Remembering Sheena

Stop Animal Abuse in Malaysia.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


God bless you Mr.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for standing firm on the issue of Sipadan. Thanks to our Prime Minister construction work has stopped at Sipadan and Mount Kinabalu.

We need more leaders with a heart of gold who is interested in preserving our rich natural heritage than building the tallest buildings or other structures adding to the concrete jungle and polluted environment none of us really want to live in.

RSC's letter to the STAR in response to their fabulous front page story called "Lay-Off Sipadan" on July 27, 2006.


I refer to your report entitled, Lay off Sipadan (The Star, July 27). The Prime Minister’s call to stop the RM4.5 million clubhouse project, at Pulau Sipadan, could not have come at a better time, as our environment is being raped and plundered, and wildlife displaced all across Malaysia.

Pulau Sipadan was at the top of the renowned Rodale's Scuba Diving Magazine Gold List for The Top Dive Destination in the World.

When the barge laden with construction materials meant for the club house project, scraped off a coral patch the size of two tennis courts, at Sipadan, on May 14 this year, Datuk Musa Aman, still continued with construction under methods he called “environmental friendly”.

This word “environmental-friendly” seems to be the license used by some officials and Government leaders to legally kill our precious environment, which the Prime Minister rightfully called, “a gift from God”.

Today, Sipadan is on the world map, not for Musa’s RM4.5 million club house, but for the coral reefs which this construction project so thoughtlessly destroyed. What good is a clubhouse if the island’s main lure – its pristine ocean and underwater treasures – are gone?

If the Sabah Government forced resort operators to tear down their chalets on Sipadan and evacuate the island last year (The Star, July 7), how can they justify putting up a clubhouse there?

Whose interests are they serving? The public or individual interests?
In yet another incident front-paged in The Star on July 16, two Sabah forest reserves supposedly bequeathed as “Malaysia’s biodiversity gift to the world” by 2007, are now set to be logged.

Yayasan Sabah, through its subsidiary Rakyat Berjaya Sdn Bhd, will allow contractors to log 30 percent of the Malua and Ulu Segama reserves. The other 70 percent has already been logged. So what exactly is there left to bequeath to the world?
Unfortunately, this devastation our government calls development is not only happening in Sabah.

The 130 million-year-old Belum Temenggor rainforest in Perak, is also being logged. It is older than the Amazon jungle and Congo and the Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) states that every time a scientific expedition is held there, at least one new specie is discovered or rediscovered.

It is the only place in the world where 10 different species of hornbills congregate and is filled with animals on the world’s endangered list.

According to the MNS, logging in Belum Temengor will yield between RM58 million to RM250 million annually. However, it can yield about RM1.2 billion annually if it is turned into an eco-tourism paradise offering various products and ecological services.

Logging is a one time income. Once the trees have all been felled, the income will be gone, but this RM1.2 billion revenue can be reaped annually.

It makes no sense for the Perak Government to prefer a one-time profit from logging and reject a billion ringgit annual income.

Their decision so defies logic that once again, we have to examine our hearts and ask whose interests are we serving?

We call on our Prime Minister to please also examine logging rights in other extremely precious sites such as Belum Temengor, which is not just as a national heritage, but world heritage.

For environmentalists, it is now a race against time. Belum Temengor’s pristine rivers are now brown from silt and clogged by felled logs. The world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, is carelessly trodden underfoot by loggers.

Wildlife is fleeing deeper and deeper into the forests, and soon they too will be wiped out through starvation or poaching or find new homes inside cages.

Is logging really worth all of this, when preservation can give the country so much more – financially and spiritually?

Letter That Appeared In the STAR


IT ASTOUNDS me that we as Malaysians often pride ourselves as a “caring society” without even the slightest guilt or remorse sometimes for some of our actions or inaction.

We seem to let elephants entrusted in our care to needlessly die. Or when animals get injured, we are slow to respond in giving help.

Some of us put endangered species, like tigers, into our cooking pots without any regard for an animal which has become a proud symbol of our nation.

When a dog bites someone, we immediately raise our hackles and demand justice. If the canine happens to be a rottweiler, we launch a witch hunt on the breed.

And when 13 dogs in Seremban on June 29 belonging to two senior citizens were cruelly and senselessly shot dead by the local council in the owners' home, the authorities called it justice.

Please tell me, is it just me or are we beginning to see the early signs of decay in a sick society?

Petaling Jaya.
The STAR, July 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Raihana's Comments To DVS Penang's Letter

I wish to thank every one for your support. Without you all, I would have never been able to highlight this case. In any case its only fair that we
listen to both sides of the story. And now we have the clinic version.

Before I go any further I just want you alll kind souls to remember that I
am not doing this for financial resons, all I wanted was reasons for the
cruel death of a life.

Now regarding Dr Serlan's letter.

