BOOKS: The State of the Animals 2001

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2001:
The State of the Animals 2001 edited by Deborah J. Salem & Andrew N. Rowan
Humane Society Press (c/o Humane Society of the U.S., 2100 L. St. NW, Washington, DC 20037), 2001. 212 pages, paperback. $29.50.

Modeled after the annual reports on the state of the environment produced annually since 1974 by Lester Brown of the Worldwatch Institute, The State of the Animals 2001 “is envisioned [by the Humane Society of the U.S.] as the first in a series reviewing the state of animal protection in North America and worldwide…planned as a source of information and informed opinion for policymakers, the academic community, animal advocates, and
the media.”

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Louisiana leads U.S. in new animal legislation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2001:

Louisiana Governor Mike Foster “has signed six pieces of pro-animal legislation,” Pinckney Woods of The Humane Heart reported on July 13, summarizing the most successful legislative session achieved by animal advocates in any state so far in 2001. Some state legislatures will reconvene in the fall, but few states still have pro-animal bills pending with a chance of passage.

The Humane Heart itself won passage of SB 925, by state senator Paulette Irons, which mandates cross-reporting to both animal and human welfare agencies when investigations of violence or neglect find evidence that the victims may include both animals and humans.

The Coalition of Louisiana Animal Advocates won passage of bills to create a Louisiana Animal Welfare Commission, amend the state law against dogfighting to make the penalties consistent with those for aggravated cruelty, and provide for the adoption or donation of horses whose owners are not identified. Louisiana law formerly required that confiscated horses must be sold to the highest bidder.

The League In Support of Animals won a law stipulating that dogfighting paraphernalia is admissible evidence in cases of alleged dogfighting.

The American SPCA won a law defining as “dangerous” any dog who makes two unprovoked attacks on a person or animal within three years, and as “vicious” any dog who seriously injures or kills a person after being classified “dangerous.” Owners who fail to restrain or confine dangerous dogs may be fined $300.
The ASPCA also pushed two bills which cleared the Illinois Assembly on May 31 but as of August 1 were still awaiting the signature of Governor George H. Ryan. SB 629 would require counseling for people convicted of mass neglect of companion animals; HB 2391 would standardize requirements for euthanasia technicians, use and storage of euthanasia drugs, and use of carbon monoxide gas chambers.

Five years after Pennsylvania animal advocates began seeking a state bill to ban the use of doubledeck trailers to haul horses, Governor Tom Ridge on June 25 signed into law HB 1139, by state representative Jim Lynch, which does it. Earlier versions were opposed by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, lest it be used to halt the use of doubledeck trailers for hauling cattle, hogs, and poultry.

Signed earlier

Maine freshman state representative Bernard McGowan (D-Pittsfield) won passage of his first bill in May when Governor Angus King signed legislation establishing that dog owners are liable for injuries inflicted by dogs roaming at large. The McGowan bill also imposes a fine of $1,000 for allowing a dog to attack a trained guide dog or service dog.

Perhaps the most unusual animal-related bill passed during spring legislative sessions was a ban on releasing genetically modified fish into Maryland waterways other than isolated lakes and ponds, signed on April 10 by Maryland Governor Parris Glendening. Escapes of genetically modified fish into the wild have already become a controversial issue in several parts of the world where fish farming competes with native fisheries, but Maryland may be the first jurisdiction to address the matter other than through conventional laws prohibiting the introduction of non-native species.

Montana Governor Judy Martz on May 1 signed a bill defining prairie dogs as both “pests” and “nongame wildlife in need of management.” The bill somewhat restricts recreational prairie dog shooting on public lands, seeking to avoid federal protection of prairie dogs as a threatened species.
New legislation in Vermont creates two-day deer and turkey hunting seasons for youths 15 and under, and in Alaska creates a big game season for children 8-17 when escorted by a parent or legal guardian.

New anti-terrorism laws directed against actions of the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front were passed in Utah and Oregon, and are expected to pass in several other states. Banning the use of “any physical object, sound wave, light ray, electronic signal, or other means” that interferes with the “operation of a business,” the Utah legislation has already been challenged as allegedly overbroad by the American Civil Liberties Union. The Oregon legislation extends the state anti-racketeering statute to cover crimes against “research, livestock, and agricultural facilities,” and criminalizes “interference with agricultural research.”

FoA goes on a tear against rivals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2001:

Friends of Animals in May sent a press release ripping the North Shore Animal League America on the eve of the Pet Adoptathon 2001, coordinated by North Shore, and then amplified the attack in the FoA magazine. FoA then hit In Defense of Animals and PETA via the Internet. FoA accused North Shore of profiting from pet overpopulation, accused IDA of allegedly appearing to condone lab use of nonhuman primates, and rapped PETA for halting protests against Burger King on June 28, after Burger King agreed to adopt a code of animal care ethics for suppliers.

