Interest in animal welfare drops without international students

By Catrίona Hughes

DCU’s animal welfare society, Whisker has raised over €1,000 so far this year for various sanctuaries helping homeless animals in Ireland.
The figure emerged following a neutering awareness campaign and sponsored fast in aid of www.whiskersnewpark.org, which was held in the Street last Tuesday.
Whisker has been set up to unite animal lovers in DCU and most importantly, to help animals through fundraising, lobbying, volunteering and awareness campaigns.
However the society has seen a huge decline in participation from DCU students this year, following the departure of many Erasmus students. It appears that international students have been more concerned about the importance of animal welfare than Irish students.

“The events we have organised are better, but participation is now poorer,” claimed Whisker Chairperson, Avril Noble.
There are currently over 16,000 homeless dogs in Ireland. The majority of these dogs end up in the pound and most are killed after five days because the government will not hold them for any longer.
However, there are now over 700,000 homeless cats in Ireland. Many homeless cats are born into this and are often referred to as ‘feral’ cats.
“The government currently has no involvement in cats. They are legally classed as ‘vermin.’ This means that you can tear out a kitten’s eyes with your hands and it’s not illegal,” Noble told The College View.
Whisker believes in a simple solution to solve animal homelessness: to trap, neuter, release or rehome where possible.
With participation numbers plummeting, Whisker is urging students to get involved and help improve animal welfare.
The society will be working alongside DCU’s Art Society next month to campaign against cosmetic testing on animals.
Whisker will also be hosting a cake sale in April for a soon to be selected sanctuary. The society will then be distributing leaflets to students regarding neutering in order to raise awareness.

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