BBC Claims More Foxes Killed After Hunt Ban In Scotland than Before

The BBC is reporting that the number of foxes killed by hunts in Scotland actually increased after the Scottish Parliament passed a ban on hunting with dogs.

The legal change in Scotland forbid huntsmen from using dogs to hunt down and kill foxes. Instead, they are only allowed to use dogs to flush out foxes who then have to be shot by hunters, and in any event only for pest control purposes.

According to the BBC, this change actually makes it more likely that foxes being hunted will be killed,

It’s claimed that since a ban came into force the hunts are killing more foxes, because the animals stand less chance of getting away from guns than they did from the hounds.

There’s also concern that in the past the younger, fitter, healthier foxes were the most likely to get away from the pack.

But now they’re the very ones most likely to break from cover first, which makes them more like to be shot.

Older or diseased animals may stay hidden and so escape. Hunts say this is bound to be bad for fox populations in the long run.

The most amusing part of the Scottish ban is the debate over “flushing” vs. “searching.” Under the ban, hunters are allowed to use dogs to flush foxes from their hiding places, but they are not supposed to use dogs to actively search for foxes. Sounds like a hair-splitting lawyer’s employment program to me. The BBC quotes huntsman Trevor Adams saying,

Flushing, and looking for a fox, are pretty similar things really. The fox is a wild animal and nobody knows exactly where it is, so you have to search for it a certain extent to find out where it is. . . . What you’re not allowed to do is go off searching, without a need to control that animal.

Sounds like they’d need to take a lawyer with them on every hunt. Frankly, I’m disappointed that the rights of dogs to pursue their carnivorous nature with foxes isn’t taken seriously by the animal rights activists.


Huntsmen ‘destroying more foxes’. Huw Williams, BBC, November 20, 2004.

Apparent Corruption Results in Closing of NJ SPCA Chapter

In October the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took the extraordinary step of ordering its Hunterdon County chapter to shut down over revelations that came about due to the manslaughter trial of former NBA star Jayson Williams.

Williams was ultimately acquitted of aggravated manslaughter charges, but convicted of attempting to cover up the fatal shooting of a limousine driver. The jury deadlocked on charges of reckless manslaughter, and Williams is scheduled to be retried on that charge in 2005.

One of the revelations that was barred from being entered into evidence was that Williams had shot and killed his dog after losing a bet with a teammate about the dog’s effectiveness as a guard dog (for more details on that incident, see this story).

That raised the question of why Williams had never been prosecuted for animal cruelty, and the evidence pointed to corruption. Two weeks after the August 2001 shooting of the rottweiler, the Hunterdon County SPCA accepted a $500 donation from Williams and no criminal charges were ever filed against him. The New Jersey SPCA has subsequently filed civil charges against Williams, which is its only option since the statute of limitations on the dog shooting has long since expired.

New Jersey SPCA president Stuart Rhodes told the Associated Press that Hunterdon SPCA executive director never replied to letters he sent asking her to explain her failure to prosecute Williams,,

I was looking for her [Carlson] to explain reasons why she didn’t prosecute Jayson Williams. She should have at least entered the charges. But by doing nothing, she allowed him to walk. And then you accept a donation?


SPCA closes chapter in ex-NBA star’s case. The Associated Press, October 11, 2004.

Iams to End Outside Animal Tests and Expand Its Own Internal Animal Testing Facilities

Iams, which has been targeted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals over conditions at testing labs it contracts to, announced in October that within two years it would end all testing contracts without outside laboratories. Instead, the pet food company will more than double its own animal testing facilities from 350 cats and dogs to more than 800 cats and dogs by the end of 2005.

That represents a victory of sorts for PETA which had included among its demands that Iams end all contracted animal testing, but its a bit of a pyrrhic one. The animal rights organization had been able to gain a lot of publicity on the backs of the contracted labs, especially when Iams ended up funding an animal welfare specialist at a Missouri lab who turned out to be a PETA mole. Now that Iams is essentially going to do the same amount of testing internally, it should prove more difficult for PETA to get those attention grabbing headlines.

PETA’s Mary Beth Sweetland said of the change,

I think Iams has to prove itself to us. Yes, this is part of what PETA wants. But that said, Iams has lied to us in the past. The question is, is Iams going to commit to ending testing on all animals? The expansion of that Dayton facility means more testing.

PETA sponsored a resolution at the annual shareholder meeting of Procter & Gamble, which owns Iams, calling on Iams to end all animal testing, but the measure was overwhelmingly defeated.

PETA’s Allison Ezell told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “P&G should make Iams move out of the laboratory completely, because it’s the right thing to do.”


Iams division to change animal testing practices. Associated Press, October 7, 2004.

Iams bringing animal tests inside. Cliff Peale, Cincinnati Enquirer, October 7, 2004.

Lafley to stockholders: Few problems at P&G. Cliff Peale, Cincinnati Enquirer, October 13, 2004.

Washington State Restores Hunting of Cougars With Dogs

Washington state is instituting its first cougar hunting season with hounds since 1996. Hunters if five counties in the eastern part of the state will be allowed to hunt cougars using dogs from December 1st through March 31.

The new hunting season is an effort to control cougar numbers and replaces a previous cougar control plan that offered limited permits to selected hunters to kill problem cougars with hounds.

The quota for the hunt using hounds will be 102 cougars with a sub-quota of 40 female cougars. If either quota is met before March 31, the hunting season will end immediately (although hunters will be allowed to continue to pursue cougars without killing them through March 31 even if the hunt ends early).


Commission OKs hound hunting pilot program. MacLeod Pappidas, Methow Valley News, October 2004.

