Emergency Education Packs Rushed To Schools In Wake Of Animal Abuse Cases

For Immediate Release:
13 November 2008

Anna Sargent 020 7357 9229, ext 228; 0792 187 1019 (mobile); [email protected]
Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

West Sussex – Today, the PETA Foundation – a charity committed to ending animal suffering and providing children with tools to make compassionate choices – is sending emergency education materials to schools in West Sussex, free of charge. The mailing comes on the heels of a number of recent cases in which animals – and even children – have been shot with air rifles. In an incident near Chichester, a cat named Timmy was shot with an air rifle at close range. The injury was so severe that vets had to remove Timmy’s eye in order to extract the gun pellet. Other victims have included a canary named George, who was shot and killed in his cage in West Leigh, and a dog named Phoebe, who was shot in Southsea. Disturbingly, a young girl was also shot in the face with a similar weapon in a separate incident in Portsmouth.

The PETA Foundation’s mailing points out that research in criminology and psychology has proved that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals rarely stop there – many go on to harm humans.

History shows us that past incidents involving cruelty to animals regularly appear in the records of serial rapists and murderers. Child-killers Mary Bell, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables and serial murderers Ian Huntley, Thomas Hamilton (Dunblane massacre), Fred West, Denis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Jeffrey Dahmer all started out by deliberately harming animals. It has been alleged that the lover of Baby P’s mother, the baby boy who died from a catalogue of injuries inflicted by his abusive family, tortured guinea pigs and frogs.

“Animal abuse should never be overlooked in children”, explains PETA Founder Ingrid E Newkirk. “Putting a stop to violent tendencies as soon as they become apparent should be a priority and the responsibility of all members of society. After all, the whole of society pays the price when these violent tendencies escalate.”

The educational materials sent by the PETA Foundation are designed to help children of all ages recognise the importance of showing compassion and empathy for all sentient beings.

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