Friday, April 28, 2006

Spain's Governing Party Promoting a Controversial Parliamentary Initiative to Grant Rights to Great Apes On The Basis Of Their Resemblance to Humans

Incredible. If this goes through, would be a model for other countries. This is a fully common sense initiative that is well overdue.

Article:

Spain urged to grant rights to apes

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_
id=143&art_id=vn20060427015856895C666201

Madrid - Spain's governing Socialist Party is promoting a controversial parliamentary initiative to grant rights to great apes on the basis of their resemblance to humans, news reports said on Wednesday.

If the initiative is approved, it would make Spain one of the first countries to officially protect the rights of apes, said a spokesperson for the animal rights association Adda.

The socialists want to prohibit the "enslaving" of gorillas, chimpanzees, orang-utangs and bonobos.

Spain would thus adhere to the international Great Ape Project, granting the animals the rights to life and freedom and to not being tortured.

"We are not talking about granting human rights to great apes," but about "protecting (their) habitat, avoiding their ill-treatment and their use in various circus activities," environment minister Cristina Narbona explained.

Apes are kept in small cages in Spanish zoos and circuses, reports said. They may be castrated, and their vocal cords are sometimes cut to keep them quiet. About 70 universities have backed the move.

Apes share 99 percent of their genetic material with humans. Champions of their rights say they have an emotional and cultural life, intelligence and moral qualities like those of humans.

However, Pamplona archbishop Fernando Sebastian called it "ridiculous", while Amnesty International representative Delia Padron expressed "surprise" by moves to recognise apes' "human rights". - Sapa-DPA

Group In Oregon Wants Schumacher Fur Store To Label Its Furs: If They Have Nothing To Hide, Then Why Not Label Them To Where Fur Actually Comes From?

In keeping with an informed consumer. If they have nothing to hide, then why not label them?

This is why I love Oregon.

A quick quote from article below:

"We want them to put a label on the fur that tells exactly how the animals lived and died," said Matt Rossell with In Defense of Animals. "If the furs were labeled and consumers could make a choice with all of the information, I think the protest would end."

Article:

Animal rights group wants Schumacher to label its furs

http://www.katu.com/printstory.asp?ID=85407


April 26, 2006
- By KATU.com Web Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. - A possible solution to an ongoing fur fight in downtown Portland has been shot down.

On Wednesday, the group In Defense of Animals suggested new labels could stop the protests outside the Schumacher Furs storefront.

Anti-fur protesters have been organizing a picket line outside the shop nearly every Saturday.

A spokesman for the group was at a City Council meeting Wednesday morning saying the protesters want customers to know more about Schumacher's clothing.

"We want them to put a label on the fur that tells exactly how the animals lived and died," said Matt Rossell with In Defense of Animals. "If the furs were labeled and consumers could make a choice with all of the information, I think the protest would end."

The owner of Schumacher Furs says no animal laws are being broken and that adding the labels would be misleading to customers.

National Animal-Rights Group Urges Counseling For Dog Gunman

I couldn’t agree more. As I’ve said before, those who abuse or kill other animals soon will be heading for humans. It’s a sickness within them that must be addressed. Abusers are abusers no matter the species they affect.

Here are a few articles on the connection between animal abuse, mental problems and future abuse of humans.
http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/abuse_connection.php
http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/family/pets/article10.html
http://www2.webmagic.com/abuse.com/index7.html


Article:

NATIONAL ANIMAL-RIGHTS GROUP URGES COUNSELING FOR DOG GUNMAN

http://www.thewesterlysun.com/articles/2006/04/27/news/news03.txt

By Chris Keegan - The Sun Staff

CHARLESTOWN - A national animal rights group wants a King’s Factory Road man charged with shooting his neighbor’s dog to undergo a psychological exam and mandatory counseling if he’s convicted of the crime.

In a letter to Charlestown Solicitor Peter D. Ruggiero, Dan Paden of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals asked the town prosecutor to push for an evaluation and therapy should Richard Heines, 63, of 820 King’s Factory Road, face sentencing in the death of a female Rottweiler.

On March 27, Heines told Patrolman Philip B. Gingerella that he shot neighbor Walter Bentley’s pet with a .22 calibur rifle earlier that day because the animal had chased his chickens and growled at him in the past, according to police reports.

The dog - which reportedly wandered from Bentley’s yard minutes before its owner heard gunshots on Heines’s property - suffered bullet wounds to the head, nose and shoulder, and was later put down by the patrolman.

"The viciousness shown in shooting helpless animals must not go unpunished," Paden wrote in PETA’s April 25 letter to Ruggiero. "Area residents have reason to be concerned. According to leading mental health professionals and law enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat not only to other animals but to the community as a whole."

"Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers and given the violent nature of his alleged actions that day," Paden added, "we implore your office to take every measure necessary to ensure that Heines, if convicted, is prohibited from contact with animals and to immediately seize any animals who may remain in his charge."

Charlestown Police have charged Heines with two criminal misdemeanors - mistreating and unnecessarily torturing a domestic animal. He is expected to appear in Fourth Division District Court today for a pre-trial hearing in the case.

Paden said PETA’s involvement in animal cruelty cases varies. The Norfolk, Va.-based group addressed Ruggeiro with their concerns after receiving about a dozen phone calls and e-mails from readers of The Sun, he said.

"Typically, our first step is to write a letter to prosecutors with our concerns and recommendations," Paden said. "If we get the sense that the case is not taken seriously, or if a weak plea deal is in the works, we may encourage those who have expressed concern to write to prosecutors or to the judge, or to attend hearings. In the past, that has certainly been effective."

Though PETA’s letter is addressed to Ruggeiro, Charlestown Police Lt. Jack Shippee said Assistant Solicitor Jennifer Sternick is handling the department’s case.

Heines is currently facing up to 11 months in prison on each misdemeanor count. Shippee said he could have been charged with the malicious killing of an animal - a felony count that carries a maximum of two years in prison and up to a $1,000 fine, according to state statute.

"We realize that he could have been charged with a felony, but the Attorney General’s office would have handled the case from there," Shippee said. "The reason we chose to do two misdemeanors is so we can have more control over the sentencing."

Additionally, Shippee said a felony charge levied against Heines would have required the dog’s body to be exhumed. A necropsy would have had to be performed by the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with the remains stored in a freezer until District Court proceedings concluded, he said.

"Taking into account the owner’s feelings, it was not the right thing to do," Shippee said.

Judge in NJ Fines Activists Protesting the New Jersey Black Bear Hunt In December

They simply step over a partition and they’re arrested. It’s pretty clear the cops were just waiting for an excuse.

Article:

Bear-hunt protesters fined

http://www.njherald.com/

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


By BRENDAN BERLS

Herald Staff Writer

VERNON — A judge on Tuesday found a group of animal rights activists guilty of a minor legal infraction for stepping over a partition while protesting the New Jersey black bear hunt in December, rejecting arguments that the police who arrested them violated their right to free speech.

The six activists, all members of the West Milford-based Bear Education and Resource Group, were arrested Dec. 10, the final day of the six-day hunt, in which 298 bears were killed in New Jersey. They were charged with obstructing a government function after ignoring orders from State Park Police officers to remain inside fenced-in protest area at Wawayanda State Park.

The protesters were BEAR group Director Lynda Smith, 42; William Crain, 62, a Manhattan college professor; Eleanor Hoffman, 47; Catherine McCartney, 38; Kristen Sondej, 38; and David Stewart, 67. Smith lives in West Milford; the others are from Bergen County, Morris County and New York City.

The group went to trial on the obstruction charge in Vernon Municipal Court in February; Judge C. William Bowkley reserved his decision until after hearing closing arguments Tuesday.

Gina Calogero, a Bergen County lawyer representing all six defendants, argued that the protesters' act of civil disobedience amounted to constitutionally-protected speech. But Bowkley countered that — even if the free-speech argument "had merit" — "I just don't find (the defendants) have that type of merit in this context."

"The officers were charged with regulating conduct in the area," Bowkley said. "(These protesters) were interfering with the proper regulation of the site."

After finding the group guilty of the petty disorderly persons offense, he fined each of them $350, plus $150 in mandatory fees.

Calogero promised an appeal.

"We're going to take this as high as we have to," she said after the hearing.

The Dec. 10 incident took place near a check-in station for successful hunters at Wawayanda State Park, a spot that was the focal point for protesters as well as news media during both the 2003 and 2005 bear hunts. The State Park Police designated a spot in a far corner of the parking lot — well away from any hunters — for the protest, and marked off the area with orange plastic fencing.

The BEAR group has staged many public protests in the past, but never before had they been cordoned off as they were that day, Smith said Tuesday. Smith had obtained the protest permit earlier that week, but said she didn't realize the protesters would be fenced in until arriving that day.

"The police presence was absolute overkill," Smith said. "To be treated like we were any kind of threat to anybody was offensive to me."

State officials at the time said they wanted to avoid an ugly confrontation between protesters and hunters — as there had been on the last day of the 2003 hunt, when the two sides nearly came to blows before police separated them. Also, there had already been incidents in the woods during the 2005 hunt, including one on Dec. 7 in which four other activists were charged with hunter harassment by an undercover park police officer.

Crain was the first to be arrested Dec. 10, after he stepped around the fence and began walking toward the check-in station while wearing a "Mother Nature Is Crying" sign. After seeing him arrested, the other five stepped around the fence and sat down immediately in front of it. Park police repeatedly urged them to go back, but they refused.

