Crush Videos and HSUS

While Rome Burns .... Congressional Posturing, and Tilting at Windmills
by Judy Franklin
On Wings November 1999
Volume 5:11

Last year, Ventura County, California attempted to prosecute an animal cruelty crime. The case was dismissed when it was shown that the event occurred in 1992, outside the statute of limitations. This particular crime involved the 'crushing' to death of a number of small animals, in this case mice and rats. Now, following a year-long Internet sting carried out by an undercover Ventura county Investigator, a similar case will go to trial in Los Angeles County.

The defendants, Diane Chaffin, of La Puente and Gary Thomason of Anaheim, California, were accused of staging and selling what have come to be known as 'crush videos,' where small animals are immobilized and then slowly killed by being crushed by women with bare feet. or by women in stiletto heels or other types of erotic footwear. They have both pleaded 'not guilty" to three counts each of felony animal cruelty.

The people to whom these videos appeal are apparently victims of a particular kind of. sexual fetish; they achieve gratification through watching living thing being tortured and crushed to death by women's feet. The acts of cruelty to animals are in and of themselves illegal in each and every state of the Union. But now comes Congress to make the selling of the videos of these acts for profit in interstate commerce a federal crime.

H.R. 1887 is a bill to punish the depiction of animal cruelty, purportedly made necessary by the difficulty in identifying the alleged perpetrator of said offenses, the difficulty in pinpointing the location in which the crime was committed and in confirming the date of said offenses.

As usual the rationale included dire warnings of a burgeoning international trade in such videos: "H.R. 1887 will stop the interstate sale of these videos, and perhaps stop some of the international sales of these videos. Because we have learned that in hearing is that, unfortunately, entire industries have sprung up appealing to these unusual sexual fetishes throughout the world, and the Internet is the way and the means through which these are procured. Of course, most of them are originating in the United States." (Bill McCollum R-FL)

H.R. 1887 was introduced b Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA). The aim of the bill was to stop the interstate sale of these so-called 'crush' videos. It would prohibit the "creation, sale of possession of the depiction of animals cruelty with the intention of placing that depiction in interstate or foreign commerce. Depiction of animal cruelty in the bill means any visual or auditory depiction including any photograph, motion picture film, video recording, electronic image or sound record in which a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded or killed."

The bill does not criminalize the mere possession of such a depiction - only the possession with intent to transfer in interstate or foreign commerce. The Bill was heard in the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, during which time a clip from an actual 'crush video' was shown. The Bill was favorably reported out of Subcommittee by a vote of 8 to 2, and at the full Committee by a vote of 22 to 4. The Bill passed the House on a roll call vote on 19 October 1999. The vote was 372 yeas; 4 nays; and 19 not voting. The passage was remarkably non-partisan. with those on both sides of the aisle lining up in support of dumb animals everywhere.

The background, and the problem defined ...

As in so many other issues, Congress can sometimes overestimate the magnitude of a perceived problem. The bird-smuggling issue was one that was greatly overblown by those opposed to the trade in birds in order to encourage the -restrictive legislation we have today. Likewise, there has been no real evidence that the illegal trade in wildlife is in any related to, or in any way comparable financially to, the illegal drug trade, but wildly exaggerated and alarming 'news releases' on the subject are common.

No matter how many times such claims are repeated, they are still not true.

The extent of the market for 'crush' videos is impossible to ascertain. But reading the testimony of the 'undercover agent' makes one wonder to what extent the problem was created or at least exacerbated by law enforcement behavior. The following testimony was given on September 30, 1999:

"My name is Susan Creede. I am an investigator with the Ventura County District Attorney's Office. I have been a police officer for nearly twenty years, but I only became familiar with animal crush videos in September 1998, when this case was first assigned to me. The investigation began after we received a video from the United States Humane Society of Washington. DC. They purchased the video on the internet...

During my investigation, I ran searches for animal crushing on the Internet. I found different websites and chat rooms announcing crushing activities. I also located bulletin boards involving animal crushing activities. While in the different rooms involving foot fetishes, I communicated on line with people and told them that I was interested in animal crushing. I was eventually directed to a chat room called "Crushcentral" where people with foot fetishes and different sexual deviances meet to talk with people of similar interests. I spent the majority of my time in "Crushcentral" but I was able to locate two other chatrooms that were similar in nature, "Crush 101" and -"Feet."••

People from all over the world meet in these chatrooms. They use stage names such as "Under her Feet", "Squished," etc. I met these people on a daily basis, using the name Minnie, I talked to and 'made friends with' people from the Netherlands. the United Kingdom, Italy. Mexico. and the United States. Each day I chatted with these individuals during the day and evening, depending on where in the world they lived. We shared crush experiences as well as every-day life experiences. The fact that people do not use their real names makes investigating these crimes difficult. One never knows who they are actually corresponding, which makes it very difficult to prove who is actually producing the videos.

