Quarterly Quarterly - Animal Welfare Institute

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Quarterly Quarterly - Animal Welfare Institute

AWIQuarterlyWinter 2002 Volume 51 Number 1


Whistlestop Tour Unites Soldiers in the FightAgainst Animal FactoriesPart of the ducks’ sensitive upper billsare cut off, as shown above at GrimaudFarms, causing excruciating life-longsuffering.Community buildings across theMidwest filled with farmersand concerned citizens in earlyDecember when Friends of RuralAmerica and Illinois Stewardship Allianceorganized a whistlestop tourthrough Iowa and Illinois for WaterkeeperAlliance Senior Attorney NicoletteHahn and Southeast RepresentativeRick Dove. AWI’s Farm AnimalAdvisor, Diane Halverson, organized aMinnesota whistlestop for WaterkeeperAlliance Founder and President RobertF. Kennedy, Jr.The tour galvanized various groupsto fight corporate hog factories andled to massive press attention, includingthe Omaha World Herald and DesMoines Register. The St. Paul PioneerPress proclaimed “Factory farms facethreat of legal action;” while in Northfield,Minnesota, the Northfield News’headline read: “Kennedy: ‘Day of reckoningcoming.’” In Red Wing, Minnesota,the Red Wing Republican Eagleproclaimed “Kennedy warns audienceof factory farms.” The goal of the tourwas to warn people living in regionsburdened by animal factories abouttheir dangers, identify citizens inneed of legal support in their fightagainst factories, and provide detailsof Waterkeeper’s legal actions againstSmithfield Foods, Inc., the world’slargest hog raiser and processor.Waterkeeper Alliance has filedmultiple legal actions againstSmithfield under the federal RacketeerInfluenced and Corrupt OrganizationsAct (RICO), the federal Clean WaterAct, the federal Resource Conservationand Recovery Act (the federal solid andhazardous waste law), and North Carolinastate law. RICO is a powerful toolto rein in outlaw industries. One of thethemes of the RICO complaint is thatSmithfield’s operation is funded by itsillegal pollution-based profits. In violatingenvironmental laws, which is anintended part of its business strategy, itis unlawfully shifting the costof handling its pollution to theAmerican public.The tour culminated withMr. Kennedy’s stirring speechto an overflow crowd, includinga dozen state legislators, attorneysfrom Minnesota’s Officeof Attorney General, familyfarmers, public interest activists,and interested citizensfrom seven states, at St. OlafCollege in Northfield, Minnesotaon December 7. Precedingthe meeting, AWI organized apress conference that includedWaterkeeper Alliance, AWI andenvironmental, public health,and family farm activists, anda reception for Minnesota citizenswho suffer from living inDoug McCrae/Faribault Daily Newsthe shadow of animal factory pollution,stench and cruelty and who have organizedto fight industrial farming.Following are excerpts from Mr.Kennedy’s presentation:“Instead of raising hogs on farmsthey shoehorn thousands of animalsinto a building where they live inunspeakable misery in tiny confinementcrates. They live without strawbedding, without rooting opportunities,without sunshine, without the socialinteractions that are critical to the happinessof these animals.“What polluters do is make themselvesrich by making other peoplepoor. They raise standards of living forthemselves by lowering quality of lifefor everybody else. And they do thatby escaping the discipline of the freemarket, by forcing the public to paypart of their costs of production.“I want to make one last pointand it’s probably the most importantpoint, but I think it takes a higher levelof understanding: the most importantissue that we’re dealing with here isnot the environmental democracy issuebut the issue of how we treat theseanimals…at some level, we begin treatingthese sentient beings with suchunspeakable cruelty that it has to comeback and hurt us and it’s going todestroy our humanity.“I’m going to close with a proverbfrom the Lakota people, appropriatedto some extent by the environmentalmovement, where they said ‘We do notinherit the earth from our ancestors,we borrow it from our children.’ If wedon’t return to them something roughlyequivalent to what we received, theyhave a right to ask us some very difficultquestions….Thank you for joiningus in this fistfight. As long as wedon’t give up, we can never lose.”Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks about the cruelty and environmental dangersof factory farming at St. Olaf College, Northfield,Minnesota.Ducks—Yet Another AnimalFactory VictimViva! USAAs the old adage puts it, ducksare not adapted to existwithout access to water, but thatis exactly what 24 million ducks beingraised in deplorably inhumane conditionson duck factories throughout theUS are being forced to do each year.The most common ducks in thesefactories descend from the largelyaquatic Mallard. They can never fly orswim and live in filthy sheds crammedtogether with hundreds of other ducks.They are denied access to sufficientwater for bathing and preening, whichis essential to their health. Such deprivationoften results in serious eye problemsand eventual blindness. They canbarely walk because of bone deformitiescaused by slatted or wire mesh floors.One of the cruelest practices is billtrimming or “debilling,” which destroysthe ducks’ ability to fulfill their naturalinstincts to preen and forage for food.The very sensitive top portion of thebill is burned off with a stationary bladeor cut off with a knife or scissorswithout anesthesia, in an attempt toprevent pecking and cannibalizing ofother ducks in the overcrowded shed.According to Sarah Stai, a Muscovyduck expert from the University ofMiami, this practice does not necessarilyaddress confrontation among Muscovyducks, which are known to fightwith their feet and wings.According to lauren Ornelas ofViva!USA, the organization responsiblefor exposing the cruelty perpetrated onducks, the largest supplier of factoryraised ducks in the US is Maple LeafFarms headquartered in Indiana, whichproduces about 15 million ducks a year.Grimaud Farms, located in Californiaand is a major producer of Muscovyfactory-raised ducks, processes asmany as 8,000 ducks a week. Muscovyducks are the only modern domesticduck not descended from the Mallard.Their wild counterparts are strongflying birds that inhabit wetlands nearwooded