Letters [July/Aug 2005]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2005:

Kindest fate

The April 2005 edition of Animal People included the
subheading “Dog Meat Farms Spread Rabies.”
Perhaps the kindest fate for dogs who are raised for
consumption is to be killed to prevent the spread of disease, rather
than being put through the horrors of the dog meat markets.
Some years ago, I watched a local TV program regarding cats
bred and sold for human consumption, probably in southern China.
What shook and haunted me more than anything else was the picture of
cats being skinned alive at the market and being carried away alive
for the pot.
As a Christian I believe that animals have souls, and I
believe that regardless of personal beliefs, we will each be
accountable to God for the cruelty we perpetrate upon His glorious
creation.
–Dave Thorpe
Cape Town, South Africa
<davidbthorpe@yahoo.com>

Karachi

Thank you for your efforts to save animals in Karachi,
Pakistan (“Madness in Karachi,” June 2005). You have done a great
job.
I will be meeting with the President of Pakistan in Islamabad
during the second week of August.
Multiple free rabies clinics and free sterilization surgeries
will also be performed during this visit.
–I.H. Kathio, DVM
Pittston, Pennsylvania
<IHKSINDH@aol.com>

Dr. Kathio spends his vacations in Karachi, teaching
sterilization surgery technique at the Richmond-Crawford Veterinary
Hospital and doing vaccinations and sterilization surgery at the
Tando Jam Charity Animal Hospital.

Scheduled Tribes Bill vs. Indian wildlife habitat

The Indian Ministry of Tribal Affairs has drafted a bill
called the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill 2005,
which aims to confer greater rights on forest-dwelling indigenous
people.
The C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation has been working with
tribals for over 20 years, and we are happy that their existence is
being finally recognized.
However, the bill in its present form is disastrous for the
forests of India and the fast-disappearing wildlife. It contravenes
and debars key provisions of the Indian Forest Act of 1927, Wildlife
Protection Act of 1972, and Forest Conservation Act of 1980.
The bill proposes to distribute forest land at the rate of
2.5 hectares per nuclear family, to be used for habitation or
self-cultivation for livelihood needs. But, there is no nuclear
family concept among the tribes.
Only 20% of India is forested. Less than 17% has thick
forest. India needs to save the remaining forest and try to increase
it to 33%. This bill will do the opposite. More that 8% of India’s
population is tribal. Awarding 2.5 hectares to each family means
giving away 50 million hectares, or 74% of India’s remaining
forests. This will be the end of Indian forests and wildlife, and
will give free access to timber and land mafias.
The rivers of India start in the forest. Razing the forests
will deepen India’s water crisis.
The bill also gives tribals access to biodiversity, contrary
to the provisions of the Bio-diversity Act of 2002; grants rights in
perpetuity; and promises the conversion of leases of forest land
into titles.
Tribals must be helped to improve their lives. They can
be employed as watchers, forest guards, etc., and must have
equitable access to the benefits accruing from the forests. If they
want to pursue agriculture, give them productive land. Tribals need
livelihoods, not a licence to be exploited by land and timber mafias
and the corrupt officials who alone will benefit by this bill.
The bill may be read at the Ministry of Tribal Affair’s web
site, <www.tribal.nic.in>.
Comments may be sent to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister
of India, South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi 110011; fax
91-11-2301-9545 or 2301-6857; or by visiting his web site,
<http://pmindia.nic.in>.
-Dr. Nanditha Krishna
Honorary Director
C.P. Ramaswami
Aiyar Foundation
Chennai, India
<nankrishna@vsnl.com>

Big dogs in Beijing

More than 200,000 dogs live in Beijing who are larger than
permitted by the Impementation Guide to the Beijing Dog Keeping
Regul-ation issued by the Beijing Municipal Government in October
2003. The regulation prohibits keeping dogs who are taller than 35
centimeters (about 18 inches), excluding the head. Their previous
licenses expired on June 30. From July 1, the police are to seize
dogs who do not have a new license.
Animal Rescue Beijing held a forum on violence and big dogs
on June 11, 2005 in the Beijing Guodu Pet Park. More than 200 pet
dog keepers attended, with enthusiam even hotter than the
temperature.
A dozen news media covered the forum, but only one newspaper
published a report. We learned later that the city legal department
noted that the issue of big dogs was sensitive and forbade
publication of articles about the big dog issue in local media.
I think letters to the Olympic Organizing Committee in
Beijing will be most effective, c/o
<international@-beijing-olympic.org.cn> and
<environment@beijing-olympic.org.cn>.
–Irene Zhang
Animal Rescue Beijing
Beijing, China
<irenezy@yahoo.com>

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