The Zen of Understanding the Animal Abuse Register and the Work of Maxine Berry

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The Zen of Understanding the Animal Abuse Register and the Work of Maxine Berry

 

justice for chunky logo
justice for chnnky logo

Overview:

We have just completed the third phase of Justice for Chunky campaign by having the Green Party make the animal abuse register policy Nonetheless Brighter Tomorrow remains committed in having a register that will operate, like sex offender register, it will record individuals convicted of abusing animals and prevent them from owning animals. By having a register, it will keep those convicted from working with animals, owning animals, and prevent them working with vulnerable people.

Why is an animal abuse register necessary?

Mahatma Ghandi said, A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members. As a society we need to protect society’s most vulnerable from abuse. Those who abuse animals are more likely to abuse people. By having an animal abuse register it will identify and prevent those who are likely to do harm from being in contact with the most vulnerable. This will lead to a lower incidences of animal abuse in this country and help lower violent crimes against people.

Before placing an individual on the register will an attempt be made to rehabilitate them?

At Brighter Tomorrow, we believe every legally competent adult is responsible for the choice they make and regardless of their background, they should be held accountable for their actions. It is our belief, as society we should have a zero-tolerance towards any form of animal abuse and do not believe a “second chance” approach is justified. Nonetheless, we believe where appropriate and where the individual’s needs meet the objective of a rehabilitation program, they should receive support to improve their life. This means any rehabilitation is done while the individual is on the register instead of in lieu of the register.

Will this campaign push for tougher sentencing of those who abuse animals?

We believe the laws around animal abuse are too lax, especially the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and encourage our supporters to write their MPs to push for tougher sentences for those who abuse animals. As discussions occur about how the register will operate and how to identify individuals who will be placed on the register, it is possible some laws may need to be changed. However, at this stage, asking for tougher sentences is not a part of our vision for the register.

 

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

How long will it take before the animal abuse registry becomes law?

We are following a process and it is difficult, at this stage, to predict. The more support we get and the more MPs are contacted the swifter this will become law.

Will Chunky still be a part of the campaign?

As we get updates about Chunky we will post them on Facebook and we will never forget Chunky. However, this campaign is bigger than one animal and it is about protecting all animals. So, yes Chunky will be a part of this campaign but he will not be the only focus.

Can I still sign the Justice for Chunky Petition?

Yes, you can sign it by clicking on the link.

Do you have a Facebook Page?

Yes we do, click on the link.

How is your Facebook Page, Justice for Chunky and Brighter Tomorrow are related?

Justice for Chunky page relates to the campaign. We also have a Brighter Tomorrow page on Facebook Brighter Tomorrow is about our fund raising for the campaign and items we sell from time-to-time. They are the same but two separate components

How do I donate?

We are a business, company number 10721118, created to raise money for the animal abuse register and if you click the Donate button at the bottom of the page you can contribute via PayPal.

Liverpool Albert Docks Sunrise
Liverpool Albert Docks at sunrise

Can I have your contact details?

If you represent a media company, please email us by clicking this link. who will help you get in contact with us.

Can you please help me set-up or run my campaign?

We love having support and those who want to help our cause. Likewise, we love to help those to set-up and run their own campaign. Since we have limited time to help we do charge a small fee for our time. Please click this link and let us know more about your needs.

I have a similar campaign, cause, event or charity that wants you support. Will you help us?

Please email us by clicking this link. When contacting us please include, at a minimum, the following information:

  • Your cause
  • Contact Information including website and email address
  • Information about the cause, campaign, event, or charity
  • When it will occur / How long we will be needed
  • How we can help
  • Amount of time required

Once we have the information, we will review it and contact you with any further questions.

How can I support you?

Currently, the best way to help is to write you MP or write to the editor of your local paper advocating an animal abuse register. Other ways include using your twitter account to tweet your support for our campaign and by following us on Facebook. Finally click the donate button at the bottom of this page.

Related Articles:

How Can Updating the Animal Welfare Act 2006 Make Britain Safer?
Tikkun Olam: Making Britain Safer Through the Animal Abuse Register
5 Things the Animal Abuse Register Will Immediately Do for the UK
Why Does Britain Need the Animal Abuse Register
How to Make a Brighter Tomorrow for Your Dog: Supporting the Animal Abuse Register
30 Things You Can Do Right Now to Show Your Support for the Animal Abuse Register
Tennessee Animal Abuse Register Model, Why It is the Right Model for Britain?

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Why is the Tennessee model the best model for the UK Animal Abuse Register

remembering dogs that serve
dream
we all have a dream and ours is bringing an animal abuse register

Why the Tennessee Model is the best model for an animal abuse register?

The answer is simple. The Tennessee model for the animal abuse register offers an “out-of-box” solution thereby being able save government money by providing a proven structure.  Furthermore the success of the Tennessee Model makes it the best model for the UK to use for its register.

Out of Box Solution

Inspiring other states to legislate the register

So what is meant by an out-of-box solution? To begin with, the Tennessee register as been operation since January 2016 and it is inspiring other states to legislate similar type of registers. Other states deciding to follow Tennessee is a testament to the success of the Tennessee model.

Whilst the House of Commons, Committee on Environmental, Food, and Rural Affairs, Animal Welfare in England: domestic pets on page 33 believes in the merits of the register but fears it may lead to vigilantism. This author believes the Public Order Act 1986 and other legislation is can address any issue of vigilantism. Plus if Parliament does feel the need, it can increase civil and criminal penalties for anyone who acts as a vigilante based on information contained in the register.