areas, using trees for roostingand nesting. Despite misrepresentationsby duck factory operators, theMuscovy duck is indeed a species ofwaterfowl and does require full bodyaccess to water.Grimaud contacted the Universityof California at Davis to evaluate itsduck husbandry practices. A summaryof the study released by Ralph Ernst,Extension Poultry Specialist at theUC Davis, confirmed that Grimaud isindeed an industrial duck factory. Thereport justifies Grimaud’s practice ofbill trimming and confinement as a“carefully planned program for duckhusbandry that considers the welfare ofthe ducks under their care.” Mr. Ernst’swritings clearly demonstrate his supportand promotion of the cruel methodsemployed by those in the intensiveanimal factory industry.Based on the initial review andfindings at Grimaud, Mr. Ernst is developinga set of guidelines for raisingducks. AWI received a draft copy ofthe UC Davis study from Grimaud forreview and comments after requestingto discuss the issue. Following consultationswith avian veterinarians fromthe Association of Veterinarians forAnimal Rights and the Muscovy duckexpert at the University of Miami, AWIdetermined that the study, if enacted aswritten, is far from humane.If you shop in any of the followingstores please urge them to stop sellingducks raised in cruel and inhumaneduck factories such as Maple Leafand Grimaud Farms: Wal-Mart Super-Center, Kroger’s, Albertson’s, Safeway,Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods/Fresh Fields.Grimaud—Full ofFoie GrasGrimaud is not only the leadingsupplier of Muscovy ducks inthe US, it also provides ducklingsto Sonoma Valley Foie Gras, oneof only two foie gras producers inthe US—the other being HudsonValley Foie Gras. However, thisrelationship does not end with theducklings. Grimaud then marketsthe final Sonoma Valley Foie Grasproduct. Even though Grimaudclaims not to be involved in theinhumane process of force-feedingthe ducks, they do handle almostevery other aspect of this cruelbusiness.6 AWI QuarterlyWinter 2002 7


By Meitamei Ole DapashCoexisting in KenyaThe Human–Elephant ConflictWe, the Maasai have never failed in our moral duty as guardiansof wildlife. However, those with myopic understandingof our way of life and its interconnectedness with nature haveconsistently failed both the people and wildlife of Amboseli.–Lengete Ole Manti, Amboseli residentserve their migratory routes. Amboseli is dotted with oases(created by the melting snow of Mt. Kilimanjaro) and perennialswamp grass species. These permanent sources of waterand green vegetation attracted more wildlife and Maasailivestock into the park during the recent drought period thanany other time in the history of Amboseli. Consequently,human-elephant conflicts erupted leading to the spearing ofeight elephants—six of whom died from their wounds, whilean orphaned baby was reported to have died of starvation.Reports from Maasai indicate that within the same timeframe,two Maasai (including a mother of a three week oldinfant) and at least 42 livestock had been attacked and killedby elephants.The Maasai Environmental Resource Coalition(MERC), with support from the Animal Welfare Institute, setout to create a dialogue to discuss human-elephant conflictand related conservation issues in Amboseli and find longtermsolutions to the conflicts. On June 30, 2001 the firstmeeting took place under a huge acacia tree at Meshenaniarea in the Olgului/Ololarrashie group ranch, the largest,most important communal land that almost engulfs theAmboseli National Park. More than 60 people, representingtwelve villages within the vicinity of Amboseli NationalPark, attended the meeting.Moving testimonies were heard about the peaceful coexistenceof Maasai and wildlife in the delicate balanceAbove: The Amboseli Maasai-elephant Dialogue is convenedunder a tree by the roadside to tap the inputs of passersby,who may not be residents of that location. The forum has nochairperson, master of ceremonies, or any form of authorityfigurehead.The Maasai people name their clans after animals suchas lions, elephants, or rhinos to demonstrate the importanceof wildlife prosperity in Kenya and Tanzania tothe Maasai culture. Each clan advocates for the protectionof its particular species, which becomes the clan’s totem andsymbol of prestige. Wildlife conservation in Maasailand owesits success to the Maasai traditions that prohibit the killingof wildlife or destruction of forests or any part of the naturalecosystem for commercial or any other form of consumptiveuse. This is why, even today, wildlife thrives in Maasailand,unlike many other areas where animals have been eliminatedeither for food or to create land for commercial agriculture.Kenya’s prolonged droughts in 1999 and 2000, the worstin 25 years, led to widespread competition for water throughoutEast Africa. Many rivers, swamps, and dams dried up,and the few water sources that survived the droughts immediatelybecame hot spots for human-wildlife conflict. Thisnatural catastrophe caused starvation among wildlife, livestock,and even people in some parts of Kenya.Amboseli National Park was the most affected protectedarea in the country. “Empusel” (Amboseli) is a Maasai wordfor “dry land” and is located on the northern foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro,the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. Amboseliwas established mainly to protect Kenya’s elephants and preofthe ecosystems within which they live. Participantsexpressed serious concerns over growing threats to the survivalof Maasai people, elephants, and their shared habitat inAmboseli and across Maasailand. “These threats,” they said,“come from commercial agricultural expansion; sidelining ofthe Maasai from mainstream nature conservation; insensitivetourism practices; and continued loss of Maasai traditionallands to other modern economic enterprises. The ongoingdestruction of forests, commercial hunting, and loss of wildlifemigratory routes and breeding grounds must be stoppednow if the future of wildlife in Kenya and Tanzania is to beguaranteed. Moreover, as we lose land and culture, elephantsand other wildlife lose habitat.”Intensifying competition for limited water resources wasthe single most important factor responsible for human-wildlifeconflicts in Amboseli. According to the participants,approximately 80% of the