The link between exposure to animal cruelty and inter-human violence

Research Institution / Organisation

Middlesex University

In Collaboration With

Northumbria University

Principal Researcher

Dr Angus Nurse

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

September 2017

Research Context

​The proposed research conducts an empirical investigation into the links between exposure to violence toward animals and subsequent human violence. This departs from previous/other research exploring the direct link between commission of violence and subsequent human violence.

The research is funded by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) and undertaken by an independent research team from Middlesex and Northumbria Universities. The main question is “is there a link between exposure to violence against animals and human violence?


This entails exploring the:

  • Links between exposure to hunting/shooting wild animals and human violence 
  • Links between exposure to organised animal fights and human violence 
  • Links between exposure to violent spectacles with animals and human violence.

Research Methodology

​Our study is a mixed-methods study employing a quantitative questionnaire and qualitative focus groups. The first phase is a questionnaire of three participant populations – the general public, non-violent offenders, and violent offenders. The sample for each of these are random. To further unpack the findings from the questionnaire we will then undertake six focus groups with the general public and six focus groups in prisons. The samples will again be random.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

January 2019
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