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.