Tuesday 19 January 2016

FBI now tracking animal abuse like it tracks homicides

The move is considered a big win for animals
Friday 8 January 2016

The FBI now counting animal abuse as a serious crime RexIt was more than 10 years ago that Mary Lou Randour realised she couldn’t answer what should have been a simple question: Was cruelty against animals on the rise or in decline?

Randour, a psychologist who switched careers to devote herself full time to animal rights advocacy, found there was no one keeping track of animal-abuse crimes. Even the most egregious cases, like dogfighting, fell under the category of “other” when local police agencies reported their statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’ National Incident Based 

She began a concerted push for the FBI to elevate animal cruelty to its own separate offense category. After a years-long lobbying effort, in 2014, the FBI agreed. And this year will be the first time it collects data on animal crimes the way it does for other serious crimes like homicide.

The FBI defines cruelty to animals as: “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.”

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