Tuesday, 24 December 2013

LSPCA holds AKC workshop

Naomi Kabala is one Malawian who has made a vow to safe guard the welfare of animals in the country through educating students in her class and club about the importance good animal welfare.

Kabala, a school teacher and Animal Kindness Club patron at Kaliyeka LEA school says that a lot of people do not take issues of animal kindness to heart mainly because of culture and attitude.

“With proper information we have a chance to change the mindset of our future generation,” she said.

Kabala was among a group of AKC patrons that gathered at LSPCA offices on 19 December, 2013 for an AKC training workshop that was aimed at creating a platform where patrons would be able to come together and share ideas, skills and experiences on how to effectively run the AKC’s.

The workshop, which brought together patrons from 20 public primary schools in Lilongwe, consisted of several presentations from LSPCA facilitators, a tour of the LSPCA compound as well as focus group discussions among the participants.

Kabala said that through discussions and presentations they were able to draw up activities that will be implemented in the 2014 school calendar.

According to the Kaliyeka patron, teachers have agreed to conduct several inter- school competitions in order to create a stronger network of AKCs.

During his presentation, LSPCA Programmes director Richard Ssuna said that teachers have an important role to play in disseminating information about animal welfare in the schools and in their communities.

He urged them to continue working closely with LSPCA and said that their interest to take part in the workshop reveals just how committed they are to protecting animal welfare in the country.

Other presenters included Education officers; Edson Chiweta, Christopher Zambira and LSPCA Veterinarian Sophie Widdowson.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Court finds Universal Security Company guilty of animal cruelty

When Maximus was first brought to LSPCA he weighed a mere 22 kg, unusual for a dogs of his size, his was body dehydrated and infested with fleas, his legs swollen and with several wounds.

Although it was evident that this male adult German shepherd had suffered extensively at the hands of his owners (Universal Security Company) he still remained a good natured dog.

Maximus along with 6 other dogs were brought to LSPCA clinic in September, 2013 after being rescued from Universal Security Company upon receiving tips from the public of the harsh conditions that the dogs were being subdued to.

The dogs were found in a broken down vehicle that had been used to transfer them from where they had been guarding. They were tied to the truck and made sit in the sun for several hours on the side of the road without food or water.

It was instantly discovered that the dogs were being kept in the sun for over 5 hours without any food or water. Worse still, the food that was provided to them was barely enough to fill their empty stomachs.

Fortunately, with support from the Malawi Police, LSPCA managed to confiscate all six dogs and immediately began a series of medical treatments while placed in quarantine for 30 days.

The dogs were given rabies vaccines, deworming and flea treatment. With proper love and care, the dogs have now gained over 3kgs since they were first brought to LSPCA.

As one LSPCA staff members recalls, the dogs were really in a pathetic state, they would finish an entire bowl of dog food within seconds but still wanting more.

Today the dogs look nothing like the skinny, unhealthy dogs that they were barely two months ago.

Evidence provided by LSPCA veterinarians were enough for the courts to declare Universal Security Company guilty of cruelty to animals and were ordered to pay a fine of K80, 000 or risk a prison sentence of 12 months.

Although the court ruling appeared lenient, it is however promising to note that the Malawian Police and judicial system are slowly starting recognize crimes of animal cruelly as a major offence and are starting to take an active role in ensuring that the welfare of all animals are guarded. This is evident by the establishment of a special Police taskforce dedicated to the protection animal welfare.

Luckily for Maximus and his fury friends, their life story does not end at LSPCA. Four dogs, including Maximus have been adopted, begining new chapter in lives.

                       BEFORE                                          AFTER

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Out of the jaws of death

Unable to resist the urge to dip their large bodies in cool water, one group of crocodiles which was housed in separate compartment burst through a wire fence at the sight of water being poured into a neighboring pond.

This demonstrates just how much pain crocodiles at Koma Croc farm were willing to endure to get a taste of water after being deprived of this necessity for such a long time.

It is now exactly one month since LSPCA led a joint rescue operation that resulted in the Malawi police confiscating over 200 crocodiles at Koma crocodile farm in Monkey, leaving them in the care LSPCA.

The operation, which brought together LSPCA, Malawi police, the Lilongwe Wildlife Center, the department of Animal Health and Livestock Management and the department of National Parks and Wildlife was aimed at rescuing the crocodiles from the cruel condition that they were subdued to, contrary to the Animal Protection Act.

