Monthly Archives: May 2013

Jeers of a Clown….

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rescued draftI wanted to share a post made in a Facebook group (not saying where or by whom) that I believe is sadly indicative of the way in which most pro-slaughter people approach the concept of horse rescue.  In the last few days we’ve seen many people,  anti-slaughter and pro,  offer assistance to Oklahomans and their animals who have been hurt or displaced by the tornado of May 20th.  I don’t want to belittle this tragedy,  but as we mourn what happened in Oklahoma,  where injuries and deaths of all are in the hundreds and damages may exceed 2 billion,  we should not forget that unwanted horses are displaced every day when they are sent for slaughter.

We also must defend the hard and tireless work of the many people who toil in rescues in all manner of weather and circumstance,  because they have huge hearts.  The timing of this post,  so soon after the tornado seems weird to me,  but I guess since the pros do not have any problem with the timing and seem proud of their disrespectful post,  this is perhaps as good a time as any.

“Dear U’nita Geta’clue,

Thank you for your fervent support of the recent laws that were passed in Illinois and Texas that effectively ended the closely regulated slaughter of horses in the United States. Thank you for pushing the practice past our borders and out of control of the USDAs standards for humane treatment of food animals. We also appreciate your lobbying to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act currently in Congress, which will end the transport of unwanted horses to foreign slaughterhouses and keep each and every one of them within the borders of our beautiful nation alive and well!

You’ll be pleased to learn that the live and well part is where you come in! A new organization has been created through the cooperative effort of the numerous horse industry organizations and the USDA, called Save Horses In Trouble-Help starved horse2End Abandonment & Death, or crap-HEAD for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, and to alleviate the pressure on existing rescue facilities to take in the thousands of unwanted horses, we have decided to place one unwanted horse under the personal care of each and every person that supported banning horse slaughter in the United States.

As you may know, since the slaughter facilities have closed, not only have rescue facilities and shelters been inundated to the point that they have to close their doors to new arrivals, but many horses have also been neglected, starved to death, or abandoned because of the record high hay prices. Therefore, your participation in this program is mandatory.

We understand that it is your feeling that horses are pets, not livestock, and since most people in the United States do not choose to eat them, therefore no one should, and all horses should live out their lives in an idyllic pastoral setting. We also understand that while your relatively large 40 X 40 suburban backyard isn’t exactly Yellowstone, it will just have to do. We are certain you will make the necessary adjustments.

Your unwanted horse is of unknown origin, but is roughly 6 years old (although we can’t get close enough to him to tell for sure), weighs approximately 1500 pounds and has a mean streak a mile wide, and has been known to randomly bite, strike, or kick, especially at small children, elderly people, and house pets. We have decided to call him Satan.

While Satan is capable of physical aggression, unfortunately he is not able to be ridden because of his crooked front legs. He is capable, however, of reproducing, as he is a stallion. This is of special import to you, as your neighbors and fellow members of the Horses Are Humans With Hooves group will also be provided with horses through our program, some of which might be mares.

starved horseFor your information, the $20 you donate annually to the Humane Society of the United States can instead buy you approximately two bales of high-quality hay at the current market rate. Assuming that the bales weigh 100 pounds, and you feed 20 pounds to said beast per day, this will be enough to feed him for ten days. You will be happy to know that the lifespan of a horse averages about 25 years, and therefore Satan can bring you approximately 9,125 days of enjoyment. That is, of course, only if you provide him with the best care possible, which we are absolutely certain that you will. To ensure that Satan is receiving proper care, an inspector will visit your home on a weekly basis.

At your request, we can provide you with contact information for veterinarians, farriers, trainers, equine dental practitioners, whisperers, and tranquilizer gun dealers in your area, as well as the necessary contacts you will need for euthanasia and disposal of Satan’s earthly vessel when he crosses over. We foresee that Satan’s death will be especially traumatic for you, being the enlightened individual that you are, and counselors are already available at 1-900-NO-SENSE. ($3.99 for the first minute, $1.99 for each additional minute).

Unfortunately, there is no government financial assistance for care and maintenance costs of crap-HEAD horses, as all of the funds allocated for such things are dedicated to the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse program.

Sincerely,

Reality”

Rescue

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Equine Traceability Being Re-Launched in Canada?

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Race horses comprise up to 30% of all horses slaughtered in Canada

Race horses comprise up to 30% of all horses slaughtered in Canada

Written by: Heather Clemenceau

Under regulations of the Health of Animals Act, Canada has a mandatory identification program for cattle, bison and sheep. Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) have expanded that program to include horses.  According to AAFC, horses are functional livestock and are part of the national ID and traceability strategy for animal health and food safety reasons.

Equine Canada, the comprehensive national governing body for equestrianism, is responsible for developing a national equine-specific program (CanEQUID) to satisfy federal government requirements for identification and traceability for equines.  This program would somehow have to be imposed upon US horses coming to Canada as well,  since, after spending several years and millions on the National Animal Identification System , (NAIS) the U.S. Department  of Agriculture (USDA) apparently scrapped the effort and turned responsibility for livestock identification over to the 50 states and various tribal nations.  But for horses sent to Canada for slaughter,  Americans would also have to adopt the UELN, which may result in greater scrutiny for premises ID than that currently experienced for gun control.

