Animal welfare in Samoa

By Julia Jamila Werner 25 January 2017, 12:00AM

There are terms like the “the dog side of paradise” who show what people think about our four-legged friends. 

They are mostly seen as a nuisance or even as a danger. What disturbed the relationship between the human being and animals so much that they often get treated in the most horrible way?

Every day animals suffer in the hands of humans for one reason or another.

Unfortunately but realistically, dogs in small countries are often filthy, malnourished, virtually totally non-socialized and diseased. 

They are in fact virtually wild in their existence and even people who had a working dependency on their dog rarely had an emotional bond. 

How high is the knowledge about animals and animal protection?  

How much does a dog’s life count?

It may be so easy to save a dog’s life through rehoming those who are in extreme need, providing medical assistance, raising awareness on issues facing dogs all around the world and influencing governments to implement and enforce animal welfare laws.

There is much disagreement as to whether non-human animals have rights, and how we define animal rights. There is much less disagreement about the consequences of accepting that animals have rights.

Animal rights teach us that certain things are wrong as a matter of principle, that there are some things that it is morally wrong to do to animals.

Human beings must not do those things, no matter what the cost to humanity of not doing them.

Human beings must not do those things, even if they do them in a humane way.

It makes no difference if the animals are given 5-star treatment throughout their lives and then killed humanely without any fear or pain - it’s just plain wrong in principle, and nothing can make it right. 

Is it fair that human animals have rights but every other species should not because giving rights to creatures that are so simple that the idea of them having rights seems to defy common sense?

Because animals are sentient, the only reason humans are treated differently is speciesism, which is an arbitrary distinction based on the incorrect belief that humans are the only species deserving of moral consideration. 

Speciesism, like racism and sexism, is wrong because cows, pigs and chickens suffer when confined, tortured and slaughtered and there is no reason to morally distinguish between humans and non-human animals. 

Even if a pig doesn’t suffer in the same way that a human suffers, no two humans suffer in the same way either.

Eight puppies got abandoned (next to Maritime part of the NUS, if you follow the road where Amanaki is to the very end). 

They got found in a little box. No food. No water. If Marie Roeder, a student from the National University of Samoa had found them on Sunday the 22nd of January 2017, they would not have survived that long. 

She provided them with water and the day after with food and water. On Tuesday, we went there again to pick them up to go to the Animal Protection Society with the hope that they will take care for these puppies. Six mostly masculine puppies disappeared while two female puppies were still hiding at the same place. The third puppy was dead.

We took them to the APS in Vailima. The help we got wasn’t as expected. The low knowledge about the treatment of animals was shocking but it is one of the only shelters in Apia. At the end we decided to take them with us, to take care of them and to look for an appropriate home.

By Julia Jamila Werner 25 January 2017, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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