A conference at Oxford University this week, will examine the links between animal abuse and human violence.
Held at Keble College it is being organised by the Ferrata Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.
The Rev Professor Andrew Linzey, the director of the Centre, is the first person to hold a chair in theology specifically related to animal issues.
The Oxford Centre is the first academic institution of its kind explicitly dedicated to the enhancement of the status of animals in ethical debate.
The conference aims to analyse the link between violence towards animals and humans and the implications for ethics and social and legal policy.
Speakers and delegates from many disciplines, including philosophy, theology, psychology, law, criminology and social sciences, will be taking part.
The speakers include Frank Ascione, Professor of Psychology from the University of Utah, one of the world’s leading authorities on the relationship between abusive behaviour towards animals and people.
Also addressing the conference will be Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights and director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Jack Levin, Professor of Sociology and Criminology, Northeastern University, the author and co-author of more than 20 books on violence.
The conference is expected to be attended by a wide range professionals including those concerned with law enforcement, social work, the implementation of legal and social policy, cruelty prevention and inspection, child care, spousal and elderly abuse, penal policy; veterinary services; human and animal shelters; humane education and wildlife protection.