Through my conversations, I learned that the common denominator was the 'foot fetish.' They spoke about their fetishes and how they developed. For many of them the fetish developed as a result of something they saw at a very early age, and it usually occurred before the age of five. Most of these men saw a woman step on something. She was usually someone who was significant in their lives. They were excited by the experience and somehow attached their sexuality to it. As these men grew older, the woman's foot became a part of their sexuality. The power and dominance of the woman using her foot was significant to them. They began to fantasize about the thought of being the subject under the woman's foot. They fantasized about the power of the woman and how she would be able to crush the life out of them if she chose to do so. Many of these men love to be trampled by women. Some like to be trampled by a woman wearing shoes or high heels. Others like to be trampled by women who are barefoot. They prefer to be hurt and the more indifferent the woman is to their pain, the more exciting it is for them.

I have learned that the extreme fantasy for these men is to be trampled or crushed to death under the foot of a powerful woman. Because they would only be able to experience this one time, these men have found a way to transfer their fantasy and excitement. They have learned that if they watch a woman crush an animal or live creature to his death, they can fantasize that they are that animal experiencing death at the foot of this woman.

Many videos are produced wherein defenseless animals are tortured and crushed to death for the sole purpose of sexually exciting men, The animals are tortured in a slow, cruel and deliberate way. The women torturing the animals talk to them as if they are human. The women play the part of the dominatrix.

These videos are usually sold for fifty to two hundred dollars apiece. Special orders are made at the request of the buyer. He merely emails his request in detail to the producer. Their fantasy is they acted out by the actress while being filmed by the producer.

During my chats I have learned that many of these videos are being produced in the United States. Several of the producers live in California. However, I have learned that there are producers living in Texas and Ohio as well. The animals being crushed include, but are not limited to, mice, pinkies (baby mice), guinea pigs, rats. squirrels, rabbits, birds, chickens. cats, dogs and monkeys. I have personally been asked to make a video of a dog being crushed. I was also approached on the internet by an individual that asked how big an animal I was willing to crush. I was once instructed on how to torture a dog on video, step by step. I was told to purchase a dog at a place that would not check on the animal at a later date. I was told to make the video immediately after purchasing the animal to avoid the risk of becoming attached. I was told to make the crushing incident last ninety minutes before the animal actually died.

In May 1999, I was contacted through the internet by *********, known to the crush community as "Getsmart." ******** sent me a clip of a mouse and rat crush video he filmed with 'Diane." ******** told me he would much rather produce a video with me, and he asked me to consider making a video with him. I agreed and we made arrangements to meet at this apartment on June 19, 1999.

With the assistance of Long Beach Police and Investigators from the Ventura County District Attorney's office, I went undercover with a second police officer from Long Beach. After we arrived at "'*******'s residence, he went to the local pet store and purchased five large rats. ******* arranged for a second cameraman to video-tape the crushing event from a different angle. After ******** taped one of the rats to a table and both camera men had the cameras running and ready to film, the arrests were made. At that point the Long Beach Police Department took over the investigation. Mr. ****** awaits trial on Felony animal cruelty charges.'

Were the Congressmen Paying Attention????

Reading the testimony of this 'expert,' at least, one must wonder at the extent of her participation, and how close her behavior came to actually instigating certain of the incidents of cruelty suggested here. But one thing was clear: the buyers of such films did not themselves participate in the acts of cruelty, but rather were stimulated by the thought of such acts being perpetrated on them. That is not the way the good lawmakers saw it, however.

As Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) put it, "(s)ome of society's most brutal killers first began their violent ways by killing and maiming small animals. By putting an end to these disgusting and cruel videos, we could discourage the behavior of these individuals before it escalates to more serious crimes directed not towards animals but towards people."

