LETTERS [Nov 2000]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2000:
On page 8 of the September
200 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE,
you erroneously attributed to
me the statement, “When you look
for donations, you look for the most
politically correct way to go. And
it’s not politically correct to kill animals.”
That was actually said by
Tom Shannon of Rochester Animal
Control, when he was asked by
Alan Morrell of the Rochester
Democrat & Chronicle about the
decision of the Humane Society of
Rochester & Monroe County not to
renew our long-term contract with
the city to do animal control.
Shannon was among the few Rochester
Animal Services staff kept by
the city when they began operating
animal control on July 1, 2000.
I did make the statement
regarding the expenditure of “time
and energy doing things that are not
part of our mission.” The decision
not to renew the animal control contract
was carefully considered by
our staff and board. We determined
that we can continue to do the positive,
proactive things for the animals
and people of the City of
Rochester without bearing the burden
of maintaining the city’s animal
shelter or enforcing the city’s animal
control and nuisance laws.
The Humane Society of
Rochester & Monroe County
entered into a new contract with the
city to continue providing veterinary
care to animals impounded at their
shelter. We also plan to continue
transferring animals from the city
shelter for medical care and adoption.
We will continue to maintain a
web site for Rochester Animal
Control and link it to our own. And
we will remain active participants in
the regional animal fighting task
force we established nearly two
years ago to combat the proliferation
of pit bulls for fighting purposes.
Humane Society of Rochester
& Monroe County
P.O. Box 299
Fairport, NY 14450
Clinic for Israel
Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI) has been raising funds to purchase and ship a much needed spay/neuter clinic to Israel to provide these essential operations at low cost all over the country and do much-needed educational work. Recently, we received a $20,000 matching grant for this purpose. If ANIMAL PEOPLE readers will help us match this grant, we can ship the clinic and get started on a major country-wide educational effort, in schools as well as in the media, to promote spaying and neutering.
P.O. Box 3341 Alexandria, VA 22302
I would like to call your readers’ attention to animal poisoning, a problem for which Greece is notorious. Here on the island of Corfu we are dependent on tourism. During the tourist season, ending each October, poisoning decreases so as not to make a bad impression on visitors. But as soon as the last charter flight leaves, hundreds of animals lose their lives in this cruel and inhumane manner.
I have been wanting to tell you how impressed I am with how ANIMAL PEOPLE h a ndles no-kill issues. I hope the day comes when your attitude and perspective is shared by all involved in animal concerns.
New London, Minnesota
Our attitude and per – spective, in summary, are that yes, no-kill policies are practicable for high-volume adoption facilities and/or quality care-forlife facilities for unadoptable animals, but preferably in a working partnership with animal control; and yes, no-kill animal control can be achieved, but only after sufficient neutering is done to reduce dog and cat reproduction to self-replacement at whatever level the community can absorb as pets and accept as street animals. This will be few in developed nations; more in nations where street animals are still essential to refuse disposal and rodent control.
We are listed in the World
Animal Net directory as operating
an animal shelter in Zambia. We
are in fact renovating the shelter,
and will reopen it as soon as possible.
Badly dilapidated and heavily
vandalized, it has not operated for
more than 10 years. Located beside
a busy highway, the main building
has rooms for surgery, reception, a
kitchen, storage, and toilets, plus
42 kennels and expansion space.
We are now trying to raise
$25,000 in U.S. funds in order to
obtain hot water, an electric stove,
refrigerator and deep freezer, vaccines
and veterinary supplies, and
––Ernest M. Chakanga
Zambian Society of Vegetarians
P.O. Box 40728
This letter is to introduce
Ernest Chakanga, who has expressed
an interest in revitalizing
the Mufulira SPCA, has conducted
a general clean-up of the property,
and has approached Janice Turner,
the custodian of the SPCA assets,
and I for assistance. We have been
in communication with the National
Council of the SPCA in South
Africa, who are very supportive of
the idea, and are prepared to help
with policy guidance, operational
manuals, and educational materials.
It is intended that a board of trustees
will be formed on which Mrs.
Turner and I have expressed willingness
to serve. A constitution is
currently being drawn up.
To raise funds, Ernest is
selling second-hand clothing and
African Explosives Ltd.
Clipping the wings of poachers in Zimbabwe
Your October 2000 cover feature “Hunters become trophies as ‘boomers’ fade away” was excellent. I am very familiar with much of the content. Unfortunately, most African countries, including South Africa and Zimbabwe, funnel money derived from their national parks and game reserves into their general funds, rather than back to where it is earned. The rationale is that the general fund then allocates money back to the departments in charge of parks and reserves. But the amount returned is miniscule compared to the sums generated.
For example, the government of KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, recently cut the budget of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Nature Conservation by 40%, and advised that further cuts would be forthcoming. As a result, the department limited its use of land vehicles to only about 1,500 kilometers per month (about one week’s worth of driving), and could no longer afford to fuel the Scout aircraft that the Wilderness Conservancy had allowed it to use without charge for nearly 10 years. Field staff moral went through the floor. That aircraft had put many poachers out of business––especially along the border with Mozambique, from whence many poachers come.
Earlier this year the aircraft was moved to Namibia with American Carl Hilker, and will be used to provide support for Laurie Marker’s Cheetah Conservation Fund (subject of a December 1999 article in National Geographic), and other conservation projects, governmental as well as private.
In Eastern Cape province the situation is similar. I tried to furnish the Eastern Cape Nature Conservation department with a Scout aircraft a few years back, but by the time the provincial government accepted the offer, many months later, the aircraft was already in use by the National Parks Board in Kruger National Park.
