Humane Education Kits Rushed to Sunderland Schools After Boys Kill Hedgehog

For Immediate Release:

14 November 2019


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


PETA Warns That Behaviour of Animal Abusers Is Likely to Escalate Unless Stopped

Sunderland, Tyne and Wear – After hearing that two boys, aged 11 and 14, pleaded guilty to kicking a hedgehog to death in Sunderland, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is rushing emergency humane education materials to primary schools in the area to prevent future instances of violence. According to reports, the hedgehog was beloved by locals and known fondly as “little man”.

PETA’s educational materials are designed to help children of all ages recognise the importance of compassion and empathy for all living, feeling beings. The group’s letters to the schools also point out that 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 red flags for other kinds of violence. 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’s the severity of the behaviour – not the species of the victim – that matters.

“PETA wants to prevent any further acts of cruelty,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “Instilling empathy in children and teaching them to respect others, whether they’re human or of other species, is vital. The safety of the whole community depends on it.”

Because repeat offences are the rule – not the exception – for animal abusers, PETA warns against a volunteer placement at a wildlife charity, which was proposed as one of the sentencing options. Instead, the group calls for mandatory counselling for both offenders before they’re allowed to come into contact with animals again.

PETA’s letter to the schools is available upon request. For more information about the link between cruelty to animals and violence towards humans – or to order a free humane education pack – please visit