I AM WRITING in response to the article “Cat dies after being stabbed in the street” (The Argus, February 7).

An autopsy was carried out by a vet that showed that Alan, a two-year-old cat, had been stabbed through the lung.

Veterinary forensic pathology can play a significant part in the response to animal abuse and neglect.

Information obtained from veterinary forensic examinations can provide insights that can aid the courts and mental health professionals in assessing the risk to animals, people, and society posed by these individuals, based on the nature of offenders’ actions towards their animal victims.

Extensive research has identified acts of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect as crimes that may be indicators of interpersonal violence involving perpetrators and future violent acts against people outside of their family.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said that “the informant was advised there are no other forms of enquiry.” Really?

The Argus comment on the sick cat killer reminds readers that “in November last year, the so-called Brighton cat killer stabbed or slashed 14 cats near Ditchling Rise.”

An integrative approach by the above-mentioned agencies could be an effective weapon in identifying these offenders and show that these criminal acts are being taken seriously, befitting a forwardthinking compassionate society.

If Alan’s killer is the work of the same person, this recurrent pattern of abuse is of grave concern to any right-minded person.

Renewed interest in considering animal abuse not only as a serious crime against animal welfare but also as a bellwether and a gateway to further violence has coincided with societal demand for increased prosecution and punishment of cruel acts against animals.

I agree with The Argus that echoes this concern, “there has to be the strongest possible deterrent and the present penalties are simply not severe enough.”

David Hammond North Court Hassocks