The Mail

The Mail

February 5 2001
The Mail

The Mail

February 5 2001

The Mail

Animal controls

This cover story shows why Maclean's is still one of the best magazines around (“Animal wrongs,” Cover, Jan. 22). It sheds light on something that Canadians don’t really want to believe is happening in our great country. I hope this story will prompt the federal government to pass some effective laws with penalties to protect all defenceless animals. God knows they need it. Clayton Baumung, Brandon, Man.

With practically no legislation in place, how in the world are we going to be able to protect animals from people who treat them as a disposable commodity? The treachery of humans never fails to astound or disappoint me. Tara Whitewood, Toronto

1 know people who own cougars, tigers, ravens and many other wild animals. Each of these people does so within the law and because of their love for the particular species, not, as someone in your reports says, as “a fulfilment of someone’s ego.” While I do agree there are too many animals in the wrong hands, the problem is not merely with exotic animals as pets, it is a problem with the wrong people owning any kind of pet. Jason Mckie, Charlottetown

In my final year of veterinary medicine, a three-week externship in the exotic animal medicine department at the University of Tennessee opened my eyes to people’s inability to care for exotic pets. I saw a four-month-old lion cub die of malnutrition, not because it wasn’t fed enough, but because it was fed an inappropriate diet. It was common to have to force-feed one species of python because owners could not adequately mimic its normal environmental conditions. I don’t think these owners planned to have a pet they would have to stuff a dead mouse into every two weeks. Veterinarians are not trained to handle these animals, and there is little or no research about the diseases they suffer from or about appropriate dmg treatments, dosages or nutritional requirements. We need to think about tighter controls of the animal trade, not only for our protection, but for the protection of the innocent animals as well.

Lorelei Petreny, DVM, Moosomin, Sask.

Bullying tactics

I would say the school board and staff in Avonmore, Ont., are masters of damage control (“How to react?” Education, Jan. 22). Instead of dealing with the bullies themselves, they seem to have shifted the matter over to the police and courts, thereby excusing their inaction. Your article cited many indications that it was mainly a bully problem, with no indication that the school authorities were dealing with it as such. Some schools employ parents of students as staff monitors, school guards and teacher aids to patrol hallways, washrooms, lunchrooms and playgrounds. Conflict resolution programs show great promise in teaching young people new ways of channelling their anger.

Bob Erickson, North Battleford, Sask.

Your article made it sound as if all green iguanas and Galah cockatoos were caught in the wild, but in fact most are bred in captivity. In the case of the cockatoo, these parrots are netted by the thousands, and farmers take rakes and hoes to them in Australia because they are a threat to their crops. I also have problems with the statement that “salmonella bacteria, including strains resistant to antibiotics, have been found on pets such as turtles, snakes, iguanas and lizards.” You forgot to mention that these same strains of salmonella are also commonly found on grocery-store poultry products. Articles that actually educate the public in an unbiased way would be far more beneficial.

James Barbas, Olds, Alta.

Back-page morals

If we want to read the disgusting garbage Allan Fotheringham wrote in your Jan. 22 issue, we would subscribe to some girlie magazine. “Ladies’ night at the theatre” definitely does nothing to improve Macleans. People wonder what is happening to our great country, what with all the violence and crime. If our morals continue to deteriorate, things will only get worse. You are contributing to the problem by publishing such a useless article.

Jenny Pruim, Abbotsford, B.C.

I love Foth, warts and all. In fact, the last page is the first page I look at. And a pox on his detractors.

Leonard P. Stocker, Whitestone, N.Y.

Projecting an image

“Focus, please!” (Businessman. 22), on the state of projection in theatres, was inflammatory. To state that “projector bulbs are left to grow dim beyond their rated lifespans” is patently false.

At Famous Players we have a strict policy of following the manufacturers recommendations of bulb life.

John Bailey, Chairman and CEO,

Famous Players Inc., Toronto

You quote our technical director as saying that when the Toronto International Film Festival takes over Cineplex Odeon and Famous Players screens we have to overhaul the facilities to make them acceptable. This implies that we are unhappy with them, which is not the case. The theatres we rent from Famous Players and Cineplex Odeon are of a very high standard.

Piers Handling, Director, International Film Festival Group, Toronto