AWI Quarterly

Judge Strikes Down Phony "Dolphin-Safe" Label

 

On April 11, 2000, Judge Thelton Henderson of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled against the blatant defrauding of consumers by the U.S. government. The judge struck down the new "dolphin-safe" label for canned tuna fish—a label that is distinctly dolphin unsafe. Judge Henderson questioned the diligence of the Department of Commerce in adequately studying the reason for the lack of recovery of several species of dolphins, hard hit for decades in the eastern tropical Pacific.

Despite the death of over seven million dolphins who were chased, exhausted and netted to catch the tuna schools beneath them, Secretary of Commerce William Daley made a preliminary finding last year that there was no proof that this technique of fishing caused "significant adverse impact." His finding triggered the release of a new, official Department of Commerce "dolphin-safe" label for canned tuna fish. The new label would have been used on cans of tuna caught by harassing dolphins. Judge Henderson essentially voided this fraud and sent the government back to the drawing board. His ruling came in the nick of time, with Mexico poised to flood the U.S. with tons of dolphin-deadly tuna.

Thanks to especially vocal consumers, all canned tuna now sold in the United States is caught without netting dolphins. All three major American tuna importers have vowed to continue the present definition of dolphin-safe and reject the phony label.


Photo, Spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) are one of the two species most heavily impacted by being chased and encircled by tuna nets in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean. (Psarakos/Earthtrust)

Canadian Bear Parts Traders Jailed

 

Two brothers have been jailed and fined for illegal trafficking, possession and transportation of bear parts in Canada. Both men were fined $7,000 and will serve 31 days in jail. "These tough penalties send a clear message that illegal trafficking in wildlife parts will not be tolerated in British Columbia," said Environment, Lands and Parks Minister Joan Sawicki. Both men were apprehended when they delivered 10 bear gall bladders to undercover officers posing as customers. The value of the bear parts seized was estimated at $13,000 on the illegal market. This is reportedly the first time anyone has been convicted and imprisoned in Canada for the interprovincial transportation of bear parts under the federal act as the result of an undercover investigation.

— Information from British Columbia, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks News Release, May 31, 2000

Animal Welfare Institute QUARTERLY Fall 2000 Volume 49 Number 4

 

About the Cover
Cover photograph of Ake by Ursula Keuper-Bennett who recognizes individual sea turtles. Her husband Peter Bennett and she maintain a web site on sea turtles (www.turtles.org). The WTO recently upheld US regulations that prohibit shrimp imports from countries that do not employ turtle-protection devices (see page 11). Turtles are poached cruelly for their shells, which are made into curios and sold on the Japanese market. A conservation Protocol for the Wider Caribbean Region concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) can help protect turtles from international trade (see pages 8-9). It is urgent that the US ratify this Treaty in time for the meetings this September. Write Secretary of State Colin Powell (Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520) to draw his attention to this important Treaty.


Directors
Marjorie Cooke
Roger Fouts, Ph.D.
David O. Hill
Fredrick Hutchison
Cathy Liss
Christine Stevens
Cynthia Wilson

Officers
Christine Stevens, President
Cynthia Wilson, Vice President
Fredrick Hutchison, CPA, Treasurer
Marjorie Cooke, Secretary

Scientific Committee
Marjorie Anchel, Ph.D.
Gerard Bertrand, Ph.D.
F. Barbara Orlans, Ph.D.
Roger Payne, Ph.D.
Samuel Peacock, M.D.
John Walsh, M.D.

International Committee
Aline de Aluja, D.M.V., Mexico
T.G. Antikas, D.M.V., Greece
Ambassador Tabarak Husain, Bangladesh
Angela King, United Kingdom
Simon Muchiru, Kenya
Godofredo Stutzin, Chile
Agnes Van Volkenburgh, Poland
Alexey Yablokov, Ph.D., Russia

Staff and Consultants
Ava Armendariz, Publications Coordinator
Amy Conklin, Editorial Assistant
John Gleiber, Assistant to the Officers
Diane Halverson, Farm Animal Advisor
Chris Heyde, Research Associate
Lynne Hutchison, Executive Secretary
Cathy Liss, Executive Director
Nell Naughton, Mail Order Secretary
Greta Nilsson, Wildlife Consultant
Viktor Reinhardt, D.M.V., Ph.D.,  Laboratory
       Animal Advisor
Jennifer Rinick, Research Assistant
Adam M. Roberts, Senior Research Associate
Wendy Swann, Research Associate
Ben White, International Coordinator

