Ecuadorans pass constitutional amendment to ban cockfighting & bullfighting

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2011:
QUITO–Ecuadoran voters in a May 7, 2011 referendum voted to
ban bullfights and cockfights that result in the animals’ deaths, as
part of a 10-point package of constitutional amendments proposed by
President Rafael Correa.
All 10 amendments passed, several after trailing at
mid-count. Topics included limiting banking activity by financial
service firms, prohibiting ownership of news media by non-media
companies, and prohibiting casino gambling. Opponents of the
amendment package alleged that Correa used the referendum to
strengthen his political position, including control over mass
media, and included the ban on lethal animal fighting to help
attract voters to the polls.

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Ecuador to hold referendum on cockfighting & bullfighting

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2011:
QUITO–Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa has included among a
list of 10 referendum questions to be submitted to voters as early as
May 2011 a proposal to ban blood sports, including cockfighting and
Both cockfighting and bullfighting were introduced to Ecuador
by Spanish conquistadors more than 400 years ago. “The more
well-heeled in the Andean nation, as in Mexico, favor the stylized
rituals of the bullfight in colonial-age ‘plazas de toros,’ where
the animals are killed by celebrated Spanish matadors,” wrote Dolores
Ochoa of Associated Press. “In Ecuador, as in neighboring Colombia
and Peru, the rings are a place to see and be seen, fixtures in the
society pages.”

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What the Sea Shepherds did during the summer in the Galapagos, Faroe Islands, and Tokyo

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2010:


FRIDAY HARBOR– The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
celebrated but pledged to remain involved in the Galapagos Islands on
July 28, 2010, after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organiz-ation’s World Heritage Committee voted 14-5 to drop
the Galapagos from the UNESCO list of endangered World Heritage
sites. Added to the list in 2007, the Galapagos were downlisted in
recognition of improved environmental protection by the government of
Ecuador– including restraining alleged economic exploitation by
senior officers in the Ecuadoran navy.
The Sea Shepherds began helping the Galapagos National Park
Service to patrol the Galapagos Marine Reserve in late 2000. In
early 2001 one of the first Sea Shepherd missions undertaken with the
park service exposed the involvement of Ecuadoran navy vessels in
support of shark poaching. The Sea Shepherds later donated the
patrol boat Sirenian to the Galapagos National Park Service, and
established a permanent office in the Galapagos in support of ongoing
anti-poaching efforts.

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Kinship Circle & Chilean coalition help in earthquake aftermath

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2010:
ST. LOUIS–While U.S. animal rescuers watched and waited for
the Deepwater Horizon oil slicks to drift ashore and wreak havoc,
Kinship Circle founder Brenda Shoss tried to alert the world to a
little noticed humane crisis in Chile–including a growing risk that
dogs might be massacred in the tent cities housing much of the
displaced population of Talquahano.
Aftershocks from the February 27, 2010 Chilean earthquake
and tsunami continued into May. The initial earthquake measured 8.8
on the Richter scale, among the strongest ever recorded. The entire
captial city of Santiago was moved 11 inches to the west.

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Did new flu emerge from a pig farm?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2009:
MEXICO CITY–Rumors swept the world
during the last week of April 2009 that a newly
detected H1N1 flu virus variant suspected of
killing as many as 149 Mexicans might have
evolved at a factory-style pig farm at Perote,
in Vera Cruz state on the Gulf of Mexico. As
ANIMAL PEOPLE went to press on the night of April
28, however, little medical or veterinary
evidence supported the hypothesis that the
disease is of factory farm origin, and some
evidence seemed to refute it.
Among the first 1,995 suspected Mexican
cases of the new flu strain, only 27 were
laboratory-confirmed. Lab-confirmed human cases
had occurred in 19 other nations, including 64
cases in the U.S., but no deaths were reported
outside of Mexico.
Bloggers and news media usually called
the virus “swine flu,” but although it contained
genetic material of swine origin, nothing linked
it to recent swine infections.
The Perote farm belongs to the Mexican
firm Granjas Carroll, a half-owned subsidiary of
Smithfield Inc., the world’s largest pork
producer. Smithfield spokesperson Keira Ullrich
told media that an internal investigation had
found no clinical signs or symptoms of swine
influenza in animals and employees at any of its
Mexican facilities. A United Nations’ Food &
Agriculture Organiz-ation team reportedly reached
Pecote on April 28 to seek independent

