Exploration of Impact of Uncontrolled Numbers ofFree Roaming Animals in Eastern Europeon the Human and Societal DomainsResearch Program Conducted By Malcolm PlantAs Initial Investigative PhD Study at University of Teesside, UK.Supervised by Professor Paul van Schaik, Professor Anna van Wersch and Professor Giorgious Antonopoulos(School of Social Sciences and Law, University of Teesside, UK)With External Expert Support From Professor Philip Tedeschi, Executive Director,Institute for Human Animal Connection, University of Denver, USAPilot study conducted in Bistrita, Romania and Berlin, Germany 2012-2013
- Animal abuse connects directly with children's psychological health and on societal security in those environments where strategic controls are not applied.
- Animal welfare laws exist but are rarely reinforced. This furnishes licence for animal abuse without repercussions. This provides the potential to increase violence and abuse against person and property within these societies.
- An estimated 3,000,000 ‘western categorised‘ companion animals live on the streets of Romania alone.
- 86% of children in the investigative 14-16 year old age group in Bistrita, Romania, had seen animal abuse in public. The equivalent figure in Berlin, Germany was 34%
- 10% of children in Bistrita admitted to abusing animals, this correlated with serious psychological issues including abuse and violence against persons and property, significantly reduced empathic responses and an increased inclination towards suicide.
- Such syndromes are symptomatic of abuse experiences. 2% identify having experienced animal abuse at home but other studies indicate significantly higher levels of domestic abuse. This would indicate a source of learned aggression, practised on the availability of ‘devalued‘ street animals and potentially serving as a facility to increase abuse against property and persons.
- A threefold holistic approach is suggested to be explored to effect change.
- a) A central contact Helpline number, controlled by volunteers with immediate access to legal advice. Utilising existing animal welfare laws, prosecutions would define new boundaries of socially acceptable behaviour and create ‘case law‘. Currently enforcement of animal welfare laws are elusive.
- b) Education program, focusing on a 3-year ‘stratum’ of 14-16 year old constituting the new society.
- c) Neutering program to humanely reduce the number of animals living on the streets.
- Psychometric measure to be taken to evaluate children's psychological profiles ‘before‘ interventions are introduced with ‘exit‘ measures taken to evaluate efficacy of the interventions.
- It is hypothesised that such a program would realise significant positive change to children's psychological health, diminishment of aggression against animals and people and provide tandem positive societal benefits.
PROJECT PARTNERS (in alphabetical order)
Phil Arkow, Coordinator, National Link Coalition, Instructor, Animal-Assisted Therapy, Harcum College & Camden County College Consultant, ASPCA & Animals and Society Institute Chair, Animal Abuse and Family Violence Prevention Project, The Latham Foundation, USADr Carmen Arsene, Federatia Nationala pentru Protectia Animalelor (FNPA), ROAsociatii pentru protectia animalelor Animaterra Bistrita, Gabriela Malinas, RO Diane Balkin, President, International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association, USAPia Berrend, founder and campaign manager at Occupy for Animals, LUXDr Sarah M Bexell, Director of Conservation Education, Chengdu Research Base, CHINAAssociate Professor Barbara Boat, Director, The Childhood Trust, Cincinatti, Children's Medical Centre, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, USACarmen Dodi, Tantava, ROAssociate Professor Eleonora Gullone-Parhar, PhD, FAPS, Adjunct Associate Professor School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Monash University, AU (Australia) M. Mag. Tomasz Jaeschke (Tom, the Animalpastor), Catholic Priest, Educator, Mediator, Human-Animal Chaplain, AU (EU)Thomas Janak, reporter and presenter at WILD TIME RADIO (UK)Nancy Janes, ASNI (Animal Spay Neuter International) & Romania Animal Rescue (RAR), USAKarina Karanjotovo, News Reporter at BNT2 Bulgarian National Television and strong supporter of animal rights who has produced documentaries and interviews advocating awareness in Bulgaria (BG)Louise du Toit, award-winning musician, singer, composer, arranger, lyricist, writer, actress and painter, GRThe Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, UKNational Link Coalition, USANathalie Norden, Project Manager, VOOV - Veterinary Care For The Abused, SEDr Rita Pal, independent Medical Journalist, former Psychiatrist and NHS Whistleblower, Editor of 'World Medical Times'Malcolm Plant, Bulgaria Animal Helpline, GBJulia Plugge, editor and publisher at Million Actions for Animal Rights, GERNuria Querol Vinas, GEVHA Grupo para el Estudio de la Violencia Hacia Humanos y Animales(Group for the Study of Violence to Humans and Animals), SPKatya Simeonova, PhD, Associate Professor of the University of Veliko Tarnovo, BG Robert Smith, FPCC/SOS Dogs Oradea, UKSociety for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (SPCA International), USADr Aurelian Stefan, Family Vet Clinic, Craiova, ROProfessor Philip Tedeschi, Executive Director, Institute for Human Animal Connection, University of Denver, USAVinovatii fara vina, Cristian Tetcu, Alina Oros, ROWorldwide Veterinary Services, UK
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