Council of Europe Convention
Scientific developments provide new opportunities. Always it has been so. Now is such a moment in time with the association of animal abuse and human violence being identified on a scale previously unseen. This concept, called ‘the LINK’ has been researched and validated in the USA for more than 30 years and identifies the connection between those who abuse animals and human abuse. This is now being enacted in European countries for the first time with new initiatives being explored in the Netherlands, the UK and Italy. Teesside University has conducted a study program in Eastern Europe, the first of its type in this domain, which has produced disturbing results. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0886260516659655?rss=1
Exposure to aggression and violence has been shown to impact on the psychological health of those who are significantly exposed, especially affecting children. It has been shown that exposure to regular aggression and violence can cause progressive desensitization thereby reducing the psychological impact of the violence but this also produces a reduction in affective empathy which is the ability to relate to the feelings of others. However, such abuse is prevalent in some European countries more than others. The Teesside University Study found that 86% of the children in the study had witnessed public animal abuse. In some countries, because of government policies and the numbers of ‘free roaming’ animals such abuse is common, with stray animal management policies preferring violent ‘eradication’ by catching and killing as opposed to policies advocated by the WHO and OIE to reduce numbers by adopting humane national neutering programs.
But no longer is this issue ONLY about animals. This is NOW about a negative impact on children and therefore on society. Animal abuse is no longer ONLY about animals… it IS about European Citizens affected by it. It IS about children exposed to it. It IS about societies where such abuse is endemic. It IS about the ‘Rights of the Child’. It IS about the ‘Shared Values’ of the European Union.
How can these serious issues be addressed? The solutions already exist but demand questions as to why they are not being enacted.
With the LINK, we now have a completely new concept to be considered by those who have responsibility for Human Rights in Europe. Experiencing and witnessing violence and abuse impacts especially on the developing child who is exposed to this. In some countries animal abuse is endemic Government failure to implement the ratified Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals by introducing a national neutering program, fails to reduce this significant negative impact on the children of these societies. This absence of compliance is common to many countries in Eastern Europe...including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia & Turkey. Ukraine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Pet_Animals
' Reduction of numbers
When a Party considers that the numbers of stray animals present it with a problem, it shall take the appropriate legislative and/or administrative measures necessary to reduce their numbers in a way which does not cause avoidable pain, suffering or distress. Such measures shall include the requirements that:
a i) If such animals are to be captured, this is done with the minimum of physical and mental suffering appropriate to the animal;
ii) Whether captured animals are kept or killed, this is done in accordance with the principles laid down in this Convention;
b Parties undertake to consider:
i) Providing for dogs and cats to be permanently identified by some appropriate means which causes little or no enduring pain, suffering or distress, such as tattooing as well as recording the numbers in a register together with the names and addresses of their owners;
ii) Reducing the unplanned breeding of dogs and cats by promoting the neutering of these animals;
iii)encouraging the finder of a stray dog or cat to report it to the competent authority.'
EUROPEAN CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF PET ANIMALS Chapter 3 Article 12
'Once the treaty enters into force in respect of a State, it becomes LEGALLY binding and the State MUST implement its provisions'. https://rm.coe.int/16802f5aff FAQ Item 3
The primary declared function of the Council of Europe is Human Rights and its European Charter includes:
'The Charter lays specific emphasis on the protection of vulnerable persons such as elderly people, children, people with disabilities and migrants. It requires that enjoyment of the abovementioned rights be guaranteed without discrimination.' - CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (2000/C 364/01) Article 24
Consideration of the negative impact identified by the LINK when enacted on a national scale invites assurances that the Charter is being consolidated by enactment of the Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.
The questions which arise are:
A) Is the Council of Europe aware of the LINK and the vast body of research attesting to this concept evidencing the associations between animal abuse and human violence and abuse?
B) Is it aware of the negative impact on human health caused by exposure to significant public animal abuse? A situation which is prevalent in a number of Member countries.
C) What powers does the Council have to ensure compliance with its Conventions and Charters? Why is it not ensuring compliance to a 'LEGALLY BINDING' Convention which 'MUST' be enacted by ratifying nations?
Simply, are the Treaties of the Council of Europe enforceable or are they an expensively cosmetic consumption of public funds?
We would seek to extend an invitation of participation to individuals and organisations with interest in Child Protection, Animal Abuse and the EU issues who have the legal, political skills and experience to enact and to embrace such challenges on a European scale.
Please contact email: . Confidentiality is assured.