The Animal Welfare Act 2006 Is Very Effective

by Michael
(London, UK)

Grey Squirrel - photo by Simon (Flickr)

Grey Squirrel - photo by Simon (Flickr)

In the UK we have the very effective Animal Welfare Act 2006. This is a beautifully drafted, precise but wide ranging act. If all the nations of the world simply copied it and placed it in their statute books, the world would be an immeasurably better place. Hundreds of millions of animals would be saved from suffering, abuse and death at the hands of humankind.

Now, a lot of people will disagree with me. Of course they will because they like to hurt animals. I don't know the figures but the percentage of people on this planet who are either apathetic about hurting animals, reckless or maliciously active in hurting and abusing them is high. The world is horribly divided on how to treat other animals (we are animals too lets not forget).

One such example was the drowning of a grey squirrel by a 58 year old man in Burton on Trent. As I understand it many people in the UK don't like grey squirrels. Many people kill them and they do it secretly. They get away with it despite the fact that it is almost certainly a crime punishable by a maximum of 51 weeks imprisonment and a £20,000 fine.

A neighbour of mind was trapping them and killing them because they damaged the trees. I have never seen a tree damaged by a grey squirrel but I am sure someone will correct me. Another neighbour of mine stopped him but it was a struggle.

It now transpires that what he was doing was probably a crime. The Burton on Trent man caught a grey squirrel in a trap and drowned it. He was protecting his bird feeder he said.

The RSPCA brought a test case and won. It was probably overdue. Many people are angry because they see the grey squirrel as a pest; a non-native species that damages trees and kills birds and which has pushed out the red squirrel and so on.

That is irrelevant. Animal welfare is not about whether we like or dislike an animal. It is not about making judgments about the behavior of an animal. It is about animal cruelty and abuse, pure and simple. And this person was cruel to this squirrel because he killed it in a way that caused suffering despite his argument that the squirrel died almost instantly. Rubbish - an animal does not drown instantly.

I was prompted to jot down this post by Eliza, who this morning, 24th July 2010, wrote a comprehensive article on animal welfare law in Ohio, USA. It is all about treating our fellow animals with respect and decency and it does not matter what type of animal it is. They are all equal under this excellent law in England and Wales. Not all our laws are as good.

If we learn to treat our animals well it can only create a better society for all creatures including us. If the Animal Welfare Act 2006 was law in the USA, 99% of the US veterinarians would become criminals overnight as would the cat owners who asked the vet to declaw their cat! The jails would fill up and there would be hundreds of millions of dollars in fines! Ohio would get the law it needs too.

That is a vision that makes me smile.

Michael Avatar

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 Is Very Effective to Cats and the law

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The Animal Welfare Act 2006 Is Very Effective

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Dec 30, 2010
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ANIMALS RIGHTS!!!!!!!
by: Ann Marie

Do you know that the present government is about to amend the act that will do no good. Why?????

A life for a life!(if it is deliberate)


Jul 26, 2010
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animal cruelty
by: kathy

I beleive I swhared the expierience I had with my neighbor who is a racoon hater. Now my feral cat, whom I call Mr. Grey is not showing up for his food every day like normal. My feelings are that the cruel neighbor who for some reason felt that I shouldnt be feeding the poor soul did something to him to discourage hom from coming to our yard. Yesterday I saw him down by a park close to our house. I had not seen him for 3 days. I called to him and he recognized my voice and stopped to look at me. I went home and called him to come and eat but he never came. I know he could hear me at the park which is only a few houses away from ours. He finally came later that day and when I went out on the porch to talk to him like I normally do, he got very skittish and ran away and didnt return. My other neighbor Bill, another animal lover like me, also thinks he did something to discourage him from coming, such as shooting him with a BB gun. I hate cruel people such as my mean neighbor. Now we have to sneak to put food out for our cooney friends, who now have babies. They are such a joy for us to watch. Especially the babies. They are so cute. We used to love to have them come up close to us to eat dry cat food that we would place on the ground. We even got to recognize serveral of them and they trusted us enough to bring their little babies by us. Now all that enjoyment has been taken away from us by one cruel, heartless, person since the landlord came and asked us not to feed them anymore. He also told the neighbor not to shoot at them with BBS. He better not say anything about the squirels, but Im sure its only a matter of time before he finds an excuse to bitch about them visiting Bill and my bird feeders. I put food in them for the squirrels because my cats, especially my Savannah love to watch them. So now when we sit outside we have to sneak to put our food out for our cooney friends. Some people are just animal haters like you said.


Jul 26, 2010
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animal cruelty
by: kathy

I beleive I swhared the expierience I had with my neighbor who is a racoon hater. Now my feral cat, whom I call Mr. Grey is not showing up for his food every day like normal. My feelings are that the cruel neighbor who for some reason felt that I shouldnt be feeding the poor soul did something to him to discourage hom from coming to our yard. Yesterday I saw him down by a park close to our house. I had not seen him for 3 days. I called to him and he recognized my voice and stopped to look at me. I went home and called him to come and eat but he never came. I know he could hear me at the park which is only a few houses away from ours. He finally came later that day and when I went out on the porch to talk to him like I normally do, he got very skittish and ran away and didnt return. My other neighbor Bill, another animal lover like me, also thinks he did something to discourage him from coming, such as shooting him with a BB gun. I hate cruel people such as my mean neighbor. Now we have to sneak to put food out for our cooney friends, who now have babies. They are such a joy for us to watch. Especially the babies. They are so cute. We used to love to have them come up close to us to eat dry cat food that we would place on the ground. We even got to recognize serveral of them and they trusted us enough to bring their little babies by us. Now all that enjoyment has been taken away from us by one cruel, heartless, person since the landlord came and asked us not to feed them anymore. He also told the neighbor not to shoot at them with BBS. He better not say anything about the squirels, but Im sure its only a matter of time before he finds an excuse to bitch about them visiting Bill and my bird feeders. I put food in them for the squirrels because my cats, especially my Savannah love to watch them. So now when we sit outside we have to sneak to put our food out for our cooney friends. Some people are just animal haters like you said.


Jul 25, 2010
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I agree totally
by: Tracey (England)

These morons who try to justify their actions by saying the animal was doing this or that make me sick. They do it because there is something not quite right with them; they have something missing; perhaps a soul or a conscience. They do it because they get a kick out of inflicting pain on a defenceless creature.

That man who drowned the squirrel; what a load of rubbish! It died quickly my eye! It would have struggled and panicked as it took its last breath! Top marks to the RSPCA for bringing the prosecution! I only worry about how many animals die that we don't about; these people are usually sly and cunning.

No we have no right to judge whether an animals behaviour is right or wrong. They don't judge us do they? No, they love us unconditionally despite (unfortunately) all we do to them.

I dislike spiders and I fear them but if I see one in the house despite my fear I trap it in a glass (so I can see it in case it tries to escape!!!) and put it outside. I would never kill anything.

What also concerns me greatly is if people torture animals what would they do to a child if they got the chance? or a vulnerable person?

So next time you see an act of cruelty please report it you could save someones life. Think of John Venables; tortured young animals then moved onto a young innocent child and more recently (thanks to our pathetic laws that seem to care more about the perpetrator than the victim) he is allegedly involved in child pornography. 'Lock him up and throw away the key' springs to mind.


Jul 25, 2010
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A Post Script
by: Michael

I forgot to say that as a baby I was attacked by a squirrel while sitting inside the home. It bit me on the leg and I have the scar to this day. I do not have a grudge against or fear of squirrels. I treat them as I would all animals - with respect.

Michael Avatar



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