Overwhelmingly the majority of British people treat their pets with kindness. In some cases the pets get treated better than the humans. Aside from the - admittedly growing - cases of indescribable cruelty against our furry friends, the lives of pets in our households are pretty good.
For those who abuse animals, by all means bring the full force of the law to bear against them. Should the required degree of punishment not exist, then legislate for it. But do not waste time and money pretending to be politicians by bringing out stupid rules that suggest nothing short of rampant 'nanny statism'.
The Polka Children's Theatre, otherwise known as the Scottish Executive, is publishing guidelines for pet owners. Get this!! Cats and dogs are to get a 'five-point charter' detailing their rights. Tell me, what 'rights' does the average dog avail itself of? The 'right' to occupy 3/4 of the space in front of the living room fire? The 'right' to eat the best meat in the house whilst the rest of the family relegates gastronomic tastes to baked beans and soggy chips? The 'right' to exude plumes of unspeakably bad breath and flatulence - guaranteed to clear all life forms within a 30-yard radius?
British domestic pets have been kept like four-legged kings for centuries. Why now the need to lecture animal owners on what their responsibilities are? Why not make it clear that anyone abusing an animal will face a severe punishment and leave it at that? Did you know one of the guidelines to be published in the new Animal Welfare Bill advises people to keep dogs and cats apart because of traditional mutual hostility? Nooooooo, you don't say!! Well that's cleared-up one of the greatest mysteries since the disappearance of the Star Tiger. Thanks for telling us dogs and cats can't stand each other. Our lives will be forever enriched with that nugget of knowledge.