What Tikkun olam Can Teach Us about Uniting Britain Through the Animal Abuse Register
Brexit Offers Unlimited Possibilities
We are living in an exciting time, in Britain. Brexit offers the chance to take control of our destiny and achieve the impossible. The only limit is our imagination. Jesse Jackson said,
No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to fly high. No government, no legislature, has a right to limit your dreams. You should never agree to surrender your dreams.
My dream is making the animal abuse register similar to the Tennessee model law for the entire UK. Nonetheless, I am a pragmatist and realist. who understands not everyone shares my vision. Granted there are some who believe the Animal Welfare Act 2006 does not need reforming and others who believe longer sentences for those who abuse animals is ludicrous. For those who believe in the status quo and believe the route to ending animal cruelty is by making minor adjustments to the law, I believe they are living in denial. Animal Welfare Act is broken and it is in desperate need of repair. The way to fix is by adopting an animal abuse register that provides longer sentences.
I ask you to imagine a Britain with a strong animal abuse register. Whereby animal cruelty is not just a fine with minimal or no jail time. Instead I ask you to imagine a Britain that say “no” to animal cruelty and creates a society whereby animal cruelty is no longer an issue. This is the type of Britain I want to create with the animal abuse register.
Uniting Britain Through the Animal Abuse Register
So how do we create a society where animal cruelty is no longer an issue and unite? When I read the papers or watch the news, I am reminded great divisions in this country exists. Granted the vote on 23 June 2016 to leave the European Union split the country along remain versus leave. Luckily “time heals all wound,” and the country is slowly forgetting the results. Great Britain is beginning the process of leaving the EU and as a country, we are beginning to establish our identity as a nation free of the EU. The future is creating a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. Nonetheless, there is also a great wealth of opportunity.
As Britain leaves the EU it provides an unique opportunity to heal, lead, and unite. Nonetheless there are still some who cannot forget that fateful day on 23 June 2016 and are unwilling move past the election to allow healing to begin. Luckily, their negative voices are the minority that are going quiet as this unites. This leads me to ask is there a way to unite this country?
Bringing Britain Together by Making Us Safer
I believe there is a way to unite this country. Please allow me a moment to digress, when I started writing this article, my initial topic was examining the question why are men not a part of the animal rights movement? So, I started looking into the question and I began pondering the question. Struggling with question and wondering why I was not able to cohesively write about it. I began realising my focus is wrong. The focus is not why men are not a part of animal rights movement. Instead it should be about how the animal abuse register will help make Britain a better place.
This meant, I had to, once again, return to the vision for the animal abuse register. As I examined the vision, stripping away, layer after layer, of what is the animal abuse register trying to accomplish. I realise, the animal abuse register is not just about protecting animals and it is not just about ensuring animals are homed with the right guardians. It is much more, it about protecting all of us and making a great society even better. It is tikkun olam or simply put, making the world a better place.
What are 5 Things the Animal Abuse Register Will Immediately Provide the UK?
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.
The Shocking Truth What the UK Political Parties Do Not Want You to Know about Their Support for the Animal Abuse Register
In November 2015 Maxine Berry and Brian Berry started an incredible journey. Maxine started the Justice for Chunky petition calling for a UK wide Animal Abuse Regster Brian supports her by doing much of the background work. Their work is raising awareness by collecting nearly 600,000. Resulting int the Green Party making the animal abuse register their policy.
Now, approximately 18 months after starting the petition the UK government is calling for a general election. It gives the chance to get all 600,000 voices herd. In order to get all 600,000 voices herd we must act as a cohesive group. How exciting is that?
For Maxine Berry and Brian Berry it is quite exciting. Imagine if all of us who signed the petition vote and vote for the party that best supports the register? Imagine the change we can bring? Now, imagine having the the register? What do you see? I see 600,000 voices speaking in unison. The power of their vote ending animal cruelty. Their power, bringing longer sentences for those who commit animal cruelty and stopping those who abuse animals from working with the most vulnerable.
Need for Animal Abuse Register
During this time it is important each candidate and party will reflect on what is important. Politicians will talk about brexit, taxes, immigration; and benefits. These issues are largely impersonal issues that politician spin to gain votes. Politicians ignore issues that at are important to voters.
