When it comes to hauling horses, bassackward is right

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  May 2012:

VANCOUVER–More than two million U.S. and Canadian horse-keepers haul more than nine million horses an average of more than a dozen times each per year,  one or two in a trailer.
Farriers and veterinarians usually drive to the horses’ barns,  to minimize horse transport,  but horses are routinely hauled to riding trails,  shows,  races,  parades,  and other recreational and competitive events.  Then they are hauled back home again, enduring a drive in each direction which is often more stressful for the horse than the event itself. Read more

Progress in equine contraception

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  May 2012:

Progress in equine contraception

  BILLINGS–The American SPCA on April 16,  2012 granted $100,000 to the Science & Conservation Center in Billings,  Montana, maker of the contraceptive vaccine ZonaStat-H.   The grant is separate from an ongoing ASPCA subsidy of $50,000 per year for three years to help advance the center’s work.  “The center, on the ZooMontana grounds, will more than double the size of its training facility,”  reported Zach Benoit of the Billings Gazette. Read more

Cattle are landed in Africa after Red Sea stranding, but camels are stuck due to foot-and-mouth outbreak

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

CAIRO–Fear of foot-and-mouth disease left thousands of camels stranded as of March 31,  2012 aboard a livestock transport ship in the Red Sea,  the Egypt Independent and Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
Thousands more camels were “stuck in a Suez quarry,”  the Egypt Independent and Al-Masry Al-Youm said.  In addition,  the Egyptian agriculture ministry prevented the import of more than 10,000 camels from Sudan on March 27,  2012,  the Egypt Independent and Al-Masry Al-Youm added. Read more

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

Luck runs out but racing goes on

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

    SANTA ANITA,  CHELTENHAM–Home Box Office cancelled the made-for-TV Dustin Hoffman/Nick Nolte drama series Luck on March 14, 2012 after three on-set horse fatalities in three years of videotaping at the Santa Anita race track in Arcadia,  California. At Cheltenham,  Glou-cestershire,  United Kingdom,  however,  the annual four-day Festival jumps meet continued before 220,000 spectators despite the deaths of three horses on opening day,  the same day that Luck ended,  and two horse deaths more the next day. Read more

Lawsuits & prosecutions rattle Northeast horse rescuers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2012:

Lawsuits & prosecutions rattle Northeast horse rescuers

SARATOGA SPRINGS,  RIVERHEAD, HARRISBURG,  BINGHAMTON–Four New York and Pennsylvania horse rescue operations,  ranging from one believed to be the largest in the U.S. to some of the smallest,  entered the 2012 spring mud season mired in controversy,  with the possibility of more muck flying as result of lawsuits filed in attempts to restore reputations. Read more

Horse whipping

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2011:

LONDON--The British Horseracing Authority on September 27,  2011 ruled,  after a 10-month review of whipping rules,  that jockeys who whip a horse more than seven times in a flat race,  more than eight times in a jumping race,  or more than five times down the home stretch,  will after October 10,  2011 be suspended for at least five days and forfeit their riding fees plus prize money (if any).  The rule change came three weeks after University of Sydney professors Paul McGreevy,  David Evans,  Andrew McLean,  and Bidda Jones won the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for scientific research that contributes to animal protection by showing that race horses run faster when they are not whipped.

Mobilizing to help squirrels & sea turtles in the wake of Hurricane Irene

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2011:

Hurricane-downgraded-to-tropical storm Irene swept from the
Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico past southern Florida, blew out to
sea, then roared back inland and gusted almost straight north into
Quebec. Torrential rains inundated roads and other infrastructure,
especially in upstate New York and Vermont.
Then, after raining cats and dogs, Irene for three days
rained baby squirrels on wildlife rescuers from North Carolina to New
England. “There’s been a flood of calls about squirrels dropping out
of trees everywhere,” Humane Society of the U.S. urban wildlife
program field director Laura Simon told Pamela McLoughlin of the New
Haven Register. “It’s baby season,” Simon explained. Squirrel
nests were among the first casualties of the winds and downpour.
“We had well over 250 baby squirrels admitted,” Outer Banks
Wildlife Shelter nursery supervisor Herda Henderson told Aniesa
Holmes of the Jacksonville Daily News.

