A friend who vacationed on Biyadhoo Island in the Maldives this past December encountered the abuse of animals. Her snippet of paradise was turned into a vacation in Hell. It was discovered that friendly cats and kittens were intentionally having limbs broken and being sent to neighbouring Villivaru Island. An island that would have little to no fresh water or food available for these animals to survive causing them to potentially starve to death.
Below is her story:
The basis behind the #boycottbiyadhoo and the #RescueBlue campaigns are based on my experience on Biyadhoo Island in the Maldives in December:
- Myself and other tourists witnessed the abuse of new born kittens and cats, including the deliberate breaking of a cat’s back leg (a death sentence as the cat already had a disabled front paw) and the results of a near strangulation of a kitten (Blue’s sibling). I also discovered that previously cats had been caught and dumped on a near-by island, Villivaru, with no water supply and limited food – many had died miserable deaths through thirst and starvation.
- The management of Biyadhoo Island were confronted with this and informed that this was not acceptable behaviour and that tourists are not happy for this to be happening to the animals. I proposed to pay for a vet to fly to the island to neuter the cats to ensure that the over-population of cats would cease. I also stated that I would be adopting Blue and her injured sibling too – Blue is the most beautiful kitten, physically but more importantly character wise too but did not strike me as a “street savvy” cat. The alternative would be a campaign bringing to light this abuse, as well as the poor condition of the coral on the island. I was assured that the abuse would stop and that the dumping of the cats would stop – on the basis that I would organise for them to be neutered.
- Days after I returned from Biyadhoo Island I found out, via a tourist still there, that the order had been given to clear the island of all cats, including Blue and her sibling. $10 was paid per cat and they were dumped on Villivaru and left to die. Blue was amongst the first to go.
- I have had confirmation that Blue is still alive but her condition is deteriorating. With the dry season now starting in the Maldives without human intervention she will die of thirst or starvation as she is only a few months old. The other kittens and cats dumped face the same fate.
- For Biyadhoo this clearing of the cats also means the rat population will now explode and the management will turn to rat poison to clear the rats – I had this confirmed myself while I was on the island. Environmentally this is highly irresponsible and from a tourist’s perspective this means further destruction to the coral and potential health hazards due to the chemicals.
If you like me feel that this is a barbaric and inhumane action from a hotel management that is clearly only interested in making money in the short term and that we need to take action to save Blue and the surviving cats then please join the #RescueBlue campaign. There are a number of ways you can help:
- Help spread the news. Share this page, share the Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Twitter posts.
- Use #visitmaldives, #Biyadhoo, #BoycottBiyadhoo #RescueBlue when posting about this
- Contact the big travel agencies, in particular Kuoni and Tui, and demand that they stop promoting Biyadhoo Island Resort
- Post to Tripadvisor to warn tourists of the reality of Biyadhoo Island – focus on animal abuse, rat poison and dead and dying coral
- Contact the minister of tourism in the Maldives via Twitter Ahmed_Adeeb or Facebook and demand that something is done. Contact the Ministry of Tourism itself by sending them a message asking for action (there is a form under “contact us on the top right hand side).
- Contact the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, which is responsible for animal welfare and has at least one vet working for them – again demanding action via the “contact us” section
- Post your objections on the Biyadhoo Island Resort Facebook page and demand action. Email them via email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Post to #visitmaldives and the Visitmaldives Facebook page demanding that they take action so as not to jeopardise the reputation of the Maldives
- Contact any vets you know and ask them for their help – we URGENTLY need a vet to provide advice on how we can get Blue and any other kittens vaccinated & chipped immediately so we can bring them back to Europe as soon as possible. I will fly out to get her as soon as the 21 days are up but we need someone to administer the first round of vaccine.
- Join the #RescueBlue Facebook group
- Contact the press – the Daily Mail and other newspapers – and write your own blogs to express your outrage at this situation
- Sign the online petition
Social media Pressure – the goal of all of this is to get some urgent action to save Blue and the other cats. Desired results are for the Maldives authorities and/or Biyadhoo to supply the island with food and water and help get Blue and her sibling ready to travel to Europe. Biyadhoo could also take the cats back and look at following the original offer that was placed on the table – neuter the cats and let them stay, unharmed on the island.