"There's no question that what they did was an act of speech," Calogero said during her final argument. She also argued that the protest permit was "unconstitutionally vague" and that the enforcement of it was arbitrary.

Municipal Prosecutor Robert Correale said the group's complaints about the permit should have been taken to state or federal court. The case, he said, was not about free speech but about the defendants disobeying police officers.

Correale argued for the maximum fine — $1,000 — in order to make an example of the group, but the judge demurred, saying, "I don't think these are bad people."

Attempts by the activists to voice their ideals during the proceeding largely fell on deaf ears.

Before being sentenced, Crain, a psychology professor at the City University of New York, read a written statement to the judge. In it, he said his actions were "peaceful attempts to call attention to a moral principle" and spoke of "the need to respect the worth and dignity of all living beings."

"Feel the same way about deer?" the judge broke in.

"Yes," Crain replied instantly.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Simple Form to Let Representatives Know You Support the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act): Help Animals in Disasters

https://community.hsus.org/campaign/googlepets

This came about due to the horrific and disgusting reality that occurred during Hurricane Katrina. As we all know, companion animals were simply left behind. Well, if this goes though, the situation will be improved significantly.

Again, I’m not sure talking to the Yahoos in Washington does anything; but, it’s worth a try. And, this is very easy to do.

Save Pets From the Next Disaster

https://community.hsus.org/campaign/googlepets


Help prevent what happened after Katrina from ever happening again. The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act), requires state and local authorities to consider the needs of individuals with pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster. You could help save thousands of people and pets from anguish -- even loss of life -- during the next major disaster, just by filling out the form on the right to ask your U.S. Senators and Representative to support this legislation.

Chicago Bans Sale of Foie Gras in Restaurants: What is Foie Gras?

An excellent move and a great campaign. Chicago really took a step forward on this one. Foie gras truly is unnecessarily cruel.
For those who don’t know, foie gras is essentially the liver from a dead duck who was force-fed via a tube overly large quantities of foods in order to increase the liver beyond its usual size. As you might imagine it’s an extremely painful process. So, essentially, it’s hell on earth for them, and then they’re slaughtered. Quite a life.
More information on foie gras can be found at: http://www.nofoiegras.org/

Article:

Chicago bans sale of foie gras in restaurants

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=
2628&ncid=2628&e=17&u=/afp/20060426/ts_
alt_afp/usanimalrightsfood_060426210339

Wed Apr 26, 5:07 PM ET

Chicago has banned the sale of foie gras in its restaurants because city officials think the French delicacy is cruel.

The city council has joined a growing animal rights crusade against the fatty livers which are produced by force-feeding ducks and geese.

Chicago's ban follows a bill introduced in California in 2004 that bans the sale and production of foie gras by 2012. Chicago -- which garnered the nickname Hogtown because of its sprawling slaughter houses -- will impose the ban by September.

Fines will range from 250 to 500 dollars for restaurants caught serving the dish.

Force-feeding birds has also been banned in 15 countries, including Germany, Italy, Israel and Britain, according to animal rights group Farm Sanctuary which runs the nofoiegras.org website. Similar bans have been introduced in several other US states.

The Chicago city ordinance, which passed with a near-unanimous vote, cited a number of reasons for banning a dish that has been granted cultural heritage status by the French parliament.

It called the practice "inhumane, cited media reports showing the "unethical practice" of producers, noted that a famous local chef had stopped serving it in his restaurants and cited a poll in which nearly 80 percent of Americans support a ban on force feeding birds.

Sickos in Williams Township in NJ Kill Two Baby Goats, Break the Legs of Two Newborn Goats Then Play Baseball With Goats: Know Anything About It?

What can I say here? All I can say is if anyone knows anything about this case, help take these wackos down.

Article:

'Scarce' evidence in goat-bash case
Third animal dies. Injuries too much for April; those who killed livestock could face time in state pen.

http://www.nj.com/expresstimes/

Wednesday, April 26, 206
By SARAH MAUSOLF
The Express-Times

WILLIAMS TWP. | State police investigating a goat attack in a township pasture say the offenders could face jail time.

As of Monday evening, police had interviewed most of the suspects in the case, said Trooper Robert Glad with the Belfast barracks.

"Evidence is kind of scarce," he said. "We're basically going to be going on testimony of witnesses and other people who may have been involved."

During the night of April 11 someone broke into an animal pen off Kressman Road, killed two baby goats and broke the legs of two newborn goats, according to the animals' owners Maggie Alexander and her husband, Matt Redmond.

The suspects could face a cruelty to animals charge, a second-degree misdemeanor, Glad said. Possible punishments include a fine and a maximum of two years in jail, he said.

For breaking into the pasture, the suspects could get slapped with a fine for criminal trespassing, a summary offense, Glad said.

Details about the overnight battering remain murky, but clues suggest the culprits played baseball using the goats, Alexander has said. A rake snapped in half, three softballs and two steel fence posts moved from their original location lingered in the pen after the attack.

While one of the injured goats appears to be recovering, the other took a turn for the worse over the weekend, Alexander said.

April, a white goat resembling a miniature poodle, spent the weekend strapped to an IV at Alpha Veterinary Care in New Jersey. She later returned to the animal pen, where she died Monday.

The incident has fueled public outrage in this largely rural pocket of the township and beyond.

In Effort To Encourage Greater Care Of Companion Animals, Santa Clara County Board Of Supervisors Tuesday Added "Guardian" To Term "Animal Owner."

A lot of people laugh at such a measure. However, they forget the importance of words. Pet signifies ownership and therefore the right to do what one wants with a “pet.” Companion signifies more equality and takes away a persons mental image of any animal termed a pet, as simple property. This has already occurred in numerous cities, including Boulder, CO.

Santa Clara Supes Turn Pet Owners Into Pet Guardians

http://www.ktvu.com/index.html


POSTED: 2:11 pm PDT April 25, 2006

SAN JOSE -- In an effort to encourage greater care of companion animals, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Tuesday added "guardian" to the term "animal owner."

The new county ordinance, which taps a pet owner an "animal owner/guardian," passed nearly two months after the Animal Advisory Commission introduced its recommendation to the board, hoping that the term guardian would elicit responsible treatment of pets and reduce the number of abused, neglected and abandoned animals.

"Language can make such a powerful impact," Animal Advisory Commission member Lorna Pusateri said today, noting how racial perceptions have changed following the public and legal denunciation of racist and hateful language. "... We lose nothing, but gain so much, by simply adding the word guardian."

The amendment passed 3-2 with Supervisors Liz Kniss and Donald Gage voting against the motion after Stanford University Assistant Vice President and Director of Community Relations Jean McCown requested a continuance to review the proposal's legal ramifications for Stanford's biomedical research activities.

"I don't think the word guardian is going to make anyone treat their animals better," Gage, who owns several pets himself, said today, noting that therefore it couldn't hurt to accede to McCown's request.

Kniss, while stressing the importance of humane treatment of animals, also voiced some concern about the addition's potential implication for animal research in the future.

Supervisor Pete McHugh, however, said he trusted County Counsel Ann Ravel's conclusion that the amendment would not change the legal status of animals as property.

"Adding the word guardian does not impact anything, it just emphasizes that there is a moral obligation for people to care for their animals," McHugh said today.

Veterinarian Elliot Katz told the board that cities and counties across the nation are pursuing similar changes in efforts to teach children compassion and respect for animals.

Animal Advisory Commission member Judy Jones said today that subtle changes, such as adding the term guardian, could influence how people think about pets and encourage the public to consider animals as beings with feelings and needs of their own.

As a result of changed attitudes, animal advocates hope to see fewer strays and more spayed and neutered dogs and cats.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Commentary: Protesters Against Animal Experimentation Should Not Be Caricatured As Anti-Science and Anti-Progress: Dispelling Lies and Politics

An excellent commentary. Though is written in the UK in response to the draconian Oxford University, it really applies to rational activists everywhere. And note that this person isn’t some off the wall wacko as they’d like to say, she’s a person who actually graduated from Oxford and is now returning her degree.

Of course though, in the game of politics, the huge political Oxford and those like it will always want to lie and make up childlike names to belittle the other side.

Article:

We're not terrorists, and we're not against progress

http://www.guardian.co.uk/

Protesters against animal experimentation should not be caricatured as anti-science, says Sharon Howe

Friday March 10, 2006
The Guardian

Despite his Orwellian imagery, Timothy Garton Ash's stereotypical presentation of an enlightened pro-vivisection elite versus an ignorant and destructive bunch of "antis" is hardly consistent with his declared belief in the "pursuit of truth and the defence of reason" (We must stand up to the creeping tyranny of the group veto, March 2). These principles are genuinely close to my heart. That's why I am passionately opposed to animal experimentation. And that's why I am returning my first-class Oxford degree as a personal protest against the university's new biomedical research centre.

Yes, animal testing has always gone on at Oxford. But the university has also produced some eminent critics of animal-based research: John Ruskin resigned his position as professor of literature the day after vivisection was introduced.

It is ironic that Garton Ash should centre his argument on the importance of free speech, as it is this vital privilege which is being eroded by the injunction imposed upon those who wish to exercise their right to peaceful protest - they are now allowed to voice their views outside the college only between 1pm and 5pm on Thursdays.

