ISLAMABAD, OCT 02 (DNA) – Subjecting living creatures to unnecessary pain and suffering for the entertainment of humans is against the law, said the Islamabad High Court in a written order in the Islamabad Zoo case.
The written order was issued on Friday and penned by Chief Justice Athar Minallah. The court has been hearing petitions against keeping animals at a zoo in Islamabad.
“It appears to this court that there is no appropriate sanctuary for relocating the two Himalayan brown bears nor the government of Punjab is prepared to accept their responsibility,” read the order.
The court lamented that the animals have “already been subjected to unimaginable pain and suffering merely for the purposes of being exhibited to humans”. It said it had already ruled that subjecting living beings to unnecessary pain and suffering merely for the entertainment of humans is in violation of the law and disproportionate to the purpose sought to be achieved.
“Taking out living species from their natural habitats is illegal and a breach of right to life,” read the order. It noted that the chairman of the Wildlife Management Board has informed the court that arrangements are being made to relocate the living species to the appropriate sanctuaries.
“Regrettably, in the past, these living beings have been neglected, which has unnecessarily prolonged their pain and suffering.” The court ordered the authorities to move the bears and Kaavan as soon as possible.
A total of 44 animals from the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad have been shifted to Jungle World in the Ayub National Park in Rawalpindi. The Army Heritage Foundation has given the responsibility to look after these animals. The new additions include zebras, monkeys, rabbits, lions and buffaloes.
Two lions died while being transferred from Islamabad’s Marghazar Zoo to a farmhouse in Lahore, it was reported on July 30. The case was registered under Section 5 of the Animal Act 1990. The law punishes people for killing any animal in an unnecessarily cruel manner.
Those convicted under the law must pay a fine of Rs200 and can be imprisoned for up to six months. The FIR says that the caretakers beat the pair with sticks and lit a fire in their cage to knock them unconscious instead of using a tranquilizer.
A video of the caretakers igniting a fire in the lion’s cage has been shared on social media too. The negligence of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board is also being investigated in the case. . =DNA