The punishment for Haider Abed who threw cats in the air is wrong
NEWS AND COMMENT: Birmingham UK: Sick Haider Abed, 25, has been punished after being convicted of animal cruelty under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the Act). He has been banned from keeping animals for life. He also has to complete 250 hours of community service and was fined in all £701.
The crime for which he was convicted was to go up to cats in the street, entice them over, pick them up and throw them into the air. In one example, he flung a cat into a lamppost and the cat hit the ground. I understand that he filmed himself doing it and posted the videos on Facebook. Don’t they always? I have suggested that it is a current craze among young men. Sad but it appears to be true as it happens too much.
So, he was abusing other people’s pet cats. This is the UK where cat owners let their cats wander outside.
How can this sentence be appropriate? Yes, it means he can’t abuse his own cat because he is not allowed to own one but he can still abuse other people’s cats as he has a habit of doing. And it can be difficult to convict these sorts of crimes. Abed was convicted because he filmed himself but if he doesn’t in the future he’ll get away with it through lack of evidence. Look at the Sage the cat case in America. It’s so hard to find and convict cat abusers.
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The fine is neither here nor there. It’s quite small. The sentence should have hurt him with the intention of teaching him a lesson. The only way to achieve this is with as long a prison sentence as possible which is a year under the Act. This is not enough in itself but add that to a complete ban on keeping pets plus a fine in the order of the maximum allowed (£20,000) and we are nearer the mark. If magistrates have the power to order an injunction as well, I’d make an injunction against him for life to not go up to street cats. Yes, these would be hard to enforce but so is not being allowed to have pets for life? Who is going to monitor that court order?
An important objective in addition to punishment is to prevent further animal cruelty. For Abed not keeping pets does not stop this.