• Friday, Apr 03, 2020
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Saying no to animal cruelty

  • Published at 10:56 pm February 27th, 2020
rides an elephant during a soccer game at Dhaka Zoo
AFP

A nation is indeed judged by how its most vulnerable members are treated

Thanks to a persistent campaign by animal rights activists, we are pleased to see that the Bangladesh National Zoo has suspended its elephant rides. 

Animal rides such as these are a form of animal abuse, and it is encouraging to see that institutions in our country, especially public institutions such as the zoo, are becoming more and more conscious of this fact -- this is evident in the steps taken to ensure that animals are not made to suffer for no reason.

One cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering of these elephants, as they were forced to provide rides to up to 1,000 people every day. 

What we hope for, moving forward, is for this mind-set to spread across other institutions and avenues of behaviour so that we become a nation that truly pays attention to the suffering of animals. 

A nation is indeed judged by how its most vulnerable members are treated, and these animals should be no exception.

It is unfortunate that we do not have the best track record when it comes to treating animals with kindness, with examples of wanton cruelty making news on a regular basis.

In fact, only two weeks ago, as many as 200 dogs were culled in St Martin’s island, with some reports saying that the culling had been ordered by the local union parishad itself. 

The fact that they were either beaten or poisoned is testament to how cruel we can be sometimes when it comes to the treatment of animals, despite there being specific legislation which makes such behaviour punishable by the law. 

However, such a step from the Bangladesh National Zoo is encouraging, to say the least, and hopefully stands as a stepping stone for a nation that is making animal cruelty unacceptable.