LETTERS [December 2002]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2002:
Fighting bulls in Moscow
I singlehandedly run my own animal sanctuary in England for
over 160 sick, elderly or needy animals. I read ANIMAL PEOPLE and
recall your September 2001 article regarding bullfighting being
banned in Moscow. In recent years I have become very involved with
animal welfare (or the lack of it) within Russia, visiting several
times and helping the individuals and the few small organisations
there who stand up for animal rights.
I am currently seeking funds to support a small group of
young and determined people who are trying to help the bulls who were
originally brought into Russia for the purpose of fighting them.
The situation is that after your article was published and
bull fighting was banned in Moscow, the bulls were moved 300
kilometers north to Yaroslav, where permission was again sought to
hold a bullfight. This was not granted. Since then, the “owner”
of the bulls has kept them in appalling conditions while continuing
to seek permission to fight them. Many bulls have died from neglect,
but a small group called People for Animals are now trying to raise
funds to purchase these bulls and start the first farm animal
sanctuary in Russia. This would be a massive step forward for animal
rights in a country where the very notion of an animal having any
rights is totally unthinkable. So far I have been the only person
who has shown any interest or offered any support from the West. My
sanctuary is not in a position to help financially. I have begun to
sell my own possessions to raise funds to help these poor animals,
as I feel that if the opportunity is lost in Russia to show people
that farm animals should be treated with love and respect, it may
be a long time before another opportunity comes.
I have asked many large organisations for help, including
the World Society for the Protection of Animals, but have been
refused. WSPA says they are trying to ban bullfighting worldwide,
but if they achieve this, someone must take responsibility for the
animals who have been bred for this purpose.
Towerhill Stables Animal Sanctuary
CM0 7DZ, U.K.
Bali Street Dogs at bomb site
What a terrible thing that has landed on our doorstep. We
are all okay and grateful that our son Skyler, who had just
finished haggling with a taxi driver, was 200 meters from the Sari
Club when the explosion occurred. He witnessed it and experienced
the flying limbs and the ripple in the pavement.
We have been volunteering since the blast. Skyler and our
daughter Piper have been volunteering too.
I am on an emergency list and was assigned two young men who
were horribly burned. Eventually we made arrangements for their
evacuation. We used our Yudisthira Van, donated by the World
Society for the Protection of Animals, to transport the two boys to
the airport. They could barely move because they were so stiff from
the blast concussion.
In between I volunteered at the government hospital where we
fanned horrifically burned patients, managed bedpans, and kept
them hydrated. Some who were horribly shocked had to be kept
engaged, much like a person who has experienced a severe
concussion. We also provided translation assistance, and helped
report missing and found members of families. Many people in that
hospital lost a mate or in some cases two or family members. Whole
families were wiped out or were survived by just one orphaned teen.
Yayasan Yudisthira has donated all of our syringes,
dressings, and some antibiotics that were appropriate, and after
helping the living we volunteered in the morgue. Hundreds of
horrifically burned bodies were found in every state of
action–running, screaming, even in a sitting position, arm bent
and hand curled like holding a glass.
It was like a battlefield, and I am not sure I will ever rid
myself of what I saw and am so proud of the Yudisthira team, who are
doing the job that most would not volunteer for. We wear our
uniforms, including our shirts which say “Healing, not killing.”
The work became particularly difficult when our staff member
Komang opened a bag and looking at her was Ana Cecilia Alives, our
most devoted volunteer. We are devastated.
Bali Street Dogs Foundation
c/o JI. Duyung Gang 1 #9
Sanur, Bali 80228
Phone: 62 -0-361-286226
Fax: 62 -0-361 -282105
Bulls in China
I live in Beijing, China. Recently the China Central
Tele-vision Station (CCTV) and the Beijing Television Station (BTV)
have been broadcasting Spanish bullfights. The fights are bloody,
brutal and inhumane. Killing animals for fun is not what human
beings should do and not what we should preach to our children.
Please express your concern to the Chinese government about
animal abuse wherever it may occur in China. I think animal
protection organizations have a duty to urge the Chinese government
to draft animal protection laws and ban all animal abuse as soon as
possible, not only for the sake of the poor animals, but also for
the sake of the good image of the host nation for the 2008 Olympic
Your September page one article “Aliens in their native land”
was an accurate but heartbreaking portrayal of the colonialist
attitudes towards indigenous and non-indigenous beings [including
humans] here in Australia. Now the Tasmanian state government has
approved the killing of “repeat offender” seals who take fish and
threaten workers at Atlantic salmon farms in that state. Television
news showed frightened seals trapped in tiny cages awaiting their
fate. One truly wonders where sanity lies when the language of
criminality is used against living beings merely trying to feed
themselves, as we usurp more of their environment and food supply.
While seals get the death sentence, human thieves and pirates
plunder the earth with impunity. Concerned Ani-mal People readers
can e-mail to Tasmanian premier, Jim Bacon
<email@example.com> and minister for primary
industries, Bryan Green <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
By the way, your otherwise excellent article mentioned Prime
Minister John Howard as leader of the Labor Party. He is leader of
the Liberal Party.