1. Why send Naomi only after she was critically ill? I didnt know she was. And is that an excuse for her death? Last time I saw her, she was not critically ill and I have vaccination records from one of the most expensive private clinics in penang island, more than 30KM away from my house in the mainland (i never had the heart to throw away anything related to my cat).

The most recent vaccine was a booster I gave in January. She was hail and
healthy then.

2. Why leave her behind?. Although I personally did not leave Naomi there (I would have never done that),she was left there by my uncle Dr Siddique even though there were no boarding facilities because they promised to look after her. Being a retired vertrinarian himself, based on their promises at the clinic she was left at the care of the staff in the clinic.

There was no food provided because there was no mention of it. I have left animals for boarding in clinics numerous times (and they were stray cats too) before I rehoused them. And in all those times, the clinic provided food. If the clinic were not able to feed her, why didnt they let my uncle know?

My brother was involved in this too and he has confirmed that there were promises to look after her by the staff. If the clinic did not provide such services why take her in?

If they didnt at least then they would have gone to a private clinic. My uncle was attached to the Government clinic and based on this relationship with the workers he left Naomi there.

3. They took the dead cat away because there were no mention of autopsy. If they had wanted to do an autopsy they would have to know the cat was dead. But they didnt even know it. My cousin on going to pick it up found it dead.

By the way there is no vetrinarian in that clinic. It is run by a bunch of assistants with no proper qualifications. How could they diagnose the cat so
accurately with no vet in there?

Also the day I found out about her death I got a call from Mr Ramu who was in this from the beginning (he was one of the staff who had said he will care for naomi)

When I threatened to make a case of it he apologised and said that it was the fault of one mr Raju (name not sure). Even last week Mr Ramu had gone to penang to meet my mother and before that my uncle to apologize. Why would they go to such lengths if they were in the clear?

I sadly have nothing in black and white and cannot prove my case against such a big entity. But for him to shift the blame on me hurts very badly. But when has the guilty ever taken blame? Especially when it is the government? I just hope other ordinary folks do not make the mistake I made.

Sadly for me there was only one Naomi. I loved her very, very dearly and to think that she died in a painful way is hurtful. Yes more than anyone else I blame myself, I was not a good master in the end. And I keep thinking how much she would have wanted me there when she had no water or food. I neglected her and for that I have a lifetime to regret.

As for the clinic- No they did not do whatever possible to help Naomi, they just killed her in a very agonizing way. I rather wish they just put her to sleep.

With sorrow,
Raihana Souket Ali

Finally DVS Penang Responds To Naomi's Death

Many of you who have been following Naomi's story and signed the Petition asking for justice for Naomi as well as for all the other animals at the Jabatan Perkhidmatan Haiwan Bukit Mertajam (JPHBM).

You will remember that before Raihana came to us, she had written to the authorities asking them to investigate Naomi's case and to exercise more care towards all the existing animals at JPHBM.

She did not get any response from anyone. Now after Davina Goh's submitted her Petition with 208 signatures and the queries from the Press, Raihana finally has a response through a written letter from the Director of the Department of Veterinary Services Pulau Pinang addressed to Davina Goh from the Remembering Sheena Campaign.

We have posted this letter here below. Might I add that Raihana is not satisfied with their "explanation" and Raihana's response will be posted in a separate blog.

Click on the letters below to enlarge and read.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Update on Petition Calling For Justice Over Naomi's Death

I big thank you to all who signed the Petition for Naomi's untimely death at Jabatan Haiwan Bukit Mertajam (JHBM) Pulau Pinang. Naomi was Raihana Souket Ali's cat and on June 20, 2006, RSC posted Naomi's sad story on our blog entitled, Rest In Peace Sweet Naomi, as told to us by Raihana.

RSC Supporter Davina Goh was so moved by the story she started a Petition addressed to : The Department of Veterinary Services (Penang State division AND Putrajaya HQ, Attn to Mr Mohd Radzuan Malek, the person Raihana originally addressed in the Enforcement Unit), and to the Selangor Veterinary Department.

RSC posted her Petition on our blog and together we all managed to collect 208 signatures. The signatures kept coming until it reached 230 but Davina had closed the call for signatures by then.

On July 7 a Berita Harian reporter contacted Davina asking for Raihana's contact details and said she had also posed questions to Mr Mohd Radzuan Malek at Putrajaya HQ. Soon after we heard that a story on Naomi appeared in the Berita Harian.

We had all missed the story in the newspapers but Davina managed to find the write-up coincidentally posted at the forum.

We retrieved the Berita Harian report from
and posted it below.

We thank for spreading the news of Naomi's death and helping us create awareness over the plight of all animals.

JPH digesa siasat kematian kucing KUALA LUMPUR: Seramai 208 pencinta haiwan mahu Jabatan Perkhidmatan Haiwan (JPH) menjalankan siasatan menyeluruh terhadap kes kematian seekor kucing berusia sembilan tahun ketika di bawah pengawasan Jabatan Haiwan Bukit Mertajam (JHBM), Pulau Pinang.

