Politics & Policy

PETA’s Complaint of ‘Verbal Abuse’ Against Sheep Was Actually Investigated

#WarOnWool
The victims have still not weighed in.

Representatives from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals went undercover to get footage of a sheep farmer using curse words in front of a flock at Boorungie Station in Australia — then used it to file a complaint claiming the behavior constituted  abuse.

“The allegation was that bad language was used by an employee on the property in front of the sheep, and that they could have been offended by the use of bad language,” station operator Ken Turner said, according to Australia’s ABC.

The complaint, filed with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in September (an animal-rescue group), has since been dropped — but not before the organization actually investigated it, because apparently it’s possible for people to actually consider this something worth an investigation.

‘The allegation was that bad language was used by an employee on the property in front of the sheep, and that they could have been offended . . .’

Even worse: The CEO of the New South Wales branch of the RSPCA, Steve Coleman, said that the reason the complaint was dropped was because they “felt the footage was inadmissible” and so it would just be “one person’s word against another.” (In other words, not because it was totally ridiculous, but because there wasn’t enough evidence.)

Although Coleman said that the “verbal abuse” allegation was not the only reason the group investigated the station (PETA insisted to ABC that they would not have complained had it been the only issue) he did acknowledge that it was definitely one of them. And this “verbal abuse” issue specifically — as outlandish as it may seem — has still not been dropped.

In fact, ABC reports that just last week — nearly a year after the original complaint — it was a “topic of some debate” at a Pastoralist’s Association meeting.

#related#To Coleman’s credit, he did tell ABC the following: “I don’t know if it matters what language is used. An animal is not going to understand it.” If you replace his “I don’t know if it matters” with “It obviously does not at all matter,” in fact, it seems that this would be the only possible point of view.

But it wasn’t. According to ABC, Nicolah Donovan, president of Lawyers for Animals, said “it is conceivable that verbal abuse of an extreme nature against an animal, whether it be human, sheep or otherwise, could constitute an act of violence,” (Conceivable how?) Lynda Stoner, CEO of a local animal-rights association, said even using the wrong tone of voice could hurt the animals.

“What they will be getting though is the threat inherent in the way that voice is used,” she said.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.  

Most Popular

White House

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page ... Read More
Law & the Courts

DACA’s Day in Court

When President Obama unilaterally changed immigration policy after repeatedly and correctly insisting that he lacked the constitutional power to do it, he said that congressional inaction had forced his hand. In the case of his first major unilateral move — “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which ... Read More
Books

A Preposterous Review

A   Georgetown University professor named Charles King has reviewed my new book The Case for Nationalism for Foreign Affairs, and his review is a train wreck. It is worth dwelling on, not only because the review contains most of the lines of attack against my book, but because it is extraordinarily shoddy and ... Read More
White House

Nikki Haley Has a Point

Nikki Haley isn’t a Deep Stater. She’s not a saboteur. She wouldn’t undermine the duly elected president, no siree! That’s the message that comes along with Haley’s new memoir With All Due Respect. In that book, she gives the politician’s review of her career so far, shares some details about her ... Read More