Correct statutory definition of animal

Second reason, why this author believe the Tennessee model is the right model, the legislation defines the term animal. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 the term animal is very broad. Hypothetically, the term animal as defined by the Animal Welfare Act 2006, section 1(3) – section 1(4), can imply the act could be applied to ants, snails, and in a very extreme case to even bacteria.  This author is not saying ants, spiders, and microbes will every be protected under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Instead this author is saying the Act, as it currently is written, could, with enough political pressure, be applied to cover invertebrates.

Whilst this author does not disagree all animals should be protected from animal cruelty, nonetheless this author believes the Tennessee definition is correct.

Only applying the register to companion animals raises a very important debate, what should the register cover? The problem arise when cost and enforcement are considered. How can you effectively enforce animal protection in a very rural area, especially for livestock? How do you carry out enforcement with a limited budget and a limited staff? What takes priority protecting a badger, a fox, or a dog? Where does the priority lie?

Granted all animals are important; however there is not enough budget or resources to equally enforce the register for all animals. This means something will take priority and others become a lesser priority. Assume for a moment, if the register covered companion animals, livestock, and wild animals kept in captivity. Where do you start? Do you protect the seeing eye dog that allows a blind person the ability to work and become a productive member of society and carry out enforcement of a pet-shop? Alternatively do you look for fox hunting events, check on zoos, check farms to ensure animal welfare is being protected; or check the woods to ensure trapping is not occurring?

The point this author is making, a broad definition makes it harder to enforce especially when all animals are treated the same. Furthermore this author believes animals that require guardianship, companion animals, should receive additional protection through longer sentencing. Reason for this belief, is based on this author’s support for the legislation and belief companion animals improve lives of individual thereby are worthy of additional protection. Finally this author is also trying to demonstrate complexity imposed by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the need for an update.

UK sunrise

Longer Sentencing

Third point as to why the Tennessee model is a good out of the box solution, it provides for longer sentences. Is rehabilitation a better solution than increasing sentencing? This author believes, those who might benefit from rehabilitation need to be correctly identified and correctly matched to the correct rehabilitation program. Requiring everyone convicted of animal cruelty to go through a rehabilitation program, according to Civitis report on rehabilitation by Iain Murray, see for example sections 3 – 4, a generic program will not work for everyone. This author believes, we all make choices and we assess our choice on a variety of factors such as: risk, like, urgency, priority, and how it will improve our situation. In order to dissuade some from committing animal cruelty and dissuade others from re-offending, this author believes longer sentences is necessary.

Returning to the previous discussion in the preceding section, this author mentions the definition of animal and discusses the issues with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Tennessee model provides longer sentences for those who abuse companion animals. Companion animals are animals that are kept as our companions like dogs and cats. Whilst this author fully understands, appreciates, and does not necessarily disagrees that all animals should be treated equal. This author believes companion animals improve our lives by:

  • Alleviating stress
  • Keeping us healthy by keeping us active
  • Protecting us
    • Working for the police
    • Guarding us
    • Working at ports to smell out illegal drugs, bombs, or illegal imports (e.g. foods)
  • Helping us be productive members of society (e.g. seeing eye dog)
  • Being a part of our family

At least for this author, the starting point must be companion animals because companion animals are the group of animals in most need of guardianship and protection.

Fourth reason, the Tennessee model provides a model for the animal abuse register. Under the Tennessee model the register is public; showing the photograph of the person along with identifiable information and the person remains on the register for the period of time stated on the register.

Will the Animal Abuse Register Lead to Vigilantism?

Tennessee model has raised concerns in the United Kingdom, such a public record will lead to vigilantism.  It is worth noting, it is easy to search online in the UK, find a local paper, and the local paper publishes the photograph along with the name of the individual convicted (see – this example). As previously stated in this article, from my research I cannot find any indication vigilantism has occurred against those on the Tennessee register. Since the UK animal abuse register will mirror the sex offenders register, there is no media reports this author can find no stories of physical attacks against those on the sex offenders register.  Nonetheless, there is one story about individual over 7 years ago, in 2010 posting photos of pedophiles on Facebook and a few media investigations into various aspects of the sex offender register.

In regards to the individual who posted photos of pedophiles on Facebook, the question must be asked if the register was public similar to the Tennessee model would they have posted the photos? In this author’s opinion the posting of photos on Facebook, is at best using a very liberal definition of vigilantism, a very harmless form of vigilantism. Harmless in this context means, based on the article there were no terrorist threats, the physical violence, no threats of physical violence, no group took action; and based on the article, it does not appear the police were called. Based on the article, this author argues the action is more likely fits the definition of defamation that can be easily managed by Facebook suspending the account. Since the incident in 2010 did not require police to use their powers under the Public Order Act 2006, Misuse of Computers Act 1996, Offences Against the Persons Act 1861; or similar legislation, it can be argued a register will not lead to vigilantism.

Liverpool Albert Docks Sunrise
Liverpool Albert Docks at sunrise

UK Animal Abuse Register

Without spending a lot of time writing about my proposal for the animal abuse register in the UK, I am attaching it that can accessed from this link. This vision also includes a section on cost and benefit analysis of the different funding models.

Conclusion

The Tennessee model is quickly gaining a lot of fanfare by inspiring others to implement their own animal abuse register. Sadly, the United Kingdom is lagging behind other developed nations in protecting animals and implementing an animal abuse register. Whilst the Tennessee animal abuse register model may have a few undesirable aspects, nonetheless it provides a strong working solution for the United Kingdom that can be easily adapted to meet the UK needs. I strong believe the register must be adaptable and provide a deterrence against animal abuse. However for those who commit the offense then they should face the consequences of their decision and should they decide to repeat their crime then I believe a long sentence is warranted.

Visit and Contact US

Further information please visit our Facebook page. Any further questions about the animal abuse register please contact us:

Other Related Articles

How to Make a Brighter Tomorrow for Your Dog

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

10 Things You Do Not Know About the Animal Abuse Register

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

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