If you’ve been following the goings-on with equine traceability in Canada or the US, you would already know that the situation is utterly shambolic, with missed deadlines or the complete absence of functional plans and infrastructure.  Ag-Canada declined to provide funding after committing about $500,000 for a feasibility study, as current budgets for traceability were already committed.  Equine Canada then  informed Ag-Canada that without funding support to fast-track the implementation, they did NOT wish to be included in regulations for mandatory livestock traceability. Their position was very clear — regulations without infrastructure would make compliance impossible.

Well, all of that changed a couple of months ago with a quiet declaration on Equine Canada’s website that the program was once more “on,”   thus ensuring that Canadian slaughter operators can boucherie chevaline2continue to make millions while some horse owners continue to have an outlet to dispose of the constant over production of horses.  Also simultaneously moving forward are the new CFIA meat hygiene directives that affect horsemeat – as of July 31st this year, Canadian slaughter facilities will require complete health records dating back six months.  This would apparently phase-out the often fallaciously completed Equine Information Document (EID), which has failed to assure EU members that drugs are not entering the food chain.   The deadline (July 2013) was created in an exchange between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and SANGO, which is the EU’s version of the CFIA. The working group which includes the CFIA,  Agri-Food Canada,  Health Canada,  the slaughterhouses,  provincial horse groups and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.

Here’s the CanEquid  Strategy document.

THE MODEL FOR EQUINE ID & TRACEABILITY IN CANADA

The CanEQUID model is based on an electronic passport system with an individual record for each horse. The electronic passport record will include:

  • Unique identification information, including a unique lifetime number
  • Horse ownership information
  • Home farm premises information
  • Premises date and location where horses co-mingle for industry activities
  • Horse health records related to a horse’s status for processing
  • Traceability events – health certificates issued, transport manifest documents issued, etc.

boucherie chevalineIn September 2012, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition wrote to Equine Canada, as well as Integrated Traceability, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to enquire about the status of CanEQUID. A response from Dr. Edward Kendall at Equine Canada confirmed that the CanEQUID program would not meet its end of 2012 target date for this program.  At the time of writing this blog,  we have approximately two months to see exactly what will happen to Canadian horsemeat exports.  Rather unsurprisingly,  the AAFC did not deign to respond to enquiries.

Finally, how is this program supposed to work for U.S. slaughter bound horses entering Canada?  Two-thirds of horses sent to slaughter in Canada in 2011 were from the U.S.  Is Canada’s equinatraceability program going to work for U.S. horses?  It doesn’t seem possible,  since no one in Canada can attest to an individual horse’s status for slaughter.  And I’m not convinced that disease reporting  will be enhanced by the program either.  The chip for horses is not about disease-tracking,  as Ag-Canada would have the various horse owners and associations believe – it is not about science either – it’s a political necessity in order to satisfy requirements to make horsemeat a world-wide commodity.  Here’s a very good example of why that is the case – when a single atypical case BSE was found in the US a few months ago, all trade to South Korea stopped immediately – this was based on trade and politics – not science,  since the cause of the BSE in this example was mutagenic and posed no risk to any other animals.  Random genetic mutations happen all the time in nature, so once in a while a cow will be born with a mutation that makes the BSE prion.

It’s big business to cut corners, and typical of governments to develop rules that they have no intention of following.  The EU horsemeat scandal is perfect evidence that rules will be ignored when profit is a motivator.  Also recall the story of Backstreet Bully,  who was verified by Adena Springs as having received 21 doses of nitrofurazone, which has been linked to cancer in humans, and at least 23 doses of bute, a drug linked to bone marrow disease.   Canadian officials have refused to confirm or deny whether his meat entered the food chain.

What do you think will be the outcomes of a traceability program for horses?  Take the survey below! (Responses will be published in a subsequent blog post)

au cheval du marais

Join the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition in the “Walk for Ontario Farm Sanctuaries”

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2012 Walk for Farm Animals

2012 Walk for Farm Animals

Horse welfare advocate Marie Dean will be representing the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition as team captain in the “Walk for Ontario Farm Sanctuaries” on August 25, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario.  ”Walk for Ontario Farm Sanctuaries” will raise awareness about the plight of farmed animals, the abuses they endure, the hazards to human health, the environmental impact, and reaffirm that people care about the welfare of farmed animals.    This walk will help bring awareness and give a voice to those who suffer and die daily as well as planting seeds in the hearts and minds of those who do not even realize they are suffering.  This walk is also to raise money; the goal is $30,000.  The money raised will be distributed to the Sanctuaries participating in the Walk, which so far are:

chickenSnooters Farm Animal Sanctuary, Ontario

Snooters is a small,privately run, privately funded,farm animal sanctuary in Ontario, Canada. We offer safe, forever homes to rescue animals who have come from a variety of places. Some from families who grow tired of them, some from factory farms, some strays & many with disabilities. Our family includes big pigs, potbellied pigs, sheep, steers, horses, dogs, cats, hens & peafowl.

