For Immediate Release:
18 April 2017
Group Hopes to Bring Person(s) Responsible for Appalling Cruelty to Justice
Albury – Three platypus have been found dead in the Albury Botanic Gardens – two of them were decapitated. 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. Humane Society International have also posted a separate reward of $5,000 – meaning a whopping $10,000 is being offered in total.
Because animals cannot report abuse and can do little to fight back, they’re often used as “practice” victims by 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 perpetrator of this crime is at large, other animals – including humans – might also be in danger. A study by Dr John Clarke, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Sydney and consultant to the New South Wales Police Force, demonstrated using police data that 61.5 per cent of convicted animal abuse offenders had also committed an assault and 17 per cent were guilty of sexual abuse. Most disturbingly, cruelty to animals was a better predictor of sexual assault than previous convictions for homicide, arson, or firearms offences. Only 1 per cent of cruelty-to-animals offenders had no other convictions at all.
The world’s most notorious serial killers – including Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Rader, and Albert DeSalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler – have long, documented histories of harming animals. In Australia, murderers such as Paul Denyer, John Travers, and Ivan Milat tortured and killed animals before turning to human victims.
“Animal abusers are cowards”, says PETA Australia Associate Director of Campaigns Ashley Fruno. “We’re appealing to anyone with information on the person or persons responsible for this cruel act to come forward so that the perpetrators can be put where they belong: in jail.”
Cruelty to native animals in New South Wales carries a penalty of up to $11,000 or six months’ imprisonment. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers 02 6023 9299 or the National Parks Information Centre in Tumut on 02 6947 7025.
For more information about cruelty to animals, please visit PETA.org.au.