Though Dr. Benjamin is no longer the acting chief agricultural and veterinary officer, I’d like to thank him for his response prior to his departure; however there are a few things he raised that I feel it necessary for me to address.
Firstly; the laws of the Island are indeed passed in the Legislative Assembly but surely one must appreciate the fact that to get to the LA, laws must be compiled and reviewed by a body of persons knowledgeable in the respective areas relative to the particular law.
If these laws are discriminatory, unethical and clearly biased but they are drafted with the recommendation and endorsement of those who should have the best interest of the society on a whole at heart, then wouldn’t it be unlikely that the LA would turn them down?
The general public, myself included, has always respected the laws and regulations which are in place on our islands, as they are designed to protect our basic rights and freedoms and give us the framework for a prosperous society, emphasizing equality. There is no better time than the present however to stress the undeniable fact that some laws need to be changed.
Where would society be today if only a few generations ago, every black man, woman and child had abided by the ‘law’ and known their place?
If we had not sought change and fought for what we knew was right, we would still be uneducated, suppressed, inferior because of our skin colour and designated to the back of the bus.
Yet this was ‘the law’ and by defying it one became a criminal. Surely a line must be drawn between what is ethical and what is law?
Society is one based on constant evolution and change and if we ignore this fact and base our lives and our laws on archaic, inhumane and unethical practices then we are effectively erasing the progress it took hundreds of years to achieve.
The Prohibited Dogs Law as it stands is clearly biased, it is unethical, inhumane and blatantly discriminatory; it legalises the eradication of a dozen breeds or mixes of domestic family pets for no reason other than their name or their appearance.
Please tell me how this is any different from racism?
Or is it the fact that since they are ‘only dogs’, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal and the general public should not resist the discrimination they and their pets are forced to face because of how they appear?
Just because the law is in place does not make it ethical and does not mean that it should not be changed. I believe it was Ghandi who said; ‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated…’
How shall we be judged?