The Agriculture Ministry is urging the public to report cases of passive animal abuse to police or district vet offices as efforts continue to tighten up legislation.
In a post on its Facebook page entitled: Passive Animal Abuse: what should we know, the ministry notes that during the summer holidays there is a spike in cases of abandonment and neglect of pets.
Problems include keeping them in unsuitable conditions where they are not protected from very high temperatures such as on balconies, rooftops and cages.
“Keeping animals in these conditions is usually passive abuse,” it said and added “active abuse is more obvious, since it concerns the direct abuse and / or killing of an animal (e.g. beating, poisoning, shooting, drowning, etc). Such reports are usually followed by an outcry from society.”
However, passive abuse, although it is often ignored, is equally severe as due to failure by the owners(deliberately or not) to meet the basic needs of their pet, resulting in suffering, pain, even death.
Examples of passive abuse are:
– Failure to provide adequate food (starvation)
– Failure to provide adequate water (dehydration)
– Failure to provide regular veterinary care / examination
– Keeping an animal in areas where it is exposed to the weather (cold or hot)
– Permanently chaining or keeping an animal in a small cage
– Lack of daily exercise
The law (Animal Protection and animal welfare law-http://www.cylaw.org/nomoi/enop/non-ind/1994_1_46/full.html) provides a number of rules on active and passive abuse.
The ministry said it was in the process of strengthening this law by integrating new rules including a ban keeping pets on rooftops and balconies. The relevant bill has been sent to the legal office for legal checks and will be then sent to Cabinet and the House of Representatives.
“It is important to remember that children grow up by drawing life and behaviour lessons from their home, school and society in general.
“If children hear adults in their environment speak with dislike of animals (e.g. animals are dirty, they are dangerous, they do not have feelings) they are very likely to adopt this attitude, they are very likely to adopt this attitude, by continuing the cycle of passive abuse of animals,” the ministry said.
And it concluded by urging those who see cases of animal abuse to contact the district veterinary office or police.