Love for all animals

January 2019

Today I chatted to two strangers on the local walking track. The man laughingly said his dogs were so spoiled they got ham to eat.

The woman responded that her “rescue” dog had bacon for breakfast. Both regarded themselves as animal lovers yet, clearly, neither gave a thought to the hapless animal whose tortured and slaughtered corpse had been transformed into the bacon and ham.

Was this unfortunate pig not just as deserving of kind treatment as their dogs? Unlike these pampered pets, factory farmed pigs never receive a kind word or tender touch in their entire lifetime and their deaths are terrifying and agonising. Before I had an opportunity to raise this topic with them, the strangers had gone, thus I decided to write this letter to hopefully raise the topic with other “strangers”.

If we regard ourselves as animal lovers does it make sense to be kind to one animal and cruel to another? These days we can readily access humanely derived non-animal foods for both humans and pets – Veganpet is a good one – so there is definitely no need for any animal to suffer in the name of food.

Jenny Moxham

Animals are for life 

December 2018

If you are thinking of giving a dog or a cat as a "gift" this Christmas, please reconsider.

No Matter how much they'd like to make it work, many people who receive animals as gifts find they're unable to make the lifelong commitment to caring for their new companion.

Animal shelters are filled to capacity with homeless animals many of whom were former "pets," all because a child lost interest and no-one else stepped in and took time to provide training and care.

When their novelty wears off animals who are given as "gifts' are often neglected, left in a backyard, dumped on the street to die or surrendered to shelters - which have to euthanise thousands of animals every year. 

If you're ready for this, please adopt a dog or cat from a shelter. Learn more visit PETA.org.au.

Laura Weyman- Jones, PETA Australia.

Heat is on dog safety

December 2018   

Heatwaves and record temperatures are being recorded across the country, even before the official start of summer.

This is not just uncomfortable – it can be deadly. Authorities are pleading for motorists to leave their dogs at home or in a cool location. There have already been an alarming number of reports of animals suffering heat stress in cars.

If dogs are left in a parked car for even a short amount of time, they can die. In one test, the temperature rose to 57C in 12 minutes. Any animal left inside that car would be dead.

If you see a dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke (including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy and lack of coordination), get the animal into the shade immediately. You can lower a dog’s body temperature by providing the dog with water, applying a cold towel to the dog’s head and chest or immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.

Please, when it’s warm outside, leave animals at home.

If you see a dog left in a car, have the car’s owner paged at nearby stores or call 000 immediately, and never leave until the animal is safe – their life may depend on your actions.

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia

Think about pets

December 2018

Reading the heartbreaking story “Help us find our Jacqui,”  I wish the owners every success in finding their beloved pet.

Losing an animal is like losing a child, and is especially of concern when the pet is one that needs medical treatment.

The theft of the two purebred French bulldogs, along with their pedigree papers, and the death of a third dog is also notable.

When adopting animals, it is much safer and kinder to acquire those that are “ordinary”, and not pedigrees and special breeds.

Firstly, they are far less likely to be stolen. Secondly, saving a dog, cat, rabbit or any animal is far better than encouraging breeders to breed them, when so many are being destroyed at the shelters because there are not enough good homes for them.

It is also important to make sure that the pets are desexed, as they are less attractive to thieves who want to breed them to make money from the offspring.

Christine Pierson

Does eating dogs make you sick?

July 2018

The Yulin Dog Meat Festival has just finished for another year in China.

Thousands of dogs were barbarically slaughtered and their flesh sold for food. For us, the thought of killing, cooking, dismembering and eating our animal companions is enough to make most of us lose our lunch.

But there's no rational reason why the thought of eating any other animal shouldn't elicit the same revulsion - especially when animals are raised and slaughtered in Australia often face horrors akin to those endured by dogs in Yulin. 

Dogs killed and eaten in Yulin are crammed into small cages and put on trucks, which may travel hundreds of kilometres to Yulin, often deprived of food, water and rest.

The same happens to millions of sheep, lambs, cows and other animals within Australia.

The live export trade transports animals to Southeast Asia and the Middle East, thousands of kilometres, only to meet their violent end via a slaughterer's blade.

We're offended by reports of dogs boiled alive.

But right here in Australia, countless chickens and turkeys meet a similar fate every single day: at the abattoir, many of these intelligent birds manage to keep their heads out of the electrified water baths meant to stun them, leaving them fully conscious when their throats are slit, and many are still alive as they're immersed in the scalding-hot water to remove their feathers.

No animal wants to suffer and die for our palate.

Yes, let's be outraged by the cruelty that takes place in the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, but let's extend our compassion to all animals - not just dogs - by leaving them off our plates.

Desmond Bellamy, Special Projects Coordinator, PETA Australia.

Skin and bones

March 2018

PEOPLE in SA are rightly appalled at the light sentence handed out in the case of the Adelaide woman who starved an 18-year-old dog until he was “skin and bones” . The dog, Charlie, was so thin that his hips, ribs and spine were clearly visible. The magistrate said it was “the worst case of neglect he has ever seen." 

The sentence – three months suspended with no time to serve – does not in any way reflect the seriousness of this crime. Disturbingly, the woman was allowed to keep two other dogs.

 
Penalties for cases of cruelty and neglect are quite inadequate, and even so are rarely imposed to the full extent of the law. Under SA legislation, animal cruelty can result in imprisonment for up to four years or a fine of up to $50,000. At the very least, cases of severe neglect should lead to a lifetime ban on the offender having animals.

Cruelty to animals is a serious crime that must be taken seriously. If you suspect someone of abusing an animal, report it right away for the safety of the community. 

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia

Caring for pets

February 2018

Mike Shaughnessy's very thought-provoking letter ("Humans, not dogs, the issue,") made me think of cruel puppy farms, pet shops and impulse buying of cute puppies and kittens.

We become their custodians. Unless we are prepared to fill their needs, food, shelter, comfort, exercise and vet care, we should never take on an animal.

These animals are natural carnivores. Every time we open a can of dog or cat food, we are reminded another animal died, in order for them to be fed.

Mike Shaughnessy is right, we must carefully consider re-homing an animal and support shelters, to stop the indiscriminate breeding of "pets".

Phil Cornelius