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Survey: “Violence towards animals high in areas where violence towards humans is prevalent”.

Exposure of domestic animals to the escalating violence and gangsterism on the Cape Flats causes untold trauma to the animals

Cape Town civil society activist Nikki Botha said violence towards animals escalated in areas where there was violence towards humans. She said exposure of domestic animals to the escalating violence and gangsterism on the Cape Flats, and the lack of easily accessible veterinary care means more trauma for them.

Botha explained that violent behaviour towards animals is often used to determine and analyse criminal behaviour. In domestic violence cases, more often than not, violence is perpetrated towards the family pet.

It is worse for animals because they do not understand what is happening, or why animals caught up in violent gang actions suffer just as much as animals in abattoirs,the activist remarked.

A survey done by  Adopt a Pet and The National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders, which included a hands-on interaction with Grade 9 learners at a high school in an area with a high incidence of gangster activity, revealed that most participants had abused or killed animals.

Founder of Adopt a Pet, Cicely Blumberg, said prior to this survey, they had become increasingly aware of the researched and proven link between childhood cruelty to animals and their development when they reached adulthood of perpetrating violence towards the vulnerable in society. She said the success of their programmes surpassed  their expectations when the learners began to trust them and admit to  abusing and killing animals before they became involved in the Adopt a Pet programmes.

Botha said the issue of animal abuse wasn’t recognised enough because animals were seen as objects, and property.According to Botha, we can start eliminating the abuse only if we afford animals the rights they are entitled to, educate the public on these rights, and force the authorities to acknowledge the negative impact of animal cruelty.

More : IOL

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