Tag: animal rights
And, groundless as the accusations are, the New York Times saw fit to print them.
Cruz, a three-year-old Samoyed, died just a few days after competing at Westminster.
The New York Times calls it, “A whodunit that has rattled the show world and ignited tensions between animal activists and purebred-champion breeders.”
Why point the finger at animal rights rowdies for the death of Cruz?
Robert Chaffin, Cruz’s handler, says simply that they are the most likely suspects.
“Unfortunately, dog shows have been plagued by some of these people for years,” he said. “I’ve heard horror stories about other people’s dogs having their setups tampered with, being poisoned, but I never thought it would come to me.”
While animal rights groups have long protested dog shows, tampering with and poisoning canine contestants — a rare occurence — has traditionally more often been perpetrated by the human competitors, either out of jealousy or to better their chances to win.
Based on known facts so far, Cruz’s humans seem to be making a pretty big leap.
Chaffin accompanied Cruz to New York for the Westminster competition and says he paid close attention to everything the dog ate, including a steak he fed him the night before. Despite his monitoring, he said, “It would have been easy for someone to throw something in his cage.”
On top of that, Chaffin said he remembered a stranger at the Westminster show glaring at him and making a disapproving remark about Cruz having been debarked, a process in which a dog’s vocal cords are removed.
Chaffin admitted there was no evidence that Cruz had been deliberately poisoned, and no confirmation that poisoning was even the cause of death.
No necropsy was performed.
Lynette Blue, one of Cruz’s owners said she declined a necropsy because she was confident that he swallowed poison. Blue says she called New York City police after Cruz died to report possible foul play.
Cruz, 3, died on Feb. 16 in Lakewood, Colo., where he was competing in another show. He began vomiting blood, and Chaffin took him to Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services in Lakewood, where he was hooked up to an intravenous drip and received oxygen, but died shortly thereafter.
“We have been devastated and in shock,” Blue said. “This is one of the most painful experiences of my life.”
Molly Comiskey, the Colorado veterinarian who treated Cruz, said his symptoms resembled those of a poisoned dog, but that his cause of death remains unclear. She saw no reason to believe he’d been intentionally poisoned.
“Dogs are dogs. It’s not anyone’s fault. They eat stuff; they get into things; they make bad decisions,” she said.
The Times article points out the possibility that Cruz may have had an undiagnosed genetic disorder, but quotes Blue as saying he had no history of such. The lack of answers, it seems, is leading to some pretty wild speculation.
“We keep thinking of the various scenarios, and it’s starting to feel like something we may never know,” Blue said.
Given his owners passed on a chance to help solve what they see as a whodunit — namely, having a necrospy performed — that might very well be the case.
(Photo: Lynette Blue)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: activists, animal rights, animals, blamed, colorado, cruz, death, died, dog, dog shows, dogs, evidence, handler, lakewood, mouse poison, owners, pets, poison, poisoned, purebred, rat poison, robert chaffin, samoyed, suspected, westminster, westminster kennel club dog show, whodunit
Of the more than 50 street dogs rounded up after five humans were found dead in a Mexico City park, almost half have had tests done on their stomach contents, and none have shown any evidence of having eaten human flesh.
Sources in Mexico City told the Associated Press that initial tests on 25 strays showed none had human remains in their stomachs. An unnamed employee of the city prosecutors’ office said officials were still awaiting results from tests on the dogs’ fur and paws to see if any human DNA was present.
Authorities in Mexico City have blamed five deaths on stray or wild dogs that roam Cerro de la Estrella park, where five mauled human bodies have been found in recent months.
Fifty-seven dogs, including the one pictured above, were swept up in and around the park, prompting protests from animal activists and others who believe authorities aren’t looking closely enough at the possibility that the bodies were killed by drug gangs and dumped there.
Dozens of protesters chanting “free the dogs, arrest the criminals!” and “the dogs aren’t criminals, the police are inept!” demonstrated outside Mexico City police headquarters Friday, demanding the release of the stray dogs.
Authorities say autopsies determined that three women, a teenage boy and a baby found in the park since mid-December died of loss of blood due to bites from multiple dogs.
