ACRES events: 8-9, 11 Sep


Quickie update – catching the bloggle box in another moment of lucidity.

2 ACRES events coming up. Please help if you can. (You can keep up-to-date about ACRES activities by checking out their events page, or better yet, sign up for the ACRES mail list here)

1. Acres roadshow – 8-9 Sep, 10am to 10pm, The Atrium @ Orchard (outside Plaza Singapura)

Call for volunteersVolunteers are needed to help with an upcoming Acres roadshow on the 8th and 9th September. We need as much help as we can get, to raise urgently needed funds for the Acres Wildlife Rescue Centre (AWRC) and to create much-needed public awareness on the illegal wildlife trade and other animal protection issues. Details of the roadshow are as follows:

Date: 8th and 9th September (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 10am – 10pm
Venue: The Atrium @ Orchard (outside Plaza Singapura)

Please contact charlene@acres.org.sg if you would like to help. Thank you!

2. Invitation to charity screening of Arctic Tale in aid of the AWRC

Dear Acres Supporters,

You are invited to a special preview screening of the new film “Arctic Tale” in aid of the Acres Wildlife Rescue Centre (AWRC).

Please do come along and watch this stunning new film and bring your family and friends!

Date: 11 September 2007
Time: 7pm
Venue: GV VivoCity Hall 5


Arctic Tale is a story of unsinkable family devotion, unfolding courage, and extraordinary survival. It takes audiences of all ages on an epic adventure inside an icy kingdom at the very top of the earth where a polar bear cub, Nanu and a walrus pup, Seela, are about to tackle the brave new world that confronts them as their ancient ways of survival are about to change.

Tickets are priced at $80, $50, $20 and $10.

To book your tickets, please contact Andrew Tay at:

Email: andrew.tay@pacific.net.sg, HP: 98562262.

Please send your cheque payment made payable to “Acres” to: 38 Toa Payoh Lor 5, #08-499, S (310038).

We still need to raise over half a million dollars for the establishment of the AWRC, so your support is greatly appreciated.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Best wishes,

Amy Corrigan (BSc)
Director of Research and Education
Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres)
www.acres.org.sg

30 Mandai Estate #05-06
Mandai Industrial Building
Singapore 729918
(O) +65 6581 2488
(F) +65 65816318
(HP) 91557295

(You can keep up-to-date about ACRES activities by checking out their events page, or better yet, sign up for the ACRES mail list here)

And some messages from ACRES:

Help stop the cruelty

Force-fed pigs in contest of cruelty

Your action is needed to stop the cruelty of Taiwan’s ‘Pigs of God’ contest.

A spectacle of suffering
Every September and April, several hundred pigs are force-fed to grotesque proportions. Sometimes made to eat sand or metal to add more weight, many pigs become so heavy they cannot even stand up.

This physical and psychological ordeal can continue for two years in the lead up to the festival. The pigs are then slaughtered in the street while fully conscious, and paraded for all to see.

The show must not go on
Even though such cruelty is illegal, the Taiwanese government is reluctant to step in because of the festival’s religious connotations.

This is despite the fact that the fattening of pigs has no religious background and has only taken place for 30 years.

WSPA member organisation – Environment and Animal Protection Society of Taiwan (EAST) – are campaigning for a cruelty-free alternative. But they need your help to do it.

Take action now
EAST are promoting an animal friendly celebration by making pigs out of materials like flowers – marking the traditional festival, but without the cruelty. You can join the protest by visiting our special website, and adding a flower to the virtual pig.

After choosing your flower, don’t forget to add your name to the online petition to tell the Taiwanese government just how unacceptable the ‘Pigs of God’ contest is. It’s time they took action to stop the suffering.

Add your flower and send email now at www.pigsofgod.org

More details about the Pigs of God issue can be found below, along with samples of letters of protest that you can email or send by mail to the Taiwanese government.

Please do your bit to help end this needless suffering- it only takes a minute to visit the website and sign the petition.

Thank you.

