The Persecuted Animals in Pakistan

Cat in Pakistan. Tabby and White seem to be the most common of all feral cat coats. Photo by Monazza Talha

Cat in Pakistan. Tabby and White seem to be the most common of all feral cat coats. Photo by Monazza Talha

The persecuted animals in Pakistan find themselves in a country where animal welfare is said to be an “alien concept”1. Where there is a lack of properly enforced human rights there is little chance of there being organised animal welfare and that would seem to be the situation in Pakistan. This is not a Pakistan-bashing post. It is a cold look at the law in fact, which you will see is very old indicating a lack of concern for animal welfare.

I am concerned for all the animals in Pakistan both wild and domesticated but, of course, I focus on cats.

What happened to Pakistan? Their immediate neighbour India has purebred cats. One of my website’s most valued visitors is from Mumbai and he lives with purebred Persians (see one of his posts). Although, I have noticed that there are some Persian breeders in Pakistan or at least there is one.

And I have been reminded that commercially produced cat food is readily available in India. I have the impression that the government of India is more stable and the laws more likely to be enforced. Although in respect of the tiger in India things could be improved (see for example Indian Bengal Tiger Reserves).

What of the animal protection laws in Pakistan? There are some but none as far as I can see are enforced properly or if they are it is to a very low standard. The central animal protection legislation of the country was drawn up by the British during the time of the British Empire. It extended to the whole of “British India” (i.e. before the creation of the state of Pakistan). I am talking about the The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1890 (Act). Yes 1890! It was amended in 1937 and in 1961 (under the Agriculture Department of West Pakistan).

This Act concerns domestic animals, which at the time it was enacted meant working animals. A petition2 was set up to amend, extend and update this Act. The target was 1000 votes and 396 were obtained indicating a apathy to animal welfare. According to a lawyer in Pakistan this Act is the only law designed to protect animals in Pakistan but it does nothing for the persecuted animals in Pakistan. It is an Act crying out to be repealed and rewritten along the lines of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in the UK as one example. Swedish laws are also very good. It is not difficult in a technical sense to draft effective animal protection laws. The obstacle is apathy and a disregard for the welfare of animals.

Andaleeb Rizvi of the Daily Times (a Pakistani newspaper based in Pakistan)3 bemoans the fact that the Act is very limited in its ambit and that there has never been any prosecutions regarding animal cruelty to stray animals in Pakistan.

She also notes, amongst other acts of cruelty, the careless, cruel and for the perpetrators enjoyable treatment dished out to the feral cats of Pakistan that involves throwing stones at them, cutting off their tails and/or ears and poisoning them; plain obnoxious animal cruelty, which can lead to general cruelty. In Pakistan there are daily major breaches of what would be animal protection legislation of the basic kind (if it was in place in the country) and it goes on unabated with a complete disregard for the welfare of other animals.

Sindh (one of the four provinces of Pakistan) has the Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1972, which apparently applies to wild animals but not feral cats and dogs. The Local Government Ordinance 2001 concerns stray animals (e.g. feral and stray cats) but this legislation is concerned with protecting the public form the stray animals not the other way around. And although under item 9 section 2(c) animal shelters can be built none have in the 8 years that the legislation has been in force4. Note: there is one animal shelter in Pakistan: ” — Edhi Animal Shelter (the URL is defective hence no link – 9th Jan 2010).

Taking care of stray animals in Karachi usually involves killing the animals. Clauses 428 and 429 of the Pakistan Penal Code are not concerned with the protection of animals but the protection of people who suffer loss meaning the loss of possessions such as animals. The Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and Edhi Foundation are concerned with animal welfare but are hampered by a lack of funding and an unsupportive government.

What is the answer? The problem is a deeply rooted cultural matter. There is corruption in Pakistan. People work on the basis of promoting self interest. Animals are well down the list of priorities. Wealth, education and honest government are the keys.

As to wild animals, there are wildlife conservation projects but I cannot find any laws or the enforcement of laws that protects what was once abundant wildlife. Wild cats found in Pakistan include:

These cats are vulnerable in Pakistan. They are some of the persecuted animals of Pakistan.

The Persecuted Animals in Pakistan — Please note: this is not a westerner carelessly criticising an Asian country. All the information comes from the mouths of Pakistani people living in Pakistan.

Animals in Pakistan – the photo is cropped as allowed under the Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

From The Persecuted Animals in Pakistan to Wild Cat Species


1 this reference URL is broken and therefore removed Nov 2012. By Andaleeb Rizvi




Comments for
The Persecuted Animals in Pakistan

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Jan 27, 2012 have you ever been there? NEW
by: Anonymous

It is considered a crime in Islam to harm any of God’s creations. Humans are the custodians of life on earth, appointed by God. I have been to Pakistan and I haven’t personally witnessed any animal cruelty. I don’t know what agenda you have, but this type of nonsense is wildly harmful in terms of propogating misinformation.

