Kathmandu, Feb.12: Owing to grave negligence from Road Division, Office (RDO), Chitwan, a rhino died by falling in a freshly dug roadside ditch in Bharatpur Gondrand Road section in Chitwan on Jan 23.
That shows how laws regarding animal protection are undermined in places where animals are expected to be the most secure and safe. At least seven other rhino deaths have occurred in the park as per the census record of April 2022.
Ganesh Prasad Tiwari, Information Officer at the Chitwan National Park, said, “In this case of rhino death, no effective decision regarding the protection of animals in CNP has been made despite the heart-wrenching death of the endangered rhino.”
Similarly, another incident of animal cruelty was seen in a clip that was shared on Instagram by the username Tuiyana Basnet, two men are seen repeatedly hitting a dog, ‘Khaire’ with a spade and a rod while the poor animal was tied to a pole. This incident was recorded on March 21, 2020. This is just a representative case of animal cruelty, hundreds of videos of animal cruelty are still there on social media.
Even though these incidents evoked a massive public outrage following the incident, but, no significant change was observed after that, leading to the repetition of cases of animal cruelty even today. In addition, no law was formulated to avoid future such incidents, which is contributing too many repetitive cases of animal abandonment, slaughtering, and animal cruelty.
Pramada Shah, the founder of Animal Nepal, a non-government organization said that even though there are laws for the protection of animal rights, they are not sufficient to promote animal rights. There is outrage after incidents like “Khaire dog”, but it slows down after some time, and no repercussions to people or agencies responsible are made, which is the reason why cases of animal cruelty are found repetitive.
She also stressed the need for animal-effective implementation of the existing laws.
According to Section 291 of the National Criminal Code 2017, a person found guilty of a crime against animals is slapped with a jail term not exceeding one month or a fine up to Rs 5,000 or both. However, many incidents of animal cruelty are rampant in society even after a year of the Khaire incident.
Animal Abandonment in Nepal
According to Dr Arjun Aryal, Senior Veterinary Officer at the Central Referral Veterinary, Hospital, having a pet dog has become the statement in Nepal that is people pet dogs because it is the trend rather than understanding about ways to take care of pet animals. Many pet owners are raising their pets in an environment that is not suitable for them.” Because of this, many pet animals are void of necessary care, leading them to many health problems. As the treatment of the health of pets are costly and so are care facilities, many people abandon their pet animals.
He said, “There has been an increasing case of abandonment in Nepal because there is no tracking of birth and death of animals. Therefore, there must be a law that ensures the birth and death .certificates of animals. That way, the pet owner can be traced and necessary actions can be taken if adornment to animals is committed.”
According to Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), there is no rescue program for abandoned animals that are healthy, however, ill abandoned ill are given shelter and treatment.
Dr Abdesh Jha, Senior Veterinary Officer said that KMC gives treatment and shelter for the abandoned animals, however, healthy abandoned are left on their own for survival as long as they feed themselves.
According to Dr Aryal, even though there is the ‘Meat inspection and animal slaughterhouse act, 2055,’ it has not been thoroughly implemented in Nepal. In the transportation of animals for buying and selling, a throng of animals is transported in one vehicle, and that too for a long distance, which declines the quality of meat.
Similarly, animals need to be given 12 hours rest before slaughtering, but, that is rare in Nepal. Even though there are meat inspectors in all districts, animals are slaughtered in every nook and corner so the meat is not well checked before selling. Similarly, there is a need for a cold chain to store meat and keep it fresh, but, it is not seen in the majority of a shop in Nepal.
Meanwhile, there are no proper rules that are being followed in animal slaughter.