Many farm animals are intensively confined in crates, cages, or pens so small they can barely move, while others are overcrowded in filthy, barren sheds.

Painful physical mutilations and brutal attacks are commonly inflicted on farm animals such as cattle, donkeys and domestic animals like dogs, cats, goats and sheep.

The inhumane treatment has caught the attention of animal rights campaigner – Ghana Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (GSPCA) – to launch aggressive public education about the importance of striking good relationship with animals to avert deadly viruses from being transferred to humans.

The group was also concerned that animal rights and welfare in Ghana are consistently abused as the animals suffer cruel and rampant maltreat, compelling the creatures including dogs, cats, goats, sheep and donkeys to join stray ones and contract lethal virus like rabies and Ebola which are transferrable to humans.

Mr David Nyaogbe,Co-Founderof the Ghana Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (GSPCA) explains the need for proper animal handling and welfare at homes.

He also urged the animals division of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and relevant government agencies to back its public education efforts and reintroduce mass vaccination exercise abandoned few years back.

“We want people to know that animals also matter, they were created to co-exist with human beings but one is trying to dominate, it is bringing a lot of chaos,” Mr Nyaogbe said.

“If for example you get dog or cat and you don’t to feed it properly it will go to feed with stray animals and get rabies, which is now on the rise in Ghana.”

“People attitude towards animals must change, stoning them is not acceptable, if you can’t treat the animal well, don’t keep it,” he added, “if they are properly treated they can keep watch over homes.

Several basic schools in the Greater Accra region were brought together early this year to share information about importance of showing compassion and good car to animals.

The students mountedrobust peer humane education and information in their schools and neighbourhoods about the need to feeddomestic mammals with clean food and water as well asgivingthem hygienicsleeping places.

Pets’ keepers were advised to give animals,tidy shelter or rooms and avoid feeding them with left over foods or dirty water, particularly dietsriddled with bones and foreign materials.

Mr Nyaogbehighlighted the benefits of animalsto human health as they could boost healthier hearts conditions, lower blood pressure, stay sick less often and less depressed.

Dogs and cats may spiritual significance and impact on allergies, asthma, social support, and improve social, interactions with people.

When a child has no brothers or sisters, he said,domestic animals help the child develop greater empathy, higher self-esteem, and increased participation in social and physical activities.

Despite the significance of keeping animals, they are being poorly cared or ill-treated,driving them astray and acquire devastatingailments to pass on to humans.

Health officials say between January and September 2015, 70 dog bites were recorded in Accra, with six deaths, while 25 rabies related deaths registered between January 2009 and July 2011.

Veterinary Servicesrecord around890 dog bite cases in the last quarter of 2014, and120 of the cases were triggered by stray dogs.

Ghana’s Veterinary Services have warned the number of cases could surge this year following soaring population of stray dogs on the streets of cities around the country and reportsof acute shortage of dog vaccines and smuggling of rabies serums into private drug dealers.

“Rabies are deadly diseases, in fact, most animal diseases are fatal and children are the most vulnerable, if I see children being free of rabies, I will be the happiest person,” said MrAmasaba-AbdulYakeenAluiza, programmes officer of GSPCA.

He said the organisation has treated wounds of several dogs and catsnumbering over 40 and around 112 donkeys being dewormed and their wounds treated.

GSPCA seeks to promote animal welfare, strengthen human-animal bond, and safeguard animal rights and responsible animal owners.

So it is time to show some love and care to animals by giving them better food, healthcare services and shelter in to curb outbreak of preventable fatal diseases. It is only by doing so that we can stop them from joining the stray ones and bringing back to us the viruses.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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