Illegal horse track busted

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2013:


ALBUQUERQUE––New Mexico State Police, Valencia County
Sheriff’s detectives and the Department of Homeland Security on
November 20, 2013 raided an unlicensed horse racing track near Las
Lunas that had allegedly held twice-a-month racing cards attracting
hundreds of bettors for years.
“The facility includes starting gates and a well-maintained
track surface,” reported Crystal Gutierrez of KRQE-TV in Albuquerque.
“They were set up for photo finishes at the end,” said New
Mexico State Police Major Ryan Suggs.
The raid came a year after KQRE reporter Larry Barker included
the Las Lunas track in an exposé of illegal activities associated with
horse racing throughout New Mexico. “Barker’s undercover
investigation showed it wasn’t just the horses that drew many to the
events; it was also the money. The investigation revealed the jockeys
also scored big, the races were fixed, and horses were often drugged,”
recounted Gutierrez.

Protests close beagle lab

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2013:


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil–– The Instituto Royal in Sao Roque,
Sao Paulo state on November 6, 2013 announced that it would go out of
Protesters on October 18, 2012 stormed the lab, seizing 178
beagles who had been used in pharmaceutical testing. About 500
activists allegedly including members of the Black Block anarchist group
fought police outside the lab the following day, torching a police car
and two cars belonging to a local TV station.
The Instituto Royal operating permit had been suspended by the
Sao Roque city government pending completion of an investigation of
alleged animal abuse.

Scientist who identified global warming threat to polar bears wins settlement

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2013:


WASHINGTON D.C.––Charles M. Monnett, 65, whose observation
of four polar bear carcasses floating in the Beaufort Sea in September
2004 drew global attention to the effects of global warming, on
November 15, 2013 accepted a six-point retirement agreement negotiated
by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel in settlement of a whistleblower
complaint against the U.S. Department of Interior.
Monnett, then a senior scientist for the Bureau of Ocean &
Energy Management, discovered the polar bear remains while doing an
aerial search for endangered bowhead whales with colleague Jeffrey
Gleason, who later left the BOEM. The bears were 125 to 185 miles from
the nearest sea ice. Only 12 polar bears had been observed swimming in
the preceding 25 years of aerial marine mammal surveys, and none had
ever been found dead at sea.

Read more

Letters [Nov-Dec 2013]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2013:


Bringing cats inside

The September 2013 ANIMAL PEOPLE editorial feature “Successful neuter/return must recognize reality” quoted Humane Society of the U.S. president Wayne Pacelle using the phrase “community cats” to include stray and abandoned cats,  but my understanding was that when the Best Friends Animal Society introduced the use of “community cats” in 2009,  they intended for the phrase to replace “feral.” Read more

Jumping back into the river does not stop the flow of homeless animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2013:

Concerning “Ethicist addresses making euthanasia decisions in a no-kill context,”  in the October 2013 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE,  I find it bizarre that Jasper the Staffordshire’s fate boils down to a football score set of numbers.  I’m no ethicist,  but as someone intimately and actively familiar with animal shelter euthanasia for the past 43 years,  it is clear to me that our industry’s spay/neuter efforts have resulted not only in fewer surplus animals but also in an unexpected but positive consequence of making the lives of dogs and cats more valuable.   Read more

Editorial #2: Time for a new national wild horse policy––covering all wild horses

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2013:

Editorial #2: Time for a new national wild horse policy––covering all wild horses Kim Bartlett [Photo credit: Kim Bartlett ] Data showing how many horses have been sold to slaughter per year,  nationwide,  can be extrapolated from readily available public records going all the way back to 1850.  Throughout this time,  coinciding with the advent of railways that enabled brokers to transport animals long distances to slaughter,  the overwhelming majority of horses sold to slaughter have been either those at the end of their working utility to humans,  or the unwanted surplus from speculative breeding.  Speculative breeding rose rapidly as a source of horses sent to slaughter as employment of horses for transportation declined. Read more

Editorial: Examining the odds for an end to horse slaughter

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2013:

Editorial feature: Examining the odds for an end to horse slaughter

Either pending legislation or ongoing litigation could bring the resumption of horse slaughter within the U.S. for human consumption this winter,  or close off the possibility.  Which might happen is anyone’s bet.  It is even possible that court decisions will allow horse slaughter to resume for a time,  only to be again stopped by Congress,  as it was in 2007. Read more

Bands bail on SeaWorld

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2013:

ORLANDO,  SAN FRANCISCO,  TAIJI––Shortlisted for Oscar consideration as “Best Documentary of 2013,”  the Gabriela Cowperthwaite exposé of SeaWorld Blackfish between November 28 and December 14,  2013 persuaded all six original headline bands and one of the replacements to withdraw from scheduled performances at the SeaWorld “Bands, Brew & BBQ Fest,”  due to begin on February 1,  2014. Read more

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