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All Life In a Viable Environment

5-18-10-102, Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0021

Anti Vivisection Action Network



Activities of ALIVE

1 Sept. 2003
by Fusako Nogami
Director of AlLIVE;
All Life In a Viable Environment

I established ALIVE in 1996 for the purpose of comprehensive animal protection activities. Our activities cover a wide area of general animal issues. We would like to introduce to you our recent activities.

1. The protection of wild life

Since our association was established we have worked on the issue of the menace that wild life are exposed to. We would like to talk about our successful activities in this area.

One of them is the issue of traps. Every one can buy the leg hold traps at general shops, so many wild animals are illegally and indiscriminately captured. Even dogs and cats are collected petitions to send to the government. As a result, the Law Concerning Wildlife Protection And Hunting was strengthened by putting penalty for their illegal use.

However, our final goal is to ban the trap completely. I testified on the Diet last year to make an appeal to ban the trap by showing pictures of it to Diet members. Since then more Diet members seem to understand this issue.

Another activity is the protection of bears and monkeys, there are many of these wild animals in Japan. Bears are threatened to be extinct in many places. However, they are still hunted and exterminated as "pests". We promote a campaign sending post cards to the local authorities to demand that they stop the spring hunting for the purpose of collecting gall bladders.As a result, the spring hunting has been decreased.

10,000 wild monkeys are hunted as pests each year. We uncovered the fact that captured monkeys were sold illegally to facilities for animal experimentation.

This case was picked up by the media. Since then the Ministry of Environment decided to ban the capture of monkeys for animal experimentation.

We also work on the issue of CITES (the Washington treaty). Information and cooperation from international associations help us with this activity.
The following are our successful activities. Stopping the importation of elephants from South Africa to Japan's safari park. To stop the transfer elephants in Sri Lanka to Croatia as a gift by a Japanese group just before the animals were about to be shipped. Preventing the import of Alaskan sea otters. Moreover, we have recently stopped the importation of Sumatran elephants. We are going to make a presentation about this issue later.

Lastly we work on the issue of establishing and revising the law for the protection of wild animals. ALIVE joins "the Network To Establish A Veritable Wildlife Protection Law". We hold symposiums and lobbies.

2 Zoo checks

Since ALIVE was established, one of our main activities has been focused on zoos. Our members in every place visit zoos and send the reports to ALIVE.
The most difficult issue is "private zoos", which are managed by private citizens and animals are kept in poor condition.That is why we appeal for the necessity of establishing a law for zoos at every opportunity.

This year the Ministry of Environment is going to revise the standards relating to the keeping and custody of animals for exhibition, etc.I was invited to give my opinions at the hearing for this operation. We will make a proposal to them after we compile our research.

We are now sending questionnaire to about 150 zoos of all sizes in Japan. (excluding aquariums) We ask them in this questionnaire how they dispose of surplus animals and if they think it is necessary to have a law for zoos etc. We will make a presentation about this issue later.

Recently some zoos tried to offer surplus monkeys to a national facility for animal experimentation. We are working on this issue also.

Lastly we have been involved in the research of Japan's bear parks in cooperation with WSPA since 1991.

3 Activity for the purpose of decreasing the number of dogs and cats that are disposed and killed or offered up for animal experimentation

In 1990, about 1 million dogs and cats were disposed of and killed by the authorities in our country. Since then we have worked on matters such as the revision of a Law concerning the protection and control animals, demanding that the authorities control animal dealers, the improvement of morality of pet owners and the way of disposal of animals by the authorities.

Our members are working nationwide on these issue very hard so that dramatic change is happening in these fields. ALIVE sends a questionnaire to all local authorities each year. This questionnaire asks them the number of dogs and cats that are disposed of and killed etc. According to the latest results of this questionnaire, About 500,000 dogs and cats were disposed of and killed by the local authorities in 2002. It means there has been a reduction of 50% over the last ten years.

