When Wild Beasts Attack
The life of a councillor is dangerous and fraught with peril. This seems even truer in Cornwall where dangerous beasts roam the countryside and people even keep them as pets. On a recent inspection tour, a councillor was so frightened by attacking creatures she didn’t even dare to enter the premises.
Imagine being forced to approach the front door of a private property while being assailed from all sides by barking, roaring, ravening animals. Worse, these dangerous animals are inadequately fenced in; there are no meter high enclosures, no walls, and no moats to keep the animals from tearing out your heart and throat in seconds.
Quavering with fright, the councillor bravely informed the owner of the animals that her property in future would be classified as a zoo. This will mean that wire fencing will have to go up to several meters, vet visits become a regular feature, and disposal of the mountains of waste must be done by a private company. Add these costs to the permit fee currently asked from a zoo, and you easily arrive at a figure of £1,000 a week.
The owner on the other hand calls her menagerie a pet sanctuary. As an indomitable spirit she daily braves horrendous injury just to feed the beasts. Taking her life into her hands, she looks after their hurt and injuries without recourse to sedation of anaesthetics. Risking life and limb for her animals, she now takes on the council to repeal the decision.
The ravenous beasts, by the way, that frightened away the councillor with their wild pursuit are tortoises. In the indefinite wisdom inherent in all government agencies, the closing down of a pet sanctuary specialised on abandoned pets is typical. Claiming they didn’t close it down from the councillors will avail little; no private person is able to afford the $1,000 a week.
Obviously, the council prefers that tortoises should be abandoned in the wild where they will upset local ecology. The next step after that will be the usual whining about enormous costs because measures have to be taken to find, trap, and house the foreign intruders. But whining is what councils do best apart from making stupid decisions and cashing in tax money they don’t earn.
The reasoning behind the councillor’s decision is as bright as councillors can get. Pets are dogs and cats. Maybe some other animal that can be domesticated could possibly qualify, too (horse owners and farmers beware). Definitely, only animals that have traditionally been kept as pets will qualify.
If I remember correctly, George the Tortoise on St. Helena was already a pet long before Napoleon went there for a holiday. Bringing the date of ‘traditional’ back into the 1600, there were definitely no councils. To get back to tradition, it is high time we got rid of expensive, stupid, and superfluous councils. This would be in keeping with the council’s idea of traditional, I suppose.