 

Table of Contents

FARM ANIMALS

Humane Slaughter Act Resolution Introduced

AWI CEREMONY

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Presents AWI's Albert Schweitzer Medal to Polish Humane Hog Farm Advocate, Andrzej Lepper

What's at stake in Poland? This is what is at stake
by Tom Garrett

WILDLIFE AND MARINE ANIMALS

Militants and Profiteers Wipe Out Wildlife in the DRC

Killing Continues in Zimbabwe

Caribbean Conservation Treaty Spawned
by Adam M. Roberts

Trendy Talbots Tied to Tasteless Sales

Tsukiji's Fish Market

Consumers Can Save the Chilean Sea Bass

Does BC Stand for "Bear Conservation?"

FREE TRADE

WTO and Sea Turtles Clash Again and Again

From Antigua and Barbuda to Venezuela, Another "Free" Trade Agreement
by Adam M. Roberts

ANIMALS IN LABORATORIES

Agony of Animals at Amgen

Caged Laboratory Animals Drown by the Tens of Thousands

BOOK REVIEWS

The Smile of a Dolphin

Saving Sharks from the Jaws of Greed

Comments? Questions? Click Here

Music of the Birds

 

Music of the Birds
A Celebration of Bird Song

Includes audio compact disc featuring songbird concerts and solos
by Lang Elliott, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999, 136 pages, $25.00

A book published a few months before the symposium, Music of the Birds, A Celebration of Bird Song, by Lang Elliott, includes a compact disk giving clear reproductions of each of the singers' voices as well as color photographs of each of the bird species captured with open beaks, pouring forth their individual songs. Elliott knows the characteristics of a vast number of bird songs and approaches silently to portray each bird as he sings. Together with the beautiful color photographs, Elliott quotes poets who have written about denizens of North American woods and fields.

Beside a photograph of a Yellow Warbler, William Wordsworth is quoted:

The birds pour forth their souls in notes
Of rapture from a thousand throats.

A photograph of a Scarlet Tanager (photo left) is accompanied by Geoffrey Chaucer's:

Hard is the hert that loveth nought,
In May, when al this mirth is wrought,
When he may on these braunches here
 The smale briddes syngen clere
 Her blesful swete song pitous…

Elliott writes: "Bird song preceded human music. Considered from a scientific perspective, it evolved with the appearance of songbirds during the Pliocene and early Pleistocene periods, several million years ago." His words are illustrated by a photograph of a Wood Thrush.

Elliott chooses Ralph Waldo Emerson's words to illustrate his picture of a Black-capped Chickadee:

There is no sorrow in thy song, no winter in thy year.

The Skylark of Europe inspired Shelley's famous poem, "To a Skylark:"

Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest,
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still doth soar, and soaring ever singest.

Opposite the photograph of another sweet singer, the Gray Catbird (photo right), James Russell Lowell is quoted:

As a twig trembles, which a bird
Lights on to sing, then leaves unbent,
So is my memory thrilled and stirred:—
I only know she came and went.

Robert Louis Stevenson was chosen to comment on photographs of Warblers and a Carolina Chickadee:

My bedroom, when I awoke this morning, was full of birdsongs, which is the greatest pleasure in life.

Militants and Profiteers Wipe Out Wildlife in the DRC

Illegal exploitation of the mineral and forest resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC] is taking place at an alarming rate," according to a recent Panel of Experts Report issued at the request of the United Nations Security Council. Natural resource raiding is exacerbated by the active external involvement of partisan nations in the region, notably Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Angola.

Some key players in the rape of Africa's natural riches have historically exploited civil turmoil for personal gain and are individually named in the report. One notorious culprit, Mrs. Aziza Kulsum Gulamali, was also implicated in Burundi's civil war, where "she was involved in arms trafficking for the benefit of the Burundian Hutus and was equally involved in gold and ivory trafficking."

Wildlife is impacted detrimentally by the warring in DRC. The Report notes, for instance, that between 1995 and 1999 "in the area controlled by the Ugandan troops and Sudanese rebels, nearly 4,000 out of 12,000 elephants were killed in the Garamba Park" in north-eastern DRC.  Further, "In the Kahuzi-Biega Park, a zone controlled by Rwandans and [the Rally for Congolese Democracy based in Goma] and rich in coltan, only 2 out of 350 elephant families remained in 2000." Rwandan soldiers are implicated in the trading of elephant and buffalo meat.