permanent sources of water arelocated in the center of the park. Additionally, women andchildren have to endure a 10-15 kilometer daily trudge acrossthe dry, open Amboseli basin into the middle of the park tofetch water for domestic use. This increased human presencein the park, coupled with human-elephant-livestock convergenceat the watering points, creates tremendous tensionresulting in occasional deadly conflicts.Maasai communities often are forced to take the law intotheir own hands by killing rogue elephants when they believethat no help is coming from the park’s office. An act ofthis nature often escalates friction between wildlife authoritiesand the communities. According to one elder, “elephantshardly ever attacked people unless provoked, thirstyor instinctively reacting to an experience of past attack.”Although men would sometimes successfully scare awayelephants from watering points, elephants in most cases prevailby maintaining their ground and forcing people andlivestock to go thirsty. Many participants pointed out thatwater scarcity outside the park for communities and continuedhabitat loss to encroaching agricultural communitieswere some of the serious problems undermining Maasai’scenturies’ old peaceful coexistence with elephants.Conflict is also exacerbated by the Maasai’s dissatisfactionabout the current level of wildlife-derived benefits beingextended to the local communities. Currently, Kenya WildlifeService (KWS) distributes approximately US$10,000 amongthe seven group ranches adjoining Amboseli National Park.The forum heard that the amount was not only meager; it waserratically given, in spite of the fact that Amboseli generatesmore tourists’ dollars for KWS than any other park in thecountry. Moreover, lodges in Amboseli employ more than1,500 people of which Amboseli residents constitute fewerthan 100 people, put in the most undignified, poorly paidpositions. Amboseli residents feel cheated and are increasinglybecoming resentful of tourism and conservation programsalike.The dialogue revealed that there is also pressure fromwildlife consumptive use proponents to persuade and manipulateMaasai into urging the government to allow commercialhunting for trophies, particularly in communal lands,as a way of enhancing wildlife-derived benefits. Becauseof the problems mentioned earlier on, and the feeling thatthe colonial government stole Amboseli to create a wildlifepreserve without consultations, the Maasai are very vulnerableto these ideas.KWS already has expressed unequivocal interest inworking with MERC and Amboseli communities to addresshuman-elephant conflicts and a number of specific actionsresulted from this valuable dialog. MERC will encourageKWS to include local communities’ participation in the developmentand implementation of conservation programs intheir localities. KWS will review the existing revenue-sharingpolicy with the view of increasing the community’s share,while job training and placement opportunities in the tourismindustry will be extended to the local communities. TheMaasai have proposed the establishment of a code of conductand ethics for the tourism industry to safeguard environmentalintegrity and the culture of the Maasai people. Finally,MERC is proposing the establishment of a problem animalcontrol unit in Amboseli to respond to reports of animalattacks. This unit will be responsible for rapid response in situationswhere people or livestock have been attacked by ele-(Continued on page 12)Well dug by hand by the Maasai. Maintaining waterwells outside Amboseli National Park in Kenya wouldreduce human competition withelephants for water inside the park.photos courtesy of MERC10 AWI Quarterly Winter 2002 11


(Continued from page 11)phants, lions, or buffaloes. It will alsodiscourage people from taking action ontheir own to address the problem.MERC continues to promote andsustain the peaceful coexistence necessaryfor the safety of both humanand elephant populations in Amboseli.We need to keep focused on: handlingAn Elephantine Question:How Many Elephant Species are There?Arguably the biggest conservationdebate concerning elephants inthe last decade has been overthe international ban on trade in elephantivory. But a new debate maybe arising over how many African elephantspecies actually exist.It has long been assumed thatthere are two elephant species: theAsian elephant (Elephas Maximus) andthe African elephant (Loxodonta Africana).However, in a Report in Sciencemagazine (Vol. 293, 24 August 2001)researchers studying DNA sequencesfrom nearly 200 African elephantsfound genetic distinctions that theyargue warrant separation of Africanelephants into two distinct species:those inhabiting the savannah (Loxodontaafricana) and the smaller elelocalcommunities’ complaints andliaising with the wildlife authoritiesfor quick resolution; initiating waterprojects outside the park to minimizehuman-elephant contacts inside thepark; and initiating community-basedecotourism programs in the Amboseliarea. With the active involvement ofMERC and the Maasai people, wildlifeIt is possible for the elephants of Amboseli and the Maasai people to coexistpeacefully as they have for centuries. But will elephants live free from the ivoryseekingpoachers’ bullets?MERCphants in Africa’s tropical forests (Loxodontacyclotis). According to theReport, the two African elephant speciesbegan to diverge genetically overtwo and a half million years ago.Asian elephants and most Africancountries’ elephants (except Botswana,Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe)are already listed on Appendix I of theConvention on International Trade inEndangered Species of Wild Faunaand Flora (CITES), thus prohibitinginternational commercial trade in theirparts and products. Recognizing twodistinct African elephant species mayhave interesting conservation implicationsand political repercussions underCITES. Taken together, the African elephantpopulation may appear relativelystrong. But separated into two distinctin Maasailand will be protected forgenerations to come.For more information or to helpthe work of the Maasai EnvironmentalResource Coalition, contact MeitameiOle Dapash at 2020 PennsylvaniaAve., NW, Suite 136, Washington,DC 20006, (202) 785-8787,mercmaasai@aol.comgenetic populations, there would onlybe an estimated 400,000 savannahelephants and roughly 150,000 forestelephants.There