Letters [April 2003]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2003:

Welfare Ranching

Although I am highly biased towards the merits and strengths
of the arguments put forth in Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized
Destruction of the American West, edited by George Wuerthner and
Mollie Matteson, the ANIMAL PEOPLE review of the book was among the
best I have read (80-plus reviews so far). Congratulations to
reviewer Andrea Lococo!
Hopefully you may publish other articles and editorials about
this issue. Nowhere in all of North America are there as many acres
affected as in this issue of domestic livestock on public lands
(nearly 300 million acres!) Few people understand this and it is
important to get out the word.
–Doug Tompkins
Foundation for Deep Ecology
Building 1062
Fort Cronkhite
Sausalito, CA 94965
Phone: 415.229.9339
Fax: 415.229.9340

Seeks vet in Turkey

Thank you for mentioning us in the November 2002 edition of
ANIMAL PEOPLE. We are very grateful to three ladies who were
interested in our situation.
We do not have any veterinarian at our facility. However,
we need a veterinarian to sterilize the animals. Can you help us
with this matter?
–F. Sunay Birsen
Doga ve Hayvan Sevenler Dernegi
(Nature & Animal Lovers Assn.),
Ataturk Bulvari Guven Evler, H Blok D3
Zemin Kat Bilano
Kutahya, Turkey
Phone: 90-274-2165-737
Fax: 274-2320-823

Crate training

Tammy Sneath Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better Inc.,
stated in your March 2003 edition that her organization has “bought
crates to help housetrain dogs, and will continue to do so.”
I consider crate training to be pathological cruelty to
animals. Locking dogs in small cages and kennels is a punishment,
especially used by American women, it seems.
I asked the Association of Veterinarians for animal Rights
what they think about crate training. They did not answer.
Please delete my subscription immediately.
–Michael Horan
Moffat, Colorado

Enkosini case

Thank you for your review of our book For the Love of
Wildlife and for your suggestions. Your comments are always
valuable, being based upon a long and global experience of animal
May I offer clarification on that section of your review
which gives the impression that I as Enkosini’s legal representative
am making statements on Enkosini’s behalf. The statements made are
those of the Enkosini Trustees and are indeed contained in sworn
affidavits in High Court proceedings, making them a matter of public
record. They should not be attributed to me.
I am not Enkosini’s attorney, nor am I a South African
lawyer. I am a retired Zimbabwe advocate (barrister, trial lawyer)
with qualifications and many years of practical experience in
England, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Because of my legal experience I am
often asked by members of the S.A. animal welfare community to assist
them in their battles against a delinquent nature conservation regime
which we have inherited from the apartheid era. This is how I came
to assist Enkosini. I also act as a spokesman for the community on
some issues. However my time, effort and cost in helping wildlife
sanctuaries like Enkosini to fight for their rights is given on a
purely voluntary basis, without charge.
If I have misled you in any correspondence to assume that my
relationship with Enkosini was professional, I apologise for any
inconvenience this may have caused you.
–Chris Mercer
Kalahari Raptor Centre
P.O. Box 1386, Kathu,
Northern Cape ZA 8446
South Africa

Revenue Canada censors favor fur

Excellent January/Feb-ruary editorial on the fur issue!
The fur industry here is enjoying free sailing in Canada,
and delights in claiming that there is very little protest about fur.
They are right: Revenue Canada’s threat of canceling any group’s
charitable status if they criticize the fur industry has effectively
silenced all of the big groups in eastern Canada. They are now
afraid to speak out on this issue. Very few fur coats are worn in
the west, and it is most difficult to influence easterners from
here. Few eastern media even know we exist, though we are trying to
change this.
CBC did a half hour TV show two weeks ago with the heading
that “fur is flying.” It was the most biased program we have seen
them do. There was almost no “other side” presented. Despite our
protests and a sentence-by-sentence rebuttal, we have not been
successful in persuading them to do another program. They “might” do
another story exploring why there is so little opposition to fur in
Canada, as result of our explanation that the voice of fur-bearing
animals has been silenced.
Enclosed are the latest Canadian fur statistics. There were
868,206 animals trapped in Canada in 2001, the lowest total since
1993, whose pelts sold for $19.9 million in Canadian dollars. There
were 1,147,060 animals killed on fur farms, the most since 1989,
whose pelts sold for $50 million. The recorded peak of fur trapping
was in 1980, when 5.5 million animals were killed, whose pelts sold
for $85 million. The recorded peak of fur ranching was in 1983,
when 1.5 million animals were killed, but the highest prices were
paid in 1986, when Canadian ranched pelts sold for $78.6 million.
–George V. Clements
The Fur-Bearers
3727 Renfrew Street
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V5M 3L7
Phone: 604-435-1850
Fax: 604-435-1840

