Should all wrongful actions towards animals be prohibited?

The necessity of prohibition of abuse and mutilation is obvious, both physically and psychologically, in case of:
docking, breeding of misshapen animals by way of classical breeding methods as well as genetic engineering, neglect, cruelties during animal transport, vivisection, making animals vicious, certain forms of animal entertainment (dancing bears), bestiality, cruel games with animals, unnecessary exposure to life threatening situations ("military").

It will most certainly appeal to the imagination of many to prohibit conditions of factory farming where animals are destined to lead their lives in cramped conditions and where they are deprived of their freedom. Killing animals for pleasure also tends to receive little appreciation among the public. Opinions differ more widely in cases where animals become deprived of their freedom or are less cared for during a relatively short period of time. Examples are the slaughtering of animals or hunting for pleasure but also using animals for entertainment purposes. A legal fishing quota and legal restriction on the number of farm animals to be slaughtered are likely to be considered acceptable options. It is also perfectly defensible to plead for quick and painless methods to kill the animals we intend to eat.

     

Disregarding the welfare of animals for a recreational purpose contradicts the animal's right of freedom. Should this behavior be prohibited or is discouragement a preferable option? Angling differs from hunting in the sense that the act of catching is more important than killing the animal. After the fish has been caught, it can be thrown back to safety again. Although the angler does not intend to harm or kill the animal, using a hook or catching fish in a net should be considered a breach of an animal's integrity.
Pigeon flying is also meant to deprive the birds of their freedom only as short as possible in order to safeguard their well being. It seems that discouragement is a more effective in this case than legal measures to forbid these sports.
Ways of promoting animal welfare in angling are:

  • an end to putting out more fish (which is also a form of substituting their habitat)
  • prohibition of fishing by youths (without adult supervision)

Ways for promoting animal welfare in pigeon flying could be:

  • setting a maximum to the range, frequency and duration of a pigeon's flight from home
  • restrictions on participants' financial maneuverability
 

 

In addition, education at schools and adult education by the government may help effectuate a change in mentality among people in the way they perceive animals.

  • animals have the right to be free
  • do not keep an excessively bred animal
  • do not keep an exotic animal
  • do not keep animals in cages, terrariums or aquariums
  • do not pursue a hobby that involves harming animal interests

In conclusion, it should be noted that there are also undesirable ways of setting animals free. We refer to animals that are set free in surroundings where they cannot sustain themselves without human intervention. This rule more or less applies to animals that have been placed in specially designated areas where they can live naturally, such as Heckrunderen (breed of cattle) conics (breed of horses) and mouflons (breed of sheep). In practical terms it means that these animals should not be neglected in case of extreme weather conditions or in case of disease involving prolonged suffering. On account of the fact than man is responsible of moving these animals to these areas, he should also be responsible for their well being.

Keeping exotic animals in zoos is also considered undesirable if they are not threatened with extinction, in spite of the effort to imitate their natural surroundings.