It may make for better headlines to portray anti-vivisectionists as terrorists bent on obstructing medical progress, but it couldn't be further from the truth. The vast majority are compassionate individuals who find it an outrage that millions of pounds of taxpayers' money is wasted on outdated and misleading animal-based research, while doctors at Oxford's own Radcliffe Infirmary are crying out for funds to invest in human-based stroke research.

The time has come for a proper, reasoned debate: to get away from the specious "dog or child" dilemma with which pro-vivisectionists seek to play on our fears. The Home Office itself admitted that it "has not commissioned or evaluated any formal research on the efficacy of animal experiments".

Despite the fact that human brains can now be studied non-invasively using hi-tech scanners, diseases such as Parkinson's - for which I am particularly keen to see a cure as I watch my own mother suffer from its debilitating effects - are still being painfully and artificially induced in monkeys who do not naturally develop them.

But the tide of public opinion is changing. Plans for a similar animal lab at Cambridge were abandoned after the university failed to prove a "national need" at a public planning meeting. In 2002, MEPs voted for a complete review of the use of all primates in experiments. And there has been strong support among MPs for an Early Day Motion calling for an independent scientific evaluation of the clinical relevance of animal testing - support shared by 83% of GPs, according to a survey by Europeans for Medical Progress.

The technology to achieve change already exists - it is institutional inertia and vested interests that are holding back progress. Here is the perfect opportunity to move forward and develop a centre of excellence for cutting-edge, non-animal research which would only enhance Oxford's reputation as a seat of human progress. Then I too could regain my pride in being associated with it.

Sharon Howe is a graduate of Oxford university sharon@int-trans.eclipse.co.uk

Turkeys at a Farm in the UK Were Thrown In the Air and Battered With a Pole in Scenes of "Appalling Cruelty" Filmed by Undercover Investigators

Well, sad to see that this type of white trash cruelty isn’t just limited to the US.

Here are some excerpts form the article below:

Laughing and giggling, he lines himself up ready in the middle of the shed as his colleague starts to throw birds in the air.

He is heard shouting in delight as he hits the first one on the head with the broom handle.

Three turkeys are seen flying through the air in the footage, each one battered to the head and neck as it spreads its wings in distress.

Then, as the birds land, the worker is heard laughing again as he hits them with the handle and kicks them around as they try to escape.

Article:

EXCLUSIVE: THE BIRD BATTERER

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/tm_
objectid=16984564%26method=full%26siteid=
94762-name_page.html

EXCLUSIVE Sick Bernard Matthews worker smashes live turkeys with 5ft wooden pole in a sadistic game of rounders
By Jeremy Armstrong

TURKEYS at a Bernard Matthews farm were thrown in the air and battered with a pole in scenes of "appalling cruelty" filmed by undercover investigators.

These shocking images show workers pretending to play rounders with live birds as they collect them for slaughter.

In a sequence of sickening shots, taken in the early hours in a giant shed at Beck Farm, Haveringland, Norfolk, four men are filmed laughing and joking with each other as one worker kicks the birds around the floor before loading them into containers.

Dressed in overalls and a T-shirt, the man is then heard shouting to his colleague: "You throw them up and I will hit them."

The footage then shows him removing a device used to give water to the birds, known as a drinker, to leave himself a 5ft broom handle.

Laughing and giggling, he lines himself up ready in the middle of the shed as his colleague starts to throw birds in the air.

He is heard shouting in delight as he hits the first one on the head with the broom handle.

Three turkeys are seen flying through the air in the footage, each one battered to the head and neck as it spreads its wings in distress.

Then, as the birds land, the worker is heard laughing again as he hits them with the handle and kicks them around as they try to escape.

The footage was taken by an undercover investigator from Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, Norfolk. He secretly filmed the farm workers on Friday in the shed, which holds thousands of birds for Bernard Matthews' multi-million pound empire.

The workers, known as catchers, do night shifts getting the turkeys ready to be transported to other sites.

There they are turned into various Matthews' products - including the infamous Turkey Twizzlers slated by TV chef Jamie Oliver in his crusade for healthier children's food.

The investigator, a 50-year-old cameraman who has worked extensively for the BBC, Channel 4 and newspapers over the past nine years, said: "This is by far the worst cruelty that I have witnessed. When he hit the birds it made a terrible sound. It was sickening."

It is not the first time alleged cruelty has been exposed at a farm run by Bernard Matthews, famed for his catchphrase "Boo tiful, really bootiful".

Six years ago, turkeys in one of the giant sheds were found lying dead by undercover investigators while others had festering wounds. Hundreds of turkeys were seen milling around rotten carcasses. Shocking images showed the live birds occasionally pecking at the bodies of the dead ones.

At the time the company stated: "We answer to the highest levels of officialdom who inspect everything we do." And an independent vet who later inspected the site confirmed there was no "significant" welfare or husbandry problem.

Wendy Valentine, of Hillside, claimed the latest footage showed "grotesque cruelty" and some of the worst images they had filmed in the 11 years since they started investigating the practices of the factory farming industry.

Investigators returned to the shed in the early hours of yesterday. The cameraman claimed: "We found blood where the birds had been." They also allege they found a broom handle with blood on the shaft.

And in daylight, they could also see a sign on a wall which warned workers: "Any employee who abuses turkeys will be subject to instant dismissal. B.T. Matthews, Chairman."

Wendy added: "These shocking, appalling images show acts of dreadful cruelty. These men are taking great pleasure in this sadistic practice. You can clearly see what they are doing, and hear them laughing and joking about it."

Hillside intends to hand the film to the RSPCA, with a view to prosecution. Bernard Matthews, 75, founded his empire 56 years ago.

His adverts have made him one of Britain's best known businessmen.

In a statement last night, Bernard Matthews Ltd said: "We cannot comment on allegations without having seen any evidence. The welfare of our birds is of paramount importance to us.

"Any person found to have compromised our high standards of bird welfare would be liable to disciplinary proceedings which could lead to dismissal."

Company secretary David Reger said: "Hillside have made claims before which have not proven to be substantiated.

Group Has Filed Notice That it Will Sue The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for Failing to Protect Lynx and Eagles from Trapping

How sick is it that the DNR actually knows that the majestic and threatened bald eagle and the threatened lynx are begin caught in traps and they do nothing about it? In addition, they are allowing the use of three kinds of traps -- leghold, conibear and snare traps. Horrible.

Consider the following sad facts:

“The Animal Protection Institute, which plans a similar suit in Maine, said records show at least 24 threatened bald eagles were accidentally trapped in Minnesota between 1990 and 2005, more than half of which died or had to be destroyed.”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed that about 15 lynx have been trapped, snared or shot in Minnesota over the last three years and three have died.”

Article:

http://wcco.com/local/local_story_112170702.html

Animal Rights Group Plans To Sue MN DNR


(AP) Duluth, Minn. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is in the cross hairs of a California animal rights group, which plans to sue the state for failing to protect lynx and eagles from trapping.

The Animal Protection Institute has filed notice that it will sue unless the DNR increases efforts to protect the animals from three kinds of traps -- leghold, conibear and snare traps.

If the suit is successful, areas inhabited by lynx could be subject to tighter restrictions, or even a ban, on trapping.

Lynx are federally protected as threatened in the contiguous 48 states and it is illegal to kill them. But several lynx die each year after being caught in traps meant for foxes, bobcats and other animals.

Researchers estimate Minnesota has about 200 lynx across the northernmost counties, and monitor 32 of them with radio collars. Five of those lynx have been trapped in the last three years in Minnesota.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed that about 15 lynx have been trapped, snared or shot in Minnesota over the last three years and three have died.

Many of those incidents have occurred in Superior National Forest, and environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, have petitioned the DNR to take steps to prevent accidental lynx trapping. Suggestions include requiring smaller traps that are less likely to take lynx, and banning snares in lynx-filled areas.

The DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mailed brochures to about 6,200 of the state's licensed trappers explaining how to avoid trapping lynx by accident, but have taken no further action.

Ed Boggess, Minnesota DNR fish and wildlife policy chief, said his agency has been confiscating illegally set traps and instituting a mandatory trapper education program that will start in 2007 in an effort to reduce lynx deaths.

"We won't comment on a lawsuit notice we haven't seen," Boggess said. "But we have responded to the earlier letter from the Sierra Club. We'd already done much of what they asked for. We're working with the (Minnesota Trappers Association) and we're working where we can to reduce it."

The Animal Protection Institute, which plans a similar suit in Maine, said records show at least 24 threatened bald eagles were accidentally trapped in Minnesota between 1990 and 2005, more than half of which died or had to be destroyed.

"Trapping was the very activity that brought many species to the brink of extinction" said Michelle Thew, the group's chief executive officer, in a statement announcing the pending lawsuits. "Yet these same devices are still being allowed to capture and kill the same species our federal government has spent millions of dollars recovering."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Last Chance for Animals to Push for Congress to Pass the Pet Safety and Protection Act: Stop USDA Class B Dealers and Immense Cruelty

I posted a while back on this movement. This came about due to the investigation of USDA Class B Dealers and in particular, Arkansas pet dealer C.C. Baird. – see this posting for more information on the bill and on USDA Class B Dealers and C.C. Baird - http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/02/
bill-in-congress-would-eliminate-class.html

You’ll be shocked by what you read. And to find that it is all sanctioned by the government. So, your tax dollars to fund immense cruelty.

