Letters [Dec 2006]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
Elephant advocate leaves Zimbabwe
With disappointment, disillusionment, and regret, Sharon
Pincott has decided to leave Zimbabwe, and the Presidential
Elephants to whom she has dedicated (on a voluntary basis) the past
six years of her life.
Sharon fought tirelessly for the ongoing protection of
Zimbabwe’s flagship herd of elephants, for the land which used to be
their key home-range, and for their well-being and safety.
Sharon produced two successful books about her time amongst
the Presidential Elephants, and recently released important
information on the negative impact of gunfire on elephant conception
rates, reported in the October 2006 ANIMAL PEOPLE article “Gun-fire
no aphrodisiac for African elephants.”
Sharon spent years monitoring the elephants’ social structure
and population, and successfully raised awareness about the dreadful
Sharon leaves her work incomplete. Proof, however, of her
dedication and tenacity is that she has stayed on full-time in the
Hwange bush for as long as she has, even in the face of past
threats, intimidation, and the ongoing apathy of some.
–Johnny Rodrigues, chair Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Animal welfare in Egypt
Through our ongoing cooperation with the General
Organ-ization for Veterinary Services, GOVS on October 29, 2006
officially established an animal welfare unit. The first joint
project of the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends, Egyptian Society
of Animal Management, and the new animal welfare unit will be held
at the Giza Zoo, December 8-10, 2006.
The program will include an animal welfare seminar for the
keepers, conducted by Dr. Rabea Fayed, who is a professor of
animal behavior on the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Cairo
Univ-ersity, and chairs ESAM. After-ward, two keepers each month
will receive a certificate and a financial incentive in recognition
of applying animal welfare recommendations.
The program will also include sterilizing more than 150 feral
cats who inhabit the zoo premises.
–Ahmed El Sherbiny
Egyptian Society of Animal Friends
30 Korshed St. / Rd. 293
New Maadi, Egypt 20-2-702-1142
Erie County SPCA wildlife program
Re your November 2006 feature, “The wildlife program that
might make Milwaukee famous,” there are more than two humane
organizations in the country that see the writing on the wall. We
know that wildlife issues will be very big in this century and we
want to be ready. The Erie County SPCA cares for over 3,000 wild
animals a year, including well over 100 species, mostly birds.
Whether a pigeon or a bald eagle, they all get the same quality care.
Dogs and cats were not even mentioned in our 1900 annual
report. The bulk of our work was in the Buffalo freight yards, with
the working animals of the day. As a movement we have a lot to be
proud of, looking at the progress made first for working animals,
now companion animals, and soon for wildlife.
Erie County SPCA
205 Ensminger Road
Tonawanda, NY 14150
Thank you for your article “A Field Day over Elephant Polo.”
Having followed this issue as best I can, I believe Animal People
gave a balanced view to both sides on this contentious issue. I
appreciate that, and hope for some compromises and gains for the
elephants coming from all of these discussions.
Crabs are animals
I want to thank you for your September 2006 editorial “Crabs
are animals too.” So few animal lovers pity fish and crabs.
In France many restaurants put lobsters and crabs into cool
water, which they heat slowly.
Do you know the U.K. society called the Shellfish Network,
I hope the apparatus they recommend called the Crustastun is
soon commercialized. It stuns the animals with electrical current.
284 Route de la
Basse Arve 74380
Dogs in Nepal
“Dogs killed on their holiday,” in the November 2006 edition
of ANIMAL PEOPLE, about the massacre in Narayan municipality,
Nepal, was very upsetting.
Although animal birth control has been introduced to the
capital of Nepal by the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre, and an
Animal Welfare Law is being drafted by a high-level committee, there
is hardly any national consensus on this issue.
Whether the dogs were killed during Kukur Puja or on any
other day hardly makes a difference. For years national authorities
have argued that rabies and overpopulation of stray dogs cannot and
should not be tackled with poisoning, because it is cruel,
dangerous, expensive and–last but not least– brings no results.
The dogs of Narayan died their cruel deaths in vain, as research
shows that dog populations react to poisoning by producing larger
litters. We predict that the number of dogs in Narayan in a year’s
time will be at the same level or higher.
On November 9, 2006 the Dominican Republic SPCA (SODOPRECA)
successfully prosecuted brothers Elvis and Martin Rubio for killing a
stray dog named Leonel Fernandez, after the Dominican president. To
avoid jail time, both pleaded guilty, agreeing to receive two hours
of humane education, perform four hours of community service to help
animals, and payment of $250.00 toward the medical costs for
treating the unfortunate animal. If they fail to comply with the
plea bargain, they will face a criminal trial, with a strong
possibility of going to prison.
This was the first known prosecution under the Dominican
anti-cruelty law, adopted in 1946.
–Marcos A. Polanco
San Juan Bautista De La Salle #132
Mirador del Norte, Santo Domingo
Ranks in Order of the British Empire
On page 6 of your Sept-ember 2006 edition, under the heading
“Another OBE for animal welfare work,” you mentioned that Animals
Asia Foundation founder Jill Robinson received an Order of the
British Empire in 1998. Robinson was named a Mistress of the Order
of the British Empire, so technically her award is different from an
OBE, which is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. David
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust founder Daphne Sheldrick received an MBE and
a DBE, which stands for Dame of the Order of the British Empire.
Political lessons from 1972 battle to abolish decompression in Berkeley
I thought your October 2006 editorial about political
activism on behalf of animals and the need for independent thought
was spot-on. I have written and spoken to you in the past about the
campaign my wife Diane and I helped to lead to abolish the use of
decompression to kill animals in Berkeley, California, in 1972,
and would like to add detail about the roles of Loni Hancock and Ron
Dellums, who were mentioned in your editorial.
The hard left vilified us for “caring more about animals than
oppressed people,” even though we were prominently involved in left
issues and politics. Street people, however, who were homeless
along with their dogs, were mostly eager to offer their support.
Those who I’d call the non-ideological left and good folk of
conservative leanings also came on board.
When we first approached Loni Hancock for her vote, she was
cool and not particularly interested. Fortunately David Mundstock,
her top staff person, promised us his full support. Eventually,
through him, we got to Loni. If she is now and all-out animal
person, I thank her and bless her.
As we were fairly constant fixtures at city council meetings
on all manner of issues, Ron Dellums was familiar with our faces and
political leanings. When we approached Dellums, he said, “Look,
I’m not all that certain what this is all about, but you’re my
people, and you have my vote.”
Another council member, Borden Price, a so-called
conservative Republican, turned out to be a sweetheart of a human
being. Whenever I called at his office, he answered the phone
himself and amiably engaged in conversation for half an hour at a
Again, thanks for an illuminating editorial.
Just a thought I want to share with your readers: never
throw out back editions of ANIMAL PEOPLE. This is what I do:
After I’ve read it, I leave each edition sitting in the sauna at my
gym…or in the waiting room of my doctor’s or lawyer’s or dentist’s
office…..or I leave it on a table at Starbuck’s…..or on a bus or
subway….any place where someone who knows nothing about animal
suffering (let alone ANIMAL PEOPLE) can pick it up and be exposed.
It is such a great feeling to leave my dentist’s office and see
someone in the waiting room holding the edition and reading it with
This is just another way we can change the world for animals,
one person at a time.
New York City, N.Y.