In the Community with Michael Beatty

Community Speaks Posted Dec 15, 2020
I seem to be spending more and more time speaking to community groups such as Probus and National Seniors these days and the feedback I receive is very interesting indeed.
It appears there is absolutely zero public acceptance of animal cruelty. Most of these groups are only too well aware of the links between animal cruelty and other forms of abuse and violence and they can’t comprehend the lack of severity in sentencing. Why didn’t he/she go to jail? When I explain about the use of precedents in sentencing they are scathing in their response.
“Not good enough! How do we change this?”

The reality of course is that it will take a brave Magistrate to hand down a substantial sentence and then have that upheld on appeal. It’s not going to be easy.

There are a number of cases that stick in their minds. The two young men who beat the Alpacas to death in Caboolture, the two men who tortured a possum by running over its lower body with the wheel of their car and the recent puppy farm raid in which our Inspectors seized 81 dogs and 10 cats from property in Glenarbon. The puppy farmer will face around 200 charges of “breach of duty of care” and it’s a possibility he may spend some time in jail. However the other four young men received little more than a slap on the wrist and one of the possum torturers was openly scornful on social media the day after the sentence. The groups of what are mostly senior citizens simply cannot understand this.

While we’re on the subject of seniors, RSPCA Qld is in the process of forging closer ties with National Seniors Australia. We already work closely with senior groups through our Happy Paws Happy Hearts program and this is constantly expanding. More and more senior citizens are travelling to Wacol to interact with our adoption animals. It’s wonderful to see their faces light up during the interaction and they have the satisfaction n of knowing they’re helping to socialise the animals which helps their rehoming prospects enormously.

On the other end of the age spectrum, I recently had the honour of MCing a tribute to Bob Irwin at Aussie World. Notable highlights of that evening were the speeches of young people who had been inspired by Bob and Steve and were the new “foot soldiers” in the fight to preserve our native wildlife. Our Wildlife Hospital now has its reptile ward named after Bob and his book The Last Crocodile Hunter is available at our World for Pets Store. I thoroughly recommend it. A great read!

Michael Beatty
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