In Nigeria where human rights are constantly abused, who cares about animal rights

A cow transported in car booth near Damaturu
(Photo: Kareem's Pick Blog)

By Blogger-in-Chief 

It was about 3 pm and the weather update was 43°c. And I was driving along the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway in northeast Nigeria on afternoon of merciless heat.

Everywhere was steaming  even my car AC had to give up its near vain struggle to cool the air inside. 

It was at that unfriendly hour of the day that some travellers in other commercial vehicles chose to transport a full-grown cow from Damaturu to God-knows-where along the highway. 

There was actually nothing wrong with transporting a cow on a hot day. But my grudge with the transporters was the way and manner the cow was being conveyed inside the booth of car.. 

I said to myself that even if the cow was doomed for slaughter in the next minute, at least it still deserved some dignity. 

But in this context, the cow was practically forced into the tiny trunk of a  Volkswagen Golf car, together with some large sacks of loads. 

With only its head peering out of the car booth just to enable it to catch some breath and remain alive till it is delivered to its final owner, no one cared about the pains and trauma which the cow might have been going through on that tortuous journey. 

Who really cares, anyway?

To those who forced the cow into that booth, the animal was even done an honor to be carried in the booth of a car.

Yes! Even humans are also conveyed in similar debasing manner. As a matter of fact, as far as the the booth is concerned it  is an extra seat for the drivers in this part of Nigeria. 

"Of course if you are given a ride in the car booth, you pay as others in the main seats, " said a local driver called Ilyas. 

"Passengers normally beg to be carried in the booth. Sometimes we even carry both human beings and rams, goats and cows in the booth, " said the driver.

I said wow... This is Africa for you. 

In other climes, certainly not in sub-Saharan Africa, animals do have rights. These are rights being advocated by human beings. 

According to Metro Times' research, especially in Wikipedia, it has been the believe of Advocates of animal rights and activists for animal liberation that "to deny the most basic needs of sentient creatures—such as the avoidance of pain—to non-human animals, on the basis of species membership alone, is a form of discrimination akin to racism or sexism."

Wikipedia explains that many animal rights advocates argue that non-human animals should be regarded as persons and members of the moral community whose interests deserve legal protection.

The World Animal Protection (WAP), the global body that advocates the rights of animals, said there are over 50 countries that have established laws for animal welfare. 

According to WAP's Animal Protection Index, Australia scored the topmost  grades regarding animal welfare amongst the 50 established countries around the world that have shown commitment to protecting and improving animal welfare in legislation and policy in. 

The country has an Act of the legislature that accords respect and dignity to animals. 

"The Austrian Animal Welfare Act 2004 suggests that the protection of the wellbeing of animals should be held to a value that is equal to humankind," a Wikipedia article reads. 

"The act prohibits the suffering of animals, infliction of unjustified pain, exposure to heavy fear, and injury to animals with the exemption of some hunting and fishing. 

"The act also applies to farm animals with regulations particularly aimed at protecting them. 

"The 2004 act bans the use of wild animals in circuses and also prohibits fur farming. In 2005, the country banned the use of orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas for experiments."

That is in Australia. 

Can that law be replicated in Nigeria? 

Certainly this author won't rule out possibilities. But the realization of  that law for the protection of animals' rights may not be in the nearest future, until when respect for human life and rights are upheld in Nigeria. 


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