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Reading skills - STOPPING BEASTLY PRACTICES


Klausimas #1


STOPPING BEASTLY PRACTICES

     At the back of the holiday hotel in Tunisia, where Lucie Smith and her fiance were staying last year, was a starved and suffering chestnut horse. Its ribs stuck out like a toast rack and it had open sores* on its leg and a huge open wound on its hind quarters. The sight of its daily suffering spoiled their holiday.
     'It really cut us up*. We spoke to the owner but all he did was try to sell us grass to feed the horse. Then he got abusive,' he said.
     When they got home, they sent a photograph of the animal, with all the details, to SPANA, the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad, who went to investigate.
     Holidaymakers in Mediterranean countries can sometimes be extremely upset by the conditions of the animals they see. Some of them may never return again, as a result. There was the well publicised case of Blackie the donkey who was rescued from a Spanish fiesta by a British tourist aided by competing tabloid newspapers.
     SPANA was set up in Britain 75 years ago by two women who were holidaymaking in North Africa in 1920. Nowadays, the organisation operates in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan and lately Syria. Governments often ask for its assistance and help it spread the message of better animal care.
     'It's easy for Westerners to get the idea that all Arabs are cruel to animals. This just isn't the case,' says Jeremy Hulme, SPANA's chief executive and until 1992 director of operations in Morocco for four years. 'You sometimes see an old man leaning against his donkey chatting to a neighbour, and he's patting and caressing the animal as he talks. A lot of the problems we see arise from ignorance and poverty. When a 6ft man weighs only 8.5 stone*, how much food can he afford to give his animal? A single dose of wormer* costs £5 — what peasant can afford that?
     Every year SPANA helps 300,000 donkeys in Tunisia and Morocco. Their workers go to the weekly markets, and treat the donkeys in the nearby donkey park. They dress sores, worm the worst cases, and adjust ill fitting shoes*. Severely ill animals are taken back to the nearest animal hospital. 'The local people are used to us. It's not crazy Britts. Our workers are local farriers* and veterinary technicians.'
    Tourists can help the fight for better animal care. "Find a local policeman. Be nice to them, try to explain, and they will often respond well. This is your best chance of getting something done immediately," advises Hulme.
     'If that fails, try to find a SPANA refuge in the phone book. If something can be done, we will do it. A lady at Tarroudante phoned up about a donkey and we did something about it even though it was a four hour drive across the Atlas mountains from Marrakech.'
     Once back in England, holidaymakers should write a polite but firm letter to the local embassy. 'These countries are desperate to encourage tourism and if at the end of the trip tourists say they won't come again because of what they saw, they do care,' says Hulme 'Oh yes, and please join SPANA.'

a sore - a wound; skin infection; to cut up - to make unhappy; 8.5 stone - about 54 kilos; wormer - medicine for treating animals with worms; a shoe - a horseshoe; a farrier - a smith who shoes horses; a person who treats the diseases and injuries of horses.


Which statements are true (YES) and which are false (NO)?

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