Watchman kills dog

It might be the first of its kind in the West African nation of The Gambia in a rare ruling where a magistrate remands a night guard from Old Yundum Village for killing a dog. Police prosecutors held Mr Amadou Camara liable for using a double barreled gun to fire at a dog causing the animal to die.

Camara (who has pleaded not guilty) was denied bail after the prosecuting officer Sgt Fadera advised the courts that the accused is a threat to society after using a fire arm to kill an animal. A local newspaper, The Point quoted the prosecutor as saying “‘person who used a gun to kill an animal inside the village would not fear to kill even a human being.

The accused person could even take some other weapon and harm the people in the village, and urged the court to remand the accused person until the end of the trial.”

It would be very rare to see people getting prosecuted in Africa for killing a dog where it is a delicacy in certain parts; but certainly some say the use of the gun is what concerns the court and not the mere killing of a dog.

The Gambia a relatively peaceful region

The Gambia is a very peaceful country in comparison to other nations in the sub-region. Gun shots are rarely heard unless in the few occasions where coup attempts to overthrow the government were made (the last of which was in December 2014 and in January 2015 after a young woman, Ya Binta Jarju was shot and killed by security forces).

Unlike other parts of the world, animals in Africa might not be considered to have rights. Animal welfare movements are starting to spring up but they are small and not influential.

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Most have started to go into local communities to educate the people on animal abuse. But other issues take precedent in the continent such as poverty and human rights. Animal rights might barely make the list of community or even national priorities.

“I would say that the treatment of animals varies between the different African countries. You will find that less economically developed countries in Africa have poor animal welfare, as the availability of education is poor and as such the majority is not taught that animals can serve for more than just killing rats,” said Chris Grezo, an animal rights activist.

In The Gambia, there might not be such a group, and if any, may not be as active. Dogs are often uncared for, seen roaming around looking for food in heaps of trash, used as pets in The Gambia but mostly as guards for residences and are usually not trained.