Animal Welfare Advisory Committee Expresses Dissent at Cruelty to Animals
Posted on July 19th, 2017

Animal Welfare Advisory Committee Press Release

 We make this statement as the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) to Minister Faiszer Musthapha to publicly express our dissent at the continuing massacre of dogs in Sri Lanka, despite the No-Kill Policy on Dogs that is effective in Sri Lanka, as well as the Minister’s promise to the AWAC that such killings  would not happen.

We agreed to serve in the AWAC as Animal Welfare Activists at the Minister’s invitation in order to establish a realistically sustainable, practical and humane programme, mutually beneficial to the animals and the public in order to solve the street dog issue.

However, none of the proposals we have made to date as the AWAC on the above issue, from as far back as February 2017 when the committee was formed, has progressed beyond the presentation stage. This factor, combined with the repeated deaths of more and more animals, both dogs and cats, at government and public institutions have lead us to believe that the No-Kill Policy on Dogs has been rendered into a mockery and the formation of the AWAC is nothing but a façade, created to hide behind to avoid public criticism against killing of these animals.

Since we commenced serving in the AWAC, the following incidents have or allegedly have taken place:

  • the University of Sri Jayewardenepura dog killings by a pest control company identified as Ultrakil,
  • reports that dogs at Rathnapura Hospital were sedated and taken away (fate unknown),
  • dogs at University of Kelaniya were allegedly gassed/killed,
  • dogs at Rajagiriya Ayurveda Hospital have been or are to be removed/killed and,
  • dogs and cats at the University of Moratuwa have been administered lethal doses of sedatives by Rakna Lanka Security Services (2 dogs and 10 cats were found dead, 1 cat died later).

The above incidents are all reported to have occurred at the request of the respective heads of these institutes. These are all public institutes and instances where someone other than a qualified veterinarian, with no justification, administered a potentially fatal dose of sedatives to these animals.

The public demand on us to intervene as the AWAC has now turned into accusations, some lurid, that we a committee of voluntary animal welfare activists are benefitting from being in this committee at the expense of animals, because the Minister has not convincingly done anything to prevent these massacres.

Sadly, the situation has deteriorated and the inaction on the Minister’s part has resulted in the loss of the Minister’s credibility as wanting a humane solution. If we continue to serve in this committee without publicly expressing our dissent regarding the ever increasing dog massacres, we as the AWAC would not be taking our role seriously.

We cannot echo or condone the conflicting stance the Minister takes by saying there is a No-Kill Policy on Dogs and that he will not promote the killing of dogs, but that he is unable to intervene in extreme decisions taken by others regarding dogs in their institutions. This is akin to any person being allowed to take the law into their own hands when circumstances become difficult to manage.

The AWAC has submitted humane solutions to the Minister, which he as The Authority should put into effect instead of taking the above stance.

Therefore, we call upon Minister Faiszer Musthapha to publicly announce that NO ONE can kill dogs citing public nuisance and other issues, and if anyone does, the Ministry will take legal action against such persons, regardless of his/her position.

Animal Welfare Advisory Committee to Minister Faiszer Musthapha

Irangani de Silva, Chairperson      

Dumindra Rathnayake                    

Wibodha Ambeygoda          

Iraki Kodituwakku

Champa Fernando

Kim Cooling

Gayani Gunasinghe

Michelle Fernando

Shilpa Samaratunga

Manoja Weerakkody


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