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(Updated 31/7/01)

Conference attracts worldwide interest

MORE THAN 200 delegates from 30 countries across the world packed the recently held fourth International Companion Animal Welfare Conference (ICAWC) – jointly organised by the NCDL.

People wishing to make a real difference to the welfare of animals in their countries joined worldwide organisations to debate important issues including euthanasia, humane education and population control.

The event, also organised by the North Shore Animal League, America, gave attendees the chance to discuss the emotive issue of animal population control and euthanasia. High on the agenda for discussion was the use of non-lethal methods such as neutering as a kind alternative to killing healthy, homeless dogs and cats to control their numbers.

Animal overpopulation is widespread the world over and results in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of healthy dogs and cats each year. The NCDL and North Shore Animal League believe that a comprehensive, widespread neutering programme is the humane way forward to rapidly reducing dog and cat populations. In the longer term, education also plays a significant part in improving the welfare of companion animals.

The event’s euthanasia debate was chaired by Merritt Clifton, editor of the internationally circulated newspaper, Animal People, and delegates were welcomed to the conference by Istanbul's deputy governor, Dundar Gultekin. During their two-day stay, the guests also visited a dog shelter just outside Istanbul.

Also on the agenda at this year’s conference were issues including animals behaviour, effective legislation, veterinary issues, shelter management. The NCDL also led discussion on education for adults and children.

NCDL Chief Executive, Clarissa Baldwin, commented, ‘The conference was a total success and we were thrilled that more than 200 international delegates joined us to debate issues including euthanasia and the humane alternatives to this population control method. Let’s hope that together we can make the world a better place for companion animals.’