Over the last 18 months, we have reached out to all major parties including Plaid Cymru in Wales. We are grateful to Plaid Cymru and Bethan Jenkins AM for their work on the register in Wales. Likewise we are thankful to the Green Party for their tireless support of the register and their help, has moved both of us.
Parties Needing to Take Further Action
Nonetheless Maxine and Brian struggle to understand why the Conservatives are not reaching out to them regarding the register. The register gives them the opportunity to look tough on an issue that impacts millions of voters. The register can give the Conservatives the opportunity to make Britain safer while protecting its most vulnerable members. Supporting the register can help the Conservatives deliver a sizable majority in Parliament.
Likewise, the register for Labour can help attract voters they may need while addressing a crucial issue that calls for a balance of rehabilitation, tougher sentencing, and protecting the public. According to recent polls Labour is approximately 15% behind the Conservatives and it appears Labour’s leader, from on media reports, is toxic to them. Supporting the register is one way for Labour to improve their image.
Lets Work Together
We are always willing to reach out to any party, to meet at their convenience, and to discuss an issue that impacts all of us animal abuse. Animal abuse is not a localised issue only impact pet owners and farmers, it impacts us all.
When you vote in the general election in June, remember so far Plaid Cymru in Wales and the Green Party in the UK are fighting to end animal cruelty through the animal abuse register. They are the ones that realise there is a link between animal cruelty and the chance the individual may become violent against another human. Just because there is a chance it does not guarantee that they will. Nonetheless, the register offers the opportunity to track those who abuse animals by placing them on register, identifying those at risk to provide them the help they need, and when a juvenile is involved providing the necessary support the family. By fighting for the register we are fighting to provide a better tomorrow for everyone, including the animals, in Britain.
Update 23 April 2017
Since writing the initial article regarding political party support the Green Party, as we understand, may not stand a candidate in Plymouth in order to support Labour. For Maxine and Brian this is disappointing. They wholeheartedly support the Green Party’s animal abuse register policy but are disappointed the Green Party attempt to support Labour. Reason for their disappointment lies in Labour’s lack of support for animal abuse register, in particular the animal abuse register is not a part of Labour’s current manifesto and they have other concerns regarding the party. This potential decision by the Green Party is making Brian and Maxine, question Green Party’s commitment to the register. They ask their supporters to think about their decision to vote Green Party and what their vote will mean. In particular what their vote may mean if Corbyn is elected Prime Minister. Brian and Maxine hopes the Green Party will re-think their support for Labour and rethink running a candidate in Plymouth against Labour.
Update 2 May 2017
Maxine and Brian are still seeing articles about a potential Labour and Green Party agreement. We are disappointed and believe Green Party should stand on its own merits by using the animal abuse register as a way to attract voters. Instead of trying to reach an agreement regarding running of candidates to give each party the best chance at winning.
Update 11 May 2017
Today a variety of print media are leaking Labour’s manifesto. Whilst is is not a shock to us, it is nonetheless disappointing. Our disappointment lies in the Green Party trying to seek a “Progressive Alliance,” with Labour instead of believing in its own uniqueness. It is our concern by trying to align with the Labour Party and not run candidates in order to establish an alliance the Green Party will be damaged thereby hurting the animal abuse register cause. Another disappointment lies in the reports on Laobur’s manifesto there is nothing in it that call for animal abuse register. With just under a month until the general election it is our hope the Green Party moves away the “Progressive Alliance,” aspirations with Labour and focuses on winning seats in order to progress the animal abuse register.
Update 14 May 2017
I have looking through the tweets from the Green Party over the last few weeks. The focus is not on the animal abuse register and I am struggling to see any supporting the register. Instead the focus is on decriminalising sex work and immigration detention centres. This leave me to question the commitment the Green Party has to promote the animal abuse register, to give a voice to Britain’s most vulnerable and make the UK more prosperous country. In the run up to the general election, I am hoping the Green Party refocuses its effort on the register and raise awareness of its need.
Update 16 May 2017
After reading Labour’s manifesto, I am disappointed. To begin with animal welfare gets less than 1/2 page attention and most of it is dedicated to large bold fonts. Another disappointment lies in Labour talking about increasing sentencing for animal cruelty but it does not state how much of an increase. Finally Labour manifest is silent on the animal abuse register. If media reports are correct Green Party is working at forming a tactical progressive alliance with Labour, it makes me question Green Party’s commitment to the animal abuse register.
