4 December, 2020

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Animal Welfare Bill: From Cabinet To Legal Draftsman

The long discussed Animal Welfare Bill of Sri Lanka is at present with the legal draftsman’s office as informed by authorities of the Ministry of Social Services, Welfare and Livestock Development.

Rathana Thero

Rathana Thero

Following the public consultation which was held last year, where there have been suggestions for edits to the first version of the Bill made, the Ministry had proposed conceptual changes suggested by the public, to the Cabinet. In response to this, the Cabinet approval to these changes was received January 13, 2016 and the Bill was passed to the legal draftsman for the changes to be incorporated to the Bill, and for it to be drafted with the changes included.

The country has seen its last amendment to the law addressing cruelty to animals in 1955, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance of 1907 under which welfare of animals is taken into consideration is over a century old, and needing urgent reforms with outdated fines, and the implementation being on a rare occasion.

Animal Welfare Coalition of Sri Lanka, and civil society organisations working on animal welfare have highlighted the need for reform of law in this regard. A Bill for this purpose was presented to the parliament in October, 2010 by Athuruliye Rathana Thero. The new legislation proposed has as its objective to replace the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance of 1907, and to recognise duty of care for persons in charge of animals to treat the animals humanely, to prevent cruelty to animals and to secure the protection and welfare of animals, to establish a National Animal Welfare Authority and Regulations and Codes of Practice and to raise awareness on animal welfare.

“The Cabinet approval for the Bill to be sent to the legal draftsman is a positive step towards a change in the archaic laws on cruelty to animals in Sri Lanka. This has been long due, and the Animal Welfare Coalition welcomes this as move towards creating a better environment in Sri Lanka for animals where they are not subjected to cruelty,” said Convenor of Animal Welfare Coalition, Vositha Wijenayake.

“The Coalition will be following up on the progress of the Bill, and work with other actors to promote, facilitate and ensure that the new Animal Welfare Bill becomes a reality in Sri Lanka” she further said.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    1

    Here are animal welfare organisations by country. Sri Lanka has just one. People in SL normally naturally look after animals very well.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animal_welfare_groups

    However, an organisation equivalent to Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is needed to manage animal welfare full time.

    It should be charity run with donations and managed by volunteers.

    • 10
      2

      This bill was long awaited. Very welcome.

      However, as we speak a massive animal abuse is happening in the center of Colombo. In full public view.

      It is a circus called “Navam Perehera”. Organized by a highly business oriented temple called Gangaramaya. Orchestrated by a notorious baby elephant kidnapper and abuse called “Podi Hamuduruwo.

      Elephants are brought in from all over Sri Lanka. In terrible transport conditions. Marched against their will. Chained with utter cruelty. Tortured with bull hooks. Often for life.

      What has elephant abuse got to do with Buddhism? What a shame to Buddhism.

      Cheers!

      • 4
        1

        Cant agree more with Ben and Kapila.

        Animal welfare should and must start with ending the national pastime of committing untold cruelty towards the elephant. It is a tragedy that any human being leave alone a true Buddhist can be entertained by watching the infliction of horrible torture on this magnificent beast.

        Well the question to ask is who is the beast here – the elephant or the Sri Lankan homo erectus.

    • 8
      3

      Elephants being forced to parade in Peraheras is cruelty to these magnificent animals, who are chained and bound.

      This practice should be banned, and or the number of elephants reduced to 1-2 at the maximum in any parahera.

      In recent times we have seen huge numbers of Elephants in Peraheras, being used to boost the EGOS of Buddhist Monks who show off that they have so many elephants and are so RICH! Quite contrary to Buddhist values of simplicity and AHIMSA.

      The Buddhist monks like Podi Hamuduruwo at Gangarama in Colombo and the Dhamaloka who has his outfit in posh Sulaiman terrace Colombo 5 are biggest violators of Elephants’ and animal’s rights.

      • 2
        4

        Have you are heard something called sustainable use of resources in other countries.

        ow about Pork, Beef, chicken, turkey, Quali, Frogs and many other animals.
        British have exterminated many animals in Sri lanka just for GAMe. How about horses, Horses are bred for speed, if they break their legs , athey are shot do death to terminate. We can write books on that.

        Therefore, don’t talk dumb.

        Besides, elephants using in perahera is our culture.

        • 2
          1

          Jim Softy,

          Move to UK and protest against horse abuse all you want. We will be right behind you in that struggle.

          However, this is about elephant abuse here in SL. Do not use horse abuse as defense against the struggle to stop elephant abuse.

          “elephants used in perahera is our culture”. Yes. True.