ALL of them have found their “forever homes” here with us at Snooters. We pledge to keep them happy, comfortable & when their time comes to walk over Rainbow Bridge we will be right there with them to help on their journey.

sheep (2)Wishing Well Sanctuary in Bradford, Ontario

To be a centre of excellence promoting the greater emotional strength and mental health of children, youth and their families through programs that provide a direct and holistic experience of our interconnectedness with all life.

The Wishing Well Sanctuary is a charitable organization; therefore your donations will assist in feeding and caring for the animals on the farm and also assist in providing programs to youth and their families who otherwise could not afford to attend.

GoatCedar Row Farm Sanctuary in Lakeside, Ontario

Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary is a place of hope for animals rescued from the abuse, neglect, and slaughter found on meat, milk, and egg farms. Hundreds of farm animals, including goats, pigs, sheep, donkeys, chickens, cows and ducks have been rescued since the sanctuary began in 1999.

pigRuby Ranch Pig Sanctuary in Arthur/Mount Forest, Ontario

Ruby Ranch is a sanctuary strictly for pigs. It’s named after our very first potbellied pig, Ruby. Shortly after we got her, we realized there was a great need for safe haven for pigs of all kinds. So many potbellied pigs were being discarded, for many reasons. They were being adopted as cute little babies, and many people had no idea how big they would get, what to feed them, what their needs were, or even if they were legal in their area. Some were bought as gifts for children, and when the child lost interest, the pig was forgotten and discarded. Some were being tossed away by petting zoos, who had no desire to care for a full grown potbellied pig, when it’s the piglets that the public wanted to see.

Refughorsese RR in Alexandria, Ontario

Throughout history man has measured a horse’s worth by what the horse could do for man. Horses have provided transport, done hard labor, carried soldiers into battle, performed as athletes and entertainers and have provided pleasure to millions. Somewhere along the way man has forgotten the true value of the horse…

As we watch our horses just being horses, we can truly appreciate their intrinsic value. They are awesome creatures to behold. We are often awestruck by their bravery and their loyalty to each other and we are inspired daily by their intelligence, curiosity and playfulness.

We feel we are indebted to these magnificent beings. So, on behalf of mankind, Refuge RR is giving back that which should never have been taken away, their freedom, and providing them with the protection that is owed to them.

The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition is an alliance of horse industry and horse protection groups whose mission is to protect and defend the horses of Canada from abuse, neglect and slaughter.   The CHDC’s team name will be “Defend Horses Canada.”  We will be representing the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition and the horses, with banners and signs showing our CHDC Canada logocause for the horses.  What a great opportunity as well to gather signatures in support of Bill C-322, in support of the horses. We have been asked as participants to raise the minimum of  $300 as a group.   Marie is asking any person that would like to join the “Defend Horses Canada” group to send her $10.00 as an entry fee.  If we can get 30 people to walk with us, then we have already reached our goal as a team.  Then if the 30 people want to gather pledges that would just mean even more money raised to help the sanctuaries.  Here is Marie’s email address: helpsavehorses@hotmail.ca and if you are interested in walking for the horses and farm animals, then please email Marie to express your interest.

Join Marie Dean of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

Join Marie Dean of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

The event begins at Noon in Dufferin Grover Park.  The walk is 3.2kms to Kensington Market concluding in Bellevue Square Park.  We will be setting up a Facebook page/Event page for participants only.

Marie will enter team members on the Team Registration & Waiver Form and at the event ask each team member to sign a Waiver.  She will also be collecting the entry fee from team members as soon as she receives your email of interest.  At the event before the walk Marie will be collecting your Team Member Pledge Forms which will be so proudly presented to Holly’s Hope Registration table at the beginning of the walk.

Come one, come all,

Bring the family, bring your friends!

Come walk for the horses, come walk for all farmed animals!

Come and participate in making this world a better place for our animals!

Go team “Defend Horses Canada!”

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Keepin’ It Classy – The IKEA Monkey Battle Continues…..

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Written by Heather Clemenceau

The ÏKEA Munkë is soooo Dec. 2012.  Despite this,  the meme lives on,  as do the challenges for Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary and their volunteers,  who must endure a seemingly endless poo-flinging from their opposition,  not only on Facebook but sprinkled liberally elsewhere on the internet.

In my first blog on Darwin,  I acknowledged feeling a certain empathy for the former owner when he escaped at the North York IKEA and was seized by Toronto Animal Services in December 2012.  In the last few months my sympathy has waned considerably as a direct result of the behaviour of some of her supporters.  I’m quite sure some of them have been working full-time trying to dredge up emails, messages, and texts that they believe will incriminate the sanctuary and Sherri Delaney, the owner/operator of Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary.  Their accusations have become so outlandish and oppressive that reasonable people can only reject them outright. We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

threeweekold-japanese-macaque-in-scottish-wildlife-park.jpegToday, I’m picking through a petition sent to the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) and Brock Township by a group of 116 petitioners,  seemingly as part of a plan to  revoke the charitable status of the sanctuary.  Too bad this empty rhetoric will fall on deaf ears,  since just about the only way to have your charitable status revoked is if the charity itself doesn’t comply with CRA’s regulations,  they fail to file their returns,  or they ask to be de-registered.   In addition to that,  many of the claims made in this petition are dangerously speculative and will not be of interest to any of the parties petitioned.  You can read the original on Scribd,  or here in PDF format,  in case the original suddenly goes “poof” in the night.  So…. point by message point,  here’s my response to the accusations against Story Book…..

