The Perception of Animal Rights in Uganda

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THE PERCEPTION OF ANIMAL RIGHTS IN UGANDA

BY

DR BAMEKA RONALD

1.1 Introduction
Animal Rights is the protection of all animals from being exploited and abused by humans. This includes the use of animals for anything that causes them pain and suffering, such as medical experimentation, imprisonment in circuses and zoos, and fur production.

The fundamental principle of the Animal Rights Movement is that nonhuman animals deserve to live according to their own natures, free from harm, abuse, and exploitation. This goes further than just saying that we should treat animals well while we exploit them, or before we kill and eat them. It says animals have the right to be free from human cruelty and exploitation, just as humans possess this right. The withholding of this right from the nonhuman animals based on their species membership is referred to as "speciesism".

1.2 Philosophical bases of animal welfare
What people understand by "animal welfare" depends in part on values that differ between cultures and individuals. These differences lead people to emphasize different elements of animal welfare that can be summarized under three broad headings (Fraser, 2008). The first is an emphasis on the physical health and biological functioning of animals. There is almost universal agreement that such elements are important for animal welfare, hence disease, injury and malnutrition are more or less universally regarded as animal welfare problems. The second is concern about the "affective states" of animals, especially negative states such as pain, distress and hunger. These are common concerns in many cultures, but in some cases they are deemphasized by certain

1.3 Basic Animal Rights principles
In 1965, the British Government commissioned an investigation into the welfare of farmed animals and thereafter proposed that all animals should have freedom to stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch their limbs. These became known as the "Five Freedoms"2 (Farm Animal Welfare Council, 2009).

The expanded Five Freedoms now established by the FAWC are: 1. Freedom from hunger and thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet designed to maintain full health and vigour; 2. Freedom from discomfort – by the provision of an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area; 3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease – by prevention or through rapid diagnosis and treatment; 4. Freedom to express normal behaviour – by the provision of sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind; and 5. Freedom from fear and distress – by the assurance of conditions that avoid mental suffering.

As a complement to the Five Freedoms, criteria for the assessment of animal welfare have been identified by the Welfare Quality Project (WQP), The WQP aims to develop a standardized system for assessing animal welfare and more generally to develop practical strategies and measures to improve animal welfare (Welfare Quality, 2009). The WQP criteria for the assessment of animal welfare are:

1. Animals should not suffer from prolonged hunger, i.e. they should have a sufficient and appropriate diet. 2. Animals should not suffer from prolonged thirst, i.e. they should have a sufficient and accessible water supply. 3. Animals should have comfort around resting.

4. Animals should have thermal comfort, i.e. they should neither be too hot nor too cold. 5. Animals should have enough space to be able to move around freely. 6. Animals should be free from physical injuries.

7. Animals should be free from disease, i.e. farmers should maintain high standards of hygiene and care. 8. Animals should not suffer pain induced by inappropriate management, handling, slaughter or surgical procedures (e.g. castration, dehorning). 9. Animals should be able to express normal, non-harmful social behaviours (e.g. grooming). 10. Animals should be able to express other normal behaviours, i.e. they...
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