The way we behave with each other tells a lot about us as a society, but the way we behave towards animals, especially those that can barely protect themselves, tells a lot about us as humans, and it’s important to know which are the worst countries for animal cruelty.
Inflicting pain on others is something that we should all avoid, but we should do the same when it comes to bringing pain to animals. Most people in the world have a kind heart and usually defend the weak, including the animals, but there are bad seeds out there that will go out of their way to harm animals, be them dogs, cats, monkeys, horses and so on.
Also, in the range of animal cruelty falls killing animals for food or fur. While going vegetarian isn’t necessarily a life goal for the most of us, it is, at least, important to know that there are laws out there managing the way these animals that end up on our tables are killed – without needless cruelty. There are also plenty of laws regarding using animals for entertainment in circuses, for instance, or for research in labs; and there are definitely laws about the way one should take care of an animal it keeps as a pet, including about the way they live, in which case you could take a look at the 11 worst countries for air pollution, which could definitely affect the little four legged friends.
There are places in the world, however, that aren’t exactly the best at protecting those who cannot speak for themselves. World Animal Protection has released the Animal Protection Index where 50 countries around the world are listed depending on their commitment to protecting animals. The Animal Protection Index takes into consideration various aspects, including whether the country recognizes animal sentience, if it supports the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, and if there are laws against animal cruelty. Whether farm animals are protected is also an issue, and so is whether animals kept in captivity or pets have any protection.
The government’s accountability for animal welfare is also on the list, much like the engagement with the World Organization for Animal Health. If there is any type of education on animal care and protection, the country receives extra points. In order to make things simpler since the Index has handed out letter grades, we’ve commuted them to numbers so we could add them up and present you with proper scores. Without further ado, here are the 11 worst countries for animal cruelty.
Score – 76
This African country doesn’t formally recognize animal sentience in its laws, but it does mention that animals need to be transported in the best conditions and on the shortest route to protect them from the heat and the elements. There are also laws set in place against animal cruelty, as well as specific articles regarding farm animals and pets, as well as animals used in scientific research.
Overall, Niger has some pretty good laws set in place to protect animals, but it still has a long way to go as it offers no specific protection for animals in captivity or wild animals. Furthermore, the government doesn’t really seem committed to improve animal protection, while accountability for animal cruelty acts isn’t always what it should be.
Score – 77
Egypt has gone through a lot in recent years, but its laws remain, offering some protection to animals. The country has a ban on cruelty to animals, although the Ministry of Agriculture needs to specify by decree when it actually applies. Given the confusing law system set in place, it’s improbable this law actually gets implemented a lot. The Penal Code further covers deliberately killing or poisoning animals used for riding, carrying, towing or any type of livestock, as well as tame animals.
Score – 79
With as big as Russia is, you wouldn’t necessarily think it doesn’t really offer protection to animals, especially since it likes to claim it has come a long way in the past several decades. However, the country doesn’t recognize animal sentience and hasn’t shown support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.
Russia does have some legislation in place against animal cruelty, covering all animals. The restrictions regarding Article 245 of the Penal Code has some restrictions when it comes to actually being applied, as cruelty is not defined in itself, but rather the end result – injury or death of the animal.
No specific laws are set in place for protecting animals in captivity, pets or farm animals since the law mentioned above covers all categories. Russia does educate its citizens on animal care and protection since biology school studies includes notions about ecology and awareness of various measures for the protection of animals and biological diversity.
Score – 79
Various categories of animals have legal protection against suffering in Morocco, including fish in ponds, tanks and reservoirs, working animals, guard dogs and livestock, which are all protected against poisoning. Killing and maiming pets is also against the law. Wild animals are somewhat protected as people need a license to trade, hold or kill any animal that’s protected or endangered species.
More needs to be done, of course, but it’s a start at the very least.
Score – 80
This beautiful state offers some protection to animals, even though it hasn’t shown official support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare. The country’s Animal Health and Development Law contains provisions that seek the protection of animals against suffering, regardless if the source is intentional violence acts or negligence. The law covers both pets, animals bred by man or captured for various purposes.
Farming animals also have protection, while pets are offered legal protection against maiming, including cosmetic surgery. The wildlife, along with the natural areas, are also protected and conserved, as hunting animals in natural reserves is completely banned.
Score – 82
This state located in the Horn of Africa has some protections set against animal cruelty. While it doesn’t recognize animal sentience, Ethiopia’s laws state that acts of cruelty against animals cannot be committed in the public eye, although there’s nothing to be said about the privacy of one’s property. Farm animals and pets also have some protection, but, once again, the law only mentions public displays of cruelty.
Score – 84
Situated in a beautiful area on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Algeria isn’t doing all that well when it comes to protecting animals from needless cruelty. While the country doesn’t recognize animal sentience, there are some laws set down to protect those who cannot speak for themselves.
Algeria has laws protecting animals against suffering, as well as some meant to protect farm animals and those kept in captivity. Pets also have some protection, although it seems that wild animals have a bit more protection since there are regulations against hunting.
Score – 86
Vietnam may not currently recognize animal sentience, but there’s a draft of the Veterinary Law that’s currently being discussed and that could be implemented in the near future. Things are looking up in Vietnam too, as there’s some legislation regarding animals used in farming, looking for their welfare. There are also protections in place for animals in captivity, as well as for wild animals. There is, however, no legislation regarding the protection of companion animals.
Score – 93
When it comes to protecting animals, Azerbaijan isn’t doing all that well, mostly because it has no legislation regarding this issue. There is some legislation with the partial application regarding animals in captivity and wild animals, but no legal protection for pets.
There’s also no policy or legislation, or even any plans to include animal care and protection in the national education system.
Score – 99
Iran is a pretty big country and it is home to some 78 million people. Unfortunately, however, there is no policy to teach people to care and protect animals. The country also doesn’t recognize animal sentience, and there’s no formal evidence that they have any intention of changing things.
While there are no laws regarding the way animals used in farming are treated, there are some regulations in place in Farsi on livestock transport, dating back to 1994.
Score – 101
This Eastern European country isn’t doing all that great when it comes to protecting animals. In fact, it has the highest scores, which, in this case, isn’t the best of things. Part of the Soviet block until 1990, Belarus hasn’t really kept up with the trends in the world, including that of protecting the weak.
The country has no policies or legislation by which it acknowledges the sentience of animals, nor are there any signs of any changes in this department anytime soon. The government has not even pledged in principle to support the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare and there are no animal protection laws in place to prohibit causing animal suffering. All in all, this is the top country on this list of the 11 worst countries for animal cruelty.