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Project launched to stop the slaughter of cats and dogs

2014.05.17 Yumi Yamada

Creative Commons,Some Rights Reserved,Photo by Renee V

Japan's Ministry of the Environment has embarked on a mission to stop the slaughter of abandoned cats and dogs. This project, which hopes to create a society where people and animals can live happily, was launched in November of 2013. People may want pets because they are cute and cuddly, but often times, they are unable to take full responsibility, so they abandon them or take them to animal welfare centers where, if no one comes for them, these animals are put to death by gassing. Pet shops and breeders who abandon pets if they're unable to sell them for a profit are also treating precious life very carelessly and without respect. These are issues Japan, a country said to have poor awareness for animal rights and welfare, currently faces.

Thanks to the dedication of local governments and NPOs in recent years, some of these animals have been returned to their homes or have found new homes, but nearly 80% of cats and dogs that are abandoned at the animal welfare centers, or approximately 162,000 animals are killed each year. This is an inexcusable number of lives. Citing the movie, "7 Days of a Sunflower and a Puppy," Mr. Hideki Makihara, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment who is in charge of this project, described the pain and suffering of the civil servants, who must work in these animal welfare centers.

The Ministry of the Environment has been making preparations and held numerous discussions in order to help alleviate this situation and ultimately stop the slaughter of cats and dogs. But the key to the success of this project lies in the owners and their sense of responsibility. The ministry will draft measures and publish a detailed plan in June.

As part of these activities, the Ministry of the Environment launched on the 10th of April this year a website that helps owners find information about pets they have lost, or information about cats and dogs you can adopt. This website will help connect people across Japan, who want to find their pets or would like to adopt a pet. There are local governments that even provide photographs. I can't help but hope that the cats and dogs that look truly sad in these photographs will find a permanent, loving home.

By the way, Tokyo has launched the "TOKYO ZERO Campaign" on May 13. This campaign aims to completely stop the slaughter of cats and dogs by Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I hope that these initiatives will help change our society for the better.

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Japan (Japan

Yumi Yamada

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