As the article states, the Pet Safety and Protection Act “…would eliminate the research market for "random source" animals…”

Article:

Group pushes for law to end shady dog deals

http://www.semissourian.com/story/1149691.html


Sunday, April 23, 2006
MARK BLISS ~ Southeast Missourian

A documentary shown at a Cape Girardeau theater drew tears from some in the audience.

A hidden camera caught images of dogs dying from disease and neglect in overcrowded kennels run by an Arkansas dog dealer who profited by selling the animals, often stolen, to medical research labs.

The HBO documentary "Dealing Dogs" drew tears from some of the people in the audience Saturday at the Wehrenberg Theatres cinema in Cape Girardeau.

The invited group of about 20 included animal welfare volunteers, animal control officers from Farmington, Mo., a Cape Girardeau police officer, a Humane Society of Missouri investigator and Cape Girardeau County Commissioner Jay Purcell.

Marilyn Neville, a dog trainer and animal welfare volunteer from Zalma, Mo., helped organize the event along with California-based Last Chance for Animals to push for Congress to pass the Pet Safety and Protection Act.

The legislation would prohibit animal dealers from selling "random source" animals to research facilities.

Medical labs could still buy animals for research use, but only from licensed class A breeders, who raise the animals themselves, LCA officials said.

Neville doesn't oppose using animals for medical research, but she said disreputable dealers shouldn't be allowed to buy and sell stolen dogs and cats to such facilities.

"I want animals to be used for medical research, but I don't want them to be my pet," she said.

Saturday's audience showed up for a special showing of the documentary, along with a shorter DVD from Last Chance for Animals, the organization that spent years investigating Arkansas pet dealer C.C. Baird.

The LCA plans to show the DVD to Congress as it lobbies for passage of the Pet Safety and Protection Act.

The group's six-month undercover work in 2002 was part of the HBO documentary, which exposed the underworld of dog-napping, unsanitary conditions at Baird's Martin Creek Kennels and widespread abuse.

An undercover investigator who got a job at the kennels to document the abuse called it "a little piece of hell on Earth."

Another investigator, who heads the special investigations unit for Last Chance for Animals, attended Saturday's presentation.

The woman, who asked not to be identified because she still does undercover work, was one of several members of the not-for-profit group who investigated Baird's operation.

She told those gathered Saturday that Baird bought many dogs from a weekly flea market in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Baird regularly bought dogs from "bunchers," men and women who would pick up strays or steal pets. Baird bought dogs for as little as $10 apiece, no questions asked.

"A lot of the animals came out of Southeast Missouri," the woman said.

Baird -- then the largest class B animal dealer in the nation -- took the dogs to his kennel, where he would ship them out to medical research labs, including one at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Class B dealers do not have to raise the animals.

LCA's investigation -- including more than 70 hours of surveillance video -- led law enforcement officers to raid the kennels Aug. 26, 2003.

Last August, Baird pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to launder money stemming from his role in mail fraud. He violated the federal Animal Welfare Act by sending animals to research facilities with false acquisition records.

He could be sentenced in June to as much as 10 years in prison and a fine of $5 million.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture pulled his dealer license in January 2005. Baird surrendered more than $1 million in land and was fined $262,700 in the civil action, the largest fines ever imposed by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

But LCA officials contend that the USDA was slow to act and that federal inspectors long ignored the abusive conditions at Martin Creek Kennels.

Baird said in a taped interview -- part of the DVD presentation -- that USDA inspectors looked the other way when it came to such dog dealing.

Even while facing charges, Baird continued to operate as a licensed dealer.

The female investigator who led Saturday's presentation said the University of Missouri bought animals from Baird after he was charged with severe mistreatment and neglect of animals and other federal animal-welfare violations.

"Even after the raid, they didn't take it seriously," she said.

The university bought animals from Baird as late as December 2004, she said.

While Baird no longer is dealing dogs, 17 other "random source" dealers, including one in northern Missouri, still ply their trade across the country, LCA officials said.

The LCA investigator said that would end if Congress passes the legislation. It would eliminate the research market for "random source" animals, she said.

16 Year Old Girl Posts Video of Herself Abusing Cat on MySpace.com

I had a feeling this would be coming via MySpace. Especially teens who need attention will result to any means to get it. And, as we know, MySpace is a haven for attention-starved people and sickos to carry out their twisted fantasies.

We’ve talked about it before – those who start with abusing animals soon go to humans. And, animal abuse can be seen as a cry for help
Here are a few articles on the connection between animal abuse, mental problems and future abuse of humans.
http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/abuse_connection.php
http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/family/pets/article10.html
http://www2.webmagic.com/abuse.com/index7.html

Here’s an article on kids and animal abuse:
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/01/
animal-abuse-can-be-sign-childrens.html

Article:

Indy Girl, 16, Accused Of Abusing Cat, Posting Video On Web

http://www.wlky.com/news/8934544/detail.html

INDIANAPOLIS -- A 16-year-old Franklin Township Middle School student was arrested Friday on allegations that she abused her family's cat and posted a video of the incident on the Internet.

Authorities said the video -- which the girl allegedly posted on MySpace.com -- shows that most of the cat was wrapped in cellophane, immobilizing the animal. The cat's head was not wrapped.

The video shows someone nudging or kicking the wrapped cat. Eventually, the cat was able to get its front legs free.

Animal care and control investigators called the incident torture. The girl was arrested at school Friday afternoon on felony charges of animal cruelty, Indianapolis television station WRTV reported.

"My reaction was that there was a cat that was scared and was being a little bit tortured," said Media Wilson, spokeswoman for the city's animal care and control division.

Wilson said the cat "will be fine."

"There's no permanent damage, to my knowledge, to the animal, and the child will get the help that she needs," Wilson said.

The girl was expected to remain behind bars through the weekend. She is expected to attend a court hearing Monday, WRTV reported.

Drug Testing Giant Covance Plans to Build Vivisection Facility in Chandler, Arizona: Group Rallies Against

Article:

Group rallies against Covance in Chandler

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=63939

By Jennifer Pinner, Tribune
April 24, 2006

Pictures of monkeys in viselike mechanisms and “Say NO to Covance” signs lined downtown Chandler on Sunday afternoon as about 100 animal rights activists protested the drug-testing company setting up shop in the city.

Covance plans to build a 400,000-square-foot facility on Price Road between Queen Creek and Germann roads, where it would test drugs on animals such as mice, hamsters, primates and dogs. The company bought the land last summer for $8 million.

Protester Chelsea Richards said she would move out of the city if Covance builds. “Chandler was founded by a veterinarian,” Richards said.

Founder Dr. A.J. Chandler was the first veterinary surgeon for the territory of Arizona in 1891, according to the city’s Web site.

“It’s a town with morals, and I feel morals will be compromised if Covance is here,” Richards said.

Jan McClellan, co-founder of Citizens Against Covance, said she chose Sunday for the rally because it was the first day of World Week for Animals in Laboratories.

The effort is meant to educate citizens about “the plight of animals used for testing and research,” according to the movement’s Web site.

“I thought it was the perfect time because we’re facing this right now,” McClellan said.

“We hope everybody’s just going to continue turning up the heat so Covance doesn’t submit plans,” she said.

Covance spokeswoman Camilla Strongin said the group has a right to protest, but the company will still move forward with plans to rezone the land so it can build.

“We feel the majority of Chandler residents are in favor of having safe medicines,” Strongin said.

“This is really all fueled by PETA and they have worked to draw attention in a number of ways we feel are negative and damaging to the citizens of Chandler. This is not about Covance, but biomedical research,” she said.

Citizens Against Covance first organized after a rally led by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals almost a year ago.

Since then, the group said it has distanced itself from that organization.

New Group Seeks Amnesty and Restitution for Chimpanzees Caught in Animal Testing Facilities

Looks like a good new group. Was passed to me by another group. Please check out. Lots of good information.

Project R&R - Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in US Laboratories

http://www.releasechimps.org/

Monday, April 24, 2006

Removed From the Jungle and Smuggled Into Thailand, Orangutans Forced to Knock Each Other Out as Spectators Snapped Photos and Chuckled In Amusement


A disgusting practice that hopefully will come to an end. Definitely a victory. We’ll hope it continues in the disgusting practice of illegal wildlife trade.




Article:

Boxing orangutans offer hope on animal trade war

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/cgi-bin/search/
search_7days.pl?status=&search=boxing&id=204498

BANGKOK : They were removed from the jungle and smuggled into Thailand. There, they were forced to knock each other out as spectators snapped photos and chuckled in amusement.

But two years after they were rescued from a Bangkok zoo, more than 50 orangutans may finally go home, marking a small victory in the struggle against the illegal wildlife trade.

"We're sending a strong signal that the game is over now," said Sean Whyte, chief executive of Nature Alert, a non-profit environmental group. "Anyone who tries to make a living selling orangutans will find it very difficult."

The simian saga started in 2003 when government officials raided Safari World, a zoo in the eastern suburbs of Bangkok, and recovered 114 orangutans.

Before their rescue, the apes were forced into donning silk shorts and boxing gloves, and performing mock kickboxing matches. The show was one of Safari World's main attractions.

Zoo owners claimed the primates were bred in-house, but DNA tests proved that 57 were born outside Thailand, most likely in Malaysia or Indonesia. Officials sent the wild orangutans to the Khao Pratap Chang wildlife preserve to await repatriation. Three have since died.

