DHAKA: A Bangladeshi security guard was handed a jail sentence on Thursday for burying alive two dogs and their 14 puppies, in what activists hailed as the country's first ever animal cruelty conviction.
Mohammad Siddique, who buried the dogs in polythene sacks, "was sentenced to six months in jail and fined 200 taka ($2.50)," prosecutor Forkan Mia told AFP after the trial in Dhaka.
Animal rights campaigners, who have long lobbied for replacing the South Asian country's colonial-era laws on animal maltreatment, said they hoped the sentence would act as a deterrent.
"The fact that this case was heard by the magistrate is a major achievement," said Rakibul Haq Emil from animal rights group the PAW Foundation, who brought the case.
"I am sure it will send a warning message that it won't be easy to get away with cruel treatment to animals in Bangladesh," he said.
The bodies of the dogs were discovered in October in a Dhaka neighbourhood. But despite outrage from campaigners, police were initially reluctant to take up the case.
Cruelty towards animals is commonplace in Bangladesh but activists have in recent years successfully campaigned to stop mass cullings of street dogs in the capital and other major cities.