WARNING - DISTURBING CONTENT: An investigation that uncovered thousands of horrifying fetish videos showing animals being crushed under women’s feet has resulted in a call for urgent law reform.
The so-called “crush” videos, which show the torture and death of countless animals, have been documented by Animal Justice Party (AJP) in NSW.
The content is divided into two categories, with ‘hard crush’ videos featuring crustaceans, fish and snail, and ‘soft crush’ videos showing puppies, cats and rabbits.
Investigators found content was often sold using Bitcoin, with videos ranging in price from US$3 to $100, with the option to order custom content.
On one site, they say they witnessed over 3000 previews of crush videos for sale via Google Drive.
While the acts of animal cruelty filmed would be illegal in Australia, NSW AJP MP Emma Hurst is concerned that there isn’t a specific offence preventing the viewing and downloading of content.
She believes it currently sits within a “grey area” and may not contravene laws in NSW, like it does in the United States where the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act bans the depiction of cruelty to animals to satisfy a “crush” fetish.
“By outlawing the possession of this graphic material, we can give police the powers necessary to investigate and charge the sick individuals who find the suffering of others sexually gratifying,” Ms Hurst said.
“Research has shown that people who enjoy animal cruelty are likely involved in other criminal activity including child abuse and child pornography.
“Creating this new offence will give the police greater ability to prosecute people involved in both child and animal abuse, and could help obtain stronger sentences.“
‘You watch it and you wish you never had’
The videos which show the torture and killing of animals using a variety of footwear were found to be hosted on websites located overseas, but were available to Australians to buy, download, save and watch.
One of the videos even appeared to target Australians, but Yahoo News Australia has chosen not to publicise its name.
“I opened one of the videos of a duckling being crushed and it was really one of those things where you watch it and you wish you never had,” Ms Hurst told Yahoo News Australia
“I know I needed to watch it so I could campaign to try and end this, but it was just so horrific.
“As someone whose been working in animal protection for a couple of decades now, this is some of the worst stuff I’ve seen.
“It’s made me so determined to get rid of this and to make sure specific laws are passed.
“I’m a NSW state MP but I’ll be working with other states to get similar laws passed so they work across Australia.”
The NSW Department of Justice has been contacted for comment.
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