What a problem these Congressmen have uncovered; how did they do so? Chairman Bill McCollum tells us: "I must confess, that until Rep. Gallegly brought this issue to my attention, I had never even heard of these types of videos. But. this problem should not be underestimated. Last Sunday night, the ABC television program "The Practice" - the winner of this year's Emmy Award for best television drama - featured a character with the fetish to which these videos appeal. Characters in the show made mention of the underground industry that sells depictions of this torture and killing."

And now, the animal rights industry's answer to the Alar scare comes to us in the person of Loretta Swit - she is the 'authority' the Humane Society of the United States, American Humane Association, Actors and Others for Animals, the Society for Protective Animal Legislation, and the Doris Day Animal League sent to Washington to educate our esteemed Congress people on the issue of animal crushing films. The erudite Ms. Swit, or 'Hot Lips' to fans of the now-defunct, but oft rerun show, *"MASH", was succinct in her testimony:   *[Note the bizarre "humor" used in choosing their spokesperson!]

"If we as a nation are serious about diminishing violence in our communities and in our films, on our televisions, on the Internet and other creative media, we must recognize that violence, no matter who the victim. When violence, in any form, is not addressed and rectified, we send a message that it is acceptable. It is not. The violence depicted in 'crush' videos is against the law and we should ensure that it is prosecutable. We cannot afford to give violence a 'stamp of approval' by remaining silent. If we do, where will it lead?"

Ms. Swit, of course, was not troubled by the violence in the series that made her famous, one that clearly and graphically depicted the violence of war. One that clearly and graphically depicted the maiming and killing of human beings by other human beings, in the context of comedy.

Those Congressmen who spoke in favor of passage of the bill each proffered many of the same arguments in support of the bill. Many studies, they argue. find that people who commit crimes against animals go on to commit similar crimes against human beings. They also assert, without apparent reference authority or attribution, that there currently exist some two thousand (or three thousand, per Tom Lantos) 'crush' tapes, which sell for from fifty to three hundred dollars apiece.

Excellent dissenting arguments on the bill were presented on a bipartisan basis, however. Particularly cogent among them was that of Rep. Bobby Scott (D- VA). He argued on the basis of First Amendment issues: "Proponents of the bill argue that prohibiting dissemination of 'crush videos' will have the effect of deterring the actual act of crushing animals," he said. "However, films of animals being crushed are communications about the acts depicted, not the doing of the acts. Shooting, possessing or selling such films are distinct from the act of crushing an animal. These are activities similar to 'cops on the beat shows' using closed-circuit films of actual robberies or other crimes in order to compete for ratings and the advertising revenues these ratings bring in. Communication through film speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution . . . Here, while Government can and does protect animals from acts of cruelty, to make possession of films of such acts illegal would infringe upon the free speech rights of those possessing the films."

Scott also addressed the issue of animal torturers and their subsequent behaviors against humans: "(T)he suggestion is that serial killers actually torture animals themselves. The testimony at the hearing on this issue revealed that in animal crush videos, the person seeking satisfaction is the person watching the act or video, not the one crushing the animal. And there is no indication that the person actually torturing the animal did so for any motive other than getting paid. Therefore, the serial killer analogy does not appear to be an apt one for these videos and is too tenuous a connection to meet the 'strict scrutiny' test necessary to restrict a fundamental human right."

Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), similarly took issue with the necessity for the legislation. "While such acts are abhorrent," he says, "making this a priority for Federal law enforcement is not the correct way to address it. All states already have enacted laws addressing pornography, as well as animal protection laws that would apply to these 'crush videos.' I believe we should leave this issue to the states. If the citizens of a State want to change its animal cruelty laws to strengthen or broaden them to cover the activities addressed by this proposed legislation, then it should be left up to that State to enact such laws Although H.R. 1887 seeks to solve a societal problem, I do not believe this is an area that needs additional Federal legislation."

Marshall Sanford (R-SC), also speaking in opposition to the Act, had some questions as to the ultimate ramifications of passage of this sort of legislation: "Mr. Speaker," he said, "I do not know if this would mean somehow that the Kentucky Derby would become a Federal crime as the jockey whips the horse; I do not know if one of the biggest times in the low country of South Carolina would now suddenly become a Federal crime as one literally throws live crabs in to hot boiling water to steam crabs. However, what I do know is that the Federal Government cannot keep up with what is already on its plate, and the Justice Department is already very busy trying to prosecute what is before it. The idea of adding another Federal crime to again, as the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) has suggested earlier, - this is something that I am not hearing from my constituents back home and it does not make sense to me."

