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Animals must be protected as well

Readers' letters | Published:

Like everyone else, I was appalled to read of the (Shropshire Star, May 4).

Christopher Bound

I am glad that both neighbours and the police were able to intervene and bring him to justice, even though too late to save the defenceless little animal.

This case, just one among thousands every year, reinforces the need for an animal cruelty register on which such offenders should be listed – similar to the child abuse register.

Not because I am drawing a straight equivalence between beating or killing someone’s pet and abusing someone else’s child (though both victims deserve our full protection and compassion).

But because research on violent offenders repeatedly highlights a dreadful, crucial link.

Those convicted of such crimes have very often ‘practised’ on animals first, not necessarily consciously but because cruelty further brutalises perpetrators making the next step all too easy, possibly more enjoyable.

If we want to prevent any future violence against people, we must also intervene decisively in all cases of animal cruelty, not dismiss these also innocent victims as being ‘only’ animals.

Too often they are just a starting point.

Rosie Wood, Bishop’s Castle

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