Warning: Brexit Will Impact The Animal Abuse Register

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Warning: Brexit Will Impact The Animal Abuse Register

Since  David Cameron announced the EU referendum on leaving the EU, the topic of Brexit dominates the media. After the referendum and now with formal talks to leave the EU starting, It is impossible to escape hearing something about Brexit. Any other topic relating to Brexit or any other newsworthy topic does not get the attention it deserves. The focus on Brexit leaves a large vacuum on other important topics like Brexit impact on animal welfare and the potential impact of Brexit on the animal abuse register

In the article, I am going to cover three issues: Why the lack coverage, possible impact on the animal abuse register and what the future can hold for the animal abuse register.

What Impact Will Brexit Have On Animal Welfare

As I understand it, EU regulations regarding animal welfare only cover transporting of animals within the EU. This means farm animals, not domestic or wild and animals used for testing are primarily covered by EU legislation. This means unless the animal is being used to test cosmetics or is a farm animal then most likely EU regulations do not apply.

Brexit Potential Impact

Currently, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is the court of last hope that will take appeals from the UK Supreme Court and Europen Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will rule on any matter regarding human rights issues. In a post-Brexit world, there are plans to streamline this by making the UK Supreme Court the final authority.

Post-Brexit Animal Abuse Register

I have extensively written regarding my vision for the animal abuse register and I have written a few position papers on various issues relating to the animal abuse register. For the sake of brevity I will not cover them here and if you want to read them then click on the above links.

When I look at the work various states in the United States have done on the animal abuse register and animal rights laws, especially companion animals, I am dismayed at how far behind the United Kingdom is on this topic. Below are a few examples where the United Kingdom lags:

 

StateStatuteDate AdoptedDescriptionlink
ArizonaC. R. S. A. § 15-11-901Not available Requiring Pet Stores to provide vertrinarian certificate of health at time of sale and allows customer to return pet within 2 weeks if animal is illhttps://www.animallaw.info/statute/az-pet-sales-title-44-trade-and-commerce-chapter-11-regulations-concerning-particular
 Colorado C. R. S. A. § 18-6-800.3  1989Animals (e.g. family pet) included in definition of domestic abusehttps://www.animallaw.info/statute/co-domestic-violence-animals-and-domestic-violence-definition
 Colorado  C. R. S. A. § 35-80-101 – 117  1994 Regulating the sale of animals and ensuring no animal under 8 weeks is sold. Failure to comply can result in criminal charges https://www.animallaw.info/statute/co-pet-shop-article-80-pet-animal-care-and-facilities-act
 Colorado C. R. S. A. § 15-11-901 1994Creation of a trust for animals for the care of animals and their offspring for up to 21 years after the owner dies.https://www.animallaw.info/statute/co-trusts-pets-article-11-intestate-succession-and-wills
 Iowa  IA ST §§ 236.3, 236.4, 236.5  1979 Allows a judge to issue an order against a domestic abuser to stay away from family pethttps://www.animallaw.info/statute/ia-domestic-violence-chapter-236-domestic-abuse 
 Iowa  IA ST § 717B.1 – 717E.3  Not AvailableSimilar law to Tennessee. Iowa provides a definition of animal but includes exclusions for livestock, fish, animals raised for fur, and other exclusions. Finally, law provides various criminal penalties depending on the offence https://www.animallaw.info/statute/ia-cruelty-injury-animals-other-livestock
 Indiana  IN ST 9-21-17-21; 16-32-3-1 – 5; 22-9-6-5; 22-9-5-9.5; 22-9-5-20; 35-31.5-2-295; 35-46-3-11.5; 3-11-9-5  Not AvailableLaw defines service animal and provide for criminal charges for anyone who harms a service animal. In addition, this provides further legal protection for those who use service animals.https://www.animallaw.info/statute/assistance-animal-assistance-animalguide-dog-laws#s35_46_3_11_5
 Lousiana  LSA-R.S 46:1951 – 1959; LA R.S. 21:52; LA R.S. 32:217; LA R.S. 14:39  Not AvailableSimilar to Indiana’s law that defines criminal penalties for injuring a service dog and provides owner of a service dog further legal protectionhttps://www.animallaw.info/statute/la-assistance-animal-assistance-animalguide-dog-laws#s1955
 Lousiana LSA-R.S. 46:2135 1982Law allows issuing of a restraining order for domestic violence to protect animals from abuse.https://www.animallaw.info/statute/la-domestic-violence-chapter-28-protection-family-violence-act

The above table is just a sample of laws states have implemented to further protect animals from cruelty and the sample demonstrates the United Kingdom is lacking. Furthermore, Michigan State University has a marvelous resource on animal laws in the world.

