Stopping Animal Abuse
Westview High School
“Acts of violence or neglect perpetrated against animals are considered animal cruelty,” according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)(Adams, C, 1992). You can find animal abuse going as far back as ancient times to the 12th century in the form of dog fighting (Villavicencio, 2007). This trend spread through europe as a cheap entertainment and the idea slowly over the years spread around the world. Cock fighting, the fighting of 2 roosters, was founded in america. Our founding fathers even participated in the blood sport. Although, with the banning of a number of different animal cruelty laws in the mid 20th century, cock fighting was not touched upon by the United States until the year of 2007. While the process of bringing animal abuse to justice has for long while been successfully underway for a long while, there is much more that needs be done to prevent the abuse of all animals alike. This cruelty can be greatly reduced with new ways of prevention that may include background checks on people purchasing of animal, regular checkups on registered animals, and more law enforcement involved in animal control and protection.
Animal law has been around as we know it for around 200 years, originating in Europe, these laws grew over the years to continue protecting their animals and spread around the world eventually to the U.S. The of first of these laws was named the “Five Freedoms” originating in the 1960s that read : “The freedoms to turn around, To groom oneself, To get up, To lie down, To stretch one’s limbs.”(Pedersen, 2009). Unfortunately When it comes to following these laws, many fail to do so, even in todays age. It is sad to see that many animal live a lifestyle where they are forced to live in terrible living conditions to the point where they don't have the freedom to even groom themselves. Once the laws became popular the European Union caught on and created their own animal laws like the law in the late 90s that banned battery cages that crammed hens into small cages giving them nowhere to move. This law deserves support. It forces chicken farmers let there hens roam free in good health rather than crammed together in cages with possible health issues like disease. This ban ultimately benefited most everyone, especially the chicken, with assumably little consequence for the farmers. The growth of animal laws came to a close halt in 2003 when new countries joined the EU. These countries had laws of their own and the new numbers of people made it harder to pass votes. With the expansion of the early animal laws, the trend was bound to go beyond Europe.
Gaverick Matheny and Cheryl Leahy, Two authorities on animal law from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland state that “The protection given to farm animals is much stronger in Europe, where most countries have banned several of the practices still common in the United States.” (Matheny, Leahy,2007). The reasoning behind this could easily be because europe has such an extensive history in the field of animal protection compared to the united states. Another reasoning behind this is that the united states chose to focus on other topics like NGOs (non-governmental organization) on laboratory animals, rather than on farm-animal welfare like so many European NGOs have for the past 20 years (Matheny, Leahy,2007). Its astounding that the U.S. would spend so much time focusing on laboratory animals and not on the animals that are already living on U.S. soil. In 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a NGO, was founded only to be followed by the first form of federal law related to animal cruelty, created in 1966. This law was named “The Animal Welfare Act” (AWA)(Favre, D, 2002). Not being an anti cruelty law but more as a regulatory law towards