Keep up your inspiring and heartening work!
Sterilization: get 70% or flunk
I was very interested to read your recent article “Street dog
and feral cat sterilization and vaccination efforts must get 70% or
flunk.” I have owned and operated spay/neuter clinics since 1976 and
have been a champion of feral cat sterilization since 1991. I had
not heard of the 70% factor prior to your article. Can you give
further information on it? Is the 70% derived from research or
theory? I speak to and teach many of my colleagues and would like to
reference the 70% concept with authority.
Thank you for continuing to emphasize the plight of our
animal friends and the wonderful work done by the humane community on
–W. Marvin Mackie, DVM
Animal Birth Control
Los Angeles, CA
The editor responds:
The late Paradise Animal Welfare Society cofounder Bob Plumb,
a retired physics professor, initially derived the 70% figure from
the math models for animal population growth or reduction developed
by Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa, 1170-1240. Fibonacci was studying
agricultural productivity, but more than six centuries later his
work also furnished the 70% vaccination target recognized by Louis
Pasteur (and most subsequent public health authorities) as the
minimum necessary to prevent an epidemic of almost any contagious
Sterilization is in effect surgically “vaccinating” animals
against reproduction. The goal is to reduce the vulnerability of the
potential host population to the condition, by reducing the
possibility of transmission to odds so slim that the condition cannot
replicate itself more rapidly than it dies out.
Christine and Jeremy Townend in 1999 collected data from the
Help In Suffering street dog sterilization program in Jaipur, India,
showing sterilization of 64% of the local street dogs as the actual
point at which the population began to drop. Recent data from the
Animal Birth Control program in Hydera-bad, India, indicated that
the street dog population there began to drop when 68% were
In the U.S., the numbers of dogs killed by animal shelters
began falling fast after the percentage of owned pet dogs who were
sterilized reached 67%, in the late 1980s.
The numbers of cats killed by U.S. animal shelters began a
rapid drop after 1991, when the percentage of owned cats who were
sterilized reached about 85%, as indicated by studies done by Andrew
Rowan of Tufts University, Carter Luke of the Massachusetts SPCA,
and Karen Johnson of the National Pet Alliance. At that time, 85%
of the pet cat population equaled about 60% of the estimated total
U.S. cat population, including ferals.
Since then, the advent of neuter/return to control feral cat
numbers and increasing human acceptance of responsibility for outdoor
cats has blurred the statistical distinction between pets and ferals.
Of the estimated 73 million “pet” cats in the U.S. now, 10 to 15
million may in truth be fed ferals, who a decade ago would not have
been considered “owned.”
The rapidly falling shelter intake of cats and the
fast-rising volume of cats being sterilized–twice the rate of pet
cat population growth during the past 10 years–indicate, however,
that the feral cat population today is probably no more than half
what it was in 1991.
ANIMAL PEOPLE outlined a quick, easy method of using dice to
demonstrate the importance of sterilizing 70% of a dog or cat
population on page 4 of our September 2002 edition.
Dussera is the day when the Lord, descended as Rama,
destroyed the demon Ravana, who is ten-headed and makes everyone
weep. Ravana is the symbol of arrogance and selfishness. I find it
most appropriate to write to you on this day, because like Rama,
you are destroying the factors in the human psyche which promote
sorrow and suffering, I am delighted to read that this is your 10th
anniversary, and pray for the fulfillment of all your dreams, and
your welfare in every way.
Compassionate Crusaders Trust
1/13-A, Olai Chandi Road
Calcutta 700 037, India
Audi & rodeo
Please ask ANIMAL PEOPLE readers to send a complaint to Audi,
They have the most appalling ad now running on British
television, showing a bull bucking and being beaten and ridden
until he collapses. I saw it myself. I have written to them and so
have hundreds of other people. They sent back an inane reply saying
that the bulls were not hurt and lots of the commercial was
computer-generated. Obviously they have missed the whole point of
the rodeo being disgusting. Please tell them that Audi will be not
be your preferred choice of car until the ad is taken off and an
c/o People for Animals
14 Ashoka Road
New Delhi 110001, India
I recently went with my husband Chinny Krishna and our two
sons to Cambodia and Thailand. Cambodia was wonderful and I admire
the people who have rebuilt their lives after the terrible years of
the Khmer Rouge.
In Thailand, however, even though Thailand is a signatory
to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species,
ivory is sold everywhere, even in duty-free shops at the Bangkok
airport, which are under strict government control. We also saw
snakeskins, crocodile skins, rhinoceros horns, and every other
wildlife product that you can possibly imagine.
The only solution is American pressure on Thailand, since
most of the tourists are Americans. Please do whatever you can to
encourage Americans to pressure the Thai government to crack down on
the public display and sake of contraband animal parts.
