#LoveSpainHateBullfights
OPEN LETTER OF DR. KENNETH SHAPIRO AND OTHER 140
SCIENTISTS AND ACADEMICS FROM 18 COUNTRIES TO
SP...
animal abuse and domestic violence. Those that perpetrate violence towards
animals are more likely to abuse spouses or chi...
Turning directly to bullfighting, it is clear that it shares the major features of
those forms of animal abuse found to be...
Endorsed further by:
Abel A. Alves, PhD
Ball State University
United States
Alan Bowd, PhD
Lakehead University
Canada
Alej...
Bernard E. Rollin, PhD
Colorado State University
United States
Bianca Falbo, PhD
Lafayette College
United States
Carol Tho...
George Jacobs, PhD
James Cook University
Singapore
Hilda Kean, FRHistS, PhD
Ruskin College, Oxford
United Kingdom
Kay Pegg...
R. Matilde Mésavage, PhD
Rollins College
United States
Elisabeth Wallmann, Ph.D. candidate
University of Warwick
United Ki...
Jerald Silverman, D.V.M., PhD
University of Massachusetts Medical School
United States
Jessica Greenebaum, PhD
Central Con...
Leah Burns, PhD
Australian Animal Studies Group
Australia
Linda Kalof, PhD
Michigan State University
United States
Linda R...
Nuria Querol, MD, MSc, BSc
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Spain
Paola Sobbrio, PhD
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore...
Susan E. Lederer, PhD
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
United States
Ted H. Friend, Ph.D., PAS...
Alexandra Horowitz, Ph.D.
Barnard College
United States
Charlett Hobart
Wildlife Research Institute;
Animals Asia
Donald G...
Mia MacDonald
Brighter Green
United States
Petra Pepellashi
Animals and Society Institute, Inc.
United States
Valerie Gran...
Murry J. Cohen, MD
United States
Amanda Cox, MAPS
Australian Psychological Society
Australia
Maggie Rose, PhD
Australia
Ma...
Risa M. Mandell, LCSW
International Forum of Psychoanalytic Education
Kim Fletcher, MSW
Connecting the Dotts Counseling
Un...
Theresa Herrera Allen, PhD
United States
Note: The campaign #LoveSpainHateBullfights has been launched by the
animal prote...
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OPEN LETTER OF DR. KENNETH SHAPIRO AND OTHER 140 SCIENTISTS AND ACADEMICS FROM 18 COUNTRIES TO SPANISH CONGRESS

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OPEN LETTER OF DR. KENNETH SHAPIRO AND OTHER 140 SCIENTISTS AND ACADEMICS FROM 18 COUNTRIES TO SPANISH CONGRESS

This letter raises professional concerns about the link between animal abuse and violence, and especially the desensitising impact viewing bullfights can have on children

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OPEN LETTER OF DR. KENNETH SHAPIRO AND OTHER 140 SCIENTISTS AND ACADEMICS FROM 18 COUNTRIES TO SPANISH CONGRESS

  1. 1. #LoveSpainHateBullfights OPEN LETTER OF DR. KENNETH SHAPIRO AND OTHER 140 SCIENTISTS AND ACADEMICS FROM 18 COUNTRIES TO SPANISH CONGRESS This letter raises professional concerns about the link between animal abuse and violence, and especially the desensitising impact viewing bullfights can have on children Madrid, September 11th, 2013. Distinguished Members of the Congreso de los Diputados, It has come to our attention that the Congress is considering a citizens’ initiative (ILP) that would provide protection to bullfighting by awarding it the status of intangible cultural heritage. Furthermore, articles within the legislation specifically aim to promote bullfighting to children with proposals to open more matador schools across Spain. We respectfully write to you with the hope that you take our comments into consideration when deliberating on this important decision. As research scientists, psychologists, sociologists, criminologists and human-service professionals, we are concerned about the contribution that animal abuse makes to the problems of violence toward humans. A significant body of research demonstrates that animal abuse is closely associated with wife battering, child maltreatment, and other forms of interpersonal violence, all of which society has a substantial interest in preventing. Prudence and precaution would call for legislative action that takes this connection into account. Animal abusers are more likely to be violent towards people and to engage in everyday common crimes. One extensive study (Arluke, et. al., Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1999) showed that animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes such as assault, rape, and murder; four times as likely to commit property crimes; and three times as likely to commit drug- related crimes. Research also shows a particularly strong connection between
