Behavior change crucial to protect animals’ rights


Islamabad, JAN 21: /DNA/ – The district administration is fully committed to protect animal rights. We have the required legal framework, laws and even high court’s judgment on animals’ rights and the administration is taking every measure to ensure compliance on these directions, said Shehryar Arif Khan, Additional Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, while speaking at a webinar on ‘Islamabad Safe for Strays,’ held by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). 

He said the district administration along with related departments has been working according to the guidelines provided by the experts to make Islamabad safe for the animals. He said we have nine vaccine centers in the district which, however, need to be upgraded and aligned with these departments. 

The Director Governance and Policy WWF, Dr Imran Khalid said that WWF mainly deals with conservation issues, however, it can also provide expert suggestion to the government on the protection of animal rights. He was of the view that we need to update our laws regarding the animals’ right. He called for awareness raising on protection of animals.  

The Founder Strays Home and Rehab Shelter, Dr Ghani Ikram, informed the participants that with the help of district administration and some donors from the private sector, we are making efforts to make Islamabad a model city for the animals and other co-habitants.  He said the livestock department which has all the necessity facilities can play a vital role in this regard. 

The Manager Rabies Free Pakistan, Mr Faraz Saeed, was of view that first we need to spread the message all across Pakistan that animals also deserve sympathy and that a change in the mind set towards the animals is needed. Ms Wajeha Javed was of view that we need to work on the rabies first instead just taking the whole picture of animals’ rights.  

Animal Right Activist, Ms Faryal Nawaz, emphasized that the government and civil society should work together to create general empathy towards animals. Ms Mahrukh Qizalbash, Policy Research Consultant, Freshminds, UK, was of the view that animals should be declared as essential beings and provide all the legislative and infrastructure support for their safety and safe wellbeing.  They need to be vaccinated, she added.  Ms Ayesha Ilyas, Coordinator Advocacy, SDPI, earlier, highlighted that unfortunately aggression towards stary animals, especially towards dogs have been on the rise, hence, we must have clear guidelines for treatment of strays to discourage such negative behaviors.