Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FBI classifies animal cruelty as a 'crime against society' under rules that take effect in 2015

Beginning in 2015 the FBI "will start reporting crimes of animal cruelty as a separate offense under its uniform reporting system, leading the way for more comprehensive statistics on animal abuse," S.P. Sullivan reports for NJ Advance Media. "Previously, crimes against animals were recorded under a generic 'all other offense' category in the Uniform Crime Report, widely considered the most comprehensive source of crime statistics in the United States."

Animal cruelty will be considered a crime against society and a "Type A" offense, Sullivan writes. It will be tracked in four categories: simple/gross neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse (such as dog and cock fighting) and animal sexual abuse.

The FBI defines animal cruelty as: Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilating, maiming, poisoning or abandoning. 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. (Read more)

While national statistics are not known, The Humane Society of the United States says that the media reported 1,880 cases in 2007, with 64.5 percent involving dogs and 18 percent cats. In 2013 in Louisiana's East Baton Rouge Parish, which has a population of about 440,000, there were 211 cases of neglect, 141 of abuse and torture and 29 dog fighting cases reported, Kiran Chawla reports for WAFB 9 in Baton Rouge.

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