Animal Cruelty in Pakistan
Pakistan, being a developing country, is facing colossal problems. These problems come in the form of political unrest, collapsing economy, religious fanaticism coupled with various socio-economic issues, and worst of all, the collective conscience of the country seems to be in peril. These increasing problems have given rise to passivity instead of unifying people to come up with constructive solutions. We’re in a rut because of our mindset and the youth feels like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. This mind-set is depicted through how we treat those who cannot stand up for themselves. Tackling one issue after the other for the past seventy-two years, we seem to have stopped believing in the power of humanity somewhere along the way. We no more think about the welfare of animals. Animal cruelty is up swinging each day. Pakistan is an abyss where humanity is lost.
In my opinion, one’s mentality is what gives birth to a country’s problems. We think so low that anything above our thoughts hurt our ego and self-esteem. We all teach and that just because we can express our thoughts, we are superior to animals and they do not deserve to be treated well. Since animal rights and giving those rights has always been the bottom of the barrel, it’s high time to address this issue. Animals are as significant as plants to the environment.
Law enforcement issues
Pakistan has always struggled with law enforcement. Animal rights and law enforcement is no different. The government and the law enforcers do not register animal cruelty as a crime. Anyone can shoot or poison the stray dogs and will get away with the murder. Not just this, the government had ordered a mass culling of the dogs up until last month in Karachi. All of this as an attempt to rid Pakistan of rabies instead of focusing on scientific interventions.
A leading animal shelter has convinced the government in working towards a better Pakistan together. It has been under talks that the government would withdraw mass culling of dogs and run a spay-neuter program instead. Not only this, but it has also been agreed and published in the news that not every dog is a rabid-dog so as to spread awareness. Violence is rarely the answer. This has deeply moved me and made me more altruistic towards the animals. The people physically abuse donkeys. The poor people still use them for transporting bulky goods. To no one’s surprise, there are no laws to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Role of Animal Shelters
Only a handful of animal shelters are working across the country to protect the stray animals. The veterinary care is below par and inaccessible in most parts of the country. Evidently, this has led to a more inconsiderate attitude towards the wellbeing of animals. We must call out against the massive injustice to ensure animal safety. Only through proper vigilance and by highlighting these issues, we can tackle these issues.
I have been fortunate enough to have a few opportunities to address this issue. I visited Innocent Pets Society and Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation animal shelter in my summer vacations and I was able to learn more about them.
Not only this, being the president of the Helping Hands Society of my school, I have decided to take my club members to the animal shelter as my first project to show everyone how important animal welfare is to our society. I am also planning to run a week-long charity drive before visiting the animal shelter so as to collect blankets, food, and first aid supplies for the animals.
Moreover, as social media is a platform that can provide an accessible and powerful tool kit for highlighting and acting upon issues, I always keep myself updated for the news related to animal cruelty. Recently I took part in a panel discussion in my school and raised this very concern amongst teachers and fellow students.
Steps to counter the issues of Animal cruelty
The government and other groups need to take action to ensure the safety of these animals. They are:(i) to educate the masses into peacefully coexisting (ii) and to have extensive welfare services available for the animals.
I would bring all the current welfare organizations and rescue NGOs and bring them on board for a massive change in how things are being done here in Pakistan. Ensure that the government implements the laws and people follow them. As all this needs resources and leadership, that’s what my main focus will be.
Public attention regarding this matter is imperative. I would gather the masses and educate them through public speaking sessions, panel discussions, and having celebrities and other significant members of the society, endorse the need for us to stop animal cruelty and start caring for and protecting them. As a leader, I would arrange charity drives across the country to gather funds and donations. These will either be used to upgrade the current facilities, training the person who runs such facilities, and opens more animal shelters. Hence, I will help many community leaders make an impact.
I would take this matter of concern to international forums for animal welfare. Networks such as IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare), WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals), and others could help me. Having them on board to launch more animal welfare programs in Pakistan, will be a step in the right direction.
Animal cruelty is not a problem, it’s a crime!