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The fallen Whistler sled dogs (2010), have inspired world-wide action for changes to animal protection and animal cruelty legislation. This is their story.
Please watch this beautiful memorial video

www.globaltvbc.com

Charge approved in Whistler sled dog case
More terrific News:  OPERATION SLED DOG
An amazing success story showing how dedication, commitment and compassion saves lives.  Rescued Quebec Huskies…..and now loving homes.    Please go to FB page Operation Sled Dog to learn more on this amazing journey.  https://www.facebook.com/OperationSledDogs
To all those wonderful people we owe a debt of gratitude.  Without their perseverance and determination ……  it is unimaginable what may have happened to these beautiful animals.
CIRCULATING ON F.B. FROM OPERATION SLED DOG
B.C. Proclamation Honoring Whistler Sled Dogs

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Well old man winter is upon us, lots of snow, high winds and frigid temperatures.  It is blowing strong as I write this, I can hear the wind howling outside my window.  How anything survives up here is beyond me.  Song birds, fragile finches….I must remember to top up my feeders and clear away the snow from them again today.

LOKI was here last night for a hearty warm dinner.

Of course “Fiddle” was in tow:

  She is such a sweet girl, loves belly rubs and of course treats.  While LOKI ate, Fiddle and I laid in the snow and cuddled. It was actually quite a nice evening.  Quiet and surreal.

It is very important that LOKI gets his meals at least twice a day if not more.  The process of digesting food produces body heat, good nutrition also maintains a thick healthy coat and body mass, all of which are needed especially during these cold long winter months.  Fresh water is also needed, eting snow will dehydrate an animal just as it will a human.

Loki is lucky, with his dense undercoat and long guard hairs, he has insulation against the extreme cold, but even with all of that I have watched him lift his paws, his feet being cold, the soft foot pads can easily freeze and ice can build up between the pads and toes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One must also remember that short haired dogs cannot be left out for long in this frigid weather, even if they have a doghouse.  Insulated shelters are of course the best.  Ears, tails, noses, feet can all freeze..we all know the severe pain when our fingers and toes start to freeze up…imagine what the dog feels. Severe frostbite can result in the loss of ear tips, tail and even a limp, gangrene can set in resulting in the need for amputation.  Hemi for example loves to be outside but not for long.  His coat is short and dense and he does have undercoat, but his feet freeze up quickly and his ears do not have the thick hair needed to withstand these temps.

Philly, while he looks as if he has a thick coat he actually has no undercoat.  It is his top coat (guard hair) that is curly and gives the appearance of thickness.  He cannot tolerate the cold nor hot days.

Cats too, should not be left outside for long. Personally none of my cats are allowed outside period and are perfectly happy about it.  Luna has a really long thick coat which would easily cake with ice.  She would also be exposed to many air born diseases that cats can get outside as well as internal parasites if she were hunting mice and birds.  Keeping your cat indoors ensures health and a long life, also protection from predators.

Rule of thumb…if your skin will freeze in seconds….if it is too cold for you to be out there…then it is too cold for your pet to be out there!!!

 

 

 

 

I will continue to keep an ever watchful eye on LOKI, ensuring he gets as much warm food as he wants, no matter what the weather or the temperature.  If I must look for him out there I will, he sometimes does not always come to the backyard, so putting on my snow suit and bundling up is all part of it.  He is very special and will continue to get a fighting chance as long as I am alive.  My hopes to have him decide to join my family are still alive and well.

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YELLOWKNIFER: Wednesday November 9, 2011

Feature News

“Puppy dies after being left in garbage bin”

Excerpt:  Northern News Services: by Laura Busch

“ A dying puppy found in a garbage bin outside of a downtown bar last week was euthanized Monday evening at Great Slave Animal Hospital.”

Named Olive, this 8 to 10 week old female husky cross was found near death, after being found “curled up in the corner (of the garbage).”  The pups whimpers were heard outside the Raven Pub located in Yellowknife and a passerby came to her rescue.

