Wednesday, September 24, 2008

File on Four last night

If anyone is concerned that we are all going round madly reporting innocent people for child abuse, I suggest they read the whole of the London Safeguarding Children Board's draft (repeat, draft) protocol for exchanging reports of suspected ill-treatment between animal- and child-protection professionals. Virtually always, child neglect reports by RSPCA inspectors relate to situations where they're called to investigate animals being kept in squalor and find that the family also has children living in the same conditions.

The program editors also didn't seem convinced of the truth of animal hoarding as a welfare problem. To put it in perspective, I suggest taking a look at the database of animal cruelty reports (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Spain). Select "hoarding" as type of abuse to view news reports of cases. (Their database seems to be most current for US cases and to have trouble resetting between searches of different countries unless you restart your browser).

The trouble with this sort of program is that it discourages people who do realise they need help with their animals from contacting animal welfare organisations.

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