I completed this morning a quick survey of some of the Web sites of some of the world’s leading animal protection/welfare/rescue/rights organisations to review their activity on rescuing animals in Japan following on from the earthquake and tsunami that occurred one week ago tomorrow. The following organisations did not include anything about the crisis.
- Animal Defenders International
- Compassion In World Farming
- Eurogroup for Animal Welfare
- Humane Society for the United States (see below HSI)
- International Fund for Animal Welfare (both UK and International Web sites)
- World Society for the Protection of Animals (see below WSPA Animals in Disaster blog)
The following organisations included information about the crisis.
- American Humane Association: Links from home page to AHA blog dated March 16 which states their position on the crisis (see extract below).
- Humane Society International (HSI): Mention on home page with link to secondary page with statement dated March 12. HSUS links from its home page to this HSI page.
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Link from home page to PETA Blog which includes a post (time of post is indicated but not the date) which states its activity on the crisis.
- WSPA Animals in Disasters blog: Linked from WSPA home page. Date of last entry on blog is March 14.
Admittedly, this is not a scientific assessment. It is a quick review of the Web sites of these organisations nearly one week after the crisis occurred as they appeared this morning. I note the American Humane Association published an informative explanation of the challenge they face to the crisis, which I assume is also pertinent to the other organisations included in this brief review as well as others. (See extract below.)
Notwithstanding these formidable obstacles as well as the challenge of dealing with a complex situation that continues to develop in unprecedented ways, the response to this disaster does not appear to be a significant issue for some of the world’s leading animal advocacy organisations if their Web sites as they appeared this morning represent their interest and involvement.
Further, if these groups are active in helping to mitigate the crisis in Japan they are not sharing with their supporters, the public and the media information about their activities. I invite them to get in touch with their comments and any relevant information they would like to share.
In contrast, humanitarian non-governmental organisations, including the coalition Interaction, document their involvement in Japan as well as other world crises such as those occurring in Libya and the Ivory Coast. Whatever the challenges animal groups face in dealing with this crisis in Japan humanitarian non-governmental organisations do not appear to be constrained similarly.
Extract from AHA blog:
Due to the safety risks and the primary focus on saving people’s lives, the Japanese government has not yet allowed even Japanese organizations to begin large-scale animal rescue operations. However, discussions are currently ongoing between our international partner organizations and the appropriate governmental agencies to obtain invitations to deploy to the stricken areas with animal rescue teams. It is the policy of American Humane Association and other legitimate animal welfare organizations to not deploy without a formal invitation from the responsible government/agency. This policy is for the safety of the people who risk their lives to save people and animals in disaster situations, as well as for the safety of the human victims who are still awaiting help from rescuers.