Tuesday, May 17, 2005

No man's land: animals in war zones

What happens to animals in war zones? This report from Animal Aid gives us a brief outline:
"War also causes immense suffering for native animals caught in the middle of a war zone. Companion animals and farmed animals are often abandoned - either left in enclosures to starve or else to wander the streets scavenging for scraps. Animals cannot respond to air raid sirens and even those taken in by their human families have no comprehension of what is going on or why.
In modern warfare, 'smart bombs' dropped by the troops may have been programmed to avoid hospitals, schools and other civilian targets (sometimes far from successfully), but such considerations do not extend to areas where animals are located. They are trapped; sitting targets.
In recent years, we have seen the horrific plight of animals trapped in zoos in war torn states. In Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, the zoos were the sites of fierce gun battles. After the conflict, animals were left to starve in their enclosures. During the recent Iraq war, 300 animals went missing from Baghdad's main zoo. Many were taken by thieves, others left to wander the streets."
Scroll down this page to the "war animals illustrated" section if you'd like to explore Steve Hutton's interactive art on animals and war.

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