Kumpulan yang terdiri daripada masyarakat tempatan dan asing antaranya dari Amerika, Australia, Jepun, Bahrain, Kanada, Bangladesh dan Nigeria itu juga mahukan tindakan diambil terhadap mereka di JHBM yang terbabit dengan kes ini.

Mereka juga mahukan haiwan yang dihantar ke JHBM dilayan dengan baik dalam suasana yang bersih dan sihat selaras dengan polisi dan peraturan ketat berhubung kebersihan dan kebajikan pesakit yang dimaktubkan di hospital/kilinik haiwan di dunia.

Selain itu petugas JHBM juga harus memantau dan memastikan mental, emosi dan keadaan fizikal pesakit mereka berada dalam keadaan terbaik ketika berada di premis mereka.

Tuntutan itu disuarakan mereka dalam satu petisyen yang dinamakan Kempen Mengingati Sheena.

Jurucakap kumpulan itu, Davina Goh, berkata kucing yang dinamakan Naomi itu mati antara 23 hingga 27 Mac lalu selepas pemiliknya, Raihana Souket Ali menghantar Naomi ke JHBM selepas ia jatuh sakit pada 23 Mac.

Berdasarkan janji yang diberikan klinik berkenaan, Naomi diserahkan untuk berada di bawah jagaan mereka, katanya.

Bagaimanapun kata Goh, empat hari kemudian Raihana datang untuk mengambil semula kucingnya dan diberitahu ia sudah mati.

Raihana dan keluarganya tidak pasti bilakah kucing mereka mati tetapi Naomi dilihat terbaring kaku di dalam sebuah sangkar kecil dengan bangkainya sudah dihurung lalat dan semut, katanya.

Katanya, selepas disiasat, keluarga Raihana mendapati Naomi dikurung di dalam sangkar sejak ia dihantar ke klinik itu dan lebih malang lagi tidak langsung diberi minum atau makan selama empat hari itu.

Goh berkata, kakitangan JHBM tidak mahu bertanggungjawab di atas kematian Naomi sebaliknya menuding jari antara satu sama lain dalam soal memberi makan kucing itu.

Selama tiga bulan katanya, Raihana berusaha untuk menerima kematian Naomi dan cuba mendapatkan keadilan.

Aduan dibuat kepada pegawai dan ketua jabatan di JPH termasuklah kepada seorang pegawai di JPH Putrajaya, sehingga kini tiada sebarang maklum balas diterima, katanya.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


As reported in an earlier blog the appeal of the Tumpat Tiger (the story which appeared on the front page of the STAR of a tiger butchered in four) was heard on June 29, 2006.

Judge Datuk Mohd Ideres Muhammad Rapee told the Tumpat magistrate’s court, which had fined the culprit Ang on Oct 19 a mere RM7000 with no jail sentence, to hold a retrial on a date to be fixed by the court.

The law provides for a maximum penalty of RM15,000 fine, and a jail term not exceeding five years. Sadly we have never seen a custodial sentence imposed. Even the lorry drivers caught for trading in pangolins are only fined a mere RM4,500 for a catch of about 200 pangolins worth RM70,000 on the market. We have never heard of any masterminds being caught. Only lorry drivers, kampong stall owners and such. Can't Perhilitan officers arrest the masterminds?

Well with the new hearing date let's hope that this time around there will be justice for animals and that we will not be seeing public funds wasted on another "show" trial in court that does nothing to uphold the spirit of the law.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Your Letters Are Making A Difference

Great news!

On July 13, Raihana's story on Naomi was published in full in the NST, the way it was posted on our blog. When Davina submitted her Petition, it had over 230 signatures. We shall post details of this Petition on this blog at a later date. Thank you all so very much for your support in signing it.

In the first week of July, Naomi's story received coverage in the Berita Harian. We are still trying to get a copy as Davina only just heard about it.

Also, if you have been reading the newspapers lately, you will find more stories on the baby elephant, Mardos. Thanks to all of you who have been writing, the newspapers have pressed on to get to the bottom of Mardos' case.

Many letters not only flooded The Star, which broke the story through Hilary Chiew's article, Jumbo Knocking On Death's Door, but also the NST. In an unprecedented move, the NST too printed these letters although the story did not appear in that newspaper.

The RSC also called on supporters to write letters, however short, because it is very important to clock-in the number of concerned voices.

An article in The Star on July 13 reports that the head of the National Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah, Nasharuddin Othman, "accused 'irresponsible quarters' of trying to tarnish the image of the centre and that of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks".

It would have been better if he had explained the issues raised in Hilary Chiew's first story in The Star. Many worrying factors such as:

1.Why Mardos was taken to a veterinarian after two days of his accident, despite the pain he must have been in;

2. Why the staff did not follow protocol in transporting Mardos;

3. Why elephants need to be taken for "shows" as if they were running a circus and not a sanctuary; and

4. Why elephants at the sanctuary were "all skin and bones", despite the fact that it receives huge sums of money, went unanswered.