Update 18 May 2017
I have read the Liberal Democrats manifesto and in regards to animal welfare, I am impressed. The Liberal Democrats have specifically stated they want to increase sentencing from six months to five years for animal cruelty (page 5). This is a step in the right direction and it would have been better if there was a mention of an animal abuse register.
Update 19 May 2017
Yesterday, Conservative release their manifesto and it is disappointing. There is very little mention about animal welfare. Animal welfare only gets 1 paragraph on page 26 of their manifesto. Furthermore there is no mention of longer sentences for animal cruelty and no mention of the register.
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Labour calling for a pact (Telegraph last viewed 2 May 2017)
Coalition of Chaos ( Telegraph last viewed 2 May 2017)
Labour anti-Semitism row reignites as senior figures split over Ken Livingstone expulsion (Independent – last viewed 2 May 2017)
Jeremy Corbyn Just Doesn’t Get It Over Anti-Semitism (Jewish Chronicle – last viewed 2 May 2017)
Leaked Labour Manifesto Story (Daily Mail – last viewed 11 May 2017)
Liberal Democrats Manifesto (last accessed 18 May 2017)
Supporting Animal Abuse Register
Importance of Having the Register
Why is supporting animal abuse register important? It is not uncommon in today’s media to read about animal cruelty especially to dogs or cats. Animals, in today’s society are seen as mere property, disposable like a bar of chocolate or last year’s cocktail dress. Such treatment by the law makes them mere objects, not worthy of protection through guardianship Under the current Animal Welfare Act 2006 maximum sentencing for animal cruelty is six months. How fair is that?
Before answering think for a moment. Your dog or cat is a member of your family. They are there do greet you, they do not share you secrets, and comforts you in your time of need. If someone would hurt or kill that trusted member of your family, should they get a longer sentence?
Now think about the six month sentence under the Animal Welfare Act? Knowing sentencing for animal cruelty does not exceed six months, how does that make you feel? How does reading a story about animal cruelty make you feel? I am willing to guess, hurt, angry, confused; and may even emotionally numb. Thinking about the injustice leaves us feeling wanting to help but if we continue
Animal Cruelty Reminds Us of Bulling and Feeling Vulnerable
In many ways stories about animal abuse, animal cruelty, reminds us of a time being bullied or it brings up feelings of when we felt helpless. In many ways it reminds us of a time when were vulnerable or helpless; a story about animal abuse reminds us about a time when we did not have a voice.
Giving a Voice to an Animal in Need
What can one lone person do to have a voice and to give their voice to an animal in need? There is one thing each one of us can do and it is supporting animal abuse register. Supporting animal abuse register will do two things. First it will put the names of those who are convicted of animal cruelty on a register. By being placed on the register it will mean pet shops and breeders will have to do a search before a pet can be sold. Those who appear on the register will not be allowed to purchase and those who are trying to obtain a pet for someone who is on the register can face prosecution under the Fraud Act 2006. Since the person will be on the register it will mean any employment check will need to include a check against the animal abuse register and if on the register then it will be up to the employer to make the decision. Last point, having the register will mean reporting can be done and it can be used for identifying families at risk.
Second, the register will lead to modification of the Animal Welfare 2006 to include tougher sentencing. There are some who feel tougher sentencing creates a warehouse where people learn to become better criminals. Society needs to be protected, especially from those who abuse animals. There is a link between animal abuse the more serious crimes. This does not mean everyone who abuses an animal will bully or commit violent crimes against another human. Nonetheless, the link does establish the need to protect society. Furthermore tougher sentences acts as a deterrent and for some, a longer sentence means the prison can provide them the support they require. Also it can mean if the offender is a juvenile then the family can be identified, monitored, and provided the support they need.
Vision for Register
Next, what does an animal abuse register look like? The attached document (click link), provides a description of the register, how it will operate, and a cost / benefit analysis. As we are getting this site up, more information can be found on our Facebook site. To answer the question, how to make a brighter tomorrow for you dog? Answer is simple support the animal abuse register to help end animal cruelty and make Britain a safe place.
What You Can Do Today
Finally what can you do? You can make a donation by clicking the donate button on this site, continue visiting this or visit our Facebook page.
If you want to help contribute to our campaign for an animal abuse register then please contribute what you can afford. Any amount is appreciated.
Company number: 10721118
Company name: Brighter Tomorrow Ltd
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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