Other endangered species, including highly endangered gorillas, are under fierce attack in the Congo. Okapis, the short-necked relative of the giraffe whose legs bear markings like a zebra, are rapidly dwindling there. Even the Okapi Reserve can no longer provide safe haven for the roughly 5,000 (of the estimated 30,000) okapis surviving in the wild.

The primary focus of the report involves looting of mineral resources such as coltan (used in high-tech electronic products and everyday modern items such as cell phones), gold and diamonds. A number of western, developed nations have companies importing coltan including Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.  In some instances, the Panel implicated embassy staff in facilitating "the purchase of illegal minerals." For instance: "The United States honorary consul in Bukavu, as he presented himself, Ramnik O. Kotecha, in addition to promoting deals between American companies and coltan dealers in the region, is himself Chairman of the Kotecha group of companies based in Bukavu and deals in coltan."

Unlawful foreign companies further exacerbate the unsustainable timber harvests that threaten the DRC's remaining forestlands. The Report notes that a Ugandan-Thai forest company, DARA-Forest, "consistently exported its timber" without proper certification. The United States is among the list of industrialized countries with companies that import this uncertified timber.

This Report is not the only indication that the volatile state of government rule in the DRC precludes any real oversight over wildlife protection and enables corruption by government bureaucrats, complicit foreign corporations and exploitative corporations to flourish. A recent CITES report notes that rebels in the DRC had been falsifying CITES documents to export chimpanzees to a neighboring country, where "it is suspected the animals were destined for the bushmeat trade." Further, genuine export permits were illegally altered to facilitate large-scale illicit international trade. "In one instance alone," CITES alleges, "permits authorizing the export of only two birds were used to export 1,000 birds to two different countries."


Caption: Even in the DRC's Okapi Wildlife Reserve, poachers don't spare the elusive okapi. (Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo)

China's Torture Chambers

 

The results of an extensive undercover investigation into China's cruel bear bile farms by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) were revealed in a new report discussed at the recent meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Nairobi, Kenya.

WSPA's report, Inside China's Torture Chambers, documents how thousands of bears are kept in horrific conditions in hundreds of farms across China, producing approximately 7000 kg of bear bile every year for the traditional Chinese medicine market.

WSPA fears that China will apply to register some of its bear farms with CITES (none currently registered), thereby circumventing the existing international ban on trade in endangered bear parts. Bears from facilities approved by the CITES Secretariat can have their parts sold in global commercial trade while wild bears of the same species ostensibly are protected from such profitable exploitation. Such a move would hasten the demise of bears in the wild, with many taken from the wild each year to restock the farms, and encourage the continued development of this barbaric form of "farming."

The bears kept on these farms endure the most appalling levels of cruelty and neglect, with many wounded and scarred due to the friction caused by being kept in tiny metal cages suspended above the ground. They have no choice but to lie squashed in their cages on a bed of bars, some with a constant stream of bile seeping from their stomachs, where an open wound allows workers to insert a tube or piece of metal to "tap" the bile twice a day. Bears may stop producing bile after just a few years, after which they outlive their usefulness and are left to die or killed for their paws and gall bladders. A single bear paw may sell for several hundred dollars - almost a year's salary for the average worker in China.


Photo, Bile seeps from a bear's abdomen at a Chinese bear farm in Heilongchiang Province. (Fisherman/WSPA)

Killing Continues in Zimbabwe

Following AWI's article in the Winter 2001 issue, "Animals Caught in Zimbabwe's Anarchical Land Grab," we received a letter from Karen Paolillo of the Turgwe Hippo Trust, Save Valley Conservancy, in Zimbabwe. An excerpt of her tellingly heartrending and personal letter appears below.

...three weeks ago my husband and I were patrolling upstream of our home checking that all was safe for the hippos who are under our care. We find a freshly dead female kudu (an antelope) hanging from a snare. A snare is a wire noose attached to a tree which, when the animal goes to browse a leaf, finds its neck caught, pulls back and the noose tightens until the animal either breaks the attached wire and has a lingering death as the remaining noose chokes its life away, or dies like in the case of this female attached to the wire hanging from its struggle to be free. We walk around the area, we find a further 20 snares, with three more dead animals, two kudus and one impala, these animals had been dead for at least two weeks, no poacher had bothered to recover his spoil!

