Editorial: Helping more animals with fewer resources

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2009:

A year into the global financial meltdown, the humane
community as a whole seems to be holding up relatively well, so
far–but precariously.
Puppy mills, by contrast, are collapsing at an
unprecedented pace. 2008 brought more than twice as many dogs and
cats into animal shelters as result of breeder failures than 2007,
and the 2009 volume from breeder failures is on pace to eclipse the
2008 record.

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Letters [April 2009]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2009:
Portuguese bullfights

Defensor Moura, the mayor of Viana do
Castelo, Portugal since 1993, decided in
December 2008 to have the city buy the local
bullring and turn it into a science and education
center. He told news media that Viana do Castelo
has no bullfighting tradition and that it is no
longer acceptable to torture animals for fun.
ANIMAL asked people to send messages
congratulating Moura, and asking him to declare
Viana do Castelo to be officially an
anti-bullfighting city–the first in Portugal.
Moura received more than 1,000 e-mails, from all
regions of Portugal and all over the world. He
has now declared Viana do Castelo to be
Portugal’s first anti-bullfighting city.
We next asked Braga mayor Fran-cisco
Mesquita Machado to not authorise a bullfight
that was to have taken place on June 20, 2009
at a local festival. Less than 24 hours after
the beginning of our e-campaign to stop this
bullfight, the communication officer for the
Mayor of Braga responded that, “The President of
the Municipality of Braga, upon becoming aware
of this alleged announcement of the organization
of a bullfight in this city, has instructed the
relevant municipal services to not authorise it.
This means that no bullfight will take place in
We are now trying to stop the
legis-lative bodies of the Azores from legalising
killing bulls and using picadors in bullfighting.
The legislative regional assembly of the Azores
now has the constitutional power to do this, in
an active bullfighting region where this
legislative step has long been sought.
–Miguel Moutinho
Executive Director
Apartado 2028
8501-902 Portimão
Phone: 00-351-282-491-216
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U.S. Army bans pit bulls & Rottweilers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2009:
WASHINGTON D.C.–U.S. Army commanders at more than 40 bases
around the world are moving to implement a new “Pet Policy for
Privatized Housing Under the Army’s Residential Communities
Initiative Privatization Program,” which prohibits pit bull
terriers, Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, chows, and wolf
Issued as an order on January 5, 2009, the new Army policy
also limits personnel living in base housing to keeping no more than
two dogs or cats, forbids keeping exotic pets and farm animals,
requires all pets to be microchipped for identification, and forbids
keeping pets “tied or staked outside the home or any building.”
The order further prohibits keeping “Any other dog who
demonstrates a propensity for dominance or aggressive behavior,”
indicated by “Unprovoked barking, growling or snarling at people
approaching the animal, aggressively running along fence lines when
people are present, biting or scratching people,” or “escaping
confinement or restriction to chase people.”

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Meat kills, confirms National Cancer Institute study of half million Americans

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2009:
WASHINGTON D.C.–“High intakes of red or
processed meat may increase the risk of
mortality,” National Cancer Institute
researchers conservatively reported in the March
23, 2009 edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.
Annals of Internal Medicine is a
peer-reviewed journal published by the American
Medical Association–and what the study authors
actually found was the strongest scientific
condemnation yet of the health effects of a
meat-centered diet, regardless of the type of
meat consumed.
The National Cancer Institute examined
the relationship of diet and mortality among more
than half a million middle-aged and elderly
Americans from 1995 until the end of 2005. The
participants, all between 52 and 71 years old,
joined the study by completing a 124-question
survey about their eating habits, distributed by
the American Association of Retired Persons.
“Follow-up for vital status was performed
by annual linkage of the cohort to the Social
Security Administration Death Master File, and
cause of death information was provided by
follow-up searches of the National Death Index,”
explained study authors Rashmi Sinha, Amanda J.
Cross, Barry I. Graubard, Michael F. Leitzmann,
and Arthur Schatzkin.

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Russia halts seal hunt

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2009:
MOSCOW, OTTAWA–Russian minister of natural resources Yury
Trutnyev on March 11, 2009 told the world that Russia has halted
hunting seals under one year old on the frozen White Sea.
“This bloody hunting is from now on banned in our country,
as in most developed countries,” Trutnyev told media.
Trutnyev described the ban as “an important measure to
preserve Russian biodiversity.” The recent White Sea quota of about
35,000 seals per year was about a tenth the size of recent Atlantic
Canadian sealing quotas, but amounted to a third of the White Sea
seal population. The White Sea seal herd has reportedly declined by
95% since it was first surveyed in 1928. However, the first herd
estimate, produced in the early years of the Communist era to assess
the potential for economic expolitation, may have been grossly

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Wolves will be hunted

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2009:
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Gray wolves may soon be legally hunted in
several of the Lower 48 states of the U.S., for the first time in
more than 80 years–but whether that means more wolves will be killed
than the 300-plus dispatched by USDA Wildlife Services in 2008 for
menacing livestock is anyone’s guess.
Among the restored populations of Idaho, Montana, and
Wyoming, together including about 1,650 wolves, Wildlife Services
in 2008 killed 264 wolves, more than one wolf in six, exterminating
21 entire packs as well as alleged rogue individuals.
Wildlife Services, other agencies, and farmers protecting
livestock also killed 45 wolves in Wisconsin, plus some in Michigan
and Minnesota.
Ranchers, blaming wolves for the confirmed loss of 601
cattle, sheep, llamas, and guard dogs in 2008, and sport hunters
who allege that wolves have reduced the numbers of elk and deer,
would like to kill even more wolves. Some elected officials in the
northern Rockies would openly prefer to hunt wolves back to regional

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