Was anyone surprised to learn that one of the people who killed the two young police officers and the neighbour in Wieambilla was well known for appalling acts of cruelty to animals?
Residents of the town of Camooweal near the Queensland/NT border border reported (news.com.au) that Gareth Train would hunt pigs with knives at the local swimming hole, and the kids would ‘hear the boars screaming as he gutted them.’ He would butcher the pigs in his backyard, which backed onto the school, leaving the blood and offal to run onto the school footy field.
Hunters who kill for the fun of watching sentient animals suffer and die are a danger to society. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals often go on to commit violent acts against their fellow humans.
The International Handbook of Animal Abuse and Cruelty states that ‘individuals with a history of animal cruelty were highly likely to be involved in other types of criminal behaviours including, but not limited to, assault, domestic violence and stealing.’
Tolerating acts of violence towards animals is a danger to all of society, and they should be seen and treated with the seriousness they deserve. Not doing so poses a danger to humans and non-humans alike.