Media & Education
BATS Magazine

Volume 1, Issue 1, Winter 1984

Reader's Digest Reveals Anti-Bat Bias

In October, 1983 Reader's Digest requested and received extensive material on bats, their value and plight from BCI. A member of the Reader's Digest editorial staff even spent more than an hour personally interviewing Dr. Tuttle. Yet their January, 1984 issue includes a story titled, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat," in which no major myths are dispelled, and readers are left mostly with a negative image.

Vampire damage to cattle is emphasized. No values are admitted, and blood drinking is mentioned at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. Finally, we are informed that "The real hazard these winged mammals pose is from rabies. In the United States, bats transmit more rabies than dogs do."

The truth is, over the past four decades, more than 130 people have died of dog and cat rabies compared with l0 from bats. Recent vaccination programs have greatly reduced the danger of rabies from pets, but dog attacks still kill as many people annually as have died of disease from bats in four decades!

Hopefully, many BCI members will wish to protest this misleading article. Write to: Julia M. Jeffrey, Reader's Digest, Pleasantville, NY 10570.

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