Buddhist Animal Rights Conference adopts Resolution calling on Govt. of Sri Lanka to enact the Animal Welfare Bill

The Buddhist Channel, Oct 18, 2016

Seoul, South Korea -- The first Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference co-hosted by Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) and Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) was held successfully at Hotel Skypark Kingstown, Dongdaemun in Seoul, South Korea on Friday September 30, 2016 immediately after the conclusion of the 28th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists Conference in the same city.

<< DVA members at Hotel Skypark, Kingstown, Dongdaemun, Seoul, South Korea (Sept. 26, 2016). Left to Right: Bob Isaacson, Ananda Mahinkanda,Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan, Senaka Weeraratna, Henry Dang (Hon. Secretary-General, Buddhist Federation of Australia), Dr. Chamith Nanayakkara, Albert Mah

It was a full day Conference.

One of the Resolutions adopted at the Conference called upon the Govt. of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to have the Animal Welfare Bill enacted without delay. It said that it would be tantamount to an inexcusable lapse if Sri Lanka were to celebrate in year 2017 the UN Day of Vesak at an Inter - Governmental level, without extending appropriate legislative protection in line with Buddhist values and Sri Lanka's historical animal friendly cultural heritage, and modern standards of care and treatment, to animals.  

The keynote speaker was the well-known Buddhist monk and animal advocate Venerable Master Hai Tao from Taiwan. He spoke on Compassion for All Beings.

Other speakers were who presented at the conference were:

1) DVA President, Bob Isaacson who spoke on the Buddha’s Teachings on Sentient Beings and How We Can Live Kinder.

2) Dr. Chamith Nanayakkara (Veterinary Surgeon and Chapter leader of the Kandy Chapter of DVA in Sri Lanka ) who with his team have generously given free treatment to more than 50,000 animals

Dr. Nanayakkara raised the question, is it consistent with Buddhist teachings for humans to kill animals in response to overpopulation? Instead a method consistent with the Dhamma is readily available: the spraying and neutering of dogs, cats and other animals.  

3) CARE Founder & President Ms. Soyoun Park ( a Leading Animal Rights Advocate in South Korea)

4) Professor Chang-gil, Park ( Ph.D.) of Sungkonhoe University, Seoul and President of Voices for Animals. He spoke on the topic ' What can Buddhist organisations do to protect world laboratory animals?"

5) Film Director Ms. Yun Hwang (who has  made a documentary film on introspection of the modern livestock industry and its interaction with Animals). She spoke on the topic 'Mercy and Peace of Eating'.
The various speakers dealt with issues related to implementation of humane animal control methods, spraying and neutering of animals, animal experimentation, animal agriculture and plant-based nutrition.

There were two workshops  held at the conference: the first focused on Advancing the Cause of Animal Rights in the Buddhist Community and the other at the end of the Conference dealt with the moral issue of  Living Kinder and Eating Kinder – using what was learned at the Conference for the Welfare and Happiness of All Beings.

A vegan Lunch which was entirely plant-based (no animal foods) and reflecting Korean cultural tradition and cooking was served to the delight of visitors from overseas.

Among the distinguished attendees at the Conference were Mr. Phallop Thaiarry (Secretary - General of the World Fellowship of Buddhists), Mr. AJ Garcia (President, CARE), Dato Ang Choo Hong (Malaysia), Ms. Loh Pai Ling (President, Buddhist Missionary Society, Malaysia), Mr. Lee, Tae - Ghill (Director of Committee, Lay Buddhist Association of South Korea), Mr. Park, Sang - Kyu, Dr. Lee Chi -Ran,  Mr. Basumitra Barua (Bangladesh), Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan (Australia), Mr. Senaka Weeraratna (Chapter Leader , DVA Colombo, Sri Lanka), Mr. Lakshman Hettiaratchi( Sri Lanka), Mrs. Sandamali Hettiaratchi (Sri Lanka), Major - General Sardha Abeyratne (Sri Lanka), Mr. Albert Mah (DVA Chapter Leader, Perth, Western Australia), Mr. Ananda Mahinkanda (DVA, Los Angeles, USA), a Nepalese Buddhist leader and Mr. Senarathna Liyanage (Sri Lanka).