A case for Charlie

The brutal incident that took place on 31 December, where a Labrador in a cage was allegedly set on fire by trespassers at a house in Negombo, has brought to light some serious concerns of humanness.

The dog, Charlie was rushed to the doctors by the residents and animal rights activists, however it was reported that he died of the injuries thereafter.

While incidents like these questions the very nature of humans, a great deal of discussion on animal welfare was stirred following this incident. It created an intriguing dialog on animal cruelty laws and a petition is being circulated to pass the National Animal Welfare Bill that received approval on 13 January, 2016 in order to bring to light perpetrators of animal cruelty.

Animal rights activist Shanuki De Alwis commented on this crime, stating that it is horrifying how cruel humans have become.

“We have become desensitised and apathetic as a country and we bring up our children to be equally blind to all these terrible things. It is always just a handful of passionate animal welfare activists who are expected to make change happen, whereas in reality, nothing will change without everyone supporting the cause.”

She further added that the immediate steps that have to be taken to avoid such horrendous activities in the future would be to:

1. The police need to stop buying time and dilly-dallying. The case must be given the same amount of focus and seriousness that a human homicide would be granted.
2. The perpetrators must be given life imprisonment for first degree murder.
3. The new draft animal welfare bill MUST be enacted and become law IMMEDIATELY.
4. The public must continue the pressure and the media must do the right thing and give this publicity until authorities are shamed into taking action, as otherwise they will just sweep it under the rug in their usual incompetent and disinterested way.

Animal rights activist Otara Gunewardene spoke about this horrendous incident as well: “ Laws against animal cruelty must be in place so that wrongdoers cannot get away with activities like this, the Animals Welfare Bill should be approved, it is time,” she said.