Letters [March 2007]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2007:
 
Animals harmed in making “The Aftermath”?

I have just watched the HBO/BBC joint
production of The Aftermath, a fictitious
account the Indian Ocean tsunami, filmed in
Phuket and Kao Lak.
There is at the end amongst the credits a
statement saying that “No animals were harmed in
the filming of this production.”
Not so. The scenes depicting the temple
north of Kao Lak were actually filmed over
several days at the Ban Don temple near Talang on
Phuket. Approximately 45 dogs and numerous cats
live at this temple, monitored by volunteers who
feed and treat them.
The film company built an enclosure for
the dogs into which they were all herded.
Normally these dogs have distinct territories in
different parts of the temple. The result was
repeated fighting. Some of the dogs suffered
open wounds. These required veterinary treatment
provided by the Soi Dog Foundation after the
filming was finished. We were not allowed near
the enclosure during the filming.
Nobody knows what happened to the cats, but many disappeared.

–John Dalley
Soi Dog Foundation,
C/O 57/61 Laguna Golf Villas
Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Road,
Choengthale,
Phuket 83110, Thailand
<dalleyj@loxinfo.co.th>
<www.soidogfoundation.org>
 
American Humane screen division chief Karen Rosa responds:

This information is very disturbing.
American Humane was never notified of this
production. Since it was primarily produced by
the BBC and filmed in Thailand, it would not be
considered a Screen Actors Guild production (and
therefore not subject to American Humane
supervision). We are working to make humane
treatment of animals in film an international
mandate, but it has been slow going and in need
of funding.
John Dalley described the kind of poor
housing we criticize and prevent from occurring
when we monitor a production. We also would
never have allowed any aggression to continue,
even if it was unforeseen. Veterinary treatment
for the injured animals should have been
immediate, not “after filming was finished.”
This is the kind of case that we will use
in our continuing argument for funding and
jurisdiction on international locations. The
unsuspecting viewer has no idea that this is the
backstory.
I am following up on the claim that The
Aftermath is using an end credit that may state
“No animals were harmed.” If that is so, we
will follow up through our attorney.
[“No animals were harmed” as a screen
production note is a phrase trademarked by
American Humane.]  
Fur-Bearer Defenders note decreasing trapping

Recent Animal People references to
increasing use of fur seem to overlook the ever
decreasing amount of cruel trapping.
Five and a half million animals were
trapped in Canada in 1979/80. In recent years
fewer than one million animals have been trapped.
Here in British Columbia the 1979/80 total was
over 300,000. This has decreased 90%, to
30,000. In Alberta, 1.8 million animals were
trapped in 1979/80. Recent totals have been
about 111,000. Similar figures are available
across Canada, as trappers hang up their traps
because of low pelt prices.
In the U.S., the 1979-80 estimate of
animals trapped was 26 to 28 million. We
estimate that the toll is now between three and
four million animals per year.
After 35 years of working to end cruel
trapping, we are excited to know of the huge
number of fur-bearing animals who will now likely
never meet a leg-hold trap.
–George V. Clements, Director
Fur-Bearer Defenders
225 E. 17th Ave., Suite 101
Vancouver, B.C.,
Canada V5V 1A6
Phone: 604-435-1850
Fax: 604-435-1840
<fbd@BanLegholdTraps.com>
<www.BanLegholdTraps.com>
<www.DogCatFur.com>
 
Fallacy of pushing fake fur

Now that HSUS and PETA are acknowledging
that fake fur is often real fur, why do they
continue to promote fake fur?
I understand that HSUS wants to have a law for
truth in labeling, but such a law could never
be adequately enforced. In addition, inherent
in such a law, is the idea that some animals
should not be used for fur, i.e. dogs and cats,
and for other animals to be so used is not such a
bad thing.
-Irene Muschel
New York, N.Y.
<benirv@hotmail.com>
 
Rating salaries against the norms

Just to say well done for the interesting
compilation of who gets what and where it goes
in the December 2006 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE–a
marathon job.
It might be interesting to go a step
further & rate individual compensation against
the salary norms you provide, showing just how
the individual’s pay rates
For example, IFAW chief executive Fred
O’Regan’s salary is around 1.8 x the salary norm
for charities of that size.
–Stella & David Marsden
Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Trust
P.O. Box 2208
Serrekunda, Gambia
<chimpgambia@googlemail.com>
 
Editor’s note:

Key factors in executive compensation
besides the size of the organization include
professional credentials, special achievements,
and tenure on the job. Even considering these
elements, however, Fred O’Regan appears to be
quite generously paid.
 
