#7 The Link
Recognise the link between animal cruelty, child abuse and domestic violence as a community concern; a firm commitment by the Government to end all three forms of violence; include animals as “protected persons” under the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
The link between cruelty to animals and child abuse and domestic violence is now well-established in research both overseas and in New Zealand. The “Pets as Pawns” study showed the link in this country between domestic violence and animal cruelty. Animal cruelty should be treated seriously in its own right but should also be recognised as a warning sign of domestic violence. Education about this link should be provided to judges so that they can impose appropriate sentences in animal cruelty cases.