Bad dog food in Taiwan

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2009:
TAIPEI–Moldy corn imported from Pakistan and made into dog
food killed more than 1,000 dogs at animal shelters in four Taiwan
counties, the Taiwan Council of Agriculture disclosed on January 5,
The lethal ingredient was aflatoxin, a form of naturally
occurring mycotoxin, produced by fungi that grow on grain.
Aflatoxin is usually neutralized by cooking at high temperatures, a
normal part of pet food manufacturing, but since 2005 aflatoxin
incidents have also killed 17 dogs in New York state, 23 in Israel,
more than 600 in Venezuela, and an unknown number in China, where
the Shanghai Yidi Pet Company halted distribution of a contaminated
dog food line in early January 2009. Company spokespersons agreed
that the contaminated food was imported, but disagreed as to whether
the source was Taiwan or Australia.
The Taiwanese maker, Ji-Tai Forage, recalled and composted
29 metric tons of “Peter’s Kind-Hearted Dog Food,” produced only for
shelter consumption. About 20 metric tons appeared to have been
eaten by dogs without incident, and 1,450 metric tons of pig feed
made from the moldy corn contained no aflatoxin, according to spot
checks–but some dog food samples contained many times the known
lethal dose level.
Taiwanese public shelters were notorious in the 1990s for
refusing to kill impounded dogs, in keeping with Buddhist belief,
but allowing the dogs to starve instead. This was banned in 1998 as
part of a new national humane law, along with selling dogs to dog
meat restaurants, which was believed to the fate of up to a third of
all impounded dogs. The law banned selling dog meat altogether.
ANIMAL PEOPLE last received reports about Taiwanese shelters
violating these provisions of the 1998 law in 2002, but still
receives frequent complaints about overcrowding and lack of
veterinary care.

Did Christmas bring the end of the Strausstown club pigeon shoots?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2009:

STRAUSTOWN, Pennsylvania–“Christmas came a day late, but
our present was well worth the wait,” said SHARK founder Steve
Hindi, calling ANIMAL PEOPLE on December 29, 2008 to announce the
apparent end of pigeon shoots at the Strausstown Rod and Gun
Club–perhaps the most openly defiant among the last several places
in the U.S. where legal pigeon shoots were held.
“Neither a heavy thunderstorm nor the activities of an animal
rights group silenced the gunfire Saturday at the Strausstown Rod &
Gun Club’s weekend pigeon shoot,” wrote Steven Henshaw of the
Reading Eagle back in August 2008, when representatives of the
Humane Society of the U.S. and Humane Society of Berks County spent
eight hours trying to document prosecutable cruelty at a shoot.

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Letters [Jan/Feb 2009]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2009:
Use it, not lose it

Regarding the Animal People November/December editorial “How
hard times affect animal rescue,” the recent “Ponzi ” scheme
executed by financier Bernard Madoff was responsible for charities
losing billions of dollars–about 20 times more than the sum of all
money raised for animal welfare and advocacy, according to some
estimates. The question that should be asked of the victims in the
charitable sector is why they kept so much money in the trusts Madoff
managed, when their purpose is to do good works with their money,
not just accumulate more money to sit in their trusts!
How many appeals do we all receive from charities that
already have vast reserves, not disclosed in their appeals?
Charities have no business keeping more money than they need to fund
programs and management costs, and should start new projects that
are in accord with their mission statements if they come by any extra
money. Perhaps charities can now be encouraged not to sit on their
money, or invest it unwisely, but instead use it for its intended
purpose–to do good deeds.
If any charities have run out of projects, let them give the
money they have in their trusts to other charities who can surely use
–Eileen Weintraub
Help Animals India/VSPCA
19215 32nd Avenue N.E.
Seattle, Washington 98155
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What Iraqi shoe-tosser really said about dogs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2009:
BAGHDAD–Did Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi, 29, insult
dogs on Dec-ember 14, 2008, or just U.S. President George W. Bush?
According to The New York Times account of the incident, as
Bush spoke at a Baghdad press conference, Zaidi “rose abruptly from
about 12 feet away, reared his right arm, and fired a shoe at the
president’s head while shouting in Arabic: ‘This is a gift from the
Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!'”
Bush ducked and the shoe missed him. Zaidi then threw his
other shoe, missing again, shouting “This is from the widows, the
orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”
Zaidi was then subdued and taken into custody. He was still
jailed, facing up to seven years in prison, as ANIMAL PEOPLE went
to press.

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Catty the miracle dog caption

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2009:
“Here is Catty the miracle dog,” writes Egyptian Society for
Mercy to Animals founder Mona Khalil from Cairo, Egypt. “Her
puppies were snatched from her and she was dropped in a busy street
so that she probably would get killed by cars. With her are the
three kittens we found nursing from her, as they too were snatched
from their mum and dropped in a box in the same area.” Discovered by
a gardener who feeds animals in the vicinity, Catty and the kittens,
five other abandoned kittens, and another dog were picked up from
amid the traffic by Khalil and her father. “They are all now at the
ESMA shelter,” Khalil said. “We will keep Catty and the kittens
together, and will look to get them adopted together too.”
Though rare, the case is not unprecedented: ANIMAL PEOPLE
has since 1992 collected 23 other authenticated accounts of dogs
cross-fostering kittens, plus five accounts of cats cross-fostering
puppies in similar rescue situations.

149 dogs saved from meat market

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2009:
CHENGDU–The last day of 2008 brought the first known mass
seizure of dogs from meat traders in mainland China in almost 70
years. “The 149 dogs were confiscated from the trading station in
Pengzhou, 30 kilometres north of Chengdu, by the local Animal
Husbandry Bureau, after it discovered that the trader was operating
without a licence,” announced the Animals Asia Foundation.
“The officials were notified of the situation by Qiao Wei,
operator of the Qiming Rescue Centre in Chengdu, who had received a
tip-off about the dogs,” the Animals Asia Foundation release
Best known for operating the China Bear Rescue Center near
Chengdu, “Animals Asia recently built the spacious quarantine area
at the Qiming Rescue Centre to shelter dogs rescued from the May 2008
Sichuan earthquake,” the release explained.

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Money spent to help animals would not be lost

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2009:

Parables in every faith warn against
hoarding wealth, instead of using it to good
purpose. Those who doubt the wisdom of the sages
might look instead to the headlines.
The New York Times on page one of the
last day of 2008 observed that Wall Street losses
during the year had eradicated every gain made
since 2001, the most recent previous year of
economic downturn.
Another New York Times page one item
discussed the losses to charities resulting from
the activities of former NASDAQ chair Bernard
Madoff, who is charged with bilking investors of
$50 billion. Among the victims were many of the
wealthiest nonprofit foundations in the U.S.,
and investment funds that handled the assets of
possibly thousands of other charities and
individual donors. The extent of the damage will
take months to assess.

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Rodeo without mayhem?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2009:
DENVER–If rodeo doesn’t kill, injure,
and torture animals, will people still pay to
watch it?
With rodeo attendance, TV audiences,
and sponsorship in freefall, and activist
opposition to violent events intensifying, major
rodeos throughout the west are making gestures
toward trying to reduce the mayhem.
For example, “New policies in place at
the 2009 National Western Rodeo will focus on
much restricted use of electric prods and
stronger fines for jerk downs in the tie down
roping,” announced National Western Stock Show
president Patrick A. Grant on the eve of the
stock show, held from January 7 to January 25,
The Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and
Greeley Stampede announced similar policy changes
earlier. The Chicago-based animal rights group
Showing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK) has
repeatedly videotaped electroshocking and jerk
downs in roping competition at all three events
in recent years.

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