We live in an amazingly connected world where information propagates into every nook and cranny across the globe in an instant, something we could never have imagined just a couple of decades ago.
None of us will ever forget the tragic news of the arson attack and fire at the Manchester Dogs Home on the evening of Thursday 11th September 2014. This senseless act of cruelty, and the fear and suffering those poor dogs must have gone through, is difficult to comprehend. Yet the tragedy did strike a chord in the Nation’s hearts. Within 24 hours over £1 million pounds was raised and the final figure was over £1.5 million, all through public donations.
In 2015, a story emerged that shocked this, ‘our nation of animal lovers’. Video clips of appalling abuse of animals waiting in line to be slaughtered at an abattoir found their way into the public domain via social media and went viral (Mirror, 2015). But these stories are not new. The same thing happened 5 years earlier in 2010 (Guardian, 2010). After the 2010 incident, the government called around 370 UK slaughterhouses to voluntarily install surveillance cameras (CCTV) to “…help enforce legislation against cruelty to animals…“.
I recently posted up a small piece on our COAPE Facebook site about taxation and pets and the interest and debate it generated was phenomenal. It was even shared by a well-known dogs magazine and taken up in the veterinary press. So, for this blog, I thought you would enjoy an expanded version of that post.
This may seem a very obvious question, but actually it is not. This article explores some of the complexities of objectively defining what ‘animal suffering’ is. In this article, for conciseness, the term ‘human’ is used to identify human animals and the term ‘animal’ is used to identify non-human animals. In addition, the terms ‘she’ and ‘he’ are used, rather than ‘it’, because companion animals have names and therefore a gender.
“It is disturbing indeed that changes of such magnitude can be proposed by a Government in a far-away country and instigated by a global organisation we have never heard of on our behalf and without our consent…”