Showing posts with label legislation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legislation. Show all posts

Monday 22 April 2024

British government seriously underestimated the number of XL bullies

News media today report that there are seven times more XL bully dogs in the UK than the government thought which has seriously undermined the government's new law that XL bully dogs need to be registered and some strict rules complied with if they are to be kept.

Because many XL bully dog owners don't want to register their dog or comply with these laws designed to protect the public they are abandoning them sometimes at shelters and sometimes simply abandoning them in public places.

And as there were so many more XL bully dogs in the country than estimated, rescue centres are struggling to deal with the massive influx. Welfare charities are overwhelmed as they try to cope with the fallout from the ban on this breed.

The UK's Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) believed before the new legislation came into force that there were 10,000 XL bully dogs in England and Wales.

Now that registration is necessary they are able to accurately know the number which is around 55,000 because 55,000 dogs have been registered for an exemption certificate.

However, a further 15,000 to 20,000 dogs are thought to be unregistered and so they are on the streets illegally.

That means that there are around 70,000 XL bully dogs in the country which is seven times more than the 10,000 that the government believed was the case.

This is a UK government screwup essentially. Another one in the eyes of detractors of the present UK government.

Animal welfare charities say that the government's failure in this respect when planning legislation to ban the dog is now causing huge problems.

The Association of Dogs and Cats Homes said that the sharp rise in the number of XL bully dogs abandoned to their shelters or confiscated under the law means that all the rescue centres in Britain's biggest cities are full.

A trustee of the charity, David Bowles, said: "I think we are also getting to a stage where the police kennels and local authority shelters or pounds are also at capacity so there is no other space left. I don't think the government worked this through. They hugely underestimated the spaces they needed. It's a real worry now as to where the dogs are going to be housed."

The charity has 166 rescue centres in the UK.

This has resulted in some XL bully dog owners being unable to find somewhere to surrender their pets and they are abandoning them on the streets which can obviously pose a danger to the public.

In addition, veterinary charities are also saying that they are getting overwhelmed with requests to castrate XL bully dogs (sterilise or neuter) which is a requirement under the new laws in order to keep the animal.

Under the legislation XL bullies that were more than one year old when the ban came into force must be neutered by the end of June this year. Defra needs to receive confirmation that the animal has been neutered. If they don't the owner's certificate of exemption becomes invalid which means the owner is at risk of a criminal record.

Dermot Murphy of the RSPCA said:

"We remain strongly opposed to breed specific legislation and instead want to see the government commit to improving and enforcing the current breeding and dog control regulations and to promote responsible dog ownership."

Defra said: "We are continuing to engage closely with veterinary, rescue and rehoming organisations to monitor the impact of the XL bully ban."

There are arguments that breed specific banning of dogs is unfair and bad thinking. That's because problems with dogs being aggressive is about the individual dog and not a breed. In fact, the founder of the XL bully dog breed, an American, says that the breed should be amiable and friendly. They were not originally created to be aggressive. 

The problem comes from people who make the dog aggressive by giving them steroids and training them to attack people. As usual, it is a human problem not a dog problem and unfortunately also as usual it is the dog or the animal that suffers. Many XL bully dogs have been put down as a result of this law.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Female cat lover campaigns to be a lawmaker in Indonesia

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is a story from the other side of the world for me but any story which reports that a person wants to be a lawmaker in their country's parliament who is a cat lover and probably an animal lover as well, will interest me deeply. 

That's because there is a need worldwide to improve animal welfare especially in the Far East (in my opinion) and as you probably know Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of Indonesia.

The person in question is Indonesian Francine Widjojo. She has just hit the campaign trail carrying cat treats and cats I'm told by Reuters. She wants to raise awareness of animal cruelty during her campaigning.

Female cat lover campaigns to be a lawmaker in Indonesia
Francine on the campaign trail. Image: Reuters.

Indonesia will hold presidential and legislative elections on February 14 and campaigning is now in full swing.

During her campaigning, Francine is seen holding Yakult, a white cat who she rescued as a kitten and who is one of 27 living in her home! I hope that she has a big home and some help!

Francine is 44 years old. She told Reuters last month while her cat was being vaccinated that if she is successful in her campaigning and is elected she wants to improve the sterilisation and vaccination rate of cat companions in Jakarta. She added that, "One of the issues that I will be fighting for is for Jakarta to be a pet-friendly city."

Regrettably, I have to report that in some parts of Indonesia people consume cat and dog meat which is not untypical in south-east Asia as a whole. 

