In recent times, India has come across shocking videos that showed how brutally animals, especially dogs, were treated or rather tortured. From being thrashed with sticks to getting tied and dragged by speeding vehicles, and also being raped by humans, the cases of animal cruelty have cast a saddening and concerning picture.
Why are people ill-treating animals and causing them pain? A psychological condition can potentially throw light on the issue.
The American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder — “a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated.” One of the symptoms of the disorder reads: “Aggression to people and animals (bullies, intimidates others, initiates fights, use of weapons, cruelty to others, cruelty to animals, stolen while confronting a victim, raped others).”
Meanwhile, APA explains “zoosadism” as “a paraphilia in which sexual arousal and satisfaction are obtained from torturing a nonhuman animal.” Some research hints at animal abuse to be a syndrome — a group of signs or changes in the body that are typical of an illness — termed “The Animal-Cruelty Syndrome” wherein people harm animals for selfish satisfaction.
The Canadians For Animal Welfare Reform notes that animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people, and states, “There are two kinds of animal cruelty inherent across the spectrum of animal abuse. ACTIVE CRUELTY, which is cruelty inflicted (with deliberate intent to harm an animal creating immediate pain and suffering), and PASSIVE CRUELTY (harm inflicted via willful neglect creating prolonged suffering),”
In Illinois and several other states in the US, new laws mandate that veterinarians notify the police if their suspicions are aroused by the condition of the animals they treat, international media reported back in 2010.
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Published on: Sunday, April 02, 2023, 08:42 PM IST