Analysis

I believe all animals need to be protected from abuse and cruelty. Nonetheless, I am a realist and realise animals such as dogs play a vital role in our daily lives. A dog, for example, works with the police, the military, as a service dog and a pet. Now when you compare a dog to a pigeon what is more vital for society to function. Granted, both have a vital function in our lives. However, I believe animals that have a role to help us function and to protect us should receive more protection. Brexit will not greatly impact animal welfare laws and I do not believe Brexit will kill the push towards the animal abuse register.  Instead, I believe Brexit does open the opportunity for the United Kingdom to expand on animal welfare. In particular, the United Kingdom can begin exploring defining

When I look at the issue of Brexit I do not believe it will not greatly impact animal welfare laws and I do not believe Brexit will kill the push towards the animal abuse register.  Instead, I believe Brexit does open the opportunity for the United Kingdom to expand on animal welfare. In particular, the United Kingdom can begin exploring defining

In particular, Brexit can allow the United Kingdom can begin exploring defining an animal as it relates to service and defining criminal charges based on crime and definition instead of a “one size fits all” approach. I believe a “one size fits all,” approach makes it more difficult to allocate limited resources and it makes it difficult to put in place deterrents to prevent animal cruelty.  The best approach I believe is defining animal-based on function and base sentencing on function along with the severity of the crime and intent is a better approach. By leaving the EU, the ECHR, and ECJ I believe it will make it easier for the government to expand on animal welfare laws by offering more protection without the of the added expense and the added time (usually in years) of going to the European courts.

I believe the two quickest wins can be including protection for the family pet in domestic violence cases and providing service animals, like seeing eye dogs, further protection. This protection can include harsher sentences for anyone who harms a service animal and strengthening protection under the Equality Act.

So, do I fear Brexit? No. Instead of seeing the possibilities Brexit can provide, especially if this government keeps its promises about leaving ECJ and ECHR. Finally, I see Brexit may make it easier for the animal abuse register to come to fruition and provide the protection all of the desire to protect our pets from cruelty.

 

 

 

Overcoming Roadblocks and Misconceptions: Journey to the Animal Abuse Register Maxine Berry Tireless Fight for Those Without a Voice

maxine and chunky
maxine and chunky
Maxine Meeting Chunky

Endless Possibilities: The start Maxine Berry’s Journey

We are living in a truly exciting time, in the United Kingdom. Brexit and the upcoming general election provide endless possibilities. The most exciting possibility began about 8 months before the vote to leave the European Union, in November 2016. It is the Animal Abuse Register, Justice for Chunky, petition started by Maxine Berry.

Tennessee Based Register Modified for United Kingdom Standards

Her vision is having a register, similar to the state of Tennessee, whereby family pets are protected and those who abuse animals face longer sentences. The amazing thing about Maxine’s vision, the register not only protects pets but people too. At this point, you may be gobsmacked believing the register will only protect pets? Reality, there is a link between those who abuse animals and the increased likelihood they will harm people. No link is 100% and there are other factors that influence the decision, like longer sentences.

Now, imagine the UK having Maxine’s vision what type of country will we have? This author believes it is a safer country. Whereby animal cruelty, especially against family pets decrease, domestic violence decrease, and where appropriate support is given to help those overcome their violent ways. In essence creating a brighter tomorrow for many people living in the United Kingdom.

Is Anti-Americanism a Roadblock?

Next, if the register will protect people. Then how come the United Kingdom does not have the register? No path to change is simple and because animal cruelty is an emotive issue, there will be roadblocks along the way. When Maxine started her journey, she was realistic and knew it was not going to be easy. Her belief in making pets safe from harm and keeping people safe is her driving motivation. Currently, one roadblock Maxine is facing is the collective feeling inferior to America along with a bit of anti-Americanism. She will not let anti-Americanism or a feeling from other of feeling inferior to America.

UK Papers Can Publish Names and Photographs of Those Convicted of a Crime but the Animal Abuse Register Cannot?

So where does this roadblock originate from? The state of Tennessee since January 2016 implemented an animal abuse register for the whole state and 10 other states are currently legislating some form of animal abuse register. The argument that Maxine Berry is facing lies in the public exposure of those on the register. In the United Kingdom it is easy to search a local paper; find someone convicted of a crime with their photograph published and name published.

Publishing Names Leads to Vigilantism: Fact or Fiction?

Moving on, a part of the roadblock lies in the belief public exposure will lead to vigilantism. So what evidence exists Tennessee model will lead to vigilantism? This author has spent time searching for records indicating vigilantism after implementing the animal abuse register in Tennessee. At the time of writing this article, this author cannot find any reported cases of vigilantism in the state of Tennessee against those on the register.

This brings up the next question what about the UK? This author can find sporadic reports of vigilantism against sex offenders. Nonetheless shortly after the UK introduced the sex offenders; register vigilantism appeared to have decreased. This article seems to suggest the link between the media and fueling vigilantism.