From a Westerner's point of view it is unacceptable. China kills and consumes the most cats and dogs of all the countries in the world. Vietnam follows but South Korea has recently introduced a law which will ban dog meat as I recall.

Interestingly, the Indonesian government's agricultural ministry classified dog meat as not for human consumption in 2018 but it didn't have any impact on the trade. Note: it is difficult to stop deep rooted commercial enterprises and habits which might go back hundreds or more years. It requires great enforcement. In this instance, no punishment was created for eating dog meat and therefore the recommendation was unenforceable.

Animal activists are campaigning for a national ban on dog and cat meat trades according to The Humane Society International.

Francine is running for election under the umbrella of the Indonesian Solidarity Party which is headed by the president's youngest son. She also plans to fight against corruption, religious and racial intolerance.

She mentioned that animal cruelty is not often addressed in Indonesia but she vows to fight the problem. I wish her the very best. I love to read about people campaigning for animal welfare many thousands of miles away and committing to the fight to eradicate animal abuse.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 19 January 2024

British government minister explains in Parliament why her cats are so important to her

British government minister explains in Parliament why her cats are so important to her
Screenshot from the video below.

I like this video as it adds a bit of humanity, gentleness and animal welfare into the House of Commons, which is often a raw place for debate. It is a lady Member of Parliament (MP) who does this by mentioning her two cats who've become so important to her as she alone after her husband died and her children left home.  

The BBC video tells the story.  She is supporting the introduction into the law of England and Northern Ireland which would make pet theft a specific crime rather than simply the crime of theft under the Theft Act 1998. 

I am told that this law will not affect Wales and Scotland as it seems they have devolved powers on this matter but I think this needs to be checked. I tried but failed to get clarity.

BBC says: An environment minister explains the role of her two cats - Mr Tipps and Raffa - since she lost her husband and her children left home. Rebecca Pow's bill to make cat and dog theft a criminal offence is backed by the government.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Big Public Safety Act passes U.S. House (278-134) thanks to Carole Baskin and supporters

NEWS AND COMMENT - USA: The Big Public Safety Act is legislation which Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue (BCR) has pushed with great commitment for a very long time. It is her legislation. Her baby and it is vitally needed in the US. She has seen first-hand the abuses to which captive big cats and smaller wild cat species are subjected to by people who like to possess them as pets but are unable to truly care for them. This is an abuse of these cats and I sense that Carole Baskin's focus is on the welfare of the cats whereas this legislation also protects owners and the public.

Carole Baskin has campaigned tirelessly for the Big Cat Safety Act her legislation
Carole Baskin has campaigned tirelessly for the Big Cat Safety Act her legislation. She is a great woman although she has her detractors. Strong women annoy weak men. Image: Instagram.

In amending the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, it prohibits future possession and breeding of lions, tigers and other big cats in the exotic pet trade. It targets privately-owned animals with exemptions for zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, sanctuaries, universities and travelling circuses.

Current owners i.e. private owners, of these animals have been 'grandfathered' which means they can go on as they were until the animals die as I understand it. These owners are required to register the animals with the USDA.

The bill is urgently required in order to keep big cats safe and away from abusive circumstances. And often they pose a serious risk to the safety of the public and the owner. I believe that Carole particularly detests the abuse of big cat cubs as photo props at roadside businesses.

Around 10,000-20,000 big cats are currently owned as pets in the US, it is said. Extraordinary. Or they are caged in roadside zoos and perhaps the worst of it is that the country's administrators simply don't know how many there are. And they don't know the conditions under which they suffer.

There have been 740 dangerous incidents involving big cats since 1990 in America.

This new legislation ensures that big cats can only live in secure facilities which can provide proper caregiving. They will be well looked after and will not be a threat to public safety.

My reading of this legislation and the campaign that came before it that it is almost exclusively down to Carole Baskin and her energy and commitment to get this job done. She's been mopping up the mess of self-indulgent people who like to have big cats as pets by rescuing them at her Big Cat Rescue facility for years. She now wants to take proactive steps rather than reactive which is the underlying purpose of this legislation.

Her recent elevation to celebrity stardom by the Netflix series Tiger King has helped to publicise her efforts. There was a silver lining to Joe Exotic's attempt to kill her. By the way his appeal to shorten his sentence has failed and he has been sentenced to a further 21 years in prison as I understand it.

Below is the impressive Carole Baskin requesting further support to push on with the legislation and see it home to enactment.