I have visited this nation's facilities for more than 10 years, where abandoned dogs and cats are kept. In every facility I found animals in miserable conditions.

ALIVE has been demanding the authorities for the improvement of the facilities, for efforts to decrease the number of pets that are disposed of, and the education and awareness of pet owners.

Our activity to stop the offering of dogs and cats to facilities for animals experimentation by the authorities has obtained good results.

In 1986, we assume about 100,000 dogs and cats were offered to facilities for animal experimentation. We demand that the authorities stop of offering dogs and cats to these facilities while researching the real conditions with the use of the free information act.

In 2002, the number of dogs and cats that were offered to facilities for animal experimentation was dramatically decreased. It was only 1538.

4. Activity demanding to strengthen control over animal dealers

ALIVE calls on our members to check the condition of pet shops. Many troubles have been caused because of pet shops and animal dealers so that they are now considered a social problem.

In 1998 ALIVE discovered a case in which a dog breeder left about 100 dogs in miserable conditions. We worked on this big case by appealing to media and the local government.

With this case and others, ALIVE has worked on revising a law concerning the protection and control of animals as a key group. As a result, in 2001, it was finally revised.

We are still working on a re-revision that is planned in 2004 or 2005 so that animal dealers will be under a licensed system.

5 The welfare of farm animals

Since ALIVE was established, one of our purposes has been the research of the real conditions that farm animals are in and the improvement of their welfare.

Therefore we have visited examination hall for farm animals, slaughter houses and farmers.

In September 2001, the first incident of BSE(Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) broke out.

Since then we have felt a gradual change of the social conscious.

In September 2001, we held a study meeting concerning organic farming where we invited Prof.Matsuki, an instructor of Nippon (Japan) Veterinarian and Animal Science University. In December 2001, we held a symposium concerning the health and the welfare of farm animals at this university.This was the first symposium where organic farmers, consumer's groups and groups for animal protection gathered to discuss the welfare of animals.

Based on this symposium, we widened our network to make a coalition named

"Farm Animal Welfare Initiative"in 2002. This coalition is composed of people from diverse fields such as agricultural groups, consumer's groups, organic agricultural products companies, organic farmers, veterinarians, government researchers, and people who work in public health.

In November 2002, we held a symposium concerning "farming that gives less damage to animals and the environment" at Tokyo university.We then invited Mr.Lymberry of WSPA as a guest speaker. And we also invited Mr.Maclean,a manager of Sheep Organic Farm, an organic farm in England. He introduced the actual practices at his farm.

In the future ALIVE will set up the funds so that we can research the real conditions that farm animals are held under and take films of them to promote a wide public campaign.

6 Animal experimentation

ALIVE and AVA-Net (Anti Vivisection Action network) have cooperated to work on the issue of animal experimentation.

There are no laws at all in Japan concerning animal experimentation. In 1999, when a Law concerning the Protection and Control of Animals was revised, we demanded that at least a registration system controlling facilities for animal experimentation be created. However, mainly because of opposition by researchers it did not happen.

In 2001, a national free information law was enacted. Since then ALIVE has been demanding to open information such as plans for animal experimentation by national universities and national research institutions.

During this process, we found that some plans were covered blacked out, especially in parts describing which facilities offer the animals, the names of researchers and the contents of experimentation. Therefore we have lodged a formal objection and we have succeeded in opening the sufficient information after all.

ALIVE has especially worked on stopping the conduct that Japanese macaques, that are native to Japan, are pest hunted and offered as animals for experimentation.

In 2005, when an animal protection law will be next revised, we hope that systems to check on the actual conditions of animal experimentation, a way to let a third party see the condition that animals are in, and the contents of experimentation are put into the law. We are working to set such kinds of systems into the law.

Moreover, through the cooperation with Diet members or Japanese Society of Alternatives to Animal Experiments we are making an appeal that alternatives to use of animals in experimentation are acceptable economically and ethically.