ANIMAL ADVOCACY JAPANさまより
ANIMAL ADVOCACY ACTIVIST JAPAN: PART 14
For our latest Animal Advocacy Activist Japan post we spoke with husband and wife team Tomohiro and Kayo Kameyama.
Name: Tomohiro and Kayo Kameyama
Current Location: Tokyo
1. When and why did you become interested in advocating for animals?
Our interest in animal issues grew from the time we found a kitten in a park and rescued him. And, in 2010 we were feeding a very thin stray cat who used to come to our house. She gave birth to a litter. We wanted to apply for the neutering operation subsidy so we registered ourselves as Nerima-ku Neighborhood Cat Volunteers.
2. Which animal advocacy groups are you involved with?
We founded an NPO called “NPO Nerima Neko”. We are also members of NPO Goal Zero, which is a group of veterinarians who work towards zero killing. We are both Tokyo Animal Welfare Promoters, Nerima-ku Neighborhood Cat and Nerima-ku Pet Management in Disaster volunteers.
3. What issues are you most focused on?
We work to reduce the community troubles that are caused by cats without owners. Troubles including cat excrement and urine issues, fights, noise from cats in heat, unwanted litters, irresponsible feeing and so forth. So far we have provided TNR (trap, neuter and release) to 850 cats to control the stray cat population. We also give lectures and workshops to raise awareness on the importance of community work for stray cats.
4. What are your animal advocacy goals?
We are hoping to contribute to creating a place where humans and cats can peacefully co-exist. There are cat lovers who feed stray cats but in contrast there are people who are troubled by cat urine and excrement. We work to prevent any conflicts between these people. Therefore we provide TNR and promote the proper management of cats.
5. How can people in Japan help your cause?
We are hoping to see people working together without giving each other a hard time. We want to see people understanding the issue as a way to improve the environment of the local community instead of criticizing people who feed and love cats. We would also like to see less reliance on volunteers or the local government.
6. How can people abroad help your cause?
Not just in terms of animal protection efforts, but it is always amazing to see how donations and volunteering have strong roots in foreign countries. We are hoping to learn how private companies or individuals effectively operate animal protection activities or organizations without depending too much on the central government or municipal governments.
7. What are the biggest challenges for the animal advocacy movement in Japan?
For a long time the common way to keep cats has been without spaying or neutering and letting them freely in and out of the house. However, society has changed and residential areas have become densely populated. People have lost tolerance and people don’t communicate well. There are residents who do not like cats or do not support feeding stray cats. These differences have caused issues or disputes in our communities.
8. What is your favorite cruelty-free Japanese brand/food/product?
Lush’s soaps, L’occitane’s skincare products and Shojin Ryori in Sado (modern vegetarian food).
9. What resources do you recommend for people interested in advocating for animals?
* Asashi Newspapers Sippo:
(Information webmedia about pets in general)
* “Cats Who Become Happy”:
(We were interviewed for this)
* “Nerima-Neko / Chiiki Neko”:
(This is our blog and is accessed 600,000 times a month. We are trying to promulgate information on how to reduce problems surrounding cats in community areas).
10. It is a hard job advocating for animals. What do you do to relax?
We have rescued and rehomed 360 cats so far. The cats were cold and shaky, hungry and injured, but it is very comforting to think that the cats we helped are now having comfortable lives. The best way to relax is, at the end of the day, to cuddle with our cats in bed.
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