Veterinary Assistant Jenna McCrendle stated that it was possible that Olive had also suffered internal damage from some form of physical trauma, possibly a kick or other trauma.  Olive was unable to ingest food or water and was incapable of moving on her own.

Olive who was seriously anemic met a humane death Monday, due only to the fact that Chris Blais took her to the GSAH. It had been a freind of Chris’s who had found the pup and Chris upon seeing her took her himself to the hospital.   Had this young man not taken this action, Olive’s suffering would have continued. Special thanks must also go to Chris’s friend who found the pup and took her home with him.

A second pup was also turned in to the GSAH on Friday and was suffering from a “large abscess on his lower jaw”.  “Teddy Ruxpin” as he was named, has been treated, is doing well and is now  ready for adoption.

Puppies, dogs, cats and kittens across the NWT continue to be neglected, discarded, thrown out in the trash despite the new NWT Dog Act which came into effect Spring 2011.  The new Dog Act is supposed to protect Dogs Only….obviously legislation is not worth the paper it is written on when incidents such as this continue to happen.  There is no protection whatsoever for felines or any other neglected pet in the NWT.  A Comprehensive Animal Protection Act, one which I have been fighting for over three years now, MUST be implemented.  Named ‘Best Place to Abuse Animals’ by the Animal Legal Defense Fund for three consecutive years, this recent incident of “Olive” and “Teddy Ruxpin” reinforces this dubious distinction.

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/a-dubious-distinction-given-to-the-northwest-territories-and-nunavut-in-may-2009-and-once-again-in-2010/

Today, it is, with windchill -20 celcius which translates into -52 farenheit.  Knowing that there are likely many more discarded pups, dogs, cats and kittens ‘out there’ left to freeze and starve to death not only breaks my own heart, but it breaks the heart and enrages anyone who actually has a conscience.

Out of the three major cases of Animal Cruelty in the NT during 2010 – 2011 there has only been two successful prosecutions made in the NWT , both of which were in Yellowknife this past Spring.   Well known  Yellowknife musician Lloyd Thrasher received a jail term for the stabbing death of “Garlic” the tiny Chinese Pug which he stole out of Vanessa Baron’s vehicle: http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/garlic-the-chinese-pug-brutally-stabbed-in-yellowknife-nt-january-2011-gets-some-form-of-justice/   and the second case involved “Yuki”, the sole surviving puppy rescued when RCMP were called to investigate a mother dog who had just given birth to puppies was reported dead with her pups in a yard.  Mother and pups were found frozen to death.  The mother had been pushed out into sub-zero temperatures by her owner when she went into labor.  “Yuki” did survive but suffered frostbite and lost part of her tiny nose.  Additional dogs were found  on very short chains and in a neglected state:

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/sole-surviving-wha-ti-puppy-an-public-hearings-on-nt-dog-act/

The third case brought before the courts and which took over a year to finally go to trial was the Hobson case involving 109 dogs, in Hay River,  three of which were immediately humanely euthanized by attending veterinarians from Alberta who participated in the property raid on May 29, 2010.  Five charges were laid in this case.

Twenty-three pups were seized and taken to the Municipally owned Hay River Animal Shelter where volunteers cared for them for two and a half months.  The other 83 dogs were left on the property of the accused in the care of the accused and it was publically stated that Municipal officials would be monitoring the dogs care.  Mid August 2010 22 of the seized pups were ordered destroyed by the Municipal Authorities despite offers to assist in the relocation of these pups aged between 2 and 12 months had been made numerous times.  The one surviving pup  LOKI who escaped the shelter  twice  in June, remains a stray and has been cared for by myself personally since last October.  LOKI also receives food from many of my own neighbors, and has thus far eluded all attempts being made by the By Law Officer to capture him.  It must be noted that the method by which the 22 puppies were destroyed remains a big secret to which no one, not even the Animal Alliance of Canada, can get answers.

Despite the evidence provided and the testimonies, in this case the courts dropped numerous charges and in the end the verdict was Not Guilty.

