There are many things I don’t understand in the world, and among them is how people can treat animals so badly.
Before I go on, I can already hear what some of you readers are shouting at your screens – “hey, weren’t you the bloke who a few months ago wrote that we should rid the world of cats?”
Yes, that was I. But I never said we should kill or torture or mistreat our feline friends. Rather, we should sterilise them and then let them die out naturally. Our native wildlife would one day thank us for it if they survive the cat onslaught before then.
My discomfort is with people who actually go out of their way to harm animals.
We’ve had several cases detailed on this website in recent months – people who intentionally ran down and slaughtered kangaroos, a case last week of people or someone on the south coast mutilating kangaroos, and another case in the courts last week of a woman who was so badly mistreating her “pets” that she was sent to jail and banned from owning a pet until she is 70.
I feel for the poor people who work tirelessly at the RSPCA and other animal protection agencies trying to protect animals and, at the same time, prosecute those who will do and have done harm.
And then there are the folk who get some sort of enjoyment out of hunting wildlife.
Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on a farm and know the damage pests like rabbits, foxes, kangaroos and emus can do to crops and livestock. And it is necessary for farmers to sometimes try to eradicate these problems. I’m talking about people who travel to Africa on hunting expeditions.
Last year the UK Government announced it would introduce a trophy hunting import ban, which would stop the Rambos heading to Africa, potting themselves an elephant or a lion, and then bringing its head or pelts back home to hang on their wall and proudly show them off to the chaps down at the club.
But the bill has still not been introduced, apparently because of opposition from conservative backbenchers. The government said last week the bill will be introduced; however, it is unlikely to introduce a ban on the import and sale of fur and foie gras.
It’s hard to believe in 2023 this discussion is still happening, but the counter-argument is that trophy hunting in Africa is controlled and provides much-needed funds to conservation groups and park rangers so they can adequately protect animals in the wild.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised people can be so cruel to animals when we read and see everyday extreme examples of people being cruel to each other. But there does seem to be something a bit perverse in people getting enjoyment from harming defenceless creatures.
Let’s hope the courts take a strong stand and send a message to the community. Owning a pet carries with it great responsibility. If you can’t meet that responsibility, probably best you find another hobby.