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Published 25 JUNE 2024

Children in impoverished communities are exposed to violence inflicted on animals on a daily basis at cull depots around South Africa where end-of-lay hens are sold to the poor.

In terms of the UNs’ General Comment 26, which came into effect on 18th September, 2023, every member nation is legally obligated to protect its children from violence including the violence inherent in animal abuse.

Extensive research at Teesside University shows how children are harmed by exposure to violence against an animal. The harmful effect caused to a child who witnesses violence, includes a progressive desensitization of the child’s innate capacity for empathy. Desensitization is an automatic defence mechanism which protects the child from the intensity of a sense of revulsion and dismay. With progressive erosion of empathy, the normalisation of violence takes over. Finally, the child takes aggression and the normalisation of violence into adulthood where he/she will perpetuate the cycle of emotional or physical violence against people, animals and property.
Herein in the fundamental motivation for the United Nations new Right of The Child to be protected from exposure to physical and/or psychological violence, be it domestic, societal or inflicted on an animal.


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