is the possibility that somewill argue that the forest elephant,taken as its own species, is not yetprotected at all. Elephant poachers andivory traders engage in myriad machinationsto engage in their deadlytrade. Recent evidence suggests thatthe relaxation of the worldwide banon ivory in 1997 was misperceived assending a message that the ivory tradeis soon to be reopened unfettered. Inthe past few months, ivory seizureshave been made across the globe.Reports reveal in September 2001, 20tusks were impounded in Zurich, Switzerland;in November 2001, 30 tuskswere seized at Bangkok’s airport; thatsame month, 230 tusks were confiscatedin Egypt; the biggest recent bustcame in Tanzania where 1,255 tuskswere found in two homes. Ivory traderscontinue to take advantage of understaffedand underfunded anti-poachingand wildlife law enforcement units.All elephant species undoubtedlywarrant and need complete protectionunder international conservation Treatiesand domestic legislation around theworld. Recognizing the forest elephantas a separate, fully protected speciesmay also call greater global attentionto the deforestation rampaging Africaby greedy logging companies. Perhapsheightened conservation measures willbe taken to protect the forests in whichthe endangered forest elephant clingsto existence.The great elephant debate just gota little more intriguing; we hope themighty elephants will get additionalprotection as a result.“Raffi” was rescued (and photographed)by the Born Free Foundation from acage atop a bar in the Canary Islands.He now lives happily on 5 acres at theShamwari Private Game reserve inSouth Africa.If you want to be in thekilling club then you’vegot to kill a lion. SafariClub International, an organizationdedicated to promotingthe killing of wildanimals for sport, has thelion listed on a number of itshunting awards. The lion isone of the “Dangerous Gameof Africa,” the “African 29,”the “Cats of the World,”and the grand slam “AfricaBig Five” (lion, leopard, elephant,rhino, and buffalo). SafariClub International’s magazine isreplete with stories about lionhunts in which hunters hang baitfrom tree limbs in what one authorcalled “the perfect setup” for an easyambush and kill. Another author ratesthe lion as the most dangerous of theAfrica Big Five and “perhaps the mostdifficult of all Africa’s great prizes.” Hecontends, “Most parks in Africa holdgood numbers of lions, so there need beno concern over the species’ survival.”In reality, the future looks bleakfor the African lion (Panthera Leo)of west and central Africa, based onthe results of a workshop held in Cameroonin June 2001. The recently publishedproceedings from the meetinghighlight the pressures placed on thesefragmented lion populations and theneed to protect them immediately. Oneparticipant at the meeting noted that thepopulation estimates of between 1,500and 2,000 lions “in the entire West Afri-Following a lengthy investigation by theUS Fish and Wildlife Service, a seriesof indictments have been issued againstindividuals in Michigan, Arkansas, Oklahoma,and Missouri for trafficking in protectedtigers and leopards. A couple of theindividuals involved are licensed as exhibitorsunder the Animal Welfare Act. Apparently,those charged were buying and killingtigers, leopards, snow leopards, lions,mountain lions, cougars, mixed breed cats,and black bears with the intention of introducingtheir meat and skins into the lucrativeanimal parts trade.At this point only one individual hasbeen sentenced. Woody Thompson, Jr.,owner of the Willow Lake Sportsman’sClub in Three Rivers, Michigan, pledLions on the Brink?can region was considered as a shock.”The “information exchange” on“Status and Needs for Conservationof Lions in West and Central Africa”reveals that in west and central Africa,lions in countries such as Senegal, Mali,Benin, Sierra Leone, and Cameroonare threatened by poachers, loss ofhabitat (especially for conversion ofland to agriculture and forest cuttingfor timber), slaughter for the use oftheir parts in traditional medicines, andtrophy hunting.The situation seems dire in someparts of southern Africa as well.Researchers Chris and Tilde Stewart inZambia claim that in the northeasternpart of the country, “numbers are criticallylow and they probably haveno future here.” Little population dataapparently exists for the rest of thecountry. In Botswana, the Director ofWildlife placed an immediate ban on allhunting of lions in February 2001, asa precautionary measure to prevent furtherdecline of lions there. The temporaryban was praised by conservationistsbut assailed by trophy hunters.Will Travers of the Born FreeFoundation has stressed the need torespond to the findings of the Cameroonworkshop as a matter of urgency.“This latest lion news must serve asa wake up call to all conservationists.Unless we take concerted action toreduce poaching, prevent further habitatloss, stop trade in lion parts and eliminatetrophy hunting this serious situationwill soon become a crisis.”Nine Charged with Illegal Trade in Exotic Cats:Tigers, Leopards, and Other Big Cats Appear to Have Been Killed for Trophiesguilty to brokering the interstate sale ofthree tiger skins. He was sentenced tosix months of home detention, two yearsprobation, a $2,000 fine, and he wasordered to pay $28,000 to the NationalFish and Wildlife Foundation’s “Save theTiger Fund.”More indictments are expectedsoon.12 AWI Quarterly Winter 2002 13