Oct 20, 2010 ojhjoghjmeyuiuiofgijji
by: Anonymous

hu9ighuihguojivo hzjhoigu

Jul 20, 2010 sad
by: danni

Its sad that BOTH Indian and Pakistani people abuse animals.I am really puzzled by your mention of India doing so much?? I have lived in India for 17 years and all I ever saw was cruelty and abuse to stray dogs and cats.
Mr. Westerner, just because a clause is in Indian Law books doesn’t mean its applicable to poor,ignorant people of daily street life.

Apr 18, 2010 hell thats all fake
by: hanizoya

see pakisatn serves their feral cats and dogs whole heartedly u are simply mistaken and people living in pakistan simply knows hoe to help those ceatures living in europe and deciding that pakistan leaves its feral dogs and cats any where is jst aall rubish so its better to shut your mouth !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and actually u know the hell is your country !!!!dude so chill up!!

Feb 10, 2010 Shelters/Sanctuaries?
by: Anonymous

Are there any humane animal shelters in Pakistan?

Dec 22, 2009 So sad
by: Ruth

It is just dreadful that cats are being abused so badly there. I suppose it’s the same as for people, fate decides where you are born.
There is no rhyme or reason for anything that happens in this world !
How I wish we could help all those who can’t help themselves,animals and people.

Dec 22, 2009 We tend to forget
by: Michael

We tend to forget what it can be like in Asia for the domestic and feral cat. There is a lot of work to do in the UK and USA regarding feral cats but without animal protection legislation and a culture that has less regard for the humble domestic and stray cat it must be pretty brutal at times in Pakistan.

There are concerned people in Pakistan (it is from these people that I got the idea for the article) but there is work to do. Animals are generally of rather low or lower priority in Asia based on the reports of people living there.

Dec 21, 2009 Poor Paki kitties and others
by: Jan Plant

This is such a sad article to read.It saddens me further that we are suppose to be superior,intelligent beings.There is absolutely not one thing superior or intellegent in causing pain to an animal! Nothing!


The Persecuted Animals in Pakistan — 43 Comments

  1. Hi Michael
    You are 100% right in your article. I am a caretaker of a colony of Feral cats containing 21 cats and a few of their kittens. I have gone through a terrible experience with 4 abandon kittens and out of which only one is left. One kitten killed by neighbor, one by another. third ran away with fear which I could not catch myself as she had a lot of speed but the next day I came to know by my student that an old “pious man” killed him just stagging her with a stick on her head. So I have caged the fourth kitten and she is grooming and eating well. But I may say that no law and no rule. Yes it is very sad and we Pakistanis must accept the truth if we want to see Allah subhanahu wa tala’h with a pretty smile or otherwise get ready for a beautiful burning HELL FIRE. 🙁 Thanks for the article Michael. May Allah guide us towards the sayings of Holy prophet SAW and not towards a land to protect.

    • Hi Ahsan, Great to hear from Pakistan. It is the first time. Your story is extremely sad. Shocking but thanks for sharing.

      I’d like you write about your cat rescue in Pakistan. Please write some more in another comment about your experiences in rescuing cats. You can upload photos too (see the button below the comment box).

      Do you have a PayPal account? If so I’ll send you some money for the comments.

      • Dear Michael
        You can add me on my facebook
        I have a lots of pictures there
        Money is not concerned actually but really appreciate your love for these tiny household friends <3
        The basic is that why we being human beings hate any animal who needs us in the civilization and saying even not a word and disturbing even not a second of our private lives.
        Michael I just cried a lot and I am still broken but am ambitious to bring more and more feral kittens at home and bring them up for their welfare sake.
        Allah helps me inshallah ameen and God bless you please add me thanks again. will share my experiences about ferals, I have a deep love for ferals <3

      • Shame on you.
        Thought you didn’t want to pay anymore.
        Or, is it just the ones you committed to long ago and have carried you through?

        • Dee, it is not shame on me. This is a one off payment to Pakistan a relatively poor country where there is a specific need to help a cat rescue operation. This is a charitable donation. It is completely different to regular high cost payments costing hundreds of USD per month (approx $650) for paid articles. Anyway he has not accepted the offer.

          Dee, I don’t believe it is fair to say others have carried me through.

          • If I presumed wrong, I’m very sorry.
            Sometimes, I forget that we are from different places.

            Over here, when I solicit a service and offer money for it, it’s considered a wage and not charity.
            I, recently, committed to an air conditioning company to do checks every 6 months for the next 5 years. It seems that I can’t back out of that. It’s sewn up tight. Plus, ethically, I shouldn’t try.

            Perhaps, in England, that isn’t the case.

            It’s all confusing, because should I make a monetary commitment in writing (like email) to pay someone for services, it is legally binding here and cannot be taken back without going to court and having a judgment.

            I’m not sure which part of the world is better right now.

