Animal Cruelty Punishment Methods

It is the responsibility of humans to protect animals both wild and domestic. Animals play a vital role in the lives of humans. Apart from earning government revenue by attracting tourists. Animals are also used for entertainment, food, clothes and also help in tasks such as farming and carrying of goods. In spite of all these benefits of animals, some people inflict pain and suffering on them by using cruel punishment methods.

Animal cruelty differs depending on the setting. In circuses, the most common punishment methods include starvation, electric pods, whips, chains, and bullhooks. Starvation is denying animal food until it acts as you wish.  This is mostly used when taking photos by denying them food until they pose for a selfie. It is also used in marine parks where dolphins and orcas are denied food until they produce the desired action.

Chains are used on defiant young elephants to shape up their behavior. The chains are tied on the animal’s knees for long hours as a form of punishment. They cause blisters on the elephant’s knee as it pulls and tries to escape. Bullhooks are also used on elephants. A bullhook is a stick with a hook on the end that is attached to a sensitive part of the flesh and causes pain whenever it is pulled. Bullhooks are mostly used on elephants when riding on their backs. They cause pain and fear.

A whip is mostly used on big cats. They are used in punishment-based training. Trainers use them to discourage animals from acting negatively. They associate them with pain and suffering. Electric pods are used to train animals too. The animal welfare act allows the use of electric pods. They are used to train tricks on animals used in circuses.

Other forms of cruel punishment methods include Toro Embolado. A Spanish festival that attaches balls of pitch on the bull’s horns and sets them on fire. The viewers cheer as the bull runs around in pain. The fire burns the animal’s horns, eyes, and body.  Animal neglect is a situation where the owner abandons the animal and fails to provide food and care. Dogfighting, cockfighting, and bullfighting are also discouraged as they cause injuries and painful deaths.

Humans should protect animals from any type of cruelty. Animal cruelty can lead to fines and even imprisonment. Causing unnecessary pain, cruel killings, torture, unnecessary scientific experiments, starvation, mutilating animals and overworking animals such as horses should be avoided.


Henderson, Brandy B., Christopher Hensley, and Suzanne E. Tallichet. “Childhood animal cruelty methods and their link to adult interpersonal violence.” Journal of interpersonal violence 26.11 (2011): 2211-2227.

Luke, Carter, and Arnold Arluke. “Physical cruelty toward animals in Massachusetts, 1975-1996.” Society & Animals 5.3 (1997): 195-204.

Miller, Karla S., and John F. Knutson. “Reports of severe physical punishment and exposure to animal cruelty by inmates convicted of felonies and by university students.” Child Abuse & Neglect 21.1 (1997): 59-82.




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