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PET HATRED; Trainspotting author: I set out to upset all dog lovers.


TRAINSPOTTING author Irvine Welsh has admitted he includes scenes of animal cruelty in his novels to annoy pet lovers.

The controversial writer says he got more complaints after writing about harming a dog than he did when he wrote a rape scene.

And yesterday he was blasted by animal welfare campaigners who claim he is encouraging cruelty.

But the outspoken Scot, whose best-seller Trainspotting was made into a hit film starring Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle, is unrepentant.

He says he cannot understand why some people treat their pets better than human beings.

He adds: "I do have to admit that I have been known to wind up dog owners. In one of my novels, I wrote a fairly explicit canine torture scene, although I have to say it was completely in keeping with the dictates of character and plot.

"This received roughly 20 times more letters of complaint than a graphic rape scene in the same book.

"Since then, I have put some dog violence in just about every book. I have done as a sort of signature.

"But, on a more serious level, _ I think it is obscene that we spend more on animals than we do people.

"I have nothing against animals and in the past I have owned both cats and dogs. I just find it distasteful the way people use them to pander to their own neurosis."

Welsh, 44 - currently lecturing in America - included one scene of cruelty in Marabou Stork Nightmares.

It involved the main character blowing up his father's dog with fireworks after it attacked him as a toddler, leaving him with a limp.

Another of his books, Filth, includes a police dog leaping from a window while high on acid.

Last night animal campaigners accused Welsh of "cheap sensationalism" and said the scenes could lead to copycat attacks.

Actress Annette Crosbie, star of One Foot in the Grave and a leading campaigner against animal cruelty, said: "It is amazing what some people will do to get publicity.

"I'm glad to say that Mr Welsh is no friend of mine. What he has said is very stupid."

-WHAT do YOU think about Irvine Welsh's views? Send emails to or write to: "Cruelty Debate", Scottish Daily Mirror, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 22, 2003
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