Monday, 1 July 2013

No To the Animal Welfare Bill (25 June 2013) which seeks to legalise animal experiments in Mauritius (not living up to its name)

The following is the letter I emailed to the Prime Minister, Ministry of Agro Industry and other officials:

Please feel free to use this as a sample, or write your own. The Animals need you!

"To the Honourable Prime Minister,

I am citizen of this country and I care a lot about animals. In my eyes, an animal has as much value as a human being and vice versa.
I am very concerned and disappointed that this bill, whilst adding nothing to already existing provisions providing a minimum of penalties against animal cruelty, in effect, seeks to further erode and downplay the already watered down standards of animal welfare in Mauritius by seeking to legalise animal experiments. It is outrageous and extremely disappointing to see that parliamentarians do not care about the voice of its people against animal experimentation. This bill is patently devoid of true and stronger provisions relating to the welfare of ALL animals in Mauritius.

The following online petition, gathering voices against animal experimentation in Mauritius, has already, on this day, reached 4073 signers and keeps growing:
The following are issues which must urgently be added, changed, or removed from this bill for they contribute nothing towards the welfare of animals:
  • ·         The provision in this bill which provides for animal experiments in Mauritius ought to be completely obliterated. Nothing in this age of technology and human ingenuity justifies the use of animals in research. There are countless cruelty-free, more reliable and efficient non animal methods which can be used, instead. Animals in laboratories suffer enormously, both physically and mentally.  It is time human beings forgo from indulging into fruitless debates and recognize once and for all that the sentience of all animals – their ability to suffer and of experience all kinds of emotions – ought to put them on equal footing as humans and, thereby, bestow upon them, at the very least, a minimum of protections such as not being heartlessly subjected to cruelties in laboratories and the right to humane treatment and not to be tortured.

  • ·         The provisions providing for mandatory registration and microchipping of pet dogs are not in themselves sufficient. These provisions, and most of the provisions, of this bill are not alive to fact that many families in Mauritius do not have the means to pay even the most basic and important operation for their pets – that of sterilizing their animals. The government ought to consider either providing free microchipping and sterilization services, or, at least, subsidising the costs owners of pets will need to meet. In addition, in the eventuality that a microchipped pet is caught, the bill must provide that the owners will be notified so that they can come pick up their dogs; otherwise, the whole purpose of microchipping goes to waste and serves no effect whatsoever.

  • ·         36 hours of keeping a stray (possibly someone’s pet) has not improved on previously restrictive time limit and ought to be extended to at least 72 hours.

  • ·         The prohibitive fee range of Rs 1000 – Rs 3000 which make up the amount people will need to pay upon picking up either their registered or unregistered dog must be considerably lessened by at least a ½ or ¾ of the prescribed amount in this bill. The very fact that a person comes to pick up their dog/s show that they care for their animals, and possibly regret having allowed them to stray, and must not be punished with an excessive fine. Many Mauritians do not have that amount on hand.

  • ·         Humane Trap, Neuter and Return programmes concerning cats must be implemented. Cats are generally not 'indoorsy' animals and the only compassionate way to dealing with overpopulation of stray cats is by implementing humane trap, neuter and return programmes, and not indiscriminate catching and killing.

  • ·         The concept of Community-Owned Dogs
Harmless dogs which have already been sterilised and which are allowed to roam free and are fed by communities and individuals must be identified by a collar of a certain colour, and must not be picked up by the MSPCA (or the Mauritius Society for Animal Welfare).
  • ·         The bill also needs to provide about the need for immediately returning dog/s caught in an MSPCA net if the owner is nearby and calling for the release of their dog/s. A warning to that person needs to be sufficient.

  • ·         The Government should also seriously consider a general and broad Animal Welfare Act (as in in place in many countries of the world; the UK’s Animal Welfare Act and Germany’s Animal Welfare Act can be used as guidance to create an Animal Welfare Act for Mauritius which will recognise the sentience of animals, alongside, on its own, being avant-gardist and banning animal experimentation). In addition, codes of practice or codes of recommendations, as is in place in the UK, relating to the “welfare of dogs, cats, horses (including other equidae) and privately kept non-human primates” can be put in place to help the owners and keepers meet the needs of an overarching Animal Welfare Act.

  • ·         There is also a pressing need to introduce animal welfare codes or regulations in relation to farmed animals which will respect their five basic freedoms, namely: the freedom to be free from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury or diseases; freedom to express normal behaviour; freedom from fear and distress.

So many thing can be done for animals, and the people of Mauritius have elected you to fully address their concerns. I urge you to be compassionate and to eradicate the provision in this bill concerning animal experimentation, as well as enhance this bill by better catering to the welfare and protection of all animals. 

Hoping you will take a humane, compassionate and an enlightened stance for the benefit of all animals,   


Do post a letter or send a mail to the following persons:
1)      Write to the Prime Minister at:
Prime Minister's Office
New Treasury Building
Intendance Street`
Port Louis
Email the Prime Minister on:

2)      Ministry of Agro Industry & Food Security
Levels 8 & 9
Renganaden Seeneevassen Building
Cnr Jules Koenig & Maillard Streets
Port Louis

Tel: (+230) 212 0854, (+230) 212 2940
Fax: (+230) 212 4427

3)      Principal Agricultural Officer(Veterinary Services) - Dr D MEENOWA
Phone: 454 1016
Fax: 464 2210

4)      Ministry of Tourism and Leisure and External Communications
(Tourism and Leisure Division)

Level 12, Air Mauritius Centre,
John Kennedy Street,
Port Louis.

Tel : 211 7930

Fax : 208 6776

Email :