Consider Animal Welfare Tax

Australian vet Michelle Gray (left) and Esther Honey Clinic practice manager Amy Compton

Australian vet Michelle Gray (left) and Esther Honey Clinic practice manager Amy Compton

Cook Islands News, Tuesday April 01, 2014
Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor, My partner and I had dreams of visiting the beautiful Cook Islands. That dream was realised and it was more than we expected back in February-March 2013.

We found that the beautiful people were honestly friendly and the scenery was surreal.

Our adventurous spirit and our lack of local knowledge took us to a place few have ventured. We will be forever grateful for the boys from the Port Authority for their act of humble heroism.

We also have been enriched by the companionship that we enjoyed from the local stray dogs which were extremely friendly and they enjoyed our company as we did theirs. They would be waiting for us from our day trips full of gratitude for our friendship and offerings. They made our holiday very memorable.

We heard of “The Esther Honey Foundation” and we decided to buy some dog food for the animals that they are helping as they helped us with wonderful memories. It is worth noting that the cost of dry dog food is comparatively extremely high and supermarket chains should consider sourcing dog food manufacturers that supply in bulk which would lessen the burden on low income pet owners in the Cook Islands. This would also reduce the pressure of abandoned animals in the Cook Islands.

A discussion on the number of stray dogs to be euthanised is not the answer. The money spent on “animal euthanasia” would be better spent on education and spading. Pictures of dogs put down are heart breaking to see. It is a result of humans and humans should fix this suffering as we are all creatures on this planet that deserve a right to a healthy and happy life.

Tourism is a major industry in the Cook Islands which benefits from healthy animals and a reduced number of strays through spaying. Perhaps tourism could help fund spaying via an introduced “Animal Welfare Tax”. — Bark Australia