William Hatfield sent this in:

I’m a member of PETA, this is the response I got after inquiring about Ryo-ma and the Dragon Gate animal abuse scandal. Attached are PETA’s original fax and letter documents. As someone who donates a lot of time and money to the education of people about animal cruelty, I think it’s very important that the wrestling community not let this one go. Animal abuse is one of the leading indicators of psychological instability and a forewarning to potential homicidal tendencies towards other humans. The last thing we need is another wrestling death/murder. If Ryo-ma could be helped, or others warned of this type of behavior, maybe we can avoid another scandal. At the very least, we would be helping to educate the public that this type of behavior is wrong and does have consequences.

“Thanks for writing. After we learned of online pictures of professional wrestler Ryo-ma allegedly abusing animals, we sent an urgent letter to Takashi Okamura President of Dragon Gate, asking that Ryo-ma be expelled from the company’s roster. As you know, Ryo-ma, a member of Dragon Gate’s Warrior S-5 faction, recently posted pictures of himself on his blog beating and strangling a monkey. Ryo-ma reportedly strangled the animal until he was unconscious, beat him with a stick and poured scalding water over him. We have also written a letter to Japanese authorities asking that Ryo-ma be criminally charged and that the monkey be immediately confiscated. We are deeply concerned about any injuries the monkey likely sustained and wants to ensure he or she is located and receives appropriate veterinary care.

I’ve attached copies of both letters.

Please visit www.PETA.com for updates to this and all our campaigns to help animals.

Thank you for caring.

Yours truly,

Jennifer O’Connor
Animals in Entertainment Campaign Writer”

Copy of the letter sent:

May 27, 2009

Mr. Takashi Okamura
President, Dragon Gate Professional Wrestling Promotion
Sanctuary Building
7-1-4 Kita-Nagasa Dori
Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi
Hyogo-ken 650-0012

Dear Mr. Takashi Okamura,

As you are no doubt aware, Ryo-ma (of Dragon Gate Warrior S-5 faction) recently posted photos on his blog of a monkey who was being tortured. The animal was reportedly strangled until he passed out, beaten with a stick, and had scalding-hot water poured over his body.

On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia-Pacific, our international affiliates, and compassionate people everywhere, I respectfully ask that you expel Ryo-ma your group as well as urge authorities to pursue criminal charges in this matter, as applicable.

Mental-health professionals and top law enforcement officials consider cruelty to animals to be a red flag. Many psychiatric associations identify cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the U.S. uses reports of these crimes in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

The grim revelation of this suffering that this animal endured at Ryo-ma’s hands is an embarrassment to Dragon Gate. You have a duty to send a message to wrestling fans and the general public that your organization has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of animal abuse. I look forward to your response so that I may share it with concerned members of the public as well as the media. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.


Jason Baker
PETA Asia-Pacific

Copy of second letter/fax sent:

May 28, 2009

Mr. Shigeru Kitamura
Chief of Police
Hyogo Prefectural Police Department

Dear Chief Shigeru Kitamura:

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

PETA is the world’s largest animal rights organization with more than 2 million members and supporters. We have been inundated with calls from around the world regarding the alleged abuse of a monkey by Ryo-ma of the S-5 faction of the Dragon Gate Professional Wrestling Promotion. Allegations that the monkey was beaten with a stick, choked until unconscious, and doused in scalding-hot water surfaced after Ryo-ma posted photographs of the tortured, injured animal on his blog (the injuries are apparent in the photos). We are writing because Dragon Gate Professional Wrestling Promotion’s headquarters is located in Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi Hyogo-ken, and we believe that your agency is in the best position to investigate this atrocity. We would like to provide Ryo-ma’s photos to you as soon as possible. May we have your e-mail address so that we can send them?

With respect, we believe that Ryo-ma’s alleged actions have violated Japan’s Animal Protection and Management Law, Article 44, which states, ?A person who has destroyed or injured, without reason, a protected animal shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than one year or a fine of not more than one million yen.? This article further defines a protected animal as ?animals in the possession of persons where such animals are categorized as mammals, birds or reptiles ??

On behalf of our members worldwide, we respectfully request that your agency launch an investigation into the aforementioned allegations, file appropriate criminal charges against all involved parties, and, most importantly, secure the welfare of any animals in Ryo-ma ‘s custody, showing particular attention to the monkey who was allegedly abused. (We fear that he could be abused repeatedly if he is not rescued.) Please know that we can assist with any veterinary expenses that this animal might require.

We deeply appreciate your commitment to the community and its animals.


Martin Mersereau
Cruelty Investigations Department