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Gráinne Armstrong poses the question - should Ireland have an ANIMAL CRIMES REGISTER?

We have a sex offender’s register; we also have a points system for driving offences. Registers are society’s way of keeping people in check. We have crime statistics released each year. We can see how many people are killed yearly, also the figures on rape, burglaries, how many children are in care and domestic abuse. But we have no way of knowing how many animals are murdered each year by humans.

 

Recently a picture surfaced of a dog’s body dumped on waste ground. A white fertiliser bag is its final shroud. It elicited the usual hue and cry for a few days, but still, the body lies there rotting. What is clear from this photo is that the dog was not loved. Did it die from natural causes, or was it murdered? The fact it was discarded in such a way would suggest the latter.  Nobody in Authority cares enough to find out the answer; it is, after all, a ‘littering’ offence. There are many cases of animals dumped, obviously murdered, their carcasses ‘littering’ the countryside, evidence of a cruel and violent death.

I vividly remember reading an article about ‘Phoenix’ a female pit-bull terrier that was doused with petrol then set on fire. I remember it took me three times to read it in its entirety. My mind couldn’t comprehend this wanton cruelty. But out of her ashes, good people responded quickly. I have attached a link to the story if people want to read.

There are numerous studies linking animal abuse with interpersonal abuse and violence, and yet in Ireland, there is reluctance by lawmakers and enforcers to acknowledge this. Our current laws in regards to animal welfare and abuse are adequate. Still, it is shameful that the full weight of appropriate sentencing is not handed down to the perpetrators, if they are apprehended.

Increasingly in some Countries such as America, Law Enforcement, Judiciary, Child Protection and Psychological services are beginning to work together. They see the correlation between animal abuse/murder and other crimes. Animal abuse is more often than not a sign or a warning of other abhorrent deeds carried out on humans by humans.

There seems to be an unwillingness or total ignorance to explore these concepts in Ireland. Daily we see social media posts of animals mistreated starved left to the elements or murdered. It’s rare to see cases coming before a Court and if they do sentencing is lenient, usually a fine, a ban from keeping animals for a few years, or a short (as in weeks) prison sentence. This is mind-boggling; would you allow a child abuser/murderer to take care of children again? Hoping that they have magically changed their callous ways healed their violent psyche, without any therapeutic intervention or rehabilitation. There are reasons for parole hearings. They evaluate if the prisoner has made an effort to reform, and is ready to contribute to society purposefully. Yet nothing on this scale is offered to a persistent animal abuser, just a slap on the wrist! Again, there is a 65 per cent chance that if someone mistreats/murders an animal, they will go on to do the same to a human being.

We have a sex offender’s register; we also have a points system for driving offences. Registers are society’s way of keeping people in check. We have crime statistics released each year. We can see how many people are killed yearly, also the figures on rape, burglaries, how many children are in care and domestic abuse. But we have no way of knowing how many animals are murdered each year by humans. We need to register animal crimes in Ireland to show precise data of how common these heinous crimes are. We need it as a deterrent, also as a means to convince judges that their sentencing is to light. Think about it, if you come before a judge for a driving offence your licence could be revoked for life. If you injure/kill someone while driving, you may never drive again. Sentences handed down are listed throughout agencies so that you can never get a licence or insurance back. With lesser offences, you may be forced to undergo driving instruction once more. The same applies to child abuse grievous harm or murdering another human being. You will not be allowed to reconnect with society until you undergo many years in prison with rehabilitative training. When you are released your crime is still attached to your name, you can never lose it. So why can’t we do this with wanton animal abusers? Again we know they are massive correlations between animal murder and a propensity to cause severe damage to human beings at a later stage.

It is incredible how many Councillors at a local level have said ‘sure we don’t have a problem really’ that’s because we have no comprehensive data on file to make them see. Politicians need facts and figures to work from; they need to see in data form how common these misdeeds are. They need to see if interventions to abate crime are working.

Would it be too outlandish to ensure that when an animal is found dead that a vet and a Garda forensic person attends, takes at least some samples, tries to determine the cause of death?  Probably I hear you say, just for an animal. Yes just for an animal because next time it could be a child. If the public are aware due diligence is happening, it might act as a deterrent.  We regularly see that some animals are now dumped at rescues instead of being discarded in the ‘good old fashioned’ way. The message is slowly getting through that society will not tolerate these awful sights anymore.

An animal crimes register should then be accessible to animal rescues, breeders, park rangers I.S.P.C.A, and other organisations that deal with animal/child welfare daily. It should be added to by Courts /Police if a conviction is secured. Rescues can then check up to see if ‘potential adopters’ are without a conviction, before handing over defenceless animals.

