From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:


“The Animal Rights Agenda 25 years later”

Concerning the January/February 2012 ANIMAL PEOPLE editorial “The ‘Animal Rights Agenda’ 25 years later,”  how I wish I had read the original “Animal Rights Agenda” co-authored by Kim Bartlett, Marti Kheel,  and Henry Spira way back in 1987;  I would not have had to muddle through in complete ignorance all these years!  Every word you wrote I say “amen” to.
I also liked Kim’s memorial to a poor injured rat in that issue.  Oh, how sad!  One consolation was that he experienced love before he died.  I love rats,  too.  My husband and I secretly nurtured one when we were staying with my in-laws.  Valentino,  as we named him,  enjoyed the special meals we put for him in the fuse box closet.  But his blissful life ended tragically a few months later when he decided to approach me as I sat in the living room with our dog Spotty.
–Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco
New Manila,  Quezon City

Editor’s note:

Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco was among the youngest volunteers recruited by Muriel Jay,  the British missionary teacher who founded the Philippine Animal Welfare Society in 1954.  PAWS lapsed into inactivity after Jay returned to Britain,  but Hontiveros-Lichauco revived it in 1986 and led the campaign that won passage of the Philippine Animal Welfare Act in February 1998. Read more

Another Chicken Activist’s Perspective on Federal Legal Protection for Hens

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

Another Chicken Activist’s Perspective on Federal Legal Protection for Hens
by Paul Shapiro, Senior director of farm animal protection, Humane Society of the U.S.

In 1999, United Poultry Concerns rightly lauded the passage of the European Union’s law requiring a phase-in of better treatment of egg-laying hens by 2012, including a switch from barren battery cages to enriched colony cages.
“Europe Bans Battery Hen Cages” was the UPC newsletter’s headline,  with the article continuing that caging systems will be improved by reducing stocking density,  but that cage-free would have been better.  “Historic Day for Hens,”  continued another UPC headline about the EU announcement.  The article asserted,  “It is time for the United States and Canada to climb aboard,”   adding “The vote is a victory for the birds and for our struggle on their behalf in a country that,  to date,  accords to birds and to farmed animals no federal protection at all.” Read more

Judge limits Bonneville sea lion cull toll to 30

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

    WASHINGTON D.C.–U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg on March 22,  2012 denied an injunction sought by the Humane Society of the U.S. against a National Marine Fisheries Service decision to allow California sea lions to be  culled at the Bonne-ville Dam on the Columbia River to protect endangered spring salmon runs–but Boasberg restricted the proposed killing to 30 sea lions per year, rather than the 92 proposed by NMFS,  and ordered that the sea lions may not be shot.
California sea lions eat under 4% of the Columbia River salmon runs,  according to federal studies.  But Oregon and Washington have for more than 15 years blamed sea lions for declining catches.  HSUS and other organizations have repeatedly blocked or restricted proposed sea lion culls by filing lawsuits invoking the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Raids on wildlife rescue charities put Thai wildlife agency chief under the spotlight

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

    BANGKOK–Making a show of belatedly cracking down on wildlife trafficking,  especially commerce in elephants to work at tourist camps,  Thailand Department of National Parks,  Wildlife & Plant Conservation chief Damrong Phidet entered April 2012 “under attack from both the goodies and the baddies,”  assessed The Nation sub-editor and  Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand board member Jim Pollard.
“The owners of camps along the Burma border and others in Surin,  some of them thought to be deeply involved in elephant smuggling,  have talked about blocking highways and petitioning to try to get Damrong Phidet removed,”  Pollard continued. Also seeking Damrong Phidet’s removal were more than 58,250 petitioners declaring support for Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand founder Edwin Wiek and Elephant Nature Park founder Sangduan Lek Chailert,  whose animal charities were the targets of apparent retaliatory raids by wildlife officials in February 2012. Read more

Rhino horn trafficking bust nets pro rodeo champion Wade Steffen

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:


