Friday, July 24, 2009

STOP Medical Experiments on Animals....

Cats are playful and adorable companions who love to snuggle up in their guardians' laps and show their appreciation for being loved and protected by letting out a soft purr. If you share your home with a furry feline or two, you know how soothing and relaxing this time spent together can be. Unfortunately, many cats don't have this opportunity to give and feel love because they are used in horrific training exercises at some medical facilities across the country.

Healthy, energetic cats—and in some cases young kittens—have plastic tubes repeatedly forced down their small, sensitive windpipes during intubation training exercises. This cruel practice can cause bleeding, swelling, scarring, collapsed lungs, and even death. And these initially healthy cats are sometimes killed at the end of the training session or used in other painful experiments.

Facilities that continue to use these adorable felines for such training purposes are acting against the advice of prominent medical organizations. The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) exclusively endorse the use of humanlike manikins in their neonatal and pediatric life support courses (both of which include intubation training).

However, despite pressure from PETA (and ignoring the many alternatives that are available), some institutions continue to hurt and kill healthy cats in their cruel intubation training exercises. Please take a minute to contact each of the institutions listed below and tell them to stop these horrid exercises on innocent cats and kittens immediately.

Tell These Institutions to Stop Torturing Cats
Contact St. Louis Children's Hospital Now!
Contact Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Now!
Contact Heartland Regional Medical Center Now!

Victory is possible! PETA has successfully worked with facilities around the country to replace the use of animals in intubation training and thanks to the thousands of compassionate people who took action, the University of Connecticut Health Center has confirmed that is has ended the use of animals in cruel, outdated medical training exercises. By making your voice heard, you can help end the suffering of helpless cats across the country.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Canada Goose Hall of Shame / Canada

Posted By Mark Hoult
July 2009

Asphodel-Norwood – Council has cleared the way for Madoc falconer Dave Ascott to begin planning a controlled cull of geese from the Norwood Mill Pond.

But council moved ahead cautiously this week, wording a resolution to stress that a go-ahead has been given “to start the process of culling the pond.”

Mill Pond Revitalization committee representative Bill Duke said a cull now appears to be “the only possible solution” to controlling the number of geese on the pond and reducing the levels of fecal contamination. He said the committee would like to know if council is prepared to allow a cull of the geese under conditions that are acceptable to the municipality.

“The first step is to have council agree a cull can take place,” he said.

Using a shotgun to cull geese on a pond within the limits of the village and near residential properties raises the issue of public safety, said Deputy Reeve Terry Low, who asked Ascott to describe how he would go about shooting the birds without endangering nearby residents.

Ascott said he has experience culling birds in similar circumstances. Most of the culling will take place from the centre of the pond, he said, stressing that the shoreline would be beyond the range of the shot from the shotgun.

“The small pellets I would use wouldn't make it to the shore, and if there are people present it would be a no go,” he said.

Councillor Rod Manley said that given “the sensitivity of this issue,” the municipality should inform residents of its plan to kill some of the geese on the pond and even hold a meeting to allow people to comment on the proposed cull. Low agreed the plan would require council to do some public relations work before the cull takes place.

But Duke warned council that giving the cull too much publicity will draw animal rights activists to the village.

“I don't think the cull will be of concern to residents, because they understand we have a health problem. But there are people who are, for whatever reason, very emotional about this issue and will come from far and wide to stop this. The activists are very militant, and they will stop it.”

Duke suggested council proceed without making a big announcement about when the cull will take place.

Ascott, who used an eagle last year to help keep geese away from the pond, said the cull would likely take place sometime in September after the start of goose hunting season. He said he would use both an eagle and a shotgun to cull the geese, shooting at the birds on the water and always in a safe direction.

“The general proposal of the goose control program at the Norwood Mill Pond for 2009 would be to encourage and prevent the geese from using the pond as their sanctuary by removing any sense of security from the pond during this period of heavy usage from early September to mid-November,” Ascott said in his proposal for the controlled cull.

And Duke stressed the cull would be “a business transaction” between Ascott and the municipality, not a hunt or a sports shoot.

Click on title above to go to the LoveCanadaGeese website to see how you can help;

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wild Horse Protection Bill Passed in House Today


Wild Horse Protection Bill (R.O.A.M. Act - HR 1018) Passes in House
by a vote of 239 to 185

The Restoring Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act - HR 1018, introduced by U.S. Representatives Rahall and Grijalva, passed in the House of Representatives this morning, but is not law yet. It still needs to pass in the Senate. The bill amends the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act by adding important new protections and provisions, such as the banning of helicopter round-ups and the reclaiming of land lost by America?s wild horses over the past 30 years.

So the struggle for wild horse protection is not over yet.

Sorry for my confusion.


HR 1018, the R.O.A.M. Act, passed in the house today by a vote of 239 to 185;

Only 33 republicans voted Yes!

This law gives back 19 M acres of rangeland taken from them over the years! Will this new law save the Nevada Herds when the PTB in that state are so keen to see them gone?

We can only hope this law will save them.


The Case Against Bullfighting

The Case Against Bullfighting
by Michael A. Ogorzaly
Author House (1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403), 2006
248 pages, paperback. $14.95.

January/February 2007

Michael Ogorzaly, who died at age 58 on October 14, 2006, suffered a broken neck as a college student, when a car in which he was a passenger was involved in an accident. Confined to a wheelchair thereafter, Ogorzaly completed his education and went on to teach Spanish and Latin American history at Chicago State University. When Bulls Cry was his second book, addressing a topic which had become one of his focal concerns
De-romanticising the bullfight spectacle with a dose of anguishing realism in chapter one, Ogorzaly goes into the history behind it. Chapter two discusses the geneology of bullfighting, revealing that the present day corrida, which originated in the 18th century, has very little connection with Spanish tradition.

Mobbed by a gang of cowards, confused and terrified beyond words, repeatedly stabbed with spears, harpoons and a sword, exhausted and dying from his wounds and blood loss and unable to continue any further, Bright Eyes lowers in an act of complete submission.
Chapter three reveals the little-known counter-tradition of conscientious Spaniards seeking for centuries to abolish killing of bulls for sport--a movement which has recently gained force, bringing the passage of anti-bullfighting legislation in Catalan state and more than 20 individual cities. Polls have for more than 20 years shown that the majority of Spaniards favor banning bullfighting.

Chapter four describes how bullfights remain popular in Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, but are in decline in Peru. Portuguese bullfights, often mis-described as "bloodless," are particularly brutal because while the bull is not killed in the ring, he does have banderillas (banner-festooned daggers) stuck in him, and the injured bull, destined for the slaughterhouse, sometimes suffers for days before being put to death. This makes a mockery of the 1928 law that forbade killing bulls in the ring to try to reduce the animals' suffering.

In later chapters, Ogorzaly relates how artists, authors and the cinema have sanitized bullfighting and romanticized the matador. Ogorzaly is especially scornful of Ernest Hemingway, whose 1932 volume Death in the Afternoon is still widely believed to be the most authoritative book on Spanish bullfighting written in the English language.

"Hemingway found the sight of a horse tripping over its own entrails 'comic,'" Ogorzaly writes. "It is too bad that the old reprobate could not have had an out-of-the-body experience and seen himself on that fateful day in 1961 after he had put a shotgun to his face and pulled the trigger. He might have laughed his head off, or at least what he had left of it." But the evil that men do lives on. Running with the bulls en route to the ring in Pamplona, a little-known local tradition when Hemingway wrote about it in The Sun Also Rises (1926), now attracts thousands of participants from around the world, and similar events are now held in many other nations.

The prevalence of bullfighting in the Spanish-speaking world, where most people are devout Catholics, is also an indictment of the failure of the Roman Catholic Church to enforce anti-bullfighting statements and edicts issued from the Vatican many times since 1567, when Pope Pious V in the bull De salute gregis dominici forbade bullfighting as an entertainment more proper of demons than humans. Pious V excommunicated emperors, kings and cardinals who would not ban bullfights, and clerics who attended bullfights, and excluded bullfighters from Christian burial. Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Gasparri in 1920 wrote that, "The Church maintains His Holiness Pious V's condemnation of such bloody, shameful shows," Monsignor Mario Canciani reiterated the Vatican position in 1989, and Vatican theologian Marie Hendrickx reiterated it yet again in 2000 in the semi-official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

Ogorzaly describes how churches, convents and other Catholic institutions continue to defy the Vatican by actually sponsoring bullfights as fundraising events.

