Posted September 24, 2014
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will start tracking animal cruelty cases, according to a USA Today article by Susan Wyatt available here. Newswire also published an article available hereand Huffington Post here.
Local agencies will also track cruelty cases and report them to the FBI.
“No longer will extremely violent cases be included in the “other offense” category simply because the victims were animals. Just as the FBI tracks hate crimes and other important categories, we will now have critical data on animal cruelty,”  said Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
Prior to this expansion, there was no process for capturing animal cruelty data on a statewide or national level, according to the Huffington Post.
The new information will be included in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reportcreating an incentive for law enforcement agencies to more closely monitor these incidents.
Examples of animal cruelty, include “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; and inflicting excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering, e.g., uses objects to beat or injure an animal,” according to Newswire.
The definition does not include proper maintenance of animals for show or sport or use of animals for food, lawful hunting, fishing or trapping.
For more information on animal welfare, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.