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.