Archive for the ‘AnimalsAsia’ Tag

Six words that hide animal cruelty   Leave a comment

14 april 2015

from AnimalsAsia

Animal Voices

By David Neale, Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director

If we are to afford animals the lives and respect they deserve, then it’s not enough just to think differently about them – we have to speak differently too.

Words can have a defining impact upon us. Cruelty can hide behind language. Without additional thought as to what is really happening – it can be too easy to dismiss or overlook suffering.

The power of words can therefore influence our perspective and values – including our acceptance of the way in which animals are treated.

1. Vermin 2. Pest

The words “vermin” and “pest” are often used for animals such as rats. Society accepts that these words have negative connotations which are passed onto the animals themselves.

This leads to a general acceptance of inhumane killing methods such as the use of poisons and traps – methods that would not be acceptable for other species. Most chemical rat poison works by disrupting the coagulating process of the animal’s blood. Large doses can damage blood vessels causing them to leak, ultimately resulting in death through internal bleeding.

Yet rats are sentient animals who can suffer both physically and psychologically just like any other species. However society in general would not accept the mass use of poisons, which deliberately inflict untold suffering on millions of individual animals, if the species in question was a dog or a cat.

Rat

3. Cull

The word “cull” is used when a population of animals is deemed to be too large for its current environment, or a disease outbreak has occurred or is suspected within an animal population.

The word is synonymous with the word “kill” and used to make the action more politically and socially acceptable.

This is particularly relevant during times of disease outbreak where governments must be seen to take prompt action to prevent the spread of a disease which may endanger human lives.

In these circumstances, methods of killing animals (including burying animals alive in some cases) are often deployed which would generate moral outrage under different circumstances. To prevent such outrage, “kill” becomes “cull” to soften the impact. Yet the same process has happened, in most cases a perfectly healthy animal has been killed because its life had little or no value to us.

Happy Days

4. Agricultural Animals 5. Production Units 6. Economic Losses

On intensive farms, animals are often referred to as “agricultural animals” and “production units”, each with an economic value to the farmer. The use of the word “agricultural” before the word “animal” helps to distance us from the individuals that are part of the farming process.

This paves the way for animal deaths to be referred to and calculated as economic losses and helps us to distance ourselves from the act of raising an animal in deplorable conditions and subjecting it to countless situations which can cause suffering, pain and death.

Below is an extract from a December 2014 edition of online magazine “The Poultry Site”:

“Mortality in broiler flocks represents lost income to growers and integrators alike. Even though mortality is an everyday part of broiler production, growers should tailor management programs to reduce its overall effect on flock performance. An aggressive culling program early in each flock that humanely removes substandard birds as they appear can improve overall flock uniformity and performance with a minimal negative effect on feed conversion ratio.”

The words used in this paragraph utterly distance us from the reality – the fact that we are referring to sentient animals who feel pain and suffer from fear and distress. They represent an industry that has lost any moral value for the individuals unfortunate enough to be born into it.

Broileritila

Think about what the words really mean…

We all consciously and sub-consciously assign moral values to certain species. This moral ladder is used to justify our actions and shape our moral outrage or acceptance of the use of animals in certain situations.

During this evaluation process, we should not allow the above mentioned terms to influence us into accepting poorer welfare and suffering for species which society has deemed as pests, those being killed as part of a “sustainable harvest” or “culled” for reasons of “population and disease control”.

In the words of American author Matthew Scully:

“If one animal’s pain – say that of one’s pet – is real and deserving of sympathy, then the pain of essentially identical animals is also meaningful, no matter what conventional distinctions we have made to narrow the scope of our sympathy'”.

Vietnam gets tough on illegal cross-border dog trading   1 comment

Reblogged from AnimalsAsia:

13 February 2014

Dogs trafficked in Vietnam

Vietnam’s Department of Animal Health has issued a directive ordering provincial authorities to crack down on the illegal trafficking of dogs for human consumption as rabies concerns rise. The action will help put an end to the cruel and inhumane dog meat trade in this region.

The move follows a ground-breaking meeting in Hanoi last August, when members of the Asia Canine Protection Alliance met with the authorities of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos agreed to consider a five-year moratorium on the commercial transport of dogs from one country to another. ACPA is made up of Change For Animals FoundationHumane Society International, Animals Asia and Soi Dog Foundation.

The DAH directive specifically instructs DAH sub departments to strengthen the inspection and prevention of illegal import, transport and trade of animals or animal products. The government has also instructed the DAH to work with international organisations to raise awareness about the dangers of consuming dog meat, and the illegality of much of the cross border trade.

Tuan Bendixsen, Vietnam director for Animals Asia said:

“The dog meat trade has long been characterised by cruelty and corruption. Companion animals and strays are snatched and crammed into cages to be transported long distances. Their proximity and lack of care means diseases are rife. They are dangerous to those who choose to eat them and dangerous to anyone who comes into contact with them. Vietnam has long been the destination for trafficked dogs, from surrounding countries – if governments are serious about stopping trafficking then the corrupt and unregulated dog industry is the obvious place to start.”

Kelly O’Meara, director of companion animals and engagement with Humane Society International stated:

“This new directive is a big step in ending this cruel and illegal trade of dogs over international borders. ACPA intends to assist the Vietnam government to insure this new directive is implemented to its fullest, preventing the intense suffering of thousands of dogs and the further spread of rabies”.

“Given the dog meat trade involves the only current mass movement of known or suspected rabies-infected dogs, there is a strong argument to stop the cycle of infection by banning this trade entirely,” continues Lola Webber, Programmes Leader for Change For Animals Foundation.

While the unregulated trade of dogs into Vietnam has been illegal since 2009, limited resources have meant the law is often unenforced and has remained, until now, a low priority. It is estimated that up to 5 million dogs are slaughtered in Vietnam every year for human consumption. All countries in the region have already banned the transport of dogs without evidence of rabies vaccinations, health certificates, export licenses and proof of origin.

“The Government of Vietnam is to be applauded for taking this initiative, and we hope other countries in the region will follow this lead. Many people cite culture in defence of the trade, but rabies and cholera and other diseases associated with it are no respecters of culture”, explains John Dalley, Vice President of Soi Dog Foundation.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has pledged to wipe out rabies in the region by 2020. Rabies is responsible for the deaths of up to 29,000 people in Asia every year. Rabies cannot be eliminated from the region without provincial authorities stopping illegal dog trafficking.

APCA

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