Buddhist Animal Rights Conference adopts Resolution calling on Govt. of Sri Lanka to enact the Animal Welfare Bill
Posted on October 9th, 2016

The world’s first Buddhist animal rights conference

The first Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference co-hosted by Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) and Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) was held successfully at Hotel Skypark Kingstown, Dongdaemun in Seoul, South Korea on Friday September 30, 2016 immediately after the conclusion of the 28th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists Conference in the same city.

It was a full day Conference.

One of the Resolutions adopted at the Conference called upon the Govt. of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to have the Animal Welfare Bill enacted without delay. It said that it would be tantamount to an inexcusable lapse if Sri Lanka were to celebrate in year 2017 the UN Day of Vesak at an Inter – Governmental level, without extending appropriate legislative protection in line with Buddhist values and Sri Lanka’s historical animal friendly cultural heritage, and modern standards of care and treatment, to animals.

The keynote speaker was the well-known Buddhist monk and animal advocate Venerable Master Hai Tao from Taiwan. He spoke on Compassion for All Beings.

Master Hai Tao

Other speakers were

1) DVA President, Bob Isaacson who spoke on the Buddha’s Teachings on Sentient Beings and How We Can Live Kinder.

2) Dr. Chamith Nanayakkara (Veterinary Surgeon and Chapter leader of the Kandy Chapter of DVA in Sri Lanka ) who with his team have generously given free treatment to more than 50,000 animals

Dr. Nanayakkara raised the question, is it consistent with Buddhist teachings for humans to kill animals in response to overpopulation? Instead a method consistent with the Dhamma is readily available: the spraying and neutering of dogs, cats and other animals.

3) CARE Founder & President Ms. Soyoun Park ( a Leading Animal Rights Advocate in South Korea)

4) Professor Chang – gil, Park ( Ph.D.) of Sungkonhoe University, Seoul and President of Voices for Animals. He spoke on the topic ‘ What can Buddhist organisations do to protect world laboratory animals?”

5) Film Director Ms. Yun Hwang ( who has  made a documentary film on introspection of the modern livestock industry and its interaction with Animals). She spoke on the topic ‘ Mercy and Peace of Eating’.

The various speakers dealt with issues related to implementation of humane animal control methods, spraying and neutering of animals, animal experimentation, animal agriculture and plant-based nutrition.

There were two workshops  held at the conference: the first focused on Advancing the Cause of Animal Rights in the Buddhist Community and the other at the end of the Conference dealt with the moral issue of  Living Kinder and Eating Kinder – using what was learned at the Conference for the Welfare and Happiness of All Beings.

A delicious vegan Lunch which was entirely plant-based (no animal foods) and reflecting Korean cultural tradition and cooking was served to the delight of visitors from overseas.

Among the distinguished attendees at the Conference were Mr. Phallop Thaiarry ( Secretary – General of the World Fellowship of Buddhists), Mr. AJ Garcia ( President, CARE), Dato Ang Choo Hong (Malaysia), Ms. Loh Pai Ling (President, Buddhist Missionary Society, Malaysia), Mr. Lee, Tae – Ghill ( Director of Committee, Lay Buddhist Association of South Korea), Mr. Park, Sang – Kyu, Dr. Lee Chi -Ran,  Mr. Basumitra Barua (Bangladesh), Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan ( Australia), Mr. Senaka Weeraratna ( Chapter Leader , DVA Colombo, Sri Lanka), Mr. Lakshman Hettiaratchi( Sri Lanka), Mrs. Sandamali Hettiaratchi ( Sri Lanka), Major – General Sardha Abeyratne (Sri Lanka), Mr. Albert Mah ( DVA Chapter Leader, Perth, Western Australia), Mr. Ananda Mahinkanda (DVA, Los Angeles, USA), a Nepalese Buddhist leader, and Mr. Senarathna Liyanage (Sri Lanka).        

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/10/06/first-asian-buddhist-animal-rights-conference-to-be-held-in-seoul-south-korea/

This conference was the world’s first Buddhist animal rights conference. It is indeed noteworthy that Buddhists in increasing numbers are now engaging  in animal advocacy and refraining from consuming animal foods because they want to go further with their practice of kindness and compassion which applies to all living beings and not just humans.

To them ethical and moral considerations in exploiting animals for food, skin, fur, experimentation and entertainment are equally important as Buddhist philosophy. Kill and Eat is not part of the Buddhist Tradition. The Buddhist First Precept which recognises the right to life of all living beings of all species without hierarchical discrimination, and Right Livelihood as a key component of the Noble Eightfold Path, were heavily emphasized at the Conference.

At the end of the Conference several Resolutions were adopted.

The conference ended with a Group Photograph being taken.

The organizers hope that this conference will be the starting point and they plan to hold more in the coming years in conjunction with the General Conferences of the WFB.

If you wish to support this conference and the work ahead, donations are welcomed:
https://donate.careanimalrights.org/seoul-south-korea/events/1st-asian-buddhist-animal-rights-conference/e92052

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=6,12956,0,0,1,0#.V_XJgOV96Uk

One Response to “Buddhist Animal Rights Conference adopts Resolution calling on Govt. of Sri Lanka to enact the Animal Welfare Bill”

  1. plumblossom Says:

    The government should initiate a programme where schoolchildren are taught humane eviction of vermin such as mice, cockroaches etc. In Sri Lanka today glue traps are sold at shops and these are banned in some countries due to their infliction of cruelty towards animals. These glue traps glue the mouse, cockroach, insect to the glue trap and the poor animal then cannot move and either dehydrates to death or tries to move away and break its tiny legs and still die a painful death. I asked Food City, Keels etc. why they are selling such cruel products and they have no answer. Some countries in the world have banned glue traps. Surely what is the point in calling ourselves a Buddhist country if we cannot even ban such a cruel product.

    Further, there are humane methods of disposing of unwanted visitors into the house such as snakes and mice by trapping them in boxes and then taking them in the box to a far away place such as a field and releasing them. This is a humane alternative to killing a snake or a mouse. Such boxes are available in foreign countries where they are used, so why not Sri Lanka, if we really are Buddhist? Killing a cobra is a great sin anyway or even any other snake. Schoolchildren should be educated at school regarding humane methods of trapping and disposing of unwanted visitors to the house onto a field. Such humane methods of disposal such as these boxes should be available in shops for people to buy and use.

    Further, since we have to use pesticides and insecticides in cultivation, it is best to ensure that the insects die an instant death and use such pesticides and insecticides a sparingly as possible.

    Further, vets in Sri Lanka can be provided incentives to enhance their careers by the government. Further, the Forest Department and the Department of Wildlife can also provide incentives to enhance the careers of park wardens who work in our national parks since they do an amazing job and national parks earn us a lot of foreign exchange since there are a lot of visitors who visit these national parks.

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