Cruelty to animals especially donkeys, horses and mules, goes unchecked in South Punjab and for that matter in the whole of Pakistan and the process of submission of challans on torturing animals has almost been stopped.
There were over 50 types of cruelties occurring on animals including animal fights (cock, bear, dog, camel, partridge and some others), torture with sticks, putting red chilli in eyes or rectum, touching electric devices, repeatedly hitting nails during race competitions, overloading, ignoring treatment, putting many animals at very short space at cattle markets, putting animals under seats of buses during transportation, injuring nose of animals on misconception of getting more work, ignoring thirst and feed requirements, taking much work during forbidden hours (10 am to 5pm) especially in summer season, had become common practice in South Punjab.
There had been some punishments for cruelty to animals but nowadays, the punishments had been stopped.
In the past, the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was active and it managed to submit 15 to 20 challans on daily basis with magistrate court. The owners of equines did not dare to inflict torture on their animals. The equines were mostly used for draft purposes.
Keeping in view the importance of these draft animals especially in terms of labor, the incumbent administration taking some initiatives for improvement of this sector as awareness campaign was in progress and a new act was being framed by the department.
These initiatives would help to rejuvenate SPCA in an amicable way. When contacted In-charge SPCA Multan, Abu Sufian, said that there was Rs 200 fine and six-month imprisonment in case anyone was found torturing animals.
To another question about any action on violation of SPCA act, he said the SPCA was actively engaged in creating awareness among owners of the animals. The main objective of the Society was to prevent equines from harsh treatment, he said. He added that at present, employees of SPCA were performing duties in different parts of the province.
All the staff was trained and equipped with the vaccine, deworming techniques and some other types of treatments, he said.
To another question about the strength of equines in district Multan, Abu Sufian said that equine census was in progress. He, however, recalled that there were a total 19,489 equines during the last census, which included 1,781 horses, 16,901 donkeys, and 807 mules. Responding to a treatment facility for equines, SPCA official said that they had treated 123 horses, 395 donkeys and 15 mules in January, 2018. Treatment facility was free of cost at SPCA unit, he said.