Perverse pleasures: Plea challenging animal fights admitted

Petitioner says animal fights for fun must be declared illegal

Our Correspondent December 28, 2016

LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah has admitted a petition challenging the staging of animal fights.

The chief justice sought replies from the federal and Punjab governments in this case filed by Faryal Ali Gohar and Shaheen Atiqur Rehman.

The petitioners’ counsel, Waqqas Mir, said this disturbing trend emerged during colonial times and has continued into the modern day when dogs, bears and monkeys are pitted against each other.

He said fighting and baiting or inciting animals to fight is illegal. He said a loophole in the law created a situation which was a direct insult not only to animals, but life itself. He added that a colonial era law called The Act of 1890 was misused for animal baiting and fighting.

The counsel asserted that this activity did not serve any other purpose, but cruelty towards animals, facilitating gambling and offending responsibilities that flow from human dignity.

“The law which allows animal fighting was premised on a worldview that has no place in the constitutional order and the impugned legal provision is ‘void for vagueness’ and should be struck down,” he added. “Islam forbids cruelty to animals,” he continued.

He requested that this law be struck down and declare repugnant to the Constitution.

He also requested that the government be told to ensure that no animal fighting allowed in the territorial jurisdiction of the LHC. Mir requested that until a final decision is reached on the petition, an appropriate interim injunctive order should be issued to restrain the both governments from allowing animal fights.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2016.


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