A visit to the farm on 6 December revealed a different scenario; the ponds which stood in ruins barely a month ago have been renovated and are now filled with water giving the crocodiles the pleasure to cool the bodies after long bask in the sun.

One group of crocodiles was seen enjoying a mid-day swim while others were freely moving around the pond, contrary to state that the crocodiles were in when LSPCA first visited the area.

According to one of the farm caretakers, the crocodiles no longer spend sleepless nights without adequate as they are regularly fed.

He explains that the crocodiles are fed twice a week; the ones that were too weak to eat are force force fed. Through force feeding they have managed to save two crocodiles.

Thanks to the assistance rendered by Club Makokola who generously offered to cover all costs that were incurred in the renovation of the ponds and the local community members who have spared their precious time to help fetch water for the lake to the ponds, hope has been restored to the farm

However, due to the delay in prosecution of the owner, LSPCA is calling on other well-wisher to support in caring for these crocs as they consume a full cow every fortnight.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

LSPCA awards top students in the first ever Humane Education Exams

On 29 November, 2013 LSPCA awarded students who did extremely well in the Humane Education Exams that took place early this month.

Nine schools in Lilongwe sat for the Humane Education exams which were aimed at testing the children’s understanding of animal welfare issues before initiating them into the Animal Kindness Clubs.

The award presentation was held at Nkomachi Primary School in area 25, which was the only school that produced a student who scored as high as 100 per cent.

According to Programs Director for LSPCA Dr. Richard Ssuna the Humane Education classes as well as the Animal Kindness Clubs are aimed at promoting compassion towards animals in pupils and instill a sense of responsibility to the well-being of the animals under their care.

“These classes narrow the very wide knowledge gulf between the correct handling and basic care of animals and the norms in our society. Also we dispel the several traditional myths and beliefs that impact on perceptions held in certain communities about animals,” said Dr. Ssuna.

He further said that the program aims at reaching out to school going children and orient their thinking to cause an attitude change in both the individuals and the society they live in.

In addition to the already existing clubs, LSPCA now has 20 Animal Kindness Clubs under their belt. Through the Humane Education Programme LSPCA has reached over 6,000 pupils and 100 trainers and further seeks to roll out a Programme to the rest of the 54 public primary schools in Lilongwe.

Upon receiving his award Gift Kamwendo, the only pupil who managed to get all the questions correct, said that through the humane education classes he has learned a lot about animal welfare and protection.

“I wish all schools in the country had humane education classes, I look forward to advancing into the animal kindness clubs so that I can learn a lot more and broaden my understanding about animal welfare,” said Gift.

Out 1017 students that sat for the exam 511 have passed.

The exams were conducted in nine public primary schools in Lilongwe namely Mkomachi, Kaliyeka, Shire urban, Mvama, Mvunguti, Mlodza, Msambeta, Msambachikho and Chisamba.

However, despite Nkomachi having the best student, it was Chisamba LEA that walked away with the title of best school after displaying a pass rate of 80 per cent.

Speaking during the award presentation, patron for Chisamba Stophan Chambiya, said that Chisamba’s performance shows just how dedicated teacher are with animal welfare programe.

“We will continue to work with LSPCA and are more than ready to start the animal kindness clubs as soon as possible,” said Chambiya.

Other schools that did very well in the exams are Shire Urban and Kaliyeka Primary Schools who came second and third respectively.

The Animal Kindness Clubs are kindly supported by the National Council of SPCAs in South Africa.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Koma Crocodile Farm Closed

Friday 8th November was a good day for Animal Welfare in Malawi.

Staff of the LSPCA along with representatives from the Malawi Police, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre closed down the Koma Crocodile Farm in Mangochi due to serious mistreatment of the animals in the compound. Over many months reports have been made about the poor care the animals are receiving and the owners have been warned to improve conditions but it appears that nothing was being done by the management to address the issues.

The crocodiles on the farm were found dehydrated and malnourished from lack of food and water given by the carers. Many were suffering from injuries that had not been treated and overpopulation in the pens was causing the animals severe stress. The pens were found in derelict and unsafe condition with the water ponds leaking water leaving minimal amounts for the animals being housed there. Lack of water and food for these aquatic animals has led to conditions such as bad skin disorders, emaciation and the stopping of the normal breeding processes.