The protesters, while acknowledging dogs might have fed on the victims after their deaths, say the dogs are being unfairly blamed, and many suspect the victims were killed by humans, then dumped in the park in hopes the stray dogs would destroy any evidence.
Jose Luis Carranza, of the Citizens Front for Animal Rights, was one of those critical of the round-up of strays:
“If the authorities really want to crack down on the overpopulation of dogs, then they should go after the clandestine puppy sellers,” he said. “Every day there are people selling dogs on the streets, and the police don’t do anything.”
The 57 dogs rounded up at the Cerro de la Estrella park, located in a poor Iztapalapa neighborhood, are mostly small to mid-size dogs, and include beagle and border-collie mixes. Twenty-three are puppies or very young dogs, according to the Associated Press report.
On Friday, authorities in Iztapalapa announced that the dogs taken into custody would, once tests are completed, be put up for adoption. They had earlier promised animal rights groups that the dogs would not be killed.
The dogs will get shots, baths and medical treatment before being given away, they said.
(Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, adoption, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, bitten, Cerro de la Estrella, citizens front for animal rights, contents, dna, dogs, five, humans, investigation, Iztapalapa, Jose Luis Carranza, killed, mauled, mexico city, pets, police, remains, roudup, round up, stomach, strays, street dogs, tests
Humans had been searching more than 10 days for the monkey that escaped from Wake Forest University’s Primate Center, but it was a dog who finally spotted her.
Cassidy Garwood, 14, told WGHP/Fox 8 that her dog, Keeley, saw the monkey Tuesday afternoon in some trees outside their house on Frye Bridge Road.
When the family went to see what Keeley was barking at, they saw the 8-pound, one-foot-tall macaque jumping from tree to tree.
The family called authorities and officials from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Lexington Police and Wake Forest soon arrived on the Garwoods’ property, where the monkey was brought down with three tranquilizing darts and returned to the research facility.
Richard Young, who heads the animal resources program for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, told the Winston-Salem Journal that the monkey is doing fine and will be quarantined for six weeks.
After that, he added (in a word choice he probably regrets) she’ll be placed “back with her other cage mates, inmates, back in her family.”
The monkey outsmarted two barriers at the center on June 29 and fled into the woods, prompting a search in which law enforcement, university officials and animal control officers set traps with apples and bananas and even used recordings of a baby monkey in their efforts to capture her.
The 16-year-old macaque is a breeder, producing offspring that are used for medical testing. She came to the primate center in 2008 after being captured in Indonesia.
According to the website for Wake Forest’s Primate Center, staff “use nonhuman primates to study six of the 10 major causes of death in the United States.”
The monkey’s escape led to criticism from some animal welfare groups, including PETA, which filed a formal complaint July 4 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The group urged the agency to investigate Wake Forest for possible violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including failure to ensure that the primate housing is safe and secure.
Young said that Wake Forest has beefed up security at the primate center.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, animals, barking, captured, cassidy garwood, davidson county, dog, escaped, healthy, keeley, laboratory, loose, macaque, medical tests, monkey, monkeys, peta, pets, primate center, quarantined, research, richard young, trees, veterinarian, wake forest, wake forest university, winston-salem
The owners of Atlantic City’s Steel Pier have scrapped plans to bring back the diving horse act it was once famed for.
The act — started in the 1920s, shut down in the 1970s – featured a horse and a rider plunging into a tank of water from a 40-foot-high platform.
Anthony Catanoso, whose family owns the historic pier, said he’s no longer interested in bringing back the attraction, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“We just felt that since Atlantic City is moving forward, we should move forward with it. We should create new memories for visitors instead of recreating old ones.”
Catanoso had revived the act once, in 1993, but shut it down after two months amid protests from animal rights activists.
Catanoso proposed reviving the act again earlier this month in connection with a massive redevelopment plan for Atlantic City’s Boardwalk, casino district, and shopping areas.
But within days, animal welfare activists and others were voicing opposition. A petition against the act, on the website change.org, garnered 10,000 signatures in one day.
