In May we celebrate National Pet Week. We want to honour pets by combatting cruelty against animals. To prevent animal cruelty, we must face its reality, even though it might be ugly and leave a bitter taste of disgust in our mouths. It’s our responsibility as animal lovers to make informed decisions. From getting pet insurance for your furry friend to educating yourself (and others) about dog fighting and animal-tested beauty products. We need to remove the masks and reveal the ugly faces of animal cruelty.
1) Dog fighting
Dog fighting has the face of a monster. Pitbull puppies, in particular, are born and bred to be aggressive and to fight for their survival for entertainment and gambling purposes. The poor Pitbull pups struggle to survive daily. They endure abuse like beating and ear-cropping, starvation, filthy living conditions and a painful death for the sake of stupidity and the amusement of monsters.
According to the NSPCA, dog fighting is a thriving and ever-growing criminal activity in South Africa supported by people from all walks of life and various backgrounds. Dog fights are not the work of a single law breaker but instead constitute a form of incredibly violent organised crime that is intricately linked to many other criminal activities. Children as young as 12 are being used to scout residential areas and steal powerful pedigree dogs who are then used for illegal dog fighting. WTFur? That’s shocking!
What happens to dog fight organisers?
Well, karma is a b*tch! As dog fighting is a crime in South Africa, they are sentenced to lengthy jail terms where they get to experience some of the feelings that their poor pooch victims had to endure. Feelings of isolation, fear and confinement… #servesthemright
A recent case:
Two culprits accused of involvement in the organising of dog flights got handed a sentence of direct imprisonment without suspension or the option of a fine. These two, together with 7 other suspects, tried to evade the NSPCA inspectors and SAPD after arranging a vicious dog flight on 22 June 2018.
Honourable Magistrate P. Lourens who handed down the sentence said that, “It is necessary that this evil be addressed – because this is evil” and that “we have reached a level of civilisation and constitutional values where a clear message has to be sent out to the people who want to commit these heinous and barbaric acts, that they will be punished and not just acknowledged”.
What can you do to STOP dog fighting?
It’s not an easy fight! We don’t always have the resources or knowledge to combat animal cruelty. We can however educate ourselves and report dog fighting if we come across such brutalities.
Look out for the following signs:
- Dogs on chains in small spaces.
- Residents with multiple unsterilized dogs that look aggressive.
- Dogs with scars, particularly on their face and ears.
- Purpose built fighting pits or square makeshift fighting areas with blood stains on the floors.
- Regular change in dogs at specific properties. As dogs are killed, new ones are purchased.
If you witness or hear of dog fighting, please contact the NSPCA at 011 907 3590 or pop them a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry, your identity will remain YOURS! Reporting is 100% anonymous.
2) Animal testing on beauty products
If you remove this mask, you might find a pretty face, but beware of the cost of beauty. Looks can be deceiving as some companies use animals for testing products. Cosmetics testing is usually focused on ensuring that a product does not harm a person’s eyes and skin. It is also tested for overall toxicity and any toxicity related to ultraviolet light.
A shocking amount of 200‚000 animals per year are used for scientific research in South Africa, according to Dr Bert Mohr‚ a director and Veterinarian at the Centre for Animal Research at the University of Cape Town. Wow, that’s ghastly!
What cosmetics tests are performed on animals?
Tests are commonly performed on defenceless furry friends like mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs. These tests, according to The Humane Society of the United States, include:
- Skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of defenceless bunnies without any pain relief.
- Repeated force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness or cancer.
- Widely condemned “lethal dose” tests, in which animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.
What can you do to prevent animal testing?
Use products free from animal testing such as the following list of cosmetic brands:
- Wet n Wild
- Urban Decay
- The Body Shop
- LA Girl
- Carol’s Daughter
- Woolworths private label, WBeauty
Tip: You can spot certified products by looking for a bunny-like logo on the packaging. Make sure that the logo belongs to a reputable organisation and not just a brand trying to pass off as cruelty-free.
The above faces of animal cruelty are only two of many others which should be unmasked and stopped. We, as an animal-loving community, have the power to break the chains of animal cruelty by educating ourselves, reporting abuse and not supporting any acts of animal abuse. Let’s give the voiceless a fighting chance and the love that they deserve for their golden souls and endless cuddles. Fight for our fur friends and let justice be served!