Texas' Ron Paul did indeed sum it up well. "If ever there were a bill unnecessary, this is one. It is an example of us here in Congress looking for dragons to slay. This is absolutely unnecessary. There is not real purpose in passing this legislation. As has been said, all fifty States have laws against violence and cruelty to animals. That should be adequate. But the way this bill is written really opens up a Pandora's box. It is a can of worms. Take for instance, it says, 'whosoever knowingly possess a depiction of animal cruelty with the intention of placing that depiction in interstate commerce.' That, you can get five years for. How do you prove intention? This is purely subjective. This is not narrowly written; this is very broadly written. This is a First Amendment concern to many, but it is also unnecessary.

Those legislators that agreed that amending Title 18, United States Code, to punish the depiction of animal cruelty, was unwise, and hence voted against the measure include Abercrombie-D, Barr-R, Bateman-R, Burr-R, Burton-R, Cannon-R, Chenoweth-R, Clayton-D, Coburn-R, Collins-R, Cooksey-R, DeGette-D, Doolittle-R, Dreier-R, Graham-R, Hill-R, Hoekstra-R, Hostettler-R, Hunter-R, (Sam) Johnson-R, Kingston-R, Linder-R, Manzullo-R, Meek-D, Norwood-R, Nussle-R, Paul-R, Ryun-R, Sanford-R, Schaffer-R, Scott-D, Sessions-R, Shadegg-R, Sununu-R, Tauzin-R, Taylor-R, Thornberry-R, Tiart-R, Waters-D, Watt-D, Watts-R and Wicker-R.

There will never be, in this or any country, a day no rats will die. We can hope, however, that there will someday come a time when Congress can exercise a little common sense when addressing emotional issues concerning animals. Chief Judge Rehnquist, along with Ed Meese, has stated recently that there is just no need for more Federal laws. We do not need more Federal laws. We cannot even enforce the ones that we have."

"Crush videos" are no doubt disgusting, but in the grand scheme of things, are of little consequence. In making a 'federal case' out of a problem that may not even exist at any discernable level, Congress cheapens the greater cause of the real animal welfare issues of the day. Congressmen have too many important things to do to waste their time 'crying wolf'. There are enough real issues for them to deal with."

Ethics and the Environmental Investigation Agency

FWS, Ethics, and the EIA
On Wings May 1997 Vol 3:3

There have been a number of postings to the internet CITES discussion group lately regarding a controversial environmental' group, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), with fans of the agency coming to the defense of its tactics and integrity. Others came to the defense of those making allegations of wrongdoing against the group.

On Wings has on several occasions quoted an article published on November 14, 1994 in the Conservation Tribune, a publication of the International Wildlife Management Consortium, which was published and distributed at the CITES Convention in November 1994. The article, titled "US Forms Shocking Liaison with EIA," detailed a number of what it termed "inappropriate actions taken by the EIA." The article was critical of a joint press conference on enforcement matters, held by the head of the US CITES delegation and two NGOs, one of which was the EIA. The newspaper felt it inappropriate that NGOs should be, or appear to be, given a substantive role in enforcement affairs, to the detriment of the 'Member-States.'   The article asserted that the EIA "had a severe negative impact on the affairs of CITES", and went on to detail several of what it deemed 'inappropriate actions' taken by the EIA.

"In 1989, the EIA deliberately hid critical documents from a Party to the Convention, which, if communicated immediately, could have led to important enforcement actions."

"Could this have been done in the interest of publicity and fund-raising for the EIA?"

"For several months in 1989, the EIA spread serious, though unfounded accusations, including a charge of corruption in the CITES Secretariat and its staff members; ... "

"During this same period, the EIA stole communications documents between the Secretariat and a party to the Convention attending a CITES meeting in Botswana."

Several similar accusations were also made against the agency. No details were given of these incidents, however, and I have no documentation one way or another to prove these allegations true or false. Another incident involving the EIA, however, is well documented, but perhaps has been forgotten by too many of us.

Dr. Valorous Bernard (Val) Clear died of complications following a stroke on August 21, 1992. He had been a columnist for American Cage Bird Magazine  for almost forty years, and was the author of five books on aviculture. At the time of his death, Dr. Clear was at work on an article about this incident for his column, "an almost unbelievable story," he wrote, "and I want to tell it."

