Letters [June 2006]

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2006:

Corrections and more info about the Ghana SPCA

On behalf of the Ghana SPCA, thank you
very much for publishing an article in your May
2006 edition about the work we are doing in
Accra, Kumasi, and in some of the rural areas
of Ghana.
While we appreciate your interest in the
GSPCA, I am writing to correct a few errors in
the article.
Most importantly, Roland Azantilow and
David Nyoagbe are co-founders of the GSPCA; it
was very much a joint effort. While the article
focused on Azantilow, David Nyoagbe is chair of
the Ghana SPCA, and has been in that position
since the organization started. Azantilow is
vice chair. Nyoagbe oversees activities in the
Accra area; Azantilow oversees the Kumasi area.
Nyoagbe’s interest in animal welfare was
first sparked by the World Society for the
Protection of Animals Kindness Clubs. For over
20 years he was a leader in first a school
Kindness Club, and later in a community club.

Gill Richardson of WSPA registered the Ghana SPCA
after working with both Nyoagbe and Azantilow as
coordinators of about 200 Kindness Clubs in
In the article, you stated that the
GSPCA is at the “forefront of vigilance” against
the avian flu H5N1. While we are of course
concerned about avian flu appearing in nearby
countries, we are not at the forefront of avian
flu surveillance and management. Avian flu
surveillance has taken on a life of its own in
Ghana. Donors, government, and the private
sector have raised this issue to a level beyond
the Ghana SPCA’s reach. The Ghana SPCA has been
unable to get a chair at the table. We do keep
apprised of the situation. One of the Ghana
SPCA’s greatest supporters is a vet from the
Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s Veterinary
Services Directorate, who is at the forefront,
but our input and impact, I’m afraid, will be
small if H5N1 does appear inside
I was curious about why you gave rabies
data for 20 and 30 years ago, but did not update
this information with more recent statistics.
[Editor’s note: I had the data but misplaced it
in editing.] The Veterinary Services Directorate,
sometimes with help from the Ghana SPCA, has
done a highly commendable job in reducing rabies
prevalence in Ghana. In 2004 there were 32 cases
of rabies in dogs, and were six human deaths
attributed to rabies. There were 1,038 dog
bites reported in Ghana. The Veterinary Services
Directorate vaccinated 113,150 dogs, 9,478 cats,
and 218 monkeys.
–Karen Menczer
Ghana SPCA
Accra Branch:
Phone: 233-21-0244-254-286
or <perros2@earthlink.net>
Kumasi Branch:
Phone: 233-20-812-993


VetCharity is planning to commence an
Animal Birth Control and rabies vaccination
program in Ladakh, in the Indian Himalayas, in
July 2006. Ladakh is the largest district of the
Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, renowned for
remote mountain beauty and Tibetan Buddhist
culture. VetCharity is seeking veterinary
volunteers to help from July through Sept-ember
with catching, neutering, vaccinating, and
releasing street dogs in Leh, the state capital.
–Dr. Catherine Schuetze
Secretary, VetCharityOrg
Animal Health & Welfare Programs in
Asia, Australia and the Pacific
Phone: +61-404-003982


Bullock cart races

Re your May 2006 article “Blue Cross of
India wins case vs. bullock cart racing,” which
explained that Justice R. Banu-mathi of the
Madras High Court on March 29 directed the Tamil
Nadu state government to prevent cruelty to
animals in connection with bullock cart racing,
the case was not filed by the Blue Cross. The
cart racers asked the court to direct the police
to give the petitioners permission to hold the
races, which the police gave for some time after
the application was made.
–Chinny Krishna
Blue Cross of India
1-A Eldams Rd.
Tamil Nadu 600018
Phone: 91-44-234-1399


New dog policy pledged in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, though a largely Buddhist
country, has a bad record with regard to cruelty
to animals, especially dogs. Under the Rabies
Prevention Law of 1893, dogs are still routinely
seized and killed.
Rabies cases have markedly dropped due to
increased vaccination in recent years, but
appeals to local officials and politicians to
adopt more humane methods and sterilize dogs to
control dog population growth have usually fallen
on deaf ears. In cities such as Colombo and
Kandy, the municipal authorities seize and kill
even dogs who have been vaccinated and
sterilized, with red collars to show it.
Sri Lanka’s new President, Mahinda
Rajapaksa, in keeping with an election pledge to
introduce strict laws against cruelty to animals,
in May 2006, as part of the celebrations to mark
the 2550th birthday of the Buddha, ordered that
cruelly killing dogs for rabies eradication and
dog population control should be stopped.
To strengthen the hand of the President,
against political forces and vested interests who
are keen to continue the outdated cruel
seize-and-kill policy, we appeal for letters to
be sent to him, showing appreciation of his
initiative against cruelty to animals,
especially dogs, and urging him to bring in new
legislation that will recommend modern,
scientific and humane methods for rabies
eradication and dog population control.
Please address your letters to: H. E.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka,
Temple Trees, Colombo, Sri Lanka; or e-mail to
<addlcos@president-office.lk>; or fax to
–Sathva Mithra
Friends of Animals (Sri Lanka)
73/28 Sri Saranankara Place
Dehiwela, Sri Lanka
Phone: 94-11-2735182