“That negativity – we didn’t want that to interfere with the positive things we’re trying to do,” Catanoso said.
Catanoso says no horse was ever harmed in the act.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: act, animal rights, animal welfare, anthony catanoso, atlantic city, canceled, diving, diving horses, horses, opposition, petitions, plans, protests, steel pier, stunt, tourism
I eat meat.
According to an article in the upcoming issue of ESPN magazine, by senior writer David Fleming, that makes me a hypocrite.
Or so he seems to be saying as he ponders why so many people continue to criticize the quarterback, as opposed to getting on the Michael Vick bandwagon to root root root for the dog killer and his amazing on-field comeback.
Fleming attempts to get to the root of the lingering resentment against Vick by examining psychological and sociological factors that he says have resulted in an “uniquely American ethos — one that has transformed dogs into our version of Hindu’s sacred cows and one that exposes a deep-seated hypocrisy regarding animal cruelty.”
Certainly, the status of dogs has risen in the past 50 years. Maybe, as he suggests, suburbanization, the rise of technology and human loneliness had something to do with it. But it’s not a strictly American phenomenon, and it has nothing to do with religion.
What it does have to do with — and Fleming totally neglects this — is that dogs have earned their place. There is a heirarchy in the animal kingdom, and dogs have, by virtue of their record of accomplishment, risen to the top of it. Research has shown, despite what Fleming says, the many ways dogs benefit us, that their cognitive skills go beyond anything we ever expected, and their service to humanity far exceeds that of any other species.
But, to hear Fleming tell it, it’s as if dogs, with no underlying reason, suddenly and unexplicably became the most loved of animals:
“Never mind that there are no definitive studies for or against the idea that having pets makes for happier people or that many anthrozoologists question whether dogs are capable of feeling or sharing what we cherish the most about them — unconditional love. Our pooches do make us feel loved, and that easily trumps fact or reason.”
But dogs, in case he hasn’t noticed, do far more than make us feel loved. They have, to put it bluntly, risen above the herd.
Maybe it’s politically incorrect, or worse, to say that dogs occupy a level above the rest of the animal kingdom. But, in truth, how many seeing-eye chickens do you see out there? How many search and rescue turtles do you know, or seizure-detecting turkeys, or bomb-sniffing pigs?
As George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
Some animal rights purists don’t see it that way, and maintain the value of all animals is the same. In the article, Peter Singer — seen by some as the founder of the modern day animal rights movement — backs up what seems to be the author’s point: People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, and if you eat McNuggets or Big Macs, or any meat, you’re a glass house dweller.
In the reasoning of Fleming and the experts he quotes: (A) If you eat meat you have no right to criticize Michael Vick for killing dogs; (B) People who care about the welfare of dogs have no compassion for the welfare of people; and (C) Dog lovers should be helping the needy humans of the world.
Fleming’s article, like the book it quotes from — Hal Herzog’s “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s so Hard to Think Straight About Animals” — sees society as having put dogs on a pedestal, and sees that as a symptom of our moral ambiguity when it comes to animals.
It’s all a bit reminiscent of the alarm sounded in “Petishism, Pet Cults of the Western World,” the 1968 book by Kathleen Szasz that looked at our preoccupation with dogs as something close to a psychiatric disorder.
True, we humans do some outlandishly wacky things in the name of love for our dogs, but to view the status dogs have achieved — sometimes with our help, sometimes despite it — as something fraudulent, unearned, or not to be believed is both superficial and uninformed.
There seems to be a rising tide of those who, like Szasz four decades ago, fret about the standing and privileges dogs have been afforded in western culture. Why, it’s almost as if — they say, as if it boggles their minds — we’re treating them as children.
Well, think about it. We created them. We domesticated them. We insisted they no longer be wild. We usurped them of their survival skills. We bred them into shapes we liked. We made them do chores, and put them in our handbags, and entered them in contests. We made them what they are (dependent on us), and elevated them to where they are (in our beds, on our sofas and atop the animal heap).
Given that, in my view, we have an obligation to rear them properly, much like children — and not to drown them, bludgeon them, electrocute them, shoot them, dispose of them in Dumpsters when they become inconvenient, or make them fight each other until death.