  2. 2. animal abuse and domestic violence. Those that perpetrate violence towards animals are more likely to abuse spouses or children. Clearly, violence is violence, irrespective of the victim, and people who resort to violence in dealing with animals are also more likely to do so in their relationships with humans. Whether against an animal or human, these perpetrators use the force and power of violence to dominate and control others. Perhaps less well known is that, in addition to the relationship between the perpetration of animal abuse and interpersonal violence, direct exposure to animal abuse can also lead to future violent behavior towards humans. Recent research shows and it is important to understand that simply witnessing animal abuse perpetuates the cycle of violence – through desensitization and modeling. Particularly younger people who repeatedly witness animal abuse could “learn” to use violence in their personal relationships. In addition, we now know that children who abuse animals are more likely to suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic syndrome disorder – e.g., preoccupation with the events witnessed, often in the form of recurring nightmares and daydreams. Clearly, any strategy to reduce violence should look at improving human/animal relationships as a preventative measure. Not surprisingly, law enforcement and agencies in several countries have adopted policies based on this insight. For example, in several countries child protection services, women shelters and local police departments have begun to interface with veterinarians and others entities involved with animal care, and animal abuse reports are being used as indicators of homes where child abuse or wife beating may be taking place. Given the robust body of evidence linking animal abuse to violence towards humans, many governments have moved to strengthen animal protection legislation and to work to achieve consistency within their legislation and public messaging. Thus, the vast majority of European member states no longer condone cruel practices towards animals as a cultural activity. Indeed, what messages are we sending to children by saying it is fine to gratuitously incite violence towards a defenceless animal for our own pleasure? We have an important responsibility and large part to play in influencing any child’s psychological construction, which includes the setting of values, respect and moral judgement. To condone such an activity under the guise of a cultural practice, when many countries in the world have chosen to ban cruel practices such as bullfighting, can only serve to confuse children. Culture is transient and evolves over time. In most European countries what was accepted as a cultural practice just 100 years ago is very different from what is accepted today. This is echoed through growing public pressure to improve on human and animal welfare conditions globally. The European Union recognises animals as ‘sentient’ beings, and each year improvements are made to existing animal welfare protocols and legislation.
  3. 3. Turning directly to bullfighting, it is clear that it shares the major features of those forms of animal abuse found to be associated with violence to humans. Force, power, dominance, and control are all components of the bullfight. Severity of the harm done to animals is also an important variable in the association. The slow and ritualized injury of bulls, culminating in their death, is comparable to instances of severe or egregious abuse. Training children and juveniles to repeatedly injure and eventually kill an animal, as is done in matador schools1, clearly provides them with the powerful and deleterious experiences of being perpetrator or witness. They either become habituated to violence as a part of living or they suffer the anxiety and depression of those exposed to traumatic events. In fact, such repeated forms of ‘actual’ violence, contravene with Article 19 of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) of the United Nations, which states that “Sates Parties shall take all legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence.”. We are also particularly concerned with the impact on people who witness bullfighting. Juveniles who witness the repeated stabbing and the eventual death of bulls before an enthusiastic audience are impressionable and more apt to learn that it is acceptable to violently assert power and dominance over vulnerable living creatures, whether these are animals or vulnerable people. Although not all people involved in animal abuse are violent towards humans, and many people who perpetrate or witness animal abuse do not become violent towards people, the connection between animal abuse and interpersonal violence cannot be ignored. Animal abuse is a serious societal concern with important significance for human welfare. It is increasingly clear that a world in which animal abuse goes unchecked is also a less safe world for human beings. Responsible legislators would be wise to consider the mounting evidence of an association between these two forms of violence and abuse. In conclusion, in light of the established connection between violence towards animals and violence towards humans, we join as scientists, scholars, and human service professionals from around the world to respectfully urge you not to support any measures that promotes bullfights, especially those related to its promotion towards children and juveniles. Respectfully, Dr. Kenneth Sharpio 1 Note from Platform LTNEC: See video of child killing a calf on a bullfighting school: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0sxSpEXuEE&list=FLO9KJrKQ8NEd5X5RVxH9CIw