Actively trying to stop bullfighting has been left to dedicated activists.

Ogorzaly devotes an entire chapter to the work done by fellow Chicagoan Steve Hindi of SHARK, whose videography is the best documentation yet of the cruelty involved in both bullfighting and its close U.S. cousin, rodeo.

Ogorzaly describes how bullfighting is lucrative enough to buy survival in France, where over 80% of the population oppose bullfighting, and in Mexico, where a 1998 poll showed that 87% of Mexicans are opposed to bullfighting. France, Mexico, Portugal, and Colombia all have organizations working to stop bullfighting, but even with majority support, they still lack the clout to close the corridas.

Bullfighting is not uniquely a disease of the Spanish culture. Similar ritualistic bull-killing is practiced in parts of Asia and Africa, including at the Zulu "First Fruits" festival’ where at the end of each year a bull is hideously tortured to death by young Zulu males.

Just as defenders of Spanish bullfighting dismiss criticism of the corrida as unpatriotic and an attack on Spanish culture’ so any criticism of the Zulu ritual is denounced as racist and an attack on Zulu culture. Just as the Vatican fails to follow up the 1567 prohibition of bullfighting with actual excommunications, so the National Council of the SPCA in South Africa fails to press cruelty charges against the Zulus.

Rejecting cultural pretexts for such sadistic exercises, Ogorzaly condemns those who argue that bullfighting can be considered an art form. All the glittering sequined costumes and colourful pageantry cannot disguise the sleazy reality: if this is an art form, it can only be pornography.

--Chris Mercer

South Africa

Related Articles;
Spaniards Against Bullfighting

Dead Dogs Barking in Russia

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 16 July 2009
Source: Broadcasting company: "Chita" [trans. Corr.BA, edited]

In Chita [now called, since 2008, Zabaykalsky Krai - CopyEd.MSP], 5
people have contracted trichinosis due to consumption of stray dog
meat. In 2009, 9 cases have been reported in the Chita region, and dog
meat was the cause of infection for all of them.

Communicated by:

[In June 2008, 14 inhabitants of Tungokochen village and 12
inhabitants of Chita were hospitalized in the infectious diseases
hospital with trichinellosis after consumption of bear meat. - Corr.BA]

[Chita is located in Siberia east of Irkusk, and can be located on a map at

ProMED reported on an outbreak in 2005 in Buryatiya (Russia), also
caused by the consumption of dog meat (Trichinellosis, dog meat, human
- Russia (Buryatiya) 20050407.1010). Trichinellosis is reported
frequently from Russia, but bear and infected pork are the main
sources of human infections. - Mod.EP]

[Trichinellosis, also called trichinosis, is caused by eating raw or
undercooked meat of animals infected with the larvae of a species of
worm called _Trichinella_. See CDC Fact sheet at:

Life cycle:

Picture of the worm:

and its larvae:

- Mod.JW]

[see also:
Trichinellosis - Russia: (KX) 20090405.1312
Zoonotic disease trends 2007-2008 - Russia 20090103.0022
Trichinellosis - Russia (06): (Kemerovo Region) 20081123.3697
Trichinellosis - Russia (05): (Chukchi Autonomous Region) 20080919.2954
Trichinellosis - Russia (04): Magadan 20080907.2791
Trichinellosis - Russia (03): (Tomsk), bear meat 20080706.2050
Trichinellosis - Russia (Krasnodar) 20080223.0738
Trichinellosis - Russia (Krasnoyarsk) 20070422.1313
Trichinellosis, human - Russia (02): background 20060207.0400
Trichinellosis, human - Russia: background 20060205.0368
Trichinellosis, bear, human - Russia (Kemerovo) 20060204.0356
Trichinellosis, human - Russia (Altai) 20051207.3531
Trichinellosis, bear, human - Russia (Buryatiya) 20050705.1904
Trichinellosis, dog meat, human - Russia (Buryatiya) 20050407.1010
Trichinellosis, badger, human - Russia (Novosibirsk) 20050204.0388
Trichinellosis - Ukraine (Zhitomirskaya) 20041228.3426
Trichinellosis - Russia (Novosibirsk) 20041207.3252
Trichinellosis - Russia (Kabardino-Balkaria) 20041201.3210
Trichinellosis - Russia (Tulskaya) 20040327.0845
Trichinellosis - Poland (02) 20030303.0533
Trichinellosis - Poland 20030302.0526
Trichinellosis - Russia (Siberia) (04) 20021203.5954
Trichinellosis - Russia (Krasnodar) (02) 20010118.0144
Foodborne disease, bear meat - Russia: RFI 20000615.0961]
ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted
or archived material.
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

One of my favorite essays by one of my favorite authors. There are many lessons to be learned from this: mainly that in certain circumstances, "outside" or external forces can sometimes put us in the untentable position of having to do something that goes against our own moral beliefs.. Thought I would share this story with you.

Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people--the
only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen
to me. I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an
aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter. No one
had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the
bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress. As
a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it
seemed safe to do so. When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football
field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd
yelled with hideous laughter. This happened more than once. In the end
the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the
insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my
nerves. The young Buddhist priests were the worst of all. There were
several thousands of them in the town and none of them seemed to have
anything to do except stand on street corners and jeer at Europeans.

All this was perplexing and upsetting. For at that time I had already
made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I
chucked up my job and got out of it the better. Theoretically--and
secretly, of course--I was all for the Burmese and all against their
oppressors, the British. As for the job I was doing, I hated it more
bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the
dirty work of Empire at close quarters. The wretched prisoners huddling
in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the
long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been Bogged
with bamboos--all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt.
But I could get nothing into perspective. I was young and ill-educated
and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is
imposed on every Englishman in the East. I did not even know that the
British Empire is dying, still less did I know that it is a great deal
better than the younger empires that are going to supplant it. All I knew
was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage
against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job
impossible. With one part of my mind I thought of the British Raj as an
unbreakable tyranny, as something clamped down, in saecula saeculorum,
upon the will of prostrate peoples; with another part I thought that the
greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist
priest's guts. Feelings like these are the normal by-products of
imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off

One day something happened which in a roundabout way was enlightening. It
was a tiny incident in itself, but it gave me a better glimpse than I had
had before of the real nature of imperialism--the real motives for which
despotic governments act. Early one morning the sub-inspector at a police
station the other end of the town rang me up on the phone and said that
an elephant was ravaging the bazaar. Would I please come and do something
about it? I did not know what I could do, but I wanted to see what was
happening and I got on to a pony and started out. I took my rifle, an
old .44 Winchester and much too small to kill an elephant, but I thought
the noise might be useful in terrorem. Various Burmans stopped me on the
way and told me about the elephant's doings. It was not, of course, a wild
elephant, but a tame one which had gone "must." It had been chained up,
as tame elephants always are when their attack of "must" is due, but on
the previous night it had broken its chain and escaped. Its mahout, the
only person who could manage it when it was in that state, had set out in
pursuit, but had taken the wrong direction and was now twelve hours'
journey away, and in the morning the elephant had suddenly reappeared in
the town. The Burmese population had no weapons and were quite helpless
against it. It had already destroyed somebody's bamboo hut, killed a cow
and raided some fruit-stalls and devoured the stock; also it had met the
municipal rubbish van and, when the driver jumped out and took to his
heels, had turned the van over and inflicted violences upon it.

