allowed to
present it,” said a Sea Shepherd release.
“Captain Watson did not choose to be tried in
absentia,” the release continued, adding that
Watson didn’t even know he had been charged
until after the trial.

The Canadian Department of
Fisheries and Oceans announced in early
September that members of a J a c q u e s
Cousteau Society film crew will not be
charged with any offense in connection with a
September 1999 incident in which an amateur
videographer appeared to have caught them
racing their boat into a pod of whales near
Tadoussac, Quebec. The DFO revoked the
Cousteau Society’s permit to film underwater,
but decided after “exhaustive analysis” of the
video that the evidence was not strong enough
to obtain a conviction. “Obviously we never
wanted to disturb the whales in the St.
Lawrence River,” said Francine Cousteau,
widow of Jacques Cousteau and now head of
the organization. “We love Quebec, and want
to continue our scientific research there.”
Contending that the Arizona ban
on cockfighting approved overwhelmingly by
voters in 1998 is unconstitutionally vague,
cockfighting enthusiasts won a delay of
enforcement from Maricopa County
Superior Court Judge Joseph Howe, but it
didn’t last long, as the Arizona Court of
Appeals on September 5 unanimously agreed
that as Appellate Judge Sheldon Weisberg
wrote, “A person of common intelligence
would understand these phrases to mean exactly
what they say––that cockfighting is illegal
in Arizona, whether it be for profit or pleasure,
whenever the perpetrator knowingly
causes gamecocks to fight or injure each
other.” The cockfighters are now expected to
appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court.
Arizona blood sports enthusiasts
won a round on September 12, however,
when the Governor’s Regulatory Review
Council unanimously and for the second time
overturned a ban on predator killing contests
which had been declared by the A r i z o n a
Game and Fish Commission.
Friends of Animals and the Animal
Rights Front on September 26 won a court
order that the Connecticut Department of
Environmental Protection must not accept
bids on state land leased as trapping concessions
pending a hearing on the groups’ contention
that the DEP has acted improperly in
requiring that leaseholders must actually trap
animals. Anti-trapping activists bought the
trapping rights on 47,000 acres in 1998, and
then forced the DEP to cancel the 1999 trapping
season on state land by winning a ruling
that rules changes imposed to exclude them
were illegal and unfair.

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