  4. 4. Endorsed further by: Abel A. Alves, PhD Ball State University United States Alan Bowd, PhD Lakehead University Canada Alejandro E. Camacho PhD University of California, Irvine Unites States Alma Massaro, PhD Candidate University of Genoa Italy Amy Tournoux, MSW Candidate University of Michigan United States Andrzej Elzanowski, PhD Polish Academy of Sciences Poland Annamaria Rivera, PhD University of Bari Italy Anne Innis Dagg, PhD University of Waterloo Canada Antonia J. Z. Henderson PhD Langara College Canada Arnold Arluke, PhD Northeastern University United States Barbara Beierl, PhD Rivier University United States
  5. 5. Bernard E. Rollin, PhD Colorado State University United States Bianca Falbo, PhD Lafayette College United States Carol Thompson, PhD Texas Christian University United States Carrie Rohman, PhD Lafayette College United States Catherine Perry, PhD University of Notre Dame United States Cathy Comstock, PhD University of Colorado United States David A. H. Wilson, PhD Honorary Research Fellow, University of Leicester Editorial Advisory Board, Anthrozoös United Kingdom Denise Pakeman, MA candidate Museum School of Leicester University United Kingdom Diane P. Michelfelder, PhD Macalester College United States Donald M. Broom, PhD University of Cambridge United Kingdom Anne McBride, PhD University of Southampton United Kingdom
  6. 6. George Jacobs, PhD James Cook University Singapore Hilda Kean, FRHistS, PhD Ruskin College, Oxford United Kingdom Kay Peggs, PhD University of Portsmouth United Kingdom Lynn Turner, PhD Goldsmiths United Kingdom Sandra A. Corr BVMS, CertSAS, DipECVS, FHEA, PhD, MRCVS School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham United Kingdom Simon P. James, PhD Durham University United Kingdom Camilla Pagani, Ph.D. Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the National Research Council Italy Christina Risley-Curtiss, MSSW, Ph.D. University of Denver United States Gala Argent, PhD Eastern Kentucky University United States H. Charles Romesburg, PhD Utah State University United States Lauri L. Hyers, PhD West Chester University United States Martha Few, PhD University of Arizona United States
  7. 7. R. Matilde Mésavage, PhD Rollins College United States Elisabeth Wallmann, Ph.D. candidate University of Warwick United Kingdom Elise Clerkin, PhD Miami University United States Elizabeth Hirsh, PhD University of South Florida United States Ellen Berscheid, PhD University of Minnesota, Fellow: American Academy of Arts & Sciences United States Francine Dolins, PhD Centre College United States Gillian Hewitson, PhD University of Sydney Australia Hanneke J. Nijland, PhD candidate Communication strategies group, Wageningen University Netherlands Hilda Tresz, PhD Phoenix Zoo Mentor, The Jane Goodall Institute United States Jeff Rushen, PhD University of British Columbia Canada Jennifer Manera Eadie, PhD candidate Australian National University Australia
  8. 8. Jerald Silverman, D.V.M., PhD University of Massachusetts Medical School United States Jessica Greenebaum, PhD Central Connecticut State University United States Jill Jepson PhD St. Catherine University United States Jonathan Balcombe, PhD Humane Society University United States Judge Steve Russell, JD Indiana University United States Judy de Groot, PhD United States Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM University of Florida United States Karen Schaefer, PhD New Mexico State University United States Kathie Jenni, PhD University of Redlands United States Kathleen C. Gerbasi, PhD Niagara County Community College United States Kathy Hessler, J.D., LL.M. Lewis & Clark Law School United States
  9. 9. Leah Burns, PhD Australian Animal Studies Group Australia Linda Kalof, PhD Michigan State University United States Linda Riebel, PhD Adjunct Faculty, Saybrook University Board Member, SaveNature.Org Unites States Lisel O'Dwyer, PhD The University of Adelaide Australia Livia Apostol, PhD candidate University of Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca Romania Magdalena Pieszka, PhD Agricultural University Poland Mariko Yamamoto, PhD University of California, Davis Unites States Mary Trachsel, PhD Composition and Rhetoric, University of Iowa United States Michal Piotr Pregowski, PhD Warsaw University of Technology Poland Mike Michael, PhD The University of Sydney Australia Morgan Showler, PhD candidate United States
