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ARCHIVE : Issue Four


THE VETERINARY RULES GOVERNING PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOUR

In June I 996, when lodging complaints with the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) regarding the Roodeplaat veterinarians, the Animal Groups Alliance of South Africa wrote to the SAVC as follows: It is our information that veterinary surgeons are not required to take any oat/i along the lines of the Hippocratic Oath which is subscribed to by medical doctors. If this is indeed the case, then we urgent/y request that a similar oath be brought into force by your organisation.

In his response Dr P.C. Ardington, President of the SAVC, admitted that this was the case but that the Council was concerned that the veterinary profession had sound moral foundation and adhered to the rules governing professional behaviour under the Act. He enclosed a copy of the relevant sections of their rules governing professional behaviour. Sounds good? On reading through the rules it appeared that these principles sought to protect the veterinarians rather than animals. On pointing this out to Ardington, his response was .... the Council is confident that it interprets its rules on ethical behaviour in the interests of animals. In a recent case a veterinarian was found guilty of misconduct for refusing to discharge a patient until payment had been made Ardington then went on to make this immortal statement: Regarding a veterinaryoath similar to the Hippocratic Oath. We note your suggestion. We have no evidence that there is a higher incidence of unethical behaviour amongst veterinarians compared to medical practitioners due to lack of suchan oath. And this at a time when Roodeplaat’s Immelman was still a member of the Council! Lack of space precludes us from publishing the entire ‘General Principles’ but we quote two of them:

4.1.4. He (a person who practises a veterinary profession) will not permit himself to be exploited in a manner which may be detrimental to an animal; and then the gem:

4.4 A person who practises a veterinary profession shall refrain from expressing any criticism in public through which the reputation, status or practice of a colleague in the profession is or could be undermined or injured, or through which a reflection is or could be cast on the probity, skill, methods or conduct of such colleague. Could this be why the SAVC has been so reluctant to remove Immelman from the register of veterinary surgeons? Interests of animals indeed!

                                                           


WHAT SAAV IS FIGHTING

Only since the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan became independent in 1991, did the Uzbek officials come to understand the legacy of pollution that had resulted from their designated role as the Soviet Union ’s major testing ground for chemical and biological weapons. After touring the Chemical Research Institute in Nukus, in the semi autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan, a former Soviet Republic, Uzbek officials reported as follows: In one room stood a large test chamber into which small animals were once placed for testing.Another room contained treadmills for dogs and dozens of testing harnesses, to cram dogs’ muzzles into gas masks, leaving their bodies exposed. The device enabled scientists to expose either the dog’s skin or lungs to lethal chemical agents, Uzbek and American experts said. (Not unlike our own Roodeplaat Veterinary surgeons -Ed)

 


OF LIES AND DOUBLE DEALINGS

Appalled at the atrocities committed by the baboon- and monkey trappers in the Northern Province - aided and abetted by the farming community which was making a tidy profit from the capture of our baboon- and monkey population for export to vivisection laboratories - and as result of real concerns over the dwindling baboon population in South Africa, SAAV and the Animal Groups Alliance of South Africa (AGA) called upon the then Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Dr. Pallo Jordan, to institute an immediate moratorium on the export of baboons for experimentation purposes.

A delegation from SAAV subsequently flew down to Cape Town for an interview with Dr. Jordan. On discussing the cruel experiments done on baboons at the South African Defence Force’s Roodeplaat for the purpose of poisoning ANC activists, Dr. Pallo Dit-laat-my-Koud Jordan made his immortal remark: "Better the baboons than the activists."

And this gentleman subsequently proved to be rather devious. In a letter to the AGA dated 11th October 1996 the Minister confirmed that there was a moratorium on the export of baboons for experimentation purposes, in seven of the nine provinces, the exceptions being the Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal. But in a letter to the Edinburgh based Advocates for Animals, Jordan stated that the moratorium was applicable to Gauteng province only. This might well have been connected to the fact that he had received a visit from a high powered French delegation, France being a prolific importer of baboons for experimentation. There is also a connection between CAPE, the French laboratory in the bush outside Hazyview and the French military.