The Burmese sub-inspector and some Indian constables were waiting for me
in the quarter where the elephant had been seen. It was a very poor
quarter, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palmleaf,
winding all over a steep hillside. I remember that it was a cloudy,
stuffy morning at the beginning of the rains. We began questioning the
people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any
definite information. That is invariably the case in the East; a story
always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the
scene of events the vaguer it becomes. Some of the people said that the
elephant had gone in one direction, some said that he had gone in
another, some professed not even to have heard of any elephant. I had
almost made up my mind that the whole story was a pack of lies, when we
heard yells a little distance away. There was a loud, scandalized cry of
"Go away, child! Go away this instant!" and an old woman with a switch in
her hand came round the corner of a hut, violently shooing away a crowd
of naked children. Some more women followed, clicking their tongues and
exclaiming; evidently there was something that the children ought not to
have seen. I rounded the hut and saw a man's dead body sprawling in the
mud. He was an Indian, a black Dravidian coolie, almost naked, and he
could not have been dead many minutes. The people said that the elephant
had come suddenly upon him round the corner of the hut, caught him with
its trunk, put its foot on his back and ground him into the earth. This
was the rainy season and the ground was soft, and his face had scored a
trench a foot deep and a couple of yards long. He was lying on his belly
with arms crucified and head sharply twisted to one side. His face was
coated with mud, the eyes wide open, the teeth bared and grinning with an
expression of unendurable agony. (Never tell me, by the way, that the
dead look peaceful. Most of the corpses I have seen looked devilish.) The
friction of the great beast's foot had stripped the skin from his back as
neatly as one skins a rabbit. As soon as I saw the dead man I sent an
orderly to a friend's house nearby to borrow an elephant rifle. I had
already sent back the pony, not wanting it to go mad with fright and
throw me if it smelt the elephant.

The orderly came back in a few minutes with a rifle and five cartridges,
and meanwhile some Burmans had arrived and told us that the elephant was
in the paddy fields below, only a few hundred yards away. As I started
forward practically the whole population of the quarter flocked out of
the houses and followed me. They had seen the rifle and were all shouting
excitedly that I was going to shoot the elephant. They had not shown much
interest in the elephant when he was merely ravaging their homes, but it
was different now that he was going to be shot. It was a bit of fun to
them, as it would be to an English crowd; besides they wanted the meat.
It made me vaguely uneasy. I had no intention of shooting the elephant--I
had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary--and it is
always unnerving to have a crowd following you. I marched down the hill,
looking and feeling a fool, with the rifle over my shoulder and an
ever-growing army of people jostling at my heels. At the bottom, when you
got away from the huts, there was a metalled road and beyond that a miry
waste of paddy fields a thousand yards across, not yet ploughed but soggy
from the first rains and dotted with coarse grass. The elephant was
standing eight yards from the road, his left side towards us. He took not
the slightest notice of the crowd's approach. He was tearing up bunches
of grass, beating them against his knees to clean them and stuffing them
into his mouth.

I had halted on the road. As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with
perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him. It is a serious matter
to shoot a working elephant--it is comparable to destroying a huge and
costly piece of machinery--and obviously one ought not to do it if it can
possibly be avoided. And at that distance, peacefully eating, the
elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow. I thought then and I think
now that his attack of "must" was already passing off; in which case he
would merely wander harmlessly about until the mahout came back and
caught him. Moreover, I did not in the least want to shoot him. I decided
that I would watch him for a little while to make sure that he did not
turn savage again, and then go home.

But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that had followed me. It
was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and growing every minute.
It blocked the road for a long distance on either side. I looked at the
sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes-faces all happy and excited
over this bit of fun, all certain that the elephant was going to be shot.
They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a
trick. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was
momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realized that I should have to
shoot the elephant after all. The people expected it of me and I had got
to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward,
irresistibly. And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle
in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the
white man's dominion in the East. Here was I, the white man with his gun,
standing in front of the unarmed native crowd--seemingly the leading
actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to
and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. I perceived in this
moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he
destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized
figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall
spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis
he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him. He wears a mask, and
his face grows to fit it. I had got to shoot the elephant. I had
committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle. A sahib has got
to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind
and do definite things. To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two
thousand people marching at my heels, and then to trail feebly away,
having done nothing--no, that was impossible. The crowd would laugh at
me. And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long
struggle not to be laughed at.

But I did not want to shoot the elephant. I watched him beating his bunch
of grass against his knees, with that preoccupied grandmotherly air that
elephants have. It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. At
that age I was not squeamish about killing animals, but I had never shot
an elephant and never wanted to. (Somehow it always seems worse to kill a
large animal.) Besides, there was the beast's owner to be considered.
Alive, the elephant was worth at least a hundred pounds; dead, he would
only be worth the value of his tusks, five pounds, possibly. But I had
got to act quickly. I turned to some experienced-looking Burmans who had
been there when we arrived, and asked them how the elephant had been
behaving. They all said the same thing: he took no notice of you if you
left him alone, but he might charge if you went too close to him.

It was perfectly clear to me what I ought to do. I ought to walk up to
within, say, twenty-five yards of the elephant and test his behavior. If
he charged, I could shoot; if he took no notice of me, it would be safe
to leave him until the mahout came back. But also I knew that I was going
to do no such thing. I was a poor shot with a rifle and the ground was
soft mud into which one would sink at every step. If the elephant charged
and I missed him, I should have about as much chance as a toad under a
steam-roller. But even then I was not thinking particularly of my own
skin, only of the watchful yellow faces behind. For at that moment, with
the crowd watching me, I was not afraid in the ordinary sense, as I would
have been if I had been alone. A white man mustn't be frightened in front
of "natives"; and so, in general, he isn't frightened. The sole thought
in my mind was that if anything went wrong those two thousand Burmans
would see me pursued, caught, trampled on and reduced to a grinning
corpse like that Indian up the hill. And if that happened it was quite
probable that some of them would laugh. That would never do.

There was only one alternative. I shoved the cartridges into the magazine
and lay down on the road to get a better aim. The crowd grew very still,
and a deep, low, happy sigh, as of people who see the theatre curtain go
up at last, breathed from innumerable throats. They were going to have
their bit of fun after all. The rifle was a beautiful German thing with
cross-hair sights. I did not then know that in shooting an elephant one
would shoot to cut an imaginary bar running from ear-hole to ear-hole. I
ought, therefore, as the elephant was sideways on, to have aimed straight
at his ear-hole, actually I aimed several inches in front of this,
thinking the brain would be further forward.

When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick--one
never does when a shot goes home--but I heard the devilish roar of glee
that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one
would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious,
terrible change had come over the elephant. He neither stirred nor fell,
but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken,
shrunken, immensely old, as though the frighfful impact of the bullet had
paralysed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a
long time--it might have been five seconds, I dare say--he sagged
flabbily to his knees. His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed
to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years
old. I fired again into the same spot. At the second shot he did not
collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly
upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I fired a third time. That
was the shot that did for him. You could see the agony of it jolt his
whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs. But in
falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed
beneath him he seemed to tower upward like a huge rock toppling, his
trunk reaching skyward like a tree. He trumpeted, for the first and only
time. And then down he came, his belly towards me, with a crash that
seemed to shake the ground even where I lay.

I got up. The Burmans were already racing past me across the mud. It was
obvious that the elephant would never rise again, but he was not dead. He
was breathing very rhythmically with long rattling gasps, his great mound
of a side painfully rising and falling. His mouth was wide open--I could
see far down into caverns of pale pink throat. I waited a long time for
him to die, but his breathing did not weaken. Finally I fired my two
remaining shots into the spot where I thought his heart must be. The
thick blood welled out of him like red velvet, but still he did not die.
His body did not even jerk when the shots hit him, the tortured breathing
continued without a pause. He was dying, very slowly and in great agony,
but in some world remote from me where not even a bullet could damage him
further. I felt that I had got to put an end to that dreadful noise. It
seemed dreadful to see the great beast Lying there, powerless to move and
yet powerless to die, and not even to be able to finish him. I sent back
for my small rifle and poured shot after shot into his heart and down his
throat. They seemed to make no impression. The tortured gasps continued
as steadily as the ticking of a clock.

In the end I could not stand it any longer and went away. I heard later
that it took him half an hour to die. Burmans were bringing dahs and
baskets even before I left, and I was told they had stripped his body
almost to the bones by the afternoon.

Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting
of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and
could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad
elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control
it. Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was
right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for
killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn
Coringhee coolie. And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been
killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient
pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the
others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

China Enacts 1st Animal Cruelty Law ..and Chinas Technicolor Dogs

Animal cruelty & China's amazing technicolour dogs

China drafted its first animal protection law this week, but that hasn't stopped Chinese pet owners. The latest fad in the country is a multi-coloured fur job.

