Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Jones Phiri, makes an honest living selling chickens near area 18 Dip Tank , his usual spot is right beneath a large mango tree which helps him escape the scorching sun.
Located a few feet from his position is a parked bicycle which is leaning against the tree; on top of the bicycle carrier is a carefully place cage that is housing two local chickens.
A small scale business man, Mr. Phiri patiently waits there, all day if he has to, for a buyer.
Next to his bicycle are a bunch of leaves which according to Phiri are used to provide shade for the chickens during transportation. A look into cage reveals a plate of feed and some water for the chickens.
"In order to attract the best clients in need to keep my chickens in good shape that’s why I make sure that they have adequate food and water and are kept out of the sun", explained Phiri.
Unfortunately, very few people in the country feel the same compassion for animals as Phiri does. These days it is a common sight in towns and surrounding locations to see chickens carried in large numbers with their legs bound together on a bicycle frame or handle-bar with their heads down, these chickens are carried this way for a long distance.
Transporting Chickens in this manner has become the most common form of animal cruelty practiced in our society today; unfortunately such acts have become the norm and many people seem not to care about the animal’s suffering.
Lonjezo Jackson, another chicken seller, says he opts to transport his chickens on handle bars because this enables him to carry as many chickens as possible.
“I am a poor man and I need to make money for my family, if I use the cages I will make less money.
“Does it really matter if they suffer, they will be slaughtered anyway…….besides they are only Chickens”, said Jackson.
What many people like Mr. Jackson fail to realize is that animals need as much care and love as we do; for example, if chickens are kept and confined in stressful condition or are not provided with adequate medical services, they will not grow healthy hence will not produce good eggs or meat production, this eventually affects the seller’s income.
But most importantly, treating them in this way is a direct violation of the Animal Protection Act; Cap 66: 01 of the Malawian Constitution which condemns any form of cruelty towards animals.
Realizing that most people are not aware of this act LSPCA conducts education seminars with various stakeholders and tries to sensitize them on the Animal Protection Act.
LSPCA also runs Humane Education Lessons in schools and communities as well as educate animal transporters like Jackson on the proper transportation methods and at the same time tries to instil a sense of compassion towards animal’s welfare.
In order to aid in LSPCA's mission Mr. Phiri has vowed to teach his fellow chicken seller on how they can also properly take care of their chickens.
Posted by LILONGWE SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION AND CARE OF ANIMALS at 07:22