Since the case first came to light, the orangutans have been in a well-publicized tug of war between Thai officials and non-government organizations. NGOs claim that the government has been uncooperative and slow in sending the animals back.

The government, however, insists it is doing everything to ensure the apes' survival in the wild, including further DNA testing to determine whether the apes came from Malaysia or Indonesia.

On Friday and Saturday, officials met in Bangkok for the first time to discuss the best way to handle the orangutans' long-awaited homecoming and decided to send them to Indonesia while awaiting results of the DNA tests.

If the tests show the orangutans are from Malaysia, they will be sent there from Indonesia, Tassannee Vejpongsa, a representative of the WildAid foundation said who was present in the meetings, told AFP Saturday.

"The sooner we repatriate them, the better, because they will have a greater chance of survival in the wild," said Chawann Tuhikorn, Thai deputy chief of national parks, adding that the government had planned from the beginning to send the apes back.

"We said we would do anything in our power to do it right. We want to do things properly and through the right channels," he told AFP.

Some NGO representatives, who had been stepping up protests for the orangutans' release, saw the meeting as a small step in the right direction.

"I think our campaign is bearing fruit," said Edwin Wiek, the Thailand representative for The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS), which specializes in orangutan rehabilitation and conservation. "The pressure is getting a lot stronger."

Wiek said at least 700 orangutans are smuggled annually in Southeast Asia, with an estimated 100-300 trafficked through Thailand alone.

The saffron-haired primates are native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and to Borneo, an island shared by Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. Experts say only about 27,000 remain in the wild and that populations are fast declining due to deforestation and trafficking.

Although the Safari World case may set a precedent in the fight against animal smuggling, the battle is far from over.

"Orangutans are at the tip of the iceberg," said Willie Smits, BOS chairman in Indonesia. "The problem of animal trafficking is much bigger. Governments need to do more."

But Chawann points out that international alliances, such as the Wildlife Enforcement Network within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, are trying to do just that.

"Money drives the animal trade," he said. "We need cooperation and communication within and among the countries."

Wiek also blamed irresponsible tourism.

"People understand that wildlife should not be exploited," he said. "But they are still going to monkey shows and getting their pictures taken with snakes and gibbons. We can only fight it with proper education."

- AFP/ir

Utah Settles a Lawsuit Filed by Two Animal-Rights Activists Who Said a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Prevented Them from Handing Out Political Leaflets

I think this case represents a lot. One, it proves that many times activists are illegally harassed by police while simply exercising their first amendment rights on public property.

Two, it really shows the importance of not backing down to police or any other group that attempts to squash your message because they don’t’ like it. These guys took it all the way to court and won. A lesson for us all, no matter what the message is.

Article:

Utah settles lawsuit by animal-rights activists

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=16799

By The Associated Press
04.21.06

SALT LAKE CITY — The state has settled a lawsuit filed by two Utah animal-rights activists who said a Utah Highway Patrol trooper prevented them from handing out political leaflets on the Capitol grounds during this year's legislative session.

In its settlement filed on April 17, the state agreed to pay Eric Waters and David Berg, both of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition, $1,000 each and their attorney Brian Barnard $10,000 in legal fees. The state also agreed to pay UARC $500.

Waters and Berg contended their First Amendment rights were violated when Trooper Preston Raban told them to stop handing out leaflets.

The two said Raban told them that handing fliers to anyone except a person who asked for one was against state law and considered soliciting. The lawsuit also contended Raban threatened to arrest them.

The Utah attorney general's office acknowledged Waters and Berg "have the legal right to engage in the free expression activity of tendering political leaflets, fliers, buttons or similar materials on the grounds and in public areas of the Utah State Capitol and related buildings."

The leaflets opposed bills to lower ages for hunting licenses. UARC contended that would increase the number of hunting accidents in Utah.

Even in Tasmania, Activists Fight to Expose Cruelties of the Rodeo

Learn more about the cruelties of the rodeo in general via actual video at http://www.sharkonline.org/?P=0000000392

Article:
Animal rights group to attempt rodeo entry

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200604/s1621637.htm

The group Against Animal Cruelty, which is campaigning to have rodeos banned in Tasmania, will try and gain entry to the final event of the season being held in the state's north today.
The national circuit finals are being held at the Harveydale rodeo grounds near Westbury.
A campaign coordinator Emma Haswell says she will try and gain entry to witness what she calls barbaric cruelty towards animals.
She says with a review of Tasmania's Animal Welfare Act now being held, her organisation will seek a meeting with the new Primary Industries Minister David Llewellyn.
Ms Haswell says rodeos probably will not be banned, but the campaign may improve things.
"It may lead to a permit system being introduced and a code of practice," she said.
"At the moment there's only a voluntary code of practice and the rodeo association have their own code of practice and it's not legally enforceable, and there's nothing to stop anybody having a rodeo.
"So if we had a code of practice, that's one thing."

Friday, April 21, 2006

Dog Eating Will Stay Illegal In The Philippines

Let’s hope this spreads to China, Korea, etc. I doubt it, but we can hope. Check out their site too. A great group doing much needed work in a horrible part of the world for other animals.

http://www.animalsasia.org


Thanks to you dog eating is staying illegal in the Philippines!

Dear Friends of Animals Asia,

Thank you to all of you who responded to our plea for help for dogs in the Philippines. Over a thousand letters against the legalisation of dog meat poured in from around the world and convinced the Philippine government officials to back track on their earlier plans. More than anything, this success shows that your voice really can, and does make a difference to the lives of animals in need.

Please visit the following update on our website to find out more about the status of dog eating in the Philippines, plus our first ever "Friends or Food?" Animal Welfare Development Grant:
http://www.animalsasia.org/index.php?module=3&menupos=9&lg=en

Warmest wishes,
Jill

Jill Robinson MBE
Founder & CEO
Animals Asia Foundation

Advocates Lobby Against End To Sunday Hunting Ban In Connecticut

I can see the proponents of this legislation now – “if I want to shoot them thar deer on the
good lords day then I rekon he would rightfully approve.”

Article:

Animal rights advocates lobby against end to Sunday hunting ban

http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=4789756&nav=3YeX

(Hartford-AP, Apr. 19, 2006 11:57 AM) _ Animal rights advocates are scrambling to defeat legislation that would end a ban on Sunday hunting dating to colonial times.

Hunters and the state Department of Environmental Protection say the extra day of hunting is needed as a wildlife management tool, to help cull an increasing number of deer.

The Senate has approved the legislation, which caught animal rights advocates short. They are now lobbying the House of Representatives to kill the legislation.

Laura Simon of the Humane Society of the United States said today she arrived at the Capitol late in the game.

Linda Huebner, who also is with the Humane Society, says the legislation never made this much progress before and lobbyists are putting a lot of energy into fighting it.

Opponents say homeowners can plant alternative shrubs or flowers to keep deer from turning private property into diners and technology is available to help deer avoid speeding cars.

Reward Offered For Info In Brutal Dog Abuse Case in Butler County's Morgan Township in Southwest Ohio

The number to call if you have any information is below.

Article:

Reward Offered For Info In Brutal Dog Abuse Case

http://www.wcpo.com/news/2006/local/04/11/dog.html

Reported by: 9News

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest in a local dog abuse case.

Last week, children found a dog dead in a creek in Butler County's Morgan Township.

The dog was skinned and its back legs were tied together.

If you have information about who did this, call the Butler County Animal Shelter at (513) 867-5727.

You could get a reward of up to $2,500.

The dog warden calls it one of the worst animal abuse cases he's seen.

Animal Rights Groups Seek Probe Into Lion Cub's Death At The San Diego Wild Animal Park

Zoos, zoos, zoos. Nothing but hell for animals.


Article:

Animal rights groups seek probe into lion cub's death

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/
20060420-1504-cubdeath.html

3:04 p.m. April 20, 2006

SAN DIEGO – An animal rights organization Thursday called for an investigation into the case of a lion cub that was euthanized at the San Diego Wild Animal Park after being mauled by an adult lioness.

The request came in the form of a letter sent by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to Robert Gibbens, western regional director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's animal care unit.

“We ask that you immediately investigate this situation, determine what zoo officials intend to do to prevent another incident of this type, thoroughly assess the zoo's protocol for animal introductions and if appropriate ensure that the San Diego Wild Animal Park is charged with violations of the (Animal Welfare Act) for this incident,” Lisa Wathne, a captive exotic animal specialist with PETA said in the letter.

The 5-month-old lion cub, named Koza, was mauled after a keeper mistakenly removed a wire barrier separating the cub from the adult lion.

Although workers quickly separated them, the cub suffered three bites, at least one of which severely damaged his spinal cord, park spokeswoman Christina Simmons told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The decision was then made to put down the cub.

Simmons told the U-T the removal of the barrier separating Koza from the adult lioness was a case of “human error.”

In the Town of Collierville, TN, Puppy Mutilated, Abandoned: Can You Help Find Who did it?



I’m going to start posting things like this. This is a world wide blog so if there’s even a small chance of finding the scum who do these things, then I’ll post it. Look at those eyes on that puppy and tell me how someone could do something like that.


Article:

Puppy mutilated, abandoned

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/local/article

/0,2845,MCA_25340_4635294,00.html

Your Hub

By Tom Bailey Jr.

Contact

April 20, 2006

Collierville authorities are trying to find the person who mutilated the ears of a puppy and dumped the heavily bleeding dog at a drainage ditch.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is offering a $250 reward for information leading to an arrest.

