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SPANA To Go To Iraq [09/04/2003]

The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad, is on standby waiting to receive clearance from the Foreign Office to fly into Iraq. At the moment the conflict prevents any direct access but as soon as reasonably possible SPANA will start its mission to help animals suffering in this desperate situation.

SPANA has a history of working in such crises situations and is preparing to assist the animals caught up in the conflict. The dogs and cats of the streets have no voice to make their own case; nor the horses, donkeys, cattle, and camels. Some of the most haunting and unforgettable images of the last Gulf War showed the scorched and bloated bodies of camels abandoned in the shadow of burning oil wells.

Providing emergency veterinary treatment and supplies, SPANA was the first animal charity to establish a facility in Kosovo during the conflict in 1999. Since then, working with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), SPANA has built a refuge for sick and injured animals in the capital city, Pristina. >Recently in Zimbabwe SPANA was able to help set up a system to rescue hundreds of working and domestic animals left behind by many farmers, evicted from their homes in the political turmoil of the land reform policy.

Jeremy Hulme, SPANA, CEO commented, "It is tragic to see the awful suffering of innocent animals caught up in the horrors and brutality of war."

Animal victims of war are invisible – powerless and helpless. While animals in countries such as Iraq are not just for domestic pleasure but are often essential to human survival carrying water, food, firewood and cultivating the land, as well as providing milk and food. Jeremy Hulme adds, "Although clearly the welfare and safety of human beings comes first these animals are vital in a rural society for the peoples long term survival. Someone has to care for them while normality is restored."

SPANA will be supplying vets, supplies and assistance to local agencies under the guidance of the British Foreign Office.

For more information about SPANA visit www.spana.org
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