If you hadn’t already heard, this week is Animal Rights Awareness Week! BestBullySticks, being all about everything dog-related, is using the opportunity to spread the word about animal rights. In honor of this important week, we’ve put together a brief history of animal rights as well as some valuable information about how you can become involved in your community.
Animal rights as we know them today are a far cry from centuries past. Luckily, modern times have brought about a progressive shift towards recognizing animal rights and welfare. Things began to change in the 19th century — during these times there was a dramatic and sudden interest in animal protection. A movement which got it’s start in the United Kingdom would eventually spread worldwide and become law in many countries.
Until the early 1800’s, people were only punished for animal cruelty because it was seen as a destruction of the owner’s property! However, thanks to some caring minds of the era, the animal rights movement slowly gained momentum. Initially, many activists focused their attention on “baiting” — a practice of setting game dogs against a captured or chained animal with the intent of incapacitating or killing it. The first major accomplishment in the protection of animals was made in the fight against baiting and led to the practice becoming illegal.
The first animal rights bill in history, named Martin’s Act, was introduced into Irish law in 1822. This groundbreaking set of laws sought to protect beasts of burden from abuse. People outside the United Kingdom were taking notes, too. Soon thereafter, other countries followed suit and by the 1850’s many Western nations had passed comprehensive laws with severe penalties for animal abusers. read more…