            • should I make a monetary commitment in writing (like email) to pay someone for services, it is legally binding here

              Yes, but for how long? You contracted for a term.

              Dee, when I pay writers to write for PoC it is a contract but a loose one. There is only one fixed term to it – the cost per article. There is no fixed term. It is fluid. That is understood. That is the convention for article writers on the internet.

              But I also like to help cats who are unloved and who nobody wants or cares for. In Pakistan there are many cats like this. I wanted to publicise their plight and help this sweet man who cares for feral cats. He deserves help. He is better than me. I want to help the helpless. That is it.

              Nobody has lost anything. Let’s keep this cool and positive. I don’t see the negative.

              I hope we can remain friends. This should not interfere.

              • Disagreements happen. So what?
                I have always been the type to point out any injustice that I feel is happening even when it doesn’t affect me directly as this issue, since I never received payment nor wanted it.
                I’m very quick to come to the rescue of those I care about when I feel they have been wronged.
                That’s just the kind of girl I am and doubt I will ever change.

  2. Hi Michael, Here I share some pictures of feral cats who are regular visitors to my home. They often spend night in groups but as I had kittens , they stopped visiting me but I still go to them and spend my time upto 4 hours a day regular.

  3. She is PINKY and she just loves me a lot because I have raised her from the kitten hood. She visits non-stop thrice a day and once at night. She rubs her head with my legs/arms and is a lap kitty. I love you PINKY <3

  4. Here is my male alone feral SOLO CAT TUMTUM. He was a kitten when I raised him as he was beaten terribly by some idiot here. I just caged him and when he became a harsh hunter and rude fellow, I released him so that he can enjoy his own life and give a great lesson to his stone thrower or beater and that is what he does now but he is my regular guest and now adopted by my one neighbor.I tamed him and he is a daily visitor to me as my neighbor does not mind it if I check him a bit or love him as he is my boy TUMTUM <3

  5. This is my tom cat SAJID, AAaaah a kitten raised by me but he decided not to stay with any one. He is very dangerous but my regular tom cat. Love him as he loves me,too. Its only me who is allowed by him to pet him on this planet earth.Others stay away 😀 hahaha love him FATTY BOY <3

  6. Ofcourse I will share more with pictures now but I am really sad because I have only one kitten with me and she is filthy happy and sad due to a full loss of her brothers and a sister kitten. We are just together now 🙁 Allaah may give her a long life ameen

      • Thank you so much Michael, I will keep sharing so that every Pakistani on this planet may know the truth about ferals insha Allah, ameen.

      • Hi Michael
        Just wanna share here that here where I live, we have no vet service, if there is a shop of vet 12 KMs far from my residence, its always CLOSED.
        Now after every effort I have decided alongwith my three daughters to do a basic course of veterinary for cats & kittens.
        Unfortunately there is a private institution in an other city, which we can not go because of our job matters.
        Do you or some one knows, online necessary basic vet courses or certificates, I mean distance study online type so that no one of us leaves Pakistan or truly speaking, we don’t wanna leave our sweet home 🙂
        Is there some way , we can serve these tiny creatures of Allah by obtaining any certificate online about cats and kitten’s medicines or latest research equipments needed for emergency so that we altogether can have our cats neuter/ spayed. We have no such services and if we have in Lahore/ Karachi (big cities) , they are heavy costly and unable to afford. I want to become a welfare doctor of cats (not for money but for their well being).
        please guide me , thank you.

  7. Wow Ahsan This is so amazing. You have such a big Heart to do what you do for these Cats. They are so Beautiful. Good on you for Caring for these Cats. Im From New Zealand and am so amazed there is no Vet Services over there. I hope you can train to be a Vet. It takes a good person to Care for Cats. You must have alot of Empathy.

      • Yes Im a big Cat Lover I have 5 Myself. It takes big Commitment. It must be so hard Don’t hear very much over that side of the World. Yes Cats are amazing arent they.

      • Yes it must be so hard. I think it would be a good idea if we can to donate some of the comments or something towards what he is doing over there. As its such a big Job. To think how wonderful just a small group of people can make a difference. Its hard when all you read over the world is war and poverty. Nice to see someone who has a heart and making a difference.

        • Thank you so much
          My respected friend Michael
          Here are some of the today’s photos of my only one left kitten and me

          Hope you will like LAILA as she is only 8 weeks old right now and we both are affiliated to each other in a bond of Parent/ daughter alike. I want to raise her as I have raised her mom PINKY.

          Pinky is now a well grown up elder full CAT and she is very rude and dangerous with every human / not with me ofcourse as I am her father/ parent.

          No cat has never been rude with me, Alhamd u Lillah ( All praise goes to Allah).

          I just Love cats and can live with them and die with/for them.

  8. Aww they are such lovely photos and great to see a man with deep love and concern for Cats and kittens. Alot of People here have the same love. Thanks for sharing with us.

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