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Animals Protection Law: Expounding The Scope Of Humanity.

by Ayeyemi Taofeek Aswagaawy

A video went viral around the period of Eidul Kabir exhibiting how people made a ram to kill another; that's simply what I saw. The rams were not fighting, there was no intentional tussle, rather they were forced to such discomfort – both the killer ram and the killed ram.

The good news for the men is that there sacrifice for Eid may, by every wordings from the Scripture, not be accepted. For "piety" is what Allah wants from us. Would you have made your sons to fight one another if you'd slaughter them on the Eid?
Yesterday again, I saw a picture of a small boy shouldering his dead dog which might have been hit by a car, that probably drove away after such incidence as if nothing had happened. Imagine the bitterness going on in the heart of the poor lad.
That's why Nigeria needs to take serious the right of animals. You can't just kill my pet and go like that. You can't just be cruel to the animal in your custody; such as making rams to fight; they're going through pain. They're passing through violence.

These pets have their own feelings. They feel like we do. What do you see when you look into the eyes of them? Little wonder some countries take it so serious unlike Nigeria despite the existing law protecting them.

As such, this clarion call is not to expand the law, rather to expound it because animals protection law is not new to the global law, neither is it novel in Nigeria bearing in mind the provision of SECTION 495 OF THE CRIMINAL CODE which creates offences of cruelty to animals. There is however a need for a special law dealing with it such as The Endangered Species Act, CAP E9, LFN 2004 which focuses on the protection and management of Nigeria's wildlife; and "Animal Welfares Act" which deals with domestic animals as enacted in other countries such as Kenya, India, America and so on. Nigeria needs to borrow the leaf of such progressive approach.

Animals' feeling must be respected. Strength wise, we are inferior to them. They were only tamed for us so we may easily use them to our favour and in fact further tame them.

In Qur'an 36 verse 72 & 73, Allah says;

"And We have tamed them (the animals) for them (man), so some of them they ride, and some of them they eat. And for them therein are [other] benefits and drinks, so will they not be grateful?"

But sadly and unfortunately, and I'm saying this with great unfortunateness that we are not grateful. We're not. It is that ungratefulness that led to cruelty against them, the animals.

In Nigeria, or Africa, our creativity is in using them for evil act, both physical and spiritually. That's why many have the fear of cat, sheep among others. If "African trained" cats or sheep dilate their eyes at you, your life may not remain the same unless you're spiritually gallant.

My dad told me of a dog which belongs to his uncle, I've forgotten its name. My dad used to follow his uncle for hunting expenditures. The dog was so long and swift that they tie load on its waists to reduce its speed when hunting small animals. But it'll be unburdened when hunting deer, antelope and other fast and furious animals. "And the dog that kills get a thigh of such animal for its owner before the equal share."

An envious hunter charmed the dog until it does the taboo – it hunted a snake. They (dogs) don't do such. The snake bites the dog so much that it died but the dog separated the snakes head from its body before it breathed its last.

The suspecting others did some rituals on the dog and the culprit hunter in the end put his own gun in his mouth and fired the shot, the rest is history.

Maybe I should do same on my cat for those (cat eaters) who almost cut off its left hind leg so I may transfer the injury to the person's leg. Maybe if I have such charm, piety will still not allow me do that. But I'll leave the person to a DAY all animals will line up to revenge against those who have caused them pain.

But mind you, if Nigeria does not enact a special law, and if we cannot use any such charm, we can always activate "SECTION 495 OF THE CRIMINAL CODE AS WELL AS SECTION 196 OF THE PENAL CODE" on dangerous people inflicting pain on animals. I hope that day will come when we take it this serious that we enforce it in court and not seeing the person who does as unserious person.

Kindness to animal is a crux part of Humanity.

Ayeyemi Taofeek Aswagaawy