In 2008 the Behchoko case whereby 44 sled dogs owned by a reknown  Dene artist Archie Beaulieu had to be humanely put down due to severe neglect resulted in charges under the Federal Criminal Code, however the courts stayed these charges and these 44 neglected dogs did not get the Justice they deserved.

Again in Behchoko six puppies were found in a town dumpster with their tiny throats slashed, again in sub-zero temperatures.  Taken to the GSAH only one of these pups survived.  No charges were ever laid in this case.

The Pokiak case in Tuktoyatuk is also another perfect example whereby sled dogs met with neglect, death and the failure of authorities to prosecute or to seize the two surviving sled dogs, despite all attempts made by the BDRSPCA as well as PETA.

The new NWT Dog Act is merely the First Step, it is not the Comprehensive Animal Protection Act which I have been fighting for, but it is a Victory and it also is a historical event in the NWT.  The motion did carry in the Legislative Assembly to continue working towards the Comprehensive Animal Protection Act, a good thing one would say, however until such time as cases of Animal Neglect/Cruelty are successfully prosecuted, until such time as very real educational programs are put in place to change the apparent mindset of so many towards ‘disposable’ animals; until such time as spay/neuter blitzes  are set in place; until such time as qualified highly trained Animal Cruelty Investigators are established within the NWT;  until such time as needed animal shelter facilities are built and supported not only by volunteers and resident donations but also the Territorial Government;  until such time as there is an expansion of much needed veterinary services within the NWT……..puppies, dogs, cats and kittens will continue to be subjected to prolonged suffering, starvation, freezing to death, slashing of throats and gunshot:

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/update-on-inuvik-pup-rescued-from-abandoned-pick-up-truck/

With the Territorial Elections now over and GNWT Officials now back to work, it is time to once again put pressure on this government to fulfill the motion carried in the 16th Session to continue working towards a Comprehensive Animal Protection Act, one without the current potentially deadly loophole that was opposed by MLA’s and so many NWT residents.

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/nwt-cabinet-voted-to-retain-exception-clause-in-new-dog-act-despite-opposition-to-clause/

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/a-year-in-brief-review-%e2%80%93-animal-abuse-in-the-northwest-territories-canada/

 http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/secrets/

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/legacy-of-the-north/

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/hail-to-the-nwt-justice-system-northern-dogs-lose-again/

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/we-say-tuktoyaktuk-dogs-were-neglected-2/

 

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In my ever increasing attempts to keep Loki safe until he chooses to enter my home as a loved family member, I have put his videos on YouTube.  Now everyone can see for themselves this beautiful gentle boy.

Am not yet the greatest at doing videos, so please bear with me.

You can find his videos (2 so far) on YouTube: TudraVoices Channel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdC2PoeS39Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPMD3YoqO2Q

 

 

 

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We had yet more rain, much needed,the night before last, last night and again today.  Wildfires have broken out in Wood Buffalo National Park and elsewhere….it is very dry so the rain is welcome…unfortunately lightning strikes cause ignition and new fires start.  Ironically the Boreal Forest depends upon wildfires, some trees have seed pods that will only open when exposed to flame, but more on that later.

My trek across the ravine last evening and again tonight was a slip as you go, get one of your boots sucked off in the mud type of excursion …but worth every step…muddy sock and all.  I feel confident that the Bulldogs, mosquitoes and other hungry dive bombers quite enjoyed the blood meal I provided for them.  Poor LOKI had a heck of a time as the Bulldogs (similar to horseflies but a lot bigger) were attempting to feast on his nose.  Of course the notorious, will take a chunk out of you, Pine Beetles are on the warpath too.  Nasty black big beetles with long legs, really long curly antenia that help them get in and stay in your hair (hence the local nickname ‘Hair Eaters’) as they munch away on your scalp.

Still we both got through it, he enjoyed a warm meal, his fave cookies and a special treat …a Bully Stick!  My beautiful boy has been leading me deeper into the thickets lately and of course I am eager to follow.

Wanting me to follow him

What are you waiting for, come on!!