Wisely, people continued to write, demanding the answers. And on July 16, in the Focus section, Hilary Chiew's very commendable article gave a further update on Mardos. She mentions the many comments from the public - again authenticating the RSC's firm stand that every voice MAKES A DIFFERENCE - including the letters that were never posted, and the phone calls that were never mentioned.

Hilary's latest article, entitled Sanctuary In The Spotlight, once again raised the questions that were never answered since her first article. Better still, her latest piece raised even more questions. Among others, Hillary's article stated:

"Repeated calls and a voice message left on the centre's mobile number published in Perhilitan's website were not returned. The centre chief Nasharuddin Othman was reported as saying that it received a grant of RM700,000 but did not distinguish the source of funding. Questions on public donations and the finances of the Elephant Trust Fund which were faxed to Perhilitan went unanswered."

The article ends with this comment: "One may argue that the so-called sanctuary has fulfilled its role in raising awareness and instilling love for the elephants but, sadly, the same value appears to have eluded its own personnel; the very people entrusted with the duties to save these ill-fated creatures, especially when funding doesn't seem to be a problem."

On the same day her article appeared, The Star carried a story on logging that is about to destroy two beautiful paradises in Sabah, which were initially promised protection by the Government on March 15. These two forest reserves were called "Malaysia's biodiversity gift to the world by the end of 2007".

Question is, will there be anything to be bequeathed to the world once it has been raped by logging, and more animals, like Mardos, lose their mothers and natural habitats?

In the Letters page of today's NST (July 17), an item from the Director-General of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks entitled "Learning from jumbo’s death" was published. Once again, none of the very worrying issues and questions raised by the public and Hilary's article were ever addressed. However, the Director-General claims investigations are ongoing.

He also refers to Mardos' legs being "sprained" when all the reports and veterinary diagnosis published in the Press said the baby elephant's legs were "fractured". There is even a photo of baby Mardos' leg in a cast. It seems that the Director-General does not even realise the vast difference between a "sprain" and a "fracture".

Once again, the RSC thanks all of you for writing to the newspapers. Through this report, we want you to see for yourself how your letters are making a difference to the animals that cannot speak for themselves.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Up-date On Baby Elephant Mardos

While I welcome the story entitled “Baby Elephant On The Road to Recovery” (The Star, July 9), which is a follow-up to the original entitled “Young jumbo knocking on death’s door” (The Star, July 8), I am sad it did not address the following issues:

1. Why did tourists complain that Mardos, the baby elephant, was skin and bones long before he this accident?

2. Why was Mardos transported without following proper protocol?

3. Why was Mardos being taken for “shows”? Animals at sanctuaries are not supposed to be performing for people. Was there any money charged by Kuala Gandah staff for these “shows”?

4. Why was the baby elephant only taken to see a vet two days after the incident? With fractured bones at both hind legs close to the knees, surely he must be in terrible pain and needed immediate attention.

5. Why was Perhilitan conservation division director Siti Hawa Yatim unaware of Mardos condition, and while she did try to contact the sanctuary, why was there no one to answer her calls?

Here are the letters that appeared in the New Straits Times (online) on July 10, 2006 concerning Mardos:

NOTE: Other letters on Mardos have appeared in the STAR today. We thank all RSC Supporters who phoned and wrote letters, especially the ones whose letters were never published. Trust me, you were heard.

Mardos should have been better treated
10 Jul 2006
From Ann Ramayah, Mont Kiara

I refer to the letter “Our Experts Should Have Been Asked” from SSA (NST July 7) criticizing Shoba Mano’s comments about the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan)'s incompetence that had killed Mat Chepor, in her letter entitled “Blame It On Lack of Care And Ignorance” (NST June 30).

A local newspaper reported on July 8, 2006, about another baby elephant called Mardos dying a slow and painful death at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Lanchang, Pahang.

Mardos was found by Perhilitan staff last July in a well in Jemaluang Johor. He was only three months old. It is believed his mother had to leave him because she had no way of getting him out of the well.

Mardos should have died in the well because he suffered a much worse fate in the hands of Perhilitan. The report said that following his transfer to Kuala Gandah, tourists complained that this elephant was all skin and bones.

Acting on the complaints, Perhilitan transferred it to its headquarters in Cheras and supposedly nursed it back to health over a period of three months and then sent this poor baby elephant back to the same hell hole he came out of – Kuala Gandah.

Why did they not investigate why Mardos was skin and bones in the first place?

Now on July 1, as Mardos was being taken to a school in Temerloh for a “show” he slipped in the truck and fractured its hind legs near the knees. The report says animal transfer protocol was not observed.

We still don’t know what sort of “show” this was. Kuala Gandah is a sanctuary, for goodness sake. Not a circus. You don’t make elephants perform at a sanctuary. People come to the sanctuary to visit and learn about them and the elephant is given freedom, dignity, respect and love.