If that belief is is outlandish, call me an outlandish, politically incorrect, meat-eating hypocrite.
“People should look at what they’re eating and what they’re spending their dollars on and what kind of animal abuse they themselves are supporting,” says Singer. “And if they haven’t taken a good look at that, I don’t think they have much right to criticize Vick.”
I hate to argue with a hero, but they have every right. You don’t have to be a saint to point out a sin. Sometimes, if something enrages you to the extent you must speak out — no matter how long ago it happened, or what kind of house you live in — you’re going to hurl a stone or two.
You don’t have to be Mother Teresa to be entitled to do so.
If there are any sacred cows in this whole big picture, in my opinion, they would be the professional athletes, particularly the ones who consider themselves above the law. They, with help and repeated stroking from outfits like ESPN — Vick not only appears on the cover of the magazine, but the entire issue is devoted to him — are turned into mythical heroes, bestowed with untouchable status, and glorified out of all proportion, all for playing silly games for exorbitant salaries.
I have absolutely no problem idolizing dogs more than them.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, animals, article, breeds, david fleming, dogfighting, dogs, domestication, espn, evolution, george orwell, hal herzog, heirarchy, hypocrisy, idolatry, image, kathleen szasz, lingering, magazine, meat, michael vick, news, nfl, peter singer, petishism, pets, place, resentment, sacred cows, society, sports, status
There’s good news and bad news.
The good: The protesting has begun. A group of citizens marched earlier this week to show their concerns about the county hiring a private contractor to hunt down, and trap, if possible, stray or feral dogs.
The bad: Of the 55 dogs removed so far from the streets by the contractor, working with Cumberland County’s department of animal control, 22 were captured. Thirty-three, despite the county’s assurance that it would only be used as a last resort, have been shot and killed.
“We are concerned about the shootings in our neighborhoods, of these feral dogs,” said Amy Frey, among the group of animal rights activists that gathered in downtown Fayetteville Tuesday afternoon.
”We can’t confirm information whether the dogs are being shot lethally on-sight or if they are being put down,” she told ABC 11 News.
“It’s incredibly inhumane to be shooting animals on sight,” activist Melissa Katzenbeger said. “Pets do get out of their yards once in a while, and they are not trapping these animals and assessing them for behavior.”
Cumberland County animal control officials say up to 150 stray or feral dogs are roaming neighborhoods, and that those dogs have killed at least 15 pets.
In an e-mail statement, animal control director John Lauby reiterated that the goal is to trap the dogs. ”If the dogs cannot be trapped and are in a safe area, then off-shelter euthanasia is used.”
The activists say they are not opposed to euthanizing dangerous dogs but want to make sure that animal control doesn’t kill someone’s pet or friendly strays that could be adopted.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: activists, animal control, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, assessment, contractor, dogs, euthanasia, fayetteville, feral, hunt, march, north carolina, pets, protest, round up, shooting, stray, trapping
It’s not often that I share the personal frustrations of being a dog-blogger — especially one who tries to stand out from the crowd by keeping a lid on the pablum and fluff, and presenting from time to time some stories of depth about important dog-related issues.
Yesterday was a case in point.
I posted three items — about the daily average for ohmidog!
One was a mention of an upcoming motorcycle ride, sponsored by a motorcycle club and Baltimore’s Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force, to raise money for abused and abandoned dogs.
One was a story about a day of global protest against eating dogs in South Korea.
One was an update on a story I wrote a few years back after meeting in Los Angeles a homeless man and his three legged pit bull (her fourth leg was lost as a result of a police shooting). Both have fallen ill and need help.
I was especially proud of the latter two, as they both contained some original reporting, and original photographs, and displayed a little first hand knowledge I had gathered, mostly during the year and a half I was working on my book.
Checking my Google Analytics, as I do from time to time, I saw this morning that the dog-eating post (of global significance) drew 116 views; the post on Michael and Topaz (of national significance) got 46 views; and the post on the fundraising motorcyle ride (of local significance) got 16 views.
