Can We Really Trust License Fee to Fully Fund the Animal Abuse Register
Rarely a day goes by without print media writing about another case of animal cruelty. The stories are heart-breaking leaving you feeling upset, helpless, enraged; and wanting to do something. Worst yet, under current sentencing guidelines a pet is considered mere property and there is no concept of guardianship. This means under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the longest sentence can be given is six months in jail. A very short-time for someone who has hurt a member of the family that cannot speak for themself and relies on us for protection.
What can be done to help stop the horrific cruelty to family pets? There must be a solution? Yes, there is proven solution and it very simple. The proven solution is implementing Animal Abuse Register, similar to the state of Tennessee, in the UK is an option. The Tennessee model is proven because it has been around since January 2016 and as this author understands it, there has been no issues.
So why not implement the Tennessee model? There are two reasons: reluctance and funding. Anything new always is met with preposterous objections. In regards to implementing the animal abuse register based on the Tennessee model this author believes objections to the Tennessee model is based more on anti-Americanism, personal agenda, and dumb belief by some the major drawback to the Tennessee model (the public naming of individuals) that may lead to vigilantism. At the time of writing this article, this author is not aware of any widespread cases of vigilantism against those named in Tennessee and without further evidence this author does not accept public naming of individuals will lead to vigilantism. Nonetheless, this author does not believe the strength of the Tennessee model solely lies in the public naming of those convicted of abusing animals but believes the strength of Tennessee model lies legislation. The legislation strength lies in the sentencing and defining of the term animal.
What are the three types of funding models for an animal abuse register?
Implementing a register may sound like a quick solution. However, the issue lies in funding it. Currently, as this author understands it, enforcing the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is costly and there is not enough funding available. This author believes the reason why the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is failing pet owners is because it is all encompassing thereby making enforcement difficult and costly. For a register to work, it must be able to fund itself. Currently there are three possible options: Green Party policy regarding license fee, a point of sale check that can include a check being done by an employer or doing nothing.
Is a very good policy that will quickly generate revenue for the government and depending on the level of voluntary compliance, the amount of revenue generated can be massive. The massive generation can sustain the policy for a while. However, the policy as I understand it, does not include renewal and it does not include a mechanism to ensure someone who is issued a license is regularly checked to ensure they are not on the register. Another issue lies that it is all encompassing, covering all animals thereby running into similar issues regarding enforcement. In order to ensure someone who has a license is not on the register it will mean the license will have to be read, like a chip and pin, to ensure the individual has not been added to the register. Furthermore the license fee policy is silent on how enforcement will be conducted. This issue of license checks and enforcement leaves many questions. In particular the concern the license fee for this author raises is the violation of civil liberties, such as stop and search, to ensure everyone who has a pet has a license or enforcement vans driving through neighbourhoods.
Point of Sale and Employer Checks
Point of Sale and Employer Checks is relative an exciting approach since it is a self-sustaining providing several millions for the government because enforcement will be done at the Council level instead of the national level. This means Councils can charge an additional fee to defray the cost of enforcement for pet shops. Plus this promising model is focuses on the Tennessee model, whereby the Animal Welfare Act is updated to provide longer sentences for those who foolishly attack the family pet.
Cost of doing nothing may appear free but it is not. The cost of doing nothing extracts a high price on families. and society There is a link between those who abuse animals and those who have the potential to hurt others. This author is not saying everyone who abuses an animal will abuse a person. Instead this author is saying there is a link that cannot be ignored that is cost the government millions of pounds each year in prosecutions, police time, jail space; and the harm done to families.
My analysis shows over time, the cost of the Green Party Policy without increasing the license fee, without limiting exemptions, or without further defining what enforcement will include will risk the policy not being self-sufficient. It will mean increasing the license fee, increasing enforcement activities and / or for example, deny productive members of society access to seeing eye dogs because they cannot afford the license fee because their exemption was rehttp://Cost and benefit analysis of the animal abuse register for the United Kingdom as completed by Brian Berry, Co-Founder of the AAR – Animal Abuse Register / Justice for Chunky and Co-Owner Brighter Tomorrow.moved.
Whereas the point of sale with employer check is a self-sustaining approach with the potential to provide a windfall and doing nothing hurts society.
It is therefore, based on the analysis provided, point of sale with employer checks be the way forward to fund an animal abuse register.
To read the analysis: click on this link
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Half a Million People Join ‘Justice for Chunky’ anti-Animal Abuse Campaign (Telegraph 31 March 2016)
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