Saturday 2 August 2008

Facts about animal abuse

Here are the most important facts about animal abuse. There is a pile of facts and information about animal abuse although it doesn't exactly jump out of the internet as some other subjects do.

But what are the most importan
t facts? They have to be to ones that help lead us to an answer as to how to stop it. It is good to prosecute people who commit crimes of animal abuse. But the law cannot always be enforced effectively. Neither is animal abuse always apparent. How many cases of animal abuse are there compared to the numbers reported? I don't know but I'd bet that the number reported is the tip of the iceberg.

Some 7 years ago, HSUS compiled facts about a
nimal abuse relating to 2000, which indicates to us the source of the problem and the problem is the same in the US and the UK, I feel. But is something happening? Not in the UK in any event.

chart showing male to female perpetrators of animal violence

Facts about animal abuse - First fact is that it is perpetrated by males. Of these 31% are 18 or younger. Some (4%) are younger than 12 and 21% of the incidences involved family violence. It is companion animals that are the most likely to be hurt (cats and dogs).

chart showing type of animal abused USA

Facts about animal abuse - Chart showing that companion animals (cats and dogs mainly) are usually the victims of animal abuse.

A companion animal is to all intents and purposes a part of the family. In order to be violent we must be angry unless it is a crime conducted in cold blood and that sort of crime does not in any way relate to animal abuse cases in my assessment. The classic animal abuse case will be an expression of anger against something or somebody that cannot be hurt so the perpetrator vents that anger on a creature close to the person that they want to hurt or an animal representing the person or persons. Or it is a simple undirected expression of anger as if the person was kicking a door or banging a desk with their fist.

The reason why some people can vent anger on animals without a conscience or sentiment is because they lack social responsibility for their actions (unaware of the consequences) and/or have an arrogance and ignorance in relation to other animals on the planet. For example some people think that cats don't feel pain or simply don't consider that the cat might or will suffer when they injure or kill them.

If most animal abuse occurs in a family environment (I conclude this because the vast majority of animal victims are family animals) and nearly all cases are due to angry males it would seem to be a far conclusion that fathers are teaching sons to be angry and to strike out. The scenario is angry (maybe drunk?) father teaches boy how to be violent and disrespect animals and people. In other words the classic dysfunctional family.

Another likely scenario is the absent father. When the father is absent particularly in relation to boys the boy tends to lack boundaries and the requisite strong guidance demanded. Single women who have children by more than one father tend also to be inadequate and unable to provide proper parenting. The child will learn the wrong things from his peers who themselves may come from dysfunctional backgrounds.

Facts about animal abuse should lead us to a solution not to simply mopping up the mess. The bottom line is that the solution must come from better parenting, more stable families and the education that follows.

The RSPCA (UK) recently disclosed convictions for animal violence in the UK showing a marked increase between 2006 and 2007.

animal violence figures UK

Facts about animal abuse - Chart showing increase in convictions for animal violence in the UK 2006-7 (src: RSPCA). See Cat Abuse for more on animal protection law - worst and best US states.

The increase is in line with people's feelings and experiences in the UK about the increase in youth violence expressed in a sharp increase in knife crime perpetrated by youths and the age of the youths is decreasing. There are other issues one of which is that a more hostile society is fostering the use of dogs as weapons and as a macho image.

There are other categories of violence against animals and cats. The above is a simplification. But it is still the young who tend to be the worst. Some simply declare, "i hate cats". They have little understanding as to why. There can only be one reason why - they were taught it (or they learned it indirectly from observation). There is a wealth of ignorance about other animals including wild animals (sport hunting) and cats (my particular concern).

Some more Facts about animal abuse:

Which States in the USA are the worst offenders?

neglected/abandoned animals by State 2007

Facts about animal abuse - chart showing Florida leads the way for neglect and abandonment. Florida is probably the worst State for animal abuse overall - tell me why please. ( Abandonment and neglect is the biggest area of animal abuse in America according to Florida is equal top with New York for beating animals and is in sole top position for strangulations (of animals of course). It is no wonder the Florida Panther (Cougar) is in such dire straights. In 1997 Florida was the second most dangerous State for crime (src: The source looks reliable. If so this supports the well known concept that violence against animals is a precursor to violence against people.