What drew most readers to ohmidog! yesterday — 676 of them — was a post, nearly 50 days old, about Jennifer Aniston getting her dog Norman’s name tatooed on her foot.
Thereby showing you the significance of celebrities. It blows my mind.
How people try to remember and memorialize their dogs is a legitimate story — and a large part of the book I wrote — and the fact that more people are going the tattoo route, as the New York Post reported this week, is worthy of note.
But let’s face it, it was Jennifer Aniston that brought me those readers — and while I appreciate her, and those readers who dropped by, it bugs me that her foot tattoo so overshadowed two stories of deeper importance and deeper humanity. But, despite all that’s in the bowl, they chose only that.
My little corner of the universe, or the Internet, serves it seems as a microcosm of what’s happened to the news media, which, to survive, has caved in to the pressure to give readers easily consumable, barely newsworthy bits of what they want, rather than fully fleshed out stories on topics of greater importance to the species, be it human or dog.
Looking at my Analytics — and I think it’s OK to share this proprietary information, given that I am the proprietor — a total of 435 pages and posts were viewed yesterday, 1,941 views in all.
The vast majority, though, were focused on Jennifer Aniston’s foot.
For those consumed with numbers, and getting them to increase, and paying the bills, the thinking would reasonably follow: We need more Jennifer Aniston, more tattoos, more feet, or more of whoever or whatever else is, at this given moment, “trending.”
Here’s one of the things that has happened. News organizations, and bloggers, see what’s “trending” and base their coverage on that, thereby making it “trend” even more, while items of higher significance — worth some digging up — fall unseen by the wayside.
Add to that the fact that those who write strictly for the Internet, often, are no longer writing for humans. Instead of writing for quality, instead of writing, even, for readers, they’re writing for robots — those search engine Peruse-a-trons that scan our words, mathematically determine their import and influence how many readers come our way.
Add to that the fact that average online writer now spends more time touting what he has written via social networks and elsewhere than actually writing what he has written. Time once spent on research and the craft of writing is now mostly absorbed by shouting about and hyping what one has written, even if that “writing” was little more than a cut and paste job.
We’ll even admit to doing some of that — what is now called “aggregating,” what was once called plagiarism. We’ll admit to touting stories we’re proud of on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll even admit to, once in a while, posting a story because we think it will draw a crowd.
Were ohmidog! a true money-making venture — which in some ways would make more sense than being poor and principled — we might follow the route that so many have, bringing you a steady diet of the cute, the happy, the adorable and the celebrity-related.
But, Jennifer Aniston aside, we plan to continue to vary our fare — presenting the cute, from time to time; the uplifting, as often as we can find it; but also the cruel and depraved acts of humans that lead to animal suffering.
If, in the three years we’ve existed (did I mention we’ve just turned 3?) and in the 3,000 posts we’ve posted, ohmidog! has shown anything, it is this: the depths to which humans can sink and the heights to which they can rise when it comes to dogs.
We’re going to keep doing that.
And you can tattoo that on your foot.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggregating, analytics, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, blogging, blogs, cute, dog, dog inc., dog stories, dogs, eating dogs, facebook, fluff, foot, google, internet, jennifer aniston, korea, michael, news, news media, newspapers, norman, ohmidog!, online, page views, pets, readers, robots, search engines, social networks, tattoo, topaz, tout, touting, trending, trends, twitter, visits, websites, writing
Then their fur is boiled, torn or torched off so they can be chopped up, sold and eaten.
It remains a thriving, and often shady, business — even though only a minority of South Koreans eat dog, and even though those numbers are decreasing.
Recent years have seen a rise in pet keeping in South Korea, and along with it a higher degree of respect afforded to dogs, especially those of the purebred variety.
At the same time, South Korea’s fledgling animal welfare movement is becoming stronger and more active, and banning the eating of dog is at the top of its agenda.
Still, there are those, inside South Korea and out, who would like to see a total and immediate end to dog meat consumption.
Among them is In Defense of Animals (IDA), an organization that has been holding a global day of protest against the practice for the past seven years.
This year, IDA has joined forces with two South Korean animal welfare groups – Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) and Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA), to protest dog meat consumption.
