PETA Calls For Jail Time And Psychiatric Intervention For Teens Who Killed Fawn

For Immediate Release:
8 January 2010

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

Poole, Dorset – This morning, the London-based PETA Foundation sent an urgent letter to the district judge of Dorset Magistrates’ Court calling on him to sentence two 17-year-old boys to the maximum penalty and require them to undergo full psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counselling. The defendants, who for legal reasons have not been named publicly, were allegedly seen and heard laughing as they beat and stamped on a 2-day-old fawn who had a broken leg. The boys have been found guilty of intentionally killing a wild animal and are scheduled to be sentenced on 14 January.

“Anyone capable of this kind of violence poses a serious risk to humans and non-humans alike”, says PETA Foundation Education Manager 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 people who perpetrate violence against other humans.”

The group enclosed with its letter an American Psychiatric Association report that identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders. In fact, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation uses reports of crimes against animals to analyse the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

Research shows that serial rapists and murderers often have backgrounds that include 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, Denis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Jeffrey Dahmer, all started on their paths to violence by deliberately harming animals.

PETA’s letter to the Dorset Magistrates’ Court is available upon request. For more information, please visit