LETTERS [April 2001]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:


Pit bulls

I’m a supporter of Animal People and have just read the article on the Presa Canario pit bull attacks. Such pit bull crosses are becoming a major problem:
* The number of attacks on people is increasing rapidly.
* Shelters are forced to take in more pit bulls than any other breed, taking up valuable space that could be given to gentle breeds.
* Attacks by pit bulls are causing cities to adopt bylaws restricting free run of all dogs, thus creating a hardship for owners of well-behaved dogs.
Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany have already banned the breed and I feel that we need a similar ban in this country– starting here in California!
Thank you for the wonderful work you do in bringing awareness to the public on all fronts of animal issues!

–Karin Hiller
Mill Valley, California

The Editor replies:

Among the unique risk factors associated with pit bulls are that most of those who kill or maim are highly reactive, not ill-tempered, and are so powerful that their first-ever bite can be lethal. Thus standard behavioral screening often fails to detect those who may become dangerous. However, within the U.S., attempts to ban pit bulls have had little history of legal success, and not much history of seeming to prevent deadly attacks.



Thank you for the very important and interesting information about the care of animals. We receive ANIMAL PEOPLE at the Biosphere Reserve El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar in Sonora state, México. Sometimes we post specific articles on our Visitors Center bulletin board. My personal interest is wildlife, but cats, rodents and birds I love too. I am hoping ANIMAL PEOPLE readers can help us to protect our endangered bighorn sheep (Borrego Cimarrón). Some “important” people, possibly including government officials, want to begin hunting the sheep. The law says hunting the
bighorn sheep “is possible,” but the reality is different, and the bighorn sheep population is very low.
Maybe your help can stop this non-sustainable idea.

–José A. Dávila Paulín
El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve
Speedy vegan

I am an American pro-elite inline speed skater, a sport poised to make its Olympic debut in 2004 in Athens, Greece, and have raced throughout North America and also in Europe. I will be racing in Europe for the Swiss Salomon team this year from May through August. I will then race the U.S. marathon season, September/November.

As a long-time vegan and conservationist, it is my mission to prove that one can not only survive but thrive on a plant-based diet. However, I believe that this message is best conveyed by example. I have won first place overall in the 2000 Colorado Mountain Marathon Hillclimb, first place finishes in the 1998 and 1999 Colorado In-line Marathons, and first overall in the 1998 Evan’s Front Range Salsa Classic 10-K.

I am committed to representing companies whose devotion to sustainable agriculture, providing non-genetically modified source food products, and general social consciousness is consistent with my own. One of my sponsors,
Clif Bar, makes sports nutrition bars that are vegan and GMO-free. Another, Sine Qua Non, makes an organic sprouted meal complex for use as a highly nutritious supplement.

I am seeking further sponsorship. As roller speed skating is not yet a big enough money sport to afford me a living, I welcome any assistance, financial or product, that might be available.

–Antonio Marxuach
2707 Valmont Street #101-B
Boulder, CO 80304
Phone: 303-448-9215

The Indonesian Vegan Society is badly in need of vegan magazines and other educational materials. We gladly receive used books and magazines. These items are distributed to schools and libraries in Indonesia, and are used
at public events.

Due to strict taxation and import duties in Indonesia, please put this important information on the label of any packet sent: THIS IS A CHARITABLE GIFT TO INDONESIAN NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AND SCHOOLS. PLEASE DO NOT IMPOSE ANY TAXES.

Please also put this, in Indonesian: HADIAH, MOHON UNTUK TIDAK DIKENAKAN PAJAK.

–Vandayani Dewi Soewondo
(KTP #110577/10350)
Gg. Delima V/21
Tanjung Duren Selatan
Jakarta Barat 11470


HSI promised $$

Your March article “HSUS/HSI sets up ‘Chinese laundry’ in Hong Kong’ stated that “Jill Robinson of the Animals Asia Foundation told [Kevin] Sinclair [of the South China Morning Post] that their projects in Hong Kong and southern China were mentioned in Australian mailings by the same organization as if it had something to do with them, when it does not.”

In fact, the connection with Animals Asia Foundation is that someone in Hong Kong gave Sinclair an HSI Australia fundraising mailing which went into great detail about the rescue of farmed bears in western China, with no mention
of the people working on the rescue itself: AAF. They have since pledged about $6,500 U.S.

