Letters [July/August 2001]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2001:


Flying foxes

Shots have been fired over activists heads, and many cold nights were spent hiding from dogs and sleeping rough in the Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens but we have succeded in stopping the planned slaughter there of grey-headed flying foxes. After hiring gunmen to kill many thousands of the bats, and having activists chase the bats out, the Gardens management has finally realised that they cannot win and has called off further plans for a `cull`.

Across Australia, the grey-headed flying fox population is down by 75%-90% since the 1920’s; their habitat has been destroyed by logging and many thousands are shot by farmers for eating fruit crops. Yet the flying foxes are critical to the survival of our remaining isolated stands of hardwood forest, as they are the only animals who can disperse seeds and pollenate over long distances. The Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens thinks they have no place here, but the bats think otherwise and so do we. They literally have nowhere else to go and do not deserve the death penalty for resting in the gardens and nursing their young. The Royal Melbourne Botanic bats are the only breeding colony in Victoria state. We have won the battle, for now, but will have to remain vigilant.

–Lawrence Pope, President
Humane Society for Animal Welfare
37 O’Connell Street, North Melbourne 3051, Australia
Fax: 03-9384-2008

I too am fed up with the World Society for the Protection of Animals and their false promises. They collect all the credit with their full colour photos of hands-on groups, as though the work were financed by WSPA, where as the truth is they never pay out when they can get away with promises.

Can you give me the source you referred to in your June editorial (near the end) about “cats purr with a resonance that helps the healing of broken bones”? I used to suffer from juvenile osteoporosis during the six years (ages 25-31) that I did not have a cat.
–Michelle Galin
Association Jardins Felins, 24410 Echourgnac, France

Editor’s note:

London Sunday Telegraph environment reporter David Harrison wrote on March 18, 2001 that “scientists, from the Fauna Communications Research Institute in North Carolina found that between 27 and 44 hertz was the dominant purr frequency for a house cat, and 20-50Hz for the puma, ocelot, serval, cheetah and caracal. Wounded cats–wild and domestic–purr because it helps their bones and organs to heal and grow stronger, say the researchers. Exposure to similar sound frequencies is known to improve bone density in humans.”

Thank you for covering the Korean dog-and-cat-eating issue in such depth. I appreciate the courage it took to go there and see the horror up front. It is the worst cruelty to companion animals in the world. We did a demo in front of the Korean consulate in Los Angeles yesterday but I’m not sure how effective these demos are. Some-thing major must happen to end this.

–Bill Dyer
Venice, California
Job for SHARK?

I have had no sleep since I read your June article about the sick mother cat and her kittens in the Korean market. This haunts me and makes me cry because there is nothing I can do. I have seen the same thing on video footage that I have from one of International Aid to Korean Animals founder Kyenan Kum’s trips to Korea. If you could get someone like Steve Hindi of SHARK over there with one of his TV trucks, do you think the Korean people would be more willing to see? Here, people just don’t want to know where their food comes from.

–Judy Watson
Vancouver East Side Animal Awareness Society
1831 East 8th Ave., Vancouver, B.C., Canada V5N 1T7
Phone: 604-255-2457

Editor’s note:
The SHARK TV trucks are a potent tool against apathy and ignorance in any venue, maximize public contact per hour of activism, bypass most of the problems inherent in public demonstrations, and should be even more impactful abroad than in the U.S., if SHARK founder Steve Hindi can get the funding to put some on the road abroad. A SHARK Tiger like the one on page 19 costs about as much to build as the salary of a Humane Society of the U.S. vice president.


We have good news from Bali. The police, forest department, and KSBK-Bali confiscated 130 sea turtles from holding pens in Gianyar Bali yesterday. Previously we confiscated 128 turtles in Sanur, Bali. Today we will release these turtles to the sea. Once again KSBK-Bali will pay for the releasing. Thank you to everyone who supports our continuing campaign to end the turtle trade in Bali.

–Rosek Nursahid, Director
KSBK-Bali (Animal Conservation For Life)
Jl. Raya Candi 179, Klaseman, Kaqrangbesuki, Malang 65146, Jawa Timur, Indonesia
Phone: 0341-570033
Fax: 0341-569506

The turtle rescues, on July 5 and 6, were heavily covered by the Jakarta Post.
U.S. Third World

I enjoy your international coverage very much as it conveys the truth that we are a world-wide movement. Is it possible for you to do the same kind of detailed coverage of some of our Third World states, like Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, etc.?

