HSUS catches major retailers selling dog fur

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
NEW YORK CITY–The Macy’s fashion store chain on December 22,
2006 withdrew from sale two styles of Sean John brand hooded jackets,
after mass spectrometry testing commissioned by the Humane Society of
the U.S. revealed that “imitation rabbit fur” and “faux fur” collars
were made from the fur of tanuki dogs, members of the domestic dog
family with raccoon-like markings, native to China and Korea.
“A Sean John snorkel jacket on sale for $237.99 at Macys.com
specifically identified the materials used as ‘Nylon/faux fur/goose
down,'” HSUS said. “When investigators purchased the coat, they
found that the labels read ‘Made in China’ and ‘genuine raccoon fur.'”

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Which wild pigs are running amok in Malaysia? And why now?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
KUALA LUMPUR– Rampaging wild pigs are a problem in Malaysia,
practically all sources agree. Less clear is which wild pigs are the
Malaysia has native warty pigs and bearded pigs, as well as
abundant feral domestic pigs–and they can hybridize.
The warty pigs and bearded pigs are subjects of conservation
concern, albeit perhaps more as prey for highly endangered tigers
than for their own sake. Malaysia now has as few as 500 tigers,
down from more than 3,000 circa 1950.
Feral and hybrid pigs are also prey for tigers, but
conservationists tend to view feral and hybrid pigs as unwelcome
competitors for warty and bearded pig habitat.

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Exterminator called to Primarily Primates

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
SAN ANTONIO–The messy plight of the Primarily Primates
sanctuary reportedly became messier still in early December 2006, to
the point that PETA-backed, state-appointed receiver Lee
Theisen-Watt called in ABC Pest & Lawn Services on December 13 to
kill rats, mice, and cockroaches.
“ABC is proud to be able to take on this project for free as
our holiday gift to the community,” said ABC general manager Mark
“It was probably the worst roach infestation I’ve ever
seen,” Ambrose later told Chicago Tribune correspondent Howard Witt.
“Cockroaches carpeted the floors and walls of some animals’
sleeping houses.” wrote Witt, “Rats had colonized others.”

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Hong Kong kills feral pigs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
“The solution to the increasing havoc caused by marauding
bands of wild pigs in the New Territories is relatively simple: kill
them,” reported the South China Morning Post on December 21, 2006.
Sarah Liao Sau-tung, Hong Kong Secretary for Environment,
Transport and Works, confirmed a day earlier that members of hunting
clubs in Tai Po and Sai Kung had been officially encouraged to hunt
pigs more often. “We believe a lot of people will volunteer because
they enjoy it as a hobby,” Sau-tung said.

Boar panic grips Great Britain

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
LONDON–“Police in Fife have issued a
warning after a wild boar escaped from the
abattoir in St Andrews,” BBC News reported on
November 28, 2006. “The public has been urged
not to approach the animal, which has large tusks
and teeth and may attack if it is cornered or
In truth, any pig can deliver a
bone-crunching bite, and any frightened boar or
sow can become deadly.
But the BBC warning was relatively
understated compared to much recent Fleet Street
hyperbole about feral European boars.

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Indian street pigs are mostly not feral

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
DELHI, MYSORE, BANGALORE–India easily leads the world in
numbers of street pigs, but relatively few are completely feral.
Much of the Indian domestic pig population roams the streets to
forage, loosely attended by herders who may be blocks away.
Relatively few pigs are raised in confinement, in a nation whose
upper caste Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Muslims have
traditionally shunned pork.
Historically, only what are now called the “scheduled”
castes, “tribals,” and the Christian minority ate pork. For
millennia, pig-herding was accordingly a minor and not very
profitable branch of animal husbandry. This has recently abruptly
changed. A high birth rate among “scheduled” castes, increasing
affluence among “scheduled” caste members who have pursued subsidized
education, enabling them to buy more meat, and weakening caste
barriers throughout Indian society have enabled pig herders to
rapidly expand their markets.

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Are pit bulls the problem, or their people? Study raises the question

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
CINCINNATI–The view that pit bull terriers get into trouble
chiefly because the wrong people have them was reinforced on November
16, 2006 when a peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of
Interpersonal Violence revealed that among a sampling of 355 people
who keep pet dogs, all who keep pit bulls turned out to have had
some sort of trouble with the law.
Thirty percent of the people in the sampling who had been
cited at least once for failing to license a pit bull were found to
have had at least five criminal convictions or traffic citations.
Only 1% of the people who keep dogs with a low risk of being involved
in an attack legally defined by Ohio municipal ordinances as
“vicious” had five or more convictions or traffic citations, the
researchers found.

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Editorial: Developing compassion for feral pigs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
Here come the pigs! See page one and the constellation of
related sidebars beginning on page 12 for particulars.
Nobody expected feral pigs and street pigs to become a
ubiquitous humane concern in the early 21st century–but not because
of indifference toward pigs. Most people just didn’t think of pigs
as a free-roaming species who might turn up almost anywhere, capable
of thriving without human help. But the timing is right for feral
pigs and street pigs to claim humane attention. More pigs may be at
large today, worldwide, than ever before. Certainly more pigs are
at large in North America.
Pig hunters are all but exempt from most of the laws that
govern other forms of hunting, since pigs are considered a
non-native invasive nuisance. So-called hog/dog rodeo, in which
packs of pit bull terriers are set upon captive feral pigs, has only
been illegal in many Southern states for under two years, and–like
dogfighting and cockfighting–still has a substantial following.

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Chinese president Hu Jintao halts canine confiscations

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
BEIJING–Chinese President Hu Jintao in late November 2006
personally “intervened to end a national crackdown on dogs,”
reported Jane Cai of the South China Morning Post, who made the
action known to the world on December 13.
“One petitioner said Mr. Hu’s chief secretary told her that
the president had read her two petitions, signed by more than 60,000
people, calling for an end to the campaign,” Cai wrote. “She said
Mr. Hu was unhappy about the complaints and international media
coverage of the campaign, and had put a stop to the program late
last month,” about four weeks after it started. “A government
official confirmed Mr Hu had ordered a halt after reading the
letters,” Cai continued.

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