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Old 15-09-2007, 01:07 AM posted to alt.food.asian,alt.food.vegan,alt.pets.pet-rights,misc.legal,rec.pets.dogs.rescue,soc.culture.african
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Default __ Hey U$A, help alleviate starvation - donate your unwanted pets to Zimbabwe __


Is there really a pet overpopulation problem?

The number of healthy dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies that are
euthanized (killed) each day in the United States is almost too big
for the average person to comprehend. The estimates range from source
to source, but mid-ranges are roughly between 6 to 8 million pets
euthanized each year. This translates to 16,438 to 21,917 pets
euthanized each DAY. Some annual estimates are as high as 12 million.

(Figures are from various sources, including, but not limited to:
Cornell University, PetSmart Charities, and the Humane Society of the
United States.)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Pets are being slaughtered for meat in
shortage-stricken Zimbabwe and record numbers of animals have been
surrendered to shelters or abandoned by owners no longer able to feed
them, animal welfare activists say.

A man feeds scraps to his dogs in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Thursday.
People are barely able to feed their pets.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it
could not feed surrendered animals or find them new homes and was
being forced to kill them and destroy the corpses.

Animals, like people, are being hard hit by Zimbabwe's economic
meltdown, with official inflation of more than 7,600 percent, the
highest in the world. Independent estimates put real inflation closer
to 25,000 percent and the International Monetary Fund has forecast it
will reach 100,000 percent by the end of the year.

Vets have run out of the drug used to put down the animals and are
relying on intermittent donations from neighboring South Africa. One
veterinary practice was waiting for supplies to destroy about 20
animals, and on Friday could neither feed them adequately nor fatally
inject them.
In its latest bulletin to donors and supporters, the SPCA said it
launched an awareness campaign on "the ethical and moral issues
regarding the killing and consumption of trusted companion animals."

"But in the face of starvation and the burgeoning number of stray and
abandoned animals, the moral issues become far more complex and we
should not be too hasty in our condemnations when animals and people
are suffering equally," it said.
One animal rights activist, who asked not to be named out of fear of
arrest, called the situation "too ghastly for words.

"We are accused of giving the country a bad name," the activist said.

Zimbabwe's and international human rights groups accuse the
government of intimidating, threatening, harassing and physically
attacking critics or those seen as casting the government in a bad
light.
Sweeping media laws have brought the closure of independent and
opposition newspapers, speech and gatherings are tightly controlled,
and President Robert Mugabe has applauded police for beating
opposition activists.
Animal activists say they have been threatened with arrest for
speaking out and SPCA offices were raided by secret police agents of
the Central Intelligence Organization on Thursday. SPCA inspectors
said they were ordered not to release details of surrendered,
abandoned, slain or eaten pets.
No comment was immediately available from the government.

Mugabe's critics say corruption and his stewardship of the economy
have led to the crisis. They point to the often-violent, government
seizures of thousands of white-owned commercial farms that began in
2000 and disrupted the agriculture-based economy in what was once a
regional breadbasket.
Meat, cornmeal, bread and other staples vanished from shops and
stores. A government order to slash prices of all goods and services
in June worsened acute food shortages and has left stores virtually
empty of basic foodstuffs.
Food shortages have also emboldened rats to forage for scraps in
homes and far beyond their usual hideaways, pest control specialists
said.
Leftover food that would have been discarded has become too precious
to throw away, said a rat catcher in western Harare.

"We are getting rat problems where we never saw them before," he
said, asking not to be identified in the mounting climate of fear of
the authorities. "Please, I don't want any trouble."

Illegally slaughtered meat sells for more than 10 times the
government's fixed price on the thriving black market. It comes in
plastic bags of 22 pounds and more, containing bone, fat and offal
and no indication of types or cuts of meat.
"You're getting brisket, shin, flank, rump and anything else that's
available, all lumped together. It's meat, take it or leave it," the
animal protection activist said.

"It is not illegal to eat dog meat in this country, but we have laws
on how animals must be humanely slaughtered," he said.

A court case is pending in the eastern city of Mutare, where a pet
dog was butchered and eaten.

Police and SPCA inspectors were called to a shopping center in Harare
earlier this month, where a man was offering frozen dog meat for sale
from the back of a pickup truck, activists said.




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