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Violation of animal rights worries activists – Police nab one

Written by  Limbani Chuma Ngwata

Malawi Police in Ndirande Blantyre on Monday May 21, 2018 arrested 40 year old private auditor John Gawanani Banda for allegedly beating and subsequently killing his three dogs.

Animals like dogs also have rights Animals like dogs also have rights

According to police spokesperson for Blantyre Augustus Nkhwazi, the suspect on the material day was preparing to take his five dogs to veterinary at Blantyre Society for Protection and Care of Animals (BSPCA). Police said the dogs were becoming difficult to get into the car, and the suspect started kicking them with his boots mercilessly before getting them on to the boot of his car.


“Upon arrival at the vet in Blantyre, two female puppies were found dead due to fractured skull and spinal injury respectively. One male puppy which had bleeding nose and mouth and a wound on pelvis was treated with pain relief medications, but sadly died later on Tuesday morning,” explained Nkhwazi.


According to police, officials from BSPCA reported the incident to Ndirande Police Sub - Station. Acting on the report, Police arrested the suspect and charged him with 'Cruelty against animals' contravening section 3 (a) (b) Cap 66:01 of the Laws of Malawi.


Currently, the suspect is on police bail and is expected to appear before court any time soon to answer the charges. The suspect hails from Jumbe Village Traditional Authority (TA) Kapeni in Blantyre.


Meanwhile, a number of organizations that fight for the rights of animals have expressed worry over rising cases of animal rights abuse especially amongst people who carry and sale animals on the road sides across the country.


As one way of protecting animal rights, recently Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (LSPCA) conducted an Animal Protection training to drill police officers, members of community police forums and chiefs on freedoms of animals.


Education Coordinator for LSPCA, Edison Chiweta said his organization decided to engage the police and other stakeholders as one way of making sure that those engaging in malpractice should be able to face the law.


“Those people selling animals by the road side are violating animal freedoms because when they are selling the animals there is no provision of food or water, and they keep the animals by the road side the whole day dehydrating them in scorching sun.


“They are also abusing the animals’ freedom from fear and distress as they usually mishandle the animals, in the process abusing their freedom of pain, injury and disease,” Chiweta explained.


Concurring with Chiweta, one of the animal activists Cinzia Del Bufalo said the selling of animals along the road sides could pose a threat of a health risk as some people could likely be selling animals that have not been vaccinated against diseases like rabies.


She however called for concerted efforts in protecting animal rights and stiffer punishments should be given to offenders if things are to change.

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