I am writing from Cheng-du, where we cut ex-bile farm bear #52 out of her cage this week. Our elation turned to deep shock when we found that she had actually been welded inside by someone who never anticipated her freedom. She’ll soon be on grass with the rest.

–Jill Robinson
Animals Asia Foundation
P.O. Box 82, Sai Kung Post Office
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Phone: 852-2225
Fax 852-2791-2320
Saved dik-dik

Our latest week-long desnaring operation in Tsavo National Park yielded 142 illegal snares and a live dik-dik, whom we freed, bringing the number of snares we have removed to 2,540, and to three the number of live animals we have
rescued. This project was sponsored by IFAW East Africa.

–Josphat Nyongo
Youth for Conservation
P.O. Box 27689
Nairobi, Kenya

The phone and fax numbers you were given as contact information for the Asia for Animals symposium, to be held May 14-17 in Manila, were obsolete. My correct contact details are:

Phone: 61-29288-4944
Fax: 61-29288-4901
E-Mail: <swilson@ifaw.org>

The idea of the symposium came from a China Bear team meeting at IFAW some years ago. I have always been in great admiration of people working on animal welfare issues in Asia. They work in such difficult conditions and are often shunned by everyone around them. I feel sure this symposium will be a great opportunity for these wonderful people to share information. I hope it will give them a great morale boost too. I work closely with the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, so that is why the symposium will be held there.

We are trying very hard to get as many paying attendees from Western countries as possible. The more paid registrations we receive, the more Asian groups we can sponsor to attend. All profits will go towards sponsorship,
and we also have some money set aside in the budget to sponsor groups. I am sure you are pleased that big groups’ money is being put to good use in this case!

–Sally Wilson
IFAW Australia
Compassionate Animal Control International

G’day. I mentioned Com-passionate Animal Control Inter-national in a letter published in your January/February 2001 edition, and would like to tell you more about how CACI was formed and what we hope to achieve.

In 1998, I took a leave of absence from the Western Australia Rangers Association to travel with my wife Maureen to expand and develop our appreciation and experience regarding animal control.

After a brief visit to Singapore we arrived in the United Kingdom, where National Dog Wardens Association president Sue Bell put us in contact with other people who could assist us. Through National Canine Defence League chief executive Clarissa Baldwin, I became aware of the animal control problems afflicting Eastern Europe.

What could we do to help? The answer was simply nothing, as individuals. But what could a group of international friends do? Prob-ably quite a lot! A global association of animal control agencies seemed to be a possible solution. I raised the idea first in a presentation to the NDWA Inter-national Conference at Hartpury College in Gloucester that Sept-ember. There I met Pam Burney, animal control director for North Richland, Texas, and Karen Medi-cus,
executive director of the Austin SPCA. They asked me to go to Indianapolis in 1999 to do a presentation to the National Animal Control Association.

NACA responded favorably. Our first organizational meeting was held in Indianapolis at the June 2000 NACA conference.It was agreed that a web site would be the best way to share information with animal care and control officers arond the world.  Betsy Saul of <www.Pet-finder.com> immediately offered a site address and online support.
We began to discuss a name for this new organisation, with many suggestions crossing the table. After a lengthy discussion, Nigel Cardwell of NDWA came up with Compassionate Animal Control International. Perfect!

The founding member organizations include NDWA, NACA, and the Western Australia Rangers Association. As we progress and improve, we hope to provide as much information as possible to people involved in animal care and control around the world.

We recognise the rights of animals to a decent life, to live in peace, and to be protected from cruelty and neglect.

–Steve Elvidge
Vice President
Western Australia
Rangers Assn.
P.O. Box 334
North Beach 6920
Western Australia
Phone: 08-9448-7565
Fax: 08-9203-7565


The January/February 2001 ANIMAL PEOPLE article “Kenya update: anti-poaching gains and a shocking dispute” misidentified Care For The Wild founder Bill Jordan as a director of the Captive Animals Protection Society; Jordan had
resigned from that post in May 2000. In the same article CAPS executive director Diane Westwood was misidentified as speaking for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust; she in fact spoke for CAPS.

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