Issues Analogous to Circumcision
1. Cruelty in England
| UK court
convicts couple for piercing cat's ear
LONDON, Dec 23 1999 [Reuters] - An English couple
lay within a whisker of gaol terms on Thursday after a court found them
guilty of animal cruelty for giving their cat Tigger the ultimate pet
accessory - a pierced ear.
Bradford Magistrates Court was told the fake diamond stud had left the
cat in a flap. It was due to sentence Simon and Melanie Whittaker later
The couple face a potential maximum six-month gaol term and a £5,000
($US 8,053) fine.
The RSPCA [Royal Society for the Protection of Animals] embraced the
ruling, saying the pair should never be allowed to have pets again.
"We'll be looking for them to be banned from keeping animals ever
again," an RSPCA spokeswoman said. "It was very cruel and unnecessary
and we are happy they have been found guilty.
From the Leeds Evening
December 24, 1999 (p9)
Whittaker  was found guilty of two charges of
animal cruelty - one for piercing Tigger and one for not seeking
veterinary attention. His wife Melanie, 41, was found guilty of not
seeking veterinary attention for the cat.
From the Yorkshire
December 24, 1999 (p4)
Vet Graham Codd, who examined Tigger, said the cat
was in extreme pain. "The ear was swollen and inflamed.
"I have never seen anything like it before. It would have been
Mr Codd said the ear was a very sensitive part, made up of a layer of
cartilage between two layers of skin.
The couple were fined £200 ($US320) and £100
($US160) in February 2000, and forbidden to own any pets for two years.
Simon Whittaker was put on probation and threatened with prison if he
breached its terms.
Bradford has set up a baby circumcision
centre funded by the National Health Service.
2. Dogs may be protected in Western Australia...
February 8, 2000
: Jo Lamm with tail-docked
boxer pups and mother Chloe.
|Labour wants ban
on tail docking
THE State Opposition has
called for major amendments to the Government's new Animal Welfare
Bill, including one which would outlaw the tail docking of dogs except
for medical reasons.
Labour animal welfare spokesman Mark
McGowan said tail docking was cruel and was acceptable only in certain
circumstances, such as injury to the tail.
But Ken Friday, who has bred fox terriors
for 28 years, said tail docking prevented the dog ending up on the
operating table later in life.
"If the tails get damaged they have to
have them removed later on, so we are saving them that trauma."
Puppies were usually docked when they
were only two days old, before nerve sensitivity had developed, he said.
Forty-three working dog breeds had their
tails docked, including old english sheep dogs, terriers and gun dogs.
Mr McGowan also called for changes to the
way the RSPCA operated. He also said an overriding duty of care should
apply to the Bill.
The infant circumcision rate in Western
Australia in 1999 was 6.4%.
3. ... and are in
5, 2000 / 8 Kislev 5761
New law prohibits clipping pets' tails,
MKs [Members of the Knesset or Parliament]
showed yesterday that they are concerned not only about elections, but
about the suffering of animals. The snipping of the body tissue of
such as tails and ears, for beautification purposes was banned by the
Knesset last night, under an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to
The maximum penalty for violation of the law -
which also applies to
veterinarians - is three years' imprisonment.
The law, initiated by MK Zevulun Or-Lev (National
Religious Party) said
owners decide how their pets should look without taking into
the "great suffering" the animals endure in the process. Commonly, he
the tails and ears of pure-bred dogs are cut to achieve success in pet
Voting against the law were three Shinui MKs.
Yossi Paritzky called the law "ridiculous."
The infant circumcision rate in Israel is
close to 100%.
4. Doctor struck off for agreeing to circumcise girls -
claims he agreed to cut boys.
The Independent (London)
20 Dec 2000
GP STRUCK OFF OVER
OFFER TO CIRCUMCISE YOUNG GIRLS
Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
A GP who was caught on film offering to carry out
an illegal circumcision on
an 8-year old girl was struck off the medical register yesterday.
The General Medical Council found Dr Abdul Ahmed
guilty of serious
professional misconduct after he offered to perform the operation for
The GMC dismissed Dr Ahmed's claim that he believed he was discussing
circumcision of boys.
Dr Ahmed, 63, was exposed by an Asian TV
researcher working for Channel 4
programme on female circumcision called 'Cutting the Rose'. The woman
posed as a mother who wanted her daughter circumcised and visited Dr
aat his home in Manchester with a video camera hidden in a handbag.
She explained that in her home country of Somalia it was traditional to
young girls circumcised. On the tape, although initially reluctant, Dr
Ahmed is heard arranging the operation at 4 pm that day, adding: 'This
not free -- you have to pay for it.' He agreed to perform the surgery
other girls at 50 each.
The surgery was never carried out but the taped
meeting was later broadcast.
Dr Ahmed was interviewed by police but said the conversation had been
the circumcision of boys.
