EXCELLENT NEWS!!! Animal Cruelty Is Now A Felony In All 50 States

FBI data collection to begin effective January 1 2016.... Animal abusers will now be grouped into the same category as murderers! "They believe animal cruelty is and should be identified as a violent crime, one that leads to bigger things if it goes unchecked.

No longer will violent cases of animal cruelty be included in the “other offenses” category simply because the victims of the crime are animals... The new FBI categorization is significant because it affirms that at the highest level of our government animal cruelty is recognized as a violent crime."

According to the FBI, the official definition of animal cruelty will be:

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 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.

This new FBI categorization is intended to improve the way crimes against animals are tracked nationwide and could help bolster state animal cruelty laws across the United States. 

All 50 states now have felony animal cruelty provisions. On March 14, 2014, South Dakota became the final state to enact a felony provision for animal cruelty.

There’s a national consensus that animal abuse should indeed be treated as a serious crime. Now animal cruelty will be a Group A felony. 

The new classification will make it easier to get harsher sentences, and to identify young offenders. 

Young people who torture and kill animals are prone to violence against people later in life if it goes unchecked, studies have shown. A new federal category for animal cruelty crimes will help root out those pet abusers before their behavior worsens and give a boost to prosecutions, an animal welfare group says.

Officers will start to see the data are facts and "not just somebody saying the 'Son of Sam' killed animals before he went to human victims and 70-some percent of the school shooters abused animals prior to doing their acts before people," said Thompson, a retired assistant sheriff from Prince George's County, Maryland.

Law enforcement agencies will have to report incidents and arrests in four areas: 

1. simple or gross neglect
2. intentional abuse and torture
3. organized abuse such as dogfighting and cockfighting
4. animal sexual abuse 

Because cases of animal cruelty, including animal neglect, will now be included in the FBI Uniform Crime Report law enforcement agencies have more incentive to pay attention to any incidents, and statistics on these types of crime will be more accurate and detailed. 

It will take some time to update FBI and law enforcement databases nationwide, so no data will be collected until January 1, 2016, and then it’s projected to be several more months before there are numbers to analyze.


Huffington Post
All Legal Defense Fund (included are comments)

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