Group Hopes to Bring Person or Persons Responsible for Appalling Cruelty to Justice

For Immediate Release:

27 November 2014

Brisbane – A pelican was deliberately shot with an arrow on the Atherton Tableland this week. The bird was spotted on Tuesday in Lake Tinaroo with an arrow in the side, but rescuers were unable to capture the animal for treatment. An RSPCA Queensland spokesperson says that there has been an increase in the number of animals shot with arrows across Queensland over the past year. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia is offering up to $5,000 as a reward for information leading to the identification and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this horrific crime.

Because animals cannot report their own abuse and can do little to fight back, they are the perfect “practice” victims for those who tend towards violence.

Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals often go on to commit violent acts against their fellow humans. As long as the perpetrators of this crime are at large, other animals – including humans – might also be in danger. History shows that serial rapists and murderers often have histories of past incidents involving cruelty to animals. Young killers Mary Bell, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables; John Travers (the ringleader of the gang that raped and killed Anita Cobby) and serial murderers Fred West, Dennis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Jeffrey Dahmer all started out by deliberately harming animals.

“Animal abusers are cowards”, says PETA Australia Director of Campaigns Jason Baker. “We’re appealing to anyone with information about the person or persons responsible for this cruel act to come forward so that the perpetrators can be punished to the full extent of the law.”

Cruelty to animals carries a penalty of up to $220,000 or three years’ imprisonment under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, while the offence of serious cruelty to animals carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment under the criminal code. Further penalties may apply under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the RSPCA cruelty line on 1300 264 625.

For more information about cruelty to animals, please visit