To make matters worse, Mardos was taken to University Putra Malaysia (UPM) veterinary hospital only two days after the accident despite his severe injuries and him being in what must be excruciating pain!

His suffering did not end there. UPM veterinarians claimed his injuries “were too difficult” to fix and sent him back to Kuala Gandah. This poor baby had to endure this painful journey for nothing.

Now it was sent back to heal on its own. The report quoted a source saying, Mardos recovery would depend on his resilience to pain.

Resilience to pain? How much more pain has to be inflicted on it? It lost its mother at the age of 3 months. It was “adopted” by people under whose care Mardos was skin and bones and taken out to entertain people.

The report said Perhilitan conservation division director Siti Hawa Yatim said she was unaware of the case and all her calls to the staff at Kuala Gandah went unanswered. Surely an officer can be dispatched immediately be on the scene!

SSA says the Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) is not the body to “save elephants” as they don’t have the so-called expertise of Perhilitan. At least MNS is filled with people who genuinely love wildlife and nature!.

Note: A local daily on Sunday reported that Mardos is on the road to recovery from its injuries at the National Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah.

Second Letter

Continue to highlight Mardos's plight
10 Jul 2006
From Dr Edlic Sathiamurthy, Nibong Tebal, Penang:

I hope your newspaper will continue to pursue the
matter regarding this suffering baby Elephant named
Mardos now kept in Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary.

I hope in the name of humanity that your news reports will touch and reach the hearts of conscientious government people and key members of the public so
that humane action will be taken promptly regarding Mardos' health condition.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

What Is An Egg Factory Like?

If you find the article below educational, please visit
It is very impressive website and this article below is taken from their blog.

I was in Bali recently and a resort manager told me she buys her eggs (for the resort and herself) strictly from a family whose chickens roam about freely. She steers clear away from eggs from the supermarket. In Britain the eggs are distinguished between free range (chickens that are allowed to roam free) and non-free range. In this way the public can help fight against the cruel egg factories by buying only free range and forcing the cruel ones to go out of business.

I was in at a local deli recently and asked the staff, three teenage girls, to identify the food that contained meat because I don't eat meat.

They showed me some pastry which had chicken in them. I said chicken is meat and the three teenage girls stared at me like I was from another planet and vehemently denied that chicken is meat. They said beef and lamb is meat but chicken is NOT meat. Unbelievable!

This is how we have desensitized our next generation towards chickens so that if at all, God forbid, they should hear the truth about sickening egg factories or how Kentucky Fried Chicken in the USA has been exposed to many forms of cruelty to chickens, they will just shrug their shoulders and say, so what? Chicken is not meat. Would you oppose boiling a vegetable? If not, then so what if they boil the chicken alive?

Let the truth set you free.


Immense, frightening, smelling of death and disease. They sit on vast stretches of land, countless rows of giant metal structures protruding into the sky. From a distance, you can get an eerie sense of the overwhelming number of birds who live day after day, minute after minute, inside the long windowless sheds. But the hens are invisible; there is no big sign proudly announcing that this enormous factory, stinking for miles and spilling forth a lake of manure, is where your eggs come from.

In battery cage facilities, eggs are not laid, they are manufactured. Because hens do not naturally lay eggs at a rate which would profit businesses to a satisfactory degree, their bodies are manipulated and forced to produce an abnormal number of eggs.

Dim electric lights are kept on for 16 or 17 hours a day, artificially stimulating the hens’ biological rhythms of reproduction. During ‘lights on’ in a battery cage facility, the atmosphere is one of intense distress. Feeders are operating, which leaves hens battling for a spot at the front of their tiny, overcrowded cage.

Those too weak to move towards the feeding tray lie silently on the wire floor of their lifelong prison, slowly starving to death, trampled by their cagemates. From rows of cages stacked floor to ceiling, the hens cry out. The air is dense with the screams of thousands of birds who are suffering extreme physical and psychological pain.

The Battery Cage

Battery cages are small wire cages used to confine hens in egg-producing factories for the entirety of their short, painful lives. Cages are too small to allow for a normal upright standing position, much less stretching, unfolding wings, or exercising.

The United Egg Producers claim each hen needs only 48 square inches of floor space. This is not enough room for a hen to carry on any of the normal activities that bring her pleasure, such as preening and dustbathing.

And while this space allowance is already far too small, many hens in egg factories don’t even receive that much space. In actuality they are crowded into cages without regard for quantity or density. I have seen as many as ten hens crammed into a single cage (with floorspace the size of a folded newspaper), their bodies so tightly compressed that when a single hen attempts to move the entire population of the cage feels the pressure and responds with an explosion of shrill cries.

The floors of battery cages are made of wire so that waste drops through onto a conveyor belt (this does not prevent waste from accumulating on the sides of cages, in the feeding tray, in the egg receptacle, and on the chickens themselves).

The feet and legs of chickens, designed for an outdoor life of scratching the ground in search of food, contain complex joints full of tiny bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments.