Then I see movement, to the right of the dead female a shape appears hidden in the grass. A live kudu female baby about seven weeks of age. She was nervous, like any wild animal, where was her mum, (hanging from a tree) what could she do? For four days I tried to gain her trust. On the fifth day she disappeared. Three weeks later I went back into the area and there she was. She has survived; she is thin, very thin but alive and still lively enough to run away from the human enemy.

In the meantime the owner of that piece of land sent his game scouts back to check for further snares; they found 131! Poachers now work in groups of up to 30 men. They scour an area working singularly laying their snares, or shooting with their bows and arrows at any bird or animal they see.... They remove the meat as a group and make a lot of money selling it to the highest bidder.

...These days the poaching is big business. The poachers say they are the bosses, they are the masters, they listen to nobody....The police are on the side of lawlessness in that if a scout tries to protect himself against a poacher, it is the scout who ends up in the jail, not the poacher!

I see around me animals daily being killed and there does not appear to be any sunshine at the end of this extremely long and dark tunnel. For us that work for love, the deaths of all of these animals, not for food but for greed and money brings so much pain. Please spare a moment of your time and think about that baby kudu and please try and help this Country to return to the peaceful land it was but a short while ago.

If you wish to become a foster parent or obtain more information please contact: Karen Paolillo, Turgwe, Hippo Trust, Hippo Haven, PO Box 322, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe, phone: 263- (0) 24-456 or email at paolillo@mutare.icon.co.zw.


Captions:

Above: A snared female kudu, one of the beautiful African antelopes and one of the many species of wildlife cruelly caught in the land-grab in Zimbabwe.

Right: 18 month old Flood on the left and 6 month old Nelly Storm on the right-two hippos rescued and residing at the Turgwe Hippo Trust, which was created after severe droughts in 1991 and 1992. (Karen Paolillo)


Report: Japan is Top Importer of Endangered Species

 

According to Kyodo News Service, February 8, 2000, "Japan in 1996 was the world's top importer of endangered tortoises and birds whose trading is restricted by an international convention, a survey by a Japanese group monitoring wildlife trafficking showed Tuesday.

"Japan also ranked second as an importer of live primates and orchid-type plants listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

            "…According to the survey, Japan bought 29,051 tortoises from abroad, absorbing some 55% of the species traded worldwide, and purchased 136,179 wild and bred birds, or 43% of all birds trafficked globally.

            "…A total of 5,374 live primates such as cynomolgus monkeys and common squirrel monkeys were brought to Japan, the world's second largest amount for trade. Japan was also the second largest importer of furs of animals belonging to the cat family…"

From Antigua and Barbuda to Venezuela, Another "Free" Trade Agreement

By Adam M. Roberts

Thanks to the multinational commercial take over of the global economy, Americans not versed in the lingo of international trade and foreign investment have been forced to learn a new vocabulary with terms such as "Government Procurement," "Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards" and "Technical Barriers to Trade." We've also witnessed a new civil society uprising in the streets of Seattle, Washington, DC and Quebec, against faceless trade bureaucrats who, engaging in their machinations behind closed doors, develop policies that can change the way we farm, what we eat and how we protect endangered species.

The newest force in this global takeover of democratic free will is the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). FTAA is modeled on the chilling North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which ultimately yielded the World Trade Organization (WTO). Having failed to implement the pro-corporation Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), FTAA negotiators just extracted insidious provisions from NAFTA and WTO to create the largest free trade zone in the world-affecting 800 million people in thirty-four nations.

Negotiations on FTAA began in 1994 and are scheduled for completion by 2005. President Bush remarked, "A recent summit in Quebec symbolized the new reality in our hemisphere." Unfortunately, the "new reality" is dismal-in fact, the Quebec meeting of dignitaries was held behind concrete and chain link fence barriers, preventing protestors from making their views known. Part of the inherent problem in assessing the impacts of FTAA text is that it has not been made widely available for public review, but lessons learned from NAFTA allow for general assessments about FTAA's potential impact.

FTAA should make it more difficult to protect family farmers and fight transnational corporate agribusinesses. FTAA's negotiating group on Agriculture's mission is to improve market access for agricultural products and "prevent protectionist trade practices and facilitate trade in the hemisphere." FTAA will allow corporations to sue governments for lost profit based on national regulations or laws. So if Smithfield Foods tries to force pork products onto consumers of an FTAA member nation as it has attempted in Poland, and the government resists, Smithfield can sue that government, whether it's in Bolivia or Suriname, for lost profit. So could Weyerhauser sue if prevented from clear cutting a forest, or a company affected by a labor strike. This framework would increasingly cause the gutting of environmental laws and labor rights considered too expensive to protect in a world organized for maximum extraction of corporate profit.

