In 2004, 50,000 cats and dogs were poisoned prior to the Games in Athens, Greece. For the past few months, cats in London have been (still are being) killed by the construction of sites for the 2012 Olympic Games. And now with the 2008 Games only five months away, Beijing is following a similar path, by rounding up stray cats to “cleanse” the city.
According to an England newspaper, Beijing’s agricultural bureau director recently ordered that “all stray cats must be caught and taken off the streets before the end of June, to ensure the city looks its best…for the Olympics.” Cats are being trapped and placed in crowded holding pens, which animal activists are comparing to the size of microwave ovens. The order states that strays unclaimed after 14 days will be “dealt with”.
The Capital Animal Welfare Association (located in Beijing) estimates 160,000 to 200,000 animals are at risk from the new campaign. Qin Xiaona, head of the animal welfare association told The Times, “the officials said they did not want the Olympic athletes to see a single stray animal. This is partly because the Chinese care so much about face.” Mrs. Qin wants to know from the International Olympic Committee and the athletes: “Do they feel that they can take part comfortably in the Olympics if the price of the games is the lives of so many animals?” Alley Cat Rescue asks the same question to those of us who support the Olympic Games.
It is a great honor to welcome the entire world to your home town and be enthralled in the glorious buzz of international news. The opportunity to host such a legendary event is in every meaning of the word priceless. Unfortunately, there is an ugly untold story following in the wake of this worldly tradition—cats and dogs living in these areas are horribly killed in order to “cleanse” the future sites of the Games. Stray and feral cats and dogs are poisoned, trapped to be destroyed, or simply killed when demolition crews tear down old structures to build the new facilities. This has been a practice of past Olympic sites and it continues to be a practice of those on the list to host the Games in the future.
It is time to demand the International Olympic Committee to step in and prohibit participating cities from “rounding up” and killing stray cats and dogs as preparation for the Games. The Olympic Committee needs to express their disapproval with such actions and clearly advise against such a horrible protocol. Therefore, ACR is encouraging our members to continue to pressure the International Olympic Committee to take action. We desperately need to let the Committee know that, as supporters of the Olympic Games, we are outraged by the terrible treatment of animals and if the current trend of “cleansing” future sites does not stop, they will lose our support.
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
Tel: (41.21) 621 61 11
Fax: (41.21) 621 62 16
SEND LETTERS TO PARTICIPATING CITIES:
Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG)
267 Bei Si Huan Zhong Lu
Beijing 100083, China
Tel: (86.10) 66 69 91 85
Fax: (86.10) 66 69 92 29
London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG)
23rd Floor, One Churchill Place
London E14 5LN
Tel.: +44 203 2012 000
Fax: + 44 203 2012 001
**To read the entire newspaper article from The Times, visit: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article3427996.ece
**To find more information on the Olympic Games, visit: http://www.olympic.org/uk/index_uk.asp