Grand Bahama
Grand Bahama children learn about Humane Treatment of Animals
Oct 14, 2015 - 10:52:39 PM

Emaciated abandoned dog with severe foot infection (Photo from Humane Society of Grand Bahama)

The topic on October 10th, 2015 for the EARTHCARE Eco Kids Saturday Environmental Education Programme was “Humane Treatment of Animals”. Gail Woon, Founder of EARTHCARE and a Director of Save The Bays, says, “This was our first session for the 2015/2016 school year. Our guest speaker was Tip Burrows of the Humane Society of Grand Bahama: “The interaction between animals and humans is at the heart of humane education. It is all part of our concern for the well being of our planet; over the use and often, abuse, of the animals, plants and natural resources we share the earth with.

Why is the humane treatment of animals important?

Because they are also intelligent, sentient (self aware) beings, just like us. They feel happiness, sadness, pain, hunger, thirst…just like us. They have hearts, brains, lungs, etc., just like us. Because it’s morally and ethically wrong to mistreat, neglect, abuse, torture, tease or otherwise harm another living creature.

HUMANE definition: marked by compassion, sympathy or consideration for humans or animals.

Havana Gibson, EARTHCARE Eco Kids Team Leader showing the EARTHCARE Eco Kids a 3 day old kid (baby goat) at Ol’ Freetown Farm on Saturday, October 10th 2015.

The FIVE FREEDOMS all animals are entitled to:-

1. Freedom from hunger and thirst

2. Freedom from fear and distress

3. Freedom from discomfort

4. Freedom from pain, injury and disease

5. Freedom to behave naturally

Basic responsibilities for pet owners include but are not limited to:

1. Vet care

2. Prevention of parasites and disease

3. Good quality, species appropriate food

4. Clean, cool fresh water at all times

5. Comfortable living conditions (protection from the elements)

6. Companionship and LOVE

Animal cruelty is against the law.

These definitions are related to our discussion today:

George Johnson, Owner/Operator of Ol’ Freetown Farm gives the tour to the EARTHCARE Eco Kids on Saturday, Ocotber 10th 2015.

Empathy being aware of and sharing another person or animal’s feelings, experiences and emotions

Sympathy a showing of sorrow for another’s loss, grief or misfortune

Compassion sorrow or pity caused by the misfortune or suffering of another

Advocate a person who argues for the cause of another

Activist a person who campaigns for some kind of social change; in this case, environmental or animal causes.”

We discussed various types of animals, how to best maintain pets, and the implications for wild animals that become entangled in improperly disposed of waste. Our EARTHCARE Eco Kids will learn about mangroves, pollution, habitat destruction, sustainable fisheries, climate change, invasive species, shark conservation & research, and today, the humane treatment of animals.

Belize turtle freed from plastic tie credit John Chinundet 2007 Marine Photobank.

Gail Woon shared her experiences as a Dolphin Trainer on Grand Bahama and the many reasons why she is now an Anti-Captivity Advocate. Dolphins in the wild can travel up to 40 miles a day, dive as deep at 30 feet or more and most live in family units that remain together for a life time. The world wide thirst to see dolphins and whales in tanks has caused these self aware beings to have to live under inhumane conditions as “slaves” to make their “owners” large sums of money. The Taiji drive hunt that is featured in the Oscar winning film, “The Cove” has made the world aware of the captive industry’s “dirty little secret” and the newest film, “Blackfish” has enlightened many more.

“EARTHCARE would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our guest speaker and the entities that made this programme possible including but not limited to Kevin Tomlinson, the Kevin Tomlinson Cultural Center, H. Forbes Charter & Tours, George and Sissel Johnson, Owners/Operators of Ol’ Freetown Farm, Aisling Brooks Rademaker, the parents, guardians and teachers.”

Seabird dead from ingestion of plastic

At the Ol’ Free Town Farm, the students learned about the many animals there. Owner, George Johnson, a veteran farmer, gave an educational tour, during which the students were allowed to hold a 3 day old kid (baby goat), saw the Inagua donkey, a bull, many types of chickens, geese and other birds. The students were amazed by the many animals on the farm including a pot bellied pig named Patches who was hand raised as a family pet, many different varieties of chickens, turkeys, peacocks, rabbits, guinea pigs, an iguana and Abaco boars. George’s wife, Sissel Mosvold-Johnson orchestrated the horse rides which the majority of our students tried. Horseback riding lessons are available at the Farm. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are committed to the proper treatment of animals and firmly believe that educating our children on their methods of farming, that our youth will be mindful of practices that are environmentally and animal friendly when making choices about what they eat and how they treat animals.

At Ol’ Freetown Farm fresh organic eggs from free range chickens are available. No hormones or artificial ingredients are used in the chicken feed. The farm grows organic greens and vegetables including bok choy, parsley, beans, broccoli, dill and tomatoes, to name a few.

After the incredible experiences at Ol’ Freetown Farm, our students received amazing animal themed cupcakes designed by Aisling Brooks Rademaker.

EARTHCARE Founder,and Save The Bays Director, Gail Woon was elated, “The EARTHCARE Eco Kids Environmental Educational Programme began with an exciting and successful field trip on Saturday, with a lesson in best practices in animal husbandry and a visit at the Ole Freeport Farm.”

The programmer runs from October 2015 through April 2016 with the sessions being followed by a related field trip. Students will receive certificates at the completion of the programme.”
Tristan Rampersad, EARTHCARE Eco Kids Team Leader holds a 3 day old kid (baby goat) to show the EARTHCARE Eco Kids at Ol’ Freetown Farm on Saturday, October 10th 2015.


What you can do

Be kind to animals.

Learn about the proper care and attention that a pet needs, then if you and your family have the time and the resources to properly care for and love a pet, consider adopting a rescue animal from the Humane Society.

Take classes that are animal friendly such as a bird watching class.

If you see an animal being mistreated report it to the Humane Society.

Volunteer at the Humane Society, at a veterinarian’s office or a farm.

After you have educated yourself, spread the word and, teach your friends.

Don’t buy a ticket to captive marine mammal shows.

Write letters to Government if you have concerns about what our Government is doing with regard to the Humane Treatment of Animals in the Bahamas.

Start or sign a petition about your issue.

Join an environmental NGO (Non Governmental Organization) such as EARTHCARE, Humane Society of Grand Bahama, Bahamas National Trust, Save The Bays, Friends of the Environment, BREEF and many others.

For more information on the EARTHCARE Eco Kids Programme beginning in October, 2015, contact: “EARTHCARE”, or call 727-0797. Spaces are available and there is no cost for the programme.

L-R EARTHCARE Eco Kids Team Leader, Tristan Rampersad presenting Tip Burrows, Humane Society of Grand Bahama with Certificate of Appreciation at the first session of EARTHCARE Eco Kids Environmental Education Programme.

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