Awards & honors

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2006:
Phil & Trix Wollen, of Melbourne, Australia,
administrators of the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust, on October
28, 2006 awarded Animal Liberation cofounder, Pulling The Wool
author, and Help In Suffering chief trustee Christine Townend a gold
medal for distinguised lifetime achievement. Victoria state governor
David de Kretser on November 16 named Phil Wollen Victoria’s
Australian of the Year. “Philip promotes kindness to all living
creatures and strives to make this a key trait in the Australian
character,” said de Kretser.

The Fur Free Alliance on October 30, 2006 awarded the
“Design Against Fur” juried grand prize for anti-fur poster art to
Maria Rhodes Castro, of Spain, who is studying at the Accademia di
Communicazione in Milan, Italy. FFA also honored Yu-Tru Chung of
the Pratt Institute in New York City with a “People’s Choice” award,
for getting the most votes from web site visitors who viewed the work
of the 18 finalists at <>. The Fur Free
Alliance is an international coalition of more than 30 anti-fur
organizations. The 2006 poster theme was “Protect Seals.” The 2007
theme will be “Fashion Victims.”

The American SPCA on November 2, 2006 honored Chicago Police
Sergeant Steven Brownstein as “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year”
for work against dogfighting. “The 24-year police veteran has served
on the city’s animal abuse control team since 1999,” wrote Chicago
Tribune staff reporter Tony C. Yang. “Since then, the team has
seized more than 5,000 animals, mostly dogs, and has made more than
700 arrests for cruelty and dogfighting,” according to ASPCA
spokesperson Anita K. Edson.

Another OBE for animal welfare work

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2006:

Alan Knight, chief executive of International Animal
Rescue and chair of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, is the third
animal advocate to receive the Order of the British Empire in 2006,
following Daphne Sheldrick, founder of the David Sheldrick Wildlife
Trust elephant and rhino orphanage in Kenya, and Stella Brewer
Marsden, founder of the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Association
sanctuary in Gambia.
Earlier recipients include Care For The Wild founder Bill
Jordan, now heading the Bill Jordan Wildlife Defence Fund (2005);
Dogs Trust chair Clarissa Baldwin (2003); and Animals Asia
Foundation founder Jill Robinson (1998).

Marsden wins OBE

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2006:

Stella Brewer Marsden, who founded the Chimpanzee
Rehabilitation Association in Gambia in 1969, was on New Year’s Day
2006 awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.
The CRA now looks after 78 formerly captive chimps in Gambia National
Park. Brewer Marsden’s sister Heather Armstrong founded the Horse &
Donkey Association of Gambia in 2002. Their father, conservationist
Edward Brewer, also was awarded the OBE.

Animal advocates get Order of British Empire

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2005:

Wildlife veterinarian Bill Jordan is to receive the Order of
the British Empire on April 27, Buckingham Palace announced on
January 1. Jordan debuted in wildlife medicine as consulting vet for
the Chester Zoo, then extended his skills in Iran 1964-1970, and in
South Africa for three years after that.
Jordan went on to found the wildlife department at the Royal
SPCA, authored the wildlife care manual Care For The Wild (1982),
and in 1982 founded the international animal aid charity Care For The
Wild. Also author of an influential critique of zoos, The Last Great
Wild Beast Show (1990), Jordan was a founding member of the British
Zoological Veterinary Society, and a longtime director of the
Captive Animals Protection Society. Jordan left CAPS in 2000 and
left Care For The Wild in 2001, going on to found the Bill Jordan
Wildlife Defence Fund.
Jordan is at least the third prominent animal advocate to
receive Buckingham Palace recognition in recent years. Animals Asia
Foundation founder Jill Robinson received the Order of the British
Empire in 1998, while Dogs Trust chair Clarissa Baldwin received it
in 2003.

