animal welfare

156 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Councillor Angela Claydon

Provide suitable accommodation for homeless people and their pets.

Cheshire West and Chester Council have reduced funding for homeless accommodation. In order to cut costs they have started housing homeless people with dogs in small flats with no outdoor space. Their homelessness manager Eileen Griffiths, and housing officer Alison Reaney, are of the opinion that dogs don't need a garden because they can toilet indoors. It is a breach of the Animal Welfare Act to keep animals in this condition, it is also of course unsuitable accommodation for the homeless, it is unsanitary. I inspected one of these flats that they said was immediately available to accommodate somebody with two large dogs. The dogs would only have comfortably fit in one room. These two dogs are expected by the council to live in one room, and toilet in the same space. The carpet in this room had remnants of dog excrement on it from the previous residents pets. Cheshire West and Chester Council have a homeless budget of £1,060,104. They currently spend £859,104 of that money on their own wages. The council also receive government funding of £6.5 million for "housing related support." In total the council are taking over £7.3 million for themselves, and dedicating under £200,000 of that money to provide accommodation for the homeless. With £7.5 million to provide accommodation for homeless people, this abuse is inexcusable and unnecessary. The council say for 2015-2020 they're going to focus their resources on: "An on-going programme of training for the team" "Customer leaflets and information materials " "Better investment in ICT software for homelessness data" (They are intending to spend £100,000 on this) Their plan is to take even more money for themselves, Whilst they cut facilities for the homeless.They have made this decision whilst publicly acknowledging that homelessness in the area is increasing. I have a better suggestion for how we can spend the £7.5 million: Provide suitable permanent accommodation for people with pets. Address the shortage of suitable accommodation for single people with pets, by building one bedroom houses. Ensure some of these properties are available outside of West Cheshire Homes, for the many people the council have barred from social housing. Provide suitable temporary accommodation for pet owners. Whilst using current housing stock to house dog owners, you need to use properties with private outdoor space . If you have no suitable one bedroom properties for this purpose currently, you should be willing to use properties with a higher number of bedrooms until you've addressed the shortage. Implement regeneration schemes in areas with outdated accommodation and facilities. If you agree that this is a better use of funds please sign the petition. You can also contact Councillor Angela Claydon who is Cabinet member for housing, and Lord Mayor of Chester. Email: Twitter : Facebook: Telephone: 01244 977701 and 01244 977702

684 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Grant pets rights as living beings

We call upon the UK Government to give a new legal status and 'Grant pets rights as living beings'. A change in animals status from “personal property” to that of a “sentient being" will bring the civil law into line with the penal code, which sets tough penalties for cruelty to animals. This should make it easier to prosecute cases of animal cruelty.  Britain could claim to be something of a world leader in animal welfare, but as a nation, however, we have failed in bringing progressive positive change to improve the welfare of animals. While countries all over the world have updated or enacted effective animal cruelty legislation, England remains behind. European animal welfare legislation is based on the recognition that all animals, from pets to farm animals, are sentient beings – i.e. they have powers of perception and feeling. A legally binding protocol attached to the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam recognised animals as "sentient beings" and this recognition was strengthened in the Lisbon Treaty of 2009 which included animal sentience as an Article in the main body of the Treaty.  Some countries have already (even before the treaty) transformed animals from things to non-things, such as Austria (ABGB 1998, Constitution 2004), Germany (BGB 1990, Constitution 2002), Switzerland (BGB 2000, Constitution 2004), and most recently France (2014). Scientific research is constantly revealing new evidence of animals’ intelligence and emotions. There is also increasing evidence that many animals can learn new skills and some appear to show emotions similar to human empathy. Animals are capable of feeling pain and experiencing distress,they can also be reduced to a state resembling human depression by chronic stress or confinement in a cage. This new understanding of the sentience of animals has huge implications for the way we treat them and the policies and laws we need to adopt.   Voice-Sensitive Regions in the Dog and Human Brain Are Revealed by Comparative fMRI. Highlights • This is the first comparative neuroimaging study of a nonprimate species and humans • Functional analogies were found between dog and human nonprimary auditory cortex • Voice areas preferring conspecific vocalizations were evidenced in the dog brain • Brain sensitivity to vocal cues of emotional valence was found in both species We demonstrate that voice areas exist in dogs and that they show a similar pattern to anterior temporal voice areas in humans. Our findings also reveal that sensitivity to vocal emotional valence cues engages similarly located nonprimary auditory regions in dogs and humans.    Neuroscientist Gregory Berns  What fMRI Can Tell Us About the Thoughts and Minds of Dogs One neuroscientist is peering into the canine brain, and says he's found evidence that dogs may feel love. As Berns’ team begins to scratch the surface of the canine brain, they’re finding something surprising—in several ways, its activity mirrors that of the human brain to a much greater extent than expected. We cannot ignore the striking similarity between dogs and humans in both the structure and function of a key brain region: the caudate nucleus. As part of their first paper published on the work in 2012, they trained dogs to recognize two different hand signals: one that meant the animal would be given a piece of hot dog imminently, and one that meant no hot dog. As they hypothesized, the first signal triggered elevated activity in an area called the caudate nucleus, which is rich in receptors for dopamine (a neurotransmitter involved in the sensation of pleasure). In humans—and in dogs, the research indicated—caudate activity is related to the desire to have something that causes pleasure, and the satisfaction involved in obtaining it. Subsequent work revealed more unexpected findings. As part of a second experiment, they had dogs sit in the scanner and exposed them to smells of humans (from either their owners or strangers) and other dogs (from either dogs they lived with or unfamiliar dogs). “We wanted to understand how dogs recognize other people and dogs in their households,” Berns says. Again, they saw increased activity in the caudate, but only as a result of one of the scents. “In this case, the reward system only seems to activate in response to the smell of a familiar human, which is pretty amazing,” he says. To further probe how the dogs’ brain activity correlates with the actions of humans they know well, they put the dogs in the fMRI and had their owners leave the room, then walk back in. This, too, triggered activation in the caudate. Berns interprets these results as indications that, in some ways, the mental processes of dogs may not be so different from those of humans. They’re close enough, he suggests, that we can safely describe them with words we don’t often apply to animals: the mental activity represents emotions, and perhaps even constitute love. “At some fundamental level, we believe the dogs are experiencing emotions something like we do,” Berns says. The research suggests that the human brain and canine brain aren’t as radically different as we might have imagined.   Why Support Change As society changes and evolves, so too do the views and values of its people. A challenge of law-makers is to identify shifts in values and expectations, so that they can pass new laws and amend existing laws. Changing social values are the fundamental ideas we have about other people and society in general. They include ideas about race, gender, families, children, violence, personal responsibility and the law itself. Changing morality and ethics are concerned with what is right and wrong, though on a social level rather than what offends the individual. As previously mentioned, our laws on animal abuse have changed very little, but society has. True law reform occurs because society has changed and the law needs to change with it. No longer do we as a nation want to tolerate animal abuse. We want the laws changed and the penalties to be more severe and we want the Courts to take it more seriously. We need to make the changes. To lead it, and to mould it to fit with the changing views and values of our society. These are views shared by a very large proportion of the electorate and should be acknowledged.  

The German Shepherd Helpline
5,312 supporters