Are we surprised that a letter from Advocates for animals asking for an explanation of the discrepancies between the two letters quoted above went unanswered?


THE WORLD IS WATCHING

 Pallo Jordan was allegedly fired from his post of Minister for Environment Affairs and Tourism because of non-delivery. The Tourism industry, which was expected to deliver in the region of tens of thousands of new jobs and much needed foreign currency for the development of our country, failed to do so. The new Minister for Environment Affairs and Tourism would do well to heed the delicate balance between the two entities. Although there are some who would wish it not to be so,the Animal Rights movement is growing world-wide and whenever tales of canned lion hunting in South Africa, the trapping and cruel export of our primates, the capture of baby elephants for export to zoos and circuses and talk of erecting a baboon abattoir hits the headlines overseas, a call for the boycott of Tourism to this country is bound to have a detrimental effect.


ANYONE FOR CANNED BABOON MEAT?

Following hot on the heels of the South African 'canned’ lion hunting scandal both South Africans and the rest of the civilized world were outraged when a group of businessmen and farmers at Warmbaths proposed to built an abattoir for the slaughter of wild caught baboons and the processing of their meat for human consumption. This project was apparently initiated by United States citizen Hector Howard-Fulton. Certain body parts were to be exported, as aphrodisiacs, to Asia which is already battling with the problems of human overpopulation. As it turned out, the businessmen had not done their homework and the Abattoir Corporation announced that they opposed the granting of the necessary permits for slaughter. Spokespersons for the Northern Province Department of Environment put out conflicting statements about whether or not they supported the project.All this comes at a time when the civilised world is increasingly accepting primates, humans’ nearest cousins, as sentient beings. The British Labour Government has, since its election, banned the use of the great apes in animal experiments; a New ZealandParliamentary Select Committee is considering the granting of basic rights to the Great Apes and, in the United States Senate, the Great Ape Conservation Act was introduced with the aim of combatting the slaughter of Great Apes and other primates for human consumption.An important underlying issue is the fact that this sort of situation would not arise if there were a proper government policy regarding primates. For the past five years we have been lobbying for the reclassification of baboons from ‘problem animals’ to ‘non-human primates’ which would afford them some measure of protection. But, despite promises of action made by the previous government as well as the current one, no progress has been made in this matter.And that is why the abattoir issue is of such concern to SAAV. Granting permission for the capture of baboons for slaughter would legitimise the whole sordid issue of their trapping in the wild and pave the way for their continued export to overseas vivisection laboratories.


FROM THE SCIENCE CAFE

"And so", said the little bird who flew in to the Science Cafe, which was established at Roodeplaat in the Interests of Better Science, "And so, there you have it on excellent authority. In April, General Neil Knobel was scheduled to undergo a heart procedure at No.I Military Hospital and just before going into theatre he discovered that the surgeon destined to perform the procedure was Wouter Basson. He requested another doctor".

"Serves him right", nodded Vulture No. I.

"Who?", asked the Canary.

"Well, I should say both of them", deliberated the Erudite Owl. "But why", demanded Erudite Owl, "do youi pronounce Knobel’s name as Noble? Knobel is pronounced with the K. It is not a silent K."

"Oh I see", said the little bird, "Knobel is not Noble... anyway", he continued, "they are talking about canning baboons and Peter KiIl-the-farmer-kiIl-the-Boer Mokaba told the media "You mean Peter Kill-the-Tourist Mokaba since he became Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism", corrected the Erudite Owl, as precise as ever.

"Well, it’s Peter KilI-the-Tourist-Kill-the-Baboon now because he told the media his Department was in favour of sustainable utilisation of the natural resources of the country". "What is sustainable utilisation?", asked the sparrow.

"That means the rate at which a population in the wild reproduces should always be higher than the rate at which that specific population is being utilised", elaborated the Erudite Owl.

"So", nodded the Canary, "If they can the vivisectors and trappers there will always be enough of them left".

"And now the animal activists want a Hippocratic Oath to be laid down by the Veterinarians", continued the little bird.

"You mean a Hypocrisy Oath", corrected Vulture No.2.

"Well", hesitated the Sparrow, "don’t they already have one?"





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