The Korea Herald


Court orders psychological test for animal abuse sentencing

By Hwang Joo-young

Published : June 2, 2023 - 17:36

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An appellate court on Friday ordered prosecutors to obtain a psychological test for a defendant accused of committing animal cruelty, in order to consider the appropriate sentence.

The Daejeon District Court stated, “While there already exists a series of tests for sexual crimes, there are none for animal cruelty.”

“The prosecutors should submit the results of a psychological test to evaluate the possibility of repetition of the crime,” the court added.

In response, the prosecutors said they would obtain expert opinions on the case, in addition to previously submitted evidence that includes records of the defendant’s cellphone usage.

The defendant was initially indicted for killing animals including cats and rabbits in a cruel way and uploading videos of such online in 2020.

The defendant was originally sentenced to four months of jail on two years probation and a fine of 1 million won ($765) for breaching the Animal Protection Act.

The prosecution appealed the ruling, arguing that “the sentence was not enough punishment for the cruelty of the perpetrator’s misbehavior.”

At that time, the defendant claimed he had valid reasons for killing the animals, and that he had a hunting license.

However, the defendant’s claim was rejected by the court as the judges pointed out the defendant was seen in a video online yelling at the animals, threatening them and laughing during the abuse.

It was also revealed that the defendant had written in an online community, “It’s very joyful to hear an arrow being shot and to chase after the scared animals running away.”

Meanwhile, the Friday hearing was attended by Korea Animal Rights Advocates activist Yoon Seong-mo.

At the court, Yoon emphasized the need for stricter criminal sentencing without probation, arguing, “Cruel crimes aimed at animals are proliferating these days. I’m also deeply concerned about possible copycats among teenagers.”

“The defendant should not be commuted even though he promised to volunteer for animal protection,” Yoon added.