Animal cruelty prevalent in Aussie teens

The study, presented at the The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry conference, showed that around 35% of teenagers surveyed had hurt an animal on purpose.

Around 270 adolescents were included in the study. Half of them had contact with youth justice services.

Sixty-one percent of the community group and 67% of the youth justice group said they had never hurt an animal on purpose. 

Surprisingly, callus-unemotional traits were not predictive of animal cruelty.

Study author Dr Scott Harden, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Children’s Health Queensland said serious animal cruelty, particularly against mammals and pet-type animals, was relatively uncommon.

“There’s some suggestion that the young people who seem to have problems with empathy might be a bit more likely to [be cruel to human-like animals] but our numbers were too