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Time to crack down on animal cruelty

Two news stories of overwhelming cruelty to animals brought tears to my eyes today and made me despair for our future. At the same time they also made me incredibly angry that we are now in the second decade of the 21st century and yet domestic animals and principally our pets who are rightly and generally regarded by us as ‘members of our family’ are still treated in the eyes of the law as ‘property’. Any offence against them even if it ends in the death of the pet is treated far, far too leniently as an offence against our property, rather like someone bashing in our cars. Something desperately needs to change or I fear that cases of cruelty will continue to rise as there is currently no effective deterrent. 

Back to the news stories in question. The first concerns a 33-year old man involved in a ‘domestic dispute’ who tied a Beagle to the back of his Porsche 911 car and drove seven miles at speed before dumping the mangled body of the poor dog in a lay-by. The man is currently being questioned by police after he handed himself in following the ‘incident’ in Brighton on Sunday evening. There were eyewitness and the man handed himself in clearly in the knowledge that he will merely be fined, cautioned and be free to go. I doubt very much that this clearly sick and depraved person would have ‘handed himself in’ if his punishment would be a certain lengthy jail term. Time will tell what happens to him, but I do at least hope that he is named and shamed by the media, as happened to the vilified woman in Coventry who dumped a cat in a wheelie bin ‘on a whim’ last year.

The second story of the day concerns the rise of ‘cat coursing’, particularly in Northern England and Scotland. Blackburn, West Yorks in particular has seen 15 cats snatched off the streets in recent weeks and used in barbaric blood lust ‘games’ with fighting dogs. The ‘aim’ of the sick and twisted cult sport is to see which dog has the most aggressive tendencies and to bring these out as much as possible…The fighting dogs used are the often maligned Staffies but also Dogue de Bordeaux, Akitas and Shar Pei, in particular. The ‘sport’ is for the ‘enjoyment’ of the groups of people watching, rather like the baying crowds in Roman times watching lions ripping apart Gladiators. But more awful as the poor cats have generally been plucked from loving homes and thrust in to hell.

I for one believe that the time is right now for a re-writing of our law concerning animals so that they are no longer classified as our property, our ‘chattels’. This will mean that the punishment for those involved in cases of animal cruelty will finally fit the crime. 

Come on RSPCA, where is your campaigning spirit these days??