Monday 20 December 2021

Snares are still legal in the UK and they are "antiquated and cruel"

Chris Packham describes snares as "antiquated, cruel and hideous". They are still legal in the UK and the Countryside Alliance say that they are useful in wildlife conservation. Packham says that snared animals "die of starvation, they die of dehydration, they die in excruciating pain, often they break their limbs". The Countryside Alliance insists that they should stay as part of the management of the countryside in the UK.

Snares are still legal in the UK and they are "antiquated and cruel"
Snares are still legal in the UK and they are "antiquated and cruel". Photo in public domain.

The Countryside Alliance, in a statement, said: "Snares benefit conservation and a range of economic activities from shooting and agriculture to forestry and eco-tourism. There is often no practical and effective replacement for snaring at crucial times of the year to protect livestock and wildlife, particularly during spring and summer. Well-designed snares, used properly, are a humane and effective form of fox control."

An Animal Aid petition supported by Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan is online presently. Mr Egan said: "The snares are just absolutely horrible and they are indiscriminate. Whether it be a fox or any animal that gets caught in it, often domestic companion animals. It's so cruel."

Mr Egan is a well-known animal advocate. And Chris Packham made the point that if a small animal is trapped in a snare they become a prey animal to a larger predator so they are killed and eaten. The important issue for pet owners is that sometimes cats and dogs get caught in them. The Head of Campaigns at Animal Aid, Jessamy Korotoga, said that many people can't believe that they are still legal.

The problem with snares is that they are indiscriminate. Any animal that wanders into them and gets caught by them is killed cruelly.

Comment: personally, I hate them and I dislike the attitude of the Countryside Alliance who blithely state that they improve wildlife conservation while ignoring the pain they cause animals. They treat foxes as pests and accept that they're going to feel pain and die of starvation. They don't find any problem in that at all. And yet foxes are wildlife like any other creature with a right to survive. The Countryside Alliance practices speciesism which means they favour certain animals over others. This I think is inherently incorrect and unfair.

Chris Packham says that snares should be banned and they are banned throughout most of Europe. It's remarkable that the UK is behind mainland Europe in this regard. We have, at the centre of government, Carrie Johnson, the wife of the Prime Minister, who is a strong animal advocate. She is behind the introduction of current animal welfare legislation with the assistance of Lord Goldsmith, a friend of hers. In other words, the UK is strengthening its animal welfare laws. Why, therefore, is the dreaded and barbaric snare being omitted from these improvements in British legislation?

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Greater Bendigo, Australia order cats to be "contained to the property 24/7"

NEWS AND COMMENT: The city administrators i.e. councillors of the City of Greater Bendigo, Australia have voted that domestic cats "must be contained to the property 24/7". One councillor, Julie Sloan, said that it is important to make a distinction between "restrict cats to indoors 24/7" and "contain to the property 24/7". That's a fine distinction which I had to think about for a while to work out the difference. The difference must be this: they have ordered that domestic cats should be kept within the bounds of the property which means inside the home and/or the front and back yards. 

Greater Bendigo, Australia order cats to be "contained to the property 24/7"
Greater Bendigo, Australia order cats to be "contained to the property 24/7". Image: MikeB

The cats don't have to be confined to the indoors i.e. inside the home. They can wander into the back garden front garden but clearly if they do those areas must be fenced in a way which prevents domestic cats escaping to the outside. That is my interpretation.

It's a progression for this city from an earlier curfew which required cats to be kept inside the owner's property between sunset and sunrise. So the screws are gradually being turned tighter on cat owners in terms of restrictions. This is one of the few total curfews that I know about in the world of domestic cat ownership. It's about as restrictive as you can get. Although, there have been lots of discussions about confining cats to the boundaries of the owner's property 24/7 in many jurisdictions on the planet, primarily in America and Australia.

These countries lead the world in terms of legislation to control cat ownership. What is the purpose of the curfew? The usual reasons: to prevent predation on wildlife and, in their words, "less fighting and transfer of diseases and breeding between cats and would reduce nuisance issues between neighbours".

The councillors surveyed the residents of the area. The feedback was 80% in favour of confining domestic cats to their homes. Under the legislation, cat owners have to pay up to AU$120 to reclaim their cat if it is held between five and eight days by the local authority.

The residents will be given time to get themselves organised to comply with the new restrictions. It'll take a bit of work. The cat confinement fence manufacturers will do a roaring trade 😅.

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