Friday, May 28, 2010

Ministry stops tiger photos at A'Famosa.

The A' Famosa Resort was told to stop using abusing tigers back in April according to a letter sent to Malaysiakini from a representative of the secretary general of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

It said it had already instructed the resort's management to put a halt to the tiger photo sessions in April, following complaints from the public. The letter also says that the wildlife department is investigating the YouTube video that sparked the current wave of public condemnation of A'Famosa's treatment of tigers. To see the video, just scroll down this page.

The wildlife department also promises to take firm action against anyone found guilty of abusing animals and urges the public to report animal abuse at: Tel: 03-9086 6800, Email: or via the e–Aduan channel.

One hopes this pledge is sincere and not part of the normal whitewash normally associated with the government and its departments these days. I notice, with ill-ease, how the letter states the reason for the ban was due to public outrage, rather than respect for this magnificent animal's intrinsic rights. I'm going to do exactly as they request and bombard the department with reports of animal abuse to see how genuine they are. Want to join me?

And while we're about it, let's not restrict ourselves to 'wild' captive animals. Most pet shops and many dog-keeping citizens should be called to task for keeping their pets in cages 24/7, with no exercise at all. Then there are the numerous abuses that animal farmers and meat producers inflict on animals each and everyday. And what about the traditional medicine, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, who either abuse animals during product testing, or create a demand for animal parts?

Convincing industries, governments and populations that all animals have an equal right to exist freely, without being exploited, is a massive undertaking. So, in the paraphrased words of Mission Impossible, "Your mission, If you wish to accept it, is to do everything you can to raise public awareness about the rights of all animals." Homo Sapiens included - though that one through a different ministry!

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