Harsher penalties for animal cruelty

January 2nd, 2010 at 9:14 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A first-term National Party MP is seeking cross-party support for a law change for harsher penalties in cases of extreme cruelty to animals.

Tauranga MP has drafted a private member’s bill to raise the maximum penalty for wilful ill-treatment under the Act from three to five years in prison.

Mr Bridges said tougher penalties for animal abuse were backed by research showing cruelty to animals was an early warning sign of more psychopathic violence later in life.

Murderer Antonie Dixon was an example of this, said Mr Bridges.

“It is time to get tough on really serious animal cruelty. The public’s attitude has hardened on this and so should court sentences,” said the former Crown prosecutor.

“This is about sending a message that Parliament thinks this offending is abhorrent to our society. It’s more than not okay, it’s an outrage.”

I hope all parties will support this bill, if selected. Increasing the maximum penalties is the only way to send a message to Judges that they should increase the penalties they are handing out, which are too light in my opinion:

For example, Wayne Williams, 34, was sentenced to four months in jail for beating his partner’s dog with a metal pole before strangling it to death.

And Peter James Cooksley, 48, shot a cat with a crossbow bolt through the abdomen for entering his house – but was fined just $500. Mr Kerridge said many acts of animal cruelty were committed by people to torment their partners, including a case where a man was sent to prison for 2 months for throwing three kittens against a wall.

The longest sentence ever given out has been 12 months, reduced to 10 months on appeal.

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47 Responses to “Harsher penalties for animal cruelty”

  1. Captain Crab (351 comments) says:

    Happy New Year all.
    When I read this the cynic in me smiled broadly. What an excellent vote catcher for young Mr Bridges. The grey hairs in Tauranga will love him for this.
    Smart thinking to shore up the vote with the profile this popular cause will bring him.
    Still, anything to keep Winston out.

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  2. David Farrar (1,853 comments) says:

    As Simon crushed Winston by 10000 votes I don’t think he is worried about Winston standing again.

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    I’d say what is also needed is an increase in the penalty for wilful ill-treatment falling short of killing an animal. If the animal doesn’t die (or isn’t put down because of the injuries), the maximum is only 3 months. Create a new offence of wilful ill-treatment with a two- or three-year maximum and you’ll put further pressure on sentencing at all levels of wilful animal abuse.

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  4. s.russell (1,559 comments) says:

    Amusingly, on the Herald’s landing page, Antoine Dixon (without caption) is shown next to the intro paragraph “A first-term National Party MP is seeking cross-party support for a law change for harsher penalties in cases of extreme cruelty to animals.” Gee, I didn’t know he was a National Party MP.

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  5. Dr. Strangelove (40 comments) says:

    In a country where you can get as little as 3 years for beating someone to death it is appalling that anyone thinks five years for animal cruelty is appropriate.

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  6. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    This guy is a complete dropkick. Typical National politically unaware navel gazing lefty.

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  7. Inventory2 (10,095 comments) says:

    Captain Crab – if you look at Bridges’ Facebook page, it’s pretty clear that this is something he genuinely believes in. Sure, it won’t do any harm electorally, but he’s dead right – the penalties for animal cruelty are inadequate, and it is recognised that the judiciary looks to Parliament for guidance – when maximum sentences are increased, the judiciary uses them.

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  8. dad4justice (7,729 comments) says:

    Once again redbaiter nails this useless cretin.

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  9. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    The penalties now available seem quite adequate to me although if they introduced a mandatory life sentence for cat owners who do not keep their bloody bird-murdering pests on their own bloody property it would certainly be a step in the right direction.

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  10. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Right on MT_T.
    apart from that Bridges is not more than A Nat. pretty boy. That’s what got all the women voting for him. Winstons now to old for them.
    Another full of brains useless git. Longterm life plan Trough swiller.

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  11. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    Why are national so reluctant to bring upon much harsher punishment for violent crime against people but are keen as mustard to increase the punishment for animal abuse? This will appeal to the lefties as they seem to support real tough punishments for animal abuse but are all about tolerance and rehabilitation for “people abuse”. I would like to see similar bills in to punish other crimes like vandalism, petty theft, assault, and too see judges forced to give stronger sentences.

    I think this is a good step as deliberate abuse of animals is horific, but its still concerning that the SPCA seem to be able to enforce and confiscate as these people are completely out of touch with the real-world.

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  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Why are national so reluctant to bring upon much harsher punishment for violent crime against people but are keen as mustard to increase the punishment for animal abuse?