Under the proposed law, anyone guilty of animal cruelty can be fined and spend two weeks in prison. It also makes implanted data chips compulsory for pets so their owners can be tracked down if they're abandoned.

Are these dye jobs cruel? Or just good fun? Click on title above for original article and comments;

$11,000 Vet Bill for "Cookie" - Owners Need Help

Please help Cookie...shot in her backyard/$11,000 in vet bills/news

Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:02 pm (PDT)

Cookie is a 2 year old German Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix who was adopted from Big Fluffy Dog Rescue this past winter. In May, Cookie was shot while playing in her back yard by unknown assailants. Cookie's family took her to the nearest emergency vet, where they performed emergency surgery. The bullet perforated her intestines in five places, requiring extensive surgery and hospitalization. Cookie is now well on her way to recovery, but her family is in dire financial condition from trying to save their beloved pet. Cookie's family has an $11,000+ vet bill to pay. To date, they have only raised $650 and they need help.

Big Fluffy Dog Rescue is trying to help Cookie's family pay this bill down to a manageable level. It is a sad day when you have to choose between your home and your dog. All donations to Cookie's fund are tax deductible. No amount is too small and we appreciate any help. Cross-posting is equally welcome.

The links below are to stories on the shooting and some video of Cookie.

Click on title above to see:

If you would like to help, you can donate via paypal at:

Checks can be sent to:

Big Fluffy Dog Rescue
1206 Russell St.
Nashville, TN 37206

The vet hospital has declined to accept checks directly from the public.

Thanks for any and all help. We do appreciate it.
Jean Harrison
Big Fluffy Dog Rescue

Please cross post — let’s help this family’s pet.

Pomeranians in NY Shelter / Need New Home


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Maffe (@ yahoo .com)
Date: Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Subject: Please spread the word 2 Pomeranians looking for a new home
Hi All,

I am looking for homes for 2 Pomeranians I pulled from the CACC in Manhattan.

If anyone knows of anyone who might be interested please let me know or if you could just pass this info to anyone who might also pass it on I would really appreciate it.

One is a neutered male, senior by the name of Gizmo. He is a really great boy who is very alert and spunky for a senior. He loves people, running in the yard, being around other dogs. All around great companion dog. Up-to-date on all shots. He is approx 11 lbs. A true sweetheart!

The 2nd is a 1 1/2 yr old spay blind female, named Kinara. She went blind about 3 months ago then dumped at the CACC in Manhattan, now she is with me. She is having a tough time adjusting to all her new environments, but has been a trooper and has shown no signs of aggression.

She is just in need of a forever home to settle into and adjust.

She is up-to-date on all shots.

I am attaching pics of both. As always any questions please call me anytime 631-682-1476 C or 631-265-0286 H or 631-754-8749 W Sun-Thurs 8:30-5pm.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

1 Killed, 2 Gored in Spanish Bull Run Event

Play with fire and you are going to get burned;

Two injured in Pamplona bull run, day after death
Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:06pm EDT

Runners gored in Spain bull run

MADRID (Reuters) - Two men were seriously injured during the traditional Running of the Bulls in the Spanish city of Pamplona on Sunday, one day after another runner was gored to death there for the first time since 2003, media reported.

Television showed one man being gored in the neck before he was trampled under the hooves of bulls charging through the city's narrow streets surrounded by dozens of runners trying to get as close as possible to the animals.

A 44-year-old local man was caught by a bull weighing over half a tonne, after the animal became detached from others and was circled by a crowd of runners just before end of the course at the bull ring.

The bull impaled him in the chest, before returning to toss the bloodied man into the air several times and shredding his traditional white trousers, despite efforts by other runners to distract the animal and pull it away by its tail.

"He has a very, very serious prognosis. We have to wait to see if his lung becomes infected," the doctor treating him told a news conference.

Damniel Jimeno, a 27-year-old from Alcala de Henares near Madrid, was fatally gored in the neck on Saturday. His body was due to be cremated on Sunday.

Pamplona's 'San Fermin' is one of hundreds of bull-running fiestas held in Spain every year but was made famous by Ernest Hemingway's novel 'The Sun Also Rises' and the week-long fiesta now attracts hundreds of runners from around the world, often drinking all night before the early morning run.

(Reporting by Ben Harding)

Click on title above for original article and to see vids;

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tx ACO Fights Against "Mandatory Euthansia" Policy at Shelter

TX - City of Ferris Mandatory Euthanasia
Please post far and wide! This is part two of the events of last
week. Full story below!

From: "Misty," Ferris Tx ACO
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 15:47:49 -0500
City of Ferris Mandatory Euthanasia

Anyone receiving this and not knowing what I am talking about please click on the title above to see a local news story.


Online story:

The next City of Ferris Council meeting is July 20th at 7:00 p.m. I
would like to beg anyone/everyone to get on the agenda to speak at
this meeting. To do this you must put this in writing to the city.
It must contain: Who you are, your contact information and what you
would like to speak about. This MUST be submitted by July 15th prior
to noon. You can submit this to:
100 Town Plaza
Ferris, TX 75125
(972) 544-2110 (972) 842-5761

They do have a fax number, but I do not have that available, however I
am sure you can call the numbers above to get this number.

On the morning of July 7, 2009 I was called into my immediate
supervisor's office and handed a form entitled Expectations of Animal
Control Function City of Ferris. (I have attached this form) I was
required to sign this. I asked my immediate supervisor does this mean
I need to go down to the shelter and kill everything. His response
was "yes". I responded "I would not do this, if that is going to cost
me my job then so be it". "I will not go down to the shelter and just
start euthanizing everything". When I returned to the shelter I
contacted a few people who have helped out with posting and rescuing.
Then it was a huge mass of people showing up, calling, interviewing
me, and emails were flying. All of the 26 animals in the shelter at
this time did leave the shelter safely.

I do not know why this decision has been made. I did put in writing
to the Council and Mayor requesting a bathroom be put down at the
shelter. I did this on June 5th, I would only hope this was not the
reason for their decision. They have denied my request for a bathroom.

I am now asking for your continued support in getting the elected
officials in the City of Ferris to understand what a mistake they are
making. There have been numerous changes in the reason why this
directive was given. There have also been statements that this is no
longer in effect. I have been given nothing else in writing except
what I received on July 7, 2009.

Euthanasia is a part of my job as an Animal Control Officer. Sad as
that is I do understand that some animals cannot be saved. Due to
illness, injury, aggression or just the fact there is no more room in
the shelter, animals must be euthanized. To date in the area of $
10,000.00 in adoption fees have been received by the City of Ferris
since I started this job. I would like to know how the euthanization
of these animals would have been cost effective for the City.

Please pass this on, residents of Ferris please stand up and let YOUR
council know how you want YOUR tax dollars spent. If your not a
resident PLEASE help me enlighten this council of the importance of
the job I have been doing up to this point.

According to this directive I can no longer promote spay/neuter. I
have attached a kittico flyer that I was doing every 6 weeks in
Ferris. If you are with an organization that can enlighten this
council on the benefits of spay/neuter PLEASE put yourself on the
agenda. If you can enlighten them to what the job of Animal Control
entails PLEASE put yourself on the agenda.

The sign of a civilized society is how they treat their most

Thank You
Misty Clark
Animal Control Officer
City of Ferris
Woman who had 150 cats in NJ mansion fined $35,000

The Associated Press

CHESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. - A woman accused of keeping 150 cats in her New Jersey mansion has been ordered to pay more than $35,000 in fines and restitution. Wanda Oughton pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of animal cruelty for failing to provide adequate shelter. The judge in Chester Township Municipal Court also told the 62-year-old she's not allowed to own more than six cats over the next three years.

Authorities in March found the cats living in urine- and feces-covered rooms in Oughton's home, once valued at $1 million.

Oughton's lawyer Lawrence Fox told the judge the problem arose because of Oughton's love for animals and she became "overwhelmed by the situation."