Petition:

“As the Sanctuary had not been granted a licence to operate, the Sanctuary ought not to have accepted new residents until the finalization of its licensing. The adoption of the Japanese baby macaque, Darwin was premature and inappropriate in the circumstances.”

Despite this group’s best efforts, the sanctuary does have a license, but it’s important to note that a license was not required until recently.  And they’ve also been approved by the OSPCA and the Fire Department.  And yes, perhaps their acquisition was premature, because they’re not psychics and had no idea Ms. Nakhuda was going to lose Darwin at IKEA in December 2012.  Next time a private citizen acquires an illegal monkey in Toronto,  perhaps they should consider providing appropriate notice of their intent to take a day trip where he/she might get loose, so that all sanctuaries in North America are prepped and at the ready to accommodate stylishly-attired occupants.

Petition:

“On Tuesday, December 18, 2012, Ms. Delaney, verbally confirmed to a member of the public that all her staff was registered with Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (“OAVT”). Since then, it was confirmed with OAVT that the members were not registered with OAVT. We are hoping that OAVT will initiate their own investigation in relation to licences/registrations that Sherri Delaney reported they hold.  Ms. Delaney’s misrepresentation of her qualifications and that of her volunteers is unethical and unbecoming of an owner of an organization mandated to act in the best interests of the community.”

I have no idea what the qualifications are for many of the volunteers,  but I’ve been told that some of them are quite specialized in either monkeys or vet tech.  But you know,  I just can’t attach much merit to a claim that someone “verbally confirmed something to a member of the public.”  It appears that this isn’t verifiable in any way – is that the standard of evidence these days?  Reminds me of that old REO Speedwagon song – “heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another……”  But since the educational and experiential qualifications of the volunteers at Story Book are called into question,  let me ask what qualifications are possessed by the 116 petitioners?  How about a little quid pro quo?  What special skill set do they possess that allows them to make these determinations?  I suspect more than a few might be real-estate agents or closely associated with that field, which begs the question, what do they know about monkeys or veterinary care, or even running a sanctuary?  How many of these 116 people have been to the sanctuary?  How many have been to ANY sanctuary?  A woman who lives in El Salvador signed the petition – what are her qualifications?  And when did Rhonda from Arkansas visit the sanctuary?

Petition:

“Toronto Animal Services confirmed in its official statement to the media that though the baby monkey was not happy, it was healthy. Public opinion was that the monkey was well dressed and did not show any indication that it was abused.”

All Toronto’s stray monkeys wear faux-shearling coats.  God forbid we have unstylish monkeys roaming the streets. Anna Wintour would be proud!

Petition:

“Tests performed on Darwin also confirmed that he was in good health. We are advised that the repeated requests for the return of Darwin to its owner, who guaranteed the animal would be relocated to another city where there was no macaque2prohibition of owning exotic animals, were refused without just cause. Despite Ms. Delaney’s admission that where a baby monkey has imprinted on a human and there is a bond between the two, any separation may create significant trauma to the primate, she refused to do so. When pressured to grant access, Ms. Delaney imposed such stringent and absurd access terms on the owner and the primate that the owner turned down the visitation rights afraid that exercising access in compliance with those terms would be psychologically damaging on the baby macaque.”

Okay, let’s be honest –  I’m sure if people had not been threatening the sanctuary and driving by taking photos which included the operator’s PRIVATE RESIDENCE, posting them on the internet,  the terms would not have been so stringent.  How ironic that the group are now citing imprinting and bonding as concerns;  if they were truly concerned,  the baby Darwin would not have been purchased,  thus separating him from his  mother who would have still been nursing him.  It’s anthropomorphization plain and simple, to presume that humans are an apt replacement for a baby monkey’s own mother.

Petition:

“A copy of the proposed terms of access offered by Ms. Delaney through her counsel is enclosed herein as appendix “B”. For your kind information, the owner of the macaque is a female professional, a mother of two teenagers, with no criminal record. Meanwhile there is admission by Ms. Sherri Delaney that at the time she adopted Pockets Warhol, a resident primate from its consenting owner, Ms. Delaney allowed Pockets’ owner not only to enter the cage of the primate but to be there for the entire day for four consecutive days from 08:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. In a You Tube posted by the Sanctuary as recently as September 5, 2012, Ms. Delaney confirmed that the presence of Pockets’ owner facilitated the transfer and eased any stress caused to the animal during the transfer and happens to be one of the “best stories” of the Sanctuary. Seethe following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp7v_gwMvVw&feature=endscreen&NR=1 

I’m going to assume that Pockets former owner probably did not set up a Facebook page and facilitate,  even  unknowingly,  adherents to harass others and threaten to “liberate” all the primates at the sanctuary by any means.  The former owner of Pockets probably didn’t possess a group of hangers-on who drove by the sanctuary and took pictures,  or called their donors and sponsors.  Nor did anyone connected with Pocket’s former owner refer to the Sanctuary as a SCUM-Tuary or SCAM-tuary.  Yes,  it’s all very clear to me now why the two former owners were treated so differently during the transition period.

