No cruelty in use of guide dogs

Robert Callus, ADŻ- Green Youth, Mosta

After a coalition of organisations, including ours, started a campaign about animal cruelty in circuses, some felt they should excuse the circus and punish the protesters.

Apart from the ridiculous libel suits filed, a few tried to apologise for this cruelty on this newspaper, both on the online version as well as through a letter to the editor.

Their tactic comprised of comparing circus practices with other practices such as dolphinariums and bull-fighting in Spain, both of which we definitely condemn. However, comparing circus animals with pets is unbelievably absurd.

One person went completely overboard by comparing them to dogs guiding the visually impaired (Charles Camilleri, December 17). Justifiably, individuals as well as advocacy organisations for the blind felt offended.

While I can speak on behalf of my organisation, I feel confident that all coalition organisations disagree with Mr Camilleri’s ill and unreasonable comparison. Circus animals live a life of horror and pain while guide dogs live a most fulfilling life.

I believe anyone who owns and cares for a dog clearly understands what I mean.

Apart from this, unlike circus animals, these dogs are helping people live independently and are not in the profit-making business. Although one cannot assume Mr Camilleri’s intentions, his message surely was to justify animal cruelty in circuses rather than to denounce the use of dogs by the visually impaired.

However, just in case he is really worried about guide dogs, we would like to advise him to get his facts straight. We refuse to accept both Mr Camilleri’s implication that the use of guide dogs is a form of animal cruelty and the idea that the circuses’ exploitation of animals could in any way be justified.

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