Awards & honors

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2004:

Aryenish Birdie of Kansas City has received the 14th annual
Bill Rosenberg Award, presented by the Farm Animal Reform Movement
for outstanding work toward farm animal liberation by a teenager.
Past winners have included Mike Markarian (1992), now president of
the Fund for Animals; Students for Animal Protection founder Marc
Freligh (1995); actor Danny Seo (1996), now a major donor to Korean
animal welfare work; Compassion Over Killing cofounder Paul Shapiro
(1998); Student Animal Rights Alliance founder Patrick Kwan (2000);
and Mercy for Animals founder Nathan Runkle (2001).

Point Coupee Animal Shelter cofounder Ellen Mauck, 79, of
Jarrow, Louisiana, was on July 9, 2004 named “Humanitarian of the
Year” by the Humane Society of Louisiana. Involved in animal rescue
since early childhood, also legendary for her love of riding
powerful motorcycles, Mauck was a longtime welder for Caterpillar
Inc. in Springfield, Illinois, inspired by the World War II poster
figure “Rosie the Riveter.” In 1992 Mauck was among the charter
subscribers to ANIMAL PEOPLE.

Awards & honors

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2004:

Humane Farming Association investigator Gail Eisnitz, author
of the 1997 expose book Slaughterhouse, is recipient of the 2004
Albert Schweitzer Medal, presented by the Animal Welfare Institute
for outstanding achievement in animal welfare. In 1994-1995 Eisnitz
had a significant role in exposing illegal veal industry use of the
synthetic steroid clenbuterol, leading to the criminal convictions of
several prominent U.S. veal producers. In April 2000 Eisnitz
obtained videotape documenting extensive but still unprosecuted
alleged violations of the Humane Slaughter Act at the IBP meatpacking
plant in Wallula, Washington. Eisnitz has been helping Sioux
opponents of factory pig farming to fight plans by Sun Prairie Inc.
to establish pig barns on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South
Dakota since 1998. Sun Prairie began raising pigs in 24 barns at two
Rosebud sites in 1999. In February 2003, however, the U.S. Supreme
Court declined to review an April 2002 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
verdict that may evict Sun Prairie from the reservation–if Sun
Prairie loses a crossfiled case still underway. Meanwhile Eisnitz
has submitted 65 pages of employee interviews and photos to South
Dakota attorney general Lawrence E. Long, asking him to prosecute
Sun Prairie for multiple acts of alleged cruelty.

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Veggie novelist Coetzee wins Nobel Prize

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2003:

STOCKHOLM–South African novelist and advocate of
vegetarianism J.M. Coetzee was on October 1 named winner of the 2003
Nobel Prize for Literature.
The award is to be presented in Stockholm on December 10 by
Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden. The date is the anniversary of the
death of Alfred Nobel, who endowed the Nobel Prizes with his profit
from inventing dynamite.
“Coetzee has long been hailed as a powerful and
controversial, if often oblique, commentator on the ravages of
apartheid,” wrote Jennifer Schuessler, deputy editor of the Ideas
section of the Boston Globe. But his most recent novel, Elizabeth
Costello, raises “another unsettled and unsettling question,”
Schuessler continued.
“By raising billions of animals a year in often squalid
conditions before brutally slaughtering them for their meat and
skin, are we all complicit in a ‘crime of stupefying proportions’?
Those words are Costello’s, whose two lectures on animal rights
–‘The Philosophers and the Animals’ and ‘The Poets and the
Animals’– make up the longest section of the book. The
preoccupation is very much Coetzee’s own, and has moved increasingly
close to the moral center of his work.”

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Horsewhipping, tahrs, and political sacrifice

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:

NEW DELHI–Lashing racehorses with “jockey bats” is now illegal in India, Indian Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Maneka Gandhi declared on February 20. The announcement, issued at the presentation ceremony for the Vanu Menon Animal Allies Awards, inadvertantly upstaged news media recognition of the winners. One winner was Visakha SPCA founder Pradeep Kumar Nath, familiar to ANIMAL PEOPLE readers from coverage of his work on behalf of nesting sea turtles, cattle rescued from the illegal slaughter traffic, and street dogs and cats.

The banned whips are defined by the 1998 edition of The Whole Horse Catalog as “heavy sticks, made of plastic or fiberglass [now, formerly made from whalebone] coated with leather or thread and furnished with leather, tape, or rubber handles,” with “wide leather ‘poppers,’ or flaps, to make a noise when slapped against the horse’s flank.”

