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Cow butchered alive

Dear Editor,

People in Darwin and throughout the country are rightly dismayed at the light sentence handed out this week in the case of the man who cut the leg and backstrap (loin) from a living cow. The cow was stunned with the blunt end of an axe, but regained consciousness, in extreme agony. The offender was part of a group who came back later, after the cow had been killed, shouting "we want meat!" The man was given neither a fine nor a conviction, but was sentenced to 150 days community service.

Under the N.T. Animal Welfare Act, offences can result in fines of $13,700 but penalties for cases of cruelty to animals are rarely imposed to the full extent of the law.  In this case, pastoralists told police they had "never seen an animal in such distress", and had to shoot the cow.

Numerous studies show that people who harm other animals often move on to harm their fellow humans. For example, one U.S. study found that animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans. Another study in Australia revealed that 100 percent of sexual homicide offenders examined had a history of animal cruelty. It’s time that this country started to treat cases of cruelty to animals as the serious crimes that they are, because the whole of society is at risk when we don’t. If you suspect someone of abusing an animal, report it to authorities right away for the safety of animals and humans alike.

Mimi Bekhechi
Campaigns Strategist
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Australia)
PO Box 20308 World Square
Sydney, NSW, 2002.
(08) 8556-5828