    National hasn’t introduced a three strikes bill (with a two strikes component!) for violent crime against people? That’s appalling. It was a specific campaign promise too. Another broken deal with the New Zealand public :-)

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  13. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    First deer I ever shot I was walking along the river around 5.30am when a stag jumped up from under the bank and took off across the riverbed. Didn’t think I was good enough to hit the back of the neck on a running deer so I aimed lower for the above the anus shot to the base of the spine.

    It staggered but kept going. It disappeared in the scrub on the other side. I followed and chased it round the scrub firing four more shots two of which hit it. It went back out onto the river bed and stood its ground looking groggy at me and I shot it once more through the neck finally killing it.

    When I took it apart the first shot had removed a large portion of its right hand thigh. The two out of four that hit it chasing it in the scrub were gutshots. Six shots, four hits, only one clean, quick, killing shot, the last.

    Felt elated, first deer and all but somehow felt dirty as well.

    Bought a better rifle after that and proud to say have lost a lot of deer through not taking a quick shot but never shot one that didn’t die after one round.

    Guess I am an animal lover after all.

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  14. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    Johnboy, you raise a good point. Would it be illegal to kill an animal the way you did with that first deer? I’ve shot alot of rabbits where I know I havn’t killed them straight away but probably went on to die slowly and painfully… would that be illegal? If the SPCA keeps on getting more and more extreme then its pobably just a matter of time before they start lobying for an outright ban on hunting.

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  15. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Yes CharlieBrown I suspect that if the inspectors had been there at the kill in nowtime I would have been charged. No fear of that though it was in yesteryeartime and too bloody far for the inspectors to walk to!

    When you shoot a animal you cannot always be certain of a first shot clean kill but if you respect what you hunt you will always do your best to maximise that outcome.

    I learned a lesson that first time that I have never forgotten. I would rather go home empty handed than leave an animal suffering a slow death in the scrub from my actions.

    Unfortunately I have met too many other so called hunters who don’t have the same respect for their quarry.

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  16. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    I don’t understand why they don’t amend the law to add an automatic probation for any offence (if the got parole before jail time was up). starting at min of 2yrs, that way at least for 2yrs they know they could go down again for any offence.

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  17. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    An increase from 3 to 5 years is sending a message???????????

    Wow, some message.

    [DPF: This is hilarious, we have such a bunch of gripers. Redbaiter says it is some leftwing move, while Gooner says it does not go far enough. Out of interest what do people think should be the maximum penalty for animal cruelty?]

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  18. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    6 months jail & fine.
    declared unfit to have animals.
    Hunting and fishing excepted.

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  19. jaba (2,089 comments) says:

    there are many types of cruelty and if the worse sort CAN get a grummy 3 years then that is not enough. I’m happy to see it increase to 5 BUT if the MOFO’s who carry out the really bad cases get less than a year then what a waste of time.
    It’s the same with murder .. we have life but how many actually get get life?? .. Bstds like Bell and Burton will get out one day.
    Hunting is another kettle of fish so to speak but there are examples of appalling behaviour here as well.
    I’m afraid this as a common sense thing and therefore a grey area indeed.

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  20. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Maybe we should have a minimum DPF, although that is a constitutional “no no”.

    If we are to “send a message” then 14 years sounds about right to me. I regard animals on a par to children from the point of view that they cannot take care of themselves and rely on humans to do that for them. They are also unable to fend for themselves. In cases of extreme cruelty to children the maximum might be 14 years (for grevious assaults) hence my 14 year limit for animals.

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  21. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    So if I ‘smack’ my dog for misbehaviour, will that be viewed as animal cruelty, and therefore see me before the courts?

    While I abhor deliberate cruelty to animals in any form, Johnboy’s first deer example above highlights an important point; will hunters that don’t secure a kill on the first shot be regarded as cruel, and therefore breaking the law?

    And what if I want to BBQ my old mutt because he’s getting a bit long in the tooth? Is BBQing a dog regarded as being cruel in itself, or is it ok provided he is humanely put down – bullet to the head, say? While we may view eating our dog as unusual, is it any different to eating our pet lamb?

    It will be interesting to see exactly how animal cruelty is defined, and how the punishments are graduated depending on the degree of cruelty.

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  22. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Save some money and give them 30 lashes.

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  23. Manolo (13,335 comments) says:

    Utter waste of time on Bridges’ part.

    The animals who deserve much harsher treatment are those who walk on two feet to attack, rape, and murder law-abiding citizens. Bridges’ initiative is just a diversion.