Bloggers note: 150 cats? Thats all? There is a hoarder in our neighborhood that claims to be a rescue and has nearly 400 cats (at last count) living in a small home. I have reported this "cat rescue" to The Mohawk-Hudson River Humane Society ( - who professed to know of the situation,....but amazingly, nothing was ever done. I have heard it is so bad in that house that it is near impossible to breathe. No doubt the cats are suffering, at the very least, respitory problems..

Information from: Daily Record,

Questions You Should Ask BEFORE You Support Any Shelter

It is no secret that the vast number of all animal shelters across the lands have embarassingly high euthansia rates. Sadly, there is a great number of animal welfare workers who belive it is necessary to kill animals to save them. However you feel, whether or not you are a "kill," "no-kill," or "limited-kill" advocate, there are some important questions you should ask the director of any shelter before you decide to support them;

1. What is their actual kill-rate
2. Do they engage in the deplorable practice of "pound seizures."
3. What method of euthansia do they use (and pray it is not gassing or heart-stick)
4. What method of carcass disposal do they use (and pray they are not sold to rendering plants where they will be ground up into pet food)

This is a works in progress and will be updated periodically. Contributions of info are appreciated so if you know of a shelter and its kill-rate or practices, please share that info with us here. Thanks.

What is a kill rate? / explain and give examples of shelters with known kill rates.

What is a pound seizure? / explain and give names of shelters known to engage in this practice.

What Methods of Euthansia are used? / explain different methods and give examples of shelters known to use (or not use) these methods)

What Methods of Disposal are Used? / explain different methods and give examples of shelters whos methods are known.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Michael Jackson Did Not Love Animals

From "Animal Law Coalition" News;

by Carole Raphaelle Davis, author of The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife, reprinted with permission

Michael Jackson did not love animals. He loved to collect them. He loved owning them like a sheik owns his harem.

As details emerge about the bizarre life of Michael Jackson, questions about the animals who were housed in his private zoo of exotic pets remain unanswered. Members of the animal welfare community wonder whether Jackson was truly an animal lover or merely a collector who abandoned his dozens of exotic pets, leaving them to be scattered, with no endowment, in different facilities around the country.

Elephant Cage where a lone female was kept:

Recent photographs of Michael Jackson's private zoo have been released by The photographs are of the emptied interior and the abandoned grounds of Jackson's Neverland Ranch north of Santa Barbara. The photographs of the zoo enclosures are particularly disturbing to some in the animal protection movement.

Jackson owned wild animals, including giraffes, elephants, tigers, crocodiles and monkeys and housed them in what appears to be caged conditions. Though the animals' enclosures might not have been illegal, they were inhumane. And though no animals currently reside there, their former home reveals much about how the animals lived.

Mr. Jackson bought the ranch in the late 1980s. There, he set up a zoo to house exotic pets. What happened to them when he left the ranch - and the United States - after his acquittal on charges that he molested a teenage cancer survivor in 2003?

There are numerous reports that the animals were sold at auction, that some went to sanctuaries, that some are being cruelly warehoused in Arizona, that caretakers were not paid after he left the property and that Michael Jackson was sued by his veterinarian for a six-figure unpaid bill for treatment of the Neverland animals.

Though the rooms inside the home look luxurious, the enclosures for his private collection of large, wild animals look woefully inadequate. The cages and outdoor enclosures appear not to meet the minimum standards of humane care that is required for the well-being of the animals living there. The photo of the elephant cage tells the story of a grim existence.

"It's a very small space with a concrete floor which is detrimental to elephants' joints and feet," says Catherine Doyle, elephant specialist and Los Angeles director of campaigns for In Defense of Animals. "It looks like a concrete cell. It's no way to keep an elephant; there's no way that type of enclosure could ever meet their needs. It's a depressing, small, impoverished space."

"Elephants walk tens of miles a day and their home ranges measure hundreds of square miles," continued Catherine Doyle. "They have extremely complex social structures and they live in tightly knit family groups in which the females stay together for life. It's like looking at a prison cell looking at these pictures." (Pictured here is the elephant cage)

I spoke to undercover investigator Jack Stevens on July 4th. He is an elephant expert, having worked hands on with them both in the Circus and at an Elephant Sanctuary. " I can state categorically that the pictures of the enclosures I've seen at Michael Jacksons Neverland Ranch are grossly inadequate to house an Elephant, " he said. "Unless the Elephant was given long term access to vast acreage on other parts of the ranch where he/she could roam around unimpeded at his/her own leisure I would say that cage bordered on the inhumane."

There are thousands of pictures on the Internet of Neverland ranch and many on-line albums on photo sharing websites that have been uploaded by visitors to Michael Jackson's zoo. In every picture I could find, there are none where the animals are roaming. It makes sense that the zoo keepers would keep potentially dangerous animals from having access to visitors. The grounds are obviously not equiped like a sanctuary, where a visitor can observe wild animals in a naturalistic setting. The Neverland grounds, even in their decayed and delapidated state, look like what they are: a children's amusement park which also had zoo animals on display. This was a zoo and as far as zoos go, not a very enriching one for its captives.

"It reminds me of the pictures you see coming out of Guantanamo," said Jack Stevens. "Elephants are highly social, intelligent, sentient beings. To house a single Elephant in a concrete cell is cruel. Let's not forget that the Elephant who was confined in a tiny stall had his/her own family and friends and no doubt longed for them but was denied because of the selfishness of humans."

I spoke with Jane Garrison, an animal advocate and contributing author of "Elephants and Ethics" (Johns Hopkins Press). While she was running an international program to protect elephants ten years ago, she was so concerned about a paricular elephant at Michael Jackson's zoo, she contacted the Neverland veterinarian.

"I was horrified that this incredibly social animal was being housed alone and I contacted Michael Jackson's representative to get the elephant moved to a sanctuary, " said Ms. Garrison. "They live their entire lives with their mothers, their sisters, their aunts... so no amount of space could make up for this. Keeping a female elephant alone is actually the cruelest thing you can do to her."

"I tried to get them to retire that elephant and the vet wouldn't budge," continued Ms. Garrison. "They have job security by having an elephant there. Any vet who approves of a female elephant being alone certainly does not have the best interest of the animal at heart."

Ms. Garrison added that even the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), which is regarded with disdain by the animal rights community for accrediting confinement of animals, is against the housing of a lone female elephant. "There is no way to humanely keep an elephant in captivity when you consider their physical and social needs," she said.

On July 1, CNN issued a report that featured Bubbles, the Chimpanzee Jackson brought on tour with him in the 80's. When Bubbles became "too difficult" (Bubbles bit a hole in Quincy Jones' daughter's hand) he was returned to the trainer who originally bought him from a facility in Texas that breeds chimps for research. The trainer handed Bubbles over to the Great Apes Sanctuary in Florida, where he is retired and thriving with other chimpanzees. As in the case of other Neverland animals, he was surrendered with no endowment for their care.

Fans of Michael Jackson insist he loved Bubbles but a more skeptical look at TMZ photos of Bubbles' former cage reveals that he lived in a zoo, not a sanctuary. He lived a solitary existence in a cage when he wasn't on display. Chimpanzees are social animals and thrive in a naturalistic environment with other chimpanzees. Bubbles was dressed like a toddler and treated like an entertainer for Michael Jackson's pleasure. He is certainly happy now, climbing and enjoying the company of friends, not gawkers.

According to the London Standard, two of Michael Jackson's tigers did not find buyers when his zoo animals were auctioned. Tipi Hedren, who is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith, adopted the tigers after animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) broke the news of the deplorable conditions the animals were living under.

"They, as did 98% of the animals requiring sanctuary at the Shambala Preserve, came with no bank account or dowry," said Tipi Hedren. "As a sanctuary, that's what we do. We rescue exotic felines who have been born in the U.S. to be sold as pets or for commercial use. It is a grave human error to acquire a wild animal as a pet."

Certainly, the desire to own or have dominion over dangerous wild animals has psychological implications. Psychologist, author and animal advocate Jana Kohl told me she wanted to cry when she saw the pictures of Michael Jackon's zoo enclosures. Her opinion of the zoo includes the psychic suffering of its owner.

