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LOS ANGELES : Hoax on Pelts Apparently Aimed at Influencing Vote

A fake press release was sent out Monday claiming that the Los Angeles Department of Animal Regulation would be auctioning “pelts, horsehides and feathers” from euthanized animals--an apparent effort to influence a measure on the ballot today that would bring more citizen oversight to the department.

The department’s acting general manager, Elza A. Lee, said the city has no intention of auctioning off animal parts. Calling the statement “terribly sick,” Lee said she intended to investigate the incident.

The official-looking press release, faxed Monday to The Times, said the auction would begin Thursday. It said those wishing to participate needed a $23 permit from the department.

On today’s ballot is a measure that would alter the department’s citizen commission from an advisory body to a policy-making group.

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Supporters say more citizen oversight would reform the much-criticized department, while opponents contend that it would just add to the city’s bureaucracy.


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