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  24. JoeAverage1948 (34 comments) says:

    The best thing to do ,is do to to the human what he/she does to the animal.

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  25. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    In my defense KK. It was the first deer I had ever shot and I pursued it until I killed it.
    When I went to its corpse in the riverbed and saw what my shooting had done I felt repulsed with myself but of course at the same time elated that I had shot a stag.
    The whole episode took about five minutes but it taught me a lesson that I have never forgotten that the animals deserve the same humane treatment that we expect for ourselves.
    Many times later I went hunting with people some of whom though twice my age at the time had never learned this lesson.
    I have no time for those type people or anyone else who makes an animal suffer for whatever reason.
    I don’t hunt much now being a bit long in the tooth and the hills seem to have got much steeper of late but I do get a bit pissed with the animals rights mob who given their way will stop everybody doing what I did all those years ago.

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  26. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Gooner 4:25 pm,

    Maybe we should have a minimum DPF, although that is a constitutional “no no”.

    If we are to “send a message” then 14 years sounds about right to me. I regard animals on a par to children from the point of view that they cannot take care of themselves and rely on humans to do that for them. They are also unable to fend for themselves. In cases of extreme cruelty to children the maximum might be 14 years (for grevious assaults) hence my 14 year limit for animals.

    You raise an interesting point:
    “I regard animals on a par to children from the point of view that they cannot take care of themselves and rely on humans to do that for them. They are also unable to fend for themselves.”
    So on that basis, one assumes that we should also include children in the womb?
    They certainly meet the “unable to fend for themselves” criteria.

    I’d be all for sending up THOSE that commit such crime for 14 years.

    I believe our toleration of ‘cruelty’ to the unborn impinges directly on the attitude of some in regards to their cruelty to animals.

    [And DPF, this is entirely relevant to the subject at hand]

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  27. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Johnboy 4:50 pm,

    In my defense KK. It was the first deer I had ever shot and I pursued it until I killed it.

    I wasn’t having a dig at you in any way.
    I know most hunters want to secure a kill on the first shot.

    Your story reminded me of an account years ago when I was out rabbit shooting in the Wairarapa with my then girlfriend. I got a good head shot – blew half its head away, but it was still alive, and making that terrible scream that only a wounded rabbit can. I ended up scrabbling around in the swamp grass trying to find it to put it out of its misery – took about five minutes to find before I was able to break its neck. It was the only time a rabbit hadn’t died on the first shot for me. Needless to say, the girlfriend was not impressed, but at least she understood these things just happen sometimes.
    I felt much like you did after your deer incident.

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  28. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    The maximum sentence for the offence of cruelty to a child is 5 years imprisonment.

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  29. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    You being a lawyer Graeme will be able to explain why we even have on offence of “cruelty to a child”

    Surely committing cruel acts to anybody/anything would suffice?

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  30. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Johnboy – the offence of cruelty to a child is available in circumstances that don’t lead to actual harm.

    Many instances of what might be terms “cruelty” will be punishable as another offence (assault, injuring, wounding, manslaughter, murder) in respect of both children and others. The cruelty offence is available as a catch-all for circumstances where another offence can’t be charged (it was used in respect of some of those in relation to one of the child murder cases that came up a few years back – the name escapes me, but it involved a clothes dryer in Rotorua). Cruelty charges were used against some of those who stood by, but weren’t actually involved.

    195 Cruelty to a child
    Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years who, having the custody, control, or charge of any child under the age of 16 years, wilfully ill-treats or neglects the child, or wilfully causes or permits the child to be ill-treated, in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering, actual bodily harm, injury to health, or any mental disorder or disability.

    Incidentally, the Law Commission recently recommended a number of changes to the crimes against persons in the Crimes Act, which included getting rid of the separate offence of cruelty to a child.

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  31. radar (319 comments) says:

    [DPF: This is hilarious, we have such a bunch of gripers. Redbaiter says it is some leftwing move, while Gooner says it does not go far enough. Out of interest what do people think should be the maximum penalty for animal cruelty?]

    Ten years in prison and a lifetime ban on owning any sort of animal. Mininum penalty for animal cruelty should be a year in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

    If you want to crack down on animal cruelty we should ban hunting as well, as that is violent and unnecessary.

    If you want to do something to reduce animal cruelty yourself, DPF, you could stop eating them. But something tells me you like their flesh too much.