Read more

To feed or not to feed at the Giza pyramids– that is the question before animal charities

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2011:
CAIRO–Is feeding the horses and camels at the Giza pyramids
a mission of mercy, or merely subsidizing riding stables with a long
history of atrocious animal care?
The Egyptian Society of Animal Friends and the London-based
Brooke Hospital for Animals have come down on opposite sides of the
ethically vexing question.
ESAF, which raised $66,500 in 2010, expects to continue
feeding horses and camels at the pyramids until start of the December
tourist season, president Ahmed al Sherbiny told ANIMAL PEOPLE.
The Brooke, founded in 1934 to help Egyptian working equines,
raised $21.7 million in 2010, but has not helped to feed the Giza
pyramids horses since April 2011, believing this to be a
self-defeating practice. Feeding camels, the Brooke told ANIMAL
PEOPLE earlier, is outside the scope of the Brooke mission.
The feeding issue ignited after disruption of tourism by
the protests that deposed former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on
February 11, 2011 left the Giza pyramids riding stables and others
in Egypt without feed or funds.
Already holding weekly clinics for working equines near the
Giza pyramids, ESAF and the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals
expanded into feeding both equines and camels.
“ESAF has continued to hold thrice weekly horse feedings and
clinics, and has added stable visits for the needier horses,” al
Sherbiny told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “The numbers attending our clinics,”
a total of more than 50 camels and about 750 horses through August
2011, “have risen slightly,” al Sherbiny said. “We are very
concerned that tourism will not return to normal until the political
situation in Egypt is resolved, we hope by the October parliamentary
elections. Even if things go smoothly,” al Sherbiny added, “there
are concerns that many of the horses will not be fit to resume work.
Because of these concerns,” al Sherbiny said, “ESAF will continue
feed distribution and medical clinics until December, if funding
Both the Brooke and the Donkey Sanctuary initially disputed
the need to feed the Giza pyramids working animals at al. Resuming
mobile clinics in Giza on February 10, after a suspension during
the worst of the Egyptian unrest, both the Brooke and the Donkey
Sanctuary initially said they found no starving horses or donkeys.
Emergency feeding funded by the Brooke, the Donkey
Sanctuary, ANIMAL PEOPLE, ESAF, and other local charities began on
February 13, five days after the London Daily Mail published photos
purporting to show horses who starved to death within sight of the
pyramids. The photos actually showed a longtime
government-designated carcass dump near the pyramids, including the
remains of horses who died from disease even before the anti-Mubarak
protests began, Cairo activist Dina Zulfikar told ANIMAL PEOPLE.
But ESMA cofounders Mona Khalil and Susie Nassar meanwhile sent out
photos showing emaciated horses in the pyramids area.

Brits quit feeding

The Brooke and the Donkey Sanctu-ary quit the feeding
operation on April 21. ESAF and ESMA disagreed with their decision
at the time, and have become more outspoken about their disagreement
since then. There is also friction between the Egyptian animal
charities and the Brooke because the Brooke does not respond to
after-hours emergency calls, and over a 20-year-old Brooke policy of
not performing surgeries on horses that are expected to take longer
than 20 minutes. The latter policy is consistent with a belief
widespread among equine veterinarians that horses requiring longer
surgeries tend to have a poor prognosis for recovery.
“The number of animals in need is extensive, and all animal
welfare societies in Egypt are wondering ‘Where is Brooke Hospital?'”
e-mailed al Sherbiny to Brooke chief executive Petra Ingram on August
Responded Ingram, “The Brooke has been providing mobile
veterinary treatments to the working equine animals in the Pyramids
area for some time and continues to do so. Sadly some animals at the
Pyramids were in a poor condition before the crisis. That is why we
were already working in the area. We did provide free food for almost
three months. Unfortunately,” Ingram said, “simply providing these
animal with free food will not solve the problem. To go on providing
a feeding is unsustainable in the long-term, creating a dependency
culture, distorting local fodder prices, and adversely affecting
the ability of local farmers to sell their produce.
“The Brooke has worked to build a sustainable program in
Cairo and across Egypt over the last few years,” Ingram contended.
“We are working with the animal owners to change attitudes and
behavior. We will continue to provide weekly mobile treatments and
run education workshops,” Ingram finished.
The poor condition of many of the working horses in the Giza
pyramids area was already notorious when Brooke Hospital founder
Dorothy Brooke arrived in Egypt in 1930. Her letter to the London
Morning Post exposing the bad horse care she witnessed raised the
funds to start the Brooke.
Nearly 80 years of clinics and education begun by Dorothy
Brooke have unfortunately not raised the Giza standards. This is at
least partly because politically influential stable owners–some of
whom led a horse-and-camel charge against anti-Mubarak
demonstrators–have never been prosecuted for neglect.
“At the beginning of August,” al Sherbiny told ANIMAL
PEOPLE, “we invited the new Government Veterinary Services chair to
see our shelter and the condition of the rescued horses we are
treating. We hope he will enforce the existing legislation. We plan
to move our clinic to a very prominent position used also by the
veterinary department. We are hoping this move will force the
government to become more involved and will create more public
“We are in a very difficult situation,” al Sherbiny
acknowledged. “We cannot stand by and watch the animals starve,
even though we realize that feeding them could be perpetuating the
problem. ESAF is committed to try to change it, but we cannot do it

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