24th October 04:09 PM
Most common form of intentional cruelty to animals is paraquat poisoning - Hoopes
By Anamika Singh
Thursday 12/10/2017

The most common form of intentional cruelty to animals is poisoning, usually with the use of paraquat.

This information was shared by Resident Vet at Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Dr Jessica Hoopes.

Dr Hoopes say less common cases have been burning with hot water, cane knife attacks, injuries from people throwing rocks and blunt force injuries.

She says often the cause of the injuries is unknown.

Dr Hoopes says cases of animal abuse  are less common than one might expect but cases involving some degree of negligence which is failure to provide adequate care for an animal, in terms of the 5 fundamental freedoms of animal welfare which is also considered animal cruelty, are very common.

She says this is largely attributable to a lack of education and understanding on animal welfare issues as well as misconceptions about an animals ability to sense pain.

Dr Hoopes says most of the cruelty cases brought into the facility involve live animals and with veterinary treatment and early intervention most of the injuries have been non‑fatal.

She says they have had a small number of animals brought in that have succumbed to their injuries or have had to be euthanised due the severity of the injuries, with the exception being poisoning cases with the use of paraquat, which is fatal for most animals.

Dr Hoopes says the public needs to be advised on what constitutes animal cruelty and of what legislation is in place regarding cruelty.

She says cruelty to Animals is punishable under the Crimes Decree of Fiji and Minor Offences Act.

Animals are protected under the Protection of Animals Act, the Dog Act, The Pound Act and The Bird and Game Act.

She says unfortunately enforcement of cruelty laws is limited to the police at this time, and with limited resources, enforcement and follow up not always done.

Dr Hoopes says if someone sees a case of cruelty, they should try to contact their local police department. The SPCA should also be contacted as they can try to support callers in having these cases investigated.

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