Raoul Moat – Our Billboard Is Taken Down
Raoul Moat shot his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and police officer David Rathband and shot and killed his ex-girlfriend’s new partner, Chris Brown. Later came the allegations that Moat had abused animals. According to news stories, he once battered a dog and left the dog for two days to die. Reportedly, as a child, he killed a friend’s cat by throwing the cat off a banister and then slamming the cat down and breaking the cat’s back.
Hearing this, PETA decided to place an advert in Newcastle, close to where Moat lived, exposing the link between cruelty to animals and violence to humans. The ad, featuring an image of a dog, read, “Raoul Moat: Animal Abuser & Murderer. Animal Abusers Rarely Stop There”, and encouraged the public to report cruelty to animals immediately. Because of a few complaints from Moat’s “fans”, the ad was taken down within hours.
Some people have asked why we place such billboards. Aren’t people mourning? Aren’t the billboards offensive? Well, ask people you know if they are aware that Stephen Barker (one of the people responsible for the death of Baby P) used to torture guinea pigs and frogs or that Ian Huntley (who killed two 10-year-old schoolgirls in 2002) once strangled his dog in front of his friends. Ask them if they’d heard that Thomas Hamilton (guilty of the death of 16 children and a teacher in the Dunblane massacre) spent his youth squashing rabbits’ heads beneath the wheels of his car. You may be surprised how many people don’t have a clue.
These billboards draw attention to a horrifying issue, and by so doing, they could prevent the next death from happening by alerting people to the fact that many of those who are blisteringly violent to their fellow humans have a history of cruelty to animals. It seems to me that it would be offensive to sit around and do nothing and allow another human or animal to suffer if there’s a chance we could stop the violence.
At PETA, we abhor any violence to living beings. That’s why we hope society will learn from cases like Raoul Moat and prevent history from repeating itself. Please report any cruelty you hear about – you could stop a future horror in its tracks.