Spare a thought
Posted on May 30th, 2013

Ms. Michelle Alexander

In Sri Lanka the laws pertaining to the welfare of animals are antiquated, and lag behind other nations which have incorporated higher ethical and scientific standards into their legislation.

The current bill on Animal Welfare has already been sanctioned in 2006, but is yet to be enacted. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The governing ordinance is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, No. 13 of 1907, which is an outdated statute and does not apply to all animals. For instance, the ordinance interprets ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-animalsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ as any domestic or captured animal and includes any bird, fish or reptile in captivity. In other words, protection is only limited to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-captiveƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-domesticƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ animals, thereby leaving animals outside these categories from the protective arm of the law. For example, stray dogs and other street animals.

Little is reported on the account of abuse meted out to stray/owned dogs and other street animals. They are abandoned, abused, starved or kept confined in enclosures too small for them. One of the most recent stories is where 38 dogs were given poisoned meat and killed in Buttala during Vesak season. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Some of these poor souls were pets and had owners, whom are surely cursing the heartless killers who committed these evil acts.

Just like the bad, there is the good as well. There are many organizations and private individuals devoted to the welfare of these animals. Two that come to mind are Animal SOS Sri Lanka and Adopt-a-dog. Animal SOS Sri Lanka is a UK registered charity, and they run a unique facility for street animals. Adopt a Dog in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is a non-profit organization that mainly focuses on finding good homes for homeless animals. People can help in sponsoring dogs, donating, volunteering and fundraising. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ You can learn more about the work they do from their websites:ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ &ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ You can also follow them on facebook atƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ &ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚

3 Responses to “Spare a thought”

  1. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    I agree. Rather than taking extreme measures such as banning the slaughter of animals for consumption, it is wiser to progress in a manner to encourage voluntary refrainment from consuming meat, as well as treating all animals with empathy.
    What is urgent in SriLanka, just like in a vast majority of countries, is to legislate to prevent cruelty to animals, whether kept at home and zoo or, taken to abattoirs for slaughtering.

  2. Voice123 Says:

    All animals, wild or domestic must receive protection from cruelty and penalties must be fitting. Focussing solely on promoting vegetarianism is not enough.

  3. michelly200 Says:

    Changing a lifelong habit is not easy and will take time (I can attest to that). But gradually it could be done. There must also be a plan of checks and balances to manage and maintain the existing populations of livestock/poultry, like food, veterinary requirements, sterilization to make sure there is no drastic increase in numbers and so on. We must not only learn to be compassionate, but responsible as well.

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