Indian jockeys may still use lightweight rubber whips, Mrs. Gandhi stated, as Animal Welfare Board of India chair and retired judge Guman Mal Lodha clarified the details. But the rubber whips may be used only to signal to the horses, not to do them injury, Mrs. Gandhi stipulated. Mrs. Gandhi said that beatings with jockey bats had blinded many horses and sometimes caused horses to develop dangerous blood clots on their heads, beneath the skin.

“There have been several instances in which whipping has inflicted serious injury on horses,” Justice Lodha confirmed,
adding “I see no reason why we should tolerate this.”Delhi Race Club manager Kulwant Singh told Arun Kumar Das of
the Times of India that, “We have placed orders for the import of 15 whips from England,” and said that the race club would “propose to initiate action against jockeys who violate the order.” Agreed Delhi Race Club president P.S. Bedi, “We will embrace rubber whips as soon as they arrive.”

Mrs. Gandhi herself was 10 days later named winner of the prestigious Aadishakti Puraskar award, to be presented in April by singer Lata Mangeshkar on behalf of Dinath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratishthan, “in appreciation of her remarkable contribution in the field of environmental protection and animal welfare,” the announcement said.

But handing out and receiving laurels were not among Mrs. Gandhi’s uppermost concerns. Her top political priorities during a hectic February and March were dealing with the aftermath of the January 26 Gujarat earthquake and a cabinet crisis occasioned when a corruption scandal forced the resignation of Defense Minister George Fernandes and other ranking officials.

Mrs. Gandhi found time in between to interrupt the scheduled South African National Park Service massacre of the last 31 feral Himalayan tahrs left on Table Mountain, near Cape Town, offering them sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh. The tahrs established themselves on the mountain after a pair escaped from the Groote Schnur Zoo in Cape Town. They had arrived in 1935 from a zoo in Pretoria. Unwanted in South Africa, Himalayan tahrs are highly endangered in
their native India, with only a few hundred believed to remain in the wild.

The South African government on March 23 suspended the massacre for six months to give Mrs. Gandhi, the Wildlife Trust of India, and Friends of the Tahr time to arrange for the tahrs to be net-gunned from helicopters by a New Zealand team and flown to India–and to seek funding for the work. A last-minute complication was the risk that quarantines on the movement of all hooved stock, meant to slow the spread of hoof-and-mouth disease, might cause delay.

A further complication may be reported objections from the World Conservation Union that the Table Mountain tahrs are “invasive,” should therefore be removed immediately, and should not be allowed to mix with the remaining wild tahrs lest they carry negative inbred genetic traits.


Never one to spare the verbal lash against cruelty and corruption, Mrs. Gandhi also found time to demand that Karnataka state minister for primary and secondary education H. Vishwanath be criminally prosecuted for attending an allegedly illegal sacrifice of two rams on February 16.

“The minister’s cousin reportedly bought the animals and kept them in a police officer’s house before sacrificing them,” the Times of India reported. “The minister attended the prayer service, but did not witness the sacrificial ceremony. He left the place only after the rituals of sacrifice were over. Chamarajnagar Deputy Commissioner Bhimaiah and Police Superintendent Anne Gowda reportedly accompanied the minister. It is learnt,” the Times of India continued, “that the minister spurned the invitation of his cousin to partake of the rams’ meat.” Mrs. Gandhi demanded that Vish-wanath be prosecuted.

Reported the Deccan Herald of Mysore on March 3, “A public interest litigation petition will be filed in the High Court against Viswanath, said Progressive Organ-ization convenor K. Ramadas.” A noted rationalist author, Ramadas made the sacrifices public knowledge by confronting Vishwanath as Vishwanath prepared to speak on “Anthropology in the service of humankind” at the Fine Arts College for Women in Manasagangothri.

A prominent member of the Congress Party, which ruled India from 1947 to 1998, Vishwanath was defended by Congress officials who accused Ramadas of “abusing Vishwanath by caste name.” Ramadas said he would apologize if anyone could produce evidence that he had done it.