Giving the GMC's verdict yesterday, Professor
Denis McDevitt, chairman of
the professional conduct committee, said: 'The committee is appalled by
evidence they have heard of your offer to perform an abhorrent
and illegal operation on female children.
We do not find credible your account given both in the police interview
your evidence today that you believed you were discussing the
The committee, which heard tapes of telephone
calls and watched viseo-tapes
of the meetings, took the rare measure of suspending Dr Ahmed, now a
partner in a GP practice in Stoke Newington, London, from the register
immediately to protect the public. He has 28 days to appeal.
The GP later insisted that part of an audio tape in which he said he
not carry out female circumcision was missing. He maaintained that the
documentary team had tried to trick him, and that on several occasions
had mistakenly referred to girls and daughters when he meant boys and
Female circumcision is illegal in Britain but is still practised in
ethnic minority communities, and carried out in backstreet clinics.
5. Man charged for docking puppies' tails in New Zealand
The Dominion (Wellington, NZ) Oct 11, 2001
Puppy dog tails trial said
to be a legal test case
A MAN who allegedly chopped off the tails of two
puppies with a kitchen knife appeared in Lower Hutt District Court
Arthur Pehi, of Stokes Valley, faced eight charges
relating to ill-treatment, failing to alleviate pain or distress, and
performing surgery without the supervision of a vet in what is believed
to be the first case of its kind.
Defence Lawyer Sue Earl said docking was not
illegal and the outcome of the case could have big implications for
She said 36 million lambs were docked each year,
and if the court found that docking dogs' tails was a "significant
surgical procedure", new legislation might be required.
The Animal Welfare Act 1999 states that all
"significant" surgery should be conducted under veterinary supervision.
"In my submission, Mr Pehi is being used purely as
a guinea pig by the SPCA. They are testing the legislation, which is
ambiguous. A discussion is required on words that are in the statute
which are not defined."
Two charges relating to the sale or attempted sale
of the puppies were withdrawn yesterday.
Judge Richard Watson said Mr Pehi would face a
three-day hearing in the new year.
Outside court, prosecuting lawyer Richard Williams,
representing the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said
that though docking dogs' tails was not illegal, the way in which it
was done might be.
A special code of practice applied to farm animals,
6. Man tried to shape his son's head
Man Charged In Shaping Baby's Head Case
Wanted Head To Be More Like His Own
POSTED: 9:14 a.m. EST November 2, 2001
CLEVELAND -- A man accused of trying to shape his
infant son's head to
look more like his own has been charged with felonious assault.
NewsChannel5 reports that Joshua Brissett, 19,
pleaded innocent to the
charges that stem from using his hands to try to shape his
Roosevelt Worsham suffered a fractured skull. He
has been placed in the
custody of relatives.
Roosevelt's mother, Shiara Worsham, has been
charged with child
endangering, according to Kim Kowalski, a spokeswoman for the Cuyahoga
County prosecutor's office.
Kowalski said that Worsham saw Brissett attempting
to shape the infant's
head and waited three days to take him to the hospital after he became
7. Challenges to other tissue theft
The book "Body
Bazaar" by Lori Andrews and Dorothy Nelkin makes no mention
of the trade in foreskins, but details other cases where tissue was
taken without consent:
"...the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act gives
patients control over what is done with their bodies after they die, so
it seems logical they should have similar control before they die."
"Although the California Supreme Court justices
refused to recognise [John] Moore's property right [in his unusual and
valuable antibodies against a T-cell variant of hairy cell leukaemia],
they did toss him a legal crumb: they gave him the right to sue his
doctor for failure to obtain informed consent and for breach of
"fiduciary duty" - the doctor's responsibility to put the patient's
interest first. A physician, they held, must tell his patient if he has
a personal interest unrelated to the patient's health, whether research
or economic, that might affect his judgement. "A physician who adds his
own research interest to this balance may be tempted to order a
scientifically useful procedure or test that offers marginal, or no,
benefits to the patient," wrote Judge Pancelli for the majority.
[Moore v. Regents of
the University of California,
793 P.2d 479, 51 Cal. 3d 120, 160]
8. Man charged for voluntary castration
on the kitchen table
A TAIWANESE man has been
jailed for up to four years for performing a castration in his kitchen
Suo-Shan Wang, 29, was arrested in June
after a man began haemorrhaging outside his home following a voluntary
Authorities said that after the procedure
the men shared a slice of pie at the same table on which the operation
Wang was conviced on April 4 of
practising medicine without a licence and sentenced to 14 months to
handing down the sentence yesterday, circuit court judge Fred Mester
said such acts "will not be tolerated in this society."
Wang, who is in the United States on a
student visa, told the court he was trying to help people who were
unable to get such services elsewhere, but he regretted his actions.
