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January 30, 2006

The Pet Police.

Dear God, please, tell me this is a spoof, please?

The Times has learnt that Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, is to produce detailed codes of conduct telling pet owners how to feed their animals and where they should go to the toilet, along with ways of providing “mental stimulation”. Owners of “sociable” pets should provide them with playmates, the codes will say.

Every domesticated animal will have a code of conduct tailored to their species, each of which is expected to run into dozens of pages. This will form part of the Animal Welfare Bill, expected to clear Parliament in the next few months.
The Bill applies to all vertebrates, but a code of conduct for invertebrates, such as lobsters, may follow.

An example:

Ensure that cats’ preference for privacy is met by giving them a hidden away place with cat litter to relieve themselves. This advice forms part of a nine-point guide for “going to the toilet”

Of all the problems in the world, of all the uses to which our extorted tax money could be put, someone, somewhere, thinks that the placing of the cat’s litter box is sufficiently important that we need to employ the might of the State to ensure it is done correctly.

Oh, and did you notice this?

The law will be enforced by “pet police”; council employees with powers to enter property and seize animals.

Yep, another set of jobsworth’s from the council can come round and enter your house as they please, this time to check that Tiddles is getting sufficient mental stimulation.

Still, there is this comforting thought:

Ben Bradshaw, the Animal Welfare Minister, said: “The vast majority of pet owners have nothing to fear from this legislation.”

Sure Ben. Right on.

Somewhere in Whitehall there is an employee skilled in the art of cut and paste. Preparing speeches for the ’droids of NuLab.

“The vast majority of [insert name of target group here] have nothing to fear from this legislation.”

One day they’ll forget to replace the brackets.

January 30, 2006 in Your Tax Money at Work | Permalink


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Is this the straw that breaks the Camels back?

No. In volume 2, page 784, Para 7 of "The Rights of Camels (Blairistan Press)" it says not to use them to carry an innapropriate amount of straw.

Posted by: Rob Read | Jan 30, 2006 11:13:20 AM

The regulations for keeping pets come next and then the recruitment of the neighbourhood pet warden teams . . all in the interests of community harmony, of course. What could possibly be wrong with that?

Posted by: Bob B | Jan 30, 2006 11:14:02 AM

I wonder do our coerced collectivist ruling classes view "normal" people like pets?

Posted by: Rob Read | Jan 30, 2006 11:22:36 AM

First they make them mad

Posted by: Elaib | Jan 30, 2006 12:50:37 PM

One of the more worrying/laughable aspects of the story is that, according to the Times report, the proposals have 'crossparty support'. Is there no one in Parliament willing to oppose the relentless advance of the state into even the most trivial aspects of our lives?

Posted by: Michael Tombs | Jan 30, 2006 2:14:34 PM

Well, I think it's a great idea. The pavements where I live are glazed with dogshit. I hope the bit that stipulates where people's animals "should go to the toilet" is enforced with tazers.

Posted by: Justin | Jan 30, 2006 2:24:11 PM

"Is there no one in Parliament willing to oppose the relentless advance of the state into even the most trivial aspects of our lives?"

And risk, in this case, being personally painted as either "anti-pet" or, possibly even worse, disposed to overlook dog poo left on the pavement?

Remember Kenneth Baker's Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?

For different reasons, who dared oppose that piece of legislative nonsense when any dog was supposedly about to savage any unwary neighbour or passerby? Of course, there were and are some treasured family pet dogs inclined to do precisely that but the legislation was way over the top and few politicians dared to say as much at the time with the media in a feeding frenzy. OTOH I recall conversations in the civil service at the time which were appropriately sceptical, if not down right cynical about the proposed legislation.

I can seriously foresee a campaign mounting for local authority pet wardens. Remember, the government wants to reduce the numbers eligible for incapacity benefits?

Posted by: Bob B | Jan 30, 2006 2:50:26 PM

We already have a Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 and a Litter (Animal Droppings) Order 1991.

Posted by: Gdr | Jan 30, 2006 11:23:00 PM

Where the vital interests - or nuisance - of household pets are concerned, mere facts have only minor relevance.

The shape of many current public debates on issues of concerned is much influenced by the extent of public amnesia about the past. That is why the government early on evidently found it expedient to announce and then re-announce policy initiatives. My recollection of various surveys is that the much of the public has little recall of political developments, new legislation or the names of government ministers. The low turnout at the last two general elections hardly suggests a wide and deep interest in politics.

Posted by: Bob B | Jan 31, 2006 12:23:20 AM

Its like the "Bottom Inspectors" from Viz comic ...

Posted by: johnny bonk | Jan 31, 2006 1:19:22 AM

The vast majority of taxpayers do have something to fear from this legislation.

Posted by: simon | Jan 31, 2006 7:00:29 AM