Ugandan animal welfare activists have come out to condemn the breading and keeping of wild animals and birds as pets, saying it poses huge risks for humans but also undermines the freedoms of the animals themselves.
The concern by the conservationists comes after a pet tiger escaped from a private farm near Johannesburg in South Africa over the weekend attacked a man, killed domestic animals besides causing massive panic in the community before it was euthanized.
The tiger was the subject of a massive search after it escaped from a farm in Walkersville, South of Johannesburg. It attacked a person, two dogs and a pig while on the loose.
It was shot dead on Wednesday morning after it entered a farm where families live and killed a domestic animal.
Edith Kabesiime, Wildlife Campaigns Manager at World Animal Protection says: “Sheba the Tigress’s life has been ended prematurely due to human actions that would have totally been avoided.
On behalf of the World Animal Protection, Kabesiime reiterates that wild animals are not pets and should not be kept as such. She explains that these animals have specific needs and behaviors that are difficult to meet in captivity.
She adds that the wild animals are sentient beings and have a right to a wild life.
She said: “We call upon the Republic of South Africa through the Department of Forestry Fisheries and Environment to reconsider their captive wildlife policies and adopt laws that do not promote animal cruelty and exploitation especially now when they are reviewing their lion farming policies.”
Wild animals kept in captivity experience cruelty and suffering, Kabesiime noted, adding that most are often kept in small cages and may not have access to adequate food or water as they would have been in the wild. Hence, they are always on the lookout to escape.
An unknown number of tigers, alongside an estimated 8000-12000 African Lions continue to languish in several captive facilities across South Africa, exploited for entertainment and slaughtered to supply bones to China’s Traditional Medicine industry.
Now conservationists stress that wild animals should not be kept in captivity to be exploited for commercial gain saying it is cruel and inhumane.