Friday, January 21, 2011

PETA Responds To Video Of Dog Killing Rats

PETA has viewed the video of Washington Square Parks' Rat Killer and NYC The Blog spoke to Martin Mersereau, Director, Emergency Response Division at PETA, on the telephone. As reported by Gothamist, Phil Abramson, a New York City Parks Department spokesman, said: "I’m not familiar with any regulations about killing rats." Martin says their most certainly are, and sent a statement to NYC The Blog:
Setting dogs upon rats is depraved, sadistic, and entirely illegal. It constitutes an explicit violation of New York’s anti-cruelty laws...
He explained at least two sections of New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law would apply here. Section 353 prohibits anyone from unjustifiably injuring, maiming, or killing an animal, or causing such an act to be done, or in any way furthering any act of cruelty. "Setting dogs upon rats in Washington Square Park isn’t justifiable in any sense." As well: "Section 351 prohibits fights between any animals. Not only is forcing an animal to fight cruel, it’s also a felony." Lastly, when I mentioned that some have suggested it possible that rats are specifically excluded from these protections, Martin explained: "There are no species-based exemptions (from protection) under New York’s animal-protection laws. Plus the activity in question couldn’t in any sense be considered pest control: the perpetrators are not parks officials, they’re reveling in carnage, and setting a dog upon rats wouldn’t begin to dent the rodent population." Martin encouraged anyone who witnesses such activity, whether rats, squirrels or other animals being attacked, to report it to the ASPCA immediately.

Previously: Caught On Tape: Washington Square Park's Rat Killer, Not To Be Confused With Washington Square Park's Squirrel Killer

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