Be vigilant on animal cruelty

Side of RRV with lozenge

We work for this service because we appreciate life and always do our upmost to save it – I am asking fellow colleagues to extend this outlook and be vigilant on animal cruelty which may be happening in the thousands of homes we visit every day.

The RSPCA predicts 35,000 dogs and cats will be abandoned by the end of the year and says there has been an increase in animal abuse and cruelty in this country. This is a forgotten part of our society that cannot speak up or defend themselves, but we can do it for them.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 established a legal duty of care on an owner and/or a keeper of an animal. There are two main sections to the Act:

1. The first is where it is an offence to cause 'unnecessary suffering' to an animal. This can be by omission, that been failing to provide something that the animal needs such as food, water or veterinary treatment. It can also be by commission, such as beating, kicking or drowning. The list of these is not exhaustive.

2. There is a duty on a person responsible for an animal to ensure its welfare. It’s important to note the person responsible, is not necessarily the owner. We could have a situation where the owner is on holiday and has entrusted the care to a friend or relative in good faith and it is this person that has failed in providing for an animal.

The Act identified five requirements to ensure the welfare of an animal is met:

  • a suitable environment
  • a suitable diet
  • they exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • any need an animal has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
  • to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Please always look out for signs of animal abuse or cruelty. If you suspect it, please call the RSPCA’s dedicated number for emergency services - 0300 123 8024. Calls can be taken anonymously.

For more information on how you can help the RSPCA, please visit their website.

If we can save or help just a few animals it will have been worth it.

John Lee
Paramedic, Saffron Walden

Published 19th November 2014 

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