Animal cruelty is so multifaceted, and most people simply have no concept of the sheer scale of atrocities that are befalling innocent, sentient creatures the world over. Help us to raise awareness by reading and sharing this assortment of shocking facts and figures put together by Pet Food Sherpa.
1. Domestic Violence Often Extends to Pets
As if it’s not bad enough that someone you live with could intentionally harm you, it is approximately 71% more likely that they will also abuse your pets. The pathological disposition for inflicting harm upon others clearly does not discriminate across species. The results of another study indicated that as much as 88% of families under investigation for child abuse were also abusing the animals in their home.
2. There are 5,000 - 6,000 Tigers Living in Captivity in China
Big Cat Farming is on the rise in Asia, as the demand for traditional medical remedies that include wild animal products increases. These beautiful creatures suffer extreme physical and mental distress - kept in cramped conditions in factory-like farms, as they are reared solely for their bones and any other body parts that are deemed to contain medically beneficial components.
3. Even Good Intentions Can Lead to Animal Cruelty
The behaviour of hoarding is typically born of mental illness and according to research, animal hoarding is most common in women over 60. They often genuinely believe that they are acting in the best interests of the animals by saving them and providing food and shelter. Unfortunately, the sheer number of animals kept, combined with the individuals’ inability to adequately care for them, leads to conditions of squalor and acute distress for the creatures they are trying in vain to ‘love’.
4. As many as 100 Million Sharks are Being Killed Each Year
According to the latest research, as many as a staggering 100 million sharks are culled each year - and often purely to use their fins to make a popular $200-a-bowl Asian soup. Worse still, these sharks are often handled so inhumanely that, after their fin is sliced off, they are thrown back into the ocean - no longer able to swim, they sink to the bottom and slowly die.
5. Up to 96% of a Circus Animal’s Life is Spent in a Cage
In the pursuit to entertain and profit, many Circuses will subject their animals to cramped cages, often travelling for days under these excruciating circumstances with no climate control, no socialisation - only to be let out to train and entertain under the duress of prodding and whipping or worse.
6. Over 115 MILLION Animals are used in Laboratory Testing Every Year
Whilst precise numbers are hard to come by, it is estimated that over 115 million animals are robbed of their sentient right to a natural life lived and are instead subjected to laboratory testing and death in captivity each and every year. Some of the most common species used include mice, rats, rabbits, cats, dogs, guinea pigs and monkeys.
7. Millions of Cats and Dogs are Killed Each Year for the Faux-Fur Trade
According to a Vice President of the Humane Society, an estimated 2 million dogs and cats are killed each year for their coats. Skinned and discarded, many of these animals are captured strays and their coats are used to create fake fur products that are often falsely labelled as something exotic like ‘Asian Wolf’ or ‘Mountain Cat’.
8. Healthy Surplus Animals are regularly ‘Management-Euthanized’ at Zoos Worldwide
It has been reported that the Executive Director of EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) has estimated that as many as 3-5,000 healthy zoo animals are euthanized annually in Europe alone. And, whilst this figure reflects animals from all species large and small, this number includes hundreds of larger animals such as giraffes, hippos, bears and big cats.
9. Thousands of Healthy Greyhounds are Killed Each Year for Being Too Slow
The Greyhound Racing Industry has admitted to killing as many as 17,000 greyhounds (including pups) each year, simply because they are ‘too slow to win’. However, the sad fact is that this may be a blessing to the poor lives lost, as the alternative is often a life of abusive living conditions and appalling physical pressure that leaves them severely injured.
10. Most Sloths used for Tourism Entertainment Die within 6 Months of Capture
Sadly, as the desire for that all-important ‘wildlife selfie’ increases, so too does the exploitation and suffering for the animals we pose with. According to World Animal Protection, research suggests that the MAJORITY of sloth in tourism-based captivity die within 6 months of being captured - it seems that these quiet, sleepy creatures are simply not built to withstand the noise and overwhelm of the industries they are forced into.
11. Cat and Dog Euthanasia Rates are Dropping
Let’s end on a positive note - thanks to the rise of the pet-rescue culture and, quite possibly the trend of delaying starting a family and instead opting for ‘fur babies’, the number of dogs and cats euthanized is declining significantly. In the US, 5 million animals never find their way into permanent homes and are put to sleep each year. The good news is, RSPCA Australian shelters have seen as much as 33% less dog and cat euthanasia since 2000. So, spread the good word and get adopting!