West Africa Centre for the Protection of Animal Welfare with support from Eyes on Animals organized a one-day stakeholder workshop on Promoting Compassion and Sustainability in Farm Animal Welfare, Linking Communities and Cultures. The program was attended by industry players including, Imams, Chiefs, ButcherTeachers, Agric Extension Officers, Vets, poultry Farmers, Assembly Members, and some members of the general public. The director of Wacpaw Abdul Rahman Safian started the discussion on Animal Behavior and Welfare and stressed that the “Time has come for all to embrace compassion towards all animals in order for us to live a guilt-free life since all of us a guilty of inflicting pain or stressing an animal in one way or the other”. “He further called on all the stakeholders to take a keen interest in the welfare of animals since it directly affects our lives as humans”.

Imam Abdul Samie Issah( an Islamic Cleric in Tamale) also made a presentation on the topic” Religion and Culture(tradition) Recognized Animal Welfare before Modern Civilization” He cautioned that” if we are really Muslims seeking Heaven as our final abode in the Hereafter, then it is incumbent upon us to be compassionate to all animals. He said” to extend that the Prophet(SAW) admonished us to be kind to all animals and that feeding, shelter and taking care of the health of animals is mandatory on us to do and said also that if you want to slaughter an animal” do not stress them”

The Prophet(SAW) said it was forbidden for a Muslim to take an animal pass his food without stopping for the animal to feed. He warned that one could send himself to the Hellfire in the Hereafter if he didn’t stop inflicting pain, injury, and starving animals. He ended by asking all the participants to seek advice from their Imams to educate them on the Islamic perspective of dealing with animals before venturing into such businesses.

The Youth Chief of Chogu, Chief Abdul Muhsin said some of the acts of butchers and people who deal with livestock are totally different from what our culture and traditions prescribe. He blamed this on the Butchers Clan. They have allowed their tradition to be interpolated by people who do not belong to the Clan. He however assured that they will take steps to ensure that the right things are done at all contact points with livestock especially the market and the abattoir. They will assist WACPAW with their authority to make sure that the people embrace compassion and handle animals humanely. But he bemoaned the lackadaisical attitude of the Metropolitan Assembly towards addressing the needs of butchers especially and appealed to them to work closely with WACPAW in order to address the concerns of the butchers.

All the participants were full of appreciation for WACPAW for putting together such a program. Especially for the inputs of the Imam and the chiefs. Some of them personally apologized to the Imam and asked for Allah’s forgiveness for how they had handled animals before. They pledged to intensify their effort to ensure that animals deserve the protection they deserve.

As an advocate for plant plant-based diet, WACPAW deliberately served a pure vegan meal as lunch with pineapple and melon juice which was fully embraced. The program was incident-free and was deemed a success. 

Thank you very much to all those who participated in the program and Eyes on Animals for always sponsoring our programs and to Doctor Awal for making time to join us via Zoom.