Government plans to update archaic animal welfare laws – Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: In an effort to end animal abuse and raise awareness, the Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit has planned a comprehensive Animal Welfare Act that aims to review centuries-old animal laws in plus “strict regulations” to discourage the importation of exotic animals.

The head of the reforms unit, Salman Sufi, said Dawn that his department with the Ministry of Climate Change was working on animal welfare law in Pakistan as the country had become a “horrible place” for these creatures.

He added that his ministry will propose a ban on keeping exotic animals as pets on federal territory which will then be sent to the prime minister for approval.

At first, the said law will be implemented in the federal capital, and then the provinces will also be invited to replicate it,” said Mr. Sufi, adding that contributions from stakeholders were sought to make the law more comprehensive.

Strict regulations regarding exotic animals, potential ban on cards; children will learn about animal welfare and stray animals in Islamabad schools

He lamented Pakistan’s outdated animal welfare laws and said the existing rules from the 1800s were outdated – there is only a Rs 50 fine for anyone who mistreats animals.

“Special course”

In a tweet, Salman Sufi also said the government was preparing a “special course” on animal welfare for schools in Islamabad which would teach them compassion and a humane approach to animals. The course, which will be introduced in educational institutions by the end of October, had already been mapped out, he said.

It will mainly be included in a subject but we are still determining which subject and which chapters,” he said, revealing that the course will be introduced “according to the intensity of the program” and will be taught to classes. from the fifth. level in private and public schools.

Mr Sufi explained that the course would also have after-school sessions and animal rights activists would visit schools and teach children how to keep pets. They will tell children that pets cannot be kept just for fun and will make them understand that pets are a responsibility, he added.

“And with each course, the depth of the course will increase,” he added.

Besides pets, Sufi continued, students will also learn about stray animals. “They must understand that they cannot throw stones at stray dogs…even Islam teaches us to respect every living thing and insists on how animals should be protected.”

exotic animals

The law would also have strict rules in terms of keeping exotic animals as pets.

“People won’t be able to keep a lion in a single-channel house and will need a much larger space for the wild animal to roam around in,” Salman Sufi said. He did, however, hint that his department would try to have the practice banned.

“We will tell children that if they can afford these wild animals, it is absolutely unfair to keep them at home and importing exotic animals is a big no,” Sufi said, noting that the government was also in contact with international organizations. and local activists about the projects.

Rescued Himalayan Bear

Separately, the Punjab wildlife department rescued a “dancing bear” from the streets after being reported by locals.

“The nearly two-year-old Himalayan black bear and his handler were presented in court in Gujar Khan before being handed over to the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB). The handler- dog was fined Rs 10,000,” Punjab district wildlife officer Rizwana Aziz told the wildlife department. Dawn.

According to the official, the bear’s canines had been extracted but she was in good health.

Ms Aziz said her office also responded to reports of leopard killings and wounding of livestock in parts of Kahuta. One goat was killed and two others were injured while grazing in the nearby forest, the official said, adding that there were no complaints from the villagers in this regard.

However, the Punjab Wildlife Department had already launched a relevant human-leopard conflict awareness campaign in the potential rural areas of Kahuta tehsil, Rawalpindi.

Posted in Dawn, September 19, 2022

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