The law should protect wild and domestic animals equally

The law should protect wild and domestic animals equally and by-and-large it does in the UK under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

I think that a lot of people might see wild animals are deserving less protection and less respect than pets for instance. This is not the case and it should not be the case.

Of course it depends on where you live and the biggest factor which undermines equality between wild and domestic animals (other than livestock) is hunting. Even in the UK people are allowed to hunt certain species under certain restrictions and conditions. Hunting, almost automatically causes uneccessary suffering to the animal. The sport is an anomaly in the 21st century, I submit.

But the primary law which protects animals, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, does not distinguish between wild and domestic. Two cases highlight this.

In one case a man drowned a neighbour's cat who came onto his property. He caught the cat and put him into a plastic bag with a stone and then threw the bag into a river. He was convicted of causing an animal uneccessary suffering and his punishment included an eight week jail term.

As for wild animals, a couple of brothers kicked a hedgehog like a football and killed him. They were convicted and punished under the same clause of the same UK statute. They had tortured the wee animal before he died. Their punishment included six weeks in jail. They were also fined.

We should regard all animals as equal in the eyes of the law. Some animals are described as "pests". Sometimes this label is, perhaps, justified (rats for example). On other ocassions it is not. Foxes and pigeons are seen as pests by many or as vermin. This makes killing them legitimate. Personally I regard this as wrong. Humans can often be pests if one steps back and honestly observes their behavior.

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