Raising and killing of animals are becoming one of the greatest exploitative industries in the world. Nepal is a minor player due to our culture and religion.
The footage showed a cow with huge udders giving birth and its calf brutally taken away in a wheelbarrow as soon as it landed on this earth; thousands of chicks thrown into shredders, dumpsters, and stomped upon, crushed, suffocated, and buried alive; pigs and buffaloes hit with sledgehammers and knives until the pain brought their end, blood oozing from their nose; sheep brutally sheared, with parts of their skin scraped off; gentle dogs, rats, rabbits with infections, their body parts swelling from the side effects of experimentation; variety of dog breeds forcefully impregnated again and again and crammed into filthy kennels, their bodies finally giving away.
These were just short clips captured by undercover cameras in farms, laboratories, breeding centers, and slaughterhouses. But it was enough to show the unethical and brutal handling of animals.
You don’t have to be an animal lover to realize this.
Before I move on, let me clarify that this article will not hail or praise vegetarianism or veganism. I want to advocate for the humane treatment of animals and make you realize the importance of their basic rights so that they don’t suffer from brutal barbarism.
The animals who are destined to be slaughtered not only suffer painful deaths but their entire life revolves around being mishandled by humans. Take the example of buffaloes—they are born from unethical breeding and injected hormones for more meat. Some are transported to slaughterhouses in excruciating heat and uncomfortable cramped positions, tied from their noses, while others are impregnated again and again until the old ones are sold off to the leather industry.
Nepal’s Animal Health and Livestock Services Regulation (2000) has provisions that encourage the humane treatment of animals brought for slaughter. Despite this, there is no implementation of these provisions, clearly showing the gaps in policy. Animals may not need equal rights in the way humans do, but in the view that they too can feel pain, it is important to give them rights that provide them with a life free from torture and abuse. The Muluki Ain of 1854 was very progressive with respect to both animal welfare and animal protection. However, in January 2017, Parliament passed a legislation under National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act (1973), which opened the door for wildlife farming, breeding, and research for the private sector, further weaving a path for the exploitation of animals. That is why animal rights stand out as an important issue that needs to be addressed.
The raising and killing of animals is becoming one of the greatest exploitative industries in the world. Nepal is still a minor player in this global trade primarily due to our culture and religion. Still, in the very initial stages, we have a high chance of changing the course we are in by introducing animal rights in Nepal.
Measures to follow
There are various types of measures and alternatives that can be adopted in the process of securing animal rights. Instead of poisoning animals in the name of animal population control, like most street dogs face, a better alternative would be to establish shelters, neuter centers, and clinics. Moreover, it is important to have managed and clean shelters so that diseases don’t spread.
Similarly, using humane methods in the meat, leather, and dairy industries is extremely critical. Instead of using outdated measures for killing, pistols that bring instant death can be used. It is surprising that only one butcher in Nepal currently uses a firearm. Another humane method would be controlled breeding of animals. Implementing provisions to obtain a license to run breeding centers could also be another solution. Furthermore, because people respond to incentives, those who abuse animals should be penalized. Nepal can take reference from countries like Switzerland, Austria, and New Zealand while moving forward to formulate and implement animal rights laws.
We all share this earth and though it may not be apparent, our lives are interconnected. Mercilessly and mindlessly using and killing animals not only brings unneeded pain upon them but also guilt upon our conscience. Taking effective steps to bring animal rights into action to save them from such terrors is crucial.