    [DPF: You may have a point if I ate them while still alive. But thanks for trying to equivalise between non-vegetarians and animal sadists and torturers - such a useful and reasonable comparison]

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  32. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    It does seem to me Graeme that the law is far to complex and has really been developed by lawyers for lawyers. Cruelty to anybody is cruelty, to child or adult. What is the difference?

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  33. Anna Sewell (42 comments) says:

    Dear Simon

    It is of course pleasing to know that you support tougher penalties for
    animal abusers; for too long, those causing quite considerable pain and
    suffering to intelligent and sentient creatures have got away far too
    lightly.

    However I wonder if you are really focussing on the right target. Yes,
    animals do suffer from sadists and psychopaths, and yes there is a link
    between animal abuse and human abuse, but deliberate and sadistic
    treatment of animals actually makes up a very minor part of all animal
    abuse in this country.

    How about the ritualistic and legally sanctioned abuse of 90 million
    broiler chickens, 60,000 pigs in sow crates and 2.8 million battery hens
    in New Zealand alone? Dr. John Webster, Professor of animal welfare at
    Bristol University, described broiler chicken productions in terms of
    both numbers and severity as the “worst example of systematic inhumanity
    to another sentient being”. A recent study in New Zealand showed that
    up to 40% of broiler chickens are in constant pain from lameness for the
    last week of their short, miserable lives.

    And what about sows in crates and stalls? Sir Colin Spedding, former
    head of the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council, gave his considered opinion
    that these creatures, screaming, foaming at the mouth and chewing the
    bars of the cage – as we have seen them do in New Zealand – are
    literally being driven insane. And please do not respond like Heather
    Roy and some other more ignorant and patronising politicians quoting a
    few snippets they heard third hand about farrowing crates being
    necessary to stop sows crushing their young. The study that this myth
    is based on was a comparison between sows in bare concrete pens.
    Contented sows, kept on soft surfaces, where they are allowed to make
    nests, do not crush their piglets. Studies by internationally renowned
    animal welfare scientists have shown there is no difference in piglet
    mortality between countries where farrowing crates are banned and those
    where they are not.

    Battery hens also suffer physical pain through osteoporosis, and again
    international animal welfare scientists like Ian Duncan and Michael
    Appleby have confirmed through rigorous scientific study what we all
    really know – that life in a cage is miserable for a hen. A recent New
    Zealand study approved by the Egg Producers Federation did attempt to
    prove the opposite, but its methodology was so shonky that no serious
    animal welfare scientist will treat it with any seriousness.

    If we are looking at correlations between animal abuse and abuse of
    humans (and incidentally nobody has yet proved a causal relationship),
    then it is far more likely that the high levels of child abuse and
    partner abuse come about through ritualised abuse of animals in factory
    farms that a few isolated incidences of sadism. Unlike the sadist or
    psychopath, the factory farmer is not only punished far too leniently,
    he or she is not punished at all. In fact he or she is REWARDED for
    such inhumanity by increased profits, and those who have supported such
    an industry such as Peter O’Hara, are even given awards. What sort of
    message is that sending to the rest of society?

    I would therefore urge you not only to increase penalties for animal
    abuse that is already deemed unacceptable, but to expand the range of
    unacceptable practices. Improvements in pig welfare is moving at a
    glacial pace, with the Pork Board bullying your government, and your
    government capitulating to their threats. A private members bill
    totally banning sow stalls, farrowing crates, layer hen cages and the
    fast growing breeds of broiler chickens that are susceptible to lameness
    would be an important first step. While we are at it, greater
    protection for animals in laboratories is also overdue. Pain is no less
    painful simply because the abuse is occurring in a laboratory and not a
    dark alleyway.

    I know this would cost more for industry, but doing the right thing
    always costs more. It costs more to pay workers a decent wage. It
    costs more to put in safety features in cars, roads and workplaces. It
    costs more to be satisfied with my salary and not to supplement it with
    illegal activities. It costs more to tell the truth when a lie would be
    more convenient. In the end we need to decide not whether it
    costs more, but whether we want to be remembered for maximising profit
    or for building a civilised society; a society where human AND non-human
    sentient beings are treated with respect.

    People like you and me are respected leaders of the community with
    genuine influence. I hope you will use that influence to advocate for
    what is right, not what is convenient or cheap.

    - Michael Morris

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  34. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Shit the nutters have arrived. I’m out’a here!!

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  35. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    DPF: This is hilarious, we have such a bunch of gripers. Redbaiter says it is some leftwing move, while Gooner says it does not go far enough. Out of interest what do people think should be the maximum penalty for animal cruelty?]