Petition:

“It is the petitioners humble submission that Ms. Delaney is guilty of cruelty to Darwin, the baby macaque by purposefully attempting to sever a healthy bond between the owner and her primate, or, in the alternative, the Sanctuary was not protecting Darwin from abuse or fear as per its own mandate but merely imposing its own judgement of private primate ownership on the animal and its owner.”

I realize it was not deliberate, but losing Darwin at IKEA was the ultimate act of separation, is it not?  It therefore seems hypocritical (not to mention wrong) to accuse the sanctuary of cruelty when Darwin was roaming the parking lot frightened and confused.  I’m sure he was far more frightened in the parking lot then he ever was upon seeing new surroundings, or the blue latex gloves that so terrify Ms. Nakhuda’s supporters.

Petition:

“The Sanctuary claims that animals which are taken by the Sanctuary are allowed to live a life closer to the natural habitat they were taken from. There is little or no evidence of the residents of the Sanctuary being provided with such closer return to their natural habitat. Information received from visitors of the Sanctuary confirms that all the animals are caged in small cages, mostly alone with little or no social interaction. The Sanctuary refuses access or use of cameras in order to prevent the uncovering of further information regarding the standard of care of its residents.”

Already Darwin has grown a thicker coat consistent with that of wild Japanese macaques, who spend part of the year in a cold climate.  And you can’t get much closer to “natural” than by ditching your diaper and leash.  Are we to believe that the petitioners have somehow located and interviewed visitors to the sanctuary,  and if so,  that’s kinda spooky to me,  along the lines of delivering petitions to people’s private homes in the evening and refusing to identify yourself in the process.  There are several videos that I’m aware of on Youtube,  taken by people who visited the premises,  along with still photography,  so it seems unlikely that they don’t allow cameras,  but perhaps not for people  suing or harassing them.  But surely this group does not expect there to be CCTV that is beamed directly into their televisions 24/7?

Petition:

“Pictures that were posted on the Sanctuary’s website prior to the Sanctuary taking possession of Darwin and which were removed immediately when the Sanctuary took possession of the baby macaque disclosed that (1) the size of the cages, holding cells or other enclosures where some of the animals were kept was nothing close to a natural environment, (2) existence of filth, decay and lack of maintenance; and (3) that the residents at the Sanctuary did not enjoy the attention and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcaring that the Sanctuary now displays or professes they receive. We are attaching herewith pictures that were removed by the Sanctuary showing the existence of rusty bars and restrictive fencing holding suffering and/or unhealthy and/or unhappy primates as appendix “C”, and “D”. There is also a picture of Darwin taken by the media which poses concern as it shows what appears to be an electrical cord within the reach of the baby macaque. See Appendix “E”. The Sanctuary’s mission statement as published on its web site is to heal and save animals from abuse and fear. See attached a copy of the Home Page of the Sanctuary attached herein as appendix“A”. It is our humble position that at the time the Sanctuary took over Darwin the baby monkey, there was no evidence of any abuse or neglect by its owner.”

I hate repeating myself,  but again,  Darwin was LOST in a parking lot!  That’s a pretty fearful situation for a baby monkey.  But what does the Story Book mission statement have to do with the method by which Darwin came to them?  By the group’s own admission,  Pocket’s previous owner voluntarily surrendered him.  Maybe Pockets experienced no abuse or neglect whatsoever.  If the sanctuary only admits animals that by strict definition have been abused or seized for abuse, where should Pockets or any other monkey who doesn’t fall into that category have gone?  It seems someone is taking the mission statement a bit too literally.  And what is “restrictive fencing?”  Is that the kind of fencing that keeps a monkey on the premises rather than wandering around in a parking lot?  If so,  I’m down for that.  

Petition:

“In fact, there is concern of abuse as there have been admissions of use of date rape drugs on the residents to control them.”

I can’t imagine a lawyer sanctioning any such statement.  What proof does this group have?   The date on this petition is January 2, 2012,  curiously enough,  several months before he was even born.  In any case,  this accusation never came up in court either – do you suppose it’s because there is no actual evidence?  Will people in this group just make shit up as they go along?  This is,  without doubt,  one of the most libelous slurs made against anyone associated with the Sanctuary.  And again,  not something either Brock Township nor the CRA would know anything about,  although I would imagine they must look on such claims with as much skepticism as we all do.    Lawyers are required to enforce the rule of law and protect the public, and the public is not served by any of the wild accusations made herewith.

