Animal SentienceNews

Rights Activists Unite Against Cruelty on Animals

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Stakeholders on animal rights protection have joined forces against acts of cruelty perpetrated by humans on animals in their surroundings.

At a Virtual Roundtable on Animal Sentience and Prevention of Cruelty organised by Society for Animal Rights Protection, the participants who cut across, Legal, religion and medical sectors held that animals, domestic and wild, have same feelings as human hence the need to uphold their welfare and protection.

Delivering a keynote address titled :”Laws Safe Guarding Animal Sentience in Nigeria: Matters Arising”, A legal practitioner, Sikiru Adewoye Submitted that all religions recognized animals as sentience beings, hence the need to be compassionate about their wellbeing , welfare and protection.

Sentience is about the capacity to bear pain and pleasure. Inflicting pain on animals in any form is cruelty and must be avoided no matter the purpose. We as humans must recognise and respect that. The morality for recognition of this capacity is love. God is love and desires love for all His creatures, humans and animals.”

“For pets and domestic animals, more often than not, human actions of cruelty ranging from neglect, misuse, overuse to starvation and other vices experienced by these animals particularly in food industry provoke their violence. Animals, through positive feelings, reciprocate kind gestures and in some cases return positive feelings for negative actions of man even in the face of their cruel manipulation by their owners or keepers.”

“Until the pains and pleasures of animals become the concerns of Nigeria’s teeming intelligentsia, we cannot properly beat our chests as Good People nay a Great Nation and the National Slogan which we pride in becomes a mere superficial veneer. ”

Speaking on Christianity, Animal Sentience and Prevention of Animal Cruelty, Reverend Julius Adigun, who said famous people in the bible like Abel, Abraham, Jacob/Israel, Moses and David were shepherds, noted that there were instances where the holy book demonstrated the need to treat animals with fairness.

He was of the opinion that Christianity was against act of cruelty to animal, as the bible discouraged eating strangulated animals.

God made provision for wild animals to eat. Exs.23:11

God commanded Sabbath for man and as well for animals Ex’s 25:7

The Bible commanded that Christians should not eat strangulated animals (Act 15:21,29).

God commanded us to even help the animal of our enemy that are down under his burden. Ex’s 23:5

As well as that of our brother- Duet 22:4″

Reverend Adigun however, urged Nigerians to treat animals with compassion and desist from inflicting on the physical abuse, animal fighting, abandonment, illegal trading to exploitation and maltreatment and poaching leading to reduction of animal population.

On his part, an Islamic scholar, Dr. Ibrahim Akande, while speaking Islam, Animal Sentience and Prevention of Animal Cruelty enumerated ways animals experience cruelty which are production, Transportation and slaughter, saying over 200 verses in the holy Qur’an dealt with animals

Harming, disabling, injuring, or cutting out the organs from any animal is strongly prohibited. Muslims may not cut the forelock, mane, or tail of a horse, because it is believed there is goodness in its forelock; its mane provides it warmth and it swats insects away with its tail.”

In Islam, animals meant for human consumption must be slaughtered under strict humane manners. That is only when it is considered HALAAL – permissible or wholesome for Muslims.

1. Preslaughter rest, well fed and watered

2. Must be alive or deemed to be alive at the point of slaughter

3. It should be securely restrained, especially, the head, legs and neck before cutting the throat.

4. Tools and other implements must be for slaughter of halal animals only.

5. Knife must be razor sharp, without any damage or serrated.

6. Killing must be accomplished once – not cutting halfway, go to sharpen the knife and then cut again.

7. Life must depart instantly. It must not be left to struggle or suffer.

8. The animal’s trachea and oesophagus must be severed promptly! The spinal cord and the head be completely severed to prevent immediate and massive bleeding!

Animal must not be hoisted or shackled before bleeding.

10. Hoisting is only after the animal has lost consciousness. The restraining equipment must be comfortable.

11. Further processes and dressing of the carcass must be delayed till all signs of life and cerebral reflex have disappeared.”

Dr. Adigun stated that more advocacy and public awareness was needed adding that punishment should be metted on individuals engaging in the act of cruelty against animals.

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