"It's pretty much at this point a who-done-it," Collierville Police Capt. Dave Tillner said.

Two young people passing by on bikes found the puppy at Center and Keough about 6 p.m. Tuesday, wrapped it in a T-shirt and pedaled to Collierville Animal Services.

The shelter was closed, but the cyclists called the posted emergency number, Tillner said.

Somebody attempting to crop and reshape the puppy's ears botched the job and discarded the animal, said Nina Wingfield, animal services supervisor.

The puppy was left with an inch-long stub for a right ear and only half an inch for her left ear.

"Someone cut her ears so short, it doesn't have any ears," Wingfield said.

The white-and-tan puppy has received treatment and pain medication.

Once she's healed, she'll be offered for adoption.

Whoever cut its ears apparently tried to perform the ear-shaping that is sometimes done to pit bulls.

Docking the ears of "fighting dogs" is a common practice, making them look more intimidating and giving an opposing animal less of a target, Wingfield said.

"Nothing was done humanely here. And they abandoned the puppy that could have bled to death," she said.

Aggravated cruelty with intent to hurt and kill is a felony.

"The Town of Collierville will not tolerate this sort of cruelty," Wingfield said.

-- Tom Bailey Jr: 529-2388

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Louisiana's Proposed Pet Evacuation Bill, Passed The Senate Committee But Must Now Move Out Of The Finance Committee: How You Can Help

Related to prior posting. Here’s how you can help.

This is not only for residents of Louisiana. If you want to address this issue as well, here is how:

From:

Save Our Pets
petevacuation@yahoo.com
504-305-4113
Cathy Wells
wellsc@legis.state.la.us


COMMENTS DUE BY MONDAY, MAY 1, 2006.

Governor Blanco needs to hear from Louisiana, the country, and the world.

SB-607, Louisiana's proposed Pet Evacuation Bill, passed the Senate
Committee but must now move out of the Finance Committee (a major hurdle)
before it reaches the floor for a vote.

Please flood the Governor's office with calls, faxes, mailed letters, and emails daily until SB-607 reaches the Finance Committee on May 1.


SENATE BILL NO. 607 BY SENATOR FONTENOT
http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=3D375498



SAMPLE LETTER
Changing some of the words and personalizing your
comments carries far more impact.

Governor Kathleen Blanco
Office of the Governor, Attn: Constituent Services
P.O. Box 94004; Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
ph: 866-366-1121, 225-342-0991 or 225-342-7015; fax: 225-342-7099
email: contact@la.gov

Dear Governor Blanco,

Citizens of the world look to Senator Fontenot's pending Pet Evacuation Bill
(SB-607) as a model plan for service animals and household pets during a
catastrophe. You have an unprecedented opportunity to help your constituents
and enhance Louisiana's image worldwide.

Emergency arrangements with no animal component are out of touch with
citizens like Scott Sherman, who refused to evacuate without his dogs. Scott
is listed among the hurricane dead. The death toll might have been lower if
provisions for pets and service animals had been in place.

I call upon the State of Louisiana to fund the humane evacuation, transport
and temporary sheltering of animals as provided in SB-607. Please consider
the economic offsets. It is more cost-effective to shelter/transport animals
than finance crisis evacuations for residents who won't leave without them.

Currently two bills are moving in the U.S. Congress:
(1) HR-3858 requires the Director of Fema to ensure state and local disaster
preparedness plans take into account the needs of individuals with household
pets and service animals.

(2) S-2548 authorizes the Director of FEMA to make financial contributions
to state and local authorities for animal emergency preparedness purposes,
including the procurement, construction, leasing, or renovation of emergency
shelter facilities and materials to accommodate people with pets and service
animals.

On April 14, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), top Democrat on the
Senate Homeland Security Committee, told Stamford Advocate reporters:
"Hurricane Katrina taught us that many people will not evacuate if they will
have to leave pets behind."

As you are aware, hurricane victims were forced to choose between survival
and their pets. Last September Denise Okojo clung to her seeing-eye service
dog in the shadows of her swamped apartment. When a helicopter team arrived
Okojo was ordered to leave Molly, a Labrador retriever, behind. The blind
woman said goodbye to her "eyes" and sole companion.

On April 18, John Bozes carried three empty leashes to the Senate Hearing on
SB-607. The leashes represented Angel Girl, Bullet, and Honey, his family's
now deceased dogs.

With pets banned from designated shelters outside St. Bernard Parish, Bozes
(who cannot drive due to disability) had found overnight haven at Beauregard
Middle School. The next day Sheriff's Deputies ordered people to vacate
without their pets, promising them the animals would be rescued. Instead,
Bozes watched CNN's Anderson Cooper later report "Dog Killings at Three St.
Bernard Parish Schools." As TV cameras surveyed the crime scene, Bozes
spotted Angel Girl, Bullet, and Honey lifeless on the bloodstained floor.

"I still lay awake at night crying because Angel Girl was all I had," Bozes
says.

Unforgivable images are forever etched into our nation's conscience. But
Louisiana can now take the lead in legislation to fully implement protocols
on rescue/shelter of animals during a disaster. This pivotal human/animal
safety issue deserves your utmost attention and financial support.

Louisiana's Proposed Pet Evacuation Bill - Senate Bill 607 - Debated

This would be landmark legislation that is totally necessary after the devastation left by the response to animals left behind after Hurricane Katrina. Look to the next posting to see how you can help it make it come a reality.


Article:

Pet-evacuation bill debated

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/police/2650101.html

By WILL SENTELL
Capitol News Bureau
Published: Apr 18, 2006

Pet lovers rallied at the State Capitol on Monday to promote a bill that could make Louisiana the first state in the nation with a hurricane evacuation law for cats, dogs and other animals.

Sen. Clo Fontenot, R-Livingston and chief sponsor of the plan, said the bill’s $6 million price tag is the key hurdle.

“The biggest issue is going to be a question of funding,” Fontenot said. The proposal, Senate Bill 607, is scheduled to get its first hearing at 1 p.m. today in the Senate Judiciary B Committee.

The plan is a response to horror stories involving pets and their owners after Hurricane Katrina. Animal rights officials said thousands of cats and dogs died needlessly after the storm. The bill has a human angle, backers said, because the hurricane triggered numerous cases of pet owners waving away rescuers rather than leave them behind in flooded homes and apartments.

“If I had been forced to evacuate they would have had to shoot me,” said Maria Alvarez of Metairie, who attended the gathering.

Alvarez had seven dogs at the time.

“I was prepared to die with them,” she said. “They are family.”

Fontenot’s bill would require the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to:

- Craft an emergency evacuation and shelter plan for household pets and service animals with input from experts in animal sheltering, veterinary medicine and public health.

- Set up or identify temporary pet shelters next to those for humans.

- Develop an identification system for household pets, including a tracking system, so that owners separated during evacuations can find them.

The bill would require that those with disabilities who use service animals, such as seeing eye dogs, to be evacuated and housed with the animals. Household pets in cages or carriers could ride on public transportation before a storm if it does not endanger human life.

A few dozen backers of the bill attended, many with pets in tow. Several wore black t-shirts that spelled out their loyalty to their cats and dogs: “If I Leave They Leave.”

Before Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29, evacuees were told they could not bring their pets on buses, said Laura Maloney, executive director of the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“We said that has to change,” Maloney said.

Fontenot agreed.

“We have to make sure that never happens again in Louisiana,” he said.

Donna Sarvois of Kenner said she hauled four dogs and two cats to Sugar Land, Texas, where they were boarded for three weeks after the storm.

“The pets are part of the family,” said Sarvois, who attended the rally. “A lot of people don’t see that.”

Julia Turner of Baton Rouge, who owns three dogs, said Fontenot’s measure would give pets an added layer of protection.

“If there is a law in place they will take it more seriously,” Turner said of emergency workers.

About 50,000 household pets were left behind in New Orleans when Katrina struck, the president of the Humane Society of the United States said a few weeks after the storm. Officials of the Louisiana SPCA estimate that about 16,000 animals were rescued by volunteers.

Costs are the chief worry for officials who would handle the animal evacuation duties, said Mark Smith, spokesman for the state office of emergency preparedness.

“That’s a major concern,” he said. Federal rules do not allow aid for such evacuations, Smith said.

Bennie Thompson: This Earth Day, Let’s Make Environmental Justice a Crucial Issue for Blacks

Incredible article with excellent points. It’s true, the environment is not a race issue.

Article:

Bennie Thompson: This Earth Day, Let’s Make Environmental Justice a Crucial Issue for Blacks

http://www.blackamericaweb.com/


Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2006
By: Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com

Mercy, mercy me
Things ain't what they used to be, no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east
Mercy, mercy me, mercy father
Things ain't what they used to be, no
Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas, fish full of mercury
Mercy, mercy me
things ain't what they used to be, no
Radiation under ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying
Oh, mercy, mercy me
Things ain't what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?

-- "Mercy, Mercy Me," Marvin Gaye

April 22nd is Earth Day. Yet for many African-Americans, Earth Day is just another day in an environmental movement that is perceived as overwhelmingly white and privileged. For many, there is a feeling that the “green” movement is more committed to saving the spotted owl than addressing the environmental degradation of communities of color and the poor. This perception was further fueled by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s (PETA) Animal Liberation campaign last year which compared the treatment of animals to that of enslaved Africans during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the New World.