Another issue this raises, there is a difference between those who commit animal cruelty and those who commit sex offences?

Why Design an Original Register When a Model Already Exists?

Maxine Berry Interview
Maxine Berry being interviewed before submitting justice for chunky petition to DEFRA

Many people fear Maxine is advocating a “naming and shaming” of those convicted of animal cruelty. In response to the misinformation, Maxine explicitly advocates it is not the public naming of individuals that makes the Tennessee model ‘an out-of-the-box solution.’ Instead Maxine continuously states it is the legislation. In particular, it is the longer sentences for those who abuse animals and the definition of animal that makes the Tennessee model that can be easily modified to fit the needs of the UK. If MPs review the cost and benefit analysis done by Maxine’s husband Brian they will see it is more cost effective to focus limiting the definition of animal to companion animals than the wide encompassing definition of animal as provided under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and MPs will see over time the animal abuse register can be self-sustaining.

Tennessee Model Works

All things considered, how come United Kingdom has not implemented an animal abuse register based on the Tennessee model? What is the reason the animal abuse register, based on the Tennessee model, has not become law in the UK? Is it beliefs rooted in British inferiority to America, is it anti-Americanism, or a combination of? Such a question may seem harsh and maybe unfair. Nonetheless the question needs to be asked. It is important to remember, Maxine advocates it is the legislation not the public naming that makes the Tennessee model viable.

Furthermore evidence suggests the register might decrease vigilantism and the evidence suggests there is no link between the two, regardless of the model used. Moreover, the Tennessee model is a working model that has been around since January 2016 and has a history. Finally there is some evidence to suggest a UK animal abuse register (point of sale and employer checks) based on the Tennessee model is cheaper and may be self-sufficient without the need for strict enforcement or violating civil liberties.

Finally

Regardless of anti-Americanism and regardless of some feeling inferior to American exceptionalism in the field of animal rights, Maxine Berry will continue to fight for animal rights. She will continue for fight for the Tennessee model because it is the most cost-effective and the easiest to implement. Plus the Tennessee model provides an excellent model for legislation in defining animals and sentencing. It is time for us to unite to protect our pets and protect those who do not have a voice. By implementing an animal abuse register based on the Tennessee model we can make millions of lives better in a very short time.

Comments / Contact Us

If you have questions about the work Maxine Berry is doing or want more information, please use the below form.

Related Articles:

Justice for Chunky Petition

House of Commons – Environmental, Food, and Rural Affairs, Animal Welfare in England: Domestic Pets

Tennessee Legislation for the Animal Abuse Register

States Legislating Some Form of Animal Abuse Register

Sex Offenders’ Register, Media, and Vigilantism Link?

Tikkun Olam: Uniting Britain Through the Animal Abuse Register

Making Britain Safer by Updating the Animal Welfare Act 2006

5 Things the Animal Abuse Register Will Immediately Provide for the United Kingdom

Political Parties That Support the Animal Abuse Register

Justice for Chunky Facebook Page

FAQs Regarding the Animal Abuse Register

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What are 5 Things the Animal Abuse Register Will Immediately Provide the UK?

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What are 5 Things the Animal Abuse Register Will Immediately Provide the UK?

Introduction

Being a pet owner opens up your world by increasing your awareness of the world around you and makes you realise you are responsible for the care of another living thing that does not have a voice. It cannot tell you it is sad, it cannot tell you it is in pain, and it cannot care for itself. It relies on you to help it and to feed it. Similarly, being a pet owner makes you aware there are millions of people out there who cannot or live in oppression thereby living in fear of voicing their concerns. In a way, I believe, being a pet owner forces you into another world that forces examination of your feelings and how you can nurture your pet. So, how can you protect your pet and ensure they live in a safe world? The answer, an animal abuse register can easily improve their lives in five different ways.

Giving a Voice to Children, the Vulnerable and the Forgotten:

A purpose of the register is protecting the public from those who can harm them and in particular, protect those who struggle to speak for themselves, for example: children, the elderly, those who are unconscious, those who cannot make decisions for themselves; or those suffering from mental illness. This means as a part of the register, a check will need to be completed before employment can be offered for certain professions or before a professional body can accept an application for professional registration (e.g. teachers, nurses, doctors, psychologists). It will protect those who cannot speak for themselves are protected from those who can do them harm and protect them from those who may prevent them from speaking out.

Identifying Families at Risk:

Animal cruelty tends to be a crime committed by younger people and serve as a gateway to more serious crimes. The animal abuse register fundamental role is helping those in need. How? Whilst the knowledge of being put on a register may dissuade some from participating or committing a violence against an animal. The power of the register lies in identifying those who have been convicted of animal cruelty. It will allow schools, social services, Councils, and other bodies to identify those who may need support, intervention, or help. It will keep them from coming into contact with children, animals, and the vulnerable. By identifying those needing help, through conviction of animal cruelty, it will allow programs to be put in place, protect others from harm, identify those who might benefit form community based programs and keep them from further harming animals.

