While going through the morning newspapers, one would not have missed the little snippet about how a baby monkey was rescued.
The little animal was almost electrocuted, but survived and is now in the tender, loving care of an organization which sees fit to look after it well. Then again, there was another little anecdote about how a St. Bernard belonging to a high ranking government official was literally waited upon by a large entourage of lower rung officials in Bareilly, recently.
Though this particular event may have happened owing to the high social stature of the owner, such pieces of reportage, about how animals are treated on par with humans, are not rare these days.
Just a few years ago, the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) had publicly proclaimed itself as against the continuous use of non-domesticated exotic animals such as elephants, large cats and monkey in circuses.
What it had ordained was that “this is because the requirements of circus life are not compatible with the physiological, social and behavioral needs of these animals.”
Since then, things have been at least a tad bit better for these poor animals who are subjected to a lot of ill while we sit and enjoy their circus acts. They have to suffer confinement in small-size cages, have to train for their acts for long hours, and then travel in inhuman conditions for sizable periods of time. It is but being human that we are now bringing such torture to living souls to a halt.
Other incidents of cruelty to animals are very much witnessed when experiments are conducted on them in laboratories. For reducing this inhumanity, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has approved of certain methods for humanely killing animals. These pointers are in keeping with the accepted definition of euthanasia. Such guidelines are adapted from the report of the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia, J Am Vet Med Asso., 2013.
In a large number of countries, it is now mandatory to follow such strictures laid down for reducing the stress and discomfort to animals when they are used in the laboratory for experimenting.
What is actually sad is that while on one hand we go all out to look after our personal pets, even ten percent of this good treatment is not meted out to stray animals.
To curtain this, in a place like Mumbai, we even have strayed animal adoption camps these days. In these, it is the stray pups and kittens et al which are put up for adoption and not exotic breeds of animals.
It is extremely heartening to know that such adoption drives are becoming increasingly popular these days. In today’s times, it is not rare to hear of celebrating a dog’s birthday like we do for our own children, or have shampoo and massage parlors for our canine friends. For some, these acts are just some gossip nuggets to chew on at kitty parties.
However, happily enough, for a lot many of us, caring for our animals is truly a labor of love.