18 May 2018

Malawi: 'Comprehend Animal Protection Law'

Lilongwe — Central Region Police Commissioner, Goodwell Botomani has urged police officers to familiarize themselves with the Animal Protection Act of 1970 in order to help them address cases of animal rights abuse better.

He made the call Thursday at Lilongwe Police when the Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (LSPCA) conducted an Animal Protection training to drill police officers, members of community police forums and chiefs on freedoms of animals.

Botomani explained that this would enhance the Police's capacity to safeguarding the rights of animals.

"When we are training our police officers, we normally teach them issues like criminal law, human rights and other related laws, that maybe they could not even know of this law.

"That is why this time around we are taking it upon ourselves that our Police Officers should actually be trained on this law. My Office through the community policing and public relations departments has been going around the police formations in the central region to update police officers on this law," the Commissioner noted,

Botomani added that the training would help the participants gain knowledge on how the communities would be treating animals in their areas.

Education Coordinator for LSPCA, Edison Chiweta said his organization decided to engage the Police due to the rising cases of animal rights abuse, especially amongst people who carry and sale animals on the road sides.

"Those people selling animals by the road side are violating the animal freedoms of hunger and thirst, because when they are selling the animals there in no provision of food or water, and they keep the animals by the roadside the whole day dehydrating them in them scorching sun.

"They are also abusing the animals' freedom from fear and distress as they usually mishandle the animals, in the process abusing their freedom of pain, injury and disease," he explained.

Chiweta pointed out that selling of animals along the road sides could pose a threat a health risk as some people could likely be selling animals that have not been vaccinated against diseases like rabies.

"That is why we came together with the police to train the police, community policing forums and chiefs on the rights of animals.

"And we are happy to find out that the Police support the freedom of animals in accordance to the Animal Protection Act of 1970 which stipulates that animals should not be subjected to cruelty," the Coordinator hinted.

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