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Kindness Kits Dispatched To Lewisham Schools After Area Named 'Least Peaceful' Place In UK

For Immediate Release:

14 May 2013

Contact:

Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk

London – Following news that Lewisham has been declared the least peaceful part of the UK, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is sending humane-education materials to primary schools in the area. PETA's materials are designed to help children of all ages recognise the importance of compassion and empathy for all beings. In the wake of the 2013 UK Peace Index, which records rates of murder and violent crime by location and which put Lewisham dead last in terms of safety, PETA advises that acts of violence can be prevented if we teach kindness, compassion and civil engagement to young people.

Experts in mental health and law enforcement consider the callous disregard for life and desensitisation to suffering evidenced by all forms of cruelty to animals to be a red flag. A study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Northeastern University revealed that people who have abused animals are four times more likely to have a record of violent crime. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation uses reports of crimes against animals to analyse the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. Experts agree that it is the severity of the behaviour – not the species of the victim – that matters.

"We know that individuals who show disregard for others are often indiscriminate about whom they harm – adults, children or animals", says PETA spokesperson Kirsty Henderson. "Instilling empathy in Lewisham's children and teaching them to take responsibility for any animals in their care are vital to help prevent the next generation of residents from growing up in the least peaceful part of the country. The safety of the whole community depends on it."

For more information about the link between cruelty to animals and violence towards humans or to order a free education pack, please visit PETA.org.uk.

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