Dr. Clear didn't live to tell the story, although he had completed an initial draft account of the incident prior to his death. I have had this draft for some time, as well as much supporting documentation. I received even more following a Freedom of Information Act request to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), including reports of the incident written by USDA personnel.

Unlike Dr. Clear, I don't really want to tell this story, so I will let Dr. Clear and some of those individuals actually involved in the incident do so in their own written words. To the best I have been able to determine, part of the fault for allowing something like this to happen lies in the structure of the chain of command at FWS: regional law enforcement officers are not directly accountable to the national director. Having said that, I must point out that the incident should not have happened, and in my opinion, is inexcusable. So, I will tell the story as I know it, and will include excerpts from Dr. Clear's previous work, along with the new information I have gathered. For the record, the supervisor who would have had to authorized these actions has retired; I have solicited comment from other FWS people familiar with the case. Agent Decker remains an employee of USFWS.

VAL CLEAR (VC): "A cynical ancient philosopher said, 'Constant vigilance is the price of liberty.' Aviculturists need to adopt that as a daily exercise."

FWS Law Enforcement Part 441 Rules of Conduct, 441 FW 2.1:
"Investigative Activities. Service law enforcement officers must at all times zealously guard and defend the rights and liberties guaranteed to all individuals by the Constitution. Therefore, Service law enforcement officers must not engage in any investigative activity which could abridge in any way the rights guaranteed to a citizen of the United States by the Constitution, and under no circumstances shall such employees engage in any conduct which may result in defaming the character, reputation, integrity or dignity of any citizen or organization of the United States."

On May 16, 1992, Zoological Bird Imports, received a shipment of birds from Africa. The birds were brought in via New York where they were met, as usual, by Customs officials and by Fish and Wildlife personnel. Both agencies are required to clear the birds before they may legally enter this country. Accompanying the FWS delegation were a man and woman who were introduced by. agency personnel as staff members from Washington, sent to check on FWS procedures. The birds were cleared and soon put on a private plane bound for their site of quarantine, near Chicago.

After arrival at O'Hare, the birds were taken to the quarantine station of Frank and Grace Curic. Special Agent John C. Decker (Badge #351) arrived at the facility, accompanied by several other individuals, to inspect the incoming shipment of birds as they were unpacked. Two of those present were the couple that had been present at the birds' arrival in New York. Decker indicated to the Curics and USDA personnel that the two were from the FWS office in Washington. Agent Decker also introduced the two to the USDA veterinarian as Fish and Wildlife people. The two signed the standard 72 hour agreement, signing in as Ann Bauer and Pete Richards. They gave their address as the local FWS Rosemont office, and listed as their Social Security number what appeared to be a Washington telephone number: 202-876-1947. It was later determined that this information was false.

The conduct of the two during the unpacking process was sufficiently distressing as to prompt two USDA employees to file reports with their superiors.

USDA Guard: "The workers tried to work quickly but were constantly annoyed by these persons from Fish and Wildlife. We guards from USDA tried to do our job but these people were constantly underfoot. Well, all bedlam, havoc and disorganization took place. We from USDA could not get counts as the persons were unloading cages, taking pictures, making a video. ....During conversation while everyone was in everyone else's way and while a video was being taken while we were working at our jobs, two persons told me they were consultants to Fish and Wildlife and observers. .... .... Taking pictures and a video did not seem right to me, but as a guard I felt restricted as to what to do. A job that should have taken 6 or 7 hours turned into 11, only because of the havoc Fish and Wildlife created. Birds got loose, they didn't care or worry. The birds' safety was no concern of theirs, only their counting and pictures and video. The birds were in good shape considering the commotion which was created by Fish and Wildlife, very few losses."

Quarantine Enforcement Officer, USDA: "When the truck arrived at the quarantine station, we started to unload. Present were Grace and Frank Curic, their employees, which totaled 6, 2 bird guards, myself and 6 more people, 3 of which I recognized as Fish and Wildlife employees, only after asking who they were and saying that they couldn't come in with all the camera equipment they were carrying. John Decker of Fish & Wildlife said the other people were also from Fish and Wildlife. I told John that this was a quarantine station but in cooperation with a fellow government agency, they could enter the quarantine, but they could only bring in one camera wrapped in a plastic bag and this would one-stroked out of the quarantine..."

Contrary to usual policy, Fish and Wildlife insisted on unpacking the hookbills first, making the more delicate softbills wait. As a result, the hardbills and softbills suffered from a lack of water, and several died as a result of the delay. But you do not argue with a FWS inspector.

