Animal cruelty targeted in state

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas. Publicado en News in English.

Animal cruelty targeted in state

31jan05

A PROGRAM for southern schoolchildren would aim to cut cases of animal cruelty.

News of the program coincides with a spate of recent attacks on cats and kittens interstate.

The cases have prompted the Australian Veterinary Association to repeat a call for a national summit on animal abuse.

The school program would be run by the Tasmanian Canine Defence League and would be conducted at the Dogs' Home in Risdon Vale.

Education officer Anne Boxhall said children who harmed animals were more likely as adults to become violent towards people.

 

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Studies have indicated people who were cruel to animals were also likely to commit assault (including sexual), arson, vandalism and theft.

"By teaching children how to care for their canine companions, children come to understand more about empathy, patience, and commitment," Ms Boxhall said.

"When these skills become part of a child's repertoire, he or she is better equipped to relate positively to people as well as animals."

She said the league could also provide information to parents who were concerned their children may be harming animals.

Ms Boxhall said parents could model respect for animals in everyday situations, with teaching by example a powerful way of developing responsibility and and humane attitudes in children.

If parents suspected their child had deliberately harmed an animal it was important to keep communication lines open by talking to the child, the child's friends, teachers, family counsellor or school guidance officer.

"Getting to the cause of the cruelty incident is important. The more parents can find out about their child's activities, the more they can monitor what is really going on," she said.

Reporting of animal abuse to police was important.

Adelaide police yesterday were investigating reports of a cat being dragged behind a car for up to an hour.

The incident follows many cases of extreme cruelty in NSW and Victoria.

They included one case where a kitten was doused in petrol and set alight and another where a cat was stomped on, kicked and punched.

  • Tasmania's Animal Welfare Act is up for periodic review this year and Primary Industries and Water Minister Steve Kons said public input would be welcomed.

    He said the State Government would be happy to discuss calls for animal welfare legislation to follow a national model.

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