Animals Asia supports ‘The Link’ project to reduce violence against humans and animals

17 September 2020

By Dave Neale, Animal Welfare Director

For over 40 years the correlation between animal abuse and human violence has been rigorously explored.

Research and clinical evidence shows that there are inter-relationships between the abuse of animals, children and vulnerable adults. Animal abusers have been shown to present a high possibility of engaging in abuse of vulnerable adults or children, and where serious animal abuse has occured within a household there may be an increased likelihood that some other form of family violence is also occurring.

The UN committee on the Rights of the Child has also recognised that children suffer ‘harmful effects’ when exposed to violent practices against animals. This was initially in recognition of children witnessing bullfighting and has since been expanded in scale by further research in societies where children are exposed to violent government homeless animal management practices.

Cruel practices against animals have historically, in many cases, been culturally accepted due to the maintenance of traditional beliefs. The implications of children being unable to avoid witnessing sometimes grotesque violence has rarely been previously considered. Not only have these effects now been identified but children in multiple societies are now being encouraged to speak about how seeing these violent practices affects them.

One such practice that is still prevalent in many countries is the killing of homeless animal populations. Children are affected by having to see these acts of violence and The Link calls upon governments to replace these practices with national neutering programs in compliance with World Organisation for Animal Health and International Companion Animal Management coalition guidelines.

For the first time these associations and effects are being explored in the different societies around the world. Initiatives are beginning across Europe, North and South Africa, Australia and Asia, exploring violent traditions and practices which cause associated effects on children.

We live in a world where our humanity is unified and the vulnerable protected by global adherence to ratified treaties and conventions in which state parties can be held accountable for compliance.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has called upon state parties ‘To redouble efforts to change violent traditions and practices that have a detrimental effect on the well-being of children, including the prohibition of children's access to bullfighting shows or related performances.

Animals Asia is collaborating with ‘The Link’ to explore the impact of abusive animal practices on children in Vietnam and intends to take these concerns to the government, and support the Link’s call for state parties to consider the ramifications of violent traditions and practices and to take steps to comply with the UN convention on the rights of the child.

The academic resilience is now assured. The UN Committee has declared the links. The children will speak and the adults MUST react.