Petition:

“There is also proof that abusive and intrusive surgical procedure such as castration has been used on a primate who the Sanctuary took over to “protect and save from fear and abuse” : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttdzHl_1b50 (Julien’s Big Day is a video recording of the publicized castration of a resident male monkey).(5) The Sanctuary’s mission is to educate people. Yet it appears that information imparted to the public is generally biased and used to create a fear of monkeys. Primatologists and other experts can confirm that with appropriate training and care, monkeys can be controlled and become good pets and can make contributions to humans. Boston College for e.g., trains monkeys to assist disabled persons and the program has been successful:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGdHjSyry-A.In Japan, Japanese Snow Macaques have received labour law protection to work as waiters in a restaurant – a place where food is served and the monkey servers interact with strangers:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeSQ5Rv7eH8.

So, the removal of the canine teeth (which Nakhuda admitted to considering) is OK,  but neutering a monkey is not?  Does the group not realize that this same procedure is provided by veterinarians for dogs, cats, and other species of animals?  The procedure, as published on Youtube, is educational and displays proper veterinary protocols, including the use of the much-maligned blue surgical gloves, which are a source of great consternation to the blue glove phobics in Ms. Nakuda’s camp.  I’ve often wondered what type of  pet owner might want to purchase Neuticals®,  now I have a pretty good idea who they are!  While it’s true that monkeys have been trained to serve disabled people,  they have had their canines and sometimes the last digits on their fingers removed to avoid them biting and scratching the very disabled persons they are helping.  We can’t say that we perform either of those  procedures on therapy or guide dogs either.  And I can’t imagine what kind of primatologist would come out and state that monkeys can make good pets – Dr. Jane Goodall certainly does not.

Petition:

“The Sanctuary advises that monkeys are violent and kill people and yet statistics received from US where there is a large population of primate owners show that the incidents of violence are fewand there were no cases of death reported in a period of 10 years. Attached herewith are pertinent statistical and informative reports regarding ownership of primates and frequency of bites as appendix “F1”, “F2”, “F3” and “F4”.(7) The Sanctuary has used factual medical information in a prejudicial way without cause to create fear of monkeys in humans. The petitioners are prepared to submit evidence that primates are not a threat to public safety and in fact prove statistically to be safer than your common pet dog or cat.”

Sometimes monkeys do kill people.  More likely is the possibility that they will hurt someone, which they are more than capable of doing once they reach sexual maturity.  We know that Darwin was biting a child and an adult,  as this was confirmed in court.  And yes, dogs and cats cause more damage relative to monkeys, because they exist in the population by orders of magnitude over monkeys.  There are well over 100 million dogs and cats in Canada, while privately owned monkeys in Canada would likely number in the low thousands.  So it makes perfect sense statistically to state that more people are bitten by dogs than monkeys in Canada, because there are MORE of them.

Petition:

“Additionally they do not carry diseases that are transferable to humans. According to the US health reports (US research reports here are being used as in US there are over 15,000.00 private primate owners), there has never been a case of blue gloves in actionrabies infection in a nonhuman primate that was euthanized or quarantined after a bite incident in the US. Nonhuman primates are not carriers of the rabies virus nor has a pet primate ever transferred ANY disease to a human. The rare cases of disease transmission from a primate were acquired from research facilities where primates are imported directly from the wild. They are not captive bred primates. In addition, research facilities inject diseases into these primates for the purposes of research. Pet primates of today are born in captivity and do not harbor diseases. Whilst it is true that monkeys may carry herpes which is fatal to humans, such transmission is very difficult and there is no statistical evidence to support any death toll to make this fact a fear factor.”

First sentence of the above is patently incorrect. I’ve covered zoonotic diseases in a previous blog post about Darwin and monkeys, but further reading is available here.  Rabies transmission to humans is a relatively rare occurrence in Canada,  so it’s practically pointless to claim that monkeys don’t transmit rabies to humans – also because there are so few of them in Canada in the first place.  But again, why are the authors of this document discussing rabies in monkeys with the department of the Canadian government which governs taxes and unemployment insurance?  Methinks they have lost sight of their audience yet again.

Petition:

“Please see report enclosed as appendix “G1”, “G2”, “G3”,“G4” and “G5” regarding carriage of herpes by monkeys which is self explanatory.(8) Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary appears to be a place of animal hoarding and unfit for its residents.”

Well why not?  The accountants and tax specialists at the CRA and the bylaw officers in Brock Township must wonder on a daily basis what their risks are of acquiring herpes from a monkey.  And no, nothing in this petition is self-explanatory.

Petition:

“The Sanctuary has publicly admitted that they were not expecting Darwin and therefore he could not be caged in a better enclosure than the current small holding cell. In an article dated December 4, 2007 to the Globe And Mail, while Ms. Delaney reported that the sanctuary was at “full capacity” she added that she was still thinking of rescuing 6 more primates in her area. Again, the sanctuary confesses back on March 22, 2010 todurhamregion.comand on March 24, 2011 to the Toronto Star, that they were “almost out of room” and “filled to capacity”(source:http://www.storybookmonkeys.org/media.htm yet  the  sanctuary continues to take  in new residents. Visitors have also reported that the place was cramped. There are currently 22 or more animals in a 4000 square feet area, most of them being primates who can jump 15 feet in one leap. As recently as December 10, 2012 Ms. Delaney indicated to CBC News that she was expecting two female rhesus macaques in the next few weeks(http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/12/10/toronto-ikea-monkey.In a youtube posted by Ms. Delaney on September 5, 2012, Ms. Delaney admits seeking to bring in chimpanzees and requires her followers to “stay tuned” as she plans further expansion to add to her collection of primates:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp7v_gwMvVw&feature=endscreen&NR=1.

