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ALIVE Newsletter No.88Topic

Reality of the Pet Industry

Breeders eagerly try to increase their profit, so they practice mass-production and push mass-consumption ways of business, in order to do so. As with the cattle that are systematically abused and confined in very small spaces, the animals at puppy mills or pet shops are kept and bred in extremely unhealthy and unhygienic environments. These animals produced or sold in such unsanitary environments are often weak and sick. As a result, the product quality is too poor to sell. These animals end up being put to death.
The Japanese government provides grants to livestock farms, when the farms have financial problems. In contrast, there is no financial support system for the pet industry. Therefore when a pet shop closes down, the products (animals) will be abandoned. The consequences are that local governments or animal welfare volunteers are the ones who have to clean up the mess made by poorly managed breeders and pet shops. Unless the distribution and production system is organized, animals will keep being victims and will suffer eternally.

* "Pets" is also called "aigan" animals in Japanese. The word "aigan" means to "play with."
The usage of the word "aigan animals" (animals to play with) sounds a little strange. In fact, English speaking countries now call their pet animals "companion animals." Recently in Japan, pets are called "family animals" to mean that they are a part of a family.

Fusako Nogami
Head of Publication and Editor