Respect For Wildlife

For innocent animals that are illegally caught and experience the trauma of being kept in confinement at the hands of torturous humans, wildlife rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries should be established.

In a gesture that aims to protect certain reptiles, the Sindh Wildlife Department has shown us that it has a genuine concern for the wellbeing of our wildlife species and for the conservation of our ecosystem. The recent ban on the sale of scorpions and leopard geckos is an intelligent and conscientious one. In a country where respect for human life is difficult to come by, it is even rarer that animals are accorded the same.


Certainly, the ban is a welcome move. Vigilance teams at ports around the province will need to work in a meticulous and honest manner to report offenders. If protection for this and other wildlife is not sought and offenders not rigidly punished, then, sadly, we will be adding to Pakistan’s list of endangered species. Wildlife across the provinces faces cruelty at the hands of residents in nearby towns and villages, who fear attacks from the animals.



However, the behaviour of many creatures is often reactionary and they resort to attack mode only when they are in fear, at times pushed towards the emotion by threatening humans. This point must be communicated to the vast majority that kicks stray cats out of their paths and throws stones at stray dogs out of fear of being bitten. For innocent animals that are illegally caught and experience the trauma of being kept in confinement at the hands of torturous humans, wildlife rehabilitation centres and sanctuaries should be established. Additionally, villagers and valley dwellers must be prevented from killing the wildlife that co-inhabits their surroundings.

When we can learn to respect creatures that are smaller, weaker and much more innocent than humans on the whole, we can perhaps learn to love people, too. Our country lacks greatly in respect for animals and while we have the Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance of 1972 and the Pakistan Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, we still need to work hard in the way of promoting love and respect for animals.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2014.
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