Animal cruelty and abuse crimes will now be tracked in Federal Bureau of Investigation reports about crime in the United States.
The FBI’s director, James Comey, announced the changes that will be made in regards to how those offenses will be handled by the Uniform Crime Report Program.
Animal cruelty data, for many years, was categorized in the reports in the “All Other Offenses” category. Now the animal cruelty crimes will be itemized separately.
The reports will include incidents and arrests for intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse, simple/gross neglect, and animal sexual abuse.
Animal cruelty cases will be tracked by local agencies and reported to the FBI. >> tweet this <<
Animal Welfare Groups Praised the Decision
Ami Gordon, CEO of PAWedu in San Antonio, said “The FBI tracking is a great step in the right direction. As advocates for animals and education for the offenders, we support the national commitment to help protect animals.”
Cathy Liss, president of the Animal Welfare Institute, announced in a press release, “The change instituted by the FBI formally recognizes the seriousness of animal abuse crimes and their negative impact on the welfare of society. The data that will become available as a result of this change will help law enforcement better understand and respond to these types of crimes, which occur alongside many other forms of violence and criminal activity.”
Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said now that animal cruelty, including animal neglect is included in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, “there is a real incentive for law enforcement agencies to pay closer attention to such incidents. With accurate data, law enforcement agencies will also be better able to allocate officers and financial resources to handle these cases, track trends and deploy accordingly.”
Agencies Work Together to Fight Animal Cruelty
This immense initiative is the result of hard work by many agencies, including the Animal Welfare Institute, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. This could not have occurred without the colossal efforts of John Thompson, Deputy Executive Director of the National Sheriffs’ Association.