The Project Idea
The Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (TSPCA) has for a continued period of over 10 years worked on the project concerning the campaign to improve the awareness, education and attitude of the Thai public towards domesticated / pet animals in addition to other related campaigns. This final project document will revolve around several different aspects of anti- animals cruelty campaigns including awareness raising among Thai general public, education and capacity building for schoolchildren, animals raising communities, government agencies and local NGOs working on animals, certification programme and increased public support for better laws and law enforcement.
Government Policies, Programmes and Projects
Despite the fact that Thailand has promulgated the Wild Animals Reservation and Preservation Act (WARPA) in 1960 and has it revised in 1992 to bring Thai domestic legislation more in line with Thailand’s commitments under CITES which makes it illegal to possess, buy, sell, import, export or transit CITES – listed species, either living or dead, parts or pieces of them or products made from them without proper CITES permits, the country’s reputation with regard to the violation of the mentioned Act and CITES has been so bad, topping a list of countries with frequent illegal trade, violations and cruelty to animals.
In addition, the Act covering domesticated / pet, economic and laboratory animals has not been officially available in Thailand even though some Act reform initiatives have been made by some local animal NGOs and the Department of Livestock Development but so far, no apparently concrete action has been realized.
As a matter of fact, there are two provisions in Thai legislation which are considered very weak and obsolete stating that those involved in an act of cruelty to animals will be fined 1,000 baht and imprisoned 1 month or both (Clauses 381 and 382).
It is known that the production of dog and cat skins is active at some outskirts of Bangkok in Lam Luk Ka District of Pathumthani Province while in other areas it is not yet identified.
There are normally four types of dog – related production and trade in Thailand:
- Live dogs sold in Tha – rae District of Sakon Nakorn Province.
- Dogs’ dried meat mixed with beef is available at Mah Boon – klong Trading Center.
- Processed meat used as such a local favorite meal as Laab (chipped meat mixed with local herbal ingredient), Namtok (smoked and chipped meat mixed in vegetable and chilli), etc. commonly available at the marketplace of Rangsit and Sapanmai – Don Mueang.
- Industrial products, i.e., leather products.
Actually, the processing of dog and cat skins cannot be carried out openly in Thailand; most of raw materials are forwarded to Taiwan, China, Korea etc. to be re – processed and then re – imported into Thailand as an industrial product, i.e, leather bag etc.,
These together with the lack of awareness and proper education campaign on the welfare of the animals have aggravated an intensified animal cruelty situation in Thailand.
Prior, Ongoing or Planned Assistance
For the last 11 consecutive years, Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) has strongly launched a campaign against animal cruelty focusing on rescue operation, awareness and education, mobile clinics and animal adoption programme with a planned animal welfare Act reform campaign to curve the increasing malpractice on animals including a certification programme. All these are strongly supported by its strategic partner NGOs e.g. Wildlife Fund Thailand (WFT), Wild Animals Rescue Foundation (WAR), Friends of Asian Elephants, Home of Disabled Animals (Pakred), Population and Community Development Association of Thailand (PDA) etc.
It is noted that TSPCA has succeeded in its initial campaign especially awareness raising among 10,000 schoolchildren from 19 participating schools under “Animal Friendly School Programme” and contributed approx. 10,000 copies of domesticated / pet kits and 8,485 copies of Poster on “Anti-Animals Cruelty Campaign” to animals raising communities, public and private schools, government agencies concerned, NGOs working on animals, the media including stray dog and cat sheltering operators countrywide.
In addition, to raise public awareness on the plight of stray animals, TSPCA has also published and distributed 12,000 copies of its quarterly newsletter, “ Animals-Loving People.”
Under Animals Adoption (Re-home) Programme in 2004, TSPCA can relocate around 95 stray dogs and cats to their new homes and new owners and can develop a network with around 14 stray dog & cat sheltering operators with a total 5,170 dogs run by both private and public sectors who are provided with a regular supply of donated food, medicine and other necessities by TSPCA.
Institutional Set-up and Stakeholder Identification Organization and Implementation.
“The National Campaign Against Cruelty to Animals” Project will be executed by the Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) with some activities implemented by its branches and network in some major cities of Thailand. TSPCA will laiaise with relevant government agencies for better cooperation on the project.
A Project Steering Committee will be established with representatives from relevant stakeholders e.g., the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Education, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the University’s Faculty of Veterinarians (Mahidol, Kasetsart and Chula), the Department of Livestocks under Ministry of the Interior, the Thai Zoo Society, the Pet Society, the Media, the Foreign Embassies etc.
Furthermore, the project has identified various NGOs as important stakeholders in the project including Wildlife Fund Thailand (WFT), Wild Animal Rescue Foundation (WAR), the Friends of Asia Elephants, the Home for Disabled Animals etc.
All the above-mentioned stakeholders will play a significant role in curving the ever increasing problems of animal cruelty situation in Thailand focusing on three key aspects of campaign:
- Increasing awareness of schoolchildren and people in general on the benefits of animals towards the sustainable social, economic and tourism development in Thailand.
- Promotion of appropriate social values among Thai public
- Increased support for better laws and law enforcement.
In addition, the project stresses the development of partnership with various actors in pet food industry, pet medicine, pet accessories, pet hospitals & clinics, animal processing industry etc. It is envisaged that working through such partnerships, the project will be able to secure that activities continue beyond the project period and that project partners will have both financial means and interest in sustaining initiatives promoted by the project, basing on the above 3 key aspects of campaign.