Even though Ireland brought in new laws in January 2012, in October 2012 these new laws were still being greviously flouted by breeders (see the case in The Irish Examiner, 11 October 2012). Laws are useless if they are 'honoured more in the breach than in the observance'. Education and enforcement are the carrot and stick of this situation. Ireland is still the 'puppy farm of Europe' and animal rights require enforcement if there is no natural respect. Until people can learn to respect animals, we need much tougher law enforcement. If humans treat animals with exceptional cruelty, there is no doubt that they will also find it easier to act violently towards one another.
Dear Minister Shatter,
While animal rights may seem to be a trivial concern, given the level of human suffering, I cannot help but reflect on the fact that we are the sum of our actions. This means that the more we brutalise and exercise violence towards others, the more brutalised and violent we become. But, very importantly, this is not confined to our relationships with our fellow humans. In fact, it is well recognised, and has been for many centuries by sages, that how we treat other species is also a direct reflection of how we treat one another.
I'm aware that new legislation was enacted in January of this year to curb the trade in puppies that had developed in Ireland. However, I'm also aware that the legislation has not prevented, to any significant degree, that very trade (see the incident reported in the Irish Examiner on the 11th October). Therefore I am writing to see if you can bang heads together to ensure that the crime of cruelty, particularly in (but not limited to) the context of puppy farming, is seen as an issue on which the gardai are educated, and which they are prepared to perceive as a crime, and act accordingly.
With kind regards,