Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
Oxford University theologian Andrew Linzey on November 28,
2006 announced the formation of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics,
home page <www.oxfordanimalethics.com>, which Linzey described as
“the world’s first academy dedicated to enhancing the ethical status
of animals through academic publication, teaching, and research.”
Nobel Literature Laureate J.M. Coetzee of South Africa was named
first Honorary Fellow of the institution. Author Jeffrey Masson was
named an Honorary Research Associate. Priscilla Cohn, author of
Contraception in Wildlife, Book I (1996), was named associate
director of the organization.

Ethiopian zoo poisons lion cubs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
ADDIS ABABA–“Rare Abyssin-ian lion cubs are being poisoned
and sold to taxidermists” at the Lion Zoo in Ethiopia, Associated
Press correspondent Les Neuhaus disclosed on November 22, 2006.
“These animals are the pride of our country, but our only
alternative right now is to send them to the taxidermist,” Neuhaus
quoted Lion Zoo director Muhedin Abdulaziz. Abdulaziz said the cubs’
remains fetch about $178 apiece, and that his staff had poisoned six
cubs in 2006.
Built in 1948 by the late emperor Haile Selassie, the Lion
Zoo housed 16 adult lions and five cubs when Neuhaus visited.
Both Abdulaziz and Lion Zoo assistant veterinarian
Yedenekachew Sahelu denied to Efrem Legese and Hana Kifle of the
Homeless Animals Protection Society of Ethiopia that any cubs were
poisoned in 2006.

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How to do pre-euthanasia sedation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
Further to the discussion in your October article “Could
carbon monoxide gas chambers make a comeback,” I thought I’d wade in
on pre-euthanasia sedation.
There is often confusion of terminology. The word
“tranquilizer” and its verb form “tranq” are used generically. Same
with the word “sedation” and “sedate.”
Here’s what’s what:
Tranquilizer usually means phenothiazine-type drugs such as
acepromazine. Tranquilizers reduce alertness and increase tolerance.
They also reduce inhibition and blood pressure and lower the seizure
threshold in some species. Acepromazine is label approved for dogs,
cats and horses.

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A keyword perspective on why fur-wearers do it

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
Anti-fur campaigners typically believe that fur-wearers wear
fur chiefly because they associate it with glamour and sex appeal.
This may be incorrect.
A keyword search of the 2006 staff-written content of 1,216
newspapers archived at NewsLibrary.com turned up 3,913 articles
associating “fur” with “coat,” and 651 associating “fur” with
Among these articles, 62% linked fur with “independence,”
“liberty,” or “freedom.” The usual context appeared to be furriers
describing buyers as either women of independent minds and income,
or younger people defying pressure from animal rights activists,
portrayed as a vocal minority–but reporters found the remarks worth

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Petfinder.com sold

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
Maureen Smith, chief executive of the Animal Planet cable
television channel, on November 2, 2006 announced that her company,
Discovery Communications Inc., is paying “about $35 million” to
purchase the adoption web site Petfinder.com and pet training video
firm PetsIncredible. Petfinder.com and PetsIncredible will become
part of the Animal Planet cable business unit.
The deal was disclosed just as Animal Planet caught flak from
Canned-Lion.com, founded by ANIMAL PEOPLE book and screen reviewers
Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan, of Cape Town, South Africa. Animal
Planet recently aired a documentary called White Lions: King of
Kings. The documentary, said Mercer, “presented Marius Prinsloo,
a notorious canned lion breeder in South Africa, as a paragon of
conservation working to preserve the white lion gene. The South
African canned lion industry is one of the cruelest industries in the
world,” Mercer alleged. “The South African environment minister,
himself a former hunter, has publicly described the canned hunting
fraternity as ‘environmental thugs.’ How could Animal Planet stoop
to whitewashing this industry, and present canned hunting as

Where IFAW $$ goes

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
The International Fund for Animal Welfare on October 25,
2006 began building new offices in Yarmouth-port, Massachusetts. A
1.5-acre open space in the center of the complex will be named after
Juliana Kickert, of Sedona, Arizona, who died at age 64 in March
2006, leaving IFAW $10 million. IFAW raised $17.3 million in the
most recently reported fiscal year, but by its own reckoning spent
just $11.5 million on programs, and by ANIMAL PEOPLE reckoning spent
$6.8 million on programs, less than went into fundraising and

Editorial: Strategies for changing the world

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
In the 1940 Walt Disney animated cartoon feature Dumbo, The
Flying Elephant, the first and perhaps still most vivid screen
depiction of circus animal handling produced for a paying mass
audience, a troupe of drunken clowns speculate that if circus-goers
laugh at an elephant made to jump from a platform made to look like a
burning building, they will laugh twice as hard if the elephant has
to jump from twice as high.
Activists in every cause could be accused of committing the
same logical fallacy, presuming that if a problem is exaggerated or
described as a crisis it will get more attention, resulting in more
effective response.
However, Che Green, executive director of the Seattle-based
Humane Research Council, pointed out in the November 2006 edition of
the HRC newsletter Humane Thinking that, “According to a study
recently published by Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council,
the most effective strategies for encouraging behavior change are
those that are motivational and informative rather than negative,
such as those that induce fear, guilt, or regret.”
In other words, exaggerating a bad situation is not the best
way to make it better.

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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
snaring situation.
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.
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First Beijing dog purge in five years brings unprecedented rally

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
BEIJING–Either “The Year of the Dog” ended in Beijing with
the first major dog purge in the city since March 2001, or with the
introduction of world-standard animal sheltering and adoption
practices, depending on whether one asks activists or officials.
Possibly a bit of both happened.
The few certainties are that the dog laws enforced in
November 2006 by the Beijing Public Security Bureau, Agriculture
Bureau, and Administration for Industry & Commerce were of dubious
value in ensuring public safety; that the crackdown was openly
motivated by concern for keeping the streets clean and safe before
the 2008 Olympics; and that the outcome may have been “killing the
dog to scare the monkey,” as animal advocates gathered on November
11 outside the Beijing Zoo in a globally reported protest.

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