Speaking at a press conference held yesterday (20) by the Alliance for the Protection of Community Dogs, Otara Gunewardene stated that the sudden increase in the cruelty to animals has been due a minority of the population complaining about the problem regarding stray animals.
Public figure and prominent animals rights activist, Otara Gunewardene further added that an increasing number of Sri Lankans have requested officials to stop such practices, and that the reason behind the alliance of animals welfare organizations being at the event, was to be a “voice for the voiceless” and represent all those who stand against the inhumane actions taken against the stray animals, frankly stating that “what is a problem to some may not be a problem to many” .
Gunewardene stated that cruelty was not the way to solve any problem, and that if the problem regarding strays bothered the people involved, there were many alternative solutions that could have been used to solve the issue.
Furthermore, she stated that many developed and developing countries around the world treat humans and animals as equals, and that if Sri Lanka was to develop its global image then it was up to the people and officials of the country to work towards treating the abandoned animals with more compassion.
Talking about the animal welfare bill, Gunewardene added activists have been pushing for the animal welfare bill which was passed 18 months ago in cabinet, to be actively enforced so that justice is done to the animals who have been victims of cruelty, as it’s only right for these animals to have “some rights greater than what they have today”.
Concluding her statements, Gunewardene added that the needs of the people lacking compassion should be are being addressed more than that of those who do, and that it was time to reverse such practices to show that such behavior is not acceptable.