"The physical and emotional abuse Joe Jackson inflicted upon his son, including objectifying Michael as if he were a possession, merely there for his own narcissistic needs, was sadly something Michael repeated himself," said Dr. Kohl. "He thoughtlessly acquired exotic living beings whose own needs were secondary to his insatiable child-like drive to collect and display as many prized possessions as he could, like the priceless objets d'art he bought by the truckloads.

"The animals were there for his amusement, and whether or not they suffered in cramped or unnatural conditions appeared to be something he was incapable of recognizing. If Michael had spent a fraction of his fortune in therapy, understanding and mourning his painful past, he would have likely made different and more conscious choices, including being able to empathize with creatures who have no voice, just as he had no voice as a child, other than the one he created for performing."

Michael Jackson might have professed to love animals but upon closer inspection, his relationship to them was less than loving. You don't sell your pets when you tire of them. Nor should you buy pets that you can't commit to for their lifetime. A responsible pet guardian makes arrangements for their care.

Michael Jackson used wild animals for his entertainment and as a lure to delight the children he wanted to surround himself with and then he abandoned them, both financially and emotionally.

Supposedly unable to care for his private zoo as a result of "financial troubles," Jackson continued his lavish spending right until the end, where he was leasing a California castle for $100,000 a month while his former animals, the ones lucky enough to live in sanctuaries, depend on donations from the public.

As the public waits to discover the specific contents of the Michael Jackson family trust, a private document that instructs how his assets are to be allocated, some of us in the animal protection movement hope that a few dollars will go towards the animals he abandoned. So far, the details released to the press are as follows: 40% to his mother. 40% to his children. The remaining 20% is to be distributed to undisclosed children's charities.

Nothing to animals.

Michael Jackson never visited Bubbles once he gave him away. Maybe John Branca, the executor of his estate, will throw him a banana.


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 11 Jul 20099
Source: National Park [edited]

Officials have confirmed the presence of sylvatic plague and
tularemia in Badlands National Park. That's bad news for the park's
prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets, but visitors should be OK if
they use common sense safety precautions.

Sylvatic plague, which was 1st detected in South Dakota in 2004,
turned up last year [2008] in the prairie dog population of the
Conata Basin just south of Badlands National Park. Since fleas spread
plague from infected animals to healthy ones (and occasionally to
humans as well), officials ordered a flea suppression campaign that
entailed applying insecticides to prairie dog colonies over an area
of about 11 000 acres. In addition, black-footed ferrets were
captured and given plague vaccinations. It was fervently hoped that
these measures would keep the disease from spreading to Badlands
National Park, which not only harbors many thousands of prairie dogs
but also a small and struggling population of endangered black-footed
ferrets that mainly feed on prairie dogs.

Alas, about a week ago, wildlife biologists confirmed that the
prairie dog population in the Sage Creek Wilderness Area of the park
is being assaulted by sylvatic plague. Tularemia (rabbit fever) has
also been detected in one of the park's prairie dog colonies. Both
diseases sicken and kill prairie dogs, so this disease outbreak has
the potential to decimate the park's prairie dog population and
perhaps undo much of the effort that's been invested in
reestablishing black-footed ferrets there.

Although few people in the U.S. have ever been infected by plague or
tularemia, both diseases can be transmitted to humans and should be
considered potentially dangerous. Park officials are advising
visitors to take these common sense safety precautions to minimize
the likelihood of infection:

- Be aware that potentially dangerous diseases can be transmitted to
humans by way of ticks or bites and scratches, urine-contaminated
water, and the inhaling of infectious aerosols.
- Apply DEET insect repellant to clothing and skin to avoid bites
from fleas and ticks.
- Avoid handling sick or dead animals in the park.
- Do not allow pets to wander into prairie dog colonies where they
may come into contact with disease-carrying fleas.
- See a doctor if you think that you may have been exposed to plague
or tularemia.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Brent Barrett

[These are diseases spread by ground squirrels and other wild
rodents, frequently in the western portion of the United States.
"Sylvatic" means pertaining to the woods (sylvan). These are diseases
spread by wild rodents, which serve as a reservoir for humans. In the
western part of the US, they are often spread by prairie dogs, ground
squirrels and other small ground rodents. These diseases can happen
almost anywhere, but we frequently see the problems in the western
region of the US.

Plague results from infection by _Yersinia pestis_, a non-motile,
facultatively intracellular, Gram negative rod (family _Enterobacteriaceae_).

Plague is usually spread between rodents or humans by the bites of
infected fleas. Vectors include a variety of rodent fleas,
particularly the oriental rat flea (_Xenopsylla Cheopis_). In the
U.S., the most common vector is _Oropsylla Montana_, a flea often
found on California ground squirrels, rock squirrels, and sometimes
other rodents including prairie dogs. Human fleas (_Pulex irritans)_
may also carry _Y. pestis_. _Y. pestis_ is also present in the
tissues and body fluids of infected animals; these bacteria can be
transmitted directly through mucous membranes and broken skin.
Aerosols from people or animals with the pneumonic form are
infectious, and animals may transmit bacteria in bites. Carnivores
often become infected when they eat diseased rodents.

Prairie dogs are considered to be sensitive indicators of plague and tularemia.

Tularemia results from infection by _Francisella tularensis_
(formerly known as _Pasteurella tularensis_), a Gram negative,
non-motile coccobacillus. Two subspecies exist: _F. tularensis
tularensis_ (also known as Jellison type A) and _F. tularensis
holarctica_ (Jellison type B). _F. tularensis tularensis_ is found in
lagomorphs in North America and is highly virulent for humans and
domestic rabbits; _F. tularensis holarctica_ is less virulent and
occurs in beavers, muskrats and voles in North America and in hares
and small rodents in Eurasia.

_F. tularensis_ can be transmitted by ingestion, inhalation,
arthropod-borne transfer or direct contact through the skin and
mucous membranes. Organisms are found in the blood and tissues of
infected animals and can survive for long periods on fomites
including food and water. Aquatic animals may develop tularemia after
being immersed in contaminated water. Carnivores sometimes become
infected after ingesting a contaminated carcass. Vectors for _F.
tularensis tularensis_ include ticks (including _Dermacentor
andersoni_, _D. variabilis_ and _Amblyomma americanum_) and biting
flies (particularly deerflies). _F. tularensis holarctica_ is also
transmitted by mosquitoes in Russia. Rarely, the organism is spread
by animal bites.

_F. tularensis_ can survive for long periods in arthropod vectors and
in the environment. Individual flies may carry the organism for 2
weeks and ticks throughout their lifetimes. Viable bacteria can also
be found for weeks to months in the carcasses and hides of infected
animals and in fomites including grain dust, straw, water, soil and
bedbugs. This organism is highly resistant to freezing; live
organisms have been found after 3 years in rabbit meat stored at -15 C.

Portions of this comment have been extracted from:
. - Mod.TG]

[see also:
Plague, fatal - USA (02): (NM) risk, prevention 20090611.2153
Plague, fatal - USA: (NM) bubonic 20090605.2080
Plague, rabbit - USA (NM) 20090415.1435
Tularemia, feline, canine - USA (SD) 20090711.2481
Tularemia, rabbits - USA (02): (NM) 20090417.1458
Tularemia, rabbits - USA (NM) 20090415.1429
Plague, human, prairie dogs - USA: (AZ) 20081012.3229
Plague, bubonic - USA: (CT ex WY) 20080827.2672
Plague, wildlife - USA: (CO) rabbit 20080727.2289
Plague, prairie dogs, ferrets - USA: (SD)(02) 20080722.2213
Plague, prairie dog, ferrets - USA: (SD) 20080708.2082
Plague, feline - USA (WY): mountain lion 20080522.1694
Plague, prairie dogs - USA: (CO), susp., RFI 20080506.1552
Plague, human, feline - USA (NM): early season cases 20080127.0340
Tularemia, human, feline - USA: (NV) 20080825.2652
Tularemia, pneumonic - USA: (NYC) 20080612.1863]

ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
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or archived material.
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Bats on Menu at Congressional Hearings / Die-Off

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 7 Jul 2009
Source: Daily Record [edited]

More than 90 percent of the 30 000 bats within the Hibernia Mine are
dead amid rising concerns about a mysterious illness decimating their
numbers throughout the northeast.