In his report, veterinarian Dr Richard Ssuna wrote ‘On feeding them, the level of inter group aggression and destabilization as well as varied responses of lethargic response to food and failure to swallow in others all showed different levels of starvation and ability to even cope with feeding. It is not unreasonable to suppose that many of these individuals shall eventually die.’ Even since making his report, more of the animals have die.

The animals are now under the care of the LSPCA until the matter can be resolved with the local authorities and then more suitable care can be found for the remaining crocodiles. There is immediate work being done to improve the enclosures for the animals and to provide adequate food and water.


Thursday, 3 October 2013


LSPCA, with the help of the Malawi Police, confiscated 6 dogs from Universal Security Company last week.  The dogs were found in a broken down vehicle which had been transferring them from where they had been guarding.  Someone saw the dogs in the car and, concerned about their health, called LSPCA Veterinarian Sophie to inform her about the situation.  An LSPCA employee was sent to get the Police and, after inquiring what the problem was, it was found that the dogs had been kept there in the sun for over 5 hours without any food or water.  The police took the dogs to LSPCA where they are being treated for skin problems and dehydration.  Already, there is a notable improvement in their health. The company involved is being investigated.

Thursday, 26 September 2013


Representatives from the Humane Society International together with the Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals conducted a 3 day training at the Malawi Police, Lilongwe Headquarters. The training was from the 23rd of September, 2013 to the 25th of September, 2013.  Its main aim was to teach the attendants on how to capture stray animals and how to investigate on animal abuse. Present were representatives from the Police, Malawi Veterinary Association, Wildlife Society and the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development.  The facilitator of the training was Soham Mukherje from the Humane Society International.

Soham said the concept was to raise the standards of animal welfare in developing countries.  the main focus of the training were dogs.  The first presentation was on stray dogs catching, which are the most difficult to catch.  The personnel should always catch dogs safely and humanely.  Team effort is also required.  The capturing techniques are non-invasive, which is a quiet and calm way used to catch friendly animals, and using equipment to aggressive animals.  examples of the equipment used are slip leads, cage traps and chemicals.

a guide to safely and humanely evaluate, approach and remove animals was also presented.  The objective of this was to learn how to evaluate your surrounding, humanely handle the animals, protect yourself and others and remove the animal.  The calming techniques that are used are speaking softly,  lowering your stature, offering a hand to stiff and not approaching with equipment.  when removing the animals after capturing, one needs to identify the exit, observe who is in close proximity and communicate needs and intentions with team mates.  The tools required are hands and gloves, towel and slip lead, net and control pole and life trap and immobilization, and the techniques are supporting the animals bodies, securing ones hold and protecting yourself as well as identifying the animals defense method.

Soham also taught on how to write investigative reports, what to include and layout.  By the end of the training, the trainees practiced on how to approaching , capturing and handling animals.

Friday, 20 September 2013


The Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals organized a workshop on 19th September, 2013.  The aim of the workshop was to look at the guidelines on how the community should manage animals considering that animal welfare is a very important agenda.  The importance of this workshop saw the presence of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Jermoth Ulemu Chilapondwa, as the guest of honor.  
Among other things, the Deputy Minister highlighted that ensuring animal welfare, which is the means of how an animal is coping, is a human responsibility.  We should make sure that animals have good housing and feeds, and that they are handled and slaughtered in a humane way.  He said good animal welfare means good human welfare since almost 60% of the Malawian population depends on livestock products.  This can be achieved by ensuring that farmers have access to good husbandry techniques because it is directly related to good animal welfare, which also includes freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition, freedom from fear and distress, freedom from physical and thermal discomfort, freedom from pain, injury and diseases and freedom to express normal patterns of behavior.   Ever since the Malawi Animal Protection Act was reviewed in 1970, the country still has inadequate animal legislation hence the need for another review.  At the moment, the government is setting up a veterinary school to enable farmers access new technologies needed to improve livestock welfare.
One of the issues that was tackled at the workshop was how the issue of animal welfare can be approached. Rabies reduction was specified.  Rabies, which is spread mostly by dogs and cats, can be reduced by knowing the population of the animals which leads to proper planning of education, sterilization, legislation, management, etc.

The recommendations that were made at the workshop to make sure that good animal welfare is achieved in Malawi were that since animal welfare is involved by a lot of issues, it needs to be addressed by more than one organization.  Some of the organizations which were mentioned are LSPCA, Wildlife, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Ministry of Health, Civil Society, Malawi Veterinary Association, the Malawi Police and Cold Storage. It was also recommended that the Animal Protection Act should be looked at and revised if need be.