Bringing Animal Welfare to the Classrooms
At BAWA – The Bali Animal Welfare Association – we believe education is the most important aspect in addressing animal welfare issues, and to educate the children is a way to ensure a brighter future for both children and animals.In 2012 we will be adding different age levels in to our curriculum which we are very excited about.
In 2011, BAWA held classes about rabies and animal welfare in almost all primary schools throughout Gianyar and in other regions. The program was focused on animal welfare, responsible pet care and rabies issues. We educate children following the five freedoms principles, information about bite prevention, rabies, how to handle a dog bite, and how to care for pet animals and farm (non-companion) animals. They were also given information about adopting a dog or cat from BAWA. The response to our education program is always overwhelmingly positive.
Animal welfare education for adults
Apart from public schools, BAWA runs public education programs. We also run seminars and workshops targeting women of banjars (sub-villages) from PKK (Family Welfare Education), klian banjars, head of villages, and community members all over Bali. This program also focuses on responsible pet ownership, rabies, bite prevention, and animal welfare issues. We discuss the importance of herd immunity, vaccination over culling. These public seminars are life savers for both humans and animals. On many occasions, villagers were panicked about rabies and they wanted their dogs to be poisoned. BAWA’s education team was able to go into the banjars with presentations about herd immunity and why vaccinating the dogs is the answer to rabies, explaining the symptoms of rabies, revaccinating the villages’ dogs and collaring them, and also running sterilization programs, therefore stopping approximately 85 percent of the mass culling.
Animal welfare seminars
We produced and presented an animal welfare seminar at Hindu Indonesia University in Denpasar, Bali along with the rector and the student body of the university. There were 150 participants including veterinarians, vet students, religious students, and representatives from Non-Governmental Organisations.
A very well respected Hindu priest, Ida Pedanda Gede Made Gunung , was a key speaker at the seminar. He spoke out against culling dogs and in favor of vaccination. He spoke about animal sacrificing and many other issues related to animal welfare. What followed was a very lively discussion and questions from the audience to the priest which was very insightful for all. The afternoon session was led by Janice Girardi, the founder of BAWA, and a line of prominent vets and professors who formed a panel to talk about animal welfare issues.
BAWA plans to hold more seminars in Bali in 2012 with the kind support from WSPA.
~ Thanks to Janice Girardi and her team for their excellent work in Bali. www.bawabali.com
11 dogs, previously adopted, were now stray again after the death of their guardian. They were no longer welcome at their community and are being cared for and re-socialised by BAWA volunteers.