Views from Malaysia

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1998:

Hot water
Following is a letter which was
published by both the Malaysia Star and the
Straits Times:
I was halfway through my plate of
chicken rice the other day at a roadside stall
near a school in Jalan Sentul, Kuala Lumpur,
when a young, clean-looking, half-starved
stray dog approached my table, wagging his
tail. Without a moment’s hesitation, I
offered the dog some of my food. Then, to
my horror, a woman whom I found out later
was the shop assistant suddenly appeared
with a bucket of boiling hot water and doused
it all over the unsuspecting animal. Fuming, I
turned to the woman and ticked her off in the
strongest possible terms. The other customers,
who had kept quiet until I stood up,
echoed their disapproval as well. The woman
remained nonchalant about the whole affair.
She tried to justify herself by saying that she
was bothered by the dog’s fur––though she
has three cats as pets––and then claimed the
water in her bucket was only half hot.


I was quite stumped as to what to
do next. To whom do we complain to when
we see such callous acts? What action can
we take against people who are so cruel to
animals who are just trying to keep themselves
alive?
––Andrew Martin Anthony
Petaling Jaya

So far there has been no action
from the Veterinary Services law enforcement
officers, nor from the police. The dog
is left to his fate. In Malaysia, though all
animals are covered by the 1953 Animal
Ordinance, action is rarely taken against
those who commit cruelty. Our SPCAs can
only refer cases to the relevant authorities.
––Lim Gaik Kee
Penang, Malaysia

Helping bears
I read with interest Peter Li’s letter
in the November edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE.
Something is being done on the ground
in China to try to save bears from the cruel
practice of “farming” their bile. The
International Fund for Animal Welfare has
for five years conducted an ongoing campaign
on behalf of the bears.
IFAW successfully lobbied the
government to shut down two bear farms in
Guangdong province, secured donated land
to construct a sanctuary for 7 bears who were
liberated from these farms, and is negotiating
with the Chinese government in pursuit of
legislation that would close down more farms
and would effectively make “bear farming”
illegal. We have also funded research into
finding suitable herbal-based alternatives to
bear bile.
Opposition to bear farming campaign
is our leading issue in China. Yet
progress is difficult, between traditional
beliefs about the medicinal value of animal
derivatives and the tangle of bureaucracy.
As a native Chinese, I share Peter
Li’s frustration. I sometimes feel as if I am
trying to educate 1.2 billion people…one at a
time.
There are, however, very encouraging
signs that animal welfare is becoming a
priority to many in China, especially the
young, and a number of groups are working
for animals, including Friends of Nature,
headquartered here in Beijing.
For further information, please
visit our website at >>www@ifaw.org<<.
––Grace Ge Gabriel
China Director
International Fund for Animal Welfare
City Hotel 1407, Gongti Donglu 4
Chaoyang District, Beijing, China 100027
Tel/Fax: 86-10-6501-1242

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