The 7th annual International Day of Action for South Korean Dogs and Cats is tomorrow — Tuesday, August 16 — and is timed to coincide with what is the peak period of dog consumption in South Korea, the hottest summer months. Many of those who market and consume canine meat maintain it increases vitality, male sexual prowess and general health — all myths, according to IDA.
At the events, held simultaneously in dozens of cities around the world, activists pass out leaflets and hold signs, often outside South Korean Embassies and Consulates.
You can find a full list of the day’s events in America and other countries here.
I met some of South Korea’s animal activists, and visited an outdoor dog market during a trip to Seoul in 2009 to research my book, “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend.”
South Korea was the first country to clone a dog — a feat some say was made possible by the easy access to dogs from dog farms. Both before and after the birth of Snuppy, the first canine clone, scientists used farm dogs both for their eggs and as surrogates in their attempts to clone the species.
Given that, I felt the need to visit Moran Market, an open air bazaar outside Seoul where cages line the street for a full city block, and dogs can be purchased in part or in whole, live or dead, cooked or raw, for as little as $100.
Customers commonly choose a live dog from a cage, at which point the dog is pulled out with a noose attached to a stick, dragged into a nearby room and given a fatal electrical shock with what resembles a cattle prod. It is thrown into a steel vat of boiling water to soften the meat and make its fur easier to remove. From there it is tumbled in a dryer that removes most of the fur. A torch is used to burn off any that remains, and the dog is then butchered to order while you wait. About 25 percent of South Korea’s dog meat is sold through Moran Market.
On my visit to the market, workers waved me down. They offered me a seat by the fire, a cup of tea and a cigarette. One grabbed a long stick, poked it through the bars in the cage and jabbed several dogs to show me how lively they were. The asking price was about $150, though it eventually dropped to $100.
While a few purebreds were in the mix, almost all were mutts. Most dog meat in Korea comes from mixed breeds that, while similar to the native Jindo breed in appearance, are mongrels, and are often referred to simply as “yellow dogs.” Most of them have been raised on farms, spending most of their lives in cages, or on three-foot chains.
Seeing I was uninterested in buying an entire live dog, the merchants offered me half of one – boiled and de-furred, but with its head, tail and paws still intact.
While there is disagreement over how far back dog eating in Korea goes, long stretches of poverty and war made it more popular, and necessary. While many never took up the practice, or have abandoned it, an estimated 500 to 600 restaurants in Seoul alone serve dog, in various forms.
Animal activists told me that the bulk of market dogs come from farms, but that stolen and stray pets often end up in the mix, and even dogs sold by unethical animal shelters.
“There are dogs picked up as strays off the streets and dogs that were being used to breed pets but have gotten old and useless,” said Soyoun Park, president of CARE.
“The way you can distinguish if it’s a farm dog or a homeless dog is that those dogs that are raised at the farm won’t look at a human directly. They don’t want eye contact. Those who are not afraid about looking a human in the eye are usually dogs that have been raised in someone’s house.”
Dog was removed from the menus of many restaurants during the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and in 1991, South Korea passed its first animal protection law, ostensibly forbidding the sale and consumption of dog meat.
But the government has done little to enforce it — nearly 6,500 stores in the country still sell dog meat, according to the IDA.
As some some activists in Seoul told me, pressure from outside the country, up to now, seems to have had little effect on decreasing dog meat consumption in South Korea. Any true and lasting change, they believe, will likely have to come from within.
And as one pointed out, Americans — with all our righteous indignation — live in a country where the number of dogs euthanized at shelters every year is just about the same as the number consumed in Korea.
When it comes to the well-being of dogs as a species, be they American or Korean, there is work to be done. I’m just glad there are people — in both countries — doing it.
(Photos by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, cloning, coexistence for animal rights on earth, dog farms, dog inc., dog meat, eating dog, embassies, events, farm dogs, ida, in defense of animals, international day of action, korean animal rights advocates, laws, market, moran market, photos, pressure, protest, seoul, south korea
In yet another sign that the animal welfare movement is gaining its legs in China, public pressure has led officials of the city of Jiangmen to withdraw their plans to ban dogs in urban areas.