Facts about animal abuse to Home page

Definition of animal abuse

Here is the definition of animal abuse. Is animal abuse animal cruelty? Google couldn't find a definition for "animal abuse".

Lets start with the word "abuse":

Abuse means mistreatment, to treat badly. It also covers maltreatment which means cruel or inhumane treatment.

Animal abuse is probably wider than animal cruelty. Animal abuse includes animal cruelty but animal cruelty is more specific.

Animal cruelty falls
into one of these categories, normally: neglect, intentional cruelty or sexual abuse (the latter is relatively rare).

So a definition of animal abuse might be:

"To treat an animal in a manner that is counter to the animal's fundamental needs and requirements".

or it might be:

"To treat an animal in a manner that causes discomfort, pain or ill health."

You might merge these two:

"To treat an animal in a manner that causes discomfort, pain or ill health and that is detrimental to the animal's fundamental needs and requirements."

This is my definition of animal abuse as Google couldn't find one. If you like it or find it useful by all means use it but it would be nice if you gave a link to this website.

Definition of animal abuse to Animal Cruelty

Domestic Cat History

Less than a generation before the first cat show in England the domestic cat was hardly a domestic cat at all. Domestic Cat History is really about the last 150 years or so. The cat fancy (that body of people who breed, love and show cats) started in my opinion in England in the mid-late 1800s. The first cat shows were in the early 1890s. The birth of the cat show was a manifestation of the change of public opinion towards the domestic cat. Before about 1870 domestic cats were semi-feral and lurking in and around people's homes eking a desperate living from scraps of food and avoiding children who made sport by hunting cats with their savage dogs.

In England, in the 1870s, the domestic cat was barely out of that black era in domestic cat history when the cat was considered dangerous and when black cats were friends of witches and in league with the devil. Lets not forget that some parts of the world are, in evolutionary terms behind the West (and this not a boast or being arrogant, it is simply a fact). In some of these places the cat is still seen in a more hostile and brutal light (some Indians eat cats)

The domestic cat was saved from near perpetual abuse by her ability to serve the people, the masters of the world by catching vermin of which there were no doubt vast numbers in a seedy London. Cats before the cat fancy began were seen as useful animals to serve humans. Perhaps there was the occasional person who secretly treated domestic cats well and even kept them as true pets as we do today. Yet outside on the streets a dog was considered to be a good dog if he/she could catch and kill a cat. Cat hunting with terriers for boys was the equivalent of their parents hunting foxes with hounds.

So, attitudes changed towards cats and domestic cat history took a turn for the better for the domestic cat (or did it?). What prompted this change? Just by way of speculation, and knowing the human fairly well and being rather cynical (regrettably), it probably happened because people decided that pets and cats were something interesting to possess and keep, like an animated object. In other words, the domestic cat had potential for being more than a useful tool for people, the cat could also decorate their lives. The cat was still serving her human master but in a different way.

Domestic cat history has some terrible stories to tell of persecution for the humble domestic cat. There is still a massive divide in societies relationship with the domestic cat. Some people still hate cats and treat them in a way very reminiscent of the early and mid 1800s in England. There is still masses of neglect and cruelty and prosecutions in the UK for animal cruelty in rising. Human development moves slowly. Maybe it moves backwards sometimes.

150 years ago we didn't slaughter millions of feral cats (once they were domestic cats or their parents or grandparents were domestic cats, lets remember) in places, euphemistically called "shelters". We didn't reprocess the feral cats we slaughtered into soap or cat food, did we? We didn't hunt them as authorized by the local authorities.

The lives of many millions of domestic cats is much better than it was, no doubt. But in the USA they often keep them indoors and declaw them, a wholly unnatural existence because they have made the outdoors too hostile for the cat to live in. What kind of madness is that? Experts recommend that cats live indoors permanently. This is an admission that we have made the world too hostile for cats (and that included big and small wild cats).

If we can't keep cats properly lets not keep them at all and stop bringing them into the world. In 150 years people have turned full circle from letting cats roam freely (to their detriment) to imprisoning them (also to their detriment). Clearly the world was and still is hostile to the domestic cat.

Really not a hell of a lot has changed in substance throughout the past 150 years of domestic cat history, just the appearance. Perhaps in 10,000 years things may have changed.