Tom Regan vs. Peter Singer

Tom Regan, quoted in “Animal Liberation
author Peter Singer ires activists by calling
some animal testing ‘justifiable’,” in your
December 2006 edition, was absolutely correct to
condemn the claim that ‘consequences determine
moral right or wrong,’ and I am surprised that
Peter Singer reportedly accepted inducing
Parkinsonism in primates, after the experimenter
claimed that “40,000 people have been made
better.”
Apparently modern treatments for
hypothermia are based on knowledge gained by Nazi
doctors plunging Jewish concentration camp
inmates into freezing cold water, and then
trying various treatments to revive them. Would
anyone try to justify those experiments because
countless people may have since benefited from
the knowledge gained? No one has the right to
take another sentient being, human or animal,
by force, and subject that being to
imprisonment, distress, pain and death in the
interests of others, no matter how many.
–John Bryant
6 Royal Avenue
Tonbridge, Kent
U.K. TN9 2DA
JBwildanimals@aol.com>
<www.jbryant.co.uk>
 
Gorilla Organization

We have changed our name to The Gorilla
Organization and are registered as a company
limited by guarantee under number 05988371. Our
new charity registered number is 1117131.
Dian Fossey’s example of courage and
dedication to her beloved mountain gorillas will
always be an inspiration to us. However, as we
expand our work to help other kinds of gorillas,
namely the eastern lowland gorillas in the Congo,
being named after someone who is strongly
associated with the Virunga mountain gorillas is
not necessarily an advantage.
It is our hope that with sufficient
support from supporters concerned with the
possible extinction of a species, the Gorilla
Organization will expand to apply the lessons
learned around the Virungas to gorilla
populations in all 10 countries where they are
found.
–Anne Collins
Senior Administrator
The Gorilla Organization
110 Gloucester Ave.
London NW1 8HX, U.K.
Phone: 44-20-7483-2681
Fax: 44-20-7722-0928
<info@gorillas.org>
<www.gorillas.org>
 
VIVA! U.S.

Your December 2006 edition noted that
“VIVA! U.S. office director Lauren Ornelas left
Viva! in April 2006 to take a position with
Compassion Over Killing. The VIVA! web site no
longer lists a U.S. branch.”
I quit COK after about 4 months.
Viva!USA still exists, but no longer has an
office and is no longer taking donations. I am
helping out as a volunteer to ensure that
literature orders are filled.
We are still pursuing our lawsuit against
Adidas over the import of kangaroo leather. It
is currently before the California Supreme Court.
I remain the contact person on the lawsuit, in
addition to our lawyer.
–Lauren Ornelas
San Francisco, Calif.
<ltornelas@gmail.com>
 
Eid ul Azha

I have been much vexed because millions
of cows, oxen, camels, sheep and goats were
slaughtered on the day of Eid ul Azha, after the
Haj in Saudia Arabia, and on January 1 in
Pakistan. This is a cruel and atrocious massacre
of innocent and faithful animals. Animal Save
Movement Pakistan not only strongly protests this
debacle, but wants to abolish it.
–Khalid Mahmood Qurashi, President
Animal Save Movement of Pakistan
H#1094/2 Hussain Agahi
Multan 60000, Pakistan
<thetension@hotmail.com>
 
