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 their 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 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.
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 many more people who are not aware of animal cruelty and therefore it
is our responsibility to instil the awareness of animal welfare to the public
in order to create a better future for all living beings.