Using car as sign for s/n in Ethiopia

We have seen your May 2006 article “From
Youth for Conservation to the Africa Network for
Animal Welfare,” through the Africa Animal
Protection Network e-list,
We hope we can do more for animal welfare in
Africa in collaboration with ANAW. We are also
very happy that ANIMAL PEOPLE is funding AfricAPN.
We have just covered the whole body of
our car with information and pictures that show
what HAPS is and is doing. Within just a few
days many people started to give us their
appreciation, after stopping us, asking for
further information about our activity.
We hope to reach a million people in the
next four years, as the sign material is
guaranteed for four years.
–Efrem Legese
HAPS Ethiopia
P.O. Box 2495
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Phone: 251-011-654-47-56


The Bible’s Message of Kindness to Animals

Johan van der Merwe is certainly correct
in his commentary on Animals, Ethics &
Christianity by Matthew Priebe, published in
your April 2006 edition, that “God expects us to
treat animals with kindness and deep respect.”
Indeed, the Bible is full of admonitions
and commandments to protect animals, nature,
and the environment.
God’s very first commandment (Genesis 1:22) was
to the birds, whales, fish, and other creatures
to “be fruitful and multiply,” and fill the seas
and the skies. God’s first Commandment to humans
(Genesis 1:28) was to “replenish the earth, and
have dominion over other creatures.”
These commandments concern the welfare
and survival of animals, and human stewardship
responsibilities towards them. So the Almighty
must have considered this very important.
After God made each creature, God
blessed them, “saw” that each “was good,” and
pronounced the entire Creation, when it was
completed, “very good.”
Later, when God promised Noah and
generations to come that the earth would never
again be destroyed with a flood, God included in
the Covenant “every living creature–the fowl,
the cattle, and every beast of the earth.”
(Genesis 9: 12-17).
Psalm 36 states, “Man and beast thou
savest, O Lord. How precious is thy steadfast
love.” Proverbs 12:10 suggests there are two
types of people: “A righteous man has regard for
the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of
the wicked are cruel.”
Psalm 104 extols the creatures of “This
great and wide seaĆ O Lord, how manifold are thy
works! In wisdom thou hast made them all: the
earth is full of thy riches. The glory of the
Lord shall endure forever.”
Kindness to animals is stressed throughout the
Bible, and is even required in The Ten
Commandments, wherein God forbids us to make
our farm animals work on the Sabbath. We must
give them, too, a day of rest (Exodus 20:10;
Jesus is twice quoted (Luke 12:6, Matthew 10:29)
as saying that the Lord cares for all creatures:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And
not one of them is forgotten before God.”
In light of the enormous abuse to which
we subject billions of animals, people of faith
should consider if this is how God intended for
us to treat Creation, when declaring, “every
beast of the earth, and every fowl of the air,
all that moveth upon the earth, and all the
fishes of the sea: into your hand are they
delivered.” (Genesis 9:2).
–Lewis Regenstein
Interfaith Council for
the Protection of
Animals & Nature
(An affiliate of the
Humane Society of the U.S.)
Atlanta, Georgia

Lewis Regenstein is author of Replenish
The Earth (1991, Crossroads), and of The
Bible’s Teachings on Protecting Animals and
Nature, a booklet that he has offered to send a
copy of, free on request, to any ANIMAL PEOPLE


Against corvid traps

Just a short note to give you details of
a new group: <www.againstcorvidtraps.co.uk>.
(Corvids are the family including crows, ravens, jays, and magpies.)
I’ve always believed there should be an
initiative against these traps. Animal Concern
has campaigned against traps which have been
brought to our attention, but we have never had
the resources to tackle this issue properly.
I have seen these traps all over
Scotland, and not just in rural areas. You may
have read about a woman in Bearsden who has one
in her garden to catch magpies, which she kills
by dashing them against a wall. Sadly there are
dozens more like her.
–John F. Robins
Campaigns Consultant
Animal Concern
P.O. Box 5178
Dumbarton G82 5YJ
Scotland, U.K.
Phone: 01389-841-639

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