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Lawmakers’ apathy worries Nepal animal rights activists

world Updated: Feb 10, 2010 15:10 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Nepal is racing ahead to get itself a new constitution and all groups are trying to protect their interests. But the unenthusiastic attitude of lawmakers towards animal rights has left activists worried.

On Wednesday, animal rights activists under the banner of Animal Welfare Network Nepal held a workshop on animal rights and law and invited all 601 Constituent Assembly members. Only four turned up.

“I am not surprised. Animal right is one of the least priority areas for our lawmakers who are drafting the new constitution and their absence is an example of apathy,” said Pramada Shah, president AWNN.

Animal rights activists in Nepal want to make animal protection a part of the new constitution and the workshop was aimed at educating the lawmakers on status of animals in the Himalayan nation.

The discussion was the first of its kind organized in the country and activists were hoping that the lawmakers would try and ensure rights of animals in the new constitution and also speak out against animal abuse.

“The existing animal rights laws in Nepal have various loopholes, we want them corrected. Nepal remains one of the few countries in the world without an animal welfare act,” said Shah.

In order to raise awareness among the lawmakers, AWNN had distributed kits containing information, photos and existing legal provisions in other nations to all members of the Constituent Assembly.

Malika Nepal, a leading animal rights activist, informed that every year millions of animals and birds are sacrificed in temples and fairs across Nepal in the name of religion and tradition.