You may think this is over the top, and you may be right because it will be your taxes that would fund someone in Authority to keep this register. But remember next time these people take a bag of kittens and drown them, or buy piglets to blood greyhounds, or adopt small dogs using them as bait in dog fighting, you are also condoning the vast sums of money that is earned underground from these activities. And when they finish murdering these defenceless animals, there is a high probability that they will then injure or murder a human being. We cannot turn a blind eye anymore, or show our disgust for a day or two. We need to start getting this data recorded so that the Authorities are forced to do their jobs also. As Melinda Merck (forensic veterinarian) once said  “People who commit animal cruelty are usually criminals in other ways.” 

https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/magazine/13dogfighting-t.html

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/animal-cruelty-and-human-violence-faq#connection

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/melinda-merck-veterinary-forensics/538575/

 

Who am I? I’m not sure when I was brought to this place, but I know I’ve been here a long time. I live in a concrete room, with 4 walls, no door, no way out. A prison. The roof above me is very high, there is no sunlight, no windows, no escape. There is only darkness. I have never seen a blue sky, never felt the heat of the sun on my manky flea infested filthy body. I sleep in a plastic box. I have no cushions, no blankets, no comfort I have no life. I spend all day everyday in this hell hole. There are many others around me but I cannot see them. I guess they live like this too. Most days the monster comes, it pours water into my already filthy bowl and some disgusting nuts into the other filthy bowl. I try to hide when the monster comes, I try to make myself as small and quiet as I possibly can. I have learnt not to look for attention. The bruises and lumps and broken bones beneath my stinking skin have taught me not to look for attention. Sometimes the monster doesn’t come. Sometimes there is no food, no water. Sometimes my little body aches and cries so loudly I pray the monster never comes for fear it will hear my aches. Every now and again I am taken away. I am dragged and kicked and thrown into a pen with another dog. I am then held so tightly by the monster, it’s hands gripping my emaciated little body so tightly I fear I might break in two. My ears are so dirty and heavy but I can still hear the laughing and shouting so I stay still until it’s over and I am being dragged again.

Back to my concrete room, back to my hell. I hear babies all around me crying for their mothers, I hear mothers all around me crying for their babies. Soon I will be one of those mothers. I wait in my concrete room and plastic bed for my babies to come. I wait in a sea of faeces and urine to welcome my babies into this hell. My eyes are so heavy and tight, I must use my filthy paw to try to open them. The smell, the smell is so bad..... My babies come...4,5,6 the pain is excruciating but I love them all. I clean them as best I can, choking not on their afterbirth but on the dried faeces embedded in my own rotting teeth. The monster comes around a bit more now, it grabs my babies hard, they scream in pain but the monster does not care. It throws them back to me. They are safe again...in this cess pit with me they are safe. I have a light over my bed now and some dirty newspaper. I feel warm again. But not for long. Soon my babies will leave me. Soon I will have nothing again to keep me company except the aches in my body and the cries all around me. I will cry for my babies, I will add those tears to the cold and the hunger that will come back to me once they have left. I hope my babies have better lives than I. I do not know what I have done to deserve this, I hope that one day I will close my eyes and never open them again. WHO AM I? I AM A PUPPY MILL DOG. I AM SOMEONE.

© Ciara O’Neill

 

HRT. HORMONE REPLACEMENT
THERAPY

 

by Ciara O'Neill

Hormone replacement therapy is a term widely know to women of a certain age, it is also a term know to their partners albeit for different reasons! BUT . . . do you know where these hormones originate from and exactly how they are sourced? HRT is medically know as PREMARIN. The name is taken from 3 words, PREgnant MARe UrINe. Which is exactly what it is. Pregnant horses used to produce this hormone are called PMUs. In the 1940s it was discovered that oestrogen taken from a pregnant mares urine helped relieve the symptoms of menopause. Now more than 60 years on it is an industry. As if on an assembly line, impregnated mares are tethered in narrow stalls, unable to turn or lie down fitted with uncomfortable bags and regularly denied access to water so as to make the urine as concentrated as possible. They stand like this for the best part of 6 months.

After giving birth to their foals, they are allowed a short period of time to nurse, maybe a couple of months after which the foals are torn from their mothers and simply sent for slaughter and the mare is impregnated again for her urine and returned to her stall. In 2002 a study by the Womens Health Initiative linked long term use of Premarin to increased risk of stroke and blood clots. Yet still the drug is made widely available.

Many animal welfare organisations have described the practice of sourcing Premarin as both “unthinkable and unforgivable“. Even more unforgivable is that this whole cruel process is completely unnecessary. There are an abundance of plant based alternatives and synthetic oestrogens that are not only safe and effective but some are also considered superior in both performance and patient tolerance. In conclusion one must agree that the cruelty of this industry is beyond reproach, subjecting the animals to a lifetime of absolute unrelenting misery, forcing them to produce offspring and then slaughtering said offspring as babies. There is no justification for this kind of barbarism. When a mare has passed her breeding years she is discarded, like that of a dairy cow or a sow and loaded onto the truck for slaughter. Mankind truly is an abomination.

The following drugs all contain Premarin: Prempro, Prephase, Prempac

The following are the generic alternatives: Estrace, Estraderm, Ogen, Orthoest, Estratab, Menest

. . . and synthetic oestrogen: Cenestin

All cited as an advancement that eliminates the need for animal derived oestrogen.

© Ciara O’Neill

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