Val Clear: "Mr. Curic grew increasingly suspicious of the visitors; they did not appear to be genuine FWL (sic) employees. We asked for identification, which they evaded. He asked Inspector Decker, who also evaded answering. When Curic demanded identification (all FWL people have badges or other credentials), they explained that they had left their FWL credentials in the hotel. Curic knew that they had not had time to stop in a hotel, so, convinced that there was something seriously awry, he called the police. When the police questioned the visitors, they admitted that they were not FWL staff at all."

Quarantine Enforcement Officer: "During the evening, 2 of the 6 Fish & Wildlife employees changed their stories, and said that they were not from Fish & Wildlife but were consultants and had no ID to show. Mr. Curic asked to see some ID; when they refused Mr. Curic called the police and then, about 0400 Sunday the 17th, did they write down their correct names. When leaving and signing out of the quarantine, Mr. Pete (Richards) Knights corrected his name and address on the USDA log sheet, putting down a Washington DC address over the Rosemont address written down earlier.

On Monday May 18th, I was at the quarantine station, when I received a call from JFK stating the two people in question were not from Fish and Wildlife, but were in fact representatives from an environmental group. They also impersonated Fish & Wildlife at JFK to gain access to the bonded areas at JFK."

US FWS Law Enforcement Part 441 Rules of Conduct, 441 FW I.3B:
"In my personal and official activities I will never knowingly violate any local, State or Federal laws or regulations, recognizing that I hold a unique position of traditional high public trust which carries and inherent personal commitment to uphold the laws and integrity of my profession. For these reasons, I understand that this code places special demands on me to preserve the confidence of the public, my peers, my supervisors, and society in general."

Sam Marler, USFWS Regional Director FWS/LE 92-2873 sent a letter to Val Clear: "The two non-Service employees that you refer to were at the site at our request to provide assistance to Service personnel. The U.S. Department of Agriculture had four employees at the quarantine station. Our personnel followed the same procedures that those employees and the quarantine station employees followed upon leaving the site. No one, to my knowledge, went through any type of disinfecting procedures while Service personnel were at the site."

US FWS Law Enforcement Part 441 Rules of Conduct, 441 FW 1.3E:
"I will conduct all investigations and law enforcement functions assigned to me impartially and thoroughly, and report the results thereof fully, objectively, and with meticulous accuracy."

Quarantine Enforcement Officer: "At one point someone from Fish & Wildlife went out to get their bird books and brought them into the quarantine without authorization, along with some papers and clipboards. This facility is a walk-through shower quarantine with day 0 allowances due to the fact that the birds have already been in contact with the owner, workers at the airport and en route to the quarantine facility. Those of us who were in the quarantine bird area of the facility were already in our work clothes and we would be showering out upon leaving it."

USDA Guard: "One asked to bring in a video and it was OK'd but soon another camera and I believe 2 came in. They were told about it and of course an excuse was made. The persons were told the cameras would have to be disinfected when they left and sure enough they rushed out and tried leaving before this was done. We did stop them and disinfected the camera."

USDA Guard: "As a USDA Animal Health Aid Guard, I feel these people were very disruptive, creating a night of bedlam, and I personally hope it never happens again."

Quarantine Enforcement Officer: "I feel that Fish & Wildlife can no longer be trusted to follow our regulation and instructions so I would like a ruling on allowing them access to a quarantine station in the future. I'm sorry that I trusted Fish & Wildlife, but we normally cooperate and work together with other government agencies."

Val Clear: "That these fanatic conservationists would do what they did is not at all surprising. They have done this kind of unethical thing before. But that they were able to suborn FWL officials in New York and Chicago is surprising, and alarming. Because not only were the FWL Inspectors seduced into breaking FWL rules, but they were acting-directly contrary to the very reason for which the quarantine stations were created."

Val Clear: "The preceding story is the one that is circulating among responsible aviculturists, most of whom are irate at the implication that the extremists among the conservationists, prohibitionists who believe that everything with feathers belongs in a tree in a jungle, have become a fifth column within the Fish & Wildlife Service and have undue influence upon what Fish and Wildlife is doing and its goals."

Mr. and Mrs. Curic have never to this day been given an adequate explanation as to the purpose for which these individuals were present, or their authority for being allowed into a USDA quarantine facility. On Wings looks forward to working with the Service to ensure that an incident like this never again occurs.