Pets will be better protected than children in the UK

Britain is in a political frenzy after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that a snap general election will take place on July 4.

This means that some of his government’s bills will lapse before becoming law, including a controversial Criminal Justice Bill which would have included two extreme abortion-up-to-birth amendments. This would have been the biggest change in the regulation of abortion in the UK since 1967. It is not unlikely that this would have paved the way for the legalisation of infanticide later on.

The pro-life movement has rightly hailed this as “brilliant news” in its battle to resist ever more permissive abortion laws in the UK.

However, as a sign of Parliament’s pro-life priorities, it did manage to push through an incredibly compassionate, thoughtful bill which had vigorous bipartisan support: the Pet Abduction Bill. This law will go into effect soon. It makes taking a cat, or taking or detaining a dog, a criminal offence. Anyone convicted could face a fine or a maximum of five years in prison.

The sponsor of the Bill, Anna Wirth MP, explained that: “Britain is a nation of animal lovers. Our pets are part of our families. They comfort us when we are down and give us a huge amount of laughter, energy and joy when we are up—and, in fact, all the time. They make a house a home. That is why it is so heartbreaking when any one of our beloved pets is snatched away from us, and it is also why the taking, abducting or detaining of someone else’s beloved pet is such a sick and cruel crime.”

I used to think that comfort, laughter, energy and joy were what children were for. It is one of life’s great mysteries – why are the British so willing to protect their pets and so unwilling to protect their babies?

It is an iron law of human nature that whenever we make something easier we tend to see more of it, and it could easily have been predicted, when Boris Johnson’s administration allowed abortion pills to be prescribed over the phone during the Covid pandemic, that there would be a surge in abortions. This has indeed come to pass: the long-delayed figuresfor 2022 show the highest number of abortions ever recorded in England and Wales, with 252,122 in 2022 - an increase of 37,253 (17.34 percent) from 2021.

This massive increase is shocking but not surprising; and it is no surprise that the Department of Health and Social Care – whose name begins to sound positively Orwellian – took so long to release them.

Doctors have been warning of the disastrous outcomes of the pills-by-post system for women’s health, while vulnerable women have faced high levels of coercion.

Public opinion has shown consistent support for more restrictions on abortion, not fewer, but will this new death toll make a difference? Each one is of course a tragedy, but as Stalin observed, “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.”

And so are the millions of abortions, the latest statistics adding hugely to the more than ten million unborn lives lost since 1967.



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Sometimes things have to get much worse before they get better – before people prioritise what has up until now been seen as a side issue, albeit with an agenda relentlessly driven by abortion advocates. For as a rash of “censorship zones” erupts around abortion clinics, making it illegal to offer humane alternatives to vulnerable and needy expectant mothers, we see people trying to save lives continually harassed while those taking innocent lives enjoy public subsidies.

Will future generations look back with horror upon this era of mass pre-birth killing? An era which frowned upon the disposal of a baby wipe down the toilet, while women were told to dispose of their aborted unborn babies down the toilet?

Of course, those future generations would have to be born, and the chances of that are getting ever slimmer. Perhaps we may just get more pets. To quote Lyn Brown MP’s contribution to the debate in Parliament: “Can I say first of all that my dog is truly the most amazing small loving creature in the entire universe?”

Notwithstanding concern for animal welfare, we still seem to care about children; but with the most unhealthy and dangerous place for children now being the mother’s womb, concerns about pets' health and safety are beginning to look like displacement activity.

The forthcoming general election may succeed in killing the pro-death Bills that would remove the last vestiges of legal disapproval from abortion, but the cat protection Bill will go ahead. While society plays cat’s cradle, the child’s cradle is eerily empty.  

 What do you think about pet protection? Tell us in the comments below. 

Ann Farmer writes from the United Kingdom.

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Showing 22 reactions

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  • mrscracker
    I think I found what I was trying to remember but it was the ASPCA, not the RSPCA:

    “Origins of Child Protection
    Legend has it that the campaign to save abused children in New York was driven by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The truth is more complicated…
    When no public or private entity would step in to help Mary Ellen, Etta Angell Wheeler (“variously termed a mission worker, a tenement visitor, and a social worker”) appealed to Henry Bergh of the SPCA. The story goes that she suggested that Mary Ellen should surely be thought of as “a little animal,” too. Bergh supposedly affirmed that “[t]he child is an animal. If there is no justice for it as a human being, it shall have least have the right of the cur” to not be abused. In this legend, Bergh and SPCA counsel Elbridge T. Gerry decided the child was entitled to protection under the laws against animal cruelty.”
  • Peter Faehrmann
    commented 2024-06-03 15:14:48 +1000
    David Page, You’re far to clever for me!
  • David Page
    commented 2024-06-03 10:01:58 +1000
    Does it bother you, Jürgen, that a dictatorship attacked a democracy? What is your vision for the future? 1984?
  • Jürgen Siemer
    commented 2024-06-03 00:23:07 +1000
    I do not “carry water” for anybody, I try to “carry the truth”.

    The truth, I believe, is that the often heard statement in US and other western media, that the Russian attack was unprovoked, is a lie.

    I have written extensively about promises made and broken by the west, about the US meddling in the Maidan coup, about the Minsk agreements, about the civil war of the Ukrainian government against the Russian speaking population, about the interest of the Russian government not to allow short range NATO missiles at the Ukrainian-Russian border, and about the many public warnings before the war by Russia to the US not to cross their red lines.