2002—The International Year of EcotourismWe should all be lucky enoughto experience the exhilarationof driving across the MaasaiMara land in Kenya and seeing a cheetahon the hunt; the surprise of seeingminke whales surface around a boaton a brisk afternoon whale-watchingadventure off the coast of Maine; thehaunting sounds of the morning callsof endangered lemurs in Madagascar(the indri) from high in the rainforest’streetops; the awesome magnitude ofVictoria Falls, dividing Zimbabweand Zambia, and whitewater raftingdown the Zambezi river; or watchingvibrantly colored toucans eatingbananas from a nearby tree while drinkingyour morning coffee in Costa Rica.“Ecotourism”—adventurous trav-Bequests to AWIels based on the splendors of the naturalworld, including wildlife and wildplaces—is a vital part of the conservationof the environment and the animalspecies living within it. It is also afundamental mechanism to assist localcommunities in their economic developmentby bringing in foreign visitors,and foreign dollars, to these indigenouspeoples. This is why it isso important that the United Nations(UN) declared 2002 the “InternationalYear of Ecotourism.”The UN Resolution making thedeclaration notes “that travel andtourism provide a source of incomefor many people,” and “that traveland tourism contribute to the conservation,protection and restoration ofA toucan eats a morning breakfast of bananas at La Laguna del Lagarto Lodgein northern Costa Rica near the Nicaraguan border.If you would like to help assure the Animal Welfare Institute’s future through a provision in your will,this general form of bequest is suggested:I give, devise and bequeath to the Animal Welfare Institute, located in Washington, D.C., the sum of $_____________ and/or(specifically described property).Donations to AWI, a not-for-profit corporation exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3), are tax deductible.We welcome any inquiries you may have. In cases where you have specific wishes about the disposition of your bequest,we suggest you discuss such provisions with your attorney.Ben Dykes/Born Free Foundationthe Earth’s ecosystem.” After agriculture,tourism is the biggest benefactorto the development of Kenya’s economy.Wildlife-viewing safaris bringabout one million visitors to the countryannually. Whale-watching alone isthought to bring in a total of more thanone billion dollars to the economies of80 countries across the globe.But ecotourism must be responsibletourism. On Cat Ba Island in Vietnam,for instance, the near extinct CatBa, or golden-headed langur, clings tolife (this primate was featured on thecover of the Fall 2001 AWI Quarterly).More than 70,000 tourists visit theisland each year and while tourism supportsthe local economy, it also leadsto difficulties in waste disposal, whichfouls the natural environment, as wellas increased pressures to build intrusiveroads and bridges to accommodate thevisitors. As well, Tilo Nadler of theEndangered Primate Rescue Center inVietnam reports, “The tourist demandfor wild-animal meat increases thehunting pressure inside the nationalpark; the collection of geckoes, snakes,frogs….” Some restaurants in townoffer wild animal meat from macaques,civets, birds, and other animals.Tour operators must tread lightlyon the lands used by wildlife and internationalvisitors. It’s important to berespectful when watching wildlife andnot interfere in their natural way oflife. Heed the motto: “Take only photographs;leave only footprints.”Perhaps 2002 is the year for youto visit Kenya’s elephants, Costa Rica’sblack howler monkeys, or any of theother amazing wild animals and placesaround the globe.These ancient redwoods, some 15 feet in diameter and over 250 feet high, are part of a 142 acre grove of known marbledmurrelet habitat threatened with imminent clearcutting.Robber Baron Ravages the RedwoodsStory and Photo ByBen WhiteThe latest bulletin from behindthe Redwood Curtain in NorthernCalifornia finds CharlesHurwitz’ Pacific Lumber Company(PALCO) petitioning federal and stategovernment agencies to give final permissionto cut the last unprotectedgroves of the biggest trees in the worldand known endangered species’ habitat.The current crisis was set up bythe unfortunate deal struck in 1999among the federal government, thestate of California, and PALCO to savethe Headwaters Grove in HumboldtCounty. In trade for a little more than7,000 acres, about half of it old growth,Hurwitz received a king’s ransom: 380million dollars from the federal government,100 million dollars from California,and more than seven thousandother acres of additional land that hecould plunder.Worst of all, the deal also includedapproved “habitat conservation plans”(HCP’s) on thousands of acres. Theseprogressive-sounding loopholes in theEndangered Species Act allow thegranting of “incidental take permits”to developers and loggers. These makeit legal to destroy endangered species’habitat knowingly as long as other areasare set aside and “mitigations” are conjuredup, only to be routinely ignored.The remaining 3% of the Californiaancient forests are but a speck on the twomillion acres that once spread along thecoast. Endangered Pacific fishers, Humboldtmartins, and spotted owls try tolive here, but the primary indicator speciesis the marbled murrelet. This tinybird spends much of its time in coastalseas, nesting only in thick moss foundin trees more than 150 years old. Themurrelet is an auk, a cousin of the GreatAuk, which was the first bird pushedto extinction in the New World. Withtheir numbers plummeting at an estimated13% per year, it is now the murreletthat is facing that ultimate fate.Under the HCP’s approved withthe Headwater’s deal, murrelet habitatis rated from A to E. An A designatesthe least valuable trees and habitat.An E stand holds the biggest trees,most intact groves, and most preciousmurrelet habitat. The idea was thatPALCO would slowly whittle awaythese groves, starting with the A’s.The whittling has not been slow.In two and a half years PALCO hascut through most of the A through Dstands. Now they have asked for thefinal letters from the US Fish and WildlifeService and the California Departmentof Fish and Game to release theE stands.The E stands comprise about sevenhundred acres of the biggest unprotectedtrees on earth, an irreplaceablepart of America and critical wildlifehabitat: trees 15 feet in diameter, somegroves have no stumps, they have nevereven been thinned.To many, these groves are sacred.Indeed, the first response of a visitoris to be struck dumb, mouth agapegazing up at trees 300 feet high, canopiestouching to form a natural cathedral.The oldest have been holding thesoil and exhaling oxygen for more thantwo thousand years.Using the knowledge I acquiredas a professional arborist before joiningAWI, I am training climbers forthe exceedingly difficult job of ascendingto the heights of these monarchsto obstruct their cutting. If permitted,Hurwitz’ PALCO plans to level all ofthe groves before March 24, 2002, theday that marbled murrelets regularlybegin building their nests and layingtheir eggs.14 AWI Quarterly Winter 2002 15


