DawnWatch: Year end round-up — plus a calf finds sanctuary, and two elephants await it — 12/22/06

December 23rd, 2006 5:44 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Dec 22, 2006 11:16 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Year end round-up — plus a calf finds sanctuary, and two elephants await it — 12/22/06

As I wrap up for the year, first I get to share a beautiful story of a calf named Herbie, who made a break for it on his way to the slaughterhouse. He ended up at Animal Care and Control in New York, where it was decided that his owners did not have the best intentions for him. He has been released instead to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. You can watch the delightful story on the WCBSTV website at http://wcbstv.com/local/local_story_356155241.html.

Please send a thank you for the coverage, which the reporter chose to close with the line:

“After all it is that time of year when a child born in a manger, surrounded by animals, reminded us that we are all, people and animals, unique and living creatures bound together.”

Go to http://wcbstv.com/contact and choose reporter Pablo Guzman’s name from the pull-down menu.

There has been so much on elephants in the news this year, it is fitting that the last DawnWatch story sent out in 2006 concerns them. In the Friday, December 22, Washington Post we see an article by Marc Kaufman headed, “Two Elephants Must Relocate, Seek Good Home.” (p A2) It is about Nicolas and Courtney who are the last of the Hawthorne elephants still in the barn North of Chicago. The article tells us:

“The barn’s owner, who rents out circus animals, was ordered by the Agriculture Department to give away his 16 elephants in early 2004 because of a long list of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.” Most of the elephants went to the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, but that sanctuary has a females only policy, so Nicolas was not accepted and Courtney was left behind as his companion.

You’ll find the full article on line here.

It presents a good opportunity for letters on the plight of animals kept in captivity for human entertainment. The Washington Post takes letters at letters [at] washpost.com.

The tale of Hawthorne and The Elephant Sanctuary is a good place to begin a glance back at the year, for it was early this year, after a long battle, that most of the Hawthorne elephants finally reached the sanctuary. We had highs and lows from the sanctuary, including some of the saddest news of the year — guardian angel Joanna Burke was killed by poor troubled Winkie. If you have not read the sanctuary’s tribute to Joanna, I urge you to read it. It will probably make you cry but it will fill you with love and respect for Joanna and the sanctuary’s mission. It is on the Elephant Sanctuary website, http://www.Elephants.com.

In other elephant news this year:

The Bronx zoo announced that it would phase out its elephant exhibit.

Activists in Los Angeles fighting to get Gita to sanctuary, to save her life, lost the battle when she died in July. The fight to save Ruby, and to shut down the Los Angeles elephant exhibit, continues.

Time Magazine published a terrific piece questioning whether elephants, and many other animals, belong in zoos.

Elephant intelligence made headlines this year when it was found that elephants can recognize themselves in mirrors.

News of various stars:

In 2006 the world lost the popular Australian TV entertainer and lover of wildlife Steve Irwin. Many of us disliked his habit of harassing animals who would clearly rather be left alone. But Irwin’s love of those creatures who are not cute and cuddly, and his enthusiasm for conservation were infectious. Overall he was a good force in the world and will be missed.

Barbaro sustained grave injury during his owner’s quest for the Triple Crown and evoked the most publicity we have ever seen on the plight of racehorses. Many articles noted that the efforts to save his life would not have been made for a horse of less fame and monetary value.

Vegan athlete Scott Jurek, the pre-eminent American ultramarathoner, won the 135 mile Badwater race — again. Last year Jurek became the only person to ever have back-to-back victories at the Western States and Badwater races. He won the Western States race seven straight times between 1999 and 2005.

Our nation’s vice president was kind enough to shoot his hunting buddy in the face opening up major media discussions of hunting on all the late night talk shows.