  10. 10. Nuria Querol, MD, MSc, BSc Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona Spain Paola Sobbrio, PhD Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Italy Annamaria Passantino, DVM, Ph.D. Polo Universitario Annunziata Italy Christoph Winckler, Ph.D. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) Austria Christine Nicol University of Bristol United Kingdom Rainer E. Wiedenmann, PhD Gutenberg-University of Mainz & University of Eichstaett Germany Robert W. Mitchell, PhD Eastern Kentucky University United States Ruth Beatson, PhD La Trobe University Australia Sara Kondrup Copenhagen University Denmark Scott Hurley, PhD Luther College United States Stephanie Madon, PhD Iowa State University United States
  11. 11. Susan E. Lederer, PhD University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health United States Ted H. Friend, Ph.D., PAS, Dpl. ACAABS Dept. of Animal Science Texas A&M University United States Valentina Ferrante MDV PhD in Animal Science Università degli Studi di Milano Italy Vanessa Rohlf, PhD School of Psychology and Psychiatry Australia Victoria L Voith, DVM, PhD, DACVB Western University of Health Sciences United States Wael Khamas, BVM&S, MS, PhD Western University of Health Sciences United States Wendy Lochner, Publisher Columbia University Press United States Xavier Manteca, BVSc, MSc, PhD Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Spain Yvette Watt, PhD Tasmanian College of the Arts , University of Tasmania Australia Scott D. Churchill, PhD University of Dallas United States Melanie Rock, MSW, PhD (Anthropology), RSW University of Calgary Canada
  12. 12. Alexandra Horowitz, Ph.D. Barnard College United States Charlett Hobart Wildlife Research Institute; Animals Asia Donald Garlit, JD, MBA Member, Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan United States Margaretha Backers, RN Melissa Li, MD Providence St Vincent Medical Center United States Carolyn Merino Mullin National Museum of Animals & Society United States Claire Sterling ASPCA United States Donald Cleary Animal Farm Foundation United States John Thompson Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States Kate Turner-Mann World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) Marie Saint-Arnoult Shining Hope Foundation United Kingdom Massimo Terrile Movimento Antispecista Italy
  13. 13. Mia MacDonald Brighter Green United States Petra Pepellashi Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States Valerie Grange Yogi's Ark Animal Sanctuary United States Bee Friedlander, JD Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States Lisa Lunghofer, PhD Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States Jill Howard Church Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States Ann Casper, MA Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States Joel Kanoff Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States Jerry Simonelli, JD Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States Patti Breitman Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States Eric Greene Animals and Society Institute, Inc. United States
  14. 14. Murry J. Cohen, MD United States Amanda Cox, MAPS Australian Psychological Society Australia Maggie Rose, PhD Australia Marion Rollings, PhD United States Elayne Chou, PhD United States Ilene Serlin, PhD Past President, San Francisco Psychological Association United States Lacey Levitt, PhD Meghan W. Cody, PhD United States Michael Schulman, PhD Author, "Bringing Up a Moral Child" (Doubleday Books) Suzanne McAllister, PhD United States Úrsula Aragunde-Kohl, Psy.D. Universidad del Turabo Puerto Rico Carolyn Cyr, M.S., LMHC Unites States Livia Boscardin, M. A., Sociology, PhD Student University of Basel Switzerland Mary Zilney MSW, RSW Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region Canada
  15. 15. Risa M. Mandell, LCSW International Forum of Psychoanalytic Education Kim Fletcher, MSW Connecting the Dotts Counseling United States Elsa Flint MSc, BVSc, MANZCVS ,PhD Gabriel Bustillo Barreda, DVM Shelter Medicine & Spay and Neuter Clinic Katherine van Ekert Onay, DVM President - Sentient, The Veterinary Institute for Animal Ethics Australia Sarah Reagan, CVND, CEqN, HD(RHom) Applied Equine Ecology Consulting Services United States Debra Harris, LCSW United States James Cowan, MD MPH Jim Cowan Consulting LLC and Caxton Films LLC Kathryn Gordon, JD, MSW United States Kim Bartlett, Publisher President of Animal People, Inc. United States Susan Getty, MS United States William Fielding, MA Bahamas Alice McCarthy, MA, MS United States Judith Smith, JD United States
  16. 16. Theresa Herrera Allen, PhD United States Note: The campaign #LoveSpainHateBullfights has been launched by the animal protection organizations CAS International (Holland), Platform La Tortura No Es Cultura (Spain) Humane Society International (UK), League Against Cruel Sports (UK) PETA (UK) and WSPA, trying to stop the proposition of law that aims to safeguard bullfighting in Spain. Find out more here: http://www.latorturanoescultura.org/es/campanas-antitaurinas/campana- lovespainhatebullfisht Contact: Dirk-Jan Verdonk (WSPA, The Netherlands): djverdonk@wspa.nl Marta Esteban (Plataforma La Tortura No Es Cultura, Spain): marta@latorturanoescultura.com

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