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Abusing pets is now illegal in Scotland under the new Domestic Abuse Act. Under the new law, partners who abuse or threaten to abuse pets will be breaking the law, as the act redefines what constitutes domestic abuse.
As a result, coercive and abusive control is now illegal and the act covers different types of abusive behaviour including that towards pets.
This comes after statistics gathered by the National Link Coalition in the US found that animal abuse is a major flag in terms of those who could later go on to commit more severe forms of domestic abuse.
The figures revealed 71 per cent of women who'd experienced abuse in the US reported their pets had been harmed, killed or threatened to control or intimidate them.
Now, this will be illegal in Scotland, which means anyone who threatens their partner's pets will be considered to be abusing them under the Domestic Abuse Act.
But what constitutes abuse? Well, the act defines coercive and abusive behaviour as being "likely to cause the person to suffer physical or psychological harm."
This huge change in the law now means that any actions which make a person feel subordinate to the abuser, isolates them from family and friends, controls or monitors their activities and whereabouts, restricts their freedom, humiliates, degrades or punishes the victim, all amounts to abuse.
Detective Superintendent Gordon McCreadie for Scotland Police told the Scotsman: "Behaviour can be directed towards property (including pets) and can include intentionally failing to do something or intentionally failing to communicate something."
This can include not feeding pet animals or even telling a partner their pet is somewhere else, ie the vets or a friend's house, in order to control that person.
Anyone experiencing domestic abuse should contact Women's Aid on 0808 2000 247.
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