Our first observation
is that if the EIG wishes to consult the animal owning public then
the way to do so is to ensure that the letter of consultation is
delivered to every home in the UK and to advertise in the newspapers
and on television so that no-one can miss it.
The vast majority of
people in this country are working increasingly long hours in order
to survive and do not have time to trawl government web sites each
day to check if yet another regulatory organisation has been created
to remove even more of their remaining rights and freedoms.
We were appalled to
discover the existence of the EIG, an organisation with a non-elected
committee, discussing and planning how people are to be permitted
to keep and work with their animals. We were even more appalled
when we discovered that the EIG Committee had been discussing the
licensing or registering of every home that keeps an animal.
Such a move will do
nothing to improve animal welfare. All it will do is discourage
people from keeping or working with animals. Surely this can not
be an aim of the EIG?
If the Government or
the EIG genuinely wish to improve animal health and welfare as opposed
to registering, regulating and controlling animals and their owners,
the most obvious means would be to put in place an animal NHS, initially
for pensioners and their animals and later covering any animal owner
on low income. It should also provide for those animals which are
strays or wildlife.
It is wrong that in
one of the world's wealthiest nations, one whose people are renowned
for being animal lovers, people on low incomes are faced with the
stark choice of having to let a vet kill their animal because they
do not have the money to pay for treatment.. How many of us could
afford to pay for our own medical treatment?
A cost/benefit analysis
might well find that providing free veterinary treatment would encourage
people to take their animals to a vet, having removed the fear of
being reported to the RSPCA for failing to purchase expensive treatments
that they have no means of affording. This would have a far more
beneficial effect on overall animal health and welfare than any
Furthermore, if the animal owning public are to understand and support
government wishes to impose higher standards of animal health and
welfare then government must not be seen to be undermining the process
by creating situations in which both the introduction and spread
of disease are inevitable.
This means that the
second thing the EIG can do, if it wishes to reduce the likelihood
of exotic disease outbreaks, is to advise the Government to re-instate
our borders and customs checks, and to end the pet travel schemes.
Otherwise it is merely a matter of time before we have an outbreak
of rabies or some other imported disease, and then we shall see
the reason for pet registration as Britain's pets are slaughtered
in their tens of thousands.