Jail Time And Psychiatric Intervention Demanded For Dogfighters

For Immediate Release:
21 September 2009

Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

Lincoln, Lincolnshire – This morning, the London-based PETA Foundation sent an urgent letter to the district judge of Lincoln Magistrates’ Court calling on him to sentence several dogfighters to the maximum penalty, permanently ban them from owning animals and require them to undergo thorough psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counselling at their own expense. Gary Adamson, Owen Batey, Claire Parker, Kenneth King, Christopher Burgess, Mohammed Farooq and others have pleaded guilty to various charges surrounding what authorities have called one of the largest dogfighting operations in Europe. According to news reports, investigators found rape harnesses and equipment used to train animals for dogfighting, including treadmills and break sticks, at various premises – as well as a blood-stained fighting pit in Parker’s garage at her Kexby, Lincolnshire, home.

“Anyone capable of this kind of violence poses a serious risk to humans and non-humans alike”, says PETA Foundation Charity Manager Suzanne Barnard. “Communities should be deeply concerned when animal abusers are found in their midst. Research in psychology and criminology reveals a consistent pattern of cruelty to animals among perpetrators of violence towards their own species.”

The group enclosed a report that details the strong connection between cruelty to animals and violence towards humans. The American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation uses reports of these crimes in analysing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

History shows that serial rapists and murderers often have backgrounds that include incidents involving cruelty to animals. Child-killers Mary Bell, Robert Thompson and Jon Venable – as well as serial murderers Ian Huntley, Thomas Hamilton (Dunblane massacre), Fred West, Denis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Jeffrey Dahmer – all started out by deliberately harming animals.

PETA’s letter to the Lincoln Magistrates’ Court is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAF.org.uk.