Animal cruelty has to stop.
There are two types of cruelty. Deliberate cruelty and cruelty through neglect. The majority of cruelty cases are largely due to neglect according to Redwings, which only goes to show the extent of work still to do be done on educating people in the care of animals. However some cases are deliberate cruelty and these in particular need to be punished with a longer prison sentence. A life harmed is a life harmed, be it human or animal. For the cases of neglect it is more imperative that the lifetime ban on keeping animals is effectively enforced.
In light of the need for harsher sentencing the top equine charities have backed a motion to increase the maximum jail term for animal cruelty. Currently the longest sentence available is a mere 6 months, which is not much given the levels of degradation that some individuals stoop to. The Government have agreed that 5 years would be a better maximum sentence and are supporting a change in the law. This would give judges greater scope for sentencing, and provide a stronger deterrent.
The Government have called for more research on the link between animal abuse and human abuse. However according to PETA the link is there and should be used a warning sign of an increased likelihood of violence towards people.
“Murderers … very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids,” says Robert K. Ressler, who developed profiles of serial killers for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Historically notorious murderers have displayed violence towards animals prior to any aggression towards humans. Research into the spate of high school shootings across America found that many of the aggressors had begun with cruelty to animals before moving onto humans. It seems to be that a basic disregard for animals is a fair indication of how people treat others.
While we cannot prevent deliberate cruelty we can encourage and promote good welfare standards. With Sue Palmer’s book “Understanding Horse Performance Brain, Pain, or Training?” we hope that by improving people’s knowledge we can help to improve welfare standards. There is a huge movement across the world to improve welfare on every level. Make sure you are part of that. Together we can make the world a better place.
For more information and top tips visit www.thehorsephysio.co.uk and sign up to our newsletter. Sue Palmer is a Chartered Physiotherapist, an Intelligent Horsemanship Recommended Associate and a BHSAI.