That's much better, I was hungry

That’s much better, I was hungry.  What, he says, is on  tonight’s menu?  Smells good. Hey there is even my fave dessert too!!

How we started the evening, till I followed him to where he wanted

I continue to be awestruck at the trust that has grown, how he runs to greet me with sheer enthusiasm.  I took my first really good video of him tonight, albeit a short one because I am new at filming…but there will be more to come.  You can view the video on the FB Group:  Action for the Protection of Northern Animals.  This is an Open Group and you are welcome to join.  There is also a Causes Group of the same name and members are growing in numbers.

Hopefully I will soon be able to load videos I take onto this Blog…a little technical issue at the moment.

My sincerest hope by going public about LOKI is to keep him safe until he decides to join my family.  I’ve been working with him since October 2010 and given his first few years of life, knowing what they were, I know that only time, patience and love will make this happen.  Our time together is so very precious, and LOKI MATTERS!!!

This extremely gentle soul has become so much a part of me now that I am unable to even remotely put into words what he means to me.

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Update:  emails are being sent to MLA David Ramsay who is chairing the Public Hearings scheduled within the next weeks on the New NWT Dog Act.    Copies of these emails are being cc’d to:

protectionofnorthernanimals@gmail.com

Mr. Ramsay has been and continues to be a sincere and valued voice for Animal Protection in the NWT and also opposes this loophole.  Unfortunately other MLA’s do not.

Please take the time to protest this deadly loophole: “make exceptions for accepted local or traditional practices” by emailing:

david_ramsay@gov.nt.ca

The more opposition that is presented the stronger the message that this clause is totally unacceptable and MUST be deleted.

Thank you to  The Animal Defense League of Canada, Animal Alliance of Canada, C4P (Cause 4 Paws), NWT SPCA, Beaufort Delta Regional SPCA and to those who have already contacted Mr. Ramsay and speaking out for the animals.

THIS IS HOW A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND CARED FOR DOG SHOULD LOOK

HE SENDS HIS THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU.

 

 

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Once upon a time, many decades ago, there existed a very special little dog, much prized by human companions.  Truly a Canadian Breed unlike any other.

So cherished was this great hunter of the Northern climes, that this little dog was literally carried during the hunt until such time as the tracks of it’s adversary were found. Small in stature, gentle towards humans, a powerhouse against those victims of the hunt.  Now believed to be extinct, this wonderous dog may be no more.

Not many have likely heard of the Tahltan Bear Dog, but this amazing powerhouse served the Tahltan natives well.

To learn more of this amazing and wonderous little dog explore the links provided.

http://www/everythinghusky.com/features/beardog.html
http://www.thebreedsofdogs.com/TAHLTAN_BEAR_DO.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahltan_Bear_Dog

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Having recently read the article “New teeth for Dog Act” published in News North, I fear I am not at all impressed with the speculation that Sled teams and Mushers may wind up exempt from Animal Cruelty provisions contained in the new NWT Animal Protection Act.   Every living animal has the right to warm shelters, meaning insulated dog houses which are required in sub-zero temps, high quality daily food to maintain body condition and weight, to fight sub-zero temperatures, a daily fresh supply of water, human interaction and proper medical care.  In the Beaulieu case and the Pokiak case, all of this was withheld from the “sled” dogs.  In the Beaulieu case the CROWN chose not to prosecute and Pokiak was not even charged.  Both incidents are a total disgrace. Please refer Archived materials.

0930sleddogs500 This  left picture is of:  44 dog sled team of Archie Beaulieu whihc had to be   destroyed.

There is no argument that mushers and sled teams are a tradition in the North,  however, the care that these animals get is often severely lacking.  In the recent Iditarod, 5 dogs died.  Two literally froze to death during the race, the musher admitting he noticed ICE under their fur;  two were run to death, their hearts for lack of better terms exploding, and one suffocated on it’s own vomit.  PETA called for a Criminal Investigation however as of this date I am unaware of any concrete response from legal or town officials in Alaska.