The Fur-Bearers, formally known as the Association for the
Protection of Fur-Bearing animals, founded in 1952, gave up their
charitable status rather than be silenced by Revenue Canada.
The ignorance of fur-buyers

After reading your Jan-uary/February editorial on fur. I
must add a few of my own thoughts. People wearing fur definitely
bring out the worst in me. I just flip when I see someone wearing
it. At my veterinarian’s clinic I see a lot of people come and go and
in the waiting room, pet owners wearing fur trimmed parkas. These
same people buy fur toys for their cats, and fur-covered figurines.
The fur is often from dogs and cats who were killed for meat in Asia.
Don’t they get the connection?
And then there are animal advocacy organizations that charge
activists for their literature, stickers, posters, and so forth,
when we are the ones out there doing the work. Why haven’t these
organizations been educating people about fur, even if it wasn’t in
fashion? Now look! Just as everybody thought the bloody seal hunt
was gone, again look!
I have some friends who just came back from visiting the
rainforest. They told me about the beautiful animals that the
villagers brought out to the boat for them to see, and they bought a
necklace with a claw of the very animal that they went to see. No
one gave this any thought, and I explained to them that they were
wiping out the very animal they went to see, because that claw was
probably from the mother of this cute animal that the villagers
brought out to them, because in most cases to get them as babies
they have to kill the mother. They were shocked.
So, if there was some education, maybe so much of this stuff
wouldn’t be sold.
When the buying stops, the killing will stop too.
–Judy Watson
Vancouver East Side Animal Awareness Society
1831 East 8th Ave.
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V5N 1T7
Phone: 604-255-2457

Bioethics Centre

Thank you for your March article about the Bioethics Centre
at the Kharkov Zoological & Veterinary Academy. The article will
definitely be an additional stimulus for the staff, and for other
educational institutions which do not teach bioethics.
We also must thank the rector of the academy, V.A. Golovko,
who has made the Bioethics Centre possible.
–Igor Parfenov, President
Center for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals,
Leo Tolstoy Chapter
Stepnaya str. 23
Malaya Danilovka
Kharkovskaya Oblast 62341
Phone: 380-576-358321
Fax: 380-576-331-825

Zoos breaking up bonded pairs

Your March edition publication of my letter “San Francisco
Zoo orangutans” raises the subject of the treatment of animals in
captivity. Having spent a large part of 30 years at San Francisco
Zoo, I was aware of much going on there, and also of much about the
zoo world as a whole. While the separation of the orangutans Denny
and Josephine after a 20-year companionship may have been an extreme
case, reports of similar cases involving other zoos have also showed
a lack of consideration for the welfare of the animals involved.
Being shipped is in itself a hardship for the animals,
compounded by leaving a familiar home and companions. In the case of
a female gorilla I knew about, the third move in a matter of months
resulted in her death.
Those of us who care about animals and who are aware of their
character and intelligence despise the practice of separating bonded
Some years ago, Jane Goodall spoke on this subject in a
videotape called “Forgotten Apes.” She stated that there are those
who are not even aware of their cruelty, but she said “They are
cruel,” nonetheless. She spoke specifically of two four-year-old
chimps who were being parted forever.
I say if those who do this cruelty are not aware of their
cruelty, we need to tell them.
-Violet Soo-Hoo
San Francisco, California

Soo-Hoo wrote several days before controversy erupted over
the planned transfer of Ruby, a 42-year-old African elephant, from
the Los Angeles Zoo to the Knoxville Zoo, which will unite her with
five other female African elephants, but will separate her from
Gita, 45, the Asian elephant who has been her companion since 1987.
The transfer is opposed by In Defense of Animals.


A photograph of a horse published on page 16 of our
January/February 2003 edition was misidentified as having been taken
by Shiranee Pereira of People for Animals “at a sanctuary operated by
the Blue Cross of India,” near Chennai. Pereira actually took the
photo at the PfA shelter in the Red Hills, also near Chennai.

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