Asia for Animals Conference, Singapore
15th July 2005(This note on the ASIA FOR ANIMALS conference was prepared by Azam Siddiqui of People for Animals, Assam.)
The biennial Animal Welfare conference “Asia for Animals”
was held at Novotel Clarke Quay, Singapore, from 22 to 24 June, 2005.
The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), a
Singaporean- based charitable organization, hosted the event bringing
together more than 200 delegates with animal advocacy and conservation
concerns and expertise. Over 27 delegates from India attended the
COLLABORATION WITH A DIFFERENCE
The emphasis of Asia for Animals 2005 was to consolidate experiences in
the region with the aim of developing new strategies and facilitate
change. In the main sessions governmental and non-governmental
representatives and experts debated the following topics:
• Disaster Relief & Recovery
• ZooCheck Work in Asia
• Stray Animal Management
• Rescue Centre Operations
• Farm Animal Welfare
• The Role of Government Agencies in Animal Protection
• Tackling the Wildlife Trade
• Media & Communication Strategies for NGOs
HANDS-ON WORKSHOP SERIES
A series of expert-facilitated workshops were incorporated into the
program. The objective of these workshops was to discuss methods,
strategies and solutions for animal advocacy and conservation workers
Most of the attendees were actively involved in animal welfare and
conservation work. The experiences they shared were truly frightening.
Violations of existing animals laws and the sadistic pleasure of humans
viewing voiceless creatures in excruciating pain, were highlighted by
individuals who have not only saved animals but who have fought to
transform the views of society in their countries.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WORKSHOPS AND PRESENTATIONS
Satyanarayanan, of Wildlife SOS ®, India, was praised for his
success story with the Bear Rescue Facility in Agra. Kartick has
conducted undercover operations in India teaming up with Geeta
Seshamani, the founder of Wildlife SOS ®. In the last two
years, their team has confiscated over twenty-four bear cubs and
arrested several poachers and traders.
Jill Robinson MBE, the founder and CEO of Animals Asia
Foundation, explained how she started “Dr.
Dog”, the first animal therapy program in Asia. Today over
300 dogs visits people in need in six countries across Asia, promoting
animals as our friends and aides. Ms. Robinson also discussed the
improved treatment of bears in China following an intense lobbying
campaign. However there are still 7,000 bears in China that are being
farmed for their bile and gall bladders for traditional Chinese
Sherry Grant, of The Humane Society International. focused on the Tsunami Relief and Recovery Efforts in Banda Ache, Indonesia.
Merrit Clifton and Kim Barlett, from Animal People USA, told us how
they helped find a way of successfully raising funds for a cause, both
traditionally and creatively.
Shubhobroto Ghosh from Kolkata presented his report on conditions in Indian zoos.
There were many presentations from China on fur-farming and
the control of wildlife trade, while delegates from Indonesia
highlighted the state of the illegal primate trade.
§ Asian governments to
strengthen cooperation and enforcement efforts to combat the illegal
trade in wildlife.
§ Animals being transported for
slaughter or further fattening will not be transported for more than a
total of 8 hours from the point of loading to the point of offloading.
§ Ban on export of elephants from Thailand.
§ Dog-eating should be rejected and stopped by
progressive Governments. The Government of South Korea should not go
against the global tide of civilization, and move away from the
practice of eating dogs.
§ Supports a methodical,
systematic and scientific Animal Birth Control (ABC) program coupled
with mass immunization of the dog population as the most efficacious
means of humanely controlling the stray dog population and rabies.
§ Calls on the Australian Government to immediately halt live sheep export trade.
§ Calls on the state governments
of Australia to halt the use of 1080 poison as a means of killing
wildlife due to the fact that it is inhumane and kills many non-target
§ Supports the SPCA (Singapore)
and Cat Welfare Society (Singapore) who are asking for a more effective
and humane solution to reduce the population of stray cats and appeals
to the authorities to reinstate the Stray Cat Rehabilitation Scheme.
§ Supports the SPCA (Singapore)
and Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) call for the
ban on the use of wild animals in circuses to be extended to captive
facilities in Singapore where circus-like shows are performed. This
includes Singapore Zoo and Dolphin Lagoon.
§ A committed team to be formed
along with NGOs and concerned government departments with India, Nepal,
Tibet, China, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore with necessary powers to
seize and punish those trading in wild animals.
§ To form an Ad Hoc committee for organizing future Asia for Animals conferences.
At the conclusion of the conference, many delegates rushed to join the
Asian Animal Protection Network or AAPN, launched by Dr. John
Wedderburn. This is an alliance of people from across the world
networking to share news about animals and the environment.
We are grateful to Louis Ng, the President of ACRES, for inviting us to
attend the Conference. He and his young team were praised by all the
delegates who were able to share and learn from their combined
experiences. Hopefully the alliance that we built in Singapore will
bring about a more humane society in Asia, and the rest of the world.