Yet, if one takes a closer look at the history of the American environmental movement, we will find that it is replete with the contributions of African-Americans. For example, George Washington Carver, one of America's greatest agricultural researchers, worked wonders in the field of crop rotation to preserve soil and improve farm productive. Zora Neale Hurston consistently documented and connected her literary characters’ developments to their land and environment. York, the enslaved African-American who accompanied Lewis and Clark during their expedition to the West, relied on his experience as a woodsman and hunter to impress the Native Americans he met along the way.

It took a group of African-American churchwomen to radically alter the mainstream environmental images of salmon swimming upstream and the majestic Rockies to that of public health. In 1982, hundreds were arrested in Warren County, North Carolina when protestors laid their bodies on a road to protest the dumping of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) in their community. Although the community lost the battle, this effort is viewed by many as the birth of the environmental justice movement -- a movement that studies, analyzes and attempts to eradicate the disproportionate impact that toxins have on communities of color and poor people.

Their efforts were not in vain. The following year, the U.S. General Accounting Office conducted a study which found that three out of four off-site, commercial hazardous waste landfills in the southeastern United States were located within predominately black communities. In 1987, a study by the United Church of Christ Commission of Racial Justice found that race was the most significant factor in determining where waste facilities were located. Specifically, the study found that three out of five African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans and 50 percent of Asian-Pacific Islander Americans and Native Americans lived in communities with one or more uncontrolled toxic waste sites. A follow-up study in 1994 concluded that this trend had worsened.

When the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights groups began to highlight this issue, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898, charging all federal agencies to address the disproportionate pollution and toxicity levels experienced by communities of color and the poor. Last June, President Bush reversed the Executive Order by removing race and class as a special consideration of the definition of environmental justice.

As I continue to attempt to address the many devastations of Hurricane Katrina, I cannot help lamenting Marvin Gaye’s accuracy in "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)." Although written a generation ago, his words screamed at me when I toured the ravaged scenery of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and saw the storm’s impact on the local fisheries and shrimp farms. His lyrics haunted me when I walked through the Louisiana Gulf Coast and thought about the effect of the more than 125 oil and chemical plants -- commonly referred to as “Cancer Alley” -- on the health and homes of the many residents.

As an avid hunter and outdoorsman, Marvin Gaye’s plea for the ecology is an awakening. Yes, Katrina exposed the intersection of racism and poverty. But, as African-Americans, we should take up Hurricane Katrina’s challenge, and take a close look at the environmental connection. This Earth Day, blacks should take the opportunity to better understand how public policies relate to the environment and our health. Let us lead the charge of defending our community’s environmental health.

In the words of Marvin Gaye, African-Americans must ask, “How much more abuse from man can she (Earth) stand?" Most importantly, on this Earth Day, African-Americans must commit to addressing Hurricane Katrina’s environmental devastation and health impact on our brothers and sisters.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson is now serving his seventh term as the Democratic Congressman from Mississippi’s Second District and second term on the Homeland Security Committee.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Sierra Club Creates Contest to Finance a Sport Hunting Trip to Encourage Hunting: Director Resigns in Protest

No, this is not a joke. Though I wish it was.

So the Sierra Club now supports hunting??? When in the world did this happen? This is an outrage beyond all outrages. A self-professed environmental group supports a practice that actually leads to species destruction?? What else can I say? Ridiculous.

Sierra Club Director Resigns to Protest Hunting Prize

FRIDAY HARBOR, Washington, April 17, 2006 (ENS) - Sierra Club Director Paul Watson, one of the 15 national directors of the Sierra Club, resigned today from the National Board of the Sierra Club.
He was elected to the Board of Directors in 2003 for a three year term. His term ends May 17, 2006.
Saying, “I won’t fade quietly into the night,” Watson resigned to protest the use of Sierra Club resources to finance a sport hunting trip to encourage hunting.
Watson was not notified of a contest posted in January 2006. The contest is an essay competition entitled Why I Hunt?
The first prize is a $12,700 hunting trip to the Sportsman’s Lodge in Alaska. Additional prizes totaling $3,000 will also be awarded.
“It appears to me that the Sierra Club should have better projects to spend $15,700 on than sending some nimrod to Alaska to shoot wildlife,” said Watson. “Last year they turned down my request for a $5,000 grant to assist the rangers in the Galapagos National Park deal with poachers."
Watson last year protested the posting of pictures of Sierra Club leaders posing with their trophy kills on the Sierra Club website. Each year, he says, the environmental organization is spending over $200,000 on hunter outreach programs despite the fact that fewer than 20 percent of the Sierra Club membership are hunters. Link: http://www.sierraclub.org/huntingfishing/whoweare.asp
Watson, who has been a Sierra Club member since 1968, thinks the club is forgetting its role as a conservation organization. “This is John Muir’s Sierra Club,” he said, “It is not supposed to be the Sahara Club. You can’t love nature with a gun.”
Watson will not attend his final Board meeting in San Francisco on May 17-20. “I have no intention of attending a meeting of a hunting club,” said Watson. ”I wonder how many of the Sierra Club’s 750,000 members know and approve of killing animals with their contributions?”
Watson is also the founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which wages worldwide campaigns against the slaughter of marine mammals and misuse of marine resources.
The Sierra Club policy on hunting as adopted by the Sierra Club Board of Directors in 1994 states, "Acceptable management approaches include both regulated periodic hunting and fishing when based on sufficient scientifically valid biological data and when consistent with all other management purposes and when necessary total protection of particular species or populations."
"Because national parks are set aside for the preservation of natural landscapes and wildlife, the Sierra Club is opposed to sport hunting in national parks."

Even Though Chinese Eat Less Civets due to SARS, they Still Continue to Eat Nearly Every Other Wild Species

It’s amazing to see how little these people care for any species. Sure, there is a drop in the numbers of civets eaten, but they still selfishly torture and then eat nearly every other species.

For pictures of the unbelievable cruelty that exists in China in relation to how they torture and then eat other animals visit:
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/03/
crash-course-in-unbelievable-cruelty.html

“The wild animal species found in Chinese markets during the survey included pangolin, ostrich, cape barn owl, sika deer, Asian giant soft shell turtle, elongated tortoise, Siamese crocodile, king cobra and the Chinese giant salamander — but no civets, the groups said.”

Article:

Chinese Diners Lay Off the Exotic Animals

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060418/

ap_on_re_as/china_eating_wildlife_2

By ALEXA OLESEN, Associated Press WriterTue Apr 18, 9:13 AM ET

Normally adventurous Chinese diners are eating fewer owls, civets and other wildlife due to fears of SARS and bird flu, according to a survey released Tuesday by U.S. and Chinese conservation groups.

The survey of 24,000 people in 16 cities found that nearly 72 percent had not eaten wild animals in the past year, up from 51 percent in a similar 1999 survey, said San Francisco-based WildAid and the official China Wildlife Conservation Association.

"Although not everybody believed that civets were to blame for SARS, the market still has been shrinking. Fewer and fewer people consume civets," Yin Feng, a researcher for the Chinese group, said at a news conference.

Wild animals have long been delicacies in China, where they are served at banquets to show off the host's wealth. Rare species also are used in traditional medicine, which prescribes deer horn, snake blood and other products for a wide range of ailments.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome, which first emerged in China's south in late 2002, was believed to have jumped to humans from civets, an animal sometimes served in restaurants.

China also has suffered dozens of outbreaks of bird flu, which experts say might originate in migrating ducks and other wild birds.

Some 81.9 percent of people surveyed said they knew that SARS came from wild animals, according to WildAid and the China wildlife association.

Of those, 50.4 percent stopped eating wild animals because of the link and 37.2 percent had decided to eat less.

The groups said their survey was conducted in random face-to-face interviews and inspections of restaurants, stores and markets in December and January.

In addition, fewer restaurants are serving wild animals, the groups said. Of 472 restaurants surveyed, 43.2 percent served wild animals — a drop of 6.6 percent from 1999.

But despite the attitude shift, the survey found that 22.8 percent more grocery stores and 17.7 percent more wholesale markets were selling wild animal products than in 1999.

Zhao Shengli, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese wildlife group, said the increase was due to a large and stable supply of legally farmed wild animals. Zhao said his group welcomed the increase in captive breeding because it would reduce poaching.

The wild animal species found in Chinese markets during the survey included pangolin, ostrich, cape barn owl, sika deer, Asian giant soft shell turtle, elongated tortoise, Siamese crocodile, king cobra and the Chinese giant salamander — but no civets, the groups said.

About 32 percent of those surveyed said they ate wild animals for health and nutrition, 31 percent cited curiosity and 27 percent mentioned the taste. About 9 percent said they ate wild animals because it enhanced their social status.

The groups called on the Chinese government to strengthen its enforcement of the bans on hunting and sale of wildlife.

"The level at which we are consuming wildlife species is not sustainable and unless we can tame and limit our consumption, much greater damage will be done," WildAid president Steve Trent said.

When Other Animals Suffer, So Do We: Washington Post Editorial

Article:

When Animals Suffer, So Do We

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2006/04/11/AR2006041101511.html

By Kelly Overton
Wednesday, April 12, 2006; A17

Do the animal rights nuts know something we don't?

As we observe the growing number of avian flu cases worldwide, bide time until the eventual large-scale outbreak of mad cow disease in the United States and hope what the world experienced in 2004 wasn't just a dress rehearsal for SARS, the time has come to reconsider humanity's treatment of nonhuman animals -- if only for the repercussions to our own health.

