Monday, January 11, 2010

Looking the other way on animal cruelty

Earlier in the month, in a post about Simon Bridges’ member's bill to increase penalties for animal cruelty, I mentioned that MAF was more interested in looking the other way than in enforcing the law. Today the Herald has graphic proof of that. In 2009, MAF received 689 complaints about mistreated animals. They launched just two prosecutions (both for behaviour dating from several years ago). In 2008, there were 948 complaints. None of them resulted in prosecution.

This makes a mockery of the law. Sure, not every complaint will be justified, and not every case will be able to be proved in court - but it simply beggars belief that the prosecution rate is less than 0.5%. Even rape, which is notoriously hard to prove, does better than that. Such a low prosecution rate invites the suspicion that MAF is uninterested in properly enforcing the law, and is instead in bed with those it is tasked to police. And that is simply unacceptable. MAF needs to do its fucking job, and start properly enforcing the law. And if it refuses, the people responsible should be sacked and replaced with people who will.