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Puerto Rico gains a new humane law; prosecution of animal control contractor fails

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2008:


BAYAMON, Puerto Rico–“With very little fanfare in the rest
of the U.S., Puerto Rico has enacted a landmark animal protection
law, based, in large part, directly on Animal Legal Defense Fund’s
model laws,” announced ALDF director of legislative affairs Stephan
Otto on September 12, 2008.
“Included,” Otto said, “are felonies for neglect,
abandonment, cruelty and animal fighting; and statutory recognition
of the link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans
through increased penalties for those with prior animal abuse
convictions,” or convictions for domestic violence, child or elder
abuse, and/or committing cruelty in front of children.
The new Puerto Rican definition of animal abuse “includes
emotional harm,” enables judges to grant protective orders on behalf
of animals, and creates a duty to enforce anti-cruelty laws, Otto

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Starving a dog as “art” brings pressure on Nicaragua to adopt a humane law

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2008:


TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras–Costa Rican shock
artist Guillermo “Habacuc” Vargas may become a
real-life Central American counterpart of the
Ancient Mariner, whose fictional excess and
punishment helped an entire society to consider
how to respond to cruelty toward animals.
More than two million people have signed
Internet petitions denouncing Vargas. Thousands
have pledged to ensure that he will not escape
his past.
“As part of an exposition in Managua,
Nicaragua, in August,” summarized Rod Hughes of
Costa Rica News on October 4, 2007, “Vargas
allegedly found a dog tied up on a street corner
in a poor Nicaragua barrio and brought the dog to
the showing. He tied the dog, according to
furious animal lovers, in a corner of the salon,
where the dog died after a day. The exhibition
included a legend spelled out in dog food reading
‘You are what you read,’ photos, and an incense
burner that burned an ounce of marijauna and 175
‘rocks’ of crack cocaine. In the background,
according to reports, the Sandista national
anthem was played backward.

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Chilean ex-lab capuchins fly to new life at Monkey World

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2008:
WAREHAM, U.K.–Approaching the March 2008 first anniversary
of the death of her husband and rescue partner Jim Cronin, Monkey
World cofounder Alison Cronin took on the biggest project in the
15-year history of the sanctuary: attempting to rehabilitate 88
capuchin monkeys, ranging in age from two to 30, most of whom have
never known a life beyond single housing in cages and use in
Flown to Britain from Santiago, Chile, aboard a Chilean Air
Force C-130 Hercules prop-jet, the capuchins arrived on January 29,

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Baseball greats caught at cockfight

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2008:
SANTO DOMINGO, D.R.–Pedro Martinez, a
three-time Cy Young Award winner as the best
pitcher in his league, and Juan Marichal, the
first Latin American player elected to the
National Baseball Hall of Fame, are at the
center of a controversy bringing cockfighting in
the Dominican Republic under probably more
scrutiny and criticism than at any point since it
was introduced by Spanish sailors nearly 500
years ago.
“Martinez and Marichal were shown in a
video posted this week on YouTube releasing
roosters just before they engaged in a fight at
the Coliseo Gallistico de Santo Domingo, in the
country’s capital,” summarized Jorge L. Ortiz of
USA Today on February 7, 2008.
Organized animal advocacy has little
presence in the Dominican Republic, but
Ameri-can denunciations of Martinez and Marichal
were soon quoted by Dominican media that closely
follow the deeds of 99 current Dominican major
leaguers–more than 10% of the major league work

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