Posted On 21/10/2011 By In Investigation & Analysis With 767 Views

The times they are-a-changing: Tibetan culture & belief system starts adapting to the reality of animal birth control (ABC)

Article by Eileen Weintraub (Help Animals India) Seattle, WA USA

The message was clear "Don't breed or buy, while homeless die". Many Tibetans especially the rich Rinpoches buy "good breed" dogs while completely neglecting the stray dogs. Volunteers spoke on this during the camps

It was 30 years ago in the USA when (usually) the wives of the immigrant Tibetan families would ask me to sneak the pets that they had for spay/neuter (as the husbands were not in favor of it).   Apparently in the Buddhist scriptures it is stated that it is a cruelty to animals to be neutered.  Well that can still be debated but thousands of years ago they did not have anesthesia or the humane capture techniques that we have today.

Our small contribution follows on the heels of Vets Beyond Borders, Bardot Fondation, Humane Society International and Worldwide Vet Services in bringing ABC to areas of Buddhist India and Buddhist countries.

Partially funded by Help Animals India  – Tibetan Volunteers for Animals (TVA) with the help of the vets and supporting expertise of Sarvoday Sevabhavi Sanstha (Mysore) did spay/neuter (ABC) + rabies vaccination (ARV)  for 874 dogs and 12 cats & conducted humane awareness camps in the Tibetan Settlements of Mundgod and Drepung  (South Karnataka) this summer of 2011.

This project was the joint outcome of multiple agencies: not only was the project funded by multiple sources but that TVA could work together with Sarvoday Sevabhavi Sanstha. Master dog handler Mark Johnson saw the photos and was impressed with the way the dogs were handled.  TVA is now fundraising to set up mobile clinics and camps in Tibetan areas in South India.

There are still areas of India where ABC is not trusted at the Buddhist monasteries. However I learn from PFA Dehra Dun that the monks there are starting to bring in their pets for spay/neuter. Times certainly are a changing.

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