The wire floors of battery cages, coupled with the fact that the hens are unable to properly exercise their legs and scratch, results in painful, often crippling deformities of the legs and feet. Hens’ claws, which are meant to be short and blunt from use, grow long and twisted. In some cases the claws literally grow around the floor of the cage, immobilizing the hen completely. Eventually she will starve to death.


The hen uses her beak in much the same way humans use their fingertips: to explore, grasp, and manipulate objects. A hen in the wild carefully rotates her eggs numerous times each day with her beak. It is also used for feeding, pecking, cleaning feathers (preening), nest-building, and defense.

The beak is made of a material that is sensitive to pressure, heat, and pain. Despite the vital importance of her beak in many of a hen’s activities, it is routine practice in the egg industry to slice off, using a hot metal blade, up to two-thirds of her beak.

This practice is known as debeaking, but it would be no exaggeration to refer to it as amputation. For a hen, removal of part of the beak is physically crippling. It is equivalent to a human whose fingers have been completely severed off, leaving only lumps of flesh to use as inept hands.

Aside from the initial pain of the beak being cut off with a 1500F blade, the procedure often leaves hens with mouth blisters, neuromas, infections, and severed tongues. All hens, regardless, are left in a state of chronic pain and physical debilitation.

They are unable to properly clean their feathers, they grow idle and depressed, and some even starve themselves because eating (the pressure of a mutilated beak hitting the bottom of a metal feeding tray) is so painful.

The egg industry justifies the cruelty of debeaking by saying it prevents “cannibalism” among the hens. This is a misuse of the word; chickens do not and will not eat each other’s flesh.

Egg producers and those who support their practices use the word cannibalism to reassure potentially concerned consumers that debeaking is necessary for the safety and well-being of the hens.

While cannibalism does not in fact occur, hens in factory farms do display a distorted behavior of defense that is caused by abnormal levels of stress, crowding, and the restriction of normal activities, which is what they experience during life in a cage.

Forced Molting

Forced molting is one of the most gruesome practices in animal agriculture. It entails depriving birds of food and water for up to three weeks as a way to stimulate egg-laying in hens whose bodies are already depleted. The forced molt is a final way to exploit hens before they become “worthless” as egg-laying machines, at which point they’re slaughtered for low-grade meat.

Many hens who were already weak die during forced molts. Their bodies may lay around in cages with other living hens for days or weeks before being discovered and removed. Those birds who do survive may be molted two or three more times before they’re slaughtered.

Starvation obviously has an impact on the health of the hens and consequently on the quality of the eggs they produce. Studies have linked the presence of Salmonella enteritidis in eggs to the practice of forced molting.

Instead of tackling this problem at the source, the USDA looks for peripheral ways to keep people from killing themselves by eating infected egg products: labeling cartons, providing restaurants with explicit directions for cooking and storage, etc.

These tactics dismiss the fact that there’s something very wrong with poisoned eggs in the first place. It is avoided because forced molting is profitable for the egg industry.

Use of the Battery Cage in the US

In order to mass produce eggs at a price which both pleases consumers and makes companies rich, hens are forced to endure confinement, overcrowding, generalized filth and disease, painful mutilations, and periodic starvation on factory farms.

Rules and regulations for the humane treatment of ‘production animals’ in the United States are nonexistent. In 1999, the Agricultural Ministers for the European Union reviewed many scientific studies on the welfare of hens raised in battery cages, decided battery cages were cruel, and passed a law to phase them out within the European Union.

Unfortunately, battery cages are still legal in the United States and are widely used. 98% of the country’s eggs are produced by hens confined in battery cages.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Another Baby Elephant Pathetically Treated

I'm speechless. I'm still in tears so that I can't even see what I'm typing. I'll just cut and paste the letter I sent out to all the RSC Supporters.


Even as I'm writing this my heart is bleeding for this baby elephant which is dying. Its story is so sad. It fell in a well and its mother presumably cried until she had no more tears, being helpless to get her baby out of the well. I imagine having to walk away from that well must have been the hardest thing she ever had to do.

To make matters worse, our nation's so called animal rescue "saviours" who by the way also "gallantly did everything they could for Baby Mat Chepor" found this baby elephant they promptly called Mardos and took him out of the well. Mardos was just three months old when he was found in the well. Since then he had been kept in Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Lanchang Pahang.

Some sanctuary!! Tourists complained that Mardos was just skin and bones.So Perhilitan took it back to its headquarters in Cheras, nursed it back to health for three months and poor Mardos eventually found his way back to Kuala Gandah.

Now on July 1 as he was being transported to a school for a "show", Mardos slipped from the truck and fell injuring his knees. He was only taken to Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) veterinary hospital on Tuesday TWO WHOLE DAYS AFTER THE ACCIDENT, after the incident was reported to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan). I cannot imagine how they can allow a baby to suffer in pain like that and do nothing until Tuesday??