The decision saved the lives of thousands of animals.
City officials had issued a notice that — to prevent rabies and establish a “more civilized” city — they would ban dogs in three urban districts of Jiangmen. Residents of those areas were ordered to turn their dogs in, and those that didn’t faced having their dogs confiscated and euthanized.
The decision to drop the ban drew praise from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
“Civilized cities don’t ban the ownership of man’s best friend. Killing dogs rightfully owned is an outright violation of basic citizens’ rights,” said Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAW Asia Regional Director, who is from China.
“Banning and killing dogs are ineffective solutions to preventing rabies, which has been successfully controlled in many parts of the world with education, vaccination and sterilization. We are pleased to see Jiangmen city officials back down from their knee-jerk decision yielding to public outcry.”
You can read more about the ban, and the overturning of it, on Gabriel’s blog.
Lacking national animal welfare legislation and rabies prevention mechanisms in China, local governments have previously resorted to mass dog culls in an effort to “prevent rabies” or to “clean up a city.”
But in Jiangmen, the order enraged many pet owners, who made their voices heard through the online forums, blogs and social networking sites in China.
“I am tremendously happy and proud to see that public uproar from within China stopped this unethical killing. In the past we were only able to stop some of the dog culls with international pressure,” said Gabriel.
“IFAW stands firm with the millions of animal caring people in China who desperately want to see the country to promulgate animal welfare legislation—the most effective way to ban the culling of companion animals, once and for all.”
The overturning of the ban is another sign that, as pet ownership grows in China and other Asian countries — including some where some members of the population still eat dogs — the animal welfare movement is been growing stronger.
Three months ago, more than 500 dogs being trucked to a slaughterhouse in China were freed from that fate when an animal activist spotted the truck transporting them on the highway, went on line and used social media to arrange an impromptu blockade.
Around 200 people helped block the truck at a toll booth for 15 hours, eventually negotiating the release of the dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, animals, asia, ban, china, chinese, city, cull, dog, dogs, grace gabriel, ifaw, international fund for animal welfare, jiangmen, pets, rabies
The Korea Dog Farmers’ Association had scheduled the festival for Friday, to be held in the traditional open-air market in the city of Seongnam just south of Seoul — the one I visited while researching my book, and where I took the photos that appear on this page.
Moran Market is a block long outdoor market that sells, produce, vegetable, herbs and animals, including dogs, which can be butchered to order. One can pick a live dog, for $100-$150 and have it butchered. About two-thirds of the dog meat sold in Seoul (not counting that prepared in restaurants) is sold there.
The festival planned to showcase various canine delicacies including barbecued dog, sausages and steamed paws. Also featured would have been cosmetics and spirits made with canine ingredients.
But South Korea’s young and burgeoning animal welfare movement, and concerns over international perceptions, managed to bring those plans to a halt, said Ann Yong-Geun, an adviser to the Dog Farmers Association.
“We couldn’t possibly go on with the plan due to endless phone calls of complaint… now there are few willing to rent us a place for the event,” Ann, a professor of nutrition at Chung Cheong University, told AFP.
Ann said the festival would have displayed video clips and pictures of farms raising dogs under sanitary conditions, contrary to public perceptions.
About 600 farms raise dogs for meat in South Korea, where their meat has long been eaten by a portion of the population. Dog soup, or Boshintang, is considered, by some, a summer delicacy.
Growing numbers of Koreans oppose the practice and consider it an international embarrassment. The planned festival sparked opposition from South Korean animal rights groups and many Internet users.
“This is making our country an international laughing stock, and making the whole world mistakenly believe that all South Koreans eat dogs,” said Park So-Youn, head of Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth.
I got to meet Park during my visit to Seoul, while researching my book, “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend.”
It was in Seoul that the first dog clone was produced (Snuppy), an achievement that was in part due to scientist’s easy access to farm dogs for use as egg donors and surrogates. The successful cloning of dog led to the formation of two companies — one in the U.S. and one in Seoul. Only the one in Seoul remains, and continues to clone dogs for profit.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
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