Jackson County, MI, Commission Votes to Continue Sales of Pound Animals for Research Purposes

The Jackson County Commission in Michigan earned the wrath of animal rights activists when it voted in late August to continue its practice of selling unclaimed pound animals to class B dealers as well as directly to the University of Michigan and Michigan State University for research purposes.

Commissioners Jim Videto had moved to have the county’s Animal Control Manager draft a policy to ban the sale of animals to class B dealers or directly to research institutions. According to the minutes of the meeting,

Moved by Videto supported by Lacinski to Move to Direct the Animal Control Manager to Draft a Policy to Prohibit Sales of Live Animals to Class B Dealers. Brittain asked how many people in the audience were from Leoni 1,2,3, & 4. Brittain stated that he never received one call from his constituents against the sale of animals, but he did receive 3 calls from people in support of the sale of animals to class B dealers. Mahoney supports MSU and feels there is a distinction between legitimate research, not experimentation. Elwell is in favor of selling animals, but it should be restricted. Day stated that he was here 14 years ago facing this same issue and voted against banning selling animals for research. If it werenÂ’t for the pig valve in his heart, he probably wouldnÂ’t be here now. Wilson thanked the audience for their participation in this emotional issue. He voiced concern that by stopping the sale we may be putting someoneÂ’s life in jeopardy. ItÂ’s up to the Board to separate facts from emotions. Wilson will be supporting ElwellÂ’s alternate motion. Lacinski supports VidetoÂ’s motion to prohibit the selling of live animals to class B dealers. Berkemeier said that he appreciated everyone being here tonight, but that there are many people involved with animals that have no objection to the sale of animals for research. The Board hears from people everywhere, not just here. He tried to review all of the information and found that 40%-80% of the animals at the shelter are either taken there by the owner, or abandon. Berkemeier will be supporting ElwellÂ’s alternate motion and believes in tracking the animals that are being sold to hospitals and medical facilities.

The commission then voted on the measure which failed 9-3. Supporters of the policy of selling unclaimed animals to class B dealers or research facilities then proposed that the Director of Animal Control draft a policy dealing with the sale of live animals which would continue to allow such sales but require class B dealers to document to whom the animals are eventually sold,

Moved by Elwell supported by Wilson to Direct the Director of Animal Control, with the assistance of the County Administrator, to develop a policy and agreement that deals with the sale of live animals.

Agreement shall be signed by Hodgins Kennels, or any other class “B” dealer that we sell live animals to. Said agreement shall specifically list who they can sell live animals to that came from Jackson County Animal Control. The list of such facilities may be added to (or limited), only by approval of County Agencies.

Said agreement shall contain the requirement that monthly reports be provided to the Jackson County Animal Control that clearly details which specific animals are going where, and it be in a manner that allows further tracking after the research facility is done with the animal. Jackson County Animal Control shall specify the format for said report.

All tags on dogs when they come in to Jackson County Animal Control hall remain with the dog at all times, including when a dog passes from the class ”B” dealer to an approved facility. The above noted report shall also note what tags are on the dogs.

Jackson County Animal Control shall maintain said records in a manner that is easily tracked. Copies of the records shall be available under FOIA, with a report submitted to County Agencies six months after implementation of this plan.

Commissioners shall be allowed unannounced visits to class “B” dealers Jackson County sells animals to. Such visits shall be allowed during the week, during daytime hours.

Adoptions of animals are encouraged, as are transfers to facilities such as the Cascade Humane Society.

Direct sales of live animals to specific research facilities such as Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, and other such facilities as designated in this policy, shall be continued, where it is desired by the facilities and by Jackson County.

This motion passed 11-1. Commissioner Robert Lacinski, who voted for the ban, was the lone commissioner who voted against drafting a new policy dealing with the sale of live animals.

According to the Jackson Citizen-Patriot, although is legal for animal shelters to sell animals to research facilities in Michigan, 75 other Michigan counties ban the practice. Jackson County has been allowed the selling of animals to research facilities for the last 35 years.


County does not ban sale of strays. Brian Wheeler, The Jackson Citizen Patriot, August 25, 2004.

Archaic Michigan Commissioners Vote to Sell Strays for Vivisection. Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, August 2004.

Italian Activists' "Close Down Morini" Campaign

Massimo Tettamanti and Marian Berati, two Italian animal rights activists associated with Italian anti-research organization No Vivisezione, sent out an e-mail in September asking for help in shutting down Morini, an firm that breeds animals for medical research.

In August 2002, the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy passed a statute forbidding the breeding sale or use of dogs or cats for medical research purposes. The Italian Ministry of Health appealed to Italy’s Constitutional court arguing that the law should be voided since it conflicted with a national law that allows cats and dogs to be used for medical research.

The Constitutional Court struck down the Emilia-Romagna ban, agreeing with the Ministry of Health that regions could not enact anti-research bans that contradicted national laws.

According to the e-mail sent out by Tettamanti and Berati,

But at the moment the farm cannot sell dogs tot he laboratories, yet, because in order to have the necessary permission renewed, the Mayor of the town must give an explicit authorization.

The former Mayor was absolutely in favor of the Morini farm, but A FEW WEEKS AGO A NEW MAYOR HAS BEEN ELECTED! So it’s really important to make pressure on him to convince him to “reconvert” the farm to another activity.”

The e-mail goes on to urge activists to send e-mails to the Mayor and others to convince the new Mayor to continue to refuse to allow the farm to sell animals to research laboratories.


Please, help saving beagle dogs from vivisection! Press Release, No Vivisezione, September 16, 2004.