Letters: Conservation group experts urged dog shooting in Ethiopia

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2003:

Not “euthanasia”

I am a great admirer of Virginia McKenna and Will Travers,
who started the Born Free Foundation. In the early 1960s a screening
of the film Born Free was the first major fundraiser of the Blue
Cross of India, with which I have been associated since its founding.
Over the years I have often been surprised and disappointed
to hear so-called animal advocates use the term “euthanasia” to mean
anything ranging from killing one’s pet to the mass slaughter of
animals, whether in pounds or in the wild. “Euthanasia” means mercy
killing and is only justified when it means putting a suffering being
out of its misery when the being is in severe pain which is likely to
The slaughter of the dogs at Bale Mountains National Park in
Ethiopia can be called culling or killing or worse, but not
euthanasia. I am surprised at the Born Free Foundation calling it
From a personal viewpoint, reflecting neither the official
position of the Blue Cross of India nor that of the Animal Welfare
Board of India: species have gone extinct since life began. Humans
as thinking and rational beings have a responsibility to avoid
speeding up this process and to help slow it down where possible
without causing collateral damage. We cannot play God by deciding to
slaughter one set of animals in favor of another.
The Born Free Found-ation’s position on these issues should
be made clear when it solicits funds from the public.
–S. Chinny Krishna, Chair
Blue Cross of India
and Vice Chair
Animal Welfare
Board of India
Ministry of
& Forests
Government of India
1-A Eldams Rd.
Tamil Nadu 600018, India
Phone: 91-44-234-1399
Fax 91-44-234-9801


I am amazed that with homeless dog populations around the
world in virtually every developing country, the “experts” remain so
clueless about their niche and how to “manage” them. Shooting at any
animal will drive the animal further away into more remote areas.
The homeless dogs around Bale Mountains National Park should
have been vaccinated for rabies years ago: they are more of a risk
factor than owned animals.
–Julia N. Allen, PhD., DVM
c/o Emergency Management Veterinary Services
3618 39th Ave West
Seattle, WA
Tel/Fax: 206-281-0988


I am alarmed at all that has been going on in Ethiopia with
the dogs and the wolves, including that chaining dogs for life was
recommended by government officials and conservationists as a
solution to the problem.
Vaccination and sterilization are what is needed, not
keeping dogs chained. Domestic dogs need to be part of the family,
their pack, and not be chained out as though they are not living
beings deserving of care and respect.
I urge anyone who recommends chaining to cease, and would be
happy to send educational materials in English or Spanish to Ethiopia
for use in community education.
–Tammy Sneath Grimes, founder
Dogs Deserve Better
P.O. Box 23
Tipton, PA 16684

[This letter was also sent to Ethiopian officials and to the
Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program, which is financially supported
by the Born Free Foundation and World Wildlife Fund.]
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