LONG BEACH,  Calif.-Rhino horn trafficking and rodeo intersected in February 2012 with the arrest of 2010 All-American ProRodeo Finals steer wrestling co-champion Wade Steffen,  32,  in Hico,  Texas,  along with alleged California co-conspirators Jimmy Kha, 49,  Mai Nguyen, 41,  Kha’s son Felix,  26,  and Jin Zhao Feng, a Chinese citizen who allegedly arranged the transport of the horns to China.
Steffen,  the Khas,  and Nguyen were charged with rhino horn trafficking in violation of the Endangered Species Act and the Lacey Act.  The Lacey Act prohibits interstate traffic in protected species. Read more

Ivory sales boost elephant poaching–as predicted

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

    GENEVA,  JOHANNESBURG— Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species secretary-general John Scanlon on February 29, 2012 reportedly expressed “grave concern” that as many as 450 elephants were poached in Bouba Ndjida National Park,  northern Cameroon,  during the first 60 days of 2012.  Earlier,  the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Investigation Agency reported the poaching of as many as 50 elephants a month in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.
Elephant poaching appears to have accelerated following a record number of seizures of illegally trafficked elephant tusks, worldwide,  in 2011,  including 13 seizures of more than a metric ton of ivory,  up from six in 2010.  The tusks confiscated in 2011 came from at least 2,500 elephants.  “Some of the seized tusks came from old stockpiles,  the elephants having been killed years ago,” reported Michelle Faul of Associated Press.  But the leakage from presumably closely guarded ivory stockpiles indicated high-level corruption in the nations of origin.
Ivory poaching exploded across Africa after CITES in July 2008 authorized Botswana,  Namibia,  South Africa,  and Zimbabwe to sell a combined total of 119 metric tons of elephant ivory to China. Read more

FoA wins 15-year-old wrongful dismissal case

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

    WASHINGTON D.C.–The District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights on March 20,  2012 ruled that former Friends of Animals special investigator Carroll Cox “failed to establish Respondent (FoA) terminated him based on his race or retaliated against him in the exercise of rights protected under the D.C. Human Rights Act.”
The ruling appears to end nearly 15 years of litigation resulting from about 140 days of employment.  FoA hired Cox,  a former special investigator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and, earlier,  for the California Department of Fish & Game,   on a consulting basis on March 31,  1997.  FoA relocated Cox from Hawaii and put him on salary on July 7,  1997.  FoA terminated Cox on August 20,  1997. Read more

Thai charities Soi Cat & Dog Rescue and Soi Dog Foundation merge

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

    BANGKOK,  PHUKET–Soi Cat & Dog Rescue,  of Bangkok,  and the Soi Dog Foundation,  of Phuket,  on February 28,  2012 announced a merger.  Often confused with each other,  SCAD and the Soi Dog Foundation have parallel programs,  emphasizing dog and cat sterilization,  and have parallel histories.  British expatriate Sheridan Conisbee founded SCAD,  then called Soi Dog Rescue,  in 2002.  Early mobile sterilization campaigns were assisted by Danish veterinarian Mogens Hansen.  Dutch expatriate Margot Park formed the Soi Dog Foundation in September 2003,  assisted by then newly arrived British expatriates John and Gillian Dalley. Read more

Bob Barker funds elephant move & new PETA HQ

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

LOS ANGELES-The Performing Animal Welfare Society on March 23,  2012 disclosed that former television game show host Bob Barker has donated $870,000 to fund the relocation of three African elephants from the Toronto Zoo to the PAWS Ark 2000 sanctuary in San Andreas,  California.  Barker agreed to fund the transfer in December 2011,  after the Toronto City Council voted to close the zoo’s elephant exhibit.
“Since 1984,  seven elephants have died at the zoo,  four within the past four years.  The oldest was 41,”  reported Linda Diebel of the Toronto Star.
The impending transfer is bitterly opposed by members of the Toronto Zoo staff. Read more

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