Also of great concern to us, PETA once had a very active
campaign against the illegal transport of cattle to slaughter in
India. Unfortunately, PETA took at face value the assurance of the
Prime Minister that he would look into the matter, and stopped their
campaign. Cruel mass transportation of animals, particularly
cattle, continues unabated and my only solace when I see the
suffering animals is realizing that an imminent death will deliver
them from this living hell.
Please urge Americans to again take up the issue of illegal
transportation of cattle to slaughter, and boycott Indian leather.
— Dr. Nanditha Krishna
The C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation
A renowned art expert and author, Nanditha Krishna is a
longtime member of the board of directors of the Central Zoo
Authority in India. Her husband, Chinny Krishna, is a cofounder of
the Blue Cross of India, and is vice chair of the Animal Welfare
Board of India.
The McKee Project now has a manual, in Spanish, printed as
a donation by Pets y mas magazine, which explains how communities
can enlist the cooperation of local veterinarians to create their own
proactive organizations to sterilize and vaccinate dogs and cats.
Here in Costa Rica, we are now training local veterinarians
in advanced pediatric sterilization technique in cooperation with
Spay/USA, funded by the North Shore Animal League of America. We
are also helping to teach and train veterinarians and community
activists to extend the “No-kill, no shelter” approach to Mexico,
Nicaragua, and Panama.
The concept is quite simple: it is quicker, safer,
cheaper, and more humane to prevent dog and cat overpopulation than
to either try to kill all the homeless animals or try to impound
them. The underdeveloped world cannot afford to address dog and cat
overpopulation as the developed world has– but by implementing
low-cost and free high-volume sterilization and vaccination, we can
avoid having homeless dogs and cats as a problem.
Founder, The McKee Project
176 Los Arcos, Cariari
San Jose, Costa Rica
On January 1, 2003, the U.S. Navy intends to implement a
policy to trap and remove feral cats from Navy property. This
policy, approved by Admiral Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations,
amounts to a death sentence for feral cats. Healthy feral cats
trapped on navy property will be killed.
The effective, proven, nonlethal alternative is
trap/neuter/return (TNR). Adoptable kittens and cats are placed in
good homes. Healthy adult feral cats are returned to live out their
lives under the watchful care of sympathetic volunteers. TNR
gradually reduces feral cat populations, virtually eliminates
nuisance behaviors associated with breeding, and greatly reduces
incidence of feline malnutrition and disease.
Since TNR was implented at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, for
example, the feral cat population has been reduced from over 300
cats to about 30–a 90% drop, accomplished without killing.
At a time when our armed forces are stretched among conflicts
around the world, it is surprising that the Navy would choose to
implement a program that costs on average three times more than TNR,
losing the network of volunteers who currently trap and sterilize the
cats at their own expense.
Alley Cat Allies
1801 Belmont Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Thanks for covering the Campaign for Responsible
Transplantation’s Freedom of Information Act case against the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration in your November 2002 edition, though
I want to clarify that CRT is not an antivivisection group. Our many
coalition members that are not AV groups would be very unhappy to see
CRT being labeled as such. We are a health/consumer
protection/advocacy group. Moreover, the information we are seeking
in this FDA FOIA case is not about animal testing, but about side
effects and deaths in clinical (human) xenotransplant trials.
–Alix Fano, Director
Campaign for Responsible Transplantation
PO Box 2751
New York, NY 10163
Phone: 212- 579-3477
The Editor responds:
A Google search found 203 web sites mentioning both the CRT
and “vivisection,” 14 mentioning both CRT and “antivivisection,” 89
mentioning both “Alix Fano” and “vivisection,” and 11 mentioning
both “Alix Fano” and “anti-vivisection.”
(Only seven sites include the sentence “Merritt Clifton is an
The Foundation for Genetic Medicine online dictionary defines
“xenotransplant” as “transplantation of tissue or organs between
organisms of different species, genus, or family.”
It would thus seem inescapable that “xenotransplant trials”
are a form of “animal testing,” even if some of the experimental
subjects are the human animal.
Linda Koebner and Linda Brent, both of Chimp Haven, were
misidentified as the same person in the November 2002 article
“Sanctuary buys Coulston chimps–NIH chimps to go to Chimp Haven.”
Due to a typographical error, the November 2002 article
“Ex-Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary director Lou Griffin busted for
trespass while counting escaped macaques” mis-stated the date that
the Animal Protection Institute took over the sanctuary as January
2001. It was actually January 2000.
Van as S/N ad
We at the Norfolk SPCA launched SPOT, short for Spaying Pets
of Tidewater, in February 2002. At the ceremony we unveiled our
flashy new van, featuring original art by Ron Burns. The
celebration also marked the grand re-opening of the Fenton Garnett
Jordan Spay/Neuter Clinic, which in addition to sterilizing shelter
animals is now able to provide low-cost sterilization service to the
public. In just 10 short months the clinic has provided over 2,600
reduced cost surgeries to pets in our community, as well as ensuring
100% of our shelter animals prior to adoption.
910 Ballentine Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23504