10 Things you do not know about the animal abuse register
1) Will the animal abuse register outlaw religious ritual slaughter? No. The animal abuse register will operate within current laws and only place those convicted of violating an identified law on the register. Even if a future government bans religious slaughter, Kosher and Hallah, for example, Maxine and Brian will not advocate those who slaughter animals for religious purpose are placed on the register. Why? To begin with, the register is not about promoting a promoting a political ideology nor is about changing religious practices. Neither Maxine or Brian are familiar enough with Hallah slaughter to comment but knows something about the Jewish slaughter. The Jewish tradition for slaughtering animals, sometimes called shechita, has strict criteria that respects the animal and takes the animal’s welfare into consideration. For the slaughter to be considered Kosher certain conditions must be met, including looking after the welfare of the animal before slaughter and performing the slaughter in the way to bring about immediate death thereby sparing pain. If the conditions are not met, then animal is not considered Kosher. This means for a Kosher slaughter to occur the welfare of the animal must be considered and be done in a way that is that is painless. Finally, religion has a place and to use the register to ban religious ritual slaughter of animals goes against the purpose of the register.
2) Does promoting the register means you are advocating vegetarianism or veganism? No. We respect individual choices and do not believe the register should go beyond its intended purpose of supporting the current legislative framework nor should it be used to promote an ideology.
3) Will fox hunting be outlawed? Our vision for the register is based on the law in Tennessee and under the law animals that are considered wild and killed are not included. Thus, now, we do not foresee fox hunting being covered by the register.
4) What will the register accomplish? It is our vision an animal abuse register will help to reduce crimes against animals and people. Animals cannot speak for themselves and needs a guardian to speak for them and a register gives animals their voice. Moreover, some who abuse animals will abuse or kill people. This does not mean everyone who abuses an animal will become a murder. Nonetheless, a register can identify those at risk for more violent crimes by providing the necessary support for them and their families. Therefore, the register will be a way of creating a safer and more secure Britain.
5) What will be considered an animal for the register? Under the Green Party policy, the definition of animal is any animal covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 sections 1 – 2 and does not include invertebrate animals. Nonetheless, whilst we accept Green Party definition, our vision is based on the Tennessee model whereby the definition of animal is subdivided into four categories: wild animal, animal, livestock, and service animal. Whereby, sentencing and length on the register is based on the classification of the animal.
6) Do you only support rehabilitation of those convicted of animal cruelty? Rehabilitation has a role, especially with juvenile offenders. Currently we are not fully convinced rehabilitation is the only answer and believe longer sentencing with rehabilitation is the answer.
7) Will juveniles be placed on the register? Our vision, especially for juveniles under the age of 13 years old, we would advocate intervention of social service and the courts to support the family instead of placing a juvenile that young on the register. However, for a juvenile that is at least 13 years old we would support placing a juvenile on the register. Our reasoning, animal cruelty can be a gateway for more heinous crimes. The register provides a tool to track the individual and provide support needed to stop the individual from committing further crimes.
8) Will everyone convicted of a crime against an animal be on the register for a lifetime? For most people convicted of an animal crime will come off the register and only a few, we anticipate will remain on the register for a lifetime.
9) Why does Britain need an animal abuse register? Animals are not able to speak for themselves and as their guardians, it is our duty to protect them. Enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, is severely underfunded and in 2016 there was a 43% drop in animal cruelty conviction from 2014. Even if someone is convicted, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the maximum sentence is six months. In answer to the question, animal abuse register provides a mechanism to track those who are convicted of animal abuse and provides a funding mechanism for further prosecution. Finally, the register will provide tougher sentences and provide support for those who are convicted.
10) Why is the Tennessee model the best? It is the model that has been around the longest and it is the model that is done on a wide scale. It is our belief, people in the UK focus too much on the public listing of names and photos of those convicted. Instead of focusing on the legislation. For Maxine and Brian, it is the legislation and not the public naming of individuals that makes the Tennessee model an ideal model.