    Mr. Farrar- so bloody much needs fixing in this country. But Simon Bridges is right on to the most important thing of all.

    [DPF: Simon is a backbencher. You can't do private members bills on most of the big issues, as that is dealt with by Ministers.]

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  36. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    radar 5:36 pm,

    If you want to crack down on animal cruelty we should ban hunting as well, as that is violent and unnecessary.

    If you want to do something to reduce animal cruelty yourself, DPF, you could stop eating them. But something tells me you like their flesh too much.

    It had to happen:
    A vegetarian/vegan having a gripe about hunting, the meat industry, and all us ‘flesh’ eaters.
    Of course, if the meat industry went NZ would be stuffed.

    I trust you actively campaign outside abortion clinics as well, Radar, or is that morally acceptable to you, whereas killing animals is not?

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  37. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Anna Sewell 5:52 pm,

    Question:
    What are “non-human sentient beings” ?

    Are we talking God, angels and demons, or what?

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  38. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Ah give it away Kris you are trying to communicate with a non sentient being that is not sure if it is God angel or demon or what?

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  39. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Johnboy 6:20 pm,

    Ah give it away Kris you are trying to communicate with a non sentient being that is not sure if it is God angel or demon or what?

    It really annoys me when people attribute to animals the title of ‘sentient beings’, when they are not.

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  40. Lucia Maria (2,206 comments) says:

    Kris,

    Your story reminded me of an account years ago when I was out rabbit shooting in the Wairarapa with my then girlfriend.

    Completely off topic, but … all this time I thought you were a woman.

    Ok then, back to my cooking.

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  41. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria 6:36 pm,

    Kris,
    Completely off topic, but … all this time I thought you were a woman.

    Yeah, I often get complimented on my soft feminine nature *cough*.

    I’m pretty sure you’re the first person on this blog that has thought I was female, maybe an ‘old woman’, but no one has ever asked me that before. I actually thought my masculinity came through in my writing, but there you go.

    It’s a date – I’ll be ’round for tea shortly.

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  42. Lucia Maria (2,206 comments) says:

    Kris,

    It’s probably the “K” in your name. Some women come across as very masculine and aggressive, so it was an incorrect assumption on my part.

    So, does that mean you are of Greek heritage? And if so, I thought Greeks were mostly Orthodox.

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  43. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria 7:09 pm,

    Maybe I’m a lesbian in a man’s body – hence the “very masculine and aggressive” ?

    No, no Greek blood. I’m mainly English with a bit of Maori. I’ve had no contact with the Orthodox church. I became a Christian at 17 yo and at that time attended the local Baptist Union church (not Bible Baptist like now).

    And I do love my meat, especially roast lamb that’s been lovingly hand reared (just so I stay on topic).
    Any chance it’s on our dinner menu?

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  44. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    The maximum sentence for the offence of cruelty to a child is 5 years imprisonment.

    Yes, but how would you define “extreme cruelty” Graeme. That is what is being proposed here. I take the added adjective to add a bit of “spice” to the cruelty, so that it would fall under the Injuring with Intent or Wounding with Intent offences, meaning at least 10 years.

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  45. Anna Sewell (42 comments) says:

    I trust you actively campaign outside abortion clinics as well, Radar, or is that morally acceptable to you, whereas killing animals is not?

    - Kris K.

    A consequentialist or utilitarian is likely to approach the abortion question in a very different way, by trying to weigh up suffering. Does the embryo suffer? (Presumably not if it is aborted before it has a nervous system; and even if it is old enough to have a nervous system it surely suffers less than, say, an adult cow in a slaughterhouse.) Does the pregnant woman, or her family, suffer if she does not have an abortion? Very possibly so; and, in any case, given that the embryo lacks a nervous system, shouldn’t the mother’s well-developed nervous system have the choice?

    This is not to deny that a consequentialist might have grounds to oppose abortion. ‘Slippery slope’ arguments can be framed by consequentialists (though I wouldn’t in this case). Maybe embryos don’t suffer, but a culture that tolerates the taking of human life risks going too far: where will it all end? In infanticide? The moment of birth provides a natural Rubicon for defining rules, and one could argue that it is hard to find another one earlier in embryonic development. Slippery slope arguments could therefore lead us to give the moment of birth more significance than utilitarianism, narrowly interpreted, would prefer.

