The Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced that animal cruelty will be reported as a “crime against society”.
Until now, crimes against animals were vaguely recorded in the “all other offense” category in the Uniform Crime Report — the most comprehensive source of crime statistics in the United States.
The newly written law will allow the U.S. government to collect and record information about animal abuse in the country.
1. The FBI has announced that animal cruelty will be reported a “crime against society”. Pictured, an emaciated Pit Bull rescued by New York City police from a suspected dog fighting ring (story here).
2. Until now, crimes against animals were vaguely recorded in the “all other offense” category in the Uniform Crime Report. Pictured, a Greyhound rescued from a breeding ring, along with dozens of other Greyhounds. The dogs were burned with cigarettes and acid, dumped to die in tunnels, hung on trees, left with broken bones to starve to death or released on busy highways (story here).
Animal cruelty will be reported as a separate category, along with major offenses such as murder, assault and arson crimes.
Under the changes, animal cruelty is now considered a crime against society and a “Type A” offense with four separate categories: simple / gross neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse (such as dog and cock fighting) and animal sexual abuse.
According to the FBI, the new official definition of animal cruelty is:
Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment. Included are instances of duty to provide care, e.g., shelter, food, water, care if sick or injured; transporting or confining an animal in a manner likely to cause injury or death; causing an animal to fight with another; inflicting excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering, e.g., uses objects to beat or injure an animal.
This definition does not include proper maintenance of animals for show or sport; use of animals for food, lawful hunting, fishing or trapping.
3. The newly written law will allow the U.S. government to collect and record information about animal abuse in the country. Pictured, a Tibetan Spaniel who was thrown off the third-floor balcony of an apartment building in Kansas City, Missouri, and had his eyes removed because of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his former owner (story here).
4. Animal cruelty will be reported as a separate category, along with major offenses such as murder, assault and arson crimes. Pictured, a Pitt Bull mix puppy who was born and raised in such terrible conditions that the tendons in all four of his legs were ruptured and he assumed a dwarf-like appearance, with bent legs and curved spine (story here).
The changes have come as great news for animal rights groups which had been lobbying for it for more than a decade.
The FBI adopted the changes to the law after the Animal Welfare Institute and the National Sheriff’s Association proposed that animal cruelty be listed as a separate offense in the National Incident Based Reporting System, from which the Uniform Crime Report is derived, according to FBI spokesman Stephen G. Fischer.
Amy Blasher, FBI unit chief, said in the FBI announcement of the law:
[The National Sheriffs’ Association and the Animal Welfare Institute] believe that animal cruelty was an early indicator of violent crime, and that’s really what led the discussions with our law enforcement partners throughout the country.
5. The changes have come as great news for animal rights groups which had been lobbying for it for more than a decade. Pictured, a dog who was shot three times and tied to railroad tracks by two teenagers (story here)
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