Animal welfare has become one of the most important spheres of action and studies in contemporary world.
Environmentalists and animal welfare specialists are deeply concerned over the fate of the animals today in the world. Man today has become so irresponsible, carless and selfish that they do not stop to think over the fact whether their actions are hurting animals or not and this applies to pets like dogs but also animals in the wild. When a small scratch comes in the body of a man he yells in pain but today parts, organs and hides of animals are cut for decors, clothes and making other beautiful objects. One does not even stop to think how painful it might be for the animal. What more, these animals cannot communicate in human language; a reason why they cannot express their pain properly and behave in an uncontrollable manner. This is all the more misunderstood by the people and leads to killing of the animals.
Animal welfare can be broadly divided into two categories: Domestic animal welfare such as cats, horses and dogs and wildlife welfare. In domestic welfare, one deals with stray animals, provides them food and shelter or arranges for them to be admitted and kept in the zoo, animal shelters or even better adopts them or rehomes them with a loving family. However, in wildlife welfare one cannot do so. Often there are exceptional cases where a family takes care of a lion or tiger cub as their own child and brings him up, but this is mostly possible in the remote tribal areas of the world and not in a majority.
According to reports and personal experiences of travellers, environmentalists, animal lovers, documentary makers the condition of the wild animals in their natural habitat is very poor and degraded. In fact the mankind has seen its visual proof as cheetahs, wild elephants and tigers have often left the wild and entered into villages in search of food and shelter. Every other day there is news in the newspapers which state that a jumbo or a group of jumbos have lost their lives after being run over by a speeding train. Rhinos are being shot brutally and their horns are being cut off to make ivory objects. Many a times the rhino is not even killed but just tranquillised and are subjected to the painful cutting off of their horns. Then they are simply left to die in the wild. There are less royal Bengal Tigers in the Sunderbans than one can ever imagine. Even if one gets to see a tiger after two to five visits one would be very lucky to have been able to get a glimpse of the mighty animal.
This was not the fate of these wild animals even few years ago. But today, these atrocities are at their height of cruelty and selfishness. There are many legislations that have been applied for these cases but to what extents are these legislations followed by the people are a completely different matter. Moreover, today the forest guards and officials also have to fight against poachers, animal piracy and smuggling of exotic animals especially birds. With so many problems to fight against for the protection of the wild animals it is very essential that the people in the vicinity come forward and offer their help in maintaining a peaceful co -existence between animals and mankind.
Hence wildlife welfare also forms a very important part of animal welfare and should be given equal weightage as domestic animal welfare. Though many people cannot directly offer their help but indirectly they can by spreading awareness and following the animal welfare legislations. Petitions written by them are also are favourable step to take. Hence, it is up to mankind now to protect and preserve these creatures.