Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Homeless cats of Beijing

These poor, displaced cats are so lovely : http://www.beijingcat.org/

Tofu (right)

Mr Bob

The Story of Beijing Cat

Formerly known as “Cat Friends,” Beijing Cat was founded by Scarlett Zhang, and since 2001 has re-homed over 100 cats in happy adoptive families.

Through our small network of volunteers, we work together to rescue and rehome stray cats in Beijing.

All of our cats seeking adoption are healthy, dewormed, neutered and vaccinated. They are also friendly, with sweet personalities, and suitable for adoption.

If you are kind and responsible, have a stable income and can make a long-term commitment to bringing a new member into your family forever (including bringing him or her back to your home country if/when you leave China), then there are many wonderful cats here waiting for your love!

Times Online
February 25, 2008

Cats are out as Beijing starts to preen itself
by Jane Macartney in Beijing

No one knows exactly how many homeless cats roam the city’s streets and alleys but the Capital Animal Welfare Assocation says 160,000 to 200,000 animals at the very minimum are at risk from the new campaign.

Strays are already being caught and transported to a holding pen in the suburban county of Changping. Animal welfare activists described seeing the cats crowded together in cages the size of a microwave oven. They estimated almost 90 per cent of the animals were clearly diseased and many had been neutered with rudimentary surgery that had led to infections. The order states that strays still unclaimed after 14 days will be “dealt with”.

Qin Xiaona, head of the animal welfare association, told The Times: “This is nothing less than torture. And the situation is much worse than this for dogs.”

The drive was announced by the city’s agricultural bureau director at a recent meeting of the municipal parliament. He ordered that all stray cats must be caught and taken off the streets before the end of June to ensure the city looks its best for the two-week-long Olympic games starting on August 8.

Mrs Qin said: “The officials said they did not want the Olympic athletes to see a single stray animal. This is partly because the Chinese care so much about face.”

Orders have already been sent out to the neighbourhood committees that are responsible for maintaining order and implementing government directives throughout the 18 districts of Beijing. Mrs Qin described seeing committee officials holding meetings in the Eastern District in the city centre and calling on residents to round up stray cats.

She said: “Cats are beneficial to the community in a city like Beijing because they catch rats. If people catch all the stray cats then can you imagine how terrible the problem of rats could become?” This newest campaign to empty the city streets of roaming animals does not include stray dogs since these have been banned in Beijing for many years and are regularly cleared out by the police.

The animal welfare activists said it would be extremely difficult to rid Beijing of the cats that live wild in the many nooks and crannies of the ancient alleys that criss-cross the old centre of the capital. But this is not the first time that the capital has declared war on an animal.

In the 1950s, Mao Zedong launched the “Four Pests” campaign when citizens were ordered to kill flies, mosquitoes, rats and sparrows. The mass slaughter of sparrows had unintended consequences, resulting in an explosion of the locust population.

Mrs Qin said her group had offered to work with the government in case of any campaign to ensure the city’s cats were handled in a humane manner, but their proposals had been ignored.

“I have a question for the International Olympic Committee and the athletes: Do they feel that they can take part comfortably in the Olympics if the price of the games is the lives of so many animals?”

She also had fighting words for the organisers. “We Beijing residents are ready to go without electricity, without water, without cars if the Games can be a success. But we are opposed to an Olympics that will cost the lives of animals. We feel this is tragic.”



cat_aunty said...

Sigh, she is but a very small voice in a big continent of predominantly selfsih, materialistic humans.

chinky said...

It is still a voice..abate a small voice..and hopefully it will move more small voices to add a boom to speak for the cats.

In Singapore, I think we are just starting to be heard..and we too have started with just a small voice.