Polar BearsSuffer in theSuarez BrothersCircusBy Adam M. RobertsAmidst the cold Arctic snow and ice of Alaska, Canada,Greenland, Norway, and Russia massive polar bearstravel hundreds of kilometers in search of food andmates every year. They swim in frigid waters, eat and sleepin the open, and hunt for their food of meat and blubber,notably from seals. Fewer than 30,000 polar bears exist inthe wild today.In the Suarez Brothers Circus of Mexico, miserablepolar bears suffer in confinement and only travel where thecircus takes them—even to the warm-weather Caribbean.They live in oppressive heat, exhibit the stereotypic behaviorof rocking back and forth insanely in their cages, have littleaccess to water or air conditioning, and eat whatever food isgiven to them, including dog chow and lettuce. Seven polarbears languish in these horrid conditions.The circus is currently in Puerto Rico and faces crueltycharges brought by the Puerto Rican Department of NaturalResources—charges the circus has twice tried, and failed, tohave dismissed. A separate suit brought by People for theEthical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of PuertoRico, and private individuals has been filed in a federal courtin Washington, DC to keep the bears in the US. MarianneMerritt, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the federal case,stated: “Allowing these arctic animals to be maintained in atropical climate in such inhumane and deplorable conditionsis an abdication of the government agencies’ legal duties.Maintaining polar bears in Puerto Rico is akin to placing anAfrican elephant on the North Pole.”Diana Weinhardt, Chair of the American ZoologicalAssociation Bear Technical Advisory Group, visited thefacility and observed that some bears flinched when thebears’ trainer approached them with a camera and a four anda half foot “fiberglass stick with a blunted point on the end.”She added, “The actions I thought were an indication thatthey have been hit with this stick possibly on a regular basisas a guide to get a desired behavior.”A Puerto Rican veterinarian and zoologist, Dr. PedroE. Nunez, observed bears “cagedindividually in spaces too smallfor their size as the lengths oftheir bodies were practically reachingfrom one end to the other.” Hegraphically continued, “They didn’thave access to a pool and you couldsee that some bottles of drinkingwater were dirty with tomato, lettuceand carrot. A large quantity ofPETADr. Pedro E. Nunez observed: “One ofthe polar bears had an area of scabsand bald spots in the mouth andface consistent with follicle ursinemange.”bloody diarrhea, with a lot of mucus, wasdraining from one of the cages, accumulatingon the floor, and several flies, attractedby the apparent bad odor of the blood, wereclearly visible.”According to a Marine Mammal Commission(MMC) review of United StatesDepartment of Agriculture (USDA) inspectionreports for the circus and a video ofthe facility, Suarez Brothers is repeatedly outof compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.The polar bears have only occasional accessto pools of water and fully air-conditionedholding areas and are receiving poor veterinarytreatment. In a letter to the actingadministrator of the USDA Animal and PlantHealth Inspection Service, the MMC offersthis synopsis of the polar bears’ conditions:“The animals are constantly swaying andpanting, suggesting that they are distressed.It appears that neither the air conditioningsystem nor the fans were operating. The timeand temperature are recorded as being 10 a.m. and 112.8degrees, respectively. The tape also shows that the bearsare being maintained in filthy conditions and that wasteproducts, when they are being removed from the transportenclosures, are being deposited directly on the ground adjacentto the enclosures.”At least one animal already has died at Suarez Brothers.According to the MMC, “ ‘Yiopa’ died of heart failure dueto dirofilariasis. With proper treatment, this should not havebeen a life-threatening condition. However, that animal wasnot provided veterinary care until he was in an advancedstage of deterioration and was not treated in a timely fashionafter the diagnosis was made.”There is also a looming question about whether thesepolar bears were captive born or taken (illegally) from thewild. Dr. Terry Maple, President and CEO of Zoo Atlanta,notes that the circus’s claim that one of the polar bears wasborn in Atlanta is false. “These documents are not accurate,since the Atlanta-born bear (“Snowball”) died in a Germanzoo in 1994,” Dr. Maple wrote. He noted that the bear musthave had another origin and that the circus’s records musthave been doctored.While the cruelty case is proceeding, at least 55 Representativesand 16 Senators have weighed in to urgethe USDA and the Department of the Interior (DOI) totake appropriate action to ensure the well being of these animals,including confiscating and relocating the polar bears.According to Congressman George Miller (D-CA), “It isPETABears, panting in temperatures over 110°F,are repeatedly whipped and hit in the ear andface with a rod to force them to climb stairsand go down a slide on the other end.disturbing that the two federal agencies responsible for protectingpolar bears would allow arctic animals to be heldin tropical climates.” Several bipartisan measures have beenintroduced in Congress, including an amendment to the contentiousannual “farm bill,” to prohibit the exhibition of polarbears by carnivals, circuses, or traveling shows.There is widespread agreement that it is inhumane andinappropriate for polar bears to be in the Suarez BrothersCircus. Now the Courts, Congress, and the Administrationcan each take appropriate action to ensure the poor bears’long-term well-being.China Still Jails BearsJust months after being awarded the 2008 Olympics,two illegal bear bile factories in China wereuncovered by undercover journalists for China’sCentral Television. Thousands of bears are still keptin cramped cages in China and elsewhere throughoutAsia, regularly milked for their bile, which isused in traditional Chinese medicines and can fetchprices higher than gold or heroin on the black market.Reuters reports, “footage showed bears yelping in painas keepers extracted the bright green liquid….At thesecond factory, the bears have their teeth and clawsremoved so they are not a threat to their handlers.”Dead Grizzlies NotWelcome in the EUAfter a partially successful campaign that sawtrophy hunting of grizzly bears stopped orreduced in many areas of British Columbia (BC),Canada, last year, the Environmental InvestigationAgency (EIA) has announced that the 15 EuropeanUnion (EU) countries have taken the additional step ofbanning the importation of grizzly bear trophies intothe EU from British Columbia.According to EIA, “The EU accounts for up to30% of the 120 BC grizzlies killed on average eachyear by fee-paying foreign hunters. The total huntincluding bears killed by Canadians averaged 300 grizzliesper year during the last decade, from a populationwhich independent biologists [estimate] could be aslow as 4–6,000.”The United Kingdom and Germany called for theban to stop the unsustainable BC hunt. Daniela Freyer,International Campaigner with the German organization,Pro-Wildlife, said, “More BC grizzlies end updecorating houses in Germany than almost any othercountry, so it is fitting that along with the UK it wasGermany leading the call for an import ban.”16 AWI Quarterly Winter 2002 17