          However you don’t get a license to continue that abuse just because of culture. Therefore this cruel cultural activity done in the name of Buddhism must be stopped. It is an insult to Buddhism.

          Cheers!

          • 0
            1

            IT is better you move to middle east or to europe.

            This is sinhale and not your roman kingdom.

          • 0
            0

            How many crying here are complete vegetarians

            OR they are open to eating beef, pork, chicken etc ?

        • 0
          2

          @jim softly

          Tying a guy to four elephants and walking them in four different directions was also part of “Our Culture” at one time

          Buses, Aircraft, Computers etc.. were NEVER part of “Our Culture”

          Why will we take one and not the other ?

          “Our Culture” has been used as a convenient excuse to commit the most horrible abuses in history., mostly against animals. Canada Seal Hunt, today’s whaling industry, “Sport” hunting etc.. etc.

    • 1
      0

      You can not have something perfect first. therefore, start something first.

  • 9
    1

    Animal cruelty can be greatly reduced if people stop eating the flesh of other animals. Many “pious” Buddhists have no qualms about eating meat.

    They interpret the first of the five basic precepts, “Panatipata veramani sikka padam samadiyami” by saying, “it is not us who killed the animal”, while relishing the meat. Their complicity in the killing is tactfully avoided.

    Any Bill on Animal Cruelty should include the compulsory broadcasting of the slaughter of animals, cows, chicken, pigs and goats, in prime time TV, at meal times, so that those who are indirectly complicit in the cruelty to animals will re-consider their actions.

    This will greatly reduce consumption of meat and thus the cruelty to animals.

    • 4
      0

      Dear Ken,
      Many “pious” Buddhists have no qualms about eating meat.
      While appreciating your sentiments against cruelty to Animals, is banning flesh eating part of the Buddhist doctrine? Did not Devadutta request the banning of eating flesh and fish but the Lord Buddha denied his request? Please do not treat my question as frivolous. This was a topic of discussion but no satisfactory answer ensued.

      • 4
        2

        Buddha didn’t command anything; there is no “Thous Shall Not…” in Buddhism. Buddha only showed a way to end suffering. Foremost among this was COMPASSION TOWARDS ALL SENTIENT BEINGS.

        Nothing is “Banned” in Buddhism. It is up to the individual to decide.

        If one were to contemplate on Buddhist doctrine one would see the truth of ending suffering depends on one’s moral and ethical behaviour.

        According to what I understand of Buddhism, FOOD is not something to satisfy desire or a craving, but to maintain life. Meat is often consumed by humans to satisfy the taste buds, to satisfy a base sensory pleasure.

        If one realizes one should not take another’s life in satisfying some base pleasure, one would also not eat meat, causing some animal, a life, to be extinguished to satisfy that pleasure.

        • 1
          4

          Killing animals for food is big business in the West and Down under, where cattle ranches supply all the meat produce to feed millions of people worldwide. Many of the world famous food franchises established around the globe is enough testimony to this fact.

          The fact is that animals were created on this earth for us humans to take care of as guardians and use them at our will. They are there to be tamed and used as aids to till the fields, to ride on or use in transport of goods and people, to drink its milk and consume as meat and finally use their hide as protection from the extreme inclements of weather.

          What is bad is killing animals for sport, hunting them down and leaving them to die painful death just for the thrill of it, effecting cruelty on them thru any means such as whipping, beating, fire branding, torturing and finally killing them in such painful and brutal methods that it sometimes becomes difficult to watch. These methods of cruelty must be banned and the perpetrators taken into police custody and charged.

  • 1
    4

    Way forward to starvation and death of Humans.if you don’t kill mosquitoes,you will get dengue,Zika etc.if you don’t kill bacteria to purify water, you will die with enormous diseases that cant count.if you don’t kill bulls,you cant make a profitable cattle farm.if you don’t catch fish,you cant feed millions of humans.our constitution has a clause regarding cow slaughter most of our people does not know.if implement properly,it’s enough to safeguard the cows.the problem is most people think that animals mean only Cow.

    “animal cruelty and killing animals to feed the humans are different”.

    • 3
      0

      Muhandiram,

      “animal cruelty and killing animals to feed the humans are different”.

      Elaborate on that highly scientific statement, would you please?

      Did you test this theory on yourself? By asking others to torture you or perhaps kill you?

      Cheers!

    • 6
      0

      One cannot stop other sentient beings from being destroyed. When one walks, one tramples scores of insects. That is inevitable. And it is also the case when one has to destroy insects like disease carrying mosquitoes.

      The issue is where one would draws the line. There are some pious monks who will avoid even these by moving away or not leaving room for such insects to breed where they live. It is all a question of how much one can do to avoid harming another being. To stop eating meat and fish is the easiest, which I do, and to protect myself by lighting medicinal oils to wade off mosquitoes. Each has to decide what one can do or want to do.