The Wilderness Conservancy does, however, have one Scout aircraft in Eastern Cape province, under management of Adrian Gardiner, director of the huge privately owned Shamwari Game Reserve. Gardiner eagerly accepted our offer, built a hangar and airstrip at the reserve, and furnished a top pilot, fuel, and operating costs. The aircraft not only patrols Shamwari but also is available to help patrol the provincial reserves, both land and marine, as well as Addo Elephant Park, a National Reserve.
Shamwari, incidentally, is where the Wilderness Conservancy family of elephants resides. We bought this family from the National Parks Board after they were slated to have been culled in 1996. That family, including two juveniles, was relocated from Kruger to Shamwari, near Port Elizabeth––a distance of 800 miles. Since the relocation, the family has given birth to four calves. They are well out of harm’s way, in a habitat lush with food with a very suitable climate.
Then there is Zimbabwe. The Wilderness Conservancy found it necessary to file a lawsuit in late 1999 against the government of Zimbabwe, arising out of extensive damage done to our Scout aircraft while it was under a free use agreement with the Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. Under the agreement, the department was required to keep the Scout airworthy. Instead it suffered at least $48,000 in unrepaired damage, and then-NPWM director Willas Makombe would not even respond to my messages.
In addition, I had been informed by several very reliable sources that our aircraft was being used to spot animals including elephants, rhinos, and cheetahs during illegal hunts by government officials and their friends. These were the very animals our aircraft was supposed to be protecting.
Further, starting early this year, farms and game reserves were invaded en masse by squatters and wildlife was killed to make room for cattle. Farmers and workers who tried to protect wildlife were intimidated and often killed. President Robert Mugabe refused to enforce court orders in favor of the farmers.
We terminated our loan of the aircraft, brought it back to the U.S. for repair, and––as I had required in our contract that California law and California venue would apply in the resolution of any disputes––sued the Zimbabwean government. When the suit was served, Zimbabwe paid the full sum of damages.
Willas Makombe was fired, not only for this circumstance, but also for much other malfeasance during his time in office.
The present turmoil in Zimbabwe has not been kind to wildlife. I am certain that a change in government is needed––if change is possible. As you know, there is much money to be made by politicians and others in government from killing wildlife, and African politicians have before them the examples of Jomo Kenyata of Kenya and Mobuto Seze Seko of the Congo, who became among the richest men in the world from poaching their nations’ wildlife to near extinction.
––Robert N. Cleaves, JD, PhD.
President, Wilderness Conservancy
1224 Roberto Lane Los Angeles, CA 90077
Telephone: 310-472-2593 Fax 310-476-7527
<email@example.com>[Zimbabwe deputy director of National Parks and Wildlife Management Vitalis Chadenga on September 23 told media that troops will soon be sent to protect wildlife at the privately owned Save Valley Conservancy, the largest wildlife reserve in the nation. Squatters have reportedly killed at least 1,600 animals there since February.]
Thanks for the mention of Help in Suffering in your September 2000 edition. We were particularly interested in the editorial, “Introducing a Different Needle.” We had noticed in our Animal Birth Control program that rapid breeding continued to occur unless we could cover a high percentage of the dogs in a particular area. Although we had not heard before of 70% being the number of dogs or cats requiring sterilization to stabilize a population, it had become obvious from our records that such is the case.
We also liked your wry editorial comment about putting care ahead of purity, and fully support your sentiments.
Help In Suffering Sanctuary, Maharani Farm
Durgapura, Jaipur Rajasthan, India
This letter comes to
you with good wishes and
warm greetings from Sadhu
Vaswani Mission. Named
after Sadhu Vaswani, a
prophet of reverence for all
life, the Mission has undertaken
since 1986 to initiate awareness
that reverence for all
forms of life alone can lead to
world peace. Our founder
believed that every animal has
the right to live. His birthday,
November 25, is observed by
countless people worldwide as
an International Meatless Day
and Animal Rights Day.
We invite your readers
to join us in expressing
shared commitment to this
––(Miss) Gulshan G. Dudani
Convener, Meatless Day
Sadhu Vaswani Mission
10 Sadhu Vaswani Road
Pune 411 001, India
We thought your readers
might like an update on Black
Jacques, the Great Dane who
was brutally beaten by the
invaders of Rudolphia Farm in
April. His owner, Lesley Windrum,
tells us that the splint was
recently taken off his leg. “The
vet hopes to take out the pin
later,” Windrum wrote.
“Black Jacques continues
life with great courage,
though his sight is still in doubt,”
she continued. “His front legs
have grown incredibly powerful
from supporting the rest of his
body, and he finds his way
around familiar territory with
ease. On our bad days he gives
us wonderful strength and love.
“We would like to
thank you for assisting with the
vet bills and for taking his story
to the world. Mini and Minstrel,
the Ridgeback and Labrador, are
doing well. We feel they would
be better off back on the farm,
but can only wait and hope.”
The Windrums are now
back on the farm. The occupiers
remain, but have moved their
camp. Lesley has still not found
the graves of the two dogs who
were killed, but the occupiers
have told her that they regret
beating the dogs.
However, the land
invasions continue, including the
occupation of protected wildlife
areas and conservancies. Poaching
and snaring occur on a huge
scale. Some animals have been
translocated to safe havens, but
this is are costly, and invariably
there are casualties. If this
slaughter continues, Zimbabwe’s
wildlife could be wiped out.
We wish to thank the
Royal SPCA, South African
National SPCA, International
Fund for Animal Welfare,
Humane Society of the U.S.,
and of course ANIMAL PEOP
L E for the generous donations
we have received to help the animals
of Zimbabwe during these
months of crisis.
Zimbabwe National SPCA
c/o Conroc (Pvt.) Ltd.
P.O. Box 470