Saying Goodbye and a ProfoundThank You to Astrid LindgrenAstrid Lindgren, an authorof original genius whoseappeal was worldwide,has died at 94. She will be mournedby all who seek to protect the billionsof animals in animal factories. Whenshe was awarded the Animal WelfareInstitute’s Albert Schweitzer Medal in1988 Ambassador Wachtmeister said,“In Sweden, she is not only the mostfamous lady, she is the most beloved. Iam sure that if the animals could vote,the majority would be still greater inher favor.”Her books were translated into60 languages, and more than 130 millioncopies were sold. Most famouswere her stories of tales about PippiLongstocking, which she made forher young daughter while nursingher through pneumonia. Then whileAstrid herself was confined to her bedby a badly sprained ankle, she wrotethem down.Astrid led the way in forthrightcorrespondence with the Prime Minister.Her letters were always printedin Stockholm’s biggest newspaper,Expressen—later they were publishedby AWI in English. Astrid tells of herfamily’s herd of cows who grazed happilyon their lush green pasture. WhenAstrid was a small child, Bessie, one ofthe cows, lifted Astrid upon her hornsphotos courtesy of June Hughesand tossed her across the grass towardthe farm house. Far from being frightened,this early experience led Astrid tofiercely defend cows and attack industrialdairy farming, in which cows areconfined to stalls year round rather thanbeing allowed outside to eat the grassin summer.In accepting the Schweitzer MedalAstrid said, “almost 80 years later[after being tossed by Bessie], I wrotean article about cows. About howdreary the life of a cow could be nowadays.A cow didn’t get to graze anymore,her calf was taken from her assoon as it was born, and, worst of all,she could no longer be courted by aninterested bull. The inseminator cameinstead, and that was not the same.“After that article I got a letterfrom a female veterinarian, KristinaForslund. She was—and still is—adocent at the Swedish University ofAgriculture. She described her experiencesas a veterinarian, with fullinsight in our animal husbandry, andit was a harrowing account about indecenttreatment of animals. She succeededin making me so upset thateven now, three years later, I stillhaven’t gotten over it. Kristina askedme to help her in her struggleto bring about better animal husbandry.She thought—optimist thatshe is—that everyonewould listen tome. At any rate wemanaged to rouse amassive public reaction,which finallyresulted in a newanimal protectionlaw in Sweden. ThePrime Minister himselfcame to my home to deliver thegood news. The new law was supposedto be a kind of birthday present forme! Goodness gracious, what a wonderfulpresent! But it turned out notto be that wonderful—not on everypoint—not for all animals. There is agreat deal more that must be changed,before one can lean back and relax!“And that is one of the reasons Iam so happy to receive this medal. Itgives me the guts to continue the struggle!The struggle, yes indeed. Thereare reactionaries back home, you know,they don’t want any changes. It isimpossible, they say. It is too expensivethey say. But let us hope that we oneday can get an animal protection lawas kind and decent as people in othercountries believe that we already have.“For your help and encouragement,I thank you from the bottom ofmy heart.“I am sure that all Swedish cowsand bulls and calves and pigs and sheepand chickens and hens are joining mewhen I say it once more!“Thank you!”Above: Astrid Lindgren looking at her Schweitzer Medal.Left: Swedish children dressed for the Feast of St. Lucia joinAstrid in singing some of the many songs she wrote.Navy Admits to Killing Whales, but LFAS Steams AheadTwo studies released in mid-December provide twin smokingguns linking the killing of whales to the use of activesonar devices by the US Navy. The first was a belated admissionjointly issued by the Navy and the National MarineFisheries Service (NMFS). The agencies admit that the mostplausible source of the “acoustic or impulse trauma” thatcaused a mass stranding of whales and dolphins in theBahamas on March 15–16 of 2001 was the Navy testing ofmid-range frequency sonar used to find submarines.The second study was funded by the Office of NavyResearch and published by Hauser, Howard and Ridgeway inthe Journal of Theoretical Biology. It explores the formation ofbubbles by sound waves in the supersaturated blood of deepdivingmammals. Three elements of the study are critical inour battle to stop the deployment of Low Frequency ActiveSonar (LFAS):After two months at sea, a National Marine FisheriesService (NMFS) research cruise that had been opposedby its own scientists returned to port in San Diego. A NMFSvessel accompanied a contracted Mexican tuna boat to intentionallyharass the dwindling populations of spinner and spotteddolphins to see if the creatures are indeed stressed bybeing chased and netted repeatedly by boats pursuing tuna.Fifteen hundred dolphins were caught in 27 sets of the net.Some were then subjected to having transmitters bloodilybolted through their dorsal fins.The idea was to capture dolphins repeatedly and totake blood with each capture in order to see if the stresshormones known to be present in blood would increasewith each capture. But only five dolphins were caught morethan once. By the time the nets were hung to dry, twodolphins were killed outright and one