–Jim Mason
The Two Mauds Foundation, P.O. Box 381, Mount Vernon, MO 65712
Paying attention

I want to comment on your June 2000 article “Questions for WSPA and the RSPCA: Is anyone paying attention?” I wonder: is anyone paying attention to the plight of dogs and cats in some areas of the U.S.? It is okay for these animals to be running at large and meeting predictable fate in southwest Missouri? Is it okay for them to be breeding at will? Yes, it is a community problem. If only the community for the elected officials cared, but you see there is no political advantage to helping these animals. Easier to shoot them. Is the Humane Society of the U.S., American Humane Association, or the American SPCA paying attention? Those of us on the front lines are simply ignored.

–Mary W. Spanski, Secretary, Animal Shelter of the Ozarks
P.O. Box 999, Nixa, MO 65714
Phone: 417-725-5832


Thank you for the 2001 ANIMAL PEOPLE Watchdog Report on 90 Animal Protection Charities. I never make a contribution to an animal charity without consulting it, and I pass on pertinent information from it to any potential donor I know. I would also like to take this belated opportunity to thank you for your Christmas letter, about Christmases back on the farm, a compelling discussion of the insidious and unperceived cruelty underlying most agrarian traditions.

–Margaret Hillers
Girard, Ohio

Editor’s note:
The 2001 ANIMAL PEOPLE Watchdog Report on 90 Animal Protection Charities is $20, from P.O. Box 960, Clinton, WA 98236. We have had several requests for extra copies of our Christmas letter, from people with occasion to deflate sentimental falsehoods about old-fashioned farming. We are out of printed copies, but will continue sharing it by fax and e-mail.

Working in Kajala village

This is regarding a village named Kajala which is 12 kilometers from Jalna. On June 13 between two and five a.m. an unknown animal bit 26 humans and 38 animals. No one actually saw the animal, but the villagers said it was a rabid dog. I had been doing hoof-and-mouth disease vaccinations in this village so they came and told me about the incidents.

On June 14 I visited the village with our new vet, Arun Aher. We gave the bite victims post-rabies exposure vaccination. Unknown to us, the government vets were informed and also visited, after we did, but didn’t do anything much except scare the villagers by saying that the bites must have been from a rabid dog and that all the humans and the animals would die.

The government vets brought no vaccines and did no vaccination. They informed the villagers that the cattle who were bitten should all be tied separately and should not be touched. The villagers obeyed and did not give the cattle either water or food. During the next 15 days, 15 cows, bulls, and calves died. Then the villagers came to me again, and I went back, along with my vet. We touched the animals and treated them. Then the villagers also came forward and fed the animals and touched them.

We took blood and urine samples from the animals who were bitten and those who were healthy. When the tests were done, we learned that the cattle were actually suffering from the bacterial infection tetanus. A veterinary reference donated by ANIMAL PEOPLE helped us to confirm the diagnosis and provide treatment.

The villagers told us that the government vets had injected the animals for HS haemorrhagic septicemia and black quarter, which was not needed, and that the injections were given with the same syringe to all the animals, spreading the tetanus infection. The villagers were planning to kill all their dogs, as the government vets had advised. We asked the villagers if they had seen the animals who bit them. They said they were all fast asleep when bitten–which meant that the bites could have been done by a wild animal. I also pointed out that even if a dog was responsible, the dog could have come from a neighbouring village.
I said, “You have been feeding the dogs, and they in turn take good care of your village,” so they agreed they would not kill the dogs, but instead would vaccinate and sterilize them. We vaccinated all 67 dogs in the village against rabies yesterday. We started at 8 a.m. and finished at 6 p.m. The villagers were happy, and are now willing to host a dog
sterilization camp. Now we need a donor to sponsor the sterilization camp. Thank you.

–Jignasha Patel, Jalna SPCA
Patel Building, Station Road, Mastagad, Jalna 431 203 MS, India
Phone: 91-2482-32036
Soaps help Mumbai cats

Rita Vazirani of People For Animals and I recently gave out the soaps, shampoos, and so forth collected for India through our classified ad in ANIMAL PEOPLE to many of the Mumbai street people who help local dog sterilization and rescue projects, and the poor pound and Animal Birth Control clinic ward boys who really care for the animals. Everyone was thrilled that people in America actually care that they help the animals.

Later Rita and I were at a posh club having a horrible lunch with two rescuer socialites. The only good part was that there were two breathlessly gorgeous golden tabby cats at this club and the manager and staff wanted to get rid of them. Rita and I left the table and Rita ran into the kitchen and got the kitchen staff. One young man of very low caste came out and said he fed the cats and cared for them, and Rita said she would bring him soaps and t-shirts as gifts, and then the man started to cry with joy and Rita translated that no one ever had given him any attention or respect and for us to pay him attention and praise him was the most thrilling experience of his life. I kissed him on his left arm and then his right arm. He was astonished that I would touch him, let alone kiss him.

–Bonny Shah, Ahimsa of Texas
c/o Maharani, 1720 E. Jeter Road, Bartonville, TX 76226
< AHIMSATX@aol.com>

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