Of course they weren’t expecting Darwin, they had no idea he even existed prior to being contacted by Toronto Animal Services.  I have no idea whether any of these anticipated monkeys ever arrived, and it’s pointless to go into a long diatribe over what someone “might” plan to do in the future.  And what’s the point to mentioning something Sherri Delaney said she was considering in 2010, three years ago?  I guess Ms. Delaney will have to approach one of the Darling Darwin Monkey group’s most famous alleged chimpanzee owners for advice if she ever acquires a chimp.  Stay tuned – we may get to see exactly what practical knowledge this supposed chimpanzee owner really knows!

Petition:

4395394386_12225e8f3a_z“The petitioners take the view that these video recordings indicate that the Sanctuary’s owner Ms.Delaney primary agenda is not the rescue of unwanted or neglected animals but to build a private zoo or collection of primates and other exotic animals.(9) Immediately upon the capture of Darwin, the Sanctuary revamped its website removing existing information of its residents and modified them so that the residents appear to be in better health and condition.”

Are you sure the website wasn’t scheduled for a revamp?  How do you know?  I doubt that any of these petitioners had reviewed the Story Book website in any detail before Darwin escaped because they had almost certainly never heard of the place.  And if they revamp their website, so what?

Petition:

“Reports have been received from many Facebook users that unfavorable comments made by Facebook users were actively deleted by the Sanctuary so that the Sanctuary could preserve its good public image. The sanctuary appears to be concealing its true intent and purposeby tampering with viewer postings to manipulate public opinion.”

Yes,  the Canada Revenue Agency will be so incredibly captivated by the fact that people got butthurt on Facebook.  I hope the followers of the DDM Facebook know that the CRA governs excise taxes,  GST/HST,  income tax,  Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance, RSP’s,  and corporate taxes,  among other things.  They don’t care that you got your feelings hurt on Failbook.  The admins on the Story Book Facebook page have the right to censor anyone they want on their Facebook page,  because it’s THEIR page.  You can also delete comments on the Darling Darwin Monkey Facebook page without explanation or justification.  Nevertheless, you don’t see us whining to any government agency that we got censored on Facebook.

Petition:

“The Sanctuary appears to be driven by business income generation rather than animal care and safety. Immediately upon taking in Darwin, the baby macaque, as its new “celebrity” resident,the Sanctuary revamped its website adding a new section entitled “DOLLARS FOR DARWIN”.Pictures of the baby macaque are being sold to the public for $50.00 -$100.00 each and the Sanctuary created a Facebook page for Darwin which blocked members of the public protesting against such financial exploitation. The Sanctuary has admitted to raising donations totaling$15,000.00 in a week through Darwin alone.”

Again, no proof that the animal care is substandard.  And they wouldn’t have a “celebrity” resident if he hadn’t been lost in a busy parking lot on that fateful Saturday.  And Darwin would have probably quietly faded away had there not been a big media circus afterwards,  which had nothing to do with Story Book either.  And anyway,  what’s wrong with selling photos or artwork by monkeys?  Ms. Nakhuda seems fixated on the monkey waiters in Japan, which she does not see as exploitation, yet targeted fundraising is somehow manipulative of the public and the monkeys.  The Rescue Darwin and Friends group are selling t-shirts and books to support this lawsuit, when all the sanctuary is doing is soliciting funds for future care for all the animals, not just Darwin.  How is it less virtuous for the sanctuary to fundraise for future care, while the RDAF is fundraising to pay off a lawyer’s anticipated future expenses incurred suing a charity staffed by volunteers?  This is unbelievably hypocritical.  And we get it, some of you got blocked on Facebook – please – enough already. No one is obligated to “like” your views on Facebook.

Petition:

“Further, there is disturbing indication that Ms. Sherri Delaney, a Durham Region police officer may have attempted to misuse the charitable status of the Sanctuary by offering a Canadian Citizen, a tax receipt for $3,000.00 for a donation she never received from him during negotiations for the purchase of a trailer which she indicated to him was to be used for housing cages on sanctuary grounds. The undersigned are also concerned that the purported purchase of a trailer to cage animals of the Sanctuary (for quarantine or otherwise) indicates that the Sanctuary is unable to provide the “natural habitat” it promises to give to the animals it keeps hoarding and is desperate for new facilities and funding. A request for a tax audit and investigation into the validity of issuance of tax receipts by the Sanctuary is being directed to Charities Directorate, Revenue Canada Agency who is also being copied with the petition herein.(11) There is information, from some of the petitioners herein and through Facebook comments which were intentionally deleted by the Sanctuary that Ms. Delaney may have harassed owners of exotic pets and used coercion to have them surrender or persuade them to surrender their animals to the Sanctuary.

