PETA Demands Maximum Punishment For Pair Of Confessed Dogfighters

For Immediate Release:
24 November 2009

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

Blackburn, Lancashire – PETA has sent an urgent letter to Blackburn Magistrates’ Court urging justices to sentence two men who have pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges to the maximum penalties allowed by law. Aftab Razzaq of Whalley New Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to causing an animal fight to take place on 8 September 2008 and causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier, and Ussman Hussain of St James Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to taking part in a dogfight. The two men are scheduled to be sentenced on 27 November. PETA is also asking that Razzaq and Hussain – in addition to serving the maximum period of imprisonment recommended in the Magistrates’ Court sentencing guidelines – be required to undergo thorough psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counselling at their own expense. The group is also asking that the two men be barred from owning animals and that any animals still in their care be seized.

“Anyone capable of this kind of violence poses a serious risk to humans and non-humans alike”, says PETA’s 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 humans.”

PETA also sent the court a report that details the 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 Blackburn Magistrates’ Court is available upon request. For more information, please visit