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Making a difference in animal welfare

29 August 2012

Panelists in the Rehabilitation Session answering questions from the audience

Saving the life of one animal may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one animal

The NUS animal welfare student group, People Ending Animal Cruelty & Exploitation (PEACE), held its third annual animal welfare symposium on 25 August to reach out to individuals keen on making a difference in the lives of animals. Some 40 participants attended the event, which was divided into three broad segments - Rescue, Rehabilitation and Responsibility.

The session on Rescue Work kickstarted the programme. The speakers - Ms Elaine Chiam of the Love Kuching Project, Ms Peh Sue Ann and Ms Ashley Sim from Say No to Animal Cruelty, and Dr Grace Heng, a veterinary surgeon - highlighted the importance of foster homes in the course of rescue work. They also elaborated on how foster homes are important in developing the emotional and physical status of an abandoned or abused animal.

The next session on Rehabilitation saw the appearance of dogs led in by the speakers, eliciting delighted squeals from the audience. Dr Siew Tuck Wah from Save Our Street Dogs, Ms Lynda Goh from Zeus Communications and veterinary surgeon Dr Liang Xutian concurred that in rescuing dogs which have been abused, such as those used as breeding dogs in puppy mills or dogs living on the streets, patience and positive reinforcement are key determiners of success.

The session on Responsible Pet Ownership highlighted how human-animal conflicts are mediated on campus. Mr Muhammad Zahari, a guest speaker from the Nanyang Technological University's Cat Management Network, shared the experiences of his team in resolving such conflicts. Ms Corinne Fong from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals concluded the talks by revealing cases of neglect in Singapore such as terrapins kept in tiny glass containers, and dogs tied to poles or abandoned in soccer fields.

The symposium showed that the younger generation is taking a proactive stand in the lives of the voiceless creatures. As the saying goes, saving the life of one animal may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one animal.

By Audrey Tan Ruiping, Communications Director, NUSPEACE