During summer months many sled teams are left on short chains, receive no exercise, human interaction or regular medical check ups; once winter comes these animals are often expected to perform without having received proper nutritional care and physical conditioning., resulting in avoidable injuries and often death.

Legacy of the North Victims Pokiak's dogsPicture to left is Pokiak’s dogs now presumed dead as they cannot be located. Despite desperate attempts by Animal Cruelty Officer and the filing of the Cruelty Reports,  legal intervention to save these animals was not forthcoming.

Again, there are caring team owners who do ensure the health and welfare of their animals, unfortunately that is not in all cases, and we must protect those animals who do too often face these horrific life threatening conditions.

Under the Federal Criminal Code of Canada it is illegal to drag an animal behind a vehicle, even if it is a stray wandering the streets. It is illegal to abuse, torture or cause harm to any animal, through neglect, failure to provide proper food, fresh water, shelter or care. It may not be covered under the current NWT Dog Act, but it is covered under the Federal Act (which is not properly enforced here to begin with).

WHY IS THAT??  A question I have posed to the Attorney General of Canada and the Prime Minister.  The current loop-hole is the word “Willful” which needed to be totally eliminated from any and all Animal Ptorections Bills, it must NOT be included in the NWT Animal Protection Legislation. That one word, leaves a wide door for people such as Beaulieu and Pokiak to escape through.  Choosing NOT to feed those dogs was a willful choice made by those two persons and they got away with it, giving  a clear message that anyone can pull the same trick and not pay just consequences.  Those animals suffered greatly, costing them their lives.

I support Mr. McLeods, (Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, NWT) comment of importing an Act from another province, Ontario’s and B.C.’s in particular, tailoring the act adopted as Mr. McLeod says for the North.  However strict added  effective protection for the sled dogs is a MUST.  As to adding protection for the mushers, accidents do happen yes, however if a musher fails to provide for the physical and emotional welfare of his team, or runs an animal to death, or runs an unconditioned animal,  that is a totally different scenario that must be addressed and that individual must be held accountable for this neglect, which under the Federal Law and other provincial Acts constitutes abuse, which is illegal.  Irresponsible mushers must be held accountable, afterall, they are not only abusing their animals, they are tarnishing the reputations of reputable caring mushers.  As pointed out by the Animal Defense League in a letter which they sent to the NWT Minister of Justice, Mr. Jackson Lafferty, reputable kennels, breeders and mushers should welcome the strict monitoring and licensing of their counterparts in order to protect their own reputations.  In my opinion opposition to this form of strict monitoring, inspection and licensing  would indicate something to hide, would it not?

The NWT does need  to tailor an Act to meet the needs of Northern Animals given the extreme harsh conditions here.  The NWT  has an excellent opportunity to be a shining example instead of a tarnished one.

Further,  it is of extreme importance that Municipal By-Laws be reviewed and rewritten to coincide and be in harmony to the new Animal Cruelty Legislation coming for the NWT and to the standards as represented by towns and cities across the rest of Canada.  As it now stands current Municipal leash laws and required dog licensing is not being enforced.  As a result dogs are being rounded up and shot in many Northern communities, dumped and abandoned, chained and neglected, denied medical care, left without proper daily food, water and shelter, the owners are not being held responsible, the dog population continues to explode due to irresponsible and indiscriminate breeding.  Animals are not being spayed nor neutered, and quite likely not immunized against highly communicable deseases (not communicable to humans).  All of this must be addressed in the Municipal By-Laws and be upheld, to prevent further problems in the communities.

Did you know that Canine Parvovirus (deadly) becomes airborne from infected fecal matter, remains active in lawns, furnishings and clothing, for up to 7 months to 1 year.  There are 5 million viruses contained in only 1 gram of excrement.  Pups should start receiving their shots for Parvo as early as 6 weeks of age and continue receiving shots every 3-4 weeks to the age of 14-16 weeks.  The Passive Immunity passed from the mother to pup diminishes during this timeframe, leaving the pup open to this terrible disease. Which can then be passed onto to healthy animals (if they have not received there shots) by humans who have handled sick animals, or walked in areas where contaminated feces accumulated.

