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

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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 It is an Act crying out to be repealed and rewritten along the lines of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in the UK as one example.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!

43 thoughts on “The Persecuted Animals in Pakistan”

  1. 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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