Maude Barlow, a Director on the Board of the International Forum on Globalization, said, "Under the new global food system, agriculture, in which farmers grow food for people and communities, has been transformed into a system of agribusiness, in which transnational food corporations produce food for profit and food safety standards and the rights of farmers are of little or no concern."

Barlow continues, "The FTAA draft, as it now stands, contains no safeguards for the environment." It will be harder to protect threatened and endangered wildlife. While under GATT foreign nations challenged our strong laws prohibiting importation of dolphin deadly tuna, under FTAA, not only can Latin and South American governments challenge our conservation laws, but foreign fishing fleet owners, tuna canneries and other corporations potentially could sue the US as well!

President Bush is urging Congress to grant him fast track negotiating power, now dubbed "trade promotion authority," which sounds misleadingly benign. This prevents Congress from altering the text of trade agreements negotiated by the White House. According to Reuters, Bush warned that protecting the environment and labor standards "must not be an excuse for self-defeating protectionism." FTAA will not protect the environment and animal protection laws adequately, similar to its global predecessors. The sad global reality is to push for corporate free trade agreements instead of democratic fair trade agreements.


Drawing by Kirk Anderson©

Join the Fight to End Abuse of Laying Hens

 

Millions of laying hens are subjected to three shameful cruelties: forced molting, debeaking and battery cages. At last, the industry is listening to the sharp criticism of its routine practices. Now is the time to write to the head of the United Egg Producers with a strong protest against this unnecessary pain and suffering inflicted on the innocent and helpless birds.

1.)  Forced molting is induced by denying all food and in some cases water, to the caged hens. For 5-14 days all sustenance is withheld. The industry does this to induce a molt. The hen loses her feathers, and when finally given food and water again, the survivors lay bigger eggs.

2.)  Debeaking requires the hen's beak to be cut through so she can't peck the other hens jammed into a cramped battery cage in which four or five hens are forced to exist. Scientific studies have shown that the cut beak causes permanent pain to the hens.

3.)  Battery cages are so small that none of the victimized hens can even spread their wings. Their claws sometimes grow around the wires of the cage floor, causing more pain and distress. Hens have a strong urge to dust bathe, to run about and eat natural foods, and to build and lay their eggs in a nest where the chicks can hatch—but every pleasure is denied them, all for the sake of commercial gain.

The United Egg Producers (UEP) is at last realizing that it is being seriously criticized. United Poultry Concerns' Karen Davis and Veterinarians for Animal Rights' Ned Buyukmihci and Teri Barnato have led the fight. Both Karen and Ned have doctorate degrees, and their words carry weight with publications as diverse as The Washington Post and Feedstuffs, the big agribusiness trade journal. On May 1st, Feedstuffs told its readers that UEP "recently named an advisory committee to reconsider the guidelines in view of new scientific and social trends."

On April 30th, Marc Kaufman's article "Cracks in the Egg Industry" appeared on the front page of The Washington Post. He quoted the author of a bill in the California Assembly to outlaw forced molting, Ted Lempert, who said, "I was first shocked by the practice because of the horrible cruelty, but the health issues really demand attention." Kaufman's article states, "Federal statistics show salmonella in eggs was associated with 28,644 illnesses and 79 deaths from 1985 to 1998. Several studies concluded that there was also a link between the stress of forced molting of hens and salmonella in them and their eggs."

UEP has decided, after receiving thousands of critical letters, that it needed to appoint an animal welfare advisory committee to revise UEP's current guidelines.


ACTION Please write to the president of the United Egg Producers and tell him you don't want to eat eggs that come from hens who have been de-beaked and are in cramped battery cages.  Tell him you are appalled that hens are starved for 5 to 14 days in an effort to increase their production.  You might mention that you are shocked to learn that hens are starved and deprived of water to save a mere 4 cents on a dozen eggs.  Please tell him that you will never eat eggs again unless they come from happy hens on humanely operated farms.

He may be addressed:

Mr. Albert E. Pope, President, UEP
1303 Hightower Trail, #200
Atlanta, Georgia 30350
telephone: (770) 587-5871,
fax: (770) 587-0041
email: alpope@mindspring.com 
website: http://www.unitedegg.org/ 


Top Photo, Rescued battery hens view the natural world for the first time.

Bottom Photo, The same hens a few weeks later.

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