Animal cruelty in the spotlight

2019-07-30 06:00
Belinda Abrahams (left) stands with U3A member Peter Fourie before delivering the exceptional lecture on the role community members may play in the protection of animals from cruelty.PHOTO: Wouter van Warmelo

Belinda Abrahams (left) stands with U3A member Peter Fourie before delivering the exceptional lecture on the role community members may play in the protection of animals from cruelty.PHOTO: Wouter van Warmelo

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At this month’s University of the Third Age (U3A) session held on Thursday 25 July at the Baxter theatre, attendees received a tear-jerking and highly informative lecture by Belinda Abrahams from the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

Abrahams gave a moving lecture on the topic of the various work done by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and why it matters.

“When we talk about animal welfare, we’re not just referring to their physical well-being,” Abrahams explained. “We recognise animals as sentient beings.”

In the lecture, Abrahams covered a wide range of topics depicting the work done by the SPCA. She mentioned all the facilities coordinated by the SPCA, from the wildlife facility to the inspectorate – which investigated 6933 cases of animal cruelty last year alone. “There was a horrendous incident that happened in the area of Manenberg,” Abrahams recounted. “I’ve seen a lot of terrible things, but this was the only thing that turned my legs to jelly. A group of children – some of them as young as five-years-old – had videoed themselves torturing and – eventually – killing a dog. It was horrific; not just because of what the animal went through, but because of the indication of what this means for us as a society.”

According to Abrahams, the SPCA reached 13 404 young learners over the past year as a part of their educational programme.

“When we have children who are so desensitised to violence; when we have children that are filming this so they can enjoy it later. We have to ask ourselves what we are doing as individuals: what are we doing as the SPCA to not only prevent the suffering of animals, but to actually create a society of contributing citizens.”

Furthermore, Abrahams spoke to 81 facilities being inspected over the past year where animals were harmed for the purpose of human entertainment or financial gain.

“A lot of people might not even realise, or be aware of the fact that so much cruelty goes on behind the scenes where it comes to circuses and performing animals,” she said, emphasising a growing need to discourage children in participating in these events.

U3A is a public-lecture service club offered to senior citizens who will never outgrow their love of learning. Each month, citizens of notable merit (mostly industry professionals from an array of fields), are invited to guest-lecture on a plethora of engaging topics.

The U3A is always well-received by those in attendance.

“Since I’ve retired, I have found it so uplifting and educational,” said attendant, Mary Loock, who expresses feeling blessed for each opportunity to attend.

“It was an outstanding presentation this morning. Thank you Belinda,” said resident photographer, Wouter van Warmelo.

The U3A hosts a public lecture on the last Thursday of each month at the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch.

V U3A has branches in Athlone, Atlantic Seaboard, Blaauwberg, False Bay, Gugulethu and Tygerberg. For a full time-table of U3A activities, or to find out how to become involved with this insightful organization, visit their website (http://www.u3a-ct.org.za), or email the administration team at u3a@sybaweb.co.za.

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