Why so Much Concern?
The organization "Animals R Friends" was established in St. Maarten to combat the ever-increasing problems that animals face every day. Animals cannot speak to us in our language but they are beings and they feel pain as well as love or compassion, just as humans do. Unfortunately, there are many humans who are afraid to believe this. So the foundation was organized to make sure the Sint Maarten community becomes more involved in the well being of the SXM fauna through legalization, education, and by increasing awareness that animals are friends and not property.
Is it so long ago that slavery existed? Was that not considered to be a wrongdoing by mankind? Is it so long ago that women had no rights? Was that not considered wrong? Just as the abolition of slavery was a necessary step in achieving equal rights for African-Americans in the United States, the termination of ownership rights over animals is a necessary step in the achievement of seeing animals as having rights. Elsewhere in the world, for example, the Israeli Animal Welfare Act and equivalent laws in Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, New Zealand and elsewhere clearly specify that their objective is to protect animals. Recently, the French civil code was amended and animals were conceptually separated from other types of property. More and more legal systems are seeking to reconcile the incompatible definitions acknowledging animals as beings with rights. In St. Maarten, the laws are inadequate. Brutality and abuse to animals continue to exist where the offenders are rarely, if ever, punished only the animal suffers.
Animals R Friends" was created to pursue legislation for the rights of animals and to pursue stronger enforcement against guardians who neglect to protect animals against harm. The following constitution has been established for the foundation:
Name:the name of the organization shall be Animals R Friends SXM, hereinafter referred to as the Organization.
Body Corporate.The Organization shall:
- Exist in its own right, separately from its members.
- Continue to exist even when its membership changes and there are different office bearers.
- Be able to own property and other possessions.
- Be able to sue and be sued in its own name.
The purpose of the Foundation is:to protect and further the well-being and health of the animals on ethical grounds with a view toward protecting human and animal.
recognizing that humans do not currently include non human animals (herein after referred to as "animals") within their sphere of legal, political or moral rights holders, and recognizing further that because most humans do not generally respect animals for their inherent value, the Organization has as its primary objectives, to protect and further the wellbeing and health of the animals on ethical grounds with a view toward protecting human and animal and to carry out the following:
- To update legislation by cooperating with governments, private organizations and the public by 2004 and to campaign for abolition of the "property status" of animals, and the acknovvledgement by individuals, corporations, institutions and the state that animals cannot be "owned".
- To improve enforcement of legislation by cooperating with governments, private organizations and the public by 2005 by campaigning for animals to be treated with the respect to which, as individuals, they are entitled by virtue of possessing inherent value.
- To educate the community that animals are friends via organization of lectures, workshops and other types of meetings and events and enhance the awareness and knowledge of the public concerning its objectives. And to educate the public with regard to the suffering that results from random and institutionalized abuse and exploitation of animals.
- To promote the philosophy of animal rights and ethical conservation in order to show that animals, plants and other natural phenomena such as unspoiled wilderness areas, mountains, valleys, rivers, etc have an inherent value, which is independent of any value which humans attach to them.
- To show that animals exist in their own right and are not, individually or collectively, whether wild or domesticated, a means to human ends.
Recognizing further that animals are suffering physically and emotionally as a result of the abuse and exploitation to which they are subjected, the Organization, in terms of its secondary objectives, undertakes to do all in its power to end this suffering by means of the following:
- Maintaining a campaign encouraging humans to adopt cruelty-free lifestyle.
- Rescuing animals from abusive situations whenever this is possible, and placing such animals with human individuals or organizations most capable of taking the best care of such animals.
- Initiating projects and campaigns that will highlight specific types of animal abuse, exploitation and neglect and implement measures to end these.
- The Organization will keep proper records of everything that it owns.
- Funds will be raised in any manner, and wherever, the Management Committee deems legal and proper.
- The Organization may not give any of its money or property to any of its members or volunteers.
- Members of the Organization, including volunteers, may be refunded for expenses incurred on behalf of the Organization if the incurring of such expenses had the prior approval of the Management Committee.
- Members or volunteers of the Organization do not have rights over assets of the Organization.