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Stop the Ill-Treatment of the Panda Chow Chows.

This petition had 3,606 supporters

Cosmetic bodily alterations are I'm certain, really good fun; and should overall improve the subject's outward appearance, and his/her sense of self. However, save the extreme modifications and parades for the pageants, and keep animals out of it.

Yes, extreme.

The 'Panda Chow Chows', was a business venture that started presumably towards the end of January earlier this year. Their website promptly featured the 3 dogs, having had their fur dyed black in various areas to bear remarkable resemblance to panda bears. It also stated that the dogs were available for hire for the purposes of photo shoots, corporate events and day rentals where any person would be able to 'own' the dogs for a day. Much of the local dog-owning community has been outraged by the owner, Meng Jiang; who has taken to Facebook to air her disappointment and dismay. However, many of the comments spoken against her, were taken down as soon as they were posted by netizens. While various complaints were lodged directly, there seems to have been no action taken on her part.

If you haven't already realised what is wrong with this, here's the lowdown:

1. There is no way to ensure the safety of the dogs from prolonged and extensive use of animal dye.

Understandably so, the 'animal hair dye' used for the 'panda aesthetic' of the dogs has been cleared with the relevant authorities (CTFAS). However, it is also important to note that 'animal dye' isn't a hundred percent safe, and the subject is still an ongoing debate by relevant authorities and international animal rights groups world-wide. While 'non-bleach formulas' or 'vegetable dyes' have been given the go-ahead by local authorities, the commercialisation of these animals means repeated and long-term exposure to these chemicals to maintain their appearances. The accompanying harmful effects have no need for further discussion. It is also important to note that the dye typically takes 15 minutes for the colour to set in their fur. Dogs frequently lick their fur, and any consumption of the dye, regardless of how 'non-toxic' it might be; will become dangerous, if not fatal for the dogs. 

2. Part of the 'panda aesthetic', are enlarged black circles around both the eyes.

No amount of 'non-toxicity' is going to prevent the risk of damage to the eyes from the chemicals present in the fur dye, no matter how 'organic' they may be. I do not need to explain the harmful effects of their repeated exposure, in the course of their commercialisation.

3. Dogs are domesticated animals; and the beauty of their species also presents itself in the intimate and private relationships they make with their owners, and the familiar environments they learn to call home.

Simply put, being subject to new 'owners' on a daily basis, and getting taken to new environments without the presence of their actual owners; is going to place them under extremely stressful conditions. This in turn affects their psychological well-being drastically. And in their case of being utilised to provide a service, it is called 'exploitation'. While there are no immediate symptoms of emotional stress, dogs are unable to communicate their distress to their owners for obvious reasons. Only under severe circumstances, do they manifest with extreme behavioural reactions.

While there is no clause under the 'Animal And Birds Act' that disallows the dyeing of animal fur, I believe the commercialisation of the 3 Chow Chows and their repeated exposure to foreign chemicals especially around the eye area, is a cause for serious concern. We need as much support as we can get to raise awareness to the relevant parties, and for them to approach the issue with the respective authorities.

We hope Ms Meng Jiang soon recognises the serious health risks she is putting her dogs through, and stops her hazardous practice as soon as possible.

Otherwise, this petition is also addressed to Mr Louis Ng, Founder of ACRES (Animal Research Concerns And Education Society), the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the AVA (Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore); as an appeal for intervention to stop the commercialisation of these animals, and to ensure that no other similar business ventures see the light of day.

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Written by:

Mitchell Fang

Nathanael Ng

Gilda Soh

Bibiana Soh

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