Slovenian bears

The Minister of the Environment and
Spatial Planning of Slovenia, Janez Podobnik,
plans to issue a huntng quota of 106 bears in
2007.
Although our brown bears are an endangered
species, protected by the laws of Slovenia as
well as the European Union, many bears will be
killed, even mothers and their young. The
country has no mercy.
–Damjan Likar
Society for the Rights &
Liberation of Animals Slovenia
<info@osvoboditev-zivali.org>
 
Livestock gifts

Thank you for your January/February 2007
article “Livestock gift charities do not help
poor nations, say global critics.” I have been
fighting this battle for many years,
particularly at our Unitarian congregation’s
religious education classes. They cannot be
convinced that these cute little animals are
destined for slaughter. And did you see Heifer
nternational’s Christmas catalog with all the
celebrities cuddling the little baby animals?
At age 83 and a physical wreck, I can’t
do much any more, but at the least, I will make
copies of your article and distribute it to the
Unitarians and others who give to animal
charities.
–Roz Hendrickson
Bridgewater, New Jersey
 
Goats

We really enjoyed your article “Livestock
gift charities do not help poor nations, say
global critics.” We have always felt that these
programs are not in the best interests of the
animals. The added dimension that the programs
are not good for the actual recipients, and that
they are window dressing for high overhead
“beneficent” organizations, really seals the
letter on these organizations in our book.
At Goat Rescue, our focus is on pet
goats. Through our website, e-mail, and phone
conversations we try to help people from all over
the country (and sometimes worldwide) to find
safe and loving homes for pet goats they are no
longer able to take care of.
We recognize that goats are eaten in many
places around the world, goats are eaten.
Because we love goats, we would like to
discourage that. Your article helps to
discourage the use of goats for food.
–Jim & Jane Hyde
Goat Rescue
2693 Xanadu Lane
Langley, WA 98260
Phone: 360-321-4747
<osiris@whidbey.com>
<www.goatrescue.org>
 
One Last Fight

By way of update, I wanted to let you
know that a Spanish version of One Last Fight:
Exposing the Shame, produced by The Anti-Cruelty
Society, of Chicago, has just been completed.
The title is Una Ultima Pelea: Exponiendo la
Verg├╝enza. Ironically, you had already
published Merritt Clifton’s review in the
Spanish section of the ANIMAL PEOPLE web site.
As director of the original film, I’m pleased
that a Spanish version is now actually available.
For details on obtaining DVD copies,
please contact Tammie Bouschor at The
Anti-Cruelty Society, 312-644-8338, x344, or
<tbouschor@anticruelty.org>.
–Erik Friedl
Los Angeles, Calif.
 
Pigs

I enjoyed reading about the feral pig
situation in your January/February edition.
Nebraska reported three areas with feral pigs
supposedly due to ferals coming from Kansas last
year. In February 2007 they said several
hundred domestic pigs had been exposed to
pseudo-rabies by feral pigs in almost mid-state.
–Jim Weverka
Animal Control Chief
3140 N Street
Lincoln, NE 68510
Phone 402-441-7900
Fax 402-441-8626
<JWeverka@ci.lincoln.ne.us>
 
Ellen G. White

Ellen G. White (1827-1915), the
matriarch of the Seventh Day Adventists,
literally inspired millions of Christians and
others to become vegetarians. She advocated
vegetarianism for Biblical, spiritual, health
and animal welfare reasons.
White wrote, “The moral evils of a
flesh-food diet are not less marked than the
physical ills. Think of the cruelty to animals
that meat eating involves, and its effect on
those who inflict and those who behold it. How it
destroys the tenderness with which we should
regard these creatures of God!” Her words were
written over 100 years ago. They verify that
White was a humane Christian visionary.
–Brien Comerford
Glenview, Illinois
 
Correction

The January/February 2007 article
“Thailand re-examines tiger sale” stated that
Chiang Mai Night Safari Zoo chief executive
Plodprasop Saraswadi “had previously been
fisheries minister” before becoming minister of
forestry, where his work is under investigation
by the Thai National Counter Corruption
Commission.
Plodprasop Saraswadi was actually
director general of fisheries, 1992-1998.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.