IT’s a symptom of a society’s morbid soul when the living are tortured and murdered with impunity. On Friday, Karachi police arrested a man for allegedly slaying a street dog after his video went viral on social media — he pulls a pregnant dog with a rope and kills her by stringing the animal on an iron grill. While a case was lodged against the accused, the SHO said that though the law was clear about a pet dog this was a stray. He claimed that the suspect was emotionally unstable. JFK Animal Rescue and Shelter revealed on Twitter “the market watchman” had a purported history of killing dogs.
We must remember that the World Animal Protection Index marked Pakistan “an ‘E’, with an ‘F’ in government accountability and a ‘G’ in animal protection”. But the country cannot recalibrate its attitude without putting a graver malaise in the spotlight — animal cruelty is a crime of control and power caused by Antisocial Personality Disorder. Studies show animal brutality as the springboard for serial killers and mass murders. FBI profilers say, “cruelty to animals is one of three symptoms that predict the development of a psychopath. It is included as a criterion for a conduct disorder in children by American Psychiatric Association”. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders supports the assessment, “sociopathic personality develops in early childhood or adolescence and its ‘conduct disorder’” often translates to cruelty to animals. Sociopaths have an inability to empathise, they inflict pain with no remorse. So, policymakers must redraft the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1890, with an informed approach, underlining the odious fallouts of these crimes and include “internationally accepted five freedoms of animals: freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury, disease, freedom from fear and distress, freedom to express normal behaviour”, to enforce welfare and hold zoos, shelters, kennels, and abusers accountable. Dead souls will prove deadly.
Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2023