PESTS ON TRIAL - HEREFORD PEST CONTROL ADVICE
GOT A COMPLAINT ABOUT PESTS?
THINKING OF TAKING YOUR PESTS TO COURT?
IF YOU LIVED IN THE MIDDLE AGES YOU COULD!
DID YOU KNOW THAT, IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE, PESTS WERE TRIED IN A COURT OF LAW?
AS IT’S 2019, YOU’LL HAVE TO CALL IN PGM & SON PEST CONTROL HEREFORD TO DEAL WITH YOUR PESTS INSTEAD!!
This week we’re bringing you the fascinating fact that Medieval Europeans tried animals, including pests, in a court of law. Inspired by the Courtyard’s Youth Theatre, we thought we’d share some facts and stories with you.
In Europe, in the Middle Ages, it was common to bring animals and pests to court and have them tried for crimes such as destroying crops and they could face sentences such as gruesome mutilation to excommunication. WOW! that’s seriously unjust isn’t it?!
Larger animals were tried for serious offences such as murder and were usually executed or exiled. Smaller pests were often excommunicated or denounced by a church tribunal. Because pests were considered to be God’s creatures an instruction from the church lessened the guilt of having the pests exterminated.
SOME INTERESTING HISTORICAL CASES:-
In the 1480s the Cardinal Bishop of Autun in France ruled against slugs which had ruined estate grounds under his jurisdiction. He ordered three days of daily processions where slugs were told to leave the area or be cursed, which gave the go ahead for extermination.
And larger animals were often brought to stand trial where the sentences were severe.
In 1508, the town of Autun decided they’d had enough of rats eating their crops and brought the case to trial: The Township of Autun versus Johns and Janes Doe, also known as rats or “les rats”. The charge? The said rats ate or destroyed the barley crop of local farmers.
On the first day of the trial, the rats failed to appear!
The rats’ legal aid lawyer (I know, it’s quite unbelievable!) pointed out to the court that the summons was invalid as his clients were not pack animals and tended to live alone and that each one of his clients had to be served an individual summons. Summons were posted in the churches in all neighbouring towns, but the rats failed to appear at the second citation and so were in contempt of court again.
The rats’ lawyer argued that the route to court was unsafe for his clients as it was fraught with danger being frequented by cats, dogs and people.
The rule of law (as today for human defendants) was that if the accused cannot be assured of personal safety in attending court to answer the charges then they may be excused. There’s no recorded outcome of the case but it is widely thought that the rats must have been acquitted. In modern times, most criminal justice systems consider that non-human creatures do not have the ability to make moral judgments and so cannot be held culpable for an act. Rather sensible, don’t you think?
We think the sentences for those pests were rather harsh when they are simply doing what comes naturally to them.
At PGM Pest Control Hereford, we never advocate extermination for the sake of it. We always try to look for alternative methods to eradication and, we actively encourage humans to live with pests where at all possible. We spend a lot of time educating the public about the benefits of pests. Please read our blogs as your pest issue might be less problematic than you first think.
So, if you have a pest control problem don’t invest in an expensive lawyer, give
PGM & Son Pest Control Hereford a call on 01981 241334 or 07964 370480
or visit our website at www.pgmpestcontrol.co.uk
for advice and a free no-obligation quote.
We’ll help solve your pest problems without a costly court battle!