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Teachers: Let’s teach caring for animals in schools
In light of recent announcements regarding the Dangerous Dogs Act, two primary school teachers are calling on the Ministry of Education to bring back the topic, Caring for Animals, to the primary school syllabus. The teachers, Noreen Ragoonanan and Gabrielle Kowlessar, said this during an interview.
“We believe change must start with the young ones in society so the topic should be brought back to the syllabus,” said Ragoonanan. “People treat animals with disrespect in this country and there is no body to monitor how these animals are treated,” said Kowlessar. Both women believe that animals considered dangerous only become violent when treated inhumanely or trained badly.
“The animals themselves are trained violently. They are given alcohol, drugs, trained to kill humans and beaten into submission. What can you expect but for them to attack humans?” Kowlessar asked. Kowlessar believes that animals, especially dogs, in T&T, were not given the protection and the respect that they should.
“Even in the pounds these dogs are treated badly. We need to set up dog pounds with properly trained staff and vets, and allow only people who genuinely care about animals to get on board,” she said. Ragoonanan felt animal protection rules should be established.
“People should be penalised for abandoning their animals. We need organisations other than the T&T Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TTSPCA) as they do not bother with animals that are on the street,” she said. Kowlessar added it was common for only “pedigree dogs” to get attention.
“What about common dogs? Aren’t they dogs to? What about mongrels and pothounds? Is it okay that we discriminate against dogs even?” she asked. The teachers believe Government needed to consider all factors, including the treatment of animals, before implementing the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Last month, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan revealed that Cabinet had agreed that the act would come into force on August 1. The act imposes certain obligations on the owners or keepers of three breeds of dogs.
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