This week, the FBI announced it will start tracking all forms of animal abuse under its regularly updated Uniform Crime Report, which provides national statistics on some of the worst kinds of crimes. The move, which reclassifies animal abuse as a “crime against society,” puts it on the same level of offense as murder, drug trafficking, arson, and assault and will allow law enforcement agencies and other organizations to better understand the volume and nature of these crimes so they can better allocate resources. This is a huge step in the right direction for animal rights, and the FBI should make for a powerful ally.
This is what the FBI considers animal cruelty:
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.
The FBI will take 2015 to implement the necessary changes to the National Incident Based Reporting System, and will start collecting animal-abuse data in early 2016. After that, the data will become part of the regular crime statistics reports released by the FBI every year.
All of this is due in part to The National Sheriffs’ Association, which believes animal abuse cases are often linked to other crimes, including domestic violence and officer-dog encounters. “Collecting this data will enable law enforcement agencies and researchers to understand the factors associated with animal abuse,” said Amey Owen, public relations coordinator at Animal Welfare Institute. “With this information, law enforcement will be able to better track trends, plan policies, and allocate resources for intervention efforts with respect to both animal cruelty and those crimes for which animal cruelty serves as a marker.”
I only hope these positive steps not only lead to justice for those convicted, but also animal cruelty prevention. What do you think?
Please SHARE this important news!