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Why We Should Toughen Up Animal Cruelty Laws
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Why We Should Toughen Up Animal Cruelty Laws

You may think that Australia is doing pretty well when it comes to looking after our animals. The truth of the matter is that we could be doing a lot better. When World Animal Protection put out an Animal Protection Index in 2014, Australia received a C grade – meaning there are two grades above us we aren’t achieving. Here’s why we need to strengthen our cruelty laws.

Animal cruelty leads to human abuse

When looking at animal cruelty, there are many people who don’t understand why we should care. Even if you don’t like animals, it’s really important to punish those who commit cruel acts for one big reason. It can be a huge signifier that the individual will go on to commit harm to humans later on.

Abusing a small and defenceless animal has been the first step for many serial killers and murderers. Feeling the rush of power that comes from hurting an animal leads many to try it on other humans as well. If we don’t punish and stop animal abusers, there is a good chance that we are giving them the opportunity to commit greater crimes further down the line.

There have been many times when calling a lawyer and taking legal action against a perpetrator of animal cruelty could have prevented a much larger tragedy on a human scale.

Not all codes are compulsory

Though we do have a lot of legislation in place to prevent animal cruelty, some codes have not been made compulsory. This means that guidelines are given, but in the majority of cases, they are ignored because they will cause extra cost to the company that owns animals for the production of food.

Examples of this include the codes for Queensland when breeding pigs and poultry, which are not all compulsory. Even though some are, there’s no point in having non-compulsory codes. The government needs to send a serious message to these companies about how animals should be treated. This can only be done by making the codes compulsory and ensuring that they are treated to minimum humane standards.

Punishments are not harsh enough

While there are many cases of animal abusers being given fines, jail terms, and bans on owning animals, often these punishments simply do not last. If someone is given a five-year ban, then chances are that in six years, they will be abusing animals again.

The sentences given for animal cruelty are much lighter than those handed out for other crimes, such as violence against humans. This means that those who perpetrate animal cruelty are likely to re-offend. They don’t see their actions as having a serious enough consequence to dissuade them from doing it.

If there were stricter laws in place, that dictated harsher punishments, then there would be fewer cases of animal cruelty.

We have a moral obligation

Animals have thoughts, feelings, and emotions. They are capable of expressing fear, pain, and sadness. Because of this, we have a moral obligation as the dominant species not to deliberately inflict suffering upon them.

An individual who is capable of doing harm to an animal, even though it whines, cries out in pain, and tries to get away, is a very dangerous person. This is yet another reason why we need harsher animal cruelty laws in place, to take them out of society and prevent them from doing any more harm.

We need to toughen up Australia’s laws on animal cruelty to protect animals, to discourage re-offenders, to legislate farming industries more carefully, and to prevent further criminal offences. These reasons are just the tip of the iceberg, but they should be enough to convince anyone.

 

Photo source: Pixabay

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