Japan – Animals Matter in Disasters

The National Council of SPCAs asks South Africa to join us in considering the plight and safety of animals in Japan as well as being mindful of deep concerns for the human population. Animals too are involved and suffering. As our hearts go out to the Japanese nation, let us not overlook the impact on animals.

Just as so many people in Japan now have nowhere to return to, neither do their animals. Animal welfare organisations in Japan need to assist with temporary housing for animals whose owners probably have no access to funds for food or veterinary care including for animals that may have been hurt.

Some people have saved nothing but their animals and now do not have money or other resources to care for them or feed them. Let us also not overlook farm animals, wildlife and facilities that hold animals.

This is why the National Council of SPCAs wishes to launch a fund to assist with the long-term issues arising from the recent events.

South Africans are already asking what – if any – aid is being given to assist animals in Japan. We are confirm that international animal-aid organisations are already there and working “on the ground” with existing animal welfare organisations in Japan.

The animal-related impacts are becoming clear and there will undoubtedly be long-term issues and concerns. Assistance will be required to help the Japanese to go forward once the situation has been “normalised” if this is the term that could be used. The monetary situation in Japan is such that disposable income to support welfare efforts is unlikely to be available.

Our sympathies go out to the nation of Japan. We hope that the efforts to assist people and animals are successful.

We need to be mindful that there is no quick-fix, that income to support current relief work may soon be diminished and that the after-effects will be lasting. To help us help the animals in Japan, please could donations be made: –

REFERENCE JAPAN
ACCOUNT NAME – NSPCA
BANK – STANDARD
BRANCH – ALBERTON
ACCOUNT NUMBER – 201 032 015
BRANCH CODE- 006 405

Don’t Support Wild Animal Acts in Circuses

Dear Friend,

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) thanks you for your efforts to spread the word about the cruelty inherent in the use of wild animals in circuses and other travelling acts. This information has been created to help individuals and animal protection organisations throughout the country educate the public about the suffering endured by wild animals in circuses.

The information provided herein will assist you in explaining the issue to your friends, neighbours, club members and work colleagues. The information will also be helpful should you wish approach the organiser/municipality in an attempt to stop a circus from being held in your area. Letters can also be sent to newspapers in the area where a circus is scheduled to take place. It is especially important to send a letter to the editor if an article about the circus has appeared in the newspaper. Remember to be polite.

In this manner you can foster public awareness in your community of the danger that using wild animals in circuses poses to the public as well as the animals.

WHY WE OPPOSE WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES

The NSPCA is opposed to any degree of confinement or the use of any animal in sport, entertainment or exhibition likely to cause distress or suffering or which may adversely affect the animal’s welfare.   The NSPCA is totally opposed to exhibitions or presentations of wildlife in circuses and travelling menageries.   Because cruelty to animals is inherent to such displays, we seek to end such uses of wild animals.   We work to achieve this by increasing public awareness and strengthening legislation that protects captive wild and exotic animals.

There are circuses around the world which boast a variety of talented acts that pay tribute to the capabilities of man and his extraordinary ability to stretch the limits.   The best part about this entertainment is that there are no wild animals that are forced to live life continually on the move, in unnatural surroundings and denied the opportunity to express natural behaviour.   The NSPCA applauds these circuses for their progressiveness and for leaving wild animals in the wild where they belong.

AN INHUMANE EXISTENCE DAY AFTER DAY

Wild animals used in circuses and other travelling acts are routinely subjected to months on the road confined in small, barren cages or in chains.   These animals then demonstrate stereotypic and abnormal behaviour patterns indicative of prolonged stress and suffering.   It is the stress through the process of confinement and transportation that makes up the bulk of the animals’ suffering.

  • Natural environments cannot be recreated in circuses.   Complex environments cannot be set up in circuses because of frequent travelling and extremely small accommodation and exercise areas.   Circus animals’ lives are inevitably impoverished. There is no scientific reason to believe that the natural needs of wild animals can be met through the living conditions and husbandry offered by circuses.
  • The lack of appropriate social interaction, reduction in time spent foraging and the restricted freedom to perform natural behaviours represent stressors for captive animals.   Stress can have short-term as well as long-term behavioural and psychological effects.
  • Circus animals travel frequently.   Many features of travel, such as forced movement, human handling, noise, trailer movement and confinement constitute sources of stress to captive animals.    Reptiles are unsuitable for frequent transportation since they are sensitive to vibration and temperature changes.   Sudden or persistent acoustic or vibratory stimulation can be stressful, and so sources of such stimuli, such as traffic or people, should be minimised.
  • Stereotypical behaviours (pacing, swaying etc) are indications of sub-optimal environments and indications of poorer welfare conditions. Captivity affects behavioural patterns and normal behaviour gives way to a higher percentage of inactivity and/or increased abnormal behaviour (self-directed behaviour or self-injury) and stereotypes.
  • Performing wild animals pose a real threat to public safety, precisely because they are wild and therefore unpredictable.   No amount of training or affection can eliminate this danger.
  • Performing inappropriate and unnatural tricks in the name of entertainment also does nothing to foster respect for animals and desensitizes individuals (especially our impressionable children) to animal suffering.
  • Animals in circuses do not benefit any educational, conservational or scientific cause.

Meet the team

Rita Sosibo

Rita SosiboRita is our kennel cleaner and has been with the organization for 9 months. Her role in maintaining the kennels, and keeping a high level of hygiene in these areas, is very important.

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Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem. ~Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

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