The incident stimulated reportage all over India about ongoing open defiance of the 1960 national prohibition of animal
sacrifice–and was scarcely the first time Mrs. Gandhi denounced influential politicians for tolerating it. In April 2000, for
instance, she fingered Andhra Pradesh chief executive N. Chandrababu Naidu.

“Andhra is the only state where animals are sacrificed on the premises of the Legislative Assembly in what they claim are purification exercises,” Mrs. Gandhi told Asian Age. “My ministry has received letters from all over the state informing us about animal sacrifices and the complete ignorance and, in some cases, connivance of local authorities. We have set up a fact-finding committee,” she said, “to inquire into these complaints and identify the areas where action is necessary.”

Asian Age published details furnished by Mrs. Gandhi including calendars of sacrifices at prominent temples and a
description of a rite in Medak in which day-old lambs are reportedly killed by the priests’ teeth.

“In most cases,” Mrs. Gandhi charged, “there is a nexus among the temple priest, the village moneylender, and the butcher, wherein the priest concocts a reason for a particular sacrifice, the moneylender steps in to provide the money, and then the priest sells the carcass to the butcher at the wholesale price. This is the reason why most temples have meat markets behind them. It is absolutely obscene.”

The only animal sacrifices specifically exempted from the 1960 law are the sheep and goat slaughters undertaken by Muslims at Ramadan, called Bakr-Id in India–but Mrs. Gandhi said there is no effective enforcement of the restriction on which species may be killed, nor of the requirement that the slaughtering be done only at designated locations, in the prescribed Halal manner.

Other mass ritual killings are commonly reported. At Kushtagi, for instance, 80,000 people reportedly attended three
days of sacrifices that began on February 25. “Despite heavy police presence, 1,000 buffaloes were reportedly killed and 10,000 sheep,” said the Deccan Herald. “The police are said to have left utterly helpless.”

At Pauri Garwhal in December 2000, 40,000 people watched the sacrifice of “76 male buffaloes and an endless number of goats and rams,” according to Aarti Aggarwal of the Times of India. “The swinging axes, the bleating of the animals, the frenzied worshippers created a sickening scene. The carcasses were eventually thrown off a mountaintop, creating a virtual mountain by themselves. The stench was unbearable. By evening the earth was as red as the
setting sun. Vultures blanketed the sky.”

But animal welfare activists and civic authorities claimed a victory of sorts, in that the number of buffaloes killed has fallen annually since 1998, when 150 were killed. More successes–but involving much smaller numbers of animals–are claimed in halting “sacrifices” and other ritual use of wildlife. Many of the events are just thinly disguised destruction of animals who may raid crops or attack livestock, and fade as wildlife populations diminish.

The biggest single-day ritual killing of wildlife in India, however, appears to occur each August at Nagapanchami, the snake festival, when most participants appear to believe they are doing cobras and rock pythons a kindness by feeding them milk, butter, and sweetened rice–paying snake charmers for the privilege. The captures, defanging, mouth-stitching, and other procedures done by the charmers to make the feedings possible, however, kill an estimated 50,000 snakes per year. ANIMAL PEOPLE receives reports of ritual wildlife abuses being interrupted or halted by activists at the rate of about one case per week.

Dog meat diplomacy wins Nobel

OSLO, Norway––An August 31
dog meat dinner for South Korean diplomats
hosted in the North Korean capital city of
Pyongyang by North Korean dictator Kim
Jong-il helped win the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize
for South Korean president Kim Dae Jung.
Kim Dae Jung, 74, won the
$908,300 Nobel Peace Prize for taking the initiative
since 1997 in opening diplomatic relations
with North Korea. Kim Jong-il won a rare
honorable mention from Nobel Committee
chair Gunnar Berge for responding positively.
On June 13, 2000, following three
years of cautious overtures, Kim Dae Jung
flew to Pyongyang to negotiate directly with
Kim Jong-il.
The two leaders traded pairs of hunting
dogs, of breeds unique to their respective
sides of the boundary between the Koreas.

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