Animal Welfare advocates under their umbrella organization World Animal Protection have expressed displeasure at the way demonstrators and police treat animals especially pigs during political demonstrations.
There have been numerous cases of pigs painted in political colors being dropped by protesters on Kampala streets in the last few years.
Pigs are often used to symbolize greedy politicians and public officials, even though President Yoweri Museveni has also used the tern to refer to his political opponents.
The practice of using pigs in demonstrations was first adopted in neighboring Kenya in 2013, and ever since, Ugandan activists, mostly members of the Jobless Brotherhood have followed suit on multiple occasions.
However, Edith Kabesiime, the Wild Life Campaign Manager World Animal Protection Uganda, says the use of animals to demonstrate is uncalled for and against the welfare of these animals that have nothing to do with issues at hand.
She further noted that the way police treat the pigs while picking them from where they are dropped is also inhumane.
“We have seen policemen kicking pigs, throwing them on vehicles and you wonder what crime the pig has committed. This is against the animal cruelty law of Ugandan” she said.
This was during the media training on animal protection organised by Water and Environment Media Network (WEMNET) in partnership with World Animal Protection that took place Wednesday at Imperial Royale Hotel.
Kabesiime noted that generally, animal welfare in Uganda is not taken seriously, from the way domestic economic animals are reared, fed and transported to how pet owners treat companion animals like dogs and cats.
She called upon the Government and other Animal lovers to be vigilant and bring to book those who violent animals rights.
“Uganda has strong laws on animal cruelty but implementation is the problem. For animals to be used for sustainable economic development, they should be looked after well “she said.
Kabesiime said they are now focusing on new exotic pets/ wild animals that are being captured and sold as pets which violates their welfare.