    So: The “West” has lied many times, it has pushed the Russians into the corner, and it now seems to play with the risk of the next escalation, a nuclear war.

    In the meantime, the brave Ukrainian soldiers are loosing the life. For what?

    By the way, more and more Ukrainians realize, that the US neocons do not care for them, not at all. Otherwise, they, especially the men, would not flee from Ukraine.

    Yes, the Russian attack was a violation of international law.

    But: what US-war in the past 50 years was not a violation of international law, starting with Vietnam?

    To be clear: If pursuing the truth means also “carrying Putin’s water” for a few kilometers, if would not have a problem with that.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-06-02 10:37:34 +1000
    I would add here that factory farming of animals is an abomination and a disgrace. It is illegal in Massachusetts, and soon it will be illegal to import meat raised in these farms in my state.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-06-02 10:34:17 +1000
    Is the author suggesting that we needn’t protect other sentient creatures? That doing so somehow removes protection from human children? I can’t see how. I go out of my way to buy animal products that have the “Certified Humane” label on them. Am I denying something to children by doing that? My (very large) dog/wolf hybrid is my friend, companion, and protector. If anyone ever harms him they will see something new. I will defend him with the same intensity that I will defend my children. If, for instance, you can look into the eyes of a dog and think there is no one home then what is lacking is in you.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-06-02 10:22:32 +1000
    Peter, those who know me here know I am no fan of abortion. My wife risked her life by refusing to have one with our twins. She was told they couldn’t survive, and that she might die in her attempt to carry them to term. Having said that, the number don’t support you. Abortions are down in the US by almost half. But fertility, at the same time, has dropped to 1.72. That is far below replacement levels. “Your own” is an interesting turn of phrase. One wonders, in an immigrant country, which “own” you might be referring to? Would you care to elaborate?
  • David Page
    commented 2024-06-02 10:10:02 +1000
    Jürgen, the Ukraine was attacked by Putin’s orc army. They are fighting back, and doing a damned fine job of it. If you intend to carry water for Putin then why not just say so?
  • Peter Faehrmann
    commented 2024-06-01 10:30:01 +1000
    Ten million abortions! Add lost numbers of children not born in subsequent generations. Who needs migration to bolster numbers? All you need do is let your own live!
  • Peter Faehrmann
    commented 2024-06-01 10:29:52 +1000
    Ten million abortions! Add lost numbers of children not born in subsequent generations. Who needs migration to bolster numbers? All you need do is let your own live!
  • Ann Farmer
    commented 2024-06-01 07:38:09 +1000
    Sam DunLany, Elva Kindler, many thanks for your kind support.
  • Sam DunLany M.D.
    commented 2024-05-31 23:41:46 +1000
    Spot on! We are in a sad situation.
  • Ann Farmer
    commented 2024-05-31 07:49:17 +1000
    Mrs Cracker, many thanks – I’m afraid I’ve never heard know about the RSPCA thing.
    I do know however that in UK law, non-humans are protected under the 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, under which even the ‘foetal, larval or embryonic form’ of non-humans have the right to life, but the law specifically excludes humans from the definition of ‘“protected animal”’.
    Sadly, it’s not a ‘logical fallacy’.
  • mrscracker
    Mr.Jurgen, I think anyone who values the sanctity of human life is also concerned about the state of our world currently.
  • Elva Kindler
    commented 2024-05-30 18:22:52 +1000
    Thank you for the article, Ms Farmer. It’s affirming for those of us who want to protect life.
  • Elva Kindler
    followed this page 2024-05-30 18:11:52 +1000
  • Jürgen Siemer
    commented 2024-05-30 16:50:17 +1000
    A little off-topic, but nevertheless also connected to the question of life, well to threats to life of millions, possibly billions of people:

    Ukrainians have bombed a Russian radar station near Orenburg, which is appt. 1800 km away from Ukraine. This is one of a few long-range radar stations typically used to detect intercontinental missiles flying towards Russia.

    The US has a number of intercontinental missiles in it’s nuclear force.

    These long range radar system in Orenburg have most probably very little use for the war in Ukraine.

    Why is Ukraine attacking it? And could it do it without external support?

    Military textbook says that one would take out enemy radar before launching your own missile.

    Dear Catholics and non-catholics:

    The risk of WW3 and global nuclear Armageddon has just increased.

    But consider pets….
  • mrscracker
    Yes, thank you. We have the SPCA in the States. But I think I remember that the establishment of a society to protect animals historically was used in some way to protect children’s welfare. Perhaps another reader who knows about that could add information?
  • Ann Farmer
    commented 2024-05-30 08:25:44 +1000
    Mr Page, many thanks – my point is that if we care for animals, how much more should we care for children. Mrs Cracker, the RSPCA is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. My mother used to comment that the NSPCC was the ‘National’ (not ‘Royal’) Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. But perhaps children would get better protection if the RSPCA took them on.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-05-30 01:59:28 +1000
    This article has so many logical fallacies that I get tired just thinking about responding. Most of these either/or arguments compare apples and oranges.
  • mrscracker
    Didn’t the RSPCA help establish a path to protect children in the UK long ago?
  • Ann Farmer
    published this page in The Latest 2024-05-29 19:54:22 +1000