calf was missing andpresumed dead.Mexican Tuna Super-Seiner Busted with 10.5 Tons of CocaineThe drug-tainted Mexican tuna industry, which has killedtens of thousands of dolphins in defiance of US andEuropean bans on dolphin-deadly tuna, was embarrassedonce again last December when the US Coast Guard captureda giant Mexican super-seiner that was smuggling 10.5tons of cocaine in the eastern Pacific.The 180-foot Macel was boarded off the southwest coastof Mexico on December 21, 2001 after being under surveillancefor several weeks by US Navy and Coast Guardships patrolling the region for gangsters running cocaine andheroin from Colombia to Mexico, which is the major waystationfor narcotics on the way to the US and Europe.A total of 10.5 tons of pure cocaine, with a street valueof $500 million, was found hidden in special compartmentsunder tons of yellow fin tuna. The cocaine, ship, and 19-mancrew were turned over to the Mexican Navy.1) Once a sound source causes the formation of bubblesin the blood (a phenomenon in human divers called thebends) they can continue to grow on their own.2) Bubbles can start growing at relatively low levels ofsound (under 150 decibels—ten million times less than thesource level of LFAS).3) The mechanism that causes the bubbles to grow isindependent of the frequency of the sound (giving the lie to theNavy argument that even though the Bahamas stranding wasmost likely caused by the mid-frequency sound they generated,that the low frequency LFAS is totally different and benign).We are still awaiting a decision by NMFS on whetherit is going to ignore all evidence and grant a “small takeauthorization” to the Navy to kill dolphins, whales, and othermarine species by deploying LFAS, with a source level of 240decibels, in over eighty percent of the world’s oceans.Capture/Recapture Study Kills DolphinsAs an article explained in the Fall 2001 AWI Quarterly,AWI had presented a benign alternative to this expensive,highly invasive and useless study with the help of Dr. AlMyrick, the leading NMFS expert on stress in dolphins formore than ten years. The senior NMFS scientists that we metwith agreed that the planned capture/recapture study wasunnecessarily invasive and would yield little new information.But they were forced to carry out the study at the insistenceof Congressmen Gilchrest (R-MD) and Cunningham (R-CA)and the efforts of Ocean Conservancy’s Nina Young.The study was mandated as part of the InternationalDolphin Conservation Act of 1997 (dubbed the “DolphinDeath Act”) that attempted to drop the trade embargo ondolphin-caught tuna. More than seven million dolphins havedied in the tuna fishery in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Evidenceenough, one would think, that the technique causesstress.Colombian and Mexican drug cartels bought up mostof the Latin American tuna fleets in the 1980’s and early1990’s to smuggle their contraband and to launder billionsof narco-dollars. (For the detailed report, “Dolphins Diefor Tuna/Cocaine Connection,” see the Spring 1999 AWIQuarterly.)The Mexican government has failed to seize the majortuna fleets and canneries that are owned by the murderousTijuana Cartel in partnership with powerful politicians. EvenColombia’s infamous Cali Cartel is a partner in major Mexicantuna companies. And the US government has steadfastlyrefused to acknowledge that Mexico’s tuna industry is a frontfor drug trafficking. Instead, the Departments of State andCommerce have been actively assisting the Mexican governmentand tuna industry to overturn the US dolphin-safe standardfor imported tuna.18 AWI QuarterlyWinter 2002 19


Wildlife and Drug Smuggling: A Tangled TaleCustoms officials warned JeffreyAllen Doth, operator of theTexas-based InternationalExotic Wildlife, of the proper proceduresfor importing wildlife when, atage 25, he was caught smuggling wildlifeinto the US. A year later, in 1995,wearing a baggy shirt, Doth boardeda plane with five juvenile green treepythons concealed in elastic stockingsstrapped around his waist. The US CustomsService busted him at Los AngelesInternational Airport for attempting tosmuggle the snakes from Indonesiawithout receiving necessary permitsfrom the Indonesian government ordeclaring them to Customs.At Doth’s trial he argued that ratherthan hiding the pythons under his clothingto conceal them, he was merelytrying to keep them warm and avoidpaying extra airline costs. Doth wasfound guilty of two felony counts andfaced a maximum sentence of 10 yearsin federal prison. On October 22, 2001,Doth was sentenced to a lenient fourmonths of home detention, a $5,100fine, and three years probation.Less than four months after sentencing,while apparently still under housearrest in Texas, Doth was making tripsto Miami to receive wildlife shipmentsfrom Guyana. He arranged to get wholesaleshipments of exotic mammals andA coatamundi in his native habitat.reptiles at cut-rate prices and then to sellsome of the wildlife to other dealers,including the infamous drug kingpinand convicted felon Mario Tabraue (seeSpring 2001 AWI Quarterly). Dealers ortheir representatives would meet at theairport to divide each shipment.In late November, Doth, MiamiReptiles’ Michael Powell, Tabraue’stransporter Val Lorente, and a Guyaneseman, Rajendra Persaud, were atMiami’s Airport to receive a shipmentof mammals and one of reptiles. Thereptile shipment also contained over100 pounds of cocaine hidden in falsebottoms of the transport boxes. Regardingthe illegal drugs, Customs is currentlyfocused only on Persaud andanother Guyanese man, Doyle Debudin,both of whom allegedly werehouse guests of one-time wildlifeimporter Cyril Lowe. Florida Fish andGame appears to be seeking prosecutionof Doth for not possessing a wildlifedealer’s license and for receiving17 dwarf caiman without a permit.Excluding the caiman, the Fish andWildlife Service has distributed theentire shipment, including 12 kinkajous,four two-toed sloths, 18 agoutis,five prehensile-tailed porcupines, and acoatamundi to the prospective dealers!No word on any action against Doth forhis travels while under house arrest.Adam M. Roberts/AWIAnimal Welfare InstituteP.O. Box 3650, Washington, D.C. 20007Address Correction RequestedNon-Profit Org.US POSTAGEPAIDWashington, DCPermit No. 2300Printed with soy ink on recycled paper

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