Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mob Kills Tiger Again

Despite India’s dwindling tiger population and the massive amount of resources spent to raise awareness about tiger conservation, a tigress was killed in Chhattisgardh state when with better planning she could easily have been tranquilized and released into the wild.

After six hours of being pounded by stones, when the bloodied tigress collapsed in a heap, a delirious cry broke out in Aamagon Bagrutola village. As forest officials took away her carcass, villagers took out a victory procession to celebrate the killing!

Who is to blame for these brutal killings of defenseless animals? Why the forest officials did not resist the move of villagers to kill the tiger? These are the questions which remain unanswered. Can’t the government, which claims to spend so much money in the name of tiger conservation, educate the locals about the importance of wildlife conservation?

A special drive to educate the general public, needs to be launched immediately. We have to make people understand that the conservation of wildlife is essential for the survival of the mankind. The forest officials need to be armed to fight off the menace of hostile crowds, and smugglers who kill helpless animals and trade off their body parts. What the government needs is an honest and sincere approach to end this mayhem of such majestic animals.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Little Reprieve for Animals

It is heartening to know that the government of India has been taking good steps towards the safety of stray animals and even pets. Some time back a strict law was proposed that anybody involved in cruelty against animals will be heavily fined and even imprisoned. Similarly, mutilation of pets for cosmetic reasons has been made an offence. An advisory sent out by the Animal Welfare Board of India to veterinary councils, colleges, kennel clubs and other institutions likely to carry out such procedures states that practices like docking of tails and cropping of ears will now be punishable with both a fine, or imprisonment, or both.

Traditionally, Doberman, boxer, Great Dane and Cocker Spaniel pups have been subjected to tail docking, but veterinarians say there is no reason for this practice to continue. In fact, there is no reason for humans to inflict any kind of injury or cruelty to animals as they have been companions to humans from the beginning, and have contributed to the civilization in ways more than one.

Though the government initiative is laudable, simply making laws against animal cruelty is not going to help. We will have to ensure that these laws are enacted in the best ways. There should be task forces or committees to make sure stray animals and pets are not being tortured by whimsical people. It will largely depend on the people to understand that animals feel pain and have emotions like us humans, and that they deserve our love and compassion. A drive to educate people about animals and how they are needed for our own survival is going to help a great deal in this direction.