Salman Sufi, Pakistan Prime Minister’s aide on Strategic Reforms, said the government was preparing a special course on animal welfare for schools in the country’s federal capital Islamabad, that would include both state-run and private schools. The course would be introduced by the end of October 2022 to students from fifth grade (when they are about nine years old).
Sufi said the course would educate children about keeping pets humanely and not hurting stray animals. He said that people need to be aware of the consequences of keeping wild animals at home, calling it “an appalling and troublesome idea”. He added that children will be introduced to “compassion and humane approach towards animals so they can be better citizens… They need to understand that you can’t throw stones at stray dogs. That it is better to neuter these animals. That even Islam teaches us to respect every living being and emphasises how animals should be protected… Our generation has failed the animals, so we have to make sure that our kids are better than us.”
There are over three million stray dogs in Pakistan, which is a subject that has sparked lots of debates as in the past the government ordered mass killings to control their population. Although this new government initiative is still a long way to a much more vegan-friendly approach to animals, it’s a step in the right direction. Recently, there was another positive step when Pakistan announced its first modern animal welfare law in the country, which includes banning live animal procedures in veterinary schools and the shooting of some animals. Now it remains to be seen if all these announcements are followed up with action, and how effective they are to begin changing the mindset of the citizens in the country who, as in any other country, have been indoctrinated into carnism for generations.