A U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday [8 Jul 2009] will feature
testimony on white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease of unknown origins
causing the winged mammals to lose stored body fat and eventually
die. It is named for the white, powdery fungus growing on the bat's muzzle.

"We must ensure that everything possible is being done to prevent an
ecological disaster," U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said in a statement.

First diagnosed in New York in 2006, white-nose syndrome was
documented in New Jersey in January 2009 after 3 brown bats in
Rockaway Township and one in Denville were recovered and sent for
testing. Rockaway Township is home to the Hibernia Mine, the state's
best-known bat hibernaculum.

Bat sightings throughout the region soared last winter [2008-2009],
which scientists attributed to scores fleeing hibernation in a
desperate and ultimately fatal search for food.

State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokeswoman
Darlene Yuhas said Tuesday [7 Jul 2009] that DEP's principal
zoologist, Mick Valent, prepared the 90 percent death toll estimate
during visits to the Hibernia Mine.

Wednesday's [8 Jul 2009] hearing in Washington will begin at 10 a.m.
and focus on threats to native wildlife species, with white-nose
syndrome on the agenda. Lautenberg said he requested the hearing and
is seeking emergency funding for research into a cure.

The potential environmental impact of white-nose syndrome is
enormous. Since bats feed on insects, fewer bats would mean more
mosquitoes, for example.

Merlin Tuttle, an internationally known bat expert and founder of Bat
Conservation International in Austin, Texas, told the Daily Record in
January 2009 that a decrease in bats could affect cucumber crops.
Tuttle noted that researchers are concerned that White Nose Syndrome
will eventually spread much farther. He said that Texas has a cave
with 20 million bats credited with devouring 200 tons of insects per night.

There is no evidence of white-nose syndrome posing a risk to people
or pets. Rockaway Township, though, moved up to 28 Feb 2010 its
spring free rabies clinic. The clinic is usually held in April, but
Rockaway Township's health director said the township wanted to hold
it sooner because of a rising number of resident calls about bat
sightings in their homes, on their property and elsewhere in town.

[Byline: Rob Jennings: ]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Susan Baekeland

[I am unsure what a senate hearing will do to solve the mysterious
White Nose Syndrome that seems to devastate bat communities in many
areas. While I applaud the government for seeking more information on
this baffling subject, it seems only a breakthrough in science or a
miracle from God will solve this syndrome. - Mod.TG]

[see also:
White nose syndrome, bats - USA (12) 20090510.1750
White nose syndrome, bats - USA (11) 20090510.1743
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (10): cave closings 20090507.1703
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (09): (VA) susp. 20090427.1590
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (08): (MA) 20090414.1413
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (07) 20090320.1110
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (06): (PA) RFI 20090311.1011
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (05): (PA) 20090309.0975
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (04): (PA) 20090306.0931
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (03): (WV) susp 20090220.0711
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (02): (northeast) 20090208.0578
White-nose syndrome, bats - USA: (Northeast) 20090129.0401]

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"Old Bones" Update / Sullivan Co., NY

GREAT NEWS! Bones has found a new forever loving home but now needs help with transport from Katskill Mountain Kritters Rescue in Kauneonga, NY to Shepherdstown, WV;

Melissa Susko/Executive Director
PIGS Animal Sanctuary
1112 Persimmon Lane
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
304-262-0080 (office phone)

If you can help get Bones to his new home, please contact Henni at "Katskill Mountain Kritters"

PHONE: (845) 866-1975
(leave message)

Click on title above to go to the contact page of her website;


"Old Bones" was picked up as a stray by Animal Control of Sullivan County, NY, and was on her way to the pound where she was sure to be euthanised when the good folks at Katskill Mountain Critters intercepted her. KMC is a registered non-profit NO-KILL shelter and they are chuck full and operating on a shoe-string budget. There is no room at the inn for Old Bones for too long so we are posting her blurb around in hopes that someone will have a soft spot in their heart for this one. Just look at the pitiful pics. Wouldnt you LOVE to see this dog happy and healthy again, running and playing and enjoying life? If you can take this dog or would like more information about her, please contact KMC by clicking onto the title above that will take you to their website where you will find email addy and telephone number. Tell them you are calling about "Bones."

Also, if you are looking for a TRUE* No-Kill shelter to support, this would be the one. (I talked to the Director of a "Limited Kill" shelter today ( who informed me that they euthanize "agressive" animals and feral cats "as a matter of routine." People, this is NOT they way to go No-Kill. No-Kill means No-Kill and that is what Katskill Mountain Critters is: a REAL No-Kill Shelter where they even specialize in hard-to-place, un-adoptables and ferals. If I had any $$$ to spare, this is the kind of shelter I would support. Wouldnt you? Wont you? Please do give Katskill Mountain Critters your support. They most certainly deserve it.

Click on title above to go to their site;

Saturday, July 11, 2009

3 Cops, 1 Civilian, Shot w/ Bullets Meant for Dog

Ah, New York New York, what a wonderful town.

Three police officers were hit by bullet fragments that ricocheted after the police fired at a pit bull charging at them from an apartment in a housing project on the Upper East Side late Wednesday night, a police official said.

A woman in the apartment who had opened the door, letting the pit bull out, was also hit. None of the injuries were serious, the police said.

The Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said that a sergeant and five officers had been sent to the apartment at 1806 First Avenue, near East 93rd Street, after someone called 911 and reported an assault in Apt. 11-J. The caller said the assailant had a gun, Mr. Browne said.

The officers, from the 19th Precinct and the Midtown North Task Force, rang the doorbell and the door opened wide enough for the pit bull to race out, Mr. Browne said. Three of the officers opened fire, Mr. Browne said. He said it was not immediately clear how many bullets they had discharged.

The bullets richocheted in the close quarters of the hallway. One officer from the task force was hit by a bullet fragment under his right eye. Another fragment hit the hand of a second officer. An officer from the 19th Precinct was hit on the side of his nose.

The woman who had opened the door, whose name was not immediately released, was hit in the arm.

All the injured were taken to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

The woman who let the dog out was arrested. The dog died in the shooting.

Mr. Browne said the police found five other people in the apartment but no gun. He said all five were being questioned.

He said the police were investigating whether the call that sent the officers there had actually come from inside the apartment or from somewhere else.

Al Baker and Mathew R. Warren contributed reporting.

Friday, July 10, 2009


On Wednesday, July 8, the ASPCA began assisting federal and state agencies in what is believed to be the largest crackdown on dog fighting in U.S. history. The raid spans eight states so far—Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska and Mississippi. Arrests have been made in all eight states.

Nearly 400 rescued dogs were safely transported to a secure facility under the direction of the Humane Society of Missouri’s (HSMO) Animal Cruelty Task Force, where they will be cared for until final disposition is determined by the U.S. District Court.

“The ASPCA is determined to protect the nation’s pets from dog fighting and other forms of brutality,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Animal cruelty cannot be tolerated, and we are proud to lend our support to federal and local agencies to ensure that these abusers are brought to justice.”

At the request of HSMO, the ASPCA is lending the services of its special forensic cruelty investigation team—including disaster animal rescuers, field service investigators and Dr. Melinda Merck, the nation’s premier forensic veterinarian—to collect evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case. The ASPCA’s Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation Unit, outfitted with medical equipment tailored specifically for animal patients, is also on hand.

The ASPCA will also eventually assist in behavior evaluations of the dogs. (Bloggers note: (Ut-oh;

Dog fighting is banned throughout the United States and is a felony in all 50 states. If convicted of animal fighting charges, those arrested each face up to five years in prison.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A No-Kill Nation within 5 Years?

The authoress of the article below makes a point here that I have often wondered about. In view of the increasing numbers of shelters joining the No-Kill Shelter Revolution, there should be a way to track the growth of the No-Kill Shelters aross the Nation. I been thinking its time to ask Nathan to put together a map or tracking method of some kind so we will be able to know who and where we are and to be able to watch ourselves grow as a movement. Maybe if we all bombarded him with enough of these requests, he will give it some serious thought.

A No-Kill Nation Within 5 Years?

