The case of a seven-year-old boy who is suspected of animal abuse, reported in Tuesday's Oriental Morning Post, should help raise public awareness of the psychological problems of children.
Since late June, Shanghai resident Zhang Fengping has been frequently finding the bodies of newborn kittens, wrapped in newspapers and plastic bags, along the street where she lives.
"I couldn't persuade myself that these poor little babies died of illness, their heads were sometimes even crushed, " recalled Zhang, "however, I also didn't expect the suspected killer to be a boy of seven."
The parents of the boy, though they admitted the behavior of their son, refused to make any comment on the issue.
According to the security officer of the top-grade residential area where the boy lives, the family was newly-arrived from the US, and the couple seemed to be very busy with their work.
"A slight degree of psychological impediment in children may result in the behavior-pattern of animal abuse, which is regarded as an easy way to express their dissatisfaction," explained He Yumin, professor in psycho-physiological medicine at the CMA (Chinese Medical Association).
Mal-adjustment to new environments, a heavy burden of study, too strict a family environment and the lack of care or attention from parents may easily make a child a bundle of nerves.
(Shanghai Daily August 31, 2005)