Cat Abuse and Human Rights

Cat Abuse and Human Rights

by Michael

What if you saw a neighbour in her back yard or garden abuse her cat. Let’s say she kicks her cat and then hits it with a stick. It had happened before. Then one day you grab the video camera that is on your window sill and film your neighbour abusing her cat. You upload the video to YouTube and its gets a good number of hits.

Then someone sees it and reports it to the police or the RSPCA. Then the cogs of justice grind along and your neighbour is prosecuted for the crime of animal cruelty. She is vilified by other neighbours and has to move home. She receives a light sentence by the court but the indirect punishment in having to move away from the area is greater.

Being successfully prosecuted and sentenced she becomes a criminal. The criminal then claims that her human rights have been violated. She has a right to privacy she claims. She can do what she likes in the privacy of her own home. She starts a claim for compensation for the loss she has suffered because of the need to move away from the area.

Her children had to move school and she had to find another job. She wants to claim loss of earnings as well. In the UK the claim would be made under the Human Rights Act 1998. Article 8: a right to respect for one’s “private and family life, his home and his correspondence”. In the USA it would be a civil action in tort. But this is a theoretical discussion.

Questions:

Did the neighbour who filmed the act cat cruelty do the wrong thing? Should she have filmed it and then gone to the police, keeping the video as evidence but not publishing it on YouTube?

Has the criminal got a right to privacy under these circumstances? Does she forfeit the right having committed a crime?

What would you have done as a neighbour?

Has the concept of human rights gone too far in protecting criminals while not taking into account sufficiently the consequences of their actions?

Would your neighbours have forced her out or been indifferent to the whole thing?

Answers in a comment, please‚Ķ! Gut reactions only. This is not a legal test….!

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Cat Abuse and Human Rights

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Nov 30, 2011
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I hadn’t forgotten Grahame
by: Ruth

Yes Grahame and because of this innocent until proved guilty law someone is right now conning and robbing more people while the law grinds slowly round deciding whether to prosecute or not.
Also this same person could be collecting cats again for all she abandoned the ones she had.
This is why if I saw an animal being abused, although I’m not a nasty violent person I’d ensure some punishment was meted out before reporting them.
It would be worth being punished myself !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Nov 29, 2011
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I would do the same as Ruth
by: Leah England

First I would be inclined to meter out some of my own punishment because if I saw that I just wouldn’t be responsible for my actions.

I wouldn’t publish the video to you tube I would take it to the RSPCA.

Animal cruelty is sickening in any form and there’s just no excuse ever.


Nov 29, 2011
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Rights
by: Grahame

Ruth, you forgot something fundamental: under our systems of justice in UK and USA, one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. One retains rights unless and until they are judicially revoked in a lawful manner.


Nov 29, 2011
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Too many human rights
by: Ruth

Videos like that should never be posted on YouTube, they should be given immediately to the RSPCA.
Not that I would stand and video animal abuse anyway, I’d be too busy giving the abuser a dose of their own medicine.
BUT a lot of animal abuse happens behind closed doors, there was a case near us of a dog living in terrible conditions and no one knew until it came in the local newspaper.
The person was prosecuted and fined but is still living where she was as her excuse was depression.
We are at present awaiting the outcome of another case, some neglected cats taken by the RSPCA, we can’t find out where or how they are because they will only tell the person who reported it.
The police are involved but we were surprised to find out that they don’t work closely with the RSPCA as we always thought they did, so they don’t know what is happening either.
Animal loving concerned people here just have to wait and hope for a prosecution and that it will be reported in the local newspaper.
The person has moved away now which is just as well for her sake !!!!!
In my opinion criminal acts against animals or other humans should forfeit the abuser to any rights !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Nov 29, 2011
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re: Cat Abuse and Human Rights
by: Grahame

Michael, you are a seemingly endless fount of interesting and pertinent posts.

I’m afraid that I must recuse myself on this one. But that asserted, my gut reaction is that the person who saw the repeated abuse and wanting to right this wrong, should have taken her video to the police or the district attorney and not published it on You Tube, or at least not at that time. If she did not obtain satisfaction, THEN she might have considered her other options.

Were I the neighbour who witnessed these crimes against the cat, I should have taken my video to the police in the first instance, or to the district attorney in the US.

The questions you raise concerning a right to privacy are highly technical questions.

Your question regarding rights of criminals and human rights do not come at it the way I would. I am interested in the rights of animals and better legal protections for them. I would like companion animals, even other animals, to have standing in our courts.

As to how my neighbours might have reacted, I have no idea. In some instances, I think that many of them don’t give a damn about non-human beings or their rights. And their rights (these beings) are not well established in current law, alas. Then again, we do not treat human beings very well, either!



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