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INTRODUCING ANIMAL LAW IN ZIMBABWE, AFRICA by Advocate Ever V. Chinoda

It was beyond my imagination to even think of how I would introduce the subject of animal law and the five freedoms of animal welfare to Africans, who are unemployed, dying of hunger and thirst. I found it weird to even discuss of animal rights in a society where respect of human rights is still a big issue. To talk of right to food, water and shelter of animals to a human being who is trying to survive and provide for his family was something I thought I needed to do be done probably 2 or 3 years later.

Whilst pursing my LL.M in Animal Law at Lewis and Clark Law School, in USA, I co-founded a non-profit called Speak Out For Animals (SOFA). The purpose of this nonprofit was to teach and develop animal law in Zimbabwe. I am proud that we done an Animal law Training for lawyers, and we also now have a SOFA Student Chapter at the University of Zimbabwe, where lawyers, veterinary scientist and animal lovers are being taught of Animal Law. The desire to learn and understand Animal Law is amazing as lawyers and students are slowly grasping that animals need our time and brains. There are cultural barriers and some negative perceptions that still need to be addressed to achieve a total mind shift, as the majority fail to understand that animals are beings that deserve to live and be protected.

We also had an opportunity to lobby the Zimbabwean Parliament about improving animal policies and statutes in July 2017. There is need for advocacy and lobbying, to influence politicians to understand both the intrinsic and extrinsic of value of animals. The work of educating the public about animal law in Africa, is like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, tough but possible. We have begun the work with one step, and we know animals in Zimbabwe will be safer and better, as they will protected by well-informed decision makers and implementers. Education is a powerful that can change the world, as this is the path we have taken as Speak Out for Animals.

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