‘Animals and the City’ international symposium in October

KUCHING: The ‘Animals and the City’ international symposium which will be held on Oct 11 will present an opportunity for local councils and animal welfare organisations to look into the management of urban animals.

The event is organised by the Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) to coincide with this year’s World Animal Groove (WAG) Music Festival.

The symposium hopes to gather practitioners to share knowledge and experiences on strategies that build healthy communities for pets, stray animals, wildlife and people.

The outcome of this event will provide a blueprint for local councils to develop their own strategies to manage the urban animal population in a more efficient manner.

The symposium welcomes city and local government agency representatives who are responsible for animal welfare and wildlife management in the state, the country and the Asean region.

Local, national and international organisation representatives as well as individuals interested in working for animal welfare and animal rights, and those working for wildlife conservation and management are also invited to participate.

The symposium is broken down into two themes.

The first on ‘Pets, Strays and the City’ will talk about managing the pet trade, stray or free-roaming animals and animal shelters.

The second part on ‘Wildlife and the City’ will cover creating green corridors and urban wildlife reserves, curbing illegal wildlife trade, and monitoring biodiversity in cities.

Among the speakers is SPCA Hong Kong executive director Sandy Macalister who will speak about the approaches adopted in Hong Kong to manage stray animal populations, including the SPCA Hong Kong’s cat Trap, Neuter and Release programme, which is arguably the best of such programmes in the world today.

A representative from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) will speak about the International Companion Animal Management (Icam) Humane Dog Population Management Guidance.

The document provides guidance on how to assess dog population management needs and how to decide on the most effective approach to managing the population in a humane manner.

Kanitha Krishnasamy, TRAFFIC -Southeast Asia senior programme officer, will talk about the illegal wildlife trade in Malaysia.

TRAFFIC is an international wildlife trade monitoring network that works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.

SPCA Selangor operations/change manager Lorna Fisher will be talking about establishing their first dedicated Adoption, Rehabilitation and Education (ARE) Eco-Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, SPCA Kota Kinabalu president Henny Liew will speak about their TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) Pilot Project.

The symposium will be held from 8.30am to 6pm at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).

Conference fees are RM120 per person for Malaysians, RM180 per person for international delegates, and RM80 per person for full-time students.

The fees include conference material, meals, and one ticket to WAG Music Festival 2013 which will be held at the same venue the next day (Oct 12) from 7pm.

WAG Music Festival is an annual event organised by the SSPCA to raise awareness about animal welfare and animal rights, and to raise funds for the new SSPCA Animal Village featuring local and international artistes and bands.

Registrations forms for the symposium are available online at www.wagmusicfestival.com/Symposium.html.

Closing date for registration is Sept 30.

For more information, contact Brenda Png at animalandthecity@gmail.com/019-8863118 or Rebecca D’Cruz at dcruz.rebecca@gmail.com/019-8579110.

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