Mobile clinic for animals on hold over license plate
Vet says project would show Beijing’s humanistic nature amid public concerns
The launch of a mobile clinic for stray animals in Beijing has been delayed for a year, as theNGObehind the project first needs to obtain a license plate for the vehicle.
Volunteers with the Ta Foundation for Animal Protection said the 1 million yuan ($148,450) project, which could help neuter hundreds of stray cats and dogs, was partially paid for using donations from about 8,000 netizens.
However, in Beijing, companies and individuals are required to enter the licenseplate lottery every two months. The measure was introduced to control the number of new vehicles on the roads.
“We have been participating in the lottery for a year, but we still haven’t got one,” said Lu Ping, a project manager for the foundation. “Right now, all we can do is continue entering the lottery and hope for the best.”
She said the NGO has contacted Beijing’s transport commission to ask whether it can get special approval, but officials said such approval is only given to hospital ambulances.
The vehicle, a modified Iveco van, cost 650,000 yuan to buy and an additional 300,000 yuan to equip. Once on the road, Lu said the plan is to visit communities with large numbers of stray animals to provide checkups and to sterilize them.
Some of the people who donatedmoney to the project
All we can do is continue entering the lottery and hope for the best.”
project manager for the Ta Foundation for Animal Protection
Lu Ping, have raised concerns over the delay, suggesting that the NGO find an individual who already holds a license plate to register the vehicle.
Zhang Xiaohai, secretarygeneral of the foundation, said this is not possible, as it would be against the regulation governing charities that states crowdfundedassetscannotbe transferred to an individual.
However, some netizens said regulations should be fair to everyone, including NGOs, while others questioned wether it is necessary to use a car for animal protection use.
AnMengchen, a veterinarian at Beijing Companion Animal Hospital, said the mobile clinic would not only benefit stray animals, but also display the city’s humanistic nature.
He said most of the stray animals have oral diseases, infectious diseases or injuries, which are usually the reason they have been abandoned.
“The rescue vehicle for stray animals will encourage people not to abandon pets with diseases,” An added.