GoodBye My Darling
Welcome to 9th Animal Awareness Day!
The Animal Awareness Day event was started four years ago as an outreach program from campus to local community. Time certainly flies for we have just celebrated the 9th Animal Awareness Day held at the University of Malaya. This time around, we focused on legislation and animal welfare. One definitely wonders how the so called “Animal Law” affects human behavior towards animals and its benefits to animal well-being. There are definitely many questions as to what extent the law is applicable, feasible, or practical as far as animal is concerned. There are questions too on whether this law can change the way our community behaves in protecting the animals or modify our attitude towards these sentient beings. With more legislation comes the need for legal expertise. In this regard, one wonders whether there is any association of lawyers working pro bono for the benefit of the animal welfare protection community.
“Animal law” has been defined as a combination of statutory and case laws based on different aspects (e.g., biological, social or legal) of nonhuman animals. “Animal law” covers a wide range from companion animals, wildlife, animals used in entertainment to animals raised for food and research. “Animal Law” is also known as Animal Protection Law, Animal Welfare Legislation, Legal Right for Animals or Animal Welfare Act in different countries. Its primary focus is on pet welfare and dealing with animal cruelty, in addition to providing guidelines and codes of practice/conduct to pet owners and for care of performing animals, dog tethering and leash ordinanceand boarding of animals apart from activities like riding, breeding and sale of animals. It is sad to see that though these animal protection laws have been enacted and in existence for decades in most parts of the world, yet we still frequently hear news reports of animal abuse in the forms of animal cruelty, animal testing, chaining and tethering animals, abuses of animals in research and entertainment, and raising animals for foods across the globe. All this begs the question of why animals are still going through what appears to be endless suffering and how do we deal with this insurmountable problem.
If the saying “Killing is not a solution”, then what else do we need to do to stop this incomprehensible abuse to animals within the boundaries of existing laws? Care-Neuter-Rehome/Release- Manage (CNRM) program is thus far the best alternative and remains the most compassionate practice especially with regards to stray animals. This method is not only being environmentally friendly but also provides a gateway of human-animal relationship within one’s own boundary and ability. Animals have been known to possess similar emotions as humans, as seen in their welcoming demeanor when happy and the forlorn look when suffering or in pain. CNRM program offers us an opportunity to not only fulfil our social responsibility in assisting animals in acquiring their basic needs (e.g., food, spay/neuter, home/shelter & medicine especially vaccination) just like basic needs of humans, but also is the key to opening up our minds and further inculcate commendable virtues like compassion, kindness, patience, generosity and even humility into our human make-up. To practise the concept of CNRM, one needs to have the courage to take the first step, then gain moral support from it to carry on, and subsequently enjoy the fruits of our labor, namely a given special bond between human and animal. In short, it is not only the future of animals that are in our hands, but also the opportunity to develop ourselves as individuals with good characters or commendable virtues.
Chorus “You touch my heart, You touched my soul, You changed my life and all my goals, my love and heart are all for You”.
Journey of a thousand miles begin with this first step. Though this is not easy it does not mean impossible. We must therefore be prepared to strive and persevere in carrying out the CNRM program and let it be the foundation from which we go on to tackle and overcome the concerning animal issues worldwide. Let us be united in one voice, mind and action in continuing the legacy of “Animal Awareness Day” for the wellness of animals who are our evolutionary ancestors and millennium in co-existing with us on this planet.
I am advocating CNRM because of my own experience of helping stray dogs and cats over the years while working at the University of Malaya. I have known the joy of saving animals and the bitter sadness of losing ones. As with everything, there is always an ending. With my leaving the University of Malaya, I hope students and others will step forward to help the animals.
Chorus "GoodBye my love, GoodBye my friend, You have been the one,
You have been the one for me”… Forever!