The man who underwent the castration
wanted to curb his sex drive because he had a sexually transmitted
disease, prosecutors have said.
Wang told police he learnt the skill from
his grandparents. He performed his first surgery on a dog and then on
the dog's owner and three of the owner's friends in Australia,
prosecutors said. - AP
The Dominion Post, Wellington, New Zealand, April
8. Taking blood
The US Supreme court issued a ruling on the scope
of the 4th
Amendments' prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.
133 S.Ct. 1552 (2013)
Tyler G. McNEELY.
involved the non-consensual drawing of blood from an alleged drunk
Justice Sotomayor noted:
The Fourth Amendment provides in relevant part
that "[t]he right of the
people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no
shall issue, but upon probable cause." Our cases have held that a
warrantless search of the person is reasonable only if it falls within
recognized exception. See, e.g., United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218,
224, 94 S.Ct. 467, 38
L.Ed.2d 427 (1973).
That principle applies to the type of search at
this case, which involved a compelled physical intrusion beneath
skin and into his veins to obtain a sample of his blood for use as
in a criminal investigation. Such an invasion of bodily integrity
an individual's "most personal and deep-rooted expectations of
Winston v. Lee, 470 U.S. 753, 760, 105
S.Ct. 1611, 84 L.Ed.2d 662
(1985); see also
Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives' Assn.,
489 U.S. 602, 616, 109
S.Ct. 1402, 103 L.Ed.2d 639 (1989).
"Such an invasion [drawing blood] of bodily integrity implicates an
individual's most personal and deep-rooted expectations of privacy."
only such standards applied to infant males. Perhaps we can use the
language in future litigation as a recognition of "bodily integrity"
part and parcel of the "deep-rooted" expectations of privacy."
10. Animals have better legal protection than baby boys
US Federal law 7 USC 54 sec 2131, 38 years old,
prohibits unnecessarily painful procedures on laboratory animals:
TITLE 7 CHAPTER 54 Sec. 2143.
Sec. 2143. - Standards and certification
process for humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of
The Secretary shall promulgate standards to govern
the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of animals by
dealers, research facilities, and exhibitors. ...
(2) The standards described in paragraph (1) shall
include minimum requirements - ...
In addition to the requirements under paragraph
(2), the standards
described in paragraph (1) shall, with respect to animals in research
facilities, include requirements -
(A) for animal care, treatment, and practices in
to ensure that animal pain and distress are minimized, including
adequate veterinary care with the appropriate use of anesthetic,
tranquilizing drugs, or euthanasia;
(B) that the principal investigator considers
alternatives to any
procedure likely to produce pain to or distress in an experimental
(C) in any practice which could cause pain to
(i) that a doctor of veterinary medicine is
consulted in the planning of
(ii) for the use of tranquilizers, analgesics, and
(iii) for pre-surgical and post-surgical care by
laboratory workers, in accordance with established veterinary medical
and nursing procedures;
(iv) against the use of paralytics without
practice is expressly and unequivocally prohibited. Query: would a
CircumstraintTM qualify as a
'paralytic agent'? At least one lawyer thinks so.]
(v) that the withholding of tranquilizers,
anesthesia, analgesia, or euthanasia when scientifically necessary
shall continue for only the
necessary period of time;
(D) that no animal is used in more than one major
from which it is allowed to recover except in cases of -
(i) scientific necessity; or
(ii) other special circumstances as determined by the Secretary;
(E) that exceptions to such standards may be made only when specified
research protocol and that any such exception shall be detailed and
explained in a report outlined under paragraph (7) and filed with the
11. Mouse tails protected
professor barred from animal testing
By Sharon Pian Chan
Seattle Times staff reporter
After finding repeated violations of
animal-treatment rules, the
University of Washington has suspended professor Chen Dong from animal
testing indefinitely, an unusually severe punishment.
The violations included cutting the tips of mouse
anesthesia, withholding food from mice without university approval and
euthanize mice that were suffering beyond an acceptable level,
according to the university's Institutional Animal Care and Use
In the controversial world of animal testing,
Dong's case reveals the
intense scrutiny university professors face when they experiment on
animals. If a
single mouse goes hungry, the university apparently knows about it.
Animal-rights groups have deemed such experiments
cruel and unnecessary
and have repeatedly campaigned against such research. The People for
Ethical Treatment of Animals, for instance, calls animal
But two months after Dong arrived, the animal-care
staff started sending
reports to the animal-care committee. Some of the cages were bloody,
technicians said, and it looked as though the tips of some mouse tails
been cut off. Another report said that a mouse was constipated.
The university rarely allows tail tipping, but
when it does, researchers
are required to use anesthesia and to control bleeding. The committee
Dong informally about proper animal-research procedures and told him he
could not continue tail tipping without getting committee approval.
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