When animal cruelty isn't animal cruelty: is the 'offenders registry' ethically consistent?
Updated: May 25
A campaign has been launched by a Northern Irish political party to introduce an 'animal cruelty offenders registry'. Currently, as USPCA executive Brian Mullen explains, 'offenders can be banned by the courts one week and the following week acquire animals again.' Horrible!
That means if someone were to, for example, hang a dog upside down, slit her throat and eat her body, they would be banned from acquiring another--even if they did the dog the dubious courtesy of stunning her first with an electrical current or a bolt-gun to the head. And if someone were to raise, in a single shed, a million kittens who were bred to grow so large so fast that by 6 or 8 weeks old they were suffering heart attacks and their legs were routinely breaking beneath them, that person too, would be banned from getting more cats.
...I think you can see where I'm going with this.
Many of the supporters of this campaign, including the politicians who proposed it, are animal farmers. Talk about selective compassion! While an animal cruelty offenders registry is definitely a good idea, it does seem less than genuine when it excludes the vast majority of animals in this country! (In fact, of the top ten UK counties with the highest numbers of intensively raised farmed animals, two are right here in Northern Ireland!)
What do you think?