Saturday, July 30, 2005

New laws are not the answer

In Yesterday's House Points I wrote about government's desperation to seen to be doing something after a tragedy. Hence all the talk of new laws against terrorism.

The same condition afflicts other bodies too. A few days ago there was a report in the Guardian saying that:
A rise of more than 70% in cases of animal neglect have been encountered by the RSPCA, which said today that the "truly shocking" figures showed a new animal welfare bill was urgently needed.
Such shock rises generally have more to do with the way statistics are collected or the enthusiasm with which they are sought than with any objective increase in what is being measured.

But even if there has been a rise, why would it show the need for new animal welfare laws? Why wouldn't it show a need for the existing laws to be enforced?

If you pass new laws and do nothing else, then the number of offences is bound to go up not down. Which, of course, will prove the need for further legislation.

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