Incorporating Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) and Animal Voice


2nd August 2006



Dear Dr Schoeman,


South African School Teacher to address the United Nations on Humane Education


Further to our request to the Constitutional Review Committee for the formal acknowledgment of animal sentience and our duty to care for animals, I herewith kindly inform you of two significant developments. Please could you pass this information on to other committee members so that they can be aware of these developments before the meeting on Friday (August 4):


1.  Vivienne Rutgers, an Eerste River teacher who has served with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) for 31 years, has been invited to address the United Nations Forum on Millennium Goals in New York on September 7 2006. She will speak on Humane Education (the learning of respect for all life) as part of sustainable development.


 2. The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has seconded Vivienne Rutgers, as from today, to a managerial role as Subject Adviser in order for her to roll out Humane Education through the Revised Curriculum, in all schools nationally.


3. The Superintendent General of the WCED, Mr Ronald Swartz, supports the acknowledgement of animals as sentient beings. This is what he says:  “How we treat animals and how we treat each other are two stems that grow from the same root. If there are thorns of neglect, contempt or cruelty on one, we can be sure to find them on the other.”  These sentiments are based on a presumption that animals are not products, but are sentient beings and as such, deserve our care and respect in all our dealings with them.


Acknowledgement of ‘sentience’ does not mean that we cannot use animals. It means that we are obligated to use care and respect in our interactions with animals.



With Kind Regards,


Louise van der Merwe

CEO: The Humane Education Trust

SA Representative: Compassion in World Farming

Editor: Animal Voice

Cell: 082 457 9177

Tel/fax: (021) 852 8160   E-mail: