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Bangladesh struggles with cruelty towards animals

  • Published at 09:46 pm October 31st, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:57 am November 1st, 2017
Bangladesh struggles with cruelty towards animals
In July 2015, Bangladesh made the first arrest in an animal cruelty case. Police had arrested three people for beating a dog in the streets of Rampura. The animal welfare group, Obhoyaronno, later filed a case with the Rampura police station. The arrest was only made possible because the locals bothered rescuing the dog, and reported the names of the perpetrators and testified against them. Social media was ablaze once more after reports of two dogs and their 14 puppies being buried alive in Rampura surfaced. Bagichartek Welfare Association, a local youth engagement club in Rampura, with the help of a local security guard named Siddique were allegedly the culprits. Locals said Siddique and his aides separated the puppies from their mothers, who put them (puppies) in individual polythene bags, while their mothers were put in two separate plastic sacks before burying them all together. Locals claimed that this was not the first time that a dog has been brutally killed in the area. Even though city corporations and private organisations have various programmes to provide birth control and anti-rabies vaccination in different areas, brutality and killing of stray dogs is not unusual in Bangladesh. Furthermore, videos of animal abuse that circulate online have also been reported several times. For instance, a video that circulated on social media back in January showed a youth, reportedly from Savar, brutally torturing a dog by hurling a large rock at him. In another incident in September 2016, another video circulated on Facebook that recorded the murder of a dog. Following the incident, an animal rights group offered a Tk1 lakh bounty for any information that may lead to the perpetrator. Obhoyaronno founder Rubaiya Ahmed said that Dhaka’s Rampura is identified as a “heavy abuse area,” as similar incidents were reported earlier, followed by arresting people in connection with animal brutality. Yet, such incidents continue to happen in the locality. “Those who can kill animals can kill a human too. We want to create more awareness in the community to stop abuses,” added Rubaiya. According to Cruelty to Animals Act, 1920, if the perpetrators are found guilty, they will be punished with either six months of imprisonment or a Tk200 fine or both. However, a new draft that received cabinet nod earlier in February 2017, consists of stricter provisions to stop cruelty toward animals and ensure responsibility for their welfare. According to the new draft of the Animal Welfare Act, the guilty can face imprisonment of maximum two years or Tk50,000 fine or both, for killing animals. The draft also proposed a maximum of six-months of imprisonment and a Tk10,000 fine or both to those accused of animal cruelty. Rampura police station’s Sub-Inspector Nasir Uddin told the Dhaka Tribune that the post-mortem examinations of the animals were conducted on Monday and are waiting for the formal report to arrive. When asked on whether they have kept the perpetrators on watch, he said: “We have every single details of the accused, who were named and identified by witnesses. We are investigating them.”