Letter: Japanese pets

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The Independent Online
Japanese pets

Your article "Japanese fads condemn pets to mass slaughter" (7 February) made very depressing reading.

Unfortunately, such appalling treatment of unwanted dogs is not uncommon in the Far East. But it is especially inexcusable in Japan, which is a rich country whose people often spend a great deal on acquiring their pets in the first place. In fact, many of the animals that finish up in Japan's disgusting pounds have been bought at great expense from British or American breeders.

These breeders could greatly help matters by refusing to sell dogs or puppies to Japan until they are assured of adequate safeguards for their welfare. This does not mean that Western dogs are more deserving of protection than any others, but it would draw attention to the scandalous conditions now prevailing.

It might shame the Japanese government into introducing, and enforcing, animal protection laws to make people responsible for the proper care of animals in their charge, and to ensure humane destruction when necessary.

JOAN HAGGARD

Harpenden, Hertfordshire

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