Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Everyone's on holiday

So it's a perfect time for the Dogs' Trust to launch their annual statistics for the numbers of dogs put to sleep in council pounds across the UK. It's down a little bit this year, and it's been decreasing every year, but the survey doesn't have a 100% response rate - what's the betting that the places with the highest death toll don't fill in their survey forms?

It only measures the dogs put to sleep by councils, not the ones killed on the roads or dropped off bridges or bashed on the head. So there's the RSPCA figures, and then there's the greyhound secret unacknowledged figures that no one will ever admit to, and there's the lab dogs, 7,000 last time I looked, mostly killed rather than rehomed despite evidence from Germany that it's perfectly possible to rehome a laboratory beagle.

But it's OK, we'll issue the figures while everyone's away, and not in the mood for unpleasantness, and that way it'll all be fine, because we've ignored it. Hmmm. The same approach has led to pretty much every single man-made disaster and botch-up I've ever heard of. Scientists mentioned that feeding ground-up cows to cows might not be a great idea. Engineers mentioned that the levees in New Orleans could maybe stand looking at more closely. Killing animals bred to be friends and companions does something horrible to our souls, our psychic selves, even if there isn't an accepted way of measuring this at the moment.

The connection between cruelty to animals, killing of companion animals, and murdering human beings is well documented. Serial killer profilers in the US have found that the one common thread was animal killings. The more we accept that animals are disposable, the closer we come to sharing the psychopathic personality disorders that criminal profilers worry about. This is news we need to come back to, and investigate, if our society is not to go down a dark path.

But hey, we're on holiday.

No comments: