Animal Rights Advocates Seek New Draft on Animal Cruelty Law
Animal cruelty covers a wide range of crimes against many different kinds of animals. Basically, there are two categories of animal cruelty – passive (neglect) or active (intentional) – and there are many examples: starvation, dehydration, confinement, inadequate shelter, hoarding, puppy mills, illegal slaughterhouses, untreated wounds and dog fighting and baiting.
To add to the already horrifying acts of animal cruelty, there come “crush” videos, also known as squish or trampling videos. Such videos cater to fetishists who gain sexual gratification from watching women torture and kill small animals by stepping on them.
With popularity of social media and friend-sharing networks, the availability and production of crush videos are increasing dramatically, therefore causing concern for many animal rights activists.
Such disturbing videos and images were found illegal until last week, when US Supreme Court ruling found “crush” videos to be a form of free speech protected by the first amendment. (read a local report by Eric Glasser, WPTV, April 22 ).
“It’s one of the worst things you could ever watch,” says Capt. Dave Walesky with Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.
Law enforcement agencies had always depended upon the federal law to deal with people trying to sell images of those cruel acts.
The latest court ruling has given animal control officials a new mission to look more closely into a state law and find ways to ban such videos. Local animal rights advocates plan to join the Humane Society in its effort to pass a more-narrowly-worded law specifically targeting such videos.
What Can You Do?
Pet-abuse website recommends excellent tips on how you can support the ban on such videos and report their occurrence.
1. Once you realize that it is a crush video, stop watching it. These videos can be quite grisly, and are extremely traumatic to watch.
2. If possible, download the video file to your computer, and send it (along with the url of the page and any user information that may be included) to pet-abuse website and peta website. Do NOT complain to the site owner until this has been done, otherwise they may remove the video, and then animal protection agencies have no evidence to work from.
3. If the video is posted on a community website such as MySpace, e-mail the website’s support team, reporting it as inappropriate and offensive.
If a video has made it to MySpace, however, there is a good chance it is already posted on one of the gore sites. On sites that are clearly geared towards displaying offensive content, sending an angry letter to the webmaster will typically not help. Those sites make money on advertising, so the more offensive their content is, the more website hits it usually gets. In short, their most disturbing videos are their bread and butter, and it is unlikely that they will remove a video that is getting such strong reactions.
4. For gore sites, to find out who owns the domain name, and where the website is hosted, use a lookup utility such as samspade website or dnsstuff website. You may try e-mailing or calling the website hosting company, however gore sites have been known to host videos such as unedited human beheadings, so the chances are good that the website host is already aware of the content and simply does not care.