Making kind choices in your everyday life.

Cruelty

Become a Sticky Beak

Posted by on Jan 26, 2014 in Cruelty | 0 comments

“I don’t believe in the concept of hell, but if I did I would think of it as filled with people who were cruel to animals” – Gary Larson

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Luke Rowles (featured in photo above), I applaud you. At the age of 15, Luke saw a group of cowardly thugs kicking and beating a fox (who’s mouth they had taped shut) in a yard. Luke charged into the yard, yelled at the men before grabbing and rescuing the fox. He treated the animal’s wounds and released him/her back into the wild. Not surprisingly, Luke and his family have gone onto create a dog rescue group in Bulgaria – RSDR after moving there from the UK.

Unfortunately, the world needs so many more brave Lukes to counteract the staggeringly high number of dreadful, cruel people we regrettably share our world with.

We certainly don’t need people like the possible 32 “witnesses” to the Ingham’s turkey abattoir torturers who refused to provide statements to police. This meant that the charges were withdrawn due to insufficient evidence and not one person was convicted for these vile offences which were caught on film in 2013 at the Tahmour abattoir. Enraging.

Nor is our cause assisted by a judicial system which gives offensively lenient sentences such as that given within the last few days in an Ipswich court to a Brisbane woman who deliberately starved her 2 dogs to death in 2013. Suspended sentences and good behaviour bonds seem to be the way that heinous animal cruelty offences are dealt with by the Australian judicial system. Unjust and short sighted (given the well established link between animal cruelty perpetrators who go on to commit violent offences to humans). Grrrrrr.

Animals cannot speak so they need sticky beaks like you and me to keep an eye out for them. They need us to be brave, persistent and nosy (I am not adverse to peeking under the odd fence on my daily dog walks) and to speak out for them when people are treating them badly. They do not need us to shy away from or avoid the issue because it is confronting.

Cruelty to animals takes many different forms – much of it is legislated and therefore legal (such as factory farming, animal experimentation and live animal exports). You can show your anger by writing letters, attending rallies, donating money, educating yourself and not financially supporting any of these “industries”.

Then there is cruelty which happens around where we live or travel – much of which is hidden behind people’s fences or on isolated properties. What we all CAN do is to report any cruelty we see or become aware of. This may take the form of someone who does not provide shelter or adequate food / water to their animal, does not provide veterinary care to their sick or injured animal, leaves their dog in a hot car or more overt abuse such as hearing or witnessing someone beating, kicking etc their animal. You may hear rumours of dog fighting in your area or get knowledge of a greyhound trainer using live animals to train their dogs. You may be driving behind an animal transporter truck where animals can be seen to be suffering. Even a little piece of information is worth passing on – it may initially just form the basis of an intelligence report but, coupled with other reports, may lead to positive action.

Animal Welfare legislation in Australia varies from State to State and is summarised here :

In NSW, you can report animal cruelty to :

* NSW Police – including the Rural Crime section

* RSPCA

* Animal Welfare League (AWL)

* Animal Liberation – take anonymous reports of animal cruelty, targetting isolated NSW country areas.

All offences are outlined under the Protection of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTAA) which is a good place to do your homework if you are wondering what does actually constitute an offence and so you can be well informed when you make the report. With all the exemptions to the Act, it can become a bit confusing for the lay person. I am still trying to figure out if farmers are exempt from providing their stock with shelter from the heat / cold which is one of my latest missions (after recently driving through a searingly hot NSW and observing the number of farm animals who had no access to shade).

Relevant links on who to contact to report animal cruelty in other States are :

* Western Australia

* Victoria

* South Australia

* ACT

* Tasmania

* Northern Territory

As for social media, I have found the following groups to be a great source of information. If you want to learn more about where animal cruelty, dog thefts etc are occurring around Australia (and, therefore, how to avoid it from happening to your beloved pet), I encourage you to “like” these groups. They are well informed, non fanatical people with a collective aim of reducing cruelty to animals in Australia. I have learnt so much in recent months about not only the prevalence of animal cruelty but also about the emergence of dog fighting in Australia. Along with the rise in this black, desperately cruel, underground world is the theft of people’s pets for “bait” dogs – hence why I would now never leave my dog tied up outside a shop or discourage everyone I know  from advertising an unwanted animal as “Free to Good Home” on the likes of Gumtree.

* Aussies Against Dog Fighting and Abuse (a wealth of information, not just about dog fighting).

* Keep Talking

This issue is very close to my heart for a number of reasons. I would love some feedback from you if you have had any dealings with reporting animal cruelty. Thank you !

 

 

 

 

 

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