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SMACC Spotlight Report - Teasing as torture (July 2022)

The disturbing trend of ‘teasing as torture’ animal cruelty videos.

The videos SMACC located show starving animals being taunted with food that is placed just outside their reach or given food they could not physically lift to their mouths. Crying baby monkeys filmed being ignored, laughed at, pushed around, or otherwise taunted. Vulnerable infant wild animals teased with comforting teddies or blankets as they are left screaming in open spaces. There are videos of people spraying lemon juice or scaring animals by setting off firecrackers by them while they’re sleeping or by wearing terrifying masks. 


These types of acts fall under the definition of psychological torture - which is not prohibited explicitly or implicitly by any of the social media platforms’ policies. 


Here is what we found:

  • 195 social media posts depicting ‘teasing’ cruelty to animals

  • The most common forms of abuse shown were videos showing wild animals kept as pets (23%), the withholding of food (18%) and humans scaring animals with a mask or props (18%).

  • Macaque monkeys featured in the most number of posts (148). Dogs and cats featured in 32 and other primates (various species) in 14 posts. 

  • These included endangered species such as Orangutans, Chimpanzees and slow lorises.


Please take a closer look at our report below, to find out more about this cruelty. And please always remember to follow our Five Steps to tackle this cruel content: 


  1. Be aware

  2. Report

  3. Do not watch

  4. Do not engage

  5. Do not share

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