Well here’s some shocking news for us all to think about: I’ve just read an article that says that Hartlepool and East Durham are “two of the worst areas for animal cruelty”. I assume this means in the country, although the article is not specific on that point (I’ve tried to get a copy of the stats from the RSPCA to check this out in detail but I can’t get them because I’m not a journalist… thanks RSPCA). Blimey – I knew that it was bad everywhere but I wasn’t aware that we were among the worst offenders in the country.
To read the full article go to: http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news?articleid=3076026
Some of the thousands of cases of cruelty that have happened throughout the country have included such horrors as a cat dying in a washing machine and a dog that had its leg sawn off by its owners. Locally we’ve had dogs being abused; pigeon lofts torched and even some birds painted fluorescent purple. The RSPCA say that the most common problem is that of neglect. Animals are just not looked after properly, with lack of access to water amongst the most common of the many different issues found.
What’s causing the problem to be so bad in our area? Well it seems that these animal abuse problems go hand in hand with those old chestnuts that I keep harping on about… they’re most common in areas of poverty and poor education. Unfortunately that’s what we’re labelled as… and as a town we need to break this cycle of deprivation causing problems causing deprivation.
The issue of animal neglect can be seen in quite a few places around Hartlepool and Middlesbrough – as the article in the
Hartlepool mail points out, there are horses and ponies that are tethered up for days on end in all weathers. How can this behaviour be right? The owners say that it is ‘tradition’ to keep them tethered up like this but I think that in reality it’s so that these poor animals can be grazed on common land and the owners do not have to provide pasture or stabling for them… i.e. it’s free! The owners of these beasts would deny that this is neglect and would claim that they love their horses, but I’m sure that this ‘love’ would be tested if they were forced to stable them and keep them in an enclosure where they can graze and run around – costing them money for land and bricks. Maybe the glue factory would have a new influx of raw material or maybe we’d be finding discarded horse bodies scattered about… or just maybe we’d find happy horses frolicking in green fields. I’d like to think it would be the last option but the cynic in me says that it wouldn’t be.
If the owners want ‘tradition’ then we’ll deal with them in the ‘traditional’ way, with a week in the stocks.
There’s not only cruelty to animals by humans… there’s cruelty to humans by animals as well… The Hartlepool Mail reports that a seagull has attacked an 87-year-old woman this week. Apparently it swooped down from off of a rooftop and pecked her on top of the head, drawing blood. Herring gulls are big birds with large, hooked beaks and if they decide that you look like a piece of their favourite snack and come down for a peck then it’s got to hurt… and hurt badly. Whilst I like birds and don’t mind seagulls, if they choose to interact with mankind in this manner then they will have to learn that the consequences can be dire – We should carry tennis rackets… or even cricket bats and any attacking seagull could then be dispatched to the boundary with ease, with passers by commenting in an educated and non-poverty like manner “I say sir… fine stroke off the back foot there… I do believe it’s a six!”.
If they survive the effects of a good cover drive then hopefully these seagulls will learn not to dive bomb humans… and if they don’t survive then well… that’s the behaviour trait removed from the gene pool pretty effectively.
After all, we have to keep ourselves at the top of the animal cruelty league somehow don’t we – or at least in the play offs!
ps – It’s a joke… please don’t start playing seagull cricket… or squirrel golf for that matter.