A new online petition has been created to curtail animal cruelty in Saudi Arabia. It calls for ending the use of violence against animals for human pleasure and currently needs around 1200 signatures in order for the petition and letter to be sent to the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture.
“In this country some ignorant individuals torture and abuse stray animals, they use violence against animals for their own amusement and with no mercy. Our goal is to create a law that will prevent them from harming any animal,” reads the beginning of the petition put forward by “Nyan.”
An example of this cruelty was seen in a June 2012 report by Green Prophet that detailed how a black bear in Jeddah had been trapped in a pet shop cage for five years.
The animal suffered overheating, malnourishment and required psychological attention in order to recover from the trauma inflicted upon him.
Activists said that the bear bites and smacks himself and visitors, including school children, regularly pelt him with food.
This, Nyan believes, makes the time much more important to push for an end to animal cruelty.
“It is a shame that there is no law for the protection of animals in KSA even though Islam has given animals their rights,” the petition continues.
“What is more shameful is that if any one of us passed by a person hitting or kicking a stray cat even if we stopped him, this person wouldn’t be held legally responsible for his despicable actions,” Nyan adds.
Animal rights activists have been pushing for greater protection of animals in Saudi and across the Gulf region for some time.
Ashley Fruno, the Senior Campaigner for PETA Asia-Pacific, told Green Prophet that getting laws on the books is a necessary foundation for the humane treatment of animals.
“An animal protection law is a good first step in fighting cruelty-to-animals in any country,” she said.
“A law acts as a deterrent to people, and of course it would also result in the persecution of those responsible for the worst cruelty. While there is a lot of work to be done for animals in Saudi Arabia, we’re excited to see a campaign for laws in the country.”
For now, activists the region over wait and hope for change when it comes to battling for animals, who continue to face mistreatment, violence and death at the hands of humans.
Image of cheetah behind wire, Shutterstock