Introduction to animal welfare
Animal welfare has become a growing topic in recent years, with individuals of all ages getting involved and doing their best to contribute to animal welfare. Especially in India, various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), small to large, have worked tirelessly to raise awareness, support stray animals and provide them with basic necessities such as food, shelter and health care. However, we have not yet arrived at a stage where we can confidently say that we have found the solutions necessary to eliminate HUMAN-ANIMAL CONFLICTS and animal cruelty. Unethical breeding, cruel abuse of stray animals and mutilation or killing of animals are just some of the practices that have increased in India in recent years. The main problem is that despite widespread awareness and education on this subject, we tend to dismiss it and neglect it as a priority.
The difficult times of the Covid pandemic have given rise to such important opportunities for individuals, communities and government to come together and use this difficult time to lay a strong foundation for animals. Food donation campaigns, Adopt-Don’t-Shop campaigns, and health and safety campaigns were some of the actions that took place to educate people on the topics and increase awareness. These initiatives have taken place both online and offline, with communities taking advantage of the digital boom and educating people through social media.
Highlighting the “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act” and the initiatives of several communities
The “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act”, on the other hand, has remained constant since its inception in 1960 and was not revised until the recent incident in Kerala where a “pregnant elephant died after being allegedly consumed a fruit filled with firecrackers”. Following this incident, the need to change the law was highlighted. The government has come up with a draft proposal providing for several types of penalties ranging from Rs 750 to 75,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison depending on the seriousness of the offences. However, little is being done in the same direction and animal welfare laws need to be stricter for wild and domestic animals.
Locating the idea of animal welfare and a “cool attitude” among people
“Localizing the idea of animal welfare can only be a possibility if several NGOs, governments and communities across India come together and take action to raise awareness and educate people about the concept of feeding, adoption , sterilization, vaccination, etc. Localizing the concept to the point where anyone, regardless of age, can participate in various animal-related endeavours. That said, weak execution of this concept can lead to misunderstanding among people leading to poor animal health and abandonment as seen and heard a lot recently across India.
Adopting/purchasing animals just for the cool factor and viewing it as an addition to a better lifestyle, as well as the importation of dogs from various continents, has increased dramatically in India, making pets unable to thrive in the country’s tropical climate which ultimately leads to an unhealthy and in some unfortunate cases, abandonment pet.
Funding Animal Welfare Causes – An Important Factor in Boosting NGO Efforts
“Money” is one of the important factors to consider as several organizations depend on their funds, which are insufficient to care for animals in need, forcing the group to close eventually, especially in TIER cities. 2 where animal welfare is one of the last or untargeted causes.
Donations from families and friends help to a certain extent, but to carry out large-scale operations, including rescue and rehabilitation of distressed animals, medical activities, running an animal rehabilitation center , carrying out programs such as sterilization and vaccination, and managing salaries for Full veterinarians, supervisors, project managers and custodians, a systematic framework is needed to encourage individuals, large and small entities to contribute to the cause of animal welfare and to make this world a safe place for animals and, above all, to reduce HUMAN-ANIMAL CONFLICTS.
In short, animal welfare is a matter of inclusivity, which must be seen as a vital contribution and priority of every individual to animal welfare. A gesture that does not require a lot of time, effort, money or sweat, but rather a little love in exchange for unforgettable and endless love from these adorable creatures.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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