Making it Easier to Leave Domestic Abuse:

In the United States many states acknowledge the link between animal abuse and domestic abuse, read this great document for further information. For example, Arizona the definition of domestic abuse includes animals. This allows the family pet to be included domestic abuse protection orders and it makes it easier to leave a domestic abuse situation. Furthermore, the recognition by several states in the United States regarding the link between animal abuse and domestic abuse demonstrates the United Kingdom is lagging behind other developed Western countries in this area of legislation.

In answer to the question, how can an animal abuse register stop domestic abuse? The register is the first step in improving the laws for domestic abuse. Many times in a domestic abuse situation, the abuser will either threaten the family pet or abuse the pet in order to gain control by using fear. Having an animal abuse register will make it easier for someone who is experiencing domestic abuse to feel safe if they leave because all of their needs are being addressed. Also, the register will increase the criminal sentence for animal cruelty, thereby protecting the public from the abuser.

Helping police and law enforcement reduce crime:

It will be a tool whereby police can access information regarding those who have been convicted of animal cruelty. Unlike the Police National Computer, it will contain the name, address, and other relevant information of those convicted. It will work alongside other databases to help fight crime. Also, in some cases, it will help to deter people from committing animal cruelty thereby helping protecting animal and the vulnerable from abuse.

It will bring about a positive cultural change in the attitudes about animals and bring about a cultural change about the attitude about violence:

The current law lacks proper funding for enforcement and only provides six months in jail for the most horrific acts of violence. Having a register that includes proper funding for enforcement and tougher sentences sends a message about violence against animals not being tolerated. Also it sends another subtler message, violence is any form is not tolerated. I believe the power to transform UK society lies in the register ability to empower people. It gives information to people to decide about relationships, it provides a layer of protection, and provides a strong deterrent. By having a register, a little more control will be given to us and as a country the register will bring about a positive change.

Gandhi said a country is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. The animal abuse register is a way for the United Kingdom to care for its most vulnerable by keeping them from harm. I will admit the animal abuse register is not a panacea. It will not stop every case of domestic abuse and it will not, sadly, stop every incident of animal abuse. Nonetheless it fills a missing gap and it brings the United Kingdom in line with other countries. It offers protection and hope for the most vulnerable. By creating an animal abuse register it can be the firewall that stops someone from abusing and potentially help them to change their course in life. If the register can change one person’s life for the better or protect one-person form abuse the all of the work will be worth it.

Related Articles:

2017 General Election: What the Political Parties Do Not Want You to Know about Their Support for the Animal Abuse Register

How to Make a Brighter Tomorrow for Your Dog

Why is the Tennessee Model the best Model for the Animal Abuse Register in the UK

30 Things You Can Do Right Now to Show Your Support for the Animal Abuse Register

Link Between Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse

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Animal Abuse Register: Why does Britain Need It?

Maxine Berry Interview

Animal Abuse Register: Why Does Britain Need it?

Maxine Berry Interview
Maxine Berry being interviewed before submitting justice for chunky petition to DEFRA

As we are all aware, 8 June 2017 is the general election in the United Kingdom, which left the UK with a minority led Conservative government. For the Conservative government to be able govern they have entered into a Confidence and Supply agreement with the DUP. The DUP is, from our understanding, supporters of the animal abuse register in Northern Ireland.

So what is the the Animal Abuse Register? In its most simplest terms, it is an opportunity to stop animal cruelty by providing longer sentences and it is an opportunity to stop animal cruelty by tracking those who abuse animal through the register. It is a way of making animal cruelty more costly and riskier for those who chose to abuse animals. Form another perspective, it is a way of protecting society by removing those from society who abuse animals and ensuring they are not able to work with those who are the least likely to report abuse. It is a way of saying no to bullying and abuse.

Attached to this link is a brief guide about the animal abuse register. It briefly explains what the register is and briefly explains why it is needed. Other articles on this site provides a more detailed discussion and links to more in-depth information, including cost / benefit analysis about the register and political parties supporting the register. It is a great time to get our voices heard regarding the need for the animal abuse register and it is a great time to make the political parties aware of the need for one.

Additional Links:

Position Paper on Religious Slaughter

Vision for the Animal Abuse Register

Tikkun Olam: Making a Dream Come True

Animal Abuse Register in Detail

Cost and Benefit Analysis of the Two Models for Funding the Register

General Election 2017: Statement on Parties Supporting the Animal Abuse Register

30 Things you can do Today to Support the Animal Abuse Register

Why the Tennessee Model is the Best for Model for the Animal Abuse Register

10 Things you Did not Know about the Animal Abuse Register

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