Young people abusing animals to gain online popularity

Dear Editor,

I have no political affiliations nor do I prefer one specific political party, but I do think one of best things Portuguese voters did was to elect an MP for animal rights party PAN in the latest legislative elections.

I mean this in the sense that Portugal needs a voice for its animals.

The growing number of videos that young people are recording of themselves abusing their pets, many times in a desperate attempt to become popular on Facebook or YouTube, is shocking and an example of how animals need to stop being considered things and be given more rights.

Thankfully, Portugal’s justice minister has supported this point of view.

The truth is that the way the law is now makes animals easy targets of abuse.

2014’s new animal protection law may have tried to make things better, but it’s still a pretty useless piece of paper that fails to seriously punish those who mistreat animals.

Chances are the kids who made these videos will walk away with a light reprimand, and likely won’t learn any lessons.

Surely someone who has thrown their dog off a bridge or dangled their pet from an apartment window – while filming it! – should have to face the consequences of their actions.

While it is already worrying enough to think of all the cases of animal abuse happening behind closed doors, it is even more upsetting when people film the abuse for everyone to see and end up getting away with it.

They say you can judge a man’s character by the way he treats animals. The same saying should go for Portugal as a country. Hopefully something will change soon.

Steve Palmer
By email