FoA, founded in 1957 to promote low-cost neutering, spent $1.9 million on neutering in fiscal 2000–down 17% since 1995, and barely more than the $1.8 million that it spent on neutering in 1983. North Shore spent about $1.4 million on neutering in 2000, as well as sponsoring Spay/USA, Doing Things For Animals, and three anti-pet overpopulation conferences.
FoA has never been prominent on lab primate issues; IDA leads campaigns against the Coulston Foundation, the major supplier of chimpanizees to research, and the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center. IDA was also the chief sponsor of the 1999 Primate Freedom Tour.

PETA meanwhile runs the largest, most aggressive, and most talked about anti-meat campaign of any animal rights group, often advertising in campus newspapers. FoA has announced that it plans to start publishing anti-meat ads in college newspapers this fall.

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`.

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BOOKS: The Great Pig Escape

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2001:
The Great Pig Escape, by Linda Moller, illustrated by Donald Tesky
O’Brien Press (c/o Independent Publishers Group, 814 N. Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60610), 1990, 2001. 143 pages, paperback; $7.95.
“When one pig, Runtling, finds out from a farm cat that he and his 11 litter mates plus his mother are scheduled to be slaughtered, he finds a way for them to escape, with a little help from a fox and two crows,” summarized Wolf Clifton, our first reader, soon to start the fifth grade. “In the end,” Wolf continued, “the pigs find a new life as pig ploughmen on the farm of Nick and Polly Faraway,” a couple of back-to-the-earthers who arrive just in time to start growing organic produce on the abandoned property where the fleeing pigs find refuge. “It was a very good book,” Wolf ended, “and I think many kids would like it.”

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BOOKS: National Animal Control Training Guide

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2001:
National Animal Control Association Training Guide
NACA (P.O. Box 480851, Kansas City, MO 64148), 2001. 370 pages, spiral binding. $50.00.

The most influential book about animal care-and-control ever written, at the practical level, was the 1989 first edition of the National Animal Control Association Training Guide. It brought together for the very first time the corpus of knowledge about animal care-and-control “best practice,” as learned on the job by several dozen of the most respected animal care-and-control personnel in the U.S., and swiftly became “The Book” at public animal shelters not just across the U.S. but around the world.

Since 1989, to go “by The Book” has meant literally going by the NACA recommendations, reinforced at countless seminars using the NACA Training Guide as a text. “The Book” consisted of four main sections, covering animal care-and-control law, animal handling skills, occupational and public safety, and communications, plus a supplemental chapter by the late Leo K. Bustad on “The Significance of the Human/Animal Bond for Animal Control Personnel.”

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Animal Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2001:

Ursa Minor, 35, one of the oldest polar bears on record, died on July 24 at the EcoTarium science museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she lived with her daughter Kenda, 17. Ursa Minor came from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in 1971, soon after the EcoTarium opened. Her mate, Ursa Major, died at the Stone Zoo in Boston last year at age 33.

Mocha, a brown Labrador, was fatally burned in a thermal pool near the Firehold River in Yellowstone National Park on July 26. His person, Donald E. Hansen, 39, was hospitalized for burn treatment after trying to save him.

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Human Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2001:
Gunther Gebel-Williams, 66, died on July 19 from cancer, at home in Venice, Florida. Born in Germany as Gunther Gebel in 1934, Gebel-Williams was the son of a circus seamstress and a theatrical set builder who resisted the Nazis even after being drafted into the Wehrmacht. Gebel-Williams’ mother got him a job with the Harry Williams circus at age 13; he later took Williams’ surname as a gesture of appreciation. Gebel-Williams trained horses, elephants, tigers, and leopards for Williams until 1968, when Ringling Brothers bought the Williams circus to acquire his skills.

Recalled New York Times obituarist Richard Severo, “Gebel-Williams was the principal heir-apparent to the tradition of Clyde Beatty, who dominated the U.S. circus scene in the mid-20th century by walking into cages filled with huge cats armed with a chair, a whip, and sometimes a revolver. Gebel-Williams had no use for chairs or pistols or anything else that would threaten or injure his animals. Only 5’4″, he used his voice and bits of meat to make sure they understood when he was pleased.” Injured by animals many times, Gebel-Williams gave more than 12,000 performances without ever missing a call or allowing any of his animals to be killed for their deeds. “If you do right by animals,” he said, “and do not become careless, they will do the right thing in return. One can never be so certain about people.” He kept the pelts of his favorite animals on the floor of his home, but did not allow anyone to step on them. “We walk around them out of respect,” he explained, “because they are not trophies but dear old friends.” He last performed in 1998.

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Who’s on top for top job at HSUS?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2001:


The Humane Society of the U.S., expected to accept the scheduled retirement of president Paul Irwin at its fall 2001 annual meeting, in May published an ad in the Chronicle of Philanthrophy soliciting applications from would-be successors. Insiders told ANIMAL PEOPLE in late 1999 that vice president for government relations Wayne Pacelle had been chosen but not yet announced as Irwin’s successor, but sources close to Pacelle said a year later that other candidates might be favored by the board, and that Pacelle, if rejected, would leave HSUS to enter politics. HSUS staff who have previously held top posts include current HSUS executive vice president Patty Forkan; former North Shore Animal League president David Ganz; former American SPCA president John Kullberg; former American Humane Association animal protection division chief Dennis White; and Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy founder Andrew Rowan.

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