Best wishes,
Amy Corrigan (BSc)
Director of Research and Education
Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres)
http://www.acres.org.sg

30 Mandai Estate #05-06
Mandai Industrial Building
Singapore 729918
(O): +65 6581 2488
(F): +65 6581 6318
(HP): +65 9155 7295


Pigs of God FAQs
What is the Pigs of God contest?
Every year in Taiwan, a festival known as the “Pigs of God” contest involves the mass sacrifice of several hundred force-fed pigs.For up to two years, pigs are confined and force-fed to grotesque proportions – sometimes using sand or heavy metals to add as much weight as possible. The obese pigs eventually become unable to move.The pigs reach weights of over 600 kilos, and the heaviest wins. Incapable of standing, they are dragged in front of the crowd before having their throats cut while fully conscious. Their eviscerated bodies are then decorated and paraded through the streets.

What is the legal position?
Under Taiwan’s existing animal protection laws (the Animal Protection Act), the force-feeding and the inhumane and public killing of animals are illegal.

Is the contest based on religious or cultural tradition?
In the past, religious groups have claimed that the contest was part of their tradition. But the fattening of pigs has no religious root, and only became part of their festivals in recent decades.

What are the welfare implications for the animals involved?
For animals to be confined and deliberately made so obese is incredibly cruel both physically and psychologically.Force-feeding contravenes the Five Freedoms developed by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council (freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; freedom to express normal behaviour; and freedom from fear and distress). Farm animals should also have freedom to “stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch their limbs” without difficulty.

Instead, “Pigs of God” are likely to suffer from malnutrition, organ dysfunction, distension of the abdomen resulting in impaired locomotion, panting due to increased heat production, and pressure sores from lying immobile – all resulting in considerable distress.

How many animals are involved?
Several hundred pigs are reared and killed for the Pigs of God contest every year.

What is WSPA’s involvement?
WSPA was first alerted to the Pigs of God contest in 2002 by Member Society EAST. We then gathered information about the issue and raised it to our supporters and the international media in 2003. Since then, we have supported EAST in their campaign to abolish the force-feeding and inhumane slaughter of pigs for the contest.

Together with EAST, we are now promoting an animal-friendly alternative contest where real animals are replaced by pigs made out of flowers or other materials. This would allow communities to continue celebrating their festivals while putting an end to the pigs’ suffering and benefiting the Taiwanese tourism industry.


Letter to government
Dear

I am writing to register my protest after watching a video showing the inhumane treatment of pigs in preparation for the Pigs of God contest. The video shows pigs being confined and force-fed, being dragged in front of the crowd, and having their throats cut while fully conscious. These practices are extremely inhumane; they are also illegal in Taiwan.

I am shocked that your government allows such cruelty to go unchecked. This is not the first time the inhumane treatment of pigs for weight-based contests has been exposed. In the past, religious groups have claimed that the contest was part of their tradition. But the fattening of pigs has no religious root, and only became part of their festivals in recent decades.

The suffering involved in the Pigs of God contest is therefore unnecessary and unjustified. Humane alternatives allowing communities to celebrate their traditional festivals exist, and include pigs made out of materials such as flowers.I urge you to put a stop to this suffering by:
– Enforcing existing animal protection laws which prohibit the force-feeding and inhumane killing of animals, by prosecuting offenders according to the Animal Protection Act
– Running a public campaign highlighting the animal welfare implications of the Pigs of God contest and its lack of religious justification
– Promoting an animal-friendly alternative contest where real animals are replaced by pigs made out of materials such as flowers

Yours sincerely

Send to:

Mr Chang Chun-hsiung, Premier or Mr. Chiou I-jen, Vice Premier
10058 No.1, Sec. 1, Chung Hsaio E. Rd., Chung-Chen Dist. Taipei.
Tel: 886 (0)2 3356-6500 Fax: 886 (0)2 2356-6920
Email Premier: eyemail@eyemail.gio.gov.tw

and :

Mr Su Jia-Chyuan, Minister of Agriculture
10014 No. 37, Nan Hai Rd.,, Taipei, Taiwan. R.O.C.
Tel: 886 (0)2 2381-2991¡¡Fax: 886 (0)2 2331-0341
Email Minister of Agriculture: coa@mail.coa.gov.tw

(You can keep up-to-date about ACRES activities by checking out their events page, or better yet, sign up for the ACRES mail list here)

… okaaay, so brevity’s not my strong suit, even when my tail’s on fire…

BTW, us tec minions are taking leave from minionly duties this weekend to go help out at the roadshow… and yes, we have the clannies’ approval to do so.

PS: Do spare a bit of time and learn about the pride of Spanish traditions: galgos (Spanish hounds) and bull fighting.

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