Mutilated cats found across this Japanese city has sparked fear among residents: Reports
In the last 10 days or so, multiple mutilated cat carcasses have turned up in Japan’s Saitama City which has sparked fears among its residents and prompted authorities to ramp up security measures in schools to protect young students from the potential cat killer.
According to a report by CNN, the first carcass of a brown-speckled cat was found along the Arakawa River in the city where a woman found a severed head and paws while the rest of the body was found on a nearby road. In mid-February, the police also found a cat’s jaw on the school grounds of an elementary school tied with a piece of string and hanging from the playground bars, reported VICE world news.
Furthermore, by the end of the month, several residents found two more mutilated cat carcasses, one on the field and another one on a small road in Saitama City. While there is no indication that these gruesome acts may also involve human victims, the city has been on edge because of its history with these kinds of killings.
In recent years, the Japanese city also jailed a killer who would torture animals like cats and post videos of his actions online. Similarly, in the late 1990s, another Japanese city Kobe witnessed children being murdered after a 14-year-old boy with a history of animal cruelty killed a 10 and 11-year-old and injured three others.
In reference to the case, an official who has coordinated patrol efforts on behalf of the Saitama educational board told VICE world news, that this has particularly raised concerns among the parents and said “that was a dark time in Japanese history”. He also said how children have been asked to alert their teachers if they notice anything out of the ordinary.
An 80-year-old woman speaking to NHK said that she felt "scared and uncomfortable" after hearing about the cat killings and that her concerns went beyond animal welfare, reported CNN.
Since these carcasses have also been found near schools, teachers have been asked to escort children home and walk in large groups, reported Japan’s public broadcaster NHK. Meanwhile, the city’s police have stepped up patrols and are investigating the two cat murders as violations of Japan’s animal protection law.
In Japan, it is a crime to kill or injure animals which is punishable by up to five years in prison or fines of up to five million yen ($36,600). The country’s police detained at least 170 people, in 2021, for suspected animal abuse which was the highest since the records began in 2010.
A barrister who founded the Hong Kong Animal Law and Protection Organisation, Kim J. McCoy told CNN how some cases of animal cruelty have “evolved into more serious offences against humans.” He added, “There is empirical evidence to support the direct correlation between those who commit animal abuse and those that commit other more violent crimes on people.”