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We Really Need to Talk About Animal Abuse

It is no secret that animals are one of the most marginalized groups in Pakistan. With only a handful of people and organizations advocating for animal rights, the laws still remain outdated and there is a general indifference in peoples’ attitudes towards animal welfare.

Recently, a case posted on Facebook caused a lot of outrage where someone wrote that when culling the local population of stray dogs in his neighborhood, the authorities accidentally ended up poisoning his pedigree dog as well.

The person was heartbroken, furious and rightly so! The tradition of culling stray dogs is very common in Pakistan. Thousands of dogs are killed every year by authorities to reduce the stray dog population.

But is killing animals the only solution to keeping their numbers in check? No! There is an extremely simple solution adopted the world over to ensure animal populations in urban areas do not become problematic; the solution is to neuter or spay the animals.

Setting up official agencies who will be responsible for animal welfare is incredibly important. The current law regarding animal welfare in Pakistan was passed in 1890 by the British! This is how outdated our legal system is regarding animal rights. The maximum fine a person might have to pay for animal abuse is PKR 500.

And to be honest, the law is scarcely known in Pakistan and not followed at all. Just looking out your window in the car will show you the inhumane treatment donkeys go through, lifting heavy loads which they can barely carry.

People defend killing dogs and their cruel behavior towards them by citing that dogs are considered dirty (napaak) yet we forget that we are supposed to be kind to animals since they cannot speak for themselves.

street dog animal abuse

Killing animals to control their populations makes no sense whatsoever. The money and time which is spent in culling animal populations can be put to better use if government agencies are set up to keep these matters in check. The same resources which are used to kill these animals can be used to sterilize them and to put them in animal shelters for adoption.

There are a lot of people who are working towards making more humane treatment of animals a norm and hopefully into a law. But without the government stepping in and passing legislation and then making sure it is being enforced; not much can be done. There is no shortage of compassionate people who would happily work for animals’ welfare if given the chance to do so. The government needs to step up and realize their responsibility towards their four legged citizens.

However, as citizens of Pakistan, as humans, we can do our part. If you see animals being abused it is your duty to defend them. Animals cannot speak thus it is our responsibility to speak for them.

They are sentient beings capable of emotions and feelings; they feel pain, love, happiness and much more.

If you see a donkey carrying a huge load then you need to speak up. The laws may be outdated but they still exist. If you see someone poisoning cats and dogs, stop them. If you see an animal hurt, take them to the vet or at the very least contact the many foundations and organizations working for animal welfare and alert them about the situation.

These organizations include ACF Foundation, Todd’s Welfare Society and many more. I also encourage you to donate cash to these organizations which are being run by private individuals and rely on the public’s generosity.

It is our responsibility to look after our animal friends. If you do not speak out against animal cruelty then who will?

Rameeza has four loves; Freud, Food, Felines and Feminism. She occasionally writes and voraciously reads. You can tweet her @rameezay.

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