      Buddhism is a doctrine for the individual. The individual decides what he or she wants to do and to what extent.

    • 0
      0

      “animal cruelty and killing animals to feed the humans are different”.

      How about another strong animal catch you , kill and eat. Africa had a habit humans eating humans.

      It is like there are some in CT who says prostitution si good. But not my mother, grand mother, sisters, daughters or even wife.

  • 6
    0

    A very welcome move. The people who abandon and drown kittens and pups; beat and pelt stones at animals;and slaughter and sacrifice animals in an inhumane manner should be punished. However, we should not go overboard as many countries have done or interfere with religious practices of communities. We have to be careful drawing up the list of parameters and exceptions that will have to be operative under the new law, because we are a poor multi-cultural and multi-religious country. We also yet use animals to plough fields , draw carts and perform for entertainment.

    However, as we humans are also part of the animal kingdom, will we come under the preview of this law? Man’s inhumanity to man, surpasses what we do to animals, qualitatively and quantitatively!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 6
      0

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

      I agree we have to tread with patience in this area.

      Given the technology available to humanity a lot of animals enslaved and used like machines with absolute cruelty can now be relieved.

      Time has come to shine a light on brutality associated with circus, tourist related, profit oriented animal abuse for entertainment.

      Elephant rides should be banned.

      Horrible Dehiwala Zoo should be closed down. Baby elephant rackets at Pinnawala orphanage should be scrutinized and exposed.

      Dog breeding by heartless puppy mills for profit should be ended or cntrolled severely.

      There is no reason to avoid questioning the practice of abuse of elephants for “perehera (pageants). We can expect a noisy backlash from so called “Buddhists”. But, as a Buddhist I believe time has come to take on and defeat that kind of practices. Which are diametrically opposed to Buddhist principle of “Ahimsa” (nonviolence).

      I see no reason to shy away from a debate on cruelty of religious animal sacrifice either. Fundamental right of animals to live a life free of cruelty is more important than pandering to sensitivities and stupidity of so called “humans”.

      Both slaughtering and dairy industries should be policed strictly. A quality life for animals while being alive and humane slaughtering should be applied. Personally I don’t believe there is such a thing called humane slaughtering. We can satisfy our hypocrisy by claiming so though.

      I am not looking to enforce a ban on meat eating. However, an open debate on these things will convince more people to realize the truth.

      All slaughter houses should be moved to city centers. They should not be hidden away. Such buildings should have glass walls.

      Then we will see how many can eat meat with a good conscience. Given the barbaric brutality animals endure daily to please our taste buds for a few seconds-

      Cheers!

      • 3
        0

        Well said Ben!

      • 1
        0

        @Ben Hurling

        Well said.. !

    • 6
      0

      “Man’s inhumanity to man, surpasses what we do to animals, qualitatively and quantitatively!”

      No true. While there is inhumanity towards man, and it is often seen, commented, and addressed, the inhumanity towards billions upon billions of farmed animals for human consumption is hidden from the consumers’ eyes so as not to prick his or her conscience.

      Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, who lived around the time of the Buddha, or just before him, and a vegetarian said:

      “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” ― Pythagoras

      And that’s it, Dr Rajasingham. If there is to be peace among men, if wars are to end, man must first be able to be compassionate towards lower order animals.

      • 3
        0

        Ken Dharmapala,

        Notwithstanding Pythogoras, I see a everything as springing from man. If we stop eating meat, there will not be any slaughtering of animals and everything that goes with it. Why do we think it is alright to eat fish? Isn’t it wrong to pull fish out of water and let them die cruelly? Without industrial chicken raising, for cheaper chicken meat and eggs, most of our people will be malnourished! What should we then eat? Vegetables? But they are life too. Should we then eat only fruits while sparing the seeds?

        It is man, who is cruel to his fellow beings, without reason! He hurts, deprives, kills, rapes, plunders and cheats. We eat more than we need to. We have more clothes than we need. We dress to be fashionable. Modern consumerism, makes some take more than they need and thus deprives other of their wants! We drive up prices because a few of us consume most of what this world can provide and drain the limited resources. This is a cruelty that pervades our life in all its facets. It is the cruelty on which we are basing our so-called development. Our minds have shrunk while the physical and fashion needs of some have exploded.

        Ultimately we are also predators with a carnivorous nature. We are also born hypocrites. In the rest of the animal Kingdom, meanness is rare. They do not hunt or kill, when there is no need. We do it as a matter of course. We hurt others with our words and deeds as a matter of routine. We are more cruel to our kind than to the others,

        We have to think through matters we advocate and ask questions.

