One of the objectives of Critter Files is to bring you stories around the world of animal abuses and the steps organizations and rescue groups are taking to prevent animal cruelty from happening again.
Stories like the dog brothels and more recently the baby bunny killed during a radio show make us question why or how humans can be so terribly cruel to critters of all sizes and shapes. In some cases, those abuses continue for decades by a succession of owners. Raju, the elephant in chains, was kept for 50 years as a slave.
It’s mostly been non-profit organizations that have been the champions of critters. But now in Norway, animals have their own police force.
The Norwegian government has announced a three-year pilot program of an animal welfare police aimed at protecting animal rights.
The three person team is composed of a lawyer, an investigator and a coordinator (hmmm, sounds like the premise of a new CSI show to us!).
Sor-Trondelag in the west of Norway, is the county where the initiative is going to be tested.
The team will also work closely with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, which is responsible for animal welfare. In an interview reported by the AFP, Agriculture Minister Sylvi Listhaug said animals at risk are “often defenseless.”
“First of all, it’s important to take care of our animals, so that they enjoy the rights they have and that there be a follow-up when their rights are violated
Sigve Bolstad, the head of the Norwegian Police Federation (PF) trade union also gave the pilot project the thumbs up. In comments on the Police Federation’s website he said:
“Animal Crime is serious and it is a strength for the work that we can cooperate and exchange expertise across agencies
Under Norwegian law, acts of animal abuse and cruelty carry a maximum three-year jail sentence. Listhaug believes the introduction of the “animal cops” could also benefit the process of tackling crime committed against humans.
“Studies show that some of those people who commit crimes and misdemeanours against animals also do the same to people.
The PF will apply for grants to help get the animal police up and running.