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LETTERS: Animal rights and welfare

Friday 18 March 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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LETTERS: Animal rights and welfare

Dear Editor, following some time of having my neighbour’s piglets digging up my gardens and yard on a daily basis (a yearly event) I approached said neighbour – a good bloke and quietly and politely requested that he please contain his piglets on his own property.

He was reading his Bible and looked up at me and said ‘Do we humans have the right to deny animals the freedom to roam freely?’

In the context of animal rights and welfare issues, this is indeed a broad contentious subject. But let’s reduce it to animals, both companions and livestock, here on Rarotonga.

Companion animals: The level of human ignorance and blatant cruelty to cats and dogs on Rarotonga is appalling overall per head of population. Many people won’t get their ‘pets’ desexed. They don’t take them for vet treatment when required. Flea and worm treatment nonexistent. Puppies and dogs are tied up permanently. Hit and beaten when they bark. When kittens and puppies grow up, they are treated as disposable items. Many children aren’t taught to love, respect and care for these precious critters – God’s creatures.

The SPCA does an amazing job and Mata and his team go beyond their call of duty but ironically, they do not have the legal powers extended to the SPCA and RSPCA in other countries to address animal welfare and cruelty issues.

The Are Manu with Trish, Michael and their team do an amazing job and deserve praise. Unfortunately, though this allowing cats and dogs their own freedom to run amuck has backfired. Just consider the wild and roaming dog problem on Rarotonga attacking humans, other companion animals and livestock. One could go on ad infinitum regarding companion animal problems on Rarotonga.

Livestock animals: Ministry of Agriculture is the government department supposedly in charge of this area – in actuality doing what is questionable. They certainly aren’t overseeing the housing and welfare of such beautiful creatures such as cows, pigs and goats on the scale that they should be. Cows, pigs, goats are tethered out in the open in all weathers – rain, wind and suffering heat. No constant clean water supply. No shade. Eating plants that are certainly not nutritious or safe.

Goats have particularly vulnerable skin and are subject to hoof rot. Pigs are housed in the most appalling cramped filthy conditions. They can’t turn around. They can’t run around. They are thrown a coconut a day and that’s their quota. No clean constant contained water supply. Often no shade or shelter from the elements or dank dark quarters with no sight of sunlight or the sky. Sows are kept as breeding machines till they die on the job – suffering. Pigs tethered so tight the rope cuts through the skin causing immense infection and intense pain – but what the hell, it’s just a pig! A disposable item just like those cats and dogs.

Over the years. I have rescued many animals – kittens/cats, puppies/dogs, piglets/pigs, kids/goats, chickens and birds. Many could not be saved but many more returned to content life. There are many good people, humane and respectful on Rarotonga looking after their pets and livestock. But there is an even bigger void of disrespectful ignoramuses.

All animals are God’s creatures. As humans we have a God given responsibility to care for and administer to all creatures great and small to live in harmony with each other recognising each other’s rights – humans and animals.

Bless us all.

A voice in the wind

(Name and address supplied)