Educating the public on what constitutes animal cruelty and the resultant legal consequences will go a long way to deter the decades of ongoing  cruelty.

Educating the public on what constitutes proper animal welfare, care, nutrition and medical care would be doing a great public service.

For more information on what is happening in Canada please view:

How quickly we forget- In our view: Promises to update animal cruelty laws seem forgotten
The Daily Gleaner
http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/666538

Don’t expect animal act to change soon – Ashfield
The Daily Gleaner
http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/search/article/666723

Neglect case leads to a dozen charges
The Barrie Examiner
http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1567108

Agency will revisit dead cattle investigation
Regina Leader Post
http://www.leaderpost.com/news/Agency+will+revisit+dead+cattle+investigation/1593430/story.html

Report animal cruelty, neglect
Longview News Journal
http://www.news-journal.com/opin/content/news/opinion/stories/2009/05/14/05142009_letters.html

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UPDATE

Recently received communiques from the NWT Legislative Officials are encouraging.

The continued negative spotlight which has been placed upon the Northwest Territories since July 2008 has resulted in a much needed proactive response by certain Members of the Legislature from various Northern communities.  The support that these particular MLA’s have given has resulted in a response from both the Minister of Justice: Hon. Jackson Lafferty, the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs: Hon. Robert C. McLeod, and the NWT Premier: Hon. Floyd K. Roland.

Excerpt from letters I have received from their offices:

Hon. F.K. Roland and Hon. Jackson Lafferty: ” I am pleased to report that our work has already begun.  The Department of Justice is partnering with other departments on a work plan that aims to introduce animal protection legislation during the life of the 16th Legislative Assembly.”                           This means by Fall it is hoped.

Per the communique of Hon. Robert C. McLeod which I received as well, I am of the understanding that “the Department of Justice will be the lead department for examining the broader issues of animal welfare”.

The following list are  copies of the  Animal Protection Acts I sent by registered mail to the Legislature in the hope that they will be used as a Template for the NWT Act.  Those acts were:  British Columbia, Ontario’s newest Act, Alberta, Manitoba and the Yukon.  A copy of the Animal Cruelty Act as contained within the Federal Criminal Code of Canada was also passed to them.

A further recommendation made by this writer to the Legislature is to see qualified Animal Cruelty Investigators established with the legal authority to seize any and all animals in crisis, and who will also have the legal authority to press criminal charges against all offenders.  The legal authority of these Animal Cruelty Investigators needs to supercede that of current By-Law Officers and work in conjunction with the RCMP under the Federal Criminal Code of Canada.  It must not be left to the opinion of untrained personnel to determine whether or not an animal is in crisis, as was the case with the starving dogs in Tuktoyutuk that were not seized, and whereby RCMP failed to press charges.  The current status of the three starving survivors remains unknown for sure.

It will also be recommended that current By-Law Officers and RCMP obtain the certification/training in Animal Cruelty Investigations.

As the founder of action to obtain an Animal Protection Act in the NWT, I myself am taking the applicable courses necessary to become just such an Animal Cruelty Investigator.  If I can do this on my own time, at my own expense, there is no plausible reason why those already employed in the various municipalities as By-Law Officers and with the RCMP, that they cannot do so themselves.

While the news is seemingly good, a watchful eye must be kept on the progress of the Legislature on this very important issue.  A watchful eye will be kept.

THANK YOU to all of you ACROSS CANADA AND INTERNATIONALLY WHO have supported the call needed for these animals.  THANK YOU to those groups such as the Animal Defense League of Canada, Animal Alliance of Canada, PETA, Cause 4Paws and so many others who have supported my efforts.  Voices are now being heard, voices will continue to be heard as long as they are loud and clear.

A very Special Thank You goes out to the three MLA’s who chose to support this appeal for Animal Protection in the NWT:  Hon. Paul Delorey, Hay River;  Hon. Bob Bromley and the Hon. David Ramsay.  Without their interest and continued support this issue would not have gained the attention of the Ministers and the subsequent action now being taken.

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