Dog may have been a man’s best friend since time immemorial but that hasn’t really stopped people from subjecting dogs and other assortment of pets and animals to abuse. Animal cruelty intentional or otherwise is a strong indicator of behavioral problems in human beings. With increased exposure to this issue more and more individuals and institutions are coming forward to protest against animal cruelty and to take some strong steps to stop this disturbing activity.
Animal cruelty basically refers to any act of violence, brutality or even neglect directed towards any animals. It includes abuse, use of animals in sports such as animal fights and also where animals are denied the basic necessities of food, water and shelter. This denial of basic requirements is called neglect and it also includes denial of basic care facilities such as veterinary care. This neglect may be because of ignorance on the part of the owner. Intentional animal cruelty occurs when an individual intentionally inflicts physical harm or injury on an animal. PETA, ASPCA are some of the organizations involved in raising awareness against animal cruelty. Individuals who perpetrate animal abuse and their mistreatment can be arrested and held accountable. However the prosecution of individuals indulging in animal cruelty is not always possible. In spite of many organizations actively working against animal cruelty this continues to be a big problem and following animal cruelty facts can only reiterate the importance of the issue:
- Animal cruelty is not seen only in certain areas or in certain economic backgrounds. In general animal cruelty cases can be seen equally in urban as well as rural areas and across all socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Even though the awareness has allowed more cases of cruelty against animals to be highlighted, it could be only a fraction of the total number. This is because many cases simply go unreported.
- Among all the victimized animals, dogs are most subjected to cruelty followed by cats and pit bulls are the most victimized among dogs.
- A large number of households in America own horses. Following the closure of horse slaughter plants in US, reports indicate that horse abuse and neglect cases have not risen. However a large number of horses have been transported to Mexico and Canada for slaughter purposes.
- Animal abuse is rampant in farms and many times the area where the animals are kept in confinement is so small that the animals can barely move.
- Many of the individuals prosecuted for heinous crimes such as murder, atrocities against women and children have had a history of inflicting abuse on animals during their childhood or at some point during their life.
- Many domestic violence cases also indicate that at times the abuser has also indulged in animal cruelty towards the household pets or other animals.
- The most horrific cases of animal cruelty can perhaps be seen in circuses. Many times animals in a circus are trained using physically abusive training methods and other practices of intimidation. Trainers rampantly use whips, chains and sharp objects to beat and poke the animals into submission. The animals are kept chained in unhygienic conditions for long periods of time and do not get medical aid when they are injured. Many countries such as India, Singapore, Sweden and Austria among others have come forward to ban or restrict use of animals and to create and promote animal free circuses. It will take some time to totally eradicate animal cruelty from circuses.
- Estimates indicate that as many as 15 million animals that are warm blooded are used in research laboratories. Scientists believe that around 100 species become extinct every day.
- Another pointing reminder of animal cruelty is that around 18 foxes are killed to make a fur coat and for a mink coat around 55 minks are slaughtered.
- Movies have always had instances of extreme animal cruelty and abuse of animals. The cases of animal cruelty in movies include "Apocalypse now" and "Southern comfort" which were replete with numerous animal abuse and killing scenes.