        Moderation and rational thinking have to guide us.

        I emphasize that it wanton cruelty that needs to be regulated. If we can lesson pain when we kill, and feed and care for the lives dependent on us, it will be big step forward. I have seen animals shed tears, seeing others being slaughtered. They have feelings too, as much as we have. Let us acknowledge that animals and fellow humans have feel,I gas too and accordingly, within parameters of what is possible and what is not.

        Albert Schweitzer in his book, I think ‘Primeaval Forest’, relates a story from amidst the thick forests of Gamberine in Africa during the First World War. He was preaching Christianity and looking after the health needs of people who practiced cannibalism. While he was talking about the virtues of Christianity and the evil that cannibalism was, one cannibal asked him why the White Man was killing thousands in Europe ( the news had filtered to him) while they killed only one, when they were hungry. Schweitzer, says he was shocked at the depth of the truth in what the cannibalize said

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        • 0
          0

          Correction:Let us acknowledge that animals and fellow humans have feelings too and act accordingly within parameters of what is possible and what is not.

          Dr.RN

        • 5
          0

          As I said one draws the line where one can, according to one’s conscience. It is up to the individual.

          Vegetarians would not want to eat meat or fish because they realize someone has to kill the animals or fish. Then there are vegans who would go further and not eat eggs or drink milk or wear leather products. They all draw their own lines.

          According to the Economist Magazine (Dec 31, 2013):

          “It takes much more grain, land and water to fatten an animal to produce a pound of meat than it does to grow the same number of calories in the form of grain that is eaten directly (as bread, say). Animals also belch and fart forth remarkable quantities of greenhouse gases.”

          “Livestock matters because it is the biggest land user in the world. More land is given over to grazing animals than for any other single purpose. About a third of the world’s crops are fed to animals, and they use a third of all available fresh water…..

          “Meat is an inefficient source of calories. It accounts for 17% of global calorific intake, but uses twice that amount of land, water and feed…..

          Livestock also damages the environment. It accounts for between 8% and 18% of greenhouse-gas emissions, depending on how you account for changes in land use (when the Amazon is cut down for pasture, carbon emissions rise). Roughly a fifth of all the world’s pasture has been degraded by overgrazing. Livestock uses water inefficiently: you need about 15,000 litres of water to produce a kilo of beef but only 1,250 litres for a kilo of maize or wheat…..

          “And animals form a significant reservoir of diseases that affect humans; avian flu, the best known example, is far from an isolated case: 60% of human diseases are shared with animals and three quarters of new infectious diseases of people were first found in animals…..

          Need I say more?

  • 3
    0

    We need a Human Welfare Bill.

    • 2
      1

      Nice one Goraka!

      Exactly what I have been thinking. A Human Welfare Bill is long overdue, and should be rushed through Parliament first.

      Somehow, it jars to have a predominantly Buddhist country having to put into a statute an Animal Welfare Bill. But then hanging humans is still on our statute.

      O the shame of it.

      • 2
        0

        Goraka & Spring Koha,

        Rise and fight for both humans and animals.

        We will be right behind you.

        Cheers!

  • 2
    0

    Even though this an Theravada Buddhist country, Old age parents welfare bill is also need of the hour.

  • 0
    1

    I got a bit confused seeing Venerable Rathne here.

    Yahapalana suckers are the biggest meat eaters besides being pet owners.

    Venerable Rathna is now their spiritual guardian. That was the confusion.

    But original date of the draft cleared it.

    That was when venerable Rathne came to Pansakules to bury poor Dalits.

    Now it is different.

    Yahapalana Alms all revolve around gourmet Chicken.May be Mutton Buriyanai as well, because a few up market Monks like it, according to my Elders.

    I mean there is nothing wrong in offering something the Bikkus like, when the Yahapalana suckers in Colombo have a Buffet along side the Dane, to entertain the family and friends on holy grounds.

    Getting back to the nitty gritty,Dalits are not into this cruelty to animals.

    They don’t eat Beef. Neither they do own Poodles..

    Lucky if they get a chook feed once a year or every six months.

    But things can change if our Batalanada PM transform the Yahapaoana followers in to South East Asians.

    But what the Dalits need right now is a Bill to protect them from Yahapalana cruelty of Batalanada Ranil.

    Wonder whether Venerable Rathne reads CT?..

  • 0
    0

    When Buddhism was a brand new State – religion, even birds flying in Skies had animals rights in Sinhale.

    In that Sense, Sinhale is a country where humans are like animnals who doe snot consider animals rights.

    Why Sinhale people are thinking so selfish ?

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