My understanding after reading this paragraph is that Ms. Delaney offered a receipt for fair-market value.  And Ms. Nakhuda’s own home wasn’t a “natural habitat” either, unless wild monkeys wear stylish outfits and designer diapers whilst 021016-627-xclimbing armoirs and brushing their teeth.  I’d also to know and understand what Ms.Nakhuda’s definition of “hoarding” is.  Hoarding encompasses a mental aspect as well as the keeping of large numbers of animals, and it’s incredibly presumptive  and quite likely libelous for these armchair psychologists to assume that anyone has  any sort of mental issues.  Rescues are not hoarders.

Petition:

“There is information, from some of the petitioners herein and through Facebook comments which were intentionally deleted by the Sanctuary that Ms. Delaney may have harassed owners of exotic pets and used coercion to have them surrender or persuade them to surrender their animals to the Sanctuary.”

I have no idea what transpired in the past with the acquisition of the Story Book monkeys,  but this just sounds like more overblown rhetoric to me,  coming from the same people who constantly claim that they are in all sorts of unsubstantiated danger from the Story Book supporters.

Petition:

“It is to be noted that Ms. Delaney claims that she is a “published author” on her web site and yet we are in receipt of information that the only publication that she has published was the Durham Police 25 Anniversary 1976-1999, a publication that was apparently recalled due to various misrepresentations and fabrications which included report of a police officer’s death at a shoot out when in fact there was no such death. The petitioners are inclined to believe, pending an inquiry to show otherwise, that the Sanctuary(1) is unqualified and lacks the expertise and knowledge to take care of primates; (2) is guilty of cruelty and abuse to its residents; (3) is operating on its own personal agenda and mission to stop private ownership of exotic animals; (4) operates primarily for its own pecuniary interest and gratification; (4) has failed to serve the community interest; (5) is not acting in the interest of the animals it has a mandate to protect; (6) is guilty of unethical misrepresentation, bias and prejudice.”

Again, why will the CRA care whether someone is a published author or not?  How does the existence of any publication have anything to do with the care of the monkeys?  So what if this anniversary publication was recalled?  It’s not like a recall for a Toyota with bad brakes – it sounds like a private, internal publication.  Should we blame Sherri Delaney if it also had typos?  I also have a “personal agenda” in writing this blog – yes,  I’m BIASED,  in favour of the truth.  And I would also like to stop private ownership of primates in Canada.  Let’s be clear please – what’s required to be a registered charity in Ontario is not encumbered by any of the above statements made by the plaintiff’s group.  There is no evidence of cruelty whatsoever, and in fact, no one on the plaintiff’s counsel presented any evidence of cruelty or abuse during the January/February 2013 hearing to determine the residency of Darwin.  So that’s a major fail on the part of the individuals behind this letter – attempting to introduce an accusation that has no basis in fact.

Petition:

monkey waiter“The petitioners are inclined to believe, pending an inquiry to show otherwise, that the Sanctuary(1) is unqualified and lacks the expertise and knowledge to take care of primates; (2) is guilty of cruelty and abuse to its residents; (3) is operating on its own personal agenda and mission to stop private ownership of exotic animals; (4) operates primarily for its own pecuniary interest and gratification; (4) has failed to serve the community interest; (5) is not acting in the interest of the animals it has a mandate to protect; (6) is guilty of unethical misrepresentation, bias and prejudice has misled and/or misinformed the public (8) has actively concealed its true agenda by manipulation of facebook and You Tube viewer postings; and (9) has attempted to misuse its charitable status to raise donations inappropriately . As such we require that you do the needful to forthwith investigate into the following:

The background of Ms. Sherri Delaney and the competence of the owners, associates and volunteers in providing care to the residents of the Sanctuary

Compliance of the Sanctuary with applicable statutory regulations to include, building code,fire code, Electrical Act and OSPCA

Hoarding of animals

Cruelty and abuse to animals

The questionable procedures used by the Sanctuary for neutering Julien a “protected”resident of the Sanctuary

Exploitation of animals for pecuniary gains

Separation of loving owners from their pets without just cause

Manipulation of public opinion and tampering with viewer postings

Yeah,  I think the Brock Township and the CRA should get on this right away,  because this is how I want my taxes spent.  If any of these petitioners want to see real exploitation of animals for profit,  they can visit any number of public roadside zoos or a large travelling zoo.  And what the hell is up with people who insist that they have the right to compel you to read their inane social media commentary?  Does Brock Township investigate if you block some posters from commenting on your Youtube channel?  God I hope not, or I might end up being the subject of a campaign myself………

Petition:

“Misuse or abuse of its charitable status by the Sanctuary. Please be advised that the undersigned petitioners strongly oppose the granting of a licence to the Sanctuary. Based on information and other reports obtained by the undersigned, the undersigned are inclined to believe that the Sanctuary not only wants to destroy any relationship private pet owners may have with their primates and other pets but to use its residents for its own gratification. The Sanctuary appears to be private ownership of animals without the sanctity of a sanctuary. We request an immediate enquiry in its operation and your findings be made public. We thank you for your prompt attention herein.”

Nothing destroys your relationship with your wild animal quite like losing him in an urban environment.  If I were a baby monkey I would feel utterly betrayed by my human.