This is a new department (USDCAW). It is dedicated to improving companion animal welfare. It was decided in the higher echelons of government that the rapidly increased population of companion animals and their close association with people demanded a government department that was solely concerned with protecting their rights and improving their welfare.
In fact the USDCAW deals with all aspects companion animal welfare including the consequences of keeping companion animals:
- Objective: to create and protect the rights of companion animals through the implementation of enforced regulations and the education of companion animal caretakers. The task is two pronged: education and regulation.
- Overseeing the implementation of new regulations to improve companion animal caretaking;
- Overseeing the gradual introduction of the obligatory education of prospective animal caretakers. A diploma will be required for everyone involved with companion animals: Diploma in Companion Animal Caretaking (DipCAC).
- Liaising with national departments concerned with the criminal code to explore the possibilities of amending existing legislation;
- Creating a seemless animal welfare criminal code that both guides animal caretakers and criminalises abuse. This area would include legalised abuse by veterinarians in devocalizing and declawing cats;
- Overseeing and creating initiatives to reduce the feral cat population of the United States;
- Creating a new inspectorate to ensure the highest standards at animal shelters and rescue centers;
- Monitoring and investigation the running of animal charities of all kinds from the smallest to the mightiest to ensure high levels of probity and transparency;
- Monitoring commercially manufactured companion animal products of all kinds;
- Monitoring of boarding and breeding catteries and dog breeders.
- Monitoring private zoos and the keeping of wild cats as pets. The objective would be the gradual elimination of all private zoos and the keeping of all and any wild cat as a pet. The new department would liaise with departments concerned with international trade in animals.
That is the task and objectives in outline. And in case you thought I was serious, I just made this up this morning in bed!
However, there is a serious side to this. At present in both the USA and UK and probably other countries matters concerning companion animal welfare seem to be incorporated into departments that manage agriculture and the environment. The companion animal is merged with all other aspects of our relationship with all animals and ancillary issues.
I feel that all animals are equal between themselves and to us, but the companion animal is such a large and important area of our lives that it is unsatisfactory to not have a dedicated department to deal with this aspect of our lives.
There are too many outstanding issues to deal with that are drifting. Not enough is happening to improve companion animal welfare. Improvements in their welfare will gradually remove the so called “feral cat problem”. The knock-on effect would be massive and hugely beneficial to American society.
Personally, I dislike regulations. I understand that most Americans prefer a laissez-faire attitude to life. Leave us alone and let us live our lives as we want to. I get that. It makes sense to me. I am the same. The trouble is that it is an impractical approach because too many people find it acceptable to abuse other people and animals. When people behave better then we can remove the laws.
In the meantime it is time to improve standards of companion animal welfare. The mission is two-pronged: education and regulation.