Domestic Cat History to Cat History

Domestic Cat History - Source:
  • Myself
  • Times Archive

Friday 1 August 2008

Dogs and cats in Saudi Arabia

Photo by Roobee

The cat above is obeying the law in Riyadh Saudi Arabia as she is indoors. If she was outside in a public place she'd be confiscated by the religious police. Photo published under a creative commons Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike License

In Saudi Arabia they can do these things; ban the selling and/or exercising (walking) in public of dogs and cats in Riyadh. Dogs and cats in Saudi Arabia are going to have a hard time, particularly dogs, as they can't really exist without some exercise and the usual way to do this is walking. Cats are a different kettle of fish but they do need exercise but not on a lead; that is extremely rare anywhere never mind Saudi Arabia.

This is, in effect, a ban on dogs and cats in Saudi Arabia, period. But it would seem that people tend to ignore it. And of course it must be hard to enforce. The reason is to stop men using dogs (I presume) as a means to introduce themselves to the opposite sex in public. The sexes have to be separated it seems. All very proper (on the face of it). The religious police AKA Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has instigated this.

It would seem all but impossible for a men to use a cat in a restaurant or cafe to introduce himself to a single women. First you have to leash train your cat. Then it may be a long walk down a pavement to the nearest cafe. Or you'll have to travel in a car and cats get nervous in cars normally. Then there's all the hubbub of the street and the cafe. That's likely to scare your cat. Then by the time you get to casually meet a women your cat's going to be defensive towards her or scratch her if she can get near your cat who you are probably carrying. Cats need to be socialized to street life and most cats are familiar with relatively quiet home life or back garden life. The noise etc. of the street in daytime would probably frighten them.

Nah, I just don't see cats being a good way to introduce yourself in public. But if the sale of cats is banned and that means no business for cat breeders in Riyadh. But I guess you could buy a cat somewhere else. Are there cat breeders in Riyadh? I would doubt it and if there are, not many.

You just couldn't do this in the West. There is something highly effective about the way laws are passed in Saudi. It's very immediate and more effective for it. Something like it is needed to deal with feral cats in the USA provided it is humane and no cats get killed. I for one am against this Saudi law as are all the authors who have made posts about it. It just seems a bit silly. I don't think dogs and cats in Saudi Arabia should be overly concerned as it'll probably fizzle out.

Dogs and cats in Saudi Arabia to Home page

White Lions in the Midlands UK

White lion cubs West Midland Safari Park, UK - photo by Howard.Gees

There is a lot of news and talk about the recent successful breeding of White Lions in the Midlands UK. They are simply beautiful and congratulations to the people at the West Midland Safari Park, UK. They started their breeding program in 2004 as far as I aware. The cubs are fantastically photogenic.

Yet we must remind ourselves of the reality of the situation regarding white lions generally and the white lions in the Midlands UK.

White coloration for a lion is bad news, making survival harder. But these lions and all white lions don't have to survive anymore as they are all captive (that means every one in the world).

The white coloration is due to a recessive gene that inhibits the formation of color. A recessive gene (the genotype) will not become a phenotype (the appearance) unless there is inbreeding. That is why the genetic mutation was so rarely seen in the wild. The white lion has been extinct in the wild for about 12 years.

Inbreeding is common in purebred domestic cat breeding. Breeders have the same difficulties in maintaining an appearance that is inline with the breed standard and good health as inbreeding can create health issues such as immune system deficiencies (general ill health - inbreeding depression it is called).

White tigers are bred in captivity also. We don't see the genetic defects that some cubs are born with (are these cubs euthanised?). We don't talk about the commercial side of safari parks and "canned hunting" of white lions (allegedly happening in South Africa). See White Siberian Tigers (on this website) and a video on the effects of inbreeding and the reality of behind the image of the White Siberian Tiger. We don't talk so much about the plight of all the wild big cats; they are gradually becoming extinct in the wild reduced to becoming commercial attractions. Is this what we really want?

Look, well done to the West Midland Safari Park but we must all look behind the image, the presentation, because all safari parks are commercial operations. Yes they are involved in a kind of preservation and conservation but it is all in captivity and in my opinion will remain there. It is too late to turn the clock back. This is the sadness behind the joy of seeing these white lion cubs.

Photo published under a Attribution-NoDerivs License (creative commons).

White Lions in the Midlands UK to home page

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