Islamic Republic of Pakistan which runs following the parameters of Islam in almost every industry, somewhat lacks the basic ethics in some sectors. Today, we will not talk about the government, employment issues, showbiz and even the latest award ceremony but the hot topic is about animal cruelty in Pakistan. Animal cruelty has become so mainstream that it’s barely noticed these days.
No wonder animal abuse happens in many countries which is reduced by proper animal rights and shelter homes. It’s however in every city of Pakistan. Not everybody knows about the pet markets nearby them. The pet markets in Pakistan are found in a great number especially in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi. One of such markets is Tollinton Market, Lahore. This pet market in Lahore has a massive quantity of animals including cats, dogs, birds, owls, hamsters and what not can be found there. The shopkeepers themselves have no knowledge about the requirements of keeping these animals nor do they provide them with the treatment they urge for.
The cages are full ranging from old animals to newborns all under one roof in a pathetic environment, loaded with a foul smell and topped with flies. No hygiene is maintained, the dogs that are chained have the leashes so short that they can’t freely move or properly sleep. The animals catch different virals especially in the seasons like nowadays where calicivirus is common among cats. As the daily checkups, on time treatments are missing so the animals die in the hard and dirty cages or floors further transferring the diseases in other animals.
This may all seem like a nightmare if you visit these markets once out of your busy schedules looking at the miserable conditions different souls are living in.
In Tollinton Market, there are numerous breeds like Persian cats, Himalayan cats, Siamese cats, Mixed breed cats, German shepherd dogs, Labradors, Rottweilers and the list goes on. However, the feed they’re provided with is not sufficient for their overall keep up.
The days of lockdown, where many of us were told to stay at home, these markets were locked too and weren’t granted permission to run or even to be opened for a few hours. Majority of the money-minded shopkeepers didn’t bother to unlock the shutters and feed the animals they had kept for the sake of earning and so a large number of animals died. The animals which were sick and tormented were thrown out recklessly in the dump which could be clearly seen in the videos that went viral a few months back.
Keeping a pet is like owning a child who deserves not just the food but a bona fide care, affection, attention, time and cuddles. So, obviously loading animals more than the capacity is a totally wrong act besides being unacceptable.
If we talk about Islam, there are many Ahadees and sayings from the Quran preaching mercy on all the living beings which was proven when a woman was blessed with the paradise just for quenching the thirst of a dog and the woman who starved the cat until it died was sent to hell. By acknowledging these, you can easily conclude where animal abusers stand.
In every other corner of a street, there’s a speechless soul suffering unnoticed all the way. Down the memory lane, there used to be a paucity advancement and so were the means of transport. The growing population, dearth of dwellings, cutting down of trees, lack of animal rights and a huge number of cars has added more complexity to the lives of animals especially the mixed breeds.
It is the responsibility of not only the animal organizations or the government but also each one of us to stand up and take a stand wherever any animal is mistreated. Animals don’t speak but we can be their voice. It’s a request to the government to take action against the pet markets in Pakistan that are maltreating the animals alongside introducing animal rights.