Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Letter of Clarification

In response to an article published in the Marianas Variety, the following letter of clarification was issued on June 14, 2007, to the Marianas Variety, the Saipan Tribune, Senator Hofschneider, and Senator Crisostimo:
Dear Editor,

This is a letter of clarification in response to an article published by the Marianas Variety on June 14, 2007 titled "Animal Welfare Advocate Wants Cockfighting Banned."

When I was contacted by the Marianas Variety, I asked that the topic of the anti-cruelty bill be approached delicately, as there is a lot at stake. In an effort to avoid any confusion, misquotation, or misinterpretation, I emailed the MV a carefully crafted email summarizing the meaning of the anti-cruelty bill and the status of the bill.

Despite this protective measure, information was misstated and I believe that information needs to be corrected for the general public.

First, the bill that was introduced to the House and Senate is an "anti-cruelty bill," not an "anti-animal cruelty bill."

Second, I did not say that Senator Hofschneider or Senator Crisostimo were proponents of the bill. I said, "I recently spoke with Rep. Kaipat, Senator Hofschneider, and Senator Crisostomo about the law and hope to meet with lawmakers sometime in the coming weeks."

There is a big difference in these two statements.

For clarification, neither Senator Hofschneider nor Senator Crisostimo expressed to me that they were for or against the anti-cruelty bill. Rather, they simply expressed a willingness to learn more about the bill and it's effect on the community.

I recognize and appreciate the media's willingness to cover animal-related stories. However, the topic of anti-cruelty is an extremely serious and delicate issue, and therefore it must be reported in a conservative and accurate manner. To do otherwise may set back our efforts rather than further them.

If readers have questions about the anti-cruelty bill, they may contact me at

Kindest Regards,
Katie Busenkell
President of PAWS
Chair of Beautify CNMI! Animal Welfare Committee

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