Adam Durand, from “Compassionate Consumers” served 30 days in jail for trespassing at the Wegmans egg farm, where he went to document the living conditions of egg-laying hens crowded into battery cages, hardly able to move let alone spread their wings, and sometimes living amongst the corpses of other hens in the same cage. (See the film at www.WegmansCruelty.com) Since the story was covered in the New York Times and aired on Dateline, introducing millions of Americans to the plight of egg-laying hens, Durand says his stay in jail was well worth it.

While still married, Paul and Heather Mills McCartney appeared on Larry King Live to expose the Canadian baby seal hunt to the world. Public outcry builds but the slaughter has not been abolished.

In December, Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd crew set off from Melbourne to interfere with the Japanese Whaling vessels in Antarctica. DawnWatch missed a superb National Geographic Adventure story on their work, back in May, but I can share it with you now. It is available here.

Gretchen Wyler, our movement’s icon who founded the Genesis Awards, officially retired from activism this year. She spent some beautiful weeks visiting the elephants and other animals in Africa. While she rests, her glorious life’s work continues to blossom — The Genesis Awards turns 21 this year and will take place on March 24 at the Beverly Hilton. Learn more at http://tinyurl.com/vsqpm.

We saw some progress on farm animal issues:

The city of Chicago banned the sale of foie gras!

Voters in Arizona banned sow gestation crates and veal crates, in which animals live confined in spaces so small they cannot even turn around.

In September the USDA ruled that animals being trucked to slaughter must be unloaded every 28 hours. 27 hours without a break is still OK. Turkeys and chickens are exempt from the ruling as they are from all federal humane slaughter laws.


Militant activism took a blow when six activists from the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign received the first ever conviction under the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act and were sentenced to years in prison. Their campaign aimed to shut down the notorious Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratory. It was initially inspired by undercover video that showed a Huntingdon scientist punching a beagle puppy in the face, and a monkey on a Huntingdon operating table with her chest cut wide open, conscious and lifting her head. Acts against Huntingdon and associated companies included pipe bombings and notes sent to employees threatening their children. The SHAC prisoners were not charged with or convicted of those acts but with running a website that was alleged to have encouraged or inspired them.

A related issue: The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, AETA, passed this year. Law abiding protesters are concerned that its language could make their activities, and tools of advocacy such as economic boycotts, illegal if they effectively interfere with animal enterprise profits.

On a happier note, this year we also saw the passage of the PETS Act, which mandates that states must show disaster plans providing for companion animals in order to be eligible for FEMA funding. And at the end of 2006 we finally saw the indictment for felony animal cruelty of two deputies responsible for shooting dozens of beloved animals who were left in a school in St Bernard Parish after Hurricane Katrina.

Finally, who would have thought it, but early in the year Catalonia (which includes Barcelona) in Spain, declared itself a bullfight free zone. The declaration was not binding but in December we received news that indeed the last bullfight ring in Barcelona is to close!

That is hardly a comprehensive list. There were many hundreds of DawnWatch alerts and thousands of animal stories in 2006 — much wonderful media coverage. You, who respond to the media, and let them know that animal issues matter to the public, can thank yourselves for a lot of that coverage. And thank yourselves for all you do for the animals. Let’s not forget that on Election day this year the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story on the growing strength of the animal lobby!

I always feel a bit soppy at the end of the year — filled with gratitude as I send out a wrap-up and realize that is being received by so many other people who care deeply about the animals. None of us is alone in our desire to live in a compassionate world. DawnWatch is taking a break till January 8. How I look forward to getting back to compassionate action, with all of you, and to our quest for that kinder world, in 2007.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line.)

To discontinue DawnWatch alerts go to http://www.DawnWatch.com/nothanks.php



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One Response to “DawnWatch: Year end round-up — plus a calf finds sanctuary, and two elephants await it — 12/22/06”

  1. easyVegan.info » Blog Archive » DawnWatch: CBS follow up on Herbie the runaway calf 2/7/07 Says:

    […] The previous DawnWatch alert, referenced below, can also be found here. […]

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