To add insult to injury UPM said the problem was too difficult to fix and sent him back to Kuala Gandah. A source said the fate of the animal would depend on its resilience to pain and if it would eat. RESILIENCE TO PAIN??? He's only a baby and he's already been through so much pain. Now they want to let him suffer cos they don't know what to do??

Ahhhh, God have mercy on us all.

Please read The Star's full story by Hilary Chiew below.

Finally in tears I'm pleading with all of you to please send letters (even a one or two para letter. Anything. One line, if you absolutely do not have the time) to the following newspaper editors.

Don't let Kuala Gandah, this hellhole in the guise of a "sanctuary" continue to exist to torture animals. Believe me your letters, however short DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:

I don't have the heart to pray for Mardos to get well only for Kuala Gandah staff to continue to abuse him. I pray God will take him away quickly and painlessly from this cruel world. I cannot believe UPM can send him away in pain and not even do the most humane thing - to put him down.

(sigh) This baby should have died in the well. I feel literally sick to the stomach knowing Mardos in the hands of those people even as he is dying. I wish he could at least die in his mother's embrace.

Read up on elephants. They have incredible memories. An elephant recovering at a blessed sanctuary in Texas, USA after serving 20 years in a circus, immediately recognized a new elephant brought in and began to embrace it and make a lot of noise. The other elephant did the same. Upon checking their records it was found that they very briefly shared a pen while waiting to be transported 20 years ago when the first elephant was a baby and the newcomer to the sanctuary played surrogate mother to it for a few months before they were separated.

20 years and it still remembered!!



: It looks like Mat Chepor’s death has been in vain.

Another young elephant is now fighting for its life at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Lanchang, Pahang.

A week after Mat Chepor's tragic death, a one-year-old bull by the name of Mardos had both its hind legs fractured near the knees.

It is learnt that the accident happened while it was being transported to a school in Temerloh along with an adult elephant, for a show on July 1.

The young elephant slipped on the truck flooring that had become slippery after the animals defecated during the journey.

Apparently, animal transfer protocol that required a minimum of two personnel including the driver, was not adhered to and the animals were left unsupervised on the truck.

Mardos was taken to Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) veterinary hospital on Tuesday after the incident was reported to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan).

When contacted, Perhilitan conservation division director Siti Hawa Yatim said she was unaware of the case but would investigate.

She said that because of difficulty in reaching the staff in Kuala Gandah she would be able to comment only next week. Numerous calls to the sanctuary went unanswered.

Eyewitness said UPM veterinarians decided against performing surgery as the injury was “too difficult” to fix. Hence, Mardos was sent back to Kuala Gandah in the hope that the wound would heal with time.

A source said the fate of the animal would depend on its resilience to pain and if it would eat. If it refused to feed, its health would deteriorate and it would be best to end the suffering by putting it down.

Even if it survives, it would walk with a permanent limp, as the injury would certainly impede the growth of its legs.

The ill-fated pachyderm was first rescued by Perhilitan last July after it fell into a well in Jemaluang, Johor, when it was three months old. It is believed that it was abandoned by its mother, which could not help it out of the well.

Following the transfer of the young elephant to Kuala Gandah, foreign tourists had reported that the animal was neglected and was all “skin and bones”.

Acting on the complaints, Perhilitan transferred it to its headquarters in Cheras and nursed it back to health over a period of three months before first relocating it to the Paya Indah Wetland Sanctuary and, later, to Kuala Gandah.

Set up in 1989 as the National Elephant Conservation Centre, Kuala Gandah has constantly been plagued by complaints of poor animal care and allegations of mismanagement.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Take Your Dog To Work

Ok, I think we need some upbeat news for a change after all these depressing stories. I've done my part to send out emails to help those darling Thai, baby elephants and keeping them in my prayers.

So now it's time to post a "happy" story from CBS on a growing trend in America where people are beginning to take their dogs to work.


A Supplier of China and Crystal Keeps Morales High With Pets' Help

At Replacements, a North Carolina china and crystal company, employees can bring their dogs to work with them on a daily basis.

The Early Show resident veterinarian Debbye Turner traveled to Greensboro to find out why the company thinks it's good business to make the dogs feel right at home.

Almost everywhere at the Replacement warehouse — from the front desk to purchasing to customer service and the warehouse — canines and china goes hand-in-hand.

Employees at Replacement are encouraged to bring their pooches with them to work. Between 50 and 75 dogs punch-in on an average day.

Bill Roane says his dog knows when he is at work.

"When I was coming to work, I asked her if she wanted to go to work and she went tearing to the door barking and scratching the door to get in the car to come to work," he said.

The employees of the warehouse say there are many different ways for a pet to help their owner's productivity.

"It takes a lot of stress off of you, because you always have a friend that you can turn to," said pet owner Tammy Kennedy.

Karol Durham said she went to Replacements because she was able to bring her dog to work

The pet-friendly atmosphere at Replacements started with the company's top dog.

