PEOPLE throughout Victoria are rightly dismayed at the light sentence handed out in the case of the Sunbury man who shot a kangaroo named “Spot” through the head with a crossbow bolt and then left the animal to suffer for two weeks before he could be treated.
The kangaroo was eventually captured by wildlife volunteers and had to be euthanised.
The children from the property where Spot was injured were said by their father to be traumatised and frightened. Meanwhile, the perpetrator has requested the return of his crossbow.
The sentence – three months’ jail – does not in any way reflect the seriousness of this crime.
Psychiatrists list cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion in the standard diagnostic and treatment manual for conduct disorders.
For example, one US study found that animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans.
Another study, in Australia, revealed that 100 per cent of sexual homicide offenders examined had a history of animal cruelty.
Penalties for cases of cruelty and neglect are rarely imposed to the full extent of the law.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act allows for penalties up to two years in prison or $74,000 fines.
Cruelty to animals is a serious crime that must be taken seriously.
If you suspect someone of abusing an animal, report it to authorities right away for the safety of the entire community.
PETA Australia campaigns co-ordinator