By Kim Campbell Thornton contributor
updated 7:59 a.m. CT, Thurs., July 9, 2009

When the Richmond SPCA in Virginia announced plans to become a no-kill animal shelter beginning in 2002, there was one thing that CEO Robin Starr didn´t expect: vocal opposition from local rescue groups.
Opponents argued that the change would mean a disproportionate amount of unadoptable animals would end up at the city´s animal control shelter - possibly leading to more animal deaths.

"It was sort of like we did a really good job of euthanizing animals, and it was our job, and we needed to see it as our place," Starr said. "I just didn´t accept the notion that we were derelict in our duty if we didn´t kill animals."
So the Richmond SPCA, a private organization, entered into a partnership with Richmond Animal Care and Control, the city´s shelter, with the joint goal of ending the killing of healthy, homeless animals in the community.
The Richmond SPCA began limiting the animals it accepted, opened a spay/neuter clinic, implemented a foster care network and instituted new programs emphasizing adoption and responsible pet ownership. Richmond SPCA also created programs to help pets remain with their owners, including a pet food bank and animal behavior-training classes. Richmond Animal Care and Control, in turn, pledged to focus on public safety issues.

By 2006, two years ahead of schedule, the partners had achieved their goal: an adoption rate of 75 percent or more, with no more healthy but homeless animal dying in the city. That´s up from a save rate of 56 percent in 2001.

"We´re no-kill within the organization," Starr said. "And last year, our citywide euthanasia rate, including all animals taken in anywhere as homeless, was 19 percent, which I think puts us within the top few in the country."

In contrast, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that approximately 60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats entering shelters are euthanized each year, mostly due to a lack of space or resources to care for them.
Animals still may be euthanized when they are highly aggressive, severely injured or have an untreatable medical condition, says Jody Jones, operations manager for Richmond Animal Care and Control. However, she adds, "we have not euthanized a healthy adoptable animal since 2006."

A no-kill nation?While no hard statistics are kept on the number of no-kill animal shelters in the U.S., the number does appear to be growing - and the number of animal adoptions rising in those cities. Many cities, animal control agencies and private shelters in the U.S. are forming alliances that they hope will lead to a no-kill nation in half a decade.

The Nevada Humane Society based in Reno, Nev., adopted a no-kill policy in 2006. In less than a year, cat adoptions nearly doubled, from 2,100 in 2006 to 3,745 in 2007. Dog adoptions increased 51 percent, from 2,439 to 3,707.
Executive Director Bonney Brown credits the improved numbers to a focus on saving the lives of animals as well as a good relationship with Washoe County Regional Animal Services, which has one of the highest returned-to-owner rates in the nation - 65 percent of dogs and nearly 7 percent of cats. "We´ve been blessed with the rescue groups in the community," Brown said. "They take animals that need a lot of extra care or behavioral rehabilitation."

Heavy reliance on volunteers, convenient shelter hours and fun community fundraising events - such as trick-or-treating for pets at Halloween and furry speed dating on Valentine´s Day - have made a difference in Washoe County. Brown, who has a background in retail, runs the organization like a business. "You look at what needs to be achieved and figure out how to do that. Maybe it means letting go of some programs that don´t have a lifesaving impact or shifting the hours that the shelter is open," she said. "We´ve actually reduced our budget during the same time that we were achieving no-kill success."

At the Nevada Humane Society, the average length of stay for a dog is about 16 days; for cats, about 23 days. The organization also has improved its adoption screening and matching process.

"Animals that have been in the shelter longer are moved into the most prominent adoption places, and we make a push to get them out," she said.

However, not every community has the resources to form such partnerships that make no-kill shelters successful, says Misha Goodman, president of the National Animal Control Association and director of animal services for Iowa City, Iowa.
"Some locations in the country may have a very small shelter or animal control agency and not have the resources of local rescues or other shelters or humane societies," she says. "I´m in the Midwest, and I can tell you that it is hugely lacking agencies to deal with animal-related problems. There are a whole lot of rural areas that don´t have accessibility to even the minimal amount of services."
'Every animal moves out of here. 'Critics charge that no-kill shelters accept only the most adoptable animals, but Richmond SPCA's Starr refutes that. Unless animals are too sick or injured to recover to a quality life or are so aggressive that they are dangerous, "every animal moves out of here," she said.

And many shelters are coming up with innovative programs to facilitate adoptions of hard-to-place pets, such as older animals, pit bulls, and pets with disabilities or health problems. "With older cats, we always do a reduced adoption fee," says Ken White, president of Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, Calif. "And we work with a lot of senior advocacy groups. Older animals are sometimes a really excellent choice for older people."

Some organizations also tap donor-supported funds to help with medical bills even after adoption. Many share the animals' names and stories in an effort to make them more adoptable. White firmly believes in giving every animal a chance at a home.
"We´re diving deeper into our own local dogs and cats that have medical and behavioral problems and trying to make ready for adoption dogs and cats who in past years would have been euthanized immediately," he said.

Be sure to visit Nathan Wineograds "No-Kill" Advocacy Center to see how you can help bring about a No-Kill Nation;

Kim Campbell Thornton is an award-winning author who has written many articles and more than 20 books about dogs and cats. She belongs to the Dog Writers Association of America and is vice president of the Cat Writers Association. She shares her home in California with three Cavalier King Charles spaniels and one African ringneck parakeet.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

American Humanes' Livestock Transport Program: Working for Humane Transport to In-Humane Slaughter

American Humane® Certified Farm Animal Program to Develop Humane Livestock Transport
Research of Next Generation of Humane Transportation Will be Monitored

Denver (June 30, 2009)
The nation’s leading animal-welfare monitoring and humane-labeling program for food products – American Humane® Certified -- will convene a panel of experts in animal handling, animal science, veterinary medicine and transportation-equipment manufacturing to develop improved welfare standards for design, technology and monitoring of livestock transportation. American livestock transportation equipment that meets the standards will be recognized with the American Humane Gold Award.

American Humane Certified will begin monitoring the research and testing of a new humanely designed trailer, recently introduced at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. Advanced Livestock Transport (ALT), a new USA livestock trailer company, has imported its first trailer into the United States from trailer manufacturer CastaƱe of Spain, for introduction to the American pork industry, as well as other species that are transported by truck. ALT is the first transport company to sell equipment in North America that complies with European Union (EU) regulations on animal welfare.

The research on the ALT trailer will be conducted by Texas Tech University, under the direction of Professor John McGlone. Among data to be tracked are the rates of dead on arrival, and non-ambulatory and non-injured pigs compared to other transportation equipment designs. ALT has engineered temperature controls designed to reduce the rate of dead and downed pigs. The trailer also has increased floor space to be able to provide science-based space allowances and an elevator that eliminates the need for ramps. The trailer includes on-board GPS tracking, and temperature and video monitoring of animals during transport. The early research is expected to be completed by late 2009.

The certification of transportation equipment is a reintroduction of American Humane’s historic “Gold Award” for humanely-designed transportation equipment. It was first awarded in 1887 to the A.C. Mather Co. for its improved cattle rail car. Over the decades, American Humane has worked closely with the livestock and transportation industries to develop humane methods and equipment that improve animal welfare during transport. More historical information can be found at

“American Humane has been involved in creating more humane conditions for animals in transport since our founding in 1877,” said Tim Amlaw, director of American Humane Certified. “It is fitting that we revisit our legacy and once again recognize humane practices in the transportation of livestock.”

Upon completion of the livestock transportation standards and in-depth review by the American Humane Certified Scientific Advisory Committee, the standards will be publicly available on American Humane Certified’s web site,

About American Humane

Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the only national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, American Humane develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link® between violence to people and violence to animals, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humane’s regional office in Los Angeles is the exclusive authority behind the “No Animals Were Harmed”® end-credit disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humane’s office in Washington, D.C., is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. The American Humane Certified™ farm animal program is the nation’s original independent certification and labeling program for humanely raised food ( American Humane meets the strong, comprehensive standards of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, has been awarded the Independent Charities of America’s “Best in America” Seal of Approval, and has met the stringent standards for financial efficiency and accountability required by the American Institute of Philanthropy to qualify as a Top-Rated Charity. Visit to learn more.