Mahatma Gandhi once quoted, “the state of development of a nation can only be judged by the way their
animals are treated”. This quote shows how important it is to take good
care of animals as they are also living things, just like us. Animal cruelty is
the acts towards animals which can cause death or by making their lives unpleasant.
This is a very serious matter which is actually happening all around the world.
There are many organizations in Malaysia like Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Malaysian National Animal Welfare Foundation
(MNAWF) that are working hard to improve and handle this issue. However, we
also need to carry our responsibility in order to decrease the violence rate
and cruelty towards animals. Animal cruelty is a broad subject which covers the
type of animal cruelty, examples of animal cruelty and ways that should be
taken to stop animal cruelty.
There are two types of animal cruelty which are active
cruelty and passive cruelty. Active cruelty is also considered as intentional
abuse and it happens when the abuser tends to abuse the animals physically. For
example, killing, shooting, beating, strangling the innocent animals for their
own selfish needs. In active abuse, there is significant focus on the animals
where the abuser aims to cause discomfort and suffering to the animals, and
feels good from his or her action (Ascione, 2008, p.225). Passive cruelty is a
type of cruelty where it does not involve physical abuse but the owners neglect
their animals by not giving them sufficient foods and drinks which may lead to
starvation and dehydration, poor shelter during unpleasant weather, and lack of
veterinary care. Animal neglect is attributed to lack of concern to animals’
suffering and failure to act where the animals conditions are completely
disregard and the abuser does not care about the suffering that may occur
(Ascione, 2008, p.225).
Next, there are many examples of animal cruelty. The
examples can be classified into three categories such as for entertainment
industry, clothing and experimentation. In the entertainment industry, animal
circus is very common. The training method can be very extreme and brutal. This
is because, the trainers use dangerous and painful tools to train the animals
such as muzzles, electric pods, whips and many more. The animals are also
chained and locked in cages. Besides that, animals’ fur are also used for
clothing. The process of getting the animals’ fur are very inhumane as there
are certain animals that are skinned alive. The animals were beaten to death,
slaughtered, electrocuted, poisoned and suffocated all for the sake of money
and fashion industry. For instance, due to the uniqueness and valuableness of Karakul’s
lamb fur, which is known as “astrakhan,”
“broadtail,” or “Persian wool”, that starts to untwine and straighten in less than
three days of birth, many Karakul lambs are slaughtered while they are still
newborn or in their mother’s womb (Animals
Used for Clothing, n.d). Other than that, animal cruelty is also
shown during experimentation on animals such as animal testing for cosmetic
products. Most of the animal testing process takes place because the cosmetic
company wants to evaluate the safety of the products ingredients. The examples of animal tests
involve forcing rats and mice to breathe in poisonous gases, force-feeding dogs
with pesticides,and rubbing corroding chemicals into rabbits’ skins and eyes
(Suckow and Stewart, 2017, p.22).
Apart from that, there are several ways that we can do to
stop animal cruelty. One of the ways is by reporting the act of animal cruelty.
If you witness animal cruelty, quickly report it to the local animal control so
that they can take further action. Make sure you provide as much information as
possible to assist the investigating officer. Animal neglect may need an
educational visit from animal control officer while animal abuse may require
the relocation of animal from the home (Rosenthal, 2012). Besides that, public education is also vital
in order to educate the public about animal cruelty. Public seminar, campaigns,
conference, and expedition can be held to raise awareness about animal cruelty.
For example, you can invite speakers to share their experience dealing with
animal cruelty or by giving a talk on how to become a responsible pet owner.
Through educational programme and public awareness about animal welfare, we can
try to intervene in this matter before violence begin. Furthermore, enforcing
the law is also one of the ways to stop animal cruelty. Recently, our country
has officially implemented Animal Welfare Act
2015 (Act 772) on 1st June 2017. The new law has much stricter
penalties for a range of offences after animal protectionists have pressed for
stronger animal welfare laws. According to Minister of Agriculture and
Agro-based Industry, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, those who are found guilty of abusing
the animals will be fined a minimum of RM20,000 and court action (New Straits Times,
2017). By enforcing the law, it will give a lesson to animal abuser so that
they will not repeat the same mistake again and also as a warning to the society
about this issue. Therefore, it is our responsibility to stop animal cruelty by
reporting it to the authority, giving public education and enforcing the law.
In conclusion, we should know the types and examples of
animal cruelty and also ways to stop animal cruelty from becoming far more
widespread. The two types of animal cruelty are passive and active cruelty, and
it come in many forms such as for entertainment, clothing and for experimental
testing. As a responsible citizen, it is very important for us to be alert
about the animal cruelty that is happening around us and we should take serious
actions whenever we see animal cruelty by reporting it to the animal control, raising
awareness by organizing public education and by enforcing the existing law.
There are more people who are not aware of animal cruelty and thus it is our
responsibility to instil the awareness of animal welfare to the public in order
to create a better future for all living things.