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A voice for animal rights

24 May 2012

Mr Ng sharing about how to make a difference to animals
Tarantulas, civets, monkeys and bears are some of the animals that Mr Louis Ng, Founder and Executive Director of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), has helped protect over the years. The NUS alumnus' passion in speaking up and fighting for the voiceless creatures shone through during his talk at the U@live forum on 23 May.

When he was 21 years old, Mr Ng told the audience, he fell in love with Ramba, a young photography chimpanzee at the Singapore Zoo. Mr Ng was not in favour of the zoo's photography with animals activity and wanted to put an end to such sessions. To raise awareness of the situation, he obtained funds from an animal welfare organisation to run an exhibition on the plight of apes. It took two years of campaigning to end such photography sessions and Ramba was finally reunited with its mother at the zoo's main enclosure area.

Mr Ng felt like he had "won a million dollars" and the episode led him to dedicate his life to animals like Ramba and set up ACRES.

Asked by Mr Viswa Sadasivan, Chairman of the U@live organising committee, on why Singaporeans should be concerned about animal rights amid high-priority issues such as cost of living, housing or education, Mr Ng had this to say.

"We are not looking to change Singapore to an animal loving society. What we are trying to do is to instil a sense of injustice. So you might hate dogs. But if you see someone beating a dog, you should stop it. You should call the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the police," he said.

"I've always strongly believed that ignoring a problem won't solve it. Talking about the problem won't solve it either. It's only by taking action will we be able to solve the problem. For ACRES, it has been 11 years of taking action for animals," said the biology graduate. He vowed to continue taking every step necessary to make a difference to animals and to be their voice.

Rounding off the forum, Mr Ng answered questions which included how ACRES can create more awareness on animal rights, the treatment of farm animals and the issue of animal testing.

U@live is a monthly event featuring outstanding members of the university community who have been indefatigable in championing causes that make a difference to the world. The forum, spearheaded by NUS alumni and the Office of Alumni Relations, is also webcast live to the student population on campus.