Letters [March 2008]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2008:
First cruelty conviction in Cairo
In November 2007 some people here in Cairo complained that a
bad smell was coming from a neighbouring flat. The police were
called, and when the flat was opened, it was found to contain many
dead and dying animals.
The Egyptian Society of Animal Friends rescued several birds
and dogs, plus a female monkey and her baby, but the baby died
that evening. A male monkey had already died.
ESAF filed a complaint accusing the flat owner of neglect and
willful cruelty. The case was presented to the court by the district
attorney under the agriculture law as neglecting to report sick
Based on our memo of prosecution, the judge decided to apply
the Article 357 of the penal law to the case: “Any individual who
wilfully kills or poisons without purport a tame animal not mentioned
in Article 355, or does the animal any major harm, shall be
punished by a jail sentence that does not exceed six months or by a
fine that will not exceed 200 Egyptian pounds.”
The flat owner was sentenced under the penal law code to
serve two consecutive 48-hour jail sentences. If the judge had
applied the agriculture law, she would have been fined only 10
Of course she will appeal the sentence, but we have a strong
hope that the appeal court will uphold the sentence.
It may not seem like a harsh sentence, but it is the first
cruelty to animals case brought to court locally to succeed. A media
campaign regarding the sentence, to raise public awareness, has
already been organized.
–Ahmed El Sherbiny
30 Korshed St. /Rd. 293
New Maadi, Egypt
Rock musician Xie Zheng is launching a ten-concert tour of
China to raise awareness about animal rights issues. His first
concert will be in Beijing on March 8, 2008, at the 13 Club in
His band, Giant Beanstalk, is amazing, as are the other
bands who will be playing that night, each of which is comprised of
at least a few vegetarians.
–Sharon Warner Methvin, PhD.
of Social Sciences
Reporting deaths of note
Am I missing something here or what? I read every edition of
ANIMAL PEOPLE cover to cover, including the obituaries. I
appreciate the information about the passing of special animals and
animal people, who have contributed to the welfare, rights,
education and protection of the voiceless species who share our
My question is why was Samuel Leonard, a longtime animal
researcher and supporter of animal research, included in this
section of people who really care about animals? His discovery of
the effects of estrogen on birth control was the basis for the
billion dollar pregnant mare’s urine industry. This industry
impregnates thousands of horses every year, who are confined to
their stalls for seven months of their 11-month pregnancies, and are
given limited amounts of water to increase the concentration of their
urine. The foals are often sold to slaughter, if not used to
replace older PMU-producing mares, who typically last only five or
Leonard’s demise is certainly no loss to animals and those
who care about them.
The ANIMAL PEOPLE obituary section reports deaths of note to
the humane community. The deaths of alleged arch-villains are often
of at least as much news interest as the deaths of saints, while
weighing souls goes beyond the usual role of news media.
Samuel Leonard was an especially ambiguous figure. On the
one hand his work created the PMU industry. On the other, he
discovered the first method of achieving non-surgical contraception
to control populations of dogs, cats, and wildlife. His work more
than 70 years ago was the precursor to advances achieved since 1959
by Wolfgang Joechle, in particular, and other leading hormonal
As hormonal contraceptives have proved to have serious
limitations in animal population control, the momentum in
contraceptive research and development has shifted in recent years to
immunocontraceptives and chemosterilants. The Alliance for
Contraception in Cats & Dogs tracks and encourages progress, c/o
14245 N.W. Belle Court, Portland, OR 97229; <joyce@-acc-d.org>;
ANIMAL PEOPLE first brought the PMU industry to the attention
of our readers on page 1 of our April 1993 edition, reporting on the
findings of Tom Hughes of the Canadian Farm Animal Concerns Trust.
This was about six months before any U.S. animal advocacy
organization re-addressed PMU, decades after the industry was
initially exposed, only to be forgotten after the center of
production shifted west from Quebec, Ontario, and upstate New York
to Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Dakotas.
In 2007 we lost two giants–J.R. Hyland and Hans Reusch.
Hyland dedicated her book God’s Covenant With Animals to Reusch. As
consulting editor of Humane Religion, I had the joy of working
closely with Hyland. Far more than a brilliant scholar, she was a
true spiritual luminary. The words of Hyland and Reusch continue to
pierce the darkness.
Mileage deduction for charity work
Many Animal People readers are now doing their taxes, so
this might be a good time to start a campaign to convince legislators
to increase the tax deduction for miles driven in support of
charitable work. If every reader were to contact his or her U.S.
Senator and Representative, something good might happen.
The 2007 rate is 14 cents per mile, while the mileage rates
allowed for medical reasons or moving are 19 cents per mile, and the
business rate is 50.5 cents per mile. I think the 2008 rates have
been set at 14, 20, and 58 cents per mile. Important to note is
that only charity mileage is set by statute, which is why no
increase has been made in many years.
