PETA Asks Judge To Keep Teen Who Cooked Live Hamster In Microwave Away From Animals Permanently

For Immediate Release:
29 January 2010

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

Kettering, Northamptonshire – The London-based PETA Foundation has sent an urgent letter to the district judge of Kettering Magistrates Court asking him to take every measure necessary to ensure that a 16-year-old boy who cooked a live hamster in a microwave be permanently prohibited from contact with animals and that any animals in his possession be taken into protective custody. In the letter, the PETA Foundation also asks that the teenager be monitored and undergo mandatory long-term counselling. The defendant, who for legal reasons has not been named, has admitted that he caused unnecessary suffering to his brother’s hamster, whom he cooked in a microwave oven. The animal, whose hind leg was burned to the bone, had to be euthanised.

“Acts of violence against animals should never be ignored”, says the PETA Foundation’s education manager, Suzanne Barnard. “People should be deeply concerned when animal abusers are found in their midst, and communities must take strong protective measures.”

Research in psychology and criminology reveals that a consistent pattern of cruelty to animals often precedes violent crimes against humans. With its letter to the district judge, the PETA Foundation enclosed an American Psychiatric Association report that identifies mistreatment of animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders. The group also notes that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation uses reports of crimes against animals to analyse the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

Many, if not all, well-known serial rapists and murderers have a history of cruelty to animals. Child-killers Mary Bell, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables as well as serial murderers Ian Huntley, Thomas Hamilton, Fred West, Dennis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Jeffrey Dahmer all started on their paths to violence by deliberately harming animals.

PETA’s letter to the district judge of Kettering Magistrates Court is available upon request. For more information, please visit