"I thought, 'Well, if I bring my dog to work and I know how much it means to me, I feel like there would be other people at work who would feel the same way about bringing their dog to work,'" said Bob Page, founder of Replacements. "So, we started allowing our employees to bring their dogs to work.

"I think it's worked out great. Occasionally, there's been a little accident that needs to be cleaned up."

Page says a little distraction and yapping is worth the improved morale of his employees, which improves their productivity.

The only restriction is that the dogs are not allowed in the break room, where the food is. But Replacements has made sure that the owners are never that far away from their dogs by putting a hitching post just outside the door.

"The dogs don't pay any attention to the china unless there's food in it," said Julie Schindler. "I've broken things sometimes. I'm surprised they let me in the showroom or the warehouse, but [my dog] Weenie's never broken anything."

And there's one other plus to having a four-legged friend around.

"I tease my boss, I tell her you can't fire me because Weenie would be out of work," said Schindler. "She tells me Weenie is the best job protection, because she may not always be happy with me. But she'd never want to fire Weenie."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thai Baby Elephants Need Your Help

Here is an action alert from PETA Hong Kong. Please read below and help by writing to the email addresses they have given. Even one or two paragraphs is enough and will make such a lot of difference to these animals. We could not help Mat Chepor, but we can help some baby elephants in Thailand. Please write. Do it today!

"A two-year fight over Australia taking eight baby elephants from Thailand has reached a make-or-break situation.

Taronga Park Zoo and Melbourne Zoo are now set to see the elephants endure the journey to Australia only to end up as specimens at the zoos. The elephants are believed to be around three years old.

Activists from Bangkok-based Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) fiercely oppose the move and blocked the elephants from leaving Kanchanaburi last month as they were loaded into 10-wheeler trucks to endure the 130 km ride to board a cargo plane in Bangkok bound for Australia. The activists had a sign that read “Stop Exploiting Thai Elephants” and this standoff forced officials to abandon plans to move the elephants.

It is believed that the elephants were captured illegally in the wild and FAE has requested that DNA tests be done to ascertain this – which authorities have refused. The drastic change of habitat will harm the welfare of the elephants.

In Australia, both the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Australian Humane Society have called for the elephants to stay in their homeland. Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has commended the Thai protesters and noted that “Taronga Zoo wants these Thai elephants to boost its profits, not for conservation…Elephants are very difficult to breed in zoos, with no captive breeding program ever being successful in Australasia.”

Please e-mail the Thai Embassy in Australia now and insist that the trade be stopped. Urge them to leave the elephants in the wild where they belong, and use zoos as sanctuaries for animals rescued from circuses, marine parks, and other exploitative forms of entertainment.

Zoos rob elephants of their most basic needs, including social companionship and adequate space to exercise. Zoos keep elephants in unnaturally small groups and routinely shuffle elephants between facilities with callous disregard for the special bonds between elephant friends.

In the wild, elephants maintain strong family bonds — baby elephants are not usually weaned until they are at least 4 years old, and young elephants stay with their mothers for many years to learn important social and survival skills. Females remain with their mothers and other members of their herds for their entire lives.

Zoos operate under the misleading veil of conservation and education when, in reality, these proud and sensitive animals are kept merely as tourist draws to boost sagging profits. Captive breeding will never contribute to the survival of the species because elephants breed poorly in captivity and the offspring who do survive can never be released into the wild.

For more information about zoos, please go to

For all animals,
Rochelle Regodon
PETA Hong Kong.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Baby Elephant's Needless Death

A letter from RSC on the recent death of the baby elephant found at Kampung Chepor was published in the New Straits Times on Friday, June 30. It was published with the heart-wrenching photo below too. Please note that STAR journalist Hillary Chiew's excellent focus story and many other letters in the newspapers have addressed the same issue of incompetence on the part of Perhilitan staff.

Blame it on lack of care and ignorance
30 Jun 2006
SHOBA MANO, Remembering Sheena Campaign, Subang Jaya

THE "Remembering Sheena Campaign" is distressed over the recent death of Mat Chepor, the orphaned elephant calf that was found at Kampung Chepor in Lenggong.

The death of this elephant calf once again highlights the fact that not just our Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) officers but others entrusted with the care and protection of wildlife and domestic pets are not really doing their job well.

The veterinarian who certified its death said Mat Chepor had died of exhaustion and dehydration.

If Perhilitan did not know how to intelligently move Mat Chepor — it was to have been relocated to Kuala Gandah, Pahang — they should have sought the expertise of the Malaysian Nature Society, a local non-governmental organisation with a better track record of being caring and knowledgeable about animals.

Anyone who claims to have experience in animal welfare would know that a baby elephant would dehydrate when dragged for hours from one place to another. Adequate preparations should have been made, and rest and water provided to it.

Our entire education system and websites of the Department of Veterinary Services and Perhilitan have hardly anything on the issue of "animal welfare". This only goes to show how little this matters to them.