There is a need for a simple register of animal abusers. It should be accessible by the public or at least people with an interest in ensuring cat welfare when adopting out cats. I am thinking of cat rescue organisations. In the USA, the registers would be a on state-by-state basis or county-by-county basis. This has happened in New York state in Rockland, Albany and Suffolk counties.
Albany County was the third to pass an animal abuser registry law. This occurred on Oct 12th 2011. In NY, millions of animals are protected by animal abuser registries.
These are the first three of their kind in the USA. They are publicly accessible. They allow concerned people to track the whereabouts of convicted animal abusers. These offenders are unable to acquire an animal.
The Albany County law applies to convictions of misdemeanors and felonies relating to animal cruelty, animal fighting, sexual abuse of an animal and harming service/police dogs.
Offenders are obliged to register. Failure to do so is in itself a crime punishable by a max. 12 months prison sentence and up to $1,000 fine.
Use of the register is mandatory for people and organisations involved in selling or offering for adoption, animals. Failure to use the register is punishable by a $5,000 fine.
The objective is to prevent repeat offences and to try and put a brake on offenders going on to commit offences against people.
I presume the registered individuals can apply for their name to be removed after a certain period of time. Perhaps not. There will be an argument about a listing being indefinite.
Playing devil’s advocate, I can see a resistance to this from people who are against animal rights or against extending animal rights which impinge upon human rights. These are the human-centric people who see animals as creatures to use for the benefit of humans.
A section of society might claim that this sort of register is an abuse of human rights. I disagree vehemently of course. What about the rights of the victims and their caretaker/guardians? Worldwide there is still a great need to improve animal welfare and to extend animal rights.
We agree that a convicted criminal should lose some human rights if necessary and the victim’s rights should be prioritized. If a criminal is genuinely rehabilitated then his rights can be restored after his sentence is served and/or fine paid. Human rights should be granted universally but earned back once lost. I don’t see an obstacle to losing some rights such as the right to privacy if a person has committed a crime.
There is a petition on this website.