In past decades we have removed animals from pastures, sunshine and fresh air to stack them on top of each other in petri-dish-like buildings. As wild animals lose more and more of their habitats, they are forced to live on the perimeters of cities and towns and in a proximity to humans that increasingly appears to be detrimental not only to their health but also to ours.

Our health is being put at risk by our demand for low food prices. In the past decade consumers have chosen low prices over quality in the products and services we purchase -- but animals aren't products that can be endlessly manipulated for lower food costs. As a society it is time to ask ourselves if we are willing to trade our health and the health of our land, air and water in return for cheap milk, eggs and meat.

Because factory farms are legally recognized as farms -- not the industrial sites they are -- they are exempt from many of our most important environmental laws. The communities surrounding most factory farms have become wastelands from the constant flow of toxic emissions and waste polluting the air, ground and water. Inside the farms, safety and human health also take a back seat to profit. Animals too sick or diseased to stand are dragged or bulldozed to slaughter and into our food supply. Mad cow disease was born of such recklessness and greed -- a desire by corporations to minimize financial losses by using the remains of diseased animals to feed the animals that enter our food supply.

Animals raised on a diet high in antibiotics ensure human consumption of antibiotics, decreasing their effectiveness when we need them to fight infection. The presence of antibiotics in our food and water also encourages the emergence of drug-resistant illnesses. In fact, an increasing number of public health issues are linked to our mistreatment of nonhuman animals -- including the growing human resistance to antibiotics and the many health consequences of global warming.

Meanwhile, the change from a nation whose food was once supplied by thousands of small to medium-size farms spread across the country to a nation now dependent on just a few factory farms in specific areas is inviting disaster. This new concentration of meat and food production in specific geographic corridors allows for one incident of accidental contamination, sabotage or terrorist activity to cripple our food supply.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD, the human version of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), can lie dormant for up to 40 years. Once discovered it is too late -- the disease has proved fatal in every human case to date. The repercussions to human health from factory farming and habitat destruction may not be known for decades, or they may immediately fly into our daily lives via an avian flu pandemic.

It is ironic that animal-borne diseases may very well achieve what human activism has failed to do -- guarantee nonhuman animals more humane lives by making animal welfare synonymous with human welfare. Regardless of how our society arrives at the conclusion, it is time to end one of the most inhumane and shameful chapters in our nation's history.

We humans remain only one species in what has always been a global ecosystem -- an interlinked web of life where the health of one species depends on the health of others. Whether through reckless factory farming, the pollution of waters and the poisoning of the species within them, or the continued rampant destruction of forests and nonhuman habitat, our blatant mistreatment of other species for the benefit of our own is not inviting disaster, it's guaranteeing it. It is time to end the treatment of God's living creatures as products and to begin treating all life forms with respect and reverence before the health repercussions to the human species are irreparable.

The writer is executive director of People Protecting Animals and Their Habitats.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Pro-Hunting Japanese Seize Control Of Whaling Commission: Japan Poised To Seize Control Of Whale Hunting: Disaster For The Endangered Mammal

The Great Betrayal

And now for the hellish story of the day. Japan has for years totally ignored the commercial ban implanted in 1986. Literally, they don’t care, love to kill whales and love to torture them as well. And, as you’ll see, no country has stepped up to challenge them. Why? Well, what else? - Money! Here are a few facts from the article below. When this occurs, this will truly be an unfortunate display of the bad side of human behavior and politics.

Anyone who denies the existence of whaling just needs to take a moment to view the slide show pictures at the following link - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10775007/. It’s very disturbing to see how whaling is done. Totally unnecessary too. Barbaric. Truly barbaric.

Ineffective ban:

* Commercial whaling has been banned since 1986 except for "scientific" purposes.

* Norway resumed commercial whale hunting in 1993, and Iceland followed in 2003.

* Despite widespread international opposition, Tokyo plans to kill 1,070 minke whales this year, 400 more than in 2005 and double the number it hunted a decade ago.

* More than 2,000 whales are likely to be hunted by Japan, Norway and Iceland this year in defiance of world opinion.

* Japan's fleet is legally allowed to hunt about 1,000 whales a year for "research purposes" and since the 1986 ban it has killed more than 5,000 minke whales.

* Despite the pretence of killing the animals for research, most of the meat is sold commercially.

Article:

The great betrayal: Pro-hunting Japanese seize control of whaling commission
Through a lengthy, covert operation, Japan is poised to seize control of whale hunting - and that spells disaster for the endangered mammal

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article358190.ece


Published: 17 April 2006

The environmental movement is facing one of its biggest-ever reverses, over one of its most cherished causes: Save The Whale.

In a remarkable diplomatic coup, Japan, the leading pro-whaling nation, is poised to seize control of whaling's regulatory body, the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and so hasten the return of commercial whale hunting, which has been officially banned worldwide for the past 20 years.

While the world has been looking the other way, the Japanese have spent nearly a decade and many millions of dollars building up a voting majority in the IWC, by buying the votes of small member states with substantial foreign aid packages.

Their aim is to reverse the moratorium on commercial whaling brought in by the IWC in 1986 as a result of the long Save The Whale campaign by Greenpeace and other environmental pressure groups.

This has always been seen as of one of the environment movement's greatest success stories.

But anyone who opposes killing the great whales, or who thought that the main battle against the harpooners had been won, is in for a nasty surprise when at the IWC meeting in the West Indies, two months from now, this new majority is likely to become clear, and to be exercised for the first time. It will be a huge propaganda victory for the Japanese and the other nations determined to continue whale hunting, principally Norway and Iceland.

The simple majority (51 per cent- plus) of votes the Japanese and their allies are virtually certain to command at the June meeting in St Kitts and Nevis will not enable them to scrap the moratorium outright - that needs a voting majority of 75 per cent.

But it will enable them to reshape the IWC comprehensively in a much more pro-whaling fashion - by stopping all its conservation work, stopping all discussions of animal welfare in relation to whaling, and promoting the trade in whale products.

It will also allow them to get resolutions passed approving Japan's so-called "scientific" whaling - the commercial whaling in disguise the Japanese have continued since the ban. (This year they are hunting nearly 1,000 minke whales in the Southern Ocean). Although their pretence of killing the animals for research fools no one - the meat is sold commercially - the Japanese are anxious for it to be given international legitimacy, in the face of continuing worldwide criticism.

But perhaps most significantly of all, the majority vote will enable the introduction of secret ballots in the IWC - where voting is at present open. This will mean that Japan's vote-buying can no longer be tracked, and will open the way for more countries to join the Japanese in their quest to have the moratorium ultimately overturned.

"Japan achieving a majority in the IWC is going to be an environmental disaster, yet the world seems unaware that it is about to happen," said Vassili Papstavrou, from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, who has carefully followed the Japanese build-up of supporting countries. "Countries that oppose whaling have done almost nothing to stop it."

Although the Japanese have always defiantly refused to accept the international whaling ban, despite world opinion, it was not until about 1998 that they set out on a deliberate course to take control of the institution which brought it in.

They did so by a form of entryism - encouraging small, poor countries to join the IWC, most of which had no previous whaling tradition at all, and some of which - such as Mali and Mongolia - did not even have a coastline. In return, the new IWC members were given multimillion-dollar aid packages.

The Japanese have targeted two groups of nations in particular - states in west and north Africa, and small states, often islands, in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Largely as a result of this, the IWC, which had 40 members in 2000, now has 66.

It is likely that the full total of supporting states Japan has brought into the IWC since 1998 is 19; they can all be shown to be clients of Japan by the consistency of their IWC voting records. They can also be shown to be in receipt of substantial Japanese largesse.

For example, the Republic of Guinea, which joined the IWC in 2000, in 2002 received $6.55m in Japanese aid for construction of a fish market in Conakry, the capital.

For small, often desperately poor nations, these are sizeable and very tempting sums.

The end result has been a dramatic shift in the IWC voting balance. Ten years ago, when there were 35 active member states, the pattern was 11 or 12 voting with Japan and 22 or 23 opposed.

But by last year's IWC meeting at Ulsan in South Korea, the Japanese had, on paper, a voting majority of 33-30 of the 66 IWC members (three anti-whaling member states, Peru, Kenya and Costa Rica, being unable to vote because they are behind with their subscriptions).

Yet four Japanese client states - Belize, Mali, Togo and the Gambia - failed to turn up for the meeting, and so the Japanese were voted down, much to their anger.

Japan's leading representative at the meeting, Akira Nakamae, said at the time: "Our side's supporters are about to reach a majority soon.

"Some of you are so glad that some poor countries could not attend this meeting.

"However, next year they will all participate, and the reversal of history, the turning point, is soon to come."

An ineffective ban

* Commercial whaling has been banned since 1986 except for "scientific" purposes.

* Norway resumed commercial whale hunting in 1993, and Iceland followed in 2003.

* Despite widespread international opposition, Tokyo plans to kill 1,070 minke whales this year, 400 more than in 2005 and double the number it hunted a decade ago.

* More than 2,000 whales are likely to be hunted by Japan, Norway and Iceland this year in defiance of world opinion.

* Japan's fleet is legally allowed to hunt about 1,000 whales a year for "research purposes" and since the 1986 ban it has killed more than 5,000 minke whales.

* Despite the pretence of killing the animals for research, most of the meat is sold commercially.

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