Many South Africans do seem to care more for their animals than they do for people, especially when those people are of a different colour.
On the other hand, there are those who believe animals have no rights and are there to be used, or abused, as they see fit. There will no doubt be heated exchanges following the harsh jail sentences handed down by a magistrate in Pretoria to six men involved in dog fighting in Atteridgeville.
Five of the men, who were arrested in a police and NSPCA swoop on an organised dog fight last year, were jailed for two-and-a-half years each. The sixth man was jailed for one year for watching the fighting and doing nothing to try to stop it.
The dogs used in the fighting were kept in hideously cruel conditions but were rescued by the NSPCA and, hopefully, have found new, kind, homes.
So far this year, 12 people have been sent to jail – one for five years – for involvement in dog fighting. We applaud the convictions and sentences. We may be the dominant species on this planet, but we have no right to abuse or torture others for our amusement.