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Animal Cruelty Needs Prevention
By: Allison H., St. Francis of Assisi School, Outer Cove, NF

Right here in Newfoundland animal abuse takes place. There have been numerous cases of physical abuse and neglect. Sometimes animals are permanantly injured and even killed because of this needless cruelty. Often there is punishment if the owner of an abused animal is caught.

Around the world many people are involved in animal rights. Groups like the Animal Liberation Front and even animal shelters promote the fair and equal treatment of animals. This subject causes concern for many people for numerous reasons. One is that many people feel that it is unfair to treat animals like they don't matter. Many people oppose the testing of animals and having certain animals as pets. People are also opposed to some of the conditions that pets are kept under.

People and animals have the same legal rights in California. However in Canada they differ. For example, if you tie a dog to the clothesline to let it get some exercise, it is not considered illegal. However, if a parent did the same thing to a child they would be arrested.

Under section 800 of the California 4-H handbook, animals deserve equal treatment. They have to receive human handling and transport, appropriate facilities and housing, the proper nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, humane exhibition, the avoidance of unnecessary restraint, pain or stress and euthanasia when it is necessary.

The Animal Liberation Front is an organization that is against animal testing. They think animal testing is cruel and try to save animals from the tests that some scientists perform for research. However they are not the only group that promote animal rights. Animal shelters across the country along with other animal rights groups protest at events such as circuses and rodeos and even the famous Canadian rodeo, the Calgary Stampede.

Animal testing is a process that has been the cause of much debate and will probably continue to be so until it is fully abolished. Animal testing has been used for centuries and in my opinion it is an archaic process that is out of place in a world that has advanced beyond the level of using guinea pigs and white rats to find a cure for diseases and disorders. Are animals not important to human existence? The animals didn't wander into a lab and ask if they could be used for experiments. Some humans have donated their bodies to scientific research after their death and for those who would argue that conducting research on a corpse is not good enough there are also live human research candidates. Since animals have no way to tell people how or what they are feeling, people assume that they have no problem with having research conducted on them.

Some people may argue that testing on animals can save human lives but if human lives are all we're saving, why don't we just test on humans? We aren't saving animals so if we are testing on animals why don't we start trying to save animals more to. If the budget doesn't allow for that idea then we should stop testing on animals and just use humans. According to a writer from Michigan Daily, "anyone willing to risk or take a single human life for the sake of animals has a distorted sense of priorities." This is the answer from people on the side of animal testing. In the same article, it says that animal testing can help treat diseases such as cancer, AIDS, and other disorders and diseases.

Some cosmetics are also tested on animals. Although this kind of testing does not harm animals, this pointless action is inconsiderate of animal rights and is an offence to all humans and their level of thinking. Our morals have not truly evolved past the level of Neanderthals if we continue to do this ridiculous testing on animals for the purposes and benefits of human beings.

Xenotransplantation. This is the transfer of living animal cells, tissues or organs into other species. The government is currently trying to decide whether or not to use it in Canada. Its supporters say it is beneficial because of a very severe shortage of human organs available for transplant. The major risk of xenotransplantation is that it could spread disease from animals to humans.

My view on animal rights is that animals should be treated fairly by everyone. Animal testing for the welfare of humans only should be stopped. A possible alternative that could be applied to this situation is to use some if not all of the cures or treatments discovered on animals as well as humans. Since this would probably be a costly process, the groups that are dedicated to the prevention of animal cruelty could concentrate their efforts now on raising money for the treatment of the animals who may have contracted diseases. If some of the diseases do not normally affect animals, then money could be raised by these groups for the treatment of the diseases that do affect animals. Also, money could be raised for the research of the diseases that animals get which are currently not curable.

It's not a case of choosing who is more important. Animals and people cohabit, coexist and should cooperate. Killing the being you're cohabiting, coexisting and cooperating with isn't my idea of morality. Is it yours?

Material for this article was obtained from:
Animal Liberation Front website

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