    Strong opponents of abortion are almost all deeply religious. The sincere supporters of abortion, whether personally religious or not, are likely to follow a non-religious, consequentialist moral philosophy, perhaps invoking Jeremy Bentham’s question, ‘Can they [i]suffer[/i]?’ Paul Hill and Michael Bray saw no moral difference between killing an embryo and killing a doctor except that the embryo was, to them, a blamelessly innocent ‘baby’. The consequentialist sees all the difference in the world. An early embryo has the sentience, as well as the semblance, of a tadpole. A doctor is a grown-up conscious being with hopes, loves, aspirations, fears, a massive store of humane knowledge, the capacity for deep emotion, very probably a devastated widow and orphaned children, perhaps elderly parents who dote on him.

    Paul Hill caused real, deep, lasting suffering, to beings with nervous systems capable of suffering. His doctor victim did no such thing. Early embryos that have no nervous system most certainly do not suffer. And if late-aborted embryos with nervous systems suffer – though all suffering is deplorable – it is not because they are [i]human[/i] that they suffer. There is no general reason to suppose that human embryos at any age suffer more than cow or sheep embryos at the same developmental stage. And there is every reason to suppose that all embryos, whether human or not, suffer far less than adult cows or sheep in a slaughterhouse, especially a ritual slaughterhouse where, for religious reasons, they must be fully conscious when their throats are ceremonially cut.

    Suffering is hard to measure, and the details might be disputed. But that doesn’t affect my main point, which concerns the difference between secular consequentialist and religiously absolute moral philosophies. One school of thought cares about whether embryos can suffer. The other cares about whether they are human. Religious moralists can be heard debating questions like, ‘When does the developing embryo become a person – a human being?’ Secular moralists are more likely to ask, ‘Never mind whether it is [i]human[/i], (what does that even [i]mean[/i] for a little cluster of cells?); at what age does any developing embryo, of any species, become capable of [i]suffering[/i]?’

    - Richard Dawkins.

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  46. radar (319 comments) says:

    [DPF: You may have a point if I ate them while still alive. But thanks for trying to equivalise between non-vegetarians and animal sadists and torturers - such a useful and reasonable comparison]

    Either you think being hit with a captive bolt stunner and then having your throat cut as you bleed to death is cruel or you don’t. I guess from your statement, DPF, that you are in the latter category.

    “Of course, if the meat industry went NZ would be stuffed.
    I trust you actively campaign outside abortion clinics as well, Radar, or is that morally acceptable to you, whereas killing animals is not?”

    I don’t think a detrimental affect on our economy is a reason to prolong cruelty. You may, I don’t.

    Abortion is not morally acceptable to me. I think it should be illegal except in cases where it would be carried out to save the mother’s life.

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  47. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Anna Sewell 7:50 pm,

    A consequentialist or utilitarian is likely to approach the abortion question in a very different way, by trying to weigh up suffering. Does the embryo suffer? (Presumably not if it is aborted before it has a nervous system; and even if it is old enough to have a nervous system it surely suffers less than, say, an adult cow in a slaughterhouse.) Does the pregnant woman, or her family, suffer if she does not have an abortion? Very possibly so; and, in any case, given that the embryo lacks a nervous system, shouldn’t the mother’s well-developed nervous system have the choice?

    Anna & Radar,
    I have worked as an engineer in a meat works – the animals do not suffer when they are slaughtered. They are electrically stunned, which is instantaneous, and thus rendered unconcious, and then their throats are slit; they bleed out and die at this point.
    I have often reflected to others that if I had to choose my own means of death, I could think of nothing more humane than this. And yes, this would be how I would choose to go.

    Radar 9:26 am,

    Either you think being hit with a captive bolt stunner and then having your throat cut as you bleed to death is cruel or you don’t. I guess from your statement, DPF, that you are in the latter category.

    “Of course, if the meat industry went NZ would be stuffed.
    I trust you actively campaign outside abortion clinics as well, Radar, or is that morally acceptable to you, whereas killing animals is not?”

    I don’t think a detrimental affect on our economy is a reason to prolong cruelty. You may, I don’t.

    Abortion is not morally acceptable to me. I think it should be illegal except in cases where it would be carried out to save the mother’s life.

    I’m glad you also have a stand regarding abortion as morally unacceptable – I take back what I said to you before.

    Anna,
    as far as I’m concerned abortion (human) is murder. Taking an animals life is never murder. So while I don’t condone cruelty to animals, at the end of the day many animals are basically food to us, and nothing more. As I mentioned above, provided the slaughter process is humane then I have no problem at all. To equate the life of a cow with that of an unborn human baby, as you do, is perverse. It really surprises me that people can hold such views – especially a woman – and causes me to wonder if you have youir own children.

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