Friday 28 July 2023

Did the cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic cause "an animal welfare crisis"?

NEWS AND VIEWS - UK: Online news media, today, is blaming the cost-of-living crisis in the UK combined with the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath for "creating an animal welfare crisis with vital services [which] are stretched to the limit".

Did the cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic cause "an animal welfare crisis"?
Picture by the RSPCA.

Before I go into the details of two reports from different sources about this animal welfare crisis in different parts of the UK, I would like to add immediately that it is a very poor excuse that animal welfare becomes a crisis because people have less money in their pocket or it is after the pandemic.

The RSPCA reports that there were 1072 cat cruelty reports in 2022 in Wales, UK and out of these complaints, 600 were calls concerning neglect and 89 regarded intentional harm. The RSPCA received three reports every minute.

This, in my opinion, has nothing to do with the pandemic or money. When you adopt a cat - and it does not matter whether you adopt that cat during the pandemic, before it or after it - you do so with a commitment to care for that cat for the cat's lifetime. 

And if an emergency happens or a catastrophe occurs to you which affects your finances and you feel that you must release your cat to somebody else, you commit to rehoming the cat yourself with care and concern or you take your cat to a shelter and asked them to do it. 

The RSPCA run shelters. Also, in the UK Cats Protection run shelters via foster homes.

Running out of money because of the cost-of-living crisis or because it is post-Covid is not a reason for harming your cat or abandoning your cat or being neglectful of your cat. This is very poor reporting and thinking. It is not critical enough.

Everybody goes through difficult times but you can surmount them and you don't have to give up your cat in the process. I would bet my bottom dollar that all the cat cruelty reports reported to the RSPCA had no connection whatsoever, if you analysed it properly, to the cost-of-living crisis or the pandemic.

It'll be about carelessness, wanton neglect, callousness, hating cats, immoral behaviour; all these things about more likely to be behind cat cruelty.

Separately, the BBC reports also about the RSPCA cat cruelty reports regarding 2022. The BBC reports on the county of Lincolnshire in the UK. They say that hundreds of cats were intentionally harmed, neglected or abandoned in 2022.

Apparently, it is the RSPCA who think that the Covid pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis is to blame. Are they guessing? Are they just going along with the general flow because I see a lot of news media reports on the cost-of-living crisis and how it impacts people's finances. You don't make a presumption because people are short of money that they have to be cruel to their cat. That is not an equation which adds up automatically.

Nationally, the BBC reports, that almost 18,000 cat cruelty complaints were reported to the RSPCA in 2022 and they include abandonments, neglect and intentional harm. There were 1726 intentional harm incidents which included killings, beatings, poisonings and "improper killings". This represents a 25% increase from the year before.

The RSPCA pick up the pieces. They see an awful lot of cat cruelty but this cat cruelty is perpetrated by immoral, miscreants; people who are bad and who have no sensitivity towards animal sentience. Let's not pass the buck onto something which doesn't really exist.

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