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Ending wanton cruelty towards animals

  • Published at 12:02 am October 6th, 2019
Animal rights activists form a human chain to commemorate the World Animal Day, organized by PAW in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka on Friday, October 4, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Despite being made a criminal offense, animal cruelty is still quite prevalent in our country

Bangladesh, sadly, does not have the best track record when it comes to upholding the rights of animals.

From the wanton cruelty committed against stray animals, to the abhorrent conditions in which creatures are housed at pet stores in places like Katabon, the curse of animal cruelty has hardly been dealt with, despite laws and regulations.

With the world having observed World Animal Day recently, we have an opportunity to reflect on our own practices towards helpless animals.

Despite being made a criminal offense, animal cruelty is still quite prevalent in our country, and one of its more recent manifestations is the culling of dogs in various parts of the nation. Indeed, while a fairly new phenomenon, it had risen to alarming heights earlier this year.

However, one of the more unknown forms of animal abuse is the conditions in which horses are kept in the capital. Horse carriages are a common sight in Bangladesh, including the capital, and these horses are not fed properly, have little to no shelter, and are kept in wildly unhygienic conditions despite the excessive labour they are subjected to.

This is unacceptable.

While the nation has seen some positive legal provisions meant to discourage animal cruelty, such as the Animal Welfare Act, they will mean nothing if not put into practice and enforced.

Progress cannot be defined solely by economic wellbeing alone -- much of it comes down to our humanity, and it is our kindness and compassion towards creatures who cannot speak that we will elevate ourselves as humans.