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Poison

Saturday, April 28 2012

Putting down poison is a cruel way to deal with what you perceive as a “problem animal”. It condemns the victim to an agonising death — sometimes a long drawn–out one. Unfortunately, animals are poisoned for a number of reasons. They may be perceived to be dangerous, they may be considered a nuisance in the area or they may be simply doing their jobs, protecting their homes. In the latter case, it is often criminals who poison family watchdogs, prior to invading their owner’s property.

When poison is put down it may not only be the intended victims who suffer. Other animals that pass through the area may eat the poisoned food. So may some of the local wildlife. Even some unfortunate street-dweller may unknowingly eat from a box of tempting but tainted chicken left out for smaller victims. Then again, a person in the poisoner’s household may come in contact with the substance and become seriously ill.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to purchase poisonous substances. These are often sold for legitimate purposes and mis-used because there seems to be little or no control over their sale.

Those who watch cable TV or read on-line newspapers, are aware that, in “first world countries” there are effective laws and penalties for cruelty to animals of any kind. Here, laws on general animal welfare, including proper penalties for cruelty to animals, have not yet been brought up to date. However, work is being done in this area and there is hope for more appropriate legislation in the future.

In the meantime, if your pets are victims of poisoning, make a report to the police. At the very least, warn your neighbours of the danger. You may save some lives.

animalwelfarenetwork.org

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