Considering the value and necessity of charity work, as well
as the positive economic impact of charity work on government costs,
an increase in tax-deductible mileage rates for charity are long
Cetacean Society Intl.
P.O. Box 953
Georgetown, CT 06829
Adding fur farm ban to Irish humane law update
We are hoping that a new Irish animal welfare bill will be
enacted into law in late 2008 or early 2009, updating legislation
adopted in 1911.
We are also hoping to abolish fur farming in Ireland. Our
effort began in 2003, when Com-passion in World Farming Ireland and
Respect for Animals released video footage of an undercover
investigation of the five remaining Irish fur farms, one of which
raises both foxes and mink. The Irish SPCA also backed their
In 2005 a CIWF bill to ban fur farming in Ireland was
defeated in Parliament, 67 votes to 50. Since then CIWF Ireland
and Respect for Animals have been doing fantastic work, lobbying and
getting people to write to the agriculture minister in support of
such a ban. Last year the Irish Green Party became a part of the
government. They have stated their complete opposition to fur
farming in Ireland. Currently they are working with the Animal
Rights Action Network and CIWF Ireland to try to have the fur farming
ban included in the upcoming animal welfare bill.
This is the same strategy successfully pursued in Croatia,
where fur farming will become illegal in 2010.
We launched our campaign with an early February protest
outside the Department of Agricul-ture in Dublin, at which up to 60
ARAN members held placards and a 5-meter banner sponsored by PETA
Europe, reading “Ban Fur Farming in Ireland Now!” The protest
generated tons of coverage across the country that day on radio
stations, and there was also great coverage the next day in
We need ANIMAL PEOPLE readers to write on behalf of their
organizations to urge Irish minister for agriculture Mary Coughlan to
ban fur farming in Ireland without delay. Her present position,
stated in October 2007, is that “Any market opportunities resulting
from a ban here would be immediately exploited by producers
elsewhere. Thus, a unilateral ban here would not make any
contribution to overall animal welfare.” Her address is: Minister
Mary Coughlan, Office of the Minister for Agriculture, Fish-eries &
Food, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. Her
fax is +353-1-6072843. E-mails should be sent c/o
120 Vale Avenue
Carew Park, Limerick
Campaigns directed at closing laboratories in nations with
strong laboratory animal welfare laws have had the net effect of
causing companies to outsource their product testing and animal-based
research to economically disadvantaged nations where laboratories are
barely regulated at all. The outcome is more animal use rather than
less, in worse conditions. However, fur farming is not a closely
regulated industry anywhere, fur production everywhere is driven by
global retail sales volume, and stopping fur production in any one
nation is correspondingly less likely to lead to either a
disproportionate increase elsewhere, or a net increase in animal
suffering. The outcome is likely to be to concentrate world fur
production in a relatively few nations where it is politically and
economically well-defended; but even in fortified isolation, fur
farming could not survive a decisive and lasting consumer turn away
A promise made to Peruvian animals
ANIMAL PEOPLE in your July/August 2005 edition published a
letter that I sent you after returning from Peru in 2005, along with
an editor’s note summarizing a plan for advancing humane work in Peru
that you prepared in 1999.
I still have haunting memories of the extremely poor
conditions for animals at Macchu Picchu and in the surrounding areas.
There are no words to accurately describe the gratitude of a starving
dog being fed. I promised the dogs of Macchu Picchu that I would get
assistance for them after returning to the U.S. I must know if any
progress has been made since our 2005 correspondence. The plan you
described sounded very workable to me.
If nothing has been done, I would like to humbly ask for a
dedicated group to respond to the cries of the dogs and other animals
The ANIMAL PEOPLE plan called for operating a mobile clinic
that would traverse the road from Cuzco to Macchu Picchu, funded by
kiosks at the Cuzco airport and railway station. This has not yet
been done, nine years after we shared the plan and a draft budget
with the global humane community.
However, the growing Peruvian humane community began
outreach into the Andes in a noteworthy way following the earthquake
of August 15, 2007. Three missions from Unidos por los Animales of
Lima treated more than 3,000 animals. The Peruvian Association for
the Protection of Animals, Amazon CARES, Huaw Huaw, Amigos de los
Animales, Grupo Caridad, and the Asociacion Defensora de la Fauna y
Flora horse and donkey care project at Huancavelica also responded.
Their efforts were assisted by the Best Friends Animal Society, the
Canadian Animal Assistance Team, and the World Society for the
Protection of Animals. Best Friends funded an eight-week veterinary
mission to the earthquake zone that could become a model for further
efforts in Peru.